It is early morning, and though I long to slumber, that respite is cruelly denied to me. While I await the sweet embrace of rest, I find my mind reflecting on the years. There were times I drove you insane, and you returned the favor with interest, but I dare say that I'd not trade a single moment of that for a lifetime free of these thoughts.
The truth is when I reflect on the past, I think about how we first met on the train all those years and adventures ago. Of anyone on the train you could have talked to, you chose me. I was but a homely child then, with wild, untameable hair and a heart to match. You never could have known how my heart raced when I found out we had been sorted into the same house.
We had a rough patch then, though I would blame Ron and his mouth instead of either of us, I must take blame as it is due. My heart threatened to leap from my chest and out of my mouth, in a flourish of poetry proclaiming your diving nature. And so, like a coward I chose silence.
But then came that fateful Halloween, and with it's feast the troll. I had thought us doomed, until your fast thinking saved us. There began our friendship anew, in a baptism of fire, creating the diamond I cherish to this day. And through summers of silence, adventures, narrow escapes, and squabbles, we remained strong and faithful to one another.
It has been many years that I have kept this secret, and though I lack the courage to speak it out loud, not for fear of rejection, for I know in my heart of hearts that you would never let my foolish romantic notions ruin our relationship. I speak it not, for fear of what it would do to you. I know you would play the strong one, pretending that what others say doesn't trouble you, but I know it would. Slowly it would worry at your mind, and eventually cause you great pain.
It is for the very same love I feel for you, that I dare not confess it to you verbally. Yes, it's pathetic isn't it? For all I'm praised for being a true Gryffindor, I cannot brave the world to say: "I love you, Hermione."
Some savior of the Wizarding World, huh? I've written this so many times, but was never able to send it. I suppose this one will end up with the others, hidden away in the secret compartment of my old school trunk, where the bottom lining came loose during the Tri-Wizard tournament.
If this letter should find your hands, know that I'll always love you, and will do my best to never let harm come to you.
Eternally in love with you,
Harry James Potter
Harry sighed as he laid down the quill he'd scribed the note and envelope with. Same as always, he sealed the letter away and sat down to look at it. It was now four in the morning, and he hadn't been able to sleep at all. It had been the same for the past three months now, ever since the last funeral for those that died in the final battle against Voldemort. He decided he needed a break from the world, and secluded himself away in a cottage that had been his family's for years. Only one person knew where to find him, and as his secret keeper, could be the only one to tell.
That same selfless woman that he hid the biggest secret in the world from. He knew that she'd be happy if he told her, but she was with Ron now, and he didn't want to trouble their already rocky relationship. He'd done enough during the hunt for the Horcruxes when Ron had left them, and he and Hermione had gotten too close. Far, far too close for just friends. That was a secret they would never speak about again, and that both would guard with their best abilities in Occulmancy. The dance, the kiss, the long nights of talking about their fears and dreams for after the war. He'd nearly told her then, but Ron and Hermione were still technically together, and he couldn't hurt his best mate like that.
And so again he chose silence. Silence, save that of the quill etching on paper. He'd written over a hundred letters, and each one professed his love to Hermione. Some of them went so far back as to their first year, before the troll incident. Letting out a yawn, he sealed the letter in the envelope, and leaned back in his chair. It was peaceful out here alone, the only thing that would have made it perfect was to have Hermione sitting around, reading one of her books.
Oh cruel fate, that denied him the woman he wanted. Closing his eyes, he never realized he'd fallen asleep, his light snoring filling the room.
So deep was his slumber that he didn't even stir when a soft crack sounded outside, and barely even registered when Hermione slammed open the door, hauling in a suitcase and a bag of groceries. She was obviously upset, and angry. But one glimpse of Harry slumped over in his chair, told Hermione that he needed sleep more than she needed to talk.
However, it was while she watched him slumber that she saw in his hand a letter addressed to her. Lightly pulling it free of his hands, she took it into the guest bedroom with her suitcase and sat down on the bed. She would talk to him after he woke up, so for now, she'd just read the letter he was going to send her, and maybe get a bit more sleep after her anger at Ron burned off.
Flipping open the flap, she wondered briefly why she thought of Pandora's box. Shaking it off, she began reading Harry's message.