Ryszard Althaus-Valerio

Here and now the storm clouds gather, wrap around me and you

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It had been a terrible ordeal, but somehow Ryszard was still standing on his feet. Being zipped off to Romania was definitely not the best way to spend a day that had been destined to be relaxing, but somehow, that was exactly what happened to some of the students from Pre-Hogwarts Primary. One of them was Ryszard, and he har been more worried about what his sister would be thinking than his own well-being.

 

Their year hadn’t even made it to Hogwarts yet, and they had all almost died several times. The first time it was the enchanted desk, and now it was the random trip to a different country (he was choosing not to think about the time where he was almost hit with a rock and @Brooklyn Shea saved him).

 

As the main perpetrator of the “dare”, Ryszard had been interrogated by the Aurors first, and with his parents present, too, along with Adrina. It had been the longest few hours of Ryszard’s life, and he was pretty sure the questioning had left him more traumatised than the actual kidnapping.

 

It was a few short seconds of Apparition later, and finally the family of four was home.

 

”Next time you embarrass us like that,” started the twins’ mother, as soon as they were safely behind their private four walls. She didn’t finish the thought, but simply turned away and made her way upstairs. She was taking furious steps, anger evident in her gait. Their father, to his credit, simply shook his head at Ryszard and followed his wife. He walked a lot slower, almost as if he expected his son to call him back and beg for reassurance.

 

He didn’t.

 

When it was just him and Adrina left, Ryszard fixed his gaze on her. There were tears still running down her face, and it made him feel incredibly guilty. Still, Ryszard had never apologised to anyone, and he wasn’t about to start now; Pearl liked to tell a story at parties, which strongly featured a five year old Ryszard breaking dinner plates, and choosing to take the punishment instead of simply apologising for his insolence.

 

”It’s okay, Addy,” he said, frowning slightly. He didn’t know why his sister was still crying; after all, he was right in front of her, perfectly fine.

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She had expected the worst when Mr. Tubbs suddenly arrived at the lawn of the park to retrieve her.  Of course, the raven-haired girl already had expected the worst without all of her classmates rambling on about death and forced child labor and it wasn't made any better by the look on the elf's face when he rushed towards her.  It wasn't as if he didn't attempt to stop her tears, but he wasn't entirely a stranger to the eleven year old's fits and this was an exceptionally bad one.  

 

So, while the small, twittery voice of the middle-aged house elf attempted to interject a comment on the well-being of Adrina's beloved twin, she barely caught it and instead clung to the words... "...your parents are waiting at the Ministry."  

 

More sobs escaped the girl and she stumbled to her feet, and somehow managed to be swept away with the elf to the ministry where she sat... and sat... and sat for hours in an uncomfortable chair with the elf at her side assuring her that all would be well as waves of emotions filtered through her young and confused mind until finally she watched a door open in front of her and her father step out, followed quickly by her mother and just before her, almost too quickly he'd slipped out looking just as grumpy and annoyed as ever... 

 

Ryszard. 

 

Her eyes hurt, and her cheeks felt raw from rubbing at them so much and she wanted nothing more then to jump up at run at him because now she actually realized he was okay but the look on her mother's face and the tone of of her father's voice as he thanked the strangers they'd been inside that room with so sternly and shook their hands told her she shouldn't move.  Not until she was told.    

 

"Let's go Adrina." Samuel's voice startled her in the quiet hallway and she slipped off the chair to her feet and took her father's hand.  Moment's later they were back at home and she cringed hearing her mother start in on Ryszard but she knew better then to try and interrupt.  She stood near the door to the kitchen, with her eyes on the floor and waited for the sounds of their footsteps to fade away but it was finally her brother's voice that broke her again.  He may have been telling her it was all okay and for some reason trying to reassure her when he was the one who'd been in any real danger. 

 

But, didn't he understand how scared she had been?  Chin lifting, brown eyes glistening again, there was nothing to stop her now from launching forward and throwing her arms around his neck.  "You're not allowed to die on me!" She cried.

 

 


Edited by Adrina Althaus-Valerio

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The ordeal hadn’t been as terrible as everyone kept claiming it was. They were all still here, and he was fairly certain that several of his classmates could use a good dose of the uncertainty their sudden disappearance had caused the left behinds.

 

The one thing Ryszard hadn’t considered, foolishly enough, was how it would affect his sister. He had been so relieved to know Adrina hadn’t been brought along with him to the strange country, that any thought of how she would be feeling had completely fled his mind. It made him feel almost shameful and guilty of the fact, but Ryszard chose to conveniently ignore the whole thing.

 

It was an incredibly emotional moment, and Ryszard had always prided himself being above such things. Adrina had always been the exception to the rule, however, and he could feel his resolve quickly slipping. “I’m not dead,” he said, frowning, as he caught the girl in an awkward hug. He suddenly wished their parents would come back downstairs and scold him some more. They were a lot easier to deal with than his sister’s outbursts.

 

It suddenly dawned on Ryszard that the only time they had ever been this upset with each other was while arguing over the rights of house elves. The realisation would certainly not change the boy’s behaviour at all, but it still gave him pause for thought.

 

“I promise to never die on you,” he said, sounding almost childish. Ryszard didn’t realise the seriousness of his words, but it was the only thing he could think to say.

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The words were childish, yes and totally and completely a sentiment that he would never be able to guarantee.  Somewhere, deep down, Adrina probably knew that, but it didn't stop her from demanding such a promise.  Nor did it seem that Ryszard hesitated in voicing such a thing.  A true testament to the fact that no matter how much he wanted to believe he no longer was one, or that she wanted to feel that she was growing up, the both of them still were very much children.  

 

She couldn't really remember the last time she'd actually really hugged her brother; though it had probably been some time when they were very young and such things were something they were forced to do after one of them had bit the other or pinched, slapped or otherwise poked and were forced to apologize and hug it out.  But, her arms tightened around his neck now like she were trying to make sure he was truly there and not a figment of her imagination, and his voice promised his continued existence in her ear before she released him and stepped back.  

 

A million questions raced through her brain of all the things she wanted to bombard him with.  Where had he gone?  How had he gotten there?  What had happened to him and had he been hurt?  Was he forced to work?  Who had rescued him?  What had happened in that room at the ministry?  Were mom and dad really that mad?  But the only thing that would come out was...

 

"What happened?" Wide eyes and slightly dropped jaw, and they both still stood in the foyer, she didn't even have a notion that they should make an escape to somewhere more private with snacks or drinks before forcing him to launch into a full recount of all that he had been through, no he was the one who would have had the forethought for anything that reasonable.  She just wanted answers.   


Edited by Adrina Althaus-Valerio

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There was perhaps a tendency in the Althaus-Valerio lineage that guaranteed certain dramatics. It was a fact that went a long way to explain why their parents were wont to flounce off as soon as one or both the twins reacted in a rather inconvenient way. It was usually Ryszard who acted out in those moments, but Adrina was also prone to take the opportunity whenever it presented itself. After all, they were twins, and they weren’t so different as everyone chose to believe.

 

The boy let out a sigh of relief as Adrina finally let him go. There was only so much of his sister’s affection he could take at once. Slight embarrassment coloured his cheeks, as he instantly regretted proving himself to be vulnerable, even if it was for just a second. It was true, however, that Ryszard would submit to anything if his sister spilled enough tears.

 

Sighing deeply, Ryszard folded his arms and stood there as he let himself be subjected to Adrina’s line of questioning. “There was a portkey,” he finally admitted. “It took us to some other country,” he shrugged. He still hadn’t caught the name of the place, and at this point, Ryszard no longer cared enough to know. If it was significant enough to remember, he was certain someone would have filled him in by now. If no one else, then at least Xenia would have done so.

 

”Nothing really happened,” he added for the girl’s benefit. “We were only there for like, ten minutes, before an Auror came and took the two men away.” Admittedly, it had been more than ten minutes, but Ryszard didn’t think it was necessary to mention that. There was a part of him that was resentful to the moustached adult for arriving too early for any of them to have fun. The only person that seemed to have enjoyed himself was @Alvis Anderson, as he had gone sprinting into the trees right after their arrival.

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