Disclaimer: You all know the drill, it's all JKR's. I wanted to write a story about Snape and Hermione, but didn't want it to be the typical romance/smut. I wanted to portray a trusting relationship in an honest moment of hurt and comfort. Hope I succeeded. Please review! This is my first Harry Potter fic. I apologize if I have misjudged the characters.

A second year Hermione Granger sat on the rim of a toilet in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom, glaring at the streaky stains marking her white cotton panties.

'Oh Gods, Oh Gods', her mind raced. Her hands began to tingle with panic and her eyes welled with tears. Was she sick? Wash she dying? Obviously something had to be wrong if she was bleeding from down there! Her mind whirled through all the possible ailments, all the people she loved who would miss her if she truly were dying. She couldn't die now, she had to help Harry! But who could she tell? Surely the rational thing would be to see Madam Pomfrey. But what if she had to examine her? Hermione shuddered at the thought, far too embarrassed to pursue that option. What of her friends?

'No!' She told herself sternly. She would not worry them as well. Harry and Ron needed to focus on their studies and saving the world, needless to say, they had enough to worry about. Maybe Professor McGonagall? No, as much as Hermione admired the woman, she would have no idea how to begin such a conversation.

She would keep this to herself, do her own research and only tell others when it became absolutely necessary. Resigning herself to worrying about dying later, she took several deep breaths and dried her eyes. Pulling herself together she stuffed a wad of toilet paper in her panties and began to make her way towards class. Dying or not, she would not be late to potions class.

Professor Snape surveyed his classroom with veiled eyes. The dunderheads had been given a simple assignment this afternoon, Snape being too exhausted from a night spent with the Dark Lord to trust himself to supervise anything more hazardous. His eyes scanned the classroom. Draco and Goyle were quietly sniggering at Potter and Weasley as they struggled with their potion. Parkinson and Finnigan looked irritated but reasonably occupied. Granger and Longbotton looked...wrong. Longtbotton was reading the steps of the potion aloud as Granger chopped ingredients.

Any other teacher would not have noticed the slight tremble in Granger's normally steady hands, nor the way her eyes kept darting around the classroom, then down toward her lap. He looked at her eyes once more, they were rimmed slightly red. She had been crying. He wondered briefly if she was still grieving for the loss of her parents, who had been killed in a muggle terrorist attack a year earlier. He mentally reviewed the last few months, recalling her refusal to take a leave of absence, and her stubborn tenacity to keep her grades from falling. But even through those first few months after she had experienced a grave loss, he had never seen evidence of tears or a shakiness of body. Not that he would ever admit to caring, but Snape did indeed watch his students carefully for signs of distress and always reported them to the proper head of house, and even handled a few sniffling students himself on occasion. Those students of course were sworn to secrecy with threats of detention and failing grades, should they ever mention he did in fact have a heart. Snape made a mental note to make McGonagall aware of Granger's distress.

Snape called for his students to begin cleaning up and promptly dismissed them, but not before hearing a small yelp from the back of the classroom. Granger. She had sliced her palm slightly with a chopping knife and was now cradling it by her side. For Granger to be so careless, yes, something was indeed wrong.

"Miss Granger! Stay behind." Barked Snape and produced his usual menacing glare.

"Yes Sir." Hermione called softly. Her usual strong know-it-all voice diminished to barely above a whisper.

Hermione approached Snape's desk hesitantly, unsure of what the punishment would be for her carelessness. Instead, Snape produced a small container from a drawer in his vast desk. He stood and walked toward her, robes billowing behind him.

"Give me your hand, Granger." His voice was a tone softer now, but still terrified the girl.

Hermione wordlessly lifted her wounded hand toward him. He took it in one of his own large ones, almost double the size of hers and with the fingers of his other hand he began to apply the salve from the container he had produced earlier. The ointment eased the sting of the cut and the edges slowly began to mend before Hermione's eyes. Snape waited for the look of wonder that always crossed the young girls face whenever a new form of knowledge was made available to her. But none came. Yes, something was indeed very wrong. Momentarily Snape considered legilimency, but thought better of it. It would guarantee him quick answers, but was not appropriate in this instance. Instead he settled for the avenue which made him most uncomfortable. Talking. Sighing her looked at her. She was now staring at the floor, seemingly lost in her own thoughts.

"Miss Granger, what ails you?" Her head snapped up, her eyes panicked.

"N-Nothing, Sir. I'm fine, just clumsy is all." She stammered in reply. He lowered his gaze in attempt to meet her eyes, but she would not meet his and instead chose to stare at his shoes.

"I do not believe you Miss Granger. And I can assure you my shoes are not so riveting." His voice had softened, clearly there was something deeply troubling the girl.

"Please Sir, I cannot tell you!" She pleaded, her eyes finally meeting his, filled with sorrow and if he was correct in reading them; fear.

"Miss Granger if you are in some form of danger it is imperative that I know." His voice was once again authoritative, but still soft.

Hermione swallowed air quickly. This was Snape. Snape wouldn't care if she was dying would he? Maybe he had a potion that would cure whatever was ailing her. Snape sighed and tried once more.

"Miss Granger, please." And with that tears began sliding down her cheeks. He was startled, but kept his own stony composure, allowing her the time to find the words she was so clearly desperately searching for. Finally she swallowed, stared at his shoes once more and said in the smallest of voices.

"I'm bleeding." Her cheeks were tinged pink and the tears were still flowing. Yes, he had known she cut her hand, but he had not know it had hurt her so badly. Perhaps she had a low pain tolerance.

"Yes Miss Granger, but I've fixed your hand, you should feel no more pain." He stated, now bored with this endeavor. Hermione stifled a sob.

"No Sir, It's not my hand." He looked at her once more, her eyes still downcast.

"Then where is it? And why have you not seen Madam Pomfrey?" He was thoroughly perplexed. Surely a girl as bright and resilient as Granger would know to simply visit the medi-witch and have herself fixed up. She began wiping at her tears, taking deep breaths to calm herself. She began to move away from him. She was retreating. He stepped forward, toward her.

"Miss Granger, where are you bleeding?" He asked softly. She shook her head at him, staring at the stone floor.

"Miss Granger, you will tell me or I will escort you to Madam Pomfrey." At this she yelped and her eyes shot up to meet his, watery and full of fear.

"No, please Sir. I will tell you, but you must swear to tell no one else. Please." She managed to choke out. Snape knew it was not wise to agree, but since it was not a binding promise and it would likely lead him to the source of her distress, he agreed.

"You have my word, Miss Granger. I will tell no one." He gestured for her to speak. She drew in shaky breaths and once again turned scarlet.

"I went to the restroom this morning and well...I looked down...and there was...there was...blood Sir. A lot of blood." She stared at her hands, mortified at what she had just admitted. Terrified that she might die, or be so ill that she could not attend school or help Harry.

Understanding dawned on Snape. She was experiencing her first menstrual cycle. She had no mother to explain this to her, and she spent so much of her time buried in books in the library that she had undoubtedly missed her peers conversations on the matter. Hogwarts did not teach sex-ed or health classes, so she would have no basis of understanding for what was happening to her. He sighed. The poor girl must be terrified. After his long silence she grew wary.

"S-Sir, am I dying?" She asked in a choked sob. Snape resisted the urge to both laugh and hold the girl close, an urge to comfort he very rarely experienced for his students.

"Miss Granger, look at me, no, look at me. You are not dying." She met his eyes and he saw pure relief flood through them, then they clouded over once again with confusion. But this time, the girl who asked a million questions, kept all of her inside. It was not Snape's place to explain this, but he knew if he suggested she speak to Madam Pomfrey or Professor McGonagall, she would either run or simply refuse. And she needed to know what was happening. He sighed.

"Miss Granger, do you know what a menstrual cycle is?" Snape prided himself on keeping the color from his cheeks.

"No Sir." She answered, looking at him. Oh Merlin, he was in for it now.

"When a girl hits a certain age her body begins to change." Snape motioned with his hand vaguely toward her. She colored in embarrassment and stared at her shoes. He cleared his throat.

"Between the ages of ten and fourteen a girl will begin to have what is known as a menstrual cycle or a period. You will pass blood, about once a month until you are no longer able to bear children. For the first few months this will be irregular, so it would be wise to carry sanitary supplies with you in your school bag." He stopped to take a breath. She looked up.

"Sanitary supplies, Sir?" She was now scarlet, but relief still coursed through her.

"They are called pads or tampons. Once you are of age in the wizarding world you are allowed to use potions and charms to deal with the blood, but until then muggle methods are used to absorb it. Some women experience very little blood, while others experience more. You said there was a large quantity?" His cheeks colored. At least they were almost through.

"Yes Sir." She whispered. Now thoroughly embarrassed. He recognized this, and despite his own uncomfortably and he felt the need to reassure her.

"Miss Granger, what you are experiencing is completely natural. Please do not be embarrassed. I know I am not the most comforting person to explain this to you, nor the most eloquent, but I am glad you told me." He startled, realizing that this statement was true. Despite the embarrassing circumstances, he was glad she had confided in him.

"T-Thank you Sir. For helping me" She met his eyes briefly and then stared at the floor once more. What else did she not know about the human body. If her mother hadn't gotten around to explaining periods to her, then what else had she missed? Something occurred to him and curiosity got the better of him.

"Miss Granger, are you are aware of...of sex?" His cheeks burned.

"A-a little, Sir. I know you need a man and a woman to have a baby." She brightened at her knowledge, hoping it was impressive. But Snape looked at the floor, clearly discouraged.

"Alright Miss Granger, are you experiencing any abdominal pain?" He questioned, preparing to enlighten her on all the joys of PMS.

" A little Sir. Why?"

"Some women experience what is called pre-menstrual syndrome, it's nothing serious, but it can be uncomfortable, however it is often a good warning sign for when you are about to start your period. Some women feel abdominal cramping, experience acne breakouts, feel an increase in emotional reactivity, have certain food cravings, experience bloating, diarrhea and sometimes vomiting." Hermione paled. Snape hurried on.

"But some women experience none of these symptoms or only experience them very mildly. Now, I think you should go see Madam Pomfrey, tell her you've started your period and need some supplies." Hermione began to protest.

"No Sir, I can't!" He put a hand up.

"Miss Granger menstrual cycles are completely normal. Every girl in Hogwarts who experiences one gets her first supplies from Madam Pomfrey. Then, later on once you know which products you prefer, you may purchase them on weekend trips to Hogsmeade. Alright? Now I think it would be best if you went straight to the infirmary." She was still staring at the ground.


"Yes Miss Granger?"

"Would it be alright, if-if I have more questions...to...to come back?" Snape sighed, but knew if he said no, she would simply bottle up her questions and uncertainties. The golden trio needed her badly, and she needed to be able to focus on helping them and if that meant answering her questions, then so be it.

"Yes, Miss Granger, that would be alright. But I suggest you not let on about this conversation." He knew she wouldn't anyway, she was already mortified enough.

"Thank you Sir." She smiled at him, grabbed her bag and scurried out of the dungeons. Snape sank into the chair at his desk and sighed. A Ravenclaw knocked on his door and entered, Snape stood and slid his steely mask back into place.

"And to what do I owe this horrid surprise?" He seethed.

The End.

I"m thinking of doing a sequel, maybe Hermione goes to Madam Pomfrey and gets the supplies but then doesn't know how to use them and turns to Snape for help? Or a sequal a few years in the future when Hermione needs to know the truth about sex? Thoughts? Please Review!