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Auror in Shining Armour

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Newt Scamander is walking down the main staircase of the MACUSA building with the newly-reinstated Auror Goldstein when he spots a figure in a navy muggle suit come storming through the main door like a human Hungarian Horntail on the rampage.

Witches and Wizards hurriedly scamper out of his way. That pompous fellow Abernethy hurries forward to ask him something but is impatiently swept aside. Newt is rather pleased by that; having seen the patronising way he treated Tina when she was down in the Wand Permit office, he can’t help feeling the git needs taking down a peg or two. He stops in his tracks when he recognises the newcomer who is now striding purposefully up the stairs. Theseus Scamander, war hero, order of Merlin First Class…and his big brother.

His brother’s lips are pressed together in a white line and Newt anxiously notes the expression of complete and utter incandescent rage on Theseus’s face. He’s seen it only a few times before; Theseus is generally the most good-humoured chap Newt has ever encountered and wears an almost permanent smile. It takes an awful lot to make him lose his temper but when he does, it is truly a sight to behold.

Newt recalls being locked in the quidditch equipment cupboard, without his wand, during his third year by a couple of the meaner Slytherins. Theseus’s face, when he’d found his sweating, shaking little brother after four hours of frantic searching, had worn exactly the same expression then as it did now. How he’d managed to keep his Head Boy badge after breaking both Commodus Avery and Gaius Nott’s noses and being restrained before he could do any further damage, Newt had never quite found out. He’s always remained very glad never to have been in his brother’s bad books apart from the regular scoldings about not looking after himself.

He swallows nervously, thinking of the letter he’d sent the week before telling Theseus about everything that had happened since he'd arrived here. Given his brother’s dim views on the sticky situations he always seemed to end up in – through no fault of his own, it had to be said! – it had, in retrospect, perhaps not been his wisest move to send his brother a missive explaining that he’d been condemned to death by MACUSA and ended up in a duel with the most powerful dark wizard currently in existence.

Theseus is getting closer and Newt fleetingly wonders how quickly his brother would catch him if he turned tail and ran away. He resists the urge to hide behind Tina.

Theseus has spotted him now, and his expression lightens a little as he climbs the last few stairs to meet him. “It’s good to see you, Newt!” he says by way of a greeting and Newt is caught up in a tight embrace.

“You too, Thee.” Bewildered but very grateful that Theseus does not currently seem intent on throttling him or scolding him for his part in the Grindelwald debacle, he hugs back affectionately. It’s been around eight months since he’s seen his brother and he’s missed him terribly.

Theseus draws back and Newt sees that his grey-green eyes, identical to the magizoologist’s own, are stormy as they look over Newt for any sign of injury. “I see the morons haven’t harmed you, at least.” He says; voice icily contemptuous. “Where can I find Piquery?”

His tone makes Newt shiver in a way that no roar of anger could. Theseus’s temper is glacially cold rather than hot and the quieter he gets, the more terrifying he becomes.

“I um…what are you doing here, Thee?” he stammers for a moment. “You never said…I mean I wasn’t expecting…”

“Newt!” Theseus says sternly, cutting off his rambling, though the pat on his shoulder is affectionate. “Where. Is. Picquery?”

“Take the elevator right up to the top floor,” Tina offers up and Newt realises with a blush of shame that he hasn’t introduced her; though in his defence this was not the way he’d imagined these two meeting. His brother really must be in a towering temper; he’s by far the more sociable of the two and would in normal circumstances have been chatting away to Tina already. “Her office is based there. But you’ll…”

Theseus strides away before she can even finish her sentence, leaving them gaping after him. He gets into the elevator, gives instructions to the goblin operator and disappears from sight.

“Newt...who was that?” Tina asks warily.

“That was my older brother,” Newt said, still staring in the direction of the elevator, wide-eyed. “And, um… I rather think we’d better go and make sure he doesn’t murder your president!”

***

By the time Newt and Tina reach Picquery’s office, Theseus is in full flow, pacing the room as he rants. The door is ajar and as they stand outside, they can see and hear everything.

“…without trial! That is extrajudicial murder, Madam President! It is only through my brother's resourcefulness that I have not arrived to identify a corpse!”

“It was an error. We were unaware that….”

“Unaware? Unaware?!” Theseus’s icy voice drops another degree as he cuts off Picquery’s rather lacklustre explanation. “I view the condemnation of my brother to death as substantially more than an error, I assure you; as does the Ministry. Minister Fawley is considering taking the case to the International Confederation. It seems the President of MACUSA is ‘unaware’ of rather a lot of things. One of your best aurors – a decorated war hero - has been missing for three bloody months while Gellert fucking Grindelwald walked around wearing his face and no one noticed a damn thing?!”

Newt and Tina exchange apprehensive looks, but again Newt cannot really bring himself to sympathise with the target of his brother's ire; remembering how she had contemptuously dismissed Tina’s words when she’d first brought him in and then berated her for not having explained herself when the muggle senator was killed.

“Grindelwald is a master of deception. He was convincing…” Picquery begins.

Newt’s eyebrows disappear into his hairline at the string of profanity that follows and Tina’s jaw drops. Frankly, Newt hadn’t even realised that quite that many swear words existed; he’s pretty sure Theseus must have just made some of them up. He’s never heard his brother swear like this before! He’s glad that his mother isn’t here; despite the fact that Theseus is thirty one, he’s pretty sure his brother would have been on the receiving end of a mouth washing spell.

“Convincing?” Theseus spits now; his face white with rage. “If you think for one second that Percival Graves would have condemned a man at the drop of a hat, that he would have endangered lives or preyed on the vulnerable then you don’t know him at all! He deserves fucking better than you. What are you doing to find him?” There’s something in his tone that Newt can’t quite place.

“Find him?” Picquery repeats, sounding dazed under such a verbal onslaught. “Mr Scamander, he’s been missing for three months. Grindelwald has given nothing away and our searches have come to nothing. Percival Graves was declared presumed dead last week and… where are you going?”

Theseus strides out the door, throwing it angrily open; Newt and Tina have to scramble back quickly to avoid getting hit by it. He pauses in the doorframe, contempt dripping from every fibre of his being. “To hell with you and your incompetent tinpot amateurs!” he snarls. “I’ll find him my fucking self!”

Newt simply stares for a moment, then collects himself as he watches his brother head for the elevator. He hurries after him, Tina a few steps behind. “Theseus! Thee, wait!”

They join him in the elevator just before the goblin slides the door closed. Newt realises in alarm that his brother is physically shaking and for a moment, he’s convinced that Theseus has tears in his eyes. His brother blinks sharply and then Newt is not sure whether or not he imagined them.

“What are you going to do now?” he asks in the gentle voice he keeps for the most skittish of his creatures, a calming hand on Theseus’s arm.

Theseus breathes deeply in through his nose, evidently trying to force composure on himself. “I am going to find somewhere to stay,” he says, his voice a little warmer now he’s talking to Newt. “I am going to get all the information I can and I am going to find Percy.”

Percy? Newt is starting to realise that his brother's friendship with Graves must have run far deeper than he'd know.

“Maybe I can help you?” Tina suggests hesitantly, eyeing him like she’s not quite sure what to make of him.

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” Newt blushes again. “I should have introduced you. Tina, this is my brother, Theseus Scamander. Thee, this Porpentina Goldstein – she’s an auror.”

“So you worked with Percival?” Theseus says flatly, evidently not particularly impressed by someone who managed not to notice that her boss had been replaced by the darkest wizard in the world for three months.

“She was demoted by Picquery,” Newt explains hurriedly, anxious to defend Tina. He’s come to feel very strongly for her and he simply couldn’t bear it if the other most important person in his life didn’t like her. “So she was removed from Mr Graves. It’s only thanks to her I’m not dead really, I could never have captured Grindelwald on my own.”

Theseus’s faces softens then, distress flaring in his eyes at the reminder of what his younger brother has gone through and Newt’s heart aches for him. He’s not seen his brother look so strained since the height of his trauma-induced nightmares after the war. He fights down the urge to hug him in front of the goblin and Tina and promise him that everything will be all right.

“All right,” Theseus says quietly. “Thank you.”

When they reach the ground floor, they head out onto the swarming street. Newt and Tina draw their coats closer around them to stave off the winter chill.

“Where are your things?” Newt asks Theseus suddenly, realising that his brother has no overcoat on, no case, no luggage. Not even his usually-present Ravenclaw scarf.

“I’ve been in deep cover in Austria for four months,” Theseus responds distractedly. “Trying to crack Grindelwald’s inner circle. I’d only just got back to England when I got your letter about what had happened over here. I got a Transatlantic Portkey arranged and left the same hour; I didn’t bother waiting around to pack. I’ve got muggle money so the nearest hotel will do.”

“So your brother and Mr Graves were real close, huh?” Tina whispers to Newt as she leads them up Broadway to the nearest hotel, Theseus a short distance behind them.

“You know, I’m not sure,” Newt whispers back. “I know they served together in the war and they’ve kept in touch ever since. I thought they were just penpals, but I rather think they must be closer than I’d realised. I haven't seen him this upset in years, and it's more than just me being sentenced to death!”

Theseus checks in to the first hotel they pass. It’s upmarket and looks fairly swanky but Tina notes clearly money is not object; he pays upfront for three nights' stay without batting an eyelid and heads straight up to the room.

It’s a large, well-furnished one, with a table and a couple of chairs as well as all the usual bedroom furniture. Theseus waves Tina and Newt into the chairs and conjures one for himself, taking off his suit jacket as he sits.

“Now,” he says gravely. “Tell me everything.”

***

Newt and Tina tell Theseus every detail of their adventure, starting from Newt’s arrival in New York and ending with Grindelwald’s capture. The British auror rolls his eyes fondly when he hears how Newt’s niffler escaped, but his jaw tightens angrily when the two recount being taken to the death chamber below MACUSA. Tina supplements the story by explaining the various interrogations they’ve since put Grindelwald under. The dark wizard has disclosed nothing though, and they’ve not managed to obtain a single lead in the search for Graves.

“Newt, what do you have to work with in your case?” Theseus asks him suddenly and Newt, confused, lists everything he has in his shed down to the last potion ingredient. “Have you got a bowl I could use to scry?”

“To scry?” Newt repeats disbelievingly. His brother had got an O in both OWL and NEWT level Divination but Newt had always privately thought he’d chosen it because it was a soft option to give him a break from all his other more advanced classes.

“Yes,” Theseus nods impatiently. “I remember the spell I had to use for the NEWT exam…if it works, it may just be what we need.”

Bewildered, Newt goes to retrieve the necessary and stands watching curiously as Theseus prepares the spell. The bowl is filled with water and Theseus waits until the last ripple has faded before speaking an unfamiliar incantation – Newt had never elected to take Divination so hasn’t a clue what is going on. He feels his eyes widen when his brother opens his collar and pulls a small silver pendant on a leather string over his head and lets it dip slightly into the water. Newt doesn’t recognise the piece of jewellery, but he notes curiously that the silver pendant is in the shape of a thunderbird.

Tina’s stares at the pendant with the air of someone trying to put two and two together and who keeps getting five. There has to be some significance to the Thunderbird, Newt thinks, but he has no idea what.

Theseus is staring hard into the bowl, barely blinking, every muscle in his body taught with tension. The seconds tick by interminably and then…

“I know where he is!”

“What?” Tina looks like she can’t believe what she’s hearing. She points to the pendant. “How did you…?”

“Details later!” Theseus says impatiently. “He needs help urgently. We need to get to his house. He’s been there all along.”

“Mr Scamander, we searched his house already,” Tina says, crestfallen and sympathetic. “Several times. We found nothing.”

“Please, Miss Goldstein, just trust me!” Theseus pleads urgently, that same difficult-to-categorise tone in his voice once more. There’s something here Newt just isn’t getting, but he’ll do whatever it takes to help his brother. He’s on his feet and ready to go at once, bringing the case with him in case his creatures can help.

“Could you side-along both of us?” he asks Tina, knowing that apparating will get them there so much faster, but someone needs to have the actual destination in mind.

“There’s no need for her to take both of us, I know where he lives,” Theseus says unexpectedly. “Can you take my brother please, Miss Goldstein? The state my head’s in, I might end up splinching him!”

Tina nods briskly and reaches out to grasp Newt’s hand. Newt feels a pleasurable warmth in his chest at the feeling of her hand in his but he sternly tells himself to focus on their current predicament of finding Graves.

He’s definitely going to invite Tina out to dinner as soon as this is all over, though.

They arrive at a smart townhouse in what seems to be a wealthier part of New York. Theseus bounds up the steps the second his feet touch the ground, opening the locks with a flick of his wand. He dashes through the house, seemingly knowing where he is going, and leaves Newt and Tina to follow in his wake.

He leads them to a small library. It’s a handsome room, full of old-leather bound books and Defense Against the Dark Arts paraphernalia. It reminds Newt of Grave’s office. Theseus doesn’t pause to admire anything – he heads straight for the fireplace, raises his wand and speaks in a clear, firm tone: “Qui non scit quomodo exquirant ianua.”

The fireplace immediately slides back soundlessly, revealing a dark set of stairs.

“He has a shrouding room?” Tina gasps, gobsmacked. “Mercy Lewis, we were in here three times and were walking right past it!”

“A what?” Newt asks, confused.

“After some of the trials and persecution of the last century, a lot of the old wizarding families had these rooms built into their houses,” Tina explains hurriedly. “They provided a hiding place in the event of a raid by No-Majs; it wasn’t always possible to fight back without breaking the Statute of Secrecy. They’re impregnable - you can only find a shrouding room if you’ve been shown its location by the owner of the house. But how…?”

Theseus doesn’t wait around to answer her confused questions, he’s off down the stairs like the hounds of hell itself are at his heels, holding his wand aloft for light.

There’s a dimly lit chamber at the bottom of the stairs and there…Newt’s heart skips a beat…there is the bound, pallid form of Percival Graves.
There’s a full beard on his face; three month’s worth of growth and he looks pallid and thin. There’s bruising around his eyes and his head is slumped forward, dejectedly, on his chest.

“Percy?” Theseus’s voice cracks and Newt watches his brother fall to his knees in front of Graves.

The MACUSA director’s head shoots up sharply, his eyes screwing up with pain and fury.

“Not him!” he croaks hoarsely. “Don’t you dare wear his face, you bastard!”

“It’s me, Percy,” Theseus says tearfully, snapping the bonds around Graves's wrists and ankles with a wave of his wand. He reaches out for the American's hands gently but Graves scrambles backwards. “Grindelwald’s been captured. It’s really me.”

“Prove it!” Graves whispers warily, looking as though he almost can’t bear to hope.

Theseus fishes out the Thunderbird pendant again. “You gave me this before I went undercover, remember?” he says tenderly, voice gentle and trembling with emotion. “You said it would keep me safe in Austria. I only just got back, I’d have been here months ago if I’d known!”

Graves’s eyes are filling with tears now and he suddenly reaches out to seize Theseus’s collar. Alarmed, Newt reaches for his wand, but to his surprise Graves pulls Theseus towards him and joins their lips in a bruising kiss. Theseus's hands reach up to cradle his face and he kisses back desperately.

Oh.

***

Newt stares a moment before averting his eyes with a blush. His brother and Graves are kissing each other with a ferocity he’s never seen the likes of and it feels intrusive to watch. He notices Tina gaping beside him and only shrugs when she turns a questioning look to him.

When they finally stop for breath, Theseus begins to fuss over Graves anxiously. “What did the bastard do to you? How badly are you hurt?”

“He used the Cruciatus Curse a couple of times,” Graves rasps, wincing as he stretches his arms. “And he knocked me round the head a bit, but other than that I’m mostly all right. He needed someone to gloat to, so he needed to keep me alive. He saw you in my head though and he told me all the things he was going to do to you…”

Graves’s voice breaks and Theseus draws him into his arms. “It’s all right, darling, I'm here,” he soothes, pressing gentle kisses to Graves’s hair. “He’s locked away now. Merlin, you’re wasting away! We need to get you out of here. Newt, can you help me?”

“Newt?” Graves looks at him curiously. “As in your little brother Newt?”

“That’s him,” Theseus puts on a reassuring smile, but Newt can see the tear tracks shining on his face in the dim light. “He and one of your aurors helped me find you.” Tina steps into the light and waves shakily.

"Hello, sir."

Graves has been tied up for the best part of three months and his limbs can barely move due to lack of use. Between the two of them, the Scamander brothers carry him up the stairs back into his library. Graves blinks at the harshness of then natural light and keeps hold of Theseus’s hand as he’s helped into one of his armchairs. He seems worried that if he lets Theseus go, he may vanish.

“Tina and I can fetch some food and water,” Newt volunteers quickly, seeing Theseus torn between holding his…lover? boyfriend? partner?...and fetching him what he needs. “You stay here with him.”

They find their way easily to the kitchen and set about preparing a simple meal that won’t overtax Graves’s stomach.

“So, you didn’t know?” Tina asks him softly, making Newt marvel as she takes out a pan and has a creamy soup flowing from the end of her wand to fill it with ease. “That your brother and Mr Graves were... together?”

“No,” he confesses, chewing his lip a little, thinking of the conversations he’s had with Theseus over the last few years and starting to grow distressed. “We haven’t seen much of each other lately. I’ve been travelling and he’s been leading the Ministry effort against Grindelwald. Whenever we do catch up…he never talks much about himself. He asks about me, asks about the creatures and how they are, ticks me off for not being careful enough…but he’s never told me there was someone. Did he think I’d be awful about it? Surely he didn’t think I’d look down on him?” The very thought brings a lump to his throat.

“Newt, I’m sure he didn’t think that,” Tina reassures him kindly. “I only met him today and I can tell your brother thinks the world of you. None of us knew Mr Graves had someone either. Relationships like that are a bit frowned upon here. Maybe they just wanted to maintain their privacy.”

Newt remains thoughtful as they make their way back to the library, finding Theseus holding Graves in his arms as he explains his capture and imprisonment.

It’s Tina’s turn to get upset now. “I was put out of the department,” she tells him unhappily. “I swear, sir, if I’d known, I would have…”

“It’s all right, Goldstein,” Graves waves away her apology gently from where he’s ensconced in Theseus’s arms. “You’re not the first he’s fooled and I’m afraid it’s not likely you’ll be the last. How did you eventually find out it wasn’t me?”

Newt and Tina tell their tale all over again while Graves hungrily gulps down the food they’ve brought him with relish. He tells them that Grindelwald had given him enough food to stop him starving, but the dark wizard has been in prison for ten days now and so Graves has not eaten since then.

When he hears that Newt was the one who discovered the deception, he gives at the magizoologist with an exhausted but sincere smile. “Theece always said you were a smart one,” he tells him, his hand once again finding the elder Scamander’s. “It’s nice to finally meet you in person, though I’d have preferred more comfortable circumstances.”

“Oh! We should inform Madam Picquery!” Tina says suddenly, before Newt can reply. “She doesn’t know you’re alive.” She'd evidently forgotten about MACUSA until now.

“You may inform the president if you choose, Miss Goldstein,” Theseus says, and the warmth is gone from his voice again. “Given her astounding incompetence, I feel no such obligation. She made little enough effort to find him, she can bloody well stew as far as I'm concerned!”

“Theece, baby, don’t frighten my aurors,” Graves teases weakly, wincing as he tries to stretch his limbs again. “You go ahead, Goldstein.”

“You stay with them, make sure they’re ok,” Tina whispers to Newt, who is still blinking owlishly after hearing his brother called 'baby', and disapparates with a crack.

Once Graves has eaten all he’s able for, Theseus helps him through to the bathroom and disappears inside with him to help him wash and shave. The man that emerges with Theseus some thirty minutes later is a thinner version of the auror Newt had met before; clean shaven with neat, slicked back hair. His limbs are slowly coming awake again; he’s walking hesitantly, slowly, with Theseus’s arm around his waist for support, but he’s managing. The two aurors exchange frequent, chaste kisses and share such looks of fierce devotion that Newt feels like a terrible intruder.

They move through to the living room and Theseus lights a fire; drawing the sofa and an armchair close to it so they can feel it’s warmth. Newt takes the armchair and leaves the sofa to the other two, noting they seem to have no intention of letting go of each other tonight.

Graves asks him a lot of questions, seemingly making a concentrated effort on getting to know his beloved’s little brother. Apparently, Theseus has talked about him non-stop since they met in the war. Newt shares a fond glance with Theseus and tries to overcome his own natural awkwardness and answer as fully as he can. He rather thinks he will grow to like this version of Graves

***

Graves strength begins to fade as it grows dark outside, his head coming to rest on Theseus’s shoulder and his eyes drifting shut.

“You shouldn’t sleep like that,” Theseus fusses gently. “Your body’s been strained enough. I’ll help you to bed.”

“No, I’m fine,” Graves protests, and Newt watches and he readjusts his position so that he’s lying stretched out on the sofa with his head in Theseus’s lap. “Just keep talking. I love listening to your voice. I’ve had more silence than I can bear these last three months.”

Searching for something light to chat about, Theseus tells him of an occasion when he’d had to venture into the Forbidden Forest after a curious Newt in his last year at Hogwarts. Newt listens with a fond smile, watching as Graves is lulled into a deep sleep by Theseus’s mellow voice and his long, slim fingers carding through his hair.

They sit for some time in silence, punctuated only by the sounds of Graves’s even breathing. There are a thousand questions bubbling on Newt’s tongue, but he doesn’t know where to begin.

“Six years,” Theseus says quietly, and he’s startled out of his reverie.

“I’m sorry?” he questions.

“That’s what you’re wanting to ask isn’t it?” Theseus smiles understandingly, though Newt thinks his eyes are a little sad too. “How long we’ve been together? It’s been six years. We got close in the war, but we only made things official when I came over here in 1920.”

“Thee…” Newt begins plaintively. “Why didn’t you tell me? You didn’t think…please don’t tell me you thought…that I’d mind?” Tears spring to his eyes and, when his brother smiles gently and holds out his free hand to him, he crosses the room to take it. He perches on the sofa at his side; the side not taken up by the slumbering Graves.

“I never thought that for a second,” Theseus assures him quietly, putting an arm around him and giving him a gentle squeeze, mindful of Graves slumbering in his lap. “We kept it quiet largely for Percy’s sake. You’ve seen how things work over here – you said it yourself, it’s so backward in so many ways compared with back home. Don’t take up with muggles, don’t take up with other men, blah blah blah. He didn’t want to risk his job – he’d worked so hard for it – and, well, I didn’t mind no one knowing as long as I had him.”

“You really love him, don’t you?” Newt is moved by the warmth in his brother’s voice.

“I do,” Theseus nods. “I bloody adore him. Being away with work so often is a bugger, but we’ve made it work, the long distance thing.”

“I’m glad,” Newt leans against his brother affectionately, resting his head on Theseus’s shoulder. He’s speaking the truth. His kind, brave brother has been his unflinching supporter since before they went to Hogwarts and Newt more than anything wants him to be happy. “And if he ever breaks your heart, I’ll set the nundu on him!”

Theseus gives a gentle huff of laughter and, warmed by the light of the fire and the knowledge that Percival Graves is safe again, the two brothers fall asleep on the sofa together.

***

Tina returns the next morning with a message from President Picquery for Graves and a ridiculous amount of breakfast foods that Queenie apparently insisted she bring.

She and Newt go to eat in the living room to give the newly-reunited couple a bit of privacy together, but no sooner does Newt sit down than he realises he's left the pot of tea he'd brewed sitting on the kitchen counter.

He hurried back to the kitchen to retrieve it, stopping when he hears Graves and Theseus discuss something in low voices through the partially open door. He blushingly realises that he's developing rather a habit of eavesdropping!

“She says I can return as soon as I’m feeling able,” Graves says, reading what is presumably Picquery's message. He's leaning against one of the counters and Newt thinks he detects a hint of bitterness in his voice; quite understandably.

“Don’t!” Theseus says suddenly, getting to his feet from where he'd been sitting at the small table.

“I think thirty six is a bit young for retirement, baby,” Graves jokes wryly and Newt watches his brother move to stand in front of Graves and take his hands.

“Come to England with me!” he says, his tone fervent and hopeful. “You deserve better than that shower, Percy, you deserve people who will have your back. You’d get a position with the ministry in a hearbeat; hell, you know half my team already! When I read Newt’s letter, I was so afraid I might have lost you. I don’t want to spend a day away from you again that I don’t have to. I want to be by your side forever and spend the rest of our lives together!”

“Theseus Scamander,” Graves says, his voice cracking. “Are you proposing to me?” Newt bites his lip joyfully, a smile spreading across his face as he watches his brother slide down onto one knee.

“Yes,” replies Theseus ardently. “Percival Graves, will you marry me and let me share…oomph!” The rest of his sentence is lost because Graves has knelt down beside him and is kissing him so ferociously that Newt’s face begins to warm.

“That’s a yes, in case you were wondering!” the American draws back long enough to say, and then renews his exploration of Theseus’s tonsils. Suddenly, his hands are undoing Theseus’s shirt…and Newt takes that as his cue to leave, pot of tea forgotten. He’s delighted, truly delighted, for his brother - but there are some things that he does not need to see!

***

Graves resigns from MACUSA the next day. He and Theseus stay at his house for another fortnight until he’s physically recovered enough from his imprisonment, passing everything he knows onto Tina, and then they start to pack the place up with help from Newt, Tina and Queenie.

All three of them turn up to say goodbye to the couple before they take the portkey back to England; Newt opting to stay a little longer in New York before coming home.

Graves accepts hugs from the Goldstein sisters and shakes hands with Newt; already looking far healthier than when they’d found him and practically glowing with contentment. Theseus too is radiantly happy, the icy anger he’d turned up in America with all gone – he is now charm personified again.

“See you soon, little brother!” he hugs Newt affectionately before reaching for the portkey and whispering for only Newt to hear. “Don’t wait too long before you ask her. I’m sure Percy would love having another American around the Ministry!”

He tips Newt a cheeky wink and then he and Graves are gone, leaving Newt smiling after them.