For Camp Potter, History Appreciation, Week Four: Write about Gellert Grindelwald. Cabin: Lestrange.
You don't mean to fall for him.
The thing is, though, he's the first person in ages that challenges you on an intellectual level. You don't have to dumb yourself down for him.
That is… enticing. Then engaging. Then intoxicating.
And as for him? He seems intrigued in return, which gives you a heady sort of rush, that this charismatic, intelligent, charming man would actually take the time to look twice at you.
Before you know it you have fallen.
You are… ashamed, at how long it takes for the illusion to shatter. You are entranced by his charm for too long. You are disgusted with yourself, with how blinded you were by a pretty face and words woven like fairytales. He showed you visions of a better world and you… you were taken in by his pretty words and the imaginary future that he spun.
But then Ariana dies, and the illusion begins to crack because Gellert… Gellert doesn't care. He doesn't care that your sister is dead, doesn't care that guilt weighs heavily in your stomach, doesn't care doesn't care doesn't care.
His is furious at you for believing the world should stop because of what happened. You are furious at him for believing it still moves on without her.
You should have expected this. You knew something wasn't right with him, knew that his empathy didn't quite function like yours, knew that people were numbers to him, not souls. You knew that he was twisted. So this is all your fault. It is your fault that it was allowed to get this bad. It is your fault that so many had to die — because you were a coward. Because you were afraid to face him. Because you know what he is capable of.
You know what he is capable of, and you know what you are capable of, and you know that this could very well cost you everything.
But you also know that you cannot allow this any longer. You cannot allow things to get any worse than they already have. You should not have let them get to this point. Thousands, millions have died because you were afraid to face the man you once loved — the man you still care for, even as he kills millions with his words.
Love is the most illogical of things.
"Going to kill me, Albus?"
That cocky grin is sprawled lazily across his face, because he knows the answer as well as you do. You cannot kill him. He is your weakness, just as he has always been.
"I am going to stop you, Gellert. I do not need to kill, merely incapacitate." You keep your voice calm, steady, sure. Your hands do not tremble as you unsheathe your wand. They are small victories, but you are grateful for them nonetheless.
"You are, as you have always been, weak. And you will fall."
That is all he says, and then he begins flinging spells at you. He is talented, as he has always been. His reflexes are quick, his mind even quicker. In spell-casting, as in chess, Gellert plays three moves ahead. He rolls from one spell seamlessly into the next, varying the pattern just enough that by the time you pin it down, it has changed. He knows you, knows how you fight. You know him just as well.
"You have gotten slow, Albus."
You do not give in to the distraction of conversation. You slip a Stinging Hex through his defences, and he laughs.
"Slow and meek. What happened to the Albus that would help me rule this world? What happened to the Albus who would do what was necessary for the Greater Good?"
"He became wiser," you say simply, and another of your spells makes contact. Then three of his in quick succession. You do not have time to recover before he is standing over you, wand pointed tightly at your neck.
"Gellert," you say softly. You cannot keep the note of affection out of your voice. He laughs.
"You are pathetic. Do you not understand that love will break you?"
"On the contrary. It is love that is our greatest strength."
You take advantage of his laughter and take him by surprise — you manually take his wand from his hand, trip him with your leg. He attempts to regain his breath as you stand.
"Your pride, Gellert. Your pride always was your biggest failing."
Mournfully, you stun him. You must. You do what you must. As you have done since Ariana. You learned, all right. You learned that pride could break you, and only humanity could save you.
Gellert didn't learn, and that is why you must arrest your greatest friend, your first love.
You take no pride in it.