Well, I did what happened to Remus after he died, so I thought I'd do Sirius as well.

At The Castle Again

Summary: Sirius didn't realise he was dead. It didn't matter, did it, the place he'd left behind. Because he was here, the place he loved, with people he'd missed every single day since they left him. One-shot. Sort of in relation to In The Forest Again, but not a sequel/prequel or anything.

He was never one to lie around wondering what had happened, or where he was, so when Sirius Black realised he was laid flat out on the floor, he sat up so quickly his head spun.

And when he realised he was naked, he wanted clothes. When you find yourself in a strange place, albeit certain you're alone, you don't want to wonder around in just your skin.

And then robes appeared beside him. With a careful look around, Sirius pulled them over his head, and turned slowly on the spot, looking around. He knew where he was. He hadn't been there in a while, but he knew.

Hogwarts stretched in front of him. He himself was stood on the bank of the lake, the black water behind him. Twilight, and the windows of the castle were softly lit, welcoming him home.

He didn't stop to wonder why he was here, or try and force himself to remember what had been happening minutes before - he thought it was something important - but he ran towards the castle, like that excited eleven year old who'd found a place where he fit, where people didn't look at him in disgust, disappointment, or try to fill him with pureblood pride.

The doors opened as he neared, and that should had sent the warning bells ringing - the front doors didn't open on their own - but Sirius had long ago stopped paying attention to warning bells. He hurtled through them, the castle's warmth flooding him, hugging him, drawing him further in.

And then, only them, did he realise the silence was wrong. The portraits on the wall...weren't there. There were no ghosts, no cats slinking quietly through the doors, no mice running along the floor.

It was empty.

He turned, looked at the great hall, the empty house tables, and then looked back at the huge marble staircase. And froze.

"'Bout time." James Potter said, walking down the steps towards him. "I thought you'd never get here."

"James." Lily Potter, a step behind him, rolled her eyes. "You make it sound like we wanted him to die."

"Oh." James blinked, then smiled again. "Well, I didn't. Just missed you, that's all."

They reached the bottom of the stairs, and stood, looking at Sirius while his mind tried to process, to understand.

"Die?" he repeated, as that one word pushed it's way to the front of his mind.

"Oh." Lily frowned a little. "Haven't you figured..."

"Not as smart as he used to be, is he?" James said, shaking his head. "Those years in Azkaban must've messed with his brain."

"Dead. I'm dead." Sirius said finally, and then he remembered. Rushing to the ministry - scared, so scared that they wouldn't be in time, that Harry and the others would be killed - fighting Bellatrix and...and...

"She killed me?"

"Yes. Not as quick as you used to be, either." James said flatly.

"James." Lily said again, rolling her eyes. "It's OK, Padfoot, take a minute. It's a little hard to take in at first."

"I didn't want to die." Sirius said, his voice as helpless as a child's. "And...Harry..."

"Thank you." Lily said, stepping forward and placing a hand on his arm. "For everything you've done for him."

"Haven't done much. was in Azkaban for most of his life."

"You've helped him, a lot." James said, shaking his head. "He needed to know that people still cared for him. That we did. He needed...that connection with us."

"And tonight, you died while trying to save him." Lily murmured. "So don't say you didn't do anything."

Sirius nodded, his mind still fuzzy. Dead. Died.

And then he remembered the thing he'd always wanted to say to these two, ever since they'd died.

"I'm sorry, I sorry I made you switch to Wormtail. It's my fault you were killed -"

"Stop. We've heard it before." James said loudly. "Do you think we never checked on you while you were in Azkaban? Muttering to yourself, to us, like some little psycho? It wasn't your fault, Padfoot."


"No. Now, are you ready?"

"R-ready?" His voice was croaky, and he was a little afraid.

"You know." Lily said gently. "It's time to move on. If you're not ready yet, we can wait a little while."

"On." Sirius repeated. "What..."

"You'll see." James said softly, his face now serious. "I know it's...hard, Padfoot. Believe me, I know. But it's time. You know it's time."

"Will Harry be OK?"

"He'll live, tonight." Lily said, her face suddenly strained, worried. "Tonight he'll be safe. As for the future..."

"We don't know yet." James said, his expression like Lily's. "We don't know how soon we're going to be greeting him here."

"He'll be OK." Sirius said, despite his own question. He had to take the worry from their eyes. Had to be a friend before a godfather. "He's a great kid. You should be proud."

"We are. Immensely." James said. "Now, are we going to stand around here for all eternity?"

"No. I'm ready." Sirius said.

"Then lets go." James said. And together, the three of them walked the familiar path up the marble staircase.