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29 November 2009 @ 11:59 pm
REPOST: With and Against  

Title: With and Against
Pairing: Albus/Gellert
Rating: On the upper side of PG-13 Slightly NSFW
Word Count: ~1,100
Summary: Albus faces his bittersweet victory in 1945, alone.
Warnings: Angst, sexual allusions that don't qualify as explicit by far, cynicism.
Disclaimer: Everything Harry Potter is property of JKR, no profit is being made off this story and no copyright infringement intended.
Notes: Originally posted in February 2008; loosely ties in with Theatre of War, which can be found here.

With and Against

Albus is completely out of breath.

He doesn’t know why he is here; he should have left right away. There is no purpose to his presence now, not anymore, no formal trial in which he could play the chief witness, no need for elaboration on his part. What evidence does one need for crimes that had been flaunting themselves for years on end? Indeed, he should go out and face the fame, the journalists, the more imminent questions that will serve as guidelines for all those authors of the hour as they write their eulogies to sweep most of the wizarding world’s newspapers by tomorrow. And yet, he lingers in the antechamber of the cell, looking at the door which admitted the fallen warrior he had brought but a few trifling hours ago, not in the least mindful of his injuries or his robes stained with filth and possibly some blood.

“Dark Lord Grindelwald Defeated!” the headlines will exclaim, because there is just no way such a crucial shift in power could be glossed over. And that’s all they will say on the matter, albeit in a thousand different renditions, because there is also every way for the most sinister tyrant of the century to be remembered as nothing but that. Not a human like any other (he wasn’t like any other, he wasn’t), not a corrupt mind on its fated descent to damnation (fate? what is fate to us?), not even Gellert Grindelwald. A Dark Lord.

So the past will be past, once and for all.

The sun is shining, but they would like it to set already, so that there will be at least a temporary reprieve from the suffocating summer heat. When it does, the evenings are long and perfumed with all the beloved scents of the season, stretching beyond the horizon as the overlaying sky darkens.

It is he, Albus, who has destroyed him. Nobody else could have done, it’s true, but some acts are not redeemed by telling himself it was only necessity that had driven him to them.

In the room, there seems to be nothing but their files, heaps upon heaps of scrolls and books and papers strewn across the table and floor and bed. Gellert pushes some of them aside just before he drags him down, but Albus can’t even smirk at his impatience. They kiss and undress quickly, both thinking, no doubt, that the next time will give them a chance to do everything much slower.

There was no helping it, he knows. Gellert (no, it was Grindelwald dictator Dark Lord) had to be stopped. This final outcome is nothing unexpected, is it – one of them simply had to prevail. Anybody else would have aimed to kill, that is also a fact. And hadn’t he delayed the battle enough?

Still he doesn’t want to discard Gellert here, in a prison of his own making. The building itself is hateful. But he is sure that if he hadn’t brought Gellert to Nurmengard himself, the destination preferred to the Aurors and Ministry officials would have been Azkaban, and that with the Dementors is so much worse. No, he should be glad that Gellert is here. He had abandoned Albus first, after all.

Gellert the traitor. Gellert the murderer.

Gellert, leaning down and smiling at him, although it’s so dark in their room that Albus can scarcely see it. The sheets are crumpled beneath them because the air is too sultry for them to abide even simply resting under the blanket, let alone seeking enjoyment there. Now, in the sweet short time before Albus can feel in himself the ultimate build-up to fulfilment, Gellert murmurs something to him about being beautiful or whatever it is that makes his breath ghost so deliciously over Albus’s skin, but even that does nothing to interrupt the intimacy of their bodies, the shivery pace of their motions that pushes them on. The night floats on a cloud of sensation.

No use crying over spilled milk – what’s done is done. At the end of the day, Albus will have to face the celebrations that to him merely resemble some sort of sanctioned hysteria. He will try to keep his public admonishments to a minimum, but a man of his importance can’t afford not being seen. He is obliged to offer moral support, to soothe the crowds of people who already take his word over any Minister’s, and of course that is what he will do because it is a million times easier to reassure others than to reassure himself.

They collapse finally in one tangle of sweaty limbs, luxuriating in the afterglow, their best hope being that unless something goes really wrong neither Aberforth nor Ariana will try to test the blocking charms they have put on the door to Albus’s bedroom. When they do let go of one another, it is only to clean themselves up, and then they are almost a single entity again. They tease each other for a while longer, but since it is obviously going nowhere, they eventually leave it at that. Albus doesn’t mind when Gellert turns to lay himself down facing away from him; it presents him with an opportunity to drape one arm around his friend’s torso from behind and nuzzle his neck a little instead of wishing him good night. Knowing Gellert, he will wake him up in a few hours anyway demanding either a continuation or an early start on compiling their notes. He is almost right, and they make love again in the morning.

“Professor Dumbledore?” It’s one of the new, hastily recruited prison guards who had replaced the old master’s minions, regarding him with awkward respect. A former student at Hogwarts, apparently, but Albus cannot recall which.

Albus stands up. “What is it?” There is an abrupt pang of pain in his ribcage, another in his leg.

“Do you wish to see Grindelwald? He has been interrogated and put into his cell.”

Does he wish to? Yes. But can he? Can he look at Gellert through prison bars and walk away?

“Thank you, but I am afraid I have to be off. Good luck, and be careful of him.” He means it the other way than the guard likely realises, but what does it matter? The stage has already been set.

And after he leaves, all through the ceremonious proceedings that he cannot bring himself to view as anything but insignificant parts of one pointless victory dance, he lies, making summarising statements that allow him to distance himself from the privileged position of a participant even as his conscience screams at him. Nobody out there notices, but then Albus does not expect they will.

This is his pleasure – this is his love.

Current Mood: coldcold
yvyneeyvynee on August 2nd, 2010 12:12 pm (UTC)
I can't find the words to really express how vividly I can imagine the two of them when I read your stories.
The continuing intensity of their feelings through the years, despite everything they did to each other is just heartbreaking. And perfectly presented in your writing <3

lots of love <3
See you later, instigator: Albus - right or easyoudeteron on August 4th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you! <3 I always imagine this pairing as pretty vivid, considering those two months was all it took for them to be influenced for a lifetime. Very glad you think I'm doing it justice!

(Actually, I got so excited I forgot how to type for a moment there. Sorry. XD)

Edited at 2010-08-04 04:20 pm (UTC)