Bonjour mes amis! This is my premier appearance, so please be nice. I really want to hear truthfully what you think about this chapter. it's not so great yet, so don't worry. it's only the default chapter! Please leave a review and I will update at least once a week (I think.). Please tell me if you find any errors of any kind so I can fix them! If I don't know about them, they won't get fixed! Pure logic, my friends, sheer and utter logic.

Summary: This story is based mainly on Severus and Hermione. This will probably not be romance, because I have no talent when it comes to fluff. It will be very dark in later chapters, so if that offends you or disgusts you, there is a little back button at the top of the screen. I suggest you click it now before your brain becomes contaminated. Though the default chapter focuses mainly on Harry, the story will probably have nothing to do with Harry later on. I don't really know why I did that, I just kinda. did anyway.

Ok, now onto our feature presentation! Grab some popcorn! Sit on down and make sure your comfortable! Enjoy!

Of Touch (I know, crappy title, oy.I have to work on it)

Default Chapter: As the snow falls.

"I cannot believe that man!" Hermione cried angrily. She flicked her hair behind her shoulder, fighting, frustrated, with the pile of books in her arms. Just as she thought she had a firm hold on them, they slipped ungracefully from her grasp onto the stone floor. "Oh shit," she exclaimed, swooping low to retrieve them, her robes billowing as she sank to her knees, grumbling.

Harry sighed and lowered himself to the floor to help her. "Relax, Hermione. You're acting like he killed your cat or something." He picked up her Herbology book, which she hastily snatched from his palm in her tantrum of rage. He sighed again and grabbed her shoulders. "Stop it!" he cried.

She finally looked up and realized he was right in front of her face, his eyes full of worry. Her tense shoulders relaxed and she fell back on her knees. "I'm sorry, I'm just so stressed because-"

"Of the N.E.W.Ts," Ron and Harry chorused, "yes, we know," finished Ron, smirking from where he stood, leaning leisurely against the door frame of the Potions classroom. He pushed the strap of his book bag further up his shoulder; "Haven't we told you time and again, they don't start till towards the end of the year? We haven't even been here for a month yet and you're in hysterics. What kind of state will you be in a week before them, eh?" he asked, leaning down to scoop up her quill and inkbottle. "We'll end up having to ship you off to St. Mungo's!"

She turned her gaze away from them, down at the floor. "I'm sorry," she said quietly, "and I really shouldn't blame it all on the N.E.W.Ts." She stood with her books securely in her arms this time. "I mean, how dare he speak to Pavarti like that? Just who does he think he is? And you, Harry," she turned to him, looking him in the face, "he had no right whatsoever to speak about your parents like that, especially in front of the whole class."

Harry sighed and looked away. "Don't worry yourself over it, Hermione," he muttered quietly, "it makes no difference."

Hermione opened her mouth to protest, Ron gestured for her to keep quiet from behind Harry's shoulder. She quickly recovered and shifted her books. She knew Harry was having a tough time lately, and didn't want to hear about it right now. "Well, we don't have charms 'till this afternoon," she said quietly. Her eyes suddenly brightened, "Hey, Harry," she said excitedly, "how about we go down and see Hagrid this afternoon?" She bumped him playfully in the arm, "I'm sure he would like that. We haven't seen him since last year."

"Yeah," Ron joined in, "and then maybe we'll play a little Quidditch afterward?"

Though at first he didn't seem to hear them, he slowly began to smile. "Sure," he said, "that sounds great."


They traveled back to their dormitories before beginning the trek down to Hagrid's small stone hut. Hermione was sure to grab her heaviest cloak after surveying the way the gigantic crystalline snowflakes were making their way down from the cloudless sky. Sticking her freezing feet into her furry boots, she met the boys down by the huge oak doors.

She ran up to them shivering, even though they were still in the school. She blew on her already-gloved hands and smiled as she walked up to them. "Ready?"

Ron was trembling in the cold as well. "Ssssurreee." he managed as his teeth chattered. He rubbed his hands together. Hermione noticed he was wearing some of Mrs. Weasly's famous knitted mittens, which were thick and warm, yet he still shuddered with the chill. Yet she noticed Harry did not. He simply stood, a neutral expression upon his face as he stared into nothing. "You ok, Harry?" she questioned.

He jumped as if he had just noticed her there. "Oh, yeah," he recovered, "let's go."

Hermione wanted to question him on what was bothering him, yet she knew he would lie to her. He had been so depressed, so detached lately, yet she didn't know exactly how to bring it up in conversation. He never talked to her or Ron anymore, and they grew slightly more worried everyday he ignored them. "He's just trying to be brave," was Ron's explanation, "He's trying to show he doesn't need our help, but it's just making him worse. Whatever his problem is, he can't handle it on his own."

Hermione had agreed with him at the time, but she figured there was some underlying reason he was keeping things from them. Harry wasn't the secretive person. She figured something had happened over the summer, since he started acting depressed right off the Hogwarts Express. Behind his emerald eyes he was hiding something, yet she could talk to him long enough to delve deep enough into his thoughts. He kept their conversations short.

Ron pushed open the double doors awkwardly and stepped into the perfect blanket of snow on the steps. "Coming?" he beckoned.

When he didn't respond, Hermione nudged Harry in the arm with her elbow. "Come on," she urged, offering him her warm arm, "I'm cold."

He chuckled and took her arm, and she smiled, finally happy he registered her presence. "You know I'm here if you need to talk, Harry," she whispered, making sure they were out of Ron's earshot. They made their way through the feet of snow, stumbling awkwardly as they sank deeper into it with every step.

Knocking on Hagrid's large door, they could hear Fang's booming barks echoing off the brick interior as well as Hagrid's bellowing for him to be quiet. Hermione smiled at the memory of their previous years, of their times there. She realized how she really had missed the place. Her house was lonely, no one to talk to but her parents, and even they didn't listen to her most of the time. When Hagrid's rosy face appeared in the doorway, her heart felt a leap of joy as she finally felt home. "Hullo, Hagrid," she greeted, sending him a smile.

She thought she could see him return it to her, but she wasn't sure, as she couldn't see under his bushy black beard. "Hermione!" he chuckled, "It's great teh see yeh." He turned his beetle black eyes to Ron. "And you, too," he smiled, placing a hand on his shoulder. But as he turned to Harry, his eyes suddenly feel downcast. "Harry," he muttered, "What's the matter?"

Harry was jolted back into reality with a "thump" as he turned back to Hagrid, his eyes glassy and unfocused. "I'm sorry, Hagrid," he apologized, still a little shaky, "my mind is on other things. what were you saying?"

Hagrid wasn't convinced. "Why don't yeh come inside an' have some tea wit' me? I was jus' thinkin' of makin' some."

Ushering them inside and out of the cold, with a specific reassuring hand on Harry's back, Hagrid pushed them inside, where they were greeted with a rush of warmth. Hermione still had her arm linked with Harry's, and she dragged him over with her in front of the warm hearth. Hagrid shuffled off into the kitchen portion of his hut, and Ron fell comfortably into a cushion chair by the fire as well.

Hermione sat in front of the hearth on the floor, and she noticed Harry followed robotically after her. He simply stared off into the fire, his eyes glazed as if he were about on the verge of tears. Seeing that Ron was practically asleep already, engulfed in the humungous cozy wool and cotton blankets draped over the back of the chair, she decided to ask Harry again. Placing a friendly hand on his shoulder, she caught him off guard and won his attention. "Please, Harry," she said quietly, making sure she didn't catch Hagrid's attention, "tell me what's bothering you. I won't laugh, I promise."

Harry looked at her, a look of deep depression and anxiety and stress upon his face. She was shocked to see it in him, of all people, and suddenly felt a pang of guilt. Why hadn't she and Ron noticed this before? Could they have been so blind?

"Please," she choked.

Harry looked back into the fire. "It's nothing to worry about," he whispered, almost to the point of being inaudible, "I'm fine."

"Oh, horse feathers," cried Hagrid as he dropped a cup to the floor, watching it shatter.

Hermione jumped with the loud sound, but Harry didn't seem to notice. "Bullshit," she said angrily, at the same time making sure she was quiet enough not to draw attention, "I know something's up Harry, you're just making it worse by not telling me."

He continued to stare off into the cackling fire and didn't answer her. Hagrid appeared with a new mug for each of them, with steaming chamomile and vanilla aromas drifting from each cup. He handed one to Hermione, who uttered a quiet "thank you" and one to Harry, who said nothing, never removing his eyes from the fire. Hagrid seemed to note this also, but said nothing. While placing a mug on the side table and nudging Ron, Hagrid also held one for himself. He took a place in a seat close to the fire, sitting closest to Harry. "So, how's ev'rything a' school, Harry?" he asked pleasantly. "I hope none of your teachers ar' givin' yeh a hard time, eh?"

Harry didn't jump this time, nor did he remove his gaze. "No, everything is great. School's fine," he answered in monotone.

Hagrid seemed incredulous. "Harry what's 'a matter wit' yeh? Yeh seem downtrodd'n."

Harry face suddenly contorted with anger. "Why does EVERYONE ask me that? I'm fine! Life is sweet and dandy like it's always been! Just leave me alone!" He set down his mug with a 'thud' and stormed out into the snowy weather, which had turned to a blizzard. Hermione ran to the window to see him running off into the snow, shivering and cold, covering his face with his scarf.

Ron had finally realized where he was and was wide-awake. "What happened?" he stuttered, sitting up in his chair.

Hermione ran to the door. "I'm going after him," she announced, heaving open the door. Fang jumped to his feet as well did Hagrid and Ron.

"Yer kiddin' me, Hermione," he cried, "Yeh can' go out in this weather! You'll freeze!"

But she hadn't heard him. She was already out the door, on her way to the castle.

Hagrid stared sorrowfully after her as she followed the now unseen Harry back to Hogwarts through the thick sheet of snow. He could feel Ron's presence next to him and he placed a hand on his shoulder. "Do you reckon he'll be alright, Hagrid?"

He wished he had a solid answer, but he didn't. "Don't know, Ron. Don't know."

::Gasps:: Wow, you read the whole thing. God bless you! NOW CHILDREN. see the little review button? It's calling to you. it says 'click me! Click me!' Remember, this button is your friend..

Chapter 2 will be out in about a week so keep checking back!

Have a nice day!

Or, if you prefer, a bad day.

~Shorty Trenchrat