I've always liked the colour black, Sirius thought.
No matter that it was a colour assigned to death, to the Death Eaters, to Voldemort. No matter that it was the surname of his accursed family. No, there was something about black that appealed to him. When you look up at a sky full of stars, he mused, the black is shining in the spaces in between.
He often felt like he was one of those spaces in between the stars. Dimly, darkly, in his schooldays, had he shone between the supernovae of Lily and James. Between them and the black hole that was Peter Pettigrew. And when the black hole consumed the stars… who else to blame but the space between?But to some, he thought, I have become the star.
He thought of Harry then. Merlin only knew how much the boy had suffered. He had received neither love nor friendship after the death of his parents, until he came to Hogwarts. There were holes in his life, holes in his soul, and he filled those holes with his friends - with Ron, with Hermione, with Ginny, Neville, Luna, Dumbledore - with Sirius.
And to Remus, now, Sirius was the star. Only each other at the end, Sirius thought. Remus was another space between, but all the stars were gone now. Only the darkness at the end of days.
The darkness and the wind surrounded him, tearing at his hair, his cloak, his wand. Darkness impenetrable, a black that could not be seen through. "Lumos," Sirius murmured.
And, like a star exploding in the blackness of space, there was light.
As his burning wand lit up the corners of this world, Sirius knew what had happened. Exactly what Bellatrix had pushed him into. "World between worlds," he whispered. "The Void."
In every corner people huddled, clutching at their ears, their eyes, their chests, their knees. Trying to shut out the horrors of what they had become, and where they were. "The Void," Sirius repeated under his breath. "Darkness eternal."
And to his horror, he saw people he knew.
In one corner, Aberforth Dumbledore sat, recognisable only by the silver hair and beard twin to his brother's. Remus had told him of Aberforth's disappearance during his time at 12 Grimmauld Place. "It was just after you went to Azkaban," he had told Sirius. "The final dig of the Death Eaters at Dumbledore. We still don't know what they did with Aberforth."
I do now, Sirius thought grimly.
Armando Dippet, former headmaster of Hogwarts, looked almost dead curled up in one corner, but Sirius knew he was not. You could not die in the Void, and that was your greatest punishment. Beside him was a man with a hooked nose that could only be some relative of Severus Snape.
All these people, Sirius thought, who have been here for centuries and more. Dead to the world and yet undead, because you cannot die in the Void, but only dwell in the darkness forever, in a cursed half-life, never to see light nor love again.
A second thought gripped him and he looked down at his left hand. I must be the only one to have ever passed through the curtain with a wand, he thought. In his hand, it still burned with a fire that drove back the darkness - for now.
"Are you - an angel?" a voice asked him. "Have you come to rescue us?"
Such hope, such fragile, brittle hope, that he must shatter.
"No," he replied. "I am the same as you - one who has passed through the veil."
"But you bear light, and magic," a second voice said. "These things they took from us when they pushed us through."
"I was not put to death," Sirius replied. "I fell through in a wizarding duel."
Then a third voice, one he had not heard for what seemed like ages, came from near his feet. "S-Sirius Black?"
And as his wandlight fell upon her face, Sirius knew then that he would find a way to save these people. He would be their angel.