Tobirama is in the middle of breakfast—and, more importantly, a fascinating book on the intersection of Ancient Runes and Arithmancy in Egyptian rituals in the Middle Kingdom—when someone slams their hands down on the table directly across from him. Were he anyone else, Tobirama might startle, but as it is he simply lifts his head and blinks at the sight of his brother’s best friend standing there, glaring at him like he’s responsible for the existence of NEWTs.
“Would you go to Hogsmeade with me this weekend,” Madara says aggressively.
Tobirama blinks and drops his book. He stares at the Hufflepuff for a long moment, then glances up and down the Ravenclaw table, looking for people who are in on the joke. Everyone seems just as surprised as he is, though, and on instinct Tobirama turns towards the Gryffindor table, expecting laughter.
Instead, Madara flails. “No, no, do not look at your brother are you trying to get me killed?” he hisses desperately. “Just answer the damned question, Senju!”
Well. That dismisses that theory. Tobirama supposes that it could still be a practical joke, but if that’s the case it’s a very poorly considered one. Hashirama is…slightly overprotective. Just a little.
Not to mention that Tōka is worse, and a Slytherin on top of that.
Besides, it’s not as though Tobirama is opposed to the idea. He casts an assessing gaze over Madara, raises a brow faintly, and then reaches for his book again. “What time?” he asks.
The astonished expression that crosses Madara's face is strangely gratifying. “You—you're saying yes?”
Tobirama hides the beginnings of his smile behind the cover of the book. “What time?” he repeats.
“Eleven,” Madara blurts. He jerks away from the table, distractedly raking a hand through his long hair, and then snatches up his bag, snaps, “Don’t be late,” and stalks away.
It is a sign of possible insanity, Tobirama is sure, to find that prickliness of his cute.
Still…they have a date. Tobirama blinks down at the text on the page, not comprehending anything, and can't fight a faint smile. He has a date. It’s only happened a handful of times before—mostly because Hashirama can be downright frightening when he wants to be, and the entire school lives in terror of Tōka’s attention—but even then, Tobirama has never been quite so…interested before. His brother’s friend or not, Madara is handsome, smart, and just enough of a fool to make it endearing. Tobirama can't help but be very reluctantly charmed, even if the Hufflepuff can be an absolute idiot and an ass at times.
“That’s quite the smile,” a voice says from behind him, and Tobirama blinks and lifts his head, half-turning. Mito is watching him, one red brow arched. “Since you usually come out of an encounter with Uchiha spitting nails, I'm going to assume something unusual happened.”
“If I tell you, you’ll tell Tōka,” Tobirama informs her. “And Tōka will either tell my brother or do something directly, and then when she goes to Azkaban it will be on my head.”
Mito waves that off, sinking down beside him on the bench despite the glares it earns her for the Gryffindor invasion of the Ravenclaw table. “Oh, please. You say that like anyone would be able to catch her.”
This is true, Tobirama concedes with a sigh, glancing across the Hall. Tōka is lounging at the head of the Slytherin table like a queen before her court, and it’s been that way since first year. She insists that she only chose Slytherin because she has the ambition to prove that witches can be the equal of any wizard, but Tobirama honestly thinks that no other house would fit her quite so well.
“I won't tell Tōka about this is you don’t tell her about me being the one to dye her Quidditch robes red,” Mito bargains.
Tobirama knows that Tōka assumes Hashirama was the culprit. He would have thought Hashirama was the culprit, except for the fact that Hashirama would have dyed the entire team’s robes, not just Tōka’s. Since it’s in his favor not to tell Tōka any of this—she isn’t nearly as quick at scoring goals or keeping him from the snitch when she’s focused on “accidentally” hurling the Quaffle at wherever Hashirama is sitting in the stands, and Ravenclaw plays Slytherin next weekend—Tobirama nods in acceptance of the agreement and says, “Madara asked me on a date.”
Were she anyone else, Mito would choke. As it is, she gives him a long, slow look, sinks back in her seat, and says, “Well. No wonder you're keeping it from your brother.”
Exactly. Tobirama grimaces and pointedly goes back to his book. Mito will most likely keep her word—she doesn’t want Hashirama is prison for murder any more than Tobirama does. And at least she’s not—
“I think,” Mito says, perfectly, flawlessly precise, “that Madara and I need to have a little chat.” She favors Tobirama with her empress smile,—one part benign sadism, one part fondness, and eight parts nightmare-inducing threat—then rises to her feet, orders, “Stay,” and sweeps off towards the Hufflepuff table like the ruler of the world that Tobirama has no doubt she will one day be.
He doesn’t watch her go. Madara knew what he was getting into when he asked Tobirama out, and besides, there are some train wrecks Tobirama just doesn’t want to see.