The fluff on Familiars is also pretty horrifying. The sound stages state that standard procedure when creating a familiar is to form a contract with a specified end, and when it is completed, the familiar will lose their sentience and revert back to being a normal animal, which is the equivalent of lobotomizing someone down to animal intelligence.
How about the TSAB itself? They've been shown to employ children as young as twelve to be their enforcers, and as we have seen from Nanoha, they aren't immune to getting hurt badly, crippled, possibly even killed. No one child that young should have to suffer that badly, but that's not the end of it. Then we have seen them putting children as young as nine years old on trial with the very real possibility that they could face hundreds of years, basically life, in prison. Far from treating the TSAB as a well-meaning established body that wants to act for the greater good, it paints them instead as a military dictatorship whose word is law and routinely traumatizes young children.
Watch Puella Magi Madoka Magica then watch this. All that actually is needed to make the story a horror is a bit of psychedelic imagery, and the helpful mascot being The Fake Cutie. That is, in episode 3, Yuno could have conceivably worked Nanoha to the bone when it was clear using her power was exhausting her, Moving the Goalposts by leaving the number of Plot Coupons vague. Even without the Eldritch Abomination angle, a fantasy world where a magical girl can control massive amounts of power with Powers as Programs means that she could be manipulated to do practically anything.
Fate learned everything she knows about magic and combat from Precia's familiar, Linith and it's also implied that a familiar's knowledge comes mostly from it's master. Therefore it can be assumed that Precia has knowledge of magical usage in combat beforehand or gained it through extensive research.
Linith is Precia's familiar, created from her pet cat. However, both she and Alicia were found dead during the day the reactor accident happened. So, how did the dead cat became a familiar? Simple, she was revived by Precia first, possibly to test the effectiveness of Project F.
Precia's depiction as a Tragic Villain in the movie (along with the blame for the explosion that killed Alicia resting on a third party instead of being a result of her illegal research) is due to the fact that the movie is Recursive Canon. Fate probably asked the director to have her mother presented in a sympathetic light.