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Reaction to deaths in the Black family
The year is 1979. Jo's Black family tree tells us that both Orion Black and Cygnus (Mrs Black's brother) died in this year. Regulus disappears the same year. Mistress becomes "mad with grief". I'm thinking it was not immediately thought that Regulus was dead.
How do you think these events were relayed in the Wizarding news. Blacks are a prominent pureblood, socialite, galleons-donating family. Orion and Cygnus' deaths must have been typically natural. But do you think Regulus's death became public? Or Walburga and Orion (if he died after his son) would have tried to shush it down with their connections and gold. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I think they were a little more human than that.
Is it likely then, for instance, that the Daily Prophet run an obituary or perhaps an editorial where Sirius was mentioned too? How would Sirius, James and Lily etc get the news?
But now I'm thinking Walburga knows very well Sirius's name would come somewhere in the speculation too and she's just not the one to let the name of her family be tarnished in the media like that. Hmm.
Question also is whether wizarding media can be put under a leash to downplay this news? How merciless do you think their reporters are? Perhaps during the First War the Ministry had a tighter hold of the Daily Prophet and its Radio Stations.
What do you think?
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Hatching Dragon's Eggs
Well, I'm not sure that I really understood your question, but...I'll give it a try.
To begin with, Orion and Cygnus's deaths were probably made public. Definitely not first page breaking news, but I'm pretty sure it was mentioned, perhaps along the lines of "Famous Donors for the Ministry Orion Black and Cygnus [insert last name, since I'm not sure] die." Then some news as to how this would effect the donations to the Ministry, etc, etc, etc.
However, as for Regulus, I don't thinks that it would be made public. After all, it would possibly create suspicion as to how he died so suddenly, followed by an investigation, and eventually to the discovery of Regulus being a Death Eater. I'm pretty sure that Walburga and Orion wouldn't want their reputation ruined like that. Therefore its likely that they bribed the Prophet into not publishing the news.
Hope that made sense and helped!
Being Saved by Our Guardian Anglia
Remember that nobody (except Kreacher) knew how Regulus died, so they probably weren't even immediately sure that he was dead.
Also, Sirius said that while his family was proud when Regulus became a Death Eater, they weren't willing to commit themselves all the way to Voldemort's cause, which suggests they wouldn't have wanted it publicized that Regulus died in Voldermort's service.
I think as far as wizarding society was concerned, Regulus Black just sort of disappeared -- and since the Blacks were known for "disappearing" members of their family that they didn't approve of (though not usually so literally), and Regulus by then probably had no friends outside of Death Eater circles, he was just pretty much forgotten.
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I would say that when Regulus dissappeared, at first the Blacks would have just thought he were away helping Voldemort and his cause with his fellow Death Eaters, therefore his dissappearance would not have worried them too much. (apart from Kreacher who was the only one to know what happened).
However after a time, the Blacks would probably have realised Regulus would not be returning. But like previously mentioned, they would not announce it to the world because of the suspicious circumstances and would not want the Black name "tarnished".
Hope that's answered your question (well at least part of it) .
De-gnoming the Garden
I agree with you on that. I can see a small article or something in regards to Orion and Cygnus (nothing too elaborate) to acknowledge their deaths as well as their contributions. Yet the Blacks are a very proud family, so I'm sure they wouldn't want anything that could possibly stir up any gossip. They would want a little something mentioned of them that would be memorable but nothing showy.
Originally Posted by majestic_ginny
But you're right about Regulus, I don't think it would have been mentioned either. Kreacher was the only one who knew that he had died. So what was there to say at that time? Since the Blacks haven't fully pledged their allegiance to Voldermort, they wouldn't want the controversy over Regulus' disappearance to tarnish the family name.
I see the Blacks (or more so the older generation of Blacks) as the types who work behind the scenes instead of showing off their wealth like the Malfoys. I see them more of a Wiziarding version of the British Royals. They are a well establish pureblood family, so they don't need that type of public acceptance amongst their own. They're name speaks for itself in the Wiziarding world. So because of that, I would think they would shy away from anything that would cause them to be a public spectacle in any harsh way.
With that said, I would rule out any form of media attention in regards to an obit in the Black family. I think they would keep their mourning quite and respectful without a full on affair or any form of public display of grief.
Considering the contrubtions that they've made, I'm sure some money has been slipped into some reporter's hands to keep things quite.