Disclaimer: I am not worthy of owning any of the characters in my story. They belong to JKR. But I think you all know that already.

Summary: On graduation day, Harry made the biggest mistake of his life. Even though he's a quidditch star and world cup champion, he can't forget what he did. Now, ten years later, he gets a chance to make amends. He's gonna tell her this time. Or will he?

A/N: Ok, this is total H/Hr fluff. Haha. I got inspired by the song "I Love You Came Too Late" by Joey Mac and decided to just write it. I was watching "Little Women" for like the millionth time that day and I always cry when Laurie proposes and Jo declines so I was in the mood to write sappy crap. I'm actually proud of it, mainly cuz I actually finished the story. If you're a huge H/Hr shipper, it might give you a good cry. All I'm asking is that you read and review it. PLEASE! The only people that have reviewed my crap are my friends. LoL. Not that it's a bad thing but. haha. Please just read and review. This is my first Harry Potter fanfiction and I really hope u like it. Enjoy!

I Love You Came Too Late

Chapter One

"I'm not too late, I'm not too late," Harry muttered to himself. Ten years had past since he had last been to Hogwarts. Now, he was going back, seated upon the Hogwarts Express. Ten years ago Harry had been drafted to the Chuddley Cannons, and even through all of his success, he lived with one eternal regret. He could still remember the day he fell in love with her. It was in their sixth year, and it was raining.

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"That was quite an impressive victory, Mr. Potter."

Harry turned and grinned.

"Piece of cake," he joked.

"Hasn't it always been?" she asked him sincerely, taking a seat on one of the locker room benches. Harry turned to his best friend questionably.

"What do you mean?"

"Well," Hermione began, "it's always been something you're good at. It's not a real struggle; at least it doesn't look that way from the stands. What I mean is, do you really love flying? Or is it just something you do because you're good at it?"

"Hermione, I love flying," Harry contradicted. They were the only ones left in the locker room now. "It's the best feeling in the world."

"Then show me," she put simply.

Harry looked at her in confusion.

"But it's raining," he protested.

"So," Hermione shrugged, a grin coming across her lips, "you just played the qudditch match of your life out there. So what if I get a little wet, it's only rain."

After a few more comments about her health ("Oh no! I'll get a cold! What a tragedy!"), Harry finally agreed to take his friend riding. Within minutes of stepping outside the locker room, the two teens were soaked to the bone. Hermione didn't seem to mind the rain at all and before Harry could say anything about it, she was running across the quidditch field, for fun.

"Who are you?" Harry asked stupidly. This was not the Hermione he had been best friends with four six years and counting.

Hermione turned and flashed him a pearly white smile.

"Hermione Elizabeth Antoinette Granger," she shouted from across the field, "who might you be?"

"Harry James Potter," he replied, slowly making his way across the field towards Hermione.

"That name sounds familiar," she joked, "Oh yes, Harry Potter. The Boy Who Lived and star seeker of the Gryffindor qudditch team. You know, he was supposed to show me how amazing flying a broomstick is but it seems that he's questioning his motives."

By that time, Harry was standing directly in front of Hermione. She was smirking at him.

"I'm not questioning anything," he said.

"Well," she smiled, "I'm waiting."

"Alright then," Harry grinned, wanting to beat her at her own game, "here's the broom. Get on it." He handed her his blessed Firebolt and saw that fear was beginning to creep onto Hermione's lightly tanned face. "What's wrong," he teased, "it's just a broomstick."

"Yeah, which I can't ride!"

"Calm down Hermi," Harry said gently, "I'll be right behind you. You won't fall or anything, I'll make sure of it."

After much contemplating on Hermione's part, she finally agreed and shakily took hold of the broom and got on it. Harry followed her lead and put his arms around her small waist. He immediately felt an odd pang in his chest and Hermione glanced back at him nervously.

"What now?" she whispered, their noses softly touching in the steadily falling rain.

"We push off, and fly," Harry said gently in her ear. She nodded solemnly and before long the two best friends were soaring through the rain. Unconsciously, Harry held Hermione closer than he normally would, or even should. After an hour of flying over the Hogwarts grounds, the two decided to land and sit in the Gryffindor stands for a while. The rain had long since stopped pouring and was now just a very light drizzle.

"Well, what did you think?" Harry asked her as they took a seat at the top of the stands.

"It's amazing up there," Hermione smiled, "you're so lucky to have been flying for so long."

"I suppose I am," he muttered. Harry couldn't understand what was happening to him. He sat next to Hermione nearly everyday for the last six years, but now he suddenly felt nervous about it.

"Don't you just love the smell of rain?" Hermione sighed, interrupting Harry's thoughts.

"I, I never really though about it," Harry stammered.

"There's just something about it," Hermione went on pushing her wet hair behind her ear, "it's a calming smell, like everything is washed away and you can start over and just," she glanced up at Harry and their eyes locked. He couldn't tear himself away from the rich chocolate color.

"The smell," Hermione whispered, "it's a little of everything."

And that was when they kissed. It wasn't the kind of kiss you see in muggle movies these days, but it was soft and perfect in its own way. And that was the moment Harry fell in love with his best friend, except, he didn't know it yet.

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The older Harry sighed at the memory as he stared out the window of the Hogwarts Express. The two had decided to start going steady that day. Two blissful years they were together. But on graduation day, everything changed.

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"Harry, we need to talk," Hermione insisted.

"Can't this wait Hermi," Harry said urgently, "the ceremony is about to start and I think I've forgotten my speech."

"Harry, do you love me?"

Harry looked at his girlfriend strangely.

"Of course I do," he answered plainly.

"Then say it," she ordered.

"Hermione," Harry said gently, taking her face in his hands, "I, I." He couldn't say it. He loved Hermione but he didn't think he was fully in love with her. And he couldn't lie.

Hermione bowed her head and tears began to fall silently down her face.

"I understand," she whispered, looking up into Harry's emerald eyes, "I guess it's over then. Good-bye Harry." She quickly kissed him on the cheek and lost herself in the crowd of anxious graduates. The moment her back had turned, Harry felt it. He was in love with Hermione, but he was too late. Harry couldn't give his speech that day. Hermione had helped him write it, and through the ceremony he simply concentrated on not bursting into tears.

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"I'm not too late, I can still tell her," Harry muttered as he stepped off the train into Hogsmeade Station. Madam Hooch had retired at the end of the previous school year and Headmistress McGonagall had asked Harry if he would become the new flying instructor. He eagerly accepted the offer, knowing that Hermione had been the Arithmancy professor for five years at Hogwarts already.

"'Ello there 'Arry!" boomed an aging Hagrid, as eager first years gathered around him.

"Great to see you again Hagrid," Harry smiled.

At the sound of his name, many students began to whisper furiously ("It's Harry Potter!" "He's cuter in person!" "Do ya think he'll show us some of his qudditch moves?"). Harry smiled at all of his new students and made his way to the horseless carriages. He rode alone; his thoughts on what he would say when he saw Hermione.

"Professor Potter, is that you?" a familiar voice interrupted his thoughts. The carriage had stopped and was waiting outside the front doors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. A female around his age with long flowing brown hair and eyes to match was waiting there patiently. Harry stepped out of the carriage and smiled.

"Well if it isn't Professor Granger?" he teased.

"Oh, Harry! I've miss you so!" Hermione said, wrapping Harry in a tight hug.

"I've missed you too, Hermi," he muttered, releasing from their embrace. He looked her over for a moment and smirked. "Teaching has done you well I see."

Hermione smiled and her cheeks turned a soft shade of pink.

"Hermione," Harry began, "I really have to talk to you."

"Later," she said, pushing him towards the great oak doors, "after the feast. I have to wait for the students. In the mean time, you should get yourself reacquainted with the place."

"Alright," Harry sighed, letting her win, "but we'll talk right?" He didn't want to lose her again.

"I promise," she assured him, "we'll go for a walk around the lake, like old times." With that she turned around as more carriages filled with children stopped in front of them. "Welcome back kids!"

"Hey Professor Granger!"

"Do you know Harry Potter, Professor?"

"Does he really have the scar?"

"Calm down kids, calm down," Harry heard Hermione laugh as he stepped into the Entrance Hall. In only a few hours, Hermione would know exactly how he felt. Until then, all he could do was wait.

* * * * *

"Hogwarts sure hasn't changed," Harry said as he and Hermione walked around the lake. They hadn't done that in such a long time. He remembered their last walk perfectly. There wasn't much talking or walking involved with it at all. He smiled at the memory.

"No it hasn't," Hermione agreed, looking up at Harry. "What are you smiling at?"

"Oh, nothing," Harry smirked, "just thinking about out last walk around here."

"That wasn't even a walk."

"Exactly," Harry answered, breaking into a huge grin.

Hermione laughed at her ex-boyfriend's cockiness and then shook her head and stopped to stare at the glistening water.

"What did you want to talk about?" she asked quietly.

Harry sighed. It was now the moment he had been dreaming about for years and he wasn't going to blow it.

"Hermione," Harry whispered nervously.

"Mmmm?" she replied, looking up into his eyes.

"I'm in love with you."

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A/N: Ok, that's the first part. One, review is all I want, just ONE! ((and it can't be from DaNi! Haha!)) But even so, I hope you liked it and that I left you in suspense. I'll post the second chapter in a bit. I hope you all really liked it. ~MaRiAn the LiBrArIaN