Thread: Runaway
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 1:47 am
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Join Date: 19th October 2006
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Re: Runaway

Chapter Ten

It had been several days since that fateful encounter with his uncle, and Sirius had already used up half of the money given to him. He decided that it was time to stop wandering around, and to decide where he was going to go. Seating himself on a park bench, Sirius placed the suitcase with his things and money in it beside him.

Where could he go? Sirius’ first thought was Hogwarts, but he had no idea how to get there, or if they would even let him stay until the school year started. What if they turned him over to his parents? If that happened, if he was forced to go back to that horrible place after running away and disgracing the family name, Sirius didn’t even want to think about it.

So Hogwarts wasn’t an option. Where else could he go? Perhaps he could stay at one of his friends’ houses. At least until he could find somewhere else to go, probably after he graduated from Hogwarts. Sirius didn’t know much about Remus or Peter’s families, and he wasn’t sure if he would be welcomed there.

But James. James was his best friend, and he would never turn him away. And his parents had seemed so nice; maybe they wouldn’t mind having another son.

Even better, Sirius knew where James lived, and it wasn’t that far from where he was now, only about twenty miles away. In fact, if he left now, and ran the whole way in dog form, he could get there quickly, by tomorrow evening at the latest.

That’s what he would do then. Decided, Sirius stood up, made sure that no muggles were around, and transformed. Gripping his suitcase in his mouth, Sirius ran off down the road as fast as he could.

It was very late in the evening when Sirius stopped to rest. Gently placing down his suitcase by a large oak tree, he sat down, panting with exhaustion. His long, dog-tongue hung out, as he tried to catch his breath.

Just when he was about to continue on his way, he spotted a small shack that was hidden in the foliage. Smoke was rising from the tiny stone chimney, indicating that someone had lit a fire inside. Sirius was getting very hungry. Perhaps whoever lived there would give him something to eat. Sirius decided to go in dog form, so that he could beg for food from the inhabitant of the place.

So trotting over to the small door, Sirius scratched the wooden surface with his paw, and began to whine loudly.

He heard some noise on the other side, and soon the door was opened by a large man. It was hard to see him in the darkness, but he appeared to be a heavily-built man, and in a way, he reminded Sirius of Professor Slughorn, who was the potions teacher at Hogwarts.

“Who’s that out there? Why it’s a dog. Now why is there a dog outside old Steve’s door? I like dogs, want does it want from old Steve?”

Sirius bent down and whined loudly, giving old Steve the begging puppy look. It always worked, no matter who he gave it to.

“Look at that face, why’s he looking at old Steve like that? Does he want food from old Steve?”

Sirius barked loudly.

“He does! Well then old Steve will bring him inside and give him something to eat. He doesn’t have a collar, he must be a stray then.”

Old Steve stepped out of the way, and Sirius padded eagerly into the cottage. It was very small, with Spartan furnishings. There was a small fireplace set into the corner of the room, with a large, weathered armchair in front of it, which was the only piece of furniture in the place.

So curious was Sirius about this place, that even with his enhanced dog hearing, he failed to catch what old Steve was saying as he shut the door behind him.

“Old Steve likes dogs, yes. And no one owns this dog. Old Steve will keep it, yes. It will be old Steve’s dog now.”

The sound of the lock clicking shut made Sirius turn around. And before he knew what was happening, the man jumped him. Sirius tried to break away but old Steve was very strong. Wrestling Sirius to the ground, he seized a coil of rope lying on the floor and tied it around Sirius’ neck. Still pinning poor Sirius to the ground, old Steve proceeded to tie the other end of the rope to a hook protruding from the wall. He then released Sirius.

Yelping and barking loudly, Sirius struggled to break free and attack his captor. But to no avail, the rope held fast and he only succeeded in nearly strangling himself. Sirius lay down, panting.

“You’re gonna live with old Steve from now on, dog. Be a good dog now, or old Steve is gonna halfta put you over there with Charlie. Charlie was old Steve’s old dog, but he was bad to old Steve, so old Steve took care of him.”

Old Steve smiled and motioned to a rug that lay in front of the fire. With a mixture of shock and horror, Sirius realized that the rug was actually the body of a dog, with the innards all removed, so all that remained was the ruffled, dark brown fur.

“Old Steve will call you Blackie, because your fur is all black.”

He chuckled to himself, as if he had made a really good joke.

“Good night Blackie. Old Steve will have lots of fun with you in the morning. Old Steve will train you, yes. You will be a good dog Blackie, a very good dog.”

Old Steve walked over to the armchair in front of the fireplace and within minutes, was snoring soundly. Sirius however, couldn’t sleep. He struggled and pulled at his rope. It was no use, he couldn’t break it, and he couldn’t transform because he had left his wand with his suitcase under the oak tree. And now here he was with an insane muggle called old Steve, and if he didn’t behave, he was going to end up like poor Charlie by the fireplace.

Resting his head in his paws, Sirius whined softly. He had been in a lot of tricky situations before but James had always been there with him. This time he was alone, and he had no clue how he was going to get out of this one.

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I'm so glad I finally got to post this chapter. Thanks to the book Magyk for the idea of old Steve! Don't forget to leave feedback!


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Runaway

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