The Conspiracy That is R.A.B.

by Sandy Schaefer

After reading the excellent essay Regulus and the Cave, the Locket, and the Note by David Camillus, I was struck by a rather bizarre idea — nothing as ludicrous or, admittedly, funky like the “Ron is Dumbledore,” theory, but a fun one nonetheless.

My theory? R.A.B. is a red herring. There is no R.A.B. It’’s all a diversion concocted by the Dark Lord himself, Voldemort.

Likely? No, not really. I’’m not going to argue that this idea holds any water. However, as I think about it, it does raise some questions that should encourage the endless debates concerning the identity of R.A.B. and the location of the locket Horcrux, at least until book 7 is released. Most of these questions relate to Regulus Black, given that he’’s the most likely candidate for being R.A.B. for now.
Dumbledore only succeeded at removing the fake Horcrux with Harry’s assistance. If the greatest wizard who ever lived could barely pull it off, how could someone else like, say, Regulus Black, even have a chance?

This was the thought that really intrigued me. David’’s essay offers many explanations for how Regulus may have found the cave, gotten access to the Horcrux, etc., but saying that Dumbledore’’s assessment of Voldemort (i.e., that he has no confidants) is right on the money, which I suspect it is, that begs the question: How else could someone like Regulus have accessed the Horcrux?

There is, of course, the possibility that Regulus was, secretly, a particularly skilled, talented wizard and that Sirius was simply unaware of this because he was his brother, because Regulus became a Death Eater and Sirius refused to think of him in any positive light, along with a horde of other possible explanations. Hence, he was clever enough to pull off this nearly impossible task of stealing Voldemort’’s Horcrux.

But if he was so powerful, wouldn’’t Voldemort have noticed? Wouldn’’t he have become suspicious? Voldemort doesn’’t seem the power-sharing type — wouldn’’t he find an extremely powerful Dark wizard a concern? He might see them as a possible enemy, as a potential foe, given that Voldemort believes Dark magic to be the most powerful kind. Wouldn’’t Voldemort keep a close eye on such a figure? Might not he try Legilimency against Regulus to see whether his pledge of loyalty was sincere (though, admittedly, a powerful wizard could overcome this problem with Occulmency)?

Say, for example, Voldemort did have a confidant, whom he trusted to access the Horcrux in some fashion. Would it have been Regulus, a potential foe? Say it was a less powerful wizard like Bellatrix — wouldn’’t Voldemort use Legilimency against them afterward, to see just whether they’’d thought of stealing the Horcrux or if someone else knew about their task? True, Regulus could have secretly followed such a less powerful wizard to the cave. But would Voldemort actually trust someone enough to show them how to sneak into the cavern? I sincerely doubt it — not even a “favorite” of his, like Bellatrix or, say, Snape (and yes, I know there’’s a whole other essay here on that subject, but forget it for now).

Overall, these questions make the possibility of Regulus being R.A.B. seem quite weak, since it would appear that Regulus just HAPPENED to be really powerful, that Sirius just HAPPENED to never notice his brother’s ability, that Voldemort just HAPPENED to trust such a figure with his Horcrux.

Why leave the note and locket behind?

This question really appealed to me after reading David’’s essay. Was R.A.B. sure he/she would be captured? Did they really think Voldemort would never find them and they wanted to rub it in his face when he came back to check on the Horcrux? Is R.A.B. still alive? Is it possible, if Regulus is R.A.B., that he’’s still alive?

I doubt it — R.A.B. seems, in all likelihood, to be dead. Otherwise, why just give up your life? R.A.B. could have taken refuge with Dumbledore — even at the peak of his power, Voldemort wouldn’’t take Dumbledore on. Was R.A.B. really interested in seeing Voldemort destroyed? Was R.A.B, as I mentioned earlier, a really powerful wizard who wanted Voldemort dead to seize more power in the Dark Arts, hence, why did R.A.B. never turned to Dumbledore for help?

Was the fake locket just a trick to deceive others into thinking the Horcrux was still there? If so, who was R.A.B. fooling? Voldemort? I doubt it. Would that indicate that a less powerful wizard was indeed overseeing Voldemort’’s Horcrux, a wizard easily manipulated by R.A.B? Their letter to Voldemort is so personal — but, then again, if R.A.B. was a powerful wizard, wouldn’’t Voldemort have kept them fairly close, in a sense? I doubt Voldemort would spill all his secrets, but he might try and deceive R.A.B. into thinking he considers them equals. If R.A.B. were clever enough, though, they might convince Voldemort that they believe him and, thus, find ways to sneak out information about Voldemort’s Horcrux.

As you can see, there are many questions floating around my head. My “red herring” theory, therefore, attempts to account for the many questions I pose. So, here we go:

There is no R.A.B. Voldemort’’s got the locket hidden somewhere else. Perhaps Voldemort realized the locket would be the easiest Horcrux to locate, relatively speaking of course. Perhaps the cavern was never meant to guard the actual Horcrux.

Voldemort, recognizing that, again, relatively speaking, the cavern was the easiest Horcrux to find, used it as a diversion. He set up a fake locket with a note with the idea that, if someone somehow managed to break through his defenses after all, they would be sent on a wild goose chase trying to find this R.A.B. and locate the Horcrux.

Hence, there is no R.A.B., just as there was never an actual Horcrux in the cave — it’s all a facade put on by Voldemort while the real Horcrux is protected somewhere much safer, under Voldemort’’s close supervision.

Likely? No, not really. It does raise some questions, though, so have fun…

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