I don't own Harry Potter, if i did then it would have ended very differently. Since i don't and it didn't I wrote this, please review and tell me what you think of it

WARNING unbetaed and written at a fairly early hour in the morning but i had to get this out of my system before i could go back to Don't Fear the Reaper

As he watched Albus, James and Rose wave goodbye from the train window, he couldn't help but glance in the direction of Hermione.

There was something about her that was different and after all these years of knowing her and in taking comfort in knowing her better than almost anyone, it annoyed him that he couldn't place what was different.

Her hair was still the same lovely nest of curls that it had been for as long as he had known her. It was the same length, the same color. He mentally nodded to himself, it wasn't the hair.

Her figure had filled out considerably over the years, something to be expected after two children, and something that Harry quickly drove his thoughts away from. One did not think about the figure of one's best friend's wife, especially when the wife was also his own best friend.

Her skin, he reflected, that might be it. Her nearly flawless was a bit paler but, Harry mused, that was what happened when a person worked indoors for most of her life. But he looked, just one more time, and he mentally shook his head. It wasn't her skin.

Then she looked back at him and he nearly smacked himself for being so stupid as he stared into her eyes.

Her beautiful brown eyes had once sparkled with intelligence, spirit and enthusiasm for everything.

But now, that spark, that spirit seemed to be gone almost completely. Harry rapidly tried to figure out when Hermione had lost that spark that had made her who she was.

Quickly he made a decision and he pulled her aside before she and Ron could apparate away.

"Harry, what's the matter?" Ron asked and Harry grinned at his best friend and at Ginny.

"Nothing, I just needed to talk to Hermione about some paperwork I forgot. You two go ahead and we'll catch up in a bit." The two Weasleys stared at them for a moment but they quickly accepted the excuse and left before Hermione could protest.

"Harry, I know for a fact that you don't have any paperwork left. I helped you with it just last week." Hermione said matter-of-factly and Harry smiled.

"I know, but I just needed to talk to you for a moment without Ron. When was the last time we talked, just the two of us?" he asked and he watched as Hermione thought and he froze in horror as he saw the remains of the spark in her eyes begin to dim further.

"Not since the hunt when Ron left us." She whispered. Harry looked at her with a serious expression on his face,

"Hermione, I need you to promise me something." He asked and Hermione looked at him with an insulted expression.

"After all this time, how could you think I wouldn't do something you ask me to?"

"Please Hermione, just promise to answer this next question completely truthfully." Harry begged. Hermione frowned,

"Fine, but this had better be good."

"What is wrong with you?" Harry asked immediately and Hermione stared at him in shock.

"Nothing's wrong Harry, why ever would you think something is wrong?" she answered immediately.

"Because there's something wrong, I can see it in your eyes. You don't have that same look in them anymore. It's like something in you died and I'm sorry it's taken me this long to see it. Now please, you promise, what is the matter?" Harry asked again and Hermione sighed and pulled out her wand.

"Mufflatio." She muttered and Harry was immediately on guard. This had to be something big if Hermione didn't want anyone to hear it even on accident.

"I love you." Hermione said and Harry stared at her for a moment, suddenly feeling confused.

"I love you too Hermione, you know that." Hermione shook her head,

"No Harry, you've said it yourself, I'm like your sister. I don't love you like that. I love you the way a woman loves a man." Harry stared at her in growing horror,

"Hermione," he began but his best friend cut him off,

"I know you don't love me the same way Harry. It's something that I've gotten used to. I've never been pretty enough or athletic enough for you to even think of fancying me while we were in school but Ron liked me, I dare say he loved me even when we were quite young." She took a deep, shuddering breath, "But you were the one I've loved, ever since our third year. But it's too late. I won't hurt Ron and I would never ask you to do anything to hurt Ginny or the children. It would be too selfish." She kissed him on the cheek as he stared at her, still stunned. "Now, please just forget about this Harry and we can get through the rest of our lives." She canceled the spell and began to walk away. He didn't know how long he stood there in shock at what Hermione had revealed to him.

Then, slowly, little events began to add up in his mind and he realized that while he loved Ginny, Hermione was something special, something more. He felt his heart ache and he allowed a single tear to fall down his face, before he apparated away from the platform to Hogsmeade.

Slowly he made his way to the lake at Hogwarts and stared at the water, still peaceful before the official beginning of school. He took a deep breath. Hermione was right. It would be selfish to do anything, especially now. He stared at the sky and cursed fate and the horrible timing as he wished that he had never noticed that Hermione's spirit was dying because now he was certain that his would begin to fade even faster.

And there it is, the rest of the story. please leave a review and tell me waht you think about it