Written for Clever Ink Slinger's Christmas Boot Camp using the prompt 'fruitcake'
Written for marie fisher's 25 Days of Christmas Competition
Of Quidditch and Fruitcake
The best part about Christmas was definitely their mother's fruitcake. It was what Sirius and Regulus both looked forward to every year. It didn't matter how many reprimanding looks they received from family, or how many times their father told them to eat slower, the brothers would always down their Christmas dinner and wait impatiently for the fruitcake.
Sometimes it was served with custard, other times with cream. Every time, it tasted delicious.
The rest of the day was fairly unpleasant for everyone. There would be yelling and screaming throughout the Black house. Sirius couldn't escape a reprimanding from at least someone in the family and Regulus was constantly disregarded as the youngest son.
So, after the fruitcake was served and the boys had swallowed it in as few mouthfuls as possible, they would excuse themselves and rush up to Sirius' room.
It was the last Christmas before Sirius would be going away to Hogwarts and the eleven year old boy had been given nothing but books and robes as presents. Regulus – who was only eight at the time – had received much more interesting gifts.
"So, you get a brand new Quidditch robes and I get a stupid book on... Slytherin House?" Sirius asked glumly, holding up a green and silver book with the Slytherin emblem on its front. "That doesn't really seem fair. I mean, what if I'm not even in Slytherin?"
"You'll be in Slytherin," Regulus replied confidently, laying out his robes on the bed.
"What if I don't want to be?"
On any other occasion, Sirius' words would have scored a reaction from his brother, but the younger Black was too engrossed in his new presents to even have heard. "I wonder if Father will let me borrow his broom," he said.
"Where's your broom?" Sirius questioned.
"It's too old."
"You can use mine, then. I won't be needing it, will I? I mean, I have no new robes... I'm only going to Hogwarts next year and everything..." Sirius glared sourly at his brother's green robes. He was better at Quidditch than Regulus anyway.
"We can play together," Regulus said. "Wait a moment... I'll be back." His little legs ran off, his footsteps being heard all the way down to the lowest level of Grimmauld Place.
While Regulus was gone, Sirius examined the robes. He'd never been given anything like that. Not even when he was eight years old. He had once been given a broom before he had even been taught how to fly. And when he had asked his father to teach him, the man had taken him onto the street – hidden from the Muggles, of course – and demanded he get on the broom. His patience had lasted all of five minutes. When Sirius hadn't been able to get off the ground on his first attempt, Orion had yelled at him and stormed back inside.
Sirius had been forced to teach himself after that. And Regulus as well.
Footsteps echoed down the hall again and Regulus returned moments later, out of breath and clutching their father's new broom. "He said I can borrow it," he told Sirius ecstatically. "As long as I don't break it."
Sirius got to his feet, laying the robes back in their place. "Well, you better put them on, I guess," he said miserably. "I'll be wearing this." He pointed at what he already had on. "I wonder if there's anything in that stupid book on how to play Quidditch," he added.
Regulus wasn't listening. "I wonder if Andy will want to play with us," he said.
Sirius scowled. "Quidditch isn't for girls," he reprimanded. "She'd never be allowed to."
Regulus shrugged. "I'll be ready in a few minutes," he said. "Wait for me downstairs."
Sirius obeyed, taking his broom from its place in his bedroom. It was the same one he had been given all those years ago, just looking older after four years of use. He had asked for a new one last Christmas, but the response from that had taught him not to try it again next Christmas (or any other Christmases in the future for that matter).
Regulus looked quite the sort in his brand new robes and as he met Sirius in the hall, Orion Black passed, giving a rare smile. "Oh, good to know they fit you, Regulus," he said, pride in his voice. "Your mother had them specially made for you."
"What about my book?" Sirius asked. "Was that specially written for me?"
Orion's smile disappeared as he turned to Sirius. "Don't be a fool, boy."
"So, while Reg was having robes made just for him, you were buying me a book from Diagon Alley?"
"Knockturn Alley, actually," Orion replied. "I'd expect you to be more grateful you got anything at all!" he added.
Sirius opened his mouth to say something else, but Regulus – sensing this argument wasn't going to end well for his brother – tugged on his arm. "Come on, let's go play," he said.
Sirius allowed Regulus to drag him out the front door, closing it on their father's last words: "Don't let any Muggles see you."
"We're not stupid!" Sirius retorted.
Regulus mounted his broom and was up in the air in no time. "Chuck the Quaffle up here, Sirius," he called from above.
Sirius glanced down at the large ball resting on the pavement. Pushing his anger aside – after all, it wasn't Regulus' fault – he hurled it at his brother. Regulus caught it with ease, which impressed Sirius. For a boy of eight, he was quite talented after all.
"Have you been practicing, Reg?" he called, mounting his own broom.
Regulus shrugged, going red. "Kind of," he confessed.
"You're good," Sirius told him. "You'd make a good Chaser..."
"... for Slytherin. Yeah, I know," Regulus mumbled. "Father told me that."
"Well, maybe you'd make a good Chaser for Hufflepuff instead," Sirius countered, snatching the Quaffle from the young boy's arms.
Regulus looked horrified at the thought. "What?"
Sirius shrugged. "Just because they want you in Slytherin, doesn't mean you will be," he said. "The Sorting Hat decides, doesn't it?"
"Yeah, but we're all Slytherins," Regulus argued, taking the Quaffle back. He moved up a little higher. Sirius followed.
If he wasn't up so high, Sirius was sure his brother's jaw would have hit the ground.
"I'm not a Slytherin," Sirius repeated.
"Well... what are you, then?" Regulus asked hesitantly. He threw the Quaffle at him, but it was a bad aim. Sirius had to dive to catch it.
"I don't know. Anything but Slytherin."
"Mother and Father would hate you," Regulus said.
"Do you think I care about that, Reg?" Sirius asked. "I mean, look, they gave you new Qudditch robes and they gave me a book."
Regulus' stomach churned. He wasn't sure if it was from his brother's words or his mother's fruitcake. Maybe a bit of both. His parents already found every excuse to say hurtful things to their sons. If Sirius was put into a House other than Slytherin...
"Well, the Sorting Hat chooses anyway," he said eventually, managing to catch the Quaffle in the tips of his fingers. "It will probably put you in Slytherin anyway."
"Then I will walk out of the Great Hall and refuse to come back unless it changes its mind," Sirius said. He grinned mischievously. "I've always wanted to be different, you know?"
The concept didn't sit well with Regulus at all, but he didn't push the matter further. There was still nine months until September first. Sirius would probably see sense by then. He threw the Quaffle again and watched as his older brother zoomed through the air to catch it.
Sirius returned, grinning. "You know," he began. "I woke up thinking this was going to be another one of those stupid, boring Christmases where we would get told off for things we didn't do and be forced to talk to every member of the family – which we still did – but it's actually been alright. It's a shame it will be our last Christmas together."
Regulus' eyes widened. "What?"
"I'll be staying at Hogwarts next Christmas, Reg."
"Because it will probably be better than here. Anywhere's better than here, even if I have no friends there. Even if I'm forced to share a dormitory with four other Slytherin idiots, it would be better than here."
If Sirius hadn't been there to stop him, Regulus would have fallen from his broom. The Quaffle rested underneath the elder boy's arm as he steadied the broomstick.
"You're mad?" Sirius asked.
"You're leaving me," Regulus answered softly. He gripped the end of the broomstick tightly, careful not to almost fall again.
"Only for two years, Reg," Sirius assured him. "Then you can join me at Christmases at Hogwarts. We can sit by the fire in whatever common room we're in, laughing, sharing presents and drinking hot chocolate at Hogsmeade. It'll be great."
Regulus wasn't convinced. "They hate me, though," he said.
Sirius shook his head. "No, Reg, they hate us both. Look, you'll be fine here. I promise." From atop his broom, he reached out and patted his younger brother's shoulder.
A call from below distracted the two boys.
"Children! Inside now!" It was Walburga – their mother.
"But we just got here, Mother," Regulus whined.
"Inside!" their mother repeated, hands on her hips. "There's more fruitcake that needs to be eaten."
Giving his brother a wide grin, Sirius descended, touching the ground with ease. "Well, I can never say no to your fruitcake, Mother," he said, taking his broom and marching inside.
So, I've never written Regulus before and definitely not Sirius in this kind of situation, but you know what? I'm actually quite happy with it. Please leave a review and let me know what you think. Especially if you favourite it.