TITLE: DO YOU THINK OF ME? AUTHOR: D.O. Parker RATING: mostly PG-13, but R for a chapter or two SPOILER: Probably the saddest Harry/Hermione fanfic ever created (whoa, hot air coming through!). But, really.this is my first attempt at a fanfic. Even if you're not a big fan of the H/Hr pairing, I think it's worth a read. Please feel free to R/R. SUMMARY: Prequel to a currently untitled story. Harry, Ron & Hermione are in their 7th and last year at Hogwarts. Voldemort has been defeated. What happens when Harry's sights are set on someone else and Hermione chooses to keep quiet about her feelings for him? SHIPS: implied H/Hr

CHAPTER 1: THE REALIZATION

Disclaimer: All HP characters appearing in this fanfic are created and owned by J.K. Rowling.

She didn't know how and when it began. All she knew was she was already in the middle before she even realized that it had begun. Hermione Granger will never forget that day, the first day of the Christmas holidays.

Harry was just being, well, Harry. In all honesty, this was the first time that Hermione ever saw him happy on Christmas. It was probably because he had already defeated Voldemort during the earlier part of their 7th year that was the cause of his joy. After all, it's quite difficult to stay in a Christmas-y mood when you kept looking over your shoulder, wondering where Voldemort would strike next.

So there they were, just her and Harry. Ron was there, too, walking towards them and pulling at the tie on his neck. Mr. & Mrs. Weasley were on a well-deserved vacation, courtesy of her 5 elder children, who sent them on a cruise to the Caribbean. Fred and George decided to stay at Hogwarts for the holidays to spend Christmas with Ron and Ginny. Harry and Hermione looked over at Ron, clad in his formal holiday robes and still pulling at the tie Fred had insisted that he wear that evening. The twins, having made a fortune with their shop, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley (and one more in Ireland, on the way), were taking their siblings for a holiday dinner at one of Hogsmeade's more expensive restaurants. Ron plopped down unceremoniously on the seat next to Harry.

"I think I'm choking," Ron groaned, trying to undo the knot.

"You look very nice, Ron," Hermione told him, giving him a little nod of compliment. "Just stop fussing with the tie. There's nothing wrong with it."

"The only reason Fred wanted me to wear this tie is to advertise their shop!"

Harry scratched his head in confusion. "Uh, how exactly can your tie advertise?"

Ron let out a great sigh. "Fred and George charmed it so that the tie glows in the dark. Watch." He pointed his wand at the tie and muttered, "Incandescenza." Sure enough, swirling letters in a bright green color began to spell out, For wands that croak and all sorts of other jokes.Only at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes - Hogsmeade & Diagon Alley (and another in Ireland, on the way)!

Harry let out a snicker while Hermione bit back a giggle that threatened to escape her mouth. "Just try to enjoy the evening, Ron," she said, turning around in time to see Harry swipe a piece of the pumpkin pie they had nicked earlier from Dobby as a pre-dinner dessert. "Potter! You put that back right now," Hermione cried, Harry's fork halfway to his mouth.

"You're not eating it anymore," Harry replied pointedly, grinning before putting the piece into his mouth.

"RON! Come on! We're leaving!" the three of them heard George yell across the Great Hall.

"I'm not going out wearing this tie," Ron muttered darkly, shooting daggers at his brothers.

"Oy, Ron!" Fred called out. "Get a move on! We have reservations!"

"No way!" Ron yelled back.

Hermione rested her head on one hand. "Don't be stupid, Ron. I'm sure they just put it there to freak you out."

"What if they didn't? I'm not walking around Hogsmeade like a bloody street sign."

"Ron, I'm quite sure that it's just a trick. I mean, Fred and George wouldn't seriously let you walk around with a flashing neon tie. They still have some sense of dignity left."

Harry chose this moment to cough out the word, "Somewhere." Hermione hoped Ron didn't hear it.

"Ron, stop being a pain-in-the-butt! Let's go already!" Fred yelled again. By this time, everyone that had been in the Great Hall with them had began to look over their shoulders and glare at him.

"Jeez, Weasley, will you just get up and leave already? Everyone's beginning to stare," Harry hissed at his best friend. Ron stood up reluctantly.

"Fine. But if they did charm this tie, I'm going to hex the two of you while you're both sleeping tonight." He muttered a farewell then headed for his siblings, walking all along, like a man on death row.

The two of them laughed once they had made sure that Ron was out of earshot. "Honestly," Hermione said, wiping a tear that had rolled down her cheek. "Ron could be so paranoid sometimes."

"You said it," Harry nodded in agreement.

"Wait, don't move."

"What?" Harry asked, freezing. Hermione pulled out a tissue from inside her robes and motioned for Harry to move closer to her.

"You've got a bit of pie stuck right at the corner of your mouth," she giggled, wiping the offending bit away.

"Thanks. Want another slice of pie?"

"Ugh. I can barely finish the one I have," she said, pushing her plate away from her.

"Can I have the rest of your pie then?" Harry asked, eyeing the half- eaten pastry on Hermione's plate like a birthday present.

"You don't have to finish the whole pie tin in one sitting, Potter," Hermione scolded lightly. "Why don't you keep the rest and bring it up to your dormitory to share with the other boys?"

Harry dutifully attacked Hermione's pie. "Well, you don't know what it's like eating almost next-to-nothing at the Dursleys. The only time I can eat as much as I want is when I'm here in Hogwarts, so I'm making the most out of it. Besides, when will I ever get a free pumpkin pie at Christmas again? This is our last year here."

Hermione raised a brow. "Forgive me if I'm not more sympathetic, but you don't look like you're being underfed at all."

And she was right. Harry wasn't anything like he used to be. He was no longer a skinny and scrawny boy. In the last seven years, Harry had grown taller (6 feet, last measure) and was leaner and more lithe. He still had the same messy black hair, though and the scar that would forever serve as a memory of Voldemort. All those years of his playing Quidditch did him good for he developed toned muscles in his stomach, chest, arms and legs. Hermione always teased him about not being just Famous Harry Potter anymore, but being Famous Harry Potter the heartthrob and Witch Weekly's Sexiest Man Alive, a fact that Ron never forgot to tease him for as well. And his eyes.

Hermione looked closer at the pair of emerald green eyes that has seen so many tragedies and sorrows and was startled. Maybe she hadn't noticed it before but did his eyes have a deeper color to them now than they did before? She wasn't sure, so she leaned in closer to get a better look. Yes, they were definitely a deeper color. But why didn't she notice it before? She's always prided herself in being very keen and observant.

"As much as you find my eyes fascinating, Herm, I have to blink now because my eyes are beginning to water," Harry's voice interrupted her reverie.

She jumped at the sound of his voice and felt her face flush. She'd just been caught staring at his eyes. Not 'at', into, she corrected herself, feeling her face flush even more. Fortunately, or rather unfortunately, Harry didn't seem to notice her embarrassment. He blinked a few times before glancing past Hermione. « Well, at least someone finds my eyes fascinating. » He let out a sigh before continuing. « Wish she"d find me fascinating though. » Hermione turned around to find out who it was he was staring at.

It came as no surprise - Harry was looking at Diana Owens, the exchange student from the American Academy of Magic. The pretty blonde with sea green eyes had been the object of most of the Hogwarts' male population's affections since the start of term. Harry and Ron included. And although she had a nice disposition, Hermione held a certain dislike for her - and now she could feel that dislike jump a considerable notch on her hate scale. She didn't know why, but seeing Harry sigh for her like that made her want to throw the new girl into the lake. Hermione forced herself to turn away and breathed in. She had accounted her dislike of her to the fact that almost all the guys at Hogwarts liked her because she was pretty or she was smart and brilliant and funny. Hermione scowled. She (as in Hermione) was pretty and smart and brilliant and she could be funny if she tried - and she was at Hogwarts first ! Not that anybody's ever made a move on her before - not since their fifth year, right after her break-up with Viktor Krum.Hermione thought that it would be quite difficult for anyone to come up and ask her out when Viktor was clearly not yet over her. He sent threatening owls to anyone who even spoke to her during the first week of their break-up and he didn't even trust Ron. Harry he could trust, but Ron, no.

Hermione banged her hands on the table, startling Harry out of his trance. « Why don"t you just go on and talk to her if it"s so important to you ? »

Harry looked at her, horrified at her suggestion. « I can"t just do that ! » he breathed. « I have to do something to make her notice me, you know - something that will make me stand out from those guys, » he replied, pointing at the flock of guys milling around Diana.

Hermione looked at him as if he'd just been put in a total body bind. « Are you or are you not Harry Potter ? »

« If I say that, I"ll come off as totally conceited. »

« Believe it or not, Harry, girls like the straightforward approach. Just go over and say hello. » Get a grip on yourself, Hermione. Just a little push in the right direction and this thing'll end. Then you can go back to your room and relax in a bubble bath.

« You really think she"ll notice me if I do that ? »

Hermione found a smile for him. « Yeah. »

« Thanks, Herm. You"re the greatest. » Harry leapt from his seat and rushed over to Hermione's side. « I"ll go talk to her now. If we get married, you"ll be the maid of honor. »

« Don"t get ahead of yourself, Harry, » she warned, smiling.

« Right. » He leaned down and gave her a feather-light kiss on the cheek. When his lips touched her skin, she tingled all over and felt an entirely new sensation come over her. His breath was hot and smelled sweetly of pumpkin. For some weird reason, thoughts of pumpkin pie entered Hermione's head and she instinctively swiveled her head around, following the scent. She raised her head and her lips searched for the bearer of the sweet pumpkin. She needed to taste it. She was so close, she could feel it. So close.

Harry had gone to talk to Diana, leaving Hermione kissing air.

Hermione gave herself a little shake and watched Harry's retreating back. What's going on ?