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Sacrifice by pink_rook

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 2,816
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Violence, Contains Slash (Same-Sex Pairing), Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Drama, General, Angst
Characters: Harry, Dumbledore, Grindelwald , Ariana, Aberforth
Pairings:

First Published: 10/15/2009
Last Chapter: 10/15/2009
Last Updated: 10/15/2009

Summary:
AMAZING banner by Keisha @ TDA.



"Only a selected group of people should lead the world and, in order to obtain that, someone needs to be sacrificed. For the greater good, of course."
It had finally come to that.
So many had died on their own free will, but now he needed to sacrifice someone to save thousends of lives.
Had he been right all long? Dumbledore/Grindelwald



Chapter 1: Sacrifice
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This story was written for the Stream of Consciousness challenge issued by WeasleyTwins; the world she gave me was “remorse.” All the quotes included in this story are cited by heart, so there might be slight mistakes. Please, forgive me for my grammar. My inner editor is trying to kill me in this moment. :]





There is no person so severely punished as those who subject themselves to the whip of their own remorse.
Seneca (4 BC - 65 AD)



*


“No, Gellert! There are not people who are easily sacrificeable for the greater good! Don’t you value human life?” Albus spat back, a flash of anger in his eyes.

“Albus, you are so oblivious sometimes! Look at history... there are great wizards, even great Muggles, who were able to do the things we remember them for, only sacrificing some worthless anonymous individuals! And no one blames them for this!” Gellert sat up straight in his armchair.

“Don’t you think about their families? Surely there must have been someone who cared for them, loved them even. They were bloody alive before someone above them decided they were sacrificeable - worthless even!” His hands started to shake. “But they were not anonymous; they had names, they had families, friends, memories - a life they left behind when a so-called great man thought they were supposed to die because there was something more important than their life! The fact that we don’t know their names doesn’t make them nameless* or worthless, Gellert!” Albus’s cheeks were becoming redder and redder with every sentence.

Gellert looked annoyed, as if he had heard the very same objections a thousand times. “Albus, you are missing the focal point of the matter here. If there was something important you would want to achieve, something all Wizard-kind would thank you for the time ahead, wouldn’t you want to make a little sacrifice now in order to achieve that?”

“Of course I would, Gellert. But you are talking about sacrificing hundreds of lives, of people; no one should be compelled to sacrifice their life to a greater aim, especially if they are not aware of what the final aim is.”

“What if they were too stupid to understand? Would you sacrifice humanity’s well-being because some fools who won’t do anything good in all their life stop you with their No’s?” Gellert was now sitting on the edge of his armchair; his eyes sparkled with triumph.

“You cannot impose people with something they didn’t ask for. Maybe you can do it with animals, but not with sentient beings!”

“The average person cannot be trusted to make their own choices. They don’t have a vision wide enough to fully understand the consequences of their individual choices. Surely a person - or a group of people - endowed with higher intelligence can make better choices than all of the average people put together.”

“We already discussed that, Gellert, and we estabilished the fact that the average person is usually not able to look past their local interests. But that doesn’t make average people sacrificeable - would you want to live in an empty world? It’s them who make the world go around, whether you want it or not.”

“But a sacrifice should be made, nonetheless. A sacrifice that will make sure to deprive them of their decisional power, handing it over to a few selected men or women who will make sure they live the rest of their lives in peace, without a care in the world,” Gellert concluded.

Albus looked perplexed. “They will not live without a care in the world, Gellert! How can you not understand! Are you not a man? If they prick you, do you not bleed**?” Albus looked at him straight in the eye.

“Albus, you overestimate them. They will get used to a quiet life after a while, after an initial demonstration of force. After all, they are barely above animals and you know it takes a little force to tame a rebellious Hippogriff.”

“What do you mean with ‘initial demonstration of force’?” He asked, doubtful.

“Someone needs to be sacrificed for the greater good. Society will be cleaned up of undesidered individuals, those unfit for work, misfits, vagabonds, mentally unstable people...” Gellert smiled at Albus and winked.

Albus was not able to contain himself. “You are certainly not meaning -” he started, his voice failing him for the mounting fury.

“What if I was? They’re imperfect, unfit for practical work, dangerous, need constant care. After all, YOU always say she is such a BURDEN...” Gellert looked unfazed by Albus’s reaction.

“ARIANA IS NOT A BURDEN! SHE IS MY SISTER!” Albus stood up drawing his wand and pointing it at Gellert’s neck. “TAKE-THAT-BACK!” He yelled.

Gellert stood up slowly, Albus’s eyes follwing his every move. He could see every nerve of his body was tense, ready for the duel he knew well enough was about to come. Gellert felt the energy radiating from his body, but was not scared. He knew Albus would not do anything bad to the only person who could understand his ambition and match his intellect.

“I will surely not take back the truth, my dear Albus. I never did,” he answered.

“TAKE-THAT-BACK!” He growled, almost feral.

“No. You need to see the truth, Albus.”

“Albus, you called me? I heard your voice screaming my name.” Ariana Dumbledore entered the room. She looked at her brother with her big blue ever-dreamy eyes. “Hello Gellert,” she added, “I did not know you were here.”

Albus tried to contain the anger in his voice. “Yes, Ariana, I actually called you. Gellert wanted to say you something.”

Ariana seemed oblivious to the wand pointed at Gellert’s neck. Albus looked at him, still waiting for the apology to come.

“I wanted to tell you how I would love to hear you singing, my dear Ariana.” Gellert smiled at her; he could be positively charming when he wanted to deceive someone.

“Oh. I can sing for you, Gellert,” she happily replied.

“I was positive you wanted to tell her something else, Gellert.” Albus spoke slowly, a not so concealed note of menace in his voice.

“Albus, you are mistaken. There was nothing else I wanted to say.”

“I am sure there was something very important you wanted to say, my dear Gellert,” Albus urged, his wand leaving a red mark on Gellert’s neck. Gellert grinded his teeth in an even more fake smile.

“No, there was not. I am sorry but my aunt is waiting for me, I have to go now, if you excus-” He moved away from Albus.

“YOU ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE UNTIL YOU-TAKE-THAT-BACK!” Albus’s wand sent blue sparkles.

Gellert, still calm, suddenly drew his and pointed in Albus’s direction. “I WILL NOT TAKE ANYTHING BACK, NOT WHEN IT IS THE TRUTH!” His wand vibrated from the tension.

Suddenly, Ariana started to cry. “N-no A-a-albus, don’t do anything b-b-bad. P-please, A-albus, G-gellert...” The tears were running down her cheeks as she moved forward between the two friends. She stretched out her arms, Merlin she was so tiny and so fragile, to separate them. Her little body shivered, as if a shock ran through her from head to toe.

“Ariana, nothing’s happening, don’t you worry,” Albus lowered his wand and tried to calm his sister. But then his foolish brother came into the room, attracted by the noise, the yells and Ariana’s hiccups.

What Abeforth saw was his brother hugging his sister, who was crying, and that odd friend of his brother, that Grindelwald, pointing his wand in their direction. He saw red.

It was him who casted the first spell. The hex missed Gellert’s left ear and went to crash on the mirror behind him, breaking it. Gellert did not waste any time and shot back a curse that caught Abeforth’s ankle, which suddenly twisted.

“Abeforth! Gellert! Stop!” Albus screamed, but to no purpose. Ariana was making herself smaller and smaller every second in his arms, her body shivering more and more. Her skin started to burn, cold sweat ran down her face.

Albus wished they would stop. But Gellert had shot yet another curse at Abeforth, who was crawling on the floor, unable to stand up, and yet he was still fighting, setting on fire the hem of Gellert’s robe.

“STOP!” He yelled in vain. Rubble fell on his head - Abeforth had aimed to high and hit the ceiling with a hex - and the room started filling with dust. They started coughing.

Ariana was getting worse and worse in his arms; violence scared her.

Albus sent a Petrificus Totalus hex in Gellert’s direction, hoping to block him, but the dust was getting thicker and thicker and he could not see clearly. By then, he could barely distinguish two shadows moving on the opposite sides of the room.

A spell came in his direction; he managed to shield himself and cast a curse towards where he believed Gellert was. A jet of orange sparkles passed only a few centimentres from his face; he shot back. Then came another; he shot back all the same. Then another; all he could see by now was a thick wall of white dust: he was aiming into space, towards Gellert’s voice muffled by the ceiling crashing down on them.

Ariana was not even crying anymore. She was not even moving anymore.

After what seemed an eternity, silence fell on the room. Albus stood still, waiting for the dust to settle on the floor, holding an immobile Ariana in his arms.

He saw Gellert on the floor, Petrified; next to him was his brother, Stunned. The fight was finally over.

“Ariana, Ariana, all is well,” he sweetly said, looking down to his little sister. But what he met was a glazed gaze.


*

When his friend Helmut wrote him about people disappearing from Muggle towns overnight, he started suspecting something. Helmut was worried for his family; Germany was not a safe place anymore. He had asked Albus for a place to stay until he found a more comfortable arrangement and his three children and he had gladly accepted.

The Muggle world was undergoing a momentous changing. He did not fully understand the workings of the Muggle society, but what he did understand made him more than a little worried. The Muggle newspapers did not provide extended information - there was a war going on and news seemed to travel slowly. But what he had heard during the course of years was allarming.

There were these people who gained power in Germany, they called themselves National-socialsts, who preached hate towards Jews, a group of Muggle people who apparently were very rich and in their opinion were the most despisable human beings on the face of Earth. They had isolated them from other people, forbid them from any sort of thing, took away their homes and their possessions.

And then these people had started disappearing, along with invalids and mentally unstable people, Helmut had told him.

It was then that it hit him, like a Bludger straight to the face. How could he not have realized before? He had heard all these things before, all of them, when they were shaping up in the mind of their creator: the hate, the violence, the isolation, the abolition of every kind of freedom, the despise for money and wealth, the idea of a superior race of human beings, the elimination of undesired individuals for a general clean-up of society...

He had been so blind.

Albus closed his eyes and ran his index finger on his crooked nose. He could still hear her singing in his mind, even after all these years.

He had to expiate.


*


It was just a matter of firmness, he told himself, walking towards Nurmengard. He saw him standing there, outside the doors, smiling smugly. He did not move, not even flinched.

Albus did not want to talk to him. He shot the first spell straight to his heart from the distance; he wanted it to be over soon. Grindelwald blocked it with a casual swish of his wand and started laughing.

It’s just a matter of firmness and how much I want it, Albus chanted in his mind, not even looking at him in the eye. He had not seen that face in so many years, not even thought about it, and he had no desire to resume old habits. He gripped his wand tighter and went on. He cast a series of spells at a close distance, but to no avail. Grindelwald was as unfazed as ever.

“Albus, don’t you wish to talk to an old friend?” He winked.

“I see no friends of mine.” Albus looked at him and cast yet another spell: a silver bird exited his wand and crashed on an invisible barrier a few centimentres from Grindelwald, who just smiled and came forward to face him.

“Has lying become a habit of yours? I do not like it,” he said, almost in a whisper.

“You do not have to like me.” Albus’s voice faltered. It’s just a matter of firmness and how much I want it, he repeated in his mind, like a mantra of sorts.

“But I used to like you, Albus. And if I remember correctly you used to like me,” Grindewald continued.

“I do not know you.” Albus raised his wand to his thoat, determined not to speak anymore.

“Well, if it’s like this, have it your way, my dear Albus.” The smile vanished from Grindelwald’s face as his expression turned into a scowl. He raised his wand and bowed, let the duel begin.

It’s just a matter of firmness and how much I want it.


*


“Kill me,” he prayed, yet another time.

“You are not sacrificeable.”

And with that, he left, still smelling the violets in her hair, even after all these years. He had thought that avenging her would have made the singing stop, but now it was worse than ever.

He had hoped he would forgive himself, after all these years, after all he had done in her memory, but forgiveness was a word his heart did not know.

He touched his crooked nose.


*


He paced up and down his office, old and a bit tired after all the years of work for the Wizarding world. He was deep in thoughts, murmuring words under his breath. Soon, a boy would come to his office, and he had to teach him all the secrets to win a war he would not see the end of.

He had to tell him everything he had to know, but not everything. He had to tell him enough to let him make his choices, but not enough to understand all the plan. He was too young to be entrusted with the wide vision of things.

Harry Potter was so young and yet he had the future of both the Wizarding and the Muggle world on his shoulders, without even being aware. He remembered the times when he had wanted to be endowed with the same power; luckily Harry seemed to possess a sense of selflessness he had lacked at that age.

Albus looked sadly at Fawkes.

It had finally come to that: he had to sacrifice a life to save thousand of others. Harry’s parents had sacrificed themselves by their own choice; dozens of people had sacrificed themselves choosing to rebel against the rising power of Lord Voldemort; other dozens of people had chosen to gave up their lives to Voldemort and now he had to make a young boy choose to sacrifice himself for the greater good.

He had to sacrifice him himself. He felt like the priest, leading a lamb to the altar with a hand and holding the knife who would kill it the other.

How did it come to that? Were wiser men supposed to make choices on behalf of others?

He heard a girly voice singing in his head, behind his spectacled glasses.

Albus closed his eyes.

“Please, Mr Potter, do come in.”





* This word was inspired to me by one of the most beautiful and yet terrible poems in the world, “When you see millions” by Charles Hamilton Sorley.
** This is a sentence obviously paraphrased from William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, Act III, Scene 1.

My information about the Nazi regime in Germany and the persecution of Jews and other people during that period and World War II is by no means accurate. I apologise for that. But I did not make any stuff up.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this story. It’s by far the most dramatic thing I have ever written and I’d appreciate your feedback.



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