Over the past week, the five boys have become closer than before, clicking together really easily.
Louis and Harry seem to gravitate towards each other nowadays. During the week, the boys had been working on the song that Harry was writing, and it was coming along nicely. Harry even taught the blue eyed boy a couple things on guitar.
Even when the boy would strum the chord wrong or make a horrid sound with the strings, Harry was smiling at him, a little fondly even, adjusting his fingers into the right positions. Louis’ face was practically a tomato whenever Harry touched his hand, the little tingles he felt was not helping him with the many butterflies in his tummy.
But now that it’s been their free week of bonding time, it was time to start getting back to business.
Last night, all the boys were called to come down to the studio the next day to start recording a new song. It was another way to see how well their voices worked together.
They had been learning the new song –Liam, Harry and Zayn already had learned it earlier, so they help the new boys- over the week and have the words down. Now it was time to record it.
When the van they got picked up in stopped in front of the studio building, Louis’ nerves were back. He looked up at the tall building with wide eyes. As he stepped out of the van, his breathing started to pick up a little, thoughts and questions running through his head.
Niall immediately noticed, rushing to Louis’ side and making him turn to the blonde.
“Lou, Lou. Calm down. Everything’s okay.” Niall said quietly to the older boy.
Zayn, Harry and Liam stood beside them worried about what was happening.
“Is he okay?” Liam asked, eyes flickering from Louis back to Niall.
Niall just nodded, his hands on Louis’ shoulders as he watched him calm his breathing, but his eyes were shut tight. “Yeah.. It happens when he’s really nervous and such.” He explained. “Open your eyes, Lou. Everything’s okay.” He said softly.
The boy didn’t open his eyes, only said, “What if they don’t like me Niall? If I’m not good enough for the song? Or-“
“Of course you’re good enough!” Harry cut in, his brows furrowed. Why was Louis thinking this way about himself? Louis finally opened his eyes. “You’re better than good. You’re amazing! You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t.” He stepped closer to the smaller boy, looking in his eyes. “Please don’t think differently about yourself.”
Louis looked back at him in slight shock. Did Harry really mean that? Louis had always doubted his voice, that’s way he’s always regretted putting those few covers he made on YouTube. He’s been trying to delete them ever since, but he forgot the password.
"O-Okay." Louis responded, though it didn't sound so affirmative as Harry wished it would.
"We gotta go boys." Their security guard, that was in the van with them, said, walking up the case of concrete stairs leading to the glass doors.
The five boys followed the man into the building. Inside, the floor was an almost black colour, most of the walls were red or white, hanging up on the walls were many frames with records from other artists who were with Modest! Management, and in the middle was a large front desk with a blonde woman sitting behind it, typing on the computer.
Liam, Zayn and Harry said "hello" to the woman, knowing her from when they came in to record.
After stepping into an elevator and moving up many levels, the doors opened and a neat lounge area was in front of them. The boys were told to sit down for a moment until one of the producers came out to them. They did as told, spending the little time they had checking Twitter and chatting among themselves.
Harry had brought his journal with him. He had it opened up to the page that 'Happily' was written on. A small smile was on his lips as he read over the lyrics once more. He still wondered how Louis came up with some beautiful lyrics. What was going through his head to help him think of them?
Louis kept glancing over at the smiley boy, deciding to scoot next to him on the wrap around couch. "What are you all smiley about Haz?"
Harry looked up at the older boy, smiling brighter. "Just looking over the lyrics again. Thank you again for helping by the way, Lou."
The smaller smiled shyly, shrugging slightly. "It's okay. I just never imagined that I would ever write a song with Harry Styles. Personally, the songs you write on the album usually turn out to be my favourite." Louis looked down at his sleeve covered fingers.
"Really? Well, thanks." He chuckled, closing his journal and wrapping the string securely around it.
Louis looked down at the book, his eyes brightening when he recognized it's cover. The small drawings and short quotes scattered over the brown leather. "So this," he picked it up, his eyes scanning the cover, "is the famous journal you've been carrying around!"
Not a second later, the journal was snatched out of his hands. Harry held it close to him. "Hey! No touchy!"
"Can I just ask one question about it?"
Harry'd brows furrowed, curious. "What?"
"Is it true that you actually have twelve pages in their dedicated to bad jokes?" Louis raised a brow, laughing softly.
Harry pouted, looking down at the book in his hands. "They're not that bad..."
"Aww, of course they're not Haz." Louis tried to cheer him up, reaching over and running his hand through the boy's curls. Usually Harry would hit away anyone who would mess with his hair, but for some reason, it was nice when Louis did it. He could feel the guilt slowly bubbling up inside him as that thought accrued to him.
A few minutes later, once of the produces came into the small lounge, smiling at each of the boys, noticing the two new members and holding his hand out to them.
"Niall Horan, nice to meet you." Niall smiled at the man, shaking his hand firmly.
"Hello Niall. I've heard many great things about you from Marco." The man smiled back. He turned to Louis. "And you must be Louis."
Louis nodded, holding out his hand. "Louis Tomlinson, nice to meet you." He smiled.
The man shook his hand, but only hummed in response to Louis' greeting. He let go of Louis' hand and told the boys to follow him to the booth.
He tried not to think too much about it, but he couldn't help but realize the difference between the two greetings.
Harry didn't miss that either.
A turn down a hall and through a door, the boys walked to the recording area. There was another small lounge set up and beside it were two glass doors. One for the recording booth and one leading to the studio.
"Okay, today, hopefully we'll get the chorus done and Niall and Louis' solos recorded, since we've already got the others done before." The producer clapped his hands together. "So, let's get Harry, Liam and Zayn to sing the chorus, and then we'll get Niall in to sing it and his solo."
The boys nodded, the producer walking into the studio door and Liam -who volunteered to record first- walked through the booth door.
Louis watched Liam through the glass door, listening to the muffled sound of his singing. He did the same when Zayn and Harry recorded. Soon, Niall was being called into the booth. Louis patted his back, giving an encouraging smile.
Through the door, Louis saw at times when Niall would nod at the producers words, sometimes laughing his intoxicating laugh at something the man said. His voice sounded loud and clear. Perfect like always.
When the blonde was told he was finished, he came skipping out of the booth with a smile on his face.
"That was so much fun! I was a little nervous, but I was comfortable after a little while." A happy Niall exclaimed, falling onto the sofa next to his best mate.
Seconds later, the producer popped his head out of the door and called for Louis to walk in the booth.
Louis' heart started to beat a little faster, but he kept calm, on the outside at least. The older boy stood up, looking down at Niall who gave him a grin, saying "You'll do great, Tommo!". His gaze moved over the other boys giving him smiles. When he looked at Harry, the boy gave him two thumbs up, a bright smile and softly said, "You're amazing, Lou." repeating his words from before.
The shorter boy nodded, walking to the glass door and carefully opening it, he didn't need to be tripping over things in this recording booth.
Louis looked through the large window the showed into the studio, seeing the producer instruct him to place the head phones, that were sitting next to the mic, over his ears. The man's voice was heard through them.
"Okay Louis. You all ready?" Louis nodded shyly. "The lyrics are on the stand in front of you if you need them." He looked down to the sheets on the stand, the words 'Best Song Ever' written in bold on the top of the page and the lyrics were highlighted to indicate which boy was singing which section of the song. "Just sing into the pop filter. I'll count you into the chorus and the music will play through the head phones."
Small muffles of "okay, we all good? Start the track again" spoke softly through the headphones as the producer told the other two men in the room to set everything up.
Louis cleared his throat. Okay, this is it Lou.. do NOT screw this up for yourself! He mentally told himself.
The track started to play through the headphones, and Louis got ready to sing as the producer counted "1... 2... 1, 2, 3."
He started to sing.
"And we danced all night to the best song ever,
We knew every line, now I can't remember
How it goes but I kno-"
Suddenly the music was cut off and the producers voice was heard. "Louis, could you please sing a little closer to the mic or a little louder?"
A million bad thoughts tried to block Louis' mind, but he pushed them away. It was just one correction he didn't know about. It wasn't the end of everything.
"Okay, s-sorry." He stepped a little closer to the mic.
The music started again, and Louis repeated the chorus the best he could. They recorded the chorus a couple times through, just to make sure they got the best recording. When the music faded out once more, he looked into the window of the studio, watching as the three men looked at each other, chatting for a little while, tweaking a few knobs and shrugging like they were in defeat.
"Okay Louis. Let's record the solo." Louis nodded, but then looked a little confused when he heard the man's voice quietly say, "You're just repeating yourself, hopefully that wont be too hard for you to sing this time.." But Louis just ignored the comment.
The music played and he sang once again.
"You know, I know, you know I'll remember you
And I know, you know, I know you'll remember me."
And that was his solo. Compared to the other boys', it was a little shorter, but that was where his voice suited to the song, so he was okay with that.
He sang those lines a couple more times, getting corrections left and right about the sound of his vocals, until he was told they were all done, and he exited the room.
Nerves filled him once he stepped out the glass door. He was caught off guard when Niall came running up to him, grabbing him in a big bear hug. "You sounded great Loueh!" He exclaimed.
Louis' cheeks reddened, quickly hugging the boy back, but when they pulled away, he didn't look into his friend's bright eyes. He shrugged. "I hope I was okay. I had to go over it quite a few times, but I guess that's how it's all done."
"We know you did amazing Lou." Zayn spoke, smiling at the boy.
The older grinned back, joining the others on the sofa.
"And now we wait to see how it sounds!" Liam said happily.
After an hours wait, the producer finally walked out of the studio with a smile on his face. "You ready to hear it boys?" I called out.
Liam, Zayn, Niall, Harry and Louis jumped up excitedly and followed the man into the studio, waiting for the new song to be played.
Soon, the sound of the start of the song was playing loudly in the studio, and then Harry's voice was heard, coming in strong. Zayn's smooth vocals followed. And then the chorus boomed through the speakers.
The boys' eyes widened and grins formed on their faces when they heard how they all sounded together. Honestly, it was even better than the trio they use to be. Niall and Louis really were the pieces of the puzzle they were missing.
When Niall's solo came up, the Irish boy was actually surprised when he didn't sound all that bad in the end. His voice was actually quite nice.
Finally, Louis' solo was up next, and he was nervous about how he would sound. What if it really didn't work with the song? Or if it didn't sound nice when it was just him singing alone?
Then, his voice came through the speaker. Except... it didn't really sound much like his voice.
He remembered back an hour ago to when he was recording, remembering the small rasp he usually had in his voice. But when he heard his voice now, it was more cleaned and polished, deeper even. Much different to before.
When the song faded to an end, it was silent in the room. But only for a second, because Harry immediately spoke up.
"What did you do to Louis' voice?"
Louis was shocked that Harry brought it up, thinking he wouldn't notice it like he did.
The three men had their brows furrowed and confused looks on their faces. "What do you mean Harry?"
"Don't give me any of that! Why the hell did you change the sound of his voice?" Rage was starting to build up in him, and it was obvious to everyone in the room.
The producer raised his eyebrows in surprise at his reaction. "We didn't do anything drastic, Styles."
So they did change my voice? Louis thought to himself. That hit hard at his heart. They didn't like his voice. The others most likely didn't like it either. That's why they changed it. Louis' lips pursed together, his eyes started to gloss over. He was shaken up over the words.
"You didn't have to do anything to his voice at all! His voice is amazing! I don't know what the hell you're hearing because his voice is perfect!" Louis' gaze snapped to Harry, noticing just how angry he was getting. His words fluttered in his mind, but it wasn't enough to push away the bad words. "Change it back!"
"Harry, we only tweaked it to fit the song better. I don't know why you're getting so worked up over a small factor of the song."
Harry groaned loudly in frustration, his hands balled up into fists. He had had enough of them. Before anyone could stop him, he stormed out of the studio, hands gripping at his curls, muttering out curse words.
Everyone's eyes were wide at what just happened. Liam and Zayn looked at each other, nodding silently. "We're gonna go check on him." Liam said softly, grabbing Zayn's arm and dragging him out the room to follow Harry down the hall the boy went through.
It started to feel awkward in the studio with Niall, Louis and the three men sitting and not knowing what to do. Niall quickly took Louis' hand and walked him out the studio. It was only then when it was the two standing alone the he noticed the tears rolling down Louis' tan cheeks.
"Lou, please! Please don't cry." Even though Louis had all reason to cry, because what those men said was hurtful, Niall hated seeing his best friend like this. Niall brought his thumb up to wipe away at the older boy's wet cheeks, but it was no use. More tears continued to fall from his now dull, glossy blue eyes.
"I-I.. I'm sorry N-Ni." Louis sniffled. "I just... I-I knew they w-wouldn't... th-they wouldn't like me.." Hic ups started to interrupt him. Louis wished he didn't take everything so much to heart, but that's just who he was.
Niall frowned, controlling himself not to cry himself. He needed to stay the strong one right now. The irish boy pulled Louis into his arms, his hand in the boy's hair, pulling it softly like he usually did to calm him down. Louis dug his face into his neck, squeezing his arms tight around his frame. He felt his wet tears on his skin.
"Shh.. please don't say that. You know that's not true." Niall heard Louis try to disagree with him, but the blonde just continued. "Your voice is amazing, Lou. Harry said it was perfect. Just please don't listen to those idiots."
Hearing Louis' sniffles was heartbreaking. But all Niall could do was hold him until he was okay.
"Why can no one but us fucking realize how amazing his voice is?!" Harry shouted, his chest rising up and down from angry huffs of breath. "First management and now the producers have nothing goddamn nice to say!"
Harry leaned against the wall, trying to calm down. He felt a hand on his shoulder, looking up to see Liam looking at him sadly. "I don't know what the hell their problem is, but honestly, their opinion on Louis isn't what is important Harry. Sure, they have the most power, but in the end it's what the fans think. And all of us know that they'll love him and his voice to bits." He tried to reassure the boy.
"Just don't let them get to you H. We want who we want in the band. And we're not going to let them tell us whether Louis is in or not, because he's staying. That's for sure." Zayn confirmed.
Harry nodded firmly, taking a deep breath and calming down. "I'll still show them. Putting Louis in this band wasn't a mistake. Never will be a mistake."
I just hope everyone hears his beautiful, breathtaking voice like I do...
I'm actually really proud of this chapter! Although I hate being rude to Louis in this story, it's part of the story :'( Also, I wanted to update early (i'm that proud, haha)
So what are your thoughts on Harry always defending Louis?
On what the producer did to Louis' voice?