Like a Puff of Mist…POOF!

A Harry Potter Fanfiction

by mew-tsubaki

Note: My first HariPo fic! Yay! So, I recently reread the 5th book. Anyway, I think I now know who my favorite character is: Sirius. I love him! Kya! Basically, this story is picking up where the Order of the Phoenix left off, but it's heading into Harry's seventh year. That's it…except post a comment when you're done reading. Thanks! -

Disclaimer: All characters belong to J.K. Rowling, unless otherwise stated at the head of each chapter right here in the disclaimer. So far, the only original characters I can think of right now are: Roxane Lovegood (Luna's mum), ghosts Lucille Skaveys and Patrick Connelly, Professor Zee Anomaly (Potions), and Professor Garrid Hellbourne (Defense Against the Dark Arts).

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Chapter 1: Can't Seem to Catch Those Final Z's…

"Ah… Bloody 'ell! What the…?" The shaggy-haired male groggily glanced about him as he tried to open his eyes. All around him, a dark void was the only landscape available, with no one else in sight. He floated around the darkness for a few minutes, but he had no idea where he was. He couldn't be here right now! His sense of danger was itching him to go back and finish that fight. How could Bellatrix have caught him off-guard? Well, it's a good thing that her curse didn't take full effect, he thought. Thank god Dumbledore wanted to place one of his wards on me. If anyone can keep death away, it's him. But Harry… "Poor Harry…," he muttered. "Harry'll be worried if I don't find my way out of here fast enough. Let's go, then!"

Tattered robes swam behind the male as he thought he moved forward, but he wasn't sure if he was really moving at all. Does this place have an end? he thought. Crap… I'll never make it out if progress is this slow…

Behind him voices could be heard echoing in the depths, proving that maybe this place wasn't as big as it seemed. The man turned around and felt for his wand just in case. "Ah! There it is! Lumos!" The tip of his wand glowed like a firefly and he moved it around him to get a better look at his surroundings. A sweat broke out on his forehead and he gulped rather loudly. "Th-This can't be right…"

All around him was nothing but darkness. Ahead of him, behind him, on either of his sides –it was like he was trapped in a black ink bottle but someone had put the stopper back in. He reached forward with his right hand, his left unsteadily holding his wooden wand. He shrank back as the blackness greedily ate up his forearm. Pulling his right arm back and seeing it unharmed, he began looking for the source of the voices. "Hello!" he called. "Who else is trapped here?"

No one answered. The man mentally slapped his head. Wasn't "staying quiet" one of the things Remus always told us to do if we're lost? I might as well be letting my murderers know, "Here! Here I am a sitting duck!" More like a "sitting dog", though… He opened his shining black eyes and scratched his scraggly chin, which was about half-way between a goatee and a beard. Only a matter of time before I find out if I'll die or not, the male pondered as footsteps resounded in the void just as the voices had done not so long ago. Here they come!

The footsteps came closer and closer until –they stopped. The man held his breath, waiting for something, anything to happen. Maybe they were looking for him, too, but he didn't hear anyone move around him. Finally, he exhaled…which was the wrong thing to do.

"Wot's this? Merlin's beard! We 'ave a live one down here?" said a gruff, stern voice belonging to what sounded like an old man.

"Looks like she wasn't lying then when she fell through the veil herself!" cried a squeaky, female tone.

"I told you the truth, and nothing but the truth," said another woman's voice, this one coming off rather dreamily. "He just proved my theory."

The greasy-haired man blinked. What were they talking about, a "live one"? Were they referring to him? Of course he was alive. Even though not many can survive getting hit with one of the Unforgivable Curses, he was there, wasn't he? Of course, now he recalled Harry's scar. Interesting, the male thought. Now Harry and I are alike more than ever, both living to tell the tale after being on the receiving end of an Unforgivable.

Suddenly a hand reached out and patted his arm, causing him to jolt slightly. "Sorry, sorry," came the dreamy woman's voice. "What's your name, dear?" The hand was soft and warm and rested on his wand-less hand.

He gulped. He had heard tales of creatures before: if they didn't know your name, then you could escape them. What were they called…? Yes, that's it: White Women, creatures that came to greet a dying person to egg on their death. But if he didn't give them a name… He didn't know what they'd do. Besides, he'd heard of White Women, but White Men?

"S-Snuffles," he choked.

"'Snuffles'?" the perky female's voice echoed. She sniggered. "That's not right. Are you sure your parents weren't dropped on their heads before giving you such a dreadful name?"

He relaxed a bit. "I'm sure my parents were dropped on their heads several times," he commented. That was easy enough. He could trash-talk his parents any time, anywhere.

"Now look 'ere, me boy, I want a shraight answer to thi' queshon: 'Ow did you get down 'ere?" the old man asked.

Snuffles hesitated. He wasn't really sure of that himself. "I was dueling with a witch and she knocked me off my feet with a curse, but I fell through the veil," he answered.

The perky woman gave a squeal of delight and animatedly clapped her hands. "Ooh! Another 'Boy-Who-Lived'! How exciting!"

"Fightin' a witch, where you? And wot exactly were you doin' down 'ere in the Department of Mysteries?" the old man inquired rudely.

Snuffles did not like his tone of voice at all. It implied that he had been doing something sinister. "I came here to save my godchild!! He's the only family I've got left, and if you have a problem with that, then stop talking down to me!! In fact, stop talking to me altogether!!" he snapped. He huffed and waited for one of the three voices to comment. When no one did, he straightened up. He felt like he was going crazy. There he stood, talking to three people, none of which he could see, save for the hand on his.

"Did Voldemort enter the Ministry again?" the dreamy woman asked quietly.

Snuffles was taken aback by this straight-to-the-point question. "Yes, yes, he did," he replied, "and he brought several Deatheaters with him."

"You said a witch attacked you. Who?"

"Bellatrix Lestrange."

"Ooh!" the girly female piped. She gave another squeal of approval. "How very entertaining! A Boy-Who-Survived-One-Of-Moldy-Voldy's-Right-Hand-Men –or 'Women', in this case. You must have a death wish, though. Not many have the guts to face a Deatheater."

"Be quiet, you!" the old man remarked.

Snuffles faced where the hand protruded the darkness. "You asked if Voldemort had entered the Ministry again. When did he try before?"

"Once," replied the dreamy woman's voice, "six or seven years ago, I think it was. He was looking to take over the Ministry. He figured that if he could control the one power who just about controls all wizards' and witches', then his reign as the Dark Lord would come easier. He started with some corrupted house-elves, but even though they drove some away and most nuts, Albus Dumbledore helped the Minister of Magic flush them out. Unfortunately, the little buggers were everywhere, hiding in every place they could think of. My job was to play Hide-and-Seek with the Stupefy spell. I was in the Department when one backed me up against what I thought was a wall, but there was another house-elf behind my feet and the first one pushed me behind the veil. I've been here ever since."

An odd silence fell while the others shuffled their feet, thinking of what to say. "An Auror, were you?" Snuffles asked.

"In training, but yes. I doubt my family thinks I'm alive, though."

"Workin' in the Minishry was 'ell for me, too," the old man commented, "but I am dead. Damn Deatheater disguised as a visitor came down 'ere rootin' around, seein' wot's where, but I defended this place, I did. I whipped my wand out and dueled to the finish, 'cept I was the one who was finished. 'Earing the Avada Kedavra Curse shouted at me ten years ago was the last thing I 'eard."

"Least that does you in right away!" the perky woman whined. "When I was killed, they used the Torturing Curse on me until my eyes bugged out of my head and my head finally popped off. And when I say "popped off", there was a guttural "POP" when it happened!!"

"Yes, yes, Lucille," the old man stated. "We know you suffered more than us."

"Thank you, Patrick," Lucille admonished, ending her sentence with a "hmph!".

Snuffles cleared his throat. "And you two were down here because…?"

"I," Patrick began, "was an Auror by the name of Patrick Connelly. Now I'm jush his ghosh."

"I was the Minister's…private secretary twenty years back," Lucille giggled. Then her voice turned disapproving. "Eight Deatheaters took me hostage in hopes that the Minister would give in to the ransom of setting all other Deatheaters free from Azkaban. Little did I know that Lucille Skaveys was just an expendable character in the Minister's handbook."

Snuffles nodded sympathetically, but had shuddered when Lucille said "private secretary".

"I hope I never know what it's like to die…," the dreamy woman mentioned. "But this may be just like death." Her hand fell away from Snuffles'. "I miss my daughter and husband. Poor Luna… She was always a strong girl, but I sometimes feel as though my heart will crack, just thinking of seeing those blue eyes filled to the brim with sadness…" The woman gave in to a hearty sob and Snuffles listened as Patrick and Lucille comforted her with "shh"s and "it's okay"s.

"There's a reason your husband's last name's 'Lovegood', dear," Lucille stated. "He loves you well to this day, and so does Luna. They'll never forget you. If they had, you'd've vanished by now."

Snuffles' ears perked up. "'Vanished'…?" he echoed.

Patrick answered him. "There was another wizard in 'ere about a year ago by the name of Tymothie. 'E was alive like you two, but 'e sharted disappearin'. 'E told us that only 'is girlfriend was alive, none of 'is family. 'E came to the conclusion that she was forgettin' 'im 'cause he could felt it in 'im. Then one day –POOF! 'E was gone. We don't know if 'er forgettin' 'im was wot had caused 'is disappearance, but that fact that 'e could feel 'er forgettin' 'im right before 'e vanished –it's enough to make your skin crawl. We 'aven't felt that way yet, but we don't doubt 'im either."

The old Auror was right; Snuffles' skin felt like a corp of critters was running around underneath it. No one would forget him, though –right? I'm mean, even if a few do, Harry'll never forget me, he thought. I doubt Ron and Hermione would either –especially Hermione on my treatment of Kreacher. He pondered the scenario carefully. Who could really forget me, though? Most people think I'm a Deatheater who killed James and Lily's true best friend, Peter Pettigrew. I doubt anyone would ever forget the man who supposedly killed the parents of the Boy-Who-Lived's best friend, even when it was Wormtail himself who betrayed them… Sirius Black leaves an impression on people.

Sirius waved his wand around the darkness again. "So how come I can't see you guys?" he asked.

"Simple," Lucille said. "We're just not standing close enough to you." With that said, two ghostly miasmas faded into view, along with a beautifully brunette woman. Lucille's mouth dropped open as she saw Sirius's face in the light. "I know you! You're a Deatheater!!"

"NO, I'm NOT!" Sirius shouted at her.

"Sirius Black, eh?" Patrick whistled. "Good to know one of the villains got the boot, too."

"I AM NOT A VILLAIN!!!" Sirius spat. He could feel himself going light-headed as all of the blood rushed to his brain, his veins sticking out of his skin as his white hot fury at being called a "Deatheater" and a "villain" swelled to enormous sizes inside him.

"Then wot are you, Black?" Patrick sneered.

"I'm Harry Potter's godfather and I was trying to save him from Deatheaters and Voldemort earlier when my cousin knocked me into here!!"

"A likely shory," the old ghost grumbled.

"Now look here, you old-" But Sirius didn't finish his insult. Something had just occurred to him. "Wait a minute. If you three remember that other wizard, then how come he still faded away?"

"Guess it don't count if we know you," Patrick stated. "Probably 'cause we didn't know you on the other side and 'cause we're not on the other side anymore."

"Oh, yes, because that makes things crystal clear," Sirius muttered under his breath. But something else came to mind. What if Harry wished hard enough for Sirius to come back? Could he? Just the opposite of what happened to Tymothie. Instead of everyone forgetting him and he in turn disappears, what if memories of Sirius filled so many people up that the opposite happened: he could come back? This idea sparked hope in Sirius. All was not lost. He was not dead, no one was bound to forget him, and maybe…just maybe if Harry could wish hard enough for him to come back, he would. And then Sirius wouldn't be lonely anymore and neither would Harry. They needed each other and not even death would stand between Sirius and his promise as a godfather to protect his godchild. After all, Harry was all he had left…

Sirius looked at the dreamy-voiced woman who was now blotting her eyes with the sleeve of her raspberry-colored robes. "You," Sirius said, moving his wand closer to her face, "what's your name?"

She looked up with the most disturbingly blue eyes Sirius had ever seen. "Ro-Roxane Lovegood. My husband runs the Quibbler. My daughter, Luna, is a year behind your Harry, or so Tymothie told me."

"Your Loony Lovegood's mum?" Sirius asked nonchalantly. When Roxane gave him a reproachful glance, he bowed his head and uttered a quick apology.

Roxane's voice lost all signs of its dreaminess and took on a sense of authority (or maybe just a mother hen's sense of defense.) "My daughter is not loony, and neither is my husband for running the Quibbler. I love both of them very much, and if you are going to insult them, then you better be prepared for another duel, Sirius Black!"

"Will you people stop saying my name like I'm a disease?!" Sirius grabbed the tip of Roxane's intricately-carved wand and gently pointed it away from his face. "I'm not looking for a fight, but I think maybe we can get out of here."

The two ghosts gasped and Roxane took a step back. "Escape!! But how?!"

"Put your wand down and maybe I'll feel like telling you!" When Roxane sheathed the instrument inside her left sleeve, Sirius calmed down some. "All right, then… Now listen up and listen good, because even though we'll have to be waiting here in the wings, we may be able to will them hard enough. I've known some people who could do extraordinary things just because they wished hard enough for it." As Sirius settled in to telling Lucille, Patrick, and Roxane his theory, the perfect example came to mind: Lily. If it hadn't been for Lily's love and strong wish for Harry to survive that attack, Harry wouldn't be here today. So who says wishes aren't answered? Only a few have ever wanted something hard enough…

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Hey! It's mew-tsubaki here, nervously awaiting reviews. I like how this first chapter went. Although, I'll be honest: it kinda wrote itself as some things clicked in my mind. Anyway, I look forward to seeing your comments posted under reviews. Please stay tuned for chapter two!


-mew-tsubaki -