The series where Harry is mute
Masterlist linked in bio
Y/n never went back home. Instead, she spends winter break in the confines of Harry’s apartment—wrapped up in between his bedsheets to keep warm.
The usually cold and brutal winter that always made their skin numb is now warm to them—skin always accompanied by one another’s and feeling more than ever before. And with the mix of never ending company and the feel of the music that always seems to be playing in his apartment, they couldn’t have asked for a better way to start off their relationship.
They never do anything extravagant—never do anything that could take time away from one another. It’s in their simplicity do they find a sense of comfort throughout the festive season. They feel happiest in their own little world—away from everything and everyone, just focusing on them being together without any distractions.
With being so consumed by one another, they’ve learned more about each other than ever before—spending most days watching their favorite movies and baking new recipes they found in Harry’s favorite Christmas cookbook and spending the nights cuddled up against one another as Y/n somehow finds new things to talk about.
Each day, they fall in love with each other all over again. It’s as if their hearts unravel and trap each other in—giving them no means of escape, but neither of them want to.
Whenever she spends the night at his apartment, Harry has to spend nearly an hour each morning just to fight her from getting out of bed. It’s become a routine, Harry having to pull her from the edge of the bed so that he can cradle her back in his arms while she giggles and mumbles some excuses he doesn’t have the energy to listen to.
He just really, really, really loves the feel of her first thing in the morning, especially when the brutal feel of the blistering winds finds its way to his apartment. She’s much warmer than usual and her eyes are brighter and always glistened against the sun. Her lips, too—they are always so much fuller somehow that even in his mild awareness, he finds himself kissing them before he finally lets her slip away from the comfort of the sheets.
But this morning—this morning is different.
After a Christmas night filled with passion and inexperienced intimacy, Harry really doesn’t want to let her go. He’d much rather feel her uncovered body up against his all morning—soaking each other up and holding one another until the sun sets into the night.
It just sounds so right, to keep each other near and close after giving each other their last bit of innocence. Everything they had to offer one another was taken and used to make them whole, so that’s how they should be—together and whole for as long as they possibly can.
But when Harry feels Y/n begin to stir her way out of his arms, he knows she has very different plans.
And he’s just not having it.
He whimpers in his slumbered state, pulling her back against his chest with eyes half-lidded and breathing still steady. He’s holding onto her like never before, refusing to feel her side of the bed empty. He needs her, her, her, anywhere and everywhere as long as it’s with him. And despite having every bit of her last night, he hasn’t gotten enough and he needs her more.
She giggles softly against his neck, gingerly kissing the exposed skin as her fingers run along his jaw. She can already feel him falling back asleep from her touch, a content sigh leaving his lips at their closeness.
“Love, I gotta get up. Y’know me, can’t stay in bed once I’m awake.”
He groans as he shakes his head, somehow filling up the smallest of empty spaces between them and tucking his head into her shoulder. His nose is right up against her skin and he can smell her usual scent—vanilla and lavender from her usual body wash but much more filthy than usual.
She giggles again when she feels his bottom lip poke at her shoulder, her fingers reaching to his hair as she combs through it.
“Oh, none of that, H.” She tisks, thumbing the very exaggerated pout on his lips. “I’ll be right downstairs, won’t be going anywhere far.”
He rolls his body off of her, his back hitting against the mattress with a whine. His eyes remain closed but there’s a very noticeable furrow between his brows, and Y/n begins to wonder what he’s so worried about.
She frowns down at him, observing the rise of his goosebumps from the morning cold on his bare chest. It looks empty and lifeless without her head upon it, and though his body is no stranger to her, there’s something about it that seems much more inviting and she yearns to keep it closer than ever.
And she gets it—she gets his exaggerated whining and the worry in his eyes. After everything that happened to them the night before, he can’t leave her—he can't—and that’s exactly what she’s doing to him, even if it’s only a floor away.
Almost as if to reassure him, she goes with the feel of her heart and decides to spend the next couple hours of the freezing morning right beside him.
Harry loves watching Y/n in her most natural hours.
Her chest and elbows are leaning against the surface of the kitchen counter, one hand holding a mug of coffee while the other flips the pages of her favorite poetry book. Her upper body is clad with Harry’s favorite sweatshirt—ending right at the end of her underwear—leaving her legs exposed and on full display for all of Harry to see.
Despite her hair fully knotted and having an overall disheveled look to her, Harry decides that she looks best this way—in a way nobody other than him has gotten the chance to see—as if she was made for his eyes only.
And he has never seen such a beautiful sight in his life as she looks at him with the softest and most delicate of eyes, a small smile resting on her lips at his presence. Every bit of her looks inviting—like a place of comfort Harry could forever shield himself in.
She’s become so much more than his girlfriend—so much more than someone to call his own—she’s become his muse and his home, his haven and everything in between.
“You always look at me with longing even when I’m right here with you.”
He blinks at her, watching as her cheeks flush with pink under the watch of his amused eyes, loving how easily tranced he becomes in her.
She’s never been confident in herself. Ever since she was a little girl, she used her friendliness to somehow distract people from what she truly felt on the inside. She never truly touched base with her insecurities and never wanted to, so she always found ways to push the most damaging thoughts in the back of her head.
But Harry changed everything. He made her feel beautiful and loved in every way possible, she almost doesn’t understand how he could have so much of that love in him—especially for her. From the way he holds her all throughout the night to the small kisses and gestures whenever he has the chance, she feels it everywhere and she almost feels it in herself.
His sheepish smile confirms her statement, knowing fully that there will never be a moment he doesn’t want her, no matter where she is.
He walks slowly over to her, the smile never fading from his lips and the blush creeping back to Y/n’s cheeks as she turns her body to stretch her arms out at him. It’s the smallest moments like this that make them grateful for the kind of love they share—together.
He presses his lips to hers tenderly when he feels her fingers run across his stomach, his own fingers pushing the material of his sweatshirt up towards her breasts so that he can brush against the swell of them.
“Beautiful.” He whispers, quickly returning back to her lips as they softly release a whimper from the detachment.
She tastes so good—a mix of bitter and sweet from her coffee, leaving his mouth wanting more and more with each passing second. And what was supposed to be innocent turned to lust before they knew it—their movements much more haste and impatient.
In the midst of their desperation, Harry pushes her hips further against the edge of the counter, fingers digging into her skin as his mouth parts open with hers. They both moan into one another, completely consumed by the feeling of their relentless hands and feverish kisses.
Her hands are against his stomach, rubbing along his torso when he hitches her legs around his waist, leaving Harry in control of whatever it is that’s unfolding. Her squeal turns into a moan when his hips collide with hers, the friction making her head spin and body yearn for more.
He feels her hands creep toward the waistband of his sweatpants while his hands bundle up the sweatshirt over her breasts so that they’re fully exposed to him—revealing the most delicate parts of her.
And right as his lips attach to the valley of them, the ringing of the telephone breaks them from their moment.
“H—Harry, the phone.” Y/n gasps.
But he shows no sign of stopping when his teeth sink into an already bruised hickie from the night before, leaving her with shaking fingers between his hair and withering from the soreness. And he really can’t stop, because she feels like no other and she’s so addicting in every way possible. He wants her all to himself.
The answering machine almost dissolves into pure background noise for the both of them, too caught up in the moment.
“Hi, Harry, it’s your mum.”
Only five words and Harry feels the air being knocked right out of his lungs—seizing all his movements and thoughts as Y/n is left completely confused and panting upon the kitchen counter.
"I know it’s been a while and a lot has ended quite messy, but your father does miss you and well—we all miss you, Harry. We would really love for you to come over for dinner tonight as a late Christmas celebration. You don’t have to, but we’ll have an extra seat for you. And—uh—I love you so much. I wish you the best. Please call me soon.”
It’s as if the world around him is spinning faster than ever before—his brain overwhelmed with scrambled thoughts and ears ringing from the anxiety.
There would have been nothing to prepare him for this moment. He never thought he’d ever see his father again—much less be invited back over to his house after everything that’s happened. It’s been so long, he genuinely thought it was over—he thought all of the pain and fear was over, but his biggest nightmare is coming to life and he feels sick to his stomach.
His father is why he’s like this—mute and anxious in social situations. If his dad hadn’t repeatedly torn him down for never being good enough—hadn’t made him believe nobody would ever talk to a little shy boy—he would have probably gained the confidence to speak the more he matured.
But because his father shunned him for being shy and never making any friends, Harry was terrified of what people would think of him if he ever did make friends. Because if his own father didn’t love him, how could anybody else?
Y/n notices the tears in his eyes and his shallow breathing, which she’s quick to mend when her hands reach up to his cheeks. They’re hot and flushed, but all for the wrong reasons.
She frowns, lips peppering small kisses along his face in an attempt to bring him back to her. She doesn’t know much—or really anything—about Harry’s family life; all she knows is that she has never seen a picture of them in his house or any validation that he ever truly had one.
But as she catches the glimpse of fear in his eyes and the small quivering of his lips, he knows very well that there must have been something that went wrong. And even if she doesn’t know what it is that he went through, she knows that if he decides to do this or not, she’ll be right there with him.
“You’re scared.” She whispers, thumbs rubbing against his cheeks softly. “What is it you’re afraid of, baby? Talk to me, please.”
He squeezes his eyes shut, his lips pursing together as loose tears fall from his eyes.
He’s never talked about his family problems and because all of this has happened so quickly, his words get trapped in his throat. To genuinely talk about his family and come to terms with his emotions seems all too much for him, especially when it’s hard for him to speak in the first place.
Y/n clicks her tongue while shaking her head softly, wrapping her around his neck as he nests his cheek into her shoulder. His muscles instantly relax in her arms and has a sense of clarity in her comfort, but there’s still an undeniable thumping in his chest that just can’t seem to go away.
“You don’t have to talk about this, love, but maybe this will be good for you. You know, to test the waters with your family. Maybe this could help you in the long run.”
And he wants to believe her—he really, really fucking wants to believe her—but he knows he can’t. Anywhere in his father’s path is detrimental to Harry’s social anxiety and he knows it’ll only make this worse for him in the long run.
“Y/n.” Harry groans, detaching her arms from his neck so that he can stand properly. His teeth are grit and eyes are distant—looking anywhere but her own and he swallows thickly around his words. “There’s a reason I don’t talk to anybody.”
His words are cracked and desperate—like a plea for Y/n to understand that this is different, that there will never be a day he’ll be able to face his problems. There have been too many times he’s found his way back and he always walks away with a damaged heart.
Y/n watches the way his fingers fiddle around one another and how he can’t stand still, it’s like watching the battle in Harry’s head and watching him fall apart from it.
And no matter how much she loves him now—the way he is now, even without much speaking—she doesn’t want to watch him suffer for the rest of his life. He’s the most undeserving man, he deserves the world and she knows he does.
His heart is nothing but pure and damaged—in need of mending and love. It’s the best part of him, really. It’s what brought them together and she feels the need to protect it at all costs.
He doesn’t feel it, though. He doesn’t feel what his heart has to offer and doesn’t see how it makes him so strong. He only sees himself as a ruin—a lost cause with nothing left to fight for, and he doesn’t deserve it. After what he’s been through, she needs him to understand that he is so much more than he thinks he is.
Because he is—he really is—no matter what he believes.
She holds his head in her hands to distract him from his consuming thoughts. His eyes shift in her gaze as he lets out a small breath.
“I just think it’ll be best to try again. I know—I see how hard it is for you to live the way that you do and I want to be here for you through everything. Things could be different this time—things could actually end well and you might be able to push through this. Because I know you, Harry, more than anybody else right now and I know you can push through this.”
She presses her forehead against his with a sigh leaving her lips, her thumbs running along his knuckles.
“And if there is any point you feel uncomfortable or upset, we can walk right out and leave. Just know that I will be there for you no matter what, okay? Just asking for you to try.”
It’s because she sounds so sure of herself that Harry actually agrees to go to the dinner. He knows that if it were a matter of him going alone, he would never even consider it. But knowing she is going to be right by his side—holding his hand through it all—maybe he doesn’t have to be so scared.
Maybe, it’ll actually be different this time.
It’s not different.
Fuck, fuck, fuck, it’s really not any different than he expected it to be.
Upon their arrival, Harry’s mum and sister nearly fainted from seeing him at the front door. They thought their invitation would go dismissed, like the way Harry’s ignored them for the past three years. But looking at him for the first time in what felt like forever, they were nothing short of thrilled.
And to make it even better, he brought a girl. Harry was holding her hand tightly, keeping her tucked right into his side so that he could feel her with every step he took.
Anne and Gemma swore they had never seen something so heartwarming in their life—to the point where tears sprung from their eyes and arms flinging around their bodies. Y/n didn’t even have to introduce herself properly for them to love and approve of her, anybody who gets Harry to open up—in any way possible—is enough for them.
He was calm when it was just the four of them, Harry watching Y/n hit it off with his family so effortlessly. He noticed the fondness in all their eyes and this was how he wanted it to be forever.
But once they sat down for dinner, Harry knew something was about to happen.
His father didn’t acknowledge neither him nor Y/n in the slightest. Instead, he acted as if they weren’t there and only carried conversations with the rest of his family. And Harry wasn’t sure if he preferred it that way or not—wasn’t sure if he’d rather have his father at least notice him and hate him or have his father neglect him.
Y/n was trying to make the best out of the situation and he could tell. She found her way to the conversations even if his father didn’t respond to her, and still remained her perky self while doing so. She seemed unfazed through it all, almost like she didn’t feel the overwhelming amount of tension that surrounded the room.
She does it for him, though. She knew that if she showed just how uncomfortable his father was making her—he’d never be able to survive this dinner. She had to play strong enough for his sake.
But now that dinner has passed by and all that’s left are empty plates of food and mindless mingling, Harry feels nothing short of uncomfortable and misplaced under his father’s glare. It’s as if he’s waiting for Harry to speak out in the conversation, or do much of anything to make his presence known.
Y/n can see the soft shaking of Harry’s head and can feel the sweat on his palms with each passing second—just waiting for the end of the night so that they can go home and be alone at last.
“You know, Y/n, I never thought Harry would have a girlfriend.”
It’s the first time tonight his father spoke to Y/n directly, making the conversation she was having with Gemma come to a pause as she looked over at him with confusion. There’s a small pout on her lips as she tilts her head in question, almost unsure as to what he was implying. He has no expression on his face, only a small scoff and disapproving look in his eyes.
“How so? He’s lovely, any girl would be very lucky to have him. I’m just happy it’s me who does.”
Her fingers squeeze his thigh under the tablecloth; as if to tell him that there’s nothing to worry about. If his father wants to try hard enough to get to Harry, he has to try to get through her, first.
His father grumbles, his eyes shifting away from hers. The tenseness is his body seems to lighten, though, when an almost sadistic laugh falls from his lips—finding whatever he’s thinking quite amusing and entertaining.
“Isn’t it disheartening? Doesn’t it get boring, to be with a little boy who can’t even get his mouth to open? You seem to be a very intelligent, mature lady—I can tell by the way you talk. Don’t you think it’s a man’s purpose to be with somebody like you?”
Harry squeezes his eyes shut, trying to silence the sudden voices in his head and focus on the feel of Y/n’s tightening hand.
All the childhood fights, all the times Harry had crawled underneath his bed during the night to get away from it all, and all the times Harry almost had the guts to speak up for himself only to be shut down from his father are all replaying in Harry’s head.
The anxiety creeps to his bones and in his muscles, straining him of all that’s left of his strength and leaving him with nothing but a shaking body and lack of control. Every part of him that felt alive before all of this is slowly dying at the seems—ready to be ripped out on his father’s account.
In any other situation, Y/n would have kept her mouth shut if it meant getting the support and approval of Harry’s family. But this—the way he’s talking about Harry as if he’s not right next to her, disrespecting him for something beyond his control is just not okay with her.
She’d rather stand up for the man she loves and believes in instead of watching him suffer in silence—the way his mum and sister are—with fear.
“Harry may not be a man of many words, but he’s the best thing I’ve got. There is so much more to him than his voice. There is so much more to him than you will ever know because you decided to be a shit father and give up on him without giving him a chance. He holds so much more potential than you could ever see, and that’s what’s wrong here. Harry’s not the problem, him being mute is not the problem, it’s you. Because why is it that everybody else can accept him and love him for who he is besides you?!”
The aftermath of her words silences everything around them. Nobody moves, nobody dares makes a sound besides their harsh breathing, because there could be something that makes either one of them snap and nobody wants to be the one to do so.
Y/n’s hands are in fists upon the table, eyes locked with his in fury and jaw so tight she almost doesn’t even look like herself. She’s turned into an entirely different woman with just the thought of Harry getting into harm’s way.
And although Harry really wants to show her appreciation for her words, he’s too panicked that he’s going to die from not being able to fucking breathe.
The silence is overwhelming, but Y/n is not giving up on him—on Harry. He had to live through this for far too long and she’s not allowing it anymore. He deserves better than this treatment—deserves better than to be looked down upon by somebody who’s supposed to be his provider.
“He’s the best thing you’ve got, yeah?”
His father is playing with his bottom lip, eyes narrowed and eyes in the same unpleasant manner as before. His voice is softer, though, more understanding than before and they both don’t know what to expect out of the conversation.
Y/n nods without hesitation, “He is.”
He watches as Y/n looks more determined and positive as ever, not a doubt or a trace of a lie in her features.
She means it—with her whole heart—she means it and she’ll never let anybody make her go back on her word. And she doesn’t have to say it twice, because Harry knows she’s genuine when she says it.
“You must have a very pathetic life, then.”
Harry’s eyes don’t move from their trance on the table—his body doesn’t make a move under his words. This is just how it always ends, and he just don’t know why he still fucking comes back here every goddamn time.
His throat is tight and his eyes are filled with tears. His skin is full of sweat and he swears his heart is beating much faster than it should. And even though he’s experienced this all before, knowing Y/n is being belittled by his father too makes it worse.
"We’re done here.” Y/n says sternly, grabbing ahold of Harry’s hand.
Y/n could have stood up for Harry much more, but she knew that if she started an even bigger brawl than what was already unfolding, Harry wouldn’t have been able to handle it.
He’s already drained of color and crying silently within his lost mind, and she’s absolutely terrified for his health.
She’s nearly dragging him out the door, Harry occasionally tripping over his own feet as he’s being drowned with the voices and the thumping in his chest. The world around him seems to be drowning and he can’t keep up with it all.
He just can’t.
“You can’t only keep her around because she’s the only one that’ll fight your battles for you, Harry! It’s only a matter of time before she realizes that you have nothing to offer her! You can’t give her anything with the way you are. You’re worthless!”
Before he could spew any more insults in Harry’s way, Y/n shuts the door in his face.
Harry knows his father was right.
In the long run, he doesn’t have much to offer her. He can’t be the boyfriend that she deserves to have.
He can’t be the boyfriend that can remind her of how much she’s loved or cared for. He can’t be the boyfriend to sing her to sleep whenever she can’t, or be the boyfriend to say his vows at their wedding for all to hear. He can’t be the boyfriend that—God forbid something were to happen to her—can ask for somebody to help her, or be the boyfriend to sway her family’s heart.
He can’t be anything to her besides somebody that she can sleep with at night and wake up to in the morning. Because that’s all it will be, and she’ll get so tired of being the one to be the only one talking to the other.
He’s nothing in her life, and that’s exactly why he can’t look at her anymore.
“Can you please just say something to me, Harry? I need to know why you’re upset with me or else we can never work through this.”
But how can they work through this when he can’t talk to her the way she wants him to?
Instead of answering right away, Harry presses on the gas pedal even harder than before. In the mix of all his emotions—anger, frustration, sad, and absolutely terrified—the only proper thought that can retain in Harry’s mind is dropping Y/n back to her apartment so that she doesn’t have to keep torturing herself with him.
The longer he feels her presence next to him, the more he realizes that he can’t love her the way she deserves to be loved—even if he really, really, really does love her with every ounce of his being.
“It was only—“ He swallows thickly, “It was only a matter of time before this was going to happen, Y/n.”
Her eyebrows furrow in confusion as she turns her head over to Harry, who has his lips pursed in a straight line while his eyes remain on the road.
There’s something different in him, now—something unreadable in his expressions and it’s something she’s never seen before. He seems broken somehow, like a man who’s been damaged one too many times that he’s become numb—emotionless with nothing left to feel.
“Before what was going to happen, Harry?”
She has an idea about what his words meant, but she doesn’t want to believe it. Not coming from him—not coming from the man who’s shown her nothing but how much love he has for her. There’s no way he could be doing this to her. He can’t do this to her.
“We were never going to last, Y/n. This was over long ago, we’re just on borrowed time.”
The sound of it leaves an unusually disturbing churn in Y/n’s stomach and a foul taste in her mouth. She feels as though Harry is taking his own hand and digging into Y/n’s chest, just so that he can grab ahold of Y/n’s heart and rip it to shreds himself.
Her hand subconsciously grabs onto the handle of the car door, eyes glistening with tears and lungs not daring to breathe. The air—instead of it being filled with their love—is now thicker and colder than ever.
She’s never been so confused—so lead on and so scared as to what is happening to them. They were supposed to make this last, they were supposed to make each other happy for the rest of their lives. He promised her he would, too—promised her nothing but love and trust in him.
But what is happening to them?
“How long have you thought that?”
She was tentative to ask, but she just has to know. She has to know if she’s done everything she’s done for nothing or if it actually held some sort of purpose at the time.
She’s terrified beyond words to find out the answer.
“Before or after you decided to sleep with me?”
Harry doesn’t want to make it seem like he never wanted this—never wanted her. He doesn’t want to make her think that he went through all that he did with her just to expect them to break up so soon. Because he didn’t, he never did. He would have never let her give him her virginity if he knew all of this was going to happen.
He loves her too much to do that to her, but also loves her enough to set her free.
So he decides to not answer her because not saying anything at all is easier for him than saying something he doesn’t mean. And he knows he will if it means letting her go and letting her move onto bigger and better things.
And it’s in his silence and twitch of his eyes does she find his answer.
“So you didn’t mean what you said last night. That we fit perfectly—that it’s like we’re meant to be? Or were they just words to you?”
A sob rips from inside of her when he still gives her nothing. She has never felt so hurt before—has never felt so betrayed. And suddenly, her skin feels dirty—sickened by what he’s done to her and how she could have been so stupid as to let it happen.
She feels it now, too. She feels the way his hands touched her that night, the way his lips kissed her that night, the way his hips rutted against hers and she feels so fucking filthy—used and used and used just for his own personal gain.
“Stop the car.”
It’s a weak demand, but Harry is pained to hear it. He has to hold himself back from comforting her and saying how terribly sorry he is for lying to her the way he is. But it’s just easier this way.
“I said stop the fucking car, Harry!”
Her yelling makes him flinch, and without hesitation makes him pull over to the side of the road. And the second he does so, he knows he shouldn’t have because he’d never be able to live with himself if he let Y/n walk in the cold alone, especially at night.
And right as he’s about to turn back, the sound of her hysteria makes his stop everything he’s doing. Her sobs are relentless in her hands and the thickest of tears fall from Harry’s eyes when he looks at the damage he’s done.
She looks helpless and utterly destroyed—he would have never thought of doing this to her if he’d known this is what would come out of it.
His heart is breaking at the sight of her like this.
As if on instinct, Harry reaches his hand over to her shoulder in an attempt to keep her calm. And even when they’re so close, they have never felt more emotionally distant than they do right now.
“No! Don’t touch me! Don’t you ever touch me again!”
She isn’t sure if she means it or not, but the devastating look Harry gives her at her words proves that he knows she did.
The second his touch leaves hers, he feels them falling apart.
It really is over now.
She’s never felt more pathetic and humiliated in her life. Everything she thought was so real ended up being one of the biggest lies she’s ever lived. He had her fooled for months now and she had not a single clue—but she guesses that’s what happens when she falls in love too quickly.
She feels easy.
She swallows her cries as she opens the car door, not knowing where the hell she is or where the hell she’s going, but knowing that no matter where she ends up, it’ll be much better than being with him.
“I hate you. I never want to see you again, not after this. Not after all that you’ve done to me.”
Harry’s eyes widen at her words, mouth falling open and a gasp falling from his lips. The reality of her words hits him with so much force that he genuinely feels every last bit of him fall apart.
And it’s when she walks away from him—from his life—that he breaks.
He chokes out a sob as his fingers grip the steering wheel, eyes as wide as ever and mouth not daring to shut.
Everything hurts. Every bone in his body feels like it’s breaking and every muscle feels like they’re tearing apart. It hurts so fucking much and Harry can’t stop crying, throwing his head back against the car seat as his hand hits the steering wheel in the midst of his hysteria.
She hates him.
But it’s better this way.