Regulus didn’t glance back to see how the man struggled to his feet, cursed them both to bleedin’ hell and stumbled back inside the bar. No, he led them down the opposing street and would have kept running had she not stopped. There was a reason why his brother was sorted into Gryffindor, and not him. Sirius, the idiotic, went headfirst into fights. Regulus, the logical, turned tail and fled. Especially when it was against much bigger men. Together, they almost made a sensible person, or so he used to imagine when they were younger.
His hand was beginning to ache from the hit, and stupid stupid, that was the one he used to grab her with. His dominate hand, his left. As demanded, he released her and flexed his fingers, surveying the area as his breathing evened out. Good, there hadn’t been anyone to witness what he had just done. Merlin knows what sort of questions a report of that would have raised - again, the mark on his arm twinged and he fisted his hand rather than touch it.
“You’re an idiot,” Turning back to Vance, he glared at her. “What were you thinking? Do you realise that you could have been seen?” He demanded.
As he saw it, it had been her fault. That entire debacle was her doing as he had been doing utterly nothing when she came burst out of that damned door, followed by that drunkard. Had he been sober, and she hexed him, he would have sounded crazy - ranting and raving on about an evil bitch with an evil stick - but with the antics of the War, people would remember the crazy drunk if other things began happening. Muggles were not as stupid as his family, as the Death Eaters, as Voldemort painted them out to be. They would have connected the dots, then questions would have been raised and even more people would have suffered as a result - all because she had been what? groped? He rubbed at his knuckles, already feeling them swell. Well, that had no doubt at least dislocated the man’s jaw. He felt a surge of satifiscation - he had been spat at! - at the thought.
What was she thinking?
That was the problem. Emmeline was not thinking. She acted recklessly, driven by her frustrations. She did not think. At all. But she wasn’t going to say it out loud, not because Regulus Black was Regulus Black but because she was Emmeline Vance and she was had too much self-pride, too much stubbornness in tact to confess this. She didn’t need a lecture or anything close to it; nor did she need Regulus Black, of all people, to demand an explanation of sorts. Who did he think he is?
“What the fuck?” she exclaimed, retrieving her hand back as she began rubbing her arm. “I don’t need…this, especially from you. Go home and mind your own business, Black.”
She steadied her breathing - inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Yes, she could’ve been seen but really, who would believe a drunkard about a ridiculous story about a ‘witch’ - it was the seventies, witches didn’t exist, they were just part of a fairy tale - who had harassed him with a wooden stick. They would have all thought he was crazy. They would have blamed the alcohol.
Slowly but surely, Emmeline had calmed down. She was fine. Really. She hesitated for a moment, thinking if she ought to thank Regulus. But she didn’t. Emmeline knew that Regulus wasn’t doing her favours. Nor was he was acting like a hero. No. Emmeline knew the motive behind that punch was not because he wanted to save her. She wasn’t stupid and she reckoned she would have done fine without his help. Nope. It was because of the magic . It was not to prevent her from getting attacked by a man, but to prevent revealing the wizarding community.
“Nice punch,” she finally said glancing back at him, not out of friendliness but to fill in the silence.