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A Brother's Tale of Redemption by No_oneKnows
Format: Short story
Chapter 6: Chapter VI.
Graduation for the marauders wasn’t far at all. In fact, it was only in a matter of days. Only a matter of days until Feliciti was truly alone.
“You’re leaving, Sirius and I’ll be stuck at school for another two years, wondering where you are, what you’re doing.” Feliciti sat with Sirius on the sofa, in front of the timid fire. It was only the two present, being three o’clock in the morning.
Sirius mused over that idea. He would be far too busy, involved with the Order to devote his time to her.
“Feliciti,” Sirius hesitated. He was reluctant, but he knew what had to be done. “I think we should end this.”
It was as anticipated. Feliciti’s watery smile broke his heart. “I agree, Sirius.”
He hugged her tightly and pressed her small, fragile body against his own as she sobbed into his chest. “I’m really sorry this couldn’t work out.” He softly caressed the top of her head as he let a few tears trickle down his cheeks. “I’ll always love you, Feli. There won’t ever be a moment that I’m not thinking about you.” He could feel her nodding against his firm chest.
He lifted her chin gently, so she was gazing up at him. He studied her beautiful face as she smiled bashfully, lips quavering slightly. He smiled in return and kissed her tenderly for one last time, before parting from his best, childhood friend.
~ ~ ~
Back in the square, her holidays had made Feliciti felt more alone than ever. Sirius wasn’t there to provide her with the company she longed for, and Regulus was no longer available for her to take comfort in either, not that she wanted to.
She couldn’t help but feel the disappointment every day as she went to sleep, hoping and praying that Sirius would surprise her the following morning. She hoped that she would hear the roaring of his motorbike, in the early hours of the day. No such roar ever came. And that disappointed her.
She spent her time confined her brightly coloured room, gazing out the window, not knowing that Regulus did exactly that as well.
~ ~ ~
“Regulus,” his mother called to him with a loud, high pitched voice as Kreacher served the crowd some tea and biscuits. She watched approvingly as her house elf bowed down until his nose touched the floor to the Dark Lord.
“It is a great privilege, Sir, to have you here at our home.” Orion Black said nervously from his grand, well polished armchair. Orion Black wasn’t a man to be intimidated, heavy and frightening himself, but there was something about this Voldemort character which definitely unnerved him.
Regulus trod down the long steps and paused the moment he came into view of the living room. He looked from figure to figure, stunned as his gaze met that of the Dark Lord’s who sat in his favourite seat.
The man was sporting an handsome robe, his brown hair unintentionally tame and neat, and his posture proper with his pinky sticking out as he drunk his tea. He would have looked like an ordinary, even exceptionally pleasing wizard, if it wasn’t for the distinct evil glint that illuminated his eyes like a bright star.
Regulus slowly walked towards the group, smiling briefly at Kreacher before putting a hand out to greet the guest.
“How do you do?” Regulus drawled uncertainly, almost immediately recoiling from the man’s touch. He was cold and it chilled the last nerve of Regulus’ body.
Voldemort smiled in reply. No warmth or welcome evident but instead mockery and perhaps, even a concealed sneer.
“Your parents,” he gestured towards the two who smiled encouragingly at their son, “Have told me all about your growing interests in the dark arts and even, the morals it possesses.”
Regulus looked to his parents, shock visible in his expression as a wild chill ran down his back.
“They tell me of how you, you, admire my works.” His voice was cold and the sentences he stringed together sounded like a hiss. He smiled again and his eyes narrowed like that of a snake’s. He slowly licked his lips, and it was a surprise to Regulus that his tongue was not forked.
“There is a certain circle, for people like you, who all have a common interest in regards to this world we live in. Your cousins, Bellatrix and Narcissa, such lovely girls, are among this circle. We believe in a world of wizards, powerful and formidable, so unlike the common scum of the earth.” Voldemort was unable to repress his loathing as his lips quivered with utmost hate.
Regulus watched the man intensely, hands gripping onto the arms of his chair tightly.
“However, there are some wizards, blood traitors, who see this interest as,” he chuckled dryly, eyes glistening menacingly, “despicable. I am here to change that. My followers, Death Eaters, and myself, exist to demonstrate to the rest of the community that these human vermin are repugnant and taint the world we live in. Now, your parents have expressed to me their favour in you, unlike their other son,” Voldemort smiled again, “Sirius, they say. Sirius who had joined the very group, the Order, to stop me.”
Regulus knew where this conversation, this meeting was heading towards. The mere mention of Sirius sent his heart pacing, his blood pumping with hatred, and as though Voldemort understood that, he laughed bitterly.
“Your brother is a disgrace to the pure blooded family, toujours pur which I respect so highly, and to our people. And that mudblood girl, I hear, that had captured his heart,” Voldemort spat with disgust.
Regulus’ heart paced even faster, trying desperately to close his mind from the image of Feliciti. His stomach felt sick and his knuckles were turning as white as the snow outside.
Whether the Dark Lord had noticed anything was a mystery to Regulus. He had cocked his head to the side and began speaking once again.
“Regulus, would you have the honour of becoming a Death Eater?”
Regulus’ stomach dropped and he could feel the sweat beads dripping from his forehead. He looked to his mother and father, both of whom had tears of pride swelling in their eyes and beams that brightened their gaunt faces. He glanced back at the Dark Lord, who expressed nothing but curiosity and overwhelming interest.
Regulus heard a voice in his head. A hiss, just like the His voice. But it couldn’t be him. His mouth was closed and no words came out of it.
“Think of Sirius,” it had told him, “Think of him. How he stole her from you. You deserved her, you were there for her, you saved her, but Sirius... He stole her from you. Take revenge. Take revenge and take back what you deserve.”
Regulus closed his eyes, pinching the ridge of his nose as his head throbbed and his heart hammered with hatred and jealousy. He opened his wet red eyes and looked to the Dark Lord. It was between the two, not his parents, not Kreacher, not Sirius, but Regulus and Voldemort.
He nodded once and the Dark Lord’s smile was wider than his face, the evil glimmer in his eyes shining brighter than even the sun...
~ ~ ~
Whether his involvement with the Death Eaters was right. He questioned the fatal decision the moment his left arm was branded by the Dark Lord. What compelled him to do so was not the sway from his parents nor the glaring eyes of the Dark Lord that questioned his stance but instead was the hatred he had for Sirius.
He smiled bitterly to himself, as he watched small children playing outside, giggles and smiles too big for their faces. He remembered the day Feliciti approached them. How it was Sirius who had introduced the two and entwined their fates together.
He thought more about Feliciti and how he hoped for the possibility that she would one day choose between himself and Sirius. Between good and evil. Resentment filled him as he knew there could be no such thing.
Regulus knew he missed her; her voice, her hair, her smell, her face, everything. It was at that moment, that realisation, that he knew what he wanted to do.
~ ~ ~
Regulus studied the building before him, searching for an easy route up to the biggest window on the dark brown brick assembled facade. He made sure it was sufficiently dark and late enough, as to not arouse any suspicion in the neighbourhood.
It was a grueling task and not as simple as Regulus had anticipated. He struggled holding his place as his shoes slipped against the shallow bricks that protruded out of the wall.
Slowly, Regulus breathed as he held onto the window pane for dear life. He peered into where the light shone through and he sighed with relief as Feliciti sat on her single, bright pink bed. He smiled fondly as he watched her quill dancing along a piece of scrap paper.
He knocked and chuckled lightly as she jumped. She couldn’t see him, but it didn’t stop her frowning as she approached the window with caution. She pulled open the curtain and gasped as she saw Regulus’ strained face.
“Let me in!” he mouthed, pointing to the latch as Feliciti’s eyes grew larger and round. She shook her head violently, mouth still agape.
“Please?” he said silently, the desperation in his face apparent as Feliciti undid the lock with a slightly trembling hand.
“Thank you,” Regulus said as he clambered through the window. He smiled amiably, in an attempt to make himself feel welcome.
“What are you doing here, Regulus?” Feliciti whispered, eyes piercing his with suspicion as she retreated from him slightly. She hadn’t forgotten what he said.
He couldn’t pretend that he had forgotten either. He ruffled the back of his head awkwardly and let out a low sigh.
“I wanted to talk to you Feli.” Regulus said softly, looking at her wounded face. “I couldn’t stop thinking about you.”
Feliciti scoffed, looking away from him with a disbelieving bitter smile. “Right, Regulus.” She moved away from him and sat down on her bed, packing her books and quill set up.
“Can I see that?” Regulus pointed at the scrap piece of parchment, which had black links and figures printed on it.
Feliciti leered at him before nodding once. She continued packing her books, stacking them onto the polished wooden table across from her bed.
Regulus stepped towards the bed, picking up the yellowed parchment and watching the small animation play. He watched as a small bird opened its beak and squawked silently as it flew away, towards the parchment and slowly disappeared.
“That’s really nice,” he smiled as the bird reappeared, following through the process once again. “Really nice.”
Feliciti refused to look at him and continued tidying up her table, “You can have it.”
Regulus looked at her small back, bewildered at how one could part from such a thing. He carefully folded it into fours and pocketed it as he slowly approached her. She could feel his warm breath on her neck as he held her hair loosely to the side.
“Feli, please look at me.” Each word made Feliciti’s knees shake and she bit her lip before slowly turning around.
She met Regulus’ gaze. It was soft and filled with passion as he let his hand fall onto her waist while the other caressed her cheek.
“Please don’t, Regulus.” she whimpered, averting her gaze down to the floor. He lifted her head gently, so she was looking back at him.
“I’ve never told you Feliciti,” his face was slowly getting closer to hers and she couldn’t tear away from it. She watched as his eyes glittered with warmth and his lips formed a small smile. “I regret the things I did. I didn’t mean them at all and it would mean the world to me if you, you know, forgive me.”
She pushed him away forcefully, and Regulus let her push past him and onto her bed where she cuddled her fluffy white pillow.
“You can’t just say that, Regulus.” She looked down, her lips pushed to a pout and Regulus could feel himself melting inside. He sat right beside her and pried her hands away from her pillow and rather into his own hands.
He moved his body so he was on top of her as he gazed into her deep blue eyes.
“Feli, you’re beautiful.” - Feliciti shook her head, unable to believe his attempt in flattery - “And I honestly did not mean a word I said. I was hurt, Feli. You need to understand that.”
“Why would you be hurt?” She snapped, eyes rheumy. “Regulus, why would you be hurt? Why did you kiss me like that and expect that nothing would happen? Why would you if it wasn’t to hurt Sirius.”
Regulus rolled onto his side and watched the expressions on her face with an indifferent smile. “You think I wanted to hurt Sirius?”
“What else would it be? Unless you wanted to hurt me which, by the way, you did successfully anyway.” Feliciti returned his stare, narrowing her eyes slightly as the tension between them soared high.
Regulus let out a sigh, looking away from her and instead rolled onto his back. He stared at the bare white ceiling, blinking every ten seconds. She didn’t know. She was unable to decipher the mixed messages he’d presented her with.
Feliciti moved closer towards him, until her face was right next to his. She propped herself up with her elbow. “Why don’t you just tell me Regulus, rather than avoiding this conversation.”
Regulus placed one arm under his head and let out a small sigh. He closed his eyes for a moment before gritting his teeth and confessing everything.
“Feli,” he looked her directly in the eye as his voice sounded like a soft growl, “I was in love with you. I still am. I thought you would’ve figured it out when I kissed you. It wasn’t to spite Sirius or to hurt you either.”
Feliciti’s mouth dropped as her brows furrowed, “This isn’t the time to be making jokes, Regulus.”
Regulus lifted himself up by his elbows, anger clear on his face. “Why can you believe it when Sirius says it but not me?” The bitterness was barely concealed.
“Because,” Feliciti hesitated, unsure of it herself, “because it’s just not right.”
“Why? Because I’m in Slytherin and you’re in Gryffindor? Because I’m a pureblood and you’re not?” He spat, furious at how she thought. How the wizarding community thought. He stared at her intently, brows furrowed angrily.
Feliciti recoiled and looked down ashamed, her golden hair curtaining her pained face. Regulus felt the instant pang of regret and softened his face as she sniffed and rubbed her eyes with her knuckles like a little baby.
“Feli, I’m sorry.” he wrapped his arms around her tightly, nuzzling his chin into her shoulder. “I’m sorry.”
Regulus lifted her small, fragile body and placed her between his legs, keeping her against his own body as though he was afraid of her running away. His arms were wrapped around her waist tightly as her sobs slowly diminished to silence.
“Regulus,” Feliciti paused, turning her head towards his, “What are you doing?”
Regulus looked at her fondly, eyes bright and skin glowing orange as he dimmed the lightbulb above them with his wand.
Feliciti continued gazing into his eyes as he moved his head closer and closer towards hers. Feliciti didn’t recoil nor falter as Regulus’ hand moved up to the side of her face, pulling her soft golden hair behind her ear.
“I’m in love with you, Feli.” he whispered softly and she closed her eyes to the warmth of his breath on her neck. “I love you.”
He planted a soft, tender kiss on her neck as he caressed her cheek, loving the taste of her skin. A short breath escaped her lips as Regulus trailed her jaw line, leaving soft nibbles along it.
“Regulus,” she finally panted lightly. “Regulus.”
“Don’t tell me you can’t, Feli. Please.” he muttered against her porcelain skin, hands moving to the small of her back and the mess of her hair simultaneously. “Please.”
His lips lingered mere millimeters away from hers, his breathing ragged and deep. Feliciti could feel her heartbeat pound against her bones and the tips of her fingers as she touched the side of his face.
Feliciti looked into Regulus’ grey eyes, contemplating over her choice. He wanted to kiss her more than anything at that moment. But the confusion that clouded her eyes was enough to make Regulus stop.
“You don’t want to,” he breathed, recoiling slightly as he furrowed his brows in his own confusion.
Feliciti continued staring into his eyes as tears formed in hers. She could feel the wet trail as tears began to slide down her cheeks. The heat of embarrassment rose in her face as she refused to tear her gaze away from him.
She slowly shook her head. And Regulus’ heart stopped.
“What about Sirius?” she quivered, instantly regretting the question as Regulus’ face contorted to complete anguish and outrage.
“What about Sirius?” he shouted, rising from her bed quickly, violently. “What about Sirius, Feli?! He left you! He left you twice! And I’ve always been here. Here!” He pointed towards the floor as Feliciti continued to weep. “I’ve always been here for you.” Tears began to trickle down his own cheeks as he stared at her with desolated eyes. “I’ve risked everything for you. Everything.”
Regulus stormed from one end of the room to the other, breathing heavily as Feliciti whimpered, cowering at the edge of her bed. He stopped abruptly at the window and shook his head at her, laughing bitterly.
“Goodbye, Feliciti.” he muttered before turning to face the window.
“Regulus,” she moaned, “Regulus, don’t go.” She quickly got up from her bed, jumping to hold onto his arm. “Please, don’t go.”
Regulus shook his head lightly, eyes rheumy and red as he turned around to face her. “I told you I loved you, Feli. What else would you want?” He didn’t leave. He had the hope that perhaps, at that moment, she would realise it too.
Instead, she let go of him, eyes portraying nothing but misery. She shook her head, unable to believe it.
Regulus pulled his left sleeve up, exposing a black skull with a vicious snake protruding out of its mouth. Feliciti gasped, eyes wide. She clasped her hands to her mouth and stared from the mark to Regulus’ intent face quickly.
“Don’t expect me to be there for you anymore, Feliciti.”
With those final words, Regulus climbed out of the window and left Feliciti to the dangers of the world.
Author’s Note: Sorry for the window climbing cliche :) I couldn’t tear myself away from the idea of something as romantic as that! I guess it’s a cliche for a reason! I hope you liked it and please post a review! The next chapter will be up very shortly! :D