There was no way out of it. A trip to Hogsmeade was coming up and I was to, of course, accompany Regulus to see our parents. My brother would not be joining us. I hadn’t spoken to him in weeks, and neither had my parents told me anything about his whereabouts. I was pushing this into the back of my head though as I had so many things coming up. Nonverbal spells were being taught and were expected to be preformed, Slughorn’s Christmas party was in a week, and then there was Regulus- his sneaking around, his secrets. I never even knew where he was most of the time anymore. His face was becoming pale and he was always agitated.
“What are you going to wear to Slughorn’s party?” Narcissa asked me the night before the Hogsmeade trip.
“I haven’t even thought about it,” I muttered.
“You’d better get on that then,” she said, “you haven’t got much time.”
“Honestly, Narcissa, I have more important things to worry about.”
“And you think I don’t?” she scoffed, “Lucius is going to be in Hogsmeade this weekend to see me, and I have absolutely nothing to wear!”
I exhaled sharply, slamming down my bottle of ink, “Just shut up,”
“Excuse me, I’m only in here to help you out.” she screeched, her blue eyes boiling and her pale skin turning blotchy, “I’ll just go to my own dormitory.”
“No,” I sighed, “I’m sorry, I’m just a little… stressed.”
Narcissa smiled fondly and sat down next to me on my bed, “We all are,”
“You don’t understand-” I began, shifting awkwardly in the chair I was occupying. Feelings weren’t things I discussed with others.
“I do. You think I haven’t seen Regulus? You just have to remember, Violetta, this is a good thing.”
“What are you talking about? What’s a good thing?” I asked.
“Him joining the Dark Lord,” she said, “You both will be honoured so highly.”
“W-what?” I sputtered, “He’s only 15... My brother-”
“He was 17, yes, but he was older than most.” she said, while rubbing my back.
“Oh,” I murmured.
I hadn’t even thought about it. Not so soon, at least. I knew eventually he’d join the Dark Lord’s ranks, but he was still young. We still had so much living to do before he was thrust off in to You-Know-Who’s hands.
‘This is good,’ I thought. It scared me that I had to keep reminding myself- scared me to think of my life. I couldn’t handle it now, so what about in the future when he really was one of them? I shook my head. This was just another thing I’d have to store away deep in the back of my mind.
It was finally the morning, and after a night of lurid dreams, I felt like it would never come. I pushed off my covers and placed my feet on the cold stone. Bellatrix was still sleeping, her hair like a wild tangle of brown ivy strung in and around her pillow and face. Isobell MacDougal and Rubella Bulstrode were both out of bed, and Eileen Meliflua was asleep, a single pale arm slipping through her Slytherin green curtains which she had jerkingly pulled shut the night before, ranting something about stupid boys.
I gave myself a good stretch, slipped on my robe and headed for the showers. I turned the water to scalding hot, stripped then stepped in and jumped as the hot water rippled down my back. And I stood there and thought. Thinking was my worst enemy now-a-days. Cyrus, mum, dad, Regulus, and then all over again.
I finished, put on a thick jumper, boots, and brought a warm coat, because judging by the looks of it outside, it was going to be an unpleasantly cold Hogsmeade trip. The Great Hall was packed when I walked in. I looked up and down the Slytherin table and sat down next to Regulus, Avery, Mulciber, Rubella, and Isobell.
“You look like dragon piss,” Rubella pointed out.
“Thanks,” I muttered, pouring me a glass of pumpkin juice and grabbing a slice of toast.
I tuned everyone out, thinking of a plan to bombard my parents with questions about Cyrus, where he was, what he was doing, and how he was handling everything, when I caught someone’s eye at the Gryffindor table. It was Remus Lupin. I snarled my nose and he dropped his gaze, only for it to be picked up by Sirius. We stared at each other for more than what was socially acceptable. His eyes looked guarded, then he averted his stare to the boy sitting next to me- Regulus.
“What does he want?” Regulus muttered harshly under his breath.
I watched them stare at each other for only a second, then had to look away. I felt as if I was interrupting something private.
“Maybe he just wants to talk?” I said.
“I have nothing to say to him,” he scoffed.
“Bella,” Rabasten greeted Bellatrix as she strutted in to the Great Hall, clad head to toe in tight black clothes. She managed to sweep her hair in to a high bun, a feat that I’m sure wasn’t easy.
Bellatrix barely acknowledged him, though they had been a couple for years now. There was no love involved, just a mutual acceptance that they were to be married to keep the Pureblood line intact. Not that there was love in Regulus and I’s relationship. We had been together for 3 years and neither of us had even slightly inferred the word love. We weren’t affectionate most of the time, and you would never know we were a couple. Maybe just two close friends. There were times when I felt like he would say it to me. I hoped each of those times he wouldn’t. This was nothing but a business deal. We would grow up, have plenty of male children, raise them, then die. But I knew today we’d put on a good show for our parents.
The bell chimed for the third years and above to line up at the front to go to Hogsmeade. Regulus stood first, then held out his hand for me. I sighed and took it. We walked the snowy path to Hogsmeade, Professor McGonagall leading the way. My breath was hitching like it always did before I went to see the Blishwick‘s.
“Calm down,” I felt Regulus’s breath tickle my ear, “You’re all pale and shaky.”
I took two deep intakes of the frozen December air, and felt my inside immediately calm. I smiled at Regulus who looked a little pale himself.
There was no one on the streets of Hogsmeade. While others were deciding where they wanted to go first, Regulus and I headed straight for the Three Broomsticks, knowing that’s where our parents would be.
Right when we walked in, I could see them. His mother in an emerald green set of robes, her grey eyes dramatically set compared to her black hair, his and my father were the same- aristocratic, wealth eluding off of both of them. Than there was my mother- black haired, pale, slight, sharp, and red-lipped.
We walked over to the table and sat down. My mother reached out for a hug, then enveloped me. I watched Walburga Black do the same to her son.
“How is Hogwarts this year, Violetta?” Walburga asked.
“Wonderful, thank you for asking, Mrs. Black.” I said, giving my best smile.
The bell to the front door chimed and then a blast of cold air flew in. I turned my head slightly, and saw him standing there, cheeks red and hair windswept. It was Sirius Black, who found himself standing just feet away from a family that had disowned him. His eyes grew wide. There was an awkward silence at our table as Sirius pulled his coat tighter and tottered through the pub, sitting at a table that held his latest girlfriend, Marlene McKinnion.
Walburga tensed, but didn’t not say anything about the abrupt appearance of her eldest son, and neither did anyone else. He was an outcome of what would happen if you rebelled. You became a ghost to your family and old friends.
We spent the next half an hour talking about mundane things. The Dark Lord came up more than I could count like he always did. Finally we all stood up, our parents beginning to bid us a farewell, when I pulled my mother aside.
“What is it, dear?” she asked, her black eyebrows turning in.
“Not now,” she muttered, then walked away, joining my father and the Blacks by the door.
We said our goodbyes, and already I could already feel the dread of my brother seeping into my veins. Something wasn’t right.
“Violetta, are you okay?” Regulus asked waving a hand over my face.
“Of course,” I smiled, “Where to next?”
“I need to get some ink and a new quill,” he said.
“Scrivenshafts it is,” I smiled.
We made our way out in to the frigid air, our feet crunching under the snow as we huddled into our Slytherin coloured scarves.
“Regulus!” we heard over the winds.
I squinted my eyes, trying to decipher the figure in the rapidly falling snow. It was Sirius, calling out to his brother. I could feel him stiffen at my side. Sirius walked up to us. His Gryffindor scarf loosely rapped around his neck was enough to slap any Slytherin, especially your brother, right in the face. It only highlighted their differences.
Sirius looked down at me, having both of the brothers being much taller than I, and tried at a grin. It came out mostly as a sneer. I noticed to my right, Sirius’s friends were lurking. I glanced at all three of them, and they turned away, pretending to strike conversations with each other.
“This is the only time I can really talk to you with out your goonies interrupting,” Sirius said.
Regulus turned the other way, preparing to walk off, “I don’t have time for this,”
“Reg,” Sirius pleaded, grabbing his arm, “Can we talk?”
He seemed to debate it for sometime, looking from me to his brother, then sighed, “Fine,”
They both walked off, it seemed as if a Quidditch field was between them. I glanced back over at ’The Marauders’ and saw them in a huddle, staring after the two brothers, so I walked over.
“What are you three up to?” I hissed.
They all gave me a scathing look, “None of you business, Blishwick.” Potter sneered, then stocked away to Zonko’s Joke Shop, trailed by Pettigrew and Lupin.
I looked back to see where the two went, and found nothing. ’They must have gone into the wood,’ I thought.
So, I went into Scrivenshafts and bought three bottles of ink and a new quill for Regulus. He’d be appreciative and happy, something I wasn’t used to him being lately. After I bought the merchandise, I walked back out expecting to see Regulus there waiting for me, but he was no where to be found. I walked over to Dervish and Banges, knowing Reg liked to make a visit there every time we were in Hogsmeade, and after searching through the hoards of students, I decided he wasn’t there either. It had been an hour and a half, and still no sign of either of the boys, so I decided I’d have to find Sirius’s friends. They were, thankfully still at Zonko’s.
“Where are they?” I asked, interrupting there excitement over an apparently new item.
“I figured they were with you?” Potter said, worry taking over his face.
His glasses slid down his nose, and he harshly pushed them back up.
“Moony, did Padfoot tell you when they would be back?”
Of course they have codenames for each other. Blithering idiots.
“No,” Lupin, or apparently ’Moony’, said, his eyes growing concerned as he noticed the time on his watch.
“I say we go and look for them, since you three gits don’t have enough brain power to see that your best friend is missing.” I huffed, walking in front of them and leading them outside.
“Merlin, it’s cold,” Pettigrew shivered.
I rolled my eyes, following the trail in to the woods. We went deeper and deeper, the trees becoming thick, but there was still no sign of them, until I heard a grunt, then a spell whiz by my ear.
“Bloody hell!” I screamed, ducking before I was hit by anything else.
“YOU’RE LYING!” Regulus screeched somewhere behind a tree.
“You know I’m right! You just don’t want to see the truth!” Sirius belted.
“Sirius!?” Potter called, looking wildly from tree to tree.
Sirius ran out from behind a tree, his wand hand still on guard for another Regulus hex. The Marauders all ran towards him, wands out as well, ready to strike any assailants. Sirius’s face was blotchy, like he may have been crying, and holding his arm like it might be broken or cut. He gave one fleeting look behind him and they all started to run up the trail.
As he was running Sirius turned to me, “He’s behind that tree. I told him. I tried to talk to him but he wouldn’t listen!”
I ran around looking at a gazillion trees before seeing Regulus slumped over, shivering with a big gash on his left cheek.
“Reg!” I yelped, rushing towards him, “Aw, merlin, are you okay?”
Bright red liquid was surging from his cheek, dripping down in to the pure white snow. I felt my hands shaking, knowing he was losing a lot of blood.
“W-we have to get you to Madam Pomfrey,” I said.
“No,” he slurred, placing a dragon skinned glove on the wound, “I’m fine,”
The glove did little to soak up the blood and was causing it to flow in between his fingers, making the dark brown glove look black.
“What happened? How could your brother do this to you?”
I couldn’t understand how the boy who held so much concern for his little brother could cause this much damage to him.
“Guess you didn’t see his arm?” he snickered, pride replacing wheeziness.
His face was slowly gaining colour as he stood up, staggering on his feet.
“I’ll get him back, the filthy blood traitor.” he muttered.
“You don’t mean that,” I murmured, grabbing his arm to help him.
We made our way up to the castle, the sky was turning pink and the snow was picking up. We finally entered the common room, Regulus’s cheek had stopped bleeding and was already starting to heal from the dittany he put on it. His eye was black. He told me it started as a fist fight first when he pulled out his wand then hexed Sirius, cutting a large and deep gash in his arm. It made sense why Regulus would turn it into a duel. He was slight and frail and Sirius was large and muscular, therefore there was no wonder in my mind who would win a fist fight between the two.
I walked Regulus up to his dormitory and laid him down.
“I’ll see you in the morning,” I whispered, kissing his unscathed cheek and making my way out.
“No, wait,” he said, lifting his head off his bed, “stay.”
I was surprised, so surprised that the air in my throat caught.
“Wh-what?” I sputtered.
“Please, stay with me. I sort of don’t want to be alone right now.”
That was probably the closing I had ever heard Regulus come to expressing any sort of feelings for me. He scooted over and smiled at me, so I slid in next to him.
“Thanks, Violetta. For everything,” he whispered, looking over his shoulder at the two sleeping figures in their own beds.
I didn’t know what to say, so I said nothing.
“You’re… you’re always there for me. Seeing as I don’t deserve it at all.”
“Sure you do,” I said, knowing full well it was a lie.
We fell asleep next to each other. Not touching, not speaking. It probably should have felt awkward, but for some weird reason it didn’t. It felt right and just and like the world had stopped spinning. Like we had been laying there for hours. I liked it. And it was all wrong.
Not sure I like this chapter. Give me a review! I could really use the feedback! Thanks for reading (: