AN: Might be expanded upon a bit? I have to re-read Hallows and get my facts back down before I delve too deeply into pretty much anything that is actually strictly HP-relevent... Hope you enjoy.

Life was laughing through those eyes, merry. So much energy. The sun kissed the ringlets of yellow hair, that smooth light skin with that hardly a tan, and he wished he could do the same, closing his eyes to escape in the overwhelming fantasy and opening them again briefly thereafter when a mirthful voice asked him what he was thinking about. A warm chuckle that fought to break his heart in two, a dismissive excuse, and their eyes couldn't meet; but years later that one tiny memory pained him, that he had looked away for even a second, closed his eyes to imagination when the real beauty was already there before him.

All those wasted instants.

Lazy summer afternoons spent at the lakeside, long lush grass tickling at them. Leaving off their feverish planning for just that one day- so much time they could have spent researching, but they were young, they were immortal- but somehow it happened again and again, with the tinkle of laughter, the never-ending smiling. Heat of the magical summer sizzling around them, and they were oblivious to the world around them.

The way the excitement constantly buoyed him about, an elegant trainwreck, as if the Earth itself spun only to fuel him, as if the sky was only blue to perfectly offset the colour of his hair, of his mismatched eyes. Smelling softly of grass and the water, smelling of life. Existence itself stemmed from him, swelled up from the wellspring of his youthful heart and flooded his world with joy. The universe must have smiled as he smiled, the sun beaming fondly down on him as if its sole purpose in the sky was to etch into perfection every line in his body, as if light existed only so his beauty could be seen.

But it wasn't only what could be seen. His mind, so great and powerful, filled with tantalizing ideas, enticingly dangerous. Provocatively passionate.

He was some unstoppable force of nature, that irresistible laugh, those soft and unintentional touches- a brushing of a hand that left fires tingling in its wake. Little kisses without lips, little gifts of life.

It was easy to get swept up in it all, to lose himself in those eyes and that charming laugh. Gellert practically radiated charisma, and Albus felt as though he could have fed on nothing else for those short months. To look at Gellert was to perceive life itself, with all its beauties and imperfections, but you could forgive it its shortcomings because it was life. And nothing else mattered.

Long hours spent talking, the fluid sound of that voice, the musicality of the mind behind it. Lyrical, complex, stunning; it was enough to make him drunk, to forget his beliefs and remember old prejudices, to lay himself on the ground and put his own great mind, talent, and ambition at Gellert's feet.

Forget the pain, because the shining cosmos have just strolled into the room.

Cramped and uncomfortable in a dusty study, but grinning like the madmen they were, monkeys who have discovered fire. They look into old records, strange sources, they shock each other by daring to look into Darkness, forbidden territory, and though they shy back the first few times like young boys from wasps' nests- for they are boys no longer- the stinging recedes, and they delve in more greedily, eager for more, smiling widely over their recent findings at one another, eye contact, body contact, lust for power, lust for him.

But anything so great was always fated to crash cataclysmically. Anything so perfect could not be allowed- their forward momentum propelling them too quickly so that they lost control, so that they couldn't stop or even pause to notice the signs, to see it all, to see any of it, happening.

Cicadas and crickets sang their love songs to the moon, and in the darkness only Albus' memory served him to see the other boy. In the night he was so much less evident, mysterious; they did not spend so much time together once darkness came, and when they did it was rarely to lie on their backs on the roof, in an empty field, too look at the stars- it was usually with a lamp aglow, scribbling notes obsessively, checking the clocks, staying up as late as they dared, and Albus always secretly wishing he might just fall asleep there at the desk, the picture of perfection; that he might kiss those soft lips while their owner slept though his courage failed him in the light, in the evidence, under the witness of the sun.

Summer was fading.