Bane of My Existence
by Dream Howler



Author Notes: I want to thank my beta's who have helped me fix up this chapter, and make it much better than it was before. Much thanks to Keikokin, Drakeluvr, and Messiah.

Canon Notes: This story is Pre-HBP, and takes place in my version of Harry Potter's seventh year, based on the events of the first five books. Most of the content of this story will obviously be filled with different information because Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is out, and many things have changed that I will not be mentioning here. I will be taking some spells and some small events out of HBP, but the majority of this will make this an AU.

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Copyright: This plot/story is ©2004 - 2012 by Dream Howler. This story is the sole property of its author, and may not be copied, in whole or in part, or posted on any other website without the written permission of the author. As for the Characters that are in this story, they are the property of J.K. Rowling, and are only being borrowed for my enjoyment. I am not receiving money for writing this story, and have no money for any lawyers to take should they decide to sue me.

Chapter 1 Recap:

In Chapter One, we meet Caesius, who writes Harry letters over the summer, getting to know him. Caesius seems to know Harry quite well, and has kept his identity secret the whole time, but insists he will tell Harry who he really is when they return to school. Harry returns to school for his seventh year, but has yet to meet the mysterious Caesius who he feels drawn to, the letters having become quite personal over the summer months.

Upon arriving a school, Harry discovers that Draco Malfoy has started a band, and he decides to try out. After picking up a copy of Witch Weekly that Hermione threw across the room, he changed his appearance and speaking voice, so that he could become Anton Stryder, the coolest bass player in the wizarding world.

Harry also receives an exquisite necklace from Caesius that has a good number of charms on it, to protect him. Hermione, suspicious as usual at the appearance of a gift from an unknown sender, checks out the necklace, and finally gives Harry permission to wear it after performing tests to be sure that its okay. Harry feels the magic ripple around him as he puts it on, and gets a lovely, restful sleep because of it, later that night.

Chapter 2 - Spectrum

The rest of the week passed rather quickly for Harry as he practiced his guitar, and his new attitude. After all, he couldn't have a new identity if he didn't actually act or talk different. That weekend, the newly dressed, sexy Anton Stryder pulled his bass from its stand in his music room, and made his way down the stairs to the classroom indicated on the flyer. Since no one knew him, he was able to pull off an incredible act. Harry had never shown anyone his quiet, confident side; he felt like he had to act the part of a Gryffindor to fit in with his housemates, which over the years had become more of an act than Draco’s. Harry had been secretly observing Draco for years, and knew pretty much what kind of person he would associate himself with.

With his change of appearance, Harry decided that he needed a new attitude, and started making changes by allowing his Slytherin traits to show; this being his more confident side that he would have normally not shown around the Gryffindors, and smirked, making sure he was completely out of character. It was nice to be able to be himself with people sometimes, and he felt as though a weight was lifted from him.

He walked in, stood against the back wall, putting his foot up against it, while surveying the crowd, his large dragonhide boots making a bump against the wall. Harry had realized over the last year and a half that the main reason he wanted to be alone more often was that he liked to watch people. It all started last year after a training session with Mad Eye Moody.

Moody had been trying to teach Harry some things that he could use in the final battle, like stealth, observation, and other such things. After he had started practicing these skills, Harry realized that watching people was in fact, one of his favorite pastimes.

There were about fourteen people in the room beside himself, all from different houses, and the majority of them stunk. Harry noticed that Draco and Blaise Zabini were sitting behind a table, and Draco looked like he was about to have kittens as he sent another one away. Draco, being the type of person he was, didn't always wait until the person had left the room before commenting quietly about how much the person sucked. This left an interesting smile on Harry's face. 'Wait ‘til you hear me, Draco.'

Finally, the room cleared out, and Draco and Blaise stood up.

"I can't believe we didn't find anyone good, other than a passable drummer in Nott. Guess no one taught them how to play an instrument, and some of those people need singing lessons. We might have to wait ‘til we get out of school," Draco fumed.

Draco's comments caused Harry to laugh, making them turn around to see the tall, light-haired boy leaning against the far wall, a guitar propped up against it beside him. Draco gulped. 'He is gorgeous! Ohhhhh, please let him be good!’

Draco smirked, putting up his usual Malfoy mask to cover his feelings. "Find something funny, do you?"

Harry nodded. “That I do; and in fact, I agree with your comments. Not one of them was any good."

Blaise looked over the leather-clad boy with appreciative eyes. "You think you can do any better?"

Harry shrugged. "I can. I guess it all depends on if you have any taste in music."

Draco hummed softly. 'The guy has the confidence of a Slytherin, though I know that if I saw this guy in my dungeons all the time, I would have noticed him by now.’ Draco grinned. 'Though, what house could he be in? He could be a Gryffindor, but are they this cool? Perhaps he was placed in the wrong house; it’s been known to happen. Look at Granger; she should be in Ravenclaw.’

"What house are you in?” Draco asked, a grin forming on his face.

Harry shrugged. "I don't really think that it matters. However, I was told when I was sorted that I should have been in Slytherin. Guess it saw something in me that I didn't know about.” Harry shrugged again and formed a smirk on his face. "Let me guess, you don't want me in your band because I won't tell you what house I'm in. Well, guess I should be going then, if my services aren't needed."

Draco and Blaise looked at each other blinking. "No!" they both shouted in unison. "You should know that most of the normal prejudices haven't really been strong in the last year or so. Why would your house matter to me? Let's at least hear you on the guitar. Can you can sing, too?" asked Draco.

Harry nodded. "Sure. I would say, ‘doesn't everyone’, but I don't think anyone in the room earlier could."

Draco and Blaise laughed. This guy was funny when he wanted to be. Humor was always a good thing. Harry grinned, pushing himself off the wall. He grabbed his guitar and walked onto the stage. He pointed to the nearby piano with his wand, causing them to blink. ‘Where had he hidden it in his outfit?’ Draco thought.

After Harry muttered something, he picked up his guitar, the piano began playing, and a few moments later, he joined in. He had picked a Weird Sisters song, one with a really good bass line, and of course, he sang along as well. Harry’s rich baritone voice echoed throughout the hall, startling Draco and Blaise with the intensity that he had while singing. Watching him perform did something to the both of them; stirring Draco’s aching soul.

Grinning, Draco went up, picked up his lead guitar, and started playing with him. A few moments later, the spell wore off the piano, and Blaise took up where it left off. Each of the three voices blended almost perfectly, Draco, with his smooth tenor voice, Blaise, with his deep, sexy bass voice, and Harry’s baritone, filled the room in perfect harmony.

This remarkable sight startled the straggler, who was late for the auditions as he walked in the room. Noticing that there was still a spot open for a drummer, he pulled his sticks out of his pocket, popped up on the stage, and started playing along blending in his own baritone voice. To the outside observer, it wouldn’t have looked like the group had never played together before. After the song finished, Draco turned around to find himself face to face with Wayne Hopkins, a Hufflepuff of all creatures. 'Well,’ Draco thought. 'It could be worse...'

"Hello, Hopkins. Glad to see someone in this school can play the drums. I was beginning to think we wouldn't find anyone. Only person that was passable, was Nott, and even he wasn't that great,” Draco drawled.

Wayne grinned. "Thanks, Malfoy. Does that mean that I’m in?"

Draco nodded before looking over at the stranger. “Well, might want to tell me your name before I let you know anything. I don't think I’ve seen you around before.”

Harry grinned. “Well, guess that all depends on which one you want. The name I go by, and my given name are different. You can call me Anton. Anton Stryder.”

'A stage name?’ Draco wondered, and blinked. ‘Why won't he just tell us his real name? Oh well, I don't really care. He's good! However, let’s play with him a bit.’

Draco walked toward Harry, and looked him in the eye. “Well Anton, I don’t think I can let you in the band if I don’t know who you are.”

“Why, so you can kick me out afterward? No, it's either this, or not at all,” Harry said in a tone that left no room for discussion, and shook his head.

Draco looked startled. “What do you mean ‘kick you out afterward’? Why would I kick you out?”

“Look, you and I have had enough disagreements in the past that I know for a fact that if I had auditioned as myself, you would have laughed me right out of the room. I wanted you to give me a fair shot, so it has to be like this,” Harry said.

Draco mulled over this in his head. While he hated not knowing who this guy was, something that irked him to no end, he was in an awkward position. He really had no choice. It was this or nothing, at least for now anyway. However, whatever Draco wanted, he got, and he would get the truth out of this guy soon enough. “Well, as much as I think we deserve to know who you really are, you can keep your secret...for now. Well, uh, welcome to the group,” Draco said as he held out a hand for Anton to shake.

Harry grinned, slipping his hand into the cool grasp of Draco Malfoy's, slyly avoiding the hanging question in the air about his identity. “Thanks, Draco. I’m glad you liked my audition. By the way, I have a room we can practice in; it used to be the old music room. I found it in my fifth year, and have been using it ever since.”

Draco smirked. “Well, that is good news. Hear that Blaise? Already have a place to practice, and a full band. This year is going to be great.”

Blaise nodded. “Yep, I think so. Welcome aboard Anton, Wayne...”

The trip back to the common room was uneventful, but Harry couldn't be happier. He was in Draco's band! Harry took his secret passage back to his music room, and quickly changed back to his normal appearance; not that he had changed too much to begin with, but it was enough that Draco didn't recognize him. 'Thank Merlin...’

He had learned long ago that changing one's hair, voice, face, and eye colour were the easiest changes to make people think you were someone else, and of course, getting rid of that blasted scar.

The next morning at breakfast, Harry hummed happily as he ate; several of the girls around the table, along with several of the boys, noticed his mood, and even a few whispered that perhaps he had gotten a girlfriend or something. Normally, Harry didn't go around humming, and it was an odd occurrence. When the morning post came, a letter dropped into his hands. Harry looked around slyly, 'Draco is trying to be sneaky to find out who I really am I bet.’ Luckily, everyone in the area he sat in got something, so even if Malfoy had noticed his silver ribbon encased letter before he slipped it in his bag, he wouldn't know who had grabbed the letter.

The few people that had noticed that he had gotten a letter looked at him oddly. "Aren't you going to read your letter, Harry?" Ron asked.

"Nahh, it's not really important. I’ll read it later,” Harry said with a shrug. The subject was promptly dropped; everyone pretty much knew that he wouldn't continue the conversation. Harry never really talked much anymore when it came to the abundance of letters that he received.

After breakfast, Harry headed down toward the Potions classroom, and slipped off into a side passage, to a room where he could read the letter. Harry was pretty good at hiding things, so unless someone was invisible and following him, he knew no one would see him with the letter.


We will meet you at the entrance to the Great Hall at 7:00 p.m., so you can take us to this room to practice. I hope that this letter gets to you. I wish you would tell at least me who you are, but for now, I will try not to make an effort to find out.

Don't make me wait very long. I do get rather impatient when I don't know something I should, and I will find out eventually.


Harry sighed. 'Thank Merlin he is letting it go. I doubt I could tell him who I am right now. I just want some time to get to know him better. If he will let anyone in, that is.’ Sneaking out of the secret passage, he continued to Potions. Walking inside, he took his seat near the middle of the room. The Slytherins always got all the back seats, so he sat in the row right before them.

The class really didn't bother him that much. Potions was now a N.E.W.T. level class, which combined all four houses, since there weren’t many students that had passed their O.W.L’s, being allowed in Professor Snape's advanced classes. Since last year, the Slytherins really didn't bother him too much, except an occasional stare or the general look of loathing, depending on who it was. Most of the time during class, he would often catch several of the students watching him. He wasn't sure if they watched him because of who he was, because he was powerful, or because they thought he was cute.

He assumed it was mainly to do with whole ‘hero of the wizarding world’ thing, though he didn't really know. It's not like he could just come out and ask them why they were staring. He would probably cause Professor Snape to take a bunch of points from Gryffindor. Most of the girls in his house had come to realize that Harry didn't date anyone due to personal preference. Lavender had actually asked him out once, and he politely turned her down. She wore more makeup than anyone he knew, and he didn't like that very much. 'What is it with Lavender and Parvati with makeup anyway?’ Harry thought.

Turning back to his potion, he glanced over to his most recent staring partner. He was a Slytherin, and was actually quite cute. However, Harry was pretty sure that the reason he was being stared at was because Draco had asked all the Slytherins to keep a look out for a seventh year that matched a certain description. Luckily, his appearance was back to normal with his black hair and deep green eyes.

When Potions class ended, Harry quietly packed his bag and stood, quickly moving toward the door when he almost ran into Ron, and mumbled an apology. He told Ron that he was going back to the dorm to study, and hurried off to get his clothes and go to practice. Harry quickly headed through the common room, walked up the stairs, changed into some different clothes, and hurried out the door. Fortunately, no one noticed that Harry had put on new clothes under his house robes: a nice pair of tight jeans and navy blue shirt.

Harry stepped into the passageway, changed his appearance, and walked to his music room to set up his equipment before walking down to the entrance hall to get the rest of the band. Luckily, he wasn't late, though he doubted that he could tell Draco he was late because he had to change his appearance.

"Ahhh, Anton, glad you got my note, let’s get to this music room of yours,” Draco said.

Harry nodded. "Sure, follow me."

Harry silently led the group to his sanctuary, and removed the wards on the doors to allow them to enter. "Here we go. I'll just go get my bass out of storage.” Harry walked over to a large wardrobe on the far wall, muttered some words the others weren’t able to catch, and the door opened.

Draco hadn't really had much time to observe the guy, but he had decided that he liked him. He was sure that the guy was different, yet familiar, though he couldn't quite place his finger on why. He had asked several of the seventh year Slytherins to be on the look out for a guy with his description this afternoon in their classes, and the report had come back empty. This probably meant that this guy was probably very smart, and very good at Transfiguration. Luckily, Anton seemed to not be a know-it-all like Granger.

Practice went pretty well, and in fact, it was rather nice. Anton had several really cool songs that he had written that would be great to try, and fit Draco so well that he felt like he had almost written them himself. Though, he definitely knew that it was not the case. The more he got to read some of Anton's stuff, the more he wondered who this guy was. Either the guy knew a lot about his life, or it was just an eerie coincidence. 'Could someone else have a life like mine?’ Draco wondered.

After practice, they began trying to come up with a band name, and finally, after much thought and careful consideration, they decided to call themselves… "Spectrum. It's perfect,” Draco said, grinning happily.

A month had passed since the first band practice, and the band was getting really good in Harry's opinion. Professor Dumbledore of course, knew that Harry was in Draco's band, and was glad that even though he was disguising himself to do so, Harry was making friends in other houses. The Professor was overjoyed that the band covered three of the schoolhouses, which would go over well when they had their first concert, which he had scheduled over Halloween.

The band was extremely excited about their first concert, and practiced in almost all of their spare time. When Professor Dumbledore had been told the name of the band that Harry was in, he had laughed and said it was an interesting name, though he would have recommended Bane. He commented that it would fit at least two of the members, mainly Draco and Harry, because of Voldemort's obsession with both of them. Draco had become a target because he had refused to serve him, and Harry for the whole prophesy thing. Dumbledore had asked Harry on several occasions when he was going to tell Draco who he really was, and Harry told him not for a while. He was having the time of his life being someone else, and was truly happy for the first time since he could remember.

Dumbledore had smiled knowingly and nodded at Harry. "Harry, the longer you keep the truth from Mr. Malfoy, the more upset he will be with you. Don't you think he is over these childhood rivalries by now? He hasn't really been mean to you since last year. He hasn't picked a fight with Mr. Weasley or Ms. Granger since some time last term, and he hasn't started anything since this term started either. Perhaps all that animosity between you before was an act so that he wouldn't get in trouble with his father?"

"I know, Professor, and I know I should tell him, but I haven't really been his best friend. Just because he hasn't picked fights with me doesn’t mean that he actually likes me now. He just grew up a bit, and decided that fights were undignified."

Dumbledore nodded, his eyes twinkling. "Well, Harry my boy, it is of course, up to you whether you tell Mr. Malfoy about who you are, but he is a very smart young man, and he will find out sooner or later."

"I know, Professor, but hopefully it won't be ‘til after we graduate. I just can't tell him now. I like him Professor, and I just can't have him going back to hating me so soon. In fact, I am surprised that he hasn't figured it out already,” Harry murmured.

"All right, Harry. I hope that you know what you are doing. The longer you wait, the longer he is going to be upset with you in the end. Though, I will say one more thing,” Dumbledore said. "'What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.'"

"I know, Professor. I know," Harry whispered as he stood and walked to the door. On the way down to the practice room, he ducked into a bathroom, cast his glamour charms to change his appearance, and went down to the lake to think.

Harry sighed; his conscience was getting to him. He really wanted to tell Draco who he was, but a month wasn't long enough. Harry, in fact, had originally planned never to tell anyone who he was, in the band or otherwise. If they knew, either they would kick him out, or they would expect more out of him. They would probably expect Harry to make them famous, so they could make lots of money. Harry had enough of those kinds of problems already, and certainty didn't need anymore. Luckily, he had already changed his appearance for band practice, before deciding to go down by the lake for some reflection. As he reached the water's edge, a song came to mind, and he started to sing.

How long must I continue this deception?
This masquerade?
My life seems like it's nothing but deception!
A big charade!

I never meant to lie to you; I swear it.
I never meant to play those games.
At times, I want to cry to you 'cause I can't bear it!
But I fear my life will land in flames

I pray that you'll forgive all this deception!
This masquerade!
It's time to put an end to this deception!
But I'm afraid!

When the whole thing is at an end,
And you learn that it's just pretend,
You'll cry

I pray that you'll forgive all this deception!
This masquerade!
It's time to put an end to this deception!
But I'm afraid!

When the whole thing is at an end,
And you learn that it's just pretend.
You'll cry

Harry sighed, turned back toward the school, and headed toward band practice, not noticing a very confused Draco Malfoy was following behind him. Draco followed Anton, and cornered him as soon as he entered the practice room.

"Look, Anton. Just come clean on your name. I mean; I’m lucky that an owl gets to you most of the time. I’m not going to jump down your throat, you have nothing to worry about,” Draco said.

Harry shrugged. "I just want to keep it secret. What does it matter?"

Draco blinked. He knew that the guy didn't look like this. He only saw him when they had practice, and that was it. Draco had every person in Slytherin trying to find out who he was, and they’d all come back empty handed. Even if he was cute, Draco decided that the rest of the group should be told who he was.

"I know you're using a Glamour Charm, Anton. I have never seen you around school..." Draco said accusingly.

Harry sighed and shook his head before he shrugged, watching the group stare at him. "Well, actually, I have a good reason for doing so,” he said with a slight sigh.

"I am pretty sure that you look nice either way,” Draco whispered. Draco looked over Anton and a thought occurred. 'I told him he would look nice either way... Did he catch it? Oh, this is so wrong. What about...? No, I mustn’t think about him right now. I'll worry about him later.’

Before practice that night, the group talked about the upcoming concert that they were to give on Halloween. Draco couldn't help noticing that when Halloween was mentioned, Anton would get this sad look on his face, as if he was going to be meeting his impending doom on that very night.

After practice ended, Draco quietly asked Anton to stay behind. "Anton, I know you will probably laugh, and well, I hate to pry, but every time Halloween was mentioned, you looked so sad. You don't have to tell me if you don't want to, but I hope you know that I am here for you."

Harry blinked. 'Draco Malfoy is offering me a shoulder to cry on? Someone to talk to if I needed to get something off my chest?’ Tumbling out of his thoughts, Harry replied, "Thanks Draco, it means a lot that you would trouble yourself over me, but it's not really necessary. I'll be okay. I always manage to get out of every bad situation somehow."

The band had its first concert coming up soon, and this new guy, Anton, was confusing Draco a lot. He seemed so familiar, that Draco would often mistake things he had said with something someone else had said, though he couldn't seem to remember where he'd heard them. While it was perplexing, he found he rather liked this guy; he was good looking, and nice, yet he carried with him a confidence that Draco had only seen among the purebloods in Slytherin.

The boy played a real mean bass, too, which was nice. He also wrote his own music, and one song sounded like it had been written just for him. He was unsure why, but he knew that for some reason, Anton obviously felt that he was deceiving him, and in a way, he was, but Draco honestly didn’t believe that Anton wanting to keep his identity secret was such a big deal that it compelled him to write it. Draco wasn't even supposed to see the song, but Anton had left it out from when he was writing it earlier.

Draco grabbed his guitar, played a few of the chords for the song, and began to sing it. It was really good in his opinion. Perhaps he could talk Anton into letting them sing it for the concert. Of course, it was a bit late to be adding new songs, but Draco didn't care. The song was perfect for the band!

When Harry came in later and saw Draco reading his large folder of songs, he walked over and snatched it out of his hands. It was the first time that Draco had ever seen Anton mad, and to be honest, it was a bit scary.

"You know, I thought that I could trust you, Draco. Invading someone's privacy isn't right, you know,” he said with a soft, yet menacing voice.

"Anton, you had it lying open on the desk. How was I supposed to know you didn't want me to read it? You know I can't get through the wards in your cabinet, it's still locked, you know. Go check it," Draco replied softly, sounding a bit hurt.

Harry nodded and walked over to the cabinet, checking the wards; they were just as he last left them. Sighing, he turned around and faced Draco. "Sorry Draco, I... It's just… I have many private songs in there, too, that I don't want anyone to see. Not everything I write is for the band, you know."

Draco nodded. "I gathered that Anton, though I must say that the one called Pawn is very interesting. It makes me wonder who you wrote it for. I would really like us to do it for our concert."

Harry stared at Draco silently and then sighed. "It's for me, Draco. It's about my life..."

Draco stared at Harry quietly and sighed. "I'm sorry Anton, really. I just saw it lying there, and I was curious. You never let us see all the songs you write; I didn't mean to invade your privacy. You're my band mate, and I hope… a friend. I didn't mean to upset you."

Harry blinked, his jaw dropping in surprise. "The great Draco Malfoy, the Ice Prince of Slytherin, is apologizing to someone? Someone owl the Prophet! No one will ever believe me."

Draco blinked at Harry, and shook his head, a wry smile on his lips. "Anton, you should know by now the inter-house lines are slowly coming down. The Slytherins get along with most of the houses now, even Gryffindor for the most part. Heck, Weasley is dating a Slytherin, and has been for a while now."

Harry nodded. "I know, Draco. Guess I am not used to seeing this side of you."

Draco sighed. "I wish you would tell me who you are, Anton. There are only so many possibilities when it comes to seventh years, you know."

Harry sighed. "Draco, I am doing something that I love to do, not something I am forced to do, nor something that my heart tells me is right. Pawn is about my life, and it's what I am. A Pawn in the biggest game in life; one I have no choice but to be in, no matter what I choose to do with my life. Would you really want to rob me of the one joy I have in my life?"

Draco looked down at his feet. "No, Anton, I... I just get this feeling I know you, and it irritates me, all right. I don't see what the big deal is. If you don't want Blaise or Wayne to know, you could tell me. Unlike most Slytherins, I can keep a secret, you know."

Harry sighed softly. "I'm sorry, Draco. I just can't tell anyone right now."

Draco nodded. "I understand, I guess.” Deciding the atmosphere was getting too awkward; Draco decided to change the subject. "So, can we do Pawn for the concert? I know it is a bit late to be adding new songs, but if it goes as well as I think it will, I think we will have a major hit on our hands," Draco said excitedly.

Harry shrugged. "I don't know, Draco. It is a bit personal, though. I know that the people I wrote it for would probably figure out pretty quickly who I was, or at least suspect."

Draco's face fell. "I understand, Anton. I wouldn't want you to get hurt. I just really like it. Though, wasn't the purpose of writing it to let them know that you're tired of being lied to?"

Harry nodded. "Yeah, I've been fed lies since I can first remember. I wrote the song when I first started learning to play. Eventually, I wrote the music for it. It's a bit harder than you were playing it earlier."

Draco blinked. "You heard me singing it?"

Harry chuckled. "You're in my practice room, Draco. I was alerted the moment you came in the room. I just couldn't get away from my friends right away. I haven't really told them much about all of this."

Draco frowned and glared at Harry. "I bet you did this as a test, didn't you? You wanted to see if I would break your wards, and try to find out what you are hiding from me. You wanted to see if I would read your songs while your back was turned. Well, guess you were at least partly right."

Harry blinked and looked at Draco with a shocked expression.

"What are you talking about, Draco? I didn't know I left my folder out. I thought I took it with me. In fact, I just realized it was missing, and was coming to get it to write another song that just came to me. When I saw it in your hands, I, well, just assumed you had taken it. I'm sorry, Draco; I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions."

Draco flushed with embarrassment. "I'm sorry, Anton. I guess we’re both jumping to conclusions today. Let's just forget all the accusations; I don't want to fight with you, Anton."

Harry smiled. "I don't want to fight with you, either, Draco."

Harry and Draco shared the smile for a moment before Harry frowned. "Draco, I thought I would let you know that there is a rumor floating around about you."

Draco looked slightly confused, not to mention a bit miffed. "What is it this time? I’ve heard it all since I came to school. The majority of them aren't true."

Harry cleared his throat. "Well, I heard you were, uh, gay."

Draco laughed. "Is that all? Well, that one is true actually. I bet it was Millie. She probably heard Blaise and I talking about who we thought the hottest guys were, beside ourselves, in school. We started a list last year, and have been adding or subtracting them ever since."

Harry looked a bit shocked at Draco's blunt admission that he was gay. Ron and Hermione had told him that wizards took homosexuality a lot better than Muggles did, but if the great Draco Malfoy was gay, then there was hope that he would find someone once Voldemort was dead after all. After a moment, Harry made a decision.

"Yeah, I guess I wanted to know since I'm gay, too. I don't know many guys that are gay at school. For a while, I thought I was the only one."

Draco grinned. "Well, looks like the entire band is gay or bisexual then. I saw Wayne snogging Zacharias Smith yesterday."

Harry laughed. "Great. Well, now the problem is that we probably won’t have as many fans. Will girls want to swoon after a gay band?"

Draco tilted his head. "Oh, I bet they would. We are all rather good-looking. Moreover, I’m sure Blaise is at least bisexual, and Wayne could possibly just be bisexual as well. I haven't had a chance to ask him yet. We can ask him tonight at band practice."

Harry chuckled. "Sounds like a plan to me."

Draco smiled and sat down on one of the plush couches. "So, about that song…"

Harry sighed. "All right, Draco. If the rest of the group wants to do it, we can. However, it's much harder than what we normally sing. It's kind of a hard, yelling song."

Draco grinned. "Well, why don't you play it for me really quick, and I can tell you if I still like it?"

Harry nodded. "Okay, I can do that."

Harry got up, walked over to the instruments, and muttered a spell. Picking up his bass guitar, he started to sing.

I'm just a pawn of my destiny...
Lies and half-truths are all they feed me...
I'm just a pawn of my destiny...
When will they tell me the truth?

I've been lied to so many times...
They think that I'm merely a child...
They don't understand that I don't want the fame...
I don't even want the job.

However, being me...
I just can't stand...
To let the world down...
So, I am just a pawn of my destiny...
Even though I don't belong.

I've been a pawn for so many years...
I've been waiting for the truth...
I've been a pawn since the day I was born...
And my life has never been fair...

Madman running after me...
And no one can tell me why...
Sure, they say it's my destiny...
But why did he pick me...


However, being me...
I just can't stand...
To let the world down...
So, I am just a pawn of my destiny...
Even though I don't belong.

I'm just a pawn my destiny...
I am tired of being one...
Now I am here... demanding the truth...
Or I won't be responsible... for the hell you let loose.

Draco was grinning by the end of the song. 'Anton has the perfect voice for that song. It's just breathtaking. It's moody and filled with rage; the girls will swoon at the passion that they will be able to see in Anton's eyes. I bet even a few will try to find a way to convince him that he's not gay. Not that it will happen, of course,' Draco thought.

"You should stand in front of a mirror the next time you sing that song, and watch yourself, Anton. Such raw passion and rage, the audience will be swooning at your feet,” Draco said.

Harry laughed. "Well, it would be nice to have someone doing that. I doubt they’ll be my type, however. All right, if you want me to sing it for the concert, I will."

Draco winked. "Great! I can't wait to have you play that for Blaise and Wayne! You won't be sorry! You'll see."

Harry nodded. "I hope so, Draco…"

Harry walked back to his room a bit slower that night after practice. Draco had almost caught on to who he was with the discovery of that song. He couldn’t believe how Draco, being as smart as he was, didn't notice the fact that the mad man was Voldemort, and it boggled his mind. Harry was sure that Draco would have picked up who he was, if he had read any of the songs under Pawn. Luckily, he hadn't gotten that far, or appeared not to at least.

Shrugging as he trudged into the common room, Harry decided to write a letter to Caesius before going to bed. After he finished, he locked the letter in his trunk to keep it safe before he could get it to the owlery for the morning post. The next morning before breakfast, he pulled out his owl whistle, walked to the window, and blew it. After a few moments, Arrow winged his way toward him, and set off with the letter to his owner. Harry was glad Caesius had sent him the whistle over the summer, and explained that Arrow was trained to respond to it. He knew that if he sent the boy a letter with Hedwig, she would give him away immediately, since he was the only student in Hogwarts with a snowy owl.

Caesius was just about to head for breakfast when he was alerted to his owl whistle going off. Caesius had set the whistle up to let him know when a letter was coming, so that he could meet his owl in the common room. He had sent Harry one before school started, so that they could continue to write, and told him that he’d found that Arrow was the only owl trained to respond to it.

Centuries ago, when Slytherin built the dungeons under the lake, he had put in an owl tunnel that led from the outside wall above the lake, into the common room. When an owl or delivery bird started to fly down the tunnel, the portrait of Slytherin, which hung over the mantle, would open allowing the bird to fly to its recipient.

A moment after he reached the common room, Arrow flew out the portrait opening, and landed next to him. Taking the scroll, Caesius gave him an owl treat, and hurried back to his room to hide the letter, before going off to breakfast. As much as he wanted to read it now, he was starving.

Caesius went up to the Great Hall for breakfast, and quickly ate his food. He had almost brought the letter with him to breakfast, but since no one but Blaise knew that he was writing Harry; he didn't want to give anything away just yet. There were still those in his house who might become Death Eaters, and he didn't want to become even more of a target.

Caesius quickly slipped out of the Great Hall, and hurried back to his room to read Harry's letter. Perhaps it was time to come out to Harry, so to speak. If only he had the guts to sit through the rejection he was sure to receive.

Pulling the letter out of its hiding place, Caesius began to read.

Dearest Caesius,

I would like to apologize to you. I don't think that I have been a very good friend during most of these letters. I have, of course, answered your questions about me, but there were times I really wanted to write something else when I answered them. I hope you can forgive me for holding back.

It's has been hard on me to come to a point where I feel that I can trust you with how I really feel. I would like to thank you again for your gift. It's been a very long time since I have felt so safe. It has made me wonder when this whole situation will come crashing down around me. There are times when everything in my life goes horribly wrong, and I was afraid that this would be one of them. I was afraid that if I really started to show you how I felt, that you would run off to some magazine or newspaper and tell them all my secrets.

After much thought, I decided that you really needed to know the real me. That I would not continue to pretend to be what the papers or the rest of the wizarding world believes me to be, but my real self. The one that no one bothers to look for, and the reason I have chosen to remain alone since I have reached the age where most others would begin to date.

You have asked about my friends and I, so I warn you now, that this will be a long letter. First, let me ask you a question. Have you ever thought you really knew someone, and it turns out that you didn't know them at all? I have found that many of the people I have thought were my friends or even enemies over the years, are very different people now.

My friend, Ron, is dating a Slytherin, and no one saw that coming at all. Personally, I thought he would end up with Hermione when we were younger. I just knew that it would happen, and I even encouraged it a time or two. It didn't occur to me that Hermione was head over heels in love with Ron's brother, Fred.

Ron, I think, had a crush on Hermione since we saved her from the troll in our first year. I think Ron's main problem was, though he liked her, she always made him feel stupid. Hermione is so smart, and so driven, that poor Ron just couldn't keep up. Hermione found her definite match in Fred. Fred might be a joker, and love to play pranks, but when it comes to brains, he can match Hermione ounce for ounce.

After Ron lost his chance with Hermione, I had no idea where he would turn. I think it surprised us all when he started dating Daphne. Ever since I was eleven, Ron preached, and I do mean preached, especially to me, since I didn’t know anything about the Wizarding world, how evil the Slytherins were. It used to frustrate me so much, that sometimes, I wouldn't talk to him for days.

Last year, Ron was walking in from Quidditch practice without me, and he overheard a conversation between Daphne and Millicent Bulstrode. Daphne's parents, though purebloods, were actually not on Voldemort's side. Daphne was afraid for her parent's lives, and decided to ask for Professor Dumbledore's help. Ron followed them all the way to Dumbledore's office, and then waited for them at the bottom of the stairs until they came down. I guess they started dating after that, and when Ron had gotten to know her, he realized that she was the girl he had been looking for all of his life.

It's times like these where I wonder where my fairy tale ending is. Will I ever find a guy that will want me like that? I have never really known true love. In fact, the only people I know that love me are Hermione, and Ron's family. That of course is a different kind of love. I have never had parental love, unless you count my godfather, Sirius Black. Mrs. Weasley has been the closest thing to a mother I have had, since I lost mine when I was only a baby. However, even Mrs. Weasley can sometimes smother me with her overprotective ways.

Yes, you did read correctly, my Godfather was Sirius Black. It is a shame that he did not live long enough to get his name cleared by the Ministry. Sirius was never given a trial, or a chance to defend himself, they didn't care that he was innocent. When the charges against him were dropped with the confirmed capture and subsequent death of Peter Pettigrew, it was a moot point by then. It just didn't matter anymore. The Ministry paid a good portion of money to his estate in restitution, but what good would that do a dead man? It just meant that I got more blood money in my trust fund.

Up until last year, I was thinking of being an Auror. I even studied hard to pass my Potions exam so that I could go into it. However, after seeing what the Ministry does to people, I honestly don't think that I could work for them. I don't know what to do with my life now. It's been suggested that I go on to play professional Quidditch, but I don't really think that is a good idea right now. Perhaps when Voldemort is gone, then I’ll be able to do it, but not until then. I don't think anyone realizes that if I do decide to become a professional right now, I will be in a large stadium with thousands of people. I would be a sitting duck, and so would the people in the stands. Easy pickings for that deranged lunatic.

Anyway, I guess I have probably bored you enough for one day. If you hav