I. The Flight

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Harry knew the JFK airport like the back of his hand

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Harry knew the JFK airport like the back of his hand.

His body moved with ease, dodging, weaving and cautiously keeping his head down at every turn. He was always ushered in by airport security, a low key entourage of one person if he was lucky, and brought straight to the respective airline's executive lounge. The paparazzi disappeared once he passed the security check, and from that point on it was a gamble, unsure what situation he could run into. It's not that he didn't enjoy meeting and taking photos with anyone that may recognize him, but with a flight to catch, it was easier just to keep his eyes lowered until he was tucked away on the plane.

Flying in general was stressful, but flying as an ex-member of One Direction turned new solo artist that had been off the grid for over a year, guaranteed the chaos would typically be through the roof.

A weighted breath lifted Harry's chest high as he watched the tread of the carpet pass underneath his feet. The brown wool sweater that layered his t-shirt and the black cap perched on his head made him uncomfortably warm - happily welcoming every bit of the cool spring air that brushed over his exposed neck and ears. His tan chelsea boots carried him swiftly through the airport hallways, while he did everything he could to ignore the tired ache pulsing through his body.

He was exhausted.

The last nine months had been spent nonstop in preparation for the launch of his debut album. After only a few days off for the Christmas holiday, he launched into grueling days on end of work. Every single minute was scheduled - from photo shoots, to interviews, and everything in between - all of it ending with his most recent week in New York, putting the final touches on his first single that was set to be released in just a few short weeks. It was the busiest Harry had been since he was with the band.

Pulling the strap of his heavy brown holdall higher on his shoulder, he heard the tall airport security guard in front of him clear his throat.

"Just around the corner, sir."

Harry's eyes rose just in time to see an illuminated sign of a coffee shop hanging a few meters away. His mouth watered, craving that soothing sip of coffee he somehow never managed to get that day. Knowing he needed something to keep him going before boarding his red-eye flight to London, he decided caffeine would be a wise choice.

Before turning down the hallway leading to the executive lounge, a somewhat safe haven, he shuffled his steps to catch up with the tall man leading him.

"Do you mind?" Harry placed his hand on the man's elbow and pointed in the direction of the coffee shop. "I'll just be a quick minute."

Nodding in agreement, he veered off the path and instead to the left, with Harry following in his footsteps.

The line was short, which gave Harry hope that it would be a fast stop. And thankfully it only took a few minutes of waiting before he could step up to the counter.

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