Disclaimer: I'm just playing around in the wonderful world created by JK Rowling. She's not to blame for anything I make her characters do in this story.
Author's Note: I am eternally grateful for the help of the best beta readers in the world: Jo Wickaninnish and Whimsy!
I am Regulus Black, nineteen years old, Death Eater. But not for much longer, if I can help it.
Itís horrible. I had no idea when I joined that it would be so horrible. I thought that the Dark Lordís only goal was to rid the wizarding world from Mudbloods. Thatís why I joined; thatís what I want, what Iím prepared to give everything for. I didnít join because I liked to kill.
Sure, I knew that the Death Eaters killed people Ė itís in the newspaper every day, itís rather hard to miss Ė but I thought that was necessary. If the Mudbloods would just leave the wizarding world and go back to where they belong, Iíd be happy. But they donít, so they have to be killed. They donít get the point otherwise. I donít like killing, but as I said, Iím prepared to do anything in order to reach our goal, a world with only pure-blood wizards. If Mudbloods and blood traitors need to be killed in order to achieve that goal, so be it. I thought that was the way the Dark Lord worked. I didnít know that the killing was just for fun.
Of course, I realised, even before I joined, that there were Death Eaters who liked to murder people. They torture Muggles for fun, and they probably joined the Death Eaters for exactly that, not because they wanted to achieve the ultimate goal. But I never thought that the real, faithful Death Eaters were like that, that the Dark Lord was like that.
In a sense, I was right. The Dark Lord isnít like that. He would never go and torture Muggles for fun, like some of these twisted Death Eaters. He is even worse. I have suspected it for a short while, and today I found proof. The Dark Lordís goal isnít to free the wizarding world of all unworthy people; no, he wants to rule the wizarding world. Thatís what he want, and he uses us Ė fools like me who believe that itís all about pure blood, and sick, twisted people who like to kill Ė to achieve that goal.
He isnít willing to give his life for the ultimate goal, far from it: he wants to be immortal, and he has made a Horcrux.
I found out today. He was gloating, simply gloating, about the murder of the Head of the Auror Office. The Dark Lord killed him himself. I believe they had been at Hogwarts together, too, and that seemed to make the murder even more special to the Dark Lord. That, together with the constant references to his immortality, made me realise what was going on. Iím not stupid; Iíve known about Horcruxes for a few years. Itís a banned topic at Hogwarts, but not in the Black family library.
The Dark Lord made a Horcrux. Iím disgusted.
I know what Iím going to do. I lay awake for a long time last night, but when I woke up this morning after only a few hours of sleep, it was suddenly clear.
I canít bear to go to another Death Eater meeting now that I know this. I wonít be able to look the Dark Lord in the eye and say that Iím loyal to him. And even if I could, he would notice that Iím lying; they say heís a very accomplished Legilimens. So Iím not going. Heíll notice that Iíve left him soon enough, and then heíll probably send someone to murder me. But death is better than having to serve him any longer.
Everything has changed now. I have only a few more days to live, and I canít possibly give the wizarding world back to the pure-bloods in a few days, so Iím putting that out of my mind now. More important is to prevent the Dark Lord from achieving his goal. Iím no match for him, I know, but there will be other people who are. They donít know about the Horcrux, however, and I do, so my goal is simple: destroy the Horcrux, or if thatís not going to work, tell someone about the Horcrux, someone who can be trusted.
I hope I achieve the former, because I donít know who to trust with this. My parents are too blind; they wonít hear a word against the Dark Lord. My Ďfriendsí are all Death Eaters. My brother Ė well, no one in his right mind would trust Sirius with his teddy bear, let alone the fate of the wizarding world. My old head of house, Slughorn Ė him I trust, but Iím not sure heís quite serious enough to deal with this. Heís the sort of person whoíd try to forget about it as soon as possible, because it doesnít fit into his nice, comfortable life. Then maybe Dumbledore, but would Dumbledore listen to someone like me?
No, Iíd better just find the Horcrux. I donít have a clue where it is or what it looks like, but I know thereís only one person who knows. So Iím going to spy on the Dark Lord.
Iíve worked it all out. Iím going to take my grandfatherís Invisibility Cloak. Father will kill me if he finds out, but Iím going to die anyway, so that doesnít matter. When the Dark Lord calls next time, Iím going there under the Cloak. And from that moment, Iíll simply follow him everywhere. I know thereís a spell that allows you to Apparate to the same place as someone else just did; Iíll have to look up the precise incantation. Iíd better also revise some sound-blocking spells, if I want to do this undetected.
Hopefully, when the Dark Lord is alone (or thinks he is alone) heíll let some information slip about the Horcrux. If not Ė then Iíll have done my best. I donít have another plan.
I donít think Iíve ever been so tired. But Iíve never been so elated either. I spent the past forty hours following the Dark Lord, hoping to find out something Ė anything Ė about the Horcrux. And I was incredibly lucky. In these forty hours, the Dark Lord did a lot of uninteresting things, but he also hid the Horcrux. Right in front of my nose!
Well, I didnít see everything. I followed the Dark Lord into the cave and there I watched him putting some red liquid (blood?) from a vial onto a certain piece of wall, and then the wall simply vanished. The Dark Lord went through the hole, but before I could follow him, the wall reappeared. I felt I would be pushing my luck if I opened the wall once more Ė the Dark Lord would probably notice Ė so I stayed in the cave, waiting. The Dark Lord stayed on the other side of the wall for a very long time. I donít know what he did there, or what was there. I just saw some greenish light when the wall opened again and he came out, and there might have been water reflecting it.
Iím not disappointed, though. I might not know exactly what is protecting the Horcrux, but I have discovered more than I had dared to hope for. I know where the Horcrux is, and I also know what it looks like. Itís a golden locket. I only got a glimpse of it, but I thought it looked a lot like my grandmotherís locket, the one in the cabinet in the drawing room.
Tomorrow Iím going to try and get the locket out of the cave. I donít know whether Iíll be able to break through the protection that the Dark Lord no doubt put on it (not just today; the wall that could be opened with blood indicates that heís been preparing this place for a while) but Iíve got nothing to lose. If my luck stays with me for a little longer, I might just make my last few days a lot more worthwhile than I could ever have imagined.
If I can manage to do so without Mother noticing, Iím taking Kreacher. Itíll be useful to have someone with me who does everything I say and who can do the nasty jobs for me. Iím also taking my grandmotherís locket Ė it might be useful to replace the real Horcrux with a fake one, depending on the spells that are protecting it.
Now I just need a good, long nightís sleep, and then tomorrow morning, Iíll be off.
Iíve got it! Iíve got the Horcrux! It wasnít easy, but I made it. Not sure Kreacheríll make it, too, after all that green stuff he drank. I had to carry him out of the cave, but he seemed a bit stronger when I put him in his nest at home. Iím sure he understood it when I ordered him to keep his mouth shut about what happened.
I put the Horcrux in the cabinet instead of grandmotherís locket, just so Mother wonít notice that itís gone. I need a few more days, because I donít know yet how to destroy the Horcrux. Mother is not suspicious so far Ė she asked me where I was off to, and I told her I was doing a very important mission for the Dark Lord. I almost gagged when I said it; she told me sheís very proud of me.
I donít know how much time Iíve got, but it probably isnít much. I need to destroy the Horcrux soon. Iíve already checked out the family library, but thereís nothing there. I need to go to Knockturn Alley. There theyíll have the information I need without a doubt Ė I just hope Iíll make it back.
To be continued...