by Tina
Rating: Gen
Fandom: Harry Potter
Author's Notes: Written for the Sneezefic 132 Mood challenge. This is just a drabble that occurrs post POA - no real plot to it.

He leaned into the neck of the powerful hippogriff, clinging tightly as it dove deeply and then effortlessly soared up in the clear night air. He inhaled deeply taking in the musky odor of the great beast as well as the sweet scent of the trees and grass. He sneezed freely and almost gleefully, "Heshoooooo!!! Ehh...Yishaaaaa!!!! Ahhh..." He laughed to himself, "The sweet smell of freedom." The sounds were almost lost among the furious flapping of wings.

At that moment it occurred to him that even though he had been away from Azkaban for some time he had not felt truly free until early that evening in the shack. It was actually at the moment when Moony had put his arms around him, when Sirius had looked into his eyes and known that his friend believed him, that he knew him to be innocent. It was at that moment he felt that a great weight had fallen from him.

It had been twelve years since he had truly felt human touch. It had been an overwhelming feeling, to feel Remus’ a'ms around him. Even in remembering the feeling, his joy and gratitude was indescribable. And of course, there was Harry. He had grown to be such a fine young man. There was clearly much of James in him, but in his kindness he had seen some of Lily there as well. But more important than that, Harry also believed his innocence. Harry even wanted to come and live with him. He could not keep his face from smiling.

Of course it had been far from a perfect night. Peter, he sneered with disgust at the thought of him, had escaped. And sadly Remus' condition was no longer a secret. But at least noone had been hurt, Dumbledore had assured him of that, and Remus was safe. Harry was safe as well, and would remain so, at least for the time being. It was more than he could have hoped for really when he managed to escape the dementors at Azkaban.

The longer they flew, the more he felt that bit by bit his sanity was returning. And he It was shocking to him really after all these years to actually contemplate freedom. He could actually allow himself to think towards the future, a future for him. It had been twelve years since he had allowed himself to think beyond the moment. He had no idea where they were going, where he would end up but it didn't matter. Remus believed him! Remus could, no, Remus would be in his life again. And once he was settled Harry would be as well. He could finally carry out his duties as the boy's godfather. He felt as if his heart would burst. from the happiness and the gratitude he was feeling.

As dawn approached the hippogriff swooped down and landed in a small clearing. Sirius wearily, stiffly, and happily slid off the great creature. He looked around in awe at the beauty around him, the breathtaking sunrise, the deep lush green of the trees, the grass glinting like gold in the early sunlight. He again inhaled deeply taking in all the scents of nature; the damp earth, the fresh, almost fragrant grass, the smell of the trees, the animals. His nose was overwhelmed with all the smells around him, after years of only smelling pain, death and fear.

He again sneezed freely and loudly, "Ehhhhyisoooo!!!! Hetchaaaaa!!!! ISHOOOOOOO!!!!" The loudness of the sneezes startled the creature beside him. "Sorry Buckbeak, " He murmured petting the hippogriff's neck, "That, was the sweet sound of freedom," he paused a moment and then laughed to himself, "actually, I believe those were the sweet sneezes of freedom." He continued laughing as he settled himself into the grass, then transformed himself into Padfoot for a few hours sleep.

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