More coming soon!
Chapter One - The Day AfterEdit
The small brick, cottage lay at the end of a long, winding mud track. Although it was still well inside the borders of Godric's Hollow, it could not be seen from the street. nestled in a shallow dip in the ground and surrounded by trees, it was the perfect home for a small family wishing to escape from the prying eyes of the rest of civilization. The village was near enough to be in walking distance so that supplies could be bought from the local shop if needed, but the tiny farm had enough animals and crops to keep the family from going hungry.
Although the house wasn't very large, there was still enough space for four people to live comfortably. Having once been a merry little place - neat, pretty and well-tended for - Albus could not get over how much it had changed in the space of a few months.
The front garden, once covered in neatly cropped greenery, was now overgrown with yellowing grass, the flower beds nowhere to be seen. The rose that had at one point grown up the wall of the house had died and was now trailing along the ground, its brilliant red petals now a mouldy brown.
The cottage itself was something to behold. The door looked as if it was about to fall from its hinges and the paint seemed to be trying to beat it to the ground. All of the windows were covered in a thick layer of grime and dust making it near impossible to see inside. The roof, as well as the fact that it appeared to be missing most of its slates, looked ready to cave in on itself.
Albus stared at the sad sight in front of him for a few minutes longer before making his way up what used to be the garden path. The three knocks that followed seemed eerily loud, echoing around the hollow that the house sat in. He felt himself holding his breath as he waited for the door to be answered, a growing feeling of dread threatening to overcome him. Not even Fawkes dared to make a sound as he perched in his cage that was sat on top of Albus's suitcase. The two of them stood outside on the dreary June morning for what seemed like an age before footsteps sounded and the door swung open.
Aberforth stood stiffly, his clothes crumpled and his greasy hair sticking out at odd angles. Underneath his clear blue eyes were bags so dark, they looked frighteningly like somebody had painted them on with a purple pen.
There was a moment of awkward silence as Aberforth stared at Albus up and down, during which he was almost scared that he would slam the door in his face. Instead, he took him by surprise by leaping forward and pulling him into a tight embrace.
"Albus!" Aberforth's voice shook dangerously.
Minutes ticked by as the two of them clung to each other, shivering in the early summer dampness. Having known Aberforth for almost fifteen years, Albus could tell that he was just as reluctant to let go as he was. Letting go would mean facing the challenges that lay ahead and as much as he wished that he could deny it, he was scared.
The moment was soon broken when Fawkes gave a particularly loud squawk, ruffling his scarlet feathers impatiently. Aberforth regained composure, stepping to the side to allow me to enter the house and nodding at me curtly as Albus moved past.
When he reached the kitchen, Albus stopped in his tracks, a new wave of sadness washing over him. That of smoke and mould had replaced the smell of fresh baking that had once warmed the room. Chairs lay upturned, cupboard doors hung open and the remains of various smashed plates and dishes littered the dirty floor. A stony coldness hung heavy in the air, sending a shudder running down my spine as I placed my suitcase carefully on the dining table.
A surge of hope rushed through him as he spun around, only to be replaced with more disappointment. For a moment, Albus had been certain that it had been his mother, Kendra Dumbledore, standing in the doorway. She had been ready to pull him into a hug and to assure him that everything was okay; that she had simply been to busy with other commitments to take care of the house and that it would be all back to normal soon. Just to see her cheerful smile once more, to feel her warm arms wrapped around him or to inhale her sweet perfume would have been enough for him.
Instead, Ariana stood beside him, as slight and fragile as ever. Her golden hair hung in tangles down her back and her blue eyes were distant and glazed over. Her face had slit up in a small smile as she sidled over, slipping her hand into his own.
"Hello, Ariana," his voice quivered. Albus found it hard to take in the fact that it had been his sister - the sweet, lovely girl next to me - who had murdered their mother. Unable to suppress a shiver of unease, he realized that Ariana could quite as easily kill him as well. At any second, she could take him by surprise and go into one of her rages. She was dangerous.
"I missed you," Ariana spoke softly.
Taking a deep breath, Albus squeezed her hand gently, "I missed you too."
"Ariana!" Aberforth peered around the doorway. "Why don't you go back to your drawings? I need to speak to Albus alone for a bit."
The small blonde nodded happily, skipping past Aberforth and upstairs to her bedroom. When the sound of a slamming door drifted down the staircase, Aberforth turned his searching gaze on Albus. Albus couldn't help but shift uncomfortably as, for the second time since he had arrived, his brother examined him - this time a lot more thoroughly. His steady eyes travelled down past his auburn hair to his pale face, taking in everything from the shirt and tie that he had worn to the funeral yesterday to his scruffy shoes, worn so many times that they were ready to fall apart. Albus was almost sure that he could see right into his very soul, that he could flick through all of his deepest, darkest secrets just as easily as he could flick through the pages of a book.
Finally, Aberforth entered the room, picking up a chair and sitting down.
"You said you'd spend the night here," his voice had a definite bite to it, yet it wasn't quite accusing. "Ariana was worried."
It was true; before the funeral had begun, Albus had told Aberforth that he would come home with him and help to look after Ariana. At the last minute however, he had scarpered, too terrified to make the decision that he knew would be inevitable. Instead, he had put it off for one more day, choosing to stay at a nearby inn.
"I'm sorry," the words spilled from his mouth before he could stop them. "I'm sorry for everything, Aberforth. I should never have left Mother to care for Ariana by herself. It's all my fault."
"No," the firmness in Aberforth's tone took him by surprise. "Even if you had stayed home it wouldn't have made a difference. I'm the only one she'll listen to. I shouldn't have gone back to Hogwarts. It's all my fault."
Aberforth and Albus looked at each other for quite some time. Albus fidgeted anxiously, wringing his hands under the table.
"So what do we do now?"
The question was left to hang in the air. When it became clear that Aberforth was not going to answer, Albus crossed the room to see what was left in the cupboards. As he had expected, they were all empty apart from a few scraps of stale bread and a jar with a few drops of off milk at the bottom.
"Let's go to the shops. We can decided what to do next once we have all had something to eat."
Chapter Two - A Decision to be MadeEdit
The blinding sunlight sliced its way through the small white-walled room, falling to rest at the head of the single bed. Rubbing his eyes blearily, Albus sat up, struggling to gather his surroundings. After a few minutes, a small smile reached his lips as he realised that he was in his own bedroom. His eyes travelled slowly from the polished mahogany desk that housed Fawkes's cage and his many prized, to the tall bookshelf next to it and finally to his wardrobe, covered in a collage of certificates and Gryffindor hangings.
Grabbing his glasses from his bedside table, Albus padded across the carpeted floor, wondering whether Mother was awake yet. It was only once he had opened the door that reality finally caught up with him. For a moment, he had forgotten all about the problems that faced me, but now that he had caught sight of the filthy corridor ahead, memories of the past few days came flooding back. Burdened with the weight of grief and responsibility, he traipsed downstairs to the kitchen.
Albus could turn an owl into a silver goblet with a simple flick of his wand and perform the most complex charms with perfect ease but cooking, he soon found, was beyond him. Having spent several years at Hogwarts with all of his meals being served to him, he had not the faintest idea where to start as he stared blankly at the series of items in front of him. It was true; most witches and wizards cheated by using magic in the kitchen. However, they still needed to be able to cook in order to instruct the wand on what to do.
After staring at the spread of ingredients laid out on the counter top for a moment longer, he decided to get stuck into it. Cracking a few eggs into a large bowl, he began from there.
Fortunately, Albus was discovered before he could cause serious harm to anything - or anybody. Bounding into the room, Ariana peered into the bowl in front of him and wrinkled her nose in distaste.
"What is that?" she demanded, looking up at him with wide blue eyes.
"Breakfast?" Albus replied hopefully.
Ariana gave me a slightly quizzical look. "It looks like a bowl full of raw eggs, cream, bacon and Liquorice Wands to me. I think I'll make my own food thank you very much."
"You don't fancy making breakfast for Aberforth and I as well, do you?"
Ariana's laughter chimed like bells. Soon she was dancing through the kitchen; slicing, spreading, dicing and frying. She moved with the grace of an angel as she leaped from cupboard to cupboard, extracting the ingredients necessary to move on to the next step in her imaginary recipe.
From his seat by the window, Albus watched her carefully. She wasn't so crazy, he decided, not all of the time anyway. Besides her spontaneous uses of magic, she could be perfectly normal. Perhaps if she were not so unpredictable, if she learnt how to keep her powers under control, then maybe she could be as happy as she was now all of the time.
It was then that the moment fell to pieces. Just as the thought had entered his mind, Ariana turned around and realised that the cutlery was levitating, forming a line behind her and joining in with her merry dance. She was using magic.
The events that followed happened in such a confusing blur that they were hard for Ablus to make sense of.
First, Ariana gave a terrified scream, the plate that she had been holding shattering on the kitchen tiles as she ran from the room.
"What have you done to her?!" Aberforth's alarmed cry echoed around the kitchen as he rushed through the door, quickly removing his wand from his pocket. Jabbing the tip to my throat, he cornered Albus against the wall, the menacing glint in his eye almost frightening.
Before Albus could protest, the doorbell sounded.
Time seemed to freeze.
It felt like an age before Aberforth slowly began to back away. Shooting Albus a withering glare, he withdrew his wand and made his way up the stairs to calm Ariana, who now, judging by the sounds coming from her bedroom, was throwing things against the wall.
Albus was left to answer the door. A rising feeling of trepidation tightening his throat as he walked stiffly to the porch, praying that the caller was not who he thought it to be. Unfortunately, his suspicions were confirmed when a voice called out,
"Hello? Albus? Are you home?"
After a moment of hesitation, he reluctantly opened the door to find Elphias Doge. As short and stout as ever, he stood in the June humidity dressed in an over-large purple top that fell to reach his knees, orange sandals and a two-foot tall green velvet top-hat. Elphias came from a family of pure-blooded wizards and obviously had not the faintest idea about what normal Muggles dressed in, but having known him since the age of eleven, Albus has grown well-accustomed to his eccentric and peculiar style of clothing.
"Ah Albus!" Elphias grinned. "I hope you don't mind me dropping by!" The smile soon slid from his face when he noticed Albus's grim expression. With a start he realized that he could barely remember what his friend looked like when he was happy. The last time that he had seen Albus had been at Kendra's funeral. He had sat silently between him and Aberforth, his eyes glazed over and faraway as he stared at the coffin ahead. Elphias had later caught a glimpse of him as he was hurrying away from the crowd of mourners, tears rolling down his blotchy cheeks.
Overwhelmed with the urge to comfort him, Elphias reached out and placed a hand on Albus's shoulder.
"Sorry," he mumbled. "Shall I come back later?"
Albus shook his head. "No, no. It's perfectly fine."
Ariana chose that exact moment to let out a particularly loud wail, "I am not a witch! I can't do magic! It was all Albus's fault! All Albus!"
"A cup of tea would be nice," Elphias said quickly. "Are Ariana and Aberforth still asleep?" He had decided to pretend that he had not heard, so as to spare Albus the embarrassment of explaining. He had known about Ariana's condition for a while now, and was also aware that Albus felt uncomfortable talking about her.
"Yes, a cup of tea," came Albus's vague response as he hurriedly closed the door behind Elphias.
Water spilt everywhere as Albus carried the pan over to the stove with shaking hands, only to find that they had no tea bags nor any leaves.
"Hot water will do fine," Elphias assured him as they sat at the kitchen table. Albus nodded and once again, began wringing his hands anxiously under the table. He knew that the question was about to be asked, and he still did not have an answer for it.
"Would you like to start rescheduling for our trip?"
Should he stay home and attempt to mend his broken family? Or should he travel the world with his friend, leaving all of his troubles behind and pursuing his dream career?
Albus took a deep breath before replying.
Chapter Three - An InvitationEdit
Over the next few days, Albus found himself falling into a routine. Through the week, he would wake up at seven o'clock, wash and make breakfast for Aberforth and Ariana. At nine o'clock, he was arrive at the local shop where he would sweep the floors and arrange the shelves. He would work until half past six at night and would collect exactly three shillings every Friday afternoon. On the weekends, he would rise at nine o'clock and spend the whole day cleaning and repairing the house. Occasionally, Aberforth would help out by making the dinner, but mostly, he would spend his time looking after the goats or reading to his younger sister. This carried on for three weeks.
On the Wednesday of the fourth week, Albus found himself cornered in the haberdashery aisle by his closest neighbour, Bathilda Bagshot. She was attacking him with a full account of what she had done on Sunday and Albus saw so end in sighgt. She had been chattering to him for at least twenty minutes and still had yet to tell him what she had had for lunch.
"You know, I'm never usually sent any letters, so I was delighted when I received one from Gellert! Have I ever told you about Gellert? No? Oh, dear Gellert is my great nephew! He is ever so smart and incredibly talented, so the Headmaster of Durmstrang let him leave school early! Can you imagine? He's coming down to study in England, so he asked if he could to visit me! What a lovely boy!" Bathilda paused in her rambles to smile widely at me. "Anyway, I was wondering whether you would like to come down to my house for dinner on Friday to meet him? I'm sure you both will have so much in common! Maybe you could even show him around Godric's Hollow! You really do need a break from all of that work that you have been doing!" She looked at Albus pointedly.
"Of course!" he agreed politely. "That would be lovely!"
So Albus carried on with his usual routine until Friday night came along and he found himself in his best dress robes, having just come from the bath. His ordinary outfits were becoming embarrassingly tatty and worn, and as there were no clothes shops in Godric's Hollow, he had not had the chance to buy anything new. Although with what little money Albus had earned from working at Orzell's General Store, he doubted that he could scrape up enough to buy a pair of socks - especially as half of everything that he was given was going towards material to fix the broken roof.
Glancing at himself in the mirror on the way across the landing, Albus made his way down the stairs, only to come face to face with his younger brother.
"Why are you dressed in that?" Aberforth demanded, looking at the deep purple robes in apparent distaste.
"These are my dress robes!" Albus said rather indignantly. "Bathilda invited me to her house for dinner!"
"That crooked hag?" Aberforth scoffed. "Why did old Bagshot only invite you?"
"Probably because you call her a crooked hag," Albus retorted as he moved closer to the front door. "You don't mind looking after Ariana, do you?"
"No, not at all. You just go and eat your goose and enjoy yourself. We can go hungry tonight..."
Albus hesitated, "I suppose I can make you dinner. I a sure Bathilda will not mind if I am a little late."
Aberforth broke into a wide grin for what seemed like the first time in years, shaking his head. "I was only joking! Of course it's no bother taking care of Ariana! You worry to much, Albus!"
With Aberforth's words ringing in his ears, Albus stepped outside into the darkness of the night. Despite the fact that it was now well into summer, the air was still bitingly cold and he found himself pulling his cloak more tightly around his body as he trudged down the lane to Bathilda's house. Apart from the crunching of the loose gravel beneath his shoes, there were no sounds to be heard. Albus felt a slight chill run down his spine as he continued onwards.
Twenty minutes later, Albus waited outside of a small house, standing a few meters away from the beginning of the pavement that wound its way through the village. Warm light poured out through the windows and as Bathilda opened the door to let him in, the smell of a roast dinner wafted towards him. Albus felt his mouth watering as he stepped into the porch.
"Don't bother with your shoes, dear," Bathilda said, ushering him forwards. "Follow me!"
Albus had been inside Bathilda's house before when he was fourteen. Although it had been briefly and he had only entered one room, he could still clearly remember the portraits that lined the corridor walls and the faded red rug that smelt strongly of dust and oldness. The carpet did not do a very good job of muffling the sounds emitted from the floorboards beneath, for as the two of them made their way to the dining room, the ancient wood creaked and squealed in protest under the weight of their bodies.
The table in the dining room was large and grand, carved from rich, dark wood and highly polished. It had been laid with red tablemats that were embroidered with shimmering gold thread. The plates that were bigger than Albus's head, fancy silverware and gleaming golden goblets had obviously been picked out carefully so as to match. With the massive serving plates piled high with roast vegetables that lined the length of the table, accompanied by dishes full to the brim with yorkshire puddings, stuffing and gravy, the whole set out looked magnificent. Levitating candles drifted through the air, lighting the entire room with a yellowish glow; the dark blue curtains were drawn closed to hide the large windows that overlooked the driveway and to pull it all together, a violin sat snugly in the corner, invisible hands plucking a slow but cheerful melody.
"Sit down, pet," Bathilda told Albus. "I'll just go and fetch Gellert and the goose."
While she hurried away, Albus settled himself down on a chair. His stomach growled with hunger as he stared longingly out at the spread in front of him, fighting the urge to steal one of the carrots that was sitting tauntingly at the top of one of the bowls. It had been over two months, he realised with a start, since he had last had a proper meal. He had been living on porridge ever since he had arrived at Godric's Hollow and for a week before that, he had been too full of grief over his mother's death to eat more than a couple of mouthfuls a day.
"Hello?" the speaker had an accent that he couldn't quite place. It definitely wasn't English, but Albus couldn't decide whether it was German, Bulgarian or something entirely different.
Turning, Albus found a tall, blonde boy standing in the doorway. His golden hair gleamed in the dim light as he leaned casually against the wall, clothed in simple black dress robes. His skin was very pale and delicate, yet it appeared rough and well-worn at the same time. Thick, dark lashes framed his sparkling green eyes as he scanned the room, soaking in its contents.
"Oh," Albus found himself exclaiming as he stumbled off of his chair. "I'm Albus Dumbledore." The boy took his outstretched hand, smiling slightly at Albus's clumsiness.
"Gellert Grindelwald," the boy greeted him. "It's very nice to finally meet you. Aunt Bathilda speaks of you and your achievements often." Gellert spoke in fluent English and Albus found himself breath-taken by his soft, gentle voice. After a few moments, he found his cheeks growing red as he realised that his fingers were still entwined with Gellert's.
"Oh, umm..." the words tumbled from his mouth as Albus hurriedly withdrew his hand. "S-sorry."
Fortunately, Bathilda chose than moment to shuffle into the dining room with the goose, sparing Albus any more embarrassment.
"Eat up, boys!"
Chapter Four - The NewcomerEdit
The moon was as thin as a strand of hair, nestled amongst the stars in the hazy night sky. An narrow beam of light filtered down upon the granite stone that jutted from the ground, just bright enough to illuminate the writing that had been etched across the front. Albus stood outside at half past two in the morning, staring down at his mother’s grave. His thin lips were set in a dejected frown, his cheeks rosy from the cold and his eyes were as far away as his thoughts as he fastened his cloak over his dress robes.
It was a foolish thing to do, he realised, to come outside in the dead of night to ask his deceased mother for advice that she was obviously not capable of giving. Perhaps it was because, if she were still alive and well, Kendra Dumbledore would have been the first person he would have gone to when he was feeling trouble or unsure. Perhaps he was just going mad.
A strong wind weaved through the gravestones, rattling the branches of a dead ash tree on the other side of the wall. A plump tawny owl swooped skilfully down to rest on the church roof, its loud hoot echoing eerily around the hollow. Albus settled himself down on the ground, the cool wetness of the grass feeling strangely soothing against his bare hands. After a moment of restful silence, he found himself almost wanting to lie down on the green sward, to let it lull him into a peaceful slumber, to help him to escape the mixture of muddled thoughts that were swarming through his mind.
Unfortunately, this was not to be. Somewhere nearby, a twig snapped; startling Albus to his feet. For an instant, he was positive that he could see a shadow dancing in front of him, but it flickered away too quickly for him to be positive.
“Aberforth?” Albus called uncertainly into the gloominess. He was aware that his younger brother occasionally went to visit their mother’s burial place, although he doubted very much that Aberforth would travel down here at this early hour in the morning.
“No,” the achingly familiar voice sounded in his ear. “It’s Gellert.” Albus felt a shiver run down his spine as he flinched away from the figure beside him. “Sorry to startle you.”
“Th-that’s okay,” he managed to gasp out after a moment. “But... what are you doing here?”
Gellert gave a heart chuckle. “I could ask you the same thing. I’ve been watching you from my window for the past fifteen minutes.”
“I couldn’t sleep,” Albus suddenly felt very self-conscious. “I just came down here for an early morning stroll.”
“An early morning stroll in a graveyard?” Gellert’s voice was not scathing, just disbelieving. “I realised from the first moment I met you, that you were not the ordinary young man, Albus. But I doubt that even you would come down here for a reason as meaningless as a leisurely walk, especially at this hour.”
Albus could not help but feel mildly surprised. He could remember Bathilda telling him at Orzell’s General Store about how clever her great nephew was, although, because of the way he had behaved and his lack of speech during dinner, Albus had assumed that she had only been boasting.
“No happy man would be seen wandering around a graveyard in the dark,” Gellert went on thoughtfully. “Have you come to visit somebody in particular? A friend, perhaps?”
Albus still did not reply. Instead, he stepped defeatedly to the side, revealing the writing on the gravestone behind him;
“A relative of yours?” Gellert asked gently.
Albus nodded dolefully. “My mother.”
“It must be very hard for you,” Gellert’s voice was soft as he placed a consoling hand on Albus’s shoulder. “I know how it feels to lose a loved one. My own mother passed away when I was eleven. My father when I was twelve.”
Albus felt his breath catch in his throat. Was it possible that he had actually come across somebody who could relate to him? Somebody who he could hold an intelligent conversation with? Somebody he could discuss the pain of losing a loved one with? The prospect of having a friend with whom he shared something in common with seemed too good to be true.
“Both of them died of disease,” Gellert continued. “I was sent to live in an orphanage.”
“My sister killed my mother,” Albus spoke up before he had time to think. “It wasn’t her fault though; she’s mentally unstable. Sometimes when she goes into one of her rages, she can’t control her powers. I had to cancel my trip around the world with my friend to come and look after her and my brother.” Something glinted in Gellert’s eyes, although it disappeared too quickly for Albus to identify it. Triumph, perhaps? Victory? Maybe he was just as pleased as Albus was to have found a proper friend.
“What about your father?” Gellert questioned. “Can’t he look after them?”
“He’s in Azkaban,” Albus replied shortly.
Thunder clapped overhead as rain began to pour from the overcast skies, soaking the two boys to the bone in a matter of seconds. Gellert grasped Albus's arm, pulling him away from the gravestone and the church. He guided him the shelter of the overhanging branches of a nearby sycamore tree. Personally, Albus did not see the point; they were both so waterlogged that he assumed it impossible to become any more wet.
"I would invite you to Bathilda's house," Gellert told him. "But I dare say that after last night, you've heard enough of her chattering for a lifetime."
Albus smiled faintly. "I would invite you to my house, but it's a bit of a mess at the moment."
"Ah well," Gellert said lightly. "I've had a... surprisingly pleasant time talking to you, Albus."
"Me too," Albus agreed.
Gellert gave him a small nod before turning and making his way across to the gate. From his place underneath the sycamore tree, Albus watched him go. His golden hair was slick with water, his black robes clinging to his slim body and, he noticed for the first time, he held his wand tightly in his right hand as stepped out onto the pavement. With a twinge of regret, Albus realised that he may never be able to speak to this boy once more. What if Bathilda never invited him to her house again? What if the two of them never stumbled across each other while in the village? What Gellert left too quickly for him to come up with a genius excuse to visit him? Albus didn't know how he would be able to live himself if the two of each other never crossed paths again. He didn't know how he could live with himself if knew that he passed up a seemingly one-in-a-lifetime opportunity of becoming acquaintances with somebody so much like himself.
"Wait!" Albus blurted out before he could stop himself. "A-are you free tomorrow after lunch?"
Gellert turned and gazed across at him through the sheets of rain that continued to fall from the sky. After a moment, he called across the graveyard, "I should be. Why?"
Yes, Albus, he thought to himself, Why? So that the two of you can become best friends? So that, with your equally brilliant minds, you can create a cure for Ariana's mental illness so that she can continue with an ordinary, happy life? So that, whilst Aberforth and normal Ariana are educated at Hogwarts, you can both travel the world and live happily ever after?
"Would you like me to show you around Godric's Hollow?" Albus silently cursed himself, wishing that he had simply held his tongue. Although, if he was going to spend the rest of his life locked up in the same small house taking care of his troubled sister whilst his brother's face appeared alongside all of the other famous wizards on the front of chocolate frog cards, he didn't suppose that it mattered that much. He could spend his pass-time attempting to erase the following memory from his mind.
Fortunately, Gellert did not seem aghast nor off-put by his offer. Instead, he nodded enthusiastically.
"I'd like that!" he replied before hurrying across the road and up his garden path.
Albus arrived at the front door of his own house sometime later. Creeping up the stairs, he stepped into his pyjamas and slunk back into bed to catch up on the sleep that he had missed. As his head sunk down onto his pillow, an image appeared in his mind. A tall, pale-skinned boy stood outside, his hand raised in farewell. Rain had flattened his golden blonde hair to his head, soaked through his black cloak and was dripping from his handsome face. His blue eyes, like chips of ice, sparkled in the gloominess and the corners of his lips were turned up in a wide grin as he turned away and ran up the pathway to his house.
Albus allowed himself a small smile as he pulled his blanket over him, playing this memory over once more in his head before drifting off into a light nap.
Chapter Five - A New World OrderEdit
Gellert suggests his muggle imprisonment idea.
Chapter Six - ...Edit
Albus and Gellert's friendship grows.
Chapter Seven - ...Edit
The dusty yellow glow from the lantern that had been balanced precariously on top of a pile of books illuminated Gellert’s face. His golden locks seemed to shimmer in the weak light as they fell to frame his pale face, his heavy brow was furrowed wit concentration and his icy blue eyes shone determinedly. From his place on the bed, Albus watched him with interest, noticing everything from the way that he kept jiggling his pyjama clad leg to the way that he chewed absent-mindedly on the end of his silver quill.
After a couple of moments, Albus reached for his glasses with a reluctant sight, figuring that he should really be getting back to work. However, after various attempts at reading Myths and Folklore: Magical Objects, he couldn’t stop his eyes from wandering over to the boy leaning over the desk beside him.
“What are you thinking?” Gellert asked suddenly. Albus quickly lowered his eyes, embarrassed to have been caught staring.
“I’m thinking that I should really be getting home,” he replied after a while, carefully closing the book in his hands. As much as he wanted to stay, Albus realised that he would never be able to concentrate with Gellert in the same room. He would be able to get a lot more done on his own. “It’s late and Aberforth will worry if I don’t get back soon.”
Gellert smiled gently, “You’re always thinking of other people. Why don’t you just give yourself a break? Stay the night if you want; your brother won’t mind.” Albus hesitated, unconvinced. “He’s fifteen,” Gellert continued. “I’m sure he doesn’t need you to look after him. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to the bathroom.” The lanky blonde crossed to the other side of the cramped room, tossing Albus a bundle of fabric as he closed the door behind him.
A small smile turned up the corners of his lips when Albus realised that the material he held was a pair of pyjamas. Giving up, Albus began to undress. Gellert was right; Aberforth was perfectly capable of looking after himself. As for his lack of work, he could always make up for that tomorrow.
Albus was so involved in clothing himself before Gellert returned that when preparing to pull the loose flannel top over his head, he accidentally flung his arm out and sent paper and pens flying across the other side of the room. He cursed under his breath as the pile of miscellaneous objects hit the floor with a clatter and, momentarily forgetting about his T-shirt, hurried over to put them back in their place on the desk. When collecting the scraps of loose paper that were now scattered across the rug, one letter in particular stood out. By the looks of it it had once been a Howler, but that was not what Albus found intriguing about it. He recognized the name at the bottom. (Unknown) worked for the German Minister of Magic in the Department of Improper Use of Magic. Why had Gellert been sent a Howler from (him/her)?
Albus bit his lip. He knew fine well that he should not look through his friend's personal belongings, but curiosity got the better of him. Grabbing his wand, he translated the writing to English.
- Dear Mr Grindelwald,
We have received intelligence that you performed the Cruciatus Curse at thirty-three minuted past three in the afternoon at Durmstrang Institute on a fellow student.
The severity of this breach of the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of the Unforgivable Curses has resulted in your expulsion from Durmstrang Institute. Ministry representatives will be calling at your place of residue shortl to destroy your wand.
Hoping you are well,
Improper Use of Magic Office
Ministry of Magic
"What are you reading?"
Albus flinched at the sound of Gellert's voice, looking up to see him leaning against the door-frame. At any other time, he would have felt guilty to have been caught reading through Gellert's letters, but the only emotions he seemed he seemed to be experiencing were anger and betrayal.
"You were expelled?" perhaps if he had had more time to think it through and were not in such a state of shock, he would have approached the subject with a little more tact, but that was not the case.
"How did you-" Gellert broke off as he snatched the parchment from Albus's hands. His face hardened as he scanned the page, shoving it viciously into a drawer and slamming it shut. For a heartbeat, he glared down at the skinny, bespectacled boy with eyes like chips of ice, but the hatred left his expression as quickly as it had appeared, leading Albus to believe that he had only imagined it.
"Look," Gellert's voice was soft ad scarily calm. He sank down to his knees and settled down on the floor beside Albus. "I can explain."
"There's no need," Albus snapped, shuffling away. "You used an Unforgivable Curse. You lied about being expelled. What more is there to explain?"
"It wasn't like that!" Gellert protested.
Albus knew that he should leave. He knew that he wanted nothing to do with a boy who used the Cruciatus Curse on fellow student and then lied to his great aunt so that he could have a place to live, yet he stayed sitting on the floor beside him. Albus also knew that the story that Gellert was now telling him was just more lies and excuses, but he wanted so much to believe that they were true that he did.
"It was for the greater good," Gellert finished.
"For the greater good," Albus agreed quietly.
Chapter Eight - ...Edit
Gellert uses Albus's romantic feelings towards him to his advantage.
Chapter Nine - ...Edit
Gellert visits Albus to apologise.
Chapter Ten - ...Edit
Ariana dies and Aberforth blames Albus.
Chapter Eleven - ...Edit
Dumbledore visits Grindelwald in prison many years later...