A/N: This is just an idea I had. I don't really know where I'm going to go with this fic, other than having about half of the next chapter vaguely outlined. Let me know if you think it's worth continuing or not. Thanks in advance!
Harry Potter was a small and skinny, thirteen-year-old wizard with jet-black, messy hair and emerald-green eyes hidden behind thick, round glasses. He was also running away from Number 4 Privet Drive, where he lived with his Muggle aunt, uncle, and cousin. Harry's relatives hated magic, and after the magical stunt he had just pulled-however unintentional-Harry doubted he'd ever be allowed to set foot in the house again, not that he wanted to.
Uncle Vernon's sister, Marge, had come to visit her brother and his family, and, although she didn't know about Harry being a wizard, her dislike for the teenager matched the rest of her family's. Harry spent almost an entire week keeping his head down, not saying anything to upset his relatives or that might reveal the truth about his magical powers. He took all the criticism and insults thrown at him, in the hopes that at the end of the week, once Aunt Marge left, Uncle Vernon would sign a permission form from Harry's school, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, allowing him to visit the nearby wizarding village of Hogsmeade on the weekends with the rest of his class.
He could put up with the verbal abuse he got from the Dursleys if it meant getting something he really wanted in return, but when Aunt Marge started having a go at Harry's parents, he snapped. During the loud argument that followed, Harry blew his aunt up like a balloon, grabbed his trunk with everything he owned in it, and left. Harry hadn't meant to blow up his aunt, but the terrible woman deserved it, so he had no intention of trying to deflate her and felt not the least bit guilty.
But visits to Hogsmeade were the furthest thing from Harry's mind now. After walking for a while through the dark, deserted streets of Surrey, the anger at his family was beginning to wear off and be replaced by dread. He didn't care about whether he could go back to the Dursleys' or not-he even preferred not-but Harry did care about returning to Hogwarts in September. Last summer, Harry had received an official warning from the Misuse of Magic office when a house-elf named Dobby smashed his aunt's pudding, and it was by no means unclear that he would be expelled from Hogwarts if he did magic over the holidays again. And he had just done a lot of magic.
Harry set his trunk down and sat on the curbside. He needed to think. He knew that his friend Hagrid had himself been expelled from Hogwarts, and that the current Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, allowed Hagrid to stay at the school as the groundskeeper, so maybe Harry would be allowed to stay as Hagrid's assistant. But the thought of watching his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger learn magic, graduate, and become wizards without him made Harry's heart ache. He didn't think he'd be able to make it if he had to live like that.
But Harry also knew that when Hagrid had been expelled, his wand had been snapped in two. If he wanted to avoid that fate, he'd have to run for it. Harry jumped up and opened his trunk. If someone was coming to snap his wand, he couldn't sit around and wait. He'd have to leave now, and figure out where to go once he was on the way. He hoped his owl, Hedwig, would be able to find him, wherever he ended up. In the meantime, already being expelled, Harry would have to use more magic to get away. He could charm his trunk to be feather-light, tie it to his Nimbus 2000 broomstick, and fly away under his father's invisibility cloak. He'd go to London, empty his vault at Gringotts bank, and start his life as an outcast on the run. He hoped Ron and Hermione would understand his actions, because he couldn't let them break his wand.
Harry heard a twig snap on the supposedly empty sidewalk and looked up from his trunk. There-close enough for him to reach out and touch-was large, black, bear-like dog. Harry froze. The canine looked monstrous enough to eat him, and not to mention starving.
The dog stared back at Harry. Then, slowly, its mouth opened, its tongue lolled out, and its tail started wagging.
Maybe this dog was friendly. Or maybe it's so hungry you look like a feast. "Er- hi," Harry said, lamely. "Are you hungry, boy? I don't have any food-"
The dog barked.
The dog's ear fell, and it dropped to the sidewalk.
"I'd feed you if I could, but I don't have anything."
The dog whined and inched forward on its belly.
At least the animal didn't seem like it was going to hurt him. Harry slowly reached out his hand to let the dog smell it. "See? No food."
The dog sniffed his hand and licked it, then stood and started wagging its tail again.
Maybe the dog wasn't hungry. Harry carefully patted the dog's head. When the dog made no move to bite, he scratched behind its ears. He noticed it didn't have a collar. "You're just lonely then, eh? I know what that's like."
The dog woofed and moved closer.
"Crap!" Harry jumped back to his trunk. "I got to get out of here!"
The dog tilted its head and whined again.
"Sorry, boy, I have to go. I can't let the Ministry find me, they'll snap my wand if they do."
The dog moved closer and nudged Harry.
"I have to fly to London. I can't take a dog on my broom." Wand in hand, Harry kept searching his trunk for his invisibility cloak. He found it, gave it a sharp tug, and fell backward, landing in the street.
Harry saw the bright headlights and heard the screeching tires, but before he could move, the dog bit into his shirt and yanked him onto the sidewalk. Good thing too, because a large tire was stopped right where Harry's head had been.
"Thanks, boy," he said, a little shaky.
Sirius Black, escaped convict, wrongly convicted, wizard, and illegal Animagus, could hardly believe the turn of events that had taken place since he saw his godson, Harry Potter, for the first time in twelve years.
Sirius knew that Albus Dumbledore and the Ministry of Magic didn't know about his Animagus form-he had purposefully flaunted his canine form in front of a couple Aurors just to check-but his old friend Remus Lupin did. Which meant Sirius didn't know how much Harry knew. He knew his godson was living with his mother's sister and brother-in-law, Hagrid told him as much the last time he saw the boy, but he also knew it would be foolish not to assume Remus had kept in contact with Harry. Harry was, after all, his best friend's son. It was reasonable to believe that Remus at least warned Harry about large, black dogs.
Sirius had planned on getting a glimpse of his godson before going after Peter Pettigrew, the man who handed Lily and James Potter to Lord Voldemort and framed Sirius for their deaths and his own, but when he saw Harry, his desire to get to know the kid got the better of him. Thankfully, it seemed that Harry had not been told anything about Sirius' Animagus ability.
When Harry started petting the dog, Sirius couldn't say if his plans had changed or not. The kid was obviously running away from home, and it looked like no one was coming after him. Sirius had run away from home himself as a teenager, and no one came after him either. The difference was Sirius had a place to go, and from the sound of it, Harry didn't. All Harry said was that he was going to London, not to Lupin's place or a friend's place, and that the Ministry was going to snap his wand, whatever that was about. But really, was no one looking out for this kid? There was an alleged murderer escaped from Azkaban who purpose for escaped was allegedly to kill Harry Potter. And here was Harry Potter, roaming around at night with no one but the escapee around. Had Dumbledore gone daft during the years Sirius was in prison?
And when the Knight Bus appeared, its front tire aiming for Harry's head, Sirius gave no thought to how un-doglike it might seem, and pulled Harry out of the way with his teeth.
It was the first thing he had done right by his godson in over twelve years.
So Sirius followed Harry-who introduced them as Neville Longbottom and his dog, Trevor-onto the Knight Bus and to London.
Now, Sirius lay curled up at the foot of Harry's bed in a room in the Leaky Cauldron. He was pretending to be asleep while Harry lie awake petting his owl-Hedwig he had called her-and thinking over everything that happened that night, from seeing Harry to Harry's conversation with the Minister of Magic-who had been at the Leaky Cauldron to meet them- to plan his next move. He hadn't been the godfather that Harry needed him to be during his twelve-year absence while locked in Azkaban, and he couldn't be the godfather Harry deserved while stuck as a dog.
Sirius didn't want to leave Harry alone again, but he had to find Peter Pettigrew.