The first day he returned to Grimmauld Place, he felt exhilarated. Walking across the threshold gave him a thrill. Even Black's mother couldn't dampen his spirits. He gave Lupin a nasty, triumphant smile and walked into the kitchen.
During the meeting the other members of the Order looked sad. Severus gave his report, detailing the Dark Lord's plans for recovery, rejoicing that Black was not here to frown at him from across the table.
Moody took over next, explaining how they were planning on incarcerating the Death Eaters without Dementors.
That's when he felt it.
The knives were angry. The knives were shaking in the drawer. They hated him, they wanted to flay him alive, they wanted to excise his liver and fillet his heart.
Minerva commented that he looked pale, and the feeling faded.
During the next visit the troll's leg muttered nasty bone-breaking curses under its breath.
Then it was the curtains. They wanted to strangle him, stuff his mouth with dust, shred him and rend him.
He dreamed at night that the glasses rose up and crashed over him like a wave, like the deathless wave of the sea, green and shining and suffocating. He dreamed that the stairs were warping and bending and imprisoning him within their knots. He dreamed that the pictures were all blank, emptied of Black, of Lupin, of Potter, that they gleamed and gaped at him, latched onto his robes, pulling, strangling.
In the middle of the night he stole away to Black's grave.
"Stupid bastard," he seethed. "Fine. I'm sorry."
The next meeting he sat quietly. He could just faintly make out the milk-jug, giggling.