Title - Dead and Bleeding - Is this the end?

Disclaimer - I own nothing of Harry Potter, unfortunatley.

Rating - T

Pairings - None, only brotherly relationship between Sirius and Regulus.

"Where is he?" Sirius roared into the face of the terrified house elf that stood before him, quivering in his dirty pillowcase. "Tell me where he is now Kreacher otherwise I'll skin you alive, so god help me…" His face was inches from the house elf's as he nearly shook with anger. In Kreacher's hands, he was clutching a gold locket, though Sirius wasn't paying any attention to it right now.

The house elf was in no state to answer, shaking slightly and on his ugly face there seemed to be a look of upset unusual for one usually so sour to everyone. His bug eyes were peering up at Sirius, and his only answer was to clutch the locket tighter to his chest. "Will you answer me or not?" Sirius roared once more, his voice seeming to echo throughout the old house.

He could see he would get no answer from the house elf, and in his frustration he pushed away from the creature and strode into the kitchen, door slamming behind him. His best friend James Potter looked up at Sirius and sighed rubbing the bridge of his nose for a moment before moving over to the other man.

"Look, he can't have gone far. Not even he is stupid enough to do that, especially not now." The man paused for a moment, putting a hand on Sirius' shoulder in an effort to comfort his friend though when he was pushed off James frowned slightly. "I'm sure we'll-"

"No, we won't. He's gone, I just have this horrible feeling that he won't be coming back." Sirius didn't know where this was coming from. "If I could only get that creature in there to talk we might be able to do something!" He pointed an accusing finger towards the door which Kreacher was standing behind.

"Look Sirius if you just try to calm down, we can think this through and-" James tried again, only to receive a sharp glare from his friend which told him to stop talking. "I..." Though James gave up when he saw the state Sirius was in.

The man dropped down into a chair that was in the kitchen, head held in his hands as he sighed, as though he had been defeated. "It's not as simple as that, we can't just go out and get him back. What if he's hurt, or dead, or bleeding." He said this, and then looked up at James with pleading eyes though before his friend could speak Sirius pushed himself up from the chair.

"Before you say anything, before you try to comfort me just stop. You don't have any siblings, so you wouldn't understand." He turned to look at James. "He's my brother, and finally, finally we get all the crap out of our lives. We get a chance to be real brothers again. I'm really trying, we both are. It's a new thing for both of us." Turning his head away for a moment, Sirius sighed again. "I can't loose him, not now. Not after all it's taken to get us here."

James nodded, and was silent for a moment. "Give me a minute." He slipped out of the room, giving Sirius a moment alone but also going to talk to Kreacher. Maybe he would be able to get something out of the house elf. James was certainly a lot calmer that Sirius.

It was only moments later that James came back into the room, a more serious look on his face. "I know where he is." Sirius' head snapped up and he was across the room in an instant staring at James in the face.

"Where?" He asked, demanding to know from his best friend where his brother was. Before James could answer, Sirius was in the hall looking down at the house elf that had been with his family for years. "Take me there." He said, trying to sound civil to the elf in order to get him to agree.

James came up behind him, looking at Kreacher as well, nodding slightly as to encourage the elf to do what Sirius was saying. Looking between the two humans for a moment, Kreacher sighed quietly before nodding.

"Take a hold of me then." He said, watching as Sirius held onto the dirty pillowcase that the elf was wearing. They disappeared from the hallway of Grimauld Place; James sighed and headed back into the kitchen waiting for when his best friend would return.

Sirius had never been expecting to find himself in the place that Kreacher took him too. He looked around frantically, glaring down at Kreacher for a moment wondering if the house elf had brought him to the wrong place. The elf simply pointed in a general direction, and he was gone. Clearly, the place was making him uncomfortable.

For a moment, Sirius' heart was in his mouth, and he ran forward seeing something that made him feel sick.

"Regulus!" He screamed out, seeing a body in water lying limp and not moving. Sirius seemed to be at the side of the body of water in a flash staring desperately down at his brother. The man had been about to jump in to rescue his brother when he saw what was moving in the water.

Damn, inferi. That would explain the state that his brother was in. Sirius was staring frantically at Regulus, trying to think what to do. Clearly, his brother was unconscious and Sirius made for his wand for a moment thinking of a charm he could use. Though, a small movement made him started.

The inferi were dragging Regulus under. Shit. Before he thought about it Sirius was standing and he plunged himself into the water swimming desperately towards his brother. He wasn't going to let the only important part of his family left be dragged down by a group of filthy creatures.

He finally reached his brother, grabbed hold of his clothes roughly and concentrated on only getting back to the side. Sirius could feel his strength fading, but he pushed it to the back of his mind, only focused on getting his brother out of there.

Sucking in a lung full of air, Sirius used a burst of energy to pull his brother from the water and onto his lap. His eyes stared desperately at the body beneath him, willing for there to be any sign that his brother was alright.

After another moment of staring, Sirius pressed a tentative finger to Regulus' neck, searching, no praying, for there to be a pulse. There was nothing, no beat or rhythm to signify his brother's survival.

Refusing to believe it, Sirius held his hand over his brother's mouth willing to feel breathing from the body beneath him. He didn't feel anything there either.

A strangled cry echoed throughout the cave, and Sirius clutched the lifeless form to his chest, part of him not believing that he had lost the one that was most precious to him.

Not Regulus, not his baby brother. Not the one he was meant to protect and keep safe. Not the one Sirius had comforted at night when he had a bad dream, or chased around the garden. Especially not now. He was just getting to know his brother again, just re-forming the bond they had once shared. Time had robbed so much from them, and just when it was starting to pay them back, fate played a cruel trick.

His brother was too young to die, Regulus had barely lived and now he had been taken away. It seemed like such a meaningless waste of a life.

Sirius' body was shaking with sobs as he continued to hold his brother's body to him. They were both soaked, though it was the last thing on his mind right now. Sirius pulled back slightly looking down at his brother lying in his arms.

Placing a hand on his brother's face, Sirius let out a final choked cry before slowly standing, lifting Regulus' body in the process. His brother felt so light in his arms, and Sirius had never remembered him being that small, that defenseless, and that weak.

It was his fault; he should have been the brother that Regulus needed. Sirius should have been there to protect his baby brother. That was what he was supposed to do in life, and he'd failed at it. Body still shaking, though no longer crying Sirius appeared back at Grimauld Place.

All James heard was Sirius walking up the stairs, feet making rattling noises throughout the house. The man has paused for a moment, before following his friend upstairs, ominous feeling about the place.

The room that Sirius had entered was Regulus' room, and James paused at the slightly open doorway. He saw Sirius lying Regulus' body on his bed. He pushed the door open a bit more, standing in doorway.

"You know, Kreacher said he was doing something to stop You-Know-Who. He died a hero Sirius…I thought you should know that." James said quietly, before going back downstairs, giving Sirius the space he needed.

Sirius didn't say anything, simply staring at his brother's lifeless body on the bed. He started to cry once more, dry, angry sobs shaking his body.

Sirius mourned the loss of his baby brother.

He mourned the loss of Regulus Arcturus Black.

He mourned the loss of a hero, his friend, a traitor, his family.

To him, the world has suddenly got a little bit darker.