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Giving In

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Dear Newt,

I wish you all the luck on your latest adventure to America , perhaps I may even join you to ensure that luck.

*

No one could ever accuse Newton Scamander of being forward planning. With such a heart as his, it was often passion and empathy which steered his decisions, leaving no room for plans to be made by the mind. Spontaneity dictated his life path, signposted by the little cruelties and injustices that spurred him into action.

A Hufflepuff approach to Gryffindor tendencies, Theseus had said.

No, Newt was no mastermind. His warm-hearted efforts occurred of the moment, and left a Scamander shaped mess behind them.

*

Dear Newt,

Terrible business in England at the moment. I'm afraid I won't be able to meet you in New York as planned. Try and stay out of trouble, little brother.

*

“Will we die, just a little?”

Grindelwald had been an entirely unpleasant surprise to Newt in those dark and dank passages. The mans dual eyes caught the light in differing, yet still unnerving ways, as though his mad magic had poisoned them. The smile on his face was smug, knowing, and it emptied Newt of any confusion he felt on seeing Grindelwald, already so far from England, and replaced it with something icier than he'd felt before.

The wizard was dragged from sight before Newt could move his lips. But he would have an answer soon.

*

Well, little brother,

I don't know how much you have heard wherever you are, but this chap Grindelwald has been making a lot of noise since you have been away.

Not to worry though, I have been chosen to ferret him out. You should feel quite safe (and proud!) to know he'll be brought to justice by Scamander hands! Perhaps we'll have time for New York after all!

Wishing you well, wherever you are, whatever beastly quests you are undertaking, I hope I might join them soon.

Best regards,

Theseus

*

There was no warning sounds before the door opened to his little cell. Gellert’s head languidly turned as the hinges squeaked to reveal Newt Scamander-his first visitor since his incarceration by MACUSA.

Scamander didn't look at the guard who had opened the cell for him, eyes still fixed on Gellert as he spoke.

“You can leave now. Close the door and do not let anyone in until I leave.”

The words were soft, in the same tone that suggested it's speaker didn't want to provoke even as their command was sharp. The guard turned at once, shutting the door so that Gellert and Scamander were alone-the blue of his coat set apart from the dull colours of the cell.

Silence thickened the air, with Scamander’s unsuited glare never moving from it's target.

“Well, Mr Scamander, this is unbecoming of you.”

His body language never shifted from the little he knew of the other wizard. His shoulders still hunched forward, curving his back to smaller proportions. His hands still fluttered and shivered around his pockets in a betrayal of his flighty nature. Hair fell into his eyes as a mask.

But his eyes - they were of a different wizard entirely.

Green eyes never shrunk from Gellert’s, hard and uncompromising, his gaze met the others head on and did not bow from fear.

Newts expression never moved from this new persona as he raised his wand to Gellert’s face.

“Crucio.”

You had to mean it.

Icy, spiked knives dragged themselves within his skin, brittling his bones till they felt like fragments stuck in his muscles.

Mr Scamander may have never spoken loudly or harshly.

His brain and eyes were expanding, liquid and hard, pressing against his skull in overflow.

But his heart had been full of more than enough venom to mean it.

The agony was unrelenting. Where one flare faded, another new one took its place. Gellert was familiar with Cruciatus in his line of work, but never one like this. The outpouring of screams and pleas had no hope of being stopped.

How long was it, till Scamander flicked his wand and relieved him of the torment? He slumped forward, body crashing into exhaustion as the pain fled his body in a flash. He sucked in blessed, painless air while he could, trying to desperately to put his mind into focus as Scamander strolled in front of him.

“I don't have much time, you know,” He spoke, still pleasant “And I want to make sure you hear everything I have to say before it's up.”

Newt stepped closer, apparently unafraid of the darkest wizard of the age as he was reduced to a panting, shaking mess in front of him. He pushed his wand under Gellert’s chin, none of his usual discomfort present as he looked into the glinting eyes. Gellert grinned back, using any energy he could spare into pulling his lips back and baring his teeth at the young Scamander, trying to remind him of the dangerous creature he held at wandpoint. There was no flinch at the display as Scamander continued.

“I hate you.” He said plainly, little inflection or spite in his tone, “I'm not usually given to that sort of thing. Anger, regret, worries - why keep them with you and keep suffering? Make it better, save a few creatures, move on.”

He dug his wand in to Gellert’s pale neck, eyes sparkling at the grunt it produced.

“But you are the cruelest creature I've ever met. Looking at you, there's nothing for me to feel but hate. And giving in to that, ridding the world of Gellert Grindelwald, can only be good.”

Gellert took a final, deep breath as he tilted his head at Scamander. His muscles still felt heavy but the prickles of agony that had lingered on his skin were at last beginning to float away. He cracked his jaw as he spoke to the young wizard who thought he could defeat Grindelwald himself and with one cruciatus and some flimsy threats.

“It's a new feeling to you then, young Scamander?” he asked, “that hot, sickening anger in your stomach? It's not something you're used to and already you're so desperate to get rid of it that you've sunk to my level to rid it from your body.”

“I could commit any number of tortures on your body right now, Mr Grindelwald, and I'll be nowhere near the evil you've committed on wizard and muggles alike.”

“True,true,” Gellert carried on, despite noting his words had not swayed Scamander from his determined stance, “You are only on two of the unforgivable curses aren't you? Does it give you hope you still stand above me? Imperio, crucio, just one more, Newton, the one that's already on the tip of your tongue. Just utter the killing curse and I promise you that that rage inside you will never go away.”

The room stilled as Gellert finished, barely their breaths being heard in the echoing cell as the two man stared at one another. A slightly different dare in each of their eyes.

Then Newt smiled, laughing quietly.

“No, no you're quite right.”

His wand lowered, finally, from Gellert’s throat, and he walked behind the bound prisoner, leaning down to whisper in his ear.

“You asked me yourself, will we die, remember? And I'm here to tell you no. Not today.”

Gellert twisted as Newt stood back up, trying to glance at the others face and gauge the young wizards plan.

“How very noble.”

“It's far from noble, I just want to give you what you deserve, not what you want.” He paused, “I truly believe you could have done some good in the world, had things been different. Perhaps you still can, but not like this. Not as Gellert Grindelwald.”

The wand was back now, pressed against his temple as Scamander slammed a hand down on his shoulder to stop any struggles.

“I did plan to do this quietly, quickly. But you're right about that hatred in me, and it needed you to know before it's over. I need you to struggle and beg.

“Obliviate is a complex spell, but I've mastered it well over the years. I can pull and change your memories with absolute ease, leaving whatever I want and taking everything you cherish.

“Scamander -”

“You are going to live the rest of your days as one of the muggles you think yourself so above. You are going to forget every spell, every charm and anything magical within you. You are going to only remember being a muggle of absolutely no importance, and stay tiny and meaningless till the day you die. All your glory that you relish now is going to empty from your brain and fade into the air. ”
Gellert shouted, thrashing against his restraints and the hold on his shoulder, but Scamander spoke over him.
“But don't worry, Grindelwald. There'll still be some of you left. In the deepest part of your mine, I'll leave some traces of this life. Not a memory, that might let you think you were anything more than John Smith, a homeless thief. It'll be that little voice in your head right now that is screaming at the thought of turning. It's the disgust with yourself that will live in your subconscious every single day that will eat at any happy moment you have as John Smith, because that voice will know its a muggles happiness you're feeling.”

He stepped away, far from Gellert’s frenzied twisting and shrieking. Out of sight to deliver his final blow.

“I think I'll leave the pain of the cruciatus too. “ Newt said, “for when you dream at night.”

Gellert finally stilled, an unfamiliar and sickening defeat coming over him as he knew his end was now.

“You are a cruel man, Mr Scamander.”

“And you shouldn't have killed my brother.”

The spell struck him in the back of his head, and Gellert Grindelwald was no more.

*

Dear Mr Scamander,

We regret to inform you that in the line of duty protecting country and wizarding kind, your brother Theseus Scamander was killed by dark wizardry.

Whilst you take the time to grieve in this difficult time, we hope to remind you of the noble work Theseus completed as an auror, and how the world is better for his actions against dark wizards.

Deepest Condolences,

MoM