Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Deliver Me From My Friends

Back Where We Belong

by minkhollow 0 reviews

In which Regulus goes home.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG - Genres: Crossover,Drama,Fantasy - Characters: Luna,Sirius - Warnings: [!!] [?] - Published: 2007-11-04 - Updated: 2007-11-05 - 2007 words - Complete

DISCLAIMER: The characters and settings herein are, for the most part, variously the property of JK Rowling or Neil Gaiman. I borrow out of love, and will put them back when finished.

Regulus was about halfway through the contents of his room when Sirius found him.

"What are you doing?"

"You're reasonably intelligent. I should hope you don't need me to answer that question."

"All right, I walked into that one. Why are you..."

"Because. The bloody Horcruxes are finally out of the way, so there's no other reason for me to stick around."

"What, I don't get a say in this?"

"You want one?"

"I've already buried you once. I'm not sure I can bring myself to do it again."

"Who said anything about a burial? You know exactly where I'm going. I think, and I'm basing this in part on my own experiences, that once you know London Below's there at all, it's easier to find. Nothing's stopping you from visiting."

"That last sentence is quite easy to apply in reverse."

"In theory. In practice, I don't know if I'll be able to come back here again."


Regulus sighed. "You've seen how London Below works. Other than the mess with that bloody stupid prophecy, I had no reason to come back, and that's done now. You ought to be able to come and go with little trouble, if you choose to - there's your godson keeping you here, and your... and Lupin. I didn't even have anything to leave behind the first time, other than imminent death."

"What about all the talking you did about how the Ministry needed more saving than anyone cared to admit?"

"I've passed the ideas on to Granger. If she doesn't overtax herself with it, she and her friends ought to be able to get it somewhere. This isn't my world to save anymore. If you'll excuse me, I haven't gone through that yet."

Sirius got up from the trunk he'd sat down on after making his presence known. "I... suppose you have a point. Still, I'd thought that maybe since we finally managed to patch things up, sort of..."

"It's good that we had the opportunity, whether we both had to be strongarmed into it or not. But that's not going to solve everything."

"Wouldn't be me if I didn't hope otherwise."

"Oh, I know. If you really wanted to stop me, you wouldn't have stood up."

Sirius eventually left, and Regulus sighed again. he'd known that wasn't going to go over well. But he'd finally started to make a home for himself, before Sirius found him in the library, and he'd be damned if he was going to give that up.


This conversation, the Marquis was beginning to suspect, didn't have the Underside's best odds of ending in his favor.

He wouldn't have come anywhere near the Circus if he could have helped it, but he needed some information that only Oxford had, and their idea of a fair trade for cooperating was his idea of... well, it was his idea of the opposite of a fun time. Being strapped to a table and... experimented on certainly wouldn't help the Marquis maintain his reputation as a man about town, nor would it get the information to where it would provide maximum effect.

Worse yet, he suspected they were beginning to attract an audience. Word of messy negotiations spread just as easily as anything else, in London Below, and he really didn't have the time to deal with the consequences.

Finally, a young man who had stopped near the negotiations some minutes previously stepped forward, tapped the Circus man on the shoulder, and said, "If the man doesn't want to take part in your bargain, find another way to go about it. I just got back, and I'd like to relax before I have to call on the Romans for business again."

The Circus man gaped for a few moments before resuming negotiations; he was suddenly far more willing to help the Marquis out for less than being the demonstration subject to accompany a lecture.

After they had finished, the Marquis found the young man. "You'd be one of the upworlders her Ladyship was hanging around with last month, then? I heard a bit about the Roman incident, though I thought she'd got you both off home."

"Oh, she did. I decided to come back, is all."

"Ah. I wonder if that's regular for those who get back Topside."

"If my brother ever opts to come back for more than a visit, I'll let you know..." The young man trailed off; the look he was giving the Marquis suddenly reminded him of an important fact about the Lady Door's last two upworlders.

"You're on a Chocolate Frog card, aren't you."

The Marquis sighed heavily. "This is why I avoid dealing with wizards. You lot know too much for my good, even if it's mostly through those cards."

"Well, I don't imagine most of the ones you'd run into at the moment would expect you. From the time I just left, I think you've supposedly been dead for a few centuries... then again, that doesn't always mean anything down here."

"Precisely my point. Just... don't go spreading that around, would you? It's the sort of information I'd prefer to keep as far from public consumption as possible."

"You don't say." The young man paused for a few moments before continuing, with the sort of smirk the Marquis wouldn't call trustworthy even - no, especially - if he himself were using it. "I suppose, since there's nothing I particularly need at the moment, you'll just have to owe me a favor."

"...There's nothing else you'd rather have?"

"I don't have use for anything else. Besides, one never knows when he'll need to call in a favor. From what Door had to say, you should know that quite well."

"Indeed." The Marquis sighed again. "Well, I suppose if that's what it takes to ensure my good name, we have an arrangement."


Regulus settled back into life at the library more easily than he had expected. Then again, it wasn't the sort of place that was inclined to change much, other than collecting new books as the world above forgot about them. That was more than enough to keep him solidly occupied and well out of everyone's way, though, so it suited him just fine.

He was looking at one of the new arrivals when he heard very purposeful footsteps headed for his reading chair.

"Regulus Black, what are you doing holed up in the library, and why did I have to find out you were back from the Marquis? You might have tracked me down as soon as you got in."

Regulus blinked; Door had the personality to pull off righteous indignation, that much was certain. It helped to counteract her slight stature enough that people would take her seriously.

"...I hadn't wanted to impose."

"You wouldn't have been imposing, you dolt! I'll probably owe you for the rest of my life for getting Ingress back down here. The least I can do is work out something so you can stay in the House. Goodness knows I have the room, and you're one of very few people I'd trust around Ingress at the moment."

"The point does stand that you'd have to work something out before I could stay there. Where is your sister, anyway?"

"Richard's keeping an eye on her. I had to come through Ratspeaker territory to get here, and they're a bit on edge at the moment. Thought it best not to take chances."

"I see. You can't keep her cooped up forever, you realize."

"Oh, I know that. It's just so hard finding reliable people to leave her with."

Regulus sighed. "You're not going to give in until I let you work something out, are you?"

"Is there any reason I ought to?"

"Well, I suppose not." He did like the library, but having a well-protected house to go to, otherwise populated with people whose company he didn't mind, certainly couldn't hurt.

"There you are, then. I'll let you know when something's set."

"I'd say you don't have to, but you're clearly set on the idea that you do."

"As I said, it's the least I can do." Door smiled a bit, then added, "Good on you for getting the Marquis to owe you a favor, though. However you managed it - he wouldn't say."

Regulus smirked. "That doesn't surprise me."

As predicted, it took Door a week or two to sort out suitable arrangements to let Regulus into the House of Arch on his own, while simultaneously keeping her security measures in place. Regulus ended up contributing to the process a bit, running off of what he understood about the portrait entrances at Hogwarts; that was more helpful for the inside of the house, but he at least felt like he was contributing to the process.

After the arrangements were finalized, he went back to the library to collect the last of his things, only to find that someone had taken up space in his reading chair while he'd been gone. For all he didn't technically own the thing, he'd grown rather attached to it while he'd been here, so he felt the matter bore investigating. Besides, his things were still near the chair in question.

The person in the chair looked up after he approached. "Oh, hello. I thought I'd recognized some of this."

"...Lovegood, what are you doing here?"

Luna shrugged. "I got curious. And before you ask, I've finished school, and Daddy and my friends know I'm exploring and might not be back. But if I am, I'll have one of the best stories the Quibbler's ever seen."

"I dare say you will - both the most fantastic and the most accurate."

"Exactly. There was that, and I got to wondering why you thought the rains of fish and whatnot sounded familiar when I mentioned them."

"It's been, what, two years for you and you're still wondering? Temple and Arch, you are tenacious."

"Blame my House, if you like."

Regulus snorted. "That doesn't always have anything to do with individuals. Anyway, Professor Device's family was in the habit of working with a book of prophecies one of their ancestors wrote. I was mostly amused that the old bat had been right after all."

"But you weren't surprised?"

"She'd been right about everything else, that I knew of. Even if people sometimes didn't work it out until after the fact."

They ended up talking for at least an hour before Regulus got around to packing up his things. Luna, it seemed, had found a fair amount to keep herself occupied, even before she got as far as the library. This hardly surprised Regulus, but hearing about it from a perspective that wasn't his own or native to London Below was still interesting.

"Where are you off to?" she asked, after he had finished packing.

"A friend offered to let me stay at her place, once she worked out a way for me to get in. You could probably come along, if you'd like. I think Door would like you."

"...Not right now, I don't think. There's just so much to read, and if you trusted it enough to stay here until you got another offer, this must be a relatively safe place."

"Fair enough. If you ever stop reading, let me know, and I'll see what I can work out."

Luna smiled. "Thank you. I'll be sure to keep that in mind."

She turned back to the book she had been reading, and Regulus headed back out. At least it had been the one of the kids who actually thought things through to venture Below; Luna would more than likely thrive where he could picture Harry or Ron or even Hermione floundering.

He was going to have to remember to talk to her more often, now that the opportunity was there.
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