As I mentioned previously I fancy having a go at working out what is going on in the world of Harry Potter. I’m going to split my theories up into a series of posts, each about a different element of the books. Since I’ve already mentioned him this one is going to be about RAB.
Before I continue I’m going to give some warning for those who still haven’t read the Harry Potter books. If, like me, you like to be surprised when you read something new – leave now.
RAB are the initials of a character mentioned towards the end of book 6, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. The initials are found in a message which is in a locket which is, initially at least, thought to be a Horcrux. The message reads:
To the Dark Lord I know I will be dead long before you read this but I want you to know that it was I who discovered your secret. I have stolen the real Horcrux and intend to destroy it as soon as I can.
I face death in the hope that when you meet your match you will be mortal once more.
When I read the book a single name sprang to mind immediately; Regulus Black. But how can we be sure this is correct? Obviously there is no way to be 100% certain, but I find it hard to believe the solution would be that straight forward…
Arguments FOR Regulus Black
The idea that Regulus Black is RAB is by far the most popular conclusion and there seems to be lots of things that pop up confirming the theory.
The letter refers to the ‘Dark Lord’ rather than Voldemort, or ‘he who must not be named’. Only Death Eaters call Voldermort the Dark Lord so this is our first clue that the person is Regulus since he is a Death Eater who ran away.
In the Order of the Phoenix chapter 6, ‘the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black’ it is mentioned that Sirius, Regulus Brother, had an uncle named Alphard who left ‘a decent bit of gold’ and, apparently, 12 Grimmauld Place – the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. Using names from relatives is fairly common practice in the UK. We know this has happened in the past, Ginnies middle name is Molly (her mothers name), so it’s not inconceivable that the A is his uncles initial passed down.
In the same book a ‘heavy locket that none of them could open’ is mentioned which is found in 12 Grimmauld Place, it couldn’t be opened and was thrown away, but we later learn that Kreacher, the house elf, has stolen the it. Could this be the Horcrux that was replaced by the locket that Dumbledore and Harry found?
Arguments AGAINST Regulus Black
Hands up, I don’t have ANY sort of argument against Regulus Black being RAB, apart from my gut feeling that it’s so obvious that it can’t be true. It has been speculated the R.A.B. is the initials for two people, R And B – but I find the unlikely as well. If it was R and B then the A would be little and wouldn’t have a full stop after it. In fact R and B would most likely be written that way and not made to look like a single name.
What people don’t realise is that Sirius Black is a false name,’ says Mrs Purkiss. ‘The man people believe to be Sirius Black is actually Stubby Boardman, lead singer of popular singing group The Hobgoblins, who retired from public life after being struck on the ear by a turnip at a concert in Little Norton Church Hall nearly fifteen years ago. I recognised him the moment I saw his picture in the paper. Now, Stubby couldn’t possibly have committed those crimes, because on the day in question he happened to be enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with me. I have written to the Minister for Magic and am expecting him to give Stubby, alias Sirius, a full pardon any day now.
I’m guessing this is a reference to Regulus since we know Sirius was there ‘the day in question’ (although he IS innocent). Also in an earlier chapter Sirius mentions that Regulus died 15 years previously, which would be the same year Harry’s parents were killed, and probably before Sirius was taken to Azkaban. JK rarely mentions anything without some sort of reason so is this is some sort of proof that Regulus didn’t die and just went into hiding (as a rock star?).
I do wonder if too much thought is being put into the whole RAB issue, and it’s just a red herring and not overly important… Everyone is speculating on this and forgetting about the more ‘important’ issues in the rest of the story.
The RAB Reveal
Since the books are now finished we now know who RAB is. RAB is indeed Regulus Arcturus Black. Despite not being in the books RAB is an important character in the Harry Potter series. He hailed from the pure-blood Black family, known for their dark wizardry allegiance. However, Regulus had a change of heart and sought redemption. He bravely retrieved one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes, a locket, and replaced it with a fake one. His motivation was to weaken Voldemort and destroy a piece of his soul. Regulus’s selfless act ultimately led to his demise but played a crucial role in the final defeat of the Dark Lord.