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?


8. "You're only in my head."

My freshly brewed coffee steam was swirling in the air, the bitter taste of Arabica beans tantalising my senses.

     Harry peeled his sunglasses from his eyes as he took a sip of his coffee. A throaty groan escaped his plump lips and he moaned, "I'm never drinking again."

     "I bet you say that every time," I said, and he laughed.

     "I guess you're right."

     There was a small silence before I said, "So you must have a popular social life; you've gotten drunk for the last two weekends I've known you for."

     "You could say I'm pretty popular," Harry chuckled, but I just pursed my lips.

     "What?" he asked.

     "I was just thinking how long it will take for your ego to blow."

     Harry scoffed and leaned back in his chair. "Well I'm thinking how long it will take for you to trip over your own feet again."

     "You're funny, Styles."

     "You've been calling me 'Styles' a lot lately," Harry cocked an eyebrow. "That's almost a pet name. You're so cute."

     "Oh, shut up," I snapped, returning to my hot beverage. Even when I was looking down, I could still feel his stare as I took a sip.

     "I can call you Harper," he smirked, not really talking to anyone in particular.

     "No, Ellie is fine."

     "But there's nothing exciting about calling you what everyone else calls you."

     "You're wrong, because my brother calls me Elliephant."

     The second it escaped my lips, my eyes widened and I clamped a hand over my mouth. Harry's lips were quivering, and he let out a quick burst of laughter.

     "Harry, shut up now!" I said through gritted teeth, trying to hush him.

     "No! Elliephant? That is gold!" he continued to laugh, and I knew I had turned bright red.

     "Goodbye, Harry. I have errands to run," I said, picking up my bag and leaving the chuckling boy to his pinched dimples and tears.


My efforts to find a job ceased after enquiring the last shop on the street. It looked like today wasn't going to be the day for employment, so I headed back home without seeming too defeated.

     "Any luck?" Noah asked as I walked up the stairs.

     "I'll try again another day; I'm going to bed," I said, confining myself to my room for the rest of the afternoon.




I tossed in my bed, the sheets tangling in my twisting limbs. Finally, a snapped up, breathing heavily into the dark room. The clock on my bedside table read 1:34am; this is the earliest I've woken up from a nightmare. Except, I felt like it wasn't over yet.

     A shifting movement caught my attention, eyes snapping to the desk across the room. Underneath the pile of textbooks, something was trying to escape.

     "Ellie..." it whispered throatily.

     I flinched back, heart pounding as my sketchbook wriggled its way out from under the pile. Finally, it fell to the ground, landing open on the page I had drawn Harry in. The figure in the sketch slowly moved, escaping from the walls of the paper.

     Harry now stood before me, towering over my bed. His skin was darkened in places due to the graphite. When he smiled, the same sharp teeth emerged.

     "Did you think drawing me would make me go away? You're foolish. I'm in your head, not your book," he said, his voice hissing like ripped paper.

     "That's right," I said, trying to keep the tremble out. "You're only in my head."

     Harry smirked and took a step forward at my challenging words. I involuntarily shuffled back on the bed, bunching my knees up in defence.

     "Just because I am, doesn't mean I can't do this," he said, crawling delicately over the bed and cupping my lower back with his hand. With one swift motion, he drew me forward, and I gasped when his lips brushed across neck. The texture was strange, like velvety lead stroking paper.

     "Stop this," my voice shook, a breathy sigh coming out in a shudder.

     "Don't like that?" Harry asked, and retreated from my neck to nibble on the tip of my ear. "What about now?"

     The sharpness of his teeth pierced my skin and I let out a small cry.

     "Please, Harry," I croaked, trying to squirm away but ending up falling beneath his body. Harry's knees were on either side of my legs, ultimately trapping me from all means of escape.

     "I love it when you play helpless," he growled, clearly enjoying the dominance.

     That's when an idea struck me. Harry seemed to like games, and two can play.

     I bit my lip and hastily grabbed a fistful of his locks to pull them down so I could kiss his full lips. He groaned in response to my sudden compliance, mixing his tongue with mine. The taste of his mouth was a distinct metallic tang, and I had to bite down the urge to retract the vile. Once I had him completely under my control, I rolled over so I was the one trapping him. He was too consumed with the friction to realise my escape was seconds away. I crawled slowly down his front, my intentions very different to what he had in mind. With once last push, I jumped off the bed and ran as fast as I could to the far wall. Harry still laid there, letting out a breathless laugh.

     "You're clever," he said. "I also like it when you play hard to get."

     In one swift movement, Harry leaped from the bed with such grace that it momentarily distracted me.

     He was approaching fast, and in defence I grabbed my sketchbook from the floor and held it out in front of me. Harry stalled, watching my actions carefully.

     "What are you doing with that?" his patient tone was verging on hesitant. I'd clearly struck a nerve, so I grabbed a pencil from my desk and held it shakily in my grasp.

     "Don't you dare," he growled, his eyes darkening. That was the only confirmation I needed, and I fell to the floor with the page open before raising the pencil and driving it into the paper.

     Harry's eyes widened, his mouth forming an 'o'. We both looked down at his stomach, a dark hole producing. He roared, launching himself at me, but I dragged the graphite further across the white until it was scarred with black. Harry couldn't attack me, for he was slowly breaking apart like shredded paper. His cries turned into muffled screeches, and his eyes were scarce of green in replace for pure darkness. For a second, when he sobbed, I almost felt for him, especially when he touched my cheek before falling forward and turning to dust. The pieces of graphite became a part of me, and the last thing I heard was the echo of his voice before I collapsed onto the book.



     I snapped up to the feel of something shaking my arm. Looking down at me was Lottie, a concerned frown etched on her face.

     "Did you fall asleep drawing last night?" she asked, and that's when I realised where I was. My legs were curled up on the ground, a pencil grasped tightly in one hand and my other arm resting on my sketchbook.

     "What?" I blubbered, trying to piece together what I could remember. All that I could was the dream that I had, but now waking up exactly where the dream ended made me think if it really was a figment of my imagination.

     I moved my arm so I could examine the new sketch. The lines were sharp and the shape disfigured, but I still knew it was Harry that I had drawn. The eyes still seemed to be the most recognisable.

     "Who's that?" Lottie asked over my shoulder, frightening me. I had forgotten she was still there, and I folded the book closed hastily.

     "Not sure, I was a bit tired last night," I laughed hesitantly.

     "You must have been pretty tired not to wake up to your alarm. I was in the kitchen downstairs but when I didn't hear you get up I went and checked on you."

     That's when it dawned on me. My eyes snapped to the clock on my bedside table and it read 8:50am; I was so very late for school.

     "Oh shit," I breathed, running for the bathroom to put on my uniform. In the mirror, I did my ponytail up messily, and I only had enough time to put on a light coat of mascara rather than pin the loose strands of brown hair back.

     "'ottie, can 'ou drive me?" I slurred between gurgles of toothpaste foam and brushes. Lottie emerged at the door, biting her lip.

     "Noah took the car early for work, so you may have to run," she said apologetically. I groaned and grabbed my schoolbag before fleeing down the stairs and out of the house, only to be greeted by pouring rain.

     "This is not my day," I breathed, running out into the cold rain. I didn't have an umbrella, and soon enough I stopped my sprint because the odds of me staying dry were against me. My jumper was drenched by the time I got to the end of the street and my hair stuck to my face and neck. I didn't even want to know what my eyes looked like.

     A light reflected off the puddles on the road, just as a car drove up the side of the gutter and crawled in pace with me on the footpath. The window wound down, and leaning over the passenger side was those arrogant curls I had known to encounter.

     "Now I know you're stalking me," I said, and Harry chuckled.

     "I was on my way to work when I happened to notice someone isn't in school," he said, a smirk on his face.

     "I'm late, if it isn't obvious enough."

     "And sodden," he added, much to my frustration.

     I continued to walk, and the car continued to follow alongside me.

     "Need a lift?" he finally asked, that annoying grin appearing once more. I narrowed my eyes, folded my arms and said, "I can walk, thanks."

     Harry didn't even put up a fight. He just shrugged, wound up the window and sped away, the roar of his engine soon lost in the pounding rain.

     I clenched my teeth and nodded, trying to bite back a hopeless laugh and frustrated tears.

     Soon enough, I couldn't walk any further, so I quickly ducked under a bus shelter to dodge the rain. The water had become much heavier, and I was soaked to the bone.

     Once again, a car pulled up in front of me, quite a familiar one in fact.

     This time the passenger door swung open, and Harry said, "Get in."

     I was quick to accept his offer this time, climbing in and closing the door. Immediate warmth radiated from the heater and enclosed me, but it wasn't enough to dry the waterlogged uniform I sported.

     "You're shivering like mad," Harry said, taking off his jacket and wrapping it around my shaking body.

     "Well you did just ditch me in a monsoon five minutes ago."

     "Might I remind you that you said you'd rather walk," Harry said, winning the small argument. I held my tongue and stared straight ahead muttered, "Just drive."

     Harry laughed under his breath. "Maybe I should have left you."

     The ride was silent, all except for the sounds of the car revving and the rain beating against the roof.

     Harry parked in the lot outside the school and turned off the ignition.

     "I used to go here," he indicated to the school, grinning.

     "Were you unpopular at school?" I asked, and he let out a laugh.

     When he noticed that my face lacked a teasing playfulness, he frowned. "Do I look like someone who'd ever be unpopular?"

     "Well I don't know," I said. "I asked a few people if you go here and they laughed almost pitifully. I just assumed they were making fun of you."

     He actually let out a chuckle too. "I don't think it was me they were laughing at," he murmured under his breath before saying louder, "I'm fairly sure you're going to get detention for being this late."

     "Oh crap," I groaned, opening the door and scrambling out, knocking my head against the top of the car.

     "Argh! Thanks Harry!" I called, running for the school at a pace I never knew I had.

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