The Tales Untold: Spare Turned Heir
If you’ve seen some of the previous installments in this series, then it probably won’t come as a surprise that this new story concerns the Black family. If you haven’t read the other parts, long story short, the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black has always proven to be an incredibly intriguing aspect of the Harry Potter universe, and its members infinitely more so, notably the tragically estranged brothers Sirius Orion Black and Regulus Arcturus Black. Since these two really need more content surrounding them, that’s precisely what this installment will be.
So sit back, wrap yourselves up in your House scarves, and enjoy this imagining of the Black Brothers.
Regulus is 15 years old, and he is desperate.
He knows he shouldn’t be, not after what happened, not after what Sirius did, but he –
Regulus’s jaw clenches of its accord, and his aristocratic features twist into a pained grimace.
He knew that his brother was slipping, knew that he was getting far too rebellious, far too impudent, and far too entangled with Potter and his lot of Gryffindors. He knew that he was getting far too loose-lipped, far too heedless, far too unlike everything their family stood for, and yet…
Perhaps it was foolish, and perhaps – no, he should have known better (and he did, the barest of whispers sound against his skin, he did) – but this was Sirius. Sirius, who had taught him about the Houses of Hogwarts. Sirius, who had kept him company during their parents’ many sordid affairs. Sirius, who unflinchingly leaped in front of him, taking the spells their mother so loosely cast at the slightest of errors.
He can’t believe it, doesn’t want to believe it, but the smell of burnt cloth taints the air, tendrils of smoke wafting through the room, and the crackle of magic hums throughout Grimmauld Place, incessant, taunting, and crooning. He takes a deep breath to steel his nerves, and slowly, he breathes out. He stares, still somewhat disbelievingly, at the Black family tapestry, where his brother’s face no longer remains. In its place is a gaping scorch mark, as though no one of importance ever lay there.
Slowly, he walks toward it, steps shaky and unsure, so unlike his usual determined and calculated gait. He raises his hand, and halfway, he hesitates before swallowing roughly and stopping a few inches before it reaches the proof of his brother’s reckless decision.
The sight of it – so dark and black and gone – makes Regulus’s skin crawl. It sits on the family tapestry so perfectly that had he not seen his mother cast the spell, Walburga’s magic twisting and turning and marring the former heir’s place for his treachery, he would’ve thought that it had always been there.
There aren’t any ashes – not even a whisper of what happened.
Regulus Arcturus Black no longer has a brother. He is an only child now.
And all of it is Sirius’s own doing.
The realization strikes him harder than the curse of Dolohov’s invention. It feels as though Fiendfyre is eating away at him, at his very magic – as though his soul were being devoured by a Dementor. A Cruciatus would’ve been kinder.
There’s a strange humming that emanates from the walls, stretching and curling ever so slightly, and Regulus doesn’t even pause to think before he searches it out with his own magic, so deliciously dark and brimming with unmistakable turmoil.
A ragged breath escapes his parted lips as the force of Sirius’s abandonment – no, his betrayal – resonates within his mind and the very house they grew up in.
Memories of him and Sirius wash over him, cruel reminders of what was, and it’s only the barest of threads that hold his restraint from snapping, only the knowledge that the family tapestry has been alive for more than half a millennia that keeps his magic from lashing out in derisive, tortured lances.
Regulus can feel his mind slipping, and a cruel cackle ebbs inside him, waiting to spill from his lips.
He had always adored Sirius when he was younger. Despite the former heir’s actions, despite being cast aside in favor of Potter, despite the ever-growing derisiveness that coated his words whenever their family was mentioned, Regulus had always looked up to him. Even when that same derisiveness was directed at Regulus – whenever Sirius was reminded of his younger brother’s House – Regulus always adored Sirius.
His adoration has been banished into obscurity, and the line that separates love and loathing is the width of a Thestral’s hair.
His eyes narrow dangerously, fractions of the tempest within swirling ominously in the molten silver. “It’s Potter’s fault,” he hisses, venom wrapping around the other heir’s name.
He wants to laugh. He wants to scream. He wants to curse Potter for tearing his brother away from him.
He doesn’t do any of those things. Instead, he vows.
“Your precious Potter will pay, brother,” he mutters darkly, magic crackling beneath his skin. “Never let it be said that the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black seeks no recompense.”