No Copyright Infringement Intended In This Story

No Copyright Infringement Intended In This Story

All Rights Belong To JKR

Chapter One

Malfoy's Debt

Slowly the sun rose over the horizon, and above the dark Forbidden Forest. It spilled its day through the castle windows one being the Gryffindor girls dormitory room. A sleeping figure stirred under the covers of a large four poster bed, and the soft sound of muffled groaning broke the silence of the otherwise vacant room.

Hermione Granger pushed the covers away, and sat up rubbing her tired eyes. She looked over to her nightstand, and saw the luminous red numbers. With a small gasp she leapt out of the bed the cold stone floor sending her shivers from her bare feet. She was late; she was never late.

Throwing off her yellow pajamas with the printed blue flowers she pulled on worn jeans, and a fitted brown top. There were no classes that weekend, and she was glad she didn't have to put on her school robe, and triple check to make sure her tie was straight.

Snatching her wand from the stand she ran it over her untamable brown hair. It remained bushy as ever, but it was no longer in knots. She slung her book bag over her shoulders.

The common room was completely empty with its comfortable red couches, and chairs, the fire in the hearth having died, or been put out sometime the night before. It all showed that breakfast had already begun, and due to her short stature she wasn't able to take the steps two at a time so she jogged as quickly as she could down the steps. She made it to the entrance hall when she heard whispered voices, but not from the Great Hall, but the spiral staircase leading to the dungeons.

She shouldn't listen in, it wasn't right, it was an invasion of privacy. It was also where the Slytherin's went to their common room, and she knew that it was probably a couple of Slytherin's talking. That could land her in even more trouble, especially if it was Malfoy, but she must have been hanging around her friends Harry Potter, and Ron Weasley too much, because she risked the chance.

Hermione must have jinxed herself, because as she crept to the wall one was indeed Malfoy's drawl. She practically held her breath so she could recognize the other voice. It was much deeper, and greasy... Professor Snape. She held herself flat against the wall, hoping against hope that she wouldn't be seen, though it was unlikely she would. Their voices were far enough away to suggest that they were hidden behind a pillar feet away.

"I did you a dangerous favor, Mr. Malfoy. You know how the Dark Lord feels about broken promises. If it were not for me you would have your head upon a platter."

"I know, sir," Malfoy's voice was soft, and... Scared?

"Look at me when I'm talking to you! Yes, that's right, now boy, let me explain: The Dark Lord knows that Dumbledore is up to something, he is convinced that he has a secret... That is the only reason you are breathing. Until I can deliver Dumbledore's secret myself, you will be keeping your end of this bargain. Miss Granger must be killed, if she is not then you will be!"

"Yes, sir."

Hermione felt that it was the end of the conversation, neither of them spoke, and she didn't waste another second. She dashed to the Great Hall where four rows of long tables sat the different houses, the ceiling imitating the real sky, and from what she could see in her dazed state it was a cloudless day, but she couldn't stop running. A few faces looked up to her in alarm, but she paid no attention, she slumped in a chair between her friends Ron, and Harry, clutching a stitch in her chest.

"Hermione, what's the matter?" Harry asked concerned. His plate was full of every dish there. During his summer with his aunt, and uncle Harry never got enough to eat, and though he spent most of the year eating at Hogwarts, he never seemed to gain any weight, he was as skinny as ever, but compared to their first year he had grown several inches.

She held up a hand attempting to catch her ragged breath, and watched over Harry's shoulder as Malfoy with his blonde white hair, and usual sneer strutted in. Behind Ron Snape emerged from a door behind the tables reserved for the teachers, and sat down his cold eyes surveying the chipper students.

"Bloody hell, Hermione, you look like you ran all the way from the common room. You're not that late." Ron shoveled more bacon into his mouth. His plate was piled with food, but he was never starved in his life. Ron simply did not have any manners, but sometimes she couldn't help but smile, he was quite adorable. He had vivid red hair, freckles all over his face, and he towered over her, and Harry.

"Oh, for Merlin sakes, Ron, close your mouth!" She shook her head, and turned to Harry. "I need to talk with you. Now!"

"What about me," Ron asked through a mouthful of food.

Hermione didn't look at him. "If you don't mind putting your fork down long enough!"

The three of them stood, but not before Ron stuffed two pieces of toast into this pocket. They rushed out of the hall. "Where're we going," he asked as they went up several staircases.

"Library," she answered shortly.

"Like we never spend enough time in there," he grumbled, Hermione ignored him.

On the third floor they turned into the library. It was glorious, Hermione's favorite place in the world. There were hundreds of bookcases reaching to the ceiling, and they were all filled with books leaving no gaps in between. It was calming to her, the smell of parchment. It was the best place to be at the moment, after she found that she was going to be killed by a fellow student.

Ms. Pince narrowed her eyes suspiciously at them, but she didn't have time to question them as they strolled too quickly past her. They took a table in the far back letting her book bag fall to the floor with a thud. It was not like anyone was there anyway, all of them being down for breakfast, at least for another two minutes, but she whispered anyhow, and told them of the conversation she overheard, and for a few moments they sat in silence letting it sink in. Ron was the first to speak.

"We'll go to Dumbledore, he'll stop it."

Hermione shook her head slowly. "If we do that Malfoy will be killed."

"So," Ron almost yelled, and Harry nudged him warningly jerking his head over to Ms. Pince. "He'll kill you! When did you start caring for the ferret anyway?"

He had a point, though Hermione wouldn't admit it. "Maybe if I talked to him first -"

"Sure, give him a head start to curse you!"

Hermione's elbows dug into the table covering her forehead. She felt a headache coming on, and felt the warm, and firm hand of Harry's land on her shoulder.

"It'll be okay, we'll get to Malfoy before he gets to you. We'll lock him in a cupboard, or something for the rest of the year."

"Yeah," Ron agreed excitedly.

She smiled weakly. "I suppose so... Come on, lets go down by the lake. I need fresh air," she picked up her book bag hauling it over her shoulder, and Ron looked at her expectantly.

"Hermione..." He sighed. "It's the weekend, what're you doing carrying around your pack?"
"Just because it's the weekend doesn't mean that I don't have to polish my essay to Professor Flitwick, Ron!"

Ron rolled his eyes to Harry, Hermione pretended not to see it. One day they will understand the importance of school work, even if she had to beat it in their heads.