Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. Except the plot.
Author's note: Regulus Black is one of my two favorite Harry Potter characters, the other being Sirius, so I'm so glad I could finally write something about him (I love drawing him, but I can never think of anything good to write about him). It's written in present tense, which is really weird at times so, sorry. It was just in the mood for being present tense. The muse is in charge, not me. Enjoy. (Oh, and yes, I've taken some liberties with a few minor details. Deal with it)
Eleven year old Regulus Black searches his room frantically for the third time. Where is his wand? He's leaving for Hogwarts tomorrow. He has to find it! But he's running out of time. He wishes he could ask Sirius to help him find it, but Sirius left last week to spend the rest of the summer with his stupid Gryffindor friends. Regulus has only one option. Normally, he wouldn't risk this, but it's an emergency. He tiptoes downstairs and presses his ear to the parlor door, hoping to gauge Mother's mood. Mother is having tea with Aunt Lucretia. They're talking in quiet tones, he can't hear them. But Mother doesn't seem mad, so he dares to open the door.
"Oh, and here he is now," Mother says with a smile. "Hello, Regulus."
Regulus lets out a tiny sigh of relief. She's not mad.
"You're right, he looks just like you," Aunt Lucretia remarks to Mother. "You're very lucky. There could have been trouble if he looked, well, different."
Regulus doesn't understand what she's talking about. Her sharp eyes seem to be examining his very soul, and they don't seem to like what they find.
"Hush, Tia," Mother says. "He doesn't know. Now, what do you want, Regulus?"
"I can't find my wand," Regulus admits quietly.
"Oh, I'm sorry, dear," Mother says, picking it up off the table and offering it to him. "I borrowed it to show to Aunt Lucretia. It's so unusual, after all."
Regulus hates that word. Unusual. His mother always uses it to describe something exotic, distant. Something interesting, but not approved of. His father spits it out like a bullet, as if it's a curse. Sirius uses it when he's talking about something that's caught his interest for the moment. Nothing special, just something to be bragged about and forgotten within a month. Regulus especially hates it when that word is applied to him.
He takes his wand back from his mother, almost wishing he had a more normal wand.
His wand is ten inches, ebony, with a dragon heartstring core. It's beautiful, heavy, and black as night, with strange symbols carved around the edge of the smooth handle. He doesn't understand them yet, but Ollivander told him that they are an ancient form of runes, and he should translate them once he learns how. He had seen the wand sitting abandoned on a table in Ollivander's and been drawn to it instantly. While Ollivander had been searching for a wand for him, noting that he was a tricky customer, Regulus had simply picked up the beautiful black wand. He had only wanted to see it, but he had been rewarded by a brilliant glow shooting from the wand. Regulus could still picture the shocked look on Ollivander's face. Then, the wandmaker had smiled. "Well, how about that? I've been trying to find a match for that one for years. A tricky wand for a tricky customer, eh?"
"Thank you, Mother. I'm sorry I interrupted you."
Regulus hurries out of the room and shuts the door. But he doesn't go upstairs just yet. Instead, he presses his ear to the door. He knows Mother might kill him for eavesdropping, but he wants to know what Aunt Lucretia was talking about.
"But really, Burga, a muggle?" Aunt Lucretia is saying. "I thought you were above that."
"I know, it was a mistake," Mother replied. "But he was dreadfully handsome, and I was in the mood for breaking the rules that night."
"It's a good thing Orion can't count," Aunt Lucretia laughs. "Otherwise he'd realize that he was away in France at the time Regulus should have been conceived."
"I helped a little with that," Mother admits.
Regulus can't see her face, but he knows she is smirking. He decides that he's heard enough, and hurries back upstairs. But he can't un-hear what he's heard, and he already understands the truth.
Bastard. Upstairs, in his room, the word runs through his mind again and again. No. This can't be. All his life, he's been taught that blood is everything. He's been taught that muggles are scum, unfit to walk the earth. Now, he knows that he's a half-blood. He's the kind of person he was taught from birth to hate. His whole world has come crashing down around him. He doesn't know what to do. Then, he has a thought. What if he just pretends that he never heard that conversation? He can grow up the way he was supposed to, and continue to be a haughty member of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black. He'll do everything a Black is supposed to do. He'll be the perfect son, if that's what it takes to convince himself that he belongs in this family.
Regulus Black is seventeen. He's pieced together the little hints his Lord dropped. Voldemort thought he was smarter than anyone. But there was one Death Eater smarter than him. Regulus has finally had enough of this Death Eater crap. He had joined because it made his mother happy, even if he wouldn't admit that. He'd convinced himself that he believed Voldemort's lies. But now, he's through. He knows how to destroy Voldemort's immortality. He nearly lost his loyal house elf for that information. Now he is prepared to lose his life to strike a blow against his former master. But, there's one thing he has to do before he dies.
He slams open the door to his mother's study.
"Yes, dear?" she says without looking up.
"I need to talk to you," Regulus says. "It's important."
She looks up from her papers.
"What is it?" she asks moodily.
"I want to know who my real father is."
Regulus doesn't sugar coat it, or bring it up slowly, like he would have done at another time. He doesn't have time for formalities.
Mother looks frightened.
"How long have you known?" she asks.
"When I was eleven, I overheard you and Aunt Lucretia talking about it," Regulus reveals.
"That busybody!" Mother hisses. "I knew I shouldn't have told her! But if I hadn't, she would have started gossiping, and I couldn't have that."
"What you shouldn't have done, Mother, is borrow my wand," Regulus says. "I only heard because I came downstairs to ask you where it was."
Regulus holds up the wand. He still uses it, after all these years. The dense ebony is comfortable in his hand, like an extension of himself. He translated the runes around the handle in his first year of Hogwarts, borrowing several books from the library to help him. "Hush, child, the darkness will rise from the deep and carry you down into sleep." At the time, he had been a bit disappointed. He had been hoping for something a bit more exciting. But now, he understands, and he realizes that his fate has been laid out from the beginning. So be it. But he refuses to die without having this one question answered.
"It's a fitting wand for you," Mother remarks. "You're not the first to own it."
Regulus has always suspected that. The wand has a sense of magic, old magic. It knows things. But why hadn't Mother told him that she knew?
"You don't realize what you're holding!" Mother cackles.
"Then tell me," Regulus suggests. "I'm not afraid of the truth."
"Mordred Pendragon," Mother whispers. "Your wand belonged to Mordred Pendragon." She laughs. "Only an innocent child could have walked up so easily to a wand of such great evil and picked it up. Anyone older would have known better."
Regulus' eyes widen and he looks at his wand in a new light. Mordred Pendragon. The traitor son of King Arthur. A slight smile tugs at his lips. At last, Regulus knows why this wand drew him in. Because he is just like its former owner. A bastard. A tool. A traitor.
"Stop trying to change the subject, Mother," he says. "Tell me who my real father is."
"Incredible," Mother observes. "You've just been told that your wand belonged to one of the most evil wizards ever born, and you just smile and ignore it."
"Evil is a matter of perspective," Regulus reminds her. "And I am a Death Eater."
"You've always been too clever for your own good." Mother says. "Very well, I'll tell you the truth. Your father was a muggle named Thomas Riddle. I know nothing more than that. Now leave me alone."
Regulus turns stiffly and leaves, slamming the door behind him. His face is a cold mask as he retreats to his own room. Only when he's safely inside with the door locked behind him does he let himself react to this shocking piece of information.
Regulus Black laughs. The universe has a truly twisted sense of humor.
He knows the implications. He's always been perceptive. He knows who his master really is: Tom Marvolo Riddle, son of Tomas Riddle and Merope Gaunt.
So Voldemort is his half brother. The irony is laughable. Regulus wonders what Sirius would do if he ever found out that he was related to Voldemort. He'd probably kill him. The thought saddens Regulus, slightly. He wishes he and Sirius hadn't hated each other so much. Maybe, in another world, they could have been friends. Yeah, and maybe Hell might freeze over if you asked the devil nicely to turn down the heat. He and Sirius could never have been friends. They might have respected each other a bit more, but they've always been as different as night and day. Same with him and Voldemort. They might be on the same side, but they have nothing in common, except their shared father. There's something terribly ironic about the entire situation. By tomorrow morning, he'll have betrayed both his half brothers. He really is just like Mordred. A traitor to the core. And his treachery will be the death of him.
But he's okay with that. It's been his destiny from the start.
The phrase on Reg's wand is from the song "Mordred's Lullaby" by Heather Dale. Look it up. It's amazing. I wanted to use something related to Mordred, since I think he and Reg were similar in some ways, especially if you make Reg a bastard (Besides, Mordred is my favorite King Arthur character). Also, that line describes Reg's death (being pulled underwater by inferni) eerily well.
Thanks for reading:) I love you all!