Disclaimer: I don't own anything to Harry Potter.
A/N: This is not slash, just so you guys know. :D I also apologize if Remus seems a little OC. This is the first time I'm gonna include him in one of my stories. Don't get me wrong, I love Remus, but I never thought I could write him properly. Also, I'm sorry if Sirius is a bit OC. I don't really think he is but you never know… As for the timeline, I'm a little fuzzy on the details. It's just a few months after Regulus takes the Mark, a few months before Peter does (Sirius doesn't suspect Remus of being the traitor yet.) so it's some time before James and Lily go into hiding…. Oh yeah, I wasn't sure if I should refer to Remus as Remus or Lupin so I did a little of both. If you find it confusing, just tell me and I'll change it to the one you think is best.
Please read and review! Enjoy:D
A Conversation of a Death Eater and a Werewolf
I have nothing to say to you Regulus, nothing at all.
am your brother!
I don't have one anymore, at least not when he serves Voldemort!
I had no choice! I had to do something to make up for your mistake! For the disgrace and humiliation that you brought to this family!
I make no apologies for my choice as you damn well know. The question is, can you live with yours?
I had no choice Sirius! Get it through that thick head of yours! I had no choice!
So you keep saying. But there is always a choice Reg. There is always a choice.
Regulus downed his shot of Firewhisky and asked for another one, his mind going over his last conversation with Sirius, again and again and again, as though it were stuck on some endless loop. As much as he loved his brother, the man could be such a daft git. How could he not see that he truly had had no choice? If anything it was his fault that Regulus was a Death Eater in the first place. If Sirius hadn't rebelled against the family and run away, he wouldn't have anything to make up for and he would probably just be like any other wizard, probably with a job at the Ministry or what not.
Blacks never settle for mediocrity! We are purebloods! We are royalty! We are special and you had better remember that Regulus!
He could hear his mother's shrill voice in his head. It had been a lesson that had been drummed into them since the day they were born. He had listened; why hadn't Sirius? Daft git. Just had to make life more difficult for the rest of us. He was brooding. It was usually the first and sure sign that he was going to get drunk. Drinking another shot of Firewhisky, he wondered. What if Sirius had never rebelled? What if he had just listened, followed the ideals of the family, got sorted into Slytherin and married a respectable lady of pure blood?
Right. And at the next Death Eater meeting, Voldemort will wear a blonde wig and a pink tutu instead of his usual black robes and maybe Severus will finally shampoo his hair.
He snorted. Not bloody likely. Asking Sirius to be obedient was asking him to not be, well, Sirius. It was in his nature to protest against anything he didn't believe in, to take an active role instead of just standing on the sidelines. But he always had to wonder didn't he? Maybe somewhere else, like in an alternate universe, their roles would be reversed. Somewhere else but not here, not in this present day and age.
And what had he been talking about when he said that Regulus had always had a choice? Once again, not bloody likely! If ever he did have a choice, it would either be joining the ranks of Voldemort's followers or being buried six feet under the ground! Not to mention that Bella and Lucius and all the rest of them would murder him on sight for betraying and soiling the family name, just like Sirius had done! Their expectations as well as his mother's and father's and the rest of their ancestors who were nothing but dust now were on his shoulders and here was Sirius telling him that he could have done things differently! Did Sirius want him dead? And he even had the audacity to say that he didn't regret his decision to leave, not one bit! But, he surmised, I suppose I should have expected that. Sirius had always been the one to take risks, no matter how dangerous or life threatening, always living life to the fullest with no regrets, no apologies.
Take me or leave me. Love me or hate me, your choice.
In exchange for that life, he had lost his family, had lost his honor and had lost his brother. Not that Sirius had given a damn about their family in the first place or the fact that they hated his guts seeing as he hated theirs ten times more. But it always hurt to think that he, Regulus, hadn't been enough of a reason for him to stay. They were supposed to be brothers, always supporting one another, always there for each other. And yet Sirius saw more of a brother in James Potter and that bloody werewolf than he did in his own flesh and blood.
It had been a few months now since his initiation, a few months since he had joined the ranks of Voldemort. It wasn't turning out the way he thought it would. He didn't love (was love the right word?) being a Death Eater as much as the others did, didn't revel in torturing the innocent and the 'unworthy' as much as Bella and Dolph did. He didn't fully appreciate the significance and beauty of strategy and manipulation as Lucius and Severus most certainly did. Without a doubt he didn't like being used, being treated as a tool and nothing more the way Crabbe and Goyle were. Being a Death Eater wasn't really his thing, wasn't his forte and as much as it would piss Bella off, he had to admit it. He wasn't born to be a Death Eater. It simply wasn't in his blood. Then what was? He mused. He had thought that somehow, some way, he would get used to it, get used to all the violence and mayhem.
But I never did.
A long time ago, he had thought that this was what he wanted. But each and every day, he could see more and more that it wasn't. Each and every day, he realized more and more that the only reason he had done this was to fulfill his duty to his family, to meet their expectations. A lifetime ago, he had believed in the same things they all did, purity of blood and of race and loyalty to family. These days, he found himself questioning them.
What's the point of torturing Muggles anyway? What's the use of exterminating the Muggle-borns and the half bloods?
It wasn't their fault they were born that way. It wasn't his fault he had been born a pureblood and a Black. It used to make a lot of sense and these days it didn't anymore. Gone were the days he simply accepted everything they said. The reason he probably came to this place more and more often was because he had to think things through.
Ignorance is truly bliss, but there's no going back.
The hardest part of all this? Admitting, even grudgingly, that maybe, for all their arguments and quarrels about the ideals of The Most Noble and Ancient House of Black, just maybe, Sirius was right.
Regulus sighed and ran a hand through his black hair which was much like his brother's only slightly shorter. For the first time since he had gotten to the bar, he took a moment to survey his surroundings. He was here often and whether it was because he was trying to erase the memories of all the Death Eater raids and Bella's mad laughter or to drown his sorrows and brood about his brother and his own choice, he never could tell. It was a rather dark and seedy bar, dimly lit and perfect for secret meetings and such. Most of the people who came down here were practically the scum of the Wizarding World, thieves and lowlifes and maybe sometimes even a Death Eater or two. It would certainly fit into Sirius' belief that Voldemort and all those who aligned themselves with him were pretty much filth, a waste of breath, time and patience. (Not that Sirius had any.) The bartender had even said that every once in a blue moon (and he was hoping it wasn't the full moon), Fenrir Greyback came here to kick back a few now and again.
Probably after he slaughters a couple orphanages or villages, he comes here to relax.
Anyhow, this was the perfect place for him to let his guard down, if only slightly, the only place he could think and stay for as long as he wanted and no one would care, no one would notice. No one would notice what he was and who he was.
Suddenly the door swung open, letting the cold winter air in. A young man stepped inside, dressed in shabby robes and he seemed to be shivering. Which wasn't surprising seeing as it was a very cold night out and his robes didn't seem to be doing a very good job of warming him. He fit the surroundings perfectly, moving gracefully and drew no attention to himself. He headed towards the bar and took the seat right next to Regulus. The Death Eater recognized him immediately.
"And here I was, just thinking about werewolves and then you show up."
"Regulus." The man, Remus Lupin, replied calmly.
"Lupin. And what are you doing in a place like this?" Regulus questioned. He had seen all kinds of people here but never an Order member, much less one of the more responsible ones.
"And here I was going to ask you the same question." Lupin remarked dryly.
Regulus rolled his eyes. "I don't have much time to waste on cryptic answers werewolf."
He didn't react to Regulus' statement. He was used to having far more harsher words thrown his way. "And yet you have much time to spend here, having a drink or two."
The Death Eater snorted. "More like four or five. Possibly more depending on how long I stay here. So what are you doing here anyway? Only scum and people like me, people with secrets to hide come to places like this and despite the fact that you're a werewolf and a Dark creature, you and the rest of the Order usually stay away from here."
Lupin shrugged. "Order business, one that you are most certainly not privy to, being one of them and all."
In Lupin-speak that sentence pretty much amounted to 'It's none of your business. Bugger off.' Politeness with an edge to it, as if to remind the world that while he was a nice, patient and mild-mannered man, press the wrong buttons and he'd have you flat on your arse in seconds. If it had been anyone else, Potter or Sirius or Mad-Eye, they would have told him in no uncertain words to piss off. He would never admit it, but Lupin was the only one of the lot he had a grudging respect for. He was calm, cool and collected in even the most stressful situations, like dealing with Death Eater raids and undercover missions, which was probably the 'Order business' he was dealing with now. It was the only reason he would be here anyway and not with his friends. He was also the only one who could slightly stand Regulus' presence, the only Gryffindor and the only one of Sirius' friends who would talk to Regulus politely back in Hogwarts, if only for a few moments. These days they didn't really see much of each other, if at all.
Besides, it's not like we could talk about the right way to get rid of Grindylows or exactly when Mars will be visible to the naked eye.
It was something the others had never understood and Regulus wasn't sure why Lupin did it either. And Merlin knew the bloke had to have a lot of patience in order to withstand the abuse and discrimination most, if not all, werewolves faced these days without strangling or biting anyone. Regulus also knew that one had to have a lot of patience to deal Sirius Orion Black and James Harold Potter on a daily basis. Pettigrew didn't really amount to much in Regulus' book. Nothing but a pitiful tag-along. The fact that they had let him stay with them for as long as they did amused him endlessly.
"And you? What are you doing here? I thought you said only scum came to places like these. Tells me a lot about your self-esteem issues." Lupin's amused voice broke into his thoughts.
Regulus rolled his eyes again. "I do not have self-esteem issues, no matter what my brother says. As for what I'm doing here, it's none of your damn business either." All he was doing here was taking a break from the horrors of serving Voldemort, taking a break before he had to go back in and face it all again. Not that he was going to tell the werewolf that because there was no way he was letting Lupin, a friend of his brother's, that being a Death Eater wasn't all it was cracked up to be. He had defended his family, his ideals, his choices from Sirius for so long and although he was beginning to doubt them, he wasn't letting Sirius know that neither let him have the satisfaction of being right.
"Speaking of your brother, he's worried about you, you know. No matter what he says, no mater how hard he tries not to show it, he's worried about you." Lupin continued quietly as the bartender placed a butterbeer in front of him.
"Sure he is. He's worried for his Death Eater brother." Regulus replied sarcastically, not bothering to lower his voice. The good thing about this place was that everyone had their own dirty little secrets and they all could care less about the skeletons the bloke next to him had in his closet. The patrons were usually either too intent on getting drunk to wash everything away or too invested in their own affairs to notice anyone else's.
Lupin shook his head and leaned forward, his amber eyes boring into Regulus' grey ones. "You don't understand. He really is worried about you, whether you believe that or not."
Regulus' eyes flickered, glancing at Lupin before calling for the bartender. "Ted, I'm gonna need another shot," Then he turned and fixed his gaze on the man beside him. "Why in Merlin's name would he be worried? He hates me." Unspoken words lingered in the air, words they both knew.
He didn't use to, but he does now.
Lupin hesitated as though unsure of himself before replying. "He doesn't really hate you. Alright maybe a little," he conceded ruefully. "But he hates your decision more than he hates you." He paused, unsure of how to continue. "Before you became a Death Eater, he hoped that you would realize that everything your family said about the purity of blood and superiority was bollocks and that you would leave them, just like he did, and join the Order. Heck, maybe not even join the Order. Not being one of Voldemort's followers was enough for him. He hoped that he had been enough of an influence for you to think differently, to change your mind, to go against your family. He knew it was crazy but he hoped nonetheless."
Regulus remained silent as the bartender placed the shot glass in front of him, swirling with the amber liquid.
"He was right. It is crazy."
He threw a few galleons on the table and stood up to leave. Lupin did nothing to stop him, only watched him intently. Regulus began to walk away then paused, as though thinking the better of it. Then he whirled around and slammed his hand on the bar, knocking over the shot glass and spilling the Firewhisky. The bartender shot an annoyed glance in his direction but other than that, no one noticed.
Regulus leaned forward till his face was only inches away from Lupin's. The werewolf didn't flinch, only met his gaze head on. There was intensity in Regulus' grey eyes, an intensity Remus had only ever seen in Sirius' own. Everyone, including himself, had always assumed that Sirius was the intense, passionate brother while Regulus was the studious, dutiful, quiet one. But staring into this man's eyes now, he realized that they had truly underestimated the younger brother.
"I'm going to tell you something that I have never told anyone and once these words fall from lips, I will never utter them again, you understand me?" Lupin nodded. "In fact," Regulus chuckled darkly, "This may very well get me killed if any one of my fellows were to hear me. So if you do tell anyone as I'm assuming you're going to be telling my brother, you better make sure no one else hears you because so help me I will haunt you till your dying day."
"I won't tell Sirius if you don't want me to." he offered calmly.
Regulus thought about it for a moment, toying with the idea in his head. "It's your call." He decided finally.
Lupin nodded again. "So what exactly, is this secret that you are going to tell me that is a matter of life and death?"
Regulus turned away for a moment and laughed mirthlessly. "It won't be much of a secret anymore if things don't change. But yes," he turned back to meet the werewolf's gaze once more. "It is a matter of life and death."
"So then what is it?"
Regulus sighed and placed a hand to his forehead. "How do I say this?" Then suddenly his eyes found Remus' again and the intensity was back, stronger than ever. "Being a Death Eater? Not what it's cracked up to be. The only reason I think I did this is because," he chuckled regretfully, "I wanted to make my parents, my family, proud. The only way to remove the disgrace Sirius brought on to the family was to join Voldemort. Anything less than that would never suffice and would never be good enough for them. So maybe I have Sirius to blame for that. I don't know. And maybe he's right about all this but no way in hell are you telling him that."
Regulus paused and sat down on the bar stool, his eyes looking far away behind Remus, staring at something only he could see. When he continued, regret was as clear as day in his voice. "I thought that this was what I wanted but it turns out it isn't. It's not in me, it's not in my blood. But it's too late. I have no choice. It's not like I can give them a letter of my resignation. It's either I do their dirty work and at least I live, or I betray them and I die. And I'm not ready to die. I don't want to die." Fear began to seep into his words ever so slightly. Remus could see that it had been so easy to forget that Regulus was only eighteen, of legal age but a young man nonetheless. A young man caught in a dangerous situation with seemingly no way out.
"Go to Dumbledore, to the Order. We can keep you safe - "
Regulus snorted. "Right. You're probably just going to lock me up in some house far far away and place me under the Fidelius Charm. Or make me spy during the Death Eater meetings. Both those paths lead to one result. Death. I don't want to die in hiding and I don't want to be placed under the Cruciatus for hours on end before finally kicking the bucket. In case you haven't noticed, Bella's pretty proud of me being a Death Eater and if she were to find out that I betrayed them, well, you've seen how good she is at the Cruciatus. Or any form of torture for that matter. So no, like I said, I don't want to die."
"Just think about it for a while."
"My answer won't change."
Remus raised an eyebrow. "So you would rather serve Voldemort and do all sorts of horrible things?"
"At least I'd live." Regulus defended himself.
"At the price of your soul?" Remus challenged.
Regulus shook his head slightly before meeting Lupin's gaze for one last time. There was no anger, no fear this time. Only a sense of defeat and weariness that made him seem much older than his eighteen years.
"I have no choice."
"There is always a choice."
Regulus smiled humorlessly. "That's exactly what Sirius said. One of the few times he actually sounded wise."
"Maybe he was right."
Then Regulus stood and walked away, leaving only an overturned shot glass behind.
Minutes later, out in the freezing cold, he tried saying it again. Just to hear what it sounded like.
"I have no choice."
It sounded hollow even to his own ears.
"Hey Moony." Sirius greeted his friend cheerily. "You look like hell."
Remus chuckled. "I'm aware of that."
"So… where did you go? It's pretty late and it's really cold out there." Sirius inquired curiously. His friend wasn't the type to stay up late at night and if he did, there were only four plausible reasons for it. One, it was the full moon. Two, if it was required for studying (at least back in their Hogwarts days.) Three, if it was for the Order and four, if his friends dragged him out for a night on the town which was rare, given the situation those days.
Remus shrugged as though it were of no importance. "I just went to a bar."
Sirius waggled his eyebrows suggestively. "To pick up the ladies with that animalistic charm of yours? The next Mrs. Lupin perhaps?"
Remus rolled his eyes. "No, of course not. I was just doing some Order business for Dumbledore."
"Oh, okay. So you didn't meet anyone special?"
Remus looked out the window. It was snowing pretty heavily. He wondered where Regulus was.
"No, no I didn't."
I know it might seem odd for Regulus would 'bond' with Remus but my take on it is that Regulus is pretty desperate and he has no idea of what he's going to do and Remus is just there, ready to lend a helping hand even if Regulus doesn't want it. Also out of the four Marauders, excluding Sirius, it makes sense that he would have some sort of respect for Remus since he's the most tolerant and patient one, not to mention they're both (or at least I think Regulus is) studious. Regulus being a Death Eater affects Sirius so Remus would probably want to do something about it. It also might seem odd that Remus didn't tell Sirius about meeting Regulus but my take on it is that he wants them to work things out, doesn't want to interfere, respects Regulus' privacy, etc. Besides, if he did, Sirius most probably would have done something about it and Regulus might have been convinced to go to Dumbledore and he wouldn't have found the Horcrux so… Or at least that's what I think.
A/N: TRIPLE TREAT! Waha. I had a lot of time on my hands and my internet connection was acting all weird so I had the time to write THREE Regulus-centric fics. Yep. Shameless self-promotion yo! Seriously though, I just wanted to experiment. :D I'm not saying that they're all good 'cause that's up to you but I'mjust saying, if you guys wanna check it out (don't feel like you HAVE to check it out), just click on my profile. :D
A Million Miles Away
The One That Started It All
Thanks for reading! Please review:D