The Direction of Fate

When Ellie Harper's parents ship her off from Australia to live with her brother in Holmes Chapel, England, the arrogant and obnoxious Harry Styles enters her life. Their frequent encounters have them both suspicious, but Ellie shrugs it off as just an irritating coincidence. But the more they see each other, the more she questions if this is something more than just chance. And it doesn't help that she has vivid nightmares involving her quite dominant and sadistic curly-haired neighbour.

Was this the direction of fate, or was the universe honestly burdening her with this pompous boy band member?

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9. Lyric and Piano

"Vous êtes en retard! Et vous marchez dans trempés!"

     "I'm sorry, sir-er, mes excuses," I said to the French teacher, trying to make my way through the stares and to my empty seat beside Abby.

     "Where have you been?" she breathed, looking at my ruined attire.

     "Woke up late. Ran in the rain. Then this guy drove me here. Got a pass," I panted, trying to summarise my morning without losing more energy.

     "A guy drove you here?" Abby asked curiously, an eyebrow lost above the curls on her forehead. "The same guy whose jacket you're wearing?"

     It took me a moment to understand what she meant, then I realised Harry's leather jacket was still wrapped around me. I was quick to remove it though.

     "What? It's nothing, nevermind," I dismissed.

     Wringing the water from my hair and skirt, I tried to concentrate on the class rather than my wet body.

     "So...what's his name?" Abby leaned over and whispered to me.

     "Who?" I said.

     "The guy who picked you up! You haven't even told me you already have boys lining up to drive you to school. Not surprising though, you're a tanned Australian!"

     I chortled. "I haven't got any guys, okay. He's my neighbour."

     "Still, what's his name?"

     "It's-"

     "Mademoiselle Harper," the teacher cut in with his thick, French accent, "it will do you well not to ‘ave associations with Mademoiselle Simmons so very early in your schooling ‘ere. Per'aps you'll be better seated next to Monsieur Davidson." I was pointed in the direction of a boy keeping silently to his work, and I sighed before picking up my books and heading over to the seat beside him.

     Looking back over at Abby, she mouthed, "We'll talk later," tapping her nose knowingly. I just rolled my eyes and kept my attention towards the board.

 

***

 

Once again, we were given a new load of French homework, on top of our other classes. For Music class we had to learn a chosen song, and then perform it on Friday. I decided that singing was going to be my strongest point if anything, so I placed it on my iPod and sang it out for most of Monday. Then Harry came over the next afternoon for our tutor lesson.

     "I didn't bring frogs legs this time, and I know how disappointed you are," he said.

     "Wow, Harry, there is now literally no reason to do the lesson," I replied sarcastically. He merely smirked and came inside, settling himself in the usual position on the floor.

     "Now, run through all the questions," he said, and I listed them in my best French fluency.

     "We have got to work on your enunciation."

     "Shut up," I said, swatting him on the arm.

     "So did my jacket return home safely?" he asked, and I was quick to say, "Oh!" and fetch it.

     "Cheers," he smiled as I handed it to him, and I tried my best not to think it was adorable. Rather annoyingly satisfied.

     "Well thanks for lending me it," I said quietly, not trying to stir his ego. But it was Harry, remember?

     "I bet all your friends were wondering whose hot shot jacket you had on," he winked.

     "Well, one of them tried pinning me to a locker and forcing a carrot into my mouth at lunch today, but all I said was it belonged to a no-named, smug boy across the road."

     "Cute," he said, rolling his eyes. "Did you mention that this 'smug boy across the road' is also helping you pass French Studies?"

     "I may have forgotten to mention it," I said tightly.

     "Mmhm, perhaps it'll do you well to slip it in next time you talk about me."

     "I'll try not to forget," I snapped back just a little sharply, and Harry just blew out some air, shook his head and continued on with the study. I wanted to apologize, but I savoured rendering him speechless.

 

I was half way through the second sheet of questions when I shoved my earphones in my ears to practice to the song whilst I worked. The music flowed through me, and the song created a perfect harmony between the lyrics and the piano.

     Come on, skinny love, just last the year

     Pour a little salt, we were never here

     My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my-

     The headphones were ripped from my ears, and a frowned up at a now wide-eyed Harry.

     "What'd you do that for?" I scowled.

     "What was that noise?" he ignored me, blinking blankly.

     "Skinny Love by Birdy?" I said, confused as to why he was acting so strange.

     "No, I know the song...but you were singing it..."

     "Out loud!?" I said, my cheeks burning instantly. "Sorry, I didn't mean to, I will stop-"

     "Ellie, I don't want you to stop," Harry insisted, his eyes shining broadly. They were almost mesmerising...or was he the one being mesmerised?

     "I'm not even good," I laughed, rolling my eyes and placing the earphones back in, this time not singing along.

     The earphones were pulled from me again and Harry was looking more like a deer stuck in headlights than before.

     "Please keep singing," he whispered almost desperately.

     "What, so you can laugh at me?" My guards had come up, a habit I had yet to control.

     "Ellie, I won't laugh, I promise," he said, coming out as a soft purr. I shivered slightly, remembering the dreams and his alluring voice. I bit back that thought because they were only in my head, and this Harry was far from the one in my nightmares.

     "Shoo," I simply said, placing the earphones in for the third time and tried to focus on my study.

     Harry sure was persistent. He shuffled forward so he was breaching my personal space, his hand reaching up to curl my hair behind my ear. I froze for a moment, not knowing what to do.

     Slowly, he took the earphone from it and placed it in his own ear, not once taking his eyes off of me. He parted his lips and sang, "And I told you to be patient, and I told you to be fine..."

     His voice was incredible. It was deep and husky, but the notes rolled off his tongue so smoothly that I was the one being bewildered.

     "And I told you to be balanced, and I told you to be kind..."

     My mouth was already parted, and I joined him for the next verse.

     "And now all your love is wasted, then who the hell was I? ‘Cause now I'm breaking at the britches, and at the end of all your lines."

     Harry smiled, our voices blending together to make a perfect duo. Like lyric and piano.

     "Who will love you? Who will fight? Who will fall far behind?"

     The last lines of the song then faded out, and we were left in silence.

     "You have an incredible voice," he whispered.

     I felt my cheeks light up once more, and I murmured, "No, I don't."

     "But you really do," Harry chuckled softly, his curls swishing slightly as he shook his head. Then, his face turned serious, his tongue wetting his lips before he closed the space between us.

     I stayed completely still, out of shock or uncomfortableness, I wasn't sure. There was a slight pause, and in that moment of pause, Harry gritted his teeth and pulled away just before our lips made contact. I had to catch my breath, not realising I was holding it.

     "I gotta go," he said, not once looking at me as he collected his belongings. The shock of the situation still kept me in place, but once the numbness faded I could only feel the burning sensation of humiliation.

     Harry made for the door quicker than I could register, but the slam of his exit bumped me conscious. What the hell just happened?

 

***

 

Harry's POV

My back slammed against the wall outside Ellie's house, my heart pounding. It took me a moment to understand what nearly happened, and I shook away the mere thought of it. There was no way I could have kissed her, feeling the way I did. I knew my intentions towards her, and I knew how to succeed in them. But my intentions seemed to fall apart when I heard her voice. It was so soft, so unique and so beautiful. She even came close to how well I thought of my own vocals.

     Was she about to ruin everything I had planned?

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