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Nature boy

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Mrs. Scamander hugs one more time her two sons before they get out of the house. Newt knows his mother is happy for Theseus for accepting the job at MACUSA, although maybe not for the same reasons they are.

“I’m glad you’re going with your brother, Newt,” she strokes his son’s cheek gently, while something mischievous glimmers in her eyes. Newt knows what she’s going to say next: “Maybe you can find in America a good gentleman or pretty girl with money–”

“Mother!” Theseus looks at her almost horrified by her words, yanking Newt away.

She rolls her eyes at him and stares back at her younger boy.

“Listen, Newt. I’m just saying… a spouse with money could help you keep the life you want, I mean you could keep looking and taking care of magical creatures, love. Remember your father always supported me, without him I wouldn’t have been able to start the hippogriff breeding program and you know that.”

Newt looks at the ground; he’s not good with people, how is he supposed to find someone? Besides, he wants someone that really cares about the things he likes.

No, he doesn’t think he’s going to marry any time soon, despite of being 25 and despite of how many times his mother has told him he’s running out of time.

“I’m going to write a book, that’s how I–”

“Oh, honey,” Mrs. Scamander smiles at him and there’s nothing in that gesture but pity. “Nobody is gonna read that.”

His parents never believed in him, his father always insisted he should follow Theseus steps while his mother said it didn’t matter because he was pretty and he was probably going to marry into some rich, important family anyway.

Theseus was the only one that really encouraged him to keep studying magical creatures, even after he was expelled from Hogwarts.

“Don’t feel bad, honey. You just need to get married and everything’s gonna get better you’ll see.”

“No, he doesn’t. I told you I’m gonna support him,” Theseus narrows his eyes.

“You’re not going to be there for him forever, Thes,” Mrs. Scamander insists. “Besides, I think you need to get married too, perhaps some pretty–”

“We really need to go, Mother,” Theseus cuts her off, taking Newt’s hand, before closing the door behind them.

Newt sighs, pulling his case against his chest protectively.

“You don’t need anyone, Newt. We’ll get through this together.”

He knows he doesn’t need anyone and he certainly doesn’t want anyone at the moment, but he also doesn’t want to be a burden to his brother.

***

The first day they both spend it inside the flat, trying to decide where they’re going to put all their stuff, although that’s mostly Theseus’s because Newt just has to keep his things inside his case. He’s also planning to travel a lot so he needs to keep them there.

“Tomorrow we’ll go pay a visit to my friend Percival,” Theseus chuckles when he notices Newt grimacing. “Please, Newt. He’s also the Director of Magical Security so I’ll be working with him, I need at least to introduce you two and his cousins: Porpentina and Queenie Goldstein, they’re staying with him.”

There’s a reason why Newt has always preferred the company of magical creatures, because he’s not good at meeting or talking with people.

“You know Mother always wanted you to meet him,” Theseus rolls his eyes. “At least if you do she’ll stop sending me howlers about it.”

“Fine.”

***

It’s a manor. Usually he doesn’t pay attention to that kind of stuff, but he can help but imagine the number of creatures that could roam free in that place.

Theseus chuckles and Newt knows he probably has an idea of what he’s thinking.

“He has two hippogriffs.”

“Really? Can I meet them?” Newt beams, excited. Yesterday he was very nervous about it, but now he thinks he may like Graves, if he has hippogriffs he must be a good person.

“You have to meet the people inside the house first,” Theseus points out, clearly amused when Newt can’t help but grimace a little.

He’s not as nervous as before, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t prefer to meet the creatures first.

The first two people he meets in New York are the two Goldstein sisters that would rather be called Tina and Queenie.

“Percival is in his study,” the blond witch tilts her head in the direction of the small room next to the stairs. “Just… don’t mind him, he’s been a little grumpy lately because he hasn’t been able to capture Grindelwald.”

“We haven’t been able,” Tina sighs, looking disappointed. And that’s when Newt finds out she’s also and auror and that the hippogriffs are actually hers and Queenie’s which makes Newt like them even more.

Theseus is already asking Tina about MACUSA and the President when Pickett gets out Newt’s coat pocket only to tell him that the Niffler has escaped.

Paling, Newt looks around only to confirm that place is full of shiny, valuable stuff Niff would love to put his paws on.

Which is something he’s probably doing at the moment.

There’s a grunt coming from the study, that prompts everyone to stop the conversation, followed by loud noise. The door is kicked open and a man storms out of the small room, eyes narrowed and glaring at a little thing in his hand, the creature is trying to escape from that powerful grip. The man with dark hair and dark, scary eyes mumbles something.

“What is this, Queenie?” He doesn’t look friendly at all. The wizard points at the creature with his wand and Newt reacts instantly; he surprises even himself by how quickly he jumps out of the couch and takes his Niffler, pulling him towards his chest protectively.

Graves, because Newt has the feeling that’s his brother’s friend, blinks in his direction like he’s seen a ghost.

“It’s mine, don’t hurt him!” Newt blurts out, noticing how the surprise vanishes quickly and it’s replaced by a frown.

“I wasn’t going to–He stole my watch!” Graves growls, taking a step closer just for Newt to take one back. “Who are you?”

“I’m Newt Scamander,” he mumbles, already tickling his creature to recover the watch.

“Scamander?”

“He’s my brother,” Theseus walks in between them, offering his hand to Graves. “Hello again, Percival. I told you I was going to come.”

But the Director doesn’t seem to be paying much attention to him; he’s looking over Theseus’s shoulder, still narrowing his eyes at Newt. When the magizoologist gets the watch back, he hands it to his brother to give it back to Graves.

Then, trying to check if Niff has wounds he goes back to the couch with Tina and Queenie, ignoring the Director.

Newt is just glad Graves doesn’t take care of the hippogriffs because it’s clear he doesn’t like magical creatures that much and to be honest, Newt is not sure if he likes Mr. Graves.

Queenie makes more tea and coffee and Tina tries to talk about MACUSA with Theseus, Newt has managed to get the Niffler back in the case and is sitting next to his brother, trying to focus on what he’s asking Tina.

It’s difficult because he can feel Graves intense look on him.

“You don’t have a permit for that, do you?” The Director cuts Tina off suddenly, it looks like he’s not paying much attention to the conversation anyway.

Newt blushes and puts his case on his lap… He can’t take it away, can he?

“Not yet, Mr. Graves.”

“I’ll take care of that, Percival,” Theseus assures. “Now that I work for MACUSA.”

Graves nods at him, but keeps glaring at Newt until finally and despite of the magizoologist’s shyness, he decides to stare back, frowning.

They stop looking at each other when Tina clears her throat and Queenie giggles. Newt is glad for the interruption.

***

“I don’t think I like your friend, ‘Seus,” Newt mumbles when they’re back in the flat, sitting around their own table.

Theseus chuckles, amused. Newt is relieved his brother is not upset with him.

“It’s okay, you don’t have to see him again, if you don’t want to,” his brother points out. “He’s not that bad though.”

Well… he doesn’t seem to like magical creatures, which is not a good thing in Newt’s opinion.

Chapter Text

At least Newt doesn’t have to go to MACUSA every morning like his brother does. It’s for the best; it’s not very common for Newt to find someone he doesn’t like, although everything is different when it comes to his creatures; he is not particularly interested in spending time with someone who doesn’t like them.

He receives a fire-call from Queenie early in the morning; it’s about the hippogriffs.

“Daisy is sick, sweetie,” the blond witch mumbles, concerned. “And Jackie is worried about her. Could you please come and see what’s wrong?”

Of course he will. Newt loves magical creatures and hippogriffs have a special place in his heart, because his mother used to breed them.

“Is Mr. Graves going to be there?” He feels like Graves doesn’t like him so he’s not sure if he’s completely welcome in that house.

“He’s in MACUSA at the moment, honey,” she tells him, lips quirking up a little bit. “And he always comes back late, so don’t worry about that.”

“Alright… I’ll be there in a couple of minutes.”

“Thanks, sweetie!”

But before disappearing into the green flames, Queenie looks at him one more time.

“He’s not that bad, you know?” She giggles, but Newt doesn’t have anything to say to that.

***

Queenie helps him get through the protections the house has and keeps him company until Newt introduces himself to the hippogriffs and earns their trust.

“I can’t stay all day, honey. I need to go to work.”

Even though Newt actually likes Queenie, it’s a relief to know he’ll get to stay alone with the creatures, it’s a lot easier for him to take care of them that way.

After a while, Newt finds out Daisy has an infection on her left ear, although it’s nothing a good potion can’t take care of.

He spends the rest of the day in the barn; trying to give Daisy the potion and making sure Jackie is okay too. He also cleans up a little bit and feeds them both while humming one of his favourite songs to them. They both end up nuzzling his head, grateful, until Newt can’t help but giggle.

“So… This is what you do, Mr. Scamander?” Newt almost jumps when he hears that voice, his heart is beating fast… And he’s already thinking he’s going to be kicked out.

Graves seems to have noticed his reaction and he looks a little bit ashamed of himself for doing that; Newt also notices the man is not narrowing his eyes at him, which is an improvement.

How long has he been there, just watching him?

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.” The Director mumbles, staring at the ground.

“It’s okay,” he assures, looking back at the hippogriffs.

There’s an uncomfortable silence that Newt doesn’t know how to end, so he decides to keep feeding the hippogriffs.

“You save and take care of magical creatures?” Graves finally says and Newt wonders if it is some kind of trick to make him admit something illegal.

“Yes,” he whispers, quickly helping Daisy to drink a little bit more of the potion before he goes. Because he wants to go.

“And what do you do after you heal them, when they’re good enough to take care of themselves again?” Perhaps it’s just Newt’s imagination, but the Director’s voice sounds closer.

“I let them go,” he sighs sadly, remembering Frank. He still misses him.

“It must be quite… difficult,” Graves mumbles and Newt turns around to look back at him.

The magizoologist doesn’t answer, he tries to keep looking at him to try to understand him better, but it’s difficult to identify any emotion in those dark eyes.

Jackie nuzzles at Graves and when the man starts caressing her muzzle, Newt tries to hold back his surprised gasp.

Perhaps he got it wrong, maybe Mr. Graves actually likes magical creatures, he just doesn’t like Newt. Which is fair, because many people have pointed out he’s annoying.

Newt wants to get out of there so he quickly gives him instructions for how to give Daisy the potion and how much they both have to eat in order to be healthy.

Graves looks overwhelmed by the information and Newt holds back a chuckle.

“How much do I owe you for this?”

It makes him sad and he’s not sure why, but the fact that Graves thinks it’s about money hurts him.

It has never been about money. And, if he’s honest with himself, he feels a little bit irritated, so maybe that’s the reason his response is a little bit harsh.

“There’s no need. I did it for them and for Queenie,” he says.

Graves blushes and starts rubbing the back of his head.

“Would you like a cup of coffee… no, I mean tea… you like tea, right?”

Newt shakes his head.

“Actually, I need to go.”

***

“Madam President wants to talk to you tomorrow, little one,” Theseus mentions that night during dinner and Newt almost panics. He puts his case on his lap, protectively, even though there’s no one else in the flat.

“Is this about my creatures?” It has to be because of Mr. Graves, Newt’s sure he told her something about what he does, about his babies.

Is that the reason why he was so interested in Newt’s profession? But he can’t do anything, right? Theseus has given him the permits he needed…

“Hey, little one,” his brother takes his hand, squeezing it gently. “It’s okay, I promise. This is something good.”

A deep breath escapes from his lips; he’s still nervous, but Newt knows Theseus would never lie to him.

“Okay.”

***

Theseus was right. Turns out Picquery offers him a job at MACUSA as soon as Newt sits in front of her.

“I’ve been told you’re quite something, Mr. Scamander, that you’re an expert in magical creatures,” she says, smiling amusedly at him. “And I think we could use those extraordinary abilities of yours.”

Newt chuckles at the words she chooses to describe him. They almost sound like the ones his brother would use.

“It was Theseus, the one that told you all of this, right?”

“No offense, Mr. Scamander, but I wouldn’t believe your brother when it comes to you, because we both know he’s clearly biased,” she tells him and Newt can’t deny that. “No, it wasn’t him.”

Well, at least he knows know it had to be Tina and Queenie… He makes a mental note to thank them later.

“So what do you say?”

“Would I be able to travel? Because I still need to do research for my book.”

“Of course, Mr. Scamander.”

“Then I accept,” he smiles, happily.

The only problem is Mr. Graves; if he doesn’t know already, Newt’s sure he’s not going to like it at all. But perhaps if he avoids him as much as he can things can go quite well.

Chapter Text

Avoiding Mr. Graves turns out to be quite more difficult than he imagined it. It doesn’t matter if Newt is in Theseus’s office or Tina’s or even chatting with Queenie in the cafeteria, Graves is always there.

Sometimes Newt catches the Director staring at him, but once his eyes meet, the wizard looks away immediately.

Newt knows it’s because Graves doesn’t want him there, no matter how many times Queenie assures him that’s not the case; he knows she wants for his cousin to get along with Newt and tries to convince him the only problem Graves has is that he doesn’t how to express what he feels.

Actually, Newt is more than glad about that because if Graves could express what he really feels for him, he’d probably have yelled at Newt by then.

“I bet you’re looking for this,” Graves hands him his Niffler and Newt is sure his face is completely red.

Again? Why does that little creature don’t understand that Graves is not someone you can mess up with?

He has been looking for the demon the whole morning and he knew he was busy stealing something from an auror, but Newt thought Niff got scared enough that first time to not try it again with Graves.

He was wrong and now he just wants the earth to swallow him.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Graves.” He presses the creature against his chest, ready to protect him and he tenses, preparing himself for the growl that is coming.

But none of that happens. It must be quite difficult for Graves to control himself.

If he didn’t before, he sure does hate Newt now.

“It’s okay. Just tell him to stop stealing my watch, alright?”

Newt nods and turns around, but he can’t walk away because Graves takes him by the hand.

The magizoologist looks at both their hands confused and a little bit scared, thinking the man has changed his mind about letting him go.

Graves blushes and moves his hand away.

“I’m sorry… I-I just wanted to ask how you felt here… in MACUSA,” the Director mumbles.

“I’m… fine. I mean… everyone is kind to me,” Newt whispers, completely lost.

“Well… If someone bothers you or if you need something… you can tell me,” Graves says, looking up at him.

“Uh… thank you,” Newt mumbles and then, when he’s back in Theseus’s office, he thinks that perhaps he is trying to be nice to him because of his brother.

Which makes complete sense.

***

Theseus helps him to get in the field during one of the cases that involves a wampus. It takes him a while to actually walk outside MACUSA because Graves kept saying he wasn’t prepared.

Newt knows he’s just waiting for him to screw up to get him out of there.

“I don’t think that’s the case, Newt,” Tina tells him. “Boss can be strict and grumpy sometimes, but he’s fair.”

“He doesn’t trust me, Tina.”

“Actually, little brother… I agree with him on this one, not because I don’t think you’re capable of doing this, but… sometimes it’s dangerous and I don’t want you to get hurt,” Theseus sighs and Newt would like to point out that he has traveled alone before, but he doesn’t say anything.

He hugs his brother instead.

“Just please stay by my side, okay?”

“Okay.”

He doesn’t keep his promise. But… in his defense the wampus was being hurt and he just couldn’t stay there while the cub was suffering.

So he flees from his brother’s side, away from Graves suspicious glare and follows the sound until he finds the little wampus on the floor.

He takes it in his arms and ignores the first warning bite and the scratch while he checks on its wounds. When the cub realizes Newt is not there to hurt him, he stays still until the magizoologist starts patching him up, then he hisses, but when Newt stops… He realizes the wampus is not actually hissing at him.

He’s hissing at the poacher behind Newt that has a wand pointing at him.

“Listen, doll… I don’t want to hurt you, alright?” The man grins. “Just leave the beast on the floor and I may let you go, okay?”

Newt shakes his head, the man huffs and makes a cut on the magizoologist’s shoulder that makes him gasp.

“Now, please… would you let that thing on the–”

It’s incredible how fast Graves can be when he’s… When he’s furious, he storms into the room and stuns the man without even blinking.

He glares at him, even though he’s unconscious, in a way it would’ve terrified him.

“Thank you, Mr. Gra–”

“Let me see,” he startles Newt when he stops just a few inches away from him. He’s fuming.

“See what?” Newt refuses to let the nervousness get the best of him and he narrows his eyes instead, pulling the wampus closer to his chest, protectively.

“Your wound,” Graves growls, getting desperate, his eyes are roaming over Newt’s body like he’s trying to make sure he’s alright.

“It’s just a scratch.”

Graves huffs and takes another step closer, but then they both hear someone approaching and the Director moves in the blink of an eye; his back on Newt like he’s trying to shield him with his body.

He bares his teeth at least until he realizes it’s Theseus.

“What do you think you’re doing, Percival?” Theseus eyes him suspiciously, before shoving him out of the way to get to Newt. “Are you okay, little one?”

Newt nods and decides not to protest as his brother starts patching him up; the wampus in his arms starts to close his eyes.

Graves stares at him, before clearing his throat and narrowing his eyes.

“You’re not allowed in the field anymore, Mr. Scamander.”

“But this is my first case! You can't–why?” Newt blurts out, feeling a little bit hurt.

Graves blushes, he glances from his wounded shoulder to him in a second, before glaring at him.

Newt doesn’t notice Queenie walking into the room until she speaks.

“Don’t say it, Percival.”

“Because you ruin everything!” Graves snaps.

Theseus stares back at him, outraged.

“How dare you say that to my–” but Newt pulls his brother by the sleeve to stop him from punching the Director.

“He didn’t mean it, sweetie,” Queenie says, but Newt ignores her.

“It’s okay, ‘Seus. He’s right. I always ruin everything,” Newt mumbles, taking Theseus’s hand. “Let’s go home, I need to feed Damian.”

Graves face is twisted in pain. His lips part and then they’re firmly pressed together again, like he’s having an internal battle with himself.

“Newt–”

“It’s Mr. Scamander to you, Mr. Graves. Only my friends call me Newt. Goodnight.”

Chapter Text

Newt is not sure about the ball; he has never danced with anyone besides Theseus and his parents and the perspective of being in a room full of people doesn’t excite him that much.

“Don’t worry, little one,” his brother takes him by the arm and walks in the pentagram office which the aurors have expanded so all the guests can dance comfortably in one place. “This way our mother will stop sending both of us howlers about how much you need a spouse, because if she knows you’re attending MACUSA’s ball, she’ll probably think you’re trying at least.”

His brother’s right, Newt hadn’t thought about it. He smiles back at him and Theseus leans to kiss his cheek.

“Besides, she doesn’t have to know you’ll be dancing with me the whole night,” Theseus presses him closer and winks at him.

“Actually, I promised Tina and Queenie that I’d dance with them,” he tells him; Queenie had helped him choose the suit and he actually likes her.

“Oh,” Theseus doesn’t look that excited about the idea, but he quickly grins at him again. “They seem nice.”

“Yes,” Newt nods, cheering up a little bit, oblivious to the stares he’s getting and thinking about what Theseus mentioned earlier. “You said he wouldn’t come, right?”

“I said he didn’t like these kind of things, so it’s probably he won’t, but I’m not sure, Picquery sometimes makes him come,” Theseus informs him, much to Newt’s concern.

Things with Mr. Graves haven’t gone well at all; the Director hasn’t spoken with him, although to be fair, Newt has done anything in his power to avoid him.

He just doesn’t want things to get tense or uncomfortable if they find each other there, however it’s most likely that if he decides to attend, he will not approach Newt at all.

So it’s going to be fine; Newt decides not to think about that anymore and try to have a good time with his brother.

***

No one seems to want to approach Newt while he’s dancing with Theseus; his brother doesn’t seem to get tired of it. They’re both spinning around and some of the people there watch with a smile on their faces.

Theseus doesn’t let him go until Tina and Queenie walk towards them.

He huffs, rolling his eyes, but it seems to Newt that he’s not really as irritated as he wants them to believe.

“Just a little bit, honey,” Queenie winks at him. Luckily, Theseus has no idea she’s talking about him.

“Take care of him for me, alright?” He says and now it’s Newt’s time to roll his eyes.

“I’m not a three-year-old anymore, ‘Seus,” he reminds him, trying not to let him see how amused he is.

Although Theseus notices anyway.

“You’ll always be my little brother,” he whispers, before kissing his forehead. “I need to talk to Madam President, I’ll be right back.”

Newt giggles when Tina and Queenie pull him close to them at the same time.

“I still don’t understand why Percival is going to come if Picquery told him he could do whatever he wanted to do,” Tina comments, looking around while the three of them try to dance together. It’s a little bit complicated and some people don’t seem to find it proper, but Newt is having so much fun… Well… he was, until Tina made that comment.

“Maybe we should consider the possibility that he wants to come, Teenie.” She smiles amusedly at her sister’s shock.

Newt feels a little bit nervous, although the fact that Graves is going to be there doesn’t mean they’re gonna see each other.

“Sweetie, my cousin if not that bad,” Queenie tells him. “He didn’t mean what he said the other day, he said it because–”

He doesn’t get to hear what Queenie is telling him because a few people approach them to dance; Newt doesn’t know how to say no to the man that asks him so he accepts.

The problem is that after him comes another and when he’s with a wizard that seems almost fascinated with his hair, he notices Graves. He’s glaring in his direction, almost fuming.

It seems he hasn’t forgiven him for the mistake he made during that case.

Newt decides not to pay attention to him, but it’s impossible, especially when the wizard he’s dancing with suddenly stops, apologizes and flees from there like he’s seen a boggart.

It’s not a boggart, it’s the Director of Magical Security; Newt’s heart starts beating in his chest like crazy. He’s nervous.

Although now that the other man is gone, Graves doesn’t look as intimidating as before. He looks down, clears his throat and then stares back at Newt’s face.

“Ne–Mr. Scamander, I was wondering if you–Would you dance with me?”

Newt looks at him in confusion, why would he want to dance with him if it’s clear that he doesn’t like him?

Also… the truth is that he’s still hurt by Graves’s words, even though he knows he shouldn’t; he’s been told worse before.

“You don’t need to pretend you like me, Mr. Graves,” Newt assures, looking around until he spots his brother, apparently arguing with the President herself.

“Pretend?” Graves stares almost alarmed at him; regret glimmering in his eyes.

“I have to find Theseus,” he mumbles, before the auror can say anything else.

Chapter Text

According to Queenie, Graves doesn’t like tea and yet he makes the best Earl Grey Newt has ever drunk. Because he’s not going to reject a cup of tea, especially if the Director of Magical Security suddenly gets out of office to find Newt and just offers him a cup of tea out of the blue, making everyone present just gape at him for a couple of seconds.

Theseus quirks up a curious brow at Graves, but doesn’t make any comments, although perhaps he gets a little bit closer to Newt that day.

Newt starts feeling bad for rejecting him at the ball and thinks that maybe that’s Graves way to try to make peace with him.

That’s a great idea actually, because even though he was a bit reluctant to speak with him because of what he had said, Newt truly believes they both need to treat each other with respect if they want to at least have a decent work relationship.

So Newt decides to try as well.

Instead of avoiding him, Newt starts smiling at him or just saying ‘hello’ to him in the hallway to prove that he’s willing to make it work too.

“Good morning, Mr. Graves,” Newt grins that day and finds out that the Director of Magical Security is a little bit distracted sometimes because he just bumps into Picquery. “Good morning, Madam President!”

“Morning, Mr. Scamander,” she says, rolling her eyes at Graves who turns slightly pink and smiles back at Newt.

“Morning, Newt–I mean Mr. Scamander.”

Newt turns around, chuckling and he walks directly to his brother’s office.

“Percival has been acting odd lately,” Theseus comments, pretending to be focused on the report he’s writing.

“Why do you say that?”

“He stares at you.”

Newt rolls his eyes, deciding that it’s best not to argue with his brother, because sometimes he gets too overprotective to reason with.

***

Graves brings him a book on dragons, Newt has to hold back a giggle because he has read that book once… maybe twice, although he has to admit that particular edition looks prettier than his and has a lovely drawing on the cover.

The Director looks at him expectantly while some of the aurors around have gone completely quiet, not even pretending they’re not listening to the conversation.

“Thank you so much, I love it,” Newt smiles, because… Graves doesn’t have to know.

“But, little one, isn’t that–”

Newt elbows his brother in the ribs before he can finish that sentence. And even though it’s Newt the one that hit him, Theseus narrows his eyes at Graves.

Although the man doesn’t seem to notice.

When Graves decides to allow Newt to work actively on the cases, the magizoologist can’t stop beaming at him.

“My aurors have collected information from people that claim they’ve seen a group of wizards with a hippogriff, they are not sure what they’re using it for, but some believe they’re abusing it.”

It always breaks his heart to hear things like that; he tries to hide it, to look collected so Graves doesn’t reconsider his decision to bring Newt with them. It seems his efforts are useless though, because Graves’s expression softens as he caresses Newt’s face gently.

“We’re going to rescue the hippogriff, Newt. It’s going to be fine,” he assures and the magizoologist nods, feeling a little bit better.

Theseus crosses his arms over his chest, looks from his brother to Graves and clears his throat.

The Director blinks, cheeks turning pink before stepping away from Newt.

“Let’s go.”

***

It’s so different from last time; Newt manages to get to the hippogriff and he starts patching him up while Theseus, along with Graves’s aurors, arrests the poachers in the place.

Percival kneels next to Newt and decides to help him take care of the injured creature; it seems he has done something like that before for his own hippogriffs because he knows a few healing spells that actually work on magical creatures.

“I’ve been thinking…” Newt mumbles, feeling a little bit shy.

“Yes, Newt? Sorry… Mr. Sca–”

“Oh, please, call me Newt,” the magizoologist smiles at him.

“Only if you finally start calling me by my given name.”

Newt chuckles at the overdramatic gesture he does with his hands.

“Okay, Percival.”

“What did you want to tell me?”

Newt sighs, looks at the ground and then at Percival, who’s eyes are almost glimmering with… something he’s not entirely sure what it is.

“I don’t have any other hippogriff under my care at the moment… I mean I think it’d be great for him to be with other hippogriffs… So maybe he could stay with you for a while?”

Percival looks a little bit disappointed and Newt wonders if it’s too much to ask of him. But then he smiles fondly at him.

“Of course, Newt.”

“Don’t worry I’ll check on him everyday,” Newt says. “Unless you don’t want–”

“Oh, I think you coming to my house every single day is an excellent idea,” Percival grins from ear to ear, leaning a little bit closer to the magizoologist.

“We’re done here,” Theseus interrupts, narrowing his eyes at Percival.

“I’ll get Harold inside the case,” Newt mumbles then, getting up. He feels a little bit flustered for some reason, but decides to ignore the sensation.

***

They’re back inside the flat; Newt is sitting on the couch, still thinking about how much his relationship with Percival has changed and how glad he is they decided to fix things between them.

Then, out of nowhere, Theseus takes the coffee he’s made for himself, rising from the couch to go back to his room, but before getting to the hallway, he looks at Newt, completely serious and not at all pleased.

“He’s in love with you.”

“What?”

“Percival is in love with you,” Theseus repeats, grimacing.

Newt blushes to the tip of his ears, blinking a couple of times, before looking back.

“I don’t think that's–”

“He’s not that bad, but I’ll talk to him before he tries to court you officially, okay? I’m your guardian and I need to make sure he’ll be good to you,” Theseus says, cutting him off, before leaving.

Newt doesn’t know what to think. He realizes he… likes the idea, but doesn’t want to think about it before Percival says something.

Although his heart is beating excitedly.

***

His mother’s head appears in the fireplace just a couple of hours later; it’s almost like she’s been summoned.

Newt starts thinking that she has some sort of way to know what’s going on in his life at every moment.

She always manages to surprise him though and not always in a good way.

“I’m so happy for you, honey. But tell me… how’s the courtship going?”

“How do you know?” Newt can’t help but blurt out, confused.

She rolls her eyes, like it’s obvious.

“I’ve talked to Mr. Graves a couple of times, honey. I mean… Because of me you have a suitor right now, but there’s no need to thank me.”

Newt’s heart almost jumps painfully in his chest.

“What do you mean?”

“Well… you’re not… You’re not normal, honey. But everyone knows that, so I did my job as a mother and told Mr. Graves that at his age and with a dangerous job like his he wouldn’t get anyone as young as you. And I managed to convince him you were actually what he needed, but you’re going to be a little less like yourself, okay honey? Maybe try not to get out of the city for the first couple of years and actually take care of your future husband.” She lets everything out, almost without breathing once, like an excited child.

She has no idea she just broke Newt’s heart.

“I’m not going to stop being myself!” Newt narrows his eyes, trying not to panic. He tries not to think what that could mean.

Percival doesn’t actually… have feelings for him, does he? It’s because his mother got in his head and told him Newt was just… the right choice.

Mrs. Scamander frowns, irritated.

“Don’t be silly, Newt! Graves has the money and the connections for you to be someone in life!” She tells him. “Now please listen to your mother for once or he’s going to leave you.”

“I’m sorry, mother… I don’t feel quite well, I’m going to my room.”

So Theseus is wrong after all. Percival is not in love with Newt.

And it hurts so much.

***

It’s painful to see Percival the next day, especially when Newt realizes that he has brought flowers just for him.

Newt panics, sitting in front of him inside his office, while Percival smiles.

“I-I wanted to tell you something important, Newt,” Percival breathes, flustered.

“Have you talked with my mother?”

“A couple of times, yes,” Percival admits, a little bit confused.

Newt was hoping his mother lied to him. Maybe he’s asking too much, maybe his mother’s right and he can’t actually get a spouse that can actually love him back.

But he wants that.

“I’d like to court you,” Percival says, smiling nervously. “Would you allow me to do that?”

Newt stares at the Director, having no idea when exactly he fell for him.

“I… don’t think it’s a good idea, Percival,” he says, trying to smile.

The Director stares down at his own hands and nods, looking… sad.

“It’s okay, Newt. I understand.”

Newt would like to say they can still be friends, but right now he’s in pain and he doesn’t want to be near someone that doesn’t love him back.

Why did he fall for him?

He gets out of the office without another word.

Chapter Text

It hurts. Being in love with someone who doesn’t want Newt back is new for him, perhaps because he’s never fallen in love before. He could’ve accepted Percival’s courtship and eventually marry him, but Newt is no like that… He doesn’t want to be married to a person that doesn’t feel the same way.

It wouldn’t have worked. He doesn’t regret his decision, but it still hurts him, especially because he has to keep working for MACUSA and see Percival Graves every single day.

Sometimes they bump into each other in the hallway and Newt always looks down; it seems to him like the Director wants to talk to him, but it could be just his imagination.

“What happened?” Tina mumbles, worried. “My cousin is devastated. I thought you were getting along.”

“We–” Newt bites his lower lip before he can say anything else. Queenie takes his hand and smiles kindly at him.

“Talk to him, sweetie.”

He doesn’t want to, at least he doesn’t want to talk about that with him… it hurts.

“I know, but I can assure you everything is going to be fine,” she insists. “Just please… go to see him.”

***

“You’re sad,” Theseus comments that night at dinner.

He is, but he’s never going to admit it.

“I’m not,” he smiles and even he knows there’s something wrong with the way his lips quirk up. Newt has never been a good liar; he’s quiet, he might not express his emotions out loud all the time, but he doesn’t know how to hide them.

“I know you, Newt and I know when something is happening to you,” Theseus says, trying to reach his brother’s hand over the table, but the magizoologist moves it away. “I’m worried about you.”

“I know… But I'm–I can deal with this on my own,” he mumbles.

“Did he hurt you? He said something to you? Because if he did–”

“He didn’t,” Newt cuts his brother off. It’s true, Percival doesn’t know he’s in love with him for real… Perhaps he just wanted to offer him a marriage of convenience as his mother pointed out.

But Newt can’t accept that; loving someone that doesn’t love him back is going to eat him alive.

“I still have to talk to him about the courtship–”

“Please… don’t,” Newt is doing his best to hold back the tears. “He’s not going to court me. He doesn’t want me like that.”

“What? What do you mean, little one?” Theseus stares at him in bewilderment. “But just the other day I saw him looking at you… You should’ve seen his face…”

“Just please don’t talk to him about it,” Newt begs, before walking towards his room and getting inside the case.

He tears up a little bit and the Niffler brings him a golden coin to cheer him up and Dougal spends the rest of the day on his shoulders, hugging him.

***

When he’s sad or very busy, Newt usually forgets to eat, which always irritates and concerns his brother.

So when Newt gets out of his case and finds the sandwich and the tea over Theseus’s desk and no sign of him, he just assumes his brother left it for him (since it’s his favourite tea) and eats it.

However, Theseus comes back a few minutes later with two cups of tea and a couple of croissants.

“Here, these are for you, little one. I know you haven’t eaten anything yet.”

Newt blinks at him in confusion.

“I ate the sandwich you left for me.”

“I didn’t bring you a sandwich.”

***

Newt gets a little bit startled when the Director approaches him the next morning and hands him a bunch of papers. He looks flustered, looking at anywhere but him, but also managing to ignore all the curious eyes around them.

“You… I renewed your permits,” he mumbles.

“I’m so sorry, I completely forgot,” Newt turns red and wonders if he’s also getting scolded next.

“It’s okay, I–Just try to remember next time, alright?”

For the first time in days, Newt feels with enough energy to smile at him.

“Thank you.”

Percival’s cheeks turn slightly pink.

“You’re welcome… Well, I have to go.”

Newt watches him go, wondering if he could be friends with him; if trying to get closer to him won’t hurt his heart more than it already is.

Percival keeps bringing him along with him and his group of aurors, but just if magical creatures are involved.

Although, he still constantly next to Newt and worrying a little bit too much when the magizoologist gets hurt somehow.

Theseus usually glares at him when Percival shoves him aside to take care of Newt himself.

Newt doesn’t know what to think of it; of course he likes when Percival takes care of him, because he’s still in love, but he’s not sure if the Director worries because since he’s his boss and he’s kind of responsible for him or if he just truly cares.

***

When Madam Picquery calls Newt to her office, the magizoologist thinks it has something to do with his creatures and he gets nervous.

“I know I shouldn’t intervene in this and I won’t, because Percival and you are the ones that have to figure this out,” she says as soon as Newt walks in the room.

“What?”

“Percival Graves is not only my Director of Magical Security, he’s my friend,” Picquery narrows her eyes. “And his heart is broken, but so is yours and all because a misunderstanding… Seriously, I thought you both were smarter than that.”

Why is Percival’s heart broken?

“Although I promised I wouldn’t do anything… except just… show you this.”

She takes out a small pensieve and puts one of her memories in there.

Newt looks at her in confusion.

Picquery rolls her eyes.

“Just look at it.”

A little bit nervous, Newt does as he’s told and after getting inside the memory, he realizes he’s again in Madam President’s office, but weeks ago.

Percival walks inside with a smile on his face.

“We should keep him.”

“Keep who?” Picquery looks up and immediately narrows her eyes with curiosity when she looks at him. “And why are you grinning like an idiot?”

Percival’s clears his throat and decides to ignore the last question.

“We need to hire Newt Scamander.”

“You mean auror Scamander’s little brother?” She tries to sound serious, but there’s something in her voice and a little bit of amusement in her gaze. “He’s cute, isn’t he?”

Percival looks away, cheeks turning pink.

“Yes, I was talking about Theseus’s brother,” he says, again ignoring the last question.

“And why should we hire him?”

“He’s great,” Percival says so sincerely that Newt can’t help but melt on the spot.

Then the Director proceeds to explain to her what Newt does and how he managed to heal one of his hippogriffs. Newt didn’t know he was paying attention.

“Fine. I’ll hire him,” she mumbles, holding back another smile. “But you have to (at least) ask him out.”

“What? Why?”

“Because you’re in love, Percival.”

Instead of denying it, a soft grin quirks up the Director’s lips.

“I think I am.”

When the memory ends, Newt is already tearing up a little bit. He looks up at Picquery.

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome, Mr. Scamander.”

***

Newt finds Percival in the hallway, talking to Fontaine, Weiss and Theseus. Although he stops as soon as he sees Newt walking towards him.

“Are you okay, Newt? Is there something–”

The poor thing doesn’t stand a chance; Newt takes him by the tie and pulls to kiss him on the lips. It takes Percival a couple of seconds, but he puts his hands on Newt’s waist to press him closer against his body.

He kisses back like he’s been drowning and Newt is air and even though he loves the kiss, he needs to talk.

When he pulls away, Percival chases his lips for more, but stops when Newt puts a hand over his mouth.

“I love you too,” he mumbles and hears Weiss trying to yank Fontaine away to leave them alone.

Percival’s smile is something Newt has never seen before, he’s so happy. He leans, but this time to press their foreheads together.

“But why you didn’t accept my courtship?”

“I thought you wanted a marriage of convenience,” Newt admits, blushing.

“What? I thought it was obvious I was completely in love with you,” Percival mumbles.

A little bit embarrassed, Newt explains what happened when his mother fire-called him.

“I was already in love when I talked to your mother,” Percival hugs him. “I just wanted her approval.”

“I understand now,” Newt smiles, kissing him on the cheek.

“Would you allow me to court you, Newt?”

“I’d love to!” He breathes, almost crying of happiness.

Percival initiates the kiss this time, but it’s much more intense than the other.

And then someone clears their throat.

Newt had completely forgotten about his brother.

“I’m happy for you, I truly am,” Theseus says, before narrowing his eyes. “But please stop devouring each other in front of me. It’s disgusting.”

“You can leave us alone,” Newt says, although he knows he won’t.

“No,” Theseus shakes his head. “From now on, I’m your official chaperone.”

Newt sighs. The next couple of weeks are not going to be easy.