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Harry can’t breathe.

That’s the first thing he notices when he wakes up.

There’s someone calling his name, and suddenly there’s cold water splashing all over him and he’s breathing a few hopeful gasps, but the feeling goes away quickly. He wants to scream but he can’t quite find the air, gasping and flopping around on the bed. The sheets feel all wrong against his body and he just needs air

“Fuck, fuck, fuck.” The someone calling his name has been Zayn, who now reaches over and… picks him up? In one hand? “You’re not dying on my watch, you fucking idiot.”

Wetness encompasses Harry’s entire body and finally he’s able to breathe. He goes to speak, now that there’s air in his lungs, but that only creates more confusion. Why can’t he get the words out?

“You’re probably so confused,” Zayn says. And yes, Harry thinks, I am fucking confused. “Let me explain.”

Harry’s sure his ‘get on with it’ look doesn’t translate well, but he gives it his best shot.

“You’ve turned into a fish.” 

If Harry were able to, he’d slap Zayn upside the head. What kind of explanation is that? It clears up absolutely nothing.

“The other boys have also turned into animals. Louis’ a hedgehog. Niall’s a parrot. Liam’s a golden retriever. All of them can talk except you. For obvious reasons. In case they’re not obvious to you, it’s because you’re a fish. And so therefore, I cannot hear you.” He pauses for a moment. “Unless you haven’t tried to talk. Maybe try to talk so I can confirm that you can’t talk.”

All Harry can do is push an air bubble out of his...mouth? Is it called a mouth? He’s not very familiar with fish anatomy. 

“I’m assuming that means you can’t talk.”

Harry hopes his annoyed look isn’t lost in translation.

“Okay,” Zayn continues, “I’m going to bring you to join us in the living room. Hope that’s alright with you.” He pauses then lets out a slightly hysterical laugh. “I literally control everything about you until we figure out what the fuck is going on. Oh my god.” His laughter turns into even more hysterical sobs.

Harry wants to slap him across the face and tell him to get his shit together. Unfortunately, that isn’t something he can realistically do, so he has to wait for Zayn to compose himself again.

“Yes, okay, living room.” He begins walking out of Harry’s room and instantly, he’s sloshing from side to side of whatever container he’s in. He’s at the mercy of the rolling waves, being tossed around as Zayn walks down the hallway.

Everything looks distorted through both the glass and the water. Harry can vaguely see his own reflection, but he’s more focused on the slight blur around the edges of all the pictures they’re passing.

Finally (thankfully), Zayn reaches his living room and sets whatever container Harry’s in down on the coffee table. It’s a big enough container that he can swim laps without feeling like he’s just spinning in circles, but not much bigger. He hopes he doesn’t start to get claustrophobic. 

Hazza!” Louis’ piercing voice is recognizable, although his body is not.

Zayn had not been lying. Louis is a hedgehog.

Okay.

Harry’s a fish and Louis’ a hedgehog.

Can fish have panic attacks?

Harry is a fish. Louis is a hedgehog.

Fish can definitely have panic attacks.

He starts to swim against the glass, surfing across it as if he’s going to be able to escape. He has no luck, sliding up to the top of the water and then back down to the bottom of the container.

“Harry, you need to calm down,” comes Liam’s voice from somewhere in the room. This causes Harry to pause his panicked swimming, spinning around in the glass until he sees what he can only assume is Liam.

Liam is a golden retriever. Oddly enough, this does not freak Harry out quite as badly as Hedgehog Louis.

“Okay, that’s better,” Liam says. “Now, let’s talk.”

His voice is way too serious sounding coming from his dog body. He’s sitting on the sofa, seated like he’s still a human. Honestly, his facial expressions still look like him. If Harry hadn’t been told that Liam had been turned into a dog, he’d still probably be able to tell.

“We have to come up with a game plan.”

Oh god. Niall.

Niall is a bright red parrot.

Niall is a bright red parrot.

Harry can’t do this.

He starts trying to break free again, swimming aggressively against the glass.

“Is he malfunctioning?” Niall asks. “I think he’s malfunctioning.”

“Maybe he needs a bigger bowl,” Louis chimes in. “No offense, but I think that vase might be too small for him.”

A vase. Harry is in a fucking vase .

“Does he need food?” Zayn asks. He looks around the room. “Do you guys need food? Oh god. I don’t know how to take care of animals. Can you eat human food? Do you have to eat animal food?” 

Zayn starts hysterically laughing again. Harry is still trying to break free from the fucking vase . Louis is a hedgehog. Niall is a bright red parrot. Liam’s a fucking golden retriever.

Harry passes out.

 

Louis watches Harry’s body abruptly stop swimming against the glass, floating to the top of the water.

“Oh my god, guys.” The slight hysterical tone to his voice makes everyone pause. “Guys, we killed Harry. Oh my god. Harry’s dead. The stress was too much for his poor body.”

Niall squawks - like a real fucking parrot - and Liam jumps from the couch, going over to the coffee table and pressing his nose flat against the vase. The glass fogs up with his breaths.

After a few seconds, Liam leans back. “He’s alive. His little flippers are still going.”

Louis breathes a sigh of relief and Zayn punches a fist into the air.

“Not sure what I would have told management if he died,” Zayn says. As if that’s the most pressing issue at hand.

“Not sure what I would have done if my boyfriend died,” Louis says sternly. “He’s kind of important to me.”

Liam makes some kind of whining noise.

“What’s up, babe?” Zayn asks, reaching over and scratching behind Liam’s ears. 

“I’m kind of hungry,” he answers. 

“Do you think we’ll have to give Harry fish food?” Niall pipes in helpfully, watching Harry’s body float with the water, mesmerized. “That’s gross. Louis would you still kiss Harry if you knew he ate fish food?”

Louis wonders if he can still be intimidating with his new hedgehog face. Judging by the way Niall doesn’t cower back in fear, he doesn’t think he’s very successful.

“So I guess we’ll need to get food, then,” Zayn says, more to himself than any of them. “Can I even bring you guys with me? I’m not sure I can trust you here alone.”

“You’re in a bit of a pickle there, mate,” Niall chimes in. He’s always been so helpful, Louis thinks. “It’s worth a shot to try and bring us.”

“The media’s gonna have a field day, watching me bring four fucking animals everywhere,” Zayn grumbles. “Jesus Christ. Who the fuck did we piss off to actually be sentenced to this hell?”

“Good question,” Liam says. It’s just starting to settle in for Louis how unnerving it is to watch his best friends’ voices come from fucking animals. And not hearing Harry’s voice come from any of the animals at all. That might be the most unnerving bit of it all.

“At some point we have to figure out how this happened and how we can change it back,” Niall states the obvious.

“Thank you, Niall,” Louis grumbles. “Always so fucking helpful. Contribute so fucking much to the conversation at hand.”

“Hey!” Niall squawks. He flaps his parrot wings wildly for a few seconds. “Just because you’re made that your boyfriend’s a fucking Betta fish doesn’t mean you get to take it out on all of us. We’re only trying to help, you fucking dickhead.”

Louis sighs, defeated. He knows Niall’s right.

“I’m sorry, lads,” he says. “I’m just worried. What if we never change back?”

“We’ll probably get richer,” Zayn says after a brief pause. “One Direction turned singing animals? A fucking moneymaker if you ever asked me. Once the public got over the initial shock of it all.”

“I don’t care about the money,” Louis snaps. “I just want to be able to cuddle Harry again. And hear his dumb fucking voice. And now I’m going to have nightmares about Niall pecking my fucking eyes out with that fucking beak.”

Niall flaps his wings again. “I hadn’t thought about it, but I guess I could really peck someone’s eyes out, huh? Really do some damage to a motherfucker.”

“We’re getting off topic!” Liam raises his voice, catching all of their attention. The noise seems to have woken Harry from the coma he’d found himself in, his fins flipping about wildly as he rights himself again. 

“Oh, Hazza,” Louis sighs in relief. “I wish you could talk. Are you hungry?”

Air bubbles, no words. As expected. Louis is getting real tired of it already. He misses Harry’s deep voice and the way it took him five minutes to say as many words. 

“Should we make a run to the pet store?” Liam asks. 

That might be the most useful thing any of them have said since they’d all woken up as animals. Everyone else seems to agree, nodding and squawking. Niall seems to have easily fallen into his role as a parrot - he loves making the squawking noises. Louis knows it’s going to grow old very quickly. He wonders if he could stick Niall with one of his prickly things. What are these things even called? Spikes? He wishes he knew more about hedgehogs.

“Do I have to bring you?” Zayn asks warily. He looks at each of them, sitting in the living room, before making his decision. “I really don’t trust what could happen if I left you alone.”

“I think I could take care of them,” Liam says. “But I’d honestly like to go with you. I think my legs need stretching.”

“Oh shit that’s right,” Zayn says like it’s obvious. It’s not very obvious to Louis. “You’re a dog. Dogs need, like, exercise. Fuck of course I would get stuck with the high maintenance pets.”

“I’d argue the rest of us are pretty low maintenance,” Louis argues. “I think technically I’m nocturnal. I should be asleep right now.”

“No comments from the peanut gallery,” Zayn snaps. “We’re taking a field trip to the pet store.”

“Am I allowed to fly everywhere we go?” Niall asks. “Wait, that might get tiring. Can someone carry me?”

“It’s just my fucking luck that I get stuck in the weirdest fucking band in the entire fucking world,” Zayn grumbles. “Fuck all of you to hell. Fine , Niall, you can ride on my shoulder.” He warily glances at Louis. “Not so sure how I’m going to get you anywhere without you pricking me.”

“Not my problem,” Louis says, and if he were capable of shrugging, he’d be shrugging.

 

Zayn’s getting real fucking sick of having animals as his best friends. 

He looks fucking ridiculous, for one thing. He’s carrying a vase with a fish, has a parrot on his shoulder, and then has a leash wrapped around his hand. He’d had to go digging around in Harry’s apartment for the leash, buried in one of his closets, and he doesn’t even want to think about why Harry has a leash when he’s never had a dog. Louis is sleeping on Liam’s back, buried into his fur and actually looking kind of cute, but Zayn would never tell him that.

Zayn walks through the doors of the pet store, looking fucking ridiculous and feeling even more ridiculous. He’s stopped immediately by a worker.

“No pets,” the worker says. She crosses her arms over her chest and plants her feet firmly in the ground. She doesn’t even soften her eyes when Liam whines, sounding exactly like a wounded puppy.

“This is a pet store,” Zayn says, throwing his hands into the air.

“No pets.”

“I feel like you’re discriminating because I don’t have what you consider normal pets.”

“No. Pets.”

Zayn leaves.

 

It takes four pet stores before Zayn finally finds one that doesn’t immediately kick him out. They glance at him warily and one worker follows him all around the store, but they don’t say anything to him. 

He buys fish, dog, and bird food. He tries to google what hedgehogs eat, but one of the things that pops up is fish so Zayn just buys a pack of insects and hopes that’s sufficient. He has his fingers crossed that they won’t be animals long enough for it to matter anyway.

They’ve got thirty-six more hours left of their break before management will be expecting them in the studio. They’ve got songs to write and record, and that might be hard to do when none of them are tall enough to reach a microphone or hold one in their hand. 

He wonders if they’d get more popular if it came out that all the members but him were turned into animals. He hopes that isn’t a thought he has to watch become reality.

“I’m not eating that,” Louis says when they get back to the car. “I’d rather starve.”

“Okay, then you will.” Zayn doesn’t care. He’s too far past caring.

Louis huffs and settle into the seat. Zayn has no idea how to care for any of them as animals, except maybe Harry. It’s not a very confident maybe, though, since he’s killed every fish he’s ever had within a week. The future does not bode well for Harry, actually, the more he thinks about it.

“Can we figure out how to turn back?” Niall asks, pleading lilt to his voice. “I miss having fingers. And thumbs.” He flaps his wings as if they all aren’t aware why he would be missing his fingers.

“No, Niall, I think I’d love to take care of the four of you forever,” Zayn grits through his teeth. “I’m having such a fucking blast.”

“Well, you don’t have to be so rude.” Niall flaps his wings again, more aggravated this time.

“Alright,” Zayn says, placing his hands on the wheel. He’s going to get to the bottom of this before they go to bed tonight. He has to . He can’t do this anymore. “Who did you piss off recently? Think long and hard. Even if it doesn’t seem like it was that big of a deal, if someone left a conversation even the least bit unhappy with you, count it.”

“My delivery driver didn’t seem happy with the tip I gave him,” Liam says. “I normally give a twenty, but I only had enough cash on me to give him, like, fifteen.”

“I don’t think that’s it,” Louis says. “I bet fifteen was more than your entire bill was, wasn’t it?”

“Yes,” Liam says sheepishly. “Okay, so maybe it wasn’t him.”

“Way to get the brainstorming started at least,” Zayn says, reaching over and scratching him behind the ear. Liam’s tongue flops lazily out of the side of his mouth as his eyes slip closed. Maybe keeping Liam as a dog wouldn’t be so bad. He doesn’t mind giving belly rubs.

“I walked out in front of this lady’s car in the crosswalk yesterday,” Niall says. “D’you think that could be it?”

It’s weird, Zayn thinks, hearing an Irish accent come from a parrot.

“You really think she was mad enough to turn you into a parrot?” Louis asks. “Like, figured out who you were and turned you into a parrot, and then decided that wasn’t enough so she turned the rest of your bandmates into animals? All because you walked out in front of her car in a crosswalk?”

“Well, when you put it like that.”

Zayn looks down at his lap at the vase holding Harry. He’s ramming himself into the glass wall, repeatedly. Zayn’s worried he’s going to permanently damage himself doing that.

“Haz, Haz, Haz,” he says urgently. “You can’t keep doing that. I know you’re scared, love, but we’re going to figure this out.”

Harry starts waving his fins around rapidly.

“Do you think he’s trying to tell us something?” Louis asks. “I feel like he’s got something to say.”

“Well, fat load of help that does us,” Zayn snaps. “He can’t fucking talk.”

“You’re such a dick, for no reason.”

Zayn shrugs like he doesn’t really care. He’s got bigger things to worry about than whether or not Louis’ feelings are hurt.

“Okay, but do you guys think Harry knows something?” Liam asks, trying to steer the conversation back on track. “I mean, maybe if the curse was directed at Harry, then whoever did it punished him extra and that’s why he’s the only one who can’t talk.”

“Once again, Liam continues to be the smartest motherfucker in this band,” Zayn says, reaching out and scratching behind one of his ears. His tail thumps heavily against the seat. “That’s why you got turned into the best of all the animals.”

“That’s subjective,” Louis says. “Not fact.”

“You don’t even know what subjective means.” Zayn scoots closer to the window in his seat, afraid that Louis will  try and stick him with one of his...thorns or whatever they are.

The car’s silent for another moment.

“Do you think this has anything to do with last night?” Liam’s tail wags in excitement, evident that he thinks he’s on to something. One of his paws lifts up, reaching out for Zayn.

Zayn takes it into his hand, shaking it up and down. He doesn’t know what else he’s supposed to do with it.

“What happened last night?” he asks, still shaking Liam’s paw. He’s not too sure how long he’s supposed to be doing this for.

“Oh, that’s right,” Liam says, perking up even more. If he gets any more excited, he’s going to break something. Or someone. “You didn’t go out with us last night.”

“Maybe that’s why I didn’t get turned into an animal.”

That kind of makes sense, Zayn thinks. If he didn’t go out with them and last night is when they managed to piss someone off, then he wouldn’t have been seen by whoever did it. 

Harry starts swimming in circles. If fish could make any type of expression with their faces at all, Zayn’s sure that Harry’s would be saying “fucking finally!”

“Oh my god,” Louis says. “Do you think it was that guy?”

“How specific.” Zayn snorts and rolls his eyes. 

“No, I know exactly what guy you’re talking about!” Liam barks. 

Literally barks.

“He was the guy hitting on Harry, right?” Liam is definitely wagging a hole into the car seat.

“Oh, yeah,” Niall finally chimes into the conversation. “And Harry obviously wasn’t having it but wasn’t too sure on how to politely decline. But then Louis’ drunk ass came over and started yelling at him.” He squawks and flaps his wings. Zayn is worried they all might be turning more and more into the animals as time goes on. “Then Liam and I came over and we carried Louis away, but I don’t think either of us apologized for Lou being a dickhead.”

“He was hitting on Harry,” Louis growls. “What was I supposed to do? Just let it happen?”

“Yes.” Niall flaps his wings indignantly as Louis tries to poke him. “Or be nicer! He wasn’t being rude. He was just trying to get lucky. You’re so fucking dramatic.”

“Do you think if we go back we could find some leads?” Liam asks, breaking up their argument. “Like maybe somebody at the bar knows him?”

Zayn shrugs.

“That’s the most helpful thing any of you have said so far. It doesn’t hurt to try.”

He fastens his seatbelt and drives away, tuning out the sound of Louis’ growls and Niall’s squawks as they fight over something in the backseat. He tries to ignore how it sounds less and less human to him as time goes on. 

 

The bar’s parking lot is empty when they pull in.

“It’s, like, six o’ clock,” Louis says. “Where is everyone?”

“Maybe they’re one of those bars that doesn’t serve food so they don’t open until eight or something.”

“Thanks, Niall, very helpful.” Louis’ voice drips with sarcasm. Obviously, they haven’t worked out whatever issues they had been fighting about.

“Can you guys pretend to get along until everyone’s human again?” Zayn snaps. They listen, surprisingly.

Zayn has to help everyone but Liam out of the car, carrying Harry’s vase in his hands. Niall takes his place on Zayn’s shoulder, hitting him in the eye with one of his wings. Feathers are shockingly sharp, Zayn learns. Louis curls up on Liam’s back. They look like quite a sight walking across the parking lot into an empty bar.

“I’ve been expecting you,” a voice says as soon as they enter through the front door.

“Well that’s not ominous at all,” Louis mutters under his breath. “Definitely don’t get creepy vibes at all.”

Liam’s nails clack against the concrete floor as they make their way over to the bar.

“You pissed off the bartender?” Zayn asks, in disbelief. “You fucking idiot.”

Zayn can’t tell if Louis looks like he doesn’t care because he doesn’t care, or if he looks like that because he’s a fucking hedgehog.

“Yeah, he fucking threatened to hire someone to make me disappear!” The bartender appears pretty upset about this. As he should be, Zayn thinks.

“How can we make this up to you and have them turn back?” Zayn asks, trying to keep his voice calm. He’s definitely not mad at the bartender. However, he would like to kick Louis across the room like a football.

The bartender shrugs.

“I’m not that mad anymore. I deal with drunk people all the time. He’s no different than most of them.”

Zayn takes a deep breath and counts to ten. The bartender is starting to piss him off.

“Okay, cool. So how can we turn them back?”

“I mean, I have to turn you guys back anyway,” the bartender continues his speech, completely ignoring Zayn. It’s like those scenes in an action movie where the villain explains his whole evil plan once he has the hero captured. “My sister’s a big fan. I can’t let her favorite boy band stay as animals. Harry can’t even sing in his state, and he’s her favorite one.”

“Harry’s everyone’s favorite,” Louis says, but it sounds more like ‘ as it should be .’

The bartender shrugs and nods, agreeing.

“Anyway, I love fairytales.”

“You gonna, like, elaborate on that?” Zayn asks. The bartender is starting to piss him off more than Louis does.

The bartender shrugs. Zayn realizes he’s wearing a nametag that says Caroline. 

“Ever read Princess and the Frog ?”

“No, but I’ve seen the movie,” Niall says. He adds under his breath, “Good movie.”

“Are you gonna make me kiss a fish?” Louis asks, snout wrinkling. “I mean, like, I love Harry. But maybe not that much.”

“How would that even work?” Niall questions. “Like, would you duck your head into the water and hope Harry kisses you? Would you scoop him out in your hands?” He pauses, his eyes widening. Even through his animal features, Zayn can read the horror on his face. “ Are we all gonna be naked when we change back ?”

“Niall.” Liam’s calm voice cuts through his squawking. “We’ve seen each other naked plenty of times.”

Niall flaps his wings. “Sorry, I just wanted to be dramatic.”

“Wait, who’s Niall going to kiss?” Louis asks. 

Niall starts squawking again, this time sounding much more alarmed than before.

“Oh god,” Liam says, and for the first time, Zayn lets himself be worried. Niall’s not in love with anyone . Or, he is, and they’re not together anymore.

“Why’d you have to go and break up with your girlfriend?” Louis grumbles. 

“She cheated on me!”

“Not the point.”

“Can you all just please shut the fuck up?” The bartender’s voice cuts through all the barking, squawking, and general pandemonium.

“Can you just turn them back into humans?”

“Touché,” the bartender says casually. “Sorry, the curse is set in stone, or whatever. Or until it wears off. I’m not, like, very good at this stuff. It could wear off tonight or tomorrow or in five years.” He shrugs. “Just go with the flow -  you’ll be fine.”

Zayn’s had enough of this.

“Liam, I’m going to kiss you now,” he says, leaving no room for argument. 

Liam doesn’t argue.

He sits down, looking up and meeting Zayn’s eyes. He looks way too much like a golden retriever (because he is) and not enough like Liam (which, technically, he also is that).

“No tongue,” Zayn says firmly. “No tongue until you’re human again.”

Liam doesn’t say anything.

Zayn sighs in resignation. He leans forward and pecks Liam’s ( fucking wet ) snout.

For a moment, nothing happens. Liam stays the same, looking like any other golden retriever they see walking down the street. 

Then, in a blink and you’ll miss it kind of way, it’s Liam sitting on the floor. Looking like Liam.

Zayn doesn’t even pretend he isn’t crying. 

“Oh thank fucking god!” he exclaims, rushing forward and falling to the ground. He pulls Liam into a tight hug and rocks them back and forth on the hard, concrete floor. It’s disgusting and gross and Zayn’s crying real, snotty tears all over the t-shirt Liam fell asleep wearing.

“I hate to break up the love fest,” Louis says, sounding not at all sorry, “But can someone help me plant one on our dearest Harold?”

Zayn reluctantly pulls away from Liam.

He reaches over and scoops Louis from the floor with one hand and picks up Harry’s vase with the other. 

“This would probably work better if we scoop Harry out, huh?” Zayn asks, but doesn’t expect much of an answer. “We don’t want him to turn back inside of the vase.”

“Right.” Louis sounds nervous, like he’s worried this won’t work. As if there’s a chance in hell that Louis and Harry aren’t arse over tits in love with each other.

Zayn sets Louis down on one of the barstools. 

“Harry,” he says calmly. “I’m going to scoop you out of the water. I need you to stay calm. You’re not going to be able to breathe and it’s going to suck, but you’ll be human again.”

Harry, obviously, doesn’t say anything.

“Just assume he understands,” Louis says, voice shaking. 

Zayn reaches in and scoops Harry out with one hand. Thankfully, he doesn’t flop around. He turns and holds out his hand to Louis’ snout. 

Louis leans into Zayn’s hand, and it’s weird. Zayn can feel Louis’ small nose tickling at his palm until he finds Harry’s face. 

This change isn’t as subtle.

Harry is still in Zayn’s hand when he changes back.

They collapse to the ground, landing on top of one another. One of Harry’s elbows knocks in Zayn’s ribs and rips the air right out of his lungs. 

Louis, of course, is sitting unscathed on the barstool. He’s presumably wearing the clothing he fell asleep in, completely shirtless but wearing flannel pajama bottoms.

“Get the fuck off of me,” Zayn grunts.

“I’ve missed my skin,” Harry says as he rolls over. His voice sounds distorted, deeper and scratchier than normal.

He’s wearing nothing but black boxer briefs. What’s the most surprising about the whole situation is that he’s actually wearing underwear at all. Zayn sends a thank you to whoever’s watching over them for the fact that they don’t have to get a naked Harry home. Then he sends a fuck you to whoever’s watching over them for letting this happen in the first place.

“Can you guys get the fuck out of my bar now?” the guy asks, sounding desperate. “I really don’t want people to start showing up for the night and see-” He waves his hand at Harry rubbing his hands all over his skin, “-this.”

“Fair enough,” Zayn says. 

He stands then offers Harry a hand up. Harry, who walks like a newborn giraffe on the best of days, struggles to stand on his own two feet. Louis rushes over and wraps an arm around Harry’s waist, helping him stand, and they wobble unsteadily to the front door.

“Uh, thanks for turning them back,” Zayn says. “But also fuck you for doing it in the first place.”

 

They arrive back at Niall’s place, deciding it’s best if they all sleep in his guest rooms in case of anything. He can’t open doors, make himself food, or do basically anything by himself. He’s not happy about all them crashing his space - it’s obvious he needs his alone time - but they can’t do much about it. He’ll have to deal with it until he turns back.

Which is hopefully sooner rather than later.

Zayn still doesn’t know how he’d explain it to management.

“Don’t worry, Niall,” Harry says. “We’ll figure something out for you. We’ll search the ends of the earth for the cure to this curse.”

“Hmm, a good song lyric,” Louis chimes in, helpful as ever. “Someone write that down.”

“I’m going to peck your eyeballs out while you sleep,” Niall deadpans. 

Louis laughs like he thinks Niall’s joking.

“Tomorrow, we will try again.” Harry is doing his best, but it’s hard to take him seriously when his voice is scratchy from lack of use and he’s still moving his mouth like he’s trying to blow air bubbles in the water.

“I’m going to bed. You all suck.” Niall flies down the hallway, slipping through the small crack in his door. He would shut the door if he thought he’d be able to open it with his wings. Unfortunately, he’ll have to deal with leaving it open a few inches.

He starts fluffing his pillows and blankets. He realizes after he’s done it, that he’s gone and built himself a nest. 

With a sigh, he settles into his makeshift nest. He gives a quick goodnight peck to his pillow, a nice little ‘thank you’ for never pissing him off or abandoning him, and falls into an uneasy sleep.

 

He wakes up the next morning still curled into his nest, clutching his favorite pillow, and in a body he recognizes.