21: Moments and Memories

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C H A P T E R    T W E N T Y O N E

Moments and Memories

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                  HARRY MADE IT to Louis' flat almost two hours earlier than he got there yesterday, so he sort of expected Louis to be awake. However, Lottie answered the door and shushed him before he could say a word. With a half amused, half tired lip purse, she gestured over her shoulder. Harry looked.

                  At first, he spotted Tommy sat on an end of the sofa doing something on his phone. For a second Harry felt a mixture of surprise and pride. While Louis looked like he could at least tolerate Lottie's boyfriend by the end of the other evening, Harry didn't really think Louis would allow him over again any time soon. Louis must have liked him a lot more than he let on.

                  But then, of course, Harry finally noticed the reason Lottie had been shushing him. His favorite human with the glacial cheekbones was tucked away in his chair with the twins on his lap, both curled inwards with their fists clutching his wrinkled T-shirt. All three of them were asleep, Louis' head dipping, falling toward Ernie's. Doris' lips were parted peacefully, looking moments away from losing a string of drool, and every few seconds Louis' eyelids would flutter gently like they were reacting to a dream.

                  Harry stepped into the room and shut the door quietly behind him, allowing himself the pleasure of keeping his eyes trained on Lou and his baby siblings. It was the sweetest thing Harry thought he's ever seen, and he wanted nothing more than to capture this moment and keep it forever. He wondered if Louis would mind.

                  God, he looks so soft, Harry thought, feeling a small smile tugging at his own lips. He hoped Lottie and Tommy weren't paying him much attention anymore, because he couldn't help it and he knew it was creepy probably.

                  For a moment, Harry thought back to yesterday when he'd walked in on Louis napping with the twins. He was just...curled up, right there on the end of the bed like a fucking cat with his sweatpants tucked into his socks and no shirt on. His glasses were pressing into the side of his face, and his beanie was starting to slip off his head, but Harry was positive he'd never seen a sight more magnificent, not even the night sky back home.

                  But this...this, today, right now, might take the gold. And he wasn't even shirtless this time. Harry took a deep, steady breath and tore himself away from the picture-perfect sight to remove his jacket and hang it up in the front closet.

                  Lottie had joined Tommy on the sofa, and when Harry turned back toward them they were laughing silently over something on Tommy's phone. Harry stole away into the kitchen to make himself some of that peppermint hot chocolate that Louis always makes for him. Dashing was asleep on one of the island stools, and Harry stopped to pet him.

                  The cat's eyes opened a sliver, and he peered up at Harry with a look that made it clear he wasn't very keen on being bothered. Harry snorted and thought that Dashing might be more like Louis than even Ernie was.

                  After a second thought, Harry abandoned the hot chocolate for now because he didn't want to use the noisy microwave. Instead, he settled for a water bottle and then got situated on the stool beside Dashing, who'd promptly gone back to sleep the second Harry left him. He pulled his journal out from his back pocket and spent the next hour or so jotting down little bits of things that he might turn into something later.

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