A Look Back at “What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7”: Chapter 9: “R.A.B. and the Missing Locket”

In 2006, MuggleNet staff published a book about what they believed would happen in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. For the past few months, we’ve been going through the book and discussing what we got right and what we got wrong. Previously, we’ve done Chapters 1 & 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. This time, I’m here to talk to you about Chapter 9: “R.A.B. and the Missing Locket.”

 

 

Who Is RAB?

The chapter starts by discussing who RAB might be. There are tons of names that fit in with the initials, but based on the assumption that this person would be a character who was mentioned before in the books, it concludes that RAB is Regulus Black. This theory is backed up by the translated copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince because the initials are translated into whatever Regulus’s initials would be in that language.

In the Norwegian edition, for instance, the Black family name is ‘Svaart,’ and the initials on the note have changed from R.A.B. to R.A.S.; in the Dutch version, the name is ‘Zwarts,’ and the initials are R.A.Z. The foreign-language editions that kept the English surname of Black, however, retained the locket initials R.A.B” – What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7 (99).

It was very obvious at the time. There were so many discussions on who it might be, but the only character who really made any sense as RAB was Regulus.

How Did He Know About the Horcruxes?

There aren’t too many ideas on how he knew about the Horcruxes. He might have been in Voldemort’s inner circle. Maybe Voldemort gave him the locket for safe keeping like he did with Lucius Malfoy and the diary. Maybe RAB knew that the diary existed and figured out what it was. RAB’s note is clear that RAB believed that once the locket was destroyed, Voldemort would be mortal again. This means that RAB was not aware that there was more than one Horcrux, so then maybe he didn’t know about the diary. Nothing is really clear on how RAB knew about the locket Horcrux other than the fact that he knew it existed and where it was being hidden.

We never really got an answer to this question. Kreacher told the trio his side of the story about knowing where the locket was located because Voldemort used him to get it there, but we never learn how Regulus discovered that the locket was a Horcrux.

 

 

Why Did He Want to Steal Them?

Regulus joined the Death Eaters very young and died soon after. Sirius believed that his brother

…got in so far, then panicked about what he was being asked to do.” – Order of the Phoenix (112)

The authors of What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7 believed that there might be more to this than Sirius knew. They believed that Regulus did not flee out of fear. Maybe Regulus was not happy as a Death Eater and then found out about the locket Horcrux and began to plot Voldemort’s demise.

The message suggests that R.A.B. realized that he himself couldn’t stop Voldemort. He just wanted to hurt Voldemort enough to enable the Chosen One to defeat him eventually.” – What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7 (101)

We still don’t know Regulus’s full story. His tale may never be told other than the little bit that Kreacher knew. The question of why he wanted to steal the locket may never get a complete answer. We do know that Regulus was a Death Eater and at some point he discovered that Voldemort had a Horcrux. He must have been unhappy with his life as a Death Eater because he plotted to destroy it. Regulus knew that Voldemort needed to be stopped, and he came up with a way to help destroy the Dark Lord.

Who Helped Him to Steal the Locket?

It takes two people to get the locket. One person must drink the potion, and the other is needed help the potion drinker escape with the locket. The boat can only fit one fully matured wizard, though, so whom did Regulus take with him?

Who better than a creature who was magically bound to obey his every command? Kreacher, the Black family’s house-elf, accompanied Regulus to the island in the cave and helped him to steal Voldemort’s Horcrux.” – What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7 (103)

That is exactly what happened, although it was more like Kreacher taking Regulus there instead of the other way around. Kreacher went with Regulus and got the locket out of the cave.

Where Is the Locket Now?

Where did the locket end up? The authors of this book believed that Grimmauld Place was the only logical answer to this question. They assumed that the heavy locket that was found in Grimmauld Place in Order of the Phoenix was the Horcrux. The locket got thrown out, so what happened to it then? Either Kreacher stole it back and found a place to hide it or Mundungus Fletcher stole the locket and then sold it.

Both of these scenarios ended up being true. The heavy locket was Voldemort’s Horcrux, and Kreacher stole it back and hid it. Mundungus Fletcher stumbled upon Kreacher’s hiding spot and stole the locket. He ended up being forced to give the locket to Dolores Umbridge.

 

 

How Did RAB Die?

Voldemort didn’t know that his locket was stolen, so Sirius’s theory that Voldemort had Regulus killed was not true unless he was killed for something else. The note says that Regulus knows that he will be dead before Voldemort finds it, so what happened? This chapter presents three theories; Regulus drank the potion and it killed him, Kreacher drank the potion and then Regulus was murdered for something else, or Regulus forced Kreacher to drink the potion and is still alive. What makes this really interesting is when Remus Lupin talks about Regulus’s death in Half-Blood Prince.

…well, frankly, I’m surprised he [Igor Karkaroff] stayed alive for even a year after deserting the Death Eaters; Sirius’s brother, Regulus, only managed a few days as far as I can remember.” – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (106)

So let’s talk about how Regulus died. Kreacher told the trio that Regulus drank the potion, ordered Kreacher to destroy it, and then was dragged under the water by the Inferi. He wasn’t murdered by Voldemort, and he definitely is not still alive. It’s Remus’s comment that confuses me a little. Did Regulus desert the Death Eaters and then knowing that he was going to die went to get the locket? Kreacher described Regulus as being “strange” and “disturbed in his mind” when he had Kreacher take him to the cave. Was that the result of Regulus being on the run for a few days? How exactly did he sever his ties with the Death Eaters? Why didn’t Voldemort investigate more when Regulus went missing? Reading this chapter just seems to bring up more questions that we don’t have answers for.

Good Guy or Bad Guy?

Was Regulus good or bad? He was a Death Eater, but something happened to make him rebel against Voldemort. Does that make him good? This book certainly thinks that it does. Regulus is dead, so we’ll never get any answers from him. Kreacher is the one who will give Harry answers.

What makes a person good or evil? We’ll never really get to meet Regulus on the page. All we have are other people’s thoughts about him. He was a Death Eater, but he turned on them. There’s nothing pointing to why he left and decided to help defeat Voldemort. It most likely was because he realized what exactly the Death Eaters were capable of and did not feel comfortable killing and torturing people, but what if it was because they weren’t evil enough for him? I highly doubt that, but it’s possible. We’ll never know the real answer. Regulus’s life is a mystery to us. We know some facts, but not the whole story. What we do know is that he was willing to die at 18 to help cause the defeat of Voldemort. Regulus Arcturus Black was a hero who deserves a lot more than what he was given.