They were better friends then I'd ever seen boys become in a week. Poor Albus, all alone with Ariana all day, grew truly lonesome sometimes. The poor girl wasn't much company in those years, being attacked by those boys. Muggles or no, they deserved what they got. He was a sweet boy, but neglected as all children are when their siblings are ill. He'd never gotten much attention from his mother when she was alive, you see. I think he resented Ariana for it, not just that she got the attention but had she not lost her mind, she may have been a prodigy like him. He didn't just lose a sister, he lost what could have later been a fellow intellectual. Not that he didn't love her; he just was dying for attention from his own mother and someone to talk to. It's why he reached out through his correspondence with the high profile minds of the time. You see, I believe that ignoring a child may be worse than if you beat them. Not saying you should beat children either, though that's how you did it in my day. Aberforth got even less attention from their lone parent, which may explain why he felt Albus got most of the limelight.

Perhaps he was a bit arrogant, but then again aren't most seventeen year old boys? He was young- no longer a boy but still not quite a man.

Gellert was a wild young thing, just the sort of spice I knew Albus needed in his life. I don't think even Gellert knew what he would become. Poor boy was misguided. Not just him, Albus too. He put Gellert on a pedestal. Here came this charming young lad, who hung on his every word, was just as brilliant, and just as quick witted, if lacking in the English vocabulary a bit at first. Albus later confessed he felt selfish and blind. What boy wouldn't be? To find genuine affection displayed so openly and praised for his genius by someone he admired and idolized, anyone would have done the same. Often I would hear an owl at Gellert's window late at night and I knew it was Albus with another idea that couldn't wait until morning. It was sweet watching them, though Gellert's influence concerned me sometimes when I overheard snippets of conversation.

The night Ariana died, Gellert stormed into the house, almost in tears. I have never in his sixteen years of existence seen his so close to crying, and never would again. He was shaking, another thing Gellert just does not do. I knew something was wrong as he went on a rant in German about how everything was ruined. I didn't understand at all what he was talking about, but he began to pack in such fury and despair he didn't even use magic. Just threw things in his trunks like a mad man.

I ran over to Albus' house to ask him to show Gellert reason. But what I found was even more heart wrenching then the scene in my own home. Albus was sobbing over his sister's body, while Aberforth lay in the corner, unconscious. Albus was babbling about how it couldn't have been his spell. I summoned doctors from the wizarding hospital and they attended to Aberforth and managed to take Ariana's body away. Aberforth was in and out of consciousness but they said he didn't need medical attention and he would be fine in a day or so. Albus didn't leave his side for most of that time. The only time Albus did was to shower and nap and only because I pushed him to do so, which was when Aberforth regained consciousness.

He rushed to the room to find his brother sobbing and yelling how is brother had betrayed the family and had brought a murdering bigot into their midst. Albus, of course, being the soft hearted boy he is, took it straight to heart.

I know Albus blames himself. He shouldn't have trusted Gellert, he shouldn't have even thought of moving Ariana, he should have been less selfish, he should have been more compassionate. The brawl at the funeral is what really killed the brothers' relationship. Aberforth just snapped, and Gellert wasn't around to punch. Didn't help Albus figured it was his fault. True is it was an accident, one that would come to define Albus. Before that night Albus' Patronus had been the family Hawk. Contrary to popular belief, Aberforth had been the only exception to the rule until then. It became a Phoenix, though we didn't learn that until years later. For the first year he couldn't even cast a Patronus, let alone give it a form. I think it was to remind him that from the ashes, new life emerges.

I know Gellert regrets it. He was just as angry at Albus as Albus was angry at Gellert. I don't think they ever truly hated the other, but neither tried to contact each other either. I think Gellert had something to prove; that the plan had been there before he'd ever met Albus and that he could accomplish all they had been working for on his own. Gellert's triumphs just left him empty. I don't think Gellert understood the nature of love very well. I think that's what drives all wizards to the dark arts; some kind of glitch in their human programming. It's easily mended by love itself. Gellert had not known much love before Albus and he knew none after him. It was the end of him, that glimmer of love. I know it.

It's like- who are those Death Eaters recently? Ah yes, the Malfoys. I should say we all suspect they were Death Eaters, but they married, had a child, settled down. The dark lord came back to boring, loving parents. A parent's love is an instinct to put their child first. The same can be said for lovers and love of a friend. Someone, something is more important. Something is worth the sacrifice. Albus found out that that sacrifice must be given freely. There is something instinctively wrong about taking a life in vain. But when given freely for another, that is being the master of your own destiny.

Rita Skeeter frowned at the older woman. That story just would not do! She would just have to tweek the details a bit; Emphasize the closeness of the pair, let the readers draw hefty conclusions, gloss over the remorse and angst a bit, and she'd have a best seller on her hands. She cackled a bit as she patted the woman's head, "Thank you, deary. You have been SO much help." The old woman gazed up at Rita, as if she couldn't understand what the praise was for. Then suddenly a dark menacing look came across her ancient features that caused Rita to jump back."Heartless harpy. You will die as alone and as unloved as the Dark Lord. I pity ye." With that the old woman went back to her vacant stare. Maybe that spell had strange side effects. Oh well, she had a book to publish.