June 6th, 1899
After the funeral service, the people began to disperse. Albus stood silent, his hands in the pockets of his robes, long black cloak fluttering in the breeze. He stared at the gravestone, unmoving, as a figure came up beside him. Albus didn’t bother to turn. He had been getting condolences all day and he was quite honestly sick of them.
“It seems so natural, doesn’t it?” the man muttered.
“The cycle of life and death,” he clarified. “There is something about life not outliving its welcome that is...refreshing.”
Albus frowned and turned. “Sorry, do I know you?”
The man lowered his hood to reveal a handsome, mischievous face framed by golden hair. His eyes twinkled playfully. Albus judged him to be about the same age as himself. The stranger offered his hand.
“Gellert Grindelwald,” he introduced himself. “I live next door.”
Albus accepted the handshake. “Albus Dumbledore. I take it you knew my family.”
Gellert gave a casual shrug. “I knew of them. They didn’t leave the house much, as I am sure you know.”
Yes,” Albus replied. “How is it that we have never met?”
The corner of Gellert’s mouth pulled up into a lopsided grin. “Who said I leave the house much either?”
“Oh.” Something about this boy made Albus nervous, but he wasn’t scared. It was an odd feeling.
“No, really, I traveled quite a bit over the past few years. Did some studying abroad,” Gellert threw out casually. “I am only here for the summer with my great-aunt. You probably know her - Bathilda Bagshot.”
“I do. So you didn’t go to Hogwarts, then?” Albus asked.
He laughed. “Hogwarts? No.”
“Ah.” There was a temporary silence. “I was supposed to go on the Grand Tour with a friend, but now... Well, I have other duties, it seems.”
“Yes - your brother, correct?” Gellert asked.
Albus nodded. He sometimes forgot that no one knew about Ariana. “I ought to go. It has been nice meeting you; we ought to talk again.”
“Of course,” Gellert replied smoothly. “Stop over any time you like.”
“I just might take you up on that.”
July 1st, 1899
Albus stretched his legs out on the green grass and leaned back, letting the sun warm his face. Gellert sat up from where he was laying.
“Tell me, Albus, do you believe in the Deathly Hallows?”
“Absolutely,” Albus replied. “It would be hard not to with the Peverell family so tied into Godric’s Hollow.”
Gellert gazed out over the field, going silent for a minute. Finally, he said, “What do you think it’d be like?’
“Being the master of death,” he said. “Do you think it’s possible?”
Albus gave a half shrug. “I don’t see why not.”
“Which one would you want?” Gellert asked. Albus thought for a moment as Gellert continued, “I would want the Elder wand.”
“What would you do with it?” Albus asked.
Gellert turned to him with a hungry gleam in his eye. “I have been thinking.”
“Oh no...” Albus muttered playfully. In the month they had been friends, Albus had begun to understand Gellert a little better.
Gellert flashed him the handsome grin that Albus had become familiar with. Something stirred in Albus’s chest, but he forced it down. “Could you imagine how much better things would be if muggles knew about wizards?”
“Better?” Albus asked in surprise.
Waving a hand, Gellert replied, “Oh, I know about your dad, but that is an exception. On the whole, things would be better. If the wizards were in charge...”
“That’s true,” he replied. “We could use magic to improve everyone’s lives. After all, why should only wizards get the benefit of magic?”
Gellert nodded a bit distractedly. “The point is, the world would be better if wizards were in charge. The Elder wand could make that happen.”
“True. It definitely could.”
“I wonder where it is...” he mused.
“Gellert!” came a shout from the top of the hill. “Gellert!”
He sighed. “I should go. Aunt Bathilda thinks I spend too much time with you.”
Albus felt both guilty and touched at the same time. “Go on, then. I do not want you to get in trouble over me.”
Gellert stood up and brushed the grass off of his robes. “There is a way around everything,” he said. “Look out your window tonight, alright?”
Gellert winked and went trotting up the hill. “Goodbye, Albus!”
Albus’s goodbye was lost in the wind.
AN: I'm thinking two to three more chapters in this thing.