Characters: Abraxas Malfoy, Orion Black, Regulus Black, Sirius Black
Word Count: 600
Prompt: Orion Black, 12 Grimmauld Place
He had been expecting the invitation. Actually, he had been expecting a visit. Abraxas would have preferred the role of host. Would not a comradely stroll through the cool gardens among the topiaries have been more reassuring and amenable that the awkwardness of the cramped city house on Grimmauld place? Young Regulus had not been seen in weeks, and even though they were not close, there were times when a man needed more than to simply breast his own griefs, as the poets said. Walpurga would scarcely be a comfort to a man who had lost his sons. Yes, he had been expecting this. They had all been at school together, after all.
Abraxas took the enclosed signet ring and spun through the aether to land with scarcely a stumble on the worn but venerable carpet in the hall of Orion's home. He was met with a cup of scotch. "So..." he said.
"So." Orion spread his hands to show there was nothing really more to be said. Yet he had requested company. Perhaps simply that would comfort him. Perhaps the simple knowledge that he could share his... His what? It was not incredulity, for he believed it. It was not grief - it ran deeper than that. It was over.
Abraxas obligingly followed him, touring the rooms, drink in hand. He was taken to Regulus' room, spotless and perfect. "Look at his books; the way he studied. Look at his clothes; the care he took. Look at the pride he had in his friends, his family, everything he did. The very House Elf has locked himself in a closet and cries for his Master Regulus."
The visit to the drawing room was surprisingly brief. They did not pause before the fireplace to pose and smoke but stood facing the back wall, covered with an ornate complex tapestry defaced by numerous burn marks. "Here he is." Orion touched the lost boy's face, whose eyes almost shone at them from the wall. He also ran his fingers over the indistinct scorch mark where the other boy would have been. "And look. This was Sirius."
There was nothing to say. What could one say? 'I'm sorry for your loss... your losses...' But Regulus had not been found dead, and Sirius was very much alive. Orion met Abraxas' eyes, his loss unspoken in dignity, but his helpless pain and almost bewilderment communicated nonetheless.
He led Abraxas to Sirius' vacant room. It was filled with Muggle nonsense. If Sirius had been Abraxas son... Well, he never would have been. And yet, Orion was demonstrating that the ridiculous... common... posters were immovable and could not be peeled from the wall. "I did that myself. She may remove my son from her precious parlour, but she will never erase his presence from this house. This was my son, in all his headstrong stupidity. This."
Yet Abraxas noticed he still used the past tense. Sirius was rumoured to be living with a well-bred but not well-raised school chum.
They returned to Regulus' room and Orion sat on the small twin bed. His weight wrinkled the coverlet and dented the pillow. Of course, it was simply not done - to sit on a bed. He was in extremis, and this small act, forgetting himself and disregarding all he knew of place and pure-blood precision, revealed it more than the tremour of his hands.
Oh yes, Abraxas had noticed. And he allowed Orion to mourn.
"I loved both my sons," Orion said. "I named them as I was named: for the very stars. My sons."
It was over.
first posted to my dreamwidth account.