Disclaimer: Do you really think I'm J.K. Rowling?

Author's Note: YAY! More Regulus stuff! Since the last one I posted, I've had ridiculous amounts of inspiration. I'm currently working on four fanfics where he's a major character.

Author's Note 2: According to my personal version of canon, Regulus, Snape, and Lily were all close friends. Regulus and Snape became friends because they both were kind of Slytherin outcasts and Regulus and Lily kept running into each other in the library and began to like each other. By the end of Regulus' first year, they were spending most of their time together. This trio, of course, began to collapse in Regulus' fourth year, when both Reg and Snape began being seriously interested in the dark arts. After the 'mudblood' incident, Reg remained friends with both for a few more months before gettin into a fight with Lily and breaking things off with her entirely. He and Snape stopped talking to each other soon after. This story takes place during Regulus' third year, so they're still really close.


"And Regulus Black seems to have seem the snitch!" the excited commentator yelled (one of Sirius' friends; the one that looked like a rat.) "He's already closing in! Gryffindor seeker Marlene Mckinnon is going to have a difficult time catching up, especially since her broom is much lower quality."

Regulus ignored the commentator (Peter, that was his name) and kept himself focused. Despite what Peter said, Regulus knew that Marlene actually had a good chance of catching up. Her broom was not high quality, but it was fast. Luckily, Regulus had already planned for that. Mckinnon's broom was fast, but it couldn't handle turns very well. Regulus actually hadn't seen the snitch at all. He was planning to pull up suddenly, just before he hit the ground, giving the Gryffindor seeker no time to do the same.

He counted the seconds, watching the ground get closer and closer,

5….4….3….2….1….NOW!

He pulled out of the dive. A crash behind him told him the tactic had worked.

"That can't be fair!" the ratty commentator was squeaking.

"It's completely legal," Professor Slughorn promised.

"But shouldn't they at least call a time out?"

"Miss Mckinnon is already back on her feet," Slughorn observed. "As long as Black doesn't see the snitch before she gets back in the air, she'll be fine."

"But-"

"Peter, please concentrate on the game," Slughorn insisted.

"Yes, sir," Peter agreed. "Gryffindor Chaser Gideon Prewett has the quaffle! He's making his way down the field!"

Regulus scanned the area. Where had the snitch gone? Marlene was back in the air, so he had lost most of the advantage. He could only hope that the crash had thrown her off balance enough that her reactions would be slow.

Suddenly, he noticed a glint of light on the far side of the field. It wasn't much, but his eyes locked onto the snitch. There was no time to plan, he simply flew after it.

"And Regulus Black has seen the snitch again!" Peter shrieked. "This time it looks like the real thing! Marlene's in trouble! Her broom isn't going nearly as fast as usual! Regulus is reaching for the snitch and- Oh my god!"

That was the last thing Regulus heard before the pain hit and he blacked out.

XXXXX

Sirius watched in horror as the bludger rammed into Regulus' head and outstretched right arm. His little brother looked shocked for a moment before he lost consciousness and began falling. Sirius hadn't meant to hit the bludger so hard.

Yes you did, a tiny portion of his brain reminded him. You wanted to hurt him.

Sirius couldn't really argue, as much as he wanted to. He'd known what he was doing when he hit the bludger towards his brother. He just hadn't thought it through. As usual.

He angled his broom downwards, reaching the ground only seconds after Regulus. Dumbledore had also rushed to the fallen seeker.

"Will he be okay?" Sirius asked hurriedly. "I didn't mean to hurt him! I swear!"

"You think you can get away with it by pretending to be worried?" Slytherin beater and captain Jerome Slithy asked.

He had also flown down, but Sirius suspected that he cared more about whether he'd need to find a new seeker than whether Regulus was alright.

"Just because he's a Slytherin doesn't mean he's not my brother," Sirius retorted, ignoring the fact that he'd said exactly that the last time he'd run into Regulus. "I'd think you of all people would understand that."

"I thought you turned your back on your family," Jerome retorted.

"I-" Sirius began.

"Boys," Dumbledore interrupted. "Please stop arguing. Jerome, please go get Madam Pomfrey. Sirius, go tell Professor Slughorn that the game is to be postponed until a later date."

"Yes, sir," both boys agreed.

Sirius ran towards the podium where Peter was trying to decide what to say. Poor kid. James had volunteered him to commentate when Ernie Jordan came down with a cold and lost his voice. The rest of the Marauders had thought it would be a good way to help him gain confidence. So much for that idea. After this, it was likely he'd never talk to anybody ever again.

"Professor Slughorn!" Sirius gasped, out of breath. "Dumbledore says to postpone the game!"

"Got it," Slughorn agreed.

He borrowed the megaphone Peter was holding.

"Attention students!" he called. "This match has been postponed until further notice. Please return to the castle."

There was a collective groan from the students. They had been enjoying the game. It hardly seemed fair that they had to wait just because Sirius Black had to hit a bludger at his little brother. Couldn't they keep the family squabbles off the quidditch field?

Sirius ran back towards Regulus. Madam Pomfrey was leaning over the Slytherin seeker, and saying some sort of spell.

"You hit him pretty hard," she remarked without looking up.

"I guess I don't know my own strength," Sirius joked weakly.

"This is no laughing matter," she warned him. "He would have died if you'd hit it much harder. He's still in critical condition."

Sirius shut his mouth.

Damn. Why did he have to go and do something so stupid?

Madam Pomfrey conjured a stretcher and levitated Regulus' limp body onto it. Sirius winced. Regulus had always been pale, but right now he looked like a corpse. Blood coated the side of his face and dyed the right sleeve of his quidditch uniform deep red. Sirius didn't have to be a healer to know that he'd completely shattered the bones in Regulus' right arm.

"It's not your fault."

Sirius jumped and turned to face James, who had just come down beside him.

"It is my fault," Sirius said. "I knew what I was doing."

"A beater should have been there to protect him," James argued.

"I shouldn't have hit it so hard," Sirius retorted.

"You beating yourself up about this isn't going to change things," Remus Lupin remarked, joining the group.

Sirius sighed.

"I know."

"You should go apologize to him when he wakes up," Remus suggested.

"Are you kidding?" Sirius asked. "I can't apologize! It's Regulus!"

"He's your brother," Remus reminded him.

"That's exactly why I can't apologize," Sirius retorted. "He hates my guts. And I hate him. Well, most of the time, anyway."

"You're not a very good actor, Sirius," James teased. "It's pretty obvious that you don't hate him."

"I should hate him," Sirius muttered. "He's everything I don't want to be. Everything I hate. He's the perfect pureblood."

"Sirius Black! How dare you!"

No one had noticed Lily approach their group, but she was suddenly standing right next to Sirius. Snivellus was, as always, right behind her, looking like a love-struck puppy.

"Honestly!" Lily continued. "I can understand an accident during a violent game like quidditch, but I can't believe that even you would consider it something to brag about! You're despicable!"

Sirius didn't know how to respond.

"Lily," James began gently.

"I don't want to hear it!" Lily snapped.

Normally, that would shut James up immediately, and he'd revert to a look of injured innocence. Not this time.

"Lily," he said. "You just came in at the wrong part of the conversation."

"Sure, defend him, Potter," Snivellus snorted.

"I will defend him!" James replied. "Sirius is my friend! And he's already beating himself up enough without your help!"

Lily backed down.

"Look, if that's true, then I'm sorry," she said. "I suppose I jumped to conclusions. But still, it certainly sounded suspicious. I'd better not hear anything like that in the future, or I'll hex you into next week."

Sirius nodded and watched her storm off, closely followed by Snivellus. Once again, he wondered why James had to fall head over heels in love with Lily Evans.

XXXXX

The first thing Regulus Black was aware of was the pain. His head felt like it had been split in two and his arm was throbbing. He clenched his teeth to keep from crying out.

"Please, Madam Pomfrey," a familiar voice begged. "Can't we stay a bit longer? I'm sure he'll wake up soon."

Lily.

"You're lucky I let you stick around this long," Madam Pomfrey replied. "I don't normally allow students in the infirmary while I'm operating. Besides, you two should be getting back to your dorms. It's getting late."

"I think he's waking up."

Severus.

"Oh, good," Lily cried. "Regulus! Regulus! Can you hear me?"

Regulus carefully opened his eyes. He was in the infirmary. Lily and Severus were leaning over his bed, while Madam Pomfrey glared disapprovingly at them from behind.

"Are you okay?" Severus asked.

"I'm fine," Regulus lied.

His voice sounded weak and unsure even to him.

"There, he's awake," Madam Pomfrey said. "Now, will you leave him alone so he can rest?"

"Alright," Lily agreed. "Bye, Regulus, Get well soon, okay?"

"We'll come see you again tomorrow," Severus added.

"Bye guys," Regulus replied weakly.

Madam Pomfrey hurried them out the door, then turned back to Regulus.

"Drink this," she ordered, holding out a glass filled with shimmering green liquid.

"What is it?" Regulus asked.

"It's a potion to help you sleep," she told him.

Regulus took the glass and sipped it gingerly. He was surprised to find that the potion tasted good.

Within seconds, he was fast asleep.

XXXXX

Later that night, Regulus awoke to footsteps approaching him. The pain had dulled a bit, but not completely. Thinking that the person walking towards him was Madam Pomfrey, Regulus feigned sleep. He didn't want another one of her potions right now. He wanted to stay awake. He wanted to piece together what had happened.

"Hey, Reg, you awake?"

The voice didn't belong to Madam Pomfrey. It was Sirius. Regulus nearly opened his eyes then, but he resisted the urge. If Sirius knew he was awake, he would run. Ever since Regulus had started school and been sorted into Slytherin, the two brothers had found it nearly impossible to talk to each other. Well, not seriously at least. But Regulus could tell that Sirius had something very important to say right now; something that he could never say if he thought Regulus was awake. So Regulus kept his eyes closed, and listened.

"I guess you're asleep then," Sirius began. "That's good. I really need to say this to you, but I know you would laugh at me if I said it to your face. Damn. I miss the days when we were kids, back before there was all this tension between us. I miss being able to talk to my little brother without one of us ending up in the infirmary. But, that's not really what I wanted to talk about. I know you'd hit me for saying this, but here it goes:

I'm sorry. I mean it. I hit that bludger towards you on purpose. I suppose you've probably already figured that out by now. I know that makes me seem pretty evil, and I guess it was pretty evil, but I didn't mean it, not really. Well, I did at the time, but I wasn't thinking straight. You know how I am about Quidditch. Always too wild, too out of control. I guess it finally got me into trouble. If I had been thinking straight, I would never have done it. I mean, a hex or two every once in a while is one thing, but I nearly killed you. I can't believe I did that. It wasn't so long ago that I would have been protecting you from that bludger.

Dammit Reg! What's changed?

No, that's a stupid question. Everything's changed. I'm a Gryffindor, you're a Slytherin. We chose different paths. But still, you're my little brother. I can't hate you, no matter how hard I try. I can't stop wanting to protect you. But how am I supposed to protect you from myself? More importantly, if I don't protect you, who will? I promised I would protect you, back when we were kids. But now, I just can't. Now, I'm the one hurting you. I don't want to hurt you. But every time I see you, I can't help but want to wipe that stupid smirk off your face. I want to pull you away from those Slytherin bastards who are turning you into one of them. I'd do anything to regain your friendship. But somehow, every time I want to tell you that, I end up hexing you instead. I suppose it sounds stupid, but it's true."

Sirius was silent for several minutes. Regulus wondered if he had left. But even Sirius couldn't leave the room silently.

"Look, Reg," Sirius continued. "I know I kind of said a lot. But it all really boils down to this: I'm sorry. I miss you. I know you can't hear me, but even knowing that I might have reached some area of your subconscious is fine. Well, bye. Take care of yourself."

There was a sound like silk rustling and then Sirius' footsteps began moving towards the door. It opened gently, and swung shut on nearly silent hinges. Regulus listened for a few more moments, until Sirius' footsteps disappeared into the distance.

"I understand," Regulus whispered after his brother. "I miss you, too."


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