11: Advice and Amends

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C H A P T E R    E L E V E N

Advice and Amends

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                  "AND THEN TAKE it an octave up here."

                  Liam sang the line Louis pointed at. "Like this?"

                  "I don't know about the transition to falsetto at the end there, but ask Zayn. He's better at that stuff."

                  "Perfect. This one's gonna be great, Lou. I can feel it." After a last face-splitting grin aimed at Louis, Liam brought his copy of the lyrics over to Zayn and Niall, who've been working on the tune of the first verse for the last twenty minutes.

                  When he was gone, Louis turned back toward Harry. "Told you they'd love it."

                  Harry tapped his pen on the notebook in his lap, trying to silently figure out why something about Louis seemed off tonight. If the guys love the song, wouldn't Louis be happier about that? He'd said that this was the first "masterpiece" to come out of their meetings in long time, so as far as Harry was concerned, that should be enough of a cause for celebration, even if just a little bit.

                 With a resigned sigh, Louis reached for the notebook and flipped to a blank page. Then he reached into his pocket, pulled out his phone, and checked it before sticking it back into his pocket. Harry watched as Louis' lips tightened into a straight line.

                 "Anyway," Louis said, clearing his throat. "Throw a tune at me, Harold. We need a starting point."

                  "Is everything alright?" Harry asked instead, hoping it was okay if he pried.

                  For the first time in about an hour, Louis met Harry's gaze. "What? Yeah, everything's peachy, why?"

                  Harry raised a brow. "Just checking. Doesn't seem like it, is all."

                  "Yeah, yeah. It's all good. Tune?"

                  Though not even Harry's pinky believed Louis, he decided to humor him; because this was how they'd gotten further with the last song they worked on, Harry was able to hum a rhythm that he'd been thinking about and preparing for the last few hours. Louis nodded his head along with it at first, and Harry repeated it twice before Louis finally pressed his pen to the paper.

                 But nothing happened from there. Harry hummed the melody again, waiting for Louis to write something, but whatever the older lad had thought of must have left him. The next time Harry repeated the tune, he had an idea himself and reached for the notebook.

                  "My sister's been angry with me for the last couple days and it's starting to drive me bloody mad," Louis suddenly blurted. Harry's mind cleared, and he froze mid-reach so that his troubled friend could go on. "I've no fucking clue how to fix it, and I don't even know why it's getting under me skin so much."

                  Harry sat back and pursed his lips. Despite the curiosity burning on the tip of his tongue, begging to be set free, he held back and instead asked, "Have you apologized?"

                  "Of course," Louis practically scoffed. "And I've offered to take her out for dinner, and I'm trying to text her more often and be home more often and get along with her stupid boyfriend more often, but nothing is working."

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