Disclaimer: If you haven't figured it out after fourteen chapters there isn't much I can do for you.
Sirius' eyes snapped open, he was covered in sweat and his breath came out in ragged gasps. He quickly jumped to his feet and held out his wand arm in a defensive position.
As his heart stopped thrumming erratically his mind seemed to return. He glanced down at his hand to find no wand clutched within it. He was still alone in prison; Peter hadn't just ambushed him and attacked Harry. No, that had just been a dream. Everything was all right.
Except for the fact that everything was not all right. No, if everything were alright Wormtail wouldn't be running around in some Weasley boys' pocket, he'd be under a gravestone and Sirius would be out of prison.
Ever since seeing Wormtail in the paper Sirius had been plagued with constant nightmares. All of them involved Wormtail finishing the job he had started so many years ago and getting Harry, all while Sirius sat helplessly watching. It wasn't as though the thought was implausible, after all Peter was at Hogwarts, bidding his time before he would strike. And Sirius really wouldn't be able to do anything but watch. For all he knew the job had already been done, it isn't as though anyone would actually tell him.
He had to know. He had to find a way to learn what was happening on the outside. He needed a way to protect Harry, to give James the justice he deserved.
He needed to escape.
Sirius was shocked he'd even thought such a thing. Escaping had never even occurred to him before, it couldn't be done. Everyone knew Azkaban was impenetrable. There were no means to escape, he'd just have to sit here and wonder for the rest of his life. Always wondering, never knowing the truth.
Sirius sighed as he sat back down on his bed; he'd been having this conversation with himself for days. Each day awoken by a nightmare, then the realization that he could do absolutely nothing would hit. It would be a matter of minutes now before he succumbed to the need to go canine, the need to use the only escape he knew of.
Sitting didn't help. Sirius needed movement, he needed something to do. He didn't want to spend the rest of his life as Padfoot. Not that the guards would notice if he did. They never really noticed Padfoot at all actually. They just assumed Sirius had finally gone around the twist and lost his sanity.
Without really thinking about it, Sirius started to pace around the room. He had finally succeeded in wearing a hole into the floor, even when he was gone, he'd still be here.
The idea of escape was still fresh in Sirius' mind, ridiculous and crazy, but potent and inviting all the same. He pushed against the bars experimentally; they stayed solid and straight as ever, not even the tiniest give. He even looked towards the window. It was so small though, not even Padfoot could fit through it.
Padfoot, though incredibly large for a dog, was quite a bit smaller then Sirius in his human form. Especially now, Sirius thought wryly, now that Sirius was so underfed and malnourished, Padfoot was hardly more than a sack of bones with a bit of fur.
Sirius looked down at his emaciated arm, it was frail and weak looking, he could easily wrap his thumb and forefinger around it.
He experimentally thrust the arm through the bars. It slipped through quickly, all the way though until it reached his head. "Interesting," Sirius muttered to himself.
Without really thinking about it Sirius transformed into the great shaggy dog that was Padfoot. Down on all fours the bars looked far taller, but also wider. He was able to stick his muzzle and neck through the bars but his shoulders were just a tad too broad. Padfoot pulled his head back into the cell and sat back on his haunches.
He stared at the door for awhile, occasionally pawing at it to see if anything had changed, nothing did of course. It wasn't long before Padfoot felt the telltale chill that signified new dementers approaching.
With his keen eyesight he could see them floating down the row, opening door after door to push in the scraps that made up that nights meal. As they approached slowly a sudden plan struck him.
When the dementer finally stopped in front of Sirius' door Padfoot was ready. He sat as close to the door as he could with attracting attention. As the mottled hand of the dementer slowly pulled open the door Padfoot jumped on his chance.
With only a slight effort he was able to shimmy his way past the dementer into the open corridor.
He looked quickly in each direction not quite sure where to go. He recalled seeing the dementers come from the right each morning when they brought meals. So, logically, the front of the prison must be that way.
He set off down the long row of cells at a brisk trot; he barely spared the other prisoners a glance. When he'd pass a dementer they would stop for a moment, as though confused before floating along on their patrols.
As he passed another row of cells he heard a cackling laugh coming from inside, "Go little doggy be free!" Padfoot peered into the cell to see a woman crouched on the floor, her hair splayed in front of her eyes like a mask as she hugged her knees to her chest.
Her eyes had a strange quality to them, though they were looking straight at him they didn't appear to be focused. In fact it was as though the woman were looking straight through him. Her face was alight with a maniac smile and her laughter continued as Padfoot stared through the bars
"Get out, or you'll be caged like the rest of us!" While her words were dire and grim the smile remained, ever lighting her face with psychotic energy.
Padfoot backed away from the cell door nervously. Was that what he ought to be like? Should he have lost his mind too? The thought scared him; he really needed to get out now. He shook his head and resumed his trek with a renewed vigor.
Where was the door? There had to be an exit somewhere! Padfoot was all but running, all that was surrounding him was cell after cell, each filled with some deranged looking person. Some lay on the floor hugging themselves as they sobbed loudly. Others were more active jumping or running around their little rooms with looks of delight upon their faces. Most frightening of the lot were those who sat, face pressed against the bars, odd wails emitting from their mouths from time to time.
Sirius had never felt so trapped before as he did while he ran through the halls. The pure insanity and terror of Azkaban only now was hitting him, as well as its total security. There really was no way out, he spun in circles, his tail flicking in fright.
He almost wished he could return to his cell. Safe and enclosed, away from all the madness out here. But he didn't know how, everything looked the same. All the cells blurred into a long line of gray. The people were just a loud shout of hysteria and madness.
His panted as he stared frantically around him before he picked a new route. He ran as fast as his legs could carry, he wanted to escape the noise, all the confusion and mad people. There must be a way out, he'd made it past the bars, and yet he wasn't quite free.
After ages of frantic running, twisting through a maze of cells, running past dementers with their chilling aura, Padfoot found it. Not the door, the wall. The great wall the encircled Azkaban, taller than the eye could see it loomed above the little dog, imposing and magnificent.
Padfoot sniffed at the air, trying to smell his way out, but he didn't know what to sniff for. So with a mental shrug he began tearing down the hall, keeping close to the outer wall as he could. Soon a distinctive salty air began to tickle his nose. With renewed hope he sped his already breakneck speed.
He slowed when he saw the great doorway. Unlike the door to his cell this did hold bars. No, in place of bars was a long line of dementers. There was space between them to slip through, yet Padfoot was weary to walk so close to one of them. The last time he had been touched by a dementer he'd nearly drowned in his own mind, overcome by memories of horrid things long past.
Yet he was close, he could smell the salty air, hear the waves crashing upon the perimeter to the island. A few more meters he'd be free for the first time in a decade, he'd finally have the chance to get Peter. All that stood in his way was a long line of swirling black cloaks.
He had to do it. He held onto his breath and walked slowly towards the line. In his head he thought of nothing but why he was leaving. Why it was that he was still Sirius Black despite his years in prison, "I'm innocent. Get to Peter. I'm innocent. Get to Peter. I'm innocent. Get to Peter."
As he pushed into the line a cold like he had never felt before enveloped him from all sides, he was being suffocated by the chill. Cloaks black as midnight rustled and swirled around him. Rattling breaths were the only noise he could hear, a rhythmic in and out pushed into his ears, overtaking his brain. Yet through some miracle of resistance he was able to push through.
His muzzle broke past the cloaked line, swiftly followed by the rest of him. He dashed away from the wall heading straight towards the sea. Glancing back he saw the dementers hadn't moved a muscle. Their line remained unbroken and intimidating. The walls looked just as high from out here, yet almost more imposing.
Looking away from the fortress he stared out towards the water. He walked out onto the dock he had first stepped upon so many years ago, yet there was no boat. The mainland wasn't so far away from the island as he had expected. What had seemed like such a long boat ride at the time had probably not lasted more than ten minutes.
It seemed the only way to make it off the island was to swim. Padfoot contemplated the water, wondering whether it would be better to proceed as a dog or a man. In the end he decided being a dog was the best since he was still close enough that the dementers would surely sense a man swimming away from the prison. So, after bracing himself, he jumped in.
The water was nearly frozen it was so cold. The waves thrashed around him, attempting to pull him down into the depths. It took great effort to fight back, but he was able to keep his head above water. Padfoot flailed his limbs against the currents, slowly propelling himself towards land. What had seemed a short swim from the dock now seemed immeasurably long. It was ages before he felt the cold mushy surface of the sea bottom again.
Trembling and frozen Padfoot struggled onto the rocky terrain that was the beach. His fur hung roughly off him, dripping quietly with every step. He struggled out of the reach of the waves, over a large rock and onto a low plain covered in lush grass.
With a little extra effort Sirius transformed back into a man. He flung his soaking body onto the ground, so wonderfully covered with a soft green padding. He all but rubbed his nose into the green earth. It was glorious.
He rolled over so he could see the sky. It was an inky black, dappled with a million stars. No moon showed tonight to taunt him with its presence. He stared up into the heavens, open and unimaginably large; they continued on forever, no longer was their appearance marred by cruel black bars.
Sirius laughed giddily as he stared upwards, "I can't believe it. I'm free."
AN: I can't believe it but, this is it. The ending of Trapped, my first multi-chapter that was all of my own creation. I'm so proud of this story, I loved writing it, getting into Sirius' head was very interesting. Azkaban has been wonderful to explore, but it's time to say goodbye.
I have some serious thanking to do to each and every one of you. You have been the best readers a girl could ask for. I thank you for suffering through the bad chapters and making it to the end. Special thanks to all those who have favorited, alerted or reviewed this story, you've no idea how much it means to me. And special special thanks to reader and harryginny9 who have both reviewed nearly every chapter and been here since I started the story way back in July. So just thanks guys, thanks for everything.
If any of you would be willing to give one last review I'd be eternally grateful. Sadly there won't be a next time, so once and for all goodbye.