The sledgehammer was a good idea.
After promising Andromeda that he would come by again, Harry had gone to the DIY Centre and picked a few things up, before heading back to his home. He made something to eat before mapping out what he wanted to do with everything.
He knew he wanted to get rid of the wall the portrait was on and the wall the tapestry was glued to. He walked from room to room with a muggle journal and pencil, writing down notes, measurements and drawings. After a while he went back downstairs, thinking of how ridiculous he must have looked. Savior of the Wizarding world, deconstructing his house like a simple muggle. True, he could have this all done with just a few flicks of his wand. This way though, seemed more poetic. The Most Noble and Ancient House of Black being torn down the muggle way. Seem more cathartic.
He walked downstairs and stopped at the portrait. He sighed, bending down to pick up the sledgehammer. “This is for Sirius you old hag.” He said and before she could start to scream, he took one big swing and hit the portrait straight in the middle. It cracked like a whip and folded into itself crumbling away along with the wall.
Holy fuck that felt good. He gave a scream and started to swing the sledgehammer over and over with abandon. He knew he was screaming things as he reduced the wall to rumble, but he just couldn’t make out what. Sometime during this he had started to sob, switching direction and knocking off the elf statues from the wall. As he went he tripped over the same loose floorboard he had the other night. He collapsed to the ground, a frustrated sobbing mess. He turned his attention to the floorboard. He never remembered that being there. Surely if it had, Tonks would have tripped over it along with many other people. He pulled his glasses off, wiping his eyes and glasses before moving over to it. The board look like it had been wretched up and tried to be replaced in a hurry.
He knelt down, wrestling with the board before popping it loose. He set it aside before pulling out a battered old tin box. It looked like an old school muggle lunch box. He stared at the object in his hands confused. What would an old muggle lunchbox be doing in this house? He opened the set of latches, lifting the lid. In faded marker, S. Black was written on the inside of the lid in Sirius’s handwriting.
He settled back, sitting down on the floor crossed legged and placed the box carefully in his lap. He sifted through the contents curiously. It was mostly trinkets, yellowing letters on muggle paper and a few photos. He pulled the photos out, sitting the box and the rest of its contents aside. There were a bunch of Remus… maybe when he was in Hogwarts. He looked really young. His scars weren’t really scars but more of fresh abrasions. One photograph was a moving photograph where Remus was laughing and it made his heart clenched.
The next one was with all four marauders. Sirius on the far right, school shirt and tie underneath a leather biker jacket. His hair was almost pass his shoulders, one part pushed back behind a pierced ear. He had on fingerless riding gloves and an arm was thrown over Remus, pulling him so close that the top of his head rested under Sirius’s chin. Remus was in his proper uniform, smiling as he wrapped an arm around Sirius’s waist. James was next with an arm around Remus’s shoulders, his school shirt underneath an opened black waistcoat and his tie undone. He had the nerdiest looking black rimmed glasses and was pulling Peter into the photo. His arm draping over the blond as the other smiled. Harry didn’t pay much attention to him. He couldn’t deal with the feeling that went with Wormtail on top of everything else.
The next photo was one that look like James and Peter were helping Sirius serenade a bandaged and blushing Remus in the Hogwarts courtyard. He raised an eyebrow but just shrugged it off. He smiled at the photo of his parents in Christmas sweaters and his dad with an antlers headband atop his head. He never knew his dad was such a nerd. Antlers? Really Dad? His mother seems to echo that thought as she rolled her eyes in the photo but still smiled.
There was another photo that caught his eye. The group were in the corner of the Gryffindor common room. Remus was in curled up against the arm of the sofa, with Sirius’s head in his lap. One hand held a book up reading it as his other hand ran through Sirius’s hair, the dark headed man smiling up at him. Peter was on the floor in front of them, laughing as he drunk what looked like butterbeer. James was next to Remus on the next sofa, Lily leaning around him to make kissy faces at Sirius.
Harry smiled, feeling a new set of tears fall down his face. Why didn’t Sirius show him these? Why didn’t he tell him about his parents? Why didn’t Remus? Did he know they were here? Questions bubbled up in his head, questions that he would never get an answer to because they were all dead. DEAD! Everyone was DEAD!!
He shoved the photos back into the box, taking a few deep breaths. He went to close the lid but something shiny caught his eye. He reached in and pulled out a necklace. On the chain hung a simple black band with what looked like a rune engraved into it. He couldn’t remember which one it represented though. Was this Sirius’s? He never mentioned being married or being with anyone. Nor had anyone else. All he had heard was that him and his father were joined at the hip and that Remus was always around. There was never any mention of any girlfriend except for his mother. Not even for Remus. Though, he had been kind of oblivious to Remus and Tonks’ relationship so it was possible that he overlooked something.
He placed it back into the box, not even looking at the letters and the other things in the rest of the box as he closed it up. He didn’t have time to deal with this right now. He dusted himself off before taking the box up to his room. He buried it in the bottom of his trunk before setting back to work.
The next part of the house to get his wrath was the tapestry in the parlour. It came to an end like the portrait and opened up the parlour to one of the many bedrooms. He kind of liked that look. He dismantled the rest of the wall, vanishing the debris with his wand. He moved back downstairs to the foyer, finishing the rest of the wall as well and vanishing the debris.
He passed out in the early morning hours, numb but satisfied with what little progress he had made.
It was another two days before Harry was able to get back to Andromeda’s. He had been working himself to death fixing the house up. He had become a regular at the DIY Centre, the cashier knowing him by name now and always seem delighted to help him. It was always strange that he dropped everything to help him with his questions every time he came in, no matter how many customers were there in the shop.
He had gotten an owl from George yesterday. Apparently Molly did have kittens when she found out that Harry was gone. It took Arthur, Bill and George a few hours of arguing that Harry was of age and bloody hell the boy deserved some peace. George went as far as to say that he wouldn’t be surprised if Harry disappeared into the muggle world and never came back after all the bloody crap that had happened.
The idea had been appealing and Harry was all for giving it a go. He had kind of missed being a nobody and a vacation from the Wizarding World sounded brilliant right now. That statement alone though seemed to have really shut Molly up and she relented, not even making a fuss about George leaving for Romania that same day.
The rest of George’s letter was a lot more interesting. According to George, Charlie was kind of dating but not dating Oliver Wood of all people. Harry had always wondered what had happened to his old Quidditch captain. Though Harry was confused on how someone could date but not date someone, George went into an explanation of that. They did date things like dinner, movies, coffee and gifts; however, they didn’t do date things like kissing, shagging, etc. It confused both George and Harry greatly. The last two pages were just about how amazing Romania was and how Harry should visit, now that he was done saving the world and what not.
He had never been out of the U.K. in his entire life, so he kept that in mind. He arrived to find Andromeda in the garage, covered in dirt and grease as she wheeled out Sirius’s old bike. Harry and Hadgrid had crashed landed it in her garden what felt like years ago. Teddy was in a play pen, exploring a soft toy with his mouth as a kid’s show played on an old Telly that was hooked up in the workspace of the garage.
“Oh Harry! Perfect!” She smiled at him, dusting herself off. She had on a pair of blue jeans with a flannel shirt on over a grey tank top. He smiled at her, shrugging off his jacket before walking over. “What are you going to do with it?” He asked her, pointing to the motorbike. “I was going to see if you wanted it.” She told him, looking it over. “I’m sure you can fix it up, give you something to do, other than destroying my aunt’s house for the greater good.” She winked at him.
He gave her a chuckle, helping move the motorbike out into the garden so that they could clean the rest of the garage.
He didn’t return home until really late that night. He had stopped by a shop and picked up some food, realizing he really hadn’t eaten anything in the last few days. He was walking home when he came across a real shady looking shop that was selling large quantities of muggle liquors and beers. He had never really tried anything before so he stepped inside. The shop keep was very helpful in finding him something to try and didn’t check any identification when he rang up the lot. He gave Harry a knowing smile before waving him off.
Sitting in his empty kitchen, the silence around him deafening as he tried to swallow his meal. He finally gave up, grabbing a glass from the cupboard and opening one of the bottles he had bought. He poured almost a full glass of the strong dark liquid. The smell was a little rancid, burning his nostrils as he closed the bottle back up. He bit his lip before he took a big gulp. He gagged, coughing as the liquid burned his throat all the way down. “Bloody fuck what is this??” He yelled, looking over the label again before taking another gulp hoping it would be better than the first. It wasn’t, but the burn didn’t feel as bad. Actually his thoughts had become meddled and everything that had been suffocating him not even a few seconds ago seem to have just simply vanished. Like an switch had been flicked off.
He brought the glass back to his lips, tilling it back and chugging the rest of its contents. He ignored the burn as his eyes watered, becoming unfocused as he finished. He chuckled, grabbing the bottle but leaving the glass on the counter top, and headed back to his room.