Disclaimer: I don't own anything in the HP world! I might own a few OC's, one or two at the most, but that is all!
Authours Note: I am just a bit mental. I've decided to resubmit this in an attempt to finish this. It is in no way HBP compliant, and whatever ships I happen to write in here are always subject to change, as is the plot, because as is the plot is already horridly twisted as I started this over a year ago and then stopped two chapters in.
Summary: "Dumbledore said that you'll be getting a Pensieve, Harry."

"Oh, no body knows all the trouble I've seen.
Life is but a dream for the dead.
Well I can't go down by myself,
But I'll go down with my friends.
Take it like a man."
-My Chemical Romance

Happy Birthday, Harry.

In the darkest of hours, late at night when most people are sound asleep in their beds, dreaming of dreams untold and miss informed dreams of the funny sort there are those who lay awake, wide eyed and wondering. Unable to assure their mind that everything will be fine, and that nothing will happen while they sleep. Even when the most horrible of things happen then. They lay there wondering, and waiting even for the sun to rise and the night to leave, and then they will greet the day with sleep filled eyes. Of course, this is not always the case.

For Harry Potter sleep is something of a fear. Afraid that if he sleeps, he will wake up the next day, and someone he loves will be gone. After all, people he love always, always are taken from him one way or another. The way that he has become used to however is the way of death. His parents had been taken from him, killed. His godfather as well had been killed. He had made a decision that no one else he loved dearly would die because of him, or for him.

Restlessly, Harry turned over in bed, kicking at the covers, kicking them off. The room was cold and he didn't mind. Beads of sweat had begun to form on his brow and he tired vigorously to wipe them away. His eye lids were already heavy from lack and want of sleep, still it was his subconscious mind that kept him awake. That kept him from falling asleep. Curling up into a ball, Harry looked around the room. It was big enough, even in the dark he could see. He hated it. As much as he had always wanted more space in a room, being in an empty house that was once filled with laughter, in a big room - well, there was nothing comforting about it.

Harry listened to the silence of the room, half expecting to hear a joyful laugh, and foot steps running up and down the halls outside of his room. There was nothing. The wood of the house groaned in the night, creaking. Harry sighed. He wanted to be anywhere but the Grimmauld Place. There was no one there besides himself and a few of the Order members, Lupin, Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Alastor Moody, and Fletcher. Occasionally Snape would drop by, and that was never something anyone looked forward to. Dumbledore also paid a visit, and Harry did his best to have some homework to finish up in his room.

The Order members did their best to make Harry feel at home in what was now rightfully, by order of will, his home. There would be times in their trying to make him feel at home when all Harry wanted to do was ball himself up in a corner. Lately, he had been taking his pent up anger at yelling at the old portrait of Mrs. Black. In the beginning Lupin, Tonks, and Moody had constantly tried to get Harry to stop. No such luck. Now, whenever there was yelling about they all stood clear of that corridor.

In truth, Harry was incredibly bored. He hadn't been allowed to owl his best friends. And there were many a thing he wanted to tell them, too! Or at least, he thought there was. Sitting up slowly, Harry rubbed what sleep there was from his eyes and looked around the dark room once more. In the corner, fitted perfectly as Hedwig's cage. The owl hooted softly upon hearing the boy begin to stir and move about. "Sorry, Hedwig," Harry said softly into the night, looking at the cage. "Not tonight. You heard them. It's too risky. Maybe tomorrow night."

He doubted his own words very much. He wanted to let Hedwig out for just a bit, to stretch her wing, she was probably dying to do that. Just as he was dying to talk with his friends. Yawning Harry moved around, looking for his blue hood. Stumbling over a book to two, he finally found it, and with in its pocket was his wand, right where he had left it. Grinning faintly to himself he pulled the hoodie over his head and stuck his arms in the arm holes. Making sure that he had everything that he wanted, which wasn't much, Harry left his room, walking barefoot.

Harry wandered through the dark halls of the Grimmauld Place, the hair on the back of his neck rising, and the hairs on his arms and legs prickling. This always happened to him on his late night walks around the old house. The one problem with wandering the halls at night was Kreacher. Harry swore that Kreacher purposely ran into him at night, and when he did he would always reply with the same, "Kreacher did not see Young Master. It is much too dark for Kreacher to have seen Young Master." Never did Harry buy the old elf's story. Personally, he was waiting for the elf to keel over. Or for Moody to put him out of his misery. After all, Moody had been talking about doing that for quite some time. Three weeks at most.

Finally, Harry's destination was met. The kitchen. Slipping into the room Harry looked around. The kitchen was always more lit at night than the rest of the old house, and Harry liked that. The rest of the house was by far much to dark. The house even had a dark name, if you asked him. Lifting his head up just as he was sitting down, Harry heard the soft thud of small feet just out side the door, and he quickly stomped his foot, the soft thuds soon became a quick scamper until Harry couldn't hear them anymore.

"Bloody Kreacher," He grumbled quietly to himself as he propped his arms up on the table, staring blankly down at it. "Should be locked up and thrown into the lake at Hogwarts…"

"And eaten by the Giant Squid? Now, Harry, that's not very nice." Said a calm voice from the door. Startled, Harry looked up, nearly jumping out of his seat. He relaxed upon finding that it was only Lupin who merely smiled weakly to him before walking over, hands placed in his pockets.

"Professor," Harry started, that being the only thing that felt right to call him by. "What're you doing up still, shouldn't you be.. I dunno, sleeping?" he asked tiredly, only to receive a small light hearted chuckle, and another simple smile.

"I could ask you the same thing, Harry." Was the reply he had gotten from Lupin. Sheepishly Harry sunk into his chair. "I couldn't sleep."

At that Lupin seemed to have stiffened a bit, Harry mentally shook himself; that was a stupid thing for him to have said. The older man looked directly at Harry, arching an eyebrow, resting one arm on the table. Harry could tell already that the full moon was approaching. Lupin looked as tired as he could get, he had bags under his eyes, and his eye lids, it seemed to Harry were straining to stay open - may be it was just a trick of the light. "Not like that," Harry said quickly in his defense. "I haven't even fallen asleep yet. I mean I'm tired but I just can't sleep."

"Harry, you need sleep." Said Lupin.

"I know." Harry said.

"Were you thinking of something?"

"Yes, but I don't think-"

"What were you thinking of, Harry?"

Harry glanced up only to find Lupin looking at him. It wasn't anything new for him, to be looking away from someone while talking to them and then turning back around to find them looking at him. It was always happening to him. Once again he looked back to the table with an intake of breath. "My parents and Sirius," He said quietly, not daring to look up at his old professor who had merely nodded at him. He was almost afraid to look up, afraid more over of the reaction he would get. All summer they had been all he could think about.

He tired everything he could to remember anything about his parents. He had no luck. After all, he was only a year old when they had been killed. All he could remember was green light, and as he still remembered from his third year at Hogwarts, his mother and father's last words. They still sent shivers down his spine. And no matter how hard he tried he could not get the image of Sirius falling through the veil.

The pain of Sirius' death had finally settled, and he had come to terms with himself that he would not be coming back anytime soon. He was never going to come back. Deep down Harry still blamed himself, more toward the surface he blamed Dumbledore. Harry now had his own personal grudge type of thing against Dumbledore for the events of which had taken place back in his fifth year. And some of the events that had happened last year - even though nothing had really happened last year, just more people tagging after Harry, making sure that he didn't get into too much trouble. And that just got annoying after awhile.

"They're not really gone, you know that, Harry," Lupin said, placing his other arm atop the table, glancing past Harry toward the back door of the kitchen briefly.

"I know," Harry said, pausing. "You've told me before."

"I did. They'll always be with you. You mum, dad, and Sirius. They're here with you this very moment."

"Sure doesn't feel like it." Harry mumbled, staring hard down at the table. Lupin frowned.

"Harry, your mother had wanted a child ever since she had James married, and when she found out she was pregnant with you her eyes lit up. Everyone noticed it. James had hoped, and hoped for a boy that he could fly a broom with," Lupin said smiling as he glanced at Harry who's head hung between his shoulders. "When you were born it made James and Sirius so happy. Sirius because he wouldn't have to be the godfather of a girl, and that he was just a godfather. James - well, because he had you. To both Lily and James, Harry, you were their world. At two months you were already starting to resemble James, you craved the attention you got. And now, you are as caring as your mother, and every bit like your father."

"So I turned out alright then?" Harry asked, glancing up at his old professor. "How they would have wanted me to be?"

Lupin smiled. "Exactly as they would have wanted you to be. How they hoped you would be. They are proud of you Harry, Sirius too. You would have made them proud parents. I imagine that right now they are all dreaming. The three of them."

Harry didn't know what to say. The dead dream? That was almost unheard of. Actually, it was unheard of. At least to Harry. "Professor," he started slowly. "They're dead. What can they be dreaming of?"

"Life, Harry. Life is but a dream for the dead."

"Do you s'pose they're dreaming that we're all together again," Harry asked before he slumped in his chair a bit more. "Like we were once?"

"Yes. I believe that is exactly what they are dreaming about, Harry." Lupin said just before he stood, still smiling weakly at Harry. With a glance at a near by clock he sighed, turning once more to the boy. "Right then. Off to bed with you, Harry. Big day tomorrow I hear?"

Harry snorted softly at that. Big day indeed. "Seventeen tomorrow. An age I thought I'd never reach," he said with a small grin as he to stood up. "See you tomorrow, Professor." Was all that Harry said before he made his way out of the kitchen, Lupin playfully ruffling his hair as he passed by.

Harry did go back to his room, slowly however. He was taking his time. While he now felt like he could fall asleep the moment his head hit his pillow, he was in now rush to enter that dark and empty room of his. It was void of so many things, and he had hardly anything to fill it with. As he walked he also began to wonder why he hadn't been allowed to owl his friends. Summer was pretty much over, and the only type of human interaction Harry had gotten over the summer was from the members of the Order. Not that he was complaining or anything, it would have been nice to converse with people his own age.

And Harry did miss his friends terribly.

Once Harry was back in his room He stared blankly at his bed for a moment, his eyes almost transfixed on it. "Kreacher - get -out - of -my -room." Harry said pointedly upon hearing padded foot steps in the room. There was a wheezy squeak before a line of curses, and words Harry was sure weren't even real. "Kreacher, I mean it. Get out," he said once more before there came quick scampering and something brushed past his legs. Rolling his eyes, Harry shut the door, and made sure to lock it. The room was still as cold as when he had left it. And just as dark. He felt like the only thing that he could do now was sleep. After all, it was rather late, and he was quite sure that his subconscious mind would finally let him sleep after the short chat with Lupin. It had calmed him in a sense, even if the undying pain was still there.

He would be able to put it to rest for the night.

"Night, Hedwig," Harry called to his owl as he slipped into bed. Carefully taking off his glasses and setting them on the bed side table. He didn't bother to look up at the ceiling this time. Harry simply pulled the covers around himself, kicked his legs once before drifting off soundly into sleep. The chill of the room finally evident to the boy as he shivered in his sleep.

Somewhere with in the house, a clock struck twelve, and twelve chimes went off. Tonks and Lupin who were still up, discussing things paused briefly. Lupin smiled weakly and Tonks grinned. "Happy birthday, Harry," they both said at different times, looking at a wall clock before continuing their conversation.

"Harry! C'mon, mate, get up!"

"Oh, Ronald, stop. He's sleeping, or haven't you noticed?"

"I can see that, Hermione. I'm not blind, I'll have you know."

Ron Weasley did nothing but scowl momentarily as his friend Hermione Granger simply rolled her eyes as she glanced around the room. On the floor beside Harry's bed was a pile of books, scrolls of parchment, quills, and inkwells. Over in the far corner was not only Hedwig's cage, but Harry's school trunk as well, which was open and had a wide rang of Harry's shirts hanging off the sides of it. To Hermione it looked like any room belonging to a teenage boy. She let out a frustrated sigh just as Harry began to fidget in bed.

"'Bout time," Ron grumbled to himself.

"Ron!" Hermione interjected before Ron had a chance to say anything else. However, the redhead only hunched his shoulders sheepishly, muttering a quick 'sorry' just as Harry's eyes fluttered open, and he blinked a few times, his eyes adjusting to the light in the room. Awkwardly, Harry looked up into the faces of his friends, who just looked down on him for a moment. Harry broke out into a grin before finally reaching over and putting on his glasses. "Hey guys," Harry said groggily in greeting to his friends, having just woken up of course.

"Happy birthday, Harry," Hermione said, beaming brightly down at her best friend. She moved away a bit, tugging Ron back by the collar of his shirt so that Harry would have some room to get out of bed, this caught Ron off balance and for a moment he stumbled back. Harry laughed and shook his head as he got out of bed. "Just get here?" Harry questioned before he walked into an adjoining room which had to be a bathroom, though he left the door ajar so that he would still be able to converse with Ron and Hermione.

"Yeah, Mum was itching to see you, Dad too, but he had work today," Ron said, rolling his eyes. "Lupin said that you were probably still sleeping, but he let us in your room anyway-"

"He also said not to wake you. Isn't that right, Ron?"

"Come off it, 'Mione. Harry's up now. Besides, who wants to stay in bed all day on their seventeenth birthday?" Ron fussed, crossing his arms, looking pointedly at Hermione. Harry in the bathroom laughed.

"Obviously you, Ron. If I remember correctly you were in bed until well after noon," Hermione tutted, clicking her tongue. She took up a seat on the edge of Harry's bed. Ron grumbled something to himself just as Harry walked out of the bathroom, rubbing the back of his neck, a grin clearly written on his face. "Sounds like Ron to me. Yeah, I reckon that's something he would do," Harry said throwing a grin toward Ron. "Where's everyone?"

Hermione smiled. "Oh, you know them. All over the place. Dumbledore stopped by just after we got here," she said from where she sat, still eyeing the mess that was sprawled about the floor. She shook herself. "Lupin told him you were sleep, so naturally Dumbledore just checked in on you when Ron first started trying to wake you up."

Simultaneously, Ron and Harry snorted with diverse laughter. Each for their own reason. Ron's reason having been that he had only tired to wake Harry up twice, while Hermione was making it seem like he had been attempting the task possibly about twenty or so times, when in truth it had only been something of ten attempts. Each time he had no luck, which was quite tiring. Harry's reason for snorting was he was amazed himself that Dumbledore wasn't the one who tired to wake him. Through out the summer the old man had been trying to reason with Harry, and Harry kept walking away, convinced that he wasn't yet ready. He wasn't ready to hear anymore of what lay ahead of him, and what it was exactly that he had to do.

How could anyone expect to be ready for that? Harry had been watched ever since he was baby. People used to bow to him in the streets, and he didn't know what for. His life had never been the same after he had entered Hogwarts. Each year he faced some task almost exactly like the other; stay alive and keep people safe, outsmart Voldemort. Kill or be killed. What kind of way to end things was that? Harry would have been more light hearted about this had everyone not scolded him for making jokes of it.

"Come on, Harry. It's almost noon. You've been in here long enough," Hermione said as she began her walk to the door, ignoring the strange look she was getting from Ron for the quick change in the subject. However in the end he just looked at Harry with a shrug of his shoulders, as he walked along with Harry to the door. "Everyone's dying to see you."

"Yeah, no kidding. Merlin, you should have seen Mum and Ginny last night," Ron said with a roll of his eyes before he looked over at Harry. "They couldn't believe that you didn't go back to your aunt and uncle's for the summer."

Harry snorted softly. "Yeah well, with Dudley going on about Peter Pan was best thing he'd ever read I don't think I could take spending my last summer there," he said with a groan. "If I'd have stayed Dudley would probably have been chasing me around the house with a wooden sword saying he was Peter, and I was Captain Hook. I bet he would have even tried to cut my hand off, too. And he's supposed to be older."

"Doesn't seem like it though, does it?" Hermione commented.

"No kidding. Blimey, and I thought my family was mad -"

"They are, Ron"

"Beside the point, Harry."

"Oh, that reminds me," Hermione said just as they were rounding a corner. "Dumbledore said that you'll be getting a Pensieve, Harry."