Vernon was pacing in his living room; back and forth, half an hour before the big match. Peeking outside the curtains, he noticed the weather to be even gloomier than the night before.
He had tossed and turned the night before, thinking about Regulus coming back to his house today. The more that Vernon thought about him, the more nervous he became. His dreams were never more vivid than those that kept him awake.
It was always the same one right after the other, the same dark room, the same eerie cold feeling, and the same image of Regulus running. Running past him? No, running to him. Panting, a slight craze in his eyes, Regulus wrapped his arms tightly around Vernon. It was then Vernon would wake up, each time drenched in sweat, and feeling alone. He felt more lonely with each dream; not because of the dream itself, but because of how right it felt to be in his arms. If only in a dream, it was still . . . right.
Vernon peeked out the window yet again, only to find nothing. The same old street. Just as he turned his back, the doorbell rang. Very slowly, he made his way to the door, and found Regulus standing on his door steps. The wind was furiously blowing now, ruffling the younger boy’s hair.
“How did you get here?” Vernon asked in awe, “I was just looking out the window and the street was deserted!”
As Vernon stepped aside to let Regulus in he chuckled, “Why, were you watching for me?”
Vernon, caught off guard by the question, no longer pressed the subject, falling quiet sheepishly. Following Regulus into the sitting room, he took the time to study him. He was much skinnier than he had gathered at first glance. His dark black hair was medium length, and still stuck out at odd angles from the wind. Regulus was noticeably shorter then Vernon, but then again, Vernon was extremely tall. Just then, Regulus turned around, a worried look on his face.
“Vernon, I’ve got to be honest with you,” he said, looking at his feet. Vernon suddenly found that he held his breath as Regulus looked back up at him. There was a moment of intense silence as Vernon shuffled his feet and Regulus ran his hand through his already-messy hair. “I know absolutely nothing about Rugby.”
Vernon was silent for a few more seconds, then burst into a peal of hysterical laughter. The vacant, confused look present on Regulus’ face caused him to laugh even harder. Finally coming around, he took a seat on the couch and turned to Regulus, who looked slightly miffed.
“Not that I don’t want you here, but why did you want to come if you don’t understand Rugby?” Vernon said chuckling slightly.
This time, it was Regulus who was thrown into fits of laughter. He sunk into the couch, feeling all of the tension that had hung in the air melt away as Vernon turned on the television and become engrossed with the beginning of the game.
The more and more Vernon got into the game the more and more Regulus tried to blend into the wall. He was thoroughly and completely confused at this point.
There were thirty men in uniforms running and tackling each other. This sport seemed to be even more violent then even Quidditch could get! Speaking of Quidditch, there was only ONE ball in this sport. The more Regulus watched the more confused he became.
One of the players on the team Vernon was rooting for kicked the ball forward and was caught by his teammate. “Wait, I thought you said you could only pass the ball backwards,” Regulus asked, confused. That wasn’t backwards.
“You can, but he didn’t pass the ball, he kicked it,” Vernon replied, without taking his eyes off the game.
The guy that caught the ball suddenly was running down the field dodging attackers. He finally crossed the end line and, as he pushed the ball to the ground, the crowd went wild.
“So that means he scored, right?” Regulus asked noticing one of the scores on the score board go up.
“Yeah, the next kick determines the game,” Vernon said, leaning towards the TV and refusing to blink.
The teams lined up for the kick. With every movement on the field Vernon become more and more excited. As the final kick was soaring through the air Regulus studied not the game, but the man sitting next to him. His once neat, professional looking hair from yesterday was now scattered and lying freely. He was bigger then Regulus; definitely bigger. Taller, and with a lot more muscles. He must have been one of these Rugby players in his secondary days. Just then, Vernon jumped into the air, cheering wildly, holding his arms high above his head.
Regulus couldn’t have been more confused as to what on earth had just happened, but he felt extremely happy none the less. Something about Vernon—seeing him happy and smiling, just made Regulus’s day. Regulus slouched back on the sofa and continued to watch Vernon celebrate the win of his favorite team. Chuckling to himself, he couldn’t help but feel welcome. To feel accepted and like he was doing the right thing. Whatever that meant in this situation.
Vernon flopped back down, seeming to have tired himself out, stretching out and resting his arms on the back of the couch. One coincidently resting so close to Regulus’ shoulder, they could both feel each other’s body heat. The two sat for a moment in comfortable silence, simply watching each other. Vernon was staring into Regulus’s dark brown eyes. He could hear his pulse in his ears and the drumming of his heart against his chest. Every passing second brought on a new feeling to him. Something about Regulus made him feel—different.
Regulus coughed awkwardly, bringing Vernon back to reality. He got to his feet and in three strides was by staring out the window again.
“The weather sure has been nasty recently,” he said monotonously.
“It could be worse, though,” Regulus said trying to cover up the worry in his voice. “Er, hey, why don’t we go get your car now?” he said, standing up and heading towards the door. Vernon silently followed behind him.
“You don’t mind if we walk do you?” Regulus asked suddenly, “I was dropped off earlier.”
Vernon was then reminded of how suddenly Regulus had appeared right on his door step. He ignored the thought, however, thriving on any excuse to spend more time with Regulus. Vernon started, cold, as they walked, but was quickly warmed up by trying to keep in stride with Regulus.
They kept up a steady conversation while they took their walk. Almost every other minute Regulus would look over both his shoulders, just like the day before. Vernon asked him once or twice what he was watching out for, but each time Regulus would brush it off and change the subject back to rugby. Vernon could tell he was trying hard to get the hang of the concept, but was failing at understanding a word he was hearing.
Rounding the last corner before reaching Vernon’s car, Regulus looked over his shoulder one last time. There was look of utter and complete horror on his face as the air seemed to freeze in place. The misty fog around the two turned to stagnate ice as Regulus screamed “Run!” Vernon gathered panic from every part of him; his voice, actions, facial features.
“I SAID RUN!” Regulus screamed, pulling a small brown stick from inside his coat.
He was now pointing it menacingly towards the empty street as despair set in. Vernon was hopeless, he felt like falling to his knees and giving in. Memories flashed before him, one after one, each one more painful than the last. After what seemed like ages, Regulus grabbed his hand and pulled tightly on his arm.
“Come on, Vernon, you need to run,” Regulus was no longer yelling; he was pleading softly for Vernon to come out of there with him, as quickly as possible.
Instant warmth spread through Vernon as he ran just behind Regulus. From where their hands were clenched together he felt hope again. He clung to the very image of being able to grasp his hand forever.
The alley where Vernon’s car was safely stashed was just ahead. Regulus kept looking over his shoulder, terrified, at the street behind them. Vernon looked back, seeing nothing as they made a sharp turn into the alley. Vernon lost balance and fell hard to the ground, his one happy connection lost. Regret began to eat away at Vernon’s soul, seeming to tear him apart from the inside. Hopelessness sunk in, tears came to his eyes. His heart ached and longed for all he knew would never be his. Just when he felt he would never be able to smile again, a bright white something—a bobcat?—went charging past him.
Regulus ran over and collapsed by Vernon as they both sat, gasping for air.
“What the bloody heck was that?” Vernon asked in shock.
Just a real quick note here to thank jazzeh turnip, gingersnape, melian, and loopylemon for trying ruthlessly to explain ruby to me! My beta also brought it to my attention that you might not understand the Bobcat referance to Regulus’ patronus if you are not from America because its apparently an American animal! ;) So im writing a blog to explain it to everyone! :) I cant thank you enough for my reviews they are truly what helps me going in this story! :)
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