At first the burn in his throat was reminiscent of his beloved Firewhiskey. At first. Quickly the fire in his throat spread to his chest and into his stomach - the pain started to crescendo. It became unbearable. He literally could not deal with the pain. Never in his life had he experienced anything like it - not even the Cruciatus curse could hold a candle to the intense inferno that was destroying his insides.
Still, he did not want to frighten Kreacher any more than he already had and swallowed his screams of agony.
The second drink was worse, if that was even possible. And with the second drink, everything around him disappeared.
Marlene McKinnon looked beautiful in the moonlight. She laughed in a way which suggested she did not have a care or worry in the world. That could be farther from the truth. Regulus knew she suffered horribly. Her friends had been dying, she had been fighting and the uncertainty of living through the night wore on her and everyone she loved each day.
Regulus assumed The Dark Lord sent him on this raid on purpose. It had been no secret that the two of them shared a few blissful months together. Until he foolishly joined Voldemort. She couldn't love him and did not even know who he'd become, she spat as she threw the locket Regulus had given her in his face. At the time Regulus told himself good riddance. Who wanted to be with a Blood-traitor bitch anyhow? How utterly stupid he was. And now Regulus was forced to participate in her death. Could he even do it?
She and her entire family danced and laughed in their living room, completely unaware of what was about to happen. Bellatrix chuckled in only the way she could when murder was so readily available to her.
There were seven of them there that night. All of which blasted down the McKinnon's door and rained a hellfire of spells down upon them all. Regulus made it look like he helped; no one would know that he actually tried to shield Marlene, but it was no use. Bellatrix got to her amongst all the chaos.
Regulus felt his heart shatter upon hearing Marlene's scream, and as he watched her fall to the ground with the light forever taken from her perfect blue eyes. Bile rose in his throat and it took all of Regulus' strength not to bring his wrath down upon each of those hooded, bloodthirsty, puppets. Marlene was gone - and so was he.
Heat. Fire. Pain. More pain. Regulus came to slowly, but was still not all there. He was on the ground with sweat pouring down his face. His vision was clouded and he was painfully aware of the blistering burning going on inside of him. He needed water. There was nothing in his life that he ever need more than the water he needed in that moment.
"Kreacher," he called out, yet no sound came. "Kreacher," he tried again and managed to make some noise.
This is how it ends then, he thought. He knew this had to be the end. It was entirely too painful to not be the beginning of his death. Regulus assumed death would be agonizing, but he never imagined it would be quite this bad. But even still, he wasn't scared. Impatient was probably more accurate. If he was dying, then why was it taking so long? Why would death not hurry? Maybe this was warranted. After the death he had caused in his life, maybe this was even more than he deserved.
As he wished for it to all finally end, he did not realize he had been saying, "Water," out loud.
He was vaguely aware of Kreacher's bloodcurdling scream and the figures pouring onto the shore. He opened his eyes more widely and tried to focus. Even though on the inside he was a burning man, he felt like he was doused in ice water, which made its way into his ribcage and around his heart. Death seemed to be coming for him after all.
"Kreacher, leave! Now!" Regulus used all of the strength he could muster to give the order.
"KREACHER! NOW!" he bellowed, then flopped to his side.
Surprisingly, he smiled upon hearing the loud crack which told him Kreacher had listened and Disapparated.
Clammy, deteriorating hands reached and grabbed at every inch of Regulus. Bones could be seen through the tears in their skin, their eyes were white and clouded over and spots of hair were missing from their scalps. Inferi. Regulus knew he should be petrified, but he felt the water, that he knew they were taking him to, would be sweet relief. He welcomed it and he welcomed the soulless creatures who began to drag him down into his, soon to be, watery tomb.
One of the Inferi embraced him from behind, like a lover who tried to be coy and surprise you with a game of, "guess who." He did not fight nor did he struggle.
As he was dragged beneath the icy surface of the blackness, Regulus hungrily took a gulp to finally calm the raging wildfire. He inhaled the water, hoping it would soothe his burning lungs and end his suffering. Lower and lower he sank. His ears were ringing and black spots formed before his eyes. At last, he thought. The most wonderful and blissful oblivion, which he normally chased after with a bottle, was moments away. Finally he would be at peace. He wasn't sure if it was the depth of the water, or that he was dying, but everything began to fade.
Regulus bounced up and down in excitement. He couldn't wait for Sirius to see what he could do! He learned a new trick this morning and just knew that his big brother would love it.
He gathered the four stones, put them in his pocket and ran from the back yard and right up to Sirius' room. The smile wouldn't have been able to be pried from his face with a crowbar.
He knocked at the door rapidly.
"Open up, Sirius! Come on! I want to show you something! Open up!" he whined.
In mid-knock, the door flew open. Standing with a bemused smirk on his face was his brother, who laughed quietly.
"Jeez, Reg. Where's the fire?" he said, trying to sound annoyed, but the amusement leaked through.
Regulus didn't wait to be invited in. He was too excited. He pushed right past Sirius and hopped from one foot to the other in the middle of the bedroom.
"Look, look, look! Look what I can do!"
Sirius shook his head, walked to his bed and sat down. He lifted his arm and gestured for Regulus to proceed. "Well. Let's see then."
It felt like Pixies were flying all around Regulus' stomach. Now that he had an audience, he was nervous he wouldn't be able to do it. The corners of his mouth turned down in a small frown.
"Aw, come on, Reg. Don't be scared."
Sirius was always seemed to know what Regulus was feeling. Even if Regulus didn't say it out loud.
"I'm afraid you'll think it's stupid," Regulus pouted.
Sirius got off the bed, walked over to his brother and put his arm around his shoulders.
"Reg, listen. You're my little brother. I'll always be proud of whatever you do," he smiled and then playfully hit him in the arm. "Even if it's rubbish," he winked.
Regulus felt a little better at his brother's words. His mouth crept up in a smile. He smacked Sirius back and laughed.
"Ok. Now watch!"
Regulus held his hand, palm up, and placed four stones on it. His eyebrows furrowed in concentration and his mouth puckered. Suddenly the biggest stone levitated about two inches off of his hand and the three other stones began to spin around it. Like the largest stone was the sun and the three others were tiny planets.
Sirius threw his head back and let out a bark-like laugh, which broke Regulus' concentration. The stones fell to the ground. Regulus scowled.
"That was great, Reg!" Sirius clapped him on the back.
Regulus' eyes lit up. "You really think so?" he asked in a small voice.
"Yep!" Sirius' mouth popped on the P. "You've got loads of magic, Reg! When we're both in Hogwarts in five years, they're not going to know what hit them!" he exclaimed.
Regulus laughed a carefree one. "I can't wait!"
Sirius ruffled Regulus' hair. "The Black Brothers will be legends, Reg. Wait and see."
That caused Regulus to puff his chest out. "You're the best big brother ever, Siri!"
"You're not so bad either, kid."
Everything went black.