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Read the summary first, loves. :)

--

It all started because Niall wanted to see a ghost. Liam was agreeable. Zayn went along because he did whatever his boyfriend wanted. Harry was…reluctant.

They could’ve gone to the beach or to France or to their parents’ basements for chrissakes but no. To the haunted hotel in the middle of nowhere (not really, it was Doncaster) for their impromptu vacation.

Their cab dropped them off in front of the inn, which was more of a large house. The sign in the front lawn read “Tomlinson Bed & Breakfast”. The house was painted white, with blue shutters and a matching blue front door. Harry loved it.

Harry, Niall, Zayn, and Liam all dragged their things into the house. “Hello?” Liam called out.

“Over here, love,” an unfamiliar voice said from another room. They followed the voice and found a medium-height woman smiling at them from behind a desk. “Hi! Are you guests…?”

Liam stepped. “Yes, Ms…”

“Jay. You can call me Jay.”

“Well, Ms. Jay, my friend Niall here,” he gestured to Niall, “Wanted to come here for summer, and my two other friends tagged along. We don’t have reservations, though…”

Jay smiled. “It’s okay! We don’t really take reservations; we’re a bed and breakfast. So how many rooms will you need?”

Liam looked around. “Three.” Niall and Zayn would share one, and Liam and Harry both liked their solitude.

She typed something into the computer at the desk and rang a little bell. “Lottie!” she called over her shoulder.

A girl with long hair and friendly eyes came out from a door behind the desk. “Yes, Mum?”

“Can you show these guests to their rooms? 1, 2, and 4.”

“What’s wrong with Room 3?” Harry blurted out.

Lottie and Jay both froze. “Nothing,” Jay said quickly. “Nothing at all.”

--

The boys came down for dinner around 6 pm.

Lovely smells wafted up the stairs and lured the boys from their rooms. They found the dining room table set with nine places, where each of the boys found a space.

Two young girls bounded in, all bright smiles and blue eyes. “Hello!” they chirped in unison.

“I’m Daisy,” one said.

“And I’m Phoebe,” said the other.

The boys said hello to them politely while they waited for Jay to come in with the food. When she finally did, she was followed by Lottie and another girl.

“I see you’ve met Daisy and Phoebe,” Jay said, “and here’s Felicite with Lottie behind me. Girls, these are our new guests, Liam, Niall, Zayn, and Harry.”

Felicite waved from behind Jay. “Hi.”

“And that’s all our introductions! Let’s eat.” Jay set dishes on the table and sat down.

“But wait! Mummy! We have to introduce them to Louis!” Phoebe cried.

The tension in the air shifted dramatically. Felicite sucked in a deep breath and closed her eyes. Lottie, in opposite, let out a large sigh. Jay just looked like she was about to cry.

“Phoebe, darling, you know that Louis is in heaven,” Jay said softly.

“But he’s still here Mum!”

“Well, they can just meet Louis later.” Phoebe pouted, but dropped the subject. Jay let out a sigh of relief and turned to the boys. “Would you like some cheese on your potatoes?”

--

The next day, Harry learned what Room 3 used to be.

He was passing by it when a voice came out of nowhere. “You can ask, you know.” He jumped, and turned to see Lottie leaning on the door to the room.

“Ask what?” he replied.

“About why we don’t use Room 3, about why Louis is ‘in heaven’.”

He shifted on his feet. “I mean, I was wondering but…”

“It’s okay. It’s not like you’re one of the people that made my older brother commit suicide in that room.” Harry’s mouth dropped open in shock. Lottie gave a bitter chuckle, accompanied by a wry smile. “Yeah. He OD’d on sleeping pills. We didn’t notice ‘till the next day.”

Tears were streaming down her face now, but her almost-demented smile remained. “And y’know what the worst part was? Daisy and Phoebe found him.”

She wiped hastily at her tears. “So yeah. Just so you didn’t ask at dinner or something. Mum’s still super sensitive about the subject.”

They were both quiet for a moment before Harry spoke. “How long ago was it, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“Three and half years ago. He would’ve been 21 this past Christmas Eve.”

“Niall mentioned there being a ghost reported here. Is that…?”

“Yeah, we think it’s Louis. I don’t see him much, and neither does Fizzy. Phoebe and Daisy apparently see him a lot. That doesn’t surprise me; he was always super-protective of them. Mum never sees him. She doesn’t believe in ghosts, so I think Louis just doesn’t bother trying to make her see him.”

Harry took all of this in, still staring at the door. “You can go in, if you like,” Lottie said softly. “I won’t tell.”

Harry nodded at her, and went in.

--

The room’s air felt stale, like no one had been in there for a long time.

Harry walked in cautiously, taking in the neglected feeling of the room. There was a twin-size bed made up neatly, and various posters for bands on the wall. There were still some errant clothes strung across the floor, and when he investigated the drawers, they were all still full of clothes.

The part he found saddest, however, was the picture on the wooden desk.

He recognized Jay, Lottie, Felicite, and the twins, but there was someone else in the picture. A boy, about Harry’s age, with lovely caramel fringe flopping on his forehead over the brightest blue eyes Harry had ever seen, even in a picture. His face was like a beautiful statue, warning you to look but to not touch.

His arms were muscular and tan, and were wrapped around the younger twins’ shoulders. The whole family was crowded in the frame, and they looked the happiest Harry had ever seen anyone look.

“Oh!” Jay walked by the open door and peered in. “Harry.”

He jumped at the start (for the second time that day) and turned around, rubbing his neck sheepishly. “I’m sorry…”

She sighed. “Don’t be. You were curious, I get it.” Her eyes landed on the photo in Harry’s hands, and her eyes tightened.

“I-Is this Louis?” Harry asked quietly, pointing at the blue-eyed boy.

“Yes, that’s him.”

“He’s quite fit,” Harry said without thinking.

Jay threw her head back and laughed. “Yes, he’s very handsome.” Her smile faded as her laugh did too. “Well, uh, I’ll just be going.”

Harry moved to go after her, but she shook her head. “It’s okay, you can stay.” He nodded, and she left the room, closing the door with a soft click.

“Hi Louis,” he whispered. He felt stupid, but he sort of wanted to see a ghost too. He heard nothing but the chirping of birds outside.

He sighed and went to the door. Just as he was opening it, he felt a wave of cool air on his back. He turned around, but there was nothing but the sad, lonely room.

He left.

--

He began to go into Louis’ room everyday. He didn’t have anything better to do; Zayn and Niall would go off into town to do couple-y things all day, and Liam was always off being a tourist. So he just made friends with Louis’ room.
It’d been a week after he first went in it when he first saw Louis.

He’d been sitting on the still-made bed, listening to some music on his phone. He was drumming out the beat on his thighs with his fingertips, and staring at the ceiling, when suddenly, he felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned towards the tapping, and nearly fell out of the bed in shock.

It was Louis. But a ghost.

He sat up slowly, looking at (through) Louis. He was clear, defined, not like the other ghosts Harry had heard of, which were just balls of light.

“Hi,” Harry whispered. Louis looked at him sadly, and faded into nothingness.

Harry resolved, then and there, to become friends with a ghost.

--

He came into Louis’ room later than usual the next day; he’d been in town buying some equipment: a ghost box, a voice recorder, and an EMF detector.

He turned on the EMF detector and the ghost box. “Louis?” he said. “Can you hear me? I think you can. If you could please just say anything into the ghost box, that would be nice, thanks.”

For the first five minutes, there was just the scratchy noise of the ghost box scanning radio frequencies. Then, the EMF spiked, and, “Hello.”

Harry leaned forward excitedly, his green eyes sparkling. “Hi! Are you Louis? Or someone else?”

Another moment of silence, followed by, “Louis.” The voice was a tad higher than Harry’s, and sounded quite pleasant for a ghost’s.

“Can you tell me how old you are?” Harry asked.

“21.”

Harry sat back in surprise. If he was correct, Louis would’ve been 18 when he died. So how did he know he would be 21?

“How do you know that you’d be 21?” he asked curiously.

“Lottie talked to you.” It was the first full sentence that he’d spoken, and Harry was thrilled.

“Ah, so you know that you’d be 21, now?”

“Yes.”

Harry played around with the words in his mouth before finally spitting them out. “Sorry if I’m being too offensive or nosy or anything…but why’d you kill yourself?”

“Lottie has my note.”

“Will she mind if I ask her?”

“Probably.” Harry let out a barking laugh. “I like your laugh.”

“Thanks,” Harry said, still chuckling.

“I’m tired. Lots of talking. Bye.” And then the EMF readings dropped to normal, and Harry was left with some very conflicting feelings.

--

At dinner about two weeks later, the boys took notice of Harry’s…preoccupation.

“Hey, Haz, what do you do locked up in that room all day? It’s vacation! Go outside and enjoy yourself!” Liam said.

“I am enjoying myself!” Harry protested.

“By staying locked up in there all day,” Zayn said.

“With no one but you,” Niall added.

“And Louis,” Harry said before thinking.

“Louis?” they all asked. Phoebe and Daisy looked up, Felicite looked down, Jay looked away, and Lottie fixed Harry with an unreadable expression.

“Yeah,” Harry said quickly and began to scarf the roast into his mouth.

“My dead brother,” Lottie said emotionlessly. “Y’know, the ghost you came to see?” She stood up and shoved her chair in angrily. “I’m done.”

Harry got up and followed after her. “Lottie, wait,” he called after her, leaving behind the rest of them confused and curious.

--

“Lottie, please, you have to believe me, I never meant to mention Louis.”

She turned on him outside of Louis’ room, tears springing from her eyes. “Why does he talk to you? Why not me? I’m his sister! I knew him since the day I was born! And you…you come along, and not one month later, you’re chatting like old mates!”

“He misses you,” Harry murmured.

“What are you talking about?” she said exasperatedly.

“He talks about you a lot. He doesn’t outright say it, but I can tell. He also wishes that your Mum would notice him. You know how she’s been complaining about there being a draft in her bedroom? That’s him.”

There was silence. “Why are you telling me this?” she whispered.

“You need to hear it. C’mere.” He beckoned her into Louis’ room and turned on the equipment he’d left in there. “Louis? Hi, it’s Harry. I’m with Lottie today.”

The ghost box crackled for a few moments. “Why’s he not saying anything?” Lottie said.

“Just give it a few minutes,” Harry said.

Sure enough, a few minutes later, “Hi Harry, Lottie.” Lottie began to cry again. “Don’t cry, please.”

“Hi, Lou,” Harry said, “how’s it going?”

“I’m bored. Death is stupid.” Harry threw his head back. “Don’t laugh, it’s true.”

“How can he say this much?” Lottie asked. Harry opened his mouth to reply, but Louis cut him off.

“I rest a lot. Something you’d know about, Miss Lazy.”

“He’d always call me that,” she said, her voice watery.

“Harry,” Louis said.

“Yeah, babe?” Harry said.

“Harry,” Louis said, more insistently.

“I’m here, honey,” Harry soothed.

“I think I like you…like, like you like you.” Then there was nothing but silence.

Harry turned to Lottie, his mouth wide open. Lottie nodded, mouthing, “I’ll tell you later.”

Harry cleared his throat. “Well, that’s good, because…” He shifted uneasily. “I like you too.”

Lottie looked at him like he was crazy, and a raspy noise came through the box that Harry recognized as a laugh. “You have romantic feelings for a ghost.”

Harry laughed too. “I guess I do,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck.

“Bye, Harry, Lottie. I’m tired. Talk to you tomorrow.”

--

Harry and Lottie walked out of the room. “You like my brother? Who just so happens to be dead?” Lottie hissed.

Harry raised his hands in defense. “I’m sorry! I just…” He sighed. “I don’t know. He’s surprisingly charming for a ghost. And…I don’t know. He’s—very lovely? And, he just, gets me.”

Lottie set her mouth in a hard line. “Come with me.” She led him into her room upstairs, at the foot of the staircase. It was painted a baby blue, with movie posters decorating the walls. Harry stood awkwardly in the doorway as she shuffled through her desk. She pulled out a sheet of paper, making a small ‘a-ha!” noise.

Lottie walked back over to him. “Here you go. His note.” Harry took it nervously. “Don’t worry; I have a feeling Lou won’t mind.”

He nodded, and walked back to the comfort of Lou’s room.

--

He sat down on the bed with a soft thud and creak of the metal springs. “Okay, Lou, here goes nothing. I hope you don’t mind…” He glanced around the room once before turning his attention to the paper and beginning to read.

“Dear Everyone,

If you’re reading this, I’m dead. Wow, that sounded cliché. Anyway, yeah, I swallowed a bunch of pills.

I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I just…couldn’t take it anymore. The kids at school…it got to be too much. Lottie probably already knew that, though. She saw the slashes on my wrists. I’m sorry about those too.

Mum, I’m so sorry to put you through this. For putting all of you through this. I’m so sorry you’ll never be able to call me ‘Boobear’ again. For not saying ‘I love you’ everyday. I’m sorry for not putting away the dishes when you asked, and for going out with friends on family night. Most of all, I’m sorry for letting you down. I love you.

Lottie, I’m sorry for leaving you when you’re so young. You’re only 12, and I’ve pretty much abandoned you. Just…watch out for yourself, okay? Don’t date boys until you’re sixteen. And don’t cake on the makeup, you hear? No revealing clothing either. I have a feeling you’re going to ignore that, but I can try. I love you.

Felicite, I’m sorry for leaving you too. 10. One decade of life, and already facing the loss of your older brother. You’re turning 11 soon. That means you’ll be starting sixth year soon, too. It’s a big milestone. New school, new teachers, new classes, new people. I’m so, so sorry for leaving you. I should be here. But I guess it’s a little late for that. I love you.

Daisy and Phoebe, you’re only five. You probably don’t remember much of me. But oh, I remember so much of you. You used to force me into crowns and skirts to play tea party, remember? With your matching stuffed bunnies, Flopsy and Mopsy. We’d pretend we were the Queen, and we were taking our royal tea. I wish I could still play it with you. I love you both.

Who else? Hm…I know…

My soulmate, I’m sorry I didn’t find you in time. Hey, maybe I’ll come back as a ghost, and you’ll be staying in our ever-so-humble bed-and-breakfast. I’d like that. Sort of romantic, isn’t it?

Love, Louis."

Harry was in tears by the end of it, moved by the way he wrote to his mother and sisters, and especially to the last paragraph.

“Soulmates, huh Lou?” Harry whispered out loud. Suddenly, the ghost box crackled on of its own accord.

“Yeah, soulmates,” Louis said.  Harry wiped the tears off his face. “I didn’t want to say anything. I didn’t want to scare you off.”

“I don’t think you could ever scare me off, Lou. I’ve never…I’ve never felt a connection like this with anyone, ever. I feel like I can talk about anything with you, Lou, and call me crazy, but I think you feel the same way.”

There were a few moments of silence. “I do. I really do.”

Harry smiled. “Good, then. The only problem is…”

“I just so happen to be dead.”

Harry laughed, and then his smile faded. “Yeah,” he said quietly.

“Boys! Dinner!” Jay called up the stairs. Harry turned back to the box.

“I guess that’s my cue.” He stood up, and rocked on the balls of his feet anxiously. “Lou…I didn’t want to tell you, but today’s my last day here. I’m leaving for home tomorrow morning.” He got no reply. “Babe? Please reply.”

Nothing. He sighed. “I’m so sorry, I really am. I promise to visit all the time.” With that, he left and padded down the stairs to dinner.

--

The next morning was bittersweet.

Harry helped the other boys pack up their stuff into the car. He looked up at Louis’ room’s window. Nothing but the curtain. He turned back to the packing with a sigh.

Zayn looked up at him with a worried look. “Man, you need to get over it. It’s just a ghost.”

Harry shook his head sadly. “He’s not just a ghost to me.”

That time, when he turned back to the window, he could see the outline of a figure, waving. He waved back, and got in the car. “Let’s go,” he said roughly.

--

On his word, Harry visited. Every holiday he drove down to Doncaster, including his and Louis’ birthdays.

He watched all of them grow up. He watched Lottie go to uni, Felicite get her first boyfriend, watched Daisy and Phoebe enter high school. He watched Jay get older and older until one day she passed peacefully in her sleep. Harry was honored and humbled (and teary-eyed) to see she had put him in her will.

The house was his.

So he moved in. He was getting older too, now, about his 60’s. He took Louis’ room, and housed all sorts of guests, most coming to see the famous “Ghost of Doncaster”.

Eventually, though, Harry closed. He was simply too old to take care of the house properly anymore. He had never married or had children, and worried about who he would pass the house onto.

“Just give it to the girls, silly,” Louis had said through the ghost box one time when Harry was worrying.

And finally, Harry passed in his sleep.

--

He woke up to a blinding bright light. Looking down at his body, he realized he was his 19-year-old self.

“Hello?” he called out.

“Harry? Is that you?” a familiar voice called out. The bright light dimmed, and he could see in clarity. He was at the bed-and-breakfast, sitting on Louis’ bed.

“Louis?” Harry called out, wondering if it was too good to be true.

Louis stood in the doorway of his room, looking lovely and about 21 years old. “Harry!” Louis shouted with a smile, and Harry knew he was dead. But it was okay, because now he was with Louis.

He was in heaven, Harry realized. He got off the bed slowly, taking careful steps towards Louis, before pulling him into a burning kiss.

When he finally pulled away, he said, “I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited to do that.” Louis threw his head back and laughed, and Harry wanted to bottle up the sound and never let it go.

HE touched his forehead to Harry’s. “Hi,” he whispered.

“Hi,” Harry whispered back.

“I love you.”

“I love you, too.” And with that, the two soulmates were united.

And all was well.
Rating: Uh, T? PG-13?? Yeah.
Word Count: 3.4k
Genres/Categories: Angst, Fluff, Romance, Supernatural
Characters: Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Lottie Tomlinson, Jay Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Felicite Tomlinson, Daisy Tomlinson, Phoebe Tomlinson.
Status: One-shot.
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