"They can say anything they want
'Cause they don't know us"
The first thing that Harry acknowledged of the world was that he had an awful headache. It wouldn't have been a first, he was an international pop star after all, and a party or two was always available when your name was Harry Styles, but he most certainly didn't remember a moment from this one (which was never a good omen). He just hoped that he hasn't done something utterly random, which scored a billion points on the embarrassment scale. He was good in talking his way out (except for his younger days when he was ready to explain to everyone that by how much pussy Matt would get he meant that the X Factor winner would be able to buy many cats for his mother for Christmas.)
Still, nearly seven years and countless interviews later, there were rather limited situations he wouldn't be able to talk himself out of (though Lou would certainly joke that it was only because of his dimples and curls), or at least he could change the topic to a safer one. Especially since he had launched his solo career, he got good in that.
The second thing was that the level of noise was just too much for his sensitive state of mind. He grabbed his head, still with eyes closed and put his hands on his ears.
"You okay there?" The voice was unfamiliar but came from such a close distance that Harry felt the need to open his eyes. He had no idea where he has fallen asleep (or lost consciousness, but he dared to hope it was the former). He noted that he was sitting on a grey seat and everywhere he looked the walls were white and it was full of people, but it was broad daylight instead of the darkness of the night he has been expecting.
A man probably in his early thirties (or late twenties) was standing right in front of him with his hands full of folders and in some sort of uniform. He was pretty every day looking with dishwasher blonde hair and rather simple features, so Harry had no recollection of him at all. Being a pop star meant meeting a lot of people, so he might have actually met the man before.
Harry looked around feverishly and tried to spot any familiar faces, but there didn't seem to be any. What was worse was that he couldn't even come up with a trend – there were girls and boys obviously in their teenage years, but then there were people who could have easily be his parents, or in some cases, grandparents. What the most surreal in the whole experience was, that no one even seemed to care that Harry freaking Styles was sitting just there even though the place was packed with people and there were many teenage girls.
It has been years (about seven, really) since he had seen so many teenage girls at one place not even noticing him. It was actually creepy because it was so unusual and at the same time he felt bad for acknowledging that girls adoring him and fainting at the sight of him somewhere down the road became completely normal and expected. He always said it was something one couldn't get used to it – yet he had.
"Yeah," he muttered and that seemed enough to the guy, who with a swift nod, turned around and left. He noted that he didn't seem to be the only one fazed and that the guy walked up to a couple of people to probably ask the same question. It was at the same time that Harry finally spotted someone he could recognize – Cher Lloyd. But to his greatest surprise, there was something off with the singer; she seemed so young, like when they first met in 2010. Harry was just about to stand up and go talk to her to finally get some answers when another alarmingly familiar face came into his view.
Over the years, Liam Payne had a lot of different hairstyles and had many different faces according to the media. When Harry first met him, most said that the older boy looked like Justin Bieber (an association that Niall probably didn't like very much at the time, because he wanted to be the one called that, not that he looked anything like the Canadian singer), a few said he looked like Zac Efron (something Liam liked a lot, because at a young age he was a big fan of High School Musical).
Later he was said to look just like Justin Timberlake. When Harry first saw the Justin Bieber/Zac Efron lookalike, he was, of course, completely sure that it was just someone who looked like the sixteen-year-old version of his old friend and bandmate (probably wanted to look like him as well or maybe a younger Bieber), but Harry has known the boy turned to man for seven years and he has seen so many photos of the other over the years that there was no way on Earth he would ever not recognize him. His mind was trying to come up with an explanation – Payno was trying to relive the good old days, so he had a new haircut. It seemed possible of course, but the hair was most certainly not the only problem with the picture. Liam seemed impossibly young, only his puppy-dog eyes remained unchanged, while his arms and hands were free of any tattoos.
It seemed that Liam didn't notice him though because his attention was on a camera and it seemed that unlike Harry, the older boy has been noticed and they were making an interview with him.
A microphone was pretty much shoved into Liam's face. It was nothing new to him, it had been years since something like that could surprise him, but everything else that has happened since he woke up was in fact surprising. Especially as he had no idea where he was until he realized that the setting was familiar, as was the buzz in the air. The thing was though that he associated The X Factor with this setting and he had no idea how he could have ended up on the show. He was pretty sure he read just a day or two earlier that the new season's bootcamp was to be filmed later in the month with a live audience. There was not supposed to be any filming done for the show just now. Not to mention that his last memory was of his son and Cheryl. How would he end up here without remembering it?
"How are you feeling about advancing to the bootcamp stage of the X Factor?" the man who shoved the microphone in his face asked while a less than enthusiastic cameraman was filming it. This was probably a joke, Liam decided, or a very weird dream where he knew that the whole setting was impossible as it made no sense (even if he ignored the weird question).
The only other obvious explanation was that this was a prank for a show. It seemed like a weird one though, because surely no matter the authentic setting and that he could feel the uneasiness and the nerves of all the people in the air, it was not a believable one. He knew it too well that his time as a reality talent show singer was up – he had been a proper singer only merely associated with such a show for many years now. He was never ashamed that he found fame on the show, he was always simply proud that he was one of the few that actually had success outside of the show as well and he was thankful for the opportunity. Not to mention that while Cheryl's fame originated from her years in Girls Aloud and later as a solo artist, her international buzz was mostly based on her time as a judge. His life was tied to the X Factor in many ways.
He supposed then that this was some sort of funny interview. Have a joke at himself and his history, replaying what happened with the knowledge of how it all turned out (probably Chaz would be brought up as well and how she was a judge while he was a contestant). He didn't want to be the buzzkill (he had been called that before just one too many times), so he went along with it. His manager didn't notify him of this, but he guessed this might have been a surprise – just to make it more authentic. He was still felt unsure about the missing part of his memory though and it unnerved him.
"It's nerve-wracking. I've been here before two years ago, so I feel the pressure of making the cut. I hope I will be good enough to get to the Judges' Houses. I really want to do this and prove that I'm ready for the whole X Factor experience," he said confidently, though at every word he was kind of waiting for, "Oh, burn! That was a good joke man!" comments or someone cracking up, but it didn't happen. Instead, the man just nodded.
"Could you repeat it again for the sake of editing? You don't have to use the exact same words, though it would be preferred." Liam hesitantly nodded and more or less delivered the same speech. When the interviewer nodded again he tensed. Something was not quite normal – hell, nothing was. The joke was taken too seriously.
"Your name, age, and job, please," the man asked again and Liam automatically replied: "Liam Payne, sixteen, student." He stayed in character though, to be honest, he wasn't even sure what 'in-character' meant as he was there for the X Factor Bootcamp at fourteen as well, so he could have said that as well. He guessed sixteen was his automatic response because since the band had been formed they have been asked about their experiences on the talent show million times. While many brought up his previous attempts at finding success, most were only interested in his time on the show with the lads.
"Good. Thanks." And then the interviewer left with the cameraman and Liam felt completely puzzled. All around him people seemed to buzz with excitement but all he felt was utter confusion and a very bad headache which he didn't even notice until then. He sat down on one of the seats next to a man who seemed vaguely familiar. Liam really hoped that it was because the man had been a minor character or an extra in millions of movies Liam had seen before. He had a feeling it was not like that though. Was the prank interview still going on? Was Liam set up for a whole – 'You really believed all this shit?' – type of a show and scenario? Still, as he looked around he had a feeling that this was either a disturbing dream or something even more sinister was going on.
No matter how much he tried to ignore the idea, it always popped up as many of the faces were vaguely familiar. If this really was the bootcamp of the seventh season of The X Factor, then the man next to him probably was around at least until the end of it. He repeated the word 'Stop!' again and again, trying not to even think about such a possibility. After all, it wasn't a possibility at all, right? It couldn't have been the seventh season of the show when they were currently filming the fourteenth.
"You don't seem well," the rather rounded man remarked and Liam shook his head.
"Nah, it's a bit..." he wasn't sure what to say. Saying aloud that with every passing second he became surer that he was going crazy was not something he wanted to do.
As let's face it – it was all too real for a dream and he was much too aware of that and the prank idea was taken to an extreme, not to mention that there were just one too many familiar faces. It couldn't have been real though, so only going crazy remained. He put his elbows on his knees and in frustration he ran his hand through his hair only to realize that something was not right, even with that. It was just too damn long and to his utter astonishment, it seemed it was ironed. That was the moment he looked down at his arms and hands and noted that there was not one tattoo on them.
"I know what you mean. You seem like a rather young lad, how old are you? Sixteen or seventeen maybe?" the man asked and Liam blinked a few times to make sure that he really was seeing his own arms.
"Sixteen," he muttered. Okay, then this was no joke, prank interview or whatnot – only the dream theory remained. Because there was no other way he could have been sixteen again, was there? When he said that age to the interviewer before, it was an automatic response to the setting and a play-along (because the man pretended not to recognize him or really didn't have a clue about Liam's fame). Now though it seemed just a bit too real and he looked the part of being sixteen. He was pretty sure there wasn't a whole make-up artist team involved to make him look like sixteen too, that was just too complicated to be logical.
"Cheers!" Liam looked up automatically when he heard the familiar Irish accent. If this really was the seventh season of the X Factor, (not that it was possible, he reminded himself again and again) then there could have been many saying that as in 2010 after years of leaving it out there was an audition in Dublin – so the Irishman Liam would have wanted to see more than anyone was most probably not the only one around from the nation. Still, he had known the same Irish lad for seven years and he has spent endless hours listening to his voice – singing, during an interview speaking or just having a night in or out, talking endlessly.
To his astonishment, he spotted a familiar dyed blonde head. The problem was that it wasn't supposed to be blonde – Niall hasn't dyed it recently. (Probably to appear different to his One Direction days, though Liam had to admit that he kind of missed the blonde hair, it was just so Niall, even if it wasn't actually his natural look.)
The blue eyes had tears in them, but what made Liam tense were the crooked teeth and the baby face of his friend. Out of all of them, Niall has changed the least over the years (the fact that he was the only tattoo-less helped as well), but there were still differences between the sixteen-year-old and the twenty-three-year-old version of his friend.
"Liam, my roommate!" Niall practically jumped into his arms, which was awkward because he was still sitting on the seat. Niall was always affectionate; there was a reason why he was labelled the 'cute one' of the band. However, if this really was The X Factor Bootcamp, then he has just met the (again) blonde Irish boy.
"Nialler?" the nickname slipped out of his mouth automatically and the boy still in his arms stiffened.
"Payno?" Niall's tone was so vulnerable, that Liam could hardly hear the question. This time Liam really hugged Niall back who put his head in the crook of Liam's neck as he always did while hugging. Their strange hugging session was causing some attention, but Liam most certainly didn't care and it looked as if his long-time friend didn't either. It seemed that whatever crazy reality he stepped into, he at least wasn't alone.
When Niall pretty much jumped into (strange, too young looking) Liam's arms, he didn't exactly await any real recognition. Liam and he shared a room in the hotel where the contestants stayed during bootcamp, but other than a 'Hey, Niall' he most certainly didn't think he would get more. From what he had seen so far of this strange world/dimension/time/dream or whatever it was he was currently living in, no one seemed to recognize him.
Nialler. The Liam Payne of the real X Factor Bootcamp would have never called him that – but another version of him, one Niall remembered a whole lot more surely did. It was his Liam. Well, not his, because that sounded something out of a fanfiction the fangirls tended to write, but from the world (and time) he knew.
He wondered if everyone else around them remembered a different time or world and they just didn't have another person to turn to. All around everyone seemed nervous and confused but then again, from what he remembered of the actual competition, it was like that as well. He reluctantly let go of Liam when he realized that how strange this might have looked to anyone else while a thought came into his mind.
"Li, if we are here – wherever here is, do you think Haz and Tommo are around as well?" There was another name he nearly added, but that seemed just too strange to say out loud. He knew that they might have to cross that bridge in the future (if this dream didn't end soon), but just not at the moment.
"You mean this is a 1D moment? Maybe some strange fan idea of a reunion?" Liam asked and Niall sat down on the seat on Liam's left, noting that the seat on his right was already occupied by a heavy man who seemed to pay them particular attention. Because of this, Niall was happy that Liam's voice was rather low and that he said 1D instead of the whole name or even band. After all, if this, in a strange twist of fate, really was The X Factor Bootcamp, then One Direction didn't even exist for another few days (and didn't have that name for another few weeks or so).
"Well, there are already two of us," Niall simply said while he leaned back. He looked around and spotted Matt Cardle, the winner (or would-be future winner) of the seventh season of The X Factor. He was wearing his usual cap and he seemed just like Niall remembered from the X Factor days. He was talking to a pretty brunette Niall couldn't place and it all seemed like a TV show to him, but deep down he had an inkling there was more to it.
Louis' head was hurting so bad that he didn't open his eyes even when he had been up for at least ten minutes. He was leaning against a cool wall, which was strange because he couldn't ever remember falling asleep against a wall. However, he felt so damn awful that he didn't care at all. He wondered what party was so fucking good that he didn't even have a fucking idea where he was.
"C'mon, c'mon. You, I don't see your number from here, but you have to come, no time for a nap, you need to be on the stage." Louis opened his eyes for the first time since he has woken up to see an enormous sea of people. He had no idea where he even was, but it seemed no one cared about such things and soon he was lost in the sea of the crowd and he went along with them. To his surprise, he was led into a familiar room – the very big X on the wall behind the stage said everything. The X Factor.
A handful of people pushed them around so all the hundreds of people could get on the stage. It reminded Louis of all the times they were pushed around by their security guards or by police officers when the crowd of fans were too big and demanding to handle and they had to be rescued or at least accompanied to a safer and more fan-free area.
It had been years since he felt so invisible. He had no idea what was going on, but since the band made it big he was used to not being left on the sidelines. The problem was that while no one seemed to recognize him, he did recognize quite a few faces – they just weren't exactly right.
He saw Wagner, he recognized the boys of Diva Fever, he saw one of the Belle Amie girls, and he even caught a glimpse of Mary Byrne. Feeling sick to the stomach, he realized that all of them looked just like he remembered from The X Factor. Just as he was to try to break out of the crowd, he saw brown curls he could recognize anywhere.
"Harold – Hazza," he called out not caring about the strange glances he received. Harry turned swiftly around and Louis noted that he was holding the hand of a blonde girl who was vaguely familiar to the older boy. It was probably the girl from the Xtra Factor who was reported to have a crush on Harry (not unlike five or six others as it was later revealed). It was something the boys liked to joke about when they were younger – how their little flirt was a manslut even before they met and he became a celebrity.
It was a longshot. Harry didn't even seem to notice him before so the chances of recognizing him were rather small, but Louis had to take a chance. Harry was always charming and had a way with people so Louis wasn't exactly surprised that the crowds seemed to part as Harry walked towards him. To his surprise, there was obvious recognition in his younger friend's wide green eyes and he seemed relieved.
"Tommo, is it really you?" Haz – because it had to be a version of Harry Styles that knew Louis – asked. Louis just nodded and he opened his arms. He was not surprised that Harry hugged back.
When they finished hugging, Louis took a good look at his younger friend – who was in fact very young. From everything that had happened since he has opened his eyes, he kind of suspected that something big was going on, but seeing baby Harry (or whatever the fans called sixteen-year-old Harry. Was it baby or fetus? He couldn't remember) was more than strange. The dimples and the curls were there, but his face was so childish compared to what Louis was used to by now and his voice was a lot higher. The lack of tattoos on Harry's arms made him automatically check his own ones and note that his tats were missing as well. Fuck.
"Lou, what the fuck is going on?" Harry asked and Louis shook his head. Harry's choice of words earned some rather nasty glances from the people around them (and some amused ones as well) so Louis decided to tone it down.
"I have no more ideas than you do, Haz. I woke up leaning against the wall right outside with a terrible headache – I thought I had a hangover, and then some of the staff was telling me to get in line and the crowd made sure I followed the instructions," Louis said with a shrug while looking around. Maybe he was totally drunk and he was hallucinating, but sadly he didn't feel drunk just confused and shit-scared.
"Are we really here?" Harry asked in awe. "I mean I saw Liam – who looked like the lovechild of Zac Efron and Justin Bieber, but I was hoping that I was just hallucinating or something. But you seem too real to be part of my mind games." Louis cracked up at the description of 2010 Liam, but he was soon rather sombre realizing that as good as it was to have Harry around, this was certainly not a laughing matter. Everything was fucked up.
"Maybe we're high?" he suggested lamely but hopefully and Harry snorted.
"Shouldn't you be in LA? This is most certainly London," Harry pointed out and Louis shrugged, not bothering to point out that as far as he knew Harry was supposed to be across the pond as well doing one thing or another. Harry was right though, this was the Wembley Stadium, there was no question there – outside of course how the fuck they ended up there and especially in what seemed to be in 2010 in their younger selves' bodies. Alcohol, drugs or a dream – maybe all three at the same time?
"This is just a dream, right Haz?" he asked uncertainly. He had Freddie to think about, after all. He was not supposed to end up somewhere on another continent now without remembering it (and especially not at another time) when he was a father. He hissed when the younger boy pinched his cheeks.
"Well, did you feel that?" Harry asked innocently and Louis glared at him. "Then sadly, I don't think so." They weren't the only ones in the crowd talking, but they soon had to end it, because the TV staff had arrived to give instructions to film the moment the judges arrived. It all seemed so foreign to Louis though he was no stranger to TV shows – after all, they competed in the X Factor then to have their own movie, countless guest appearances on other shows, and endless TV interviews.
From what Zayn understood at this moment he was supposed to be Zain – sadly, while it seemed like just a letter, the difference was not subtle. Zain Malik was a no one, while Zayn was a famous singer. What was even stranger was that somehow it was 2010 again – Rebecca just introduced herself to him! Rebecca Ferguson, a girl Zayn had dated around the X Factor tour, didn't seem to know him at all.
He woke up sitting on his suitcase and leaning against a cold white wall with countless people all around. It was the suitcase that gave him the clue. The stuff in it was most certainly his, but he hasn't seen half of it in years. Then he was faced with people he had met years ago but they seemed just like they were in his memories. He felt feverish when Rebecca introduced herself after bumping into her, so he ran off to the closest toilet, leaving the poor girl behind in confusion.
After he opened the door of the toilet, he turned towards the tap and the mirror that was hanging above it. In a way, the face that was awaiting him was familiar – of course, it was, it was his own after all, but it still seemed foreign. There was no question in his mind the moment he saw his reflection that it wasn't 2017 anymore. The face looking back at him was just too young for that. He turned on the tap and made it the coldest possible temperature and then washed his face with the cool water. When he looked up, he hoped to see that the picture has changed and it was just his mind playing tricks on him, but sadly, the reflection remained unchanged (if he didn't count the dripping water).
Okay, bootcamp, The X Factor. What did he know about it? A lot, obviously, as pretty much anyone would have who knew of the boys of One Direction, after all, the band was put together on the last day of bootcamp. Boys – One Direction. He paled at the thought. Were the others in this strange vision or dream or whatever this was?
This was most likely a dream, but he couldn't recall ever knowing being in a dream that was this real, so it was most certainly a strange experience. Still, a part of him (probably the part which never denied being a bit of a nerd and loving shows such as Power Rangers or books like the Harry Potter series) had a feeling that there was more to it.
He didn't exactly believe in such a thing as time travel, but he had a general idea of it. Power Rangers Time Force was a pretty much fan favourite season after all. Not to mention the whole time turner deal in the third Harry Potter book when Sirius (and Buckbeak) were saved thanks to Harry and Hermione going back in time.
What if this was all real? What if he somehow ended up in a time where he was just Zain Malik – not yet famous and not even part of boyband One Direction? (Or ex-band member of a now pretty much ex-band, to be precise.) Would he go down on the same road? Get kicked out of the show only to be given a lifeline in a band which would explode in about a year's time? A nagging voice reminded him that Simon said that the reason for not selecting them as individuals was that during the bootcamp stage he wasn't satisfied with them. However, if this really was 2010 and this was the bootcamp he had messed up, then Zayn could easily change that.
He still didn't exactly like dancing, he was no professional, but he now understood the judges' enough to know that they were not exactly looking for dancers, but simply for people comfortable on a stage performing and that he was. While his voice in 2010 would never be as trained as it was in 2017 he still had a lot more experience on stage and had endured a whole lot more of theoretical vocal coaching than probably any other contestant. There was no way he couldn't advance in the competition.
From what he knew of time travel it happened for a reason (if it ever really happened at all, because it was hard to imagine it all being real). Well, in books, comics, and TV shows there was always a reason behind it at least. What if this was the reason? Maybe he wasn't supposed to be part of a boyband, maybe he was meant to be a solo artist from the beginning and something went just wrong and he was put in One Direction.
"Man, are you coming? We should be on the stage already – I just really needed a wee, the nerves and all," a brunette guy Zayn didn't remember at all (though looked a bit like Louis as an adult but was a lot taller and broader) asked after leaving the stall. Zayn nodded wordlessly and followed the guy to the stage while some staff members were obviously not happy with them for being late.
Harry didn't remember much of bootcamp – the hype of it all was too much. He did know that Liam and Niall were roommates (it came up in the interviews quite a few times, because people were always curious how well they knew each other before being called back on the stage together). Still, he was fairly sure that he hadn't seen them clinging to each other like that. Then again, he most certainly didn't look out for the Justin Bieber-lookalike and the small blonde with the thick accent before the last day of bootcamp.
He nudged Lou who looked automatically in the same direction. Harry noted how far away his friend's expression was.
"It's them," Louis stated and Harry raised his eyebrows.
"Of course it's them – the band might not be together anymore but, of course, I would recognize Liam and Niall." To his surprise, Louis shook his head.
"No, I mean it's Payno and Nialler," he emphasized the nicknames and Harry paled in realization. He had no idea how Louis could just tell from seeing the two together, but the older boy seemed so sure that there was little room for arguments. Louis grabbed his arm and started to pull him in the direction of the other half of One Direction. People were giving them odd looks and Harry was kind of curious about what they might have thought of the scene the two of them were causing.
Liam and Niall were talking quietly to each other and they didn't seem to notice Harry and Louis while they were getting closer and closer. Liam was saying something enthusiastically to Niall when the blonde caught Louis' eyes. Blue met blue with a challenge. Harry watched the pair curiously and then he looked into the familiar brown eyes of Liam.
"Lads," Niall's familiar voice relaxed Harry. Louis had to be right, didn't he? Louis being the only one like Harry made no sense to the youngest boy and he was pretty sure it didn't make any to the oldest either hence his beliefs that these were the bandmates they knew. It should be only him or all of them, right? (Except if all those Larry Stylinson fangirls were right and the universe thought that Louis and he should be together and this was the universe's way of saying so.)
"Hey, I just wanted to introduce myself – you seemed like good lads, you know. My name is Louis James Tomlinson," Louis said and Harry had a hard time keeping a straight face. Like what the actual fuck? He didn't speak up though because he sensed that Louis knew what he was doing. Who would be stupid enough to mess up their own name? He saw the flicker of surprise even in Liam's eyes who had a lot better poker face than Niall. His Irish friend looked completely baffled.
"Who uses second names when they introduce themselves?" Liam asked timidly, but there was some sort of challenge in his voice. He straightened his back and he crossed his arms. Of course, that wasn't the only problem with the introduction though if Liam and Niall were really sixteen-year-olds than they wouldn't know that Louis' middle name was not James.
"Well, isn't James a lovely second name?" Louis asked in a mocking way which made Harry understand the situation a lot more. Louis has challenged their bandmates. Harry was pretty sure that their reaction was more than being surprised at sharing a middle name with Louis. After all, James was a rather commonly used name in the UK. He hoped it meant what he thought it did – that they caught on that Louis was lying. The Liam and Niall of his time and world would, of course, know that Louis' middle name was William.
"Right, William," Liam said with a challenging expression and the four boys shared a look of relief at that moment. Harry just wanted to fall into the arms of his old friends (who he had hardly seen recently and with whom his relationship was falling apart. Still, at that moment he didn't care about solo careers or feuds, he was just happy that he wasn't alone in this strange place), but he knew better.
With cameras all around (not to mention contestants) it was risky enough talking with the boys, let alone show that they knew each other that well. Louis and he shouldn't have hugged either probably when they first recognized each other – they just got caught up in the moment.
"So, Boys category, I reckon, huh? We all are going in the same direction," Niall stated and he grinned so his crooked teeth showed.
"I thought there was only one direction," Harry said with a suggestive wink and Niall broke out in laughter, while Liam chuckled. Louis just rolled his eyes.
"I agree," Liam said with a soft smile.
"Oh, yeah, the finals," Louis mimicked what the judges told them over the competition (which was actually a self-fulfilling prophecy).
A small smile appeared on Harry's face which turned into a frown when he realised that in whatever strange world they were in that hadn't been said yet, not by any of the judges, simply because it was July and the live shows didn't start until October.
At this moment in time, One Direction didn't even exist yet. If this was some elaborate prank made up to celebrate the fast-approaching seventh birthday of One Direction it seemed just a bit too well-planned with too much makeup and directing to be logical with how young everyone looked (the other familiar faces in the crowds as well).
It had to be a dream then – he was just not sure how to wake up.