You Don't Know

The Gryffindor common room was quiet, as it should be. It was well past midnight and all but two occupants of Gryffindor house were already in bed. The two who weren't sleeping were sitting at a table covered in books and ruined bits of parchment. One being a seventeen-year-old boy with notoriously messy jet black hair, a famous scar on his forehead, and emerald green eyes that looked, at that moment in time, exhausted behind his spectacles; the other an eighteen-year-old girl with soft brown hair, large deep-brown eyes, and perfectly kissable lips. Hermione Granger had stayed up far too late working on her Potions essay and Harry Potter had stayed up to keep her company. He had his head propped up on his arm trying to keep his eyes open as she scratched out words and redid sentences.

"Done," Hermione said as the clock on the wall neared half passed two in the morning. She fought back a yawn as she put her quill down smiling victoriously. She'd finally finished her essay to her satisfaction and she was always proud when she did things well.

"That's good," Harry yawned his head slipping off his hand and bouncing a bit as he struggled to stay awake.

"Harry you didn't have to stay up with me," Hermione said kindly smiling at her wiped out best friend. He'd had Quidditch practice that night and almost as much school work as her – it had been a long day for both of them.

"I know, I just thought it'd be nice if you didn't have to stay up alone," Harry said yawning again looking away as Hermione turned to look at him.

"That's very sweet of you," Hermione told him as she got up and stretched lavishly. Hermione walked over to him and hugged him over his chair. "I knew you were my best friend for a reason."

"Yeah," Harry said uncomfortably patting her arms as she kissed his cheek.

"Well I'm finished now so you can get to bed," Hermione informed him letting him out of her arms.

"Good," Harry said standing up, "I don't know that I would have lasted much longer." Hermione smiled at him, laughing slightly and holding out her hand to help him up. Harry took her hand nervously and felt his heart start to race, but all to soon he was standing up right and she'd let go of his hand.

"Well goodnight Harry – I'll see you in the morning," Hermione said at the door to the girl's staircase.

"Yeah, 'night Hermione," Harry managed to chock out as the door closed behind her. His heart was still humming from when she'd held his hand softly in hers and he was finding it very heard to think straight let alone put words together. Sighing softly Harry opened the door to the boy's staircase and stepped through. Loving you're best friend was a very hard thing to do – especially when she didn't know.

Hermione was a wonderfully beautiful person; it was easy to see why he loved her. Not only was she physically attractive, but also she was an amazing person. She put her heart into everything she believed in, including her relationship with Harry. And she was smart – amazingly brilliant wouldn't be an over exaggeration. And she was dedicated, whenever anyone needed her she'd do everything she could to help them. The only problem with Hermione was that she did know. She didn't know how amazing she was and she didn't know that Harry loved her. To her he was just a friend and to him she was everything.

Harry didn't know exactly when it was he'd realized he loved her. Maybe it had been a specific moment or maybe it had been a slow process, but when they returned to school at Hogwarts for their seventh and final year Harry knew he loved her. Seeing her smile made him smile, hearing her laugh made his heart leap, and knowing she was in pain nearly killed him. He would die to keep her safe and live to make her happy. He was an absolute mess because he loved her with everything he was and she didn't know.

Most nights Harry would sit in the common room house pretending to do his schoolwork, staring longingly at her. He couldn't concentrate when she was around. The firelight would catch in her hair and Harry would be mesmerized. Their friend Ron Weasley would say something stupid to ease the tensions, making her laugh, and Harry couldn't help but laugh with her – even if he hadn't heard what Ron said. But Harry's favorite moments, and the hardest he had to endure, were when Hermione would sit down next to him and check his work. When she was so close to him Harry could small the soft, very feminine scent that she embodied which scent chills down his spine. Even after she'd wonder off to help someone else her scent would linger and then he'd really be lost.

The other issue standing in their way was Harry's destiny. Before he was even born a prophecy said he'd have to kill or be killed. What kind of girl would want a share in that? No one in their right mind would want to date someone who would kill someone or could be killed at any moment. That was what Harry was so even if Hermione did return his feeling she wouldn't want to be with him, it'd be too hard for both of them. The horrible thing was that Harry wasn't sure he could do it without her. Hermione always stood by his side; her support gave him a confidence that made him able to do the "heroic" things he did.

Finally making his way to the top of the stairs, to the dormitory marked SEVENTH YEARS, Harry sighed again, would nothing in his life every be easy? Pushing to door open Harry was greeted by the sound of three different people snoring very loudly. He'd never get to sleep now – he hated it when they were all snoring. Well not all of them – he couldn't hear Ron's snoring.

"Harry?" Ron questioned, just as Harry was deciding Ron must still be awake.

"Yeah it's me," Harry answered. He stretched his arms up, his fingers brushing the ceiling, and began to cross the room as Ron pulled the hangings to his four-poster open.

"Just been pining over Hermione?" Ron asked swinging his legs over the edge of the bed.

"Get stuffed," Harry said coldly. Sometimes he regretted telling Ron how he felt about Hermione.

"Fine, I'll rephrase the question – why are you just getting in now?"

"I've just been pining over Hermione," Harry answered sadly knowing that was the only word for it.

"Harry you really need to make a move or give up," Ron told him shaking his head sadly. He hated seeing his mate so torn up and unwilling to do anything about it. It was just hard to watch.

"It's not that easy Ron, she so perfect," Harry told Ron who merely nodded his head. Ron watched in silence as Harry walked over to the washbasin and splashed some cold water onto his face.

"Listen mate, I know how you feel about her," Ron promised, "she's a great girl –"

"Great woman," Harry corrected drying off his face.

"Fine, great woman, but what is it going to do you spending the rest of your life loving her if you never do something abut it?"

"And if my life happens to end next time I meet up with Voldemort?" Harry asked stopping what he was doing and staring at Ron. "Then what? I can't risk that – I won't put her through that pain."

"She'd go through it if you two were dating or not. She's your best friend she loves you as it is," Ron told him uncomfortably.

"Not in that way," Harry explained pulling off his shirt and throwing it onto the stack of cloths in the corner.

"You don't know that," Ron insisted. "But that's not the point anyway. The point is you're making yourself suffer, not knowing, when you could just as easily pull her aside tomorrow and say 'Hermione I love you and I need you to know that because it tears me up inside knowing you don't know'."

"It's not that simple, I can't just tell her," Harry muttered changing into his pajama pants.

"And why can't you – give me a reason, an actual reason."

"Well if I had any of those we wouldn't be having this debate would we?"

"So there you go, you have no excuse not to tell her," Ron said victoriously.

"Maybe your right Ron," Harry said slumping down onto his bed, "maybe I should just let her step on my heart and be done with it."

"She won't step on your heart mate; even if she doesn't love you back she'd never be cruel about it." Ron told him.

"Even her not loving me would be impossible for me to handle. She's all I've ever wanted and to know she didn't love me back would be cruel," Harry said falling back in his bed.

"I guess you're going to believe what you want to believe, but the only way to end this horrible longing you have is to talk to her about it. Trust me Harry – I know; Luna and I wouldn't be together right now if I hadn't said anything."

"Well it was obvious to everyone that she liked you," Harry told Ron, putting his glasses on his bedside. Ron nodded his head as he pulled his legs back up onto his bed and began to close his curtains.

"You're right Harry," Ron agreed, "it was obvious to everyone, except me." And with those last words Ron pulled his hangings closed and was gone. Harry continued to stare at where Ron's head had just been and glowered. What did that mean? Was it obvious to everyone that Hermione loved him and they all just decided not to tell him?

"Ron what does that mean?" Harry asked determined to get to the bottom of this. He was answered by a rather loud grunt as Ron's snoring joined the course that was already filling the room. Harry grumbled to himself. Why would Ron say something like that just before he decided to go to sleep? That was extremely unhelpful.

Harry pulled his hangings closed sadly and laid his head down on his pillow. He lay there silently for a long time, thinking about how he felt for Hermione and about what he and Ron were just talking about. Maybe Ron was actually right and he should just tell her. Maybe if he told her she'd say she loved him too and maybe Voldemort would commit suicide. It was pointless; he'd never be able to tell her so he might as well get use to her not feeling the same. Sighing for probably the millionth time since he'd discovered his feelings for Hermione Harry tried to close his eyes. But unsurprisingly they wouldn't close.

It was almost impossible for him to sleep most days. He wanted to sleep, but he hated to dream. Every time he closed his eyes Hermione's face would flout around in front of him. They'd be at a secluded cabin in the mountains somewhere or on a beach on a tropical isle. Sure it sounded wonderful and in theory it was, but it left Harry wanting Hermione even more and feeling empty when he knew he couldn't have her.

Eventually exhaustion took over for his brain and he slept. And just as he suspected he would, he dreamt about Hermione. They were older, at least in their mid-twenties, and in a house that Harry didn't recognize, but he knew instantly that it was his and Hermione's. Harry was sitting up in a bed of floral sheets, a definite Hermione touch, propped up lazily against the headboard waiting for Hermione. She was in the bathroom doing something. Harry had no idea what she was doing, but he knew it had something to do with him and he knew he was supposed to wait for her to come back out.

"OH MY GOD!" Hermione yelled from the bathroom; Harry sat bolt upright in the bed – afraid that something horrible had happened.

"Love is everything all right?!" Harry called out, just as the bathroom door burst open and Hermione came running out.

"Oh my god, oh my God, OH MY GOD!" Hermione kept repeating as she sprinted across the room and jumped onto the bed – nearly landing on Harry.

"What is going on? Are you sick? Did you stub your toe? Did you pee purple – what?" Hermione smiled at him and waved a white stick in front of his face. "'Mione you have to explain this –" Harry mimicked her hand movement with his own "– to me because I don't understand what it means."

"I'm pregnant!" Hermione exclaimed showing Harry the little stick that sure enough said pregnant on it.

"You're what?" Harry asked completely taken aback. They'd been trying for over six months to get pregnant and now that "they" were he found it almost impossible to believe.

"Pregnant," Hermione said again a bit slower but still very excited.

"We're going to be parents? I'm going to be a father?" Harry asked almost shaking with excitement.

"Yes love," Hermione said putting her hand on Harry's cheek, "that is what I'm telling you. You've knocked me up – congratulations."

"Oh that's absolutely wonderful," Harry told her pulling her into his arms. "I think this is the happiest I've ever been – except for maybe the day I married you." Hermione smiled at him as he leaned in a kissed her neck softly.

"Harry, I love you," Hermione said fervently.

"I love you to 'Mione," Harry promised her as his lips slowly made their way further down her neck.

"Harry," Hermione said pushing Harry slightly. He looked up at her, confused by her sudden change of mood. "Harry you have to get up," her lips were moving but that wasn't her voice. Harry's dream and reality were beginning to blend because that was Ron's voice. Opening his eyes Harry saw Ron's blurry form above him. Harry groaned miserably, turning away from the red blur that had awoken him.

"Harry you've already missed breakfast you need to get up or you'll miss first lesson and Snape will kill you if you miss it."

"But I was having such a wonderful dream," Harry protested.

"Well, get off Hermione, get out of bed, and get ready because I can't cover for you with Snape. You miss another lesson and he'll give you detention for the rest of your life."

"For your information," Harry began stubbornly shoving his glasses onto his face. "Hermione was on me and we weren't."

"I don't know if I want to know about this," Ron grimaced grabbing his book bag and heading to the door. "Listen just get up – I'll be in the common room with the love of your life." Harry chucked his pillow across the room, but missed as Ron, being the cowered he was, left the room.

Harry sat up slowly and considered the short but sweet dream he'd just had. Starting a family and with Hermione – what an amazing idea. He hadn't even thought of that before, but now that he had it was just another thing to add to the list of Hermione's attributes. She'd be an amazing mother and her children would be beautiful just like her. This was just what he needed – another reason to love her.

Trying to shake the images of Hermione as a beautiful mother out of his head Harry washed up quickly, got dressed, and ran downstairs. He made it to the common room just in time; Ron and Hermione were on their way out. Harry checked his watch – they only had fifteen minutes to make it down into the depths of the castle.

"Sorry, sorry," Harry apologized catching up to them at the portrait hole.

"That's all right Harry," Hermione said quickly, "you had a late night."

"Well so did you," Harry offered.

"No, I went to sleep when I went to bed, I didn't stay up and talk to one of my dorm mates."

"What?" Harry asked skeptically suddenly afraid that Hermione could hear what was said in the boy's dorm even from her bed.

"Ron told me the two of you had a bit of a chat when you went to bed. And really Harry I know you enjoy Quidditch, but discussions about strategy doesn't need to take place at three in the morning." Harry looked to Ron who winked in a knowing way. "Harry you know it's not healthy," Hermione said linking her arm through Harry's. "I'm just worried about you."

"Thanks Hermione," Harry managed to say over the rapid beating of his heart. "But don't worry I'm all right, it's just I was struck by a sudden idea and wanted to run it by Ron."

"That's what he said, but next time just write it down and talk about it in the morning. With Quidditch practice and school work you don't have time for midnight strategizing sessions – you need to sleep."

"Yeah I guess, all right Hermione, next time I'll just write it down," Harry promised her.

"Good – you need to take care of yourself."

"I think he got it Mum," Ron said rolling his eyes. If Ron had been next to Harry he would have been smacked for that comment. But fortunately for Ron he was on the other side of Hermione – well out of Harry's reach.

"Oh are you jealous because I'm fussing over Harry?"

"No I have a girlfriend and a mother for that – I certainly don't need anymore help in that area."

"Speaking of your girlfriend," Harry said changing the subject by pointing down the hallway to where Luna was standing waiting for her lesson to start. Ron smiled wickedly and hurried off down the hall.

"I'm so glad the two of them finely got together," Hermione commented pulling her arm away from Harry's. He didn't want her to let him go, but it was a bit odd for them to have their arms linked in the hallway – especially since they weren't dating. "It was so hard to watch them pine after each other."

"Yeah I guess it was," Harry agreed remembering what Ron had said to him last night and wondering if Hermione meant to imply something with that statement.

"My lord look at Ginny and Malfoy," Hermione said pointing to a dark corner where Ron's little sister and her lover Draco Malfoy were locked together. Ginny and Malfoy hade been "together" for the past year, but they weren't dating. At least that's what they claimed. They said they had a physical attraction and nothing more, but anyone with eyes could see there was more then lust between the two of them.

"They should just admit they love each other and be done with it," Hermione commented as they passed the dark corner and continued down to Potions. "Love is just all over this place isn't it. Where their couples making out like this when we first started?"

"I don't think so, but maybe we just didn't notice."

"Honestly I think we didn't notice," Hermione declared. Harry nodded his head in agreement; surely this couldn't be a new phenomenon – unless the world was just trying to remind him at every turn that he didn't have Hermione.

Harry and Hermione took seats at the back of the Potions classroom and were joined five minutes later by Ron. He looked a bit mussed up but that was no surprise nor was it anything compared to the way Malfoy looked when he showed up twenty minutes late to class. It was obvious to everyone in the room why Malfoy had been late and the class was abuzz about it the entire lesson. The world definitely hated Harry if he had to suffer through his worst class hearing about how the classmate he hated the most had just been shagged. It was sickening.

The rest of the day hadn't been too easy for Harry either. When he wasn't bombarded by the fact that everyone had someone other then him, his mind was filled with images of him and a very pregnant Hermione getting the nursery ready for the coming baby. Every time his mind wondered in class he thought of the two of them and 'their family'. He had no idea how he'd survive this if it kept up much longer.

By the time he got to the common room that night Harry knew he was in for another long night. He had two essays to finish for the next day and another three that he at least had to start or he'd fall behind. Deciding to start with his History of Magic essay Harry took his normal seat at the table across from Hermione, who was already heard at work. He finished the first essay easily enough and moved onto Transfiguration. This one was giving him a lot of trouble.

Around eleven Hermione looked up from her finished essay to see Harry still slaving away. Taking pity on him she offered to help Harry if she could. He paused with his work but was very reluctant to answer her. He desperately needed the help, but after the day he'd had he wasn't sure he could risk it. He couldn't guarantee that if she moved closer to him, like she always did when she helped him, that he wouldn't lean over and kiss her.

"Harry, is something wrong?" Hermione asked when he hadn't even acknowledged her offer.

"No Hermione," Harry tried to assure her, his eyes down cast. "What would make you think anything was wrong?"

"You're just been acting odd recently," Hermione explained getting up from her chair and walking around the table to him.

"I've just been having a ruff couple of days, that's all," Harry said shaking her concerns off. Hermione wasn't even close to convinced. When Harry had bad days he was irritable and overreacted to everything. This was Harry under stress.

"Harry –" Hermione started to say reaching out her hand to touch Harry shoulder, but Harry jumped up suddenly. She seemed so concerned about him; he was on the edge of telling her. He needed to get away or he'd tell her everything and she'd laugh in his face.

"Um – I think I'm going to turn in," Harry told her running a nervous hand through his hair. "You know, long day yesterday – long day today, think I'm just going to get so sleep. Don't worry about me I'm fine – just need some rest."

"But Harry you haven't finished –" Hermione started, but Harry cut her off.

"I'll do it in the morning," Harry said dismissively reaching the boys staircase. Never in his seven years had Harry moved up those spiral stairs faster. Reaching the top dormitory Harry pushed open the door and was greeted by complete silence. His dorm mates were still down stairs. That was good, Harry thought to himself because that way he wouldn't have to talk to anyone even if it was just casual conversation. Harry wasn't in the mood to talk.

Harry walked across the room to one of its high, narrow windows and looked out. It was pitch black outside, there was nothing to see, but that meant there was nothing to focus on and he could just stare out the window, not thinking. Though the blackness outside gave him a temporary reprieve Hermione quickly found her way back into his thoughts. Harry's mind was very hard to stop, especially when it was determined. Hermione was on to him – she knew something was up, though if he was lucky she wouldn't know what.

Walking away from the window Harry quickly changed into his sleepwear and through himself into bed. He wasn't really tired; in fact his mind was moving so fast Harry was sure he wouldn't be asleep for hours. Just as he was letting himself wonder about what Hermione thought was wrong with him he heard a very soft knock on the door. His dorm mates wouldn't knock since it was there room too. Having ruled them out Harry had a sneaking suspicion he knew who was out there.

"Harry," it was Hermione just as Harry thought it would be. Harry didn't answer; maybe if he were silent she'd think he was asleep and just go away. No such luck; as Harry lay on his bed staring up at the ceiling he heard the door open. "I'm coming in Harry." Harry still didn't say anything.

Hermione walked slowly to Harry's bedside and sat down on the edge. "Harry talk to me, tell me what's going on."

"What make you think something is going on?" Harry asked staring stubbornly at the ceiling.

"Because you go rigid whenever I touch you and you barely look at me anymore. Are you trying to push me away? I told you fifth year that that wouldn't work. I won't abandon you Harry – you know I won't."

"Yeah, that's it," Harry said nervously.

"Is it?" Hermione asked skeptically, Harry would never own up to that so quickly if it were true.

"Yeah," Harry muttered Hermione wasn't buying it.

"Harry tell me the truth," Hermione demanded, "I'm your friend you can tell me the truth no mater what it is."

"There isn't anything to tell – you've already guessed the truth. I'm trying to push you away because I don't want you put in danger."

"You are a terrible liar. Harry look at me," Hermione insisted. Harry continued to look away from her. Hermione grabbed Harry's chin impatiently and forced him to look at her. "Now tell me the truth."

"I can't," Harry said softly looking into her eyes for the first time in months. He'd been afraid that if he looked her in the eyes she'd know he loved her.

"Why not?"


"That's not a proper answer. Harry whatever you're going through, just tell me, I want to help you if you'll just let me."

"It's not that simple."

"I have forever," Hermione told him moving a bit further onto the bed.

"I can't tell you because you – you don't feel the same," Harry explained sitting up.

"What?" Hermione asked totally confused.

"Hermione, I love you."

"I love you too Harry, you're my best friend."

"That's not what I mean," Harry said simply before he could stop himself he saw his hand reach out and touch her cheek softly. He was amazed to see the way she leaned into his touch – longingly. "Hermione and I love you – the way my father loved my mother, the way Ron loves Luna."

"How long?" Hermione questioned holding his hand to her cheek.

"Since we came back to school, about six months."

"You never said anything," Hermione whispered

"Of course I didn't, you could never love me back."

"I don't even get to choose if I'd love you or not?"

"How could you love me? What kind of relationship would we have? I'm to be a killer or be killed. Who could love a potential killer? Your perfect Hermione and I'm just me."

"But I'm not perfect Harry," Hermione told him, her eyes sparkling with tears.

"You are to me, your smart, your beautiful, your funny, you have the most amazingly laugh, -" Harry said listing all the things he loved about her.

"I'm pig headed and bossy and a know it all."

"Are you trying to talk me out of loving you?" Harry asked as tears began to fall down her face. "It won't work. I tried a million things to stop myself because I knew you didn't feel the same, but it won't stop – it won't go away."

"Harry you still don't get it I love you too, I have since fifth year."

"You never said anything," Harry demanded not even realizing that she'd said the same thing just minutes before.

"Of course I didn't, you could never love me," Hermione explained, using his own words because that was exactly how she felt when he'd first known.

Harry's heart, which was pounding in his ears as it was, leaped up into his throat as Hermione did something he'd only dreamed about. She closed the small gap between their faces and brushed her lips against his. It was a simple kiss but it was incredible. Harry could feel as her lips moved against his that she loved him too; that she need him as much as he needed her.

"How have we both been this blind?" Hermione questioned when her lips and Harry's parted.

"I don't know," Harry breathed. Hermione smiled at him through her happy tears and he smiled back.

"What do we do know?" Hermione asked.

"I don't know I've never been in love before," Harry said laughing a bit.

"Neither have I," Hermione laughed back.

AN: Like I said fluffy goodness. Well I hope you liked it – let me know. Oh a just a little note, before you tell me that Hermione is younger then Harry, she's not she turned twelve their first year, if you don't believe me check JK's official site – it's on there. and thanks to Jen for beta-ing for me

Here are the lyrics to the song that inspired the fluff"

You Don't Know by 98 Degrees

Who could know the emptiness inside

Every time I see your face

Too many feelings left behind

Do you wonder why

I turn away when you look at me

Never wanting your eyes to see

This desperate heart that knows

How perfect we could be

Baby cause you don't know, how I feel

Livin' my life without you

Baby and you don't know what it's like

Lovin' you all this time

I'll give you all my love, heart and soul

Riskin' it all on a chance

Now when I need you the most, you don't know

All I ever wanted in this world

Baby I found in you

I never felt this way before

But I can't break through

And now I lie awake, alone at night

So afraid now to close my eyes

Just one more dream of you

I'll carry here inside

Baby cause you don't know, how I feel

Livin' my life without you

Baby and you don't know what it's like

Lovin' you all this time

I'll give you all my love, heart and soul

Riskin' it all on a chance

Now when I need you the most, you don't know

And I would hold you all through the night

I would stay right by your side

And I'd give you the world if your love was mine

But baby could it be I'm only dreamin'

Don't let it pass me by

Baby cause you don't know, how I feel

Livin' my life without you

Baby and you don't know what it's like

Lovin' you all this time

I'll give you all my love, heart and soul

Riskin' it all on a chance

Now when I need you the most, you don't know