a / n; Written for the Proverb Challenge like half a century ago. Technical difficulties aside I kindasortahalfway like it.

'tell me who you walk with and I'll tell you who you are'

Regulus is not his brother (though he remembers ever so clearly comments of 'don't be quite so serious' and he always thought, somewhat bitterly, 'if only'). He is not handsome or particularly brilliant with a wand. He is not a Gryffindor or caught up in pranks and pretty girls and friends with bonds thicker than blood.

(his blood is Black and black and theirs is vibrant scarlet)

Regulus is Slytherin and slimy and slouching around campus with Snape and Mulciber and Macnair, snaking arms around easy girls and cursing whosoever glances his way.

This is Regulus, or at least, this is the company he keeps. And whatever else could he be?

It is no large wonder that he ends up where he is, with snakes twisting overhead and on his arm and behind his eyelids, with 'My Lord' on his tongue and a corpse at his feet.

(but he is not brave, either)

You see, the lot of them were largely cowards, and more often than not he sees his lunch at his feet and (not) his blood on his hands. It's more than he can handle and he knows it has to stop somehow.

(the water is green and the eyes are ghastly and he knows this will be the end)

Regulus is not a hero. How could he be?