[AN: Those of you who know me are probably thinking something along the lines of 'Where the hell have you been?' 'What is this with Harry Potter where's the anime?' or 'I thought you died.' Well I've been dying under my work load and not really in the mood for publishing but here is something that came to me as i was rereading Harry Potter OotP. I love Sirius and I'd rather he didn't die quite so soon. Read and Enjoy -Selena.]
The Other Side
(A Harry Potter Fanfic) By Selena Anuri
Chapter 1: The Lost Marauder
There are some secrets in the Magical world that have been lost, there are some truths that were revealed that were too great to even comprehend, and there are some people who go looking for the answers they were never meant to have. Those people find themselves congregated deep underground in a secret department of a secret government of a secret culture. There they explore those parts of magic and existence that no one is meant to understand; things that may at one point have been known but are now, for good reason, lost.
In the year 1540, the lands, on which stand Stonehenge changed hands, and it was abandoned by the wizards of the age. They took with them, with great pains and care, the central attraction around which the monument was erected: the Arch. This construction of stone was moved many times since then but found its resting place under London in the late 1900s. There it was placed alone in a room that was no longer used and without the purpose to which it had been put for the past five hundred years. But there was a reason that the Arch, known among some as the Gate to Hell, was no longer the instrument of capital punishment. It was also the reason that the Unspeakables studied the Arch, kept it under watch, and feared it. One day, as the wizards of Wizengamot filed in to observe their sentence carried out the Arch broke every assumption they had made about it. They had always thought it only worked one way.
Nearly 600 years later, in an identical room which was actually a slightly different room, where slightly different people lived out slightly different lives a battle raged. Two sides were thrown into a chaotic conflict and curses flew through the stagnant air. Yells were a static background to the panic, yet none was louder than the heart breaking horrified cry of Lilly Potter.
"JAMES!" She gripped her son's arm so tight it hurt her fingers and time seemed to slow down for her as the man she's pledged her life to fell back toward the murderous arch. But as he fell back another shape emerged in the black curtain and tumbled into the first. Both figures were knocked to the ground and lay still as an angry scream ripped from Bellatrix Lestrange.
"Stupify!" Lily screamed in anger.
"Expeliarmus!" she heard Harry say at the same time both of their wands aimed at the dark haired woman.
"Don't. You. Touch. My Dad!" Harry broke from his mother's grip and made for the fleeing murderer. "Come BACK!"
"NO HARRY!" Lily dashed after him. But a dark robed man was suddenly barring her way.
"Give them a little time to get acquainted," Lucias Malfoy suggested in his snide, self assured manner. The only reply he got was a series of well aimed curses that had him on the retreat as he hurried to deflect them.
"None of you will lay a finer ON MY SON!" Lily screamed and found her opening, "Expeiamas! Stupify!" in rapid succession she disarmed and stunned the blond Death Eater before making a mad dash after her son. Every minute away from his side seemed like a lifetime as she rode the golden ministry lift up. She didn't know exactly where she was going but she just had that motherly instinct, she knew where to go. Bursting into the main entrance hall she was met with the deafening crash of two powerful spells meeting head on and then the painful wave of heat as one was deflected in her direction. Hating herself she was forced behind a pillar to wait out whatever battle raged just around the corner.
"Kill me now Dumbledore," Lilly's blood whet cold as she heard her beloved son's voice, twisted, strained, in agony, taunting. She dashed from behind her cover without care for herself. Dumbledore was bent over her son as he lay twitching on the floor, eyes narrowed behind his glasses in pain. "If death is nothing, Dumbledore, kill the boy…" Lily's heart broke as she hurried, stumbling toward her son and she saw recognition in his eyes. Then his head snapped back his body whet rigid and she cried out Harry's name. She fell beside him and took his now limp hand in hers, cradling his head.
"Well done Harry," Dumbledore whispered to the boy in his mother's arms and he stood to face Voldemort. The pale dark wizard was standing in the center of the entrance hall with wide red, slit pupiled eyes. "Do you see now Tom?" Dumbledore asked, his voice holding the patience and understanding of teacher. Voldemort hesitated for just a moment and it was enough time for the fireplaces up and down the hall to burst into green flames and emit a crowd, the figure foremost among them being the Minister of Magic himself. Screams went up from those at the front and Voldemort's face contorted in anger before he was wrapped in back smoke and disappeared with a crack. In the silence that followed the voice of Cornelius Fudge filled the hall.
After that short statement broke the charm, the hall erupted into chaos. Anyone with authority was giving orders and everyone else scurried to obey them. Cries of panic filled the hall around Lily Potter and roused her son.
"Mum…" He muttered hoarsely.
"I'm here sweet heart," She crooned, "I'm here."
"Dad?" he asked her but Lily couldn't answer, she didn't know how to answer. Some part of her couldn't believe that James would… but another knew what she'd seen, her husband had fallen, and he hadn't gotten back up.
"My dear," Dumbledore's calming voice broke her thoughts, "This is not the place for you, either of you. If I may ask Harry to return to Hogwarts."
"Dad?" Harry's voice was louder now.
"You should go to your husband Lily," Dumbledore suggested and picked up the golden head of a shattered statue and pointed his wand at it saying "Portus." He ignored the protests of the Minister behind him about the legality of the portkey and set it down before Harry.
"I will be there momentarily," He assured the boy.
"Go to Dad," Harry looked at his mother as he said it. Reluctance brimming in her green eyes Lily released him, nodding, and ran off through the crowded hall.
"Hurry Harry," Dumbledore prompted. The back haired boy placed his hand on the head. "One… two… three." And he was gone.
James Potter was just regaining his senses in the dark room known as the Death Chamber as the unconscious or incapacitated Death Eaters were being rounded up by Aurors and escorted less than gently out of the room. Around him members of the Order were helping or being helped. Looking around he saw a scene that nearly broke his heart. His old friend, Remus was walking slowly out, a limp form in his arms and tears on his face. From his arms a head of pink hair fell back and before James's eyes the hair slowly faded into a mousy brown and James couldn't mistake her for anyone else. It was Tonks. He prayed against reason that she would be ok, Moony's hurry to get her out of the room only giving him a treacherous boost. Maybe she'll be alright, he told himself.
James heard a groan beside him and turned to the black curtains that waved beside him, too close for his comfort, and the figure that was sprawled right next to him. He had a vague memory of colliding with another body before he blacked out from the stunning spell, this poor soul must have been who he hit. At least we're both was alive, James rationalized.
"James!" He heard her musical voice and it was the brightest sound in the world.
"Lily," He pulled himself up in time for her to run into him with a rib cracking hug. He hugged her back just as tightly, thanking whatever god watched over them she was alright.
"Oh, James," She sighed, "I thought you were… for a moment it looked like you would fall into..." He felt shivers up her spine and kissed her temple lightly and reassuringly.
"I'd never leave you and Harry," He told her with a grin. "Lucky someone got in the way though." They both looked down at the still unconscious figure that had saved James's life. He was about as tall as James with shoulder length black hair and dark robes. His wand lay beside his hand on the ground where it had fallen.
"You two alright there?" a tall Auror named Henry Holland asked, coming up behind them.
"Yeah," James said, Lily was still looking at the stranger.
"Who's that?" the man asked, "Another Death Eater?" James shrugged but his wife shook her head.
"He… he….came…" She looked up at the Arch. "He came out of that!" The two men looked at her in horror.
"That's impossible," the Auror insisted. "How could he…" They all looked at them man on the floor. Slowly Holland bent and rolled him over so his face came into view. Lily let out a screen while James could only stare in shock.
"Do you know him?" The Auror asked.
"Yeah," James breathed, never taking his eyes off the man's face. "But he's supposed to be dead." Sirius Black groaned and his face twitched in pain as he slowly regained consciousness. His grey eyes opened for a moment and he saw the two faces he'd been missing for so long. Lily, he wanted to say, James!
It took Dumbledore two hours to get back to the Ministry and another hour before he could make time for the anomaly that was sedated in a small holding cell in the Ministry's lower level. Lily had hurried to Hogwarts not long after Sirius was identified to assure her son that James was fine while James and the Aurors moved Sirius into the more private holding cell and cast a sleeping charm over him.
"What is that was so urgent?" Dumbledore asked James as he came striding down the hall.
"It's… well it's Sirius Black," James said cautiously, standing from the bench he'd been sitting on.
"We all felt the loss of our friend, but that was fourteen years ago," Dumbledore said with the utmost patience.
"Yes, but he's here… alive," James pointed at the cell door.
"Here… how?" Dumbledore was interested now. James just shook his head though.
"Lily said he came out of the Arch in the room where we were fighting, he bumped into me and stopped me from falling in. But Dumbledore, he's… older… he looks thirty years older than the last time I saw him."
"Perhaps we should ask him some questions," Dumbledore motioned to the door and James hurried to open it. The two men entered the small windowless cell where Sirius lay asleep on the hard cot.
"Enerverate," James said, pointing his wand at Sirius. The man's eyes flew open and he began looking around, orientating himself. At first he was confused by the grey stone above him then panicked as he recognized it. He jumped up with a nimbleness that didn't show in his face and looked around wildly as if someone had yelled at him. His eyes found Dumbledore first, a hard person to miss, then they landed on James and remained there, wide and disbelieving. As James looked back at his best friend he couldn't help but feel a pang in his heart. He wanted so badly to believe this was Sirius, that his best friend was still alive.
"James," Sirius whispered, as if that was all he could manage to say.
"Excuse me," Dumbledore broke the silent spell, "I must ask you to sit, Sir. We have a few questions." Sirius's eyes flicked between the two people.
"Am I dead?" He asked with all the seriousness in the world.
"I don't believe so," Dumbledore replied, his blue eyes calculating. "Please sit," With a wave of his wand three armchairs filled the small space and slid up behind all present. Sirius and James fell somewhat gracelessly into their respective seats while Dumbledore sat serenely. The small grey cell was now quite crowded by the red and purple velvet and mahogany chairs that were squeezed within it and looking as out of place as Dumbledore himself.
"Prongs," Sirius was looking at James again, "How are you here? Lily, I saw Lily? You're alive! When did you get so much grey in your hair? Where's Harry? Is he alright? Bellatrix…" Dumbledore held up a hand and asked for silence. Sirius reacted somewhat explosively.
"NO!" He yelled. "Silence is all I've heard for two weeks. I will not hold off questioning my best friend just so you can reprimand me for leaving that wretched place. I know I promised. Harry was in danger and I sure as hell was not going to sit around and wait for the Order to handle it. In case you've forgotten I'm part of the Order!"
"Sirius!" James yelled, forgetting for a moment that the man in front of him couldn't be Sirius. "That's enough!" Blinking and in shock Sirius slid back into his chair.
"It's good to hear your voice again," Sirius smiled.
"Wish I could say the same," James answered and his best friends face fell.
"Prongs, you can't believe I would sell you out to Voldemort?" Sirius looked slightly panicked now but mostly outraged.
"No!" James countered. "If you'd sold us out you wouldn't have been in the cottage when You-Know-Who came to kill Harry." Sirius's anger faded into confusion.
"What?" He asked in a voice so familiar it almost hurt James physically.
"You died Sirius!"
"Died…" Sirius didn't seem to understand. "I was… in the cottage when Voldemort… no you and Lily were. Voldemort…" Sirius's voice broke. "You both died. I know. I found you… I walked into the house and you were… sprawled on the floor. The house was half gone… and Harry was there crying… Lily…" Sirius's head fell into his hands as he tried to block out the images that were still so vivid in his mind. Twelve years in Azkaban reliving that night had kept the memory perfectly preserved like a pensive. Every reliving only hurt worse, dug the wound deeper.
James stared in horror. Despite reality, despite what he knew, he believed this man in front of him.
"Mr. Black," Dumbledore brought Sirius out of his troubled thoughts. "You are saying that you are indeed Sirius Orion Black?" Sirius nodded.
"And that you were not killed on October 31, 1981?" Dumbledore continued.
"No," Sirius answered.
"And that you are part of the reformed Order of the Pheonix?"
"Yes, you had me gather all the old people after Voldemort returned during the Third Task last year!" Dumbledore and James shared a look.
"That was me," James put in. "You weren't there."
"Yes I was," Sirius said in confusion. "You weren't there, you were dead, are dead."
"No," James shook his head. Dumbledore put his hand on James's arm to silence him and asked his last question.
"You were knocked through the veiled Archway in the Department of Mysteries during a battle with Death Eaters?"
"I… It was… behind me… Bellatrix hit me with a stunning spell."
"Just like she hit me," James muttered.
"And I flew backwards thorough the veil," Sirius finished.
"And hit me so I didn't!" James's eyes widened.
"I'm dead," Sirius said solemnly.
"You're alive!" James jumped up. He would have pulled Sirius into a hug but Dumbledore stopped him.
"How do we know you are who you say you are?" Dumbledore asked in a serious voice.
"Veritserum, truth spells, whatever you want to do, go ahead. I'm not lying," Sirius told his old professor with eyes that showed only honesty.
"Then what was it you told me about the Sorting Hat your third year at Hogwarts?" Dumbledore asked. Sirius's eyes widened in shock and sputtered.
"We- you- pr-promised never to speak of that!"
"So I did," Dumbledore smiled and his blue eyes twinkled. "So I did. I should tell you the chair in which you sit in is one of five in the world made by a master carpenter so anyone who sits upon it can say nothing but the truth. Enough time has passed that no potion could have kept you transformed and your wand had been in Mr. Potters keeping since you arrived. I am confident that you are who you say you are."
"Padfoot," James looked down at his friend. He'd wanted to believe it before but now that Dumbledore had said it he could accept it fully. His best friend was back from the dead. With a laugh Sirius jumped up and embraced James.
"Oh, I missed you," he clapped his friend on the back as Dumbledore vanished their chairs and opened the door.
"After you," He told the younger men and they filed out.
"Never thought I'd be back in one of those," Sirius shuddered as he left.
"Back?" James looked at him in horror. "What do you mean 'back'?"
"I'll explain later," Sirius said with a grin that didn't reach his eyes. "For now I'd like to see my Godson."
"He doesn't know you Sirius," James cautioned as they stepped into the rickety golden lift.
"I know." There was something in Sirius's voice that made James think he was happy about that but he couldn't understand why. "Where's Moony?" Sirius asked. "I'd have thought he'd want to know if his best mate was back?" James remembered Remus somewhat suddenly as they stepped out into the still crowded and bustling entrance hall.
"Oh no!" He looked around frantically for the blond head and scared face. He spotted a familiar face and hurried over, Sirius at his heals looking around warily.
"Potter," Travis Martin said when he saw James coming, he and James worked in the Auror department together. "Who's this?"
"Never mind him," James waved at Sirius. "Where's Remus and Tonks?"
"Didn't you hear?" He asked in shock. "Tonks, Mad-Eye, and Kingsley are all in Mungos." James's hazel eyes widened. He couldn't tell what worried him most, Tonks's injuries or the face that Mad-Eye was taken down.
"Nymphadors's in…" Sirius started to ask loudly but James cut him off by grabbing the front of his robes and hauled him off to a nearby fire.
"St. Mungos!' He yelled over the protests of those he'd just cut in front of and they were suddenly spinning like tops.
Dizzy and disorientated the two fell out into the reception room of the magical hospital. It was less crammed in the middle of the night but still a buzz with all manner of people and injuries. Sirius was pulled unceremoniously to the front desk where another line was bypassed unhappily. James slammed his fist on the table and demanded of the tired looking secretary:
"Where's Nymphadora Tonks!"
She looked positively terrified. James Potter was usually easygoing but when he got mad he was scarier than a horn tailed dragon.
"F-fourth floor," She stammered, "Ward… 5." James was off again as soon as the number was out of her mouth and dragging Sirius with him. They reached the doors panting and James pulled them open roughly before coming to a halt just inside. Sirius stopped behind him and the door swung back into place, hitting the back of his head painfully. When the stars before his eyes cleared he saw James striding purposefully to the last bed where Remus sat in a hard backed chair, head bent and hands over his face, shaking. In the bed beside him was the pale witch, Sirius's beloved second cousin, Nymphadora Tonks.
"Oh, Nymphie," He breathed, coming up to the bed. Her face was a mass of bruises on one side and her arms looked no better. Her breathing was slow and shallow, her eyes closed, and her hair had returned to its natural mousy brown.
"I should have been there James," Remus sobbed. "I should have…"
"There was nothing you could have done," James put a hand on his friends shoulder. "She knew the risks and she's strong. Tonks will pull through, you'll see."
"What if she doesn't?" Remus looked up at his friend. "What then?"
"Moony," Sirius cut in with a grin, "She's a Black! We don't kill easy." Remus just looked at Sirius then at James.
"I've really cracked haven't I?" He asked, "I'm seeing dead people."
"We all see dead people!" Sirius corrected, "There about twenty of them floating around Hogwarts." James gave his friend a look and Sirius shrugged. He took his cousins bruised hand for a moment.
"Get well, Nymphadora," He told her. "Can't have you kicking the bucket before me." He then turned and left, leaving James to explain the situation he still didn't understand to Remus.
[AN: If you want more just review with something like 'good job' 'update' or ': )'. Thanks.]