Description: Everything had gone to plan, Dumbledore had seen the end of the First Wizarding War. Certainly he had lost more than a few, but Harry Potter was still alive and well. He was currently tucked away in Surrey with his Muggle Family. He could contently wait for the boy to come of age now, and continue the last of the prophecy. Until an owl landed on his desk, providing him with the news he had not expected.
Characters: Graphic Depictions Of Violence Major Character DeathRegulus Black & Black Family Regulus Black & Sirius Black Sirius Black/Remus Lupin Bill Weasley & Charlie Weasley & Fred Weasley & George Weasley & Ginny Weasley & Ron Weasley Harry Potter/Ginny Weasley Hermione Granger/Ron WeasleyHarry Potter Regulus Black Sirius Black Kreacher (Harry Potter) Cassiopeia Black Charlie Weasley Bill Weasley Remus Lupin Albus Dumbledore Tom Riddle | Voldemort Percy Weasley Fred Weasley George Weasley Ron Weasley Ginny Weasley Nymphadora Tonks Molly Weasley Arthur Weasley Marius Black Ignatius Prewett Lucretia Black Prewett Arcturus Black III | Sirius Black’s GrandfatherRegulus Black Lives POV Regulus Black Regulus Black-centric Canonical Character Death Regulus Black raises Harry Potter Harry Potter is the Heir to the House of Black Manipulative Albus Dumbledore Misguided Albus Dumbledore The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black Sirius Black Lives Harry Potter is less oblivious Asexual Charlie Weasley Asexual Regulus Black demiromantic characters Non-binary Tonks Charlie Weasley Loves Dragons Minor Fleur Delacour/Bill Weasley Post-First War with Voldemort Alternate Universe – Canon Divergence Harry Potter has a Father Figure Marauders Era (Harry Potter) Marauders
Everything had gone to plan, Dumbledore had seen the end of the First Wizarding War. Certainly he had lost more than a few, but Harry Potter was still alive and well. He was currently tucked away in Surrey with his Muggle Family. He could contently wait for the boy to come of age now, and continue the last of the prophecy. Until an owl landed on his desk, providing him with the news he had not expected.-Regulus Black has survived so long on his cunning and ambition and wit. He wasn¡¯t about to turn himself in to rot in prison, but a letter showing up to his family¡¯s home peaked his curiosity. Who even knew he was still alive?-Regulus Black raising Harry Potter AU ~Mostly Canon Complaint~-Rated Mature: For Depictions of Violence, Torture, Implied Assaults etc. Please Heed Warnings-We don¡¯t support JKR here, my characters will be queer, non-binary, disabled and diverse and any hate will be deleted.
CW: References to Prior Abuse
Chapter 1: The Beginning
Dumbledore sat contently in his eccentric office. Everything had gone as predicted. Tragic it was to lose so many young lives along the way, most recently the young Lily and James Potter. However, everyone has a role to play in this life; how unfortunate it was that such a dynamic couple would hold such a short life. They had played their role well, and Tom Riddle was provisionally handled.Just a few short weeks ago, he had left the small infant child of the Potter¡¯s on the doorstep of his Muggle family, for his protection, and it partially was. Dumbledore couldn¡¯t be ignorant to how it benefited himself though, and by default all of the wizarding kind. The Muggles he¡¯d left young Mister Potter with were horrendous. It would create an impulsive, rough around the edges, malleable child. Exactly what the wizard would need to defeat the Dark Lord once and for all. Everything was falling into place. That was until the owl landed on his desk. He wasn¡¯t unaccustomed to a late night owl in his position. Truly, they were more frequent than not. He fed the owl a biscuit as he untied the letter. The smaller neat handwriting wasn¡¯t particularly alarming as he scratched the owl’s chin for good measure. He lazily unfolded the flap and pulled out the parchment. His small eyes darted across the words. He read it twice. Even he, the greatest wizard of his time, could not have predicted this. The Dursley¡¯s had perished in a car accident just that day. Arabella Figg had just written to him to inform that she had possession of Harry, watching over him for her neighbors while they went on a day trip to see Mr. Dursley¡¯s sister. They had hit a patch of bad weather on the way back and instead of waiting it out, continued onward until they slid into an electrical pole. What a Muggle way to die. Dumbledore sat the letter down slowly. He stared blankly into the void of the objects surrounding him. He¡¯d prided himself on being an intellectual man, one of great esteem. He¡¯d never let anyone know he¡¯d never planned for this, easily the most obvious flaw. Harry¡¯s parents were dead, his mother¡¯s final act his best protection, fortified by being with those of his family. His father¡¯s family all died out. The Potter line was one of many destroyed in this war. The closest thing to family left, Dumbledore had made certain was sitting lost on the hardened, cold floors far away from society in the prison of Azkaban. Harry¡¯s godfather would have made much of a self aware and confident young man. He was a Black and suspicious and determined by his very nature. The Wizarding population was all too ready to throw a Black behind bars. Though, even he was shocked at the betrayal, Sirius Black betraying Lily and James Potter, sounded suspicious at best. Yet it had worked in his favor either way, Sirius would have demanded to raise Harry.Now, he broke himself from his haze. Shaking his head slightly as he raked through his thoughts for a solution. He needed a new home for the boy. Arabella was only a temporary solution, she was unfit to raise him. Mr. Lupin sat torn to shreds, unable to be removed from his family cottage from the events of the last few weeks. He¡¯d likely raise the boy with too much care and lose energy to be molded. Nor was he close enough for the familial protection, no matter the relations between him and Mister Black. The Potters were as stated gone, as were now the remaining Evan¡¯s family. Miss McKinnon had been his godmother, bless her and her family¡¯s souls. Mister Black was indisposed. Did this poor boy truly have no family left to offer him safety? Just then there was a knock on his office door. He cleared his throat as he called for the person to enter. A pale sullen face with long shiny hair and bedraggled robes shuffled into his office. Severus was hardly ever in such a state, but he had truly cared for Miss Evans. Her death weighed heavy on his youngest professor and truest ally.¡°Yes, Severus, how can I be of assistance?¡± Dumbledore asked in a softer tone. ¡°Headmaster, I believe you asked for me to come with any more information on any other Death Eaters should I come across it.¡± Severus replied in a rough dry voice. ¡°Please call me Albus, Severus. I believe we have known one another well enough. As well most have been rounded up, though many are pleading out with the Imperius Curse. Nasty thing, will get more off then I had hoped.¡± Dumbledore grumbled. It was a frustrating tactic; however, it was not the focus of his energy once Tom was disabled. He¡¯d let the Ministry take the reins on the trials, though they were handling them quite unprofessionally. ¡°Yes Headmaster. I understand and it is truly a disappointment to see so many turncoats so falsely. Only falling in line with what benefits them at the time.¡± Severus snapped at the statement. ¡°However, I believe these particular rumors will be of interest to you.¡±¡°I only hold so much light to rumors, but go on.¡± Dumbledore encouraged, if Severus found the information reliable enough to convey it must hold some truth to the matter.¡°Of course. I was visiting Malfoy’s this past week. Last minute damage control is painted on the walls of the Manor. However, they had particular guests of interest. Mister Black and Mistress Black were visiting, hiding away many of the most incriminating evidence at one of the family homes. Now, Mistress Black was raving on how her son, her true heir had made them all proud in the end. He¡¯d seen the light and done his best to help The Dark Lord. I¡¯m certain if Sirius could hear her, he¡¯d kneel over in disgust, nonetheless, it was her comments on her other son that piqued my interest. She was cursing him for being a disappointment and for wasting so much time on him.¡± Severus paused for a moment to glance out one of the back windows. The early morning light is beginning to rise. ¡°Well yes, I believe everyone heard of young Mister Regulus running away from his commitment. She nearly screamed in the streets at the death of the Black Line.¡± Dumbledore answered, a bit pesky at the length of this story. ¡°Yes, Headmaster. The truth is no one truly knows what happened to Regulus. He simply disappeared one day, no one, not even The Dark Lord could find him. It was a bit frustrating to him, not being able to find a child who¡¯d gone missing. Eventually he was labeled a deserter and we went with the rumor he had died, but it was never confirmed.¡± Severus explained. Dumbledore nodded. He knew as much, but he truly never saw a use in the younger Black son, and honestly he was better off dead anyways in Dumbledore¡¯s head. One less thought for him. ¡°Anyways, all this to say, that Walburga made a strange comment. You see she is staying at the manor in the country with her brother and her father, given that nearly all the other Black¡¯s are either dead or blasted. She was complaining how her youngest had kicked her from the home, which Narcissa peaked her interest at. However, when she questioned her aunt how that was possible when Walburga was staying at the home after his death; I believe we all can recall her falling in streets out front at the announcement of his death, she just got this strange look on her face and moved her mouth as if she couldn¡¯t answer. Granted everyone else shook it off as she was mad, her age is catching up to her and she¡¯s never been the most stable character. I, for one, wanted to do more digging.¡± Severus sneered slightly. ¡°As it turns out Headmaster, none of the remaining Blacks can even recall where their beloved city home is located. I went searching for it, couldn¡¯t place it for the life of me, then not a mention in any book or map I scoured. I believe Headmaster, that in fact someone had put the Black family home under a Fidelius Charm. If I am correct in my assumption, I believe it would be one Regulus Black who has done so.¡± Severus finished his face twisted in what may have been an attempt at a smile. Dumbledore paused, softening his face slightly. ¡°Severus, how exactly would Mister Black be able to avoid the Dark Lord? Surely whoever his Secret Keeper is would have given him up at his betrayal? He only had friends within your own organization.¡± Dumbledore emphasized as he saw a slight twitch in Severus¡¯ face at the mention of his inclusion in the group.¡°Not everyone was as loyal as they seemed.¡± Severus grumbled, his facade breaking down slightly before he composed himself to a nonchalant look. ¡°Who would you suppose is his secret keeper then?¡± Dumbledore inquired, truly curious.¡°He was close to Crouch for a time. Of course they did have a falling out. Rosier and Mulicber were always over his shoulder, though they did constantly try to hex him to death. Truly, if I were to think it was anyone it would be who we suspect least, yet is still the most obvious choice.¡± Severus answered a bit of gloat in his tone. Dumbledore found the youth so entertaining with their squabbles for glory. It reminded him vaguely of his youth, granted many of them were eons from reaching his acclaim. ¡°I believe his Secret Keeper is none other than his brother, Sirius Black.¡± Severus replied with a hint of a smirk on his thin lips. Dumbledore was amused. ¡°His brother? The Black Brothers working together once again? The same boys who landed one or the other in the hospital wing at least once a month from their duels. The boys who openly spewed their hatred of one another from the last years of their schooling onward. I have my doubts about that Severus.¡± Dumbledore bemused. He knew that Sirius Black had secrets, clearly if he¡¯d gone as far as to betray the Potters, a feat even Dumbledore had not anticipated. Though the prophecy had worked out one way or another for the time being, the first half was fulfilled. They were in a waiting game now, until Tom reappeared and Harry would have to fulfill his end of the prophecy. He¡¯d be the savior of their world, pity it would be at such cost. ¡°Well Headmaster, we¡¯ve seen that Sirius was not truthful about many things now. In fact, his entire existence seems to have been a farce. He led his Lord directly to his best friend and his wife and their small child, without it seeming a single regret. He was found laughing after murdering so many Muggles and his other friend. Didn¡¯t even resist the arrest! Clearly, we all underestimated him. Even I, who was so privy to the inner workings, was ablaze with shock. Granted such a betrayal would need to be the utmost confidence, I figure only The Dark Lord was privy to Black¡¯s true motives.¡± Severus continued on. Dumbledore was listening with one ear, as he allowed his mind to wander to the predicament at hand. He needed to find someone to raise Harry still. Someone who wouldn¡¯t care for him too well. He needed the boy pliable and ready to prove himself. He needn¡¯t be raised with confidence and care, only his basic needs needed to be met and his magic world vaguely explained to him without the ego he¡¯d likely get being raised in Wizarding Britain. They also still had to be at least reasonably related to the boy. The Dursley¡¯s had fit the bill perfectly. Suddenly, as Severus continued to drown out in the background an idea dawned on the older wizard. ¡°Yes Severus.¡± Dumbledore interrupted. Severus paused as he closed his mouth slowly. ¡°So you agree, we should use an owl to try and track down Black?¡± Severus stated slowly as if he was in a state of disbelief. ¡°Not quite.¡± Dumbledore replied, he truly hadn¡¯t heard the suggestion. ¡°I do believe I should write a letter to Mister Black and try and convince him we mean him no harm, see if he is willing to speak to me.¡± Dumbledore answered. ¡°Why would you say that? Won¡¯t we just turn him into the Ministry of Magic? He¡¯ll rot in Azkaban beside his brother and cousin.¡± Severus said, raising a bushy eyebrow.¡°Truthfully, Severus. I am unsure if I will turn him in at this time. I believe I may need him for a particular mission.¡± Dumbledore stated as he slowly rose to stare out the back windows. ¡°What mission? The Dark Lord has fallen.¡± Severus answered. Dumbledore almost chuckled at the statement.¡°You can¡¯t truly believe he has vanished, Severus. Not when no body was found and he had gained so much power. No Severus, he will return, not today, not tomorrow, but one day and we must prepare for such. As for the mission, it is one even I dare not share with you. You must be understanding.¡± Dumbledore answered. Severus nodded, not entirely convinced, the wonderful part about Severus was he knew when to be silent. They said their partings and Severus returned to his dungeons. Dumbledore could see Fawkes flying across the horizon, returning from his nightly fly over. Dumbledore opened one of the windows to allow the Phoenix inside. He flapped his large wings in and landed on his rest post with a squawk. Dumbledore smiled at the creature, always so fascinated by him even after all this time. Then he quickly pulled out a quill and parchment. He had a problem he had to fix in front of him, and in fact Severus had given him a wonderful idea. If Regulus Black was in fact alive, which it very much sounded as if someone was hiding out in the old city home of the Blacks, then he was the nearly perfect candidate. Dumbledore recalled many years ago when he was, but a simple Transfigurations teacher, a young Dorea Black being engaged to one Charlus Potter. So tragic that the whole family died out; however, it allowed for a relation between Mister Black and young Harry. Just strong enough to hold with the magical prowess of the two young wizards. Harry having survived Tom, and Regulus having alluded him. Then one with an upbringing as young Mister Black he¡¯d hardly be of decent character to be a father figure. It could work, if only Dumbledore could coax him out of hiding. So with that motivation, he put quill to parchment and began his next scheme to control. -Regulus Black was perfectly fine. Fine is relative after all and he was just that. At least, it is what he tried to convince himself as he was sprawled against the wall of the drawing room. He tilted a bottle of firewhiskey he had found to his lips. He¡¯d just accomplish cleaning out the cabinets. The first task he¡¯d completed in weeks. He had split the unicorn blood from the crystal ball on the carpet and it was currently laid rolled into the corner. He nearly destroyed his wand trying to control the music box. He¡¯d been falling asleep when it accidentally fell open, he wasn¡¯t quite sure if Kreacher would be able to wake him with elf magic. He¡¯d been trying to study the lengths of elf magic for a few years now. Ever since that very magic had saved his life. If not for Kreacher, he¡¯d likely be floating at the bottom of a dark sea of water with only an army of Inferi surrounding him. The elf had defined Regulus¡¯ command to save himself and grabbed his wrist pulling him back and apparating them out of there. The locket was still clutched in hand. The locket had been tricky. It took Regulus almost six months to figure out what could destroy it. Much of which he spent hidden away in his family¡¯s old beach house, no one bothered to visit for years now. His parents disdained the beach, too common and Muggle for their enjoyment. He couldn¡¯t return home when he¡¯d already been branded a traitor. His mother would gladly turn him into The Dark Lord, damn the Black line and all. She was probably deluded enough to believe her and her only remaining brother could produce an heir. No, he wouldn¡¯t return there. That was until he remembered a precious heirloom in the very cabinets he¡¯d just cleaned. An old Basilisk fang, one his great uncle Regulus had brought back from one of his travels. It apparently had been one of his greatest treasures. Basilisk venom was known to kill nearly anything it touched when injected, even inanimate objects. He had known the one at home had been preserved to perfection, if only he could get to it. A dutifully disguised letter to his mother later, and she was off to see her aunt Cassiopeia in Switzerland. Her aunt would excuse it as her madness and it would take his mother several days to come back.He had hidden in the Muggle park, disguised in Polyjuice Potion of a basic Muggle. He¡¯d known it would wear off the moment he walked through the doorway anyways. It was one of the first and oldest enchantments on the home. Once he noticed his mother leaving the home, walking unbothered in her ridiculously lavish robes down the street, likely to the portkey location, he waited until she disappeared. Scoffing loudly, as a young mother threw a nasty glance at him hunched in a bench, before taking her child by the hand and leaving. He walked up slowly to the old steps, half afraid they would not appear for him. They did in fact, as he cracked his way up the stone, tapping his wand in a pattern on the door to unlock it. Once through the loud doors, he could feel his hair fall down his neck as he took his own appearance again. He had stood there in the Entrance Hall for several moments taking in the old house. He had not wanted to return, but he shook his head as he leaned against the wall and pulled his wand. He had needed his focus for this next part. His father had taught him the spell just two years prior a few months before his coming of age birthday. It was incredibly powerful and complex if he messed up he¡¯d likely wish he¡¯d died in that cave. With a steady hand, he cast the spell. A heavy golden glow encompassed him and hit him in his chest, causing a strange feeling to surround his very soul. He hadn¡¯t been sure he still had one after all this time. Yet there he was the New Secret Keeper of Twelve Grimmauld Place, overriding his father¡¯s Fidelius Charm. His mother had walked out of the home for the last time, when she¡¯d try to return, her and every other Black would have forgotten the very place they had grown up. It was a strange feeling of loneliness. A crash against the window beside him stirred him from his daydream of memories. Regulus lolled his head to the side, the firewhiskey warm in his stomach. His eyes felt heavy as he blinked them unsure if he could rely on his sight any longer. There was an owl pecking in the window, Regulus slowly stood steadying himself on the wall as he rose. The firewhiskey was abandoned on the ground. He stumbled a few steps forward, moving around a desk as he peered closer towards the fogged pane of glass.It was an owl indeed. One with a letter attached to his scrawny leg, pecking repeatedly as he looked up with a hint of annoyance in his dark eyes. Regulus leered down at the street, not a soul was out there in the early morning light. He took a risk as he pulled open the window, careful to keep himself as obscured as possible. The owl hooted as it landed on the desk hopping slightly on the leg free of a letter. Regulus sighed as he quickly untied the paper. He glanced down to see it was in fact addressed to him, though there was no address listed. Simply his name, Regulus Arcturus Black, the full name causing a chill down his spine, only his family used his full name. The owl pecked at his hand a few times bringing him down from his panic. He conjured a bowl and used his wand to splash some water, typically the bird would fly away after a few gulps, but this one made himself cozy on the edge of the desk. Regulus narrowed his eyes at the bird that he swore tilted his head demandingly back at him. He was much too drunk for a stare off with an owl.He sunk into a cushioned loveseat as he turned the paper over. Had his head not been swimming with fiery liquid, maybe he would have been more worried at the fact that he, a dead man for all intents and purposes, was receiving mail. However, the thought slipped his mind for the time being as he turned over the envelope. He was even more curious to see a familiar seal on the back. Regulus was most certain he had no friends or allies left at Hogwarts, especially not in light of recent events. The seal cracked open.He pulled the letter out slowly, as if he was concerned it would explode. Unfolding it with gentle, albeit slightly shaking hands, his eyes scanning the words before him. He had to shake his head and read it twice. It simply could not be true, he was obviously in a drunken state, or maybe a dream perhaps he had never destroyed the music box and he was now trapped in a nightmarish state of slumber. How else could he be holding a letter from Albus Dumbledore, his old Headmaster?He bolted upright when the owl hooted again. Regulus narrows his eyes at the animal. He¡¯d always had a knack for Magical Creatures, it had been one of his best subjects at school. Not that anyone had ever cared how he did in school, but he had gotten ten O.W.L.s. He could tell from the owls demeanor that it had been demanded to stay until a reply was written and given back. Regulus glanced at the letter again. It was asking for a meeting with Dumbledore at a prearranged location and time. His letter swore that there would be no one else present and he would not be informing the Aurors from the Ministry of Magic. He scoffed aloud at the promises. He didn¡¯t believe them for a moment. The second his feet touched the ground near the place he was certain he¡¯d be surrounded and thrown into Azkaban where his cousin and his¡ oh he couldn¡¯t think of it yet. Where his family was. No one trusted the Blacks, people only feared them. Rightfully so. He had spent the last two years in complete isolation though. He hadn¡¯t seen another wizard or witch since then and he only got glances of Muggles when he finally was comfortable enough to curl up in the windows and watch them from a distance. Strange creatures they were, but wholeheartedly not subservient and lesser then as he had been raised to believe. Many seemed perfectly average for their kind, and ruling them seemed such a waste when they looked rather agreeable in their lives. He shook his head of his thoughts once again as the parchment crumbled in his grasp slightly. He blinked at it once more before sitting at the desk, the owl still perched at the edge with an early morning chill coming into the room. Regulus had always enjoyed the cold, Grimmauld Place always had a draft and then at the school the dungeons were rather cool with the stone and the water of the lake surrounding it. He found the cold rather tranquil, he thought as he pulled the quill out of the drawer with a torn piece of parchment. His hand hovering over the corner.What was he to write exactly? How did Dumbledore even know he was alive? Was this all an elusive trap to throw him away in Azkaban? His hand hovered a moment long before he touched it to the parchment. A large blot forming, his old tutor would be horrified at the untidiness and he would have gotten a good few whacks to his knuckles, but as far he knew, the old witch was likely long dead. Something that people should think of Regulus, yet here the greatest wizard of his time had not been duped. He needed a plan, he could fold the letter back up and send it back, pretending it never met its target. Seemed too juvenile after a moment’s more thought, he¡¯d be seen right through. He could simply refuse, but Dumbledore would likely not give up so easily. Or, he thought, he could turn the tables to his favor. Yes, indeed that seemed to be the best plan. His tongue sticking out slightly as he wrote, an old habit he¡¯d fallen back into now that there was no one to burn it with the end of a wand when he did it. He scribbled a quick message. He¡¯d simply reply that he would meet Dumbledore, but on his own terms and at his own place of choosing. If the wizard agrees, then he need only send a reply of the same and Regulus would provide him with the information. He signed the letter hastily, initials only as he always did. Sealed it with the black ink of the Black family seal and tied it neatly on the owl¡¯s foot as he conjured a bit more water for his travels back. The owl lapped it quickly, gave Regulus a quick nudge of thanks, and then flew off into the morning sky, lost among the clouds. As the wings fluttered away, Regulus had a moment to think. He¡¯d always get too much in his own head. If he didn¡¯t know better, he¡¯d almost think he¡¯d been a Ravenclaw in another life. He¡¯d need a place and time, one advantageous to himself. Granted, he figured he didn¡¯t stand a chance against Dumbledore in a true fight. At least, he could try to give himself the best chance to escape. Apparate out of there and back to his hideaway. Kreacher was still able to supply food and potion ingredients, and Regulus had cleared out a large enough sum of the Black fortune to last a while. Kreacher was able to sell some of the less nefarious heirlooms for additional funds. He could exist here for many years by himself, but that was it. He¡¯d be existing. Granted after everything he¡¯d been through, existing didn¡¯t sound so awful. He¡¯d lived enough life for a while. He didn¡¯t enjoy this house of memories, but he was doing his best to purge it as he looked around. The drawing room had been one of his last tackles. He¡¯d already gone though the whole ground floor. He¡¯d finished the second and third floor, nearly burning everything in his mother¡¯s old room. His father¡¯s old room on the second floor had been nearly cleared from his mother. No love lost between the cousins turned lovers. His own room had been the first project. It disgusted him to look at the old version of himself. Has he always been so conceited and troublesome? Possibly. Now the first floor was all that remained, and he no longer had the motivation to touch the room across from his, not after the newest information. When he first heard, he nearly drank himself to death. Kreacher yelled at him as he laid in the hallway between the two rooms bemoaning the only person he felt he could lose. The only person he¡¯d probably ever cared for. He couldn¡¯t believe it, he still didn¡¯t. He was helpless to do anything from his perspective though. It hadn¡¯t been a good few weeks to say the least.Now he sat wondering what his fate entailed responding to that letter. He¡¯d already gotten more years than he expected, granted he did not prefer to rot in a prison full of soul sucking guards. He¡¯d much rather stay in this house of torment, at least it had creature comforts. He was racing through ideas of where to hold said meeting. Hogwarts was out immediately, one could not apparate in or out of there. Hogsmeade felt too close. Dumbledore had an advantage there. Diagon Alley was too public for a supposed dead man. There was Knockturn Alley, people asked few questions there and he could apparate out at a moments notice. It seemed his best location. Granted he was taking a risk being in public, but he¡¯d believed the inhabitants and customers of Knockturn Alley weren¡¯t out celebrating with most of the Wizarding kind. The defeat of The Dark Lord had been widely celebrated, Regulus was certain he¡¯d seen wizards wandering even out by him in full robes not bothering to cover for the Muggles for days after. He¡¯d read every Daily Prophet front to back afterwards. He couldn¡¯t believe it himself. It had truly worked. He didn¡¯t want to believe it. He almost didn¡¯t. He laid down on the love seat, the headache slowly ebbing in from his all nighter drowned in firewhiskey. He had a sober up potion in the potion cabinet, might even allow himself some of the dreamless sleep. Tell Kreacher to wake him if any owls came. It took all of a few seconds to decide on that plan. He threw himself off his place and flung open the cabinet to down the cool liquid before scooping up a darker one. He called for Kreacher, the elf hopping a few times as he asked how he could assist. He relayed the information, Kreacher insisting on a cup of tea before bed as he popped away. Regulus sighed, but he¡¯d appease the elf who was the only one he had anymore. As he made his way up the creaking stairs, thankful for the potions that could block out his thoughts for a few hours as he tumbled into his room. A steaming cup of tea already beside his bed, he chugged it down in two gulps, the tip of his tongue nearly burnt off from past abuse, so he could easily handle the hot liquid. Before he downed the potion, his thoughts raced for only a few more seconds while he fell face forward in his sheets.