Disclaimer: I own nothing; JK Rowling does.

Author's note: This is a series of seven drabbles about Regulus Black. Please review!


doubt

Regulus takes a deep breath as he puts the Sorting Hat on his head. He hates that feeling; to know that everyone is watching him. That Sirius is watching him, expectantly. He knows the feeling only too much: every second of his life since the day Sirius left for Hogwarts seem to reflect it. To him, it is like with every breath he takes, with every word he says he is being watched closely, unhealthily, by his family. Regulus, the little king, cannot disappoint them. He has no choice.

"Another Black…" whispers the Hat, "the last one. Should we follow the tradition or the Sorting of the latest Black? I see wits and willingness to fit in and succeed… perhaps Ravenclaw?"

Regulus closes his eyes and repeats in his head, I want Slytherin, I want Slytherin…

"You want Slytherin, no doubt about that, eh?"

Regulus could swear the Hat is mocking him. Of course there is no doubt about where Regulus belongs. The Hat seems to give up.

"Or perhaps in Slytherin, you'll make your real friends, those cunning folk use any means, to achieve their ends," the Hat sings quietly, and then announces loudly, "Slytherin!"

Regulus opens his eyes and makes his way towards the Slytherins' table and sits down next to Narcissa, who beams at him.

Regulus does not smile back.