Disclaimer: It's J.K.'s world…I just like to play in it because she has the coolest toys, so welcome to the game. And when I'm done, I promise I'll put them all away.

A/N: So this is a new story, inspired by a walk out in the rain. It's a teacher/student thing so if that squicks you, read anyway because I've had so many people say they hate that kinda thing, but in the end they turn out to like it (something about the way I've worded other teacher/student pairings, they really seemed to like it.) Anyway I've warned you, stay leave now or forever hold your peace (until the end when you post a big fat juicy review.) Ok well enjoy!

An overcast November Friday afternoon hung low over the grounds of the Hogwarts castle. The wind was not particularly harsh, but cold enough to need an overcoat. Rain had been threatening the Wizarding world for all of autumn, but neither hide nor hair of a water droplet had been seen tumbling from the sky in days.

Hermione stood at the edge of the lake, a very sharp dagger in her hand. This last week has been her final breaking point, she could handle it no more. Drawing the weapon up to her throat, she placed the cool steel blade against her flesh, ready to continue, as she drew in a deep breath.

"That would not be wise Ms. Granger and I would encourage you to put that thing down before you do irreparable damage to yourself." A voice fell upon her, so icy and cold, it made the steel blade of the dagger feel much like warm bath water.

Hermione didn't turn around to face him, but didn't move to release the dagger from her neck. However, all her senses escaped her as she felt a hand prying her fingers from around the handle of it. She gave in, feeling a fool that she had not succeeded in doing what she had intended to do.

Cold black eyes stared into hers as she turned around to face the voice. He looked on, calmness masked any other emotions that might have been present on his face. Hermione suddenly felt the urge to speak and spluttered out her thoughts before she was even aware that the words had left her lips. "Not that anyone would miss me."

"I can assure you that is most certainly not true." His voice drawled as she stared at him, eyes now burning with tears. The wind blew strong and whipped her hair about her face. He glared at her, placing the dagger down in the pocket of his long black robes.

"Professor, you're full of bull-shit. There's not a person in this world who gives a damn about me, and you know it." Her words had stung through the chilly air, and quickly at that, as they met his ear.

"I most certainly am not. Surely your parents would not think so Ms. Granger. They must love and care for you, as you claim no one does."

"Oh!" she scoffed, the tears now streaming down her cheeks. "I'm sure you must be mistaken. You can't mean my parents. The same parents who practically disowned me since I enrolled in Hogwarts, and recently went through a divorce because of 'their freak of a daughter.' Oh yes professor they certainly seem to care. Care enough to get rid of me, that's for sure."

"Your friends then, Potter and Weasley," he couldn't help but mention them, knowing that surely they would bring comfort to her mind.

"The same Potter and Weasley who speak to me only when they need help with homework, or help doing something illegal or help bailing them out of trouble once they've done something illegal? Or perhaps you are referring to the Potter and Weasley who are driven by their love of sex and Quidditch. The same two who either want to take me flying on their racing brooms 'til I'm sick in my stomach, or get their cocks down my throat 'til I puke, not to mention their hands up my skirt every chance they get."

"The other Gryfindors-"

"Right," she rolled her eyes, "The other Gryfindors wouldn't even know that I exist if it wasn't for the fact that I practically do their homework for them. And I was dumb enough to believe that they actually wanted to be friends with me! But no, they just wanted to use me for my abilities and intelligence. I'll save you some breath while you're at it. My head of house has her own issues to deal with and doesn't have time for a sniveling ninny like me. I don't have any muggle friends back home, and the rest of my family sees me much the same as my parents do, as some abnormal freak with an even freakier way of life."

She paused to draw in a breath. "Are you happy now? Because that should about sum it up, Professor Snape," her last words were shot forcefully from her mouth and the tears had not stopped streaming since she began.

He stood there, looking as blankly as he did when she first turned around. Hermione's face was red and her eyes were swollen from all the tears. A light drizzle of misting rain began to fall from the clouds above, spitting down upon them.

"Let me assure you Ms. Granger, the world is not as cold and harsh as you make it out to be, there are people who care." She shuddered, was there a hint of concern in his voice? The thought slipped from her minds as a large, cold drop of rain fell into her eyes.

"Oh yeah? You show me one person who cares, who really gives a damn about what happens to me. "

"I care."

Rolling her eyes, and the best she could through all the tears, she snorted sarcastically at him. "You're just saying that because you're my professor." Her words turned to ice again. He was trying to be sincere and she was shooting him down every chance she got.

"No Ms. Granger, not because I am your professor. Actually that would be a good reason for me not to care. But I say that because I can relate to you, I know what it's like to be completely alone. I realized at your age what you are realizing now. The world truly is a cruel and empty place full of people who don't care. In that respect, our thoughts are the same. The difference is that I know what to look for to make it less alone and less cruel. Perhaps it is time I share that knowledge with you."

Hermione stared at him, unsure as to how she should react to this sudden side of Snape that was being revealed to her. He took a step closer as she readied herself for God only knew what. "I've learned how to deal with the unpleasantries of life in this world and now more then ever I believe it is time that you learned them. Do stop by my office around eight this evening."

Bearing her teeth, she ground out, "Do tell me why all of the sudden you are interested in helping someone other then yourself." And to this he merely chuckled, a hand waving out in front of him to dismiss her question carelessly.

"No dear girl, questions come later, for it is obvious you have a lot to learn about both the world and the people in it."

"Well then I'm not going," she turned around and began to stomp off in the opposite direction.

"You'll be there, eight o'clock."

Turning around, she glared at him. "I most certainly will not, you can't make me."

"Oh but I could. I could assign you a detention and then you would be forced to be there."

"So then why don't you?"

Pausing a moment, Snape contemplated the effects of forcing her to be there, but then he shook his head no, chuckling as his arms crossed his chest. "You see Ms. Granger, by giving you a detention, it would force you to be there, and I don't want you there unless you want to be there. She gave a disgruntled huff. "You seem to think otherwise and I do agree. You see it wouldn't matter if I gave you a detention or not because you simply wouldn't come, since you are so hell bent on not being there in the first place."

She frowned and shot an evil look at him, at this an even smugger smile crossed his lips. "Besides I want you there of your own free will…I wouldn't want you to say something like 'oh he forced me into this by giving me detention.' It's just a simple meeting Ms. Granger I don't see why you are so hell bent on not coming."

After debating a moment, she finally spoke up. "And what's in it for me if I go? A lecture, some how I doubt that your 'simple meeting' will be quite so simple. So no thank you," her defenses were quickly replaced after her momentary breakdown for curiousity. He was so sure that he had seen a spark of interest, even if it was only for a moment.

A ghost of a smile crossed Snape's lips as he stared at Hermione, her tears on hiatus for the moment. "Eight o' clock then Ms. Granger," he called to her as she stormed off, heading for the castle. "It's a request not a demand!" Watching her go he stood there wondering whether it was worth all the effort to try to bring her back from the edge, for it would mean a long night and even longer weekend.