"When all your love is gone, who will save me from all I'm up against out in this world?" - Matchbox Twenty
Draco took so long to answer her question that by the time he opened his mouth to answer her, she had already wandered off a few feet to where there was a random patch of flowers growing. He watched her as she gently plucked on from the ground and began pulling off it’s petals, one by one. She was whispering something under her breath and every other petal she pulled with great anxiousness. When the last petal of the daisy fell to the ground, Rylie stared at the stem. She then let it drop unceremoniously to the ground and looked up at Draco. “What?” Rylie asked, interrupting their silence.
“I didn’t say anything.” Draco told her as he continued to look at the flower stem on the ground.
“Oh.” She looked around the woods once more and Draco saw the start of a small mischievous smirk play on her lips. “So how long have you been going out with Parkinson, then?”
“I’m not going out with Parkinson.” Draco replied immediately, aghast at the suggestion. Sure, he flirted relentlessly with her, but that was for a lack of better things to do. He enjoyed watching her get flustered. Draco had never seen Rylie flustered.
“But that’s not what she told me.” Rylie grinned and Draco gave her a half-hearted glare. “She told me that you two were truly, madly and deeply in love.” She laughed as she said it. Draco found it more irritating that anything. He didn’t want her to think he was in love with anyone when really he was pretty sure he loved-“You’ll have to tell me when your wedding is.”
“Are you done yet?”
“Almost.” Rylie said and began to dance around in a circle like a six year-old might. “Draco and Pug Girl, sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-“ But her chant was cut off by her gasp of surprise as she tripped on a root by the edge of the brook and fell backwards down into the water. Draco watched her fall with surprise and once she hit the water and sent up a large splash, he immediately began to laugh.
“Way to be graceful, Rylie.” He said as he leaned against a tree for support of his laughter. She glared at him from her position and slapped the water in aggravation.
“Very funny. Now come help me up.”
‘You should take up ballet.”
“Alright, I get it! Now help me, these rock are slippery and I can’t stand up.” Draco sighed and reached out his hand to help her up as he approached the brook. Instead of using his hand to help herself up, however, she pulled him down forcefully and laughed as he landed in the water next to him. Draco, after he got over the initial shock of his fall, whipped his blonde hair our of his eyes and looked at Rylie incredulously.
“Rylie! Are you mad? Why did you-“
“Oh relax Draco. It’s not like your going to melt or anything.” She rolled her eyes playfully and then splashed him with the cold water. He glared at her before splashing her back.
“No, but my tie is ruined. It’ll have to be thrown away now.” He said it because he needed some argument against her. Rylie sighed as she got to her feet and walked out of the water.
“Look on the bright side.”
“What bright side?”
“At least there’s no chance of you dying now because of it.” She grinned at him and Draco kept himself from grinning back, though she knew he was amused. Instead he forced himself to sigh irritatedly as he stood from the water and began to take off his tie. Rylie was beside him wringing out her jacket and Draco tried to keep himself from noticing how pretty she looked in the color green, which was the color shirt she had worn beneath her black pin-stripe blazer. “Why are you staring at me?” She asked and Draco started. He hadn’t realized he had been staring.
“Your hair is soaking wet.” He told her lamely when he couldn’t think of a better excuse.
“At least I haven’t let it grow out so much that I resemble a blonde muffin.”
“I don’t resemble a blonde muffin!”
“What about a blonde mushroom?”
“Now I’m fungi. I liked it better when I was a muffin.” He was trying to make her laugh but she didn’t. Instead she just smiled and began to ring out her hair. That’s when Draco noticed what looked like a small cut on her forehead. “Where did you get that?” He demanded and Rylie instantly brushed her bangs in front of her forehead to cover it up.
“Get what?” She asked, trying to sound innocent but looking guilty.
‘That-“He moved forward, pushed her hair out of the way, and stared at the cut which, for some reason, held meaning for him. “When did it happen?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She said forcefully and pushed Draco forcefully off of her. Rylie brushed her hair in front of the cut again and gave Draco a look that dared him to keep going at the subject. Draco had a strong personality and was known for getting his way, but Rylie’s personality was stronger and she always got her way. The two were a lethal combination. Draco turned away, frustrated.
“You could go hang with Harry Potter with that cut.” He mumbled under his breath, not meaning for her to hear him. He was irritated that she wouldn’t let him help her and the comment was supposed to be an insult. Rylie, however, did hear him and scoffed.
“Oh yeah, I’m sure him and I would be great friends.”
“You wouldn’t, you know.” Draco told her immediately, though he knew she was being sarcastic. For some reason, he felt the need to leer her away from any idea of her and Harry Potter being together. “You’d absolutely hate him, like I do.”
“I didn’t know you knew him.” She said with surprise. “You never told me that.”
“Well I assumed that you weren’t apart of his fan club and wouldn’t care that we went to school together.” Draco’s anger level was rising dramatically as he talked of Harry, but Rylie didn’t care. She was fascinated by the development.
“Really? And what’s he like?”
“He’s a prat, that’s what he’s like. An egotistical saint who hangs out with mud bloods and half-breeds because he believes it will boost his fame. You wouldn’t like him.”
“Yeah, you’ve mentioned that part already.” She told him with a grin as she collapsed down onto the grass. “So between him and Pug Girl, Hogwarts is a real party, eh?” She chuckled softly to herself as Draco took a seat next to her.
“Almost as good as the Alps school.” He joked and then added under his breath, “but not nearly good enough for you.”
“What was that?” Rylie demanded harshly, spinning herself to face Draco. He flushed slightly, but stared her in the eyes. “What did you just say?”
“I said it’s not nearly good enough for you.”
“And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“I think we both know what it means.”
“Why don’t you explain it, Draco?” She said fiercely, still sitting on the grass. It was an awkward time and place for them to be having this argument, but Draco wouldn’t back down. Not this time.
“It means, Rylie Marie Bryant, that you’re the best. You’ve always been the best. First un line for the Dark crown, and first in line for everything! Nothing is ever good enough for you, including me.” He said it breathily, because he had always wanted to say it. Rylie watched him with an unmoved expression on her face. “You were always the exception to every rule, got everything you ever wanted, and played whoever you wanted. If the Dark Lord ever labeled anyone as his favorite, it would obviously be you. He’s made that clear on more than one occasion. I mean, you were allowed to get the Dark Mark at age twelve! I’m not-“
“I’m waiting for you, aren’t I?” She interrupted and Draco paused, caught slightly off guard. Of all the things he’s just said to her, and she chooses to comment on that.
“Well yes but you-“
“Draco will you look at that?” It wasn’t a question, but a demand. Draco looked into her determined eyes for a moment before following her pointed finger into the skies. He stared at the stars expectantly.
“I’ve seen a star before Rylie, thanks.”
“But do you know what they mean?” Her voice was suddenly tired and impatient and Draco heard weakness. He glanced at her, startled. He had never known her to be weak before. He realized whatever she was showing him was important to her and he loved her way to much to keep on fighting with her and beat her down. “No matter where you are in the entire world, we all see the same stars, Draco. The exact same stars.” She suddenly took his face in her hands and made him look at her. Draco’s heart caught somewhere in his throat and he couldn’t breath while she was touching him so gently. He wanted to kiss her at that exact moment. “I don’t love anyone in this world more than I love you.” She told him sternly and Draco’s hopes rose dramatically. “I’ve always thought of you as my brother.” And they fell. He didn’t want to be her brother or her best friend….he wanted to be more. “And every time I felt like giving up, I looked at the stars and at the sky because I knew that you were out there somewhere looking at the same stars and sky. You underestimate how much I love you. For you to be jealous of everything I have is simply ridiculous. All I have is a name. You know who you are, I don’t. You have your own personality and I do too, but no one sees that. They only hear my name and assume who I am. If you want that Draco, I’ll be glad to give it up to you.” He swore he saw what was the beginnings of tears in her eyes, but he tried to overlook it. He didn’t want to see her cry.
“I- you’re right.” He whispered, hoping that she would keep her touch on his face. “I’m sorry.” She smiled weakly at him before removing one of her hands off of his cheek and leaning in. Her kiss was so soft and gentle on his skin that Draco wondered if she had even touched him at all.
“I’m getting cold.” She confessed, pulling away entirely from him. Draco was too, now that she had completely stopped touching him. “Do you want to head back in now?” He didn’t want to head back in. He wanted to stay out here with her for forever, but he knew their return to the Malfoy Mansion was inevitable. Rylie thought she was reading his expression correctly when she said, “We don’t have to join the party. We can sneak in somehow and hide out in your room.” So Draco had no choice but to agree and stand to his feet. They walked out of the woods and towards the house mainly in silence, until they were about ten feet away from the back door. “How about this? How about we-“ But whatever Rylie’s plan was got cut off once again. This time it was by Narcissa Malfoy.
“Draco! Rylie! There you two are! We’ve been looking all over for you. Come in right this instant.” Narcissa said with quite a large drink in her hand and her head out the slider door. Rylie sighed exasperatedly.
“We’re not too good at sneaking in and out are we? Always getting caught.” She whispered to Draco as she grudgingly entered the house where they found that the party had ended. They must have been gone longer than they thought. Draco and Rylie had just heard the door close behind them when the dark and looming figure of Rodger Bryant turned to face them. Draco felt Rylie tense up slightly next to him and he was tempted to grab her hand. One look from Rodger though, and he couldn’t move. That man was frightening.
“Rylie Marie, why are you wet?” He demanded in a harsh voice, handing off his drink to his wife and encountering his daughter. He held her shoulders and Draco saw Rylie flinch slightly. He wanted to scream at him to let her go, but he imagined that the consequences of such an action would prove disastrous.
“I well, I fell in the brook father.” She said as strongly as she could. Her father’s gaze pressed her to continue. “When I was outside. With Draco. In the woods.” Rylie kept herself from biting her lip as her father stared curiously at her.
“And you didn’t see it?” Rodger glanced for the first time at Draco, who was also very wet. “Neither of you saw it?”
“It was very dark, sir.” Draco told him, mainly because he was anxious for him to stop touching Rylie. Rodger, who seemed to grow weary of this questioning, released Rylie and walked away and back to his wife and drink.
“Very well.” He said casually, take a sip out of his crystal goblet. “Rylie Marie, I didn’t plan on speaking of this when you were in such a ridiculous condition, but I supposed it shall have to do.” Another sip. Rylie glanced nervously at Draco and braced herself for the worst. “After talking to Narcissa, we have come to the conclusion that it would not be a terrible idea if you and Draco here went to school together.” Rylie’s eyes widened. Draco couldn’t breathe. Did that mean that… “So, I have decided that come September, you will be attending the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”
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