Ariana… Ariana.

She's an odd little thing. She makes me want to weep and at the same time I want to rush her off to a laboratory and hook her up to wires and study her through a glass wall.

Something inside of her hints that she has great magic just behind that child's mind, and it's always rippling at the surface. It seems amazing that such a liebling can make a chain of daisies and in the same hour explode half of her bedroom— impossible, even. And yet she doesn't seem to realise what she's done; just looks vaguely surprised when she sees the damage she's inflicted, and tugs at Albus' sleeve and asks what happened.

He always tells her that he made a mistake with a spell; Ariana laughs and kisses his cheek to comfort him for a mistake he never made, and he thanks her kindly. Their routine never changes.

Her mind works like the puzzles that Auntie Bathilda gives me for holidays— and I do enjoy puzzles.

Ariana… Ariana. The poor, deficient little creature.

Sometimes I wonder what made her the way she is today, a question that seems to wind itself into paradox; I've asked Albus this very same question, and yet all he says is that when she was quite small, several Muggles attacked her. He did not elaborate, but his face changed, hardened, and he was stiff for hours after; like it pained him inside, to think about it. I do not know why, for he was certainly old enough to remember the event— it should be a simple thing for him to tell me. But Albus is more like Ariana than he cares to admit, I think.

I myself find this just one more reason to detest the Muggles— for how could anyone harm as sweet a girl as Ariana?

Her behavior hints, sometimes, at what was done to her… such as when she sees the photograph in Aberforth's room of her late parents, embracing and kissing lightly. Setting sight upon it makes her recoil and whimper, as though physically hurt.

Peculiar, yes, very peculiar… It made me wonder whether kissing of any kind brought this on, so I conducted a small experiment, without telling her brothers, of course, for they both would have hung me on the spot had they known, even Albus. I invited a girl from down the street to my Auntie's house for a visit at the same time I knew Ariana would be having tea with Auntie Bathilda. The girl herself was of no interest to me; I can barely recall her name at the moment.

Ah, but, to my experiment! It was brilliant, yes, for I sat her down on the sofa across from Ariana, and said I was to help my Aunt, who was in the kitchen at the time, and as I left, I planted a chaste kiss on the girl's lips. By the time I got back, the girl was horror struck, seeing Ariana all but clawing at her arms, her eyes wide and glassy and somewhere else, somewhere I don't even want to imagine.

Ariana… Ariana. Mein liebling.

But for her insanity, I could sing songs of her beauty, it is true. I don't know why Albus refuses to acknowledge her loveliness, for it there, shining through her face without the hindrance of the powders and creams that my Auntie adores. It seems to be his nature to overreact, however, as he nearly hyperventilated when she started her monthly cycle as well. I was worried I would have to get him a bag to breathe into.

At one time, I was bold enough to relate to Albus that he and Ariana were each other's doubles. It is true! They have the same long limbs, the same oddly blue eyes, the same unusually-shaped nose— the even give me the same exasperated look when I've done something wrong!

It does make me wonder, if the rest of Godric's Hollow knew of her existence, how many marriage proposals she would have by now. Plenty to have a large choice of husbands, that is certain. Now, of course, no man could take her as a wife unless they wished for a woman who could do no housework and preferred fairytales and story time to birthing children.

It is an interesting thought to ponder, if darling Ariana will ever become a mother…

It pains me more than I like to admit to see her cry— unfortunately, she does so often, usually after dark. Using Aberforth's words, she has night terrors; this is a strictly English term, I believe, and I take it to mean frightening dreams. Albträume. But the things that entertain her, make her happy! They are endless in number, for she is sweet to the point utter naivety. I can spin her a tale from my homeland or recite the alphabet backwards, and Ariana will clap and laugh and beg— "Again, Gellert, again!"

Aberforth, the goose, does not seem to see how very much Albus adores the little thing. But then, he seems the type to be blind to subtlety. Does he not notice how Albus takes extra care is brushing and braiding her hair, even when she squirms? Does he miss the times when his brother puts up with her laying that tiny kitten of hers all across his chest? Is he uncomprehending that Albus always has one eye on the window when she goes out to play in the back garden?

It would seem so…

Ariana… Ariana. Always a child.

I have begun to wonder if perhaps the little liebling has taken a fancy to me. At first the thought seemed incredibly odd, and yet… she is fourteen, after all, only a few years away from a marriage that will never happen. Both of her brothers are in denial of this fact, of course— Albus complains of her constant needs, but I am sure his heart would break if she ever left.

I think that all of our hearts would break if Ariana were to grow up, and begin her own life. This, logically speaking, is impossible, but a fear that nestles deep inside of us. For where would any of us be without Ariana, who truly believes that anything can be cured with a kiss, and who will— unlike so many others of our day— never truly lose her innocence.

A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.

Rachel Carson

(a/n: to any Germans reading this: sorry if I butchered your language :)

Anyway… this is dedicated to Cuban Sombrero Gal, umm, 'cause she rocks and agrees that Ariana/Gellert is 'intriguing.' Haha. Even if you ship Jacob/Bella, I still love you sweetie. Plus it should be said that I got the idea of Ari not liking people kissing from her fic, Broken Spectrum (insert shameless plug here), but I turned it around a bit and made the people doing the kissing not, er, corporeal?

Soo, yeah. Go on and review :))