Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Harry Potter

Yeah, it's been a while.

Harry Potter woke up in an unfamiliar place with an unfamiliar presence near him. He froze. Last time there was someone near him when he slept-

He scrambled backwards as fast as he could and fell from the shared bed. He was caught by something that felt soft like a cushion but also gritty like sand.

It all came back. No Dursleys. Sand. Twelve. Gaara. No Matter What.

The redhead on the bed stirred. "Harry?"

Harry stared. It was real, not a dream. "Gaara," he breathed, "Together, right?"

Gaara seemed to understand his need for reassurance. Perhaps he needed to be reassured himself. "No matter what."

He was deposited by the cushion-that-felt-like-sand back on the bed.

No matter what. Even if he was a freak. He had somebody, a confidant, a friend. He'd never had anyone but the spiders under the stairs. It was a nice feeling; having someone care for you. Harry wondered if it felt just as nice to care for someone else. He decided that he'd give it a try and care for his newest friend. His only friend.

He looked down at the older boy who had not yet sat up. "You promise?"

A soft look crossed Gaara's face. He sat up and pulled the young brunette to him. "I promise. We'll always be together, never apart. That will be our way of life if you'll accept the companionship of a monster?" The declaration had started out strong and compassionate, but sounded uncertain toward the end.

Harry blinked. He looked around. He blinked again. There was no monster near them. But then, didn't Harry always refer to himself as a freak? What if Gaara did the same thing? Maybe Gaara thought he was a monster. He wondered who had called the redhead such a thing.

He wound his arms around Gaara's waist and lat his haed rest on Gaara's shoulder. "You're not a monster but I accept your compin...campon...com-pan-i-on-ship." He sounded out the large word. The thought struck him that Gaara might not want to be burdened with the presence of a freak. "Would it bother you to always be with a freak?"

Gaara froze for a moment. He shook his head and slowly lifted Harry's chin with a bent finger so that they were eye to eye. His face was expressionless. "Who told you that you were a freak?"

"My family. Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and my cousin, Dudley. They called me a freak. They said that I wasn't normal like they were. They said I was a freak just like my freakish, dead parents."

"They were wrong." His voice was like ice. "Never think that. You are not a freak. Never a freak. Forget what they said to you. Forget them, their very existence. They are no longer your family. They are not worthy. I would hunt them down and return the pain they caused you tenfold, were I able."

Harry was quiet. When he did speak, he seemed almost in awe. "Thank you. I've never had anyone on my side before."

Gaara's finger ran from Harry's chin to trail softly along his jaw. "From now on, you'll have me on your side."

Blurry, his eyes were blurry. He couldn't see, even with his glasses. His nose was starting to run. His throat felt tight and it was getting hard to breathe. He spoke one word in a strangled sob, "Gaara."

Arms were around him. One around his waist, one around his shoulders. His head was buried in Gaara's neck. His legs were bent at the knees, one on either side of the older boy's hips. His own arms were wound tightly around Gaara's waist. He'd never been held like this. Hugged.

They sat in that position, unmoving, until Gaara lost feeling in his legs. They lay on the bed, still in their close embrace, to balance the weight better.

Harry looked up at Gaara through his lashes. "Gaara? Where will I go? I don't even know how I got here, where will I stay? I don't have a family to take me in anymore."

Gaara chuckled and pressed his tattooed forehead to the younger boy's scarred forehead. "You'll come home with me. We can't be together all the time if we live in different places. You'll become a part of my family."

"Won't your parents mind?"

"I don't believe so. I have no mother and my father works all the time. It's just me and my siblings for the most part."

"Oh." Gaara's home sounded much different than the Dursleys' house. "What's your family like?"

There was a slight pause. "Strange. My father is not a pleasant man, so it is rather fortunate that he works a lot. My sister, Temari, is the oldest of us. She is bossy and proud but very responsible. She is almost motherly in her ways. She has blonde hair in strange ponytails, her eyes are sort of a greenish blue but she says they're teal. She wears a loose battle kimono usually, various pieces of fishnet body armour and her sandles. She's ususlly carrying her battle fan too, she's training to become Sand's Wind Mistress. I also have an older brother, Kankurou. He's training to be a Master Puppeteer so he wears all black. He wears a hood with cat-like ears and purple facepaint. He has brown hair and dark brown eyes. He usually has at least one puppet with him at all times. He may seem scary and he talks tough, and he really doesn't like people younger than him that much, but he's not so bad. Then there's me. My family and I don't get on that well but I have a feeling that will change when you join us."

It was such a large amount of information to take in at once. "How do you know that?" Harry couldn't see how Gaara thought his addition to the family would help things.

"I just know."

"Oh." There was silence for a few minutes. "Hey Gaara? Thank you for all of this."

Gaara's response was quiet. "You have nothing to thank me for, these arangements mean that we'll be together."

Harry smiled as he whispered the promise dear to his heart, "No matter what."