by Ptyx



Part I - You Can't Be Killed If You Are Already Dead


Chapter I - Stopper Death


Sirius Black was a dead man, but he was already used to it. He had spent twelve years in Azkaban, two years on the run and a year locked in Grimmauld Place; having to stay with Remus, the only person besides Albus Dumbledore to whom he wasn't a dead man, shouldn't be so terrible.

In spite of the unreality of their situation, Remus was helping him to get back to the real world, to learn again how to communicate with another person. Remus had been the first person to touch him and to let himself be touched by him. It hadn't been easy, but Remus had been infinitely patient.

Above all, he needed to help Remus to cope with the life Remus was living. Dumbledore had sent him to live among the werewolves and gain the trust of the amenable ones. Remus only returned home, secretly, at night and seemed more and more depressed as the days passed.

Like Remus, Sirius had followed Dumbledore's instructions, and wondered whether he had acted correctly or not.

The worst of all had been having to leave Harry alone. Even if everything he was doing was with the purpose of saving Harry, Sirius felt guilty. Not only had he been the culprit for James's and Lily's deaths, but also he had abandoned the boy who was their son and his godson.


Sirius felt a touch on his shoulder and turned to its beloved perpetrator. Remus was very sexy in the morning, with his sleepy face and dishevelled hair. Sirius wrapped a possessive arm around his waist. "It's early. You can sleep a little longer."

"And you, why are you brooding instead of sleeping?"

"Me? It's nothing. Or rather... the usual issues."

"We have to go ahead. Regrets won't lead us anywhere."

"I know."

Remus snuggled closer to Sirius. "Ah, if I could stay here all morning, instead of having to be with my equals..."

"Don't talk like that, Remus. You're more human than all of us."

Remus flashed a sad smile. "If everyone thought like you..."

"The world would be unbearably insane."

Remus laughed. "Now, this is true."

Sirius pretended to be angry and pinched Remus's buttocks.

"Ouch! You're going to be sorry for that," said Remus.

"Too much talking and too little action."

Remus rolled on top of him, and they ended up in a tangle of arms, legs, mouths and hands. It happened every night and every morning: they would talk and tease and make love. That was what kept Sirius going. The rest of the time was hell. Sirius couldn't stop thinking of all the nasty things Remus had to stand among the werewolves, while Sirius went to filthy places and talked to the most disgusting people to find clues about the Gaunts and the bloody Slytherin ring.

No, being dead was not the best experience of his life, and only Remus's presence helped to relieve the anguish of being separated from Harry.

~* ~* ~

Severus was marking papers in the evening when Albus burst out of the fireplace.


The Headmaster was holding his own arm, and his hand was burning. Severus ran to him.

"If you can stop this spell, Severus, I would be very grateful."

Severus held Albus's hand, lifted his own wand and cast the most powerful healing spell of all. Paradoxically, this spell was the Avada Kedavra, which was, in its origins, a healing spell, conceived for the destruction of the illness, not of the person. Severus concentrated on the curse he would have to fight and cast Avada Kedavra on it. A green light enveloped Dumbledore's arm.

Albus took a deep breath, clearly relieved. His hand, however, was black and withered. Severus touched it with his wand and started to chant another healing spell. Albus leant on him, and Severus held him. When he finished casting the spell, Severus took Albus to the sofa and helped him sit down.

Albus held his own burned hand and inspected it. "Thank you, Severus. You stopped the curse."

Severus looked at him in doubt. Albus's wand hand would never be the same. And Albus's health had probably been compromised. Severus felt tears spring to his eyes. Everything he knew of Mediwizardry told him Albus wouldn't survive for very long.

"Now, now, Severus, don't be sad. I am a very old wizard. Sooner or later, it had to happen."

"What was that, Albus? How did this curse hit you?"

Albus opened his shrivelled hand and showed him a golden ring with a black stone that had cracked down in the middle. "Salazar Slytherin's ring."

"But... who cursed it? And how did you get it?"

"That would require a long explanation, my dear, and I believe you agree with me that this is not the best moment for one."

Severus felt a mixture of anger, despair and pity for his old Master. "Of course. You need to go to the hospital wing. Pomfrey will give you potions to aid your recovery. I will escort you there."

~* ~* ~

At night, Harry went to see Severus in his office, wearing his Invisibility Cloak. It was the first time they had seen each other after that night they had spent together in the Room of Requirement. Harry embraced him, and Severus felt comforted. The magical empathy could be the best healing spell.

"What happened? Everyone's saying Dumbledore had to go to the hospital wing. And you don't seem very well."

Severus fixed his eyes on Harry's, wondering if he should tell him or not. He wouldn't be able to hide it from Harry. Harry was now a powerful Legilimens. He wasn't a very good Occlumens, but Severus would teach him all he knew and... Severus was surprised to realise how optimistic he felt when he was with Harry. He would have to control this tendency. "Dumbledore has been seriously injured. I had to cast a very powerful healing spell on him. But you know how stubborn he is; he didn't want to stay in the hospital wing."

Harry went to Ceci's enclosure and caught her. "I didn't know you were good at healing spells," Harry commented, sitting beside Severus on the sofa, with Ceci on his lap.

"Albus taught me many things besides Occlumency. You don't think he would send me to spy on Voldemort without adequately preparing me first, do you?"

"I've never thought of that before."

"You don't trust him."

Harry shrugged. "He's an old manipulator."

Severus didn't like when Harry criticised Albus. He stood up, uneasy. "Why did you come here, anyway?"

Harry frowned. "Are you going to be angry just because I don't like Dumbledore? I was worried about you, and I've missed you. Just that."

Evidently angry, the boy stood up, put Ceci back in her enclosure, caught his Invisibility Cloak and walked to the door. Severus went after him and grabbed him from behind, wrapping both arms around his chest. "Shh." Magic started to flow between them again. "Don't go."

Harry turned in his arms to face him. "Are you stressed because of Dumbledore? Are you afraid he can't be healed?"

"Yes, I am."

"Er... Let me stay with you tonight?"

"In my bedroom?"


Severus knew that it wouldn't be wise to let Harry stay, but he wasn't strong enough to resist. Not after what had happened to Albus. Harry's company would comfort him that night.

Baphomet Index
(Story Index)

Ptyx, September 2005