The 25-year-old singer hadn't spoken to his former One Direction bandmate since he quit the group in March 2015 but was compelled to get back in touch after Johannah Deakin - who died of cancer in December 2016 - warned him life is ''too short'' to hold a grudge.
He said: ''My mum said, 'You've got to get back in contact with Zayn. Life's too f***ing short'.
''A mother's intuition is just f***ing crazy. It always felt supernatural to me. My mum always knew what I was feeling and what I wanted.
''I can't stand to hold a grudge with anyone. It doesn't sit with me right.
''If there is any animosity, just clear the air. I met up with him and it was nice.''
Since leaving One Direction, Zayn has been critical about his time with the group and admitted he didn't like their music, but Louis believes his pal is just ''misunderstood''.
He told The Sun newspaper: ''I would always see the good in Zayn and also watch him shoot himself in the foot with some of his decisions, but he's just a little misunderstood.''
Three years ago, the pair were filmed seemingly smoking marijuana and joking about the drug, and the 'Back to You' singer admitted the incident brought them even closer together.
He said: ''Zayn was always good for me in the band because he was my go-to if I wanted to p**s around, lark around.
''I could always break the rules a little bit with Zayn.
''So after that whole thing, it was that brotherly love. We will always have that love for each other.
''I can't speak on behalf of him but we really care about each other.''
One Direction went on indefinite hiatus at the end of 2015 and though Louis no longer sees Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Niall Horan as often as he used to, he thinks they are ''better'' friends nowadays.
He said: ''Unless you're a really bitter person, which none of us are, we've gone through so much with each other . . . so I like to think naively that we are better friends than maybe we were in the past.''
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