Disclaimer: I own the plot, a pencil and some paper. NOT HARRY POTTER!

Why did you leave?

Summary: One Shot Ten year reunion – masquerade – Hermione's back after ten yrs of being in the US. Why did she leave in the first place? That question and more will be answered. Take a guess at what pairing plz R&R

Well, here she was. Once again. The ten year reunion. Oh, how she missed the castle of Hogwarts. She missed all the moving portraits and the ghosts, but most of all her companions, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. She hadn't seen them since … well since they had left Hogwarts. Hermione smiled as she remembered her departure a week after they had graduated from Hogwarts.

"You'll write, won't you 'Mione?" Harry asked hugging her.

"'Course I will Harry!" she said hugging him tightly. "How could I not?"

"Don't forget about us Hermione," Ron said hugging her as well.

"How could I guys?" she asked hugging him too. She pulled back and looked at her two best friends. "I will miss you so much it's not funny."

"We'll miss you too 'Mione." Ah, Harry's nickname for her. It was only Harry who called her that and no one else would dare. Harry was too overprotective of 'his 'Mione'.

"Owl us everyday Hermione!" Ron said as Hermione began to get ready to leave.

"I promise!" she said grinning at him. "Love you guys heaps."

"Love you too 'Mione," Harry whispered, hugging her again. "Please keep in touch."

"I will. Well, goodbye boys," Hermione said, picking her bags up and getting ready to aparate to America to continue her studies in one of the most prestigious schools there.

"Bye Hermione." And with a small 'pop' she was gone.

Memories. Oh, she had plenty of them to go around. Good ones and bad ones. Like the time she had smacked Draco Malfoy around the face. But from what she had heard recently he had actually married Ginny! That was a surprise Hermione would take time to get over.

But Hermione was feeling extra nervous tonight because she would be seeing her best friends for the first time in ten years. The first time talking to them since she had left all those years ago. And it wasn't just because she hadn't kept in touch. It was also because that crush she had on Harry hadn't faded away as time went on. Although her nervousness was cut down as she heard from Ginny that Harry hadn't had a girlfriend for at least six months.

This particular reunion wasn't just like any other one. It was a Masquerade. So it would be even harder for Hermione to recognise her friends, let alone recognising Harry. Hermione was wearing a red dress – the top part was in a corset style and the skirt part was slightly puffy and reached down to the ground.

In Hermione's recent years in sunny California she had managed to get a nice tan, making the red look even better against her skin. Her mask was also red, with red sparkles artfully applied around the edges. It only covered her eyes and nose but it hid her from being recognised, which she was thankful for.

Hermione had changed a lot since Harry and Ron had last saw her. When she left she was slightly chubby and her hair was all over the place, refusing to be tamed. Now, however, she had a slim figure with curves all in the right places. Her hair had straightened out slightly to form soft curls which fell down her back.

Hermione took a deep breath and stepped through to the Great Hall to see the room decorated with all the house colours and everyone inside standing around talking and laughing and dancing. There was Draco, talking with some people and Ginny on his arm, laughing and slapping his arm playfully. There was Ron, his red hair sticking out conspicuously and dancing with … was it Luna? Yes, Hermione realised with surprise.

And where was Harry? She walked through the crowd, searching for her best friend, but coming up empty handed. She sighed and made her way for the drinks table. Once armed with a glass of champagne she began to make her way around the room, saying hi to those who recognised her.

"'Mione?" came a deep voice from behind her. She spun around to see a tall man in dark blue dress robes and a dark blue mask covering his face. "Is it really you?" he asked advancing forward and removing his mask.

She raised an eyebrow and said "Who are you?"

"Don't you recognise me?" he asked incredulously.

She smiled and said "I might. Only one person ever called me 'Mione."

He grinned down at her and hugged her. "I've missed you, you silly girl." He released her and said "You forgot to write."

"Yes, well, I'm sorry Harry," she said smiling up at him. "They really worked us hard you know."

"I'm sure," he said offering her his arm. She took it and they made their way towards the balcony that looked out over the grounds. "So, how have you been?" Harry asked, leaning on the balcony rail.

"Good. I graduated with honours …"

"No surprises there," Harry said grinning at her.

Hermione laughed and said "Hey, you did really well here, didn't you? Something like full marks on all your NEWTs?"

"Yes, well, I try," he said grinning at her. "Why has it taken so long for us to meet up again?"

"I don't know," she said leaning on the rail next to him and looking out over the grounds. The night was clear and the stars were twinkling overhead. "After I finished school I bought an apartment in LA and I've stayed there ever since."

"Why didn't you come back?" Harry asked watching her very closely.

"I really love it over there. It's almost constantly sunny. But there was always only one problem."

"What was that?" Harry asked.

"I didn't have my best friends with me when I needed them," Hermione said looking straight at Harry's eyes. He reached out and removed her mask and smiled. "What?"

"You're so beautiful Hermione," he said, cupping her cheek in one hand.

She smiled and said "You aren't too bad yourself Harry."

He laughed and said "Well I have been told that I am a sexy beast."

Hermione rolled her eyes and said "You haven't changed one bit, eh?"

"Nope," Harry said cheerfully.

"Well, what have you been doing these past ten years?" she asked him.

"I was accepted into the Aurors training program in the summer and ever since I passed the test I've been an Auror."

"And what about Ron?"

"He's captain of the Chudley Cannons," Harry said smiling slightly. "And they almost won the cup last year."

Hermione laughed and said "He actually chased his dream of becoming a famous Quidditch player then?"

"Yep," said a voice behind them.

Hermione spun around and grinned. "Ron!" Ron laughed and stepped forward and hugged her. "Oh, I've missed you!" she squealed.

"I've missed you too!" Ron said hugging her tightly. He released her and looked her up and down. "Wow Hermione. You look fantastic."

She smiled and said "Thanks. I saw you with Luna before. You two together then?"

Ron grinned and said "We're engaged."

"Wow, I've missed a lot haven't I?" Hermione said smiling up at Ron. "When's the wedding?"

"A month," Ron said smiling. "Well, I should go back inside. It was fantastic seeing you Hermione. Please, come to the wedding. And come around for a coffee any time. I'm sure mum will be thrilled to see you."

Hermione smiled and said "I will. Thanks Ron." Ron walked back inside and Hermione turned around to see Harry staring out over the grounds. "You okay Harry?" she asked coming up behind him.

He smiled and turned to look at her. "I've missed you so much Hermione. It's so good to hear you talk and laugh again. I've thought about you every day since you left."

"Why didn't you send me an owl or something then?" Hermione asked.

He shrugged and said "I guess I always figured that you'd send me one first."

She sighed and said "Well I'm sorry for not sending you guys one."

Harry smiled and said "It doesn't matter now. What matters is that you're back here. You staying for long?"

"Actually, I've moved back home," Hermione said smiling at him. "But I'd like to move out. I just haven't got the money though."

"Well, do you want to come and stay at Grimmauld Place with me? That stupid house is way too big just for me."

Hermione smiled and said "Sure. But only until I find an apartment for myself."

"Cool," Harry said grinning. "Well, do you want to go back in there?"

"Actually I'm fine out here. But you can go if you want to Harry."

"I'll do whatever you want me to do."

Hermione smiled as an image of her kissing Harry came into her head, but she shook her head and looked up at Harry's startling green eyes. He was only inches away from her and looking down at her with a small smile on his face.

"Uh, Harry," she whispered as their heads slowly swayed towards each other.

"Yes?" he asked, the tip of his nose touching hers.

"Maybe we should go inside," she whispered before drawing back from him.

He smiled reassuringly and offered her his arm again, which she took. "Do you want to dance milady?" he asked grinning at her.

She grinned back and said "Of course my dear!"

They walked over to the middle of the dance floor and begun to dance, swaying too and fro to the music.

"So, any boyfriends 'Mione?" Harry asked grinning down at her.

Hermione smiled nervously and said "No. You?"

"Well, no boyfriends …"

"Oh shut up Harry," Hermione said poking her tongue out at him.

He laughed and said "No, seriously my last girlfriend lasted a week because she thought that I paid my fans more attention than her."

"Why would she think that?"

Harry shrugged and said "I dunno. It's just that the fans always come up asking for an autograph or a kiss on the cheek or something and she probably got jealous."

"Ah. Well, that's one of the problems of being with Harry Potter then, eh?" Hermione said smiling up at him.

Harry grinned and said "Hey, trust me, when the right girl comes along I won't pay much attention to my fans."

"Do you know who the right girl is then Harry?" she asked.

Harry smiled and said "I'm not sure. I'll have to see."

"Okay," Hermione said, laying her head on his chest. "You're a better dancer than when I last danced with you young man," she said playfully.

He laughed and said "One of my ex's made me take lessons after we made up. She said that no girl would want to go out with a guy who couldn't at least sway properly."

Hermione laughed and drew back slightly. "You know, I'm thirsty. You want a drink?"

Harry let her go and led her over to the drinks table. "So, what else have you done with yourself Miss Granger?" he asked while pouring themselves a glass of champagne each."

"Nothing much else," she said shrugging. "Thanks Harry." She sipped her drink and looked out at the crowd. Ginny and Draco were now dancing together, staring into each others eyes and occasionally talking to each other. "What do you think of them together then?" Hermione asked, gesturing to the couple.

Harry looked over and smiled. "Draco has changed Hermione. He killed his own father while we were on assignment to flush the last of the Death Eaters out."

"You serious?" Hermione asked looking up at Harry.

He nodded and said "He seemed … alright about killing his father. But I guess Lucius did beat Draco up at home."

"Yeah," Hermione said slowly and looking back over at Ginny and Draco. They looked so happy together.

"You alright?" Harry asked.

Hermione looked back at him and smiled "I've missed out on too much."

Harry grinned and said "Yeah you have."

"But I'm back here to stay," she said grinning back at him.

"Actually, why did you leave in the first place?" Hermione sighed and looked away from him. She knew this would come up sooner or later. The real reason why she went away. "'Mione?"

She looked back at him and smiled. "It was a good opportunity."

"Don't lie to me Hermione," he said seriously.

"That isn't a lie."

"But it is to cover up something, isn't it?"

She sighed again and looked out over the crowd. "I thought if I went away I could get over someone."

"Have you?" he asked.

"No," she said truthfully.

"Well, who is he?" Hermione blushed slightly and began to walk back towards the balcony again. "'Mione!" Harry said, following her. He caught her arm and said "Tell me!"

She spun around with tears in her eyes. "I can't," she said in a voice that was barely over a whisper.

"Look, come outside," Harry said, beginning to pull her back towards the balcony. Once they were safely outside, away from all prying eyes Harry turned back to Hermione. "Why are you crying 'Mione?"

She looked up at him, the tears rolling down her face and sniffed. "Because."

"That isn't an answer," he said softly, brushing away her hair from her face. "What's wrong?"

Hermione reached out and pulled him to her and hugged him tightly. "I haven't seen you for so long Harry," she whispered, clutching him to her.

"But that's no reason to cry," he whispered back. "Come on 'Mione. I'm your best friend. You can tell me what's wrong."

She looked up into his eyes and saw him looking at her very intently. "I'm not sure I can tell you," she said, her voice wavering.

"You can tell me anything 'Mione," he said very seriously.

"I went away because … because it's you," she whispered, terrified he would hate her for saying this.

He smiled and said "Me?"

"Oh don't rub it in Harry," she said, exasperated and walking over to the rail. She leant on it and looked out at the grounds. But she felt Harry's arms come around her waist and pulled her around to face him. "What?" she asked looking up at his comforting green eyes.

"You know how I said I've thought of you every day since you left?" She nodded slowly. "'Mione, I've loved you the moment I lost you. I'm not sure you would approve of the way I thought of you every day …"

"Harry!" she said, slapping his arm.

He laughed and went on. "But I was just too stupid to notice that I loved you before you left. And I'm sorry I didn't come after you."

Hermione smiled up at him and said "Well, what now?"

"Well, my dear, I do believe this is the part where we kiss passionately," he said sarcastically.

Hermione laughed and allowed him to kiss her.


A/N: Well, what did you think? Just remember this is a one shot, to tide you over until the next chpts of ma other stories. So please, no requests 2 keep this one goin. Neways, I got the idea for this one shot one day, in the middle of class (lol all I think about is mostly hot guys, ideas 4 fanfiction and other random things) and as soon as I got home that arvo I started typing. So, plz tell me wat u think. I'd love to hear from all of u guys! Go on! U know u want 2 review all of ma stories one hundred times ova lol! I love you all and hope 2 hear from all of u!