Summary: Hermione is completely unaware of her attraction to her mentor. But McGonnagall recognizes the sign of someone with a crush and tries to figure out how to deal with this "problem"…

This story is dedicated to my wonderful girlfriend aka future wife Cassia. I love you more than anything.

Hermione Jean Granger went to have her usual seat next to her Gryffindor comrades. The Great Hall was full of tired-looking students this Monday morning, all except Hermione who smiled towards her two best friends, looking like she had no trouble in the world.

"Morning boys" she greeted them and plucked two pieces of toast. Harry eyed her for a moment before answering. Ron looked like he hadn't heard her and continued to stuff his mouth with eggs, swallowing it down with large gulps of pumpkin juice.

Hermione reached for the kettle and poured up some tea. She glanced over at the staff table and saw her favorite teacher doing the exact same thing and smiled. Except Minerva was looking at her cup while pouring and since Hermione didn't it resulted in her cup being over-filled before Harry had the chance to blurt out.

"Hermione!" he bellowed and pulled out his wand just as Hermione gasped in pain from the steamy hot substance seeping through her stockings, burning her flesh.

"Merlin's pants what're you doing 'Mione?" Ron's voice could be heard and Hermione was too occupied to moan in pain to give him an angry look. Harry used scourgify to clean up the mess while Hermione stood up to go and get changed.

Of course this little incident had not gone unnoticed by Minerva who had watched with dread when her young pupil had spilled out her tea. Moments before she had felt the young womans eyes on her. She sighed to herself and finished her toast quickly. Standing up she glanced at her colleagues but none of them seemed to care much about what had happened.

"I will go check on Miss Granger" she said to Filius who nodded at her simply. She saw Severus looking at her and fought an urge to hex the man. He was probably going to mock her later about how she always tended to her "cubs", especially this one who seemed to demand more of her attention with each day.

Minerva sighed again as she approached the young woman who was currently standing at the top of the staircase seemingly cursing to herself thinking noone was near to listen.

"Are you alright Miss Granger?"

Hermione spun around at the sound of her mentors voice, her face somewhat blushed. She hoped the woman hadn't heard her colorful words just now.

"Oh, yes, I'm fine" She answered but noticed the sceptic look on Minerva who eyed her leg where her stocking had melted and now there was a nasty-looking burn there.

"That doesn't look too good. I believe a visit to the hospital wing is in order" Minerva spoke and peered at Hermione over her glasses who immediately began to squirm under the older witch's gaze.

"Yes maybe you're right. I'll see you in class. Thanks Professor" she spoke quickly and made her way towards the hospital wing, knowing her teacher was watching her leave.

Hermione hissed as Madame Pomfrey poured a seethrough, thick substance on her wound. She squirmed to get away from the pain but Pomfrey grabbed her shoulder keeping her still.

"Be still girl, if the potion touches any but your wound it'll make it a hundred times worse!"

Hermione didn't say anything but merely began to picture her whole leg covered in burns and that was enough to keep her still for the next minute or so.

"There, now don't remove this until three days and three nights has passed. And don't pour burning substances over yourself again you hear me?" Madame Pomfrey shook her head and sighed while she walked away, leaving Hermione alone.

Hermione looked down at her leg. A bandage was covering her burned area. It looked slightly funny since she was still wearing her stockings underneath. With a flick of her wand she banned her stockings. There, now she didn't look like a freak.

She decided to skip breakfast and hang in the library until her class started. Her heart skipped a beat when she realised that her first class today was Transfiguration. It was strange, this feeling… Hermione got a mental image of McGonnagall, her eyes gazing upon her intensely.. she felt her body get warm and she shivered violently. "Am I in love with my teacher?" Hermione frowned as she took a seat at the back of the library. She hadn't brought a book, so she just sat there with her arms limp at her sides. "I can't be, that's preposterous"

A few first years had noticed her and stared at her, two of them giggling. Hermione slipped out of her trance and lifted an eyebrow while looking at them. It was enough to shut them up and they scurried off towards the exit.

Minerva let her gaze fall on the Gryffindor student sitting on the second row engrossed in her book. She had commanded them to read the first chapter (it wasn't long, only 35 pages) in order to understand the basics of becoming an animagi. She took the time to study her, wondering what was going on in that brilliant mind. Her behaviour had changed slightly since last year. Not only had she seemed to mature a lot, but she was different in another way. Minerva thought that the girl seemed fragile. She had seen the bandage on the young womans thigh, right below the hem of her skirt. Minerva didn't understand why the girl had not simply cast a cooling charm on herself. She was certain the girl knew of that spell.

Suddenly Hermione sneezed which caused the girl sitting next to her to jump in surprise. She muttered an apology and missed the look of amusement on Minerva's face. Why she found that amusing she wasn't sure of. She supposed it was the relief of knowing that Hermione was just like any other girl but she seemed to have caught a cold.

Except Hermione wasn't like other girls. That Minerva noticed every time she read one of her essays. They were always so detailed. Like she had poured her heart and soul into every sentence. It moved the older woman. She needed to protect such artistry, to protect her brilliance. Minerva's fear was that Hermione wouldn't be able to handle her intelligence. That she would strain herself. Burn out before she even had the chance to start her career.

As Hermione looked up and their eyes met Minerva was certain the young girl was going to break. She could feel it. Yet, she smiled. And Hermione smiled back, her brown eyes twinkling.

Reviews are much appreciated.
AN: I know I have other stories that are unfinished, I am trying to work on them but I am simply human and a perfectionist and I don't upload a chapter unless I am completey satisfied with it.