Disclaimer: I don't own the Harry Potter franchise or any elements from it.
Disclaimer 2: Acquila Black and her mother are OCs from Rajatarangini's fanfic "Black Bond" and are being used with permission. Some plot points are being used here as well.
What if Regulus Didn't Become a Death Eater?
Chapter 1: Oh, Brother
"YOU CAN'T DO THIS!" Walburga Black loudly protested.
"HOLD YOUR TONGUE, WALBURGA!" Her father Pollux Black demanded. "YOU ARE MY DAUGHTER AND MUST TREAT ME WITH RESPECT."
"I am terribly sorry, father." Walburga humbly replied. As a pureblood witch, she was taught to respect her elders. "Now, why do you object to Regulus joining the Dark Lord's ranks?"
"With his blood-traitor brother joining Dumbledore's side and risking his life on the conflict, Regulus' main priority must be finding a proper pureblood wife and siring at least one son to continue our line just in case Sirius fails to do so, Walburga." Pollux explained.
"Why don't you just disown the blood-traitor, father?" Walburga suggested.
"The Heir cannot be disowned and, even if I could, I wouldn't do it until I could be certain I don't need him to continue the Black line." Pollux stated.
"Would you allow the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black to fall into the hands of two blood-traitors and their offspring?" Walburga asked in desperation.
"Said offspring is likely to inherit the McKinnon fortune." Pollux argued and then thought about that. "Perhaps I should talk to them and see if Marlene McKinnon would be willing to marry Regulus and increase the chances of adding the McKinnon fortune to ours."
'He's my father. He's my father. He's my father.' Walburga kept telling herself to remember why she's not supposed to yell at him. "Father, I am certain Regulus can find a wife from a better family."
"Do you have anybody on your mind?" Pollux asked in curiosity.
"Dolores Umbridge, for example." Walburga suggested.
"Absolutely NOT!" Pollux vehemently rejected the idea. "Any future child of hers will likely become a squib like her brother."
"We can just blast them off like we did to the last one, Father." Walburga suggested.
"I'd rather minimize the risk of having new squibs in the family." Pollux replied. "Forget about Umbridge marrying into the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black."
"Yes, Father." She obeyed.
Thanks to his grandparents' protection, Regulus Arcturus Black remained safe from everyone who ever wanted to punish him for not becoming Voldemort's follower. One thing the Blacks were known for was their warding skills and Regulus living to see the day Lord Voldemort seemingly met his demise during a failed attempt to kill Sirius Black's godson Harry Potter proved it.
With the news of Voldemort being gone, several wizards and witches wanted to celebrate and, after the years he spent confined to his family's ancestral manor for safety, Regulus Black was no exception. He knew his mother and his grandparents would probably berate him for not wanting a few days until all tensions calmed down but he felt like taking a flying broomstick and flying around. It reminded him of his days playing Seeker for the Slytherin Quidditch Team at Hogwarts.
Regulus' fun was interrupted when he heard a motorcycle's noise. 'Sirius must have had the same idea as me.' Regulus thought, not knowing of anybody else who had a flying motorcycle. "I'm going to surprise him.' However, when he turned around to greet his brother, he himself got a surprise for it was Hogwarts' Groundskeeper Hagrid instead of Sirius riding the motorcycle. Curious about what would be so important to make his brother part with his motorcycle, Regulus turned himself invisible and followed Hagrid.
Hagrid and Regulus arrived at a muggle neighborhood that seemed so dull it made Regulus have more appreciation for the muggles at Grimmauld Place. To Regulus' surprise, Headmaster Dumbledore and Deputy Headmistress McGonagall were waiting for Hagrid. What really made Regulus worried instead of curious was the revelation that Hagrid took Sirius' godson to that muggle neighborhood and, according to Dumbledore, the muggles who lived at that house with a number four that was the only thing that made it distinguishable from the other muggle houses at that neighborhood albeit Regulus hoped it was just too dark to notice other differences were Harry's only family left. Regulus and his brother were estranged but he knew Sirius and his wife were Harry Potter's godparents and that officially made them more of a family to Harry than anybody else who could claim kinship to him. What could have happened to Sirius and Athena? To Regulus' displeasure, Dumbledore, McGonagall and Hagrid left without giving any clues to that question or even waking the muggles. As far as Regulus Arcturus Black was concerned, their desire not to wake them was just another reason to wake them. Another reason was Regulus' desire to know what Minerva McGonagall considered the worst sort of muggles. Of course, there was the concern for his brother's godson.
Vernon and Petunia Dursley suddenly woke up with the noise of someone knocking on the door. "Get back to sleep, Pet." Vernon gently told his wife. "I'll see who's bothering us decent people at this time of the night."
Petunia agreed and Vernon went downstairs. 'It must be one of those freaks.' Vernon thought. 'Decent people wouldn't interrupt our sleep without a really good reason.' Grunting, Vernon opened the front door and found Regulus and Harry. "Who are you? What do you want, freak?"
"Sir, my name is Regulus Arcturus Black and this is…"
"Harry Potter." Vernon stated as a matter-of-fact, surprising Regulus.
"You're not surprised?" Regulus asked in wonder.
"I've heard talks from others from your lot, Black." Vernon explained. "Several freaks were celebrating some You-Know-Who being gone without even bothering with any secrecy laws I've heard about."
Regulus didn't know what surprised him the most: that the carelessness of his fellow wizards and witches reached a level where even muggles could tell the Statute of Secrecy was being blatantly broken; or that a muggle who's allowed to know about the Wizarding World didn't know who the Wizarding World called 'You-Know-Who'.
"But, if Harry Potter is here, does that mean the part about his parents being dead is also true?" Vernon asked once he decided Regulus was taking too long thinking over his last line.
"What?" The heard Petunia ask.
"Petunia?" Vernon asked back.
"I couldn't sleep." Petunia explained. "What's that about my sister and her husband being dead?"
"Well, Mrs. …" Regulus tried to explain but was stumped at the fact he didn't know his hosts' surname.
"Dursley." She stated.
"Mrs. Dursley, it's my sad duty to inform you that James and Lily Potter are no longer among the living." Regulus sadly stated.
"How long have you known, Vernon?" Petunia asked with a glare.
"This afternoon when I heard comments from people from his lot but I wasn't certain until Regulus here brought their son to our home." Vernon answered.
"I don't know the details myself but here's a letter from Professor Dumbledore." Regulus replied as he presented the letter he found with Harry. "Hopefully it'll explain everything." 'In spite of Professor McGonagall's doubts on the matter.' He mentally added.
"Thank you, Mr. …" Petunia said as she took the letter.
"Black." Regulus reintroduced himself. "Regulus Arcturus Black."
"Black? Any kinship to Sirius Black?" Petunia asked, confirming what Regulus already suspected of how little they knew of the Wizarding World for people who were allowed to know about it.
"I am his younger brother, Mrs. Dursley." Regulus explained.
"Okay." Petunia replied and then read the letter. Regulus was amazed at the novelty of meeting people who had no prior knowledge of his family's dark reputation. He wondered if that was the reason that, among Sirius' housemates at Gryffindor, muggleborns were the ones aside James Potter to be the least reluctant about becoming friends with him.
"Why would a Headmaster be involved with former students?" Vernon asked.
"Headmaster Dumbledore's influence goes way beyond the boundaries of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Mr. Dursley." Regulus stated. "He's also the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, the Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards and the leader of those opposing He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."
"Who?" Vernon asked.
"The Dark Lord who's been terrorizing his lot." Petunia explained. "I believe his name is Voldemort."
Regulus shuddered. "It is but very few wizards and witches dared mention his name and it's too soon to know how much it'll change with news of his demise."
"Oh, he's the You-Know-Who I heard about?" Vernon asked.
"Yes." Regulus answered. "That and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named are the ways he's most commonly referenced albeit it's believed those who agree with his ideas and/or follow him call him 'The Dark Lord'."
Petunia finished reading her letter. "I don't like it. By what I get from this long-winded explanation, nobody witnessed what happened to Lily, James and You-Know-Who but Dumbledore seems to believe Lily somehow turned her death into something that protected Harry and made a Killing Curse backfire on Voldemort."
The idea of someone surviving the Killing Curse shocked Regulus so much he didn't bother with Petunia mentioning Voldemort's name. "I presume the scar is where the curse hit Harry." He said while staring at the scar.
"Or so the letter says." Petunia commented. "It also says Vernon and I are the boy's only family left."
"That's the part that worries me." Regulus said. "My brother Sirius and his wife Athena are Harry's godparents and thus their claim to Harry is supposed to be bigger than those of yours or of anybody else who could claim any sort of kinship to him and it worries me to think of what happened to them."
"Didn't Dumbledore tell you?" Vernon asked. Deciding it was time to tell the truth, Regulus told them how he happened to be there. "And those freaks just left a baby at somebody's doorstop?" Vernon angrily asked. "What if somebody took him from there before we got out? We'd not even know the boy was there before somebody showed up to ask for him."
"What do we do?" Petunia asked.
"You and Vernon will hopefully raise Harry like you'd raise any child of yours while I'm checking what happened to Sirius and Athena." Regulus suggested.
"We have a son who's older than Harry by merely one month and a few days so that won't be a problem." Vernon commented. Regulus gave his goodbye and left, only staying around at the neighborhood long enough to figure out he's at Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey.
Author's Note: For readers who were expecting a new chapter of "What if Sirius didn't Get the News?", don't worry. I'm still working on it. I just felt the need to start this one after getting permission to use "Black Bond".