Change My Mind

I don’t know if I’ll ever love someone as great as Harry so that’s why I never want to forget this feeling. That’s why I’m scared of moving on. I don’t want to forget what it feels like to be in love with Harry Styles, especially the feeling I got when Harry Styles used to love me back.

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146. Christmas (part 2)

Harry's POV

"I don't wanna take it off."

I gaze down at Lily as she pouts and stares at the ring on her finger. We've been ready for the party for 20 minutes now and my family will be arriving soon. That means that Lily would have to take off the ring. So, for the past nineteen and a half minutes, I've been reassuring her that she would be reunited with it again soon.

I tighten my arms around her waist and place a kiss on her forehead but she still doesn't take her eyes off of it.

"We'll make sure to tell them right away. After dinner and after the opening of the presents, we'll tell them. I mean, if they find out right when they get here, they might bother us the entire time. At least if we wait a bit, we'll only suffer for the end of the party."

She fights off the smile threatening to spread across her face but a soft laugh escapes from her lips.

"But what if it gets lost? Or Luna accidentally eats it? Or a burglar comes in and takes it? Or the world ends and I'm not even able to wear it when we all die?"

I laugh out loud but quickly shut up when she looks up at me with her cute, scrunchy, angry face.

I clear my throat. "We'll keep it in a safe place, where no human, burglar or dog can get their hands or paws on it. As for the possible apocalypse, I'll rush to get it and make sure it's on your finger by the time the world ends."

Her cute, angry face softens into a small smile before she looks down at her hand once again.

"You better. But...if it came down to you or the ring, I'd rather have you by my side when it does."

"Geez, stop saying 'when' like it's going to happen. Your thoughts are so morbid on Christmas."

Finally, she laughs as she swats my arm.

"Don't worry, baby," I say. "I'll keep it safe."

I hold out my hand towards her and she pouts again, giving one more look at the ring before she slowly takes it off and places it on my open palm.

Carefully, I take it to my dresser and place it inside one of my ring boxes before I close it and place it in the back of one of my drawers, perfectly safe.

"It'll be here, safe and sound with my boxer briefs, when we come back and get it."

I turn around and stand in front of her again, placing my arms around her waist and pulling her to me. She leans her head against my chest and I lean down and place a kiss on the top of her head.

"I'm sorry I'm being so fussy about it," she says. "I just don't know what I'd do if I lost it. I know that you'd just get me another one but that one is so special. Nothing can replace it."

I sigh. "I know, baby. No need to apologize. I know exactly how you feel because...that's how I feel about you."

I feel my throat constrict as I think about it, not realizing until now that the way that she's acting towards her ring is exactly how I've been feeling about her since I first met her.

She looks up at me, a soft expression on her face as I gaze down at her. I take my hand and brush my thumb against her cheek before I run it through her hair.

Soon enough, I can see her eyes misting.

"Stop," she says. "You're gonna make me cry and ruin my makeup."

I laugh with her, hoping it'll stop her from crying but, to be honest, I can feel myself tearing up, too. So, I lean down and gently place my lips on hers, giving her a soft kiss as I pull her closer. Her hands glide up to the back of my neck, prolonging the kiss until a doorbell coming from downstairs interrupts us.

We pull away, our eyes opening slowly until our eyes meet with a look of pure love.

"That's our cue," she says softly, giving me a sweet smile. Reluctantly, I let her pull away and I watch her as she goes to the mirror and fixes her dress.

For about the millionth time since I first saw her come out of the bathroom wearing that dress, I give it another glance from top to bottom. It's a little black dress that hugs her curves perfectly but with see-through tulle sleeves with a black, polka-dot pattern to make the dress appropriate enough for a family party. She's also wearing black stockings and a pair of black heels.

So, to sum it up, she looks damn perfect.

She fixes her hair one last time before she turns around and walks over to me.

"You ready?" she asks as she holds out her hand, looking at me with such innocence, not knowing how she looks right now is affecting me. I have no idea how I'm going to last the entire party not being able to touch her how I want to.

I clear my throat and nod, before I take her hand and lead her out. But right as I'm about to open my door, she tugs on my arm, pulling me around to face her. Before I can react, she leans up and crashes her lips on mine. Without missing a beat, I snake my hand to her back, pulling her closer as I deepen the kiss slightly, tilting my head as I dart my tongue against hers gently, just once before I pull away.

My eyes focus on her as I try to compose myself, still trying to pull myself together as she smiles at me.

"Just a little kiss before we go down there."

Finally, I return her smile before I take her hand again and lead her out of the room and down the stairs.

**

"Alright, present time," my mum announces.

The kids shriek in excitement as everyone heads to the living room where the Christmas tree and presents are. I take Lily's hand and lead her to the lounger where I sit down and tug her to sit on my lap. I rock the chair back and forth gently as I wrap my arms around her waist and watch everyone from over her shoulder. She places her hands on top of mine and leans her head back against me.

We watch as the little kids take turns one at a time to open their presents so the parents can take pictures, and when they're finished, they all go play with their new toys. My mum and aunt then take the rest of the presents and hand them out to everyone. Lily places both of ours by our feet and we wait until everyone else is opening their own before she takes one and hands it to me.

"Here," she says. "This one's from your mum and Robin."

I take it, opening it on Lily's lap and see that it's a watch and a mug with the letter 'H' on it. I smile to myself as I look over at my parents to thank them but they're busy opening presents on the other side of the room. Instead, I look down at the other gifts and reach over to pick up the one for Lily from my parents.

I hand it to her and watch as she opens it.

She gasps as she sees a pair of diamond earrings perched in a velvet box.

"Harry. I can't accept this from your parents. This is too much."

I was expecting this reaction. Ever since my parents had called me to ask me if she would like them, I knew that she would react exactly like this.

"Babe, it's okay. They really care about you so they wanted to get you something nice. I'm sure it's just because this is your first Christmas with us so they wanted to make it special. I'm sure next year my mum's going to make us matching, hand-knit sweaters."

I look at her over her shoulder and see the worried frown turn into a smile before she turns her head to look back at me.

"Next year, huh?" she asks. "We just promised ourselves to each other. Don't you think you're thinking too far ahead into the future?"

I playfully glare at her as I pinch her side, making her flinch and laugh. She looks down at the earrings again, taking a deep breath.

"They really are lovely," she says. "I just hope they didn't spend too much on it."

I look up at the ceiling and hold my hands out dramatically. "Lord, please don't let me experience this every time she opens a present. And for every other Christmas we're going to endure."

I grunt when I feel Lily's elbow dig into my stomach. I laugh as she rolls her eyes and places the earrings next to my watch on the table beside us.

"Oh, there's something else."

She reaches inside the bag and takes out a mug, just like mine. However, instead of an 'H', there's an 'L' printed on it.

"Aw, babe, it's matching!" She takes mine and holds it beside hers. "So cute."

I just smile as I stare at her face, drawn to her smile as she looks at our complementary mugs. She places them on the table before we start opening the rest of our gifts.

I get books, cologne, clothes, and bunch of other things from my family, while Lily gets more jewelry, perfume, and other things girls like. There's one more gift left and she reaches down to pick it up before she hands it to me.

"This isn't your real gift," she whispers. "I'll give it to you later when it's just us."

I look at her in confusion as I take the gift and start opening it. When I unwrapped, I'm left even more confused. It's journal, similar to the one I gave her from when I was in South America. I look back up at her, having no idea what's going on.

"Just pretend," she whispers again. "You'll understand later."

I nod slowly and smile at her then lean in and give her a quick kiss.

"Thanks, babe!" I say dramatically. "I love it."

She rolls her eyes with a smile, shaking her head as I place it with all of our other gifts.

"Now, time for your gift." I carefully slide her off of my lap onto the lounger as I sit up. Now it's her time to look confused as she looks around us, probably wondering why there are no presents left. I lean down, resting my hands on each side of her legs. "I'll be right back."

All she does is nod, a sweet smile on her face. I stand back up and walk over to my mum.

"Can I get Lily's gift?"

"Of course."

She stands up and I follow her to the laundry room. I immediately see it, seeing as it's an eight foot teddy bear. I pick it up, barely getting my arms around it as I carry it back to the living room.

I peek over the side of the bear and watch Lily's reaction as she looks up and sees her gift. She gasps, her eyes wide in excitement as she stands up and walks over to me. I place it on the ground in between us and continue to watch her with a huge smile on my face.

"Merry Christmas, baby."

She kneels down on the ground and holds onto it, running her hand through the soft fur, looking like she's going to cry.

"Do you like it?" I ask in amusement as I walk around and sit down on the ground behind her, wrapping my arms around her waist.

"I love it, Harry. I've always wanted one. Thank you, babe."

She turns around and whips her arms around my neck, pulling me in for a tight hug as she places herself in my lap.

"How did you get it here?" she asks as she pulls away.

"Well, I knew I couldn't buy it and bring it in the car. So, I ordered it and asked my mum to pick it up before we got here. And now I have no idea how it's going to fit in the car when we go back home."

She laughs. "We'll tie him to the roof if we have to." She turns in my lap and reaches over to pull the bear closer to us. "Now I have a cuddle buddy when you're away on tour."

"Hm, well, hope you don't get too used to him because I'm still your main cuddle buddy when I'm home."

"Well, maybe you shouldn't have gotten me the softest bear ever as a gift."

She raises an eyebrow, smirking at me as I narrow my eyes at her. She could see it coming because she tries to pull away but I hold her tighter while I tickle her with my other hand. She falls back, landing on the bear as she laughs out loud. She has a hard time trying to keep her dress down as she flails around but I'm not cruel enough to embarrass her so I make sure the dress doesn't ride up. I can feel people watching us so I stop but keep smiling down at her as she tries to catch her breath, her eyes wet with tears from laughing as she stays laying down on the bear.

She reaches up and pulls the head of the bear down to her, hugging it to her body as she turns to her side and cuddles with it.

"Good night, Harry. I'll see you tomorrow."

I playfully glare down at her as I see her closing her eyes and smiling.

"Alright, chill out! I'll take him back if this is how you're treat your boyfriend now."

She laughs as she sits back up, letting go of the bear to slide back onto my lap, her arms winding around my shoulders as she smiles at me.

"Thank you for the lovely gift. I love it."

I pout at her, half-playfully and half-seriously.

"But I love you more," she adds.

And just as fast, a smile breaks from my face.

"If I had to choose between cuddling with you or the bear or anything or anyone else, I'd choose you in a heartbeat. And, if it bothers you, I won't cuddle with it while you're away on tour."

I gently roll my eyes with a smile. "You know I'm just joking. I know how much of a cuddler you are. That's why I wanted to get it for you, so you have something to remind you of me when I'm away. I just don't like it when you pay more attention to it than to me when I'm with you."

She laughs softly, brushing her hand through my hair. "Someone's being awful jealous today."

"I'd like to describe it more as...protective. Don't make me say my pun joke again."

She groans but continues to smile at me, surely remembering the Steal My Girl pun I made about Marshmallow that time that she visited me in Peru.

"Please, don't. I'm still recovering from the first time."

"Oh, shut it. I know you love my jokes. I know you think they're...punny."

"Oh god," she groans as I burst out in laughter. "Get away from me. I don't know you anymore."

I laugh harder as she tries to get away from me but I only hold onto her tighter.

"Okay, okay. I'll stop."

I finally stop laughing as I look up, seeing everyone checking out their new gifts. When my eyes land on my mum, I almost have a heart attack when she points to her ring finger before she wiggles them.

I quickly look around, making sure no one saw her. I look back at Lily and realize that she had seen my mum, too, because she has a hint of nervousness flitting in her face.

"Did you wanna tell them now?" I whisper to her, rubbing my hand along her thigh. "I think it's the right time."

The party's winding down by now, everyone's energy level almost depleted from the excitement from opening the presents. I'm hoping that it'll cause the women to react like normal people when we tell them the news.

She takes a deep breath and looks up at me. "I think so, too. Plus, I'm starting to really miss the ring now."

Smiles break from both of our faces before I carefully slide her off of my lap, standing up and helping her. As casually as we can, I lead her up the stairs and to my room. I take the ring from where I hid it and bring it over to her. I open the box and take the ring in my hands before I take her right hand and slip the ring onto her ring finger, where it belongs.

"You ready?" I ask.

She takes another deep breath as she nods, giving me a nervous smile. "Do you think we should tell them or just wait until one of them notices? If anyone even does."

I shrug. "It's up to you. I'm okay with either way."

She looks back down at her hand still placed in mine, biting her lip as she contemplates her options. "I...I think we should just tell them. Get it over it. I know that I'm just going to be worrying about it the entire time until someone notices it."

I nod in agreement. "That's true. I think we should. I'm sure it won't be as bad as we're imagining it's going to be. They're going to be happy for us. I know that for sure. I'm sure it'll make this day even more special, even for them. They love you and they're going to love you even more when we tell them."

She hesitantly nods her head, not looking even a little bit less nervous. I know that she's worried about how my family's going to react. She's only met them once so I know that she's worried how they're going to take in the fact that we're promised to each other now. But what she doesn't know is that they're just going to love her even more. They're going to see her more as family now.

"Come on. I don't want you to stress about it any longer. I can tell them, if you want."

Again, she nods. "Could you? I...I'm just a bit nervous. Plus, they're your family so it's only appropriate."

I give her a reassuring smile as I nod. "No worries." I take her face in between my hands and plant a kiss on her forehead. "Come on. I'll tell them to stop if they give you a hard time. But I'm sure they won't."

She smiles and closes her eyes as I lean forward and give her another quick kiss on her lips. I meet her gaze again before I take her hand and take a step towards the door. I wait and allow her to make the next move. When she takes a deep breath and gives one strong nod, I squeeze her hand and lead us out of my room and back downstairs.

She lightly grips my wrist with her other hand as we approach my family still sitting around the living room. My mum is the first one to look up at us, a smile instantly spreading across her face as she nudges Robin beside her, catching his attention.

I pull Lily with me in front of the tree and I look down at her and silently ask for her permission. When she gives me a nod, I turn back to everyone else and clear my throat. Her grip tightens in my hand and around my wrist and I squeeze hers back in reassurance.

"Everyone?" I announce, getting everyone's attention. They all look up at me and Lily and I grow nervous for a quick second. But I take a deep, calming breath as I look over at Lily again and give her a smile.

"Lily and I have something to share with you guys."

"You're pregnant!" my aunt Dee exclaims out loud, making all of the other women gasp.

I scrunch my eyebrows and look at my aunt in bewilderment, completely amazed at her for immediately coming to that solution.

Everyone starts to spew questions at us and I quickly shake my head and hold my free hand out, silencing them.

"No, no, no. She's not pregnant. Calm down." I take another big breath, deciding to just get it over with. "First off, we're only sharing this with our closest friends and family so please keep this between us. Alright, so..." I look down at her hand and slowly bring it up, pointing the ring out to everyone. "We're not engaged," I quickly say, seeing as how some of them look like they were about to scream. "This is a promise ring. We're going to get married one day. We know that for sure. We're just not ready to get engaged yet."

"What's the difference?" my aunt asks. "You know you're going to get married so why not just get engaged?"

"Well..." I continue. "We talked about it and we just thought about it rationally. We saw being engaged as having the intent of actually getting married. You know, within a certain timeframe. We have no plans of getting married yet. Lily's still in school and I'm in the middle of a tour. Plus, we're too young. Yeah, yeah, I know that age doesn't really define when two people should get married but we still have a lot of things that we want to experience first before we tie the knot. I know that we can do all of that while we're married but we both want to wait until the right time. We want to have fun right now and not go into all the serious stuff yet that comes with being married. So...that's why we decided that the best thing to do right now is to just promise ourselves to each other."

It's completely silent in the room, a mixture of surprise, confusion and happiness on everyone's faces.

"Well, when you put it like that," my aunt says. "We completely understand. I think it's great. I'm happy for you two."

I breathe a sigh of relief and I feel Lily do the same, relaxing against me. They all start to stand up, walking over to us and giving Lily and I a hug and a congratulations. However, in between each hug, I look over at Lily, relieved that she's smiling from ear-to-ear now as my family converses with her.

As the excitement dies now, I make my way closer to Lily, taking her hand as we're met with the last of the congratulations. My mum is the last to come up to us, a wide smile on her face as she takes my face in her hands and leans up to place a kiss on my cheek.

"I'm so so happy for you two."

I smile down at her. "Thank you, mum."

She turns to Lily and does the same, giving her a kiss on her cheek.

"If you ever need anything, dear, don't hesitate to come to me. Okay? You're like a daughter to me now."

Lily nods, her eyes misting as she smiles at my mum. All I can do is the same as I watch them interact, feeling the happiest I've ever been.

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