Why is it that Slytherins put so much expectation on themselves? And I’m not just talking about good grades or bright futures. But when they think something, even in passing, it sticks like Spell-o-tape. If they have an opinion of themselves or others they will do anything to prove that said opinion is right. The only thing about Slytherins is that when they are really tested do their true natures come out, no matter what they think, their real selves are revealed. And that can be negative or positive. Or both. Slytherins are people of action but their thought processes have a lot of influence on how they act. This combination of overthinking and overdoing tends to lead their days like this…
Regulus Black woke up with a start to the sound of his name being yelled with the utmost fury. You haven’t woken up on the wrong side of the bed until you have woken up to Felix Rosier screaming your name in a frenzied fury.
At first, Regulus did nothing, just remained laying down. Then Rosier’s voice met his ears unpleasantly again. “BLACK!” His voice was becoming clearer, yet Regulus still did not move.
He felt a rush of air next to his head as his four poster curtain was opened.
“Black,” Rosier grunted in disdain. “Explain!”
Opening his eyes finally and seeing Rosier standing above him, Regulus said in a bored voice, “‘splain what?”
Rosier pointed at the dormitory door as if this explain his mania. Most unwillingly, Regulus sat up to see what all the fuss was about.
After getting dressed, Regulus, escorted by Rosier, went down to the Slytherin common room. At first glance it was easy to see what had made all this commotion.
The common room, which was normally dawned with the green and black colors of Slytherin and lit with the green reflections of the Black Lake, was…unusual this morning.
The traditional grim decoration had all been replaced. In their place were crimson and gold banners, lion crests, bright lanterns and floating candles.
Regulus closed his eyes and sighed in irritation. “Why would you think this is my fault…oh, that’s why.”
On one of the walls was a banner with the message;
SINCERLY, THE MARAUDERS
“Idiots,” Regulus muttered, rubbing sleep out of his eyes and frowning.
“How in Salazar’s name did your blood traitor brother and his menace friends get in here?” Rosier glared at Regulus. “Unless you let them in, you little-“
“I didn’t let them in, alright? I hate them.”
Severus Snape, a fifth year, was vanishing red and gold glitter from the walls. He spoke in the third year’s defense.“Regulus would no sooner allow Gryffindors entry than I would, Rosier,” Snape said in a calm monotone though his face was livid at the sight of the “Marauders” vandalism.
Regulus shot Snape a contemptuous glance but the other neither noticed nor cared. Rosier looked at the both of them before announcing, “I’m telling Slughorn that they broke into the dorms…again!” He growled. “I have my eyes on you, Black. You too, Snape.”
Once he left in pursuit of Slughorn, Snape rolled his eyes. “Prefects.”
“I don’t need you speaking to Rosier on my behalf,” Regulus spat at Snape. “So keep your big nose out of my business”
“How much like your brother you sound. I suppose the family resemblance goes farther than looks.”
“I’m nothing like my brother and…” Regulus’ comebacks died halfway through. He wasn’t all that great at back talk.
Snape raised an eyebrow skeptically.
“You’ve got glitter on your robes,” Regulus said, hoping it sounded insulting. He turned and walked back up to his dormitory, leaving Snape.
“We just can’t tolerate this any longer!” Rosier was giving a pep talk to the Slytherin table. Regulus listened half heartedly, spooning his oatmeal and letting it fall back into his bowl. “This is the fifth time. The fifth time! If they walk all over us like this, when will it stop?”
Bellatrix, Regulus’ cousin (much to his dislike), fingered her wand and smirked, “I could take care of them if you just let me.”
Avery, who sat next to her, inched away warily.
“I say we give them a taste of their own medicine,” Mulciber interjected. “See how it feels to be on the receiving end of petty tricks.”
Several students nodded in agreement. Regulus himself felt up to the idea, though doubtful. Gryffindors were supposed to be the mischievous ones, not Slytherins. Slytherins were more cross me and die. If something like this got carried too far, it could end up dangerous.
“We could get into their common room!” Avery piped. “Mess with their stuff!”
“One problem,” Regulus pointed out, “We don’t know their password.”
Rosier looked at him. “So how did they find out our’s, pipsqueak?”
Regulus shrugged his shoulders. “How should I know?”
“He’s your brother,” Bellatrix leered.
“And he’s your cousin, Bella,” Regulus countered.
She snarled animal like in return. Regulus grinned. “We always have such lovely conversation.” He turned to Avery. “There’s no way we can get past that fat lady picture, no Gryffindor would give us the password. Unless Snape’s got Veritaserum on him.”
Every head turned to the boy in question. It took Snape a moment to realize everyone was waiting for him to answer.
“Don’t be thick,” Snape drawled. “Veritaserum is classified as a professional exclusive potion. Such mixtures cannot be brewed without regulation in Hogwarts.”
“There goes that idea,” Avery muttered in disappointment.
The Slytherins ate in silence. Soon, Sirius, the blood traitors Pettigrew and Potter, along with that son-of-a-Muggle Lupin, went walking by their table.
Without much effort, Mulciber aimed his wand at Sirius. “Levicorpus.”
Turned upside down and hung by his ankles in the air, Sirius cursed and threw a croissant he had been holding at Mulciber.
Potter was laughing jovially but ceased once he saw that the Slytherins were doing the same.
“No magic in the Great Hall,” Lupin said strictly as he helped his friend down. “Three points from Slytherin.”
“Come on, Moony,” Sirius said, sticking his tongue out at Mulciber. “Make it an even five.”
“Lucky you have a prefect to hide behind,” Regulus snapped. “Aye, Sirius?”
His brother glanced at him but looked away just as quickly. The look on Sirius’ face made Regulus’ insides twist.
“Back off, Reg,” Potter said. “Anyway, how’s your common room doing? Nice glitter, by the way, Snivillus.”
Snape glared at Potter but ignored him. Wisely in Regulus’ opinion.
“You’ll pay for our common room, the lot of you,” Rosier said. “You can bet on that.”
Potter laughed. “All you know are Dark spells and how to sneer. Good luck getting back at us.”
Lupin shepherded them away from the Slytherin’s. Regulus watched as they left.
There was little Regulus was truly thankful for. But in that small list was this; he was thankful he was not in his brother’s year. Facing him every single day, even having to interact with him, was something he could never do.
It was different when they younger. Regulus had once looked up to Sirius. There was a time when he wanted nothing more than to be just like his elder brother. When he began to grow up his attention divided between Sirius and their parents. Somewhere along the way, that brotherly affection was diverted. Somewhere along the way he gave into the ideology that was taught to him from infancy, and could never understand why Sirius didn’t believe what him and their parents believed.
Regulus was more perceptive than he let on. He was aware of the real reason he didn’t want to face Sirius. He knew that if he faced Sirius, he would have to make jibes at Sirius and his friends’ blood status. Would have to hex them and sneer at their moral compasses. And why? To confirm his place in Slytherin, as a pure-blood, and as a supporter of the Dark Arts.
He had been doing this for so long, he wasn’t sure if he actually believed what he said he did. But it didn’t matter. It was too late for him to change. If he changed, he would be rejected from the status he had put so much faith in.
He would rather be the persecutor than the persecuted.
These thoughts shot through his mind for a split second but he pushed them aside just as quickly. He did this several times a day. His conscience would not allow otherwise.
The voice echoed through the nearly empty hallway of Regulus’ way to class. It took a short moment for Regulus to remember the latest Gryffindor v. Slytherin prank war. And Regulus didn’t duck in time.
He spun around to face Marlene McKinnon, who’s wand was out and who’s mouth was split into a greatly amused smile. Sirius, who was next to her, was practically barking with laughter. “Nice hair, Regulus!”
Regulus growled and caught sight off the end of his hair from the corner of his eye.
The strands, once a deep raven, were now a bright bubble gum pink.
He pulled out his own wand to retaliate but it was too late. Sirius and the McKinnon girl had already run off.
“This isn’t going to work,” Regulus muttered to Snape. They were in free period and on a mission to get back at the four troublemakers.
“It will work. Trust me,” Snape said.
Regulus looked at him. “Why would I trust you? You’re not my friend.”
“Of course not. Just do it.”
Regulus rolled his eyes. “You better be right or I’ll hex you.”
“I’m terrified. Now go.”
Regulus walked away, glaring at Snape as he went. He headed towards his brother and his friends who were near the Black Lake, goofing around.
“Hey, Lupin!” Regulus called.
The Gryffindors looked his way.
Lupin, confused, answered. “Yes?”
“Just ignore him, Remus,” Sirius muttered.
“You can do a corporeal Patronus right?” Regulus asked. “We learned about them in class and someone told me you were the only kid in school who could do one.”
Pettigrew glanced between Regulus and Lupin. Lupin nodded, starring at Regulus quizzically. “Yes, I can produce a Patronus. But I’m sure Slughorn could too, if you’re curious about them…”
“Could you do one right now?” Regulus asked. He wasn’t sure why Snape said this was the way to get back at them.
“You’re a git, you know that?” Sirius spat at Regulus.
“I just want to see if he could do it,” Regulus said, surprised this was actually working.
“W-well, he doesn’t want to!” Pettigrew defended.
“I don’t think I asked you,” Regulus looked at Lupin. “Well?”
“I’d rather not…”
Snape came up from behind Regulus. “And why not, I wonder?”
“Shove off, Snivillus,” Potter said, taking out his wand. “Or do you fancy being strung up by your ankles?”
“It’s an innocent question,” Snape said, smirking. “Lupin? Could we see a Patronus?”
Lupin’s gaze shifted. He took out his wand. “Expecting Patronum.” A small silver light came from his wand. Several people nearby clapped. They had attracted a crowd.
“We meant a corporeal Patronus,” Snape said.
“Too bad, that’s all he can do,” Sirius’ face was absolutely livid.
“No, I asked if he could do a full bodied one before and he said yes,” Regulus countered.
“Come on, Remus!” Shouted Marlene, who had joined the crowd around them, “Go on!”
“Let’s just go…” Pettigrew said under his breath.
Sirius and Potter stood on either side of Lupin, looking daggers at Regulus and Snape. Regulus felt that this might have gone too far.
Snape turned his head to the side. “Why can’t you just show us, Lupin? What have you got to hide?”
Lupin looked around at the others, all starring curiously. He looked at the ground and waved his wand whilst closing his eyes. “Expecting Patronum.”
A large hulking animal shot out of his wand. Snape’s smile grew even more satisfied while Potter and Sirius’ frowns deepened with dislike. Regulus caught sight of the Patronus; a wolf. It cantered in and out of the student’s legs and stopped to howl once.
Once the Patronus faded, the students clapped and patted Remus on the back before dispersing.
“Thank you,” Snape jeered. “That was more than satisfactory…very educational.”
Potter advanced on Snape and shoved him backwards. “Dumbledore made you promise, you greasy bat!”
“What’s going on?” Regulus asked, genuinely confused and even concerned.
Snape took out his wand and pointed it at Potter threateningly. “Go ahead,” he dared.
“James,” Lupin warned though he did not look up.
Potter looked at Lupin and took a step back from Snape. “I told Evans I wouldn’t fight him.”
“Well I didn’t!” Sirius roared as he stepped forward and swung a punch at Snape.
“Sirius!” Regulus, Lupin, Potter, and Pettigrew all cried in unison.
“Levicorpus!” Snape cried, flicking his wand at Sirius.
“Oh, not again!”
For the second time that day Sirius hung in midair. Regulus went forward to help but-
“Stop!” Potter roared at him, pushing him back. “Go on!”
Regulus looked to Snape, but the other Slytherin was already trudging away. Walking slowly backwards, his eyes still on the four Gryffindors, Regulus made his way warily to the castle.
Regulus felt like jinxing himself. It wasn’t as if any real harm had been done. Nothing all that serious at happened. So why was he so on edge about it?
It was the looks on Sirius face that had taken hold of him. Not looks of dislike, but of disappointment and even surprise that his little brother turned against him. And acceptance that this was how Regulus really was and there was nothing Sirius could do about it. Regulus saw that face often and it hurt all the more each time.
If he asked me to change, would I do it? Regulus wondered. I’d want to say yes…but I’d never give him the satisfaction. He sat in the Slytherin common room (now reversed to its original state) pondering this and becoming even more depressed just thinking about it.
What a tangled web we weave, he thought.
The moment he saw Snape, he stood up and approached him. “That wasn’t a prank. What was that?”
Snape looked at him, expressionless, and walked away.
Regulus seethed. “Snivillus!” He called after him in contempt.
He heard laughter behind him and turned. Rosier, Avery, and Mulciber had just entered the room.
“You’ll never guess what we just did!” The heckled.
Regulus caught sight of green and silver glitter speckled on their robes and couldn’t help but smile. “Oh no…”
The next morning, the Gryffindors woke up to find their common room quite changed…