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It takes any man to be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad -- TBD

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Post  Ignatius Harper Black on Mon May 18, 2015 9:03 pm

I lowered my eyes from the gaze of the man who'd just been confirmed as my father and set my eyes on the locket. It felt much heavier in my hand than I remembered. An equal feeling was my heart; it was so heavy that I was pretty sure my heart had sunk into the pits of my stomach. 

"Well," I mumbled, balling up the chain, "here. You take it."

Without so much as looking at Regulus, I tossed the locket to him.
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Post  Regulus Black on Tue May 19, 2015 12:47 pm

I was startled slightly when he tossed the necklace at me.  I caught it with ease, but I kept my gaze on Iggy.  I took a deep breath and let it out slowly.  This was such a bombshell to be dropped on someone his age -- it was to me when Dumbledore came and spoke with me.

"Iggy," I said to him quietly, "I know this is all... too much.  When Dumbledore came to me, I didn't believe it at first."  I was not sure if he would even want me to be near him at the moment.  I continued with what was on my mind; I wanted to at least let him know that I wanted something with him.  "If you want me to leave right now, I will.  If you want me to stay, I won't even hesitate.  I don't know if you even want to know what happened between then and now..."

I waited for any sort of reaction than the numbness that I was receiving.  Like I said, I would go if he wanted me to.
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Post  Ignatius Harper Black on Wed May 20, 2015 9:25 am

"Who do you think you are, really?" I blurted, feeling all the feels surfacing at once. 

Anger, rage, sadness, excitement, anticipation: They were all there in some form or another. On the one hand, I couldn't believe that after all this time, I was finally looking at my father. It was something that I'd looked forward to since I was a child. This part of me wanted to go to Quidditch games together, talk about relationships, all the typical father/son stuff. But, on the other hand, I was livid that he had the nerve to show his face after all this time. It was I who should've come to him, not the other away around. If I wanted to talk to him, I should've found him. And yet, I was still grateful to Dumbledore for helping me. It was all just a complicated mess.

"You left my mother high and dry, pregnant and afraid. She carries your child, tries her damnedest to raise him, dies trying, and it takes you sixteen years before you grow a pair and show your face? And it's only because of a locket? Are you kidding me? I think you're a coward, to be honest. You're a stranger to me; I don't even know you. I don't even know if I want to know you. I've done pretty damn good alone up until now."

Tears were beginning to sting at my eyes again, but I was so emotional that I didn't even care; they trickled down my cheeks, but I didn't wipe them away. Maybe they'd have some kind of effect on this piece of shit man who thought he could waltz in here and be all fatherly after all this time.
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Post  Regulus Black on Thu May 21, 2015 4:29 am

I sighed heavily.  I had expected something like this to happen - an outburst of rage and pure emotion.  I just did not expect it to be so... Black-like.  He actually kind of reminded me of Sirius when he still lived at home.  I did not interrupt him; I did not try to make any fatherly gestures. 

"Your mother told me she was going to terminate the pregnancy," I said in a soft voice when his ranting was completed.  He had all right to be furious with me.  I was not sure if he would even believe me or not, but I had to try.  "When I heard that, yes... I was a coward.  I was a stupid teenager - barely seventeen.  When I knew she was going to terminate the baby - you - I ran from the whole thing."  My voice was heavy; this always haunted me.  "I was a jerk and I was trying to disappear when I got here back then.  I didn't want the responsibility of raising a kid, so I left the second your mum told me what the plan was.  I should have gone with her.  It's the one thing that has always haunted me..."  

I had no idea if me telling part of my side of the story would help at all or not.  If I were him, I would be tossing me out right about now.  I was a bloody failure to him - in both of our eyes.  At least we had that in common.  I ran a hand through my hair.

"The only reason I came to you now isn't because of the locket.  The locket was just how I found you - just the way you were using it to search for answers yourself.  I know I'm probably nowhere close to what you wanted or imagined.  And I am sorry for that.  If I had known..." I trailed off, knowing that nothing I would say to complete that sentence would make any difference right now.
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Post  Ignatius Harper Black on Thu May 21, 2015 10:03 pm

"If you'd known anything about my mother, you'd have known she couldn't go through with the abortion," I retorted. "I don't give a damn if you regret the decisions you made. You should regret them! Ultimately, it's your fault she's dead."

OK, so maybe that last part was a little hyperbolic. What did I care, though? This man was a stranger to me; he meant nothing. And maybe the more I laid into him about how worthless a person he actually was, the more he'd realize that. 

"So why did you come here? Did you think you'd waltz in here and that I'd be all giddy and excited to meet my daddy? Yeah, right. After years of being alone, because of you, I've learned not to get my hopes up."
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Post  Regulus Black on Fri May 22, 2015 9:20 am

I had not known Elle.  For only a short amount of time she tried to save a seventeen year old boy that had no hope.  He had been so self-loathing and self-destructive.  He left everyone he ever knew and cared about because he had tried to make a difference in the Wizarding world only to have failed at it.  No, Elle had no hope in saving me back then.  I could not believe that Aims even got through to me.

"Actually I thought you'd call me a tosser and throw me out by now," I said to him honestly.  I stood up, knowing that nothing I could say would change his mind right now.  And that was okay.  I deserved every bit of the hostility that he was throwing at me.  I could tell him that I had no clue who his mother was, but he would find another way to let out his years of being alone out on me.  And he was partially right; I was to blame for why he was alone because I was ignorant enough to believe a scared woman.

"You at least don't have to search anymore.  You know who I am... but no one - especially Lyn - knows who you are to me," I assured him.  The last thing we needed was to have Madelyn get it into her head to bombard Iggy with any ideas.  I looked out the small window in the bedroom.

I would let him continue to expel all of his frustrations out on me - I really did deserve it.
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Post  Ignatius Harper Black on Sun May 24, 2015 8:04 am

In the rage that I was feeling, it hadn't even occurred to me to think about what Madelyn might feel once she found out. I would have to tell her before Regulus did. She would need to hear it from a friend, not her dad. Though, I guess it was presumptuous of me to assume I had any idea how their relationship worked -- maybe she would want to hear from her dad. Maybe she was actually close to him. And then I felt a pang of jealousy; it wasn't her fault, though. Regulus hadn't even known I existed. But that wasn't any excuse for what he did to my mother, leaving her in such a precarious situation. 

I took a deep breath. "Lucky for you, there is a part of me -- a small part -- that's happy to finally know," I admitted. "You can't even begin to understand how livid I am by this whole situation, but now that question in my life has been answered. Maybe I don't like the answer much, but at least I have it. Are you going to tell Madelyn?"
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Post  Regulus Black on Sun May 24, 2015 8:25 am

I turned to look at my son - I had another son, the idea still seemed so strange to me.  "No," I said to him.  "From what you have already said to me and that I already knew, I shouldn't have come to you.  I just could not help myself - I did not want the ignorance of my past to ruin something in the present... or future." I only added the last bit to try to let him know that I wanted some sort of relationship, if he was open to it, of course.

"I know that I should not have bombarded you like this," I acknowledged.  "I will tell my wife, though.  However, I'll let you handle how you tell your friend."  I would much rather my daughter's wrath be aimed at me rather than at Iggy for not being told of how one of her best mates was actually her half brother.  I also wanted Iggy to know that someone other than the three of us - Iggy, Dumbledore, and myself - would know about how I was his father.

A part of me, though, felt hope when he said that he was happy to know - finally - who his father was.  I just knew that there was a lot that was working against me if I wanted any sort of relationship with him.  And, unlike back then, I was willing to go through the hardships of whatever was ahead of me.  I also knew that it could lead to one of two things:  disaster or a potentially good relationship with the young man in front of me.
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Post  Ignatius Harper Black on Mon May 25, 2015 3:16 am

A long, loud exhale spilled from my nostrils. "OK," I agreed. The initial rage was beginning to subside, and I thought perhaps it would behoove me to make an effort to be more pleasant. I wasn't done being angry, but I also realized the angrier I was, the sooner he would leave. I didn't want that to happen; I had a feeling we both had questions for each other.

"So," I continued, already seeing facial resemblances between us, "is there anything you want to know about me? About my mom?"
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Post  Regulus Black on Mon May 25, 2015 4:43 am

I turned from the window and looked at Iggy.  Where was I even supposed to begin?  I wanted to know everything.  I ran a hand through my hair and took a deep breath, letting it out slowly.  There was a lot I wanted to know, but I had a vague idea on some things from what Lyn has said about their friendship.

"Well, from what had already been realized, your mum never spoke of me really... and quite right not to," I added, assuring him that I did not blame her for not speaking of me.  I would not tell my kid if they had a father like myself that I had been back then.

I changed tracks by quite a lot as I found that as full of questions as I was, none would form.  "So - erm - you're a Poe fan?" I asked, noticing different volumes on the book shelf and the book on his bed.  "I keep trying to get the university to have a class all about just Poe..."
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Post  Ignatius Harper Black on Tue May 26, 2015 1:53 am

I glanced at the book that laid beside me. It was still open, face down, pages kissing my sheets and spine smiling at the ceiling. Books had always been brief getaways from this group home, from the reality that I lived in. Sure, I was reading Poe; and yes, he was one of my favorites. His portrayal of the macabre was engrossing, mesmerizing. Honestly, I wanted to write like him: A journal lay inside the drawer of my bedside table that made attempts at embodying the gothic romantic that Poe was. I wasn't, however, about to tell Regulus all of this.

"Yeah," I agreed, wondering why they would teach Poe at a Wizarding university. "He's definitely one of my favorites. So you teach at the university? Which one?"
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Post  Regulus Black on Tue May 26, 2015 6:09 am

"I teach at New York University," I answered him easily.  Talking about something like this I could easily handle.  Trying to get to know someone who was furious with me?  Well, that was a different story.  "I was very involved in the Muggle community when I came over from England... a lot easier to hide than in the Wizarding community."

My family name was notoriously prestigious and well known in the Wizarding world for supporting the Dark Arts among other gruesome things that I wish I had understood back then.  I wanted to eradicate myself from the Wizarding community all together, but that became impossible when I met Aimee again here in the States and we had Madelyn.  She needed to go to school.  I always wondered if letting her use the real name instead of Williams was a good idea, but Aims insisted upon it.  She did not want to hide forever -- spoken like a true Gryffindor.

"And sorry, I had just thrown that out there as if you would have known where I worked," I said to him, mentally kicking myself.  "Are you really a person interested in literature or has it just been sort of thrust upon you because it's a way to no deal with this...?" I was not sure how personal he was going to let me go into his life, but I was trying to take baby steps.
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Post  Ignatius Harper Black on Sat Jun 06, 2015 10:38 pm

I raised an eyebrow and shrugged. "A little of both, I guess," I said slowly, cautiously. I wasn't sure how much of myself I wanted to reveal to someone who was nearly a complete stranger, but I had to admit that it was nice to be able to talk to a parental figure. At the home, it wasn't as though we sat down at dinner every night and went around the table talking about the day we had. No, it was more like a cafeteria system, cold and impersonal.

"What I like about literature is that it provides an escape from this" -- I gestured at the room around us -- "and I think that's why I like it. The worlds that some authors create remind me that my situation isn't so bad. And other worlds sound like paradise. I like that they're able to craft something with nothing but what's inside here" -- I pointed at my heart -- "and here" -- I pointed again at my brain. Do..."

I trailed off for a moment, genuinely unsure of whether I actually wanted to keep the conversation going. It was habit for me to close in around myself and become socially reclusive; that sort of thing happened a lot with the kids in this situation. But I decided to force myself to continue talking: "Do... do you have any favorite authors?"
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Post  Regulus Black on Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:38 am

I nodded as he spoke, completely understanding.  I had hidden in literature - which was why I became an English professor.  It was the best way to escape and try to figure out what was going on in your own life without really meaning to at the same time.  "It definitely takes talent and courage to create worlds that were once all your own and then to have others read and judge your work..."

I had trailed off because I felt like I was rambling.  And then he asked me a question.  I could not believe that he was actually keeping the conversation going.  A small smile came to my lips.

"I enjoy the work of Stephen King," I replied to Iggy easily.  "I had my own horrors I had dealt with when I lived in England, and just reading the way he depicted certain things... well, like you had mentioned, it was nice to know some people had it worse off..."
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Post  Ignatius Harper Black on Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:13 am

Unexpectedly, I felt a small smile stretch into the corner of my lips. Maybe Regulus wasn't so bad after all. I wasn't sure if I wanted to forgive him for the situation into which he had landed my mother and me, but it was nice to know that he was now well-intentioned.

"So," I wondered, "what were you hoping to gain by visiting me today?"

The question was abrupt, jolting. I'd had enough of the small talk and wanted to get to business. Madelyn had always told me about the transactional nature of the Black family. There was a give-and-take relationship among the family members: Whenever you gave something, you were able to take something else in return. I wanted to know what the exchange rate would be for a relationship for my father. Or maybe he wanted to know what he needed to do to have a relationship with his son.
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