Prologue

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"Where is he?" Louis screamed, frantically running through the flat. He opened the door to ever room, searched every nook and cranny of the place, but failed to find a certain curly haired boy.

Heading back into the depths of the empty apartment, Lou went to Harry's room. It was exactly how he had found it that morning: clean.

Clean, for once, did not mean picked up and tidy. It meant empty, cold, uninhabited. It was as if Harry had never existed.

Exhausted, frustrated, confused, and utterly terrified of the thought of the Cheshire lad being gone, Louis Tomlinson collapsed in a heap on the floor of the empty room and cried.

There was no noise, he didn't sob, he didn't shake or tremor. He just lay there, silently, broken.

It was a few days before any of the members of One Direction could get Lou out of the room. They had tried everything from threatening to burn all of his Toms to calling his mother and getting her to break the door herself.

Niall had spent every day sitting against the locked door, singing softly to the boy on the other side. Lou would listen, wiping at the tears because no matter what song the Irish lad sang, it reminded him of Him.  Liam had banged on the door with abandon, yelling and screaming at the eldest boy's childish actions. This, unfortunately, caused many arguments between Daddy Direction and Zayn, who believed that Louis would come out in time, and that they just needed to give him space.

When the door finally clicked open, Niall greeted their band mate with a sad smile and wrapped his arms around Lou's broken form in a warming hug. He stiffened at the contact, but suddenly the dam broke and he was in tears again.

"I don't know what I did." Louis whispered between sobs, trying in vain to even his erratic breathing.

"You didn't do anything, Harry leaving caught us all by surprise." Niall said softly, rubbing his hand comfortingly over Louis' back.

"Lou, Harry didn't even leave a note. Why do you think it was you?" Zayn said diplomatically, stepping towards the pair.

"What other reason could there be? I live with him! I should have seen this coming!"  The Doncaster  boy screamed, frantically squirming his way out of Niall's embrace in anger.

"Louis. Calm down. Let's get you cleaned up and fed, we can discuss this later." Liam had put in his two cents and the look on his face did not allow any arguing. Defeated, Lou turned his head towards the floor and stalked off to the bathroom to shower.

Looking to Niall, Liam's calm exterior cracked.

"What do we do? We obviously can't tell him. We promised them we wouldn't." the Wolverhampton boy fiddled with his thumbs nervously, and checked over his shoulder to make sure that Louis wasn't coming back.

"We comfort him and try to make him forget." Zayn said, his expression cool and collected as always, but his eyes alit with a sadness unfathomable to many. "It's all we really can do."

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