Notes: One of my few attempts at a one-shot. Going to be attempting a couple of cross-overs for the next few months. No news on Thorns, I'm a tiny bit stuck (just a tiny bit!), but I won't give it up.

Summary: Slash. Sometimes falling in love does not happen in the space of one encounter, but in the accumulation of them. Kakashi/Harry

Warnings: Slash and light sexual activities between two males (it's not that graphic).

Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns components from Harry Potter, and Masashi Kishimoto owns those from the Naruto universe.


Glowing Embers


The first time they met was nothing special.

There had been no sparks. No fanfare – barely even a glimpse of the other, for that matter.

But the memory of blazing green eyes was seared in the back of one's memory, while the other would carry the amusing image of messy, silver hair getting tangled in the overhanging branches.

Both carried on with their lives, unaffected, like one would when having chanced upon a stranger.

Neither would cross the other's mind until their next meeting.


The second time they met was nothing short of awkward.

A botched mission had sent a battered Inu crawling for cover in the forest. His partner, Jackal, had run once the odds were not in their favour. Inu had been forced to pick up the slack, even going so far as to protect the other's back as he ran.

Inu vaguely wished he hadn't deflected the stray kunai that had almost pierced the other's back.

Nevertheless Inu brushed the other from his mind. There were more pressing matters at hand. For example, his heavily bleeding abdomen, courtesy of a shuriken which had slipped past his guard.

Silently he ripped material off the bottom of his shirt, before tying it tightly around the wound. The makeshift bandage would hopefully last until he was able to get care for it.

Heterochromatic eyes darted around, Inu straining his ears and eyes for danger.

A cold breeze swirled around him, sending leaves rustling and branches swaying.

In the far off distance he could hear a pair of men arguing.

He could faintly make out what they were saying, so long as his mind was focused on them and not on the bark digging painfully into his back, or rocks poking his arse.

"Forget it, Tsuru. They're long gone. We won't find them before dusk settles."

The rapid fire response of: "Are you questioning me, Ahiru?"

"N-No, sir!"

"Then why are you still in my sight," the shick of a kunai being withdrawn. "I tire of your face. Do not test me."

The damning silence came back, and Inu tensed uncomfortably.

Closing his eyes as darkness began to shade the forest, he cocked his head to the side, one hand resting lightly on a kunai. He swallowed drily as the crunch of footsteps in his direction grew louder.

He felt ashamed of himself in that moment. How he had been almost defeated and cornered by sub-par shinobi who were unable to mask their footsteps astounded him.

But he knew despite them being lacking, he would be unable to take out the eleven that were hunting him while injured.

His ninken were not an option either, as they had been called away by what they barked to be some meeting called by their higher-ups. Who their higher-ups were was beyond Inu (for Kami's sake, dogs had a hierarchy?) but he respected their wishes. He had been unable to postpone this mission hence his partnering with Jackal had been ordered by Tsunade.

He was going to spike her sake for this.

Exhaling quietly through his nose, Inu kept his eyes firmly shut, knowing if he glimpsed light before the darkness fully set he would be at a disadvantage.

The crunch of dead leaves grew louder.

Sliding to a crouch, Inu ignored the stab of pain in his gut, instead using it to ground himself.

He gave them props for at least not talking to each other.

The sound of wind whistling sharply allowed him to know whoever they were, they were hacking away at the shrubbery; a cautionary act to ensure he was not hidden in one of them.

Wise.

But bad for him.

He shut off all his other senses save his ears and nose. The cold sting of ice clung heavily to them, and his muscles coiled when they reached the row of trees not two meters away from him.

Another step.

His eyes flared open, sharingan swirling as he leapt out and pinned the other to the tree, kunai pressing against the others jugular as he readied to slice to the right.

He paused.

Wide, apple green eyes stared at him, undisguised confusion swimming in those orbs.

"You are not from Yuki no Kuni."

An eyebrow arched itself at him. "You don't say. I never would have guessed."

A flash of irritation rushed through Inu, adrenaline forcing his tension high. "Who are you?"

The bleeding man grew more incensed as the other simply swiped away his hands and bent down to pick up a wick basket Inu had failed to notice earlier. It was stuffed to the brim with different shrubs and herbs.

"Hari Senju," replied the other shortly, already walking away from the other. "As nice as it was to meet you, I have a deadline to- woah!"

Hari stood there befuddled as the ANBU toppled over, crushing him with his body against the tree.

He lay there for a moment, staring up at the stars and wondering what he had done to deserve this, before glancing back at the swirl which marked the man as a shinobi of Konohagakure. Closing his eyes he shoved the heavy body off of him before dusting his pants off.

Deciding that, okay, he would do his one good deed for the day, he hoisted the man onto his back, slinging a piece of rope around the man to keep him firmly on Harry's back, and through the basket handle to keep it up.

Lastly he hooked his arms around the man's knees.

"Kami," he muttered. "I don't care if you're ANBU, I'm putting you on a diet after this, even if I have to threaten merchants from selling you food."

A sleepy voice replied, "that's a bit drastic."


Three seasons breezed by before their third encounter.

"You!"

Hari blinked, but otherwise did not react. He continued to measure out the herbs, filtering and distilling them, the purple essence he collected being poured into the rest of his concoction. He stirred counter-clockwise three times before setting the glass rod down and looking up.

"Can I help you?" he tagged on a sweet smile at the end.

Though Hari was unable to see the other's eyes he had the feeling the other was glaring quite heatedly through the tiny holes the mask had.

"What citizen frolics around our borders during darkness," he snarled aloud, "but—"

"—one who requires herbs?"

"—a suspicious character?"

Hari smiled once again, "if anyone is a suspicious character worth having an eye on, it should be the man hiding his identity, no?"

"No."

Bottling up the headache potion he had just finished, Hari wanted nothing more than to throw back the glass and gulp it down.

But a Sasuke Uchiha had penned a note ordering a crate of headache potions with a small 'the fangirls are crazy', and Hari had pitied the young lad. He still did, which was the only reason he was storing the potion away, nestled between strips of bamboo to prevent shattering.

"Don't ignore me," uttered the other, a strong hand coming to rest on Hari's bicep.

Hari tried to quell his shiver at the contact but couldn't quite resist. He figured the other would merely take his reaction for fear.


Their fourteenth encounter was an eye-opener, at best.

At worst, it was the day Hari almost died, and Inu lost his status as incognito.

The dark haired male was cleaning up, throwing aged potions away and stoppering the trial scents he'd had out for men and women. Wiping down the benches and humming lightly under his breath, Hari was unready for the calloused hand that covered his mouth, a sharp blade ensuring his head was held firmly against his captor's chest.

His muffled cries got nowhere, as the man behind him hissed obscenities on what he was going to do to Hari should he cry out.

"You got me, boy?"

Terrified, Hari could only nod jerkily.

He hadn't been this terrified when he had met Inu.

"Good. Now, Orochimaru-sama wants you for some reason. I don't know why, but what he wants, he gets."

Hari stared frozenly at the clock ticking above his working bench.

"You're going to come with me silently, or I'll slice your pretty little body up and let you bleed your way to him," cooed the man. "Don't worry baby, I won't let you die. I'll make sure you stay alive the whole way." As Hari cringed in his arms he continued. "Maybe we'll even have a short break yeah? A little get to know each other. I'd enjoy that. You would too…maybe. Maybe not."

Slowly the man retracted his hand from around Hari's mouth. "No funny business, alright? I'm gonna tie your arms up."

Hari waited until the blade dropped from around his neck and was placed somewhere else. As the man reached for his hands, Hari swung his fists wildly, relishing the grunt of pain behind him.

Immediately he started screaming for help, tearing out of his shop and to the naked streets of Konoha.

Kami, he'd forgotten about the curfew for everyone san ANBU and those authorised. Shrieking one last time before the man behind him caught up, fear swamped him as his attacker growled harshly in his ear.

"That wasn't nice, pretty. And I was going to be kind. I guess you like it rough though, huh?"

Crying out, Hari whimpered as he was pressed up against a rickety fence; old wood scratching his skin as the man behind him whispered filth.

Gasping, he felt sweaty hands slide under his shirt. Hari fought fruitlessly, screaming in fear and rage as his mouth was covered and his chest violated.

"What do you think you're doing?" said a voice from behind them.

His captor spun them both around so Hari was in front of him – typical. He was now the man's shield.

Tears still streaming down his face, his own shirt stuffed in his mouth, Hari stared mortified as Inu stood opposite them, cold, porcelain mask firmly in place.

"H-Hari?"

Inu started forward, hands tense at his side.

"Nope," hummed the evil, evil man behind Hari. "Back up or I slice the pretty's throat. You wouldn't want that, would you now, ANBU?"

Inu halted, and Hari knew that two burning eyes were focused on him despite being unable to see them.

"Such a good ANBU," whispered the man, his hands beginning to slide up Hari's body again. "And they say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. No. Don't move. You were doing so well, puppy."

Growling, Inu stood stock still.

The man stared intrigued. "You really treasure this pretty, huh?"

Inu flinched as though he'd been punched in the gut.

Hari shuddered in the man's arms, dismay clear in green eyes.

The ANBU tore his eyes away from Hari, steadfastly ignoring the slender raven.

"Interesting. Take off your mask."

"Mmph!"

Jerking in his captor's hold, Hari shook his head furiously.

To ANBU, identity was everything. It was their way of cutting off reality and being able to focus their entire being for Konoha. To give it up was momentous.

Hari shook his head harder as Inu's hand raised itself.

No, don't do it. Don't do it, thought Hari repeatedly. Just last time they had met, Inu had explained why they wore masks. He had explained what it meant to him. Don't do it Inu. Not for me. Not for him. Don't!

Inu removed his mask.

Shocking crimson and grey eyes stared back at Hari unwaveringly.

"Son of Konoha's White Fang," breathed the other one, before he broke out laughing. "Oh, this is rich! The son of that disgrace!"

Hari's eyes narrowed dangerously as he kicked backwards suddenly, and Hari was unable to register the shriek of pain from the man as he shattered the man's knee inwards.

He couldn't register it as the blade around his neck sliced downwards along his back, and Hari closed his eyes, falling into warmth and the scent of earth.


The seventeenth time they met was one sided.

Inu never saw Hari, but Hari most definitely saw Inu.

Hari paused outside the bar, the only sign of his surprise the widening of green orbs as he stared at Inu – Hatake Kakashi, with a woman. It wasn't just platonic, that much was clear, if the arm Hatake had around her waist (slipping dangerously into unchartered territory) was any clue.

Unsure as to why he was filled with the urge to rip that woman out of Hatake's arms and onto the floor, Hari decided that tonight was a very bad night for him to enter the bar.

He went home early that night.

He went home uncharacteristically empty.


The eighteenth time they met was not of Hari's freewill.

Rather, Hari tried to escape quite fruitlessly, as Hatake was well and truly tired of seeing the green eyed minx run from him. To him, he could understand, but from? No. That was not happening on his watch.

He used his ninken to track down his kitten after a week of not seeing him.

When he finally caught Hari, he was furious ten minutes into their loud argument smack bang in one of the busiest streets of Konoha.

Hatake could not remember why they were yelling at each other, even as Naruto tried to quell their fight.

"Why the fuck are you avoiding me?" he found himself snarling at Hari, whose own teeth were bared in a semblance of a growl. His hand was fisted in Hari's shirt, and he had the other pinned tightly against one of the stalls with his hips.

Hari fought back, tooth and nail. "I don't need to explain myself to you! I am my own person—"

"No! You're not!" he yelled back, mouth clamping shut as he realised what he had said.

Hari stared at him, dumbfounded. "Then who do I belong to, huh Hatake?"

Hatake remained silent, Konoha's emblem heavy against his left eye. He wished he could stare at the other with his sharingan. Memorise the way green eyes glared at him, sparkling with life and anger – those soft, fucking perfect lips that were currently downturned so utterly kissable. Even those fiercely crinkled, delicate eyebrows appealed to him.

Oh Kami…No. No. No.

"Exactly," shrieked Hari as the ANBU remained silent. "You have no right, Hatake. So stay out of my life!"

Hatake shook himself out of his stupor. "What? What brought this on, Hari? What did I do? Why are you so angry?"

Too far gone, Hari didn't say what was ringing in his mind. Why were you with that woman? Why weren't you with me, you bastard!

Hari turned his back on the other and Hatake snarled heatedly, reaching out for Hari—

—only for Naruto and Sai to drag him off, cussing and hurling abuse.

Hari walked off, hurt that Hatake hadn't followed.

Hurt that Hatake hadn't cared enough.


The nineteenth time they met was an eye-opener for Hatake.

It was Hatake's turn to open the door of the bar, tired and ready to get dead drunk. The assassination of a missing nin had drained him, and he wanted nothing more than to forget the look in the man's eyes as he gutted him in front of his children.

He slid the wooden panel back, Jounin gear in place.

He froze.

Don't react, he thought to himself, even as he slid into a seat at the back of the bar. He made sure his seat faced towards the back of a certain black haired male.

Hari was laughing. An honest to god laugh, and Hatake could see everyone in the bar look Hari's way because Kami knew that laugh was beautiful.

Hatake saw red as the male sitting opposite Hari grinned goofily, reaching over to pat Hari's hand.

His hand reflexively tightened over his kunai.

Just one kunai, and he wouldn't have to see that ugly mug again. Wouldn't have to see that ugly mug near Hari's.

But Hari was laughing again, looking happy as fuck and Hatake threw back his head and downed his shot in a gulp, the burn in his throat tearing him back to earth.

He sat there that night, watching as Hari and that man fraternised, each round of laughter another round of shots.

At the end of the night (at the end of his torture), Hatake's patience snapped as he watched the two of them get up together, the red headed male slinging his arm around Hari.

He found himself across the room before the rest of the patrons could even notice what was happening, and had grabbed Hari.

Wrapping his arms around Hari possessively, he enunciated clearly so the idiotic red head could understand quite clearly that Hari was his.

"Mine."

That ought to be clear enough, no? If it wasn't, Hatake was quite happy to give a hands-on demonstration as to what would happen if one touched Hari.

Because Hari was his. There was no doubt about it. The delicate, beautiful man in his arms was Hatake's because no one had ever made Hatake feel this way – had never even come close to sending his heart racing.

Anko didn't count, because she was just plain insane.

As large, confused grass green eyes stared up at him, Hatake knew who he was going to set straight that night.

"Hatake?"


Hari lay, curled in warmth, the scent of something he couldn't quite place, but homey all the same, almost tangible.

He moaned as sunlight hit his face.

Snuggling deeper into his pillow – away from the light – he grunted.

The sheets on his bed were soft and silky, not smooth and…his nose wrinkled. Why did it feel alive?

Bleary, green eyes opened, before Hari's jaw dropped.

An amused smile curled pale lips, and Hari pinched himself as he was hit with flashes of the night before.


"You're mine, Hari. Mine. Mine to touch, mine to kiss, mine to hold."

Hot lips trailed down his spine even as he cried out. "Hatake, please!"

He could feel the smile pressed against the base of his spine. The lips moved no further – the hands stopped their movement.

"Kakashi!"

"That's right, baby." Whispered the other, a sweet promise hanging in the air.


Kakashi stilled in his lover, gently tugging the dark hairs at the back of Hari's head. "C'mon sweetie, you can do better than that."

Hari moaned tiredly. "No more, Kakashi – too much."

"Never too much." Hushed Kakashi. "I can never have too much of you. I want more, baby." He rolled Hari over onto his stomach, slowly moving his hips. "Can you give me more?"

Caging Hari to the bed, Kakashi intertwined his fingers with his lovers.

Hari wailed as he was slammed into, Kakashi's lips furious against his even as his lover's larger form engulfed his, to the point where he could no longer tell where Kakashi ended and he began. He didn't want to.

"Mine. You're all mine, baby."

Feeling the way he was stretched fully around Kakashi – the way the man forced him to take it, so lovingly that he could find no fault, Hari whimpered.

"Yours, Kakashi, yours."


Hatake – or should he say Kakashi, smelt like glowing embers and dry earth. He smelt like the fires which Hari worked over – like the home Hari lived in.

And Hari, to Kakashi, was bliss.