Notes: So here we go embarking on this fic. It's the first time I've written original characters so it is an experience! This, of course, will be Draco/Harry slash eventually but some of you probably know me well enough to know that already. My sheer obsession with popular (or should that be rock/metal/punk/gothic) culture is obvious once more and I like to think my appreciation and love of music will show …then again it may not!
Disclaimer: J.K Rowling and her publishers own Harry Potter and everything associated with that world. I, however, do own Harry's band and everything else that has been utterly made up by my over active and over worked imagination.
Dedication: Campaspe (CS Whitewolf) because we rock and we always will …and to Brody Dalle (the gorgeous, talented front woman for The Distillers) because it was a picture of her in a bra licking a guitar that sparked this whole debacle.
Samsara: (Hinduism and Buddhism) noun the endless cycle of birth and suffering and death and rebirth.
Harry threw a crumpled t-shirt over his head as he raided through the mess on the floor of his bedroom. He wouldn't leave
without it; it just had to be here somewhere.
"There you are you little bastard!" He proclaimed as he pulled a half-used black eyeliner from inside a sock.
"Who or what are you yelling at now Potter?" Harry rolled his eyes as the voice of his flatmate and band member, Matt, drifted through from the hallway. For almost two years now, since leaving Hogwarts, Harry had lived in this two bedroom flat with Alex, Seth and Matt. They had formed their band and bonded over the knowledge that they were all recluses from the wizarding world.
Each of them had their own story, things they had run away from. Neither Seth, Alex nor Matt had batted an eye on discovering that Harry was in fact Harry Potter: wizarding saviour. Harry was accepted on who he was, and as had turned out: how well he sang.
"I'm yelling at my eyeliner that some how made it's way into your sock." He heard Matt chuckling as he stuck his head round the door. His hair was blue (today at least) and gelled up into short spikes. He was wearing his now trademark, ripped up Korn t-shirt over ridiculously baggy jeans.
"Well move your ass, Alex and Seth are already at the club." Harry let out a loud tut as he scrambled up from the floor, kicking a jumper that had fixed itself around his foot across the room.
"You know, I'm beginning to think that we should tidy this place up." Harry said musingly as he surveyed the mess of his and Alex's room.
"Well you can do it 'cause Alex sure as hell won't." Harry murmured an agreement as he came out into the hallway, tripping over his shoelace as he went. He scowled at Matt who was laughing at Harry's misfortune.
Harry pulled his jacket from the couch and threw it on, standing before Matt who raised an eyebrow at him.
"What?" Harry asked bemused.
"Aren't you forgetting something?" Harry frowned and looked around the room as he patted down his pockets.
Mobile phone: check.
His eyes scanned over Matt who was standing by the door with a pointed look on his face, guitar slung over his shoulder.
"Ah." Was all Harry said as he darted back into Alex and his bedroom: he would need a guitar to go along with those plectrums. He picked up the black guitar from his unmade bed and stuffed it quickly in the case before slinging it over his shoulder.
Harry darted out the room (tripping over someone's abandoned shoe in the process) and stood in front of Matt in the hallway.
"Do I have everything now?" Harry asked him. Matt rolled his eyes as he turned to the door and opened it.
"Yes you do, honestly Potter, you'd forget your limbs if they weren't securely attached." Matt replied as Harry closed the dark red wooden door behind them. Matt handed Harry his keys before heading to the top of the stairs. Harry fumbled around, searching through numerous key rings before actually finding the door key.
He slid it in the lock and turned it with a click. He clipped the keys onto the chain that was dangling from his black, baggie trousers. Harry walked to the top of the stairs and the pair walked carefully down the stone steps, being careful not to hit their guitars off the walls as they turned the numerous corners.
Living on the fourth floor of a block of flats that didn't have an elevator had its major disadvantages. Especially when trudging back from a gig (very often slightly inebriated) and having to carry three amplifiers, two guitars, a bass guitar and various bits of drum kit up the flights of spiralled stone steps.
They reached the bottom of the stairs and walked through the dark corridor to the outside door. Matt opened it and held it open for Harry who stumbled out into the street. Matt laughed as he closed the door behind them and they walked over to Matt's car.
"You really haven't had much luck tonight have you?" Matt asked rhetorically as he fought to unlock the driver's side door. "God damn it!" He said, hitting the window when the door finally opened, "the first thing I'm doing when we make it big is buying a car that actually works." He proclaimed as he slid his guitar over onto the back seat.
Harry snorted as he stood and waited for Matt to unlock his door. Matt stretched over the passenger seat and popped open the lock. Harry pulled the heavy door open, slipping his guitar from his shoulder and sliding it in the back of the car next to Matt's.
Matt turned the ignition, starting the car and turning the newly installed CD player on. The heavy bass line and crunching guitar riffs of Korn's 'Ball Tongue' came blaring out the speakers causing Harry to jump. Matt chuckled and turned the volume down.
"Best investment I've made yet." Matt declared, casting a fond glance at the CD player before pulling out onto the road. Harry rolled his eyes.
"That may be true but really, you should find a new band to listen to." Harry teased. Matt glared but kept his eyes on the road.
"I worked my ass off at that god forsaken job to pay for this so if I want to listen to the same band over and over then I bloody well will." Harry chuckled at how defensive Matt always got when his taste in bands was challenged.
Harry popped open the glove compartment and rummaged around through receipts, leaflets and wrappers as he chewed on his lip ring. He pulled out the advertisement for their gig that night. It was the bands first one as the only act: normally it was them and three or four other rookie bands. The flyer was bright green, the band's name 'Samsara' emblazoned in bold, black lettering with the bands symbol (a black circle with silver wings and the outline of a coffin drawn inside the circle) underneath.
"You should find a job you like. Take me and Alex for instance," Harry began as he pulled a very crushed looking pack of cigarettes from underneath a ticket stub, "we like our job and don't mind showing up to work."
"That's just because you can spend all day ogling the cute gothic guys who come in the shop." Matt snorted.
Harry took one of two cigarettes out the packet and put it between his lips.
"What's your point?" Harry said with smirk as he rummaged around for a lighter. Matt shifted in his chair, taking one hand off the wheel as he stuffed a hand into his pocket. He pulled out a transparent blue lighter and handed it to Harry.
Harry clicked the lighter a few times until the spark finally turned into a flame. He brought it to the tip of the cigarette and lit it. Harry tossed the packet (known by Matt, Harry and Alex as the 'just in case stash') back into the glove compartment and clicked it shut as he took a long drag.
He wound down the window and leant his elbow on the armrest as he held the cigarette out the window. Harry exhaled as Matt began drumming along with his thumbs on the steering wheel. Instantly Harry recognized the gesture.
While on stage and even before going on, Matt would become overly confident and musically obsessed, every sentence and action having an underlying hint of his musical talent. He would drum on pretty much any surface, sing guitar solos and ponder whether a certain riff should be played a fret higher. Everyone who knew Matt simply humoured him, as they knew he was covering how nervous he actually was.
Fifteen minutes later they pulled up outside the club and got quickly out the car. They both slid their guitars from the back seat and slung them over their shoulders before locking the car and heading to the doors of the club.
Matt looked at his watch as the bouncer gave them a brief nod before opening the door. They played this club a lot and were well known by security and bar staff alike.
"We've still got half an hour until we're due on, looks like your luck is improving already." Harry laughed as they ascended the stairs.
"About fucking time you showed up." Came a voice from further up the purple painted stairwell. Matt replied before Harry could.
"Hey Alex. Blame Potter." He said as they came to the first landing and gestured his head towards Harry. Alex came bounding down the stairs, his black leather trousers sitting low on his thin hips adorned by numerous chains. His torso was covered with a black fishnet top.
He brought his hand to his mouth and took a drag of his half-smoked cigarette. Harry eyed him with scrutinizing gaze.
"Isn't that my nail polish?" He asked, indicating to Alex's turquoise nails. Alex exhaled the smoke and raised a pierced eyebrow at Harry.
"Isn't that my nail polish?" Alex countered by gesturing his cigarette to Harry's own dark green nails. Harry frowned at his own hand.
"You have a point there …but it matches my top so well, what's a boy to do?" Harry said dramatically as he, Alex and Matt made their way up the second lot of stairs. They reached the top and were greeted by the sound of a snare drum being hit rhythmically.
"Sound check already started then I see?" Harry remarked as the trio wandered into the hall. It wasn't a huge venue. The stage wasn't much higher up than the dance floor: there was only one step up to it. The room held around three hundred people making it an intimate show where you could practically feel the heat coming off the other people in the room.
Harry would come from the stage dripping in his own sweat and the bottled water he would pour. He would probably stink of smoke and beer as well and he absolutely loved it. While at Hogwarts he had hated being in the spotlight but now; he thrived on it. No one in the crowd was staring at him because he was the boy-who-lived: they were staring because they appreciated his music.
The continual beating of the drum stopped when Seth spotted them coming in. He stood up from the tattered, leather-covered stool, raising his drumsticks to them in greeting. Matt waved across the hall, gesturing for Seth to stay where he was as Harry plucked Alex's cigarette from between his fingers, earning himself a slap across the back of the head.
Harry stepped up onto the stage, propping his guitar up against an amp.
"Nice of you to finally show up." Seth said as he sat back down behind the drum kit, smoothing down the back of his dark blond ponytail. Harry took a drag of the cigarette and waited for Matt's inevitable moan about it being Harry's fault.
"You know these boys and their eyeliner Seth. This bloody idiot here," he said inclining his head towards Harry "couldn't find a plectrum in a guitar shop."
"Hey I resent that." Harry said indignantly as he unzipped his guitar case. He heard the feedback coming from an amp that had been switched on followed by the sound of familiar bass guitar riffs. He took his guitar out of the case and slung the strap over his shoulder. Taking one of many cables from a tangled pile, Harry slipped one end into the butt of his guitar and the other into the amp. He rummaged inside his pockets for a plectrum and finally pulled a pink one out. Just as he was checking the tuning of the D string he saw, out the corner of his eye, Steve (one of the bartenders) sliding over the doors, signalling to the band that the bouncers were now letting people into the venue.
Harry finally finished perfecting the tuning of all six strings and took his guitar off, standing it against the side of an amp. He went through into one of the backstage rooms where Matt had deposited the jackets and guitar cases and Alex and Seth had left their things earlier.
He crossed the room, avoiding various empty bottles of beer and plastic cups that Alex had obviously been at before Harry and Matt had arrived. Harry groped in his left pocket, eventually pulling out the earlier elusive eyeliner. He stepped in front of a graffiti covered mirror on the back, white washed wall. He chuckled and rolled his eyes at his own bands scrawlings: Alex's proclamation of 'Ville Valo is God', Seth's untidy words that were saying 'Kurt Cobain, R.I.P', various reiterations of the word 'Korn' that Matt seemed to enjoy writing every time he was in the room. Harry's own contribution to the mirror had been a drawing of snitch beside a drawing of a guitar.
Harry closed his left eye, pulling the lid tight with his left hand as his right dragged a thick line of black across the lid. He opened his eye, pulling the skin tight again as he drew a thick line under his bottom lashes. He repeated the action on his other eye before going over to the couch where Alex's jacket had been thrown over a cushion. Harry felt around inside the jacket pockets until his fingers clasped around the tell tale plastic casing of shimmering black eye shadow. He carried it back to the mirror, popping it open and running the pad of the brush over the pressed powder. He swept it across his left top lid and then his right. He applied more shadow to the brush and proceeded to run it over the line of eyeliner on the bottom lid.
He tossed the eye shadow and his eyeliner onto Alex's jacket. Turning back to the mirror he ran the pad of his index finger just beneath the make-up on his bottom lid, leaving it deliberately smudged. He stood back and admired his reflection, reasoning that he should have gotten his eyes fixed long before he actually had.
"Are you done preening yet?" said Seth as he stuck his head around the door. Harry turned around and wandered back across the room, kicking cups out of his way as he did so.
"Yes I am." He stated plainly before making sure the right side of hair was smoothed down and sweeping properly over his face, half covering his right eye. Over the last three years away from Hogwarts Harry had grown his hair out considerably, the extra weight coupled with a charm he had learned from reading a Witch Weekly keeping it tidier than it had ever been. The left hand side was still short and messed up but the longer bit of his hair was brushed in a side parting and was swept over to the other side.
"Okay now I am." Seth rolled his eyes and Harry straightened the ring that pierced the side of his lip once Seth had turned around.
They walked down the short corridor to the side of the small stage where they were greeted by Alex handing Harry a vodka and coke.
"Get that down you quickly." Alex commanded as he downed his own drink. Harry did the same, crushing the plastic cup in his fingers and throwing it at the back of Matt's head. The blue haired man turned around and glared at Harry who merely looked innocent as he went back to pick up his guitar.
"Everyone remembers the set list this time right?" Harry asked. Seth and Matt hid snorts of amusement as Alex sighed exasperatedly.
"That was one time Harry, won't you ever let it go?" Harry gave Alex a pointed look, "Don't look at me like that, I did well for one so stoned!"
Harry chuckled as Alex strapped on his bass and took one last drag of yet another cigarette before stubbing it out in an ashtray.
Alex nodded to Harry, who turned and nodded to Matt- who now had his guitar strapped around his shoulder- who in turn nodded to Seth who walked out and sat behind the drum kit. Matt went out next, walking to the farthest side of the stage followed by Alex who stood by the microphone stand at the side nearest the offstage area. Harry took a breath and wandered out into the centre of the stage, taking up position behind the middle microphone stand, set to the exact height that he liked.
The two hundred and fifty or so people clapped enthusiastically, the odd cheer coming from them as well. Harry turned to Alex who was grinning. Alex loved being on stage, not that Harry didn't but it took at least three songs before his nerves dissipated and his on-stage 'persona' took over. For once though Harry took great joy in the fact that the claps weren't out of politeness. These people were here to see Samsara, no one else.
Harry turned and nodded to Seth who counted to four with the drumsticks before he and Alex began playing a drum beat and bass line that complimented one another. Harry brought his mouth close to the microphone.
"This first song," he said as the beat continued behind him, "is about how powerful someone's sexuality can be." He gave Matt a pointed look, the blue haired boy knowing that Harry was referring to how insane he (Matt) had gone over his ex-girlfriend.
Matt came in playing a high pitched riff once before Harry brought his mouth back to the microphone, lips barely brushing the metal as he began singing.
"Well he can't sleep at night, and he can't do what's right," Matt began strumming a quick paced riff on the bottom E and A string, "It was all because she came into his life, it's a deep obsession, taking up his time."
Harry came in playing the same riff as Matt, hitting the strings harder as the volume and force of the song increased. Harry switched to strumming the chord progression as Alex stepped up to the other microphone to join Harry in singing the chorus.
"She's all that he wants," they sang, Alex's higher pitched rustic sounding voice complimenting Harry's deeper melodic tones "She's all that he needs, she's every thing he just won't believe. Take away his doubt turn him inside out, then she can see what he's been dying to say." Alex moved from his microphone leaving Harry to take the final line of the chorus by himself, "But thing's don't always turn out that way."
Harry ceased the chord progression, Matt's low riff continuing as an undertone to the bass and drumbeats.
"And he must confess, all the impure thoughts of his beautiful temptress, although he keeps it all, bottled up inside," Harry's voice began gaining force as he went back to the low riff, "although he keeps it all safe within his mind, oh yeah."
Seth brought the drums into the song louder and louder as Harry heavily played the chords and he and Alex switched microphones to sing the chorus again.
"She's all that he wants, she's all that he needs, she's every thing he just won't believe. Take away his doubt, turn him inside out, then she can see what he's been dying to say," Alex wrenched himself from the microphone and stepped up to the platform where the drum kit was situated.
"But thing's don't always turn out that way, no things don't always turn out that way." Harry sang, a shake of his head adding the theatrics of the performance.
"So wipe that smile off your face, before it gets to late, there's only so much time for you to make up your mind," a similar drum fill to the earlier one was banged out as Harry pounded hard on the strings of his black guitar.
"But things don't always turn out that way." He took a step back as Seth played a powerful drum fill and Matt took over playing the chords as Harry dropped his head to concentrate on his guitar solo.
His hair fell into his eyes and he was dimly aware of Matt coming to stand beside him but he kept his focus on the frets, even blocking out the appreciative claps and cheers from the crowd to make sure he played it perfectly.
With the solo done, Harry jumped back to the microphone for the finishing flourish.
"She's all that he wants, she's all that he needs, she's everything he just won't believe, take away his doubt, turn him inside out, then she can see what he's been dying to say." Harry's voice grew louder and more powerful over the increasing volume of the drums and guitars, bringing the song to an impressive crescendo.
"But things don't always turn out that way."
The crowd gave a resounding applause, many of them raising their hands in the double horned salute. Harry smiled and gave them a nod as he turned to take a large gulp of water from a bottle that was sitting on an amplifier.
The rest of the gig continued in the same fashion and by the fourth song the butterflies that had been twittering irritatingly around his stomach had apparently flown off, leaving only exhilaration and adrenalin.
When the final song was done, which Harry felt was all too soon, he stepped to the microphone one last time as he took off his guitar and thanked them for showing up, taking the time to advertise a gig they were playing with two other bands only three nights later.
He walked down the corridor the backstage room, carrying his thoroughly chipped guitar by the neck as he pushed perspiration covered hair from where it was stuck to his forehead. He entered the room where Seth had already collapsed onto a ripped leather couch and was dozing off with his head in his hands.
"Good fucking gig tonight!" Matt exclaimed, causing Seth to be startled out of his slumber and have his head slip off of his hand.
"Indeed it was." Alex replied, voice muffled by the cigarette that was held in his mouth as he zipped up his bass guitar case.
"So good in fact," Matt continued, "that I feel it was about time I got in on some of that alcohol." Alex shook his head at him as he blew out smoke.
"No can do Matty, you need to drive your car back remember?" Matt groaned and glared over at Harry who had just lit up a cigarette.
"This is your fault! If you could have been on time like everyone else then we could have all been going back in the van!" He said to Harry, his anger obviously false. Harry simply shrugged and smiled as he took a drag of tobacco. He heard Alex laughing from the doorway.
"No one will be going in the van if Seth doesn't manage to stay awake for more that two minutes but I think I'll have a drink before we leave." Alex stuck his tongue out at Matt before sidling out the door. Seth began to stand up from the couch slowly, rubbing his eyes as he shuffled out the room to begin packing up his drum kit. Harry picked up a well-used ashtray and flicked the head of the cigarette into it as he went to couch at the back of the room.
He sat the ashtray on a side table and laid his guitar on the couch. Harry took a long drag of his cigarette as Alex stuck his head back round the door.
"Harry?" Came Alex's voice, receiving a cigarette-muffled 'mmmhmm' from Harry.
"There's someone here who wants to see you, says he knows you from school." Alex said before taking a long gulp of his drink. Harry turned round with a frown on his face, it had been exactly two years the previous week since the Hogwarts graduation and the last time he had seen any of his professors or fellow pupils.
"Oh another Hogwarts graduate." Said Matt before getting up from the couch. Harry rolled his eyes; Matt, Seth and Alex had all gained OWLs at different schools over Britain having not been accepted to Hogwarts. It became a point of mockery but Harry didn't mind- it was all in good humour.
"Sure send him through here." Harry said to Alex with a dismissive wave of his hand before turning back round and sliding his guitar into the case. He heard Matt leaving the room, sliding through the door past Alex.
"Will do, it's not everyday a hot platinum blond shows up asking for you." Alex said before leaving. Harry stood up straight from where he was leaning over the couch and stubbed his cigarette out in the ashtray.
"Platinum blond?" Harry asked out loud, a puzzled look on his face "I only knew one of them but…"
"But what Potter?" After two years Harry still knew that drawl, it wasn't easily forgotten.
Harry turned round slowly, keeping his eyes averted to the ground. His gaze started at metal-heeled boots that disappeared beneath the legs of sinfully tight leather trousers, that Harry noticed, stretched rather suggestively over the crotch area. A triangle of smooth, pale skin showed where the bottom four buttons of a sheer black shirt had been left open. The material shimmered slightly under the lights of the room, making Harry wonder if he had really seen the silver bar through the right nipple. Edges of collarbone could be seen where the shirt was unbuttoned at the top, the black material of the collar leading up the curve of a pale neck.
Harry's eyes reached the ends of bright blond hair that framed a strong jaw and slightly pointed chin. His suspicions confirmed, he brought his eyes up to meet a pair of black lined silver ones that were staring at him expectantly. Draco Malfoy was leaning casually on the frame of the backstage room door.
"Malfoy what a …surprise." Harry said, knowing that 'surprise' didn't quite describe the situation thoroughly enough. Draco pushed himself off the wooden doorframe and made his way across the room to where Harry was standing.
"Not as much of a surprise as it was to see that you are the front man of the band I've heard so many things about." Draco replied, as he got nearer.
"Well there has been a lot of hype on the underground about us, what's most surprising is that you heard anything. You're probably the last person I would expect to see in a muggle rock club." Harry stated as he turned back round to his guitar case.
"Potter," Draco began "I'm about as hated in the wizarding world as you are loved." Harry looked back around at the blond with his brow furrowed. Draco shrugged, "Death Eaters son's aren't exactly well liked, the Ministry took everything my father had. I'm just lucky I already had everything my mother left me." He finished with a smirk that Harry couldn't see.
Harry zipped up his guitar case and felt Draco come to stand directly behind him. Harry stood up straight and turned around quickly, bringing him almost nose to nose with Draco. The blonde's breath ghosted over Harry's face as he began to speak.
"You've certainly …grown up since I saw you at graduation." Draco said, raising an eyebrow. Harry stared blankly at Draco's silver eyes, blinking a few times. "It isn't like you to have nothing to say Potter." Harry swallowed hard and managed to regain his voice.
"Malfoy, I haven't seen you for two years and suddenly you show up at a muggle club of all places and begin blatantly hitting on me. I think I can be forgiven for being at a loss for words." Harry said, trying to ignore the smirk of Draco's face as the blond moved impossibly closer.
"People change." Draco said softly as he tilted his head, "I'm living in the muggle world now," he began "maybe I could give you a call and we could …go out for some fun perhaps?" he finished, raising an eyebrow.
Harry's eyes flicked down to Draco's glossed lips and then back up to his darkly decorated silver eyes. He groped his hand behind him blindly until his hand came to rest on a pile of leaflets. He pressed one to Draco's chest and pushed the blond away with it. Draco frowned and looked at the yellow paper as Harry stepped round him to another couch.
"That's the gig we're playing, it's in three days. We're the first band on so if you're really that interested you can find me at the bar after Samsara's set." Harry explained as stuffed various things into his pockets. Draco raised an eyebrow once again.
"Playing hard to get Potter?" Draco asked rhetorically. He sighed and slid the leaflet into his pocket. "Very well …but you won't last long." Harry looked up from the table to watch at Draco's retreating back as the blond left the room.
"Is that a challenge Malfoy?" He asked. Draco turned around in the doorway.
"Always." Draco left the room and Harry flopped down onto the couch, throwing his arm over his eyes. He heard Alex come bounding back into the room and dropping down next to him.
"You just let him leave? Are you mad?" Alex said, his voice higher in pitch than was normal. Harry nodded feebly.
"It certainly feels like I've gone mad. The last time I saw him he looked positively gleeful at the fact that he wouldn't be seeing me again. He was a git at school, I find it hard to believe he can have changed that much." Harry said as he looked from behind his arm at Alex.
"Erm Harry? Have you looked at yourself recently? Two years can do drastic things to a person. Besides, how long has it been since you had an offer that good?" Alex asked, a mischievous smile on his face.
"Me and Malfoy …it's crazy is what it is." Harry said, still obviously bemused by the blonde's earlier advances.
"Oh please," Alex admonished, "if I had a knife I'd break it trying to cut the sexual tension!" Harry groaned as Alex continued, "so you hated each other then?" Harry nodded. Alex looked thoughtful for a moment "It's a fine line between love and hate Harry." Harry gave Alex an incredulous look, causing Alex to smile "or, as the case may be, a fine line between anger and lust."
Harry groaned again and threw his head onto the back of the couch. Thoughts of messing up Draco's immaculate blond hair and smearing the eyeliner across his face flitted through Harry's mind and he allowed himself a small smirk. Fate throws crazy situations into life sometimes, Harry knew this well, but this one, he thought to himself, could be more fun than expected.
To be continued…?
Notes: The song that Samsara performed was 'Things don't always turn out that way' by The Calling, I don't own it either …it isn't actually even my CD. Any questions can be asked by email.