Muriel left St. Mungo's hurriedly, long after the sun went down. Sirius had expected her to look at a house today that they were thinking of buying, but she was too late. With the wedding less than six months away, he was starting to get nervous about finding them a place of their own. She left by the visitor's entrance, thinking a walk might clear her head. Aunt Rosa had fallen ill so suddenly, and Muriel worried about her a lot. She walked past a filthy alley and a sudden movement caught her eye. She heard footsteps.

She peered down the dark street and quickly cast a vision enhancement charm on herself. Now she could make out shapes, a man dressed in muggle clothing hurrying away from a tall, thin man in robes. She saw a small glint of light reflecting from the man's wand. Without another thought, she pulled out her own wand.

"Expelliarmus!" she shouted. The robed figure flew backward, and she summoned his wand before it hit the ground. It changed direction in midair and flew into her hand as she ran forward. The man was trying to get up, so she bound him and cautiously reached out a hand to remove his mask. He struggled violently as she pulled the mask away from his face.

"No," she whispered, her eyes widening. She took his left hand and violently pushed back the sleeve of his robe to reveal the dark mark, black and harsh on his pale skin.

"NO!" she screamed, throwing his arm back at him in rage.

"MURIEL?" Someone was shouting at her, and she thought the voice sounded familiar. She stared at the man before her for a second more, taking in all the thoughts that were flying out of his mind and into hers. "MURIEL?" Her father was calling to her from the street. He and the Auror named Harrington were running toward them.

"Go. Just go!" she whispered, releasing the bound Death Eater.

"Mur, you can't. If you let me go - " He was whispering desperately, and her father was coming closer. She threw him his wand and pointed hers at him.

"GO NOW!" she screamed. He vanished with a loud CRACK as her father reached her.

AN: You've just read the end of the beginning. It is also the beginning of the end. Now you have a choice. If you've been reading all my stories in order, you'll want to continue to do so. (Short break from Mur and Sirius coming up.) But when you get to the 11th story, you will discover that there are 2 VERSIONS! You can decide which version to read (or which to read first, if you plan to read both). You see, I don't actually know the nature of the veil. It's my personal opinion that Sirius can be brought back through, but I could be wrong. Hence I wrote two stories:

11 Sorting Things Out (If you've already read this one, you should know that several new scenes/chapters have been added, and they're really fun ones! I hope you'll run through it again so you don't miss them!)


11 The Alternate Nature of the Veil (The story of Muriel's return, and how she lives her life if she can't have Sirius.)

Thanks again to all of you who read and reviewed. This has really helped me to get up the guts to write my own stuff, which I'll get back to as soon as I'm done with all this!