The Sugar Quill
Author: Delleve Miststone (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: One More Time  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

AN: This was originally going to be the introduction to a sixth year fic I had written a while ago

AN: This was originally going to be the introduction to a sixth year fic I had written a while ago. I had a very faint idea of where it was going; a very small (and rather stupid) plot; and I generally couldn’t get it to be the least bit coherent. To say the least, that sixth year fic barely ever got off the ground and shortly afterwards; died.

I give many, many thanks to my wonderful beta reader, sveltskye, for leading me to the path of greatness where commas and better word choice dwell.

Disclaimer: The idea of Harry Potter and all the characters in this fic belong to J.K. Rowling, the movies belong to Warner Brothers, the Mona Lisa belongs to Leonardo da Vinci, and so on and forth. Basically, I don’t really own anything ... except my cat, which people could say actually owns me...

One More Time

“Come on, you can do better than that!” Sirius shouted, his face showing signs of confidence and strength as he yelled. His long black hair was thrown behind his shoulders as he laughed at Bellatrix, challenging her.

An angry, mad gleam flashed in Bellatrix Lestrange’s dark eyes. She raised her wand high over her head in a quick motion, so fast that no one could react to what she was about to do. Her face was thin and contorted with rage as she whispered an incantation, so quiet that a pin being dropped could be heard over it. There was nothing but silence. It seemed as if the very world had stopped spinning...

But then a jet of red light burst from Bellatrix’s wand; the same ray of light that had followed her previous curse. It made its way towards Sirius, who stood laughing at her until comprehension slowly began to dawn on his face. By the time he had realized that the spell was going to collide with his flesh it was too late. This time he hadn’t been quick enough to duck Bellatrix’s spells, this time the curse wasn’t blocked …this time it hit him squarely in the chest.

His eyes widened in shock and his laughter immediately stopped, though the echo of his amused chuckling was still faint in the cavernous room, eerily still bouncing off the walls as he began to fall. Sirius’s body curved to make a shape that resembled a comma as he sunk back into the veil. Somehow the veil seemed ready to take Sirius. It was swaying quickly now, almost as though it was ready to swallow Sirius whole. In a moment that seemed to last an aching lifetime his body finally connected with the black curtain, though the reactions of everyone watching never seemed to catch what was happening in this moment frozen in time. Sirius Black departed, his mouth now making a perfect “o”, his eyes wide and pleading, as he disappeared behind the veil, away from this world and perhaps away from pain ... forever.

The veil slowly fell back into place, the black material swaying as it settled. The veil never became completely immobile; it still rippled and swung just slightly in a nonexistent wind. This tiny movement gave a small false hope that something would come back out of it any moment, the hope that something – or someone – could come back.

But Sirius didn’t reappear on the other side. He never came back.

“There’s nothing you can do, Harry… nothing …He’s gone.”

Lupin’s words echoed over and over again, each word carrying the same amount of burden as the last ... the words kept in time to each sway of the veil as it taunted so painfully... there really was...

“Nothing...”

Harry Potter awoke with a jolting shock. He quickly opened his eyes and grabbed his glasses from the table to find that he was in a cold sweat and shaking with his blankets a piled heap at the end of his bed. Another nightmare ... it had been the same one ... the worst one...

It was that dream again, the same dream that had been haunting his sleep for the whole summer. Sirius’ death had been replayed yet again, every grim and chilling detail included, even ones that he had never noticed in the short moment that his godfather had fallen into the veil... the one that caused him to wake up nearly every morning with Lupin’s hollow words echoing through his memory, which he banished from his mind ... until the next night when they would inevitably resurface.

Harry hated this dream. It was foul, it was depressing, and it only made him miss Sirius even more with a passion that could probably drive him to his death if he thought about it enough... but for some reason he only hated it with almost all of his heart ... only almost. As much as he feared and detested the memory it still strangely brought him some small piece of closure and even more strangely, comfort. Harry was getting to see Sirius again in a way and that was what he most wanted ... even though the memory ended in Sirius’ death.

The dream was very far from pleasant ... much closer to tragedy. It had been a tragedy... Sirius had died to save him. Even though any thought of Sirius made Harry’s stomach clench and his chest feel completely empty inside, almost as though his whole heart would just keep shrinking and shrinking until it finally disappeared, the thought that his godfather had cared about him so much -- so much that he risked his life just to save his godson -- gave Harry comfort. It wasn’t the same type of comfort that a childhood blanket or eating your favorite food would give you; but it was comfort all the same, even if that comfort wielded a double-edged sword.

As these thoughts drifted sleepily though Harry’s mind he climbed back into bed, not even bothering to detangle the covers at the foot of his bed or to turn off the light, his glasses still perched on his nose, as he closed his tired eyes. After a few precious minutes of peaceful slumbering the dream yet again restarted, the same way as always, and Harry got to see Sirius’s face once more.

//
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