Regulus was not a particularly good role model. He wasn't good with children, he was an awkward being, and what's more, he was a bloody Death Eater.
So why, in Merlin's name had the Potter's left him Harry to babysit?!
Baby and man stared at eachother. Baby was winning.
Just the day before, Lily Potter had had a nervous breakdown, so James had decided that even in war time, you need a spot of fun.
Famous last words.
Despite his wife's various protests, James had called for Sirius, Remus and even Peter, who was awfully hard to get ahold of these days, and went out in the town.
Even knowing where his loyalties lie, they had been fine leaving him with the babe. It only cemented Regulus's theory that all Gryffindor's were utterly insane.
Regulus looked into the child's eyes, which had lost the film of a newborn, and now were a carbon copy of his mother's green. Regulus would die before letting anything happen to this child, he knew.
But the point was, The bloody idiots who let him babysit didn't! Regulus fretted over his mind shields, hoping they were sufficient in hiding any thoughts of the Potter's and their idiocy.
Merlin, he shouldn't of agreed. Why had he agreed?! Oh right, because his brother had put a hand on his shoulder, and looked at him with That look. The puppy dog eyes, to end all puppy dog eyes. He remembered his protests.
"I'm a pure blood supremacist working for the man you are trying to defeat, on the opposite end of the war, and you want me to babysit your half blood child?"
James had put his hand on Regulus's other shoulder. "Yes. I trust you Reggie. Plus, my little Hare-Bear is so cute even the Dark Bastard himself couldn't hurt him. Look at those little cheeks-" James had quickly turned to smothering his child in affection, the baby looking quite done with his father.
Poor thing, when Hadrian was older he would have an awful time dislodging his father. Sirius had beamed at him, clapped him on the back, and said "It's up to you now Reggie-"
"You know I hate that nickname" he had sighed.
"- Harry isn't very fussy anyway, but he does like to sneak away, the little bugger!" A bag full of diapers and other such horrors was shoved unceremoniously into his arms, and dragging a viciously protesting Lily, they left.
Regulus stared at where they had been moments previously and looked to the baby staring at him from his crib. They held eye contact.
"I will not clean up baby doo" Regulus told him. "And I haven't the foggiest on how to care for a child. So I hope you are potty trained." The response was a slow blink from the child, and a deliberate (for it had to have been!) Sound that sounded a lot like the baby just shit itself.
Regulus felt a bit like crying. "Evil bugger. I can tell Siri has set his claws into you"
The thing is when they returned (a four in the morning, so drunk that what came in was not a woman and two children pretending to be men, but a sailor disguised as a woman(if the string of curses was any hint) an idiot pretending to be a human, and a bloody fucking drunk Deer.
Yes, all hooves splaying across the floor, and a bloody stag just screaming. Meanwhile his brother was too busy laughing, while Lily was cursing her husband's existence and threatening to divorce him.
Regulus of course was the one to wrestle the deer down and force the man to be a man again, then wrangle all three into beds. And if he banged a couple heads, all the better. It was the night he went from unwillingly babysitting one child, to four.
He was relieved that Petigrew and Lupin had made their own ways home.
After that particular adventure, Regulus swore never again.
Only two weeks later as Lily was apologizing repeatedly, wearing a very pretty dress, as she tightened her husband's tie. (James was looking awfully blue, as he clawed at his neck). Sirius was downing some fire whiskey cursing the day Frank Longbottom swept Alice off her feet.
He stared blankly at them. "Please tell me you're joking" Lily pecked his cheek, and dragged her husband (and his husband) with her.
"Good luck! We'll be back soon! Don't worry, Harry loves you!" Once again Regulus found himself staring at green eyes, who looked unimpressed with the situation. "Idiots. " Regulus told the other. "The whole lot of them. Your mother ought have been a Slytherin" Baby Hadrian yawned.
Regulus resigned himself to his fate. He rolled the sleeve to cover the ugly mark on his arm, and hoped it wouldn't alert him of a Call.
And when he had to search all over the bloody house in a mad panic because wherethebloodyhellhadHarrygonehewasbarelyevenonedamnit.
When he found him, asleep on a half opened book, Regulus did not tear up in relief, it was the awful smell from the babies diaper, that's all. When he set the child to sleep, and green eyes slitted open, and a tiny hand grabbed his finger, his heart did not clench.
It wasn't adorable when he gurgled, nor when what sounded an awful lot like Regu was squealed whenever Regulus was near. Regulus was not fond of children, but he supposed this one was alright.
The war became even more intense, and soon, too soon, the Dark Lord was calling on Regulus more than ever.
The Potter's hid away, as soon as the prophecy reached a certain Psychopath's ears.
Severus, who had once been a dear friend, found himself loathed by Regulus. For, while all Severus thought of Lily, Regulus saw that sweet baby, and the fate that may be his. His heart lurched.
Every part of him wished to crucio the man, and then toss as many killing curses he could to the Dark Lord.
And maybe, while thinking of the child, he saw Lily's smile, and her cursing a blue streak that would have made the sternest blush, a drunk stag, and a man who was far too doting on his son and looked at his wife as though she hung the moon.
Maybe, just maybe.
If on that cold, unforgiving Christmas, he cried over the picture of a older green eyed child riding a broom while James cheered and Lily hollered, maybe he was a bit more attached than he would have liked.
Maybe that's why, when the Dark Lord requested a House Elf, and Regulus's aid, he stole that blasted locket. When he died alone in that cave, inferi reaching for him, maybe he thought of that child.
He hoped, desperately he hoped, that any other child would take his place.
For Regulus was not a particularly good role model. He wasn't good with children, he was an awkward being, and what's more, he was a bloody Death Eater. It was for that reason, he selfishly pleaded, take any one but that little green eyed devil.
Anyone but Harry