Title: Suppliance of a Minute Rating: NC-17 Pairing: Albus Dumbledore/Gellert Grindelwald Disclaimer: The characters and situations portrayed within belong to J.K. Rowling. Summary: Two months of madness starts with a minute. Warnings: 16 year old, dub con, bondage
They met at the kissing gate.
Albus was trudging down the church path from the graveyard, his eyes downcast as his hobnailed boots champed the pebbles beneath his feet. There was no service that morning, for which he was grateful; the gruff solicitude of his neighbours could be discomforting, and he preferred to tend his mother's grave alone. The Rector knew it well enough - he had an understanding and regard for his village's more unusual inhabitants that might have earned a less circumspect Muggle a visit from the Ministry's Obliviators - and the years had taught him that upon occasion the burial ground behind his church was not necessarily the restful place it ought to be.
Kendra Dumbledore's grave, at least, had demonstrated only a few signs of untoward activity, and it had become Albus' habit to check it each morning and tend the birds that flocked wistfully upon the headstone and to scrape their shit from the granite; his mother had possessed an unusual affinity for birds that had extended far beyond the customary wizarding kinship with owls. Even the Dobbs' old rooster, Bernard, had fallen into the mopes at her loss, and had been treating the whole of Godric's Hollow to an unceasing daily refrain of cock-a-doodle-do for weeks. The human dwellers of the village had not known Kendra half so well.
Albus was lost far in thought when the sound of laughter reached his ears from what seemed a great way off; it was not such a thing as he'd heard since leaving Hogwarts, and even there no voice had sounded so strange and carefree. He looked up, squinting against the morning sun, and found a slim, fair figure leaning upon the gate. His heart squeezed in sudden fear - he could almost feel the desperate, admonitory clutch of his mother's hands across his shoulders - and he broke into a run, calling, "Ariana?"
The laughter deepened and Albus realised that it belonged not to his sister at all, but to a stranger. Albus' fright had closed the distance between them and he saw now that it was a neatly dressed youth, perhaps a year or two younger than himself, with a preposterous mane of pale buttercup curls and a sunny smile. Albus stumbled to a halt before the gate, the air gusting from his lungs in relief, as the boy said, "Many have remarked favourably upon my looks, but I believe you are the first to mistake me for a woman. May I introduce myself? My name - "
"- is Gellert Grindelwald," Albus finished. He felt a blush begin to steal across his cheeks, and not just because he had made an ass of himself; a dawning sense of Gellert's peculiar resplendence scraped unexpectedly at the leaden mantle of weariness in which Albus was coiled. His eyes shied in habitual self-defence from Gellert's gaze and roamed for some feature upon which to alight safely, but there was little if anything in Gellert that might still Albus' blood or ease his breath. He rested at last upon the curl of Gellert's white hands over the top of the gate; there was a smutch of ink on Gellert's middle finger to match Albus' own, and it warmed him. "My apologies. I thought you were someone else for a moment, and I felt a little anxious."
"I am the one at fault," said Gellert. "I did not mean to startle you. I do not even know why I laughed, except that I felt suddenly happy. Perhaps it was the violets in your hair."
"I'd forgotten them," said Albus in some consternation, pulling an untidy, flower-strewn braid from behind his ear. Ariana's frantic magic coaxed the violets into bloom all year long, and she would pluck them from the garden at night and wind the frail stems through her brothers' hair. Albus enjoyed those moments with her best, when he could feel the patient tug of her small fingers without glimpsing the horrors behind her eyes. The violets looked a little sleep-crushed and he could no longer smell them, but perhaps Gellert could. There was a streak of custard from last night's trifle encrusted in his hair also; not Ariana's doing - she was unerringly clean - but his own. Spectacles might help, if he could only remember to wear them. Albus squared his shoulders and shook his hair back deliberately, because his first instinct desired him to hide.
"I'll not soon forget the sight," said Gellert, and his too-bright smile gentled even as a furrow formed between his brows; Albus fixed upon the tiny imperfection briefly before his eyes dropped again. "But how is it that you know my name? Does my reputation fly before me?"
"Not at all," said Albus, although rumour had reached even the reclusive Dumbledore household that this Bagshot black sheep had been expelled from the halls of Durmstrang. Gellert's grip upon the gate had tightened visibly and Albus felt a disquieting compulsion to cover Gellert's hands with his own. "You have your aunt's eyes."
"Worse and worse!" Gellert said, tossing his head back with a fresh crow of laughter. "My aunt's eyes? And now I know you lie, for you have not yet met mine."
Gellert's English carried more than a hint of west-country - more than the northern-bred Albus would ever likely adopt himself - making the audacity of his words even more startling; Albus was accustomed to meeting with a greater and more welcome reticence than this in Godric's Hollow. The challenge galled him and he rose to it with something of Aberforth's pugnaciousness, meeting Gellert's bold stare with an unwonted glower. Inwardly he was braced, mindful to the realisation that Gellert's was the first fresh face to have crossed his path since his mother's death; it was his mother who had taught him, with mixed success, how to suppress his wild Legilimency, and he felt more defenceless in that moment than he had since putting her in the ground.
Gellert's eyes were in fact very like his great aunt's - a bright, inquisitive blue - and the resemblance persuaded Albus to slacken his leash; he had always found Madam Bagshot a comfortable companion, like roaming the dusty, brimming aisles of an old bookshop. In Gellert, Albus discovered to his amazement, the invitation in those eyes was a deceit; the boy's mind was so thoroughly, instinctively barricaded that Albus could sense no stirring beyond the defiant wall. It was not like the studied Occlumency that Albus sometimes encountered - the overcareful rearrangement of an essentially chaotic mental landscape against intrusion - but rather a native opacity that was frightening in its latent possibility. Albus could not tell if Gellert was hiding something or if there was nothing to hide.
"Don't be afraid," said Gellert suddenly, cutting into Albus' abstraction.
"I- " started Albus, ready to deny it, but he didn't know what to say. There was a confiding, bird-like tilt to Gellert's head, a raised brow, the slightest pout to his lower lip; Albus understood what those things were supposed to mean, but he was unaccustomed to relying upon a body's language rather than the insistent yammer of intent behind the mask. Albus wondered what his own face had revealed.
"There's nothing to be frightened of," Gellert continued, and there was no mistaking the persuasion in his voice, the grin stretched across his face. "I can't read you, any more than you can read me. Isn't it diverting?"
Albus stepped closer, placing his hands between Gellert's and pushing cautiously at the gate separating them. He was not surprised when it held fast; the leverage was in Gellert's favour. Breathing in, he could smell the morning eggs-and-bacon on Gellert's breath and the soap sweat beneath his arms. Albus was taller than Gellert; his customary stoop would catch his nose within the fragrant snarl of Gellert's curls, and he forced himself to stand up straight and say, "I must be off home."
"Must you? It's early yet."
"My brother and sister are expecting me." It was not entirely a lie; Aberforth counted every second of Albus' absence against him, yet scorned his presence. And Ariana would be wanting her Arithmancy lesson. There was shopping to be done, accounts to be untangled, long letters to be written. Time had turned against Albus and was swallowing him alive. He clutched the rail beneath his hands and said, "Let me through, please."
"So polite!" Gellert's upturned face was absurdly winsome. "And you look like you might send me flying with one cheerful blow. A beetled brow does not belong on someone of your age. I shall indeed let you through if you insist, but you must pay the toll."
"I beg your pardon?"
"I am very sure you do not, but I must and will have my price," Gellert said mischievously. "Do I not have the right of it? Safe passage through the gate in exchange for a kiss?"
Albus' mouth dropped open. "Or I might gather my dignity as best I can and Apparate from the vicinity," he said, feeling unsettled by Gellert's fearless and impenetrable blitheness. There had been a few overtures in Albus' past, but he had rebuffed them all with some nonsensical remark and a twinkle in his eyes; the most artless entreaty might conceal a yawning mire of hunger, fear and desolation, and no degree of hurt had yet innoculated Albus against the derangement of his fellows nor lent him the knowledge to mend them. But Gellert was singular in his unpredictability, and Albus ventured, with no assurance, "You're playing with me."
"I am certainly trying." Gellert hooked his thumbs about Albus' pinkies, giving them a teasing, companionable squeeze. "Won't you join in? A kiss is not so much to ask, is it?"
The touch bolted inside Albus, an unfamiliar pleasure almost indistinguishable from nausea, and his gorge rose. "I- you don't even know me."
"No," said Gellert. The small circles of his thumbs constricted and Albus was sure, quite suddenly, that Gellert would yank his fingers from their sockets if Albus did not grant him the asked-for kiss. "No, I don't, but that's what makes it so much fun. And I would like to know you. After, yes? Do you not enjoy games?"
"I don't have time for this," said Albus.
Gellert rose upon tiptoes, bringing his face closer to Albus', and said, "You're a wizard, aren't you? Make time."
His downy, radiant features doubled, then blurred, and Albus again discovered a likeness to his sister in the childlike roundness, the indistinct sweetness. His belly roiled, and then the unexpectedly sharp tip of a nose nudged at his chin, nagging it, and he lowered his head in obedience, breathing, "I can't," into Gellert's mouth.
Albus stumbled against the gate, against the shock of air and mingled, muddled lips. For all his strangling trepidation his mouth had waited for this, watered for it. There was nothing of dignity in the kiss, just an anxious, sun-blinded clumsiness and a poverty he'd never fed. Gellert's face was full and smugly still beneath his, a stubborn quiescence he could not bend, and when he tried to raise his hands, to take Gellert's cheeks between his palms and move him as he pleased, he found himself caught still in the makeshift vise of Gellert's thumbs.
"Oh, no," Gellert admonished in playful sing-song. A guttural sound broke from Albus; he kicked out blindly, driving his boot into the railing, and the gate clattered upon its hanging post. Gellert did not budge; his lips stretched in wild merriment as he laughed in Albus' face, and Albus pulled back, flushing to see the smears of spittle that ringed Gellert's mouth. Gellert tilted his own head consideringly and swiped his tongue into one corner of his mouth with a salamander quickness before catching his bottom lip beneath his teeth in glee. "I knew you for an invert from the moment I saw you, but I did not guess you were a virgin," he said. "Might I take care of you?"
"Get out of my road," Albus replied tightly, feeling stung by the ignominy of his position and quite unable to dredge up his usual front of deflective foolishness; it was a defence with which Gellert was plainly conversant, and would stand Albus ill here. He put his strength to the gate and shoved hard, like a common brawler, but Gellert released him and sprang back into the V-shaped crook of the enclosure with an agility that took Albus off guard, and the gate cracked into the far slam post even as he stood stock-still.
"All is against you," Gellert said, casting a fond glance at the gate, which evinced not the smallest notion of swinging back despite the violence of Albus' thrust. "It is a tidy little cul-de-sac, if a little cramped, and I would be most happy to receive your company. Perhaps another embrace is warranted. A kiss with interest, yes? There's always another price to be paid, I think."
"You haven't the youth nor the years to speak in this manner," said Albus, feeling a duffer in his high dudgeon but quite unable to cork his intrinsic theatrics.
"I have, in fact, no manners at all," Gellert said, "but I can be taught. Try me."
He looked delicious and deceptively harmless tucked into the corner of the gate, with his arms outstretched along the railings like a welcome. Albus again considered Apparition and rejected the idea once more; although there was not a soul in view Godric's Hollow was still a mixed village, and open displays of magic were yet frowned upon. Too, it seemed a coward's retreat, and although Albus had left Hogwarts behind, the Gryffindor stamp was tattooed hard upon his flesh.
"Trip trap, trip trap," he said softly, more to himself than to Gellert, as he stepped across the threshold, stumbling a little on the sunbaked ruts left by centuries of churchgoing feet.
"Oh, yes," Gellert breathed, "I knew you were for me." He swept his hands without hesitation inside Albus' robes and wrapped his arms about him, drawing him forward until they were as close as could be. Albus might have slipped free then - together they were still leaner than a modest-sized sheep - but Gellert's wiry clasp was a palpable, inexorable thing, and Albus had been held by too few people to refuse it; he didn't even know how.
Their mouths met again, tremulous now in the fervid wake of their first cocked-up embrace. Gellert's lips brushed against Albus' with a disarming tenderness, schooling him to a pace of leisure broken only by his inability to keep a crooked grin from his face. Albus realised dimly that his forlorn attempt at a beard was undoubtedly tickling Gellert; it felt like the only advantage he had. In concession to the summer warmth Albus wore only a threadbare shirt and trousers beneath his robes, and the press of Gellert's palms against his shoulder blades was a hot, naked brand that made his lungs seize. Albus' own hands fluttered with spastic diffidence across Gellert's body, inadequate to the puzzle of bone and bulk, before finding a hold in Gellert's hair. It was thicker than his own flyaway strands and tougher than he'd imagined; the ringlets gripped at his fingers like a sun-loving strain of devil's snare. The humid outline of Gellert's skull seemed an unspeakably fragile weight between his hands; he pulled it backwards, breaking their kiss as gently as he was able, and burrowed his flushed face beneath the salty bracket of Gellert's jaw. "How can anyone stand this?" he muttered into Gellert's skin, mouthing it in helpless, wanting frustration; no appeal to intellect might pierce this peculiar bewilderment of the senses, and Albus felt unarmed and dumbfounded. Gellert's restless pulse quivered beneath his tongue, and Albus' own blood strained without shame to match it as though it were the only thing in the world. He surrendered his grip on Gellert's hair and slid his arms beneath Gellert's, latching upon Gellert's shoulders for support. "How does anyone bear it?"
"How do you do without it?" Gellert laughed. His hands rubbed liked comfort across Albus' back, an almost fatherly gesture that Albus might not have borne with equanimity but for the breathlessness of Gellert's voice. "How should I do without you? I can tell you truly that I would not like to try, and I have only just found you. I do not even know your name. How unexpected this is."
There was a ringing exaltation bubbling beneath his quiet words, and Albus was almost glad that Gellert's mind was closed to him, that he might not see whether Gellert lied. He caught the soft lobe of Gellert's ear between his lips and whispered his name into Gellert's skin, then bowed his head upon Gellert's shoulder, exhausted by the relinquished power. It was not such a thing as he had felt before, and it inclined him to believe the truth of Gellert's words.
"Albus. Are you so tired already?" Gellert asked in coaxing tones. One arm still buttressed Albus' weight; the other he pulled from beneath Albus' robes to encircle his neck and stroke his hair. "Come, you are too heavy for me. Let us swap places."
"I must go," said Albus suddenly, remembering where they were. He tried to straighten, to drag his reluctant body from Gellert's, and Gellert's fist tightened in his hair.
"Stay with me," said Gellert. He turned them - Albus braced himself for an uncomfortable Side-Along and a possible Splinching - but Gellert simply changed their positions as he had suggested, herding Albus into the crook of the kissing gate. The corner post was not nearly as comfortable as Gellert had made it seem; it bit meanly into the small of Albus' back as Gellert leant against him.
"Anyone might come along," Albus said, pushing at Gellert. "You've had your game, now let me pass."
"Don't call it a game," said Gellert. His unsmiling face was strange, and he took Albus' wrists in a hard grip. "Even if I did so myself, I know better now. I tell you, I can be taught. Have I not declared myself?"
"You must be mad," Albus panted, unable to tug free; Gellert's strength was astonishing.
"If you like." Gellert's expression was pensive as he raised it to kiss Albus' mouth, and their clenched fists jammed uncomfortably between their bodies. Albus felt the deliberate rub of Gellert's cock against his thigh and blushed for it, thought he couldn't help but hunch like a needy animal in his turn. Their height difference was awkward and for all the layers that separated them he still barked his balls painfully against Gellert's hipbone. His startled yelp brought back Gellert's smile. "Albus. My poor drooping violet. May I be of assistance? Incarcerous."
Wandless, Albus thought in wondering awe, as the spell struck him with swift, devastating focus. There were no ropes; instead, to his horror, the flower-strewn braids in his hair began to writhe and lengthen, winding hungrily about his body as they sought to bind him to the wooden railings at his back. The violets bloomed with manic vigour, their small, frail stems growing thicker and longer and bursting anew with a suffocating fragrance as they wove more and more of his loose hair into coppery chains, pulling his robes open and lashing first his arms and then his legs tight to the gate. The little heart-shaped leaves bounced in the flowers' wake, fluttering their own impudent paths inside his shirt as they forced the buttons and teased across his skin. Even as he struggled against the bonds his own strength worked against him, his hair pulling itself tighter and tighter until his neck was dragged backwards into a deep, straining arch and the top of the post ground into his back. He had no time to reach his own wand, nor hope of producing a wandless spell the likes of this.
Gellert was no longer within his line of sight; instead Albus' eyes were filled by the sky. His throat worked convulsively. "You can't do this -"
"I think I have demonstrated that I can. Perhaps you mean that I shouldn't? But your Ministry has no Trace on me." He sounded sweetly earnest, and Albus was about to remonstrate when a piece of cloth was stuffed inside his mouth. "My handkerchief. Aunt insists I carry one, and she's absolutely right. Don't worry, it's quite clean. Shh."
Albus' chest heaved in panic as his tongue gagged on the dusty taste of lint, and his hair wound even tighter, making his scalp burn. He felt Gellert's hand span his wildly bobbing throat and found himself swallowing down his nausea, again and again, as he waiting for a squeeze that did not come. "Are you thinking I might throttle you?" said Gellert, almost wistfully. "I could, you know. It feels wonderful, I promise you. Every sense is enhanced even as the breath is strangled from you, and you would come so hard you wouldn't walk straight for days. I'd love to show you; I just know you won't believe me until I do. But I don't want to frighten you, not now at the beginning. I told you there was nothing to be afraid of, and I count that as a promise."
He stroked his hand down Albus' breast, coming to rest across his frantic heart. "I think we have all the time in the world," he said. Albus felt the nip of fingernails against his chest. "I hope we do. Have you read of the felicific calculus? It is a way of calculating the rightness of an action by measuring the pain and pleasure it affects. A Muggle notion, and hopelessly flawed, but I find myself turning back to it, again and again. The arithmantic applications are so promising. Do you like being touched here?" His fingertips were thistledown light on Albus' nipples and Albus found he liked it very much, even though hot, furious tears were streaking down his cheeks now and he could scarcely breathe. At Gellert's soft command two strands of hair drifted down across his wet face and wound themselves about his nipples, and each helpless jerk of his head squeezed them tighter. Gellert toyed with the swollen buds and said, "They won't break, of course. The hairs, I mean; I'm not certain about your nipples. They were a delicious apricot colour to begin with, but they are quite purple now. Perhaps if you keep very, very still, you'll be able to save them. I confess that I have grown fond of them even on such short acquaintance, and I should not like to lose them now."
Albus bellowed through the handkerchief, but the harder he panted the more exquisite grew the pain. Through the dull roar of his pulse between his ears, he heard Gellert murmuring appreciatively as he dropped to his knees and tugged at Albus' trousers. They rucked up uncomfortably below the narrow curve of his buttocks, catching on the snarl of vinework and robes cinched high upon his thighs. Gellert's breath was hot and rapid against Albus' belly as he mouthed at the soft skin, and each of his nipping kisses was punctuated by laughter as the violet braids haggled him for territory. The velvety flowers nodded and curled a maddening path beneath Albus' stiffened cock, drawing a tight cuff of his own hair about its stem and lifting it from the folds of his underwear; the corresponding tug upon his scalp was torment, and Albus' instinctive horror twisted with humiliating swiftness into exhilaration when Gellert said, "Thank you, you are very helpful," and sucked Albus' cock deep inside his mouth.
The pleasure felt unexpected, unimaginable, and it forced Albus to haul against his lashes and groan for relief. Ugly, gargling sounds sobbed from his muzzled mouth as he shoved his hips against Gellert's lips, fighting the braids that trussed his thighs fast to the gate. Gellert teased him without mercy, suckling him with an obscene exuberance until his sharp nose was buried in Albus' belly, and then pulling free repeatedly with slurpings and delighted giggles whilst Albus strained for more. Albus was punished for his struggles, the fetters dragging his legs further apart until he was brutally hobbled, and he cringed as leafy tendrils of hair snuck down his back and between his buttocks, where they laced about his balls and flicked at his trembling arsehole. A hand nestled between the strands, brushing them aside, and then Gellert's saliva-slick finger touched him, pushing inside his grudging body. A thumb pressed behind his balls and then Gellert reclaimed his cock; Albus jerked his hips in a stunted, helpless rhythm between the scalding suction of Gellert's mouth and the frigging of his finger. Release seemed impossible so long as his cock remained tied off, and as his throat closed he squeezed his streaming eyes shut against the dark, oxygen-hungry blotches in the summer sky, a sky so like Gellert's eyes.
Lungs and limbs writhed in their swaddling; his body was so much kindling. Albus knew dimly, gratefully, that unconsciousness was approaching, but Gellert seemed to know it better, for he tugged the bindings from Albus' harrowed cock and bore the shock of severance in his own mouth. Albus was riven by a vicious climax, and he flooded Gellert with a hot, pulsing gush whilst his hair pulled so taut he feared his spine would snap.
His head throbbed, but he could still hear Gellert spit, a raspberry sound almost reassuringly commonplace. Albus squirmed about Gellert's finger until Gellert suddenly pulled it free and stood up, and Albus found his mouth unplugged with the same abruptness. He wheezed for air, his chest hitching beneath the sweaty flare of Gellert's hand. Gellert leant upon him as he masturbated roughly; Albus' ears strained for the coarse, familiar, boarding school noises and the curious pleasure of Gellert's shushing whimpers. Gellert's own climax came swiftly, like a matter to be done with but for his soft, breathless laughter. "That's it, the banns are now published," he bubbled merrily. "I beg your pardon, Albus, but I've splashed your elegant boots."
Albus' mouth was too dry to speak. The warm breeze was an irritant where the braids lay him open. He listened to the rustle of clothing as Gellert righted himself, and the clock tower was just chiming and Bernard crowing in the distance when Gellert petted Albus' heart in goodbye. "Not even one quarter of an hour and the world turns upon its head. That is how you make time," he said. He plucked at the bowstring taut strands of hair that yet bound Albus' nipples. "They will bend to your will if you try, if you are the person I think you are. They're yours, after all. You might even hope to bend me."
Gellert turned his back to Albus, blanketing him close as he opened the gate, and then he stepped away, beyond the graveyard, and the gate slammed shut behind him. "Don't go," Albus coughed out, humiliated by the plea, and by his wretched position. Gellert had hollowed him out and left him raw, inside and out, and still he was lashed down with no notion of how to escape.
"I must," said Gellert, his footsteps quiet upon the path. "Aunt will be expecting me for morning tea, and you must get home to your brother and sister, as you said."
"But -" Albus gasped, the nausea still thick in his throat.
"Can you make yourself invisible, Albus?" Gellert called, almost too far away now, but not so far that Albus couldn't hear him laugh. "Don't worry for your exposure, I am not so reckless as you suppose. I cast a protective spell before ever you clapped eyes on me; no one will see you and no one can help you. And if you are up to this challenge then I shall know you are fit to be my companion. Perhaps later you might show me around; I have a great interest in this town."
Soon even his laughter was gone and the scent of mad violets with him, and Albus was alone and exhausted, yet queerly alive. He felt something ferocious and long-repressed loosed within himself, its strength ratcheting like the ropes about his body, and though Gellert had only left him moments ago Albus was frantic to see him again. Even as he thought it, the pressure began to ease on his scalp, and then he called out to his mother's friends and grinned wildly as they lit upon his shoulders to peck and claw him free of the violets.