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Grindelwald walked into the planetarium. He stared up at the stars. Albus was beside him. He smiled at his friend. "It's about leverage," Grindelwald started. "The right tools. The right torsion. We can save them."

"What do you mean?" Albus asked.

"The muggles," Grindelwald gestured at the hovering ball representing the moon. "Starvation, famine, death," he listed. "War. I regrew a missing limb on a homeless girl back home once. I saved her life. I gave her a little money, wiped her memory of her suffering and sent her on her way."

"Risky. This is very risky," Albus teetered. "What are you proposing?"

"The alignment. We can use the energy. Knock muggles back. To a time when wizards were dominant and keep them down. Forever. We can save them."

"Don't pretend you care about muggles," Albus raised an eyebrow. "You don't."

Grindelwald nodded in something like agreement. "I care about them in an academic sense. I don't want them to suffer anymore than they have to."


"Yes and no. More like utilitarianism," Grindelwald corrected.

"And you want to use the wand to do this? We don't even know where it is."

"All the more reason to do something. Anything. We can just sit idly by. Every moment we allow the horrors of the world to happen. How can you?"

"You're talking about genocide."

"No. I don't want them all to die. Magi need the muggles. We would have died out if we didn't interbreed."

"Still you're talking about killing them by the billions. When you say something isn't technically genocide you do everyone and yourself a disservice. What you are talking about is terrible. I can't be a part of it."

"Don't lecture me. If you can't be a part of it, don't. Just do what you always do and stand aside." Albus flinched. "I will shepard in a golden age. Free of oppression. Free of hunger and fear. I can see forever," Grindelwald claimed.

"I suppose," Albus stammered nervously. He really was handsome. "What are you thinking?"

"I was just thinking how handsome you are." Gellert stepped into Albus's space. He brushed his hair out of his face with his free hand.

"Gellert? I…?"

"Don't fight it," Grindelwald whispered. "You want this."

Albus said nothing. He just looked up into Gellert's pale eyes with his bright blue ones.

Gellert kissed him then. Softly. With meaning. He cradled Albus's lower lip between both of his. Albus sighed out through his nose. Then Gellert stepped back and smiled at him. Albus flushed bright red.

"What do you think?" Gellert asked. He was smiling still.

"I think… well… you're a good kisser."

Gellert threw his head back and laughed.

"I need space. I need time," Dumbledore protested.

"We're in a planetarium. You say you need space? I'll take you to the moon and show you stars." Gellert grinned at his best friend.

"That's not what I meant and you know it!" Albus protested. "You have all these ideas. All these grand plans. You want to destroy the statute of secrecy. You want to raise a great and terrible army."

"The alignment is just the beginning," Gellert whispered. "I will command a great and terrible power. I will be the greatest wizard who ever lived with you by my side. I'll go into the cold night knowing I did great things. I can die peacefully with that. We shall find new worlds. We shall sail the oceans of space and time. And on those shores we will build a shinning future."

"What about this world? What about these people? What about my family?"

"They disapprove of me. I know. They think I'm a terrible influence on you. But you shouldn't be shackled by your sister and brother. You deserve to spread your wings. Let your brother worry about your sister."

"I don't know…"

"Well I do! You're one of the greatest wizards of this millennium! We can take the panties of matter and space and time! We can give her cheek a quick kiss and spread her legs and lay her down nice and smooth."

"You're being disgusting on purpose."

Gellert grinned. "Maybe. It would take a god to prove that."

Albus frowned in thought. The planets shifted in their orbits around the two wizards. The moon lined up with the sun. "What's that?" Albus asked.

"The panties are coming off," Gellert smiled again. "I have to go. My government is holding a hearing. The inflation in the muggle world is causing mass starvation. Women with wheelbarrows of money can't buy bread. There's nothing to eat. There's just nothing to eat. I can save them."

"Kiss me one more time, won't you?"

Gellert leaned in and kissed Albus on the forehead then the lips. The kiss was quick but full of passion. "Goodbye. Gellert."

"Until next time."

Harry woke up. He frowned. Dumbledore never told him about that. He said they were close and good friends but not that they had been gay for one another. The odd ball sensation in his stomach regarding the headmaster he had been experiencing ever since he subsumed the dark lord suddenly made sense. Harry rolled over in his bed, grabbed his wand, and checked the time. He could probably get back to sleep if he felt like it. But Harry didn't particularly feel like it.

Michael and the other Ravenclaw boys were sleeping soundly. Harry went and showered and brushed his teeth. He enjoyed the feeling of the warm water. When he got out of the shower people were up and moving. Lisa sought him out.


"Lisa?" He answered. He smiled warmly at his friend. She flushed crimson and looked away.

"You know… I'm not much of a fighter… but I want to help. Help you with You Know Who."

"I know and I know. There's not much you can do. You've always been a gentle spirit. You stood up to me when you felt like you had to. I haven't forgotten that. You're sweet and kind. You're a talented and bright witch. You'll go far. Leave the war to me."

"I'm to just do nothing? I'm not the sort."

"Keep the mirrors Daphne made close to you. I'll let you know if something is happening."

"I want to fight."

"I'll teach you," Harry decided. "I will. When the time is right, when our enemies make their moves, you'll be ready."

"What about you?" She frowned. Harry frowned back.

"What about me?"

"Will you be ready? You don't have to do everything by yourself. Don't be a hero."

"I'm nobody's hero. My life is all shades of gray and it's more black than white. I'm more like… I'm more like Grindelwald than I am like Dumbledore."

"You mean that? You mean-"

"I mean it's complicated," Harry interrupted. "I'm an academic. I like to study and learn things. I like to grow and push myself. I've always swam after the biggest fish I could see because I'm a shark. And I had to keep moving. But at the same time I'm like a walking talking thunderbolt. I'm hazardous. It's dangerous to be around me, Lisa. I have goals and dreams which I want to accomplish. I want my future. I want a life free of Voldemort. Dumbledore has plans. He thinks he knows how to win. But I'm nobody's puppet. I'm not a lamb to be sacrificed. And neither are you. You want to help me. You want to fight. I'll allow you even if it's not really my choice. And I can't really stop you. I'll put you in the right position to succeed but you have to be patient."

"You're going against Dumbledore?" Lisa asked him. He frowned and thought about that.

"I… I want to go my own way. I don't like Voldemort's path. I don't like the path Dumbledore set me on. I can almost see a path to victory. If I squint hard enough. I don't know what it will take to set me free. I admire Dumbledore. We fight at times. But that's all families I think."

She nodded and didn't press him. When he was ready he marched on.

"The headmaster is more complicated than I thought. And I already thought he was pretty fucking complicated. There's a darkness to him which I have too. A hunger. A devouring volume which is never satisfied. And the more you feed it the more it grows. Like some dark star. Voldemort had it too but he let fear consume him. Grindelwald… Grindelwald thought he could see the end of time. He thought he could look over his shoulder and see the beginning and the ending all at once. I can't. I don't. I lack the vision. And maybe if I was less obsessive I could let it go. Maybe that's on me. I have a weakness," Harry finished.

Harry reached out and brushed Lisa's mind.

[He thinks a lot about Grindelwald and war… Fuck. I feel so useless.]

"I don't keep you around because you're useful to me," Harry intruded aloud. "I keep you around because I'm possessive. I like what is mine. I'm territorial about people and things and places. Voldemort wasn't to my knowledge. He didn't. He had followers and servants but he didn't have friends. I don't know if that is enough of a distinction to set me free or to save me. I honestly don't even know if it matters. But I cling to it. You… you terrify me. You all do."

"How do we terrify you?"

"The lengths I'd go to help you if you needed it. Neville just asked me for a pretty big favor. It's huge. I can't tell you about it but its one of the biggest things he could probably ask me to do. Daphne brought up having kids the other day. I'm willing. But I bet its hard as fuck. I bet being a good father is damn near impossible. I…" He hesitated.

"You want to do your best? For Daphne?" She interpreted.

[He loves her. That's so sweet.]

"I cherish her deeply. I cherish all of you and the times we spend together. I use the memory of my first kiss with Daphne as patronus fuel. And we'll see how I handle kids. If I get that far."

"I think you could be a great father."

"We'll see. I have my reservations." Luna walked in. She rubbed her face hard. She glanced at Harry and looked away quickly like she was staring at the sun. What did she see? Who could say? Not Harry who didn't delve into her mind. Except a light brush. She had a headache and he relieved her of it. She felt hot and cold at the same time. Like she was running a fever. Except the fever was in her mind.

"Thank you Lisa," Harry finished. "For everything."

Lisa followed his eyes. She turned around when he looked over her head. Her black hair swept over her shoulder. "What is it? Luna?"

"Another project," he grimaced.

"Don't think about it like that," Lisa advised him. He frowned a little. But he nodded eventually. "You really believe in her. Don't you?"

"I've seen how damaged her mind is. Frayed and torn open by the future. Visions press in on her awareness at all times, I think. It might be more merciful if I let her die… but I'm a bit of a monster. I want her to struggle and claim possession of her own two feet." Harry shrugged.

"Can she do that? Don't attempt the impossible on account of people who aren't going anywhere."

"It's not her fault she's not going anywhere," Harry pointed out. "She's my friend in an odd way too."

Lisa nodded, accepting that. "What happens now?"

Harry grinned. "Breakfast."

She rolled her eyes. "You don't eat much… I'm not sure how. Every meal is a feast at Hogwarts. I eat too much sometimes. It's a bad habit but I like food."

"Aw poor puppy," he admonished.

She grinned. "Stop it."

"Sure," he granted.

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"Harry," the headmaster greeted across his desk. Harry waited but Dumbledore said nothing.

"You summoned me, Sir," Harry pointed out. Mind games and riddles.

"I did. I believe I have cornered a horcrux at the Gaunt family manor. I wish to take you with me. When I have studied the traps involved further. I thought you should know."

"I deserve to know. I'm intimately involved with Voldemort's soul."

"Quite," the headmaster frowned. "How does that make you feel? Young man?"

"Trapped," Harry answered. "I'm in a prison except the bars are inside me. You… you never told me. You never told me about you and Grindelwald."

"I believe I have told you a great deal about my friend."

"You weren't just friends. Though. Were you," Harry leveled against the old man. "You were lovers."


"How did I know? Don't worry about that. I see it all unfolding before me. Your relationship with him. The panties are coming off, Sir."

Dumbledore flinched. "How could you… No. I suppose it doesn't matter. Yes. I loved him a great deal. He was more than a friend to me. He… understood me. He knew me like no one else did. I was romantically involved with him for a time. Yes."

"Who betrayed who?" Harry asked the wizard in front of him. "You turned on him. You left him. It was… it was after a duel. Between him and your brother. One of them killed your sister."

"Indeed. I don't know who fired the spell that actually ended her life. I suppose I never will. You haven't been idle I suppose that's to be expected. You know so much. I am surprised that I am not surprised." Dumbledore reclined and took a lemon drop from the jar on his desk. He popped it into his mouth. He chewed thoughtfully. "I miss him a great deal in these later years. His touch. I visit him occasionally. We talk about the world. I should do it again sometime soon. A great deal has happened. There is much to share."

Harry nodded. He could recall some such visits. Grindelwald's memories. Not his own. His mind at times played tricks on him. The edges between himself and the dark lord blurred. He was no longer entirely his own man. Though he supposed he had never been. What with Tom's presence in his soul.

"Is there anything else you'd like to share with me, Sir?" Harry asked the old man.

Dumbledore hummed in thought. "Voldemort wants the prophecy. I've set up a guard around it. Extra protections. He wants weapons he didn't have last time he rose to power. He shall have them. The inner circle of his Death Eaters are no longer naive children. They are adults with power and roles in society. This time shall be worse, I'm afraid. Dire times are upon us, young man. We are counting on you."

"Everyone is counting on me. Everyone needs me to be strong enough to contest Tom. And I don't know if I am. But then again I don't really care about every person I pass on the street. There are a handful of people I do care about. You among them. I care if they live or die. I care if they are happy and safe."

"Still? You care for me still?"

"Of course," Harry breathed. "You only want the best for me. It's hard to hate that even if I disagree with your tactics. I think…"


"I think I am your living legacy. I'm a by product. A shadow. A weapon. When Voldemort marked me he left his ghost behind and the result is what you see before you."

"A kind young man?" The headmaster asked with a genuine smile.

"A font of magic," Harry corrected. "I am as you before me made me. You, Tom, and Grindelwald all contributed. My parents less so. I know they loved me but its distant. Kind voices on a far away breeze. You and the others have the greatest claim on my identity besides myself. I am almost you. You are almost me."

"And Gellert and Tom?"

"Them too." Harry nodded. "There are differences to be sure. Gellert here. Harry there. But there are places on the diluvial plain that aren't so cut and dry. Places which can only be referred to as part of the unifying whole. My memories and thoughts blend. I'm not who I once was. Do you remember? Who you were before?"

"Before Gellert?" Dumbeldore wanted clarification.

"Before you woke up for the first time," Harry elaborated. "Do you recall becoming awake? Like water filling a vessel until a critical point was reached. Until all of a sudden you thought and above all were."

"Bits and pieces. I became myself around the age of six. My older brother was there. We were playing with small blocks together. I remember smiling and warm light. It was very warm but not overly so. It was soft. It was sudden. I recall thinking to myself 'this must be me, and this must be the world.' And then I set off to explore it, low to the ground. I suppose I never really stopped exploring. The wonder and majesty of the world is something of a perpetual miracle. And then eventually I met Gellert. He changed me. We were brilliant together. We could see so much and go so far. But eventually he turned. Eventually he destroyed himself and my love for him. And I ran. I ran from him. I hid away. Until eventually it became clear no one else could stop him. I had no choice but to confront him. And years went by. I met Tom in the orphanage. I saw the specter within him. It was dark inside his soul and mind. He wasn't quite the same as Gellert was. They were different. Just as you are. I let him leave but only just."

"Why didn't you try and save him the way you saved me? From my aunt and uncle?" Harry asked the headmaster. "Why didn't you do more for him?"

"The circumstances were entirely different. I couldn't have intervened. The law forbid it."

"Laws be damned. A child was alone," Harry disagreed. "You think I care about laws. I don't. And neither should you. Nobody puts limits on us."

"I could probably have done more for him. He was cruel."

"I'm cruel," Harry pointed out. "Grindelwald was cruel. You didn't hesitate with us. Why with Tom?"

"I thought maybe it deserved a hands off approach. I didn't involve myself with him. I wanted to step back. To receive a better view of the whole picture. I thought maybe I was the problem. I thought I was what was wrong. Afterall, only I could see the darkness within him. His other teachers and caretakers all saw a bright young man. Maybe I was mistaken. I thought I was. I couldn't be sure. Not about any of it."

"And now it's my turn," Harry agreed.

"I worry a lot about you," Dumbledore confessed. His shoulders sagged. "I worry about the world I left you. The one you grew up in. Life hasn't been kind to you. And that is mostly my fault. You seem happy now, but how can I be sure?"

"You'll have to take me at my word. I have Daphne. I have my friends. Things are good for me even if the world is a shitty place in general." Harry bit the side of his thumb.

"My mistakes haunt me. As though they are ghosts from the end of time. I didn't want them to haunt you. I never wanted that for you. I'm sorry, son."

Harry shrugged. "If none of this happened I might not have Daphne. I don't want to have to be thankful you hurt me very badly. But if I must then I must. I wouldn't be who I am without you. And on the whole… I like who I am. I like who I ended up as. The sacrifices I'm willing to make are a part of that. Tom is an insane monster who hurt me very badly too. What's the difference between stopping him and stopping you?"

"I should hope you see more of a difference than that between Tom and I," Dumbledore disagreed.

"And I do," Harry nodded. "And I do. At your core you are a gentle soul. That's why I still love you, I think. You want to see the best in me. Even though it hurts you to do it. Doesn't it?" Harry tagged.

Dumbledore sagged under new weight. "When you came to my school I was so worried about you. What if you were like Tom? What if you didn't make any friends? I'm glad to see I was proven wrong. But… There are so many similarities. Too many for it to be mere happenstance. When I die, I shall be gone. What will happen to you then? What will happen to the world then? I took this world under my protection. I shall die doing the right thing. And what I greatly thought I nobly dared. You know what it means already; to have so many people relying on you; living and dead people both. That isn't something time takes from you. But in this I truly believe destiny is your ally."

"Thank you, Sir," Harry decided. "Let me take over from here, I've got this."

Dumbledore's eyes twinkled.

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