Nurmengard was a beautiful castle, Albus had to give his husband that. The ceilings were so high he sometimes forgot they were there at all, the windows large and slim, pointed at the very tops and strengthened by metal frames. Sometimes, the air in a doorway rippled and a different room appeared than the first glimpse had indicated, he had encountered three cats so far (or Kneazles, he never had been really sure about that) and the attic was home to a flock of icy blue birds nearly too fast for the bare eye. But oh, the view. In the end, waking up to a glowing amber sky that slowly faded into the softest blue calmed him too much to hate this spiky, hidden castle anymore. Or his owner, for that matter. Gellert's bedroom, or his private chambers, rather, were parted into two stories with the upper one only spanning half of the room. Standing on that balcony, the decadent kingsized bed with silken sheets behind him, he couldn't help but admire the impressive view of the large windowpanes that spanned the whole two floors. The rough mountainside was smoothed by freshly fallen snow. The glittering, blindingly white blanket covered all the sharp edges, made it appear less steep. Every now and then, a bit would fall down into the unmeasurable depths, trickling, softly, and disappear out of sight.
Albus allowed himself a smile and cradled a steaming cup of tea in both his palms. Green tea, steeped exactly two minutes, full in its flavor. Light as feathers, careful hands caressed his shoulders and Gellert's warm breath pooled in his exposed neck. And if he he lowered his head just for that, no one would ever know. Long curtains framed the floor-to-ceiling windows, silvery grey to match the mountains lined up in mismatched heights and widths as if intentionally drawn on the broad landscape. Like a sheet of paper, covered in silhouettes applied by a sweeping brush. Softly, a thumb grazed his neck where the main vein pulsed away. Thumping, thumping.
“You're warm,” he quietly responded and clutched his cup all the tighter. Down at the first floor of the king's - apologies, the dark Lord's private quarters an overflowing table was covered by maps, notes, quills of different sizes and colours. He trained his eyes on that mess just so that he wouldn't close them.
“How are you feeling today, love?" Albus inhaled sharply when those familiar, now calloused fingers slid lower, caressed fabric instead of flesh, wrapped around his own, his back to a broad chest. Thumping, thumping.
“Good, really. I haven’t accidently broken anything today yet and I’m looking forward to seeing Vienna again. How long I haven’t been to a theater… Ariana loved them before those muggle children… well.” Gellert hummed softly in understanding. This was new between them, too. Truth without veils, sometimes hurtful, adorned with impossibly sharp edges. But it helped him heal.
“You must know that I regret her death every day of my life,” Gellert responded quietly and he sounded like he was earnest, but you never entirely knew with him. Sometimes, honesty was only one side of the coin. Albus stayed silent, sipping his delicious tea, his focus long since turned inward. Those skilled hands were still gliding up and down his sides, caressing his back as well as the hardened line of his neck. Writing for many hours a day did that to everyone, especially a man past 40. His breath hitched again, helplessly sensitive to the kisses placed there.
“Merlin, but how you lean into my every touch,” he whispered and Albus closed his eyes.
“Stop pretending that you ever were one for sweettalk."
A subdued laugh rumbled against his shoulder blades. Maybe, perhaps, his hold on the balcony's balustrade was a bit too tight to go unnoticed. The scent of green tea sloshed into his nostrils, hot water spilled over his fingers, he stilled. Utterly, completely.
A snap of Gellert's fingers and the best tea he had had in ages was floating a good four or five meters above solid ground. Their fingers interlinked as if on their own accord, holding on, doing what they hadn't done in decades: blue sparks mingled with the tendrils of a silver shining glittering like snow. Albus felt how the control of a nonverbal spell done without a wand got transferred, a delicate, difficult thing to do, but child's play to them.
“I want not a single drop of that wasted.”
His velvet cloak that changed fiery shades of orange, flaming red, spitting yellow with every movement slid to the floor, its brooch, a white flower of Austrian kind, slipped through its loophole under Gellert's careful fingers. The heavy fabric pooled between their feet, not quite settled before the first button of his suit underneath was open.
“You'll have to be tender with me, at first," Albus murmured almost too distracted to find his voice at which Gellert carved an amused smile into the skin behind his left ear.
“Pity," he sighed, “You always were the loudest when I gave to you all I had."
Twisted words, he knew. Snakes. False friends, not as tender as they sounded. He opted not to respond to that and make the cup of precious tea float over the balcony instead.
Falling from a bit more than a meter would do less damage than from a good five meters, cup ruined or no, he wasn't keen on porcelain shards exploding absolutely everywhere. The concentration he needed to channel his magic for that simple task slipped from his grasp very fast. This was a test, he knew. With every stroke, every gentle touch of skin to skin, he became utterly undone, wax in Gellert's hands. And it showed.
“You're too good at that," he rasped just before he turned around and kissed his tease of a husband senseless. The moan Gellert didn't bother to suppress shot directly between his legs and while he himself took care to be completely silent, he felt his magic betray him again. Little stray sparks fell from the hand that he kept fisted into Gellert's lapels, drawing him as close as possible. A brilliant smile was his reward.
“Oh, Albus... Your self-control is much better. I’m proud of you.”
“Shut it," he growled and pushed, delighted by those fascinating eyes becoming wide as moons.
They tumbled onto the bed together, Albus was above his husband in a second and unbuttoned his cream white vest hastily, tearing, pulling at the smooth fabric to just get it off. To gravitate towards one another felt as natural as to breathe, their kisses growing hungry and desperate very soon. It had been so long, so dreadfully long before they had arrived at Nurmengard; time for sex was scarce on the run from the entirety of Europe’s Aurors. Somewhere between loosing his vest and the linen shirt underneath, Gellert’s kisses became a little softer, sweet with the relief to have Albus back. They lingered, drawing it out, both painfully hard but very aware of the underlying meaning of sharing all of themselves with each other again.
“And what will you do to me this time, I wonder?” Gellert asked in a playful tone ending all sentimentalities and allowed Albus to push him down onto the mattress. Scooting a little higher, he lost his shirt on the way and settled into the cushions like he belonged there.
With the pendant lying on Gellert's naked breast as if he simply had forgotten to take it off, it was easier to let go of the constant fear, the nervousness in exile from Britain, even the exhaustion from too many nights spent wide awake to escape the nightmares of torture was wearing down on him less heavily. Kneeling over a smirking Gellert very satisfied with himself, it was easier. Scarily, horrendously easy. Patience was a feeble thing now and he adored the thrill of it, thumping, thumping with his heart.
Hands absolutely steady, Albus stripped off his vest, opened his shirt underneath, lost that too. A hiss and a moan got trapped between his lips when Gellert sat up and touched him everywhere he could roam freely; his pale chest, his sensitive neck, his upper arms, sliding downwards, not even resting on his hips.
“Beautiful.” It sounded like a prayer, a whisper sans voice. Albus should have known that he was playing dirty.
All he got as a warning was his eyes darting to his own wand on the bedside table, and the second after, Albus was on his back, stretched out, put on display and thanks to a swish of the wand suddenly very much naked, hands tied above his head. Well. To say that he paid the thought that he should have been more uncomfortable even a heartbeat's notice would have been a lie.
Gellert observed him with his wand in hand and a curiosity that was normally reserved for the interesting result of an experiment. Narrowing his eyes, he played with the wand between his long fingers. Albus kept silent, something akin to worry seeping into his flushed skin, and that, Gellert was very much acquainted to.
“My, Albus, do I want to know what dirty alleyways your great mind has wandered into?" Very slightly, Albus shook his head no.
“Not today. To be tender implies that you won't wrap me as your personal Christmas present quite yet."
“Tender," Gellert tsked and put away the damned wand. Finally. The cup of tea quivered in the air. “For that alone, I should have skinned the Minister personally."
“The bloody Minister has nothing to do with me withst- MerlinandMorgana!"
Albus arched off the bed and tried not to shatter the damned cup while Gellert went down on him with an ease that spoke of regular indulgence, wrapping his pale lips around Albus' hardness skillfully, gliding up and down, not going all the way first for sheer snide. He very much knew that Gellert Grindelwald had lost his gag reflex with fifteen and all sorts of shame about it at sixteen. Thinking about their previous testing of hard boundaries didn't exactly help to concentrate, it was too much too fast – heavens above, how had he survived these past thirty years?
“Gellert, Gellert stop, we don't want to - I want this to-"
His idiot husband, of course, ignored him completely.
Albus could do absolutely nothing but fist his fingers into the silken sheets and breathe, trying to keep any resemblance of control while surrounded by that wet heat. He was by no means a young man anymore, even if barely above forty really didn't count as bordering on being old in their world. He wouldn't last long, not after having kept to utter and complete celibacy for three decades, not after having been forced to flee from Hogwarts, freed of his chains, abducted, tortured - not after finally coming home.
“Gellert," he choked out and surrendered.
A crash of porcelain marked his shattering, flames as blue as the winter sky engulfed his fingers and were only suffocated by a silver soul settling over his mind. He had opened up his shields automatically as wide as possible, or rather dropped them completely. Distantly, he recognized the shimmer of a Protego that spanned the four poster bed, the caress of two fingertips on his hipbones made him shiver. He was sinking. Falling. Giving in to an embrace, his head tipped back. He was panting.
Gellert didn’t even stop in his movements for the inevitable kiss that followed. Albus clawed at him as if possessed, drew him in, refused to let go.
“I told you not to spill that tea. Might we have to work on your hovering spells, my dear? Or did you simply forget that you could have placed it... right here?" A tip with the wand on the bedside table and a new cup appeared. The tea was shit, no doubt, conjured food and drink always was and never lasted. But instead of making the damned thing float again, Albus stretched up as far as possible, bent over backwards, and clashed their lips together. He was hungry for it, out of his senses, a beast unleashed by the first blood. And he wouldn't stop now.
“Give me that wand, shut your pretty mouth and stop playing games. I want you right here, right now, and if I have to make you come first to shut up, I will.” Being bound thoroughly at the posters of course prevented him from just taking back his wand, but in this state, pointing a finger at Gellert’s perfectly nice trousers made them disappear into thin air, followed by the mandatory cleaning spell almost as an afterthought. Gellert, stunned into silence for a merciful few seconds, let out a shaking breath and smiled.
“You’ll have me in a second, love. I must admit, hearing such words from you makes it rather easy to turn your every wish into an order. But you,” he drawled and fished a vial of something oily from the bedside table, “Are most certainly tight as the day I had you first. And pretty as you are all impatient, hot and bothered, I don’t want to hurt you.”
“News to me,” Albus murmured, eyes narrowed and very impatient indeed. He got a slap on the thigh for that. They weren’t teenagers anymore, never had he felt the time between then and now as heavily as under Gellert’s penetrating gaze.
Holding up the vial into the light, Gellert shook it a bit to show off the perfect quality of an oil that didn’t even cling to the inner glass.
“I have created this myself. It’s a bit enhancing in the area of physical senses, which admittedly you don’t need at all, I’m sure, but it beats everything that we had back in the day.” Albus inhaled sharply and gave a little nod as consent. Their eyes locked, a heartbeat froze in the moment, decades of suffering falling away. Every other person never would have been right for him, Albus realized with shocking clarity, pressing his hips up a bit in silent need. They were each other’s ruin and salvation respectively, bruised and scarred. The whole world would regret those chains that had driven him right back into Gellert’s waiting arms. Words failed him, nerves smoothing out into the glowing embers of a fire burning low in his battered heart.
Being stretched again felt strange at first, but the overwhelming sensations of pure pleasure quickly took over. It shot through him like lightning bolts, making the air catch in his lungs and pleas falling from his lips like waterdrops. Thirsty, Gellert drank them all up, kissed every single one of those broken little words away without stopping his delicious scissoring, dipping in, pressing ever so carefully. He really treated Albus like that first time in a barn on the fields surrounding Godric’s Hollow. Their blood pendant dangled from his neck as it had done back then, it caught Albus’ eyes time and time again as the golden rays of a glowing winter day reaching its quiet end were reflected by the polished silver surface. Within that cocoon, their mingled blood swirled in mesmerizing patterns that never repeated themselves. Albus moaned and sighed, smiling, hissed out warnings not to stop, Oh, don’t you dare stop now! It took his all to keep his magic from spilling over like seawater, but nevertheless, Gellert tasted just that bit salty when their lips met again. Holding onto the black ropes that kept his wrists in place, Albus arched his back and pushed his hips up, up, as far as he could. To call him desperate would have been an understatement, but, as always, as ever, Gellert saw right through him and relented.
“Done now, love?”
“Far from it,” he panted after he had bitten down on delicate skin where a swanlike neck met the strong shoulder to keep himself from screaming.
His husband let out a quiet groan, withdrawing from that oversensitive spot and reached for the oil again. It only took seconds to slick himself, clean his hand and put the small vial away, but Albus had to fight against the urge to vanish the damned ropes. His arms had begun to hurt some time ago and he urgently wanted to touch Gellert everywhere he could reach, to trace the hard lines of his muscular upper body, to sink a hand into his white hair and pull. There was so much heat and adoration in those mismatched eyes, he wanted to let an uncontrolled litany of words bottled up for three decades spill over. Gellert, however, gave him that seducing smirk again and leaned forth to whisper into his ear. Their fingers found each other without so much as a look.
“This will hurt a bit, given my size, just breathe through it. We’ve been here before, remember?” Albus bit him lightly in the throat just to be an arse and laughed wholeheartedly, laughed into that vibrating groan.
“Oh, I do, very vividly. Free me, Gellert. Please.”
Becoming one, melting into one another, physically as close as possible set something deep inside of him aflame. Gellert pushed inside him, groaning loudly, completely unashamed as Albus had ever known him. They found their rhythm quickly, two halves of a whole finally reunited. The sweetest pleasure washed over both of them, each dragging withdrawal, every pushing thrust, in and out of one another in minds and hearts and bodies just heightening that delicious sensation of becoming one. The silver magic that had turned Gellert’s right eye white at birth pooled between their joined hands, making Albus shiver with it, responding, giving as much as he was ever able to.
“The ropes, love – please, please, oh Merlin, free me, vanish them, please, I need to- touch you – gods, right there,” he choked out only barely grasping onto his precious self-control and threw his head back in instinct, a moan turned into a cut off scream when Gellert marked him with lips and teeth.
“Free you? Already? Can’t keep your hands to yourself?” That he didn’t form complete sentences anymore was a testimony to how far gone he himself was. Albus filled out every gap existing between them, sweating and never still. The ability to string words together fled him altogether when Gellert, that bloody tease, changed the angle to cover both of his wrists properly with his strong fingers. “Finite Incantatem,” he said very quietly, let go of his hands to grip his hips instead and picked up the speed without a warning whatsoever. Between those short relentlessly hard thrusts Albus could only hold onto his shoulders for dear life. A broken sob in sheer relief escaped him, sparks became flames, flames formed into syrup-thick tendrils that trickled down Gellert’s slick back and made him moan in surprise. His pupils were blown wide, his left eye now almost completely black, the other one a contrast in its own.
One of his hands wandered lower, touching Albus were he most needed it, and he was lost. The scorching heat of it burned away his precious self-control, he was slipping, letting go-
Three words that he never wanted to speak out loud in his life again stumbled over his lips on their own accord, another deep thrust and he was spilling, spilling all he had, blue and white and all of himself right into Gellert’s waiting hands. Occlumentic shields previously slammed shut gave in like wax under the sun, their minds mixed, mingled, a seashore in turmoil got meaning with a cliff now there to thrash against with wild abandon. Gellert followed him right over the edge. Falling, falling deeper than he probably had intended to.
“I have built this bloody castle for you,” he panted without moving, his head hanging low, white hair tickled Albus’ left shoulder. “Look. Look! The view – all of this – for you, you utter and complete idiot, my all, mine. Albus.”
Ah, he always had been soft to Gellert’s way of pronouncing his name, the l not ignored and glossed over, but spoken out loud in the old way. White. Albus placed a lingering kiss on top of his damp hair and made no move whatsoever, speechless. As he was told to, he turned his head to the left to admire the vast mountains bathed in the beginning of a golden winter night. The sun had almost gone down completely by now, its last rays only reaching the very crowns of those unmoving giants, painting them in a bloody red. Snow reflected the light, and in the distance, the horizon turned azure. It was nothing short of mesmerizing.
“You always wanted me to come home with you. I remember that, most of all. How you spoke of Austria, and of Vienna in particular. And this,” he confessed softly, interlinking their fingers, his left hand with Gellert’s right one. Their pendant glowed, pulsing. Thumping, thumping.