A/N: If y'all are interested in Hermione and Adrian Pucey romances, please read my newest story "A Count's Disposition". Enjoy.

Harry shuffled awkwardly on the mat as he waited for class to begin. Professor Uzumaki was running late… again. He had an unfortunate inkling that this was going to be a regular occurrence. Sure enough, two minutes into the scheduled class time, their blond bombshell of a professor strolled in languidly.

"Hello my precious little students," She greeted with her typical grin, "You will all be happy to know that as of today, we are officially cutting back the running to only twice a week!"

The class took a collective sigh of relief. They were absolutely sick of the disgusting drills, having grown exhausted of the tiring exercise. To be fair, however, everyone's endurance has grown rapidly over the last few weeks. Yet it was still an odd form of torture that the class would be happy to get rid of.

"Today, my little ducklings, we will be learning how to properly punch. Everyone get into pairs please," Naruto commanded as the students quickly found partners. They learned early on to quickly do whatever their mercurial professor asked, lest they have her ire directed towards themselves. Harry quickly grabbed onto Ron, as Hermione hurried over to Neville's side. This was not an assignment they wanted to risk being paired off with a Slytherin.

Off to the side, the boy-who-lived could see Malfoy laugh with his partner Zabini, near Nott who was paired off with the Parkinson girl. Once everyone seemingly had found someone, Professor Uzumaki waltzed into the middle of the group, assuring that everyone could see her clearly.

Just as she were about to begin speaking, a handsome older student walked into the classroom, an easy smile spreading across his pale features as he sauntered in confidently, "Professor, you wanted to see me?"

Naruto grinned as she waved the boy inside, "Mr. Pucey! Yes, yes, come on in. I'm certain Sevvy told you the reason as to my request?"

"Of course, Professor," Adrian confirmed with a nod, shedding his robe off and rolling his sleeves to his elbow.

"Okay class, make sure you pay attention to what I do and say; lest you hurt yourself in the process. Mr. Pucey will be my partner for this demonstration, so everyone better show proper respect. Everybody; let your four fingers curl to make a fist. Then wrap your thumb around your first knuckle. If you accidentally tuck your thumb under your fingers, you risk dislocating it, which I've been told is an inconvenience." Naruto watched carefully as they all carefully copied her, "Now, copy my stance. Using your dominate hand, make a proper first, and extend it sharply as you see me do. Perfect. Now we are going to practice with your partners while I go around and correct you. One person will use their upturned palms to block the punch, while the other softly sends punches. Watch how I carefully punch Mr. Pucey's palms, and see his stance. He is standing sideways, his elbow tucked in so that he can absorb as much of my strength as possible. Today is all about form, not about power. If I see any sign that you are trying to deliberately hurt your partner, you will join me for daily detention. Am I understood?"

The class all collectively gulped and sharply nodded. By this point, the entire castle was aware of the odd detentions set out by the professor, and no one wanted to spend their nights in such a way. The golden trio in particular shared a collective shudder at the mere idea of adding more time to their sentence.

Adrian smirked at the response. He loved his Professor, easily equating to his respect for his own Head of House. But even he knew that Professor Uzumaki was more liable to launching a student out of a window than she was to just dock off points. He shuddered at the thought, he hoped that he never did anything to earn her ire.

"Mr. Pucey, if you may assist me in going around the classroom?" Naruto asked, pleased to see the young boy nod seriously before walking over to the Slytherin side of the classroom and helping them with their forms. She had taught his class this lesson the day before, and Adrian Pucey was quick to grasp the fundamentals; making him the perfect person to assist with demonstration.

"Adrian, is everything prepared?" Draco questioned as the older boy quickly repositioned the heir's form.

Adrian nodded sharply, a devious smirk creeping onto his features, "Phase one is complete. We are ready to move once you are."

Draco nodded, his fist extending sharply to softly punch his partner Blaise's upturned palm, "Umbridge has asked me to come to her office later tonight. It's the perfect opportunity to begin."

"And have you informed the twins?" Adrian questioned.

"I still can't believe we're relying on a pair of Gryffindors for this," Zabini muttered darkly.

"Fred and George aren't actually too bad," Draco commented absentmindedly, "at least they aren't once you get over the whole Weasley thing."

Adrian laughed, "If every Gryffindor were like the twins perhaps we wouldn't have such a stark house rivalry to begin with."

"Blasphemy," Zabini exclaimed, as he took yet another one of Draco's soft punches.

"Tonight, then?" Adrian asked in a whisper.


The Golden Trio mulled around a bit as class let out, the rest of their peers hurriedly leaving the room whilst their enigmatic professor cheerfully waved good bye.

"Professor?" Harry called out tentatively, attempting not to wince as she directed her ridiculously blue gaze at them.

"Yes, Mr. Potter?" Naruto asked with a sigh.

Harry shuffled as he fidgeted with his books, "We just wanted to apologize for our actions the night before last. It was beyond wrong of us to dig through your personal belongings, and we can only say that we're sorry for our behavior."

Naruto sighed deeply as she leaned back onto the wall, "Do the three of you understand why I punished you so severely for your actions?"

"We violated your trust, Professor," Hermione answered with a grimace.

"You did," Naruto nodded, "However you also did something far worse."

The trio gave each other confused looks as Naruto continued, "You didn't trust your elders."

"Professor, with all due respect, we have quite the history with having Professor's with ulterior motives. Time and time again our trust has been blatantly toyed with, and we didn't want the same to happen with you," Hermione explained, not making eye contact with the blond.

"I understand that, truly I do. However I must ask: when you doubted the sincerity of a new professor, have you ever sought help from anyone else? Like your headmaster, for example?" Naruto questioned.

"Headmaster Dumbledore is often the one who hires these people in the first place! What good will going to him do?" Ron scoffed, his arms crossing in indignation.

Naruto tilted her head, "Perhaps he would look into it?"

"What reason would he have to trust our word for it?" Harry said with a bitter frown, "We're just children in his eyes."

"You are only treated as children as long as you act like it," Naruto said solemnly, "I was once in a similar situation when I was just about your age. I come from a small village far away, and in my little village, everyone answers to the leader. There was once a time when I was traveling quite far from my home, when all of a sudden I see a well known criminal make his way towards my village. Now I knew that I had two choices. On one hand, I could have taken him on and fought him. I was strong, I knew, maybe even stronger than this criminal. It would have been a very close call, but I was foolhardy enough to think myself more powerful. On the other hand I could have ran back to my village as fast as possible to let my leader know, preparing the city and defenses for an upcoming attack. Which of these choices do you think I followed."

"The latter one, obviously," Hermione stated, her nose scrunched up in thought.

Naruto shook her head sadly, "Unfortunately I was narcissistic enough to think myself more powerful than this man, and I attempted to fight him head on. I lost, badly. Because of this I lost precious time that could have been spent warning my fellow villagers, and instead they found themselves unprepared for an attack. If I had just left the man alone and trusted in my comrades, I could have saved multiple lives. But I didn't, and I live with that regret everyday. That is not a regret I would ever wish you to acquire. You don't have to trust me, you have no reason to do so yet. But trust in Dumbledore. Trust in the professors that have been here protecting you since your very first year."

"I—" Harry stammered, "We will try."

Naruto nodded solemnly, "That is all I can ask."

Shikamaru cursed. Loudly and explicitly. His wide gaze returned to Tsunade, "You have got to be kidding me?"

The blond woman took a large sip of her sake, a grimace making its way onto her youthful features, "I'm afraid not."

The Nara looked down at the letter in front of him, his eyes steeling in poorly concealed rage, "Is he a moron?!"

"I'm sure it's considered to be bad form to call a Kage of a village a moron," Tsunade said, "but essentially, yes. He really is."

Shikamaru cursed under his breath, "Do you understand the repercussions that could happen from this? What our very own civilians would do if they heard of such an insulting offer?"

"I'm aware of the dangers, Nara-san," Tsunade frowned, "It's why I called you in to deal with it."

"This little piece of paper could very well start a war, as if we haven't had enough of that in recent years," Shikamaru grumbled lowly.

"Shikamaru Nara, you need to help me fix this. Fix this absolute mess of a situation before Sasuke Uchiha finds out, because the moment he does we may very well find ourselves once more on the forefront of battle."

"Professor Umbridge, you had asked to see me?" Draco questioned as he entered the lace clad atrocity known as her office.

The Defense of Dark Arts Professor grinned as she gestured for the boy to take a seat, "Yes, please do shut the door behind you Mr. Malfoy."

He did so before taking a seat before her, wishing that he could close his eyes as they were beginning to sting from the sheer amount of pink tossed about, "How can I be of assistance to you, Professor?"

"As I am sure you are undoubtedly aware, I have been made Hogwarts High Inquisitor," the elder woman practically preened, her toad like neck flexing under the harsh lighting.

Draco nodded kindly, "My father has informed me of the Minister's wise choice before the announcement, you have my congratulations on the appointment."

"Why thank you, Mr. Malfoy. I am glad to see that you are just as dignified as your father."

"He has taught me well."

"Indeed. I can use someone like you to assist me in making sure that this castle is free of any undesirables that may roam freely."

"I will assist in any way that I can, Professor."

Umbridge let out an ugly, bone chilling smile, "Perfect."

"She wants the Slytherin's in power to form a club, one that answers only to her and is capable of taking points away even from other prefects," Draco exclaimed as he leaned onto a wall in the darkened corridor.

Fred and George exchanged glances, as they spoke in tandem, "She wants to give you all absolute power?"

The blond nodded sharply, "Essentially? Yes."

Fred grimaced at the thought, "It would drastically upset the balance of the castle if this were made the case."

Malfoy frowned, "Trust me, us Slytherins have no intention of staying under the toads thumb. We want nothing to do with her ridiculous conquest to take over the castle."

"Why not? Don't you all want absolute power?" George questioned doubtfully.

"We do," Draco freely admitted, "However we want it on our own terms. If we submit to Umbridge then we do not have the power— she does. We like her just about as much as the rest of the castle, and we have no interest in seeing her use the ministry in such a way."

"So what's your plan? I'm assuming you have one, if you're approaching us for assistance," Fred questioned.

"The first step of the plan is already in motion. This is what I need from the two of you…"

Gaara frowned as he signed yet another form that was perched meticulously on his desk, the unending pile of paperwork never diminishing no matter how fast he worked. When he had agreed to be Kazekage, he would have never imagined the sheer amount of signing he would have to do, easily encompassing about 90 percent of his job.

Thankfully, his boredom was quickly interrupted as his brother strolled into the room, a letter firmly within his grasp, "A missive for you from the Raikage."

Gaara felt his lips pull even further downwards. What did A want with him this time? He always felt nervous receiving letters from other Kage, the threat of war always looming in the background despite the tentatively peaceful times. His teal eyes quickly scanned the letter, and with each sentence his jaw dropped further and further.

"Kankurō," Gaara commanded sharply, "Procure the best guards you can find on short notice. I am needed in Konoha. Now."

His elder brother stumbled, a look of confusion painted across his face, "What? Why?"

Gaara grimaced, his eyes returning to the letter before him, "Because the Raikage has just made a huge mistake, and I am needed to halt the start of what very well may be the Fifth Shinobi War."

Naruto chuckled as she read her orange covered book, her legs perched on top of her desk as her students completed their final hour of detention for the night. The twins and Draco had their heads lowered and pressed together, speaking in quiet whispers that gave Naruto the impression that they were not working on wedding plans. She smirked evilly as she wondered just how Draco's little plan was going…

Hermione scowled as she flipped through the stacks of paperwork that cluttered her desk, her quill unceasingly making notes on a spare parchment as she completed the arithmetic necessary for the task, "Professor?"

"Yes, Ms. Granger?" Naruto answered absentmindedly.

"I have another question regarding an expense listed in your taxes."

"Well? What is it?"

"It's pertaining the line that states, 'Gaara you damn b-word'."

Naruto rolled her eyes as the young girl refused to curse within earshot of an authority figure, "What about it?"

"Why is it in the equivalence to 10,000 pounds? And what exactly is it? I can't list it off as a deductible as is," Hermione explained nervously.

"Oh that's just money I owe a separate village for the collateral damage I have caused while visiting. Nothing too crazy," Naruto dismissed with a wave, her attention reverting back to her book.

Hermione cringed. She really really feared for her professors sanity.

Ron, meanwhile, was stuck staring unblinkingly at the board before him. Naruto had the foresight enough to bring the boy a shogi board, and now as he sat there playing with the pieces he could only shudder at the mere thought of playing this game against a master. It was different from chess, he realized, harder and more complicated. The amount of rules that made up the foreign game was mind boggling, it was no wonder his Professor had lost a decent amount of money while playing it.

Harry, however, was having the easiest time out of his friends. He had completed this task more times than he'd willingly admit, and he was becoming quite decent as coming up with rejections to these proposals. This one, however, left him slightly confused.

"Um, Professor?"

Naruto groaned, she was just getting to the good part of the book, "Yes, Mr. Potter?"

"There's something different about this letter," Harry admitted.

"Such as?"

"Well, it almost seems like the sender actually knows you," Harry scratched the back of his head as he scanned the letter once more, "The other proposals all followed the same form: Man claims to have seen you from afar or heard of your reputation, and has fallen in love with you. This one is almost personal."


Harry nodded, "He frequently mentions your different interactions, and basically breaks down why you would be a perfect bride for his younger brother."

"Younger brother?" Naruto frowned as she sat up in her seat, "Who sent the letter?"

"I'm not sure. The only signature I could find was at the end, where he only signed as the letter 'A'."

Oh. Well fuck.