AN: Hey Potterheads. It has been a while and I clearly haven't been able to change any aspect about this story. Life is always keeping me busy. I hope you have been doing well. I've been too stressed lately and realized that I could definitely need some magic in my life right now. So it's time for a new chapter :) I hope you ejnoy yourselves with the story and thank you for always waiting for me. You are amazing fans to have.

The snow had finally melted away and the white sheet that used to cover the old castle walls disappeared. Flower buds were starting to sprout to Professor Pomona Sprout's great joy and she shared how her plants were all growing magnificently to her students and her fellow colleagues. Of course, this always occured at the start of spring. On such occasions, some of the staff like Professor McGonagall would smile politely and say a simple congratulations. However, most of the students were far too distracted with their studies for the upcoming exams, especially the Ravenclaws, to care about silly little plants.

Obviously the students were not the only busybodies as professors had their fair share of work to complete. To much misfortune, Severus Snape found himself stuck in both categories. In order to feign being a student, he would also need to complete his assignments while in the evenings, he would sneak out of the Slytherin male common room and silently walk to the dungeon to do some of the grading. It wasn't his greatest joy to circle every errors that his dim-witted students had made and write a harsh comment at the bottom of their papers. However, Severus needed to keep himself occupied because if he didn't, his mind would drift back to the issue called Hermione Granger.

He would have an inner debate with his thoughts and emotions. It was alright for him to be friends with that specific student because that was his mission, assigned by Albus Dumbledore. Nevertheless, he still had his integrety as an adult, a professor, and a spy. He wasn't such an emotional man and if his feelings towards Granger wasn't so strong, he could easily crush it with the power of logic and reasonings- or at least keep it hidden so that it wouldn't intefere his life. For that purpose, he kept a reasonable distance from the young, careless witch. He wouldn't let himself be distracted so easily, after all, he had no right to feel an irritating emotion called "love".

So how surprised was he when the girl and her silly little friends, Harry Almight Potter and the slobbery, food-gobbling Ronald Weasley, came running towards him in the corridor? Very. He was very surprised and displeased to see the trio.

Nevertheless, he felt a bit concerned when he saw the expression on her face. Her face was paler than usual and she was out of breath. His eyes quickly darted to Harry's face and he too looked worried about something while the sight of Ron's face still displeased him.

He remained silent as Hermione breathed, "Severus, please. You need to help us."

Severus glanced at the two boys, who were fidgiting, behind her. Ronald Weasley looked equally unhappy to be around him while Harry looked hesitant. Then he looked back at Granger, who looked almost panicked. Though he needed to keep his distance, he felt compelled to ask, "What's wrong?"

He waited patiently for her response, but she also looked uncomfortable to say whatever she wanted to say. He would have usually gussed that her grades were concerning her, but with Potter and Weasley around her today, he doubted that was the issue. Additionally, she had no issue talking about her grades with him. She often ranted about studying, but that couldn't be it either. The wizard could easily infertrate her mind, but that was something he didn't have a desire to do... that felt wrong somehow.

Instead of Granger, Harry approached him and said, "She's worried about saying the wrong thing."

Crossed, Severus coldly asked, "And what... could this wrong thing be?"

It was clearly Ron's turn to speak as the redhead almost gleefully said, "We are suspecting that your House Head is going to do something illegal."

Severus arched his brow as he watched the impudent boy continously dig his own grave. It was evidently the boy's favourite hobby next to Quidditch. Maybe it was his innate desire to get which head whacked that caused Weasley's love for Quidditch. Severus could easily imagine the boy getting his head crushed by Bludgers while flying in the air aimlessly. That would rather be interesting to watch from the sidelines. Or maybe when Weasley implied "something illegal", it was a sign that Severus would personally end up casting a curse to silence the boy and end up in Azkaban. That wouldn't be a favourable outcome.

Hermione finally spoke, "We aren't trying to say that Professor Snape is a bad man nor that your House is a bad House."

Perhaps this conversation was becoming interesting and amusing because Hermione was attempting to protect him while stating that he was doing something illegal. The wizard knew he was being mean, but he said, "So according to you three, Professor Snape isn't a bad man, but he is going to do something illegal. And because he represents the Slytherin House, our House must be bad too. And you expect your assumption not to upset me."

He smirked, amused, as his summary made the three Gryffindors in front of him go mute. It rendered them speechless which was shocking because the three loved squabbling over useless and meaningless crap during lectures. Now they all had their heads down.

Ron whispered, "Told you we shouldn't ask him."

Then Severus crossed his arms and thought logically for a moment. For them to make such a brazen supposition, they must have had some ounce of reasoning, even if their brains were the size of a walnut- excluding Hermione, of course, that girl could use her brain.

Harry looked up at him and said, "Professor Snape had a bite mark on his ankle."

Severus frowned as he remembered the wound. When his double got bitten by that monstrous pet beast of Hargrid's, he was also inflicted of the same wound for the... third time in his life. It hurt incredibly and fortunately, nobody else noticed his own injury.

Hermione added, "We think he was bitten by Fluffy."

Fluffy. He snorted each time he heard that name. What part of that ugly mutt made the half-giant think: Fluffy? If he had to choose a word that started with a letter F to describe the beast, it would be: fuck. Just from it's size and the pain it causes.

Of course, in this situation he couldn't scoff at the ridiculous name or appear as if he already knew of the monster. So the wizard repeated, "Fluffy?"

Ron angrily said, "It's this huge dog that Hagrid owns. At least, we think it's a dog."

Severus smiled at his words. This was probably the first time he would ever agree with a Weasley. But then he felt a pang of anger; how did these students know about Fluffy? The only possible answer was that these brave (stupidly insane and thrill seeking) children went and saw the Cerberus on the third floor. The thought of three of them submerging themselves into another dangerous situation made him feel a pang of anger bubbling inside him.

Hermione said, "But he was guarding something."

Harry said, "Something being the Philosopher's stone. We think Professor Snape is trying to steal it."

Severus replied, "How do you know that it's the Philosopher's stone?"

Ron asked, "You know what the Philosopher's Stone is? You are as much of a nerd as Hermione is."

Severus replied, "Yes, because we are literate and know how to read a book, that makes us a nerd."

Hermione's lips curved at his words and so did Harry. The Gryiffindor witch responded, "Hagrid told us when we got suspicious."

For the next few minutes, he continued to watch them share all of their speculations, but did not listen. Severus crossed his arms and watched the clueless students bicker amongst themselves. He knew that the pieces were coming together for the end of the year. Voldemort would try to resurrect himself and the three students before him would mindlessly go charge forth to fight Quarrel.

Severus would need to go talk with the Head Master, Dumbledore, before it all started.

Hermione asked, "So do you think you can help us out?"

He looked at her and confidently answered, "Don't worry, I will figure things out."

Then the gloomy wizard marched down the corridor towards Dumbledore's office. Yes, he would protect all three of them: Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, and yes, even the bloody redheaded Weasley. That was his main purpose.

I hope you had fun reading the chapter. Please leave a review. Can't wait to hear from my readers :) -Itachi Black