I'm not J.. (can't think of anything witty this time, sadly)
Number 12 Grimmauld Place, an address Sirius had more than once hoped he'd never have to return to. The home of some of the most bigoted people he ever knew outside the Malfoys and Voldemort himself. He had disagreed with his parents on multiple things, but their obsession with blood purity and hatred for anything less was the primary reason for his running away
His only comfort was the fact that tonight would be the final time he ever saw the wretched place.
"You ready for this, Pad?" Remus set a hand on his friend's shoulder, giving him a concerned look.
The man shook the thoughts from his head, "Yeah, just feels like I'm finally reaching the end of a really bad dream, you know? I know it's about to be over, but it's still hard to believe. Kinda surreal when you think about it."
Remus grinned briefly, "Come on, sooner we start, the sooner you'll be able to put your back to this place."
"Right." The two Marauders marched their way to the front door, the family ring immediately granting Sirius entry. He authorized Remus's access and they strode in, getting a rather unwelcome greeting from the portrait of his mother.
"HOW DARE YOU ENTER THIS HOUSE!? BLOOD TRAITOR! FILTHY HALF-BREED!!" The woman screeched, her eyes bulging out wildly.
"Nice to meet you to, 'Mother'." Sirius muttered sarcastically, ignoring the scrawny little house elf that appeared, glaring at him hatefully. "Would you like to do the honors, Mooney?"
"With pleasure." Remus gave the portrait his best evil grin before heading back out to the car.
Meanwhile, Sirius decided to have a little fun of his own. With a grin of his own, he held up his ring finger for the her to see.
Old Lady Black's eyes looked as if they were about to leave their sockets when she screamed, "WHERE DID YOU GET THAT!? HOW DARE YOU SULLY THE FAMILY RING!"
"Oh shut up, you wrinkled bint!" He muttered, "Not my fault you and Dad were two stupid to make my disowning official. Then again, thinking ahead was never your strong suit. But don't worry, after tonight, I'll never step foot inside in this dump again." He had to fight back his grin when Remus returned, carrying a pair of gasoline cans.
Full cans, if the sloshing noise coming from them was
"Then again, this place will be a pile of ashes come dawn."
"WHAT!? YOU MISBEGOTTEN.....KREATCHER! GET RID OF THIS FILTH!" She screamed.
"You'll do nothing, Kreatcher! As the new head of the house, you listen to me, got it!?" Sirius glared at the elf.
Kreatcher made a few shrieks of rebellion before his magic made him give in, "Yes...Master Black.." He said through gritted teeth.
Ignoring the shrieks from the paining, Remus took a minute to salvage any books that might be useful while Sirius was a mix of giggling and singing the bawdiest drinking tune he knew as he poured the gas over everything he could get to, even his mom got splashed..
Once they were done, Sirius took some out of his pocket and looked the elf dead in the eye, "Kreatcher! Consider this your final order by the head of the Black family: you are to forget this day ever happened, you will tell NOBODY, living, dead, or painting, that we've been here. In fact, you are to forget the Blacks ever even existed. Understand?" He waited until the house elf's expression suddenly slacken and take on a blank look as the order took effect before tossing the item at him, an old t-shirt of his.
The elf flailed for a second before looking around, "Hello, I is Kreatcher..who's you?"
"No one you really need to worry about. Though I'd suggest you make yourself scarce; this place has been deemed unfit for habitation and we're about to bring it down." Since this Kreatcher was now a blank slate, more of less, he figured he'd be better off finding a new family. He sent him off on his way and went outside to throw up fire wards on the neighboring houses and a silencing and reinforced the notice-me-not charm up on No.12 so the burning wouldn't attract attention.
"I ORDER YOU TO PUT THOSE BACK, YOU WRETCHED MONGREL! AND YOU!" Lady Black pointed a gnarled finger at Sirius as he came back in, "HOW DARE YOU GET RID OF MY HOUSE ELF!"
Remus simply rolled his eyes at her as he tore off a piece of the curtains to pick the locket up with, tossing it onto a nearby recliner and dousing it with the remaining gas, "Pad, when you start it up, could you aim for her first?"
"By all means, Moony." The grin on his face turned downright feral. By then then Remus had already gone back to the car with what they were keeping and was waiting for the fireworks.
"You..you wouldn't dare!" Lady Black said as her son leveled his wand at her.
"Good-bye, mother. INCENDIO!" The bright orange spell struck the painting square in the face, causing her to let out a scream that was halted almost as quickly when the accelerant ignited and took the picture, frame and all.
Sirius took that moment to make his way out, the fire spreading behind him and a satisfied smile on his face.
"Better than therapy, huh Pad?" Remus asked as his friend came out of the building. The two watched it slowly become engulfed in flames.
It took a while, but the combination of fire and heat, mostly fueled buy the magical items combusting and sometimes even detonating, proved to be too much for the gold of the locket. With it, a sickly green mist rose and let out a high-pitched scream before the flames took it as well.
By morning, all that would be left of the Black family home would be a few smoldering timbers and ashes.
Meanwhile, the Hogwarts Express was almost to its destination. Hermione had spent most of her time enthralled with the book Harry gave her so she remained somewhat quiet. Neville had stayed to chat a while before searching for the twins to plan their next pranks. He had said his grandmother was glad he was coming out of his shell but had a fit when she found out about the toilet.
Thankfully there had been few interruptions, outside of another attempt by Ron to insert himself into Harry's social circle, and Malfoy trying to goad them and threats of retribution by his father for the beating he had previously gotten. That one earned him a silencing and sticking charm to Goyle's armpit.
In the end, the two were left alone with the sound of pages turning breaking the silence.
"I'm going to have to be careful for a while." Harry thought as he looked out the window, "Dumbledore's probably going to demand to know why I didn't go to the Weasleys; doesn't surprise me if he tries to throw his title around to get me to fall in line. Thankfully I have a little surprise in store for him. Real challenge will be picking the right time to deal with Quirrell. Maybe I can make it look like something scared him bad enough to make him leave the castle. Plus, whether or not that stone in the mirror or real, I'm sending it back to Flamel."
I meant the bit on the train to be a little bet, but unfortunately I ended up running out of steam for it.