Literatti: Fiction By Deslea
Deslea R. Judd
Pairing: Albus Dumbledore/Gellert Grindelwald, Albus Dumbledore/Tom Riddle
Word Count: 2700
Summary: Sometimes, when we can't have the lover we want, we take the lover we deserve.
More Fic: On AO3 or my fic site.
Feedback: Love the stuff. On AO3 or at deslea at deslea dot com.
The first time he fucked Tom was on VE Day, and he paid for it every day after that.
He was in a Muggle pub in Piccadilly Circus. It wasn't the first time, either. Since Gellert's imprisonment, the Muggle world had become his refuge. Tom had come in with glossy blonde hair and a jaunty smile and an Allied uniform, just enough like Gellert to catch his eye, just different enough to keep his suspicions at bay.
"You look a little familiar, old chap," he'd said, dropping down into the booth across the table. "Are you a friend of Mrs King, by any chance?"
He allowed a flicker of a smile to touch on his features. "I am, at that," he agreed. That was one euphemism that had crossed the Muggle divide. Queers were only marginally more tolerated in Diagon Alley than they were in Muggle London. "The name's Albus."
"Gil," the young soldier said, reaching over and pumping his hand with a nice, strong grip that promised things to come. "Pleased to make your acquaintance." He nodded at the crowds in the street, audible through the window. "Great day, isn't it?"
"Indeed. The end of war is a wonderful thing." Albus motioned to the soldier's shirt, Allied-standard beige molding nicely to his chest. "Just home from the front?"
"Yeah. I was in Berlin," said the man named Gil. "Came back just before the fall, though. Took a bullet just outside Nurmengard."
It was like a well-placed Crucio, that name here where it didn't belong. Albus felt his fingers tighten around his glass, but worked to keep his expression even. He said mildly, "Where on God's earth is Nurmengard?"
"Nowhere. That's the point. It's just swamp and forest, and the air is actually toxic in parts. You can't go in - you get sick. Some say the Fuhrer had a hideout there, and the toxin was some devil of a thing cooked up by his scientists. We were sent to stop him from getting to it. But he never showed. I was shot by one of my own men. Damn fool panicked because he heard a fox step on a twig."
"Damn," he said colourlessly. "When was that?"
"Beginning of April. I woke up on a stretcher being carried away. I remember looking up at lights in the sky. All sorts of colours. They said later I must have dreamed it."
Albus drained his drink. It had been quite the lightshow, taking Gellert down. The Daily Prophet had even published a rare colour picture. That kind of spellwork was far outside the usual budget of a daily tabloid.
Gil reached out and closed his hand on the glass, brushing fingers. "Buy you another?"
"Sure," he said with a small smile. Wondered for a moment whether he was going to fuck him, but only for a moment. Of course he was. Albus was sixty-two, well kept and still attractive to younger men, but it was a rare treat to attract one like this.
Of course, it was a day of celebration, and few would suffer for company today if they wanted it. He had all but counted on it. That it was a striking young soldier was just a bonus.
Gil came back with a pair of pints, and sat down beside him rather than opposite. Albus had rather thought he would.
The rest of it passed in an entirely predictable fashion. Knees bumped, hands strayed various places by accident, and the accidents became progressively more outrageous and unbelievable until his cock was straining against his trousers. Gil was cheerfully accepting of the world and its foibles - in that, he differed wildly from Gellert - but there was something familiar there too, a spark of larrikin good humour. This was the Gellert that could have been if he hadn't been so determined to conquer the world.
"You know, there's another pub that's a bit quieter nearby," Gil said presently. "I know a shortcut through the alley. No need to fight these crowds to get there."
"Yes," he breathed, and all but fell over to follow.
They barely made it around the corner, into a doorway, before he had the young man pressed hard to the wall. Gil's trousers were already loose around his thighs, hips pressed back to his.
He risked a silent lubricating spell - hell, Gil was risking a Section 11, so it seemed only fair - and thrust home in one deep, hard move. Pressed his face into that shoulder-length blonde hair. Swept it away and sucked on the soft white flesh of his neck. He told himself that he was damp with sweat and not tears, and fucked the body against him hard into the wall to prove it. Fucked him like it was the jubilation of victory and not the heaviness of grief and guilt.
In profile, he was so fucking much like Gellert. Right down to that fucking blonde hair. Hair he'd imagined pulling and plundering and restlessly tangling through his fingers. Hair that was -
Hair that was too long for a soldier.
It was like a bucket of cold water over him. He pulled out, tears still wet on his cheeks, and rasped, "Finite!"
The glamour fell away, and Tom turned around with that fucking smirk on his features. It was the one part of him that he and Gellert really shared. Deliberately slow, he tucked himself back in and pulled up his fly.
"What's the matter, old man? Thought you wanted company."
"Fuck, I hate you," he rasped. Zipped himself up with disgust. Mostly at himself, because somewhere deep down, he'd known. And he'd done it anyway.
The smirk settled into a grim line. "Yes, you do. It's about time you dropped that oh-so-correct veneer and admitted it, too." He leaned back against the wall, arms folded across his chest. "You know, all I ever wanted was a home, and I thought I had one, but you were hell-bent on taking it away. You told anyone who would listen that I was a madman in the making, and some of them believed it. And I could never figure out why." Dark merriment lit his features. "But when I heard how you resisted duelling Gellert, well, I started to dig. And then I understood everything." He pushed off the wall and stood in his space, an ugly sneer seeping through his voice. "It wasn't me you hated. It was yourself. And him. I was just your whipping boy. You despised my mind and my power because you despised your own."
A scowl was pulling at his features, tensing his jaw. "You're a goddamned psychopath, Tom, with at least one murder behind you and probably more than that. Are you seriously trying to convince me you're my victim?"
"Not then," Tom whispered, and to Albus' horror, his eyes were suddenly red and soft. "I was just a little boy."
Albus retorted uneasily, "A little boy who had scared people. Who hurt animals." The betrayal of emotion in Tom's eyes had shaken him more than he liked to admit.
"One animal! By accident! With a power I couldn't control that came out against people who hurt me!" Tom was yelling right in his face now, hot breath assaulting him along with his words. He pushed Albus, hard. "You fucking bastard!"
A chill fell over him. There was a conviction about Tom that made Albus suddenly, absolutely sure that he believed every word of it. It was the same odd conviction he'd had a few weeks ago when he'd declared he was going to work for Borgin and Burkes.
Could he be right?
Suddenly, that dark merriment was back. Tom broke out in a smile. "Of course, it was also the making of me. There's that." He pressed Albus back against the other side of the doorway, cock hard and grinding against his stomach. He taunted, "I have become what you feared me to be."
The blood drained from his face. I'm sorry, he wanted to say, but stopped himself. It was too late. Seven years too late. That little boy, if he had ever really existed at all, was no more than dust on the wind.
What there was now was a darkly merry, malevolent monster. And somewhere, deep inside, he wanted it. Had always wanted it. Darkness had always been his truest, most seductive and dangerous lover.
Tom said in a low voice, "I'm going to fuck you so many ways you're going to beg me to end it." He was grinding hard against him, and Albus wasn't even surprised to find that his erection was harder and stronger than before. Gellert might have been the lover he'd wanted, but he had a horrible, fatalistic feeling that Tom might be the lover he deserved.
"You destroy everything you touch," Tom rasped, reaching down and kneading him through his pants. "Gellert. Arianna. Aberforth. Me. You can't stand what you are, and everyone else pays." He sped up, and Albus arched and groaned, even as he closed his eyes against the dark, gleaming truth in Tom's expression. "I think what you really want is to make amends. And I'm going to give it to you." Working him with expert hands, he ground out, "I'm going to make you wish you'd never been born."
Albus choked out his hateful orgasm, and when he opened his eyes, Tom was gone.
Tom was as skilled a lover as he was a manipulator.
He never did find a way past the wards into Hogwarts, but it didn't matter. Albus went to him often enough. It didn't matter where - as long as it was somewhere anonymous and off the beaten track, Tom would find him soon enough.
"You want it," Tom hissed into his ear, drilling him into the bed in a boarding house in Montenegro, just a few miles from the Albanian border. Tom had made him wait this time, leaving him oddly terrified that he'd been abandoned. "You want me to burn you and make you raw. You want me to flay into that shrivelled-up excuse for a soul and make it bleed." He pulled out and turned Albus over, suddenly all Gellert, fair and radiant, and kissed him hard.
We could have ruled the world, Tom whispered in Gellert's voice, deep inside his brain, and there, kissing him, taking him deep inside, Albus wished to Merlin they had.
"And you've lived with this for twenty-five years?"
Albus swallowed hard. Looked around at the desolate tower room that was Gellert's prison. "Under the circumstances, I can hardly ask for your sympathy."
Gellert shrugged. His eyes were really rather kind.
He went on after a moment, "He's rising to power. And I'm not going to be able to stop it."
Gellert's eyebrow - more grey than blonde, but oh, so familiar - lifted a fraction. He said doubtfully, "He's more powerful than you? Do you really believe that?"
Albus shook his head. "No. But I don't deserve to be the one who defeats him. I do believe that."
Gellert kissed him then, leaning across from his little bunk to where Albus sat in the chair, and he knew. He knew right then even though he had no idea how, but it wasn't in him to stop it. Because it was Gellert, the real Gellert or something like him, older and greyer and sadder and wiser and kinder, and he loved him. And right here, he was close enough to touch. He knew what it would cost, but he did it anyway, made love to him with everything he had.
"You don't deserve anything," Tom hissed, finally revealing himself when Albus' climax had been and gone. "Least of all Gellert."
Albus glanced over at the other bunk, where Gellert lay, sleeping and oblivious, concealment charms fallen away, and he knew that Tom was right.
"This is what you want, isn't it, old man?"
Tom wasn't really Tom anymore - he was a monster of a thing now - but that dark, malevolent cheer was still the same. They were two aged monsters, fucking hard on the other side of the mirror.
In a fucked-up way, it even made sense. They were, after all, two of a kind.
At some point, as he stood there watching, his reflection slumped to the floor. Released by death at last. The sight should have chilled him, but it filled him with a deep, dull relief. He could think of nothing more darkly splendid. Nothing at all.
Yes, Tom, that's exactly what I want.
"Professor?" the Potter boy prompted, interrupting his thoughts. He was looking up at him expectantly.
Albus started. "I'm sorry, Harry, what was that?"
Harry looked back at the mirror with longing. The boy's desires were, of course, both brighter and more deserving than his own.
"What do you see when you look into the mirror?"
Albus looked down on the boy with reluctant warmth. Here was another boy about to be destroyed in the course of repairing the fracture in the world that he and Tom had wrought. Harry was good, too, though. Perhaps he could hold onto something of himself along the way.
He hoped so.
He glanced around the room for inspiration. His gaze fell on a painting of the three old ladies knitting the socks of death. When the socks were complete and the thread was cut - well.
"I see myself holding a pair of thick, woollen socks," he said, with just the right amount of old-man whimsy. Harry broke out into a grin. Right on cue.
Tom cocked an eyebrow, and wondered, "Do you really think you deserve to be at peace, old man?"
I know you," Tom's voice echoed through his study, reverberating off high-domed ceilings. His voice was younger, harsher, less controlled. This was the Tom who had fucked him fifty years before.
Albus recoiled, thrusting the ring away from him with hard, jittering fingers. The finger on which he'd tried it was already turning black.
"I did it, didn't I?" the voice taunted. "It was only a pipedream when I made the ring, but I did it. I can feel it in your blood. I fucked you up better than I could ever have dreamed."
"You did," Albus said grimly. He was already drawing Godric Gryffindor's sword from the umbrella stand beside his desk.
"Go ahead," Tom said with that smirk, that damned smirk in his voice. "I'm already in your veins. You'll have to kill yourself to be rid of me now."
Albus thought grimly that that might not be such a bad idea, after all.
As his hand grew blacker with the curse that Tom's ring had inflicted upon it, Albus found himself uncomfortably reminded of his youth. Deserted classrooms, the Room of Requirement, even the occasional broom closet were all settings for his furtive meeting of his all-consuming needs.
He had no interest in his good hand. It had to be the cursed one, black, malevolent, gripping painfully and bringing him release, but never joy.
It is your destiny, to live and die like this, his voice echoed through his brain, urging him on, bringing him to climax after bitter climax, each one like ashes in his mouth.
It wasn't Tom. He knew that. Even if the sentience of him had entered his body, Severus' spellwork had contained the curse to his hand. Whatever thoughts hounded his brain were his own.
It didn't matter. That was where it had all begun anyway.
When he fell, it was a relief.
He fell backwards, into the waiting arms of death, sent there by one who knew all too well about repentance. One more worthy than him, who would follow him, and help destroy the horror that he had unleashed on the world.
He was free.
"Do you really think you deserve to be free, old man?" Tom's voice hissed, curling around him in grey, creeping trails of air that seemed to have a dark vitality of their own.
Albus opened his eyes very wide, and his mouth as well, already too far from the world to give voice to his scream, and then they fell into the void together.
Written for HP Horror Fest on hp_darkarts on LiveJournal in 2014.
1. VE Day is 8 May, 1945. Celebrated as the day World War II ended in Europe. Tom Riddle was 18 at this time.
2. "Friends of Mrs King" was code for gay in the first half of the twentieth century in the UK (in the same way as "Friends of Dorothy" in the US).
3. Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 was the statute under which men were imprisoned for any kind of "indecency" with other men (lesbian activity was ignored). Oscar Wilde and Alan Turing were both charged under this law.
4. The three old ladies knitting the socks of death is apparently an old Greek myth. I wasn't aware of this until I went looking for some sort of weird-ass factoid to weave into the Erised scene to explain the sock remark (which was probably really just Albus being annoying). There really is something for everyone on the internet, isn't there?