DISCLAIMER: Okay, I'm still in high school. I am not J.K. Rowling. I don't own Harry Potter. I don't even look like J.K. Rowling. She and Warner Bros. own Harry Potter and everyone else involved with him (except for Dr. Tallahand, she's my character). I am just using them for my own fun. I am making no money off of this. No infringement is intended.


"And after recognizing the unfortunate legal misunderstanding, Black's name has been cleared and he is pronounced innocent and absolved of all future punishment. Upon the arrest of his alleged victim, Peter Pettigrew, he was released from the law with full apologies. The hotline for Black has also been disbanded. The Ministry of Education has recently set up a code of…"

Nearly every household in Britain, weather muggle or magical, caught the news of Sirius's freedom from justice. Every family, muggle and magical alike, was torn between relief that threats of an escaped murderer entering their homes had been lifted, and disgust at the inability of the Ministry of Britain (or Magic, as the case may be) to properly convict people.

Every family, that is, except one.

For the first time since perhaps before their son was born, not a single jaw moved in the kitchen of the Dursley family. The three of them stared at the TV screen with identical looks of horror plastered on their faces. Even Dudley froze mid-chew, his bacon halfway up to his fat mouth.

No one so much as twitched for a solid minute.

They might have remained frozen longer, but it was at that exact moment that a knock on the door chose to interrupt the silence and create a larger commotion in the kitchen than perhaps was natural. Both Mr. and Mrs. Dursley jumped to their feet; the former wheeled around and faced the door, his already albino-looking face turning green and his nostrils dilating; the latter gave a shriek to rival your average banshee and grabbed her husband's arm for protection. Dudley did something anyone who had seen him in the room with a wizard before would expect him to do, and tried to hold onto his entire but with just two hands and run from the room, rattling the windows with every step like a Tyrannosaurus.

Vernon finally managed to pry his wife's fingers from their death grip on his arm and rushed through the kitchen like the maniac he thought his nephew's godfather to be, opening and slamming cupboard doors and drawers looking for ~ only he knew what. He could be heard muttering things to himself like "don't know what he's capable of" and "teach him to come `round here again" while holding up everything from wire eggbeaters to a large wooden spoon.

Petunia was certain her husband had become more than slightly unhinged ~ though, what self-respecting man *wouldn't * be in the face of wizards? Though she did start to worry when he suddenly held up what appeared to be the things he had been looking for: a saw-like knife used for cutting turkey and tough steaks, and a metal skewer.

Petunia gulped at the glint in her husband's eyes.

Vernon laughed like a madman, and proceeded to fling open the front door, hold his makeshift weapons high over his head and shout:


He stopped.

A young blonde man in a blue cloak was clutching the handle of a small collection bucked that said *SAVE THE WHALES * in black print across the front. His face had completely drained of color and his hands were shaking so hard Vernon could hear the change rattling around inside the container. His mouth moved wordlessly in sheer horror as he looked from the knife to the skewer with eyes the size of Petunia's dinner plates.

Vernon lowered his arms.

The man backed up a step, tumbled backward down the front stairs, got up and tore down the Dursley's driveway, arms flailing wildly and blue cape billowing behind him ~ displaying very clearly the picture of a smiling cartoon whale with a jet of water squirting from its spout. The man stumbled once, and sprinted down the middle of the road, screaming about lunatics.

Vernon was not in a very happy mood when he closed the door, making sure to lock it.

The next two hours were uneventful at Privet Drive, save the incessant whimpering from under Dudley's bed that was the aforementioned teenager and the way the entire household seem to jump at the tiniest noises.

A very similar ruckus was created at a second knock at the door, and Vernon, figuring it very unlikely for two charities to be collecting in the same neighborhood on the same day (and finding it very likely that he would be getting no more Save the Whales funds collectors for a very long time) approached the door stealthily, holding up the knife and skewer in front of him as though expecting someone to suddenly break through the front door.

Vernon did not shout this time, but he did fling the door open rather sharply and hold Petunia's kitchen utensils out in front of him in a rather intimidating way.

There was nothing in front of him. At least, he thought at first. Then the shrill screaming caught his attention and he noticed a very small girl (she had been, incidentally, been looking for her cat) in a yellow dress tearing down his driveway as fast as her tiny little legs could carry her, shrieking in terror the whole way.

Not a word was said as Vernon shut the door again, locked it and latched it tightly. Assuming they made it through today, he planned to go to the hardware store first thing tomorrow (today was Sunday, so unfortunately nothing was open at this time) and buy several more locks… twenty or so should do it properly.

It wasn't until much later that afternoon that the doorbell rang. This did not create nearly as much of a stir as the knocking had for, as the Dursley's all assumed, Black was a wizard and would most likely not know how to operate a simple doorbell. The little girl must have been simply too short to reach it, and the young man had not enough sense.

So for these reasons Vernon felt it quite proper to leave Petunia's kitchen things on the table and approach the door empty-handed. He was very reluctant to do so, as he had not let go of either of them once since that morning. But he approached the door much more calmly than he had the previous two times, and opened it.

Fortune was not favoring the Dursley's today.

The man's long black hair was combed and pulled back into a neat ponytail, and his face had a bit more color to it than when Vernon had seen him last. He was dressed in muggle clothing, a black shirt and blue jeans, but the wand he held by his side gave him away.

The man gave Vernon a pleasant bordering on mischievous smile.

"Good afternoon," he said politely, "I wish to speak with your family ~ your *entire * family ~ on a matter regarding my godson."

The man seemed to be holding back the desire to laugh at Vernon's face, which had, quite impressively, changed from purple to white to green to a mix of the three in about ten seconds. Vernon was unable to speak. He didn't move.

"Oh, don't worry," said the man, twiddling with his wand in a way that it was very casually pointed at Vernon's face, "This isn't going to take long."

* * *

Twenty minutes later, Sirius Black strolled down the driveway of number four, Privet Drive, whistling quite cheerfully. He left behind what seemed to be an empty house ~ when one did not notice the three white rats that scurried about the rugs in a complete panic. Sirius was quite satisfied with leaving the house this way, as he knew that there was nothing on Earth lower than rats that weren't really rats at all, but humans in disguise. And he was also sure that there were many on this Earth who would agree with him.


A/N: OMG! I can't believe it's over! Wow, I had a TON of fun writing this, but it's so sad to think that this is the last time I'll post for The Last Straw. My first 'big' story ever read by other people… But I'm not that emotional, so I'm not going to cry or anything. (Geez, I feel like I'm should give some speech or something: "I'd like to thank the little people…")

Anyway thank you to Katy a.k.a. Katty, Lady FoxFire, Lin-z, Jenn, Starlight, 007, gwen, Ped, Ice Princess, Clingon87, Susan, summersun, Luna, Jennifer, Gia, Ms. Thang, Tiger Lily, L.B.S., SasseeSam, Ice Queen, Ellimist's Apprentice, Me, ten, kyra aku riddle, and Lady Norbert, because you are certainly NOT little people in any way and each of your reviews meant more to me than… wow that one's hard to compare. Well, as an aspiring writer let's just say that every time I read your new reviews I got so excited that I think I really started to bug a couple of my friends.

This probably won't be my last story, though. I've taken your suggestion of writing a sister story (from someone else's point of view) into consideration, and the more I think about it, the more I like it.

Until I start posting again… remember to keep reviewing (I'll keep checking back) and THANKS TO YOU ALL!!!

~ Ravenclawmeg