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…

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9. Chapter nine.

Felix looked up and scanned the room, examining the five boys giving him accusatory stares. Niall was holding his hands out in front of him, as if the threat of setting himself on fire would be some kind of deterrent – although they weren’t sure whether he could project the flames or throw them, or do anything with them, hopefully the threat would be enough to subdue Felix if he started getting too hard for Louis to restrain. A few strands of silky black hair fell across his forehead, and as he shook it out of his eyes, he looked like a young child rather than the sour, mocking adult he was acting like. The cool grey eyes of a harsh, cynical young man were staring out of a boy’s face, and it was rather unnerving. Nobody quite liked to meet his gaze.

“Hi, I’m Felix Hill,” he said – and he paused with a wicked, impish grin plastered across his good-looking face. “And I’m an alcoholic.”

With an irritated sigh, Louis thrust his hands forwards and sent the force field rolling across the floor like a marble. Felix stumbled and fell, his hood falling onto his head and over his eyes, and he threw his hands out to catch himself before he tripped clumsily and dropped to the bottom of the bubble in a heap.

“Quit messing us about,” Louis growled. “If you’re not going to tell us the truth…” He raised his hands menacingly, and Niall coughed softly, holding out his arm and clenching his fist in a threatening manner, as if he might set it on fire and start landing flaming punches on whoever irritated him. Of course, the other boys knew that Niall could do nothing of the sort, and probably wouldn’t even if he’d had the ability – but Felix had no idea. Wisely, he backed down and sat sulkily on the floor again.

“Well, I’m sorry for trying to lighten the mood,” he huffed.

“In case you haven’t noticed, we’re chained to the wall in a dark room being filled with magical substances that are doing god knows what to our biochemistry – excuse us for not laughing at your crap jokes,” Zayn snapped bitterly.

“Just trying to make light of a bad situation,” grumbled Felix. He leaned backwards, shifting his weight, and examined Louis critically. “Do you want the whole story?”

“The whole, unabridged, non-government approved version, if you don’t mind,” Harry answered.

“Fine.” Felix sighed heavily and held up his hand, palm facing them, and recited boredly “I swear by almighty God to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the –”

“Do these drugs turn you obnoxious as well as supernaturally gifted?” Liam enquired, suspiciously poking his fluid bag with one foot.

“Hopefully not,” Harry murmured, sneaking a glance at Louis. He couldn’t imagine either Niall or Louis suddenly becoming obnoxious.

Put out at being interrupted, Felix demanded “Do you want your questions answered, or not?”

“Don’t get shirty with me, sunshine,” Louis snapped, “unless you want to give us another demonstration of how excellent you are at rolling all over the floor.” He flexed his fingers meaningfully. “Start talking.”

Clearly, the black haired boy disliked being at a disadvantage; he sullenly tossed several locks of hair, that were blacker than crows feathers, out of his eyes, irritating Zayn the perfectionist, who wanted to go rushing over and give the guy a haircut just to stop him flicking his hair around. Then he met Louis’ gaze full on and gave a very loud and insolent sigh, like a rude teenager in high school.

“My name is Felix Edward Hill,” he announced uninterestedly, “I’m sixteen –”

“Ha!” Niall exclaimed. “Say all you like; show off about your fancy powers; flip all your flicky hair around like a dark-haired version of Barbie; make your daft jokes and act like you’re God’s gift and you know it all – but the fact is, we can all legally drink, and you can’t. Suck on that, b –”

“Okay, Niall, thank you,” Harry interrupted hastily. But he couldn’t help but add “And we can all drive legally as well.”

Felix made a disparaging noise. “Whatever. You lot will die before me.”

“Ladies, ladies, save it for the animal shelter,” Zayn said boredly.

There were several noises of outrage from the boys who had been childishly fighting, and Zayn rolled his eyes, slightly amused at the reaction he had caused. Niall opened his mouth to start squabbling, but Liam silenced him with a look.

“Keep talking,” he said, glaring at Felix.

“If you’re sure you guys can handle it without any more outbursts,” Felix snapped. He sighed heavily and rubbed his eyes. “Okay. So I was innocently wandering along – like you do, heading down the street, going to meet this girl. Her name was Abby, lovely girl, excellent t –”

“Spare us, please,” Louis begged, “we don’t care about your girlfriend’s boobs!”

Innocently widening his eyes, Felix protested “I was going to say ‘teeth’. What on earth is wrong with you, making sexual innuendos out of everything I say?”

Tutting, Louis waved a hand as an indication for him to continue.

Anyway,” Felix carried on, “I was walking along, and then this guy came and asked me if I was interested in earning a bit of money. I said, what kind of money? He said, easy money. I was like, yeah, okay, whatever. Why not? So I went after him. He sat me down in this cafe and started asking me a bunch of questions – you know the sort; name, age, medical history, was I sexually active…” The sudden wicked grin that appeared on his pale face answered that question before any of the boys could voice it. “Then he headed me off to his big white van.” He grimaced.

“Oh, God,” Harry muttered.

“Yeah, I know. Stranger with a white van? Total cliché. I was starting to get a bit wary of the whole thing, so I started to back off a bit – but he grabbed hold of my arm. Well, I wasn’t having any of it, so I started yelling and fighting, and then all of a sudden he was slamming some gross stinky rag over my nose and then I was…well, I don’t know. Passing out, or something. Like a girl.” He made a disgusted noise. “I fainted! God, that’s embarrassing.”

“Chloroform,” Zayn murmured. “I’d rather have had that than a massive needle stabbed in my arm.”

“I gave him a massive whack,” Felix announced dreamily. “Took him a while to get me under, I think, and I wasn’t going out without a fight…I properly walloped him!” He looked pleased with himself.

“Well, that’ll be the reason why,” Louis sourly told Zayn. He turned to Felix. “Thanks, kid. You got us all a lovely shot of anaesthetic because you couldn’t keep your fists to yourself!”

“Don’t blame me!” Felix cried. “Stop yelling at me. I’ve come to break you out; you could be a little more grateful!”

“How do you plan to do that?” Zayn asked. “So far all you’ve done is prat about and show off about how great your powers are. What are you going to do – smash our chains with your big head?”

Sniggers rippled through the room. Felix looked annoyed.

“In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m trapped in a bubble,” he hissed.

“As it so happens, I had noticed,” Louis said mildly, “because I’m the one who’s trapped you.”

“How am I supposed to help you when you’ve got me stuck in this thing?” Felix demanded, violently pummelling the sides of the orb.

“As I’m not convinced that you’re going to help us at all, and we don’t want you popping off and leaving us, you’re staying right there.”

“You’ll have to let me go sometime,” Felix muttered sulkily, “you can’t keep that up while you’re asleep.”

There was a long pause as they anxiously thought about that.

“Then I guess it’s a good job it won’t come to that, because you’re going to tell us everything,aren’t you?” Louis said fiercely, sounding far more confident than he really was. “After you’ve done that, we’ll decide whether or not to trust you. Then maybe we’ll let you out.”

Felix sighed and then carried on with his story. “Fine! Whatever you say. Okay. So I woke up in a room pretty similar to this one – dark, gross, not fit for human habitation…and at that point, I’m guessing the drugs were at a way more experimental stage. Don’t you guys lecture me about having it bad! They tried feeding the stuff to me first, but that didn’t work well; it tastes horrible, and reacts really badly with saliva; all these pus-filled blisters bubbled up on my tongue and didn’t start going down for about a week. They had to feed me through a tube because I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t even close my mouth without all the boils rupturing and new ones forming in their place. It was horrible. I’ve never been through anything so painful in all my life.” He swallowed bravely, but his eyes looked wet and shone a little too brightly.

Aghast at the revelation, Niall, Liam, Louis, Zayn and Harry stared in pity at him, shocked at the thought of anyone being subjected to an ordeal like that. It made their own imprisonment seem like a beach holiday.

“When they worked out that it wasn’t going to work that way, they started injecting me daily. They must have a better idea of the necessary dosage now. But I was being stabbed with needles twice a day, and given medical checks what felt like every ten minutes…and I just felt like I couldn’t take it anymore.”

“I know that feeling,” Niall murmured sympathetically.

“Then,” continued Felix dramatically, “one day, when I was just…hanging there, feeling like I wanted to die, something ultra freaky happened. It was weird. One second I was uselessly stuck up on the wall like some painting in a museum or something – the next, I kind of did this little shudder, and everything went all tingly. Then cold. And then I fell.”

“Fell where?” Liam asked.

“Onto the floor, of course!” replied Felix impatiently.

Niall blinked uncertainly at him. Louis pulled a sceptical face, raising one eyebrow and pursing his lips in disapproval. Liam shook his head slowly, seeming confused, while Zayn scrutinized Felix’s face with interest, trying to decipher the feelings behind the fierce pearly grey eyes that staring sullenly out at them. Harry, however, was watching Louis anxiously, noticing his hands beginning to shake slightly, the first few beads of sweat forming on his forehead as he struggled to hold the field firmly in place. Worried, Harry scanned his face, wishing he could help. Despite the amount of practice he had been getting lately, Louis still struggled to hold fields of such a large size and density for an extended period of time, especially without having even a second to rest. Sympathetically eyeing his best friend, Harry nibbled his lip and then nervously glanced at Felix. He hoped there would be no sudden mutiny; Louis was flagging, and Harry was afraid that under pressure, the bubble might pop.

“I thought I’d died, at first,” Felix murmured quietly. “I thought maybe through sheer force of will, I’d killed myself somehow. And that I’d fallen through the chains because I was a ghost. But I looked back, and when I saw that my body wasn’t there…I figured that somehow, I must have done it.”

Impressed, Zayn’s eyes widened.

“I tried a few more things,” Felix carried on, “and at first I whacked my fingers a couple of times, but then I figured out how I did it. I went a bit crazy with the whole thing – running through walls, stepping inside trees, that kind of thing…it was quite childish, really, but I wanted to get to grips with it. Then, I just walked out. Straight through the wall, onto the highway, and kept walking. For a long time.” He reached up and wearily raked a hand through his fluffy black hair. “Far too long. I didn’t know where I was. Just walking started to feel worse than being chained to a wall. At least I was warm when I was locked up. Especially because I wasn’t really dressed for the weather. Torrential rain. Thunder, lightning. And I was wearing an Arctic Monkeys t-shirt and Chinos. Lovely. I ended up just staggering along like a drowned rat, wishing I could be somewhere else…anywhere. But the place I most wanted to be was on Abby’s couch. Curled up with her and a bucket of popcorn, watching Family Guy. I closed my eyes, and all of a sudden…I was there.”

“Just like that?” Niall asked curiously.

Felix snorted. “Aside from the popcorn and Family Guy reruns. Also, it was three o’clock on a Monday morning, so Abby was at college. I ended up landing on her sofa and giving her mum a right shock. It was kind of funny, but she started screaming at me and trying to clock me one, so I ran out through the wall and didn’t stop running. I didn’t go home. I’m officially on the missing persons list now, but I figured out I couldn’t go back. God knows who’d experiment on me!”

“Why did you come here?” Louis asked tiredly.

 There was a slight slur to his soft voice, and Harry was surprised to see that nobody else seemed to notice the faint exhaustion in his tone – or, if they did, nobody seemed particularly worried about it. The edges of the force field were flaring slightly, as if Louis was starting to lose control, and the bubble was losing its lilac tint. Anxiously eyeing his tired friend, Harry frowned slightly.

Stay strong, Lou… he thought worriedly.

“Give me some credit!” was the sharp reply, “I couldn’t sit around knowing that it was happening to other people, and other people were going through all that, and do nothing! Not if I could help. Especially not when I can do stuff like this.”

“Fair enough,” Niall said cheerfully.

Nobody else seemed satisfied by the explanation. Zayn in particular was burning with questions, and began to fire them out in quick succession: how had Felix known where they were? More to the point, where were they in the first place? How had Felix escaped being grabbed by the police? How had he got in so fast? What did phasing feel like? Felix answered the queries sullenly, his mouth forming an uneasy, sulky line. He had known where they were because he wasn’t blind; he kept an eye on road signs, and had been easily been able to teleport into the room he had originally been brought into, as the criminals had lazily not bothered to move their base. They were somewhere remote in the Lake District; nobody recognized the name of any of the surrounding towns. He had escaped extremely easily, because if he saw a policeman, he could teleport away from them in the blink of an eye, or step right through them if they grabbed hold of him, although he preferred not to resort to the latter unless he had to, because rumours of a ghost boy wandering around the country was not exactly conspicuous behaviour. Besides, he could easily teleport out of the cell when they locked him up, mystifying the police beyond belief. He had gotten in quickly because walking through walls, for him, was like walking through thin air for them: effortless, he barely realized he was doing it half the time, and more than once he had lost concentration and fallen through the floor of multi-storey buildings and landed in a room on the ground floor after dropping through the ceiling. Once he’d fallen through the foundations of a building, and ended up solidifying and having to haul himself up through the floor of the house, alarming quite a few people who saw him popping up from under the building. And phasing felt like walking through a draught; normal, but a little breezy, although he was more used to it now, and barely noticed the temperature dip anymore.

“Look,” Felix said eventually, standing up and looking imploringly at them, “I can help you! Iwant to help you, which is unusual for me. Will you let me out so that I can get you away from this place? Please?”

The other boys considered the idea for a while, then Zayn straightened and met the younger boy’s gaze with a steely look in his eye. “What exactly are you planning to do?”

Felix took a deep breath. “My powers revolve around atoms. When I teleport, basically I dissemble myself, transport my atoms through the air and reassemble somewhere different. When I phase through walls, I reduce the density of the atoms in my body which allows me to pass through solid objects. Essentially, that’s all it comes down to. To an extent, I can do the same to other people – that’s how I transport my clothes. What I want to do is to teleport you guys out of here, and at the same time I won’t teleport your handcuffs. So you’ll be completely free.” He gave a self-satisfied little nod, pleased by his own reasoning.

“It’s a good plan,” Liam said in surprise.

Nodding, Felix thrust his hands into the pockets of his hoodie. “I thought we could start with sparks over there? He’s the smallest, he’ll be the easiest to –”

“Whoa, hey, hold on a second!” Harry interrupted. “Have you ever actually done this before?”

Felix blinked at him. “Huh?”

“Clothes are one thing; people are another. Have you ever transported another person before?”

“Of course I have!” Felix cried. Suddenly he looked down, a little embarrassed. “It wasn’t intentional. This guy grabbed hold of me and I went to teleport, and I kind of took him with me. I think he must have thought he’d gone mad! One minute we were in Brighton, the next…Liverpool.” A small, sheepish smile quirked his lips. “He almost had a heart-attack.”

“So you want to do something you’ve never done before on purpose, bearing in mind that you have no idea what you’re doing, and it could all go horribly wrong,” Harry said through gritted teeth.

“Of course it won’t go wrong!” Felix scoffed. “I only ever left part of my shirt behind that one time, and that was ages ago –”

 “You left part of it behind?” Harry asked in horror. “That’s it; you’re not taking us anywhere.”

“That was ages ago!” Felix protested pleadingly, “and besides –”

No,” Harry growled abruptly. He glared fiercely at the dark-haired boy, who seemed to be shrinking under Harry’s gaze.

“What choice do we have?” Louis asked softly.

Harry’s head snapped up, and his green eyes widened as he saw Louis staring at him, blue irises clouded with exhaustion and lips trembling ever so slightly with the effort of holding the field around Felix. Tremors were shaking through his fingers, and Harry gazed worriedly at him.

“I’d rather have a bit of me left behind than be stuck in here forever,” announced Louis wearily. “I’ll go first, though. That way, if anyone gets hurt, it’s me.”

“Lou, no –”

“I’m the oldest,” Louis interrupted sharply, “and you know I wouldn’t let anyone else go.”

“But Louis,” Harry said desperately.

“But nothing,” Louis answered sharply. He locked eyes with Felix. “I’m letting you out now, okay? Don’t do anything stupid.” Then, he dropped his hands.

The bubble shimmered and made an odd hissing sound, and then it faded out of existence, sending the room plunging back into darkness without the dim light it provided. Taking a deep breath, Felix cautiously stepped forwards, arms outstretched as if he expected to run into an invisible barrier. Exhausted, Louis slumped against the wall, breathing shallowly, and Harry’s eyes were wide with concern for his friend as he watched. Felix slowly crossed the room, stood behind Louis, and placed a hand gently on his shoulder, and then gave him a long, sympathetic look as Louis inhaled breathlessly, clearly far more tired than he cared to let on.

“Liam,” Louis sternly said, “take care of the boys. Don’t let Niall burn too hard; I might not be here to put him out.”

“Don’t say –”

“Shut up,” Louis commanded. “Take care of them, do you hear me? Don’t let Zayn wake up Niall when he’s sleeping. Make sure you don’t exercise too hard, because you do way too much. And…” he hesitated, then looked over at Harry, who was staring pitifully at him. “Keep an eye on my curly, okay? Promise me?”

“I promise,” Liam answered fervently. “I’ll take care of them, Louis.”

“Louis!” Harry cried. “Don’t go!”

“I’ll only be a second,” Louis promised. “Like I’d leave you? Just wanted to make a speech.” He swallowed and looked up at Felix. “You ready to go?”

“Ready when you are,” Felix said, and his fingers tightened on Louis’ shoulder. “It feels a bit odd the first couple of times you do it, so take a couple of deep breaths, okay?”

“Right,” Louis agreed grimly. “Okay.” Glancing up, he scanned the room, grinned wickedly, and then said “See you on the other side!”

Harry’s eyes widened in panic.

Louis choked back a laugh. “Of the w –” he began to clarify – but then Felix’s hand squeezed his shoulder painfully tightly, everything blurred in front of his eyes, and the world convulsed and was snatched away from him before he could finish his sentence.

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