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Fic for art - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Fic for art
Okay. As promised, a story to go with fiendling's sketch.

I really didn't have anything in mind when I started standing in line, though I definitely wanted to go gen, because I'm in another of my "Go, Gen!" moods. By the time I got there, I was thinking Regulus because, hey, he's Regulus, and I've been interested for awhile. I like the thought of the two boys growing up in that house together--they were probably each other's only playmates. And I thought, "What would it have been like for Regulus when Sirius went away to school?" So that's what I asked for--Regulus wearing a set of Sirius school robes, feeling glum and resentful while Sirius delightedly packs his things and goes on about how excited he is. I think she did a great job--I just love the contrasting expressions on the brothers' faces, and Sirius's total oblviousness--and now, I need to actually write the story.

Here's the sketch in question:

To see the sketch full size (you can see the detail better), click here.

So, hey, I'll do another writing challenge. Starting at the point of the picture. :p

"...and Andromeda says that everyone goes out for Quidditch games, no matter how the weather is, and that I'll go mad for the new flying teacher--well, she was new last year, at any rate--and..."

Regulus sat on the edge of Sirius's bed, watching Sirius's back as he tossed clothes haphazardly toward a small extra suitcase he was bringing with him, as Mum had insisted he bring several different sorts of cloaks, so he would always have something clean and appropriate to be seen in outdoors, and that had filled his trunk up. A pair of socks went flying.

"...she won't tell me how you go about getting into a House. It's all a big mystery apparently. Bellatrix said I'd have to recite the family tree since Gaspard of Wherever--"


"--came over with the Vikings--"

"Normans," Regulus said. "Mummy said that they were Normans."

"--and all that rot, but Andromeda said that wasn't true." He reached into the drawer and felt around at the back of it. He came up with a large curl of dust, which he looked at and then tossed into a corner for Kreacher to pick up later. Diving in a second time, he found a wrinkled tie and a loose sock, which were apparently more satisfactory, as they joined the growing pile in the suitcase.

Regulus stood up, careful not to trip on Sirius's new school robes, which he'd tried on earlier, when Sirius was still talking to him, and not just the thin air he happened to be standing in. The robe's big sleeves flopped halfway to Regulus's knees, and the front seam pooled over the top of his shoes. Sirius had tried on one set himself, then wrapped Regulus in a second and started talking about how they would take Hogwarts by storm together. That had been fun. Now, he was just saying what he was going to do. Regulus could probably leave the room, put on pajamas, and go to sleep before Sirius noticed that he wasn't there anymore.

Of course, there was nowhere to go. He and Sirius shared a room (with a portrait of nasty old Grandfather Phineas), but usually there was another place to spend the night if Sirius was in one of his talkative moods. Now, the house was filled because the cousins were here, to make their trip to school easier tomorrow morning. Aunt Morgana and Uncle Orion were in the largest guest room, and the girls each had to have a room to herself. Bellatrix refused to be in close quarters with Andromeda, and it was mutual, and Narcissa--who was also getting ready for her first year--always wanted her own room, and who would want to play with her anyway? She spent all of her time sitting in front of her mirror brushing her pretty hair. She was a crashing bore. Bellatrix was the most fun, but these days she wanted only to talk about a gentleman she had met who was teaching her "some very important truths," whatever that meant. She'd closed herself away with a thick black book. Andromeda was Sirius's favorite, but sometimes she started to talk about all of her Mudblood friends--one of whom was a boy, and Narcissa said that she'd seen Andromeda kissing the boy, and Regulus was awfully afraid that she would start to talk about that, which was just nasty.

And besides, it was his room, and he had a right to be here, and tomorrow it would only be his, just like he was an only child, and there would be no one to talk to at all except for Grandfather Phineas, who didn't like children.

"...and everyone says the feast is brilliant, with everything you could ever want to eat. Andromeda says it's the best food ever, the house elves really know how to cook, and of course Kreacher said that he could cook better than school elves, which got us a good lunch anyway..."

Regulus shuffled over to the trunk at the end of the bed, and stood beside it, watching Sirius. It would be very strange not to have to listen to him go on... and on... and on.

Sirius did one more check of the drawer, but even from here Regulus could see that it was empty. He stood up, making his knees pop, and began sweeping books into the suitcase. Not the heavy historical things that Mum had packed in the bottom of his trunk, but fluttering stacks of shiny paper, from which the colorful adventures of Archbald The Amazing Alchemist seemed to reach cheerfully out.

None of them landed in the suitcase. Regulus picked one up and put it back on the shelf it had come from.

"I'm packing those!" Sirius said, speaking directly to Regulus for the first time in an hour as he took the comic book away. "That's why I got it off the shelf in the first place."

"Well, they're half mine."

"I bought them. Mum gave me gold for helping in the garden."

"But you'd said we'd share them."

"Well, yes, when we're in the same place, but they have to be either here or there, and since they're mine, they're going to Hogwarts." He put them in the suitcase, shaking his head, then turned away to check the cupboard for loose things he'd forgotten.

Regulus nicked four of them from the top and dropped them behind the bed. Unfortunately, they made a crinkling sound when they hit the floor.

Sirius gave Regulus an irritated frown, then reached under the bed, pulled them out, and put them back in the suitcase.

Regulus pulled off the one on top ("The Case of the Bedeviled Banshee!!!") and started reading it. "I'll put it back in your suitcase," he said, pre-empting Sirius's reprimand.

Sirius narrowed his eyes, but went back to packing, only stopping to mutter "Git" through clenched teeth.

"Cheat," Regulus said the same way.





"Dolt." The corners of Sirius's mouth were beginning to twitch around his scowl now.

"Faker," Regulus said.

"I'll give you 'fake,'" Sirius said, grabbing Regulus's head under his arm and pinching his nose and holding on. "I'll take the nose, too," he said. "Everyone says we've got the same one, and I had it first, being older."

Regulus grabbed hold of Sirius's nose and twisted. "Bud dey dook id away frub you and gabe id do be!"

They nose-wrestled for a few minutes, until Sirius pinched too hard and Regulus's nose started bleeding, at which point Sirius ran for a cold cloth and slapped it over Regulus's face. "You lose," he said, and pulled half of the comic books out of the suitcase to put back on the shelf.

Regulus picked up the issue he'd dropped and sat down on the trunk to read. He knew the story, as he'd read it before (it wasn't really a banshee, just a witch who'd been forced to drink a potion that made her sound like a banshee, and what they'd thought was the cry of a banshee announcing the missing witch's death was really just the witch trying to tell people who she was), but that wasn't the point, really.

Sirius started talking about Hogwarts again, and was prattling on in full form by the time Kreacher collected them for supper. Bellatrix spent the whole meal talking about something she'd read about Muggles taking over wizarding territory (Regulus had the idea that it had something to do with the Black Forest, and imagined Muggles running into the woods with their metal wands--he had seen a picture of these once when they went to Diagon Alley--and shooting all the trees). Mum took over and went on about how even in London, "our places" are being overrun by Muggles, and even where they couldn't go, their ideas were "creeping in."

"I won't miss that," Sirius muttered when they went back to their room.

"You'll see Bellatrix at school more than here," Regulus said.

Sirius made a face and a retching noise, then opened his trunk and started checking that he had all of his belongings. Kreacher, he opined, may have taken some of them out. It didn't appear to be the case.

Regulus went to bed and fell asleep listening to Sirius's prattling to no one, as he usually did. He wondered if the new people Sirius would live with would be able to learn to sleep through it.

There was no fuss at the train station the next day, though Mum had to talk to Sirius about who he could associate with. Or, well, talk at him, anyway. Regulus was to stay behind with Dad when everyone else went through the barrier--Mum didn't want him mixing with "the school crowd" until he was old enough--so Sirius just twisted his nose again and called him a stupid little dolt who probably couldn't figure out how to send an owl, and Regulus didn't hug him, like girly Narcissa had always done before. Instead, he stuck his hand out to be shaken, which Sirius did, heartily, before going through the barrier with Mum and Narcissa.

Dad, who didn't talk much, led him home.

The house seemed very quiet all day. Kreacher muttered about the aggravation of guests, but no one else had much to say until late at night, when an owl appeared with a scroll from Hogwarts, and Mum flew into a towering rage when Sirius became the first Black--at least from the main line--to be Sorted out of Slytherin for generations and generations.

Regulus went back up to his room--his room--and sat on his own bed, looking over his shoulder at the empty part of the room. Something at the foot of his own bed caught his eye.

The school robes he'd tried on yesterday had been folded and carefully left there, Kreacher, as usual, not particularly good at judging what belonged to who. Regulus picked them up and pulled them on, letting them spread out around him on the bed. He touched his nose, then curled up quietly on top of his covers, and fell asleep in total silence.


14 comments or Leave a comment
leelastarsky From: leelastarsky Date: October 11th, 2005 01:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Love the fic! I looked at the pic before reading your post and was a bit surprised, cos I would have expected you to ask for Lupin and/or Tonks. ;~P Nevertheless, I picked who they were in the pic and what was going on, so that says something about Fiendling's ability, doesn't it?!
How long did she take to sketch it and was there a cost?
*wibbles at the thought of facing a long line of folks waiting for sketches*
If Fiendling and Glockgal (and I assume other artists? Did Sherant draw too?) were part of the entertainment so to speak, did they have to pay to go to the Con?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 11th, 2005 01:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I looked at the pic before reading your post and was a bit surprised, cos I would have expected you to ask for Lupin and/or Tonks.

I was sort of thinking about it--maybe even a scene from "Your Very Own Dora," which I'd been thinking about, as I had the manuscript with me and could just point out the para I was talking about (where she tries to turn herself into a tree). But that image of pouting Regulus was kind of lurking, and I asked for that one, hoping that I would be inspired to write from it.

How long did she take to sketch it and was there a cost?
*wibbles at the thought of facing a long line of folks waiting for sketches*
If Fiendling and Glockgal (and I assume other artists? Did Sherant draw too?) were part of the entertainment so to speak, did they have to pay to go to the Con?

I don't know the details, though I heard them say that they weren't allowed to take money on it. There were drabblers and betas doing booths as well, and there was a place to sign up to staff a booth on the registration, so my guess is that, like panels, you get a "thank you" for it. But you'd have to ask them.

It took her between fifteen and twenty minutes, I think, which was about the average. I just sat there watching and marveling that that funny shape turned out to be a pillow, and this one turned out to be socks... I'll bet when they get on their LJs, they'll talk about it a bit.
mysticblueside From: mysticblueside Date: October 11th, 2005 01:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, very nice. I loved the 'nose wrestling'. It always amazes me how fast you get these stories out!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 11th, 2005 12:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh... I was sitting here kicking myself because in real time, it took me over four hours. ;)
purple_ladybug1 From: purple_ladybug1 Date: October 11th, 2005 01:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Poor Regulus. This is an excellent fic, lots of character depth, and goes along with the sketch wonderfully. Good work.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 11th, 2005 12:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! It's the expressions that fiendling put on the boys' faces that just locked it in.
story645 From: story645 Date: October 12th, 2005 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aww, they're such siblings, bickering and still being thoughtful. You totally captured what the Black family would probably look like through the eyes of a young boy, you can see the darkness, but you don't fully recognize it as such. Sirius just prattling on it also just too cute, and I love your Regulus.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 12th, 2005 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I can't put my finger on why, but I got the impression that, actual words aside, Sirius loved his little brother a lot.
story645 From: story645 Date: October 12th, 2005 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think that's cause in JK's world, families for the most part are close, loving units. So the defualt is that Sirius loved Regulus, unless shown otherwise. Plus, he's got a big heart and is incredibly loyal, so yeah, he'd care, abd was probably totally hurt when Regulus joined the DE's, even though he expected it. (I wanna see a fic that deals with that actually.)
fiendling From: fiendling Date: October 14th, 2005 08:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
GAH i was so excited when you told me you were writing a fic for this, I LOVE IT!! aww, poor regulus. gaaah, its perfect

and the last scene, awwww /:
aebhel From: aebhel Date: January 3rd, 2006 06:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Found this under your "Most Unappreciated" category and just HAD to comment. This was wonderful. I love the relationship between Sirius and Regulus, because it's very easy to see that they love each other, and yet they're already beginning to grate on each other's nerves.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 3rd, 2006 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for commenting!

I really do like writing brothers... which is odd for an only child, I guess!
beceh From: beceh Date: January 9th, 2006 07:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I read this when you first posted it, but didn't comment.... just thought I should say how much I liked it!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 9th, 2006 01:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
14 comments or Leave a comment