AN: It's the 16th anniversary of Sirius' death which means the same friend as who needed last week's Siris one shot is all sad again. So this is for you. I'm not sure it will help, but I gave it a shot.
Ginny glanced at the clock. 00:04. 'It's okay, Harry. It'll be okay.' She whispered. She could feel her husband shaking next to her.
'It's not okay.' His voice shook, like he had a lump in his throat. 'It's my fault, Ginny.' He rolled over in bed to look at her, eyes welling up with tears. 'He's gone, and it's all my fault.'
'Harry, stop this. You can't blame yourself anymore.' Ginny said gently, stroking his hair comfortingly.
Harry broke. 'Yes I can!' He sobbed, allowing himself to be pulled into Ginny's arms, his tears soaking her nightie. 'If I'd just bothered to learn to close my mind to him, Sirius would still be here! It's all my fault. It's all my fault.' He repeated hopelessly.
The sun rose over the empty fields. Ginny had been holding him for hours, neither of them falling asleep.
'We need to go.' Harry said suddenly. 'Can we drop the kids off at Ron and Hermione's?'
'Sure. Where are we going?' Ginny said, releasing Harry with a soft kiss.
'Grimmauld Place.' He said immediately. 'Then Hogwarts- Flitwick's old office and the Shrieking Shack. The cave up in the mountains in Hogsmeade. Then the old headquarters for the Ministry of Magic.'
'Harry… Is this healthy?' Ginny said, worried.
'I need to, Ginny.' He said emotionlessly. 'I need to remember him.'
The door materialised with no problems and soon the pair was standing in the dusty hallway. The security precautions had been removed years ago, but Harry still expected the figure of Dumbledore and the peculiar feeling of his tongue rolling up to greet him as he stepped over the threshold.
'Kreacher?' Harry called firmly.
There was a loud crack, and a knobbly creature appeared at Harry's feet. 'Master Harry.' He wheezed. Kreacher was old now, too old to work really, but Kreacher loved it at Hogwarts- whether he'd admit it, however, was another matter entirely. 'Miss Ginny.' He bowed deep, or as deep as he could without hurting himself.
'Hello Kreacher.' Ginny smiled kindly. She had grown fond of him over the years.
'Could you open the drawing room for us, Kreacher?' Harry asked quietly. 'And Sirius' bedroom.'
'Of course, Master Harry.' Kreacher disappeared again with a crack, as Harry and Ginny walked upstairs to the room containing the Black Family Tapestry.
Hermione was a genius, Harry thought once again, looking at the wall hanging. It looked good as new- once the War was over, Hermione had spent a few months scouting out portraits of missing family members and then recruited the help of Dean Thomas, who assisted her in the creative side as they repaired the tapestry together. Sirius' face beamed from the wall, and Harry's spirits lifted just a little.
Sirius' bedroom had not changed one bit from all those years ago. Harry couldn't even bring himself to tidy away the mess left by Snape in his search. The Gryffindor hangings made him smile, and even the picture of the Muggle girls, faded into almost black and white, reminded him of the best things about his godfather- brave, daring and reckless to a fault.
He shut the door behind him carefully. 'Hogwarts.'
It was so early that the corridors were almost empty. The few students that were around nodded courteously but otherwise ignored him- Harry had soon got fed up with the people who felt the need to bow or curtsey when he walked past.
Flitwick's office was locked, but as a trained Auror, it didn't take him long to open it anyway. He pushed the door and entered the tiny, dark space. Sirius must have been terrified up here.
'He received the Dementor's Kiss in here.' Harry said, choking on his words.
'You stopped it, Harry. You saved him.' Ginny said gently.
'We went back in time and changed things. We never stopped it. It still happened.'
Ginny took Harry's hand in hers and squeezed it. 'It's okay, Harry. Let it out.'
He shook his head. 'The Shrieking Shack.' He said quickly.
They could have taken any number of short cuts but they both decided silently that they would walk all the way there through the village. They didn't speak until they reached the door of the shack.
'Harry, you don't have to do this.' Ginny said as he faltered, his hand stopping inches from the doorknob.
'I know. I know. I know.' He murmured, over and over again, his hand inching closer to the door each repetition. After a minute or so, he eventually clasped the handle and pushed the door open. They climbed the rickety staircase into the bedroom where he had first officially met Sirius.
It hadn't changed. There was still a dent in the wall from where Snape had hit it. There was rubble from the skirmish with Pettigrew. And there were smears of mud on the floor, smears of mud left from age old paw prints, their shape no longer discernible.
'The cave?' Ginny said softly, after a good fifteen minutes of just standing in the tiny room.
'No.' Harry said firmly. 'I want to go to the Ministry now.'
'Harry…' Ginny said, faltering.
'Now.' He emphasised, and she nodded.
Harry had thought the Ministry was intimidating before, when it was full of people working and chatting. Empty, it was more daunting than ever. All the fittings had been ripped out of the Atrium, and all that was left of the Magic Is Might statue was a pile of twisted metal and charred wood. It was officially out of use now- the only reason that Harry was able to get in was because, well, he was Harry Potter.
The elevators weren't working, but as security was down inside the Ministry, Harry and Ginny just Apparated as far as the entrance to the Department of Mysteries. They didn't Apparate any further. Harry wanted to retrace his footsteps. Ginny was still convinced it was unhealthy, but for Harry, it was just closure. Closure for another year.
There was already someone in the ante-chamber when Harry and Ginny arrived. A dreamy looking someone, with long dirty blonde hair and a necklace made of Butterbeer corks.
'I thought I might see you here, Harry.' Luna said, her wide eyes looking at him from across the dais.
Harry descended the steps carefully. 'Yeah, well, it's the closest we have to a memorial.' He said quietly. She nodded in understanding. 'Where do you think they are, Luna? Where have they gone?'
'Somewhere nice.' She said simply. 'But they are never far away, Harry. I mean, you can hear them. Those that love us-'
Harry finished her sentence. 'Never really leave us.'