13: Movies and Mysteries

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C H A P T E R    T H I R T E E N

Movies and Mysteries

(2 months til' Christmas)

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                  HARRY WAS FALLING asleep. Quickly.

                  He was just so comfortable. His fingers were lazily stroking Dashing's fur, running them along the length of the cat's tail until he'd curl it up at Harry's touch. Honestly, he wasn't even sure what film they were watching anymore.

                  Beside him, he knew Louis was somewhere, his shoulder sort of digging into the side of Harry's back that he had turned toward him. Lottie had fallen asleep long ago in the chair that Harry vaguely remembered being sat in that night he was all pissed up, Charming dozed off in her lap as well. That was the last thing Harry saw before he gave in and let his eyelids droop all the way shut, the side of his face pressed against the back cushion of the sofa.

                  But he couldn't have been asleep for more than five minutes when he felt Louis shifting. "Well that wasn't nearly as good as Lot said it would be. What did you think, H?"

                  Harry hummed, squeezing his eyes shut and turning his face even further into the sofa cushion.

                  "Wait, did you just sleep through it? Are you serious?"

                  Louis was up doing something, probably putting the DVD back into its case. Harry could imagine him stood in the middle of the room, staring at the lump Harry was on the sofa with amusement and slight disbelief; his jaw might even be hanging slack, just a little bit. Enough that it'd be so unbearably cute it was a good thing Harry wasn't actually looking. Keeping his gaze averted didn't stop his lips from slowly curling into an embarrassing smile. He hoped Louis couldn't see it.

                  "I hope you had a nice nap," Louis continued. "I hope your dreams were filled with...with peppermint hot chocolate and bad Christmas movies and fucking maple syrup."

                  Finally, Harry lifted his head and peered at the little man through the dark. "Maple syrup?"

                  "Yeah. Do you like it on your spaghetti?"

                  "Why the hell would I like it on my spaghetti?"

                  Louis shrugged. "I don't know. You remind me of Will Ferrell in that stupid Elf movie. I just assumed you were the kind of despicable human being who enjoyed maple syrup in your spaghetti."

                  It was too much. Harry buckled over with barking laughter, frightening away Dashing in the process and startling Lottie awake. Her tired gaze flickered between the two boys before a yawn rolled through her and she pushed herself out of the chair.

                  "Harry, love, as much as I adore you and your deafening laugh – and you know I do – I'm going to have to kick you off the sofa," Lottie mumbled. "I've got work in the morning."

                  Louis pointed a finger at Harry. "As do you."

                  Still not over the Elf thing, Harry took Lottie's outstretched hand and – once he was vertical – pulled her into an embrace. "Must be nice to have the weekends off," he grumbled into her ear. She stifled her chuckle in his shoulder.

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