Behind the Veil is shadowy and distorted, rippling and constantly moving, like floating beneath the surface of a pond that someone had thrown a thousand pebbles into. Sirius’ thoughts are just fragments, just little pieces. No names or words, nothing but the feelings. Shimmering around in front of him, hiding something he is sure is important.
But the memories are hard to hold onto. It doesn’t matter here. He’s in a dusty old room with his brother, racing down hallways under a cloak made of night, flying high up to the stars. He’s staring into green eyes, and he’s smiling.
Seven years. That was all it took. Nothing but sleepless nights of reading books in languages long dead, casting spells so dangerous that even Death Eaters would have shied away, scouring the world for potion ingredients that could have put him into Azkaban just for saying their names aloud. Weeks spent blowing up his rooms with potion after failed potion until he got it just right. Then sneaking into the Department of Mysteries, whispering a few words, waving his wand, and it was done. That was it. All it took was seven years for Harry to rip the Veil apart.
One minute he’s flying and the next he’s been sucker-punched, spiraling to the ground. And damn it, it was probably fucking Malfoy again, if it wasn’t that git Snape, and –
He hits the stone floor hard, hard enough for his stomach to slam up into his ribs. He looks up, sees a tall man with wild black hair and bright green eyes, solid and shining in the darkness of the room. Sirius reached up for him, to touch him and see if he was real, the man’s name on the tip of his tongue, and if he could just…
The house is different. Empty, and he last remembers it full of people. He thinks it was anyway. He’s confused, and his memories are too. He’s only had an hour to catch up on seven years, after all.
His mother’s portrait is gone, and Harry helps him to his bedroom when he heads down the wrong hallway.
He shivers as he crawls into bed. It’s cold here, outside the Veil, but he knows where he is now, and who he is. He remembers who Harry is, and who he was to Harry, but that doesn’t make him push Harry away.
Curled up in Sirius’ arms, Harry thinks that his heart might break. Sirius doesn’t look a day older than when he disappeared. The slightly maniacal gleam in his eyes, the stubble across his jaw is the same yet different when tempered with the small sad smile on his lips. When Sirius looked up at him from the floor of the Department of Mysteries, he was so afraid Sirius would call him ‘James’, and he knew he couldn’t stand that. But it was his name on Sirius’ lips, and he was ashamed for feeling so happy when Sirius looked so broken.