There are a few instances in the movies where we are presented with the acronym R. A. B. Although most people who were watching the movies remained clueless as to what the letters stand for, any book reader immediately knew the true meaning of the letters and who the movie is hinting at. So, if you haven’t read the books you are probably wondering who is R. A. B.?
R. A. B. is the initials of Sirius’ younger brother Regulus Arcturus Black. Although the movies don’t mention him much there is quite a bit of information presented about him in the books.
Since the movies quickly glance over him, most people don’t know why he was important for the overall story. If you’d like to know why Regulus is referred to as an unsung hero or you simply want to learn a few interesting things about him keep reading.
1. Who is RAB in Harry Potter?
We are first introduced to the mysterious RAB during a scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1. After Harry, Ron and Hermione escaped the Deatheaters at Bill and Fleur’s wedding, they went to 12 Grimmauld Place.
After staying the night the trio explored the house and found a door labeled RAB. At first glance they did not know what the acronym stood for, however, Harry quickly concluded the letters were initials of Sirius’ younger brother’s name, Regulus Arcturus Black.
Aside from that brief reference and another short scene, the movies don’t really mention Regulus however, in the books; Regulus is quite an important character. Quite opposite from the movies, books actually provide us with a lot of information about Regulus.
He was born in 1961. to the noble house of Black. His parents were the pureblood English witch Walpurga and pureblood English wizard Orion. His older brother Sirius was a more prominent character in both books and movies. Other popular characters from his family include his cousins Bellatrix Lestrange, Narcissa Malfoy, and Andromeda Tonks.
His family was one of the Sacred 28, a group of magical families that remained truly pureblood until his time. Most of those families had strong beliefs regarding the blood status of other magical people, perceiving themselves as better in comparison to others due to their blood status.
For most of these families, their beliefs usually led them to support Lord Voldemort. Regulus’ family was known as one of the most loyal servants to the Dark Lord’s cause.
Regulus, unlike his older brother, had a good relationship whit his parents despite not always agreeing with their ideology. He followed their advice and as the perfect son joined the Deatheaters after he graduated from Hogwarts.
This in turn worsened his relationship with Sirius. The two had a strained relationship ever since they got sorted into different houses in Hogwarts. Sirius gained new friends and eventually even ran away from his home to live with his Friend’s family.
Although it may seem quite sad, Regulus’ most loyal friend was the Black family house-elf, Kreacher. Regulus always treated him with kindness and in turn, Kreacher became extremely attached and faithful to him.
After graduating from Hogwarts he joined the Deatheaters, much to the delight of his parents, and became one of the most trusted among Voldemort’s associates.
After learning how far the Dark Lord was willing to go to achieve his goals, Regulus turned on him and decided to destroy his Horcrux to help the Order in their battle against him. Unfortunately, he found it but couldn’t escape with it. This quest caused his death at the young age of 18.
2. What was Regulus like?
Physically, Regulus was described as resembling his older brother. He had the same dark hair and striking good looks that ran in their family. It was often pointed out that he was a smaller more innocent-looking version of his older brother.
Personality-wise he is best described as someone best described by his loyalty a trait that left a big mark on his life. The loyalty towards his family is what made him stay with his family and ultimately join the Deatheaters.
Regulus was also extremely intelligent and successful academically. He had proven himself as a competent wizard and someone who was among the best students in his year. He was also the first person who managed to figure out Lord Voldemort’s plan as well as trick him into revealing the plan and its mechanics to him.
Another one of his defining traits was his pride. There were a lot of things Regulus was proud of from his heritage, his own accomplishments, and his Hogwarts house, the one thing that is explicitly pointed out in the book series.
Harry describes his room at 12 Grimmauld Place as full of Slytherin banners and memorabilia. He also remarks that there were signs on his bedroom door resembling something he could find at Percy’s Weasley’s door as well.
J. K. Rowling described him in an interview as his generation’s Draco Malfoy. He was just a kid shaped by his parents’ ideals. Since he was immersed in the blood status ideologies from a young age he saw nothing wrong with it.
Both of them grew up and adopted those same beliefs, being lured by certain elements they liked but ultimately finding themselves in too deep. Although they held their beliefs close to hearth they ultimately did the right thing.
The only difference is that Regulus actually died doing the good thing. You could say he was an unsung hero in the battle against Lord Voldemort.
3. Which house did Regulus belong to whilst attending Hogwarts?
Regulus was attending Hogwarts from 1972 to 1979. Much like the rest of his family, Regulus was sorted into Slytherin. However, upon further looking into his character it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Regulus, through his actions, showed immense bravery. He went against the most powerful wizard of his time on his own. Aside from that, he exhibited other traits typical for Gryffindors, such as chivalry and honesty.
However, this by no means entails that he did not possess qualities of an average Slytherin as well. He always wanted to prove himself to his parents and peers. He was also extremely ambitious and determined.
At first glance, this doesn’t make any sense but the most likely explanation for this occurrence is that the Sorting Hat took his own wishes into consideration since he exhibited trains from more than just one house.
This is actually more common than most people believe. Obviously, the example everyone thinks of is Harry, but when you consider it there are a bunch of characters that got sorted into houses they seemingly don’t belong to.
The way Regulus was raised and the environment he was surrounded with during his early years would probably believe Slytherin was the best house. In addition to this, His parents were extremely disappointed when Sirius got sorted into Gryffindor, so it would make sense to assume he also didn’t want to get into any other house to avoid causing the same disappointment.
Because of this, at least subconsciously, Regulus wanted to get into Slytherin and the Sorting hat went off his wishes when making the decision.
4. Did Regulus play Quidditch?
Whilst attending Hogwarts Regulus played Quidditch. He showed promise which is why he quickly became one of the most important players on the Slytherin team.
Not much is known besides that, however, once Harry finds a picture of him and his teammates posing before a game with their house head, Horace Slughorn, he concluded based on the seating order that Regulus played the position of Seeker.
5. Why did Regulus join the Deatheaters?
As it was already mentioned, Regulus grew up in a household heavily influenced by pureblood ideologies. As such it is only natural that he grew up believing those views were true.
From a very young age, Regulus admired Lord Voldemort and his quick rise to power. He shared the same ideology, Regulus grew up with which is why he believed he would make the wizarding world better than it was at that time.
As time went on, this admiration only amplified, especially during his time at Hogwarts. Regulus, being sorted into Slytherin got into an echo chamber of a sort where he was surrounded by the people who shared his opinions and beliefs which they did not really get challenged at all.
Although we can’t confirm this, Regulus was most likely a part of the group of future Deatheaters. This group featured many prominent Deatheaters such as his cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange, and Severus Snape.
There is a possibility that he originally did not want to join Voldemort, especially if we take his later actions into consideration. However, there are a few important reasons which would push him into Joining Lord Voldemort even if he didn’t want to do it.
Firstly, after witnessing how harshly his parents treated Sirius for being different and not adhering to their values, Regulus was scared to disappoint his parents. He feared they would treat him the same way they treated his older brother and he has mentioned on numerous occasions how much the lack of his mother’s hesitation to use the Cruciatus curse to punish Sirius scared him.
Secondly. after Sirius left his mother burned his face on the family tree tapestry. This showed him clearly that whoever disagreed with his parents and the ideal they valued would be disowned. Once Sirius ran away he could stay with any of his friends and James’ parents welcomed him with open arms.
However, if this happened to Regulus he truly would not have anywhere to go. Hi did not have any friends aside from his family and it was reasonable to assume if he denounced their ideology he would not be welcomed in their homes either.
Lastly, both of his parents were thrilled once he was sorted into Slytherin and were very content with the image he had in Hogwarts. Being intelligent and upholding their ideals made him the perfect son. Because Sirius was the polar opposite of his brother, Regulus felt obligated to uphold this image and prove to his parents that he was a good son. He believed that not joining Voldemort would tarnish that image in their eyes.
6. Why weren’t Regulus and Sirius friends?
Although not much is known about their relationship while they were kids, by the way, Sirius talks about him it would be safe to assume that they got along nicely as any other pair of brothers their age.
As they grew older their relationship strained. Once Regulus made it to Hogwarts he got sorted into Slytherin and not Gryffindor like his older brother. While Regulus kept to himself and hadn’t made any new friends, Sirius found himself in a new friend group. As Sirius started spending more time with Pete, James, and Remus the brothers grew apart.
This was further amplified once Sirius started to express his hatred towards his family and their beliefs freely. Sirius wanted to be nothing like the rest of his family and Regulus just wanted to uphold his family image and that causes them to stop interacting almost altogether.
This took complete effect once Sirius ran away from home and left Regulus with his parents, mostly due to his support towards his family and their ideology.
Although it is abundantly clear that Sirius hated his relatives and felt more at home with the Potters it seems he did not have the same feelings regarding Regulus.
When telling Harry about him, he makes it clear he believes his brother was a good person who blindly trusted their parents. He doesn’t blame Regulus for what he did and does not consider him an evil person but rather a confused boy who got entangled with the wrong people.
7. How did Regulus Black know the locket was a Horcrux?
Although Horcruxes are extremely rare and require a lot of knowledge and magical power to actually get created successfully, they existed for a while before Voldemort discovered them. In fact, Voldemort wasn’t the first wizard who created one.
The first recorded Horcrux was created by Herpo the Foul, who was an extraordinary Dark wizard in ancient Greece. He came up with the idea of creating such a magical object and created it to test his theory out.
That being said, he and Voldemort are the only known wizards who used this kind of magic. Since so much time has passed and most people forgot about the existence of the Horcruxes and they weren’t a part of the school curriculum, even at Durmstrang Institute, Voldemort was convinced no one would be able to figure he was using them.
This notion paired up with his cheeky attitude caused by his vision of himself as the most powerful wizard of all time prompted Voldemort to start dropping subtle hints to everyone.
We actually witnessed this in the movies. During Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, once harry and Cederic get transported to the graveyard in Little Hangleton.
During the scene where Voldemort gets a new body from Peter, Voldemort called for his Deatheaters and while he talks to them he hints his spirit was alive all the time.
Voldemort acted the same way toward his Deatheaters and enemies during his first rise to power. One of those people was Regulus. After talking about it with Regulus, he decided to research it a bit to figure out what it was that Voldemort was using to get his way.
Regulus realized that Voldemort was using Horcruxes to make sure his and since he believed that was taking things too far since it involved murder he decided to turn on his master.
Now that he knew what is it that he was looking for Regulus had to find the object Voldemort used to create the Horcrux. However, since the locket wasn’t in Regulus’s possession he had no way of knowing the piece of jewelry was the Horcrux.
Tom Riddle found it in possession of Hepzibah Smith, a wealthy witch with an affinity for collecting rare artifacts. After killing her and repossessing the locket which was his birthright, Tom Riddle used it to create a new Horcrux after killing a Muggle.
He hid the Horcrux in the Crystal cave in England. To ensure the Horcrux was safe Voldemort set a number of traps to make sure anyone who accidentally stumbles inside doesn’t stand a chance of getting out.
Voldemort wanted to test this by making a creature go through all the traps just to see if he had to up the number and intensity of the traps.
This is where Regulus saw an opening to find the object. he suspected this may be a task related to the Horcrux. Regulus offered his house-elf, Kreacher for the task. Regulus instructed Kreacher to return to him and tell him about what they did.
Voldemort took Kreacher to the cave and made him go through all the traps. After Kreacher finished drinking the poison hiding the locket, Voldemort left Kreacher to die in the cave believing no one could apparate out of it.
However, elves could still apparate even if witches and wizards could not. due to Voldemort’s view as the most powerful wizard, he believed that since he could not escape the cave that way, no one else could either.
Kreacher disappeared out of the cave back to his master Regulus and told him everything about the Horcrux hidden in the cave and the mechanisms protecting it.
Regulus found an identical locket and set his mind on destroying the one in the cave. He ordered Kreacher to take him to the cave, however, believing that the elf suffered enough Regulus decided to go through with his plan on his own after making Kreacher promise him that he will destroy the locket if Regulus remains unsuccessful.
8. Why Regulus didn’t tell anyone about his plan?
One thing that confuses many people is why Regulus didn’t tell anyone about his plane. After all, he was doing a great thing and he would have been praised for his actions and probably forgiven for his work as a Deatheater the same way Snape was.
The thing most people overlook and subsequently a part of the answer to this question is the fact that once you become a Deatheater you are in it for life. It’s not like you can just hand in your resignation and continue with your life as if nothing happened.
Regulus was aware he most likely won’t make it out alive, especially after seeing what happened to Kreacher after he returned from the trip with Voldemort. If the Deatheaters found out he turned on Voldemort and he didn’t come back they would torture and kill his parents and his brother to find out about his whereabouts or simply to take revenge.
In addition to that, Regulus knew that his family supported Voldemort and his cause despite not being Deatheaters. If the news broke that Regulus betrayed the Dark Lord his parents would probably disown him.
Furthermore, if Voldemort found out that Kreacher had any information about what happened to the locked that Voldemort would kill him too. After all one house-elf is nothing compared to all the other killings Voldemort did over the years. By forbidding him from telling anyone what happened, Regulus hoped to provide some protection for him.
Lastly, if Voldemort found out someone destroyed one of his Horcruxes, he would have simply made another one and his actions would have been in vain. This way if people started destroying other Horcruxes Voldemort would rely on the locket without knowing it was destroyed.
9. Why did Regulus Black steal the Horcrux?
After finding out that Lord Voldemort was making Horcruxes, Regulus understood that he had to destroy it in order to kill Voldemort. Regulus devised a plan to steal the locket and replace it with a fake one.
After stealing it Regulus planned to escape the cave and figure out a way of destroying the Horcrux. He didn’t tell anyone about his pan since he wanted to make Voldemort mortal again without him realizing it.
That way, even if he got killed for betraying the Dark Lord he would still be mortal and the Order would have a chance of killing Voldemort for good.
However, Regulus did not know much about Horcruxes and because of that, he did not realize the flaws his plan had. If he managed to escape and actually destroy the locket, Voldemort would know instantly since he would have felt a part of him dying.
Another reason why his plan would have not worked is the fact that at that point in time Voldemort has already created multiple Horcruxes. Before the year 1979. Voldemort has turned his personal diary into a Horcrux after killing the Moaning Myrtle and his father’s ring after killing him.
This meant that even if Regulus destroyed the locked, Voldemort would still be immortal since he had two more Horcruxes Regulus did not know about.
10. Why did Regulus Black die?
Regulus Black died while trying to destroy the Horcrux he learned about from his house-elf Kreacher in 1979. The two apparated in front of the cave which was hiding the Horcruxes.
The locket was protected by several traps. The first one was a huge body of water surrounding the little island with a stand containing the locket.
When the two entered the cave Regulus used his wand to summon the boat which would transfer him and Kreacher to the small island.
Once there Regulus realized he had to drink the poison underneath which was the locket. This potion caused the person who drank it excruciating pain and drives them to the wish to die.
We saw the potion take effect of a much stronger wizard when Harry and Dumbledore visited the cave to retrieve what they believed to be the real Horcrux.
Regulus also managed to drink the entirety of the potion however he was in so much pain that he could not think straight more. Despite Kreacher’s pleas, his master crawled his way towards the lake to drink some water.
What Regulus did not know is that the lake was filled with Inferi. Inferi is essentially dead bodies reanimated through the act of Necromancy by another Dark wizard.
Dumbledore and Harry encountered them as well. They almost overpowered Harry and the only way they managed to escape is because Dumbledore managed to muster enough strength to intervene.
Regulus was not that lucky and once the Inferi started to drag him towards the lake he could not fight back.
Whit the little strength he had left he convinced Kreacher to escape and to not tell anyone what has happened to him. He also made Kreacher promise that he will try to destroy the locket. He was unsuccessful, however, once he learned Harry was after the rest of the Horcruxes he joined him on his quest to destroy them, to ensure he fulfills his master’s dying wish.