Tobirama comes down to breakfast on the first day of classes to find the Great Hall full of snickering, his husband conspicuously absent, and his brother face-down in his eggs.
Normally, this wouldn’t be worthy of so much as a second glance—Hashirama is, after all, very much not a morning person, and Tobirama has had to fish him out of his breakfast at least once a week practically since they were born—but today Hashirama’s long hair is a violent patchwork of purple and orange, with a little poison-green scattered across it for variety. His robes, generally red or brown, are instead painfully pink and festooned with glittering gold and silver stars.
“Hm,” Tobirama offers judgmentally, and retreats to the far end of the staff table to get out of the line of fire.
“Congratulations on having a sense of self-preservation,” Izuna greets him as he takes a seat beside the other professor. He offers Tobirama his fist, and Tobirama would like to find whatever Muggleborn taught him this particular gesture and assign them to clean every toilet in the castle. Without magic.
Knowing from past experience what will happen if he refuses—because both Uchiha brothers are ridiculous and melodramatic and not above throwing fits in the middle of the Great Hall if it gets them their way—Tobirama rolls his eyes, taps Izuna’s fist with his own, and drags his new book out of his bag to prop it against the jug of pumpkin juice.
If the table shakes slightly when he sets it down, that’s easily ignorable, and also to be expected of Ravenclaw’s Head of House.
“Your brother’s work, I take it?” he asks a little absently, flipping to where he left off last night.
Izuna snickers, shoving a spoonful of oatmeal into his mouth and swallowing quickly. “Of course,” he agrees. “Who else? I think our esteemed Headmaster disagreed about appropriate locations for a field trip.”
There's only one possible explanation, and Tobirama has heard both sides of this argument more times than he would ever care to. With a sigh, he rubs the bridge of his nose, trying to ward off the headache he knows is approaching by sheer force of will. Today is going to be…trying.
Seeing Izuna opening his mouth again, Tobirama shoots him a dark glare and snaps, “If you say ‘I don’t understand what the problem is’ one more time, I’ll hex you. The Board of Governors is not going to let him take any class to a dragon preserve, let alone third years.”
Izuna, of course, rolls his eyes right back. “They're in Care of Magical Creatures—” he starts.
Tobirama’s eyes narrow, and all around them things start to tremble warningly. He takes a breath and reins his magic in, if only because Mito will yell at him if he destroys the staff table again. “They are children,” he retorts. “This school is intended to keep them safe, not put them in harm’s way.”
With a snarl, Izuna bolts to his feet, slamming his hands down on the tabletop. “Madara wouldn’t let them get hurt! Do you not trust him, Senju?” he hisses.
Not about to be outdone, Tobirama also rises to his feet, suddenly acutely conscious of the wand up his sleeve. “You're an even greater fool than your brother, you idiotic Hufflepuff. It’s not Madara I don’t trust, it’s the dragons.”
(Usually, this is the point where Hashirama would step in, but since he’s still snoring loudly into his plate, Tobirama doesn’t bother bracing himself for the usual lecture on friendship and school unity. Besides, he’s always more than happy to help put Izuna in his place.)
“You frigid Ravenclaw bastard! Madara is a better wizard then you’ll ever be, and you're just jealous!” In a blur, Izuna draws his wand, but with the instincts of a lifetime of dueling—both competitively and for survival—Tobirama sidesteps the first curse, blocks the second, and uses every ounce of his speed to throw himself around Izuna’s side and fling a Disarming Spell at his unprotected back.
Catching the wand that comes arcing in his direction, Tobirama lowers his own and gives Izuna a sharp look. The Uchiha returns it with a sour glare, crossing his arms over his chest, and Tobirama rolls his eyes. “If you’ll recall,” he says pointedly, “I am the fool who married him.”
“And you always seemed so smart before that, too,” Izuna agrees, then deflates with a sigh and holds out his hand. “My wand, please? And don’t let this go to your head, Senju—I’ll win one of these days.”
Since Izuna has been saying exactly that since the day they met as first years, Tobirama feels entirely justified in the skeptical noise he makes, but he tosses Izuna’s wand back regardless. The Uchiha has a solid sense of honor, at least; he won't attack when Tobirama isn’t expecting it. Unlike Madara and Hashirama, he and Izuna are entirely able to keep their little squabbles to brief—if somewhat explosive—moments like this.
With that in mind, Tobirama casts one more glance at his older brother as he retakes his seat, and can't quite restrain his sigh of resignation.
“Right?” Izuna agrees, equally fatalistic, as he drops back into his chair. “Today is going to be…”
“A trial?” Tobirama offers, pulling the coffee over to himself.
“I would have said interesting, but that works too.”
There's a flurry of disappointed mutters from the House tables, and Tobirama distinctly hears someone lament, “Aw, I thought they were going to duel again, like they did last year.”
“Well, at least we’ll get to watch the Headmaster and Professor Madara,” someone else consoles. “A Galleon says Headmaster Hashirama is hanging upside down in the hallway by the end of the day.”
“That’s not a fair bet! But fine, a Galleon on Professor Madara getting his hair set on fire by lunch.”
Tobirama and Izuna trade longsuffering glances before going back to their breakfasts.
“I keep telling you,” Izuna says, waving his fork pointedly, and seemingly doesn’t notice when the piece of sausage on the end goes flying. It hits assistant mediwitch, and Shizune gives him a poisonous glare that he disregards entirely. “Your life would be so much easier if you had just given in and married me.”
Shooting another look at his distinctly colorful brother, Tobirama snorts. “Don’t tempt me,” he mutters.
Izuna laughs. “You’ll come around,” he says confidently. “The hate-sex would be amazing.”
Further down the table, the Gryffindor Head of House chokes on his pumpkin juice and starts coughing. Of course, Izuna notices, and his grin takes on a sly edge that says he really should have been in Slytherin, not Hufflepuff. “You’d be invited too, Minato,” he calls cheerfully. “I’ve always wanted to have a threeso—urk!”
With a growl of frustration, Tobirama shoves his wand back up his sleeve, gathers up his book and bag, and stalks out of the Great Hall, ignoring Izuna clawing at his throat. There's a squawk, a high note, and then—
“Tobirama! You damned—Someday my prince will come! Someday I’ll find my love! And how thrilling that moment will be, when the prince of my dreams comes to meee!” He breaks off the song in horror, clamping his hands over his mouth, and at the tables the students start giggling.
Tobirama regrets nothing.
At the sound of that familiar voice, Tobirama pauses in unlocking his classroom and turns. “Kagami,” he says with a faint smile. “Did the Department actually let you out without a leash?”
Kagami scowls at him, crossing his arms with a huff. “Rude!” he protests. “I’m actually here on DMLE business. Hiruzen wanted me to go over a few new safeguards with the Headmaster, but…”
Tobirama grimaces. Yes, his brother’s current state is hardly suited for serious talks regarding the rise of the new Dark Lady Kaguya. “Of course,” he sighs, pushing open his classroom door and ushering his former student inside. “And you decided to wander around on your own rather than waking him up?”
Kagami shrugs, unbothered, as he takes a seat on the edge of the desk. “Well, I would have gotten bored just sitting there, and he looked so peaceful that I didn’t want to disturb him.” He ignores Tobirama’s disbelieving look and instead tips his head to the side, studying the neat classroom. “Well, this definitely brings back memories.”
With a huff, Tobirama draws his wand and thumps Kagami over the head with it, perhaps a little harder than is absolutely necessary. With a yelp, Kagami vanishes as the Disillusionment Charm takes hold, and Tobirama says pointedly, “If you're not going to leave, sit off to the side. I have my first years right now.”
With a laugh that borders on wicked, Kagami agreeably scrambles out of the way. “My favorite,” he says, voice seeming to come from nowhere.
Though he’ll never admit it out loud, this is one of Tobirama’s favorite parts of the whole year, too. Still, because he’s a teacher and therefore dignified, he doesn’t deign to answer, instead setting his books down on the desk and stepping back. The shift is a simple touch of will and intent, and the floor flows up to meet him as perspectives shift. Tobirama shakes himself, flicks his tail, and then lightly leaps up to sit on the edge of the desk.
“That’s always fantastic to watch,” Kagami says, and though human senses aren’t quite sharp enough to pick out the shifting blur of his form, a snow leopard’s eyes most definitely are. Tobirama flicks his ears back, but allows the hand that comes up to stroke his head. Kagami should be grateful for the indulgence; most people who try that end up needing a trip to the hospital wing.
The door clicks open, and Tobirama turns his head to watch as the first group of nervous-looking first years slip in. They catch sight of him and freeze, but when Tobirama looks away disinterestedly they gather up their courage and find seats. Soon enough, all the seats are filled, and Tobirama waits for the bell to ring and the fidgeting to start before he rises to his feet. There's a moment of startled silence, and in it Tobirama gathers himself and leaps. In midair he lets the change take him, and lands not as a large snow leopard but as a wizard.
“Welcome to Transfiguration,” he says over the sudden flurry of awed whispers, and pretends he can't hear Kagami snickering in the corner. “I am Professor Tobirama Senju.”
“Are you gonna teach us how to do that?” a blond boy in the back bursts out, on his feet and leaning over his desk. “I’m gonna turn into a dragon, believe it!”
“Sit down, dead last!” the Slytherin next to him hisses, reaching out and dragging the other boy—a Hufflepuff, by his tie—back into his seat. Tobirama raises a brow at the second boy, who is familiar. Definitely an Uchiha, by his coloring, and Tobirama has to wonder how a predominantly Hufflepuff family managed to have not one, but two of their children end up in Slytherin at the same time. He also wonders, a little despairingly, whether this boy will be as…challenging in the classroom as Obito always has been.
“I will not,” he answers the blond, who immediately starts pouting. “Becoming an Animagus is a long, detailed, and incredibly advanced project. Perhaps, if you show the necessary aptitude for the art of Transfiguration, I will assist you in undertaking it for your NEWT exam, but for now…” He flicks his wand, and words scrawl themselves across the chalkboard. “Quills and parchment out. I expect to see all of you taking notes.”
The blond boy groans, and even the Uchiha boy looks disappointed. The pink-haired Ravenclaw girl sitting on the Slytherin’s other side snaps something in a low voice, smacks them both in the head, and ignores their protests as they drag out their rolls of parchment.
Tobirama is just clarifying several points on inanimate-to-animate transfigurations for one of his more promising fifth years when there's a shriek, an earsplitting crack, and then the sound of an explosion followed instantly by maniacal—and familiar—laughter.
With a low groan, Tobirama pinches the bridge of his nose, then says, “Forgive me, Nagato, but—”
“That’s all right, Professor,” the redheaded Gryffindor says quickly. “I’ll come to your office later.”
Tobirama doesn’t wait to nod, but heads for the door at his fastest pace that isn’t a run. Students are crowding the halls, sounding enthusiastic as they chatter, and Tobirama knows that can only be a bad sign. Throttling the urge to kill his brother and husband both, Tobirama disregards dignity, shifts to his Animagus form, and leaps for the closest staircase railing. Smoke is filtering up from the first story, suspiciously thick and purple, and Tobirama wastes no time leaping over the edge of the stairs to the landing below, and then from there to the ground. Children scatter out of his way as he bounds forward, right up to the edge of the cleared circle, and then shifts back.
Well. Nothing is on fire, at least.
Still cackling with laughter, an exceedingly colorful Hashirama sidesteps a jet of red light, and Madara shrieks in anger, several octaves higher than normal. Somehow Hashirama managed to stuff him into a girl’s uniform, fix his hair into pigtails, and turn him female all in the time it took Tobirama to make his way from the third floor. Tobirama sometimes forgets that his brother is a genius in his own right.
Then again, he thinks that no one would blame him, given that this is what Hashirama uses his brilliance for.
“I'm going to murder you, Hashirama!” Madara bellows, advancing with his intent to commit homicide clear on his face. “You’re dead, you little worm!”
Given that Hashirama is laughing too hard to defend himself, Tobirama should probably step in. However, as he is rather attached to the bits of Madara that Hashirama just did away with, Tobirama feels no compunctions crossing his arms over his chest and glaring at both idiots equally.
“Again?” Mito asks rhetorically, pushing her way through the crowd to stand beside him. She mutters something uncomplimentary under her breath, then draws her wand and casts a sideways look at Tobirama. “Care to help?”
Tobirama would rather just leave them both there and wash his hands of this whole matter, but he supposes that, being a responsible and intelligent adult, he knows better. With a sigh, he matches Mito's stance and asks, “Which one?”
For a moment, Mito looks torn. Tobirama doesn’t blame her; he couldn’t pick which of the fools he wants to hex more if he tried. Then her mouth sets, and she says determinedly, “Madara's mine.”
He supposes that’s fair. Mito won't hold back against the Uchiha, and she knows he’s just as unlikely to show Hashirama mercy, so things balance out. “All right,” he agrees, and casts a barrier around them to protect the crowd of spectators—which, he is annoyed to note, includes several other professors as well as the majority of the passing students. “On three?”
Hashirama and Madara have yet to notice them, still entirely distracted by their little bout. Madara has gained thigh-highs and heels, while his skirt seems to be shrinking rapidly towards ‘indecent’. Equally, Hashirama looks rather like he lost a fight with a rainbow, and…Tobirama is fairly certain there are large, tropical flowers starting to bloom in his hair
“Three,” Mito growls, and stalks forward. A flick of her wand makes a rune slam into Madara's forehead, and it bursts, wrapping the Care of Magical Creatures professor in ropes. Hashirama immediately crows his victory, darting forward, but Tobirama hits him with a precisely-aimed spell before he can even bring his wand up. There's a puff of smoke, a yelp, and a floppy-eared puppy trips over his own feet and goes sprawling.
“Well, I've always wanted a dog. Thank you, Tobirama,” Mito says philosophically, flicking her wand and making Madara float upright. He looks more like a mummy than anything else, because Mito is nothing if not thorough to a fault, but there are still vaguely muffled shouts emerging from the cocoon of ropes. “Here. I think this is yours.”
Given that he had almost no breakfast, Tobirama is not looking forward to spending his lunch hour undoing all of his brother’s spells. For a moment he debates dropping Madara off in an out-of-the-way closet somewhere and pretending he knows nothing when people question him later. However, he is just slightly fond of his husband, no matter how much of a fool he can be, so he sighs and casts a levitation charm of his own on the squirming bundle. “Would you like me to remove my spell?” he asks politely.
Mito snorts. “I think not,” she answers, reaching down and picking the puppy up by his scruff. Hashirama stares at her with wet, wounded eyes, but Mito has a spine of absolute steel and only raises a brow. With a decisive nod, she tucks her husband under her arm. “No, I believe this will be good for him, Tobirama, but thank you for the offer.” Then the Ancient Runes professor tips her chin up, looking completely dignified, and glides away, Hashirama whimpering pitifully all the while.
Snickering, Izuna shoos the crowd on towards the Great Hall, then steps up to Tobirama’s side, studying his trapped brother without a hint of pity. “Need help?” he asks. “I can—I can go the distance! I’ll be there someday! If I can be strong, I know every mile will be worth my while—aargh!”
Tobirama raises a judgmental brow as the Potions professor slams his hand over his mouth again. “You still haven’t removed it, I see,” he says with poorly hidden amusement. “I'm astonished, Izuna. It’s only a simple charm.”
“Says the man who’s invented more of them than anyone since the Founders,” Izuna snaps. “I can control it most of the time, but then—can you sing with all the voices of the mountain? Can you paint with all the colors of the wiiiind?”
It takes far too much effort not to smirk, so Tobirama doesn’t even try.
“You fucking suck,” Izuna hisses, and then snaps his teeth together before he can start belting out any more songs.
It’s a decent enough spell, Tobirama thinks a little critically, but he should adjust the matrix to ensure that for every swear word uttered the target has to run through a whole song. That would be far more satisfying.
“Get that look off your face,” Izuna threatens. “If you even think about using me as a guinea pig, I won't—let it go, let it go, can't hold back anymore—”
Entirely satisfied with his life right now, Tobirama leaves Izuna to his harmonizing with several of the more mischievous Muggleborns and directs his still-mummified husband towards their quarters.
“For my birthday, I want your brother’s head on a platter,” Madara hisses, struggling to rip the neon-pink ribbons from his hair. “Make a note.”
Tobirama rolls his eyes, but bats Madara's hands away and takes over, pulling the intricate bows apart. “I thought you wanted me covered in chocolate,” he reminds his husband dryly.
Madara pauses, looking torn. He glances at Tobirama, gaze sweeping down his body, and then over at the heels and stockings lying discarded at the foot of the bed. “Both?” he asks hopefully.
With a snort, Tobirama pulls the last ribbon free, watching the thick black hair tumble back down over Madara's shoulders. “Don’t push your luck,” he chides, but despite the brusque tone starts to gently card his fingers through Madara's hair, working out the knots.
He doesn’t get very far, however, before Madara turns and knocks him back onto the mattress, leaning over him with intent. “Your brother seems to be implying something, putting me in a skirt,” he murmurs, ghosting his lips along Tobirama’s throat and making him shiver. It’s an abrupt change of topic, but…definitely not unwelcome. “Maybe I should send you to your next class with a limp and prove him wrong.”
The thought of getting fucked by Madara while he’s still wearing that short schoolgirl skirt should definitely not send a bolt of lust straight down to Tobirama’s cock, but it does regardless. He swallows a groan, but can't quite keep from hooking his legs around Madara's hips. Clear proof that Madara is no longer sporting a woman’s body nudges against his own cock, and he tips his head back, letting Madara bite gently at his pulse-point. “It takes more than one round to give me a limp,” he points out, and it comes out breathier than he intends, but he doesn’t care. “And we have less than an hour.”
Madara's huff is dissatisfied, but he leans up to kiss Tobirama fiercely. Clever hands undo the ties on Tobirama’s high-collared robe, then push it open, and he breathes against Tobirama’s skin, “Then we’d better work quickly, don’t you think?”
Tobirama agrees wholeheartedly.
They just make it to the end of lunch, Madara looking so unbearably smug that Tobirama is tempted to hex the man himself. However, because he’s not quite willing make another scene so soon after the first, he decides that he will be the bigger man, and takes a seat between Madara and the Flying Instructor with all the dignity remaining to him.
He very carefully doesn’t wince.
“Had fun?” Kushina—still dressed, as usual, in her flying leathers—asks, her voice bright with mirth. She gestures to her own neck, high up underneath her jaw, and adds, “If you were trying to cover those up, you kind of missed. He’s a possessive bastard, isn’t he?”
From her other side, Minato makes a noise like he’s dying. “Kushina!” he protests, flushing crimson and very carefully not looking at Tobirama.
Tobirama ignores them both, but directs a vicious kick at his husband under the table. Madara, busy staring meaningfully at Hashirama, doesn’t even seem to notice, and Tobirama sighs in exasperation and casts a wordless healing charm on his throat.
For his part, Hashirama—once more returned to human form by a reluctant Mito, due to his meeting with Kagami after lunch—keeps casting unhappy, suspicious glances between his best friend and little brother, eyebrows slowly furrowing. It makes Madara's triumphant smile spread, and he scoots his chair over to wrap an arm around Tobirama’s waist and haul him bodily into his lap.
Tobirama yelps in equal parts surprise and indignation, landing on Madara's thighs with a jolt that makes him wince again. It’s probably too subtle for the students to notice, but by the crimson flush of fury seeping down Hashirama’s face, he most definitely does.
“I hate you,” Tobirama growls at his husband, digging his nails into Madara's wrist. The Uchiha flinches faintly, but hands Tobirama a roll slathered in butter without loosening his grip.
“Eat,” he insists, voice pitched just loud enough that Hashirama can't help but catch every word. “You’ll need the energy for later.”
Long familiarity with his brother has Tobirama snatching the roll and diving for cover in the same motion. He ducks under the table, and half an instant later Kushina joins him, dragging her husband along. As a recently retired ex-Auror, her self-preservation skills are just as strong as Tobirama’s own, and they're proved right. The very moment Minato's head clears the tablecloth, there's a bellow of rage and deep offense, and spells start flying.
“Shouldn’t we stop them?” Minato asks a little desperately, still scarlet and unable to meet Tobirama’s eye. It’s disappointing, because Minato is one of the few professors who is willing to discuss spell theory with him, and Tobirama hopes he’ll get over it soon. It’s not as though this is new behavior between himself and Madara, after all.
“Nah,” Kushina says cheerfully, crawling on her elbows over to the edge of the cloth and lifting it just enough to peek out. Whatever she’s seeing makes her grin. “Hah! This is way more fun than chasing Dark wizards.”
Given that Tobirama himself made the same career switch, he can't help but agree. With a sigh, he swallows what is apparently going to be his only lunch, then joins her. Hashirama and Madara are dueling in the space between the staff table and the House tables, but there's a shielding spell covering the students that Tobirama recognizes as Tsunade's work. After a moment, he spots the blonde mediwitch on the far side of the Great Hall, shouting at her father, though he’s too busy dodging Madara's curses to hear her. Tobirama has a sneaking suspicion that she, rather than Mito, will be the one to end this little match if it goes on much longer, and Hogwarts really can't afford to lose a Headmaster so early in the year.
Deciding that he’d rather not make the house elves have to scrub pieces of his husband and brother out of the stones, Tobirama shakes his head resignedly and draws his wand again. If the first day of classes is indicative of how the rest of the year is going to go, Tobirama will find himself in Azkaban for two counts of murder by the winter holidays.
Clearly seeing his intentions—and the threat of violence he’s usually able to contain—Kushina gives him a perfect salute. “I’ll cover your classes if you have to go in to the Ministry for questioning,” she offers brightly. “Transfiguration was always one of my best subjects.”
She’s very much like her aunt, except that Mito was raised as a lady and Kushina was raised as a hellion. Tobirama gives her an amused smile in silent thanks, then steels himself, takes a breath, and rolls out from under the table, casting his first three spells even as he comes smoothly to his feet.
Because Hashirama is not solely an idiot, only mostly, he dodges the crackling blue light of Tobirama’s distraction spell, spins to avoid Madara's Jelly-Legs Jinx, and—
A massive marble lion sits on him.
Ignoring the pathetic wails from his flailing brother, Tobirama turns to glare at Madara, who is (very vocally) fighting to escape the grip another stone lion has on the collar of his robes, feet thrashing a good meter off the ground. Deciding that even attempting to reason with the idiots is a lost cause, Tobirama crosses his arms over his chest, glares at the Headmaster and his Deputy, and orders his transfigured chairs, “Take them back to their rooms, and don’t let them out until dinner.”
Immediately, the lions turn and head in opposite directions, dragging their prisoners along with them. Tobirama watches them go, then shakes his head disgustedly and rubs at his temples. The headache that was threatening this morning has arrived with force, and combined with his absolute certainty that those two won't let things end so simply, it’s extremely aggravating.
“Need a potion, Uncle?” Tsunade asks, sympathetically amused, as she makes her way over to him.
“I need those two fools to grow up,” Tobirama mutters. “Thank you for shielding the students.”
“I was just saving myself the work,” she says dismissively, though she’s smiling a little. “Orochimaru doesn’t have a class next period. I’ll go tell him to cover Madara's, and Jiraiya can take the rest of the periods. It would do the lazy bastard some good to have a little extra work.”
“You're a genius.” Tobirama kisses her forehead, earning a blush and a halfhearted swat. “You have a large enough stock of headache potions in case this goes on all year?”
Tsunade snorts. “Don’t worry, I learned from last year,” she says dryly. “I was going to ask Izuna for a couple of Draughts of Living Death for if they get really bad, though.”
As a former law enforcement agent, Tobirama should protest. He already knows he won't. Desperate situations call for desperate measures, after all. “I can slip it into their drinks for you,” he volunteers, and then sighs when the bell rings. “Go find Orochimaru. I’ll see you at dinner.”
With a kiss to his cheek, Tsunade wades into the throng of laughing students, and Tobirama turns to go back to his classroom. Somewhere across the Hall, he can make out the faint strains of ‘Whistle While You Work’, sung in a very annoyed tenor, and swallows a laugh.
Well. Maybe it won't be a peaceful year, but at least it will be interesting.
(Tobirama’s fairly certain there's a curse that goes something like that.)