Hermione walked confidently toward the Veil Room. Sure that this spell would be the one to bring her best friend's beloved godfather out of his exile in the in-between, she headed down to give it another try. After the first three failures she had stopped telling Harry about her trials and decided to just surprise him when she brought Sirius to his home.
She scanned her ID badge in front of the magical eye that guarded the door and it slid open. She entered the eerily quiet room and walked up the steps to stand in front of the veiled archway.
Raising her wand, Hermione began to weave the intricate spell that would finally bring Sirius Black back from the accident that had happened ten years ago, during her fifth year at Hogwarts.
She finished the spell and stepped back, hoping it's effects would be immediate. When there was no visible change and no immediate reaction, she turned to leave the room, once again disappointed and glad that she hadn't told Harry of her plans.
Just as she reached for the door she heard a noise behind her and turned just in time to see Sirius Black come tumbling back through the veil, looking exactly as he did the day he went in.
"Sirius!" Hermione exclaimed, running toward him.
The slightly confused man jumped back and grabbed his wand. "Who are you?" he asked gruffly.
Hermione quickly realized that while everyone else had aged and had 10 years of memories, it was as if it were the day of the battle for Sirius. "It's Hermione, Sirius. Hermione Granger, Harry's friend. I helped rescue you from Hogwarts before they were able to give you the Dementor's kiss after you escaped from Azkaban."
"Where is everyone? We were just fighting, I think I got knocked out. Where's Harry?" Sirius asked.
Hermione tried to explain everything. "Bellatrix knocked you into that veil and you've been stuck in-between life and death for the past ten years. Mrs. Weasley killed her, by the way. We were able to get away from the Death Eaters that night because of all the help from the Order. After Harry killed Voldemort, we finished our last year and Hogwarts and I've been working here at the Ministry since, researching other magical deaths besides curses and poison and I finally figured out a spell to set you free. It took me quite some time though. I had to quit telling Harry when I was trying because he was getting depressed when it didn't work. Oh he will just love when you show up at his door."
She realized she was rambling and had the grace to blush. "Sorry, I'm just so excited that something finally worked. We've missed you so much."
Sirius sat quietly and took in all the information she had just given him. "So Harry is 25 now?" He asked.
"Yes." Hermione answered.
"What's he like? Did he get married? Does he have children? Where does he live? What did he do after school? Oh I've missed everything." Sirius said sadly.
Hermione moved closer to Sirius and when he didn't run backwards again she took it as a good sign and put her arm around his shoulders. "Harry never really got over what we all thought was your death. He doesn't date much, never married, no children. He lives alone in Grimmauld Place and doesn't do much of anything. All your homes and gold combined with the gold his parents left him didn't force him to get a job or do anything really. He's been like a hermit recently."
"Take me to him." Sirius said firmly, standing up and heading for the door.
Hermione followed Sirius out the door, grabbing his hand and leading him toward the new lobby where the war memorial stood.
Sirius stopped and looked at it, a grand, revolving statue of those lost in the final battle. He gasped when he saw Mad-Eye Moody, his jaw dropped when he saw his cousin Nymphadora Tonks and fell to his knees when the face of his best friend since Hogwarts, Remus Lupin turned into view.
Hermione rubbed soft circles on his back as he sat silently with his head hanging.
When Sirius lifted his head, unshed tears shone in his eyes, and his voice quivered, but only slightly. "Take me to Harry please." He said.
Hermione helped him to his feet and when they exited the ministry, she took his arm and Apparated them in the courtyard of Grimmauld Place.
"I'm keyed into the wards so that I can enter through the back. Lowers the risk of exposure." She explained when he gave her a strange look.
They entered the back door without knocking and Hermione headed for the library. "He spends a lot of time in here."
When they entered the library, Hermione found what she had feared for several months. She tried to push Sirius back out of the room, but he had already seen what she was trying to keep him from and easily pushed her out of the way, dropping to his knees by his deceased godson's side.
Hermione watched, frozen by shock, as Sirius pulled Harry's lifeless body into his lap and sobbed loudly and unashamed.
She realized a few moments later that she would have to call the Aurors. She sent her patronus directly to Ron, who was head of the Auror office. The only thing it said was "Bring only who you must, my fears have come true. He is gone."