The Sugar Quill
Author: zzzFF EspertoMagia  Story: Pig in a Blanket  Chapter: Default
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Pig in a Blanket

Pig in a Blanket

~EspertoMagia~

 

Beneath a full moon that lit the tops of the trees with a blue shimmer, a man smiled more widely then he had in years. He lifted his head back and the rushing wind pushed his long matted hair out of his face. The hippogriff he was riding turned its eagle-like head so one of its bright orange eyes looked directly at the man and surveyed him suspiciously.

            “You don’t trust me, eh?” came the hoarse growl of Sirius Black.

            The hippogriff snapped its beak indignantly and looked ahead, gazing over the seemingly endless canopy of trees.

            “Your name was Buckbeak, wasn’t it? Well, no use snapping your beak at me. We’re both runaways now.” Sirius croaked while trying to pat Buckbeak’s feathered neck. However, at the mention of ‘runaway’ the hippogriff went stiff, its large beating wings frozen. Buckbeak turned his head as far as his neck would permit and tried to bite the surprised man.

            “Easy now, easy now, what’s the matter with you?” Sirius said slightly panicked. He had to lean back to avoid falling over the hippogriff that was now rushing towards an opening in the trees.

When the two were about ten feet from the ground, the hippogriff gave a mighty swoosh of his wings and shot upward. Sirius, who was still leaning back from the rapid decent, was thrown backwards onto the ground. With a painful thump, he slammed onto forest floor. The hippogriff landed just as Sirius was getting up.

Sirius, now remembering his manners, put one hand behind him and the other across his stomach and bowed as low as his aching back would allow. Buckbeak, who had began advancing with one narrowed eye on Sirius, stopped at the sight of the bow.

“Thank you for saving me. If it hadn’t been for you, I would have suffered a fate far worse than death.” Sirius said while still in the humble bow.

Buckbeak gave one massive paw at the ground, gouging a trench with his talon. He then trotted away into the woods.

Sirius sighed. A feeling of relief overcame the frustration at the loss of his transportation.

 “Better get moving,” he told himself. He started walking under the canopy of the trees, but before he was able to leave the clearing there was a roar that sent birds fluttering away in fright.

“A HUMAN! THIS DEEP IN OUR FOREST! THE FEMALES ARE COMING AND THERE IS A HUMAN!” Sirius spun around to see a man bellowing in anger. But it was not a man, just the top of a man. From the waist down there was the unmistakable body of a horse. The centaur was rearing on his hind legs, a long shining crescent blade in one hand. Several other centaurs came galloping into the clearing from the far side, each carrying large bows.

Sirius spun back around and ran as fast as his weak legs would carry him. Arrows came streaking past his head—one taking a bit of his unkempt hair with it.

Amid more arrows, he leapt and grabbed a large hanging branch and heaved himself up. He scurried up the tree as fast as he could, scrapping himself on the rough bark. Sirius was able to climb a good ways before the centaurs encircled the tree. A swarm of arrows streamed up at him but the tangle of branches protected the bruised and battered man.

“Use the blade, Karias!” one of the centaurs growled angrily.                 

“The blade? To kill a trespassing human?” a centaur answered taken aback.

“The females are coming, we can not tarry!”

There was a moment’s pause where Sirius could hear nothing but his racing heart, then, “so be it.”

Sirius chanced a look down. The dark forest floor was illuminated as the blade that the first centaur carried glowed and smoked. With one fast and seemingly effortless stroke, the centaur sliced the tree’s trunk.

As Sirius franticly looked around for an escape to his plight, he heard one of the centaurs slowly say, “T’was a good tree.”

The tree creaked loudly and started tipping over. Sirius saw his only chance. He took a sharp breath and jumped with his hands outstretched. He grabbed a small branch that bent low with his weight. Just as he had a good grip, another storm of arrows flew at him and tore off the branch he was holding onto. He fell but was able to roll as he hit the ground.

With another wave of panic, Sirius got up and began sprinting away from the centaurs. He hurtled over a large tree root, darted around large several large rocks all the while hearing the pounding of hooves gaining on him. Sirius’s bony legs pushed him into the air over another large root but something grabbed him in midair. He was stuck, held in position by wall of sticky ropes.

“You have got to be kidding me.” Sirius mumbled in frustration.

While he struggled against the large web, a dark shape fell from the tree. Without enough light, Sirius couldn’t make out what it was but he could hear a growing clicking sound. The creature slowly crawled closer to him. Sirius could now make out a massive body and eight hairy legs.

            Just then, the centaurs came hurtling around a group of trees. One of them reared up and shouted, “Ragno!” Others however, immediately let loose arrows. The spider charged at the group of centaurs while it let out a sickening scream between clicks.

            Sirius kept struggling against the web and at last it ripped off its frame, wrapping around Sirius like a grotesque blanket. As it did, he fell forward, sliding down a mound and into a small clearing. The light that now filled the scene was unwelcome to Sirius as it displayed several other large spiders advancing on him, their menacing pincers clicking.

            As he sat dazed at the advancing group he grunted to himself again, “this has not been my week.”

            Just as Sirius made to get on his feet and struggle to the death, there was a loud scream. Sirius looked up and saw Buckbeak streaking down at spiders. With another booming screech and a slash with his front talon, he cut into the first of the monsters.  Green ooze blossomed from its head and spread over the forest floor. Sirius quickly ran to Buckbeak and climbed on. Buckbeak brandished a talon at the spiders that backed off immediately. He then spread his huge wings and took flight.

            As the forest canopy faded back into a smooth and endless surface, Sirius let out a slow sigh. He was cut off as he felt something moving by his side. He glanced down at the webbing still clinging to his dirty robes. He pulled some of the sticky mass off him and found a small, puffy ball. He removed more of the web from the ball and it gave a high-pitched hoot and fluttered tiny wings.

            “Why, hello.” Sirius said to the miniscule owl.

           

 

           

//
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