Author: Noldo PM
It's all in the stories, and the way we tell them. Regulus genRated: Fiction K - English - Regulus B. & Sirius B. - Words: 874 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 13 - Published: 08-15-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3106175
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Belated birthday-fic for dorythefishie on LJ.
Somewhere (somewhere and somewhen; now, or a year ago, or ten, or a hundred), there's a little boy crouching at the foot of his mother's chair, and he's looking up at her, watching the way the half-light plays across her face and the glass in her hand – red-luminous wine casting suggestions of its own colour onto her sharp profile – and he's waiting for the warmth of her palm, resting for a moment on his head in approving caress, and then gone.
Somewhere else, his parents died when he was not quite a year old.
Somewhere he's the second son, the child doomed to a lifetime in the murky depths of someone else's shadow. Somewhere he's wearing green, and somewhere he's wearing red, and the difference between them is a hundred years of tradition and a trunk full of inherited robes (and family photographs, sleeves of dark-green silk spilling untidily past the bounds of his father's cloak), and to another person it might have made an interesting dichotomy, this juxtaposition of colour-tones and ideas and worlds.
And somewhere-sometime he's a little older, skulking half-hidden in the shadows at the foot of the stairwell, watching them, unalike and alike in unyielding pride, and he's watching the way his mother's face twists and watching his brother, the way he shouts, shaking in impotent fury, the way laughs (something painful and intangibly ugly, almost; and there's a cruel twist to the corner of Sirius's mouth that he's never seen before) and the way the dying sunlight silhouettes him sharply against the window (the glass crystal-sparkling in the sunset); but he's seeing something else overlaid across them, an ambiguity of sorts, something he can't quite describe or explain, like a half-realised feeling of dread. And he doesn't quite understand what he's thinking-seeing-feeling and he understands it all too well; it's a dream of sorts, lost midway in the translation to waking, and existing only in a sort of half-recognition. And he doesn't want to put it to words; wouldn't, even if he could. It's something foreboding, certain and inexplicable; the harbinger of the storm.
But while he's watching Sirius go, he's thinking about the way that brilliance goes with rashness (and that's the way Sirius is, all intelligence and explosive temper and quite possibly madness), and the way he looked, paused for a moment and framed in twilight at the very edge of the threshold; and he's thinking about the way the blue-grey sky and clouds and rain make the slow-moving figures in the street waver into nothingness, seeming less substantial than their own shuddering afterimages.
Somewhere he's the recalcitrant recruit, and the tortured torturer (caught in a labyrinth of things far more powerful than he, unable to do more than be tossed along, and yield unquestioning in the path of the storm). And somewhere he's stepping into a cave, listening to the way his footfall shatters the stillness around him, and the way the water quietly chafes at the edges of its territory; green light glows at the middle of the lake (he cannot stop himself from imagining a passage across the Styx, a coin over each eye insufficient price for a fragment of a soul) and there are white shapes beneath the surface of the murky water, and he has never been more tempted to run.
Somewhere, sometime, he's the grey-eyed boy who died too young, and died alone.
And somewhere else, he's nineteen-twenty-twentyone-twentytwo, and he has a new name (but the same face, in a concession to inherited vanity) and a collection of ties and shirts and slightly-dusty trenchcoats and even a jumper which he has long sworn to abandon but somehow never does, and he's never in one place or one job or one life for very long; he's always running from a million past-ghosts and from his family and from his life and possibly from himself. And he's standing in a city square, half the world away from everything he's ever really known or understood or loved (or perhaps he's standing in the middle of absolutely nowhere, and sometimes it's exactly the same thing and sometimes not at all; but he tries, he honestly does, to see the interest in the ordinary and the excitement in the superlatively commonplace, and sometimes he can and sometimes he can't and it's always different), and he's looking up at the sky (watching the trajectory of a bird across it, just a black speck sweeping huge curves across a blue canvas, impossibly high), and he's not really Regulus Black any more, not really, but it might just be worth it.
Or it might not. It's a contrast which interests him, for somewhere he has all the world, and somewhere he has none, and the difference isn't really in the stories; it's in the way the stories are told.