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20 June 2007 @ 01:24 am
FIC: Berlin (Prompt #56)  
Title: Berlin
Series: Petshop of Horrors/Harry Potter
Pairing: Grandpa D/Albus Dumbledore
Rating: G-ish
Word Count: ~5300
Notes: Big thanks to jeddy83 and lookfar for beta-reading.
Challenge: #56 - HP crossover. A younger Dumbledore acquired Fawkes from a Chinese petshop owner in Berlin around WWII. You can interpret Dumbledore's death as a breach or fulfilment of contract terms.


Berlin in the spring of 1932 was a place of marvels. The grey of winter had finally been shaken off, and all over the city art and architecture were in bloom. At the university, magicians of the mundane sort tinkered with the universe's most miniscule components, while travellers took off through the air from Tempelhof in steel contraptions powered by nothing more than oil and physics. The new theatre season was in full swing, productions premiering on the stage and the ban lists in the same week, to be replaced with something even more scandalous the next. And all through the streets, gossip and politics and philosophy filled the air, left wings and right sent flapping wildly enough to rival the pigeons.

Were that it could have been happier circumstances that brought him here, Albus Dumbledore reflected, pausing over a patch of forget-me-nots holding riotous court between the street and walkway. He knelt down and plucked a blossom, twirling the delicate stem between thumb and forefinger and inhaling the faint scent before tucking it into his buttonhole.

Across the square at the corner coffeehouse, he purchased a milchkaffee and a slice of cherry cake with a smile for the pretty, plump fraulein behind the counter, and then took a seat by the window and waited.

"Honestly, Albus, could you be more obviously English?"

He looked up to find Eloise Vance standing over him in a fetching lilac frock with a cup of proper black German coffee in hand. He rose with a sheepish smile as she took the seat across from him. "I've yet to develop a taste for the bitterness, I'm afraid."

Eloise shook her head in continental despair of him, but her lips twitched. "Shall we call it part of your charm?"

Albus chuckled, and for several minutes they made polite and casual conversation as might pass between a pair of countrymen -- a striking woman with ink-black hair and a red-bearded man of middling years -- in a coffee-house on a warm spring morning: the weather, which was lovely, and the German language, which was fraught with peril, and the particular merits of this establishment's cakes, upon which they were divided.

Before she reached the bottom of her cup, he inquired, "By the by, did you ever manage to find someplace that sells a decent cup of tea in this city?"

Eloise shook her head, though once again her lips belied her words. "Alas, you'll have to cultivate a palate for coffee."

She fussily straightened one of her hairpins, and touched his hand as they parted. Albus felt a miniature scroll of parchment fall into his pocket.

"A pleasure as always, my dear." He waited until she had left the shop and had disappeared down the street and around the corner before surreptitiously unrolling the note under the pretence of taking out and packing his pipe. In Eloise's familiar, prim hand was a mere two words: Graf D.

The note went up in a puff of smoke as he lit his pipe, and he settled back to watch a group of young people crowd in, the boys in baggy trousers and the girls with short hair, and all of them chatting loudly and merrily about the talking picture they had just come from viewing. Would that it could have been happier circumstances.

*****

Midtown was the last place he would have begun his search for a count, but upon reflection, perhaps it should have been the first. A few discreet questions from his contacts about the city had pointed him towards Kreuzberg, lit up like a carnival with electric lights in the dark, casting the doorways and back ways in thick shadow. The young and earnest congregated on the corners, hawking hand-printed pamphlets or hosting lively debates between pulls from flasks or cigarettes, and every shop was open as though it were noon rather than midnight.

Wizards rubbed shoulders with Muggles here; he passed in rapid succession a charlatan's fortune-telling booth, a pharmacy stocked with both potions and mundane medicines, and a staid and subtle antique shop all but radiating the mellow glow of old charms. Kreuzberg was the sort of place where anything might be found: bookshops and picture shows, women, youths, cabarets, and intellectual societies of various degrees of politics and secrecy.

And, apparently, even a pet shop.

It was the façade that first caught his eye. The oriental style was popular here, fronting occult shops and importing stations alike, but Albus had visited Shanghai once, long ago, and there was something about this storefront that brought him back there. It was rather plain for all its exotic style, no dragons or gold foil, only the sturdy red trellis along the front and a carven ship sitting atop the blue-tiled roof.

The lettering over the doorway read simply "Tierhandlung", and it was only as Albus turned, following a whiff of smoky incense, that he spied a small bronze plate below inscribed: Graf D.

How very fortuitous.

A great believer in his own luck, Albus proceeded down the steps leading to the shop entrance. Only a dim light snuck out through the windows, but there were shadows and voices within, and as he approached, the front doors swung open and a well-dressed couple swept past him. Albus slipped in after them into a room that was altogether larger on the inside than mathematics had allowed for on the outside.

The strength of the incense nearly dizzied him, the scent filling his head as the door fell shut behind him. At first he took himself to be alone. It was quiet, though the soft chitter and flutter and rustle of animal sounds came from far away. A fresh cone of incense was alight in the brazier, and birdcages hung from the ceiling, empty save for stalks of bamboo.

Then, like a camouflaged creature slinking out from the brush, a figure unfolded itself from the settee and rose to its feet.

Albus's greeting died on his lips.

Oh, I see, was his first, dumbstruck thought.

The sex of the figure before him was not readily apparent, but his heart and parts otherwise were unconcerned on that matter; in that wonderfully illogical way of infatuation, he was suddenly quite certain that this was the loveliest creature he had ever seen in all his life, and that he could quite easily fall in love if he'd had a better night's sleep the day before and his feet weren't wet from stepping in a puddle. He felt a rush of warmth move through him utterly unbecoming a man of nearly eighty-eight years. The shopkeeper -- for even through his dizziness and momentary loss of wits, Albus was wary of dismissing him or her as some kept ornament -- was pale and incongruously tawny-eyed, Chinese, dressed in whispering silk robes that fell straight to the floor.

That was mere beauty, however. There was something else there, something that made Albus shake the foolishness from his head and doff his hat to offer a bow. Veela was his next thought, a touch more coherent, though he had never heard of an eastern enclave of the creatures. Old, yes, and alluring in the hypnotic way of a prowling tiger.

He deepened the bow. "Ni hao."

To his surprise, the shopkeeper replied neither in Mandarin nor German, but in faintly accented English.

"Welcome to my shop. I am Count D. How may I help you?"

The voice was soft and melodious, but male, Albus felt safer in assuming. "Albus Dumbledore, at your service. As it happens, you have already helped me immensely merely by introducing yourself. I was told that you might be the one to aid me in my search for a bird."

Count D -- was that a title, or a given name, Albus wondered -- inclined his head graciously. "We offer a wide range of avian companions, from local songbirds to South American parrots." He looked Albus up and down, lingering on his violet robes. "I have a rainbow lorikeet that may just be to your liking."

Charmed, Albus shook his head. "I'm afraid I'm looking for a particular bird." He met those animalistic eyes squarely. "The phoenix."

The small smile on the count's lips shifted minutely and a delicate eyebrow arched. "Phoenix? I am afraid we are a conventional pet shop. We have canaries and cockatiels and budgerigars. Should you have room to keep one, I might be able to procure for you a hawk or hunting falcon."

"I'm not certain I've ever seen a conventional pet shop open at midnight."

The count made an elegant shrug. "My customers keep all hours."

Albus blinked innocently. "Such as the pair of vampires I passed on the way in?"

D paused, and his smile widened. It was a beautiful smile, but not altogether reassuring. "Just so." He approached, close enough for Albus to catch the faint scent of his perfume below the incense, and sniffed delicately, once before stepping back. "Ah, but you are not wholly human either."

It was not, Albus hoped, an insult to his parentage. "Might that have any bearing as to whether you know where one might find the phoenix?"

The count slowly circled him, and he was put in mind once again of a great cat. Not a hungry beast, but an idle one in search of amusement. "I have heard the phoenix to be a powerful creature indeed. They say its tears can heal mortal wounds. They say its blood can raise the dead."

Albus inclined his head, watching the shadows caress the count's robes. "So they say."

"I have known many men who wished to live forever."

He cleared his throat. "As to that, I know a fellow who fits that description to an unfortunate tee."

Count D halted before him. "Would that man be yourself, Mr. Dumbledore?"

Albus smiled then. It was not his most polite smile, and he thought he saw a spark of pleasure in the count's knowing eyes at its emergence. "We have only just met, so you can be forgiven for not knowing my character."

The count cocked his head to the side. "Who, then?"

"There is a man -- and I use the word with the greatest liberty, you understand -- living in this very city who seeks the phoenix for his own means. He calls himself Grindelwald."

He saw Count D mouth the name, though in recognition or novelty he could not judge. "So far that tells me little, save that if I had such a marvellous creature, I would have two prospective customers."

Count D looked him over once again, and now his tone was clipped:

"And to tell the truth, Mr. Dumbledore, I would not be inclined to sell any creature to a man who culls a blossom for his own vanity and makes boots out of dragons."

Albus opened his mouth to protest, but the count had already turned from him with a swish of his robes.

"The shop is closed."

The front doors swung open.

He might have counted himself lucky the count's back was turned, sparing him the embarrassment of being seen with the gaping mouth and manners of a mackerel, but something made him suspect the man could see him all too well. If he had learned nothing else in life, however, it was that the occasional battle had to be acceded to win the war, and he managed a smile, sketched a bow, and took his leave back into the busy street.

*****

He returned the next morning while the rest of the neighbourhood was still hung-over, having purchased a pair of twill boating shoes as well as a box of cakes from the coffee-house which, contrary to what Eloise claimed, were the best in the city.

Count D's pet shop was no less mysterious by daylight, its paint and posts impeccable and the undraped windows curiously blind. Albus straightened his robes and rapped smartly on the door. A moment later it opened, and a familiar face peeped out.

"Good morning, Count--" Albus cut himself off mid-phrase when he realised his error. The youth who stepped back and ushered him in with a serene smile bore a doppelganger's resemblance to the count; they might have been twins, but there was something…unfinished about this face. His eyes held a newer light, and, upon closer inspection, one was of a distinctly different shade beneath an artful lock of hair. Albus switched to German. "My apologies, I took you for the proprietor. Is he in?"

"He is," the youth replied in the same tongue. "Please, sit." He turned with not quite as practiced a grace as his elder, disappearing into the back of the shop.

Albus settled on the settee beside a pair of Persian cats. One of them raised its head and regarded him levelly.

"Hello, puss." He stroked the creature, who rolled over onto her back in imperious invitation.

Footsteps approached from the back room beyond the braided curtain. "…and remember, you must only feed her fresh meat."

The count -- it was he this time, Albus was certain of it -- emerged in the company of a small girl who was leading a large Rottweiler on a leash. Or at least he thought it was a Rottweiler, for out of the corner of his eye as they passed, he could swear he saw instead a large, matronly woman with a tan complexion and black hair with her arm around the girl.

Albus blinked. "Curious." He regarded the cat beside him with a puzzled smile, adding in an undertone, "If you happen to be an animagus, Madam, I assure you I am not usually so forward."

The cat rumbled a purr at him, and he gave her a chaste pat before standing to greet the count, who had returned from seeing his customer out. He proffered the box of cakes.

"I believe we got off to a dreadful start last night, Count."

Count D regarded him with haughty amusement, saying nothing. His young twin peeked curiously at them both out of the corner of his eye as he pretended work at the till.

Albus was not to be put off so easily. "Your charming...brother?" he said, "saw me in."

Now the count smiled too, that tiger-smile. "Dee is my grandson."

To his credit, Albus had heard much stranger things in his life, and did not let any flicker of confusion alight upon his face. "And would I be terribly unmannerly to say you appear marvellously fit for a grandfather?"

The Persian was not the only cat who enjoyed being stroked, it seemed. Count D immediately thawed, his beautiful lips curving. "You may. What have you brought us?"

Albus was uncertain whether the "we" was royal or not, but he gave a small wave to the eavesdropping youth nonetheless. "Apple cakes from a dear little coffee-house near my lodgings -- to apologise for my dreadful lapse in manners when last we met."

The cats slipped off the settee and up onto a nearby chair with the young Dee to observe them. It would be even ruder, of course, to talk business during morning tea, and so Albus enjoyed a cup of an odd and strong red blend, and for a time they made polite and casual conversation as might pass between a wizard of middling worldliness and a shopkeep of indeterminate nature. The youth looked on quietly, his manner one of impeccable politeness, silently straining for his grandfather's notice.

"Tell me," the count said, when they had finished their tea and Albus had somehow found himself on his feet and being expertly steered towards the door, "Why do you wish to find this imaginary bird of yours?"

Up close, the count smelled neither of tea nor cake, but the same sweet perfume, a fragile counter-note to the incense.

"Because," Albus said, "I fear that if Grindelwald should find it first, all of Europe -- if not the world -- will suffer for it. His powers are terrible enough as they stand, and his ambitions without pity…" He shook his head. "Count, I beg of you, if you will not reveal the whereabouts of the creature, please keep it safe from unworthy hands."

The count appeared amused. "You assume, Mr. Dumbledore, that human concerns are my own."

Albus considered that in fairness. For all the count's beauty, there was a chill to him. He might have made a fine Slytherin had he been born a Briton, or a wizard, or human. "Then I would say that I have always heard there is only one phoenix, and if its blood is of value to Grindelwald, then I fear there may soon be none. And a world without a phoenix in it strikes me as an immeasurably sadder one, even if one might pass a lifetime without laying eyes on the creature."

Count D stepped back with a graceful nod. His pale hands folded together, disappearing into his sleeves. He smiled. "My grandson prefers the streuselkuchen from Schillman's."

*****

His next three visits passed in much the same manner. The young Dee would admit him, delighted as a child to be the first to open up the pastry-box, and out would come the porcelain set. On two occasions Albus waited patiently while D the elder showed a patron in or out with a strange and joyous purchase, before all three settled in for a cup of curious tea and precise conversation.

It was almost enough to make a man mistake business for pleasure.

"I know your kind," Count D commented one late morning as he saw Albus out.

Albus was intrigued. "Do you really?" If he sounded flippant, he did not intend it. In all honesty, he had yet to find someone who could tell him truly.

The count nodded, and that day his smile was very nearly sad. "You believe you will save the world, Mr. Dumbledore. Not because you wish to be a hero. But because you do not think anyone else is clever enough to do it."

What to say to that? Albus was silent for a long moment, and then chanced a small, sad smile of his own. "I'm not certain that's entirely right..."

But the count shook his head. "I am afraid it is. And for what it is worth, I am afraid you will not."

Then he stepped forward and brushed a kiss across Albus's cheek, as lightly as the flutter of a moth's wing, and Albus was well on the other side of the door before he realised quite what had happened.

*****

"Oh Albus, are you certain he's not just having you on?"

Eloise was not pleased, when next they met, to discover that he had not ascertained that Count D even knew of the phoenix's whereabouts, let alone that he was housing it.

"He isn’t. Just yesterday I saw him send a lady off with a manticore. Though admittedly it seemed to be a common garden lizard when I looked at it straight on…"

"Is he handsome?"

Albus stirred his coffee. "I beg your pardon?"

She snorted delicately. "Deviant."

The word was almost teasing, but the look she gave him over the rim of her cup spoke volumes.

He smiled, though for perhaps the first time in his life he wasn't entirely certain he meant it. "Come now, my dear. I'm far too clever for that."

*****

On Albus's ninth visit, young Dee was not in attendance. Neither were the cats, nor any customer that he could see. He commented upon the absence of the first as he hung up his hat and cloak and brought a box of chocolates to where the count was lounging.

Count D raised an eyebrow. "He is out on an errand."

"Ah, pity."

The eyebrow arched almost imperceptibly higher. "You enjoy his company."

Albus sat down in the chair opposite him. "He's a pleasant young man." A very slight emphasis on 'young'.

The count…shifted. Albus's eyes were abruptly drawn down to the slim line of his hips, though he could not say why. A wisp of smoke eddied his way from the brazier, and the sound of silk rubbing against skin was too loud.

"I would propose a bargain."

"Oh yes? You have my attention." He fought not to move in his seat as the count crossed his legs; he caught a glimpse of a pale, shapely ankle.

"I do." It was not a question. "I propose, Mr. Dumbledore, that you abandon your silly prattling about birds, and enjoy my company in its stead." The faint purr in his voice made it quite clear what sort of company was on the table.

Albus was rather embarrassed to find his mouth dry. "Gladly. Should you be willing to swear an oath to keep the phoenix safe with your life from the hands of those who would use it for their own ends."

The count rose to his feet and regarded Albus with veiled eyes. He turned, and with heartrending grace his robe fell to the floor. Albus watched each flawless, shameless step that took him to the curtained doorway leading to the corridor. The curtain parted, and then fluttered shut as the last glimpse of pale, perfect skin vanished.

His heart was left pounding unpleasantly as he remained seated. He took a breath and ate a chocolate, and then a second. An entire minute passed. Two minutes. Three. Five.

Then the count's melodious voice, tinged with just a touch of impatience, interrupted his suffering with a sigh and two words: "I swear."

Never had Albus moved so quickly.

The door to a lavish bedroom proved ajar, swinging shut behind him when he had crossed the threshold. The lights were dim, the curtains drawn on a window that Albus vaguely noticed should not be there. The count lay on the bed, beautiful and triumphant.

"You were a very close second, you know," Albus informed him, only to be pulled down onto the bed with startling strength. He swore he felt the earth lurch beneath him rather prematurely, as if they were tethered at sea rather than moored on solid ground.

"I was feeling generous, Mr. Dumbledore," the count retorted.

Albus felt a cool hand slip into his robes. "Really, you must call me Alb--" But his words were interrupted by a kiss, and then a caress that made him shiver, and to his pleasant surprise, as his hand slipped between the count's petal-soft thighs, he soon discovered there were more things in heaven and earth than he'd previously dreamt, and he had no words at all.

*****

Some time later, they lay together in breathless silence, Albus raw in his skin and the count posed and poised with a single drop of sweat glistening upon his upper lip.

"The phoenix is yours, Albus," he said, "should you uphold my terms."

Albus lifted his head cautiously from the pillow.

"First, you must feed it only fruit and seeds. Do you agree?"

"I do."

"Secondly…" The count rolled over now, and looked at him through the shade of his lashes, his countenance a mask. "…you must never use its tears or feathers or blood to heal yourself, not even should it offer them to you."

Albus hesitated this time, sensing it was not meant to be agreed to lightly. Pacts with magical creatures rarely were. "I agree."

"Thirdly," Count D yawned and rolled over. "You must go find it."

"…curiouser," Albus muttered as the room suddenly fell away, leaving nothing but darkness behind him and the door before him. He looked over his shoulder. No bed, no misplaced window, and no count.

He was still naked, and then with a thought he was in his robes with his wand close to hand. That was a small improvement. He stepped carefully out into the corridor, which now seemed to stretch for miles in either direction, with countless doors on both sides. He took his handkerchief from his pocket and tied it around the doorknob of what was once the bedroom so that he might not lose his way, and began his search.

The first door he tried proved locked, and no manner of charm he conjured could unlock it, or the second, though the third opened without a trial. The salt-scent of the sea washed over him, and sand shifted beneath his feet when he took his first step into the room, if a room it could be called with earth for a floor and the sky for a ceiling and the bounded horizon for walls.

A figure sat perched on a rocky outcropping overlooking the water. A woman, singing softly in a sad, sweet voice. Albus approached, looking back curiously as he did so to see if his boots left their prints in the sand; they did.

The woman turned, as though hearing his steps over the grating ebb and flow on the shingle. She was nude and quite lovely, and her hair was the colour of a forest-fire in autumn.

"Have you come to take me home?" she asked, lowering her eyes demurely.

Albus considered that with all due solemnity, and then shook his head. "To my regret, madam, I haven't. I'm in search of the phoenix, and I don't believe you are she."

The woman smiled then, baring a row of needle-sharp teeth, and she tossed back her autumn hair in a rippling wave and dove into the water.

"A pleasure to make your acquaintance," Albus called out softly in her wake. This seemed, after all, the sort of situation in which one should be mannerly.

He passed nearly a dozen more locked doors, tempting and puzzling sounds coming from behind them. The chirp of kittens, the murmur of foreign tongues. He thought he heard his name whispered.

The second door he tried opened onto a room with barred walls, at the centre of which stood an enormous Banyan. It took a moment for him to spot the inhabitant: a pretty boy with feathers in his hair perched upon the highest branch.

"Hello," Albus called out.

The boy leapt deftly down from branch to branch and observed him with a tilted head. "Hello."

Albus regarded him from feathered head to curling toe. "I don't suppose you're the phoenix?"

"I don't suppose you're the phoenix?" The boy grinned, pleased at his own cleverness.

"Ah." Albus smiled. "I didn't think so."

"Ah, I didn't think so," the boy agreed, and took off from the tree on scarlet wings.

Time creeping, Albus passed through a half dozen other lands full of marvels: chattering triplets in a painted room, and a red-eyed serpent-girl in a silver cage, and a frozen lake in the dead of winter with a host of nymphs swimming under the ice. He sat for a time with a withered old man who spoke in his father's voice, and clambered after a flittering girl who led him on a merry chase as she taunted him in birdsong. A beautiful youth tried to lure him into the jungle.

Behind the ninth door was chaos. Albus stepped in and was immediately swarmed by a marauding pack of ginger-haired children in red boots. They paid him little mind, running around in circles, climbing trees, and hurling insults and crab apples at each other.

He nearly left them to their games, dodging a fruit pip, and yet for reasons belonging to his marrow, one of the redheaded hoard caught his eye. A small boy sat beneath one of the trees alone; the others seemed to steer clear of him, for he was a frightful figure. As Albus approached, he saw more clearly that the child was ugly and wizened. He had known one very much like him before, long ago, when he was a child himself in Winchester. There had been a little girl born to a local family, and all swore she was a changeling, for she had the face of an old woman on the body of a child, and she had borne the brunt of much gossip and cruel talk until her early passing.

Albus crouched down beside him. "Hello."

The boy did not reply, but regarded him with intelligent interest. Albus reached into his pocket for a boiled sweet to give to him, and then paused, and reached into his opposite pocket to find a handful of seeds. He offered them, and the child all but sprang into his lap to eat, his movements delicate and a happy expression upon his old-young face.

Albus frowned when he felt the boy's bare skin. "Are you meant to be this hot? Perhaps we should have the count take a look at you."

His concern grew as the boy abruptly flushed scarlet with fever. The heat rose up in mere seconds until the nerves in Albus's hand were screaming for him to pull away, and then a flash of fire erupted in a great white blaze that nearly blinded him. The smell of roasting flesh filled the air, and Albus reached for his wand only to draw his hand back burnt and black and withered. A scream grated in his throat.

And that was when he awoke.

*****

He lurched awake in the count's bed, his heart pounding uproariously. He looked to his hands in a panic, refusing to believe what he saw for a moment: that they were both whole and unharmed in the dim light. He sagged in relief, very nearly shaking. After a calming breath, all he could smell was the omnipresent incense and the scent of recent bed-sport.

"If you do not mind," Count D murmured archly beside him, "I am trying to sleep."

Albus murmured a distracted apology, still trying to gather his wits back about him. He was undressed, his robes still on the floor where they had been thrown. He felt as though he had slept, his head heavy and muddled. And yet…and yet, there on the outer knob on the open door was his red handkerchief. And just inside the doorway, in a wire birdcage he had sworn held nothing more than creeping ivy, was a small, wizened chick.

"Merlin's beard," he breathed.

The count cleared his throat in irritation.

Albus beamed as he slipped out of bed. "Sorry, my dear."

*****

In 1933, spring was loath to come. On the second to last day of January, winter still held the city tightly in its talons. The wind stalked the streets, howling its displeasure, and frost laced the windows of the pet shop, though it was quite warm inside even without a fire built up.

Albus sat quietly, sipping tea with the count and listening grimly to the news over the wireless. Young Dee lounged on the floor, playing with Fawkes and watching them as always.

"…appointed as chancellor by President Hindenburg, despite a continued minority in the Reichstag…"

The red brew was an acquired taste, and tonight the almost metallic tang of it set him on edge. "I may not be back for a while, this time," he said. "Grindelwald will make his move soon."

Dee pouted, and the count crossed his legs primly, rearranging the good tea service. "Do try not to meet your end."

It was the closest thing to farewell and good wishes he was likely to receive, and the sentiment brought him the only cheer he had felt all day. "Why, Count, you very nearly sound concerned."

The count turned to face him full, and in that moment Albus knew that if he lived for another eighty years, he would never forget those strange, ferocious eyes. Count D smiled his sharp smile, and a drop of red tea on his lips glistened like blood before he licked it away with a quick dart of his tongue.

"You should know me better by now, Mr. Dumbledore: at my pet shop, we specialise in dying breeds."
 
 
 
tyleet27tyleet27 on June 20th, 2007 06:19 am (UTC)
*freaks out* Oh my god, I love this so much I can't even express it. It's all here--the creepiness, the sly humor, the inherent sexiness, the prelude to Leon and D....Love. LOVE.
Delphiatdelphi on June 20th, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC)
*blushes* Thank you so much. I've never done a crossover before, so I wasn't sure how this one would turn out, but I'm so glad you liked it. :-)
Put the kettle on: Count D by rexluscusaubrem on June 20th, 2007 07:25 am (UTC)
Wow. That was marvelous, perfect. A little work of art.
Delphiatdelphi on June 20th, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you - so glad you liked it. :-)
Melody C. Wildemelodywilde on June 20th, 2007 12:52 pm (UTC)
That was absolutely brilliant! A wonderful story--one I totally believe could have happened. You have excellent writing skills--the form and wording of this is just perfect. And both these men are so totally totally in character. Wow. Just...wow. Thank you for sharing this.
Delphiatdelphi on June 20th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad you liked it. Thank you for the wonderful comments. :-)
Amanuensis: P.E.R.V.S.amanuensis1 on June 20th, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
*flails like a flaily thing* That was WONDERFUL. Oh, the way you detailed both D and Dee, and the little details to time and place and Albus's observations and interactions in the pet shop with things/characters other than those two. It was a perfect crossover, and quietly sexy as hell. Naturally I expected D to give the phoenix to Albus, but I did not expect his "You must go and find it"! And D's condition that he never use the phoenix to heal himself! Perfect, perfectly fitting with canon and explaining why Fawkes could not heal Albus's hand after the horcrux destruction. And the epilogue, so moody and a fabulous last line, whimper. *flails some more*
Delphiatdelphi on June 20th, 2007 10:07 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it - and I'm super pleased the connection to the happenings in HBP came through. Your feedback always leaves me blushing.
Rex Luscusrexluscus on June 21st, 2007 06:44 am (UTC)
Wow, that was like...the perfect crossover. I mean, it's a brilliant story, duh, but you also just got the two worlds to mesh so amazingly well. I loved how they sized each other up, feeling out how much each knew about the other. And Albus's first reaction to D was so sweet - so Albus. Innocent, delighted infatuation (but nothing that upset his equilibrium). And the seduction scene was both hilarious and incredibly sexy. Anyway, absolutely brilliant job.
Delphiatdelphi on June 21st, 2007 03:24 pm (UTC)
*blushes* Given that I adore your work in both fandoms, I'm pleased as punch you liked the crossover.
distraughtthursdaystgiles on June 21st, 2007 09:06 am (UTC)
Wow...I wasn't sure what to expect, and I really don't like Dumbledore, but I thought I'd give this a shot anyway, and I'm glad I did. You did a fabulous job of setting the scene, with the lurking sense of dispair and war on the horizon, both in the wizarding world and in the Muggle one. I also love the way you made Sofu distinctly different from Count D. They have similar ideology, but Sofu is a lot easier I think to take lovers without too strong an attachment, and able to compartmentalise his relationships and duties. It was a very interesting look at him that I really, really enjoyed. I also love the glimpse of young Count D.
The last line was omg, awesome, and the whole 2nd stipulation...it just fits so wonderfully with HBP.
So, anyway, thank you so much, this was brill.
Only one thing, Sofu D has two golden eyes. Unless, of course, you meant for him to hide that while he is in business, or something, so he doesn't seem unnatural.
Delphiatdelphi on June 21st, 2007 03:18 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it! And thanks for the clue-in about the eyes. I only have the first series, where the only place (I think) we see D the eldest is cowled or with his hair combed over one eye - and I'm terrible with black and white art. Shall change it immediately.
Naomi: PSOH: Scaryasyndeta on June 24th, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC)
It's just awesome how I find these things a week before they're going to end. :|

Uh, anyway, that's not relevant - I loved this. It's so beautifully characterised at both ends, as it were, and it's so....so feasible. As rexluscus said, you got the two canons to work so perfectly together.
Delphiatdelphi on July 2nd, 2007 02:40 am (UTC)
Thank you so much - I'm glad you enjoyed it. :-)
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Delphiatdelphi on July 2nd, 2007 02:41 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. :-)
yellowhordeyellowhorde on June 28th, 2007 01:38 am (UTC)
*jaw drops*

This was spectacular! And you did such an awesome job of blending the two series. And the characters were so spot on! Thanks so much for sharing this with us.
Delphiatdelphi on July 2nd, 2007 02:41 am (UTC)
*blushes* Thank you so much - I'm glad you liked it!
painless_jpainless_j on July 3rd, 2007 02:32 pm (UTC)
Oh WOW!!! Wow. I'm speechless. It was fantastic. I didn't have time to read it when I saw it posted and rushed to it first thing when I had some time to spare, and wow. Delphi, you are a master and a wonder. Thank you!
Delphiatdelphi on July 8th, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it! Thank you for coming up with the prompt, and thank you so much for the rec. :-)
(no subject) - painless_j on July 8th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - atdelphi on July 8th, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - painless_j on July 8th, 2007 07:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - atdelphi on July 8th, 2007 07:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Luce Redissen4 on July 3rd, 2007 03:07 pm (UTC)
This is so good! A Petshop/HP crossover! I love the way it all fits together so well, and the descriptions of the pets are great, and it reads so beautifully. Thank you for sharing this.
Delphiatdelphi on July 8th, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
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Delphiatdelphi on July 8th, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. :-)
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Delphiatdelphi on July 8th, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
jillypooh on July 3rd, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
I'm here on painless_j's rec. I know nearly nothing about psoh but I keep hearing about it. Even not knowing the back story I can say that this was beautifully written. I think you've just helped me find a new addiction!
Delphiatdelphi on July 8th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I was really hoping this would still be accessible to fans of just HP. :-)
Poi: PoT: Baby!Inuipoilass on July 3rd, 2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
This fits together marvellously. I really like this Albus as well; polite and kind (I'm not an EvilDumbledore fan) but still manipulative and not quite as clever as he thinks he is.

I'll be re-reading this I think!
Delphiatdelphi on July 8th, 2007 07:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you - I'm very glad you liked it. :-)
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illicit_graceillicit_grace on July 4th, 2007 02:11 am (UTC)
Oh, I do love it! I've not read enough PSOH to really know the Count very well, but I still get it because of your clear and wonderful writing!
Delphiatdelphi on July 8th, 2007 07:13 pm (UTC)
*beams* Thank you!
Tuesdayeverysecondtues on July 4th, 2007 07:25 am (UTC)
Here via a rec by
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Here via a rec by <lj-user="issen4">. And well-deserved, too. This is absolutely gorgeous. You have a smooth, lovely style. I'm saving this to my del.icio.us so that I can re-read it in the future.
Delphiatdelphi on July 8th, 2007 07:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much. :-)
Aiaiwritingfic on July 4th, 2007 08:53 am (UTC)
This was absolutely amazing.
Delphiatdelphi on July 8th, 2007 07:16 pm (UTC)
*blushes* Thank you. :-)
The Moderatorgoldenagemod on July 4th, 2007 08:57 am (UTC)
This fic has been recced on goldenagefic.
Delphiatdelphi on July 8th, 2007 07:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
plantressplantress on July 4th, 2007 11:05 pm (UTC)
I loved this. You managed to blend the series so well that you could actually see this happening in either one. Very well done.
Delphiatdelphi on July 8th, 2007 07:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much. :-)
GoldenRatgoldenrat84 on July 5th, 2007 01:38 am (UTC)
Reading Albus' view of Count D is certainly interesting. What a great concept, this does explain where Albus got Fawkes.
Delphiatdelphi on July 8th, 2007 07:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :-)
Sabinapetronia on July 9th, 2007 10:18 pm (UTC)
Here on a rec by issen4. Novel concept and brilliant execution - works equally well as a PSoH episode and as a left-field HP fic. Thanks for writing this!
Delphiatdelphi on July 10th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)
Thank you so much - I'm glad you enjoyed it. :-)
Keeper of the Superfluous Es!: Stayfuct/Tariethemostepotente on July 9th, 2007 11:11 pm (UTC)
This is an absolutely brilliant crossover fic, Delphi. Your Count D is HOT, and your Albus is one of the best in fandom.

Thanks for sharing this!
Delphiatdelphi on July 10th, 2007 03:27 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it. :-)
V: Whomping Willowvissy on July 10th, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
Fantastic crossover - seamless, eerie and erotic - a most uneasy pleasure to read!
Delphiatdelphi on July 10th, 2007 03:25 am (UTC)
Thank you very much!