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“So at pigpimples,” Vernon said skipping a rock across the smooth glass lake. It had been a couple days since Regulus told him about being a wizard and the two have been nearly inseparable. The more they talked, the more there seemed to be to talk about. The weather had been getting better and better over time till the time it was nice enough to spend a great day at the park again. The two friends were now walking around the lake at a much slower pace then was necessary, discussing even more peculiarities about Regulus and the wizarding world.

“Hogwarts,” Regulus chuckled attempting to skip a rock. He copied Vernon’s actions, but his rock only hit the water and proceeded to sink. Vernon smiled trying to hide his amusement. “It’s not funny,” Regulus retorted agitated and attempting three more times with no different results. Without another word Vernon sent his perfectly flat rock sailing across the water with a slight smirk etched across his face.

Regulus was fed up and tossed a handful of smaller rocks into the water below watching the ripples float past, and hearing the out of sync plunking of the splash. Vernon chuckled and picked up another rock. This time he put it in Regulus’ hand and turned him to face sideways. Regulus was still pouting but Vernon ignored him to teach him how to properly skip a rock. “You need to turn your body so you are sideways to the water.” Now standing behind Regulus he grabbed his hand and loosely guided him through the motions over and over. “It’s sort of like tossing a Frisbee,” He said stopping the motion but still holding onto his arms. Both of their breathing was shallow, yet relaxed at the same time.

Vernon took in a deep breath inhaling the scent of Regulus. Getting nervous Vernon took a step back and cleared his throat loudly, “Now you try.” Regulus, slightly dazed, peeked over his shoulder at Vernon whose face was easily showing how embarrassed he was from what had just happened moments ago. Shaking the feeling off slightly, he turned and threw the rock. This time it skipped over the water once before sinking to the murky bottom below.

Regulus smiled over at his companions still figure. Vernon watched the ripples in the water growing then disappearing completely from view. He just stared down at the water oblivious to the world around him. It was a mind numbing calmness that swept over him as he watched each ripple grow bigger and bigger and then in a blink of an eye, everything they had worked up to was. . . gone.

“Vernon,” Regulus asked with concern as he took a step closer to his oblivious friend.

Vernon fell out of whatever trance he had been in upon hearing Regulus’ gentle tone. Looking up from the water he smiled subtly and turned to keep walking on along the trail. When he noticed Regulus didn’t follow him, but was instead still rooted to his place looking confused and worried he started to speak again, “So at Hogwarts you learn about magic?”

Regulus walked a few strides to catch up as he went into deeper conversations about the various classes Hogwarts had to offer. He had gone through the basics; potions, transfigurations, charms. It wasn’t until halfway through explaining divinations that Vernon’s curiosity could no longer be tamed.

“Wait, your lot actually believes in the telling of the future,” He asked in slight disbelief. It was obvious, that they were a bunch of stick carrying loons, but to really believe that you could predict the future was too much for even Vernon to understand at this point.

“Well some of us do,” He said staring out into the distance. “But some of us, like my family, don’t believe it.”

Vernon noticed how detached Regulus was when it came to this subject. It struck him as it being a way that Regulus keeping things a secret. “Well, what do you think,” he asked slowly. He looked over at Regulus from the corner of his eye wondering where his opinions fell on such a rubbish subject.

Regulus stopped in his tracks in shock. He had to think for a moment, no one had ever asked him about himself like that before. Everyone in the wizarding world just considered him to be, a Black. Like every other Black out there, with the exception of his brother. No one really expected him to think on his own, to have different opinions. Vernon however, was unaware of the Black family history. He didn’t know of who he really was, so with Vernon, he could be whoever he wanted to be.

“Me? I personally think it depends on the person. Some people have the gift of telling the future, and some people can only tell really good lies.” Regulus smiled to himself as contemplated the origin of his answer. Vernon didn’t know of the things Regulus did when it came to such a subject, and he planned to keep it this way. There was no need to drag him into the danger of the wizarding world.

The two walked in silence for a bit longer. Not awkward silence, but comfortable silence where they both could be lost in their thoughts. Vernon was processing what was just said about the wizarding world, and more importantly divinations. He concluded Regulus was a complicated person. Everything he said he seemed to think through first, every thought seemed to have been viewed from every angle before decided upon. The silence drug on and Vernon was itching to hear more about this new, strange world.

“So, what other classes are their at Hogwarts?”

“Oh,” Regulus said having been thrown from his thoughts, “There are many classes, like astrology, care of magical creatures, arithmacy, and even muggle studies,” he said smirking slightly in Vernon’s direction.

“Muggle studies,” Vernon asked curiosity getting the better of him once again.

 “Yeah, but I never took the class. . . It was actually forbidden by my mother. That was the only reason my older brother took the time to take it.”

“Why did your mother forbid it?” Vernon asked feeling ill inside.

“My mother is, old fashion,” Regulus said trying to put it in words as nice as possible. “She believes in ‘Pureblood’ which are those with magical linage traced back for ages. She feels that magical abilities should be kept between all magic families, like ours. Then we have,” Regulus paused to refrain from using the word ‘mudblood’, “muggle born witches and wizards who were born to muggle parents.” He then looked over trying to see if Vernon was processing everything being said.

“So, your mother is racist?” Vernon asked simply.

“In some ways… Yes,” Regulus said sadly looking down at his feet.

Vernon watched Regulus intently for a few seconds before he looked up to make eye contact. “And what about you?”

Regulus’ eyes darted down to his left forearm again then back to Vernon’s within the same second. He thought over and over in his head how to explain, how to just let Vernon know the truth of who he was, who he had become. Around Vernon, Regulus was ashamed to be a member of the Death Eater community that’s sole purpose, was to exterminate those of the bloodline of the man standing before him.

Vernon stood holding his breath waiting for his response. Had he really started to develop feelings for someone who couldn’t stand him? Had he been spending numerous hours a day with a man who hated him? Vernon could feel his heart drumming against his chest and his mouth go dry. As the silence drug on his breathing slowed to the point where he was holding his breath in anticipation. The wind had settled and not a soul, human or animal, could be found around them in the park. It was as if the earth itself was waiting for the one answer hanging around Regulus.

There was a look hidden in Regulus’ eyes that was screaming to Vernon. Telling him to drop his hopes, telling him to run and never look back, that there was never anything good that could come from Regulus in his life. It was his feelings however, that kept him rooted to the spot next to Vernon on the deserted park path.

“I met someone,” Regulus started slowly, “And he made me realize something.” He paused for a moment waiting to see if Vernon was going to say anything. When he didn’t he continued, “Muggles are a lot different then I thought.”

Vernon let out a sigh in relief and felt his shoulders relax. Vernon had changed Regulus, and for the better too. Something inside him felt hopeful. Why would Vernon be able to change a century of family hate in one man? How could Vernon have been able to sway a man who seemed to do whatever his parents wanted of him? How could Vernon have been able to change his mind if they were just friends?

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