Happy new year! I am very excited to post this chapter and hope that you all enjoy it. I am very happy to see that old and new readers are still interested in my story, so thank you for that.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

Hermione didn't make it halfway to the Gryffindor tower before she was stopped by a familiar professor, he'd stepped right in her path and she almost crashed headfirst into his chest. She winced slightly then tried to avoid contact. She shuffled awkwardly in her spot.

"Miss Granger, you're not really one to abandon a class." Hermione kept her eyes on her feet in the hopes that her professor would mistaken her avoidance of eye contact for shame. She remained silent and wished that he would just pass her by like any of his other students. He cleared his throat. "Well, since you seem otherwise unoccupied, we can get some extra training in before dinner." Professor Snape turned his heel and started down the hallway, Hermione close at his heels.

"So, Lupin really did go with the boggart today, didn't he?" Her professor went at a snails pace and waited for her to walk next to him.

"Yes professor." He nodded thoughtfully.

"A necessary lesson, though not always pleasant. I'm assuming that it didn't go too well for you." Her professor's face remained fixed on the hallway ahead of him, making it easier for her to answer.

"No, not at all professor." She felt the shame grow worse as she confessed. Her eyes developed a familiar sting.

"What was it? Your fear?" They slowly approached the dungeons. Hermione shuddered.

"Fire. Black, screaming fire." She stated it numbly. Professor Snape snorted as they approached his classroom. "What?"

"I don't mean to make matters worse Miss Granger, but I would have imagined your fear to be a little different." He pushed the door open to the classroom and allowed her inside. "Like a failed exam, or a room of burning books."

"I agree that such an image is quite horrendous Professor, but I'm afraid that just made me feel worse." Hermione plopped down in her usual desk and crossed her arms.

"I'm not trying to make you feel better Miss Granger. Now, do me a favor and put these on." Professor Snape dropped a pair of maroon gloves on the table. They appeared to be regular knitted gloves, but when Hermione slid them on she could feel their unusual sturdiness, and something else that she couldn't quite explain.

"Now, look me in the eyes Miss Granger." Professor Snape walked up to her desk and stared down at her, both of his hands lay flat on the surface of the table. Hermione clenched her jaw and looked up. "Not at my head Miss Granger, my eyes." He was more stern this time, so she did as he told her to. She flicked her eyes to meet his and she prepared to hear or see something that she didn't want to, but all she saw were the charcoal color of his eyes.

"How long have you known?" Hermione whispered.

"I've been looking into it since the day you stopped looking me in the eyes." Professor Snape stepped away from her, then sat down at his desk. "Those gloves will limit some of the magic inside of you, like the mind reading, but depending on your mood it might not be able to stop certain bouts of magic."

Hermione wriggled her fingers in the gloves and smiled. "Did you charm these?"

"No. You can thank Madame Pomfrey for that, she has better techniques than me when it comes to charms." He admitted.

"Madame Pomfrey, I haven't seen her in a while." Hermione murmured.

"Which is a good thing, you've spent more time in her office than in your own room." Professor Snape scolded her, then sighed. "I think it's time for your first lesson in controlling your magic Miss Granger."

"Really?" Hermione jumped from her seat in eagerness.

"Sit down Miss Granger. Today you will do nothing more than meditate until it is time to meet in the great hall for supper."

"Meditation. Got it." Hermione opted to sit cross legged on top of her desk and closed her eyes. "Did you know that meditation is one of the first things one must master before claiming their Animagus form?"

"Yes. Now stop speaking Miss Granger and clear your mind." Professor Snape snapped, Hermione nodded and exhaled.

After a moment she felt herself starting to twitch uncomfortably.

"Miss Granger, stop twitching." Hermione's eyes popped open in defeat.

"I can't sit here and meditate with you staring at me." Hermione complained.

"I assure you that I am far too occupied to stare at you Miss Granger." Her professor growled, but Hermione narrowed her eyes.

"You're literally sitting at an empty desk professor." Hermione retorted, professor Snape's eyes widened, and he looked down to double check that his desk was indeed completely cleared.

"Fine." Professor Snape marched over to the desk right next to hers, and to her surprise he hopped up and assumed the same position. He glanced at her once before closing his eyes. Hermione smiled and let her eyes flutter shut, but thoughts still clung in her mind. She wondered aimlessly about the redhead that plagued Professor Lupin's mind, the serpent sleeping in the tunnels below the school, and the oddly comforting coal-colored stare of the professor next to her.

Eventually these thoughts passed, and she drifted peacefully, aided only by the whispers of breath coming from her professor.

Next chapter will feature a very interesting conversation with Professor Lupin. I hope you all had wonderful holidays and I'm hoping this new year will give me lots of inspiration for this story! If you have any specific questions about the story, let me know and I'll answer them! Thank you for viewing, reviewing, favoring, and following this story!