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take a chance on me

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(by me)

 "Alright, I'm going to read Robert Frost's 'Nothing Gold Can Stay' to you. Listen closely, and I'll ask one of you to analyze it," Louis' voice cuts through the dull murmur of the class. He smiles casually, looking over the class, and Harry meets his gaze. They both smile until Harry looks down. Smiling is so dumb, ugh.

"Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay."

The class is dead silent after Louis finishes. Harry chews on his lip in thought. He's read the poem before. He ducks down to quickly note down the meaning of the words as they strike him, almost missing Louis' pointed look. Towards him. Yes.

Louis grins before he speaks, holding Harry's gaze. "Harry Styles, would you have the honour of telling us what Frost meant in this particular piece?" 

Harry bites down a grin, stumbling to stand up. He can feel everyone's eyes on him, but his stay glued to Louis. "Well, Frost was describing the different stages of life, relating the cycle of nature to the cycle of human life. Nature's first green is gold simply means that humans start off as young and fresh and innocent, but when that hour passes, leaf subsides to leaf and Eden sinks to grief, which relates to how when we grow older, we're exposed to such harsh conditions and situations that harden our personas and change us. We are no longer young and innocent, but we are wiser. Nothing gold can stay."

Silence. Harry could swear he just heard someone snort out a nerd. He finally allows himself to smile, sinking to his chair at Louis' signal. "So as Harry just brilliantly explained, Frost writes about the cycle of nature, an indirect jab at human life, as to how we..."

Harry tunes out the rest, smiling contently in his seat as he watches Louis go on about the poem. Life's so good sometimes. 

"Robert Frost. Isn't that one guy that you hate?" Niall whispers beside him. 

Harry gives him a sidelong look. "That was Robin Thicke."

Niall shrugs, easily side stepping it. He's so cool about everything that it gets to point where he could fall flat on his face and make it look like it was intentional. Harry's envious. "Robert, Robin, whatever it is. Sound pretty sketchy,"

"Even if that were true, I wouldn't have minded this, like,"

"Yeah, tell me something I don't know," Niall smirks knowingly, eyeing him from the side. He's the worst best friend sometimes, but Harry's not complaining.

 Okay, maybe we're too far up in the story. Let's start from the beginning; where the root of Harry's fantasies came from.

...

It's a Tuesday when Harry starts sixth form, and he's already ten minutes and a sandwich behind.

He rushes blindly, and there's a tooth brush in his mouth but he grabs the sandwich anyway. He pushes open his closet, grabbing the first shirt he sees. And pants. He checks those to make sure they're not trackies. He's not going to have repeat of that, ever.

He strips to his toes, pulling the shirt over his head and trying to pull up his pants at the same time. It doesn't work out so well, but it works out. Maybe the door of his room is open, but Harry's never been a modest person.

He doesn't even check himself in the mirror, but he does check his watch, and that sight is not pretty. With a peck on his mum's cheek and his glasses, he's out the door with nothing on his mind but profanity and little hope for the day. Please be boring and uneventful.

...

Niall grimaces the first thing he sees him.

“Dude, what the fuck are you wearing?” He sneers, lining up with Harry as they start walking towards their class. Harry pulls his eyebrows together as Niall gestures wildly towards his shirt, making him look down. It’s his ‘this is so cheesy!’ written on a cheese shirt. He looks back at Niall and shrugs. It could’ve been worse, honestly. Niall hasn’t seen his collection of pun shirts. Maybe it’s better if it stays that way.

“Clothes. What about you?” He jokes easily, smirking when Niall shoots him an unimpressed look.

“Look who’s being a smartarse. Bet you won’t be so fucking proud of yourself when you -"

And then Harry bumps into someone.

It’s not a small push either - their shoulders knock together, and because Harry is a fucking giraffe, he loses his balance. Before he knows it, all air is being knocked out of him, and. He’s on the floor. For a minute, he can’t focus on anything else except for his own breathing and the sting in his back, nothing on his mind except for a very harsh musing of oh fuck first day and already embarrassing myself wow. It’s not a fun experience, falling flat on your butt, he would know.

When he looks up though, all air escapes him once again. And then it's the best few seconds of his life. A beautiful man hovers over him, blue eyes full of mirth and soft-looking hair falling over them. There are probably hearts in Harry's eyes, but the man looks so amused that he can't help but blush. He owlishly blinks up at him, blue eyes not letting him look away.

Then he realizes there’s a hand extended out for him. He blushes ridiculously again, promptly slotting his hand into the man’s. He pulls Harry up to his feet with ease, and he belatedly realizes that he has very strong arms. He tries not to dwell on that.

Both of them just stand there for a second, Harry coming down from his daze and realizing the reality of the situation. This is not a badly scripted American rom-com, and he's Harry. The man probably helped him as a formality.

Definitely.

His cheeks are flaming and he's determinedly staring at his shoes. Luckily, he only has to stand like that for a second, a loud laugh snapping him out of his daze. The man is laughing like he can’t believe this is happening, and Harry is so glad to know they’re on the same page.

“This is the clichéest thing to ever to happen to me,” He jokes, handing Harry a book he hadn't realise he'd dropped.

"That's not a word," Harry mumbles sheepishly and pushes his glasses up, because that's the first thing that came to his mind.

(It was either that or hey you've got eyes blue as the ocean and im lost at sea. He's far more eloquent when there's no beautiful men expectantly staring at him. It's kind of a problem.)

The man sticks his tongue out, showing just how much he cares. Harry tries not to smile and show how fond he is of him already.

And then Niall pops up from... somewhere. Harry hadn't even noticed that Niall was still here, but now he's kind of wishing he'd left and saved Harry the embarrassment.

It's not even a personal thing, Harry loves Niall and his ways, but when he slings his arm around Harry's shoulder and pats his chest, Harry decides he needs new friends. "Good morning, Mr. Tomlinson! What my bro Harry wanted to say here is that he was delighted to bump into -"

Alright, three words. Niall's armpits stink. Also, what the fuck?

Harry shrugs him off, muttering a low "Niall," into his ear, and turns towards the man. Who looks even more amused. "I - I'm really sorry, about all this -" he stammers uselessly, and since when did speaking become so difficult? Harry demands to know. (It's not because of the blue in the man's eyes. It's not.)

The man just shakes his head with a curl to his lips, laughing lowly, "You two are surely something. It was nice... meeting you. I guess I'll see you in class," He says, giving Harry a final smile, and then turning away and going around the hallway.

As soon as he's gone, Harry turns towards Niall and throws his hands up

Niall makes a face which means he's trying not to laugh. Then lets out a loud cackle, bending over and clutching his stomach. Okay, so much for trying. Harry rolls his eyes.

"It's not funny, you verging on dickhead." Harry groans into his hands. Niall throws his arm over Harry again, giggling breathlessly.

"Oh yes, it very much is funny." Niall laughs. "That's not a word," he says in a low, sultry voice, jutting out his lower lip and blinking rapidly. He's... imitating Harry. Harry sends a quick prayer to the higher deities to ensure it looked nothing like that.

"It really isn't, though," He says as an afterthought, and Niall gives him a sarcastic look.

"Haz, you think he didn't know that? At least be thankful that he didn't go about quoting your shirt, because if it was anyone else, they would've." Harry looks down at his shirt again. This is so cheesy.

"Niall, what do you have against this fine piece of fabric that is my shirt?"

"The fact that it exists, mate. The fact that it exists."

Harry shakes his head fondly at his best mate. If Niall doesn't like puns or pun shirts, it doesn't matter. They are strong friends and they can overcome this obstacle. Or something. Harry's too overwhelmed to think about anything right now. They're almost at their classroom when he's doing a quick over view of what ever just happened.

Speaking of which, um. Mr. Tomlinson. 

"Um, so. Mr. Tomlinson?" He wonders out loud, trying to look indifferent. 

A broad grin settles on Niall's face, but he doesn't look Harry's way. "Just what I was waiting for,"

When he doesn't make a move to elaborate further, Harry grows frustrated. "Well?"

Niall shoots him a look. "There's nothing to well. He's a new teacher, teaches English Lit."

"And how would you know?" He asks, but regrets it a seconds later. Because, well. It's Niall. You don't question him.

A smile curls at his lips. "Mate, the day I don't know what's going on, is the day you kiss a girl,"

Harry stops, eyes widening. Niall winks at him, and continues his way over to his class like he didn't fucking read Harry's journal and got away with it.

Another time, though. Right now, his biggest priority is to pray Mr. Tomlinson doesn't end up taking one of his classes. Not a very good first impression.

...

He ends up taking one of Harry's classes.

When the initial shock passes, which had been a very big one - He couldn't close his mouth for a minute straight and had genuinely considered hiding under his desk - but, he soon found himself relaxing. Mr. Tomlinson, apparently, really knows how to please an audience. He goes straight for teasing everyone, making fun of other teachers and interacting with everyone and basically spreading his awesomeness. Everyone's probably fallen in love with him already.

(Of course, he'd introduced himself earlier: "Hello, class! So, I'm going to be your English teacher from today. You can call me... (pause, giggles)... Mr. Tomlinson." A smile like sunshine. Harry's stomach had fluttered in a weird way that's he's not sure how to explain.)

 And right now, Niall's giggling into his ear, saying something about Mr. Tomlinson's wang being as thick as his tie, and even as Harry's staring at the teacher animatedly explain the lesson to the class, he can't help but frown. Harry doesn't mind talking shit, or hearing shit about teachers and other authority figures (because they're genuine arseholes), but he's so sure that Mr. Tomlinson's a really cool guy. And he doesn't deserve to be shit talked.

He gives Niall a dirty look. "Could you pretend you're paying attention?"

"Jesus, what crawled up your arse?" Harry's about to flip him off but thinks better of it. The implication would be... quite suggestive.

Just as he's turning back, Mr. Tomlinson catches his eye. Harry's flushes a deep red, his immediate reaction to give a shy smile, and Mr. Tomlinson fucking winks at him. And then he just goes back to scribbling something on the board.

Harry pretends he imagined it. It's the only way to cope.

...

Autumn is still pretty windy, Harry thinks as he tucks some strands of his flowing hair behind his ears. It’s not exactly unpleasant though, the cool wind blowing gently against his face. He brings his legs to his chest, leaning closer to the tree. He’s sat under an oak tree. It’s not really far from the school, the students still visible to him as they bustle about.

Okay, so, he’s not really that loner kid who sits under trees just because (he totally is), he's just waiting on his mum picking him up from school. It had looked inviting, and Niall took the bus, so. The novel resting in his lap is a good distraction.

Turning a page mindlessly, he thinks over the past events of the day. Just from recalling it, his cheeks heat up, a sheepish smile tugging at his lips. He hides his face in his hands as protest. Mr. Tomlinson is just… something else. He has such a strong reaction from Harry that it makes him wonder if it’s more than just whatever. He's not sure if it's a good feeling. Closing his eyes, he sighs.

That is, until, "Long day?"

Harry startles, eyes snapping open. He instantly looks up, where someone is presumably standing. It really sounded like -

Mr. Tomlinson grins down at him, and before Harry can even register anything, he’s plopping down beside him, traces of a grimace on his face. Harry’s unable to think. He stares at him, dumbfounded. Either Mr. Tomlinson doesn’t notice Harry’s shocked state or he chooses to ignore it. He lifts his leg over the other. The situation’s not really as casual as he’s making it out to be, honestly. Harry doesn’t know what to make of that, so he just quietly shifts to the side to make space for two.

But he can’t help but turn towards Mr. Tomlinson again. He should really go back to his novel, maybe reading the first line would be a good thing to do, but Mr. Tomlinson groans, taking his shoe off, and Harry finds he’s rather intrigued.

Mr. Tomlinson laughs, like he can feel Harry’s gaze on him. “I’m usually not this rude, I swear. I don’t think I have your permission to sit here, but,” grunt, “I’ve got quite a situation here, I’m-” he takes of his sock hastily. Harry stares at his bare foot for a moment, expecting a major injury or something. It looks… normal. He looks back up to the teacher in question.

“What is it? Is it fractured or something, because—”

Harry shakes his head, thinking of saying something and coming up blank. “It’s… perfect?” Alright, let’s try again, “Normal? Ordinary? Customary, typic—”

Okay, I think we get it, you’ve said enough to make up for that little slip up,” Mr. Tomlinson laughs, and Harry feels something inside of him relax. "Mr Harris - your head teacher - said that apparently he’d asked a few students about my teaching and they fuck - shit, sorry, effing loved me, and so he welcomed me with an advanced bloody pay check.” He looks towards Harry, just as he’s making a gesture, and Harry barely contains a smile. There’s no way you can tell someone it’s fine, you can swear around me without having them never talk to you again.

“That’s good,” he murmurs. He doesn’t think Mr. Tomlinson hears it, but it doesn’t matter anyway.

Mr. Tomlinson continues with a grin. “Felt like I was on bloody cloud nine, swear to god. Got out his office, and the next thing I know, my shoelaces decide to just randomly spread out just so I could trip. Don’t think anyone saw - except for this cleaning lady, Christ. She doesn’t tell anyone and I spread awareness about litter, we shook hands on it. A pretty good deal, I'd say, but then I realised my foot hurts like hell, Jesus,

“It’s hurting?” Harry inquires, mustering some courage up and resting his hand on his foot. He can feel something now, just barely a swell, so he rubs around it.

Mr. Tomlinson hisses. “Right now? Kind of - I, it’s swelled up, isn’t it?”

“Yeah - kind of,” Harry agrees. He looks up, but Mr. Tomlinson seems occupied, staring at his foot in thought (Harry doesn’t like the frown on his face.) “Can you, like, feel it?”

“I... don’t know?” He frowns. Harry watches him shake his foot out, and then rub it against the grass. “I can, but I don’t think that’s what you mean. Feels... far away?”

That's not usually a good sign. “Um, I’m gonna do something weird, but you have to be completely normal about it—“

Mr. Tomlinson scrunches up his nose, laughing. “What are you saying?”

He picks up his backpack and drops it on Mr. Tomlinson’s foot before he can think twice.

He’s not mental, swears he's not. His mum used to spend her evenings taking care of Harry when he’d had the fine idea of trying out roller skates. She would put a weight on his foot, and make him walk around aimlessly until he could feel again. A foot massage, sometimes. He’s not gonna tell Mr. Tomlinson that, though.

Harry watches his expression carefully, but he can’t fight the blush in his cheeks when Mr. Tomlinson smirks, looking at the bag on his foot then back up at Harry. “Does it hurt?” He asks, can’t fight the concern in his voice.

“It feels like I have a schoolbag on my foot.”

It takes every ounce in him (and some more) to not smile like idiot. He forces his eyebrows to pull together, but he can feel a tug on his lips, so it comes off pretty weird all around. “I’m serious, does it hurt?”

Mr. Tomlinson laughs, resting his head against the tree. “And I’m Louis! Bet you didn’t know that, idiot. You’re probably calling me ‘mr. tomlinson’ over and over again in your head.”

Harry blinks in surprise. Mr. Tomlinson’s (shit, did it again) probably joking, but Harry wonders if he knows the accuracy behind his statement. It makes Harry reconsider everything. He tries not to, but curiosity gets the better of him, eventually. “Would you rather have me call you Louis?”

Mr. Tomlinson raises his eyebrows in surprise. “If that’s what you want,”

Harry thinks it wasn’t supposed to come off as soft as it does, but nothing in this situation is easy to understand. “Okay,” he says, has to. “Louis.”

Louis smiles really big then. “Harry.” Harry likes the way it rolls of his tongue, but he doesn’t think he should tell him that. “Reserved, mysterious, quiet Harry. Say, why are you sitting under this tree, anyway? Should I add hippie to my list of qualities about you?”

Harry laughs, looking down. One day, he would very much like to read this list. Right now, that’s the least of his concerns. “Just—passing time.”

“You really are something else.” Louis says, looking amused. “Though, one question. You’re reading a novel sitting under a tree. Isn’t that, like, much of a leopard print in a zoo factor?”

He shoots Louis an amused smile of his own. “And I’m the hippie,” Louis looks kind of offended. But when he clasps his hand over where his heart should be, he knows they’re okay.

“Hey, it’s a good thing, alright? Trees have feelings. Please be considerate.”

“What are you, the Lorax?” He says, unable to resist the urge.

“I am the Lourax, I speak for the trees!” Louis growls, fixing Harry with a glare (which should not have any sort of effect on him, but it does, oh it does). He does his best to not erupt in laughter, but it’s kind of hard when you’re watching Louis Tomlinson re-enact the Lorax. He suddenly feels very lucky to be talking to Louis, like he’s in on a good inside joke.

“Lourax Treelinson,” He says as an afterthought, nodding thoughtfully. Louis takes one look at him. And then he’s dragging a hand over his face, eyes shut tight and chest shaking with laughter. Harry can’t help but mirror him, erupting with giggles.

They both just sit under the tree for a few moments, giggling and trying to stop the giggling. When Harry looks up, he notices the sky’s lost a bit of colour. He looks back at Louis, who’s got an ever so charming grin present on his face.

“Your waiting on your mum, aren’t you?” And now the grin doesn’t look so charming anymore. A lot more mischievous, Harry thinks.

Harry hides his face in his hands. “Nooo,”

Louis just laughs good-naturedly though, patting his back. “Ah, do not worry, my child. Everyone’s got embarrassing mums.” Harry peeks one eye open. Louis rolls his eyes. “Yes, even me. Especially me. Mum and sisters are coming tomorrow. I’m betting my whole existence that I’m gonna be eating rainbow cupcakes tomorrow, or something as equally humiliating,”

Harry giggles breathlessly, feeling a bit light hearted. When he looks down though, his eye catches something. His bag. On Louis’ foot. Oh right. Unable to find words, he gestures helplessly towards his foot. Louis seems to catch on. “Oh, right, that’s what gave me a good excuse to talk to you in the first place,” He says, sounding distracted, like he’s talking to himself.

And that, um. Is probably the highlight of his school year. That just started. Harry doesn’t know what to say, so he grins with his whole heart, hoping his face will show his... feelings. A normal person would say something of that standard (not flirting) right back, but Harry’s never been that kind of guy.

Louis cautiously takes the bag off his foot, keeping it to the side. Harry bites his lip. “Can you feel it now?”

“Yeah, I guess I can,” Louis says with a smile. But Harry’s got something else in mind. He has to do it; the treatment won’t be complete if he doesn’t.

He doesn’t even know how to approach the subject, he’s so hopeless, so he just kind of blurts out, “Let me massage your foot.”

Louis’ face looks like a torn mixture between amused and alarmed. Harry just. Looks at him desperately. “No, I mean, you don’t have to.” Louis says slowly. “You really don’t.” He says, chuckling in the end.

But Harry’s strong willed. He places both of his palms (one grabbing it, the other resting on his ankle) on his foot before either of them could protest. He starts slowly, dragging the palm from the ankle to the toes, all the while pressing down gently. At this point, he doesn’t even want to meet Louis’ eyes. He’s afraid his strength will betray him.

And that’s how his mum finds him.

By then, he forgets where his hands belong then other than on Louis’ feet, and Louis is still lazily half lying down. He seems to consider something while Harry rushes around, biting his lip. He just drops his eye to a lazy wink in the end.

Harry doesn’t pretend this time.

...

“Are you going to tell me who that was or am I going to have to stalk your Facebook again?”

Mum.”

“Harry. You’ve either started a non profit foot massaging business or he’s your boyfriend.”

“Would you be mad if it was either of them?”

“It’s neither of them, isn’t it?”

“It's just... I'm not really interested?”

“Sure, darling. Now, tell me, how were your classes? Are all your teachers alright?”

“Yep.”

...  

When Harry awoke the next morning, the first thing he’d noticed was Louis’ file sitting aggressively on his desk. He’d never been more awake in his life.

It’s not that he’s too shy to return it, not really. It’s just that yesterday is still fresh in Harry’s mind. It’s a happy memory, still makes him smile a bit. The problem is that he doesn’t know how to act around Louis now. They’re not, like, pals or something. They’re not just acquaintances either, though.

But he can’t just keep it with him forever. It’s also that Louis must have noticed it’s missing. With a nervous glance towards the file in his hands, he squares his shoulders and scurries off towards the staff room.

And then the problem was, Louis looks really good in blue (it brings out his eyes and maybe makes them shine a bit, like a single flash against nothingness). And his smile isn’t that bad either. Unfortunately, both were present in full force. Harry approaches him. He’s a brave man, he is.

Louis looks up, his smile possibly growing as he tells the person in front of him to wait. Harry brings his hand forward, gripping the file tightly. He clears his throat. “Um, I don’t know how this got into my bag, but,”

Louis laughs, saying, “Must be fate,” Harry laughs along before he can understand the meaning.

Just when he's about to mumble out a goodbye and turn to leave, Louis grabs a mysterious white package in his hands and lifts it up in Harry's face. Harry's more staring at his face though, to which he contorts into an expression of faux innocence.

"Cupcakes?"

There are rainbow cupcakes in the box. Harry's heart soars. Maybe his smile is too big for his face, and maybe there's too much frosting on the cupcakes, but they're pals. And maybe the sky is yellow. Nothing matters.

...

"So, H, how is school going so far?" His mum asks over dinner, and Harry almost drops his fork.

He looks up to see his mum's smiling face, a slow blush rising on his neck. This is why hot men and school should not be linked together in one's mind.

Louis' kind of really hot. "It was fine."

His mum nods, although she doesn't look convinced. Well, at least he tried. Gemma clears her throat, making Harry turn to look at her. She smirks, nudging him with her elbow and raising an eyebrow. Harry rolls his eyes. 

Mum continues, apparently oblivious. "Have you made any friends, darling?"

He sighs, still staring at his plate. "Mum, I'm not in the fifth grade anymore. And no, Niall's fine for me."

His mum, obviously exasperated, gets up from the dining table with her finished plate. Harry watches her shake her head silently. He sighs, picking on his peas.

"So, seems like you have alot to tell me," Harry jerks his head back around, almost snapping his own neck. It's Gemma, and she's got a shark like smile on her thin lips. Harry groans. He's not that obvious, is he? "Come on, you were red as beet, don't pretend now," Apparently he is. "Who's the one with Harry Styles' heart?" 

"Christ, Gemma, he doesn't have my heart, what the hell," 

And then he realises his mistake.

Gemma gasps, leaning over and taking Harry's hands in hers. "It's a boy ?" It's actually a man, a fit, grown up, mature man, but he's gonna let her have this one,"Is he, like, fit? What color's his eyes? Six pack or no? Oh my god, we have so much in common now,"

Harry breathes a sigh of relief. He just came out to his sister and she's behaving the way she is.

Gemma might be the world's coolest sister, but he's not going to tell her that. He lets a goofy smile take over his face. "He's kinda fit, yeah,"

"Harry, you just said he doesn't have your heart. You should look at your face."

Harry hides his face in his hands. "I know, ugh,"

Gemma just laughs good naturedly, patting Harry on his back and getting up.

So that went alot better than expected. Not that he'd been expecting anything, but. Okay, so he's not really in a position to deny anything.

...

The next day, when Harry's wearing a neatly ironed button up and has made an effort to tame his curls, he discovers that he ate expired pudding for breakfast through a text from Gemma. Oh, and also that Louis might be kind of an arsehole.

He looks at Harry all the same, eyebrows raised in challenge (which Harry will always accept, always), traces of a smirk on his lips. But. There's something weird about the atmosphere. He passes by Harry, doesn't acknowledged him, doesn't even look at him twice. Actually, he interacts with everyone except for him (like, loosely), cracks jokes and teases them.

He hits a new low when he doesn't bat an eye towards Harry when he mentions The Lorax in reference to the lesson. Which is saying something, right? Harry's exaggerated frowns keep getting attention from the wrong people, and now apparently he's a weirdo. His shoulders deflate and he spends the whole day pouting in his misery. Niall still doesn't give a shit about anything. 

He decides that he needs a chance to prove himself to Louis.

(He gets it three days later when the teacher announces a test for the next day. He's already done with two exercises by the time class is over.)

...

The next day comes really fast. It's a test, literally for everyone else, but for Harry, it's in a way that's more than one. He doesn't know what Louis' been playing at, doesn't even know if he is playing at anything, but he decides that if Louis' going to pull the rubber band, might as well let it snap back. Or something. He's going to fight back, is what he means. Maybe not with metaphors like that, though.

He's determined as he revises the lesson, and he's determined when he gets the test sheet. His determination fades a little somehow when Niall eyes him from the corner like he holds the key, but Harry stays strong. His best friend's needs aren't going to pull him down from where he's aiming at the sky. Or Louis' heart. It’s probably the same thing.

He signals Niall to wait, taking the test paper in his hand and looking over it.

Q1. Who wrote 'Where ignorance is bliss, it is folly to be wise'?

He's pumps his fist. Fucking ace.

(He ends up being the last to submit the paper. Niall makes him whisper all the answers to him. Still fucking ace.)

...

And now's the moment of truth. This could either make or break his year. The class is silent as Louis goes over the test papers. It doesn't feel as silent inside Harry's chest.

"Harry Styles?"

Louis looks up, an expectant smile on his lips and brows raised in slight surprise. Harry's staring at him when something occurs to him. He's Harry Styles. He nearly falls over in haste as he rushes towards the teacher.

He stands towards the side of the table, looking down at Louis, unconsciously wringing his hands behind his back. He doesn't miss the way Louis' eyes trace the movement.

"Yes, sir?" He tries to ask confidently, but it just comes off in a meek voice.

Louis grins, looking down at the paper as he chuckles, then back at Harry. Shit, is he laughing at Harry's paper? Harry can't fight the frown that tugs his lips.

"You don't play around, do you?" He says it like it's meant just for them, and it probably is. Harry's still pretty confused though, and he's not in a state to draw conclusions.

"I don't know what you mean," He makes sure to keep his face blank, but acting has never been his talent. He does have an idea of what it means, and yes, I don't play around. be my buddy or be more, don't go below that.

He mutters something under his breath that sounds alot like an "Of course," Harry allows a small smile.

Louis picks a paper up from his desk, giving it an impressed (or amused?) once over, before turning to Harry once again. He hands it to Harry, all the while maintaining steady eye contact. Harry takes the paper into his hand, careful not to touch Louis', because he's not ready for second base yet.

A huge 50/50 A+ stares up at him, and Harry sputters for a second. And then fireworks explode somewhere (in his chest, probably). His heart starts hammering, and he thinks his face will split in half if he smiles any wider, but he looks down at Louis anyway. Louis smiles at him with a glint in his eyes. Harry grins. He looks over to the class to Niall giving him a thumbs up.

His life is one huge motherfucking thumbs up. 

...

"Yeah, but Playstation 3 beats everything. Like, dude, have you see the graphics?"

"But it's not just about the graphics, is it? Like the online function in Xbox makes it completely unique, you know?"

"There's an online function in Playstation, too, like admittedly a bit -"

"Shush," Harry says distractedly as he spots Louis walking around the corner. He doesn't seemed to have noticed Harry, but Harry lives to make an impression. Especially on Louis. He can see Niall follow his gaze from his peripheral view, but he ignores it.

He plasters on what he hopes is a polite smile. "Good morning, sir!" Louis turns his head in surprise, and it might just be Harry, but his expression completely changes from nonchalance to glee. 

Louis grins. "Good morning, Harry," He says, winking. Harry flushes, but the smile doesn't leave his face. He doesn't think he could ever do that; not-smile at Louis. Louis picks his pace back up and continues going wherever he was going, but Harry's still smiling towards the back of his head.

Niall flicks his ear. "What was that?"

"We wished each other a good morning." Harry tells him, because apparently Niall has lost the gift of eye sight.

"Mate, sarcasm doesn't suit you. And there was too much going on for it to be just that."

Harry shrugs as they start walking towards their class. "I like him," Harry tells him honestly. It's not a lie, but it's not the whole truth either.

"And he likes you," Niall tells him with a roll of his eyes. Harry doesn't think it really means something.

...

Harry walks into the classroom, quietly shutting the door behind him as he picks a place to sit.

Right. Detention.

("Hey, Haz?"

"Mhm?"

"What do you think would happen if we were to, I don't know, try that solution from chem on this sandwich?"

"I-"

"Great idea! I'll sneak into the lab, you wait in the loo, yeah?")

What's done is done, but Harry has every right to hold a grudge because it was Niall's idea, but he's not the one in detention with the sluggish movements of the fan as the only source of entertainment. And Niall's not a shit friend, not really, but Harry considers himself really stubborn. So of course he rejected the idea of Niall putting himself in, too. 

Sometimes you have to sacrifice things, you know? It's not like he had anything better to do anyway. Okay, scratch that. He could think of a million things to do other than burning a hole in the chair with his bum. Apparently the teacher that had been assigned to him shares the same feelings. They didn't even show up.

Harry grabs his bag in exasperation, wringing it across his back. He gets up, and just as he takes a step forward, the doorknob rustles. He jumps back into his seat.

He actually hears the door open just then, so he drops his head on the desk as a last resort. But he's never denied being a curious person, so when he lifts his head a little, he really shouldn't be as surprised as he is.

“Oh, hey. Knew those curls were familiar,” Louis laughs, plopping down on the chair. 

“Yeah, hey,” Harry replies, staring at him in a daze. Apparently Louis hasn't come alone, an annoyingly fat stack of papers sitting on the table. Louis doesn't seem to be paying much attention to them though, resting his head in his hands and staring at Harry through half-hooded eyes.

"Fancy seeing you here. Come here often?" Harry laughs, looking down, despite himself. He can't help but be charmed by Louis when he even as so blinks. 

"Can't say I do," Harry admits. 

"That Niall guy get you into trouble?"

Harry smiles begrudgingly. "He and a bunch of friends blew up a sandwich all over the loo while trying to make it bigger. I was the only one who got caught,"

Louis seems to mull over this, pulling his eyebrows together and making a face. "And you didn't bail them out?" He asks incredulously. Harry frowns.

"Why would I do that?"

Louis looks at him a bit longer after he says that. No one says anything, and eventually Louis sighs and takes a few papers out from the stack. Harry tries to play with his hands and tap out a rhythm against the desk, trying to avert his attention to anything that isn't Louis. He gives up in the end, and leans back against the chair.

The fan's moving a swift speed now (which he's guessing Louis has something to do with), making wisps of Louis' hair flutter against his forehead. The classroom is dimly lit, no one bothering to switch on more than one tube light. The scarce light illuminates Louis' face, the blue of his eyes seemingly tired and brown, and so, so beautiful. His lips are set into a thin line, and he's eyeing the papers irritably.

It's quite a scene, and Harry feels like a blemish to it.

Louis laughs, feeling Harry's gaze on him. "Course work's a bitch, really," He says bitterly, and the pink that tints his ears a second later makes Harry think he's still not comfortable swearing around Harry. He doesn't let it bother him.

Harry nods, considering. "Do you think I could help?"

And at that, Louis looks up at him, mouth falling open in surprise. He bites his lips, taking a strand of his hair and pushing it to the side. He smiles in the end. "You really, really shouldn't."

When Harry opens his mouth to protest, Louis beats him to the punch. "It's my fault anyway, brought it onto myself. Shame not everyone can be like you, getting your work done in time has more significance than we tend to give it," He says resentfully.

Harry smiles sheepishly. He really, really wants to help Louis. "But, like. It's just you and me," He loses his train of thought when Louis smirks, mischief written all over his face. Fighting the blush off his face at the implication, Harry continues, "So might as well make myself useful, yeah?"

Louis seems to consider this. He settles with an embarrassed smile. "A helping hand is always good,"

Harry beams. He gets up from his chair before Louis has the chance to change his mind. He leans across the table where Louis' sat at, placing his hands on it to keep his balance. Louis takes out another division of the stack, and puts it in front of Harry. 

"Um, half of it are like, plain sheets. Just take the lessons and note down what you think might be important on the sheets. I - sorry if it's too much work, you don't really have to -"

Harry puts a finger to Louis' lips. He tries to ignore the soft feel of them, but nothing really works out with Louis. "Stop your nonsense and hand me a pencil." 

Louis laughs a deep bodied laugh, throwing his head back, the echo of it bouncing off the walls in the quiet room. It makes something flutter inside Harry's stomach. He grins along, feeling quite captivated by Louis.

"You are most definitely my favourite person right now," Louis says, shaking his head, and Harry can quite possibly feel himself glowing.

...

The Great Gatsby: The Corruption of the American Dream through 
Materialism  

The American dream is an ideal that has been present since American literature’s onset. Typically, the dreamer aspires to rise from rags to riches, while accumulating such things as love, high status, wealth, and power on his way to the top. The dream has had variations throughout different time periods, although it is generally based on ideas of freedom, self-reliance, and a desire for something

Harry’s phone buzzes loudly across the room, and he stops mid-word. He should consider it, but he’s so invested in the whole essay that he might lose his train of thought. He sighs. The train can wait. He retrieves it from his bed, and jumps back on his desk chair.

bored as f. entertain me, are the intelligent words texted by Niall Horan. Harry laughs momentarily, feeling his passion for the essay evaporate.

idk maybe theres something on the telly, He types back.

theyre showing a turtle pooping. Harry raises his eyebrows. He didn’t know they could do that.

sounds interesting

mayb to u, the only fun u know is to shit out essays and show mr t how good you are. Harry blushes hard at that, feeling his eyes go wide. It’s sort of embarrassing how true it is, and he was just doing the same thing.

i like writing essays thank u v much, He texts back with some dignity.

Just then, a loud yell startles him out of his reverie. It's his Mum, he recognizes her voice in an instant. He hears her yell something out again, too distant to catch the words, and it settles like a low hum against his bones. He frowns. It's not a good feeling.

praying 4 u

It's really strange after that. It's like, now that he's heard it, he can't stop hearing it. His mum is definitely yelling now, but there's another voice there. For a second he panics, is there a stranger in his house who his mum is yelling at, but then no, it's a man's voice. It's his dad's voice. He feels something cold sink into him.

haz? sorry if that was mean ! was a joke m8, comes a text from Niall again, but Harry feels to queasy to think of a reply. They're getting louder now, each shout acting as a loud thrum of his heart. He closes his eyes, remembering to breathe.

When they're loud enough for Harry to make out the words, he feels sick all over. 

"You think it's my fault? Do you have any idea how devastated I am?"

"Right, like you weren't bloody behind it all! You always do this, Anne,"

u busy???

Harry very quietly walks towards his bed. He drops his phone to the floor with a start as his whole body trembles at a loud trashing sound. He can feel himself going pale all over. He counts to ten in his head, then climbs on the bed. He lies to his side, eyes wide and anything but steady. Curling in on himself, he draws a blank in his mind.

It's okay, he tells himself. Everything will be okay. Only he isn't sure how much of that he believes.

...

When he wakes up the next morning, it's too cold. Everything's eerily still, and there's something hushed about the air. He blinks his eyes open, feeling hazy and weak. He pulls his duvet to his neck, but still shivers.

It dawns on him a second later that it's Monday. He's got school, and yet his Mum hadn't awoke him. He leans off the bed, reaching out towards his phone and retrieving it. Nothing new from Niall, just the last text asking him if he was busy. Harry lingers over the new message option, but closes it all together.

It's five in the morning.

He leans against the headboard, letting a sigh escape him. In protest to his body, he gets off the bed and pads quietly towards the kitchen. 

When he gets there, he hesitates in the doorway, just watching her quietly stirring something in the pan. She turns to grab something from the cabinet, and a smile graces her lips as she spots Harry.

"Good morning, love. You're quite early." She tells him gently. He stares at her, expressionless.

"Where is dad?" As soon as he says the words, the smile falls off her face. Her mask crumbles, just for a second though, before she regains her composure. This time, her smile looks too fake for her.

"He'll be staying with auntie Connie for a few days," She says like it's the truth, and he nods like he believes her.

...

It's worse in school. He can't bring himself to look at anyone. Everything is the same, but there's a dark cloud looming over Harry and he wants nothing more to just lie in his bed and forget anything. Calm. He wants calm.

He wants to rewind yesterday and be asleep before he'd heard anything.

There's a permanent frown etched onto his face, and when he spots bleach blonde hair, he quickly ducks around a corner. He doesn't think he wants to talk right now. Before he can realize what he's doing, his feet walk on their on accord and lead him to where he thinks he might find calm.

He ends up face to face with the staff room door. He tips his head, peering into the room through the small glass opening. There's a teacher who Harry doesn't recognize, and sitting next to him, of course, is Louis. Something lifts inside of Harry's chest at the sight of him.

When he's still looking at him, he thinks there's a brief moment where Louis looks back. That startles something inside of Harry, and he takes a quick step backward, and steels himself against a wall, where he's sure he's undetectable.

Not less than a second later, the door opens, and Harry peaks to see it's the other teacher. He thinks he might remember him from Liam; dark haired and scruffy and cheek bones sculpted by higher deities. Mr Malik. He leaves with a pleasant tilt to his mouth. Harry breathes out heavily.

He steps in front of the door again, and he opens it without so much as a warning. Louis' watching him when he steps inside. He signals Harry to close the door behind him, and he does, if not a bit hesitant.

The atmosphere is tense, and it's never been like that with them. Harry wants nothing more than to wrap his arms around Louis and be okay again. He's not sure if Louis wants that too, though. When he looks up again, Louis' standing up with an uncertain look in his eyes.

Harry lunges forward.

He buries his head in Louis shoulder, taking a deep breath and just letting everything escape him. He feels himself go pliant against Louis, and if Louis holds him a bit tighter when he does, it makes them press flush against each other. They're almost the same height, but Harry wants to be small, small, nothing.

Louis strokes his hair gently, dropping a kiss that's light as a feather on his shoulder. Harry shivers at his touch. This is so, so intimate, and maybe Harry wants it to never end, and maybe he wants everything to end forever. He's the one who pulls back in the end, leaning away and looking down.

Louis lifts his chin up, forcing Harry to meet his eyes. His voice is so soft that it blends beautifully with the shaky breath Harry takes. 

"You'll be alright."

He sees the truth in Louis' eyes.

...

He slips quietly into his Math class, just a few ten minutes late, and he could already feel Niall's eyes boring into him. The teacher, bless him, let's him in when he makes the excuse of poor health. He wordlessly slides into the chair beside Niall, staring right ahead.

Niall doesn't have any of it, though. "Where the fuck were you?"

Harry shrugs. "I needed something."

When Niall thinks Harry can't hear, he rolls his eyes and mumbles, "Or rather someone."

The statement might not be too far from the truth. Harry doesn't care anymore.

...

When he comes back from Sociology, he reminisces how Liam (a good mate of his and Niall's) had informed him that he's "making quite a name for yourself as Mr. Tomlinson's little pet." When Harry had raised his eyebrows at his wording choice, Liam'd blushed profusely and said that those were the team's words, not his. Which Harry's not sure is any better.

Liam's a member of the football team, and usually he knows what's going on with the popular crowd. But he makes sure to stay grounded, surrounding himself with overly a dozen books, which is probably the thing Harry loves most about him. But when he says "quite a name", Harry knows there's a spotlight on him.

He ignores the nagging thought in his mind, and smiles. English period.

The smiling quickly turns into flutters in his stomach as he recalls the scene from the morning. Which seems way too intimate, now that he thinks over it. Whatever. It was a moment of weakness (ohmygod they hugged and louis was so warm and firm and he held him so tight like he was never going to let go why did harry let go). Ahem. No regrets, though.

Louis strolls into the class like he's strolling through a park. There's an air of carelessness around him, which tugs a smile at Harry's lips. He plops down on his table. Everyone looks at him expectantly.

Louis smiles the brightest smile Harry's ever seen, and it reminds him of the sun. "Today's period is on Harry."

Harry's mouth falls open in surprise. Everyone around him cheers and starts talking animatedly, but Harry's still.

Someone asks very loudly, "Why, though?" 

Louis looks directly at Harry. "Because he's the best student I've ever had honour of teaching."

Just like that, a wave of happiness washes over Harry. He beams with a smile that's splitting his face, looking up at Louis. Louis shoots him a thumbs up with a smile.

I'm here for you.

He's so, so grateful to have Louis in his life. Harry would compare him to an anchor; he brings Harry up from where he's drowning and shows him just how brightly the sun's smiling at him. It feels like a blessing, and Harry can't think of having done anything to deserve this.

...

Harry shoves his hands further into his pockets.

The cold was starting to sink into his bones, making him fasten his pace. He was walking home from school, his Mum having denied him a ride in lieu of having somewhere to go. He didn't mind much, but the weather was edging on unforgiving. He sighs when he realises he had only walked a few meters away from school.

If he looks forward, he could see a few kids from his school. He tries not to look much, but they were smoking and screamed trouble. Now, they didn't have any leather jackets on or anything, just had crooked teeth and he could see one of the girls' vaginal lines, but their presence wasn't what would one would call... pleasant. Maybe he was looking too much.

They made the hairs on his neck stand up, though, so he squeezes his eyes shut and wills himself to blend into his surroundings. As he bypasses them, he makes sure to keep his eyes on his shoes and face blank.

It doesn't work.

"Oi, pass me the fag!" One one them shouts, and they all laugh. He clenches his fist and bites the inside of his cheek. He wills himself not to... react. It's okay. They're just messing around. It's okay, it's okay, it's -

"Yeah, the new call of duty really sucks cock, doesn't it?"

Harry halts to a stop.

They're talking too loud for it to be just for them. He knows he should just go on, get home and maybe sleep everything off. But. He can't. He doesn't need this.

He turns back around stiffly, keep his eyes trained on one of them he recognizes from the football team. The guy notices his stare and quickly informs all of them, one by one turning to look at Harry. Harry walks towards them. 

By the time he reaches them, they're all staring at him with equally filthy smirks on their mouths.

Harry stands in front of the one who was behind the insults. He takes a deep breath, then, "What the fuck is your problem?"

They all look as surprised at his words as he feels. The guy, Mark, Harry recalls, laughs before sharing an amused glance with everyone.

"Ooh, little daisy's getting brave," He says, and there's a singing tone in his voice. Harry wants to spit in his face and tell him that's not his name.

Instead, he squares his shoulders, and leans a little too into him. "Do you have any morals or are you as nonsensical as you look? I'm assuming the latter because apparently, you like to pick on people who you don't consider at the same standard as you. I've got two words for you, pal. Fuck. You."

He looks him hard in the eyes, and now they're all stunned, but Mark returns the same look.

And then he kind of just. Sprints away from there.

(He might have been stupid enough to jump, but he's not stupid enough to take the fall. This is probably going in his journal, though.)

...

Harry's doing the dishes when he hears the soft pad of footsteps coming down. He knows it's Gemma before she even comes in his vision, and she smiles softly at him. Harry returns it unsurely. He hasn't... they haven't discussed about the whole mum dad thing. Harry doesn't think either of them want to, so he enjoys the silence.

There's a sound of the fridge opening, then closing, and Harry takes a quick glance back to see that she's fetching herself some milk. He laughs lightly.

"Can't sleep?"

"Can't sleep." She muses, popping the cap open. Harry rubs at a stubborn spot on the plate. He drops the plate into the sink and doesn't do anything for a moment.

"Dad's not at aunt Connie's, is he?" He asks, already knowing the answer. He's not sure he wants to hear it, though, so he picks up another plate and starts scrubbing it.

He throws a glance back just in time to see her staring at him with an unexplainable look. "No, he's not." She says.

Harry doesn't have to turn around to see that she's gone back upstairs. He continues washing the dishes.

...

The shadow of the tree grows bigger with one of another person.

Harry smiles at first, thinking that it's Lou - the shadow grows with that of two more people. Harry gulps. He leans a bit more into the book resting on his lap, suddenly alot more interested.

But Dave with the awkward glasses told us that Michael killed himself. There are four people looming over him.

"What's the matter, lost some of your guts?" 

But Dave with the awkward glasses told us that Michael killed himself.

But Dave with the awkward glasses told us that Michael killed himself.

"Look at me while I talk to you, faggot!"

But Dave with the awkward glasses told us that Mic  -

Someone grabs Harry by his collar, his book falling over from his lap as he's roughly brought to his feet. He can't really think of much while Mark's eyes bore in his. Mark has a really dirty face. Harry's heart should slow down a little, maybe that would be healthy.

"You think you can just spit out whatever you want and fucking run away like it's nothing?" Harry still doesn't regret it (maybe a little), but he finds himself shaking his head rapidly. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Mark laughs. And then there's a sharp sting in Harry's left cheek.

It hurts, it really, really hurts. He releases Harry by his collar, but before Harry can even think, someone is grabbing both his hands from behind and keeps them there. There's another punch now, and one more, and wow, is he bleeding? Someone laughs distantly, and Harry feels very, very weak and helpless. He wants to cry. He closes his eyes instead. 

"Think twice before you fucking take on someone twice your size, yeah?" Harry feels a hot drop of liquid fall on his lip. He wants to wipe it away but his hands are still captive and fuck everything hurts.

He opens his eyes just to catch a filthy smirk on Mark's filthy face with his filthy fist drawn back. He squeezes his eyes shut again, waiting to feel it, just -

Nothing comes. He slowly, very slowly peels one eye open. He doesn't have to see Mark's face anymore, and his arms are free.

But also. There's Louis. He's speaking very loudly, but the thrum of Harry's heart is louder and he can't hear anything. Mark and the other guys look very scared and helpless, and Louis looks very angry and aggressive. He sends them running, and then turns to Harry. Harry shifts his gaze.

"What the fuck was that?" Louis' still very angry, and Harry doesn't want him to yell. He also notices that for the first time, he doesn't look bashful about his language.

"You can swear around me." He blurts out. Louis looks a bit taken aback at first, but then he just sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose.

"Just get in my car, will you?" Louis' really not polite when he's angry, but Harry obliges because his face hurts alot.

...

The drive is silent. Louis doesn't even look at Harry.

Harry steals a glance at him, though, and he looks like he's about to snap. So he just quietly puts his hand on Louis' free one. His face does relax at that, and Harry smiles.

"Will you tell me what happened?" Louis asks him in a gentle voice.

Harry bites his bottom lip, but, shit, it's swollen and it stings, so he lets it go. He considers telling Louis half of the story, maybe leaving out yesterday wouldn't be such a big deal, but. He sighs. It's Louis.

"I... they were harassing me while I was walking back home yesterday. I might have said some things." He glances at Louis, and he looks exasperated.

"Harry, I need you tell me exactly what they did and what you said to them."

"Like quoted speech, not reported speech?" Harry says, giggling, and he catches just the slightest of smiles at the corner of Louis' lips.

"Yes."

"I... later?" It's still fresh on Harry's mind, and he doesn't want to relive it again. 

"I understand." Louis smiles. Then he laces their fingers together. Harry hopes the goosebumps aren't visible on his hands. "You're okay, though, right?"

"I think." 

Louis smiles, reassuring. "Good." The whole time, he had his eyes on the road, but now, he turns to look at Harry. "So, where do you live, anyway?" At Harry's questioning look, he looks a little embarrassed. "I might have been going in circles the whole time."

Harry throws his head back, barking out a laugh. He recovers quickly, though, saying, "We can't go back to mine, though,"

Louis just rolls his eyes and takes a u turn.

...

Harry steps into Louis' flat, glancing back to see him close the door. He turns back around and looks over everything. It's a nice, small place, looks like a place quite lived in and well occupied. It was cozy, and the walls were painted a light blue which looked very calm and reminded Harry of Louis' eyes.

Louis shrugs when he sees Harry looking around. "It's not much, but it's enough,"

Harry was about to reply back when another voice joined in, "Yo, who you talking to, Tommo?"

Harry snaps his head towards another doorway where - Mr Malik was standing. Mr Malik's smiling lazily, but as soon as he spots Harry, the smile turns into a frown, then his eyes rake over the cuts on Harry's face, then presumably his uniform. He looks at Louis incredulously. 

Louis gives him what Harry would describe as a warning glance. Mr Malik sighs, picking up a discarded shirt from the couch and pulling it over his head. He grabs his keys and turns to give Louis one last look.

"Have fun, I guess. Not too much fun, though," He smirks again (he has really a dirty smirk which could imply alot of things and Harry isn't sure how to feel about that), then finally excuses him out the door.

Harry turns to Louis as soon as he does. "I can leave - I'm sorry, I didn't -"

This time, it's Louis who has his finger on Harry's lips. His finger is very soft. "Shut up. I was the one who brought you here, and it's probably not what you think it is,"

Harry bites his lips in thought, before wincing. "Boyfriend?"

Louis smiles. "He's got a girlfriend," and Harry nods, understanding.

Louis leads him to the couch, signalling him to lie down. He sits, then rests his head on one armrest and his feet on the other. Louis holds up a finger and disappears into another room. Harry takes this time to properly look around.

There's an ashtray on the coffee table in front of him, and Harry wrinkles his nose at the sight of it. There's a kitchenette to his right, and there's a hot pocket on the counter table. Harry sits up a bit to peer into the room where Louis went inside, and as soon as he does, Louis' back from it holding a few items in his hands.

He comes to stand beside Harry, then drops all the objects on the table. A wash cloth, water container, Neosporin -

"Don't worry, I'm not going to do something weird like drop a schoolbag on your face," 

Harry frowns exaggeratedly.  "Hey, it's a legit thing, my mum used to -"

Louis laughs, kneeling in front on the couch so he's at eye-level with Harry. "Just kidding, darling," He says off handedly, turning to take something from the table. They both notice his slip up, the blush rising on Louis' neck giving him away. He sounded so casual that Harry thinks it's a thing he does. He could get used to that. His own cheeks heat up at the promise of his thoughts.

Louis turns back around, holding the wash cloth and bringing it closer to Harry's face. His eyes stay trained on the cloth though, but Harry's staring at him. The first dab is gentle, very gentle, and then he makes eye contact with Harry. Harry shifts his eyes to the wash cloth.

He turns over again, to apply water to the cloth Harry sees, and comes back. He presses it a bit firmly against a cut on Harry's cheek, and Harry fights a wince. Their faces are so close, that if either one of them just leans in a little -

Harry closes his eyes, cheeks heating up. When he opens them again, Louis' staring at him with an amused smile. He's still dabbing at Harry's cheek when he asks, "Why are you so red?"

And, ah. The question Harry had thought he'd never have to answer. Then again, he's never had someone like Louis in his life to ask it. It was just meant to be.

He shrugs non-commitedly, and Louis scolds him to stay still. He turns again, and this time Harry gives himself a mental pep talk. This is not the time, control yourself, Styles, never going to happen -

"So, you smoke?" He asks, just to cut through the silence. Louis laughs lightly, now dabbing at a trail of dried blood from his nose.

"Occasionally. Zayn's the stoner in the house, though," Mr Malik is Zayn, then.

Harry frowns. "You should - both just stop. It's not good for you."

Louis spares him an amused glance. "Well, thanks, mum,"

Harry twists his mouth in protest. "Cancer sticks," he mumbles to himself. 

When there's no further response from Louis, he looks at him just to find him staring at Harry's lips. Before his mind can go south (already late), he nudges Louis' knee with one dangling leg. Louis shakes his head, turning back again. When he doesn't seem to find what he's looking for, he turns back around and frowns at Harry.

"It might be under the couch," he mutters, reaching over to Harry. Harry's breath hitches when Louis' face is one tilt away from his torso, but Louis' oblivious as he digs under the cushion, and retreats when victorious.

He's holding - Vaseline? From under the couch? At Harry's questioning look, Louis shrugs. "Zayn's girlfriend likes to moisturize sometimes," and Harry nods like he understands. "You know Ms. Edwards?"

"Um, I think Niall might have mentioned her from Science,"

Louis grins. "Well, she's his girlfriend. Perrie."

Harry raises his eyebrow in surprise. He doesn't think it's a coincidence that the world's most attractive people are inter-related. The Holy Trinity.

Louis laughs lightly at his reaction, dipping his finger into the little container and placing it on the table. Oh god - had Harry not done a little experimentation of his own on the internet, he would definitely not have seen this in a different light. He swallows the thought down.

When he looks back, Louis' staring at his lips again. He notices Harry's gaze, and says, "Stop pressing - part your lips, yeah?" He seems to have lost his confidence somewhere.

Harry obliges, parting his lips. Louis brings his finger closer to his lips, and just for a moment, Harry thinks he might thrust it inside Harry's mouth, but then he soothes it over Harry's bottom lip, where the cut is. He softly runs it over his lip again, seeming to linger. Harry's aware of his own blown eyes. Louis balances himself a bit more upright on his knees then, seemingly concentrating on Harry's lip.

He brings his face closer, and what is going on, if this keeps going on then Harry might not be able to control himself. Then he leans even closer, looming over Harry, and like this he can see every beautiful detail of Louis' face. But his eyes fall to his lips.

And then it happens.

It was bound to happen, he didn't know what Louis was expecting when he was keen on bringing his face as close to Harry's as possible.

Harry juts his face out, catching Louis' lips in his own. Louis' shocked for a moment, Harry can feel it, but then he presses back with much pressure. Harry brings a hand to cup his jaw, and now they're both pressing their lips against eachother, and Harry can easily ignore the cut on his lip dragging over. Harry loses himself in the moment when he's not sure what he's even doing anymore, but suddenly there's no Louis kissing him back.

Harry opens his eyes to see Louis wipe his lips, eyes blown and staring at the couch in shock. Harry wants to lull him over, they're not finished yet - before he realises what just happened.

Harry just kissed Louis.

Harry just kissed Louis. 

Harry just kissed Louis. 

Harry just kissed Louis. 

Harry just kissed Louis.

Harry looks back at him again to see that he's frowning. Louis snaps his head back, meeting Harry's gaze. "I - what was that -"

"I should go. I should really, really go." Harry says in a hurry, jumping off the couch and rushing towards the door. He doesn't so much as glance back when opens the door, and Louis doesn't so much as stop him when he closes it behind him, running down the stairs.

He calls Niall to pick him up, and he might be crying a little.

...

Harry feels overly numb as he sits through English period. He hasn't been participating at anything all, and he could practically feel surprised glances from his classmates. He's got Niall to glare them away, though.

"So, this, my children, is a sonnet. It's a form of a poem, but more formal, I'd say. Would any of you care to tell me the difference?" Louis asks the class cheerily.

Harry's head snaps up. It's a trick question. A sonnet is a poem. It's just a certain style. A sonnet is a poem of fourteen lines using any of a number of formal rhyme schemes -

"Yes, Sarah?"

"A sonnet is a form of a poem. There are different types of sonnet, but the most common is the Shakespearean or petrarchan sonnet. It always has fourteen lines, and always has a very fixed rhyme..."

Harry snorts. Psh, nerd. Louis asked the difference, not the whole fucking idea behind it. He distracts himself with the thought that he could've given the answer a million times better. It's better than to think about how his heart has sunk to his toes.

...

They're playing a round of fifa when Harry thinks Niall's paying more attention to him than to the game.

"I'm gonna ask you something but you have to promise not to be weird about it." Ah, there it is. Harry nods earnestly, pausing the game and turning to face Niall.

Niall smacks his head. "Don't be weird." And with that, he resumes the game, never turning to look at Harry. Harry scrambles to pick his controller up and tries to focus on the game. Niall nods curtly, presumably in approval. "Good. Casual."

There's a pregnant pause in which both of them pretend they're focusing on the game. 

"Okay, picture this," Niall starts. "Your best friend starts acting weird, right? And he suddenly starts spending a shit load of time with this teacher. And then then he’s not telling you anything at all. There are rumors spreading, which make you doubt your entire fucking friendship, and your douchebag of a bestfriend still doesn’t give a shit."

"I know where this is going," Harry says lamely.

Niall goes on. "It’s like he’s spending every waking minute with this somewhat attractive teacher," Harry's never been so offended in his life, "and they act like they're so close all of a sudden," what, "so you’re worried sick, you’re bestfriend might be gay," the, "the hottest girl might have asked you to the winter dance," fuck? "but your bestfriend’s still not tell you anything so you can’t tell him anything either!”

Niall throws his controller somewhere in a fury of rage. Harry scores a goal. Niall tackles him until he's doubled over, and so that he's resting atop of him. Their faces a mere centimeters apart, Niall pins his hands above his heads.

Ignoring Harry's giggles, Niall keeps his face passive and says, "You fuckwit. Tell me what's going on now or I'll jump out that window." Harry follows his gaze and looks over at the window over his bed. He wants to tell him that it's been jammed for a year, but he doesn't have the heart.

He sighs. "I guess I like him a little. And we had this... thing going on." At Niall's quirked eyebrow, he rushes to explain. "Not that kind! I swear, nothing like that. We were just pretty close, I guess."

"Were, as in past tense?"

"Yeah. An in past tense." If Louis were here, he would've gotten it. "Before I fucked everything up."

"What happened? You didn't, like, propose your love to him -"

Harry laughs, half-hearted. "Nah. I kissed him."

He looks up. If he was expecting to see a big reaction, he doesn't get it. Niall looks unfazed. "And then what? He pushed you away?" There's a disgusted tone to his voice, which makes Harry smile a bit.

"Not really. I just ran away from there when I'd realised what I'd done."

Niall seems to consider this, pushing himself off of Harry and leaning on his elbows. "Okay, putting the whole he's your teacher and you're the student and there's huge age gap and you're a minor and he could go to jail factor aside, I think you're an idiot."

Harry smiles lazily. "What else is new?"

"But he's equally an idiot. Have you ever stopped and considered that maybe he, I don't know, has some feelings for you?"

Harry snorts. "I don't really fancy living in dreamland, Niall."

"No, but consider it. He wouldn't done half the things he's done if he didn't feeling something, you know."

And Harry has considered it, but he always thought he was getting too far in his head. Now that Niall mentions it, though. Louis was the first to approach him in under the tree, and he's said some really huge things that are too big for Harry's heart to accept. He'll think about it later. Later is a good time to do anything.

"Fine, I'll think about it. Now, what did you say about someone asking you out to the dance?"

Niall rolls his eyes at the obvious topic change, but a smile graces his lips a second later. "You know Barbara?"

"Palvin?"

Niall grins. "That's her. She's in Science with me. We were passing notes when by the miracle of god, she suddenly remembered the dance's in a week. Said she didn't have a date, and neither did I. Then she wrote, and I quote, let's be dateless together." Harry grins, matching Niall's. He holds up a hand, and Niall slaps his against it.

"Happy for you, Ni." He mumbles, giggling when Niall noses his hair.

"You'd be happy for yourself too if you weren't so fucking dim all the time." At Harry's groan, he adds, "No, seriously. Get your man back. Do you have a plan?"

Harry shrugs. "Not really."

Niall looms over him, hands on either side of his torso. He smiles then, a smile so wide it would've looked silly if it weren't for the glint in his eye. "Slack off. Get his attention, then get his number. You could get him to tutor you, if you want a bonus. Let him get to know you, and then he'll fall for your awesomeness."

Harry groans again, squeezing his eyes shut. "That is the worst plan ever and it's not going to work."

...

It's still the worst plan ever, but it might be working a little. Louis looks at his test result, then back up at him. His eyebrows are raised in scrutiny, and Harry blushes under his stare. Harry literally couldn't write the answers deliberately wrong for the sake of his life, so he just left it blank. Everything. Left everything blank.

"Are you trying to make a statement or something?" He asks Harry, and there's a disapproving tone to his voice. Harry falters, but holds himself up.

"No, I, uh, genuinely don't get it." He says, remembering the line Niall made him practice. In case this happened.

Louis rolls his eyes, but he's smiling now. "Don't get what?" He's humoring him. Harry rams his brain for an answer - and comes up with nothing. Louis' already two steps ahead of him.

He gestures awkwardly at the paper. "Everything?"

Louis shakes his head. "Harry, there's nothing to get." He insists, looking back at the paper. "Okay, just tell me if you know the answer. What is the book Lord of the Flies about?" He looks up at Harry expectantly. Schoolboys on a desert island.

"A swarm of flies?"

Louis sighs. "Fine - I guess you are slacking off."

"No!" Harry defends himself quickly. Slacking off doesn't sound very flattering. "I just need some help."

Louis pulls his eyebrows together in thought. "You want me to help you?" He inquires. Yes, finally.

He doesn't want to make himself seem too eager, though, so he just nods. "I guess I do."

Then Louis totally bites a grin back. Harry does the same to his own. "Fine." He says, scribbling something on a piece of paper. "Call me when there's trouble in paradise."

...

Harry rushes inside his own house like it's an emergency, throwing his bag on the couch and running upstairs. 

"Well, hello to you, too!" His mum shouts from somewhere in the house. Harry laughs, throwing a "Hello!" over his shoulder, before making his way to his room. He jumps on his bed as soon as he does, and grabs his phone.

With one look at the (golden) paper in his hand, he types the number in and lingers over the call button. Shaking his head, he folds the paper neatly, pocketing it. When he looks back to his phone, it's already pressed dial. Harry's eyes widen but he doesn't press end.

Louis picks up on the third ring. "Hello?"

He can do this. "Hiii."

There's a laugh from the other line. "Harry! Already hit the books?"

It takes Harry a moment to understand what he means. Right. Trouble in paradise. "Um, not really. Just," wanted to hear your voice, "checking to make sure the number's right,"

Louis laughs lightly, and Harry can feel his smirk in his voice. "Right. I'd actually considered giving you Zayn's at first, but, you know, I'm such a good person."

He's kidding, Harry can tell, and it tugs a smile at his lips. "Yeah, I would've preferred that, anyway,"

Louis gasps, mock offended. "How dare you, you are not to go anywhere near him. He's not nearly as polite as I am,"

"I couldn't imagine," He says sarcastically, giggling. He shifts to lie down on his back, and just as he does, Gemma bursts through his door. He throws his phone across the room.

She quirks a neatly plucked eyebrow. "Who were you talking to?"

"Niall accidentally rang me up with a phone sex operator." He blurts out in a rush. Gemma's eyes fall to his crotch, comically wide. She narrows her eyes at him when she doesn't find anything.

"Ignoring that, mum's told me to inform you that we're going shopping for the dance tomorrow."

Harry scratches his neck, unsure. "About that... tell her I'm not going." 

Her eyebrows raise in surprise. "Really? Why not?"

"Just... don't feel like it."

"Well, alright." She twists her mouth, turning to the door. She pauses, looking over her shoulder and saying, "Also, tell you-know-who I said hi." With that, she slams his door shut, Harry catching the beginnings of a smirk on her face.

Harry sincerely hopes she was talking about the non-existent phone sex operator.

...

Harry loosens the tie of his uniform around his neck, reaching for an apple. He takes a seat down on the dining table, watching his mum go about. He squints his eyes at her, taking a bite. "Mum, did you get your hair done?"

She throws a surprised glance at him, then goes on to place a lunchbag on the table. "I did, actually," She laughs lightly. Her hair looks a bit shorter in length, trimmed and neat. At his questioning look, she sighs. "Your dad and I are going out today."

Harry almost spits the apple out. "On a date? With dad?"

She laughs again, but then the smile that graces her lips a second later looks a little sad. "We're trying to work things out, baby,"

Harry nods, mulling over it. They - it sounds like a promise. "If that's what you think is right,"

She smiles suddenly. "I do. Now, what's this about not going to the winter dance?" Harry sighs just as Gemma slides into the chair beside him.

She grabs an apple, then, "Harry's not going because no one's taking him."

Harry snorts. "And Gemma's only going because her friend needs a wingman."

Mum shakes her head, leaning on the table. "What about foot massage guy?"

What the - ohShe still remembers it from two months ago. "Mum. It was just a foot mass -"

Gemma tuts, shaking her head. "A foot massage is never only a foot massage. You have to be on atleast third base to do it."

"What's third -"

Harry clears his throat really loudly. "We have accidentally stumbled upon this topic, let's go back to the relevant one. I am not going to the dance, because it sounds boring and I'd rather not waste my Friday."

"Right."

"Harry, I think you should go."

"Nah,"

"Sure you won't regret it?"

"Entirely sure."

...

"Bye mum, bye Gems," Harry calls after them, grabbing the door handle. Mum blows a kiss at him, and Gemma snorts before turning around.

"Got the keys?"

"Yes, don't think I need another mum though," Harry says exasperatedly, rolling his eyes. Gemma scrunches up her nose, reaching to ruffle his hair up.

"I know, little bro, just messing with you," She laughs, and Harry smiles at her as she walks back to the car. Then he shuts the door. Home alone, oh yeah. First thing's first, though.

He scurries off to the kitchen, opening the freezer and grabbing a tub of Ben & Jerry's, fetching a spoon on his way out. Making a quick trip to his room, he grabs his duvet off the bed and runs back down stairs. Once everything's set, he switches off all the lights, then jumps into his own little cocoon, grasping the tub of ice cream. He pops open the cap of the container, switching on the telly. Ah, sweet, sweet freedom. Time to pig out.

Half way through Sex & the City and a mouth full of vanilla ice cream, he realises something. He's the only one home, and he could do whatever the fuck he wanted without anyone having a clue or sniffing in his business. A smirk tugs at his lips. Something alot more extreme then shoving ice cream down his throat while watching re-runs.

Luckily, he's smart enough to keep his phone in his back pocket at all times. He fetches it out, poking one hand out of his duvet.

Louis picks up. No time for stalling around, Harry blurts out, "The Odessy is really confusing."

"Well, hello to you, too," Louis laughs on the other line.

Harry smiles shyly. "I might need some help with it."

There's a pause, then, "Harry, I can hear Carrie Bradshaw all the way from here."

Oops. Harry turns down the volume. "Now?" He asks, embarrassed,

Louis laughs a bit freely now, and Harry feels a spark fly through him at the sound. "No, not anymore. Wait - aren't you at the dance?"

Oh, right. The dance. Harry wonders if Louis went. He then wonders if he did go, how come he wouldn't notice Harry's missing? "No, 'm not. Are you?"

There's a rummaging sound, and then Louis calls at someone distantly. "Not really. Figured it would be a waste, you know?"

Harry smiles. Great minds think alike. "Same with me. Now - could you come help me?"

Louis sucks in a breath. "Wow - you really were implying that. You want me to come over, correct?"

Harry groans, hiding under the duvet, but he's smiling. "Why must you make everything so formal?"

Louis laughs. "I'm taking that as a yes." His voice drops an octave when he adds, "What about your parents, though? Like, wouldn't -"

"No one's home."

The conversation quickly takes a different turn when he says that, the hitch in Louis' breath saying so. "Jesus - yeah, I'll be coming," With that, he hangs up. Harry texts him the address, and then maybe adds some emojis. No one can blame him.

He then smiles to himself, quietly pocketing his phone and shifting to lie on his back. He really can't pay much attention to the telly now, the thought of... everything's that's going to happen running through his head. Louis' going to be at his house. While Harry's alone. He's pretty sure Louis got the message.

When there's no knock on the door and ten minutes and some have passed, Harry frowns. He lifts the duvet over him, getting off the couch and making his way over to the main door. He knows Louis won't magically appears if he checks, but it helps his racing mind. He opens the door, peeks out, nope, no sign of Louis, closes the door. 

Just as he's about to mope his way over to the couch, something startles him. A noise. From upstairs. If someone trying to break in, he'll just run out of the house. He has to check first, though. 

He walks up stairs, each step making him want to turn around and run, then quietly opens the door to his room. When he gets inside, no one's there. He frowns, then - there's a knock. From his balcony door. Harry furrows his eyebrows - what kind of a burglar knocks - and, oh.

It's Louis. 

Harry ignores the butterflies in his stomach, and walks closer to him, smiling. "Breaking through the balcony. Very creative."

Louis grins sheepishly. "The more your neighbour stared at my car, the more I was worried she'd call the cops. Had to be creative." He explains, shrugging, and Harry wants to tell him, I don't care, just kiss me already.

He restrains, though. But he can't restrain being so close but having an invisible elephant between them. So he walks a few steps closer, and just as they're a few centimeters apart, Louis holds up - an ipod. Harry lifts a brow, a little irritated at the interruption.

Louis' smile makes up for it, though. "You didn't go the dance." He says, all suave, and Harry's already charmed. "You at least deserve one dance," Then he presses play. A slow melody fills the air as Louis holds his hand out, smiling a soft, private smile at Harry. 

Harry stares at him. How are you real, he wants to ask. He hesitantly takes his hand, allowing Louis to pull him close, wrapping both his hands around Harry's waist. Harry wraps his hands around Louis' neck, giving in. Louis gently sways to the music, guiding Harry. There are specks of green in his eyes that Harry notices for the first time. Beautiful, he thinks.

Harry rests his head on his shoulder, feeling a smile tug at his lips. This felt like magic, the embrace of Louis' arms and the soft voice of Chris Martin filling his ears. I call it magic, when I'm next to you.

Harry never wanted to leave this moment. This was better than any dance, he knew, lifting his head up to look at Louis. Louis met his gaze with a sweet smile, and Harry personally wanted to melt into him. If he'd gone to the dance, then he would've had to buy a fancy suit, probably. He was only in his pajamas at the moment, and Louis was wearing a black t-shirt and jeans. Very simple. Everything going on just made Harry feel all happy inside.

When he realises Louis has his gaze locked more on Harry's lips rather than on Harry, he decides to give in. It's the only reasonable thing to do, he thinks, going pilant against him as they press their lips together. The soft scruff of Louis' stubble brushes over Harry's chin, and maybe he wasn't allowed to think it was hot. But it was really, really hot.

He gasps when he feels Louis' tongue lick at his mouth, and Louis takes the chance to nudge it inside. The sweet cologne of Louis is over powering, and it had Harry leaning impossibly closer to him. Harry guides his own hands from the nape of Louis' neck to his hair, softly threading his fingers through them. 

Then Louis bites his bottom lip, forcing a small moan from Harry. Harry blushes at his own noise, ducking his head. Louis cups his cheek, guiding him back and laughing lightly. "You have no idea how long I've waited to do that,"

Before Harry could ask, biting my lip or making me moan, Louis had already caught his swollen lips in another kiss. Harry melts back into it, moaning alot louder when Louis bucks his hips slightly. He pulls back, eyes wild. Louis looks equally as flushed.

"What?" He asks, impatiently running a hand through his unruly hair. Harry bites his lips.

"You... liked me? Before this?"

Louis looks at him like's he grown another head. "Really, Harry? Really?"

"Yes, Chad, really," Harry giggles, and Louis looks surprised before he looks relieved.

"All dumb Disney Channel jokes aside, yes. Thought it was obvious enough, but." he shrugs, and Harry likes the way the moonlight's falling on him; it makes him resemble something of a dream. "Guess not."

Harry feels like his chest is about to burst. It better not, though. It might wake Harry up from the best dream he's never had. He looks at Louis in amazement, then grabs his arm, determinedly leading him inside his room. He sits on his bed, tugging Louis' arm so that he's on the bed, too.

Louis blinks at him, and Harry clears his throat. "So. Let's talk."

Louis snorts. "About what, our feelings? Harry, you didn't tell me you called me over to have a girly sleep over," Harry rolls his eyes.

"No, listen. This is important. Don't you wanna know how I feel about you?" At this, Louis nods sheepishly, giving in. Harry smiles. "Okay. You go first."

Louis kicks Harry's leg with his own. "I already told you! 'S your turn," Harry stares at him, and he stares back. Harry doesn't want to have a stare down, though. The more he looks at Louis, the more he wants to kiss him.

He sighs. "Fine, I - I like you," He says, blushing profusely.

Louis nudges his leg again. "Define 'like'."

"I - guess I want to impress you? Like, all the time. And, just. I think you're really cool, and I want to kiss you." When he replays what he just said in his head, it sounds like a kindergartner confessing his love to his crush. Louis looks amazed, though, so it couldn't have been that bad. "Your turn."

Louis smirks. "I've noticed, actually. Like, a month ago or something, I saw you start on the report I'd assigned for the weekend in class," When Harry ducks his head, fighting off a blush, Louis' voice grows a lot softer. "And I think you're really, really pretty, and I want to kiss you, too," Harry peeks at him, under his lashes, and Louis offers him a soft smile. Harry thinks that this is the moment where everything fades around him and all he knows is LouisLouisLouis.

He climbs towards him, sitting between Louis' spread legs. There's a moment of hesitation where he forgets what he's doing, but then Louis smirks, signalling him to go on, so he leans forward, attaching their lips. It's a slow, lazy kiss, but Louis soon cups his face and presses back into him.

He pushes at Harry until he's lying on his back, then climbs on top of him, lips never leaving Harry's. They part for a moment because oh yes, you have to breathe to stay alive, but then Harry bucks his hips up against Louis', smiling mischievously. Louis moans, low in his throat, muttering, "Jesus Christ," So, naturally, Harry does it again.

This time, Louis stays more collected. He sucks in a breath, but then grinds his hips in slow circles against Harry's. It's Harry who loses himself then, feeling his mind go blank and cock fill out with the pressure on his groin. Louis notices, smirking, and applies more pressure with each grind. Harry moans, and wow, isn't that the best feeling ever? 

Before the feeling can last, Louis pulls back slightly, sounding out of breath when he asks, "Wait, before things go further - you want it like this, yeah?"

Harry wants to kick him for asking. He's not in the condition to, though, feeling desperate and deprived. "Yes, yes, yes. Please." Is all he can get out, overwhelmed.

Louis laughs, that arsehole. "Good," he says, leaning down to suck at Harry's neck, and Harry wonders why he hasn't done this before. He's thankful he didn't though, because, well. Worth the wait. 

Harry gasps, feeling his pulse thrumming as Louis gives it a bite. Then he licks over it, and Harry really wants to take his pants off. All of a sudden, Louis decides to pick up his pace, thrusting shallowly against Harry. It's - it's too much and nothing all at once. Harry moans brokenly, turning his head. Gentle fingers lead him back, a pair of lips slotting against his.

Louis, all of a sudden, wedges his palm in between their bodies, rubbing it against Harry's crotch. He doesn't even halt the movement of his hips while he does, and there's so much friction and only one of Harry. He moans loudly, breaking the kiss and turning his head once more. His breathing's become too shallow, and Louis still looks so collected.

"C'mon, baby, come for me," he whispers, bringing his lips closer to Harry's ear. Harry breaks into a high wine. That might've been the hottest thing he's ever heard. He could feel it now - the heat pooling in his stomach, the curl in his toes. Louis grabs Harry's legs, pushing them apart. With one rough, slow thrust against Harry's crotch, he's coming into his sweatpants, eyes rolling to the back of his head, everything whitening out. It seems like Louis knows the exact when he comes undone, so he catches Harry's lips in a quick kiss, before pulling away altogether. 

Harry lies there for a moment, trying to catch his breath and failing. When he looks up, Louis' resting against the headboard, eyes closed and seemingly in deep concentration. Then his gaze falls to his crotch. A huge bulge tents his jeans.

"You didn't get off?" Harry asks, a little hurt, causing Louis to snap his eyes open. He laughs lazily, scrunching his nose up.

"Tonight's not about me. It's about you," He says, smiling, although it looks slightly strained.

Harry shakes his head, leaning on his elbows. "No, it's about us." He clarifies, crawling closer to Louis. He sits up, trailing his hand up to the zip on Louis' jeans. When he looks up for approval, Louis grunts and bucks his hips forward. Harry deems it as approval enough. He undoes his fly, then brings Louis' cock over his briefs. He feels his cheeks heating up. Louis' very hard, all pink and prominent veins.

"Do something," Louis rasps, and that's enough encouragement for Harry. He runs his palm over Louis' length, stroking it gently. Then grabs it a bit more firmly, increasing the speed of the strokes just as his heart beat.

"God, you're good - with your hands," Harry smiles, hesitantly, then stops abruptly when Louis blurts out pre come. He bites his lip. Louis has a really pretty cock. He would tell him so, but they're both kind of pre-occupied at the moment. He thumbs at his slit, spreading the come over the head and stroking over it. Louis moans pretty loud at that, so Harry smiles, leaning down to plant a kiss on his dick.

He glances up at Louis, and finds him already staring. Louis looks really flushed, red cheeks and breath coming out in small gasps. Harry holds his gaze, licking a fat stripe over his head. He feels so dirty. It's awesome

"Harry," Jesus, Harry's never seen him so... vulnerable. "Fuck, 'm gonna -" 

Harry blinks up at him, still licking over his cock in tantalizingly slow trails. Louis gasps, mouth falling open.

Then he shoots his load all over Harry's face.

Harry blinks, surprised. Louis catches his breath, then when looks at Harry, his eyes go wide. "Shit, I'm so sorry, Harry -"

"It's alright," He murmurs. Through a face full of come. It's... all over his face, he can feel it, dripping down his chin and onto his shirt. It's not bad. Louis leans off the bed to reach for something, then returns with a tissue-box in hand. He snatches out two, reaching over to Harry and wiping his face. "You came alot," He mumbles distractedly, earning a chuckle from Louis.

"I did, didn't I?" He laughs, wiping at Harry's face. When he's done, he drops a little kiss on Harry's nose. "You were amazing." He whispers, smiling.

"For you," he says quietly, and by the look in Louis' eyes, he understands what he means. He tosses the tissue-box back on the nightstand, then leans into Harry. Harry smiles momentarily, cuddling up to him.

He has little to no hope that when he'll wake up the next morning, this won't turn out to be a dream. 

...

The sunlight pours through the balcony and forces Harry to squint up to it, suppressing a groan and turning over. He leans forward into - thin air.

Harry opens his eyes, just to register Louis' absence. At first, he feels something sink inside his chest. He just. Left. After all they did last night. Harry frowns into his pillow. But then Gemma's loud voice brings him back to reality. Oh, right. Mum. Gemma.

Harry sighs, turning his side. So Louis was only being considerate, after all. Harry never thought he'd have to indulge in... forbidden love. He giggles at the thought of it. Love. It's a silly word, but it makes him think of Louis' crinkly-eyed smile, his high laugh, his flushed cheeks as Harry - He squeezes his eyes shut. This is not quite the time. 

He gets up, staring in the mirror. He notices that Louis helped him with a change of clothes, and he's now wearing a different t-shirt and a pair of pajama pants. He blushes. He doesn't have to look inside to know he's bare. He wonders if anyone could have one look at him, and think that yeah, this boy's sleeping with his teacher. He twists his mouth. Probably not. Hopefully not. 

He makes his way downstairs, a skip in his step as he plops down on the dining chair, next to Gemma. She tosses him a plate of pancakes, pocketing her phone.

"Where's mum?" He asks.

"Staying with dad," She replies, non-committal.

He nods. She looks up at him through a mouth full of pancake, making a noise of acknowledgement. "Oh yeah, your mate - what's his name, Niall - yeah. He was looking for you at the dance."

Harry raises his eyebrows. "Oh, right. Forgot to text him," he says, taking his phone out of his back pocket, only to find a new text. It was from Louis.

I'm sorry I had to leave but you know the reason why . I hope you don't regret what we did last night . Also , your briefs are with me cause I found them cute ;)

Harry fights a smile, feeling his cheeks heat up. He looks up to find Gemma staring at him curiously. "Are you texting Niall?"

Harry laughs lightly. "Not really," 

"Then who're you texting that's making you blush?"

"No one," he says distractedly, tapping out a reply.

I understand. :)

"Come on, let me see!" She laughs, reaching over, and Harry quickly deletes the message, pocketing his phone.

"Mind your own business, Gemma," He says, cutting into the pancake with a knife.

She holds her hands up in the general gesture of surrender. "Calm down, snappy. And to think you were glowing just five minutes ago,"

Harry looks up. "Glowing?"

"Yeah, all sparkly and shit," She laughs lightly.

Well. "Oh, that - I tried on one of your face packs. Guess it worked," He shrugs causally, willing his heart to stop racing. She nods.

"It did," She says, eyeing him knowingly. She doesn't say anything further about it, and he doesn't know if he's grateful.

...

"Alright, class dismissed," Louis says just as the the bell rings, signalling the end of the period. "Just don't forget your essay that's due Monday. Always remember, Romeo and Juliet Analysis before partying!" Louis calls just as everyone rustles to get out, a few chuckling. Harry grabs his books, trailing behind Niall when, "All except for one Harry Styles, please."

Harry stops, eyes still on Niall. The blonde turns around, walking backwards as he smiles knowingly at Harry, shooting him a thumbs up. Harry flushes, clutching his books to his chest and moving to stand behind Louis' desk. "Yes, sir?" 

Louis tilts his head to the side. "Harry, I require you not to call me that from now on, please." He pauses. "Unless we're in bed, that's an entirely different thing though," Harry looks down, cheeks heating up.

Before something clicks. He snaps his head back up, a million thoughts racing through his mind. "Are you saying that -"

Louis frowns. "You - I guess I got everything wro -"

"No." Harry says, having a quick look around, then bending forward and placing a quick kiss on Louis' lips. It shuts him up, so Harry smiles. "I'm on the same page if you are,"

Louis laughs lightly. He bites his lips, but there's a different kind of light in his eyes. "We're doing this, then? Just you and me?" He knows what Louis means by that, and he nods. He guess he'll have to wait a while before snapchatting everyone cute selfies of them.

"Yes. We are. How else could I get my briefs back?" He grins at Louis.

"I couldn't help it! They even had little hearts over them," Louis coos, causing Harry to giggle. He blows a kiss to him just as he walks back, and Louis winks at him.

Harry thinks it will be a long while before he asks for those briefs. All in all, there's an A grade literature paper with his name on it. And also a certain Louis. 

...

You are the clicheest thing that has ever happened to me .

Harry grins, typing back, Still not a word.

...

END.