ACT II: CHAPTER TEN

19.1K 1K 2.3K


A/N: Welcome to Act II.

HARRY / PAST

I packed a small duffel bag for my trip to Paris: passport, itinerary, toiletries, socks, underwear, a light jacket, two pairs of slacks, a pair of jeans, two button-downs, two t-shirts, a cardigan and a suit for the ballet.

I would have three whole days to sightsee. Zayn lent me his DSLR camera and taught me how to use it. "I'll help you edit the images when you get back. If you take any good ones we can print them and hang them up in our room."

Zayn's sketches hung all over the walls of the dorm along with Louis' posters of footballers and dancers. I hoped I got some good shots so I'd have something of my own to put up.

Eleanor lent me a dog-eared guidebook, annotated with all the clubs and bars that didn't ID.

Gigi lent me one of her flowy silk scarves that she swore all the men in Paris wore.

Louis claimed he wasn't mad at me, though he hadn't said much until the day of the trip.

"Here," he said, dropping a pair of gold cufflinks into my palm. "My grandfather gave them to me when I got into RBS. You should wear them to the show."

I gripped them tightly. "I'll miss you."

"No you won't. You're going to have the time of your life."

"That doesn't mean I won't miss you."

"You're going to meet all sorts of important people. You won't be the same when you get back."

"Yes I will!" I couldn't imagine any three-day trip changing me that much and even if it did, it still wouldn't change the way I felt about Louis.

"When Beauchamp took Hans Faust to Paris his picture was in the society pages and he stopped talking to all his school friends."

I looked down at my scuffed sneakers and the khaki pants that hung off my waist. "Uh, I don't think I'll be making the society pages anytime soon. You don't have to worry about that."

I hugged Louis goodbye. He pressed his forehead to my shoulder and stood limply in my arms.

Outside, I met Beauchamp who was waiting for me along with the school's driver.

Louis was watching us in the window.

I waved.

***

I'd only been on a plane once, on a family trip to Spain. I'd never travelled alone, or without my mum. I felt very grown up standing in line at Heathrow with my passport. I was responsible for my own documents and luggage and everything.

Beauchamp kept to himself mostly. While we were sitting in the gate waiting to board he bought me a sandwich and a computer magazine. It was weird that there were magazines about computers. Don't people just go online to read about computers? But Beauchamp was around before computers were invented so I suppose it made sense to him. It was nice of him to buy something he thought I might like.

The flight was short but it was already late in Paris, so we headed straight to Beauchamp's apartment for the evening.

All of the buildings in Paris looked like they belonged on a postcard. Even the ugly buildings were pretty. I wanted to start taking pictures straight away but it was too dark out.

I had my nose in Eleanor's guidebook trying to figure out what I wanted to see the next day when Beauchamp lifted my chin and pointed outside. There was a giant billboard for Swan Lake, a stunning picture of his wife as the white swan. Louis' words: you won't be the same when you come back started to take on new meaning. I was going to stay with this famous dancer whose face was on a billboard in the center of Paris. I flushed with pride.

Flightless Bird || l.s.  ✔︎Read this story for FREE!