25: Hiccups and Hamilton

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C H A P T E R    T W E N T Y F I V E

Hiccups and Hamilton

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                  TO HARRY'S GROWING discomfort, he and Louis find themselves alone in the living room while everyone else scattered to finish getting ready for their dinner reservations. Well, everyone but Lottie and Tommy, who probably scattered just to grab a moment alone quickly.

                  Louis was sitting himself down on the sofa, and Harry rubbed the back of his neck before following suit. He didn't like having Louis upset with him, especially when he wasn't in the wrong. But Louis couldn't – wouldn't – see that, so Harry was going to have to apologize anyway. He'd be glad to do it, if only to wipe that look off Lou's face. He just... He wasn't going to change his plans. Whether Louis was aware or not.

                  "Louis," Harry tried, leaving a little space between them. "Look, I'm really sor – "

                  "Let's not," Louis blurted, turning to him. "I don't want to talk about it anymore this weekend."

                  "But we can't just... Like, you're clearly upset. I'm upset that you're upset. That's not a thing we can ignore."

                  "I'm not saying we should ignore it, I'm saying we should just...put it off until we get back to London. This is meant to be a fun weekend, and I don't see us coming to an agreement on the issue any time soon," Louis sighed, scooting closer to Harry and dropping a hand onto one of his thighs. "So let's forget about it for now, enjoy ourselves, and we'll discuss it later."

                  This would be fine and everything – great, if Harry was being honest – except for a small detail. As relieving as putting the discussion off until later sounded, it won't matter if Louis couldn't even look at him.

                  Harry felt himself frowning, but he nodded until he realized Louis couldn't see. So he cleared his throat and said instead, "Okay."

                  Louis patted his thigh once. "Okay."

                  "Ernest!" one of the girls shouted from a different room, and Harry looked in that general direction, distracted momentarily.

                  A tiny human with a mess of strawberry blond hair came bobbing into the room, a small brown tube clutched in his fist. Not far behind him was the only sister Harry hasn't met yet, though he's certain he must have heard her name at least once. Damn his horrible memory.

                  "You little menace," she was saying, catching her brother and retrieving whatever it was he'd stolen. Some type of makeup.

                  This one looked a lot like their mother, Harry noticed. He thought the same about the older twins and even Lottie once, but it was definitely this one who shared most of Jay's looks.

                  "Perhaps you should try keeping your door shut?" Louis suggested.

                  "Perhaps you should make yourself useful now that you're home and control him. He's a miniature you after all," she retorted.

                  Harry almost winced, a little shocked by her tone, but then Louis was standing with a grin on his face and yanked her into a one-armed hug. She looked like she wanted to duck out of it for just a second, but then she rolled her eyes and a small half-smile slipped onto her face and she looked rather fond.

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