Naruto was too busy laughing at something Shikamaru said to see the dark-haired girl sneaking up behind him, and only when he felt the trickle of something wet down his neck did he realise something was going on. He looked towards Lee, who was still in his Quidditch gear, thinking maybe he had for some odd reason poured water over his neck, but Lee was busy trying to talk Tenten into extending their practice, claiming that if they wanted to win the match over Slytherin next week they needed to train more.
Naruto turned around, and met the wide eyes of a short trembling girl. He scratched his head, trying to remember the name of the Hufflepuff. “Uhm, Hinata?” he started, hoping he had it right. “Did you just pour something on me?”
Hinata’s cheeks were burning red, and she had both hands behind her back, clutching something as if her life depended on it. “Ah, Na-Naru-Naruto,” she said in a squeaking voice, looking like she was about to bolt away any second now.
Naruto heard a weird noise to his side, and looked away from the trembling Hufflepuff girl to see Shino leaning closer to him, sniffing loudly. Naruto had just showered after their Quidditch practice, so he shouldn’t really smell that bad.
“Shino, what the bloody hell?” he said when Shino wasn’t content with just smelling the air, but actually leaned in, stuffing his nose right up into Naruto’s neck.
Naruto shoved him away, taking a step away from Shino, only to back right into Zabuza. The seventh year Slytherin glared at him, but then that glare faded, and he too leaned closer to Naruto.
“Naruto, I never noticed how handsome you were,” he said, sounding completely serious.
Naruto yelped and turned towards Hinata, eyes wide.
“What did you pour on me?” he demanded just as he felt Zabuza’s hand stroke lovingly down his back.
Hinata’s face was completely taken over by her blush, and she looked terrified, fidgeting. Naruto had barely talked to the girl before, why would she go around pouring stuff on him?
He turned his head and tried to smell his own neck. All he could smell was the pleasant scent of burning wood and spices. It was a really nice smell, sure, but it didn’t really warrant the attention he was getting.
“Maa, what’s going on here?”
Naruto looked up and saw their Charms Professor standing in front of them, grey hair falling over one eye, shoulders hunched, a look of amusement on his face.
No one said anything, but Zabuza was still stroking down Naruto’s back, so Naruto shook him off and tried to step away only to step too close to the sniffing Shino. He was surrounded by weirdness, and when he saw Neji eyeing him appreciatively he was ready to bolt out of there right that instant.
“Hinata poured something on my neck, and now everyone is being weird,” Naruto said, hoping Professor Hatake could fix whatever was wrong. He just hoped he wouldn’t have to go to the dungeon and Professor Orochimaru, because even if it was a potion and Professor Orochimaru technically was the Potions Master he didn’t think the head of Slytherin was very inclined to help a Gryffindor in distress.
Kakashi rubbed his fingers on the back of Naruto’s cloak and lifted them to his nose, sniffing them.
“Chalk and dogs and ocean,” he mumbled to himself. “Miss Hyuuga, was this supposed to be Amortentia?”
Hinata blushed so hard Naruto was sure the red was going to spill into her hair. She stuttered something out that Naruto didn’t quite catch.
“Amortentia is a difficult potion to make, Miss Hyuuga. I daresay you’ve gotten something mixed up.”
Naruto tried to recall what Amortentia was, but he was having a hard time remembering if they’d gone through it during potions. He wasn’t always paying attention. Rarely actually. Potions class was boring.
“I think Miss Hyuuga was trying to make a love potion, but rather than make Mr. Uzumaki become infatuated with her, it has rather backfired.”
Naruto stared around him, suddenly realising that not only Shino, Zabuza and Neji was making eyes at him, the rest of the hallway seemed similarly inclined.
Hinata squealed out an apology and hid behind her hands.
Professor Hatake looked at her, eyes narrowing. “Miss Hyuuga, are you feeling any different about Mr. Uzumaki than usual?”
Naruto thought maybe he saw her shake her head.
“Well, that proves it then. It's not the first time I've seen this particular version, nor do I suspect it will be the last. Common mistake if you don't know what you are doing." He turned towards Naruto, cocked his head and smiled a lopsided grin. "Mr. Uzumaki, this potion will make everyone that smells it temporarily infatuated with you. Not true love, mind you, can’t create that with a potion, but they’ll sure act like it, affects their hormones you see. The effect should pass in twenty-four hours.”
Naruto’s eyes widened. “Everyone?” he asked, looking around himself in worry, and then back to the professor, narrowing his eyes.
“Well, everyone except those that already do love you. And the teachers, because we’re not as influenced by hormones.” He looked at Hinata when he said the first, but Naruto had no idea why. Why would Hinata make some love potion and pour on him? What had he ever done to her?
“NARUTO! MY LOVE FOR YOU IS BLOSSOMING!”
Naruto spun around, and saw Lee running towards him, red and yellow tie tossed over his shoulder.
Naruto did not hesitate another moment, but started running the other way.
Naruto had thought the best thing to do was to hole up in his dormitory and just pass the rest of the evening there.
He only realised his mistake when Kiba looked up from the scroll he was writing on, giving him a weird look as he sniffed the air.
Shit! Not Kiba?
“Naruto, I’ve missed you,” Kiba said and Naruto hightailed it out of there before Kiba had a chance to elaborate further.
Nowhere would be safe. There were people everywhere.
He dodged Sakura along the way, ignoring the professions of everlasting love she was yelling after him. A few years ago Naruto would have loved for that to happen, now he thought he preferred it when she was screaming at him to shape up and do his homework.
He was contemplating finding Professor Umino and beg to hide out in the Transfigurations classroom for the night, but then he had to run away from Chouji (seriously, I like you almost as much as crisps? Was that supposed to be a way to woo a fellow?), and found himself on the direct route towards the Astronomy tower. It should hopefully be abandoned for the night, so he could hide there until the potion wore off. Being the highest tower it should be the furthest he could get from the other students, and it was too early for classes, so he'd just bar the door if the Astronomy Professor came up here. It would be worth the detention.
He had no more than ten minutes of peace and quiet before he heard a sound from his right and lifted his head, meeting Sasuke Uchiha’s glare. Shit, of course Sasuke would come up here. It was bad enough to have actual friends acting weird around him, now he'd have a stuck up Ravenclaw slobbering all over him. He didn't think he could imagine anyone he wanted professing their love to him less than Sasuke. It would be much too surreal a situation.
Better than him in most subjects (mostly because Sasuke apparently did all his homework, and even put an effort into it) and his nemesis on the Quidditch field (Naruto always made sure to aim as many Bludgers as he could in Sasuke's direction when the Ravenclaw Seeker was looking for the Snitch. He still remembered fondly the time Sasuke had taken a Bludger to the face).
Sasuke was a perpetual pain in Naruto's arse.
Pushing to his feet Naruto made to leave.
“Don't leave on my behalf. I'm just doing an Astronomy project, maybe you can actually learn how one gets Outstanding on an exam for once,” Sasuke said in a condescending manner as he pushed past Naruto, starting to set up his telescope, tilting his head back to look up at the sky.
Naruto stared at him. “Sasuke?” he asked.
Sasuke just rolled out a piece of parchment and used his quill to scribble down something on the top in his neat handwriting that Naruto had watched so many times in their History of Magic class where Sasuke was sitting right in front of him and Naruto was too bored to pay attention to Professor Mizuki. He'd spaced out watching Sasuke to recognise that anywhere.
“What is it, Uzumaki? Is seeing someone actually doing school work this much of a shock to you?"
“No, it's just… You don't feel any need to tell me anything?"
“What in Merlin's name would I want to say to you?” Sasuke muttered, looking up at the sky again before jotting something down. Naruto looked up, seeing the stars dotting the sky, having no clue as to what Sasuke saw up there that made any sort of sense to him. He hadn't been paying that much attention in Astronomy class either, which showed in his Acceptable grade on the O.W.L.s last year that he'd really only gotten because Sakura had forced him into learning at least some of Jupiter's moons. He had, unlike Sasuke obviously, opted out of Astronomy this year.
Naruto dropped his gaze back to Sasuke. He was sitting right by him, closer than both Neji and Kiba had ever been, but Sasuke wasn't reacting to the potion at all.
Naruto's eyes widened. No, it couldn't be. Sasuke Uchiha? But Professor Hatake had clearly said that the only ones not affected…
But Sasuke had never showed any sort of interest in him at all, had he? Sasuke always claimed that Naruto was a nuance, a waste of space, a disgrace to the world of magic. But at the same time…
Dark eyes glaring at him across the Great Hall. Somehow ending up sitting near each other in the library. The way Sasuke hadn't complained at all that time they got detention together last month, unlike how he always argued when they were stuck together before.
Naruto was stunned at the implications of what he was starting to realise, that maybe Sasuke didn't actually hate him at all anymore. His heart lurched in his chest, the realisation making something flare to life inside him, a warm feeling curling in his gut.
Not one to think too long on anything Naruto walked over and sat down right next to Sasuke.
“What the hell are you doing, Uzumaki,” Sasuke growled, before he wrinkled his nose. “And why do you smell like… is that tomatoes?"
“Sorry, Hinata Hyuuga spilled a potion on me.”
“Sure it wasn't just tomato juice?” Sasuke mumbled as he filled in something else on his scroll.
“She tried to make Amortentia,” Naruto elaborated, eyes watching Sasuke for any reaction. Still nothing.
“Those are too advanced for her level, she's only a fifth year.”
“Oh, we know,” Naruto said with a shrug.
“It didn’t work then?”
“Nah, it just worked a different way. Made everyone that wasn’t already in love with me become madly infatuated apparently.”
“Tsk, that must’ve been your dream come true, Uzumaki.”
“Nah, it was a bother. It’s why I came up here, to hang out until the effect wears off by tomorrow.”
He felt Sasuke stiffen next to him. "Tomorrow..?”
“Yeah,” Naruto said.
The quill in Sasuke's hand fell to the parchment, a small pool of ink spreading from the tip, blotting out Sasuke's notes. Sasuke's other hand was clutching at the fabric of his robes over his thighs.
The night was quiet around them, the temperature cool enough that Naruto shivered just slightly. He wasn't sure just how long, but a few quiet moments flowed by with them sitting there in silence. Naruto felt his heart beat in his chest, and his body was thrumming with energy. He wanted to do something, wanted Sasuke to do something. He had a hard time waiting patiently for Sasuke to say something.
Sasuke drew a sharp breath, seemingly steeling himself for something. "It's not what you think," he started.
“It's not?" Naruto asked.
“No?” Sasuke phrased it as a question rather than a statement, still refusing to look up at Naruto. His head was still bowed, his hair falling in front of his face, and all Naruto could see was the profile of his nose, straight and perfect, much like he’d thought Sasuke was.
He hadn’t thought about Sasuke as more than his rival, and maybe sort of friends sometimes, even if they argued more than they ever talked. Naruto was perpetually annoyed with Sasuke, maybe mostly because he always got better grades, and because all the girls, and some of the boys, fawned over him, and he was, however much it pained him to admit, a really good Quidditch player. There was only so much Naruto and his bat could do against Sasuke when he had his eye on the Snitch.
He had always thought Sasuke hated him though. He always had a nasty comment on hand when Naruto did something he didn’t approve of, and he had this constant glare on his face.
“You know, I always thought you hated me,” Naruto said, figuring he might as well bring Sasuke into the mental discussions he was having with himself.
“I thought I did as well,” Sasuke finally said with a sigh and let go of his robes, flatting his hand against his thigh, rubbing up and down a couple of times to straighten out the fabric.
“You were so loud and obnoxious, and you never took school seriously, and it annoyed me that you were given the opportunity to go to a school like Hogwarts and learn magic, and you didn’t even appreciate it.”
Naruto looked at him. He knew Sasuke came from a muggle family, and that he and his older brother were the only ones that had shown any affinity to magic. Naruto grew up in the magical society, was used to magic around, didn’t see why he needed to learn all the extra stuff like History of Magic or Potions. Naruto was going to become an Auror just like his mum and dad.
Magic was there, whether he studied or not, and he’d always known he was going to go to Hogwarts. He couldn’t imagine how it would have been for Sasuke to grow up, and only learn about it when his bigger brother got his letter, not even knowing if he too would be able to go there.
“I guess I never thought of it like that,” Naruto mused, rubbing a hand through his hair, messing up the blond locks further. Sakura kept insisting she had the perfect spell to make his hair behave, but he rather liked it like this.
“It doesn’t matter. I need to get back to my studies now,” Sasuke said.
Now, Naruto might not be the brightest wizard of the bunch, but he knew a deflection when he heard one.
“Sasuke, do you really love me?”
Sasuke had picked up his quill and at Naruto’s words the tip of it carved a ragged line through the parchment of his scroll as his shoulders hitched up. He didn’t answer.
“Sasuke?” Naruto prodded, shuffling so he was sitting on his knees, turned towards Sasuke.
“Does it matter either way?” Sasuke said, wadding up the ruined parchment to a ball.
“It matters to me,” Naruto said. He really wanted to hear the words from Sasuke’s mouth, didn’t think he could believe it only on account of the potion. His heart was beating hard enough he felt it in his throat, and he wished Sasuke would look up at him.
Sasuke sighed, and pushed his fingers into his hair, dragging it away from his face for a moment before letting it fall back like a silky curtain. Naruto wanted to lean in and push that hair away, his fingers curling up as he forced himself not to.
“It’s not like I asked for this, you know.”
“Asked for what?”
“To fall in love with you,” Sasuke said, and then turned towards Naruto.
His eyes were dark, but rather than the glare Naruto was used to see Sasuke looked almost… vulnerable. Like he was waiting for Naruto to use that knowledge to hurt him.
Naruto held his breath for a moment. He always knew that Sasuke was attractive, but he hadn’t really realised just how gorgeous he was.
“Sasuke,” he muttered and leaned closer.
Sasuke’s gaze flickered between Naruto’s eyes and his mouth, widening in surprise. Then he suddenly pulled away, just before their lips was about to meet, and Naruto tumbled forward, barely managing to catch himself against the rough stone of the floor.
“What the hell do you think you are doing, Uzumaki?” Sasuke said with a sneer.
Naruto pushed back to his knees and shrugged. “I figured I’d give snogging a go.”
“You bloody idiot. Don’t just go around snogging people!”
“You love me, I thought you’d want to!”
“I don’t want you to do it just because of some sick sense of curiosity,” Sasuke said, looking royally pissed off.
“Well, then how am I supposed to find out how I feel about you then?!” Naruto said, gesticulating widely to get his point across. He’d figured kissing him would be easy. If he liked it then good, if he didn’t then, well, then he’d know wouldn't he?
Sasuke looked at him as if he was the biggest idiot in the world. It was a look Naruto was very familiar with. “Why did I ever fall in love with a daft tosser like you,” he muttered, pressing the heel of his hand against his forehead.
“Because I’m awesome, and because I’m going to be the best wizard the world have seen,” Naruto said with a grin.
He thought he saw Sasuke roll his eyes, but he wasn’t certain.
“Since you are so bloody brilliant you figure out how then.” Naruto was pouting, but Sasuke didn't even look up to see.
“It’s not something you just figure out, it’s something you know or not.”
“That’s not very helpful, Sasuke!”
“Well, pardon me for not having planned how to get you to figure out your own emotions.”
“Just kiss me and we’ll find out.”
“Sasuke, just do it!” Naruto said, crawling closer. His eyes fell down to Sasuke’s lips, narrow and a pale pink.
“I’m not going to kiss you,” Sasuke stated, but his voice wasn’t as firm as it had been. He hesitated a moment, and then shook his head. “Sod this,” he said as his hands shot forward, grabbed a hold of the front of Naruto’s robes and pulled him forward, crashing their lips together.
Naruto winced as his bottom lip was caught between his teeth for a moment. Then he realised what was happening. Sasuke was kissing him. There was a mouth pressed against his, and there were lips moving, and even if Naruto hadn’t really caught up his lips apparently had, because he was kissing right back.
It was sort of odd to be snogging with someone you thought were your rival, but it was also nice. Like really nice. Like, it felt like he’d drunk a glass of fire whiskey and his insides were all warm and tingly.
All too soon Sasuke pulled away, glaring at Naruto. “Now, was that at all helpful?”
Naruto looked at him, trying to get his mind to work again. It was a bit sluggish.
Sasuke’s cheeks were tinted with a soft red, and Naruto realised that was the first time he’d seen Sasuke blushing at all, and it looked really nice.
“I’m not sure if it helped. We should do it some more,” he stated, and this time it was his turn to pull Sasuke in, pressing their mouths together.
Love potions and astronomy projects were soon forgotten as Naruto was starting to figure out that maybe there was more than just rivalry between them. They kept on snogging until Professor Yuuhi came up with a group of giggling first years, and when all apart from the professor started making very interested eyes at Naruto Sasuke promptly dragged him away, muttering about horrible timing, and idiot Hyuugas.
They kissed behind a statue, and then in a staircase, and then some more in a room Naruto had never been to before. Sasuke said something about how he didn't give a damned where they were, he had required a room where they wouldn't be disturbed, and this abandoned sitting room would surely do.
They snogged for the rest of the night until Naruto had to admit that maybe, just maybe, he wasn't seeing Sasuke just as a rival anymore. Maybe he was totally crushing on the guy, and even if he had no clue if it was a case of the snogging, or if it was something that had been growing for a while (Sakura kept telling him he was slow on the uptake, so he might've been feeling this way for a while actually), he didn't really care, because either way he had Sasuke now.
A week later, when he saw the Hufflepuff girl that had started the entire thing for the first time since the…incident…he had Sasuke's arm around his shoulder and fresh love bites lining his neck. He figured he should maybe thank her or something, but she ran away the next moment.
He turned to Sasuke to ask if he had any idea what was wrong with the girl, but Sasuke just pushed him against the wall and kissed him, and soon Naruto forgot all about anything he had wanted to ask. Nothing else really mattered when Sasuke was kissing him like this. Maybe potions were kind of handy after all.