Young Again

I don't own any of the Harry Potter characters

A sharp pain in the back brought round the young, well-muscled, black haired man. He was in his early twenties, with short hair, styled like a muggles into spikes. The man groaned and sat up looking around him to take in his surroundings. He was on the floor of someones bedroom, and though he was not quite sure who's, he was positive that he had definitely been there before. He managed to get to his feet, and looked at the black sheets of the bed. A frown passed over his handsome features, as he puzzled over where he was. His eyes scanned the room, taking in the bookshelf, the mahogany desk that sat in the corner, and the wardrobe that seemed to shake as though there were something inside it. He walked over to the desk, gasping at the pain in his legs, and opened the beech wood box that sat on it. He put his hand in and drew out a locket, suspended on a gold chain. The man frowned. He had seen this before. He'd been cleaning with... who had they been? Several red-headed teenagers, a dark haired boy much like somebody he knew, and a bushy haired girl. But who had they been? He couldn't remember anything. They'd found this, he knew, and none of them had been able to open it, no matter what kind of spell they had used. The sound of voices on the stairs, and the sound of a door opening, made the man look round, into the faces ofa red-headed, tall boy, another tall, black-haired boy, and a slender girl with straight hair. He recognised all of them...

"Sirius?" The girl gasped, and fell backwards into the two boys.

The red-head stared, then said, "Bloody hell!" while the black-haired boy froze and looked on in both shock and confusion.

Suddenly, Sirius Black remembered who he was, and who these three people were.

"Harry! Ron! Hermione!" He gasped. They were older than he remembered,much older,possiblyfive or sixyears different from the last timethey had met. "Whats... where... how am I here?"

The tall red-head stared, then repeated, "bloody hell!" before looking at the black-haired boy. "You alright mate?"

The black-haired boy stared at this younger version of his godfather, whom he had believed dead for five years, then turned from the door to - judging by the sounds that reached Sirius' ears - bring up the last meal.

The girl, who now leaned against the frame of the door for support, mouthed several words without uttering a noise, then managed, "How are you so young?"

Sirius frowned, then turned to look at himself in the mirror behind him, before gasping at his reflection. The last time he had looked in this mirror, he had had long hair, lots of stubble, and been dressed in ragged clothes.Now he sported thehairstyle he had hadmere weeks before entering Azkaban nineteen years ago, wore black, new looking muggle clothing, and had only thesmallest amount of stubble, which- heremembered with a slight smile - had earnt himmany a lookfrom pretty ladies when he was in pubs with James... Sirius felt an ache in his chest, James was dead... so wasLily. Peterwas serving Voldemort, and he had no idea where Remus was.. he might not even still be alive... Seeing the girl in the mirror, looking at him with curiosity, he turned back.

"I don't know Hermione!" he managed, before, for some reason unbeknown to himself, he began to laugh. "I don't have a clue! I should be dead but..." he laughed again. "I'm not!"

Hermione and the two boys looked at Sirius, the man they had believed dead,as he laughed for several minutes, though managed to miss out what exactly was making him laugh. Finally he calmed down and looked at the black-haired boy, taking in the scruffy dark hair and the profile that reminded him so much of James, the green eyes that would always remind him of Lily. Only the small lightning bolt scar on the boys head was different to his parents in any way. Sirius hesitated, then spoke.

"Harry... I know this is a shock for you... well its a shock to me too... I thought I was dead!" He managed a small smile, then went on. "I wish I'd been back sooner... looks like I've missed another few years of your life."

Harry Potter stared at his Godfather, then leant against the door for support, never taking his eyes off Sirius. "You're dead!" He whispered, and Sirius heard with a jolt that his Godson was on the verge of tears. "You're dead! Just like everyone else! Just like Mum! Just like Dad! Just like Dumbledore! You're dead!" Sirius watched as Harry fell to his knees and buried his head in his hands. "Bellatrix killed you! I saw her! I watched her do it!"

Sirius didn't know what to do. He looked at Hermione and Ron for support, but both of them seemed as helpless as Sirius felt. "Harry... I'm not dead... the veil... well I don't know really, but... it doesn't kill people... it... I can't really remember but..." he trailed off, knowing that his words were not making any of this any clearer. He looked at Hermione again. She'd always been clever and intelligent, maybe she'd be able to understand what was going on. But although Hermione was not reacting nearly a badly as Harry, - who was now in fits of tears, being comforted by Rons words of 'it's alright mate... I mean its not like you didn't miss him or anything is it?'- she was still looking extremely confused and shocked. The sound of footsteps on the stairs made Sirius look up from his sobbing godson, just in time to see Remus Lupin arrive on the landing.

"Harry? What's wrong? Are you...?" Remus trailed off as his eyes fell on his old schoolfriend. "Padfoot?" he gasped. Sirius managed a grin.

"Alright Moony?" Remus stared for several more seconds, then walked over to grasp his friends wrist and pull him into a hug, much like a brother would have done. Sirius stared over his friends shoulder at his Godson, then looked towards Hermione, who was eyeing this reunion with something like interest on her face. Looking at her, Sirius realised that she was in fact, extremely beautiful. Before his 'trip' behind the veil, Sirius had looked on Hermione as an average looking teenager who had extremely good brains. Now, looking at her after six years doing something he couldn't remember, Sirius realized that her body had developed extremely well, and however perverted it might seem, he couldn't help but look at the swelling of her chest... shocked with himself, Sirius averted his eyes. Had he really just been eyeing up his godsons best friend?

"I thought you'd died!" Remus said, pulling away from his friend.

"I'd love to explain what really happened," Sirius murmured. "But I don't know." he looked at Harry. "I never knew Harry was so emotional!"

Remus sighed. "He not taking it well?"

Sirius shook his head, then frowned. "You don't seem all that surprised."

Remus grinned. "Oh I am, I just don't show it."

"Since when?"

"Since... I don't know... but after all Harry's been through lately, I think he's allowed to be emotional at seeing his godfather return from what he believed to be death."

"What do you mean?" Sirius asked, concern spreading over his now much younger face. "What's Harry been through? And whats this about Dumbledore being dead too?"

Remus looked at Harry, then shook his head. "It's for Harry to tell you, not me." He looked at his friend. "Did you arrive back like this or have you taken something to make you younger?"

Sirius grinned, but didn't stop looking at Harry, who had now been joined by Hermione. "I arrived like this."

Remus hesitated then shook his head. "I knew there was something wrong with that veil..."

Sirius didn't hear the rest of his friends words, as Hermione had now began to walk over to him, rather slowly, but she was definitely approaching him. When she was a metre away, she hesitated, then, seeing the frown on Sirius' face which she obviously recognised from somewhere, she threw herself at him and hugged him, surprisingly tight for a girl so slender. Sirius gasped then hugged her back, unsure where Hermione's show of affection had come from, but not minding in the least.

"He has missed you Sirius!" Hermione said, as she pulled away and wiped her eyes, which were glistening with tears. "He'd never admit it with all that's happened but he has... he'll realize soon enough..." she smiled hesitantly, then hugged Sirius again, before letting go and walking over to Harry and Ron,they weretalking quietly, but Sirius was sure that Ron and Hermione were trying to persuade Harry to come over and talk to him. He felt a sudden rush of gratitude, even more so when he saw the two of them help his godson to his feet and walk over to Sirius. For a second, Sirius met Harry's eyes and thought that he would turn away again, then his godson had fallen, or possibly jumped, into Sirius, hugging him as a son hugged his father after a long time apart. Sirius gasped again, now wondering if he had been winded by his fall onto the floor or by the three bonecrushing hugs he had recieved. When Harry let go, he lookedat his godfather with a small smile.

"You forgot your mirror!" he stated. Sirius noticed the gleam in his eye and laughed, ruffling Harry's hair.

"You forgot about them completely!" Sirius said.

Harry looked down at the floor... "No, I just... didn't use it..."

Sirius nodded. Silence fell until Harry broke it. "What happened? Behind the veil... what was it like?"

Sirius sighed and shrugged. "I don't remember Harry... maybe I never will." Harry nodded.

Another silence, then, "Well at least you're not old now!" Sirius stopped and grabbed his godson by the shoulders, rubbing his fist hard on Harry's head. "That's right! Not old! So no more cheeky comments about it or I'll have to challenge you to a duel!"

Sirius lay in his bed, smiling to himself. He wasn't dead. He was young. His godson was talking to him, which he had feared would never happen again. Though although he wouldn't admit it, it was the hug that Hermione had given him that had really made him happy... and although he wouldn't admit it to anyone, he had secretly entertained several fantasies about her in the last few hours...

Review please!