It Ain't No Use In Turning On Your Light Zarry AU

Zayn has moved to a new town, wanting to escape. Finding four new friends wasn’t part of the plan. Zarry AU

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2. Chapter 2

“Here’s your schedule, your locker number and a map. Have a good first day,” the secretary mumbled, not even looking up from her computer, instead choosing to keep smacking on her gum and twirling her graying hair in her fingers.

Zayn honestly didn’t mind in the slightest. He had been worried all during his walk to the office (thankfully there were signs all around so he didn’t have to ask any of the staring kids where to go) how he was going to explain who he was if he couldn’t even manage a sound. However, the secretary just seemed to know which lead Zayn to presume that was the only new kid. That should really make for a fun day.

Sighing inwardly, Zayn scanned over his schedule quickly, wanting to find out where his first class was so he wouldn’t have to show up late. The last thing he wanted, besides someone showing him around the school, was to walk into class late. The teacher would probably want to introduce him to the class, which would be an absolute disaster.

History was first on the list, just up the stairs and down the hall, so Zayn didn’t bypass too many staring eyes. The bell rung just as he had entered the classroom and managed to slide into a desk near the back before a bunch of kids started sliding in.  He didn’t want to be labeled by sitting near the teacher.

Most just gave him a curious stare before turning back to their friends and making Zayn jealous as they chatted about their summer trips to France and Italy.  Never having been out of England, Zayn would love to visit another country but really doubted he would ever get the chance.

Some of the other students stared at him a bit longer and when Zayn chanced a quick glance up from his desk, he could swear they were glaring at him. He couldn’t figure out why for the life of him. Sure it was a smaller town and news of his arrival probably spread very fast, but wouldn’t that just draw curiosity?

He was becoming increasingly uncomfortable when the teacher walked in, introducing himself as Mr. Sanders, then launching right into a speech about the Cold War while writing obsessively over the whiteboard. Instead of paying attention to the whispers around him, Zayn focused on trying to write down as many notes as he could. It was kind of difficult considering he had to keep squinting. He knew he needed glasses badly but no one ever wanted to spend that kind of money on him so he kept it to himself.

A loud bang made Zayn jump and he wildly looked around, eyes falling on the door that had just slammed and the person who was wow.

Unkempt, but still stylish, curly hair, framed a beautiful face that Zayn could not just tear his eyes away from. The guy was dressed in the school jacket of course but he was definitely more daring than Zayn, as he had put a very tight v-neck under it that was making Zayn want to drool.

Mr. Styles, I have told you a million times, if you must insist on being late, you must come in quietly.”

The boy in question gave a cheeky grin before sauntering over to Mr. Sanders’ desk.  “Alright, can I get my detention slip now?”

Mr. Sanders rolled his eyes before scribbling down on a pink slip and handing it over. Mr. Styles, as Zayn now knew him, gave another smirk before turning back to the class to look for a desk.

Zayn followed his line of sight and immediately paled. Of course the only open seat was beside him, no one wanting to sit near the weird new kid. But the kid didn’t seem all that bothered, instead plopping himself down and extending a hand.

“Hi I’m Harry!”

Zayn looked up at the beautiful eyes in panic. What was he supposed to do? Harry was going to find out immediately just how weird he really was.

“Mr. Styles, for god’s sake, can you please just let me continue my lesson?”

Harry, and that really was the perfect name for him Zayn thought, nodded, making Zayn think their interaction was over and turned back to squinting at the lesson.  However, Harry didn’t seem to do the same. Zayn felt his eyes on him all class and when he happened to look over, Harry was just staring unashamed. Not knowing how bizarre it was that this was making him happy, Zayn just tried to focus and when the bell for next class rang, he booked it out the door, not daring to look back.

————————————————————————————————————-

It wasn’t until third period that trouble hit.

Lunch had been uneventful, Zayn finding an empty table. No one came to make conversation but he really wasn’t expecting it.

What he should have been expecting was the teacher calling on him to answer and becoming angry when Zayn had stared at him, not having a clue what to do. He should have known all the other students would laugh when the teacher sent him to the office. But it didn’t stop him from going red in the face, choking back sobs as he made his way to the principal’s office.

He couldn’t help letting a tear slip after the principal had resorted to yelling and calling Paul after Zayn failed to give him an answer on why he couldn’t obey his teacher. Paul hadn’t even looked at him when he arrived, instead storming right into the office. Now Zayn had to sit there and try to stop his heart racing as he thought about the trouble he was in. He couldn’t hear much in the main area but he had heard Paul say “I don’t know what’s really wrong with him.”

Wrong. Zayn was so used to that word but to hear it from Paul somehow hurt even more than usual. He just knew Paul was going to get fed up with him and his silence eventually.

The conversation lasted a long time but Zayn didn’t calm down as the time passed.  He didn’t even realize Paul had come out of the room until he felt a hand on his shoulder and an Irish accent break through his whirling thoughts.

“I’m sorry that happened.”

Zayn looked up confused. Wasn’t he in trouble?

“I explained…everything to them. You won’t get into any more trouble as long as you use a notepad to write down stuff when you are being talked to.”

A small smile crept on to his lips at how caring Paul was being, despite the fact that he had been called from work in the middle of the day.

“However,” Paul started, making Zayn draw a deep breath. “A couple of your teachers noticed you have a hard time reading the board. We’re going to go to the optometrist this afternoon and get you some glasses.”

To say he was surprised was an understatement and he didn’t know how else to express his thanks then to lean over and give Paul a quick hug, turning absolutely crimson once he realized what he’d done.

But Paul looked very happy so it was ok and they were soon leaving as the whole ordeal had taken all the afternoon.

 Zayn was feeling very good right up to the minute they walked out the door and passed a group with a blonde girl, a brown haired girl, and a brunette guy.

“Keep walking loser.”

 The brunette guy laughed with his friend.

 “Foster freak,” he added.

The words made Zayn’s heart drop, finally realizing how his classmates saw him and any hopes of just blending in dashing.

Looking away from his tormenters, he caught Harry just standing on the steps, alone, staring at Zayn and frowning. Although he wasn’t perfect at reading emotions, Zayn knew the frown must mean he agreed with the hurtful words. He was close enough and he must have heard. And he wasn’t exactly jumping to Zayn’s defense. Zayn quickly turned away, not wanting to get any more upset.

Paul on the other hand looked like he wanted to cuss the group out but Zayn had grabbed on his sleeve, motioning to the parking lot. He knew a scene would make tomorrow even worse, considering the gossip was probably going around about his little scene in class today.

Paul cottoned on quickly and didn’t even discuss the incident in the car, focusing instead on telling Zayn about how his parents wanted to meet him. Zayn couldn’t even work up the excitement of having grandparents, instead trying to get his peers words out of his head.

Receiving contacts helped a bit as did sorting through some reading glasses.  He quickly fell in love with some black rimmed, slightly squared ones, but once he saw the price, he wanted to start hunting for cheaper ones. Paul had seen Zayn, though, and headed for the checkout before Zayn could blink. Once he caught up, all Paul said was:

“We can afford to be a little frivolous.”

Quickly whipping out his new pad and pen, Zayn wrote a thank you before they headed home.

The evening was relaxing until Zayn had decided to go to bed early and had woken up an hour later screaming. He hadn’t meant to push Paul away when the man had shaken him awake but the hands were grabbing, people were chasing him, he was falling while Harry had just stood there and not reached out.

But Paul had just left and returned quickly with some warm milk and sat at the end of the bed, encouraging Zayn to get his strangled breaths back to normal.

Being quite exhausted after, Zayn had immediately curled back into his covers, wanting to go back to sleep and have another dream to forget the most recent one.  It didn’t help as waking up a few hours later; Zayn still remembered the fear and the green eyes staring at him as he fell.  That didn’t frighten him though. What scared him was the fact that he had to see Harry again and despite the nightmare, he kind of wanted to.

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