—and if the Fates cut your thread, you die—
Regulus Black first realizes his life is truly fucked up when he reads a book of muggle Greek mythology at the Hogwarts Library. He never does find out what a book of muggle mythology is doing at a magical school, but it's not of much importance and he never actually does try to find out anyway.
All he actually remembers is that Zeus was rather a bit of a shit—more than a bit, really—and that the gods all seemed to be quite batshit. That, and the Fates. Regulus actually doesn't remember much about the Fates either—he remembers that they controlled destiny, and not much in fine details. He knows they had names (he only remembers one); he knows they had priests.
He only remembers Atropos because she killed people.
That's a harsh way of putting it, really. She wasn't a murderer. More just Death. Not even Death. Just a scary old lady with a pretty powerful set of shears.
Scary old ladies with shears deserve to be feared.
If Atropos cuts your thread, you're dead.
It takes Regulus a bit to realize how this means his life is fucked up. His first answer to this is that somehow he's been brought up to be scared that some woman who isn't real is going to kill him by snipping a thread, enough to start getting fucking nightmares.
This is correct.
His second answer is that his thread is definitely a thread with a few tangles in it. That is incorrect. Really just one giant big tangle where you can't find the start or the end.
This is also correct.
Regulus realizes this.
Regulus Black first realizes something might be wrong as well has being really fucked up when he trips on his tangled up thread.
You do not trip on nonexistent tangled up thread.
Tell that to the Fates, he says, probably to himself. Go on.
And he's not tripping over it in the same way he's seeing it either, according to his bruises and his classmates.
It's not really fair, but neither is the length of your life depending on the whims of an old lady with some shears.
After tripping in front of a few Gryffindors who Regulus most certainly doesn't know (especially the one with the black hair and the grey eyes that doesn't look like him at all, especially him), he decides maybe it's that the thread is tangled is why he keeps on tripping over it, and maybe he should try to untangle it and get it nice and straight and normal.
It makes as much sense as the thread existing in any way at all.
Instead it gets more knots. It's also a bit hard to untangle it when it always feels like someone else is always holding on to it.
In the summer it gets another few knots after someone who Regulus is most definitely not related to leaves.
It's a coincidence.
It's really weird. Even when he isn't messing with it, the thread always gets more knots and more tangles and they're really tight ones, so it's useless even trying to untangle it.
And someone's still holding on to the other end even when Regulus is holding the whole thing.
He starts staying away from old women.
It's really annoying when the thread gets all tangled up and all these knots again when Regulus swears he's actually making progress and loosening the knots a bit. It gets really tangled up again after he gets the Dark Mark (the Dark Lord has probably never tripped on thread before). Regulus loves coincidences.
It's pretty amazing how fucked up one life can be.
Damn that Greek mythology.
People sometimes ask what the fuck he's doing with his hands. He usually asks them back why they never trip on thread.
The conversation usually ends after that, because the person is often at that point staring at him in a confused way.
Maybe it's not coincidence that it gets more knots again (and Regulus hasn't even been making progress at all this time) after he sends Kreacher away to the Dark Lord.
Those shears are not going to get Kreacher.
Maybe you can avoid shears. Besides, Regulus's thread is too damn tangled to be snipped. Wouldn't it be pretty fucking hard to cut a knot made up of thousands of tight knots?
A few more knots from a sea cave wouldn't hurt, right? The thread's too fucked up already to notice the difference, probably.
(He takes the thread with.)
You'd think one little island in some cave wouldn't cause so many tangles.
Do Inferi still have their already-cut-in-half threads?
His thread feels flimsy even with all the knots and tangles.
His breath esca—
(You can cut really fucking tangled threads.)
—and Atropos smiled—
I'm actually pretty happy with this one. I don't know why. I just like it.