Okay, but what if Harry Styles went to Columbia?
The events that I am about to relay were not originally meant to be a story, but I am ever so glad that they became one. On a normal Monday night, I was still reeling from the effects that Harry Styles’ Friday night Coachella performance had on me. The sequined jumpsuit, the Shania Twain duet, the 100,000-person crowd—I enjoyed every second of it. Then, I became delusional, dear reader. After some pondering (and my third rewatch of the performance), I came upon the thought of finding a Harry Styles at Columbia. As you have probably already posited, that is an impossible task. This realization left me with no choice but to create my own reality where Harry Styles was not a high-school dropout but a Columbia student. Then, I began to think about logistical questions. What dorm would he live in? What clubs would he be in? Where would he—and then, dear reader, I had an epiphany. This isn’t my dreaming up a false reality out of boredom anymore. This is a fanfic. This is a fanfic that everyone deserves to read. With Harry being set to perform for the second weekend at Coachella, I cannot overstate the timeliness of this literature. So before watching weekend two of the performance, I encourage you to fully immerse yourself—Y/N—into this Harry Styles x Columbia fanfic that you may regret reading.
Disclaimer: The following text is purely a work of fiction at the hands of a bored Bwog staffer who wanted to go back to her fanfiction roots.
I woke up to the sound to the sound of my alarm blaring—or at least I thought I did. I rubbed my eyes and picked up my charging phone to check the time. It’s 9:45 am. I figure I can still make it to my 10:10 class if I don’t stop for iced coffee. What an awful day. Despite my late awakening, I jump out of my bed and begin curating an appropriate outfit for a morning class at Columbia—ripped jeans and a Brown University sweatshirt.
After brushing my teeth and a somewhat smooth elevator ride in Wallach, I beat across the red brick until I find my way to College Walk. I look down at my phone: it’s 9:59 am. Good timing. Before I can put my phone away, my phone pings, and I notice it’s an email from my university president. I sigh, knowing that the email will be a novel of text, but either way, I’m excited to possibly have some breaking news for the news organization I’m in. I didn’t expect to write for a news publication on campus before arriving, but overall, it’s been a great experience. I’ve always needed a space for fun and competition—and no one knows how competitive writing college news can be. I decide to open the email and read, darkening my screen to combat the harsh sunlight while I read and—oh my God. My university president is stepping down. I can hear audible gasps along College Walk. The air shifts. Immediately, I race to tell the other news publication members so that we can break the story when I am smacked into head-on by a towering stranger.
I look up, preparing to apologize when I look up and hear a thick British accent, “Perhaps you should stop looking at your phone?” Oh no. It’s the campus celebrity and my arch-nemesis—Harry Styles. Harry is known for being likable on campus, but I could never find the likeability through his arrogant attitude as an editor at my rival news publication. He throws me a dimpled mocking smile as he chuckles, but I don’t have time to make a comeback. I have to get to class and make sure this breaking news is published.
Throughout class, I’m anxious about making sure we’re the first to publish. Despite all of our efforts, we’re not. Harry Styles—a member of our rival club—gets to it first. I walk back to Wallach seething, and I decide to enter through John Jay so that I can go to the best dining hall on campus, JJ’s. As soon as I reach the bottom of the stairs, I’m almost immediately hit by the door and I’m forced to see him again. He gives me another annoying dimpled grin as I stare into his green orbs.
“Oh, hi, Y/N,” he sneers at me.
“It was a heavy news day today, huh?” he asks, raising an eyebrow. I can just feel his mockery.
I don’t retaliate. It can remain cordial. “Yeah, it was. Congrats on the post. It’s a really large achievement for you, finally,” I respond.
“Yeah,” he responds, pushing his hand through his brown locks, “I guess it is. It’ll be even better when I get quotes from the president himself.”
The world stops spinning for a moment as I register the words he’s saying. “What?”
“The university president. I’m getting quotes from him.” He eyes me up and down before making his way up the stairs as I blink at him, trying to find words. “Well, I’ll see you around, Y/N. Congrats on your work today, too,” he responds coolly before turning around the stairs.
I enter JJ’s and slam my ID against the card reader before having a somewhat mediocre sandwich. I finish my meal and make my way back to my Wallach dorm. I have to devise a plan to get those quotes first or stop them entirely. I need some dirt on him.
I spend hours trying to come up with something, but all I can think about are his green orbs staring directly into my brown ones and the hand running through his curly hair. I can’t deny that he’s handsome. Maybe I can come around to liking him after all?
I have to remain focused.
Eventually, my entire night is wasted plotting Harry’s downfall. I do so many Internet searches that I find his LinkedIn, his high school’s Facebook, and his grandmother. I nearly give up, but I keep clicking on names and searching until I finally see a photo where he is centered in a cap and gown. I look down the line of people until my eyes stop on a figure that shocks me to my core. Why is Harry Styles in a photo with my university president? I can’t believe what I am seeing, so I check the caption on the photo. “We are so incredibly proud of you, Harry. Here’s to the next four years at Columbia. – Mom & Stepdad.”
I have finally figured it out. Harry Styles is the president’s stepson.
The next morning, I should have been groggy preparing for my 8:40 am class, but I was too giddy after finding this damning information. I make my way across College Walk again, saying my hellos to everyone—NSOP associates, TAs, and even Harry himself. He smirks at me, but I keep walking. He doesn’t even know the information I’m sitting on.
During class, I tune out my professor and think of ways I can reveal this information. Should I spread it around? Do I let him know? Blackmail has never been my style, but I decide to take it on just this once. The rest of my day is fairly boring, but I keep hoping to see Harry gloat. Between studying at Butler, going to Ferris, and sitting on the lawns, I haven’t seen him at all.
After the lawns, I decide to go visit a friend in John Jay. I wait for the elevator to come up from the basement, and the door slowly opens to reveal the man I had been looking for all day.
“Hi, Y/N,” he says as I step on and click the floor button.
“Hi, Harry.” I can’t contain myself. “Were you able to get those quotes yet?”
He squints his eyes at me as the elevator starts going up. “No, not yet. Why do you ask?”
“I don’t know. I just figured that you had them already being that you have such a close connection with the president. He’s just like family.” At this, Harry’s face drops. Of course, he’s Harry so he doesn’t frown for long.
“I have to say—that was pretty good work, Y/N. How did you find out?” he asks.
The elevator reached my floor at this point, but I press a hand against the door to keep it from closing. “I did research that anyone could have done. You were never going to get those quotes anyway.”
“I wasn’t,” he chuckles. “I just wanted to see what you’d do so that I could get you to talk to me again.”
I can’t help but smile when he says this. He sees it, and he gives me a smile before the elevator begins to creak and an alarm goes off. I quickly let go of the door and make my way to my friend’s room. I decide that I can forgive his lie and that I’ll keep it between the two of us.
But later that night, I can’t help but dream about those bright green eyes and that dimpled smile.
Our protagonist, Harry Styles via Wikimedia Commons