AN: OMG!! Sooo sorry about not updating in forever! At first it was writer's block a.k.a laziness and then my laptop crapped out on me. It took forever to salvage it from my laptop. I hate it when I anticipate a chapter of a story I like only to see a AN so I refrained from doing that although I felt guilty making people wait and wonder. I promise I have not given and WILL finish this. Just be patient *tries to smile cutely* lol. Well because of the hiatus I sorta got behind and cloudy about the whole story and stuff so bear with me if the tone doesn't match exactly. Currently reading back over the old chapters. Wow babbling like crazy right now haha. Ok enough with the rambling and on with the story!!
Severus groans as he feels the sunlight blinding his sensitive eyes. Damn that magic window that Albus insisted Severus to install. He remembered arguing how he disliked sunlight and prefers his chambers to be dim but Albus argued that lack of sunlight would be bad for his skin and body and how one window wouldn't be too much of a difference. Finally Severus conceded his defeat only to find to his great irritation that the old senile coot decided to have the window installed right beside his bed. Now every morning he wakes up to the blinding dreadful sunrays. 'I would have invested in curtains but they always mysteriously disappear by morning… I feel Albus has something to do with that that old curtain menaced oaf… sigh'
While majority of the student body 'discreetly' laughs about and spread rumors of Severus being a bat or vampire, it was indeed touching on the truth. He was more of a nocturnal owl rather then a morning person. Getting up early in the morning to prepare his class and teach them about potions while in the presence of constant danger by numerous imbeciles who can't follow directions isn't something that puts Severus in a jolly mood and to top it off with the fact that Severus is already a grouch makes him a combination of something to be feared. However today he wasn't as grouchy due to the thought of other miserable students serving detention tonight and knowing at least he won't be the only one miserable on a weekend.
There was also that irritating speck of voice reminding him that Naruto serving detention with him may have also cheered him up a bit but once Severus was aware of it, it crashed his mood twice as much. Like taking one step forwards and taking several steps back.
Albus clearly was showing signs of senility when giving advice to him last night because there is no way that that chit of a dolt can ever be meaningful to him. He was Severus Snape, the bloody bat and feared potions master for god's sake, how could he go soft on an odd bleached goof ball; a goof ball that liked and willingly chose to associate with more idiots like the Potter boy. 'How he was sorted into Slytherin I would never know…'
Severus then realized that he was spending way too much time analyzing trivial and unnecessary thoughts. Why was he contemplating the Naruto issue to the extent that he was? Well before he can come up with a definite conclusion to this whole Naruto dilemma he will first see how detention goes. It could all be something that he imagined and whatever he felt could have been indigestion or something. He had eaten some questionable treacle tarts from Hagrid, only because that old coot was being his manipulative self.
Naruto, and the rest of the detention gang sighed realizing that they were to attend detention instead of being able to relax and hang out like their other friends. Naruto was starting to get a little irritated. Even though he and Harry patched things up to an extent, he was unable to meet him as much as he would like. It was partially due to Itachi's sudden clinginess and when Itachi wasn't sticking to him like glue, he would sense Malfoy lurking about and it was nearly impossible to shake him off without causing suspicion. Naruto sighed and just hoped for a chance that Snape would assign them detention together. Not very likely, the thought just served to depress him further.
Harry brows twitched as he was once again blown off by Naruto. He just received yet another owl of apology from Naruto for having to cancel their meeting due to Itachi. For god sake it was like scheduling a meeting with the Prime Minister of Magic. It also irked him how he pressed his concern about Itachi hindering their relationship and Naruto casually brushed it off trying to convince him otherwise only to be proven right. Harry decided either to voice his concern during detention or after. It might be a good idea to take his Invisibility cloak just in case.
From the outside it appears that Itachi is engrossed with a book and girls sigh as they witness his soft grin. However, the truth is Itachi is lost in his thoughts and smirking. He knows of Harry attempting to meet with Naruto and while he wished he could prevent Naruto from visiting Harry at all, it would only cause suspicion or anger. He was content with what he could prevent. Itachi knows that Naruto loves Harry now, but he also knows that Naruto holds some feelings for him as well. While it may not be certain what kind or how strong the feelings are, he knew they are present and he plans to use it to his advantage as much as possible.
Nowadays Hermione and Ron can often be found in the library pouring over books… well not so much Ron but he sticks by Hermione as she pours over piles of books. Despite learning nothing of Naruto and the narrow prospect of ever learning anything about him, Hermione insists on continuing their search but instead of focusing on Naruto, to focus on Itachi. She is stubborn in her belief that there is something very fishy about Itachi and just the fact that Itachi holds a connection and link towards Naruto makes him a bit suspicious as well. Finding information on Itachi could lead to information on Naruto thus the frequent library trips. Ron sighed, just as he thought that things were moving forwards in regards to Hermione, after the Maraudar Map incident she focused all her energy on school and investigating. Ron was starting to feel a little bitter and jealous. Imagine that, getting jealous over dusty old books, but it was the sad truth that he cannot deny to admit himself. He just continues to sigh and he watches Hermione scrunch her brows in concentration as she studies yet another thick book.
A sideway glance towards Ron goes unnoticed. Hermione breathes out her nose harshly as she tried to focus on the book in front of her. She couldn't help but feel guilty. Despite the belief of her being oblivious, she was quite aware of Ron's irritation with her but she couldn't help but feel hesitant. She felt a little pathetic as she realized that without Harry and Ron, she honestly doesn't have anyone else to confide to. It was quite disadvantage for her as there are times when she needs to ask for girl advice. The real reason to hesitating moving forward with Ron was because of fear. Hermione was afraid of taking the next step due to risking ruining the delicate balance of friendship within the trio. A ruined relationship between Ron and her could upset the whole trio and she did not think she could shoulder that responsibility. Her flitted over towards Ron for a moment with a guilty expression before focusing her attention back to the book laid in front of her.
Albus sits in his chair with Fawkes perched on his shoulder. He gives Fawkes a little stroke on the head with his index finger.
"Don't worry too much about me Fawkes… just been a little stressed lately but all should be right." Fawkes gives a melodious cry in attempts to lull and soothe Albus's stress away.
Lately Albus has been stressed with the behavior change with Severus. It seems as if Severus is getting attached towards Naruto and to be honest, although Albus encouraged him he wasn't sure whether or not it was a good idea. He just couldn't decipher Naruto. He is getting tired of being cautious of and about Naruto and wishes to come to a conclusion quickly but Naruto's ironclad guarded personality isn't helping matters any. He wasn't sure what to do with that boy; he wished to believe that the boy meant no harm but something inside him also knew there was something he was hiding and it was something big and dark. Something about his aura told him he was dangerous regardless how young and kind hearted he seems. He just hoped that whatever Naruto seems intent on keeping locked does not break free.
"Well Fawkes… I guess I can only continue to keep an eye on him… only time will tell whether he is to be a friend or foe." Albus fed Fawkes a little piece of his biscuit and stroked his head before resuming his paperwork.
Time ticked by as the dreaded detention period crawled closer and closer. It's one of fate's cruel ironies how the more you dread what's to come the faster it arrives. All of the detention occupants felt that way but for different reasons. Hermione didn't particularly mind except the principle of being punished made her feel small and shameful and worst of all, inadequate while Ron just didn't want to be in a classroom more then he is required to. Harry didn't want to face another detention with the chance of spending quality time with Itachi again. He shivered as he recalls the last detention, it was far from pleasant. Itachi just didn't want to waste his precious time brooding and plotting and the thought of spending wasted time with Potter irks him a tad bit. Naruto is the only one who actually didn't mind much since he felt Snape wasn't all that bad but it is the prospect of Harry cornering him after detention that he dreaded facing. He knew Harry was getting agitated and resentful for all the missed meetings which were one of the main reasons why he cowardly notified him by owl rather then in person. At least he didn't have to worry or dread the actual detention part of the evening. How wrong he turned out to be.
Everybody was tense with the awkward silence as the students gathered in the potions classroom. Harry being sore at Naruto, Ron and Hermione sneaking glances at Itachi trying to decipher him, Draco just feeling he is being left out and annoyed yet curious, and Naruto wary knowing that Harry is a bit mad at him and Itachi sticking to him closer then comfortable is not helping matters any.
"Well well well… I am sure you were all waiting with such joyful anticipation so I will assign your tasks quickly and know that I do not care if it takes you all night and next morning but your detention will not be finished until they are done. Is that clear? I expect you to do your share of the task since it is all of you who are being punished. And please do try to come back in one piece, I do not wish to hear Albus's lectures for having my students killing each other due to detestation." The Slytherins and Gryffindors rolled their eyes at that although admitting there was a hint of truth to it.
"The tasks will be collecting ingredients outside in various locations, such as near by the lake, woods, and forbidden forest. While you are all out searching for the listed items, one of you will remain behind with me to assist me in brewing a potion." Hermione perked up, she was interest in witnessing Snape's true skill as a Potions Master while Ron wrinkled his nose at the thought of being alone with Snivellus. Naruto raised a brow suspecting that he will be the one that will end up assisting Snape.
"I will now hand out the lists of items… the pairing remains the same as the previous detention." Snape strictly stated as he passed out the papers.
"What!? No way am I spending anymore detention with that ferret!"
"Like I feel any better you Freckled Weasel!"
"Why am I not paired with Naruto! This is not right!"
"Ugh… detention with Itachi was exactly what I was dreading…"
Naruto sheepish grin waivered as they all turned and stared at him waiting for his complaint.
"Umm…. Sorry guys but don't really have any complaints here."
At that everybody gaped at Naruto wide eyed. Naruto sweatdropped thinking maybe it would have been best to kept his mouth shut.
"So you would rather spend detention with Snape then with me? I'm your best friend!" Itachi accusingly glared. He felt something was going on between Snape and Naruto because why else would Snape keep insisting on pairing himself with Naruto. Never had Snape willingly assigned someone to assist him in brewing on account of everybody being too moronic so what changed?
"I thought it was clear that you would be gone the moment I hand the list so what are you still doing loitering around my classroom! GET STARTED!!" Snape dangerously bellowed out which caused the tension to disappear and the crowd to scatter off.
"Thanks Professor Snape, I don't think I would have been able to handle all the tension." Naruto gave off a crooked smile. Snape just blankly stared not wanting to admit that he had been entertaining the thought of sitting back to see what Naruto would say.
"They were just annoying me with the trivial melodrama." Snape retorted scowling as he saw Naruto giving him a knowing smile.
"Anyways, nothing new, slice the ingredients as I brew the potion. Now this part is different. Some of the ingredients for this potion must be at the peak of freshness meaning it must not be chopped in advance but just the moment before its needed so it's going to get a little intense with the short time windows but here is the items that can be chopped in the advance. So do those first while I start brewing and then remain alert for some quick instructions alright?" Snape lectured. It was strange how Snape was capable of being able to give instructions without sounding too commanding but yet not too gentle and soft.
"That sounds…. A little nerve wrecking I mean… didn't I mention how potions is not my cup of tea?"
"Don't worry too much about it; doing poorly in potions was probably mostly the fault of your poor brewing ability. Your chopping skills is quite advance and the way you hold the blade is quite professional. You have the precision and quickness in cutting but it's the brewing that messes you up." Naruto remained unsure but breathed deeply as he complied by starting to chop the ingredients while stray thoughts of how the others were doing floated around his mind.
Snape walked away from the cauldron for a moment to retrieve a delicate item that as been purposefully set aside due to sensitivity. A sudden crash and boom suddenly alerted Snape as he whipped out his wand on a defensive reflex. He looked towards the source of the noise to find Naruto's stunned face and a deformed melted cauldron along with splintered indentations in the surrounding area of the cauldron. It must have been a powerful blast for the lab tables were supposedly accustomed for these kind of situations. For heavens sake, even Neville never managed to cause as much table damage as Naruto just had.
"Just what in the seven hells happened! What did you do you bloody imbecile!" Snape bellowed out in shock and disbelief.
"I-I was just chopping the ingredients like you said… I think I might've accidently chopped a bit hard causing some pieces of it flying into the cauldron…. Ha ha sorry?" Naruto stammered.
"Ha ha? HA HA? This is a sensitive potion! We are surely lucky that we still have our bodies intact much less our lives! Did you think that maybe you should be chopping the ingredients with care rather then chopping away like a dundering lumberjack!?" Snape ranted.
"I said I was sorry! I even told you that I wasn't good at this and you were the one with the genius idea of not only making me assist you but making me assist you in a sensitive potion! I already feel terrible about it, there was no need to yell and make me feel even worse!" Naruto furiously argued. He couldn't believe the nerve of him. Sure he had a big part of the blame but it wasn't like Snape wasn't at fault at all! He was the one who assigned this to him knowing the risk of something like this happening!
"Yes I suppose it was my fault for entrusting a child's task onto an incredibly bloody imbecile like you! You couldn't even do this simple menial task! God. Just like the useless Golden trio, can't be trusted to do anything right and expected to blunder their way purely on luck and favoritism." Snape bitterly spat out.
"What the? What brought that on? You know… I heard all about your little vendetta against Harry… and I honestly think they are unfounded. You're just a pathetic self-wallowing child who acts like a star of a tragic drama. Psh, get over yourself. Shit happens, that's life so suck it up and deal with it!" Naruto's eyes narrowed and he stalked closer and closer towards Snape until their noses were almost touching. For a moment Snape was stunned for nobody had ever spoken like that to him or said such things. People either pitied or hated him… usually the latter. Sure people yelled at him before but the way Naruto just ranted and yelled seemed different from the rest because… it actually stuck. He felt awed and something else that confused him internally. Well… that was before he snapped out of it and settled into the emotion he was most familiar with, rage.
"Oh like a naïve child like you would understand? Little foolish boy, I have seen and experienced things that is beyond your worst nightmare and imagination. You think you can just point and criticize about pain and sufferings? What gives you the right? Talking about right and wrong are easy and only naïve ignorant fools can do it by seeing the world in black and white." Snape preached releasing all the frustrations of being misunderstood out. 'I can't believe I thought for a second, he would be understand'
"Hey… what makes you think I don't… I understand pain and sufferings perfectly and that is exactly the reason why I get so angry and frustrated when I see someone like that just reduce themselves like you did. You could have been so much happier and content if you allowed it to happen. The reason why you are so hated is because you make them hate you…its, its like you purposely act like an ass because you feel you don't deserve any happiness or something…." Naruto eyes soften as he locked eyes with Snape's which were starting to gradually lose their anger.
They just stared in silence for what seemed several minutes before Snape snorted and turned his head away. He heard a deep sigh and rustling of clothes as Naruto walks away. Snape just huffed and glared at the floor littered with splintered pieces of wood. As the door started to creak open slowly, Snape realized that once Naruto walks through that door, their bond will disappear if not be severely damaged for good. A cold chill swept throughout him at the mere thought of Naruto's eyes looking at him indifferently while walking off smiling and laughing with his other friends leaving Snape to fade in the background. He could not let that happen even if he must drop his guard and pride because he then realized the longing feelings and desire he felt for Naruto that he never have experienced before. He wanted so dearly to be Naruto's precious person, his friend.
"I don't know how to be the person you want me to be" Snape confessed. Naruto whipped his head around relieved that Snape had the courage and desire to stop him from walking out that door.
"I never wanted you to be anyone but yourself…. Severus" Naruto gave a crooked smile before closing the door and walking back to Snape. After that they moved the conversation into his office and while drinking tea, the mess in the potions room forgotten as well as the destroyed potion. Snape smiled brightly happy to finally have someone precious to him and someone to confide and bond with. He felt the darkness and weight lighten considerably. Maybe Albus was right and it was time to live life for himself again.
"Umm… what happened to the lab table?" Ron Weasley hesitantly spoke while glancing wildly around as if expecting Snape to pounce at them.
"I dunno… but most importantly where is Snape and Naruto? I hope they haven't gotten into a serious argument…" Hermione looked worried at the absent people and the disastrous scene was not putting her to any ease.
"That slimey bastard better not have done anything to Naruto!" Harry seethed quietly. Itachi glared at Harry hearing what he had muttered to himself softly but inwardly quietly agreeing with Harry.
"Well can we just go and tell Snape that we finished our detention and didn't report because he wasn't in the room when we came by?" Harry asked.
"Merlin no! You know how that'll fly by with Snape. He'll just find some way to just blame us regardless and we will be punished again! I don't know about you but I don't want to get another detention and knowing him he'll probably make it more heinous that it was today." Ron freaked out.
"Calm down Ron, lets just wait a bit and see if Snape was just running late or if something important came up. If not then maybe we can just leave a note as proof that we did stop by and Snape wasn't there to prevent Snape's snarky remark that we didn't bother." Hermione logically rebutted. As much as the Slytherins hated to agree with the Gryffindor, Hermione made a sound and reasonable solution.
So the group just sat themselves at the tables and just waited in anticipation. It was tense and silent with everybody just itching to get out and back to the common rooms. Just as they were about to call it quits a muffled sound was heard nearby. Everybody looked at each other while wondering if it was all in their mind or if there was someone nearby. Just then another sound rang throughout the room.
"I think it's coming from the potion's office?" Hermione looked bewildered. If Snape was in the office the whole time then why didn't he alert them of his presence and why didn't he just dismiss him.
"Really? I think it sounded like laughter but it would be impossible for laughter to be coming from that miserable gits office." Ron uncharacteristically snided.
"Well I know what I heard Ron so that attitude is not appreciated and I speak for us all when I say that you're not the only one who is irritated and itching to leave!" Hermione's face flushed a bit in anger and annoyance.
"Okay guys, let's just check by the office and see and if nobody is there leave the note and leave." Harry tried to mollify the situation quickly and speed things up since he is getting a bit tired and sleepy. The Slytherins just scoffed but complied since they too wanted to go back to the dorm as quickly as possible as well. They all stood up from the desk and inched their way towards the office door. Hermione unable to contain her curiosity pressed her ear against the door.
"Psst… Hermione! You'll get in trouble!" Ron whispered urgently.
"Shhh!! I think I can hear someone else in the room!" Hermione waved her hand trying to hear more clearly. Perked with intrigue, Harry stalked over and pressed his ear against the door as well. After a few more minutes the rest of the group witnessed Harry's face pale and his eyes widen in disbelief.
"What mate? What's going on?" Ron questioned wondering what Harry heard to be reacting that way.
Harry lifelessly walked back to the group with blank eyes. Even the Slytherins couldn't help but be interested with whats going on while Hermione unnoticeably walked back to the group as well.
"I… I… heard Snape…. Laughing…." Harry lowly muttered. The rest just looked owl eyed with the exception of Hermione having already known.
"Are… are you sure? I mean that it was Snape I mean?"
"Yea… and I heard Naruto's voice in there as well…." Harry said so quietly it almost wasn't heard. Itachi's eyes flared at the thought of Snape and Naruto being alone in the private room laughing away while Ron looked puzzled and confused.
"So… should we knock? I mean… detention is over for us and if we leave a note they will know we were here anyways…" Hermione purposefully stated although by her expression it was clear she was confused and lost as the rest of them.
"I dunno… Snape is actually laughing and I'm kinda scared about interrupting and pissing Snape off." Ron nervously laughed.
"Weren't Gryffindors supposed to be known for their abundance in courage? How pathetic." Malfoy sneered while Itachi smirked.
"I don't see you volunteering yourself! Besides, Snape is your head of house… I think it's pathetic that your too scared to approach your house leader." Hermione rebutted with an annoyed sniff while Ron grinned at Hermione's remark.
They were all at a standstill and remained glaring.
"What the blazes are you imbeciles doing crowding in front of the door for?" Snape snarled while Naruto looked quite surprise at the scene.
The sudden voice scared the students out of their skins and just paled.
"Professor! We were just here to tell you we've finished with our task… we weren't doing anything else!" Ron pleaded while everyone else was glaring at his tactlessness.
"We noticed the mess and your absence and thought to look around because we were concerned." Itachi said impassively with a blank face.
"Right… well… why are you still here? Unless you are volunteering for more tasks, remove your presence!" Snape commanded and just as he finished, the students had already scattered off with the exception of Naruto and Itachi.
"Mr. Uchiha, I believe it is in your interest to evacuate the premises immediately."
"I'm just waiting up for Naruto to leave so we can walk back together. Is there anything wrong with that?" Itachi eyes narrowed. He really isn't liking how Snape is manipulating into prolonging Naruto's presence repeatedly. He noticed a change in him and he hates the sudden interest and attachment Snape has over Naruto. Naruto belongs to him only and he does not share.
"Itachi, it's fine, I'll see you tomorrow, besides Professor Snape and I have to reconcile over the matters of the destroyed lab due to my carelessness." Naruto gently mollified Itachi's irate disposition. Although Itachi looked as if he wanted to refuse he reluctantly nodded and sulked off to his dorm.
"Well… I suppose this is good night. I guess I'll stop by your quarters for a nice conversation sometime again. Bye Professor." Naruto gave a little casual wave as he turned around to leave.
"Make sure you are here tomorrow night at 7 Naruto." Snape crisply stated as he went to take of the mess with a cleaning spell.
"… Umm well I suppose I have time then… but I sorta had been hoping to spending time with Harry that night since we haven't been able to in a while." Naruto nervously confessed. They just got on good terms and he didn't want to anger Snape so short after coming into terms with friendship.
"Oh… you'll make time." Snape had an odd smile on his face that gave off a wicked aura to it.
"…. I don't understand sir…" Naruto was confused why Snape doesn't understand that he might be busy or have plans and remains on being so insistent.
"Mr. Uzumaki, after demolishing my classroom, you honestly didn't believe for a second you would get away with it squeaky clean did you? See you tomorrow at 7. Don't be late." Snape cheerfully informed as he finished cleaning up and now sat himself at his desk to resume grading essays while Naruto remained slack jawed.
"Ugh… miserable bat…" Naruto grumbled as he stalked out of the classroom in displeasure.
"Yes… I sense this is a beginning of a beautiful friendship." Snape softly muttered to himself as he allowed a rare smile to form on his face.
Who thought Snape was crushing on Naruto? hehe Wasn't really trying to fool anyone (if i managed to) to be honest. Snape is really new to this whole friendship thing so when he saw Naruto and Harry together he was all jealous due to being a bit possessive. Snape for the first time met someone that held promise and prospect for a friend so he understanding felt a little possessive and intimidated about Harry taking Naruto away from him. I just kinda wanted to get everybody's perspective in this... well didn't really do one of Draco. To be honest he is not going to play a major role into the story but he is a necessary character for support. Hermione and Ron is going to keep investigating Naruto and now Itachi, and more drama is going to ensue. Oi... will things ever be peaceful once again?
AN: Thanks for the review and support! I apologize for those who were anticipating the next chapter for the wait and am thankful for those who will continue to support! I hope the next chapter will meet up to your expectations. I may not be able to update quickly but I do promise it won't take as long as last time lol!