Regulus Black took a deep breath he did not know he was holding and looked sharply at his brother. He had his luggage with him on the floor as he stood tall facing him, just few meters away from their front door. "Are you going to run away, brother?" he asked, his chest tightening at the undeniable fact that his only brother was going to leave him alone with his mad parents. He hated them and all their pureblood laws they set up for him, their unstoppable praise about how he would never be like his brother, he was much more than that.
He was the heir to The Most Noble and Ancient House of Black and he despised the fact. He wished that he was born in the family of blood traitors or even in muggle family. That would have been a lot better environment to live in than live in this house. He felt suffocated here. He couldn't do anything without rethinking again and again about the consequences his actions would have. It was tiring, he was getting sick of all the yearly balls at the Malfoy Manor, his internal screaming at his mother to stop beating up Sirius and acting in the school like he was not blood traitor like his brother.
He was sick of it, but he did not know how to get out of it. He couldn't leave the house like Sirius would, he was the heir. He was supposed to follow the legacy, no matter how much he hated that legacy.
He was the heir, the only they had. They did after all, blasted Sirius off the family tapestry.
Sirius nodded his head. "I want you to come with me, brother. Come with me to the Potters, don't torture yourself here. I know that you hate it here. So, please Regulus. Come with me. Be my brother again. We can laugh and joke around like we used to when we were young there."
He shook his head. "I can't, Sirius. However much I hate the family legacy, I have to follow it. You're running off the home, so who do our parents have? Me, they only have me. I have to protect them from him. From his anger and rage. I have to protect them from being under his wrath."
"So, you are going to join him for the family?" his brother asked in disbelief as he looked at him in the pure shock. "You can't do that. You can't just destroy your own future for them, Reg. What good did they do to you other than force their beliefs on you? You hate them, Reg just as much as I do. So, why is it that you're torturing yourself for them?"
"They're our parents, Sirius. I can't just leave them alone here under his wrath all alone with no one protect them! No matter what horrible things they did, they're our parents! They're the people that I have to thank for giving birth to me and my brother. I want to protect them because I care. But, you wouldn't understand that. You're so filled with your rage over our parents that you forget that there was nicer times in this household too. Don't you remember?"
"Sirius, Regulus and Narcissa. We three were always here, playing together. We were happy."
"Until our parents came back from their long vacation." Sirius reminded him coldly.
He sighed, running his hand through his perfectly styled hair and messing it up. "Just, Sirius know that no matter what happens you would be always my big brother." he said, looking at his brother gently and smiled, because if he did not he felt like he was going to cry.
And Blacks did nor cry especially when they were bidding their brothers goodbye.
"And you will always be my younger brother, Reg." Sirius smiled back, ruffling his already messed hair.
"Just be careful on the way to Potters."
"And don't come back. They will kill you if you do."
"I know." he said knowingly and turning on his heel, started walking away. Took a bus and disappeared.
With a sigh, Regulus closed the door behind him and fell on the ice cold floor. "Best of luck to you, brother." he said and waited for his parents to arrive home.
"You are really going to join his ranks, Reg?" asked Bartemius as he gulped down his drink as they sat in the muggle pub. "If so, I am going to follow you right then. Can't do much about my old man's expectations either."
Regulus shook his head in disbelief. His friend was so reckless that sometimes Regulus thought that Bartemius should have been sorted into Gryffindor. He got too much of braveness in him that it made some of his housemates wonder whatever or not he was sorted into the right house. Though he was too much of Slytherin for that. Besides, he doubted that Bartemius's father would have been happy with him sorted into Gryffindor just as his own parents weren't when Sirius got sorted into Gryffindor. Though, truth to be told he was rather happy that his brother got real friends in that house that accepted him for who he was and not who he was supposed to be.
But, for him he only got one loyal friend in Slytherin and he was the only friend he needed in his life. But, truth to be told, Bartemius was not only his best friend. He was also his brother he never had. The brother that would never leave him in the pit of the darkness who was as broken as him.
"You are mad if you think for one second that I am going to let you join me in my death." said Regulus flatly. "Your father may be Slytherin, but he's going to kill you if he finds out his own son joined The Dark Lord's ranks. He's going to flip out, Bartemius. He's not like my father. He doesn't take a joy in the fact that his own son joined The Dark Lord's ranks. Your father is nothing like my father."
"Let him flip out, I wouldn't care." Bartemius said as he ordered yet another drink. "Besides, who would protect you under his wrath? You are going to join the guy because you do not want your parents and Sirius under his wrath. But, if you ask me I think that Sirius is going to be under his wrath with or without your protection, Regulus."
"Well, I am not asking you." he said, drinking the tea he ordered.
"How did you get a tea in the bar?" asked Bartemius in pure disbelief.
"I threatened the guy to get me a green tea. How else do you think I got it? It's not like we are in tea shop. From all places you could have chosen, you chose the one place that does not sell a tea. Figures you'll be still bitter that I ate your cake."
"I am not bitter about that. See? I am smiling. I forgot all about that, dude." he said, forcing a smile which Regulus figured was pretty hard for him. There were very few things that Bartemius Crouch wasn't able to do and forcing a smile when he did not feel like smiling was one of them. Otherwise the guy was the perfect heir that any pureblood family would want, if you discount his view on blood traitors and muggles alike. That was one of many reasons they got on so well. They were both blood traitors that acted like they were blood supremacists like the rest of their prejudiced house. That was also the reason he and Narcissa get on very well even now. They were blood traitors under the disguise, the three of them.
"Somehow I doubt that very much, Bartemius." he said and gulped down the rest of his tea. "Come on, let's go. I bet Severus is getting impatient waiting for us both. Merlin knows that he needs to be tad little bit patient."
"Right?" said Bartemius as they both hopped off the stool and exited the bar. "And where are we meeting him again? White house?"
Regulus rolled his eyes. "He's not the President of America, Bartemius and we aren't even in America. We are in Great Britain for Salazar's sake. Great Britain does not have white house, if it did I bet that death eaters would have already taken it over for their master. What can I say, white house is fabulous."
"We are meeting near his house. In Cokeworth, Spinner's end."
"Right. Let's go. We don't that guy getting angry. Boy knows he has a temper."
Regulus shivered at the memory of Snape's temper. That was the thing he'll rather not repeat again. Regulus wondered whatever or not Potter and his friends would be able to withstand his temper if he got Snape really angry. He doubted not.
Lily Evans paced inside her house in her room, over worrying about Severus's well being. What if he got beaten up by his father again? She wondered, her heart beating fast in fear as she thought about the damage Tobias Snape would have on his half-blood son. Merlin knew how much the man hated anything related to magic.
Somehow she could understand some wizards' hatred towards muggles if they only met men like Tobias Snape. It would be awful, she thought, if they try to burn them like they did in the old ages before even her grandfather was born. But, that did not excuse the poor treatment muggle-born wizards and witches got at Hogwarts. Not every muggle was the same and being muggle-born was entirely different than being a muggle. They had magic in their body just like all pureblood and half-blood wizards and witches have. They're not different.
If she and every other muggle-born wizard and witch did belong in neither wizarding and muggle world, where else did they belong? Nowhere. That's where.
She was only glad that Severus did not feel that way.
No longer being able to keep wondering whatever or not he was beaten up, injured or sick, she put on her shirt and jeans and headed downstairs. "Mom, I am going out for a bit!" yelled Lily and without bothering to hear her mother's reply, she opened the front door and headed towards Severus's house.
"What's the plan, Snape? Murder the Dark Lord, have Dumbledore to duel the guy or just act like one of those murderers he has plenty of?" asked Bartemius as the three of them sat in the corner at the bar beside Snape's house.
Regulus rolled his eyes. "Those are very bad plans, Bartemius. You should know better that not one of those stupid plans will work." he stated knowingly, pouring himself a tea that he yet again got by threatening the waiter. Why was it that today the only places he went besides his house were bars where he just couldn't get his favorite tea? They were toying with him, he was sure. Bartemius was mad at him for eating his precious cake no matter what he said and Snape, well he did not care about what Snape thought about him if he was being honest. They were not friends. He liked Snape just as much as he liked his cousin Bella which was not very much. He only talked with her every now and then only because she was his cousin and it was some kind of rule for Black to be on good terms with his family members.
And unluckily for him, she was a family member.
He bet that the only reason they were discussing their plans here was only because Snape wanted to get on his nerves. There was no other explanation.
"Besides, could you act like one of those psychos and kill someone in cold blood without feeling the slightest remorse?" he asked as he took a sip from his tea, looking at his friend curiously. "Could you kill an innocent child knowing that this child did nothing wrong and he was so young, barely a teenager? Could you do just that, Bartemius? Because, I can't."
Bartemius went silent and after a ghostly silence he replied, shaking his head and Regulus saw how his eyes darkened. "No, I couldn't."
"You would learn to not feel that remorse when killing, you two. The dark lord is not gentle. If you show any sign of weakness, that would be it. You would be dead." said Snape darkly, sitting back in his seat as he too, took a sip of a tea he too had got by threatening the waiter. "Honestly speaking, I do not understand why someone like you two would want to achieve by getting the mark."
"You wouldn't understand just as how I would never understand what it is like to be in your situation." said Regulus.
"You would have if you hated your parents enough. It's just that you don't no matter what horrible things they did."
"Not true. I do hate them. I hate them for turning on Sirius when he was sorted into Gryffindor. There are more important things than which house one is sorted into. You should know that. You are best friends with Lily Evans." he said. "But, do you know what's the difference between you and me? I am not blinded by my hate for my parents while you hate your father so much that you began thinking that every muggle is one and the same! Tell me, does your dear friend know that fact? That you hate muggles just as same as Lucius Malfoy hates them? Does she know?"
"There's no need for her to know. She's one of us."
"One of us? Her parents are muggles, her sister is a muggle. What do you think of them? That they are just like your father, vile?" he asked.
Snape nodded his head. "Yes."
"Severus." said the familiar voice behind him. He turned his head and came to face with very much shocked Lily Evans.
This was not going to go down well, he thought with shiver.