Assignment #3 Hogwarts, DADA - Write about a character performing the Cruciatus Curse. WC: 1,509

Gellert Grindelwald watched as Albus Dumbledore exited the house, his purple robes billowing behind him. He snorted. Albus was never one for subtlety, he thought benevolently, letting his eyes linger on the auburn haired wizard a little longer than necessary.

He was coming around to Gellert's point of view. They all did, in the end. A little persuasion, a little charm, a little vision. That was all that was needed to create a charismatic leader. But Gellert didn't want to be just charismatic. There were those who would never be swayed by ideals. And that was why Gellert had a second plan, one that had been put on hiatus since Durmstrang had expelled him.

No vision, Gellert thought with a shake of his golden curls. If only they could see things the way I do. As Albus so beautifully put it; it's all for the greater good.

Aberforth eventually emerged, a scowl on his face to scare even his precious goats. That is one wizard that the revolution could do without, Gellert thought, as his mouth twisted into a sneer. The boy was barely a wizard himself, and would probably be happier as a Squib. Unfortunately for Aberforth, and fortunately for Gellert, he still had one year remaining at Hogwarts. One year in which Gellert could cement his relationship with Albus.

A loud crack resounded in the alleyway. Gellert had missed them bypassing the wards in his musing. Straining his ears, he thought he could faintly hear the sound of Aunt Bathilda pouring her cup of morning tea.

It was ten thirty.

He had about an hour's time before Albus returned. Coincidentally, that was the same amount of time the Draught of the Living Dead would take to work its way through his aunt's system.

Leaping to his feet, Gellert hummed as he polished his wand. He didn't want dust messing up his magic, after all. Once he was satisfied, he bounded down the stairs, out of the back door and over the fence. He knew where the spare key was, and had sweet talked Albus into telling him how to unlock the basement.

What if there's an emergency? he had asked him. What if something happens to Ari when you're away?

Albus did love his sister, after all. A few more well placed hints, and Albus had agreed that it would be best if his brother didn't know. After all, one wouldn't want him to worry more than they already did about the poor, precious girl.

'Ariana,' he called softly, drawing out the second "a". 'I've come to keep you company.'

There was no response, save a small whimper.

Good. She's not in one of her rages. Loathe to admit it as he was, even Gellert would have had some trouble controlling Ariana if she had let her magic loose.

He ventured down the stairs, each curved stone step bringing the basement into view. It was drier than one would expect for a subterranean room, and warmer. Then again, not many subterranean rooms had a teenage girl living in them.

As expected, Ariana was huddled in the far corner of the room on her small cot, her thin arms wrapped around her knees as she turned her head to the wall.

'Oh, Ariana,' Gellert tutted, shaking his head in pity. 'We've already talked about this. Just because you can't see me, doesn't mean that I can't see you.'

'Go away,' the girl whispered, her voice breaking pitifully.

The sound was music to Gellert's ears. If she could use her magic, she would have already. She wouldn't subjugate herself knowingly to his wand. And she knew that no one would hear her screams.

'Let's start with the basics, shall we?' Gellert asked, taking on a business-like tone. 'Just to get things warmed up.'

Ariana pressed herself closer to the wall.

'Crucio,' he intoned, making sure to keep the intonation light and airy. He drove his will into the curse, binding his intent and his magic until they became one.

'Stop, please, stop!' Ariana screamed.

'Ariana, you know that isn't how it works!' Gellert chided. Honestly, I have to explain this to her every time. One would think her a fast learner, with Albus as a brother. 'Tell me how you feel.'

'It burns!' Ariana gasped, tears leaking out of her eyes. 'It burns so hot and my head! My head hurts so much, I can't think, just make it stop, just make it stop.'

'A good start,' Gellert approved, lowering his wand and taking a breath, letting his will fade from the forefront of his mind. 'I see that the curse is getting stronger. This is good.'

He started to pace, long measured steps from one side of the room to the other. He idly tapped his wand in his hand as he let the girl recover. Or so she thought. In reality, he believed himself accomplished enough to turn to the next phase: specialised pain. However, he would need her to recover from the original shock beforehand. It wouldn't do to have her still in pain when he commenced his next spell. How would he know if the modified spell worked or not?

'Ariana, would you like a glass of water?' he asked, wondering if that would lessen the pain. He made a mental note to research that for his next test. It might be useful to know if there was a quicker way to recover from the Cruciatus Curse.

She shook her head vehemently, glaring at him with deep blue eyes.

So different to Albus's, and yet so similar, Gellert mused. The colour is darker, and yet they still hold the same fiery passion. I have chosen my partner well. And my victim, I suppose.

'Very well, let us continue. Crucio!'

Ariana cried out again, but Gellert paid no attention to her reaction this time. She will suffer, he thought, pouring his being into the spell. He felt his intent rising in his chest, the adrenaline making the saliva rush to his mouth and his throat tighten with emotion. I want her mind to suffer, and only her mind. The pain will sent her ears writhing in pain, her forehead to throb with agony, her eyes to burn until all sight has left them.

'What do you feel, Ariana?'

She merely screamed in response. Gellert tightened his hand on his wand, letting his frustration fly through the curse. He gave a satisfied smile at the rising intensity of her screams.

'Where does it hurt?'

'My head!' Ariana sobbed, curling into a ball and putting her head between her knees, scrunching her face up in pain.

'Good girl,' Gellert praised her, easing up on the curse.

He was pleased that his modified version of the curse worked. As he had suspected, the spell was malleable to the curser's will. A myriad of possibilities opened up to him.

He could torture one specific part of the body, so as not to overwhelm the mind and have the unfortunate side effect of driving the victim into insanity. That had been his mistake at Durmstrang. But Ariana could stand more pain than most, being - as he had suspected - an Obscurial.

If he did some research on anatomy, he was fairly certain that he could focus on one specific part of the brain, forcing the victim to release related information. That could prove useful during his and Albus's rebellion, especially on those who had lost their memory or spies for those who would oppose them. Gellert was a visionary, but he was no fool. Of course he would encounter opposition.

He cocked his head, watching Ariana curiously. It was as though fate had brought them together. She could withstand more pain, but the girl was unhinged. No one would be able to trace the aftereffects back to Gellert's experiments, because no one understood her mind in the first place.

He sat down on the edge of the girl's bed. She tried to scramble away from him, but she could only manage to curl up into a foetal shape next to her pillow.

'Good work, Ariana,' he said. He didn't touch her. He knew she was scared of him, and it brought him no pleasure to hurt her this way. It was just… for the greater good. 'I'll be back. Remember, don't tell Albus, or he'll want to put you in hospital. You don't want to be locked away, apart from your family, do you?'

She shook her head miserably, tears leaking from the corners of her eyes. Gellert decided to leave her with her thoughts.

'Why do you do this to me?' Ariana asked, her voice cracking. 'Is it because I'm a monster?'

Gellert stopped in his tracks, feeling a twinge of pity for the poor girl. Oh, what she could have become if not for Kendra's madness.

'Of course not,' he said soothingly. 'You're a very special girl, Ariana. Don't you forget it.'

After all, she was a very special girl. It wasn't every day that he found the perfect subject.