12, Grimmauld Place
Lying upon the grass beside Sirius, Clara let the sun soak her hair.
Sitting up a bit, Clara asked "How long, d'you reckon?"
"Before they catch up? Never, if we get our way. They'll know we've gone by now, but I know of a place we can stay."
Relieved, Clara rested her head once again upon the grass.
A breath in, a breath out.
Turning her head to the side now, "Better go, then."
"Just a minute, lass. These are our last moments of freedom. All too soon we'll be on the run again."
When the two had their fill of sweet, summer air, they rose, and Sirius apparated them off the countryside.
Wobbling precariously on a stone step in what appeared to be London, Clara clung to Sirius' side.
"A nice landing, very roomy here," Clara quipped. "Have you got plans to keep me out here all day?" She said when he didn't look back at her.
Sirius was staring up at the big, brass number "12" above the door.
"Haven't been here for an age."
"Yeah? Since when?"
"I was sixteen when I left. This was my family home."
"I thought you were from one of those 'noble' wizard families, what're you doing in a flat in London?"
"You'll love, it lassie." Sirius smirked. "It's bigger on the inside."
And with that, Sirius pushed open the door, and the two stepped out into the grim foyer.
The house was dark, and cobwebs clung thickly to the wall lamps along the corridor. To the right opened the living room, and to the left, the dining room. Directly ahead was a grand staircase scaling up, and up, and up. It appeared to be made of a dark cherry, and the bannisters were wrought of cold iron.
Dust permeated the air at their stepping, and soon Clara found she could not breathe properly.
"Lovely place your parents kept, but-cough- I can't really-erm- breathe in here."
"Right, sorry." Sirius cast about with his hand, and the dust seemed to disappear.
"Indeed, it is. Thanks," She said with a smile.
"So, up the stairs?"
"I think not. There are nightmares up there even Molly Weasley would shudder to contend with."
Just passing into the kitchen now, Sirius said "I'll have to see about cleaning this place up a bit, but for now, I think we'll be sleeping in the parlor."
"Then the parlor it is," replied Clara.
"Sirius," Clara began, "Just exactly which year is it, again?"
"Oh. I had thought it was '93. That's what the TARDIS dash had said when we crashed. Or the last number I had seen, anyway. Must have been ticking down slowly as we fell."
"Anything interesting happen in 1993 that you can remember?"
"No, Sirius, not in your reality. I think it must be a different universe altogether. Like mine, but with magic. A parallel world.
To be honest, even with all the prejudice war history you told me about, I like this one better. I always wanted to see magic, especially when I was small."
"Even with the all the silly warring?"
"Even so. Every society fights, there is never escape. At least here, you have magic." She said, looking about.
"Magic with which to clean?" Clara prompted.
Sitting down upon a dusty sofa, Sirius wondered aloud "I think that, perhaps, my old house elf may still live here.
KREACHER!" He shouted, startling Clara.
"For shit's sake, Sirius, warn a girl!"
"Sorry, love, he doesn't respond to kindness."
After a pop, and some sniffling, a small, withered creature appeared behind the sofa.
"Master Sirius, Kreacher is being here to serve you."
"Ah, Kreacher," Said Sirius, "I had wondered if you'd still be alive. Pity, isn't it?"
"If master so desired, Kreacher would cut off his head and be mounted on the wall with his family."
At that, Clara made a scrunched up sort of face in apparent disgust.
"I would love nothing more, Kreacher, believe me, but we- Clara and I, that is-" He said, nodding to her, "have got ourselves into a bit of a sticky spot. We'll be needing some help, I'm afraid."
"Kreacher lives to serve."
"And how lovely that is. Right, first, some clean sheets for Miss Clara and myself, and any food you've got. We'll be needing dinner."
And with another dusty pop, Kreacher was gone.
"Not very nice to him, are you?"
"He doesn't deserve it."
"He seemed a bit- ah- disturbed." Clara looked about at the spot from which he had disappeared.
"He is. But he'll be of use. We can't leave, and we can't get information from the outside world without him. I'll just have to bind his tongue with a cleverly worded vow. He is slippery, that one."
"Whatever you like, just as long as we're safe here."
Clara leaned back on the dusty sofa, and looked to the ceiling.
"If only I could talk to the Doctor. He always knows.
He knows everything," She said, looking back at Sirius now.
Sometimes I wonder how I got on without him. Before, I mean. When I lost my mother."
"I reckon you'd be surprised at what you can accomplish with nary a soul nearby to guide you." Sirius reassured her.
"Come on, dear." He said, offering her his hand. "Time for tea, and then sleep. We'll do what tomorrow. Get a message to Dumbledore, maybe."
"Alright." She said, taking the proffered hand, "Tea."