Chapter 1 : Both Friend and Rival
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He is my most beloved friend and my bitterest rival, my confidant and my betrayer;
My sustainer and my dependent, and scariest of all, my equal.
Since we were little, I’ve always looked up to my big brother. He was self-righteous, confident and everything that I wish I was. Even though we fought and argued a lot, he was still my brother. I remember how competitive he was, especially with me. It started when we were only young, maybe five or six-years old. If I had two roast potatoes on my plate, he’d grab a third and brag that he had more. When I had a girlfriend, he’d end up with two and switched between them every second day.
Although he was popular and adored by pretty much everyone at school, when we were back at home, he was tormented and became just another one of those fragile humans who cowered under their parent’s shadow. No matter what he did, he was punished severely. When he came home for Christmas in first year, he was sent to his room with no food for five days because he was sorted into Gryffindor.
As he got older, the punishments just got worse. When he came home for the summer after fourth year, I knew he was in big trouble. Our parents found out about the half-blood werewolf he hung around with and decided to think for nearly two weeks about his punishment. Sirius remained in his room for those fourteen days, twiddling his thumbs and feeling physically sick with nerves.
“Regulus!” Our father, Orion Black, was not a man to be kept waiting. The second I heard my name, I tore out of my bedroom and raced down the stairs towards him. He was standing calmly in the hallway, his hands behind his back and his head held high. He was a proud man, very strict and old-fashioned. He took the name of Black very seriously.
“I want you to go into the living room and stay there. Do not move until I say so,” he said sternly. I nodded obediently and made my way into the living room. I took a seat down on the leather couch and kept my gaze on the fireplace in front of me. A few minutes later, my father barged into the room, dragging Sirius along with him.
“You have hurt this family for the last time,” Orion snarled, pressing his fingers deeper into the skin on Sirius’ arm. I could see the pain and fear reflected in my brother’s eyes as he fell to the ground, landing on his hands and knees. “Regulus!” he roared again. I scrambled to my father’s side, staring down at Sirius with wide eyes. “I want you to watch and see what happens when inferiors think they’re better than us.” He raised his wand and out of instinct, I grabbed onto his wrist with a yell but it was too late.
I still remember the bright light that shot out of my father’s wand. I closed my eyes and turned away, not wanting to see my brother writhe on the ground in pain but I could still hear him. I knew the Unforgivable had hit him for his screams continued to ring in my ears for hours on end. When I opened my eyes again, I could only stand there and watch in horror as he sobbed uncontrollably and shook with pain. “Regulus, come!” my father roared but this time, I didn’t listen. I could only stand there; I remained rooted to the spot as Sirius rolled over onto his side and curled up into a ball.
Frightened that Father would do the same to me for not obeying, I hurried out of the room after him but not before taking a last glance back at Sirius who was doing his best not to move so much. I had never seen him look so fragile before.
Sirius was dragged to his room and left there for weeks without any food or water. He was only allowed out at certain times to use the bathroom but that was it. The letters he received from his friends went unanswered as our mother, Walburga, seized them all and burned them. I managed to catch a glimpse of him on the third week as he was walking back to his room and I barely even recognized him.
He was gaunt and his skin was a pale gray; his face was expressionless, it showed no emotion whatsoever. The last time I saw him he was overflowing with life. Now, he was an empty shell that had one too many punishments set on him. He gave me a weak smile before entering his bedroom. My eyes brimmed with tears as the door shut closed behind him and I hurried into my bedroom before my parents or Kreacher could see the tears rolling down my cheeks.
While my father was at work and my mother was out at her brother’s, a letter came for Sirius from James. His room was magically locked from the inside and out so I couldn’t give him the letter. Instead, I threw myself down onto the couch and read it for myself. Although he didn’t say it, I could tell James was worried.
I wish you were here, mate. Mum is baking those muffins that you love so much and the kitchen smells amazing!
Looking up at the ceiling, I imagined how hungry my brother must have been so I pushed the letter into my pocket and walked into the kitchen. Kreacher was the only one in the house, save for my parents, who could unlock Sirius’ bedroom door. As he favoured me the most, we spent the next two hours baking muffins to give to Sirius.
“Kreacher, you have to promise me not to tell mother and father,” I said as I pulled the freshly-baked muffins out of the oven.
“Kreacher will not say a word, Master Regulus!” I threw the whole lot of them onto the biggest plate I could find and hurried up the stairs to Sirius’ bedroom with Kreacher following close behind. He quickly unlocked the door and I stepped inside. My eyes instantly flew up to the walls where he had stuck numerous posters of motorbikes and bikini-clad Muggle models. He had a notice board stuck to the wall also but it was plastered with photos of him and his friends along with Gryffindor banners and posters.
My heart ached with jealousy and betrayal. I was prepared to turn on my heel and leave the room, keeping the muffins to myself, before I caught sight of the huge photo frame on his bedside table. Edging closer, I saw it boasted a collage of photos he had made himself. It had several pictures of me and him, dating back from when I was born right up to last year. I carefully laid the plate down and sat on the edge of my brother’s bed where he was sleeping peacefully.
I gently shook him awake and smiled when his eyes opened. “I brought something for you.” Sirius sat up against his headboard as he was too weak to hold himself up anymore. His gaze followed mine and landed on the plate of muffins sitting on the small table beside him.
“For me?” he croaked his voice hoarse from thirst. He reached out and grabbed a muffin before biting into it hungrily. I left him to it and made to leave the room but he grabbed my arm and pulled me back down beside him. “Have one.” I shook my head fiercely and stood up again.
“They’re for you. You haven’t eaten in three weeks.” I hurried out of the room before he could say anything else and got Kreacher to lock the door behind me. It was another two days before Sirius was released from lockdown. He fell down at the kitchen table that evening and could barely keep down his food. He wasn’t my brother anymore. He was a starving mess who kept his eyes to the ground.
One morning, I woke up to find Sirius gone. His owl, his clothes, his music records and his books were all gone. My mother screamed bloody murder when she found out he had sneaked off during the night to escape to James’ house. By the end of the week, Sirius’ bedroom held a thick layer of dust. After everything I had done for him, he was gone without so much as a measly goodbye. I locked myself in my room and tore it apart, screaming loudly until I couldn’t scream anymore.
He betrayed me. He thought of James as a better brother. Everything I did was meaningless. The thought of him being Crucioed brought a smile to my face. Then, it frightened me. It scared the living hell out of me to see my brother writhe in pain. But now, it made me laugh. I pictured it happening again. I pictured myself doing it to other people. I was thirteen-years old then. My feelings towards my brother disintegrated and they were replaced with loathing. To me, he was just another one of those Muggle-loving blood traitors.
In my time of dying, I realized, although we had our differences, he was still my brother. He may have been my rival but he was still a confidant. He was my sustainer and my dependent, and scariest of all, my equal.
This was just an idea that struck me all of a sudden. It’s told from Regulus’ POV around the time he died. I always thought Sirius was one of the last things he thought about before he died. I hope you enjoyed! Please read and review (: