Chapter 1 : Facing The Mirror
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I never learn.
I cup my hands together, and take a big handful of water and splash it over my face. I put my hands to my cheeks, my eyes, and through my hair all the way down to my neck. I blink and sniff my nose, letting the droplets of water fall down over the sink. I stare at myself in the mirror.
Every time I woke up and washed my face and stared at my reflection in the mirror, I could see a part of my old self die. The old Regulus. Vanishing. Right before my eyes.
And there was nothing I could do about it.
You could say that my days were numbered, but it wouldn’t be appropriate.
Rather, it was as if my time was running out.
I was running out of time, at too fast of a pace, to realize what was really going on. It’s as if I was letting myself take a blind trail through the woods, dealing with what ever came at me by surprise. Did I want my life to be like that, until it was time for me to change myself into a completely different person?
I rest my hands on either side of the sink, and look at my reflection intently. I do not like what I see. My face confirms what I thought about myself walking blindly through the woods. All I see is an expression on my face that’s easily readable: Come what may.
Is that how I think of it, really? I’m not sure. My face seems to think so. It’s almost as if my body knew what was going to happen all along, but my insides didn’t. Almost as if my insides were loosing a sense of direction within me. It felt like my insides were pushing me back; hesitant, for what was (sooner or later) going to occur.
But I pushed all those insecurities away quite a long time ago. I hid it, or rather, tried to lie to myself. I could live frugally by surprise in the woods. Yes. I could do it. I just needed to get a grip. I realized that trying to get nervous about it now wasn’t going to change anything. My family expected this from me.
It’s not as if I chose this for myself, but it’s not as if I had a choice to object.
I was to do what my family told me to do.
And if that meant giving my soul up for a life’s worth of servitude, so be it.
And that’s what leads me to here. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
One of the most prestigious magic-schools in the world. Needless to say, I like it here. It’s an enjoyable place. Not too quiet and not too loud. There are enough diverse kinds of people here to keep it interesting, and some of the professors are actually quite decent. But that’s not why I’m here, because I really didn’t have a choice when I was eleven. I’m here because of everyone else who happens to be here.
Cousins, friends of the family, friends within the… coven.
Since First Year, I was to follow within the footsteps of those above me. Those who were already half way through school, or those close to it. Lucius Malfoy, Bellatrix Black, Rodolphus Lestrange, and Narcissa Black were the top four. The important role models I had to hang around. Then the others followed.
I was told to see them as examples of how I should act. I was pretty sure, after my First Year, that I had their characteristics down pat. I stood straight when I walked, like Lucius. I practiced my charm, like Narcissa. I learned how to see others based on their blood alone, like Rodolphus. And lastly, I taught myself to ignore the voice in my head telling me I was just a bit crazy, like Bellatrix. I was told to follow them for a reason – and that it would be explained to me when I was old enough to comprehend the bigger issue. Like any other child, I obeyed my parents. I never objected or questioned their tactics to train me.
And then, when I was old enough (hardly, I was about thirteen) they explained to me what our world was about. The bigger issue was intently described to me.
Lord Voldemort was the ‘bigger issue’.
He was expecting me to be like my family. But for some strange reason, I always got the impression that my family wanted me to do this more than Voldemort himself. But I kept my mouth shut. They were expecting me to follow in tradition’s footsteps. I had enough pressure as it was, and then my brother Sirius Black just had to go and ruin everything.
Now I have twice as much pressure to do what Sirius did not. All of this… demanding burden… is hanging on me now, and I must succeed. If I do not… well, I’m not sure what will happen.
I can only imagine that Lord Voldemort would probably get over it if I didn’t join his little club. I mean, He’d be immensely disappointed – but He would most likely not care after a certain point, and realize I wasn’t as worthy to work for him as my family told him I was. The way Lord Voldemort thinks, He would only see me as another cliché because of Sirius. But then again, I can’t read his mind (I’m pretty sure it’s the other way around). Who knew if He was to go out and find me? Murder me with the use of numbers for my supposed betrayal?
I always used to contemplate this secretly in my head, not letting out a word to anyone what I thought about this. I weighed my options a long time ago. And I let them go as quickly as I thought them up. But now and then, I really couldn’t help when those ideas just popped up in my mind.
Not that it really matters. Even if Voldemort didn’t care about me joining the dark side, my family would never get over it. They would make sure I would pay for their disappointment. Voldemort might not murder me, but my family definitely would. I am sure of it.
After all, we are The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black.
And anything that isn’t perfect in our line of dark magic must be removed.
I head out of the bathroom, and make my way over to my bed, where my uniform is neatly laid out. Picking up my Fifth Year robes, and I look at the Slytherin crest.
“Hey, have you seen my tie?” Antonio McAvery asks from the bed across from me.
“No, mate. I haven’t,” I reply. I stare at the wall as I get dressed.
Antonio gives me a weary look but doesn’t say anything. He knows. He knows about me and what’s coming for me. He knows because I told him. He is the closest thing I have to a best friend. Antonio is the only decent friend I have that isn’t training me to be a death eater. And he’s still loyal to me. I wish I could repay him… with something more than just my trust. But I don’t know where to start. Someday I will, though.
“So where are you guys headed later on tonight?”
“Lucius is taking me to Hogsmeade for some Christmas shopping. I’m helping him pick something out for Narcissa.”
“Yeah. What about you? Getting something for Dominique?”
“Not sure yet. We’ve only been dating for a month. Isn’t jewelry too much for the first Christmas? Maybe some boots or something…”
I chuckle. “Maybe.”
“And you?” Antonio asks me, as put I on my tie. I look up at him.
“What about me?”
“What do you want for Christmas, Regulus?”
“I hope you’re not planning to get me anything, Antonio.”
I have everything I need, and he knows that what ever present he’d end up getting me, I’d probably already have. All courtesy to my rich upbringing.
“Never crossed my mind. I’m just wondering, though,” he says, interestingly.
I think for a bit. “Not sure, maybe a nice journal or something.”
He raises his eyebrow at me. “A journal? For what?”
I’d be perplexed, too, if I was Antonio. How could I want something so simple? A Black, wanting a… journal, for Christmas? I’m sixteen, after all. I’m not a child.
“I don’t know. I think maybe I’d want to write some things down? Remember the good moments in my life, you know? If there are any to come, that is. I’d like to keep something I can look back on. And a journal seems just right.”
“Nothing. Just wondering how you’re gonna spend the rest of Fifth Year.”
Getting ready for the monster I’ll have to become, I want to say.
“I’ll spend them like I’ve spent all my other years here. Studying, talking, eating, some laughing maybe, walking-”
“That’s not what I meant,” he cuts off.
“What do you mean?”
“Besides me, your Slytherin comrades, and family friends… who do you have?”
I roll my eyes. “In what sense?” He doesn’t respond and I go to reach for my cologne. I know where this is going.
“You’re not referring to me being alone, are you?” I spray the expensive scent on my neck and chest.
“I’m just saying, Regulus. A girl would be nice. Some one to keep you company when you’re lonely.”
“I’m not the dating type, I’ve told you that.” I feel like I’ve entered a conversation with Narcissa about my relationship issues.
“Every other guy I know is dating someone or is in a relationship. Don’t you want that sense of security, too?”
“I don’t need a girl to make me feel secure about myself,” I finish with the last word. We grab our books and make our way out of the dungeons in time for breakfast.
“What ever you say…” I hear Antonio mumble.
Potions cannot be anymore monotonous.
“…and copy these notes. When you’re finished with that, come up to my desk and find out who you’re paired up with. We’re starting a new project. And you know what that means; new projects, new partners!” Professor Slughorn scratches his thick mustache and claps his hands together, signaling that he’s done speaking.
I stand corrected.
Potions can be more monotonous.
The beginning of Potions class has been the same for as long as I can remember. Copy notes, do work. Do work, copy notes. It was a never ending cycle of boredom and unexplained explosions. One could say Potions wasn’t my favorite class. One could also say Potions wasn’t my least favorite class. Potions has always been, for me, a class that was more like a stand still. Where you could think but not think too hard. Where you could learn but not learn too much at once. It was.... the opposite of challenging. But, hey, you don’t see me objecting about how Professor Slughorn runs his classroom, do you? No, you don’t. Because I don’t mind consistency. It removes unnecessary bullshit and keeps things uncomplicated.
But it doesn’t keep things from becoming boring and dull.
I write down all my notes. I get up and take a long look around the room, glancing at the whispering students. Half of them are staring at me timidly, and the others are still taking notes. I really don’t understand why people look at me like I’m going to beat them up. I mean I’m only a Fifth Year, and there are still some older students that find me intimidating. Is it because I’m a Black? Is it the dark hair? The broad shoulders? I’m on the tall side, sure. I look older, obviously. But I don’t speak to anyone. I don’t engage in random conversation with students. I keep my distance. I don’t commit tomfoolery like Sirius and his other friends. I only stay up when I’m with Rodolphus or Lucius. In a way, they’re like my big brothers. But in a twisted and demented and sick kind of way.
Never did I think about the bond that formed between us three men before. We’re bonded by this duty to perfect our perfections and to be what our family wants us to be. Not until right now, having people stare at me while I walk up to Professor Slughorn’s desk, have I thought about how strange our bond really is. And how ordered it is. We’re respectful to each other until we ‘cross over’ to what our parents have set out for us. The future they set out for us since day one.
I grimace as I look over the sheet with my new partner’s name on it: Annabelle Nastusia.
It sounds familiar, but I can’t remember a face belonging to that name. She definitely isn’t in my house, that’s for sure. I look around the room, ignoring the gazes, in search for my new partner. I hope she isn’t a Gryffindor; I don’t want things to be too difficult. I don’t know what she looks like, but if I can’t find her now, she’ll find me soon enough. I set the list back on Professor Slughorn’s desk and turn around only to knock into someone, dropping their papers and quill, and send them backwards on the ground on their derrière.
Without hesitation, I immediately begin to crouch to pick up their belongings.
“I’m sorry – I honestly didn’t see you…” I pick up the student’s books and lay them in a neat pile next to their legs. Next to their very nice long legs. I look at the student’s face, and find a pair of blue eyes staring back at mine.
“No harm done,” the girl says quickly, elbows propping her up off the floor. She has beige skin and a good complexion; it compliments her eyes and brightens up her face. Her warm face threw me off guard, and I kept her waiting a second too long because I forgot what I was going to say.
“I, uh… apologize.” I cough a bit, “That must have hurt.” I offer her my hand to help her up. She takes it. And then I grab her things off the ground.
“It’s okay, really. I’m fine. I couldn’t see where I was going, anyway. Carrying all those books, I shouldn’t have been walking around so aimlessly.” Oh, she really does have nice skin up close. She has to be European or something. Her face is basically flawless. And for some reason this worries me.
I hand her back her belongings. “Thank you,” she says, the words leaving her lips in an elegant manner. I swallow a lump I didn’t know I had down my throat.
“Regulus,” I say, introducing myself. I try to smile.
“Annabelle,” she smiles back.
Author's Note: Alright. So, here's the thing. I was thinking of doing a Regulus/OC story for QUITE some time now. I wanted it to be raw, and revealing. I don't think anyone's tried to create a world seen through the eyes of those who were condemned to being death eaters... besides the usual, like Lucius/ Rodolphus/ Bellatrix/ Narcissa. I though to myself, Regulus Black was so young when he died, he barely enjoyed life itself. So I wanted to base his life around the four popular death eaters themselves, to create an elite group of students that belonged in Slytherin. No one truly knows Regulus' story. And I want to try it for myself.
Thoughts on my first chapter? My style is always consisting of short first chapters, so let me know what you think of the way I just developed Regulus' character so far! I promise you, it's going to get better.
It's going to be dark, it's going to be tricky, it's going to be lucrative, and it's going to be angsty. But maybe, just maybe, it's going to be worth it.