Pygmalion

Author: ExcentrykeMuse
Beta: Kamerreon
Pairing: Harry/Regulus

Summary: Regulus Black is surprised when an owl doesn’t deliver his Hogwarts letter, but a boy with messy black hair and green eyes who couldn’t remember his name.  A tale of a soul bond that brings two wizards together – but can it create a love that will last through death? AU. Slytherin!Harry.  Harry/Regulus. Response to Kamerreon’s Rare Slash Pairing Alphabet Challenge.

Warnings: Time travel.  Slash.  Dub-con.  Underage sex.  Self-Mutilation.  Mentions of Child Abuse.  Character Death.  Happy Ending despite the darkness of the material.

Part the First

“Dreaming about Providence and Whether Mice and Men Have Second Tries”

“Meant to Live,” Switchfoot

The evening the small boy first appeared was unlike any other.  It was a tense day at number twelve, Grimmauld Place.  Twice a year Walburga Black would take out her tarot deck and read the fortunes of her family, hoping for a glimpse of the future.  Although she was not a Seer, per se, having never made a prophecy, her predictions were uncannily accurate.  She had predicted her husband’s first wife’s death, before they had ever met, down to the exact date.  She knew when she would conceive, had seen that her niece Narcissa would marry a powerful man although she was only thirteen, and had even predicted dates the Muggle government would be dissolved.

That morning she had seen something peculiar.  She had been able to foretell the owls coming from Hogwarts for her sons, but something else was coming, too.  She could not tell if it harbored hope or death, it was too uncertain, but it was closely tied up with wanderings, which frightened her slightly.

Orion Black, the head of the household, returned early from the Ministry, as he knew his youngest son would be receiving his first Hogwarts letter.  At least that was his official reason.  In truth, he wished to support his wife of fourteen years.

As the family sat down, a tense silence settled around them.  Walburga was berating Sirius when the first of what should have been two owls swooped in through the window, dropping a packet of parchment onto the roast pheasant.  Regulus reached out to grab it, but his older brother got it first and crowed in triumph as he ripped it open. 

Within a few moments, when another owl hadn’t flown through the window, the dining room became deathly quiet.  “Regulus,” his father growled, and the small boy with long black hair and dead eyes looked down at his plate dejectedly.  Could this be the wanderings the cards had spoken of? He wondered. Would his son have to attend school somewhere other than Hogwarts?

Regulus bit his lower lip nervously.  He knew he should have received his Hogwarts letter.  He had been performing noticeable accidental magic since he was six years old when he had turned his milk into pumpkin juice.  He had always hated milk and didn’t care if it made him strong.  No one really cared anyway.  They only noticed his previously perfect brother Sirius.  Regulus knew he was only a second son.

‘Sirius’s lips turned down slightly as he looked at his little brother.  He knew something had to be wrong.  Regulus was magical – he was supposed to get a letter.  Perhaps there was a mistake?

A displacing of magic coursed quietly through the room, and Walburga instantly turned toward a small antechamber that was usually left vacant, although the house-elves were instructed to air it out every afternoon, except when it rained.

“Shh, little owl,” a soft voice soothed from the chamber off the dining room.”I’ll keep you safe.”

Walburga looked up at her husband, startled.  “Were we expecting guests?” she asked Orion in confusion, but he only shook his head.  The Blacks became silent again, listening to the soft hoots of the owl.

“It’s alright,” the child-voice said again.  “This place is much nicer than my cupboard, and I don’t think Aunt –” He paused before continuing, “– or Uncle are around so they won’t shoot you.”  The voice sighed, and Sirius, ever curious, slunk out of his chair and crept toward the door, Regulus only a few steps behind him.

“The letter isn’t for me then, is it?” the voice asked the owl. 

The owl hooted in response.

“I suppose not.  Yesterday a dozen came in the eggs.  Uncle was so angry that he had Aunt shred them all, even though they were for me.  They say they are watching the house.” He paused.  “I don’t know who they are.”

Orion Black got up from the table, and was now standing behind his sons, looking out on an improbable scene in the heavily warded Black homestead.  A small boy, with messy black hair, dressed in rags, was sitting near the window, petting a small owl whose wing looked slightly bent, a letter clasped tightly in its talon.  He was facing away from the three Blacks, but they could easily see an ugly bruise on his right wrist.

He looked at his wife, a slight wariness in his eyes.  They had found the wanderer, or rather the wanderer had found them. 

“I’ll tell you a secret, though,” the boy whispered to the owl, who hooted up at him.  “I think it’s from people like me and my parents.  I heard Aunt say my letters were from freaks – and she calls me a freak, and my mum and dad freaks.”  He paused, thinking.  “I think freaks must be good, don’t you think, little owl?  They probably feed you and give you a nice room and let you read and let you talk about dreams of flying motorcycles without hitting you.”

Sirius leaned closer, stepping on a creaking floorboard.

The small boy tensed and spun around, emerald green eyes landing on the wizards who were looking curiously at him and the owl. 

“J-Jamie?” Sirius whispered as he looked at a child who looked so much like his best friend.

The boy looked at him in confusion, and then shook his head.  He turned back to the injured owl and gently untied the letter from its leg.  Reading the envelope, he looked up again with soulful eyes and asked, “Is there a ‘Regulus Arcturus Black, The Green Bedroom, 12 Grimmauld Place, London’ here?”  His eyes widened.  “Am I in London?” he inquired.

Walburga, who had come up behind her children and husband, looked down at the little boy.  “He must have Apparated in somehow.  Accidental magic, do you suppose?”

The boy’s eyes widened at the word magic and he shook his head.  “I’m not allowed to talk about magic,” he whispered fearfully, looking around.  “Uncle takes his belt to me if I do.”

Orion looked at him sharply before turning to his wife.  “He’d have to be a Black to get past the wards,” he said quietly.

“Look at him, though.  He looks like James Potter, whose mother is a Black.  A relative of some sort, perhaps?  He’s clearly a wizard if he’s been getting letters.”

The couple exchanged looks before Walburga turned to her youngest son.  “Take your Hogwarts letter, dear, from the boy.”

Regulus had been staring into the bright green eyes in shock.  He’d known James Potter since they were both small, and the boy was almost identical to him in appearance.  His eyes, however, shone like emeralds in the light and a jagged scar cut across his forehead.  The boy was also thinner than James Potter had ever been, but the resemblance was uncanny.

Shaking himself from his thoughts, Regulus approached the boy and smiled slightly.  If the boy was a Potter, he was a pureblood, and perhaps he would be going to Hogwarts with him.

“Thank you,” he said quietly as he sat down beside the boy, taking the letter.

“May I see?” the stranger asked hesitantly, his eyes widening slightly in anticipation.  “All of my letters have been taken away.”

Orion tisked from the doorway and glanced at his wife once again.  The child seemed harmless enough and he must be extremely powerful to get in their house – and the bruises on his thin frame were disturbing at best.

“Of course,” Regulus agreed as he reverently opened the letter. 

The young boy’s eyes widened again as he read over ‘Regulus’s shoulder, and Walburga became even more worried.

“What’s your name, child?” she asked quietly as she approached the two eleven-year-olds. 

The boy swallowed and looked thoughtful.  “I – I don’t really remember.”  He looked puzzled at this.  “I’m called ‘freak’ and ‘boy’, I think.”

He glanced worriedly at Regulus who tried to smile at him reassuringly. 

“What do you remember, dear?”

“I,” He hesitated and Regulus reached out and grasped his small bony hand.  “Green light and laughter,” he whispered.  “I was dreaming of green light and laughter and then I was wishing I could read my letters – they’re mine, after all – and then I was sitting here.  I must have been sleeping in my cupboard.”

“Do you remember any words, young man, with the green light?” Orion asked quietly, not wanting his suspicions to be confirmed.

The young boy bit his lip and Regulus smiled sadly.  He felt an odd connection to the boy, almost as if something within him was calling out to this other soul and receiving a quiet answer in response.

“A–” The boy bit his lip harshly and drew some blood, but didn’t seem to notice.  “Abra Cad – No, that’s not it.  Abrada Cadabra, maybe?  Does that make sense?”

Orion and Walburga both took in deep breaths and looked at each other.  What must have happened to this child for him to witness the Killing Curse at such a young age?  He must have been very young for the memories to be so indistinct.  And he was surely a Black, since he had Apparated into their London home.  A pureblood wizard dressed in rags and living with people who hated magic. 

A wanderer who had seen death.

Orion had never been so disgusted in his life at the injustice of it all.

Someone had a lot of explaining to do as soon as Orion captured the perpetrator.

“Well, young man,” he said kindly.  “How would you like some supper?  You can bring the owl, as well, if you wish.”

The boy smiled brightly at him and quickly got up from the floor with the help of Regulus.  Sirius had been oddly silent throughout the exchange, a calculating look on his face.

“I think you need a name, young man,” Walburga stated sagely as she conjured up a chair and place setting next to ‘Regulus’s, the boy still clutching his hand.

“May I name him?” Regulus asked excitedly.

“He’s a Potter,” Sirius said coldly, causing the boy’s head to snap toward Sirius.  “Look at him.  Jamie’s my best friend; I get to name him.”

“He’s a Black,” Orion stated coldly, “as he is in this house.  Who would you like to name you?” he asked the boy in the kindest voice he could muster.

The unnamed boy flushed as he began petting the owl again, who was now perched on his shoulder.  “I d-don’t know,” he whispered as he edged slightly away from Regulus.  He felt an odd affinity to the other child, but a distinct wariness as well, that he couldn’t quite comprehend.  Something about the boy called to him and yet, his entire being was telling him to just get a little further away.

“Regulus, then,” Walburga decided, looking pointedly at her youngest.  “You gave him his letter so he shall give you a name.”

Regulus smiled brightly.  Looking thoughtful, he gazed at the blushing boy beside him.  “Do I have to choose the name of a constellation?” he asked his mother, who shook her head.

“No, dear, name him whatever you like, as long as it is a proper name.”

She had never approved of Dorea allowing her son to be named James; it was such a common name.  The Blacks were better than that.

“M-Magnus,” Regulus half-whispered before repeating it with more confidence.  “Magnus Black.  Do you like it?”

The boy smiled happily.  “Magnus,” he repeated, trying it out.  “I like it.  It’s like a name in an old book.”

“Yes, dear,” Walburga responded.  “A fine name for any pureblood.” She nodded at Regulus approvingly.

Magnus looked slightly confused.  “What’s a pureblood?” he inquired in a small voice.

“A wizard who comes from a long line of wizards,” Orion answered.  “We are wizards, Magnus, and so are you.  That’s why you’ve been getting letters.”

He stared at Orion with wide eyes.  “I’m a w-wizard?”

“Yes, Magnus, and so were your parents.  Do you remember who your parents are?” Orion gazed at him thoughtfully, jaw flexing occasionally.

Magnus glanced at Regulus, who looked at him encouragingly.  “I think they’re dead,” he whispered.  “But I don’t remember.  Why can’t I remember?”

Walburga looked over to her husband.  “Perhaps this isn’t a case of simple Apparition as we first thought,” she stated quietly.

“What else could it be?”

His wife shrugged.  “I’m not certain.  It will bear further research.”  She glanced toward Magnus – a distant nephew, she supposed – who was now listening to Regulus avidly as he spoke of Hogwarts and how he was going to be sorted into Slytherin, the best house of the four.

“Really, Reg, everyone knows Gryffindor –” Sirius began, but Orion cut him off.

“Magnus is a Black and, as such, will be sorted with the rest of the family, Sirius,” he said sharply, causing Magnus to shrink back slightly into his chair.

“Regulus,” Walburga said quickly, “perhaps you can take Magnus to your room and help him prepare for bed.  Food can be brought there, of course.  Just call a house-elf.  He looks tired, poor thing.  He’s had a long and stressful day, I dare say.”  She turned to glare at her eldest, but waited until her youngest and nephew exited the room, the little owl still clutched protectively in Magnus’s arms.  She sighed.  She would have to tell Kreacher to nurse the little owl back to health.  She couldn’t believe Hogwarts would be so irresponsible as to send a young animal on such a long journey.

Half an hour later, she was startled when she entered Regulus’s room, only to see her son staring sadly at a pair of silk pajamas that lay crumpled on the bed.

“Where’s Magnus, darling?” she asked, looking about.

Regulus pointed at the empty bed and Walburga noticed that tears were forming at the edge of his eyes.  “He lay down to go to sleep after he had a sandwich and then said he heard his Aunt banging on his door.  He looked so scared and then he was just – gone.  The owl went, too.”

“Gone?” Walburga repeated incredulously. 

Her son nodded.  “He gasped and then he was gone.  There wasn’t even a ‘pop’.  He just wasn’t here anymore.”

Walburga looked at the bed intently, her mind going through several possibilities.  She knew it couldn’t have been a spell, and the lack of a ‘pop’ meant that it couldn’t be Apparition.  A Portkey perhaps?  The boy would have known about it beforehand, however, and she doubted Muggles could procure one.  What, then, what?

A muffled sob drew her attention away from the bed and back to her son, who was looking dejectedly at the nightclothes.  “I didn’t mean to, I promise! I didn’t mean to scare him,” he whispered.

Walburga looked at him.  “What do you mean, Regulus?  What did you do to scare Magnus?”

He swallowed audibly before glancing down at his hands.

“Regulus,” his mother warned darkly and he jumped slightly.

“I d-don’t know why I d-did it.  I-I just w-wanted him to b-be mine.  I n-named him and he c-came with my l-l-letter.” He began to sob.  “I g-gave him my c-clothes.  He was my boy, my w-wizard!” he stated defiantly, blue eyes flashing dangerously up at her.

She waited for him to continue.

He sighed.  “I wanted to make him into someone new so I had him change and wouldn’t leave.  H-he was yelling at me, asking me not to, but he was mine.  I created him.  I thought how much I wanted a good friend like Sirius has Jamie and then he appeared.  Why wouldn’t he do as I t-told him to?  Why did he leave with the owl?”

The determined glint and her son’s confession disturbed her greatly.  Something else – something other – was taking place here.  This boy – this wanderer – had already admitted to being an omen of a past death.  Only hope remained now – hope and this odd possessiveness in her child.  She gasped as a thought crossed her mind.

“I don’t know,” Walburga responded, as she quickly kissed him good night and promised to do everything in her power to discover where Magnus had gone.

Slipping out of the room, she ran toward the Drawing Room where the family tapestry was hanging against the wall.  She stared at it, a mad glint in her eye, as she traced the Potter line with a trembling finger.  Dorea Black married to Charlus Potter.  Their son, James, was underneath them and then nothing.

She shook her head, and quickly found her own name standing proudly beside her husband’s.  Orion Black.  Walburga Black.  Sons: Sirius and Regulus.

Walburga stumbled back in shock as she stared incredulously at the thin lettering that read: Regulus Arcturus Black.  A thin lavender line connected it to a new name, recently inscribed: Magnus of the House of Black.

She clutched a chair in desperation before sinking onto her knees, her mind still trying to process what she saw.  A lavender line.  Lavender.  Souls.

Magnus was her Regulus’s soul mate, and it appeared that he had yet to be born.

Part the Second

“The Truth is Hiding in Your Eyes, and it’s Hanging on Your Tongue”

“Decode,” Paramore

Regulus had been inconsolable since the night Magnus had disappeared into thin air.  He had locked himself in his room and only the house-elf Kreacher could convince him to eat.  Walburga let her youngest son be, knowing how much physical pain he must be in.  She had shown her findings to her husband, who had nodded before locking himself in the family library, most likely to search through the old tomes for anything that might answer the myriad of unspoken questions they had.

One thing was for certain, however.  If Magnus had appeared once already, he would appear again – and hopefully soon.

The day was cool for early August, and Walburga had tempted Regulus out of his room by saying that he needed his supplies to be a great wizard for Magnus.  After much discussion with his wife, Orion had decided to tell Regulus the little that they knew, which had seemed to comfort Regulus a bit.  Now that he knew why his heart ached, he had calmed. When he was told that Magnus would most likely reappear at some point, he had even cheered up enough to have breakfast with the rest of his family.

Today was Regulus’s day, Walburga decided.  She normally wouldn’t permit her eldest to go off with his Gryffindor friends, but Sirius had become almost intolerable with his teasing about ‘little Magnus’.  The Black Matron was only thankful she and Orion had decided not to tell him about Magnus’s connection to Regulus.  He also, fortunately, rarely looked at the Black Family Tapestry, though she doubted he would understand what the lavender line meant.

An owl swooped in and dropped a letter on Sirius’s plate.  He crowed happily, as he ripped open a letter from his friend Remus and scanned it rapidly.  “Remy is in,” he said to no one in particular – although he looked up and stared Regulus in the eye.  The younger boy flinched at the silent message.  Remus could write Sirius but Magnus wouldn’t write him.  Regulus sighed.  At least he knew differently.  It’s not that Magnus would not send him an owl; it was that he could not.

His mother had explained that she believed Magnus had yet to be born, although he had certainly been born somewhere into the extended Black family tree.  A pale silver line had extended upward from his name, showing that he belonged – they just didn’t know where.  His birth name did not even appear because he had yet to be named in their time.  Regulus quietly hoped that he would be born soon.  Perhaps he was James Potter’s younger brother?  Was Cousin Dorea miraculously with child again?  He couldn’t bear to wait any longer than the seventeen years he would be required to if that were the case.

He sighed to himself.  He hoped Magnus didn’t mind older men.

Then he swallowed at a thought.  What if Magnus did not like wizards at all and wanted to marry a witch?

Regulus looked over at his father, drawing on his strength. 

No, he reminded himself.  If Magnus’s soul was mated to his soul, then Regulus was the only one for him – just as he knew within moments of looking into Magnus’s eyes that there could never be anyone else in his life with the vast certainty a stubborn eleven-year-old could possess.

He blushed slightly at the thought.  He couldn’t believe he was thinking such thoughts.  He was only eleven – well, nearly twelve, as his birthday was in October. 

Within an hour, they had Apparated to Diagon Alley and Sirius was rushing off to Florean Fortescue’s where he saw Peter Pettigrew waiting.  “Come on, Regulus,” Walburga said kindly as she led him toward Flourish and Blotts. 

Regulus lost himself in the section on Dark Arts and he smiled to himself when he saw a thin book entitled “The Darker Side of Love and Hate – Soul Mates and Bonds through Time.”  He grabbed it and hid it among his other books, not wanting Sirius to find it. 

Then he quickly collected his potions ingredients and a standard pewter cauldron at the local apothecary.

“May I have an owl, Mother?” he inquired as they passed by the Magical Menagerie.  His mother looked down at him with a contemplative look on her usually stern face.  Regulus knew that Sirius hadn’t been given a familiar until he entered his second year, but he was nearly twelve already, and he wanted something special to show Magnus next time he arrived.

“You have proven yourself to be powerful,” she mused to no one in particular.  “You have, after all, not only a soul mate but have called him from the future – and at only eleven.  It’s unheard of.”

Regulus smiled softly, his large, dark blue eyes focusing on her. 

“Would you not prefer another familiar?” she asked him.  “We have several owls at home that will be at your disposal.  Owls, though loyal, are simply mail carriers.  They stay in the owlery or go hunting, Regulus.”

Regulus nodded.  “Magnus liked the small owl,” he said, a look of cunning and speculation in his gaze.  He only wished that the owl had remained in his time so he could possibly tempt Magnus to stay even longer next time, or perhaps come more often.  The little owl was his to give, not Magnus’s to take.

Walburga smiled and nodded.  “Yes, and when you bond with him, you can give him an owl.”  She leant down and gave him a conspiratorial look.  “If it weren’t for Magnus, what type of familiar would you like to have?”

Her son bit his lower lip in thought.

“Come,” she said, standing up, “you may think on it while we get your robes and wand.  And I think Magnus’s presence warrants a familiar, do you not?”

As Regulus entered Madam Malkin’s, he couldn’t help but groan when he noticed James Potter was being fitted for new robes, his friends standing around him.  It couldn’t be helped, though, as his mother had already left to go get tea further down the Alley, and had promised to return in half an hour.

“Ah, here’s my brother now,” Sirius said slyly.  “Think you’ll be in Gryffindor, little brother?” he asked in mock-cheerfulness.  “Or will you be a slimy Slytherin?”

Regulus grimaced and silently stood on a stool as robes were draped over him.

“That’s right,” Sirius said with a hint of cruelness, “can’t answer.”

Remus Lupin – or a boy whom Regulus assumed was the half-blood friend – looked sadly at the two brothers from his seat against the wall.

“Leave up, Siri,” James Potter said with a half-nod at his best friend’s brother.  “He hasn’t been sorted yet.”

Sirius only grumbled and stared petulantly down at his shoes.  He played absently with his dark blue robes, stating that he hated them and wished he could wear Muggle trousers for once.

Regulus only rolled his eyes and was thankful when the witch said James was done and could step off the stool.  He didn’t even bother to look up when he heard the shop bell ring until an intake of breath alerted him that something was out of the ordinary.  Slowly he looked up and turned, startled when he saw two wide green eyes looking guardedly back at him.

“I knew you weren’t a dream,” Magnus breathed, not noticing that the four Gryffindors were staring at him incredulously.  His eyes were almost dull and a hint of wariness passed through them, but Regulus didn’t care.  His Magnus had returned, and Regulus would do everything to keep him there if possible.

Magnus still looked pale, but the bruise on his wrist had fortunately dulled to a yellow that almost blended in with his skin.  His messy black hair fell into his eyes, and Regulus was pleased to note that he was wearing nice, crisp Hogwarts robes, sans a house insignia.

Regulus smiled back happily.  “Magnus,” he greeted, stepping off the stool even though the witch who was pinning up his robes grunted in disapproval.  “You finally got hold of your letter then?”

At Regulus’s words, Magnus appeared to break out of a semi-trance and nodded.  With a wary look, he approached the boy and hugged him dutifully, although there was a lifelessness to his actions.  Pulling away, he answered, “Yes, I did.  It was horrible and cold and raining, and I had to sleep on the floor, but then a giant came and gave it to me.”  He looked thoughtful.  “The letter didn’t say ‘Magnus’, though,” he sighed.  “It said something else.”

Regulus waited patiently but Magnus shook his head.  “I can’t remember what it said, but it’s the name I’m sometimes called at school.”  He scrunched up his nose.  “I don’t like it.  I like Magnus better.”

He tugged Regulus’s hand, half pushing him back up onto the stool, further away from him.  His shoulders slumped and he looked almost longingly out the window.

A throat cleared behind them and the pair turned around to see James and Remus gaping at them.  “Y-you’re a Potter,” James stuttered, not believing his eyes.

Magnus looked at him shrewdly.  “I’m Magnus Black,” he answered coldly, not liking the way this boy stared at him.  It almost reminded him of something – shaking hands near here, he thought, before dispelling the shadowy memory.

James looked insulted before turning to Sirius, who only shrugged.  “He just appeared at Grimmauld Place through the wards.  He has to be a Black to do that.  No one will tell me anything, though.”

Regulus and Magnus were no longer paying attention to the four friends, however, as they continued their conversation.

“I met this boy – like me,” Magnus was chattering to Regulus.  He felt so trapped here – like he didn’t belong – but he just reminded himself that he just had to wait for the tug back to wherever it was he came from. He just had to make it through, and talking helped pass the time, he thought. 

He knew the boy liked him.  Regulus had said so last time before he had kissed his nose and told him to undress.  Magnus hadn’t liked it and had cried, wanting to leave, and then he had disappeared, the small owl clutched to his chest gently for the little comfort it could offer in the peculiar situation 

He hadn’t quite counted on having to come back, though. 

He just had to get through this, think of pleasanter things, so he thought of the boy.  “I think it was earlier today, before I went to sleep in the Muggle boy’s second bedroom.”

Regulus looked over at him in curiosity. 

“The Muggles moved me from the cupboard when the letters kept on coming,” he said by way of an explanation.  “I can’t remember the Muggle boy’s name.  I can never seem to remember in these dreams.” 

He sighed before Regulus inquired, a tinge of jealousy in his voice, “You met a wizard?”

Magnus nodded enthusiastically.  “It was in this shop, I think.  At first, I didn’t like him.  He seemed spoiled. But when I told him my name was Magnus Black he became really friendly.  He hates Muggles and says I should petition the Wiz – Wizen –”

“Wizengamot,” James supplied, wanting to insert himself into the conversation.

“Wizengamot,” Magnus repeated, although he didn’t look away from Regulus, not certain of what the boy would do if he did, “to be adopted by wizards as my parents were magical.  He said his father would look into it immediately.”

“His father?” Regulus inquired, hoping that the name mentioned was someone of his parents’ generation.

“Yes, Draco’s father.” 

Regulus was perplexed.  He didn’t know anyone named Draco, although it was the name of a constellation.  Perhaps Draco was a Black, then?  “Draco Black?”

Magnus, however, ignored him for the moment.  “I told him I already had an owl, a tiny one, when he wanted to go and get his own – it was a late birthday present.  I went, of course, but I still like my owl better.  Draco helped me name it.”

Regulus’s eyes narrowed in jealousy at the thought of this other boy naming his Magnus’s owl.

“I mentioned that the owl had traveled a long way to get to me, so he suggested Christopher after the saint, of course.  I didn’t like it, though, as I know a mean Muggle boy named Christopher, so we decided upon Kester.”

“K-kester?” James questioned, his eyes alight with curiosity.

Magnus nodded at him.  “Yes, Kester.  Draco is really good at names and he said it was the Scottish version or something, and since we’re going to be living in Scotland, I thought it worked.”

“Draco Black?” Regulus questioned again.

Magnus shook his head, this time answering the question.  “Draco Malf – Why can I never remember?” he asked, frustrated.

Madam Malkin was now shooing the four Marauders out of her shop, saying that they were taking up room for other customers.  Regulus smiled slightly at that before running his hand through Magnus’s messy hair in what he assumed was comfort.  Magnus flinched slightly at the contact. 

“We’re not certain yet,” Regulus began pleasantly, “but Mother and Father are looking into it.  Perhaps you can ask Draco Malfoy –” His voice lilted upwards in question, and Magnus’s eyes lit up in recognition, “–to ask his father.  He would know if his wife is a Black, like I think she might be.”

“A-are you a dream, Regulus?” he asked quietly, a few minutes later, as they were heading to the teashop where Walburga was waiting.  He was praying the answer was yes.  If this were a dream, it wasn’t real.  Of course, that didn’t explain Kester, but he couldn’t bear the thought that this boy was actually real.

“No,” Regulus answered softly as he looked down at his red and silver robes, his Hogwarts uniform packed up in a shopping bag.  “You are dreaming, but – Magnus, have you ever heard of soul mates?”

Magnus looked at his companion, slightly confused, before nodding.

Regulus smiled and held Magnus’s hand more firmly.  “You’re on our family tapestry.  We checked once you – disappeared – and it basically said you were my soul mate.  We think you haven’t been born yet and that’s why when you fall asleep, you sometimes come here.”

He turned this over in his mind, chewing his bottom lip, before nodding.  ‘Soul mate’ kept entering his mind.  Weren’t they people who fell in love with each other?  Was he supposed to fall in love with Regulus and let Regulus undress him and kiss him?

Magnus shivered at the thought and closed his eyes painfully.  The day after his letters first arrived, taking him from the Muggle world, it had brought him to this – this nightmare.  In a way, it was almost worse.

“But you’re a boy.” He said quietly.

Regulus instantly stiffened.  “That doesn’t matter here,” he stated firmly.  “Muggles are barbaric with their ideas that only a man and a woman can be together.  They’re little better than animals, Magnus, I tell you.” 

His hand tightened on Magnus’s almost painfully and he swallowed apprehensively, as he tried to will away the pain.  He knew what Regulus wanted to hear.  Surely, it wouldn’t be too difficult to say it – to pretend.  It was always safer when he pretended.  “I trust you, Regulus,” he whispered before offering a small smile.  The pressure on his hand lessened almost instantly.  “Will you come find me when I’m grown up?”

“I’ll come and find you sooner, if I can, especially since I know you’re friends with Draco Malfoy.”

In that moment Magnus wished with every fiber in his being that he had not said Draco’s name.  Maybe if he never told this boy his other name, even if he remembered it?

Magnus felt a tug on his arm and before he could say or think anything else, he found himself pressed up against a wall in a hidden alley.  Magnus’s large eyes widened as he tried to squirm out of Regulus’s grasp, but the other boy didn’t seem to notice.  Instead, his hand drifted down Magnus’s cheek.  “My Magnus, my dream, my creation,” he whispered and before Magnus could stop him, his lips were being claimed gently.

The pressure was gone as quickly as it had come.

Magnus looked over at Regulus, trying to will the other boy not to see his shaking hands.  “W-we’re going to be in Slytherin together, we decided,” he began to ramble, trying not to think about the kiss.  “My friend said all Blacks are Slytherins.  The giant said only evil wizards come from that house, but I didn’t believe him.  He also said I shouldn’t be friends with Draco and said he was from a ‘bad family’, whatever that means.  What does that matter?  My family is bad.  They lock me in a cupboard and hate magic, and y-you’re still my friend.”

Regulus could only smile.  “No, the Malfoys are a good old family,” he assured his soul mate. “One of the best.  He’ll be a good friend – and only a friend – to you.”

As the final words left his lips, his hand felt suddenly empty. He looked to the side and saw that he was once again alone.

When Magnus returned to his small bedroom nearly twenty years in the future, he sat up straight in his bed, panting heavily.  Kester hooted gently to him from his cage and Magnus gave him a weak smile, trying to will his heart to stop pounding. 

One thing was for certain, however.  Magnus was going to try his damnedest not to return there, wherever it was, ever again.

Part the Third

“It’s a Lie When They Smile and Say You Won’t Feel a Thing”

“Disenchanted,” My Chemical Romance

Months passed and Regulus still hadn’t seen Magnus again.  In the Great Hall, the Halloween Feast was underway.  Regulus could only sigh in frustration.  About a decade ago, the All Hallows Eve Fest had been replaced by the Muggle-born abomination.  Most likely, it hadn’t been reversed by the time Magnus was born, unless the old fool had died.

He sighed.  Magnus deserved every scrap of pureblood culture he could glean considering the horrible childhood he had suffered through.  Regulus, of course, wanted to be the one to teach him, to mold him, to put every thought in his head – but with these long absences, he knew it just wasn’t possible.

How could any self-respecting wizard place a pureblood in a house of Muggles?  It was disgusting!  As soon as Regulus could get his hands on the bastard, he would be suffering a very painful death.  The Unforgivables were too good for him.  Well, maybe not the Cruciatus Curse, he thought smugly to himself.

The dark book was open in front of him as he gently stroked Vortigern, his familiar.  Vortigern had come with the name, having been a favorite of the owner who was an Arthurian Legend aficionado.  He was small and black with green eyes so pale they almost looked white. 

Regulus had told his mother that he wanted Vortigern as he looked like he would be loyal.  In truth, the familiar had reminded him a little of Magnus.  He closed his eyes tiredly, before opening them again to continue reading over the passage on memories.  He almost screamed when he noticed a frowning Magnus suddenly sitting cross-legged in front of them.

“Like them?” he asked hesitantly, indicated the pale blue robes he was wearing.  “Draco’s mother came to my aunt’s and took me shopping for proper wizard robes the day before term started.  I spent all the gold in my bag and it didn’t even make a dent in my vault!”  Although his tone was upbeat, it nonetheless rang hollow in the empty dorm.

Regulus could only look at him in shock before smiling at his soul mate.  “They suit you,” he said simply, before drawing the other boy into a hug.  Magnus tensed but held still, even when Regulus’s hands drifted down his sides.  “I’ve missed you,” he whispered into Magnus’s ear. 

Magnus didn’t respond; he was attempting to breathe evenly.  “I told Mrs. Malfoy about you and how you were a Black, but I couldn’t remember your name, no matter how much I tried.  She told me she’d heard of me when she was a little girl and that you loved me very much, and that everything happens for a reason,” he ended bitterly, although Regulus did not pick up on the emotion Magnus was attempting to mask.

Regulus smiled into Magnus’s hair, kissing the top of his head gently.  “Everything works out well, then,” he half-said to himself, relieved.  He had been secretly hoping that he wasn’t dead, as the book suggested he might be if his soul mate was appearing to him.

He pulled away, looking Magnus in the eyes.  “Tell me about your Sorting.  Are you in Slytherin?”

Magnus nodded emphatically.  “Everyone seemed shocked, for some reason.  I even got in a fight with the stern lady who called my name when she called the wrong one.”

Regulus couldn’t help but laugh at Magnus’s tone.  His little Magnus was turning out well, he thought.  If he had been a Potter there was a chance that he could have been a Gryffindor, but Regulus had successfully turned his small mate into the image of what he wanted Magnus to be – at least when it came to the Sorting.

“She was so angry and insisted that I sit on the stool and put the Sorting Hat back on my head. But then Draco stood up and said that I was a Black and my name was Magnus, no matter what anybody else said about it, and that his mother had known me for years, and surely she would know her own nephew.”

Magnus looked at his soul mate slyly, his eyes twinkling with cunning, knowing that this was the story Regulus would want to hear.  If only he could keep Regulus interested, keep him talking, as he tried to will himself back to his own bed in the Slytherin dungeon – the dungeon where Draco was.

His fingers gently brushed up against the bandages hidden underneath his robes.  He had been trying so hard for months not to reappear, even taking quills to his arms, hoping a blood sacrifice would keep him in the present.  It had worked – for a while.

When Draco found out, he had been angry – but when Magnus had cried on his shoulder, telling him how awful it was, Draco only held him tightly, loving him kindly in a way Regulus could not.

Some nights when Magnus woke screaming, tugging harshly against the pull, he would even crawl in Magnus’s bed and hold him softly as Magnus slowly drew quills across his skin before pressing rags to the wounds and administering pilfered blood replenishing potions if Magnus became too weak.  It wasn’t a solution, by any means.  Magnus hated the pain and disappointment he sometimes caught in Draco’s eyes when he thought no one was looking – but it was the only thing he could do to save himself from this deluded fantasy which was far too much a reality for his peace of mind.

“What did they say to that?” Regulus inquired.

“The Headmaster wasn’t very happy, but I said I refused to be Sorted except under my true name, and if they didn’t like it, I would just go home and not come back.”  He sighed.  “Apparently I’ve been famous since I was a baby for something stupid, so he acquiesced.  I refuse to answer the professors unless they call me Black.”  He decided to change the subject. “Draco and I have decided we’re to be blood brothers.”

“Are you an only child?” Regulus asked hesitantly, but Magnus only nodded.

“Yes, and so is Draco.  And we’re both Blacks and best friends.”

Regulus smiled at the boy.  Brothers were all right.  He’d hate to have to kill another Black in his infancy if he proved to be anything more than a brother to his Magnus.  “And how do you like Slytherin?” he asked.

“The head of house took some getting used to,” Magnus admitted before shrugging.

“Slughorn?” Regulus asked incredulously, but Magnus shook his head.

“N-no.  Someone else.  As soon as he realized I didn’t like Gryffindors, he seemed to cheer up, especially when I mentioned I thought Sirius Black was a bully.”

Regulus looked at him oddly, but nodded for him to continue.

“He asked me how I knew, and I mentioned I knew you, and that you had named me.  Before he would only call me by the other name, but when he asked me for my full name and I told him, he became a lot nicer.  Still don’t understand what it was about, but whatever.”

“I’m glad it’s better now,” Regulus smiled slightly.  “Are you doing well in classes?”

Magnus laughed, trying to dispel the tension he felt building in his shoulders.  “Yes.  Draco and I are trying to do better than this Muggle-born who memorized the textbooks.  Draco says that Malfoys always come first and Blacks are never second to Mudbloods,” he said proudly. 

His face clouded slightly and Regulus leaned over him in concern. Magnus had lain down next to Vortigern, who was purring happily.  “His name is Vortigern, after the Celtic King who let the Saxons into Britain.  He discovered Merlin – the child without a father.  He was thought to be a changeling – Merlin, that is,” he explained and Magnus nodded.  “What’s wrong?”

“I – I think I remember something.”  His voice was tinted in some deep emotion that Regulus could not comprehend.

“What?” Regulus inquired. 

“M-mum,” he whispered, his eyes closed.  He hoped this might be enough to push Regulus away.  Maybe if he didn’t want him, Regulus’s soul would stop calling to his own.  “I think she was a Mudblood.”  His green eyes closed, before he continued in little more than a whisper.  This had to work, he told himself mentally.  Surely this would set him free if his blood would not.  “Draco says it does not matter, that I am a Black and she is a slight taint I can overcome and I must be strong and powerful to have a soul mate, and that the Hat would never put anyone inferior in Slytherin.”

He stopped speaking when two warm hands cupped his face.  “Look at me, Magnus,” Regulus ordered softly, his face only inches from his mate’s.  “Magnus, please.”

Eyelids fluttered open until soft green met deep blue eyes. Magnus was startled at the acceptance he saw there.

“Magnus,” Regulus repeated,  “you are my soul mate.  Nothing else matters. And if your father is a pureblood –” He hesitated, waiting for Magnus to deny this, but he sighed in relief when he did not, “– then our children will be pure.  You are not responsible for the sins of your father, and you are first and foremost a Black.”

He stared into Magnus’s soul and couldn’t help the butterflies that fluttered in his stomach as he pressed down against his Magnus.  Regulus smiled softly and leaned in quickly, not giving the younger boy time to turn his head or push him away.  This was right, he knew in the very marrow of his magic.  Magnus was his, the creation of his soul, and he needed to comfort the wizard he would spend the rest of his life with. 

Soft lips met his and Magnus gasped in surprise at the contact, deepening the chaste kiss slightly before Regulus snaked his tongue in hungrily.  Magnus groaned in shock, trying to push him away, but he only held on tighter, trying to soothe the other boy with soft caresses and gentle nips. 

The sleeves of Magnus’s robes twisted about his forearms painfully, and he moaned in pain, wishing that Draco had been able to fully bandage them before he had returned to this odd place.  They hurt so much – they always hurt so much even when they didn’t bleed.  Magical salves barely touched the pain, and after a few weeks of research, Draco had told him that he thought it was because the blood letting with a magical sacrifice – and the pain that was incurred in such a sacrifice could never be lessened. 

Why did it hurt so much?

Regulus swallowed the moan and smiled against his soul mate’s lips before pulling away in contentment. 

“You are Magnus Black, no matter what the Mudblood named you,” he stated firmly before nuzzling his nose against Magnus’s.  The boy, however, was unresponsive, and just lay sedately beneath him, his face turned away.  “And,” Regulus added cheerfully with a glint in his eye, “you are now being properly raised in the old ways.”

Magnus nodded slightly, causing their noses to bump and Regulus to laugh.  “Mrs. Malfoy is teaching me over the weekend.  Her husband is a Governor so she has access to Hogwarts,” he explained.

Regulus tapped him on the nose.  “There, you see.  Half-bloods are wizards born to one Muggle parent or a child of a Muggle-born and a pureblood, who isn’t raised properly in the old ways.  They’re little better than blood traitors, if that,” he explained.  “As you are now being raised as a Black, by your aunt, you are a first generation pureblood.”

“What about the Muggles?” Magnus asked in a small voice as he began to twist away.  Regulus allowed it but captured his mate’s waist with his arm, drawing Magnus’s back against his chest.

“They did that to you.  They hurt you – they are of no consequence.” 

Silence fell over the pair and Vortigern cuddled up beside them.  Regulus showed Magnus the book he had purchased and the younger wizard began reading it silently, nodding occasionally and mumbling the longer words to himself.

Magnus looked at a certain page, startled.  “It says here that soul mates are two souls that share an affinity to each other.”

“That’s right.” Regulus nodded absently, his hands playing with Magnus’s hair.

There are several different types of affinity,” Magnus read aloud, his voice slightly lisping.  “Although the most romanticized version is that of ‘true loves’, this is not necessarily the case.  Blood can link the two souls lust, hatred, despair, or a common relationship with the same person.  A bonding love is uncommon and has only been documented once every few hundred years.”

Regulus tensed. “What are you saying, Magnus?” he demanded.

“N-nothing,” Magnus said quickly.  “I’m just remarking on the different types.  It says here that two people were once soul mates because the same person attempted to murder them in an all-consuming rage.  It’s j-just interesting.”

“Yes,” Regulus snapped.  “But it has nothing to do with us, Magnus.  We are soul mates in the truest sense.” He pulled Magnus closer to him until the younger wizard was having trouble breathing. “Mine,” he stated, roughly kissing the side of Magnus’s face, and only relaxing when Magnus did not argue.

After about half an hour, a few students trailed into the dorm and Regulus looked up.  “Feast over?” he inquired.

Macnair stopped in his tracks when he noticed Magnus lying in his arms. “Yes, finally,” he answered after a moment.  “Who’s your friend?”

“Magnus Black,” Magnus answered absently, still reading the book intently. 

Macnair still looked confused, but said nothing.

“Is Malfoy back?” Regulus inquired, gazing at Macnair impatiently as he waited for an answer.

Magnus’s head whipped up. “Malfoy?”

“Lucius Malfoy,” Regulus explained, ruffling Magnus’s hair until the scar was showing through his fringe.  “It might be helpful if you meet him, considering . . .”

Magnus nodded emphatically, dislodging Vortigern as he quickly got to his feet.

“He is,” Macnair finally answered, still staring at Magnus intently.  “You look a lot like that Gryffindor.”

“I’m a Slytherin,” was Magnus’s only response, and the subject was dropped as Regulus led Magnus out of the room and up into the common room.  Looking around, he spotted a platinum blond head and headed toward it, slightly nervous.  “Malfoy,” he greeted and the prefect looked up at the two boys before him.

His eyes narrowed in confusion at Magnus.  “Black,” he drawled, after glancing at Regulus, “is there something I can help you with?”  He didn’t offer either of them a seat.

Magnus looked nervously at Regulus, who quickly continued.  “I wanted to introduce Magnus Black to you.  Magnus, Lucius Malfoy.  He’s a seventh-year prefect.”

Lucius nodded regally, inspecting the boy in front of him.  “You are wearing the Malfoy colors,” he observed, causing Magnus to blush. 

“Draco insisted,” he whispered, “since we’re to be blood brothers and all.  His father gave permission,” he added hastily, “otherwise I never would have agreed.”

The prefect looked at him in open curiosity.  “I fear I am missing a vital piece of information,” he stated, finally inviting the first-years to sit with a gesture of his hand.

“Well,” Regulus began, but Magnus hurriedly cut him off.

“When I go to sleep, I occasionally end up wherever Regulus is.  I always appear wearing whatever I have during the day.”

Lucius’s eyebrows rose slightly.  “You are Astral Projecting?” he inquired, impressed.  He reached out hesitantly and was shocked that Magnus was corporeal when his fingers brushed against the boy’s wrist.  Magnus quickly pulled down the collar but Lucius frowned when he noticed the scars peeking through, some looking fresh.

Magnus blushed.  “Not quite.  That would be easier, though, wouldn’t it?” he looked at Lucius pleadingly, hoping he might grasp the full situation without words.

Regulus looked from his soul mate to Malfoy. “Draco Malfoy, whose mother is a Black, is Magnus’s best friend.”

“I am not acquainted with Draco Malfoy,” Lucius admitted, thinking back to the different branches of the Malfoy family tree.  He gazed levelly at Magnus once again, his mind working out different scenarios.  “Magnus, do you know what year you were born?”

Magnus shook his head.  “I don’t even remember the name I was given at birth.  I think it was Harfield or something horrible like that.  I like Magnus, however.  Regulus gave it to me,” he added hastily, for Regulus’s benefit, before warily looking away.

Lucius’s eyes narrowed before he nodded sagely.  “Your souls share some type of affinity, then?”  He didn’t wait for a response.  “My congratulations.” He stared at Magnus pointedly before giving him a slight nod.  Regulus was too pleased to really notice.  “And a Draco Malfoy is to be your blood brother, Magnus?”  He smiled slyly to himself.  “I look forward to meeting you in the future, especially if Draco turns out to be my son.”

Magnus’s eyes widened and Lucius only smirked before offering his hand in friendship.  Magnus shyly took it.

“A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Magnus.  If Draco is my son, then I would be pleased if you called me ‘Father’ in your present, and, as of this day, I offer you any form of protection you may need.”  His gaze held Magnus’s before he finally released the boy’s hand.

Regulus smiled slightly, glad that he was further aligning his mate with a powerful family.  Before he could say anything else, however, Magnus gasped and his body appeared to shake.  “The feast is over, I think,” he whispered by way of farewell before smiling brilliantly.  “Draco,” he gasped and, with a flicker, he was gone.

The common room suddenly became hushed as everyone looked in shock at the place where Magnus had been sitting only a few moments before.

Part the Fourth

“Another One with the Golden Tone Voice Poisoning your Fantasy”

“Another Way to Die,” Jack White and Alicia Keyes

“Magnus,” Regulus breathed, as his bed dipped beside him and a weight curled itself into his arms, “it’s nearly Yule.”

The boy snuggled against Regulus’s warmth and sighed.  “I’m sorry I missed your fourteenth birthday,” he murmured against Regulus’s shoulder, still half-asleep.

Regulus only smiled.  “It’s alright,” he whispered, rolling over until he was on top of his mate, clasping his wrists in his hands to keep him from moving.  “How was your summer?”

The body underneath him squirmed and Regulus looked down at him, concerned.  Magnus had been appearing on-and-off over the past two years.  He had come to know his expressions and body language intimately, as he would always greedily study the boy who had been created just for his soul to love. 

“What is it, Magnus?”

Magnus glanced away and sighed.  “It’s Sirius Black,” he spat, praying that Regulus would be so angry at the name that he would release his aching wrists.

Regulus looked at him, shocked.  “What has my brother done?” he growled, clutching Magnus closer to him.

Tears pooled in Magnus’s eyes at the pain, but he held them back.  “He,” he whispered, “h-he escaped from Azkaban.”

“Sirius was in Azkaban?” Regulus asked, slightly incredulous.

Magnus nodded against his neck in answer and the two fell silent for a time. 

“Why?” Regulus finally inquired. 

“He murdered thirteen Muggles and a wizard,” Magnus explained.  “Father –”  Regulus couldn’t help but smile at the thought that Lucius Malfoy was looking out for his soul mate over the years, although, for some reason, the Ministry refused to allow him custody,  “– told me that he was my godfather.  They think he wants to kill me.”

“No,” Regulus whispered desperately, pulling away so that he could see the shadows playing on Magnus’s face.  “No.” He shook his head violently.  “I’ll kill him first, I swear.”

Magnus arched up into his touch, trying to wiggle free, and, with a slight growl, Regulus claimed the younger boy’s lips possessively.  “Mine,” he whispered as he nipped the bottom lip until Magnus’s sweet mouth opened for him.  He plunged his tongue in and Magnus groaned at the sensation, their tongues twining with each other as silent tears fell down Magnus’s cheeks.

Regulus brushed away his tears before nuzzling his own nose against Magnus’s soft cheeks.  “I love you, my Magnus,” he said softly into the darkness.

Magnus, however, didn’t answer.  “I hate Dumbledore,” he spat against Regulus’s shoulder when his mouth was finally released, and he sounded like he was finally unloading a deep loathing that he had been keeping locked inside. 

Regulus could only run his hands through Magnus’s hair, hoping to soothe him.

“He sent the –” He struggled for the word, not remembering a name that he would not know until he was born, “this family of blood-traitors to pick me up from the Leaky Cauldron.  They all simpered at me because I’m famous and called me by that name I hate.  They would never listen and the boy – he’s in my year – made out that we were best friends to his parents, even though we curse each other every time we see one another.  Kester was even taken away as soon as I arrived, so I couldn’t contact the Malfoys.”

Darkness enveloped the lovers as Magnus breathed heavily.  “Father is filing an injunction against him for child endangerment and theft of student property.  The Governors are talking of removing him as the Headmaster.”

Regulus smirked in the dark.  “I don’t think it helped that a little girl died last year.”

Magnus snorted. “I daresay not.  She sent me a valentine.  She was in love with me, or something.  Draco hexed her when she started stalking me before she opened the Chamber.” He tried to discreetly pull free once again, but, as usual, it was useless.

“How droll,” Regulus responded, remembering the jealousy that had coursed through him when he had first heard of the girl from the future.  At least she was gone now.  He knew, though, that there would be others.  There always would be.

He grasped Magnus even closer to himself and a whimper escaped Magnus’s lips, his forearms pulsing in a dull pain.

“There have been whispers of the Dark Lord,” Magnus said softly.  “Only whispers, though.  They say he may rise again.”  He gulped.

“Shh, Magnus.”  Regulus kissed his lips softly, delighting in their childlike smoothness.  He hoped Magnus’s lips would never change, as they grew older, though he knew there was nothing about his mate that he would not love.  “You have nothing to worry about.”

Magnus shuddered, turning his face away, and Regulus noticed desperately that Magnus was now silently sobbing.  Despite the years that Magnus had been visiting him, he still could not understand the reason for Magnus’s constant tears and shying away.  He tried to show affection – to love him, but sometimes he almost wondered if that actually made it worse.

He told himself he must be patient.  Of course he must be.  Although Magnus was his and his creation, such a formation was a long and complicated process.  One day the tears would be gone, and it would be proof that Magnus was completely of his own devising.

“You are a Black,” he whispered, “and a Malfoy now.  He’ll know that.  The Dark Lord would never touch you, regardless of whoever your birth mother was.”

Magnus nodded into the sheets, his body lying limp and helpless beneath Regulus, who sought to comfort him.

“Your father would never allow it, nor will I.” Regulus’s grip tightened possessively, and Magnus knew there’d be bruises on top of his myriad of scars tomorrow.

“But where are you?” Magnus looked at him, willing him to understand that he knew Regulus was never coming.  He wanted to hurt Regulus so much, hurt him like Regulus hurt him when he clutched at him or kissed him against his will.  “Why haven’t you found me?” He demanded.  “You know that Draco Malfoy is my blood brother, and I’ve been waiting.  What if you’re never coming?” He clung desperately to the sheets and began to weep in earnest at the thought that this boy – this demon that plagued his nightmares – would actually take form in the flesh and come for him one day.

“I am coming for you,” Regulus desperately promised.  “I swear I am coming for you.  I won’t stop until the day I die, and even then I will fight it with every fiber of my soul.”

Magnus looked away again.  “W-What if,” he said hesitantly before taking another deep breath, “what if you don’t want a child as a lover?  What if you find someone else?”  He wanted to dig the knife in as deeply as he could.  Why wouldn’t Regulus understand?  Why didn’t the bleeding and scars littering his arms ever stop the traveling for good?

“I don’t want anyone else, Magnus,” Regulus whispered franticly.  “How could you think that?”  He leaned his forehead against his mate’s chest and breathed in deeply, committing Magnus’s scent to memory once again.  “You are my everything.  Everything, Magnus.  Nothing less.  My chest aches when you’re not with me.  If I knew when you would be born and to whom, I would go there in an instant and steal you away at birth, as they clearly didn’t love you like they should have.”

Small hands found their way into Regulus’s hair, yanking at it painfully.

“Not even death will keep me from you, my Magnus.” Regulus stared down at him with so much possessiveness that it bordered on insanity.

His hands roamed downward, until they rested against Magnus’s waistband.  “I created you in this world.  My soul called out and made yours.  I named you, Magnus giving you life.  How could I ever not love you, not need you like I do now?” Regulus whispered brokenly, before slipping his hands underneath the band.

Magnus inhaled sharply as a feather-light touch ghosted over his member.

“R-Regulus?” he stammered in surprise as he looked down at the other half of his soul.

He moaned as lips touched his sensitive skin, tasting, kissing his flesh that was now beginning to harden in arousal at the unfamiliar sensations. 

“Let me love you,” Regulus murmured huskily as he pulled Magnus’s bottoms down farther until they were pooling around his knees.  He gazed lustily in the half-light at Magnus’s pride, willing it to fully harden. 

Magnus whined at the back of his throat, and this was all the encouragement Regulus required. He took Magnus’s length into his wet mouth, sucking lightly.

The younger boy attempted to squirm away from the contact, but Regulus pinned his hips to the bed.  “Reg,” Magnus begged, “p-please st-st –” He cried out as a lithe hand began to fondle his tightening sac.  Tears began to pool in his eyes and he couldn’t stop himself from grasping Regulus’s dark hair tightly, needing an anchor as the strange impressions washed over him.

“N-no,” he moaned, but he felt too weak to move.  His traitorous body was shivering and the loss of blood that he endured over the past months left him helpless against such an advance.  “St-stop, please,” he begged, weeping, but Regulus could no longer hear him as blood rushed past his ears. 

This is where his Magnus belonged, he told himself mentally, underneath him and squirming for more.  With a final swipe at the underside of Magnus’s cock, the boy called out, sobbing, and then fell against the bed limply. 

Regulus smirked to himself as he drank down his mate’s essence until he was certain he had swallowed every last drop.  Magnus was shivering and, as Regulus drew away, he pulled the cotton bottoms back up.  “I love you,” he whispered as he kissed Magnus’s soft stomach, but he did not receive an answer.  Instead, Magnus just curled up against himself, shaking slightly, his eyes wide and unseeing as they looked away from him.

Sighing, Regulus pulled the comforter over them and took an unresisting Magnus into his arms.  Perhaps he was still too young, Regulus thought to himself, as he stroked Magnus’s damp fringe away from his forehead.

“I’m sorry,” he apologized, but Magnus only shook his head and clutched his knees to his chest.

Regulus fell asleep with a still shaking Magnus in his arms.

When the sun rose and the other boys began to stir in their beds, Regulus was surprised to see Magnus still lying beside him.  He carefully brushed the fringe away and stared down at the angry scar that had intrigued him throughout the years.  It was jagged and in the shape of a lightning bolt and, no matter how much time passed, it still looked new.

Leaning down, he kissed it softly, wishing to take away any hurt it might cause. Magnus stirred awake, his eyes fluttering open.

“Regulus,” he breathed, a slight wariness in his expressive eyes. “I’m still here.”

He smiled down at Magnus before pulling him up for a sweet kiss.  “Hmm,” he sighed as Magnus gently pulled away.  “Perhaps you took Dreamless Sleep?”

Magnus shook his head.  “I guess it doesn’t work very well,” he mused, his tone nonetheless devoid of any emotion.  “Though I suppose that technically, this isn’t a dream.”

“What’s the last thing you remember?” Regulus asked, concerned.

At the question, Magnus scrunched up his nose before shaking his head again.  “I can never remember.  I think I got into a fight with a Mudblood a few days ago.  She said I cheated in Transfiguration.  How can you cheat in Transfiguration?  You either transfigure something into something else or you don’t.  You can’t fake it when the professor is standing over you.”

Regulus laughed happily as the tension eased slightly.  “Is this the Mudblood who sounds like a textbook?”

Magnus nodded and pulled himself out of bed, moving as far away from Regulus as he possibly could.  “Can I borrow some robes?” he inquired before answering, “Yes, same girl.  She’s still angry she can’t come first in any subject.  Draco, some Ravenclaw, and I always push her out of the top spots.”

“She’s a Ravenclaw, I take it.”  Regulus gathered up his clothes and Magnus followed him into the bathroom to brush his teeth. 

“No.  She wears red, I think.”

Macnair walked in and stared openly at Magnus appropriating Regulus’s toothbrush, recognizing the boy who would occasionally appear.

“Hello, Macnair,” Magnus chirruped, his voice wavering with a slight amount of feeling, before looking back in the mirror.

Regulus was instantly jealous and glared at Macnair before turning back to Magnus.  “A Gryffindor Mudblood obsessed with grades.  How did she not make it into Ravenclaw?”

Magnus shrugged his shoulders and then rinsed out his mouth.  “No idea.  Not intelligent enough?”  He snorted at the idea.  “She’s a bloody parrot.  I think if a professor told her to jump off a cliff, she would ask where the nearest one was.”

“Lovely girl.”

Magnus claimed a stall quickly and changed into the gray robes he was borrowing for the day.  He was rather fond of them, especially the embroidery of vines sewn about the edges in black.  Breathing deeply, he told himself mentally that it would all soon be over.  He would be returning to Draco, to his family, and next time he would just have to cut a little deeper, bleed a little more to stay.  “Act normally,” he whispered to himself.  “It will all be over soon.”  Hopping out of the bathroom, he grabbed Regulus’s satchel for him and scratched Vortigern behind the ears in farewell.

Regulus came up behind him and embraced him.  “I am sorry if you didn’t like –” He cut himself off as Magnus went still in his arms.  “It won’t happen again unless you ask me to.”

Magnus stilled, his mind racing, and looked straight ahead.  “And all the other times?” He accused.

Regulus didn’t seem to be listening, however, and instead said, “I swear.” 

The moment stretched between them and Magnus turned in his arms, blushing slightly in mortification.  “What was it?”

“A form of love,” Regulus admitted.  “I love you so much and I wanted you to feel it.  But then you were shivering and seemingly dead in my arms –” He looked at the other boy helplessly. 

He leaned forward to kiss his mate gently, but Magnus only turned away again.  Never again, he promised to himself silently; after this time, he was never coming back here again even if he had to bleed the life out of himself. 

Regulus sighed and released his mate, who was picking up Vortigern in affection. 

“I’m not really hungry,” Magnus admitted.  “You go on ahead of me.” 

His voice sounded half-dead to Regulus’s ears. He longed to take Magnus into his arms, but he knew he would be rejected again. 

“Alright,” he said softly.  “Shall I bring something for you?”

“No need,” was Magnus’s only response as he sat down on the bed, cuddling the kitten close.  “I’ll see you later.”  It was a clear dismissal. 

Regulus picked up his satchel and swung it over his shoulder.  With one last look, he quietly exited the room.

When he returned later that day, he found Magnus’s robes folded neatly on the bed, Vortigern licking his paws happily while sitting on top of them.

(o)

Regulus waited for years, but his mate never reappeared before him.  When James Potter married a Mudblood years later, he stared at the paper in shock, realizing that his soul mate would soon be conceived.  He was eighteen years old and somehow, through the grapevine, he heard that a child was going to be born and the Mudblood wanted to name him Harry James Potter, of all things.  He laughed to himself, remembering when Magnus had said that his name might have been Harfield.  Harry, oddly enough, was an even worse choice for his Magnus.

Regulus had been a Death Eater since he had graduated from Hogwarts, and when the Dark Lord asked him for his house-elf, he loaned Kreacher to him willingly.  He knew the Dark Lord could read thoughts, could see the image of a laughing boy with green eyes and a scar in his mind.  He begged the Dark Lord, in his thoughts, to keep his mate safe in the future, naming him as Magnus Black, blood brother to a Malfoy.

A calculating gleam passed through Lord Voldemort’s red eyes at the thought of a Slytherin with such power that he was able to travel through time to see Regulus, his soul mate.

Months later, when he faced death for betraying his Lord, he almost couldn’t care that his soul mate had apparently betrayed him.  He knew there was a prophecy that pointed toward his Magnus being the Chosen One.  Magnus, though, would survive.  Regulus, however, could not – not without his mate . . . who no longer wanted him although he had yet to even be born in this time.

With a name on his lips, his life ended in a shower of green light, and, for the first time in almost four years, his chest no longer ached.

Part the Fifth

“Been looking forward to the future but my eyesight is going bad, And this crystal ball is always cloudy, Except for when you look into the past”

“Thanks Fr the Mmrs,” Fall Out Boy

Magnus Lucian Black stood on one of the many balconies of Malfoy Manor, staring out into the night sky.  His eyes traced the constellations as he named them all by heart, remembering the happy face of a boy who had named him so many years before he was born.  A small smile played on his lips as he remembered that first innocence, which had turned so suffocating and cruel until almost everything he had was forcefully ripped from him.

He remembered crying in Regulus’s arms, telling him his woes and troubles, and Regulus insisting that he would always be wanted, and then – and then –

He choked back a sob as he remembered the past.  He had been too young, too innocent, and no matter how he pleaded, Regulus wouldn’t stop.  He never would.  He had tried to give the boy what he wanted, small tokens of affection as he squirmed away, but he was never strong enough in the other world.  His arms had been weak, and there was never a wand to defend himself with.  Regulus had taken from Magnus against his will, had betrayed him like everyone else had in Magnus’s short life – everyone that is, except for his brother, father, and husband.

Over the years, he had come to resent Regulus’s words.  Sometimes, he would feel the pull toward the past, but he would fight it until he was clawing at his own skin, willing the pain to keep him in the present.  He knew he just had to wait – wait for the Dark Lord to murder Regulus, and every evening he found himself praying for a death that had already taken place so many years before. 

His sacrificial blood, mixed with the prayers to the old gods, always worked with his new determination. Then the pull finally stopped when he turned sixteen – the age of maturity in the old traditions – and Magnus was left, blissful, in the time he was meant to live in.

So much had happened since that fateful night nearly thirty years ago.  Sirius Black had kidnapped Draco in his Animagus form and Magnus, without a second thought, had cast his first Unforgivable at the deranged wizard who was muttering about deaths, and betrayals, and the need to murder, all the while staring hungrily down at his blood brother.  As soon as the two words left his mouth – no longer the childish rendering they had once been when he had spoken to Orion Black – he found he could not regret it and felt a sense of peace when the green light enveloped the form of the man who had betrayed his parents and who had tried to take away the most precious person in Magnus’s young life.

That night the nightmares stopped and Magnus no longer woke with the sound of haunting laughter echoing in his ears. 

Magnus would have been expelled for the use of the Killing Curse but, as Dumbledore’s position was already in question and Magnus had not only captured a known murderer but also saved his best friend’s life, Dumbledore was dismissed and voted out of the Wizengamot and the International Confederation of Wizards.  Magnus had been awarded an Order of Merlin, Second Class.  He was the youngest recipient in wizarding history.

With the award of his Order of Merlin, Sirius Black’s will was finally read and Magnus had been surprised to find that he, as Harry James Potter of all names, was the convict’s only heir – making him Lord Black and giving him equal standing with his blood brother.  He had never understood why.  He thought that he could never understand why, but over the years he had let it go.

His new position had opened several doors his title of The Boy Who Lived strangely had not, and combined with the Headmaster’s fall from favor, Magnus found that the Malfoys were suddenly able to legally adopt him when before they had been unable.  He finally had a family – and all because he had killed a man in defense of his brother.

Under Headmistress McGonagall a firmer regime was employed and, after two years, the supposed curse on the Defense Against the Dark Arts position had abruptly ended when Severus Snape claimed it for a second and then a third year.  No one knew how it happened and, over the next few years, all whispers of Voldemort possibly returning died away.

Around the same time, Dumbledore had passed away, his body riddled with five different dark curses that were slowly eating away at him, his reputation further tarnished in his own death.  Within months a book had been published concerning his youth – The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore – and unbelievably his name fell even further.  There was talk of removing his portrait from Hogwarts, although Magnus was never certain if this had actually occurred or not.

So much had happened over the years and yet Magnus still bore the physical scars on his arms and even his legs, a testament to the blood sacrifices he had not made in over a year.

“Magnus,” a deep voice called from the bedroom and Magnus couldn’t help but smile a little into the starlight.

He turned slightly and looked into the gloom at his husband lying wantonly among the silk sheets.

“Stargazing again?” he inquired, a tinge of worry in his voice.

“I was not regretting anything,” he whispered in response before turning again to look at Orion’s Belt, a soft smile on his lips as he remembered the man who bore the name.

A sigh sounded behind him and Magnus heard the silk sheets move against skin.  He leaned up against the doorframe and squinted at the Pleiades, trying to remember all of their names.  Draco was always better at Astronomy.  Magnus was likely to remember obscure stars for tests and then promptly forget again a few months later.

Strong arms wrapped around his waist and Magnus relaxed against a firm, bare chest. 

“I love you so much,” his husband whispered huskily against his hair, causing Magnus to smile slightly.

“Would you have loved me if I my name was still Harry Potter?” he asked playfully, turning in his husband’s arms before reaching up for a soft kiss.

“Yes, even if you were named Harry,” he sighed against baby-soft lips, which ghosted into a slight smile at the response.

“Even if I were a Gryffindor?” he teased, eyes shining happily.

His husband laughed and held him tighter.  “You’re too much of a cunning minx to be in Gryffindor.  Do you think you ever would have spoken to me if you were a Gryffindor?”

Magnus shrugged elegantly, mimicking his brother’s mannerisms.  “You never know.  Quidditch and all.”

A dark laugh caressed his ears and he smiled up into brown eyes.  “Only to exchange insults.”

Draco always exchanged the insults.  I only gave as good as I got,” he said smugly, his hands twisting in auburn hair.  Swaths of smooth black fabric encased both his forearms, covering the scars that even magic couldn’t erase.  The old spells Magnus had invoked were too dark, too permanent, and he only ever permitted his husband to remove the fabric before lovemaking, when lips would trace the scars and thank Magnus with his movements for staying with him, here, and refusing to belong to another.  “Would you have insulted a Gryffindor first-year, you big, bad sixth-year?” Magnus continued to tease good-naturedly.

“Well, you were an adorable first-year,” he commented, tweaking Magnus’s fringe affectionately. 

“I was eleven!”

He leaned down and kissed Magnus sensually before releasing him.  “I would have spoken to you.  How could I not?” he purred.  “And you’re too much of a Slytherin to be in Gryffindor,” he reiterated.

Magnus bit his lower lip.  “My parents were in Gryffindor.” 

“James and Lily Potter were in Gryffindor,” he corrected and Magnus could only beam at him.  “Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy were both in Slytherin, as were both of their handsome sons.”

Magnus chuckled.  “You think my brother’s handsome?”

He smiled down at Magnus.  “Your entire family is beautiful,” he admitted.  “Draco, however, can be a self-centered prat.  And I don’t like blonds, at all.”

“Neither do I,” Magnus admitted, shaking his head. 

“Well, it seems Draco doesn’t either as he’s currently dating that Greengrass girl.”

“Astoria,” Magnus confirmed.  “But she’s a girl, and has black hair.” He scrunched his nose in dislike, remembering his own aversion for dark hair since Regulus had molested him.  His face fell and his body tensed.

His husband nuzzled him gently, pulling him closer.  “You know,” he reminded Magnus wisely, “being soul mates only means that two souls have an affinity for one another.  Fate cannot dictate our actions or our hearts, Magnus.  There was only something uniquely similar about the two of you that pulled you across time.”  He nipped Magnus’s shoulder and the younger wizard shuddered in anticipatory delight.

“I know,” he confessed against soft skin.  “I try not to remember, really, I do-“

His husband sighed.  “Of course you remember, part of you always will.  I do not mind that you do, only that it brings you pain.”

Magnus’s arms tightened around him before he nipped playfully at the expanse of shoulder he was currently nuzzling.

“Right,” his husband growled playfully and Magnus squealed as he was lifted into the cool night air, his legs quickly snaking around his husband’s waist.  “Marcus!” he chided before his lips were claimed in a smoldering kiss.  He moaned sensually into his husband’s mouth as their tongues danced playfully around each other and Magnus rubbed his hardening arousal against his mate’s.  “I love you so much,” he confessed as he pushed himself forward, needing more contact.

Marcus Flint growled possessively as he backed up toward their honeymoon bed.  He thanked the gods every day that the beautiful wizard in his arms had fled from his soul mate all those years before either of them had been born. 

Magnus had never told anyone what exactly had happened.  He had become quiet around Yule during Flint’s final year at Hogwarts and refused to mention Regulus at all, snapping even at his adopted father when Lucius did.  He had even wanted to discard his name, not wanting any reminder of his past – association – which had hurt him so much, but Marcus had taken him out onto the pitch and talked him out of it, saying that even if someone else had given him the name, it was still his now nonetheless.  It suited him perfectly, for he was greater than anyone else was, just as his name suggested – greater even than his soul mate, who’d tried to call him over the past few years with his magic.

The young Magnus had stared unseeing at the pitch, playing slightly with the cuffs of his robes, when Flint had reached into his pocket and carefully withdrew an old newspaper clipping. “I know I should do this, and I’m certain the Malfoys have a reason for not telling you sooner,” he had begun hesitantly, and Magnus had looked up at him, his eyes wide.

Silently, Flint had passed over a clipping from a back issue of The Daily Prophet from the year before Magnus was born, announcing Regulus’s death.

“The word is the Dark Lord killed him personally,” Flint had said conversationally, staring at the goal hoops in order to give the younger Slytherin some privacy.  “No one really knows why, as far as I can find out.”  He had paused, taking in a deep breath.  “You don’t have to worry.  He’s never going to come and find you and surely your – traveling – will end eventually.  Draco is here for you, and although this is hopefully my last year,” he had grinned wryly at himself and Magnus had glanced over at him in the darkness, “I’m here if you need me.”

Magnus had smiled up at him.  Flint’s heart had been captured ever since, and he’d vowed in that silent moment in the Slytherin stands that one day Magnus Black would be his husband.  Three and a half years later, it was finally the truth.

“Only you,” Magnus vowed against his husband’s lips.  “I only ever truly loved you.”

In number twelve, Grimmauld Place, a neglected tapestry hung for several decades.  A blue line of trust curled its way down from the names Lucius Malfoy and Narcissa Black to produce the name ‘Magnus Lucian Black, born Harry James Potter.’ 

His blood brother’s name shone proudly beside him, a smirk on his stitched face as he watched a black line of marriage snake its way from Magnus’s likeness to another name and portrait that was being woven onto the tapestry by magic.  A cool and aristocratic face with deep brown eyes and auburn hair that rippled down his back looked over at a smiling Magnus with complete adoration.

As the name ‘Marcus Aloysius Flint’ formed, a lavender line unraveled higher up on the tapestry, leaving the name ‘Regulus Arcturus Black’ to face the rest of eternity alone.

Only the house-elf Kreacher saw and, when he did, he shook his head sadly, remembering his master and the green-eyed boy who had appeared in the townhouse all the years before.

His beloved mistress, though, had prophesied death and hope wrapped up in the fate of a single wanderer years ago.  And today, on Magnus Black’s wedding night, each piece had finally fallen into place.

The End.

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