Disclaimer:  Inuyasha and Harry Potter belong to Rumiko Takahashi and JK Rowling.  I am merely borrowing them for my creative and imaginative cravings.  ^_^

Title:  Persevere

(Warning:  Order of the Phoenix spoilers ahead.  Happy reading!  ^_^)

Chapter One

Death.  The afterlife.  The spirit world.    All different terms that have caused so much speculation and controversy.  And the only thing he could say about it was that…it was boring.

At least Sirius Black THOUGHT he was dead.  He wasn't actually too clear on the matter.  He couldn't quite remember how he had ended up wherever he was in the first place.  He remembered fighting with his wand and then someone had hit him with a spell.  But why had he been fighting in the first place?  He couldn't seem to remember anything that had happened within the last day or so.  It was important but everything seemed so fuzzy.  He tried to focus on the last thing he could remember.   He'd heard the echo of a triumphant laugh and a desperate yell before he'd ended up where he was now.

But where was he?  He tried to focus on his surroundings.  All around him there seemed to be a sort of emptiness.  But farther to his right there was a patch of…darkness.  He couldn't explain it, but it gave off a terrible feeling of dread.  And he could hear echoes…voices.  But he couldn't discern what, if anything at all, was being said. 

Sirius strained to move his head in the other direction.  For some reason he couldn't move anything below his neck.  And he felt an odd sort of…pulling -- as though something was being taken from him.  One thing he was sure of, however, was that he didn't like the sensation.

With a sigh, he chose not to dwell too long on that uncomfortable feeling and continued trying to get a view of his left.  His dark hair fell in his face and he groaned in annoyance.  He couldn't even move his hands!  He started to blow his hair out of the way and then froze.

He had dark hair…like Bellatrix.  And it all came back to him in a rush of emotion; The Department of Mysteries, the fight with the Death Eaters, his duel with Bellatrix, and him being hit…then he'd fallen into the archway -- the archway that had the voices of the dead coming from it. 

He closed his eyes as various feelings assaulted him.  What would happen to him now?  Was this all that death was?  He felt himself scowl with bitter resentment.  It seemed he'd traded a life of imprisonment for an afterlife suffering the same fate.

But what of what he'd left behind?  Harry…Remus…everyone in the Order.  Were they all right?  He was suddenly assaulted with overwhelming feelings of anxiety and loss.  What if Harry was hurt?  He'd barely been able to spend any time with his godson, his best friend's son, before it was all taken away from him.  WHY?!

He began to thrash his head form side to side, hoping, wishing, that somehow his body would respond and he'd be able to break free from whatever sort of prison he was in.  Sirius felt his anger bubbling up and he didn't feel particularly inclined to appease it. 

"What did I do?  Huh?  What did I do to deserve this?!  You stupid, idiotic, pathetic…"  He continued his stream of insults directed at no one in particular, all the while trying to move around.

He wasn't exactly prepared for the moment when someone actually responded to him.  "Is that anyway to treat someone who hasn't seen you for nearly two decades?"

Sirius felt his eyes widen and his head snapped in the direction the voice had come from.  He hadn't heard that voice in so long…since before he'd left his parents' house.  It couldn't be…

The dark eyes and hair that mirrored his own in many ways, and that mischievous grin -- there was no denying it, it was him.  Sirius began to stutter out of shock and disbelief.  "Oh my God.  How?  I mean…Where did-"  

"You always were too inquisitive, cousin."  He was chuckling slightly and Sirius couldn't help but think how much he'd missed that laugh.

Sirius grinned a bit.  "Yeah, and you were always there egging me on."  His face clouded suddenly.  "But I wasn't there…not when you needed me.  I'm always too late.  I'm sor-"

"Don't even say it, cousin.  You've had enough misplaced guilt in your life as it is.  You were in Azkaban.  Besides, I didn't really do anything to help you.  I was beginning to believe it was true.  I'm the one who should be asking for forgiveness."

Sirius smiled ironically.  "It looks like we've both got guilt stacked up." 

His cousin chuckled a bit but stopped as Sirius began regarding him closely.   Sirius inhaled slowly.  "I must be going insane.  I'm dead and stuck in some dark hole of doom talking to my deceased cousin who's probably just some figment of my imagination."

His cousin grinned wryly and Sirius cleared his throat to cover up his embarrassment.  Had he just said that out loud? 

"You're not going crazy, Sirius.  Don't jump so quickly to conclusions."  His cousin walked over (Sirius couldn't think of what he could be walking on though, since it looked like nothing was there) and knelt down next to him.  "Although it's not every day you get to talk to the dead."

Sirius felt his face drop.  He had hoped… "So I really am dead then."

His cousin shook his head.  "You're jumping to conclusions again, Sirius."

Sirius' face brightened.  Could it be?  He could still go back… but to what?  A life trapped in his mother's house?  A life forever hiding and being hated by most of the wizarding community?  It would be so much easier to just let go…

He felt his neck grow colder and he panicked.  His cousin seemed to notice his expression and glanced worriedly at his neck.  "Sirius, you can't let go.  Not yet.  You can't give up!  Think of what you have now…of what you had."

Sirius glared at him.  What did he have?  He'd spend twelve years in a living hell and the next three years on the run and in hiding.  Almost all of his world wanted him dead anyway, except a few like those in the Order and Harry…Harry…

The cold started to ebb away and Sirius focused on the feeling that he had when he thought of Harry -- a feeling of being wanted and important to someone again.  Harry… If he'd been able to have a son of his own, Harry was exactly what he would have wished for.

He blinked when he felt a warm feeling on his forehead and he realized his cousin had put his hand there.  "Good job, Sirius."

Sirius was panting and he looked in his cousin's eyes.  "What's happening to me?"

His cousin suddenly looked sad and Sirius groaned.  That couldn't be a good sign.  "You're going to die, Sirius."

Sirius frowned.  "But then what was the point of you telling me not to 'let go.'"

"You can't die here."  Sirius raised an eyebrow at this.  His cousin knew the 'And that means what?' look and he grinned a bit before continuing.  "Do you remember how you got here, Sirius?" 

He thought for a moment before answering.  "I was hit and fell through an archway.  It had a veil over it and there were…voices coming from it."  He gestured with his head to the right.  "A lot like those.  I presumed they were from the dead."

His cousin nodded gravely.  "You're right about that.  But I don't think you know what it is you fell through.  Or what you could start because of it."  Sirius bit his lip.  "That archway was used in ancient times -- even before any of the schools had started.  The most powerful witches and wizards created a connection to the after life…and used it for punishment.  Only the most despicable people, those who had committed crimes so heinous, were sent here.  That-" He pointed towards the 'patch of darkness.'  "-is where they are…and where you could go if you die here."

Sirius gulped.  He would be spending eternity in a place full of…he didn't want to think of who could be there.  Images of evil mini Voldemort's kept popping up in his head and he shuddered at the thought.  One was terrible enough as it was. The feeling emitting from the darkness was even horrible.  He bit his lip again.  Something didn't seem right though.  "But why are you here?  And why are you acting like something catastrophic is going to happen?"

His cousin smiled sadly.  "Well first off, I'm here because I care about you."  Sirius winced guiltily.  He hadn't meant to sound so unfeeling.  He was too brash in what he said at times.  "And secondly, something 'catastrophic' could happen if you die here."

"What does that-"

His cousin held up his hand and Sirius quieted.  "As I was saying before, the archway was created in ancient times…but something went wrong.  The archway started to attract people towards it."

Sirius' brow furrowed.  "How could it do that?"

"The people who had been condemned, their souls, had gained power within the archway.  They started taking the souls of people, children even, to make their power grow in an attempt to escape their prison.  The kind of power they were beginning to wield would be deadly once fully unleashed in the mortal realm." 

Sirius looked over to his right in disbelief.  All that 'power' was being contained in a single space?  He was brimming with questions but his cousin wasn't finished.  "Thankfully the creators noticed it before it was too late and managed to seal it with the veil that you described.  But…Sirius, if you die here, your soul will be taken by them.  The balance that was provided will be offset."

Sirius felt as though he'd just been plunged into freezing waters.  "Does that mean the archway will start…'attracting' people again."

His cousin nodded.  "And I'm not sure if it could be stopped this time.  Plus, there are forces that could use such a power to their advantage."

Sirius knew who he was speaking of without a second thought.  "Voldemort."

"Yes."  His cousin raked his hand through his hair, an obvious sign of nervousness.   "Sirius, I was sent to guide your soul to where it belongs so that that wouldn't happen but…I can't."

Sirius' head snapped sharply in his direction.  "What?  Why?"

"You're missing part of your soul."  Sirius just blinked.  HUH?  "I can't guide your soul when a part of it isn't even present.  And even if they get just a part of your soul, the balance will still tip."

"So that's it then?"  Sirius didn't want to believe it.  He COULDN"T believe it.

His cousin shook his head firmly.  "No, I'm not going to give up.  There's still a chance you can be saved and this whole thing can be avoided.  But it's only if you're willing to go through with it."

Sirius sighed heavily, but his cousin's voice, so full of determination, was somewhat inspiring to him.   "Whatever it is I'll do it."

His cousin smiled.  "Good.  Now, you're going to have to do what I say and just trust me."  Sirius nodded and his cousin's face grew more serious and concentrated.  "Sirius, I need you to relax and not fight what I'm about to do.  Trust me.  Everything will be fine."

Sirius nodded, and despite the mandate to 'relax', he braced himself.  Nothing happened at first and he was about to ask what was wrong when it hit him.  His neck started to grow cold again.  Oh God!  He was losing his soul.  He was going to be lost forever.  The veil would disappear and-

"SIRIUS!  Concentrate!"  The sharp yell from his cousin surprised him.  This was supposed to happen?  What if he lost his soul? 

'Trust me.'  He DID have faith in his cousin.  Sirius gritted his teeth at that thought and tried to focus on not panicking.  The sensations felt so strange.  It was painful and yet…not.  He felt a strange urge to let go and yet he was afraid that he would lose something.  He had no feeling left now and he snapped his eyes shut.  He just felt lost now, as though he was just drifting and had no purpose and…wait…how come he could feel again?

He opened his eyes and realized that he was 'standing' like his cousin was.  "What the-?  What is this?"

His cousin looked a bit weaker somehow but otherwise he seemed alright.  "It's a temporary body.  It's like a shell with your soul contained within.  You'll still be able to feel pain and comfort, but you won't need to carry out normal bodily functions like eating."

Sirius flexed his fingers.  It felt so different but as far as he could tell he looked like he had before he fallen through the veil.  He looked appraisingly at his cousin.  "I thought you didn't inherit any of your family's power?"

"I've always had some, it's just that the wizard in me overpowered it."  He grew serious then.  "Now, I've got just enough strength left to send you where I think you can find all the answers you'll need.  The longest I can give you in that form is a year, Sirius.  After that it'll be too late.  Your soul will return here…to them."

Sirius nodded.  "Okay.  Where will you send me?"

"My home."  Sirius blinked and then grinned.  He'd caused a lot of…mischief there when he was younger.  His cousin groaned.  "Don't cause them too much trouble, Sirius.  But anyway, I think my wife won't be too shocked.  She's had enough surprises dealing with me."

"I'll behave.  When will you send me?"

"Now, actually."  His cousin formed his hands a certain way and closed his eyes for a moment.  "Alright, get ready now." 

Sirius moved his neck around and then braced himself.  "Sirius?"  He looked at his cousin and was taken aback by his expression.  He looked sad and forlorn.  "Could you tell my family that I love them?  And tell my wife that…its time to let our children know.  Especially my daughter.  She'll be the one that will help you most."

Sirius smiled sadly.  "I'll tell them, Kei.  What was you daughter's name again?"

"Kagome…Kagome Higurashi."  

Author's Notes:  Many a thank you to you for having read through the first chapter.  Feedback is most appreciated so click on the little review button.  ^_^

But anyway, I had started an Inuyasha/Harry Potter fic about two years ago, but it's been abandoned due to The Order of the Phoenix and neglect.  But from continual reviews (thank you everyone!!), a love of Rowling and Takahashi's work, and a need to see more of Sirius, I've started Persevere.

So I hope you'll stick around for the wild ride ahead!  There'll be romance, drama, comedy, action, angst (Poor Harry…I'm going to torture that poor boy), and all that other great stuff.