Title: Kisses and Snakes

Character: Regulus Black.

Notes: This is a rather long freeverse poem on the life and death of Regulus Black. I hope you enjoy!


Tick, tock. Tick, tock.
Maybe you have minutes;
hours; days.
Maybe your time's already up.
You're already in too deep.
Tick, tock.

.

What good has it done you?
Where has pride gotten you;
who has cunning helped?
You, little prince,
caught in your sense of sensibility.
What good is a
snake
that hasn't learnt to hiss;
what good is a
Dementor
that hasn't learnt to kiss?
What good is a Black
who hasn't learnt?

.

You have been marked and branded
as one who will amount to nothing.
You will be just a toy
at the roadside
left to die.

.

But still,
they promise you the world.
And you go along with it,
because you're still Slytherin,
and power is what you were born for.
So you work your way into
the inner circles.

.

But nobody told you just how deep you'd have to go.

.

Tick, tock. Tick, tock.
You can feel your heart beating in time
with the pulses running through your scar.
You call it a scar -
though no one else does -
because it's a mark of battle,
of redemption,
and no tattoo is worthy.

.

(The only one that is is hidden
at the base of your spine -
spineless, though, they call you -
and it's beautiful.
Phoenixes tend to be, after all).

.

But still, they all avoid you in the corridors -
in classes, in hallways,
everywhere -
except your own House.
The House you always hated.
Still hate.
Hate even more.

.

Because you're the poison;
the tool.
Not dangerous on your own, never,
but with the correct push
in the right direction...
Someone's wrist only has to jerk
and they're all
dead.

.

They forget -
as humans tend to do -
that poisons have antidotes.
Most, anyway.
You only need the common one.
Love.

.

At first they don't question it.
"Ill," they say,
"or skiving."
By skiving they mean
k - i - l - l - i - n - g.
They spell out the word like
Muggles do to other, sweeter words
in playgrounds.

.

But soon teachers start to wonder.
"Has anyone seen Black?"
A shake of the head,
a "No, Miss,"
and a "Not for a while, Miss."
The house elves dutifully
make your bed,
though no one's slept there in weeks.

.

Tick, tock. Tick, tock.
They'll send out the papers soon -
"Has anyone seen this boy?"
And the fellow
{Death Eaters}
will laugh and mock the pictures,
and say,
"If he's just a boy,
then I'm a goddamn Gryffindor."

.

The posters around the school
fade slightly.
They crinkle at the edges,
curl up at the corners.
Yellow with age and negligence.
"Has anyone seen
Regulus Black?"

.

They knew you were in deep.
You knew it.
You'd have to be blind
as well as dumb
not to.
But you weren't suicidal, no -
you just knew what the word
sacrifice meant.

.

Sac-ri-fice.
Noun.
An act of slaughtering an animal
(or person)
or surrendering a possession
(that's you - possessed)
as an offering to a God
(or a Devil)
or to a divine
(or deadly)
figure.
Something along those lines.

.

Sac-ri-fice.
Verb.
To offer or kill.
That's the gist of it anyway.

.

You've been on your brother's side
the whole time -
you aren't Cain and Abel,
(not like your parents are
Adam and Eve) -
though you pretend
you are their reincarnations,
though you're the younger one.

.

They say Voldemort killed you.
Tried to escape,
you did.
Got in too deep.
That's true, at least.

.

But your death is that of a coward's.
You are forgotten,
in history;
the clich├ęd Black brother,
dimmed in comparison to your
shining Gryffindor star
of a sibling.

.

At least you weren't killed by drapery, right?

.

You kind of take pleasure
as you watch through hazy eyes
as Kreacher leaves the locket
in the bowl
that is drowning you slowly
though you need water.

.

"SIRIUS!"
You beg for your brother
who hovers in the distance;
just a dark shape in a dark house.
"Siri, please."
He doesn't turn -
you remember this moment.
But still you beg,
beg for water,
for him to stay,
for safety, comfort.

.

(Love?)

.

'Sirius can't save you,'
says the voice
in your head
that sounds like Mother.
"But he can!" you protest.
'You forget -
the hero never rescues the villain.'

.

And what does he know
of your pain?
You're not brave.
That's what the Hat said.

.

"Gryffindor or Slytherin?"
"... I don't know."
"Are you sure?"
"What do you mean? -
I can't choose."
"Then that's your choice."

.

"SLYTHERIN!"

.

Tick, tock.
You chose,
and you're in deep now.
And that's not just metaphorical.
Your whole life has been built on
kisses and snakes
and running out of time.