Tis’ the damn season (Regulus Black)
Summary - The war ruined many things, including Regulus Blacks relationship. Or did it?. OR. Based on tis the damn season by Taylor Swift.
Warning: swearing. Nothing else I can think of. Not a huge fan of the Epilogue but I tried to rewrite it 3 times and never liked it so it is what it is. Hasn't yet been proofread and was half-written at 4 am.
Word count: 4,578
Reading Time: 16 mins 39 secs
If I wanted to know who you were hanging with
While I was gone I would have asked you
After the war ended in 1981, large numbers of witches and wizards left Britain to start a new life away from the memories that had tainted the grounds at home. Y/n was one of these witches. She had moved to France before the year was over and only returned once a year at Christmas time.
It was always nice to see her friends again. She missed them when she was away. The limited-time they had together was spent catching up and relaxing after another often stressful year.
Currently, she was sitting around one of her old best friends dining table with 7 of their school friends. It had been a busy year for the group. Elsbeth Macdonald, Y/n's old roommate, had recently become Elsbeth Rowle after marrying her Hogwarts sweetheart Fenris in the autumn.
The newlyweds were sat next to each other across the table and next to them sat Evangeline Burke and Jamie Fawley. The two had become parents within only months of each other. Y/n was yet to meet the next generation of the friend group, however was sure she would in due time.
Then there was Ophelia Rookwood, who had been promoted to head of Magic Law Enforcement In January and was doing everything she had planned to do while in school.
Finally, sitting next to Y/n, was her ex-boyfriend. Regulus Black. They had been disgustingly in love for 5 years, then one day to everyone's surprise they ended. The pair had been making small talk, discussing their families and jobs, as one does with their ex-partner.
"I was seeing someone," He told her as he picked up his fork, looking away from her as the words tumbled from his lips. She felt her heart begin the sink a little bit, she had only ever been on dates since their breakup, and nothing ever got past the first date.
"Oh ye?" She asked, attempting not to sound as if the news bothered her.
"Ye, Eden Greengrass" He responded simply. The group had all split into separate conversations by this point in the afternoon, and good thing because this conversation would have been nothing but awkward if it had to happen with everyone involved "It's over though, I ended it about a month ago" she simply responded with a small murmur of acknowledgement.
There's an ache in you put there by the ache in me
But if it's all the same to you
It's the same to me
Their breakup had been a surprise to everyone who knew them, however it was quickly put down to the aftermath of the war and was believed to have had nothing to do with their love for one another. They like many others had survived the war together, yet the relationship couldn't survive the healing that was needed afterwards.
They had attempted to make it last, but within only a month they had separated and the 20-year-old witch had moved overseas. Her immense amount of trauma from the things she had seen resulted in the quick deterioration of almost everything in her life, including him.
And no matter how hard she tried to move on she couldn't. She would go on dates and none of them would compare to him. They never lived up to what she wanted them to be, but how could they when she viewed him as nothing short of perfect. And even more so the way she felt when she was with him was perfect, and no one would ever be able to replicate that.
She never knew that he was experiencing the same thing. He got a lot further than she did in his attempts at a relationship, however as soon as they began asking what their relationship was he would end up leaving.
But during the holidays it was as if nothing had happened, or rather nothing had gone wrong. She treated him the way she used to and he pretended that this was enough for him, that two weeks out of the year was long enough to keep him going. In response, she would pretend that she didn't know this was what he wanted all year round, and would bury the thought that it's all she could dream off.
So we could call it even
You could call me babe for the weekend
'Tis the damn season, write this down
After only being back two days she was staying at their once shared townhouse in central London, having inherited a small fortune each and investing in the property while still together. They easily fell into a routine similar to that of what they had before the breakup, only easier.
There wasn't the pressure of making it work because they both knew they weren't together, and they didn't have the worries caused by the war. For 2 weeks they could happily pretend nothing had ever gone wrong, that the war hadn't happened and that they weren't both fairly traumatised from the horrors of their younger years.
The sound of the shower running up the stairs was the only thing that could be heard in the house. Y/n was in the large kitchen attempting to cook them dinner in the muggle way. Busying herself with cutting the vegetables she never noticed their old tabby cat entering the kitchen.
She gave a small gasp when she felt the small creature brush past her leg, before letting about a laugh and kneeling down the cats level.
"Hello darling, what are you doing sneaking up on me?" she ran her hand down the cats back as it purred. "I missed you goldie"
Little did she know that Regulus had made his way down the stairs, having had his shower and smelt that she was cooking downstairs, coming to meet her in nothing but a towel. When she came into view he found himself resting against the doorway, watching her in their kitchen like she'd never left. A smile graced his face as he watched her looking so natural in their place, looking as beautiful as she always did.
"What are you cooking babe," he asked her, making his presence known. She straightened up and turned to look at him, returning the smile he was giving her.
"Well I'm attempting to make vegetable soup, but it's not going to be great" they laughed at her statement, it was well known between the two that she wasn't the best cook.
"Why didn't you get Kreacher to make it," stepping behind her and wrapping his arms around her waist, watching over her shoulder as she continued cutting the vegetables into what were meant to be equal-sized pieces.
"He's gone to sleep I think, and I didn't want to disturb him. He's been working even harder since I've come back" she told him and he left a gentle kiss to the back of her neck in response, mumbled a small 'of course'. He had always loved that she valued their house-elf, that she didn't treat him the way many with their upbringing did.
I'm stayin' at my parents' house
And the road not taken looks real good now
And it always leads to you in my hometown
Whenever she didn't stay the night at Regulus' she would stay at her family home in the countryside of greater London. These nights were few and far between during the weeks she was home, but she knew she had to see her parents at some point during the year. Even if their relationship was complicated.
"And how is Regulus doing these days," her father asked her over the dinner table, her mother glancing up at her after hearing the question.
"He's doing well, he's been promoted at the ministry" she responded, digging into her food once again to attempt to avoid any further questions.
"Are you back together?" her mother now asked, putting her fork down and dabbing the corner of her mouth with her napkin.
"No, not really" her short response didn't go down well with either of her parent's, it was clear they perceived it as rude.
"You stay at his house, or should I say your old house, almost every night. How aren't you back together" the older witch snapped
"I don't know how many times I need to tell you mother, it's a complicated situation. It has been for a long time" she sighed and her mum scoffed at the answer she received.
"I don't understand what's complicated about it, we understand that the war was difficult for you, but it was difficult for everyone. But most don't run off to a preposterous muggle village and cosplay as one of them" her mother's voice flew over her head, the hatred crystal clear in her tone.
She was used to the sly, demeaning remarks regarding her relationship with the youngest Black son and the way she chose to live her life after the war. When they had only been together for around 3 months their parents had begun planning their marriage. It had been perfect for them, two pureblood children who had gotten together of their own accord. It was perfect until they then broke up of their own accord, or rather her own accord.
"For a lot of people what you went through would be easy" her father finally spoke up "Just look at your brothers" Her head snapped up at this statement, standing abruptly from the table.
"Albion and Beyron were death eaters Father, all the suffering they faced and will continue to face is of their own doing. They are the only people to blame," she snapped and her mother rolled her eyes.
"And what did your dear Regulus do during the war?" the matriarchy of the family snarked. The loyalty for her older brothers still ran deep within the family, even as they rot in a cell miles away in Azkaban. Any disrespect to their name within the house was never taken well.
"He was 16, he never got the choice. He done what he had to do not only to survive but to keep me alive. They made a decision at 25 years old and made that choice a reality. No one forced their arm out" turning swiftly on her heel she exited the room, hearing her dad mumble 'what will we do with her' before she shut the door on them. Quickly making her way to her childhood bedroom she collapsed on the bed, sighing.
The more she let herself think about it the more she regretted leaving Regulus that day. Had she not they'd likely be married by now. She'd have a new family with someone she loved rather than people she was forced to tolerate. She could have been happy had the war not fucked everything up. Had it not fucked her up. And no matter what she did to try and get better, to get her life back on track, she ended up back on his doorstep. Because it always led back to him.
I parkеd my car right between the Methodist
And thе school that used to be ours
The holidays linger like bad perfume
After New Year Regulus planned for the two to have a weekend away in Hogsmeade village. They were staying for one night at the local inn, the three broomsticks. They travelled by flow and after they had discarded their bags in their room they made their way down into the bar, his hand holding hers.
They spied Rosmerta behind the bar and smiled at her when she recognised them.
"So where to first milady" they spent the day entering shops and cafe's they used to regular while at school, before finally ending up on top a hill they used to sneak to after curfew. It sat a few minutes out of the village and gave a clear few of the grand castle they had called home for many years.
For the first time since they arrived a silence fell over them, and to neither's surprise it was a sad silence. There were still lights on in the far off castle, the only proof that there were people living there currently, even during the holidays. They could see the figure of a large man making his way out of the forest, and they quickly assumed it was the gamekeeper, Hagrid.
"I'd give anything to go back for another year. Preferably 5th year, when we'd recently gotten together and were either too naive or too caught up in ourselves to care about what was going on outside the castle" he mumbled, his arm wrapping around her shoulders. "The war was only a whisper I heard when I was home, or sometimes from the kids in the years above who knew everything about current affairs"
"Everything was so much easier then. And we were essentially glued at the hip" she acknowledged with a small smile. It was true, for them at least, that life got significantly more complicated after they left the four walls that was their boarding school.
"We still could be, glued at the hip" he whispered and she simply let out a sigh.
"I know, I'm sorry. It's just difficult to not think about what could have happened if we had the life we planned when we lived here"
The end of the holidays was beginning to linger, and both their desperation for more time was beginning to show.
You can run, but only so far
I escaped it too, remember how you watched me leave
But if it's okay with you, it's okay with me
"What are you doing?" she heard Regulus' voice from the entry to their bedroom and froze as she realised her plan had been disrupted. Turning slowly to face him his face fell even further when he noticed the tears rolling down her face.
"I'm sorry Reg" he wouldn't have heard her had the room not have fallen deathly silent.
"What are you doing?" he repeated.
"Please don't make this harder than it has to be, you know what I'm doing" she responded, her jumpy voice making it clear she had been crying for a while.
"Don't leave. Darling, please don't leave" he begged her, following her down the stairs as she pulled her large suitcase and two large bags with her. She glanced at the bouquet of flowers he had discarded on the kitchen counter, it was clear he had bought them for her on his way home from work and she couldn't hold in the sob that left her lips.
"I'm sorry, but I can't stay here. There are too many memories in London, in the wizarding world," she explained as best she could while trying to catch her breath. He had come to a stop in front of her and attempted to touch her arm but pulled back when she moved away from him.
"It'll get better with time though my love. We will make it through like we always do"
"It'll never get better here, everything has bad memories attached and everywhere is surrounded by death, all the time. I just can't do it anymore, I've tried and I can't do it" she opened the door starting to leave when he wrapped his hand around her wrist, pulling her back to looks at him.
"Let me pack a bag, we can leave together. Wherever you want. We can work it out together. Things will get better" the desperation in his tone was clear as day, and she had to do everything in her power to stop herself from crumbling into his arms and staying.
"No Regulus, things will never get better as long as I'm with you" she didn't mean to say the words, they had left her mouth before she could even consider them. His mouth fell open slightly at the declaration and she felt another round of tears cascading down her face and neck. Quickly she slipped the engagement band of her ring finger that it had only decorated for a few months and slipped it into his hand, leaving before he could say anything more.
Sleep in half the day just for old times' sake
I won't ask you to wait if you don't ask me to stay
So I'll go back to L.A. and the so-called friends
Who'll write books about me, if I ever make it
The holidays were over, tomorrow she would return to her muggle job in her muggle town in France. She wouldn't return to London, or most likely the Wizarding world for another year and this fact was beginning to set in again. It wasn't her family she would miss, and though she would miss her friends it wasn't them she was sad to be leaving. It was Regulus.
The war had been over 5 years now. Just as long as they had been dating. She would only see him at Christmas then would somewhat easily leave to head back to France, where she could live free from the ghosts at home. But this year felt different. The country seemed to be beginning to heal. It wasn't so dark anymore. People were happy more than they were sad, which was something she hadn't experienced here in years. People, including herself, were starting to heal.
She decided that Sunday morning that she deserved a lie in. The pair seemed to have come to a mutual agreement on this. His arms were wrapped gently around her bare body, her hand running through his hair, she watched peaceful expressions grace his features as he looked at her through half-shut eyes. She smiled as she thought back to the many mornings they spent together in the Slytherin dorms doing just this. When he finally arose she knew it was time to start getting ready to leave, and he knew it too.
"Is that you off then?" he asked her with a sad smile as she entered the living room with her suitcase and bags, similar to what she had the day she left. Goldie the cat jumped off his lap and approached her.
"Ye I think I have everything" she responded simply. She had wanted him to ask her to stay earlier in the day, but when the statement never left his mouth she knew it was best she left. She was the one who had broken things off in the end, so what could she expect.
He stood up and made his way over to her, wrapping his arms around her and she returned the gesture. "Stay safe over there, and if you need anything just write" he whispered into her hair, pulling away briefly before pressing his lips to hers, holding her face gently in his hands.
And wonder about the only soul who can tell which smiles I'm fakin'
And the heart I know I'm breakin' is my own.
To leave the warmest bed I've ever known
After returning home a deep loneliness sank into Y/ns life. Her friendships all suddenly felt surface level and simple. Any romantic feelings she had for anyone when she left for England had disappeared as the only thing she could think about was the dark-haired boy living in London. He plagued her every thought.
It was as though she had been given a taste of everything she could ever want, of the beautiful life she could be living, only to have it snatched away by her own hand. The regret she faced as she came to accept that the bubble she had lived in over the Christmas break wasn't real life was more difficult this year than it ever had been before.
The only friendship she had in France that truly remained by spring that year was that with Monet. She was a muggle only one year younger than her and they had become quick friends all those years ago when she first moved to France. Monet had never met her friends from home or her parents for obvious reasons, but she had heard plenty about Regulus.
"Y/n you know I love you, and I would hate for you to leave this town. But whatever it is that went on in England that meant you had to get away, it seems you are starting to recover. I see no reason why you and Regulus can't work this out now" she reasoned as she poured herself another glass of wine.
"It's not that simple Monet" Y/n responded sadly, siping her own glass of the rich red liquid.
"It is that simple, you just don't want it to be because it's hard to accept that all this pain wouldn't be worth something. But it would be worth something even if you got back together Y/n because you're happy now. I don't need to know what happened to know I met you at your lowest, but you aren't there anymore"
She knew Monet was correct. Visits home were far easier than they once had been. She was primarily hurting herself and there was no longer any justification for it, her happiness over the holidays proved just that. She would never experience a love like the one she had with him, he was her one true love and nothing would ever change that.
And it always leads to you in my hometown,
It always leads to you in my hometown
And that's how she found herself stood on his doorstep in the middle of spring, a season she hadn't seen grace the streets of London in years. The seasonal rain had soaked her through as she stood outside the house willing herself to just ring the doorbell. She could hear muffled music playing behind the door and light flooding out from the windows and under the door. At long last she finally pressed the bell, feeling her heartbeat increase drastically when the music turns down noticeably. Within what felt like seconds the door had swung open and Regulus was standing staring at her in shock.
He let her in before running up the stairs and grabbing her some dry clothes, giving her room to change before joining her in the living room with two mugs of tea.
"Are okay," he asked her once he had settled beside her, handing her the warm liquid. The radio was still playing quietly from the kitchen, drifting through the house alongside the smell of tea. She simply nodded her head at his question, giving him little to go off.
"Y/n" he broke the silence after another minute "what are you doing here?"
"I think I might be moving back to London," she turned to look at him and his eyebrows raised at the news. There were many things he considered that could result in her showing up on his doorstep in the middle of spring, this was never on the list.
"Did something happen?" he asked her gently, his hand resting over hers.
"I love you" he exhaled at this news and she let out a small sad laugh "I love you and I can't act like two weeks a year is enough for me anymore. I need you all year, during all seasons, through the ups and downs. Because you're my person and no one will ever compare, everything always leads back to you"
"I love you too my darling, I always have and I always will" he whispered before taking her into his arms, running his hand over her still wet hair.
16 years later.
After the couple reconciled they had quickly settled into a happy life together. Within a year and a half they were married and living the reality they had always planned together. Their shared townhouse that had once been lonely and cold was filled with warmth and laughter, even before they introduced children into the mix.
It had only taken 5 years for them to have their first child together at the age of 30. They named him Olliver Phineas Black. Then came their daughter 2 years later, Genevieve Monet Black. Then finally 3 years later their final child Aleron Sirius Black.
At the beginning of the second wizarding war, only a few months before the birth of Aleron, the family fled to the familiar village in the south of France to hide from the horrors they had already faced once before. They survived much like they did the first wizarding war and their children being too young to truly understand the horrors was a small comfort. Returning to London was far easier than it had been the first time. The fear ended with the battle, as finally Voldemort was dead. He wasn't coming back. It was finally done.
"Olliver sweetheart are you almost ready to go, we don't want to be late" Y/n yelled up the stairs, helping her 6-year-old son tie his shoes. "Reg is Genevieve ready"
"Yes darling, she's in the livingroom" Regulus mumbled, patting his wife shoulder comfortingly "Don't worry, we're on schedule"
"We can't let him miss the train" she stressed and Regulus just chuckled lightly under his breath
"He won't" any response she was going to give was cut off by their youngest pulling on her hair to gain her attention.
"Mummy where are we going" Aleron questioned
"Your brother is going away to school, the same school Mummy and Daddy went to" She answered with a smile, tucking a piece of hair that was falling into his eyes behind his ear. She heard Olliver begin descending the stairs and picked up the little boy as he continued playing with her hair.
"Will I get to go one day" he questioned
"When you're a bit older baby" she answered. "You ready to go Gen," she asked Genevieve as they pilled their eldest's trunk and owl into the car they had rented from the ministry to get to the station.
In less than half an hour they were stood beside the barrier to platform 9 and 3/4.
"Regulus, you go through first with Genevieve and Aleron. We'll be right behind you" Regulus did as she asked and ran through the barrier with his two younger children, presumably waiting for his wife and firstborn on the other side of the wall.
"Mum, I'm nervous" Olliver whispered from beside her. She looked down at her son and smiled at him.
"You've got nothing to worry about Ollie, Hogwarts is an amazing place. I have no doubt you'll love it" She comforted him and he nodded simply. He nodded at her in acknowledgement "Honestly, you'll feel at home in no time, just wait until you see the castle tonight"
After making it through the barrier, they helped him get his stuff onto the train before hugging him goodbye.
"Make sure and write at least once a week Olliver" Y/n yelled after him as he hung out one of the windows waving goodbye to them. The last thing they saw was a boy and girl roughly his age opening the carriage door and shaking his hand before he disappeared into the distance. Regulus squeezed her shoulders from behind her and she smiled up at him through teary eyes.
"Don't cry, love. He'll be back at Christmas" he whispered, leaving a kiss on her cheek.