Chapter 9 ~ Grade Eight

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Hi, guys,

I'm so sorry I haven't updated in so long.  Things have been terribly hectic, and, you know, it's a bit difficult to write Sadie's memoir sometimes.  I apologize, and I promise I'll get another chapter up as soon as I can.  You guys really are amazing, thank you <3

Here's the next chapter of Sadie's fic.

Love, Claire xxxxx

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Harry took a slow, deep breath.  He felt very, very confused at the moment.  He should be terrified.  He should be absolutely, positively petrified with the approach of the lads’ performance before Simon, yet somehow… The only thing rushing through his system was a complete, overwhelming calm.  It was strange, just how strong it was, and Harry felt nervously that it might have been something slightly…unnatural.  He should not feel so at ease.  He knew that.  Hell, they were as unprepared as a group could get; they had only rehearsed the number for twenty minutes with every member of the band present, and the vocal coaches hadn’t seemed to pleased with their efforts, but for some reason, that wasn’t bothering him, not bothering him at all.  

“Scared?” Niall asked, sitting down beside him in the entry way of Simon’s rented beach mansion, his face for once free of a smile.  

“No,” Harry said truthfully.  

“I am,” Niall admitted quietly, his fingers knotting together in a fidgety tangle, his blue eyes full of possibilities as he stared dimly at the floor.  

“Don’t be.  It’ll be fine,” Harry shrugged, patting Niall’s shoulder.  

“You don’t know that,” Niall said, glancing anxiously up at Harry and biting his lip.  

“No, I don’t,” Harry confessed.  “And you know, now that I think about it, we’ve got a fairly high chance of going home, seeing as we’ve barely rehearsed properly, and the coaches hated us, and we sound more unprepared than a…Niall?  Niall, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it,” Harry said frantically, his eyes widening with alarm as he noticed that the Irish boy’s lip had begun to tremble.  “Nialler, I’m sorry, I’m being dramatic.  Don’t listen to anything I say, okay?  Niall, please…” He sighed helplessly as Niall’s eyes glazed over with fearful tears and he stood up, barreling for the bathroom and locking the door.  “I still think we’ll get through, though!” Harry shouted desperately to the door.  He watched as Liam rounded the corner.  

“Harry, why is Niall crying?” he asked with mild interest.  

“Nerves,” Harry shrugged innocently.  “Which I may or may have not caused…”  

“What?” Liam asked curiously, cupping a hand round his ear.

“Nothing!” Harry said quickly, patting the bench beside him. Liam sat down, his shoulders shaking slightly as he drew long, deep, rattly breaths.  “Hey, it’s okay, Li.  I know we kind of suck, but… You know…” Harry groaned silently to himself.  He really needed to quit giving these pep talks.  

“Sorry,” Liam gulped, his throat tight.  “It’s just…The last time I was in this position, I was sent home without the bat of an eye.  I don’t think I can go through that again.”  Harry’s face tautened as he remembered that Liam had been through this all before.  

“Was it bad?” he murmured quietly, “You know, performing in front of Simon?”  

“Not really,” Liam said thoughtfully.  “I mean, he’s got this vibe that makes you feel comfortable around him, you know?  But…But I didn’t know I would be leaving the next day.”  Harry sat quietly, pondering this.  He honestly couldn’t imagine having to separate from the boys.  For all he knew, he could be on a plane back to Holmes Chapel in twenty-four hours’ time, never to see Liam, Niall, Zayn, or Louis again.  That…That wasn’t going to happen, was it?  No, you’re not thinking about that, he said forcefully to himself.  

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