“What’re you doing in my room?”
Harry was forced out of his slumber by a nervous voice. When he blinked, the first thing he saw was a guy sitting with his legs crossed in the opposite bed, staring at him with a confused, almost empty look in his eyes.
“I’m your…” Harry started, frowning when he was stopped mid-sentence by another question.
“Who sent you?”
The suspicious tone in his voice made Harry a little bit uncomfortable, the lanky teenager moving a little bit to lie down and stretch out his back. “My parents. The people here. I don’t really know what you want me to say…”
The boy’s eyes narrowed, his breathing slow but the air in the room was tense. “What’s your name?”
“Full name.” The boy demanded, his voice a slight growl. It made Harry sigh, due to the hostility.
“Harold Edward Styles. Satisfied? That’s quite rude of you, you know.” Harry muttered, taking a moment to look over the boy properly. He was smaller than him, but judging from the slight scruff on his face, Harry actually assumed him to be a little bit older. He was kind of cute looking – Pixie, Peter Pan, something like that due to the sharp features Harry could see.
“How am I being rude?” The boy wanted to know, biting his lip slightly in thought. Obviously not realizing what it was that Harry meant.
“Well, usually when you ask people questions, or ask for their names – Note; Ask, not demand – it’s courtesy to give equal information about oneself first. You usually present yourself first.” Harry explained, the last bit because the boy looked confused, almost offended. However, instead of getting his name as Harry had hoped for, the boy just shook his head.
“I was told to go fetch you. It’s dinnertime in 10 minutes.” The boy said, watching him quietly for about 30 seconds, without blinking – An awkward type of silence filling the room until the boy slid off the bed and got up on his feet. “It’s right down the hall. Don’t be late.” He said, his voice clipped and reserved as he moved away from Harry, leaving the room and closing the door neatly behind himself, without looking back.
So that was his new roommate – A paranoid nutjob. This could not go any better could it?
The dining hall, reminded Harry an experience he had, when he had changed schools the first time. He stood all alone, in front of a bunch of people, all in his age group but no one he knew. They had already established who sat where, who sat with who and Harry felt extremely outside right then.
He caught his roommate sitting in a small group to the side, seated between two guys who, like Harry, was bigger than him. One who was quite muscular but whom had a peaceful smile, and who kept lightly nudging the smaller boy who seemed to poke at his tray with a plastic fork.
Stepping into the line to get his food, Harry was actually pleasantly surprised by the fact that there was a lot of variety. He had expected it to be like any other institutionalized food, kind of bland and tasteless but it looked good and healthy… He wouldn’t starve either, seeing as he could take as much as he wanted to – They didn’t seem to limit it, and along with it came a small carton of either milk, or juice, or if you wanted to be really daring, a plastic cup of water. However, when he got out of the line he had no idea where to sit though, standing awkwardly with his brows drawn together. Everyone seemed to have their own place.
“Harold! Over here!”
Harrys head snapped up at the sound and the momentary silence that followed after the yell, with Harry hurrying down to where it came from. Surprised, he sat down hesitantly at the table with his roommate, a quiet boy who hid his eyes with his bangs and a smaller, more cheerful boy who was blond.
“Louis told us about you, you looked a little lost.” The friendly giant smiled to him. It was him who had yelled – He sounded oddly calming… Instinctively, Harry liked him.
“Louis?” Harrys eyes flickered to his roommate who scooted a little bit closer to the quiet boy. So he had a name. Interesting.
“Yeah, he’s a little weird with strangers.” Liam shrugged. “I’m Liam.” The giant smiled, reaching out to give Harry a short handshake. “This one’s Zayn,” He nodded to the quiet boy who seemed to bend his head a little bit further, completely hiding his eyes behind loose bangs of black hair, just to reach up to comb his fingers through it a moment later; Giving Harry a short glance of a pair of nutty brown eyes.
“I’m Niall. I can actually talk for myself.” The blonde, seated a little bit away from Harry smiled, chewing on a piece of bread. He had a thick accent, and seemed generally… Cheerful. A stark contrast to everyone but Liam at the table.
“So what’s your story?” Liam asked.
Harry looked at him, skeptical. Why would he tell? He hadn’t gotten anything but their names and he wasn’t sure it was costume to just go around and share why you were in a mental institution. Liam seemed to catch onto his hesitance, nodding slightly as if to himself.
“Anger management.” He said, pointing to himself with a thumb. “Beat two guys half-to-death… They messed with my sister, and I don’t regret a moment of it. Judge sentenced me to stay here till the doctors vouch that I’m safe to let out into society again.” He said, before nodding over to Niall as a cue to the blonde to share his story.
“Schizo. Medicated, and I’m doing fine – You don’t have to worry about being around me.” Niall laughed when he saw how nervous Harry got. So far, there was someone in here who nearly killed two people and a guy who after Harrys best conviction was two people inside. Wasn’t that what Schizo meant?
“No, I’m not two people. I just sometimes hallucinate and hear voices a little bit, kind of in my own world. I’m taking some pills for it, so it’s not really there anymore. I’m just here because I don’t deal well with stress… It’s better for me to be in here.” He tried to explain with a slight smile, as if he had heard Harrys thoughts.
“How’d you know what I was thinking?” The brunette leaned back a little bit, starting to eat his food. It actually tasted really good, much to his surprise.
“You’re not very hard to read. Harold, can’t I call you Harry? It doesn’t sound as stiff and formal.” He asked, smiling to Harry before he looked over to Zayn. “Gonna talk to us today Zayn?”
The raven remained silent, sending Niall something near a death glare.
“Alright. We’ll leave you be then. Louis? Care to share?”
“I don’t want him to know.” Louis muttered, his eyes narrow as he watched Harry. The brunette noticed that the boy – It was hard to consider him a man because of his size. Even if it wasn’t that much of a difference, it humored Harry – had barely touched his food. It had been pushed around on the plate, cut into small pieces, but he had barely eaten anything but part of a cupcake.
“What if I guess?” Harry suggested, trying with a small smile. After a moment of hesitation, Louis nodded.
“Three chances.” The small, feather-haired boy nodded, reaching up to brush his fringe out of his eyes. Harry noticed they were a very clear blue, having an intelligent glint in them.
“An eating disorder?” He asked, going by the first clue of the food. He actually thought he was right, quirking an eyebrow when Louis shook his head.
“Bipolar disorder?” He asked then, being met by a slight scoff and a shake of his head this time.
“I’m not crazy. Strike 2, one more. What’s your final guess?”
Harry thought about it a little bit, thinking it over for about a minute before he frowned. “Anxiety then?” But again, Louis shook his head. He pushed himself away from the table, picking up his tray.
“Strike three, you’re out. Now tell us what you’re here for.” He said, the same slightly demanding tone to his voice. His eyes were flickering and he seemed very fidgety – His fingers constantly doing something, picking at either a small piece of loose skin, or picking pieces off the dessert muffin he had taken a few bites from.
“Depression.” Harry said, looking down for a second at his half-eaten food, having eaten steadily through their talk. “Not much to say about it. My doctor thought this would be good for me.”
He expected a comment, some sort of reaction. Not because it was uncommon, but more because – Well, he and Louis were going to share a room, and he’d have liked an idea of how this guy was. Instead though, the smaller boy just nodded, pushing his chair out and getting up.
“I’m done with my food now.” Louis said, biting his lip when he met Harrys eyes the second the other boy glanced up. “My name’s Louis William Tomlinson. I’m here because of a paranoia personality disorder. It’s nice meeting you.” He said, as if it was something trivial. Something as common and simple as a class schedule or the price of milk.
He didn’t say anything else, just leaving to throw out the rest of his food, leaving the area a moment later and walking out of their view.
Liam let out a low chuckle once Louis was gone.
“He likes you.”
Harry honestly did not know what the hell Louis thought about him. But then again – He didn’t know how he felt about him either.