Hermione stood on the balcony, enjoying the early morning sun as she watched Neville magically growing vines over his wedding marquee. She had never actually expected this day to come, assuming that the two would remain unofficial partners forever. Then she was hardly one to judge of course, she'd been engaged to Grindelwald for eight years before they finally married. Gellert hadn't wanted to enter into a magically binding marriage until they knew exactly what would happen when his immortality wore off, for fear that he'd revert to his true age and Hermione would end up married to an old man.
It had taken her that long to persuade him that she really wasn't interested in how old he looked and that she'd known from the moment she considered a life with a dark wizard that having his kids wouldn't be a possibility anyway.
Her own wedding had been perfect; not that Narcissa Malfoy would have allowed it to be anything else. Between her mother and the Malfoy Lady, she had the perfect compromise between the small wedding that she'd always wanted and the public affair that the world demanded. The wedding had taken place in the grounds in front of the castle, attended by only her family and friends. The reception had taken place in Nurmengard's ballroom and it seemed every witch and wizard in the world had been invited to attend.
Of course, it had been front cover in every newspaper around the world for almost a month either side of the event and the daily prophet had even run a special edition on it. Not that that was unexpected when the Minister for Magic married the Supreme Mugwump.
A smile crossed Hermione's lips as she remembered the day that Gellert had received that title. Not a week after their liberation of the ICW, he'd received the first owl asking him to take up the position. He hadn't actually believed they were being genuine until a petition with more than two thousand names arrived a month later begging him to take up the position. They'd had a good laugh with Dumbledore's portrait about it later that evening but despite his doubts, Gellert had so far done a stellar job forcing the wizarding world into the 21st Century.
Footsteps pattered up the corridor behind her and she reached out with her magic to find out who was coming. The bright ball of energy was almost unmistakable; Lily Potter burst out onto the balcony seconds later, waving a letter around frantically. Hermione smiled, her hand coming up to hold the pendant she wore, even as she turned to face the young girl.
'What is it Lily?' She asked kindly and the young witch thrust the letter towards her.
'A letter from Albus, Auntie Hermione, he says he's arrived at school safely.' Hermione smiled as she took the letter, seeing that it was indeed true. The letter was several pages long and she drank in every word as the boy described the voyage up the coast to the school and the boys he would be sharing a dormitory with this year.
Albus Grindelwald was the youngest of the Nurmengard children by several years. Where the others had all been orphaned in the wizarding war, Albus had been brought to them by the aurors several years later when they'd finally managed to capture Greyback.
Of course, the issue had been brought to Hermione immediately; they could hardly expect St. Mungo's to raise the child and no family would adopt a werewolf child. Of course, just because she had come to terms with never being able to bear Gellert's child didn't mean she didn't want one, so she'd leapt at the opportunity and the orphan boy had been named Albus Grindelwald before the sun set that same evening.
The first month had been the most difficult, before the two of them successfully mastered their animagus forms but from then on it had become almost easy. She could almost believe it was some form of divine intervention because as he grew it became evident that Albus was just as intelligent and powerful as his namesake and he was every bit as academic as his adopted parents.
It had been the hardest moment of Hermione's life to finally let him board the ship to Durmstrang. Albus was by no means the first Nurmengard child to attend Durmstrang, so he wasn't the first she had seen off on the ship but he was the only one that she had raised herself. Fortunately, it seemed every parent at the ministry knew exactly what she was feeling and had conspired to make that week the busiest of her career.
'Shall we go and tell Uncle Gellert before your parents arrive to pick you up?' She asked the little girl, reaching down to hold her hand and lead her down to the library. Of course, by the time they'd actually managed to make their way down the many flights of stairs to the library, Lily's parents had arrived and relieved Hermione of the girl, taking her back to their floor for dinner.
Hermione continued alone, pushing open the massive doors of the library. They swung open on perfectly balanced hinges at her touch and the warm silence of the library enveloped her. The second library at Nurmengard was the biggest archive of dark texts in the world; Draco had donated several shelves from the Malfoy manor and Grindelwald had used his influence as Supreme Mugwump to "liberate" several more from the estates of death eaters. He'd even managed to introduce a piece of legislation that registered the library as a "public resource" which meant that he could legally keep them.
Hermione slipped between the shadowy shelves, following the nucleus of darkness that was her husband's presence. She found him with a stack of books hovering behind him as he ran one finger down the titles on the shelves.
She wrapped her arms around his waist and placed a gentle kiss on his neck. The dark wizard paused and she knew that he was smiling and he relaxed into her.
'Albus sent a letter. He's arrived at Durmstrang.' She held the letter out and he took it, reading it quickly. 'He didn't mention any friends.' Hermione worried, releasing Gellert as he turned to face her.
'He'll be fine. You'll love his girlfriend.' The dark wizard waved his hand and the books he'd selected zipped into his briefcase and Hermione gaped at him.
'I suppose you've had another vision.'
'Naturally.' He said as he turned back to the shelves.
'Still researching dementors?' Hermione asked as Gellert pulled a guide to illegal beast breeding from the shelves and added it to his selections with a sound like a zipper being done up. He jerked his head in the affirmative and they discussed his theories as to how to permanently bind a soulless creature.
They were still discussing that when they arrived back in their private living quarters. Gellert handed her one of the books and she smiled at him as she opened it and began reading. A house elf popped in several minutes later with a hot chocolate for them both and Hermione smiled. She had never imagined that she'd end up here when she first freed Grindelwald from his cell but she was very glad it had. She pulled the letter from Albus back out and read it again, a smile on her face as she tried to imagine the girlfriend her husband had seen.
Ladies and Gentlemen and anyone who identifies otherwise, thank you for all your support and reviews. I've finished this adventure now which wouldn't have been possible without your feedback. Gellert and Hermione have managed to make peace and earn Gellert's freedom. There will probably be many more adventures in the One-Shots fic so keep an eye on that.
I will probably come back and do some editing/minor rewrites to fix continuity/spelling/grammar issues.