Title: Door to Nowhere
Author: Shadow Rebirth
Story WC: 1,214
First Written: September 16, 2010
Last Edited: September 16, 2010
Posted: September 16, 2010
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. This work has not been endorsed by J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury Publishing, Scholastic Publishing, Warner Bros., or any of the others holding copyright or license to the Harry Potter books, movies, and products. No connection is implied or should be inferred. Other names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author receives no financial gain from its production or distribution.
Summary: [One-shot]"dead \'ded\ adj 1: lifeless. 2: deathlike, deadly (in a ~ faint) 3: numb 4: very tired 5: unresponsive" Dead. Harry wondered which definition fit Sirius the best.
Door to Nowhere
dead \'ded\ adj 1: lifeless. 2: deathlike, deadly (in a ~ faint) 3: numb 4: very tired 5: unresponsive 6: extinguished (~ coals) 7: inanimate, inert 8: no longer active or functioning (a ~ battery) 9: lacking power, significance or effect (a ~ custom) 10: obsolete (a ~ language) 11: lacking gaiety or animation (a ~ party) 12: quiet, idle, unproductive (~ capital) 13: lacking elasticity (a ~ tennis ball) 14: not circulating : stagnant (~ air) 15: lacking warmth, vigor, or taste (~ wine) 16: absolutely uniform (~ level) 17: unerring, exact (a ~ shot) 18: abrupt (a ~ stop) 19: complete (a ~ loss)
Harry wondered which definition fit Sirius the best. Perhaps the last two? He wasn't dead dead. Just...gone. Any maybe that was worse, in a way. There was no closure, no goodbye. There wasn't even a body, terrible as that was to think of. He was just...gone.
It felt like a part of Harry had been ripped out and thrown away. And he couldn't understand why. He hadn't even known Sirius for three years. He'd passed through his life like a dying star—burning so brightly before dying out and leaving only a gaping hole behind. Sirius, he thought, Sirius had been his hope. He'd been so full of life despite his circumstances, so bloody determined not to lose, not to let anyone else beat him down. Sirius was everything Harry wanted to be—confident, sure of who he was, brave, strong, open, friendly...
Harry swallowed thickly. There was no use dwelling on Sirius' not-death. He knew this. He knew it would only cause him to wallow in guild and eventually tear him apart. But...how could he not? It was Sirius and he'd died because of him— No. Not dead. Sirius wasn't dead, only gone. Gone forever.
And it would always eat away at him.
Death was not what Harry had expected. It was white and clean, and much too like the Hospital Wing. He knew that if he somehow survived death—Hah!—he'd probably develop a fear of hospitals. But why should he be afraid of death? It was an end certainly, but not his end. Death wasn't silent like he expected. It was filled with rumbling trains and chatty old men. It was familiar and foreign and a dozen other things in between. But one thing it wasn't was peaceful, and that disappointed Harry more than he'd ever expected.
That was the reason why he left, why he chose to return to life instead of finally resting, though he'd never tell his friends that.
And as he stood there, on that pale mimicry of Platform 9 and 3/4, he wondered what Sirius would have said if he'd been there, standing beside him. He had no doubt in his mind that the man would have made the same choice as him, to go back to life. Life was something Sirius had always clung to with a quiet desperation. Harry was relieved, for a moment, that it hadn't been taken from him like everything else and then quickly repressed the thought.
If there was one thing that he was sure of in these crazy, turbulent times, it was that Sirius was gone, and he wasn't coming back, no matter how much Harry needed him.
And he smiled sadly as the white faded back into cold, harsh, painful reality.
Harry could honestly say that he didn't know what to do. His entire life, even before age eleven, had been a build up to the moment Voldemort died. And now that that was over, now that he'd defeated Voldemort... What was left for him? Frankly, Harry hadn't expected to survive. He'd never expected to win, never expected to be the one to walk away. He'd made no plans for the future, had never even considered it an option. And now the entire world was opened up before him, full of possibilities and opportunities.
And he didn't know what to do.
He was aimless, and not in the carefree, come what may manner that Sirius had been. He felt...lost. He took a job at the Ministry eventually, less from actually wanting to work there and more because it was the easiest way to get a job. He thought about becoming an Auror only briefly before discarding the thought—let someone else take care of the dark wizards for a change. He was approached at one point by an official, asking him if he wanted to train to become a hit wizard, but he turned them down just as quickly.
But it wasn't long before he was approached by an Unspeakable, also asking him to join their ranks. This one...this one Harry really considered. In the end he accepted, if only so that he could see the Veil again and learn more about it.
Sometimes he wondered why Sirius's death had affected him so much. He was hardly the only person that Harry had seen die—not even the first, when it came down to the technicalities. He hadn't even been really close to Sirius, as much as he'd cared for him. He'd known next to nothing about the man. He'd heard no stories about his past, hadn't known what he liked to do for fun, hadn't even known anything about his favorite food or color or music or anything. When it really came down to it, didn't know if he could say for sure just who Sirius Black had been.
He momentarily considered that it was because Sirius had been a link to his parents. But Remus had been as well, and though he'd mourned the werewolf's passing, his death hadn't scarred him nearly as much. Dumbledore had known them too, along with a number of other Order members. And none of them, dead or alive, had dug quite so deep into his consciousness.
One late night at work, Harry stood in front of the Veil. His hand gently slid across the arch, not daring to touch the material that fluttered in the center, but roaming dangerously close. The stone felt coarser than he'd expected. And warmer too.
Harry turned his back on the Veil and glanced around the room. A scene arose before his eyes, filled with flying spells, cackling laughs, and terrified children who were in way past their depth. He saw himself, staring horrified at the Veil, frozen in place. He saw that young face, so innocent and naïve, and closed his eyes, willing the memory to dissipate.
Here, he thought, was where he'd truly lost his innocence. Here was where it had stopped being some grand adventure and become a war. Here was where he'd stopped being the young hero and become a boy with the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Here some part of him had disappeared along with Sirius.
Harry's shoulders slumped, but at the same time he lifted his head. He didn't look back at the Veil—didn't dare to. He could feel his eyes burning and his throat constricting.
Sirius wasn't dead. He'd never been given that mercy. He was gone. Lost, just as Harry was.
He didn't look back. Didn't dare to. He closed his eyes, sighed softly, and walked away. It wasn't closure, he told himself.
It was goodbye.