Set Her Free

Harry Styles has known something is wrong with him for most of his life. He's wicked smart and really nice, but people don't hang out with him. He gets called 'gay' on a daily basis, although he doesn't know what that means until third grade. He gets called 'weak' when he plays sports, because he's not good at them. He spends too much time looking at the cheerleaders. But it's not because he wants them. He wants to be one of them.

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6. Does He Know?

Flash-forward to present day.

Harriet Styles is still sixteen years old, but feels as though she's aged three years. She's a senior in high school now.

Louis, Liam, Niall, and Zayn are still her best friends. She still has that nice silver car. She still likes her tea with two sugars, not one.

And she's still hiding her true self.

Harriet was currently down in the basement, waiting on Louis to come over. She was perched on her bed, scrolling through this website she'd found for trans-women. She made sure to clear the history every five minutes, just in case Louis came down and she wasn't able to close it in time.

Her room had changed quite a bit since she'd seen her true self for the first time. The band posters were gone, to be replaced with plenty of pictures of women. (Don't tell anyone, but they're her sisters. Fellow trans-women, only they're post-op. She uses them to keep up her boy act. They were all beautiful, but her favorite was a picture of Chamila Asanka. She was GORGEOUS, she was so jealous of her hair.) The green bedspread had changed to become a gender-neutral black, and the yellow stuff had been painted over so it was grey. Her bedroom was so plain by now. Over by her closet there are shelves where she kept her books, and next to them was a small stand. It held up her CD player.

She liked her usual stuff, still. Coldplay, Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers.

But she'd developed some new tastes, too.

Dana International. Kim Petras. Other trans-women who are literally living her ultimate dream. Fame. Fortune. Singing. All as women.

The TV set had changed to accommodate the PlayStation Niall brought over so constantly it had taken up permanent residence in Harriet's room, along with all of the controllers, batteries, lost game cases, and boyish smells that came with it.

Also, most unfortunately, she had hit puberty between now and when she found her real self. All that meant was that she had to try even harder to look like her.

Like normal.

She shaved, literally, everywhere. She hated all the hair. She used whatever means necessary she had to keep the hair off of her, at least until she could get an electrolysis. That was an operation that would zap away the hair so it stayed away permanently. And thankfully, she never grew much hair on her face, so that was easy to keep back.

She tried her best to hide what was between her legs, figuring out a pretty painless way of keeping it pinned away so she could pass down there too. When she had wet dreams, she just pretended that it was her period. She'd only ever gotten off with her hand twice.

Her voice, which she hated by now, was easily manipulated, so she could sound like the perfect girl whenever she wanted, which really came in handy when Louis decided they needed to prank call somebody.

The only things she couldn't hide (yet) were her Adam's apple, her broad shoulders, and how everyone expected her to be a boy.

Harriet went back and cleared the history one more time right as she heard the door open. She shut off the trans website and pulled up a game, cursing like she'd just lost a life to keep her cover up. When she looked up, there was Louis.

Smiling, as always, with his feathery hair perfectly swooped out of his face. Strong arms, tight black T-shirt, long-slung blue jeans. His bright blue eyes sparkled with that mischief that Harry had always known.

She might have had a tiny crush on the boy.

Maybe.

Okay, yeah. She had a huge crush on Louis, but there was no way she could ever tell him that. This town hated anyone and everyone in LGBTQ community. Well, she wasn't gay though. She was only a girl with a crush on a cute boy, what's the harm in that?

Harriet smiled back at Louis, setting her laptop away.

"Hiya, Harry." He grinned at her, tipping an imaginary hat. Harriet's heart fluttered a little bit.

"Hiya, LouLou." She teased, giggling as Louis grimaced.

"So what would you say if I told you," Louis did his best sexy walk towards Harriet, flinging his arm out until it snuck around Harriet's waist, pulling the younger girl to Louis' chest. She might be younger, but Harriet was still shorter than Louis. "That you and I have been cordially invited to join a certain blond Irishman, no-haired boy, and a quiffy out for a Saturday lunch before we see a movie?"

The thing that Harriet liked best about Louis was that he constantly taunted the boundary lines of what was okay in this town. He was clearly a bit feminine, but he was the captain of the football team as well. He loved to mess around and pretend to snog the other four lads, but had many stories of startling encounters with girls. Whenever the five were together, he was the loudest and always pretended that he was dating one of the others, but he was also on the drama program. The bottom line was, Louis was too funny for anyone to tease too ridiculously. But anyway.

A movie with Louis. And the other lads. But with Louis is what Harriet focused on.

"Then I would like to accept that invitation, my dear feather head." She giggled, pretending to swoon in Louis' arms.

"Watch it, Curly." He laughed, rolling his eyes and pulling Harriet back upright. "Well, go on, get your makeup on! We've gotta go!"

Louis didn't know it, but Harriet's heart had stopped with that little phrase as she grabbed her phone. She knew the boy was only teasing her, but that had scared her. She always tried so hard to be careful, but what if...

What if Louis already knew something just by looking at Harriet?

What if she gave off 'transgender' like some type of bad smell?

Did she really do that?

'No, no.' She thought to herself as she followed Louis out to the older's shabby little blue car, that, coincidentally, matched his eyes perfectly. 'There's no way he knows that. Nobody knows that you're Harriet except you.'

That had reassured her pretty well.

For the moment.

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