La fille aux yeux saphir by ClearCutDiamonds
There was only silence. And then the soft light emanating from the candle was put out, enveloping the boy in darkness. The curling smoke rose from the candle and towards the ceiling in coils of faint gray. Regulus’ gray eyes were open in the darkness. Despite his exhaustion, he couldn’t sleep. If truth be told, he hadn’t actually slept well once in the past three months. He sighed heavily and shut his eyes. The burning pain in his inner forearm was what kept him awake all those nights, and it was a constant reminder of his ignorance.
Outside in the hall, there was the faint sound of footsteps ascending to the landing that divided his bedroom and Sirius’ old one. His mother’s footsteps. This reoccurrence had been happening ever since Sirius had left, more often as time passed. Regulus ran a hand through his dark curls. Even when Sirius was gone, Regulus was still second-best. Even though Sirius had left – effectively soiling the family name and Regulus had stayed loyal to his parents, pledging allegiance to the Dark Lord – his mother still loved Sirius more. And it killed Regulus.
A single tear escaped Regulus’ gray eye and slid down his cheek. He didn’t wipe it away nor did he stop the rest of the tears from falling.
The door across the hall closed and the footsteps trailed across to Regulus’ door. He shut his eyes quickly, feigning sleep. The silver knob of the door turned ever-so-quietly and the door opened, flooding the dark room with light. His mother stood silently at the threshold for a few moments.
When she spoke, her voice was only a whisper, but Regulus heard it clearly. ‘If only it had been you that had been the disappointment… not him.’
The light disappeared as she closed the door again and Regulus tried to fight back the tears that were pooling in his gray eyes to no avail. In the darkness, he wept silently.
The aging house-elf drew back the emerald satin curtains that fell to the floor to reveal an overcast of gray skies and pouring rain. Regulus’ gray eyes snapped open. He rubbed his weary eyes, adjusting to the harsh light.
‘Good morning, Master Regulus. Mistress Walburga requests your presence in the drawing room. She expects that you have already packed for your return to Hogwarts,’ said the house-elf, meticulously folding Regulus’ new black robes.
‘Yes. Thank you, Kreacher,’ responded Regulus.
‘Master Regulus.’ Kreacher bowed low towards Regulus and disappeared out of the room, shutting the door with a resolute click.
Regulus sighed and covered his face with his hands. He stood up and walked to the adjoining bathroom. The mirror above the marble sink reflected Regulus’ tired face. The tears had dried but his eyes were still red-rimmed. He splashed his face with ice-cold water and it washed away the previous look of sadness from his eyes. Drying his face, he looked back at his reflection to see that his expression revealed nothing of his inside turmoil. His reflection showed only a mask.
He walked back into his room and opened his black leather trunk. His initials R.A.B were engraved in emerald. He reached for the new school books on his mahogany desk and placed them neatly in his trunk. Next, he placed the new robes Kreacher had just folded and left on his dresser in his trunk and looked around his room, checking to make sure that he hadn’t forgotten anything. Finally, he reached for his leather-bound journal and quill and packed them, as well. After shutting his trunk forcefully, he secured the clasps and placed it at his door.
Regulus dressed quickly in plain black robes and slipped his wand into his pocket. Looking around his room one final time, he grabbed the handle of his trunk and walked out, shutting the door firmly behind him.
He stopped in front of Sirius’ door. The feeling of sadness returned to Regulus. He felt the need to walk into Sirius’ room one last time. It was stupid, but somehow Regulus felt as if the room was the only connection he still had with Sirius. He couldn’t explain the feeling that came over him every time he thought of his older brother.
Leaving his trunk at the top of the landing, Regulus walked past the staircase dividing their rooms and turned the knob, pushing the door open slowly. He made sure not to make any noise that would attract his mother and stepped inside. Much of Sirius’ bedroom was still the same: the large bed with the gold and scarlet bedcover, the long velvet curtains, the chandelier, the pictures and posters that drove their mother mad. But, it was all different. The bed was made, the velvet curtains were drawn and everything in the room was finely coated with dust. The room was empty, forgotten, untouched. Left behind were only traces of his brother. He was gone forever and Regulus knew that.
Regulus woke with a start that night. He could hear noises coming from across the landing — from Sirius’ room. He glanced at the bedside clock; it was a quarter past midnight. Regulus knew his parents were sleeping and he had a faint idea as to why Sirius was up. He pushed his bedcovers aside and got out of bed. The sinking feeling in his chest and his anxiety made him move faster. He opened his door and moved across the landing to Sirius’ door. Leaning his ear against the wooden door, he tried to listen to what was going on. All he could hear were drawers being opened and closed. He was breathing quickly now. Without knocking, Regulus opened the door.
Sirius looked up, startled. He visibly relaxed upon seeing Regulus. He had no doubt been scared that he had been caught by his parents. Neither Regulus nor Sirius said anything. Sirius dropped a book into his trunk but still averted Regulus’ gaze.
‘So, this is it, then? You’re running away?’ asked Regulus, effectively breaking the silence.
‘What else do you want me to do, Reg?’ asked Sirius.
Regulus didn’t answer him right away. ‘We used to be so close, you know. I wish everything would go back to the way it was.’ Regulus had always been the naïve dreamer.
‘You know it can’t,’ said Sirius.
‘I know,’ replied Regulus.
Sirius looked up finally, meeting his brother’s eyes. ‘Come with me, Reg.’
‘I can’t,’ answered Regulus flatly.
‘Why not?’ asked Sirius. ‘Look, the Potters will be happy to have you, too. And Uncle Alphard left me some money…’
‘I highly doubt they’d want a Death Eater in their midst,’ said Regulus bitterly.
Sirius dropped the bottle of ink that he was holding. The glass bottle shattered and the black ink pooled on the floor. ‘Tell me you didn’t. Please.’
Regulus said nothing but rolled up his shirt sleeve to reveal his Dark Mark.
Sirius stared at it silently. ‘Fuck, how did this all get so messed up?’ he whispered, sitting down on the end of his bed, raking a hand through his dark curls.
Regulus pulled down his shirt sleeve. ‘I don’t know.’ He breathed in deeply in an attempt to stop the tears that were pooling in his eyes.
‘Why did you do it?’ asked Sirius softly.
Regulus cried now, it was all too real. ‘I don’t know. I don’t know! I was stupid and I believed them. Nothing I did was ever good enough. I wanted to be strong and I wanted mother and father to love me…’ He trailed off, weeping.
‘We can fight them together. Forget about all this. It’s just a mark. Dumbledore will protect you,’ pleaded Sirius.
‘I can’t run away, Sirius. He’ll kill me. I’m in way too deep now, Sirius. It’s too late.’
Sirius watched his weeping brother. It was like watching him drown and not being able to save him.
Regulus stopped weeping and looked up, tears tracks glistening on his cheeks from the light of the candle. ‘Did you hear that?’
Sirius stopped what he was doing as well and both boys listened. Someone below was stirring. ‘Fuck,’ hissed Sirius, dumping whatever was left on his bed into his trunk.
Regulus stood up and helped him as they heard footsteps mounting the stairs. ‘It’s mother,’ said Regulus. ‘Go before it’s too late.’ He pushed the rest of Sirius’ belongings roughly into Sirius’ hands.
Sirius pulled Regulus’ wrist. ‘Come with me. We can sort it out, Reg. I promise.’
‘No,’ said Regulus, forcefully shutting Sirius’ trunk closed. ‘I’ll be fine. Just go.’ Both boys knew Regulus was lying, he wasn’t going to be all right. ‘Leave.’
There was a curious expression on Sirius’ face that Regulus couldn’t comprehend. He looked like he wanted to say something but couldn’t. His gray eyes — eyes that mirrored Regulus’, were brimming with tears. There was nothing either could say that would fully grasp their feelings.
Sirius muttered a spell that caused his trunk to shrink and slipped it into his pocket. He pulled open the window where a Muggle motorbike was idling mid-air. He turned to Regulus and smiled sadly. His smile spoke the words that he could not find. He turned and slid onto the motorbike, driving out of sight.
The door of Sirius’ room burst open to reveal Walburga Black. She was dressed in a long satin gown, her hair fell loose at her shoulders and her face was wiped clean of any make-up, which only made her appear older. The long velvet curtains billowed softly from the air of the open window. Walburga looked around Sirius’ vacant room, tears in her hard blue eyes. Silently, she swept across the room to shut the window. Regulus didn’t need to say anything for she had already understood. He knew in that moment that she blamed him. He knew that she wanted him to have stopped Sirius.
‘Go to bed, Regulus.’ Her voice was only a harsh whisper and then she walked past him again and down the stairs.
Regulus didn’t move, though. He stood in Sirius’ empty room and stared at the starry night. When they were children, he and Sirius would star gaze, always childishly wishing that beyond the stars was something better than the world they lived in.
After awhile he walked towards the door, turning only once to look back upon his older brother’s room. He stared at the spot where, only moments ago, Sirius had stood — but would never stand again.
His mother’s call shook him from his reverie. He closed the door firmly and grabbed his trunk. Walking down the stairs quickly, Regulus could hear his mother and father speaking in soft tones in the drawing room. He placed his trunk in the foyer and walked towards the drawing room where his mother and father were awaiting his arrival for breakfast.
‘Good morning. Mother, Father,’ said Regulus, pulling up a chair.
Orion Black didn’t respond nor did he make any indication that he had heard his son as he continued to read The Daily Prophet.
‘Good morning,’ replied his mother.
Regulus was used to his parents’ stilted manner. Kreacher came into the room with a pot of tea and filled the cups just as Regulus reached for a piece of toast. The entire room was silent and Regulus sipped his tea quietly. He glanced around the room. Why his parents liked to have a room decorated with a family tapestry on every wall was beyond him. The constant reminder to be “Always Pure” was woven into everything the Blacks did. The older Regulus got, the more nauseated he was by his parents’ obsession with blood purity. His gaze travelled to the black hole in the tapestry next to his own name. No matter how hard he tried to avoid it, the black hole always seemed to be staring him straight in the eye.
‘Are you ready for your return to Hogwarts?’ asked his mother.
‘Yes, mother,’ replied Regulus.
Finally, Orion folded The Daily Prophet neatly and set it aside. His stare rested on Regulus. ‘You have made us very proud in your joining allegiance with the Dark Lord, Regulus. You show promise in proving yourself and the Black family loyal Purebloods. At least one Black son has showed that his loyalties lie with the right belief.’
‘Thank you, father,’ replied Regulus obediently.
Walburga Black excused herself and Kreacher returned with more food, but it only made Regulus feel sick. Orion pulled out his pocket watch, checked it and slipped it back inside his robes. ‘We should be leaving, your train will be departing soon.’
Regulus nodded and followed his father out of the drawing room and into the doorway. He grabbed his trunk and met his father and mother at the door.
‘We’ll meet you on the platform,’ said Walburga. His mother and father disapparated and Regulus followed suit.
He apparated to King’s Cross Station and walked towards platforms nine and ten. As he came closer, he shut his eyes and broke into a run. The rushing air and sound of the train’s whistle met him as he opened his eyes. He looked around for his parents and saw them standing with the other Slytherin Purebloods.
‘Ah, Regulus,’ said his mother. ‘There you are.’ She glanced at him momentarily before turning back to Mrs Malfoy and continuing their previous conversation.
All the Slytherin Pureblood families isolated themselves from the other families on the platform. Regulus looked around uninterestedly at the Slytherin families that were intermingling. Evan Rosier sidled up to Regulus along with Rabastan Lestrange.
‘How was your summer, Regulus?’ asked Rabastan, a smirk playing at his lips.
‘We saw each other last week, Rabastan,’ replied Regulus. ‘Everything’s been quite uneventful since then.’
‘Well, with the new school year starting up and plenty of new female opportunities…’ Rabastan trailed off, a dark gleam in his eyes. ‘Not to mention the fact that you’re the Dark Lord’s latest… servant.’
‘You’ll want to keep your mouth shut, Lestrange,’ said Regulus, his tone icy.
Evan Rosier’s eyes darted from Regulus to Rabastan. ‘Let’s change the subject, all right? Mulciber, Avery and Snape are waiting for us in the compartment. Let’s make this good-bye quick, shall we?’
The boys separated and headed off to their respective families to say their good-byes. Regulus inwardly groaned as he spotted his mother talking to Ms Tallis. Her blue eyes found his and she gestured him to come forward. ‘Regulus, I was wondering when you were going to come say good-bye to your mother.’
‘You knew I wouldn’t have forgotten, mother,’ said Regulus, smiling tightly.
His mother offered her cheek for Regulus to kiss, but did not kiss him back.
‘You must be so proud,’ said Ms Tallis, her eyes trailing on Regulus. ‘To have your only son so faithful to the Dark Lord.’
Regulus caught the flash of hurt cross his mother’s face before she forced a smile. ‘Yes, Regulus has made us so proud.’ For someone hiding so many dark secrets, his mother’s front was anything but vulnerable.
‘Gabrielle,’ interrupted Mr Tallis. ‘The train is to be leaving any minute, it’s time to see the girls off.’
‘Of course, Charles,’ replied Ms Tallis, turning around.
Aurelie and Adeline stood behind Mr Tallis in matching blue silk robes. Mr and Mrs Tallis kissed them both good-bye and they turned to leave, glancing at Regulus as they did.
‘Regulus,’ said Orion Black gruffly. ‘Make us proud.’
Regulus nodded. Walburga Black stood at her husband’s side. ‘We’ll see you at Christmas and—’ She stopped short and her gaze locked on something on the platform. Regulus followed her gaze to see Sirius who stood amongst his friends, smiling. He must have sensed that he was being stared at for his eyes met Regulus’ across the crowds of people. For a moment, time seemed to stop. And then Sirius turned away and Regulus heard Avery calling his name.
‘ ’Bye mum, ’bye dad,’ said Regulus hastily, finishing his mother’s good-bye. He grabbed his suitcase by the handle and hurried towards the train as the final whistle sounded.
Regulus made his way up the steps and to the narrow hallway of the train. The train began to move out of the platform. Girls and boys leaned out of windows, waving to loved ones. Regulus knew he had no one to wave to.
Regulus turned around to see Evan standing a few feet away. He walked towards Evan to the compartment where all the Slytherins were seated.
‘Late as usual,’ drawled Bellatrix from where she sat next to Rodolphus.
‘Got held up,’ replied Regulus monotonously, putting his trunk on the overhead shelf.
‘Never mind,’ said Lucius Malfoy impatiently. ‘You’ve met everyone?’
Regulus looked around the compartment to see the twins, Aurelie and Adeline in attendance along with Avery, Mulciber, Snape, Evan, Narcissa and Rodolphus and Rabastan Lestrange. Regulus nodded and took the window seat at the corner of the compartment.
‘Now that we’re all here,’ said Lucius. ‘The Dark Lord wants all members to meet at the first full moon.’
‘That’s a month away,’ piped up Mulciber. ‘What does he want us to do?’
‘Make progress on recruiting faithful Purebloods,’ replied Lucius. ‘Obviously.’
Regulus was staring out the window at the passing English countryside, ignoring Lucius’ pompous act and the talk surrounding the Dark Lord. The twin sitting next to Regulus shifted in her seat, leaning close to his ear. ‘I have to use the lavatory, could you show me where it is?’
Regulus looked up to meet her pale blue eyes and seductive smile. Unlike her sister’s eyes, hers were nothing special. ‘Sure,’ he replied boredly, getting up.
‘We’ll be back,’ said Regulus to Lucius, not waiting for his approval to leave.
Avery and Mulciber nudged each other and Evan smirked at Regulus as he walked out of the compartment. Regulus shut the compartment door after the girl came out. He could feel her eyes on him. ‘Bathroom’s this way,’ he said, not meeting her gaze. He led the way down the hall and stopped as they reached the first girl’s lavatory. Leaning against the wall, he waited for her to go inside, but that clearly wasn’t her intention.
‘Well, aren’t you coming in?’ Her voice was teasing.
Regulus paused. She was just like all the others: pretty, foolish and easy. Her seductive smile and cheap tricks didn’t fool him, besides he didn’t even remember her name.
‘Yeah, sure,’ he said, flashing her one of his trademark smiles as she opened the door for him.
Regulus didn’t know why he did it. Perhaps it was for affection. He knew it wasn’t for love because he’d never associated the two. Perhaps it was for dominance, however sick and twisted it was. He needed to be touched and in return feel something that would ease the pain.
Regulus wiped his mouth with the back of his hand as followed the twin — Aurelie — who’s name he’d figured out, as she opened the door. She stopped short and Regulus nearly bumped into her. He looked past her to see Rosalie waiting at the door of the lavatory.
Her blue eyes widened as she spotted Regulus behind her sister and she looked away quickly. Nearly a foot shorter than her sister, Rosalie seemed out of place in her pale rose silk robes, a red velvet ribbon gathering her long, dark hair back at the nape of her neck. She dropped the large leather-bound book she was carrying and picked it up quickly, flushing as she did.
‘Don’t be such a prude, Rosalie,’ said Aurelie coldly. ‘Run along.’
Rosalie narrowed her eyes. ‘Right, we should just all be whores like you, Aurelie.’
‘I’d keep my mouth shut if I was you,’ said Aurelie angrily. ‘Do you remember what mother said? One more mistake and—’
‘Funny she didn’t include anything about doing things in lavatories with boys,’ said Rosalie calmly, glaring defiantly at her sister. She glanced at Regulus momentarily, eyeing him with the same disdain as she did her sister.
‘You’d better watch your mouth,’ replied Aurelie icily. ‘Come on, Regulus.
Aurelie tossed her long blonde hair and began walking off. Regulus turned to look at Rosalie. She met his gaze with her intense blue eyes. ‘I think the boys lavatories are that way,’ she said, pointing left and pushing past him.
Regulus opened his mouth to retort but found himself speechless.
The summary of the chapter was taken from The Killers' song, "When You Were Young."
Thank you all for reading!
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