Chapter Image by littlemissy @ TDA
And When he Breaks
Regulus shifted on his seat in the library and tapped the end of his quill on the parchment laying out before him. Several dots of ink scattered over the surface, making the first marks the sheet saw. The boy frowned at the ink but made no effort to get rid of it. He dropped his quill and dragged his hands back through his hair, letting out a loud groan that earned him a glare from the near-by librarian.
“It isn't that hard,” Sarah whispered as she leaned towards Regulus. “You aren't even trying.”
Regulus whipped his head towards the girl and glared at her. “I didn't say it was hard,” he hissed, shoving the parchment away from himself. “I just don't wanna do the damn thing.”
The blonde girl pursed her lips in annoyance and turned her eyes back to her own work. “You're not going to pass if you keep putting it off,” she muttered.
“I don't care,” Regulus snapped as he laid his head down on the table and mindlessly poked at the edge of his History of Magic book. “I don't even like the class. It's useless. The essays are useless. I should have dropped it when I had the chance.”
“Someone's in a mood today,” she replied without bothering to hold back her sarcasm.
“And someone's being an obnoxious bitch today,” he bit back as he sat up and slammed his book closed. He ignored Sarah's hurt expression as he shoved his things into his bag and pulled it up on his shoulder.
“Where are you going?” Sarah demanded, scrambling to gather her things and follow the boy out of the library. “I asked you a question!” She continued to follow the boy out onto the grounds and towards the lake while he continued to ignore her. “Regulus, damn it, stop ignoring me!” she shouted as they came to a stop.
“What?” Regulus drew out as he dropped his bag to the ground and turned to face Sarah. “What? What do you want? Why are you following me?” he asked, his face twisted in distress and his hands waved wildly. When Sarah merely stared back at him in silence, he curled his hands into fists and screamed through his teeth. “Speak!” he shouted.
Sarah flinched at the boy's shout and tears quickly filled her eyes. “Don't yell at me!” she choked out, throwing her bag down. “What's wrong with you? Why are you acting like such a jerk?”
The boy shook his head and remained silent as he turned away from Sarah and lowered himself to the ground. “Just go away,” he muttered, cutting his fingertips through a patch of the slushy remains that were once the winter's snow. His backside was already chilled through in the few moments he had been on the ground; his slacks slightly damp.
“But....” Sarah twisted her fingers around in the bottom of her hair and shifted her weight from side to side as she stared down at Regulus' back. “But I want to spend time with you,” she whimpered. “Don't you wanna spend time with me?”
“We have the rest of our lives to spend time together,” Regulus answered with a cold tone. His grey eyes stared out across the still surface of the lake. “I just wanna be alone for a little while.”
“Alone!” Regulus snapped. “Why is it so hard for people to understand?” He clenched his hands by his head and struggled to take deep breaths in order to keep himself calm. “I just need some time to myself,” he said slowly, forcing his words to come out steady and low. “I can't take two lousy steps out of my bed without Barty being in my face and the moment I leave the common room, you're on my ass talking about your feelings
and your hair
and your stupid friends! And-and I can't even get any private study time anymore because you hang over me like my mother telling me to finish my work and correcting my essays like it's your job to make sure I pass.”
“Okay, I get it,” Sarah whispered.
“No, I don't think you do!” Regulus growled. He got to his feet and pointed his finger towards the school. “I hate this place. Do you get that? Huh? I hate
this school! My mates are gone. All of them. And what I'm left with is you and Barty; like some kinda sick practical joke of replacements.” He dragged one hand back roughly through his hair and pulled and the black locks until it hurt. “I feel like the Professors are constantly watching me. Waiting...watching eyes all the time! Waiting for me to slip and do something to expose myself.” He gritted his teeth and yanked the sleeve back from his left arm to show his Dark Mark. Where the branding was usually a light grey colour, it now shone in a deep black. “And this,” he hissed.
“Why's it...why is it black?” the girl asked so low her words were almost nothing. Her eyes fixed hard on the Mark, worried.
Regulus let out a quiet, disturbed laugh and covered his arm back. “It's black because He wants us,” the boy answered slowly, his eyes going distant. He twisted his arm around inside of the fabric of his robes, trying to rub away the dull tingle the Mark was creating. “It's how the Dark Lord summons
everyone. It goes black and we can feel it and we go to Him but....” He snorted indignantly and rolled his eyes. “But I can't. Because I'm stuck in this damn place.”
Sarah's mouth opened and closed several times as the girl took a step back from Regulus. “You're scaring me a little,” she whispered.
“Scaring you? How am I scaring you?”
“I don't know.” She reached up with one hand and dragged it across her eyes while her other arm wrapped around her waist. “You just seem kinda...mental,” she finished in a hesitant whisper.
“Mental? You think I'm mental?” Regulus yelled, bringing his face close to the girl's.
“N-no! I don't think that you're mental. I just said that you seem kinda -”
“Yes.” Sarah ducked her head and wiped frantically at her eyes though the tears just continued to seep out. “I just wish you would calm down.”
“You want me to calm down
?” Regulus repeated, his lips twisting into an angry snarl. “I would very much like to calm down!” he shouted. “But I can't do that, because when I leave the school to come out here and calm down
I get followed!” He flung his hands towards Sarah and shook them dramatically. “Maybe, just maybe, I wouldn't be so damn mental if I had five fucking minutes to...my...self!” he growled. The boy picked up Sarah's bag and threw it to her, uncaring if she was ready or not.
“Regulus, stop being so cruel,” Sarah hissed as she let her bag fall to the ground again. “I'm just trying to be here for you. I'm just trying to love you.”
Regulus twisted his face in disgust at the word love
. “Look, Sarah, I've agreed to marry you, but you have got to stop with all that love bullshit. I'm getting really sick of hearing it.”
“I do love you though!”
“You love my name! You love that I've got a powerful family and you love how rich you're going to be and you love that I'm much better looking than that Bragge guy they wanted to marry you off to. Don't look at me like that, I know all about him. He was...what thirty?”
“See? You love the idea
of me, but you don't love me. You don't even know me,” Regulus whispered in a condescending tone. His eyes darted off behind Sarah as Polaris' form came into view. He had been avoiding the dog for the last three weeks, after the near-attack on Bartemius. At that moment, he truly wanted to be around the creature though. He put his hand down and wiggled his fingers to call the dog.
“What are y- Oh, him!” Sarah scowled at the creature and narrowed her eyes up at Regulus. “You care more about that bloody useless mutt than you care about me!”
“Yes actually, I do!” Regulus shouted back.
“You're heartless! You stand there and tell me that I don't love you, but what the hell do you know? Huh? When have you ever been in love? When have you ever thought about someone else for more than two seconds in your entire stupid life?” Sarah snatched her bag up off the ground and burst out into a fit of tears.
“That just shows how little you know about me,” Regulus hissed.
Sarah let out a teary laugh and shook her head. “You're so full of shit, Regulus! Who? Who have you ever loved
? Not Elizabeth, that's for damn sure. Mulciber? Don't think I couldn't see the way that asshole stared at you on New Years. Is it him? Was I wrong about Barty and you're seeing that pathetic excuse for a human, Mulciber?”
“You're out of your damn mind, Sarah,” Regulus growled at the girl.
“Then answer! Answer the question!” the girl shrieked, her hair flying wildly around her reddened face.
“I can't tell you,” Regulus shouted, his own eyes filling with tears. “I can't tell you.” He reached up and pressed his palms to his eyes and screamed at himself for being so weak as to let Anthony get to him after all the time that had passed.
“Y....” Sarah stared at her fiancé with wide eyes. “You're crying,” she whispered, her voice almost fearful. “You don't cry.”
“You need to leave,” Regulus said as he desperately wiped at his eyes. “I will find you before dinner and we can talk, but you need to leave right now.” He struggled to keep his voice and low and steady.
Sarah nodded and jogged back towards the castle, leaving Regulus and a whimpering Polaris behind. The boy dropped onto his knees and let a loud sob escape from his throat. The dog walked up to the crying boy and nuzzled against him, pushing himself into the boy's arms. Regulus eagerly embraced the creature and laid his face on the dog's neck, letting his tears fall onto the black fur.
“I did love him,” Regulus whispered. “I really did.” He tried his best to wipe away the tears, but new ones steadily replaced the removed. “It probably sounds insane to hear. If you could understand me, you'd be laughing at the thought. I mean...how does a person kill the guy they love?” he asked as he hugged Polaris tighter.
The dog let out a loud and heartbreaking whine making Regulus jump back. “Did I hurt you?” he asked in a panic. “I'm sorry boy, I didn't mean to squeeze you,” he told the creature, petting his hands down his head and face. “I like having you around. We have a Hogsmeade weekend for Valentine's Day coming up. I'm gonna ask around and see if you have an owner. Maybe I can buy you and you can come live with me from now on.”
“R-Regulus,” came a quiet voice from behind the boy.
Regulus spun around and glared at Della Prang. He got to his feet and grabbed his bag, never taking his eyes of the girl. “Get lost,” he spat at her.
“I need to tell you something,” she argued quickly, her light green eyes wide and worried from behind her large glasses. “It's about Sarah.”
“I don't wanna hear anything you have to say,” Regulus said coldly. Polaris bit down on the hem of the boy's robe sleeve and tugged on it. “Bad dog,” the boy said calmly. “No. I need to go inside.” He pulled his sleeve from the creature's mouth and sneered at Della once more before walking off.
A Note From the Author: Bit of a stressful time for Regulus right now. A lot going on for him and nothing he can really do to control it. Any thoughts on what Della was going to say? :) Won't ruin the surprise. Anyways, thank you for reading. --Jenna