Disclaimer: As always I own nothing but the original characters and the plot. Thanks for reading, let me know if this idea interests you as I know it's weird.
Seventeen year old Head Boy Teddy Lupin was quite convinced that he was current owner of the strangest cat to ever prowl the Earth. As a major animal lover he had multiple pets at home that his grandmother somewhat grudgingly took care of for him while he was at Hogwarts, and Teddy had thought he had a pretty good grasp on how various animals, including cats, thought. Until Noir. The one year old, pure black cat had shown up at his house at the end of July in the rain, his grandmother the first to spot the feline through the window, watching them. Naturally he'd gone out to get it, and when no one had claimed the cat he'd decided to add it to his personal menagerie. Giving the cat to someone else had been out of the question when it became very clear that Noir was one of those cats that hated just about everyone. He alone was allowed to so much as touch his majesty, everyone else getting warning hisses that could and did eventually end in claws and bites if he wasn't taken seriously. But that wasn't what made Noir so strange, being bitchy wasn't unusual for a cat, but other…quirks his cat possessed made Noir very unique.
For starters Noir followed him everywhere, but not because he wanted affection or was curious by nature. He just did, like he was guarding him from something. And yet unlike other cats he'd had Noir never followed him into the loo, never groomed himself where anyone could watch him, and he stole food from the table and pantries with a skill that was now legendary among his family and friends because not even his grandmother had been able to catch Noir at it once. And NOTHING got by Andromeda Black Tonks for long. She'd even set traps, and he'd gotten through them without any problems.
Because even more strange than his often odd behavior was how smart the cat was. You could look in his eyes and actually see the intelligence in the black orbs that stared back at you, Noir's irises so dark that at first, second and third glance you usually missed the fact that he did have cat's eyes. Noir was so odd his grandmother had casted some spells to make sure that Noir wasn't a wizard in disguise or being controlled in some way before agreeing to let him keep the thing provided he took it to Hogwarts with him once school started.
The two didn't get along, obviously.
So here he was, patrolling the Hogwarts Express on the way to his final year at the school, with a cat perched on his shoulder. He'd put the cat in a carrier and left it in a compartment with Victoire and his other cousins, but not ten minutes after that someone had yelped loudly behind him, Teddy turning around to find a second year clutching a bleeding hand having made the mistake of trying to pick Noir up. When he'd walked over and crouched down to pick the badly behaved feline up Noir had jumped up, ran up his arm, and taken his present seat on his shoulder, digging in his claws in a warning as to what would happen if he was moved.
Luckily for the both of them he had a very well developed appreciation of the absurd, as well as no problem making a fool of himself for the amusement of others. It came from growing up surrounded by Weasleys, who'd adopted him into their clan by way of his godfather. So he tolerated the weird looks, questions, and pointed fingers as various students caught sight of his shoulder's decoration, Noir displaying his usual gracefulness by not once nearly sliding off his perch, his head turning this way and that as though he were patrolling the compartments as well.
Turning around again Teddy raised a hand in greeting, cutting Victoire off before she could apologize for letting Noir escape the compartment. "Don't worry about it, nothing keeps Noir out if he wants something. I should have known better than to think he'd stay with you lot while I went patrolling."
"But how did he get out?! The carrier was locked and we'd closed the door." Openly glaring at Noir Victoire Weasley made no effort to hide the fact that she pretty much hated Teddy's newest pet, a feeling that was utterly reciprocated on Noir's part.
Which was just another reason he shouldn't have left the cat behind, Teddy silently acknowledged, regardless of what a nuisance Noir could be even when he wasn't trying to be. Heaven help you when he was actively trying to drive you over the edge.
"Look, don't worry about it, trying to figure out how the little escape artist does it will-."
Whack, Teddy found himself being bitch slapped across his cheek by one furry paw.
Noir did not like to be called little.
"Dammit, Noir!" Reaching over Teddy grabbed the feline by the back of his neck and holding onto the scruff brought Noir over so that they were eye to eye, the cat glaring right back at him, as well as giving a low hiss of warning. "I've told you not to bitch slap me!"
The look in the cat's eyes almost seemed to say that he'd been telling him not to call him little even longer.
"That cat is a menace, Teddy. You should get rid of him. Or pawn him off on someone who hasn't the sense to know pure evil when he sees it! Give him to a Slytherin!"
"He doesn't like Slytherins. Or at least he doesn't like my grandmother. You don't like anyone, do you, Noir?"
Narrowed eyes, and then Noir's front paws came up again, though they just brush against Teddy's cheeks without claws or dark intent behind them. Other than purring and leaning into strokes delivered by Teddy, this was about as affectionate as Noir ever got.
Smiling in spite of himself, it was somewhat flattering that he was the lone person in the universe Noir didn't hate with cold, icy distain, Teddy leaned in to rub noses with the feline before placing his cat back on his shoulder, knowing too much affection would get him nothing but scratches.
"Go ahead and head back, Tori. I've got him."
Muttering something that sounded a great deal like a wish that she could throw Noir off the train, Victoire worked up a bright smile for him and then sauntered off, a number of male students pressing their faces against the glass or opening up their compartment doors to stick their heads out so that they could better appreciate the view before she disappeared from sight.
If cats could roll their eyes Regulus would have done so. Today's youth, they were a complete and total disgrace. He would have washed his hands of any blood relation who behaved the way these young hooligans did these days. Of course Teddy wasn't the most shining example of what a wizard should be either, but he was a good boy overall. Or at least tolerable to be around, which was more than he could say about a lot of people he'd been forced to meet since Teddy attracted people like bees to honey. Like that Victoire Weasley girl. He absolutely despised her. Thinking that she could be the next Mrs. Teddy Lupin, hah. Over his dead and rotting cat corpse. Not that that was why he'd been assigned to be Teddy's guardian beast of course, but he still saw it as part of his duty. There wouldn't be a lot of point in saving the Hufflepuff from whatever dark force was apparently going to threaten his Blood traitor cousin's grandson in the future after all, if the boy ended up marrying that bossy blonde trollop who wasn't even entirely human!
And yes, he wasn't human at the moment either, but he was going to be. That was why he was stuck in this body in the first place. Because he not only didn't believe he would fail, but was willing to accept the consequences if he did. Most people stuck in his position, unable to enter either heaven or hell, remained stuck in between the two planes of existence for the rest of their miserable afterlives, clinging pathetically to the hope that eventually they would reach a spiritual understanding of their previous actions that would lead to their admittance into heaven.
Not him though. He'd taken the route of agreeing to be Teddy's guardian when the position was offered to him. If he succeeded in protecting the boy, as well as behaving in a manner that pleased those in charge of such things, he would eventually be able to shift from a cat into a human being again and have a chance of living in the real world as a man once more.
The catch was, because there was always a catch, that he had a cat's lifespan to live and prove himself, and failure meant not only death, but the end of his soul completely. Ordinary animals, after all, didn't have a soul that could go on after death. Regulus Black would cease to exist, once and for all.
But unlike most, who couldn't bear the idea of a permanent end, Regulus was just fine with that. He had no one waiting for him in heaven that he wanted to see, and the only one who would mourn him was his mother. And then there was Kreacher, the former Slytherin mentally added, though he had no ideas if house elves lived on too. The house elf was still alive though, and he'd take his elf back once he was human again. If he became human again.
Because the chance to live again, to do all the things he'd planned to do before he'd been forced to end his own life…for that he would risk everything even if he ended up in limbo again after his second death. Which was admittedly most likely given the fact that people both alive and dead tended not to like him, but so long as he lived first he was fine with that.
Lost in thought Regulus jolted back to awareness when he felt familiar hands on him, instinctively fighting the urge to draw blood as he was once again lifted off Teddy's shoulder, and then settled into the crook of the Hufflepuff's arm like he was a baby.
"Quit glaring at me, you're just fine. It's more normal for me to carry you like this. You aren't a bloody parrot, you know."
Obviously, Regulus thought dryly, shaking his head but tolerating this new position since constantly fighting with the boy would only end with him being given away to someone else or dropped off at a pet store. He knew Teddy was too soft hearted to outright abandon him.
It was actually embarrassing really, how sweet and gentle the boy was. A Hufflepuff, no less. In the Black family. A complete and total scandal really, and that was before you factored in the boy's less than ideal ancestry on both sides thanks to Andromeda's abominable taste in men.
And yet…and yet Regulus couldn't help but…feel somewhat positive towards his descendant. It was impossible not to really. The boy was so absurdly likable, to the point where he got along with pretty much everyone regardless of age or house, and never had Regulus known someone so…truly good, to their very core. It set his Slytherin, Black teeth on edge at times, but it was impossible for him not to care for Teddy.
Hufflepuff or not.
"Soon we'll be at Hogwarts, and you'll have lots of new enemies to make." Teddy murmured to him, the boy's free hand moving to stroke his fur. "You could even win some points with the others if you kept Mrs. Norris the Second busy so that she isn't tracking us all the time."
Oh but Teddy knew how to pet a person, Regulus thought as he moved into the caresses, this being one of the very best things about being stuck with the boy. Not even embarrassed anymore by the purrs he couldn't seem to hold in, Regulus let loose and rumbled away like the motor of that stupid motorcycle his brother had been so proud of.
"There's my good boy. See, you need to show this side of you more often."
Ignoring the comment, he'd promised himself recently that he would only lash out if Teddy called him little, Regulus reminded himself why he tolerated these annoying shows of affection above and beyond the obvious reasons.
He had a job to do and he sure as Merlin couldn't accomplish anything if he was magically confined to his cat carrier or Teddy's room for the safety of the other Hogwarts students. Not that he couldn't get out of either of those places, he could, but it wasted valuable energy and time on his part, when he had to use magic to get out of said situations without being seen.
His orders were not to let Teddy out of his sight, and he had every intention of following that directive until he was human again.
In general Teddy got along with everyone, from the most popular to the outcasts, so having a cat that repelled people as thoroughly as Noir did was more than a little troublesome in the Hufflepuff's opinion. He had a feeling that he was going to have to get a T-shirt that warned people against trying to get near his pet, though how he'd get the cat to wear it and not tear it to shreds within seconds of being put in it was currently beyond him. He'd had a devil of a time getting the cat to accept the collar that was currently around the feline's neck, the bell originally attached to it long gone. He'd searched everywhere, and replaced the damn thing three times, but the bells always went missing.
Noir liked to sneak up on people.
Looking down at said cat, who was currently blissed out from his petting and looked completely harmless and adorable, Teddy shook his head over how appearances could be so very deceiving and then continued his walk through of the train before heading out, having confirmed that all the students had left their compartments now that they'd arrived at Hogwarts.
His job done Teddy left the train for the still somewhat crowded platform, returning the wave he got from Hagrid since it was never hard to pick his Care of Magical Creatures out of a crowd.
"Wotcher, Hagrid." Teddy called out, weaving through the students who were still milling around, careful to make sure that none of them accidentally bumped him and set Noir off. He preferred to keep the cat in a peaceful frame of mind for as long as humanly possible.
"Good ta see ya, Teddy." Hagrid assured him once he'd made it over, giving the boy's currently magenta hair an affectionate rub with one hand while pointing to Noir with the other. "And this must be the cat you were telling me about at Harry's birthday party. Noir you said?"
"Yeah, but don't try and touch him." Teddy warned, knowing that Hagrid would be inclined to do so despite the stories he'd told the man about Noir's personality disorder. "He'll maim you."
"Ah, I've heard that before, Teddy and-"
"No, seriously, Hagrid. He's more vicious than a Norwegian Ridgeback."
Noir lifted his head up then, meeting Hagrid's gaze squarely, in a way that had both Teddy and Hagrid thinking that the feline was currently plotting very bad things.
"Blimey…got a powerful stare, doesn't he? Could probably win a staring contest with the Headmistress."
Imagining Professor McGonagall and Noir having a staring contest amused the heck out of Teddy, especially since his cat had won every contest he'd had with Grandmother. The little bugger just did not back down or blink, his grandmother of the opinion that Noir had more ego and pride than ten Slytherins put together.
He'd made the mistake of saying that maybe Noir had been a Black in another lifetime then, which had gotten him nothing but vegetables for a whole week. And not good vegetables either.
Telling Hagrid that story had them both laughing, completely unaware of the real reason Noir was smirking at them from Teddy's arms.
"There you are, Teddy, we were wondering what was keeping you. Hello, Hagrid."
Well aware that Allan was Teddy's best friend, they'd yet to meet due to the fact that the supposedly brilliant boy had spent his last month before school in America visiting his father's family, Noir took advantage of the fact that Teddy was looking in the Gryffindor's direction to get a good look at the very tall redhead who he'd seen pictures of and read letters from. And then his attention shifted completely over to the fact that boy also had a cat in his arms. A Siamese cat with brown eyes that were locked on his own, both recognizing at the same moment what the other was.
They'd both come here to Hogwarts with a job to do, and now they knew it was severe enough that not one but two at least partially damned souls had been brought back to this plane of existence.
While Allan explained why he had the cat, especially since he'd managed to weasel his way out of taking any from Teddy before, the two cats eyed each other for a few moments more before Regulus figured that he might as well introduce himself since he was betting that they were going to be spending a lot of time together whether they liked it or not.
"Regulus Black, though he calls me Noir."
"I see. Pleasure to make your acquaintance." Though the other cat answered him in perfect English Regulus could hear the hint of a European accent so stifled he couldn't place it even as he strained to do so. "I am currently answering to the name Siam."
"And your actual name would be…?"
"Siam will do for now." Was the cat's enigmatic response. "And I believe I've already met the person we need to protect these two from, which I think is far more important for us to discuss."