Title: He Wished
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em - not making any money off 'em. Dern it.
Word Count: 1,308
Summary: Lily hopes to talk some sense into him, but Regulus won't budge in his decision.
Notes: Betaed by Sophie (Screaming Faeries)
Year Long Scavenger Hunt: D7. Write about a romantic relationship between a Pureblood Slytherin and a Muggleborn Gryffindor without using Hermione Granger
Lily knew that Sirius was worried. Regardless of how his family had treated him, Sirius was still Regulus's older brother and one didn't just stop worrying about your younger brother, no matter how cruel one was treated.
And frankly, Lily was a bit worried as well.
She and Regulus weren't that close, but all the while she had been friends with Severus, she had gotten to know Regulus as well. He was quieter than the rest of her friends. He preferred his own company. In fact, if it hadn't been for his Slytherin robes, she might have mistaken him for a Ravenclaw when she first met him.
He didn't seem to regard her with the prejudice that the other Slytherins did, and he never had any trouble talking to her. He never said a cruel word to her, and she didn't believe that he said anything nasty behind her back, either.
Severus didn't seem to care for Regulus, but Lily knew that could have simply been due to his surname.
Lily found herself caring about what would become of Regulus. Even now that she was engaged to James and friendly with Sirius, she still worried about his younger brother.
He was so young, and he was mixed in with something bad. She didn't believe he was a bad person, but he had been tempted by dark, seductive things, and he hadn't known who he could go to for help.
After all, despite his secret worry about the youngest Black, Sirius had never reached out to Regulus. All Regulus had were the other Slytherins, including his cousin, Bellatrix. It was no wonder that Regulus couldn't say no with that kind of peer pressure burning down on him.
Lily wanted to help him.
That was why, when she had told James she was going out for some girl time with Marlene and Alice one day, she actually found herself at the small apartment where Regulus lived.
She didn't knock. She knew he must have wards and probably was alerted to her presence.
When the door opened, her breath caught at how absolutely exhausted he looked.
Regulus blinked at the redheaded vision before him. "Lily Evans. Or is it Potter now?" Regulus asked bitterly.
Lily looked confused for a moment, but she shook her head. "Still Evans. We're getting married in three months."
"What are you doing here?" he asked softly, his eyes drinking in her lovely figure, and even lovelier face.
"I've been worried about you. There are a lot of things going on, and I fear you might have gotten in way over your head."
Regulus looked down at the floor. It was funny that she had come here today of all days. She came to tell him he was in something he shouldn't be in, and he had the same exact realization last night when he saw a helpless Half-blood witch tortured. The sight of the witch's red hair being engulfed in flames was seared into his brain, and he knew it was because of her resemblance to Lily.
He knew the Death Eaters did terrible things, but he thought it was the right thing to do, especially since most of his family agreed with the creed the Dark Lord lived by. Then when the Half-blood witch...
It could have been Lily.
And that was what Regulus kept thinking about. One day, it could be Lily. She was a Muggle-born, considered lower than a Half-blood.
What would he do if he was forced to watch someone as beautiful and kind as Lily meet the same fate as the Half-blood witch?
He didn't know how long he stood there before Lily without speaking, but he eventually met her eyes evenly and stated, "I agree."
Lily took a deep breath. A small smile bloomed on her face. "That's great! We'll get you out and..."
She trailed off when he shook his head. "No, Lily. There is no getting out. No one is able to leave the Death Eaters alive."
"Regulus, there has to be a way. You don't belong with them. I know you don't."
He felt choked up at her sincere belief in him. "Lily, I've already come up with a plan, something that will help your side win."
"What is it?"
Regulus bit his bottom lip with indecision, a rare moment where he showed he was less than confident. "I really shouldn't tell you. It might be dangerous for you to know."
Lily rested a hand lightly on his forearm. "How dangerous is it?"
He closed his eyes at the fear in her voice. "Truthfully, I don't think I'll survive. If the act itself doesn't kill me, the Dark Lord will when he discovers my treachery. And he will discover it. It's only a matter of time."
"Then don't do it," Lily ordered.
"I have to. It's the only way to atone for the mistakes I made, and give you a better chance to win the war. And hopefully when I die, it won't be in vain."
"There has to be another way," Lily pleaded, her voice cracking with emotion.
Regulus looked into her eyes. "There isn't. Just do me a favor?"
Lily wanted to keep begging Regulus to not do whatever he was planning to do, but she didn't think she would be able to get through to him. The least she could do was promise to do one last thing for him. "Anything."
"Don't tell Sirius."
"He'd be proud of you," Lily murmured.
Regulus wanted his big brother to finally be proud of him, because although he had never told Sirius, he did admire his brother's ability to say 'no' when he didn't believe in something, despite everything it cost him. "I know, but I also know he will blame himself."
"You would rather him believe you're an evil Death Eater?"
The thought of his brother forever hating him hurt, but still, he answered, "Yes."
Lily took his hand. "Is there anything else I can do? Anything at all?"
Regulus wanted to say, 'Kiss me. That's what you can do.' He would love to feel her lips pressed against his but knew he couldn't ask that of her. "No, nothing," he finally muttered.
Lily's eyes were sad. "Okay." She paused, and then asked, "Are you sure there's nothing I can do to talk you out of this?"
Regulus nodded. "I'm sure."
He wanted to tell her that he loved her, but he couldn't. He wasn't brave enough, and he knew that if he did tell her the truth of his feelings, it would forever haunt Lily until she died. Like Sirius, Lily would believe Regulus's suicide mission was her fault.
Instead, he pulled her into his arms, and for the first time ever, he hugged her.
She returned the embrace. "I wish things could have been different."
Regulus closed his eyes, simply enjoying the closeness he would never feel again. "I wish so as well."
And she would never know how different he wished things could have been. He wished she would soon be taking hislast name instead of Potter's. He wished he had been strong enough to walk away from all the Slytherins when they told him to follow the Dark Lord. He wished he had been strong enough to walk away from his parents and their negative influence.
He wished a lot of things, but wishing wouldn't be able to change the truth of the situation.
Soon, he would be going to the cave he found. He would take the thing that helped make the Dark Lord immortal. And he hoped that would be enough to turn the tide of the war.
Lily deserved a long and happy life, and Regulus wanted that for her more than he wanted anything else. And with any luck, his contribution would help make it happen.