Disclaimer: I don't own HP or any of these characters. That belongs to JKR, Scholastic Books, Warner Brothers, etc.

She looked up from her tome and across the room. He was still there, laughing with his friends. She smiled.

There was nothing that could make her smile more than the sight of him. Of course, this wasn't fair to him because she almost never made him laugh or smile.

She was too boring to do that. He liked more exciting things that her – he liked to be in more exciting places than the library, he liked to have more exciting things than books, and he liked to snog more exciting girls than her.

Though she never made him smile, she thought that in the end, they were even since it wasn't fair that he thought of everyone but her while she could think of no one but him.

That wasn't exactly true. That wasn't exactly being fair to him. He did think of her at times – but he didn't think of her like she wanted him to think of her. He didn't know her like she longed for him to know her. He didn't understand her like how she needed him to understand her.

But then no one ever did understand her. It was foolish to expect so much of him.

She knew, though he never said it in so many words, that he thought of her as the boring, old bookworm who just happened to be one of his friends. She knew that he cared for her as a friend but he didn't think she was particularly fun to be around. She knew that if given the choice between studying in the library with her and fooling around with others – he'd choose the latter, again and again.

That hurt. It hurt even more because she would always chose to be with him. It was pain never-ending because she had chosen to be with him, getting in trouble, when she would have rather been in the library learning something new but he had never – never! – chosen to be with her.

She wished he would make that choice, even if only once. Then maybe she could make him understand – that she was always studying in the library not because she cared about her grades per se, but rather because she liked to learn. If flying was the time when he truly felt alive, she felt the same way when her mind was challenged to think.

She wanted him to know that, above almost anything else.

The only thing she wanted him to know more than that was that she loved him.

She tried to tell him that so many times. She didn't know why she couldn't get herself to say the words. It always happened the same way. She would gather her courage, day in and out, until she finally had enough to say those three words. She'd approach him with that gift to hand out but always, always, then—

He chose to smile.

Each and every time, that was her undoing. Something had made him smile – and it was not her, never her – and she couldn't bear to snatch that moment of happiness away from him. Each time her voice just let her down. She didn't imagine that her confession would make him happy. Instead, she thought that it would make him sad because he didn't return her feelings and he didn't want to hurt a friend like that.

It was selfish, but she still felt the need to tell him.

At times, she wished she could throw her caution to the winds and chase after him. She saw other girls do it to great success. And no one knew him like she knew him – surely she could put all of that to good use. But each time she even began to plot how to catch him, something would make her stop. It was inordinately frustrating and she just did not know what was wrong with her.

So she just sat, watching him and that made her smile. She thought that when they were both smiling, it was almost as good as being together. It wasn't close enough but it would have to do since she would never get closer to him, not even if she had the strength to reveal that which she kept locked up for so long.

Then it came to her that she should tell him now. Once that decision was made, she so easily was spurred into action.

She left her seat, where she was hiding in the corner of the room. She approached him, where he was sitting and laughing with all of his friends. She ignored his friends' babble about Quidditch and girls. She ignored that smile he gave her when he saw her walking towards him. She was not going to let that smile stop her now. She had those words at the tip of tongue. She's loved him so long and it's time that he should know.

Then suddenly, his attention flickered away from her. He was smiling but no longer at her. His smile grew more animated at what was being said. And that's when the doubt started to set in again. She knew—

It's no good.

This won't work.

He won't hear.

She should just go.

Author's note: The title of this fic comes from Hamasaki Ayumi's Naturally – I think the astraly mix of this song is perfect to listen to if what you want to write is girl angst. Anyway, I would really like to know what you thought of this one, so please leave a review. Thanks!