Keeping You Safe

Dylan kept watch on the door to Patrick's flat, waiting for him to leave for school that morning.

"Don't you have school to get to?"

Dylan turned at Grace's voice and shrugged, turning his head back to the door as the headmaster walked out. "I'm going." he said, walking up to the door as he passed Patrick. He pressed the buzzer, waiting for Nico to answer.

"Hello?"

"You ready yet? Or you gonna let me in?" he smirked when he heard the click of the lock.

"Yeah I'm nearly done. Door's open." And with another click, she was gone.

Dylan pushed the door open, looking behind him as he walked in. No sign of Patrick. He walked ahead to the flat she was in and pushed open the door, giving it a tap to signal he was inside. He spotted her in the kitchen area, and immediately he could tell something was different. "Hey."

Nico looked to him, forcing a smile before she started moving around getting her things ready for school.

Dylan put his bag down and walked over to her, putting an arm out to stop her and gently touched her arm. Ever so slightly she shrank back to his touch, just enough for him to notice. Quickly he dropped his arm and stood in front of her. "What happened?"

"Nothing..." Nico shook her head, refusing to look at him, refusing to see the concern she knew would be there. "We'll be late..."

"Screw that a minute. Don't lie Nico it's obvious something happened. Did he hurt you?"

She closed her eyes, taking a slow, deep breath, shaking her head.

"Why protect him?"

"Because he's the only family I have and without him I get taken away from this place, from you, from Peri, from Mum..."

Dylan scoffed. "Is that what he told you?"

"That doesn't matter, because it's true anyway." she looked up at him at this.

Her face may have been blank, but her eyes told him everything. She was scared. And he hadn't known her to cry in front of anyone, but he could see she was struggling to hold it all together.

"Nico, whatever he's told you, you're not on your own. There's plenty of people could help you."

And there it was. The lone tear waiting to fall had now escaped and was trailing a slow pattern down her cheek, which he gently wiped away, trying to ignore her flinch. "He hit you didn't he."

It was a question she didn't need to answer, a question he'd known the answer to as soon as he saw her. The answer glaringly obvious now he was so close to her, as he spotted the faintest bruise on her cheek beneath her make up.

"You can't tell anyone...please."

"You're mad if you think you can deal with this on your own." he shook his head. "But I'll keep quiet for now. But if he touches you again-"

"He won't."

"How do you know that? You said it yourself, the minute he knows you lied he'll flip."

"Because..." she trailed off. She couldn't honestly answer him, because she honestly didn't know. She knew what Patrick could be like, knew that the slap across the face could be just the start.

"Ok. Ok just promise me this. If he tries to hurt you again, don't let him, get help. Either me, or Darren or anyone that you come to."

Nico nodded. "Ok..."

"Or you could just turn him to stone."

Nico smiled and let out a laugh. "You have my wand."

"Well I'll go get it." he smiled, glad he'd at least made her smile, things were back to normal for a moment. "I meant what I said. I'll protect you. You might not want me to, but I want to. "

"He'll hurt you too."

"So let him. If it means I get to make sure you're safe, I don't care what he does to me."

Nico shook her head and went to grab her bag. "Come on, we'll be late."

Dylan sighed and rolled his eyes, knowing that was the end of the matter for now. "Ok." he said and walked to the door, picking up his bag and opened the door for her, shutting it behind them when she was out.

"You heard from Peri?" Nico asked.

Dylan shook his head. "Not since everything went off yesterday."