After our recent conversation(s) regarding repentant!Grindelwald (which, tbh, make me want to cry) my brain has decided that it is demanding a crack!verse. I would just like to preface this by saying that this IS a crack!verse, and is in no way meant to be serious.
…it starts when a stranger breezes into MACUSA, and makes an appointment to see ‘Percival Graves’. Grindelwald, upon meeting said stranger, isn’t very concerned about handling the matter – said stranger has red hair and blue eyes (not a usual combination) but he doesn’t appear to be very impressive. Not until he politely asks for ‘Graves’’ permission to ward the conversation from anyone who might possibly overhear, and then starts warding the room to hell and back – Grindelwald must admit that he’s at least slightly impressed.
Yet even he is taken aback when the stranger turns and addresses him by name. Not ‘Percival Graves’, but Gellert Grindelwald. The redhead takes advantage of Grindelwald’s precisely two seconds of shock by dropping another bombshell – he’s from the future.
…well, a future. Apparently, his wife worked it out – by coming back here and doing this, he’s creating an alternate past with its own alternate future, his own reality will simply branch off and to one side, it apparently happens all the time without people knowing it, and it’s really disconcerting to have you looking like Grandpa Percival, you know.
Anyway! His name is Rolf Scamander, and he’s Grindelwald’s great-grandson. From the future!
…a quick bit of spellwork even confirms his claims. And then Rolf lays out the situation for him.
“Albus Dumbledore was pregnant when you left,” Rolf tells Gellert. “You have two children – twins, both of them boys. Dumbledore hid them, gave them up for adoption – he knew that he had to hide them from you, he know you would use them and take then away and hurt them. And when you found out – about, oh, two months from now? – you did. You kidnapped them and you took them to Nurmengard, and you tried to force them into being your heirs. You tried to use them against Albus Dumbledore, to make him come back. And it failed.”
“You haunted the family, great-grandfather. An entire generation grew up with you as their own personal monster, ready to snatch them away and hurt them. Your granddaughters cried at the sound of your name; your grandsons were perfectly prepared to hurl themselves in front of their family and take a crucio to the chest rather then let you lay eyes on them.”
“And you lost, Great-Grandfather.”
“You lost.” Rolf tells him, and there is nothing but truth in his voice. “You lost. Your family hated you. Your sons refused to even see you; Albus Dumbledore – great-granddad couldn’t bear to kill you, so he locked you away and mourned. You spent the better part of a century locked away before you died - and you died, cold and alone and regretting everything. You only realized that you loved them, so, so much, after you had hurt your family – you died loving them, and you worked your death into one of the greatest spells of protection this world has ever seen.”
“It saved my life,” Rolf admits, a bit red. “And I thought – I’m not doing this for you, great-grandfather. I’m doing this for my Grandpa, and my great-Uncle.” And he fixes his gaze on Gellert Grindelwald – and oh, how could Gellert not recognize those eyes?
“Even after everything you did to them,” Rolf tells him with quiet seriousness. “They found it in themselves to – not forgive you. Never forgive you. But to wish that things had been different.”
“So.” And Rolf stands. “I’m going to spontaneously snap back into my reality any minute now – that’s the way the spell works. I’m going to tell you two names, and give you a bit of advice. And, um, could you please let Grandpa Percival go? He ends up marrying your son, great-Grandpa Albus adored him, and it’s really creepy to see you wearing his face – right! Advice!” He leans forward.
“Do better.” And Rolf smiles, sweet and intense, and Gellert feels his bones turn to ice as he recognizes that smile.
“Newton Artemis Fido Scamander. And Theseus Apollo Milo Scamander.”
Two weeks later, Albus Dumbledore of the many middle names gets a Howler over dinner.
“ALBUS PERCIVAL WULFRIC BRIAN DUMBLEDORE, HOW DARE YOU NOT TELL ME WE HAD CHILDREN!” (This is the point where Albus starts choking on his pumpkin juice, and every eye in the great hall snaps towards him.) ”I HAVE MISSED THEIR ENTIRE CHILDHOODS, DO YOU REALISE THAT?! THEY MUST HAVE BEEN SUCH CUTE CHILDREN, THEY HAD TO HAVE BEEN BECAUSE THEY’RE YOUR CHILDREN, I MEAN. I OWE THEM ALMOST THIRTY YEARS OF BIRTHDAY AND CHRISTMAS PRESENTS, DO YOU REALIZE THAT?! THIRTY YEARS! I ACCIDENTALLY KIDNAPPED OUR YOUNGEST’S BOYFRIEND BECAUSE I DIDN’T KNOW HE WAS MY FUTURE SON-IN-LAW! I GOT MY FUTURE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW DEMOTED! CLEARLY THIS NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED, I HAVE TO GET TO KNOW MY SONS, I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR A WAR! ALSO, I WAS TOO MUCH OF A COWARD TO EVER TELL YOU BEFORE, BUT I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU AND I WANTED TO DIE WHEN I REALIZED THAT I’D HURT YOU, THAT I’D – THAT I’D DONE YOU-KNOW-WHAT, I’M NOT GOING TO CITE SPECIFICS OVER A GOD-DAMNED HOWLER. I’M SORRY. I KNOW IT’S NOT ENOUGH, IT’S NEVER GOING TO BE ENOUGH, BUT I’M SORRY AND I LOVE YOU AND I’M SO SO SO SO SORRY. I RECENTLY HAD A VISITOR SHOW ME JUST HOW MUCH OF AN EVIL BASTARD I’VE BEEN, AND I’M SO GODDAMN SORRY. I NEVER STOPPED LOVING YOU. I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU.”
I told you it was a crack!verse.
This is beautiful and I love it and I don’t have anything really to add to it so I’m just going to post it so everyone can see it all its glory.
(I do imagine Horace kinda awkwardly patting him on the back, though)
The world is saved due to outside influences kicking Gellert Grindelwald’s long-buried parenting instincts and Romantic Soul™ into High Gear. Newt is rather puzzled at whoever’s leaving him all these presents - but they’re useful and rather nice, so he isn’t complaining! Also, his Mysterious Friend was directly responsible for him meeting Percival Graves and Tina Goldstein, and he - he really likes them? A lot? So thank you, Mr. Mysterious!
Theseus, in turn, is Very Happy with all the Dark Wizards who are literally being delivered to him wrapped up like Christmas presents. They eve have little bows in their hair, see!
Brb, rolling on the floor laughing.
The mystery continues to unfold - it turns out that Newt’s Mr. Mysterious is actually his birth-Father! Well, one of them - the most recent letter (filled with helpful advice about what Not To Do in Romantic Relationships) revealed that the man hadn’t know he had children until very recently. His birth-father also was having a number of problems with impulse control and his temper, and he refused to meet Newt face-to-face until he managed to sort out his issues, he isn’t going to risk accidentally hurting him. In the meantime, he hopes that Newt enjoys this Antipodean Opaleye egg.
…meanwhile, Theseus is practically glowing. His own letter from the man who is (presumably) his birth-Father contains a number of very helpful instructions on a series of Exceptionally Nasty Curses, information about the local Dark Wizard movement, suggestions on how to enact a set of Magical Beast Protection Statutes into existence (’Newt would love them’) and blackmail, glorious, glorious blackmail on his best friend’s relationship with his little brother.
…Albus, in turn, is receiving flowers, chocolates, jewelry, rare books, and whatever else Gellert can think of. In huge quantities.
Everyone see this? This is beautiful, beautiful crack and I love it.
All hail Rolf Scamander. He truly was doing the Lord’s work.
It’s getting to the point where the other professors are giving Albus sympathetic looks. On the other hand, this is the most exciting thing to happen to the student body in ages - girls sigh over the huge, ornate presents that arrive at the Head Table practically every morning. There are fierce arguments over whether or not Professor Dumbledore should take his Ex back, or make him grovel (whoever it is is practically already doing that, someone points out) - every eye is fixed on him during lessons, and Albus has never before had classes that hang on his every word quite like this.
Every eye is transfigured by the next howler that arrives, red-hot and smoking.
“ALBUS! OUR YOUNGEST JUST GOT ENGAGED! HE WILL BE, I MEAN, I SAW HIS BOYFRIEND AND HIS GIRLFRIEND BUYING RINGS AND MAKING RESERVATIONS AT THEIR FAVORITE RESTAURANT! THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT ADOPTING! I’M GOING TO BE A GRANDFATHER!”
Horace excitedly asks him when the wedding will be, does he know?
Albus just holds his head in his hands.
Aberforth doesn’t know how to respond.
In all Albus and Aberforther’s wildest nightmares, they never thought that Gellert Grindelwald would react like this to the knowledge that he was a father.
Also, Albus is probably receiving several non-Howler letters. They’re unsigned, (but he knows that handwriting) and they’re exquisite - the most beautiful love letters he’s ever received, full of poetry and heartfelt apologies and sorrowful confessions. Also asking for advice, because does he have any idea how to completely dismantle an evil terrorist organization, it’s a lot harder then it looks.
Aberforth also gets some apology letters, although obviously lacking the lovey-dove bits.
Awww (and yeah, he needs all the advice on that)
Aberforth just stares at them stonily, but. He doesn’t destroy them.
That’s some progress.
Then the next dreaded Howler arrives. (By this point in time, everyone perks up eagerly at the sight; this is much better then any book or radio show ot television program. Albus preemptively sinks low in his seat, hands already over his face; the other professors crowd close in silent support.)
“THEY PROPOSED! AND HE ACCEPTED! WE’RE GOING TO BE FATHERS-IN-LAW! GRANDCHILDREN!”
PFFT! Albus gets a ton of congratulations, Dippet decides that they simply must host a party among the staff for him, and Slughorn calls dibs on arrangements.
That’s probably what does it, honestly.
“GELLERT GRINDELWALD! HOW DARE YOU SEND LETTERS TO ME AT MY WORKPLACE, YOU UNMITIGATED ASS! THE ENTIRE SCHOOL NOW KNOWS THE DETAILS OF MY PRIVATE LIFE! MY STUDENTS ARE ASKING ABOUT THE DETAILS OF MY ROMANTIC LIFE! MY COLLEAGUES ARE HOSTING A ‘CONGRATULATIONS, YOUR CHILD JUST GOT ENGAGED’ PARTY! I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE MORTIFIED IN MY LIFE! DID IT EVER OCCUR TO YOU, YOU ASSHOLE, THAT I HAVE REMOVED MYSELF FROM MY SONS’ LIVES FOR THEIR SAFETY AND IT HURTS KNOWING THAT I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO REVEAL MYSELF AS THEIR PARENT? AND EVEN IF YOU ARE SINCERE IN YOUR INTENTIONS TO RETURN TO THE LIGHT - WHICH I’M NOT ENTIRELY CONVINCED OF, JUST SO YOU KNOW - I HAVE ANY NUMBER OF ENEMIES WHO WOULD LIKE NOTHING BETTER THEN TO TORTURE MY CHILDREN TO DEATH IF THEY EVER FOUND OUT ABOUT THE TWINS!”
….Oh no, we made it sad again.
Not really. Because this is progress! At least to Grindelwald’s mind; it’s the first time Albus has voluntarily spoken to him in decades! Even if it was via Howler.
“ALBUS, I LOVE YOU.” It’s the only thing the next Howler says.
…meanwhile, Newt is gushing about wedding plans with Theseus, and the’re happily discussing the possibility of finally meeting their birth-father?
Pfft, oh Grindelwald.
He probably makes a point of sending it where Albus hears it in private. See, Albus, he’s listening! (And making a point of finding out who these enemies are and making sure that they never, ever, ever come near Newt or Theseus or their families).
That’s adorable. I wonder how they feel when they find out in this AU. Hell, how did Graves feel when Grindelwald let him go?
Grindelwald probably declares a one-man vendetta against Albus’ enemies, and goes after them with extreme prejudice. And sends his letters and gifts to Albus in private - he’s willing to change, he’s trying.
Grindelwald probably sends them a letter sheepishly confessing that he’s an internationally-wanted criminal (he doesn’t give his name) but he’s trying to do better! He really is! He just - doesn’t want the twins to have a criminal for a father, he’s trying to make himself someone better, first. (Newt honestly probably doesn’t really care - he has a disturbingly casual relationship to legality, sometimes, and probably thinks that his blood-father is most likely some kind of smuggler.)
Graves was annoyed. And perplexed at why Grindelwald healed him, let him go, and even apologized to him before handing him a scroll with all the details of every single traitor and incompetent who managed to sneak into MACUSA…
Good job, Gellert. Now that is a way to woo Albus.
Oh, Newt. Theseus, well, after thinking it over, decides he’s okay with it too. And probably thinks he’s a smuggler or something like Newt does.
Graves is so fucking confused. He just doesn’t get it. He doesn’t. Obviously Grindelwald is even more insane then people believed.
After all the angst - I really needed this.
Respecting Albus’ wishes? Protecting his children? (He’s probably going after Theseus’ enemies as well). Yes, that’s definitely a start. Gellert is also probably trying to sneak ‘I love you’ into every single communication he has with his ex; he also starts - moderating his gifts. Downgrading from expensive German chocolates to a nice tea set, things like that - more personal gifts, gifts Albus actually likes.
Grindelwald also probably hasn’t told the twins much about their other birth-parent - Theseus and Newt know that the individual gave them up to try and keep them safe, and that their birth-father thinks that it’s their other blood-parent’s story to tell. Also, while he’s at it, Grindelwald probably confesses that he - used to use Dark Magic? And he’s not anymore; it’s really amazing how much easier it is to think now that it’s not running through his veins and messing with his brain.
LOL Graves. Then again, Graves is slightly distracted - he managed to run into the Love of his Life (quite literally; he collided with the foreign wizard when he was running through the streets of New York, desperately trying to catch an escaped Erumphant). …also, all unknowingly, Graves has also been brought under Gellert’s protection; this is his future son-in-law, after all!
Pffft. Yeah, that’s a good thing, tone it down a bit there, Gellert. And, honestly, didn’t you remember one of the first things that they taught you in Durmstrang? That overuse of the Dark Arts will cloud your judgement and potentially lead you to do unspeakable things if you overuse it and let it control you? Tsk, tsk.
Newt and Theseus are actually probably proud of him for admitting that and for kicking the habit, so to speak. Theseus especially (he is head of the British DMLE) knows what overuse of Dark magic can do to a wizard and how hard it is to quit. Another good job, Gellert. You’re respecting Albus’ wishes and his privacy and right to tell the boys himself. You’re learning.
Poor Graves. Wait until he finds out.
(Also, other kinda fluffy AU. Newt manages to save the little Sudanese girl. He adopts her. She ends up calling him Mummy too).
Grindelwald has read books! Actual books on parenting! And observed parents interacting with their children! …admittedly, he did end up sending his eldest son a quick letter about that Mary-Lou person and the Second Salemists, because - well, that’s not normal, is it? (I headcanon Grindelwald meeting Rolf before he managed to track down Credence).
Gellert probably wants to explode with happiness when he gets the letter from his sons thanking him for being so open, that can’t have been an easy thing to admit or to do, they’re so proud of him - he could probably power a Patronus on that alone; as it is, he practically floats for the rest of the day.
Grindelwald admits to them that he was not a very nice person for a long time, that he hurt people, but he’s quit Dark Magic, he’s looking into redirecting his talents to something more legal, he’s trying to be someone they would like to have as a parent.
All Graves knows is that various long-term criminals he’s never been able to pin charges on are suddenly being delivered to the lobby of the American DMLE - a quick check with Theseus reveals that he’s also been experiencing a similar occurance.
And that is probably what ends up with Credence, Chastity, and Modesty being revealed as magical, Credence having an Obscurus, and the three are promptly brought into protective custody, Newt is brought in as a consultant to help Credence since he has experience with Obscuri (maybe the little Sudanese girl can be alive in this AU? I felt fucking awful for her even though she’s only mentioned and all we see is her Obscurus; it’d probably also help Credence’s healing to see someone else who has had this happen to them, to see that they’ve recovered and are happy now. That he can be happy too.) and the Barebone children end up adopted by Newt and then Graves and Tina when the three of them get married. (Grindelwald is overjoyed; both that he has grandchildren and that he was able, indirectly, to help that poor child; yes, Credence, you are a child still, now hush while he showers you in gifts).
Graves is, he is honestly utterly confused, but he’s not complaining. Not in the slightest.
Grindelwald, in his sheer joy, may actually send a Patronus message to Albus (with strict instructions to approach him when he’s alone and in his private chambers). The message itself? “Our youngest just adopted three children! We’re grandparents! Their names are Credence, Chastity, and Modesty! I’ll send you a picture with my next letter! GRANDCHILDREN!”
Albus is most definitely taken aback, because a Patronus is, unquestionably, very high-level Light Magic.
Actually, Credence/Chastity/Modesty might end up being the first members of the Scamander Clan to actually meet their grandfather in person. They have no idea who Grindelwald is, they don’t have any experience with what exactly it means to be a Dark Lord… Grindelwald would probably sheepishly explain that yes, he’s Newt and Theseus’ father, but he’s - kind of an internationally-wanted criminal, and he doesn’t feel like they would be comfortable in his presence, and he doesn’t want to presume… But he’d like to get to know them?
He’d spoil the three of them outrageously. He’d buy the girls jewelry sets and wizarding picture books, he’d give Credence a necklace of your own - this is strictly for emergencies, Credence, if you ever really need me, hold it and think of me - keep in mind that I will think it’s for a genuine emergency and arrive throwing spells left and right… He teaches Credence wand tricks and be very supportive of his life choices, and be more then happy to hug him whenever he could.
Theseus probably takes him aside and shares the Mystery of their Blood-Father, and how the man is apparently somewhat socially defunct, but he’s trying? Graves, after examining the letters himself, has to agree that the idea of a man giving up on Dark Magic and trying to Do Good is indeed very impressive, but he’s admitted to being an internationally-wanted criminal.