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Ryszard Althaus-Valerio

We don’t talk about the past now

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Ryszard Althaus-Valerio

No matter where he went, it felt like someone was in mourning. There was no end to it, and with the new rules in place, it felt like they had all taken one step into a dystopia. The buddy system wasn’t working, as the third year had seen several students split off and wander off on their own.

 

He worried if it would create any further danger for them, especially for him and his sister.

 

It didn’t take long for his eyes to land on a familiar face, and he slowly made his way through the Great Hall towards her. It had only been that summer when his parents had sat him down and told him about the lackluster arrangements they had already made for his life. The worst part of it was that he actually did know her, but that still didn’t change his mind about the whole deal.

 

”Pandora,” he greeted, as he arrived at the Hufflepuff house table. There were people staring at him, quite possibly labelling him as a transgressor, but he ignored them. He needed to know what was going on with the girl; she was best friends with his sister, if he needed an excuse, and now everything looked like it was splintering apart.

 

He sat down next to her before she could move  away or deny him an audience. “Is everything okay? You don’t look...well,” he said, frowning. If this seemed out of character for Ryszard, he was just as conflicted - he wasn’t usually this sympathetic to other people.

Edited by Ryszard Althaus-Valerio

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Pandora Midnight

The constant growls of her stomach reminded Pandora she needed to eat but as she stared into the bowl of oatmeal in front of her, she found she had no appetite. How long had she even been sitting there? She had so many thoughts on her mind that time seemed to pass by these days without her even noticing. If it hadn't been for Ryszard calling out her name, she would have continued to sit there staring into a bowl of oat for merlin knew how long.

 

It was weird how this time a year ago, Panda had been scared to even talk to the boy. He was loud and confident and everything that felt opposite to her. Usually if he got this close she'd find an excuse to move or leave or something. This time she only glanced up from her spot and looked at him. One because she hardly had the energy to move and two, there were much scarier things in life than boys. Even cute boys who probably knew they were cute...or ones her parents had wanted her to get close to. Had.

 

She swallowed hard, her mouth feeling more dry now that she was conscious of the fact she hadn't eaten or drank anything since she sat down. "I doubt I am...well." Pandora replied. It was such a silly question to ask in this sort of situation. It had to be obvious that there was something wrong. Pandora was pale, moreso than usual, except for the dark circles and red eyes. It was hard to eat, hard to sleep, and hard to go long without crying. She contemplated going back to the hospital wing but after her conversation with Miss Lucia, would that even be okay? Pandora tried to smile at Ry, but knew it was a useless effort. Her eyes drifted back down to her bowl of untouched oatmeal. "I was in the great hall that night." She added on, though she was sure that @Adrina Althaus-Valerio would have at least mentioned that at some point. "Things have just spiraled from there." 

 

How could she even explain what was going on with her? They barely even spoke to each other. It wasn't as if Pandora had even told any of her problems to Addy yet either.

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Ryszard Althaus-Valerio

Ever since the night of the attack, Ryszard couldn't stop counting the amount of people he knew that had been affected either directly or indirectly. He was quickly running out of fingers, but the numbers didn't look like they would be stopping any time soon. It was one thing to know there was an actual werewolf living in the dormitory with him, and quite another to see the line of people that were still in the Hospital Wing, much like Julian. That side of the castle was starting to make him wary, to the point that he had actually started avoiding it.

 

Ryszard's eyes stayed on Panda's face as he frowned. As soon as she mentioned the great hall, he froze. Somehow, it always came back to the same thing. "I didn't know that," he said, stupidly. Of course he wouldn't know that; he hadn't been there, had he? Ryszard tried to swallow past the bile that was slowly starting to rise, thoughts drifting to his fight with Jaxon, and then with Adrina. "Did you get hurt?" He asked now, hesitatingly.

 

It was difficult to get the words out there, especially when he found himself thinking about the news his parents had delivered that very summer. He didn't know if Pandora was even aware of that situation, or if it was even relevant after such a brutal incident. How would any of them recover enough to lead a normal life, he wondered. For all he knew, there could be more werewolves hiding in the shadows for the rest of their lives, just waiting for them to drop their guard again.

 

Someone would get to close to the Forest and it would swallow them up forever.

 

"I know about that," he signed. "Nothing's been the same since, he added, stating the obvious.

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Pandora Midnight

Apparently the one thing Addy wasn't doing was telling her brother about all of her roommates being in the hospital wing...or maybe she had and Ryzsard just hadn't listened. Pandora didn't really know him well enough to really make a sound judgement. Afterall, she had basically been avoiding him for almost three years. Her parents had been so eager for her to befriend him, asking about how they got along when forced into conversations with her. It was a bit unnerving how much they pushed her to talk to him that...it just became easier not to. He was such a wild boy anyways, what could they have possibly have had in common?

 

When he asked if she was hurt, Pandora felt herself freeze up. Was he just asking because he wanted to make sure she was okay, or was he asking to check if...She swallowed hard, even though her mouth already felt like sandpaper. Slowly she nodded. "My...shoulder." She replied, bringing her good arm up to touch her healing scars. Bringing attention to it was terrifying. Obviously Ryszard couldn't see through her clothes but she had yet to call attention to her shoulder who didn't already know what lay beneath her shirt and bandages. 

 

"No, it really has not." Pandora replied, letting her hand drop again. She sighed, remembering what professor Corelli-Rose had spoken to her about the day before. "And now nothing will ever be the same again."

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Ryszard Althaus-Valerio

It was rather odd to Ryszard that his sister hadn't mentioned a single thing about Pandora being in the Hospital Wing as well. He didn't know if he could blame her -- she had been so singularly focused on Jaxon, that it was actually kind of astonishing. Whatever it was that she felt for the boy clearly a lot bigger than Ryszard had felt thought, and it worried him. They were thirteen; it probably wasn't healthy to already have such deep feelings about someone. He wasn't an expert on any of this stuff, but he had certainly learned a thing or two (badly) from watching his parents navigate their marriage. Everything always ended in disaster.

 

There was a subdued quality to the way Pandora was speaking, and while Ryszard didn't know her well, he knew this wasn't her. "I'm sorry," he said, offering a sincere apology with no strings attached, for once. "I wish I could change things...make it better...for everyone," he sighed. He didn't regret his feud with Jaxon, because there were no feelings there, but it was breaking him apart to see his sister so far away from him.

 

Hesitatingly, he reached his hand forward and grabbed a goblet full of pumpkin juice. "My parents mentioned you this summer," he said, finally, worrying his lip. He laughed suddenly, bitterly, steering the conversation in a different direction. "They sent me and Addy an owl saying they would be coming to get us, after the attack, but I don't want to go back home," he said, frowning painfully. Somehow, he found himself unloading to Pandora, even though he knew it wasn't fair on her and it definitely wasn't the time.

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Pandora Midnight

Day in and day out, there always seemed to be someone trying to apologize to her. Pandora hated it. She herself felt so guilt ridden that others got hurt because of her that the apologies from anyone else felt hollow. The apology from Ry felt different though. There wasn't a good reason why but somehow coming from him, someone who wasn't involved and someone who she hardly knew, his apology was nice? Attempting to smile, she replied, "That's sweet of you..." Though she wondered if he would really still feel the same way after knowing what she had become. Maybe that was why his apology was so nice. All those who knew her secret that was forced upon her pitied her. It was the only reason she could come up with why Professor Corelli-Rose would offer his home to her.

 

Pandora blinked as the topic of conversation suddenly switched. "Me?" She replied again, puzzled. Had his parents also wanted him to befriend her as well? Her mother had been very adamant about her befriending Ryzard specifically. It was silly now how afraid she had been to even talk to him. There were much bigger things for her to worry about than how rowdy boys could be. 

 

However it was the mention of going home that made Pandora wince. It was true that both Ry and Addy were safe, which was a blessing, but their parents wanted them to go home. Ryzard had a home to return to. Without even realizing it, tears whelled up in Panda's eyes and began rolling down her cheeks. Would her parents still have wanted her if she hadn't gotten hurt?

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Ryszard Althaus-Valerio

It felt weird to be talking to Pandora so intimately. It wasn’t as if Ryszard went out of his way to avoid the girl, but they weren’t exactly on speaking terms, either. She had always just been his sister’s friend, and despite the constant push from their parents to befriend her, he had never really listened. Ryszard didn’t do friends, and it didn’t matter that the girl next to him was perhaps one of the only people he’d come across that didn’t constantly irritate him.

 

He blinked when she called him ‘sweet’. No one had ever called him that. In fact, people were usually gunning to call him the exact opposite. “Oh, um, no problem,” he mumbled, feeling awkward and uncomfortable. It was incredibly odd for Ryszard to be feeling this way, and he fidgeted in his seat. The pumpkin juice wasn’t enough to calm down his nerves; he probably needed something stronger, but that would mean a trip down to Hogsmeade, and Ryszard didn’t think any of the students would be allowed out of the castle quite so soon after the attack.

 

The tears startled Ryszard slightly, and he felt himself blink and take a deep breath as he tried to steady himself. He was used to tears — he had been taking care of his sister for as long as he could remember, after all — but these were foreign, and he didn’t know how to react. He reached over with a hand, and tentatively rested it on her shoulder. “They wanted us to be friends,” he said, quietly. He didn’t mention the rest of it; they were thirteen years old, and Ryszard didn’t think it was appropriate to bring up his parents’ stupid wishes when Pandora was crying.

 

”It’ll be fine,” he said, then, looking concerned. He didn’t know why she was in tears — he hoped it wasn’t something he’d said — but he didn’t think he could just walk away now, after engaging in conversation. The pumpkin juice lay abandoned on the table in front of him, as Ryszard just sat there with her.

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