It is no secret to Regulus that his mother always liked Sirius best. She made this very clear by beating him with the cane she always carried but never leaned on, yelling at him for coming out “wrong.” He is not as good-looking as his brother, he is not as clever as his brother, and he is not as much of a Black as his brother. This was beaten into him on a regular basis until Regulus began to walk around with a slight stoop. Now his mother just slaps him across the face when he reminds her of his inadequacy. She must prevent any more deformities from forming that might soil the family line.
Sirius comes into Regulus’s room sometimes and tries to be brotherly, but Regulus hates him and will have none of it. He throws the older boy out and cries and kicks until Sirius gives up and leaves in a huff. Regulus will often see him sulking and wonders why he bothers to speak with him. He is the hated son, after all.
Once, when Sirius is seventeen, he actually crawls into bed with Regulus and holds him to his chest before Regulus has a chance to pull away. Regulus wonders if it’s meant to be a hug.
“I’m giving you what you want, Reggie,” Sirius whispers into his forehead, his breath hot and wet against Regulus’s skin, using a nickname Regulus has never been called to make it seem as if he knows him.
Regulus does not understand. “What are you talking about?”
“By this time tomorrow, you’ll be the favorite son.” Sirius slips from the bed and out of the room and out of the house and out of the Black family that night, and he never, ever comes back.
The next day, his mother kisses him for the first time and calls him her favorite, and Regulus finds that he does not hate Sirius so very much anymore.