The first weeks after Sirius had died were the worst. I tried to keep myself busy, buried myself in work for the Order. There were duties to fulfil, meetings to attend and of course there was Harry. I tried to be there for him, pushed back my own grief to focus on the boy. For him it was harder than for me, I kept telling myself. I was strong for him, I was strong for the Cause, but inside I felt numb. But I couldn’t fool myself- my nightmares, where I saw Sirius disappearing behind the veil again and again, betrayed the facade I had built. I dreamt of him every night and sometimes I even saved him. Caught him before he fell through the archway, killed Bellatrix before she could hit him with her spell. When I woke up and realised I hadn’t saved him I wanted to die as well. Not only were my dreams haunted by this fateful night in the Department of Mysteries. In the evenings, when I was alone, everything came crashing down on me and I couldn’t help reflecting upon the death of my lover. And I felt guilty, because I hadn’t held him back, hadn’t saved him, but sometimes I simply hated Sirius for leaving me alone like this. Again. I was angry, I even yelled at him as if he could hear me, asking him why he hadn’t listened to me when I had told him it was too risky to go with us. The anger never lasted long, but the one question echoing in my head stayed. Why? Why him? Why now? Why weren’t we supposed to be happy?
I never knew the answer.
In those situations I told myself that Sirius had known the risks and that it maybe had been the way he’d wanted to die - in a battle, fighting for the Cause, protecting James’ and Lily’s only child. He had been willing to die for the right reason, like the rest of us.
I reminded myself of the time after Sirius had been taken to Azkaban. All my friends had died because he had betrayed us all, or so I’d believed for thirteen years. Nevertheless, I’d found a way to move on, to go on with my life, so why not this time? But then I thought about those many wasted years and about the far too short time of reunion. Only one year after fourteen years of separation. I’d never thought that I could be so happy again after life had ruined both of us so badly. We’d savoured every minute of our time together, barely able to believe it hadn’t been only a dream. I couldn’t bear these happy memories, so I often tried to drown them in red wine.
I didn’t succeed.
Harry sent owls regularly. The boy still refused to accept that his godfather was gone and began researching ways to bring Sirius back. I didn’t have the strength to stop him from doing it and somehow I felt unable to destroy his hopes. After a while Harry stopped telling me Sirius couldn’t be dead, but I knew he hadn’t given up. Part of me envied him- and dreaded the day when he would realise the painful truth.
Then one day Hedwig fluttered onto my desk. I couldn’t know what impact Harry’s letter would have on my life and my attempts to deal with my Sirius’s death.
I know you’re trying to deal with everything that has happened and I surely don’t intend to make it harder for you. I know you don’t think my research makes any sense, even though you never spoke of it out loud- somehow it didn’t even make sense to me.
But there is something you should know. I found the first hints weeks ago, but I wanted to make sure before I told you. I can’t explain the details though, but you have to believe me! Sirius might be alive and this isn’t just the godson in denial talking.
I’ll keep in touch!
These few lines are burned into my mind permanently- I don’t think I’ll be able to forget them for the rest of my life. I had to read them several times, before I realised what they meant. My vision blurred and for a moment I felt like passing out, before my mind started working again and I mentally slapped myself. I forced myself to think rationally. The dead didn’t come back. Never. I drew a deep breath and told myself Sirius was dead and I had to deal with it. And that it was time for Harry to do the same.
Despite myself I felt shaken and sick and I even silently cursed Harry for doing this to me. But above all I was angry at myself for letting hope flare up. I’d believed that I had done a good job dealing with the loss and then a few lines scribbled on a piece of parchment shattered my illusion. I couldn’t silence the little voice inside my head asking me the same question again and again.
What if he was right?
I tried to calm down, told myself those were only the words of a boy who’d suffered a great loss. His reaction was normal and understandable, but there wasn’t a way to trick death, I knew it, so I had to pull myself together. But my heart betrayed all attempts of self control and I hated it. Finally I answered Harry’s owl and told him not to write me about his research anymore. Of course I knew he didn’t want to hurt me, he couldn’t possibly know how much Sirius had meant to me, but nevertheless he made it harder.
The following night Harry’s words haunted my sleep. I dreamt of Sirius being alive, being back. The dream was vivid. It was Sirius standing in front of me, taking me in his arms, kissing me, telling me how sorry he was and how much he’d missed me. I could feel him, smell him, taste him. He was real. I was incredibly happy, I felt complete again for the first time since he’d gone and we both cried as we held each other.
I still felt the warmth of the dream when the sunshine upon my face slowly woke me the next morning. There was nothing but sleepy happiness until I opened my eyes and became aware of my surroundings. I was alone and Sirius wasn’t back. He was still dead and the dream had been nothing but a lie. The realisation was cruel and the pain took my breath away, left me panting. My heart hammered in my chest and my whole body shook with suppressed tension. First I felt betrayed, as if Sirius had been right in front of my nose but had been snatched away before I could reach him. And then I laughed. A silly old fool, that was all I was. I was hysterical, I knew it, but I couldn’t stop. I laughed until my stomach hurt and then I broke. I fell on the floor and started sobbing. It was the first time I really cried for him and I wept until there weren’t any tears left to shed. Staring at the ceiling I lay on the floor for a long time. As the pain slowly ebbed away it was replaced by a cold emptiness that wouldn’t leave me.
With some efford I regained control over myself again the over next few days and I was determined to leave it this way. It was too painful to let down my mask of composure, so I tried to go on with my life, to deal the way I had dealt before the boy’s owl had arrived. It was hard and painful, but at least the dream and the bitter realisation in the morning had wiped away the hope, which made it easier to accept the truth.
Harry still sent owls frequently. He didn’t accept my answer. The boy asked me why I wouldn’t believe him and told me not to give up. Reading about hope made my stomach clench every time. At first I tried to be the reasonable former professor as I answered him. I tried to talk him out of the research, but he wouldn’t stop, instead his letters became more urgent. He kept on talking about hope and it got harder to resist believing in that beautiful lie. I already felt my weak facade crumble, because part of me desperately wanted to hope, wanted to deny the fact that the love of my life was gone forever and wouldn’t come back. And after a while I just stopped reading Harry’s owls. I was ashamed of myself and felt guilty refusing a grieving boy’s letters just because I was weak and egoistical, but I couldn’t help it. They brought the emotions I desperately wanted to keep in check too close to the surface and I couldn’t bear another outburst like the other day- couldn’t handle it. This was the only way to deal for me, the only way I had known all my life.
So I worked hard for the Order, even volunteered for particular dangerous missions just to keep myself from thinking. Being busy was even more important for me than it had been during the whole summer, because in the quiet the little voice that kept telling me to believe Harry was loud and clear. And I still dreamt of Sirius. I often saw his happy face smiling at me until this image abruptly switched and I still stared at Sirius, but his once handsome face was pale and half rotten. My own screams woke me up in those nights.
I also often dreamt that I had my lover back. Those dreams always resembled the dream I had the other night. They were painfully vivid and intense- the mornings after were bitter and I couldn’t say which was worse- seeing him as a corpse or having him back only to realise it had been a lie.
One day an owl arrived at my house. It wasn’t Hedwig, but a brown Hogwarts owl with a letter tied to her leg, but I wasn’t too surprised. Dumbledore and McGonnagal often used the school owls to send me instructions or other news. When I unrolled the letter I saw only one line neatly scribbled on the small piece of parchment, but this one line left me petrified.
Potter has a point. Severus
First there was a complete vacuum in my head, but then my thoughts started racing and a mixture of emotions flooded through me. My heart suddenly thudded violently in my chest as I realised what this could mean. I hardly dared to finish this thought, because the reasonable part of me still insisted that it couldn’t be, that I must have mistaken Severus words, even though there wasn’t much to mistake. He apparently knew about Harry’s research and even about his attempts to convince me. And he thought Harry was right. I felt like losing my grip on reality. It was impossible, simply impossible! But at the same time I thought about how serious Harry must have been the whole time since he’d even asked a person he hated for help. And Severus loathed Harry, he also despised me; nevertheless, he told me Harry had a point. Sweat built on my forehead and I suddenly felt dizzy.
Maybe Harry was right after all.
I had to grip the edge of the table for support. Sirius could come back. He wasn’t lost forever. There might be a chance to see him again, hold him in my arms, just like in my dreams... My heart thudded even harder than before at that thought and I suddenly found it hard to breath. The whole situation felt utterly unreal. I was still afraid to hope, because it would be like losing Sirius for the third time if my hopes were disappointed, but I couldn’t help it. It could be a misunderstanding or even a cruel joke, the little reasonable voice inside my head said, but the rest of me wouldn’t listen anymore. My whole body trembled and I felt tears welling up in my eyes. I could have him back. I could be happy again, complete. He wasn’t gone forever, there was still a chance. I kept repeating it in my head, because I wanted it to be true with every fibre of my being.
After a while I realised that I should answer Severus’s owl. I only managed one question.
I spent the rest of the afternoon looking out of the window searching the sky for the owl to return. I was still shaken and confused, but at least I’d managed to calm down a bit. It was impossible to think straight, so I tried not to think at all. Of course I failed. I cursed Severus for letting me wait and decided it didn’t make sense to wait for the owl. I tried to distract myself with books, but I was restless and nervous. Thus, my thoughts kept drifting away. I thought about how wrong I was not to believe Harry, wondered why Severus would help us and naturally I imagined Sirius returning in every possible way, though I tried not to.
Finally I ended up sitting in the living room with a bottle of wine.
It grew darker around me as the sun set, but I didn’t bother with lights. I stared at the wall in front of me and drank, hoping the alcohol would stop my mind from working or at least numb my feelings. None of it happened.
I was halfway through the bottle when a loud crack startled me. There, suddenly, stood a tall robed figure in the shadows. I hastily scrambled to my feet and grabbed for my wand, but then I heard the familiar cold voice.
“So... you cannot even afford to light your house?”
When Severus lit his wand I could see that his lips were curled in his usual sneer, but I was too used to it to even care. I was perplexed to see him, but at least it explained why I hadn’t received an owl in return. Hurriedly I lit the room and managed a polite greeting as Severus smirked and let his eyes wander across my sparsely furnished living room. His gaze fell on the half emptied wine bottle and lingered there and I felt suddenly very uncomfortable and embarassed because he’d caught me drinking. As Severus looked away from the bottle I expected a snide remark about how pathetic I was, but he only frowned slightly and shot me a searching glance. I was surprised, because I couldn’t remember a time he hadn’t taken the opportunity to insult me. But I didn’t have to wait long for further sneer.
“Manners, Lupin. Unless I’m very much mistaken it is polite to offer the guest a seat.”
So I offered him a seat and even some tea, but he surprised me again by requesting a glass of wine. We sat together in the living room and suddenly I realised what we were about to discuss. I felt dizzy again, probably not entirely from the alcohol, and my stomach clenched. Severus would reveal the meaning of his owl, that was for sure and it had to be important otherwise he wouldn't have bothered to stop by personally. He would tell me how Sirius could come back. He would speak out loud what I hadn’t dared to hope. But maybe he wouldn’t. Maybe he was there to explain it had been a mistake or even to enjoy the effect of a particularly funny joke. I thought I was about to be sick and I must have looked that way, because Severus looked at me with an unreadable expression on his face and then frowned.
And then he began. His voice was calm and almost free of malice as he spoke, except for the times he rather spat out Harry’s name. Gritting his teeth Severus hurried over the part where the boy had sought him in the Slytherin Dungeons to apologise for the incident with the Pensieve. I could only imagine how unpleasant this talk must have been, probably for both of them. Apparently Harry had shown him a paragraph he’d copied down from a book he’d found in the Restricted Section of the library and had asked his least favourite teacher for his opinion. According to Severus the information in the paragraph had been very cryptic, but there definitely had been something about the veil and a spell to divide the living from the dead. My hand clasped the armrests of my chair as he said that and I could hardly suppress a gasp. He continued that he’d begun to research himself. I hardly dared to breathe as Severus told me what he’d found out.
“You know that beyond the veil the land of the dead begins. Nevertheless, it is not a synonym for death. A living person that passes the archway does not die, not at once. The body clings to its soul and prevents it from leaving, but when the body starts to fade it cannot keep the spirit.”
My heart sank. Weeks had passed since Sirius had disappeared behind the veil. So he hadn’t died when he’d fallen through the archway, but surely his soul had already left his body. I clawed my trembling fingers into the cushions as I felt a terrible cold sweep over me. If he was dead, it would have been my fault. If I’d fought like Harry instead of wasting time, maybe I would have found out how to bring him back much earlier... I felt as if a heavy weight lay painfully on my chest.
“Lupin? I do not know why I am wasting my time here when-“
Severus’s snarl startled me out of my spinning thoughts, but I wasn’t able to answer. When I looked up I found him staring at me. He furrowed his brow, but then his expression softened. For a moment I was sure to see a hint of sympathy in his face, but it disappeared when he cleared his throat.
“Would you let me finish before you jump to conclusions? My assumption is that Black’s soul has not left his body yet.”
I let out a deep breath. The weight on my chest lifted as I told myself that Severus usually knew what he was talking about, so I finally decided to pull myself together. Silently I cursed myself for drinking. The wine surely wasn’t helping to keep my mind clear, quite the opposite actually, and what I definitely needed the least was self pity. I beckoned Severus to continue.
He went on about what he supposed to be beyond the veil. According to his books Sirius probably was in a trance like state, which made it impossible for him to come back through the archway by himself. Consequently, the trance had to be lifted to guide him to the archway and bring him back to life. A spell that Severus had found after long research should make this possible. There were certain conditions that had to be given to make it work. First the spell had to be cast in the passage from this world to the other, which meant standing directly in front of the veil.
My guts twisted at the thought of going back to the Department of Mysteries and immediately I saw Sirius disappear behind the veil in front of my inner eye again. I pushed that image away as well as I could and reminded myself that I was going to return to the archway to save Sirius.
Severus went on about the dangers of the procedure. The archway had a mesmerising effect on people, especially if they had seen death before. One wrong step could land you in the land of the dead, and there were also the hypnothising whispers of the souls behind the veil. Some of them tried to lure the living away from their world and it demanded great power of will to resist them.
My heartbeat quickened as I listened. Though I surely never tended toward being reckless, I didn’t mind the risks at all. I would have done anything to free Sirius... to hold him in my arms again. It was hard to suppress the excitement that welled up in me, now that everything that I hadn’t dared to hope for came closer into reach.
Severus suddenly paused and looked away. For a moment he looked a little uncomfortable. He met my gaze again as he continued to speak, his voice slightly rougher than before.
“There is a second condition. The spell must be cast by two persons to be strong enough: One full of love and affection for the trapped soul and one full of hatred and loathing.”
For a long moment I could only stare at him. I thought I must have misinterpreted the meaning of his words. It had sounded as if he’d indirectly offered to cast the spell with me, but I couldn’t explain to myself why he would want to bring Sirius back. I knew he hated him even more than Harry. I’d never expected Severus to be further involved in the procedure- in fact, he was even more involved than anyone could have imagined anyway...
I was still confused as he spoke again in a very low voice.
“We have to get inside the Department of Mysteries very soon. Although I think it is not too late yet, we should not waste any more time.”
So I hadn’t mistaken him. He really wanted to help me and I simply couldn’t understand his reasoning. Nevertheless, I felt a wave of gratitude toward the man, who had hardly ever missed a chance to insult, humiliate or discredit me. The reasonable part of me stayed sceptical. Severus never did anything without a purpose, without calculation and I couldn’t stop wondering for what reason he would help to bring his archenemy back.
At last I regained my ability to speak.
“Why are you doing this?”
I instantly bit my tongue as I noticed him wince slightly at my words. I certainly didn’t want to appear ungrateful. His expression changed aprubtly. His eyes narrowed, his lip curled slightly and his usually pale face was flushed with anger.
“I am certainly not doing it for Potter or your beloved Black!”
I blinked as he hissed at me, surprised about this heated reaction. I didn’t understand what he meant then, but I decided not to ask any further and quickly apologised. It didn’t really matter. Severus was the key to bringing my lover back to me. Without him I wouldn’t have believed in the mere possibility of seeing Sirius again, without him I wouldn’t be able to even try the spell. I should be endlessly grateful... and actually I was.
Severus excused himself and prepared to leave hurriedly.
“I will meet you tomorrow at midnight in front of the Ministry of Magic. Do not be late.”
He scowled at me before he disapparated with another crack.
Alone again. I sat quietly in the dark for a long time. The whole meaning of everything that had happened only slowly started to sink in. It was hard to conceive that I could have Sirius back after the long weeks of mourning and trying to accept his death. I’d been so sure I would never see his face again, hear his voice or touch his skin. I’d never considered the mere possibility that his death wasn’t final. This very morning I’d believed him dead and gone and now I sat there with the knowledge of how to bring him back thanks to the most unlikely person one could imagine.
I spent the night sleeplessly. I was restless and pictured Sirius appearing in front of my eyes countless times in every detail. What he would look like. In what condition he would be. What he would say to me. What he would do first. And then I imagined how it would be to feel his warmth again. I’d already lost him one time when they’d brought him to Azkaban and it had been incredible to get him back. My world had turned upside down that night in the Shrieking Shack, when I’d realised the truth. I will never forget how it had been to feel him after 13 years; that brotherly hug had meant everything to me.
But this time was different.
And then there was that nagging voice in my head again, that told me not to get my hopes up too soon. What would happen if everything would go wrong and Sirius wouldn’t come back? I couldn’t bear the thought, but I couldn’t deny it: There was no guaranty. Indeed it was only Severus’s assumption that it wasn’t too late yet. What if he was wrong?
When the grey light of dawn fell through the curtains I fell into a light sleep. It was riddled with clouded dreams. In one dream Sirius stepped through the black veil and smiled, but he disappeared laughing sardonicly as I reached out for him.
I woke up feeling exhausted and empty.
During the day I desperately tried to distract myself, but I hardly succeeded. I checked the clock every few minutes but its hands didn’t seem to move at all. Time crept forward painfully and with every minute my uneasiness increased. Everytime I thought about what might happen at midnight my heart skipped a beat and my stomach clenched.
In the afternoon I suddenly realised with a pang of guilt that I hadn’t contacted Harry yet. He was the person who had made it possible. If he had given up hope as I had there wouldn’t be a chance to see Sirius again... and I hadn’t thanked him. Above all I hadn’t apologised for not believing him and refusing his owl.
I carefully thought about my words before I wrote.
I don’t think I can apologise enough or express how sorry I really am for not believing you. I can only hope for your forgiveness.
Tonight Severus and I will try to bring him back- thanks to you. I don’t think you know what this really means to me. We don't know if it’s going to work, but let’s hope for the best.
I’ll stay in touch, I promise. Cross your fingers!
Finally the hands of my kitchen clock approached midnight. I felt rather shivery and my heart thudded violently. Soon fate would decide if I would see my lover again or if he was really lost forever.
I drew a deep breath and apparated to the Ministry of Magic.
Severus already waited in front of the telephone box that marked the entance. We didn’t speak as we made our way inside the Ministry. Through the box, the atrium, past the restored golden fountain. We descended to the Department of Mysteries with the lift and soon we were on our way to the room that bore the fateful archway. I felt as if I wasn’t really there. Everything seemed far away, even unreal. I just followed Severus as he walked, silently determined, down the long corridor. Until he opened the last door.
I shivered as I entered the cold dim room. At once I saw the ancient archway and the mere sight of it took my breath away. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe, I could only stare at the black veil. It was fluttering slightly despite the stillness of the surrounding air. I hadn’t noticed the beauty of it before... there had only been the fighting. And then Sirius had just disappeared. One second he’d been there, the other second gone...
At the sound of Severus’s cold voice I tore my gaze away from the archway to turn to him. He reagarded me with a strange expression in his eyes before he cleared his throat.
“The spell is not very complex itself, but you know we have to stand directly in front of the archway. Whatever you might hear, see or feel- do not move. Do not even touch the veil.”
I nodded thickly as I tried to keep myself from gazing at the veil again. It was as if somebody wanted to pull me toward the archway with invisible strings as we moved closer. As I stood right in front of the veil next to Severus it swayed gently as if somebody had just passed through. Now that I stood so close the feeling to be drawn to the curtains became overwhelming. I suddenly had the strange desire to go through the archway. Just one more step... I heard whispers behind the veil, but I couldn’t understand what they were saying, but it felt as if they were encouraging me to do it.
I wanted to touch the veil, move it aside... My hand reached out for the ragged black fabric...
I blinked in surprise as Severus roughly caught my hand before I could touch the curtain. I’d been so mesmerised by the veil that I’d forgotten about his presense. He was even paler than usual and his narrowed eyes flashed angrily. It brought me to my senses again as he snarled at me to pull myself together. To get rid of the haze in my brain I squeezed my eyes shut and mentally slapped myself. If I wanted to bring him back I needed control.
As I opened my eyes I forced myself not to look at the veil. I still felt the urge to touch the curtain, but I managed to resist. Firmly I concentrated on Severus's words as the tempting whispers threatened to penetrade my mind again. Severus started to explain the spell to me and I listened closely. The mesmerising effect of the archway wore off more and more and was replaced by excitement. My stomach clenched as I imagined what might happen in only a few minutes. Sirius would appear right in front of me. Alive. Breathing. For a moment I was afraid of passing out, but I controled myself. Just a few more minutes and Sirius would be back. Or maybe he wouldn't. My throat tightened as I thought about what would be, what life would be like, if we failed.
"I suggest we try the spell now. You do not have anything else to do but concentrating very hard on our aim and repeat exactly the words I speak."
Severus seemed to be tensed. He almost succeeded to hide that fact but the nervously twitching corners of his mouth betrayed his otherwise composed expression.
It was time... My heartbeat quickened and all I could do was nod heavily. Severus turned to face the archway and pulled out his wand; so did I. He briefly closed his eyes and let out a breath. He spoke in a loud and clear voice that echoed in the rectangular room.
I concentrated hard on Sirius's face, Sirius appearing in front of the veil as I reapeated Severus's words. My own voice sounded strangely rough to me as I spoke. I lowered my wand and threw him an anxious glance before I kept on staring at the veil. I hardly dared to breath as we waited, never looking away from the black curtain.
But nothing happened.
The veil was completely still. Slowly it dawned to me that Sirius probably wouldn't appear. That all our effort had been in vain, that I wouldn't see him again. It was too late. I'd lost him.
I gasped as my legs didn't support my weight any longer. My knees hit the ground, but I didn't feel it. I trembled all over and my surroundings started to blur in front of my eyes.
Sirius wouldn't come back. He was dead. DEAD. Gone. Every shuddering breath I took was almost too painful to bear.
I hardly heard Severus's voice. I knelt on the cold stone floor, unable to react until Severus gripped my shoulders and shook me slightly.
"Lupin? Are--are you alright?"
His voice was low and almost soft. A strange choked laugh escaped my throat as I saw the concern in his face. Of course I wasn't alright. Nothing would be alright ever again. I'd lost Sirius one more time. It was as if I'd seen him disappear beyond the veil once again, as if I'd seen him die in front of my very eyes another time.
Severus still stared at me, his hand resting on my shoulder, but I didn't move. I wasn't sure I would ever again. Then a thought crossed my mind. It was almost too easy... just one step and I would be with him.
Suddenly the veil started to sway slightly. The swaying increased until it was as if a strong breeze tore at the curtain. The movement was gone as suddenly as it had begun. The black curtain fell back in place and a figure was standing in front of it.
I couldn't believe my very eyes. It was Sirius and he looked exactly the same as the last time I'd seen him. Paralysed I stared at him, my brain empty.
He blinked a few times as though in surprise before his eyes rolled back and he fell bonelessly to the floor. That broke my trance and with a strangled cry I crawled over to my lover. I pulled his limp body on my lap and shook him almost frantically. Panicked that he might not be okay I called his name over and over again. But he was there. I held him in my arms, he was alive, he was with me. Finally his eyelids fluttered as he murmered almost sleepily. He opened his eyes slowly and looked up at me. As his hand reached for my face I felt tears welling up in my eyes. I nuzzled into the touch and finally tears were trickling down my cheeks.
"Remus... why are you crying?"
It was only a whisper and it was the best sound I'd ever heard in my whole life. I laughed, but it came out as a sob. I leaned down and kissed him and I thought I had to burst with happiness. It was real. He was real.
When I finally looked up Severus was gone.
A few days later I visited him to thank him. I was endlessly grateful, but I still had one nagging question in my head.
Why had he done this for me?
I hadn't understood until then, so his answer left me dumbstruck. He spoke in the same cool voice as usual, but there was something in his eyes I could not fathom. I must have been blind or a fool- probably both.
"I hate Black, you know I do. He once tried to kill me which makes me think I am certainly better off without him. But you are not, although I always wanted to believe otherwise. And now excuse me, I have work to do."
Sirius has been back now for almost one month and it still feels like a dream. I often catch myself staring at him in awe even if he only reads a newspaper, brushes his teeth or ties his shoes. It's a miracle to me.
He doesn't remember his time beyond the veil. A short while after he'd come back he was disoriented, but it wore off quickly. Sirius soon remembered the fight, the spell that had hit him, but then the first clear memory is lying in my arms after coming back. In between there is something, but he says it feels like a dream he desperately tries to remember, but the more he tries, the more details slip away.
I'll never forget his face when I told him he'd been good as dead- that I'd believed him dead and gone for many long weeks.
"Oh God, Moony! I'm ... I'm sorry!"
He took me in his arms and kissed me then and I saw a tear running down his face. We held each other the whole night- it was just like in my dreams.
But yet it was different.
When I woke up, I felt his warmth. An arm around my waist, a stubbled chin on my shoulder. I was utterly happy then- and I still am.
I see my lover sound asleep beside me and I don't think I can feel any better. I know that the second war has just begun, but with Sirius at my side everything is alright.
Fate has given us a third chance and we will seize it.