Harry managed to get River a flight for early the next morning, and before she could even really register what was happening, she was climbing onto the plane and hunkering down for the long flight. She watched a film and ate a pretty decent meal and the flight surprisingly felt like it went really quickly. Before she knew it, she was in London. Harry had a car pick her up from the airport and the drive to his home was about an hour.
As the car went through the gate and down the driveway, a house appeared before them that was nothing at all like River had imagined. It was big but not garishly so and it had a very quaint farmhouse look about it. A huge yard sprawled around it and there were flowers of various colors scattered all over the place.
Harry stepped out of the house as they pulled up, a huge grin on his face. River all but launched herself from the car and went to him, sighing heavily as he wrapped his arms around her.
"Hello, lovely," he whispered into her hair and she looked up at him, kissing him lightly on the lips. He shook his head, kissing her again with more passion.
"It hasn't even been a full day since we saw each other but I missed you so much," she admitted to him, and he smiled.
"I missed you too."
"This house is absolutely lovely, Haz. I don't know what I was expecting but this... this is gorgeous," she told him, and he smiled again.
"My mum chose it and all the flowers. She insisted I needed somewhere quiet and a little out of the way to just be calm and breathe and I argued with her about it for a long time, insisting that living right in the middle of the city with all the paps and people around was what I wanted. But eventually after 1D went on hiatus and everything slowed down a little I realized she was right. It's beautiful here and it's so quiet. It's the only place I can really be alone, and I'm really glad you're here," he explained to her kissing her forehead with the last sentiment.
Harry thanked and paid the driver, grabbing River's luggage and then reaching for her hand. He led her inside, gave her a tour of the house, and reiterated about a million times that she could have or use whatever she needed or wanted.
Eventually they settled into the plush sofa in the living room. It was much nicer and more spacious than the ratty hand-me-down one in her apartment and they fit together on it much easier. River's eyes were just fading closed, jet lag already hitting her, when her phone rang on the coffee table in front of them. She didn't move to answer it, not really caring.
"I swear I'm not being nosy, but the contact says it's your mum," Harry told her, and suddenly she was wide awake. Her mum hadn't called her in months. Much like Nadine, she'd stopped when she didn't feel obligated anymore.
River sat up, taking a deep breath before picking up the phone.
"Mum?" she questioned, and for a long moment there was silence on the other end of the line.
"River? Where the hell are you?" her mother demanded, sounding angry.
"What? Why do you care?" she asked, and her mum sighed audibly.
"You need to come to the house right now," came the short reply. She didn't just sound angry, there was also a hint of something else in her voice that River couldn't quite identify.
"I... I can't come to the house," she said, and her mum huffed again.
"Well... I'm kind of in London."
The line went dead then, making River roll her eyes. Harry watched her cautiously and she shrugged.
"She hung up on me. She wanted me to come to her house for some reason, and then she hung up. Whatever," she said, and Harry looked unsure.
"Should you call her back?"
"No. If she really needs something she'll call again."
Harry seemed to want to say more, but let it drop. She'd told him in great detail how much she and her parents didn't get along; they hadn't been very close before Jasmine and they were even more estranged after. Whatever her mum wanted, River probably hadn't wanted any part of it anyway.
Just as she'd finally managed to all but push it out of her mind, the phone rang again. This time, it was an unknown number. She silenced it and put it back down. Harry raised an eyebrow, but she shrugged. She never answered unknown callers, so she didn't even really think twice about it.
By the time her phone pinged with a voicemail a few minutes later, she'd already drifted off to sleep with her head resting heavily on Harry's chest.