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

By Chance

by fey_puck 0 reviews

The times and trials of the family Black. Regulus's last moments.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres: Drama, Humor - Characters: Andromeda Tonks, Bellatrix, Narcissa, Sirius - Published: 2007-07-19 - Updated: 2007-07-19 - 983 words

This is under the assumption that R.A.B is Regulus

His arm was burning, spreading inward and pushing out like so many reminders of mistakes twisted with pain. The Dark Mark looked blacked and ugly, raw around the edges in some effort to return to the one who placed it there.

It had burned then as well, Regulus remembered. More so, perhaps, but softened by the power of new convictions and bright purpose.

Regulus wondered where those convictions had gone. Snuffed out like a candle by the sudden knowledge that it was wrong. The world was wrong, the war was wrong. An entire generation was wrong and very few seemed to realize it.

The Dark Lord and his followers-so many of them friends and guests from dances in grand halls-were set to ruin, a slow process that was reaching a tipping point. There was no real prejudice there anymore, killing children and parents and Muggles and each other. Driving towards their destruction, with few ways to avoid the fall.

So few options in a fight for just causes.

And those other wizards, those that fought with a feeling of complete righteousness. They didn't understand those who strayed, would never even want to understand in the end because then they might have something to regret. Instead, they stood with upturned noses as bad as any pureblood aristocrat; it was enough to make him wonder how they explained their own humble justifications.

No one was right. None of them were even close. Regulus knew this. He half-hoped someone else did as well. /No man is an island/.

But for now there was only him.

Ocean water and grey wet sand splashed along the bottom of his torn robes. The smell of salt and seaweed made him dizzy, or maybe it was his panicked breaths or the adrenaline pumping through his veins. Everything had happened so quickly, tightly compressed into fractions of moments, hazy and blurred.

Regulus choked and fell to his knees, hands curling into damp sand and a stone digging sharply into one knee. Sweat darkened hair momentarily blinded him. No time, nothing to spare with everything gone.

He had displeased the Dark Lord, questioning his power and failing to obey what should have been a simple order. One woman was all he had been charged to kill, but she had had red hair and a barking, nervous laugh that reminded him of Sirius and his new adopted family; laughing by the lake and passing through the halls of Hogwarts as if it were truly home. While Regulus had watched from the shadows, the last hope of a dying line, and felt the hate and envy that so many greater men had fallen prey to before.

Regulus had faltered but had learned as well.

He can't remember everything, but he remembered his chance. Narcissa's muffled cry of dismay-so unlike her in public, but she was pregnant now, wasn't she, and he would never see-and Bella's distracting glare in her sister's directions. Lucius had paused in the face of the Black sisters' vying emotions. Only for a second but enough and Regulus wondered if it had been planned. If family had held out in the end as had always been taught amongst Purebloods, or if it had been a moment's luck.

A snippet of conversation was his only map. A mention of the Dark Lord's adolescence that may or may not had been true. Children in a shaded cave, tortured and ruled over by one small boy. Bella's fanatical ramblings of His great immortality, split into pieces like a well-placed gambit. Half-thought doubts and speculations. Because even when there had been no questioning such ideas had still existed.

Regulus had never known for sure what was true and what was the bragging of a black nature. No one had told him much of anything.

Too young, too weak. Too untrustworthy, perhaps. Too much of a lot of things but never enough of what mattered. Simple a small king with no followers or power, only strings to be pulled by the figures above. Due to fade in failure, of little consequence.

The thought was jarring, had woken him enough to cause his first destination in his foolish escape to not be 12 Grimmauld Place or the dubious protection of Dumbledore's mercy. Instead, he had run to an empty seaside where only ghosts and the dead were set to wander. Tom Riddle had once run along the same stretch of nowhere and the creature he became had returned, to seal away another part of himself.

The poison had been bitter, yet Regulus had drank it all.

Now a dull locket hung about his neck, a gilded noose as flesh paled and strength ebbed away with the tide. One piece of a soul that had cost him the whole of his own.

Sirius had given him a necklace and charm once, what seemed like an eternity ago on the last day they had met. It was gone now too but not lost, not useless. A trinket turned into a messenger from the grave, whether the switch be found tomorrow or in a decade. One last testament to a pair of brothers that had been lost: one on a new path, the other gone by chance.

Always by chances.

Regulus wondered how many he had left.

The mark on his arm blackened and flared, but he had gone numb but for the spasms that raced from his heart and stretched throughout his being with every breath. There was no strength to write another note or voice his final words, and only one place left that he would like to see. There was nothing left to do on the chill empty beach, where his footsteps were slowly being erased as the world continued on. Only one more deed he might accomplish.

Regulus went home, but those rooms were empty too.
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