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Haunted: the Life and Times of Regulus Arcturus Black by Jenna822
Chapter 4: Purely Educational, of Course
Chapter Image by RyleeAnn @ TDA
Purely Educational, of Course
The first day of classes seemed to breeze by as all of the teachers spent the period saying the same things. Many times, the fifth years were reminded of proper class conduct and warned of the penalties. They also sat through lengthy lectures about their O.W.L. year and how important it was for determining their futures.
Regulus made certain to get the front table in Potions, hoping that Topher would join him, but Elizabeth was quick to become his partner. He grudgingly sat through the same boring lecture from Professor Slughorn, all the while trying to keep Elizabeth from putting her hand on his knee. After class, he sent the girl ahead so that he and Topher could speak to the Professor.
Slughorn seemed overjoyed that the two boys chose to wait around after class. “Boys, how were your summers?” the portly man asked while closing the door.
They made small talk for a while, assisting the man in straightening up the room while discussing their summers and other trivial matters. After what felt like a sufficient amount of time, Regulus got to the point.
“Professor,” the boy began in his most innocent and charming tone. “Over the summer, I happened to hear about a Potion that sounded rather...interesting. It was called a...Polyjuice Potion.”
Professor Slughorn got an excited look on his face as he rounded on the young boy. “Polyjuice Potion is quite interesting,” he agreed, nodding his head. “Allows one to take the physical form of another for an hour.”
Regulus gave the man a forced smile, though Slughorn didn't seem to notice the effort it took. “We were wondering...if was alright with you of course...if we could, maybe read more about it. I heard it was very difficult and with this being our O.W.L. year, I think it would be a real benefit to talk about the theories behind it. If we knew what they were.”
The professor eyes both boys very carefully. “I suppose you're right. Not to cause any sort of trouble, right? Just purely education purposes, that would be alright.”
“Purely educational, of course,” Topher parroted quickly, flashing the man a bright smile. “We both know how much of a help it would be to have some extra reading outside of class. After all, we don't wanna fail and miss the chance to be in your N.E.W.T. class next year.”
Professor Slughorn preened at Topher's words and rushed over to his desk. He grabbed up a scrap of parchment and scrawled onto it quickly, then handed it over to Regulus. “That should get you the book you need,” he said with a proud tone. “Just don't go flaunting it around.”
Regulus stared down at the note and smiled.
Black and Topher Mulicber to check
out 'Moste Potente Potions' from the
restricted section of the library.
-P. Horace Slughorn
“Thank you so much, Professor,” Regulus cooed as he slipped the note into his pocket. “We really appreciate you going beyond to help us study.”
"Once again, you have come through for your students. How ever can we repay your kindness?" Topher asked, mimicking Regulus' tone of adoration.
The professor blushed slightly and shook his head, then waved his hand nonchalantly at Regulus and made a scoffing sound. “No need for anything to repay me. It's my pleasure to help out my students. Oh -” he got a sudden look of realization on his face “- I was planning on having a little dinner party again this year, right before winter break. You two will attend, won't you?”
“Of course,” Regulus answered. “We wouldn't dream of missing one of your parties.”
“Fantastic!” Slughorn clapped his hands together and beamed. “You'll tell your brother as well, won't you, Topher? You can all bring your special lady friends.”
“I'll let Will know straight away. He's gonna be excited; he does love the stories you tell at your parties,” Topher agreed with a bright smile.
“As do we all,” Regulus added with a charming, fake laugh.
Slughorn grinned and patted Topher on his back. “Boys, as much as I wish I could continue this little chat of ours, I have some very important business to attend to.”
“Of course, an important man such as yourself, you must be swamped. We're sorry to have kept you so long,” Regulus laid it on thick as Slughorn showed him and Topher to the door.
The boys were well down the hallway and out of hearing range before Topher spoke again. “Bet you five Galleons that his important business is inside a brown bottle?” the boy asked, a smile creeping across his face.
“Topher! Watch your mouth. That is a very important man -” Regulus started laughing so hard he could barely get his words out “-that you're talking about.”
The two of them laughed all the way to the common room, occasionally repeating part of their conversation in mocking voices and batting their eyelashes for comedic effect. As they stepped into the common room, Will instantly pounced on them.
“I take it from those grins that you two just finished your brown nosing session with Sluggy,” the older boy laughed as he hit his brother on the back in congratulations.
“As per your request,” Regulus answered with a smirk. He pulled out the scrap of parchment and waved it victoriously at Will. “Got a note to get the book.”
The eldest Slytherin let out a loud laugh and dropped himself heavily onto one of the black leather sofas. “So, when are you two starting?”
Regulus raised one eyebrow at Will as he lowered himself into an armchair across from him. “When do we start? This was your damn plan; aren't you going to help?”
Topher laughed manically as he threw himself onto the sofa next to his brother. “You're kidding right? Will can't brew for crap. I think he got a T on his O.W.L.”
Will reached out and punched Topher on his shoulder, receiving one in return. “It wasn't a T, it was a P. Anyways, the jerk's right, I'm dreadful at Potions. I'd just end up messing it up. You're better off if I'm nowhere near the thing.”
“What are you gonna do then?” Regulus asked.
“I'm gonna be that Mudblood for an hour; isn't that enough?” he asked, pretending to gag himself.
Regulus chuckled quietly, but didn't consent to the cop out. “You're helping some way,” he pressed on. “You can help get the ingredients at the very least.”
“Well, the very least is what I aim for,” Will laughed, stretching his arms high into the air and knocking his brother in the side of the head. This small act prompted the two boys to launch into a full wrestling match in the middle of the common room.
Regulus sighed, knowing that the little fights could sometimes stretch over an hour, and rose from his seat. “I'm gonna find a place with a few less idiots,” he snapped before turning on his heel and heading back to his dormitory.
Just as he stepped over the threshold, he bumped into one of his dorm mates, who quickly stuttered out an apology and refused to meet Regulus' eyes. The boy hurried away, leaving Regulus alone in the room. He fell back onto his bed and pulled out his wand, twirling it around his fingers as he thought over what the next step would be in making the potion.
Elizabeth peeked her head into the room and smiled before strolling over and staring down at Regulus. “Whatcha' doin'?” she asked, taking a seat on the edge of the boy's bed.
Regulus laid his wand down beside him and shrugged. “Just thinking about the potion.” He sat up right and leaned against his headboard. “What would you do if you had some?” he asked. “Who would you be?”
Elizabeth scrunched up her face and cut her eyes away in thought. “Hmm, I don't know. That's a tough question. I guess I would be...Topher.”
Regulus raised his eyebrows in confusion, making Elizabeth giggle. She smiled and went on to explain. “I would be Topher because he's the only one big enough to kick Will's ass.”
The boy laughed at her words and shook his head. He crawled over to her and kissed her cheek softly before returning to his place against the headboard.
“Who would you be?” she asked, grinning a the small show of affection.
“No one,” Regulus answered. “I couldn't take the potion, it would be too hard.”
“What would be too hard?”
“Turning back into myself when the time was up,” he answered, biting down on his lip entirely too hard. Blood quickly filled the boy's mouth and he coughed into his hand. “Damn it!” he shouted as he scrambled for his wand and conjured up a towel. He spat the blood into the cloth and held it to his lips tightly to stop the bleeding.
Elizabeth didn't react to the situation. If was by no means the first time she'd seen Regulus do that. “Yes, yes, it must be dreadful to be you,” she cooed with false sympathy. “Poor little Black, only heir to his family's money and pride.” She rolled her eyes and tucked a strand of brown behind her ear. “I think if you were to be someone else for a while, you would see how great it is to be you.” She got up and gave a small wave to the boy as she headed out. “See you at dinner.”
Regulus frowned at the retreating girl and dabbed at his lip to check if the bleeding had stopped. After a while, Will and Topher bounded into the dorm room, laughing and shoving each other. Will took a place on the end of Regulus' bed and glanced over at the bloody towel.
“Again?” he asked, snorting at the sight. Before Regulus could even respond, he went on. “We need a place to brew this damn thing.”
“Can't just do it in our rooms or something, we'll get busted for sure,” Topher added as he laid back on his own bed. “One of the old classrooms? I think there's one on the sixth floor, full of boxes.”
“Too risky, one of the professors might need a box or something,” Will pointed out.
“I know a place,” Regulus offered quietly. “You know that creepy statue on the fifth floor? Over in the East wing?”
“The witch with the cat on her shoulder?” Topher asked.
“Nah, the Gregory the Smarmy one,” Regulus corrected. “Behind it, there's a passage way. It isn't huge, but there's plenty of room for a cauldron and the three of us.” He shifted awkwardly and pointed his wand towards the bloody towel to vanish it. “I'll show you guys after dinner.”
A Note From the Author: This chapter was a lot of fun to write because I got to do a little Slughorn bashing. I honestly hate that man. So, how much are you guys liking Regulus right now? Any Topher or Will fans? Leave me some thoughts. --Jenna
Now Beta'd by magic139 – Thank you!