There was a girl.

She had long, brown curls that framed her face. She was never without a book. She got all her homework done early, and never once had to ask anyone for help with it.

Once upon a time, when she started school, she would answer the teacher's questions nearly before they were asked. The teacher would smile at her, and say, "That's correct." The girl would get a sticker in the shape of a gold star to put on her notebook. Her notebook was soon almost all golden.

But one day, she stopped talking during class. Her homework still got finished, she still got perfect marks on all her tests, and everyone could tell by looking at her that she longed to raise her hand when the teacher asked a question.

But she didn't do it.

Harry Potter knew why. He'd seen her, crying behind the school. He'd heard his cousin sneering about how she was just an annoying 'know-it-all' and sometimes he watched her nearly running home right after school, to avoid confrontations with the bigger kids.

Harry wished he could help her, but didn't know how. He, too, was bullied by Dudley's gang – there was nothing he could do to stop them. He wasn't nearly as smart as she was, so he half-assumed that if shedidn't know how to fix the problem, then how could he possibly figure it out?

Still, he watched her in class everyday. She never looked back and he never approached.

And so, their years in primary school passed separately. Studying separately. Bullied separately. Crying separately. As the final year came to an end, Harry couldn't help wishing he'd spoken to her, perhaps become friends with her. But the year ended and he still hadn't done it.

Then – Harry's eleventh birthday. He learned he was a wizard, that he would be going to Hogwarts, school of witchcraft and wizardry. In his excitement, he forgot the girl he'd watched for so long. She became just one more of the many students who had made his primary school a horrible place – the place he'd long wanted to leave. Now he was leaving it. Forever.

It was no surprise, then, that then next time he saw this girl, he didn't make the connection. For one thing, she didn't look the same. Yes, the curls were still there, but she was wearing completely different clothing – the robes that Hogwarts students were supposed to wear. And she was talking. He hadn't heard her voice for years, but now she was talking nonstop.

And his new best friend, Ronald Weasley, didn't like the girl, Hermione Granger. He made fun of her during class, he complained about her obsession with rules, he called her a know-it-all…

For the first few months of his time at Hogwarts, Harry went along with Ron. Hermione was snobbish, overbearing, and worst of all, set way too much store in the rulebook.

And then, all at once, they'd become friends. She was the very best friend that anyone could ask for. She was smart and kind, loyal and brave. Not once did he ever think that she could've been the shy ten-year-old from primary school.

Not once, until after they'd left Hogwarts. It was almost a year after the downfall of Voldemort, and it was just the two of them. They were talking about their pre-Hogwarts days, Harry finally able to laugh about the years he'd spent downtrodden by the Dursleys. "I went to the public school in Little Whinging." Harry told Hermione off-handedly. "And believe you me, it was terrible there – Dudley's gang ran the whole school, so there wasn't any chance of making any friends if they didn't like you."

He supposed he had expected some kind of sympathy, but Hermione seemed lost in thought. "I…I went to the public school in Little Whinging." She said slowly. "I never even thought about it – but I was on the wrong side of Dudley's gang too. I've tried to forget about it."

Harry's eyes widened behind his glasses as he remembered the brown-haired girl that he'd watched for all those years. "I think I remember you!" he exclaimed in a whisper. "You were always reading – or studying – but always behind the gym, where they couldn't find you."

Harry Potter and Hermione Granger – two of the famous trio, best friends for years – stared at each other as though they'd never met before. Or rather, as though they had met, but just a very very long time before.

"I always wanted to talk to you – to stop the gang from bullying you, but I never had the courage to do it." Harry told her quietly.

"It was a long time ago." Hermione said, trying to laugh, but it was choked with tears. "It doesn't matter."

"Yes, it does." Harry moved closer and brushed away some of the tears. "I'm sorry."

Hermione smiled. "You're forgiven." She whispered and before Harry knew what was happening, they were kissing.

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.

I know the ending was terrible, but I didn't really put much thought into this story anyway, so I don't really care. Just a random idea I had a few years ago and decided to write to day. What if Harry and Hermione had gone to school together before Hogwarts? I don't know. It passed the time.

I hope you liked it though! Please review!