Blood Traitor

i received a letter.

It was one of those days. The rest of the family had come over for dinner. Narcissa was as haughty as usual, Bellatrix as gloating. Each seemed to peer down their noses at their cousins, scrutinising their every move. Andromeda sat, sandwiched between them, pretending that she, too, was interested in the pure blood talk. Uncle Cygnus and Aunt Druella praised their eldest and youngest daughters, and shot furtive glances at Andromeda – they seemed to realise that she was longing to be anywhere else.

Their mother and father chatted happily with the others. Sirius sat in the limelight – he appeared to be the most promising of the Black sons. He was daring and handsome, and he certainly was smart. Regulus stole some of his glory, but still, he remained hidden in his brother's shadow.

And so, he sat and listened. When the topic of Bellatrix's NEWT marks had been exhausted, and Sirius' Sorting in the year to come had dried up, they moved on to the old standby topic – Pure bloods and Mudbloods.

"I still can't see why they let them in," said Bellatrix coldly. "If they have an ounce of magic in them, I'll eat Doxy droppings."

"Blood traitors must insist on 'fairness' and 'equality'," answered Aunt Druella. "But don't worry, my sweet, the Mudbloods will be taken care of in due course."

"And perhaps this will happen sooner than you think," Uncle Cygnus said, a small smile playing at his lips. "It seems that more and more are realising which way is right and which way is wrong. Wizards will have supreme power in no time at all."

Bellatrix smiled widely. "Too true," she said quietly, beaming down at her dinner plate. Regulus thought, if only for a moment, that she was in love. But he thought better of it in a moment. Bellatrix Black was possibly the coldest person he had ever met – there was no doubt in his mind that she had a heart of stone, a heart incapable of love.

"Rabastan had been saying that all last year," said Narcissa, looking up to her father.

"Yes, he and Rodolphus understand the importance of blood," said Uncle Cygnus. "They have been raised well."

Narcissa looked over to her eldest sister. Bellatrix seemed not to notice.

"I imagine they will have high ranks in the new order."

Regulus, who hadn't heard much of this new order, wasn't so sure that it was desirable. He thought it seemed cruel and unnecessary. He looked over to his brother, trying to decipher his thoughts.

Sirius, who always became much quieter during these talks, was staring pointedly at his potatoes. But for once, he wasn't alone in his silence. Andromeda seemed to be mirroring his actions. Regulus looked from one to the other, then back to his food again. It appeared that he wasn't alone – there were others in his family who didn't care about blood.


"But they'll disown us if we tell them, Sirius!" he said, later that night. "Don't you remember them talking about Phineas? Mum said that everyone acted as though he was dead until they didn't have to pretend anymore!"

"That doesn't matter, though, Reg," he said. He was acting more relaxed than Regulus had ever seen him before. Maybe it was because they were alone, away from their parents' prying eyes and stinging disapproval. Maybe it was because there were no visitors to criticise their every move. Maybe it was because Sirius had never held the same belief as the others, and he finally had someone to confide in. No matter what it was, it changed him.

"Yes it does! I don't want my whole family to hate me! We can't just – just pretend they don't exist and live our lives without them!"

"Who said our whole family would hate us?" he asked immediately. "Do you think everyone here is rotten to the core? There are bound to be some good apples on the withering Black Family Tree.
"And besides," he said, his voice somewhat strained, "you'll always have me."

"But what about everyone else, Sirius? What if they hate us? And – and what if something happens to you? What if something happens to me? Then we'd be completely alone."

Sirius seemed to notice the tone he spoke with. He must have sounded pathetic, whining about how bleak and hopeless things would be without the rest of the family. In the half-light, though, his features were covered by shade. Regulus couldn't read his older brother's mind, nor could he see his expression.

"It doesn't matter," he said simply. "Nothing can tear the two of us apart, even if it means turning our backs on everyone else. It can just be you and me – Sirius and Regulus, us against the world. No matter what happens, you will always be my little brother."

He seemed so sure of it, that Regulus couldn't help but believe him. "No matter what happens?" he asked hopefully.

"No matter what."

Regulus smiled to himself, allowing the words to sink in. Sirius and Regulus, us against the world. No matter what. He was sure that having his older brother by his side would help him through the darkest of times.


It was just a few months later when everything changed.

"Orion," Regulus heard his mother call. "Narcissa wrote us."

"Already? They're barely a day into school," he answered, evidently shocked to receive news so soon.

Interested, Regulus poked his head out of his bedroom door. He saw his mother and father's shadows dominating the hall. He walked slowly to his parents' looming figures, and listened carefully as his father read aloud.

"'I am sorry to bother you so soon, and even more so to be the bearer of bad news, but a problem has arisen. It seems that Sirius, though perfectly well behaved under your supervision, has already wandered astray.

The Sorting Hat had barely been on his head for ten seconds when it declared him a Gryffindor...'"

Even through the darkness, Regulus could see the look of disgust on his father's face. His mother looked like she was ready to faint.

"A Gryffindor," repeated Orion Black, hatred laced in his voice. "My son, the Gryffindor."

He held the letter loosely in his hands, his eyes averted from it. It seemed that he couldn't bear to read any more of it.

Walburga waited a moment before tugging it out of his hands. "'...He has already made friends with this Potter fellow, who looks to have all the wrong ideas about blood purity. He and the other Gryffindors may poison young Sirius' mind. I'll be paying him a visit in due course, in the hopes of returning some sense to him.

If you wish me to keep an eye on him, or pass on any messages, please feel free to tell me. It seems that young Sirius may be in need of more guidance than any of us originally thought.

his mother continued, stricken by the news.

"My son," Regulus' father began slowly, worry lines appearing on his face, "is a blood traitor."

"Orion, please," said Walburga, her voice barely audible. "He might not be–"

"He has become all I hate in the world," he continued, as though he hadn't heard his wife. "He is an abomination, a shame."

"There must be some sort of mistake," she continued, raising her voice.

"My son is–"

"You have another son," Walburga interjected.

And so their attention was returned to Regulus. For the first time in years, they had noticed the fly on the wall. They looked to the overlooked. They noticed the insignificant. And it seemed that they liked what they saw. They saw a much more promising boy. They saw a boy with potential – a boy with value.
Regulus had stolen the spotlight.

Walburga reached out and ran her hand through her youngest son's hair. "You won't disgrace the Black family, will you, sweetheart?"

Regulus looked to his mother and father, so hopeful for the boy they saw before them. His thoughts strayed to his brother, and how much fun he must be having, the weight of his family lifted off his shoulders. For a moment, he felt defiant. He felt daring, just as Sirius always did. But the feeling evaporated in a moment's time. He wasn't defiant. He wasn't daring. He wasn't Sirius.

He opened his mouth, ready to reply. But his options kept pressing in closer, wishing the be the one he chose. How could he decide between his parents and his brother? How could a ten year old decide who to love and who to ignore?

"You won't put us to shame, will you, Regulus?" his mother asked.

His eyes met hers, and immediately, he knew what he must say. "Of course not."

It was only when he returned to his room that he felt as though he had made a mistake. An owl had appeared by his window, a letter tied to its leg. He ushered the creature in, and took the scroll off.
He was sure it had come from Sirius – he must have felt the need to explain himself. But Regulus had made his choice. Sirius was not to be taken into account. His opinion didn't matter, his voice didn't matter, he didn't matter. Sirius was nothing.
Sirius, once a king sitting high above the rest, had fallen from his pedestal. Sirius was the king without a crown.

He shooed the owl away; Sirius deserved no reply. And once the window was closed, the letter was crumpled up and thrown into the corner of Regulus' room.


Narcissa's prediction had proven true over the years: Sirius was in need of more guidance than they originally thought. Though, with the help of his friends, he had resisted it every time they offered. Time and time again, Sirius had proven that he had so much more backbone than little Regulus.

It was widely known – many suspected that Regulus had, at one point, felt the same as his brother. But Sirius had acted on it. Brave young Sirius became a Gryffindor; brave young Sirius became admirable. Little Regulus had never grown a spine. He would forever be his parents' puppet, doomed to make his decisions based on his family's beliefs.

One summer, years after his Sorting, Sirius had shown his family just how much his backbone had strengthened.

He didn't say a single word to his mother. He thoroughly ignored his father. He glared at his brother every time he saw him. Though this wasn't unusual for Sirius, Regulus couldn't help but feel that something was different today.

And he was right.

The door to Sirius' room was left ajar. Feeling a surge of reckless abandon – feeling, he told himself, like his older brother – Regulus walked in. His trunk lay on his bed, packed full of clothes. The dresser drawers were hanging out, emptied. Most of his belongings were packed away.
Undoubtedly the rest would be taken down before dinner.

Regulus walked out, and waited for the explosion to come.
He waited for nothing, though.

Sirius acted as he always did at dinner. He ate quickly and quietly, and left as soon as he could. Regulus watched him closely as he stood up. He expected him to announce it now. Surely he would say that he was leaving. Surely he would throw it in his mother and father's faces.
He watched for nothing, though.

Sirius walked away hastily, a slamming door sounding in the distance. Walburga and Orion continued on with their conversation, as though nothing had happened. Perhaps they felt that nothing had.

Regulus' stomach churned at the thought of what his brother was planning, though. Sirius was bound to break his mother's heart, he was going to harden his father's. But Walburga's heart was torn up enough, and Orion's was already hard as stone. Sirius had no reason to add on to it.
And though Regulus used this as his excuse to feel worried, he knew that there was another. He missed the brother he once knew. He wished that he could be following. The Black family was cold and unrelenting. He would give anything to escape their grasp.

Feeling rather sick, he excused himself from the table. He told himself that he would talk some sense into his brother, but he felt that when the moment came, he would beg Sirius to let him tag along.

But when he reached Sirius' room, he found it abandoned. It looked so much emptier, though the only thing missing was the trunk engraved with the letters 'S.B.'
Maybe it seemed so cold simply because he knew his brother would never return. Maybe it looked so empty because Sirius hadn't cared enough to tell Regulus. Maybe it hurt so much because he had never given his courageous older brother a reason to trust him.

Feeling emptier than ever before, Regulus dragged his feet to his bedroom, leaving Sirius' as it was: disheveled and abandoned, ready to be found.
Sirius Black was dead to him.


Regulus, though he wore his family's beliefs like a crown, had another change of heart. Though these came and went as time wore on, he knew that this time was different.

He and the Dark Lord disagreed on many counts, and he could no longer serve the monster tearing apart his world. He looked to the Mark etched in his skin – a constant reminder of who he was now, and of what he sacrificed for his change.

It was then that he knew what to do. Desperate times called for desperate measures.

He arranged for a dinner with his parents. He told his fellow Death Eaters that he must see them, as they were so anxious to hear news from the front lines of the war against Muggles. It was an excuse they all accepted.

He faked joy all throughout the meal, giving his family tidbits on the movements on Lord Voldemort. 'Oh, yes, we're making a great deal of headway.' 'We suspect that we will win the war in no time at all.' 'The Muggle-borns and blood traitors won't have a clue what hit them.'

His parents smiled at him affectionately. In their eyes, he was the best son for miles. And Regulus simply pretended that he felt the same.

It was only when he reached the solitude of his room that he dropped the act. He searched quickly, and found what he came for within moments. It was a little black box, with his most prized possessions inside.

He opened it up and shoved it all into his pockets, and headed back downstairs. He bade goodnight to his parents, and walked out the door.

Moments later, he stood before a Muggle motel, and paid for a run-down room with Muggle money. If his father could see him now, the killing curse would hit him in the blink of an eye.

In the poorly-lit room, he pulled out a letter, yellowed with age. The faded ink had never been read.


With the sharp eyes of Narcissa on me all night, I'm sure you've already heard about my Sorting. No doubt you've received a letter from her, with explanations my wrong-doings and promises to set me straight.

I promise you, though, that everything will be fine. You and me, together forever, right? Us against the world, just as it should be. You and I can make it through this. Just have faith, little brother.

Keep to the family line around mum and dad, they would never let you come here if you didn't. But next year, do as you please. You and I can have the best times, learning to be proper wizards – learning to be decent human beings.
Together, we can escape the suffocating Black family.

Good luck, Reg. I'll see you next year, and in the time being, just remember: nothing can tear us apart.


Regulus stared at the parchment for a moment. 'Sirius and Regulus, us against the world,' rang throughout his mind. If only it had happened that way. If only he could change history.

Regulus dipped a quill into some ink, and pulled out a new piece of parchment. At long last, Sirius would get an answer.


In 1979, Sirius received a letter. An owl appeared at his window, a torn piece of parchment tied to its leg. He opened the window and let the bird fly in.
His little brother had written to him. For a moment, he wondered why the little Death Eater would want to speak to his useless blood traitor of a brother. For a moment, he was tempted to open it up, to read the letter greedily, as if the words were food and he was starving. But he thought better of it. Regulus was not his brother. Regulus was nothing – nothing – to him.

He shooed the owl away; Regulus deserved no reply. And once the window was closed, the letter was crumpled up and thrown into the corner of Sirius' room.
♠ ♠ ♠
I was thinking about putting in Regulus' letter to Sirius and a little bit more from Sirius' POV after Regulus disappears, but I felt this was long enough already XD