We're closing in on the end of The Order of the Phoenix. And this morning - before school - I read to Julia the last two pages of the chapter where Sirius dies. It's an interesting death in that it's not bloody or violent, there's no body to recover, no corpse to weep over. He disappears behind the veil and he is gone.
And I'm wondering why Rowling chose that route. Did she think Cedric's death was enough, having that body to weep over? Was having Sirius merely fall behind the curtain a hint he could return, (even if having read book 7 we know he doesn't). Did she contemplate that? Magical deaths appear to be much cleaner than gunshots and plane crashes and knife fights - is this a somewhat sanitized version for kids as we move into the harsher books 6 and 7?
As for Julia - she knew it was coming because her friend W has filled her in on some plot points but she's trying to figure it out...coming to me tonight to find out when Dumbledore dies (yeah, he spilled that too). And she's lying in bed right now, sounding out words in one of her more age-appropriate books. Soon she'll be reading HP to herself and I'll be obsolete. And sad.