Disclaimer: I do not own Harry potter. I am not making any money.
It's been a busy day at Hogwarts but Harry was thinking of something else. He was thinking of Hermione. She was standing with the Weasleys as they mourned the death of one of their own. Harry was horror stricken when he saw Fred's body, just as he was about all of the bodies of the people who fought for the wizarding world's freedom from voldemort.
Now voldemort was dead. All Harry wanted to do now was settle down with the woman he loved. Unfortunately, she seemed preoccupied.
After Ron left them on the "hunt", Hermione was horribly depressed. Crying most of the time and either sleeping or staring out into nothingness the rest. One day, about 2 months later Harry could take no more.
"Hermione?" he called
"Hermione, we have to talk."
She blinked and looked at him.
"I don't think I want to talk about him right now." she said almost blankly.
"I think we should talk about you, though." he said.
"Whatever do you mean, Harry?" she asked a little nervously
Harry looked at her softly and gently grasped her hand as he sat on the chair next to her.
"The way you're acting, it isn't healthy. I'm worried."
She glared. "I'm fine, Harry."
"You are not fine, Hermione, and Ron is not the only one who loves you!" he said before he could stop himself. He immediately blushed and began studying the wall of the tent.
" Harry, I know you do but it's different with Ron." she said with a change in her voice that Harry couldn't quite identify.
"I know I am a sister to you, but Ron sees me differently. He sees me like a girl. I never had that, before." she said the last part quietly.
"I see you that way." whispered to himself.
"What?" she asked a little shocked.
Harry's eyes went wide. She wasn't supposed to heat that.
"No, Harry," she interrupted "what did you mean?"
Harry sighed 'might as well' he thought
"Hermione, I…I thought you would've known by now" he finally stammered out.
"Know what, Harry?" Hermione asked a little anxiously.
Harry looked at her for a moment, trying to build up the courage.
"I… I've been in love with you since 2nd year." he said a little quickly. Then looked into her chocolate eyes.
She looked into his emerald orbs intently for an indeterminable amount of time.
Finally she asked "Do you really mean that?"
Harry looked to the floor and nodded.
"why didn't you tell me, Harry?" she asked softly
"I didn't know how." he said
"oh" she said "I love you, too." she said quietly
So now Harry was standing against a wall looking out into the great hall, watching as people celebrated the fall of the dark lord or mourned the loss of loved ones.
He slowly backed away into the corridor, so as not to interrupt anything. Hermione saw him backing away and went to follow. She jogged to him after he turned around to walk away.
As she approached she asked "Harry where are you going?"
He stopped and looked at her. Grinning he said "I'm a bit tired. Thought I'd go to my old bed and sleep comfortably for a change."
"I understand. It's been ages since I've seen a good bed with clean sheets." she chuckled a bit.
Harry looked at her nervously.
"So, you and Ron, eh?" he said
She looked at him sadly.
"I guess that means you've made a decision about us, then. Eh?"
She looked at the floor than raised her eyes to him and said
"Honestly, Harry, I wasn't going to expect you to settle for me. I know that you told me those things in the tent to make me feel better, and they did, thank you. But you can have any single girl in Britain. You don't have to settle for a plain looking bookworm." she said.
Harry looked at her angrily.
"how dare you say those things to me! Do you think I use that word lightly?"
She said "no, no of coarse not. It's just that I was a bit…distraught and…"
She let the sentence falter.
He softened his look and said " I meant it then and I mean it now. I love you Hermione Granger."
She shook her head. "it doesn't matter. Not really." she said with tears in her eyes. "I can't hurt him. He needs me. I can't do that to Ron and Ginny."
"but it's alright if I get hurt?" he asked
"No, Harry, I don't want you to hurt but he loves me and he just lost his brother. I can't hurt him anymore." she said through her tears, which were now coming down her smooth cheeks in torrents.
Harry nodded his head. "I understand. This is your final decision?" he asked
She nodded "Yes, Harry."
He nodded and said "Alright. You go be with him, I'll be down later." he said as he started to walk away.
"Harry…" she called after him
"you've made your decision. I'll respect it. But I do need some rest." he said to cut her off and walked away.