Despite being a school of magic, Hogwarts houses more cats than it does magical creatures. Between pet cats of students and the strays that are oddly attracted to the school, there’s a chance that there’s more cats than students.
“I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends to have in this room tonight, thank you so much for being here, all of you.” At his first ever solo show last night, Harry Styles spoke to the audience as if they were the organisers of his surprise birthday party rather than a crowd of strangers. But the intimacy felt appropriate: the former One Direction member is more familiar with Wembley Stadium and Madison Square Gardens than a tiny, sweaty room on the corner of Highbury and Islington roundabout.
On his Twitter feed, Styles announced at 8am on Saturday morning that a surprise gig would be taking place that evening at The Garage in London, ahead of his larger tour later this year to promote his debut solo album (the self-titled Harry Styles). Tickets were only available, for £10, if bought from the box office in person, and even then you could only buy one. All proceeds were to go to The Little Princess Trust, the charity that the singer donated his hair to last year, which provides wigs to children experiencing hair loss. Dedicated fans jumped out of bed seconds later to buy tickets, some still in their pyjamas.
The atmosphere inside was giddy as a result, ticket-holders delirious with luck. Styles, dressed in a frankly outrageous pink satin Gucci suit with embroidered dragons snaking up his thighs, seemed genuinely excited to be there too, telling the crowd he was “overwhelmed” by their support. “This is my first show in a long time. My first show ever. So it’s a night I won’t forget,” he said, adding “You might not be able to tell from my monotone voice, but I am having a great time.”
His years of experience in one of the music industry’s most polished pop bands are clear to see: for what was essentially a warm-up show, this was a sleek performance. Delivering his new album in its entirety, Styles was most impressive when letting loose on rockier, more upbeat tracks Only Angel and Kiwi (the latter saw women at the front form a mosh pit), or exuding Seventies sex appeal on Woman and Carolina.
Unlike at the rehearsal he held last week, he did not stage dive. “Let me tell you,” he explained of the much-reported calamitous attempt (which saw him knock a fan to the floor). “It doesn’t feel one third as cool as you think it does.”
As well as his solo material, Styles performed two other songs: an experimental riff on Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam” and a much-loved One Direction track he has a writing credit on, “Stockholm Syndrome”. “You may or may not know the words,” Styles deadpanned, as the crowd screamed at the opening notes.
One of the loudest cheers of the entire event went not to the main man, but his drummer Sarah Jones, who has delighted Styles’s mostly female fanbase with her performances over the past few weeks. “Alright, that’s enough,” the star joked after introducing her. “That’s why she’s at the back.”
It’s a joy to watch Styles interact with a smaller crowd. He has a knowing, teasing relationship with fans, at one point asking the audience, “How you doing down there? You look very warm. There’s a smell…” But, this ribbing aside, his desire that everyone present have the best possible time was obvious, as he paused the show to check on a fan struggling with the heat, and sung Happy Birthday to another the front. It’s this combination of charm, ease, flamboyance, and an actually very good singing voice that sets Styles apart from his former bandmates and many of his peers. Could this be the rock star British pop music needs? - The Telegraph
Can we just take a moment to imagine what would have happened if Draco had believed the rumors and articles about Harry and Hermione dating in fourth year? Like, yes, he knows that most of Rita Skeeter’s articles are made up, he’s one of her sources after all, but what if this one is true? And no, of course he’s not jealous, how can he be jealous of Granger? But damn it, they’re together all the time and it makes him sick, thinking about what they’re doing while they’re walking around the lake day after day.
So Draco comes up with a plan. A foolproof plan. He snatches a few strands of hair from Hermione’s robes one day after class and makes sure she’s headed to the library. He gulps down the Polyjuice Potion he prepared and hurries to find Harry. He runs into Viktor Krum, who won’t leave him alone and Merlin, why is he holding Draco’s hand? Sweet Salazar, he just kissed Draco’s hand! He’s extremely flustered and confused when he finally finds Harry.
There’s a quick exchange of, “Hermione, I thought you wanted to go to the library?” “Oh, I changed my mind, let’s take a walk around the lake.”
Draco smirks to himself when he and Harry are finally alone. He gets a bit irritated when Harry still hasn’t taken his hand and keeps blabbering about the Triwizard Tournament. Seriously, when does the snogging start? They’ve already rounded the lake once and Potter is still talking. Draco knows he’s running out of time, so he stops walking, grabs Harry by his robes and starts kissing him furiously. Harry lets out a gasp and freezes as Draco attacks his mouth.
Why isn’t Potter kissing him back? He still looks like Granger! When Harry still doesn’t move a muscle, it suddenly dawns on Draco that - Oh! Maybe they really haven’t done that before! Maybe Granger isn’t his girlfriend after all. Shit, what if Draco just made Potter realise he fancies Granger? As it turns out, Draco needn’t worry about that, because when he pulls back, he can see his reflection in Harry’s glasses and oh no! His hair! It’s not bushy and brown, it’s well groomed and blond! Without another word he turns on his heels and runs back to the castle.
In the following weeks, he refuses to meet Harry’s eyes and tries to avoid him as much as possible. On the day of the second task, Draco feels even more foolish. So Granger has been dating Krum? And Weasley is the most important person to Potter?
The next day, Draco is on his way to breakfast, when somebody suddenly grabs his wrist and drags him into an empty classroom. Draco blushes when Harry closes the door behind him and looks at Draco intently. Oh Merlin, is he finally going to confront him?
“You stupid prat,” Potter suddenly exclaims. “What have you done to me? Seriously, because all I could think about in the last few weeks was that bloody kiss!”
Draco just stares at him, not sure he’s comprehending what Harry is saying.
“And last night I dreamed you were the one on the bottom of the lake, not Ron.”
Draco’s brain registers the words, but not the meaning.
“What?” is all he’s able to say.
“Oh, for Merlin’s sake,” Harry bursts out. He reaches out and takes Draco’s face in his hands. Draco has no time to react before Harry presses their bodies together and starts kissing Draco feverishly. After a few moments, Draco makes a high-pitched sound that he should probably be embarrassed about, but who cares? This is an even better outcome than he had hoped for!
Not that he doubted it would work for one second. His plan was foolproof after all!
i just.. . can’t get over sign of the times. there is so much feeling in it - hope, desperation, strength, vulnerability, pain, love, bravery - and all of it is so palpable, i feel like i can taste it in the air while the song’s playing. he pulls you in at the very first note and tangles you into his soul with every note after that. the energy in his voice just. it washes over you, wave after wave, like an ocean of electricity and emotion.