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The way he styles his hair, the way he wears his clothes, the way he acts and the way he believes. Traits my parents want me to have. They want me to be the perfect son, like their beloved Regulus. They want me to be presentable, to be aristocratic but most of all they want me to be a Slytherin.
The moment I met James Potter on the train, I knew I weren’t like them, like Cissy and Bella. I was me. I hated the idea of pureblood supremacy which is why I knew I wasn’t going to be a Slytherin. I remember being so happy in that moment the sorting hat finally said ‘Gryffindor’. I remember the crestfallen faces of my cousins and most of the teachers. People screaming in outrage. Me, a Black, in Gryffindor. It just wasn’t heard of.
My parents reaction was much worse. They practically offered Dumbledore half of their wealth just to swap me to a different house, well Slytherin. I remember their words. They talked of the shame of having a Black in Gryffindor and how it was a fate worse than marrying a muggleborn. Just one word by an old shabby torn hat, changed my life.
I never really remembered a life without my brother. We were always with each other, I guess that was the done thing though really, we were only eleven months apart. He was always the son that caused the least trouble, he was mother’s favourite. I noticed that when I was barely three years old. Regulus had snapped one of the heads off of mama’s ornaments, and then I’d accidently trodden on it. When she saw it, she went mad, blaming me for everything saying it was all my fault.
Back then I just put it down to the age difference but now I realise it was much different. I didn’t really care much for my family after being put into Gryffindor and neither did they. I was lucky If I got a post card off of them when they’d gone travelling let alone birthday and Christmas presents.
When Regulus started school, the hat put him straight into Slytherin. I envied him. He was what my mum and dad wanted, and as much as I hated to show it, I wanted their approval. I wanted to be loved by them despite what they supported and what they believed. It hurt when I saw him with baskets of treats and letters from home, whilst I sat over at the Gryffindor table empty handed.
I started the pranks after that, rebelling at every opportunity with James, I was past the point of caring what they thought. What did I care if they got summoned into school every week because of my behaviour; they were the ones who had disowned me. Still in second year, I already hated being compared to Regulus by name, even by looks. Everyone who didn’t know me expected me to be like him. The perfect specimen of a Slytherin.
I left the slug club when he joined, there was too much comparison and gossip as to why I wasn’t a Slytherin. It hurt despite my rough exterior it really did. That’s why I upped my pranks. I tried to tell myself there was a reason I wasn’t a Slytherin but after more arguments with my parents I didn’t really believe it to be true. What could be that important that I had to be in Gryffindor and my family had to turn against me?
My one comfort was the fact that Regulus never turned his back on me, throughout all the comparisons both good and bad, he was still there for me to a certain extent. It only dipped when he seemed to be spending more time around the people I disapproved of. After that he made me seem a whole lot worse to my family.
He improved at his school work, excelled in potions, made prefect and then was eventually made seeker in the quidditch team. Every time I noticed my parents around the school, I never lost hope that they might be there to see me in quidditch, their first born son play for Gryffindor as a seeker. They never came for me.
After every quidditch match, I retreated to the room of requirement, shutting off my tough exterior just for a few minutes, allowing myself to feel despair and to feel neglected and hurt. In a way those few minutes helped me through the day, helped me to rebel against them all. I never let anyone see how their rejection affected me. I was always the happy-go-lucky, cheeky chappy who got all the girls by emphasizing their looks.
If I didn’t have my looks to get me girls who made me feel loved, just for a few days or weeks then I don’t know how I’d have got through those few years. I hated going home for the holidays. I retreated to my room for however long we stayed there, only emerging when my father came up yelling or when family decided to make a rare appearance.
Even with family round, I wasn’t often called, it was always Regulus. The prefect, the seeker, the academic compared to me. All I had was the title of a prankster. I couldn’t even attribute my looks because generally Regulus and I , well we looked like twins. Only I didn’t turn people down, where as he did.
The final insult to me really was when mother threatened to blast my name off of the tapestry. I took every single penny I had and fled to James’s. She would have never taken Regulus off, she loved him so much for him sharing her ideology of a pureblood world. Me? Well I was just considered as a blood traitor to practically everyone in my family.
I heard off of Andromeda one day, that when my name had been mentioned, they completely shut down and started talking of Regulus. I hated the fact that he was there in all the limelight instead of me. When I finally finished school, I left home for definite. I knew I wasn’t the Regulus copy that my mother and father wanted me to be. I knew I wasn’t good enough. My realisation had finally come after eighteen years.
I finally knew I’d never be good enough.