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The River

Chapter Text

There was terrible storm coming when Mace ran off. The golden retriever was named by Harry as a small child for a spice the same color of the dog. Mace was always afraid from the time they brought him home of storms.

Often the skies could be clear, not even a hint of bad weather when Mace would start to shake. Then the dog’s panting began. Finally Mace would get so bad with storm anxiety that he would pee or vomit in the family house. This is why Harry’s family always made sure to never leave Mace alone at home unsecured particularly if it was the season for storms.

This was not the case today. The dark clouds had formed unseasonably rare after the family had left their country home. They had dropped Harry off at a friend’s who was having a birthday party on their way to do errands in town. Harry protested about having to join the party. This neighbor boy, Ed with ginger hair, was not really a friend of Harry’s. His parents and Ed’s were and the lads were close in age. The thing about Ed that the families didn’t know was that Ed was somewhat of a bully. He and his other real friends frequently made fun of Harry. They called his names. Said he dresses like a girl. Kept inviting him to things like this birthday party, Ed’s twelfth, only for opportunities to make fun of Harry.

This is why when the clouds formed, Harry made an excuse to go on home by foot hours before his parents would be back to collect him. Soleynto look after the family dog.

Ed’s parents hestitated to allow the child to go, across open land by foot to his home. It was only the next house over, but some distance away. Eventually, the Sheeran’s conceding, knowing about Mace’s condition. Aside from this all innthis sparsely populatiedmcommunity knew Harry spent a lot of time in the woods. So off went Harry as fast as he could run. Only Harry knew he was as much runnng from the unpleasant boys at the party as he was running to his dog. No one could foresee what young Harry was running into.

At home Harry finds Mace has indeed gone through the old screen door and run off disappearing into the storm. What a dog thinks when they run away from something like a storm makes no sense to humans. Perhaps it never will.

Nor does an eleven year old Harry’s desire to find his dog. Make him safe. Harry had come from Ed’s in the south of his home so he decides to go north to find the dog. Running through the woods Harry only stops to scream out calling for Mace. He eventually is worried for himself too. This storm is becoming more intense.

Reaching the river Harry is sure he’s scoured the area so he must had another way. East or north? Which way does he go?

The wind is swirling, lightening cracking, a cool edge to the air sends shivers down Harry’s spine. The second Harry takes one step he hears something. It makes his spin around, the sound he couldn’t say but in so doing this he sees Mace. Mace is across the river. How Mace did this, Harry can’t fathom, this section of the river is wide and deep, but there is his dog Mace. Frightened. Looking at the water, wanting to reach Harry.

Even from the distance between them Harry can see how Mace is trembling. His looks to be wanting to cross the river. His fear is not normal for a water dog like a golden, but the storms always short circuit a canid. The water is darkened in color with storm. This has Harry hesitant too. Harry calls to Mace once more. Shouts his name to get the dog’s attention before telling the dog with needed confidence “to stay”. Harry has decide that he should wade, swim across, storm or not to bring the dog to his side of the riverbank.

Harry steps to water’s edge.

A crack sounding in the sky makes everything goes bright white for a second. When the flash has faded Harry realizes that he had the weirdest reaction for the storm blast.

Harry was looking at the water preparing to enter when the flash of light hit. It must be why there was a short after effect effect, an illusion. For the briefest of instants Harry thought he saw a blue luminescence, a couple bioluminescent objects in the water close to where his feet were as he entered ankle deep water. Almost as quick as the flash of lightening strikes next the two small brilliant blue objects fade away from where they seemed undear the water. Maybe it was only that swirling waters created by the storm swept whatever metallic item may have caused these short-lived shimmers. Like a bolt of light, they were deceptively bright then gone.

Harry stops searching the water for answers about the illusion because directly across the water from him he hears a forlorned howl of a dog.

Mace?

Only maybe not. Sure Mace is there still stepping nervously paw to paw, side to side, trying to gather the nerve to step into the water to swim to Harry but he’s not. Maybe, suddenly, Harry realizes that Mace is not the dog that gave out the howl. Behind Mace, up the bank some forty feet or so is a very large, very black ...wolf? Here ?

There have always been rumors, stories, lore about this place Harry knows as his rural home. The country. The woods. The river. The surrounding lakes. Some people have even claimed the strangest sorts of excuses for human failings here. The stories always blame the unexplained on spirits, or creatures, or something that lives in these woods and their surrounding waters.

Once a farmer and his wife who lost a child soon after birth claimed the child had been abducted by forest creature.

Another couple who moved to these parts from the city some years back claimed their elderly relative who was a burden to them was taken by the lady of the lake.

More than one livestock owning resident of the area claimed, despite all evidence that wolves hadn’t lived here for centuries, not just decades, that they had loss of livestock to wolves.

Once the shock burns through Harry of seeing a very distinctly bonified wolf he chooses to step into the water. His dog will be a victim to a wolf, he’s sure. Wild things like this, Harry knows being a farm child, are not meant to mix with the domestic. Within sends of this decision to wade into waters Harry realizes how fast and cold the water is. Maybe the effects of the wind with the storm, but he shivers and keeps his pace wanting to save his family dog. All the while Harry is talking calmly to Mace, also watching the wolf.

The wolf is looking to approach his frightened dog.

What happens next Harry can’t know.

He was walking into what were increased deep waters, the footing trecherous, Harry keeping his clam as he speaks to Mace wanting to keep his beloved pet at river’s edge focused on him while keeping a peripheral watch on the wolf. The wold is slowly working forward toward Mace and the river.

That’s when Harry went under. What took him under the water was less like a bad step, more like a thing that would happen if one had their legs knocked out from under them. With the water so fast, the depth so deep it took a second or two before the direction of up was clear and Harry surfaced.

When he does he sees a riverbank that he was heading to is devoid of Mace. He looks up and down it’s length. There off farther in the distance is the wolf. The wolf looking back like it wants to leave but there is no Mace. Not at the bank, not dead in the n mouth of the black wolf.

That’s when Harry hears a loud splash behind him. No sooner does the splash make him turn to look back at the bank he just came from then there is a flash of lightning followed by a thunder clap.all was white for a second again. Harry’s eye clear. He looks.

So what Harry first thinks he sees is soon discounted because what is actually on the bank where Harry just enter water is a wet Mace. The dog is still shaking from fear. Drenched. Panting. He wags his tail and barks for Harry to come to him. Harry, who can’t believe the dog crossed the river, only seconds before doom with a wolf approaching, has managed to come across unscathed. Miraculously safe from harm.

Chapter Text

Harry doesn’t want to be at another annual birtfhday party for Ed. Why does everything have to revolve around Ed? Surely by now his parents realize there is now love loss between their son and Ed. Making it hard though for Harry to excuse himself from a celebration is how Ed and Gemma have been dating. Or so they call it. Gemma at sixteen could have any boy she wants but for some reason, maybe the scarcity of options that come with living in the county, Gemma decided to date Ed.

Harry is fourteen. He should be entitled to make more of his own decisions but nevertheless his parents insist that when the Sheehan’s invite half the countryside for a surprise birthday party for Ed, this, is indeed, a family affair.

Harry does have to admit, the Sheeran’s pulled out all the stops for the party. Recently Mr Sheeran decided to build a dock extending out to the lake from the lakeside access on their property. It was on the deliberate show of wealth which went into its unnecessary construction. To that end, they decided to take the surprise party out to the deck. To quite obstantaciously have Ed do a ribbon cutting to officially open the use of their elaborate, private dock access. Also to make a show of the gift they gave Ed. Ed’s very own power boat and skidoo.

Who gives a fifteen year old a powerboat? And a skidoo? What is he...the fricking King of England?

This obviously overt display of wealth, too much for the tiny community of rural most farming based families, is why Harry left th pompous, elaborately decorated dock where the other partners were celebrating and went off alone. Harry chose to go to this old, rickedly community dock, the one and only dock that has served the community with access to the lake for many, many years.

Across the way from the old preexisting dock Harry can see the sizable party on the deck. They are all laughing, enjoying drinks and food. Everyone to check out Ed’s new toys. Harry can tell from afar all the teenagers are trying to sort out who gets the first rides using Ed’s new watercraft. The sight of Gemma hanging on her boyfriend makes Harry’s sick, almost literally. His sister should have better judgement than that.

Harry looks around at the assortment of boats and such tied here at this old dock. It sure is a raggedy lot of rubbish. His own family’s craft, nothing more than a mere canoe, an old one at that, is very pathetic. Their family hasn’t used it for years. Harry wonders as he tries to ignore the sounds of revelers, so easily heard as their laughter and comes carry well across the water, if his family’s old canoe can still hold even him alone in it without sinking.

Harry’s splice at the old dock is broken. He hears the much too obstaintaceous boat’s engine of Ed’s fire up. Harry decides to hide in a less obvious place fearing the large boat will come his way. Harry is also sure as that as the showoff of wealth is going to start that his mum will start looking for him to join in admiring Ed’s lavish lifestyle. Harry decides that if he climbs into the family canoe, he will not standout like a sore looser in clear view. Acting out odd about the Sheeran family wealth. He’s grumbling about he should have known something was up when the party invite said to bring swim clothes. Scowling Harry starts to bring the canoe to come along side the dock hoping to slip into it without wading into water by accessing it from the bank like is more proper for a canoe.

Harry has just set only one foot on the canoe floor, struggling to stabilize his balance against the dock so to do this dock-to-canoe transfer without causing the canoe to turn over dumping him into the water when he sees the thing he remembers from years before.

The memory...After the harrowing day when Mace had gone running off in the storm Harry’s search brought with his search and rescue several stories. that to this day, even his family doesn’t believe. About the wolf. About a blue, almost neon shiny pair of objects in the river. The way he was swept under water and the family dog brought from shore to shore.

No one, the thought fpdrives Harry, not even family believed him. Sure, there had always been stories. It’s just that there was never anyone to substantiate claims. The infant? Likely dead. Death by infanticide at the parent’s hand rumors repeated. The elderly woman? Surely same. Done by family who couldn’t care for her. Besides when it comes to Harry’s story he had to explain how the boy who liked to spend hours of every summer day, hours when peers would play ball or build forts, hanging out in a tree somewhere, usually near the river, reading. Or braiding grass into fine things he made up names for like Harry was from another world..

But now as Harry has one leg stretch to get a foot planted in the center of the canoe, another on the edge of the dock, his arms keeping him their in limbo he looks into the water. What does he see below. Two bright blue truly luminescent orbs in the depth of the water peering back up at him.

Harry stares. The circulare luminaries stay fixed on him. The gentle ebb and flow of the water doesn’t effect their positioning. They are just there in the depth as if seeing only him. Harry tries to lower himself down into the canoe carefully. In the canoe Harry will be closer, at water level, maybe he can see into the depth better. Once he’s managed to transfer himself into the canoe, a remarkable act of grace for one so gangly and uncoordinated as Harry, he gets a new twist on this illusion. The blue orbs reveal a split second shutter effect of luminescence gone then back again like the aperture of a camera went from open to close to open again.

Harry is desperate to clear his eyes. Did the blue orbs just blink like eyes looking at him?

Chapter Text

Harry’s heart is racing and he’s trying to see through the depth of the water at the dock at what he thinks he just witnessed.

He was imagining?

No.

The fluorescent royal blue orbs blink again as if they are eyes staring up at him on lake surface from the lake bed below.

What they hell? What do they see?

He’s only a lanky, clumsy, awkward teen of fifteen with lips too big, a nose out of proportion too, his hair has taken on this thing that curles are coming on in a changing mess daily. He’s gay. He’s a bit of a fluff. He’s nothing to look at.

Yet there is almost the slightest chance that Harry can see the orbs are part of a form. These are not what he was told four years ago when the I sent happened at the river when Mace went missing.

They didn’t believe him. His parents or anyone else. Not about the wolf. Not about the blue glimmering, possibly bioluminescent, pair of treasures in the river. harry was told it was only was lost fishing lures at riverbottom, reflecting light from the lightning. Or it was his eyes blinded by the streaking flashes of intense lightning. It wasn’t something mysterious or special. It was only a child’s imagination.

Harry’s never told people the third thing from the day at the river. There was the wolf. The blue firefly like eyes under the water. And there was the other thing.

When Harry’s legs were taken out from under him it was not rocks or river gravel failing under his feet. It was a clear from sensation. Something that stopped him from approaching the opposite bank to retrieve his dog. Something made him go under for a few seconds. Lone enough for his dog to safely be brought from shore to shore. Bank to bank. And when the thing swept his legs from under him the feeling was first a strong press which lifted his legs dumping his head under but as it moved, slid actually by his calves the last of it felt oddly like...if a feather were muscle. Like a fin. A fish tail.

With all this in Harry’s head it’s hardly surprising he can’t stop straining to see down so intensely that Harry doesn’t hear the boat, Ed’s new monstrous in its opulence, coming toward him until, swoosh, the thing under th water leaves. It l e a v e s literally in a swoosh. There is some flutter before it’s gone not that Harry can make out the form but for sure the orbs shifted this last time, not blinked, but shifted like the thing in the deep knew of the powerful engine signaling a boat coming before Harry heard it nearing.

And like that the thing in the water is gone. In its place is Ed’s boat filled with he, Gemma and as many other peers as can fit. Maybe more than legal. But in this small, rural community rules are made by the locals. Not the experts.

The boat full of teens laugh as Ed deliberately makes it so his boat’s wake toss Harry’s battered, old, tiny canoe. Arseholes.

“Harry!” Ed calls out. “Harry, how about you come down from your tree? Play with us Harry.”

Everyone laughs. The reference is to Harry’s childhood joy of taking to hiding in some big tree, usually riverside, a book in hand.

“Come on Harry, don’t be so weird.” Gemma calls out. Harry can hear the sister he remembers when they were young and pure. Before who has, who has not, made them want, need that luxury to be better than other based of things.

Harry hasn’t responded before Ed has one of Ed’s mates jumps in the water. He swims to Harry little craft. Takes the rope that ties it to the dock. Harry protest, tries to tug it back. This lad, nearly eitgteen nearly pulls Harry from the canoe. “Be a sport Harry. Join us up there on a real boat or stay here in your little dingy and amuse us.”

Harry’s tries once more to snatch the rope from the lad. It results in nothing. Nothing other than incouraging the older lad to hand off the rope to another lad up on the boat deck who ties off Harry’s canoe to the rail on Ed’s boat.

Everyone up there looking down at Harry is laughing. The lad who swam over returns to the boat as Ed calls out to Harry. “Okay Styles, take a ride in your dingy. Signal us if you change your mind.”

Like that the engine of the large boat surges. Harry is tossed backward. He actually hits his head on the hard edge of the canoe. He’s dazed there for several laps of small circles before Ed takes the boat out to wider, deeper waters. Once Ed opens up the engine to greater speed this makes canoe struggle to stay flat onto the water as Ed and his crew enjoy this torment. After a couple laps around the entire lake Harry would like to yield. Wave for them to let him come in, up to the boat. Before he knows how to communicate this he feels a sudden urge to puke. He leans to one side of the canoe to do so and he sees it.

Shallow along side of his canoe only a few feet below water is a shimmer, a form, a swimming as fast as the motor powered canoe keeping pace with it. Harry needs to know; mirage or magic? He makes one challenging try to get his fingertips to water surface while risking loosing his life saving securing grip.

The slightest of touch and the shimmering swimmer under the canoe, just barely it’s side at the shallow depth rolls over to turn while maintaining the fast pace. Blue, bright, intense, almost glowing eyes meet Harry’s. They are the eyes of a creature with the chest of a boy who from the waist below is a fish.

A merperson! Merman to be precise though this one appears no more than a teen like Harry. It’s one quick exchange, blue meets green before the boy, the merboy, rolls over, chest down back up to efficiently follow the speeding boat.

Honestly Harry can’t know if it was deliberate spite or accidentally bad timing but when the rope tieinb the canoe to the rail of the speeding boat comes loose as the power craft was passing the river outlet of the lake.

This lake, large, deep was actually a natural reservoir for a powerful river that flows across the countryside. The river has enough force that where it flows into the lake or where it exits are known to be areas to take extra precautions. For example, one would be foolish to think they could safey leave relative flat water of the lake to take a small raft or canoe through the narrow place where force of water created a small rapid.

When Harry realizes his canoe had come free from the boat he has no time to bail out before his canoe heads right to the outlet where lake releases water back to continue the river.

Harry only hears the rapids for a second or two then he’s in his canoe is in them.

The canoe manages to stay upright, but it takes several hard wacks against a few river bolders. Many a careless fisherman has attempted to reach these bolders because they are legendEd to have deep pools around them, some monster fish everyone would love to catch have been rumored to occupy the deep pools. To this date no human has successfully made it to perch on them because something about the water here seems particularly chaotic and unsafe. Harry’s canoe makes it pass this area, to a second set of small rapids farther along, it’s there he feels the hit as his canoe takes a bolder in a particularly deteriorated spot for a craft so old. The wood haul of the boat shatters.

***

The sun warm on his face is surely what wakes Harry. Or the sensation that, while he’s wearing a swim shirt, his swim bottoms he was in, are missing because a breezes tells him the moment he comes to conscious that his body is half exposed. The force of the river must have removed them because they were yet too big for him. New for the important party, his mum bought a size too big to save some money. That’s not the only sensation he finds he’s woken to his surprisingly.

Just how was he woken?

What is this touch? It’s the feeling like someone has a hand on his jaw, cradling his face. Fingers are on his nose constricting his airway. Lips on his lips and breath. Breath. Breath.

Breath becomes less put upon him as lips change their pleasing press.

That touch that was a lifesaving rescuation breath becomes a kiss. A pretty amazing kiss. Perhaps because it’s Harry’s first it’s particularly warming and so nice but then why does Harry feel the kiss make him respond in other places.

Yes. He puts a hand down there where he’s exposed because the kiss makes this happen. His dick is fattening. In his night dreams, his wet dreams, it’s never been sensations this real, only the part where he wakes himself, his bed a mess does it become real the erotic dreams, but now...is there a tongue passing his lips so slight?

Yes, it is. A tongue is swiping over his lips. It’s not a dream.

A sound leaves Harry. The kiss stops.

Open eyes discover bright blue eyes inches from his staring back. A hand that was tending his face as life was blown back into him stays with touching his face. These blue eyes, bright, sparking with some flecks of colors sort of boardering on metallic stare into him.

Into him.

It’s the only way to say it. They hurt to see because they look so deep destroying Harry’s confusion as full senses slowly restore.

The face that accompanies these blue eyes is that of a pixie. Playfully arching eyebrows, a pretty little nose, cheekbones that look faceted for the degree of their angularity, his lips...because it’s a he-pixie...are thin, pink like a soft petal, and then there is the eyelashes. They flutter as he fails to say his name or his purpose just continues sweeping fingertips over Harry’s mouth stopping to say maybe, “say nothing.”

Harry exhales his intended words when he suddenly feels a second hand, the partner to the one that stays on his lips, slip to hold Harry’s hand. The hand of Harry’s that he forgot until now, which is still on his dick. Somehow Harry waking, being worked into an erection, a very special thing for a teen boy, has left his hand set there. And now, this pixie also sets a hand there.

Only unlike Harry’s which only holds himself the pixie plays with Harry in his hand.

Would Harry say something? Well he should. He can’t. Lips have joined his again. On this, their second expedition, they seek a deeper exploration. A tongue sinks into Harry’s mouth. It send more of that feel-good feeling straight to Harry’s cock.

Harry is released from this kiss only to find he can’t speak because the pixie pulls his other hand from Harry's face to join the one with Harry’s erection and to there the pixie slips.

Before Harry can begin to realize the reason the pixie puts Harry, most of Harry, between his lips.

Harry’s pretty sure he’s been through enough sex-Ed to know what this is. How has anyone ever not said is is this much so like loosing every cell to a tingling that makes the real world slip away only your body leaving to some place that can be called need of it to never end.

Harry find his hands act independent of his brain. They slide their fingers into the silkiest hair Harry has ever felt. There they stay. The pixie makes its first sounds. Sound like it is hungry. Like it has needs too. What does it need? Harry can’t think because it literally has him by the dick his body heating with a burning sensation that feels so right until suddenly.

Oh yeah. That. The way Harry was when he has certain kind of dream. Usually waking to find his hand has been on himself, wanking although he never understands how he does that in his sleep. But this. Is this a dream?

Is it? Is Harry asleep? Is he dead? This is death? Sort of feels like the sun says the world is real but what would he know. Harry is sure that if this is a dream or death or whatever the pixie who has pull out of him everything he had to give should have some explanation, right.

Voices call out. Once they are heard Harry has an instant clarity that he is awake. Alive. Half naked. Just sucked off by someone who is unlike any creature he has ever seen.

Suddenly abandoned, Harry lifts his head which shows him a view of where he is.

Harry discovers that he is laying inches from waters edges sort on a mix of sandy, pebbly substrate. It’s a bed warmed by the sun so it’s like a something akin to a heated beanbag mat with out boarders. He also notices that his missing swim shorts are stuck on a branch in the middle of the river where the tree juts out just enough to snag river debris floating past. This place along the river is a sort of more gentle part of the river, safely downstream from the little rapids Harry unintentionally entered as cast by the boat.

Voices call louder. Gemma, Ed, the others sound closer. Any second they will decover him spread out, half-naked laying there with his dick exposed for all to see and forever to be further embarrased as the community freak.

This is when Harry spots the pixie. The one who saved him, kissed him, sucked him off and who is now in the water. He’s arms, thin, curvy like he’s all lean muscle and made of nothing else. He’s swam out to the snag, reaching for Harry’s swim trunks. Harry has a good looks the pixie’s back. There is something odd about it. It’s sort of hard to decide what it is. Are those tattoos? Are they...sort of look like something from some biology class. Like of the side of a lizard. Gills. Gills with their flaps pressed closed.

The sound of voices coming closer Harry watches this pixie plucking free from the snag swim trunks. With them innhand he gets close to river’s edge but doesn’t stand. Instead he stays low in the water. From the river he tosses the swimwear to Harry.

A smile with a hint of mischief forms. It’s probably the first time Harry feels like someone looks at him like he’d like someone to like to look at him. Like he is special. For the first time Harry hears the pixie’s voice. “I’m Louis. Next time leave the boat. Or the dock. I promise to take care of you. Legs. That what I call you. Legs. Yours are so long.”

Hearing voices closer might be why this Louis stays in the water. Submerged like to hide. Louis seems to be sliding backwards in the water to secure staying that way moving farther and farther back from the bank to deeper water. Louis never stops looking at Harry.

The other teens sound close so Harry yells out to Louis, “I’m Harry, by the way, my name is Harry. Harry Styles!”

“I know Harry Styles. I can hear you know. Just can’t walk on two legs.” With that Louis disappears. Under the water he goes and in a second that is like a lightening bold so instantaneous quick before the other youths come into view a large, irresedcent, rainbow of shades tailfin fully exposes itself above the water before it’s gone from sight.

Harry vows to never say anything about this to anyone. How could he?

The people in Harry’s life couldn’t accept his sight of a wolf when Mace ran off years ago during a storm. Even when he repeatedly tried and tried to convince them it was real. Those who should not totally discount him; he is only a child, a child fueling stupid local lore, making up tales for his own needs. Those who should support him can’t even consider accepting Harry’s assertion there was a thing in the water, not trash from a careless fisherman, but something real. Something living and, and and...luminescent.

How could they believe the feeling of a fish taking his legs underwater like to almost like to protect him from the opposite shore was of no meaning. The opposite shore where a wolf waited. More unrealistic yet would be this story. A merman pixie who kept him from death. Kissed him. And did that.

Chapter Text

Harry is a Uni student heading home for the first time since his father passed, Harry’s mother Anne, had been much estranged from her husband for some years, basically since Harry left for college. Anne has asked Harry to come see her in her townhome before he goes to the family’s countryside home where Harry’s father was living alone at the time of his death.

Harry hopes his mum is just going to give him the keys to their vacant house, maybe some instructuons about it’s care as he’s planning to summer there and it’s been empty since his father’s death. Harry’s never been afraid of things like spiders, so he’s sure he can manage any residents that have taken to living there, spiders, maybe a mouse family, but a “talk with his mum”...well it’s just not something he’s looking forward to.

He is worried she was going to lecture his choice again about switching from the study of business to fashion design.

Within an hour of visiting his mum Anne has managed to dodge all significant conversations. She said a lot. A lot of nothing lie she’s is avoiding anything that has meaning. Anne is uncomfortable. She’s holding back.

She’s also keeping Harry from getting to the house before dark and he’s rather anxious to avoid stepping into the house without first knowing if the electric all works, water is available, gas range functioning, refrigerator for his boxes of groceries and such. He drives the conversation to where he’s sure it needs to go.

“You know mum, business was never the right course of study for me, it’s just wasn’t a good fit. I know you’d rather I be a successful businessman like Mr Sheeran, maybe buy some ridiculously expensive toys for my pampered children, live in the country on my assets, but that’s not me. Through fashion I can express myself. It makes me happy. Not only that, my creations brings people great joy, improves their self esteem. I’m good at this. So this summer I’m going to be working on my designs for sending off to a respectable design house to secure my chances to be a full time junior designer there next year. I know it’s not the path you wanted for me, but I’m happy.”

Anne looks relieved that Harry broached the subject. “Sweetie, I’m sorry. I am happy for you. Truly. At first I was not. I admit that. Knowing how everyone loves your work it speaks for itself how wrong I was. But that’s not what I wanted to talk face to face about. There’s something else. If you’re going back to the county you need to know. It’s something about your inheritance, something your father and I should have told you long ago. Will you sit down please.”

It’s dark as Harry is driving the narrow road that is the last leg of the trip to his home. He hardly has focused on his drive from the second he left the door at his mum’s kissing her goodbye. She was in tears. Tears because once she began talking every secret she’d ever kept came out. Like the river that flows at his county home, her words flowed with force.

There was a reason Harry was so odd and not at all like other children. A real genuine reason. It really didn’t surprise Harry to learn his father was not his actual father either. Gemma’s yes. Harry’s no. Anne confessed she had an affair? Is this why there was an inheritance that is Harry’s, separate from Gemma’s, and something he’d have to find when he returned to their original home in the county? As he drives Harry replays the vague description of this strange thing said by Anne.

“I can’t tell you more Harry. Just be aware your father has been safeguarding something of yours since we split. That’s why he decided to remain there in the country, our little home by the forest, the river because your inheritance is tied to those lands. There’s something that will reveal this to you. It’s hidden somewhere. Sorry I can’t say right where because I don’t actually know. Your father, I mean my husband, Gemma’s father, the man I trusted to raise you was the only one who knew where.”

With this very strange explanation of things, one seeming far-fetched and bizarre, Harry’s brain is so busy trying to imagine what this all means that he is nearly to his last turn to be at his home when his headlights reveal something in the road ahead that makes him slam on his breaks.

Standing broadside in the road is one very large, black wolf.

Being in the light doesn’t frighten this animal into running off. No, not the slightest. To the contrary the wolf simply turns its head slowly to stare through the windshield of Harry’s car like to look long enough to take in the details of the driver.

Once the wolf has seen enough it slowly, very slowly walks off.

Only when it’s gone, disappeared in the dark does Harry realize his hands are sweating. Harry drives on. He passes the driveway marking what was the Sheeran’s house, now occupied by an elderly retired couple name of Johnson, and it’s a short drive on before he reaches the driveway that is to his own home.

***

It’s been four days since his arrival back to the country and Harry has gotten most of the house in ship-shape. He’s cleaned every single inch from floor to ceiling of the first floor. He’s mostly finished foing the same on the upstairs. Along the way he has escorted outside without doing harm many a spider. A few bettles. Not a single mouse. Fueled by a desire to be done with this so he can focus on his work, Harry has allowed himself very little breaks from cleaning, washing bedding and linens other than some daily excursions to the river or lake.

On those occasions he takes with him only his sketchbook and some fabric swatches. Harry prefers to design on paper rather than the computer in contrast to many of his peers do these days.

Outdoors he always finds a nice place to sit and looks at the fabric samples in natural light then lets his designs come to him. Everything around him inspires him. He work comes with ease. Later back at home he’ll fine tune things at a desk where he’s made his office on the first floor. But at the river, the lake, the forest edge Harry just absorbs ideas form nature and roughs the ideas out.

It’s not lost on Harry his base inspiration for this collection is rooted in this world. His childhood home, experiences. His fingers frequently play with the fabrics when he’s not actively doodling ideas. Does the blue quite match the blue of his dreams? He’s not sure but he thinks it comes close.

Desire to be out there right this instant designing rather than cleaning is perhaps why Harry looks outside expecting to see nothing except where he wants to be only to be surprised.

Standing there at the path to the steps to the house is a young man. He’s stoped there like he is trying to decide, do I approach or do I retreat? In his hand is a cigarette. This suggests he’s not a salesman or some service person. Also his attire is somewhat strange.

Head to toe the man is in black. It’s summer, that’s odd. Adding to the strangeness is how he also wears a long, black coat. It’s unbuttoned but still. It’s summer. Who dresses like this?

Still looking at the stranger from the second floor window, making out only that his hair is dark, nearly black, nothing else about his features until suddenly the man looks up right at the window where Harry is stood. It is like the stranger knew he was being watched and sensed where to find the observer.

Once their eyes meet Harry has an odd feeling. Is this guy some familiar model who Harry has met before in his pursuits at Uni, because Harry is sure, absolutely certain, he has seen those eyes. And the young man, Harry’s age, has a model-perfect appearance. He must be a model Harry has encountered on campus before. Can’t be any other explantion how Harry would remember him since this young man is a hundred percent gorgeous.

Harry half waves. The man only acknowledges Harry back by giving a slow nod while blowing out some smoke. This has Harry turning to run downstairs as fast as he can to greet the stranger.

Sprinting to the door, a hello on his tongue, Harry is again surprised.

There is no one there. Not at the door. Not on the porch. Not at the foot of the steps where he was when he nodded. Not even on the path. The man in black, the model, has vanished.

***

Perhaps visiting the Johnsons would be a good idea after a few more days of being alone all the time and getting a slightly haunted feeling since the dark stranger came only disappear as unexpectedly as he came.

Harry knows that the Johnsons moved in sometime after the Sheeran’s moved out and sold the house. Seems Mr Johnson is the same Dr Johnson who formerly lived in the small town that is the closest burg to Harry’s home. Indeed it was Dr Johnson, retired but still a capable physician, who found Harry’s father had died after being alerted by Anne that her husband had not been answering his phone for a couple days.

Harry’s not sure what to bring when visiting a person who had that unfortunate roll in their family history. Given that Mr Johnson has a misses, Harry decides to make a gift of a scarf made with a fabric design he created in his second year at Uni. The fabric, a print on silk, has the colors Harry remembers for a slip of a second when he things he saw a tail slip into the water where he laid riverside four years ago. Laid out. Literally by a near death experience and a blow job rendering in him forever a change and a memory he’s never able to forget.

The Johnsons seemed to have way too much house for a couple who are just two. When Harry is greeted at the door welcomed in he wonders if perhaps that is a not mistake, but a necessity. Their house is floor to ceiling books. Books and art. It seems Mrs Johnson, Irma, is writing a book and an illustrative artist. She is delighted to have the gift of the scarf and once she has made some tea, set out some biscuits following a brief tour of the house, so changed from the Sheeran days, she looks at Harry with a knowing glint to her tone as she asks a unique opening question for those who’ve just met.

“So young Harry. Native son to this little part of the woods. Would you tell me, artist to artist, what was the inspiration for the fabric of that scarf you designed?”

Harry is glad the conversations didn’t begin with his father, or step father, how he was found, alone after death. This prompt from Irma is still a jolt.

“Um,” Harry pauses. It’s a question designers are asked all the time. What is the inspiration? For the design. For the palette. Irma’s ask is different. She knows something. “It’s nature, things in nature. Colors, textures.”

Irma picks up the scarf and runs it across her arm. The act makes the ripples of shades from a rainbow luminate as the soft light of the sun coming though a window strikes the silk fibers. “So it seems. This is an unusual iridescent for nature isn’t it? It is reminiscent of what? Feathers that shimmer on those exotic bird species like they has in places like South America or tropical Asia. Or something of the ocean? Sort of reminds me of fish, the really shiny ones whose movements refract light on their scales.”

Once Irma drops that analogy Harry decides to just nod. Take a sip of tea. A small bite of a tasty wafer. He doesn’t miss how the Johnsons make eye contact with each other. Unlike the man in black they don’t nod but as old as they are people are at the point with so many years of marriage behind them surely when their eyes can meet and an extensive verse is shared in silence.

Change the subject Harry’s inside voice says.

“So you are writing and illustrating a book. What is that about?”

“Those who live here, the original population.”

Harry snickers, “Oh you mean like the families with all the strange mysteries, the elderly lady who went missing, the baby. That sort of stuff.”

“Well maybe those individuals might make a footnote here or there. No, I was thinking more like about the wolf people, the dark shadows...the forest sprites...those like the one who inspired your scarf here.”

Harry spits the tea. He didn’t mean to but when Mrs Johnson said wolves, shadows, sprites and whatever that mercreature was he couldn’t control it.

Harry jumps up. He apologizes. Sputters. The Johnsons rise too. Irma tries to apologize and wipe up after Harry. The doctor chides her for being so forward. She defends herself saying, “Frank he toured the house. He saw hundreds of illustrations of things he must know he’s seen, or suspects to have seen living here. He’s heard all the stories. His scarf suggests he’s seen the merprince himself. I’m too old to dance around the subject. I don’t want to die the like this lad’s stepfather, secrets lost.”

***

Walking home too quickly after the incident Harry is seeped in regret. Why did he leave? Why did the honest truth said unsettle him? The lovely, kind elderly couple wanted him to stay, to explain, but maybe because it was a lot it was a lot too fast he just couldn’t stay.

It’s been only days basically since his mum revealed his father is not his father. His childhood oddity is not something he’s imagining. Now the neighbors are talking mythical creatures?

Harry stops on the trail that takes one between The Styles and The Sheeran’s, now Johnsons he has taken to walk back home. To his left is the river, sort of down from the slight rise where he stands which is a nice place to scan much of the transitioning landscape. Forest is to his right up the hill. The river made lake is somewhat behind from the direction he has come.

Suddenly the sound of snapping twigs emanates from the forest side of where he stands. The crackling and crashing can only be something running through thicket. Harry is sure that it is some deer, or perhaps a lost dog, that as Harry knows from personal experience, frequently like to chase the little forest things like rabbits or ground fowl.

But no.

A slightly built, totally naked lad comes into view sprinting full speed toward the river. It’s but a second before he is at the slight cliff like ledge wher he hesitates not, he jumps, arms and legs flailing as he falls toward the water. It’s then Harry is yelling only to get a shock of another one running, like trying to catch the naked lad. This one though is not a person. It’s a dog, or rather a wolf. A large black wolf.

By the instant the wolf comes to the ledge from which the naked boy jumped the sound of Harry’s voice broke the wolf’s attention from his chase and perhaps, because in a spin of dust making a cloud to obsure Harry’s vision, the black wolf is no more. In its place is a second lad. Standing himself now at cliff edge, looking up and back at Harry. Below in the water the first boy is slapping the water, bobbing up and down like one does when they have no clue how to swim.

Harry nearly breaks a leg by running down such a steep slope to come beside the second lad at the ledge. This lad, also naked, has black hair, features meant for photographing. It’s the stranger that stood outside Harry’s house a few days ago.

”Do you swim?” The model specimen barks.

Harry looks down, below them in the water the first lad is still in a struggle. Harry looks back at the model. Nods an affirmative.

”Well then don’t stand here. Go fetch.” The model says before he pushes Harry off the ledge.

Chapter Text

Surprised by the forced dunk into the river Harry has little trouble regaining the goal; making his way to the struggling lad. Taking the lad in arms to swim him back in a classic water-rescue style Harry approaches the bank at a place where it accommodates easily walking out. Harry shifts to carry the lad in arms. Just how light this lad is Harry realizes once he has no water buoyancy helping him move this body.

No sooner is Harry fully back on land than the dark haired lad who forced him off the ledge grabs the lad Harry rescued only to throw an exhausted limp form down, face first, following with a move to pounce on his backside.

Harry’s immediate response to protest is startled mute because the aggessor snaps at Harry once the water-weary lad is claimed, pinned under the aggressor.

“You’ve served your purpose twig, away with you!” The aggressor snaps this at Harry in a voice almost a growl more than it is words. Meanwhile under him, pressed into the earth by hands that have nails which have become not like a normal flat human fingernails but a round, curved, more typical of a dog, is a motionless body that is thin, except for a full bottom, with skin like silk it looks so so smooth, so flawless.

Might this motionless lad be suffering from taking in too much water? Harry starts to intervene on his behalf but Harry’s attempt to do so is met with another snap form the aggressor. This time when he barks, Harry is met by the sight of a strange mixed transformation of the appearance of the aggressor. One who was once the discription of a gorgeous model is diminished.

Replacing a model’s perfection is a face bearing teeth at Harry. Teeth, or are they better described as fangs? Whatever the description it’s no facial configuration that a normal person should have which confronts Harry. The once gorgeous model makes another series of snaps at Harry that are like that of a rabid, junkyard dog. This has Harry jumping back. While the aggressor deflects Harry from that he’s claimed he also digs his nails, now very dogclaw-like, deeper into the back of the one pinned under him.

Skin so silky, now breaks, red beads of blood form on what was pristine. Still the pinned one doesn’t move.

Another order is barked at Harry, “Any interruption and he suffers for it, hear me!”

Finally the one on the dirt of tha bank lifts his head like this is his one exhausting effort he can muster. He doesn’t speak; elects only to turn his face away from Harry. He softly whimpers. He doesn’t try to move again, or to fight the one whose claimed him.

The dark one takes in some obvious pressure at who he has under him. He ignores Harry who continues to hover nearby, confused, helplessly shuffling around.

The dark one noses his claim. Noses, meaning sniffing like a dog would do. Harry doesn’t know if this is an optical illusion but it seems like as the dark haired one does this his nose actually becomes mutated into an even more elongated snout like a dog. Enhanced morphology made, the dark one continues his sniffing, some nuzzling, every so often his tongue licks his prey under him on the neck, shoulders, ear of his captive. He does this for a few minutes just before a cackle slips from him as he makes a deliberate bite. The bite is not not kill. Or maim. Its purpose seems to be to assure to keep the one under him held so pinned.

The effect of teeth clamped on his neck elicits a shriek from the victim. Releasing his victim, making another cackle, the dark one one says in a tone more a growl than a voice, ”We made a deal. You asked me to make it so you could walk? Didn't you? Did you not agree to our trade? I did my part, now pretty thing, it is your turn. Did you think I made you able to walk so these scrumptious legs of yours could take your body to him before you served me?”

The questions must be rhetorical.

The dark one digs claws into skin again. He does more sniffing of his prey, a lot more like he can’t resist the scent of his pinned prize. He also licks over some places too. Decides to comment when one tongue lap over skin takes a drop of blood off where he’s broken skin with a sharp claw.

“Do you have any idea how good your blood taste? Do you know we say your kind has the tastiest meat. Much sweeter and juicier than all others. Do you know how tempting it is to dine on your flesh? But we made a trade. Legs to walk on earth for use of your womb. Time to pay. Your womb is ripe for implantation. I smell it on you.”

Harry drops down closer in an attempt to intervene again. He doesn’t get anywhere with the effort as the dark one first snaps multiple times at him. With teeth remaining bared at Harry, a growl intensifying, Harry is stopped shocked to be looking at snout decidely wolf-like though most of the rest of the dark one, fingertips excluded, remains decidely humanform. “I will not warn you again twig, do you know how hard it is to not waste this prize if not only for the penalty of his attempt to run from me!”

Once done chastising Harry the dark one returns to making another firm, pinning-bite on the back of the neck of the one under him. Unlike early bites, that were more nips, this time he holds extensively. Holds, like making his prey squirm is a thrill for him. For some reason one under him lifts his bum, this beomces a trigger, more transfigurations in the morphology of the wolf-like dark one. At least it makes him appear to lessen his intense biting-hold.

His victim’s bum presenting up to him the dark one’s back becomes more like that of a canid. Indeed along his spine a wide row of course, black hair erupts. It’s a swath that runs from his human head of hair to the start of his bum. His unclothed penis, originally normal by all accounts, becomes newly formed, growing massive as he has the one under him lifting his bum ever so slightly closer to the Dark One’s pelvis causing the neck-hold grip of teeth to loosen yet again.

It is as if the close contact of the victim’s posterior to the aggressors’ pelvis creates the changes in the attacker’s once normal penis. It becomes much too big for a creature human size; twice the length, twice the girth. There’s another change in features of the dick. The head of this cock is no longer anything normal or human-like. It becomes spade-shaped, beginning to effuse a coipious while gel once it’s so formed.

The one under this monster begins to use his hands that he puts of his arse like to try to pull his bum back down and away from the thing over him. Maybe that’s a mistake because in pulling his bum with his hands to make his arse move down from the monster over him only serves to part his cheeks. Why? Why would he do that, Harry wonders? Doesn’t he know how the pulling must only serves to part and expose himself? Reveal his entrance to this beast.

Harry can not take his eyes off the boy’s bulbous, full bum as the monster takes his length and ruts it against the parted bum, making sliding strokes pressing firmly against the crack and a hole exposed. That he does until a shimmer starts on the back of the one pinned, arse prone.

The shimmer effect is like nothing Harry has ever heard of in nature.

It’s like just under the very surface of the skin almost to look like there are trapped butterflies, a pearly luminescent row of butterflies, there. These shimmers things are not in a disorganized array on the prone one’s back. Rather they are organized running the length on either side of the spine, organized is the key, like these shimmers are a functional, essential part of this lad. Ever so slightly as the rutting continues these shimmers almost seem to part skin.

Studying this odd change on the victim’s skin is when Harry realizes by the cadence of the lads rib cage as he is breathing that he is panting, perhaps, logically, because he is terrified by this assault. He makes very few sounds, only quiet whimpers, muted perhaps by his predator’s punishment that continues with a new assault of words.

“I will breed you now sweet prince. Bury my knot in you. Fill you with my seed. Make me a son. Make him strong a fearless like my people. Make him beautiful like yours. You made this trade. Walk on earth for use of your womb. Birth me an heir.”

Maybe it was the gel and the conformation of the knob but the ease with which the spade head enters the small lad pinned is frightening. That the Dark One continues to push in until he fits fully half his length in the lad is mortifying too. But he, it does this, stuffing in as much of himself as is victim can take before he begins to fuck. It’s not like lovers do. It’s violent. And with each forceful penetrating trust his body blackens with more course hair. He carelessly digs claws deeper into the skin of his victim. He ignores the shrieks from the one under him.

He does take care to note changes to the shimmering, butterfly like ripples under the skin on the lad’ back as he drives his mutant cock with pounding force relentlessly fucking his prey. There is something about the shimmering that seems to be tellingly important to the Dark One. At one point the shimmering effect is so active under the skin where the ripples lay that an iridescence, rainbow, is confirmed. It’s with this, a significant sign perhaps, the wolf-creature announces his pleasure.

“So there we are, your womb open for me to breed.”

Harry can tell the attacker is dumping his seed because his spade finds a deeper welcoming, with it so planted he stays with his spade there inhumanly deep. His buttocks clenching pulses suggesting the release of his seed where he’s buried.

Taking minutes to stay implanted after the cum-dump, the dark one’s back slowly becomes less wolf-like, his face slowly softens, his nails slowly restore to human form. When he finally pulls his cock from the one he planted it in his cock has also become, well, normal for that of a human. Coming up to his feet to stand over his destroyed victim he turns to Harry again. The once horrifying face is again that of a beautiful, perfect, an ideal young male model.

”He is yours to play with now,” aggressor says like what just happened is nothing, “he won’t take your seed now. He can’t go back either because he’s bonded to me for now. I’ll be coming by to see that he is taking care of my interests properly.”

The words “my interests” are unique. Meaning...what?

And like that wasn’t dismissive enough the dark one merely takes one last look at the one he’s left wrecked on the riverbank, he reaches down to tousle his victim’s hair, cavalier as relaying a final parting thought. “Louis, three days. Three days, and I will see that you are feeding yourself well, your womb full.”

Chapter Text

Once the Dark One has walked some ten steps or so away he looks back. With a smirk he nods at Harry just before a dust-like cloud swirls and in a flash as quick as it started suddenly is gone. This is the second time the swirling cloud made him obscure in a form transformation. The first was when from out of the woods burst a wolf in pursuit of a naked lad who was running to jump into the river. The storm cloud hid the creature as it turned from wolf to human-form at water’s edge. Now for a second time a dark cloud; where there was once an attractive, yet repulsively violent young male, now stands a large black wolf in his place. The wolf lingers a second or two with piercingly chilling stare directed at Harry before it turns away and trots off. Harry knows this stare. It’s the second time for that too. The first was on the road the night Harry arrived.

Harry is left alone with the victim sprawled out face down, raped by a beast, left immobile from the assault. Harry studies the body as the wolf left it, how the lad’s back that has red spots where claws cut into skin. Bite marks too. A back that once had the appearance of some subcutaneous shimmering opalescence under the skin is now normal-looking human skin. Well, maybe not normal because of the wolf’s marks. Wher the world did not lance the skin looks entirely silky smooth, no sign of the assault of the beast to mar it’s flawlessness.

Harry approaches with a gentleness the type seeped into a soul by a tradition of kindness that follows generations in family natural lineage.

He lightly brushes a wisp of the brown hair with chestnut highlights away hoping to see what’s being hidden while asking softly, “Louis?”

 

Louis wasn't that the name? The name of the one who rescued him some four years ago when Harry’s canoe took the rapids, busted on the rocks and Harry nearly drown. Louis the one who revived Harry, kissed him, then sucked him off where Harry laid, rescued from death, on a sunny riverbank.

Louis doesn’t move. Harry carefully takes Louis to roll him over onto his lap. With great caution he does so because of the painfully-looking marks. Once so held Harry is confirmed that this is the face of his savior from four years prior. This face Harry has never forgotten. How could he? It’s exactly as he remembers only maybe now that it’s been several years the face is a little more matured having developed into a very chiseled angularity, a delicate mix of pretty and rugged making it an incarnation of the ideal androgyny.

Eyes open. Breath taken by this beauty looking at him Harry forgets to speak. That is until a hand is raises to come to place on Harry’s face as if to certify Harry is real. Fingers brush softly over Harry’s lips.

“That is you! You are really here? You are home!”

Of all the things to say after a brutal rape that is the strangest. And the way he says “is y o u” with emphasis like this is something of special importance.

“I’m Harry.” Is all Harry can manage to say.

This battered one that Harry has pulled into him makes a small smile. “I know who you are. Have you forgotten me? How could I ever forget you? You, with your long legs, your beautiful face, the way your lips feel...how your cock feels on my tongue, how you taste.”

Harry must be blushing because Louis, moves the hand that was at Harry’s mouth to his cheek for a second or two, then over to take a lock of hair. He twists it around a finger. Louis adds, “Your hair is so long now. It’s willowy look suits you, your green eyes every bit the perfect shade off moss. Or the leaves of a tree.”

Harry feels like Louis might have gone on about him more but Louis winches some like he is struck with pain. It must be that his back hurts to be bearing his weight because the winch is followed by a gasp that sounds like he is suffering.

“Water,” Louis says. Closing his eyes confirming he’s hurting, he repeats again more softly, “water. Please, take me into the water.”

With ease Harry lifts Louis while making himself coming to stand. How light this one is. Walking into the water Harry takes Louis to a depth where buoyancy gives him assist holding Louis. Louis’ face that was pained as Harry walked them in looks a slight bit relieved once the cooling water contacts his back but it’s clear he’s hurting still from bites, the claw marks and maybe something else, the breeding.

“Thank you.” Louis squeaks. With that he shifts to arch himself backwards as he is held in Harry’s arms initially bridal style, until the arch making it so his head goes under water so his face is just covered by maybe something amounting to an inch or two of water. There he opens his eyes again to look at Harry.

It’s some kind of rush that hits Harry. The beautiful blue eyes of a human become something more intensely, otherworldly blue. A truly royal shade with a luminescent quality to them that can only be described as softly glowing. Harry has seen the before, he’s tried to represented that color before in the fabrics he tends to have made for his fashion collections. The closest thing Harry has found to this color in nature is perhaps something approximated by the iridescence of the Blue Tang fish or a Blue Morpho butterfly.

What makes Harry conjur this butterfly image is how on his arms where Louis’ body lies across them he feels a rippling sensation. Harry can’t be sure but he gets a hunch that Louis’ skin is fluttering like butterflies under skin. Fluttering exactly like Harry witnessed when there were those two rows of something significant under Louis’ skin when the Dark One was assaulting him.

Louis stays with his face under the water for some time. Harry isn’t sure what to do with this thing he has in his arms. He’s sure Louis is enjoying the water but why the prolonged dunk? Harry can’t know but he decides to walk into the water a bit farther so the depth will cover Louis without Louis having to make a pronounced back bend to stay so submerged. Louis smiles at Harry, a sign this is what Harry did was good. Now Louis can just relax in Harry’s arms. With Louis lovely eyes looking at Harry’s he is sure that Louis is just contentedly remaining under water staring at Harry just as Harry stares back at this arresting oddity.

The way the water must surely be restoring Louis reminds Harry how when he was little that he and his father would similarly revive a fish as they fished catch-and-release style. In that kind of fishing the goal is to only catch, not to harm the fish. Child Harry learned to hold a fish they’d caught on a fly line gently under the water after removing a hook until such time that the fish would recover and burst away to live another day. Catch and release; but this catch Harry doesn’t want to let go. From the looks of it Louis studying him from under the surface of the water it appears that Louis doesn’t want to be released either.

Harry wants to look into these eyes forever.

Eventually while just standing there in the river Harry feels something new. Something under that water, huge, brushes past his legs. He’s about to pull Louis up in response to this fright when something coming up from the depth approaches at a surprising speed and ease. What alerts Harry to its ascent is the glowing pale blue orbs coming directly at him as it glides under water like their are two large fireflies under the surface. It would be petrifying but before fear can take hold the face of a young lad with fair skin, blue eyes, a wet head of a ruffled short hair and a nice smile greets Harry. This face is an amicable sort of person; one that creates an immediate liking of and attraction to. It’s also this appearance that makes Louis reach up to bring himself out from under the water and curl up into Harry’s chest, Louis’ arms going around Harry’s neck, so as to hold himself like a bride truly would do if being carried.

“Louis!”

“Niall, Niall look I found him! He’s really here! See! I found him Niall!”

“Niall?” Harry asks while the realization that the lad, name of Niall, is far enough into the deeper part of the river to not be able to stand on the solid bottom. However, Niall is not at all treading water like one would move to do. Instead he is, what is it term, Harry ponders, when fish hover in place in the water? Looking below the surface Harry discovers that Niall has the lower body form that is a shimmering body of a fish; he’s not needing a substrate on which to stand.

“Louis, what have you done? You know you are in big, big trouble. You were told to stay away from this legged-beast.”

“I don’t care what I was told. Look at him Niall, who can resist this face? Look at his eyes? Have you ever seen the green color like his eyes? Look at his mouth? And why the dimples? Are they part of his magic?” Louis chirps like Harry’s an object not a person in whose arms he is held.

“Yes is see that, he’s very pretty, very very pretty, but what did you do? Did Zayn do this to you?” Niall says continuing to talk to Louis like to act as if Harry is an object not a sentient being as Niall also looks a Louis’ legs like they are unusual while Niall mkakes a couple swimming circles around Harry to get a 360 view of what is the status.

Louis shows a sheepishness as he looks at his legs. “Yes. I made a trade. At first I didn’t believe Zayn that Harry Styles is back, he’s been gone so long. But here he is. Zayn didn’t lie.”

Niall makes yet another pass swimming around where Harry stands holding Louis. This allows him to inspect from all angles his friend. For sure he noticed the marks on Louis’ back.

“Louis! Did he do that to you? Did he...please tell me he didn’t, you aren’t...Louis, are you?”

Louis looks at Harry’s eyes with his that are now a very pretty version of a human blue eye color. It’s just one quick look like to muster some confidence from the value he places on his choice which is tied to wanting Harry. Once he’s taken this look he tucks his face into Harry’s chest. “Yes. I didn’t want Zayn to, I tried to run from him, but he did it. I am... I'm bonded to him.”

Niall gasps. He shakes his head, puts a hand to his mouth. At first he uses it to cover his mouth because he can’t be pleased with this news, then he switches to nibbling on his nails between offering his thoughts like he’s nervous or concerned. “But this means you can’t come back unless he releases you. You have legs from him but you gave him your freedom, your body. He’s bred you, put his spawn in you womb. How can this Harry be worth that price.”

Louis looks up at Harry. His eyes have tears brimming in them as he studies Harry’s face while he answers. “I love Harry. Niall. He’s back. We can be together now. I had too have legs. Zayn promised me I can be with Harry if I am bonded.”

Harry can no longer be a passive part of this. “Wait a minute. You love me? You love me and you needed to, get legs...legs, so you could come to me. To do this you made a deal with that Zayn creature. And he’s bonded you, that was called bonding? To me that was something called raping. Not bonding, what does bonding even mean? Impregnating, is that what you are saying?”

Niall swims closer to Harry so he can also have arms around Louis. In this way it’s two of them that are able to give Louis comfort. This also is Niall's first attempt to actually address Harry and not treat him as a persona non grata.

“Louis has been in love with you since we were little. It started when you used to come to the riverbank, or lake shore and hide in trees on branches that extended over the water. Many times while you were up there me and Louis were under the water below the branches. Louis would look up at you and dream about what you are like. As we got older it got more intense. He wanted to know what your lips felt like. How your skin feels like. How you smell. What you taste like. Often Louis would spend days waiting for you like if the weather was bad and you stayed away from the water for long. When we learned you left here he was sick for you for months. He should have been bonded to one of ours by now but he’s been hoping, dreaming, of you returning.”

“This is true Louis? You love me? You don’t know me?” Harry says. He’s aware that one of Louis’ hands is playing with his hair. He’s feeling compelled to kiss this lovey thing in his arms but he can’t believe this beauty loves him.

“But I do know you. I spent childhood following you every day that you walked the river. I listened to you talking to your dog, heard you crying after he died as you walked alone, mourning him. I heard you when you wrote your thoughts in that book you always carried when you went to the trees. You always read your words to yourself out loud as you wrote. It’s so cute the way you did that. Everytime that I saw you and other human children playing at the river or lake I learned more about you. Like the way the other children were often unkind to you. I heard everytime your sister stood up for you when you were little and how that changed when she got older and wanted that ginger haired boy to bond her. I heard, saw it all. Everything except you saying goodbye. You were just gone one day. Zayn told me. And he told me then he would tell me if you came back.”

Louis stops because tears start. Harry hopes he will lift his face because he wants to kiss Louis so bad it hurts. It hurts because he’s never known he has been loved like this.

“It was you that day! You were the one who saved Mace that day when there was a terrible storm and the wolf came. You knocked me under the water so I wouldn’t see you, but you saved him. Brought him from bank to bank to safety. For me.”

“Yes. Besides Mace and me were friends too. You don’t think he liked to swim only because he was bred to be a water dog, do you? He loved to play with us, my kind. He’d wander to the water whenever he could sneak away from land people. He was like my dog too. Only I thought Mace was a weird name...what does it mean? I called him Buddy. He was a good dog. We don’t have dogs. Or pets. Though once I raised a snail...until a turtle discovered it and ate it. It still makes me sad. Her name was Glossa. I know that’s boring. Glossa like refering to ‘’glossal’ meaning of, or pertaining to the tongue. But she had that foot, psuedoped, and it looked like a tongue. She liked to walk on my skin and she was cute. Not Golden Retrievers’ kind of cute, but snail-cute. I loved her. And then a turtle just went and ate her. The turtle was over 70 years old and she just three weeks; it hurts to think about her. I miss Glossa.”

If, IF Harry wasn’t in love with this wildly exotic, mixed-being before, like he would not be, he is absolutely is in love now. They were sharing the dog? And this wildly erotic, exotic being was broken hearted over a snail! What? Seriously ...what?

When Harry left what he thought was his boring county life, first he was trying business school because his parents wanted this from him. He was miserable. All the people around him were driven by a need of material things. How funny that? Because while fashion is only about “frivolous things”, his parents would say, that is not how Harry saw it. Harry believed fashion is actually about things that enhance one’s sense of self, empowerment and confidence. Unlike plastic surgery, or painful hours of food deprivation to make an ideal you, it can be as simple as what to wear. Anything that makes a person feel good on the inside reflects on the outside. The point is fashion is not frivolous. If it creates good.

Harry discovered this about fashion as he switched his studies to it and in the process he discovered he isn’t someone to be bullied. He is a creator. He gives beauty to the world.

Of all the beauty Harry creates none of it compares to that which he is holding in his arms. In Harry’s memory of the day Louis rescued him there was a tail with a slightly transparent but very distinct rainbow coloration to it. Holding Louis who has confessed his years of love Harry finds he must challenge if his memory is correct based on what he sees of Niall’s tail. Niall’s has as a shiny iridescence, but it’s not like what Harry thinks he remembers of Louis’. Niall is more monochromatic. Louis’ was all the colors.

”There are some things I know I can never forget. Like about Mace. And about...like the day with the canoe going through the rapids. I remember I thought I saw a shimmering tail like Niall’s only the one in my memory was different. It had a rainbow of colors, a rainbow of iridescence, am I imagining that?”

Louis hugs on tighter. “Oh that was me. Me tail. I may have wanted to show it off. Our equivalent to me showing me arse. I wanted you to want me in that way.”

Niall explains. “Louis is a merprince Harry. Not only is he The merprince but also he is a hermaphrodite too. The rarest of the rare. Who’s mum, by the way, is going to be livid over these leg things.”

Looking to Louis who is looking to him a feeling they should kiss comes over Harry. He feels hestitant because Niall is tight there with them conveying a protectiveness for Louis, the prince. “And you gave yourself to that beast so you could walk on two legs when you have the most beautiful tail? What do I do with you now?”

“It would be nice if you would keep me. His offspring come in three weeks.”

.

Chapter Text

Before Niall swims off, reluctant to share any news with Louis’ mum, the merqueen or leader of the river merpeople, he helped Harry adjust Louis so Harry could more easily carry Louis the distance back to Harry’s house. Harry thinks it would be a sight if anyone were to see them. A drenched lad in his wet clothes with a naked lad piggybacking him along a trail like this is a normal thing.

Louis seems to like clinging onto Harry with arms around Harry’s torso, face pressed to his back, thighs around Harry’s waist supported by Harry’s grip on them. As Harry admires the feel of the luscious, full thighs, Louis clings onto him cooing on and on about how broad he thinks Harry’s back is.

Once on his front porch Harry asks Louis to slide off. Louis does so only to loose his standing all together. As Harry pulls him up again Louis apologizes, “M’sorry, maybe not feeling so good.”

Harry sweeps Louis up in true bridal style against cross the threshold to his home. “I’m sure you can’t be feeling good, at all. Perhaps we’ll put you in a bath tub for a bit? Maybe water will help?”

Louis nods. Harry is sure that the places where skin is cut, tiny or not, could stand an aneseptic wash or sorts. He sits with Louis in his lap on the edge of the tub until it’s filled quite deep then transfers his battered guest to the water. As soon as Louis is in the tub he seems content.

Harry lets him seep there while he prepares a small plate of acceptable tubside snacks. He brings back to Louis grapes, apple wedges, cucumber slices. What food does Louis eat? Harry guesses not snails. Fortunately Harry doesn’t have any escargot.

Louis enjoys everything Harry brought savoring the small bites as he soaks in the tub quietly. He also tends to keep his eyes closed a lot much to Harry’s chagrin as they are an unusually beautiful shade of blue but a more human-phenotype now. That he closes his eyes so much suggests that maybe Louis is feeling the effects of his abuse of earlier. Harry lets him stay until the water becomes too cool. It gives Harry an opportunity to focus on how thick and long Louis’ eyelashes are, how finely chilled his cheekbones are. Harry deems the water too cold so he swaddles Louis in towels, takes him to bed. It’s early. Not nearly sunset. But Louis rolls to his belly and sleepily says, “So this is a human bed. So nice. Soft. Smells of you too.”

Just like that Louis is asleep. He backside Harry can inspect now. This begins with Harry taking to applying to each red mark spot, regardelsss how tiny, some antibacterial cream. This allows him to take in the smallest of details of Louis’ form.

Louis’ back is finely muscled seemingly far too slight in build for a person who lives an aquatic life. Harry can only assume that this is because his tail, by what Harry remembers, is very strong and powerful. From the shapeliness of Louis’ thighs, their muscular nature evident as he rode Harry’s back, Harry’s hands gripping them, it must be that. And there is the other thing. ...

...Louis’ arse is epic. It’s not that it’s fat, it’s just that it’s, well rather roundly plump, very full for being the bum of such a small male form. Harry would like to think he’s not much affected by nudity, as a designer he sees many models in various stage of undress, but Louis’ butt screams ‘made for being fucked’. Perhaps Harry is fooling himself when his brain gets the idea that it’s essential to look for damage that wer-creature Zayn may have left. Once he has his hands on the two full cheeks Harry can’t resist. Bad idea or not.

He parts them. Lord. It’s a little red and irritated but the recently punished entrance is a tiny, pretty thing. The ring of tissue that makes a closed pucker has a petal-like series of little ridges in a ring. Revealed as well are a few bruises to either side of this treasure. That’s the only sign that Zayn was here. Harry decides to put some healing ointment on the entrance. Not wanting to interrupt Louis’ sleep he puts his index finger on his mouth to wet it with saliva expecting a warm wet feeling as a test of soundly Louis is sleeping is better than the shock of the cool ointment.

The touch is as soft as a feather. It’s fleeting. It’s intended for a test to see if Louis would accept, undisturbed, the well-intended medical care.

It was unexpected what Louis little thing does with the slight touch. His rim, red from abuse makes a split second shift in coloration. Like individual petals in a ring a color shift flutters the circle and for a second each petal is a different color. Almost translucent the hint of color, and very pearlescent, this rainbow of colors appear in a kaleidoscope effect for just a second and then are the effect is gone. Again Louis’ hole is a shade of red indicating only that it was recently strained.

Harry can’t actually believe he didn’t just imagine that. It was the range of rainbow colors like he remembers from when he was on the riverbank years ago, Louis leaving before Gemma and the others came into view, all Harry saw was the fan-like terminus that was the end of Louis’ tail. Unlike Niall’s shimmery-silverish tail fin, Louis’ was a shimmering with a full range of rainbow colors. Are similar colors what Harry just saw with his touch of the sensitive puckering flower that is Louis’ entrance?

More warm, wet saliva on his finger tip Harry touches the red entrance again. Once more the rim of tissue responds with a short burst in a kaleidoscope of rainbow colors all with a slight metallic sheen. It wasn’t his imagination. It was real!

What Harry knows is that he should step away. Right now remove his hand that holds one cheek as to expose this sensation but he’s captivated by this. He spits on the entrance directly, again he tickles the rim with the tip of his finger. It explodes in the rainbow of coloration. This time like Harry’s more sustained third touch the response is more intense everything more vibrant, kaleidscope of colors being maintained longer.

A surprising response affirmed, this affects Harry in two ways. In his loins he feels his cock yearn. It fills his pants making a strain for comfort. His tongue? It has an involuntary reaction to licks lips he because he’s contemplating lapping this rim now. Licking over it, into it, and if Louis does not protest, Harry would like to eat Louis out. The feeling of the need to act is halted before it can overcome him.

A forlorned howl arrests it.

Harry snaps out of his captivated state. The wolf is close by. Harry was about to take advantage of what the wolf has bonded, bred.

Harry slips back away from the temptation. He goes through the house to secure all the doors and windows. Would that be enough? Should he get a gun? Are silver bullets required? What about that dust storm that brings the transformation about; could it bring The Dark One through the wood walls of the house?

He will work out what to do next but for now he just returns to his bed to crawl in beside the sleeping merprince. Louis seems to like this because without waking he just accepts Harry contact doing in response a move to cuddle himself into Harry.

Chapter Text

It’s a pool sweat that wakes Harry more than it is the light of day. Louis, whose body is wrapped to his by Harry’s arm claiming the merprince, is drenched. Harry pulls away which causes Louis to roll onto his back like a limp wragdoll. Once far enough apart to look Harry notices how Louis is flushed, his face being sweaty too, this is not just the heat of them being so tight together. Louis has a fever.

Harry immediatley fears that the bites of the wolf have infected him. Is he turning? Wer-mer....?

Harry’s up running around trying to decide what to do after he dresses. He runs to the kitchen to bring some cool water to Louis only to find his attempts to wake the lad and force him to drink are unsuccessful. He passes the next two hours going through internet searches for werewolf lore about turning. He finds little that is helpful. Finally mid morning arrives. This is the time that Harry and Louis had agreed to meet with Niall at the river as arranged the previous day before Harry brought Louis to his home. Harry worries about leaving Louis in his terrible state but he must. Following one last check of the feverish lad, Harry leaves for the river.

Thankfully Niall is waiting there already. He’s happy to see Harry but naturally curious why no Louis.

“When I woke this morning Louis was feverish. I haven’t been able to wake him.”

Niall’s frown is terrifying for Harry. “What are you going to do?”

“What am I going to do? What do you mean? I was hoping you knew what I should do? I mean, he was bitten by a werewolf. Is this the first sign he’s changing?”

For a second it looks like Niall was about to laugh. He must realize it’s an honest mistaken assumption because he chokes back the laugh. “Oh Harry how funny would that be? And no, he’s not changing into a werecreature. Zayn can’t affect him like that. Louis is one of the Trinity.”

To the odd comment that offers no clarification Harry says only “What? He’s what? What trinity?”

Niall shakes his head. “I would think you would for sure know that Harry. The Trinity, the three elements of the earth. Land, Water, Air. He is of Water. As the prince he has immunity to a subcreature of the making of Air or Land.”

Harry is more confused. “Louis is immune to the wolf? If that is the case then how did Zayn make him have legs? How was Zayn able to bond him?”

“You really don’t know this? Really? Zayn is not of power enough for him to make Louis into one of his so Louis will not succum to Zayn’s nature. He will not be made a were-mer-creature. Zayn needs Louis to make him an heir who can have the strength from Louis’ Trinity. It’s that or he could hope to get an heir from another of the Trinity, Air or Land. Zayn can however use his power offer Louis his charms, legs as this is what Louis wanted, so he could enter Land. Or Louis could have wanted to enter with the assist of Air. But Louis doesn’t see Air as to be trusted.”

Perplexed Harry interrupts. “Air? How is Air a thing to be trusted or not? It’s just Air. Its, its, it is...isn’t it?”

“I’m surprised you’ve learned nothing of your world Harry. It makes me wonder why Louis finds you so remarkable. You seem as dim as a typical, ordinary human, but I guess you have time with Louis for him to explain some of these things to you. Air, it’s prince in the Trinity, is Liam. You know the dark storm Liam. He’s brutal and untrustworthy. He shifts his mood as fast as he changes the sky. Faced with the options for an heir of making with a Trinity Zayn was wise to choose Louis. Zayn had as his bargain the ability to bring Louis a way to enter Land with Louis giving him use of Louis’ womb. Zayn doesn’t want to make a werewolf of human breeding. Simple as one bite gives him that but he really wants the power in his heir that comes when one comes from mating with one of the Trinity. Got it?”

Harry ignores he was called dim by Niall. He’s processing all this.

“The Trinity is some royalty over the elements of Air, Water and Land. The royals have a divine kind of power, so a werewolf can’t mingle with them unless it’s a choice. If a werewolf wants a child by the Trinity the wolf has to barter, or trade.”

“Yes.”

“So Louis isn't changing. His fever is something different. How do I treat him then. I don’t understand. Don’t you have like a mer-doctor or something?”

The laugh Niall makes is more a scoff. “No, no, not so much like you are thinking in the human sense of a doctor. His mum, Louis’ mum, Jay is The Healer. She is mad, by the way. Very mad. Furious at Louis. She won’t even see her son until he returns to Water in his true form. Not to say the news he is sick will please her. Jay would never want her son to be punished or to suffer. You have to find a way to heal Louis. Louis did this deal, this all to be with you.”

Harry and Niall spend several more minutes talking about what happened when Niall brought to the merpeople news yesterday of Louis’ condition. Legs. Carrying the seed of the wolf. It doesn’t sound like it was a fun position for Niall to be in. Niall shares how Jay was not the only one angry at Louis. So were his sisters, Lottie and Fizzy, quite upset with their brother. Harry knows he should feel bad for being the cause but he’s oddly somehow not. He just feels...honored. Growing up here he always felt odd. Not like the other children; not liked by them. Apparently he was the source of years of infatuation for a prince. A prince who went to great length to be with him. He says nothing of this to Niall. He simply agrees to meet the following day to bring Niall more news. That said they part.

Once back at the house, after first checking Louis’ condition, Harry decides he should call Frank Johnson. Perhaps the retired doctor can help.

Harry doesn’t have to wait long before the elderly gentleman arrives. Frank has an old fashion doctor’s bag with him. Harry has told him it’s urgent, a friend has fallen ill, a fever. Also that the friend is from “around here”.

Being gentle with Louis the retired doctor first takes his temperature. Notes a few more things, pulse, heart rate, that he says nothing of, although he looks to Harry a couple times like he’s curious, hesitant to say what he’s thinking. Harry has to speak up in lew of this silence.

“He was attacked yesterday, yesterday, some one by the name of Zayn. Assaulted him. Beside the river. I came upon them when I was walking home from yours. I brought him, Louis, here to help him recover. His fever started last night.”

The doctor nods. He shifts Louis gently as to see signs of the assault. He seems to not want to disturb Louis’ sleep.

“It’s dark forces driving his fever. Here is what I can do. I can give him a liquid fever reducer since he’s not wakeful. He’s going to suffer more if he’s awake. We want to let him sleep. Was Zayn, um, pleased with his deal?”

Harry sits up. “What do you know of this? Why do you say that?”

The doctor talks while he uses a dropper to measure milliliters of a liquid which he puts between Louis’ lips. “You were in my house yesterday. You saw my wife’s art. Learned of the book. Do you think we have these far-fetched ideas formed from just the idle gossip among our neighbors and lore of the region and no actual factual foundation? I’m not fully familiar with the biology of Louis’ people. He was rumored to be far more valuable to his kind because he is a rare variant. The first for generations from whom male-male matings could produce offspring. For the wolf this is a very valuable thing. I presuming the attack was an attempt to breed Louis. A mermaid could not make the wolf’s spawn stick, only a male, a very rare male. It’s likely that Louis is feverish because it is his body’s attempt to stop the dark element of his pregnancy. At least this is what I think I know. My wife has tried to learn more about all the mysteries; for example how there is a link between Zayn and something darker than simply being a werewolf. The marks on Louis’ body of the wolf’s violent nature, the attack, I know it must be hard to put aside, but Louis is too strong, so he’s not in risk of infection from Zayn. He’s only feverish because Zayn was trying to use a dark seed. Louis won’t have that. He has the power to burn out anything bad in the blood of offspring he bares.”

Harry notes how the doctor seems at peace with his prognosis. He stands, returning items he’s used to his bag. He leaves Harry the fever reducer and dispenser.

Harry stands to show him out but wants to see how much more Frank knows. “Trinity. You know what that is?”

The doctor nods. “Air, Water, Land.” He says. “You of all people should know that Harry. Are you asking me or telling me?” Heading to the door he comments that Harry should push Louis to drink water as soon as he wakes. Before Frank leaves the doctor lets on a little more. “There are those who know the answers you are seeking, son. So when Louis is better you should start with him. He’s made this choice for you it seems. Bonded to the wolf or not his affections for you must be strong, strong enough for him to do anything for it.”

Much later in the day Harry makes sure to give Louis more medicine. Louis has moved very little. The fever is down but in its place Louis looks to have very dark circles under his eyes that remain closed. Something about his condition make every small and delicate about him seem even more so. Harry makes some soups for himself and wishes Louis would wake so he could feed him. After dinner Harry works on some designs but finds he spends more time returning to the room hoping for Louis to be waking only to find he still sleeps.

It’s late when Harry goes to bed. A storm started and having Louis in his arms makes him feel better because of the odd nature to the storm. It is like there is anger in the wind. Rain comes in torrential waves more than normal. Harry can’t help but wonder, is this Liam? Is Liam connected to the darkness of Zayn? If Liam is Air what form does he take? Or does he takes any form at all? Is Liam aware of Zayn bonding Louis? Would that make him angry?

Waking Harry is his dream. It’s his most common erotic dream, a replay of his encounter at fifteen with Louis. This dream has been so common a natural way of waking for him that he is completely caught off guard when a sudden turn takes the pleasantness away from him.

It’s Zayn crawling over the bed to pull covers from Louis. He’s in human form, looking stunning, so handsome so perfect. He does however act appallingly unpleasant as he’s ignored Harry in his pursuit of Louis whom he straddles over sniffing as Louis is still asleep.

Harry is about to say something to the effect of “get the fuck out”, when Zayn snatches Harry’s jaw in a clench jerking Harry first closer to him for putting a growl in his ear before tossing Harry back functionally to cast Harry backwards, Harry tumbling off the bed.

“I said three days, in three days I’d be back to see how my seed is growing. You have yours twig when I know my bond remains secure. You had a storm here last night! Did anything happen? Did you see Liam? Don’t think I won’t know if he twisted my heir. Did he come?”

Harry shudders. He also shakes his head “no”. He’s not sure what else to say. He’s sure now the storm was Air. The Trinity Liam. Allied to Zayn or not?

Zayn sniffs Louis more like he doesn’t care to give Harry a second to respond. He stays on all fours over Louis, Louis looking like he’s no longer feverish but still unusually tired.

“He’s sick. Louis is sick. There was a storm. No one was here though. Just me and Louis.”

Zayn’s sniffs have been replaced by him licking Louis here and there. It’s clear he likes the taste of Louis’ skin. What started as little kitten licks have become longer, fuller, and from his mouth also comes the humming sounds like to say something is tasty and satisfying. Given what Zayn said about the taste of merpeople, Harry has a fear making it hard for him to move. It’s like his feet have become rooted and he can’t move. Mortified or not he is frozen with fear.

“Would you get away from him please. Leave him be, you’ve already done enough to him, he’s got your puppies growing in him, what more do you need?”

Zayn snaps at Harry. Again it's like at the riverside. A split second of his fast mutating where his appearance is more canid than human, his fangs bared. Still Harry’s feet are rooted in place.

Zayn rolls Louis to his back. Louis belly is Zayn’s focus. He sniffs, he licks there. He hums over its new conformation, there is a distinctive though small poof where it was flat before. Harry is certain this is a sign Louis has some puppies. Zayn is maybe calmed by a similar assumption. He says in a somewhat nice manner of speaking for a change, “You're such a stupid twig. Puppies, stupid twig.”

Having a beautiful face restored with his calm Zayn leaves the pleasing belly to lick somewhere lower. When he gets to pelvis he goes right for taking Louis’ cock in hand, licking it a few times he takes it in his mouth, some hums come from him again.

This is a shock that effectively wakes Louis with a start. A split second of panic before he gains his senses enough to slap at Zayn. Zayn seizes his wrists and pins them on the bed. “Be nice to your dom, my pretty mate. I made your wish for these legs real. You should know I need to secure my seed is growing and healthy. That Liam isn’t going to twist my heir.”

Louis manages to free one hand. He sets the hand on his belly where Zayn was so intrigued. “You know your wish is confirmed. You can smell it is so.”

Zayn lets the other worst go. He strokes Louis cock with one hand willing it to respond while his other hand caresses Louis’ face. “I need more. Liam was here last night. Your stupid twig did nothing to protect you. You must give me more assurances.”

From the spot where Harry is planted he can see Louis is still so tired. His fever is gone. His complexion no longer flushed but the dark circles remain. He should be pampered, cherished, it is simply that Zayn should not be the one.

Louis snaps at Zayn, “Stop calling Harry that. He doesn’t know anything. He’s raised human. He's like a child, a human child.” Once Louis corrects Zayn on the second or third time Harry thinks he’s been called “twig” Louis talks on with a passionless tone. “Do what you must then and leave. If you don’t think I can handle Liam then you are a fool. A fanged fool. Feel free to breed me again and for that you must promise not to come until after I deliver. You’ll have your offspring.”

Harry protests “No!” He thinks Louis is consenting to the massive spade-dick again. Surely he can’t take it with his body already filled and showing he’s with child, perhaps several.

Louis looks at Harry. He face has a purity, an acceptance, a calmness to this that has no rational explaination from Harry’s view. “Harry it’s fine. He needs greater confirmation. He’s too stupid to trust his senses. He knows the scent form his bonding me is still intact. Zayn is just a stupid mutt, as he’s made from darkness. I can take his demands. Trust me please. Then, after, he will have to stay away for three weeks from the day.”

With that said Louis sets a harden glare on Zayn. He speaks with distain to the dark one as he is the dominant disgusting the submissive. “Do it in this form, no wolf nonsense or you will not get the male heir that you want. You will upset the babies if you stick that knot in me so close to their chamber.”

Hearing Louis’ terms Zayn has an anxiousness to his manner. Louis has slapped him down, or so it seems. He becomes content with Louis’ offer. Zayn’s own cock, untouched, is filling out as he keeps working Louis’ with one hand, petting Louis elsewhere with the other hand like he knows he’s awarded in this concession what he does not deserve. Zayn’s body shows that he wants to get dicking and while Louis has consented. Still Harry worries Zayn has given Louis no care. Harry has seen how Zayn fucks.

“You can’t, no, you can’t just do that just like he is. He’s too tired and small even for what you have...without the wolf thing, he needs...he needs some prepping or you’ll hurt him.”

“It speaks again. The one that thinks he knows so much,” Zayn says in his becoming too typical manner of disrespect. “I know how to make his thighs weep for my cock, how about I eat his ass out while you watch, hum? You know what happens when Louis is pleased? You want to see what his pretty little entrance does when he is excited? He’s so beautiful just as he is but, but, I will enlighten you, get Louis really excited for cock and see what he becomes, shall we see?”

With that Zayn harshly flips Louis over. The flip is flowed by a equally harsh tug to pull Louis back toward him and more roughly a pull on Louis to move his body positioned arse up. It’s perplexing thing for Harry to witness because Harry is simultaneously aroused and mortified. Before Harry can protest again on Louis’ behalf Louis slides his hands foreward as an acceptance with arms extended on the bed before him like he’s perfectly content to be submissive and take Zayn’s dick again. This even though it’s clear; Louis is already bred.

Chapter Text

Zayn takes Louis’ bum in hands. He kneads the round, full flesh. He bites Louis on one cheek making Louis hiss and fling a hand back in a failed attempt to slap Zayn.

Zayn pushes Louis down flat on the bed. Louis’ legs still spread wide by Zayn has his legs parting Louis’ while Zayn makes a grab for Louis’ hand that tried to slap him. He pins that hand to behind Louis’ back as Zayn also makes a hard bite on Louis’ upper back to punish Louis while maintaining his treaty agreement; his mouth does not bear fangs.

Louis hisses and submits. Zayn proceeds to release Louis’ arm, move down over Louis to play with Louis’ bum in his hands.

Overtly happy about himself, Zayn smirks, “Would have revealed this arse long ago had we just known how fat and fabulous it would be. Probably I should have known given that beautiful mer-tail of yours, a sign, your tail. A sign that your arse would take this equally fabulous form.”

That said, Zayn licks at Louis’ hole. He licks it with little flicks of tongue over it, snickering while he does this. Louis gives little feedback as he yields to this in silent resignation totolerate Zayn if only to be done with him. Harry hangs back where he is. It’s uncomfortable as hell and yet oddly stirring. More so as Zayn gets aggressive with his tongue, lapping and slurpying at Louis’ arse like it’s ice cream. One thing is for certain; Zayn clearly enjoys eating Louis out.

Once Zayn is satiated he uses one finger to poke at Louis’ hole like to see how sensitive he has gotten it. “So tight and pink,” Zayn says, “so pleasing to think of breaching this rim of yours. So, so pleasing.” Zayn applies his mouth back to its gratuitously, noisy work. Following minutes more of this he pulls back, wiping his face, Zayn sticks a finger fully into Louis going dep and hard with the finger driving hasty, fast.

Louis hisses again.

Leaving the finger Zayn is impaling deep in Louis, sliding one arm under Louis to lift Louis’ pelvis up so Louis’ bum is again positioned proned... presented on his knees...again...for Zayn while Louis’ chest remains notably, submissively, pressed down.

Harry can’t help but note how the bend to Louis’ back makes Louis’ body all the more beautiful. Unintentionally Harry licks his lips he too now wanting the possibly sweet taste of Louis.

Before Harry realizes seeing this, it’s effect upon him, Harry cant help but develop a fully engorged, determined erection. How convenient to this is it that he was sleeping nude.

Zayn shares how much he likes fucking Louis’ arse with his finger. He laughs in delight repeating how tight Louis is. How fat his arse is. How sweet the feeling is to be fingering him in there. He does some wanking of his own cock occasionally alternating with slaps to Louis’ arse cheek. All the during this Louis doesn’t say a thing. He hasn’t hissed again. He does protest quietly though when Zayn extracts the one finger only to force back in two with rough thrust. Giving up only one hiss Louis remains prone, yielding to Zayn’s assault, continuing to say nothing.

“So insanely tight still, this little thing, so tight. Fat arse and such a tight, tight tiny hole. Like to stuff you now with my cock if you think you can take me.” Zayn offers like this is a negotiation over .

“Rather you take your leave as soon as possible. Do it please.” Louis says.

”So polite, so polite.” Zayn says before he pulls out his fingers and lines up his dick to begin pushing its knob in.

Louis winches. He withholds hissing this time though he surely must have needed more prep. The only indication of his discomfort is how Louis pants as Zayn slowly pushes himself in inch after inch, stopping occasionally for sake of his own pleasure with the changing sensations in this slow drive.

Louis politeness, his act to endure with grace, spurs in Zayn his beastly nature. “How many times have I stood at the bank of the river and watched you? You and your friend. You’re hands on the large boulder holding you there. Your friend Niall behind you holding on too around you. His tail pressing to yours as you took his mer-dick in your slit. So many times. So much your need to be stuffed.”

Zayn has sunk his entire length. He holds himself buried there wanting to use his hands to glide over th curves of Louis’ posterior like it pleases him to feel the skin and see how it looks to be deep in arse and stopped for point of tormenting.

Louis snaps. “Get on with it. Finish your deed.”

Zayn chuckles. He slaps one cheek fairly hard, enough so make Louis arch his back with the strike, starts his trusting. It’s a loud slap, slap, slap that come from his body smacking against Louis’. His hold goes to grinding his fingers into Louis’ hips. Louis seems to need this grip of Zayn’s because each drive by Zayn into Louis’ body nearly takes Louis off balance.

Eventually, entirely delirious about his brutality, Zayn becomes less organized in his thrusting and goes back to his shaming blathering. “Always wondered how Niall could take you grinding back on his dick for so long sometimes. Sometimes you would be there together for hours, he’d be moaning, nearly crying. Do all merpeople fuck for hours? Or maybe just their prince?”

Louis says nothing. His body is sweating. His back once smooth has some shimmering effect such as Harry has seen before. He so what s to know what that means, why that is. As he studies these conjoined two he notes that Zayn’s nails have rounded and lengthened ever so slight. He’s nearing the edge of his wolf nature taking over.

Before Harry can speak out Zayn shuts him down. He stays stopped where he’s driven his cock deep like it’s essential to stave off his orgasm by a moment of stillness. “So for sucking off this one,” Zayn nods toward Harry though Louis wouldn’t see the nod, “so willing to be made filled with my seed. So special is he, hum? Should we see if he tastes as good as you say?”

“What?” Harry is thinking. Sure he has a hardon in hand. He’s sort of forgot about it because he should surely not be so arroused by the sight of someone fucking so unkindly. Harry’s limited, but more than occasional, experiences with lovers have made him sure of what he wants in a lover. It’s nothing like this twisted scene. Yet now Zayn says what?

Zayn lightens up his grip on Louis’ hips. He begins to sweep a hand softly over Louis’ backside the first sign since he began a punishing fuck of any compassion. His other hand sreaches under Louis seeking dick. He softens his tone. “So Louis, want this one’s dick in your pretty mouth?”

Harry is thinking Louis should say “no”. He wants nothing to do with this.

Politely, softly, with Zayn resuming actively but slowly fucking while stroking his cock, Louis says, “yes please.”

Zayn snaps at Harry. His eyes like his fingertips have a slight wolf edge to them, “You heard him. He’s spent years dreaming for the taste of you in his mouth again, says you taste like the sweetest of sap, something like honey, so sweet. So give him that pecker of yours. We’ll split him between us. See if that sets him off.”

Reluctant is not the word to describe how it feels. Nothing of the sort. Sensational, wrong ful as it should be but sensational is how Harry feels when he puts the slit of his cock to Louis’ pink lips to be rewarded with a single lick from Louis’ tongue before Louis parts his lips and says, “Please.”

It’s a pleading sort of ask. He’s being steadily impaled by Zayn. Zayn Reaching under Louis working his cock in one hand. Once Harry slips a few inches in Louis begins humming on his dick. He uses just the movements of his head since his hands and arms have to support him on his hands and knees. Harry doesn’t have to drive his dick deeper because Louis sinks onto Harry so far as he can. It should be he would suffocate deep throating so much of Harry since Harry is much endowed, but he doesn’t.

Zayn laughs. His nod suggest the thing to note. Sure enough the changes coming over Louis back indicate his arousal. There they are; two lines of something shimmering running to either side of his spine, seeming to flutter with a changing iridescence, and for the first time the shimmers show a translucence in shades of the rainbow and maybe, just perhaps maybe...is Louis using gills?

Harry’s sure now this illusion is actually a mer-thing. He’s not seeing skin separate like in thousands of artists images of mermaids where they have gill-like structures, usually someplace like on their neck, no. This is a subtle change only along Louis back approximately where lungs would be inside the rib cage but not a fish-like gill transformation.

Zayn laughs more. His giddiness is an indication of delight that they have Louis aroused like this, Louis moaning now and humming as he keeps sucking Harry like it’s giving him strength while he’s taking Zayn up the arse, Zayn back to pounding him brutally hard.

Harry begins spilling his cum in Louis’ mouth which serves to make Louis moan and suck more intense, swallowing with each pulse Harry spurts. Louis must come triggered with the taste of Harry in his mouth because his entire body shudders, his back shimmers with added brilliance. Zayn makes a final drive sustaining buried deep as he too comes. His shouts over whelming sounds in the room.

Chapter Text

Louis has the strength after Zayn pulls out of him, a slurry of cum coming out of Louis with his cock, to roll down turning face up. A bit of Harry’s jizz remains where it landed on the side of his mouth as he pulled off Harry.

Louis looks Amazing having been so wrecked. Amazing and despite it and with great deal of composure and distain to his voice Louis shares what are his thoughts.

“So you’ve gotten you confirmation now. My womb stayed closed despite you doing your thing to rupture it, and to be sure you already smelled your offspring, safe, growing in me. Harry can’t plant seed his in me. I am bonded to you. But you already knew that. You are just being cruel. So leave now. You said if I bare your heir I will have three weeks with him. You’ve already taken three of those days away from that so don’t come again or you break the bargain. Don’t even come if only to just smell the scent of my pleasures with Harry.”

Zayn looks a bit more effectively slapped down for the first time. He glares at Harry to certify he has not a bit of respect for Harry before he makes more demands. “How do I know what you carry, if there is a son. I said a male, not those girly things you merpeople like to birth in abundance!”

Louis keeps his calm. “You have your male heir. How you will raise him, I can’t know. They number three. One, a male. Your demands are met as you said whe we agreed. Now stop taking my time, be gone or I will abort.”

“You won’t! You wouldn’t! Your kind finds children too precious, you would not! Could not! Taken by force even, merpeople love building nests.”

Louis looks too tired to speak with Zayn any more. His eyes close and he clearly drifts, “Leave. Please. Let me rest.” Again so polite Harry has treats for playing a part in this but much to his relief he watches as Zayn exits. Then he springs to action running to get water. Returning to Louis he finds it’s too late. The sweet prince is deep in sleep again. Harry can only do what he can to clean from this second assault. As he does so he decides to call the Johnsons again.

Sure enough Frank offers to come straight away. Hearing Harry’s jumbled explaination of what happened the good doctor offers to go find a loan of equipment as to set Louis up with an IV for hydration. This he does indeed start Louis with fluids as soon as he’s is to Harry’s fearing Louis has suffered too much, too-long without proper hydration and nutrition. Harry’s account of the earlier conversation creates the fear that unintentionally Louis will abort, in that case he will suffer more rath from Zayn.

Franks stays on through the day. While Louis sleeps Harry shows Frank many of his fashion designs. About supper time Irma comes bearing a basket of food. She also has under an arm a large sketch pad. It’s old. The edges of the papers show it been well used. Once her hands are freed of the basket she flips to a page which makes Harry’s heart flip as well.

What she’s drawn is Louis. One would only know this if they have seen Louis because he angle he is sat at is mostly his back pictured but there he is. The drawling shows a lad, a merman lad, sitting on a large boulder in the river appearing to be sunning himself. The tip of his fantastical tail is touching water. His torso, lean is sort of in a twist so to turn his face so can’t be seen although some hint of his profile is visible.

“I thought it time I show you this. You see sometime ago the merprince allowed me enough time to see him. He could have slipped from the rock but he chose to stay. He knew I watched him, perhaps even knew that I was drawling him. He stayed there, twisting away so I couldn’t make out his face very well, but he stayed like he wanted to be seen. The architecture of his shoulders I think I got right, his tiny waist, his shapely arms. I did catch his jawline in profile some, don’t you think? His hair how it was a toused mess, the color so beautiful with the highlights of chestnut, but oh to see his face. Might you think I could look at him while he sleeps, just one quick peek so I can see his entire face?”

How could Harry refuse. Irma goes with Frank who wants to check in on Louis to see how he is doing taking the fluids. As soon as Irma is back she’s chattering animatedly. “He is so precious looking, so such pixie, as much as any forest sprite I imagine. You know the males of his kind are always so precocious, playfully so. The rumors are he is by far the most mischievous. Tell me Harry, what color are his eyes?”

Harry smiles. “His eyes are blue. Not sure why they change but if he is in water they look like they are bioluminescent, and they are brighter, royal blue almost. But if he’s not in water they are a paler, more a sapphire shade of blue. They are beautiful in any regard.” Harry places the food Irma brought on the table happy to have company to distract his worry. He adds, “I haven’t gotten much time to get to know him but I could see him being mischievous. There’s something is the way he talked to Zayn. Like he’s sassy, playful maybe, but not one to be pushed around despite how small and delicate he is.”

Irma goes to her pad again. She leafs through her book. Finding a picture she wants to share she turns the pad to face Harry. It’s the wolf.

“He’s not shy about posing. I’ve drawn him many times. Such an incrediable poser actually. I think he should be a model. His family goes back generations, maybe one of the oldest families of the region. His mother, bless her heart was a lovely woman. So beautiful. I can only imagine it must have broken her heart when he disappeared. Rumors started that he’d changed. Been made a werecreature, willingly. As a lad he’d apparently always wanted to be some kind of royalty. I guess that’s why it’s rumored he got messed up with Liam.”

There’s that name again. Liam. Who or What exactly is Liam?

Harry’s about to ask when they hears a soft cough.

Looking around they discover that Louis is just off to the side sort of standing like to make the door frame a slight obstruction. He’s body is unclothed. He’s rubbing his arm where the IV had been, the skin under the tape that held the needle is blotchy like the tape irritated it. Aside from rubbing that he’s demeanor suggests he’s comfortable being naked despite he’s alone in this status.

The Johnsons both stand, shocked, staring at him. Perhaps afraid to move or speak. Harry goes to Louis, arms wrapping around him.

“You’re awake, good, surely you must be still tired with what you’ve been through. We didn’t want to disturb you, but these are my neighbors. Irma and Frank Johnson. He’s a doctor. We wanted to take care of you.”

Louis allows Harry to herd him toward the kitchen. Everyone tries to act like this is all normal.

Louis has a slight hesitancy to his composure if not distrust. “I know who they are Harry. The babies are hungry. I can’t sleep anymore until I eat.”

This has everyone jumping to action. Harry escorts Louis to a chair. Irma fills water classes. Frank retrieves a small throw blanket from the where it was on the back of a chair in the main room for Louis. Harry covers him because Louis looks confused at first about the throw blanket offer until he makes an observation. Right. Humans wear clothes.

Irma tries not to stare. Her husband fares better. “Irma do you think you can passs the bread please,” he says to try to get her to tone down absorbtion in her study of Louis’ face.

Louis doesn’t miss a beat. He looks at her directly. “You’re the woman who drawls.”

Irma is flattered. The elderly woman looks like she’s just been identified by the Queen herself. “I do!”

“You drew me once.”

Again Irma is visibly gushing with pride. “I did. Would you like to see it? I’ve brought that sketch, to show it to Harry,” she says jumping up to get her pad, finding the page. Finding it for Louis she is beside herself with pride.

Louis takes one quick glance while taking a bit of bread only to look at the bread funny, sniff it, take another bite. When Irma sets the pad down and sits again he waits until he’s swallowed his bite, probably his first ever of bread, before he speaks. “I like that, that food, it’s bread right? You call it bread?”

Irma is clearly waiting for a comment about her sketch. Louis doesn’t look at her instead he takes a serving plate poached pears that Frank has handed his way and says “You got the colors in my fin wrong. The pinks are between the greens and blues, not the lilacs and yellows. That should be orange. Peaches, oranges, corals. And the redist pink is not that bright.”

Basically the criticism was in a way showing Louis is indeed a sassy little prince but underneath his harsh comment he had some feelings of flattery by Irma’s reproduction of his image. A tiny, restrained smile tells this to be so despite his lack of outward praise.

The three other diners note that Louis loves the pears. And the bread. They avoid eating much of those dishes because Louis goes back for multiple servings of each.

He says the weirdest thing at one point. “I’m glad you’re happy.” It is said out of context, much like a person whose talking to themselves. It occurs to the three of them that Louis is talking to “the babies”. The babies that were just planted in his womb, he’s said something about three weeks, what the biology is of his kind is entirely alien.

So Harry asks. “Louis, did you just say the babies are happy?”

Louis looks surprised because he was probably too wrapped up in what he’d put in his mouth for the first time, most likely. A bite of fresh, homemade pie.

“Um, hum.” He says no more because the second bite he takes is bigger. His face shows his delight with the blackberry desert.

“So you knew they were hungry. You know if they are happy. Like you know there are three of them. And one is male.” Harry asks.

“Mum, hum.” Louis says again making no effort to elaborate. He wants more pie.

“How do you know?” Harry asks confused. The Johnsons too, like Harry, are on edge with curiosity.

“It’s my womb Harry. My babies. My job to know... to protect them even if need be to protect them from the one who bonded with me.”

Louis is made frustrated by the inquisition interrupting his pie consumption. He looks around at the blank faces staring back at him. Making an especially exaggerated eye roll because he simply wants to eat pie but sees the company he’s taking to be idiots about mer-things. He huff, offers further explanation. “This is how it works with my kind. We always know. In part because we can choose. How many. What gender. Zayn is right you know, unbelievably, for once he’s correct, we usually make more females. The males are so much trouble. For the first four years of my life I though my name was ‘Harbinger of Mischief’. If someone said ‘Louis’ I thought they were talking to someone else.”

Harry, Frank and Irma sit in silence letting Louis enjoy his pie. Louis takes adorably small bites and savors them. He chews with his mouth closed, a rare thing among many men, or the gluttonous. He looks cute as a pixie in all his mannerisms, so refined. Soaking in what was said by him it is Irma who dares to reengage. Her book about the original inhabitants must be these, the clans who are the Trinities. Here with Louis is an unprecedented fortune for her writing.

”Louis when you’ve finished, could I perhaps sketch your face? If not now, perhaps tomorrow or soon after if you start to feel better?”

Louis must be full because he is less irritated by pie-interruption. “Sure. But first I want to take some pie to Niall. He is so into his food he will love, love, love this!”

“Oh shit!” Harry blurts. “Shit, I was supposed to see Niall today, but with Zayn and the, you know, the...blasted!”

Louis laughs at Harry. It’s the first sign of his resilience, his strength, that he is overcoming the punishment Zayn puts upon him in order to have his legs.

Louis leans over to Harry and kisses him. It’s polite kiss. Nothing too sexual. Just a kiss somewhere between a peck and a meaningful one. “You so silly Harry. Niall’s fine. He’s used to me making unexpected plans to things, you know...harbinger. How about you take this last slice of pie, go to the river. Let him have it, no worries.”

“But Louis it’s hours ago we were to meet. How can he still be there? Won’t he be put out?”

Louis stands. He forgets to keep the cloth that is the throw around himself. It’s likely the first time Harry realizes that Louis’ has a gold tone to his skin, all of it, even that which was once a mer-tail. Standing there with his chest so refined, his shoulders so...as Irma described architectural, the arms curvy, his waist tiny...bum full, thighs luscious...he is absolutely the perfect twink. Unaware of his effect on Harry. Harry’s dick hardening in his trousers, he walks over to a chair where the throw was once placed. He sits. Addressing Irma, “This light okay? A little tired. Babies want sleep. But I can sit here for a bit if you like.”

Harry shuffles around not sure how this Niall thing works. “Um, Louis...about Niall. How do I know he will be there.”

Louis scoffs. H a r Rey! You act like you are not from h e r e, so cute. You act so human.” Louis then with an exasperation to his actions, plucks a hair from his head. He extends the hair out too Harry. “Here. Take this. Put it in the river. That will bring Niall to you so you can give him the pie. Silly Curly. Niall won’t be there waiting all day so you have to call him. If he’s put out you weren’t timely tell him that you had to fuck me and it took all day. He’ll understand. Do Not, absolutely Not, tell him about Zayn coming again. Niall can be protective by nature and I don’t want a lecture from him about my legs, a g a i n.”

By the time Harry is back, having left a pie-appeased Niall, Louis is back in bed. The babies said they are tired, Frank informs Harry. Irma shows Harry the sketch she made of Louis. It’s onky a black and white since she only had her graphite pencils. It’s a perfect illustration. From his thick lashes to his thin lips, his cheekbones, his pixie brow shape, Irma has captured all the details of Louis’ beauty.

Thanking the Johnsons as they leave once he’s returned from the river Harry finds the kitchen is clean of the dinner dishes. It feels early to go to bed but he can’t work on his designs because he yearns for contact with Louis.

In his bed he finds Louis has opted to sleep without covers over him. He’s laying face down, one leg bent and to the side so his bum is presented nicely. It is appetizing it looks so plump, Harry thinks, and because he should be drawling designs he decides to drawl this. Just Louis’ bare arse which soon enough becomes his thighs too, and his back, and well, by the time he’s done all of Louis being sprawled out on the bed sleeping like an angle. Babies inside him being born from a werewolf mating, bond making legs. Such lovely, legs.

Harry slides into bed needing to touch them. He’s sure with Louis the legs are what is a version of his tail alone would be, and not say the same as if Niall were to have legs. Same about Louis’ bum. Wandering hands travel over Louis’ legs with caution not wanting to wake him. When Louis shifts Harry stops his hands where they are. With Louis doing a little shift his wonderful bottom moves like it wants to tease. It a purely innocent peek Harry wants to pretend he’s making when his hands part cheeks, just a clinical inspection, wanting to know how Louis has recovered from the dicking earlier.

“Oh, my...” Harry says aloud. What a tiny, pink, perfect little entrance Louis has when it’s not just plundered. How this took that beast’s spade-head cock is inconceivable. Harry wants to takes a touch. He doesn’t. He releases cheeks letting Louis rest. What he wouldn’t give for Louis to wake wanting him.

***

It’s been a common for of waking for Harry ever since the time when Harry woke on the riverbank years ago to Louis kissing him, moving down to suck him off. When this dream happens Harry finishes himself off before he leaves bed and basically has the best start of any day. Because it’s a routine, his hand does as it always does by body memory. It slides down to reach for his dick.

This time however, it’s already handled. Harry’s hand finds hair, hair on the head of the one from his dreams. Harry slipped from the dream to the reality as they are one and the same. Louis has got a hand and his mouth both on Harry’s cock and he’s sucking Harry off like he has insatiable need for it.

Harry moans. He arches when Louis makes one particularly sensitizing run of his tongue along the vein on Harry’s cock. His hands both take hold on Louis’ hair letting Louis be as he is rabidily sucking Harry’s cock.

Harry looks down to see if he’s correct in a guess that Louis is straddling Harry’s legs between his, and sure enough he is. The unfortunate result of the look is meeting of eyes, Louis looking back at his while his mouth maintains Harry’s length between those pink lips, now much more berry-color being warmed with friction of pulsing on dick. Before Harry can begin to offer warning his body comes undone. It was too much to see such a pretty thing being so happy with a mouth full of his length.

Like the day before Louis makes no attempt to release Harry when the first of it hits the back of his throat. He moans and swallows, milking every drop from Harry hungrily until Harry’s own moans go from pleasure to more a pained sound. It’s then that Louis releases Harry, lifts up and away so he comes positioned still sat straddling Harry but on knees kneeling. With the back of one hand Louis swipes a tiny bit of cum-laden drool that was on the corner of his mouth before he smiles brightly and purrs with a fucked-hoarse throat, “Morning Curly.”

Maybe it’s that the smile is so engaging, but for a second Harry doesn’t even notice that Louis is bearing a firm, happy erection, his dick posting forward pointing at Harry like it’s begging for a touch.

“Be a love will you,” Louis chirps more strongly than his good morning comment, “give me a morning fuck.”

Chapter Text

Harry reaches for Louis’ dick. As soon as he touches it Louis closes his eyes, his mouth opens and a soft moan escapes. Harry makes a few lazy wanks before he directs Louis with two words. “Turn around.”

Louis turns so he straddles Harry yet still while he’s now facing away. Harry slides under Louis to where he gets Louis right over his face. With hands on hips guiding Louis, he pulls Louis down into himself so as to easily bury his face in Louis’ plump arse.

The first touch of his mouth at Louis entrance generates a shudder from Louis. Sensing Louis understands where Harry needs him to stay Harry lets go of Louis’ hips, hands going to grip and part the fat arse cheeks for better access because Louis’ bum is so vuloptous.

There it is! The tiny, pink hole. Pretty, puckering, so tight being unplundered. Yet.

Harry makes quick tongue flicks over it for a few seconds before he adds some sucking kisses, first to the full cheeks to either side then to the prize itself. Louis’ hole twitches. Twitches and takes on an extra tinge of coloration.

Harry takes the tip of his to tongue and traces around it pausing to ask, “Has anyone ever touched you like that?”

Louis sounds whispy when he says “No never.”

This is surprising give how Zayn described Louis and Niall engaged in hours of mer-sex, but okay. Harry smiles before beginnning to play more with the tiny thing before he resumes using his tongue to tickle Loui’ hole. Eventually Harry makes some more pressure with firm licks spurred on by how Louis begins to do little moves like he’s wanting to rut against Harry’s face. Louis apologizes, Harry dismisses the need telling him to move to lay down on the bed, “I’d like to eat you out proper.”

Louis is quick to lay on his belly, a belly that Harry noted looks a little puffy but nothing like a pregnant woman, but that thought leads to another. Before he does more than part cheeks he asks, “Louis, this is okay, it won’t hurt you, or the babies if I put something in here?”

“They’ll be fine, please, fuck me.”

Okay. Harry laps over Louis’ entrance letting Louis have the heat of his breath when he makes a tongue-stroke. He knows immediately how much Louis likes it when the heat of his mouth is pressed there because Louis moans and tilts his bum up with an accompanying shiver-like tremble, he begins to let out little pants. With them his body begins it’s transformations. Like when Zayn took him, Louis’ body gets a flush that is distinctly a mer-thing. His back gets two rows of shimmering, effects suggestive of butterflies in two lines. His hole Harry observes takes on an array of colors, each ridge created by the puckering tissue varies in color from the one next to it, quite literally Louis’ entrance looks like a rainbow-petaled flower. These colors intensify as Harry works Louis into a greater frenzy.

The first tiny poke with a tip of a finger into the heart of this flower has Louis making a sudden jerk. He gasps “Oh yes,” with some sudden body tensing that is quickly followed by more panting as he relaxes like he does not want this to stop.

Harry reflects again on what Zayn said about Louis and Niall, sharing what Harry imagines was an amplexis-like experience with Louis still in his merman form. This amplexis was something that went on for hours Zayn said, so surely Louis was no virgin when Zayn took him. Nevertheless Harry wants to treat Louis like he is a virgin, the absolute treasure, the prince that he is. So he lets Louis know his next step. “Louis, let me if anything feels uncomfortable. M’gonna put a finger in okay?”

“Please, please, yes.”

Being generous with lube Harry works what is only to the first knuckle into Louis. With so much tightness resisting his penetration Harry decides to resume using his tongue with alterations between a little finger penetration and heat of his mouth and tongue. Eventually he has greater ease with breaching Louis’ tight ring of muscles with his tongue. To be sure Louis is making little noises of delight being generous with some “yeses” in letting Harry know he likes this. It’s somewhat obvious anyway as the coloration changes that came over Louis’ body is a sign of arousal.

By the time Harry has worked up to one entire finger, his middle finger, the longest, he has Louis moaning loudly for one so small and likely from his mild undulations making an effort to rut himself against the bed under him. Harry suspects he could go on finger-fucking Louis like this forever becomes Louis looks so pretty being tormented, left wanting more. Harry would like to know more about this lover’s internal anatomy. It’s confusing; Louis was bred some very few days ago and is already talking about, and to, his babies. What kind of chamber do they grow in? Wasn’t it said that it is just a matter of weeks before they...birth? How is this possible, three babies to boot?

With concerns in his mind Harry becomes distracted. Louis calls him on this.

“Can you put your beautiful cock in me now?”

Beautiful? Harry’s had people call his dick a lot of things. Never beautiful. Mostly the comments are about its size, being endowed with a nice blend of length and girth, but beautiful?

“Patience, sweet creature, you not ready yet.” Harry says despite feeling his desire in his core for taking to dicking Louis.

“Patience? I’ve been waiting for years.” Louis states with some sass. In response Harry goes ahead with shoving in two fingers. He gets an hiccup kind of noise from Louis followed by a “yes.” With that Louis begins to do as much of the fucking himself on Harry’s fingers as Harry is doing with them in buried him.

Harry finds his body is aching more and more for Louis with Louis being so shameless the way he works his body to use Harry’s fingers. He’s about to try to fit three in where there are two when Louis pulls himself off Harry’s fingers, turns to Harry, kind of wrestles Harry down to the bed falling on top of Harry while assaulting Harry with a deeply passionate kiss.

“Have you quite finished? I’ve waited years for you, can you please give my your dick?” Louis says as he pulls himself off a Harry who is caught off guard. Louis gets himself over Harry’s pelvis and brings the head of Harry’s cock to his bottom looking to do so as if it’s all about satisfying himself as he pleases.

Breathless still from the kiss, Harry warns with a whispy way of speaking, “Would you please not hurt yourself.”

Louis looks gleeful as he ignores the imposing challenge of taking something of Harry’s size, “I think I can manage this.”

The sensation of such heat, tight pressure at Louis’ rim takes Harry’s mind off all rational thought. Once Louis’ hole is breached by Harry’s knob Louis relaxes the hold he had on dick to guide Harry into him. His hands go to either side of Harry’s face to frame Harry lightly with them.

In turn Harry hands go to Louis’ arse easing the act of sitting down onto dick by keeping Louis’ bum slightly parted. In Harry’s hands the sensation he detects is almost as spectacular as it is slipping inch by inch of his cock penetrating deeper. Too soon Louis begins to make short, pulsing moves before he has all of Harry’s length, Harry cautions.

“Louis be careful, you so smol...”

Thoughts evaporate. Louis keeps his hands as they are except that his thumbs brush over Harry’s lips. Occasionally some of a thumb would be placed between Harry’ lips that remain parted slightly because he is mumbling his pleasure. Mostly it is becoming more moans and gasps. Meanwhile Louis perched over him is all smiles. His expression might best described as giddy; a giddy, gleeful, merprince pixie delight.

Louis goes further down on Harry’s length, taking it so he can modify his pulsing dick riding into more pelvis thrusts forward and back rocking motion. It’s much too satisfyingly intense. “Baby, be careful.” Harry mumbles. “Don’t, don’t, do-n-t hurt yourself...”

As soon as he said those words Louis playfully put a slap over Harry’s mouth and pushes a finger in to effectively keep Harry mute or perhaps wanting Harry to suck on one finger while Louis’ other hand finds his dick, the rocking form of dick riding becomes a thunderous driving pounding. Full length taken, Harry knows his cock is bottoming deep in Louis with each successively forceful drive.

Louis goes from giddy with delight into a blissed out lack of control. With Harry’s core getting that feeling, he’s challenged to keep himself from erupting but he’s trying to keep it together so Louis can have his pleasure. Surely Louis will come soon given his blissed out state, won’t he?

Louis gets all the more disorganized in his fucking. His hand on his cock is also taking a sloppier approach. No surprise that in addition to perspiration creating a glistening look to his skin, the slit of Louis’ dick oozes a hint of his impending orgasm that is itself fairly glistening and shimmery for ejaculate.

“Oh fuck me so good...” Louis manages to say before he drops his head forward, his body making a series of shudders accompanied by, for Harry, the clenching of walls spamming on his cock. With cum spattering Harry’s chest it is no surprise that indeed Louis’ jizz appears more like a glitter gel than a human’s ejaculate.

For a micro second Harry has a fleeting curiosity about whether this is normal to all mermen, or just Louis, that is until Louis lifts his arse letting Harry’s cock, red and urgent come out of him only to take it in hand and suck Harry triggering Harry’s orgasm. Again Louis has a hungry approach to swallowing each spurt, making a humming noise like the taste of it is sweet, sweet, succlent sap.

Chapter Text

Four hours later Harry and Louis leave the house. Harry could hardly contain laughing about how cute Louis looked in the clothes oh his he dressed Louis in. Harry’s jeans, fit Louis only because that bum of Louis’ is so big, that despite being not as tall as Harry, Louis’ arse fills out the seat of the jeans very nicely. The length? Way too long; requires Louis roll the hem. This exposes his ankles and the funny thing about this is for the first time in his life Harry realizes that he has a thing, a kink, about ankles of all things. It might simply be a kink for Louis’ ankles.

And then there’s the way Louis’ small form swims in Harry’s shirt. Basically the tee shirt Louis is wearing could be a classified as a minidress on Louis. Even though the neckline seems too loose this is okay too because for sure Harry has a thing for Louis’ collarbones. Another kink? Well perhaps maybe it is only merely that Harry has a kink. A kink for all things Louis.

As they walk down toward the river, Louis is taking Harry’s hand, giving Harry lots of smiles. Occasionally, if he chooses, he randomly stops along the way to kiss Harry. Harry, meanwhile, hopes they don’t encounter Zayn and is nervous about the prospect. It would ruin this tosee Zayn, an otherwise perfect day.

Perfect is how it all feels so far given that for the first time Harry’s life he is certain that he’s positively in love with someone, and that someone loves him back. In Louis’ eyes Harry reads that he not ‘the awkward one’, the outcast, the odd kid from the country. He is the someone special. This, Louis has told Harry repeatedly over the course of hours. After they make this visit to the river Louis says he want to show Harry just how special he is. Something about going to the woods.

But first a check in with Niall.

Niall is waiting when they get to the river. He looks over Louis with curiosity. How do the clothes feel, Niall asks. They talk about Harry’s clothes for several minutes. This leads to Harry telling them what he does, a fashion designer, why he’s been away and some about the work he has to do by the end of the summer.

Then Louis inquires with Niall about his mum’s disposition. Is she still mad at him?

“Oh yes. She livid. Still fuming mad. She is also very worried. She is also blaming herself for not being a better mother. Or for letting you have too much freedom from rules and boundarys.”

“Well tell her that I love her. She is a great mother. The best. She is my angel. And tell her I’m sorry to disappoint her but my heart is with Harry.”

With that said Louis looks at Harry beaming with happiness. He tugs Harry to him and plants a kiss on Harry’s lips before going on. “Me and Harry are going to go to the woods and explore a little. See what we can discover. Will we see you tomorrow?”

Niall agrees to be around again the next day. Before he leaves he makes a warning remark, to be careful about Zayn in the woods. Louis dismisses concerns. “Zayn should be sure to be the one who uses caution. Wouldn’t be wise to enrage another Trinity.”

Wandering up the hill away from the river one final look back reveals that Niall was watching them as they leave. Perhaps he too wants to one day to try terrestrial life. When they continue on far enough to no longer see the river Harry wonders where Louis intends for them to go. What the purpose. Harry can be sure but he gets the feeling that Louis has his mind set on something. It shows in how he is walking along quietly. When their eyes meet he always smiles in a way that suggests Louis has got a plan. Perhaps something mischievous is in his mind.

Once they are in the woods where the trees cluster more densely Louis takes Harry’s hand. It seems like he’s following a path through there is not one.

“Harry, being so worldly now, you must have learned many things. Perhaps some things about music. You must know many songs. Would you mind singing something for me, please?”

Whatever the reason for odd request, Harry couldn’t care because Louis is still smiling at him in a way that makes Harry all warm and fuzzy, so, whatever.

Harry decides to sing a song he composed the original music for well after he first wrote the lyrics. This was something for including with his entrance application packet that he submitted to Uni. It’s a piece he used to fulfill the original essay, or poem, requirement. The lyrics were inspired based on a somewhat philosophical talk he and his mum shared once Harry had come to terms with his sexuality and shared that with her, though the words suggest nothing of that. The short piece Harry titled ‘Sign of the Times’. In someways Harry considers the essay what earned him the greatest reception by the Uni admission committee. Once at school during first year of courses he worked on the music to accompany the lyrics as part of an assignment in music composition class he took as fun elective in his first year.

Harry has never shared the song with anyone before because it’s personal and also rather melancholy. When he starts to sing Louis comes to a halt in the middle of nowhere among the trees.

Was it his voice that makes Louis stop in place? They have come to stand in a spot where sun is breaking through the shade of surrounding trees. It’s a gap in the forest that appears created by where a once massive tree stood, having fallen years ago. Louis takes the other of Harry’s hand into his so they are facing each other, hand in hand. Harry keeps singing the song because he assumes Louis is asking for that with the way he keeps merely smiling, absorbed in looking at, listening to Harry with his pixie eyebrows expressing his enthrallment.

A fluttering of leaves starts to blow around them. Some insects flutter by too. And something buzzing like a humming bird swoops closely by. A tree must have released some pollen because each second more Harry sings there is so much more blowing and buzzing around them like the forest has come alive.

Louis drops one of Harry’s hands as he reaches for Harry’s shoulder like to remove a falling leaf. The reach terminates with Louis presenting the hand, offering it closely right in front of Harry’s face. The closed hand is turned, palm up, Louis opens it.

On his palm is a no leaf. No. A butterfly. No, it’s a ....

Looking at what is familiar and yet alien Harry asks “What is that?”

Louis giggles at Harry. The thing flies off.

Louis next moves to snatch at something that has became entangled by flying into Harry’s hair. Again Louis’ hand presented for Harry to easily see where Harry can see properly a small thing in Louis’ hand that Louis has freeded fro Harry’s long, curly hair.

It’s another leaf-like, butterfly-like little thing. Is it living? Is it not? Sure enough, offered its freedom by Louis it flutters away.

Louis is looking to possibly want Harry to make his own conclusionwithout explanation.

“Louis, what are those things? Where are they coming from?”

“Have you no clue Harry?” Louis says with a giggle riddling his speech, “Really? I mean it was you who called them here Harry. Your singing made them c o m e to you. Have you never really noticed the forest sprites that follow in your wake? These are yours Harry.”

What?

Simply what? Harry puzzles but before he speak he sort of looks at the fluttering leaves, the bits of things blowing around, fluttering in the air. He slowly begins to see these as something other than random blowing forest bits. They are not insects. They are not leaves. They are some thing like ...

“Forest sprites, Harry, they are forest sprites. They’ve been called to their king. You. You called them.”

Harry’s legs feel suddenly weak.

Before he can wobble too much Louis steps into him. Louis’ arms go around Harry waist. He puts a kiss under Harry’s jaw before he talks to Harry with voice soft and comforting.

“You weren’t raised by your human mother to have this be known to you, were you? See this is the problem with a human parenting a Trinity. It’s okay though. It’s in you who you are. I can help you too you know, I’ve watched you, wanted to know you...fell in love with you because everything about you is so captivating. And now with these legs, from Zayn, we have a few weeks, well, not quite a few weeks, but I time enough to help you discover yourself. We can go slow in your discovery if this feels overwhelming. Trust me it will become more natural to you in time. Just listen to the voice in your head, your heart. You have the strength and tremendous goodness in you.”

Harry still feels a bit upside down. He doesn’t have a single experience to tap into that allows his to comprehend what Louis is saying. This enlightenment does tap into what a the Johnsons said. Would this mean Harry is one of the .... the Trinity?

Louis confirmed for Harry that his mother, Anne, is human. Who then is Harry’ biological father?

Furthermore, Louis said Harry is the King. Not a prince. Louis is a prince. Merprince. His mum, the Queen, is mad at him for making a bargain with the werewolf Zayn for legs. This must mean Louis is still the prince because his mum lives. Harry knows now to be certain that his father that raised him, Styles, is merely his step father only. His mum had an affair? Or something. Harry has always assumed that is why the marriage was disintegrating which started before Harry even left for Uni.

Incapable of processing all the implications Harry finds Louis is guiding him so he can sit in where a large fallen log rests lying on the forest floor. The remains of a once huge tree have much lichens and moss covering it. This makes the log feel soft, comfortable, like home.

Once sat Louis sits next to Harry. He’s still doing this knowing-smile as Louis searches Harry’s eyes. Knowing-smile will be forever how Harry labels this inquisition because it is a very doting, loving, tender inquistion and a smile with it that tells Harry “I know you. I got you.”

It’s an odd way that Louis takes both Harry’s hands again in his again and this time very directly places one of Harry’s hands to plant it flat down pressing into the trunk of the tree where they are sat. Louis continues to push down on the back of Harry’s hand so Harry’s entire hand is tightly forced against the trunk of the fallen tree.

Harry doesn’t feel anything unusual with this weird act but as Louis keeps Harry’s hand so pressed he witnesses small changes in the appearance of his hand under Louis’. Indescribably as Harry watches his own hand it morphs. It literally looks like it’s taking on the appearance of the fallen tree, like it’s becoming wood even though Harry feels nothing other than Louis’ hand pressing down his.

Harry leaps up from the log. “What the!”

Louis is lightening quick to respond, jumping up as well, his arms going around Harry.

“Harry how do you feel?”

The question makes Harry realize he’s not focusing, the little things flurrying around them have increased dramatically despite that he’s not singing anymore and with this his feelings change. It becomes a mix of anxiety and exhilaration like his body is being pulled in two different directions. Breathing is becoming hard for him too adding to a light-headedness.

Before he can respond to Louis’ query Harry blacks out. Or so he assumes because when he comes to he’s on the forest floor. Louis is doing what brought them together the first time Harry saw Louis, when Harry was only fifteen. Louis is breathing breath into Harry being quick to change from this when Harry comes back with a move to kiss Harry’s lips like he did years before.

Louis’ lips on Harry’s restore him even more. Harry’s fuzzy-disfunction slips away. Focus returns. Looking up when Louis pulls away from the kiss Harry finds that the sprites are all now gone. Once again the woods is clear, no sign of fairies, sprites or other fantastical beasts.

Louis positions himself over Harry coming to sit on him like he’d been sitting on Harry earlier in the day when they were lost in making love. “I’m sorry, I guess that was too much?”

“What was that?” Harry asks, aware Louis is looking very concerned at him.

“That was your realm responding to your return. You were being welcomed. There was no danger. I guess it was a lot to absorb given how sheltered you’ve been, my mistake, I thought it would be easier to show you rather than tell you. I feared you wouldn’t believe it and maybe run away, back to the city.”

Louis is constantly touching Harry with a gentle rub to reassure him.

Harry mind spins. What does this mean?

Chapter Text

Harry fell asleep that night understanding Louis fears that Harry would run away after Harry learned something of himself which he did not understand. Morning waking is by what must becoming a thing thing with them; Harry wakes with those pink lips wrapped around his cock, a delicate hand on it while another is playing with his balls. Louis is sucking him off.

It’s pleasing to watch, just sort of enjoy what Louis is like when his eyes are closed, his lashes full, long, look ping so pretty against the skin on his cheekbones. Those cheekbones already have a bit of flush to their normal honey-tone color that, taken along with his erect penis, are telling to Harry of Louis’ own arousal. Once again sleeping in Harry’ bed must have caused Louis to wake in a state of urgency.

Louis sucks Harry into an orgasm, once again not missing swallowing every last drop. When Louis sits up all pleased with himself, whiping off his mouth, his erection posting rigid, wantonly so, Harry makes his first morning comment that is not moans of pleasure. “Just once I’d like to cum on that pretty face of yours rather than down your throat.”

Louis giggles. “Later. Like to ride you now, please.”

Louis didn’t have to do much to get his wish fulfilled. All he had to do was turn around where his arse is nicely presented where Harry can play with his pink hole. Soon enough Harry’s mouth is bringing forth more colors to the puckering entrance as Louis becomes more needy, his body primed for a good dicking.

Perhaps far sooner than Harry would have expected, Louis proceeds to move to reposition himself again. Hovering with his now fancily-colored hole over Harry’s second erection. It’s a sensational view when Louis’ small hand guides Harry’s dick bewteen his plump cheeks, pressing Harry’s cock to the hot entrance before beginning to push Harry in by his act of forcing himself down to take Harry.

Immediatley Louis begins gasping out how massive Harry feels entering him. Massive and yet he keeps saying “so good, s-so good”. Similarly, to Harry, Louis feels “so-so tight and so-so good”. Louis must really want to be stuffed full from the onset because he doesn’t hesitate with his first downward slide until he has Harry’s entire length buried in his sweet heat. Once sat Louis holds there paused still, probably to adjust momentarily, before he begins his cock riding frenzy like he’s wanting his first orgasm to come fairly quick.

For Harry watching when this fabulously, fat arse begins beating itself on his fat dick is far, far too exhilarating. So full, so round, so quickly becoming red. Despite Harry’s first orgasm of the morning being so recent, there’s something about being fucked like this with wild abandonment that builds his need to come again quickly. Or maybe it is the slap, slap, slap sound of sweaty arse cheeks against the skin of his pelvis that makes Harry lose control, but Harry’s body responds perhaps far to soon, even before Louis.

Harry’s pulsing deep in Louis makes Louis put a hand to work, wanking himself, as he uses Harry’s cock to work himself into an orgasm as quick following Harry’s spilling in him as Louis can. Once he does, spattering his own chest with the aim he has in hand, Louis collapses beside Harry giving a little laugh as Louis admits to Harry his first thought of the day.

“Love waking up to watching you sleeping. Studying your face, every detail, while planning getting your cock in me. Could never allow myself to imagine how great it would feel before Zayn agreed to legs for giving him an heir. It is like you are made for me., me for you.”

Harry’s unsure what he’s “made for”, but having this, whatever it is with Louis, he agrees is magical. It’s only one day since Louis showed Harry that which is part of him which Harry never knew. The ramifications cause Harry to be riddled with a head swimming in questions. He doesn’t ask Louis for answers or more explanations of himself just yet because it’s easier to lose himself in all things Louis. Harry would rather spend their morning merely making love.

Later questions invade Harry’s mind after Louis whose been sitting on Harry, face to face with him, finishes what is a third time, following what was a nice post-cumming-kiss with a contented sigh as he slips down to lay beside Harry once again. Louis brings himself to fully pull himself tightly pressed into Harry. Arm over Harry’s torso, a leg over Harry’s pelvis, Louis twists such that his bum is made so it slightly juts up.

It’s a sexy looking pose. One that begs for a fourth dicking. It’s likely that Louis is asking for just that since each of the three orgasms Harry fucked him into got more intense than the one prior. The merprince is made for sex.

Also it appears that Louis’ pregnant condition does not deter him from having sexual stamina. Nor desire since once again the morning started with Harry waking to the feeling of Louis’ mouth on his dick. But even as all this sex is great there is a thing that continues to plague Harry’s mind, even more than yesterday’s revelation about himself. It is about pregnancy. Louis is due in just over two weeks and he’s showing no signs of carrying three. He’s got a slightly more puffy tummy in the place below his bellybutton. Basically it’s just enough to be pleasing to put kisses over but not any indication of his bred condition. How can this be, three babies in such a small body?

Ever more curious about this Harry inquires. “How are the babies this morning?”

Louis moves his hand that was on Harry’s chest up to play with his hair, twisting a lock around his finger, releasing it when it feels tight, only to start anew once more for lazy entertainment.

With Louis’ head moved to be on Harry’s chest he seems content and sounds slightly sleepy when he answers, his voice soft like the contentment of their lovemaking lingers.

“Babies are good. Very good. Getting stronger every day.”

“Getting stronger? Don’t you mean growing stronger? Bigger?”

Louis laughs. It’s more of a snort than a laugh. Harry’s learned in their short time together how this laugh at naïveté will proceed yet another enlightenment.

“No Harry, silly. I mean what is said, they are getting stronger, growing stronger. How would they get much bigger? It’s full in there as is. I’m not a mermaid, Harry. I don’t have a uterus.” Louis terminates his point with flipping the lock of Harry’s hair he was just twisting across Harry’s lips. This forces Harry to blow the hair off before he can speak.

“I don’t understand. Any of this. You. Me. Your pregnancy. Your legs. The way you body makes these glimmers, shiny things on you back. How your hole goes from pink to a rainbow of colors...all of it.”

Louis gives space between them and goes on his hands and knees. “I got an idea. How about you give me another good dicking, we go to the river, then the woods and maybe later we can talk about my physiology.”

Harry would like to think he can resist more sex. Resist and persist in learning what he needs desperately to understand, but Louis is up to be on all fours, turning his arse around to Harry’s face, wiggling his bum to tease him and making a pouting face when he looks back at Harry. Who can resist?

***

Maybe it was that Harry fears going to the woods because he found himself lost in two more bouts of fucking Louis before their morning sex-fest whinds down. It’s nearly noon by the time they decide to eat. A riverside a picnic lunch planned, Harry and Louis head to the river. Louis wants to learn to swim.

“You see it’s different for one with legs,” Louis says as they walk down to the water, “I don’t know what to do with them.”

“With legs like yours all you should be doing is spreading them wide, having my lips sucking marks on your inner thighs or making them quiver while I drive into you creating a frenzy,” Harry says with a laugh adding, “but I guess we did that already. So swimming, it’s that or if we do any more of the other and you might not be able to walk either.”

Once they are at the water Louis removes his shirt then his shorts, a both Harry’s, and unlikely to remain on him in the water because of their improper fit. Harry leaves his shorts on. Harry is wearing the only pair of swim trunks he’s brought with him for the summer. Wouldn’t have thought he’d need to pack more, but then that’s before the merprince. Soon enough Harry is also fearing he didn’t plan enough food for this lunch.

“Perhaps we should have brought more food?” Harry’s says.

The question being because Niall showed up while Harry was teaching Louis how swimming is done with legs. Firstly Niall thinks this is hilarious. Secondly, Louis having a caring heart is, naturally, sharing what Harry made for them with his friend. What was plenty to eat for two was not nearly enough because Niall has quite the appetite. One would think he is pregnant rather than the delicate Louis who nibbles at food with a feminine gracefulness to each bite.

Harry watches as Louis strides out into the water where it’s thigh deep and able to conceal Niall if he so chooses. In the background, in deeper water there is activity that catches Harry’s attention. He can’t quite see, but it sure looks like another merperson. There’s a hint of pink to what Harry sees, or maybe a shade of lilac. The water shifts his perception of what is out there so when Louis returns to the bank having given Niall their last three brownies of the dozen Harry brought, making Niall’s total consumption nine brownies, Harry asks.

“Louis who is that out there in the deep? We’re not alone, me, you, Niall, are we?”

Louis looks over the river. “No. That’s Lottie and Fizzy. Two of my sisters. And farther out hunkered deep is Eleanor.”

“Sisters? Two? So there are more?”

“Sisters? Yes, Phoebe and Daisy. Lottie is the oldest, she’s the one with the pinker shade. Fizzy is more lilac. Phoebe and Daisy are hard to tell apart by tail color because they are twins, both periwinkle. Their older sisters surely made them stay back.”

“And Eleanor? How does she fit into this? What color is her tail?”

“She’s a friend. Just a friend. And she’s a green, but not like the green of your eyes. Those eyes of yours make her look drab.”

“Would I be able to meet them?” Harry asks.

Louis shakes his head, “Not yet Harry. They are shy. In time. Besides Lottie always had a crush on you. She’s a little disappointed you’re into into males. But she’s happy for us. Fizzy is very protective over me even though she’s younger than me and Lottie. Wanna go for a walk?”

“Well actually if we were alone I would rather take advantage of how your sun kissed skin looks so tempting to kiss, maybe see what happens but sure, a walk. Were you going to put the shorts back on or make me try to endure watching that bubble butt of yours as it bounces along?”

Louis laughs. He gives Harry a kiss before he dresses. It doesn’t go without Harry noting how a simple kiss gives Louis’ dick a slight stiffening. The merprince’s body loves Harry’s lips, not to mention the suggestion of more dicking.

***

Making their way up the trail away from the river they reach a bluff where it was Harry first saw Louis when he was chased, the ledge from which Louis jumped to the river below. There sat on a foldable chair, a large sketch pad placed on an isle, is Irma. She’s wearing a large brimmed sun hat and doesn’t see them until they are nearly upon her.

From her view she must not have had sight of them earlier while they ate but she does have a good vantage point to see father out. It’s that part of the river that she’s basing her sketch on. It appears she’s trying to drawl what is in the water.

Harry calls to her. She greets them with a smile. “What a lovely surprise!” Irma says. “I was wondering what brought this one in, she seems very elusive. I take it she is a friend of yours Louis?”

Louis looks down to the river. From the angle up on th bluff it’s easy to see something in the water. Harry knows by the hint of green it’s Eleanor.

“That’s Eleanor, yes she’s a friend. Wanted to be more, but just a friend.”

“So hard to get her shape right. She stays fin down, she’s not a showoff like a certain merprince. Do you think it’s very accurate what I’ve drawn?” Irma asks undaunted about criticism.

“Mmm, maybe if you saw her fully you would see that her fin is much smaller, I mean less wide, not so splendid as mine.”

Irma, nods, takes the comments in stride. “And her shade, are there any pencils in my collection that capture it well?”

Louis looks at the extensive colored pencils in her art box and point out a few he thinks represent Eleanor. It’s so odd how casual Irma and Louis are about this. They’ve only officially just met yet it seems like this casual familiarity, acceptance of world collided, is how it’s always been.

Harry watches as Irma makes micro corrections under Louis’ tutorage to get the dimensions right. Once Louis certifies Irma has the figure right Harry their exchange.

“Irma, you’ve been building a collection images that you draw for years. Cataloging all these different creatures. When did this start?”

Irma sets her pencils aside. She makes Harry her only focus. Louis is grouping her pencils into collections of colors organized in some scheme that seems to be of interest to him like he knows that was loaded question.

“It was with your conception Harry. On the night you came over I wanted to tell you about some of your history but you left little upset, I recall, before we could talk more. You see Harry after your sister was born your mother, a patient then of Frank’s, was sure she wanted no more children. Your father did. It put a strain on them. To be sure they both had their own reasons as people do. When Anne came to see Frank, she revealed what was a very serious accusation. It was something that Frank felt warranted a physician questioning the partner, because, as I said it was severe circumstance even within a marriage. After all, conceiving a child should always be a choice.”

Irma lets the implication sink in before she continues.

“According to Anne, she and Des had been in the woods, Gemma was with a relative, which gave your parents time alone. They had gone out for a walk in the woods to attempt again to resolve some issue causing marital strife, the issue of more children. Anne said they found a beautiful place under a massive tree where they sat in its shade, talked, shared some wine, cheese, crackers. It was something then that something happened then Anne claimed caused their marriage to erode further. One minute she remembered they were talking, having their refreshment, next thing she knew she was being waken by Des having passed out. She told Frank that she never remembered the faint coming over her, merely being lucid, talking with her husband one minute, the next being shaken by Des from what was a deep sleep. What happened was strange but she never gave it too much thought, not until shortly after when she realized she was pregnant. Pregnant despite not been having sex with her husband. Immediatley she assumed he took advantage of her. Her blackout induced by him. Her body violated by her husband.

“This accusation lead to Frank requesting to speak with Des. In event that a wife needed an intervention for her protection from a potentially abusive spouse. Surprisingly for a man who is accused by his wife of this horrible act Des was all too happy to confide to Frank about that day, in the woods, under that magestic tree. Your mum’s blackout he claimed happened as a result of an entirely different origin than the wine or some drug as Anne suggested. Des also told Frank they had been having a contentious discussion about more children. He wanted them, Anne did not. Des said he pleaded, even cried. Anne was resolute despite admitting Des was a great father. That’s when the strange thing happened. According to the story as Des told Frank, the tree, the massive tree developed flowers, flowers that were a large as those of a magnolia tree, which it is not. They sprung from everywhere not only the buds on ends of branches, but from the larger branches and the trunk of the tree too. Astonished by a magical sort of transformation he and Anne just looked up captivated by the fantastical tree. With the flowers so formed a wind picked up. The wind took what was pollen on the flowers to flight. It was unusual pollen, Des recalled, like a fine gold dust powder, as unusual as the flowers that bore them. Once airborn the pollen showered down on them. When the wind stopped he looked at Anne in bewilderment. Anne had fallen unconscious. Des reported he was completely fine. He began trying to wake his wife. Within minutes he witnessed how the flowers that were everywhere began retreating. The pollen which was on Anne’s skin seemed to absorb through her skin where it was dusted on her face, her arms, hands like by an artist hand. That pollen that had fallen anywhere else, on him, of the area around them, began disappearing too like the flowers. When Anne finally woke they were alone still under the tree nothing magical evidenced by the appearance of the tree since it restored to its normal state. Des asked Anne about how she felt. He described her as a person who acted like suffering something like a stroke because she had no memory of anything about the flowers erupting, the wind, the gold pollen. The last thing she remembered was the conversation they exchanged well before the flowers came out bursting from the tree.”

Harry looks at Louis. Louis nods and shrugs at Harry as if to say, “No surprise, that shit happens here”.

“Are you, are you...I mean, is...” confused what to ask Harry has to stop, grapple with the implication. “My mum had a magical encounter with a tree? She was...pollinated?”

Irma replies. “Well that is what Des said. Which was insane. Problem with denying his story as fiction is that there have been so many magical things, unexplained, that come about around here.”

“So all these years my mum has believed her husband drug her and got her pregnant.”

“Yes. Even though her pregnancy with you was easy, not like the difficult first pregnancy when she was carrying Gemma, which is why she didn’t want more children, I would assume. Pregnant with you she always felt great. When she had her maternity examinations she reported to Frank that she had never felt so good before, like the pregnancy made her healthier. And when she delivered you it was a fast birth. She didn’t experience any pain. From day one you were this perfect baby, not a crier. Would sleep more like an infant does when they are settled into a sleep routine as they get older. Life with a second child, with you, was easy.

Harry looks at Louis. “Why would one of yours mate with a human? I mean if they were to.” Harry asks Louis because he can’t understand how a human would be selected for breeding with by any of these mystical things.

“We do have some who have bonded with humans. Wouldn’t say it happens a lot but when it does it’s for diversity.”

“The, the tree?”

Louis has a shyness to his manner. “In the woods, where I placed your hand. That was the tree. That was your father.”

Harry jumps up. Louis and Irma too. When Harry looks around like he wants to find a place to hide he catches sight of four in the river below. They are just under the surface and he can se they are following the river to head upstream to the lake. One silverfish, one pinkish, a lilac, a green. Harry’s trying to fathom a world with so much mystical, merpeople, werewolves, forest sprites and what, whatever he is...

...

The lips on Harry’s waking him, again, Louis’. Harry has done it yet again; passed out.

It’s okay though...because Louis’ lips transfer so much comfort to him. When Louis pulls away from Harry, as Harry’s eyes open, Irma passes a water bottle to Harry.

Harry sits up. He takes the water from Irma. Thanks her. Looks to Louis.

“I don’t know I can believe all of this. I knew growing up my parents had problems. My mum blamed my father for something. And as a child I always felt different than the other children, kind of out of place. Still, I don’t know that I can believe this tree made me.”

Louis says nothing but he kisses Harry. The kiss being a distraction, Harry doesn’t consider how Louis pushes Harry’s hand onto the ground at his side. Pushes it to the earth, so much so that he makes Harry’s fingers firm with the dirt, dirt under Harry’s nails even. When Louis pulls away from the kiss he quickly pours some water from the bottle on Harry’s hand where it’s rooted.

All around them the grasses transform. A sudden eruption occurs. Extending some ten feet or so in all directions from Where Harry is sat the vegetation that was merely ordinary grasses and non flowering herbaceous plants becomes a patch of bright yellow flowers resembling something like poppy plants in appearance. The ground is thick with the flowers.

The second Harry jerks his hand away from the earth the flowers are no more, a grassy, non flowering vegetation restored.

“What do you think now,” Louis asks, his eyebrows reveal a playful quizzicalness, “now that there was just a field of flowers that was your own creation?”

Chapter Text

Unsettled by his power Harry turned himself to his work.

He woke the next day as the days prior, Louis pulling orgasm after orgasm from him. Once Louis had been proper dicked enough to want to do something else, Harry put off the request to go to the river. He has “important work to do.”

Louis pouted like a pamper prince at this stern detachment that Harry pushed. Harry doesn’t let the way Louis is adorable when denied having his way affect his determination to stay away from the outdoors. How odd it is that Harry, who has always felt at one with nature, is now resisting what is fully a part of him.

By early evening, the sun low on the horizon, Louis is tired of doing nothing. He interupts Harry’s work by striding into the room. Louis is naked. The aspect of the setting sun enhancing how golden and beautiful his skin is. He pauses momentarily to put a hand on a hip that he juts out while making a loud a huff of disgust. When Harry doesn’t budge at the sight of him, Louis’ dick showing he’s thinking naughty things, Louis comes to where Harry has sketches strewn all over a large desk literally climbing between Harry and the work. There he folds himself over the desk presenting his fabulous arse inches from Harry’s face. Taking his cheeks in hands to part them, Harry is confronted with an entrance that is not the virginal pink. Its array of rainbow colors indicates that Louis has been playing with himself, making his body ready for Harry’s cock.

In the most princely manner of speaking Harry has heard yet Louis makes his demand. “You must fuck me now. No more work today.”

Maybe Harry should have focused on confusion since his revelation that he’s something out of the ordinary instead of burying himself in his work becuase Louis coming to him presenting yet another reminder that things are mystical and fantastical in this world irritates him.

Harry leaps out of his chair, slapping Louis’ arse hard. Not once but three times making the struck cheek beat red. He then grabs Louis’ hair jerking so that he makes the prone Louis arch his back while still being bent over the desk. Without Harry knowing how he finds he’s got his other hand on his dick that he’s freed from his pants only to immediately push what has become hard from the sight of Louis’ rainbow hole into the one who has baited him.

So fast and so forceful while doing this is Harry that he makes Louis hiss. Hiss, blurring a “yes”, because Louis was asking for this. This slutty neediness consumes Harry. Now that he’s implied Louis with all of him the only thing he can do is get to the pounding.

It’s the most aggressive Harry has ever been with anyone, yet alone Louis. Louis is loving it. He puts one leg up on the work desk making it so Harry can have him better, deeper and, like Louis pleads for “harder”.

Outside the sky, once clear, clouds over. A wind picks up with the darkening almost like the weather is reflecting Harry’s intensity. Harry looses himself in the acceptance to continue this brutal taking when off in the distance Harry hears a howl. He’s gets a shock, a jolt of pleasure, realizing he’s making Louis’ body clench and tremble under his punishment, Louis unable to choke up any words because of the fierce dicking.

But the howl. The weather. It’s a storm, or it’s...

Harry rips his dick out of Louis. He plucks the plundered merprince up from the desk taking him in arms like Louis is his baby. Being quick since his body demands a climax, Harry carries Louis to their bed. He plops Louis down, puts himself over Louis wwith nat a second to spare before he spatters the merprince like he’s wanted, painting Louis pretty, now sex-wrecked, face with cum.

Once he’s nearly finished Harry leans down sliding his length, as much as he can fit, in Louis’ welcoming mouth while being gentle with this and nothing like the forceful way he was during the arse pounding fuck on the desk.

Louis hums on Harry’s dick, a surprise given how, brutal the fuck was. Adding to the sign of acceptance Louis slides his hands to be on Harry’s bum and plays with the booty. Meanwhile he looks up at Harry like he could take Harry fucking him mouth until Harry forces himself hard again.

The howl on Harry’s mind, he pulls out before Louis’ perfect cock-sucking mouth proves its powerover him.

“Please forgive me.” Harry says before he brings his mouth to kiss Louis’. “Please, I’m sorry that was so rough.”

Louis pulls on Harry so Harry lays with him. “Silly. Sometimes Liam stirs up trouble.”

What the means Harry really should ask but he doesn’t. He’s feeling like he’d rather just cuddle.

***

Harry has kind of lost track of the days.

Sure it’s understandable, afterall, Harry does wake everyday with Louis’ lips wrapped around his cock, head bobbing on it, humming as he brings Harry to orgasm with this daily wake up routine. After that the standard is four hours or four times more varying based on if Louis decides if he’s had enough of Harry up his arse.

Harry has learned if he wants any chance of getting his fashion line completed befor summer ends, before he goes back to Uni, he must follow up their lovemaking with some time at the river. Or perhaps to walk in the woods where little by little Louis has been leading Harry into an understanding of himself. Harry has learned about names of variations of forest sprites. There are a lot of them, forest sprites being the most diverse of the things in Harry’s realm.

Harry’s realm. He’s still having a hard time getting used to this. He used to think it was awesome when he had his first very own car, but a realm? What would his mates back at Uni think if he told them this?

The most important thing Harry is learning in his time at the forest with Louis is how to control himself. This meaning that he first had to start with learning how to have calmness such that when he enganges with his realm he no longer passes out from the overload but instead remains mindful and intentional in his actions and the responses they trigger. Intentional, meaning that if he and Louis happen to be out for a walk Harry could, as he’s done many times now, only have to think he’d like there to be a bed of flowers at their feet to make such a thing happen. He frequently has the small forest sprites buzzing nearby becoming like welcomed friends who follow him everywhere unless he thinks they should stay hidden. He’s been to the spot several times where the massive tree, once living, and his father, lies where Harry takes on a kind of mix of meditation and something like mourning as he tries to process what this means to be what is left of this once ancient being and the keeper of all its powers.

Other questions still abound regarding Louis and this pregnancy. For sure it would be easier to believe Louis really does carry three babies if he were only to have some physical sign of it over time. Only the poof of softness on his lower tummy gives Louis anything close to looking maternal to Harry and it’s that area of Louis body Harry frequently stares at when he has Louis sitting on him, Harry’s cock plunged in deep. So positioned with Louis sat on him, face to face, it will always concern Harry when he knows his knob is stuffed in there close to someplace Louis calls “a chamber”. How are those babies “growing stronger” in one so small? It’s a subject that Louis has tried to explain to Harry in terms that Harry can understand.

“Okay you know how many species of fish are oviparous, they lay eggs, but other fish are viviparous, so they give birth to live young, or miniature versions of them? You know what I mean, they have little baby if sh, what you call fry? It might be easer for you to think of it with me like like that. My babies are going to be small. They will grow fast though. Very fast.” Louis said one day as he and Harry were walking back from the river. After that talk Harry felt better about being inside Louis, but he remains worried. With Louis’ persistent need for sex it’s been impossible to be consumed with anything other than meeting his demands. Particularly when each day starts as those before, Louis bring on Harry’s erection with first waking, preferring to suck Harry off with every drop of cum consumed as he hums though swallowing each spurt. But today, today for once, Harry has woken before Louis. No pink lips on his dick and to be honest Harry is somewhat okay with this because he is so far behind on working on his collection

Harry carelfully slips from their bed, leaving a sleepy Louis, and goes to his desk to work.

It’s hours later before Harry realizes the amount of time that passed while he was lost in his task. He’s alarmed, why no Louis?

Going to the bedroom Harry finds Louis is awake, restless and perspiring.

“Louis, what is wrong?” Harry asks as he sits on the bedside. “Are you sick?”

“No, no...babies coming.” Louis is challenged to say because he seems pained.

Harry jumps alarmed, perhaps even panicked. “N-n-now? What do I do? Do I boil water? Get some towels?”

Louis laughs though it’s choked off because, it seems a sort of pain runs through him, “Oh Harry, silly, no need to boil water we’re not cooking them, jeez you’re so funny.”

Louis is stopped again perhaps with more pain. He pants a few times and then reaches out for Harry. “Help me, please. Fill the bathtub please. Take me to it when it’s got plenty of water.”

Of course. Naturally. Louis is a merperson. They live in water. He must need to give birth in the water. What this means for a werewolf-mer hybrid? Harry can’t fathom.

With the water level as full as Harry dare make it he goes to Louis. Getting Louis in arms bridal style Harry takes him from bed to tub. Along the short tote he worries, Louis is so small, so light, how will these babies come out?

Once Louis is in the water he seems more comfortable. He closes his eyes laying chest up in the tub. Notably he keeps his hand over his little belly. All of him is submerged except his face so Harry can hear how his breathing is labored. The way he rubs his belly with one hand is telling. Another thing that reveals this process is the way he very slightly undulates to make his pelvis have a consistent, slow, gentle motion. It must be this helps bring the babies along the birth canal. Harry assumes the birth canal must be the same path that Harry’s cock has filled so many times but he doesn’t know.

Soon there is something with Louis in the bathwater. It’s not what Harry expected. Sure it’s small. No more than three or four inches. It’s form is mostly fish like, in that that it has a similar shape to a fish but it’s tail is definitely a mer-tail. The upper part of the newborn is not what Harry expected.

It seems the head and torso of this little thing are totally inclosed in some transparent cocoon like to encapsulate the newborn whose arms are pulled in folded tight to a chest. Around this little thing’s cocoon section is something that is sort of like a ruffle feature that resembles the tail fin only that this ruffle-like fin. If it has any anology in appearance in the world Harry knows he’d say it’s like a male lion’s mane in that it goes all the way around but it is made with the same type of tissue as the tail fin. It’s immediately apparent when the first born moves, darting very quickly through the water, that the ruffle-fin is actually highly functional; the tail gives the baby propulsion, this torso-fin gives direction.

Once Louis has one baby born he moves the hand that isn’t on his belly in the water. He says, “Come here you.” It’s said softly, there is still pain to his voice, Harry not sure if she, the firstborn, can hear it, but the newborn does swim to Louis’ hand. With his hand guiding the newborn Louis sweeps his young to his chest. The water covering his torso is sufficient for the newborn to remain well under the water while brought over to his nipple. The second Louis has put the baby to his tiny nip, she latches on. Or so Harry assumes. It seems that the translucent cocoon doesn’t prevent what looks like a suction like connection. It can’t be Louis produces milk like human mother does because he’s got no fullness to his breast, but the newborn suckles for a minute before breaking free as Louis talks to her again.

All he says is “Good girl.” It might be it gets limited to that because of choking pain but then there is a second little one expelled from Louis. Again something of this newborn, maybe the color, gives Harry the idea this is a girl too. Perhaps it’s becasue these two have a pretty pastel coloring to their fins. The second newborn immediatley takes off darting through water extremely fast, faster than the first born, indicating this child is very precocious for a newborn.

It sounds like this birthing process is taxing for Louis. He pants out, “And you too little one”, once again using a hand to sweep the newest baby to his chest. The newborn gets a minute long dose of whatever Louis’ tiny nips have. Given his small these babies are it surely doesn’t need to be much.

What has yet to come is the he-child. Harry worries, what will this be? It’s what Louis has promised Zayn. The male heir. Harry can imagin how there mermaid babies, the girls will shed their cocoons at some point, but of the male, will it be wolf-like from birth?

When Louis undulates with more an agitation, Harry knows the male will be appearing. Sure enough a midnight blue baby enters the water. As with the sisters the newborn has the morphology of a funny looking sort of fish. These babes are so small, so fish-like they could easily be mistaken if seen by a human, as an actual fish. Only their coloration and the ruffle gives them anything unusual should one for some reason be discovered. Although, as Harry discovers, when the newborn angles to look up like this make newborn does, it’s clear these babies have faces of a human child, faces protected by the cocoon.

That the male makes a deliberate effort to look up through the water at Harry unsettles Harry. Is it the wolf in this? Zayn specifies this heir be strong. To be sure he is indeed strong, the male does what neither of his sisters did. His first dash is not to speed around Louis making a couple laps of the tub like they both did before Louis brought them to his chest. No, the little male boldly does a dash to gain speed enough make himself able to take a leap out of the water like any dolphin or whale would do for the joy of taking flight.

“Would you please not be such a showoff on day one, little one. Come here.” Louis no longer must need to be using his hand to ease his belly pain so that is a good thing because he has to try several times to sweep his son to his chest. The son must suck with intensity because when he latches on Louis makes a small yelp. The newborn takes less than a minute of suckling like his sisters before but he does something neither of them did. He detached from one nipple and seeks to attach to the other and for a second time he makes Louis sort of yelp. Harry is sure this the wolf in him but again he can’t conceive of his this heir is going to live in his father’s world.

Louis looks to be free of pain now as he extends a hand to Harry in a sign he wants to stand. It’s funny how as he elects to do this the babies cluster around his legs as if they are wanting him to stay in the water with them. Once Louis steps out of the tub they all do the sort of thing that the male did, angling to look up at what is not in the water. Bobbing there as of to express their desire to keep Louis with them. With faces so young, so pure they look so cute as their ruffle-like fins show their agitation at their abandonment.

Louis softly scolds them as each of the spunky little newborns make several attempts to leap into air is “No little ones. It’s off to the nursery with you girls. Your bother must meet your father first. Your aunt Lottie will be there, she will take care of you.”

Once instructed Louis looks at Harry. “Have you got a bucket?”

***

Harry has to admit the weirdness never ceases. Sure. Put two merbabies in a bucket. Go to the river. Put a hair from Louis head in the river. Wading out somewhat deep. This Harry does and he is met by Lottie who is escorted by Naill.

The second Harry meets Lottie he can easily tell that she’s Louis’ sister. Like her brother she is beautiful. Her lips are fuller than Louis’. Her eyes a different color. Her long hair is a pinkish-peachy shade. She shares with Louis the quality of having such sunkissed smooth silk.

Once Harry lowers the bucket for releasing the babies they streak through the water circling Lottie like they are excited to meet her. They must know she is family. Another mer-thing perhaps?

After a brief chat about Louis they part.

Harry makes his way up hill with an empty bucket. Walking this path he has a thought about butterflies because the fragility of the ruffled fins on the merbabies reminds him of butterflies wings. No sooner does Harry have this thought than he is surrounded by butterflies. This gives him an elation as it’s a sign he’s called them. It’s shockingly abrupt when they scatter as he nears his house.

The reason for the departure becomes evident. Beside Harry’s house is a very strange sight. Harry has seen something like this before, when Zayn shifted from man to wolf and back again. Those transformations were accompanied by a dark dust cloud like this one. The difference is this cloud shifts from dark cloud form to human form back to cloud. Harry approaches with fear building in his core. What, who, is this?

The shift continues until apparently this dark cloud desires to be stayed in man form more than a second or two. Once it stabilizes the features of a young man Harry’s own age are clear. This being an attractive, nicely built, handsome young man disarms Harry. He has short dark brown hair, a neat beard, somewhat sorrowful looking brown eyes.

“Liam?”

“Yes. And your the twig the Merprince believes is worth all of this.”

Twig. Harry’s heard this moniker before. From Zayn. That was before he knew it’s reference, who Harry’s real father was.

“Why are you here?” Harry asks.

“I warned Zayn not to trust the merprince pixie. He’s too mischievious, too clever to really trust. Did Zayn listen? No. Did Zayn think I gave him powers for him to use them so poorly? Apparently, apparently. It was to be that we made an heir together, me and Zayn, with the use of the merprince’s chamber, but then Zayn realized he could leave me out of it all together, just conceive his heir with only he and Louis. All he needed is a way to get Louis out of the water, to get Louis to comply. And what do you know but along comes the twig. As long as Zayn has wanted to be with Louis, Louis has been in love with you. Longer even.”

Harry is confused. The implication is that Zayn has extra “powers” because of a pack with Liam. A pack that includes a plan for Liam and Zayn to use Louis as, what, an incubator? A place to mix their DNA, or whatever it is, and make their heir.

“Are you saying what Zayn did is empowered by you?”

“Yes Twig. I’ve always loved Zayn. When he became a werewolf I wanted to make him alpha for his safety so I enhanced him. I wanted us to be able to be together. I didn’t know that he was so fixated on the merprince. When we talked about how to deceive that water pixie I thought Zayn understood, Louis can be a trickster, an imp, a playfully, ever so duplicitous pixie. Zayn never could have gotten anywhere alone with Louis if you hadn’t come back. You with your legs. You with Louis’ heart in your hands. So Zayn decided to use your being here and make one of his own without me. But it’s not what Zayn expects, what he’s just discovered. And the merprince deceived him exactly like I knew the Water Pixie would.”

“First it’s Harry, not Twig. It’s also just Louis, not Water Pixie. Furthermore, Louis made a son. He did as asked. Zayn has his male heir.”

Liam scoffs. “You’re so naive H a r r y. How is Zayn going to raise a merform spawn? The pix...Louis, has the ability to make a proper male heir, one with legs not fins. He’s chosen to play Zayn because he’s a fucking pixie. Water Pixie. Zayn in your house now realizing he has been a fool. Father to a fish. I rather like the rage that deceit will create in Zayn.”

Harry drops the bucket and runs for his front door.

Chapter Text

The first thing Harry sees when he enters his bedroom is that Zayn has Louis pinned under him. Zayn wolf-aggression eveident with the presence of the swath of black fur running down his spine like Harry has seen before.

Louis is face-up under Zayn and although Zayn’s fingernails are claw-like biting into Louis’ skin, that is not the thing Harry zones in on first, rather Harry is momentarily riveted with the fright at the sight of the the drip, drip, of blood from one of Louis’ limbs. It’s an arm hanging slack off the side of the bed with the hand listlessly directed at the floor like Louis has been forced to yield and doesn’t have use of it.

This is not the only horrific thing Harry has come upon. The werewolf once again has his monsterous spade-head penis plunged deep inside Louis. Zayn is past making pumping thrusts and to the point of maintaining holding his cock so it’s buried deep, his buttocks clenched, signaling that he is once again dumping his seed to breed Louis.

This time there must have been a greater degree of protest before this copulation. This assumption is confirmed for Harry by what Zayn growls as he terminates his cum dump.

”Liam warned and warned me that you would make a fool of me without his power to dampen yours! I didn’t believe him, but Liam knew! Always so clever you are, he warned, such a duplicitous pixie, he warns me, and I think he’s jealous that I find younso beautiful but Liam is right. Now you will take my seed again in your womb and do it right this time! How dare you try to tell me that you made the fair trade, that our son is strong, and beautiful? He hasn’t got any legs! How clever you are to make him be obligated to the water so he can’t learn wolf behavior by being by my side, clever, tricky water nymph. I warn you now, do it right this time or I will rip out your throat, do you understand me or is there water in your ears?...”

Zayn can’t do or say more before Harry has his hands on Zayn ripping Zayn from where he is. It’s a strange sensation as Harry does so because for a fleeting second Harry almost thinks that his hands have become vine-like. Ever so slight it seems his fingers have changed. Once he’s unhanded Zayn who he’s taken to the floor Harry looks at what are his hands. Harry almost thinks he saw his hands transformed as that woody composite like before but then no, they are not. Harry’s hands are completely normal though shaking as he turns to an immobile Louis lying on their bed.

Louis battered and bleeding, the bruises, scratches, bites he bears are far more pronounced than the last time he was taken by Zayn, doesn’t move when unpinned. Most notably is how one arm continues to listlessly hang off the bed like Louis is too pained to move it. It is a disturbing looking bite from which it bleeds. During the spilt second that Harry had a look at Zayn’s face as he leapt to strip Zayn off of Zayn’s prey what Harry noticed is how Zayn has a bruise on his face too. Probably these observations suggests that Louis struck him; it must have been that an act of defense led to the wolf Zayn using a bite to cripple Louis.

In a thunderous voice Harry yells “to get the bloody hell out” before turning away from Zayn to be as soft and sweet with his approach to Louis. Louis is aware enough to be responsive. As soon as he hears Harry’s voice talking to him, feels Harry’s touch, Louis starts to mumble like he’s withholding a need that must be the need to cry out in pain. Rather than expressing this pain, Louis with a shaky voice worries for his newborn son. “He’s frightened, he needs me. Get me to him, in the tub, please.”

Harry first wraps an ordinary scarf he finds handily nearby around the bite. “I got to get this wrapped, your bleeding a lot.”

“Please! He...”Louis screams only to stop because Harry’s tightening of the wrap at the bite hurts enough to choke his words.

Harry picks Louis up trying to ignore his concern over the damage littering Louis’ body. Carrying Louis reveals how much Louis is shaking. Into the bathwater, not particularly warm but cool, Harry sets Louis. The tiny male newborn rushes to Louis. He tries to suckle, Louis lets him and offers his kindness.

“Be brave little one, he’s gone now. You won’t need him with the merfamily you have waiting for you. You are strong and we love you.”

The bathroom has supplies Harry needs as he begins to try to work on a better wrap for Louis’ persitently bleeding hand. The other offensive bleeding marks make the water take on a slight pink tinge so Harry decides to release some water via the drain while adding some too from the faucet to freshen the bath.

While Harry clumsily works on a better compression wrap on Louis’ hand the little newborn mer keeps trying in vain to get something from Louis’ tiny nips. He goes from one to the other like nothing comes though he’s desperate for it. Louis uses his free hand to cover his baby making the baby an aquatic cave with the cupping of his hand. Even though the baby sticks out a little because Louis has small hands this makes the little thing stay at one breast like he is comforted. Struggling through his appallingly battered state to makeneeds known Louis looks up to Harry making his voice as measured and calm despite his horrible condition. “He needs to do to the river right now. Do as you did before, please. He needs you to take him to Lottie to be fed and to care for him.”

The bathwater is becoming more clear as the original water drains out and the fresh fills in but Harry’s can’t see leaving Louis like this because he keeps discovering more of what abuse Louis suffered.

“But I can’t leave you. Not yet.”

Louis tears up, his breath gets uneven. He looks at his baby son tucked under the hand. “He has to go Harry. He’s my baby. He can’t get what he needs here. Please, take him now. I’ll be fine.”

Worried and conflicted Harry doesn’t know what to do. “What if Zayn comes back?”

“He won’t, please. Take my baby to the river. Drop a hair in the water and release him when they come for him, please.”

The last please almost sounds like it’s said on the verge of tears. Harry gives a little.

“What about this. I will ask Frank to come. I’ll ask him to take him. When Frank comes back he can do a much better job at tending to your injuries than me.”

“No!” Louis says becoming more and more overwrought, “N-no, he needs to go now. He’s frightened by meeting his father and he needs his people, my family. They know you, they won’t know to trust Frank like they will you. You go, now...”

Louis moves the badly bitten hand which Harry was holding and with it he covers his eyes. Doesn’t matter that he attempts to hide his face because there are tears now, lots of them as he breaks. “Please.”

It’s the way the “please” sounds. Harry concedes.

“Okay I will go, take your son to the river. But first I have to call Frank.”

Frank arrives fast having come by car rather than trail. Irma is with him so Harry thinks it is less risky with two neighbors present that Zayn will return in his abscence. Louis convinces his baby son to swim into the bucket despite how he does not want to leave his father’s cuddle. Once to the river Lottie arrives fast. At her side are the newborn sisters who, unlike their brother, have shed their protective transparent cocoon and ruffle fin. Their churb infant faces are exposed, their plumb baby arms are free for them to use and though they are still small they have notably, in another contrast to their brother, gotten significantly bigger. When released it is reassuring to watch how the baby son scoots to his aunt and is embraced by his sisters.

Fizzy comes up from behind Lottie and is followed by Niall. News about what happened to Louis with Zayn’s reaction sets off a a rage in Niall.

“If he comes near Louis ever again he should die.”

Harry hasn’t any argument but he’s pragmatic, “Just how do you suggest I do that? It’s illegal to murder someone even for a crime like he’s perpetrated. And he’s a werewolf.”

Niall sputters with anger. “Your a Trinity! Have you learned nothing of your power? Louis could dispatch him with ease if they weren’t bonded, so it has to be you. He can’t not act in his defense as long as they are bonded.”

Fizzy breaks in. This is the first time Harry has seen Fizzy up close. Like her older siblings she is gorgeous. Her brown eyes are soft and kind. Her lips full like Lottie’s. Her long hair is dark brown with streaks of a light purple. In the water it fans around her giving her and ethereal, angelic look.

“Niall you are expecting too much, too fast from Harry. He’s always been a human in his mind he has no sense of his powers yet. Louis tutorage or not he needs time and simpler task. I’d like to see that werewolf dead too but Louis did this bargain of free will. What beautiful babies they made we now have.”

With Fizzy defending Harry, her brother’s choice, Harry is given assurances by Louis’ sisters that the little baby boy will be fine. Even catch up to his sisters growth now that he is in the river. This frees Harry to hurry home, home where he finds his merprince is well tended to by the doctor and his wife. Where Harry’s wrap was Frank has changed into a proper bandage. Other bruises and cuts look better addressed. Frank has also forged ahead in starting an IV. Irma explains as she meets Harry at his bedroom door where she whispers to Harry preparing him before he enters the room.

“There are fresh sheets on the bed. Frank took preventative steps as much as he could because Louis explained something to Frank about how he will have a fever again. Apparently it’s something about the dark forces in Zayn. Louis’ body repels those agents he said. He said his babies will be pure from it. But it’s clear that he’s feeling very poorly and weak. Frank wants him to sleep so he’s given him a mild sedative. You should speak with him before it takes affect.”

Frank leaves so Harry can have Louis’ side. “Baby son good?” Louis slurs as the drug is affecting his words.

“Yes, he’s good. His sisters have double in size and their cover thingy is gone. Their cute faces are exposed and they are using those cubby arms of theirs. I’ve been told he will catch up with their growth rapidly. What is that cover thing for?”

Louis stumbles on his words, slurs a bit, as he explains that, again, he has no uterus. His babies always start small and the membranous cocoon allows them to develop taking nutrients from his chamber walls. Then when born it allows them to make attachment to his nipples that gives them a one time, tiny drop of his immunity and a nutrient burst. This is how his newborn son was able to wait an entire day without getting properly fed. The membrane distingrates soon as it’s no longer needed after birth.

Harry wants to know more but with that said Louis is asleep.

***

It is three days since the assault with Louis sleeping most the time in the aftermath of a more vicious breeding. Harry worries that Zayn will return wanting confirmation like before. Particularly he worries given how Louis tricked Zayn the previous time by technically following the instructions but not entirely since “heir with legs” was only implied not demanded. How Louis can birth a baby with legs Harry can’t conceive. The brief times Louis has been awake and lucid Harry has done nothing to pester him for more understanding of Louis’ physiology. He spends those minutes kissing Louis, stroking his unblemished places, telling Louis pleasant things. Harry has noted how the flat tummy that was there after the birth of the first set of babies has a puffier appearance. For a second time now Zayn’s seed has taken ahold again. Louis is still bound to a bargain he made for the purpose of having legs.

Whenever Louis has been asleep it has given Harry time to strive to catch upon his work, but with it being day three, this is a challenge. Will Xayn return? Harry is all nerves and jitters.

The sound of someone entering the house has Harry leaping to his feet. He runs to engage the threat, only to become disarmed when he finds it’s his mother not the monster he anticipated.

“Mum?”

“Harry, you're alive!”

Harry shirks his shoulders, runs a hand through his hair that is very unkempt given that his focus has been on Louis’ care or his work so he hasn’t showered for days.

“Yes, of course, why wouldn’t I be? What are you doing here? I mean, you should have called first.”

Anne looks exasperated at his remark. “What? Should have called? Should have called you! What do you think I’ve been doing for days? I’ve left so many messages that your voicemail box is full. What is going on? Why don’t you return my calls? I’ve been worried sick!”

Slumping his lanky frame he realizes. He has left his phone off. For three days. “Um, I’ve been busy, in a creative mania and just got lost in my work I guess. M’sorry.”

Anne trades her frustrated composure to a more softened motherly one. “Well okay. That’s understandable. But in the future, check your phone everyday and give me some signal that you are alive at least. It haunts me still that your father was living here alone one day, gone the next. Surely you can’t derstand that.”

An idea pops into Harry head and leaves his mouth before he thinks of the consequences. “Maybe it’s time we talk about that. Why you divorced. How I was conceived. What happened one day in the woods.”

***

Harry is about to take the conversation with his mum outside so he can show her something to break down her conviction that the fantastical story her deceased husband conjured was perhaps more a factual event than a far-fetched “story” when he hears a cough from the foot of the stairs. Turning around there is one very tired looking, battered Louis. He’s also butt naked.

Anne’s mouth drops open. Harry abandons plans to show his mum some of his abilities and rushes to Louis taking the throw blanket from the chair to wrap Louis while then escorting Louis to the chair from which the small blanket came.

“Harry?” Anne says in a wavering voice. It’s not bad enough that her son has some ideas that sound like he’s got the same crazy notions about the forest and local lore as his father, but now he has this...”what is this? What’s going on?” Anne asks.

Harry is on his knees to be closer to eye to eye with the sitting Louis. Harry’s hands carefully caress Louis as Harry searches Louis’ face for nuances of his status. He ignores Anne to ask Louis “Are you hungry?”

Louis nods “yes”, scratches his arm where the iV was taped. He studies Anne with reservation but answers Harry. “Babies are very hungry.”

Anne listening must hear him wrong. “Baby’s very hungry? Harry, is this why you’ve been not answering? Are you and this, this, this...are you into some S and M thing?”

Harry stands. “It’s not like that mum. Mum this is Louis. Louis this is my mum Anne Styles. Mum Louis was assaulted by someone he’s in a relationship with. His condition is not my making.”

“Oh”, Anne says with the anger that was overcoming her subsiding, “okay, I see. Sorry. I should know you better than to ever assume anything so vial but it been a rollercoaster. First fearing you were hurt or worse, then having you bring up your father’s silly notion, and now this. Finding you here with a very badly beaten young man striding around naked in your home. I’ve never worried about your gay orientation before despite how the world persecutes people who are homosexual but if this was your doing we would have a serious problem.”

Anne directs her next comment to Louis. “You son should never see the man who did that to you again.”

Louis looks at Harry. “Having trouble explaining things to her?”

“You could say that. I was just going to take her outside to see what I could stir up.”

Louis puts Harry hands off him as he says, “Please do. I’ll wait.”

The little smile Louis offers Harry is reassuring. Harry walks back to his mum and leads her to the door. Outside they leave the porch but stay close to the house. Harry holds his mother’s hands standing to face her. She’s pestering him to explain what this is about. He says he needs to show her. He’s not sure why, but Harry closes his eyes. Maybe because it’s hard to think with Anne glaring at him like he’s a crazy person.

As soon as his eyes are closed Harry’s thoughts bring Some of them in; make some others erupt. Harry knows before he opens his eyes that there is surely a cloud of flying sprites, all sizes and varieties, swirling around them in the air and at their feet where what was merely grass is now an array of flowers.

He’s also not surprised to find in front of him is a stunned-looking mother. As soon as she looks a little too trippy with this overwhelming evidence he sends all the sprites and flowers away.

“Harry?”

“Mum?”

“What was that?”

“That was me. Mum all that was because of me. My real father was never Des Styles. My stepfather, Des, never took advantage of you. He never lied about the things he saw. My inheritance is my heredity.”

***

As Louis happily eats with his adorable nibbling style what Harry has prepared for them Anne sits at the table where she keeps doing the same thing over and over between sips of her tea. She opens her mouth like to speak only to shake her head “no”, decide against her impending thought and remaining silent. She does this again and again.

Finally she gets the courage to say something.

Shaking herself like to shake off the realization her eyes don’t lie, she makes small talk. “So Louis, are you a friend of Harry’s from Uni?”

Louis happily grazing over the bounty Harry has spread out for him answers. “No. I’m from here.”

“Oh really. How long have you lived here then?”

“Since I was born.”

Anne looks surprised. “But then I would now your family. You would have attended the same school as Harry and Gemma. Why have I not seen you before?”

“No I don’t go to their school and if you didn’t see me it’s because you weren’t looking. My family though are more shy.”

Embolden, perhaps looking to find a distraction form some awkwardness of her son and her situation Anne inquires. “What do you parents do? Farming I presume.”

Louis snorts. It’s clear the food he’s already consumed makes him feel a little better. “No, definitively not. We hunt for our food or gather it, but no not farming. Do I look like I’m made for farming? My father lives over the ocean so he’s not been around since I was two. Actually left me and my mum. I have four younger sisters that are from another father but my mum has always been the head of the family.”

Anne asks again. “And what does she do? Five children it must be hard.”

“Not not really. She loves children, all children. She’s a healer or sorts but not like Dr Johnson, untraditional to what you know, but her job is reigning.”

Anne looks at Harry confused, asks Louis for clarification. “She what? She reigns?”

Louis finishes a nibble in his polite effeminate way and says, “Um hum. She reigns. She rules over everyone.”

Jay gives up. She turns to Harry. Harry guesses that his mum thinks Louis meant that his mum is a head of the household and doesn’t work, family money, whatever. Therefore Harry is not surprised at the question that comes to him as his mum is most certainly trying to avoid the subject of what happened outside earlier and the implications.

“So Harry darling, how is the work going?”

Harry decides it best to give her process time about what he is. “Good. At least the designs I have are good, though fewer than I’d like. It’s a little slow working as I have to work around the fear that person who did this to Louis might show up.”

In an exasperated tone Anne speaks as she takes her son’s hand. “The authorities need to know about this.”

Louis snorts again. Then shrugs realizing he is being not entirely kind in implying he’s dismissing Anne’s human-centered ignorance. He turns on some charm with a deliberative smile made for Anne as he justifies his disrespect. “Zayn isn’t going to answer to any human authority.”

Anne startles. She looks from Louis to Harry, Harry to Louis, with a question. “Zayn. Zayn Malik?”

Louis shrugs. “Zayn, yes, don’t know him by the name ‘Mal Lick’ though. Only Zayn. Handsome, smoldering, bad-boy wannabe Zayn.”

Alerted more, Anne sits up. “Zayn has been missing since he was about to turn sixteen, the entire community thought he was dead. How is it that he is here and no one knows his whereabouts, how is it that Zayn is in a relationship, abusive or any other and no one has seen him. All of this time his whereabouts unknown to Zayn’s family, to the authorities who’ve probably never sealed his missing person case because of the mystery?”

It’s Harry who takes his mum’s hand now. “Mum, it’s complicated. Maybe for now trust that what I showed you and there are magical things at work here in these woods, the river, the people. The original people like the family that Louis comes from. People like my father, not the man you knew as Des Styles, but my other father...”

Anne jumps up, visibly extremely upset. Tears start following. In his heart Harry knows this is not really about Zayn Malik being alive and around for years following his disappearance, but it is rather about Harry’s conception and Anne’s realization that mistrust in her deceased husband who she’s blamed for years may have been wrong. Maybe now Anne finally fears that she was wrong. How else should Harry do want he did outside the family home when a flurry of tiny fairies and a small field of flowers erupted for her son by his command? What kind of forces are at work here?

How has a long missing native son, Zayn, been living here without discovery?

What about the stories? People who’ve gone missing from the very old to the very young.

The sightings of wolves? The way the forest shifts, the weather too?

Or things in the water which some...usually the drunk fishermen, say are described as mermaid-like?

“Harry?”

“Mum, I know.”

“I have to go.” Anne says looking totally distraught and more than a little confused.

Harry lowers his voice and calms it. He drawls from his tone, the power of comfort so he gives no degree of added turmoil to his mother’s state. “Understood. Call me when you get home so I know you made it safe, since you’re so upset. Come back anytime. Tomorrow even, or if you like, we can talk by phone, I’ll make sure to leave it on. Whatever you want, just don’t be upset.”

This is somewhat effective when aHarry adds a long hug. Anne looks at Louis who smiles brightly at her again though Harry can see he is getting tired now that he has a full belly. “It is nice to meet you Louis. Whoever did this to you, Zayn Malik, someother Zayn, stay away from him.”

Harry sees his mum out. He kisses her, assures her, makes they promise to call each other him when she should be back home after because he is worried Anne has too much to process meanwhile Anne admits before she leaves that she is worried and confused for Harry and “that Louis who has an odd lord of the pixies demeanor to him like he’s royalty or something”.

“Well that’s about right it to be honest.” Harry thinks but doesn’t say.

***

Once his mum’s car disappears from view Harry runs back inside to Louis.

Louis who left the table to move to curl up under a blanket sitting on the couch now looking very sleepy and in need of a cuddle. Harry obliges after first asking Louis is he’d rather go to bed or perhaps watch a movie. Louis has never seen a movie, so he’s is excited about that.

The film Harry selects? ‘Love Actually’.

Louis is delighted by the film watching it with great fascination. Half way through Harry makes them some popcorn, another thing that is new to Louis, which he loves, and insists they bring some to Niall the next day, as Harry is taking him to bed once the movie is over.

“...when we go to the river tomorrow, earlier than normal though because I must see my babies. I miss them so.”

The assurance Harry gives Louis goes unheard as Louis falls asleep immediately once his head is on a pillow.

***

Remarkably it’s another morning blow job that wakes Harry. Louis sucks him off in typical extraordinary fashion then hops out of bed looking refreshed despite his recent abuse.

His need to see his babies is palpable. “Do you think we can take breakfast to the river, I miss the babies so much.”

Harry is a little slower to rise. Satiated with a single orgasm he nevertheless has a bit of habitual body memory; morning sex usually takes hours. He resigns himself to find them both clothes to wear. For the first time he wonders about taking Louis to the city to shop for him becuase Louis was fascinated by all the things he saw in the movie that Harry takes for granted. Things like escalators and random city conveniences. Louis has never ridden in a car or even a boat for that matter.

For today though the goal is simple. Harry puts together a breakfast for riverside of fruit, muffins and, oddly, popcorn. Unlike the night before when Harry sprinkled some salt over the popcorn he’s decides to use a little cinnamon sugar since it’s breakfast popcorn.

At the river Louis strips and goes right in. He can’t contain his need for seeing his children.

They come fast. Fast and feeling the need to show him their delight the three babies do random exhibits of their excitement as they circle him again and again while making small leaps from the water. It’s the porpoising and leaping they do that reveals their increased size. These once small babies no more than three or four inches long have grown to the size of a human baby of a month in age. Their hair is blond and Harry has a hard time telling one girl from another though the boy that Zayn rejected is obvious with his midnight blue iridescent tail.

Harry isn’t sure if he should invade the family affair because even Lottie and Fizzy stay back so father and children can bond. Once the babies excitement subsides a little they each hang on their father with their chubby arms gripping anyplace they can each pushing the others off ever so slight wanting all his attention. Louis is enchanted with his babies. It becomes obvious that Harry will have to wade out and hand feed Louis in the water if he wants Louis to eat. It wouldn’t be so urgent except Louis has more offspring to nourish so Harry makes the intrusion.

Once Harry nears Louis the babies cling a little tighter onto Louis until Louis suggest something to them about Harry. “When Harry sings he brings the forest sprites to him.”

That said the babies all detach from their father and come to Harry with eagerly inquisitive faces. They way they swim around Harry’s legs where he’s stands in waist high water to paw at Harry and smile looking up at him show the words they can’t say. “Sing for us please.”

Harry pulls off singing the song from ‘Love Actually’ causing a smile from Louis that is irrepressible. Once Harry begun singing a swarm of delicate flying things descend over the area of the river where Harry, Louis and the babies are. They come to Harry exhibiting a multitude of a shapes, colors and sizes with their diversity. Lifting a hand Harry coaxes a particualry briliantly emerald green sprite anot the size of a hummingbird, easily mistake for one, to land on the hand he offers.

Talking to her as to keep her there, she being a very obvious young she-sprite, Harry lowers his hand to just over the water’s surface so the babies can see her. They squeak their high-pitched chirps like this is wonderful sight. Next they point up like they want Harry to show them other sprites. He sends of the first sprite off and begins to coax other varieties to come to him and perch on his hand. The babies respond after seeing each new sprite by swimming away before making a leap or two from the water only then to come back to Harry to point up asking for another sprite to see again and again. It’s clear they are trading favors. Their acrobatic jubilescence reminds Harry of their father’s creative nature as much as their eyes do; eyes that have the same lovely shape that Louis’ and his sisters share.

***

Harry allows their time playing at the river go far too long for his work demands. It is after the joyous reunion, frolicking, exchanging tricks, sharing foods with Niall and the ever more curious and accepting Lottie and Fizzy, there was a long dialogue between Louis and his sisters about the most recent Zayn encounter. Niall reiterates to Harry that Harry “can protect Louis”. Louis, however cannot of free-will reverse his bond with Zayn. So long as Louis is Zayn’s he also can’t defend himself. The stern honest talk with Naill brings the river visit to an endangered Harry is uncertain of himself and shamed he didn’t do more one the first tree mer-werbabes were conceived. It’s all so new to him.

Returning to the house Louis wants sex.

What Louis wants Louis gets. It’s really not possible anyway to refuse when Louis bares his bum, jiggling it in front of Harry’s face, fulling parting his cheeks presenting his pink hole while bending over and pleading with a soft “Please, just once.”

“Just once” is never just once; it usually always leads to four. Afterwards Harry puts on a movie for Louis hoping to work. A John Cuzack movie with a romantic theme seems to appease Louis. This lets Harry get in a couple hours of work as he sets up a lap table for him to work as and Louis have the movie playing. He makes the best of it. As few as his designs are in their number they have a fresh, interesting vibe to them so Harry is confident. Soon enough it’s time for dinner then, naturally, after, Louis wants more sex.

The next day at the river there is a lot less contentious discourse with discussion about Zayn behind them. Besides Harry is learning the easiest way to bribe Niall’s disposition is with food. Harry relationship with the babies has become sealed. They look forward to what Harry does to amuse them in days that that follow after that. Harry has also cemented his relationship with Louis’ sisters. Indeed Phoebe and Daisy begin to come each day there after as does Eleanor although she usually skulks around at some distance as she still pines for what Louis doesn’t return.

***

As days count down to nearly three weeks, another set of mer-werehybrid babies coming soon, Harry feels increasing pressure. He tries to focus on working on his collection because his days are so full between meeting Louis needs to be with his first three babies, having sex with Louis, more sex with the merprince and yet again even more and more sex with Louis. Thankfully, Harry’s only saving grace for working is how Irma and Frank have been making regular visits and a relationship developes between Louis and Irma like grandson and nanna.

Louis enjoys discussing his babies, art, and books with Irma as she has begun teaching Louis to read. It turns out that Merpeople have great capacity to learn by oral story-telling coupled with also having an amazingly gifted photographic memory. Basically once Louis learned the look of a printed word, it is permanent in his knowledge what the word is. He reads them as pictographs; he will recognize it in other works of literature. His reading skill has advanced rapidly as has his taste for romantic movies.

Downfall of romantic movies? The merprince wants more sex.

Harrys creative prowess though seems to be flourishing despite the demands on his time. Somehow Harry begins to believe that this is because of his increase frequency of pleasurable sexual activity. With the designs for his collection all appearing to be finished to his satisfaction he realizes according to his calculation Louis’ due date is eminent. Going to his room he finds that the movie Louis was watching is finished, credits rolling and unlike most times when Louis would come find him, crawling onto his lap perhaps to initiate a good dicking, this time Louis has fallen asleep.

“Louis?” Harry whispers knowing the answer before he asks, “Sweet Creature, are the babies coming?”

Louis stirs, rolls over to a side lying position mumbles, “Mmm, soon.” He makes no effort to open his eyes or say more than the brief affirmation. Outside the sky is dark, not even the moon light shines. Harry notices the wind is picking up. He knows this could mean Liam is stirring. Harry looks outside.

Is he imagining or is he seeing a shape outside? Harry hesitates to go turn on a light to shower the exterior for a better look because he’d rather not have anyone knows he is alerted to their presence. Instead he goes throughout the house securing doors and windows. It’s a warm, humid night so he hates to stifle the house with no air flow, but the shape. It’s it Liam? Is it Zayn?

Returning to his bed he finds Louis is soundly sleeping. Harry uses a candle to provide some small luminance so he can watch Louis sleep. It’s always enjoyable to watch Louis even if he’s going the most mundane of things. Sleeping is particularly pleasant because of affords Harry an opportunity to take in the smallest of details of Louis’ brand of beauty.

...

Waking to what is a restless Louis is the only warning that Louis has the babies ready to deliver. Harry goes to fill the bath tub knowing Louis will want to birth them in the water. What had been a worry, how the mandated legged-child heir will be born, Harry understands since Louis explained this to him.

“When he is born he will look like a newborn mer. Tail, torso fin, fully encased in his protective layer as he has to have that to develop in my chamber and to be born. What will happen is he will shed the layers and reveal his true form.” Louis had explained about the heir of Zayn’s demand.

Harry has seen how the first set of babies did such a shed though their morphology was true to mer-form so he understands how the required heir can do a shed like Louis describes. It remains curious how this wolf-like heir will transition once he leaves Louis company.

The tub full, Harry returns to Louis, lifts him carefully as Louis is panting ever so slight like he’s experiencing some pain. Louis tucks his face into Harry’s hair as Harry carries him.

“So in love with you, so much more than all those movies portray ...” the softly spoken confession trails off, a sign the pain is intensifying. Once Harry slips him into the water Louis settles into his undulating movement. A hand rest on his belly like the first time he delivered.

His first born from this breeding comes into the water. Being a pale yellow with a bit of pastel blue iridescence she moves around in the tub until Louis finds her with a hand to sweep her over to his chest. He stays with birthing the second baby mer. She too is a pastel yellow with a hint of blue. Her blue is more a teal than a true blue but otherwise they could be almost identical twins given their similar coloration. She too is herded by Louis’ free hand to have a short suckle from his tiny nips.

Now for the required mer-wer heir. Harry finds he’s holding his breath. He’s not sure why the trepidation, Louis assured him the child will be of Zayn’s liking. When the third baby is revealed he has a beautiful coppery shade to his tail. Harry almost thinks it’s a shame he will shed the tail as the color is so beautiful. Watching Louis with such intensity it’s jolting when Louis suddenly opens his eyes, only to blurt, “No! But wait!”

Chapter Text

Harry wakes with his first realization being that he is on the bathroom floor beside the tub. The floor is somewhat wet. The next thing he realizes is that he’s got a splitting head ache. Looking at the tub his senses gain a sudden, proper focus. Louis is no longer in the bathtub. Instead he’s on the floor behind where Harry laid, under Zayn who has taken wolf form, the black wolf is growling while gripping Louis by the neck with his mouth.

How what happens Harry doesn’t know. He reaches to extract the wolf in order to arrest what is likely an intention to rip out Louis’ throat. The grasp to intervene is without thought other than prevent Louis harm so when a transformation quite simply just sort of happens Harry is himself surprised.

The arms he extends grasp the wolf in what are not hands and fingers; it’s vines that encase the wolf. Encase the wolf and multiply. Massing greatly in number the vines then thicken. Thicken and harden.

Harry isn’t sure how it happens but soon he has the wolf is wrapped in what is a thicket of small branches. While he’s not sure what drives it, the process doesn’t stop. Not even when the wolf releases the death grip on Louis’ neck or when the wolf begins biting at his woody limbs, or even when the wolf yelps. Not until the wolf gives out his last breath taken by the compression of the amassed thicket, a wooded cage, the bramble that snuffs out his life force does this transformation reverse.

As quick as it all was made from Harry’s extended limbs the transformation now retreats. Once restored to normal Harry looks closely at his ordinary, human hands. They are his own same as they’ve ever been. On the floor between him and a gasping Louis is the wolf. His lifeforce gone.

Louis sits up looking at Harry and the wolf, the wolf and Harry, back and forth. He stirs more moving to the tub where he submerges a hand that drawls his newborns to it. Harry watches as Louis sits there, a hand being brushed against by the babies while he appears to be sorting out what to think, how to react. A few seconds pass before Louis literally shakes like to shove aside his state of being nearly dispatched from this world had Harry not reacted to defend and save him as Zayn would have surely ripped his throat out.

“He was unaware the baby will shed the covering and be a wolf pup. He didn’t know, didn’t wait to hear my explanation, instead he just went after you. Once you blacked out he turned to me still refusing to listen as he just latched onto my neck and pulled me out to the floor for.”

Harry can hear in Louis’ voice a sorrow for Zayn’s reckless, self-defeating impulsiveness. He’s wondering what one says when Louis shakes his head again and comes to some resolution.

“We have to go. Go now. Quickly.” Louis says. There is a wildness to Louis’ face as he states this. In his urgency to “go” Louis doesn’t bother to put on clothes. He dips the small bucket they’ve used to tote other babies to the river into the tub sinks his hand in it as sweetly tells his babies, “come with me”.

They swim into the pail.

Turning to Harry Louis directs him with an objectiveness that implies he has garnered focus despite suffering what was nearly the death of him in Zayn’s rage. “Pick him up,” a nod toward Zayn’s lifeless form, “please, carry him. We have to get to the river quickly.”

Whatever the reason, once they leave the house, Louis carrying the pail holding his babies, Harry carrying a lifeless black wolf, Louis falters and stumbles quite frequently. Louis walks quickly though it’s much like a person who is drunk, loosing his balance often. Harry fears this is because of what he didn’t see once Zayn struck him. Lying unconscious he didn’t see Zayn pull Louis from the tub and initiate what was his threat; either Louis would produce an heir with legs or Zayn would rip Louis apart. Apparently Zayn never listened long enough to learn what Harry knows; the coppery-colored newborn male would shed his cover to be a being made as promised. A wer-mer hybrid of wolf form.

Walking down hill carrying wolf Zayn is a challenge. The wolf is heavy. Ahead of Harry on the trail Louis becomes even more unstable. Again and again he falls. Always he’s careful to not to spill water that his babies ride in to go to the river in. He comforts his babies with his words the each time he falls determinedly pushing through the strain of whatever is causing his gate to he so unstable.

Once they reach the river Louis literally falls forward into the river. The bucket he was careful not to spill dumps the babies into their river freedom. Louis thrashes around at the waters edge. He rolls several times making such splashes that Harry isn’t sure his eyes see what he thinks until the splashing, rolling, twisting cumlinates with Louis laying face down, his chest and arms on earth at the bank, his body from the waist down in the water.

River water.

Watering covering what once were Louis’ spectacular bum and legs, however, once more Louis’ body waist down is no longer nice ass and succulently sculpted thighs. In place of the once full, round bum, thick, lovely thighs, muscular calves and delicate feet is an iridescent, rainbow tail. Opulent with its resplendent beauty

The bargain legs for an heir? Harry snuffed out Zayn’s life and in its taking the revoked deal dies too.

Harry lays Zayn down on the ground near Louis. He sees clearly the two lines of fluttery, butterfly like effects that run either idea of Louis’ spine, his anatomy that is having no fish equivalent though it is acting like gills, and extra source of processing oxygen in this aquatic creature.

Harry attention is drawn to that more than Louis’ ....tail because Louis is panting. The transformation for legged, to mer-form must have been trying.

Bending down to crouch at Louis side Harry pats Louis shoulder, runs a hand through Louis’ silky hair, being soft with all his inquiring touches. “Louis? Sweet creature...”

Louis props himself up on his elbows. He makes one more big pant before speaking with a strain sound to his voice. “Move him closer.”

“What?”

“Move him closer. I need to maintain contact with my realm.”

“What?”

More with a painful pleading to his tone Louis says again “Move Zayn closer so I can touch him while my tail is in the water, make sure you stay firmly on land and do as I do.”

Harry shifts Zayn so the wolf’s body is between he and Louis with firm earth under his feet. Louis tells him to take off his shoes. Put his hands on Zayn once his feet tough earth, in contact with his realm, as he is doing.

Then Louis lays his head down. His hands placed in the black fur. He squeaks as he seems so fatigued, “Will him back.”

Confused Harry asks, “Who the wolf? Will him back? This werewolf who was about to kill you?”

With a definite exhaustedness to his voice Louis says, “No, the man. Will Zayn to come back before he’s forever gone.”

Harry doesn’t know what this means. He’s got a merprince whose hands are on the wolf and the prince wants him to do the same ....

Will Zayn back.

Okay...Harry closes his eyes. He pictures the Zayn he saw who for a fleetingly short amount of time looked like an attractive young man, so handsome he could be assumed to be a model.

In his hands he feels the texture of what he touches change. Texture, then warmth, followed by movement.

Opening his eyes Harry is met with the sight of Zayn in human form, nude, breathing followed by beginning to cough.

Louis retracts his hands from Zayn. “Help him.” He says as he rolls, one roll being all he needs to put himself mostly in water though still where it is very shallow. Much of his opalescent rainbow tail is fully submerged though it’s easily visible because of its brilliance. The three little newborn cluster tight to him. “The darkness is gone. The werewolf too. He’s Zayn the man now.”

What happened, how, Harry can’t fathom. He’s got s sickening feeling from killing something living adding too a realization that the death broke the bond between Zayn and Louis. Once released that which Zayn made possible was retracted. Louis no longer walks the land. His resplendent tails is marvelously flamboyant as only someone like Louis could carry off. At his side in the shallow water he has his babies bringing together a mix that uniquely the merprince; he both a master of mischief, making love and motherliness all wrapped in one magical being.

Harry helps Zayn to sit. Zayn acts like he’s a person whose woken from a long deep sleep. His actions say his senses are taking their time gaining focus.

He looks at Harry like he doesn’t know Harry. He looks at the merprince and his face shows a blush. Zayn has a crush on this merprince.

“Louis, what have I done?” Zayn asks confirming he’s been only a fraction of himself in his journey as the werewolf.

“You made a decision to try being a werewolf because you wanted to fit into my world better than the humans do but it wasn’t enough. You wanted more power so you put your faith in Liam. He filled you with his darkness. Then you made me bear you babies. These with me now are your second mating.”

Zayn’s face is showing a mix of emotions. With sincerity he asks “Did I hurt you?” He tries to move but fails perhaps still to week from his passing. “I would never hurt you intentionally, I could not, I simply love you too much.”

Louis is kinder than he should be. “You were not kind.”

Zayn looks down. Harry thinks he will cry. “I would never want to hurt you. I could not.”

“Liam. Liam only has darkness in him as he is so polluted. His realm has absorbed so much damaging chemical, microscopic soot, that the people release in the air that he has no goodness or purity left.”

Zayn says something like he has a memory of his period of transgression. “He wanted to mate with you.”

“I know.”

“You were able to burn out his darkness that came with me?”

“Yes.”

“Our babies are good and pure?”

“Yes.”

Zayn appears to get a novel idea, or at least an idea directed to another curiosity. “And you are still in love with the human spawn?”

Louis looks at Harry. His voice gets a sappiness to it and he smiles through his answer his face blushing, “Yes, I loved him since I was a very young boy. He’s all I want.”

Zayn looks crestfallen. “Oh...okay.”

It’s the passing of a body close beside Harry, fur brushing against him that stops this exchange as a large sandy colored wolf trots right up to the water’s edge.

She, as she has signs that this she-wolf is a lactating female, walks into the water deep enough that her belly is submerged where she is able to lick Louis’ face as he is stayed in that shallow depth of water.

Louis laughs with her greeting. It seems she has been called to him somehow though how Harry can’t know what their connection. After the greeting the wolf looks back over her shoulder at Harry and Zayn. Harry could swear he saw in the wolf’s expression a look of distain for Zayn being issued, a casual regard of him, Harry, before the wolf looks back at Louis who talks to her again.

“He will need you to keep cleaning him until he’s shed.” Louis says as he sweeps his newborn boy through the water to the wolf’s undercarriage. There the coppery newborn finds a wlof’s nipple and begins to latch on. As he suckles on her Louis goes to praisingly pet this massive maternal wolf who feed his young. She looks to love Louis’ touch. She overtly visibly tries to press her head into Louis’ hands seeking more of it.

With the baby detaching the wolf makes one last swipe with her tongue on Louis’face like to like let Louis know her goodbye. She then takes the tiny babe in her mouth, his need for space well afforded by the bed her tongue provides as she clearly doesn’t harm him in this act to carry. Trotting out of the water she literally makes a nod at Harry while doing a lip-curl at Zayn as if a snarl is repressed only because of her need to carefully carry Zayn’s offspring.

Up the hill away from the river she goes. In the tall grass that proceeds the woods she disappears. How curious this is; another mystical exchange Harry will have to add to the endlessly growing list of puzzlements.

Louis buries his head under the water. Harry sees how in that instant the pretty line of butterfly-looking effects on Louis’ back becomes more prominent a sign that he is breathing air through the water. This is all it takes for activity to come to the water out away from where Louis is anchoring himself close to the river’s edge.

It’s a lot of activity. This is an indication that merpeople have come in and it’s not just one or two, yet the only merpeople to appear at Louis side is the three babies from the first breeding. These three make the contrast between themselves and their new sibs striking. They are very advanced in their skills and quite obviously merbabies with no sign of wolf, werewolf or something far more narfarious such as what would evidently come from Liam’s effect on Zayn.

Louis lifts his head back up from the water. He addresses Zayn. “These are your first born babies. From the werewolf that was in you they have your best traits. These babies are more confident, a little more aggressive that pure merbabies, and they like to travel in a pack like wolves do. Same as them will be these second born babies. By tomorrow they will have shed their cover so you could see their faces. That will be the same with the son, although also he will shed all the meretail and have his legs, paws. Not sure but I think his coat will be dark like your hair. We will see when she brings him out but for the next day he will need her milk and her help to clean his shed away. And he’ll need to gain some size too before he can travel away from her den. Don’t worry, he’ll grow very fast. And because he has got much of me in him he will be a very smart, maybe a bit mischievious more than most pups. That’s the hazard of merboys.”

It must be some call becuase the water deep, out away from view becomes a turmoils of motions, splashes and mermaid made waves.

Louis frowns and makes an overtly deliberate pout. His older babies depart from him quickly rushing out to the active water. He doesn’t need to say it for Harry to know this is a call.

“I have to go. She’s there. It’s time to reconcile my punishment.” Louis confirms.

“She...you mean?” Harry strains to see.

“Yes, she. Merqueen mum. And she’s not happy with me. I must go. Promise me you take care of Zayn, help him find his way. He should probably have Dr Johnson help him get past this drain from what being the wolf and filled with Liam’s darkness has done to him. Maybe deside how he returnes home. Just an ordinary human again.”

Louis forgiving Zayn and caring for him is astonishing. It’s a sign of how Louis’ beauty comes from his heart not just his resplendent arse, or more properly now, tail.

Harry hesitates leaving the river long enough to be sure the mer have left the area of the river off from the bank where he and Zayn are. Once the waters quiet he extends a hand to Zayn.

“Well come on then. Let’s see if we can’t find you something to wear and maybe get some food in you. What do you eat?”

Zayn accepts Harry’s assist to stand and walks on wobbly legs like the death of the wolf and darknessin him was taxing. “You know what I would really like? I’m kind of craving a big garden salad. I feel like I need to lay off meat for awhile.”

Chapter Text

It’s awkward showing Zayn back to his house. Welcoming him in. Giving him some clothes. Making him a salad and calling on a doctor for he who has been so vile and putrescent.

Yet this Zayn free from dark forces seems kindly, shy and for sure sullen with the loss; his love of Louis unrequited. But then again because of Zayn Louis was both brought into Harry’s life only to be take him away again. Harry is thinking how he can go back to the river and wait to see Louis there but then he’s not sure what the punishment will be that Louis indicated he faces with his mother the merqueen.

Instead of acting on the oppressive yearning to run back to water and Louis Harry makes small talk with Zayn. The doctor arrives and Harry shows them to one of the bedrooms to use for an examination. Once that is complete Frank indicates that Zayn is resting. He’ll likely be tired for a few days, very hungry but by all accounts he is healthy.

“It must be very trying for you to accommodate him given his history. It seems he has memories of things he’s done in disjointed waves. I’m not equipped to make a judgement on his kind but I think he’s memories become most impaired with when the darkness rose in him, Liam acting through him, tarnishing what was good. That would be my guess.”

Harry nods having seen the way Zayn was perhaps challenged to recall events clearly. “When Louis talked to him he did so like to explain to Zayn things he thought Zayn might not completely know despite Zayn acting on motivations, so what you’re saying makes sense. I just can’t beleive like that Louis’ legs are gone. My god he’s beautiful, resplendent, as a mer, but I have no clue how we continue a relationship as he is. Adding to that his mum is apparently issuing some punishment. Like Louis hasn’t endured enough believe it or not. And then there’s the matter of me going back to Uni soon. I’m suppose to leave a another five days unless I want to miss the start of the term. Meanwhile I guess Louis expects me to play host to Zayn like nothing’s happened. You saw how horrendous Zayn’s assaults on Louis left him!”

Frank nods. He sctraches his head as if to indicate he is considering his responses. “I understand the position you find yourself in is unpleasant. For Zayn’s action gave you access to a relationship with Louis but at a horrible costs. In none of this have you had any historical understanding. Have you considered Louis has always know this affair with you wouldn’t be forever? He took this bargain fully aware of its consequences both with Zayn and when he faces his mother. How were you thinking it would go given your plans to return to the city once school stated? Were you thinking Louis would just go with you?”

Harry wonders why he hadn’t thought of that because until Frank asks he hasn’t. He kind of gets a hunch that he has been in some fantasy world that with Louis removed he can see it wasn’t ever real. Or at least realistic. His mother kept denying the blend of reality and fantasy even when confronted with it. Now with the merprince distant Harry wonders if he hasn’t been in some long dream brought on by sexual desires and perhaps more his imagination than reality.

Harry can’t give the doctor an answer. “I don’t know what I was thinking. I guess all of this has been simply some summer affair. A thing like in Grease where it’s one thing in one place but something else when you look at the reality of it.”

The discussion turns to Zayn. Frank will contact the Malik family. Prepare them. Harry decides he can continue to let Zayn reside at his until Zayn is ready for whatever comes next.

***

Harry doesn’t know why he goes to the river on the day he is leaving.

He’s come to its bank, those of the lake too, everyday since Louis returned to the waters and he’s not seen Louis. No sign of any other of the merpeople either. Not even a glimmer of hope that the fantasy was real. With great sorrow in his heart he walks back to his house. Zayn is sitting on the deck of the front porch. He’s waiting to see Harry off with Harry’s blessings for him to remain at Harry’s house until such time Zayn is ready to integrate fully back into his family and the community. It’s awkward and yet not that they hug each other goodbye before Harry gets into his car packed with all his possessions for Uni.

Once driving the narrow road to leave Harry goes only a short distance before he has to break suddenly. In his rearview mirror he was stopped but the sight.

Once he passed a dense thicket of trees and shrubs there behind him a large wolf stepped out. Once she was in the road she looked back from where she had came from and waited. Joining her was a trail of pups. Four were like her, sandy colored with a tiny hint of grey. Last to join her in the road crossing was a smaller black wolf. Through he was tiny he was a precocious pixie based of his behavior. Once he caught up with his family he began to immediatley nip at their ears, pull at their tails like he was the most playful pup despite his diminutive size.

Harry steps out of the stopped car and looks at the wolf family from afar. The mother wolf in turn gives him a long stare. It’s like she wants him to see them well because once Harry has she nudges the little black one away from a pup he is harrassing and proceeds to lead the five pups off the road into the thicket on the other side of the rod from which they came.

***

Back at Uni Harry reciences great reviews of his designs. He pours himself into his construction as his heart aches so much from missing the merprince that he hardly takes time to sleep or eat.

His mates find his moodiness and estranged behavior off putting but he doesn’t share with them the cause so he feels increasingly isolated by his self-imposed prison. Who would believe the stories anyway?

Later in the term the next review of the work student designers are constructing requires they select their models. Harry realizes when he looks at the body proportions of various male models that this task causes additional irritatability. Harry is struck by not a single male form is not anything like the one he yearns to desperately to see and touch. Simply there are no ordinary people put together with waist so tiny, a bum so splendid and thighs so luscious like how Louis was built in human form.

Harry suppresses his desire for the extraordinary, makes his model selections, finishes fitting his collection for its showing and extends his choice of wallowing in self-pity without disclosing its cause to anyone. When Christmas comes Harry goes to his mother’s house to have a vacation with Anne and Gemma. Gemma is on a break from her relationship with Ed Sheeran. It seems she’s learned, finally, what are arse Ed can be.

Harry avoids any talk about the past summer. Even when Anne opens the door to conversation he avoids it. She offers information that she learned that Zayn Malik has resurfaced. This she’s learned form a friend of a friend who is neighbors from the community.

Harry feels certain that his mum and sister can almost feel his discomfort with the conversation of Zayn. Harry offers no explanation for how he starkly drops the conversation about Zayn, changes course one-eighty. Simply he can’t get past his yearning for the merprince.

Returning to Uni Harry receives notice that his collection is found to be acceptional by the committee who assessed the student lines. He is to earn an award from the College of Art and he finds that he’s being courted by several top design houses.

All of this should make Harry feel better but even as spring settles in, flowers blooming, days more sunny, Harry still feels a vacuum in his chest where his heart should be.

One particularly beautiful spring day Harry is about to leave the art building that houses the fashion design program when a fellow student comes in, someone Harry knows by sight but not by reputation, and he’s leading a prospective incoming student on a tour.

The prospective student?

Zayn Malik.

Hary and Zayn greet each other with shard measure of cordialness and not.

Harry gets the short version of the story of what Zayn has been doing, why he’s on campus. Zayn’s escort makes a fairly big deal about how Harry’s becoming somewhat of a student celebrity because of his brilliant work in fashion design. Then there is that kind of awkward gap or pause that happens when two people have something to say but neither knows how.

“So, have you seen him, um lately?” Harry asks hopefully though he keeps his head down some to avoid his eyes showing something.

“Louis? No. I have seen the children though. And the puppy. The weather hasn’t been pleasant to be at the water through the winter Very much but I feel I should see them when they permit it. Particularly because he’s not around.”

“What do you mean he’s not around? Where is he?”

“His mum sent him to Ireland. You do realize Niall is from there. She sent him off to Ireland. She’s hoping he will find a proper mate. She said it’s time he make a permanent bond. With one of their kind, no crossing the lines so to speak.”

Crossing the lines? Crossing the lines...by this Zayn must mean no more exposing himself to the wrong types. Werwolves. A Dark Trinity. And what about him? Harry. Is he out too? It seems he must be since Louis has been sent to Ireland to find a mate he can settle down with. Harry never thought to ask why Niall had an Irish accent before now. Clearly crossing seas is not an issue when you are a mer, but to be sent away?

Following this encounter Harry was once more newly heartbroken. Louis was the most wonderful person in his world. Wilder in bed and better at compassion than anyone should ever be. The mystical prince seems lost forever now. With nothing else he can do Harry throws himself back into his work. He spends most every minute working on new designs as he’s considering leaving Uni early for one of several job offers he has gotten from design houses.

His workaholic schedule is what leads his good mates, now worried for so long about his odd behavior, to take action on an intervention plan. The first day of a break in class schedule they find Harry where he’s walled himself up to work on designs.

Covering his eyes with a scarf they use as a blindfold the three friends make. Brief stop at Harry’s flat t find a suitcase and some things to pack, announcing they are going on a holiday.

It’s only when they get to the terminal for their travel that they hand him his ticket. Their secret destination?

A house they’ve rented in a beautiful part of Ireland.

***

Harry and his friends reach the remote location where his friends have leased a vacation home for the week. The home is on a lake. There is a private boathouse, some horses in a stable and a nearby golf course with a large guest lodge.

Lots of tourist come becuase the lake and it’s source river are quite pristine. Besides some people believe there are mythical forces at work in the area. Or so the local lore likes to promote for the benefit of securing tourist dollars.

Harry is allowed to sleep in the first day after their arrival because his friends say they will give him one last day of sulking but then he’s done. They won’t tolerate more of his moodiness and misery.

He makes the most of his ly-in. It’s noon before he rises. Taking an apple and a trail map Harry decides he will walk a trail over to the golf course and see if he can’t catch up with the friends.

Harry’s choice of trail is the one that goes along the lake edge. It’s looks lightly used. A few times he looses his way a few times and has to retrace steps to where the trail is though he knows if he just stays on lake edge, trail or not, he will come to the edge of the golf course at its ninth hole.

Once such necessary retrace Harry decides to avoid choosing instead to skirt the water’s edge. He lifts a branch that is a vail between his face and the view of the water and there it is.

A large rock outcropping is some forty feet off the lake shore. Perched on it, sunning himself, is a person. While much of the person’s form is obstructed by the slope of the rock, the foot end directed away from Harry’s view, Its impossible not to see how at waist position something of this bare chested person is the start of a shimmery, glistening rainbow of colors.

There must be something also farther out in the water on the other side of the rock because the individual on the rock moves to sit up. The angularity of his shoulders and back, the way his hair playfully strays from any properly groomed manner certifies this is without question, the merprince Louis.

Harry makes no move becuase he’s arrested with a mix of surprise and jubilation. What are the odds?

And they he realizes before he can shout out that Louis made the shift, because indeed, the something from out deep, or someone from out deep, made him stir and shift to sit up. In a second or two the distraction comes into view. A merman surfaces to swim around the the large rock outcrop, continuously circling it, likely talking with Louis as he does.

From what Harry can see he’s got quite the masculine build, muscular and chisled. He makes several passes around the rock. Louis will watch him only nonchalantly with out twisting so he is not ever looking back where he could see Harry at the lakeshore. The swimming merman comes to stop along side the rock where Harry can see more of him as he reaches up at the rocks like to try to coax Louis to come down from his perch.

Harry has the distinct impression that Louis is doing something he’s not supposed to and this mer is trying to make Louis comply. Whether it’s because Louis chooses to or because he is charged to do so Louis does eventually drop off the rock, tail first taking a plunge. Once he’s in the water Harry can see by their wakes that Louis takes off swimming fast. In pursuit is the manly mer. Harry thinks it might be a challenge for the merman to catch Louis because Louis seems to disappear from sight with ease, but not before he manages one big porpoising leap and flourishing splash.

Harry can imagine that acrobatics was a deliberate mer-prince-way of showing some sass.

Later that day Harry’s friends return they find a Harry with a totally transformed attitude. He’s cheerful, talkative, charming. He’s also baking and they can’t understand why, he seems to blush everytime they ask him what he did all day.

***

The next day Harry gets up early, surprising his friends as he seems reborn in that he is so cheerful. Harry mentions to the golf-enthused group that he wants to go for a morning hike rahtaer than join them on the green. Surprisingly they want to go hike too. He tries to dampen their interests but fails. Taking the lake trail Harry leads the hike hoping if he sees Louis he can turn them away becuase he doesn’t want to scare Louis off.

Fortunately, or not so, there is no sign of the merprince. After the lads return to the house and have some lunch they decide to go golfing. Harry claims he wants to go check out the horses, perhaps go for a ride if there is one he likes. He knows his city-boy mates won’t choose to join him on a ride so they leave him to do his own thing. As soon as they are gone Harry immediatley runs to the lake leaving the lake trail to slip along the shore for closer view of the water.

Harry’s perseverance is rewarded.

Somewhat.

There at the shore near where Harry was standing the day before as he watched the sunning merprince are two forms have on land, half in water. At first glance Harry isn’t sure exactly what he sees until he closes the distance where he gets a view of what he knows was once described by werewolf Zayn as an act of amplexus.

Under the masculine merman is Louis. Most of both of their bodies are on the exposed shore though each has their large tail fins fully submerged. Louis lying face and chest down has arms reaching ahead of him stretched out the ground. On top of him, literally plastered tightly over him, is the other mer.

It’s impossible for Harry to think this is anything other than mersex, the amplexus.

As quietly as he can approach Harry moves still closer. There isn’t a lot of movement bewteen the two mer. It seems like the merman top has himself penetrating Louis and the action of this occurs totally internally inside Louis like whatever is stuffed in Louis doesn’t require grinding motion like when people mate.

The merman’s words reach Harry’s ears once he’s closer. He is talking with his mouth close to Louis’ ear. “Open your chamber for me, please. Please sweet prince, open your chamber, take my seed.”

Louis has his face pointed away from Harry’s direction so if he replies in any way Harry can’t hear what he says.

The top makes another pass at trying to obtain submission. “Your so beautiful, your body so good, so so good, so hot in your tight walls. Can stay plunged in you like this for an eternity. You keep me protecting your chamber from my seed and maybe we stay like this forever. Lock tougher than until you take my seed, make a bond. You choose sweet prince.”

That threat gets a response Harry can hear. Louis of lifts up so he’s got his face off the ground, a bit of his chest elevated ever so slight as the weight of the brawny male on him is being a strong force to resist.

“I did choose, just not you.” Louis appears he doesn’t have the strength to do more to end the amplexus. His partner topping him is too massive and strong. “Have your pleasure and let me be. My choice is green eyes, long, silky hair. Lips like berries. Legs for ever. Milky white skin, dimples...none of the things you share.”

Harry has an unstoppable impulse. He can’t allow Louis to be mated again by one who Louis openly rejects; not now when Louis was just describing his choice was for him to have still more with Harry. Harry stumbles forward with his legs trembling from the shear need to intervene that overtakes him.

He’s not consciously controlling his response to the compelling need for him to protect his prince. Given he’s not being skin to earth he can’t believe what happens but as he approaches the pair his hands again generate something of a mass of tendrils that become increasingly viny, branching, multiplying and spreading. Louis still lifted hears him, looks right at him as Harry’s extensions make their reach. Louis eyes widen with the surprise as he shouts out.

“Wait!”

It was only the one word, “wait”, while simultaneously one of his hands leaves its place bracing him at the shore as he sweeps the hands back then quickly back forward in a dramatic wave which causes with it a wall of water come form from what was a calm lake. This wave it seems Louis willed crashes forward as he beckoned it cascade washing a torrent of lake water over the conjoin mers and Harry too.

What was Harry’s extension of his powers disappears like Louis’ force abated Harry’s. His hands are again their normal form and the two mers are washed into the lake, parted, what was maybe forced amplexus is no more. All of these changes were made by the sudden power of the merprince when he conjured the water with ease like it was brought upon by the god Poseidon himself.

A head-to-toe wet Harry looks to where Louis is. The water only waist deep. The one who was topping appears hesitating from any action as he keeps a wary eye on Harry.

Louis has a grin of delight on his face that has made crinkles around his eyes. “Harry? How are you here?”

“My friends brought me. For a little holiday. How are you...here? Or just how are you...he was hurting you?”

Louis does an epic eye roll and a dismissive snort about the implication. “Oh so it might seem but not so much. He’s just letting needing to have a good fuck get into his head too much. He keeps begging me to bond with him and I keep telling him no. My mum wants me mated to him so he thinks entirely way too much of himself. But he’s harmless actually. Much to harmless for you to get all protective about.”

“So you weren’t in danger? He’s so muscular and you’re so small, well, most of you. And if you could make him get off by whatever that water thing you did was why didn’t you do it before?”

Louis swims closer. His face makes a coy expression as his eyes takes a long thirsty look over Harry’s body. “Maybe I was just passing time. I’m sent here and must pay for my preference for the wrong type of mate. If my body makes him feel good my mum at least can’t claim I didn’t try. Then she has to let me come home, bonded or not. You see she did like Zayn. Made the same mistake. She forgot to be specific about her terms. And you know now Harry, better than most, never leave a merprince the option to play loose with the rules and terms. She didn’t insist I make my chamber open to him. She only said to let him try to make his bond. He’s been getting his chance.” Louis looks at the merman who remains much sort of sunk low in the water like he still doesn't trust this exposure to one not theirs. “Isn’t that right?” Louis says to the sulking mer, “You’ve gotten many chances to stick your prick in me. As many as you want even though the merprince always says ‘no’ to your bond.”

This is the second time Louis calls himself “the merprince”. He’s referring to himself objectively like he is no more involved emotionally in this expectation than if it were a simple business transaction. He’s referring to the sex like it too is transactional like merely a way to pass the time.

The slightly shamed, utterly rejected merman who Louis’ mother, the queen, expects Louis to mate with swims around like he’s a dog whose been scolded and prefers to both leave and yet is compelled to stay because this is his master. He doesn’t speak to Harry. He remains wary and suspicious.

Louis however works his flamboyant tail around in the water like he is wanting Harry to see how wonderfully extravagant it is. With a seductive way of waving it under the water surface the effect is to make Harry stray deeper into the water. The way Louis’ eyes stay fixed looking at Harry’s mouth make Harry want to look between the spelndid tail and the pink lips of this siren merprince.

It’s a literal siren’s call Harry realizes when he is so close to Louis so that Louis can reach out to touch him. In a flash Louis takes Harry off his feet and under the water. With the propulsion of one flip of the tail Harry realizes he’s been drug way out deeper into lake and well under the surface. What is surprising is how Harry has sustained breath being so made while Louis is kissing him.

This is Louis’ realm. When he kisses Harry his life force breathes into Harry who he keeps in his command. After way too long for any human to survive submerged Louis allows them to surface out in the lake. Only then Louis breaks off the kiss though he keeps his arms around Harry to give Harry lift like Harry is a floaty pool toy.

“I have to fulfill my promise to my mum. It’s my punishment. But I don’t have any intention to sacrifice my love of the true mate of my choice.”

Harry is mystified by the rush of yet more alien-newness of this world he’s been drawn into. He’s about to reaffirm what Louis means to him in kind when he hears voices.

From the shore his friends are shouting to him. It’s a place where the shape of the shore line is what they would have accessed if they decided to walk down to the lake from the ninth hole. Clearly they had decided this. Louis tucks lower in the water so that it’s unlikely the lads see more than the singular oddity. Harry in a lake.

“You okay to swim back?” Louis asks letting go of Harry. Harry treads water, wishes he weren’t in clothes nods “yes”.

“Looks like you will have fun explaining going swimming in those clothes. Come back tomorrow about noon and I’ll make sure to leave this manly, he-mer elsewhere.”

Louis sinks lower. Under Harry in the deep his eyes become their bioluminescent, brilliant blue. Louis basically swims slowly under where Harry is as Harry heads to shore like to escort him safely until Harry nears the bank of the lake and his friends. Before Louis turns back to deeper waters Harry notes that the manly merman was tracking him too. Under the water his eyes have a soft glow too though he blue eyes are not so brilliant. He follows Louis. He looks still somehow to be diminished, definitely no match for the merprince.

Chapter Text

Louis was correct that it wasn’t easy to explain to his friends why he went swimming in his clothing. That however was not nearly as hard as waiting until the next day for a chance to see Louis again.

The subject of Harry’s unorthodox swimming attire comes up the next morning with him passing on golf again. His mates giving him a warning as they leave to go play about the water inform him “some of the locals we spoke to yesterday claim they’ve seen stranger things in the water here than a Brit swimming in his regular clothes, but be carful or you might find you’ll be indoctrinated into their local lore.”

Heading to the lake Harry has decided to wear his swim shorts. He isn’t there for more than a minute before he sees ripples in the water signally Louis is coming fast. Surfacing near shore Louis is all grins as he comes to the bank of the lake far too shallow to conceal him much. The majestic opulence of his tail takes Harry’s breath away. This beautiful creature should he ever be discovered would surely be a prize any collector would want to harness for their keeping.

“Louis I’m simultaneously challenged to understand how the stars aligned for us to meet up, feeling giddy over seeing you after so long and also overwhelmingly frightened for the chance you could be discovered when you look like this. The people here have stories about what lives in these lakes, if you were discovered...”

Louis laughs as he wraps his arms around Harry’s legs to lightly pull taking them out from under Harry making Harry fall into the shallow water with him. Once plunged in Louis proceeds to roll Harry under the surface with a kiss keeping that connection again like he did the day before so even as Harry is under the foot-deep water his need for oxygen is sustained by this kiss between them.

One gentle wave motion with a fan of his magnificent tail sends them into barely inch deep water where Louis pulls back from the kiss because Harry is clear of water and able to breath on his own. Instead of Harry’s lips Louis seeks places on Harry’s neck, the sensitive place under his jaw, the curve of his ear to begin to kiss placing these kisses so lightly on flesh as they are pauses breaking up his words. “Want you ...to stay with ...the giddiness idea ...like the ...thought ... we must have ...been brought ...together by ...the stars...”

Louis begins to kiss over more of Harry’s body ever so slightly taking the kisses incrementally lower only occasionally sometimes making a brief, passing attempt, to reconnect with Harry’s lips. Harry knows before Louis gets there that Louis is going down on him. How they become where they are beached reminds Harry of the first time when Louis woke him from near drowning with a kiss that segwayed into sucking the fifteen year old Harry off.

Harry closes his eyes and lets Louis fiddle with the elastic waistband of his shorts, working them down which frees a far too happy erection that formed with all the seductive kissing. One hand takes Harry’s cock. Louis’ mouth warm and wonderful consumes as much length as the merprince can. He hums on Harry’s cock, hums, tightens his lips, bobs on Harry’s length likely suggesting he is wanting Harry’s arousal to build fast.

Once Harry is reduced to moaning and writhing Louis pops off.

“Want you ontop of me.” Louis says with a raspy whisper.

Harry’s brain is muddled with the blowjob. His worry no less heightened by how Louis has dismissed it for sake of these physical pleasures.

“What?”

With a roll to turn himself back side presented he reaches his arms up just as Harry saw he was doing day before this putting his hands on dry ground. “Bond me please, now, before we are discovered.”

Harry is perplexed. He’s got this raging erection and a need to fuck but he’s confronted with a tail that is shimmery, sleek and smooth. He sees no sign of entrance, nothing that allows him a place for his penetration, but Louis is asking for it.

“Mount me, Harry, mount me, make a bond please.”

Louis had some hint of desperation in his tone. He makes an undulation which only emphasizes how much his mer-form is much too seductive though still inconceivable as to how it is to be mated. Harry recalls how werewolf Zayn had this massive, spade-head cock and, although Harry never saw what was buried in Louis yesterday when Harry discovered the two mers in their amplexus, he assumes a mer penis is equally so elaborate. So what is Harry to do; he is just a man.

Louis almost cries out as his wiggling undulation on the bank of the lake looks like one who wants so much for a proper, good dicking, “Would you just please mount me, please make a bond!”

Removing his swim shorts completely Harry moves to Louis. The lad beneath him is both familiar where his torso is human and alien where he is a mer. Harry makes himself sealed with Louis, his chest on Louis’ back, his pelvis pressing again the splendid rainbow tail that starts at Louis tiny waist. He even makes his arms parallel to Louis’ stretching up onto earth even including having his hands rest over Louis’ such that his palms are pressed over the back of Louis’ hands and their fingers intertwined.

Louis begins moves beneath him. Harry didn’t see Louis doing this yesterday when he was under the manly mer pleading to bond him. Harry becomes quickly aroused by the friction that this provides rubbing of Louis mer-arse against his hard cock. What Louis is doing intensifies the urge in Harry to have an entrance. He has no idea how the rhythmic rubbing brings him still more and more arousal and yet it does so when his knob feels a very slight welcoming of merflesh parting for his cock Harry finds his cock slips right in where he had been sure there was no such opening.

“Ah, y-yesss. Bond me ppleeasse.” Louis stammers shakily, body under Harry’s, trembling. The anatomy Harry has entered he cannot comprehend but it feels very right. So hot and so tight his urges take over and he ruts himself deeper with increasing confidence this should be okay for Louis.

The more animated Harry gets as he continues thrusts he feels a building sensation of power. Power that can be the only way to describe because something is pulling at him like he too would discover if he were to suddenly extract himself his cock would be far more than a mere mortal man’s in form. The moaning, affirmations in “ahs” and “oh Harry’s“ are assurances Louis gasps out as Harry continues to pound more and more powerfully the beauty under him.

Being so keyed into the sensuousness of Louis mer-form where his loins meets the prince’s Harry is taken by quite the surprise when he looks up at their entwined hands for what was to be a one second chanced glance.

Chanced, then stricken with a shock his look lingers a few seconds longer.

Harry’s hands have changed. Unlike how it happened before when his hands went to become woody and hard as he acted to assault Louis’ attackers this time he has hands that seem like a mix of mossy tendrils and muchly normal men’s hands but he’s made contact with the earth while making this bond. He has tiny, almost microscopic, tendrils extending into the earth.

Harry blurts out “Make a bond? Make a bond? Bond you to me and make you be mine, to be able to mate with me on land?”

“I accept your bond.” Louis murmurs. With that said Louis’ body jolts. It makes such a series of strong clenches to tighten on Harry’s cock acting to rip from Harry a wholy intense orgasm that takes Harry’s awareness from really tracking on Louis under him with Harry riding his waves of pleasure he has yet another complete surprise when he comes down from his high.

The merprince under him has a fin no more. Harry’s cock comes slipping from the body he’s plundered and the bum his cum-slurry and cock spill from is Louis’ human form. Full, round, fabulous arse. Firm, muscular thighs. Fit calves and feet small but fitting to a person so finely delicate in stature. Harry’s hands that his lifted off Louis’ have lost their mossy texture. He takes Louis in them to turn the merprince over and up to him as he moves to the side.

Louis smiles, his hands go to Harry’s face where fingers grace Harry’s dimples and lips with a playful caress. “You see it takes the power of a Trinity not myself to invite me from my realm. We must bond with mutual consent.”

Chapter Text

Actually, walking back to the house was a challenge because Harry isn’t sure how is he going to handle this if they pass someone on the trail.

After all, Louis walking ahead of him on the trail in his human form completely naked. His body is more perfect than Harry remembers. His waist so tiny, and his bum so round, so big, all Harry wants is to part those cheeks and bury himself between them.

Fortunately they make it back without encountering anyone on the trail. Once there Harry takes Louis straight to his bed. Louis is all too willing to be made to beg as Harry spends quite a long time getting Louis’ hole worked with his mouth, tongue and fingers before he gives Louis the dick he moans and begs impatiently for. He makes sure to turn Louis facing up before he gets to dicking because he wants to study every minute change to how Louis’ face becomes while he drives each inward stroke extremely slowly to start. Something about this begging he creates is healing for Harry since he himself has been begging in anguish for one more chance to get it right with Louis.

The way Louis moves when Harry is edging him, carefully keeping Louis toggling near orgasm but not giving to it, becomes a nearly sadistic pleasure for Harry with Louis making a funny “ah, ah, aah” noise that trails off into a gasp like he can hardly get enough air. He works his pelvis like he wants to offset Harry’s way of fucking him that is deliberately, teasingly slow. Louis’ hands grip the sheets under them and it’s a hold so tight his strain is shown on his whiten knuckles.

Harry gets to a point where he knows it is unavoidable that he is going to come so he pulls out, shoots his load over Louis and before he has dumped it all he rams his still spasming cock back into Louis driving it fully hard and deep perfectly penetrating the sweet spot that pushes Louis into the orgasm he’s been denied by Harry’s style of fucking torturously slow.

It’s a long, deep kiss that Harry offers Louis as Louis whines a little painful sounding at first until Harry’s kiss softens him. Lingering with post-climax kissing they lay together intertwined, no rush to clean up their mess.

When Harry hears the sound of his friends retuning to the house he gets a startle. How does he explain this one?

***

Harry looks blissed out when he joins his friends who have returned with food and far too many golf stories which at least keeps them from focusing on what Harry looks like he’s been doing.

Louis comes downstairs wearing some of Harry’s clothes before anyone gives Harrry a chance to announce his guest. A soft throat clearing interrupts all their banter and four turn to look at this interloper.

“Hi,” Louis says with a little wave and a smile, “I’m Louis.”

The three lads who’ve never seen Louis before have dropped chins and a range of expressions from surprised, curious and surely a large case of charmed. Not that these friends are into boys that way but it’s hard not to be taken by Louis’ appearance. His pixie-like perfection is accentuated by how he is draped in a shirt of Harry’s that’s far too big for him making his delicatenss more pronounced. He’s got on a pair of Harry’s jeans and like he did before when wearing them he’s rolled up the hem so his ankles are exposed. Exposed ankles and bare feet combined with a shirt that slips repeatedly off one shoulder showing where Harry now regrets that he had sucked a dark mark at one point while they fucked, oops, all combines to give Louis an appearance that can only be described as boy-toy or twink.

Harry’s friends regain sensibilities enough to look between Louis and Harry for several rotations before his friend Shawn stammers “H-Harry? Who is this?”

Harry goes to Louis sweeping Louis into his arms as Harry makes a ineffective attempt to right the shirt on Louis’ shoulders which refuses to comply. “Louis, like he said Louis.”

Shawn restates his question. “And where did we find this Louis?”

Harry laughs uncomfortably and blushes. It seem like everyone is staring at the mark, a blatant sign of ravishing. “On a hike. Hiking the trails...”

Harry gives up and given that Louis is smiling at him and melting himself into the reception Harry’s arms offered there is no downplaying that what we have here is a pair of lads who’ve had a very physical connection and were not merely “out for a hike”.

Josh, Harry’s friend who is the self-appointed leader, steps in. Extending a hand he welcomes Louis. “I’m Josh, this is Shawn and the one with his mouth still hanging wide open is Charlie. Nice to meet you Louis. Having a vacation here? I mean I presume becuase I’m not picking up an Irish lilt to your voice.”

Louis hand taking Josh’s Harry reads the impact of it on Josh. Louis has so delicate a hand. Straight or not it’s the kind of contact that makes any man feel more power. Power and perhaps a need to be in the space of one so pretty.

Charlie and Shawn shake Louis’ hand as well. Each has what is a reckoning with a surprise enchantment. Each was not expecting it and yet the touch with Louis’ hand in theirs puts them under somewhat of a charm.

When these greetings are completed the friends have fairly smitten-like grins, oddly, because again, these are Harry’s straight friends. All unlikely to swing both ways.

Pushing their enchantment aside Shawn opens boxes they brought home, “Pizza?”

Charlie begins to pour glasses of water. Plates are provided by Josh and the question of where Louis came from is pushed aside. By the time they’ve worked their way through the three different types of pizzas the odd thing Louis has done with eating is hard to not notice.

He first watched with unusually keenness for their approach to how they all dug in taking a slice in causal lack of circumstance before he followed their lead. He next took a great deal of time inspecting the pizza; looking at what is ontop and even turned the slice over to look at it’s crust bottom. From that point on he took great measure to check out every item that was part of the various toppings. This couldn’t go without comment.

“Louis have you never had pizza before?”

Louis giggles. He’s face shows he’s finding the flavors fairly delightful. “Um hum.”

The three looks at each other again. Josh makes a decision. “So Harry just where did you find your friend here?”

“On the trail.” Harry says. He smiles at Louis to let Louis know to stay with the lie. “Right Louis?”

“On the trail, the trail...it seems a bit cozy with you for random meeting on a trail. And he’s wearing what I believe is your clothes.”

Louis giggles again going to take another slice to his plate. He gets a bit of the sass-look on his countenance. “Like Harry said not the trail. I fell. He happened upon me. My clothes were a mess. He helped me out of them. But cozy...cozy? Bet that’s one way of saying it. More correct to say that we’ve been upstairs fucking, but you can say we are ‘cozy’, sure.”

Two of Harry mates had only just taken a drink of water with the uncomfortableness of what Josh states and with Louis’ stark honesty Charlie and Shawn simultaneously spit their water before they could swallow it.

Taken off guard Josh gives. “Oh. Okay. Right.”

Louis gets his bite from the pizza as a break to consider his next thought with taking his time chewing it before he shares it. “But before you get the wrong idea we knew each other from home. We’ve been together before. I’ve been in love with Harry forever.”

Outright shock diminishes with Louis’ refreshing honesty. How can anyone argue? This objective directness allows the rest of the meal go without more inquiry. It helps that Louis holds back from joining the conversation and mostly listens. When Harry says Louis will be staying the night there are no objections. In the morning this is still the case which is remarkable because Harry is quite sure that his mates had to of heard them having sex, several times after they turned in and twice in the morning before they joined the other lads at breakfast.

It happens though despite the in-their-face sexual nature of Harry and Louis’ relationship that the lads are genuinely extremely gracious with Louis. Even a tad bit best described as ever still ‘charmed’ by the twink in their midst. It’s not lost on Harry how they like to linger in watching Louis’ every move. They like to jump to help him or hand him things and they very much like to like to lean into him whenever possible like to take a little whiff as to catch a hint of his scent.

Another sign of Harry’s mates charmed-acceptance of Louis interloping is the way they are avoiding comments like how, why, is it that Louis is again in Harry’s clothes. This most that is said is if Louis has clothing that needs washing and Harry doesn’t want to do Louis’ laundry they do have the option in their guest house accommodation of sending out laundry to the guest lodge beside the golf course complex. Harry dismisses this, saying that “he likes the way Louis looks in his clothing”. It’s true because Louis is so delicate, so smol in them and because also, what they don’t know yet, Harry’s too-long shirts hide Louis’ sensational bum. Harry can imagine that if these straight young men were to see Louis’ arse they would go gay for it. Not to blame that reaction because right, dat-ass is splendid.

.......

The arse-concealing dress code continues through the next couple of days with Harry finding the oddest thing he has yet to explain about Louis and the clothes sharing being what come up with Shawn one morning as the three friends were making a pitch to coerce Harry and Louis to come golf with them for a change. The four had become very much aware that when they went to the greens in their absence the two who remained at home filled their hours alone at the house with sex. Shawn had become decidedly persistent as the vacation time was ticking down quickly and Harry had yet to go anywhere with them or do anything much that the accommodation offered.

“...since it seems shoes are the one strange thing that Louis is both missing and incapable of borrowing we could stop by the pro shop, get him some shoes and then the five of us play some golf.”

“My shoes are missing?” Louis says with a bit of playfulness about his manner of speaking. He’s putting Harry on the spot with this one.

Harry takes the challenge of creating a reasonable explanation. “Oh, right. Didn’t we leave them beside the lake?”

Louis likes how Harry made up a good story. It’s evident in his smile. His fingers go to give a touch across Harry’s mouth that is as much a caress as it is a playful slap. “Indeed we left a lot at the lake, a l o t, didn’t we.”

Harry’s breath catches, he has that feeling like when one imagines they’ve skipped a beat of their heart. How has he not considered what he’s done? How has Louis gotten into this world where he has no place? How does he go on and to where? How does he go back?

What happens in two days when Harry and friends return to Uni, their vacation over?

Harry sits up practically knocking Louis off the couch where they are sat as Louis was more or less in his lap. “Louis we haven’t discussed it but will you come with me back to the city when we leave?”

The room is quiet as Harry’s three mates hold silent weighing what this means that Harry is making this proposal. Proposal being the operative word because the ask has that feel to it. A permanence, a significance.

Louis puts himself securely back into Harry’s lap. Arms go around Harry. He tucks his face into Harry’s neck and hair. “Love to go anywhere with you. Shoes though. You should get me some new shoes.”

Harry begins to kiss Louis. His forehead, his cheekbones, his defined jawline. Between the kisses Harry suggests the other lads give up the insistence of the golfing expedition. Josh, Shawn and Charlie must get the impression that within seconds regardless of whether they have left sex is going to happen. But hey, the goal of getting Harry out of the city was to get him out of his moody, depressed funk. Goal achieved.

So how can it be hours later that they are still doing it?

Not only are they still doing it but the three have walked into the house to be met by the sight of them, Harry and Louis, in the same room where they were when the three golfers left. The difference is that they are on a large rocking chair. Harry is sitting on it, naked. Louis is sitting on him. Also naked. Quite literally sitting on him. Harry dick is buried in Louis’ arse. Harry’s hands filled with a pair of voluptuous cheeks being far more than they can easily hold, their heads pressed together for stability.

With being so deeply engaged with their fucking neither breaks off from their intensity. The chair rolls with the pace which Louis is riding Harry’s dick. The pair breath heavily, that being the only sound other than some “slap, slap, slap...” sounds of their sweaty bodies meeting each time Louis bottoms. The sight of Louis nude gives the three their first concrete sight of what they’ve gathered glimpses when he was fully clothed of only to have now confirmed.

His glistening body is sin incarnated. His much too plumb bum is a accentuated by his small waist, his lithe torso, shoulders pronounced with their architectural sculpted build, his arms both lithe and curvy with their light muscling. His hair has gotten a crazy, messy look to it like it doesn’t know what way to go; likely a sign that Harry was a time or two with his hands making it this.

Harry is so focused on the feeling in his core, wanting his bottom to come first that he doesn’t have any clue he’s got three set of eyes watching all of this. He feels Louis beginning to come before Louis announces it. Harry stops Louis from sliding down bottoming out on his full length such that Louis is held still positioned where Harry can get the strongest pleasure of Louis’ spasming rim clenching near the head of his cock. What he doesn’t realize is those behind them can get a perspective of how endowed Harry is, how much of him was being taken by this tiny peanut of a powerbottom.

It’s only after they’ve both come down, each seeking the lips of the other, that a sound of throat clearing brings the news that there has been an audience.

Chapter Text

Properly smitten is the only way to describe the aftermath of unintended voyeurism.

Rather than a lot of awkward banter about coming in upon the two Harry’s mates from Uni took it in stride so well as to be only described as young men without gay tendancies who apparently have one exception or potential gay-weakness; everybody loves Louis. Ironically the reason why they came back somewhat earlier than normal is that they had gone by the pro shop where they did pull their money together to buy Louis a pair of shoes. Once Harry and Louis are back in clothing the three friends jockeyed each other around until it was determined which one of them would offer Louis the new shoes while sat at Louis feet like the honor was bestowed upon he who looked up to Louis like he is some prince.

Well indeed Louis is just that.

A merprince. A merprince who be some combination of their bonding Harry’s responsibility because Harry’s quite sure Louis can’t go back home.

Louis is tickled with delight over the shoes as Charlie offers them to him. He snatches them, takes them to his chest in a hug like these are the best things ever. Charlie grins up at him like a Love-struck fool meanwhile Josh and Shawn loiter around with their own puppy-love adoration has struck them mute as Louis pronounces “These are amazing I’ve never had shoes or anything like them before!”

Maybe it’s that the three enchanted men don't hear Louis’ odd statement because they are so giddy under his spell magnified by the realization that he is the most preciously perfect twink beyond what one could imagine and it goes unnoticed but no one questions the oddity of it. Instead Charlie’s reply, “So you like them then” discounts any issue of why Louis would say that. Hadn’t he previously said he left his shoes at the lake?

“Like them? I love them!” Louis chirps. He sits down being so directed by Shawn.

“Try them on then. Let’s make sure they fit.” Josh says. “We got you some socks too.”

Louis slips the shoes on and let’s the doting trio do the laces. He’s beaming with glee. They fit well. He smiles looking at his feet, waving them by touching toes to toes and heals to heals of the shoes demonstrating his shear delight with them.

“We didn’t know what color so we talked about it and decided blue would be nice.”

“It’s wonderful. They are wonderful. So are all of you.” Louis says. He puts an hand briefly on Shawn’s face which causes a blush but that obvious sign of smitten aside Harry gets the distinct feeling his friends all have outright stiff boners hidden in their pants.

***

Because it’s the day they are to go they don’t do a hike which is what Louis has wanted to do a lot of once he became the owner of a nice pair of shoes. Every hike they had done was always keeping away from the lake edge. This was an choice that Harry was sure was deliberative on Louis’ part. Somehow this water-estranged status causes Harry remorse despite his jubilation over having Louis in his world, returning to his city life with him, his to fuck away endless hours as Louis has a near insatiable appetite for sex.

It was one of their hikes the day before they took them to the highest knoll where they had a good overlook of the countryside for miles in all directions. That view afforded them the opportunity for Harry to learn how it is Louis traveled from his home the waters in England to the lake here in Ireland. Louis took the river of home to and outlet, made the crossing to come to an inlet here in Ireland and traveled its river to the lake where he and Harry discovered each other again.

The idea of Louis traveling so far, alone, in open waters where all sorts of hazards could be encountered, risking human sightings of him, has Harry quite happy that Louis will be safe with him. All except for one thing; what of seeing his family? Louis hasn’t said a thing about it to Harry but hiding his needs well as he has been doing hasn’t made it so Harry doesn’t notice the little things. Like whenever the other lads talk about their families Louis is keenly listening. When Josh showed Louis a new picture of his sister’s first born the feelings it created in Louis to see this baby person so loved was telling; while Louis doesn’t say anything about it to Harry it is very certain that he misses his own babies. How big will the wolf child be now? Normal dog pups approach full size for their breed in as many months as it’s been since he was born. What of the wolf-child’s sisters from the shared conception and the sisters and brother who were Louis’ first born? How much suppressing his nurturing instincts is Louis silently enduring to be with Harry?

Harry heads to the bathroom to get his toiletries to add them to his suitcase. At the bathroom he encounters Shawn who was using the same one as Louis despite the option of using any of the other bathrooms since this large guest house rental has four. It’s not lost on Harry that since the voyeurs came upon them at sexual climax that they’d developed a share theme to garnering close proximity to Louis, particularly if he is by chance nude. It’s like they run a preplanned approach to mix up who might say need to use the bathroom Louis is in if he’s bathing, or randomly come to Harry, and Louis’, room if Louis might be changing. And never do they knock on those occasions, they just barge in. So there it is; there is something about these straight young men that is a weakness for Louis.

Shawn steps out of the bathroom where Louis was taking a bath before their travel commences since the morning rising was several bouts of sex as per usual leaving him rather sticky with a mix of dried cum and sweat. Shawn blushes seeing Harry catch him unnecessarily invading Louis’ privacy. He too has his toiletry kit like to give the appearance he was just packing his bath things like Harry is about to do.

“Oh, Harry, hiya...um, just collecting my things.” Shawn says, blushing, eyes diverted down. “Really didn’t know he was in there. You know, he was in the tub and being perfectly quiet.”

Harry does a sly smile. He knows that anyone standing in the bathroom at the sink can easily see the entire tub off reflections with the way mirrors are set in the room. “Sure.”

Harry starts to pass him to enter. Shawn stops him by taking his arm. He lowers his voice so no one can hear him. “You know Harry I had the strange idea that he was completely submerged under the water. Like it was covering him head to toe. The tub is quite full.”

Harry knows this is common. Louis lies under water and breathes. Having legs hasn’t stopped his body from using what are his gill-like apparatus.

“He likes to do that.” Harry says dismissively starting to enter the bathroom until once again Shawn’s hand on his arm stops him.

“No Harry. You don’t understand. He was under the water the entire time is was in there. Fifteen minutes. He never came up for air Harry. Never. I would have thought he were dead, drown, but he moved his feet every so often while he remained under water for fifteen minutes.”

“What are you saying?”

“I’m saying, I’m wondering actually, that day when you went swimming. The day before he showed up, what were you really doing? You were way out there in the deep. It wasn’t a casual swim with all your clothes. And then he shows up with you the next day. He said he left his shoes at the lake one day then the next day he says he’s never had shoes before. How old is he? Twenty? I’m mean he looks so much younger, like he’s Peter Pan but he also said once you’re the same ages. How has lived this long and never had shoes? How does he lay under water for fifteen minutes? How did you decide to swim in the lake like it’s normal when fully dressed? Why does he affect us like he does, like we are beholden to him?”

“What do you think Shawn? What do you expect me to say? Your implications are pretty far-fetched wouldn’t you say?”

Shawn remains resolute. “I’m saying there are locals here who talk about myths of the area. They even have some art over at the club house restaurant, paintings done years and years ago by some local artist who lived here before modern cameras and other ways to document things. The art work all depicts the same theme. Nereus, an Oceanid, a water nymph. I’m asking you, are you going to tell me how Louis can stay under water for a quarter of an hour and not come up for air. Is he from the lake? The legends are their are water nymphs that live here still today. They say if a nymph takes a human mate they can make a connection so that the human can breath under water too.”

Harry is struck by the persistence of Shawn given how Shawn is normally a very affable sort of bloke. Harry shakes his head ‘no’.

“Shawn I think you needed this holiday more than me. Fuel to feed your creative fires so when you gat back to Uni you can write some fantasies into your music for your class requirements. Think about it. Louis doesn’t have a local accent. He’s English, not Irish. He said, I confirmed we’ve know each other for a long, long time. Came from the same part of England. Louis is just messing with you because he is a sassy little pixie and likes to shake people up. He’s got four sisters back home, Lottie, Fizzy, Phoebe and Daisy. His mother’s first name is Jay. He does have a friend who is originally from around these parts, the friend’s name is Niall. Now you can confirm that with him, I’m not making anything up. I swear everything I said is true. Ask him yourself. And I promise he is not, what did you say, an Oceanid, a water nympd, or Nereus. His godly demeanor comes from having too many men like you three fall for his charms and he gets a bit of arrogance since he has always had a thing for me. So much that he came here too to find me.”

Harry thinks he has Shawn shut down. As he walks into the bathroom he hears Shawn throw one more challenge into the well contrived story.

“Okay then Harry, sure, Louis is not an actual water nymph, right. It is curious however how he got here since last night I saw you buying another ticket and struggling with the most basic of questions. How it is that it took you several minutes to come up with a sir name for him seems sort of odd to me, but whatever you say.”

***

Shawn’s curiosity is why Harry has told Louis “don’t gawk too much as they travel back”. Louis tries to not stare, study, get bewildered or blatantly amazed at all the new other world things they encounter but it’s hard. Basically Harry keeps Louis in his arm, herding him, leading him, constantly in contact as they make their journey. He also allows for the singular best distraction to divert the other three from seeing the expressions on Louis’ face as so many things he is confronted with are new to him. Simply Harry made sure Louis was wearing a shirt that could not hide Louis’ bum so to make the other lads be able to follow behind them when they were walking from car to transfer to car so the lads only looked mostly at Louis’ arse not his expressive face.

There was one time it was blatant Louis hadn’t been out of the woods so to speak, or in his case the water. They came upon an escalator and Louis just stopped, stared, studied and even questioned. Harry reaction was to fully ruffle Louis’ hair and say for all to hear, “Funny Louis very funny. You know they think you are Nereus. Reincarnated from the year thirteen-fifty! Stop fucking with their minds.”

The glances exchanged between Shawn, Charlie and Josh indicate a mixed review on Harry’s ruse.

Chapter Text

Having devoted friends is an essential now that Harry has a land-bound merprince living with him. He’s got so much work to do as the end of the term is rapidly approaching, with it the big reveal for design students of their final collection before its summer break. Once again Harry is consumed with work.

Fortunately Louis had learned to read thanks to Irma and he likes to to to the library at the University for hours and hours of consumption of a wide array of reading materials. It’s many of these occasions that he has Charlie, Shawn or Josh escorting him or keeping an eye on Louis because there are still troubles with little things that come up that Louis doesn’t have real-world experience with.

Harry’s best mates never object to being de facto guardians escorting Louis when Harry is not able to keep Louis close with him. They like this role as it affords them time to have a little bit of contact, sometimes taking Louis’ hand, or having to put a hand on Louis’ back or waist. It’s enough of this touchy-adoration that once Josh’s girlfriend met Louis as Josh was chaperoning Louis on one occasion the unusual behavior of Josh with Louis was cause for them to break up. The girlfriend choosing to make the break in a quite dramatic public display by shouting at Josh in a crowded cafe off campus about how she was calling it off because Josh is “blatantly, openly obsessing over his best friend’s twink-boyfriend behind the friend’s back while in complete denial about how he is gay for the twink-prince”. This is how she referred to Louis as she went on and on throwing accusations our such how she realizes “Josh is only using her to appear straight” and she is “not having any more of this pathetic role of playing his beard so he can wait in the wings for his chance with the twink-prince”.

Hearing this story after it happened from Josh gave Harry a mix of emotion which is becoming his new norm. On one hand he’s always blissfully happy because he and Louis are together. On the other he is terribly guilt-ridden knowing he has Louis at a cost of Louis’ relationship to his family. That the girlfriend happened to invent the term “twink-prince” for describing the merprince is both ironically accurate and painfully telling. Anyone who meets Louis can get a sense of his distinction. He’s not like ordinary people. He’s otherworldly.

How much is Harry keeping of Louis really that different than what Zayn did?

This is the question that is on Harry’s mind as he walks to the library in search of Louis.

Harry’s recent collection is becoming less of the frilly and floral themes he’s incorporated in collections of the past. This time he’s is making a more sporty line, something he knows is inspired by Louis. So deeply permeating Harry’s current brand of creativity is the question of how things would look on Louis, so much so that the very piece he is wanting to see fit on a model today can only be pulled off if Louis were to wear it. Any other male model wouldn’t have the curves that the cut of the jacket needs. Thus he is in search of Louis for a final fitting.

Once Harry gets to the second floor of the library he heads to the section housing the books that cover Louis’ current subjects of interests. He hears Shawn talking as he gets close. Sure enough Shawn and Charlie are both with Louis. While they are standing there as he searches its highly unlikely they are anything other than entertained. Louis is on the floor on his hands and knees, chest down so he’s eye-level with the lowest shelf of books as he searches. This has his bum presented making it that where the two lads stand they have the perfect place for feeding fantasies. Harry knows before he takes a quick glance that they each have an outline of their semis visibly pressing against their pants because he’s seen this with them many times before a result of too much Louis on the brain.

Harry goes to Louis without interrupting Shawn’s conversation. Talking Louis’ hands he pulls Louis up, kisses him, without saying a thing to either Shawn or Charlie. This stops Shawn who was speaking mid-sentence.

“Sorry to interrupt,” Harry says after the drawn out kiss ends, “looking for my muse to help me out.”

Louis wraps his arms around Harry looking eager to be of need. “My help with what? I thought you were working until much later.”

“I am. I mean I’m going to be but I need to borrow your body.”

Louis giggles. He goes to his knees, a hand cupping over Harry’s crotch. As he does this Shawn and Charlie exchange the standard look that’s become the routine among Harry’s jealous friends while Harry gives them an eye-roll and shakes his head ‘no’. He pulls Louis up. “No, Louis, not like that. It’s not always about sex all the time you know.”

Louis makes a deliberately exaggerated pouting expression. “I promise I’ll be good...or bad, if you prefer...”

“Oh god”, Charlie says, “looks like this is our cue to leave you two be.”

To this Shawn snorts, “Unless we are invited to watch.”

“Isn’t that the type of comment that got Josh into trouble with Katrina?”

“Actually, yes. It just didn’t sink in until she met Louis. When she saw him, how he is prettier than she could imagine, any chance Josh had to pass Louis off as no threat to their relationship was gone. The problem we were just talking about is that before the holiday Josh had given up his room at our flat to move in with Katrina. We had already found someone new to take his place on the lease. Our new flatmate is all set to move in before the new school year starts. Only now Josh wants to stay on at ours since it’s off with Katrina’s. We were wondering...since you have that extra room at yours?”

The lads continue the conversation about the extra room and how, no, Harry doesn’t really want to share his flat as they leave the library walking campus. “...it’s not that I don’t like the idea of the help with spitting bills, it’s that I use that room for storing my fabrics. I’ve got at least fifty bolts of various fabrics stored there now and I don’t want to sell them. I can’t leave them at school year round.”

“Well just think about it as a maybe temporary thing. Like maybe we can ask around about other accommodations and between the lot of us work something out. Josh is in a rough spot with the breakup. We can’t be a complete arse to a new person who we hardly know by keeping on the roommate he is to replace. How about this, don’t you plan to go to your country home this summer again? What if you took the fabrics there and just gave us the summer to work out if things will work for Josh to find some other place or the new guy. For the few weeks that are left of this term can he just chill on your couch or something?”

Harry considers this reasonable. It is his responsibility in part for the problems between Josh and Katrina. Josh is a very good friend. Besides this arrangement has to be settled in the next twenty-four hours since that was when the roommate turnover was set to happen.

***

Josh taking up the couch for his temporary respite until the term is finished isn’t having any complicating effects on Harry and Louis’ routines. It’s been a few days and all is good. Good, might be an understatement. It could be said everything is great. Harry has his entire collection finished, calls coming in from Fendi and Gucci offering him summer internships, Louis in his bed, so he’s feeling as if the world is his.

The only exception is the ongoing worry about how fair their situation is to Louis.

For that reason Harry declines the internships. He has to get his merprince to the country where at least during the summer there is a chance to see the babies. How much have the five merbabies changed? How is the wolf-child fairing? How will the merqueen Jay react to Louis coming back as a legged-being?

Harry ponders these issues as he walks back later from meeting with models about styling choices. He is anxious to get home quickly because Josh is busy tonight and if Harry gets home before too late he and Louis can have a private dinner before Louis will do what he normally does, begin the process of several hours of making love.

Looking up at their third floor flat’s window as he approaches it Harry imagines Louis will be reading his latest library find. Ever since Louis read the Karma Sutra he’s been on a kick to welcome Harry each day with a new approach to sex. After they tired he reads aloud to Harry passages of whatever book he’s reading and then it’s onto another position. The merprince loves reading, learning and practicing what he’s learned.

Harry is about to enter the street level exterior door when it opens. Who he is face to face with has Harry surprised.

“Zayn?”

“Harry.”

Harry’s utter shock at this encounter is clearly not as surprising to Zayn. “What are you doing here?” Harry asks looking past Zayn as he thinks this isn’t a random coincidence that Zayn is at his building.

“I was coming this way and my new flatmates asking me to drop off a couple things to your flat.”

“What? I don’t understand? Drop off for who?”

“I know this is an odd coincidence. I moved into a flat with Charlie and Shawn. They found some of things that were Josh’s, asked me to drop them by his new place, said his flatmates would be home even if he is not. Kinda shocked me to see who opened the door. They never said anything about him moving in with a ‘Harry and Louis’. Also, I mean, seeing Louis...those legs, and, you know. No tail. Same pretty face... that was a real surprise for me.”

“So Zayn am I going to find Louis as flawless as I left him this morning? You better not have touched him or upset him.” Harry says issuing a threat; Zayn has no welcome to be anywhere near Louis, not especially if he is alone.

“I swear to you Harry that I would never do anything like I did before. There isn’t any Liam in me, but I’m afraid I did upset him, unintentionally, so he ran out.”

“What do you mean by upset him? Ran out? Where?” Harry snaps.

Zayn looks apologetic. “Seriously, I’m sorry. I never expected to see Louis here, with you. I mean I knew you were at school here but Louis with you? I simply moved into my new flat, wanting to get settled in my new life; being a werewolf I have a lot of things to catch up on so that’s why I’m doing some summer classes, you know, to get myself caught up. Before I came here from the country went to see the babies one last time. I learned that our first born, Marcie, is not well. Just now I shared that news with Louis. He looked mortified and just like that he ran out, didn’t say a word. In fact, I’m surprise you didn’t pass him since he only left now.”

“Pass him going where?”

“To the river naturally.”

“What? Which river?”

“THE river. How else do you think he’d get home? He doesn’t have a car does he? A bank account, cash, debit or credit card does he?”

Harry grabs Zayn by the jacket he’s wearing giving him a tug. “Drive me, drive me the way you think he’s went!”

The idea that the car would make the route from where Harry’s flat is to the Thames quick is flawed. They don’t see Louis the route they go but then he could have gone more direct as they have one way streets to follow and the traffic is heavy. Arriving to the place closest to where a pedestrian traveling to it would access waters edge there is a huge pedestrian mall, sidewalks and a concrete and metal rail to prevent people and pets from an accidental spill into the massive river.

Harry exits the car where it’s closest to the pedestrian mall leaving Zayn to find parking. His run leads him down some steps toward the stretch of riverside he hopes is where Louis will have gone. It’s fairly late now. The weather less than fabulous so there are not people out strolling for leisure as there would be a nicer days. Before Harry gets down the several flights of steps to the pedestrian path level he stops where he is because he sees Louis from his elevated vantage point.

Louis has pulled off his clothing. His delicate form naked, he has claimed up on the retainer meant to keep people from the water below.

Harry shouts. “Please stop! Louis wait!”

Running down to where only the clothes remain Harry looks to the water which is very far below. With the lights of the city so bright Harry can see Louis. He must have heard Harry when Harry shouted because he’s treading water there looking up. He waves at Harry. Harry isn’t sure what to do. He wants to jump in too and make sure Louis gets to someplace where maybe they can get out safely but after the wave Louis turns in the water, his head going under. What surfaces for a split second is a fin. A fabulous, array of a rainbow of colors, the graceful fin makes one big slap on the water. Perhaps to say goodbye. Perhaps to send him off with speed but it was for sure not a sign he was the legged-formed land-captive Harry feared.

Harry’s heart sinks.

He scoops up Louis’ clothes. They are warm and they smell like him. Harry is on the verge of crying by the time he exits up the same steps he ran down to riverside from when he sees Zayn. Zayn is waiting in the idling car in a zone marked for no parking.

Harry enters the car.

Zayn looks like he’s at a loss for words but he does say, “I take it that he’s gone then.”

“I saw him jump from the containment wall and then he changed. He flipped that majestic tail of his one time and disappeared. Yes, he’s gone. I just don’t understand how? I thought when we made his form changed he was obligated to land. Like he was with you. So how did that happen? I’ve had this guilt for the entire time because he went with me instead of his family but then...”

Zayn pulls out from the spot they were idling. As he drives he puts a hand on Harry’s knee to pat it reassuringly. “What you don’t understand is that when I made a deal with him I was using the power of the Trinity Liam. Liam is what held him bound to me and the demands. With you I’m guessing he had an offer to bond that he accepted on his terms. He wasn’t trading for the same purpose as with me. My demands were to use his womb, bring me an heir. When the dark forces in me died he was free. With you I’m guessing you have made no demands of him. That would mean that Louis would be free to come or to go.”

Harry realizes that’s it. He never demanded anything of Louis, nor would he. Being together has been mutual consent.

Chapter Text

Getting through the next few weeks was hard. Painfully hard. So great is the void with there being nothing in the bed where Louis used to lie that Harry went to not sleeping much beginning with the first night Louis was gone. However Harry is grateful for a few things. While he has to wait for term’s end before going to his country home he has at least the constant comfort from his friends. Among them now is Zayn. In the absence of the dark forces Zayn is proving to be an affable sort.

Like Harry, Zayn is a student of art though his medium is the painted canvas not Harry’s fashion design. With Harry’s collection done he is free to spend time that would be much filled with the demands of term’s end in more leisurely endeavors. He goes to hear Shawn, Charlie and Josh’s music. He helps Zayn get set up in his student art studio. The five of them hang out nearly constantly and always conversation toggle around on and off of talking about Louis and then not for Harry’s sake. For the three long time mates the story Harry made up about Louis’s sudden disappearance is that while he and Josh were both out the night Louis left a call from home prompting departure. Zayn added to the story by saying he gave Louis a lift to the station as he was there dropping off Josh’s things when the call came in.

Harry tries not to mope or show he is distraught being without Louis for sake of building a convincing story suggesting he will see Louis soon when he goes to his home in the country. After all, he and Louis created this identity of. Wing from the same place. Long time friends. Zayn tries to play down the reality of his relationship with Louis from the sorted truth of its reality. Instead he shares that he also knows Louis from living in a small community across the expansive lake from where the tiny community Harry grew up. Between Harry and Zayn the three lads get the impression Louis spent a lot of time as a young lad on the lake thus knew people from the small surrounding burgs. Something Zayn says at one point creates the illusion that Louis’ family has a boat rental business.

On one occasion where the lads have been chilling out together, it’s the last couple of days of final exams, they decide to go look at some of Zayn’s art he’s unpacked at his studio to see if there is anything that Charlie and Shawn want to use to spruce up their flat since they gather Zayn’s original art is more up-scale collegiate and impressive to display than the posters they currently have on their walls.

They find that Zayn has a very dynamic color-forward aspect to his art. He also does a rather abstract body of work. There is one piece they all fall in love with immediatley. Nobody can say why it is so appealing. Except Harry.

Harry does not share comments, instead Harry chokes a bit when Zayn pulls the compelling piece out. The other lad’s admiring reaction is different in its cause than the reaction from Harry given that Harry knows Zayn’s inspiration.

What Charlie, Josh and Shawn see is a flower. An abstract of a flower because it’s colored the way no real flower would be. First the petals are all different colors, a rainbow-kaleidoscope of colors so no two petals are the same. The other things is the paints Zayn has used have a shimmering, metallic-iridescent quality to them. The three who know not what this is are impressed, simply drawn to it’s beauty and completely clueless that this is no representation of a flower.

This is Louis’ hole when he is excited. The tiny pink entrance in its aroused state is precisely this spectacular. And from personal experience both and Harry know this is a very good reproduction of aroused merprince hole asking for dick.

The day comes that Harry has packed car with his personal items and as many of the bolt of fabrics as he can manage to cram into the car for clearing out the second bedroom for Josh. Harry is anxious to get on his way to his country home. His predominating thought on the drive is how it will feel to see Louis again. The desire to get to Louis is so intense that Harry has declined on going to see Anne before he heads out of the city to the country as he only has one urgent need.

Louis.

To see him.

Hear his voice. Feel his touch. Touch Louis’ skin in return. Inhale the scent of him.

Included in Harry’s packed things are clothing for Louis. This also includes items from his collection that were too perfect on Louis to be left behind. Why he brings them he can’t know but Zayn suggested he do so. Besides, he’s proud of the Louis inspired work. Just looking at the pieces that he made with Louis as the muse helps him to feel proud of this collection like he has a new direction.

Following the review of Harry’s collection he had more positive feedback from the fashion world. Major design houses had head-hunters at the student runway show as per usual. Now the list of established designers who want to hire Harry has grown significantly. Harry can write his future. The world is “his oyster”, so to speak. The things is that only treasure Harry really wants from water is not a pearl but the boy who he made the nearly flawlessly reviewed clothing line for. Probably the only negative comment about Harry’s collection was from one Uni professor whose review took issue with how Harry didn’t take in the slacks properly in his men’s wear for the models who wore them. The review said the pants were too “droopy” on his male models for the runway show. The exact written statement “As to issues that require subtracking marks on the collection from his show is the ill-fit of the trousers in the seat area of the models. This reviewer does not understand why designer-Styles didn’t take measures to correct. It’s like the items were made tailored to a body type unrealistic, one that would require a more girlish bottom to fill out the fit.”

“Damn straight”, Harry mumbled to himself when he first read the comment, “the proper proportions are that of a very girlish, plump bottom, Louis’.”

Arriving to his home well after dark Harry can’t go down straight away to the river. He unloads his car, grateful no wolves met him on the drive in. No weird dark clouds, or storms, either. Can he get any sleep? He's sure he won’t before with how his heart seems to ache yet beat so lively in his chest as he is so excited with the prospect of seeing Louis.

Sunlight wakes Harry but it’s not the early sun surprisingly. It’s actually nearly noon.

Bothering only to brush his teeth and pull on a pair of swim shorts he sprints down to the river. Once there he scans. He sees no mer-sign. So he sits. He sits in the water at some depth that his bum is dunked, his feet and ankles too but his torso and knees, with legs bent, are dry.

Something stirring the water comes fast. Harry doesn’t need to question. He can tell with the hints of a diverse colors that this is Louis. From where the water is deepest a rainbow, opalescent tail fin comes up to do an attention grabbing slap. Is this necessary? No. Louis must want to show off his regal splendor.

He surfaces when he’s at a depth that would be about neck deep for Harry. His smile that greets Harry is more effervescent than Harry remembers. His eyes sparkle he’s jubilant.

“Harry! You’re back!” Louis gushes. In his arms he holds a child, the child being a girl mer resembling a human baby of about a year in age. Like Louis she has big, blue, expressive eyes. By the color of her fin Harry knows she is one of the first set of babies he delivered last summer. Perhaps, Harry assumes, this is the little sick one.

“Marcie, is this Marcie?”

Louis comes closer. He keeps his child in one arm and the other goes around Harry to anchor him to Harry who he kisses deep and long. As they kiss Harry feels the gentle sweep, sweep of the tail fin moving as is brushes ever so softly against his calves and ankles. Once the kiss is done Louis looks at the pixie-child as he confirms.

“Yes Harry. This is Marcie.” He looks at Harry as Marcie sticks one small hand in Louis’ hair where she begins to twists it while putting a finger of the other hand in her own mouth, a sign of her uncertainty. Louis’ pride in the little child radiates from him as he introduces them. “Marcie this is Harry.”

Harry is struck by this adorable pair. How nurturing Louis is. How cute his baby girl is. Marcie looks at Louis like she needs more comfort. He kisses his daughter and talks to her softly. “He is good Marcie. He’s not a mean human. He might have legs but he is not one of them. He won’t hurt you, or me. He’s my mate. That makes him like a second father to you. Promise, only good things will come from Harry. He helped me make your father Zayn well again. We don’t have to fear him.”

Marcie must understand language, learned it’s meaning far younger than human babies do. Harry gets this idea because the baby mer-girl simply nods to Louis while she keeps twisting Louis’ hair in one hand while sucking a finger of another and laying her head against Louis’ chest keeping her eyes on studying Harry. Her hesitancy that was in her eyes is gone. She’s just looking at Harry with curiosity, no fear.

It’s the surfacing near them of Lottie that interrupts this reunion and meeting.

“Harry!” She says with a genuine sound of congeniality in her voice. Around her are four more merbabies swimming with ease. Harry knows by their tail-coloration who is from which birth.

Lottie swims a couple passes around Harry like she is taking in his form. Louis did say early on that Lottie had a long standing crush on him. He feels a little exposed with her inspection. After Lottie has gotten a good, long look at Harry she comes to take Marcie from her brother’s arms. It occurs to Harry that in Louis’ race to come to Harry when he sensed Harry’s return that Louis had left his family behind because of his haste.

“Welcome back Harry, Louis has been counting the days, hours and minutes you tow have been apart since he returned. It’s kind of pathetic how he gets. I don’t think we could take another day of his endless ‘Harry this’, ‘Harry that’, blah, blah, blah.”

Louis flips his sister off. “Away with you. Tell mum I’ll be back later to tend to Marcie and the others. Now leave us be.”

Merprince must carry some weight with commands because Lottie only makes an eyeroll similar to her brother’s epic ones as she gathers the babies to her and takes to the deep.

Once they are gone again Louis encloses Harry in arms, both this time as he begins to kiss, moaning little whines like he what he won’t dare break off to say what he feels. While Harry stands there in the shoulder deep water the sensation of Louis’ full, spectacular fin brushing against his legs makes a shift. In matter of a minute the soft feel of it fades, Louis’ body bobs once or twice before what Harry feels next is a pair of legs coming to be gripping him at his waist. What was once a tail is now full, thick muscular thighs, knees calves, feet and, of course a plump, round arse.

“Louis?” Harry says needing to break the kiss being confused. He is the one standing, feet touching river bottom and can it be? Is he holding a legged-being? “What happened? How are you gripping me with legs?”

Louis pecks Harry’s face and neck with kisses intermixed with his reply. “We are bonded Harry. I belong to you. But you didn’t put and demands on my condition. I am free now to live in what realm I want. Yours, mine. Ours. And we are Trinities so we have much power so bonded. I’m sorry I couldn’t wait to explain this to you the night I left but I was terrified about Marcie being ill. I had to come take care of her.”

Elated, Harry initiates a kiss. His lips don’t leave Louis’ until he feels the prick of Louis’ penis becoming harder so hard that it must push into him with them embraced so tight. “You don’t have to apologize for leaving. Zayn told me about her, why you had to suddenly leave. Besides, I had been having this horrible guilt for making you land-bound. I just can’t believe it though, your legs, are you really telling me that you can be both worlds now?”

Louis answers with a breathy “yes” before he resumes kissing Harry. Harry’s hands roam over Louis’ arse the buoyancy created by their position in water making it easy to keep Louis aloft as he does this. Harry’s pinky finger on one hand runs the length of Louis’ crack. Louis releases little noises of excitement suggesting the caress is something he likes while intensifying the passion with which he kisses Harry.

Liking the feel of Louis’ tongue battling his, the way his dick keeps pressed firm against Harry’s body, thighs holding their place tight around Harry but the need to sense more of Louis’ body leads Harry to imitate kitten licks over Louis’ hole with the little finger of his crack-stroking hand. Louis’ body begins little shudders. Harry knows finger tickling his entrance is the cause of Louis’ shivers. Louis gets more squirmy in Harry’s arms, his thighs quivering more and more as Harry fingers him more roughly. Pushing the finger firm at Louis’ hole Harry achieves penetration.

Sinking the inserted finger still deep while backing out of the water it’s only seconds before he has all of Louis’ weight his to carry unsupported by water. Harry must have triggered Louis’ needs, making them so very urgent because Harry barely gets them to the bank of the river before he has Louis coming by the act of being impaled on a single finger as Harry carries him. Harry holds Louis tight as the prince makes small undulations in Harry’s arms gasping out his pleasure being made to unravel so easily with only the smallest of Harry’s fingers, it being alone in causing stimulation and yet Louis is far aroused with anticipation to not succumb to the urges Harry’s finger triggers.

“Haarrehh”, Louis says laying his head to Harry’s shoulder. His arms clinging to Harry, legs around waist will make it easy for Harry to consider carrying his prize back to his house without letting Louis down but Harry wants to do Louis right now, right there on the river’s edge while Louis lingers still in some high of the orgasm he’s just had. No sooner does Harry have that thought than around them at the river bank what was most grassy vegetation becomes dense with a bed of soft flowers. Notably the flowers are a rainbow of colors, unnaturally bright as they are soft and dense.

Harry lowers himself and Louis to the flower bed. He lays Louis down on his back so he is facing up while Harry elects to stay on his knees between Louis’ parted legs. Harry takes one of Louis’ leg in hand to lift it so he can give the ankle a kiss before kissing the top of the foot too. Louis looking up to him tries to reach for him. Harry puts Louis’ hand away from himself. Louis starts to say “Harry” only to be kissed quiet with Harry leaving a space between their bodies to let Louis know he intends to not abandon his leg-appreciation act quite yet.

When Louis lets out a breath like he is willing to comply, Harry lips leave his. “Harry”, Louis says with a tone of praise as Harry resumes taking a leg in one hand placing a kiss on the inside of an ankle, the top of a foot before he goes to move Louis leg to assist him slowly kissing up it deliberately slow. Lower calf, mid calf, upper calf. With every kiss Louis softly says only “Harry” again and again. It’s been so little time since the finger-induced orgasm but Louis’ penis is stiffening ever so slight as Harry does his seduction.

By the time Harry’s kisses make it up from foot to the divot, the sensitive spot where leg meets pelvis, Louis is having a really hard time not wiggling dramatically on his bed of flowers. His dick is hard once more, his body covered in goosebumps from Harry’s tender seduction. He’s stayed with his speaking the raspiest, softly whispered “Harry” as each kiss is laid upon him.

“Your legs are so beautiful. So is all the rest of you. Simply perfection.” Harry says playing with Louis by kissing around sensitive parts. Louis resists touching himself. His eyes are darkened with his pupils blown wide, a remnant of his recent orgasm.

“Says the real perfection,” Louis whispers with his eyes going to looking at Harry’s cock that is partly concealed by his swim shorts. His length is such that in his aroused state the shorts are too small and so his knob is protruding from the bottom hem of one leg. “You wanna put that somewhere more comfortable?” He adds referring to Harry’s dick.

“You do realize I’d never call your body ‘comfortable’, it’s quite literally like feeling every cell is having an explosion when I’m fucking you. It’s so good that it almost hurts, but since I can see you’re ready for more again, so soon, so massively in need of a good dicking I guess I will have to endure the pleasure to the point of pain that comes with being inside your sweet, tight hole.”

Louis gives Harry one of his smiles so bright it’s like sunshine radiates from him, his eyes have those crinkles around them and he pushes down Harry’s shorts that then stay around Harry’s thighs since Harry is still on his knees.

Harry hand works to orient himself to bounce the head of his dick against Louis’ hole as Louis holds onto Harry’s hips. “Haven’t gotten you very loose sweet creature. Should eat you out first.”

“Rather you get to dicking me with that thing of yours, really don’t mind the, what did you call it, pleasure to the point of pain thing. Kind like it when it hursts so good.”

Ah yes. The merprince. So delicate. So sweet. So slutty. So, so very demanding with an unquenchable hunger, an appetite for sex. Are all the mer like this or is this a part of what makes Louis so special?

Harry makes his first penetration extremely slow, making sure he gives Louis’ body some time to adjust with each inch the little thing takes. Louis doesn’t make this easy though. He shifts his bum’s orientation by rolling his hips a bit. It brings a scintillating pressure to the length that is sunk into Louis. It’s enough pressure for Harry to want to stay with fucking Louis shallow but he knows Louis, Louis will want to be impaled deep. Harry’s finger-induced orgasm was only a tease. The merprince will expect Harry to hit his sweet spot.

“What are you doing?” Louis asks with an edge of exasperation to his voice.

“When I see so little of me stuffed in you and you look so small with the contrast, maybe I’m too much all of me in you just yet, kinda need to make sure you okay.”

Louis full out laughs. He tugs on Harry’s hips that are in his hands. His tug bring far more of Harry spearing into him. He arches to the trust so that he takes on even more of Harry. “M-m-more!” Louis purrs.

It must be Louis wants Harry doing him deep because he takes on leg up to set it on Harry’s shoulder this making himself open like scissors in a split. “Don’t be too gentle my King, I want all of you so bad it’s the want that hurts.”

How Louis takes Harry so well is a mystery but Harry does as he’s told. Louis winches ever so slight but gasps his repeated “yass....”

Harry has all of himself stuffed into the merprince when he pauses there. Putting both his hands on the ankle of the leg that rest on his shoulder, Harry kisses it before he goes to slowing begin pumping. His body heats up fast as Louis is lost in getting this dicking with a force that Harry feels is such that Louis should be getting off fairly quick.

When Harry feels the cool breeze against his perspiring skin he likes the change. It gives him incentive to get more aggressive in his trusts, besides Louis is making his little noises of “ah, ah, ah”, “oh Harry”, “yes” always with some pants and gasps a sign he’s enjoying taking dick. His eyes are closed, his face winches every so often, and he turns his head side to side while writhing on his bed of flowers.

Harry feels the breeze get ever colder, again his sweat being chilled in the moment as he his thrusting picks up in force with the chilling influence. What he says he doesn’t understand. It was simply in his head all of a sudden and then out of his mouth.

“Open your chamber sweet prince.”

The second Harry says that Louis’ eyes flash open. His eyes meet Harry’s with a narrow, almost hostile gaze. Harry has no idea why the intention overtook him to say that. He pauses buried deep being startled at his own words when Louis drops his leg off Harry’s shoulder. He violently takes one hand to whip through the air in one broad sweeping motion which instantly makes a huge wave of river water form where there should not, could not, be anything as such remotely possible. The wave comes up from where it originated only to crash over the two of them, water rushing back toward the river once they’ve been entirely drenched.

Afraid to make move having a feeling something possessed him Harry says “What was that?”

Louis’ hand that made the wave reaches for Harry. It lands on Harry soft, gentle, loving. His eyes again bare nothing that is not love and adoration. “That was Liam silly. You know you really need to learn how to shut him out. He can’t control you if you don’t allow it but you need to know when he is messing with you. Don’t give him an opening.”

.....

Having made love on their flowerbed for several more times Louis realizes the hour. He needs to return to his family.

Harry can see how Louis is wrestling with wanting to stay and wanting to go. He’s sat up from where they had both been laying in the flowers, a bliss of fucked-out exhaustion leaving them content to simply converse. Louis was interested in how Harry’s runway show of his collection went. Harry wanted to know more about Louis’ babies. As they filled each other in on these things Louis played with Harry’s hair liking to twist locks around a finger, free the symbolic binding, make it again and again while they talked.

Taking one last lingering kiss Louis reluctantly rises. He walks into the water a few inches deep. Looking over his shoulder he lets Harry know with his smile that he likes how Harry is looking with a hard stare at his ass. “Like to meet here about midnight? Bring some candles?”

“Sure! Anything else?”

“Bread and cheese? I really miss bread.” He turns away taking a couple more steps. Harry loves watching the way his bum moves with each step it being so succulent and sinfully plump. Harry guesses that Louis likes being watched by Harry as much as Harry likes the doing of it.

“By the way I’m sorry again about the Liam thing. It was weird it was like I heard my voice come from my mouth that wasn't my own. Or so I thought. Did I sound different when I said that comment about your chamber, or was that my imagination?”

Louis stops. Turns. “It wasn’t you imagination, it wasn’t your voice. I knew Liam was affecting you by the way you started fucking me differently. That was okay though because I like a good hard pounding from time to time. You know that. But when he had you talking his wish he had the influence to use you as a vessel to inseminate himself through you in me. I do want to have your babies, I really, really do, but I don’t want them tainted with him. He’s always going to try to breed me, I’m his only way to have an heir, me being a hermaphrodite Trinity. So we have to be careful. You have to learn, and you will, how and when to shut him out. I trust you Harry, my King.”

Without turning away Louis takes a couple more steps backwards to become thigh deep in water. He continues to look at Harry holding Harry in a dopey, love-struck look until he abruptly throws himself back-bending leap, arms stretched over head into the water. Once he goes under, feet submerging last, it’s a spectacular, opalescent rainbow-colored fin that comes breaching up to make one big slap like a whale at play before he is gone.

Harry gets to his feet. He decides he should not leave the mat of flowers incase a random stranger was to discover them. Just the decision makes the vegetation restore to what was there before he conjured the flowers. Walking uphill toward his house Harry decides he will past the eternally long-seeming hours by making the merprince homemade bread. Kneading the bread will remind him of he wants to be kneading, is needing, instead.

Chapter Text

Taking to habitually meeting Louis by the river where their lovemaking requires Harry conjure his beds of vegetation has allowed Harry to hone his skills. He’s putting creativity into his beds he makes as much as the line of clothing he’s designing because he is compelled to delight Louis with a new variation each time they meet. So much has this practice developed abilities that he’s found it’s become more than simply easy and fun, on one occasion, it was their salvation.

Harry was lying on his back with Louis straddling him between thighs wet with sweat where their two bodies touched. They were face to face. Harry’s arms were crossed where he had them behind his head as he opted to lay purposefully hands-off to enjoy letting Louis do all the the work. This was a forth dicking in a short amount of time and Harry was exhausted so he was content to watch, let Louis use him like a tool. He was so lost in selfishly enjoying the way Louis was riding him that Harry failed to notice sounds other than the breathing of his lover, the filthy words and sounds from Louis’ mouth. It was reasonable to be oblivious to surroundings; the combination of fatigue and how Louis looks, so beautiful sat on dick, rolling his hips with a lazy slowness. Louis was lifting only ever so slight. He was mumbling to Harry about how he wanted to keep grinding his sweet spot with Harry’s knob deep in him. Having had a few orgasms before this Louis had the after-glow that comes with a slight sheen of perspiration remaining ever present. The sheen highlighted how Louis is both angular and voluptuous. So it is that Harry was lost in studying what is angular, like his chiseled jawline, his cheekbone, his collarbones, in contrast to what is voluptuous, Louis’ thighs, the feel of his bum when he bore himself down on Harry’s thighs as he fucked himself on Harry. So lost was Harry, Louis too evidenced by how his head lolled to and fro, that neither of them heard a pair of strangers who happened to be walking the river’s edge.

In a fraction of a second both Harry and Louis realized these interlopers invading their domain as the pair were nearly upon them. Harry did like Louis had done a few days before when the pressure of Liam was upon them. A swooping wave of a hand is all that it took. As simple as that and a huge mass of shrubby, densely-leafed thicket presents itself around them so they were hidden at its core. The invaders who came upon this bramble of foliage made a course adjustment to traverse around it. Louis paused still on Harry; not wanting to disturb Harry’s concentration. Once they heard the voices have traveled on farther away Harry let the thicket fade away. Louis fawned over Harry’s face, his beauty, with hands feather-lightly being teasingly light as Louis praised his protector, “You see how natural your skills have become as you embrace them more and more. Soon you’ll feel totally in control even when Liam tries to slip in and invade.”

That being a sign of his strength Harry’s confidence grew so much that he tries a new thing one day because it’s seems the day is a special one. Louis has come for their meeting with all his babies in tow. Harry will have to wait until Lottie comes to scurry the babies away for sake of Harry and Louis’ private time, Louis informs Harry. But first Louis wants to have a little sibling reunion since this the first time when Marcie is swimming independently like her siblings. Marcie is finally feeling much better. Harry doesn’t think about the meaning of “reunion” until along the path beside the river a wolf comes into view. He’s fairly large, nearly full grown is size, black, it unlike most wolves he has the fairest blue eyes. Blue eyes on a black wolf seems quite striking and remarkably rare.

This black wolf trots right up to the river, steps in wading a foot deep before he stops and makes a little “woof” at the cluster of merbabies and Louis. Louis does his thing, the transform. It’s gotten refined so Harry knows when Louis is going from tailed to legged by how he does this with a roll. Often he’s in shallow water and rolls over sideways. In one such roll his legs are made. If he is in the deeper water he likes to dive forward doing an underwater forward roll like a gymnast’s tumble and following that his legs are formed. Similarly when he goes to leave Harry to return to water family his legged-form to tailed-form occurs with one or another of these moves. Again there is a shallow water side over side roll to transform or there’s a deeper-water, big splash approach to transforming. “The big splash”, as Harry calls it, is when Louis leaps backward, his back arched, making a backwards dive away from the land he’s left. It’s the way of transforming that Louis does if he wants to show off. His tail always so splendid, will be thrust up from under the water as he makes one large slap on the surface of the water always sending an incredibly well-aimed splash at Harry. Louis is a playful one. Whether it’s during sex or in departing he like to performs, to tease, to act flamboyantly.

Following one of the forward rolls to do his transformation, Louis joins the wolf in shallower water. This is his pup from the second mating with Zayn. The wolf greets Louis by licking Louis’ face exactly like the female wolf who has been raising him did when Harry witnessed Louis give her this pup as a newborn last year. As the pup licks Louis, Louis giggling, the pup whimpers his happiness to be with Louis. This reminds of Mace. It’s funny how well his chidhood dog new Louis long before Harry knew this prince who would become his love.

“You want to play with your sisters, your brother? They’d like that. They love when you let them feel your fur.”

The wolf makes a playful snort. Offers a small “woof” like he is a trained domestic dog.

Louis taps the water with a hand. “Come on my little ones. Your wolf brother wants to play with you.”

Like trained captive dolphins the act of the tap on the water brings the five swimmers to their wolf brother. They are still so small, about the size of a year old human baby and can easily stay under water of only a foot in depth if they like. What they choose is to do when they near the wolf is an assortment of things. Some might swing around their brother, some might also swim under his belly like they want to tickle him there with a lifting tail as they pass under. Sometimes they want to surface close to him and enjoy the feel of petting his coat. His response to all this is varied too. Sometimes he jumps around in the water barking at them. Other times he tries to submerge his face under water. Always his tail is wagging. Never does he snap his impressive wolf teeth. He’s nothing like the dar, moody werewolf Zayn.

It’s a very happy family reunion. Louis remains sitting in the water near where they play. Occasionally he has a parent’s comment to issue to manage their behaviors. “Soren, stop pulling on Sophie’s tail, she can swim under Nero too”. “Marcie you’ll get your speed back, don’t worry because you still tire easily. Don’t fret little one.” “Macy, Macy... Macy I know you can hear me stop tormenting your sister with orders. You were only born a minute or so earlier so you really aren’t any wiser than Nicki.”

Harry is learning how this family of merbabies are quite precocious. They are notably advanced in their language comprehension skills for ones still so young. Even Nero, the wolf, understands every word Louis says. He also understands the siblings sounds as do they understand his canid vocalizations.

It feels right to Harry that Louis has his children, all six of them, with him. It’s interesting to Harry to observe how they all seem pure and free from dark influence despite the way the were conceived. A brutal taking of a merprince by a werewolf made more powerful by Liam’s dark forces.

Harry wades out to stand near Louis and the playful activity.

Louis greets Harry with such a smile. He radiates joy. “You know Harry tomorrow is Marcie, Sophie and Soren’s birthday...” he continues speaking as he redirects his attention to his children, tapping the water surface again which makes them reduce their explosive energy and take a look to him with eager questioning eyes. “Who wants Harry to makes cakes for the special day? Fish cakes maybe? Your father Zayn should be coming to celebrate. Now who wants fish cakes?”

The babies go crazy wild with exuberance. Once again Louis shines his smile on Harry like he is the sun. He is so pleased with his little family and the lover who is Harry. “You can do that for them can’t you, Legs? I’d really like them to have something special. They’ve never had anything sugary sweet like cupcakes, I don’t want to spoil them, so much sugar is not necessary for my babies so young.”

“Sure I can do fish cakes. There’s one thing though. If we are going to have a celebration aren’t we going to need some decorations?” Harry says inspired by this significant event and encouraged by the ease with which he conjured a protective shrub on command for protecting he and his lover. He wants to do more like that. Harry raise his hands to the shy. This gets the attention of the babies directed to him. Then he doesn’t say anything however in seconds an abundance of flying things, some are as small as insect, some like the size of humming birds come to him. They swarm around over where he stands, over where Louis is sat in the water. The babies look up at these airborne acrobats.

Harry lowers his hands. This makes these sprites flutter around a place lower, closer to the water. Many of them begin to land; on Louis’ hair, his shoulders, Nero’s black coat. Nero stands very still a sign he knows these sprites are no threat.

The sight of Louis and Nero having sprites adorning them like a cascade of petals from flowers makes the merbabies jump and splash around like the play of dolphins as they are so very much delighted. Not wanting to wet the sprites, to scare them off Louis warns the merbabies to calm it down. Not so much splashing or they will get wings wet as he pulls one such drenched sprite from where it fell into the water with its wings so damp. The little sprite he puts on his head where his hair is dry so she can sunbake the moisture from her wings.

This has the swimmers moving put aside their explosive, playful jumps instead taking turns coming close to their brother. Holding on to his fur with a single hand they reach up to offer their other hand as a platform for the flyers. Some sprites are bold and will move from the wolf to the offered hand, others try to hide in the black coat being too shy. After each child has a turn at trying to coax a sprite to them Harry sends the lot of them back up to fly well above him, Louis, the babies.

All except one. “Not you. You should stay right where you are for now. I like the way Louis looks with you sat there.” Harry’s instructs the one sprite that has a flower-like morphology who has made her place to land on Louis’ head to one side. They way she is clung on Louis’ hair just over an ear gives the appearance of Louis having a flower anchored there by a stem tucking behind his ear. Harry rather enjoys the way the sprite lends an island-girl look to his prince.

The sprite stays as she is told. Harry announces to the babies that for their party tomorrow he will have more sprites come but they must be good when their aunt Lottie comes and not make a fuss about letting he and Louis have some alone time.

Private time. Alone time. Whatever the terms it really means time for sex. Lots of it.

Chapter Text

Formed, unbaked fish cakes were all placed on a tray. Harry is heading out his door to go to the river where earlier in the morning he made a fire pit ring with stones and set out the accessories he needs to cook these cakes riverside. He thinks the children will like seeing the food be cooked more than if he did them at his house and brought them drown to the river finished.

No sooner has he gone outside than a car comes into view.

Zayn pulls up and to Harry’s surprise he is not alone. Charlie is with him. When they get out and greet Harry it is very clear there is some chemistry between them.

Harry is standing there trying to absorb that surprise when Charlie asks what the fish cakes are for.

“This is not going to be easy to explain...” Harry begins.

By the time they’ve made the short walk down to the river Harry learns that Charlie is here to meet those who Zayn has called “his family.” Charlie has also learned that Zayn had some sort of what he called “an affair” with Louis.

With the river in view Harry notices what Charlie and Zayn have not yet. On a grassy knoll overlooking the river a group of wolves sit or lie where they can see the area of the river that he and the other two lads are heading to. The wolves spot the three people. The lone black member of this pack rises to stand and after one wag of his tail he comes running. It’s a shock to Charlie to see a wolf, blue eyes, black fur, charge directly to Zayn nearly knocking him over in a boisterous greeting that includes pressing his head against Zayn’s legs with his tail wagging so hard that his entire body seems to wag too.

When Zayn kneels down the wolf licks Zayn’s face. Zayn pats his head, addressing him as Nero admits he’s very excited to see him too. On the knoll the other wolves wait. Harry isn’t sure why. Even though Harry’s not sure whether the other wolves are imbedded with the intelligence that Nero has, he nevertheless, waves at them. No need to be rude, Harry decides.

Once they reach the fire circle Harry starts a cook fire. He gets the story of Charlie and Zayn’s newly discovered mutual infatuation. It began with music. Charlie’s falsetto stirred up emotions in Zayn. When Zayn revealed his gift with singing, his ability with high notes had a similar affect stirring affection in Charlie for Zayn. “...I never really thought of myself as gay or bi before, not even when I got kind of infatuated with Louis. Speaking of Louis,” Charlie’s says turning his attention from Harry to Zayn, “didn't you say he would be here too.”

Zayn pokes at the fire Harry has started with a metal pair of tongs. “Yep” is all that Zayn says. He leaves it to Harry.

“Charlie has Zayn told you anything about Louis’ true nature?”

“No need too. When he was living with you we got an idea that Louis isn’t really what he says he is. Or what you said he is. I get that he has some secrets. We all do, me, Shawn, Josh. There is something about Louis though, he’s got this primadona-like side that suggests he was raised very differently.”

Harry wanders away from the fire, wadding into the river to where the water is above his knees. Exchanging a few glances with Zayn that say “here goes nothing”. Charlie looks curiously at Harry’s behavior.

“You have to keep everything you see here completely to yourself. To protect Zayn’s family. Louis’ too. And his kind.”

Harry is aware that Louis is coming by the way Charlie no longer looks at him but instead begins to look out into the river. Nero leaves the bank of the river and runs into the shallow water close to Harry. His tail wags and he barks. Harry turns around to see what the merprince coming looks like. Harry can tell that Louis is approaching so very, very fast. This is until he must have realized Zayn was not the only special guest. This revelation brings Louis to a stop well away from Harry and the water’s edge.

Even with Louis being completely submerged Harry has honed how to precisely detect where in the water Louis has halted his approach. Harry knows how when stopped under water it is possible for Louis to be very still. The splendid tail can move imperceptibly slow fanning so to keep him stationary. He can choose to hang out like this at any depth, go as slow and gracefully as he chooses or swim so fast he that can match speed with any boat. For several seconds Louis must be considering how he proceeds. A few more surface ripples around where Louis is indicates that the merbabies have caught up to him. Harry can imagine Louis is trying to keep them from rushing to Nero and Zayn before he makes his decision.

What about Charlie? Is Louis gong to trust him?

“Harry, there is something out there something is in the water.” Charlie’s voice has a hint of nervousness to it like he’s afraid there could be a sea monster or something.

“You have to swear your secrecy Charlie. For everyone’s sake. Zayn’s family, Louis’. Swear your secrecy.”

Harry is aware that behind him out deep the babies are being detectable disturbances in the water. He takes a quick look and sure enough the water has a slight bubbling effect as the babies must be challenged to remain holding back when they want to go to the shallow water excited for the special plans for celebrating Marcie, Sophie and Soren’s birthday.

Harry looks back at Charlie. With urgency to his tone he urges Charlie. “Swear.”

Charlie glances to Zayn who nods. Shrugging as he takes an oath. No sooner does Charlie say “I swear,” than the water becomes more active with ripples. A wave is generated by a flamboyantly presented tail being made to rise in full view proceeding what Harry knows means Louis is transforming.

Normally Louis goes to the roll much closer to the riverbank, normally he doesn’t show off his tail like this coming in. It seems Louis has gone through the change this time with a revised approach because of Charlie. Charlie seeing the shimmering rainbow tail for the split second that Louis exposed screams “whatthe...” and points. Zayn grabs him in an affectionate hold as popping up from the water comes Louis.

***

The expression “cat’s got your tongue” has met its match. The Merprince has got Charlie’s tongue, his brain baffled.

Once Louis surfaced with a casual “Hi Charlie” Charlie becomes a poster child for The Astonished Mute. Confusion in the face of evidence has challenged his brain to struggle to absorb the inexplicable once Louis joins them having come from his home, under the water. Louis is some kind of a mermaid person. He has children. Six to be precise. Made by a mating of he and Zayn. One of their offspring is a wolf. The young wolf understands every word spoken to him. It appears Louis and Zayn understand their wolf child as well. The other five children are merbabies. And how the hell did Louis, male-body-Louis bear six children? Three of them have a shared birthday that is the center for this riverside celebration and in some three weeks or so there is talk of the other three offspring having a shared birthday celebration too. This means that Louis bore two sets of three children twice within about weeks of each other. How is any of this possible?

Charlie ponders all this mystery in silence as Harry and Zayn cater to feeding the little ones fishcakes once they are cooked. A nude Louis casually lays in the shallow water sort of providing some closeness to the merbabies while sort of maintaining a close proximity to the riverbank too. The way Louis lays there, sunning, so nonchalant about being naked gives him an air of being royalty. Or perhaps more like being some kind of god. His body is so beautiful and seductive he should be celebrated so this odd thing in his behavior, his comfort with his nudity, is one thing that makes some sort of sense.

At one point the youngsters all fed, decide to play around where Louis suns. He quickly shoos them away because they have taken to playing a game that gets Nero jumping around, often over the reclined Louis, causing splashes of the water to drench Louis.

“Go away you pesky little ones.” Louis tells them trying to sound annoyed though his amusement at their games undercuts his attempt to sound stern.

His gives Harry a chuckle. He loves the way Louis looks with little drops of water on his pristine, golden skin. It reminds Harry of how Louis’ skin looks when he is perspiring with the glow of their lovemaking. Harry walks into the water to stand near Louis.

“I guess as long as we have Charlie dumbstruck over this little family might as well add to the mix. I did promise more special guests for the little ones, didn’t I?”

Louis sits up. “I’d like a wreath, some sort of crown thing.”

Harry lifts his hands into the air. A rush of fluttering little things come to him swirling around and over him. What is a mix of some these little things that Harry conjured come to land on Louis’ head. They organize themselves to creation a ring that make something similar to a flower crown. Others land on random places elsewhere on Louis, Harry or Nero. This has the merbabies making themselves as exposed in the water obliviously to ask for the same adornment as Louis. Marcie makes her way to Louis’ arms. She is much pleased to have him lift her to him so the fairies and sprites can come to land on her. Her cherub appearance is magnified by her head too becoming crowned with an array of sprites coming together to create her colorful crown.

Louis has a crown. Marcie has a crown. Nero gets a crown too. This has the remaining four merbabies pleading too.

Harry looks at Zayn and Charlie sat on the bank. “Come on out. The water is nice.” He reaches down and licks up Sophie. No sooner does he have her lifted than a flurry of the spirited make her a crown. She giggles and reaches for Harry’s hair. Like her father does so frequently once her tiny fists have a handful of his long locks she twists it playfully clearly amazed at its silky length.

Charlie comes out into the water following Zayn. He first had to roll up his pants like he intended for them to stay dry. Zayn pick up Nicki. “Here Charlie, meet Nicki. Nicki this is Charlie. He won’t hurt you he is your father’s special friend.”

Nicki makes no fuss when Zayn puts her in Charlie’s arms. Charlie’s face shows his thoughts. “Zayn your daughter is absolutely adorable, they all are. Damn you and Louis make cute babies.”

Zayn blushes. He picks up both Soren and Macy. As the final two come to be held and adorned he credits where he believes credit is due. “Um, thanks Charlie, but it’s really all Louis’ doing. He can make his babies to his liking. He is something quite rare. I really don’t deserve any credit, truly don’t. I wasn’t doing things in a proper way.”

Charlie nods. Around them, over them a cloud of sprites and fairies continue to flutter filling the air overt them with a constantly changing shimmer of activity. Charlie is cooing over the mer Nicki enchanted with the small child. With a np freeze picking up Harry’s enjoyment of their interactions ceases as he looks with a startle to Louis.

Louis looks calm, only that he makes a face with an eye-roll and a head shake “no” gives Harry confirmation before he takes a hand to the air, with a flick of his wrist he sends a huge wave of water directing it away from them. The breeze stops and Louis speaks like to himself though he smiles reassuringly at Marcie in his arms, “No one invited him now did they Marcie, tell him to go away. We don’t like him.”

“Was that...” Harry asks.

Smiling the smile that says Harry is everything in the world, Louis says “See you can feel it now. That was him.”

As the feeling of everything being alright, perfect, safe settles in on Harry, he decides not to call any more attention to the odd thing Louis did since Charlie didn’t know it’s cause. Charlie is enjoying playing with Nicki, the friends Harry has invited from the forest, so why introduce more lore into the plethora of new realizations Charlie has to absorb.

Instead Harry focuses on the positive. “Louis, I thought your family would be here too. Maybe I’d finally meet your mum even.”

Louis talks to Harry while he stays with looking at his baby girl like he can’t ever have enough of her. “They were, I mean they are farther out, but I don’t think they feel like trusting a new human. I’m very likely in trouble again with my mum. She’s probably fuming over me exposing my babies to the stranger.”

Harry would like to meet the merqueen Jay. “Maybe you should go invite her, them. Please. I’d like to meet her. Phoebe and Daisy too.”

Louis stands up. He passes Marcie to Harry. “Okay. I’ll go try to convince her to come closer. She is not going to be happy with me though.”

Louis makes it a point to kiss Harry his arms going around like to give Harry with two babies in arms a hug while he kisses Harry’s lips in a way that says if it were them alone this kiss would wander into something more personal and passionate. It makes Harry’s dick perk up ever so little.

Louis winks at Harry when their lips part. It was a way to say he knows what Harry wants. Confirming this is the way Louis’ cock has been made a bit more full like he wants the same thing too. He walks away from the group, him bubble butt being so pleasingly displayed Harry can’t help but feel his urges grow. When Louis is in water that is upper-thigh high he stops. He looks back over his shoulder to where three young men’s eyes are found to be overtly staring at his incredibly sensational bum. He smirks, surely he’s thinking “Yes, I know, my arse is fabulous” though he says nothing. Turning to the deep, he extends his arms overhead like preparing for a dive. Sure enough he springs up, hands enter river followed by arms, head and shoulders. Once his feet disappear under the surface it is a second or two before a stunningly, exotic tail fin lifts out. It’s to show off its beauty and to force a burst of diving peed to send himself away from shore.

The merbabies don’t try to follow. They are content with being entertained by fairies and sprites and in the arms of those holding them, their wolf brother nearby.

***

It had been quite sometime since Louis left. Harry was back on the riverbank as were Charlie and Zayn where they sat in the foldout chairs Harry had brought down in the morning when he set up for this celebration.

The children are playing and frolicking, in Nero’s case, in the shallow water. Braver, larger sprites still fill the air over water were merbabies play. There seems to be some sort of game where those who are swimmers play tag but if one gets tagged to undo their role as “it” they have to touch Nero first. Nero is no easy catch to lay a touch on because in the shallower water he is very fast and he jumps out of the water frequently.

As entertaining as this is, Harry is worried. It’s been so long since Louis left to invite Jay to meet him. Soon the babies will be hungry again. Does he go to his house and make more fishcakes? And what of the wolves? The small group still waits on the grasses knoll overlooking the river. Should he invite them to join?

Pondering this, Harry is caught by surprise when Louis comes up from the water because his resplendent tail gave no warning of his return. It was only the way Nero, seconds before Louis appeared, turned to the deeper water and barked excitedly with his tail wagging that gave notice of the incoming prince.

Louis has a demeanor very evident about him that suggests even before he speaks that his mum clipped his wings. His face has no hint of a smile. He passes his merbabies with an uncharacteristic shortness to his words to them said in a sullen tone, “We are leaving shortly. Your grandmother wants you back right away.” This has Nero’s tail wags stop. He follows Louis out of the water.

Harry stands so Louis can take his seat. Nero crowds to Louis. It’s clear the wolf wants comfort and to have his family with him far more than the situation allows.

Not looking at anyone directly Louis slums in the chair as he pouts, “She’s not coming to meet you. She says there is still time for me to revoke the bond since we haven’t made any offspring. It’s not too late she said for me to get my priorities right. Niall is going to be back tomorrow from Ireland. Niall is bringing me mum’s pick for me, the one you met, and she wants me to try to at least give him another chance.”

As Louis speaks, sulking evident in his voice, there is one sprite that has been toying with Charlie that stops being such a pest. She is a pretty little thing Charlie can see when she stops her teasing him and settles down on one of his forearms. She puts her arms around his, lays her head to his skin and makes a sad face over what Louis emotes and its effect of Harry.

At least Charlie guesses this must be the cause for her playfulness to stop and her sad-look to arrive. Charlie looks at Harry and says, “She is sad because she knows you are sad.”

Harry nods to Charlie and before he can address Louis’ statement Charlie continues. “You are sad because Louis’ mum rejects your being together.”

Harry nods again. Louis looks a little lost in thoughts as his fingers are lost in playing in Nero’s fur.

Charlie sits up. “Zayn, you know these, these, um p e o p l e... Louis’ kind, what should Louis and Harry do? Louis loves Harry and Harry loves Louis. What can they do? And, and why do you and Louis have a wolf pup? I mean how did that happen? It’s not like your a werewolf, I’ve seen you in the moonlight before. It only makes you more gorgeous not a kind odd monster.”

The passion for this forbidden love has propelled Charlie to accept all of what is inexplicable and be pragmatic about it.

Zayn stands up. He waves to the wolves who rise and begin to trot down the hill to come to him. Once they are met up with Zayn it’s easier to see which is the adult female and which are other pups the same age as Nero. All the wolves wag tails and greet the legged individuals. Most affectionate they greet Zayn and Louis.

“The wolf in me is hard to explain. Yes Nero is my son from my days as a werewolf. The lore around werewolves as people know it from myths is largely wrong, not factual, so don’t try to associate it with things you’ve read in fables. When Louis and Harry worked together they burned out of me the darkness. This made me normal, more or less. There will always be some wolf in me.”

Zayn turns to Harry to answer the remainder of Charlie’s question; what about Louis and Harry?

“Charlie’s right Harry. You love Louis and Louis loves you. He has since he was small. He used to sink himself into the floor of the riverbed under those trees you used to climb, the ones by the river with the big branches that reached out over the water. You would sit there and read, or write and he would lay under you and imagine what it would be like to climb a tree with you. He always wanted to climb like you did. To feel natural and at home in them. To have legs. That’s how I got to try with him. But he always knew a few things. One, he was smarter than me so I couldn’t deceive him. Two, he loves you, only you. So what do you have to do about his mum? You have to fight for Louis. Prove to her you are worthy. When her choice for Louis comes you will have to fight him.”

Chapter Text

The first thing Zayn did, with Charlie’s help, was go to the house to fetch an old canoe that Harry’s family left at the house rather that’s the lake dock because it’s condition was somewhat questionable.

Loading themselves and Nero into the canoe they headed out into the river with the merbabies following them. Louis was not to go into the water. To get his five swimmers to their guardians they would be lead by their father.

The exchange was made with Lottie and Fizzy coming for the merbabies. Both were shy remained submerged deep enough it was far to hard for Charlie to see them. Nero wagged his tail and barked as he seemed to know far better than Charlie or Zayn where the mermaids were as they swam around, deep under the canoe until they managed to collect all the merbabies to them.

Zayn informs Charlie that his hunch was that the aunts were likely having some difficulty in taking their nieces and nephew away from him, and Louis at shore.

Once back to the river’s edge Nero jumps out, tail wagging running to Louis. Louis looks to be struggling to let his concern over his situation go. He talks to Nero like it is all good, maybe trying to convince himself too. Nero knows more than one can imagine for his age; he licks Louis frequently, his way of saying “it will be okay”.

***

Walking back to the house the four of them are followed by Nero and his wolf family. Nearing the house the small wolf pack aborts following, disappearing into the thicket. A few steps father along and the reason why presents itself. In the drivewayare two additional cars. One, full of more bolts of Harry’s fabrics, was driven by Shawn. The other Harry recognizes as Gemma’s. On the porch, chatting with each other and drinking tea are the two.

Shawn has unexpectedly come to deliver the rest of Harry’s fabrics from the storage in Harry’s second bedroom; the room which has now become Josh’s. Gemma, coincidentally, happened to be dropping in on a whim just wanting to see her baby brother.

As surprising as these visitors are to Harry with their terrible timing, its more surprising to them to fid that along with Harry, Zayn and Charlie is an unclothed Louis. Louis, who Gemma’s never met, she coins a remarkably accurate term for when the introductions go around.

Gemma and Shawn had already made a little introduction between themselves. It’s Shawn who introduces Gemma to yet another of one of Harry’s friends from Uni, Charlie, who like Shawn, Gemma has heard much of from Harry over the years. Zayn is far more a strange one to introduce as he is more of a reacquaint than a meet for the first time because Gemma remembers something of the boy from across the lake who went missing years before by the name of a Zayn Malik. Then it comes to the introduction of Louis...

“Louis?” Gemma questions “The same Louis who my mum spoke of meeting last summer? For some reason I’m not surprised to find with from her description of you that you choose to walk around butt-naked like some water nymph. Well, no clothing or not, it’s nice to meet you, all of you, hope my being here is not too much of an intrusion.”

Gemma’s inquisitive statement and her directness flows right into her inviting her self to stay. Gemma snags Harry to pull him aside by the arm as he sends Louis off to help himself to some of Harry’s clothes, Louis saying “you know how it’s what I always like to do”. Gemma whispers to her brother as Shawn enlist Charlie and Zayn to help to unload Shawn’s fabric-stuffed little car, “I can’t tell you how awkward it is to discover something odd going on here Harry. Mum told me about this...nymph...and how when she met him that he had some issues with a ‘Zayn’ and now I find you in the middle of this...this what? This has the appearance of the worst type of freeform gay sex hookups. Are you lads, are...are you sharing the twink or something? Is that what’s going on here?”

“Gemma, no!” Harry says leading her to what had been her childhood room so they can keep this uncomfortable conversation low and between them. Harry doesn’t want to extend knowledge of the strange happenings beyond Zayn and Charlie. “No. You should know me better than that. I would never do anything like that. Not with anyone I care for and particularly not with someone as precious as Louis. There’s a lot you don’t understand. I appreciate your concern but it’s not any of your business.”

“Harry I know your hiding something. Mum said you couldn’t wait to get out of the city. That you wouldn’t even stop to see her because you were so anxious to get back here. She was sure it has something with this Louis. Who stalls around like that? Why can’t you tell me what is going on? I’m your sister. Why the secrecy?”

Harry laughs. “You know Gemma when we were little we were very close. You were my best friend. I looked up to you. Back then I told you all my secrets. Then you got older. You stopped believing me when I told you things that I didn’t think anyone else would understand, or believe. Eventually you started to make fun of me for being so different than everyone else. How easy it was when Ed became the only one who mattered. Once you felt a part of the popular group it wasn’t only that you stopped painting my fingernails, or that you told me to try to fit in, it was the way you became one of those people who like to bully others.”

Harry pauses. He listens for Louis to leave the room next to where he and Gemma are talking to spare Louis anymore drama by overhearing them before he continues. “The one day I will never forget, you haven’t either, I’m sure is the day at the lake. Ed’s birthday. He was showing off. Showing off his boat, you, his beautiful girlfriend trophy. For sport you and your friends came to find me. Ed only wanted to make a fool of me, a target to bully. You didn’t care. You only cared about being cool. I’ve always wondered what you thought when the rope came loose and I was sent into the rapids. Did you all laugh? Did you? You have never known the truth about that day...that I wasn’t alone. Louis was there that day. He saw the whole thing. I would have drowned. Louis saved me.”

Gemma’s face reveals her discomfort in hearing how horrible she was as a teenager. This confirms that she’s never forgotten the day. Confronted with it her downcast eyes certify that Gemma has probably never forgiven herself for it either.

“Secrets? Is something about me and Louis a secret? Sure, but I think Gemma we’ve kept secrets long enough that there is no need to change now. If you felt bad for what happened years ago you’ve never said it before. I think I’d like to keep some secrets going forward because I don’t think you need to know. None of your business why Louis was naked. Or if he and Zayn have some past. It’s the past between us you need to concern yourself with; the two stages of it. The past when you were my big sister and my protector and a past when you were willing to throw it all away as a selfish teenager.”

***

It wasn’t the easiest rejoining the others after that conflict. Gemma kept her comments and questions to things like music, sports and the weather. Louis kept entirely quiet. He kept himself so atypically reserved that even his body language suggested he was hiding something. Dressed in one of Harry’s hoodies that is too big, Louis kept tucking his hands out of sight or nervously pulling on the hem. Zayn tried to keep things light noticing the sibling tension and the little thing Louis was doing to tuck his hands inside the too big short like to make himself invisible. As Zayn tries to defuse the tension Louis suddenly announces that he is going to bed. This puts an end to everyone’s evening. Something about the merprince with his wings clipped makes a feeling set in like all the light and joy from the world has been pulled away.

And the next day Harry has to fight for him.

That night there are no sounds in the house of the gay-orgy actives that Gemma suggested underlies Harry’s odd lifestyle. The only sounds that were noteworthy was something like the howling of a wolf far off in the distance singing a sad, sad tale.

***

Harry is hoping Gemma and Shawn would leave first thing in the morning. They do not. The hour approaches when Louis says he has to go to the river.

Charlie whispers an offer Harry to distract Gemma and Shawn. Getting a guitar in hand Charlie suggests he and Shawn give Gemma a sampling of some of the music they are working on.

Louis, Harry and Zayn go for “a walk”. Gemma doesn’t even take notice they have on swim shorts or that Louis’ pair are far too poorly fit.

Down at the river a worried Louis says “Stay out of the water Harry. Stay on earth. Don’t meet Garry on her terms.”

A confused, unprepared Harry looks to both Louis and Zayn. “Any idea how this should go?”

Before the answer there was the sound in the river that distracted Harry. He recognizes The Chosen One who could only be described as a completely chiseled specimen of male perfection. Harry remains standing on the bank of the river. The slope of the substrate to the water is such that space between them prevents any contact so this seems a reasonably safe distance. The confusion remains, how does Harry “fight” for Louis and yet stay on land when the Chosen One is a merman?

There is not another second of puzzling before the water comes up in a wave with incredible force that sweeps Harry’s feet out from under him with force sending him sliding into the river. He realizes that wave was not an accident, an act of the merqueen Jay as he surfaces from where he was momentarily under river water. Harry begins to try to back up keeping his eyes on his competitor when the water shifts again unnaturally.

This time every drop of water from where the natural bank starts to some twenty feet beyond where Garry is becomes sent upward. It’s like gravity acted to invert water from horizontal to vertical so the riverbed that was covered under water is suddenly exposed ground. Behind where the merman Garry is left stranded by the absence of water is a virtual wall of water. It’s such a massive volume of water shifted that the water-wall extends high up into the sky.

Harry looks around to Louis. Louis has an arm extended, a hand presented with his palm directed at the reformed river. Louis is holding the water up in this oddity through his force.

Harry realizes that it is now a battle between mother and son. Jay sent the water in to wipe Harry into the river, toward the challenger. In response, Louis pushed the water back. The feature formed with the water ascending up into the air as a tower of water is the result of Jay acting from in the river deep to continue to send water in and Louis is reacting from where he stands on the dry earth to send it back out. In the process Louis made it so Garry is on dry river bottom and making Garry no threat to Harry as well as make it so Harry is back in his element, Land.

Louis doesn’t look at Harry while doing this. He is concentrating, warring with his mum. Merpeople don’t fight their families ever from Harry’s understanding. This is unprecedented love and determination on the part of the prince to remain with Harry.

Zayn gives Harry an added hint of the danger that was posed by having almost been in the water with Garry. “He’s enhanced, Garry has some enhancement from Jay. He wasn’t coming in unprepared to meet a Trinity of the Land.”

Harry is still confused as to the meaning of all of this. This is why he doesn’t notice when the wind picks up and clouds subdue the sunlight. Another distraction adding to his unpreparedness is hearing the sound of familiar voices. Coming down the trail to the river running fast is Shawn and Gemma with Charlie behind them yelling after them to “wait”, “no don’t go there”.

Their destination, this unimaginable waterfall of water, an unprecedented geyser-like formation defies explanation. It must surely be visible from afar.

Gemma and Shawn come upon the scene followed by Charlie.

What a scene.

Where the river was normally flowing some of it is miraculously made to fold upright into what can only be described as a giant wall of water. Where the riverbottom is exposed are two of them are positioned where river should be if it were not formed into this towering formation defying all laws of physics.

Harry looks away from his stunned sister and Shawn to where Garry lies.

Only now Garry, whose torso looked like he was a professional rugby player, is gone. In his place is Liam. Liam struggles to get upright. The struggle he makes to rise to his feet tells Harry that Liam is Garry. Or Gary is Liam. Some possession. The air has stilled. The wind, the cloud Harry ignored, is gone. Calmness describes the air. Harry knows this is indeed a possession, enhancement merger though he’s not sure how. Louis has been assuring Harry that Harry was becoming more and more instinctual as he’s opened himself up to believing in himself.

Letting himself respond innately Harry rushes to the symbiotic Garry-Liam. Harry lands a punch hard enough to take the Symbiote down. Harry grabs for Liam’s neck, because he only sees the form of Liam, not Garry. Before his unleashed-self can further draw its powers Harry finds that he has Gemma pulling and tugging at him.

Gemma shouts pleas to break Harry off this victim. Her efforts daze his focus, confusing his intention to destroy this threat before it can do harm. This disrupts his intent because he hears in his head the big sister who was his loving protector.

Why now? Why now has she chosen to intervene in his life? She abandoned her sisterly role when he was a fragile teen, emotions all raw and now...now?

“Stop! Stop it Harry! Stop before you have to live a life of regret for doing the wrong thing! You’re better than this, this, this can’t be right, you’re choking him to death!”

Gemma has it all wrong. Great intentions; stop her brother from murder. Only thing is this isn’t a person. It’s partly a dark Trinity and partly a forced pairing who wants his lover.

Shawn intervenes too. Gemma keeps pleading and pulling to stop Harry. “Harry, Harry, listen to me. Whatever he has done, whoever he is, he side to deserve your anger. It’s me you're mad at. Not him, not the world, me. I am your sister and when I was stupidly I love, foolish and too young to understand myself, yet alone, you, I went with the wrong fiends and broke your heart. Forgive me. Let him have the chance that I never gave you for whatever his failings are. We can find a better way to resolve the conflict.”

Harry finds he can’t act with the intention he had; burn the possession out of Garry, spilt them. Even if it kills Garry or Liam.

Releasing his hold Harry has to face as his sister. Shawn and Charlie help lift up a lad whose is dazed and listless from the choking though he is breathing. Exiting the dry riverbed the water-wall becomes unstable wildly twisting taking on the look of a tornado of water. The formation comes crashing down once everyone is out of the riverbed. Within a second the water that was so forced into the air resumes it’s natural place settling into a calm river.

Charlie holds the lad Harry was choking in his arms. Gemma is deeply concerned and questioning the semi-conscious lad if he can hear understand her. Harry keeps studying the water. Is Jay going to bring more? Harry only gives up his wary scanning of the river when he hears Zayn yell.

“Louis!”

Harry looks around to see Zayn is kneeling beside Louis. Louis has fainted where he once stood forcing water away from Harry and the anointed chosen one in a fight with his mother the merqueen Jay.

Harry rushes to the unconscious Louis as it is Shawn who shouts the next alert, pointing out to the restored river, “What the fuck is that!”

For a fleeting instant Harry fears that Shawn’s shout is announcing that Jay herself is coming for Louis.

Fortunately the thing in the water that Shawn spotted is nothing to fear. Swimming in is none other than Louis’ best mate, Niall.

Chapter Text

Harry has the challenge of too many things happening at once. Louis appears to have blacked from the exhaustion of the turmoil of meeting his mum in a battle. Meanwhile Harry has got a sister trying to coax his ally Charlie into assisting getting the enemy Liam aid. And freaking out at the river’s edge is his mate Shawn whose about to discover, as Charlie has, that merpeople really do exist.

Harry picks up Louis. He starts to follow Gemma and Charlie who have gotten a head start carrying Liam appearing to be taking Liam back to the house for care.

“Zayn I need you to help me set my sister straight, but first you should tell Shawn to stop freaking out. That is Niall. If he knows Niall is Louis’ best mate, not a threat, maybe Shawn can learn from Niall where things stand with Jay. Liam intervening in this can’t be what she expected.”

Harry leaves Zayn and Shawn hoping to get Louis back to his house and divert whatever it is Gemma thinks she’s doing.

The only thing that is difficult in carrying Louis is the worry. Arriving to his home, Charlie is standing outside looking a little at a loss as to what to do; Gemma, her car, and Liam are gone. Laying Louis carefully on the porch swing Harry asks where his sister went.

“She had me put the bloke in her car, asked to have some of my clothes for him, the drove off. Said she was taking him to the nearest medical clinic.”

Zayn runs up to them. Hearing the news Zayn gets a drained look on his face as he says. “Oh no.”

“Oh no, oh no?” Harry repeats Zayn then questions Charlie. “Why did she decide to do that?”

Charlie looks baffled. “As we were coming back she seemed to be somewhat thrown off by what happened down at the river. I didn’t know what to say to her. She very upset, kind of stunned, disoriented. I’m sorry. I simply didn’t know what to do. She seemed really upset at your behavior.”

Harry looks at Louis who isn’t moving though his arm has slipped off the bench. His unconscious state has Harry increasingly worried as does the idea of his sister taking Liam with her for what?

“No need to apologize Charlie. Me and Gemma had an argument last night. That might make it even harder for her to grasp the inexplicable things she saw. I still don’t understand everything that happened myself.”

Zayn offers that the most likely explanation is with Jay enhancing Garry Liam was able to insert himself by channeling through the desire Garry had to get with Louis. Zayn knows this because it’s similar to how Liam intended to work through Zayn. In Garry’s case Jay opened a passage door she never intended.

The question at hand is how to stop Gemma driving around with an unpredictable stranger before it’s too late.

They decide the first step is to try to redirect Gemma from driving a long way to what would be the nearest medical clinic. “...maybe we can convince her to go to the Johnson’s instead. Zayn, if you will call her, because I don’t think she will pick up a call from me, maybe she will agree to seek medical help from Dr Johnson instead of such a long drive. Frank and Irma are the only people who are prepared for a situation as fantastical as this one. We need to make sure Gemma is safe from whatever Liam is. If she says anything about what she saw, or what she thinks she saw, the Johnsons will act accordingly sensitive. So if you try calling Gemma with your phone, I’ll call the Johnson’s to make sure they know what has happened. Besides, I want Frank to come check on Louis when he can.”

Harry gives Zayn the Gemma’s number. They both make their calls. Being from this region, Gemma considers Zayn has a locals’ perspective of the good Dr Johnson but she isn’t thrilled that Harry gave Zayn him her number or so Zayn explains when he is done talking with her. “She’s sort of hard to read, she kept saying ‘Harry is crazy’, ‘Harry’s gone absolutely crazy’.

***

It’s several hours later when Frank calls Harry. He’s on his way to Harry’s. His hushed conversation is brief. “I’m on my way to yours. We’ll talk then.”

When Frank arrives Harry shows him to his room where Louis sleeps. Franks finds no cause for alarm. Hearing Harry’s explanation of what happened Frank assumes he can only confirm Harry’s suspicion; Louis is exhausted from the taxing process of fighting his mother.

“...he is at this time, as her son, the Trinity in waiting. He’s hardly capable of taking her on.” Franks states as they leave Louis to sleep, joining Charlie and Zayn in the living room. Shawn has yet to return from the river.

“This Trinity thing. I’m confused. So Liam is a Trinity, I’m a Trinity, so what does this really mean, I mean in the power scheme thing. I had the ability to allow Louis to join me in my, what do you call it, my realm. But then Liam wanted to enter my realm and he couldn’t unless he was acting through Zayn or in this case Jay's merman mate of choice for Louis...and what about Liam now? He is at your house, my sister too. What is the status with him? I don’t want my sister harmed. Zayn says he is a very dark force, Louis has said that countless times.”

“Okay, first off Gemma is fine. She is in no danger from Liam. Irma was making them some diner when I left, Liam checked out as okay. He appears to be a normal a person as you or I, though he’s got quite a few nasty remnants of the assault your sister came upon. Gemma appears to be like a person who’s experienced a shock. She was sitting in the living room with Irma giving her some camomile tea for her nerves while I examined Liam and she never said anything about the art right smack in front of her that Irma he been working on. It’s a blatant recreation, full range of color, of Louis as the merprince. She was staring at it and saying nothing about it being Louis. She said nothing of Louis at the river, the water airborne, the appearance of a merman one minute and Liam another. She only spoke of your violent outburst, your assault on Liam. We’ve invited them to stay. Liam appears to be kind, polite, respectful. He’s a little confused when pressed to explain what was the incident at the river.”

“And what is his strength? His reach with his powers? It was me and Louis together that pushed him, his darkness from Zayn. He’s now living in what is partly another person, a merman.”

“I don’t think he knows himself. At least he seems not. What you speak of, Louis and you pushing him form Zayn was you acting jointly, two realms’ Trinitys forcing him out of Zayn...”

“No. No not really it wasn’t like that. I forced out the darkness of Liam by killing Zayn when they were connected. It was me and Louis bringing Zayn back. Louis never harmed anyone. He certainly didn’t harm Zayn, he only gives life. Isn’t that right Zayn?”

Zayn lights up a cigarette. He looks to need to sort through what a vague, clouded thoughts. Charlie moves to rub Zayn’s back and shoulders with supportive affection.

“Right. I went out when I was a young lad wanting to contact the werewolves that were rumored. I had been infatuated with the rumors, and stories that they could contact the other mysterious creatures which live in our woods, our waters. It had been a long time I’d been watching this merboy, Louis, who would lie in the water wherever little Harry would be. In a tree branch over the water, at the water’s edge, while in a boat. Walking the river’s edge with his dog. Wherever you went as a child, Louis would too. Laying dangerously close to land like he couldn’t be parted from you. When I learned how the werewolves could approach the mer I wanted to do that too. To meet Louis. Once I was converted I could go to the river or the lake and Louis would come, being curious, a total pixie with his fascination of things forbidden or beyond his reach, especially this odd child Harry Styles. You see Harry the people around this region saw you as you know, an odd lad, but a lad. Louis could see you as the son of a Trinity. He told me that. Once I could approach, having left my family, my people to merge into werewolf kind, we were able to become friends. I came to understand I’d come half way to my goal, to be a special to Louis as you were to him. All this time you didn’t know he followed you, longed for you to be with him. But I learned. I learned to be able to be closer to Louis, to have any chance to have him want to be with me, I needed more that what the werewolf in me afforded us. I needed Trinity in me. I made my bargain with Liam.”

Zayn lets the story of his inception sink in. He looks to Charlie for approval. Charlie’s pat on his knee gives him the comfort he needs. He continues.

“All this time our bodies were all changing. We weren’t children anymore. Louis was more in love with you. I was in love with Louis. Liam infatuated with Louis too. Liam needed his bond to be made with the acceptance of a Trinity to stay in his desired human form. He could cloud shift into a somewhat stable form for some seconds or so but not maintain it. Stability needed a Trinity from a realm not his allowing his to take a form that he can keep stable. It’s like how your bond with Louis allows Louis to shift from his water realm to your land realm. When you killed me, us, our symbiotic self, Liam was expelled. I was gone. For what seconds? But then you and Louis brought me back. Me, free of Liam. What Jay did was not what she intended. She enhanced Garry. Only to allow him to challenge a Trinity, so she planned, clearly. This opening into making you less lethal to Garry to encounter left Garry at risk. It’s clearly not an outcome she expected. But as she was distracted by Louis, his setting you back on land by pushing the water back that she was pushing forward, in came Liam.”

The fascinating manner of Zayn’s narration of what he knows from his past experience has everyone leaning in listing to every little detail. “I don’t know if Garry got any hint of the treat. I imagine he felt his lust for Louis spike. He probably liked the infusion he felt of power, unlikely not knowing he wasn’t only enhanced by Jay. He let more and more of Liam build in him. The prize, Louis would have felt more and more real. He liked it. He let himself go. Liam remains. Now if you kill Liam. His form is the shapeless again and Garry remains. But no for sure, Garry wanted to give in to Liam. It’s like when I was with Liam I don’t want to let him have full control, I wanted to be as me and with Louis. Garry maybe wanted to walk. Or maybe he just was lost in Liam’s lust for Louis. Remember, Louis can give Liam an heir because he’s not only the Trinity prince, he’s a hermaphrodite.”

Chapter Text

“So where does this leave us with Liam now? He’s with Gemma and Irma but is he stable? Is he any kinder or is he still the dark-hearted one?”

The questions passed Harry’s lips with everyone understanding it’s an answerable set of questions. How can anyone know? With an element of the passage aided by the merqueen she may have cast a quality that is of her kind into the mix that is Liam and Garry. All life on the planet began in the water. The mer have a lineage that is the oldest on earth, and with it comes a gift for tempered emotions, love and kindness. Harry would like to think he can avoiding running to the Johnsons and stealing his sister away or reengaging in some battle with Liam. He like to stay exactly where he is, just a close to Louis, his lover, as possible. He wants so badly to see those eyelashes, long and thick flutter open, those blue eyes as they seems to sparkle looking into his. The smile that comes when they do.

The doctor is just leaving assuring Harry he will be vigilant about evaluating if Liam is of any threat to Gemma, perhaps engaging in persuading her to return to her family home, when Shawn comes back at last.

The reason for Shawn’s lengthy stay at the river is evident by the look of him. Shawn is smitten with Niall.

He gives them the update of what message Niall brought. Jay was not aware from what Shawn reports that Liam muddled in the mix. Shawn gets updated on what Harry, Zayn, Charlie and Frank were discussing, he shares what he and Niall discussed and notably fills in many details that are irrelevant demonstrating his massive crush for the merman Niall.

The only way to make Shawn stop blathering on about Niall is for them to call it a night. This they do after Frank calls from his home wanting to share the news that Gemma and Liam will be their guests for the night. The expansive home, formerly the Sheerans, is familiar to Gemma and she is still sorting out her brother’s crazy behavior. The doctor also shares that Liam seems very passive and while clearly sees in Irma’s art the magical living things he knows far too well he has done nothing to call attention to them to make Gemma confront what she saw at the river.

“...if anything I’d say Liam is cautiously trying to protect Gemma’s innocence, her chosen will to deny the fantastical. It’s funny because in her doing that it reminds me of how years ago your mother did the same. She denied her husband’s, Gemma’s father’s, far-fetched story. For years she’d rather believe her husband a horrible person than accept the conception of her second child was by an act of the mystical.”

Once to his bed Harry has a listless, sleeping Louis to pull to him. He talks to Louis though Louis is unresponsive. How he wishes this would wake Louis. “So here we are again Louis deep in another fairy tale. Are you now my sleeping beauty?”

Harry kisses Louis’ invitingly pink, slightly parted lips. Nothing stirs in Louis. “What if I were to kiss my way into that tiny pink hole of yours, hum? Would I wake you then? You always enjoyed waking me by thanking my cock into your mouth, how would it be if I were to lick you into that frenzy where tiny, pristine pink becomes a rainbow of colors, your entrance puckers and twitches, begging for me to fill it, walls wanting to feel the friction as I fuck you into orgasm, again and again because the merprince loves his getting a good dicking.”

Once again nothing stirs in Louis. Harry makes himself the big spoon with Louis in his arms. Maybe tomorrow his prince will wake him as he has just described.

***

Louis does not wake Harry as Harry wished for.

It’s heat that wakes Harry as he has shifted during the night to laying on his back, pulled Louis with him, to his chest, so there is a pool of sweat on his chest when he gently slips Louis off of him.

“Louis?” Harry whispers, hovering over his lover waiting a reply. “Louis?” He presses once again. “Louis, why don’t you wake?”

Waiting a few seconds before he resigns that Louis will still not wake, Harry rises. Slipping on some boxers he makes his way to the kitchen. It’s a surprise to find Shawn is there gathering food to fill a picnic basket. Shawn is off to the river and wants to take a lunch.

“...for Niall.” Shawn admits with a goofy grin and a massive blush. It’s evident this crush for Niall is hitting Shawn hard. He leaves the house with the basket and his guitar.

Harry has some pancakes made when Zayn and Charlie join him. These two have the look of new-lovers bliss. Harrry knows precisely what they were doing in their bed this morning before they join him in the kitchen.

The breakfast subject of conversation bounces between concern for Louis and concern over Gemma being near Liam. Nothing is decided about either problem but then Zayn decides to go to the river and see what Niall thinks about Louis’ state. Zayn returns to report that while the basket of food was there, the guitar too, there was no sign of Shawn. Or Niall. What Harry and Zayn expect is that Niall took Shawn swimming. Perhaps they were doing as Harry has experienced before where a mer can take their partner under water somehow enabling the non-mer some passage.

At day’s end the troubling subjects of Louis’ endless sleeping and Gemma’s estrangement both have no resolution. Shawn returns. He offers no explanation for how he spent so many hours with Niall. The others don’t really need one. The look about him indicate his and Niall’s relationship has jettisoned from new acquaintance to something like lovers. Maybe it’s this head over heals in love state that explains how Shawn never got any clarity for his mates about the way Louis won’t wake. Or soot seems that Shawn and Niall were busy with a lot of something other than talking.

The next morning, Louis is still sleeping peacefully but disturbingly so long in his unresponsive state such that Harry calls Frank fairly early. Frank comes immediatley. Following a brief examination Frank states that he no longer believes exhaustion is the only reason Louis sleeps. He discussing the possibility of starting some hydration though with concern for Louis continuing to consume nothing but air. He also brings news that things with Liam and Gemma are becoming quite chummy.

Riddled with concern for those Harry loves he asks his friends to join with him on a venture to the river. He needs their backing and fears Louis will only regain consciousness if he once tries to engage the merqueen.

Shawn is all too happy to head to the river despite the early hour. He has love on the brain. Once to the river Niall surfaces his love-struck grin rivaling Shawn’s. Shawn and Harry wade into the river while Zayn and Charlie remain on shore. Harry carrying Louis bridle style, one arm dangling free reduces some of Niall’s look of star-struck love as he becomes concerned.

“What’s wrong with Louis?” Niall questions as he swims around Harry to inspect, Louis and Shawn refraining from giving into his palpable desire to respond to his attraction to Shawn.

“Was hoping you can tell me the answer to that? He passed out when he and Jay were battling and hasn’t woken since. We thought you might have some idea about this.”

The first sign that Louis’ family is around comes in the form of the babies swimming in. Shawn isn’t surprised to see them which indicates he had some extensive introductions the day before while he was with Niall. This would indicate that Shawn was able to gain some massive amount of trust from those close to Louis or they wouldn’t have let him see the babies unless they were certain he is a safe human.

The distraction of the cute little mers has Harry’s attention. He’s gotten used to the sound of Niall swimming around them too. This is why he’s totally caught by surprise when up from under the water within a foot of him comes the merqueen herself.

There is no mistaking this the merqueen and the mother of Louis, Lottie and Fizzy. Her beauty is carried in all of them. Like Louis, her tail fans out greater than the other mers. It is positively far more splendid than any mer tail that Harry has seen accept for Louis’. Another thing distinguishing Jay from other mermaids is how her tail has greater range of colors. She doesn’t have the spectacular array of rainbow colors that Louis has but she does have a greater range of colors than her mermaid daughter’s. Her tail has a pale pink, silver and gold all the shade lustrously metallic and shiny. It has to be that Louis’ distinctively resplendent colors is due to his rare hermaphroditism.

Harry has to remind himself to breathe as a mix of emotion hits him. Jay is breathtakingly beautiful but also a little intimidating because she is the one who objects to their bond. She is the one who prefers Garry, brawny, mer-perfection, manly Garry.

She gets to the point directly. “Your father made sure to mate with a human assured to give you such beauty. Knowing him as I do he would of course know this would lead to something happening between his son and mine one day. Louis’ hermaphroditism made him naturally susceptible to pretty boys more so than girls. Always so clairvoyant that father of yours, his visions were always proven to be true prophecies. He saw his son and mine would fall in love one day. I don’t think he considered that maybe his vision for Louis was for a different future than what I want. My son needs to be with one that will do anything and everything to protect him.”

That stated Jay makes a pass circling around them cutting between Harry and Shawn. Niall tugs Shawn to put more space between Shawn and Harry’s assist giving his queen room for her inspection of Harry. The merqueen’s scrutiny leaves Harry feeling more exposed and naked wearing only his tiny swim shorts than if he were actually nude.

“Protect him? Do anything for him? How do you call what you did the other day as having any affect on him other than exposing him to harm? He’s been like this ever since and now you’ve released Liam into the wild.”

Jay laughs it is the kind of laugh that says “stupid boy”. “Have you learned so little still? Do you really think I could ever do anything to harm my precious son? While I didn’t expect Liam’s intervention once I realized my mistake I made sure to stamp out his ability to take advantage of Louis’ vulnerable state. Exhausted by fighting me, Liam could have taken Louis for once. I cast Louis into a slumber to protect him.”

Harry looks at his sleeping lover. Louis looks far too delicate and, as Jay said, vulnerable. “But he looks vulnerable, more so now like this. How is it that he is safe from Liam?”

The merqueen makes mother snicker at Harry’s ignorance. “Because he was exhausted. But the bond you have with him is not set. He can be forced out of it by being bred. Putting him in the slumber he can’t be asked to open his chamber. Sure he could be violated for pleasure but not to receive seed. He is safe like this. Thus he will stay until you deal with Liam. Louis is, how do the humans say it? ... ‘a sleeping beauty’. My son is safe.”

Harry realizes that she isn’t the malicious angered merqueen he might have thought. He still has no indication of why her objection to him and Louis.

“If I do as you say, ‘deal with Liam’, what then? Will that be good enough for you? Will I have your blessing?”

Jay stops circling around him. She stays in front of where they are. Picking up the hand of the draped arm she kisses her sons hand before gently laying it on Louis’ chest. “He’s the merprince. The one I will ab Jew gate my role to someday. He is also that rarest of the rare. Our people have not had a hermaphrodite for over a thousand years. Would you keep him from his duties? From his realm? What would you do for him? Would you live in our realm to be with him? Or would you be selfish? The humans are always so terribly selfish. They take and take. The poising the earth with their greed for meaningless things. They’ve lost touch with nature, it’s bounty, it’s ability to restore. What will you do for him?”

Harry looks at Louis’ face wishing Louis would wake.

“I will do whatever the prince wants from me. I will go anywhere. Do anything. You want me to secure Liam, I will do that,” looking back to Jay he confesses, “I just don’t know what that means. How? As you’ve made clear already, I’m not very good at doing what a Trinity can do. Not yet. What do I do? Am I supposed to kill him? I don’t understand.”

Jay laughs at him again. “You can’t kill him. He’s a Trinity. And he’s far better at his skills than you are. He has to make a bond. He can’t have Louis. If you love Louis you should seduce him while he is in his human form. You have the ability to make a bond with him and he won’t be able to try to take Louis. So you see Harry. You want Louis safe, offer yourself.”

***

It’s after Jay leaves them, Harry standing in waist deep water, Louis in his arms, watching as the babies reluctantly leave Louis after each takes a turn trying to cling to any part of Louis that is below the water line before they follow Jay, that Harry makes a decision.

He will confront Liam.

Shawn wants to linger at the river with Niall so it is just Zayn and Charlie who take that path with Harry back to Harry’s house. Harry decides to leave them to watch over Louis and he prepares for going to see Gemma, calling over to the Johnson’s first to see if the house guests are still there. Irma informs them that why are indeed. She says she will start some tea. It would be good that brother and sister sit for a chat.

Harry decides to go by foot because he needs the time it takes to walk to give himself time to think of how he will proceed when he is clueless about what to expect.

As he walks the path takes its course along the river. When he comes to a knoll overlooking it from a considerable height, the place where he first saw Louis running from a wolf to jump into a river, the place where he encountered Irma one time sitting with her isle, pad and pencils sketching the mer in the river below, Harry stops and looks. Off in the distance one way he can see where the family of mers are though they are deep. In the other direction of the same river he sees Niall and Shawn. The two are at one of larger holders and there they are making out, kissing mostly.

The pleasant notion of making out makes flowers erupt from the earth around Harry. He hadn’t thought he’d asked for that but he decides ‘what the hell, doesn’t hurt to make amends with his sister easier.” Why not take her some flowers?

He picks from them the ones he knows are Gemma favorites. He can’t believe he made such a diversity of flower varieties from nothing. But then, how many times has Louis called him “silly” only to remind him, he is the Trinity. And too said Jay.

***

Irma set a tray of tea out on the back deck of the house. That is where she leads Harry when he arrives. Harry waits to sit until Gemma and Liam come from where they were when he arrived, upstairs. Being polite he offers his hand in greeting to Liam, kisses his sister on the cheek handing her the flowers. She remarks how lovely they are and comments he must have had to drive quite a long distance to find a florist who had such an array of fresh flowers.

Liam’s bruises have taken on the nastiest-looking stage of their progression. Other than that change about Liam there is yet another thing different. Something about his demeanor. His darkness is dampened, diminished. Harry not sure how he knows this but he does. Did Jay’s enhancement of Garry transfer something from the mer Trinity that extended some of her realm’s good into Liam?

One thing for sure as an initially awkward talk about the weather and the tea, Gemma has quite the affection for this stranger she’s rescued. Also notable, Liam looks to like her as well.

The thought of them making a cute couple must make an impact of Harry’s amiable expression because Irma jumps in and ask Harry to help her bring some tea cakes out from the kitchen. Once out of hearing range for Gemma and Liam she begins.

“Harry I know this is hard for you. Your in this fight with Liam and here you find he has gotten a little infatuation with your sister. I want you to know since he’s been here he has been very mild-mannered. He acts more like a puppy than a threat. Much of what happened with you at the river is eluding his recollection. We’ve been trying to have him relax about the idea of staying on here with us for a while. With me and Frank being older now having a young, strong hand around to do some work for us is a big help. We’re not spring chickens anymore. Besides he has no history, not in the human world. Gemma seems to be making excuses to stay around, as you can see, they have a little romance building. Does this terrify you.”

Harry has a huge range of emotions. It’s hard to form an answer.

“It’s massively confusing. I have to go through with something for Jay to be satisfied and I don’t feel it’s right but today she and I finally talked because Louis still sleeps. She says she’s cast him into this slumber for his protection. She says this way, even if he is violated he can’t be bred. She expects me to make a permanent bond with Liam. Me for Louis for satisfying Liam’s need for an heir.”

Irma looks shocked. Frank comes into the kitchen. After greeting Harry, inquiring about Louis, Irma sends him out to join Gemma and Liam with tea cakes in hand so she and Harry can try to work out this conundrum together. She will bring her husband up to speed later.

“Well, Harry dear, this is a problem. That’s one protective mother.”

Harry snorts a laughed “No kidding!” He scratches his head wanting an idea to fall into his brain, a wash of confusion. “How is this supposed to happen? I mean even if I could be intimate with someone other than Louis, me and Liam are both male. I’m not a hermaphrodite, he’s not, at least I don’t imagine he is from how he made it clear he needed Louis. Not just wanted him but needed his rare gift. And now I find my sister is crushing on Liam and I supposed to hook up with him? Jay won’t accept I’m worthy the way I am in part because I’m tainted by humanity, my mum not pure enough I guess. It’s a huge mess. It’s is an attractive enough person in his current form and he actually seems really nice now but how do I proceed. And it I do what does that mean for me and Louis? Am I supposed to raise a family with Liam and not see Louis? Or am I supposed to raise a family with Liam and hide on the side that I’m in love with Louis, have an affair on the side? And another thing, my sister was furious with me over me fighting with Liam and she didn’t know anything about him, what he’s done, or why...what happens if I try to steal him away from her because as you say she’s falling for him?”

Irma gives Harry a motherly hug. “I don’t know what to say. Louis would. For his sake you need to trust your heart. It belongs to him. You can’t split it in two. You’ll have to find another way. What else did Jay say? There must be something in her words that answers the dilemma of how it would work with Liam. Maybe, since he takes on a human form when he is so stabilized, maybe he can be a woman? I wish Jay had told you more.”

Harry thinks. “She did say one other thing. She talked about my father. How he was a seer. He had visions and told of prophecies. She said he told of his child and hers being in love.”

“That’s it Harry. That’s the key. You are his heir. As much as Jay finds your human side offensive he had to know what he was doing. What would happen someday. You need to find the post where he rest. Sit, meditate. Be close to where he was and let your focus speak to you. It’s in you. He was a seer, you are his heir. You have the answers.”

***

Harry makes excuses to leave after visiting with his sister, Liam, Irma and Frank over a little more tea. Then he leaves heading to the forest. He finds he has many of his following him. They must know of his dilemma as they are acting different. He feels embraced by the little things. For the first time he wonders how old they are. They all look young, like teenagers at most, but he wonders would they be that young really? All of them? Why no elders? Or are there some along them who are old. Perhaps old enough to know his father. Would they have answers?

When Harry sits where the massive trunk lies he does his best to close his eyes and meditate. Around him everywhere the sprites and fairies are settled peacefully perched. He is calmed by their comfort.

At first Harry has a sense that he is praying. Praying and not meditating. He begins to send the prayers adrift. He gives himself the freedom to think of one thing. It needs to be about Louis. If he lets it be about how great the sex is with Louis the effect is to stir his arousal so he sends those thoughts adrift too. Focusing on the serenity of his youth when he first saw Louis’ blue eyes, bioluminescent, but calming he becomes free.

From out of nowhere Harry sees his future. He sees children. Five beautiful children. From the resemblance he can see theses. are his family. The scene he watches like it’s a movie palmed in his mind unfolds.

It’s a sunny day. There are butterflies, his sprites, flying around like confetti on the wind. The breeze moves the flowers that are everywhere where the children play. As he scans in this movie like he is using a virtual reality program to view the happy family at play he turns his attraction to see who he is with.

It’s Liam.

Liam looks at him and smiles affectionately.

This vision is he and Liam. This is their family.

Chapter Text

Harry wakes with the darkness still lingering because it’s a sound made in his dream that wakes him far earlier than he intended to rise. Beside him sleeps Louis. The soft breathing is the only comfort to this state Louis is bound to because unlike what woke him from the dream he won’t hear that sound from Louis now. Not until Louis is deemed safe by his mother the merqueen.

The wakeful sound in Harry’s dream was a laugh. Louis’ adorable laugh. In the dream Harry was handing a large bouquet of flowers to his sister who was dressed in a formal white gown. His mum was there, Louis too, but the significance of the dream was that this was about Gemma’s wedding day. The exchange of flowers it seems suggested Harry was to give her away. Well, Harry and Anne, as the dream opens with them were preparing to escort her down the isle. Louis had just stepped in to the bride’s room to inform them all was ready for the bride to do her walk. That’s when Harry hands her the flowers. That’s when the flowers give off a puff of delicate pollen dusting her lightly but enough to elicit a small sneeze from Gemma. The act of the pollen dusting her being deliberate move to tease the nervous bride and it is that act by Harry which makes Louis laugh.

He sits up. “I’ve got it!” Harry’s says aloud to himself. Despite that it’s very, very early he jumps from bed. One small, quick kiss on Louis’ lips and he leaves the room after pulling on some joggers. Infused with a new sense of determination from an idea planted in his mind from the dream has Harry decided that this day can’t get started soon enough.

***

It’s mid-day when Harry arrives at the Johnson’s with a large bouquet in hand. He’s sure no one will think it odd that two days in a row he’s bringing fresh flowers because this bouquet is more splendid and voluminous than the one the day before. He’s hoping this act is interprets as him genuinely wanting to make amends with his sister. Expected by Frank and Irma, he is to join the Johnsons, Gemma and Liam for lunch. In a phone conversation earlier in the morning Harry confided with Frank that he had an idea about how to release Louis from the sleep. He first needs to confirm how things are with his sister and Liam. Is Liam safe. Now that Liam is somehow affected by the enhancement of the merman Garry that the Trinity Jay imposed on Garry only to have Liam channel a physical form by merging with Garry? What is the outcome of this mix? Is it possible the darkness in Liam is somehow healed a little by the nature of the Mer Kind?

Harry thinks he will get a sense of it when he is confronted with Liam. He needs to feels his nature as Louis has told him many times before. Stop putting up human world view blocks to the connectedness of all nature; air, water, land.

Walking into the house the romantic nature of Gemma’s interest developing between Liam is quite evident to Harry. Perhaps they were a little guarded the day before when Harry came to visit but this time they are a bit more overt in revealing the chemistry that exists between them. Despite this chemistry Harry hesitates to pass the flowers immediatley to Gemma because of a small lingering fear about Liam’s nature being dark and untrustworthy. Harry realizes that if he commits to his plan he is in essence pulling Gemma into the mix of the world of fairies, sprites, mermaids, Trinities and she will have no choice to abandon herself to it. He has to be careful about causing her any unhappiness. However once Harry sees how the two are trying to hide their infatuation with each other from him Harry commits to his plan.

Harry offers Gemma the flowers. Like girls often do she pulls them to her face to smell the fragrant bundle. Viola.

Gemma sneezes having inhaled a small bit of pollen.

If one Trinity an do the act of enhancement so can another. He hopes.

Harry looks at Liam to study his cognitive perception of what happened with Gemma.

Liam studies Harry back.

They have a standoff posturing but one devoid of challenge or aggression. They are simply engaged in a calculation of one and another.

Gemma, Irma and Frank are chatting with each other unaware anything happened. The passing of the flowers was a transference of another form. Gemma is oblivious to the meaning of what has transpired in her accepting the flowers and inhaling the microscopic grains of pollen.

.

Only Liam is.

This is the first sign Harry has that Liam has not forgotten all of what happened by the river. He was using a Trinity-infused Garry as a means to an end. Now Gemma has similarly been infused. Liam’s Trinity self has no problems discerning what door Harry opened for Liam in the instant that Gemma inhaled the pollen.

Unlike Jay’s mistakenly enhancing Garry, Harry has enhanced his sister so now she is the one who can give Liam an heir.

Slowly a smile comes to Liam’s face. Liam looks so different with his change in mood. Handsome. Soft. Kind. Jay’s mistake made Liam a little less damaged. Zayn indicated that the Air Trinity has been rendered ill from so much pollution and air can’t be segregated or compartmented as easily as the Land or the Water. Unlike the mer who could find pockets of good earth waters to live where the effects of humans hadn’t soiled their domain, Air is air, ubiquitous.

Harry loves his sister. A sister from a different father, but his sister nevertheless. He would never hurt Gemma by using her. It burns him to deceive his sister. He recalls how good Louis at this tricky navigation of motives and terms, as Liam warned Zayn, playing with duplicity. He gave Zayn the products of his womb as they bartender but he never made it a simple one shot to success. But Harry would not do this risking his sister’s happiness if it wasn’t that burning his in heart to be bared from Louis. If Liam will accept an enhanced Gemma as a substitute mate to Louis maybe Harry can convince Jay to release Louis and let Louis and him seal their bond. If this works, if Louis wakes, the first thing Harry will do is take Louis to his bed and breed him so long, hard and deep that he will secure that hermaphrodite chamber opens.

The question remains Gemma is not with Ed anymore, she is crushing on Liam so can this chanced plan work?

Chapter Text

***

Harry comes running home hitting the front door like a ton of bricks as he passes through the screened door that he nearly took off its hinges. Once inside he takes the stairs in three-step-in-one bounds at at time bolting to his room so quick without a word to his startled, curious mates.

There he finds his sleeping beauty is still spell bound.

Louis looks entirely too peaceful, almost like a porcelain cast of himself because his face is so calm and free of worry. Every little detail of his fine features are as pure as they should be if this were a fairytale.

Why did Harry hope to think that the gamble he made was an instant fix? Did he really expect that he would walk into his home to find merpixie prince restored to animation, energetic, and knowing Louis, probably wanting to crawl onto his dick? Well yes, honestly, he did. Harry’s heart was beating so fast in his chest as he ran home, not for the exertion of the run, but for the hope of exactly that. His entire body aches for Louis’ and he’s not sure how much longer he can go without having Louis it burns him so deep. The last time they were parted, the time between when Louis left to care for Marcie and the time Harry got back to the river was itself far, far too insufferable. Now being here with a spell-cast lover, beside Harry, better maybe than afar, only in that Harry can see and touch Louis but it’s no less unbearable because Louis sleeps. Had Harry but known the bond of theirs was mutable, revocable until Louis was bred, he would have secured it. Why didn’t he ask to do so? Harry recalls vividly how Zayn had to ask. He and Louis made a trade but when the breeding was happening Zayn, while overpowering Louis, brutally, couldn’t do more than fill his pleasure until Louis gave willingly his chamber opening.

Giving Louis one small, soft kiss on the lips for the countelsss time since Louis was cast into the sleep Harry’s entire posture slumps with disappointment that a kiss doesn’t wake Louis and he leaves Louis behind in his room. His friends who had tried to catch a word from him as he ran through the house should surely be anxious for him to share the what transpired in his three hours of time visiting Gemma and Liam and the Johnson’s.

Downstairs Harry explains to Zayn, Charlie and Shawn how the plan to enhance Gemma went.

“When I got there I could see for myself what like Frank and Irma had surmised, a massive chemistry between my sister and Liam. It was reassuring was to see how Liam is very much softer and kinder like the act of taking use of Jay’s effects infused on Garry permeated him. In other words,” Harry says to clarify all this highly mystical mumbo-jumbo for Charlie and Shawn, “to make Garry more than just a normal merman for fighting me truly did have a consequence to the positive on Liam. Unintentional or not, Liam is infused with some hint of the mertypes’ good. His dark forces are diminished, cleansed, by the merqueen. It was also the first time I was certain that Liam has not forgotten all of what happened by the river. He was cautious of me, very much aware of what I am. When he looked at the flowers, he had a stark expression on his face when he saw some unusually pretty, fragrant Fairy Slipper Orchids from the genus Calypso among other flowers in the bouquet. Liam could tell the pollen on the Fairy Slippers was no ordinary pollen. He knew those orchids in the bouquet were my way of opening a door with him and my sister. Now that Gemma has similarly been infused by me, with my Trinity Enhancement, Liam’s could make an his heir with her if Gemma so chooses to be with him. He doesn’t need to try to use Louis anymore to have stably-formed heir. I’d hoped Jay would somehow know this and release Louis. That’s why I ran home but Louis still sleeps.”

Zayn who is listening while smoking has with a far deeper comprehension of these things than Charlie or Shawn, slowly nods as he exhales a picturesce plume of smoke, clarifies so Charlie and Shawn can follow the logic of something that defies all science and reality.

“I never really thought about how hard it must be for the Trinity Liam with the amount of toxins we put in the air. Never. Air pollution is not so obvious like a strip mine scaring the land or an oil slick on the ocean. We, humanity, tend to think dilution is the solution. Meanwhile, we pump more and more non-point source chemicals into the air, water, and soil and think there is no negative health effect. I never considered how the atmosphere, Liam’s home, his realm is dying the fastest. It will take The Water, The Land too. and air can’t be segregated or compartmented as easily as the Land or the Water. The mer can still find pockets of good earth waters to live where the effects of humans hadn’t soiled their domain, Air is air, ubiquitous. Land is like water, some places better, but only for a short while.”

Zayn leans in to pat Harry on the knee and make a solid gesture of support. “I know it’s hard for you to open a door between Gemma and Liam. But maybe it’s better you think of it as not risking Gemma’s happiness but as healing Liam.....”

Harry loves his sister. A sister from a different father, but his sister nevertheless whether she is full blood relative, half-sister, adopted sister, Gemma is his s i s t e r. Harry would never hurt Gemma by using her. It hurts him to deceive his sister. He recalls how good Louis at this tricky navigation of motives and terms, as Liam warned Zayn, playing with duplicity so easily, so naturally as the merprince is a born maker of mischief. Louis gave Zayn the opening of his womb as they bartender terms but he never made it a simple one shot to success for Zayn. Would Harry be risking his sister’s happiness if it wasn’t that burning his in heart to be bared from endlessly sleeping Louis? No. If Liam will accept an enhanced Gemma as a substitute mate rather than Louis perhaps Harry can convince Jay to release Louis and let Louis and him seal their bond. If this works, if Louis wakes, the first thing Harry will do is take Louis, breed him so long, hard and deep that he will secure that hermaphrodite chamber opens.

Another big question Harry has is about his first attempt at enhancement is to know more about how this works. Primarily for Gemma’s protection and also because he fears it’s not enough for Liam for her to be acceptable as a mate since Liam has maintained a long unrequited infatuation with Louis. Harry pries information about Zayn’s experience without revealing too much that could dampen the new relationship between Zayn and Charlie. He doesn’t mention the wolf-form Zayn. Or the brutal way Zayn took Louis. “Zayn when there was you working with Liam, both as males, there was more to it than a womb, an heir, wasn’t there?”

“Yes. Not my finest moment getting Louis by coercion but Liam and me working together gave Louis his chance to meet you on your own turf literally. Not only did I try to use Louis, obsessed with him but I betrayed Liam in the end too. Liam wanted to be far more engaged in the enjoyment, so to speak, with the conception. He was always obsessed over Louis. All the years of childhood Louis alway had one true love going back as long as I’ve known him and well before you even knew if his existence.”

The admission has Zayn lighting a new cigarette. He looks at Harry. Harry looks into the brown eyes of the face of regret, remorse. He wonders if Jay’s accident has given Liam any clarity like Zayn has now for how he treated Louis. Zayn keeps smoking avoiding looking at Charlie like he fears Charlie will cool to this new romance if he knew of the depth of sorted behavior of Zayn’s past when he assaulted Louis.

Zayn might be afraid to check with Charlie for how Charlie is taking all ugly history but Charlie is not shy to jump into reassure. “Zayn Malik how all the mysteries and smoldering keeps building. It would be freaky if you were not so hot. Good thing I love a smoldering mystery. And I should have known given the way Louis affects people that your past with him had another layer.”

Leaving as simple as this Charlie switches to questioning Harry. “What you’re hoping to have happen is for Liam, whose gotten a land-human form to be content to settle for your sister. And you’re fearing this is a remote possibility at best, because why, I mean we all get giddy around Louis, I understand that better now he’s some merprince fertility god, I mean six babies? At once! I kind find that the craziest thing of all. More than him controlling the water, more than Louis’ ability to go from water to land, more than ...well how Louis learns things by reading them in a book like he’s studied the subject for weeks or years. I’m still trying to understand the concern, is it over Gemma being mislead or that Liam won’t go for her? Are you and Zayn saying that the fear is Liam is not that into women? I thought you’ve decided that she looked much enthralled yesterday before you decided to do the pollen-enhancement thingie today and Liam returned the feelings.”

Charlie’s confusion is well founded. Zayn can’t offer too much detail for the others about Liam and how it feels to be enhanced.

“‘Enhanced’ is very hard to explain. It’s ubiquitous experience, tricky to define concretely. It has so many variables from one incident to another. When I was enhanced by Liam it has one way of way being for me because of the werewolf in me. Liam taking a form in Garry after Garry was enhanced by Jay means another completely different kind of thing for Liam. Harry’s act hasn’t forced anything on Gemma to make her take a next step. She remains of free will. She’s not muddled with a third element...”

Zayn stops abruptly what he was explaining to Charlie and Shawn. He directs his thoughts to Harry. “You know Harry now that I think about it the way you’ve handled this is a lot like how you were conceived. I mean your father left everyone out of it so that your mum would have you his direct heir, Gemma’s father played no role in you being conceived. His only role was to be the human father stand-in to help raise you with Anne for your real father. Anne didn’t have a conscious say in any of it. But Gemma isn’t now suddenly pregnant because you enhanced her earlier. She’s just going to be a better partner to give Liam a proper heir should she and Liam hook up. It’s all in Liam’s actions what the outcome is. If she cools off to him and goes back to the city she’s not going to suffer any ill effects from today’s enhancement. Furthermore since Liam is aware that he has this opportunity he should have no qualm with you, no reason to not pursue Gemma. Unless he is still harboring desire for Louis who he has never had any success with.”

Shawn chimes in mouth gong before brain engages, “He could easily be still only in to Louis...dat ass. I mean both me and Charlie never felt any interest in dudes. Then along comes Louis. He’s pretty and delicate. Sassy and sexy. His bum is this epic thing that makes the straightest among us gay-curious. Louis is why me and Charlie both realized one night that maybe it’s not about the the gender, it’s the person that is attractive, male, female, other.”

Shawn realizes he’s being a spoiler so changes the subject to his favorite thing Niall talking about him with a giddy infatuation. “So about Niall...”

Following Shawn’s long “everything Niall” over-share there is much deliberation before the four decide the thing to do is for Harry to reach out to Gemma again the next day. See if she is continuing to show an interest in Liam that is more that simply friends. The hope is things take their course now that Liam knows he has the option for an heir enhanced with Trinity Harry.

***

Harry calls Gemma in the morning to invite her to join him and the lads at the river for a picnic lunch. “Please bring Liam if he is willing to come.” Harry proposes before adding, “It would be lovely to see both of you.”

Gemma agrees to come to the river so Harry arranges for Frank and Irma to come stay at the house where Louis sleeps before he begins preparing a riverside feast. Shawn is put in charge of arranging the picnic setting at the river. He wants to be where he is near Niall and it’s annoying to have him constantly blather on about “Niall this”, “Niall that” being so in love with the Irish mer.

Once the Johnsons arrive Harry, Zayn and Charlie pack up the food and head to the river. They find that Gemma and Liam have arrived early and have been entertained, literally, by Shawn who is playing on guitar some song he has written that smack of his love for Niall. He’s still working on his lyrics but the desire to be with the merman permeates the words he has so far.

“Where is Louis?” Gemma asks upon realizing he is not to join them.

“He’s sick.” Harry says.

Liam, a softer, kinder Liam asks, “Sick? Is that what you’re calling it?”

Gemma is confused. “What do you mean, ‘calling it’, calling it what?”

“You want to explain it to her? My sister doesn’t have the greatest faith in me. For years I’ve told her things about these wood, the river, the lake. She’s never taken them as things that are real. Nor did our mum. We were raised with a father who believed in the lore, like many around here did, or do, the Johnsons for example. But Gemma, no.”

Liam takes Gemma’s hand. The way he does this is gentle and caring. Gemma lets him and stares into his eyes with a trustful openness.

“Liam?”

“Gemma, Louis isn’t sick. Harry is saying that to sound like he’s not insane. Louis is, he’s, um, his mum has put a spell on him.”

Gemma snaps “What!” Her look briefly set on Harry then returns to Liam. “What does that mean?”

“It means Louis sleeps. Like Sleeping Beauty. He sleeps until he is safe.”

Gemma can decide who to look at next. It’s Harry, Liam. Shawn, Liam. Harry, Liam. Charlie, Liam. Then to Liam.

“Gemma you really can’t un-See what you’ve seen. You saw the water. The water that was spewing straight up like from river into the sky. You realize don’t you that was Louis, Louis and his mum in a battle. My appearing there was because I was going to harm Louis. Harry wasn’t beating me because he had a sudden violent urge to fight someone. He was protecting Louis from me. Louis’ mum feared I’d get to Louis anyway. She put him in a spell so he sleeps. He sleeps so he is not harmed.”

Gemma looks at the ground. Her mind is trying to fathom. Everyone gives her time to reconcile.

“How does Louis control water?”

“He’s of the water. A Trinity. Well his mum is Queen and he the Prince. A Merprince.”

“A merprince?” Gemma says with a continued tone of disbelief.

Shawn stands. Aa nod from Harry sends him off to show some proof. He wades into the river. When he’s waist deep he stops. Within a few minutes standing there Niall surfaces.

“Niall, May we introduce you formally to Gemma? Gemma this is Louis’ best friend Niall.”

Niall waves to Gemma. Gemma half waves in return as she is stunned to see there is a lad with a shimmery silver tail swimming around Shawn and everyone is acting like this is a thing not so extraordinary.

Gemma stutters at the start. “S-s-so, so you...you are saying if Louis enters the water he has a silvery tail? He’s a ...”

“No not silvery. Tail yes. His is a resplendent rainbow of colors. He’s both prince and hermaphrodite. He’s the rarest of them all. For over a thousand years they’ve not had one of his exceptionalism.” Harry tells Gemma.

Liam adds further confession. “He’s the rarest, most prized and that is why I was pursuing him. Louis always rejected me even though he likes men but I refused to accept it. I tried to get to him by using Zayn. I made Zayn do horrible things that I am not proud of. And until a few days ago I could not stop my lust for Louis. To use him as my single goal, not until Louis’ mum accidentally made me well by powers. When the water returned to the river her fight with Louis was over. Louis was in a protective sleep but I was changed. I will be forever grateful to be this new me. The best of me.”

Gemma looks around with some disbelieve teetering by the look on her face.

To put the added weight of his place in this mystical tale Harry touches the ground. A small section of grass erupts in flowers including some Fairy Slipper Orchids. Harry lifts his other hand to the sky and numerous sprites fly in to land on it.

“Gemma we have the same mother but we have a different father. I have believed in the things here, the local stories, the lore, the myths because I’m a part of it. I only came to know concretely about myself last summer.”