There was shock etched onto Bryce's face. Ray mirrored it. Before anyway of them could say anything, the library door was opened loudly by someone, followed by the unmistakable footsteps of someone approaching them at a fast pace. It wasn't a teacher, though. If a teacher was about to catch students, it would be with the element of surprise. This person truly wanted them to know they were approaching.
Without a moment's hesitation, Bryce grabbed a hold of Ray's arm and pulled her to the shadows of a bookshelf. This shadow was, undoubtedly, almost impossible to see from anywhere else in the library. Bryce could easily have been waiting here for hours before, waiting for Ray to show up. And Ray had.
"Ray." A knowing voice came. Bryce and Ray both knew who it was immediately. "Where are you?" Ray would have spoken up, except Bryce motioned for her to not do so. Ray complied, although she sucked in a big breath anyway. She wasn't going to give Bryce the satisfaction of letting him know that his actions were helping her.
"I know you're here. Are you mad at me?" The voice waited for a second before continuing. "I'm sorry, okay? My friends wanted to hang out, and I wanted to hang with someone my age for a change, you know?" The voice became quiet. Even if the speaker hadn't said much, Bryce was still looking at Ray with a confused expression. Because how in the world did Ray know Alex?
"Ray....." Bryce whispered. Ray looked up at him, knowing the questions he wanted to ask, and how she would never be able to give them to him.
At that moment, they heard Alex's loud footsteps move toward the front of the library and walk out. Bryce listened for a moment, then gave a thumbs-up sign, to indicate it was safe to leave the shadows. They both went back to the table and sat down, facing each other.
"You have a lot of explaining to do," Bryce said after a few moments.
"Who says I have to explain myself to you?" Ray was doing her best to escape having to tell anyone that they could use to hurt her.
"No one. I'm not telling you to explain, no one's telling you you have to explain. I'm asking you.....as a friend," Bryce said, surprised that Ray could think he was forcing her.
At that moment, Ray knew she could trust Bryce. She didn't know what told her this. His gaze, his words, or whatever, but there was a note of trust in him, something Ray didn't see in other people that often.
"Well.......what do you want me to explain?" Ray said, unsure of where to start.
"How do you and Alex know each other?"
"You know Alex?" Ray asked, a little surprised. Bryce nodded. He was sure that everyone at Hogwarts had known that. "Since when? How?"
"Uh....he's my brother, Ray. I would obviously know who my brother is. I just didn't know you knew him." Bryce replied.
"No, no! That can't be." Ray started shaking her head, as if that would make Bryce's words disappear. "Alex is an orphan. His parents are dead and he has no siblings whatsoever. He was an only child, his parents died shortly after he was born. You're mistaken."
And that was when a few pieces clicked in.