Disclaimers: This is where I ought to write something appropriately witty declaring that I do not, in fact, own Harry Potter... But nothing comes to mind. So I will simply state it in plain terms: I DO NOT OWN HARRY POTTER.
Sirius, looking around, couldn't believe his eyes. He was in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place, dinner was on the table, and Remus was calmly reading the Daily Prophet.
A surge of joy and relief surged through him. "I'm here! I never got hit by the Knight Bus! I'm alive! It was all a dream!"
Remus looked up, exasperation printed on his lined face. "This is the dream, stupid. You're still dead."
"Crap," said Sirius, and his eyes snapped open.
He was lying face-up on the ground, looking up at a pale blue sky, white sunlight streaming painfully into his blinking eyes. Relief from said light came rather suddenly, in the form of a large concerned face that moved into his field of vision.
"You alright?" asked the ticket man.
"Fine, fine," grumbled Sirius, hauling himself up. Brushing bits of grass from his green stained robes, he peered blearily at his surroundings. Great blue skies, lush emerald grass, a large ominously rippling black veil... He was back in Here.
So this was it; he, Sirius Black, was actually dead... Again.
Wearily, he rounded on the ticket man. "One ticket to Here. I'm a Wizard."
The man eyed him suspiciously. "Have I seen you before?"
"How could you? That would imply that I died twice," said Sirius sardonically as he accepted his ticket and tripped over the turn-style with ease. Righting himself, he shuffled moodily to the long winding line of deceased men and women. This, in every sense, sucked. Why did the Knight Bus have to come along at that moment? He should be back at home, living! He didn't even like ping-pong!
"Did I stutter?"
The man with the snack tray shrugged and moved on.
The witch in white robes completely failed to recognize Sirius as she accepted the ticket he proffered her glumly. He couldn't exactly blame her... She had to deal with thousands, perhaps millions of dead people each day.
"Well, everything seems to be in order, Mr. Blank. We hope you'll enjoy Here."
"I doubt that, and for the last time, it's Black. Not Blask, not Blank, Black."
"Wait... Did you just say Black?"
"Yes, I said Black!"
She scanned the ticket again, glanced at her computer screen, and gazed wonderingly up at Sirius. "Are you, or are you not, Mr. Serious Blank of number 12, Grim Old Place?"
"No, I'm Sirius Black, number 12, Grimmauld Place."
Her eyes narrowed. "Wait a minute... I remember you!"
Sirius rolled his own eyes. "Congratulations, you've just won the Prize of the Day."
"What is up with you and dying when you're not supposed to?"
"Hey, it's not my fault that you lot are having some kind of data issue concerning my mortality!"
The witch groaned and sunk back in her chair, burying her face in one hand. This job was not, was not worth the stress. Without even looking at Sirius, she gestured feebly at the Veil with her other hand. "Go. You have forty-eight hours."
"Do I just have to get Mr. Blank, or do I still have to find Blask too?"
"Oh, I don't give a damn, just go!"
Grinning, Sirius almost-but-not-quite skipped away from the line, bowling over the candy man in the process. Approaching the Veil, he prepared to step through it, prepared to get another chance at life...
Suddenly, he paused.
Turning around, he saw the ticket man, standing alone by the solitary turn-style.
He looked up.
"I have a question for you!"
The ticket man looked annoyed. "Don't they all! No, I'm sorry, I can not bring you back to life."
"It's okay, the lady at the booth already did. No, I was just wondering... What's a Vanderdeiken?"
The ticket man paused, and smiled. Stepping over to where Sirius stood, he whispered, "If I told you that, it would destroy the element of suspense that's been keeping everyone reading all this while." And, having said as much, he gave Sirius a light shove and sent him tumbling through the Veil.
A/N: Not quite the happy ending everybody expected, eh? Well, Sirius and Remus are both alive (for the time being), and that was what you all wanted, right? Eh heh heh. Anyway, thanks for reading "Beyond the Veil," and I hope that all my readers enjoyed it. You've put up with confusion, caprice, and endless hiatuses, and I love you all.
Some of you may cry, "Sequel!" and I will cry, "Hell no!" but I suppose anything could happen at this point...