Between Hope and Death

By: ChocolateEclar

Disclaimer: Some characters belong to the magnificent authoress, Diana Wynne Jones. I just borrowed them for a while.

Claimer: I only own Wyn, Aidan, Kamania and Chris Aprilian, Lady Kachioin (and her village), Miss Coca, Mr. Calypso, Professor Weph, Life, Death, Apocalypse, Rhys, and Heulo (aka 'the Sun Spirit of All Knowledge.')

A/N: I wrote this chapter from Rhys's POV.


My name is Rhys Jenkins, and to be technical, I'm the youngest son of Howell and Sophie Jenkins. I can't really believe it, but it's been twelve years since Apocalypse's downfall. A lot of events have happened since then, like my nieces and nephews' births and other relatives' weddings.

I suppose I'll start with my older brother, Morgan. His and Mac's first child was born eleven years back. It was a boy and when Morgan found out Mac was pregnant, I swear he fainted. I was only seven at the time, but believe me he did. The boy was named Oliver and had dark hair and brown eyes. Mor acted a little goofy, or more goofy than usual, around the baby for a while, but eventually he got used to being a 'dada.'

Mac gave birth to another boy two years later and they named him Stephen. Mac always looked like she had three sons instead of two sons and a husband but I could tell she was happy. They moved to a large house in Porthaven and have been there ever since.

As for Wyn, she and Aidan married six months after the Final Battle. Aidan proposed to her on her birthday and I swear she was ready to collapse. The wedding was big and everyone was there. Aunts, uncles, cousins, friends; I mean everyone! I was the ring bearer again and I didn't lose the ring this time. I kept a close eye on it for I was positive Wyn would strangle me if I lost it. With Wyn's supposed 'fashion sense' the outfits were actually okay. The men wore red suits and the women were long blue dresses. Wyn herself wore a beautiful white gown with 'gems' and sparkle on it.

The wedding ran smoothly and when the bride and groom kissed, everyone cheered. It really was great! A year later Wyn gave birth to twins. They were dubbed Nathaniel and Nesta and, boy, did they look like their mother. Same ginger hair, jade colored eyes, and overall their facial structure was quite like my sister. At their birth I was still only seven and a half years old after all and it felt strange to me to be an uncle.

Now I'm eighteen and still have only one hyper niece and three energetic nephews. During all these years since Apocalypse's defeat many things happened to me. When I was fifteen I officially graduated from the school I had been going to. The next year, I started going to a Welsh art school in, well, Wales. Almost everyday at seven in the morning I woke up, ate breakfast curtsy of my mom, and went threw the door, black-blob down. I would then transport to a spot behind a tree outside my new school. My art skills are definitely improving and I still have two years left there!

I've learned loads of Welsh while here, though my cousin, Mari, still teases me about my accent when I try to talk to her in Welsh. I'm still practicing magic, but not as much as before because of my art classes.

As for the whole Heulo and Rhys differences, they're gone. I am Heulo and Rhys, and they are me…Get it? Anyway, I really am what they've become. I'm not a little kid anymore though; now I'm a teenager with black hair, green eyes, and a love for all things art and magic.

Is love in my future? Who knows! All I know is for now I'm content with my family, friends, and artwork.

For now, I think Wyn just got here with the terrible twosome. I rushed out of my room and down to the main room. Yep, Wyn, Nate, and Nesta have arrived…

The twins are eleven now and can be a handful. I am their 'Uncle Rhys' after all and sometimes if Wyn and Aidan are going out, I'm stuck with them if their 'grandparents' are busy.

"Hi, Uncle Rhys!" they screeched together.

I swear they're almost as connected as Heulo and 'Rhys.' I smiled and questioned, "How are my little nith and nai?"

"What are a nith and nai?" asked Nesta.

"A nith is a niece in Welsh and a nai is a nephew in Welsh," I answered.

"So, you are learning something besides art in Wales…" Wyn said smirking.

"Naturally, sister dear," I replied mockingly.

"What's mom in Welsh, Uncle Rhys?" inquired Nate.

"Mam," I responded. At least these words were easy. Ask me how to say 'international' or something difficult and I could have problems…

"Cool!" said Nate and Nesta simultaneously.

I sighed as Wyn turned to go. She was shorter than me now and her face had a refined maternal quality to it. She still looked pretty much the same to me though. As for Morgan, let's just say he's attempting to grow a beard…Well he is thirty-nine years old…

Anyway, soon after that, Wyn left and Calcifer appeared. Just in time for baby-sitting duty too… I heard a knock on the door and do to an old habit he had, Calcifer immediately said, "Kingsbury door!"

"I know, Calcifer," I mumbled grinning slightly. I opened the front door to see several royal coaches in front of our lawn.

"She doesn't give up very easily," whispered Calcifer in my ear. He was talking about Queen Valeria's daughter, the pain-in-the-butt known as Princess Talitha. I swear this girl wouldn't take a hint if it hit her in the face!

The princess herself stepped out of one of the horse-drawn carriages and practically 'bounded' up to us. She was a year younger than me and was the weirdest person I had ever met. She had a thick mop of blonde curls pilled on her head and was wearing a bright pink gown with layers of petticoats so that it was so puffed up she could barely walk. Worst of all about this demon-like royal was she had the most atrocious voice I had ever heard.

It was high-pitched and squeaky and every time I heard it, it made me want to cover my ears. At the moment she decided to use that awful voice. "Rhys, darlinnnnggggg!" she practically screeched, "You never came yesterday for our date!"

"Date?!" I yelped.

"Yes, the one we were supposed to have at that romantic spot in the palace!" the beastly girl shrieked.

"I never-" I began.

"Stop! Say no more! It was that Tiffany girl wasn't it?!" asked Princess her-voice-suc-er-stinks.

"What are you talking about?! I never agreed to dating you and I've never dated Tiffany Wit!" I shouted.

"Oh, so it must've been Molly then!"

I sighed. It was like talking through a wall. Half of what I said kept getting lost. "I'm never ever courting you, Princess Talitha!" I roared.

"I'm rescheduling our date for one week from today," chirped Princess Talitha, totally ignoring me.

Yes, I'd bet all the money I have that she'll be back next week blaming Wendy or someone for my absence on our so-called 'date.'

"Was that our princess?!" asked Nesta in a tone that said quite clearly, that if she was, then the kingdom was doomed.

"Yep," I replied simply. I closed the door and pondered what we were going to do. A thought struck me. "How about we all go to Wales and see a movie?" I inquired.

"Cool!" two voices yelled at the same time.

"Good, let's go," I said.

"See you later then," said Calcifer 'curling up' in the fire grate.

I smirked. Yes, things weren't so different. Well, not so unusual for the people who lived in Howl's moving castle that is…

The End


A/N: So that's it! Don't think that's all there is to tell though. I'll be starting a mini story as a follow-up soon. ^_^

A/N 2: Give me your final review on this story! I need to know!!!!

Rhys: Bye!

Wyn: See you around!

Aidan: Good-bye!

Morgan: Bye for now!

Mac: We'll see you soon!

Nate & Nesta: Bye-bye!

Me: Don't forget to review!!!!!!! Bye! ^_-