Disclaimer: I do not own, nor gain any profit from, Harry Potter. It all belongs to J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., etc. (Note: I will not repeat this in the rest of the chapters.)

A/N: This story is what I will call my 'revamped version' of The Lion's Awakening. I'm working on making it both more mature and more gradual (plot-wise). After re-reading the books, I can see that my original version is so abrupt and there are so many continuity/plot errors that it makes my head swim.

To give you fair warning, this series will not be completely book-based. I mean, for the most part I will be referencing the events from Books 1-5, but I am going to be adding in some elements from the movies as well. Also, I will be using the basic horcruxes/hallows ideas that JKR has in Books 6-7, but the way in which these ideas are executed will be different.

The following chapter is quoted entirely from the book. (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Pages 819-822.) I think it sets up the scene wonderfully and is a perfect moment from which to deviate the rest of the story. Besides, I don't imagine I could phrase Harry's emotional condition any better than the lovely words of J.K. Rowling. Next chapter will be all my own writing, however. :)

Preface: Unbearable

"Take this Portkey, Harry."

Dumbledore held out the golden head of the statue, and Harry placed his hand upon it, past caring what he did next or where he went.

"I hope to see you in half an hour," said Dumbledore quietly. "If I do not arrive in one hour, go directly to Madame Pomfrey. One… two… three…"

Harry felt the familiar sensation of a hook being jerked behind his navel. The polished wooden floor was gone from beneath his feet; the Atrium, Fudge, and Dumbledore had all disappeared, and he was flying forward in a whirlwind of color and sound…

Harry's feet hit solid ground again; his knees buckled a little and the golden wizard's head fell with a resounding clunk to the floor. He looked around and saw that he had arrived in Dumbledore's office.

Everything seemed to have repaired itself during the headmaster's absence. The delicate silver instruments stood again upon the spindle-legged tables, puffing and whirring serenely. The portraits of the headmasters and headmistresses were snoozing in their frames, heads lolling back in armchair or against the edge of their pictures. Harry looked through the window. There was a cool line of pale green along the horizon: Dawn was approaching.

The silence and stillness, broken only by the occasional grunt or snuffle of a sleeping portrait, was unbearable to him. If his surroundings could have reflect the feelings inside him, the pictures would have been screaming in pain. He walked around the quiet, beautiful office, breathing quickly, trying not to think. But he had to think… There was no escape…

It was his fault Sirius had died; it was all his fault. If he, Harry, had not been stupid enough to fall for Voldemort's trick, if he had not been so convinced of what he had seen in his dream was real, if had only opened his mind to the possibility that Voldemort was, as Hermione had said, banking on Harry's love of playing the hero

It was unbearable, he would not think about, he could not stand it… There was a terrible hollow inside of him he did not want to feel or examine, a dark hole where Sirius had been, where Sirius had vanished. He did not want to have to be alone with that great, silent space, he could not stand it –

A picture behind him gave a particularly loud grunting snore, and a cool voice said, "Ah… Harry Potter…"

Phineas Nigellus gave a long yawn, stretching his arms as he surveyed Harry out of shrewd, narrow eyes.

"And what brings you here in the early hours of the morning?" said Phineas. "This office is supposed to be barred to all but the rightful headmaster. Or has Dumbledore sent you here? Oh, don't tell me…" He gave another shuddering yawn. "Another message for my worthless great-great-grandson?"

Harry could not speak. Phineas Nigellus did not know that Sirius was dead, but Harry could no tell him. To say it aloud would be to make it final, absolute, irretrievable.

A few more of the portraits had stirred now. Terror of being interrogated made Harry stride across the room and seize the doorknob.

It would not turn. He was shut in.

"I hope this means," said the corpulent, red-nosed wizard who hung on the wall behind Dumbledore's desk, "that Dumbledore will soon be back with us?"

Harry turned. The wizard was surveying him with great interest. Harry nodded. He tugged again on the doorknob behind his back, but it remained immovable.

"Oh good," said the wizard. "It has been very dull without him, very dull indeed."

He settled himself on the thronelike chair on which he had been painted and smiled benignly upon Harry.

"Dumbledore thinks very highly of you, as I am sure you know," he said comfortably. "Oh yes. Holds you in great esteem."

The guilt filling the whole of Harry's chest like some monstrous, weighty parasite now writhed and squirmed. Harry could not stand this, he could not stand being Harry anymore… he had never felt more trapped inside his own head and body, never wished so intensely that he could be somebody – anybody – else…

A/N: The only part of the quoted text that I edited is the following:

Original Line: "I shall see you in half an hour," said Dumbledore quietly. "One… two… three…"

Revised Line: "I hope to see you in half an hour," said Dumbledore quietly. "If I do not arrive after one hour, go directly to Madame Pomfrey. One… two… three…"

On a side note, I have also been watching all the movies over again. From what I have seen, Harry is a touch more thoughtful in the films than in the books (especially with Hermione) and he is more likely to be sensitive about things (like he is in this story). I will try to keep his characterization close to canon, but it will be a mixture of book-and-movie canon, so take it with a grain of salt.

While I know this part is not mine, you can still leave a comment on my comments if you have a desire to do so. :)