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Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in this story, only the plot.

A/N: Hello people! This little one-shot came to me late at night and I just had to write it down. It's my first take on a non-romance story, so please tell me what you think and review.

Sirius sat on his bed staring at the sealed letter in his hands. The cursive writing was one he recognized far too much from Howlers he received at school, but he had not seen it since graduation. Honestly, he didn’t want to. Confused, but also curious Sirius opened the letter only to find that it was not a Howler. It was a normal, written letter, no screaming or yelling involved whatsoever. He unfolded the parchment and skimmed over the writing.

I don’t kow if you have heard by now, but the Black family has some dreadful news. Regulus is dead. He was killed yesterday morning. He went down as a hero though; a death eater. Unlike you, he was loyal to us and made his father and I proud that he was our son. You, on the other hand, are no son of mine. Scum, filth, traitorious, that is what you are. Pay attention to what heroism Regulus portrayed, a true Black, supporting what is right instead of gallavanting around with mudbloods, blood traitors and half breeds. As you are no longer welcome in the House of Black, don’t bother coming to the funeral. You will not be welcome there.
-Walburga Black

The letter, signed so coldy and informally fluttered to the floor as Sirius tried to register what had just occurred. Regulus, his little brother, dead. The only Black besides his long-dead Uncle who had at least an ounce of respect for him. His so-called mother was right, they were no longer family. At sixteen he had detached from his home, running away to a new life. He had a new family now, the Potters and his friends.

Regulus though, he didn’t exile Sirius as the rest of the family had. They hadnt been the closest of brothers but Sirius found Regulus to be his responsibilty. He had to make sure that he didn’t turn out the way the rest of his horrific family did. Sirius had failed though. His brother was dead because he had chosen to walk a darker path. Sirius hadn’t been able to stop him, hold him back.

No matter how dangerous it was to fight against Voldemort, Sirius wouldn’t ever take the easy way out the way Regulus had. He would never turn to the dark side just for protection. He knew that being a follower of Voldemort wasn’t what Regulus truly wanted. He was just attracted to power, the prospect of having his parents be proud of him. He had strived to please his family, a trait he didn’t share with his elder brother.

The only reason he was dead was because he was follower. Regulus had always followed the crowd, whether Sirius liked it or not. As hard as he had tried to get his brother to stay away from the dark side, he had failed, over and over again. The last time he had seen Regulus at graduation from Hogwarts he had tried for a final time to convince him to stay away. It was too late though.

“Reg! Reg wait!” Sirius called after his brother. He chased down his sixth year brother through the crowds of parents congradualting their students on their graduation. Finally he caught up to the younger boy in the courtyard.

“What do you want Sirius? You’ve graduated, you’re done. Shouldn’t you be celebrating with your filthy friends?” Regulus snapped, turning around to face Sirius. Both of them had dark hair falling past their grey eyes. The biggest difference in their faces was their eyes. Regulus’ eyes were dark and stormy whilst Sirius’ were happy and seemed to be dancing with laughter.

“I need to talk to you before I leave,” Sirius answered calmly, ignoring the comment about his friends being filthy. He didn’t want to fight right now.

“I don’t want to talk to you,” Regulus muttered but Sirius ignored him and kept on talking.

“You have to listen to me, just for a minute,” he said. “Be careful. Don’t get so attracted to the power of the dark side that you get sucked in, it’s not what you want.”

“Who are you to say what I want?” the sixteen year old retorted, rubbing his arm, grimacing slightly. He wanted to walk away, to go where he was needed but something in his head told him that it would be a good idea to listen, for this very well might be his last moment with Sirius

“I know what our parents want, and it’s not the way you are,” Sirius said. Regulus knew deep down that he didn’t have much time left. As much as he wanted to run, he knew that he had gotten himself in too deep with wanting power. There was no turning back now, really. Sirius was right, it wasn’t him to be like this. “Just don’t do something you’re going to regret later. You’re not like them, and you never will be.”

“It’s too late.” Regulus shook his head. “I’m already like them. I always was.” He walked away, still clutching his arm. Sirius stared after him, a blank expression on his face. He had failed. He hadn’t been able to keep Regulus away from the life he had run from. There was nothing left for him in the Black family, he had failed his brother and ow there was nothing more he could do. Turning back from the dark side could only result in death. It was too late. It was already over.

Sirius had been right all along about Regulus from that day forward. He knew that this would happen, that Regulus would try to run away once things got too far over his head. Like he had said though, it was already too late. Once you betray someone on the dark side you’re basically done for.

He knew that his younger brother didn’t want to be evil, he just wanted the power, and then he tried to run. He was not a coward, for he didn’t stay with Voldemort, but he was no knight in shining armor. Regulus had made a mistake and this time there wasn’t any turning back. It had cost him his life.

Small tears swelled up in Sirius’ eyes and he quickly blinked them away. Why should he be mourning over the brother he only shared a family with, nothing more. True, they were both stubborn and ambitious but their beliefs couldn’t have been more different. Regulus was a follower. He followed the path his parents had paved out for him and he died.

Regulus didn’t deserve that and Sirius knew it. He tried to deny that his brother’s death was because he was cowardly but truly, he had been brave to run away. Of course his parents didn’t know that he had tried to run away, they thought he went down gloriously fighting for prejudice and murder. Instead he had fought against it, and failed.

They were brothers though, nothing was going to change that. Not death, or being disowned by his ex-family. As an older brother it was Sirius’ duty to protect Regulus. Tomorrow would have been Regulus’ eighteenth birthday. Sirius couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to die so young. There was so much left to be expericene, so much more to life that hasn’t been lived yet.

“Padfoot!” Sirius heard a voice calling him from downstairs and there were footsteps coming upstairs to his bedroom. A red-faced James Potter entered, looking absolutley exhausted. “You have to come to the ministry, now. There’s been an attack.”

“Alright, lets go,” Sirius repiled, grabbing his wand off his bedside table and apparating away with James. Lately there had been a lot of surprise attacks that aurors had to deal with. The letter lay on the floor but it was not forgotten. As Sirius fought he thought of Regulus and the fact that the people he was fighting right now were probably the ones who killed him. Took away the last link he had to the Blacks. It only made him fight harder.

Three days later Sirius wandered into the graveyard where the Black family crypt was. Leaves crunched beneath his feet as he approached the newest looking headstone.

Regulus Black
October 12, 1961 - October 10, 1979
Tojourus Pur

Sirius would never see his brother again and this would be the last time he had anything to with his horrible family. There was nothing left for him. Kneeling down onto the muddy ground, he stared at the tombstone. “I’m proud of you Regulus. You finally fought for what you believed in.” A tear rolled down his cheek as he said his final goodbye to his brother. He had failed him, but he was proud.

A/N: Well, that was it. Nice and short. Just tell me what you thought!

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