AN: In no way am I connected to Harry Potter
Harry really hadn't thought this through.
That was nothing new, but still. He had blown up his aunt and after what that letter said last year after Dobby Levitated that cake…
So now Harry was on the run from the Ministry.
He also had nowhere to go.
Well, that wasn't entirely true. Mrs Weasley might let him stay at the Burrow for a while, but then Harry remembered Mr Weasley worked for the Ministry and Harry really didn't want to get him into trouble.
The Leaky Cauldron or anywhere else in Diagon Alley was out because the Ministry would find him in a heartbeat. He had no idea where Hermione lived. He didn't know where any of his classmates lived for that matter.
He didn't know his classmates well at all actually.
It didn't matter now. He would never see them again.
One problem at a time. I can't go to the Weasleys and I can't go to the magical world. Hogwarts is out because they will have expelled me by now…
Harry couldn't go home again.
So what happens to me now?
Harry hadn't thought this through at all.
If I go to Gringotts, I can take some money out and…can they convert it into pounds? Hermione must have got money from somewhere so her parents must have. So get enough money for a night in a hotel or something. Think about this better after.
It was a plan. It wasn't a great plan, but it was a plan.
I'm already expelled for using magic…Using a little more couldn't hurt.
He really wished he had studied with Hermione more. He remembered all those household charms Mrs Weasley had used, including things like a…was it a Feather Light Charm? That would be useful about now.
Harry thought about his invisibility cloak, but it wouldn't cover his trunk as well and it would look very strange if a trunk was seen moving on its own.
How far can I go? How does the Ministry know when and where I use magic?
A horrible thought crashed into him.
Hagrid found us when we were in the middle of nowhere absolutely nowhere near civilisation. Can I outrun them? Especially as I know nothing about the Ministry?
Hagrid…Oh God. I won't just be expelled, I'll be arrested!
Whatever 'Azkaban' was, Harry did not want to go there.
What do I do?
Harry spun around, wand out.
He met the eyes of a big black dog.
Just a dog. Breathing a sigh of relief, Harry pocketed his wand again.
Harry would admit he didn't normally like dogs. Ripper was a good reason to avoid all of them and he was sure Marge had far more. He had no idea what this kind was, but it was the biggest one he had ever seen.
The dog wasn't growling. It was definitely interested in him, but it wasn't growling.
Harry didn't remember ever seeing this dog before. He was very sure it didn't belong to anyone on Privet Drive. He would have seen it before and it certainly wouldn't have been standing there and not growling.
For a few seconds, neither of them moved a muscle.
The dog put one paw forward. It stopped.
Harry bit his lip and looked back. Part of him was telling him to leave the dog and keep running. Another part of him was telling him to keep it. Another part was telling him to feed it and drop it off at a kennel or somewhere that would look after it.
I'm on the run. I can't look after a dog.
But dogs are loyal and could help look after me.
The dog took a proper step towards Harry.
Did Harry accept it or did he run?
Somehow, Harry knew this was an important decision.
Sirius did know this was a bad idea in a lot of ways.
But Harry looked small and his clothes were so big. He thought that Lily's muggle relatives lived in Privet Drive. Harry was at least three streets away with a loaded trunk that was almost too heavy for him to drag.
Was Harry running away?
If he was, he wasn't safe.
But he obviously wasn't safe or happy where he was because then he wouldn't be running away.
Did Padfoot startle him so he accidentally called the Knight Bus? But he had been standing there for a few minutes so maybe he had nowhere to go other than Hogwarts and the Knight Bus didn't help with that. Sirius knew that.
When Sirius ran away from home, he went to James'.
So was Harry trying to find a way to go to his friend's?
Padfoot stepped forward. Before he opened his jaws, the photo flashed in his mind.
Weasleys were Gryffindors. Had been for years. Was Harry a Gryffindor? Would that be the home Harry would go to?
Sirius couldn't let the rat get him.
Harry had seen him. Lily's eyes stared at him.
Would Harry remember him? Probably not. He must hate him. He deserved it.
Padfoot put a paw forward. Didn't want to frighten him as he was running away and already scared, but he needed his wand for the Knight Bus. Harry must have a lot of friends. Weasleys might not be first on his list of people to go to. Probably the Longbottoms and Augusta would protect him.
Harry didn't go for his wand again. He just stared at the dog.
Did Harry recognise him? He had loved playing with Padfoot as a baby. James joked about it.
Harry put his trunk down and opened it. He shouldn't be doing that.
"Here boy." In Harry's hand was something that smelt like meat.
Padfoot wanted to go to him. Sirius hesitated.
Harry didn't know Padfoot was Sirius Black. Harry must want nothing to do with Sirius. He shouldn't go anywhere near Harry. He as good as killed James and Lily.
Harry was now very curious about this dog.
His experience with dogs was that they would immediately pounce on food. They always seemed hungry too.
Yet this one was so hesitant.
He was clearly interested in the food but was very hesitant.
Maybe he's not used to people.
Harry slowly chucked the food to the opposite pavement. The dog instantly leapt on it and snapped it up. Then his attention returned to Harry.
Now he was under the street lamp, Harry could see how thin he was and how mattered his fur was. If this was someone's pet, they had not taken care of him.
I know that feeling.
The beef jerky was something Harry had hidden under the floorboard along with other food in case the Dursleys locked him in again. As he was never returning to the Dursleys, he didn't mind sharing some of it. It looked like this dog needed it more than he did.
But the dog wasn't looking at his hand when he got another out of the tin. He was looking at Harry's face.
Again Harry threw it and the dog caught it in his jaws before it even touched the ground. Again, it looked at Harry's face and not the hand that held the food.
"C'mere boy." If the dog wanted this one, he would have to come closer. All thoughts of running had faded to the back of his mind. There was no one around.
The dog didn't move for a moment. Then his nose went into the air, possibly smelling something. Harry waited patiently as another moment passed. Then the dog trotted over to him and, in a very un-doglike way, used his snout to close Harry's trunk.
The dog nudged his pocket that had a wand in it. He stepped back.
Is this a magical dog?
Having the wand in his hand suddenly seemed like a good idea. He didn't raise it, but kept it tight.
The dog raised his right paw. Harry just looked at it, not understanding. The dog put it down on the floor and lifted it again.
"I don't understand." Maybe he understood English. If it was a magical dog, it was worth a try.
The dog did seem to understand. He walked forward and nudged Harry's wand arm, then backed off and lifted his paw again.
This is the strangest dog I've ever met.
Harry, making sure to aim at the road and not at the weirdest dog ever, lifted his wand.
Only to almost fall over when a huge purple thing came barrelling around the corner.
The dog barked in a way that sounded like a laugh.
Harry glared at it. "Could have given me some warning." The dog just started to wag his tail. Snorting, he tipped the beef jerky tin upside down and allowed the dog to feast on it.
I'm keeping him.
Despite showing him how to summon this three decker Knight Bus thing, the dog was very reluctant to actually get on it.
"Well, if you don't like it, I'm not getting on."
That did the trick. The dog hopped on.
Relaxing a little, Harry pulled his trunk on as well and picked the bed nearest the exit. He always preferred being near a door.
"Neville Longbottom," Harry supplied. He didn't want people to know he was Harry Potter. He made a mental apology to Neville.
The dog wagged his tail.
"So Neville, where you going?"
There was that question again. It wasn't 'where was he going'. It was 'where could he go'?
Hang on. If I broke the law and they have prisons, surely they have lawyers?
"Is there a good law office I could go to?" If they were closed, Harry would just find the closest hotel or bed and breakfast. Now he realised he probably didn't have enough money to pay for one and that he might not have enough in his vault.
Harry really needed to learn to think before he opened his mouth. No wonder he wasn't in Ravenclaw.
"Hey Ernie, looks like the lad's in some trouble," Stan laughed.
"Ha. Lawyers will eat you before breakfast," responded a voice from farther up the bus.
Harry scowled at him. He was not in the mood for this and the constant skidding of the bed he was on wasn't helping. He was almost getting motion sickness and he was a Seeker!
"Depends on what you're after. Muggle or magical?" Harry opened his mouth. "Or both." Harry shut his mouth. It was just best not to interrupt. "No magical lawyers for court kid, but want legal advice and I only know one. Not many these days."
The magical world doesn't have lawyers?
Harry's heart dropped. Who was he supposed to talk to?
Dumbledore's Chief Warlock, so I should send him a letter when I find somewhere and Hedwig finds me. He'll probably know already. He's Dumbledore. But then, he didn't know about Dobby Levitating a cake last year and couldn't stop Hagrid from getting arrested for no reason last year…
The dog gently placed his head over Harry's knees. Grateful for the distraction, Harry scratched him behind the ears.
Then the bus screeched to a halt, nearly toppling him onto the floor.
"5th Floor, Ted Tonks. Good luck Neville."
Harry dragged his trunk onto the street. The dog plopped down next to him.
"Think this is a good idea?" Harry asked. It wasn't like the dog would actually know, but…Well, he didn't know why he said it. Maybe he just wanted a friend.
The dog nodded.
The building was one of those boring buildings that were seen everywhere. It was just brickwork and windows, like nearly every other building on this road. There were no signs suggesting there was something for legal advice. There were lights on though, so maybe there was someone in. Counting the levels showed it was the fifth floor.
"Sorry boy, but you'll have to wait outside." The dog nodded. "You had better be here when I come back down." There was no response from the dog. He was completely still. "Are you going to leave me?" Harry would prefer the 'no' now, before he got too attached. He hated saying goodbye.
I'm talking to a dog.
Using logic didn't help the twist in his gut. He didn't want the dog to leave.
The dog dipped his head, ears back and drooping. He whined.
Harry scowled. "Do what you want." Grabbing his trunk, he threw the door open and dragged his trunk inside. He wasn't leaving it outside.
A good part of him wished the dog was gone when he came down.
A better part of him wished the dog was still there.
First off though, he needed to know what his options were. If this Ted Tonks knew both muggle and magical law, he was what Harry needed. Cop shows that Dudley watched mentioned a thing of confidentiality between lawyer and client, but Harry didn't know if that was a real thing.
Harry stopped as he pressed the button in the lift for five.
I am following a dog's advice. I must be going mad.
Still, not the weirdest thing that's happened since I entered the Wizarding World.
Either way, Harry was a Gryffindor. He wasn't backing out now.