Chapter 4 : Regulus Recruited.
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It was something that he was determined to do. For himself, his family, but most of all to prove to Sirius that he was wrong. Thinking of Sirius only made him angry. This only affirmed his position of attending the meeting as his brother’s voice sneered in his mind “You don’t have to do this.”
In a compartment a little further down the train, was Sirius who was moodily sitting against the window and watched as the trees past by. James and Peter were sitting on the floor playing a brutal game of wizards’ chess while Remus sat across from Sirius, lost in a book about ancient ruins. Lost in his thoughts, Sirius was thinking about Regulus who he saw while on the Platform. He was standing there with their parents, their mother was lecturing him and his father was standing there with a distasteful look upon his face. Bored about the lack of interesting things happening in their compartment Sirius got up and said he was going to go and look for the food trolley. James and Peter stopped their game and Remus looked up from his book to watch Sirius walk out of the compartment. Once the door shut, the three boys gave one another pointed looks.
"He's bored." Peter said nervously to James and Remus who were shaking their heads. Whenever Sirius was bored, something was bound to happen. That usually meant trouble. They knew he was upset about seeing his brother and parents on the platform, but they didn't want to suffocate him with there presence either.
Walking down the aisle of the train Sirius was on the lookout for his brother. His hand gripped his wand tightly assuring himself that it was there as he continued on. About half way down the train he found his brother alone in a compartment. Sliding the door open, Regulus looked up with a look of pure loathing on his face.
“Leave now!” Regulus jumped up and shouted at his brother.
“No, Regulus. Not until you hear me out.” Sirius put simply.
“You lost the right of telling me what to do when you left our parents house.” He spat back.
“I will never lose the right of telling you what to do. I am your brother whether you like it or not" He shouted at him. "Listen to me Reg. I had a dream with you in it. I have been worried about you all summer. I have to know that your okay and you’re not going to do anything stupid.” Sirius rushed on ignoring Regulus.
“What I do is none of your business Sirius. Why would I care what types of dreams you’re having?”
“Because I know something has been going on with you. What I don’t know, but I can tell something is going on. Your not still thinking about all this Pureblood mania are you?” He questioned.
“Again Sirius, I do not need to answer to you. You’re dead to me. I am going to make our family proud since you walked out. I know proper pride.” He said icily.
Sirius feeling his anger start to get the best of him gripped his wand tightly. Regulus having grown up with Sirius was no idiot and knew what his brother was doing because he was going to do the exact same thing. Without a thought or a moment’s hesitation they pulled their wands out aiming directly at one another’s hearts.
They contemplated one another for a moment before Sirius reacted sending a ‘stupefy’ spell at his brother. What he hadn’t planned on is the quickness in which Regulus responded with his own ‘protego’ spell. In anger Sirius responded back with a ‘bombarda’ spell sending both him and Regulus backwards and destroying half of the compartment
Hearing the commotion, students came spilling out of their own compartments to see what was going on.
Sirius and Regulus were then up quickly standing on debris, wands still at the ready to begin their assault on one another again. Before either could cast another spell a student shouted and cast a shield charm between the two angry brothers. Sirius and Regulus were both startled at this interruption and looked around to see who had cast the spell. Lily Evans was standing there with her wand up looking highly annoyed.
“That," she exclaimed sternly, "will be a detention for both of you,” she said angrily at them, “Now help me clean up the mess you’ve both made.”
“Lily…” Sirius started.
Lily cut him off before he could even begin to continue whatever lame story she knew he had.
“I don’t want to hear it Sirius. Now help me clean this up.”
Regulus rummaged in his things picking them up off of the floor and was mumbling something to himself. Sirius was helping Lily with the bigger parts of the compartment. James and Remus turned up as they were concerned about Sirius and what could be taking him so long.
“What happened?” Remus asked.
“My brother happened.” Sirius replied grumpily.
“So he attacked you?” James wondered.
“NO!” spat Regulus, “He attacked me first!”
“Shut up Regulus!” Sirius shouted.
“Then this MUDBLOOD showed up!” Regulus yelled in fury pointing his finger at Lily.
That did it. James was now on the ground wrestling around with Regulus.
“Don’t. You. Dare. Call. Her. That . Again. “He put heavy emphasis on every word with a punch.
Sirius was laughing at the sight of his brother wrestling around on the floor with James; while Lily and Remus were trying everything they could to break them apart. Sirius then saw something that caught his attention. Bending down he picked up a piece of paper that was warn. Curious he opened it and read the perfectly scripted scrawl.
We are having a recruiting meeting for all of those who are interested in the Dark Lord's aims and nothing would give us greater pleasure than to have you join our ranks. Join us if your blood is pure and you’re tired of living in a hidden world. September 22 11:30pm outside of Hogsmeade.
After he finished reading the note he burnt it. Fury built in his chest. He knew those initials. LM. There was no doubt in his mind who they belonged to. Remus grabbed his cloak by the shoulder and guided him and James back towards their compartment before anything else could happen.
When they returned to the compartment Peter was stunned to see a dusty Sirius, a black eyed James and ruffled Remus.
“What happened to you three?” Peter questioned.
Sirius went and sat by the window not in the mood to talk. James just sat down next to the doorway. Remus sat between them feeling aged, sighed and looked at Peter.
“James and Sirius both have detention.” He spoke quietly.
“What? Already! Why?” Peter wondered.
“Sirius got into a fight with Regulus and blew apart half of the compartment. Then Lily showed up to put a stop to it all and Regulus called her a Mudblood. James went crazy and started wrestling with Regulus on the floor. Believe me Regulus looks worse then James does.” Remus finished.
“We aren’t even at the school yet and they have detentions. This has got to be a record.” Peter stated shaking his head.
James and Sirius simply ignored the entire conversation.
Back down the train in Regulus’s newly repaired compartment, he was looking around for his letter that he received during the summer. He couldn’t find it anywhere and was starting to panic that maybe his brother’s friend had it. James was the one he was rolling around on the floor with and the reason why he had a black eye and bloody, fat lip.
He kicked the seat angrily and sat back down just wanting to be at school already and away from public areas that his brother could confront him in.
About an hour later they arrived at the school. Sirius and James still not speaking a word grabbed their luggage and hauled it off of the train. They piled into the school carriages and waited as it filled with Remus, Peter and a few other students; then began making its way to the castle.
When they entered the Great Hall to take their seats they were quickly approached by Professor McGonagall who handed them each a piece of parchment.
They sat down at the Gryffindor Table and looked at the parchment. None of them recognized the slanted neat writing. The letter read:
As you have probably heard I want to speak to you and your friends about the incident that happened in Knockturn Alley. Please come to my office on Friday night at eight o’clock. The password is cockroach clusters.
The boys looked up at one another with curious looks upon their faces.
James opened his mouth to talk, but closed it when he saw Lily come over and sit next to Remus.
“Oh I see you got a note from Dumbledore to?” She asked.
The boys all nodded.
“What happened in Knockturn Alley?” She asked confused.
“Lily,” James started, “Didn’t you hear about it in the Prophet?”
“Would I be asking if I did?” her eyebrows rose at James.
“Look Lily, we will have to wait to tell you.” Sirius explained.
For the doors of the Great Hall were opened and in came the new first years. It dawned on Lily that the sorting was going to begin and she would have to ask her questions later.
After the last first year was sorted into Hufflepuff, Professor Dumbledore stood up to introduce a new staff member and speak a little.
“This year I would like to welcome to our staff, Professor Jones as our new Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher. I would also like to remind students that the forbidden forest is still forbidden, Hogsmeade visits are limited to third years and up and only on scheduled weekends." He said with a glance towards the Gryffindor table. "Tuck in!”
As they ate they pondered what classes were going to be like with Professor Jones. He was of average height and had a muscular build. James thought he would make the perfect candidate for a beater. Lily was telling them what the new password was for the common room as Sirius stabbed at his food.
After dinner and dessert were finished and the tables were clear, Professor Dumbledore stood up again.
“I have a few last things I would like to say before we all go to bed,” he started, “These are dark times we are living in. I ask that you learn to trust in yourself and others as things outside this castle build. When all that we have is one another we can get through anything. Now off to bed.”
“Well that was as grim as ever.” James exclaimed.
They traipsed out of the Great Hall and up to the Portrait of the Fat lady. James said “Patefacio.” The Portrait swung open admitting them into the now exposed Gryffindor common room. Ignoring the excited first years they walked heavily up the stairs to the dormitory and got ready for bed.
The next few days passed in a blur as the seventh years were now being bombarded with extreme amounts of information for their N.E.W.T.S. that even James and Sirius who usually never had to study, could now be found pouring over books in the common room in order to finish their assignments.
As they were waiting for their meeting time with Professor Dumbledore, the boys decided to fill Lily in with what had happened at Knockturn Alley. Finally at ten minutes to eight the boys and Lily made their way to Dumbledore’s office.
When they approached the gargoyle statue Sirius said “Cockroach Clusters.” The statue came to life and the spiral staircase emerged behind it. Each one of them started up the steps. When they came to the door at the top, Lily knocked.
“Enter.” Professor Dumbledore spoke calmly.
All five of them entered the office slowly and carefully.
Professor Dumbledore was sitting at his desk with his hands crossed. “Please come and sit.” He said motioning to the chairs placed in front of his desk.
They each took a seat and continued to gaze around the office.
“I know you’re curious as to why I have asked you here tonight. After what had happened in Knockturn Alley when James and Sirius were there I had to make a choice you see. Voldemort is growing in his numbers and lives outside the walls of the castle are in a state of chaos. I am afraid that this will not change anytime soon.” He finished turning to look at them.
“Does this have to do with the Order of the Phoenix?” Sirius asked.
“Yes, it does,” he looked at Sirius a little stunned, “ We are looking for recruits. Young, talented, loyal people that are willing to help in anyway that they can. This is going to be something highly dangerous and I want to extend to you all an invitation to join after you leave Hogwarts this year.”
They sat their stunned in their chairs. Dumbledore wanted them to join the resistance, to fight Voldemort and his death eaters.
“I’ll join.” Sirius said promptly.
The others looked at him in shock.
“Sirius, I thought you wanted to be an Auror?” James asked.
“Yes James I do, but what better way to train to be one, then in the field fighting?” He responded automatically.
Professor Dumbledore cut in. “You do not all have to make a decision tonight. We will meet again before the school term is over and go from there. I want you to seriously consider this. I wouldn't ask this of such young people, but we need people we can trust and people that trust each other. Age is but a number, if the said person has the will to overcome it.”
As they stood up to leave his office Professor Dumbledore asked Sirius to stay behind for a moment. After the others left, Sirius looked at him waiting to defend the choice he already made.
“I’ve talked to Mr. and Mrs. Potter about you and what occurred this summer between you and your parents. They mentioned to me that you knew about the Order of the Phoenix before I even called you in here this evening. My question for you is how?” He looked at Sirius with questioning eyes.
“Professor,” Sirius sighed before he continued, “I’ve known about the Order for awhile now. When you grow up in a family full of Death Eaters it tends to give you a leg up on what’s going on.”
Professor Dumbledore looked at Sirius with concern.
“If you’re willing to join the Order like you say you are we may very well use you as a spy,” he said out loud to himself, “You’re free to go now Mr. Black.”
“Thank you Sir.”
Sirius left Professor Dumbledore’s office with his mind swirling with what they just talked about. He wanted him to be a spy? Sirius knew that Dumbledore wouldn't be asking him if they really didn't need the help and that in order to join he would have to complete this year of school. This would give him the best opportunity to keep an eye on Regulus and try to finally talk some sense into him. Sirius understood that Regulus wanted nothing to do with him and that was all the drive that Sirius needed in return. He knew the dangers of what that all entailed and seemed over the moon when he returned to the common room.
After retelling James, Remus and Peter what Professor Dumbledore talked about with him, the boys headed to bed.
As the days they spent at Hogwarts kept passing by Sirius grew more moody. James and Remus picked up on this ever changing amount of emotion and when they questioned him he would just respond with a feeble “nothing.”
As dawn rose on the morning of September 22, Sirius was in a heightened alert mode. He finally confided in the others to what had been causing him so much worry and angst.
“My brother is going to a Death Eater meeting tonight.”
“What?” James, Remus and Peter all said together.
Sirius rolled his eyes not wanting to have to repeat himself; he pushed the others into an empty classroom and cast the muffilato spell.
“My brother is going to join the Death Eaters. They have a meeting in Hogsmeade tonight.”
“How do you know this Sirius?” James asked.
“I found a bloody note in his compartment on the train when he and I exchanged a few friendly spells. In fact Prongs I found it while you and him were wrestling around on the floor like a couple of drunk muggles.” He finished quickly.
“Have you told Dumbledore?” Remus asked.
“No. I want to sneak into Hogsmeade tonight and spy on them.”
“Are you mental? What happens if you get caught?” James asked.
“I’m not going to get caught James. In fact I may ask you to borrow your cloak or I could just change into my animagus form.”
“What are you going to do when you get there?” Peter asked.
“Well he’s going to listen in and find out what is going on isn’t he Wormtail?” Remus supplied.
Peter fell silent. His cheeks began to redden as he felt like he was being scolded like a child.
“Okay say I let you use the cloak, what if something happens like it did during the summer?” James questioned.
“Then I will turn into my animagus form.” He responded simply. “I’ve got to figure out what my brother is doing. He’s my brother. I know deep down he doesn’t want to do this. It’s what he thinks he has to do.”
Ending the conversation there so they wouldn’t be late for class and gain themselves another detention they left the classroom quietly.
The day passed on slowly as they attended all of their classes. By the time dinner rolled around they were all anxious even though it was Sirius who would be going.
When eleven o’clock rolled around and they were the only ones left in the common room, they bayed Sirius farewell as he prepared to set out for Hogsmeade. Using the Marauders map he was able to make it swiftly to the one eyed witch statue, tap the hump and mutter descendio. Slipping inside quickly yet quietly, Sirius made his way to Hogsmeade.
When he arrived in the cellar of Honeydukes, he slid the stone slab aside to pull himself up. Replacing it before he left the cellar, he threw the invisibility cloak over himself as he snuck upstairs and out the door.
Hogsmeade was quiet except the Three Broomsticks which had a few people left in it. Walking briskly down the high street he heard two voices coming towards him. Throwing himself up against a store front he stopped and waited as they passed him.
“We better hurry up or we’ll be late.” Said the first one.
“Lucius will have a fit if we are, especially if you’re joining tonight.” Said the second voice that Sirius recognized, but couldn’t confirm its owner because they both walked heads down, hoods up.
He followed behind them as they made their way towards the meeting of the Death Eaters. When they turned the corner and made for the woods Sirius wasn’t exactly sure if he was safe with just the cloak. They walked on a few feet before the wood opened to a hollow. In the middle of the hollow were about thirty Death Eaters all in a circle and a fire burning in the middle.
The two boys along with the unseen Sirius made their way to the group.
“Ah there you are,” Lucius Malfoy stepped out of the circle and walked up to them, “Are you both ready?”
“Yes.” The two boys replied.
“Good, now if you will follow me we can get on with our recruiting ceremony.”
The two boys followed Lucius back to the circle. Another one of the Death Eaters lowered their hood to come over a see the two boys. When Sirius looked up, he cringed. It was Bellatrix.
“Good Regulus, good.” She looked simply delighted.
She lifted his hood up off of his face. The boy next to him lowered his hood to reveal a curtain of greasy black hair and a hooked nose. It was Snape.
Lucius held up his hand to get the groups attention and said “These two come here to join our ranks this evening. The Dark Lord will be pleased to have you both amongst us. Now if you could please hold out your left arms.”
The boys did what they were told. Rolled up their sleeves and held out their left arms.
Bellatrix walked over to Regulus and put her wand on his arm, Lucius did the same with Snape. Suddenly there was an outburst of applause from the group and Sirius’s vision of the two boys was blocked. Knowing that he needed to see for himself what had happened, he edged around the group cautiously. He still couldn’t see.
Finally the other Death Eaters cleared as they were now leaving from the hollow, the fire began to dwindle and Sirius caught a glimpse of Regulus with his arm outstretched. There upon his arm was the Dark Mark. Pride spread across Regulus’s handsome features making him look more sinister then ever.
A chill ran the length of Sirius’s spine and he knew that he needed to get back to the castle as quickly as possible; he ran. He made his way back to the cellar and into the tunnel the entire time thinking that he failed. His brother has become one of them. The dream that he had over the summer came true. Regulus was now in the midst of the Death Eaters. Before he ascended into the school’s hallway he stopped as a small tear ran down his cheek.
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