"Cedric wait for me!"
Amos Diggory beamed as he watched Harry run after Cedric. The younger boy was almost tripping over his feet with laughter as Cedric skidded on a patch of damp grass and slid halfway down the hill into a large mud puddle.
The next moment Harry was screaming and running the other way as Cedric chased him, shouting and threatening him with mud-covered hands.
"Breakfast is ready!" called Mrs Diggory, emerging from the tent with a tray full of bacon and eggs. "What's all this noise about?"
She gasped as she saw Cedric.
"Merlin's beard… get in that shower, young man! Your breakfast can wait!"
Harry sniggered as Cedric grimaced, ducking into the tent. Soon Harry's plate was piled with food.
This was their seventh day 'out in the wilds' of Yorkshire, and last night they had settled at their third pitching post.
Harry had never been camping before, but he was sure that the muggle version did not include a tent which contained a miniature flat inside.
Cedric rejoined the picnic table (minus the mud), just as the owl swooped by with the morning prophet. A moment later there was a strangled gasp, and Mr Diggory's face turned red as he stared at the headline in disbelief.
Sirius Black Escapes Azkaban!
"Oh, Amos!" gasped Mrs Diggory, clutching her husband's shoulder. "How…"
"They don't know," he answered, scanning the article. "Just vanished from inside his cell…"
Even Cedric was looking pale now.
"Does this mean we have to go home early?"
"Who's Sirius Black?" asked Harry, confused. "Where did he escape from?"
"Cedric," spoke up Mr Diggory. "Will you help your mother with the washing up, please?"
Cedric sighed, but obeyed his father, picking up some of the empty plates and disappearing into the tent.
"Harry," said Amos seriously, placing a firm hand on the boy's shoulder. "Sirius Black was a Death Eater, a follower of You Know Who."
This caught Harry's attention like nothing else could.
"He supported Voldemort?"
"That's right, and he was one of the worst. There are some people who say that Black was his right hand man."
"What did he do?"
"He killed a street full of muggles, in broad daylight."
Harry felt sick. His insides twisted as he looked at the moving picture on the paper, the wild man with long hair.
"Why?" he asked. "Why would he do that?"
"Nobody knows," Amos told him gently. "They say that he went insane. Well, if he wasn't mad then, he certainly will be now. He's spent twelve years in Azkaban. What do you know about Dementor's?"
Draco hovered at the top of the stairs, listening to his parents argue. That morning they had received the news of Sirius Black's escape, and his father had been on edge ever since.
"How did he escape from Azkaban?" said his mother's worried voice. "None of the others have managed it…"
"Who can tell," muttered Lucius. "Black's deranged."
"Surely you knew-"
"We knew nothing," snapped Lucius. "Nothing! We had no idea he was one of us!"
"You said that it was very secretive…"
"We were never sure who exactly was a part of our ranks, but Black was always too close to Dumbledore, especially after his baby brother was killed."
There was a scrape as Lucius's chair was pushed back, and Draco could hear the rhythmic beats that meant his father was pacing.
"He was a golden boy, through and through, until that November. The Dark Lord fell, and the rumours started."
"Sirius Black betrayed the Potters," said Narcissa. Draco felt his stomach fall to the floor.
"That's what they said, but if he had been that important to the Dark Lord, I'm sure we would have known."
Draco crept back up the stairs, slipping into bed. The man who had escaped from Azkaban betrayed Harry's parents?
Harry trailed behind slightly as they grew closer to home. The apparition had been slightly better the second time, but he had still lost what remained of his lunch.
The drizzle seemed to echo his mood. They were being forced home a week early, all because Sirius Black had escaped.
"Alright there, Harry?"
Amos had slowed down to walk alongside him, a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"Now there," said Amos comfortingly, putting a gentle arm around his shoulder. "Remember there's none of that 'sir' business here."
"Yes Uncle Amos."
"That's better. What's the matter, my boy?"
"Why did we have to come home?"
"It's too dangerous, Harry, you know that. Black could be anywhere."
"I know. It's just…"
"Tell you what," said Amos with a smile. "If he's caught before the end of the summer, we'll go out again, just for a few days."
"I don't see why not. But only if he's caught."
Harry grinned as they came within sight of the house.
"How about you two boys camp in the living room tonight?"
"Yeah!" cried Harry. "Thanks, Uncle Amos! Hey, Cedric! You're dad says…"
Amos laughed as he watched Harry run to catch up with the bigger boy, suddenly a bundle of energy and excitement once more.
"…so I'll take the little sofa?" Harry was asking when he walked into the living room.
"Sofa?" asked Cedric. "We're not going to sleep on the sofas! Have you never built a den before?"
"The public is warned that Black is armed and extremely dangerous. A special hotline has been set up, and any sighting of Black should be reported immediately…"
Hermione switched off the TV with a sigh, and the BBC worldwide channel vanished from the screen.
"Hermione, dear, come out for dinner."
She hurried back outside, sighing in contentment as the heat of the French sun hit her face. It was a relief to get away from the cool Scottish weather for the summer. Her face was a mass of freckles, and her skin was tanning rapidly. But still she was worried…
"Everything alright, darling?"
Hermione sighed, her mother was always much too perceptive.
"It's nothing, mum," she said. "Just magic stuff."
Jean nodded understandingly.
"It's Harry's birthday in a couple of days, isn't it? Have you got him a present?"
"Not yet there was an advert in last week's Prophet for something I think he might like, but it was owl order…"
"Can't you just, call an owl here or something?" asked her father, waving a hand vaguely in the air.
"No, dad. It doesn't work like that."
"Have you seen Hedwig?"
"I'm sure she's just out hunting, Harry dear. Come on now, it's bed time."
Harry shrugged, and ducked back under the mountain of blankets that was 'the den' he had built with Cedric. His foster brother was already lying down, half asleep, and the shared body heat was enough to make him drowsy in minutes.
"Night, Cedric," said Mrs Diggory's voice, smoothing the older boy's hair.
"Night, mummy," said Cedric, in the manner of a teenager who was half-asleep, and not entirely sure what he was saying.
"Goodnight, Harry," said Mrs Diggory, gently removing his glasses.
"G'night, mummy," he murmured, turning sleepily onto his side.
Mrs Diggory didn't quite know how to respond, but she certainly wasn't going to wake him up and correct him now.