MIND GAMES [One Direction fanfiction] - 13 and up

Harry Styles was just a normal teenage boy, a normal teenage boy who had a happy life and was quite content to live it the way nature had intended: completely normally, with no weird happenings or crazy adventures. Yet some things, it would seem, are destined to be, and it would appear that Harry’s fate was to be abducted by insane strangers intent on experimenting on him, and their four other hand-picked victims. Harry sometimes feels so alone, even when his best friends are only a few metres away - and he can’t seem to help but be afraid, because there are so very few things left in his life for him to control…


5. Chapter five.

Harry never thought that he could become irritated by just the sound of breathing, but it would appear that he had reached that low point. The four other boys dangling by the wrists in the same room as him inhaled and exhaled, as they had been doing for the past however many hours – but it suddenly seemed unbearably loud. The soft whoosh of air entering and leaving their lungs made him grit his teeth, ready to scream. Uninterrupted, the noise filled the air, poisoning the silence that Harry craved, tainting the room, and he wanted to scream at them all to shut up, but he couldn’t exactly ask them to stop breathing, could he? Not without sounding like a twat. It was stupid and petty, how much the tiny, simple sounds aggravated him,  but truly, he thought that if he had to listen to the gentle, calm breathing of the four other occupants of the room for just one more minute, he might go insane.

Opposite him, Zayn was staring morosely at the ceiling, nibbling his lip so hard that it was bleeding slightly, and little scarlet beads were forming on his mouth. Harry considered mentioning it to him, then decided against it. Not far from Zayn, Niall was looking blankly into space and mouthing something, possibly song lyrics, although Harry couldn’t see properly in the dim light, so whatever he was whispering to himself was lost in the darkness. Liam was tapping the wall with his fingertips, seeming to find some kind of dull comfort in the pointless, repetitive motion. Louis was flexing his fingers over and over, presumably trying to reawaken them, with a grimace plastered on his face. Harry’s eyes were drawn to the movement of those long fingers as they contracted and stretched, and he watched them with a numb kind of boredom that made the uninteresting action fascinating.

As he observed, Harry spotted the air ripple slightly between Louis’ fingers, and he frowned slightly, craning his neck for a better look. Watching closely, Harry spotted a tiny, translucent bubble the size of a tennis ball blossom into existence above Louis’ head, swirling in the air between his open hands. The bubble was tinged with pale blue and a slight lilac tint, and it looked to have hundreds of minute electrical currents running through it, like veins. It was faint, it was small, and as he stared blankly at it, it dissipated, and Louis continued stretching his hands as if nothing had happened.

Harry yelped in shock and scrabbled backwards against the wall.

All four heads in the room turned to stare curiously at him, and found him gaping at Louis’ hands, which, sensing Harry’s gaze, froze.

“What’s up, Harry?” Liam asked.

If Harry could have done, he would have pointed. Instead, he jerked his head at Louis in shock and stared at him. “You – but – I – how?”

Louis blinked in confusion. “What?”

“How did you do that?” Harry demanded.


“That – that thing you did. The ball, or whatever it was. How did you do it?”

“Harry, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Do it again!” Harry ordered.

“Do what again?”

“You…you don’t…?” Harry swallowed. Was he losing his mind? “Do that thing again, with your fingers.”

Looking worriedly at him, Louis twisted his fingers above his head, loosening and then tightening them. Harry focused intently on the space between his hands, watching with fierce concentration. For a minute or so nothing happened, and Harry was given some very odd and concerned looks, but he didn’t divert his attention. Just when even Harry was about to give up, the air wrinkled and folded, and a faintly lit orb shimmered in the space between Louis’ fingers, roughly the size and shape of a ping-pong ball, with elements of lilac and pale blue running through it in delicate spider-webs of colour. This time, Harry was not alone: Niall squeaked and Liam cried out in shock at the sight. Louis instantly jerked his head upwards, but whatever he had been doing suddenly faltered, and the apparition disappeared.

“See?” Harry demanded.

“What the hell was it?” Niall asked.

“I don’t know,” Harry said thoughtfully. “Do it again, Lou.”

Clearly confused, Louis bent his fingers inwards once again, staring up at them. It only took a few seconds that time before he summoned another bubble in the empty space above his head, this one the size of a basketball, and it twinkled with the lights that pulsed through it, looking eerily ethereal as the faint glow it gave off illuminated all five of their faces with a pale purple light. This one had barely formed before it winked out of existence, and the light faded, plunging them all into darkness once again. Louis gave his hands an appalled look and clenched them into fists so that it couldn’t happen again.

“What was it?” Niall repeated.

“Again!” commanded Harry.


“What? Are you mad? Do it again!”

“No! We might well be mad; don’t you get it? These drugs could be hallucinogenic! By tolerating these hallucinations, we might be playing right into someone’s hands!”

“You’re nuts. After all this time you’ve spent convincing me that we’re sane, now you want to take it all back?”

“We’re not seeing what we think we’re seeing! Have you ever seen anything like that before in your entire life? We’re crazy.”

“If we’re crazy, there’s no going back, is there? Do it again!”

“I don’t want to.”

“Do it,” Harry growled.

Unwillingly, Louis concentrated hard, closing his eyes for a moment or so, and then once again the space above his head seemed to squeeze, pulsing violently as if it was being grabbed by a giant, invisible hand. His face turned pink, and then red, contorting with the force of his focus, and then yet another translucent ball of nothingness bloomed between his long fingers, pretty shades of violet and aquamarine playing dreamily through the surface of it. Holding it steady, Louis stared at it in utter horror, while the other boys regarded the spectre with awe and fascination, Harry especially. Pale lilac light illuminating his white face, Harry gaped enviously at the shape, wishing that he had the ability to conjure something like that. If it had been within his capabilities, he would have been summoning sphere after sphere and hurling them around the room to see what he could do with them, manipulating them to the extent of the powers that he would then possess. It would be something to do, at least; something to play with. The idea hadn’t crossed Louis’ mind; he didn’t disperse the orb, but he didn’t attempt to interact with it either. He just stared at it.

“Can you make it bigger?” Harry asked.

“I don’t know,” Louis said.

He started pulling his hands apart, trying to stretch the sphere slightly, but, like a soap bubble, it glistened and then noiselessly popped, vanishing into empty air with no trace.

“Have another go,” ordered Harry.

“I don’t think I want to.”

“Louis! Don’t you get it? This is amazing! Do it again, I want to see how you do it.”

Pouting, Louis once again splayed his fingers, but this time, instead of attempting to pull the air inwards, he pushed at it. Before their eyes, a large, shimmering purplish-blue orb the size of a wrecking ball manifested in thin air, hovering in the centre of the room and humming softly as it bobbed slightly up and down. It looked less substantial than the others, wavering slightly, and Louis was frowning hard as though it took more effort to keep it in place, but as they watched it hanging suspended in mid air, nobody was more shocked than Louis himself.

The only one who wasn’t staring at the bubble was Liam, whose attentions were firmly directed at Louis. He was struggling to understand the depth of Harry and Louis’ friendship. They had known each other longer than the rest of them had, so it was understandable that they would be closer than the others were – but in the space of a few days they had established a friendship that for most people would have been years in the making. They were almost frighteningly close; they had private conversations consisting of only nods and grimaces; they sometimes finished each other’s sentences; they knew each other better than they knew themselves. Liam had seen Louis watching protectively over Harry as he slept, in an almost paternal way. He was astounded by the way that Louis would bend over backwards to make Harry happy. Louis wasn’t a weak-willed person – far from it; he was one of the most obstinate people Liam had met – but Liam got the feeling that Louis would do anything Harry asked of him with almost no hesitation whatsoever.

“Throw something at it,” Zayn said suddenly.

They all turned away from the orb to stare at him, except for Louis, who was concentrating on not letting it dissipate. Without breaking his focus, he said “What good would that do? It’d only break.”

“Maybe,” agreed Zayn. “Maybe not.”

Scrabbling excitedly at the wall behind him, he made a small cry of triumph as a piece of stone snapped and broke off in his hand. His fingers closed around it, and he allowed himself a small grin before he pulled his hand back and started aiming towards the bubble. It wasn’t easy to throw accurately with his hands tied above his head, but with a flick of his wrist, Zayn launched his tiny missile at the sphere that Louis was fighting so hard to maintain.

His aim was perfect, miraculously, and the piece of rock collided head on with the bubble. It looked so fragile and insubstantial that they all expected it to pop on impact – but, surprisingly, it did nothing of the sort. As the bit of stone hit the surface of the orb, itstretched, flexing inwards slightly to accommodate the impact – then, it sprang back, and the chunk of rock ricocheted off the surface of Louis’ orb and pinged up to the ceiling, where it hit the roof and then was knocked straight back down, shattering on the floor.

They all stared numbly at the perfectly intact bubble.

“It’s a shield bubble!” Zayn cried delightedly.

“Nah,” Liam disagreed. “It’s a force field.”

They all blinked at him.

“What?” Louis said weakly.

“It’s a force field. This is great! You can protect us if those guys turn nasty!”

“If it was a force field, surely it would be around me, not in front of me.”

“Maybe it will be, when you learn how to control it better.”

“But how am I doing it?” Louis cried in frustration.

“Haven’t you ever done it before?” asked Harry.

“You don’t think I would have mentioned something like that?”

“How should I know? It’s a bit weird, isn’t it? Maybe you didn’t want us thinking you were a freak.”

“Harry, I swear, this has never happened before,” Louis insisted shakily.

“Look!” Niall yelped. “The fluid bag! Look!”

Four heads jerked to stare at the transparent bag that was hooked up to Louis’ tube, including Louis’ own as he abandoned the bubble and left it to vanish into oblivion once again. The once slow-moving purple liquid was bright, pumpkin orange, and bubbling fiercely, like lava.

“What on earth…?” Liam asked weakly.

“It’s the drugs,” Louis whispered. “The drugs did this. They made me do it.”

“Is it going to happen to us, next?” Harry wondered hopefully.

“Wouldn’t it have happened already?” questioned Niall.

“Louis’ been here longer than any of us. Maybe it just happened to him first. Maybe we can do it too!”
Harry started experimenting, snapping his palms over and over again, trying to conjure up a bubble the way Louis had. Copying his attempts, Niall contorted his face in concentration, rapidly turning purple as he forcefully opened and closed his fists. Liam stretched his fingers out as far as they would go, while Zayn wiggled his fingers like a street magician and tried to make a sphere appear in front of him.

After about twenty minutes, they had to admit defeat, something that Harry in particular accepted with very bad grace. Scowling, he glared at the floor, furious. He’d so wanted to be able to do it too. Why should Louis get something when he didn’t? It was immature of him to be jealous, but he couldn’t help his feelings.

Liam was about to speak again when all of a sudden, the door burst open and the two strangers came rushing in, showing emotion for the first time since any of the boys had first encountered them. They looked excited, rushing over to Louis and eagerly conversing in whispers over his fluid bag so quietly that they could barely hear each other, let alone allow the boys to eavesdrop. Unfastening Louis’ restraints, they delightedly ushered him from the room, chatting breathlessly with bright eyes, clearly thrilled.

“How did they know?” Niall asked fearfully, looking around worriedly for hidden cameras.

“They’ve probably got some kind of monitoring equipment hooked up to us,” Harry mused.

“This is amazing!” Zayn cried, interrupting their speculation. “Don’t you get it? Those sphere things are hard, and things bounce off them. He could whack those guys over the head with them when they release one of us, and then we could escape!”

“He wouldn’t,” Harry said immediately.


“I know Louis. He’d never hurt anybody, no matter who they were.”

“He would if he had to. There’s nobody on this earth who couldn’t strike a blow if they needed to, if someone they cared about was in danger…even if they wouldn’t do it for themselves, they’d do it for someone else. He’d probably do it for you.” Zayn eyed Harry accusingly.

Me? Why me?”

“He’s like your best mate, or something. He cares about you. He’d do anything you asked.”

“I hardly know him!”

“You’re closer to him than you are with any of us, and you haven’t known him for much longer.”

“I couldn’t ask him to hurt someone!”

“Would you rather ask him that, or be stuck here forever?” Zayn demanded.

Harry fell silent, because of course, he knew the answer to that.

“Just think about it,” Zayn continued eagerly. “We could escape from this dump! Next time they unfastened one of us, Louis could whack them over the head with one of his bubble things –”

“Force fields,” Liam corrected.

Zayn rolled his eyes. “Right. Louis could whack them over the head with one of his force fields, and then put one around all of us whenever any of the guys try to get us! Then we could…I don’t know, break down the door with one of them or something –”

“Whoa, whoa, hang on!” Niall interrupted. “Look, this is great, but if we rush into things, who’s to say that it won’t all go wrong? Shouldn’t we give Lou a chance to get a handle on this thing first?”

That,” Harry said, “is the best plan I’ve heard all day.”

“And what if he doesn’t have time to get a handle on things?” Zayn snapped. “What if they take his powers away and stop him from doing it?”

That suggestion was met with an appalled silence as the three other boys stared at him in horror at the very thought. In the space of the last forty minutes or so, their only hope of survival had seemingly become dependent on the unreliable, shaky force fields that Louis had just learned to make and had very little knowledge of manipulating.

“They wouldn’t do that,” Harry said weakly. “They only put this stuff into us to make that happen; why would they undo it?”

“We might just be lab rats. Now they’ve got the information they need, they’ll get rid of us. Kill us off, probably; we know too much.”

“Shut up, Zayn,” Liam ordered, seeing Niall’s pale, frightened face. “That’s not helping.”

“Maybe,” Harry said fiercely, “we should wait until Louis comes back instead of trying to make all the decisions for him? Isn’t having our freedom taken away the worst part about being in this place? Now that he’s got a little bit of that back, do you really want to take it away from him?”

Zayn looked at him, then looked away and swallowed. Liam met his gaze levelly, thinking once again that Harry and Louis really were two of the closest mates he’d ever met, and if he ever had a friend one day who was half as good a mate to him as Harry was to Louis, he’d be unbelievably lucky. Niall just nodded at Harry’s suggestion with a small smile, like he approved of the plan. Leaning back with a look on his face which clearly said he would accept no discussion of the matter, Harry glared at the other boys – not waiting for them to argue, but waiting for them to realize that he wouldn’t give them the opportunity.

Zayn admitted defeat by sighing and turning his face against the wall, settling down as comfortably as could be expected with a row of stones poking into your back. Niall closed his eyes, and they all sneaked envious glances at him, knowing that he would be asleep in seconds: Niall could fall asleep anywhere and at any time; it was a talent of his. Liam just started watching the ceiling like it was a flat-screen TV, his brown eyes flickering along the cracks as if it was the most fascinating thing he’d seen all day. Harry wriggled into a more relaxed position, sniffed, and then sat back to wait for Louis. He didn’t know how long he would be waiting wide-eyed in the darkness for the other boy to return, but waiting was something that Harry was good at. His talent for it had only increased during the last few days.

Harry Styles waited.

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