Regulus just seemed wonderful in this to me, as I've always held a soft spot for him ever since I found he was R.A.B. and that he wasn't in fact completely bad. I liked the idea of how even though he tried to get rid of his dark mark, it stayed embedded in him forever.
It seemed as if that meant to me that even though he reformed he would still always be seen as the death eater, not the person he tried to destroy Voldemort's horcrux. I guess you can say the same for Snape as he will probably be still remembered as the one who killed Dumbledore, not for all the good he did. It seems that their goodness is black and white, not the inbetween grey which I would associate for characters like them.
I loved your brief description of Sirius, as the idea of him never being able to get rid of the idea of him being a 'Black', is similar to Snape's and Regulus's problem of never being able to get rid of the fact they were death eaters. I've never really thought about it but maybe JK was trying to challenge prejudice and discrimination, as she did with Remus as well?
You showed Regulus's devotion to the Dark Lord very well, as you could see his bitterness clearly as to when Voldemort revealed that he did not need him, but his elf.
I didn't feel as if the story was unfinished, in fact I thought the ending was one of the best parts of the story. I mean that last line - 'With a final flicker, the light burnt out.' was just great, as it had so many meanings!
I thought this was an excellent one-shot, and your writing never fails to impress me! Kiana!
Author's Response: Thank you very much for reading and reviewing this one-shot! I agree that there's something wonderfully mysterious about Regulus - we know so little about him, which is of course perfect for us fanfiction writers. :D
The image of Regulus scrubbing off the Dark Mark is what sparked this story. Although I wanted to write one about Regulus for a long time, I had no idea where to start until that image hit me. He was so young at the time, and he never had the chance to choose his future - his parents and Voldemort prescribed it all, and that's why I think he began to second-guess his loyalties to Voldemort. He would have been at that age where one questions everything, especially what adults think, and I can imagine that Regulus would feel trapped between his parents' ideals, Voldemort's bloodlust, and his brother's rebellion. It would be enough to tear anyone apart.
The problem with both Regulus and Snape is that they hid their goodness, and thus no one ever knew about it until Harry uncovered the truth. He at least was able to share that history with the world, but I agree with you that many will still think of both as Death Eaters - that if they were on Voldemort's side, they must not have been good people. It's strange, though, when you think of how easily the Malfoys reintegrated into wizarding society after Voldemort's first fall. It goes to show that money will get you anywhere... *shakes head*
It's wonderful to hear that the ending suited the story, and was indeed one of the best parts! Thank you! ^_^