Chapter Nineteen: He has most wisely switched his alliances
“I can’t understand why we’re living life this way.” – Kid Rock
Though he didn't have a reason, Harry went back to the Potions room. He didn’t go inside, just waited beside the door for class to be over. But he didn’t know what he was waiting for. It just seemed like the place to be and the thing to do. While he leaned against the wall, he thought about Rylie.
How she was still standing was incomprehensible to him. People had always said that Harry was strong and brave and courageous, but he had nothing on Rylie. Nothing. In the past two hours, she had been mocked, abused, broken, and threatened. And yet the only time she cried was when she talked about love.
Suddenly, Harry heard the scuffle of feet from inside and the door burst open and slammed against the opposite wall. Draco emerged and his eyes were frantically darting around the hallway. Finally, they rested on Harry’s. Draco hesitated, and then lunged at him.
“What did you do to her?” Draco demanded, his hands closing around Harry’s throat and shoving him against the wall.
“Who?” Harry asked stupidly, though he knew very well who Draco was talking about. By now, the rest of the class had come out and were witnessing the scene.
“Who do you think?” Harry tried to push Draco off of him, but Draco’s grip only tightened. “Rylie. Where is she?”
“And how would I know?”
“Because you left right after her.” Harry tried to shove him off again, but Draco only tightened his grip again. Harry was having a hard time breathing now. His hand made its way for his pocket, but Harry couldn’t find his wand.
“Let him go, Malfoy!” Hermione cried, trying to wrench Draco’s hands off of Harry, but he was too strong for her.
“I had nothing to do with her.” Harry gasped. “I went with Dumbledore.”
“Bryant hates me. I hate her. Why would I go with her anywhere?” Harry lied fiercely in voice that was as strong as Draco’s grip around his throat allowed. Draco stared at him and thought this over. His grip on Harry’s throat lessened.
“So you don’t know where she is?”
“Oh I know where she is.” He said it just to get Draco mad, and it worked. But instead of strangling him again, Draco whipped out his wand and pointed it at Harry’s heart with a blazing look in his eyes.
“Tell me. Don’t think I won’t do it if you don’t.”
“She left.” Harry said, not because Draco was threatening him but because if he did then Draco might be able to watch over her. Someone had to make sure she was okay.
“Yeah. That’s what it’s called when a person walks away from-“
“Don’t get smart with me, Potter.” Draco hissed, jabbing his wand into Harry’s chest. “Where did she go?”
“I don’t know.” Harry said stubbornly. “Her parents dragged her off. Said something about seeing ‘him’.” Harry paused. “She’s in trouble.” Draco’s wand fell a fraction of an inch.
“Him?” He whispered, before whipping around and swearing loud. He headed down the hallway and as soon as he was out of sight, Hermione threw herself at Harry. She hugged him desperately as the crowd around them dispersed because of lack of action.
“I hate him so much.” Hermione breathed. “He looked like he was going to kill you.”
“He’s just worried about Bryant.” Harry told her as he hugged her back. They were both worried Rylie.
Draco stormed down the hallway, losing Crabbe and Goyle who failed in trying to keep up with him. He swore fluently under his breath as he walked and he couldn’t understand why anyone would just let her leave. Because he was a prefect, he knew the password to Dumbledore’s office. Draco didn’t bother to knock on the door; he was too angry for manners. Draco threw open the headmaster’s door.
“Good evening, Mr. Malfoy. I have been expecting you.” Dumbledore said pleasantly from behind his desk. Draco slammed the door shut.
“Professor, do you know where Rylie Bryant is right now?” Draco demanded, approaching Dumbledore’s desk and pressing his hands down onto the table.
“I do. She is with her parents.”
“And do you know how much of an unwise decision it was to let her leave with them?”
“I am sure you are going to brief me on the matter.”
“Professor- they hurt her! She suffered through the torture curse today in the middle of one of your hallways!”
“I have already been informed, and yet Mr. Bryant has denied that action, Mr. Malfoy.”
“He’s lying then! Professor, he uses it on Rylie. Not as much now, but he used to. He used to use it a lot. When she was little- Professor, I won’t let her be hurt again. You have to do something!”
“I have discussed with Mr. Bryant the dangers of using curses on people, Mr. Malfoy.” He told Draco, folding his hands in his lap. Draco stared at him, wanting to scream that Dumbledore was absolutely mad and then hex him into oblivion for allowing Rylie to be hurt.
“And you think that’s good enough? Rodger Bryant doesn’t listen to anyone!”
“Mr. Bryant knows what his boundaries are-“
“He doesn’t have boundaries!” Draco interrupted loudly, swiping his hand and making a very beautiful crystal goblet fall and crash to the ground, where it became a million tiny pieces. “Bryant’s don’t have boundaries. They do whatever they want.”
“Well Mr. Malfoy, I see that is one thing we agree on.” Dumbledore told Draco, much to Draco’s surprise. He looked down briefly at the shattered pieces of glass on the floor before waving his wand and making them disappear. “You imagine my dilemma then, when he insisted on taking Miss Bryant from school.”
“You should have told him no.”
“And what would I have gained by that action? Nothing.” Dumbledore asked. Draco stared at him and dropped into the seat before the desk. “By saying ‘yes’, Mr. Bryant now knows that I know where his daughter is and it shall save a lot of explanation in case of her rescue out of a particularly dangerous situation is needed. It would have been unwise for me to refuse him of taking his daughter. I believe that you and I can both fully appreciate the fact that a Bryant does not take an answer they don’t like. Why would I say ‘no’, risk his temper and potentially put my school in danger?”
“So you put Rylie in danger instead.”
“Rylie was in danger no matter what I did.” Dumbledore told Draco sternly, losing his soft and understanding tone. He rose from his seat slightly and stared down at Draco. “Rylie Bryant is, and always will be, in constant danger of her parents. But I know she is strong enough to take care of herself. I don’t believe she would have it any other way.” This was true. Rylie was so stubborn she would never accept help from anyone unless it was absolutely necessary.
“I want to know where she is. I want to find her and I want to be there with her.” Draco said with a hint of plea in his voice.
“Mr. Malfoy, I mean no disrespect when I say that there is little you could do to protect her in the presence of Lord Voldemort. I fear that if you were there, she would be much too worried over you. You will wait here. She will return shortly.” Draco sighed and looked out the window. He prayed that Rylie was okay.
Rylie glanced quickly at her parents before sprinting through the house to leave them behind. She dashed around the familiar hallways and stampeded up the stairs before she came to the door she was looking for. Without hesitation, she threw the door open.
“Godfather.” She breathed, her eyes resting immediately on the erect figure of Lord Voldemort sitting regally in his chair beside the fire place. “I-“
“Ah, Rylie Marie. What a please it is to see you again, my dear. I daresay it has been too long since our last encounter. Come, have a seat.” With a flick of Voldemort’s wand, a chair much like the one he resided in appeared beside him. Rylie approached cautiously and with the utmost malice, as she had just noticed the other person in the room and despised his presence most deeply. Voldemort glanced to see where her narrowed gaze was lingering and was pleased to see it was on his guest. “So very rude of me. Rylie Marie, let me introduce you to Percy Weasley.” Voldemort waved his hand in Percy’s direction and Percy immediately bowed to Rylie. She didn’t move.
“So honored to meet you Rylie Marie.” Percy said in a tone that nauseated Rylie. She glared at his red hair and couldn’t help but wonder if Ron knew his brother had switched sides.
“I’m sure it is.” She snapped coldly before refusing to shake his hand and slamming herself down in the seat beside Voldemort. “He’s the reason I’m here.” Rylie told her godfather, pointing at Percy as though he carried some vicious disease that Rylie did not want to catch.
“I thought that might be the reason.” Voldemort said slowly, and then turned to face Percy, who bowed at Voldemort’s attention. “Weasley, you may go for now. I believe Rodger and Clarice Bryant are downstairs. Tell them we do not require their presence at the moment and offer them a drink.” Percy left the room immediately, his face pale and his red hair not as bright as the other Weasly’s. He seemed to have lost a lot of his life and jubilance. Rylie watched his departure and as soon as the door shut beside him, she began to talk.
“Excuse me for being forward godfather, but I believe the idea is absolutely ridiculous.”
“You would not be a Bryant if you were not forward, Rylie Marie.” Voldemort said with a laugh that did not sound joyful. But Rylie knew it was all he was capable of. “The Bryant family has always been strong in their opinions.”
“And I am no different. But I feel that putting me in this position is degrading me and therefore, degrading the entire Bryant name!” Rylie exclaimed, jumping from her chair. “The Bryant’s are known for being powerful. Surely you do not want to tarnish the name with that blood-traitor?”
“He is no longer a blood-traitor, my dear. He has most wisely switched his alliances and can be of utmost use to us. That is, of course, if he had the proper power to carry out the job I want to assign him. I’m afraid that the only people who have enough power to carry out the job are sitting in this room and I will not risk either of us. In confidence, Rylie Marie, I shall tell you that I believe you to be of much more capable tasks than either of your parents. You seem to radiate a sense of power above what either of them has ever accomplished.” His voice was calm, steady and sure. His eyes were narrowed and red. Yet Rylie felt no fear. She actually smiled slightly with the compliment that she was a better witch than her mother and father. “We are both much too valuable to risk in such a dirty job that is likely to get Weasley killed. I do not expect him to survive.”
“Then why does he need the Bryant power if he’s just going to die?” Rylie asked, her hands shaking. She would not do it if her life depended on it. “I see no use in marrying him and allowing him to have the Bryant blood running through him when he’s just going to rot in the ground!”
“Just by marrying you does not mean he will have the Bryant power. Surely you know of the ceremony that is involved.”
“Of course.” Rylie said at once, an argument to defend herself forming in her mind. “I know quite well of the potion that must be made. However that begs the question then of what is the real difference between a magic transfusion and this particular marriage potion?” It was hard for her to talk of Magic Transfusions, but she did it anyway with a tight stomach. “Could you not just do a magic transfusion for Weasel and leave me single?”
“A magic transfusion and the marriage potion are very different, Rylie Marie. The Transfusion will take all the magic from one wizard and place it into another. These are difficult, as you know, because if too much magic is transferred from one wizard to another then it shall be more than the body can handle and the wizard shall die. I believe you are well aware of that situation with Tristan.” Rylie stared determinedly up at the ceiling. He talked about transfusions and Tristan like it was not an unpleasant for anyone. Like it was perfectly normal to lose someone you cared about very much.
“Tristan died of more than just a bad transfusion.” Rylie whispered, but Voldemort either did not hear her or did not care, for he kept talking.
“However if not enough magic is transferred then the recipient will not have enough to live. The marriage potion strengthens the magic of the recipient. The donor has no affect. This is what is least painful for you, Rylie Marie.”
“Me? I believe any consideration to my part of this plan was left out a long time ago.”
“Rylie Marie do you or do you not want to destroy Harry Potter?”
“Destroy-who? What?” She asked, completely thrown off by this statement. “You are going to send Weasel over there to destroy Harry Potter?”
“I’m going to be forward again, Godfather.” Rylie stated bluntly, falling back down into her chair.
“It’s mad is what it is. The fact that you want Weasel to do the job of destroying Potter is absolutely raving mad.”
“Rylie Marie I said the job was to destroy him, not that’d he’d do the destroying.” Voldemort told her edgily and Rylie eyed him wearily. “You have completely missed the point.”
“I beg to differ. It is extremely difficult to miss something when you didn't see it to begin with.” Rylie whispered to keep from letting her temper go out of control and screaming. Voldemort sighed and rose from his chair.
“You are a difficult one, aren’t you?”
“My mother claims I take after my father.”
“Yes, I agree. Though you do surpass your father intelligence wise. I admit, Rylie Marie.” He looked out the window and they were silent for a moment. “He needs to be weakened.”
“Harry Potter, Rylie Marie, Harry Potter!”
“And why does he-“
“Because…” Voldemort’s voice trailed off. “Because he is too strong right now. I have underestimated his powers until now and with each day that passes, he only gets stronger. I shall not wait until he is as strong as you or me.”
“So you want to get rid of him now.” Rylie clarified, her heart beating rapidly.
“But first I need to weaken him. I’m not as strong as I once was, Rylie Marie. My eleven-year disappearance has led me to become weaker than I once was and if he could do that to me then….”
“You think he stands a chance against you?”
“His chances are there, but I don’t want him to stand to them.”
“Oh okay.” Rylie had no idea what he meant by that and drummed her fingers against the arm of her chair. “And how does the red Weasel play into this?”
“He is going to weaken Harry Potter.”
“Yes. But how?”
“There will be an attack, Rylie Marie.” Voldemort told her, turning around to face her. “On the school. Logistics aren’t important-“ He said as she opened her mouth to ask how. “But there will be one. I want Potter to die in the place he thought he had been safe in. I want him to die under Dumbledore’s watch. I want him to die, and I want you there to help me.”
“ME?!” Rylie screamed, and then remembered who she was supposed to be. She calmed herself down under Voldemort’s curious look. “You want me to help you kill Harry Potter?”
“As a right of passage, Rylie Marie. Once Harry Potter is defeated, there shall be nothing stopping us from taking the rest of the world.”
“I thought I already went though this whole, ‘right of passage’ business?” Rylie asked, standing but still gripping the arms of the chair. “Why must I do it again?”
“Do you not wish to help in his demise?”
“Well I…” Rylie searched the words to tell him no, that she couldn’t kill the boy she loved, but nothing came to her. “Won’t I pretty much get expelled for murdering him?”
“Now you’re worried about schooling? Rylie Marie, what is wrong with you?!”
“Nothing! I just feel like…..like Weasely could be used for better things than half-killing Harry Potter.” She sunk back down into her chair. Voldemort stared at her for a moment, before seating himself as well.
“Instead of directly weakening Harry Potter, do it indirectly. Weaken his whole side. Let Potter suffer for a little bit. Send Weasley back to Dumbledore. Allow him to be a spy for the time being and give information from inside the Order. Being as daft as he is, I’m sure Dumbledore would welcome him back with open arms if he supplied an adequate enough apology. His family as well. Then have Percy start to destabilize the other side. Do nothing big. Destroy any pensieve’s, Dumbledore’s especially. The man’s experiences are his biggest strength. And get rid of small members of the Order. Kinsley Shackelbolt. Amelia Bones. Bill Weasley. Ones that won’t take a direct effect on their status but leave them shaken.”
“And how does Potter die?”
“Well he should be so shaken after most of these events take place that all you must do is take one more thing that is important to him, he’ll follow as always, and kill him. It’s just picking a location for death now.”
“I see.” Voldemort drummed his fingers together. “Well I admit, I was skeptical, but I believe your ideas shall work. They will be carried through. But Weasley still remains weak.”
“I won’t marry him.”
“It shall shake his family to know that he has become stronger by joining the forces of Lord Voldemort. It will destroy them to know he has married Rylie Marie Bryant.”
“It shall destroy me first, godfather.” Rylie insisted. “If I marry him, then he gets the Bryant name and the Bryant power; that is certain. However, I acquire Weasley affiliation and that is not something I desire in this or any other lifetime. I refuse to degrade myself to their level of mudblood loving, dirt poor, unintelligent traitors. It will not only tarnish my name, but my family name. How influential do you think you can be or I can be when the entire world knows that I have let myself be reduced to a ‘Weasley’? Not only will you lose support of those who adore you, you will lose a future heir. It would make me crumble, it would make me die. I assure you godfather, I would sooner marry Harry Potter himself than Percy Weasley.” It was not a total lie. She would sooner marry Harry than Percy. She would sooner marry Harry than anyone. Lucky for her, Voldemort was the one who taught her occumulency, so she could block her mind to the strongest wizard of all to all of these thoughts.
“I see you feel very passionate about the matter.” Voldemort said slowly after a momentary silence. “And I admit, I did not consider your new affiliations. I believe such a connection would be most unwise and un-useful in this time of war. I do not want my second in command to have such tasteless affiliations.” He paused again and thought. “Very well, Rylie Marie. Once again your outstanding intelligence has gotten your way on a matter. But he still remains weak and Transfusions are not reliable. I suppose a strengthening potion will have to do.”
“It will have to. He was head boy at Hogwarts, he cannot be that poor of a wizard.”
“But ‘not that poor of a wizard’ may not be able to fulfill his tasks.” Voldemort thought aloud and Rylie stayed silent, knowing better than to talk. “Very well.” Voldemort said, after studying her for a moment. “We shall try the strengthening potion. He shall die anyways; it matters not to me whether or not it is in my company or Dumbledore’s. Now, onto other matters.” Rylie stopped breathing. She knew what was coming, knew why Draco had been asked to leave with her. “You and Mr. Malfoy.”
“Before you say anything, I should point out there is no one better.” Rylie insisted, gripping the edge of her chair. Slowly, Voldemort shook his head.
“Your father’s anger does not reside with me as well. I care not about silly relationships.”
“Oh.” Rylie looked around uncomfortably.
“He believes that in this time of war you should not allow yourselves to get distracted. Love is blinding, Rylie Marie. And something that is powerful, yet many times overlooked.” He played with his wand, tipping it from side to side. “You know that I could not touch Harry Potter for a few years because of his mothers love.”
“And you know that I cannot touch you as well, in a different sense. I could hurt Harry Potter, but not physically touch him. I can touch you,” He placed one of his white, cold, bony fingers on Rylie’s wrist. “Yet I cannot hurt you. Two different kinds of protection.” Rylie’s heart was racing. She had never told anyone that Voldemort can do no harm to her. No unforgivable curses- not even a bat-bogey hex. It was useful, but it practically guaranteed her place as his heir. Something she hadn’t minded until very recently. “Do you see where I’m going with this, Rylie Marie?”
“I have researched this. I had to, for it appeared to be my only weakness against Harry Potter. It is your biggest strength. I found that love is like magic, for both reside in the blood. Your blood has been blessed, Rylie Marie Bryant. I am unable to harm your blood. Your blood is what makes you powerful. Invincible, and strength that some can only dream of. It is all in your blood.”
“I’m afraid I don’t understand. What does my blood have to do with Draco?”
“Nothing. Everything. You’re intelligent. You shall figure it out for yourself. But for now, I suggest you return to school.” His word was final and his gaze told her not to disagree. Rylie took a deep breath. She was extremely confused.
“I suppose I should.” Rylie said, rising slowly to her feet. “Good-bye godfather.” She nodded at him before turning around and heading for the door.
“Good-bye Rylie Marie.” Voldemort said. “You have never failed my expectations. You shall make a great leader one day.” Rylie cringed slightly before thanking him and opening the door to the dark and musty hallway.
She came face to face with her father, who was smirking at her. “Well?” He asked.
“Well what?” She asked coldly, slipping around him and walking down the stairs. She could hear him behind her but didn’t turn around. Her hands were still shaking slightly as visions of the boy she used to know, Tristan, ran threw her mind.
“What happened, Rylie Marie?”
“I changed his mind.” Rylie said simply, shrugging her shoulders as she reached the bottom of the stairs. She heard her father stall.
“You did what? How could have possibly done that?”
“Because Father, if you knew me at all, you would know that I am intelligent and have the power of persuasion.” She whirled around to face her father, unable to take his abuse any longer. “I don’t stand down to anyone. I’m stubborn, a trait that I obviously inherited from you. Now if you don’t mind-“
“How dare you speak to me like that! After all-“
“After all what, Father? After all the times you’ve neglected me? Tortured me? Broke me? I’m strong enough to withstand it but…..but maybe some others aren’t.” Rylie glared up at him. “Do you ever think of Tristan anymore?”
“Tristan is neither here nor there Rylie M-“
“Yes! Yes he is! Father!” Rylie pulled on her hair. “He was your son; doesn’t that mean anything to you?”
“He was weak. He could not-“
“Oh that’s right. I forgot. He couldn’t seek power and that’s why he had to be punished. My bad for even suggesting there’s something bigger than power in this world.”
“What could possibly be bigger than power, Rylie Marie. Power has made you who you are today.”
“No. Power has destroyed the person I want to be today. If you would just-“
“I’m done listening to the insane ramblings of a child. Come, let us go home.”
“I’m going back to school.” Rylie stated defiantly, unsure of where all this confidence was coming from. “I have a quidditch game and unlike some people, I don’t let down those who are close to me.”
“Rylie Marie you will come home for the night. Not because I wish to be graced with your presence, for your mother and I can both do without it. I feel that you are in an unstable state of mind to present yourself to the public as a representative of the Bryant name.”
“Rylie Marie Bryant. That’s me.” Rylie whispered furiously under her breath after her father gave her one last threatening stare before meeting up with his wife at the door and heading outside. Angrily she shook her head, for she knew there was no winning this battle with him and went out the door to apparate to the home she hated so much.
a/n: well okay i'll tell you right now that the coversation between rylie and voldemort was written over at least three times. its such an important part of this story....and if some of you are a little confused by it, heres a summary: percy weasley is now on the dark side (explanation of why to come in future chapters) and voldemort wants him to marry rylie so that he can get the bryant power because the person who marrys a bryant gets all their power and such. with rylie, her godfather is voldemort and he cant harm her in any way (explanation of why also to come soon). rylie refused to marry weasley and she changes voldemorts plans...etc etc and tristan. okay tristan is not a very big character in this story so dont stress over him. you'll find out more about him in the next chapter but just for now know that he was rylie's brother who died of a unsuccessful magic transfusion....and something else.
hope i havent lost anyone too badly and if you have any questions, please ask! im happy to answer!
same game for chapter twenty.
much love, brooklynn
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