10/8/12: Just FYI, this story is—well—old XD;; I'm probably not going to delete it, or get around to editing it to my liking, so...I hope you enjoy it all the same? Or else read some of my newer stuff before deciding I'm a terrible author and moving on XD

Thanks so much for checking this out regardless! I really do appreciate it :)


Sixteen-year-old Sirius Black sat in his room at Number 12, Grimmauld Place. It was the first day of Christmas holidays in his fifth year, and he already could not wait to get back to Hogwarts.

"SIRIUS!" his mother's voice came from downstairs. He winced. Her tone of voice made him rather impartial to the idea of going downstairs.

"SIRIUS ORION BLACK, GET YOUR ASS DOWN HERE THIS INSTANT!"

He stood up regretfully and made his way down to the kitchen, where his parents and brother were already seated. Regulus was smirking, and his parents were glaring murderously at him.

"What do you want?" he snapped.

"I thought we'd have a little chat," his mother, Walburga, said. "Sit down." He did not move. "I said sit down, Sirius."

He yanked a chair out and plopped down into it, making it very clear that he did not want to be there. "I have an offer for you two," his father began, "When you have graduated from Hogwarts, you must make a choice between the Dark Lord and Albus Dumbledore –"

"So I suppose you want us to go along and join Voldemort?" Sirius scoffed.

"Yes we do," he continued. Sirius' jaw dropped.

"You really think I'm going to desert my best friends and turn to some power-hungry monster who enjoys killing innocent people?"

"No, we want you to do what is right for the family name," he answered, "You have a name to uphold, Sirius, and we expect you, as the eldest child, to observe the family rules –"

"Well, guess what?" he snapped, standing up, "I'm not holding up any bloody name that has anything to do with you, so you can sod off and get ickle Reggie-kins to do it!" Without another word, he spun around and started walking toward the staircase again.

"Sirius Orion!" his father roared at him, "Come back here this instant and agree to our terms, or I will disown you!"

"I don't give a damn if you disown me!"

He walked into his room, slammed the door behind him, and began shoving things into his trunk haphazardly. After he had sent is owl on the way to James' house, he shrunk the entire trunk, stuffed it into his pocket, and walked downstairs. He was met by the stunned and slightly admiring face of his younger brother and livid face of his mother before he slammed the door and began walking down the street. A light burst from the window of the drawing room, and Sirius knew that he was no longer a Black.

Good riddance.

He stormed for a few blocks before stopping in his tracks. Where am I going to go? He tried to remember whose house was closest – James', Remus', or Peter's – and finally came to the conclusion that James' must have been.

But that's still a good distance away. He had never been a geography whiz, but he knew it would take him a while to get to Coventry, where James lived.

He asked a Muggle policeman the general direction to Coventry; the Muggle gave him an odd look, but told him to go northwest. He then added,

"If you're planning to walk the entire way, it'll take a while. Don't you have parents or a car, or something?"

Sirius' face reddened. "No."

The officer raised his eyebrows. "Well, I wish you a safe journey then. Strange things have been happening nowadays." Sirius nodded curtly and walked away.

He went in the direction that the officer had pointed him in, but was worn out after what his watch declared to be seven straight hours of walking through half a foot of snow. Slowing down and wishing he knew how to Apparate, he tried to find a place for him to spend the night.

He knew knocking on someone's door was out of the question – nobody would be awake at three in the morning – so he walked down an alley and curled up in a snow-less patch of ground, finally falling asleep.


The next morning – or whenever it was that he woke up – he stood up stiffly and stretched. Note to self: whenever possible, never sleep on hard concrete floor

.

He was about to go back onto the street when he thought of something absurd. It's impossible, I'll kill myself and have to live as a mutant for the rest of my life…but why not? Plus it'll get me to James' place faster.

He pulled his wand out of his pocket and pointed it at himself, muttering the incantation that he, James, and Peter had memorized a year before.

He had expected nothing to happen, as it had for the past year. He was therefore very surprised when he was forced to hunch over; his vision suddenly switched to grayscale as he felt a strange sensation over his entire body.

No. Bloody. Way.

It had never worked before…James had grown some antlers two months before, which had led to tricky questions from Madame Pomfrey, but nothing else had happened…James was the Transfiguration whiz; he was supposed to be the one to get it first!

A second after it had begun, the feeling stopped, and Sirius found that his vision was only about three and a half feet off the ground. He ran to a patch of ice to find out exactly what he looked like.

He yelled with surprise, but it instead came out as a bark. An enormous dog looked back at him. Its black hair was long-ish and its eyes held the same mischievous glitter, but those were the only similarities he could find between his human body and his new Animagus form.

He instinctively wagged his tail, happy and still amazed that he had accomplished such an enormous feat, and then stopped. He slowly wagged his new tail back and forth again, experimenting with his new body. Just for kicks, he began chasing his tail.

"Bloody hell, this is fun!" he tried to say, but again it came out as a series of yips and barks. Sighing – he didn't know the spell to transform back for the first time, as they had not gotten that far – he walked out of the alley and continued on down the street with difficulty. He did not get as many funny looks as he had in his human form – a lone boy walking without a pack or anything – but he did manage to scare some younger Muggles just by his size.

"Mummy, look at the big dog!" a little girl screeched, clutching her mother's skirt. "Will it eat me?"

"Of course it won't, Mary," the woman reassured her. A boy, who appeared to be her older brother, ran toward Sirius. He instinctively raised his hackles and growled, but the boy did not seem fazed.

The boy began scratching Sirius behind the ears, smiling at him. Sirius was about to knock him over when he realized what the boy was doing.

Oh Merlin I like that moremoremore please take me home with you I love you oh please…He wagged his tail to show his appreciation and smiled as well as a dog could smile.

The boy, interpreting his actions correctly, asked his mother, "Mommy, can we keep him, please?"

"I don't know, James…" the woman answered, but the boy's name sparked Sirius back into reality. NeedtogettoJames'shouseneedtogettoJames'shouse…

Before he could disagree, however, the mother had consented and Sirius had been dragged into something Remus had once referred to as a "truck". To his happiness, they drove along the road to way he needed to go and finally came to rest somewhere outside of London at a small farmhouse

Sirius followed James, Marry, and their mother inside the house where what looked like the master of the house was sitting in a den.

"What do we have here?" he asked jokingly, mussing up James hair and twirling a squealing Mary around, "What, three dogs not good enough for you?"

Sirius' heart sank. Three dogs? He would have to compete for food and ear scratches with three genuine animals?

It's a good thing I'm getting out of here quickly.

"But isn't she so pretty?" Mary asked guilelessly. Sirius winced internally at being called a "she." It's a good thing none of the guys are here. "I think I'll call her Snuffles."

Sirius internally rolled his eyes, but barked to show that he understood her.

"Mighty fine dog you've got too," the father complimented, patting Sirius on the head. "She'll be great for field work."

What? Field work? No!

"What about that trip to Coventry you were planning for tomorrow to bring Miss Betty her things?" James asked. Sirius's heart momentarily stopped. What are the odds?

"I'll bring 'er along if she wants to," the father answered. Sirius wagged his tail energetically. "Good, we'll be gone by noon tomorrow."


Finally, after driving for a couple of hours the next day, Sirius and the Muggle arrived at Coventry. They drove right past the street on which James lived, and Sirius tried to draw a mental map; however, he got lost quickly.

Damn.

The man – Mr Miller was his name – wanted Sirius to carry some packages on his back up a specific walk to the house where an old lady lived. The snow was almost so deep at that point that he couldn't walk, but eventually Sirius got to the door, and Mr Miller knocked.

The lady invited Mr Miller inside for a cup of tea, but refused to let Sirius inside. He figured that it was the only chance that he'd have to get to James' house, but it was very slow going. He was barely at the end of the street by the time he heard Mr Miller's shout of surprise when he found him gone, and buried himself in a pile of snow to prevent himself from being seen.

It was almost an hour later when Sirius deemed it safe enough for him to set off for James' house again. He got lost, and by the time it had gotten dark he was only about halfway there. He was completely disoriented in the dark, which did not help.

Even with his thick fur coat, Sirius was freezing by the time he found James' street and began walking down the thankfully paved road. He finally stumbled onto the doorstep of the Potter's enormous house, frozen and exhausted. He feebly scratched at the door, but when no one answered scratched harder until he finally heard footsteps coming faintly from the inside.

The door opened, and a very confused James Potter stood in the doorway, wearing a red and gold bathrobe. "Who is it?" he asked grumpily. "If you're one of those prank knockers, I swear I'll – "

Sirius whined feebly, and James looked down in surprise. "A stray dog? What do you want?" Sirius tried to get past James and into the warmth of the house. His friend got the correct message.

"I suppose you can sleep in my room for the rest of the night…but you'll have to leave before my parents find you. Mum'll go ballistic."

Sirius wagged his tail to show that he understood. Hopefully I can get him to figure out who I am…

James led Sirius upstairs to his bedroom just as the clock was chiming three. Holy Merlin, I must have woken him up!

"Just pick a spot, preferably on the floor. If you piss on it I swear I'll kick you out."

Sirius, instead of going to sleep, sped for James' unopened trunk.

"Hey…!"

He nosed it to try and get it open; when that didn't work, he tried giving James puppy-dog eyes. Let's see if it works as well as it's supposed to.

"You know, you're much more intelligent than any dog I've ever met," James commented, grabbing his wand from the bedside table and opening his trunk. "Now, what do you want?"

Sirius began digging through James' books, as he was the one who had brought the Animagi library book home that was at least three years overdue. Finally finding it, he got it out and nosed at it, trying to get his befuddled friend to understand.

"What the…get off my book! I need that!"

Sirius inwardly sighed, but decided that he had to give him some leeway. It is three a.m.…

"Are you trying to tell me something?" Sirius was happy that he had caught on so quickly, and nodded enthusiastically. "So…you're an Animagus?" James raised his wand in alarm and pointed it at Sirius. "Who are you? Why are you at my house?"

Sirius couldn't blame his friend for being so defensive. The Potters were probably near the top of Voldemort's hit list, being "blood traitors" and all.

Sirius shook his head and began to flip through the books pages. Finally getting to "Transforming Back for the First Time", he nudged the book toward James. He still looked baffled.

"So you transformed for the first time but didn't have the foresight to learn the reverse spell first?" James laughed. Sirius growled. "Right. So, if I transform you back and you turn up as a psychotic Dark wizard, I have all the right to curse you into oblivion. Of course, if you wanted to kill me you probably would just attack me as a dog…" he warily eyed Sirius' teeth.

Sirius growled again, and James hastily picked up the book to mutter the counter-spell. He felt himself standing on two legs again, fur being traded in for clothes, nose retracting back into his face and teeth shortening. It was over as quickly as the first transformation had been, and James looked up to see his freezing cold best mate standing in front of him, an enormous grin on his face.

"Boo."

James yelled incoherently, which soon subsided into hysterical laughter. "Sirius!" he finally got out. "What are you doing here?"

"Ran away from home," he answered, shrugging. "Will you let me move in or kick me back out onto the streets?" He tried the puppy-dog eyes again, and James laughed harder.

"Must come with the territory, eh? And of course you can move in! Did you even have to ask?"

Sirius shrugged again. "It's the polite thing to do."

"Since when has Sirius Orion Black, SOB extraordinaire, ever been polite?" They both laughed. "So…you figured out the Animagi thing," James said, stretching out on his bed. "How'd you do it?"

"Dunno, it was my first morning out and I figured that if I was a bird or something I could just fly to your place."

"So the book was right, it's easier if you really want to transform. Like, you're in dire need or something." James looked thoughtful. "So, I guess Pete and I could just go out on a full moon to the shack – we'd be in dire need then."

"Too risky; plus, Remus would never allow it," Sirius pointed out. "If you didn't get transformed in time, or if you were a dung beetle or something, you'd be dead."

"True, so we'll just have to work on it before we try and go with Remus." He yawned, checked his watch, and jumped. "It's past three in the morning!"

"So? What does that have to do with anything?"

"You lost track of time, didn't you?" Sirius nodded. "It's Christmas!"

Sirius' stomach dropped. "I won't have any presents then…" James rolled his eyes.

"Don't be stupid; we've got some for you, and I'm sure Remus and Peter will send some."

His face lit up. "You guys are the best."

"Hey, do you want cocoa or something?" James offered, eyeing his friend's involuntary shivering.

Sirius nodded quickly. "That'd be great."


A few hours later, Sirius was shaken awake from his makeshift bed on the floor – he had refused point-blank to use James' bed and make his friend camp out on extra sheets – "Sirius! Happy Christmas!"

He looked up blearily. "Happy Christmas to you too, Potter. Now let me sleep."

"Nah, of course I won't! It's Christmas!" he answered, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Plus, you can scare the hell out of my parents when they go downstairs and see you. I'll get the camera."

The thought of Mr and Mrs Potters' faces finally brought Sirius out of bed, and after donning bathrobes the two of them went downstairs, James holding a large camera.

"Coffee. Now." Sirius said threateningly. "You get me up, you have to get me my caffeine." James shrugged, pulled out the coffee pot and two mugs, and began making it the Muggle way. Probably terrified of what his mum would say if she caught him doing magic.

He was just sitting down across from Sirius when two pairs of footsteps come down the stairs. "Hello James; you're an early riser, I see," Charlus Potter noted as he walked in; however, the two elder Potters froze when they saw Sirius sitting at the table with a mug of very black coffee. James grinned and flashed the camera a few times.

"Sirius – !"

"Look who Father Christmas brought," James grinned.

"Why are you here? Did your house just get to be too much?" Mrs Potter asked concernedly.

"Actually, I ran away," Sirius said abashedly. "I know it's kind of a lot to ask, but could I stay –"

"Of course!" Mr Potter roared, clapping him on the back. "Our house is your house!"

Sirius grinned, relieved. "Thanks a lot."