Note: This bit of writing is for olciak123, just because I could. Olciak123, I hope you like it. And if you don't, spare me your displeasure and give me a specious compliment instead.
Disclaimer: The lyrics that are quoted below and compose the title do not belong to me.
I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun
Snowflakes that fall across my eye
Cannot compare to a dumb surprise
new becomes all
What's all is new
When I first laid my eyes on you
I do not care for the winter sun
Windows and fires all they preach you, all
It doesn't matter
This time of year
Thou darkness come
so quick in time
shortens our days
To longer nights
Build a blue fire and leave this sign
Snowflakes that fall across our eyes
It's all that matters
This time of year
It's all that matters
This time of year
-Beach House, I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun
Gellert Grindelwald studied the gyres of steam twisting from his hot cup into the cold sunbeam that fell across his table. The morning outside was beautiful. The sky was smoke-blue, faintly glazed with yellow.
Gellert hated the sight of it. He hated all of it: the sunlight, the sparkle of snow covering the branches of trees and dangling precariously over the eaves of roofs. Decades of imprisonment in the mountainous prison of Umberleigh had led to the development of an aversion to all things wintry and bright.
As soon as he finished his business in England, he intended to vacate this hateful country and all the memories that it contained. He did not know where he would go. So much had changed since he was imprisoned, and the world seemed like a different place altogether. The way people looked and spoke had changed, as had the fashionable way of thinking. Although his extraordinary magic had maintained his external appearance of youth, it had not prevented his spirit from bearing the weight of age.
the other patrons were happy. They were smiling at their companions, and he just knew that they were so cheerful because of the bright day outside.
He scowled and drank some of his tea.
Someone cleared their throat. He looked up and saw a young man with a troubled expression. He couldn't be over twenty-five, but he looked ten years older. The frown lines running parallel to his forehead were deeply entrenched.
"Can I sit here?"
Gellert gave the café a cursory look and saw that his table was the most accessible. He wasn't pleased to have company, but this young man didn't seem the sort to start up a conversation. He grunted.
The man sat and gestured at the waitress. When she approached, he ordered black coffee and a sandwich. When she left, he opened the attaché case he carried and removed a thick stack of papers. Stuck between two of the clipped stacks was a waxy laurel leaf. Gellert's eyebrows rose.
The young man noticed the leaf and removed it with an expression of disgust. Gellert could not contain his curiosity.
"Are you a botanist?"
"…" the young man frowned at him and then at the bag where he had stuck the leaf, "No, no I'm not. That leaf is from a wreath I was given this morning."
"Isn't that bad luck, getting a laurel wreath while you're still living? It seems to say, "You're finished"."
"You're telling me!" the leaf was placed on the table between them. "I thought exactly the same thing. What am I supposed to do now?"
Gellert gestured at the stack, "It looks like you've got a start, there."
The response was a rueful smile, "You'd think so, but no. This isn't my work. It's for a friend. I needed something to do, and she obliged."
"You must be very popular, if you go about offering to do projects for others."
That earned him a real smile. "Ha, you might be right. I'm Harry. It's nice to meet you."
There was a split second when they continued smiling at one another, and then Gellert's eyes flicked to Harry's forehead and Harry frowned. Gellert noticed the faintest limning of scar tissue shaped like a lightning bolt, and Harry seemed to recognize him (though how that was possible, Gellert would like very much to know).
They both sat back a little further in their chairs, still eyeing one another. The waitress returned and was ignored. Harry took a sip of his coffee and Gellert turned his head to look out the window.
"So you are…"
"And you as well."
Gellert returned his eyes to Harry and saw that he was looking at the laurel leaf. He looked thoughtful.
"You've been handed your laurel too, haven't you? Except yours was one of shame and not of honor."
Gellert crossed his legs, uncomfortable. "I suppose that's one way of looking at it."
Harry gave him a small smile. "What are you going to do now?"
"What are you going to do now?" he retorted.
Harry shrugged, "I don't know, but a walk in the sun after lunch sounds nice. Would you like to come with me? I know a lot about you, and I think that you just might know a lot about me too. I'd like to talk to you. You've had an interesting life."
"I do not care for the winter sun."
"Then I'll summon some clouds," Harry said this as cool as a cucumber, but there was the subtlest of vibrations in the atmosphere of the café that assured Gellert that he was not joking. Sure enough, he saw the wind pick up. Where there had been nothing but blue and the faintest wisps of white, gray had begun to thicken the sky and blot out the light.
He swallowed and looked back at Harry. Harry smiled. He pushed his plate to the center of the table.
"Here, have half."
There was something in his eyes that made Gellert accept. He had read about Harry Potter in the newspapers and in Albus' letters, but he had never imagined that the rumors of unusual magical power were true. Not that he was in any position to be making remarks about unusual magic. His own magic had been vied over by the world's leading magical researchers, all of whom were desperate to understand the precise sequence of events that had resulted in his body's lack of decay.
They ate in silence. When there was nothing left, Harry paid for both of them. He tucked away the untouched project. With an ironic look, he handed Gellert the laurel leaf.
"Here, you deserve this as much as I do."
Gellert took it and slid it into his breast pocket. "I will take that was a compliment."
"I meant it as one."
It was cold outside without the sun. They walked for some time without speaking. It was Gellert who spoke first. He talked about his childhood. He didn't know why, nor could he explain any possible motives for doing so. He just did. And Harry listened. It felt wonderful to express himself aloud, and to be heard by more than the wind.
It was lovely to walk beside someone who wasn't a fellow prisoner or a guard, someone who was walking with him because they wanted to and not because they had to.
When he finally finished, some time had gone by. They rested on a bench meant for those waiting for the bus. Harry had his hands in the pockets of his jacket. Gellert slowly rubbed his gloved hands together. He looked at Harry's profile. Harry turned and smiled at him.
"I'm glad that we did this. I…I miss Albus a lot. Somehow, listening to you is a bit like listening to him. It's like I'm a boy again, and everything is going to be alright."
"Won't it be alright?" Gellert clarified.
Harry shrugged, "That depends."
"Depends on what?"
Harry smiled, "On whether I get to see you again."
Gellert stayed in England. The sight of winter sunlight still made him feel nauseous for a few years, but in time he made new memories associated with it, memories involving Harry. In time, he no longer required Harry to cover the winter sun with his mysterious powers.
End I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun
Note: Short, weird, silly, and pointless. The entire thing is two blokes talking about leaves and their childhoods. Not even the slightest mention of sex anywhere. I know, I know, I bring down the reputation of fanfiction and slash writers as a whole.
…But did you like it?