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Lemons

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When he was a very small boy, his father had bought him a package of lemon drops.

It’s only a small one; maybe there is ten in there, at best. But it is so special. Money has been tight lately, and Jacob has not has sugar in such a long, long time.

“Here, Jacob,” his father says, crouching down beside him. He pours one of the candies out into his hand. “It’s lemon, see? It’s a lemon drop.”

He nods, staring at the small, yellow sweet in his father’s palm. He thinks it looks slightly like medicine, but he’d still like to try it.

His father hands the candy to him, and he places it in his mouth.

Jacob likes it immediately.

“It’s lemon, and it’s sour by it’s self,” his father continues, “But the candy is sweet. You see, Jacob? They’ve added sugar, they’ve seen the best in it. That’s what you need to do, Jacob, makes things sweeter. Turn bad situations around. See the potential. Remember that, Jacob.”

He sucks on the candy in his mouth and nods.

******

They are sitting on a bench in a park.

(It’s small one, and she says it’s doubtful that any of her kind will spot them. He wishes they didn’t have to hide.)

She’s laughing, and he is smiling, and he can’t remember the last time he felt this happy.

Jacob pulls out the package he bought at the store to give her.

(The bakery’s been doing better than ever.)

Queenie grins at him.

It’s far from an ideal situation. This is illegal, they’re meeting in secret, her sister doesn’t really know and wouldn’t approve, and there is a war on the rise, but they are together and that’s how they’ll face the trouble.

“You had a wonderful father,” she tells him as she takes a lemon drop and hands him the bag from him to take one.

Jacob smiles at that, because at least, in this moment, he doesn’t need to sweeten anything.

****

He’s standing on a bridge in who knows where.

Everything’s in pieces, and it hurts so much he can barely think.

Slowly, he reaches into his pocket to retrieve a small paper bag.

He turns it over in his hands.

Can this be repaired?

(Queenie gone, others dead, Grindelwald on the rise.)

Is there really hope? Can they really continue?

(He misses the way Queenie would reassure him, answering all the questions he’d never ask.)

“Mr. Kowalski?”

He turns around. It’s the old teacher of Newt’s, the tall one who has history with Grindelwald.

“I’m sorry.” There is so much meaning in those two words, and Jacob can tell that he knows the sorrow he is undergoing.

Jacob shows him the candies. “They’re made out of lemons, but they still taste sweet. My dad… he told me to always add sugar, to turn things around.”

He leaves the, “But can we…” unspoken.

But then he turns around, and there is Tina and Newt, talking to each other with awkwardness for the first time in a long time, (Of course, there still is a bit of awkwardness, but it’s the kind that can be worked around, and it screams potential) and they compliment each other in such a special way. It still gives him a pang, so reminiscent of him and Queenie, but it makes him realize that maybe, just maybe, there is hope.

He turns back to the professor.

“Would you like a lemon drop?”