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home is wherever i’m with you; chapter 13.

[prologue][chapter 1] [chapter 2] [chapter 3] [chapter 4] [chapter 5] [chapter 6] [chapter 7] [chapter 8] [chapter 9] [chapter 10] [chapter 11 pt.1] [chapter 11 pt.2] [chapter 12]

fic summary: louis gives his teacher a blowjob and gets sent to boarding school, where he meets an incredibly young and lanky and adorable harry and basically falls in love with him. 

rating: mature

warnings: i use these thingies now », i’m too american for my own good so excuse my mistakes, disgusting amount of boyfriend fluffiness, i’m attempting variety but turns out i suck at writing from anyone’s POV besides louis/harry’s!!! sorry 

previously: (because i take so long to update this thing i figured i’d refresh your brains?) break’s finally coming to an end and niall’s prom date won’t text him back, zayn’s still texting ‘blonde babe’, a girl he met while he was spectacularly drunk new years eve, and harry has just come out to the boys and told them him and louis are together. louis’ got an admirer and harry is as jealous and confused as ever. :~)

****

It’s 8 am when Harry plummets off the couch, his head smacking the floor with a harsh crack. He hisses in pain and opens his mouth in a silent cry, glaring accusingly at Louis, who’s currently got half the couch to himself, legs hung over Zayn’s knees and head resting comfortably on the armrest.

He uses the table to prop himself up, rubbing at the tender bump on the back of his head. Why did Louis look so bloody innocent when he was asleep? And how could Zayn sleep sitting up right and still manage to look more peaceful than all four of his friends combined?

Harry shuffles tiredly into the kitchen, rubbing at his sleepy eyes and heading straight for the coffee maker. He feels slightly anxious, which annoys him because, really, he should feel happy right now. He’d managed to come out and admit to the boys that he’d been seeing Louis all in one night, and they still willingly fell asleep on a couch cuddling him.

Instead of being happy, though, he’s sat at the kitchen island, with this dumb feeling of sadness and anxiety twisting around in his chest because he knows this is their last day of freedom. This is their last day to be a couple without giving a fuck what other people think and it’s also the first. Which sucks. 

The curly haired boy takes a deep breath, deciding he needs to stop thinking about it. He looks around and sighs. If this house wasn’t so stupidly spotless he might be able to clean for a few hours, get his mind off things for a bit. Instead, he searches through the fridge. 

Collin’s on some whack diet for his cholesterol and all he manages to find are eggs, milk, bread, and low-fat turkey bacon. Still, it’s more than enough for a nice breakfast. He bundles the items in his arms and places them out on the counter in an organized fashion. 

Harry had almost forgotten what an amazing cook he was.

»

Niall wakes up early, not by choice, but rather natural instinct. There’s a strong smell of bacon and eggs coming from the kitchen and when he creaks a heavy eye open, Harry is no longer squished next to him.

He inwardly fist pumps in triumph, hauling himself off the sofa and steadying his slightly numbed legs. He’d usually wait for Harry to serve him his meal personally, like he always does when he cooks breakfast for them, but Niall can already hear his stomach growling and he plans on eating as much as he possibly can before the other lads wake up. 

The kitchen is warm and toasty and Niall grins smugly, watching as the younger boy flips several strips of bacon with a fork. He’s whistling softly to the song on his iPod and Niall thinks it sounds lovely.

Harry turns around and coughs slightly before nodding at the Irish boy, taking his headphones out. “Hello,” he greets him in a choked voice, wiping his hand on a paper towel.

“Mornin’,” says Niall. “What’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing, just - the smell of this bacon is making me nauseous.” Harry replies, daring to turn back again and making a gagging noise as he does so. “Like I think I might be sick.”

“What!” Niall asks incredulously. “But…everyone likes bacon.”

Harry shrugs. “I think me eating an entire container of spoiled sesame chicken has made me a little hesitant toward eating meat.”

“That’s impossible,” Niall argues. “I ate the same chicken as you did and I had sausage and eggs the next morning! You’re just weak, mate.”

“Yeah, well. You’re disgusting,” says the taller boy seriously, poking at the scrambled eggs with a plastic spatula. Niall licks his lips in anticipation, feeling lightheaded with hunger. “I think you’re more attracted to my cooking than you are to half the girls at our school.”

“Who needs girls when I have a best mate who can cook?” Niall asks, winking. “Then again, you’re taken, aren’t you?”

Harry blushes, turning away in search of his coffee mug. He’s picked the biggest on he could find, which just so happened to be a travel Winnie The Pooh one that Niall’s aunt bought at a Disney shop. Niall thinks he looks like a stretched out toddler, cheeks pink and eyes rounded. “Uh huh.” 

“Can’t believe you guys kept it a secret for so long. Coulda told us sooner, y’know.”

“Yeah, I know,” Harry replies, sounding guilty. “I’m kind of a twat, though. At least around Louis I am, anyways.”

Niall frowns. “I don’t think Louis would date a twat,” he says, before snorting at his own unintentional joke. Harry glares at him. “I’m just - he seems pretty happy, mate, that’s all.”

“Well - I’m happy, too! I’m just…scared, sometimes. He wants us to tell more people, I know he does. I haven’t even told my mum yet and I’m just, really, really fucking confused. I’ve never even dated someone before. This isn’t exactly an easy first relationship to be in, you know?”

“Why does it matter so much?” Niall asks, narrowing his eyebrows. “Why do you give a fuck what anyone else thinks?”

Harry shrugs weakly, turning off the oven. “I know I shouldn’t. But, it’s not something that I can change. At least not easily.” 

Niall is silent.

“I can actually feel you judging me right now,” Harry says, his back to the blonde boy.

“I’m not judging you, Haz.”

“I think you are.”

I’m not - just. Answer me honestly, alright?” He asks.

Harry nods.

"Who’s gonna matter to you more in ten years: Some dickheads from college who you’ve never even spoken to before; who know absolutely nothing about you - or Louis, your boyfriend, who is seriously mad about you?” 

The younger boy stops what he’s doing, his mouth twitching into a frown. He realizes after a long moment Niall is waiting for him answer. “Louis, obviously.”

Duh. And I reckon that’ll always be your answer. He’s like, your first love and all that, that’s special. Keep that in mind, yeah?” Niall advises him, hopping up on the counter closest to the stove. “Now, go wake up your princess from his slumber,” he tells him through a mouthful of bacon. “He’s the one hogging all the fucking blankets.”

»

Their train is leaving at four and now that breakfast is finally, finally done with, Harry is sat cross legged in their temporary bedroom, folding his dirty clothes and listening to Louis whine about being tired.

Breakfast wasn’t very magical. They ate in the living room and Zayn slept the entire way through it, even after numerous blows to the head with a pillow, courtesy of Niall. When Harry leans over and kisses Louis once they’re finished, the older boy lets out a surprised noise before melting into it and kissing him back. No one had really noticed except Niall, but it was still nice. 

Louis finishes packing rather quickly and falls defeatedly onto the bed.

“I’d rather fling myself down Niall’s grand staircase than go back to school for six months,” he moans from on top of the bed, laying flat out on his stomach, sprawled like a gangly starfish. 

“Well, I’m not letting you do that,” says Harry as he squishes a pair of dirty boxers into the side pocket of his suitcase. 

Louis sighs. “We should run away,” he mutters dreamily, rolling onto his back. “We could get a little flat in London - with one room and a bed that pulls out from the wall and eat pot noodles every night. You could work at a bookstore by day and be a stripper by night. And I could be something super cool. Like a magician. Wouldn’t that be wicked?”

Harry turns around and gives his boyfriend an incredulous look. “Why am I the stripper?” He asks.

Louis looks at him thoughtfully through his lashes before humming in agreement. “You’re right. Too clumsy for that,” he murmurs distractedly. “You’d probably end up giving someone a black eye.”

“No - well yeah - it’s just, you’ve got the bum for it,” Harry explains. “Why would you want to live in London anyways? It’s too expensive. We’d end up hating each other.” 

Louis makes a contemplative face. “Fine…we could move to somewhere in America? Like in one of those old farm houses!” He chirps, smiling when Harry gives him a disbelieving look. “With a big wrap around porch. And it’s got to be white, with blue shutters. We could sit outside on our rocking chairs and drink tea - you could learn to paint. Maybe we could get a dog? I like corgis, they’re pretty cute. The queen’s got corgis.”

Harry stands up, pulling his sleeves down so they curl around his fingers. He stops himself from telling Louis he’s watched The Notebook too many times. He lets the older boy dream. “You’d never settle down, Lou. At least not in America of all places.”

The older boy smiles dazedly up at him, sitting up straight and tugging Harry down by the strings of his jumper. “I would for you,” he says seriously. “Plus, America’s different. We could get married there. Or - do you have to be born citizens to do that? ‘M not quite sure.”

Harry looms over him, green eyes sparkling wonderfully. “You wanna marry me?”

“Maybe,” Louis laughs, hooking his feet around the younger boy’s ankle. “But you’ve got to take my last name.”

“Why do I feel like you’ve thought about this before? What if I propose?” Harry asks. 

Louis gives no response, just shrugs, running his fingers through his curls and tugging him down. “Harry Tomlinson...” He says slowly against Louis’ lips, like he’s trying to see how it feels on his tongue.

“Now that’s a name.” Louis says with a wide grin.

“What about Louis Styles?”

“Eh.”

Eh?” Harry repeats loudly, pinching Louis’ cheeks because he knows he hates it. Louis bats his hands away and grabs his finger clumsily, yanking him down so he lays next to him. “Oof - why are you so violent!”

Louis cackles evilly. “Kiss me you wimp,” he commands before rolling over to straddle him. 

Harry grabs his face in between his hands, lifting his head slightly so they meet halfway in a messy kiss. Louis smiles into it, pushing away the fringe covering his eyes. “Long as I get to name the dog.” 

“‘Scuse me?” Louis mutters in response, lost.

“I’ll take your name, if I get to name the dog,” he clarifies simply, and maybe Louis is slightly distracted by how absolutely red his lips look.

“Oh,” Louis says, blushing slightly. “Okay then.”

Harry smiles. “Great.” He replies, sounding genuine. “What d’you think about Walter?” 

»

“Have you figured out Blonde Babe’s name yet?” Niall asks Zayn suddenly as they sit out on his balcony. 

Zayn exhales slowly, cigarette smoke curling out from between his lips and disappearing to nowhere particular. “Not yet.” 

“Ever considered just asking her?”

“Don’t think I’m gonna be seeing her any time soon, really. She’s kind of driving me nuts.”

Niall chortles. “Already? It’s been, what, two days?”

“She just - hasn’t stopped texting me. Keeps asking really stupid questions, like what my favorite color is, and if I have any pets.” 

“Sounds like she’s trying to get to know you.”

“I’m not really interested in that.”

“That’s terrible, mate,” Niall mutters, shaking his head. 

Zayn rolls his eyes. “Don’t get me wrong: if Megan Fox wanted to get to know me, I’d pour my fucking heart out to her, I would. But I don’t even remember this girls name. All know is that she’s got blonde hair and great legs,” Zayn says, taking another hit from his cigarette. “I’m not even sure she remembers what I look like, either, to be completely honest.”

“You sound like a drunken match made in heaven, if I’m being honest,” Niall laughs. “Don’t be dumb, mate. If you ignore her it’s gonna blow up in your face.”

"We’ll see," Zayn murmurs. His phone buzzes and he picks it up cautiously. "She’s just asked me what my zodiac sign was." 

Niall bites his lip. 

"I’m about 99% sure she’s doing a compatibility test at this very moment," mutters Zayn, shaking his head. He gets a text around 30 seconds later. “‘Opposites attract. Your relationship requires a lot of compassion and understanding to work’…"

»

Niall’s aunt and uncle come home from their mini-vacation at around 1:30 bearing cheap gifts and a variety of leftover desserts. Louis and Harry only have a few hours left of being a ‘real couple’ and they’re taking advantage of it, sharing cheeky kisses in the kitchen while Louis tries his best to make Harry’s coffee for him.

“Why is it so grey looking?” Louis asks as he stirs, his eyebrows knit in confusion. “Looks gross.”

“It’s ‘cause you’re not using enough milk, Lou,” Harry tells him.

“I’ve used plenty! Maybe even too much. It’s usually all light and creamy by now…”

Harry laughs. “That’s ‘cause I use cream. All they have is low-fat milk in this house, ‘cause of Collin. ” He explains, referring to Niall’s (slightly overweight) uncle. “Just put a lot of sugar in it.”

Louis makes an annoyed sound and reaches for the sugar, pouring it in rather than using a spoon. “How come you can eat like such a fatass and still maintain the figure of a beanstalk. If I were to drink this it’d go straight to my arse.”

Harry makes an interested noise. 

“Should I make you a cup as well?” He asks in a low voice, and the older boy laughs because he doesn’t even know if that’s true, but Harry really likes his arse and it’s funny even having him talk about. 

Plus, you know, it’s a nice confidence boost.

“I literally cannot believe we’re leaving in like. An hour,” Louis says, pouting. “We did not plan this out well enough. We’ve barely had a week together.”

Harry finishes stirring his coffee and pecks him on the lips, tossing the spoon in the sink. “Yeah, but, February break is in two months. And I’ll be sixteen by then. Do you know how many things I can do when I’m sixteen?” He asks, raising his eyebrows. “I can buy cigarettes, I can get a full-time job, I can buy a lottery ticket, I can apply for a passport - without my parents permission -, I can order a glass of wine at dinner - so long as I’m with an adult, I can apply for my license to ride a moped. The possibilities are endless!” 

 Louis cocks an eyebrow. “Someone’s been lurking on Google.”

“Google is your friend, Louis,” Harry retorts, sipping his coffee. “Do you want to hear the best part?” He asks seriously, waiting for Louis to give him a questioning look. “Once I’m sixteen, I can legally have sex.”

Louis’ eyes widen comically, blanching as Harry cackles evilly. He punches Harry’s shoulder and shushes him. “Like I had a fucking choice!” He hisses. “You were like - seducing me, and there was a lot of whiskey involved…God, leave me alone - I’m a terrible person.” He moans, covering his face with his hands, blushing furiously. 

Harry wraps his arms around his waist, kissing him on the cheek. “I’m just kidding, Lou. It’s not like I regret it or anything,” he promises, and Louis just sighs because, Jesus, Harry is only fifteen and that is so weird to him. It’s like it’s slipping his mind constantly, because it’s not as if Harry acts like a fifteen year old - well, not most of the time -, and he certainly doesn’t look like he’s a fifteen year old, and…yeah, maybe he’s a terrible person. “Besides, didn’t you say you were fifteen when you lost your virginity?” 

“Yes,” Louis answers. “But I was drunk. Like, disgustingly so, and he didn’t even love me. So it’s not the same.”

Harry is silent for a moment, before continuing, “But you love me…”

“Obviously,” Louis mutters, resting his head on his shoulder. “You don’t wish - like. Did you want to wait? Until you were…” he swallows, focusing on the stitches of his jumper. “Legal.”

“No. Even if it didn’t happen that night, I don’t think I would’ve been able to wait,” Harry tells him, rubbing small circles into Louis’ hip comfortingly.

A clatter comes from upstairs and Niall is cursing loudly, Zayn’s laughter following immediately. Louis tries to care but it’s hard to do when Harry is so warm and soft and…Harry.

“Aw look, Zaynie,” Niall murmurs, standing in the doorway. “It’s a pair of lovebirds in their natural habitat.” 

Zayn joins him, curling an arm around Niall’s neck. “Crikey, how interesting! Don’t scare them, now. Very coy creatures, they are,” he stage whispers.

“Coy?” Niall repeats. “From my personal experience, I’ve learned that lovebirds have a tendency to be extremely dumb and oblivious to their surroundings.”

“Maybe it’s a gender thing,” Zayn suggests.

“Will you two shut up?” Harry complains.

Niall smiles and heads to the fridge, nudging the older boy as he finally pulls away. “Martha brought back a cheesecake! Literally, the best I’ve had in ages. You want some?”

“Nah,” Louis says. “Not hungry.”

“Shame,” the blonde says, handing Zayn a plastic fork. 

Liam comes bustling into the kitchen just then, eying Niall (who’s currently hunched over three quarters of a rather large cheesecake) skeptically. “You are aware we’re leaving in an hour, Niall, aren’t you?”

Niall blinks, sucking the cherry sauce off his thumb momentarily. “Quite,” he replies apathetically. 

“Then how come I just passed your room and saw half of your wardrobe spread out on your floor?” He asks, crossing his arms. Louis snorts at the parental tone. “I don’t even think you have clean underwear to wear!” 

“For fucks sake, Li. I’m half-done,” Niall cries. “I just took a quick lunch break.”

“You’re eating cheesecake, Niall,” Liam says seriously, to which Niall responds by mimicking him in a high-pitched voice. “I’m serious! Your uncle is tired and cranky and angry Irishmen scare me!”

Niall stabs at his cheesecake forcefully. “How come when I’m angry everyone gets all offended, but when my uncle gets angry everyone’s quivering in their fucking boots?” 

Zayn snorts. “Because your uncle is three times the size of you and has fists the size of frying pans,” he says through a mouthful of cake. “Also, he’s the one who’ll be driving us. So.”

“Fine, fine, fine,” Niall murmurs, pushing the cake aside begrudgingly and dragging himself upstairs. 

The rest of the boys move into the living room, sitting in their respective seats. Liam collapses onto the couch by himself, leaving the other side for Niall, and Zayn rests comfortably on his loveseat, looking sleepy - and really, when isn’t he. 

Harry is half sitting on Louis’ lap, the older boy’s fingers calmly brushing through the familiar curls. Everything feels right; comfortable like this, and the silence is relaxing. He wonders if maybe he’d be able to sneak in a few more minutes of sleep. His head hasn’t stopped aching all morning. 

“You two totally had sex. It’s like, blindingly obvious.” Zayn says, voice seeming rather loud in the silence of the living room.

Harry’s eyes spring open, gawking at the dark haired boy and sputtering something like, ‘what? w-why would you even -?’ before Louis clamps a hand over his mouth to prevent any further damage. 

“I think what Harry is trying to say, is that he’d like to keep that part of our relationship disclosed.” Louis says simply. 

“Taking that as a yes,” Zayn decides. “Was it here? Or sooner than that? Did you two even wait? Is that how this whole thing started? A drunken romp your dorm - I’ve been wondering what those sounds were - we all have -”

“Shut up! God, shut up!” Harry begs, face flushed red. “It was New Years Eve, alright?” 

Zayn bellows a laugh and Harry just glares at him. “You did it in Martha and Collin’s guest bed? Jesus - I think that’s the best thing I’ve ever heard in my life!” 

“Did you at least wash the sheets?” Liam asks in a surprised voice. 

Zayn laughs even harder, wiping a tear from his eye. Louis thinks he must be delirious from being stuck in the house for so long.

“Of course we washed the sheets. God, we’re not animals, you know.”

“I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not.”

“You can go check if you really want to know?” Louis suggests.

Liam blushes, shaking his head. “I…er, no. No thank you.”

»

“What were you two saying about not wanting anybody to know besides us again?” Zayn wonders out loud, eying Harry and Louis warily through dark lashes. 

Harry’s got his head in Louis’ lap, and the older boy has gone from petting him soothingly, to curling his hair around his finger playfully, to actually braiding tiny pieces of his hair. 

“Can’t a mate braid another mates hair every once in awhile?” Louis responds, giving him an irritated look.

“Is he asleep?” Liam asks quietly, eyebrows furrowed as he cranes his neck to get a better look. 

Louis shrugs. “I think so. He’s like a kitten, really. Isn’t he cute?” 

“Looks a bit like a rat,” Niall says, ignoring Louis’ death stare. “Crisps, anyone?”

“How long do you think you two will be able to keep this whole ‘secret relationship’ thing going?” Liam asks, crossing his ankles. 

Louis is quiet for a moment, looking down at the younger boy again. His chest rising and falling steadily and Louis knows he’s asleep. 

“I’ve no idea…Like. Obviously I want to tell people, but, I also want to wait until he’s ready to come out. That’s his decision, you know? Not mine.”

“It must be shit,” Zayn says, keeping his voice down. “Having to keep everything so…hidden. I can’t even imagine, mate.”

“It is. But…I don’t care,” Louis says, more to himself than to Zayn. “It’s not ideal, but. I’d rather be with him in secret than not at all.”

Liam nods understandingly. “I get it mate, Harry’s awesome. I mean - not. Not for me, but. You two just…make sense, really.” 

Louis smirks. “Trying to move in on my man, Payne?” He asks, trying to move away from the serious topic.

Liam blushes. “No!” 

“Good. He’s mine,” he says, scratching Harry’s head. Harry makes a soft noise, nuzzling his nose into Louis’ thigh. 

“What a babe,” Zayn sniggers. 

“I’m jealous.”

»

They get back to school with hardly any time to spare. They all disperse to their own rooms and unpack, or at least try to, and meet up in Zayn’s dorm once they’ve finished. Louis is last to join them, huffing about how his dresser is absolute shit and one of the drawers actually fell out after he tried to unjam it.

They eat their snacks from the train for dinner and complain about having to get up early while watching bad reality TV, spread throughout Zayn’s dorm lazily. Zayn is already dozing off in his desk chair and Harry cuddles closer into his pillow, thinking he’s about ready to go to bed as well before it hits him. 

He has to sleep alone tonight.

It’s like he completely fucking forgot about it and suddenly he’s panicking because he hasn’t been this codependent since he was six and he couldn’t get a wink of sleep unless he was able to find his teddy bear, Mr. Waffles. Louis doesn’t seem very worried, hanging off the bed and laughing at Niall as he dances along to JLS. 

“What time s’it?” Harry mutters, and when no one answers him, he crawls across the bed and reaches for Louis’ cell phone. He blinks at the screen in annoyance. We haven’t talked since New Years! Sorry about that. Let’s get together tomorrow xx P.S. Hope you had fun with your boy! Louis glances at him when he notices he’s got his mobile. 

“You’ve got a text from El.” He says, tossing the thing at his lap. Saying he hated that Louis and Eleanor even spoke was an understatement. The fact that she even knows is just really, really, fucking annoying.

Louis reads her message and texts something back quickly (Library? and we did, thanks xx) before looking back up at Harry wearily. “Are you okay?” He asks, sitting at his feet. 

“Yes,” Harry says, sounding impressively not okay, but Louis lets it go, curling up by his side. “We have to sleep in different beds tonight.”

“I know,” Louis sighs. “It’s going to be weird. I mean - if you wanted I could sneak over to yours? It’s not like we’ve never done it before.” 

“No, it’s okay. I think I have separation issues. I need to work on them.”

Louis laughs, kissing his neck. “You are such a little kitten.”

»

Harry definitely has separation issues, he decides at about 5:30 in the morning. It’s cold and it’s dead quiet in his bed and he never realized how much the sound of another person’s breathing could make a difference in his sleeping patterns but it does and he kind of feels like crying but he’s so tired he doesn’t think he could. 

He couldn’t have gotten more than three hours of sleep and his head is aching but all he wants to do is get dressed and go see Louis. Harry decides to get up early and take a quick shower, deciding if he’s going to look like a zombie he might as well smell nice. He shampoos thoroughly (using the new stuff his mum gave him, specifically for curly hair) and scrubs his face with some minty smelling goop before toweling off his hair and laying his school uniform out on his bed. 

He pulls on his school trousers (which have gotten admittedly a little tighter, and maybe he should ask his mum to order him some new pairs), wobbling on one leg ungracefully as he tries to shimmy into them. 

Stupid puberty, he thinks. Stupid genetics. Stupid…growing legs.

It’s around six when he hears a tentative knock at his door. He’s fixing his hair - which seems to have decided it wants to swoop left now instead of right from sleeping on his side - in front of the mirror and growls at the interruption. He looks like an idiot and it’s probably Liam, for Christ’s sake, asking if he’s got spare socks or something.

“H’lo?” He calls, crossing his room and opening his door just barely, peeking out. It’s Louis, he realizes, hair a mess and shirt untucked. He looks as terrible as Harry’s feels. 

“I feel like shit,” Louis mutters tiredly, pushing the door open and practically falling into Harry’s arms. “I don’t think they even have central heating in this fucking building.” 

Harry laughs, pressing Louis closer to him. 

“God, you’re warm,” the older boy says, pressing his cheek against Harry’s chest. “And shirtless. Just how I like you.”

“Are you done getting ready? It’s barely past 6,” Harry says faintly, quirking an eyebrow at the shorter boy. “You haven’t even rolled up your trousers. Or are you changing your look?”

Louis bites his chest sharply, smirking when Harry mewls in pain. “No. I just figured…if we’re both up, we might as well, like…” He trails off, hooking his fingers through Harry’s belt loops. 

“You just figured…you could get ready with me?” Harry finishes for him, grinning lopsidedly as Louis shrugs, looking at his feet. When the older boy doesn’t answer, he continues. “Well, good. It’s quite lonely over here and…I might’ve missed you last night. A bit.”

“A bit?” 

“Yes, a bit. And by the look of it you did, too,” Harry replies, running a hand through Louis’ hair, which is currently facing about a million different directions. “Maybe we both have separation issues.”

Louis pouts, pulling away so he can face plant on Harry’s bed. Harry may or may not check out his bum before following him. 

“Are you looking at my bum?” Louis mutters into the mattress.

Harry pulls his button-down off the bed before smacking the older boy’s arse. “Always.”

Rude!” Louis protests, turning over and fighting the urge to laugh. He sits on the edge of the mattress and tugs Harry closer to him, buttoning the rest of his shirt for him with small, nimble fingers. “Can I put on your bow tie for you?” He asks, snatching up the piece of navy fabric before Harry can answer.

“Do you know how?” Harry asks as Louis wraps it around his neck. The shorter boy nods distractedly, concentrating as, to Harry’s surprise, he finishes tying it correctly correctly, pulling at each end carefully to straighten it out. 

“How’d you learn how to do that?” Harry asks, letting the older boy peck him on the lips quickly.

Louis sits back down, drawing a knee up to his chin as he rolls up the leg of his trousers in a practiced way, so it rests just above his ankle. “My mate Stan has a whole bunch hidden in his sock drawer. Made him teach me.” 

“Oh,” Harry says, eyes wide in that odd, dazed and confused sort of way that he’ll slip into at times. He shrugs into his blazer easily, fiddling with the collar before Louis is on him, arms around his neck and pushing him against the nearest wall. 

“Forgot how positively dashing you look in your uniform,” he mutters, nibbling at Harry’s plump bottom lip. “Possibly the cutest lad I’ve ever seen in a bow tie.” 

Harry’s eyes fall shut when Louis takes control of their kiss, running his fingers through Harry’s messy curls and tugging him down closer to him. “Am I that obvious…?” Harry asks breathlessly.

Louis nods, smiling against his lips. “Incredibly so. It’s kind of cute, though. Unnecessary, but cute.”

“I’m not even an only child, I don’t know why I have such issues with sharing,” he sighs.

“You’re not sharing me, idiot. I’m yours, haven’t you figured that out by now?” Louis asks, shaking his wrist, the shiny metal of his bracelet moving in place slightly. Harry nods, leaning in to kiss him again. “How much time do we have?” He asks distractedly, letting the younger boy guide him to the bed.

“Thirty minutes, maybe less…”

Louis moans into his mouth, pressing their hips together meaningfully. “Good enough.” 

»

Thirty minutes is not good enough. 

They manage maybe five minutes of desperate writhing and long kisses before they’re rudely interrupted by (surprise!) Liam, asking Harry if he had accidentally packed his school shoes. He quickly turns to leave when he realizes that Louis’ got his hands down Harry’s pants and, even though he apologizes about a hundred times, it’s safe to say the mood is ruined. 

Harry fake cries into his pillow and Louis laughs lightly, promising him he’ll make it up to him later.

“After school?” Harry asks hopefully.

“Er, can’t. I’m meeting up with El. Tonight?”

Harry frowns. “Whatever. Let’s get food.” 

Breakfast is exactly how Louis remembers it, a wide variety of satisfactory and slightly stale food. He gets a bagel and a cup of tea because the pancakes look soggy and Harry gets a fruit salad and makes himself coffee while Louis finds them a seat.

Louis watches Harry fondly; the way his long legs move clumsily, like he’s still adjusting to his abnormal and ill-timed growth spurt, the way he bites and licks at his lips when he’s bored or concentrating, the way his curls fall over his forehead and his dimples show when he grins, like some kind of overgrown baby cherub. 

Louis thinks he’s perfect.

They sit across from the rest of the boys and Niall is so tired he looks like he might face plant into his waffles at any moment. Meanwhile, Zayn is actually asleep, snoring softly against Liam’s shoulder, fingers wrapped loosely around his cup of lukewarm tea. 

Liam looks sheepish when they say hello, shoveling cereal into his mouth like he’s trying to avoid talking and Louis lets it go, understanding that seeing your best friend’s get each other off could kind of be a traumatizing experience for someone. 

The day passes slowly, and now that the first semester is done with, Louis goes to some basic art class fourth period. His teacher is new, a young guy in his mid-twenties and Louis reminds himself not to tell Harry about that. Despite Mr. Greene’s brilliant personality, he’s a bit lacking in the facial area. Or really, the anywhere area. Not that it would matter if he told Harry he had a new, young, funny teacher.

Today they’re given portfolios (over sized manilla folders) and are assigned to decorate them with whatever they want. 

“It’s all about expressing yourself,” Mr. Greene tells them, occasionally looking over their shoulders, nodding in approval at even the slightest pencil mark. 

His seat partner, a quiet ginger boy named Ed, goes to town, drawing some decorative pattern of snowflakes and paw prints and puzzle pieces and Louis stares at it enviously. To be quite honest, he’s a bit embarrassed of his own, having only managed a few smiley faces and some (completely random) stick figures (which may or may not have curly hair and bow ties). 

Ed laughs at Louis’ impatient growl, stealing a glance at his work. “I like your stick figures. They’re quite charming.”

Louis gives him a look. “I know that they’re fabulous, I don’t need anyone telling me so.”

The redhead gives him a curious glance before speaking again, “Not to be a creep, mate, but are you friends with like - Harry Styles and Liam Payne and those lads?” 

“Yes, I am,” Louis replies, smiling suddenly. “Are you friends with Harry? And Liam and them?” He tacks on awkwardly. 

“I’m in chorus with them. Well, I was. I quit. But I thought you looked familiar to me.” 

“Cool,” Louis says, crossing his legs. “That’s Harry.” He says, pointing at the tallest of the stick figures.

“I figured,” Ed says, laughing softly. “You got the torso down perfect.”

»

There’s an hour until classes are over and Zayn is ready to collapse. He thinks he might be sick, his head drowsy and pounding and eyes straining to stay open. He wonders how much he drank on New Years, or if there was such thing as a three day hangover. 

He’s in English now, which used to be one of his favorite courses until he realized he liked sleeping and playing video games better, and his teacher looks strung out and slightly crazed. She’s standing in front of the chalkboard, looking helpless as her pleads of ‘please, quiet down’ and ‘if you’d just give me a moment to speak’ are drowned out by her students mindless chatter. Zayn nearly pities the poor woman. She can’t be a day over thirty and she’s already greying.

“Everybody shut up!” She cries suddenly, running a shaky hand through her hair. The class turns silent. “None of us want to be here, that’s very obvious right now. All I need is a few moments to speak and I’ll give you easy work, you can even partner up!” She offers, still kind of shouting.

“First of all, I’ve got all your journals graded and organized on my desk. Your next assignment is to write about what you did over break, if you enjoyed it, hated it, etcetera. Second of all, we’ll be starting a project on famous American authors tomorrow, and it’ll consume most of our class work for the next week or so. If you want to get a head start and pick one today or tonight, that’d be fantastic. And third of all,” she says, sighing dramatically. “We’ve got a new student! Perrie, dear, would you mind standing up?” 

Zayn blinks, the name sounding oddly familiar to him. (Didn’t he know a Perrie?)

A chair scrapes loudly from the back of the room and Zayn, as well as the entire class, looks over his shoulder to get a quick look. His stomach drops at the sight, turning forward and hunching over in his seat immediately.

Zayn had told himself eventually he’d find out Blonde Babe’s name. He hadn’t been wrong. 

»

The bell sounds at 2:30, signaling the end of classes, and Louis pops up from his seat impatiently. Eleanor joins him as he exits the classroom, sighing in relief that the day is done. 

“Thought that would never end,” Louis moans, adjusting the strap of his book bag on his shoulder. 

“Me too,” Eleanor says, trying to keep up with his quick pace. “I hope you don’t mind, Lou, but I’ve invited Ben to join us at the library,” she tells him as they turn a corner. 

Louis gives her a wide-eyed look. “What, why?” 

“Because he won’t stop talking about you! Think he’s grown awfully fond. Also, he’s failing history…” 

Eleanor,” Louis groans, tilting his head back. “I don’t know if you’re doing this on purpose, like, trying to set me up with your weird friends or something, but I know Ben sleeps around with guys. And I’m not interested, at all. I’ve already got a boyfriend.” 

Eleanor gives a soft ‘humph’ before looking up at him again. “Wait - you’re official now?” The brunette asks excitedly. “I had no idea!” 

“Fuck,” he mutters under his breath. “Shit - I wasn’t supposed to tell you that. You can’t tell anyone, alright?”

“Of course, Louis. I’m great with secrets!” She exclaims, latching onto his arm. “I think Ben’s got a bit of a crush on you, though. He kind of guessed that you were into boys after I told him we weren’t happening. But - I didn’t confirm anything. I just told him you weren’t interested in me like that, and I had no idea what your sexuality was.”

Louis is silent, only nodding along to what she says. 

“Why is this being kept a secret anyways? Don’t you want to tell people?” Eleanor asks, like it’s not a big deal at all. “Like, Harry is proper cute. You and him are sort of perfect together, not to mention obvious. I don’t think anybody would be that surprised?” 

“I know, but he’s got three more years at this place, I don’t. He’s just scared, if people don’t…react well, he’ll have to deal with it for a lot longer than I do.” 

Eleanor hums. “Yes, but. Doesn’t he want to be able to hold hands with his boyfriend and walk him to class while he can? That’s not a forever thing. People are going to get suspicious eventually, Lou. People in this school talk.”

“You can tell him that,” Louis mutters, rolling his eyes. “Just kidding - don’t, don’t do that,” he clarifies quickly, because there’s a very strong possibility Harry would scratch her face off. 

“I’m not dumb,” Eleanor says, and Louis could laugh. If Eleanor was smart, than Louis’ pretty sure he’s the president of the United States.

»

Louis is uncomfortable, sitting cross legged and bowing his head, ignoring Ben’s near constant glances. The blonde boy had hugged Louis when he saw him, latching onto him like an octopus and remaining oblivious to Louis’ disinterest while he attempted to push the deadweight off of him. 

“Benny, sit next to me,” Eleanor had whined, patting the chair next to her and giving Louis an apologetic glance. “Haven’t seen you in forever!” 

Ben complies, taking the seat next to his friend. “Poor Lou is all alone now.”

Louis cringes. ‘Lou.

“I don’t mind, really,” Louis mutters, shuddering in disgust as he hides behind his text book. 

“Where do we start?” Eleanor asks pleasantly, pulling her expanding file from her purse/back-pack hybrid thing and setting it on the table.

“Wait,” Ben says, looking confused. “We’re actually doing work?”

Eleanor slaps his arm playfully. “Ben, don’t play dumb. I only invited you because you’re so awful at history.”

Ben shrugs, turning to Louis. “So, where’d you head off to New Years Eve? Barely talked to you for five minutes before that curly kid dragged you out.” 

Ben, shut it.” Eleanor scolds. 

“What, I’m just curious?” Ben says defensively. “Thought we were getting on quite well with each other. We’ll have to hang out sometime soon, to catch up.”

Louis shakes his head, stomach clenching uncomfortably. He was such a sleeze it was actually making him nauseous. “I’m actually very busy, so. Probably not. Sorry.”

Ben blinks, looking offended. “Too busy doing what? We all live in the same fucking building. You can’t be that impossible to get ahold of.”

“I actually take my a-levels quite seriously,” Louis replies, only somewhat lying. 

“But that’s what the weekends are for!” Ben nearly yells, and Eleanor hides her face in her hands.

Louis looks at him unblinkingly, raising an eyebrow. “I’m sure you can find something else to do in your spare time.” 

»

4:06 pm: Hiiiiiiiiiiiii

4:08 pm: hello :)

4:11: this is the worst first day ever. Ive got an assignment in every class and girls talk about your bum in my study hall :’(

4:13: I’m sorry :( if it makes you feel any better i was seriously upStaged in my art class by ur friend Ed. Feel like a fool. 

4:16: You’ve got a class with Ed? he’s awesome, be nice to him.

4:17: what make you think I wouldn’t be nice to him!? He complimented my Harry stick figure. :)))

4:20 pm: That was nice of him. When are you getting out of there? Zayn’s freaking out about blonde babe and niall just fell asleep on me :(

4:22 pm: we just finished our homework. getting out of here as soon as i cannn!!!! Xx

4:30 pm:Tell eleanor I’m horny as hell and I despise her..

4:32 pm: Definitely not telling her that . i’ll keep it in mind tho ;) Xx

4:43 pm:  Is anyone else there?

4:45 pm: Well it is a library babe…

4:48 pm: yes but Liam just told me he saw you with El and some ‘random’ blonde kid in the library. Why do i feel like hes not that random?

4:50 pm: riiiight. Eleanor might’ve invited Ben without mentioning it to me til last minute? 

4:51 pm: He also told me he was clinging to you like a leech

4:52 pm: he’s really weird he tried to hug me? I pushed him off right away i promise. 

4:56 pm: I told El im not interested in him I swear, she even sat next to him so he wouldn’t try and talk to me

5:00 pm: pllleeaasseee don’t be angry babe. I’ve barely spoken a word to him this whole time . he just needed homework help. 

5:03 pm: Why didn’t you just tell me he was there?

5:04 pm: I didn’t think it was important !! i’ll leave right now if you want me to ?

5:06 pm: It’s fine i’ve got homework anyways. Don’t rush. 

5:07 pm: your mad aren’t you?

5:09 pm: it’s fine Lou he just annoys me

5:10 pm: don’t be mad . I love you :( 

5:14 pm: Love you too .Xx

***

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