The Man Who Stared at Goats

There were only three constants in the peculiar life of Aberforth Dumbledore.

His pub.

His goats.

The apparent greatness of his brother.

People would, to Aberforth's eyes, fall and snivel at his brother's feet, grateful for what he saw in them, gladly giving their lives to his brother and his causes as Albus gladly used them to achieve his ends. Aberforth felt better with a little bit of physical distance from his brother, but close enough to watch him. Emotional closeness had never existed between the brothers.

In his darkest hours these three things never changed. The goats asked him nothing but for love and care, he had never gone without a goat until he left for school and even then he would go home to a couple of goats and his sister until her untimely death. He treated his goats like he would his own family if he had any to speak of.

His personal favorite was Mavis.

After that… business with Grindelwald (Aberforth had never liked him), Albus was different. Grounded and bearing a heavy burden of regret on his shoulders.

Aberforth was not sure what he wanted from his brother, Aberforth needed someone to hate, and Albus's open regret for his actions made it harder to hate and blame his brother for the loss of his sister. Though Aberforth still raged, he was able to put away any compassion for his brother to just revel in his anger. As for breaking his nose at Ariana's funeral, well, Grindelwald was well out of reach.

Time and distance could not heal the wounds of a troubled youth, the loss of a mother, father and beloved sister.

Outliving his brother, however, seemed an equal tragedy.

Author's Note: I just liked the idea of this title for a short fic about Aberforth Dumbledore. The Men Who Stare At Goats is a film about psychic soldiers who can (assumedly) kill goats with a fixed gaze.