~ kittykittyhunter ~

Peter was disgruntled. He woke to some sort of ruckus on the rumbling train – one twist and he saw the freckled face of his new master, Ronald Weasley. The boy was angry... Peter swivelled. His watery gaze fell upon a trio of Hogwarts students: one was advancing menacingly, shoulders squared –

The rat leapt and sank his sharp teeth into the bully's knuckle. The boy yelped, swinging Peter off – the rat hit the window and slid down.

He spied something that made his stomach lurch. He promptly squeezed his eyes shut.

His best friend's son.

Remus heard a panicked cacophony reverberate around him; he raised his voice, calling for silence. Then he rose, summoning a handful of quiet flames.

He ordered the students to stay still. Remus approached the compartment door – it opened, revealing –

A Dementor, searching the train. Remus stared calmly, ignoring his own swelling misery, an audible thud. "None of us is hiding Sirius Black under our cloaks," he said. "Go."

But the creature lingered. Remus cast the Patronus Charm, forcing the Dementor's retreat.

It was time to attend the students. Someone was on the floor…

His best friend's son.

Sirius raised his head, inhaling. He was sure he was close.

Away from Azkaban, his thoughts were clear. He recalled Lily once mentioning that this was where her Muggle sister lived with her Muggle husband and Muggle son – none of whom the Potters were permitted to visit.

He journeyed along the pavement, turning into a street called Magnolia Crescent. It was unlikely anyone would suspect a large black dog.

Suddenly he heard quick footsteps, disturbed breathing… he slipped into a narrow gap between a garage and a fence. He quietly watched the tired traveller.

His best friend's son.