This is it! The final chapter! I can't believe it! 'The Greater Good?' has accompanied me for two years now and it's been an amazing time! I had so much fun writing it, it's incredible! I just love Albus and Gellert together. It's bittersweet. On the one hand, I'm glad that it's finished now because I hate starting something and not finishing it. But on the other hand, I'm sad that it's over. Some of you might see that I left me the possibility to write a sequel in this chapter? Though I'm not sure if I'll do it, that also depends on your opinion and how much time I'll have in the future. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this story. Favourite moments? Most exciting scenes? Please let me know, that would be so awesome! And thanks to everyone who read this story and supported me, it's amazing!
I don't own the characters or places!
One year later
The snow was falling to the ground slowly and covered the castle and the landscape surrounding it in white. All over the grounds, students were walking around, happy about the first snow of the year. It was close to Christmas now and the holidays would start at the end of the week. The teachers weren't surprised that no one was in the mood to learn now. They couldn't really blame the children, considering that they were also waiting for the break.
A young man was walking through the snow with fast steps, looking around from time to time. He was carrying a letter in his hand, but his attention was focused on something else. He kept asking questions to everyone he met, but most students only shrugged or smiled at Professor Scamander, who'd lost his Niffler once more. He was new at Hogwarts and had started to teach Care of Magical Creatures only this year. Everyone knew that he wouldn't stay for a long time, the headmaster Professor Dumbledore was already searching for someone else to take over that position. However, Newt had offered to do the job until Albus would find a new teacher. Secretly, he had fun doing this, but the teaching still made him feel uncomfortable at times. After all, Newt was still quite shy.
He walked through the castle determinedly after realizing that asking others about the Niffler's whereabouts wouldn't be of any use. Newt already had an idea where the small creature might be now. When the gargoyle on the third floor asked him for the password, he smiled. "The greater good." He was allowed to enter and climbed the stairs to the tower. When he got closer to the door, he could hear voices.
"You really want to celebrate Christmas Eve with the boyfriend of your little sister, Albus?" Gellert's voice echoed through the office.
"I know that you don't like him that much, Gel. But we won't be able to change Ari's mind about this anymore." Newt was sure that he was smiling. "Even Aberforth understands it now."
"Maybe your brother should have cursed that boy years ago." Gellert's comment made Albus laugh.
"She can take care of herself, love." Albus said softly. "You can come in, Newt." He added a little louder.
Newt entered the office with a sheepish look on his face. And there they were. Albus was sitting on his chair while Gellert leaned on the table carelessly. That's how they could be found most of the time, now that they weren't living in Albus' old quarters anymore but in the headmaster's tower. Everyone knew that Gellert, or Professor Grindelwald, couldn't be found in his quarters in the dungeons (which he had to take since he was Head of House for Slytherin now) very often.
"It's good to see you, Newt." Albus greeted him warmly. "What brings you here?"
"He's looking for the Niffler." Gellert answered for Newt, an amused look on his face.
"Have you seen him?" He asked hopefully. Now both Albus and Gellert were smiling knowingly.
The loud crash at the other end of the room, followed by an outraged cry from Fawkes, the Phoenix, was answer enough. Newt whirled around, just to see the Niffler sitting on the ground, holding a small chain in his claws. With three big steps he was kneeling in front of the creature and took him into his arms carefully. "There you are." Newt whispered softly and eyed the chain curiously. He would have known it anywhere. It was the same one Albus had given Newt so many years ago, back when he'd still been a student.
"He always comes here to look for it." Albus explained and stepped next to Newt. "Maybe you should really keep the chain. I've offered this to you many years ago."
He nodded slowly. "Maybe I should." He replied thoughtfully.
"Otherwise, that small creature will always find his way back here. Wouldn't be too nice when you're not teaching here anymore, would it?" Gellert stepped next to Albus and wrapped his arms around the other man. By now, Newt was used to seeing them like this. He was one of the few people who knew about their secret.
"See it as a gift." Albus added. "For Christmas." He glanced at the letter. "Something important?"
"It's from Tina." Newt said with a smile. "She said that Queenie and Jacob will visit over Christmas." After the battle against Dimitri, Tina had quit her job as an Auror in New York. She was working for the Ministry in London now to be closer to Newt. However, her sister and her boyfriend Jacob Kowalski were still living in New York. They planned to move to the UK soon, but they didn't finish packing everything yet. Newt just hoped that they would be there for his and Tina's wedding the next summer. "And Tina asked if you would like to join us for dinner one day?"
Albus and Gellert both smiled. By now, it also didn't scare Newt anymore that those two didn't need to exchange words to understand each other. "We would love that." Albus replied. "Maybe you could also join us at Godric's Hollow? I bet my sister would be thrilled."
"You will be spending the holidays there?" Newt asked.
They both nodded. "It's calmer than in Hogsmeade, even if Aberforth can't stay too long. He doesn't want to keep the Hog's Head closed for all the holidays." By now, it was the most popular inn in Hogsmeade. Maybe also due to the fact that Albus and Gellert were heroes ever since they defeated Dimitri and everyone knew that Albus' brother owned the Hog's Head.
"I will ask Tina, but I'm sure she would love to come and visit you." Newt said with a smile.
"Awesome!" Albus exclaimed. "But maybe not the days after Christmas Eve, Elphias Doge will visit us then." He smiled when he mentioned his oldest friend.
"And don't forget that we'll visit Nicolas Flamel in Paris at New Year's Eve." Gellert reminded his partner.
"How could I ever forget that?" Albus kissed Gellert's cheek. "We'll figure out a time." He said when he turned back to Newt.
"I'm sure of that." He glanced at Fawkes again. The Phoenix was watching them with mild interest on his face. It was a beautiful creature and Albus had allowed Newt to study him. His assay about the Phoenix was nearly finished. He would publish it within the next months.
"Minerva is on her way." Albus said suddenly and they all turned to the door. Gellert didn't let go of Albus, though. Minerva also knew about their relationship by now. After knocking and waiting for Albus to tell her that it was fine to come in, she stormed into the office.
"Bad news?" Gellert guessed and secretly, Newt could agree. He knew that look on her face.
"Two students from Gryffindor and Slytherin decided that today would be a good time for a forbidden duel." Minerva said darkly. "They're both in my office now, but I thought you would like to be there when I scold them?"
Gellert grimaced. "Actually, I was quite happy here. I'm sure you can deal with them by yourself."
Minerva crossed her arms and raised her eyebrows.
It was Albus who sighed. "Just go with her, Gel. Newt and I will accompany you."
"You mean you want to scare the students to death when the headmaster shows up because of a fight?" Gellert smiled slightly.
"No, but soon, it will be time for dinner. We will be waiting for you in the Great Hall." Albus' eyes were shining and he turned to Newt. "I read your assay about the Phoenix and I would like to discuss a few things with you, Newt."
He was surprised that Albus had already read it. He'd just given it to him two days ago. "That would be great." He said.
"I read the assay as well." Gellert emphasized when they started to walk towards the stairs. "Just in case you're interested in my opinion."
"I am." Newt replied. "Maybe you could explain it as soon as you join us?" Apparently, Gellert had still been trying to find a way to avoid giving detention so close before Christmas. But now he just sighed in defeat.
"Making me Head of House was a bad idea, Albus." He muttered quietly. They were getting closer to the crowded parts of the castle now.
"You're doing a good job, Gellert. The students love you." Albus replied softly.
"But it's so much work. There are way better things to do in our free time." The look he threw at his partner said enough and Newt looked away quickly. They were heading to Minerva's office now and just after walking around another corner, they all stopped abruptly because they'd nearly run into someone. It was Horace Slughorn, the new Potions Master and he was talking to a young student from Slytherin.
His name was Tom Riddle and he was brilliant, but also a little scary. When they noticed their presence, Tom smiled politely while Horace beamed at them. Newt noticed that Gellert looked at the boy strangely and Albus placed a hand on his back, but he didn't know what that was about. Then Minerva already urged them to go on and the moment was over – and soon forgotten, at least for Newt Scamander.
Whatever Minerva and Gellert told the students who had the fight, it didn't take long. Albus and Newt had just started their conversation about the Phoenix when Gellert joined them. He smiled when he saw Albus and the other man smiled back just as softly. Newt wondered how anyone could look at them and not see their love. It was so obvious.
"I really like it better now." Gellert said into the silence surrounding them. "Without all the students and the chaos they constantly cause."
Albus smiled at him and took his hand. "You love teaching, Gel." He reminded him. "Don't deny it."
"I do. But it's also good to get a break." Gellert replied and leaned in to kiss him. Nearly all the students were gone now for the holidays and only a few teachers were left – together with about twenty children who wouldn't go home.
Albus chuckled. "That's true. Though I think that our holidays will be quite eventful, considering how many different people we'll see."
"Next year, we'll leave the country. Just the two of us."
"Sounds tempting." Albus grinned. They left the castle and the old air outside hit them. By now, there was much more snow. It was a beautiful sight. Without really thinking about it, they stopped and looked at their surroundings for a few moments. Then they started to walk towards the lake.
"So many things have changed in the past years, but sometimes it feels like nothing at all." Gellert said thoughtfully. "I can still remember the day I first saw this castle like it's been yesterday."
"I remember the moment we first met with perfect clarity." Albus whispered. "Back then, you took my breath away. And you still do, Gellert." He smiled at him. "I love you."
"I love you too, Albus." Came the soft reply. They knew that they couldn't hold hands or kiss now, but looking into each other's eyes was enough. "You changed my whole life."
"I hope for the better." Albus joked. "The people love your assay about the greater good. It's inspiring so many others now."
"I wouldn't have been able to write it without your help." Gellert argued softly. "You have a way with words, love."
"So do you. You just let yourself get distracted too easily."
Gellert chuckled. "You mean by you, sitting close to me with that adorable frown on your face when you're thinking of something closely?"
Now they both had to laugh. "It's so good to have some peace in our lives." Albus said and of course he noticed how Gellert frowned at this. During the summer holidays, his bad dreams had started again. He didn't have a single nightmare ever since Dimitri was locked up in Nurmengard – until now. "It's that boy, isn't it? Tom Riddle."
Gellert sighed. "I really don't want to talk about him." He'd told Albus about his dreams. He always saw that boy and another one, with black, messy hair, green eyes and a scar. However, they couldn't figure out a connection yet. They would have to wait and see.
"It will all be fine." Albus said simply and now he couldn't stop himself from taking Gellert's hand anymore. "Just have faith in us."
"I do." Gellert smiled slightly. "You should know that."
"Everything will work out as long as we stay together."
"We'll always stay together." Gellert replied immediately. "You know that I would marry you, right? If it would be possible."
"I would have proposed first." Albus threw in.
"No, it would have been me. Definitely." They kept arguing about that from time to time. First, it had made them sad that they would never be able to show their relationship openly, but by now, they were used to it.
A cry in the distance ended their conversation. "I think Fawkes wants to tell us that we have to leave." Albus noted with a smile. "Otherwise, we might be late for dinner and I think we both don't want Ariana to get mad at us."
Gellert grimaced in agreement. "Then let's go." He looked around quickly, but they were alone on the grounds. Then he leaned in to kiss Albus softly. "I love you, Albus Dumbledore."
"I love you too, Gellert Grindelwald." Albus whispered. Then he whistled and Fawkes flew towards them. Just before the Phoenix could reach them, Albus touched the necklace under his shirt he was wearing for years now. The greater good. That's what they would always be fighting for, side by side.
Then Fawkes reached them and they vanished in the flames.
Thank you so much for reading this! :)