The Bonds that Tie, Chapter One

If this was death, Sirius supposed it wasn't too bad. He was laying on a grassy hillside, looking at the sky. He'd bet that if Cooro were here, he'd be flying around, swooping down before shooting up to try and touch the clouds.

Wait… He sat up, looking around. Cooro lay near him, unconscious. He stood and walked forward, leaning over the boy.

He was curled in a ball, clutching his hand to his chest. Examining it, Sirius felt sick. His finger was gone. Same as Peter's. Cooro stirred, then woke, sitting up. Sirius sat next to him.

"Sirius…?" He turned to look at him.

"Yeah?"

"Are we dead?" Sirius opened his mouth to answer when a third voice interrupted him.

"Partially." They both jumped, looking around to find a man standing in front of them, wearing all white. Behind him stood Pettigrew. Sirius glared, and tried to step forward, but Cooro grabbed his sleeve, and he stopped.

"What do you mean by partially? I thought the Veil was supposed to kill us." Cooro tilted his head to the side, examining the man in front of him. Was he an angel…?

"It is. However, there was a mishap. The spell requires only one person's blood, and only one to go through the Veil. Because his," he gestured to Peter, "blood fell in the cauldron as well, and he went through the Veil first, he is the sacrifice." He waved his hand, and Peter disappeared.

"Where'd he go?" The man shrugged.

"To be judged. You two, however, are going elsewhere." He gestured for them to sit, as he did so. Sirius shrugged and did so, followed by Cooro. He felt like he was in story time.

"The spell altered the Veil's properties to let a man through that is neither living nor dead. That alteration had given you two a unique opportunity. You may go back to Earth." Sirius' eyes narrowed. All his life, he'd been told, there was only one way to stay on Earth after death.

"As ghosts?" He asked suspiciously. Cooro blinked, having not thought of that. The man chuckled.

"As real, honest people. You will be as alive as when you fell through. No tricks, no potions you have to drink or spells to perform. It will be like this never happened." Sirius was not a trusting person.

"What's the catch?" Cooro looked at him now.

"We probably have to kill Voldemort." The man nodded.

"He is an abomination. Not only has he done terrible things, he has done something no person should. He has split his soul, seven times." Sirius flinched.

"Your mission, should you decide to go back, is to destroy these remnants. A prophesy was made that means neither of you may deliver the finishing blow, however."

"It has to be Harry, doesn't it?" Sirius looked down, remembering well the prophesy. He'd been there when Dumbledore told them of it.

"Precisely. Now, here." He handed him a small piece of paper.

"It will tell you where the soul fragments are. Only to you two." He stood, and Sirius followed suit. Cooro rolled down the hill, giggling. The man raised an eyebrow.

"One other thing. Until the fragments are destroyed, none of your friends or family may know of your rebirth, as it were." Cooro froze where he was. Sirius glared.

"Why?" The man held up his hands.

"Not my decision. Simply put, because they'll think you're an Inferi or something similar. If any of them do see you, they will be made to forget it once you leave." He sighed.

"That is all I can give you. Now, walk down this path," he gestured behind him, where it lay, "until you reach the Veil once again. I make no guarantee on when you arrive, but you will be exactly where you left from, in the same condition." Cooro rejoined them, and the man seemed to just notice his finger.

Gently, he reached out and touched it, healing the skin over but not re-growing the digit.

"Farewell, and good luck." He vanished, and Sirius sighed.

"Well, might as well start walking. Come on kid, lets go."

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Pettigrew shoved Cooro towards the Veil. Cooro latched onto his arm. They began to struggle, and Sirius neared the barrier, as close as he could. It disappeared, and he dove at them, just as Cooro seemed to lose strength.

He began to fall, and Peter shoved him back to the Veil.

"Oh no you don't!" Sirius barreled into Wormtail, wand forgotten, knocking them both towards the Veil. Pettigrew grabbed hold of Cooro, trying to regain stability, but it was too late. All three went through.

Just before he disappeared, Cooro's eyes met his. He gave him a small, sad smile. Then he was gone.

"Cooro!"

"Sirius!"

"Cooro!" Senri woke with a start, shooting off the bed before he realized where he was. He stared into the darkness, reliving the moment again. If he'd moved fast enough, not been so groggy from whatever had hit him…

He remembered the shock from the students. They'd been told at lunch what Harry, Ron and Neville had done, and at dinner, they were informed of the events at the Ministry.

The fact that Sirius Black was innocent had been a real shock, but it was the death of a student that stunned them. Even the Slytherins were quiet.

Dumbledore hadn't held back why any of them were there, nor what had occurred with the potion. It had attracted the media, the Ministry, angry parents demanding to know how this had happened, and so on.

Dementors were put on to guard the school after that. They didn't leave until the next year, when Malfoy was attacked sneaking out of the school. Remus had taught that year, but his secret had spilled, and he left. He professed later that he didn't mind it too much, though he'd like to teach again after the war was over.

Over that summer, Senri had turned eighteen. Azkaban was totaled, and all of it's prisoners freed.

Now, it was their fourth year. Or the children's, anyway. Senri has left after third year, joining Dumbledore's group of fighters.

"Senri? You alright?" Remus' voice leaked through the door, and he opened it to find said man standing there.

"I heard you scream…" Remus looked a bit awkward, probably because Senri was eighteen now, and nearly as tall as him. Harder to comfort, he guessed. Senri nodded, not wanting to talk, and Remus relaxed.

"Come on, I'll put on a pot of tea. We have an assignment tomorrow, by the way. There was a sighting of MacNair, and we're assigned to look into it."

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It felt like they'd been walking forever, and yet it felt as though they'd barely started. It was odd. Sirius and Cooro walked on and on, talking of anything that came up. He supposed that spilling some of his darker secrets to a twelve-year old should feel awkward, but it didn't. Possibly due to the bizarre circumstances they found themselves in.

Finally, he turned into a dog, loping along next to Cooro with ease. Cooro put his hand on his head, patting it absentmindedly as they walked.

It was a long time, and none at all, when they reached the Veil. Cooro looked at the back-to-human Sirius, who shrugged, grabbed his wrist, and they both jumped back to the world of the living.

The first thing he did when they landed was sniff the room.

"It still smells in here. Do you think they ever clean?" Cooro shrugged. Sirius let go of his wrist and gestured magnificently.

"Welcome to Earth. Population: A lot. Your mission is to go kill an evil creature bit by bit. Shall we go?" Cooro laughed, and Sirius grabbed his arm again, Apparating them both away.

"Where are we?" Cooro asked, looking all around. They were standing in front of an ugly row of houses. As he watched, one seemed to sprout from in between eleven and thirteen. Sirius led the way inside, answering as he closed the door,

"Grimmauld Place. We're here only for a moment, I hope. Come on," he led the way to a dirty kitchen.

"Kreacher!"

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Husky barely listened as McGonagall explained a spell. His book was open in front of him, and he watched her movements carefully, but his mind was elsewhere. The seat in front of him, to be specific.

The TriWizard tournament meant that there was a Yule Ball, and it was in a few weeks. Most people weren't looking for dates this early, more interested in gossiping about the four champions, but he wasn't.

He wanted to ask Nana. Really badly. But he was pretty sure she'd think he was joking, or worse, already had a date. Or was that backwards?

He shook his head, clearing it. Coming to a decision, he nodded to himself. He'd ask her. If worse came to worst, then he could at least say he tried.

He didn't get his chance until after lunch, when they both had a free period, and went to the library to study.

"Nana? Can I talk to you?" She looked up from her textbook and nodded. He sat down next to her.

"Err… you know the Ball that's coming up?" She nodded, and he was partially relieved that a light of understanding lit her eyes.

"Would… will you go with me?" She grinned at him, practically tackling him with a hug.

"Of course I will!" He didn't answer, only grinned back.

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Cooro stared at Kreacher. Kreacher glared back. Well, he alternated between glaring at him and Sirius, then mumbling under his breath, before starting the cycle again. Sirius sighed, trying not to kill the thing in font of him simply for existing.

"Kreacher. We're not going to stay long. In fact, I only have a few questions, then we'll leave you to your painting. Got it?" Kreacher nodded, but muttered again.

"Kreacher heard that Master was dead. Why is he here?"

"A twist in events, I'm afraid. Now, do you know the date?" Kreacher did not.

"OK… how long has it been since I was here last?" Kreacher answered slowly, evidentially counting it out.

"Nearly two years now, it is. Kreacher has been alone with Mistress. Nobody interrupts us, no." Sirius sighed in relief at that. If he had to, they could use this place as a hideout.

"Okay, one more. Is that old case of daggers still in the drawing room?" Kreacher simply nodded, and Sirius dismissed him. Kreacher left with a crack.

"He never liked me." Sirius explained to Cooro, but he wasn't listening, instead staring at Sirius' pocket. Sirius glanced down, to see that it was glowing.

Pulling out the paper they'd been given, he blinked. On it was a picture of a locket, ornately carved with an 'S' and a snake. The picture zoomed out, and he realized it was in his own living room.

"Well, that settles that." He slipped the paper back into his pocket, and lead the way to the drawing room first, explaining to Cooro as he did.

"A soul fragment is called a Horcrux. There are very few things that can destroy one, but these daggers will do fine." He pulled out two simple ones, handing Cooro one.

"Imbued with basilisk venom. Deadly to humans within seconds. Only known cure is phoenix tears, and they have to be fresh." He walked into the living room now, where a cabinet held various items, including the locket.

"Well, let's see what we're up against." Sirius muttered, and he reached for the locket.