'Today is the day' Hermione thought. 'I have to tell him today.' The young witch sat in the Gryffindor common room going over the words in her head. She had just begun her 7th year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, as head girl, no less, and on her way to becoming a very accomplished witch. However those things were not on her mind at the moment. For Hermione Granger had a secret. A secret that she had kept close to her heart for 3 years. Hermione was in love. In love with her best friend. And if that wasn't bad enough, she would fall in love with one of the most famous wizard of this century. Harry Potter. What was she thinking.

Harry Potter. Just the thought of his name brought butterflies to her stomach. Of course this was the case for many young witches. But unlike Hermione, the crushes that the other girls possessed were superficial. They were all in love with "The Boy That Lived." Hermione had fallen for the real deal. His kindness, bravery, loyalty, not to mention that he was so very cute. No. Not cute, but fine. Yes Harry had grown into quite a specimen. Six years of Quidditch had definitely paid off.

Hermione had made up her mind. She would tell him today. The time for excuses were over. No more Voldemort, as he had been defeated last year. No more tests, no more girlfriends standing in the way. No more. She had waited too long and let too many things stop her. She would tell him today.

**************** Later that evening, Hermione waited nervously for Harry to come to the common room that they shared as head boy and head girl. She had practicing what she would say over and over again in her head. However, as Harry strode into the room, all the practiced words seemed to fall right out of her head.

"Hello 'Mione," Harry said as he entered the room. He stared at her cautiously, as he could tell by her stance that something was on her mind. 'Perhaps she has already begun to stress over the NEWTS' Harry thought. "Is everything alright? You look really tense. Not stressing over the NEWTS already, are you."

Hermione tried to regain some sense of control, though she never felt in control when Harry was around. "Actually, Harry, I was hoping we could talk. I have something very important to tell you."

"Sure Hermione. Is everything alright," Harry questioned with a worried expression on his face. He had not seen her so uptight since Voldemort's rising. Harry sat down in a chair across from the couch where Hermione was sitting.

"Yes, yes, of course. Everything is fine. It's just..," Hermione trailed off. She looked around nervously wondering where her Gryffindor bravery went. "Oh, Harry. I don't know where to begin. This is just so hard for me."

"It's okay, Hermione, just let it out. You know you can tell me anything."

Hermione looked at Harry with determination. Now, I have to say it now. "Well, Harry, you see. I'm in love with you. I have been for the last 3 years. I have tried to fight these feelings Harry, but they just won't go away. I love you. And well, I was hoping that maybe you could see something other than friendship in me also." There. It's all out now. Hermione breathed a sigh of relief.

She looked up at Harry and saw many different emotions cross Harry's face. But the last expression would definitely stay with her for a while. This face that she had grown to love, wore a mixture of sadness and regret, with a touch of hope. It was at this point that she knew. Knew that the love she felt was not returned. She quietly waited for Harry to put those feelings into word.

Harry sighed. "Oh," he said quietly. He sat there trying to weigh his words. He loved Hermione. She was the best friend anyone could ask for. Always by his side, no matter what the risk, even her life. He did not want to hurt her but he knew could not say the words she wanted to hear. She had always been his friend. He had never thought of her as anything more and did not want to lose that now.

He looked at her. Granted she was more than any man could hope for. Smart, beautiful, and brave. But he just did not see her as more than a friend.

"Oh," he said again, realizing he probably looked like an idiot. "Hermione, you mean the world to me. You have been the best friend that anyone could ask for. You are smart and beautiful and one day you will make some wizard a very lucky guy. Just not me. I am very sorry. I don't want to hurt you in any way. I just can't bring myself to lead you on. I hope our friendship can remain unchanged in spite of this." Harry looked at Hermione hopefully.

Fighting back the tears, Hermione tried to save face. She would not do this to him. She would not make him feel bad for not returning her feelings. She smiled lightly, doing a very good job of hiding the fact that her heart had just been ripped out and stomped on.

"Of course, Harry," she told him. "Of course we'll still be best friends. Nothing will ever change that. I just had to tell you. And now that I have, I can move on. I don't want you to act differently towards me now. I will be okay. "

Harry moved to the couch next to her and gave her a small hug. They then both retired to their bedrooms.

****************************** Hermione made a vow to do whatever necessary to go on without Harry. She would treat him no different that usual. She would not show her true distaste when Harry dated. She would not let him know of any pain she felt at his hand. She loved Harry. There was no changing that. But if he knew he were causing her pain, he would hurt too, things would never be the same. No. She could not do that to him. He had already been through so much. She would continue to be his best friend. Only his best friend.