Regulus Black is his mother's favourite child.
Last night was the first night he had to cope alone, without his older brother to be there when the nightmares became too much to bear.
His mother snorted as she read the letter that had arrived first thing.
"Gryffindor! How could a son of mine be sorted into Gryffindor?"
His father snorted. "Boy always was strange. Some sort of throwback. Look at Alphard."
"I thought I told you never to mention that pervert's name in this house."
Regulus stoically munched on his toast - Uncle Alphard was somebody he and Sirius loved very much, but since his Uncle had introduced his boyfriend, then they had been forbidden all contact.
Pity - Uncle Alphie was always good for sweets.
Kreacher came into the room and Regulus tensed. Neither he nor Sirius had ever been able to get away with anything with Kreacher around. Nasty, horrid elf, always snooping and trying to get them into trouble with Mother.
"A letter for Master Regulus," he said, handing it to Regulus with a smirk.
"Who is it from, Regulus?"
"I don't know, Mother," he lied, having recognised Sirius scrawl immediately.
"Open it, boy!"
Regulus slowly opened the letter, hoping he could read it before it was taken from him.
Regulus tried to read frantically, but knew it was no use. Sirius had filled the page and he could not read it all.
By now you will know that I've managed to disgrace the family (again) by being sorted into Gryffindor. I'm only sorry because it'll put a lot of crap onto you.
I've met the coolest people, though, and I can't wait for you to meet them. You've probably heard of the Potters? Well their son James is in my dorm and is one great chap. You'll like him. The other two are both half bloods, but still great. Peter is a bit of a hanger-on but still nice, and then there's Remus.
I could go on about Remus for ages - he's just the best person I've ever met. Very quiet (totally unlike me!), and was already reading a textbook in the train, but he's also very understanding and totally understood when I was worried about Mother's reaction, and worried about you. You'd like Remus, Reg. He sort of reminds me of you in a way. (by the way - the fellows all say "hello".)...."
The letter was twitched out of Regulus' hands by his mother, who went purple as she read it.
"Half bloods! Blood traitors! Regulus, I absolutely forbid you to read this." She looked at her son and smiled. "Sirius is no longer my son, Regulus. From today, all the hopes of the Family rest with you."
Regulus shrunk down into his chair as his mother's hand caressed his face. "You know that you have always been my favourite?"