Bane of My Existence
by Dream Howler

Canon Notes: This story is Pre-HBP, which takes place in my version of Harry Potter's seventh year, based on the events of the first five books. This means that Dumbledore is still alive, Snape is still teaching potions, and life is pretty much void of most of the events in book six.

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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 5 Recap:

In Chapter 5, all trips to Hogsmeade were cancelled, so Headmaster Dumbledore decided to throw another rare Yule ball. When deciding on a band, he decided that Spectrum would be a nice group to play. Harry and Draco frantically polished off several new songs, and the group learned a few wizarding Christmas Carols to play as well.

However, in Harry's frantic hurrying, he almost forgot that he had to be in two places at once. Luckily, the Weasley twins had recently invented some gum that changed the chewer into another person. It was a more concentrated version of the Polyjuice Potion that would allow the wearer to be the same person for longer periods. This would help greatly in the war effort in the future. The twins promised Harry that they wouldn't sell the gum until after the war, and to contact Professor Dumbledore about the possible uses if they could get some hairs from prominent members of the Death Eaters.

After the dance, none other than Colin Creevey grabbed Anton's arse. Anton was extremely angry of course, and almost hexed Colin within an inch of his life. Later after changing personas, Draco and Harry had a lovely dance in front of the whole school.

Later that week, Harry finally figured out what Christmas presents to get the group and his friends, and he received a lovely surprise or two from Draco. Draco could be romantic when he wants to be.

Chapter 6 - Close Calls

Starting the week after the Yule concert, Draco was shadowing Anton so closely that there were several narrow escapes. Anton had told Draco several times to back off, but Draco seemed to think that he needed to know who Anton was, if no one else did. One afternoon, Draco had even caught Anton in the middle of the transformation; luckily, he could only see him from the back.

Needless to say, practice didn't last all that long that evening due to Anton being so furious at Draco that he could barely stand to be in the same room with him. This of course, wasn't good for the continued success of the band.

Draco's snooping went on for at least a week before Anton finally got so frustrated that he didn't go to band practice for several days. He told them that he had some important homework to do, but the entire band knew the real reason. When Anton finally decided to return to band practice, completing almost a week's extra in homework, he almost spilled his secret on a whim to get Draco off his back.

Though he wanted desperately to tell Draco the truth, he didn't want Draco to find out this way. Considering Draco's current level of sneakiness, Harry was even more skittish about telling Draco about his real personality. He had started showing more and more of his personality in the letters and private conversations. So far, Draco had been quite receptive of Harry's personality, though only time would tell if he would realize that Anton's personality was very much like Harry's.

As Harry walked toward the band room, his coin vibrated and jumped in his pocket, alerting him to someone's presence in the band room. Sighing, Harry ducked into a side corridor, changed into Anton, and came out a different set of doors. After all, if someone was following him and Harry didn't reappear, someone might figure out his secret. After exiting, Anton quietly opened the door a crack, and stood outside the band room for a moment, listening to a song that Draco was playing.

You think you know me...
You don't know how wrong you are...
You think you know me...
Yet, all you see is the image of a star...
You think you know me...
Yet, you will never see my tears...
You think you know me...
But you don't know my fears...

You'll laugh... and won't believe me...
You think you know me too well...
You think you know me...
When all you see is the image, I project...
Yet, you would be surprised... what you see...
Behind the masks...

Behind the masks, I am not so innocent.
I have grown and aged more than you can tell
By looking into my eyes
You will see my old soul
But you can't seem to believe that I am who I am
And not the one that you see

In time, you may come to believe me...
But I don't have that kind of time...
We are at war again and I must join the fight
To protect the world, the women, and the children
And all my friends the same...

You think you know me...
You don't know how wrong you are...
You think you know me...
Yet, all you see is the image of a star...
You think you know me...
Yet, you will never see my tears...
You think you know me...
But you don't know my fears...

You think you know me...
When all you see is the image, I project...
Yet, you would be surprised what you see...
When you look behind the masks...

Harry stood stunned as the song finished; Draco had found another one of Harry's songs. It seemed that Harry had yet again forgotten to put up his folder of songs. Of course, with all the things that he had on his mind lately, it really wasn't surprising. Steeling his resolve and letting his calm collected mask slide into place, he entered the band room. Slipping behind Draco, he cleared his throat, startling the blond.

"Well, it seems that you have found another of my songs, Draco," stated Anton.

"What? Oh, hello, Anton. Actually, it found me. I was sitting here waiting for the rest of the band, and it was on the floor next to my feet. I guess it must have dropped out of your folder." affirmed Draco.

Anton nodded. "I suppose that is possible."

Draco blinked up at Anton. "What? You don't believe me? What is it with you and trust?"

Anton sighed. "Well, considering the way you have been acting towards me lately? What do you expect, Draco? I mean I told you that I didn't want to tell anyone right now who I am, and instead of respecting my privacy, you have been following me around and hounding me. I am not sure if you are just trying to win the Slytherin betting pool, or something else. Regardless, it hurts my feelings that you can't wait until I am comfortable enough to tell you who I am."

Draco stood up quickly, looking quite offended. "Why in the world would I need more money, Anton? I have a vast fortune that is in my control now as Lord Malfoy. I don't need to win some silly bet. In fact, never mind. I think I will go back to my room; you three can practice without me."

Before Anton could say anything further, Draco was gone. Inwardly, Anton sighed, when Draco finally found out who he was, would he forgive him for trying to deceive him? Anton sure hoped so. Anton knew that Draco didn't really want to win the bet. However, Draco was getting so close to finding out who Anton really was that he just had to get Draco off the scent, and soon. Draco was just as smart as Hermione, so it was only a matter of time before Draco realized that Anton and Harry were hardly ever in the same room and Anton seemed to know way too much about Harry.

Blaise and Wayne were so fed up with Draco and Anton fighting all the time that they almost quit the band. At this point, they were maybe practicing once a week, if at all. No songs were being written, though luckily they didn't really have anywhere to play currently either, so Blaise and Wayne got together to talk one afternoon.

"This has got to stop; Draco is trying to ruin the band. We have a good thing going here, and all he seems to do is write Harry and try to find out who Anton really is. Draco is obsessed, and not in a good way." complained Wayne.

Blaise nodded. "I agree. Draco is out of control. We must figure out a way to either get Anton to tell Draco who he is, or somehow make Draco see that what he is doing is going to destroy all our hard work."

Wayne shrugged. "Will that actually help? Draco can be very stubborn when he wants to be. I have never known two people more suited really. Are we really sure that Anton isn't a Slytherin?"

Blaise nodded. "Yeah, right after we started the band, we slipped a minor truth potion in the sixth and seventh year's drinks and asked all of them if they had secretly joined the band. All of them said no, but of course were curious as to why we wanted to know."

Wayne looked at Blaise shocked. "You used a truth potion? Isn't that illegal?"

Blaise chuckled. "Not really, it's not the Ministry approved version. This is just a minor one. You can lie with it, but if you do, your face turns blue."

Wayne blinked before laughing hard. "Their face turns blue if they tell a lie, oh, that would be funny to see!"

The pair continued to talk until the Anton and Draco showed up for band practice several hours later.

After a long talk with Wayne, Blaise, and Hermione about the state of the band, Draco grudgingly agreed to leave Anton alone with his secret. He was still curious, because he just knew that Anton was someone he knew. Regardless of his hunches, he finally decided that since Anton was the best thing to happen to the band, he had better start respecting his privacy. Even though Anton hadn't quit the band, he was still quite upset at Draco. Draco hadn't really apologised to him yet, which resulted in the band practices still being a little tense. Draco figured he would have to find some way of making up with Anton for the continued invasion of his privacy.

The last turning point in Draco's change of heart was when Hermione read him the riot act the day she caught Draco trying to sneak up on Anton. It was then that Draco remembered that Hermione was not a woman to cross. He rubbed his cheek as he thought back to the year that she slapped the bloody hell out of him. At the time, Draco had been tired of Hermione always beating him for top marks by one or two points, and him being punished all summer for it.

Shortly after Hermione had joined the band as their manager, Draco sat Hermione down and explained his behaviour for most of his school career. It was safe to say that if Draco's father wasn't dead, that he would have died again just by the pure fury that was Hermione Granger when she was enraged. Her face turned so red, that Draco almost accused her of being a Weasley.

Regardless, it seemed that Anton was a tough nut to crack, and Draco wasn't sure what to think about him really. He seemed to value his privacy more than Harry did, which was saying something. Harry had put so many protection spells on the last few letters that he had written, Draco had a hard time getting into them, and they had been addressed to him. It had taken awhile, but Draco finally understood Harry's paranoid personality.

Harry had his parents, and his godfather taken away before he even really knew them. Then he was put in with those horrible Muggles. After piecing all of this together, Draco realized that Harry didn't want to lose anyone else. Harry was trying to be realistic, saying that it was war and many of his friends would probably be killed. However, if Harry could, he would try to save them all. It was one of the things that Draco loved about Harry; he had a need to save even those that didn't know they needed saving.

Several days later, Professor Snape had held Harry back after class. He was looking slightly nervous, well, at least to Harry's eyes. Harry couldn't ever remember seeing Professor Snape looking so out of place. Regardless, he watched as his Professor slid a piece of parchment across Harry's desk. He failed to notice as Severus locked, warded, and put up a silencing charm on the door. Picking up the parchment, Harry started to read the contents of the paper. After several minutes, Harry looked up at his Professor, his mouth hanging open.

"Sir, did you write this?" Harry asked.

Severus nodded. "Yes, several years ago. What do you think?"

Harry grinned. "I love it; it's definitely a song that I could see the band singing. Would you actually want credit? I didn't even know that you had an interest in music really. Well, except what you mentioned about my mum."

Severus shifted slightly under Harry's questions. "I don't suppose that you have to mention that I wrote it. I mean we wouldn't want to scare the students."

Harry chuckled softly. "Professor, if you would relax once in a while, people might actually not be so scared of you. I mean I understand why you are so strict when we are making potions, but when you are out of the classroom..."

Severus shook his head. "I do try to be civil when out of the classroom, but it is hard to be something I am not. When I first started teaching, I was a bit more relaxed, even tried to be friendly. As a direct result, several students often got hurt by ignoring my instructions. You can't be lenient around students and teach."

Harry looked puzzled for a moment. "Okay, I kind of understand that as I said before. Potions can be very volatile, but why do you have to take off so many points from Gryffindor all the time?"

"Mr. Potter, as the person that I am, as you know for a certain organisation, I am expected to act a certain way. I do admit that taking excessive points is extreme, but it is much better for that group to think that I am not betraying them. Besides, if I suddenly became nice, people would probably faint or have a heart attack."

Harry chuckled. "Maybe, you never know until you try. Plus, as far as friends go, I know a certain person that would love for you to not be so strict and actually loosen up a bit." Harry disclosed with a grin.

Severus looked puzzled. "What are you trying to say, Mr. Potter? Are you telling me that you know someone that wants to be my friend?"

Harry nodded. "Yeah, though he pretty much figures that you would never talk to him anyway. I am actually sort of surprised that he forgave you several times for just being yourself."

Severus hummed softly to himself. "I believe I have an idea who you are talking about. I would rather not talk about him right now, perhaps another time. Anymore questions while I have you here? I can tell that there is a question you are burning to ask."

"You know, I do have a question, Professor. Have you ever thought of having a class at the beginning of first year teaching the students brought up in the Muggle world about how to properly process potion ingredients and identify them? I mean all those questions you threw at me first year weren't even fully covered until sixth year. I mean, yeah, Hermione knew the answer, but that's just her."

Severus nodded. "Well, yes, I did think about it once, but sadly, I found I don't have the patience for that. Perhaps you know someone that might want to teach the class?"

Harry thought about it for a moment. "Well, I do know someone that has been thinking about becoming a Potions master. She may be interested, though I would have to talk to her about the idea first. I initially discussed it with Draco, but unless the band falls apart, I don't think Draco will be getting his Potions License anytime soon. I was also talking to Draco about some extra classes for Muggle raised children. We talked about a class teaching them the traditions, laws, and things like that which may be really beneficial to them to properly fit into the wizarding world. I told him about how many things that he has mentioned to me that I didn't know, and it was actually his idea."

Severus let out what Harry could only surmise was a snort. "Really? It seems you have been a good influence on Mr. Malfoy. I suspect that it could only be your influence that led Malfoy to want to teach Muggle-borns our traditions."

Harry chuckled softly, "Yeah, he probably wouldn't have. I didn't realize how much he had changed until just recently."

Severus nodded. "Indeed. I thought it was quite interesting that you two had a dance during the ball. I can say I was rather shocked, though I should have guessed you two would become an item."

Harry blushed slightly. "Well, yeah... we aren't quite official yet, but we're working on it."

"Well, you should probably run along. Don't want your little friends to think that you've been abducted by your greasy git of a Potions Professor." smirked Severus.

Harry nodded, taking the parchment that Severus had given him and tucked it carefully in his bag. "Thanks for the song, Professor, I really appreciate it."

Severus sniffed slightly. "It's nothing, Mr. Potter. I will mention your ideas to the Headmaster; good day."

Harry woke the next morning clearly excited. It was Saturday, so of course, Harry was happy for that one thing alone, if there was no other reason. Grabbing his wand, Harry quickly got dressed and headed down to the band room. Taking Severus's song out, he started to play. Yet after running through it several times, Harry realized that it just didn't fit in his vocal range well. In fact, it didn't fit into Draco's either, and Blaise and Wayne didn't sing except for occasional backup. Harry was suddenly disappointed. He figured he probably could change some of the notes to be more in his range, but when he tried it, the song's whole meaning seemed to change.

As Harry finished the last note, his coin vibrated and in walked Draco. Harry looked momentarily puzzled since he didn't get much advanced warning this time. ‘Perhaps it was time to renew the spell...' Harry thought.

Draco walked into the room and had a seat next to Anton. Looking over the parchment, Draco noticed Professor Snape's handwriting. Draco knew that his Professor had a secret love of music that most of Slytherin didn't even know he had. He was, of course, privileged to know several secrets about his Professor. Though his Professor was a half-blood, his father had either not known, or he just didn't care. Lucius and Severus were actually very good friends at one point in time. Of course, it helped that Severus carried himself as a pure-blood and knew their laws and traditions.

"So, Professor Snape slipped us a song, I see. I heard part of it as I came in; the music seemed a little off." As Draco spoke, his face held a confused expression.

Anton nodded and replied, "Yeah, I was trying to fit it into our vocal ranges, but it just doesn't work. It needs someone with a deeper voice."

Draco agreed. The song needed its creator to sing it, which was the problem. Deciding to voice his opinion aloud, Draco smiled. "Well, that's because it was made for his own voice. He sings quite well, you know."

Harry looked shocked as he quickly turned to face Draco. "Snape can sing? Is he any good? I really want to do the song, but our voices are too far out of range, and I don't think either of us would be able to voice that sorrow-filled quality that it needs."

Draco grinned. "Oh yes, he has a wonderful deep, dark voice. I am sure you must have noticed his speaking voice by now, Anton. His singing voice has the same quality; deep, dark, and smoky rich. The students would want be all over him if he wasn't wearing that glamour."

As soon as he spoke, Draco realized his mistake. Only Severus's extremely close friends knew that he wore a glamour all the time to cover up his looks. In fact, Severus probably could give that phoney Lockhart a run for his money in the looks department if he took off the glamour, though he could use a tan first. Thinking back, Draco had to chuckle to himself. It all started when Draco had wanted to go to Muggle London, blend in, and look around. Suddenly, Draco had felt a ripple of magic around him as Severus took off his glamour. At first, Draco thought that it was just a new look until he realized that the ripple of magic was missing. When questioned, his friend told Draco that this is what the real Severus Snape looked like.

Severus still had the same large Roman nose, though it was much straighter than its counterpart was. The hook nose was actually an old injury that his father had given him a year or so after he began school at Hogwarts. Since he was in the Muggle world at the time, his father didn't get it treated properly, which resulted in a large bump and eventual hook to his nose. The rest of Severus had greatly improved after his nose was corrected. Many of his improvements happened when Severus had managed several years ago to invent a potion to fix broken and deformed body parts. . Severus had figured that the potion would really only fix his nose; the potion had a very unexpected side effect, which pleased Severus more than he thought it would. This meant that his nose, teeth, hair, and skin suddenly repaired themselves, making Severus quite the handsome man. After much testing, he had realized that it was rather painful if you didn't have the limb that needed to be re-grown, but it was probably better than someone accidentally removing your bone and having to re-grow it as several medi-witches and wizards would prescribe.

Once he had fixed his looks, he realized that since he had suddenly become very handsome, and that no one would pay attention to him in class: instead staring at him gobsmacked. So he had created an elaborate, exaggerated glamour to cover up his good looks. It wouldn't do to have the school blown up by students who would do more harm than good with one extra turn of the ladle or extra ingredient.

The robes that Severus wore on a daily basis were a bit too prim and proper for an outing in Muggle London, so Draco had of course taken Severus shopping. However, it had been like fighting a starving animal over a piece of meat to get him to even agree. Severus was quite stubborn and when he didn't want to do something, it took an act of Merlin to get him to change his mind. It was sad really, though once all was said and done; Draco realized that with Severus's long legs, leather and jeans looked quite good on him.

Instead of falling into the middle-aged trap that many Muggles had, Severus had kept in shape. Of course, considering whom he worked for, he had to keep on his toes at all times. That called for quick reflexes and the grace of a cat. Considering how much his Professor stalked into rooms, it was no big surprise that Severus's Animagus form was that of a black panther. Startling himself out of his thoughts, Draco looked over at Anton to see if he had caught the ending of the sentence and understood its meaning. Sadly, he realized that Anton had, because he was truly and well caught.

"Snape wears a glamour to change his appearance, too? I guess I should have suspected since I wear one, but I haven't even felt the ripple of magic. For someone that doesn't like foolish wand waving, he sure can create a glamour." Anton commented with a laugh.

Draco almost laughed as well, but he screwed up his face into a serious mask instead. "Anton, you can't tell anyone that he wears one. I wasn't supposed to tell anyone."

Anton nodded. "No problem, I understand. We have a bit of an understanding really. We had an interesting little talk yesterday when he gave me the song."

Draco gave Anton a curious look. "What are you trying to say exactly? Are you two friends or something?"

Anton laughed. "I wouldn't exactly call us friends. Though, I must say I am shocked to find out that he is a closet musician. If his appearance is better than his current one, he could always quit teaching and become a singer. Hey, I know! Why don't we give him a chance to see how he likes it? We can tell him that we love the song and would love to perform it as a band, but we just can't do the song justice and he will have to sing it himself!"

Draco nodded. "It may work, but no doubt it will take both of us to convince him. He is rather stubborn about certain things. He usually likes to practice his music in the privacy of his quarters."

Anton nodded. "Well, we don't have anything better to do at the moment. Let's go see if we can find him."

Draco laughed. "All right, he should be in his classroom grading papers."

Anton and Draco walked down a couple of flights of stairs before arriving at their destination. Knocking on the door, they heard a loud, "Enter!" from within the room. Pulling the door open, the pair made their way down the row of the desks, stopping before Severus's desk. Waiting patiently as Severus continued to mark the paper with crimson ink, the look of disgust on the Professor's face was quite telling of his current mood. He looked like he wanted to kill something, which led Draco to deduce that he must be doing first-years papers.

Clearing his throat softly, he smiled at his favourite Professor. "We can come back later if you are busy, Professor; we just wanted to talk to you for a moment."

Severus shook his head and pushed the stack of parchments aside. "At this point, I think I would welcome a distraction. I really think it's time to talk the board of governors into a separate teacher for the lower years for potions. I think they get even worse every year that I teach."

Draco chuckled softly. "Precisely my point, though do you really want to keep teaching after the war is over?"

Severus shrugged slightly. "I haven't really thought about it, to be honest. It all depends on whether Potter can get the job done correctly, doesn't it?"

Anton bristled slightly inwardly. A comment like this would have made the Harry of old burst out loudly in protest. However, the new and improved Harry put on a mask of indifference on his handsome features, he replied. "Perhaps if he had had a better set of Defence teachers over the years, he might be more prepared. I mean two decent teachers can't really make up for the fact that they have so many years of work to catch up on does it?"

Severus nodded. "True, though it is hard to get decent teachers when after one year of teaching it, something happens to the teacher themselves. I think we have more than our share of possessed, incompetent, idiotic teachers to last us a lifetime."

Anton let out a snort. "True, we have had a horrible set of teachers. Professor Lupin was probably the most decent one besides our current Professor. I do have to say that even though the fake Moody was a lunatic, he did teach us quite a bit. I often wonder how much of it I should try to remember."

Severus agreed silently, at least Lupin cared about his students. It was really a shame that Lupin had to leave in the end. However, coming face to face with the werewolf that had almost killed him years ago had scared him shitless. After Severus had gone through so much trouble to adjust the Wolfsbane Potion to help improve his ailments during the full moon, he had forgotten it. Although after finally hearing the whole story several years later by Lupin's own mouth, he supposed he couldn't blame him; he was trying to save Potter, after all.

"Nevertheless, I am sure that you didn't come here to discuss the sorry state of academia at the school. To what do I owe the honour of your visit, gentlemen?" Severus asked, his right eyebrow arched slightly as he spoke.

"Well, it's about the song you gave Anton..." Draco started, though was swiftly interrupted by Anton.

"Yeah, well, I tried to sing it earlier, even tried to put it in a different key..." blurted out Anton.

Draco scowled slightly at Anton, who had the grace to look somewhat sorry. "It won't work with us singing it. Even changing the music wouldn't help. We could make a good backup, but I doubt either of us could sing the lead."

Severus looked momentarily puzzled before the look completely disappeared. "Well, I am sorry to have wasted your time, then."

Anton shook his head. "No sir! You didn't waste our time at all. It's a great song, but it needs its creator to sing it for us."

Severus was thrown off balance with that comment. ‘They want me to sing a song with their band? This requires some careful questioning.' Severus thought.

"And why, pray tell, would you want your Potions Professor scaring away all your groupies?" Severus stated as he chuckled inwardly at the confused expressions on the two young men's faces.

Anton actually recovered quicker than Draco and smiled, "Well, they wouldn't have to know it was their Professor would they? I mean, you could always get some different clothes, find a good glamour for yourself, and no one would have to know. We could even make up a name for you..."

Severus pondered the possibilities of having an anonymous hobby that didn't include having to get hurt or injure someone. However, would the band's normal fans accept another person that they had never seen before? "I must say that this has some shocking possibilities. It wouldn't be too often, correct? I do have other duties besides teaching that might prevent me from always attending."

Anton and Draco both nodded, before Anton continued speaking. "Like a guest star or something. When you aren't busy and want to sing, you can just wait until the current song is over, step onto the stage, and we can let you sing the song."

Severus sat in his chair, pondering the proposal; it did seem to be an appealing idea. However, Severus had learned long ago not to jump into decisions. "As captivating as it sounds, give me some time to consider it. It would take quite a bit of planning on my part to pull this off, and I feel that I must consider all the options first."

Draco smiled, "Sure, Professor, please let us know what you decide. We would love to start practicing the song."

Severus nodded and spoke. "I will let you know as soon as I have weighed the situation and given it considerable thought. Now, if you have nothing else, I do have marking to do."

The pair spoke their goodbyes and left the Professor alone to his marking, leaving Severus with a lot on his mind.

Severus sat behind his desk feeling a bit confused, a little flattered, and a tad apprehensive about going on stage in front of a large crowd. However, he had a feeling that with an adequate disguise that he should be able to pull it off. After all, he had been a spy for most of his life so far; he should be able to put on a musical performance.

Severus was definitely unhappy at his job. He had always wanted to do something else. At one time, he had wanted to teach Defence against the Dark Arts; however, he had since learned that he hated teaching. He didn't exactly have an idea if he would even survive the war, though it would be nice to have other opportunities. Did he really want to make potions and teach dunderheads the rest of his life?

Not really shocking, but his answer was a resounding ‘no'. He had spent the last ten plus years hating teaching. However, being a former Death Eater, Dumbledore was the only one that would hire him.

Harry was sitting quietly at the Gryffindor table early the Friday morning when he received a letter. It was early even for Harry to be up, not to mention anyone else. He was actually mostly alone except for a few Ravenclaws that were studying at the table.

Removing the letter from the owl's leg, he smiled as he noticed Draco's handwriting. He had slowly forgiven Draco for all he had done to Anton, but he was still a little worried that Draco would one day figure it out and hate him for it. Pushing his normal thoughts aside, he opened the letter only to find out it was a letter to Harry not Anton.

Dearest Harry,

You are cordially invited to the Room of Requirement on Saturday for an afternoon getaway, made especially for you. Lunch and dinner will be served while we partake in the day away from our peers so that we will have plenty of time to spend together.

Please let me know what you decide, since tomorrow is Saturday, I thought it would be a nice break from our regular studies and a chance to get to know each other in person. Owl me back as soon as possible. Oh, please dress nicely, I would love to see how you look all cleaned up. Please say yes.


Harry grinned; Draco had asked him out on a date. Harry was excited at the prospect of being alone again with Draco without having to hide who he was. Sometimes Harry found it quite hard to control himself while he was Anton. You didn't just turn off feelings like that and not expect consequences. He often had to make up some excuse to leave the room when Draco did something especially sexy or cute. It was all he could do to control jumping on the blond sometimes and kissing him senseless. Sometimes, those thoughts alone were almost enough to reveal who he was to Draco. However, he was sure that he would loose the band and Draco if he did, and sometimes, in his nightmares, he didn't tell him, and Draco found out anyway and was really upset. Sometimes that old Muggle saying was true, "You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time."

Blaise Zabini had a reputation of being somewhat of a player at Hogwarts, though one would never know by his attitude. Yes, Blaise had kissed a lot of people, male and female alike, but most of the gossip was made up by the people he had kissed in order to increase their own reputation. In fact, Blaise had barely slept with three people the entire time he had been at Hogwarts, though to hear the rumour mill tell it, he had dozens of conquests. Normally, Blaise ignored all the tales, but this one had not been a tale at all, but right from the person herself. Hermione Granger, Blaise's secret passion, was finally unattached! Blaise rubbed his hands together in glee. Now, the only problem Blaise had was that it was more than likely that Hermione believed all the stories about him and wouldn't give him a decent chance. Somehow, Blaise had to show Hermione that he was a good person, and not the playboy that everyone thought him to be.

Over the course of the last several weeks, the grapevine had almost no gossip on him at all except for the confused speculation of what was wrong with him. He was sure that Hermione had to have noticed, because she was even looking at him oddly during some of the band practices that she had attended. The rumours suggested that Blaise perhaps was finally in love and that was why he stopped kissing the population of Hogwarts. At least, for once, the gossipmongers were correct.

Author Notes: I am so sorry that it has taken this long to finish. Last year was just an all around bad time for me. I hope that you enjoyed the chapter. I already have a good bit of Chapter seven complete. Thanks to my great betas, KK, Kendall, Oli, Sweetling, and Draeconin.

Song notes: Behind the Masks is by Dream Howler. The song is copyrighted by Dream Howler and may not be used for any purpose without express permission by Dream Howler.

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