"Where did you find that?", Hermione whispered. She looked as if she had seen a ghost.
"Hermione, what is this?", Harry countered. He looked at her with hurt eyes, and watched as she backed into a chair and sat down.
"I never thought I'd see that again. I thought I had gotten rid of it….", Hermione trailed off. There was a brief silence.
"Well, obviously you didn't," Harry said in strong tone, "Please, Hermione, tell me what this is."
"It's…it's a journal entry that I made…years and years ago", Hermione said slowly, "I wrote it shortly after…well, after you first kissed Ginny."
"Hermione, why did you write this? I thought you didn't love me then, I always thought-"
"Well you thought wrong!", Hermione interrupted, suddenly alert, "I've always loved you, for as long as I can remember! Of course it started out as a basic friendship, but the minute you saved me from that troll, something sparked in me. Maybe it wasn't love then, but whatever that spark was grew into love - a love that I've never experienced before."
"Hermione-", Harry began, but was quickly cut off.
"No! I need to say this, for you and for myself! I was your friend throughout everything - EVERYTHING. I was the only one who always stuck beside you through thick and thin, even when nobody else would! And I didn't do it because I wanted something in return, but because I knew it was right and I loved you! And then...despite everything, you chose her. You picked Ginny. Don't get me wrong, I wanted you to be happy, I wanted you to find love, even if it wasn't with me. But of all the people you could have chosen, you picked the one person that could never deserve you! Ginny is a very special person, and I'm glad that I know her, but it's no secret that all she ever saw you as was some sort of trophy, some sort of amplified hero. Even when she got older and loosened her grip on her childish crush, she still saw you with a halo around your head. But that didn't seem to matter to you, only the fact that she was beautiful. And, Harry, I know I'm no beauty queen, and I may not be the most exciting person in the world, but I deserved a a lot more than you gave me."
Harry stared at Hermione with wide eyes. Had she really been bottling all this up for so long? He was surprised that she hadn't exploded with all of these emotions running about inside her heart.
"Hermione...what...why didn't you tell me before? Why didn't you let me know while all this was happening how you felt?", Harry asked gently. He noted that the flame had not gone from Hermione's eye.
"Because you would have hated me! You would have thought that I didn't support you, that I didn't want you to be happy. I would have lost your friendship, and that would have killed me quicker than any spell", Hermione said, lowering her voice on the last sentence. Harry felt the color come into his face. The worst part was that he knew she was right. In those times, he was so hurt and confused that any sort of disagreement could set him off. That's probably why he and Ginny never fought - she almost always agreed with him about everything. Eventually that would be one of the reasons for the downfall of their relationship.
"Hermione...you must know that I never intended to hurt you...I just - I jsut didn't see it. I'm so sorry", Harry whispered. Hermione's expression softened, and she let out a sigh.
"I know, Harry. I'm sorry if I made you feel bad about yourself. It's just an old diary entry. It doesn't mean anything", Hermione said quietly. Harry raised his head up at this.
"No, Hermione, it does matter. I needed to know this, I needed to know how you felt. I just wished I could have known sooner."
Hermione smiled and tentatively walked over to Harry, who pulled her into a hug. For the next few hours, they sat together, talking about the future, occasionally dwelling on the past. They told each other everything, so there would be no secrets. They then began to work on putting away unpacked items, slowly drifting back into the love they knew so well. When they had finished their work for the day, Harry still had one more question to ask.
Harry looked towards the ground at this point.
"You...you wouldn't have walked away, would you? I mean...", Harry trailed off. Hermione smiled a sad smile.
"Of course not Harry," Hermione said, hugging him close.
"So, you wouldn't have left me?", Harry asked, looking into Hermione's eyes. She held his face in her hands and whispered her answer.
And then, she sealed her promise with a kiss.