Cats, Kisses, And Wagon Wheels. *finished*

One Direction, a band that was formed during the 2010 X Factor. Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson. Oh right, and Charlie Hunter. You didn't know about her? The Wagon-Wheel-addict with the curly hair? Well, I doubt anyone will tell you too much then. After all, what happens in the house, stays in the house. (Silver in the M Factor Competition) "This story is so hilarious, and it's already my favourite." - "...an amazing story, full of romance, drama, teenage life and loads more! The storyline is amazing, the characters are easy to visualize." - "An all around perfect book, even though it's a fanfiction!" --Written for my cousin-in-law, Lottie, who wanted to have a One Direction Fanfic for her birthday. You are welcome.--

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11. The Fun Fair.

 

In which Charlie sports a towel, the guys give autographs, and Harry's sister does the big-sister-talk.

 

The next day, Liam woke me up. Which was quite a surprise considering I was usually the first one up.

“Niall found a leaflet for a Fun Fair and now he and Louis are being ridiculous until we go,” he informed me.

I groaned and sat up, rubbing my eyes. When they focused on the display of my alarm clock, they widened.

“Liam, it’s six bloody a.m.!”

He nodded. “They woke me up fifteen minutes ago,” he said, not looking at me.

I stared at him. He was blushing and definitely avoiding my gaze.

“What is it, Liam?”

“You’re not wearing anything,” he murmured.

I laughed. “It’s called a sports bra, Liam.”

Sports bras worked really well for me. I mean, I really had quite a bit more up there than most girls, and I’ve had people introduce themselves to me twice a day—once when I was at the gym, wearing a sports bra and no make-up at all, with my hair out of my face (oh, who’s that twelve-year-old man-boy-child, and what’s he doing at our gym?), and once later on when I was out on the street—in totally different ways. Oh, the magic.

“Yeah, exactly,” he said defensively. “Bra. As in, underwear.”

“It’s what I work out in.”

“Then I vote we go to the gym instead,” Harry said from the doorway. He was completely dressed (but still uncombed) as well.

“Louis woke me up at five,” he explained. Usually, Harry was the one to sleep in the longest.

“NO!” Louis screeched and came running. What was it with people turning up in my room?

“No,” he repeated when he came to a halt next to Harry. “We need to go to the Fun Fair.”

Oh God. Fun Fair meant Clowns. Clowns were evil.

Oh God.

No.

“No.”

“Why not?” Louis whined.

“I just don’t want to,” I said, feeling ridiculous.

Of course it didn’t do any help.

“I’m totally on her side,” Harry rushed.

Louis glared at him. “You’re just scared of roller coasters, grow up.”

I glared back. “Leave him alo-one.”

“Ooh, Harry needs his girlfriend to protect him.”

I rolled my eyes.

“Yeah, sure, Louis. After thinking I had a boyfriend just five minutes earlier, Harry came upstairs to snog the life out of me and beg me to be his girlfriend so I could protect him from the big bad Louis with my scary blonde hair and five feet one. It’s my job now.”

Liam snickered.

“Lay off the sarcasm, girlfriend,” Louis pouted.

“Don’t wake me up screaming at six a.m. then, girlfriend. You can’t talk to be before I’ve had my first cuppa, or a shower. Preferably both, which is why I’m going to go now.”

I took my duffel bag and my towel and left, tapping to the bathroom barefoot and with my head held high. I passed Niall, who looked as tired as I felt and didn’t even realise that I was still in full-on sleep gear.

It was quite warm, or at least it looked like it, so I decided to just let my hair air-dry (mainly because I was too tired and really needed to wash my hair, just for my sake, and didn’t want Louis to scream at me for taking two hours to dry and straighten my hair). When I stepped out of the shower and towel-dried my hair, I realised that I had packed my anti-frizz lotion, but had forgotten to bring clothes. Great.

I sighed and rubbed the lotion into my already combed hair; then I fluffed it up a bit so it would dry easier and wrapped the towel around me as tightly as I could, grabbing my duffel bag and tiptoeing out into the cold corridor.

So far, so good. I heard voices from downstairs, so the boys were probably just having breakfast already. I tried to tap into my room as fast and silently as possible, but lost my brush on the way. I sighed and leaned down to get it, and when I came up again, I bumped into someone.

I pressed my eyes shut.

That was not a wall.

Walls don’t breathe and they aren’t particularly warm and muscular either.

Please don’t be Harry, please don’t be Harry.

I opened my eyes.

“Harry,” I stated.

He looked as awkward as I felt.

“Uhm, look I’m really sorry and…”

I just stared at him.

“I gotta go,” we said at the same time and tried to storm off, but unfortunately went into the same direction, so we did that awkward side-stepping thing until we finally figured it out and all but ran off.

Back in my room, I closed the door and leaned to it.

I hated my life.

 

* CKWW *

 

Harry’s PoV

A towel.

A fucking towel.

God hated me.

I still had the raspberry-ish smell of her hair lingering in my nose.

I leaned to my door, sighing.

I had always cat-called after the slim, model-like girls with my mates, but actually, I fancied girls with curves. Curves like Charlie’s.

When I’d seen her the first time, at the X Factor audition, I’d almost died. I thought it was quite ironic—I always got the girls because I was all collected and calm and the one moment I was nervous as hell and just about to puke, I came across the absolute girl of my dreams. And then when I found out she hadn’t made it through bootcamp, I was devastated, because I’d hoped I could get closer to her as the show went on.

Well, I’d sure as hell been close now.

 

* CKWW *

 

I hated Fun Fairs. There was nothing remotely fun about Fun Fairs, apart from maybe candy floss and ice cream and random fluffy kittens.

But I still hated Fun Fairs with all my might.

And today was our last day at Harry’s stepdad’s house and we were spending it at a Fun Fair. This was just brilliant. Ace.

We were meeting Harry’s family there and once, I was actually thankful for Louis’ sluggish driving. Not that I was a better driver.

Uhm, not that I’d ever tried, of course, because I wasn’t allowed to and there was no way Kirsten would have given me her car just for a few yards on the school grounds. Never.

“Lou, you do realise this car can go faster than 20 mph?” Zayn asked cautiously.

“Don’t diss Cheryl.”

Harry, who had claimed shotgun, stared at Louis. “You named your car?”

“She’s a pretty lady,” I defended him, even though that was a total lie because Cheryl did not live up to the lady she was named after. In other words, Cheryl was basically a pile of fuck you on four wheels. And dammit, Niall was rubbing off.

“We’re almost there,” Liam said, probably to prevent another bitch-fight. We were prone to those.

“Yay, Fun Fair!”

Harry groaned. “Louis sounds excited. Why does he sound excited?”

I patted the back of his head. “He doesn’t know any better.”

Louis reversed suddenly so that I flew against Liam.

“Ouch,” Niall commented from the trunk. Yes, he was in the trunk. It was a bit crowded.

“I did not like this car ride,” Zayn complained when he got out.

I stretched my shoulder blades. “believe me, neither did I. Liam has a fat bum.”

I got stared down. “I do not. Louis has a fat bum.”

Louis made a noise like a wounded cat.

“That is unfair,” Niall defended him. “Actually, he just has a really womanly bum. Charlie’s bum is big.”

He did not just go there.

His eyes grew wide. “Not that… it’s big, big, I just mean… it’s nice … and … round…?”

Harry shook his head. “Save it, mate, you screwed up now, you’re only making this worse.”

I scoffed. “Damn right you are.”

“So what rides do you want to go on?” Liam interrupted again.

Pretending to be stretching, I leaned over to Harry, who had gotten a bit pale.

“You reckon there’s any chance we can just sneak off and eat a lot of candy floss and leave it at that?” I whispered.

“If there is, I’m so in, girlfriend.”

I raised one eyebrow. “Call me girlfriend one more time.”

“Watch out, or I decide I’m more scared of you than of rollercoasters and I might actually not be your partner in crime and tell Lou.”

I gasped. “You wouldn’t.”

He made a bitch-move with his hand. “Try me.”

Liam sighed. “Girls, break it up.”

Someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned to see a girl about my age, with beautiful strawberry blonde hair in a messy bun. She smiled.

“Hey, are you Charlie Hunter?” she asked in a broad accent. I just stared at her. “Because you look sort of like her, only you’ve got curls, so I just thought … I’m sorry.” She made to leave, clearly embarrassed.

“No, wait!” I called. She turned again. “I am Charlie Hunter, sorry. I was just surprised.”

She showed a 100-watt-smile.

“Naw, that’s okay, you know. I was just thinking, you’re  on the X Factor, right? So maybe you could give me an autograph or something, that’d be brill.” She shoved a sharpie at me.

“Sure,” I said, fangirling in my mind. Then I realised she didn’t have a book.

“Uhm, what do you want me to sign?”

She grinned. “My shirt, I f that’s okay with you.”

I shrugged. “I guess.”

While I scrawled my name across her t-shirt, she turned to Harry and gasped.

“Oh cor, you’re Harry Styles, ain’t you?” I heard him stifle a laugh at her accent.

“Sure am.”

I straightened up and gave her back her sharpie.

“Oh no, give Harry the pen, he’ll sign as well, won’t you?”

He shrugged. “Sure, why not.”

“Over my boobs please.”

He stared, but then did it, holding her shirt away from her boobs so he wouldn’t touch them. This was brilliant.

So, are the two of you together or what?” she asked.

I almost choked.

“No, no we’re not,” Harry answered.

She looked a bit angry. “Why not, you’d be so fetch together.”

“Yeah, so fetch.”

Okay, when had Louis come over?

“Oh it’s all of you! Can you sign as well?”

I scoffed. “Over your boobs or your bum?” I asked, getting shoved by Liam.

She didn’t seem to mind.

“Wherever, Harry’s just the fittest.” He had the decency to blush.

“Yeah, Harry, you’re so the fittest,” Lou mocked her accent. Niall nearly died laughing.

She looked at me, her face a huge question mark.

“They’ve got this bromance thing going on,” I stage-whispered. “Very gay for each other.” She nodded solemnly.

“That is not true,” Louis said. “So not true. I am very much into girls.”

I made a face. “They’re also still in the closet.”

“I am not gay!” both of them screamed unisono.

I giggled. “Guys, inside voice, people are looking.”

Harry gave me a death stare.

“If I didn’t love you so much, you’d be dead now.”

The girl looked confused. Oh right, she was still here as well.

“So are the two of you together or is he gay?”

“Neither,” Liam sighed. “Come on, guys, let’s go.”

I frowned.

“And Charlie.”

Zayn gave her back her sharpie and I smiled apologetically.

“Bye,” I said, since I didn’t even know her name.

She smiled back as if this was the best day of her life.

“Bye, Charlie. Bye, boys, good luck!”

“She’s waving,” Zayn said when we were walking away.

I sighed. “She’s a bit dedicated already.”

“I think her arm’s going to fall off any second.”

I put my arm around him. “Don’t even look back, Zayn, don’t look.”

“And I love your hair curly, Charlie!”

He glanced down at me, his eyebrows raised.

I scrowled. “Don’t. Look.”

 

“So, Charlie.”

I looked at Harry’s sister.

“So, Gemma,” I mocked her.

She laughed.

There was an awkward silence while I picked on my nail polish. Suddenly she put her hand on mine. I looked up.

“Sorry,” she said. “It’s making me edgy, you know.”

“You’re making me edgy, believe me,” I murmured.

“Pardon?”

I shook my head. “Oh, nothing.”

She frowned. “Look, Charlie.”

Here it comes, I thought. When had I been left alone at a table with the sister? When the heck had this happened?

“You know, I really think you’re an awfully nice girl. I mean, my Mum loves you.” She chuckled. “It’s just, Harry’s my brother. My little baby brother, even if he’s only two years younger than me. And I just don’t want him to be hurt.”

“You’re saying?”

She sighed. “I think he likes you a lot. As in, an awful lot. He’s always been a ladies’ man, you know, but I’ve never really seen him look at a girl the way he looks at you. You’re different. I think he may actually be falling in love with you if there is some more time—you know, the cheesy, adulterated Titanic kind of love. But I’m not so sure about you. You like him, I can see that. But Harry’s always been a romantic sort of guy, and I think that if he ever really falls in love, he’ll want more. He’ll be the kind of guy to barbecue and teach your kids how to play catch. Only I don’t know if you’re as ready as him. He’s only sixteen, but he’s really grown up, Harry. And … it’s just, if you know you won’t be able to give him everything, because he will, then please don’t try. That’s all I’m asking. If you’re not entirely sure, don’t take any chances. Because if he ends up getting his hopes up and it all ends after a few months, he’ll be hurt more than if you don’t even start.”

There was an awkward pause.

“So correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re telling me not to try my best with your brother, should he ever ask me out?”

She nodded sheepishly. “Kinda.”

I smiled at her. “That was your version of the Hurt My Little Brother And I’ll Go Back To Jail-speech?”

She nodded again.

“It was good.”

“That is all you’ll say?”

I shrugged. “It’s okay. Gemma, honestly, it’s not like I’m sleeping with your brother, or planning on doing that any time soon. He doesn’t like me in that way, really.”

He didn’t look convinced. “It’s nothing personal, it’s just…”

I smiled. “He’s your brother, I totally understand. I’m the scary blonde in that story, but I’m really not in real life. It’s fine, we’re not like that. Harry and me is like Harry and Louis. No big deal.” Oh denial, how I love Thee.

She grinned. “Yeah, that did have me worried.”

I leaned over the table conspicuously. “They act really gay, don’t they? It’s sort of sad.”

She raised her eyebrows. “It’s scary.”

I laughed. “Innit? Lou’s always going on about it as well, about how I’m trying to steal Harry from him when clearly, he’s just the only one who can cook so he’s my kitchen slave.” That may not have been the best thing to say, I realised. But she didn’t seem to notice.

“Did Harry really call him pumpkin?”

I shook my head. “They do that. Louis’ favourite at the moment is babycakes.”

Gemma shuddered and we both laughed.

“It’s great you two get on so well.” Anne had miraculously appeared next to me scaring me to death. She was one hell of a lady. When I’d ever have popped two kids out and gotten beyond the 40, I really wanted to look only half as fit as she did. And be as cool.

Gemma looked a bit shaken as well. “Sure, Mum.”

“I got some popcorn and sandwiches, the lads should be coming soon. Move over, will you?”

I could already see the boys as well, minus Harry. Not that they weren’t easy to spot. Bunch of pre-schoolers.

“You behave like a bunch of pre-schoolers,” Anne scolded half-heartedly as they arrived at our table.

I giggled at Louis’ pout as they tried to squeeze in.

“Where’s Harry?” Gemma asked.

Liam shrugged. “Oh, he saw a lady selling candy floss so he sort of ran off to buy some.”

It was my turn to pout. “No fair, I’ve been looking all over for her and he finds the lady. She’s mean.”

Gemma frowned. “Harry hates candy floss.”

“Oh does he now?” Anne wiggled her eyebrows. See what I mean? Cool Mum. Only not right now, not in my books, and certainly not in Gemma’s.

“Yeah, he kept complaining it was awful, but Chaz had been looking for some all over the place. She even faced asking a clown.” Zayn sounded sort of impressed.

“Almost facing a clown,” Liam corrected. “She ran off when she was a few feet away. Hazza had to run after her into the Ladies’.”

I glared at him. “You do not get to talk, spoon boy.”

He blushed.

“Hazza?”

“It’s Liam’s name for Harry,” Niall explained to Gemma.

“But of course now my pumpkin had to rush off to get Charlie some, because that’s just how they roll,” Louis finished.

“Yeah.” Zayn rolled his eyes. “It’s always Haz and Chaz, Harry and Charlie. They’re like this exclusive club nobody else gets into.”

“I think she’s trying to steal my husband,” Louis threw in.

Niall shook his head. “Leave them,” he saved me from Gemma’s death stare. “They get each other. When you get someone, you’re really lucky. You just click.”

“You click,” Liam said.

“Yeah, you click.”

“Hey Chaz, guess what I found!” Speak of the devil.

I put on a smile and turned to face Harry. “Ah, I’m too lazy to guess, tell me!”

With a huge grin, he pulled out a bucket of candy floss. With a clown on the lid.

I nearly fainted.

“Yeah, that’s the problem,” Harry said, looking sorry. “Those were the only ones they had. But hey, look.” He rummaged around in one of the seemingly 1,000 pockets of his jacket and produced a sharpie. He scribbled out the clown’s face and gave me the bucket. “Just as good.”

I smiled gratefully and he slid in on the bench just next to me.

“Cheers, Haz.”

“No problem. So, what did I miss? You didn’t scare blondie too much, did you, Gemma? Because just in case, I’m on her side and so is Mum probably.”

I forced a laugh. When I looked at Gemma, it seemed to me that I wasn’t the only one.

“I probably would be, too, that’s what makes it so funny,” Anne said jokingly, receiving a playful glare from her daughter. “So, are you guys excited? For Judges’ House, I mean?”

I raised my eyebrows, munching on some candy floss.

“Scared out of my mind more like covers it.”

She laughed.

“However I, on the other hand, do not share Charlotte’s opinion and do say I am simply thrilled to leave our humble abode for Uncle Simon’s vastly impressive mansion.”

The five of us rolled our eyes at Louis being so Louis, while Anne and Gemma just looked freaked out.

“You can’t use however and on the other hand,” Zayn corrected. “You have to decide on one. It’s over the top.”

Lou looked down at him in a perfect old-lady manner.

“Dahling, I am over the top.”

“You’re such a twat sometimes, Lou.”

I didn’t even scold Niall anymore. That was how far I’d come.

When I looked at Anne, she was smiling. “You really act like siblings, all of you.”

Gemma faked a sniff. “Stealing my job, that’s what they are.”

I smiled cheekily. “My brother has better manners.”

Everyone laughed as Louis, who was still totally in his old lady role, pretended to be physically wounded by the insult.

“We should maybe go,” Anne interrupted what was sure to become another play fight, looking at her watch. “Robin will be waiting for us, Gem.”

Robin Twist, I had learned, was Harry's super-cool step-dad. He’d had to work today or something, but had still dropped Anne and Gemma, who was staying at home for the weekend, off at the Fun Fair.

When we made to leave now, Gemma pulled me aside for a bit. I don’t know what I’d been expecting, but it certainly wasn’t this.

She sighed. “Harry really loves you. You’re something like his best friend and he gets you and he loves you and he needs you. And you get him and you love him and need him as well. And I may be his sister, so he loves me, but he doesn’t need me the way he needs you now. I don’t get him in the same way you do. So I won’t say anything any more and I’m sorry, okay? Just … just please don’t hurt my brother.”

I could only nod.

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