This is another random one-shot on the brothers. It might be a bit confusing, but the idea struck me and i had to write it.
'Will you be my soldiers, boys?'
'Oh, yes, Mother.'
'We will Mother.'
They stand in a row, their arms raised in salute, tiny bodies poker-straight. Her perfect sons. Her legacy. She does love them.
At five, the youngest quivers with excitement. He wants to be his mother's soldier. Him and his brother. They are soldiers together, he thinks. His brother smiles.
The eldest is stiff and refuses to move. He is growing too old, he thinks, to be playing soldier. After all, eight is practically ten, and ten is almost twenty. He stays for his brother.
'Oh, do be my soldiers, boys.'
'I will, Mother.'
The line is crooked. The older boy slouches and sulks, the younger crestfallen. He is ten now. His brother glares and stomps his foot. He does not want to be a soldier anymore. Thirteen is too old, and this game is stupid. How his friends would laugh if they could see him now.
But, his brother is waiting. He raises his arm in a salute.
'Why won't you be my soldiers, boys?'
'I am, Mother. I'm your soldier.'
This time, only one boy answers. He stands straight, but the excitement is gone. This game has lost its fun for him, just as he is losing his brother.
The scowling boy in the corner stomps out. He won't stay for the younger brother or the Mother who looks broken-hearted. He won't stay to watch her cry. Crying always starts fighting, which results in him ducking his mother's fine china. He is sixteen now, far too old for silly, childhood games.
His brother remains in the kitchen, arm raised.
'Will you be my soldier, Reg?'
The sixteen year-old stands in the kitchen, back straight. He does not salute now, but holds his left arm before raising it to show his mother. She is smiling and proud. All he can think about is what his brother would say.
'Will you be my soldier?'
His brother is mocking him, face suffused with loathing and repulsion. He draws away from his brother, pulling the sleeve over his left forearm.
'Always, brother. I am always the soldier.'
His brother is silent for a moment. The handsome face is dark, and he can't help but wish they were boys again. He can't help but wish for the kitchen and the promise to be soldiers together.
'Then, I suppose I am the traitor.'
'I suppose you are.'
He never saw his brother after that.
'Will you be my soldiers? You who I have handpicked as my most loyal followers? You who promise to follow me into hell itself?'
'Yes, my Lord.'
This is what he has become. Standing in shadows and swearing fealty and forgetting what it was like to smile. Forgetting a life without fear or pain.
'Will you be my soldier, Reggie?'
No, I am no soldier.
'Are you ready to die for what is right, Reggie?'
'Salute to death, Reggie. I am going to kill you now.'
He salutes, bows, drops his head. More than anything, he wants his brother to be with him. For all of his life he has been told he is the good child. He was a good soldier.
Oh, to be the disappointment! To run away and be free! To see his brother again.
One last time.
'Smile, Regulus. They are all watching you.'
Closing his eyes so the Muggles won't see his tears.
'You aren't smiling, Regulus.'
They will die soon, anyway.
'Be a good soldier, Regulus. Smile for your Lord.'
He doesn't want to be a good soldier anymore.
If only his brother were here.
He is eighteen.
He doesn't want to be a soldier for this cause.
He's not ready to die yet.
Will you be my soldier, Reggie?
'Yes, Sirius. I'll always be your soldier.'
Suddenly, the game is exciting again.