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14 April 2007 @ 07:01 pm
The Silent Son (The Unutterable Words Remix) [Harry Potter; Regulus, Sirius; PG]  
ETA 11/26/07: Nitpicked by shyfoxling

Title: The Silent Son (The Unutterable Words Remix)
Author: lilian_cho
Summary: The younger son was supposed to perform a grand, stupid gesture in his youth.
Character(s): Regulus, Sirius, the Sorting Hat and an assortment of Slytherins
Rating: PG
Fandom: Harry Potter
Spoilers: Up to Half-blood Prince
Disclaimer: This story is based on a story based on the bestselling behemoth created and owned by J.K. Rowling, various publishers and Warner Bros., Inc. No Unforgivables was cast during the making of this fic.
Original story: “Seven ways words can hurt” by lindsey_grrl
Notes: Section headings are lifted from the original story. Much hand-holding provided by my awesome betas albichorizon, gelsey and rea_saint.
Cross-posted here.
For fun: fill out my Regulus poll.

she bends down and tells him

“Look at him, so silent and proper. Why can’t Sirius be more well behaved, like him?” Walburga Black straightened her baby’s christening gown. The one-year-old looked up amid silk ruffles and blinked solemn grey eyes.

“Sirius is barely three. He’s just behaving like other children his age,” her sister-in-law Druella murmured in a placating tone.

“Not my children, they don’t,” Walburga answered coldly. Druella was just jealous she didn’t have a son of her own. If she had any shred of sense, she would have betrothed one of her three daughters to Sirius or Regulus by now.

“Regulus, my little king,” she cooed, shaking a silver rattle engraved with the Black crest. “You will make me proud, won’t you?”

In answer, Regulus popped a thumb in his mouth.

a half-blood, let alone a Mudblood

“Gryffindor? That House of Muggle-lovers?” His mother’s voice only went down to that degree of coldness just before all hell broke loose.

“Now dear, I’m sure a re-sorting will—”

“He’s staying in a dormitory with half-bloods. Next thing we know he’s going to MARRY A MUDBLOOD!” Walburga screeched, composure snapped.

Regulus bit his lower lip and kept his eyes on his breakfast plate.

His father said disbelievingly, “A Mudblood? Now you’re just being hysterical.”

“I am NOT being hysterical!” She crumpled Sirius’ letter in her fist. “Narcissa just wrote to tell me about a Mudblood being sorted into Gryffindor House. Instead of looking for his cousins, Sirius apparently spent the entire ride to Hogwarts in the same compartment as this Mudblood chit!”

“A Black sitting next to a Mudblood? How preposterous!” His father sounded dazed by the mere idea. “Great-great-grandfather Phineas must be rolling in his grave.”

“Oh Orion, I should’ve known this would happen.”

Regulus could not believe his ears. Was his mother sniffling?

“I should have sent Sirius to Durmstrang—have that recklessness beaten out of him.” She twisted the napkin in her hands. “He threatened to run away if we sent him to Durmstrang, but anything would be better than this—being in the same House as half-bloods and Mudbloods!”

Orion looked uncomfortable at his wife’s uncharacteristic distress. “There there, dear.” He gingerly patted her hand. “I believe Abraxas Malfoy is the head of the school board—”

swallowing what he really thinks

Gulping, Regulus looked from under the Sorting Hat’s brim at cousin Narcissa waiting at the Slytherin table. Where he belongs. He tried to clear his mind of Sirius and Gryffindor and Mudbloods—

“Not Gryffindor, huh?” The voice in his head sounded amused. “I have sorted generations of Blacks into Slytherin House, but every hundred years or so I make an exception.”

Terrified, Regulus' mind became a jumble of Andromeda Gryffindor Mudblood disowned

“That brother of yours, for one. He’s not weighed down by centuries of Black legacy.”

Before Regulus could ask what the Hat meant by that, it announced: “Slytherin!”

Equal parts relieved and confused, he stood up and walked over to the clapping Slytherins. Cousin Narcissa’s smile assured him she never doubted where he belongs. He let out the breath he didn’t realize he was holding.

tells all the family that Sirius is a disgrace

“You are no son of mine!” Father’s words, never more heartless than today, rang with finality.

Rooted in his seat, Regulus watched helplessly as Sirius left his place at the dining table. In the mirror, he watched his brother's reflection walk out the front door. He hadn’t even spared a glance for his prized Nimbus next to the umbrella stand.

Across from Regulus, cousin Bellatrix looked grimly satisfied. Next to her, Narcissa’s lips formed a tight, pale line.

Had Sirius been sorted properly, Aunt Druella would have arranged a match between Sirius and her youngest daughter. If Sirius had been a proper Black heir, they would have been toasting to the engagement of Sirius and Narcissa alongside that of Bella and Rodolphus.

If, if, if.

Instead, Narcissa was to marry Lucius Malfoy summer next year. And Regulus…

He wondered if Sirius would have so easily abandoned the family if he had been an only child.

something that has been bothering him for some time

For several months now, Sirius had been looking subdued.

At first, Regulus thought it was due to their mother’s letter. He hadn’t been able to discourage his parents from excluding Sirius from their will.

Given ten years and a lot of persuasion, he was sure that his parents would welcome Sirius back into the family. After all, it wasn’t as if Sirius had done something unforgivable, like marry a Mudblood.

That hope dissipated like the summer mist when he saw a laughing Sirius, arms slung around Potter and Lupin, enter the Great Hall.

Whatever rift that had existed between the Gryffindor pranksters was now forgotten.

For the first time in his sixteen years, Regulus acknowledged the bitterness he harboured against his brother.

The older son was supposed to be the proper heir, the pride of his parents.

The younger son was supposed to perform a grand, stupid gesture in his youth. Like falling madly in love with a Veela and spending galleons on firewhiskey to nurse a broken heart.

During his five years at Hogwarts, Regulus had never done a single stupid thing. He had never even lost points for Slytherin.

Looking at his brother slapping his Gryffindor friends companionably on the back, he finally understood the Hat’s words about the burden of legacy.

something is up and it’s bad

Regulus wondered how he ended up where he was now, on his knees in some Muggle park throwing up the contents of his stomach.

Severus Snape stood not two meters away, watching the scene with dark, guarded eyes. Lucius would have offered him a handkerchief and his disdain. Bella would have brayed her manic laugh and brought him to more Dark Revels to “toughen him up.”

Not for the first time, Regulus was thankful that he was assigned to Snape.

“It was not what you expected,” Snape's voice stated calmly.

Regulus glanced back and quickly averted his eyes. They said Snape was a Legilimens comparable to the Dark Lord.

There was no way he could walk away from this war. There was no way he would turn traitor in this war.

Lucius, Bella, Rodolphus—when it came down to it, they were his family.

he doesn’t want to know it, but he hears anyway

Sometimes Regulus thought he spent his whole life being a silent listener of furtive conversations. Even in Slytherin, many of his House mates held private conversations within his hearing range. He wondered if he was unassuming or just did not merit attention.

Coming back from his latest mission, he was barely out of the Apparition chamber when he heard two soft cracks behind him.

“Your service shall not be forgotten, Rookwood.” The Dark Lord’s sibilant voice sounded inordinately pleased.

“It was a great honor, my Lord.” Rookwood was obsequious and excited. “I never thought one day I would have the occasion to use my Necromancy scrolls. To have an army of underwater Inferi guarding your treasure. That was a stroke of genius!”

Even Regulus could tell that the Dark Lord was growing impatient. “Sssilence, Rookwood! These walls have ears.”

Rookwood instantly sounded contrite. “Forgive me, my Lord. Nothing that happens in the lake today will pass my lips.”

“I’ll see to it that it doesn’t.” Voice as cold as winter. “Obliviate.

Heart hammering in his chest, Regulus gave a fleeting thought to his brother, fighting on the other side of this war. He knew what he needed to do.

Lady With A Spinning Head: metalfairy_tale_echo on April 23rd, 2007 05:48 am (UTC)
The fifth one is just the greatest. I really felt Regulus in that second, like he came into really sharp clarity there. Ah, and the scene after it, just heart-wrenching. I don't read a lot of Regulus-fic, but this was just perfect and sad and lovely. Thanks for writing it!
lilian_cho: Be afraid Slyth tarielilian_cho on April 29th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading and commenting!
I love the emo fifth one too :-)

To satisfy my curiosity For fun, fill out my Regulus poll? :-D
Amy: Siriussuch_heights on April 23rd, 2007 07:15 pm (UTC)
Wonderful! I liked seeing Sirius through Regulus' eyes like that, and all the moments it captures. I also really, really liked where you ended it. Great stuff!
lilian_cho: Aziraphale also worshiped bookslilian_cho on April 29th, 2007 06:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading and commenting!
I'm glad you like the ending :-)

To satisfy my curiosity For fun, fill out my Regulus poll? :-D
lindsey_grrl on April 25th, 2007 05:32 pm (UTC)
Oh my, I loved this so, so much.

I just *adore* Regulus, though I rarely write him, so this was particularly special.

Thank you so much ^__^ Great job!
(Anonymous) on April 26th, 2007 05:56 am (UTC)
I'm glad you like it :-D

I contemplated writing a Remus remix, but the idea of Regulus is just too intriguing *g*
This is the first time I write Regulus, so thank you for the opportunity ;-)
Nayru, the underwater geek: Ritsuka smilelindsey_grrl on April 26th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
Everybody's happy then : D

This is why remixes are so much fun ^__^
lilian_cho: Aziraphale also worshiped bookslilian_cho on April 29th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC)
I hope there'll be another remix next year :-)

To satisfy my curiosity For fun, fill out myRegulus poll? :-D
sambethe on April 26th, 2007 01:24 am (UTC)
lilian_cho: Here Be Dragyns copperbadgelilian_cho on April 29th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :-D

P.S. My Regulus poll
melandry on April 28th, 2007 12:36 am (UTC)
This is a lovely character study of Regulus. I love the little bit of humor that snuck in, too - the idea of Regulus wistfully looking forward to Veelas and Firewhisky!
lilian_cho: Penguin!Chiyo-chan from Azumanga Daiohlilian_cho on April 29th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading and commenting!
Wouldn't you look forward to Veela debauchery too? ;-)

To satisfy my curiosity For fun, fill out my Regulus poll? :-D
marc_duorkmarc_duork on April 28th, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh, that was superb. the ending was stunning and i love the snapshots, they really let one into Regulus' character.
that was like a season finale....just want more, but do you really need it. beautiful. and i concur the humour, very witty.
i love reggie fic and it tops my list.
lilian_cho: Be afraid Slyth tarielilian_cho on April 29th, 2007 06:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading and commenting!
This is my first time writing Regulus so I'm v. glad you like it :-)
And thanks for the "season finale" praise. (Who knows, we might get a glimpse of Regulus in Book Seven. It is my fond theory that he's actually somehow, someway, not quite dead yet.)

btw, fill out my Regulus poll please? :-D
marc_duorkmarc_duork on May 1st, 2007 08:04 pm (UTC)
Will do...have done. very good one, mind. XD
(Anonymous) on May 9th, 2007 12:33 pm (UTC)
Lovely, and works so well with the original.
lilian_cholilian_cho on June 9th, 2007 08:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for your kind words! :-)