Disclaimer: No money made, no disrespect intended. Thanks.

Author's note:

This story is a little different to things I have done before, but you don't often see Hermione/Regulus, yet it is one of my favourite ships.

So, as a tribute to my beloved Regulus, please join me on a trip to the Soul Crossing...

This story is rated M for some violence, sex and language, so please don't read it if you don't like those things.


"If we were alive today, we would never have met."

When the Order Of The Phoenix learn of Voldemort's latest plan to use the Veil to experiment with immortality, they embark on a mission to destroy it once and for all. Hermione Granger is nineteen, and in charge of finding the spell that will succeed in this task. But when the mission goes wrong and Hermione is pulled in, who can she possibly turn to for help, now she's….well..dead?

The Soul Crossing

"See you in your next life, when we'll fly away for good
Stars in our own car we can drive away from here
far away, so far away…"


The Order Meets

When the office door finally slammed shut after a long day, Hermione Granger usually felt both relieved and gratified with the usual sense of overachievement that comes from being a world class workaholic. Today, a Monday and the second one since her nineteenth birthday ,was no exception.

She snapped shut the desk diary that had just informed her of the meeting that night at Headquarters, and hurried up the stairs of the Central Wizarding Library.

Hermione hated being late. To her, tardiness was unprofessional at best and at worst, downright rude. She had only really opened the door of her London flat to deposit items in her study in the usual pile of organised chaos, give her long brown hair a quick brush, and change her clothes from stuffy work attire to her favourite jeans. Her wand already carefully concealed inside her sleeve, she checked the clock and with ten minutes to spare, apparated to number twelve, Grimmauld Place, home to Harry and now Ron, and of course, the Headquarters of the Order Of The Phoenix.

She rematerialised in the hallway, where the horrid troll's leg umbrella stand had still not been thrown out, much like the family tree Sirius had hated, and the numerous family portraits that were still being discovered all around the house at varying intervals. She glanced gingerly around for Kreacher, the house elf, expecting to hear him croaking out an insult any moment, but fortunately, for now, the coast was clear.

Whe she walked into the basement kitchen, dead on eight, the other members were already around the table. Without Snape's reports, they had suffered a loss, but as Lupin always said (though sometimes Hermione suspected that he varnished the truth a little) they had other spies, and they would have to do as well, even though everyone knew that this was impossible without being in the inner circle.

Harry, who was sitting nearest the door, looked at his watch as she walked in.

"Could you be any more accurate, 'Mione?"

She rolled her eyes, but grinned at him. She hadn't seen a lot of Harry and Ron lately, with all the work she had since the CWL had taken her on as Apprentice Librarian. She knew they only took on four people every five years, so she knew how lucky she was, and intended to make the most of it.

Remus began to addess the meeting in his usual mild tones. Hermione listened as attentively as she always listened, frowning at Ron sitting next to her as he began to fidget, tapping his foot incessantly against the table leg until Hermione prodded him underneath it. He jumped and gave her an irritated roll of his eyes.

Thanks to Ron distractiing her, she rejoined the discussion half way through Harry speaking about the new evidence that had come to light about Voldemort's latest experiments.

"He heard about what happened to Sirius," Harry was saying, in a low but carrying voice. " And from what we can tell, he's been mulling it over for a while, realising what it might mean. That is to say, what the veil in that chamber might mean."

Seamus Finnigan put down his glass and interrupted:

"Why should we worry about that, though? Surely it'll kill them too, if they get too close…?"

"Not if they have the right spell to stop its effect." Lupin said. "The veil is a complex thing, not even the Ministry really know much about it. But as Harry was saying…"

"As I was saying," Harry said at exactly the same moment, sending a light ripple of laughter around the room, "Our information is that they want to use it to experiment with immortality. Voldemort want to find other ways of keeping himself alive, just in case somebody ever did find a way to kill him - (here, he glanced nervously at Hermione and Ron, the only ones of the assembled company who knew that they had already found and destroyed four of Voldemort's six Horcruxes, leaving, if Dumbledore's assessment was correct, only Nagini and Voldemort themselves, and the locket that had once belonged to Voldemort's mother, the locket of Salazar Slytherin himself.)

"In short, what we are going to do is get there first."

There was a loud murmur all around the room. Hermione frowned.

"Harry, when you say we are going to get to the Veil before the Death Eaters do, what exactly do you mean?" she asked, to another murmur of agreement.

Harry set his jaw. Hermione knew the expression, her friends determination was one of the things she had always admired about him, as much as he had admired her intelligence. When he spoke, that determination carried over into his voice, leaving nobody in the room in any doubt that he would have this done or die in the attempt, as he almost had so many times.

"We're going to go to the Ministry just like we did the night that-" ( Harry called Bellatrix Lestrange a name that made even Ron colour) "murdered Sirius. And we're going to destroy the veil so Voldemort will never get his filthy hands on it."


The mission was decided for that Friday night. She would have liked to have had more time to study, but time was of the essence, the Death Eaters could strike at any time.

Hermione had been entrusted with the researching a spell that would work. With her access all hours to the biggest Wizarding library in the United Kingdom, she had stayed up late most nights searching through the dusty tomes in the hope of creating some such spell that would close off the Veil for good, and destroy both it's physical form and it's powers entirely. Many of the nights Ron had sat with her, but he hadn't been much help, and eventually she told him to go and help Harry with the rest of the Order. He'd reluctantly agreed, and she had been able to continue with her work in peace.

Success had come in the early hours of the Thursday morning, the very day before the mission was to take place. It came as no surprise to Hermione that her name was high up on the list of participants in tomorrow night's raid on the Ministry, and in any case, there would be no time for anyone else to learn the complex combination of charms that the spell she intended to use on the Veil required to be effective.

The spell was a difficult combination of a reverse vacuum to seal off the gate the veil created, a banishing charm, and an alteration of the Reductor curse. Obviously, as she could not possibly put it to the test, she could only work on the basis of theory, but when she called Harry on the Floo to explain what she'd done, he seemed excited, and never questioned whether or not it would work.

It was true that Hermione was seldom incorrect in her judgement, and perhaps the confidence of her friends had managed, for once, to rub off on her, for when they converged in the drawing room of Grimmauld Place, under the horrid Doxy-gnawed tapestry embroidered with the names of Blacks past, she too felt as if it was going to be another one of her successful attempts in her work for the Order. There was no denying, either, that she was a useful person to have around in any problematic situation, and this, coupled with the mature looks of the trim woman she had become, garnered her plenty of favourable attention. Hermione smoothed the long, dark velvet dress she had worn (velvet, she reasoned, was one of the things least likely to be seen in the dark) and reached out for the cloak that all members of the Order wore on missions to identify each other, especially if curses began to fly, like they memorably had that night they had gone to the Ministry in their fifth year.

But they were adults now. There were ten of them, all covering their heads with the hooded cloaks in a darkest red, with a gold Phoenix embroidered on the left sleeve when they apparated outside the Ministry.

Hermione looked across the dark sky. It was a warm, clear night, and in any other circumstances she wouldn't have worn the cloak. Somewhere, a clock struck the hour. Eleven-thirty. It was time.

"Let's do it," Harry whispered.


The Ministry atrium lay silent and deserted. Wands out, the small company advanced down the long room. The elevators had stopped, so they headed for the stairs, Harry and Lupin at the fore, with her and Ron just behind them, and the other six crowding down after them. Their feet seemed impossibly loud on the cold stone steps, and Hermione cast a silencing charm to mute the noise, but she couldn't shake an odd feeling of dread rising in her chest. She glanced across at Ron, who looked nervous as he always did on this sort of occasion, but he didn't look unduly disturbed, and Harry and Lupin were quickening their pace, and now they were in the vast, long corridor she remembered from three years ago.

The plain black door to the department of Mysteries lay before them. Harry jabbed his wand at it, and it opened silently, letting them pass. Soon she was looking at the circular walls of the room with the revolving doors.

Hermione saw herself again, in that moment, only a few weeks short of her seventeenth birthday, with Ron, Luna, Harry, Ginny, and Neville, of all people, standing in this room sure that they were about to discover Sirius Black being tortured into madness by Lord Voldemort. She was jerked from the unpleasantly vivid recollection, however, by Harry, pulling at her cloak and saying:

"Hermione, what was that spell again? The one to mark the doors?"

"Oh," she said, quite as vaguely as Luna Lovegood in that one moment of thoughtfulness, but before she could reply, Harry had pulled open the first door.

It was not the Death chamber. At Harry's inquiring look, Hermione stepped forward past Lupin and Ron, and said firmly

"Flagrate!" The familiar fiery cross was drawn on that door, and the next one, which seemed to be a broom cupboard, but when they tried the third door, the deathly silence came oozing out at them like something tangible.

There it was. The Death Veil where, Harry had told Hermione years ago, Sirius had succumbed to his evil cousin Bellatrix. She'd been unconscious at the time, having fought against one of the most brutal Death Eaters, Antonin Dolohov.

"This is it," Lupin said in a low voice, as they crept into the room one after the other.

Harry was once again wearing that expression Hermione knew a little better than she'd like; a look of aggressive determination.

"Ready, Hermione?" he whispered.

Hermione took a deep breath, trying to stay calm as she mentally recited the ritual to herself as she walked purposefully down the steps to the stone dais, Harry at her side.

"Ready," she nodded, drawing her wand.


"How long do we have?" Hermione whispered to Ron, who was standing on her other side, looking more than a little worried.

"Don't know," he muttered awkwardly. "How long d'you need?"

"About twenty minutes, ideally." she whispered back. As soon as possible, she thought fervently. An uncomfortable sensation of dread writhed in the pit of her stomach. She wanted to be away from this awful Veil as soon as possible. She had never seen Sirius go through it, but she had always thought it was dangerous, from the very first time she'd seen it, and tried to drag Harry away.

Harry himself, at that moment, was marshalling the others to form a guard facing the doors. Hermione prepared herself to cast, mentally reciting the spell she had created over and over, under her breath. The rest of them, Harry included, formed a line, all their backs to her, wands out. Just in case, they said.

Ron lingered by Hermione's side chewing on one side of his bottom lip, and resing his hand lightly on her shoulder as if he sensed her disquiet at the place.

"You, too, Ron," Harry said, rather pointedly, gesturing him to join the others, but Ron shook his head.

"I'll just stand here, alright?" he muttered, trying to sound casual. "Just in case 'Mione needs any help."

Harry paused a moment as if he was going to insist. "Ok," he said eventually. "We're ready, Hermione. You?"

"I'm ready," she said, loudly and clearly, like an affirmation to convince the world at large herself included. Ron tightened his grip a little. Hermione took one step forward, facing the Veil, raised her wand and began to cast.


Word-perfect, as always, Hermione's voice grew in confidence as she recited the spell, and as she looked at the old brick of the archway, she noticed it had begun to shimmer surreally. Another two minutes and the mortar between the ancient bricks seemed to liquefy and began to drip onto the stone floor like treacle.

It's really going to work! Hermione thought, beginning the last part of the long incantation necessary to counter such an ancient magical gate. She held her wand aloft, higher and higher in readiness for the last few lines to finish off the spell.

She hadn't expected the pistol-shot crack that came from the doors, and the shouts from the Order members as someone or someones came charging down the stone steps into the room. She was aware of Ron shouting vaguely, frantically, through the sudden cacophony .

"Hermionefinish it. It's the Death Eaters!"

As if she'd been forced by an invisible hand, Hermione turned to see four figures in black hurtling down the stairs towards the dais. Blood pounding in her ears, she finished the incantation far quicker than she should have done, her wand arm shaking badly as she tried to concentrate.

At least there's only four of them

A brick, then another, then another. Then a few, in quick succession. Hermione stared at the Veil, transfixed. She wanted to turn, join the battle behind her, run far away from this stone dais and never see the place again, but somehow she couldn't stop looking at it and then there were voices.

The voices were quite different to the yells and shrieks and swear words flying around the room behind her, as the Order battled the Death Eater guard. They were sibiliant, persuasive. They wanted her to come closer to them and although Ron's fingers were still on her shoulder, she couldn't help but do as they wanted…and then she felt the wind begin to blow around her, tearing at her hair and ripping at her clothes. She heard Ron give a shriek, and there was a loud bang somewhere behind her. Ron's fingers left her arm and the wind caught her and pulled, and she was only inches away from the swaying black cloth………and she could see flashes of green and white and mist and……

"Hermione! NO!" She heard Harry's voice as if it came from far away. Her cloak, caught by the raging winds, was ripped viciously from around her neck. Then, fingers gripped her wrist, Ron's, they must be, hot and clammy……..but it was no use. In slow motion, Hermione felt the irresistible pull of the charm she had meant to use to seal the gate, the pull of the Death Veil in front of her. The whispers filled her ears, getting louder and louder. She felt something light and feathery touch her cheek. Muzzily, she wrenched herself away from Ron's grip to brush it aside….

She was falling. Falling down into a fathomless black hole with white light blinding her eyes and Ron's screams of horror stinging her ears, calling her helplessly, over and over and over as she fell down and down into nothing

Then, there was only darkness.

Next...long walks, soul-eating evil spirits and Sirius' little brother. Comments welcome.

lyrics by Brett Anderson from Suede's 'The Next Life'.