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Chapter 2 : Chapter II.
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Regulus felt something like total peace as he laid there, the girl's small, fragile body in his arms. He nibbled on her ear lobe as she slept soundlessly, head tucked snugly into Regulus' chest. He loved her and yet, he felt guilty.
Pushing the guilt from his mind, he thought of his past. He didn't need her powers to revisit his own memories. He remembered every day as though it were only yesterday. For Regulus, this was more of a burden than a gift.
Feliciti stirred in her sleep and Regulus found himself rubbing her shoulders fondly, entwining his legs with hers as he turned to his side. He gazed down at her. Never had he felt so gracious of his brother, for providing him with a girl like her, although he didn't mean to.
Regulus thought, his mind pondering over the time of his childhood, where Sirius came back home after the ice-cream ordeal. How much hell he had to witness...
- - -
“Sirius!” their father bellowed as soon as a young, distraught Sirius came through the door. “Get in here!” he ordered from the kitchen.
Regulus remembered hiding behind a cabinet as Sirius came slowly in, red lines stretching across his eyes and chocolate smeared around his mouth. He felt guilty. He shouldn't have told his father what Sirius had just done.
“What did you do?” Orion Black roared, getting to his feet as the young boy before him shook.
“N- Nothing.” Sirius quivered, keeping his distance from his father. His father was large and aggressive when he wanted to be. One of the most intimidating men Regulus had ever seen in his life.
“Nothing, eh? What's that on your mouth?” he spat, taking large steps towards Sirius. Regulus immediately felt a deep regret as he watched his father shake Sirius madly, Sirius yelping at him to stop. “DID YOU TALK TO A MUGGLE?!” his voice thundered throughout the whole house.
It was difficult for Sirius to reply as his father continued to shake him violently.
“DID YOU?!” Gobs of spit landed on Sirius' face and Regulus watched with horror as his father threw Sirius across the room. “If I ever hear you've been talking to those filthy beings, you'll be packing your bags and we'll send you to live with them in their filthy home.”
Sirius didn't think that was such a bad idea, but he held his tongue. Regulus watched as Sirius remained as a slump on the floor, his knees held up against his small body, his face contorting into pain as their father stormed out of the room.
Regulus let out a little whimper as he ran out from behind the cabinet and towards his brother, tripping over the leg of a chair before getting back up and running towards him.
Sirius hid his face behind his hair and kept his arms around his knees, compacting himself in an attempt to disappear into the wall behind him.
Regulus put a hand on his older brother's knee, only to find it jerked off.
“Get away from me!” the older brother yelled, pushing Regulus' hand off of his knee. “You told on me!”
“I'm sorry!” Regulus cried, attempting to pry his brother's arms away from his knees. “I'm sorry, I'm sorry!”
“Leave me alone!” Sirius bawled, pushing his younger brother firmly on the chest. “Go away!”
Regulus watched with remorse as he looked at his role model from the floor. He slowly got up and decided to follow his brother's command. He edged away slowly, in case Sirius called him back. When he reached the door, one last look at his fraught older brother and he ran up to his room.
- - -
Feliciti stirred again and rubbed her warm nose against Regulus' chest. Regulus held her even more tightly as he looked up at the darkness of the cave. He kissed her absent mindedly on the forehead as he thought more of his childhood... Their childhood.
- - -
Regulus remembered spying on his brother and the pretty girl who'd offered him her hand. He remembered hiding in the safety of the bushes as Sirius sat cross legged on the floor, the same girl sitting besides him. She watched as a leaf soared in the air and around her. She giggled. This was two years later.
Even at a young age, Regulus could feel a tinge of jealousy as he watched Sirius laughing along, having a good time. He longed to have what Sirius had, but for fear of his parents, he fought against it.
“Do you think I could do it too?” The girl's voice was exceptionally high, yet, extremely appealing. You could never get enough of hearing her voice.
Regulus had spied on his brother every day for two years and every day, he'd spent his time with the girl.
“Who knows, you might.” Sirius smiled at her as he let the leaf land on top of her head. Suddenly, Sirius jerked and put his hand to his rear pocket, fingers searching for a piece of parchment he'd just received last night. “Feli, guess what!” Sirius' eyes twinkled as he waved the parchment around in the air.
“What?” Feliciti squealed, bobbing her head to the movement of the parchment.
“I've been asked to go to Hogwarts!” Sirius yelled excitedly, shoving the parchment inches away from her face.
“I didn't know Hogs had warts! I thought it was only witches!” The girl bubbled, trying to keep Sirius' hands still.
Regulus snorted behind the bushes as Sirius laughed loudly. Their mother was a witch and she definitely didn't have any warts.
“What's Hogwarts?” the girl continued, brows furrowing as she tried reading the slanted writing. It was quite difficult for her to read adult writing.
“It's a school where they teach you how to control magic! And I'll be gone for most of the year!” Sirius was excited to finally be able to get away from his family but Regulus could never forget the fall of Feliciti's face.
“You'll be gone?” she asked, looking away from the paper and into Sirius' face. Sirius' smile fell as well as the girl's bottom lips trembled.
“I'll- I'll be back for Christmas!” Sirius assured her, attempting to cheer her up.
Feliciti's eyes became moist. She would definitely miss Sirius. She hadn't made much friends from the neighbourhood. They'd all thought her weird because she associated with him.
“Don't cry, I won't forget you,” Sirius told her, putting a hand on hers as slow tears fell down her soft cheeks.
Regulus could feel a scowl on his face as he watched his brother comfort a muggle. That's just disgusting.
The girl started to sob, her hand trembling on her knee. She wiped one of her hands across her white pleated skirt, drying it from the tears as Sirius made soothing sounds to her. Feliciti tapped the tips of her ballet, flat shoes together as she continued to wail. She'd just come back from her grandmother's house, so it was normal that she wore stockings, black shoes, a skirt and a nice shirt.
“I'll write to you everyday,” Sirius told her, picking her hands up in his and smiling broadly at her.
“P- Promise?” she trembled, looking up with her teary eyes.
Sirius nodded fervently and Feliciti held out her pinky finger.
“Promise.” she sniffed. Sirius raised an eyebrow at her as he didn't know what the pinky meant. As though she could read his mind, “You hold out your own pinky finger and twist it around mine.”
Regulus thought that was just stupid. The unbreakable vow was the right way to go, not some silly muggle, pinky twisting thing.
Sirius smiled widely and raised his pinky hesitantly. Feliciti twisted hers around his and shook once.
- - -
Regulus, felt a tinge of anger at his older brother now. Regulus, despite all his efforts, couldn't forget the gloomy face of Feliciti as she sat at the same spot every day, at the same time, waiting for Sirius. He never came.
He remembered how she would just sit there. Whether it be Summer, Winter, Autumn or Spring, she sat there. Regulus couldn't help but feel a hint of despair as he watched her, the hedge hiding himself from her.
She's yuck, he could remember himself repeating in his head, she's icky, yucky, gross. Regulus watched as she took out a crumpled piece of parchment out of her coat pocket, a watery frown as she read through it. Regulus took out his own letter from his older brother and looked from it to her. His face portrayed shock as he saw tears begin to roll down her white cheeks.
“You promised!” she sobbed to herself, startling Regulus as he thought she was talking to him. But of course, she was talking about Sirius. Sirius who didn't write back anymore. Regulus watched with innocent surprise as she ripped the piece of parchment up into tiny little pieces and threw them in the air, letting it fly away with the wind.
~ ~ ~
The Christmas holidays came by and Regulus was there at platform 9 and ¾ to pick up his older brother.
Sirius roared with delight as he saw his younger brother grinning at him, a large man and a thin, gaunt looking woman on either side of him. The two parents looked distraught rather than delighted to see their eldest son again.
“Sirius!” Regulus beamed as he ran up towards him to give him a big hug. Sirius laughed as he put an arm around his brother, patting his back roughly. Another boy stood with his parents just behind them, smiling widely at the two, his glasses crooked and his black hair messy.
“Reg, I want you to meet someone,” Sirius said, gesturing for the other boy to come forward. The black haired boy came bouncing by, a lopsided smile on his face. “Reg, this is Plotter- I mean, James. James Potter.”
“Hey,” James said, nodding his head warmly at the shorter boy. Regulus nodded back and pulled on Sirius' arm. “I'll see you in a few weeks.” he said loudly, smiling at him before turning back to his parents.
Mr. and Mrs. Black looked down at their son and without a word, held on to each of the boys' wrists and spun. A crack and they'd arrived back home. The home which had hardly been decorated in the spirit of Christmas.
“What house?” Mr. Black asked shortly, as he began to leave the kitchen. They obviously hadn't been reading the letters Sirius had sent them.
“Gryffindor.” Sirius replied, a cold look in his eyes. Regulus' head snapped towards his older brother and grimaced. There hadn't been a single Black to have been in Gryffindor. They'd all been in Slytherin. Mr. Black almost took the roof offthe house, literally, while Mrs. Black screeched so loudly that Regulus could swear someone had just dropped a piece of china three doors down the street.
“GRYFFINDOR?!” Mr. Black thundered, turning around to meet Sirius as he stood there, uninterested. “GRYFFINDOR?! DO YOU REALISE WHAT YOU'VE DONE, BOY?! DO YOU?!” They would definitely need a mop afterwards.
Sirius glared at him, jaws tight as Regulus' head flicked back and forth.
“Seven centuries!” Walburga Black – their mother - shrieked, eyes wide and hair messy over her face, “Seven centuries of being placed in the House of Salazar!”
“YOU FOOL!” Orion Black roared, taking massive steps towards Sirius. Sirius continued glaring, not saying a word as he remained firm on his spot. “YOU!” he shouted at Regulus; who yelped with shock as his father turned to him, “You! You better be in Slytherin!” His threat might've sounded like nothing, but to Regulus, this threat just scared the life out of him.
~ ~ ~
“Kreacher,” Regulus muttered in his room as Sirius left for a walk around the square, “What if I don't make it to Slytherin?” Regulus was frightened of what might happen.
“Master should not think that way. If Master wants to be in Slytherin, he will be in Slytherin.” Kreacher answered, standing besides Regulus who was only a head taller than Kreacher.
Regulus thought. From what he'd heard from Sirius, Gryffindor seemed to be the ideal house to be put in. But then again, Sirius had always been the black sheep; white in the Black's version.
~ ~ ~
“I'm sorry!” Sirius apologised again and again to Feliciti as she stood at the door. She'd been left with a baby sitter who'd fallen asleep, as her parents went for a two day cruise.
Feliciti crossed her arms tightly against her chest as her lips pushed out to form a cute frown. “But I told you I'll be back for Christmas,” he said with an attempt to make her happy.
Feliciti's frown slowly ceased and was replaced with a look of awe as she listened to Sirius recount what's been happening at Hogwarts.
“And then- and then, we made this group up called 'The Marauders' and we're all working on nicknames and its cool!” Sirius exclaimed, sitting on her doorstep as she sat in front of him, in the house.
“What's your nickname?” she asked, mouth hanging open as she tried to contemplate everything he'd just told her.
“The Black Gryffindor!” Sirius proclaimed excitedly as Feliciti blinked. That was extremely lame, but she didn't say anything. Instead, she smiled encouragingly. “I got you something,” he said suddenly, plunging his hand into his overlarge pocket on his coat. “There's this wizard town thing where they sell a lot of cool things, but don't tell anyone I got you this because it was only third years and above who were allowed to go.”
Her brows furrowed as she thought, who would she possibly tell? Sirius took out a rolled up brown paper bag, and handed it over to Feliciti, a big smile on his face.
Feliciti peered into the bag and screamed as a chocolate frog jumped right at her. “Get it off, get it off!” A loud snort came from the living room.
“You can eat it!” Sirius yelled at her, “Bite its legs off!” He tried taking the frog off of her face but was finding it quite difficult as her hands were waving around everywhere.
The frog croaked and it bounced off into the garden.
“Are there anymore of them?” Feliciti asked, frightened. She peered again through a small hole she made at the top.
“I only got you one,” Sirius said, crestfallen. “Try the Bertie Botts!” He instantly smiled again and watched as Feliciti took out the box.
“What is it?” she asked, cautiously studying the box.
“Every flavour beans! Try it, try it!”
She opened the box from the top and put a hand in, hand roaming for a random bean. She pulled out a brown/orange bean and studied it, frowning.
“What is it?” she asked, perplexed.
“One way to find out,” Sirius said with a mischievous grin. “I'll take one too, so you won't feel bad.”
Feliciti didn't think much of it so she plopped the bean into her mouth and chewed immediately. As soon as all the flavour came out, she could feel herself begin to gag. She leant past Sirius and spat the bean back out into the grass. She started to cough.
“What was that?” she hiccupped, wiping away any residue on her lips.
Sirius grinned and took a bite into his own pink one. “What did it taste like to you?” he asked innocently, chewing pleasantly on his.
“It tasted like... something like worms,” she mumbled hesitantly. Her eyes widened as Sirius' smile widened. “No...” she gasped. Sirius nodded, smile too big for his face. “You!” she shrieked playfully, lunging forward to tickle him as he chuckled.
~ ~ ~
By the end of the holidays, the two had rekindled their friendship and were best friends once again.
Regulus waited in the square as Sirius pushed through the hedges to say good bye to Feliciti. He couldn't help but feel disappointed as his older brother had been spending much more time with the muggle girl than he did with him.
Their parents had calmed down throughout the holidays, although his father hadn't completely forgiven him. Once or twice, Regulus had overheard his mother mumbling to his father: “At least he isn't a squib...” in an effort to comfort him.
Regulus hugged Sirius once again and watched with sadness as Sirius ran off to join his three newly found friends on board of the train.
He certainly missed his brother, more than he would probably ever know.
- - -
Regulus sighed heavily as he began to rub Feliciti's arms again. He kissed her once again on the forehead and smiled sadly as she moaned in her sleep.
“Regulus?” she muttered sleepily, rubbing her nose once again on his chest.
“Mmm?” Regulus murmured, turning on his side so that he could become closer to her body.
Feliciti lifted her head and placed it on top of Regulus' firm chest, hand draping over his toned stomach as she felt his heart beat. “Why aren't you asleep?” Her voice was clear, even though it was a tad groggy.
“I've been thinking,” he said, snuggling into her as he placed a hand on her waist.
“About?” Feliciti asked, letting her lips move softly on his chest as she spoke.
Regulus took a while to reply. “Ice cream and leaves.”
Feliciti laughed into his chest, causing him to shudder slightly. “Your childhood.” she knew. She'd been following his mind as he thought all that time.
She could feel him nod. “Our childhood,” he corrected her, moving his hand to beneath her hair, onto her neck as he rubbed it gently.
Regulus would never forget it. Feliciti giggled again and moved up to nibble on his bottom lip softly, her head right besides his as he nipped on her top one.
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