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…


4. Chapter four.

Awakening to a stiff neck, an empty stomach and the uncomfortable feeling of having spent the whole night sleeping with a piece of rock jabbing into his shoulder-blade, Harry found himself being quickly unfastened and manhandled across the room, dizzy and disorientated. It took him a few seconds to process his surroundings before he figured out where he was, and a cursory glance at Niall and Louis, who looked wide awake and had lost the ravenous look that they had been wearing for the hour or so before he had fallen asleep, caused Harry to conclude that he had been left for last. Presumably he was expected to be the most troublesome. They had overestimated him; tired and wobbly, he was in no fit state to fight them, and collapsed into the chair they offered him with a wave of relief so strong that he almost laughed at it.

Things were a little different that time: they gave Harry some sort of fitness test, making him run on a treadmill (which he was reasonably good at) then getting him to do sit-ups (he managed thirty before collapsing in a breathless heap).  Every triumph and failure was noted on a little chart, and they measured his change in heart-rate after each test, each time seeming dissatisfied. Harry couldn’t understand it; his scores weren’t that awful. He considered that they might be testing steroids on him, and came to the conclusion that if they were, they needed to work on that, because the drugs obviously weren’t improving his performance sports’ wise. He had always been quite able-bodied, but he was no athlete.

After that, they tested his reaction times, which Harry was unable to comment on, as he had no idea what scores were considered good in that department. Still, their practically unreadable expressions seemed far more pleased, so he guessed that he had done fairly well. Then, he was given a piece of paper and given a test to do, entirely composed of maths and physics questions. Bewildered and annoyed, Harry did his best, but despite his best efforts, even that wasn’t very good, and he would freely admit it. He soon came to the conclusion that they had no idea what they were looking for, and no idea how the drugs would affect him – which made him angry. Why would they test something if they didn’t know what it was supposed to do?

When he had completed as much of the quiz as he could, to his relief, they allowed him to have a shower – and it felt ridiculously good to wash his limp curls and clear some of the grit and dried blood from his skin. Unfortunately, when he had finished towelling himself dry and had emerged from the cubicle, he had to put the same grimy, unwashed clothes back on, rendering the wash somewhat useless. Still, with his hair rapidly drying into its usual chocolate brown splendour, and his dirty face clean, he at least felt refreshed.

Lunch (or breakfast, it was hard to tell) was fruit; a mixture of grapes, apples, bananas and something that was either a plum or a very oddly shaped blackberry, and then he was given wholemeal bread and a thin slice of ham. He drank four glasses of water and then complained bitterly that it wasn’t something more interesting. His criticism was ignored, as usual, and then he was left to walk up and down the room several times to stretch his legs, grumbling all the while and asking long lists of questions that remained unanswered. In order to be as annoying as possible, he often repeated his queries in an irritatingly innocent voice, copying Louis to an extent, insisted upon calling the men Jeff and Ian, and kept up a stream of chatter that would have tried the patience of a saint. Throughout Harry’s one-sided conversations, the two men stayed impassive, disregarding his questions, ignoring his attempts at engaging them, and appearing uninterested in any subject that he brought up in a bid to catch their interest. It was exhausting, trying so valiantly to speak to two men who seemed not even to talk to each other, but Harry was nothing if not determined, and he kept at it. He had to give credit to Louis for keeping it up for so long; he soon grew bored, and only the knowledge that he was being incredibly annoying managed to keep him from giving up.

When they grew so tired of his insistent babbling that they couldn’t stand it any longer, he was escorted back down the corridor and bundled into the darkened room once again, and wrapped up like a parcel in wires and tubes and chains – and that was when Harry discovered that in his absence, they had been busy, and clearly there were more people around than those two men, because two newcomers were tied up and chained to the wall on either side of Niall, and neither of them looked best impressed with the situation.

“Hey!” said the guy to Niall’s left. He had hair so black that it was the colour of midnight, or the pupils of his wide, pretty brown eyes. He was one of those people who was effortlessly good looking and knew it, but he didn’t look conceited enough to be obnoxious about it. It was hard to tell when he was sat against the wall, but Harry was pretty sure he was tall, and he was definitely skinny. His sleeve was torn, showing off a tattoo on his wrist, and Harry admired it through the darkness. “Tell us what’s going on!” he snapped.

Taking as much notice of the boy as if he was a part of the wall, the men finished checking Harry’s bonds, then wordlessly left. The boy swore violently after them and rattled the chains as hard as he could, as if that would make a difference.

“There’s no point in trying to get anything out of them,” Harry said sympathetically. “Believe me, we’ve tried.”

The boy’s head snapped towards him and those brown eyes speared him with a fierce gaze. “Who are you?”

“I’m Harry, that’s Louis, and he’s Niall,” Harry explained. “You?”

“Zayn,” was the terse reply.

“Liam,” the other newcomer inserted.

“What the hell is going on here?” Zayn demanded angrily. “One minute I was walking down the street, and some guy asked me to take a survey – and then he whacked me in the face with his clipboard!”

The other four winced sympathetically and Harry sucked in a breath.

“Then I woke up here,” Zayn continued dramatically. “Someone care to explain?”

“If only we could,” Louis said wearily. He turned to Liam. “What about you? How did they get you?”

“I was out running, and a bloke stopped me and told me his sister had been hurt. He led me down this alleyway, and then I got a punch in the head and…well, you guys know the rest.” Liam scowled.

“Where’re you boys from?” Niall asked.



“The mystery deepens,” Louis declared. “It really is random.”

What’s random?” Zayn demanded.

“Who they choose,” Harry said, sounding far more cryptic than he’d intended. “Where they snatch us from.”

“Stop speaking in riddles,” Zayn ordered, “and explain.”

“We’ve all been abducted so those creepy guys can experiment on us,” Niall said cheerfully.

Liam and Zayn stared at him like he was some kind of alien. After quickly checking that the drugs hadn’t caused him to turn into one, Harry took a deep breath and began attempting to explain everything – hardly an easy task.

It took a long time to try and persuade Liam and Zayn, and by the end of it they were all looking at Harry as if he was insane – giving him some hope that perhaps he was. The stares they were sending in his direction indicated that they feared for his sanity, and would have locked him up in a mental institute if they’d had the power. He thought he saw Liam shift worriedly away from him as far as his chains would allow, and Zayn allowed a nervous glance towards the door as if by looking at it, he would be able to reach it. Harry understood their concerns: hadn’t he had similar fears about the state of Louis’ mental health?

“It could all be a hallucination?” he suggested hopefully.

Louis snorted. “You wish. I’ve told you before, Harry, we’re not insane. Besides, you really think you could dream up someone who looks like that guy?” He jerked his head at Zayn.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” demanded Zayn defensively. Harry knew that if there had been a reflective surface within reach, he would have been staring into it.

Louis smiled wryly. “You look like a model. No offence. Seriously, unless our boy Harry likes checking out teenage girl magazines, I can’t think of how he could imagine someone who looks like you. Come on. The hair, the eyes…you’re just one of those guys, aren’t you? The girls go wild for your type.”

Zayn looked pleased. “Really?” He started preening proudly.

Harry rolled his eyes. “You may have a point.”

“I don’t get it,” Liam said in frustration, “what exactly are they supposed to be testing on us?”

This question was met with several vague sounds which indicated that nobody had a clue.

“You’ve been here the longest,” Harry reminded Louis, “you ought to be the expert.”

“All I know is what I’ve told you,” Louis promised, “You’ve heard my take on the subject, and my theory, but I can’t be specific, I’m afraid.”

“We should run tests!” interrupted Niall excitedly, “on the fluid!”

Zayn rolled his eyes at the suggestion, and Liam shook his head. Harry sighed heavily while Louis kindly reminded him “We’re tied up, Niall, and we have no equipment. How do you suppose we test it?”

“Oh.” Niall slumped against the wall in defeat. He suddenly perked up, azure eyes bright with renewed enthusiasm. “Let’s get rid of it! We can pull the needles out and –”

“Harry already tried,” said Louis patiently. “It didn’t work so well…show them, Harry.”

Turning his hand, Harry displayed the large, cracked scab stretching from his knuckles to the top of his wrist, with the larger, thicker needle firmly attached to his skin. Noises of disgust, sympathy and horror accompanied the action, as Niall squeaked in shock, Zayn shook his head pityingly, and Liam just looked appalled.

“How long have you guys been here?” Liam asked worriedly.

Harry, Niall and Louis exchanged perplexed glances.

“I reckon I was here for about three days before Harry showed up,” Louis said, giving Harry a fond smile. “How long have you been here, curly? About two days?”

“I think so. Niall joined us yesterday. So that means they first started stealing people five days ago… it feels like forever. I don’t understand what they’re looking for! They must be pretty impatient for results.”

“What are they even looking for?” Niall wondered.

Harry shrugged. “I don’t have a clue. They gave me a fitness test, a blood test, an x-ray, and a lovely impossible physics quiz – do any of those things have any kind of link? Because I can’t see it.”

“That’s what they did to me!” Niall cried excitedly. “It was weird.” He shook his head in bemusement.

“This is all so stupid!” Zayn said furiously. “Nobody knows what’s going on, other than that it’s twisted. We’ve been abducted by some random guys for no apparent reason. We’re just five guys from unrelated places and we’ve been thrown together – we don’t even know each other! This is totally screwed up.”

Life is totally screwed up,” Louis said dreamily.

All four of the other boys stopped to stare at him as if he was some kind of genius, just for coming out with that extremely random but true statement in the middle of a rant about how awful their situation was.

“Lou,” said Harry in amazement, “that’s the first time since I’ve met you that I think you’ve actually said something meaningful.”

Blinking at him, Louis widened his eyes. “I know…oh good lord, WHAT HAVE THESE DRUGS DONE TO ME? WHAT?”

Harry grinned and shook his head fondly. “If they’ve made you intelligent, god help the rest of us.”

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