A/N: So, I love Harry Potter… I have since I was six years old. I figured I could finally contribute to my favorite fandom, even if it was just a one-shot. On that note, this takes place after Draco calls Hermione a mudblood.

Owe

Draco Malfoy had done it again. This time, though, he had taken it too far. His pale blond face twisted in a smirk was the last thing Hermione remembered before she ran away, her rapid footsteps echoing in the halls of the stone corridors surrounding the courtyard, her fingers pressed against her forthcoming sobs, as if that could stop the words effects, tears blurring her vision, followed quickly by and enraged Harry and Ron. That simpering, smirking boy was probably born with a silver spoon clutched in his tiny, fat, stupid fist. Hermione's fists curled into her robe as she thought once more about what he'd done.

Oh, how Hermione wished she had— No. She couldn't. She would not let herself sink to his level.

Draco. Even his name disgusted her. Stupid, bloody Draco Malfoy. She loathed him.

As she smoothed her robes, she thanked Madame Pince for allowing her the use of the library. Clutching a large, cumbersome book to her chest, Hermione excused herself from the dimly lit, cavernous library. She was starving, and as it were, she had missed a lot of work— she had a late night ahead, yet again, thanks to Malfoy and his awful words. Hermione shot one last grateful glance at the librarian and continued on her way, her head continuing to ache and her eyes rimmed with red from crying that had ceased sometime ago. The corridor stretched longer than she remembered and it was eerily darker than usual. Late fall had come fast this year, dulling the green grass and turning the trees on the grounds into hardened, frozen statues, the leaves ready to fall with the October chill. She missed early September already, when everything was fresh— the air, the sky, the sunlight, the echoes of summer still lingering in the castle occupants conversations. Though the thought of having a celebrity teacher (a handsome one, at that, even if he was a complete idiot) certainly livened things up, the approaching frost of Halloween, it seemed, was going to be especially cold this year. After surviving the near catastrophic outcome of Harry's footlong Potions essay and narrowly avoiding an E on her last Transfiguration exam, it was a wonder Hermione didn't curl up in the girl's dormitory and hide until final exams.

She sighed as she made her way down the corridor, the flame torches flickering ominously, casting eerie, crawling shadows across her path. She loved the great castle immensely, but sometimes, it could be a bit scary. Quickening her pace, Hermione turned onto the stairwell, before a rapid footfall from behind stopped her.

"Wait! Granger!" A familiar drawl came down the passageway, setting her nerves on end. The giant book slipped from her grip and slammed to the stone floor in an echo that would surely send Peeves into quite the frenzy.

Hermione bristled at the voice. How dare he even talk to her after what he had done?!

Draco Malfoy appeared in front of her in a moment's time, breathing heavily, his robes disheveled and his tie slightly crooked.

"What, may I ask, do you want, Malfoy?" Hermione crossed her arms, as if any snide remarks would be deflected by the shelter of her own arms.

Malfoy's hair was askew, his pale blond locks falling unceremoniously in front of his grey, piercing eyes. Lifting a thin hand, Draco brushed back his imperfect hair and fumbled with his green tie. A light sheen of perspiration gleamed on his forehead, as if he had run a far distance to catch her here.

"Erm…" Draco coughed, his fingers occupying themselves with the sleeve of his robe. His eyes were glued to the floor, where he saw her book and bent to pick it up. His pale hand extended to give it to her. Accepting the book quickly, with no thanks offered, she resumed her original position.

Hermione kept her arms crossed tightly across her book, impatiently waiting for him to say something, anything, remotely intelligent.

Draco Malfoy was a pureblooded, spoiled git. Everyone knew that. So exactly why he was standing in front of her, the bushy-haired bookworm of Gryffindor, awkward and fumbling, Hermione had no idea. "I…"

"What is it, Malfoy? I've got better things to do than wait for you to— I don't know— insult my blood again." Hermione interrupted sharply, moving to maneuver past her foe. An arm shot out, blocking her way.

"Look, Granger— erm, Hermione… I owe you…" Draco's grey eyes gazed at her emphatically, pleading with her to hear him out.

"You don't owe me anything, Malfoy. In fact, if I were to total up the number of times you have insulted me or called me names and you owed me a gaellon every time you did so, you would be so far in debt that even your dear, sweet father wouldn't be able to help you. So, no, I don't want a thing from you." The words came out clipped, terse, and harsh. They sped out of her mouth like poison, and yet, the blond boy didn't even flinch.

"That's what I came to say. I owe you. An apology. I'm sorry. For everything." Draco said, still blocking her way. Before Hermione could even blink, Draco was gone, his shadow flickering in and out of the torch-light.

Draco Malfoy had never owed anyone a damn thing in his life, and so why he would choose to apologize to her, the tormented, bushy-haired-bookworm, she would never know.

Letting a small smile grace her lips, Hermione continued on, significantly more cheerful, cradling her book closer.

No matter— even if he had apologized, she still had the right to get him back someday.

One day, Malfoy, one day.

A/N: Good? Bad? Terrible? Let me know!