Harry - Step One
A look at the Harry raised by cats in Claire’s mental health clinic!AU.
Sorry if this is a bit off, everyone. It’s late and I’m really sleepy, but I wanted to finish this before Claire got up in the morning. (She doesn’t know that I was writing this today. ;D)
Also, it is extremely difficult not to use big words.
Harry didn’t know much, it seemed. He didn’t like to talk and he didn’t like the people dressed in white. There was very little that he could do before they got loud and yelled or got too close, and he didn’t like when they did that to him. He only knew how he felt, and that was enough for him.
When his stomach felt funny and made strange noises, he ate. When his throat got scratchy and itchy, he drank. He used the loo when he needed to, and when he felt sleepy, he found somewhere nice and he slept. Things were supposed to be simple like that. There wasn’t supposed to be a woman who told him how he should act and there wasn’t supposed to be people scrubbing red off of the floor.
Harry didn’t know much, but he knew what blood looked like. He knew that it was Louis’ blood and he knew that Louis wasn’t there now because he had been hurt.
Harry hated when Louis went away. Sometimes he’d be gone for a couple minutes, and it wouldn’t be so bad. Other times, though, he might be gone for hours. Harry got really sad when that happened. The woman he had to see told him that it was called being “lonely”, and that he would get used to it eventually. She had said that Harry would eventually be able to go days at a time without seeing Louis, and it would be okay.
Harry had asked why he would ever go so long without Louis there. She had made a face and shook her head, and it had made Harry scared. Whenever Louis left, there was nothing that said when he would be back. He might not ever come back again. Harry had been left behind before, and he liked that even less than he liked Louis being gone in the first place. He wanted everyone to stay, because that was what they were supposed to do.
His friends back home, from before he lived here, would never have left him behind. There was always at least one of them around, watching over him and clawing at his fur. They thought it was funny-looking, that he should have fur all over and tails and ears like they did. They thought that he needed to be looked after, because he was so different from them and he needed to find a way around.
That time, it had been Harry who left them. It didn’t matter that he wanted to stay with them like he had been. The people in white had told him it wasn’t normal for him to be there and he had to come with them. He had to be fixed.
Harry didn’t want to be fixed.
Harry just wanted to go home.
Louis had told him that he couldn’t go. Louis had said that Harry would have to stay with him here, in these clean white rooms with the clean white people and the rules that he didn’t like or know very well. Louis told him that he had to sleep in the uncomfortable bed, even though he liked it better on the floor. Harry had listened, for the most part, because it was Louis and, of all the things Harry had found in this clean, white world, he liked Louis the best. (He still wouldn’t sleep in the bed.)
Zayn drew nice pictures for Harry to look at. Liam was really funny when Harry got into his room and put everything in the wrong place. Niall told great stories, and Harry didn’t really even have to know what he said to enjoy them. Louis, though, had always been there for Harry and had stood up against that woman and those people in their nice white clothes when they were mean. That was better, Harry had decided, than the watching and the waiting and the frowns of the other boys.
Louis had done something to help Harry. He didn’t always say to get off of the windowsill and he didn’t always get mad when Harry mewed and purred because he didn’t want to use his words. Louis was told to get mad at Harry when he did those things, but he didn’t always. Sometimes, he said he just didn’t have the energy.
Harry knew that Louis would be gone a long time this time, though. There was something tugging in his heart, something that hurt. It didn’t hurt like Harry did when the people in white grabbed at him, with fingers digging into his arms and clawing away at skin. This was a different hurt, almost like when he needed to eat, except he wasn’t hungry.
He thought he might be lonely again. The bad feeling in his heart told him the same thing it had when he’d been taken away from his home. It said to him that he might not see his friends again, because they were gone or maybe he was leaving. Someone wasn’t staying like they were supposed to. It said that maybe this was what the woman had been talking about when she said he could go so long without Louis.
He hoped his heart was wrong.
Harry didn’t want to leave his room if Louis wasn’t outside. He liked to hide in his pile of sheets and hide away. If he hid long enough, Louis would usually come back and tell him that it was time to get up. Sometimes, Louis would be tired. His eyes would be red, and his voice would sound funny. Harry made sure to say sorry, those times. Other times, Louis would be smiling and happy. It was a lot easier for Harry to pretend that nothing ever happened when Louis was happy.
It wasn’t Louis today, though. When the door opened, Harry lifted his head and hissed. He could see the eyes that were too blue and the fur that was too light and the jumper that didn’t look like Louis’. That lonely feeling in his chest was back, saying that Louis wouldn’t have been at the door because Louis had left Harry and he wouldn’t be back for a while because it was his blood on the floor in the loo and he had to get fixed before they would let him come back again.
The thought made Harry sad, too, right where the lonely feeling was. He wanted to be mad and he wanted to scare Niall away, but he couldn’t do that if Louis wouldn’t walk through the door later and say that everything was okay. He couldn’t be mean to Niall if Louis wouldn’t make everything better.
“Harry, it’s just me, come on. It’s okay. Louis is going to be fine.”
Niall said Louis’ name, and the sound of it was too much. That sadness wasn’t just in Harry’s heart now. It was in his head and his eyes and his lungs, too. His whole body felt it, tugging at him and bringing him to tears. He didn’t want Niall. He wanted Louis.
Harry just wanted his friend back.
Niall knew that. He was making his way toward Harry now, talking softly but not in the way that strangers did. He talked how Louis did and he walked how Louis did. He pet Harry’s head and comforted him like Louis did. Niall did everything he could to make Harry feel better, and Harry liked it.
Harry felt bad for liking it, though. He wasn’t supposed to like anyone else this much. He wasn’t supposed to fall asleep in someone else’s lap. Harry was only supposed to be this close with Louis. Niall wasn’t Louis. This wasn’t right. It didn’t make all of the bad feelings go away.
They both knew that Harry was going to lose that fight, though. It had been a long day and he was tired. He’d been crying for a very long time and his eyes were sore and his throat hurt. He had used all of the energy he would have had to fight off those white people out in the hallway when they had taken Louis away, and there was no way for him to scare Niall off. There was no way for him to get the company he really wanted to have just then.
So Harry gave up and closed his eyes. He forced even breaths through his teeth, like he’d been told he should. He tried to calm down and forget about Louis and Louis’ blood and Niall’s hands and the sound of his own screams. He tried to forget about people in white coming for him with long, thin fingers and sharp claws that hurt him. After a while, he did. Harry forgot about all of it and finally got himself to fall asleep.
Maybe Harry dreamed of Louis, but there was no way for him to really know. He didn’t know what dreams were, really, and he didn’t know what was fake and what was real. Harry didn’t know if he should believe what he saw when his eyes were closed.
Harry didn’t know much, it seemed.