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09 July 2008 @ 07:59 pm
Price of Victory: November 20th, 1981  
Just a note: Some inappropriate themes in this chapter. Nothing explicit, but it's there. But it's not what you guys are expecting. That's coming soon, no worries. And as always, if you're reading, feel free to drop some feedback!



November 20th, 1981, approximately 9:00 PM, Barty makes a (bad) decision


It had been three days since Regulus left.

Barty hadn’t quite adjusted.

He liked the quiet, he liked being alone, in most cases, for as much of his life as he could remember, he had always chosen being alone over being in the company of others.

Except Regulus. He would pick hanging out with Regulus over being alone any day. But Regulus was the only one.

Barty didn’t seek out company or physical contact or comfort often.

Tonight he was comforting himself with drinks.

He wasn’t lonely, he was bored.

Subsequently, he wasn’t seeking company in the dark, dingy bar, he was seeking entertainment.

There was a blonde woman sitting three seats down from him. He knew her, her name was Lilac Brown. She was pretty by conventional standards and had been a Gryffindor a few years above him. She was about twenty-three and had a daughter, about eighteen months old.

He had first met Lilac Brown at the Hog’s Head late in his stay at Hogwarts, either at the end of his sixth year or the beginning of his seventh.

1979, either way.

Then, she had been insecure and thought she may have rushed into her marriage with a Muggleborn named Jeremy Brown.

Barty thought that when women were insecure, they were easy.

Things had happened, of course, and then he didn’t see her again. He heard someone saying, about a month after their encounter, that she was pregnant.

Now she was back at Hog’s Head and eyeing him.

“Do I know you?”

He nodded.

“Enlighten me,” she said, sliding down a few seats to sit next to him.

“We met here about two years ago,” he said. “Barty Crouch,” he added.

“Oh. I remember you,” she said with a coy smile. “You’ve been in the news a lot.”

“I hope you aren’t mistaking me with my father.”

“No, no. You and your friend. About a week ago I think. It was all anyone could talk about.”

He ordered another firewhisky and shrugged.

She put her hand on his arm.

“We should go back to your place,” she said quietly. “I’d offer mine. But I have a husband and a baby at home.”

“Why aren’t you home?” he asked. He hated irresponsible parents.

“He offered to take care of her for the night, I had to ‘work late’,” she said, raising her eyebrow, like he was supposed to be impressed with her lie.

He wasn’t.

Barty finished his drink and walked out of the pub, Lilac following rather closely behind. He stopped to let her catch up and she grabbed his arm. He realized he would have to take her in Side-Along Apparition to get her to his flat.

He considered changing his mind, shaking her off and going home alone.

But he reasoned that it would take his mind off Regulus.

They Apparated directly into the flat, and once they had caught their breath, she turned on him.

Truth be told, he had to give her points for being aggressive. She kissed him hard, drawing up to her full height (being considerably shorter than he) and even making him stumble backwards. He returned the kiss with fake enthusiasm and grabbed for the nearest doorknob.

The two of them didn’t break the kiss as the fell into the next room, but after another minute of standing in the doorway, she pulled away and examined the room. With an air of certainty, she forced Barty back onto the bed and crawled on top of him.

Truthfully, Barty could live without sex. Not many men his age could say that, but he didn’t care for it. It was too…intimate, too candid, it was messy and undignified. He could somewhat appreciate the female form, of course, but only certain types.

He was partial to Bellatrix Lestrange.

Or had been, since she was probably out for his blood by now.

“Are you even paying attention to me?” she whispered huskily, dragging a long nail down his chest. Apparently he had lost his shirt.

He couldn’t exactly say ‘no I was thinking about my best friend’s murderous cousin, who I’d much rather be shagging’, so he smirked and said, “I’m enjoying myself.”

“You’re pretty quiet about enjoying yourself,” she said in his ear.

“Is that a problem?”

“No. Just strange.”

He made a conscious effort to sound as enthralled as he wasn’t from then on. He didn’t need her to leave the situation thinking he was some kind of freak. The last time he had made up for it with enthusiasm, but he had only been seventeen.

In the past two years since then, he had discovered he quite preferred males.

But he didn’t want to seem like some freak.

She was trailing kisses down his abdomen, which he liked simply for the fact she wasn’t in his face. He wondered about Regulus.

She unzipped his trousers and pulled them off, throwing them onto the floor. He reached out with much conviction, and pulled off her shirt.

Leaning in and kissing him again, she smiled. “It’s alright if you’re thinking about someone else.”

The fact that he was thinking about Regulus made this statement extremely strange.

For a few minutes there was nothing but the sound of heavy breathing and the squeaking of his mattress. After a while of that, Barty grabbed the blonde and pushed her down against the mattress.

“Feisty.”

“I was just getting bored,” he said quietly. She probably wasn’t listening, she didn’t respond.


--
November 20th, 1981, approximately 9:45 PM, Sirius Black makes some tea


He knocked gently on the locked door. “Regulus, you awake?”

“Yes.”

“Want some tea?” he asked.

Regulus had rarely come out of his room in the three days he had spent there. Occasionally he would have lunch with Remus and Sirius, but usually they ended up just putting his meals in the room and leaving him be. Remus said that he was just trying to adjust to a new environment.

“Sure.” The door opened and Regulus stood there, looking sleepy and a little disheveled. Sirius handed him the tea, but before Regulus could close the door and retreat back into his room, Sirius stepped inside.

They had only spoken very briefly since he had arrived.

Regulus sat down on his bed, and Sirius pulled up a chair.

“I know you probably think this sucks.”

“It’s not that bad,” he contradicted.

“But keeping yourself locked up in your room for the next month isn’t going to help.”

“I know…”

“I only offered to take you in because I thought I could help in some way.”

Regulus looked at Sirius. “I came because Barty wanted me to.”

“You set a lot by what he says?”

“You do the same with Lupin,” Regulus pointed out. “You’re just the last person I thought I’d end up living with.”

“It was the safest option,” Sirius said seriously. “Bellatrix knows where everyone in the family lives, except me. Nobody knows where we are right now, except Dumbledore. So you’re safe.”

Regulus didn’t respond, but chewed on his lower lip a little. “I changed my mind.”

“What?”

“After I joined the Death Eaters…I changed my mind, after a year. But there’s nothing I could’ve done to escape that would’ve made a difference. I would’ve just died for no reason other than my own bad decision.”

“You haven’t told anybody this?”

“No. I didn’t know how Barty would react. And any other Death Eater would’ve just killed me on the spot. He doesn’t handle traitors well.”

Sirius frowned. “I was always sorry I had to leave you there. You could’ve come with me.”

“I would’ve rather not been disowned,” he said steadily. “And I got over it.”

They sat there awkwardly, Regulus sipped his tea and studied the room. “After all these years, I kind of feel like I understand what you were saying to me when I was a kid.”

“Yeah?”

“I think so. It’s just pointless violence. We’re all human, some people are better than others, but that doesn’t mean lesser people deserve to die.”

Sirius sighed. “Close enough.”

The younger Black brother didn’t question his response. “So what’s with you and Lupin?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you two are raising a kid together, and live together…”

“We’re best mates!”

“You could’ve asked any woman to help you, and yet you got help from Lupin.”

“I’m not bent, Regulus!” Sirius said, but he was grinning. “And you have no room to talk, you’ve been living with Crouch since you left Hogwarts. Not to mention you’ve never had a girlfriend.”

“Well, I’m not bent either,” Regulus said. “I just don’t care about girls.”

“Which makes you so utterly gay.”

“He’s my best friend. That’s all!”

“The more you defend yourself, the more obvious it is.”

“Right. The day you admit your undying love for Lupin, I’ll start fancying Barty.”

Sirius stood. “Consider it a deal.”

“I thought you weren’t gay.”

He shrugged. “I still think you are.”

“I am if you are,” Regulus said evenly, trying not to laugh.

His brother left, shutting the door carefully behind him. In the living room, Remus was on his couch/bed reading a book.

“Heading to bed, Sirius?” Remus asked, not looking up.

“Yeah, g’night, Remus,” he said.

“’Night, Sirius,” Remus said with a yawn.

Sirius shut his bedroom door, moving across the room to his bed, and flopping down unceremoniously. Maybe he really did like Remus as more than just a friend? He’d have to figure it out some other time. It could wait until they weren’t in any imminent danger from deranged Death Eaters.

As he drifted off to sleep, he realized how lonely his bed was.
 
 
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
 
bluetears07: Roman-Statbluetears07 on July 13th, 2008 09:58 am (UTC)
Wow, I had never even thought of Regulus Black/Barty Crouch Jr. and now I simply can't get enough. Of course, I have to say I did adore both the interaction between Sirius and Regulus in this chapter and the little goodnight between Sirius and Remus.

I can't wait to read more, this is a very interesting set up and I really like your characterizations--especially Regulus and Barty.