written for the ilvermorny forum weekly challenge #11

Name of Student: Victoria

House: Horned Serpent

Prompt: song lyrics "you remember a life"

Word Count: 550

Level: 1. Easy

Title: speak (or don't)

a/n: because albus dumbledore was a man who made mistakes just like the rest of us. he just hid it better.

. . .

"Well, Albus. I'll say, you can charm."

Albus puffs a little smoke out of his cigarette. It's nearing its end. "Of course I can charm, Gellert," he mutters. "I'm a wizard, after all."

Gellert puts out his own cigarette on the pavement; Albus watches the embers die out under his foot. "Oh, Albus, what am I to do with you?"

There are a lot of things you can do with me, Albus thinks but does not say.

. . .

Albus tries not to. He really does.

"Albus," Minerva advises, "you remember a life. A life that is there no longer — move on."

He nods.

Moving on is quite a thing, Albus thinks but does not say.

. . .

"And your wand movements are all wrong, Gellert." Albus shows him the correct way by guiding Gellert's body in the appropriate manner; it feels odd, but it shouldn't, because Gellert is his best friend and best friends do this sort of thing, right?

Gellert huffs. "And I suppose you can do them right?"
"I just showed you I could, didn't I?"

"Well, of course, Albus," Gellert consoles him. "Now let me try the spell. What was the incantation again?"

"Expecto Patronum," reminds Albus, sighing.

"Oh, yes! Expecto Patronum!" sings Gellert.

Nothing happens.

You don't even need a Patronus, Albus thinks but doesn't say.

. . .

These days Albus remembers a lot. He has to teach Harry about Voldemort, and Harry — Harry reminds him inexplicably of Gellert Grindelwald, but there is a kindness in Harry that was never in Albus's former best friend.

We were more than friends, Albus thinks, but there's no one to speak to.

. . .

Gellert is sighing.

"I can only produce this — this mist!" he complains.

"You need to think of a happy memory," Albus prompts.

"Ahh, but I can't remember…"

Then make new ones, Albus thinks but doesn't say.

. . .

Albus is dying. Severus is quick to point this out.

"Albus," he sighs, "you are dying. You should be resting —"

"Resting? While Tom is out there killing people? I will not, Severus."

But Albus can feel the color fading from him. Slowly, slowly, he feels washed out as if he's in black and white.

I will have eternal rest anyway, Albus thinks but does not say.

. . .

Gellert is looking at Albus's phoenix in a most peculiar fashion.

"What?" asks Albus when he tires of it.

"Nothing," Gellert replies hastily, "I just — well, how?"

"You think of a happy memory," Albus reiterates.

"I…I don't have any," mutters Gellert in a surprising show of emotion — he hangs his head down, ashamed.

"Nonsense," replies Albus. "Am I not happy enough for you?"

"No, not that —"
"The thing about memories, Gellert," Albus advises, "is that you have to make them."

"I —"

"You don't need to say anything, you just have — mmph — oh!"

Albus is cut off by Gellert smashing his lips onto his.

Gellert pulls away after a moment. Albus does not even have time to respond to his kiss — there is a feeling on his lips, and then it is gone. He doesn't even know if it's good, but it sends something dark rolling through his stomach

"What — what was that?"
"That was me making a happy memory."

Happy? Albus wonders, but does not say a word.