Marauders Era, 6th year
“Reg, your arm,” hissed the darker skinned boy as he firmly held the arm of the Slytherin seeker. It was almost half past midnight and the Hogwarts corridors were as silent as can be. “Can you please show me your arm, love?”
His voice was calmer and softer. Regulus winced as James grabbed his arm slowly and rolled the sleeve of his robes, he had tried to mend it with the healing charms Sirius had taught him before he ran away but he couldn’t do it properly. The blood had dried and started forming a shell over the cut. James took out his wand as he looked at the scar on his inner left arm and Regulus flinched unintentionally. He had grown wary of people drawing their wands around him.
“I would never hurt you,” he said, his eyes fixated on Regulus’ deep grey ones, one of the small details that made him different from Sirius. His eyes weren’t as pale as his, they were somehow deeper or at least that was how James felt. “Let me help you.”
He muttered some inaudible spell and Regulus saw his skin stitch itself, the pain made itself heard but it wasn’t as bad as it used to me.
“Thank you,” he said without lifting his gaze from the freshly healed wound.
“Was it Walburga?”
“Who else would it be,” Regulus snapped, his eyes were burning with all the anger he had been holding in. “This is what I get for even insinuating I don’t want to get the mark.”
“You can run a–”
“They would kill me,” he interrupted, his eyes shining from the tears and the moonlight. “They would make sure I’m dead so they don’t have to deal with the humiliation. You don’t understand.”
“Help me understand,” begged James as he raised Regulus’ chin softly so that they were looking into each other’s eyes. They were almost the same height but Regulus’ always seemed smaller when it came to this matter. “I want to be there for you, I want to save you.”
“You lost the chance to save me the day Sirius ran away.”
“If you had gone with him,” mumbled James.
“What do you think would have happened if I ran away with Sirius that day?” he shouted. “That we would live happily ever after? That they would leave me be? This is not a game Jamie, I am not some damsel in distress you can save by talking and dreaming. One foot out of the line and I– I–”
He never got the finish the sentence. He felt the cold stone wall on his back as James pinned him against it, making sure he would never ever say what he was going to say. It was a desperate kiss, it was very him to do something like this. He didn’t wanted to hear the words so he had shut Regulus up the best way he knew how. Regulus felt all the air leave his lungs and him filling in the emptiness, he missed the feeling of safety that came whenever he was around James, like no matter what he would drop anything to make sure he was alright.
“Let me, let us, protect you,” he pleaded, trying to catch his breath. “I will keep them from giving you the mark if it kills me, Reg.”
Regulus stared into the void, his fists clenched on the sides of James’ robes, wanting to say yes, wanting for all this to end but he couldn’t bring himself to do it.
“I have mended Sirius’ wounds countless times, let me do the same for you,” he continued. “They are vain and cruel, they don’t deserve someone like you on their side, they don’t get to make your blood spill or your skin tear. They don’t get to destroy what we have.”
“I wish you weren’t so stubborn,” scolded Regulus. “There is no way this is going to end good for either of us. Stop thinking with your heart and try being logical.”
“My logic tells me that I can’t leave the little brother of my best friend with his disgusting parents,” began James a small grin hidden behind all his seriousness. “My heart tells me that I can’t bear fighting you when the time comes. Do you want to fight me, hidden behind a mask, Reg? Because they will make you fight against us, against me.”
Regulus’ fingers trailed James’ jawline as he took in every little detail about him, the way his eyes shined, the way his hair was so messy, the way he didn’t deserve James, the way James thought he did, all the times their hands brushed secretly, all the secret meetings behind statues, all the kisses in haste and all the kisses slow and sweet. He imagined what he would do if he was forced to fight him, to harm him but it proved impossible to even imagine hurting him.
“Just say the word and I will do whatever it takes.”