Name: Phia Phoenix
House: Ravenclaw
Title: Julia
Word Count: 486
Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-4th year, character death (sort of)
Chosen Character: Regulus Black
A/N: First drabble in, what... two and a half years? Sorry if I've done it wrong! Also, is quotewrapping a drabble not the done thing anymore? :s

Shadows kissed Regulus’ pale face as he stepped out the door of Number 12, Grimmauld Place. He had needed no excuse, no carefully-crafted lie for his outing – his parents were out, holidaying in Russia, and it had been years since Sirius had deigned come near the house. There was a taste of Spring in the fresh March air, and a spring in Regulus’ step; he practically leapt into the air as he Disapparated, so eager to pop once more into existence on the bank of a river which had become more his home than the house he left behind.

This riverbank was really nothing out of the ordinary. Snow still frosted its edges, if snow it could be called, resembling as it did sullen Butterbeer froth which refused to acknowledge that winter was over. Ducks set up a racket in resentment of the sharp sound which Apparated into the stillness with Regulus; he laughed, not caring that they may attract attention, for the trees which fringed the river blocked him from the sight of the nearby town.

He Conjured a blanket to protect his robes from the muddy ground, sat on it, and waited.

The time dragged by. The river’s chuckle became less carefree as the shadows thickened, and yet no footsteps broke the natural quiet. Regulus became uneasy; his foot tapped a dint into the soft earth, and he picked at a fray in his robes. She said she’d be here. She was never late.

Julia had always been the type of witch to hand in homework essays a day early; she’d be the first to class, and the first to the Quidditch pitch – punctual to the minute. Under her captaincy, the Ravenclaw team had ceased to suffer the affliction of lateness due to a teamful of dreamers. It was unfathomable to Regulus that she should now be late.

At last, he could bear it no longer. Springing from his seat and Vanishing the blanket, he – with a growl hidden beneath his breath – set off through the trees and into the town. So long as nobody saw him.

His parents didn’t know about Julia… after all, her grandmother had been… well, her grandmother was hardly important. Julia was a witch through and through, and the best Regulus knew. Her grandmother was nothing. And yet... Regulus drew his robes closer to him, and kept his face down. If he were to be seen here…

His eyes were still on the ground when Regulus arrived before the house he sought. And so it was that when he lifted them, the sight with which they were met brought him to his knees and wrenched a sob from his lips –

The Dark Mark hovered above Julia’s house.

Fierce tears burned his eyes, and Regulus felt the bile rise in his mouth. He shuddered, and the movement shook seven words from his lips.

‘My Lord, this has gone too far.’