* Welcome to a new Drarry story. It's always nerve-wracking to start a new story.

Synopsis: Set in the Fall of 1998, Harry and most of the students in his year have returned to Hogwarts to finish out. Even those that attended their Seventh year came back, as they didn't learn anything useful anyway. The Slytherins have come up with a unique way to get lucky and they've invited the other Houses to join in. Odd pairings, cannon pairings and of course, the best pair-Harry and Draco. Be warned, their relationship is slow building as they discover things about each other and themselves.

Chapter one focuses on general information and setting up the story line. In this story, Harry still has Draco's wand (there's a reason) and Lavender wasn't killed. (I wasn't the only one I know surprised when Greyback got her in the last movie)

warnings: none in this chapter. eventual smut and slash beginning in chapter three

disclaimer: I own nothing of Harry Potter or the other characters. But again, I pervert them :) Thanks JKR for inventing them!

oOo

September 1, 1998

Eighth Years. There were never Eighth Years at Hogwarts before. The war had changed many things indeed. Hogwarts-the entire wizarding community- would never be the same. September had rolled around, and as usual, students boarded the Hogwarts Express from the station. The first years sat in compartments with students wearing equally nervous expressions. The older students, though seasoned, were still a bit apprehensive about returning. Some of them had been there to see the destruction of their beloved school first hand. Some had merely read about it, or heard about it as they listened in on conversations behind closed doors.

Professor McGonagall had assured each and every parent that the school had been repaired and restored to its former glory-save for the Room of Requirement. The remaining Death Eaters, who had not perished or been sent to Azkaban, were in the process of being hunted down by the Aurors. Their children were safe. Yet, even the students could see the anxiety in their parents' faces. They would not be relieved until they received word of their children's safe arrival.

The train pulled out of the station as Harry, Ron, Ginny and Hermione sat in a private compartment. Molly Weasley was loathe to put her two youngest on the train, but they begged and whined until she finally gave in. Well, Ginny begged and whined. Ron had to be convinced by his girlfriend, Hermione. The dynamics of the group had changed since they shared a kiss and finally acknowledged their feelings. Their romance burned fast and furiously at first, the result of years of pent up attraction. But now, months later, they bickered as much, if not more, than they used to and things they found endearing about each other were becoming annoying. Hermione sensed the end of the courtship was imminent, but neither wanted to be the first to put it to words. The four sat silently in the compartment, looking out the window. Ginny put her hand on top of Harry's.

"I'm so glad you all decided to come back. I know it wasn't an easy decision," she said.

He smiled. "I wouldn't be able to become an Auror without my N.E.W.T.s. It was either come back or choose a new career path," he answered.

"Well, I for one am excited to be back," Hermione offered. "I can't wait to see Hogwarts back to its familiar self."

"Yeah, I guess," Ron added. "It'll be hard not to think about everyone who . . . it'll be hard."

Hermione rested her head on Ron's shoulder. "I know," she said quietly.

Harry smiled to himself. It was nice to see Ron and Hermione share a tender moment for a change. Their relationship seemed to be filled with more and more turmoil lately. In sharp contrast, Harry's relationship with Ginny barely showed signs of life. They never fought, never wasted time arguing about stupid things. They didn't spend much time talking at all. Not about anything important. Harry squeezed Ginny's hand. She, in turn, leaned in and kissed him gently, but quickly. It was about as intimate as they had been the past several weeks.

The door opened suddenly and Draco Malfoy started to walk in when he realized who was in there.

"Oh. Sorry. Wrong car," he said and swiftly retreated.

"Oi, Malfoy! Wait!" Harry leapt to his feet unexpectedly and hurried after him.

Malfoy stopped in the narrow corridor and turned to face Harry.

"What is it, Potter?" The names Malfoy and Potter seemed to have lost their bite after the war.

"You never did answer my question," Harry said.

"What question would that be?" Draco asked genuinely.

"The one I asked you in the Room of Requirement. Why didn't you tell your aunt it was me? At the Manor. You could have ensured your family an honored place among the Death Eaters and gotten rid of me for good. Why didn't you tell her?"

Draco blinked, as if he was surprised by Harry's assessment, then finally answered, "Because it was the right thing to do."

Malfoy slowly turned back and began walking in the direction of the car he was sharing with Pansy and Blaise. Harry was left pondering his answer. Perhaps Malfoy meant what he said. His heart had never truly been in the Dark Arts. Perhaps he had followed in Snape's footsteps rather than his own father's. Harry waved off the questions the others had about his conversation with Draco. For some reason, we wanted to keep his exchange with Draco to himself.

When the train arrived at Hogsemeade Station, the students disembarked and made their way to the carriages. Hagrid was there to greet them, as usual.

"'ello all" he grinned. "I wasn't sure 'ow many of you was comin' back. Most of ya, by the looks of it."

"Yes," Hermione agreed. "The dormitories are going to be crowded."

"You'll be bunking with some of yer seventh years, I reckon," Hagrid told her. "You know we never had a class of eighth years. But I suppose yer not really eighth years, since they didn't teach nothin' worth learnin' last year anyway." Hagrid scratched his head. He was confusing himself even. "Well, I'm off to see to the first years."

"Goodbye, Hagrid. We'll stop and see you first chance we get," Harry waved.

oOo

As the students gathered in the Great Hall, Headmistress McGonagall called for the first years to stand at the front and wait to be sorted. Hermione sat down next to Ron, while Ginny and Harry sat across the table from them. Harry glanced over at the Slytherin table. It was odd to see Malfoy without Crabbe and Goyle at his side. Gregory had opted not to return to Hogwarts after Vincent died. Harry never realized how little like a bully Malfoy looked without his goons. He sat quietly waiting, like everyone else, for McGonagall to finish sorting the new students. Pansy sat to his right and Blaise across from him. There was something different about him. Harry supposed there was something different about all of them. Even Pansy, who had been eager throw Harry to the wolves, appeared to have lightened up a bit. She leaned close to Draco and whispered something in his ear, causing a bright smile to grace his face. Harry found himself smiling too. He looked away before Draco and Pansy saw that he was watching. Glancing around the hall, Harry noticed a lot of smiles, and his grew bigger.

"What's with that goofy grin?" Ron asked.

"What? Oh, I was just realizing that this is the first time we've come here without evil looming over our lives."

"You're right," Hermione agreed. "It will be nice to be able to really concentrate on our studies."

Ron laughed. "I was thinking it would nice just to hang out and have some fun."

"Studying can be fun," Hermione said.

Ron, Harry and Ginny all rolled their eyes.

"Anyway, I have a feeling it's going to be a great year," Harry grinned.

oOo

The feast had begun and Draco listened to Blaise and Pansy talk about their travels over the summer while he ate his chicken and potatoes. He had little to offer during their conversation. He had no exciting travels to speak about, just trials and inquiries and trips to healers attempting to remove his Dark Mark.

"So," Pansy said with a gleam in her eye. "I haven't told you what else happened this summer."

She didn't wait for them to ask.

"I discovered my mother's journal from when she was a Hogwarts student."

Blaise and Draco shared a look between them that clearly said they weren't interested.

"Don't be like that," she nudged Draco. "It turns out our parents were quite the scamps."

"How so?" Draco asked.

Pansy grinned at him. "It seems your parents began hosting a series of parties, by invitation only, of course. They called them wand parties."

"What's a wand party?" Blaise asked.

"Back in the seventies, muggles used to have what they called key parties. Parties in which the men would put their keys into a bowl. At the end of the party, the women would pick out a set of keys and go home with that man."
Draco and Blaise both raised their eyebrows, surprised that muggles could have thought up such a provocative game. They leaned in closer to Pansy as she continued.

"Well, I don't know who exactly in Slytherin came up with it, but the House held similar parties. But they used their wands instead of keys. And everyone put their wands in, not just the boys."

"But then who picks?" Blaise asked.

"And what if you get another boy, or another girl, and that's not what you're into?"

Pansy shrugged. "I guess that's the fun of it. Besides, you don't have to have sex with the other person, just spend the night."

Blaise huffed. "As if that's not the whole point of the game. Of course you're supposed to have sex."

"Intriguing," Draco mused. "Tell us more."

"My mother hadn't written down all the rules or the spells necessary, but she alluded to a book somewhere in the Slytherin common room that details it all. We just have to find it."

"So you're seriously thinking we should start having these parties?" Blaise questioned.

"Absolutely," Pansy replied. "We need some fun around here." She jerked her head toward the rest of the Great Hall. "Some of them are in desperate need of loosening up."

"What? You want to invite other Houses? Are you mental?" Blaise suggested. "We can't have outsiders in our House. It simply isn't done. Besides, you think any of those do-gooders from Gryffindork would possibly be interested?" he laughed.

Draco's expression turned slightly dark. "They've had a tough time of it, Blaise. A lot tougher than you. You wouldn't even be here right now if it weren't for some of those dorks. So leave them alone." Draco hadn't meant to defend them so passionately, but the war was over thanks to many of them. And Draco, for one, was grateful.

Blaise was taken aback by Draco's words for a moment and he sat speechless.

Breaking the awkward tension, Pansy spoke up, "Well, I wouldn't mind getting a hold of one or two of those Gryffindor do-gooders."

"Really?" Draco questioned.

"I mean, who wouldn't want the chance to shag Harry Potter?"

All three slowly directed their gaze at Harry, who was laughing at Ron making rude gestures with his chicken leg.

"Can you imagine how powerful he'd be in bed?" Pansy sighed. "I've never experienced it myself, but I've heard that the most powerful wizards give off magic during sex and it makes orgasms last minutes, instead of seconds."

"That's an old witches tale, Pans," Draco scoffed. "Some horridly unattractive wizard probably made it up just to get shagged."

He and Blaise laughed, while Pansy pouted.

"Well, I wouldn't mind trying to find out," she smirked. "I'll bet he's magic either way."

Draco glanced over at Harry's table once more.

"I suppose it wouldn't hurt to invite the other Houses. This year breaks so many traditions already," Draco suggested. "But no one below seventh year."

"Agreed," Pansy grinned. "Hurry up and finish your supper so we can go find that book."

After the meal, they rushed back to the common room to search for a book with hand written details entitled Wand Game, on the last few pages. Little did they know it would take them two and a half weeks to find it. And another three to perfect the charms on the cauldron they would use to hold the wands.

oOo

Since none of the eighth years wanted the responsibility, Ginny had been made Head Girl and she split off from the other Gryffindors to find her room. For similar reasons, Michael Corner, from Ravenclaw, was named Head Boy, and the two shared a space that included a common room, two separate bed chambers and a very large shared bath. Ginny was most excited to have a private room to which she could sneak Harry occasionally.

Harry and Ron ended up in the same room they had before, which, again they shared with Neville, Seamus and Dean Thomas. Though Hermione was happy for Ginny to make Head Girl, she was disappointed that they would not get to share a room, as the girls had gotten especially close recently. Consequently, she wound up in a room with Parvati, Lavender and two seventh year girls. Inwardly groaning, Hermione began to unpack her things. Sharing a room with a girl who had been hell bent on going after her man and one that still held a grudge about the Yule Ball was going to be trying to say the least. She could only hold out hope that they all had matured.