Word Count: 8,812
Rating: NC-17, mainly for the later part(s)
Summary: Harry’s the school’s playboy. Everyone wants to fuck him and be him. Teachers and parents are no exception. Louis is gorgeous and a year below him. He’s known for being funny and kind and an all around nice guy. He’s been lusting after Harry for years now, just like everyone else. But he see’s what other people don’t, and he knows there’s more to Harry than meets the eye. He’s dying to uncover the layers that make up Harry Styles.
A/N: This was originally supposed to be a one shot, but we decided to split it in to more parts, because I wanted to not have it go over 10k and if that were to happen it would seem way too rushed. And a one shot usually has a rushed feeling as it is soo. I hope you like it tho (: Criticism/suggestions are much appreciated. Message me what you think! (:
Louis had never been particularly good at school, though he’d tried. Despite this, he liked it and he never complained at being forced to go. He loved his friends and he loved spending his days making people laugh, loved seeing their eyes light up at one of his jokes. It was not uncommon for him to spew out a random comment in the middle of class, having no prodding at all but for the erratic thoughts whizzing around in his own mind. The majority of the teachers were used to it by now and only responded with a simple shake of their head, a smile struggling to break through their stern expression. Louis only sent them a broad grin back, not one to be shy or intimidated easily by others.
Well - okay, that wasn’t entirely true. He was when it came to one person. When it came to Harry Styles, Louis would blush and stutter at the drop of a hat, stumbling with every step, weak at the knees with just one glance of the older boy.
Harry Styles was wanted by anyone and everyone. He could charm the panties and underwear off of girls and guys alike with ease. He’d even been known to catch the attention of a few teachers and parents. Every where he went, people whispered about how perfect he was, how they’d die to be him, how badly they wanted to be fucked by him. Louis had even heard whispers of girls at parties literally on their knees, begging for him to pick them to take to bed that night. Louis didn’t really know whether it was true or not but, judging by some of the looks sent Harry’s way on a regular basis, he was inclined to believe so.
Every one who entered the bedroom with Harry came back out with stories of how big he was, how long and talented his fingers were, how the palms of his hands were just the right mixture of soft and rough, how he seemed to know what they all wanted before they even said it, and they were all left with a lusting for the boy stronger than ever before, dying for a second round. If there was one thing that Harry was known for being consistent with though, it was that he never went to the same person more than once.
Harry was your typical playboy , except - he wasn’t. Not in Louis’ opinion. All anyone else ever saw when they looked at Harry was this confident, charming, dimpled sex god and, although he was that, Louis knew there was more to it. He knew there was more to him. He saw the fleeting embarrassment flashing through his eyes when he was complimented, knew he wasn’t as confident as everyone thought.
Louis wasn’t sure when it started; these feelings for Harry. Maybe it was when Louis was 12, all innocent and skinny limbs, his pubescent body not quite filled out yet and he first caught sight of the older boy, all dimples and cheeky grins and curls flying everywhere, his long torso still covered in a thin layer of baby fat. Louis had watched him every day from the playground, entranced by his beauty even at such a young age, in awe of the way he seemed to automatically capture the attention of everyone he came across without even trying.
Maybe it was when he was 14, running down the hallway, frantic at knowing he was late and they were supposed to present their project that day. His hands were full, his science book and notebooks and writing utensils piled on top of his arms all the way to his chin, and he was so focused on keeping them all in place that he wasn’t watching where he was going, having no warning before running into something hard and falling to the floor in a sprawling heap, the objects in his hands now scattered around him in a mess, a few papers floating before fluttering to the floor. He looked up to find the same green eyes he’d spent many nights dreaming about suddenly staring at him in amusement, the curly haired boy crouched down so that he was at eye level. Louis flushed a deep crimson in embarrassment, stuttering out a quiet apology. Harry had simply laughed in light heartened amusement, saying it was no big deal and that Louis was cute, only causing Louis to blush even redder and Harry giggled in response, placing the school supplies that he’d gathered up back in Louis’ arms.
Or maybe it was last year, when he was 15 and he’d been walking down the street, minding his own business, when he happened to look over and saw Harry in the backyard of a house a few feet in front of him. He was sitting on the ground, legs crossed, while a toddler who looked to be about 2 years old stood behind him, putting his hair in multiple rubber bands, clearly enjoying herself. He watched in fascination as he then proceeded to pull the small girl over his shoulder before laying her across his lap and tickling her as she giggled in delight, squirming and yelling for him to stop. After a few moments, he took mercy upon her and as soon as he let go, she shot up, wrapping her little arms firmly around his neck, clinging to him as if it was the most natural thing in the world for them and Harry simply laughed, wrapping his arms around her thin frame. She soon erupted into another fit of giggles and Louis could faintly hear the words ‘love you’ and ‘mine’ as she leaned back from where her head had been resting on his shoulder to look him in the eyes, her pale cheeks dusted pink. Louis had never seen Harry as the type to go around willingly playing with little children, much less enjoying it, but he wasn’t complaining one bit.
He didn’t know when it started; all he knew is that it had gotten so much worse over the past year. He’d always sat back and watched in infatuation as the older boy charmed his way through crowds of people, directing his dazzling smile at everyone but Louis. They’d never even had an actual conversation before, but he thought it was about time that changed - it was long overdue. He just wasn’t entirely sure how to go about it.
It was another typical day at school and Louis was ready for the day to be over. He hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before and a nap sounded amazing at the moment. Pulling his locker open, he quickly stuffed the books that had previously been in his arms in and switched them out with the ones for his next class. He heard someone giggle and absentmindedly looked over to where it was coming from.
Some nameless blonde girl that Louis swore he’d never seen before, and wondered for a moment if she was new, was leaning against a locker a few feet down from his. Harry was leaning over her, their faces only inches apart, with an arm above her head on the locker behind her. He had his typical flirty grin on (when did he not have that grin on though? I mean, really), saying something to her that made her giggle like the little pathetic school girl she was, battering her eyes lashes dramatically and holding one finger in between her teeth. Louis guessed that she thought it came off as sexy, but it only made him want to laugh because she was obviously trying too hard.
Louis rolled his eyes, shutting his locker. It wasn’t that it didn’t bother him seeing Harry flirting with so many people because it most certainly did. When he’d first started feeling for Harry it was almost unbearable how much it bothered him. He soon realized that because he was stupid and had chosen to fall for someone who was the biggest flirt known to man-kind, he was just going to have to suck it up or else he was never going to be happy. With a lot of self control, he’d finally managed to get to the point where he was able to laugh at it, though it still hurt some, but Louis had long ago accepted that the hurt would never go away completely, no matter how hard he tried.
He walked into his next hour class and plopped down in the seat next to his best friend, Liam. Liam was a good guy and, although Liam and him were complete opposites in most aspects, he’d came to be one of the people Louis relied most heavily on. He opened his mouth to say something but was cut off by someone clearing their throat.
He looked up to see the very popular, and one of Harry’s best friends, Zayn Malik. Which was a shock considering the popular crowd never had anything to do with their younger classmates; the hallway he was choosing to make his presence known in being a lower class hallway.
Once he was satisfied that he’d gotten everyone’s attention, Zayn smiled. “We usually don’t do this but - everyone here is invited to a party we’re having Saturday. It’s at Niall’s house.” A few people got confused expressions on their faces. “If you don’t know where that is, ask around. Not too hard to find out. We want it to be a big one - so invite people if you want…Alright?” He allowed his grin to widen, raising his eyebrows in question before walking briskly out the door, most likely to tell more people.
Louis’ head jerked around to Liam, eyes widening in shock before he slowly grinned, wiggling his eyebrows.
Liam groaned. “Louis, no.”
“Liam - yes. We have to do this. This could be our only chance at getting to go to a higher grade’s party. It’ll be awesome! We can’t miss out on it.” At seeing Liam’s mostly unwavering expression, he pouted. “Pwease?”
The teacher walked in then, sitting at his desk and telling the class to turn their books to page 218. He saw the look of indecisiveness on Liam’s face though and smirked in triumph.
The party was thumping, the walls seemed to shake as the loud music beat against them. People were everywhere - in the living room, on the stairs, in the kitchen, and there was a line to the bathroom. There were people grinding everywhere he looked and Louis could’ve sworn he even saw a guy with his hand down a girls pants, but he couldn’t be sure. There was a keg in the kitchen and one in the backyard and every time Louis walked by one there was someone being held over it, chants of ’go, go, go’ erupting around them.
He’d expected it to be a little crazy, but not like this. He couldn’t say he was complaining though. It was just a little overwhelming. He’d already made a few new friends, gotten a few numbers, and it was already turning out to be a successful night in his opinion. Although, he wasn’t sure where Liam went. The last time he’d seen him was when they’d been at the bottom of the stairs and a pretty girl with caramel coated, brunette curls and equally dark skin had walked by. Liam hadn’t been able to take his eyes off of her and Louis had pushed him forward, telling him to “go after her, you twat.” Liam had smiled shyly but went forward all the same, following Louis’ advice. Louis smirked. Maybe he would get laid tonight. God knew he needed it. Maybe it’d help him loosen up a bit.
He was currently in the living room and the furniture had been pushed to the outside, couches and coffee tables lining the walls. A large crowd of people filled the inside space between, the majority of them were dancing and Louis thought ‘what the hell?’, decides he might as well join. Setting his cup of beer on the table closest to him, while knowing he wouldn’t be taking the risk of coming back to it again and actually drinking from it, he made his way to the floor.
He was soon swaying his hips, getting lost in the music, allowing it to flow through his body and move him however it pleased. Without even meaning to, he was now close to the middle of the crowd, having danced his way from the edge. Hands were placed on his upper waist and Louis looked up, smiling when he saw an attractive boy with dirty blonde shaggy hair and hazel eyes smirking down at him. They were soon swaying together, one of the boy’s legs nudged between both of Louis’, their bodies pressed tightly against each other, the boy’s hand on his lower back.
Without warning, there were another pair of hands gripping tightly at his hips and he was jerked from the other boys hold, pulled back against the sturdy body behind him. A look of confusion flickered across his face but the boy in front of him only backed off with a careless shrug, moving on to someone a few feet away.
So Louis decided he didn’t care either, reaching behind him to grasp at the other boy’s neck, using it to pull him more tightly against him and rolling his hips back, pressing his ass up against the other’s groin. The mystery boy responded with an almost inaudible groan, beginning to push his hips forward in time with the music. They did this for a while more, one of the other boy’s hands now pressed against Louis’ lower abdomen, using it for leverage, a thin film of sweat forming across his forehead.
Louis could feel the boy’s growing bulge behind him, could feel his own pants tightening around himself. He needed more, he needed some friction, some form of relief and he suddenly just wanted to feel the bulge behind him against his own, rubbing against one another. He decided that’s exactly what he was going to get and turned around without warning, swiftly gripping the other boy’s hips in his hands and jerking them forward roughly against his own. He looked up upon hearing the other boy’s groan of approval and immediately went to back up in both shock and embarrassment, a blush blossoming across his cheeks, but Harry only smirked in response, gripping onto Louis’ hips tighter, holding him there and continuing what he had previously started, rubbing their lower bodies together teasingly.
“Hi there.” He drawled out slowly in a husky tone, moving their faces closer together.
Louis gulped, certain that he could be mistaken for a tomato right now. “Uh…h-hi.”
Harry only moved closer, swiftly covering Louis’ lips with his own. The younger boy stiffened in apprehension, but soon melted into the embrace and Harry immediately deepened it, sucking hungrily on Louis’ tongue. Louis knew he should stop this - he needed to stop this, that he shouldn’t allow this to happen. But Harry was just so unbelievably good with his mouth and he was moving his hips with more purpose now and oh, oh - it just felt so fucking good and Louis’ head was swirling and he couldn’t think straight.
The next thing that he knew they had somehow moved out of the crowd and he was being pushed down on a couch and Harry was crawling on top of him, straddling him and moving his hips forward, electing little involuntary moans out of him. Harry covered Louis’ lips with his own again, licking his way around the inside of his mouth, leaving nothing untouched before, much to Louis’ dismay, pulling away. He began making a line of wet, open mouthed kisses down his jaw line to his neck, stopping right above his collarbone and sucking harshly at the skin and - oh, suddenly Louis didn’t care as much anymore because this, this was good too.
Louis tried to even out his breath, tried to clear the fog up in his head so he could just fucking think clearly. But Harry was rocking against him deliciously and it was everything that Louis had dreamed of for years and it was just a struggle to not put his hands on the older boy and pull him closer. But Louis didn’t want to be just another notch on Harry’s bed post, he wanted to be so much more than that, and he knew that if he did this that’s all he’d ever be. And even though every thing that he was feeling right then was so fucking good and his body was screaming at him to give in, he knew it wouldn’t be worth it in the end.
As Louis was struggling with his own thoughts, he didn’t notice the slender hand trailing slowly down his body, over his chest and past his stomach before landing on the growing bulge in his trousers, squeezing and rubbing a talented finger over his cloth covered length. With a startled gasp, he knew that he had to stop this right fucking now, because if he didn’t he wouldn’t ever be able to.
“H-harry…No.” He tried to push his hand away but he was still struggling with his self control and it ended up being a weak attempt.
Harry let out a low chuckle and it was obvious that he thought Louis was just nervous as he leaned forward, their lips almost touching. “S’okay, baby. I’ll take good care of you.” He nipped at Louis’ bottom lip teasingly, tugging on it gently before letting go.
Louis whimpered pathetically. He wanted nothing more than for Harry to take care of him in any way and any-fucking-where he pleased but he knew he couldn’t and he was going to be wanking like there was no tomorrow as soon as he got out of there.
With a deep breath, he did his best at calming his nerves and forced his voice to steady itself out, mildly succeeding at having a firm tone. “No… Harry, I don’t…I don’t wanna do this.”
Harry stiffened for a moment, not sure if he’d heard him right, before pulling his hand away and leaning back. “What?” His brows were furrowed in confusion because he’d never had someone reject him before, but Louis was relieved to see that there was no trace of anger at all.
“I said…I don’t wanna do this.”
He cleared his throat, blinking slowly, coming to terms with what just happened before climbing off Louis’ lap and standing up. “Oh…uh, okay then.”
Louis didn’t know what to say then and it was so fucking awkward and he really didn’t want to stay around to see how much more tense it could get. He also didn’t want to stay around to see Harry move on, find another partner for the night, because Louis was sure he would. So, without another word, he stood up and walked away briskly, headed straight for the door, left and didn’t look back.
The next few weeks flew by and Louis still couldn’t stop thinking about Harry. He was embarrassed by how he reacted and was sure that he’d ruined any chances of ever getting close to Harry now, but he oddly still didn’t regret it. He knew that even if he would never get close to Harry, one night with him would’ve only made his infatuation deeper and any hope of him ever getting over the older boy would’ve be lost.
Aside from a few lingering glances from Harry as they passed each other in the school hallway, the next few weeks were fairly uneventful. Liam had finally gotten to the point where he no longer sent him pitying looks every time Harry was within seeing distance, which Louis was pretty happy about. He was really starting to grow aggravated by it. He didn’t need nor want Liam’s pity.
When he’d finally convinced himself that he hadn’t imagined it and gathered up the courage to tell Liam a few days after the party, Liam had just about fell off the couch in shock, mouth agape and a string of incomprehensible babbling falling from his mouth soon after. All Louis had been able to gather from it was multiple ‘what’s, along with a few curse words that Louis was convinced he’d imagined because Liam Payne did not curse. After he’d finally collected himself, Liam had taken a few deep breaths and calmly asked Louis to explain exactly what had happened, and Louis did - each and every thing, along with why he’d rejected Harry, and how embarrassed he felt. Liam knew how badly and how long he had been crushing on Harry and he also knew how deflated Louis felt about having to decline Harry, without Louis even having to tell him. Since then, he’d been sending Louis his pathetic puppy dog ‘I’m sorry’ eyes every time Harry was within view. Louis appreciated it - he did, and he knew Liam was only doing it because he loved him and hated to see him hurting, and Louis knew that he was doing it out of the good of his heart, but Louis just didn’t want it. He wanted to forget that night ever happened and Liam was being a constant reminder of it, not allowing him to erase the humiliating memory from his mind.
He closed his locker and began walking in sync next to Liam, on the way to their 3rd hour class, home economics.
Liam pushed his bangs off his face, looking at Louis. “Did you hear about Mrs. Walker?”
“No…What about her?”
“Apparently her appendix ruptured last night and she was rushed into surgery.”
Louis looked at him, eyes widening before squinting in disbelief, mouth twisted to one side. “Are you sure?”
Liam merely shrugged. “I don’t know. Just what I heard. Guess we’ll find out.”
They entered the classroom then, walking to the back of the class and taking their seats. Looking around, Louis discovered that there was no Mrs. Walker in sight and, in fact, none of her usual things, such as her purse or binders that she took home every night, were in their typical spots. His brow furrowed in confusion. Could she really have had surgery the night before? She had seemed just fine the day before at school.
At that moment, the upper level class’s home economics teacher, Mrs. Mainord, walked in. She stood in front of the teacher’s desk, leaning against it and looking around, clearing her throat to get everyone’s attention. Once she had it, she crossed her arms over her chest and began speaking. “I’m sure you all have heard by now that Mrs. Walker was rushed to the hospital last night due to her appendix rupturing. She was put through surgery and she’s fine now, but she’s been put on bed rest, in order to heal. So she won’t be coming back for a few weeks. It was really sudden and so the school wasn’t able to get a substitute in time. Since it’s only a few weeks anyways, we’re just going to combine my class’s and hers.” A few of the students shifted nervously in their seats. “ I’ve already spoken to my students and I expect full cooperation out of them, as I do you. There will now be double of you and I need you all to behave. Got it?” She raised her eyebrows in question, looking around with a stern expression. They all nodded.
She walked over to the classroom door then, opening it and a flurry of students poured in, filling in every last available seat within the room. Louis and Liam shifted closer together without even noticing, a little apprehensive at the sudden change taking place within their class, seeking comfort within the familiar presence of one another.
Mrs. Mainord took up her previous position against the desk once everyone was seated. “For the next 2 weeks that we’re together, we’ll be doing a baking section. It’s fairly simple, but it’s going to involve some skill that the lower class has not yet acquired. So I want you all to pair up. I’ll let you choose, but I want it to be a pair of one lower class, one higher class student and I expect my higher class students to be patient with their partner. Don’t expect them to get everything right off the bat, alright?” After receiving confirmation from her students, she waved everyone off, gesturing for them all to choose their partners.
Immediately, the room was filled with students running about, obviously knowing who they wanted to be with and determined to choose them before someone else did. Louis and Liam merely stared at each other, not knowing what to do. They weren’t unpopular by any means, but they weren’t exactly friends with any of the upper class either.
Louis finally broke eye contact and looked around the room with a weary sigh, knowing he was going to have to find someone whether he liked it or not. His eyes immediately fell on a familiar girl with brunette ringlets fanning down over her shoulders. He grinned and waved vigorously, catching her eye before beckoning her over with a quick flick of his wrist.
He turned around to see Liam staring at him wide-eyed, mouth open in disbelief before closing and opening repeatedly, closely resembling a fish. Louis rolled his eyes. “Come on, mate. You can do this, eh? You talked to her for a whole night, didn’t you? S’not so bad, is it?”
Liam closed his eyes momentarily, taking a deep breath, and nodded. “No, I guess you’re right.”
“I know I am. Now get her number this time, alright?” He elbowed him teasingly. “I don’t wanna hear you complaining for another whole 2 weeks about how you don’t know how to contact her.”
Liam blushed. “I wasn’t that bad.”
Louis laughed. “Uh huh. Whatever you say, mate.” The dark haired girl was close to their table now, so Louis quickly hopped down from his stool, patting at it and gesturing to it while looking at her with a broad grin. She let out a lovely giggle and took up his previous spot without a moments hesitation. Upon seeing their shy smiles at one another, Louis knew that all would go okay and Liam could handle this by himself, so he turned around, returning to scanning the classroom in search of a victim. (Victim they will be, because Louis cant cook for anything and he might accidentally catch them on fire)
His eyes ran across a group of upper classmen before quickly darting back, topaz blue meeting bright green before the curly haired boy smirked at him in recognition. Louis blushed, swiftly turning his head away and groaning inwardly at his luck. What are the odds that he would have home economics the same hour as Harry freakin Styles? The world must hate him.
Louis made his way to the other side of the room and sat down at a vacant table, keeping his back turned from where he could still feel Harry’s eyes burning in him. He prayed with everything in him that Harry would just stop looking at him and go back to whoever he was talking to so that Louis could pick his partner. He wanted these next 2 weeks to go by as quick as possible and hoped that Harry would take mercy on him and avoid him at all costs. If not, there was a lot of blushing, humiliating moments in his foreseeable future.
A hand on his shoulder brought Louis out of his inner turmoil and he turned around to find Harry beside him, lip quirked up in a smug expression, his eyes dancing in amusement. Louis fought back against the blush attempting to cover his cheeks, images of the last time they’d made contact rushing through his mind, and cleared his throat awkwardly. “Erm…Yeah?”
Harry placed a hand on the table, leaning on it with one hip pressed against the granite counter top. “Well…It just so happens that I’m in need of a partner. Thought you might be interested?” He tilted his head.
Louis lost the battle, a dark crimson blooming across his cheeks. Yup, the world hated him. Or maybe the world just really loved him. He wasn’t sure yet. “Oh. Uh, yeah. Sure, sure.” He spoke out in a rush, his nerves evident in his voice.
Harry kindly chose to ignore it though and took the seat next to him, their knees brushing. They sat in silence for the next few minutes as the rest of the students in the class chose their partners, waiting for the chaos to calm down, and Louis stared down at his lap where he was fiddling with his hands awkwardly, not daring to look up at the boy who’d he’d had a crush on for as long as he could remember.
Once everyone had taken their seats by their newly chosen partner, Mrs. Mainord stood up from where she had previously been seated behind the teacher’s desk and began walking around the classroom as she spoke. “Today we’ll be doing cinnamon rolls. The needed materials are already at your assigned kitchens. We won’t be doing it from scratch, so it will only take today and tomorrow to finish this. Today is mostly just about getting to know your partner and becoming comfortable with each other. You will be with each other for the next few weeks and you will be graded on everything you do, so you must learn to work as a team.” She looked around the room, making sure that everyone had been paying attention and then nodded. “Okay then. Go.”
Louis and Harry both stood up, walking to their assigned kitchen. The instructions were posted up on the refrigerator and Harry tore it off, scanning his eyes down it. “Uh, okay. Well first it says we’re supposed to make the icing - which includes mixing some milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla.”
Louis nodded and Harry scooted over so he could open the refrigerator and retrieve the needed materials. After the ingredients were placed on the counter top, Louis turned to him, biting his lip nervously. “Um, I think I should tell you that….I mean, m’not very good at this, you know? I don’t even know why I took this class, I probably shouldn’t have. I understand if you want to switch partners, I won’t be offended - I promise. But if not…just…I hope you at least know what you’re doing and -” He shut up immediately, realizing he was rambling and closed his eyes in embarrassment.
He opened them back up upon the feel of a hand gently squeezing his forearm to see Harry staring at him. “I don’t want to switch partners, okay? You’ll be okay - we’ll be okay. I know what I’m doing. Don’t worry.” Harry smiled at him sweetly and Louis could feel that he was being genuine. His nerves immediately began to calm.
He took a deep, shaky breath, and returned the smile in full. “Okay.”
Harry nodded, dropping his hand, and looking back down at the list. “Alright, so you should mix that all together with amounts that it says.” He placed the list on the counter so that Louis could see. “And I’ll get out the dough sheet.”
Soon the icing was made, now waiting in the refrigerator until it was needed, the cinnamon covering formed, the dough sheet was coated in butter (which Harry had kindly given this job to Louis, claiming that he could probably handle this one, to which Louis had kindly given him a nice smack in the ribs) and soon sprinkled with layers of the cinnamon mixture, and then rolled up (which Harry had ended up being forced to do because Louis had claimed ‘I promise you I will mess this up, please, for both of us’) and placed in the freezer, where it would remain until the next day.
Over all, it was a success in Louis’ opinion.
The next week whizzed by in a dream-like state for Louis. He spent an hour of every day with his crush, which was soon becoming even more intense and Louis never even thought that was possible - but oh, it was. Harry was cheeky and really, really funny. He was smooth and charming, but not in an overwhelming, cheesy way. He was kind and he was overly patient with Louis when it came to his cooking skills, never making him feel like a burden, laughing carelessly when he made a mistake, calming down and soothing his battered nerves. He was becoming surprisingly comfortable around Harry in such a short amount of time, no longer reduced to a nervous mess every time he so much as spoke. They had now even reached a point of occasional banter, elbowing and poking one another with teasing smiles - moments that made Louis’ heart flutter with hope because maybe his chance at becoming close to Harry wasn’t completely lost.
Before he knew it, it was the next Monday and they were now working on making an apple pie. Louis was about to rip his hands out in frustration - he couldn’t stop messing up the dough and he didn’t know what he was doing wrong. “Ugh - Harry. Just do it. Please!”
Harry laughed and Louis suddenly wanted to punch him in the face for his unwavering patience. He walked up behind Louis, reaching around him to throw away the dough for the 3rd time that day. “No, Louis. You can do this. It’s okay. Just take a deep breath and calm down.”
Louis turned around, pouting in self irritation. “But…I can’t. Okay? And we have to do this. I don’t see why you can’t just do it. “
Harry sighed, crossing his arms and leaning up against the counter beside Louis, turning his head to look him in the eye. “Because….you can’t just give up. I know you can do it. How about…” He bit his lip thoughtfully. “How about you come over to my house after school today? We can practice.”
Louis eyes widened slightly, his heart rate picking up. This had to be crossing some line, wasn’t it? Non-friends who just so happened to be working as partners in school didn’t usually go to each others houses, did they ? Of course they did. Of course they did. Louis inwardly shook his head at his stupidity and how he would always freak out over nothing when it came to Harry. This was nothing. He had to stop trying to make something of it.
He cleared his throat, pushing down the knot that that had formed in it. “Yeah, yeah. We can do that.” He tilted his head, smiling. “Don’t know if it’ll help though.”
Harry chuckled, knocking their shoulders together. “Nahh, we’ll make some progress. Even if we don’t, at least we tried - right?”
“We tried. Can we stop now?” Louis huffed, crossing his arms indignantly.
Harry rolled his eyes. “How about I help you this time?”
“But you have been helping me!”
“No. I mean, help you.” He made Louis turn around and walked up until he was standing right behind him, his chest pressed right up against Louis’ back, and reached both of his arms around him, pulling the dough to the edge of the counter. He placed his palms over the back of Louis’ hands, engulfing Louis’ smaller ones in his much larger ones, and placed his chin on Louis’ left shoulder so that he could clearly see what they were doing.
Louis swallowed, closing his eyes momentarily, trying to calm down his racing heart, thankful that Harry was behind him so he couldn’t fully see the way his face had turned a dark crimson at the other boy’s proximity. He opened his eyes, looking down at where Harry had now moved both of their hands to rest on the mound of dough, and nodded. “Yeah. Okay.”
He began to slowly move their hands over the dough, their hands grasping it, letting go, grasping it, letting go, making it firmer with every clench of their fingers. “The main problem is that you want to knead it too fast, but you can’t do that. Alright?” His breath fanned out gently over Louis’ neck, his chin, the side of his face, sending an involuntary shiver down his spine, and he could only nod meekly in response.
They had been standing there for a few minutes, kneading the dough together gently, Harry’s hands guiding Louis’, when suddenly a high pitched squeal was heard, soon followed by the slamming of a door. Harry backed away, walking to the edge of the kitchen and peeking around the doorway curiously. A little girl was soon attached to his legs, clinging on for dear life, yelling “Harry, Harry!!”, and grinning cutely in excitement. Louis recognized her as the girl from the backyard, the one who’d been playing with his hair.
Harry crouched down to her level, pulling her up against his chest and running his fingers through her dark, shoulder length curls. “Hey, sweetie. Where’s mum at?”
The little girl pointed towards the door, looking up at him with wide, innocent, green eyes that closely resembled Harry’s own.
Harry stood up then, bringing her with him to rest on one of his hips, an arm under her. He walked up to Louis, stopping a few feet in front of him. “Louis, this is Abigail.” He looked back at the little girl. “Abby, this is Louis. Say hi.”
She leaned her head on Harry’s shoulder, hiding half of her face, and grinned at him shyly, letting out a quiet “hi.”
Louis grinned broadly at how unbelievingly adorable she was and waved at her. “Hi, Abby. It’s nice to meet you.”
She giggled softly and brought her head up to look at him fully, sending him a gap toothed smile. She looked like she was about to say something before her eyes caught on a distraction behind Louis’ head, her eyes lighting up. She turned to Harry. “Harry?”
He smiled at her sweetly. “Yes, bug?”
She looked the perfect image of innocence, twisting her hands together where they were resting on his shoulder. “Can I have a cookie?”
He pretended to think for a moment. “Okaay. But only if you promise to be good for Mum for the rest of the day, and listen if she tells you to do something.”
She nodded enthusiastically, her small curls bobbing along her shoulders. “Pwomise.”
He reached around Louis, plucking a cookie out of the cookie jar resting against the wall, and giving it to her. She took it gratefully, taking a bite immediately, and mumbling around a mouthful of cookie “tanks bubby.”
He gave her a look as if about to chastise her, but ended up smiling at her instead. “You’re welcome.”
He set her down on the floor just as a woman walked in to the kitchen, letting out a strangled “Harry! What did I tell you about giving her sweets before dinner?”
Harry rolled his eyes, walking up to her and embracing her in a hug. “Come on, Mum. Like you can ever say no to her.”
She was gorgeous and if Louis was into girls at all, he’d definitely be hitting on her - Harry’s mom or not. But as he wasn’t, she was just very, very pretty. Louis could see where Harry got his good looks from.
“I can say no to her more than you can though. You spoil her too much.” Her words sounded chastising, but her tone spoke of adoration as she ruffled his curls playfully, a small smile gracing her lips.
Harry simply shrugged, not even attempting to deny it and not appearing to regret it at all.
His mother eye’s caught sight of Louis. “Who’s your friend?”
“Oh! Louis, this is my mum, Anne. Mum, this is Louis. He’s in my home economics class and he’s rubbish at cooking, so we had to resort to practicing here.”
Louis flushed slightly in embarrassment, walking up to her and sticking out a hand, which she immediately took, shaking it. “Nice to meet you, Anne. And I’m not that bad.”
She rolled her eyes, smiling at him pleasantly. “I’m sure you aren’t, sweetie. Harry just likes to be a bully.”
Harry scrunched his nose up, elbowing her playfully. “Am not.”
She waved her hand at him. “Whatever you say, hun. I’m going to take Abby up for a nap though and then read a little. You two have fun, okay? You know where I am if you need me.” He nodded and she leaned in, pecking him on the cheek before leaning down to pick up Abby, settling her against her side. “Nice to meet you, Louis. You should come around more often.”
Louis didn’t really know how to respond to that, not sure if Harry would even want him to, so he merely nodded, smiling, and letting out a quiet “You too” before she left the room.
By Thursday, it’d become a habit to go to Harry’s every day after school to practice without even needing to talk about it. And Louis was improving, much to his surprise - Harry was a good teacher and he knew his way around a kitchen.
Louis was also beginning to see a whole other side to Harry. He was very close to his family; a devoted son and brother. His mom came home every day and always received a smile in welcome, they bantered more like siblings, Harry was always doing things without her even having to ask him to, and he never shied away from her ‘love you’s or pet names or cheek pinches or her hair ruffles like most sons did, he seemed to bask in it.
And he was completely enamored by Abigail, as she was by him. He had no self will when it came to her, giving in to her every whim as soon as he was faced with her puppy dog eyes and child-like grin. She’d return home every day and immediately run to him, demanding ‘hug, bubby, hug!’, to which he’d gratefully comply. She’d taken notice of Louis reoccurrence everyday and so now, although she was still excited to see him, whenever Louis would hug Harry before leaving (something that had become routine for them without even thinking about it and sent a shiver of delight down Louis’ spine every time they did) she would always slap him lightly on the leg, arms crossed and lips pouted dramatically, whining ‘mine, mine, mine! Bubby mine!’, to which Louis would laugh because before she’d even finish, Harry would have her swept up in his arms, peppering her face with kisses, mumbling ‘yours, bug, yours’, until she was giggling uncontrollably. And before Louis left, she’d always give in, yelling she wanted a Louis hug too and Louis would always break out in to an uncontrollably large grin. He was beginning to become enamored by her as well. It was hard not to - she was adorable.
A different side of Harry was revealed when he was at home, completely different from the impression of him that everyone at school seemed to have. Louis knew that there was more to Harry, he’d always known. But he’d never expected this - he’d never expected Harry to be so kind and considerate and patient and funny and laid back and perfect. Because that’s what he was. He was perfect in Louis’ eyes. He could still see the flick of doubt in Harry’s eyes whenever Louis would joke about how every one wanted him though, he could tell that he wasn’t confident in it. And it broke Louis’ heart. He wanted Harry to see how amazing he was, he wanted Harry to see himself how Louis saw him - but he didn’t know how to without making his feelings evident and embarrassing himself.
They were currently relaxing idly in the kitchen, waiting for the first layer of their cake to finish baking. As much as Louis tried to push it back, the fact that tomorrow was their last day as partners and that there was a chance that this would be the last time he would be at Harry’s house was at the forefront of his mind. He wanted to make a last attempt at breaking down some of Harry’s wall, to try and get closer to him. He’d become increasingly more comfortable around him in the past week, to the point where he didn’t think twice before saying or doing something, knowing Harry wouldn’t judge him for being himself. He still got butterflies around him and blushed every now and then, but that was to be expected. It was because of this that the next words escaped his mouth with ease. “Harry, why do you party so much?”
Harry looked up from where he was doodling on a notebook that was placed on the counter, eyebrows raised. “What?”
Louis walked over until he stood next to him, one elbow resting on the counter, hip slanted to one side. “Just…I mean, I come here and you just seem so different from how I expected you to be, you know? If I hadn’t known you before this, I would’ve never expected you to be the partying type. Not to the extent that you are anyways.”
Harry dropped his pencil and turned his body to face Louis, mirroring his stance, and shrugged, not meeting Louis’ eyes, looking at his shoulder instead. “I like partying. It’s fun.”
Louis titled his head. “Really? You don’t seem too convinced of that.”
Harry swallowed, nibbling on his bottom lip.
When it became evident he wasn’t going to say anything, Louis placed his hand on the older boy’s arm, squeezing gently, causing Harry’s eyes to finally lift up and meet his. “You can talk to me, you know? It’s okay.”
Harry sighed and nodded his head. “Yeah…It’s just - I got caught in this cycle, I guess? I started sleeping around and partying as soon as I knew how and I did like it then, thrived on it. As time went on though, it just got kind of old…I mean, I still loved the attention - I still love the attention I get from it, who wouldn’t? It just…wasn’t the same any more though, but by that point it’s what I was known for. It’s what people expected of me. And I just…gave in, I guess. I don’t know what else to be.” He merely shrugged again, attempting an air of nonchalance. looking somewhere behind Louis’ head.
Louis smiled gently. “Be yourself? It seems just fine to me.”
Harry eyes immediately darted back to Louis’, a sudden seriousness filling them, the air stilling around them. Louis mouth suddenly felt dry, his heart pounding in his chest and he was sure Harry could hear it, though he showed no signs of it, just staring at Louis as if he was just really seeing him for the first time.
Their intense look was broken by the shrill blare of the stove alarm and Harry’s eyes widened slightly before he quickly turned around, pulling on a oven mitt and opening the stove door. He looked at Louis, face void of all emotion from moments ago, and smiled carelessly. “It’s done.”
Louis forced a smile on his face and nodded. “Good.” He knew the moment was gone and his heart deflated in disappointment.
“Mrs. Walker will be back next week, so this is our last day together. But I want you all to know that it was a pleasure having you.” Mrs. Mainord smiled, beginning to walk around the classroom, setting papers on people’s desks. “And I’m happy with all the effort you all have to put in. I hope you are too.”
She walked by Louis and Harry’s desk, dropping a paper packet down on it before continuing on to the next group. Harry quickly picked it up, moving it so that Louis could see it too, and they both grinned at the big ‘A+’ scribbled in red marker at the top. “Guess your rubbish cooking skills didn’t completely fail us after all.” Harry raised both brows, eyes widened, pretending to be shocked.
Louis scowled, kicking him in the shin. “Fuck you.”
Harry didn’t seem too affected by the hit, even though Louis had actually put a little force into it, and merely smirked, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively, making an approving noise in the back of his throat. “Hmm?”
Louis flushed immediately, deep red filling his cheeks and spreading to the tips of his ears, caught off guard. “Uhh-umm.”
Harry laughed, throwing his head back. “Calm down, Lou. I’m just messin’ with you.” He stood up off his stool and leaned down to pick up his bag. “You’re still comin’ to my house today, right?”
Louis paused in his attempt to follow in suit of Harry and get off his stool, his foot half way to the floor. A large part of him had feared that after this, Harry would just want to go back to as they were before, when they didn’t acknowledge each other at all. “Uh, what?”
He slung the bag over his shoulder, quirking an eyebrow. “What? Do you have somewhere better to be?”
His feet now flat on the floor, he grabbed the graded paper, stuffing it in his bag. “No. Just - yeah, I’ll be there.”
Harry smiled. “Great.”
They were relaxing on Harry’s couch that night, stuffing their faces with nachos and making fun of just about every cheesy horror film they’d ever watched, when Harry’s cell phone rang. He picked it up, looking at it briefly before answering. “Hey, Nialler. Whats up?….Oh, yeah?….Maybe….I just mean I’ll get back to you on it….Yeah, yeah, I will….Alright, text you in a bit.” He hung up, stuffing the mobile device back in his pocket.
“What‘d he want?”
“Josh is having a party tonight. You wanna go?”
“Oh. Um, not really? I’d kind of rather just stay in.”
Harry’s brows furrowed. “Really?”
“Yeah, just not really in a partying mood.” That wasn’t entirely true, Louis just didn’t want to have to stand by and see Harry hook up with someone else. But he wasn’t going to tell Harry that. Harry had been with him every day this week though, and while he didn’t know if Harry usually partied during the week, he figured he probably did - so he had kept him from it all week long. He was surely itching to go and party by now. Louis realized how selfish he was being and made to stand up. “You should go though. S’fine. We can hang out later.”
Harry placed his hand on his forearm, effectively stopping him from standing. “No, Lou. We can just hang out here.” He settled back in the cushions.
“I want to, okay?” He slung his legs over Louis’ lap, popping another nacho in his mouth.
Louis grinned happily and nodded, turning back to what they’d been previously watching on the tv. He wasn’t sure how much longer it was until he felt Harry’s eyes on him and wondered how long they’d been there. He turned to find Harry staring at him with the same look as days before in the kitchen, as if just seeing him for the first time. The tips of Louis’ ears turned pink from the intensity of it. “What?”
Harry rested his cheek on the back of the couch, never breaking eye contact. “Nothing really…S’just - not many people do that, ya know?”
“Wanna just hang out - not with me. Mostly everyone who comes to me, comes for the sole purpose of a party.” He lifted a shoulder briefly before letting it drop again. “…S’nice.” He smiled.
Louis’ heart broke at the sincerity on his face, in his eyes. He wanted to tell him what shit people were for not wanting to, how amazing he was, how funny and charming and perfect he was, how he deserved to have the whole world at his feet, begging for a chance to merely be in his presence, but he settled for a simple “Well, that’s shit, Haz. They sure are missing out.”
Harry’s smile widened, a very light, rare blush blooming across his cheeks, and wrapped his arm Louis’ waist, laying his head on his shoulder and cuddling up against his side. “At least I have you, Lou.”
Louis’ heart skipped a beat then, his breath catching, but thankfully Harry didn’t seem to notice. He rested his head on top of Harry’s, thinking ‘no, at least I have you.’