Yuuri Katsuki had a problem.
Actually, Yuuri Katsuki had several problems. He was in his second year teaching at one of the most prestigious magical schools in the world and yet still woke up some days with absolutely no idea what he was doing, terrified he would ruin it all. It was the night before the first day of the school year but his lesson plans were still a complete mess. He still couldn’t figure out how to make katsudon as perfect as his mother’s, even with the help of magic. He probably didn’t write home as much as he should. Objectively, there were lots of problems in his life.
However, all of those problems paled in comparison to the most pressing problem of all. That problem being…
Strong arms unexpectedly draped themselves across his shoulders from behind, jolting him out of his thoughts. Yuuri let out a startled yelp, jerking in surprise and nearly knocking over the glass of pumpkin juice in front of him as he did so. From behind he heard a low laugh as the figure who had caught him unawares sauntered into full view.
Viktor just laughed again, smiling brightly down at where Yuuri was sitting at the teacher’s table and dropping gracefully into the empty chair next to him. Yuuri was pretty sure he could hear a collective sigh of longing go up from the people crowding the rest of the Great Hall as Viktor did so. It was a common occurrence, everyone was enamoured with Viktor and pretty much everything he did. It also didn’t help matters for himself in the slightest.
You see, Yuuri Katsuki’s first problem was this. He was completely in love with Viktor Nikiforov. And his second problem? So was everyone else.
It was unsurprising really. Viktor inspired awe wherever he went, from his famous school years to his prestigious work in spell invention and his natural grace with teaching. Combined with his unfairly good looks, long silvery hair tied up in a complex twist, sharp cheekbones and piercing blue eyes, and added to his natural charm, it was a lethal combination. No-one could resist him, Yuuri least of all.
And if the world had taken pity on him, he wouldn’t have had to. They might work together but Viktor was in a league of his own and he had no need to grace Yuuri with his presence. Yuuri could have snuck by unnoticed and admired Viktor from afar and that would be that.
However, his life hadn’t quite worked out that way.
When Yuuri had arrived at Hogwarts the previous year, freshly qualified and terrified of his first year of teaching, he had barely spoken to anyone. Had locked himself in his classroom and pored over lesson plans, only showing his face at mealtimes. Had sighed over Viktor from a distance, along with a significant portion of both the student and teacher population, and gone on with his life as normal. They might both be teachers but their paths had rarely crossed and Yuuri had never approached him.
And then - with no warning - in the second term everything had suddenly changed. Yuuri had arrived back from the Winter holidays to find Viktor was suddenly everywhere. Waiting for him outside his classroom, sitting next to him during mealtimes. Inviting him to mark papers together and barging into Yuuri’s lessons just for the opportunity to tease him. Yuuri had had no idea what had prompted the change but Viktor had been utterly sincere and charming, proclaiming it his duty to introduce Yuuri properly to life at the castle and guide him through his first year as a teacher.
The prospect had been far too tempting to refuse and Yuuri had tried to push down his inconveniently romantic feelings and simply enjoy the unexpected company. He might have had an embarrassingly large crush on his fellow teacher but they were colleagues first and he didn’t want to push Viktor away by making him uncomfortable. Yuuri knew Viktor must deal with people being attracted to him all the time, it was better to hide his feelings and not allow something so stupid to come between what was rapidly becoming an unexpected friendship.
And so he had pushed his feelings down and accepted Viktor endless invitations to spend time together and now they were here. The beginning of a new school year, waiting in the Great Hall for the welcome feast to begin, with Viktor smiling brightly at him after a summer spent apart.
“Hello Viktor,” Yuuri tried, aiming to keep his voice as level as possible. Surprising Yuuri had become one of Viktor’s favourite pastimes but Yuuri knew the other man had no idea that the rapidly growing blush on Yuuri’s face was from far more than just embarrassment. And Yuuri intended to keep it that way.
“Did you have a good summer?” he added and Viktor sighed dramatically, slumping to rest his chin on his hand and looking at Yuuri mournfully.
“No,” he proclaimed, a look of mock abject misery on his face. “It was too dull. And I missed my favourite professor while I was away.”
The last statement was accompanied by a wink and Yuuri could feel his cheeks heating up even more. It was always this way between Viktor and him, ever since Viktor had taken him under his wing as a new teacher the year before. Viktor loved to tease him and he took great pride in every time he was able to make Yuuri blush.
From Yuuri’s other side he heard a choking noise as Phichit inhaled half of his drink upon hearing the statement, coughing and spluttering to try and clear his lungs of the liquid.
Another of Yuuri’s increasingly long list of problems was this.
Phichit had been his best friend for years and he knew better than anyone about Yuuri’s inconveniently large crush on one Viktor Nikiforov. When Yuuri had been preparing for his first year of teaching, Phichit had made endless jokes about the different ways Yuuri could seduce Viktor now that they would be living in the same castle together, much to Yuuri’s embarrassment. And while he had told Phichit almost everything about his first year, including the fact that he and Viktor were now acquainted, he might have slightly neglected to mention just how friendly he and Viktor had become during that time.
But the secret had to come out eventually. Especially now that Phichit was here at Hogwarts this year too, not a fully qualified teacher yet but studying to become one. Training in the school for a year of practical experience. Yuuri had been absolutely thrilled at the news, there was nothing he wanted more than for his friend to work alongside him. But it did mean that Phichit now had a front row seat to the train wreck that was now his life and his increasingly desperate attempts to conceal his hidden feelings for one of his colleagues turned unexpected friend.
It seemed that Viktor had finally noticed Phichit sitting next to Yuuri too and he turned to him with a look of curiosity.
“You must be new?” he asked and Phichit nodded in reply.
“Viktor Nikiforov,” Viktor added, extending a hand for Phichit to shake. “I teach Charms.”
“Phichit Chulanont,” Phichit replied, taking the offered hand and smiling all the while. “Muggle Studies.”
Viktor turned back to Yuuri, opening his mouth to speak again but before he could say anything else a hush fell over the Great Hall as Headmaster Cialdini stood. The four long lines of students sitting at their house tables quietened and at the teacher’s table at the front of the hall, silence fell too. Yuuri thanked Merlin for conveniently timed distractions.
The welcome speech from the headmaster was just what Yuuri had expected. Welcoming the students back for another year of school, introducing the new teachers, Phichit among them, and calling for the Sorting to begin.
Yuuri clapped for all of the new students when their Houses were announced and when the Sortings were finally over, Viktor turned to him again with a teasing smile on his face.
“Your table is looking a little empty this year,” he said jokingly, nodding to the Slytherin table which was indeed slightly less full than Viktor’s own Hufflepuff table after the Sorting was finished.
Friendly as they might have become over the last year, house pride was still a serious matter, even between the teachers. The unexpected friendship between he and Viktor often morphed into a friendly rivalry when their school houses were involved and Yuuri wasn’t about to take the teasing lying down.
“That doesn’t mean we won’t kick your asses in the Quidditch and House Cups this year,” he shot back and Viktor laughed in amusement at the light challenge in his voice.
“Wasn’t it Gryffindor who won last year,” Phichit pointed out mock innocently and they simultaneously turned to glare at him. It was still a sore spot for them both. As the Heads of their respective houses, their students winning the Quidditch or House Cups was a point of pride and their mutual loss the year before to Gryffindor had stung. Phichit, as an ex-Gryffindor, just looked smug.
With all the first years finally sorted into their new Houses, the feast began. Golden plates bursting with food appeared in front of them all and they all tucked in enthusiastically as the hall filled with chatter and noise.
As they ate they fell into easy conversation, Phichit and Viktor inquiring into each others lives politely as they grew acquainted and Yuuri sitting between them, joining in between mouthfuls. While they were talking Viktor filled him in on everything that had happened over the summer, describing it all in enthusiastic detail with wild hand gestures and Yuuri listened and replied with his own, far less interesting, stories. Phichit watched the two of them with a smirk that was far too smug for Yuuri’s liking written across his face.
When the Headmaster finally called the feast to a close Viktor stood, stretching a little before turning back to smile at Yuuri.
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” he said with a final wink before turning to follow the crowds out of the room. Yuuri’s heart gave a little jolt at the words and he willed it down, turning back to Phichit to see him looking at Yuuri expectantly.
“What?” Yuuri asked, although he knew exactly what Phichit was thinking. Phichit just raised an eyebrow.
“Come on Yuuri,” he said, sounding a little exasperated. “You know exactly what. You two seem awfully friendly for two ‘colleagues’. Is there anything you haven’t been telling me?”
“Of course not!” Yuuri exclaimed, almost wanting to laugh at the implication in Phichit’s tone. Viktor might act very friendly around him but he was like that with everyone. And he might have appointed himself Yuuri’s unofficial guide around the world of teaching last year when Yuuri was still new and unsure of himself but they were just friendly and nothing more. Viktor had hundreds of people mooning over him, he didn’t need to have to deal with another.
“Really?” Phichit said, now sounding disbelieving. “We are talking about the same Viktor Nikiforov aren’t we? The one that you used to have a massive crush on when you were in school together?”
“Phichit,” Yuuri hissed, looking around nervously and motioning for Phichit to lower his voice. Thankfully the other teachers seemed to be preoccupied with the students or each other but Professor Giacometti was standing dangerously close and the last thing Yuuri wanted with him to overhear their conversation.
“What, it’s true isn’t it?” Phichit said, although his voice was quieter now.
“Yes ok, I used to have a crush on him,” Yuuri conceded. Phichit raised an eyebrow and he relented. “Fine, maybe I still like him a little bit. But so does everyone. They did back then too. I’m hardly that special.”
Phichit had arrived at the school the year after Viktor left but even he had heard the stories. Viktor Nikiforov had been a god among students during his time at Hogwarts and had managed to charm almost every person in the castle by the time he finally graduated.
Some put it down to his Veela blood but Yuuri knew that even without the natural draw his ancestry gave him, the results still would have been the same. The dashingly handsome quidditch captain, popular and beloved by students and teachers alike. Winning the Quidditch cup for Hufflepuff for five years running. He probably would have done it a sixth year too had the Triwizard tournament not fallen in his final year. Viktor was selected as the Hogwarts Champion and he had won that too. Obviously. Pretty much every single person in the school had been in love with him.
In comparison, Yuuri had been a shy child, struggling to find his place in such a strange new world. Coming from a muggle family, everything had been different and alien and he had often struggled. His friend Yuuko had dragged him out of his dormitory during his first term to watch his very first quidditch game, trying to introduce him to more of the magical world, and he had been in awe of Viktor ever since. Viktor had just looked so graceful in the air above him, spiralling and turning on his broom with ease as he hunted for the snitch and Yuuri hadn’t been able to look away. When Viktor had finally landed triumphantly with the snitch clutched tightly in his fist, Yuuri had cheered loudest of all.
After that he had been hooked, attending everyone one of Viktor’s games and earning himself strange looks when he applauded for the wrong house team. As he had moved up the years his idolisation of Viktor had grown, as had his desire to be noticed by him.
Yuuri had trained hard, had wanted to be enough to face Viktor on the Quidditch pitch some day, but year after year his nerves had gotten the better of him during the Slytherin team try-outs and that dream had never come to pass. When he finally made the team, Viktor had already graduated and left the school for good, never knowing who Yuuri was. Yuuri’s own student quidditch career hadn’t exactly been unremarkable but he had still never reached the legendary status of Viktor.
After Viktor had left, he had pushed his childhood admiration away and for years he had thought it successfully forgotten, if not gone. But then he had accepted a teaching position at Hogwarts and it had all come flooding back, this time much worse than before. Now Viktor was more mature, more acomplished and much more charming and Yuuri had been gone from the moment he had seen him again.
And then for some reason, Viktor had taken it upon himself to plant himself firmly into Yuuri’s life and what had once been an innocent crush from a distance had grown into something much harder to contain. Viktor was kind, funny, quick to laugh and easy to talk to and Yuuri had fallen hard all over again. But Viktor could never know that. It might ruin the friendship that had grown between them and Yuuri wouldn’t risk that for the world. He was lucky enough as it was.
“Yes, yes,” Phichit said dismissively, waving his words away. “Everyone loves Nikiforov, I know that. But you really like him. And from what I saw just there, he seems to like you too. Way more than you’ve been telling me in your letters.”
“I know,” Yuuri replied. He was still trying to get his head around the fact that someone like Viktor had chosen to spend his time with someone like him himself. Mentioning it to Phichit would have seemed too much like tempting fate when he still wasn’t quite sure of the reason. “We’re…friends? I guess? I think we’re friends.”
“Sure,” Phichit said, voice disbelieving. “Friends.”
He gave Yuuri a pointed look and Yuuri stared back, refusing to be the first to break. Finally Phichit spoke again.
“How did that happen anyway?” he continued. “You’ve been teaching here a whole year before I arrived and you never once wrote and told me that you and Professor Nikiforov had become friends.”
“It sort of just…did?” Yuuri answered, not quite sure of that one himself. If it had been up to him alone he’d have stayed far out of Viktor’s way where feelings and work couldn’t mix and Viktor probably still wouldn’t even know his name. It was Viktor’s strange insistence to start spending time with him that had inserted him so fully into Yuuri’s life.
Phichit’s eyebrows had steadily climbed to reach his hairline as Yuuri spoke and he snorted, shaking his head in disbelief.
“Friends.” he said again, amusement lacing his tone. Yuuri understood what he meant. Viktor was a very affectionate person and it was easy to mistake his tactile nature for something more. But that was just who Viktor was.
“Well he better not have taken the spot of your best friend Yuuri. You know that’s reserved for me.” Phichit added with a laugh.
“Of course,” Yuuri agreed smiling again. When Yuuko and Takeshi had graduated in his fifth year he had found himself lonely. But then Phichit had barged into his life and refused to leave and they had been joined at the hip ever since. And he wouldn’t have had it any other way. Whatever had happened with Viktor while he and Phichit had been apart, no-one was knocking Phichit down from that spot.
“We should probably get to bed,” Yuuri pointed out, glancing around at the rapidly emptying hall surrounding them. Term started the next day and they both had classes to teach.
“Nope,” Phichit replied, grabbing his arm and hauling him up out of his chair. “I’m coming to your office for some quality best friend time and you’re going to tell me all about how you and Viktor Nikiforov became friends.”
The next day, Yuuri was nervous. Classes on the first day of term were always nerve-wracking. Teaching the next generation of magical students was a huge responsibility and one that Yuuri often felt keenly.
Thankfully his first class was made up entirely of nervous first years, some of whom had never used a wand before in their lives. Yuuri enjoyed teaching the first years, they often hung onto his every word and there was always a gasp of delight when he transformed into a poodle at the end of their lesson to give a demonstration of advanced Transfiguration magic.
The lessons he taught first years was relatively easy too. Transfiguration might be considered a difficult subject but turning matches into needles was hardly challenging magic, designed to help them get a grasp of the basics and nothing more. The first hour was spent encouraging the nervous eleven year olds and righting any unfortunate accidents to happen. By the end, several of the matchsticks were looking considerably more metallic and pointy than they had at the beginning and Yuuri considered it to be a success.
The second hour however was more challenging. This time his class was entirely made up of seventh years, all preparing to sit their NEWTs and in need of much more advanced teaching.
“Does anyone have any questions before we begin,” he asked the class at large, looking around at the sea of now familiar faces. After teaching them during the last year he knew all of them well and they were comfortable enough around him to drop their initial wariness of a new teacher.
The Hufflepuff seeker and Headboy Otabek was the first to speak.
“What level of magic will we be expected to know for the exams?” he asked, face serious. Otabek was a good student, quiet and reserved most of the time but Yuuri had seen him out on the Quidditch pitch. He was the reason the Hufflepuff team had scraped into second place, only a handful of points behind Gryffindor.
That question kept them occupied for several minutes, Yuuri explaining the sections of the textbook they were still to cover and giving a basic outline of the lessons for the year. When the class was finally looking satisfied, if a little nervous, another student put up her hand.
“Who was the new teacher you were sitting next to last night?” she asked, tone curious. “I thought we already had a Muggle Studies professor.”
“That was Professor Chulanont,” Yuuri explained, hearing a ripple of interest go around the classroom. Phichit might have left the school almost two years ago but his name was still relatively famous in some circles. His 7th year Muggle Studies project was the reason the school now had wifi after all. “He’s spending a year here in training for his teaching degree.”
Yuuri knew that Phichit’s real passion lay in inventing, blending the muggle and the magical together to create new and innovative ideas. But teaching was a job security and a good start on that path and Celestino had already promised him a position as soon as he completed his training. Phichit could invent in his free time and Yuuri would get to keep his best friend close. He only regretted that Phichit still had a few more years to go before he would be fully qualified and able to return for a permeant position.
After that there were a few more questions, mainly about the exams and the lesson to come. Finally it seemed that there was no-one left to talk but before he could move on a final student raised his hand, a slight smirk dancing across his face as he did so.
“Do you have a question?” Yuuri asked and the student nodded, expression never leaving his face.
“Is Professor Nikiforov single?” he asked and Yuuri felt his mouth drop open as muffled giggling began to fill the room.
“That question is…entirely inappropriate,” he spluttered, knowing that his face was going red in embarrassment and willing the colour down. “Professor Nikiforov’s private life is none of your business.”
“Are you single?” another student chipped in and Yuuri regretted ever letting the students ask questions at all.
“As I said before, that question is inappropriate,” he said firmly, forcing his embarrassment down and sounding as stern as he could with his face still bright red. “And I suggest you don’t ask something like that again unless you want me to start docking house points.”
Being confined in a castle full of gossiping teenagers could be a curse at times and it wasn’t the first time a student had asked about a teacher’s private life. Any shred of gossip was pounced on hungrily and there were always a few troublemakers looking to find out juicy new bits of information to share. Although Yuuri was pretty sure far more people would be interested in the fact that Viktor was single than the fact that he was.
Deciding to move on as quickly as he could he finally began the lesson, ending the session by assigning the first essay of term. The class groaned as he did so but he refused to feel any sympathy. Transfiguration NEWTs were notoriously difficult to pass and he was determined to make sure the entire class were completely prepared. And hopefully the unexpected homework would stop them asking anymore uncomfortable questions in the future.
With the end of the lesson came the first break and Yuuri used the time to finally escape the classroom. Aside from the small hiccup at the start of the second class, his lessons had been going surprisingly well so far. This year he was much more confident in his teaching than he had been the year before, back when he had been new and constantly terrified of messing up.
The teacher’s lounge was on the same floor as his own and he decided to take a quick break there, walking along the familiar corridors and watching as the students hurried all around him. When he was almost at his destination he caught sight of a familiar blond head walking towards him, the green and silver colours of his tie marking him as one of Yuuri’s own.
“Yuri,” he called and Yuri looked up, face morphing into one of annoyance when he saw who had called his name. Yuuri had long since given up expecting respect from the grouchy fifth year but he knew that the insults Yuri often tossed at him had no bite behind them anymore.
“What?” Yuri snapped, striding over to him and glaring up at Yuuri with an expectant expression on his face.
“Are you trying out for the quidditch team this year?” Yuuri asked, hoping that the answer was yes. Yuri was a brilliant seeker who had won them many games in the past. If Slytherin House wanted a chance at the Quidditch Cup this year, they needed him on the team.
“Of course I am.” Yuri just rolled his eyes, looking irritated. “If JJ wins one more time I’m going to hex him myself.”
“I would advise that you don’t,” Yuuri pointed out, although he could understand Yuri’s frustration. He wanted to win just as badly as the rest of his house, becoming a teacher hadn’t changed that at least. “Unless you want to break another detention record.”
Yuri just gave him a withering look before stalking off, Yuuri turning to watch his wayward student as he left.
“He likes you, you know,” Viktor’s voice came from behind him and Yuuri jumped, making an embarrassing sqeaking noise of surprise and spinning around. Viktor grinned back in amusement at Yuuri’s reaction, looking pleased with himself.
For a second, Yuuri did nothing but stare dumbly, admiring the way Viktor’s smile lit up his face. Then Viktor’s words finally registered and he snorted, waving them away. Yuri Plisetsky didn’t like anyone, except maybe his friend Otabek who was the only person in the castle whose presence he tolerated. Even as his Head of House, Yuuri had long ago given up expecting anything else.
“I doubt it,” he joked but Viktor just raised an eyebrow, looking amused.
“He does,” he insisted. “I’ve been teaching him for five years now, I can tell when he hates someone much less than usual. He respects you at least. I think he admires you, in his own way.”
Yuuri had to laugh at that, admiration definitely wasn’t something his student felt for him. Mostly annoyance and maybe a little gratitude when Yuuri let him off from the extra homework before Quidditch matches, as he did with all the students who played for the house teams.
“How did your first morning go,” he asked instead, deciding it wasn’t worth arguing about and Viktor laughed in return.
“I only had to put out three fires this morning,” he grinned. “So I’m counting it as a success.”
“Really?” Yuuri replied jokingly. “I thought you loved the fires. You’d think it was a failure if you didn’t have to put any out on the first day.”
“Well, the fires do make lessons a bit more interesting,” Viktor conceded with a laugh. In the castle, his charms classes were considered something approaching legendary and no student ever knew what to expect when they walked through the door. Some ended spectacularly and some ended in disaster but either way they were apparently always enormous fun. A few of the other teachers had called Viktor’s unique methods into question but as the teacher with the highest scoring students by a mile, no-one could claim they weren’t effective.
“And let me guess, you assigned homework on the first day?” Viktor added and Yuuri nodded as Viktor raised an eyebrow in teasing judgement.
“Let me guess, you didn’t?” Yuuri shot back which and Viktor pouted in mock hurt.
“Of course not!” he exclaimed, causing some of the students still filing through the corridor to turn and look at them curiously. “You know how much I hate giving homework so early in the term.”
“I know how much you hate marking it,” Yuuri replied. Viktor’s hatred of grading homework and doing paperwork was notorious amongst the Hogwarts staff. If he hadn’t been such a skilled teacher Yuuri was sure Celestino would have intervened but as it was, the issue had never come up.
Viktor’s real talent was in the practical, teaching students and inventing spells to sell on to the Ministry. His name was famous all throughout the wizarding world for his revolutionary new charms and it was a wonder Hogwarts had managed to keep him for so long. The Ministry were practically begging for him to come and work for them but Viktor had turned the offer down time and time again. He had explained to Yuuri that he liked the freedom working at Hogwarts gave him, able to create new spells in his spare time without the Ministry constantly watching over his shoulder. Celestino turned a blind eye to some of the more disastrous results and ignored the majority of the missing paperwork and Viktor kept teaching for him in return. It was a good situation for them both and Yuuri couldn’t help but be selfishly grateful for it causing Viktor to remain at Hogwarts with him.
Before either of them could speak again however the bell rang, signalling the end of the break. It had flown by much quicker than Yuuri had expected and he shot Viktor an apologetic look as he turned away, needing to return to his own lessons again.
“See you at lunch?” Viktor asked and Yuuri nodded before walking off down the corridor. When he wasn’t thinking about it, his feelings about Viktor were sometimes easy to hide. But then Viktor would smile or laugh or look at him in a certain way and it would all come flooding back. It was incredibly unhelpful.
But he pushed those thoughts away as he made his way back to his own classroom. There was more teaching to be done after all.
The end of the day found Phichit in Yuuri’s office, feet up on his desk as they finally relaxing after a long day. Phichit filled Yuuri in on everything that had happened, bemoaning the state of the Muggle Studies department and already planning improvements while Yuuri listened and occasionally chipped in with stories of his own. When he told Phichit about Yuri Plisetsky, Phichit just laughed.
“I bet you he does admire you,” Phichit pointed out, sounding gleeful. “You have the record for the fastest snitch catch in school history. More people look up to you than you think.”
“Please Phichit, be serious,” Yuuri snorted, eyeing Phichit with disbelief. “If anyone is going to be admired for being a school quidditch legend here it’s going to be Viktor.”
Phichit just rolled his eyes.
“Viktor again?” he asked and Yuuri tensed, hoping this wasn’t going where he thought it was going. “You sure do talk about him a lot for someone who’s supposedly ‘just friends’. Honestly Yuuri, just date him and be done with it. I know you want to.”
“We couldn’t date,” Yuuri pointed out, hoping to move the topic of conversation on as fast as he could. He and Viktor was never going to happen, he already knew that. “We work together, it would be inappropriate.”
“Says who?” Phichit asked, dropping his feet from the desk and sitting up straighter, grinning at Yuuri’s obvious embarrassment. “Colleagues date all the time. I’m sure Celestino would be fine with it.”
“Well, even if we could, Viktor doesn’t see me in that way,” Yuuri added, determined not to let this conversation go any further. “He’s got plenty of people trailing after him all the time completely head over heels for him. He doesn’t need me to be another one. He doesn’t ever have to know.”
“I don’t know Yuuri,” Phichit said, sounding doubtful. “He was acting very friendly towards you last night. I wouldn’t be so sure.”
“Yes, because we’re friends,” Yuuri emphasised. “He doesn’t see me any other way.”
“Well, there’s only one way to find out for sure,” Phichit told him, schooling his face into a look of mock seriousness. “Transform your desk into a bed and be lying on it when he next comes into the room to see how he reacts. Unless you prefer desks of course because then…”
“Phichit stop it,” Yuuri groaned, clapping his hands over his ears to block out the rest of what his friend was trying to say. “It’s not going to happen, ok?”
“Fine, I’ll leave it,” Phichit conceded, obviously deciding to drop the subject although Yuuri was sure he had far from heard the end of it. “For now at least. Now sit down and bring out that firewhiskey I know you’re hiding away in here somewhere. It’s been a long day and we have some serious catching up to do.”
The rest of that week passed relatively normally and Yuuri decided that the year was off to a good start. Phichit was settling in to his new job fine, Viktor’s classroom had only had to be evacuated once and most of Yuuri’s students were handling the new magic well. His crush was under control and no-one seemed any the wiser to it. In general, life was good.
Unluckily for him, fate had a way of ensuring that nothing went smoothly for long.
During his final lesson of the week, Viktor showed up to his classroom. It wasn’t an unusual occurrence. For some reason during the last year, Viktor had developed a tendency to drop by, appearing unexpectedly and disrupting the lesson, teasing Yuuri shamelessly and leaving him blushing and spluttering in his wake. For the whole week, Yuuri’s classroom had been conspicuously Viktor free but finally he appeared again.
Yuuri was in the middle of a particularly difficult lesson when he arrived. Human transfiguration was always complicated and often resulted in embarrassing accidents for the students and he wanted to make absolutely sure they all understood the theory before anyone moved onto the practical. He was in the middle of explaining the complicated technique behind hair colour transformation when Viktor slipped into the room. From the way he moved, the action looked like it was supposed to be surreptitious but the entire class still turned towards him anyway the second he entered the room. Viktor was anything but inconspicuous.
Viktor shot the class a charming smile and waved the gazes away, eyes fixed on Yuuri.
“I need to borrow your professor for a moment but it can wait,” he said lightly and Yuuri suppressed a groan. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to see Viktor but he was in the middle of teaching and he was always distracted whenever Viktor was near. Trying to conceal his inconvenient romantic feelings from the other man and the class at large was always harder when Viktor was beaming at him and making witty comments all throughout the lesson.
“Just sit down there and I’ll be with you in a minute,” he nodded towards one of the empty desks at the back of the classroom and Viktor hopped onto it, swinging his legs cheerfully and grinning at Yuuri’s exasperated expression.
“Now, does anyone have any questions before we begin,” he asked the class at large and one student raised his hand, looking nervous.
“Sir, can we have a demonstration,” he asked, voice sounding a little apprehensive. It was a fair question, human transfiguration was daunting after all and Yuuri was about to agree when he saw the mischievous gleam in Viktor’s eyes at the back off the classroom.
“You’ll need a volunteer,” he said casually, sliding off the empty desk he had been sitting on and making his way up to the front of the class. His eyes were fixed on Yuuri and there was a sly smile to his face as he did so. It didn’t help Yuuri’s emotional state in the slightest. “Since I interrupted, let me pay you back.”
“There’s really no need,” Yuuri insisted. But Viktor was already standing in front of him, looking expectant. The class were all watching intently too and he couldn’t think of a good enough excuse to refuse. Instead he cleared his throat and raised his wand, trying to concentrate on what to do.
The lesson had been on hair colour transfiguration but Yuuri could hardly bring himself to use the spell on Viktor. His long silvery hair was a prominent reminder of his Veela side and it cascaded in shimmering waves down his back, catching the light as it moved. Viktor was stunning all over but his hair was especially lovely and Yuuri had fantasied about running his fingers through it more than once. It seemed almost sacrilege to change it in any way.
“Come on Yuuri,” Viktor said at his hesitation as Yuuri tried to shake away the incredibly unhelpful thoughts, a teasing challenge in his voice as the class watched on in anticipation. “Human transfiguration is your speciality isn’t it? Make me beautiful.”
“But you’re already beautiful,” Yuuri blurted out before he could stop himself.
He had been so very wrong. This year was off to a terrible start.