Brought together by destiny,
Torn apart by fate.
Albus had been waiting for over an hour for Gellert to arrive as he had promised; his delay was causing Albus to become even more reluctant in what they were planning out tonight. Now growing impatient Albus stood up and began to pace across the entryway, he noticed his brother Aberforth looking down the stairs at him briefly before returning to his room. Finally there was a knock on the door and Albus answered it more enthusiastically than he had wanted to as he was wanting to be angry at Gellert for his lateness.
"What kept you?" Albus asked, shutting the door behind Gellert as he shed his jacket and placed it on the coat hanger.
"Aunt Batilda, she thinks I'm being a nuisance to you for coming over too often," Gellert answered casually, then sat down on the sofa in the front room, Albus followed him with his arms folded staring down his nose at Gellert's weak answer. "Don't look at me that way, Albus, there was nothing I could do to get away any sooner!" said Gellert, putting up his hands in defeat and Albus sighed and sank down into the armchair to the left of Gellert. Gellert leaned forward closer to Albus and looked around to make sure no one was listening then whispered.
"I've learned more about the Deathly Hallows."
Albus leaned closer.
"What are they?" he asked.
"A wand, a stone, and an invisibility cloak."
"Where did you learn about them?"
"The Tale of the Three Brothers, you've heard it but by the name of The Tales of Beedle the Bard."
Albus sat back in his chair and remembered the children's book his parents had read to him when he was young, about three brothers that met death.
"Then the three items that the three brother requested from death are the Deathly Hallows, The Tales of Beedle the Bard is not merely a children's story?" asked Albus.
"That is what I believe," Gellert answered.
"Then we have the first piece of the puzzle."
"We'll find them, Albus, and when we unite them together we'll bring the muggle world to their knees and put the wizarding world in its rightful place, above all others. For the greater good."
"For the greater good," Albus mimicked, though only half of him really believed that was true.
"I'm not sure about this anymore, Gellert," Albus said, as they looked over The Tales of Beedle the Bard a few weeks after Gellert had made the discovery of the items in the story being the Deathly Hallows.
"That these are the Deathly Hallows?" Gellert asked, pointing at the book.
"The whole thing, Gellert, I'm not sure our plan is right."
Gellert closed the book they were looking over and it thumped shut.
"We've discussed this many times before, Albus, it's for the greater good," Gellert replied.
"There will be too many losses, Gellert, on both sides, in a world where magic is above all what will become of Ariana?" Albus said, standing up off of the couch.
"Your sister will be well taken care of, Albus, even in a world where magic is above all else, it was because of muggles that she is the way she is! If we had been able to be forward about our talents then she would have never been harmed, if we do this she won't have to hide, she won't be afraid anymore. The losses will be inconsequential, even if we have to destroy many on our path we will be rewarded tenfold at the end, Albus, it is for the greater good."
"You are right, Gellert, I know you are, for the greater good."
Gellert smiled and nodded his head approvingly; Albus sighed and sat back down on the couch while Gellert reopened The Tales of Beedle the Bard.
"We're going to leave," Gellert said, as he stormed through Albus' door the following day throwing his coat and scarf on the coat hanger as he did.
"Leave, why are we going to leave?" Albus asked.
"I was thinking last night after I left, if we are going to do this if we are going to put the magical world first then we'll need followers."
"When do you want to go?"
"When your brother leaves to attend Hogwarts."
"But what about Ariana?"
"We're going to take her with us."
"You're sure that is alright with you?"
"Of course, Albus."
Albus nodded and led Gellert into the front room again.
"We can also learn more about the Deathly Hallows as we go, gain information to lead us to their whereabouts," Albus suggested.
"My thoughts exactly, Albus, can you picture how powerful we'll be when we posses them. Nothing will stop us, we'll be the most well renowned wizards in the world, and no one will be able to stop us!" Gellert said with a murderous glint in his eye. Albus pushed the thought away as he had done many times before, blaming the look on the lighting.
Albus walked down the stairs and into the kitchen it had been three weeks since Gellert had told him they were going to explore the world. He had packed and prepared, ready for the chance to roam across the country and gain followers. As he reached the kitchen he saw Aberforth sitting at the small table as if expecting Albus.
"You're not taking Ariana, Albus," Aberfoth said, standing up and approaching Albus.
"You are going away to Hogwarts, Aberforth, there will be no one here to watch her I must take her with me," said Albus.
"With you and that git, how can you not see right through him, Albus, you are smarter than any wizard I have met and yet you pretend not to see Gellert's flaws. You pretend not to see the flaws in your plan, how can you indulge is such foolish and dangerous things when you know the price."
"It's for the greater good, Aberforth."
"The greater good, I'd only believe that if you hadn't created this plan with that monster, Albus, he is not what you believe him to be."
Albus heard the front door open and shut and then Gellert appeared in the doorway of the kitchen.
"What's all this then?" he asked, rubbing his hands together to warm them.
"I was telling Albus that you are not taking Ariana with you," Aberforth said, standing his ground.
"She'll be perfectly safe with us, Aberforth."
"She is mentally unstable; she will not be able to handle the pressure of constantly moving from place to place, how can you expect her to go into the world so easily when she's lived in this place all her life?"
"Then what would you have us do, Aberforth, would you force your brother to stay here and baby-sit like some common nanny? At least then Ariana wouldn't have to go into the world!"
"You'll further damage her by forcing her to go with you and once you do you won't be able to handle her, what will you do then?!"
Albus stepped between Gellert and Aberforth to stop them from getting any closer to each other.
"Calm down the both of you," Albus said, trying to stay the calm and collected one.
"He's trying to ruin your future, Albus, he's trying to ruin our future plans, he's a stupid boy and he's trying to stop us from creating the new wizarding world!" Gellert cried, and withdrew his wand and instinctively so did Albus and Aberforth.
"I'm not trying to ruin anyone's future, Gellert, I'm trying to stop you from destroying the world!" cried Aberforth.
The cruciatus curse shot from Gellert's wand striking Aberforth squarely in the chest and he fell to the ground and began to shake violently. Albus quickly replied a counter curse and Aberforth stood with stunning speed and all three began to duel, spell after spell, and block after block. Then Ariana came down from the stairs and saw the battle, Albus didn't see her until the last second and he had wished he had never glimpsed her. A mixture of stray different colored spells hit her at once and Albus watched as the light left her eyes and she crumpled to the floor in a heap. Out of the corner of his eye Albus watched as Gellert stashed his wand then stormed quickly out of the house, Albus didn't even care all he cared about now was Ariana.
He kneeled down next to her body and closed shut the eyes that were now staring blankly into the ceiling, looking but seeing nothing. Aberforth joined him taking Ariana's hand in his and holding it to his cheek, Albus would never have believed his friendship with Gellert Grindelwald would come to this. In the short two months they had been friends,Albus had alienated himself from his only remaining family, and in the end he had lost all but one piece of it.
Albus didn't cry at Arian's funeral, he didn't believe he was worthy to mourn over her death. Had it been his, Aberforth's, or Gellerts spell that killed her, he did not know but he felt responsible. He had let Gellert into his home, befriended him, they had made plans to one day rule the world with the help of the Deathly Hallows. Albus had seen through Gellert, even though Aberforth believed he was blind to the boy's true intentions but Gellert was much like himself. Gellert was smart, strong, wise and they could talk about things Albus could never even dream of talking about with anyone else if he wanted that someone else to understand him. He had chosen to ignore Gellert's clear faults because he had finally found an equal, but the more time they spent together the more Albus began to realize Gellert's motives.
Gellert didn't just want to rule over the muggles, he wanted to rule over the magical world as well and he didn't want an equal. He was only using Albus to get there and once he had, it would have been kill or be killed. Albus stood up as the music played and joined the line of people who were saying their goodbyes to Ariana, when Albus got to her open casket he looked in on her for a final time. She was as beautiful in death as she had been in life, Albus leaned down and kissed her cheek where a stray tear managed to squeeze from his eye and glisten down her cheek.
"Goodbye, sweet Ariana," he said sadly, then began to walk down the aisle where he was confronted by Aberforth.
"You did this, Albus," Aberforth said, shaking his head and practically brimming with rage.
"Even if I did, I didn't do it alone, Aberforth, all three of us had a hand in her death and none of us know whose spell ended her life," said Albus calmly, and that seemed to enrage Aberforth further.
"She is dead because you wanted to take over the world more than you wanted to care for your family!"
"She is dead because of bad choices and not just mine, Aberforth, had you not chosen to argue with me about taking Ariana this would never have happened."
Albus had no time to react, Aberforth had moved swiftly and almost invisibly but the force of his punch was like nothing Albus had ever felt, he fell on his back as black dots danced in front of his watering eyes. His nose hurt excruciatingly and he was not able to sit up for several minutes, when he did manage to sit up hands reached out and helped him to his feet holding him till he was steady. They were other people who were at Ariana's funeral and he thanked them, looking around he didn't spot Aberforth anywhere. It seemed the last piece of his family had indeed been lost to him after all.
Albus had put this day off for as long as he could, he didn't want to confront it, he didn't want to remember it. He had buried the memory now for over 46 years, only allowing his remorse to remain intact, he needed to feel remorse. Gellert Grindelwald had become one of the darkest wizards ever to walk the earth, he had committed countless terrible acts in his quests of the Deathly Hallows and Albus felt once again that Gellert's rampage was his own fault. However Albus could delay confronting Gellert no longer, if he was allowed to be free for a moment more he could take many lives. It took Albus weeks to pursue Gellert, he was a man who knew how to remain hidden and when Albus did manage to catch him, he realized there could be no peaceful resolve.
"Albus, it's been too long my good friend," Gellert said.
"I am no friend of yours any longer, Gellert," replied Albus.
"You do not wish to hear of my success is obtaining one of the Deathly Hallows then?"
"I have come here for one reason, Gellert, and that is to stop you from harming another person."
"Do you really believe the world is split into good and evil, Albus, can there be no middle?"
"The world is split into black and white, Gellert, there are no gray areas."
"Then it appears we have nothing more to discuss."
Albus was hoping for a chance to convince Gellert to heel that way they wouldn't have to battle but it seemed that was all Gellert was about anymore, violence. He knew him and Gellert were both highly skilled and trained wizards, they were almost equally matched in their talents. This battle would be one of more than skill, half would be luck and the rest would be flukes. However as the battle began Albus was able to get the upper hand giving him the chance to turn the tide of battle into his favor, from there on Albus was always a step ahead of Gellert. The battle was long and arduous; at times Albus wanted to give up but if he allowed himself to Gellert would once again be free, free to take the life of another family's sister.
Both tired and both weak they each shouted one of their most powerful spells, Albus' grazed over Gellert's causing Gellert's spell to careen off course and merely skim Albus' arm while Albus' spell hit Gellert straight on. Gellert fell to the ground in a heap, he was alive but the spell had done more than stun him it had damaged him bad enough that moving would cause him great pain. Albus walked over to Gellert's broken form, he was out of breath and hurting as he lay crumpled on the ground. Kneeling down next to Gellert Albus could hear him breathing heavily, gasping a few times in pain as he did but in a great grasp of strength Gellert held out his wand to Albus.
"It is….the elder wand, Albus, you…have won it….fairly, it now belongs….to you," said Gellert. Albus took the wand from Gellert's hand examining it carefully; holding it like it could break if grasped too hard.
"You found it," Albus said quietly.
"It wasn't….hard, if you…knew where….to look."
"Every time we meet, Gellert, I always seem to take another piece of you with me."
"It is the ties that bind, Albus," Gellert said then coughed. "it is the ties that bind."
Albus had never thought of his and Gellert's friendship being in any way a tie that binds but it was exactly what their friendship was. No matter how far Albus got away from Gellert, no matter if he was dead or alive, no matter if he was in jail or free, Gellert would always be in his mind. He was the friend Albus had always wanted, he could have been the one who killed his sister, he was the one who committed terrible acts, the one Albus fought in his greatest battle, and he was the one who had given Albus the elder wand, a Deathly Hallow. No matter how hard he tried to forget his past and forget about Gellert, Albus could not because as Gellert had said, between them it was the ties that bind.