Categories > Books > Harry Potter > The Noble and Ancient House

Learning to Fly

by fey_puck 0 reviews

The times and trials of the family Black. In which the children enjoy an afternoon.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres: Drama, Humor - Characters: Andromeda Tonks, Bellatrix, Narcissa, Sirius - Published: 2007-07-19 - Updated: 2007-07-19 - 1968 words

The day was warm, the nicest day out of the entire week and therefore the best summer day in existence to a group of children. The Black's summer home in France was perched in he middle of several green acres, far from any prying eyes and Muggle interference which made any and every game possible when the sun was shining. And it was now, brightly, though it had rained shortly in the early dawn, enough to make the grass damp and the earth soft beneath your feet.

Regulus was too excited to care about mud or smudged knees as he ran into the vast yard, glass doors swinging closed by force on the faces of his brother and cousins. His mock-Quidditch robe twisted around his legs until he was forced to halt in his voyage. Delightedly, Regulus felt his foot sink slowly into the ground.

"It's eating me!" he called out, waving his arms in a desperate cry for help.

"No it's not. It can't be," Andromeda said. "Daddy removed that curse ages ago when Aunt Gertrude disappeared."

Her sisters and Sirius were strolling up from behind, Bella snickering at the comment as Narcissa tip-toed through the lawn as if petrified by the thought of dirt.

"He got rid of it," Sirius said in that knowing tone of a ten-year-old, "because Bella was afraid it would have her with tea."

"No! You were! I remember how you snuffled like a baby over it. You shouldn't tell lies, Sirius," the black-haired girl sniffed with a toss of her ponytail, then kicked at Sirius with one pointy shoe.

"Hey!" Sirius tried to twist away and nearly lost his balance, the three brooms he held becoming awkward and generally unhelpful in the situation.

Narcissa wrinkled a delicate nose. "You're all behaving like animals. Can't we get on with our day, instead of fighting?"

"No!" Sirius and Bellatrix excalaimed in unison, making Andromeda point and laugh at the glaring cousins.

Huffing, Regulus set his hands on his hips and offered a look that clearly said "stop, you immature ruffians, stop".

He flinched when a pale hand ruffled his curly mop of hair. Narcissa smiled down at the youngest boy, whose cheeks were as pale as her own rather than that rosy hue everyone seemed to associate with children of all ages. It simply wasn't in their blood, it seemed.

Bellatrix quit her battle with Sirius, obtaining a surprise victory by catching him in a surprise hug before skipping off. The boy sputtered and made a face, nearly dropping his brooms in the process.

"Bell, you cheated!"

"I won! Now come on. We promised Regulus we'd go flying, didn't we? So let's fly."

Regulus cheered at that before calming and trying to imitate his brother's manly posture and noble presence. Then Sirius ruined it by wiping his nose on his sleeve and shrugging at the girls' resounding 'ewws'.

"Okay, but Regulus has never flown before. We have to keep an eye on him."

Andromeda was already on her broom, brown hair swept back in a makeshift bandana and Bella grabbed a broom from Sirius with a bright, sweet smile.

"We don't all have to teach him, do we? You're the big brother, so you can watch him while we have fun."

"I don't need to be watched," Regulus interjected, quite convinced and slightly offended. He sheepishly toed the ground with his hands clasped behind his back.

"See?" Sirius said and hopped onto his own ride, waiting for someone else to stop and take responsibility of the situation.

Bellatrix screeched, suddenly, and hit him on the shoulder. Her grey eyes seemed like they could freeze a boggart into one shape if she demanded it and her hair would probably have stood on end if it wasn't pulled back. "You can't leave him, prat! You promised!"

"She has a point," Andromeda added, already hovering above the group like a voice of reason from the heavens. "We can always tell your mother that you didn't want to play nice with us..."

Sirius's grey eyes went wide at the thought while the girls' narrowed slyly, amused and sure with the knowledge that they would eventually win. Regulus would have thought it unfair for the sisters gang up on Sirius like that, and perhaps have joined the boy-side, if not for the fact that it was all for him.

"Fine." Sirius stood straighter and tossed his hair back. "Women. You lot are so sneaky. I wish not of you were in Slytherin. Then I wouldn't have to worry about your tricks when I start."

"Like that would happen," Bella laughed and hopped onto her broom. The two sisters flew off without notice, flying low but at a quick pace towards the edge of a distant forest.

Shaking her head, Narcissa perched herself on a nearby garden chair, a book emerging from the folds of her ruffled dress. "Once you teach him, I'll sit and play with him. Then you can go race into trees with my heathen sisters, or whatever it is you silly lot do."

Sirius grinned, mood lifted. "Thanks, Cissy."

Regulus sighed, looking up at the sky and feeling as though he had been patient long enough. "Is it my turn yet?"

"Quiet, brat, or I'll banish you to the sand pit."

"No you won't. Mother doesn't like it when we come in all dirty. She says we bring sand inside and it ruins the carpets."

"You'll be banished though," the older Black reasoned. "So you'll never come inside again. Ha."

Narcissa idly twisted a single pale lock around her finger, a smirk forming at the corner of her cupid-bow mouth. "Don't worry, Regulus. You can come live with me if that happens."

Regulus grinned, triumphant.

"I'm sure, after all, that the house elves won't mind sharing their space with you."

"Cissy!" Regulus cried while Sirius barked a laugh and attempted to give his brother a noogie.

"Here, brat, take your broom," the elder boy said, handing the smallest broom over to Regulus, who grabbed it with grateful hands. Sirius half-smiled at the sight. "Be careful. We don't want it to get hurt."

Regulus stuck out his tongue.

"Don't do that. Your face will freeze that way," Narcissa scolded and turned a page of her novel, never even looking up from whatever enticing tale she was reading.

"I don't know how she does that," Sirius muttered, scratching his head. "It's like she's a miniature mother."

A shout of laughter erupted from the direction of the forest, where the girls were already flying in random patterns. Sirius glanced in the same direction with a look of envy. Shaking himself, Sirius turned back to his mission with a new sense of determination.

"Well, what are you waiting for, Reg? Get on the broom."

Regulus got on the broom.

Sirius promptly smacked his forehead.

"Don't sit on it like a girl, you girl! Like this!" The black-haired boy demonstrated, hands gripping the handle tightly with a leg on each side and checking as his brother copied the pose perfectly.


"Now concentrate on the broom. Use the magic in it and in yourself."

Narcissa coughed to cover a giggle. Grey eyes glared at smiling blue.

Regulus, however, was nodding with a serious expression on his face. He focused all of his energy on the object he held, gripping it tight enough for his knuckles to turn bone-white from the pressure.

"Jeez. You look like you're going to be sick, Regulus."


Sirius was hovering leisurely not more than a couple meters off the ground. Technically, he shouldn't be flying, none of them should, but it was just another examples of the advantages to being removed and on private property. No one could bother them in their secluded French estate; no one would even try.

Regulus sighed, slowly relaxing as he took everything around him in and decided he was happy, whether he managed to fly or not. There were laughs coming from the distance, the comforting turn of pages, the sound of Sirius circling and encouraging no matter what. Everyone was there and that was good.

The ground disappeared from beneath him, startling Regulus before he realized what that meant. Laughing, the youngest Black stared in amazement as he rose higher, slowly but still moving and it was incredible.

"Oi! Look at that," Sirius grinned, his perimeter widening to give the other boy more room. "Who knew you'd actually manage it that quickly?"

Narcissa was smiling from her chair, looking up through dainty curls and pale lashes, watching with something akin to pride. Maternal pride, in Sirius's opinion, as he cast a glance over to her. The smile widened. "Now I'll be left to the earth while the rest of you take off, is it?"

"Now that's something new. Cissy drawling."

Regulus ignored them. "Get Bella and Andy! I want them to see."

He made an experimental zoom around the inner yard, much to his own delight. "Hurry!"

"Fine, fine. Teach him to hover around some and he thinks he's king." Sirius rolled his eyes and starting to fly a way's out, shouting his cousins' names even though they were some distance away.

Ignoring him, Regulus did another loop, this time going slightly faster. There was hardly any space between him and the ground, so he aimed higher. Not enough wind, so he went faster. If he pushed a bit more...

He ignored Narcissa's sound of concern, moving farther out into the land.

"Like a hawk," he chuckled to the air, trying to picture himself over mountains and oceans and widespread deserts.

Just a bit faster...

The feeling of control shattered suddenly, quicker than Regulus could register. The broom shook and fell and the only thing he was the twisting green and blue and brown. He yelped loudly before he crashed, hard, sliding over ground with a harsh roll. Still clutching his broom, cracked and scratched though it was.

Wincing, Regulus tried to sit up. Ended up on his hands and knees in the same sand pit Sirius had threatened exile with before. Alone and hurting, Regulus blinked rapidly and abandoned the broom to let his hands curl in warm, damp sand.


"Regulus!? Regulus! Hey! Oh, bloody...Regulus, are you alright?" Sirius had jumped off of his mount to race over on foot, falling to his knees with the others a step behind him. He looked as bad as his brother, hair a mess and eyes bright, mouth pulled into a pained scowl as he took in little brother's disheveled form.

Narcissa's book was left on the dew-covered grass, page numbers forgotten. Bella's hands twisted nervously in his skirt and Andromeda bit her lower lip, both of their eyes all wide with concern.

Sirius crouched lower, looking almost afraid. "Regulus? Are you hurt? I shouldn't have gone off like that and let you-"

"I'm okay, Sirius. I went too fast. I fell and I was scared and now I can't fly anymore, cause I went too fast and too high," Regulus rambled, clutching the sand like as if it were a lifeline. A splinter pinched the palm of his hand, broken off from his broom and lost again a second later.

Sirius's expression softened, a half-grin tugging at his lips. "You can ride with me for now, huh? We can't afford to have you break things every time."

"Then me!" Bellatrix chimed

'No, I'm second."

"Sisters, /please/."

"Don't frown, Cissy, you'll get wrinkles!"

Regulus looked up at his family, all of them standing there and bickering and trying to make him smile back. To tell them he was really okay and they were okay too. All of them there with him, the best day ever.

Sirius offered a hand. Regulus let go of the earth to take it.
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