Crisp autumn air pounded my face as I exited the carriage behind Severus Snape. I have no idea why we let him hang out with us. Out of pity I suppose. The stormy weather displayed on the Great Hall ceiling earlier had now dwindled into a drizzle and I was getting wetter the longer I stood here. As I drew up my hood, I heard an all too familiar bark of laughter somewhere ahead of me. My head snapped up, neck popping as I did so. Great. I really didn’t want to deal with him right now.
My brother Sirius. Nearly makes my life a living hell whenever I have the misfortune of being around him. He needs someone to pick on when he’s not at school and who better than the younger brother. Not only that, but he’s a big embarrassment to the family. Nearly every single member of the family that I know of has been in Slytherin. It’s an honor, a family tradition. But rather than being a proud Slytherin like the rest of our family, he chooses to be one of the muggle-loving Gryffindors, the worst of the four houses. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad—hell, I’m bloody ecstatic that he ran away last summer and my parents blasted him, the one glaring bad mark, off the family tapestry, but I must admit that things have been much quieter, boring, and dare I say, a bit lonely since he left. Now, there was no one to pick random, meaningless fights with, no one to have ‘whose house is best’ contests with, no one to attack randomly and blame the house elf when we both knew who was really at fault. Of course I couldn’t really admit that I missed any of these things. I have appearances to keep up. A sigh escaped me. Oh well, at least I still had Kreacher. He wasn’t the most amazing form of companionship—I can’t tell you how tired I get of being called ‘master’ all the time—but he was better than nothing.
“Hey, Reg!” called Rabastan from ahead of me, “Hurry it up would you!”
“Coming!” I called back as I cast a quick look around, checking that I had all my stuff. As I was turning to run after my friends, I caught sight of two people getting out of the carriage behind me, two girls to be exact. The one with blonde hair I recognized as my Potions partner, Seren Crawford, and the other I assume was her friend. To be honest, the friend creeps me out. Whenever she’s around me I catch her staring with this ravenous look in her eyes. I would say that that’s enough to creep anyone out.
Crawford, on the other hand, was different. I mean, by no means did I fancy her, but I must admit, being around her did offer a change of pace. She was one of the few girls in my year who was fairly even tempered and didn’t give me the impression of being too crazy about the opposite sex, or me for that matter. But, that’s the way things worked around here. Whoever wasn’t crazy about Sirius liked me instead and I was just willing to bet that Crawford was a Sirius fan girl. I mean, it was either that or she was really good at hiding her sexuality, or maybe she was a lesbian. That would certainly be an interesting theory, but considering her creepy friend, I’d have to doubt it.
I paused as I continued watching the two girls gather their things from the carriage. Bad idea. As I stood there, Crawford’s friend must have sensed me looking or something because suddenly, her head snapped up and her gaze met mine. It was as if a dam broke within her because almost instantly her eyes were flooded with hunger.
“Hey! Wait up!” I called out desperately as I ran for my life—um, I mean—as I rushed to catch up with the retreating backs of my friends. That was a close call. At great risk I chanced a look back and saw the girl’s downcast face and Crawford’s annoyed one. I was safe, for now at least.
The day at Hogsmeade progressed pretty uneventfully. We went to a few stores, bought a few things, tormented a few of the lower years, but that was it, just another ordinary trip to Hogsmeade.
I was making my way back to the Slytherin Common Rooms alone since I missed the carriage with my friends. I would have been with them, but I’d been sighted by Crawford’s friend and had to make myself scarce or risk having her follow me back to the school. Eventually my mind wandered back to my very first Hogsmeade trip. I remember thinking it was the greatest place on Earth at the time. All the candy, the drinks, the joke shop, and especially the Quidditch store just made my little thirteen year old heart wand to burst with joy. Now, however, it has become so mundane. There’s nothing new there. It’s all just the same old stuff, in the same old place, that I’ve seen a million times before.
I know I’m not the only person thinking this. Half the people in my year don’t even bother going anymore unless it’s for something like Christmas or any other occasion where gifts are needed. Back when I was a first year, I was just baffled as to why the higher years would pass up such an amazing opportunity to get out of the castle, but now I completely understood why.
I trudged down to the end of the stairwell that led to the Slytherin Common Room. The wide stone wall loomed ahead of me. Rough, dull, no paintings, torches or statues. Yes, this was the entrance to the Slytherin Common Room.
“Damn it.” I cursed softly to myself, “What’s the bloody password?” I stood there for a good ten minutes, wracking my brain for the password and tossing out random ones from years before. The prefects had just changed the password yesterday and I hadn’t bothered to find out what it was. “Damn it!”
Out of frustration I swung my foot out and gave the wall a good hard kick. Stupid idea. I grabbed my foot, cursing some more at the wall. As the colorful words left my mouth, the wall slid aside to reveal the ghostly green common room.
I looked at where the wall had been in confusion. “What the hell? The password is ‘bloody fu-’”
“Regulus?” Rabastan poked his head out through the opening, “What’re you doing our here? You just get back?” A grin crossed his face as he saw me clutching my foot. He crossed his arms and moved to lean against the door. “Forgot the password already, huh?” He said smugly.
“Shut up,” I muttered as I pushed by him and walked into the common room. I sighed as I fell into my favorite big, soft, emerald couch in front of the fire. Ethereal green lights danced around me and the common room and the warmth from the fire caressed me in waves as I shifted and made myself comfortable.
Rabastan plopped into the armchair adjacent to the couch I was on. “So,” he began, but I quickly cut him off.
“What?” Rabastan said confusedly.
“I just need ten seconds of ‘no Rabastan’ time. Can you give me that?”
“Come on Reg, you know that’s not possible.”
“Anyways, I was going to ask where you ran off to when we were leaving Hogsmeade. You just sort of disappeared as we were getting into the carriage.”
I thought back. “Yeah. I was trying to escape from that girl.”
Rabastan looked bewildered. “Girl? Why would you want to escape from a girl?”
I looked at him out of the corner of my eye. “It was Crawford’s crazy friend. You know. The one you fancy.”
Rabastan snorted rather loudly, “Me? Fancy a Ravenclaw? You must be drunk or something. Been knocking back one too many firewhiskeys have we?”
I just ignored him. I knew good and well that Rabastan had a weak spot for Ravenclaw girls. Made no sense to me whatsoever. Girls were girls no matter what house they were from. Unless, you know, they were from Gryffindor. Or muggles. Or half-bloods. But other than that I wasn’t that picky.
“So, why were you trying to escape?” he said, sounding like an old-fashioned dad having an important talk with his son.
“Because she’s creepy, a stalker, and I get this strange feeling from time to time that she worships anything I touch.”
“Well now,” Rabastan said smugly, “Sounds like you’re the one who fancies her, Reg.”
I sat up sharply. He was crazy. “You’re crazy. No. You’re beyond crazy, you’re completely insane! Me fancy that? She’s probably out to do some weird voodoo ritual type thing to make me fall in love with her. Or lock me up and slip me some love potion or something. Seriously, I’d rather snog Peter Pettigrew senseless, or—”
“Really?” Rabastan cut me off, his interest piqued and a challenge ready to be unleashed the minute I said the word. “Pettigrew, you say?”
“No, not really you idiot, but you get the idea.” I said as I lay back down on the couch, trying and failing to get my comfortable spot back.
“Yeah, yeah,” he muttered, no doubt annoyed that I didn’t walk into his challenge. Rabastan has always had this weird thing about betting me to do the most ridiculous things. One time, he told me he’s give me twenty galleons if I ran stark naked through a Gryffindor Quidditch game yelling ‘Freedom!’. I didn’t do it, but I did bet him to do the same thing through Hogsmeade for fifty galleons. That had to be one of the most memorable Hogsmeade trips ever and it was fifty galleons well spent.
I yawned broadly and shifted to make myself more comfortable on the couch. “Hey, do we have any assignments due on Monday?” I had him in most of my classes so I figured he should know.
“Yeah, almost finished with that.”
“Don’t have it.”
“Few more inches then it’s done.”
“What did we—Oh yeah we had an essay didn’t we? Damn, I forgot about that.” I gave him a look. “Did you do it?”
“Not yet.” He replied.
I sighed. “You’re no good. Who was the other Slytherin in our class?”
But the time Monday morning rolled around, I had only finished half the essay for potions. I had an excuse for not finishing though. Apparently, some student had found an injured girl in the forest Saturday night. I don’t know who it was, but I had heard that it was a Gryffindor. Of course that completely explains why no house points were taken off for being out after hours. Dumbledore probably had something to do with that. He probably said something along the lines of, “Oh, they’re helping someone. We can’t take points off for that.” Psh. Gryffindors.
Anyway, the hospital wing was being guarded like a fortress and I was one of the many interested people trying to get a look inside. It took me almost an hour to get to the front where I could see, but when there was nothing to see and I had to go back, it took another hour to fight through the crowd again. By the time I got out of the mass of people, I was too tired to do any work.
I suppose Slughorn wasn’t too bad though. He would probably just give some easy extra work to do.
“I have made a decision,” Slughorn said decisively. “As a treat and due to the events that took place this weekend, I’ve decided to cancel the assignment which was due today.” He finished this part with excitement.
Relief washed over me. I could tell, even from across the room, that Rabastan was feeling the same relief that I was. He hadn’t even started his essay.
I glanced over at Crawford to gauge her reaction to this little treat and was surprised to see annoyance and disbelief written on her face. Why wasn’t she excited? I mean, sure it was probably done and ready to be turned in, but there must be some inkling of relief at having the assignment canceled, right?
“Instead,” Slughorn continued, building excitement as he went, “we are going to be starting our first project of the year. You are going to have to really communicate and work together for this. I’ll go over the details and after that you can get to work!”
Great. A project. And with partners too. How lucky could I get? It wasn’t the fact that we had to work as partners that irked me. No, I just preferred to work alone and projects. It’s more comfortable and I don’t have to worry if the other person messes up and screws up my grade.
I glanced at Crawford again. The irritation on her face had intensified, probably since we actually had to work and speak with our partners. Honestly, ever since we were assigned to work together we’ve hardly spoken to each other except for the ingredients and instructions. Sometimes, I get the feeling she’s not too fond of me, but that’s ridiculous. What’s there not to be fond of?
A/N: The first Regulus chapter in the story. How did you like him? Please review!