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Chapter 1: Drowning
They say that drowning and freezing to death are the nicest ways to die. Euphoric even. And yet, I felt nothing but fear and dread as I was heaved further and further into the dark depths of this cold and seemingly endless lake.
Water rushed over my face and consumed my body. It muffled all sounds, including the cries of distress from my faithful house-elf Kreacher. I tried yelling up to him, telling him to go on and leave me behind, but I was already too far under. I knew he would be forced to leave in just a few moments, anyway. I ordered him to go on his way and leave me behind, he had no choice but to obey and make way with the locket.
Suddenly my lungs felt as if they were on fire as the air was pushed out and replaced with ice, cold water. Precious bubbles of oxygen left my mouth, and I felt as if I was watching my own soul leave my body.
I’m sinking. I thought solemnly to myself.
I still felt the effects of that potion, but that was not what was making me sink. The potion made me weak, but not this weak. I would be capable of swimming to the surface if it wasn't for the hands pulling me down.
The Inferi were strong and their lifeless hands pulled at every inch of my body. Hands seized my ankles, feet, wrists; they even wrapped their boney fingers around my neck and forced what little air was left to seep from my lungs. I was being hauled into a vast unknown, surely to my death, and all I felt in my heart was pride. I outsmarted the Dark Lord, I betrayed the most powerful being on this Earth, and I got my revenge for the life he sucked out of me.
Yet I still felt a distant flicker of shame. The water grew dimmer and cooler around me, and I knew the end was coming, but there was one thing I came to regret in this short life I had lived. I never got the chance to thank my brother. I spent so much of my time loathing him and wanting him dead, but tonight I only wished to see him one last time to let him know that he was right. He had been right all along.
“Do you even know what you’re getting yourself into?” Sirius’ voice echoed in my head. You’re blindly following someone who you don’t even know! You’re a fool, Regulus, and I sincerely hope you come to that realization before something bad happens.”
”You are the fool.” I rebutted with a leer. ”You just wait, brother. You wait and see what we become! No one will dare defy us!”
”I’ve never felt so ashamed in my whole life.” I remember the way his eyes grew sharp as he implored me to see reason. ”You are not my brother. You are a lonely boy who will do anything for his mommy and daddy’s affection.
I remember how insulted I felt. Now, as I inched closer and closer to death, it felt so juvenile and senseless to become so upset over such a small and insignificant comment. But at the time it felt necessary, I felt the need to honor my pride.
I remember how it felt when my fist collided with his cheekbone. He wavered only slightly, and I prepared for him to lunge himself at me, but it never came. Instead he gave me a long, sad look. As he turned and walked away he spoke the last words I would ever hear from him. ”This will be the death of you, Regulus.”
How right he was.
And I knew once he heard of my death he would feel nothing. He would feel no remorse and he would not feel the need to mourn over my lost life. He would simply carry on with his life; grow old with his dear friends and maybe find himself a wife to look after.
I envied him. I envied the choices he made and the life he would one day have. I would be forever eighteen. But I suppose that’s the price of immortality. Death.
There was only one thing I could truly be proud of in my life, and that was defying the Dark Lord. I am dying knowing that it was I who helped take down this monstrous creature.
My mind started to buzz. The silence was, ironically, causing a ringing in my ears. I could no longer see the surface, only a very distant and dim light. My life felt like nothing more than a precious memory now. I no longer felt regret or shame or pride or fear. Nor could I feel the pain of the Inferis’ grasp or the cold that overcame me only moment ago. I felt nothing.
Life was leaving me and death was beginning to consume me. I knew my time was nearly out. I didn’t dare fight it for I knew there was no escape. I was too far gone and much too tired.
They say that drowning and freezing to death are the nicest ways to die. Euphoric even. And suddenly I felt it.