These characters are J.K. Rowling's, not mine. There are quite a few extracts from "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" in this story, I would have liked to have put them in italics but I have no idea how!

Blind and deaf to everything going on around him, Sirius concentrated his gaze on his cousin's ravaged face. The same face as the little girl, not even of Hogwarts age and yet who seemed monstrous in his child's eyes, who had tormented him with hissed tales of lethifolds and vampires at him, as he lay shuddering in bed during family visits, and who'd locked him in the dank cellar of his aunt and uncle's house, conjuring snakes to glide beneath the door.

He remembered her at Hogwarts, the tall, pale girl with a reputation of cruelty. She had been in her sixth year when he'd arrived, striding the halls with Lucius Malfoy, followed at a respectful distance by his cronies Crabbe and Goyle, striking fear into the hearts of the new students, and displaying her fury at her sister and cousin's sorting into Gryffindor with customary Slytherin malice. After she left school, he saw her the summer before he left home for good, when she'd come to visit her aunt and uncle with her fiancé, Rodolphus Lestrange. Statuesque and fierce, proud and impressive, she had dominated the room, usually his mother's role. She had not crumpled even when in the presence of Dementors. He had only caught a glimpse of her upright, almost triumphant figure being led past his cell.

It was the same face, but now it was decayed by Azkaban, twisted by hatred and illuminated by her eyes, the heavy lids crowning hollows of madness.

These thoughts and memories took split seconds, as Sirius duelled. He and Bellatrix were well matched, and seemed to be almost dancing in their battle. Boiling hate coursed through him at the sight of that woman, who had dedicated her life to Voldemort, who had gleefully tortured and killed so many, who had caused two of his friends to lose their minds, and left their son worse than an orphan. Who wanted to kill his Godson.

He ducked a stunning spell, enjoying the thrill of a fight, even a deadly one.

"Come on, you can do better than that!" He taunted her. He was laughing at her; he knew how to unhinge her most.

He could not quite believe it when the next spell hit him squarely in the chest. His eyes widened in shock, the laughter still on his lips.

Sirius was flung through the air. Time slowed down, as his body neared the fluttering veil behind him. "How stupid", he thought, as he waited for the crash of his body upon the stone. He was angry with himself for letting himself be hit, surprised at the sudden victory of his opponent, and scared because he did not know what spell she had used against him. He expected pain, unconsciousness, or even death as soon as time started up again. He did not expect the whooshing in his ears to suddenly cease, even as his body continued moving through the air. But it was not air through which he was falling. A gentle breeze cascaded through his body, and when he finally touched the ground, he could see that he was the other side of the stone archway, from which the fluttering veil had been suspended. But now the veil was gone. He leapt up, shaking himself all over, as a dog would, surprised that he wasn't stunned, or even bruised from the fall.

Straight in front of him, on the other side of the arch, he could see Bellatrix's look of triumph. Very faintly he could hear her gleeful screams, and wondered why. Past her he saw Harry leave his position on the steps, and race towards him. Something was wrong with his hearing, Sirius realised. Harry appeared to be shouting, yet he could only make out his own name being repeated softly. Now Remus had grabbed Harry, Harry was struggling. Sirius began to move towards his Godson, to try to comfort him, to show him that he was miraculously uninjured, when his view was obliterated by a large amount of vibrant red hair.

Suddenly his arms were pinned against his sides. He opened his mouth to utter an exclamation, but found himself muffled by a cloud of hair. Something had launched itself, no, someone had launched herself at him. As Lily Potter finally stood back, Sirius caught sight of Remus dragging a resisting Harry away from the dais. Sirius was torn; he wanted to race after Harry, had to make sure he was alright, but he also wanted to stay with this vision, what had to be a vision, of Harry's mother, who was staring at him with tears in her eyes.

Lily looked as though she might fling herself upon Sirius again. He gazed down hungrily at her familiar face, which he had only seen in nightmares for almost fifteen years. He took in the luminous green eyes, so like her son's, that were, besides the hair, her most striking feature. In the nightmares the eyes had been blank and lifeless, but now, in this vision, they were waterlogged but as piercing as ever. He felt, as he always had done when Lily stared at him, that she could see his innermost thoughts, could read his soul.

"Oh Sirius," she half whispered, half sobbed, touching his arm. He stepped towards her, but she was drawing away, sliding out of focus. His heart was aching; the vision was leaving him. Lily had looked so lifelike, had felt so real when she'd hugged him, it had been as though she was still alive. He stared desolately at the spot where she'd stood, not noticing the second figure which had slowly formed beside him.

"Hello Padfoot," came a not entirely steady voice. Sirius half turned, and blinked stupidly. For there he was before him. James, Prongs, his best friend, the person he'd cared about most in the world, for whose death he still blamed himself, whose murderer he had let escape, whose son he had failed to protect. Sirius was afraid to meet his eyes, half expecting to see accusation and disappointment. But James' eyes were full of love and grief, gratitude and sympathy. Suddenly Sirius understood.

"So I'm dead then."

James let out a choking laugh, and enveloped him in a massive hug. Emotion filled up Sirius' chest, threatening to cut off his air supply, 'which I don't need anymore' he thought flippantly. He felt light headed. He was with James and Lily again.

Harry. Harry and Remus. The memories snagged at Sirius like a fishing hook, tugging his mind back towards the living. He'd left Harry, their son. Could they forgive him if they knew?

"James- Harry!" He stuttered urgently. James released him, his eyes too glinting with dampness. But his voice was calm.

"It's alright, Lily's keeping watch."

Sirius opened his mouth to question him, but beyond James saw Lily's figure come into view. Shadows around them solidified into objects, intensifying until a scene had developed before them. A whirl of doors, and then Harry, running through a corridor in the Ministry of Magic.

Sirius wanted to reach out, wanted to stop Harry. He shouldn't be alone at the moment, it was too dangerous. Lily turned to the two men, stricken.

"He's gone after Bellatrix."

As one, James and Sirius swore, eyes glued to the scene in front of them.

Harry was travelling in a lift; now he had ripped the doors open, and was sprinting towards Bellatrix Lestrange, who shot a curse at him, forcing him to duck behind the Fountain of Magical Brethren.

"Come out, come out, little Harry!"

Bellatrix's disgustingly sweet baby voice nauseated Sirius. He wanted to rain curses down upon her, watch the sickly smile fall from her face. Beside him, Lily was trembling as she watched, though through fear for Harry or anger at Bellatrix, Sirius couldn't tell. James had his arm drawn protectively across her shoulders, but his jaw was gritted with unnatural tension.

"I thought you were here to avenge my dear cousin!"

"I am!"

Rage and guilt possessed Sirius. It was his fault that Harry had gone after Bellatrix. It was because of him that Harry had come to the Ministry in the first place; he hadn't even been there when Harry checked at Grimmauld Place.

"Aaaaaah...did you love him, little baby Potter?"

Bellatrix's words rang in Sirius' ears, and the hatred that he thought had reached its limit swelled.

"We've got to do something, we've got to help him!" he yelled to James and Lily. Lily moved to put her hand on his arm, James stayed where he was, not taking his eyes off Harry. Sirius brushed Lily's hand away.

"How can you just stand there?" he shouted, furiously, incredulously.

"Do you think we'd stand here watching if there were anything, ANYTHING we could do?" James bellowed. He took a deep breath. "There's nothing we can do, Sirius."

Helplessly Sirius turned back to the battle. Bellatrix had just aimed the Cruciatus curse at Harry. The pain of knowing that there was nothing he could do to save his Godson was worse than any a wand could inflict. And James and Lily had suffered it for over fourteen and a half years.

"I'm sorry Prongs."

James smiled at him briefly.

Sirius was impressed by Harry's duelling skills, as he and Bellatrix shot spells at each other, but he knew with a dull certainty that his cousin was right. Harry wouldn't be able to beat her.

"Give me the prophecy..." Bellatrix was shouting.

"How I hate that prophecy," Lily remarked grimly.

James tightened his grip on his wife's shoulders. The prophecy had forced them into hiding, it had killed them little after a year after it had been made. That prophecy was the reason Harry was fighting one of Voldemort's best Death Eaters alone.

All three were startled at Harry's crowing laugh.

"Your dear old mate Voldemort knows it's gone!"

Sirius smiled despite himself.

"He knows how to really get to her, at least." But his smile quickly changed to concern as they saw Harry's face screw up with pain.

"Is he hurt?" James asked quickly.

"I think it's his scar." Sirius answered. "He can tell Voldemort's mood through it and, well, Voldemort's not going to be very happy if his prophecy's been smashed."

A minute later however, Lily gave a strangled gasp, while James and Sirius blanched, as Voldemort appeared in the middle of the hall. Sirius' blood seemed to freeze. Voldemort's wand was pointed at Harry's chest. Even the satisfying sight of Bellatrix losing her composure and cowering on the floor could not distract him from the peril Harry was in, he'd escaped Voldemort four times, yet Sirius didn't see how he could do so again.

"You have irked me too often, for too long. AVADA KEDAVRA!"

'NOOOO,' a voice in Sirius' head was screaming. James and Lily had both flinched beside him, Lily was sobbing quietly. He knew Harry could not survive the killing curse a second time. He would die then, as his parents had done.

The statue leapt to Harry's rescue.

James exhaled, shakily.

"Dumbledore," breathed Lily and Voldemort simultaneously.

It was going to be alright. Relief swept through them as they watched the statue of the witch bear down on Bellatrix, the centaur run at Voldemort, the goblin and house elf go for help and the headless wizard shield Harry.

"I can't believe I used to hate that fountain," muttered James.

They had no doubts that Dumbledore would win the spectacular duel that followed. He was, after all, the only one Voldemort had ever feared, and, as he fended off Voldemort's attack, whilst closing in on him and talking calmly, it was easy to see why.

"He's amazing," Sirius said in admiration, as Dumbledore enclosed Voldemort in a cocoon of water. Suddenly however, Dumbledore shouted to Harry, sounding scared.

Voldemort had disappeared, the battle was surely over.

"What's happened?" cried Lily, and then screamed as Harry opened his mouth and spoke in Voldemort's high, mocking, merciless voice."

"Kill me now, Dumbledore..."

Sirius couldn't breathe. More than ever he needed to go and help, to do something, anything, to end this. James' eyes were wide, and he was clutching Lily, whose shoulders were heaving. The thought of Voldemort inhabiting, possessing Harry's body sickened them all.

"If death is nothing, Dumbledore, kill the boy..."

'And then he'd be with us,' Sirius couldn't help thinking briefly, before feeling disgusted with himself. Harry had to live. Of course he didn't want Harry to die.

And then it was over.

Harry fell to the floor, as Voldemort appeared, along with Ministry officials and aurors. Voldemort grabbed Bellatrix and vanished, leaving Dumbledore stooping over Harry, and Cornelius Fudge, mouth gaping like a goldfish's, being led forward through the crowd by the house-elf and goblin statues.

As Harry took the Portkey from Dumbledore, the Atrium faded and vanished. After a few seconds Dumbledore's office grew from the shadows, Harry pacing round it.

Sirius wrenched his eyes from his Godson's anguished face, and turned to Lily and James.

"So...where are we, what or who are we? And anything else you fancy telling me."

James grinned.

Lily began.

"We're where we always used to be, but the living don't know we're there. The Dead don't leave for good, we can visit those we loved in life, but they can't see or feel us."

"We can spy on people we didn't like too," James added. "I can't believe that slime ball Snivellus picks on Harry just because we hated him. Well actually I can. Knowing him."

Sirius' lip curled. "I think he hates Harry for himself, now too. But he did save his life this evening," he added as an afterthought.

"So we're like invisible ghosts?" he asked Lily.

"Not really." It was James who answered. "Ghosts chose not to die properly, they sort of pretend to still be alive. We are properly dead, and we're free to go wherever. The Kingdom of Heaven isn't an actual place; it's all around us. The Dead watch the living, but the living don't know.

Sirius groaned.

"That means my sainted Mother saw what I did to her precious house. I don't relish meeting her here." He looked around apprehensively. There was no sign of Mrs Black in Dumbledore's bright office. Harry was glowering at the locked door.

"We saw that too," Lily sounded apprehensive. "We know how much you hated going back there. It was brave of you."

"Well, if you see a mad, aged and probably shrieking old bat advancing on me, let me know."

James snorted.

"Although she won't be old, Padfoot. You return to how you looked in your prime, or if a child dies, they grow until they are adults."

"You look the same," Sirius pointed out. A split second later, he could have slapped himself. "Merlin, I'm sorry."

Lily smiled, and silently handed him a small, round object. Sirius glanced at it. It was a wizard photograph of himself, before Azkaban. It mimicked his puzzled expression. Why had Lily given him a photo of himself? He looked up at her, then back at the object, and realised.

"That's a mirror?"

They laughed at him.

"Different to...before, isn't it?" James said. Sirius became suspicious.

"Did you watch me?"

"We watched everybody we loved," Lily answered. "You, Harry, Remus, Frank and Alice," she looked away. Sirius wondered if they'd seen their friends tortured into insanity.

"You should've seen Lily when she saw Harry with her sister." James said, trying to change the subject. "I rather wished I'd become a ghost and could indulge in some good old-fashioned haunting." Sirius laughed weakly, but then looked up at his friends.

"You saw Azkaban?"

They nodded, Lily's big eyes filled with compassion.

"Sirius, I...we...we're so sorry."

Sirius shook his head. He didn't deserve their sympathy.

"I should never have persuaded you to switch. And then I didn't kill the little rat when I had the chance," he said, angrily.

James gripped his shoulder.

"It was not your fault. I never suspected Peter either, I thought it was Remus too. And Harry was right," he added more gently. "I didn't want you and Remus to become murderers on my behalf."

Sirius gulped. He'd rationally known that it hadn't been his fault, but had never been able to forgive himself. In his worst moments in Azkaban, James had appeared before him, blaming him for his and Lily's deaths. Now those memories were ebbing away.

"So you've seen everything?"

"No, we don't watch all the time." Lily answered. "We check on people now and again, Harry mainly. But we also spend time elsewhere, visit new places, or spend time with people we love who are here, like our parents."

"We've been there each time Harry's been in trouble," James added, "and when he plays Quidditch."

Sirius grinned.

"You know, I think he plays better than you did Prongs."

"Merlin, I'd forgotten how annoying you were, Padfoot."

Sirius pulled a face at him. Lily laughed at the pair of them,

A frown crossed James' face. "Of course, I'm not pleased you're dead or anything, and Harry's going to really miss you, but...well, I've missed you. A lot."

Sirius was rather grateful that Dumbledore entered the room at that moment, giving him a chance to quickly dry his eyes.

*****

"He's braver than we were Prongs, I'd never have dared even touch Dumbledore's possessions, let alone throw them at him."

"I think he's more upset than you two ever were at school," Lily said. Sirius glanced over, knowing that they too longed to comfort Harry, and yet were powerless to do so.

"You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it."



Sirius' insides wrenched. He knew that feeling, it had started that fateful Halloween when he'd come reached the destroyed Godric's Hollow, and stayed with him throughout his years in Azkaban.



"You have now lost your mother, your father, and the closest thing to a parent you have ever known."

Lily, James and Sirius watched.

They watched as Harry tried to escape, as he shouted at Dumbledore, and as he was made to sit down, and told that Dumbledore was partly to blame for Sirius' death.

"This is so weird." Sirius muttered.

"Sirius isn't that you great great great something grandfather?" asked James as Phones Nigellus began to interrupt. Sirius let out a bark of laughter.

"Now he cares!"

They listened intently as Dumbledore began to explain about Harry's scar. Harry on the other hand, did not look very interested, and interrupted Dumbledore's speech about Occlumency.

"and Sirius wouldn't-" Harry seemed to think that he could have prevented it all from happening.

"No." Sirius muttered, to no one in particular. "He can't blame himself, it wasn't HIS fault." He'd blamed himself for almost fifteen years. Harry could not go through that. Not for him.

He soon grew quiet when he learned that it was Kreacher who had betrayed them.

"...or that he ever saw Kreacher as a being with feelings as acute as a human's-" Dumbledore was saying.

James and Harry spoke at once.

"Don't you blame- don't you- talk- about Sirius like-"

"Too right, that Kreacher sounds like a vile piece of filth, Padfoot."

Both Sirius and James bristled when the talk turned to Snape, although, as Lily pointed out, they had to admit that he had helped them in the end. However James still muttered savagely, when Dumbledore talked about Snape overcoming his feelings about Harry's father. Even Lily snorted.

"Well if he hasn't overcome them for the last four years, he was hardly about to start, honestly Dumbledore."

Sirius and James both looked at her, shocked, but were jerked back to the office by Harry's raised voice.

"It's OK for Snape to hate my dad, but it's not OK for Sirius to hate Kreacher?"

"Sirius did not hate Kreacher,"

"Sirius did!" Sirius growled.

*****

"What is he doing?" Lily tutted, as Dumbledore described the events which had occurred during Harry's Hogwarts career. "He's going to tell him about the prophecy now? He's too young, he's tired, he's upset."

She glared angrily at the figure of her old friend and former Headmaster.

"He'll be better off knowing," Sirius said heavily. Lily nodded slowly.

"I just wish..."

Both she and James shivered as the ghostly figure of Sibyl Trelawney relayed the prophecy. Sirius gazed, unseeing into the room. What if it had been Neville Longbottom? James and Lily, and him would still be alive. But Frank and Alice would be dead. He remembered Neville as the boy Harry had told him he'd stolen the list of passwords from, two years ago. He hadn't paid much attention to him this evening, but he had the impression of a well meaning, yet rather useless youth. He couldn't wish the fate of the wizarding world on him.

"There is a room in the Department of Mysteries," Dumbledore announced, drawing Sirius' attention back to him.

"That power took you to save Sirius tonight...It was your heart that saved you."

Harry had loved him then.

"Of course he did." Lily was reading his mind again. "You were a parent to him when James and I weren't able to be." Sirius looked up at them.

"You don't mind, do you?"

"Ah, Padfoot, fifteen years on and you're still a prat. We're grateful you idiot."

There was a pause.

"Although," James continued lightly, "as an honorary parent, Lily and I want your opinion."

Sirius looked wary.

Lily mock huffed.

"James thinks Harry likes Hermione, but I've told him he doesn't, not in that way."

Sirius laughed.

"I think Ron would have something to say if Harry did!"

Lily looked triumphant, James relieved.

"Good. She's a lovely girl, but not right for him. Too bookish...Ouch!"

Lily sniffed.

"It's not always a bad thing."

Sirius remembered that Lily had always taken studying a lot more seriously than him or James.

James was massaging his ribs, but patted Lily's arm with his other hand.

"In some people it's a very attractive quality," he said, catching Sirius' eye and laughing. Lily stuck out her tongue.

"I hope he doesn't still like that Cho girl," James continued.

Sirius' ears pricked up.

"What Cho girl?"

"Lola," Lily answered laughingly, then stopped at their blank faces.

"You missed the Cho incident?" James gaped at Sirius.

"He's a teenager, he's not going to tell him," Lily cut in. "It wasn't much, just a date, I think."

"About the worst date in history," James snorted.

"Worse than mine with Valerie Cosines?" asked Sirius, interested.

"No, I suppose she didn't break any of his bones," mused James.

"Poor girl. She just cried a bit. Well, quite a lot."

Sirius looked horrified.

"I think that is worse, Prongs. I'd rather have a broken leg than a crying girlfriend!"

"You know who I think it'll be?" James said suddenly. "Ginny Weasley."

"Ginny?" spluttered Sirius, remembering the girl who'd stayed at Grimmauld Place for much of the holidays. "Nice girl, but she's his friend."

"She used to like him," mused Lily, "but she says she's given up on him now."

James grinned.

"Wait till he works out that he likes her, and turns on the Potter charm."

Lily grimaced.

"In that case, I'm doomed to have no grandchildren."

"It'll be Ginny Weasley, you'll see. It's all in the hair."

"So you married me for my hair colour?"

"And then they'll have a daughter with red hair and green eyes…"

"You just like her because she plays Quidditch…"

Sirius smiled to himself. 'Heaven is all around us'. He thought of Harry, who wouldn't know until too late that those he had lost would be with him during his trials. Remus would now be the last Marauder. Luckily thanks to the Wolfsbane potion, Moony no longer needed Padfoot and Prongs to keep him in check. Sirius looked back at his Godson's parents. James, who was tickling Lily, glanced at him from over her scarlet head, and winked. Almost fifteen years had passed; the line between life and death had been crossed; yet some things had not changed. Sirius was home.

A/N I hope this didn't offend anyone with particular religious beliefs. One of my parents' friends talked about an idea that the Kingdom of Heaven is all about us, you just can't see it, and I thought of this. I wrote it as I'm stuck on Lily's Last Year, so any readers of that- if any still exist- I am sorry, and I will try to sort it out. The next update is half done, but don't worry, it definitely will NOT take another two and a half weeks. In the meantime, any ideas, Please tell me, there is quite a big chance of me using them, as I don't seem to have that many of my own. I know where it will end up, it's just how to get there...!