Graceful. Poetic. Nicolas Flamel of movement. Green arrow in the sky.
There were a lot of things Harry has heard Louis Tomlinson being called over the years. ‘Little shit’ wasn't usually one of them.
Until now, that is.
He was seating in the bleachers of the Yorkshire Unicorns training ground watching Louis Tomlinson mess around with his teammates.
Harry Styles was one lucky wizard. Not many people got to see Quidditch’ golden son up close like this. There were plenty of stories being thrown around about who Louis was and what he's done, but so little of them were based on actual merit or ever saw a word of comment from the man himself.
Being able to not only watch him like this but to also be granted an opportunity to write a profile on this outstanding man was a dream come true for every journalist.
Especially Harry who loved the game, but had two left feet himself and couldn't hold himself upright on the broom if he tried.
‘You must be Harry,’ he heard above him. Harry saw the coach of the team landing with his broom on top of the bleachers.
‘Yes.’ Harry nodded, extending his palm in a greeting ‘Mr. Payne, nice to meet you.’
‘Please,call me Liam. Was the journey here okay?’ Liam inquired politely putting his broom against the ledge and motioning Harry to sit down again.
‘Yes thank you. The portkey got a bit shaky around London, but you know… traffic’ Harry shrugged and laughed softly.
‘Oh, you didn't come here from London?’ Liam asked ‘I thought Magical Herald HQ was in Diagon Alley.’
‘Oh, it is’ Harry nodded with a smile, ‘I was on an assignment.’
‘You're a busy man I see.’ Liam smiled when he realized Harry wasn’t going to elaborate. ‘We're glad you made time for this.’
‘Please. The pleasure is all mine. I've always been a fan.’ he admitted in a cordial whisper.
‘Are you now, Curly?’ Harry heard behind himself. He whipped around so fast he almost dropped his messenger bag.
‘I’ll let you two get acquainted,’ Harry heard Liam speak behind him, but he paid him no mind.
‘Louis Tomlinson! Sir! Hello!’ Harry said, clutching his bag to his chest. His cheeks reddening at the words that stumbled out of his mouth so ungracefully; his pen flying out of his bag pocket and already making notes as soon as Louis appeared.
‘Sir,’ Louis smirked. ‘I haven’t been called that by a man since last night.’ he added with a small chuckle, looking at Harry daringly. The innuendo was not lost on Harry, but he did not dare to hope that the guy he spent an unholy amount of time daydreaming about might have been into guys as well. He was probably just trying to push Harry’s buttons, it wasn’t exactly a secret that Harry was bi. He’s been out for years, which wasn’t easy in a conservative wizarding community.
‘Well I didn’t want to keep you waiting any longer,’ Harry paused ‘Sir’ he added for good measure and revelled in the way Louis seemed to be taken aback for a second before shaking his head, and smiling at Harry genuinely.
That smile right there. This is where Harry should start the editorial. He was so done with this trope in articles of ‘When he comes inside his robes are a mess, he pats his pockets for his wand and apologises for being late. He orders a butterbeer. See? He’s a regular wizard. Stars are just like us!’ He was more of a ‘Making kinky daddy related puns makes him smile, and his smile could stop worlds’
‘He’s been called a bright future of quidditch more than once, and even if I didn’t see him play I would understand the reference because a person whose smile shines so brightly is bound to be a star’ Louis read from Harry’s notebook and raised an eyebrow at him while his pen was trying to get to the page to probably write down more embarrassing words.
‘Finite incantatem’ Harry mumbled and grabbed the pen as it started to fall lifelessly to the ground, taking the notebook with him as he went.
‘That is a nice thing you have here. Is this a Quick-Quotes Quill?’ Louis asked reaching out to take it out of Harry’s hands, but he put them out of his reach.
‘Do you think I work in a Daily Prophet?’ Harry asked genuinely outraged. He was a serious journalist, not a gossip monger.
‘What is it then?’ Louis asked, looking over Harry’s shoulder with a spark in his eye like he genuinely wanted to know.
Harry was glad the pen wasn’t recording now, or this would get embarrassing real quick for Harry.
‘Well umm… ‘ he started always feeling shy when discussing this. ‘Well I got the idea from the Quick- Quotes Quill but I didn’t want it to fabricate the story, you know?’ Harry said, and Louis nodded eagerly, looking down at the pen that Harry now held in front of them. ‘It um… it uses a memory extraction spell. Only- only instead of just taking the memory out for you to put in a pensive and walk into later, it transforms it to words on a page. In real time.’
Louis looked at him, his eyes popping out of his head ‘Are you trying to tell me that this thing, translates the memories from your head on the piece of paper as they happen? How?!’
‘Um… yes.’ Harry nodded ‘I mean I toyed a bit with transmutation, it was a disaster at first; it put the exact replica of the situation in my living room in 3D form. Then I had the issue of it writing down literally everything I thought which- well no one should really go into that detailed of a journey through their own brain.’ Harry shook his head and the way Louis nodded somberly made him wish he would have turned the pen on again ‘Like it’s not perfect!’ He said, just to not appear vain. ‘It still doesn't write everything down, just the things that stand out, I guess. I dunno, I’m still in a trial phase, to be honest.’
‘This is fucking incredible!’ Louis said, taking a pen into his hands reverently. ‘But where are the words coming from? Like, if you walk into someone’s memory, you don’t hear their thoughts. You just see the situation.’
‘Oh yeah, that’s a great question.’ Harry nodded, emboldened by the fact that Louis seem to actually want to know ‘Well when you walk into the memory it’s like a movie. You don’t hear the thoughts, most of the movies don’t have a narrator that says what the protagonist is thinking, so you gauge the mood by other things; like general perception. But this, this is more like a book. So it can lay down my exact thoughts. I mean, it has to. For it to be at all accurate since it can’t rely on visuals.’
‘That is the coolest thing I have ever seen’ Louis grinned at him.
‘Hey!’ Harry whined, then he flicked his wrist to wake the quill up, ‘You can't be a sweet person when the pen is not recording it. We're missing out on great editorial material!’ Harry joked, punching Louis softly in the arm.
‘Well then you better have that incredible invention of yours running round the clock, cause I am always a sweet person’ Louis smirked making Harry chuckle.
‘I um… I have one thing that I have to say though.’ Harry said biting his lip suddenly nervous. Him and Louis were vibing like crazy, he didn’t want to ruin it.
‘I won’t be reading your notebook again,’ Louis shook his head quickly ‘I’m sorry for reading it the first time, I would never if I knew what it was. Truly, I apologise’
The pen was flying over the pages, because Harry’s head was spinning. When he heard about this assignment, and learned that Merlin knows why his boss decided to give it to him, he was expecting to meet a young, sexy quidditch star, maybe a young Dumbledore type. Intelligent, witty but a bit of a rule breaker. He did not expect this human marshmallow. Harry was fucking melting.
‘It’s okay. You didn’t know,’ Harry smiled. ‘I feel like we should really stop talking about me’ he chuckled afterwards.
‘Ugh,’ Louis groaned ‘Let’s not.’
‘I am the one that’s supposed to be asking you questions Louis.’ Harry laughed
‘But you’re so much more interesting!’ Louis whined making Harry blush from his head to toe.
‘You're a flirt, don't think that's not going into the editorial,’ Harry waggled his finger ‘How about we go to a coffee shop and talk over something hot?’
‘You're something hot.’ Louis shot back sticking out his tongue to Harry making him laugh out loud.
This guy was fucking ridiculous. Harry expected to be star struck, and a bit out of his element for at least the beginning of the conversation or a few days if he was being honest with himself, but here he was trading a light banter with his childhood and adulthood hero not caring that the wind was sneaking inside his robes turning his skin a bit red from the cold.
‘Come on Lou. I know a great place around here where we can talk.’ the added pet name slipping out of his mouth without his permission.
‘Fine. Just let me change first.’ Louis rolled his eyes, and flicked his wand charming his quidditch training clothes into regular robes. He even did a combing spell on his hair. Harry always appreciated a man who put in the effort. ‘All done’ Louis smirked. ‘How are we getting there?’
‘Just grab my hand,’ Harry smiled rolling his eyes and apparating them.
Louis looked around as soon as they landed, and looked back at Harry with raised eyebrow.
‘I really hope that you brought me to the middle of the woods to make out, and not to kill me’ he snarked smiling at Harry.
‘Funny you should mention that I actually had my first kiss right here.’ Harry laughed ‘That’s how I found this place.’
They were standing under huge tree by the river. No matter what direction Louis looked there was nothing but trees. There were branches cascading toward the ground. It was a beautiful place. Louis could see why it was a popular make out spot.
‘Did you grow up around here?’ Louis asked, while Harry whispered lumos -it started to get dark- and walked around looking for something.
‘Yes. Just past that hill.’ Harry nodded towards the north, ‘It was a village with like 30 people in total.’ he smiled wistfully. ‘I used to think I would never get out of that place,’ he shook his head ‘Then I got my letter at the age of 11 and realised I could go any place in the world’
‘I grew up in a mansion. There were probably around 30 people in my house at all times.’ Louis nodded ‘I used to think I would never get out of that place too,’ he parroted with a bitter smile.
‘Your family name,’ Harry said thoughtfully ‘It means a lot in this world,and somehow you manage to make people forget that you share it.’ he added, looking at him seriously stopping his ministrations ‘It is something to be proud of.’
‘I don't share it anymore,’ Louis pointed out to how he used his mom's last name- Tomlinson -for quite some time ‘Pure blood problems am I right?’ Louis mocked.
‘Pure blood problem would be if your favourite house elf took a different job, or someone got the same dark artefact that your family has.’ Harry smiled ‘You come from privilege, that’s true, but that doesn’t mean you never experienced any hardships.’
‘You’re just trying to weasel some more talk about my childhood, aren’t you?’ Louis laughed changing the subject.
‘Actually now, I’m trying to find the entrance.’ Harry smiled letting him. ‘Oh! There it is!’ he exclaimed, and pressed the heel of his boot into the tree trunk.
Suddenly right in front of their eyes the branches swept to two sides and upon coming closer Louis realised that there was a door there that Harry walked through.
Almost instantly Louis was enveloped by heat and looked around stunned. It was a cosy place;here were couches around, a small fireplace, flowers on almost every surface. There was even a small stage in the corner. The smell was divine, and Louis instantly loved the place because there was quite a lot of people sitting around, but no one paid him any mind as he was walking by with Harry. They were all looking at a blonde woman moving around, her hair swaying a bit, her movement graceful. She looked like she was floating on water, and Louis understood why no one could look away from her.
‘Stevie is a veela,’ Harry said following Louis line of vision. ‘She owns the place.’ he added snapping Louis out of his haze.
‘Oh!’ Louis exclaimed a bit baffled ‘Oh! I mean… I thought….’’
‘You thought I’m too old to be a veela.’ he heard behind himself and turned around, blush spreading on his cheek.
‘Veelas aren’t forever young.’ Harry interrupted before Louis could apologise ‘They age. Just most of them choose to cover it up with a spell, but there are few who decide not to.’
‘I don’t have to be a young blonde thing to seduce anyone.’ Stevie tisked her tongue, and with a wink she moved towards the stage.
‘Is she a dancer?’ Louis asked looking after Stevie. Knowing that Veelas were known for their sultry dance.
‘Singer,’ Harry corrected. ‘She’s incredible. Half of the time I'm not sure if she sings so well because she's a veela, or if she’s a veela because she sings so well.’
‘A classic what came first, the dragon or the egg scenario.’ Louis laughed
Then Stevie started to song and his laugh got caught in his throat. The music seemed to be coming out of her body, her eyes were closed because she didn't have to bother to capture the audience’s attention. She had it already. Then the bells chimed in from all around Louis and he realised that the music wasn't coming from her but from all around, from walls and flowers and even the fireplace. It was the most beautiful symphony that he had ever heard.
‘Told you.’ Harry smirked from beside him.
‘Wow’ Louis whispered reverently when Stevie dived into the next song. ‘I mean if I wasn't gay’ he added shaking his head, his comment offhanded.
‘Louis,’ Harry warned, snatching his pen up in his hand to stop it from writing. ‘You're speaking to a journalist.’ he added, still in shock about Louis’ sudden admission. His brazen way of announcing it like he didn't care who knew.
‘I know.’ Louis nodded, prying Harry's fingers open and releasing the pen ‘And if I asked you to not print it, you wouldn't.’ he said confidently ‘Would you?’
‘You can't know that!’ Harry argue angrily. Louis putting himself in the line of fire like that, angered him for some reason. This man deserved to be cherished, and cared for. How could he be so careless with himself.
‘I can though. LGBTQ wizards going missing in New York, Great Britain's ban on transgender aurors, kids being taken away from LGBTQ parents in Norway.’ Louis counted on his fingers ‘Those are all the things you've written about. You were the only one.’
‘Just because I cover those issues doesn't mean I'm any fucking better.’ Harry snarled. ‘What if I thought that this would be great exposure for LGBTQ wizarding community, and decided to use you as some fucked up version of a poster child huh?’
‘I would say go for it.' Louis said smiling softly.Harry looked back at him with a frown on his face ‘There was a reason I chose you Harry. For this editorial. I know I'm talking to a journalist. So,to make this official- I'm going on the record here- I am gay. And you can write whatever the hell you want about that.’
At that moment Harry would probably write that Louis is the bravest person on the planet. That his face was pale but his expression was the one of a person ready to plant their feet, and stand their ground. No matter what storms one would have to withstand.
At that moment Harry was ready to plant his feet right behind him and prop him up, no matter the cost. He thought about the suicide percentage of LGBTQ Wizarding youth, of how that percentage was twice as bad with young quidditch players who faced double the amount of usual scrutiny. How pure blood families, even the one standing against Voldemort and his vicious blood discrimination all those years ago still erased from their family trees their kids who came out.
Wizarding LGBTQ community never had their hero. Someone who would make people listen. Someone who wouldn't be afraid to speak out like so many before, someone who wouldn't be too tired to speak out like many assumed Harry Potter was, who following his very public divorce with Ginny Weasley moved to the deep country and disappeared from the public eye. Which seemed to coincidently happen around the same time Draco Malfoy divorced his wife.
Someone who wouldn't be content being complicit in protecting the status quo, like many accused Dumbledore of doing. Following his death there were enough accounts, memories, letters to conclude that he was in fact involved with Grindelwald in his youth. Something that led many young people to romanticize a relationship that ended in a blood shed. Some said that he was too heartbroken to fight afterwards. Many more stated that he didn't deem LGBTQ issues as important enough, or had a lot of internalized homophobia himself.
‘I am not my sexual orientation.’ he used to say. ‘I won't be taking sides.’ he added on more than one occasion overlooking the simple fact that if he decided to be silent in the face of discrimination he already picked the side of the abusers.
Louis could be it. He could be the that one last drop that would spill the vase and flood the status quo. the don't ask don't tell that wizards around the world seemed to prefer.
But he could also turn out to be another victim. The issues Harry wrote about- they weren't cases of bullying on the streets. Those were life and death situations. Members of this community has been going missing for months in New York, one of the most progressive places there was and no one bat an eyelash.
There was no one speaking out about gay rights among wizards. No one of prominence at least. Being LGBTQ was always existing between the lines. You had to queer code yourself for members of the community be able to differentiate their own, but not be explicit enough to alienate the straights. Behind closed doors everyone could do what they wanted, people rarely asked. But if you brought it out in the daylight you would end up in Mungo's if you're lucky.
Or dead in the ditch if you're not. Harry, as open as he was, walked around with a protection spell on himself at all times. He wasn't even famous. How the hell Louis wanted to make it out alive was beyond him.
‘Why are you doing this?’ Harry asked softly a bit baffled.
‘Why are you?’ Louis shot back.
‘But you have so much more to lose than me. Why risk it?’
‘I have so much more to lose which is why I have that much more to gain. It’s not just about me.’ Louis shook his head, ‘I've read all of your articles before. I- ‘ he stopped to arrange his words in his head, ‘The Triangle? Do you know it?”
‘That's a gay mecca. Of course I know it.’ Harry nodded. The Triangle was an underground pub for LGBTQ wizards. At every entrance there was a polyjuice potion shot to alter your appearance. There no real names, no real faces of any kind. They didn't face that much prosecution, there was never a raid or any arrests, anti gay laws were there, mostly because no one bothered to removed them, but they were rarely enforced. Most of the people still didn't want to show their faces, and if someone had to pretend and hide his real face it was a bit more honest if everyone did it.
‘Well I saw your article there first. There were pamphlets all over the place. It was um… The Prosecution of Dumbledore.’
‘That was one of my first pieces.’ Harry said, smiling disbelievingly. He wrote it when there was a flood of ‘evidence’ supporting the idea that Dumbledore was gay. In just few days the entire legacy of the man, that was once perceived as the Most Powerful Wizard in the world has been washed down the drain.
‘You said you were my fan,’ Louis laughed softly ‘I am yours as well.’ he nodded, looking to Harry’s eyes.
‘I remember reading it then, after those crazy few weeks where there was a new story about him every fucking hour. At the beginning when all of this started I thought ‘This is it’ This is the time people are gonna pay attention to us, they’ll have to, you know? He was an idol to every wizard in the world, I wasn’t foolish enough to believe everyone will have a change of heart but I thought at least some- ‘ he shook his head, and took a sip of his tea.
‘But it didn’t happen. They fucking destroyed him. Not just homophobes, but also people who were pissed that he didn’t come out, pushing him out of the closet when he couldn’t address it in anyway. And I thought. If they did it to him, who’s safe? How are we ever going to stumble out of the closet and not perish on arrival?‘ he asked looking to Harry with genuine open face ‘I remember the last sentence of that article… Merlin. I must have read it probably billion times at this point.’ He shook his head at himself.
‘You wrote: Dumbledore is not going to lead another rebellion. He is not a vision of our future he is the shame of our past. Because we all disappointed him. We made it so the world he lived in was hostile enough for him to never want to be honest with it and then we charged his lies. Maybe it is finally time for us to look beyond his magical skill, beyond his accomplishment and see that behind it all was just another scared gay wizard doing his best with whatever cards his been dealt. What we can do now is to make sure that the next person in Dumbledore's shoes has a little better hand.
Harry looked at him amazed, flattered beyond belief that Louis Tomlinson was quoting his work.
‘That stuck with me. We did fail him, and ever since then every second I do not stand up for what is right I feel like I'm dealing my own people another shitty hand. I want gay athletes to be able to call on my precedence whether it will be a success story or cautionary tale. Because-’ Louis said taking a deep breath, his exhale a bit shaky, ‘It’s so alone sometimes.’ He whispered. ‘They made us be so ashamed of who we are that even when we do group together like in The Triangle, we're so paranoid about being found out that we prioritize anonymity over genuine human bond. How are you supposed to connect with someone if even their face is a lie? How could you know how many lies they told you, you know ? I just. Even if it blows up in my face… If there will be one person that will tell me that I made them feel less alone… that’s- that's fine. Sold!’ He chuckled at the end.
‘Okay’ Harry nodded a bit choked up. For once in his life at loss with words.
‘Okay?’ Louis asked hopeful.
‘I’ll write it.’ Harry nodded ‘And I’ll try to do you justice.’
‘Deal’ Louis smiled clicking his cup to Harry’s. ‘So… what now? We’re gonna debunk any rumours?’ Louis asked with a playful glint in his eye.
‘I didn’t plan on it to be honest, no’ Harry chuckled.
‘Come on! Daily Prophet brings a list with them anytime we ever talk!’ Louis mocked.
‘No,’ Harry laughed, shaking his head ‘I quite like the rumours to be honest.’ he adde, ‘It gives you this… aura of unattainability’
‘Yeah I mean, do you really have a pet dragon in your house? I don’t know, but the guessing game is entertaining, you know?’
‘Sorry to disappoint you but I do not have a dragon in my house. A- that’s illegal. B- Dragon’s should never live in houses that could stunt their growth! However, ’ he added with his finger raised ‘I did found a dragon’s egg once!’
‘You found a dragon’s egg!’ Harry breathed out ‘Of course you did!’
‘What?’ Louis laughed ‘I was hiking with Liam in Romania!’
‘Liam- your coach right?’ Harry asked putting his interviewer face on.
‘My best friend.’ Louis amended.
‘How did you meet?’ Harry inquiring.
‘Are you seriously interviewing me right now?’ Louis asked raising his eyebrow.
‘Yes I am, that’s what I should be doing.’ Harry laughed, ‘Answer the damn question!’
‘Fine’ Louis huffed ‘I met Liam in a Quidditch camp.’ He said and looked at Harry thoughtfully before snatching a pen for a second to stop it from writing ‘He was my first kiss’ he winked.
‘Oh! Scandalous!’ Harry giggled. ‘Are you two… ?’
‘No’ Louis shook his head laughing ‘It was never like that. We were two kids who were equally embarrassed to be in the locker room after practice. We shared a room at the retreat. We didn’t really get on at first; I always thought he was too uptight about stuff. He hated how blaise I was about everything. I just liked to wing it, you know? Was never one for elaborate plays.’ Louis said gesturing widely. ‘Anyway, one night we were sitting in our room, we were trading Chocolate Frogs Cards, and he leaned in and kissed me.’
‘I assume all of this is off the record’ Harry said nodding towards his pen trashing to get out of Louis’ hold.
‘Yes. He doesn't want to come out. He told me I can tell you the story if I want, but he doesn't want it in print.’ Louis nodded.
‘It’s off record then’ Harry nodded squeezing Louis’ wrist, before realising that maybe it wasn’t exactly necessary, and he snatched his hand away. Still, he felt the weight of responsibility set on his shoulders. Louis trusted him with so many details about his personal life. Harry wanted to do him justice. ‘You’re in good hands I’ll promise’
‘I know.’ Louis nodded ‘Somehow I trust you’
‘You probably shouldn’t, just for the record. I’m a stranger you met only few hours ago, but if we’re about to embark on this suicidal mission together I guess we should at least trust each other. So how about this... we meet tomorrow, any place any time and you’ll answer some of my questions?’ Harry asked finishing his glass.
‘Why not now?’ Louis asked
‘Because considering I had no idea what this editorial was gonna be about I have to reevaluate my questions.’ Harry explained.
‘Fine. Tomorrow. Bright and early, I’ll send you a fire message.’
‘You’re on’ Harry smile and shook Louis’ outstretched hand.
Louis’ house was fucking ridiculous. Harry expected a cottage. Quaint yet comfortable. Hell, he would have been fine with a bachelor pad. All steel and glass. It would still somehow fit into this person that Harry decided Louis was the night before.
But this? This was fucking ridiculous.
This was destroying all of the preconceived notions Harry had about Louis, and that easiness with which Louis defied all of the stereotypes and assumptions Harry had time to make about him was baffling and endlessly intriguing.
‘Do you really live inside The Big Ben,’ Harry breathed when he climbed the stairs of the tower.
‘The proper name is actually The Elizabeth’s Tower I believe.’ Louis smirked upon answering the doorbell, wearing a purple robe a glass of whiskey in his one hand and holding the door open with the other.
‘I never even realised there were stairs here’ Harry said looking over his shoulder all the way down to people moving on the street.
‘Oh yeah, the entire place in under Fidelius Charm, which actually includes the stairs’
‘You casted a very complicated spell on your house instead of maybe just living in a normal apartment, but you couldn't be bothered to install a fucking elevator?’ Harry asked, still breathing heavily.
‘Oh there is an elevator.’ Louis asked smirking.
‘You didn't think that would be a useful information for me to have before I got all sweaty and out of breath?’ Harry asked squinting his eyes.
‘Maybe I wanted you all sweaty and out of breath,’ Louis said looking straight into Harry's eyes, making him look down to hide his blush and shake his head. ‘Come on in’ he added satisfied with the reaction he got out of Harry.
‘Merlin you have an entire Big Ben in your living room. This is fucking insane!’ Harry said, a smile slowly spreading on his lips. ‘When you told me you wanted me to meet you here in I quote my house- The Big Ben it did not occur to me that you actually live here. I thought it was like a metaphor or something’
‘Where did you think I lived?’ Louis smiled pouring a second glass of whiskey with his wand, and then sauntering over to Harry leisurely.
‘I dunno,’ Harry shook his head “in the Gryffindor's valley in one of those red brick houses over at the main road? Small cottage in the woods with fucking elves. No idea but definitely not this.’ Harry said like a person losing ground, accepting a glass from Louis, and knocking it back immediately only to watch it fill up again. Handy.
‘It seems though like you did have few ideas’ Louis smirked.
‘And you seem to enjoy proving me wrong’ Harry shot back a tad unsettled about Louis’ self satisfied smile.
‘I enjoy proving everyone wrong.’ Louis pointed out.
‘True. That seems to be a rather popular trope throughout your career.’ Harry nodded looking over his notes, switching to professional mode. ‘Let's talk a bit about that. In 2001 you have been diagnosed with Woosies.’
‘Yes. In 2001 I have fallen off of a broom on my first real quidditch practice. Doctors at St. Mungo's diagnosed me with Woosies.’
‘Incurable disease from magic point of view’ Harry prompted.
‘Incurable but manageable. They helped with pain in my ear and my head, but couldn't cure the cause. I could live with it just fine, the only thing I couldn't do was fly a broom. Next fall like that could have been lethal. But I was 8 years old- a very stubborn pure blood rich 8 year old who wanted to play quidditch more than anything so I did not take no for an answer.’
‘Go on.’ Harry said, keeping his voice low not wanting to interrupted Louis train of thought.
‘I did my research. Went to the library and pulled out everything they had on Woosies. Most books described it as easy to manage incurable disease. Nothing to worry about. I did find one- a Muggle Studies advanced text book. It was a chapter comparing muggle medicine to ours. As you can probably tell ours was light years more advanced with serious diseases, wizards being able to cure cancer for example, but it did cite Woosies as one of the silly examples how wizards often overlook small things. The book claimed that muggles could cure me so I went to the muggle hospital to find out.’ Louis shrugged.
‘You just walked in there and told them you have Woosies?’ Harry asked.
‘No’ Louis giggled ‘First they don't call it Woosies. I just walked in and said that I fall over a lot, and that my head hurts, and I lose my balance often. They diagnosed me within minutes with Ear and Labyrinth disease. They gave me an IV and that was it.’
‘IV?’ Harry asked frowning
‘Oh shit I forgot you're pure blood also’ Louis laughed tapping his forehead ‘they put a needle in your arm and give you medicine that way. It's weird but it doesn't hurt or anything'
‘They just fixed you? Didn't they ask for a parent or anything?’
‘I mean they did, they called police even, cause I didn't want to tell them who my parents were. But that's when my mom found me, and aparated us home’ Louis smiled.
‘Was she mad?’ Harry asked looking up from the picture of Louis’ mom that was propped against the wall on the coffee table.
‘No.’ Louis shook his head ‘She never got mad. Not at me at least.’
The next question was pushing its way to Harry's lips. Something about the father that Louis used to live with when he was younger, but Louis spoke first.
‘What’s your angle on this?’
‘I'm not sure.’ Harry shrugged ‘I don't want to decide on one thing and then have you ruin it with something I don't expect from you.’ he added, smiling brightly to make sure that Louis knew that he was teasing.
‘But you did have an angle coming here’ Louis stated and it seemed that it was as easy to read Harry as it was for Louis to catch him off guard.
‘I did.’ Harry nodded. ‘Rascal quidditch star was my first one, but that won't work anymore. Martyr for a cause was my second one, but…’ Harry smiled motioning around the extravagant living room ‘I’m not sure it’s a good fit either’
‘Well how about… just a guy?’ Louis asked leaning on his elbows to look at Harry closely.
‘I think we both know you are not just a guy’ Harry said with a smirk.
‘No?’ Louis asked in faux surprise ‘Who am I then?’ he asked challengingly.
‘Honestly? I have no fucking idea.’ Harry said trough a smile ‘But I want to find out.’ he added, his voice carrying significance.
Louis was looking at him over the brim of his glass. His lips half open hovering over it not taking a sip just looking at Harry. His gaze intense. Then he finally took a sip.
The entire mansion was deserted. They were going through rooms, how many- Harry lost count, all of them were empty. Their steps echoing through the hallways. He looked around seeing white sheets over furniture, but it wasn’t what made the home so empty. There were no pictures around. No knick knacks. There were only few oil paintings in the hallway. Each of them showcasing one person from Louis’ family. People from the paintings were looking at them, not bothering to say a word. Their gaze slipping off of Louis like he was a part of the decour. Impersonal.
‘So.. your entire family…’ Harry started looking around to catch Louis’ reaction.
‘My father’s family,’ Louis amended.
‘Your father’s family,’ Harry nodded agreeably ‘They are…?’ he trailed off.
‘Dead. In Azkaban. Half and half there’ Louis said touching the back of the couch absently.
‘Do you visit them?’ Harry asked quietly, when he and Louis moved again walking through the house.
‘Do I visit purity-obsessed death eaters?’ Louis deadpanned, ‘I have nothing to do with them. I got rid of all of it. This house is the only thing that’s left.’ he mused walking around, opening the blinds to let the sun in. ‘I grew up here, and as much as I hate to admit it it wasn’t all bad. Yes my father was absent and borderline abusive, but behind this house there is a pitch where I learned quidditch on, and after my father got locked up and my mom moved in here with me it got better. It got a little brighter.’ Louis shrugged softly. ‘I guess I just want to figure out the best way to use this house. To do some good for a change. Everyone knows what my family has done’
‘Why did you change your last name?’
‘Because I wanted it to die.’ Louis answered with no hesitation, stopping in front of the huge family tree, some names and faces burnt out, but towards the ceiling where the youngest should be there was just one name.
‘I am the last heir. That’s why my father took me away from my mom when I was a baby. Because I was the last person to be able to pass on the family name, which always meant more for him than the family itself. But this family’s legacy is not something I want to represent.’
‘That’s understandable’ Harry nodded. ‘Forgive me if I’m speaking too frank, why didn’t you change it sooner?’
‘My mom. She wanted me to have the best chance with schools, with career prospects and like it or not, L zestrange name still means a lot. The recent history is fucking shit, sure,’ he smiled bitterly ‘But there is impressive legacy before that. One that I could have been proud of. My mom was right, it was easier getting into a good school if I was Louis Lestrange. Hell Durmstrang welcomed me with open arms. But then when I started to achieve some small successes on the field, when my name was starting to be recognised and spoken of with respect, I realised that I do not want my legacy to be connected to it. So I changed it to my moms name. Create my own legacy.’
‘You seem to be doing good in that regard’ Harry noted.
‘Give it time,’ Louis said sarcastically ‘If this whole thing goes according to plan my career may just go down the drain.’ he laughed at the end.
‘There’s still time to back out’ Harry said quietly. He wanted to say ‘ no it won’t ’ or ‘ I won’t let it ’ or any other reassuring lie. He couldn’t though, not with Louis being so open and honest with him.
‘If you think there’s any chance of me backing out,’ Louis said in defiance. You haven’t been paying attention’
‘For all it’s worth,’ Harry said catching Louis’ hand before he was able to open another door ‘I think you’re doing the right thing.’
‘You would think that. You’ve been out for years.’
‘Well yeah, but most people just don’t believe me.’ Harry said rolling his eyes ‘Seems like being bisexual is even more unbelievable than magic’ he added leaning against the wall.
‘Why did you decide to come out? I mean you are pure blood, not so many pure blood families are accepting.’
‘I am pure blood, but my grandparents were both muggle born. Not all of my aunts and uncles inherited the magic gene, they know about us, but they are not magical themselves. Funnily- with my cousins it’s also half and half. Gingers, I found, usually carry the gene.’
‘Huh. I never thought about it. I mean I heard people talking about their siblings in school who were still in muggle schools but I never paid it any mind. I mean in pure blood families there is rarely someone unmagical being born.’
‘Yeah, well one of the theories is that considering you are all basically one huge pot of genes mixing together, with magic being a dominant gene most of you is going to turn out to be wizards. But then that theory doesn’t really work on a bigger scale. Cause if the gene is dominant, how come there is so little wizards left? We are an incredibly small community all over the world, and last reports say that we are getting smaller. From that point of view it would make more sense if it was the recessive gene’ Harry explained, remembering his biology lessons at Beauxbatons.
‘What do you think then?’ Louis asked leaning on the wall opposite of Harry, tilting his head to the side.
‘I think that… wizard is just the thing that you are. There is no gene, and no scientific explanation as to why some of us are magical or not. I think it’s just who we are, we were just born this way’
‘Just like being gay.’ Louis nodded ‘You would think that.’ he laughed shaking his head.
‘Hey!’ Harry whined in faux offence.
‘Stop the whining or I won’t show you what’s behind this door’ Louis warned.
Harry just looked at him with his eyebrows raised like he wanted him to cut the bullshit, so Louis just sighed like dealing with Harry was such a hardship and opened the door.
There was a king size bed, a trunk in the foot of it. A desk with a lamp perched on top and a wardrobe. Walls were beige. It looked like all of the other rooms in the mansion and Harry had no idea why Louis wanted him to see this place.
‘This is my childhood bedroom’ Louis smiled upon seeing Harry’s puzzled look.
‘Your… childhood bedroom?’ Harry said tentatively.
‘My father was not big on mementos’ Louis shrugged. ‘I wasn’t allowed to have garbage ’ Louis said making air quotes ‘out in the open. But….’ Louis said reaching under the bed. ‘Aha!’ he exclaimed taking out a small box from underneath it.
‘What’s that?’ Harry asked excitedly coming closer and sitting next to Louis on the bed.
‘I used to cut out pictures from newspapers’ Louis said with a twisted smile.
‘Of quidditch players?’ Harry laughed.
‘Of guys’ Louis said bluntly opening the box with tons of pictures of guys in various state of undress smiling, giving them sultry looks or showing off their biceps.
‘Oh Merlin’ Harry giggled. ‘You’re showing me your adolescent porn stash’
‘Hey, I thought you wanted me to bare my soul to you!’ Louis laughed punching Harry lightly on the arm.
‘You are something fucking else’ Harry said a bit breathless, while Louis closed the box and stood up moving towards the wardrobe.
‘If I remember correctly’ he said looking back to Harry ‘and I do, I have a great memory’ he quipped cockily making Harry laugh ‘My first broom is right here’ he said opening the wardrobe and taking the broom out ‘You want to take her out for a spin?’ he wiggled his eyebrows.
‘I’ve never flew a broom before’ Harry whispered then, feeling his cheeks heat up.
‘You’ve… WHAT?’ Louis asked incredulously.
‘I have literal two left feet.’ Harry shrugged ‘I’ve never learned when I was a kid, and later I was a bit ashamed to confess.
‘Oh we are going flying.’ Louis said coming over to Harry and grabbing his hand ‘I’ll teach you’
Harry was way too stunned to speak, or just preoccupied with how Louis’ hand seemed to fit in his, and how warm and right it felt to be holding it. He only shook himself away when Louis’s hand disappeared and he saw they were standing behind the house in the garden.
‘Okay so, stand on the left side of the broom’ Louis instructed positioning Harry in the right place by his hips, placing himself right behind Harry, his breath ghosting over the nape of Harry’s neck. ‘Now, outstretch your right hand’ he took Harry’s hand softly and laced their fingers together before bringing it out to hover over the broom. ‘Now call it’ he whispered and Harry’s entire body shivered.
‘To me.’ he said and the broom went flying straight into their hands, Louis catching it expertly.
‘What if I fall off?’ Harry asked worryingly.
‘The broom emitates a small forcefield. If you’re not hit by something or doing a complicated maneuver it’s really hard to fall off the broom’ Louis explained stradling it and extending his hand towards Harry. ‘Just trust me’ Louis asked and that’s all Harry needed to let himself be pulled by Louis and seated in front of him on the broom.
‘Are you ready?’ Louis whispered bringing one of his hand to loop around Harry’s waist easing his nerves a bit.
‘No’ Harry laughed ‘But I trust you’ he added turning around to look at Louis eyes, and for a second he thought that this feeling of falling was only in the pit of his stomach, but then he saw the ground running away from them and he realised that Louis must have bounced of the ground and put them in motion.
‘Holy shit’ Harry whispered gripping Louis’ arm that was still looped around his stomach tightly and not looking away from Louis’ eyes.
Louis looked for a split second to Harry’s lips, and Harry was frozen in place feeling the wind rustling his clothes.
‘Look’ Louis then whispered softly and Harry followed his line of sight, straightening out and looking in front of them.
They were already so high up that the houses below them looked like lego pieces. There was nothing but forests and valleys everywhere they could see, and the sun just started to set over the horizon, bathing everything in an orange glow.
‘Wow’ Harry breathed smiling softly.
‘Yeah’ Louis said looking at Harry instead of the view.
Harry could feel Louis eyes on him and he turned his head around his breath catching in his throat with how intense Louis was watching him. He lowered his eyes once again to Harry’s lips in a silent question, and Harry didn’t think of anything else that would be a better answer instead of connecting their lips.
In every sense of the word the kiss was perfect. Louis was warm behind them, still clutching his middle, making Harry feel safe to close his eyes and melt into the kiss,confident that Louis won’t let them crash. And the way the kiss ended because both of them could not hold the smile back any longer was just the cherry on top.
‘You make my head spin,’ Louis laughed against Harry’s lips ‘It’s like the woosies all over again’ he joked making Harry giggle.
‘Then maybe you should bring us down’ Harry suggested and Louis kissed the tip of his nose before did a 180 with the broom, and accelerate it towards the house. He landed in the garden, and as soon as they were out of the broom they both rushed towards each other and tangled together in a kiss.
‘I wanted to do that ever since I saw you’ Louis whispered when they separated, the broom long forgotten on the floor, the sky dark already.
‘Me too’ Harry smiled circling his arms around Louis’ neck.
‘I’m telling my teammates tomorrow after practice’ Louis confessed, his voice trembling slightly.
‘I’ll be there for you.’ Harry promised fiercely ‘Just tell me what you need.’
‘I have to do this on my own.’ Louis nodded ‘But can you be… around? Wait for me when I tell them? I… I don’t want to be alone anymore.’ he added and the way his voice broke at the end of the sentence broke Harry’s heart a little.
‘Of course, always’
Harry was sitting on the bleachers, his leg bouncing up and down watching Louis and his teammates fly down as Liam whistled at the end of practise. Louis looked towards him and nodded before disappearing towards the lockeroom, and Harry begin to bite his nails.
‘You okay?’ he heard above him and saw Liam hovering around with a sympathetic smile.
‘No’ Harry shook his head ‘I’m scared shitless for him’ he added knowing that Liam was probably the only person that could understand.
‘Me too.’ he said quietly his lips forming a tight line, looking away from Harry with something resembling a guilt.
‘You tried to talk him out of it’ Harry stated as soon as he spoken the words knowing that they were true, because of the blush spreading on Liam’s face.
‘Harry…’ Liam started but Harry stopped him with a raised hand.
‘I don’t blame you.’ Harry shook his head.
‘It’s just… wizards don't live in real world. We just don't.’ Liam shrugged ‘We've created this parallel universe that's hidden behind the curtain. And it’s so hard, because out in the muggle London I get to be myself. I apparate every afternoon to my flat in Camden. Where my boyfriend is sitting on the couch with our cat. He wears his glasses most of the time. I offered to correct his vision with magic he just chuckled it off. He's a twenty seven year old English teacher. He volunteers in the youth centre on weekends. He asks me questions about quidditch over coffee. He cooks the best curry I've ever eaten. He's the love of my life. And because he's a muggle guy I cannot introduce him to any of my wizard friends.’
‘I’m sorry’ Harry said softly squeezing Liam’s hand.
‘No you don’t understand’ Liam shook his head ‘It fucking sucks, living the double life. But it’s hell lot of fucking better than worrying all the time that someone will hex him on the street. Or worse. That’s what Louis is getting himself into.’
‘I get it’ Harry sighed ‘Fuck, the day I met him, when he told me, I wanted to wrap him up in a blanket and snatch him away from the world, where he couldn’t get hurt. But it’s not our decision to make. It’s his. All we can do is be here.’
‘I know.’ Liam nodded ‘I am. I asked if he wanted me to be there when he comes out to them, but he told me he’ll send a fire message later. Told me to go home to Zayn’
‘So go.’ Harry smiled. ‘You’ve been there for him for years. I mean… it’s my job to listen, and he talks about you constantly. I don’t think he even realised the extent of how much he relied on you over the years, and I think he just... He knows however the team will react it will have an impact on you too. So go home to your boyfriend. I got him this time’
‘Thank you’ Liam said squeezing Harry’s arm ‘I’m glad he has you’
‘I’m glad he has me too’ Harry winked.
Liam walked towards the end of the bleachers and apparated right off of them leaving Harry alone again. He wanted to run towards the lockeroom and hold Louis hand, but he knew that he had to give him space to do it his way.
It’s been another 20 minutes before Louis appeared on top of the bleachers, his face white as a sheet. Harry run up to him and enveloped him in a hug.
‘Well I’m alive’ Louis choked out.
‘Half of them run off as soon as I told them. Called me a wand swallower and few other colorful terms’
‘Hey noone attacked me!’ Louis fake cheered. ‘It’s something I guess.’
‘I’m sorry’ Harry said at loss of words. They both knew that this was the most possible outcome. Harry still hoped for something different.
‘Niall… Niall was okay.’ Louis smiled ‘He hugged me. He told me it’s okay. He promised he will talk to them.’
At this moment Harry wanted to run down and kiss Niall Horan.
‘Hey baby, that’s good! That’s great! That’s all you need okay. One person on your side.’ Harry smiled squeezing Louis’ hands trying to comfort him at least a little bit.
‘I know it’s just a lot’ Louis said and rubbed his eyes tiredly. ‘Distract me’ he asked and Harry grinned wolfishly before taking Louis’ face in his hands and kissing him. ‘Mmmm. That too’ Louis laughed when they parted ‘But what I meant was, how is the editorial coming?’
‘It’s done.’ Harry said swaying on the balls of his feet ‘I’ve finished it.’ he added taking it out of his messenger bag and thrusting a parchment into Louis’ hand ‘Do you want to read it?’
‘No.’ Louis shook his head softly putting his hand on top of Harry’s ‘I trust you’ he whispered.
‘Thank you for that’ Harry said a bit choked up.
‘Did anyone from your paper read it?’ Louis asked then, and Harry nodded his head. ‘What did they say?’
‘Louis…’ Harry stated averting his eyes.
‘What did they say H?’ Louis demanded.
‘They said that there is no way you’ll come back from this’ Harry said quietly moving past Louis and leaning against the railing. The Yorkshire Unicorns training ground lighten up below them in the place they first met. The article was coming out tomorrow, and Harry felt the weight of responsibility setting on his shoulders. Louis looked at him softly and brushed the hair out of his eyes in a tender gesture. He leaned his forehead against Harry’s arm and looped his arm around the small of Harry’s back.
‘Didn’t you hear darling?’ he asked with a lopsided smile ‘I love to prove people wrong’