At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. As such, spoilers will be present within the article.
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Gellert Grindelwald’s Paris rally was a short but fateful skirmish during Grindelwald’s campaign of violence across Europe.
Between the years 1914 to 1918, the First World War had devastated the world, involving the entire Muggle world. Although wizarding governments around the world had declared neutrality in the conflict and ordered their constituents not to take part, thousands of wizards defied them and secretly aided Muggles fighting on both sides. The barbarity of the conflict traumatised the Muggles for years to follow, and even the wizards developped a dread that the destructive weapons that had been used during the war might one day be used against them.
Anti-Muggle sentiment rose in the years following the war, as did the fear of discovery. Some countries, such as the USA, had strict laws in place to prevent any fraternisation between wizardking and their No-Maj neighbours. The pure-blood supremacists of Europe also began to reassert their view that Muggles were inferior beings who deserved nothing but contempt, and that wizards needed to rise up and claim their right to rule.
In the 1920s, the powerful wizard Gellert Grindelwald began to openly campaign against the International Statute of Secrecy, arguing that magical beings needed to emerge from hiding and take over for the greater good of wizards and Muggles both. Ministries of Magic, Councils and Congresses of magic worldwide reacted against this news with severe retaliation against any transgressors, arresting people merely for coming into contact with Grindelwald. the revolutionary wizard and his followers retalitated to the manhunt against them by launching attacks on various targets across Europe. Although Grindelwald was briefly arrested by MACUSA after the Obscurus Incident of New York in 1926, he escaped a year later and fled back to Europe.
Arriving in Paris three months after his escape, Grindelwald gathered like-minded wizards to a rally in the Lestrange Mausoleum in the Père-Lachaise cemetry. Laying a trail of breadcrumbs for wizards to follow, he drew Leta Lestrange, Newt Scamander, Tina and Queenie Goldstein, and Yusuf Kama to his rally. However, the most important of Grindelwald's 'guests' was the Obscurial Credence Barebone, a wizard who had been abused by his adoptive mother for his magic and whose power was great enough to allow him to survive the attack of MACUSA's Aurors in New York. Most of all, Grindelwald hoped to convert Credence to his cause, as he needed his power to defeat the only wizard who represented a threat to his cause: Albus Dumbledore, his old friend.
In the Mausoleum, Grindelwald addressed his followers about his vision for the future. Despite the presence of countless pure-bloods, he did not reciprocate their belief that the Muggles were 'vermin', but that they would have their own place in the new world he intends to build. But that, for the greater good of the world at large, wizards needed to rise up and take over the world before the future happens, in which he shared his idealist perspective of Muggles, as well as his vision of the future, which holds another great and terrible war, with images of what was to come. Openly recognising the battalion of Aurors that had infiltrated the rally, Grindelwald invited them into the circle. Noticing a young witch staring contemptuously at an Auror, he describes how the Aurors have fought him so mercilessly, killing his followers simply for believing. When the girl went for her wand, the Auror killed her in response. Grindelwald martyred the girl, before commanding his followers to Disapparate from the scene while he faced off against the Aurors.
When Theseus Scamander set his men to engage Gellert Grindelwald, the latter conjured a circle of protective fire around himself (Protego Diabolica), and added an enchantment designed to test the loyalty of his followers: those who entered with complete fidelity and believed in his cause would survive; those who did not, would be engulfed and perish. Vinda Rosier, who was already very loyal to him, joined Grindelwald into the circle and proceeded to Apparate. Out of curiosity, Credence Barebone and Abernathy followed, and out of concern for her friends, Queenie Goldstein did likewise, much to the horror of her sister Tina. Krall was not truly loyal to Grindelwald and he died crossing into the fire. He would not be the first, many Aurors died either fleeing or fighting when Grindelwald manipulated the fire to work as a weapon as well, sending balls and bursts of black fire towards his enemies, annihilating them. Ultimately, about half a dozen of the fifty Aurors Theseus had brought along accepted his offer and joined him in the circle as well.
Grindelwald proceeded to mock Newton Scamander, who was fighting by Tina's side, whether he thought Albus Dumbledore would mourn for him. Grindelwald battled him and Theseus Scamander. Leta Lestrange screamed to him to stop, which he did and, in response, offered her to join his ranks. She refused, however, and cast a curse that blasted to pieces his skull hookah and attacked him, only to be killed by Grindelwald in retaliation. Having struck down Leta, Grindelwald let out his fury over losing such a valuable tool by unleashing the deadly blue fire, and letting it run rampant, with the intent on destroying the entirety of Paris, and all of those present along with it, before he departed the scene.
Fortunately, Nicolas Flamel joined Newt and his allies to defeat the expanding blue flame and save Paris.
Both Theseus and Newt tragically lost Leta Lestrange, which finally compelled Newt to openly join the fight against the most dangerous Dark Wizard of his age. The group travelled to Hogwarts Castle to meet with Dumbledore. There, Scamander presented the aforementioned vial, surmising that its blood pact was the reason Dumbledore could not face Grindelwald himself.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (First appearance)