Above and Beyond

Reunited

JAMES

The next year after Cedric told his story to Lily and I was remarkably quiet. A lot the time we spent contemplating what Harry’s life is like, without us there and with the burden of unwanted fame. For almost 2 weeks after Cedric’s recount, Lily and I did not leave our house. We discussed and argued about what the future might hold for our son and what events had to Voldemort wanting to kill him so badly, though that was pretty obvious.

“Well, when Voldemort’s curse rebounded from Harry the night we died to protect him,” I said to Lily about three days after Cedric had gone, “he was almost killed. The fact that the whole Wizarding World knew that a baby had defeated him would be kind of embarrassing, don’t you think Lilyflower?”

Lily sighed, “yes it would be, but I think there is more to it then that. Voldemort is not you, he isn’t obsessed with what people think about him.” She ignored me when I stuck my tongue out at her, “So Harry survived Voldemort’s killing curse when he was one, but I think that to Voldemort, that would be a sign of great power and talent. He would be worried that Harry would be the person that could ultimately defeat him. Think about it, James. After, years of being the undefeated bad guy of the magical world, he would be pretty confident that he was almost invincible. Then this little boy comes along, not only surviving the killing curse, but also sending straight back at Voldemort, almost destroying him, that would be a shock.”

“So?” I’d asked.

“So, he would think that if he got rid of Harry earlier, it would be easier because he would be younger with less magical experience and knowledge, therefore less power. And also, then it would be done and out of the way and he’d be invincible again.”

I’d nodded, “yes, that does make sense.” Then I had grinned at her. “You’re so smart! One of the many reasons why I love you.”

It was a few days later when I thought of another question for her, that I really should have thought of earlier.

“Hey Lils,” I had said over dinner, “You know how you said that Voldy would want to get rid of Harry earlier because it would be easier and everything?” She nodded.

“Well, why didn’t he just do away with him before he went to Hogwarts. I mean, I couldn’t be any easier. The muggles would not be difficult to get through, and Harry would have no idea how to use his magic, if he knew he had any at all. It would have been like taking candy from a baby!”

“Maybe, he didn’t know where Harry was living?” She had replied with a frown, obviously stumped (which did not happen often).

I snorted. “C’mon Lil! This is Lord Voldemort we’re talking about! He had managed to find our location, get through our Fidelius Charm without the password, and kill two Aurors without breaking a sweat. Like he couldn’t find out where a young boy was in a muggle community.”

“Maybe he was too weak?”

“Ok, he could have waited 5 years or so, how does Voldemort not manage to really be able recover for 14 years? Was it really that bad?” Again, she had no answer.

That was not the only conversation regarding the topic we had over the next year. We eventually told my parents about Cedric’s story and our experience on earth and they said that they had never heard of a way that people in Above could go back down to earth until now. They were as horrified as we were about Harry and Voldemort, and demanded that we tell them immediately if we find out anything about their grandson.

But Harry seemed to be having a quiet year. Or at least quieter. We barely heard anything about him except that he had indeed escaped Voldemort (as we had assumed) and was now trying to tell everyone that Voldemort was back—which apparently, no one but Dumbledore believed—(but we sincerely hoped that wasn’t true).

The good news is that we heard nothing about anymore encounters with the Dark Lord himself and for that we were thankful. We hoped that maybe, Harry would be able to avoid any unwanted surprises for a while. We were wrong.

…………………………………

“James, can we do something tonight?” Lily asked, as she was cooking the dinner. Though she wasn’t really cooking, she was just watching as everything stirred and chopped by themselves, waving her wand occasionally to make different things float to specific spots.

“Like what?”

“Oh, I don’t know! Maybe…go out somewhere. We could go see your Mum and Dad.”

“Awww Lily! We saw them three days ago! Let’s have a parents-free week. Just the two of us. It’s never like that.”

Lily laughed. “James, it’s always just the two of us.” She sighed. “We could just go for a walk after din—” she was interrupted by a BEEP that echoed across the house. We stood there, looking at each other in shock for a second. It was the first time that someone we had known had arrived. Lily seeing that I had no intention of getting out of my seat at the kitchen table, rolled her eyes and went into the living room.

I heard gasp, then say “James” but there was no volume to her voice. I managed to heave myself out of my very comfortable seat and had taken about three steps toward the sound of her voice when she said my name again, this time a lot louder.

“JAMES!”

I ran into the living room, but when I caught sight of the name on the screen I skidded to a stop immediately. SIRIUS BLACK was illuminated across the screen in bright purple. My mind seemed to have stopped working. All I could do was stare at the name of my best friend on the screen. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t speak. I continued stare dumbly, with my mouth gaping like a fish. Then Lily spoke, very quietly, like she only just realised.

“He was murdered…” And her words started my mind up again. I just got up and bolted out the front door, not bothering to get my coat and sprinted towards The Diamond Gates. I could hear Lily running behind me but all I could think of was that my best friend was here. I would see him for the first time in 15 years.

When I got to the top of the hill, I could see him. He was standing up, but not facing me and staring at the ground, obviously completely absorbed in his own thoughts. I was struck by compassion as I remembered what it was like to arrive here: the shock that you feel, which is then replaced by overwhelming sadness. But I knew you had to think of something else to distract yourself from the pain. I felt Lily take my hand and I looked down at her to see that she had tears in her eyes. I knew that she was remembering what it was like to be here at first like I had, and she felt pity for Sirius.

We slowly walked closer until we were about ten metres away but Sirius didn’t turn. I took a deep breath, before saying, very quietly, “Sirius.”

His head jerked up suddenly at the sound of my voice and he looked at me. Seeing his face only brought back a flood of memories into my mind, every single one of them happy. He didn’t look a day older then last time I saw him. I watched his face as he recognized me and Lily. His eyes widened in shock and wonder, then they filled with tears (which is a very rare sight), and he grinned such a happy smile that it lit up his entire face and I couldn’t help grinning in return.

“JAMES!” he yelled and bounded over to me giving me the biggest hug ever, almost knocking me over in the process.

“Hey Sirius” I muttered into his shoulder. I was so happy to see him, it was overwhelming, and it made my tears overflow. We stood there for several moments, trying to absorb the fact that we were together again after fourteen years apart. I heard him sobbing, holding onto me so tight it hurt, and I couldn’t help but cry myself, but only because I was so happy. I have my best friend back. I have my best friend back. I repeated like a mantra to myself. After over 14 years apart. We had never spent more then 2 weeks away from each other before I was killed. It comforted me to know that he felt exactly the same as I did.

“It’s been too long James.” He murmured, about five minutes later after we had both managed to contain our sobs of happiness. But I couldn’t keep the tears from running down my face like a fountain, and I could tell from the sound of his voice that he was struggling to do the same.

“I know mate, I know.” I agreed. “Fourteen years is a…a very long time.”

“When you died…it was so hard...” I heard him swallow loudly, “Then Harry was taken to those damned Dursleys…I would have…but Dumbledore said…actual relatives, you know.” He didn’t seem to be able to go on.

“Sirius, I-I know, but its okay. We completely understand.” I said, “Let’s not worry about that now.”

I felt him nod. After another moment, he said, “I missed you so much.” so quietly that Lily, who was standing on the other side of me wouldn’t have been able to hear. And, knowing him like I did, I knew that that was a really hard thing for him to say. He wasn’t one to express emotion regularly.

I took a deep breath. “I missed you too, mate. It really is not the same without you.”

“Ditto” he replied as we broke apart. “Man, it’s so good to see you Prongs.” I grinned at the sound of my nickname, happiness filling me. It was so good to hear him calling me Prongs again.

“It’s good to see you too, Padfoot.” He grinned back, so wide that it was almost blinding. Then he frowned. “Where’s Lilyflower?”

“Right here, Sirius.” Lily said, stepping away from me so that Sirius could see her.

“LILY!” He immediately hugged her, picking her up and swinging her around yelling loudly about seeing his Lilyflower again. I was so happy to see him again that I didn’t care that he was calling Lily his Lilyflower when she was obviously my Lilyflower. She was laughing and he was smiling, but I could still see that salty tears on his cheeks, and I wondered if I had ever seen Sirius cry this much before. That thought would have made me extremely sad, or worried, if I didn’t know that it was because he was so happy. That’s why I was crying so much.

He stopped spinning her and set her down again saying, “It’s so good to see you again, Lily.”

“I know Siri,” Lily murmured, her tears flowing freely. “I really missed you.”

“Aw, I missed you too Lils!” he said, hugging her again. They laughed, then he said, “But seriously, I really, really missed you, Lilyflower. It’s not the same without you. And believe it or not, I did miss your death stares and ranting. Mostly because they were always directed at James, and you know how I love to watch you try to kill him.”

She beamed at him through her tears. Obviously choosing to overlook his last sentence.

“Pad, as much as I like seeing you again. I have to ask you to step away from my wife.” I said in my best serious voice.

Sirius only laughed and hugged Lily closer. “But Prongsie, it’s just been you two for fourteen years! You had her all to yourself for long enough! Now it’s my turn!”

I sighed and shook my head sadly, “Sirius, I thought you knew me.” I said.

“I do know you!” he cried, outraged, but I ignored him.

“After all the years that I fancied Lily, then the years after that when she finally gave in to all my Potter charms,”—Lily snorted and muttered “Potter charms, my arse”—“I still hadn’t had enough of her. Now you think that I would just give her to you! Even after fourteen years of just Lily and James time.” I shook my head again.

Sirius pouted like stubborn child and I couldn’t help smirk at him. “James,” Lily said, walking away from Sirius to me to take my hand, “that was very sweet of you in a very weird way.” She gave me a kiss and Sirius made a gagging sound.

“Aw man!” he groaned, “I didn’t die defending Harry to come and watch this!”

That certainly distracted us. We both looked at him in shock before bursting out at the same time, “WHAT?!”

He rolled his eyes, “You know it is kind of weird when you two talk at exactly the same time like that.”

“We don’t talk at the same time!” Lily and I said in unison, then looked at each other before breaking into laughter.

“At least not all the time” I chuckled. Sirius just rolled his eyes again.

“Sirius,” Lily said, “you died defending Harry?”

He shrugged, “Yeah, what was I meant to do? Just let the Death Eaters capture him and give him to Voldemort?” He wagged his finger at us as if we naughty were children. “I don’t think so.”

Lily and I gaped at him. “Death Eaters?” I managed to choke out.

“Yup,” Sirius confirmed casually as if agreeing on the weather, “There were about ten of them, duelling with Harry and his friends before the Order and I showed up. Though I have to admit they were doing a pretty good job themselves. We fought for ages! There were spells going everywhere, hitting the wrong people, but I, like the quick, talented dueller I am,” he demonstrated this by waving an imaginary wand and ducking and jumping around randomly, and I resisted the urge to roll my eyes, “was not hit by a single one, and I managed to knock out several bad guys, including Lucius Malfoy, the bastard.” He stopped dodging and ducking to stare at us solemnly, “Then Bellatrix got to me. Bloody wench.” He muttered under his breath.

“Bellatrix killed you!?” I burst out.

He nodded and Lily said “Sirius, I’m so sorry!”

“It’s okay. I died trying to defend my godson and I can’t think of a better way to go.” Lily and I nodded, completely agreeing. “Anyway,” Sirius continued, “I’m here with you guys now, so—” he stopped suddenly, staring at something just over my left shoulder. I turned around to see Nikki standing there, smiling, tears already shining with tears.

I looked at her, then back at Sirius, who had tears in his eyes again, then back at her, and I couldn’t help but grin. I couldn’t wait for this. Lily looked at me significantly, and I nodded. She ran over to Nikki and I grabbed Sirius by the arm. Only when I yanked on him, did he stop staring at Nikki and looked at me suspiciously.

“What are you doing, James?”

“Helping you.” I said simply, “You’ve always been emotionally inept, so I am guiding you through the first steps.” He glared at me, but I ignored him, dragging him closer to Nikki, who was getting pushed by Lily, and not looking very happy about it.

When they got about 3 metres apart, we let go of them, and stepped off to the side, waiting.

Then Sirius said, very quietly, “Nikki…I can’t believe…you…” he struggled for words, but then he shook his head, stepped quickly towards her and hugged her tightly, crying again.

She sobbed into his shoulder, “I missed you so much, Sirius…”

“Ah, Nik, I missed you too. So much, you have no idea.”

She laughed quietly, “I think I do.”

They held each other for a moment before Sirius pulled back to look at her seriously, “Nikki, when you died…I couldn’t…it felt like…I—”

“Don’t.” she put her hand over his mouth, “Sirius, it doesn’t matter. I don’t want to think about that. But I do know what you are talking about, and it was hard for me too. I just don’t want to go over that; I want to stay in the right now.”

He grinned, “Me too.” Then he leaned down to her, but she avoided him. He pulled back. “What is it Nik?” She shook her head, still looking down. “Oh no. You haven’t…moved on, have you?” When he said that, I saw a flash of fear and worry in his eyes, and I knew that he loved her more then he let on.

Her head snapped up at that. “No! Of course I haven’t…I mean, I did go on a few dates…” he cringed, his grey eyes darkening, and she hurried to continue, “but none of them were, well…they weren’t you.” She smiled at him.

“Of course they weren’t,” he grinned haughtily, “no one is as good as the real Sirius Black.” I snorted in disgust, and he gave me the finger. “If you haven’t met anyone else, then what’s the problem Nik?” he asked, pulling her chin up so she would look at him.

“Well, I just don’t know if it will be the same. I mean, we’re both dead, but how do I know that your feelings haven’t changed?”

He snorted, “No amount of time could change how I feel about you, Nikki. Not even Bellatrix’s killing curse could. You’re the only one for me. So of course I still love you!”

She beamed at him, and said, “Good, because I love you too.” He grinned happily, and leant down to kiss her again, but stopped suddenly, turning to us. “You can go now.”

I laughed, “No way, mate. We’ve been waiting to see this for 15 years!” Lily nodded. Sirius shrugged, then turned back to Nikki, and finally kissed her.

“Woooo!” I cheered, and Lily laughed and clapped enthusiastically. They tried to ignore us, but when we kept going, they broke apart to glare at us. “Awww, c’mon!” I complained, “We are just so happy for you.”

Sirius grinned, slipping his hand into Nikki’s, “Thanks, Prongs. I’m pretty happy too.”

“I know you are, Pad.” I said as Lily ran over to give her friend a congratulatory hug.

“So, anyone else I should be reunited with? Hey! Where are your parents?”

“Well,” I said, “This part of Above is only for magical people, so Lily’s parents aren’t here, but mine are. We can go visit them if you want.”

He nodded enthusiastically, before stopping and adding curiously, “What’s ‘Above’?”

Lily laughed, “It’s where you are now. It’s basically heaven. C’mon we will explain on the way to the Potters.”

“Okay,” Sirius said, throwing his arm over my shoulder cheerfully, while keeping a firm hold on Nikki’s hand. As we slowly walked down the hill, and I couldn’t help but think how happy I was to see my best mate. Sirius and I had never spent so long apart in our lives. We hadn’t even had 14 years of life before we met and it was so good to have him back. I was the happiest I had been in 15 years, one little piece of my life on earth had joined my world up here. Thinking of that reminded me of Moony and Wormtail.

“Hey Padfoot, how are Remus and Peter doing? Has Peter finally got a job and has—”

“—has Remus finally found someone?” Lily interrupted me.

Sirius laughed, “Well Lily, I think he has.”

“Really?” she and Nikki squealed at then same time.

He laughed again, “Calm down girls,” he chuckled, “nothing’s happened yet. But it will. They will get together eventually.”

I rolled my eyes at my mate’s words. It reminded me that Sirius used to always blow things way out of proportion and predict things that would never happen. Lily obviously thought of this too because she said, “If they haven’t even got together yet, how do you know it’s going to happen Siri? Last time you said something like that was about a month after Harry was born, and you thought I was pregnant again because I wouldn’t have any Firewhiskey.”

I laughed with Nikki and Sirius looked offended, “Hey! I so could have been right! You never turn down the opportunity to drink!”

Lily rolled her eyes. “Sirius, it was ten o’clock in the morning! I wasn’t going to get drunk before lunchtime!”

“Why not? James and I always used to.”

Lily turned her angry gaze on me. “That was before I married you!” I said quickly, while Nikki shouted loudly at Sirius for being irresponsible, “and it only happened once…twice.” She glared at me harder. “Okay…four times.” I admitted. “But then we got married and I stopped.”

She seemed to believe me and turned away. I sighed in relief; that was close. I quickly changed the subject. “So Sirius, how come you are so sure, this girl and Moony will get together.”

“I just know.” Sirius said turning away from his argument with Nikki, “I know that Moony really likes her. He even told me.”

I glared at him suspiciously, “And how did you get it out of him?”

“He just told me.” Sirius said innocently, we all just looked at him “Okay, so had to use levicorpus on him for about an hour, but he told me eventually.”

That surprised me. “Really? That’s all you had to do? Just hang him upside down? That’s not that bad.”

“I know,” Sirius agreed, “I was surprised as well. He really likes her, and it didn’t really bother him that I knew.”

That was a shock as well, “He didn’t care that you knew? He hates it when you know who he likes. Remember in fifth year when you found out he liked Josephine Prelanski? You tried to help get them together by telling her he was a great kisser.”

Sirius laughed loudly, “Oh man, I forgot about that. She told everyone he was gay.” He laughed again. “I wonder why nobody thought I was gay?”

Lily rolled her eyes. “Because then you slept with Josephine Prelanski. Not to mention most of the girls in the school.”

“That’s not true!” he huffed indignantly. “I didn’t sleep with the Slytherins. Ugh.” He shuddered.

I laughed and nodded but Lily sighed in aggravation. “Name one girl you didn’t sleep with at Hogwarts. Not a Slytherin.”

Sirius’s face fell, and I laughed again because I knew that he could never remember the name of any girls unless they were his friend—like Lily—or he dated them for a longer period of time—like Nikki—(but that was very rare). Hell, he probably couldn’t even remember the name of a girl he had slept with. The Moony and Wormtail and I used to make it a game. We used to set Sirius the task of coming back and remembering the girl’s name, and if he did, we would give him 10 galleons each. And if he didn’t remember her name, he would have to give us 2 galleons each. Let’s just say that we were all very rich by the end of the year, and Sirius was dirt poor.

“Errrr…Mary!”

Nikki glared at him. “You just said her because you remember her name because she was my best friend!”

He just looked at her. “What’s your point?”

Lily sighed again, “Sirius, you can’t do that, its cheating! And you did sleep with her remember? The night of your birthday party in sixth year. It was your birthday, so you wanted a shag, Mary was depressed about Remus dumping her, and you were both so drunk you couldn’t walk straight. Merlin knows how you both managed to get everything in the right place!”

Sirius grinned, “Lily, Lily, Lily,” he tutted, much to her annoyance, “you know that intoxication never effected my shagging abilities. And the drunkenness would explain why I don’t remember that particular night. How is it that you remember it so well?”

“Because you slept with our BEST FRIEND!” She screamed, indicating to herself and Nikki, who was glaring at him.

“Oh.”

I laughed, putting my arm around my beautiful, fuming redhead, “calm down Lils. I want to see if Sirius can actually name anyone.”

We both looked at him, and he frowned in thought, and long moments past. Finally, his head snapped up. “Lily!” he yelled, pointing at her, enthusiastically, “I didn’t sleep with Lily!”

I rolled my eyes, “Of course you didn’t Pads. You would never have slept with Lily, because you knew that I would have never forgiven you for laying a hand on my girl, not to mention hexed you into the next century.”

“Ah yes, that would be why.”

Lily looked at me, “But we only started dating in seventh year. What about all the time before that?”

“Just because we weren’t dating doesn’t mean I wasn’t completely in love with you. Everyone knew that, but The Marauders especially knew. I wouldn’t let them even look at you properly.”

Lily grinned and kissed me on the cheek, as Sirius exclaimed, “Of course we knew! You couldn’t go a day without saying something about Lily.” He started prancing up and down, and said in a high, squeaky voice, “‘isn’t she gorgeous? Look at her hair! And aren’t her eyes just the most beautiful things you have ever seen? She’s so perfect! Oh I love her! La di da di da.’” He stopped his skipping and his very bad (not to mention girly) impersonation of me. “You never shut up!”

I frowned at him while Nikki laughed so hard, she was clutching at her stomach. “I think that was a bit of an exaggeration.” He shrugged, grinning cheekily. “Anyway, you knew that Lily was going to be mine eventually.”

“I did.” Sirius nodded seriously (no pun intended), “I knew you would get together, and I was right. Which is why I know Moony and Tonks will be together eventually.”

“Wait a minute.” Nikki stared at him, having managed to contain her giggles, “Tonks? As in your cousin Nymphadora Tonks? Remus and Tonks?”

“Yup, Moony and Dora sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N -”

“Yes, Sirius we get it.” Said Lily. “you think that Remus is meant to be with Tonks?” when he nodded she burst out, “But what about the age gap? Does she know about his lycanthrope? Does he care that—?”

“Whoa, whoa, calm down Lilyflower.” Said Sirius, “nothing has happened yet that I know of. Last time I saw him, he was still deciding whether to ask her out or not. And I think he was leaning more towards ‘not’.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because! Remus knew that she liked him as well, but he didn’t want to start a relationship because of his…furry little problem.” He grinned, and I couldn’t help but laugh at the nickname we had for Remus’s illness.

“So why are you so sure they will be together in the end, if he was leaning towards not asking her out?” Lily asked, clearly getting frustrated.

Because” he repeated, “I just know okay? Remus will give in and ask her out or something. I know it.” Nikki rolled her eyes at him, and I couldn’t help but laugh at the stubborn expression on his face. Then I remembered something.

“Padfoot, you didn’t answer my first question.” I said, “Did Wormtail finally get a job?”

Sirius grimaced and did not look happy about the change of subject. It was a moment before he answered. “Oh, he has a job Prongs, but you wouldn’t like it. But I would rather not talk about him right now. I haven’t spoken to that bastard for 14 years.”

That hurt. How could Sirius call a fellow Marauder a bastard? Why hasn’t he spoken to our friend in 14 years? But before I could question him there was a yell.

“SIRI!!” We all looked up to see my mother running towards us.

“JUDY!!” Sirius shouted just as she got to us and threw her arms around Sirius.

“Oh, Sirius,” she sobbed, “It’s so good to see you! It has been so long. But why are you here? You should be with your godson.”

“I know Mrs P, but I died trying to protect him and I just hope he is now safe.”

Then my dad came up. “Sirius it’s so good to see you, lad.”

“MR P!” Sirius yelled, hugging my dad as well. We all laughed. Sirius had always loved my parents because they cared for him like his parents should have. When he ran away from home in the summer after our fifth year, he came and stayed at my place. My parents loved him like a second son, though sometimes they seemed to love him more then they loved me.

After a long chat with my parents, it was decided the Sirius would stay with Nikki, since she had a spare room until he got a house of his own. He seemed very happy about that. As we trudged back, Sirius said, “I have so much to tell you guys. You have missed a lot over the past 14 years. But don’t worry I will fill you in on as much as I can.”

“Sirius, as much as I would love to stay up all night learning about Harry and everything we have missed, I’m really tired and I know you are. We will talk in the morning okay?” Lily said.

Sirius reluctantly agreed and we said our good byes to him and Nikki. Luckily she only lived one street across, so it was very convenient. I fell asleep that night with a big smile on my face for the first time in 14 years.


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