Kingdom (larry au)

"He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has," Henry Ward Beeche


3. Harry


I dragged my feet as slowly as possible behind my Father.

“Jack,” he hissed, “walk properly.”

I was tired. I’d been sitting in meetings and trudging down endless corridors all day. I was only 6 years old, but as the son of a duke these were things I was excepted to attend.

I sat with a smile on my face and a straight back with no moaning or whimpering.

If I complained father would paddle me.

He lead me down several more shiny wood covered corridors before we reached an open door. In it sat several strict looking people. They stood over a young boy; he only seemed to be around my age, although his clothing was definitely fancier.

He fixed me with a small smile, which I quickly returned. We were both in the same boat. Two young boys of rich men who were forced to do things against their will.

“Louis,” a tall broad man who I had been told was his uncle said, “you two shall be tutored together. We don’t want you getting lonely.”

The boy turned his head away, disinterested. The man stride over and ignoring his yelps picked the boy up and brought him over to me.

“Say hello to the prince, Jack,” Father said prodding me in the back.

i took a shaky bow, “your highness.”

The boy said nothing, but he took my hand in his and lead me over to his pile of toys. “Play with me,”’ He said, “Thomas, doesn’t do it right.”

The adults continued to chatter in the background, but we ignored them. He showed me all of his toys and  we started up some bizarre game. It was nice, after  a day of boring stuff to have some fun.

I didn’t have time to continue before Liam came rushing in telling me to get up. I slammed the book shut. I didn’t want him to see it.

“What is that?’ Liam asked trying to swipe the book off the table.

I knew if I lied he would just continue asking. If I persisted he may even steal it and read it-that was too awful to even think about.

“It’s the story of my life,” I mumbled turning red.

Liam reacted the way I knew he would. He raised his eyebrows and burst out laughing, “You, you haven’t had a life, nobody wants to read about the life of a poor boy, Harry.”

I knew he was right, but his words still hurt. He didn’t know my real story just the one I’d told him. The one where my Dad died and my Mum stopped talking. My book was about the truth.

“What are you gonna do with it, publish it.”

I knew he was still teasing but I couldn’t stand him walking all over me.

“Yes, actually I am.”

Liam didn’t reply.

Despite his words I couldn’t help but be in a strongly good mood. Niall's word from yesterday were still playing on my mind. A weird tingle ran through me. I hadn’t been in a good mood for so long, this feeling was almost foreign  to me.

My good mood did sink slightly as we were forced into the town centre to watch a public hanging.

These hangings happened regularly. Not a week went by when there wasn’t at least two bodies swaying backwards and forwards completely lifeless. Their still eyes would stare in to the distaceb, their heads on one side their broken necks unable to support them.

Todays was no different. A young woman accused of adultery was led not the stage. The crowd immediately responded. The men jeering, the woman simpering. Her family mourning and the young children crying.

I tried not to look as he noose was placed around her neck. I couldn’t imagine the fear which must have been running through her. My hands were sweating and I didn’t even now the girl. Even so I could;t help but feel sympathy for her, she was so innocent. She had done wrong but she was too naive to understand the consequences of what she had done.

For a moment I willed myself to run up the wooden stairs and rescue her. I’d push the guards aside, cut the rope and run away with her in my arms. She’d see me as her hero and she would say,

“I’ve already got a lover, thanks,” and she’d probably push me aside and run off.

In reality the trap door dropped and the woman screamed. in no time all her body was still. The once beautiful creature, full of life and happiness had now been reduced to nothing.

“Well that was lovely,” Niall commented rubbing his bare arms.

Last night the weather had turned bad. Around midnight it had dropped below freezing.. The  temperature in our room seemed to drop below freezing. All three of us huddled together like sardines trying to reserve as much heat as possible.

I woke up with blue lips and my arms a deep shade of red.

“At least she won’t feel the cold anymore,” He creeped over to the woman’s body which had been left for observers to laugh at. I noticed him eyeing up her thick coat.

He didn’t think twice before reaching up to grab it. 

“What?” He snapped noticing my expression, “she doesn’t need it anymore.”

He wad right of course. Even so there seemed something wrong about stealing from the dead. It made Liam no better than grave robbers who went around stealing bodies and selling them to scientists.

Liam slipped the coat on and turned to laughed us, “when you two die, I’ll just be here laughing in my nice warm coat.”

He could be a real dick at times.

“Anyway, I’ve got to finalise my plan to kidnap the prince, he’s meant to be arriving today.”

I gave him a harsh shove. It was only small but he wasn’t excepting it and he went flying into a pile of crates.

This time I couldn’t contain my laughter. Everyone else turned to look as well. They all equally found the situation hilarious.

“Wow thanks,” He snapped brushing himself off.

“Well maybe you should stop joking about kidnapping the prince,” I replied.

“Why?” He retorted, “you seem very defensive about it, are you having a secret affair.”

Liam was just trying to annoy me. He knew just as well as I did that sleeping with the same sex is against the will of God. Even thinking of such a thing would have me sent to hell. My mother was extremely religious and we went to church three times a week. One time before she wen mute I stole a toffee. It was on the floor so I hoped it wouldn’t count but when she found out she paddled me telling me I was wicked and selfish.

I’ve never stolen anything ever again.

Perhaps thats why I was so against Liam stealing.

“Look, just stop it!” I snapped harshly.

Liam rolled his eyes, “sorry, your highness, I didn’t realise you were the boss of me.”

He gave a curtsey which had Niall in hysterics. They both looped arms before walking off together. Niall yelled something after me but I ignored him. They were supposed to be my friends yet neither of them hesitated in ganging up on me. I always cared for people more than they cared about me. That was a fact and nobody was going to change that. All I wanted was for someone to need me and actually for once, care about me as much as I cared for them.

Niall and Liam turned to walk into the local pub. I decided to leave them too it. I knew what they were doing. They were going to blow their own wages then steal mine. If  it weren’t for me they would have died years ago.

Instead I hunched on the railing by the forest, letting my feet dangle. Although it was freezing, some old gentleman had lent me on of his coats. I lay with my feet outstretched my hair blowing in the harsh wind.

My feet would be purple by the time I time I left, but I didn’t care. It felt nice to have some peace and quiet.

 Several horses came plodding through struggling to move in the thick powder. Their riders showed no mercy whipping them until the started moving. The poor animals looked half starved but the riders didn’t care. As long as they got them from a to b they didn’t care what condition the poor animals were in

“You boy,” one of then men called out.

“Shows us the way to the parlour.”

I sighed. This seemed to be more of a command than a question. Here was another group of well dressed men treating a poor boy like crap.

If I were Liam I would have told the men I didn’t know what they were talking about, but being the good little boy I was brought up to be I lead the men deeper into the woods until we reached the parlour.

The men nodded and they walked inside without so much as a thank you.

This was the sort of gratitude I got for doing good deeds.

It was then I noticed a wheel sticking up from the snow. On a second glance I noticed it wasn’t an ordinary cart wheel. Those were small and brown. This one was large and plated with gold, iw as definitely from a carriage. As I poked further into the powder trying to dig the wheel out my feet hit something solid. This time I brushed away the snow to find half of a door. It’s second piece was buried further down. It was scratched and covered in dents but still looked regal.

The creepy thing about these pieces were relatively new. By the time I’d brush most of the snow away I’d found pretty much all of the pieces of the carriage. Somebody must have had a terrible accident. 

The weirdest thing was that the people hadn’t come back to retrieve it. And nobody had tried to steal any of it. That meant I must have been the first person to find it.

A strange pang run through my body. My hands were shaking with fear. If the carriage had only crashed recently and in this foul weather than perhaps-snatching part of the roof I used it to clear as much of the area as possible.

I started to feel round with my hand and felt something soft. Shivering I brushed the remaining powder away.

A blood stained hand was now in full view.

I let out a gasp. A body was lying here in the snow.

This was one of the times in my life, where I didn’t know what to do. Eventually I decided to run back to the town and inform the local funeral parlour. They would send someone to pick it up. Iw would’ve gone through with this plan, if then hand didn’t suddenly move.

The person was still alive. How I did not know. But judging by the snow pile on top of them I had to get them out, fast.

I continued with my scrapping method even though my arms were killing me Eventually I had his whole body in view.

It was boy. A young boy probably only around my age. He had brown hair and his body was tiny. He looked so fragile and innocent lying there with his eyes closed. The ugly cut across his forehead from where he’d hit his head, ruined the beauty of the image.

I shook the boys hand gently. It felt like ice.

He may have been dramatically older but I knew that face anywhere-Louis.

I opened his mouth, praying he was still breathing. He was but only just. I had to get him out and fast.

I wrapped Louis in my coat before lifting him up. He was surpassingly lighter than I excepted. I hesitated on walking with him. Surely this would look awful suspicious. A poor boy carrying a rich boy through the streets.

Louis forehead had started bleeding again. I was no physician but I knew it couldn’t be good.

In the end I had no option but to carry the prince all the way home. I should have brought him to the palace but being selfish I wanted him to stay with me.

I brought him up to Liam's room where his Mum sat doing some sort of sewing.

She gasped when she saw me. She gasped even louder when she saw Louis in my arms.

“Who’s this?’ She asked, “oh gosh he’s bleeding get him down here.”

I placed Louis down on the bed covering him in blankets. He let out a moan. I held my breath but his eyes stayed closed.

“Harry what on earth is a rich boy doing here?” She asked.

I tried to explain. She didn't look as though she believed me but she didn’t argue. She wasn’t exactly going to make a put him back where I found him.

“Poor boy,” She said holding a piece of gauze to his cut, “seems like he’s had quite the time of it, we should rpboably try and find his family.”

“Well we don’t know who they are,” I lied, “We’ll have to wait until he wakes up.”

I still couldn’t understand what was happening.. This was the boy I had stopped thinking about thefts few days. The boy who was once my best friend. The boy I used to care so deeply about.

Sadly know he would be the boy who didn’t recognise me.

I spent the rest of the day simply staring at the sleeping boy. Every once in a while he would moan or twitch but he didn’t wake up. It got later and later and the sky got darker. Chances are Liam and Niall would come back soon and wonder why there was a boy in Liam's bed. The fact he was rich would make the situation worse.

It was then I heard a small voice from behind me.

“Who are you?”

His voice was awfully posh. It was exactly the same as mine used to be. Liam and Niall use to comment on it all the time. I eventually pick up the London slang and learnt to fit in. Every bit of my posh life had been destroyed.

Louis sat up in bed his hair a mess. He rubbed his eyes, looking confused.

“Take it easy, ok,” I said softly.

I gently pushed his arms, but he stayed sat up.

I realised I hadn’t answered his original question.

“Oh I’m Harry, Harry Styles.”

He didn't reply. Instead he stared at me.

“Ok Harry Styles, where on earth am I?”

I didn’t really know what to say. I saved you from your  certain death seemed a little vague.

“What do you remember?’ I asked carefully.

“I remember, leaving home and getting into the carriage. Then the coachman told me we were only 5 minutes away and the son was really thick and-.”

“You crashed, I was in the forest and I saw you lying under the snows o I took you back to my home.”

He continued to stare at me with those gorgeous eyes. It was strange, he was eighteen but he looked so much younger. His body was petite and very small.He looked more like a boy than a man.

“Ok? um thank you but I should probably go to the palace.”

I nodded, disappointed. Of course I knew this was coming. Why exactly would a prince want to stay here with me. I was being stupid,I had seen the boy in over 12 years.

“Please get me a change of clothes,” He instructed.

I blinked not reacting. 

He coughed and started to repeat himself.

“I heard you the first time,” I laughed, “no spare clothes here I’m afraid, I only own two pairs of trousers and Niall's wearing the others.”

“Oh,” the boy said,”why don’t you get your servant to get you some more?”

Was he for real? I turned to look at Liam's mum who had fallen asleep ,her head slumped over. He though she was my servant. He really had no idea of the real world.

Louis had only been awake for five seconds and so far I had preferred him when he was unconscious.

“I’ve got a spare shirt,” I said rummaging under the bed. It was actually Liam's shirt but I decided not to mention this. It was plain and dreary in comparison to Louis’ clothes but at least it wasn’t freezing cold. “It’s his, MY best but you can wear it now,” I said.

“Thank you..,” He mumbled, “It’s sort of coming back to me now. We went against the tree and I was thrown into the snow!”

At least he remembered what had happened. I wasn’t quire sure what to do if we had woken up with amnesia.

Getting out of bed he put his arms in the air.

“What are you doing?” I asked confused.

“Aren’t you going to dress me?” He asked innocently.

He was so adorably clueless. I let out a chuckle but he didn’t join in the laughter. I didn’t know why I was so surprised, I used to have someone dress me too. The again I was six, he must have been at least 18 by now.

I threw the shirt at him, “I’m afraid you need to dress yourself, your highness.” There was a mocking tone to my voice.




I let Louis rest for a few more minutes, after all he’d had a nasty bump on the head. I was scared he might fall back asleep but he stayed fully conscious.

He slowly got changed all though the whole task looked to daunting for him.

Just as we were about to leave I heard the door slam downstairs.

“Mum,” Liam called, “Mum can you hear me? I need you to clean my shirt, Niall being the idiot he is managed to cover me in mud-“

He continued blabbing all the way up the stairs. His mother remained fast asleep throughout.

“Ok um I don’t know what to do,” I hissed to Louis who was doing up his buttons at an agonisingly slow pace.

“For pitys sake!” I snapped.

Grabbing the fabric I did up the buttons for him. By this point Liam was already fiddling with the doorknob. Looking frantically around the room, I eventually instructed Louis to lie under the bed.

“It’s dirty!” He pointed out.

“Look just do it!”

Louis had barely dived under the bed before Liam came into the room.

“What are you, doing here? Liam giggled.

It was obvious he was drunk. He was slurring his words and he could barely stand straight. He clung onto the doorframe; swaying forwards and backwards.

I hated alcohol. It was one of those vile substances which tore families apart. Rich men would earn a decent wage and drink most of it. My father was a heavy drinker. Although he never got violent. he was often squiffy.

“I was just cleaning up,” I said picking up a rag from  the floor. I made a big show of tossing it on the rubbish pile.”

Liam ignored me shaking his mothers shoulder. “Liam?” She mumbled still dazed, “are you drunk?”

We both shared similar views on drinking. On those days where no one worked, we sat at home together whilst the others went down the pub. Liam dad, sisters, Niall Liam and even my Mum would spend the whole day drinking. Often they came back in pieces.

It was up to us to get them all changed and in to bed. It was like taking care of babies.

Liam made his why over to the bed and sat down next to me. He wrapped his arms around me but for a drunk person his grip was strongly tight.

I realised he wasn’t as drunk as he was making out to be.

“Oh Harry, you know you may not be as attractive as me, but I’ve always felt like you will make something of yourself,” He was dangling off the bed by this point worryingly close to Louis.

“Oh you’ll make something of yourself too,” I said awkwardly patting his back. I couldn’t decide whether this a compliment or an insult.

It was then Liam stamped his foot on the ground. That by itself would have been fine. If it weren’t for the fact his foot crunched onto Louis’ hand.

It was a that moment I knew I was fucked.





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