Regulus Black stood on Platform 9 ¾ and observed the tide of eager students. Every year, before boarding the Hogwarts Express, dozens of students exchanged stories of their holiday vacations with friends, and said their goodbyes to the family they wouldn’t be seeing until Christmas Break.
A fair three inches taller than he had been last year, Regulus was already in his school attire. His green and silver tie hung loosely from his neck, and several females allowed their eyes to pass over his toned physique that was noticeable even under the black robes.
He scanned the crowd of students, nodding and waving in the direction of a few, and stopping to stare momentarily when he caught sight of his own brother, Sirius. He was chortling and wrestling with three other boys who he had become know as the Marauders with.
He watched them in interest for a bit and then deciding that the four buffoons weren’t up to anything out of the ordinary, continued with his original search.
It was her familiar, intoxicating scent that caught Regulus’ attention before he had even seen her head of long, blonde hair moving in his direction through the crowd. In no time at all, her delicate frame was standing in front of him.
A pleased smirk crossed his face as he bent his head to gently kiss her cheek.
“Hello Rhea,” he greeted smoothly.
“Regulus,” she replied, her pretty features painting the perfect picture of indifference.
After a moment of silence she opened her mouth to speak again.
“I suppose Lucius is still standing over there by the barrier,” she said softly, betraying no emotions.
Regulus peered over her shoulder and just as she said, her brother was indeed watching them from a safe distance, his blonde hair pulled back from his pale face.
Slightly entertained, Regulus nodded causing Rhea to roll her eyes.
“He thinks I’m dense. Honestly, like I wasn’t aware of him following me this whole time,” Rhea sighed, this time her voice etched with obvious frustration.
“What do you say we give him a show,” Regulus suggested. His eyes danced with mischief as he used his finger to tilt Rhea’s chin upward.
Rhea just shook her head, knocking his finger away, and turned in the direction of the train. Regulus followed her lead, still grinning from ear to ear.
Before stepping onto the Hogwarts Express, Regulus turned back once more and gave Lucius a small wave. Lucius, completely unperturbed that he had been spotted, only smirked in return as he disappeared with a swish of his cloak.
The Great Hall buzzed with noise and activity as the returning students found seats at their four, respective, house tables. Each table was set with spotless silverware, ready for the welcoming feast that would take place after the annual sorting.
Politely clapping each time his house gained a new member, Regulus was reminded to when it had been him waiting for the Sorting Hat to announce his fate.
Looking at the mass of nervous looking first years, Regulus thought of his own sorting, five years prior.
Being a Black, Regulus had grown up learning that the only acceptable house was Slytherin. All of his ancestors had worn their stripes of silver and green proudly, and Regulus had always wanted to be a part of that legacy. However, when Sirius broke that tradition and spit on the family name, he had faced one of the biggest decisions he’d had to make as a young child.
After Sirius was sorted into Gryffindor, he became dirt under his parent’s shoes. Regulus witnessed the screaming of his mother and the punishments of his father that had taken place when Sirius had come home for the Christmas Holiday of his first year, and any other time he returned home.
Late at night, back when they had shared a bedroom, Regulus would talk to Sirius as they would lie awake in bed and ask him if being sorted into Gryffindor was worth the wrath of their parents. Sirius’ answer had always remained the same.
Sirius talked to Regulus about a world of cruelty and prejudice, a world of wrong doings and murder. This world had seemed so evil and unreal to Regulus, until the day he realized that the world Sirius had been telling him about was in fact their world.
This realization had scared Regulus; and when Sirius asked him to join him and defy their parents his fear increased.
He wanted nothing to do with the world that Sirius described to him in such vivid detail; yet he knew that he was not strong enough to deal with the hatred that his own parents demonstrated to Sirius.
Do you really want to be like them? Sirius had asked him a few days before Regulus would start his first year at Hogwarts. If Regulus had been honest and told Sirius what he really felt inside, then the answer would have been no but instead he remained silent.
When the moment came for Regulus to be sorted he had timidly sat on the stool and gazed out into the crowd. It was then that Regulus had seen Sirius’ face; hopeful and almost frightened for his brother. He had admired Sirius. In one year he had gone through more than most his own age, and had been all but disowned by their parents. However, the voice in the back of Regulus’ mind, the one that sounded like his father’s own harsh voice, threatened that Sirius might be wrong. That he might be worked up over nothing, and that his rebel attitude was more foolish than brave.
He made his decision and as the sorting hat called out the house he would spend the rest of his Hogwarts’ years in, SLYTHERIN, Regulus knew that he had just separated himself from his brother for good. The friendship and brotherly love they had established over the years was vanishing before his eyes, but it was all his own doing.
After the welcoming feast, Sirius approached Regulus, a pleading look on the handsome face that was so similar to Regulus’.
“I thought you didn’t want to be like them Reg.” He had demanded, desperate to make Regulus realize his mistake.
“No good will ever come out of being a Slytherin.”
If choosing to become a Slytherin hadn’t pushed Sirius away for good, than what took place next surely did.
Pushing aside what he knew was right and his love for his Sirius, Regulus raised his eyes to his older brother and without missing a beat, molded into his new role as a Slytherin.
“I could never waste my time with mudbloods and the likes of you.”
A group of other newbie Slytherin’s howled with laughter behind Regulus. He had made it clear that he no longer wanted anything to do with Sirius, and the look on Sirius’ face told Regulus that he now felt the same way.
It was that day that the two brothers had turned and went in different directions. Sirius started to return home less and less and eventually replaced Regulus completely with James Potter. Maybe not a brother by blood but a brother nonetheless.
Then, during the summer after Sirius’ sixth year, he left Grimmauld Place for good after a particularly gruesome and violent fight with Mr. Black. Regulus had watched from his window as his brother had escaped in the dead of the night. And though he suspected that Sirius had fled to the Potter’s, when his parents asked if he had any idea where Sirius could have gone Regulus did not share his theory with them. Even though Regulus would never admit this out loud, when he had watched a battered Sirius run from his own home he had felt a twinge deep within his chest and a small part of him had wanted to go with him.
Awoken from his thoughts by the strong aroma of food, Regulus quickly looked over his shoulder to where his brother sat with his friends at the Gryffindor table. Five years later, and he no longer knew his own brother.
Sirius looked up and for a moment their eyes met. Caught off guard, Regulus held the gaze with no apparent emotion on his face, but he could have sworn he saw a saddened look pass over Sirius’ features, but as soon as it appeared it was gone and Sirius turned back to the conversation he had been having with Peter Pettigrew.
Regulus turned around once again and poked at the chicken on his plate.
“Something wrong, Black,” Severus Snape asked from across the table.
Regulus raised his eyes in mock surprise and gave his housemate a puzzled look.