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21 April 2008 @ 11:57 pm
Gellert Grindelwald, Dark Lord and a literal closet case  

This is officially the most disjointed, messed-up, bipolar thing I've ever written.

Well, I went to the concert (which was lovely), drove, wrote a few clusters of unconnected notes I'd been inspired for on the way home, and then mysteriously became angsty. That equally mysteriously passed. I also did something I don't often do - had tea without added sugar and actually liked the taste. But I had better get to that fic, hadn't I?

Title: The Absolute Almost
Pairing: Albus/Gellert
Rating: PG, maybe PG-13 Slightly NSFW
Word Count: ~1350
Summary: Locked up in his own prison, Gellert reflects. And pretends the person his thoughts are addressed to can hear.
Warnings: Odd writing style, some morbidity. (Together with a creepy!DeProfundis!Gellert, as we've dubbed him.) May hide forgive me for shamelessly quoting his lyrics.
Notes: So, this is the thing that started as an irresistible force and ended up giving me so much trouble (by the time I was ready to call it finished, no less). Now I inexplicably like it again. Many thanks go to seilf_emit who had amazing patience with my rants and spent several hours going over the main points with me just when the story was really driving me mad. You've honestly saved me.

The bit of lyrics quoted in the beginning is from hide's 'Hey Man So Long'. It's a very fitting song for Gellert in my mind, so dark and unbridled (not to mention that I love it). I can only recommend you to check out the whole lyrics. And here's so you can listen to it as well (for demonstrative purposes only - delete after 24 hours, etc., I mean no harm). It just illustrates this story well.

Disclaimer: The Harry Potter series belongs to JKR, Hey Man So Long belongs to hide and Zilch. I make no profit and intend no copyright infringement.

*takes a deep breath* All right, here goes.

I have been inside of you
You will know the price of freedom
You need to know you lied to me
You will know what you tried to be
I have cleansed inside of you
Now you scream inside of me

                                    -- hide, 'Hey Man So Long'

The Absolute Almost

Day unnumbered, Nurmengard. Cold. Four walls – so barren they could be made of ice, Albus, solid blocks of ice. You would never stand them, you with your vibrant colours, you with your red hair – no, not very red anymore. Still, these walls... these barricades would crush you. Me, they respect. They will not part to let me out, but they are not closing in, either. Although they have every conceivable advantage over me here.

If you wanted to see me wax philosophical and ponder the rhyme and reason of my bloodstained hands, this is your cue to congratulate yourself. I can do nothing else than think. I would wonder if anybody ever told you about life in prison, but that would mean conceding you can imagine it. I would tell you if you ever wrote. The nights, the days, they’re all the same. I remember I screamed. Before. When was that again – a few minutes ago, a week, a year. It might have been in 1945.

I watch as dust flutters toward the ground, and everywhere. Disperse in the universe. The ceiling is as grey as the floor and just as insipid, just as nothing. I look at it every evening lying on the bed – if I can flatter this pile of mould so much – or even on the floor. I watch it till the world goes dark.

Sometimes, I envisage this cell I haunt as the heart of Nurmengard, a residue of life isolated in one crack of a rock. As though my cage and I were mere components of one great entity. Perhaps we are, we might be – after all, I created this prison. It should obey me...


Well, Albus dearest, the pair of us was not completely free of disagreements even during our two months. Once, I spitefully claimed that you failed to comprehend any of my plans. It took me some years shut up here, in truth, to accept defeat even on that front. But if I had known... had understood ‘the greater good’ earlier, perhaps we could have still... no. That bright hope died with your sister.

I envy you. I envy you every last shred of distraction.

I have long ceased to blame you, though. If I didn’t know any better, I would even dare hope you might have stopped feeling responsible for that awful accident. How do you think of me, Albus? You may picture me as caged, slowly wasting away; passions forced inward, eating at me. You are not far from reality. Helplessly now – and being helpless is a nightmare of mine, as you are doubtless aware – I wish our final encounter had at least convinced you of my inability to entertain emotion. It would have been my guarantee against your pity. But you were not fooled then – not again, not when I had fooled you once before. Your aim was to settle old matters and leave me to rot. You had determined that I was evil, that I deserved punishment – you carried it out. That’s not what I would have done, myself. I like to think I would have killed you.

Hypocrite. You have not done me a favour by keeping me alive like this.

Oh, enough of the indignation; you are the first who would laugh at such a misguided display of violence. There are other things to address, more interesting things. The remaining scraps, you might call them. Go ahead.

Strange how time seems to have reversed itself over the years. I hardly retain anything from my so-called reign of terror, although for our purposes it’s relatively recent. What I remember almost too well is... Summer. Sunlight in blue, sunlight on red. Fingers tracing new pathways over (as yet, I whispered) unbroken skin, chasing excitement left and right, up and down. You are touching my face, cupping it in your hands, your eyes a mixture of lust you struggle not to acknowledge and affection you revel in. You lean in close. But what does it matter when in the memory it is always I who pushes you down, bats your hands away and kisses you. What does it matter? Your mind, your heart, even your body was an open book to me. Burning for me, you were. You burned even me, whether you wanted to or not. You were fire.

Pathetic reminiscence of a fallen tyrant? Admit it, you wouldn’t recognize that unless you knew it was me. You would simply catalogue the scene as ‘familiar’.

For my part, I enjoyed cracking open that shell of yours. You were so very modest at first, it was endearing. But once unleashed, your brilliance, your sheer power – magnificent. Is that why you kept it so tightly bound? Regardless, you allowed me a taste of it, and that taste lingers, overwhelming me now that I have nothing but recollections left. Your name, it’s still resounding in my brain, today and every day. And at night, when the silence envelops me like leaden water, I lay down on my ugly bed and I let you crawl all through me. It makes me shudder, even gasp in pain. Don’t be mistaken and think I can still summon up desire (anything to that effect has become quite impossible) but sometimes I am surprised. Once – it must have been some important date – I closed my eyes, and after I opened them again, I could not see. Tears. I rather think you would find that touching.

To make it clear, I don’t dream of you. I do not sleep anymore; I doze. Just as I don’t hate anymore – I am only bitter. That is the punishment Nurmengard has devised for its master: Nothing is absolute anymore. Every single thing has lost whatever intensity it once had, whatever clarity. Utterly disgusting, this dull trap. Try wallowing for decades in mud! It would drive you insane.

A guard who fancied mocking me showed me a picture of you in one of those silly newspapers. It had not the impact I suppose he had intended – I could hardly have been enraged to see you, albeit in a cheap moving photograph. Nor did the fact that you had aged cause me earth-shattering shock. But your eyes were dead. The headline read HE-WHO-MUST-NOT-BE-NAMED ON THE RISE. Very awkward. Someone must have caught you in an unguarded moment for your precious feelings to shine through.

Albus. Look at me. That’s what that golden-haired boy said to you, remember? Remember it? He was beautiful, wasn’t he. I can still see you making love to him – that’s your term for it, never anything else, never anything less meaningful – and I hear your confessions to him: “We would never have met. I do not complain...” Surreal. Oh, you wouldn’t love me now.

He never answers you, never. You share with him all there is to share, you soak up his dreams of fame and might and eternity – you adore him, and of course he believes the things you murmur in the dark because you make such a miserable liar, you know that? And you feel fine, you feel wonderful, because you hold the love of your life who was never worth it in the first place, but what’s one petty stain to your grand vision when perfection glitters within reach? You actually say it aloud: “I love you.” You never get the response you need – want. You mask your impatience well, and he – I do the same with my intent not to become as predictable to you as your devotion is making you to me while our weeks stretch into infinity. Yes. At this point in time, we both assume that what remains can only be forever.

And that’s just it.

You should have realized one thing, my fair idealistic Doom. I almost, almost told you.

Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Melmo: The Maraudersmustntgetmy on April 21st, 2008 11:56 pm (UTC)
Holy hell. I must say, it was good in the beginning, your usual standard, entertaining, engaging, but once you hit the paragraph about summer and sunlight the momentum just kept growing and growing until you hit the fourth to last paragraph...and...holy hell.

I can feel that weight, that heaviness in my chest, you should know. And wow on the first/second person decision. I'm normally against first person in fic, but you ROCKED this.

I know you had a hard time with this, but based solely off the writing, you can't tell. It's gorgeous. We are in Gellert's head and it's a sad, creepy place to be.

I can't pick out anything I liked best. I liked everything.
See you later, instigator: Remus/Sirius2 (the_8th_square & teh_indyoudeteron on April 22nd, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
*hear the immense sigh of relief* I'm so damn happy you enjoyed this! Most of all, it's great to hear the whole momentum thing worked (and that you mention these paragraphs in particular - they're among the few things I never had a problem with in this fic).

About first person, it's one thing that has just grown on me. Several of the books I've read and liked over the past year or so were in first person and it tempted me to try and see what I could get out of that narrative. Plus, it makes it easy to preserve the tone if you know the character it's about.

So glad my epic struggle with this story doesn't show. Getting you into Gellert's head was just the intention... ; )

All in all, thank you. I hardly even know how to reply now. ♥
(unspecified) - mustntgetmy on April 23rd, 2008 04:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 23rd, 2008 10:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - mustntgetmy on April 23rd, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 24th, 2008 06:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
Well, I mean to say, what?: Oscar Wilde Blueseilf_emit on April 22nd, 2008 12:45 am (UTC)
OMGOMGOMGOMG asdjkhfbsfdsmbfjsdbf,smnf,sdfdf

Okay, it's in the middle of the night, I just got up because I had this really creepy dream, and I find THIS on my friends page. I'll just have you know that you just saved my sanity, my dear.

Erm, I don't want to contradict you, especially when you're so charmingly flattering me, but from what I recall, I was rather impatient and kept asking you to show me another paragraph ;D Still, I'm proud of my little contribution to this OMGOMGOMG AMAZING fanfic piece of art.

Which brings me to the main squeeing. Okay, it doesn't because I have no words. It's so... gah... beautiful and haunted and bitter and gentle and despairing and powerless and angry and defiant and, and, and, I HAVE NO WORDS. I'm not very coherent, I know, but it's like almost 3 am so I think I'm entitled to be a bit incoherent. Let's just say, if this was the 19th century, Oscar would be fawning all over you, and Bosie would have a hissy fit of jealousy, but Oscar would totally ignore him and continue with the fawning. I hope that gets my point across. I'll post again tomorrow (TODAY! GAH!) when my brain isn't quite as mushy, alright?

Oh, btw, I heart creepy!DeProfunids!Gellert muchly! I think I'll make that an icon or something one day. Anyway, I better get some real sleep now. *goes to bed, still speechless and swooning from teh awesome*
Well, I mean to say, what?: bertie smokeseilf_emit on April 22nd, 2008 11:23 am (UTC)
I still have no words. I just read it again, and I love it even more, if that's even possible. I can feel Gellert's pain and loneliness. Not relate to it; feel it. I can clearly hear his voice, and, as mustntgetmy said, it feels like being inside his head and experiencing his emotions first-hand.

This is so amazing.
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 22nd, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - seilf_emit on April 22nd, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 22nd, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - seilf_emit on April 22nd, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 22nd, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - seilf_emit on April 22nd, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 22nd, 2008 08:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - seilf_emit on April 22nd, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 22nd, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 22nd, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - seilf_emit on April 22nd, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 22nd, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - seilf_emit on April 22nd, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 22nd, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - seilf_emit on April 22nd, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 22nd, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - seilf_emit on April 22nd, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 23rd, 2008 10:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - seilf_emit on April 23rd, 2008 10:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 24th, 2008 06:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - seilf_emit on April 24th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 25th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - seilf_emit on April 25th, 2008 08:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 26th, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - seilf_emit on April 26th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 28th, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - seilf_emit on April 28th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 28th, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - seilf_emit on April 28th, 2008 09:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 29th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - seilf_emit on April 29th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 29th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - seilf_emit on April 29th, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 30th, 2008 01:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - seilf_emit on April 30th, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
wieldy22wieldy22 on April 22nd, 2008 12:59 pm (UTC)
You saved my insanity.

It is great, really, really great. And so Gellert.

I love the last paragraph (the last one with more than one sentence). Every sentence of that paragraph.

"At this point in time, we both assume that what remains can only be forever." almost made me cry.
See you later, instigator: YoshikiLoveoudeteron on April 22nd, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
No problem. ; )

I have to say, I'm really pleased you like my Gellert since I just love how you write him. (He's a goldmine of a character...)

Aww, that paragraph is my pet. So glad you enjoyed it!

And wow. Thank you.
rising_lark: grindeldorerising_lark on April 22nd, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
This is oficially the most beautiful and engaging thing you've ever written. Well, and as for bipolarity, I can't say it's something alien to Gellert's character, so it only made the fic better! <3 And knowing how hard it is to write in the first person form, I can only applaud you. The bit about the newspaper is my favorite for some reason. :)

p.s. and I never drink tea with sugar. :P
See you later, instigator: Seth et Holth (by pink_playground)oudeteron on April 22nd, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
Well, thank you! ♥ And you're right, the insanity in this fic at least means it's in character for our dear Gellert. Honestly, I didn't even think of writing this in any other form than first person if I wanted to keep it all in Gellert's head like this. And glad you appreciated the newspaper bit!

Haha, cool! My usual routine is way too much sugar added in the mix. XD
prelude07 on April 22nd, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
Wow. No really, wow. That was, in a word, breathtaking. I don't know what else to say. It was damn good for a "messed up, disjointed" thing! Give yourself a little more credit.

Anyway, now for the coherent comments. I loved the part about Gellert observing the falling dust. That part really gripped me. It was just so... sad. Poor Gellert. :(

You maintain his character so well. And the emotions, as always, are very realistic. What really bothers me in a lot of fics is when the author puts in too much fluff where it is inappropriate.

And, since I am repetitive, let me just say again that your writing style has such exquisite flow. Lovely fic! If I ever get around to putting together a rec list, this is going on it. ;)
See you later, instigator: Albus/Gellert (by ushitora_icons)oudeteron on April 22nd, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks so much! I fail spectacularly at giving myself any sort of appreciation, I know.

Glad that bit with the dust worked for you. It had to be something nicely illustrative...and I imagine Nurmengard was far from a neat place to be after a couple of years. That cell must have been stale. *shudders*

Anyway, I'm always happy to hear I've kept the character and the feelings realistic. Fluff where it obviously shouldn't be annoys me, too. One just can't expect everything to be fine and dandy with someone like Gellert, right?

I'm starting to get repetitive as well - thank you! Being put on a rec list would make me feel flattered beyond all measure...just so you know. ^_~
HMS Slash's First Lieutenant: ad/gg art by fabledtruant and icon by mayume623 on April 22nd, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
Wow. That was... Incredible.

I'm not really into reading HP fics at the moment but I needed something to put me in the proper Harry Potter mood to read the Lexicon Trial's transcript. And I wanted to read something from you.

And I loved it. Really really loved. Your style is captivating and the first-person narrative flows quite well, which is not an easy thing to do. You got me hooked from the first line to the last line.

And I suck at giving feedback *slapself*

You managed to portray the relationship perfectly, the characters are , well, IC ;) I love Gellert's contemplation of his relationship with Albus and what followed from that.

To conclude, I absolutely love it ♥
See you later, instigator: Y Tu Mamá También (by hyelle_narmo)oudeteron on April 22nd, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks so much! "Incredible" is a wonderful compliment. ♥

And you know, I'm glad you went for an HP fic to read something I'd written. (Which reminds me, I have to check up on that trial...eh, so irritating.)

You are another reader who has commented on the first person narrative, but in fact, writing this fic like that was easy. Third person just wouldn't have had the effect I needed here. I'm so happy it reads well after all!

Hey, I actually like your feedback!

I'm also glad you found the characters as they should be. (Hehe, contemplation is Gellert's my middle name.)

All in all, thanks again!
(unspecified) - yume623 on April 22nd, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(unspecified) - oudeteron on April 23rd, 2008 10:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
remecielremeciel on April 25th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC)
Oh, creepy. I wouldn't have guessed how Gellert would feel at this point of his life, and you did manage to convey his feelings very clearly. Awesome! :D
See you later, instigator: Y Tu Mamá También (by hyelle_narmo)oudeteron on April 25th, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks a lot! Creepy is the effect I was going for, but I was also trying to keep Gellert true to his character. Glad you think I succeeded. ♥
wufff on June 29th, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC)
Hm, what can I say that I didn't already say about your other fic? Again, it's great, in character, well-written ...
So, I've never been in prison and of course I wouldn't know what it would be like to rot in Nurmengard ^^ but your version sounds very, very believable.
My favourite parts: "If you wanted to see me wax philosophical and ponder the rhyme and reason of my bloodstained hands, this is your cue to congratulate yourself. I can do nothing else than think."
"You were so very modest at first, it was endearing. But once unleashed, your brilliance, your sheer power – magnificent."
Also, I like how Gellert at times referred to himself in the third person.
Looks like I have to check out your other stories now, too :-)
See you later, instigator: Alexander & Hephaistionoudeteron on June 29th, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
Even if you've said it before, I'm flattered you'd actually say it again! In short, thank you. ^_^
Oh, Nurmengard is a special prison. I'm glad my version of it works for you!
This is going to sound horrible, but I'm fond of those parts myself. So, thanks again.
The third person was my little experiment! It just fit for Gellert in prison, somehow. You know he's slowly going crazy...
I would be happy if you did! Hope you enjoy them as well. ^_^