Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me save for the story itself. Steal not. And thank J.K. Rowling for her work.

Making Faces

Beyond the veil he floats alone, and carves faces from the mist. It is good, solid mist, the colour of gray with light shone through it, and stays where it's put. He has always had large hands, wiry and bony, but their deftness has been stolen by mind-numbing Azkaban years, and it's a chore to make them bend in their old way.

He practices first on the faces he doesn't much care to see: Snape sneering with his nose too big for the rest of him, Pettigrew caught forever in a rictus of cower, Bella mad with power and pride, Regulus disdainful and taunting as only the favoured younger son could be. When they're finished, he contemplates them for a little while. He thinks on memories both fond and violent. Then he kicks those mist heads in, foot smashing through imagined blood and imagined bone 'til all that's left is scattered and gone, gone, gone.

He sculpts Dumbledore next, with the beard trailing down and the hat straight and pointy as a hat should be. It's hard to put the twinkle into those eyes, but he tries magnificently and the result's not half bad. He sets the Dumbledore head down serenely and it goes, intact, on its merry way.

Tonks is next, with Adromeda - Andy, she wanted to be called - by her side. Mother and daughter are alike in looks and their eyes slant in the same way as his own. He gives them laughs and grins, and sends them bodilessly dancing through the empty gray grave.

He loses track of the mist he gathers and the faces his fingers remember to life. He knows there's a McGonagall, a Flitwick, a Kingsley, a Ron. He remembers fashioning the wildness of Hermione's hair and the mysterious curve of Lily's lips. He's seen Remus and James as young as they were when they were all of them unfetteredly happy.

But he shies away from making Harry.

He talks to the heads, moves with them along the push and curve of the strange winds that stir his resting place. To Hermione he says, "You'd know all our secrets, wouldn't you? Clever thing." He admires her and her genius, and knows she'd have made the quintessential Marauder - high compliment. To Kingsley he says, "What am I to do? I'm dead, you know. Stuck here."

He's not sure why he's here, in this limbo. It's curiously not boring though there's nothing much to do. He doesn't know how long it's been since he arrived. He doesn't know how long it'll be that he stays.

To Remus, floating by, he says, "Ah, old wolf, what else could I have done? I'm sorry."

He gathers his nerve, then gathers some mist, and with life-rough fingers folds it into Harry's features. The hair is wild and the eyes are wide and the mouth caught in a half gasp of surprise. He chuckles as he rounds Harry's cheeks because that's really wishful thinking. Harry's face has been hollow since they met in Harry's Third Year.

When James passes by as he is beginning to smooth Harry's forehead, he says I'm sorry Prongs. I never meant to, it just happened." When Lily comes by, he says much the same thing.

And then Harry's head is done. It doesn't seem enough, disembodied as all the others are, free floating and alone. He makes Harry's body as well, detailing hairs and nails, blushing at some parts, smiling at others. He attaches Harry's head to his body with satisfaction which quickly turns to shock.

For Harry is not staying the gray of mist with light shone through it. Harry's skin is peach pale, hair blacker than the Riddle family name, eyes more vivid green than any alley cat's or emerald stone's. And Harry speaks:

"Well Sirius, it's about time you got around to it." Harry reaches for his hand. "Don't you think it's time to move on? You've been dead twenty years. I've been dead fifteen. I should think you've tired of hanging on, so let's go already."

He can only gape. "Harry?" He gasps.

Harry sighs. "Yes, Sirius, me, Harry. You know - your Godson? Light of your life? Joy of your world?"

He stares. This is impossible. No, this is him, going crazy.

Apparently hallucinatory Harry's can read him like an open book because this one is stepping closer, saying, "I'm really here Sirius. It's really me. We're both really dead, and we're neither of us insane, I promise you. You've been stuck in this after-place for a very long time; so long Mum and Dad have just about given up on waiting for you."

Harry lays a hand on his chest over where his heart once beat. Wonderingly, he reciprocates, pushing his hand into the giving yet firm flesh of the man- boy before him. "Harry."

"Yes," Harry replies, grinning broadly. "That's my name. Are you ready to come with me now?"

"I don't - I don't understand. Voldemort? The Order? What happened?"

"Voldemort's dead. The Order disbanded. And nothing else matters save that you're here and so'm I, so let's get a move on. We've got people waiting on us." Harry seems more adult to him, more glib and carefree as well. He feels soothed by Harry's voice, gone unheard for too long. Nevertheless-

"I don't understand," he repeats.

"No," Harry agrees, a shine brighter than any star being born in his eyes. The mist around them lightens, and parts, and he feels Harry's hand clenched tight in his. Indistinctly but getting closer by the second, people are standing. He sees a flash of red, a trailing beard. He hears Harry saying, "But you will."