Chapter 1 : Should Have Seen it Coming
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“Sirius Orion Black! Come down here. At once!” His mother’s voice echoed around the staircase before almost stopping at the thick wooden door that led into the room of the boy in question. As it were, the door was thin enough that Sirius could hear his mother’s shrill and very unwelcome voice calling for him. “SIRIUS!”
Taking his own sweet time strolling down the stair was the original plan, but when Sirius’ father joined his deep voice to Walburga’s shrill one in calling for their unruly son, Sirius had no choice but to hurry. Disobeying his mother was permissible because he did it so often now, but when his father got involved, it was best to stay on his good side.
“What?” Sirius asked as he stood in the doorway of his father’s sparsely decorated study. Both his parents were there, looking at him with that familiar expression of what are we going to do with this one that Sirius hated so much.
“Chara Rosier,” his father began, “has turned down our offer of tea tomorrow.”
“In favour of an evening with her brother Evan and Teodorus Nott,” Walburga was quick to point out.
Sirius was tempted to ask so what, but mindful of his father kept his silence, leaning against the doorframe with an easy grace that the rest of his family lacked.
“I hope you know what this means, Sirius,” Orion said quietly. When Sirius merely looked up at him with a defiant expression in those grey eyes so similar to his father’s, Orion sighed and continued. “You’ve just managed to offend almost every respectable pure–blood family that we are not directly related to. Your hopes of creating a suitable marriage have just gone out the window.”
“I don’t understand why you don’t want to have a good marriage, Sirius,” Walburga said frustratedly. “If only you hadn’t spilt gravy on poor Chara’s head –”
“It was an accident!” Sirius insisted, although both his parents knew that he was lying through his teeth. “And it was cleaned up almost straight away as well, I don’t see what all the fuss is about.”
“The fuss,” Orion said with a controlled anger that was more intimidating than if he’d been shouting, “is that you are ruining your social standing, our family name and dashing your hopes of a respectable pure–blood marriage.”
Sirius muttered under his breath that they most definitely weren’t his hopes, but Walburga heard anyway, and she had just sat up straighter, a feat which Sirius hadn’t believed possible, knotting her thin hands together angrily and opening her mouth to speak when Orion cut in.
“Is this about Andromeda, Sirius? Do you think that you can follow in her footsteps?” he asked, ignoring the way his wife stiffened at the mention of her disgraced niece. “It is impossible, Sirius,” he said almost gently. “Walburga and I are not Druella and Cygnus. We forbid it,” he said firmly, which of course instantly caused Sirius to plan running away. “There are spells around the house to prevent escape, Sirius Orion Black, so don’t even think about it, young man.”
Walburga nodded, fully agreeing with everything her husband said. “Either way, Sirius, this is your last chance, so don’t go wasting it or there will be consequences.”
“What last chance?” Sirius asked, looking suspiciously at his mother who was looking unusually happy, and his father who was watching his wife carefully.
“You’ve invited Adhara Greengrass over for supper tonight,” Walburga announced. “I just got a reply saying they were coming.”
Orion’s anger and fatigue seemed to disappear. “They’re coming? Tonight?” he asked, as close to excited as he had ever been, at least in Sirius’ presence.
“Me? I never invited that bi – I mean, girl. Person. I didn’t invite her!” Sirius exclaimed, disgusted.
Orion turned on Sirius. “Don’t mess it up this time, Sirius. This is your last chance, and if we haven’t arranged a decent marriage for you by the end of the summer, well, an education will be the least of your worries,” he said in a tone that brooked no argument. Sirius gaped at his father.
“You can’t – you can’t say that! I’m doing my NEWTS after next year, I need to go back to Hogwarts!”
“You do not need anything, Sirius,” Orion said, looking down at his horrified son, “least of all to go back to that cesspool of Mudbloods who seem to be influencing you. I’m sure we can find a suitable tutor if we need to.”
Sirius stood up and stormed from the rom, and his parents made no effort to try and call him back, Walburga only shouting after him. “And try to look nice for dinner!”
Sirius was not going to sit down and pretend to care about this Adhara Greengrass his mother was so infatuated with. He was not going to act the perfect little pureblood prince show–dog and be grateful for it – that was Regulus’ job, wasn’t it? And he was sure as hell not going to sit back and let his parents take control of his life. Not going back to Hogwarts meant misery here with his parents and Kreacher, and Merlin knew he didn’t need that.
But what could he do?
He could do what Andromeda did. He could run. And, what the hell, he would do it just to piss his father off. James would take him in easily enough, he hoped, unless James’ parents were buggers like his own, but they weren’t, not from the way James always spoke about them.
Leave. Leave now, quickly, do it now, leave here. Yes. No. The walls of his room suddenly seemed close, too close, pressing in and trying to trap him.
But there were spells to stop him getting out, his father had said so. Did they stop a dog getting out, though? A grin spread over Sirius’ face for the first time during these summer holidays, and he grabbed his wand from the drawer where he put it last night before marching over to the window looking out over the large and perfectly cultivated garden.
In the end, the decision was too easy, and Sirius found it much easier than it should be for a child to decide. He marched over to the window with a steely determination in his grey eyes and yanked it open with a loud creak. It was raining slightly outside, turning Muggle London into a perfectly uniform empire of grey.
Without a second thought, Sirius stuffed his wand in his pocket and flung himself onto the windowsill before sliding down the rainpipe (which was acting quite useless in this weather). Somehow, he managed to slip and slide towards a safe landing in the garden, miraculously arriving on the wet soil unhurt.
Looking around furtively and wishing he had James’ Invisibility Cloak with him, Sirius hurried towards a particularly dense bush in the garden and there changed into the big black dog his friends knew as Padfoot.
Things were easier in dog form. There weren’t as many doubts, and Padfoot trotted out of the garden happily, leaping the fence calmly. He entered Muggle London for the first time with no plan, no supplies, no money and only one objective. Once Number 12, Grimmauld Place was out of sight, Padfoot set off for Prongs’ house at a trot.
(When Regulus was sent up reluctantly to fetch Sirius for dinner because the Greengrasses had arrived, he found the room empty of Sirius. His mother was outraged and his father disbelieving, but that’s neither here nor there.)
The journey through London gave Sirius a proper sense of life as a dog. The people who saw him either shied away, ran away screaming or tried to say hi to him. Most of the time he went with the friendly ones because a free meal could be gotten out of it most of the time, especially if he widened his eyes hopefully and let his head and tail droop a little bit. Besides, a free meal was always better than the alternative – whatever was in the gutters.
It took him two weeks to get to Prongs’ house, on the other side of London. He could understand that, he supposed – anyone would want to live on the opposite side of London to his parents.
It is evening when he tumbles into James’ backyard, back in his human form, and then lets himself into the back door because James has told him that the back door is almost always unlocked.
James and his parents are having dinner in the kitchen when Sirius spills into the middle of their mealtime, his eyes over–bright and hands trembling, with excitement or terror he cannot tell.
“James. Prongs. James,” he said, and judging by the concerned looks that Charles and Elizabeth Potter are throwing him, he looked as wild as he felt. “I did it. I ran away.”
A/N - Hey all! So what did you think of my first Marauder piece? This is going to be a short story, so expect more Sirius. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, even if it's just a simple I hate it, you're awful kthxbai although I sincerely hope that I will never receive a review like that. They grey box is always hungry!
HP belongs to JK
I am not JK
Therefore, HP does not belong to me
It's as simple as that, sadly enough. :P
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