Disclaimer: I do NOT own the Harry Potter series. That credit goes to the brilliant mind of J.K. Rowling. Go Jo! I also do not own some of the material used. Again that belongs to Jo and Warner Brothers.

Harry Potter and What Could Have Been – Year Three

Chapter 1 Close Encounter of the Harry Kind

Ron Weasley kept looking behind him as he and his family walked down Diagon Alley, hoping to see any signs of Hermione Granger and Harry Potter. It was hard to believe that he'd be starting his third year at Hogwarts soon.

Noticing her son's glances, Mrs. Weasley asked, "Who are you looking for, Ron?"

"Hermione and Harry," he said with a sigh.

Ron didn't like it when his mum inhaled deeply and said, "I honestly thought that was just a faze you were going through." This made Ron roll his eyes, though he made sure his mum didn't see this.

"I don't think it is, Mum," Fred said.

Ron got a panicked look on his face when his mum turned to the twins.

"What are you talking about?" Mrs. Weasley asked.

Ron have them a warning look, but it was no good. Fred cleared his throat, George holding in his laugh, and said, "You see, Ron fancies…"

"Shut it," Ron snapped suddenly. He couldn't let Fred finish the sentence, because he knew who he was talking about.

However, this was the wrong thing to do. George finally let his laugh out as Fred gave a shrug of his shoulder and a small shake of his head and said, "There's the proof."

"I'll meet you back at the Leaky Cauldron," Ron said, not even waiting for his parents to tell him otherwise.

"All right, dear, just be careful," Mrs. Weasley called.

"Yes, especially with Sirius Black on the loss," Mr. Weasley added.

Ron had heard stories of Sirius Black, but he never knew why his parents seemed to be afraid of him. That or maybe they were just going along with everyone else. He had to admit, though, those wanted posters that were posted everywhere were intimidating.

Ron was walking with his head down when a girl called, "Hi, Ron."

Ron didn't immediately look up. He thought he was hearing things.

"You're only imagining her voice because you're thinking of her," Ron told himself.

"Have you gone deaf?" the girl asked, this time with a hint of a laugh.

It was his imagination Ron realized as he finally looked up and saw Hermione.

"Hermione," he gasped, making Hermione giggle more.

"I've been trying to call you," Hermione told Ron as she walked closer to him. Ron wasn't moving an inch. "What were you thinking about that would distract you to the point that you couldn't hear?"

"It… um… it was nothing. It's good to see you," Ron said, trying to change the subject.

Ron sighed in relief when Hermione smiled and replied, "And you."

As they embraced, Ron felt something he had never felt before, and he was sure Hermione had felt to, too.

"Um…" Ron began to say as he and Hermione eyed each other's lips for a second.

"I…" Hermione said.

They slowly moved closer. Ron was certain they didn't stop, they were going to kiss.

"Hey you two," a familiar voice said.

The sound of Harry's voice broke Ron and Hermione out of their trance, and they both gasped, "Harry!"

"I didn't think I'd see you here," Harry said, eyeing Ron.

"Neither did I," Ron admitted.

There was a pause before Harry cleared his throat and asked, "What were you two doing?" This made Ron's eyes widen. Had Harry since them almost kiss?

"Do… doing?" Ron inquired.

He glanced over at Hermione, and by the look on her face, she wasn't going to say a word.

"Yeah, before I got here," Harry said, and Ron noticed he was now sounding suspicious.

Ron and Harry turned to Hermione as she replied, "Oh, we just saw each other." Ron was thankful for her saying this.

"Oh," was all Harry said about the matter.

Either he was blind, or he just didn't want to admit to want he had seen, Ron didn't know, but he was thankful he hadn't said anything more.

"How had your holiday been?" Ron asked Harry as they began walking.

"It's been fine apart from almost getting expelled for accidentally using magic," Harry said as he looked down and shoved his hands in his pockets.

"I heard about that," Ron said, but not added anything to it seeing that Harry clearly didn't want to talk about it as they stopped by Olivanders so Ron could get his new wand.

"Where are you staying?" Hermione asked as they walked out of the wand shop.

Harry finally looked up and said, "At the Leaky Cauldron."

"I got to meet back with my parents there soon," Ron replied, realizing what the time was.

"Did you get your books yet?" Hermione asked, making Ron and Harry look at each and smile. Leave it to Hermione to start talking bout books.

"Yeah, that Care of Magical Creatures book almost bit off the poor assistant's hand," Ron said as they came up upon a wanted poster for Sirius Black on the way back to the Leaky Cauldron.

"They still haven't caught Sirius Black," Hermione said in a smile voice.

"Is he really as bad as they're saying?" Harry asked.

Hermione and Ron looked at each other for a second before Hermione finally asked, "You don't know?"

Harry shrugged his shoulders.

"Well, yeah, I know he killed twelve Muggles and a wizard…" he began, but stopped as Ron started shaking his head.

"That's all you heard?" Ron asked.

Harry lowered his eyebrows and asked, "Yeah, why?"

"Harry, he's a mad man. We all need to be careful," Ron said with a sigh.

"Yeah, Fudge told me the same thing," Harry said, taking in a deep breath, "But it was like he wasn't telling me something."

They then noticed Hermione's parents' waving to her.

"There's my mum and dad. I better go," Hermione said, sounding a bit rushed, "They're supposed to be buying me an animal. See you in a couple of days on the train!"

"Bye, Hermione," Harry and Ron called.

Ron was glad that the conversation about Sirius Black seemed to have bypassed Harry as they finished their walk to the Leaky Cauldron.

AN:

I hope you've liked that first chapter.