I am so down with Dumbledore being gay.
Disclaimers: I don't own any of these characters.
He tried not to ask much of Gellert. It was enough that their thoughts constantly clashed and mingled. It was enough that the beauty that came from two shining intellects could change the world for better. It was enough to work by this brilliant individual that Albus truly loved.
They would spend nights awake together, discussing plans and theories. Albus didn't sleep much as it was, but in the time he spent with his friend he never felt tired. Nearly every night he was with the one he loved, and how could he ask for anything more than that? On some nights, but not many, they wouldn't talk of magic of all. They would spend the night talking to each other about day to day things. They would discuss their thoughts on a purely emotional level.
Albus loved the academic stimulation, but he loved the talks far more.
On some nights, but not many, they wouldn't talk at all.
It was hard to be home, Albus found, and it was harder still to meet the accusatory glares of his brother and the blank smiles of his sister. The love he felt for them hurt and he wasn't quite sure how to deal with it. He wanted an escape, but he didn't know how to go about doing that. He wanted his sister's freedom passionately.
And that meant trusting his and Gellert's plots. His sister was the greater good and it was gratifying that Gellert realized that.
In some ways, he didn't think that he deserved Gellert. His friend was beautiful, but his true beauty lay in his mind. Albus tried desperately to equal the passion for thought that the other embodied so easily. Although Gellert constantly reminded him of what a genius Albus was, he only wanted more. He wanted to be worthy of his closest friend.
He didn't ask much of Gellert. How could he when he so clearly felt that he was living on borrowed time? That soon his closest friend would realize that Albus was holding him back? Albus did everything in his power to be valuable to Gellert. He did not speak of what he felt for him and was achingly afraid that it would drive him away. And how could Albus compare to him?
Sometimes it became too much. Albus knew that he was brilliant, not brilliant enough, but it was a start. He wanted to be somebody, anybody. In the darkest nights, he wished that his sister would die, so he could break free. He knew his brother hated him for this, but he didn't know how to change. As much as he loved his sister, sometimes Albus thought that he loved Gellert more.
He wasn't ashamed of her, not his sister, never his sister. He loved her deeply, but how deeply really? He didn't know. He wanted her to be able to live, to be happy. He wished for her to go out in the world and be loved. He sometimes wished that she would just die. For her greater good? He couldn't be certain.
On some days, Gellert would hold his gaze a little bit longer than necessary. He would smile slightly at Albus longer than what was normal. Albus lived for these moments where he could pretend that his great love was returned. These were the moments that he would turn to on the dark nights when his sister's nightmares became too much and she couldn't hold back her screams. The moments weren't real, Albus knew that, but it helped sometimes to believe in them.
And what else could he do?
Albus lived for the stolen kisses that came infrequently and scattered across logic driven days. He didn't ask for more. He didn't want it enough to drive away his friend. He was afraid that the closer he got to the one he loved most ardently the further away the other would run. He waited for the moments when Gellert would lean down and brush his lips against Albus's before swiftly beginning to brainstorm once more. Albus's lips would tingle long after their lips had touched, but he would not let it show.
"Listen Albus, this can all be possible. Your sister can be out in the open. You will see." Gellert would say, with such conviction, that Albus would believe it without question.
Gellert was beautiful, Albus knew that much. But it was more than physical appearance that defined his love. When Gellert was thinking his eyes would light up with a fierce passion and hope. Albus would have crossed worlds to see his eyes. When in his friend's company he believed in his own intelligence almost without doubt.
Albus knew he was gifted. He longed to escape from the familial shackles which bound him so easily. He knew that he could be out there and controlling the world. He knew he was capable. Sometimes he wished his sister would die, so he could be free. The guilt kept him up at night. Instead of sleeping, he studied. He studied to escape the gnawing knowledge that the love for his sister was not enough.
Because of the constant study he began to feel almost worthy of Gellert.
At times, Gellert would watch Albus as he studied. Albus would try not to look up and continue working, but his mind would not move past Gellert's gaze. At times, his friend would come over and trace his features. Albus would close his eyes as his Gellert's cool hands moved from his eyelids down his cheeks and to his lips.
And then the touch would vanish as if it were never there in the first place.
His sister loved his brother more, and of that he could not blame her. It hurt sometimes, to never be loved the most, but he could not fault her for her affections any more than he could fault Gellert. Sometimes he wished that she would die so that she could regain her mind. So that she could see him as clearly as he saw her. Sometimes he wished she would die so that he could escape and earn Gellert's love.
Gellert was only his friend, no matter how Albus longed for it to be more. However, he knew that the stolen moments were scattered and the love he felt was only shallowly returned. He did not try to change their relationship. Out of fear? Perhaps. But it was more that. Albus loved him so deeply that he felt that friendship was enough. He felt his love could equal both of theirs and that was fine. Friendship was fine. Anything involving Gellert was more than enough for Albus.
Albus felt such guilt for that love. In many ways, by loving Gellert so fiercely, he felt that he was betraying his family. How could two great loves exist in his heart? It didn't seem plausible. Albus knew that his heart was not pure enough to love both his siblings and his friend. Every embrace he shared with Gellert he would feel a rush of shame. How could he sacrifice the love for his siblings for the one who did not truly love him in return?
But one look at his closest friend was all it took for Albus to be completely ensnared again.
His brother hated him, Albus knew that with certainty. Albus could not fault him for this because as much as he loved his younger brother, he loved his sister far more. And he loved Gellert farther still. He could not blame his brother for hating him, because Albus constantly loved another more deeply. His brother loved his sister and Albus sacrificed the love he felt for her daily and deposited it on another. He sometimes felt that he hated himself more than his brother could ever hate him.
He understood his brothers feelings deeply, but he couldn't change what was causing his hatred. Albus loved his siblings, but he loved Gellert more than he could have ever loved them.
Gellert was everything. Albus hated himself for entertaining the thoughts of his sister dying. But he couldn't help feeling that his siblings were in the way of the wonderful love that he could possess. Gellert's love would mean more to him than anything else he could acquire in a thousand years. Sometimes Albus thought that, without his brother and sister, he would be free to become more intelligent.
Without his brother and sister, maybe Gellert would love him more.
But in the end, it was his sibling's side that he took, not Gellert's. It was not Gellert that he defended when his greatest love went up against his family. It was not Gellert who survived in the end; it was the brother who hated him. It was not Gellert, who might have loved him and who Albus loved. In the end, Albus saved the family he resented with all of his being. Not Gellert.
He lost his sister and lover on the same night, but he was not sure which loss hurt the most.