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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8. Chapter 8

Harry was absolutely livid. Upon seeing Zayn crying and shaking while the short man seemingly yelled at his friend, he stormed into the art store without a second thought. He didn’t really care what was going on, he just wanted Zayn to stop looking like that.  It was absolutely heartbreaking.

“Zayn!” Harry practically yelled when he approached the tanned boy, immediately regretting it when Zayn flinched then started to shake even more. He hadn’t meant to scare Zayn, it was actually just to cut the bald man off.

It hadn’t exactly worked. The storeowner faltered for exactly one second before going back to his tirade.

“O great, the thief’s friend has shown up!”

 “Thief?” Harry asked in a confused tone.

“That’s right,” the man said, actually spitting now. “Items are missing from the front and I am absolutely sure he took it.” The man finished his little speech by pointing a finger at Zayn, making Zayn’s breath start to speed up even more and more tears fall. But what really scared Harry was when Zayn started to sway, looking absolutely ready to pass out.

“Just shut up!” Harry yelled at the owner, turning back to Zayn, feeling absolutely hopeless. “Zayn…”

Trying desperately to remember what Paul did, Harry kept talking.

“It’s ok, really, it’s ok,” he said, drawing a blank. “You’re here, you’re fine,”

Faltering, Harry did the only comforting thing he knew. He pulled Zayn into a hug, as he was a rather touchy person and this seemed to work with other people.

But he didn’t get a chance to see if this method had actually worked before a strong arm was pulling him away.

“Harry? What are you doing?”

It was Paul and his voice was panicked, scared and angry all at once. Harry tried to speak but nothing was coming out so Paul turned away to look at his foster son, face changing from concerned to surprise. Harry understood why just as he suddenly understood his mistake. He shouldn’t have approached Zayn so fast but for some reason, Zayn’s breathing was actually slowing down and he was looking a little less pale, although silent tears were still making their way down his cheeks. Instinctively, it seemed, he moved closer to Paul, who immediately knelt down to ask if he was ok.

Zayn nodded, wiping his face and looking to Harry to give him a small smile, trying to indicate not only to Paul that Harry had helped but also that he appreciated it. Paul turned to Harry with a look that Harry could only describe as soul searching, before giving him a smile too and then standing up to walk over to the storeowner, who seemed a little speechless at the tall, muscular man towering over him.

“My name is Mr. Higgins. What seems to be the problem with my son here?”

“Uh, well, um, you see, you son stole from me?” The owners voice faltered at the end.

Paul looked at Zayn.

“Is that true?”

Zayn shook is head, looking absolutely mortified at the possibility and like he was going to cry harder. Harry’s heart cracked just a little more so he brushed his arm against Zayn, trying to give a little comfort.

“Of course he’s going to say no,” the man said.

“What proof do you have?” Paul said, his voice getting darker. “Do you just accuse random teenagers or did you just decide to pick on my son for kicks?”

Harry’s eyes widened. He was sure there was going to be an altercation and police and firefighters were going to be called (sometimes his imagination liked to go wild) but Zayn put a stop to all of that by stepping forward to turn his pockets inside out in both his jeans and his jacket. All that turned up was his notebook, which made sense as Paul had taken the other items back to the car earlier in the day.

Paul rolled his eyes at the man

“Did you ask him to do that calmly before you started accusing him?” Paul asked, sure of the answer he was going to get. He knew something was off when he had walked in to the one-sided screaming match.

“No,” the man sighed. “No.” Then he surprised the three by looking Zayn over, no anger evident. Harry hoped he was taking in how much damage he had caused in a short amount of time and that it caused him incredible guilt. 

“I’m really sorry. I’ve just had a lot of problems lately from people taking things and losing money and then I unfairly judged you but you didn’t say anything so I thought you were guilty but it wasn’t right,” the man hung his head.

Then Zayn decided to surprise all of them again by writing it’s ok in his notebook and showing the man, making both Paul and Harry cry out in unison.

“It is not!”

But Zayn ignored them and instead wrote out his name for the owner, making the man reply.

“I’m Mr. Brown. Look, I know it doesn’t make up for my actions but I saw you eyeing the sketchbooks earlier. Would you like to take one of them and some pencils home?”

No you need the money. Zayn wrote back but Mr. Brown shook his head.

“I’ll be fine,”

Although speechless, Paul managed to nod his approval although when Zayn wandered to the back to pick out his items, he mumbled.

“He’s way too forgiving for his own good,”

“Ya,” Harry affirmed. Paul looked at him.

“So thanks for calming him down. Sorry for grabbing you but I tried hugging him the first time he had a panic attack and it didn’t go well so I thought we might have a repeat,” Paul said sadly.

Harry was itching to find out what had happened when Paul tried physical contact but he knew that was way too personal so he just kept silent as Paul went on.

“You seemed to help him though. I’m glad he trust you,” Paul smiled making Harry grin back. “But if you don’t mind me asking, what are you doing here?”

“O! Well I was shopping with Liam, Louis and Niall but then Liam decided to be a jerk to Niall and then Niall ran off and we were all looking for him when I saw Zayn,” Harry stated before a feeling a panic came over him. “O man, Niall.”

He was so torn. He really wanted to stay and hang out with Zayn, see if he could get him a bit more comfortable but a part of him was still worried about Niall and also Paul and Zayn were obviously on a trip. It wouldn’t be nice of him to intrude.

 “I should go find Niall,” Harry stated. He started to go before Paul stopped him.

“Wait. It’s Zayn’s birthday and if you want, after you find Niall, you two and maybe Liam and Louis, if you are meeting up with them, could come to that Italian restaurant at the end this street. We were going to have an early dinner around three.” Paul said. “I’ll explain that you’re coming back. I’m sure he’d love to have friends there.”

“It’s his birthday?” Harry asked for confirmation. After receiving his nod, he rushed out of the shop, mind racing as he tried to think of good birthday presents that would make Zayn exceedingly happy.

 ——————————————————————-

After fifteen frustrating minutes, Harry managed to track down Niall in a small deli. Although he was originally annoyed that this was taking so long, his impatience left as soon as he saw his friend staring at his sandwich, tear tracks lining his face. If anything he was now upset that Louis or even Liam hadn’t found Niall and he was also sad for Niall. If all were okay, that sandwich would be long gone.

“Niall?” Harry sat down opposite the blond.

“Hi,” Niall answered dully.

“I’m glad I found you,” Harry said. “I was really worried.”

“Really?” Niall asked, still not looking up. “I mean, shouldn’t you be comforting Liam? He’s the one who is having a rough time with it all.”

Harry shook his head. “That doesn’t give him an excuse to treat you like he did. You didn’t deserve that. None of it was true.”

“Maybe I did,” Niall countered, his Irish accent getting thicker. “I mean, I am annoying and too cheerful aren’t I? I talk way too much. No wonder Liam doesn’t love me.”

“Love?” Harry gasped in surprise. He had suspicions of Niall’s less than platonic feelings for a while (who wouldn’t with the hugs, the touches, the smiles and the intense gazes Niall gave Liam) but didn’t think he would ever hear an admission.

“I meant like!” Harry finally got to see Niall’s light blue eyes dancing with worry.

“No you didn’t,” Harry said. “I know you have feelings for Liam. I have seen the way you look at him. Plus, you mumbled his name once when you slept over.”

Niall turned red as a beet. “Please don’t tell anyone else!”

“But don’t you want to see if he has feelings too?” Harry was confused. If this was a shot at happiness, shouldn’t Niall go for it?

Niall huffed. “We aren’t all you, ready to put ourselves out there to get the boy of our dreams,”

Harry sighed, knowing Niall probably wanted to move on. Although he wanted to keep talking about Niall’s feelings, he was running on a schedule. 

“Speaking of that,” Harry started, knowing all his friends, being as close as they were, had picked up on how much he had fallen for Zayn. “I ran into Zayn on the way here.” He didn’t want to go into the whole story in case Zayn would get embarrassed. Niall had a tendency to repeat things. “It’s his birthday and Paul said we could come to dinner with them in an hour!”

Niall gave a small smile. Food always cheers him up although one thought made him frown. “Are we finding Liam and Louis first?”

Harry knew they should but he didn’t want Niall to keep being sad and he also thought if there were too many people, he wouldn’t be able to hold Zayn’s attention as well.

“Nope! We are going to go find Zayn a birthday present,” Harry faltered for a minute. “I just don’t know what that perfect present is!”

Instead of answering, Niall dug into his sandwich, finishing almost a minute later while Harry gazed on, never ceasing to be amazed at how fast Niall devoured food.

“Niall, can you help me?”

“I am,” Niall replied, swallowing the last bite. “Food helps me think and now I have the perfect idea.”

“Well what is it?” Harry asked as they stood to throw out Niall’s garbage.

“Na I have to show you,” Niall gave as an answer before pulling Harry along, Harry hoping the entire way that this was one of Niall’s better ideas.

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