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Fantastic Ficlets and Where I Post Them

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The vast majority of fics are written for prompts and comments. The summary here contains the prompt or comment, go to each chapter to read my response. Easy.

ps Assume these are all Gramander unless told otherwise

  1. Index page, who'd'a thunk it.
  2. Graves + Kowalski spawn
    But it's all good in the end to it's all good my m8 they in lurve and cute
  3. Graves + more Kowalski spawn
    You fiend I wasnt ready i wasn't ready for a kowalski spawn and probably more of them later hugging graves' legs begging him to play aurors and criminals
  4. Graves + kissing Newt's scars
    Percival kissing all of Newt's scars. That is all.
  5. Graves + taking Newt dancing
    You know what I want to read about though? Graves taking Newt dancing and them dancing all night long
  6. Graves + Newt + Newt panicking at a con and Graves helping (+ fairy!Pickett)
    So getinthefuckingjaeger sent me this post about Colin Farrell giving Eddie Redmayne a backrub before a comic con thing to help him calm down.
  7. Graves + Tina + ridiculous names
    the first word you ever say is the name of your soulmate. to combat the issue of mixing up due to common names, parents start coming up with odder and more ridiculous names for their kids.
  8. Graves + Newt + Newt's mouth
    skipsupport3 on tumblr had a chat post about Graves and Newt and Newt's mouth and this is what happened
  9. Graves on a motorbike + Newt on a horse
    ... I saw a post with a pair of pictures that were nothing to do with fantastic beasts and oops
  10. Graves + more fairy!Pickett (follows on to ch 6)
    Fairy!Pickett was requested, fairy!Pickett is delivered
  11. Graves + Newt + the parrots of Copan
    your fluff is cotton candy is soft like baby hippogriff down, is amazing and you do seem to like Graves, which is fantastic, but more Newt more Newt please?
  12. Merlin from Kingsman is Merlin from Harry Potter
    I think there might’ve been a Freudian slip, babe. Colin Farrell is the wizard, Colin Firth is the daddy in the suit that works for a super secret spy agency ;) Both totally hot and worth a mention, so I 100% understand!
  13. Graves + Newt + being illegally hot at the family barbeque
    Colin Farrell looks like if you went to a friends barbeque and someones uncle was there, and he's really hot and flirty, even though its totally inappropriate due to age differences, but you still kinda wanna take his clothes off and he will let you, ya feel?
  14. Queenie + overhearing Graves' decidedly non-PG thoughts about Newt
    I’m just imagine that newt is sooo adorable and sooo cute that graves pray to every deity exist to have strength to not pin newt to wall and ravage the fuck out of it and queenie just go so red and basically like well shit, never thought graves could be like that…
  15. Graves + the spate of arson cases in New York
    I have such an odd soft spot for this pairing, the straight-laced auror and the zig-zagging conservationist. I’ve been overcome with emotions revolving around the idea of Graves doing a rescue without even planning it, lately. Right place right time, and suddenly newt, I think this is a Phoenix, nEWT.
  16. Graves + Newt + flying reindeers
    I'm so deep in gramander Hell i don't want to get out anymore. So, what about some fun times when Graves interrogates Newt because he's in trouble because of his creatures (again) ?
  17. Mermaid!Graves + Newt + evil sea witch Grindelwald
    The reverse Little Mermaid AU
  18. Graves + waiting for Newt
    Now think about it again. I think Graves has had enough fun times with Newt already. Poor him
  19. Newt + formal functions + being, ah, somewhat tipsy
    Could we pretty please see Graves and Newt at some kind of formal function and being nervous around so many strangers Newt perhaps has a bit too much to drink but it's fine because Graves happens to find a tipsy Newt to be the absolute most adorable thing in the universe and he just wants to take him home and take care of him forever?
  20. Newt + vampire!Graves
    In which Graves is a vampire and Newt is in waaaay over his head
  21. Newt + the language of flowers
    Newt stays in New York. But he keeps getting different flower(s) on his desk. They are always different every time.
  22. Newt + being stabbed in the gut while Graves watches helplessly
    I keep seeing Newt either silently stepping between Graves and a spell or like in Mummy Returns, everyone is relieved after a battle and suddenly there is Grindelwald casually stabbing Newt in the gut and Graves catches him as falls. Newt doesn't die though. Would you consider this?
  23. Credence + the canoe
    ... oh god why did I do this
  24. Credence + Graves + pyschopaths (gravebone)
    So. Psychopaths. I’ve just watched Seven Psychopaths and they’re kinda on my mind at the moment.
  25. Animagus!Graves + Addie the nundu
    Graves got turned into a wampus cat and later kept the form as his animagus transformation. Addie the nundu adopted him.
  26. Grindelwald + that one really weird Bond villain scene
    Everyone knows how that famous duel ended in 1945, how Dumbledore let Grindelwald live. Imprisoned, yes, but alive. What they didn't know was that Grindelwald was the same. That in Nurmengard, there was a single, hidden tower accessible only to Gellert that sat awaiting its destined resident. Somewhere where Gellert could bring Albus back to his side where he was meant to be (where he could keep him all to himself as he always wished to)
  27. Delgado + Graves and Newt + mistletoe cannon
    I saw a post that said "tis the season to violently fire mistletoe out of a cannon at your otp" I was thinking Delgado would maybe enjoy that
  28. Graves + being ill
    I am ill. I refuse to suffer alone.
  29. Newt + baby
    I have a thing for you: actual Mummy Newt
  30. Newt + being an actual Mummy take two
    …..Is it bad that I thought this was going to be about Newt as an actual mummy? like wrapped in bandages and living forever?
  31. Newt + taking charge
    You know thing are going to get to new levels of kinky when is Newt the one backing Graves against any flat surface
  32. Newt + the ironbellies at war
    Okay, so Newt canonically worked with dragons, Ukrainian Ironbellies to be precise, in WWI on the Eastern Front. What that basically means was that Newt was there, when the battles scorched the earth of Russia and Romania, working with dragons.
  33. Newt + Theseus + flirting with Graves (scamandercest)
  34. Graves + whistling
    Did you ever think about a whistling Graves? Or a humming one?
  35. Mama!Graves + Papa!Graves
    Mama and Papa Graves needs their own spin off sitcom
  36. Graves + revenge
    All right then, my chickadees. Gather round. Yesterday I promised that today’s story would involve Graves going on a rampage and killing the fuck out of everyone, and that’s the story I’m going to tell - of a sort.
  37. Graves + the really awful coffee Newt made him
    Prepare thyselves for fluff
  38. Penguin!Graves + fox!Newt
    A fox and a penguin? Someone call Disney.
  39. Grindelwald + two different coloured eyes
    Why does Grindelwald have two different coloured eyes?
  40. Newt's ironbellies + a small host of dragonets + grandmama!Newt
    So there’s a post going round tumblr which naturally when I want it I can’t find it BUT from it I learnt that cats and even cheetahs will dump their cubs sometimes with people they trust because Mummy Needs A Damn Nap.
  41. Graves + I wanted to be her.
    I like to think about Percival playing the piano. I also like to think about Percival having a wife (or husband) and that wife coming home while he plays the piano, and pressing a gun to his temple. (the first fill)
  42. Graves + Assassin!Artemis
    I like to think about Percival playing the piano. I also like to think about Percival having a wife (or husband) and that wife coming home while he plays the piano, and pressing a gun to his temple. (the second fill)
  43. A small host of dragonets + grandpapa!Graves (follows on to ch 40)
    A continuation of the one with grandma!Newt looking after the baby dragons, because lonerofthepack wanted Graves to meet his step-grandchildren
  44. Graves + 14th century forks
    What if Percival Graves was a nerd for something completely obscure like what if he’s just really passionate about collecting forks from the fourteenth century and everyone just indulges him when he gushes about look how shiny and well-kept this one is Phina this is a thing of beauty, absolutely amazing
  45. Graves + pride, as told by Grindelwald
  46. Fashionista!Graves
    Do you think Percival owns colorful ties? Pink waistcoats? Red scarves and scorpion-shaped cufflinks? Or is he very stern - all whites, greys , black with only a touch of color in the threading of his jacket?
  47. Graves + Newt + the Tourist!Au
    Written for this glorious piece of art by sssilkworms on tumblr
  48. Newt + ice cream (follows on to ch 47)
    I read your drabble on six’s fanart and I thought to myself, “Newt, apparently your sense of adventure doesn’t not extend to ice cream flavours. Chocolate chip as opposed to Mango. Really? How about Peach, Newt? PEACH GELATO? Is that too fancy for your sensible English taste??”
  49. Graves + paperwork + accidentally getting all magical creatures banned in New York
  50. Newt + falling in love with the sea
    Written for this aesthetic of mermaid Newt by crazynifflers on tumblr
  51. Newt + not being a damsel in distress
    Graves' love for Newt is so clear that even a blind man can see that. So the bad guys take advantage of this weakness!! But you know what? Newt is NOT A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS he can kick ass and he " can handle myself just fine. No no Frank do not!And you too mister Graves!"
  52. Newt + seedy bars + asexual!Graves
  53. Graves + crying at his wedding
    Psa Percival Graves is the type of man who will cry at his wedding when he sees his intended walk down the aisle. He will cry.
  54. Grindelwald + dark magic makes people ugly
  55. Jacob + don't worry
    Can we talk about how in the trailer Jacob was faced with that dragon fire spell thing and instead of running, he just closes his eyes, stand there, and accepts the fact that he's probably gonna die?
  56. Grindelwald, Theseus, Newt and Graves + elements
    If wizards had control over elemental powers, what elements do you think Percival, Newt, Theseus and Grindelwald would represent?

Chapter Text

“I am not ‘cute’,” Graves denied. The menace giggled, reaching forward a sugar-dusted hand to pat his cheek.

“Yes you are, silly,” she insisted. “You and Uncle Newt are totally cute. We voted.”

We?”

She nodded, serious and intent. “They had a day on families ‘n things at school, at we decided that you were cute. Everyone puts their hands up ‘n everything, we made it official so you have to be cute. Do you want a cookie?”

Graves took the cookie - it was, in fact, a half-eaten mince pie, but everything is a cookie to small children - with numb horror. “Newt!” he called down the hall. “Newt, Kowalski’s spawn thinks I’m cute!”

Newt ambled in with a steaming mug in his hand and gave Graves a mock-severe up and down. He shook his head, disappointment flowing off him in waves. “You’re not cute,” he said, and Graves’ heart swelled with appreciation for this fabulous, amazing man -

“You’re adorable.”

- this dirty dirty traitor.

Kowalski’s daughter giggled again, and Newt high-fived her.

Chapter Text

More of them? More of them?

Do you know what Graves has to put up with from the Kowalski spawn? Do you know how many various shades of pink and pastel blue (and that one month of violent blood red that still haunts him to this day) his nails have been painted? He’s had sparkly beads braided into his hair.

And you want more of them?

Graves didn’t realise what he was getting into at first, and maybe, maybe that was his fault. But come on - the spawn was tiny, her entire hand was the size of Graves’ finger, she blew him a spit bubble and called him “Nun-cle” in an adorable little lisp. Graves thought she was cute, like those stray crup puppies Newt brought home that one time.

The crup puppies alternately chewed his dressing gown and shat in his slippers, so he really should learn to be wary of cute things.

But! The spawn was cute. She had round cheeks and curly hair, and liked to sit on his knee and tangle her fingers in his scarf. And, maybe, he and Newt had been in Paris and there’d been this little boutique shop with these little pink dresses and he’d picked one up for her on the way.

And then, maybe, there’d been that doll with the ringlets in its hair and the lace frills on its clothes.

In Bolivia there are llamas, and brightly coloured ponchos with llamas knitted on them.

In China, silk, every colour under the sun and shimmering iridescent with more that are only seen by moonlight.

In Malaysia, batik wax-patterns of the most beautiful flowers imaginable.

Newt picks up stray creatures and stuffs them in his suitcase, but Graves picks up toys and clothes and picture books and slips them in his jacket pocket. There’s one two three spawn, and he can’t stop bringing them things now, they’ll be sad.

It’s emotional manipulation at its finest and they all practice it, even if the youngest is still too young to talk. He’ll learn. His sisters will make sure of it.

His sisters, who are currently barrelling towards him at unreasonable speed, socked feet sliding on the polished floor.

“Uncle Graves, quick! Come with me!” the younger spawn says, hauling him out of his chair and diving behind the sofa with him.

“Fiend!” the elder cries dramatically. “Dastardly evil fiend!”

“Um,” Graves says from where he’s crouched against the sofa.

“I’m kidnapping you,” is the matter-of-fact response. “You’re my ostrich.”

“Um?”

“It’s hostage, and don’t worry Uncle Graves, I’m an auror and I’m going to rescue you!”

Graves ends up hiding in the bath with a stuffed toy fire crab while his auror savior dramatically flings spells from a quill pen and and his devious kidnapper marshalls the puffskeins into an army.

More of them, maybe, would be ok. Maybe.

Chapter Text

There’s a scar across the knuckles on Newt’s left hand. Many scars, in fact, all of them tiny little specks that gather in clusters of shiny-white skin. He can’t bend his little finger fully, and the base of it is almost covered in the spattered marks.

“Splinters,” Newt explains. “An erumpet was exploding a tree. I got too close, and…” He shrugs. “Splinters.”

Graves traces the pattern of them, fanning out from the edge of Newt’s fingers almost down to the base of his thumb. He raises Newt’s hand to his mouth and brushes a kiss over each knuckle.

-

The slash along Newt’s right shoulder is perfectly straight in the way that only spellfire can manage. It wraps around from the front to the back, and the skin puckers where it joins.

“They wanted the graphorns for potions parts,” Newt says. “They were the last of their kind and I wanted them free. We had a disagreement.”

He’s blasé about it, turning his shoulder to show Graves the scar as though Graves won’t recognise the extent of it. It would have cut almost to the bone - it could, easily, have cut through that.

Graves presses his lips to the center of the scar, one long kiss that he holds there. Newt buries his hand in Graves’ hair and presses a kiss of his own onto Graves’ forehead.

-

There’s a star-burst scar on Newt’s stomach, off-center and lopsided. It’s hollowed, slightly, and rough to the touch under Graves’ hand. On his back, there’s a larger wound, ragged and torn.

“That one was my fault,” Newt says, bashful and almost embarrassed about the marks. “I had to reset a horntail’s wing, and the numbing charm didn’t take properly - it was painful, of course she lashed out.” He scratches at the back of his head, pulling the skin of his stomach taut over the exit wound. “She didn’t mean to hurt me. She wouldn’t have used her spikes if she did, she’d have gone straight for the fire.”

The entrance wound on Newt’s back is easily the size of Graves’ palm, the skin beneath it shredded into a mess of raised scar tissue. Graves traces the outline of it with feather-kisses, and when he’s done he rolls Newt over kisses the scar on his stomach as well.

-

Newt makes a face. “Blood vine,” he says, bending his knee to show Graves the scar that twists around up to his hip. “A perfectly horrible plant that was working its way through an endangered tebo population before I put a stop to it.”

The ropey scar starts at Newt’s calf, a thick chain that winds up his leg and over his knee to finish at the top of his thigh. There are other scars on his knee, precise and surgical cuts where someone had reopened the wound to fix the damage and reconstruct the joint.

Graves follows the trail of the blood vine’s scar with a long drag of his tongue and a final, lingering kiss just under Newt’s hipbone.

-

“Did you know,” Newt says, pupils dilated and breath hitching in his chest, “that I once cut my lip open on a particularly sharp piece of sugar quill?”

His lips are smooth and unmarked, but Graves kisses him all the same.

Chapter Text

Graves was not the best dancer, but he was good enough for most things. He learnt the classics from his mother, stiffly stepping his way through the waltzes and the quicksteps and listening to her endless suggestions to “Relax, Percival, feel the elegance of the music. A dance is a thing of beauty, no?”

‘No’ was about right. Graves knew the steps and could count the rhythms, and as far as he was concerned elegance was never on the menu to begin with. He stayed with the lessons until he became good enough to avoid embarrassment and left it at that.

In 1934, a no-maj jazz singer by the name of Cab Calloway introduced America to a dance called the jive. It was a variant of swing dancing, energetic and lively, and Newt - made of elbows and knees and far taller than anyone gave him credit for with limbs flying all over the place - loved it.

The jive was not ordered. It was not controlled. There was, as far as Graves could tell, no pretence at elegance whatsoever. Dancing the jive was a complex and dangerous past time requiring similar levels of skill and concentration to a four way no-holds-barred wandless duel. Attempting to not only keep from stepping on Newt’s feet but also keep Newt from stepping on his, and catching Newt when the man flung himself in the air with no thought as to where he would land -

It was not, exactly, what Graves would call a fun night. When the next pause came in the music he pushed an irritating amount of hair out of his face, and turned to say that he’d be sitting the next one out.

The words died in his mouth.

Newt’s face was flushed, eyes bright and cheeks stained red from exertion. His hair was a tangled mess of curls, clinging to the sweat that beaded his neck and pooled in the dip of his collarbone.

Somehow, the next dance started before Graves had managed to bow out of it. Then the next. Newt laughed and Graves caught him when he flung himself around and between them they managed not to step on each others’ feet too badly. The dances tumbled into each other and Graves used the pauses between each one to steal breathless, worshipful kisses in the dark.

It turned out that his mother was right - a dance was a thing of beauty, if one had the right dance partner to do it with.

Chapter Text

Newt’s book is a success.

Of course it’s a success. It was written by the best magizoologist alive - the best wizard alive, in Graves’ humble and completely unbiased opinion. If it wasn’t a success, he’d be storming around with his wand out in search of whatever foul play was interfering with the success of Newt’s book. Probably dark magic. Evil dark magic that wants to stop Newt’s book being the success it was always destined to be. The dark magic should count itself lucky that Newt’s book has sold out every print run to date, because otherwise it would have a severely pissed off Graves knocking on its door.

But. That’s by the by.

Newt’s book is a success, and the wizard - and his heroic, daring exploits as he tracks down and saves his many fantastic beasts - have become something of a sensation in the wizarding world. Strangely enough, it’s the younger generation that have taken to him the most. The older wizards are still shaking their heads about newfangled notions and the follies of having feelings for potions ingredients, but the younger generation have full-out gone for it.

With a party.

A huge, fantastic beasts themed party.

It’s billed as a collection of seminars, a convention of sorts - leading experts from around the world giving lectures about magical animals and what they mean to the wizarding world. There’s networking, a whole lot of people very interested in working with magical beasts and a whole lot of people sitting up and taking notice of the funding pouring in to various reserves and research centres. There’s even a few hands-on sessions where people can get close and personal with some of the tamer beasts.

But, basically, it’s an enormous party. However you dress it up (and yes, quite a few people have dressed up). And Newt is the star speaker, about to go out on stage in front of hundreds - thousands! - of wizards and witches from about the globe to talk about his book, his travels, and his beasts.

Graves couldn’t be prouder of him.

Newt, on the other hand, is a nervous wreck backstage and if it weren’t for the anti-apparition precaution wards put up around the whole place, he’d be several continents away by now.

Graves approaches with caution.

“Newt?” he asks, laying a hand on his shoulder. Newt spins, eyes wild and wand half-raised in front of him. He stutters to a stop as soon as he recognises Graves.

“Sorry,” he mumbles miserably. “I didn’t - sorry.”

Graves fights the urge to wring his hands like a distraught housewife or find whatever is making Newt sad and hex it. “No no,” he says. “Don’t be sorry. Just, tell me what’s wrong?”

Newt fists his hands into his hair, coming dangerously close to sticking his wand in his eye, and struggles to find how to word it. Graves’ hand finds its way back to his shoulder, thumb rubbing gentle circles against his shirt.

Slowly, the tension eases out of Newt’s frame. Not completely, but enough for him to lower his hands and lean back slightly into Graves’ touch. “It’s a lot of people,” he finally says.

Graves hums. “It’s not that many,” he disagrees lightly. “Not as many people as there were faeries at the solstice gathering you took me to.”

“They’re considerably bigger than faeries,” Newt huffs, but Graves only raises an eyebrow to that.

“They don’t have to be,” he offers. “Send Frank up into the rafters with a shrinking potion, I’m sure he can fix things.”

“Frank isn’t a potions dispenser,” Newt protests, but there’s the beginnings of a smile on his face.

“Or I can cast engorgement charms on you until you’re twenty metres tall and they’re tiny little peanuts compared to you, that would work as well.” He tilts his head, mock-serious with his considerations. “Not sure how where we’d transfigure that many flower petal outfits from, though. Some of them may have to go without.”

Newt whacks him on the shoulder. “You’re awful,” he says through a grin.

“Thoroughly,” Graves agrees. He steals a kiss and herds Newt to the stage, though not before conjuring the sparkliest, floweriest petal dress for Pickett to wear. He even gives the bowtruckle a pair of glowing wings, much to the little thing’s delight.

“Awful,” Newt repeats, but he’s too enamoured with fairy-Pickett to remember to be nervous when he turns to face the crowd.

Chapter Text

When Graves first receives Tina’s application to be an auror, he takes a moment to stare - really stare - at the combination of names she’s been saddled with. Porpentina is a mouthful as it is, but she has six middle names, none of which are less than three syllables long. It’s a wonder her soulmate has enough space on their body to fit the entire name in.

“Call me Tina,” she says with an aggressive tilt to her chin when he meets her. “Or Goldstein. Or don’t call me anything at all.”

Ah. “Your parents followed the soul-naming trend?” he asked sympathetically. She shuddered and made what may have been an aborted motion to throw up in her mouth, and Graves said no more.

At some point, when Tina had graduated from trainee to rookie and Graves had graduated from trainer to second in command of the auror department, they went out to drink. Correction, they went out to get absolutely shitfaced in a complete dive of a bar that Tina knew which Graves was ninety seven percent sure was a den of iniquity in some way. On the other hand, alcohol. Yay.

“My sister,” Tina slurs, “only has three names, and sometimes I hate her for it.” She downs a shot of something violently blue and steaming and sets the glass on the counter with a decisive thunk. “But all of her names begin with Q, so. Hah.” 

“My parents spelt Percival with a Y,” Graves admitted. He’d never told anyone that in his life. He’d changed his birth certificate as soon as he’d been old enough to know how. He frowned at the glass of what should have been brandy and found he didn’t care enough to stop talking.

“Percival… y?” Tina tries. “Per-civally. Valey. Valley?”

“And my soulmate is called Newt. Newt! My soulmate is a small amphidorus bug!”

Tina wrinkled her nose. “Amphibiosa,” she corrected sagely, and accidentally levitated Graves’ glass off the table. 

“His middle name is Fido, Goldstein, Goldstein my soulmate is a slimy bug dog.”

Somehow they both end up laughing, and somehow their attempts to order more alcohol end up with Graves accidentally giving the password to open a door round the back to iniquity in not just some but several ways, and somehow both of them decided to leave it be because it wasn’t hurting anyone and they didn’t want to deal with the paperwork while hungover.

The speakeasy ended up as Tina’s go-to place for information on everything and she refused to tell anyone except Graves who her sources were. Graves, on the other hand, made it a habit to scare the crap out of the folks in the back rooms by popping in at random intervals for brandy and loudly commenting how glad he was they weren’t breaking any major laws that he’d have to arrest them for.

Thankfully, neither of them ever mentioned each other’s soulmate names again.

Until, that is, Tina ran into an English wizard with a case full of trouble and asked him the fateful question:

“Is your middle name Fido? Because A, what were your parents thinking, and B, there’s someone I need you to meet.”

Chapter Text

There are many things Graves loves about Newt, ranging from his complete devotion to his creatures all the way to how fantastically sexy he looks with his wand out and spells flying (particularly when he’s doing it because of said devotion to his creatures, in which case he goes all intense and he sets his jaw just so and sometimes he was in the middle of something else so he’s got his coat off and his sleeves rolled up and unf, take me now. Graves would be embarrassed how much he likes watching Newt rain the eternal fires of justice down on the fuckers that dare upset his creatures, except that he gets to take that ass home and own it and Newt’s always that bit rougher when he’s worked up about things. So. Unf.)

So as Graves was saying, there are many things he loves about Newt, but the thing in particular that he’d like to extol at the moment is Newt’s mouth. It’s just. It’s so pretty. It’s slightly lopsided, and it laughs and frowns and the sides quirk up into the most adorable little half-smiles, and the lips are pink and just a bit chapped and the tongue that darts out to wet them every sentence or two is red and there’s this little smear of chocolate muffin just in the very corner.

It’s a very distracting mouth, that’s all Graves is saying.

“… are you even listening to me?” Newt asks. “Because I’ve been telling you how elephants are actually baby nifflers for quite a while now and you’ve just nodded and looked dopey.”

“Fascinating,” Graves nods obligingly, and Newt whaps him with the muffin.

“Graves! Have I got something on my face or what?”

And Graves is an opportunist. That counts as an opening. So instead of waving at the smear of chocolate muffin and doing that whole “You’ve got a little… just there… yeah that’s got it” schtick, he holds Newt’s chin still with one hand and reaches across the table to lick the offending smear off. Mm, chocolate and Newt. Good combination.

“Not anymore,” he says smugly.

Newt glares at him, resolutely takes the messiest bite of muffin it’s humanly possible to take (he may even have used magic to achieve quite that many crumbs, Graves isn’t sure), and asks, “How about now?”

Graves’ answer to that is to apparate the both of them to the bedroom because that’s too much chocolate to deal with with a table in the way.

Chapter Text

   

pictures originally posted by redbuttonsblog

… I don’t know who those two people are and I apologise to them for not knowing, but when I saw this I thought the guy on the motorcycle was Colin Farrell and therefore chaps and chapesses we have Percival Graves in a leather jacket on a motorbike which would obviously make the guy on the left Newt Scamander on what I have to say is a really beautiful horse.

But this is magic. So let’s give the horse wings because yes and Newt’s been keeping this horse in his suitcase but the poor thing just wants some space, you know? Suitcase is lovely, but there’s a whole open sky up there and he really really really wants to go. Really.

So finally Newt breaks and he waits for it to be dark, middle of the night, surely there’s no one around and he takes the horse out to central park. It leaps out of the suitcase, ears up tail up let’s go now and woah. No. What is this. These are not the patagonian plains there could be things out there so listen amigo, I’m not going by myself. Get on and ride.

And Newt makes these little shooing motions at him, but the horse gives him the most incredulous look and cuffs him with a wing until Newt gets the message and hops on. Buckbeak’s flight starts playing in the background (you know, with the drums) and galloping happens and one two three wing beats let’s get airborne what the shit why are the buildings so close and basically there is grace and there is beauty but it’s all in the horse and not at all in Newt hanging on for dear life.

And down in the city, there’s Graves. On his night off, he’s got his leather jacket and he’s got his motorcycle, and he really wanted a quiet night under the stars with his thoughts except that he can hear some damn idiot whooping at three in the fucking morning and dammit Newt no-majs don’t all go to bed with the sun. So he fires up the motorcycle and roars down the streets shouting swear words at the sky while Newt keeps laughing and yelling “WHAT?” and “SORRY CAN’T STOP IS IT IMPORTANT?” and “GRAVES DON’T POINT YOUR WAND AT ME”

But the thing is, it’s horribly illegal and it’s probably going to spark at least seventeen no-maj stories about the madman on a flying horse, but it’s also really fun. Graves likes his bike, he likes going fast, and he also kinda maybe likes chasing Newt.

So next time the horse needs to stretch its wings, Graves makes sure they’re well out of the city limits. He fires up the motorbike and pulls on the leather jacket and the horse is practically vibrating with excitement now because look, it has a herd, and Newt blows Graves a kiss and challenges him to keep up if he can.

And maybe slightly somewhat Graves’ motorbike is magically enhanced so he just smirks, gives the horse a headstart to get up to speed, and floors it.

Chapter Text

But what you don’t understand is that fairy Pickett is Pickett’s favourite thing. He twirls in his sparkly flower petal dress and whenever Newt tries to talk to someone about something (anything) whOOPSIDAISY there’s a Pickett popped up from his collar and sitting on his nose and swinging from his fringe and basically doing everything he can to get people to notice his fabulous new outfit. Newt ends up doing a lot of flustered apologising, and scattered attempts to explain that Pickett is a bowtruckle, not a fairy - no, the wings aren’t a standard thing for, uh, for bowtruckles, it’s just Pickett is - it’s a spell, they’re not - Pickett sit down - but about that book signing? :)

It both cements his reputation as a complete oddball and gains him a flock of devoted Pickett-followers, but at least he has bigger things to focus on than how nervous he is talking to people about his work. So. Plus?

Except the spell wears off, as transfigurations tend to do, and Pickett is distraught. He hides under Newt’s collar and cradles his knees to his chest as though he could hide his sudden, shameful lack of sparkly petal dress. He won’t even come out for woodlice, he’s that distraught - Newt goes through a whole dinner without a leaf of spinach appearing.

So Graves transfigures him another one, because Pickett’s making Newt worry himself to tears and that just won’t do.

… and another one, when the transfiguration runs out on that one and Pickett launches himself across the room at Graves with a pitiful wail.

… again, at three in the morning, when Pickett crawls up to Graves’ ear and whimpers at him until he wakes up.

Eventually Graves just bites the bullet and buys the damn dresses. He has to commission them because they don’t make fairy costumes that small and the fairies themselves sure aren’t selling theirs. It takes four days for the dresses to arrive - four days of Graves transfiguring sparkly flower petals every few hours for the vainest damn bowtruckle in existence - but it’s worth it, when they do. They even come with tiny coat hangers that Newt constructs a tiny wardrobe for and Pickett coos with delight over the whole thing.

Graves just enjoys being able to sleep through the night again. And how happy Newt is watching Pickett prance around like the pretty little princess he is.

Chapter Text

Newt fluff, you say? Hmm. What Newt fluff could I give you.

I could give you that time they went to Copan in Honduras, and Graves - poor, deluded Graves who thought that the history was the main thing to see - was staring in fascination at ancient stonework still riddled with runic wards, the stepped temples rising majestic out of the towering trees, the carved patterns and statues dotted around the abandoned site like so many stones on a gobstone board. But, see, Copan is home to a type of parrot not found anywhere else in the world, a parrot so rare that it doesn’t even have a name. It looks like a red macaw when you first see it, except that it turns its head and you realise there’s another head behind. It takes off with a flutter of four wings, two tails streaming behind it, and four sets of claws curl around the branches when it lands. They were sacred, back when Copan was inhabited, and there’s carvings of them chiselled into the rock all over the site.

Newt is entranced. The parrots won’t let him get close (the macaws will, the mundane cousins of these magnificent two-headed birds, but Newt has seen macaws before) but Newt drifts with them from tree to tree, trotting underneath with his head tipped back to watch them glide. He tries to work out how they fly, how their wings fit together - are they layered on top of each other? One set in front, one set behind? Are they laid out in a cross like a dragonfly? - how the one body supports two of every limb –

They’re drifting away from the ruins. He’s leaving Graves behind. “Stay where you are,” he begs them (it comes out through his language charm in a mix of consonants he’s never heard before) and he runs stumbles trips his way back through the forest. Graves has found a giant staircase, mostly in ruins but still guarded by a pair of statues at the base, and he’s gently prodding at the one on the left with his wand.

“Graves,” Newt says, breathless from the run and the excitement both. “You have to - this way - ” He can’t talk fast enough to say what he wants to say so he just grabs Graves’ hand and pulls. They run stumble trip together, Graves wrapping one arm around Newt’s waist to keep him from falling and Newt tugging insistently forward, fingers tangled together so Graves’ keeps up.

The parrots aren’t where Newt left them. For a moment he stares at the trees, aching from the loss. Creatures come and go and sometimes they don’t stay to be social, but he wanted Graves to see. “They were beautiful,” he says, lifting his hands and tracing an outline in the air. “They were all colours, like fire - you’d have liked them, and Graves their tails.”

He burrows close into the space under Graves arm and pokes morosely at his floating model, turning the feathers red-orange-gold with blue-green trim. Graves wraps an arm around his shoulder and buries a hand in his hair, kisses the freckles on his forehead.

“Green tails?” he asks. “Green-gold, with a really long blue feather trailing behind?”

He points, and Newt follows with his gaze. There’s a parrot - just the one, perched on the low-hanging branch of a tree. It squawks, mimicking a sound that might once have been a word, and flies off between the trees. Newt follows, a scramble of limbs moving with surprising care to keep from making a noise. Graves, fingers still entwined with Newt’s, also follows. The parrot leads them to a saber tree, one of the greatest and tallest trees in the forest. It loops once around the pair of them then flies up, straight up -

The branches are filled with parrots. They peer down, twin heads tilting to study the newcomers, and when they glide from branch to branch their feathers stream behind them, red-gold-blue-green that shimmer in the evening light.

Graves holds Newt from behind and Newt leans back into his chest, and Newt doesn’t have to ask to know that Graves understands. These moments are special. These moments are theirs. There are no words for moments like these, moments shared in wonder and in love. No words are needed.

Chapter Text

AHAHAHA WHOOPS my fandoms are leaking

(but hello crossovers, mad crazy gun skills vs magic yes please)

(with bonus scene of Harry calling Merlin for backup and all wizards in the vicinity just going what the actual fUCK WHY DO YOU HAVE A MERLIN)

but no

wait

They don’t have a Merlin. Kingsman secret spy agency, which claims to have been founded really quite recently, is actually the direct lineage of the original knights of the round table and the man behind the wheel is the actual real life Merlin.

He changes his face. A lot. He remembers to age each visage, fiddles with the time stream a bit until he can select himself as an apprentice and ‘train himself’ to take the reins, then allows his older disguise to die in some fabulously hilarious manner to make way for his younger self to slide in and pick up the reins like he’s been doing it all his life. All thousand or so years of it, plus the extra time lived twice.

Kingsman umbrellas have protegos anchored in the handles. Those grenade-lighters? Bombardment charms. Waaaaay overpowered ones, because Merlin finds it amusing to blow things up with excessive force. And the fast acting venom on those killer oxfords? Basilisk. Oh yeah. There’s this absolute sweetheart living under a castle in Scotland, Merlin pops in every now and then for tea and scones and a bit of friendly venom poaching between mates. He gets seriously pissed when some bratty twelve year old kills his basilisk in the late 20th century, but it’s nothing a bit of fiddling with the time stream can’t solve.

He and the basilisk ended up back in the 1920s because Merlin’s lived so long that decades seem awfully small to him, and it’s a bit tricky to aim for the right one sometimes. He brings with him a Harry Hart who (with a bit of outright flaunting of the laws of science and magic both) has survived the bullet through his skull with little more than a bit of scarring.

And, since Harry was in America when he died and Merlin was saving everyone in one trip (efficiency, that’s him all over) they end up in America. Bit further North than they’d been before, few more skyscrapers around the place, not quite the hidden island of Atlantis Merlin was exactly aiming for, but meh. These things happen.

Then the rather frozen wizards in front of him unfreeze, spells start flying, Blinky the Basilisk starts complaining about the tinted goggles Merlin made her wear and trying to bite people and Harry just kinda reaches for his gun and gives Merlin the stink eye. And the wizards think he’ll be easy to take down, he’s just a no-maj, right? Except that their spells keep sliding around his suit what kind of sorcery is this and Harry bounces around like an exploding tennis ball, and somewhere in the background Merlin casually summons a sword for Harry when his gun runs out of bullets and the wizards have a collective what the actual hell moment because that’s Excaliber, that sword is a fucking legend why is a no-maj wielding the sword and it only gets worse when Harry shouts (very politely and in an impeccable accent) at Merlin for handing him a “shiny gold letter opener what’s wrong with a decent umbrella and did that man just turn my bow tie into a piranah” and basically. Chaos.

Fun times had by all.

Chapter Text

 why you do these things to me

Because hey, let’s have a modern AU. Newt is 25, uni student, studying biology. He’s a bit older than the other students, sure, but he took this gap year to travel the world and he got a bit caught up in things and there was this turtle program in Costa Rica that he was volunteering for - anyway. He’s in uni now. Let’s say Durham, because it’s got a big-ass castle and they used the cathedral for Hogwarts filming, so Newt will feel right at home there.

So Newt’s a uni student, third year. His best friend is a guy called Jacob who’s theoretically studying engineering but actually spends most of his time in the tiny shared kitchen baking more food than the two of them could ever eat. Jacob ends up wandering down the corridor with cakes, making friends as he goes and gaining a reputation as "that guy from upstairs who will totally eat biscuits with you and let you rant about your deadlines and your failed relationships and your general shit-storm of a life, we love that guy, every uni should have a guy like that he keeps us sane and he even brings dinner in finals week, like actual plates of lasagna oh my god that cake guy keeps us alive you don’t even understand.”

Anyway, Jacob’s dating madly in love with and going to marry this psychology student called Queenie and, naturally, he brings her round for dinner. He’s Jacob. He feeds people. It’s what he does. She sets about making strudel and he seamlessly moves around her to make hot pot and somehow they navigate the tiny kitchen without ever once getting in each other’s way. It’s magic. Only explanation. Newt, meanwhile, has just tripped over a chair and nearly strangled himself with his scarf, so he’s banished from the kitchen until everything’s done. He usually sits in the corridor with four books open around him that he should be studying and a youtube clip of David Attenborough on his laptop that he actually is studying and lord only knows how he passes his classes, that’s all I’m saying.

Newt’s not sure when Queenie’s sister started coming round. He was probably introduced, because he knows her name, but as far as he’s aware one day he was sitting in the corridor on his lonesome and the next day there’s a crabby law student asking why he’s explaining Life in the Freezer to his stick insect. Newt moves his stick insect protectively closer and he and Tina Don’t Get Along. Which is awkward, because neither of them dare upset Jacob or Queenie, so somehow they manage. And, because Queenie keeps bringing Tina round, somehow they end up friends, banished as they are to the corridor with stick insect!Pickett. Queenie just smiles to herself because she totally called this one and all is grand in life.

Then summer happens. Outside of Jacob - and now Queenie and Tina - Newt doesn’t really have many friends. His brother’s abroad being the big war hero, his parents are fine but just a bit much with the questions and the leading comments and the pointed remarks about settling down and the nice daughter of the nice friends of theirs who is really very nice and oops she happens to be round for dinner dear, isn’t that nice. Which. No. Newt is gay mother, and gay means that however nice she is she lacks appendages that Newt finds appealing in a partner. Please don’t sigh mother. Mother. Please.

Basically, when Tina tells him that he’s coming to the Goldstein family barbeque to be her moral support, he kicks the door closed on his way out and goes. Tina, it turns out, is being hounded just as much as him, except that her parents are throwing both boys and girls at her. Tina has no time for this. Tina has a law degree and a career plan and even if she did have time for this, she wouldn’t want it. Newt didn’t quite realise that ‘moral support’ meant ‘human shield and fake boyfriend’ but he can run with this. He goes around being introduced to the extended Goldstein family as Tina’s dapper boyfriend, he’s a biologist isn’t that right Tina dear? and Tina’s parents are so relieved she’s found someone that they absolutely dote on him. It’s hellishly awkward and he escapes as soon as possible to hide behind the barbeque.

And that was a really long winded answer for a very simple thing, but now you know the backstory that leads up to Newt nicking a beer from the table and leaning against the wall to take a breather from being Tina’s fake boyfriend. Now you know.

Enter Graves.

“You don’t look like part of the Goldstein clan,” he says. Newt looks up from his philosophical contemplation of his beer and hello where have you been all my life.

“Neither do you,” he answers dumbly, because he’s pretty sure he would’ve noticed if Goldsteins looked like movie stars in button-down shirts with their sleeves rolled up and the top buttons open over a superbly muscled chest mama mia take me now.

“Nah,” the man says. “I married in ages ago and haven’t been able to get rid of them since.” He snags a bottle of his own from the table and takes a long drink of it, smirking when he sees Newt’s attention caught on the line of his neck.

“Married?” Newt asks, and really, are affairs that bad? Like, they rip families apart and destroy trust and all that but come on. Biceps.

Graves puts the bottle down and turns so that he’s leaning against the wall with one shoulder, his body angled towards Newt. “No,” he says, voice going deeper and sending chills down Newt’s everything. “Not anymore.”

And that, Newt reckons, is about as close to divine permission as he’s going to get, so hells to the yes and let’s get this thing moving.

Chapter Text

There are certain… well, dangers isn’t quite the right word. But there are some things you might not quite expect when you’re young and you learn what it means that you can hear people’s voices in your head. There’s secrets you weren’t meant to overhear, little white lies you weren’t meant to see through, all the pleasantries that grease social life becoming meaningless and vague.

What a lovely dress dear becomes She doesn’t really think she’s pulled that off, does she?
We must do this again sometime becomes I’d really rather not
You have exactly the skills we’re looking for becomes How are her skills on her knees, that’s the important thing

Queenie gets very used to blocking people out, keeping her purposefully vapid smile fixed on her face, and responding only to what they say and never what they mean. It gets her a reputation, never said out loud, but broadcast across the thought waves where Queenie can hear just fine: Pretty doll; painted face, but empty headed inside. It’s fine. She gets used to it, learns to use it, even, and it’s a useful skill to be able to hide her reaction quite so well.

Like now, for example.

Queenie had always known that Graves was a different man inside his head to the carefully polished and serious demeanor he presented in public - Tina said he relaxed in the auror department, dropped the formal language, replaced the stiff mannerisms with an easy confidence. Queenie can hear something of that man in the running commentary in his head (and the way he can swear up a complete storm in his mind while accepting everything with calmness and grace on the surface). And yes, of course, she’d run into people thinking about their partners - even people thinking about her before, and she wasn’t a stranger to such things.

But. Wow. With Newt? That was. That was new.

Graves was nodding along perfectly intently at everything Tina said, but his mind was most definitely on other things. Newt, slouching against the wall and letting Pickett climb from hand to hand, had no idea - not that Queenie could tell, anyway - of the sheer level and complexity of feelings Graves had for his coat, ranging from it’s a very nice coat, look at the way it emphasises his shape to it would look so much better on the bedroom floor or I could push it down off his shoulders and leave it tangled around his arms, tie it to the bedpost and keep him there while I unbutton his shirt one torturous button at a time and –

Newt was thinking about the bowtruckle group in his case, and whether he’d need a second tree for them once the younger generation hit maturity. Queenie sidled closer and tried to concentrate on his thoughts, because Tina would notice if she started blushing out of nowhere.

Chapter Text

The spate of arson cases that had plagued New York over the past month had progressed from being a minor annoyance to be dealt with by a junior auror, through to being a full case handled by one of Graves’ more experienced men, up to its current status of top priority issue that Graves himself was dealing with.

“Run that by me again,” he demanded, scowling at the various coloured markers on the wall map.

The auror grumbled, but obligingly flicked to the front of his case file. “First incident was recorded on Monday 11th -”

Graves cut him off with an impatient hand wave. “Not the incident list. The MO, the targeted buildings. You said they were all apartment blocks?”

“Yessir. Top floor, penthouse rooms. All magical. Mix of residential and corporate areas. All burned through until the ceiling fell in.”

A sweep of his fingers and Graves had the buildings standing before him, shimmering and silver-tinged in the way that extracted memories often were. Seven buildings. Varying heights, but all among the taller of the blocks that New York had to offer. And, as his auror had said, all standing blackened and bare with their ceilings and good patches of their walls missing.

He frowned.

“Here,” he said, gesturing at one of the memories. “Ceiling gone, fire damage half-way down the walls. Did we get anyone inside?”

“Not that we have a memory-print of, but Delgado gave a verbal report…” a pause as the auror fiddled with the spell work before the recording began to play. Graves listened as Delgado described the damage, the way that the fire had eaten through even the strongest of fireproofing spells laid over the apartment and left torn magic and soot in its wake.

“But,” Graves said slowly when the voice trailed off, “no damage to the floor. Roof completely gone, and the carpet’s still in place.” He reached for another building and brought it towards him, stretching out his hands to enlarge the image.

“Sir?”

Graves tilted the memory. “Here, same thing. The fire burns top down - this one too.” He grinned wolfishly, feeling the case slot into place. “All of them. All seven of them, the fire was set on the roof. That’s why the wards weren’t tripped, why we’ve got nowhere by focussing on the apartments; no breaking and entering, no intruders to catch.”

The auror frantically shuffled through the case files, each damning photograph supporting Graves’ words. “The flames broke the wards from the outside?” he asked, horrified. “The strength required, the amount of magic, you’d need a team of wizards to get anything near that much.”

Graves set his jaw and gave a single, grim nod. He could only imagine why a team of wizards were practicing - because that was the only reasonable explanation, that they were practicing - breaking wards with pure fire magic.

“Have we marked potential targets?” he asked. The auror answered with a murmured spell that highlighted four areas in blue, varying levels of brightness corresponding to the potential risk. Graves frowned at each of them, manipulating the map to show him each building from a better view.

“Here,” he said, pointing at one of the medium risk buildings. “This is the next target - and based on the pattern of the previous attacks, we could be expecting something anytime in the next three days. The fires are always set at dawn?”

“Within half an hour or so,” the auror confirmed. “You want a strike team out there?”

“No, I’ll go myself. Get me Goldstein and - Delgado was one of the original responders? Goldstein and Delgado.” He made a mental note to bring coffee for the pair of them as an apology for the early mornings. “And you, run as complete a scan as you can on current MACUSA ward status, but keep it non-intrusive and on the down low. If our mystery team are gearing up for something major, we may as well be prepared for it.”

“Sir,” the auror agreed. He sounded slightly nauseous at the prospect of enemies wizards literally burning their way into MACUSA, but Graves could hardly blame him for that. He didn’t relish the prospect much himself.

Chapter Text

Hmmm.

Hmmmmmmmm. That’s three smiles on the smiley face. What are you implying here, friend? What ‘fun times’ are you referring to? Because, see, interrogation is a serious business. You couldn’t possibly be implying that Graves would be anything less than professional with such a thing, even if the miscreant in question is down in the office for the third? fourth? third time this month and he’s being charged… with…

What. No. Seriously?

“Newt,” Graves says, dangerously low. Newt squirms in his chair. “What the fuck is this?” He turns the enlarged photograph around so that Newt can clearly see the moving picture.

“It’s, ah,” he tries. Graves shakes the photo slightly to encourage him to go on. “It’s an abraxan reindeer?”

“An abraxan reindeer,” Graves repeats. Newt nods hopefully. “Scamander, abraxans are flying horses. Reindeer are not. Try again.”

“No they’re crossbreeds see, I found them in lapland - someone had been experimenting with almost every combination he could find to make the reindeers fly and these eight were the only ones that survived.” Newt’s face twists at the memory, and a part of Graves is sympathetic, it really is, but Graves has that part trapped under a cup and is prepared to throw it out the window if it won’t shut up.

“Eight?” he asks, identifying the important part. There were only three in the photo, which could either mean that there were five still in Newt’s case, or it could mean that -

“Eight,” Newt confirms. “The other five are still out there.”

Fuck all the things.

Why?”

Newt fidgets. “Well,” he says, stalling for time. In the photo, one of the reindeers tries to fly upside down and stand on the ceiling. The other two wave their antlers at each other in what Graves assumes is friendly banter. That or spine chilling death threats, but he can always hope.

“Well?”

“Well… It’s Christmas, isn’t it?”

Graves’ eyebrow twitches. “It’s December 13th.”

“It’s Christmas. It’s their big time of year. And… I thought it might be nice. They miss taking the sleigh out, and even if someone saw them in the dark it wouldn’t matter because Christmas, people kind of expect to see flying reindeer.”

The eyebrow twitch evolves into the beginnings of a migraine. "You thought it might be nice. Then you lost them because, what was it, they saw the giant Christmas tree in central park and got excited?”

“It’s a big tree,” Newt protests. “Besides, they shouldn’t be too hard to find. I put a tracking charm on Rudolph, it’ll make his nose glow red so we can see him in the dark.”

Aaaaand now the flying reindeer has a frickin shiny nose. Fun, good lord. You can take your smiley faces and suggestive tone somewhere else, because Graves has to go out in the freezing cold and snow do you know how much he hates snow to find a flying reindeer called Rudolph what the actual hell with a shiny fucking nose.

’Fun’, ksheh.

(the adventures of finding Rudolph absolutely end up with the reindeer roped to a sleigh, Newt in a giant santa costume handing out candy canes to small no-maj children, and Graves playing the part of the grumpiest elf that ever grumped. Picture it. It’s hilarious. They’ll be writing books about this, mark my words - some day Rudolph the shiny-nosed reindeer will be a household name.)

Chapter Text

Where Graves is a merman (I’m thinking black tail, white stripes around his hips, maybe a hint of yellow in his fins for that angel fish vibe) and Newt is the human on the land who falls in love with the sea.

Because the sea has sea serpents that can change their size, feathered manta rays that can curl up into a tiny cocoon, sentient bits of kelp that talk shit and have attachment issues. The sea is awesome.

Then Graves gets himself tangled in a net, the daft idiot, and almost drowns himself on the beach until Newt manages to cut him free. Graves’ memories of the event are fuzzy - his eyes don’t work so well out of water - but now that Newt knows about mermen, about Graves, he’s determined to find him.

What he finds instead is Grindelwald, a washed up mermaid with a dull tail and jagged, torn fins. Grindelwald proposes a trade: his tail for Newt’s legs. Newt agrees. Unfortunately for Grindelwald, Newt winds up with a fabulous gold tail (just the slightest hint of red) but Grindelwald’s legs are bowed and gnarly, as warped by his dark magic as his tail was. He blames Newt for the treachery and Newt escapes into the sea.

Then Newt kinda just flails, because this whole merman thing? Is new. And confusing. And it doesn’t come with a map, so he’s a touch lost. But it’s all good! He finds a small piece of sentient kelp that calls itself Pickett, and Pickett attaches himself to his ear and alternates between tying tiny little braids into his hair and squeaking exasperated instructions about how Newt should avoid getting his fool self killed.

They end up at MACUSA, the towering and imposing underwater city. Their attempts to sneak in are foiled by the captain of the guard - a rather dashing, rather familiar character we know and love that answers to Graves. 

Well. I’m sure you can guess what happens next.

Except whoops, just as the angry-but-caring guard starts to realise that the lovable-but-snarky rule breaker is in fact the guy that saved his life and that Graves is madly in love with, BAM. Grindelwald happens.

He’s been busy with those legs, and he’s back on the scene with CANNONS and WARSHIPS and DEPTH CHARGES and all the exploding things he could find on the land. And it turns out that Graves is the one who got him banished and Grindelwald’s back for revenge against all of MACUSA and no one can stop him because mermen know jack shit about explosives.

Except. Newt knows. And Newt was kinda the guy who gave Grindelwald his legs so, oops.

Cue dramatic music please, let’s have a scene where Newt surges up towards a slowly falling explosive. Dull booms in the background, echoing screams as MACUSA falls, we see Graves looking around wildly for where Newt has gone and we see (but can’t hear) him screaming when he notices Newt swimming up.

Pickett grips tighter to Newt’s hair. On the surface, Grindelwald stands on his boat and laughs. Newt glances back once to Graves, then stares forwards again, jaw set in determination. He grips the bomb tighter.

The music rises to its climax, brass instruments and string instruments and percussion to back it all up.

Newt swings the explosive into the ship and -

The scene cuts to Graves, the music falls to something that aches, something with cellos low and mourning, and Graves is briefly illuminated by the light of the explosion. He mouths a single, disbelieving no, shaking his head in denial. Debris rains down from above and Graves swims forwards, desperate and hurting. We follow his gaze and we see Newt, lax in the water, silhouetted against the sunlight above.

Newt drifts. His arms are limp. His tail coils on the current, fins brushing against each other. Pickett, curled around his ear, turns away from the camera and holds onto the tiny braids in his hair. Graves swims up from below and cradles Newt, bridle style, against his chest, but Newt’s eyes are closed.

The music trails off into nothing. We are left with the pair of them seen from behind, the camera slowly panning away. Just before the screen dims, Graves hunches his shoulder and buries his face in Newt’s chest. There is a sound, though we can’t really hear it, echoing through the water as the screen fades to black:

“Newt.”

Chapter Text

… see, there’s that. It took them five hours of chasing through snow (which Graves hates) and being cold (which Graves hates) and sitting in an elf costume while children smile at him (which Graves really hates) and then there’s an actual mountain of paperwork afterwards to explain not only the reindeer but the impromptu Santa’s grotto going on (and I cannot begin to make you understand how much Graves hates paperwork), but.

Enough fun times?

Newt goes away for a bit. His book is written, the little writing studio he’d concocted in the corner of his suitcase is repurposed into a jarvey nest, and he’s boarded his boat for England. He doesn’t say when he’ll be back, only that he will be back, and when Graves offers to quit his job and come with Newt just waves it off and laughs. It won’t be that long, he says. What would the aurors do without Graves to keep them in line?

(start accidentally following a dark lord is what history suggests, but graves is not being bitter about that oh no)

The first week, Graves manages to work through his backlog of Newt-related paperwork and it’s glorious. He can have coffee without having to make tea (did you know that different teas need to brew for different amounts of time? Who the fuck has time to learn all this shit? Not Graves, that’s who) and he can eat his lunch without fending off the creature of the day from trying to steal bits from his plate. He goes home from work at a reasonable time and he spends his evenings with a brandy and an old book and not gallivanting around the country after Newt and his menagerie. Glorious.

His book throws a twist at him that he didn’t see coming, and at first he’s shocked. Then he rereads the bits so far searching for clues, except there are none. The author has literally pulled this new information out of their ass, how sloppy is that, Graves as a reader is offended by the poor excuse of a deus ex machina.

Newt isn’t there to listen to his complaints. 

Graves makes a successful arrest a few days down the line, nice and easy, waltzed in and saved the day. The way a case ought to go.

He’s half way to Jacob’s bakery for celebratory custard tarts before he remembers that Newt isn’t there to share them with him.

The second week happens, and Graves is now blissfully on top of his paperwork and nothing out of the ordinary is going on. He finds a stray cat on his way home from work and pets it, he’s in that good a mood. The cat ends up following him home - it’s probably a kitten, actually, just one with long fur that makes it look bigger than it is. It’s a mottled mess of browns and blacks with long dark opera gloves on its front feet and little white slippers on its back. The colouring probably has a name, but Graves doesn’t know it and Newt isn’t there to ask.

The cat sits on his feet and meows demandingly until he feeds it. He gives it mince and hopes that’s the right food for it, and he spends that evening following it around the house and unhooking its claws from the curtains, the carpets, the cushions on the sofa…

The third week, and still no Newt. Graves has started filing forms in triplicate he’s that efficient about his work and he makes three arrests. One of them was for a murder case. The victim was a little boy, taken for his magic and bled dry of it.

Graves numbly files each copy of his report. No one makes him coffee or gives him a hug or reminds him of the two little girls he rescued from the same fate, so Graves sits in his office and files his reports and gets lost in the boy he couldn’t save.

The cat stays. She’s called Tawny, after the owl, because she looks a bit like an owl. She’s growing fast - almost an inch in just a couple of weeks, and that can’t be normal, but Graves doesn’t have anyone to ask who would know about cats so. He doesn’t ask.

It won’t be that long, Newt said, but Graves drinks his brandy and reads his books and pets his cat and thinks, it’s still too long.

… not that he’ll ever admit he misses the fun times. Not out loud, at least.

Chapter Text

In the 1920s formal functions were lavish things. Crystal dripping from the chandeliers, gold painted over every surface; diamond-strewn dresses and feather-headbands, loud music and loud clothes and champagne in cocktail glasses. Mirrors adorned each wall, draped like aging queens in silk and gilted frames; polished wood sat by polished marble and watched the polished waiters sweep by with their polished golden trays. There was a headiness to the excess, hedonistic, sybaritic, sitting thick and lethargic on the air like cloying honey on the tongue.

In his sharp-edged suit and transfigured bow tie, Newt felt crowded in by the unending opulence. He didn't know any of the guests - well. He knew exactly two of the guests; Seraphina Picquery, who he'd rather not approach at the best of times, let alone when she was building alliances and hiding politics behind razor smiles, and Graves, who'd got caught up in god only knew what issue to do with the security wards and had waved Newt into the main hall. Only be a minute, Graves had promised.

It was a long minute. It was, in fact, as long as twelve and a half minutes so far. Newt had counted.

He edged around near the wall, trying to find un-mirrored patches to loiter against, and snagged another glass of some brightly coloured liquid bedecked by exotic fruit and dancing umbrellas. It was more to give his hands something to do, to be honest. He didn't particularly want to drink. He didn't particularly like the drinks, sickly-sweet and too rich as they were.

Somehow he kept drinking them. It was habit, that's all. Put a glass in his hand and he'd drink it. He learnt that when he was a toddler, it's a big ask for him to unlearn it in the course of twelve and half - no, almost sixteen minutes now. He skirted a gathering of people around a charmed champagne fountain and swapped out his finished drink for another, this one electric blue with a lit sparkler in it.

Someone caught his eye and smiled, hand raised in greeting. Newt froze. He didn't. What. Him? She laughed, flapping her hand in a universal beckoning motion, and he stumbled forward in terror. At that point another lady pushed past him, feathers bobbing as she flounced over to her friend and oh, of course, someone behind Newt not Newt himself oh god why him. He continued walking as though he'd always meant to and turned it into a beeline for another drinks table, except he already had a full drink in his hand so now he was just embarrassing himself by angling for a second and the only course of action was to down the blue drink (vile, oh god, vile) as he went so he could legitimately swap it out for a new one. This one was clear. And fizzy. The bubbles released tiny jewelled hummingbirds when they burst that perched on the edge of the glass and Newt took himself out through the wide french doors to the garden in search of flowers for them.

This was where Graves found him who knew how many minutes later (not Newt, he'd stopped counting), perched on the edge of a stone planter and getting soil on his tuxedo as he told his drink off for not behaving as any self respecting hummingbird ought to. In fact Graves, Graves, come here, tell them that they need the nectar, look at them Graves they're so small clearly they're underfed. Graves. Why are you smiling like that, they're letig - letigitamally in danger, we need to rescue them, I need, what if it's the wrong kind of flower? I've tried every flower, Graves! Every flower! I don't have any more flowers!

He clutched his glass, both palms cupped around the curved bowl of it and cradling the illusion-hummingbirds against his chest, and when he looked up at Graves his eyes were wide and on the verge of tears and his lower lip actually quivered in distress.

"Newt," Graves started, and paused. The garden was quiet, for the most part, but the fast paced music spilling out of the main hall was interspersed with laughter, cheers, and the odd bang of a firework spell. He'd done his rounds and he'd been seen by enough people to confirm he'd attended, and as far as Graves was concerned, that was enough. He reached down a hand and pulled Newt upright, holding him close (and upright) with a strong arm around his waist. "Let's go home," he murmured, pressing a soft kiss to Newt's hairline.

"To find flowers?" Newt asked, tilting his head to redirect Graves' kiss to his lips. Graves laughed and obliged.

"Yes," he promised. "All the flowers you want."

Chapter Text

Here’s a thing. A thought. Has anyone ever seen a picture of Gondulphus Graves?

I don’t mean us. We won’t have seen pictures of any of the MACUSA founders, not really. I mean the witches and wizards, the ones that live in the magical world, the ones that work with Graves and pass him in the corridors and share that awkward silence when he happens to get in the same lift. Them. Have they ever seen a picture of Gondulphus Graves? Have they ever seen a photograph of Percival Graves?

The answer is yes, to the first, because there is one hidden away on some wood panelled wall among the other dour and scowling founders. The answer is no, to the second, because Graves is a lot more cautious with his face now that everything is recorded in photographs. But perhaps then the more pressing question is:

Does anyone think about the fact that Gondulphus Graves and his many generations removed grandson look the same? The hair is different, the clothes have moved with the times, but nothing else has changed.

Now. Let’s do away with Grindelwald, because for this story, I don’t want him here. Let’s take Credence and change his nature, slightly, because there are obscurials and there are vampires and really, there’s nothing to stop me swapping things over. Mary Lou Barebone decries demons and witches and unholy ghosts, and the blood-drinking undead are pretty high on her list, no matter if they were born that way or not. No matter how hard they try to keep the fangs at bay, bury it and bury it and walk the hallowed halls of the church with the skin burning over their bones -

Sometimes, Credence can’t bury it any more. He slips up one too many times and leaves one too many drained and bloodless corpses, and Graves finds him. But that’s ok. There’s no Grindelwald in this story, just a Graves who is teaching Credence control. After all, Graves has centuries of it to spare.

And into this, let’s throw Newt. Newt who sees Credence and recognises him, Newt who tries to help. Newt whose creatures are cowering from the old magic threading through the town, Newt who struggles to reassure his thunderbird that he’s fine, that Credence is no danger to him –

Graves melts out of the shadows and his teeth, when he smiles, are a hair too sharp. His eyes, when he fixes them on Newt, glitter the darkest shade of red.

“Credence,” he purrs in a voice like velvet wine. “You made a friend.”

Newt stills. His heart beats fast but he tries to quell it, lore and legend both warning him how far out his depth he’s swum. He holds his case close and gathers his magic to apparate.

“Can we keep him?” Credence asks, deceptively light and innocent. Newt shouldn’t have interfered in vampire business, he knows this now, but he’d thought Credence needed help. He was only trying to help.

Graves’ hand reaches out, sliding up the side of Newt’s neck and raking sharp claws over the base of his skull. He tugs on Newt’s hair, tipping his head back and up, and lifts his other hand to run a finger up the front of Newt’s throat.

“Yes,” he says, and Newt’s magic crumbles out of his control. Graves smiles, hungry and slow, and curls his icy grip around Newt’s pulse. “I think we can manage that.”

Chapter Text

Now see, this is an interesting one. I see exactly where you’re coming from, emeraldwit, and you’re coming from a place where Percival Graves is a suave and sophisticated fucker who is probably competent, probably a mite shy, maybe a mite emotionally constipated. Just a touch.

Alas, I think you need litindecency for that Graves. But you got me. Which means you get the snarky piece of shit that’s barely holding his life together but is absolute putty in Newt’s hands.

So. Being aware of the fact that he’s a snarky piece of shit, and believing that Newt is all things sunshine and light, Graves determines to do this shit properly. This means (oh god) going to (lord spare him please) his mother.

She cackles at him and chokes on her tea and biscuits, hooting something about fancy boy accents and the many and numerous ways in which Graves is going to fuck this up. Graves takes the abuse stoically, shoots her the finger when she isn’t looking, and revises his plan. He goes to his father.

Much better. His father gives him all these old rules about courting which Graves ignores, but he also gives Graves a list of flowers to send. Apparently they mean something. With the assurances that this will make his lovely lass (Newt is a man, father, a man) swoon into his arms - and that of course she’ll know what they mean, all women do (he’s a fucking man you senile dolt) - Graves sets out to get the flowers delivered. He sends them by owl, late at night, and hides in his office until he’s sure that Newt has received the shrubbery of the day and taken it off to find water.

It seems to be going well. He overhears Tina gossipping with Delgado about the flowers and how taken Newt seems to be, so that’s all good.

Except then Newt starts sending flowers back.

And. What. Help. The fuck does this one mean. Is this a good sign? Oh look, this one smells nice. Does that mean something???

He goes back to his father. His father suggests buying a dress for the lucky lady (FATHER HE POSSESSES A PENIS) and his mother pats him on the head and calls him an idiot.

At this rate, it might just be faster for Graves to go and ask Newt himself what the flowers mean, because he’s coming to the end of the list his father gave him anyway and he suspects it’s not the done thing to go back to the beginning and start again.

Chapter Text

how dare you. You’d stab my Newt? In the gut?? Casually?? And as if that isn’t enough, you’d make Graves be the one to catch him?! what did I do to you 

That being said, I’ve always wondered about something. Grindelwald impersonated Graves, right? For… Well, we don’t know. Weeks. Months. We assume it was polyjuice, but what if it wasn’t? In Goblet of Fire Dumbledore and co had to wait for the hour to run out before Barty Crouch’s disguise fell away. If they could just revelio the polyjuice away, wouldn’t they have done it then?

So, maybe Grindelwald was using some other disguise, some combination of charms and glamours that Newt could break through. And if that is the case, then when Grindelwald breaks out (because of course he’s going to do this) and goes after Newt (because of course he’s going to do that too), he does it wearing Graves’ face.

I mean, why not? Can you imagine anything more devastating? For Newt, who Grindelwald was targeting, but more for Graves who has lived this nightmare once already but now has so much more on the line.

Grindelwald is clever, this time. He doesn’t replace Graves. He just… works around him. When Graves is stuck in the office, Grindelwald makes a coffee run and brings Newt his tea. When Graves is working late, Grindelwald goes home to Newt and smiles at him, pushes his hair out of his eyes, trails his fingers down the side of Newt’s cheek. When Graves is out of the house, Grindelwald slips down into Newt’s case and wraps his arms around him from behind, resting his chin on Newt’s shoulder and burrowing his hands under the tail of Newt’s shirt.

Does Newt notice anything is wrong? Of course he does. Newt made Grindelwald before he’d even met Graves, you think he can’t recognise there’s something strange after he’s been married to Graves for a year? But Grindelwald is careful. He keeps his visits short, spaces them apart. Stirs up enough trouble in the city that Graves is overworked and overstressed, and Newt is worried, sure, but he doesn’t want to bring anything up when Graves is so obviously tired, and Grindelwald knows what to say when it’s his turn to quell Newt’s unease.

“I think a dark lord is impersonating you when you aren’t around” is not exactly the first thought that leaps into someone’s head.

In the end, it wasn’t Newt that Grindelwald needed to be watching out for. He’s in the suitcase, wearing Graves’ face and asking, in Graves interested-because-it’s-important-to-Newt voice, about the latest eggs that Newt is carefully incubating in his workshop. Newt is muttering distracted replies back, on edge and feeling guilty about it because he doesn’t know why.

Graves slams open the lid of the suitcase. He takes the ladder at a run, all but falling down the wooden steps, because his tracker, the trace they finally managed to get on Grindelwald puts him here. Puts him with Newt. He shouts Newt’s name but it freezes in his throat when he sees himself standing there in his own clothes and drinking from his own mug. He sees the hell he lived through two years ago starting again and he - he -

Newt spins towards him, eyes going wide. He darts his gaze between the two Graves and heartbreak flashes across his face as he realises how horrified his Graves - the real Graves - is. He reaches for the swooping evil with one hand and draws his wand with the other, moving to stand between them and shield Graves from the imposter.

Grindelwald moves faster. His hand shoots forwards, no need to bother with a wand, and a shrieking blast sends Graves flying from the ladder. He lands on his side, back aching from the collision with the bottom step and chest burning from the force of Grindelwald’s spell. He tries to pull himself up onto his arms but his ribs flare white-hot with pain.

Newt releases the swooping evil but Grindelwald has done his homework this time, and uses a mirror-shield to rebound the grasping tendrils it tries to capture him with and a paralysing-hex to send it careening out of the air and across Newt’s desk, scattering papers as it goes.

He rebuffs the first spell Newt throws at him but the second hidden in its shadow clips his shoulder, sending him staggering back. Enraged, he reaches forward and jerks his hand sideways, tearing Newt’s wand from his fingers. Graves raises his wand in a shaky hold, elbow close against his broken ribs and other hand holding his wrist for balance. Grindelwald fires before he can, a streaking jet of glaring blue shooting towards Graves’ prone form. Graves’ hand is too unsteady to slip into a shield spell and he can’t dodge, so he closes his eyes and grits his teeth for the impact of it hitting.

It doesn’t hit.

Newt dives between the two of them, hunching his body around the spell to block it. He cries out as pain arcs over his body, blue-white lightning arching his spine and setting his nerves on fire. He clips his head against the corner of a table with enough force to make it bleed, hot red blood gushing from the wound on his temple. Grindelwald steps closer, wand trained on Newt and an unholy glee lighting up his features - Graves’ features, he’s still wearing Graves’ face - as Newt screams.

Graves though, he’s still there and his spell slams out of left field and sends Grindelwald sprawling.

“Newt,” Graves says, hauling himself up and ignoring the pain in his ribs. “Newt!”

“I’m fine,” Newt gasps out. He rolls up to a shaky kneeling position, one hand raised to brush blood-soaked hair out of his eyes. “Head wounds, they bleed a lot, I’m fine.” He manages a smile for Graves, wobbly, but reassuring still. Graves huffs a beat of relieved laughter and smiles back, all of the fear and panic since he’d seen since Grindelwald’s location flash up as with Newt subsiding.

And this. This is where you’d have him stabbed? This is where you’d have Grindelwald stand up, rising behind Newt like some shady spectre of death himself? Horror takes Graves; he scrambles across the room, ignoring the fire pulling at his ribs, and watches as though in slow motion as Newt’s expression falls into confusion. Newt turns to look over his shoulder, one knee rising as he makes to stand up and Graves screams as Grindelwald grabs Newt by one shoulder to hold him still and pulls back his other arm with a dagger glinting in his fist.

This is what you want to happen?

The impact is like a shockwave and Graves’ world crumbles before it. Newt jerks. His face goes ashen, his body curls around the red blooming over his white shirt. When Grindelwald lets go of his shoulder he hovers, upright for a moment, then slowly lists to the side. His hands are covered in blood. He stares at them in shock.

In the background, the nundu leaps for Grindelwald, a roaring erumpet hot on her heels. Pickett scurries over, wailing his grief and clamouring for Newt. The occamies slide out of their nest with agitated chitterings, moving around him in a rough circle. Grindelwald blasts the nundu to one side and apparates before the erumpet can flatten him, but Graves doesn’t care.

Graves doesn’t care.

He cradles Newt’s head in his lap, tongue stumbling over a litany of healing spells that aren’t doing enough and aren’t doing it fast enough and he forces down the sobs because he can’t afford to stop. He can’t. His fingers are shaking around his wand and his vision is blurred from tears and Newt has started fitting, now, sharp aborted movements as he struggles to breathe.

“Newt,” Graves begs, and he wants to assure him that it’ll be ok, that he’ll fix it, but he can’t. The words stick in his throat. Blood pools on the wooden floor. He shakes his head, face twisting into something ugly with his grief, and presses his palm against the wound. He pours magic in - all the magic he has, every drop of it. “Newt.”

You said that Newt wouldn’t die and so no, he doesn’t die. Graves’ magic can’t heal the wound, he doesn’t know how, but it holds off death for long enough. When Tina finds them she sees this: Graves on his knees, Newt pulled into his lap and his head cradled against Graves’ arm. One of Graves’ hands is still on the wound, the faint glow of his magic pulsing like a heartbeat as he keeps his husband alive. Newt is awake, just, eyes half-lidded and unseeing and hands clutching at any part of Graves he can reach. Pickett sits on his ear, doggedly cleaning away the blood from the cut on his temple and fussily curling his hair back into place. The occamies, scattered around them, are singing, a low and mournful croon that’s barely loud enough to be heard.

But Newt lives. That’s the important thing. Years later, the scar will be just another one to add to his collection, but this moment - this agonising, unending moment when Newt’s life is as yet undecided - remains in Graves’ nightmares years after that.

Chapter Text

Guys. I have just realised that I am completely moronic.

You know the deleted scene where Credence gets on the boat? I knew of this scene. I pictured this scene in my mind. I was happy with this scene. And I have only just realised that the boat would be the bigass ferry boat that Newt is on. Because that makes sense! That’s entirely logical.

You know what I was picturing?

A canoe.

A canoe. And I swear, I didn’t think anything strange about the fact that Credence would coalesce back into a human being, decide that the magical and no-maj worlds could just piss right off, and take himself off in a canoe. Mists parting around him and a wrapped bundle of fruitcake in the bow and everything, he paddles off through the reeds to start his new adventure as, I don’t even know, a canoe hermit.

Why. Why did I think this was the way the scene would have gone. Why did I not notice anything remotely strange about this scene until now. Why.

a canoe for chrissake.

 

 

fuck it all I couldn’t not write it

Credence has his canoe. He originally thought about doing the sensible thing and getting a ticket for the bigass ferry boat that the Englishman is on, but he doesn’t have any money. He has the clothes he was wearing - he doesn’t know why or how those survive the transformation to killer smoke cloud and back, but they always seem to. So he has those clothes and he has a screwed up flyer in his pocket and that’s it. His home is in rubble-ruins. Chastity found Modesty at some point, he hopes, because they’re both missing and he doesn’t know where to start looking. His mother (pah) is dead. Mr Graves (more contemptuous pah) was captured by the Englishman and is apparently a lying liar who lies about what his actual face looks like on top of everything else.

The Englishman is going back to England. On a boat. And he didn’t stop for Credence, who doesn’t have any money to get a ticket, and so can’t get on the boat to follow him.

Rude.

Credence could ask someone for help, but fuck ‘em. Fuck the whole fucking world, fuck it all to the fucking ground with a pitchfork. Mother never let him swear. If he even so much as thought a swear word the belt would come out because somehow she always knew and even now, Credence fights the urge to flinch and guard his thoughts.

Mother’s dead. Fuck Mother. Hah. Fuck the shitting crap - asshole! Mother is dead and Credence can swear and glory fucking be.

There’s something exhilarating about it, the bubbly, joyous rush of freedom and defiance wrapped up in every harsh-edged word. Credence laughs, hunched forwards in his canoe with his ankles going cold and damp from the sea spray, and it shakes his shoulders like a seizure.

The sound echoes around the empty waves and he stops, suddenly. When he darts his gaze around him he is hunted and wary. There’s a difference between rebelling in his head and rebelling out loud, and he isn’t quite ready for the latter yet.

He slides his paddle back through the water and pushes his tiny craft on. The foam-flecked path of the steamer is fading in the water in front of him; the Englishman is pulling away. Maybe, just maybe, the canoe wasn’t the best of plans Credence has ever made, but he’s not had much experience being in charge of his own life and he panicked. Just a bit. The canoe was the first boat he could find and it made sense at the time, so here he is.

Paddling after the Englishman in a canoe.

He hopes England isn’t too far.

Chapter Text

So. Psychopaths. I’ve just watched Seven Psychopaths and they’re kinda on my mind at the moment, and this is the thing I really want to read:

Credence pulls himself back together and stitches the aching fragments of himself into a person, but he doesn’t get it quite right. Mostly right. Right enough. But not quite right. Maybe it was on purpose, even; guilt and remorse and empathy are painful things that Credence has no time for anymore. Life is easier without them. Credence has things to do.

He tracks down Graves. It’s not hard - follow the alcohol, follow the swearing, Graves is a different man to the one that Credence last knew but he’s still Graves and that’s still all that counts. Credence lingers in the shadows and the dusty corners of MACUSA until he knows enough to be sure of himself, and then he moves.

Because don’t you think Credence would make a good psychopath? Graves is scrambling to pull his life back together and to hide how deep the water he’s treading is and how hard it is to keep himself afloat, and Credence just… slides in. He mimics Grindelwald without even realising it, runs his hands up the side of Graves’ neck and presses their foreheads together like a secret shared in the shadows while Graves shudders and breathes and fights not to fall apart -

Who saw Credence? Not the obscurus. Just Credence. Who saw him? Tina did, but Tina was caught in an accident - tragic, unpredictable, calculated to have the minimum chances of survival, and without her support Graves falls further into the whiskey bottle he keeps underneath his desk.

Who could see through his identity, see that the newly transferred Auror Barebone was the same betrayed child that tore the city apart - what, a year ago now? Queenie could, could take it from his mind and turn to him with wide eyes and an expression that warred between sympathy and rage (she’s changed since she lost her sister, she doesn’t wear pink anymore) - but Queenie’s stopped coming to work. She’s left her wand on her desk with a moving photo of Tina and a still photo of a no-maj man and that’s it, that’s all, she’s left. It’s only tidying up loose ends when Credence locks the windows and doors and drips red-black smoke into the bakery oven until it boils over with flames. The aurors are unlikely to come after Jacob, unlikely to try to verify the story of Queenie’s elopement, but - well. It’s hardly much trouble to ensure he can’t answer them if they do.

Credence slots himself into place at Graves’ side and drops whispers like acorns in listening ears until the whole department takes it as truth: doesn’t he look tired, our director? They say that he hasn’t healed since Grindelwald, perhaps, that he shouldn’t be on the front lines, perhaps, that the stress of leadership is an unnecessary burden on him -

Graves shrinks away from a department that no longer trusts him to have their backs and pieces of him crumble to dust in the wake of their averted gaze. Credence flows around him like liquid silk - and it’s Credence, now, Credence and not Auror Barebones in the darkened office late at night when Graves refuses to leave his work undone, in the shaft of moonlight that hits his desk when Credence spreads his knees and pulls Graves in to stand between, in the breath of prayer that leaves Graves like his soul departing when Credence wraps cold hands around his neck and leaves bruises against his bleeding lips.

What will Credence do when he has Graves? There is power in being the one in control, a heady, sinful rush in the way Graves comes apart beneath his hands. There is vulnerability in the way Graves flicks his eyes back to Credence standing at his shoulder, in the way he tilts his head to follow the sound of Credence’ voice across the room. There is trust in the way that Graves sleeps, sheets pulled low over a bare waist and skin smooth to Credence’ icy touch.

When their positions were reversed, Credence died and remade himself and brought a city down in anger. Graves wasn’t Grindelwald, Credence knows, but Graves is what he has and Graves’ heart beats and slow and steady in his chest. Credence curls his fingers into claws and his shadow flickers into roiling smoke.

What will Credence do, now that he has Graves?

Chapter Text

Addie was just a kitten herself when Newt adopted her. Raising her was pretty much trial and error as there hasn’t been a lot written about nundus (can’t think why) and has some… interesting results. The jam and cream scones probably aren’t part of a nundu’s natural diet. The insistence on teddy bears might be more understandable, but then again, bears aren’t exactly common in Africa so maybe not. The running tackle-hugs are something Newt is trying hard to convince her she doesn’t like because now that her poison spines have grown in they’re potentially problematic.

BUT the point is that Addie takes to motherhood of Graves, who stands approximately as tall as her elbows, with an awful lot of enthusiasm and an awful lack of skill. Specifically, she tries to mimic what Newt did for her.

This means that she steals Newt’s coat for Graves and sits on him until he curls up in it and goes to sleep. This also means that she sneaks around the habitats and filches bits of every kind of food she can find (including the mooncalf pellets and they float it’s hilarious watching her trying to corral them into place) in an attempt to find the ones that Graves likes. The day she manages to present him a jam scone she just about beams with pride and poor Graves has to choke the damn thing down despite the fact that Wampus cats are strictly carnivorous. You’d have thought that nundus were as well, but apparently not. She procures a Baku from another habitat, an elephant-headed tiger-legged bear that Newt picked up in Japan, and stubbornly wraps all six of Graves’ legs around it because Teddy Bears Are Important Adelaide, Don’t Bite This One’s Head Off. (Thankfully, Newt always gave her transfigured soft toys rather than stealing creatures from other habitats, because Addie never did learn not to bite the heads off.)

The Baku is actually an excellent choice. It’s a lovely little thing that wards off bad dreams and actively devours nightmares. Graves has plenty of those for the Baku to prey on; he sleeps through the night like a baby, the Baku feasts and gets a nice warm Wampus cat to snuggle against, Addie is proud of herself for getting this mothering shit down, it’s win win all round.

Plus, now that Addie’s given Graves a teddy bear she stops being quite so insistent about stealing Newt’s coat for Graves to sleep in. She does, however, trot over to Newt with extreme self importance and pick him up by the scruff of his shirt to physically carry him over to her enclosure. She drops him on top of a rock, gives him an apologetic lick that leaves his hair standing up in a lopsided quiff, and nudge him to look over the rock and see quite how well she’s doing raising her kitten.

Newt leans forwards obligingly and looks. He sees Graves curled into a nest of bent grasses and dry bracken, tail tucked under his paws and head tilted so his chin is facing up. The Baku in his arms burbles sleepily, legs moving as it chases another nightmare in its sleep, and Graves pulls it closer and snuggles it with a yawned purr when it finally devours the pesky thing.

“You did good, Addie,” Newt says softly, and Addie puffs her neck out and rumbles a pleased agreement.

Chapter Text

See, now I’m picturing Grindelwald turning Albus into a fluffy white cat so that can sit in his spinning office chair in his sharp suits and keep Albus on his knee and just be an over the top Bond villain. Maybe he’s got Graves transfigured into a tiger shark in a giant fish tank and occasionally Graves tries to swim into the glass and break it. And if Grindelwald presses a button then the floor peels back to reveal a giant jellyfish that was the headmaster back at Durmstrang who expelled him, and there’s a mad goat in the corner that’s Aberforth and he keeps trying to chew through his ropes to headbutt Grindelwald in the gonads and there’s probably some more aurors somewhere slinking around turned into oversized scorpions and basically.

Basically.

This probably wasn’t at all what you were getting at but I can’t think why else you sent me grindeldore things unless you wanted me to send Newt running in to Grindelwald’s animal-infested volcano lair so that he could save all the animals. And Dumbledore just kinda looks up from his place on Grindelwald’s knee (and he’s a persian, with those squished faces, and Grindelwald has put him in a jewelled collar all red and gold just because he can) and face palms (face paws?) when Grindelwald laughs and pulls his secret lever that drops Newt into the shark tank.

Except that Graves doesn’t devour him. Graves kinda nudges him towards the surface and holds him up while Newt frantically breathes, and Grindelwald fumes and releases the jellyfish into the tank. Cue Newt still treading water for dear life while shark!Graves fends off the jellyfish and Grindelwald puts on some jazz and slow dances with Albus (don’t tell me you’ve never slow danced with your cat, I won’t believe you) -

Except then Newt manages to blast the glass open, and he, shark!Graves and jellyfish tumble out in a tsunami of water and there are teeth and stinging fronds and basically Grindelwald is going down while Albus levitates himself above the water and twitches his tail up to avoid getting wet and just distances himself completely from all this madness because at this point Grindelwald is like that really weird ex that he’s very much regretting ever getting involved with and it all goes well.

And Newt manages to reverse everyone’s transformations, except Albus who decides to stay as a cat so he can go and bother Minerva and Graves who gets stuck as a shark!merman so naturally, the only thing to do is for Newt to turn into a merman himself so that he and Graves can swim off into the sunset together.

Except Newt ends up as half guppy so he’s all fabulous colours and floaty fins with his curly hair poofing around his face in the water and yeah Graves doesn’t stand a chance here, he really doesn’t.

And oh god I’m so sorry for turning your nice a normal prompt into this but in my defence I’ve had a lot of paracetamol and I’m blaming that.

Chapter Text

Delgado violently fires mistletoe at Graves every year in an attempt to catch Graves in it. He even spells them with contact-activated freezing charms to give people a chance, because Graves is a slippery bugger and is likely to apparate away before anyone gets a chance to plant one on him.

It’s yet to work. He’s tried silencing charms on the cannon, releasing the mistletoe from a neighbouring room with tracking charms to hone in on Graves, he’s even tried weaving the mistletoe into a net and releasing it over the whole damn room and oh look, Graves has performed a spontaneous shrinking charm on himself and managed to escape through the holes. Bastard.

So this year, Delgado tries something different. He fires the mistletoe at Graves at the office Christmas party as usual, because to do otherwise would be suspicious, but the real kicker comes just over a week later on New Year’s eve.

Specifically, on New Year’s eve at approximately two minutes to midnight.

He enlists Tina’s help to get Graves, and he swears, he honestly swears it was her idea to put the portkey on a timer, shrink it down to microscopic sizes and slip it into Graves’ drink because holy shit that’s terrifying. Slipping portkeys into someone’s drink? Goldstein what the fuck. Delgado will never eat anything she brings in ever again just in case it transports him to the Himalayas or somewhere equally far away. Drinks are for spiking with alcohol not with potential death, good god Tina.

Delgado gets Newt though and he goes down the traditional canon route because Delgado loves his traditional canon route. And Newt, poor little lost lamb, does not have Graves’ experience when it comes to (a) sensing a Delgado plot afoot and (b) dodging it, so he gets hit with a faceful of glitter and a portkey square to the chest.

And, maybe, Delgado doesn’t quite have Tina’s skill with portkeys, so Newt’s wasn’t timed and the wide eyed magizoologist is whisked away in a cloud of gold smoke. And, maybe, Delgado was a bit over excited and fired his canon early which means that Graves’ killer death drink portkey hasn’t yet activated and holy shit, Graves, please don’t kill him, oh god Tina retreat hide now.

In the sort of dramatic climax that really ought to be reserved for b horror movies, Graves has got as far as cornering the pair of them and has his wand drawn on Delgado with one hand while the other slams Delgado’s shield so far into oblivion that he doubts he’ll ever be able to cast a shield charm again.

He’s one syllable into god only knows what spell and Delgado has given up on all pretence and is cowering behind Tina when the timer finally kicks in and whisks Graves away.

Delgado gibbers a bit and starts clutching at the floor. Tina kicks and tries to pretend that she’d had everything under control and hadn’t been fearing for her life. Everyone else politely tries to pretend they don’t exist.

But where did the portkeys take Newt and Graves, you might ask? Well. It’s New Year’s eve. Two minutes - a minute and a half, now - to midnight. There’s only one place to be.

Newt and Graves are deposited on top of the Times Square Big Ball, overlooking a cheering throng of people in the square. It’s the best place for a midnight kiss, surely? Delgado’s even charmed a tiny piece of mistletoe to hover over Newt’s head. What could be more perfect?

(The weather, for one - it was fairly warm inside and Newt had only been wearing his shirt and waistcoat. He’s shivering by the time Graves appears, and Graves wastes no time in shrugging off his jacket to wrap around Newt’s shoulders.

Also the location, because, Delgado, the big ball drops and holy fucking shit do you have any idea how unromantic it is to be standing on top of it, desperately gripping with sticking charms on your shoes as you hurtle towards the ground?

Very. Very unromantic.

But the rush of adrenalin makes Newt giggle as he wobbles to his feet after the ball has landed, and he clutches at Graves’ arms for balance. Fireworks fill the sky with light and colour and the mistletoe glitters hopefully above them, and, well.

Graves’ hand is warm against Newt’s back and the flick of his eyes down to Newt’s lips is slow. His mouth opens, tongue darting out as though to lick, to taste, and Newt leans closer without even meaning to. They press their foreheads together and stay like that for a single moment on the cusp of eternity, gazes locked and an infinity of words filling the silence.

A firework goes off directly overhead, red and gold raining down above them, and Newt closes his eyes and tilts his head. Graves’ lips are soft beneath his, the kiss is slow and sweet and the playful wind presses them in closer. 

It is, in the end, a romantic first kiss.)

Chapter Text

I am ill. I’m gargling shards of glass and the deserts of freaking Tattoine have decided to take up residence in my eyeballs and life is generally abysmal.

Graves. Graves, c’mere. I refuse to suffer alone, so pretend just for a bit that this is an ailment that magic is completely unable to help you with. Now. Let me describe to you, Graves my duck, exactly what is happening:

Yesterday your throat was tight. That annoying feeling that made it uncomfortable to swallow, the edge to it as though your trachea was just slightly out of line. Your ears felt odd and refused to pop, no matter how much you swallowed or yawned and grimaced through the pain of doing so. You tried to stay up late to get some work done and ended up staring blankly at words that didn’t make sense with your mouth hanging open to breath through because your nose was blocking up and your eyes focussed on a point somewhere twenty feet behind the papers.

You pulled the bin up to the bed and set a box of tissues on the floor next to it and decided to ignore everything and hope it would go away, because Graves, you are not a smart man. As someone who did exactly the same thing and really should have known from every previous experience of being ill, it does not go away.

This morning you woke with one of those torture chambers in place of a throat, you know the coffins with giant nails hammered through every surface to skewer whoever’s inside? One of those. Your entire brain has liquified and taken up residence just behind your eyes, such that when you tilt your head forwards to grab a tissue it feels like your face iss going to fall off. You’re running at basically the temperature of the sun and the shivers are really annoying because they’re making Newt think you’re cold. He keeps piling blankets on you. Why is he doing this. Can’t he see that you’ve sweated so much you’re in danger of melting between the cracks in the floorboards? Newt. Have pity on a sick person. Take the friggin blankets somewhere else.

And! He keeps bringing you cups of tea Graves, tea because Newt is a sensible person and he knows exactly what ill people need. I laugh in your general direction at you making faces about it because you’re straight up wrong. Tea. Black tea with lemon and honey, ginger tea with more lemon and more honey, endless cups of tea. The only problem is that the heat and steam from them makes your head throb and your nose turn into victoria fucking falls, but such things must be borne because tea.

We saw you try to pour it into a pot plant, Graves, and that is completely unacceptable. Newt tucks the blankets tighter around you (why did you throw them off? Tut tut Graves, got to stay warm, and here drink this you’ll be dehydrated. Don’t swear at Newt. You know he’s right.) and, because he’s an absolute angel, he brings you an ice cold mashed banana that he’s been keeping in the fridge. Ice cold Graves, ice cold. No, you can’t have ice cream. Or yoghurt. Dairy builds up mucus in your lungs, you’ll only make it worse. Eat your damn banana.

The banana is followed by a poached egg, lovely and soft so there’s nothing to catch against your throat and hurt, full of protein that you need to get better. Listen to Newt on this, he’s a magizoologist, he knows these things. He’s also immune to your whining and steadfastly unflappable in the face of your imminent demise because really, Graves, have you ever seen a sick nundu? You’ve got nothing on Addie.

And hush. You’re totally a child and Newt is totally mothering you, so shut up and be mothered. Look, he’s even settled into the chair next to your bundle of blankets - and are you warm enough? Do you want him to turn up the heating? Do stop exaggerating Graves, Newt would notice if someone had got you with a blood boiling curse. It’s just a mild fever - and is reading through that Sherlock Holmes novel you like so much. Wait till he does the voices, you’ll love it when he does the voices.

Ooops. No, wait, don’t laugh. Lungs belong in the thoracic cavity and not hacked up all over the bed. Here, drink this - it’s tea, it’s got honey it in, don’t complain just drink - while Newt rubs your back and checks your temperature again. Your keen auror observation skills pick up the tenseness in his movements; poor thing is fretting himself silly about you, but he’s learnt from his creatures (Addie, mostly Addie, bless her) that it’s best to stay calm with these things. Try to stay calm. Outwardly stay calm.

Look, he’s made you more tea. Probably best to choke it down, it’s how he shows he cares and he’ll only worry more if you don’t. It’s the middle of the night back home in England, but he’s firecalled his mother four times already and he’s fully prepared to do it again if you need him to. He will. He’ll firecall st mungos if you aren’t careful, he’s that close to panicking about you.

Graves? You with us again? We lost you for a few hours there. You fell asleep on Newt’s lap with his fingers carding through your hair. It looks like the fever’s broken, so there’s that at least. Do you want a drink?

Oh, no. You’re going back to sleep. Arms around Newt’s waist and face buried in his stomach (you’re smearing nose all over his shirt Graves, it’s only because he loves you that he hasn’t pushed you onto the floor), and there you go. Out like a light.

We’ll leave you to it, Graves. Get better soon.

Chapter Text

Stop. Pause your scrolling. Wait. I have a thing for you.

Actual Mummy Newt.

That’s it. Resume scrolling if you want, but know that I’ll be judging you - Graves will be judging you, because actual Mummy Newt is the most adorable thing in all of creation and if you hurt his feelings by ignoring him then Graves will have to eviscerate you. He won’t want to do it. It’ll make him sad. But he’ll do it.

Now how, you might ask, does Newt evolve into Actual Mummy Newt? Like this:

There’s a girl. The girl is desperate, the girl is scared, but the girl saw Newt save a Jengu spirit from a hunter’s net on the river banks and she thinks - she hopes - that he will be kind. She tucks her baby’s blankets more tightly around her and kisses her tiny fingers and says goodbye, and she leaves the baby on the doorstep of the tiny hut. She retreats - but not far, because there are wild dogs and wild cats and she is determined to see her baby safe - and waits.

The door opens. A man peers out, cautious, wand raised. Her breath stutters to a halt and her heart freezes in her chest, because it isn’t Newt, it isn’t the kind man - it’s Graves. Graves stalks around glaring balefully at the world and it’s easy to mistake him for an angry man. The girl knows angry men. She readies herself to move forwards, to take her daughter and run, to forget this plan and ignore the better future she hoped her daughter would have -

Graves picks the baby up, gently, nervously, as though she were something precious and fragile. His face, when he looks at her, is blank; when he looks up and sees through the girl’s pitiful illusens, there is sorrow and fury and careful understanding in his gaze. Remember, Graves was an auror because he wanted to protect people. Remember, Graves was an auror who saw all the things people needed protecting from. He makes to step forwards, baby cradled in his arms, to say something, perhaps - the girl vanishes. Her heart pounds and she’s crying and that’s it, that’s goodbye, she’s done everything she can do. 

(It’s not goodbye. It’s only until later, and later is sixteen years away when the girl - the woman - holds her daughter close and presses desperate kisses into her curly hair and smooths her hands over her perfect face. In the background the man she thought was kind and the man she thought was angry stand to the side and smile. The woman will be crying then, when she says goodbye for the second time, but they will be different tears and a different goodbye and her daughter will turn around and say I’ll write, mama, and I’ll bring you photos next time to show you where I’ve been.)

But that is then and this is now, and now Graves goes down the ladder one careful step at a time and stares at the bundle held against his chest. Tiny grey eyes and tiny snuffling nose and tiny dark eyelashes blinking against tiny dark cheeks - she’s tiny.

“We’ll take her to Nairobi,” he tells Newt. “They’ll have an orphanage there, or a family who can take her in.”

Newt lays her down on his lap - she’s no longer than his thigh, she fits in like she’s made to be there and curls her legs against his stomach - and runs gentle fingers over the fluff on her head. “We can’t apparate with a baby,” he says. “It’ll be slow - a month, maybe?” The baby sneezes and Newt waves his fingers at her, distracting her while he wipes the bubbles of milk-spit away.

“It takes as long as it takes,” Graves says, and maybe he honestly deludes himself into thinking that will only be a month.

Because. That month.

The baby is two weeks old, or thereabouts. She can’t see, not really - she scowls at the world as it fails to come into focus and Graves scowls right back and makes Newt laugh. She can smell though, and for the first few nights she is miserable and howling because she can smell that her mother is gone; she tugs at the cloth of Newt’s shirt and scrabbles for milk that he doesn’t have and she wriggles against a hold that isn’t the right hold and she screams.

Newt bounces her and talks to her, always talks to her non stop nonsense words, and waits for her to get used to him. He mixes four different kinds of milk to make the best substitute he can (and sends Graves out among the habitats to collect them) and feeds it to her with a careful diligence while Graves hovers and worries about it being the right temperature. When she fusses and squalls, Newt rubs her back until burps and makes a face as he cleans away the excess milk.

There are a lot of cleaning charms involved. Babies make a lot of mess. Newt switches into old clothes, comfy clothes, over-large button shirts with the sleeves rolled up soft cardigans that he can wrap around the baby like a blanket and hug her against his chest. He bounces her and he babbles to her and he coos in delight when she looks at him and smiles, even though he knows it doesn’t mean anything at that age. He gets up in the middle of the night and shambles over to the cot on the other side of the room and stifles a yawn as he picks her up and tries to convince her to tell him what’s wrong.

“She’s a baby,” Graves grumps from where he’s trying to osmose through the sheets and become one with the mattress. “She can’t tell you what’s wrong. She doesn’t speak English, she speaks loud.”

“Can too,” Newt protests. “She says she’s hungry.”

Graves’ reply contains several swear words at that and Newt pointedly covers the baby’s ears. Graves’ reply to that is to offer a rude hand gesture on his zombie-stumbling way down to the kitchen to retrieve and heat up the milk. He hands it to Newt and stands behind him while Newt feeds her, Graves’ arms wrapped around Newt’s waist and Graves’ chin balanced on Newt’s shoulders.

“She needs a name,” Newt says softly while he’s tucking her blanket around her and setting her back down to sleep.

“It’s only three weeks to Nairobi,” Graves says back just as softly.

“I was thinking Claire,” Newt continues as though Graves hadn’t spoken, and the stubborn tilt to his chin says that Newt is prepared to engage selective deafness however many times Graves tries to raise the point.

Graves doesn’t try that hard. Six weeks later - because Newt and schedules? No. - they arrive in Nairobi and take Claire to the local centre for magical fostering. Ten days after that they leave Nairobi as the official, legally recognised adoptive parents of one Claire Mathilda Scamander-Graves, and by that point Graves has even learnt to keep the milk in a coolbox in the bedroom instead of falling down the ladder to the kitchen every night in search of it.

Chapter Text

Ok. Stop. Pause your scrolling again. I have another thing for you.

Actual Mummy Newt: The wrapped in bandages and living forever version.

It goes like this:

Graves is not an archaeologist. Graves knows nothing about archaeology, he doesn’t like it, he doesn’t care about it and he hates Egypt. Sand. Sand everywhere. Sand in his hair, sand in his eyes, sand working into his sunburn, sand.

What Graves is is strapped for cash, so when this archaeologist lady starts advertising for some poor sod to handle the digging and the heavy labour and maybe a bit of the security on the side, Graves says screw it all to the empty flat he hasn’t paid rent on for the last two months and goes.

It was potentially not a great decision. Because, you know, sand, but also the fact that the archaeologist lady is fucking insane. The bit she hadn’t advertised in black and white newspaper print? The site they were uncovering was where some complete nutjob of the ancient world had tried to release a demon. The other bit she hadn’t advertised - although, to be fair to her, she may not have known this at the time - was that the nutjob was still there.

Like. It’s been several thousand years. Chill, dude. Take your bandage trailing self back to the creepy sculpture tomb and take the rest of the millenia off. Don’t send tiny minions of darkness out to attack members of the dig team and steal their cufflinks, that’s just rude. Don’t unleash giant serpents on the party when they get a bit close to a private area, just, I don’t know, put up a sign? Keep out, the snakes here grow to the size of the fucking sun and get defensive about their eggs? That’d do it. And for fucks sake, don’t kidnap Graves and squirrel him away to some cavernous underground lair, why would you even do that, why is that even a thing.

“I don’t speak Egyptian,” Graves says for the eighty seventh time.

“I donnnnn’tt sssea-kuh pptiannnnnn,” the mummy repeats, tilting its head and standing way too close. Personal boundaries, dude. Respect them.

“And you shouldn’t be speaking anything at all you pile of rotting corpse flesh. How are you even - do you even have a tongue under all those bandages or has it shrivelled and fallen off?”

Graves, maybe, is not handling his surprise abduction very well. It was fairly unnerving to be singled out as soon as the mummy had found their group, and even more unnerving to be targeted by a flying demon with a literal skull for its head that shot ropes out at unreasonable speed how the fuck does it do that and basically, Graves has had a hard day. He feels he’s allowed to be pissy with the mummy, and the mummy is being entirely unfair when it dips its head and gives him a wounded expression. How does it even manage that when none of its face is visible. How.

“Stop it,” he orders.

The mummy does not. The mummy goes one step further and takes Graves’ hand, leading him through a series of stone benches and messily stacked shelves that seem to form some kind of workshop. Maybe a mad scientist laboratory, but Graves is slightly mixing up his horror stories there, so who knows. Although the mummy isn’t quite acting how an evil mummy ought - he doesn’t shuffle, doesn’t moan, hasn’t actually tried to drain the life out of everyone. He’s just kidnapped Graves, that’s all. And now he’s stopping to talk to a tree full of tiny little - what are those, tree demons? One of the tree demons clambers up his arm and starts fussily tucking loose bandages back into their proper place.

Demons are not quite the horrific things Graves had thought they were. It’s all very confusing and he needs a drink, because now the mummy has led him to a giant stone carving of - a bird? Hawk, maybe, the egyptians liked those. The ominous clouds and thunderbolts the artist has added on are somewhat imposing, but for the most part it looks like a bird. Few too many wings maybe.

The mummy stands next to it and looks hopeful.

“It’s very nice?” Graves tries.

The mummy replies with a string of words he doesn’t understand. It frowns at his blank incomprehension, then slowly, labouriously, sounds out: “Helpp. Grinnnnndlewaldd trrap. Grinnddlewalllld hhelp.”

Which, since when did the mummy speak english. And who the fuck was Grindlewald, and why the fuck did the mummy think Graves was someone called Grindlewald. Graves was not Grindlewald. Graves would remember trapping - oh fuck. 

The demon. The mummy had been trying to release a demon when he’d been cursed into mummy-dom, Graves remembers this. 

“You,” Graves said. The mummy perked up hopefully and dammit, it wasn’t at all cute. “You’ve been guarding your trapped demon for fuck knows how many thousand years. You have, don’t even try to deny it, you’ve dedicated your immortal unlife to a demon.”

“Ffrannnnnk,” the mummy corrects, because of course the mummy has called his stone-entombed demon bird Frank. Because this is Graves’ life.

He squashes the completely illogical urge to feel guilty when he admits that, “I’m not Grindelwald. I don’t know how to help, I’m just - I’m just Graves.”

The mummy points to a painted wall over the other side of the room with a petulant stamp of his foot. It shows a man who looks strikingly like Graves, seriously fucking scarily like Graves, standing about three times as high as everyone else in the mural. 'Everyone else’ being a collection of people with whips corralling hosts of different sized demons ready to be turned into stone. Graves recognises the giant snakes and even the tiny tree demon.

“Oh,” Graves says.

“Frrannnnkk,” the mummy insists again. “Hhelpp.”

And that is how, dear readers, Graves discovered that he was a despotic evil wizard in a past life. It was not the best discovery he could have made.

(Although maybe it kinda was because the mummy, once he realises that Graves is a. not evil and b. incompetent takes it upon himself to teach Graves the magic his past self used to throw around like glitter bombs. Between the two of them they break the enchantments and release Frank, who turns out to be able to summon storms and Graves has never in his life been so happy to stand in the rain and get soaking wet.

Eventually, they even release the bindings that keep Newt trapped in his desert prison.

And, well, Graves could call it a day there but he’s got used to having Newt shuffling around after him with various bandages unravelling in his wake and assorted demons pouncing on the trailing ends like over grown cats. The horrified shrieks the tree demon makes when one of the bandages actually tears will haunt Graves’ dreams, but the way the mummy coos and shushes the little thing as he sews himself back together is adorable enough to make up for it.

No. What. Graves doesn’t think the mummy is adorable. Stop it. Graves will travel the world with his entirely non-adorable mummy and attached host of demons and he absolutely does not stand around sometimes with a silly little smile on his face while the mummy fusses over the latest rescued stray and he one hundred percent is not completely head over heels for an ancient undead pile of cloth and stitches. He’s not.

The mummy deposits a baby hippopotamus demon in his arms - or this one might actually be a baby hippopotamus in the completely non-demonic sense, it’s hard to tell - and happily declares that this one is called Ggeorrrge, and, well. 

Fuckit. The mummy’s adorable.)

Chapter Text

Ladies, gentlemen and quantum spaghetti forks, picture this:

Graves is well aware of the fact that new levels of kinky are reached when Newt pushes him against any flat surface. However he’s also aware of the fact that Newt is not domineering by default and actually takes quite a bit of pushing to drop his restraint, lose control, and step seamlessly into the leading role of Graves’ live-action sexual fantasies.

So. Graves pushes.

They’re in the corridor in the morning, running a bit late for work, and Graves’ wand is on the hall table. He could step around Newt to pick it up but instead he steps right up to Newt, one arm around his waist to hold him in place and their bodies practically moulded together as he reaches with his other arm to get his wand. And maybe, his wand was further away than he thought (oh my, fancy that) and maybe he has to take a step forwards to reach it (his leg sliding against Newt’s as he slips his knee in between Newt’s thighs, what a coincidence, how did that happen) and maybe Newt’s hands clench convulsively on Graves’ shoulders as Graves looks up at him, their faces hovering mere inches apart and Newt’s breathing coming shorter and open mouthed as they close in for the kiss -

“Got it,” Graves says as he snags his wand with an innocent bat of his eyelashes that fools no one. “Have a good day, darling.” He kisses Newt on the cheek, smirks at the completely gobsmacked look on Newt’s face, and apparates to work.

He sees Newt again at lunch, when Newt marches into his office and shoots him a peeved glare as he dumps a boiling black sludge that may be coffee, a fresh croissant from Jacob’s bakery, and a brown paper bag on Graves’ desk. Graves pretends to have no idea at all why Newt would be annoyed with him and proceeds to eat his lunch (a tuna-sweetcorn sandwich and a pear to accompany the croissant) in such a way that he accidentally gets mayo all over his fingers. Oops. Clumsy Graves. He licks it off, but then the pear turns out to be overly ripe and the sticky-sweet juice runs down his hand almost to his wrist before Graves catches it with his tongue. Close call, that. Imagine if it got on his shirt cuffs. Disastrous.

He looks up at Newt from below his lashes, hiding his grin behind his palm when he sees how Newt is frozen, his own lunch forgotten in his hands. He catches Newt eye and slowly, deliberately, draws two fingers into his mouth just to make extra sure that he’s not left any pear on them. Newt leans forwards, intent on the way Graves’ cheeks hollow as he sucks, and Graves is this close to being thrown down on his desk and ravished he can almost taste it -

Some damn fool knocks politely at the door. Newt startles, almost falls out his chair, and apparates away - which you really aren’t supposed to be able to do inside MACUSA buildings, but hey - leaving his lunch behind. Graves decides to fire whoever is interrupting just to make sure they never do it again, except that when the door opens it’s Picquery that sweeps through and dammit, Graves can’t fire her. He settles for scowling instead.

It turns out that Picquery needs him on an emergency retrieval mission that ends up with some incompetent official almost dieing before Graves gets in and saves the day. It’s all very dramatic and the official is very grateful (or at least he should be, but Graves doesn’t care enough to stick around and find out) but in the process Graves gets drenched in various bodily fluids, slowly coagulating mud splatters, and one particularly nasty patch of flesh-eating green ooze.

He heads for the shower as soon as he gets home with a single minded determination and stays under the spray until he’s at risk of growing gills and a tail and transforming into a merman. He’s distracted enough that he doesn’t even think of Newt, even when he’s stepped out of the shower and wrapped a loose towel around his waist. It’s not until he’s back in the bedroom and roughly towelling his hair that he remembers.

Or. Well. Is forcibly reminded would probably be a better description, because there’s nothing subtle about the way Newt stalks up behind him, grabs his hips to turn him around, and advances on him with steely determination. Graves takes one two three steps backwards until he hits the wall just to avoid being run over and Newt holds him there, one hand gathering Graves’ wrists above his head and the other splayed over Graves’ bare chest and pushing back with a pressure that just skirts the line between painful and really fucking good.

“Finally,” Graves grins, tilting his head back against the wall and arching his back. Newt crowds him in, using his inch height advantage to full effect.

“You,” Newt growls, voice low and lust-rough, “are a fucking tease.”

“Well maybe I wouldn’t have to tease if you’d just get with the program,” Graves shoots back, and just in case that wasn’t enough he adds a roll of his hips for good measure.

Newt skips the roll and goes straight for a full on grind back, and while Graves is busy gasping and seeing stars he lowers his teeth to Graves’ neck and bites. Hard. With definite teeth.

The program, as Graves would say, is very much got with.

Chapter Text

I have been carefully avoiding a Newt-at-war fic, because holy shit Newt-at-war. I’m not ready to cope with this. I’m not. So, to give me time to prepare, let’s roll back time just a tad.

I believe the currently accepted headcanon is that Dumbledore allowed Newt to graduate from Hogwarts, but I prefer the idea that Newt was gone. On the wind. Free as a bird, no job, no school, no wand, no nothing.

His wand, after all, is ash and lime with a core of bone and shell. Tell me that sounds like an Ollivander wand, I dare you, because I won’t believe it. Picture this: age eleven, a tiny Newt went with his big brother to the wand shop and tried every wand Ollivander had. Ollivander darts around like a spectral moth, tricky customer, tricky tricky and Newt fidgets and Theseus just sits on that creaky chair that Ollivander won’t ever replace and says, he’ll find you one, stop worrying. And, because Theseus is an older brother and this is what older brothers do, he adds, You big baby, and pokes Newt in the side with his own wand.

Picture Newt, tiny, freckled, floppy curly hair and sticking out ears, spinning round to his brother and fuming that he is not, Theseus! Stop laughing!

He matches to an ash wand with a dragon heartstring core. There’s power in the heartstring, Ollivander tells him, and ash is a stubborn wood not easily swayed. Sounds right, Theseus says, and pays for the wand while Newt turns it over in his hand and marvels at it.

Now picture this: Newt is taller, quieter. His shoulders have developed a hunch and he holds himself watchful and reserved. His hair is still floppy and freckles still chase their way across his face, there’s power in his disarming frame and he’s a stubborn soul not easily swayed -

They snap his wand.

Why is this important? Why have I brought you here? Because Newt Scamander could be many things, and he could be a gentle soul with a bleeding heart and he could be made of sweetness and light, but, but –

“Scamander, we know it wasn’t you. Tell us who it was.”

No.

“Scamander, stop protecting Lestrange and admit to this farce.”

I did it.

“Scamander, do you understand that we have no choice? You’re forcing us to expel you!”

I know.

Newt stands there, immovable as an ash-wood wand and strong as a dragon heartstring core and he’s not only protecting Leta, he’s defiant about it. That’s what I want you to see. The boy who will grow up to be a man that knows the international laws but decides to slip by them because his creatures need him. The man that sees poachers and traffickers and the beasts they keep caged, and decides to relieve them of the duty. The man with a shell-and-bone wand when it’s illegal for someone to buy a second wand after their first has been destroyed.

That’s the man we’re dealing with. Not so much fuck you to authority so much as yes, and? That’s the man, and at seventeen when war breaks out, the boy is not so different. Seventeen. He’s spent two years working with his mother’s hippogriffs, learning magic on the sly with a lime-and-ash wand (stubborn, the ash is) that he isn’t supposed to have. It’s hard but he’s Hufflepuff, hard won’t be enough to even slow him down.

Now let’s throw him into this war of yours.

Let’s take Newt, seventeen years old, and make him stand back and watch while his brother signs up to fight. Let’s take the boy who got himself expelled to protect his friend and ask him to wave goodbye when his brother marches to the front. Let’s take the man who will one day flout international laws because his creatures need him to, and let’s tell him that seventeen is too young to join the war -

“I’m looking for Theseus Scamander,” he says when he signs his papers and lies about his age. “Do you know which division he’s in?”

“Theseus Scamander,” he says when he’s tracked his brother to the muddy plains of Marne where the last cavalry charge of the war ran and galloped and fell to a hail of machine gun fire. “His name is Theseus Scamander, is he here?”

“Theseus,” he pleas as he scans through the lists of names that fell when the ANZAC forces were corralled and slaughtered on the beaches of Gallipoli. “Not him, don’t let him be here.”

Then, finally, when he runs his hands over the gleaming scales of the ironbellies’ armoured hides. “His name is Theseus Scamander. He’s my brother, he’s leading the attack, and he’s important.” The dragons snort and chitter, pressing closer and listening with whirling eyes and rapt attention. “He doesn’t know I’m here,” Newt continues. “But I need you to protect him. Will you help me do that?”

And in the morning, the dragons break away from their assigned patrol routes. Theseus’ men are cornered, spell-fire and bullets caging them in; their shields are weakening and if were anyone other than Theseus leading them, they’d have fallen long before now. The dragons arrive in blazing fire and and echoing shrieks, unharnessed, unmanned; they fall on the enemy with devastating force and their flames burn a path that Theseus leads his men through to freedom and triumph and glory.

It’s the battle that will win him his Victoria’s cross, the battle where Theseus stayed with his men and kept them alive and held ground against overwhelming odds. Newt, crouched on the back of his unharnessed dragons, watches his brother live with a savage grin and the stubborn core of a defiant man, and this will be the battle that wins him a month’s detention for ‘losing control’ of his patrol.

Newt bears his punishment in stoic silence and his dragons circle the skies to keep his brother safe, and he digs his heels into an unforgiving war and brings his brother home.

Chapter Text

holY MOLY WARN A WOMAN JEEZ

… in a side note, I have looked for but cannot find any Theseus/Newt on tumblr or on AO3. I just. Look what you’ve made me do. They were happy and non incestuous and Theseus was off living his life, and now you’ve made me incestu-ise them. Is that a word? That’s a word. I hereby declare it to be Scamandercest, but as it’s not quite the focus here let’s pull this back round to Graves.

And… let’s set this in the war, because there aren’t enough war-fics yet. Graves is just an auror at this stage, not the director, not the head of magical security. He’s just an auror and he’s been sent to the front as part of MACUSA’s efforts to honour their alliance with France. (Because let’s face it, MACUSA considers the French closer allies than the British). It’s… different, war, very different from pounding through the alleys and underground streets of New York. But the adrenalin is the same, Graves’ spells work just as well - he has to adjust them for distance and the old shield he favoured didn’t work against machine guns so he’s had to adapt that - but he’s doing fine. Mostly. There aren’t many other MACUSA folks around so he’s ended up in Scamander’s division, a mixed French-English group of crazy bastards that specialise in covert missions. In and out, steal the plans and sabotage the enemy, take out the fuckers that stop them along the way, and no one even knows they’ve been there.

Except when the missions go wrong and dragons fall on the enemy like flaming death to get them out, and Graves has never quite understood that. He’s checked the dragon regiment and they shouldn’t be anywhere near covert ops, but somehow they always are. So, those times, everybody knows they’ve been there and the enemy is starting to get shit scared of Theseus Scamander and his Flaming Fuckers (it started out as the Flaming Dragons, but, you know, Flaming Fuckers was just catchier so it kinda stuck.)

And everyone just… accepts this? Everyone in the Fuckers, anyway. Apparently the CO of the ironbellies is apoplectic about it, but the Fuckers themselves just look up at Theseus, close ranks, and refuse to say anything about why exactly the ironbellies break formation and appear in the sky above them like their own personal vanguard. So Graves investigates. He doesn’t ask Theseus, because Theseus is gorgeous and heroic and every fantasy come to life in an army uniform and Graves is maybe a bit of a coward. He ignores the official channels - though he does snoop through the records, the ones he can get his hands on at least - and through various word-of-mouth, subtle questioning and outright bribing, he tracks everything back to one of the junior dragon-hands: some English kid going by Newton Artemis.

“So you’re Graves,” the dragon-hand greets him, leaning against the bar with a cocky smirk. He runs his gaze down Graves’ body in an obvious once-over that leaves Graves fidgeting and self conscious and his smirk widens in approval. “I heard you were looking for me.”

“You’re Artemis?” Graves croaks, his voice suddenly deserting him and his mouth hellishly dry. He takes an emergency gulp of whiskey and almost chokes on the harsh burn of the overly-strong drink.

“Newt,” Newt corrects. He pushes off from the bar and stalks towards Graves with an easy grace that is really unfair for him to possess - he’s what, twenty? Is he even twenty? Graves is ten years older than him, why does Graves feel like this conversation is completely out of his control - and brushes his shoulder against Graves’ as he passes. “I’ll be in the dragon stables,” he promises, his breath warm against Graves’ neck and making him shiver. It’s only when Newt has sauntered out of the bar that he realises the little shit has stolen his drink.

He tells himself that the drink is the reason he turns up at the stables later that night, and maybe it is, but probably it isn’t. Maybe it’s the three - four? - several drinks he had to replace it, trying to convince himself that Artemis - Newt - didn’t mean what Graves thought he meant. Did he? Because it wouldn’t necessarily be bad if he did, Newt was - was easy on the eyes, and, but what if he didn’t? 

Graves walks into the stables still half believing that Newt won’t be there and he’ll have spent the evening tearing himself up over nothing.

He sees Newt in an apparently fierce argument with Theseus fucking Scamander and no, nope, Graves is not getting in trouble with his CO, he’s not doing that.

“Graves!” Newt calls, botching Graves’ subtle attempt at a strategic retreat. Graves manfully avoids wincing and turns back around.

“Newt,” he greets. Then, with a respectful nod, “Scamander, sir.”

Theseus pinches his nose, trailing a step behind as Newt trots over to where Graves is trying to sink through the floor or spontaneously apparate back to his quarter. “Whatever my brother has said -” he begins, but Newt waves him off and interrupts.

“I haven’t said anything yet, stop assuming he’ll say no before we’ve even asked.”

And. What. Brother? But Newt was - Artemis, not Newt Scamander, but when they’re standing side by side Graves can see it in the tilt of their noses and the curve of their mouths. Artemis is probably a fake name, probably something to - oh. The dragons going off their patrol route to protect the Fuckers. Right. Brothers. Ok. Unfairly hot brothers looking at Graves with matching speculative looks, Graves can survive this. Maybe if he keeps telling himself then it’ll be true.

“Ask me what?”

Newt turns to Theseus as though asking permission. Theseus stares at Graves, holding his gaze with an intensity that’s almost physically painful to meet but impossible to look away from. Finally, finally he looks back at Newt and nods. Newt turns to Graves with a delighted grin:

“We want to fuck you.”

And no, no Graves cannot survive this. He really can’t.

Chapter Text

How about this though:

Graves’ grandfather was a dapper old gent and never seen outside a three piece suit at minimum. But his father is cheerful chap who whistles because whistling is one of the few things that drives Graves’ mother absolutely batty and Graves’ father finds this very amusing and that’s just the sort of relationship they have. Don’t worry - she retaliates by hexing his teacups to bite his nose.

(Incidentally, about seventy years down the line, those tea cups end up in a muggle store in London and Arthur Weasley ends up being responsible for tracking them down and taking them in as Ministry property.)

Anyway. Graves’ grandfather, who goes by the name of Grandfather and will accept nothing else, is nothing if not proper and therefore his only grandson is smartly turned out in a tiny six year old three piece suit. And, because it’s take your son to work day and Graves’ father pointed at his wife and said “She says I can’t go, I have to empty the bins” which is a complete lie except that he does end up emptying the bins so she lets him off, because of that Grandfather ends up taking pint sized Graves along with him to work.

And mini Graves tries so hard to mimic his grandfather and be a real person, he strides around (and then jogs to catch up because his legs are a bit too slow for the slow strides to really work) and frowns importantly and whenever Grandfather crosses his arms or shifts his weight or turns to look at someone Graves does exactly the same thing with a determined look and fierce concentration.

And then he hears someone whistling. Now, see, whistling by itself is annoying - but two people whistling in discordant harmony? That’s the jackpot. Graves’ father has trained Graves to whistle with him from a very early age (because why did we have a son darling if not so I can teach him bad habits, it’s what he’s for) and it’s such an ingrained reaction by now that he doesn’t even stop to think. He joins in. Horribly off tune, because that’s the way Papa!Graves rolls and so that’s the way Graves was taught.

And then the entire auror department stop and stare at this tiny version of the terrifying Graves Senior who’s blushing like a tomato and trying to be composed and pretend it didn’t happen. He practically runs out of the room, in as calm and dignified a manner as a six year old can that leaves most of the department cooing at how adorable he is.

… and then, a dozen or so years later, he enters the training program and fuck everything in life because half the aurors remember him whistling when he was six years old.

(He still whistles though. It’s habit. And he still whistles very badly out of tune. And yes, absolutely, his aurors are horrified - but the older ones go all misty eyed and start reminiscing about how sweet he is, at which point the younger generation throw them scandalised looks and start throwing around phrases like “senile” and “retirement”.)

Chapter Text

Mama and Papa Graves are a gift unto the world and the absolute bane of Graves’ entire existence.

It starts, as these things tend to, in 1853 when Bedivere Graves’ younger brother eloped with the butler and took most of the family’s money with him. The resultant mess brought an end to Bedivere’s loveless marriage with the Lady Margaret and ended up with him selling practically everything he owned, dropping out of politics because he couldn’t afford the bribes, and getting a job in anything that would pay him. He kept the grand old house though, even if half of it was boarded up and most of was lacking furniture, more because the grand old house was so closely tied to the Graves’ blood and magic that it would be impossible to sell than for any other reason. They ended up living in the gatekeeper’s cottage because that was far easier to furnish, even if it was a touch cramped.

Thus, Bedivere Graves began work as a lowly admin assistant, a supposedly great man brought low by a fickle wife who was now enjoying the charms of the Lord Tottingroffahooffa or whatever the idiot’s name was. The Lady Margaret was also greatly enjoying the freedom of not having to care for her two year old son anymore; can you imagine the wrinkles caused by having to get up so often in the middle of the night? Ghastly.

You can see, perhaps, why it was a loveless marriage.

So little Leodegrance Graves grew up mostly in a small and cozy house but occasionally rattling around in a large and empty house with three dogs (Woodman the beagle known as Woody, Blue the not-sure-maybe-collie-mix? and Woody Two the jack russell, because this is what happens when you let a small child name the dogs) and a rather fabulous kneazle (Montague, who Bedivere tried really hard to keep as Montague but who invariably was known as Goo) who spent most of his time perched on the top of the tallest cupboard and occasionally fetching Bedivere when the dogs proved incapable of keeping young Leo on the straight and narrow. Bedivere himself progressed from admin assistant to full admin to primary handler of misfiled paperwork to - actually, he stayed as an admin in theory, but he ended up pretty much running the auror department. Their paperwork side, at least.

And I said earlier that Bedivere was a supposedly great man, because in truth, he hadn’t been. He’d been a proud man, unwilling to bend, all too willing to pigeonhole people into their proper place in life. But as Leo grows from toddler to child to daydreaming teen, Bedivere grows from a man who believed in a man’s rights to a man who believed in a man’s duty and there is a greatness in that. He advances his cooking skills from a range of salads (an admittedly fantastic range, but all still assorted mixed leaves, vegetables, and tins of soup that possibly shouldn’t have gone in the salad but were there all the same) to a range of hot pasta salads and that makes a huge difference. (The spaghetti jelly stage we politely don’t mention.) Leo, meanwhile, experiments with jam and squid ink veloutes and decides they aren’t bad (he’s wrong), so between them it all goes well. Goo and the dogs at least are easy to please.

And now that you know the backstory and the history, let’s open to episode one where Leo wanders down the lane after a rather elderly Woody Two, gets lost, and accidentally trips over the potted plants at the bottom of a ridiculously fancy house and gardens. He manages to roll himself over so that he’s lying on his back and takes a minute to just flop there in the grass because why not? The flowers are pretty. Woody Two won’t have gone far. He’s comfy.

“You know you’ve got mud all over you,” a rather haughty voice declares. Leo tilts his head back and squints at what appears to be far too much lace for any sane person to deal with.

“I’m looking for my dog.” And, because he’s Leo, he waves a hand in a lazy circular motion to illustrate the fact. “Obviously.”

There’s a pause. The lace comes to bend over him, the top part resolving itself into a feminine face with an absolute mountain of hair tied up in a complicated pinned braid. “You’re not doing it very well,” she points out.

“He’s going deaf,” Leo explains. “It’ll take him a while.”

Another pause. She sinks into a lady-like sprawl on the grass next to him, uncaring of the green stains that will mark her ridiculous white dress. “I think you’re an idiot,” she says pleasantly.

“All the best people are,” Leo agrees, and grins when she huffs at him.

It’s the start of a relationship that not just her parents but pretty much her entire extended family will bemoan and bewail, much pointed clinking of tea spoons against fancy tea cups because the Graves boy, Carlotta, darling, must you really what about that nice Tottingroffahooffa boy, isn’t he more to your taste?

No. No, is the answer to that, because Carlotta is busy being infuriated by the damned idiot Graves boy with his far too many dogs and she hasn’t got time to fall in love with anyone else.

Bedivere just despairs and tries at least to push Leo into a decent suit jacket. It doesn’t work very well, but at least he gets to laugh when the Tottingroffahooffa boy falls off his horse trying to impress Carlotta and she declares him an incompetent buffoon and proceeds to ignore him in favour of bribing Goo into sitting on her lap.

Chapter Text

All right then, my chickadees. Gather round. Yesterday I promised that today’s story would involve Graves going on a rampage and killing the fuck out of everyone, and that’s the story I’m going to tell - of a sort. But first, understand this:

MACUSA is one of the youngest nations of the wizarding world, one beset by scourers and saboteurs. It’s had to relocate headquarters not once but three times, driven out by the people it nominally claims to protect. It alone of the wizarding ministries has no connections to it’s no-maj counterpart, no fail safes and agreements in place to keep their prying eyes from searching too far. It attempts to rule America with an iron fist, imposing no-tolerance policies to keep itself separate from the no-maj hoards and keep them oblivious to the truth - and yet magic runs riot in the south, in the vast open plains, in the collections of people who walked these magic-soaked lands long before MACUSA wrought the first bar of their cage.

MACUSA was founded by a group of twelve soldiers who took the name ‘auror’ as though it made them anything more than the bloody-knuckled brawlers they’d been before. MACUSA stands on the constant cusp of war with a people it doesn’t understand and cannot hope to prevail against, applying sanctions and coverups like butterfly bandages on a festering cancer. MACUSA bares its teeth to the disapproving frowns of the ICW and lets fear drive mercy into bitter defeat.

It can afford to do little else.

Graves stands on a leg that doesn’t support his weight and balances his wand on a hand that can’t bend his fingers. He raises his chin and locks gazes with the president, and one of his eyes is a murky, fire-spat mess, a unseeing whiteness that flickers with smoke and ash. His clothes hang off him, too loose on his too thin frame, but his hair is pushed back as sharply as it ever was and his cheeks are clean shaven. His hands don’t shake. His knee aches under the strain of holding his weight, but it doesn’t bend or buckle. His accusing stare does not waver.

“Graves,” the president says. Irritation colours her voice, the sympathy worn thin and pushed aside by a man who cares little for pity and will not accept platitudes. “Take what you’re offered. Learn to pick your fights.”

He waits.

“They’re calling for your retirement, Graves. They’re calling for you to be investigated. I can’t afford to indulge you - you know this.”

He waits.

“What do you expect us to do? There are bigger things in the world than you and your revenge!”

He waits.

There is a particular sort of anger in the world, a baseless, hateful anger that stems from knowing you’re in the wrong and being unable - unwilling - to change. It’s a selfish anger, hurt and defensive; it’s a spiteful anger, desperate and cruel. When Picquery says, “Look at you - you can barely walk let alone use your wand, what are you hoping to achieve with this pettiness?” she speaks out of anger. Graves might forgive her for it, one day, but for the moment he does not.

He dips his head, and in a voice that grates like bloody vertebrae over a spike-toothed floor, he answers: “An end.”

Percival Graves is dismissed from the aurors with the highest honours. A medal is conveyed to his parents in his absence, shiny and gold and ringed with words of courage that wear a bland veneer of heroism over their baseless patronisation. His mother sneers as she throws it in the fire. His father smiles, dreamy and bland, and tells her again how awfully pretty she is, how he’s sure she’d bring the sun to winter if only she’d stop being so sad. His father - his father. No, leave him to his muddled confusion. We are not here for him.

The best stories, after all, do not concern themselves with men that fought and broke off screen.

We are here to see a different man who fought and broke again and again and again, who pulled together the aching shards of himself and sewed them together with fevered hope, who crawled on the bloody scars of the man he was and came back to the aurors he swore to protect. We are here to see the way people don’t meet his eyes. The way conversation quiets when he limps past. The way that circling vultures take his suffering and wear it like a martyr’s coat for their cause - see how much we’ve paid they say, what damage Grindelwald has dealt us. See how we’ve worked to earn our rights and how elegantly we mourn the sacrifices our people have made.

We’re here to see a man who will drag himself to his battered feet and march on Grindelwald with nothing but a broken bottle if he has to. Those were the words I used to describe him, and I was going to show you his march. I was going to show you the way he clings to his bottle like a safety blanket against the splinters of reality flickering across the world, the way he counts his scars to check what time he’s in and the way he flinches from sounds that only he can hear. We were going to see Grindelwald open his arms like an indulgent teacher, self-satisfied and self-centered as he admires the pitiable wreck his foe has become.

See the moment Graves decides he doesn’t care, the twisting of his face and the desperate clawing for peace as he trades his tomorrows for this one perfect moment of today, and the moment he stares at his blood stained hands and laughs until he chokes on it because for that moment, that one moment, there is clarity.

The blood fades and blurs and Graves counts his scars like a man possessed, ears ringing from screams he can’t be making. Grindelwald walks through his dreams while his corpse cools in the evening mist - or does Grindelwald walk through the world while Graves kneels over his death in dreams?

I won’t say, because I wanted to show you the other half. The half that asks: Why does he have to? He drags himself to battered feet and he’s only a broken bottle to his name, but why?

Percival Graves gave everything he had to protect his people, but when he marches he does it alone. I wanted to show you that.

Chapter Text

  • Newt makes awful coffees. Awful. They’re either murky peat-water or sentient tar, there is no in between. Graves drinks them without comment because Newt made them.
  • Actually that’s not quite true, Graves drinks them with many comments, particularly when the black mess is somehow defying gravity and climbing out of the mug. Newt occasionally gets flustered and tries to take the mug back but Graves hunches over it protectively because it’s his coffee that his boyfriend made him and he downs the scalding, gravity defying concoction before Newt can take it off him and smirks triumphantly when Newt pouts.
  • When Graves starts floating from whatever the fuck Newt did to his coffee, Newt crosses his arms and tells him off for drinking it in the first place. Graves flails against the ceiling and sticks out his burnt tongue and looks pitiful until Newt sighs and levitates himself up to kiss it better.
  • Kissing it better is going very well indeed until the coffee wears off and Graves stops floating. He clings to Newt for dear life while Newt, the fucker, laughs his head off and takes his sweet time about manoeuvring them to hover over the kitchen table so Graves can get down.
  • “I am not putting my shoes on the table we eat off that thing!”
  • Don’t drop me on the floor the floor is a long way away.
  • Newt finally rolls his eyes and casts a second levitating charm on Graves. It’s one that gives him full control over where Graves is positioned rather than just floating him up to lie on the ceiling, and isn’t that an interesting prospect. He twitches his fingers to bring Graves up to hover beneath him, and again to align them flush against each other. Graves slides one hand behind Newt’s head and slides the other down his front in a way that vanishes his clothes, and this is an excellent progression of events.
  • Five minutes later, Newt is too distracted to hold either levitation spell and Graves is a loudly complaining ball of agony on the kitchen table with an elbow in his ribs, a knee in exactly the worst place for a knee to land, and definitely a broken spine, Newt, he isn’t kidding, it’s fine for some people because they had a nice squishy boyfriend to land on but other people had a bony boyfriend land on them and ow mercy lewis right in the gonads fuck
  • Cue much fussing and application of homemade and not-officially-sanctioned pain poultices made of god knows what ingredients that Newt was taught by a healer in god knows what country but they actually work so that’s ok (though god knows how)
  • The pair of them end up on the sofa, Graves lying sideways with his head on Newt’s lap and Newt stroking lazy circles on Graves’ bare back to “help the healing” while he flips through pages for the latest chapter of his book
  • Graves contributing with grammar and spelling because holy shit, Newt knows his stuff but the things that man does to a comma are illegal
  • As in actually illegal, Graves passed a law about it last week and he’s pretty sure that Tina hasn’t noticed yet to revoke it
  • The pair of them share the sofa with three occamies, curled up on Graves’ chest, a diricawl perched on Newt’s shoulder, Pickett in Graves’ hair trying to make it curl the way Newt’s does (and succeeding what the actual fuck Pickett what arcane magic are you using to do this) and Addie the nundu laid out over Newt’s feet like a large pair of deadly killer slippers.
  • Lazy evenings by the fire in a puppy pile of creatures, Graves rolling over sleepily and burying his face in Newt’s stomach, occamies mewing unhappily as they’re dislodged and burrowing beneath the blanket to resettle themselves, Newt’s soft smile as he looks around him at his family
  • Happy things

Chapter Text

Act one, scene one: The dreamworks logo fades to a view of the stars. The camera drops through clouds, smog, buildings, until it’s looking down into an open dumpster. We hear a rustle, a couple of bangs, then a red fox jumps out with half a hamburger.

“Newt!” Theseus calls. “Newt, you’re missing out!”

Camera pans down the alley to a large metal gate, complete with sign: MACUSA CITY ZOO and, below that, KEEP OUT. A smaller fox stands on his hind legs with his paws against the door, trying to see through the gap above the hinge.

“You think there’s a way in?” Newt asks. “Maybe if I tried the fence again -”

Theseus grabs him by the scruff of his neck and pulls him away from the gate. “The fence is electrocuted.” He drops the squirming fox in front of the hamburger and hops back up into the dumpster. “Eat your dinner and stop trying to get in the zoo.” 

Newt dutifully bends his head to the burger, but the sound of an elephant trumpeting makes him scramble back towards the gate. “Did you hear that Theseus, did you hear it?” 

“Newt!” Theseus yells after him. “Dammit you flea-bitten limp whisker, get back here!”

The music swells into the main theme as the camera follows Newt to the gate, zooming in on the gap and then through to the zoo at night, with giant letters showing the film’s title:

IMPROBABLE

And for the rest of the film we follow Newt and his ever more ridiculous antics to get in the zoo to meet all the amazing animals there. Unknown to him though there’s disaster brewing as a puffy-faced, weirdly off putting, over-acted warthog attempts to incite rebellion and destroy the zoo; it’s up to Newt, Theseus, and Graves the particularly pissed-off penguin to stop the evil Grindelwald and save the day.

Somehow they pick up Jacob, who runs the doughnut stall and catches Newt stealing from it but is too soft-hearted to stop him, Tina, the head of the conservation and breeding program who is trying to save endangered species through the zoo’s vital work, and Queenie, who doesn’t work at the zoo but is there to support her sister (and fall in love with Jacob along the way) and who at one point knocks out the Grindelwald-warthog with a well placed swing of her handbag.

(Just imagine though, all these high speed chases where Newt and Theseus are legging it and Grindelwald is charging high speed behind them and there’s just Graves toddling along frantically because he doesn’t go any faster, until Newt spins round and runs back for him and Graves isn’t sure how it happened except now he’s basically riding Newt like a jockey and it’s fabulous)

(Oh, and the scene in the marine exhibit where Grindelwald has managed to recruit the leopard seals - and Graves, he’s doing his thing, he’s swimming rings round these fuckers and while he’s doing it he’s darting over here to press this button, and over there to guide the seals into this part of the exhibit, and whoopsidaisy loop the loop and - bam, the seals are trapped, it’s amazing, he’s amazing, Newt, Newt did you see that, Newt. Newt.

And there’s this dark, reddish shadow against the bottom of the tank and Graves never even thought about the fact that Newt couldn’t swim, and he fucking rockets down and grabs Newt, paddling up to the surface like his life depended on it, and there’s Theseus trotting round the corner with his tail high, did it work, did the cage get them, did you do it - and then Theseus sees Newt, this damp scraggly piece of fur that’s his little brother, just lying there on the rock, and Graves kind of just curls over him and doesn’t say anything, and, and, and.

And Tina storms on the scene because she spent six years studying to be a vet before she retrained in conservation, there’s an emergency clinic round the back of the main building, we’re breaking in - Queenie, disable the alarm - and you’re not dying on me fucker, not tonight

And when Newt wakes up, there’s a neat row of pebbles laid out next to him and no one will tell him where they’re from but for the rest of the film, every time Newt goes to sleep he wakes up to find more pebbles. It’s not until right at the end of the film that he pretends to be asleep and manages to catch Graves in the act.

But just imagine, if you will, that this is a disney film and therefore Graves is singing a soft and gentle love song as he places each particular pebble just right.)

Chapter Text

The darker eye is Graves’. Graves was the one with the visions, not Grindelwald, and he proved… difficult about them. Disinclined to share. But that’s fine; a prophet’s power is in their voice but it’s the eyes that are the key to a seer’s power, and if you know what you’re doing it’s easy enough to steal it. It takes Grindelwald a while to set the ritual up and when Graves realises what he’s doing he fights Grindelwald with everything he has.

Of course he does. You think Graves would just let a dark lord have that sort of advantage over the world? Grindelwald’s too powerful and too cunning for Graves to fight openly, but a seer’s power is in the eyes and Graves can sabotage that. Even with magic-inhibitors on, even drugged and clinging desperately to reality to keep it from slipping away, Graves has enough control to channel his magic to his eyes and - well. It’s surprisingly easy to set your anger on fire if you have enough of it. Painful, but easy enough. Visions flicker through the flames and Graves sees the world spinning away from him, sees Grindelwald striding through his life wearing his face, sees Tina sentenced to death and a hunted boy dissolve into black-red-black and his city torn to shreds. He sees might have beens and might still bes and he sees himself burn to death in one, sees Grindelwald tire of him in another, sees himself scrawl out a bomb in runes of his own blood and bare his teeth in a bloody grin when Grindelwald steps on the trap and Graves brings the roof down on both of them -

In one potential future, Graves sees a man with curly hair and a hesitant, nervous smile. The man holds out a hand and the Graves in that vision takes it and pulls himself to aching feet. It’s the only vision where the sun shines.

It’s the last thing he sees.

Grindelwald roars in anger, forcing Graves’ head underwater until he chokes and suffocates. Graves wills the fire to keep burning but the water drowns it and lack of air is making him dizzy and weak. Ice floods his lungs and sends shooting pain through his chest. The fire goes out.

The eye that Grindelwald salvaged is damaged, the vision blurred and marred by dark shadows that the other eye can’t see. It shows him hazy visions of a future wreathed in flames; it aches and burns and digs like knives into his brain. He should have known better than to steal a seer’s power, should have known that nothing of Graves’ would serve him willingly, but Grindelwald has always been a man that cares more for the prize than the cost to win it. He takes his mismatched eyes and the grudging glimpses of one day soon. He sees futures that dissolve into anger, into war; he sees himself victorious and bloody, surrounded by chaos, and he marches on with false security to a vision that will never come true.

He should have known better, but he thinks Graves is a broken man. Graves’ visions will lead him merrily to his death and Grindelwald will run towards them with eager triumph in his strides.

In his cell, Graves bares his teeth in his bloody grin and holds tight to the only future he saw where the sun will shine again.

Chapter Text

So there’s a post going round tumblr which naturally when I want it I can’t find it BUT from it I learnt that cats and even cheetahs will dump their cubs sometimes with people they trust because Mummy Needs A Damn Nap.

And. I just. I have been unable to get this picture out of my head so now dear friends I share it with you:

Newt’s dragons, the ones from the war, where do they end up? Do we have dragon reserves yet? Maybe. Maybe not. But what we do have is a pod of ironbellies who are all a bit scarred, all a bit leery of loud noises, all a bit… affected by the war. Paranoid. They’re paranoid. And when one of them has a clutch of eggs, these dragons will Guard These Eggs and Nothing Will Get Through, which is fine, except that when these eggs hatch the dragonets have no concept of survival

They crawl over everything. They want to eat everything. One of them chased a butterfly off a cliff and it can’t even fly yet.

And see, normal dragons, wild dragons, they don’t really give a shit, but our lot? Hell, paranoid barely covers it. PTSD in dragon format, that’s what we’re dealing with here. None of them have slept since the dragonets learnt how to walk.

They’re all, as a collective pod, being driven mad.

There’s only one solution.

Mummy.

So now, please, if you will, imagine Newt sitting on a park bench and drinking his tea and then this entire flock of giant scaly death machines fall from the sky and crowd round him and Tina’s in the background having a heart attack and Jacob is both beside himself because dragons and also shit-terrified because dragons and Graves has elected to conjure a newspaper and pretend he can’t see because plausible deniability is the only way he survives the whole Newt thing.

And each dragon just deposits a wriggly dragonet at Newt’s feet, tells the tiny firebreathing menaces to stay and listen to their grandmama, and, with a final thankful wuffle that just avoids setting Newt’s hair on fire, the lot of them bugger off for their naps.

Newt’s left in the middle of central park, buried under a puppy-pile of baby dragon (when I said tiny, remember that this is tiny for a dragon each one is the approximate size of a malamute) and he’s delighted

This is genuinely the best day ever

Newt has grandkids

Dragon-whisperer Newt strolling through New York with a whole line of giant fire-breathing kittens chasing his heels

And yes, of course he buys them ice cream, what kind of doting grandmother do you think he is???

Chapter Text

Do you now.

Then please, if you will, picture this:

Home is a flat, modest sized, neatly furnished. The windows are large; the view of the sunsets they offer is amazing. It’s not so much that the city falls away beneath them as the mountains rise up to meet them, the jagged peaks reaching for the sky and piercing the sun on their crests. He remembers when they first bought the flat, when the light painted everything shades of gold-red-gold and she all but danced to the windows and said yes, this is it, this is the place.

Her piano faces the windows. Faces the sunset.

He rights the toppled stool and pushes the fallen debris to the floor. The wood is chipped, the lacquer gouged away, but the keys are soft under his fingers. Dusty, perhaps. He wipes his hands on his trousers and adds a layer of white to the existing layers of brown and red and resettles his hands to play.

He pauses there for a long moment, mind blank and devoid of songs. There hasn’t been much need for them lately. When his fingers finally move he recognises the piece but doesn’t know the name; it’s something soft, something slow, something achingly sad.

The glare from the windows blinds him. He doesn’t know how she used to play with the sun so low like this. One of the curtains is ripped, hanging from only a bare handful of hooks but the other is fine; he could easily shut out the sunset and the mountains.

He closes his eyes and keeps playing.

The barrel of the gun is cold against his temple, cold enough that his breath hitches and his notes stumble - 

He relaxes into the melody again. The piece is familiar, so familiar, but he still can’t think where he knows it from.

“You’re home early,” he states. 

There’s a pause. Home is a flat, modest sized, bullet holes in the wallpaper. Home is an empty shell with a view of the sun setting behind the mountains and a piano that’s chipped but still plays in tune.

“Yes,” she says, voice devoid of emotions.

He doesn’t want to say the next line but the music pulls him on and the words say themselves: “You’re not her.”

“No.”

He hums. The music shifts key. His gun is in his holster and he’s a knife strapped to each ankle, but. He keeps playing.

She expects a response so he gives her one. “How deeply unfortunate,” he says, and he could so easily knock her gun away, even without his own weapons he could lash out and break her arm, pull her close and break her nose, force the shards into her brain and end her –

Ah, now he remembers. It’s the piece they played at her funeral.

“Were you ever her?” he asks. 

She doesn’t answer. The gun doesn’t waver. There’s three bars left of the piece and with his eyes closed he can’t tell how close the sun is to setting, but even through his eyelids he can tell the light is gold-red-gold.

Two bars left.

One bar left.

“I wanted to be,” she says.

The piece ends. He opens his eyes and watches the sun set behind the mountains.

 

It feels like they rise up meet him.

Chapter Text

“How deeply unfortunate,” Graves says drily. He keeps playing, because why not? He likes the music. It’s got just the right amount of notes, it keeps his fingers busy, it hides the sound of the alarm system summoning backup as he slides his left foot over the pressure plate on the floor. It’s good music. 

“Isn’t it though?” she asks, and the music does nothing to hide the sound of her clicking the safety off. “Here you are murdering Brahms and I forgot to bring my earplugs.”

She pulls the trigger, but Graves is already moving: he ducks back, grabs her wrist and uses it to pull her forwards off balance. The bullet grazes past his ribs and buries somewhere in the floor behind him; he stands up shoulder first and slams her back into the piano with a discordant clash of notes. She swears. She also kicks like a mule and her shoes are stilettos. Graves hisses as his knee threatens to buckle underneath him and shifts his grip, fighting for purchase on her gun. He gets his fingers round the trigger and fires it, once, twice, three times and it comes out blank. 

“Did my wife send you?” he manages to ask. His heart is racing. The hitman - hitwoman? - is spread underneath him, red curls flaring against the black of the piano. He has one of her hands pinned underneath her, her other one still gripped tightly and angled away. She hasn’t let go of the gun.

“My wife,” he snarls when she only grins breathlessly at him and doesn’t answer. “Did she send you.”

“Really darling,” she purrs. “It’s rude to talk about other women when you’ve got one in front of you.” She arches, her foot sliding up the inside of his calf, and if she’s offering Graves doesn’t see why he can’t look. It is, after all, a view worth appreciating, and the longer he keeps her here the more time he gives his bodyguards to break in and do their sodding jobs.

“And this woman I’ve got in front of me,” he drawls, not relaxing his hold for a second. “Does she have a name? A purpose? An employer, perhaps?”

“Perhaps,” she agrees. She rests her foot against his thigh, her knee bent and her dress slipping up. She lowers her eyelashes and tips her head back, drawing Graves unwittingly forwards with the movement and the quirk of her painted lips into a half-smile. “Or perhaps not,” she breathes - and Graves catches her intent just in time. He dodges, and the lethal spike of her shoe scores a thick line of blood across his leg (but not through his leg which, as far as Graves is concerned, is a win). She twists out of his hold and rolls back over the piano, landing on the other side with her back to the balcony windows and her gun raised.

“You’re out of bullets,” Graves reminds her, breathing hard and pressing his hand against his leg to stem the bleeding. She raises an eyebrow at him and tucks a wild curl behind her ear.

“Am I really?” she asks. She’s cocky and confident, her dress is still rucked up a bit at her thighs, she’s deadly and beautiful and Graves isn’t 100% convinced he could take her down in a fight.

He thinks he’s in love.

“Your name, at least,” he presses, and he’s only partly stalling. He can hear quiet footsteps in the hall; backup is at hand. Criminally late, but at hand.

Her head tilts - she hears them too. "Ah, shame,“ she pouts. "We were just getting to the good bit.” She cocks the gun; Graves crouches and prepares to dive for cover but she spins in one elegant moment and fires at the window.

The balcony window. On the twenty third floor.

“Oh, and Graves, sweetheart?” She throws a final smile over her shoulder as she steps over the broken glass in her ridiculous heels. “It’s Artemis.”

“The huntress?” Graves asks, but she’s vaulted out the window and gone. He swears and scrambles after her, ignoring the pain from his wounded leg. His balcony contains two pot plants, a rusting metal chair, and an ash tray, but no trace of Artemis.

By the time his bodyguards finally pile in the room with their guns up and their useless panicking, Graves knows two things for sure.

First, everyone in this room is fired because he was this close to getting killed and then everything would have been fucked.

Second, everything is fucked anyway because he’s definitely in love.

He hopes she’ll come back to finish the job. It’d be unprofessional of her not to, really. She’ll definitely be back.

… Maybe he’ll leave it another day or so before he hires more competent bodyguards.

Chapter Text

So when Newt’s ironbellies decide to leave the kids with Grandmama, Graves ends up as defacto Grandpapa sharing the house with a horde of baby dragons. I now present to you Graves getting dragged into dragon-sitting, the highlights:

  • Graves getting up for literally two seconds seriously he knocked his book on the floor and went to get it that’s all but when he turns around there’s a dragon curled up in the warm spot. It blinks up at him and doesn’t Graves know it’s always been there, why is Graves making a fuss, is he really so petty as to turf a baby dragon – a baby! – from it’s nice warm spot on the chair?

    Yes. Yes Graves is. Unfortunately the dragon has claws so when Newt walks in he finds Graves levitating the chair upside down and shaking it, and the dragon still stubbornly curled up and pretending to sleep through Graves’ ever more creative swear words.

  • Graves having many (many) white shirts before the dragonets arrived. Now he has one (1) white shirt and many (many) white-flecked-with-black shirts. The wards set around his white shirt are layered five deep and he still doesn’t trust the dragons not to get through them.

    Graves also has one (1) bitching black coat. The dragonets – the dark grey dragonets – contrive to shed white on it. They do it on purpose. He knows they do. Dragons don’t even shed for fuck’s sake they’re made of fucking scales there’s no way they aren’t doing this on purpose.

  • Graves claiming he can’t tell the dragons apart. There are six of them, they all have wings, they all answer to variations of oi, they’re exactly the same. Exactly. Nope, sorry Newt, they look like the same shade of grey to him. Crests? What crests? No, none of them have crests. White spots under their chin? Green eyes vs yellow eyes? Nah. Graves can’t see any of it. They’re identical.

    Newt gets more and more high pitched as he tries to point out how two very different dragonets are, in fact, very different. It’s hilarious. Graves manfully keeps a straight face and declares them to be clones of each other. Exact copies Newt, what do you mean one is wearing a hat, Graves can’t see any hats.

  • Graves sitting on the floor, because his chair’s been ahem ‘borrowed’ by an invading force, but he’s leaning back against one warm scaly body and he’s got a second with her head in his lap and another with his head draped over Graves’ shoulder so Graves can scratch under his chin and he really really needs the bathroom but he’s stuck here until the dragons move and this would be such a sweet and perfect moment except it’s also sheer physical torture

  • Graves spending a small fortune on assorted rubber bones and fluffy mice (they don’t exactly make dragon-toys at the local pet shop, how very short sighted of them) and the dragons, without shame, ignoring the toys in favour of fighting over the cardboard box they came in

  • Oh, and that whole thing about the dragons will sleep downstairs I promise they’re not allowed on the bed? Newt you fucking liar.

  • Oops, Graves dropped his toast on the – oh, whelp, that’s no breakfast for Graves then. Grand.

  • Oops, Graves left his plate too close to the edge of the – crap. No lunch for Graves.

  • Oops, Graves stepped away from the oven to fetch a wooden spoon and no. No. You’ve gone too damn far dragons that dinner is Graves’ dinner and it’s not even fucking cooked yet he will fight you for his damn dinner
  • FOR FREEDOM. FOR JUSTICE, LIBERTY AND A SODDING CARBONARA.

  • No Graves will not calm down Newt, he’s harbouring thieves and criminals in his own fecking kitchen and he will not stand for this.

  • Don’t tell Graves to look at that face, he’s immune. IMMUNE.

  • Stop it.

  • It won’t work.



  • Fine but Graves is getting the good takeaway, the one from the Chinese with the amazing spring rolls.

  • Well of course he’s getting extra prawn toast for the monster-lings, what kind of heartless bastard do you think he is?

Chapter Text

I mean, this is a very specific requests for a birthday present, and I hope you realise that you have just made me research the history of forks with my own two eyes and I hope you also realise that forks didn’t start being widely used until the 16th century so if Graves wanted to collect forks from a reasonable period of history he’d be fine and golden, but no, not Graves, he’s decided on the flipping 14th century when the fork world consists of fuck all with a side helping of assiette de none.

Like, seriously, Phina, you understand how rare this one is? Forks just weren’t used in the 14th century, but look, this is an actual, real life fork from the 14th century, Graves has it here in his actual real life hand oh dear god he thinks he needs to sit down.

The fork in question is blackened and twisted; two pronged, not three, and the prongs are straight not curved. The handle of the fork is carved into a vaguely sinuous shape that’s been eroded by time but Graves is pretty sure that it was supposed to be a bird head, see this ridge here, see - Phina, you’re not looking - this bit? This looks like a beak, and these markings here, they could just be scratches but they could also be feathers, see?

And! Sorry, ‘scuse him, he needs - that pile there, the, accio! - oops, don’t worry, Graves’ll tidy the rest of them up later - here! This, Phina, this is a painting from the 15th century (which is a century too late but it’s about as close as Graves can get in painting-format) and this bit, this bit here? That’s a fork. They weren’t used much but this painting proves that they were sometimes used for sticky things, see this bowl next to it? These things, they could be sticky fruit maybe, all soaked in wine, or they could be -

What? Oh. Maybe they could be goats’ eyeballs but, uh. Graves doesn’t… That is, they might be, but he doesn’t quite think so? But either way, could Graves get back to his fork? He’s sure goats’ eyeballs would be delicious soaked in wine (he’s actually really not) but, he, uh. Fork?

So anyway, Graves was saying, that, uh, forks were usually used for these fancy little sweets and things, and, uh, you know what, look at the time, uh - tempus - oh wow is that it, is that the time. He saw Goldstein in the break room, he should, he should go and duel her, or something. For practice. Training. Yes. He’ll just. He’ll go, now, if that’s ok.

(Tiiiiina he got distracted and started rambling at the fecking president about his fecking fork she thinks he’s a nut job now, she has to, Tina this the worst the absolute worst and please stop laughing Graves has to actually pretend to be training here Tina please. Tina. How is Graves supposed to maintain his reputation as the hard-ass head of department if his opponent is giggling too much to actually duel him. Tina. Tina this is not a laughing matter. Graves is this close to demoting you. He’ll actually do it. Tina. Please.)

Later, of course, when it’s Newt and Graves alone in their kitchen and Graves has called in Queenie to take her loon of a sister away, Graves can’t help taking the fork out of his pocket again. It’s dulled and it’s twisted and it may or may not have a bird head carved into it and it’s from the actual fourteenth century and this is a big deal for Graves. He’s sat on his excitement all day and now he can’t stop turning it over in his fingers and squinting at the details on it, his brain still slightly stuck on disbelief. (the fourteenth bloody century! the fourteenth!)

Newt replaces his cold coffee with a fresh cup and nudges one of the occamies aside so he can sit at the table next to Graves.

“Tina told me you had a fork,” he says questioningly. Graves almost want to hide it away again but he doesn’t because this is Newt, and Newt goes misty-eyed over bent bits of grass and broken twigs that may or may not have been a trail of griffin-foot prints, so. Graves shows him the fork.

Graves shows him the fork, and the occamy - it’s Susie, Susie-ccamy - rears her head up and stares, beady eyed, until Newt shows her the fork too. She arches her neck and raises her feather crest just so until she’s mimicking the bird on the handle. When Graves tells Newt about the way forks in Europe were considered foreign and impractical and barely used except for sticky-sweets, Newt just listens, and nods, and, at one point, asks what changed. Graves gets side tracked and tells him about Italy and the renaissance making them fashionable, then paranoid king Louis - one of the Louis, at least - in France outlawing pointed table knives and making forks necessary, and by this time Graves’ third cup of coffee is cold but he’s still drinking it because he hasn’t noticed yet and Susie’s gone to sleep curled around the fork like a tiny dragon with a tiny hoard and Newt’s smiling, soft and gentle and happy because Graves is happy, and Graves still hasn’t got over the fact that he owns a piece of fourteenth century history in his tiny New York kitchen at his messy New York kitchen table.

(The fourteenth century, Newt! A fork! From the fourteenth century!)

Chapter Text

Ah, Director. You look well. How are you enjoying your stay? You know you can tell me if anything isn’t to your liking, it’s not my intention for you to be uncomfortable here. But please, sit, take a seat.

Or stand, if you’d rather – I apologise if the chairs aren’t quite what you’re used to, transfiguration was never my strong suit. You’re sure you won’t sit? You’ll give me neck ache standing all the way up there. Well, however you prefer.

Now – tea? I never quite got on with that coffee you Americans have. You aren’t a fan of tea? Come now Director, you’re clearly parched, won’t you let me give you something to drink?

No matter. I’m not here to force you, Director. I know how much it disagrees with you.

Though I have to say – may I call you Percival? Graves, then. I have to say, Graves, I do find it surprising. You are one of the strongest wizards MACUSA can call her own. Your refusal to be forced into things you disagree with, your stubborn adherence to doing the right thing - these are things legends are built on. Why, I remember when you overturned the voodoo bans, took on the whole ICW and made them recognise that America wasn’t the same as our European countries, that your little native magics were just as valid as anything a wand produced. That was iconic Percival – Graves, my apologies – utterlyiconic. You inspire me, you know? Never afraid to speak up for the minority, never afraid to do what’s right even if everyone seems against you.

It surprises me, Graves, to see you keeping silent now. I never thought you’d be one to bow to popular opinion.

Ah – dinner, excellent. Sit, sit, take a plate. You must be hungry! … no? I can’t say I see the point in starving yourself like this. There’s no reason for you to make yourself ill.

You don’t agree? With which part? I’ve offered you every amenity, Graves and here you haven’t even shaved – but we were talking about more important things. You don’t acknowledge that you’re turning your back on what’s right. You won’t admit that you’ve been cowed into inaction.

We are the minority Graves. We - wizardkind - are as much worth championing as any of your pet causes. Or are you going to abandon your brothers and sisters? Do you think you’re safe, Graves, are you too blind to see the danger? The world is changing, our people are at risk of losing everything – does this mean nothing to you?

Percival, please. Unbend your stiff neck. Look past your prejudice. Don’t let your personal opinion of me stop you doing the right thing. The wizarding world will fall with or without us, that’s just fact. Even you must know that. It needs people to build it back up again, people to build it right. It needs you because no one knows America the way you do, no one will fight for your scattered lost causes the way you fight for them – don’t you understand that I’m not trying to control you, I’m trying to give you control? Give you the chance to finally do what you’ve been saying should be done for years?

This is your response, then? You’d leave thousands hopeless just to spite one man who’s trying to help? Or maybe I’m reading it wrong. Maybe it’s nothing to do with me and everything to do with how much more you stand to lose. Are you so damnably proud, Director, that you’d see everything burn before you dare put your reputation at risk?

You’re a mess, Percival. Look at you. You can barely even stand without shaking – don’t scoff at me like that, I offered you a seat. You brought this on yourself.

Take him away, please. Make sure he eats. Force him if necessary. Lives depend on you, Director. I won’t have you sacrifice yourself on some childish whim.

Until tomorrow then. Maybe next time you’ll deign to listen.

Chapter Text

Grey? What is this - an indecisive white? A black that couldn’t commit? Non. Graves doesn’t do grey. When he’s going for strikingly monochromatic with just a splash of colour he goes in style - they say he spells his clothes to make them darker black and whiter white. I heard that he transfigured the edge of his coat lapels into folded steel to make the points sharper. And that’s nothing - the rumour went round the other day that his coat is actually dyed with lethifold blood, that’s why it projects such an aura of power and menace.

But, gossip aside, Graves likes his suits. He also likes his ridiculous blue scarf with its tassels, and his scorpion pins, mustn’t forget his scorpion pins. The scarf requires at least two spells permanently active to stop it flying around and getting in the way - or, god forbid, falling in the mud good grief perish the thought.

So in answer to question I think Graves is exactly extra enough to choose waistcoats that are not just pink but glaringly fuschia or what about this one it’s offensively salmon the sort of salmon that burns your eyeballs and this one! It’s neon purple and lime green did you ever see anything so beautiful in your life

And he spells them to look so black that people whisper that he wove them out of nachtkrapp feathers, and all these stuffy heads of states in all these stuffy meetings nod stuffily at him in approval and in his head Graves knows that he’s actually flamboyantly yellow today, yes he is.

And if the meetings are particularly boring he relaxes the camouflage spell but just for one person who then thinks they’re going mad, because what the actual fuck.

what the actual fuck

And they just kinda stumble mid sentence and Graves just blinks innocently because he didn’t quite catch that, what were they saying?

Chapter Text

“But why?” had been Graves’ first question.

“Because!” Newt had answered, laughing. He held up the shirt against his chest, craning his neck down to look at himself. “Don’t you think it suits me?”

“It clashes with your hair,” wast Graves’ opinion. He looked over it again and grimaced. “It clashes with itself.”

Newt grinned, all teeth and freckles and delight. “I know,” he said. “Isn’t it fabulous?”

Graves’ well constructed arguments collapsed in the face of Newt’s overt happiness. They always seemed to. He made one last, helpless gesture at the shirt that wordlessly protested the green and the stars then bowed to the inevitable.

“It’s fabulous,” he agreed weakly. “It’s just so… so you.”

Newt bent forward and kissed him on the nose. “Of course it is,” he said, and snagged a pair of sunglasses on his way round the side of the stall. He also ducked behind the brightly-coloured privacy screen with childish glee as soon as he’d finished paying and emerged, barely thirty seconds later, clad in his new neon holiday shirt with his hair standing on end.

“And!” he announced, holding up the sunglasses and sliding them carefully onto Graves’ face. “To protect thine delicate eyes from the glory that is colour.” He gave an exaggerated twirl, holding out his arms in a delicate pirouette. “How do I look?”

“It’ll be in Milan by Tuesday,” Graves promised him, holding out his hand. He pulled Newt just off-balance enough to stumble forwards and stole a quick peck on the lips. “Where to next?”

“Did you know,” Newt asked in a conversational tone, “that there is a parc zoologic de Barcelona?”

“Did you know,” Graves asked, already pulling out his wand for subtle point me, “that your accent would be immeasurably better if you allowed me to cast a translation charm?”

Newt stuck his tongue out. “That’s not the point. And I think the arco de triunfo is on the way as well. And ice cream!”

Graves perked up. “Mango?”

“Chocolate chip,” Newt retorted.

Graves raised an eyebrow behind his new sunglasses as they started ambling in the direction of grand arches, zoological parks and, if not mango ice cream then perhaps, “Rum and raisin.”

Newt squawked in outrage. “Toffee!” he protested, swinging their joined hands between them.

“Blackberry.”

Double chocolate chip. Double mint chocolate chip.”

“Vanilla.”

“Sprinkles?”

“… Sprinkles.”

Chapter Text

The truth of the ice cream. The TRUTH of the ICE CREAM is that Newt is lactose intolerant. Double chocolate chip is the thing, the special summer thing that everyone got when they were kids but Newt couldn’t have.

Do you have any idea how much want you can feel for something if you’re a small child staring with wide, sparkling eyes at the ice cream in the cone with the sprinkles and Theseus gets one, Theseus! gets one! and mummy mummy mummy please can Newt have one, he’ll be extra good, he promises, please please please can Newt have a nice cream?

It’s an ice cream, Mummy corrects, and sorry love, but no. You know it makes you sick.

She gets him an orange lolly. It’s the most disappointing thing in the entire universe. And she tries, dear god she tries - she goes for mango, pineapple, swirly blue-and-red raspberry in lolly format, slushie format, sorbet format - she even tries him on granita for frick’s sake but tiny Newt wants ice cream. Specifically, he wants Theseus’ chocolate ice cream.

(The number of times Theseus tries to sneak him ice cream and Newt comes perilously close to extreme stomach upset is, according to Mummy, too damn high)

And now that Newt’s an adult? He’s still lactose intolerant. It still gives him the worst cramps and, if he’s not got the right potions to hand, forces him to lock himself in the bathroom for the rest of the forseeable future. He still can’t have ice cream. But ice cream is still the thing, the special summer thing, and therefore the holiday is not complete until Graves dutifully has his ice cream and Newt loads up a travel mug with a ridiculous ice-fruit concoction - kiwi, he went for in the end, kiwi with glace cherries and he thinks that might be a lychee - and makes eyes at the ice cream with the sort of wistful nostalgia that comes from being grown up and being sensible and not wanting to be either.

Don’t worry though. Graves is aware. Graves cannot himself make ice cream, but he’s got Queenie and Queenie’s no-maj boyfriend that Graves, as an auror, has carefully never heard of, he’s got both of them on the case. They’ll develop a non-dairy ice cream soon enough and then Newt will have enough ice cream to swim in, including peach gelato if he so wishes because let’s be honest, Newt could make a passing comment about ambrosia ice cream and Graves would find a way to make it happen for him.

Don’t lie. You know he would.

Chapter Text

Consider:

  • Graves receiving a memo during his first year as the department head asking where his budget report is.
  • Graves sending back a memo saying that whatever a “budget report” is, it isn’t his, and he isn’t responsible for it, and if they’re talking about the weird artifact the aurors confiscated from that scourer the other week then absolutely no it didn’t animate itself and escape down a toilet so really he doesn’t see why he’s being brought into this.
  • Graves receiving three memos asking what the fuck artifact and which the fuck toilet plus a fourth memo with a blank budget report attached and a pointed reminder about paperwork.
  • Graves pointing out to people that he just said it didn’t animate itself and escape down a toilet, calm the fuck down but also maybe avoid the mens’ on the fourth floor. Also no thank you to the paperwork, it disagrees with him.
  • The head of Magical Transport (Macfloosa as it’s more commonly known) marching up to Graves in the atrium and informing him that “releasing a dark magic artifact in our toilet is a clear declaration of intent and we will not stand for this” while Graves walks backwards and politely informs the woman that she’s “overreacting and anyway it’s not your toilet so calm the fuck down oh look important meeting ciao”
  • Graves being deposited in a sewer the next time he tries to use a floo
  • Damnit Macfloosa
  • Why the fuck is there a fireplace in the sewer in the first place
  • Wait
  • Why the fuck is there an alligator in the sewer
  • Why the fuck is there so much sewage in the fucking sewer
  • Why the fuck is there a sentient dark artifact in the fucking sewer
  • Oh 
  • Oops
  • But on the other hand, the three way battle between the giant alligator, the ominously clicking (and giant, has it feasted on sewage and grown or something because it never would’ve fit down the pipes if it had been this size before) dark artifact thing that leaked corrosive acid, and Graves’ transfigured army of sewage-soldiers is truly epic
  • It’s a victory for the ages
  • He should get a medal for this
  • “Defeated evil undead artifact and evil not-undead alligator with enchanted shit”
  • Maybe not
  • Graves finally emerging from the sewer and falling on his knees to praise the sun like the dramatic little shit he is
  • Drags himself back to the office for a change of clothes and a shower
  • There’s a memo waiting for him
  • Fucking budget report
  • In a fit of pique, fills the entire budget report in on the spot
  • Allocates the majority of the budget report to “Protecting New York from certain destruction at the hands of dark magic and creatures roaming unchecked in the city”
  • Because fuck that alligator
  • And fuck that artifact
  • Fast forward to about a month later
  • MACUSA passes a full out ban on magical creatures in New York
  • People outraged
  • Why the fuck do the puffskeins have to go
  • Aurors outraged
  • Where the fuck do we pull the time from to deal with this
  • Graves outraged
  • More as a general thing than at anything in particular, to be honest
  • Newt Scamander outraged
  • (well not yet but he will be as soon as he arrives in New York)
  • Now fast forward to Graves and Newt trying to untangle the bill and fix the whole mess (because what Newt wants Newt gets and besides, he’s technically breaking twenty eight laws and is down for deportation at the very least so it’s in Graves’ immediate interests to get this damn bill repealed)
  • Graves finds the budget report that started the city-wide fear of magical creatures
  • Realises he might possibly maybe be the one to blame for all this
  • Fuck
  • fuck

Chapter Text

There is a story. A legend. Do you know it? It’s the story of a boy that belonged to the sea. It’s the story of the sea and how it stole its boy.

It starts like this:

An overcast day, the water a murky shade of hidden secrets and the horizon lost in the low-hanging clouds. The sails hang, rising listlessly on a stray breeze and dropping again, unfilled and slack. The swell rocks the ship and the rolling motion makes the ropes creak as their cargo lolls side to side. The sailors play dice and scrub the algae-stained deck. The captain bends over his charts and worries about water provisions.

And on the bowsprit, sat with his legs dangling over the water, there is a boy. He’s singing, a wordless, tuneless hum that rolls and swells like the languid waves, rises and drops like the restless sails. His eyes are on the horizon but they’re unfocused, distant and dream-hazy. He holds a notebook in his hands, open to a part-filled page with a stick of charcoal resting in his smudge-stained fingers.

It doesn’t start like this; it started years before this, in a trail of questions that led to the water’s edge and footprints washed away in the sand. The notebook reads like a diary, a journal, an account of every wondrous creature the boy has ever found at sea and a faithful copy of the spiraling beauty in every glistening shell.

It reads like a diary, but it’s written like a love letter, and as the boy dips his head and takes up his charcoal stick again there’s a soft smile on his crooked lips and a secret in the caress of the wind through his hair. He sings his tuneless song and the ocean sings back in the slap of waves against the hull, the gentle swirl of foam on the breaking crests, the echoing notes of the whales deep below and the carrying cry of the albatross above.

But this is how it starts. It continues with the sailors playing dice and the captain rationing the water and the rumours growing like disease in the stale air of the cabins.

The boy is different.

He stretches his arms to embrace the playful wind and laughs honest joy at the ocean swells.

The boy is dangerous.

He hangs over the side of the ship and reaches for the dolphins that play in the bow wave, and the spray tugs at his ankles as though it could keep him close.

The boy is cursed.

He turns to them like a thing betrayed, eyes dark like bruises and his diary clutched close to his chest.

The ship is better off without him.

He hits the water like an ending and a beginning. There is fire in his chest and darkness in his vision and the water is cold, so endlessly, hopelessly cold. He burns and he freezes, he kicks fruitlessly at the currents that slide around him and hold him close, and though his eyes are open all he can see is the dancing spots of light as his brain starves and dies.

Then - hands. Cold hands, colder than the sodden clothes that weigh him down, colder than the chill of death that prowls his straining lungs. They cup his face, his neck, the drifting curls of hair at the base of his skull. There are lips pressed against his lips. There is breath, if he would only choose to breath it, and there is the sea, cradling the boy it loves.

He opens his mouth and breathes. 

Chapter Text

The problem with being an unassuming, wide-eyed magizoologist with floppy hair and a crooked grin is that people had this really bad habit of looking at you and seeing an unassuming, wide-eyed magizoologist with floppy hair and a crooked grin.

Which, fair, were all true and verified features of Newt Scamander, but they weren’t the only features. That’s the thing that people always missed.

There was the dreaming author feature as well, Newt quite liked that one. And the hopeless romantic, though he thought (wrongly) that he kept that one mostly hidden, and the bleeding heart, mustn’t forget the bleeding heart.

All of this wrapped up in a deceptively tall bundle labelled “FIANCE AND/OR GREATEST WEAKNESS OF PERCIVAL C. GRAVES” with a second label stuck upside on the back that, in big red font, declared him “THE PERFECT HOSTAGE FOR ALL YOUR EVIL NEEDS” and somehow forgot to mention the bit about wrestling nundus, subduing dark lords, and single handedly dismantling the infamous Kinshasa potions trade with extreme prejudice and potentially more explosions than were strictly called for. But no. HOSTAGE, the labels read.

Of course Newt couldn’t see the labels, but if they didn’t exist then his second working hypothesis was that someone had taken out a billboard on Times Square with real-time updates of his location, when exactly Tina and/or Graves were persuaded to take a break from their insistent protective hovering, and how friggin inconvenient it would be to be kidnapped at any particular moment.

Again.

For the twelfth time this fecking month.

And, to add insult to painful, bleeding injury, these particular kidnappers were green-gilled twitchy teenagers who hadn’t been asked to wash their socks before they tied them into a crude gag and shoved them in Newt’s actual, real life mouth, the one he used to eat things and give blowjobs. That one. The mouth that should have been full of anniversary dinner but was instead enjoying the culinary delights of teenage sock.

Newt raised one unimpressed eyebrow.

“Yeah, that’s right,” the first of the unfortunate pair sneered, jabbing at the air in front of him like a demented wrestler. “You’re at our mercy, you better be scared.”

The second eyebrow crept up. Newt was not a kidnapper himself, but forced familiarity had made him - not a kidnapping connoisseur, per se, but at the very least he’d come to expect higher standards than this. He tilted his head laboriously towards the second kidnapper and attempted to communicate the exact depth of his incredulous disappointment in the wrinkle of his nose.

The second teenager was staring rather fixedly at the pool of spreading blood. More specifically, she was staring at the flick knife embedded three inches deep in Newt’s thigh, and the jagged, messy tear where she’d tried to pull it out and lost her nerve.

See, a professional kidnapper would have known to leave the knife in there to stem the bleeding. Does Newt not deserve a bit of professionalism? He’s a high quality hostage here, even if he is currently bleeding more than he should be, he doesn’t like working with amateurs.

“Hank,” the girl croaked. “Hank, I think he’s going to die.”

Newt blinked. The newly-identified Hank blinked. The girl had not blinked in far too long and had probably forgotten how.

“What? Nah, he’s fibbing,” Hank said, remembering last minute to brandish his fist threateningly as he said it. “If he was dying he’d be screaming or something. Yeah?”

“You stabbed him.”

“Yeah, but, not like hard or anything.”

There was an awkward, hesitant silence, in which the girl stared and Hank squinted at the knife as though waiting for Newt to reveal it as a trick (and if I shine the light on the glistening wound, look, it’s actually chocolate sauce! Oh how strange it’s really blood after all) and lo and behold, Newt lost his patience.

They’d tied his hands together round the back of the lamp post but they hadn’t taken his wand out of his sleeve, and as disgusting as the sock-gag was it vanished easily enough to a non-verbal spell.

“If we’re quite done,” he said drily as he disconnected his thumbs and slipped his hands free. “I have a dinner to get you, and frankly, you’re both being incompetent.”

“What,” the girl said, rapidly continuing into a high-pitched screech of “the fuck” as Newt pulled the knife from his leg and pressed the heel of his palm against it to stem the bleeding in one swift movement.

“What the hell man,” Hank chimed in, “that’s fuckin’ nasty shit.”

“Quick question,” Newt asked. “Do either of you know of have either of you ever met Percival Graves?”

Blank stare to the left. Blank (still unblinking) stare to the right. 

“Grand. One more question, if you don’t mind; would you identify yourselves as magicals or muggles, do you reckon? Or no-majs if you prefer.”

Blank, really quite wierded out stare to the left. Bug-eyed, vaguely nauseated stare to the right. Incompetent opportunistic kidnappers who aimed for a random rich-looking guy off the street and somehow managed to pick Newt. How the hell is this even Newt’s life.

And now the blood was welling up over his fingers in a way that wasn’t ideal and would very much benefit from a healing charm, except that (a) they were pissing muggles so the statute of secrecy came into play, and (b) Newt genuinely sucked at healing charms.

He smiled at them. From the way both of them flinched back, it can’t have been a very nice smile, though he’d tried to keep it as polite as possible.

“Ta then,” he said, “but I’m late for dinner so I best be off. Nighty-night.”

He staggered all of five paces, wincing with each step, before he mumbled a heartfelt sod the statute and jabbed his wand at a nearby wall. A flash of light, and the previously empty street corner contained a frantically wailing bowtruckle, a furious swooping evil, and a bat-winged horse comprised entirely of hellfire and damnation.

“Home please,” Newt said, draping himself gratefully over the fanged demon steed from the depths of the underworld, and with a final flash of sulphur-tinged darkness, he was gone.

“Mate,” Hank said, finally breaking the silence of the alley. “Mate, what the actual fuck.”

Chapter Text

So, Newt’s in this bar, right. Club. Bar? What, exactly, is the difference between a bar and a club? As far as Newt can tell they both serve drinks, neither of them serve tea, both offer music that’s too loud, and both are far too full of people. Sweaty people. With grabby hands.

A bar, potentially, is a club that tricked people into thinking it was either a pub or a restaurant. A club, potentially, is a bar with added weed. Newt’s not entirely sure.

Neither of them are really his scene, to be honest. He’s done his twenty minutes of shouting himself hoarse in the name of a conversation that consisted mostly of what and I can’t hear you and what’s wrong with a decent cafe or a nice park bench I ask you (that last bit might have been just Newt) and he followed that with two songs’ worth of awkward bobbing in a crowd of people until the aforementioned problems of sweaty and grabby hands drove him back to his seat. Now he just wants please to finish his luridly blue drink, wait for the world to stop spinning quite so much, and go home.

Because screw freshers’ week. And screw uni. And making friends, that can screw too. Newt doesn’t want friends that ask if he’s going to be boring about not coming with them and then pressure him into joining them at the club anyway. Bar. Either. He doesn’t care if they’re the people on his corridor and he’s going to be neighbours with them all year, he doesn’t want them. He wants friends that like libraries and cats and biology, those are the friends he wants.

“Kitten,” the man across from him all but purrs, raking his eyes down Newt’s body, “You and me, we could make some real biology.”

Newt squints. Who is the man. Why is the man. Where did the man come from. But, more pressingly, “You’re studying biology too?” Maybe he’s a mature student. Lectures don’t start till Thursday, Newt has no idea who’s in his classes yet.

The mature student (maybe) leers and runs a hand up Newt’s arm. “Every night,” he says. The hand curls around Newt’s elbow and tugs, a steady, insistent pressure that takes Newt far too much concentration to resist. “You going to help me?”

And, see, Newt is sozzled, not stupid. “This,” he says, sounding the words out slowly and clearly, “is a sex thing. I,” an uncoordinated wave with his free hand that generally encompasses himself, “am not a sex thing.” He attempts to withdraw his elbow.

“Ah, c’mon kitten,” the man cajoles. “Don’t be like that. You’re not at home anymore - let loose, live a little, yeah?”

Newt frowns. “No thank you,” he says as firmly - but, ridiculously, still politely - as he can. The man is still holding onto his elbow. He leans back; the man leans forwards. Not aggressively, and there’s a traitorous part of Newt’s mind that wonders if he’s reading too much into this and making a scene, but either way he’s really not comfortable with anything in the near vicinity of this and wants it to stop.

“Eddie!” a new guy says, moving in to stand almost between them and forcing the man to drop Newt’s arm. “Eddie, there you are.”

“You know this guy?” the man asks Newt in an unimpressed aside.

Never seen him before in my life, is the honest answer Newt pointedly doesn’t say. Which is a shame. New guy seems like a nice guy to know.

“He’s my neighbour,” the newly christened nice new guy says, then to Newt, “The group of us were going to get one last drink then head home, you coming?”

Newt nods, a touch larger and more emphatically than he normally would. The man snorts and collects his drink as he slides off his seat and goes to leave. “Shame, kitten,” he says. “You know where to find me.”

Newt really, really doesn’t. Which is excellent. On the other hand, Newt is now stuck at the bar with a different stranger, which is less excellent.

“I’m not your sex thing either,” he clarifies, just to make it blatantly clear. The new guy snorts and signals one of the girls behind the bar.

“I’m as ace as they come,” he says. “You’re safe with me. Ah, yeah - can we just have some water please?” She gets a jug and fills it from the tap for them, depositing it in front of them with two plastic cups and a carton of straws.

Newt glares at them. “Turtle-killer,” he mutters, and defiantly pushes the straws away. Then, “And I’m not Eddie. I’m Newt. I don’t know where Eddie is. I’m also not this drunk, you don’t need to look after me.” He pours the water mostly in the cup and whelp, maybe he is partially that drunk. He still doesn’t need looking after though.

The new guy sticks out his hand - he actually sticks out his hand, Newt fumbles with his water as he automatically goes to shake it. “I’m Graves. And yeah, I picked a random name - you just looked like an Eddie. Sorry about that. Do you know where your friends are?”

A quick scan of the room reveals that no, Newt does not. He hunches back into his chair and reminds himself, sourly, that he wanted friends that liked cats and books and biology. Friends didn’t drag friends out to bars they didn’t want to go to. Friends didn’t abandon friends in bars with men who called them kitten and didn’t know when to let go.

“Can’t I stay with you?” he asks plaintively. Not that he really expects Graves to agree, the guy’s just doing his good deed for the night and he’ll probably leave once Newt’s no longer in need of a knight in shining jeans-and-jacket-combo. Just, Graves seems nicer than anyone else Newt has met so far.

It’s a nice surprise, then, that Graves agrees.

It’s a nicer surprise, then, that Graves is walking home the same route and they walk together.

It’s a verging on the edge of a suspiciously nice surprise when Graves leads Newt up to Newt’s corridor and turns down towards Newt’s room, how the hell did Graves know, what.

Graves stops at the door opposite Newt’s. He hovers by it, keys in his hand, but doesn’t unlock it. “Um,” he says, fidgeting slightly. “I meant what I said earlier, I really am ace, so, um. I’ll see you around?”

“Wait,” Newt frowns, “You thought I was following you home?”

“I mean, this is my room,” Graves says dryly. “Number 34, pretty sure that’s me.”

Newt stares. His mouth may be open. He points wordlessly at number 35 across the corridor. “Uh?” he asks intelligently.

It takes Graves a second of confused frowning to interpret, then, “Oh my god, you’re actually my neighbour?”

“Uh,” Newt confirms with great gravitas and wisdom, and that, my friends, is how Newt Scamander met Percival Graves.

(They miss out the seedy bar when they tell their parents.)

Chapter Text

Originally, they were both going to walk down the aisle. Tina joked that it was the only way to make sure Newt made it on time and didn’t get distracted by a six winged spectral butterfly en route; Newt retorted that they were embarking on a lifetime together, why shouldn’t they start it together too? Graves called Tina an idiot and Newt a sap (lovingly, he said it with love) and kept quiet the fact that he didn’t want to be standing in front of the gathered crowd by himself. He stands in front of many crowds by himself. He’s well used to dressing to impress, holding his shoulders in such a way to be imposing but not arrogant, modulating the tilt of his chin to best reflect MACUSA’s power and might - he doesn’t want to be thinking of that on his wedding day.

When he sees Newt for the first time, he wants it to be just them.

But that was originally, and wedding plans are much like battle plans in that they rarely survive first contact with the enemy. In this specific case the enemy turns out to be stairs. Not, Papa Graves insists, that this is actually a problem - he’s not an old man, he’ll have you know, and he could most definitely climb those stairs don’t be so ridiculous. If Graves wants his Papa to walk him down the aisle then Graves’ Papa will damn well walk him down the aisle and to hell with the consequences, don’t you dare doubt it son there’s fight left in your Papa yet.

(There is, but there’s also arthritis and the old scar from a cursed book that’s never quite let him go and an ache that never leaves when it rains. For his son, Papa Graves will down a pain-potion that will leave him bedridden for two days once it wears off, but for his father Graves will set his jaw and say that he was thinking - he was hoping - would his father stand with him at the altar while Newt walked down the aisle to meet them?)

(My soft-hearted son, his mother says fondly, enveloping him in a hug that smells like jasmine and home. Just for this one day, promise me you’ll worry about you and not about us, hm?

I’ll try Mama, Graves says. Does this mean you’ve given up on the hat?

Mama Graves laughs, delicate and just this side of chilling. The hat is happening, she says gleefully. All the worrying in the world won’t prepare you for the hat.)

So, come the big day, the final minutes, the moment they’ve all been waiting for -

Come two o’clock on the dot and Graves is standing ram-rod straight in front of a gently milling crowd. Someone drifts up to offer him congratulations; Graves forgets himself, for a moment, and offers them look number seventeen, the one for semi-friendly visiting heads of overseas auror departments that says my aurors are tougher than yours, fight me on this - and it’s only when the someone throws him an uneasy smile and pretends unconvincingly to have spotted a friend somewhere over his left shoulder that Graves realises that was his cousin. Oops. And those, scuttling fearfully along behind her, are his baby second cousins. More oops. He should probably have chosen a less confrontational look.

Come two thirty and Graves is in danger of sweating through his cooling charms. He wishes, desperately, that they’d thought to have the champagne reception before the wedding rather than after because at least then he’d have something to do with is hands. And alcohol. For his nerves. Medicinal, you understand.

Three o’clock. Newt is an hour late. Where the hell is Newt. Graves has unleashed looks eight through twenty four and none of them were appropriate. He’s also sent eleven patronuses on the sly and he thinks Delgado sent an owl but he’s heard nothing back.

By three fifteen he’s decided that Newt’s been kidnapped. He needs to go and rescue Newt. He needs to get out of this suit and into his duelling gear, he needs a broomstick and an emergency kit - why the fuck didn’t he sew any potions into his jacket lining, he always has potions hidden in his jacket lining - why is Delgado gripping his elbow and preventing him from apparating doesn’t he know Newt’s life could be at stake -

At three twenty three the music starts playing. Graves’ initial reaction is to treat it as an air raid siren and attempt to duck for cover but Delgado, the traitor, appears to have frozen his legs in place. He keeps the jinx on until Papa Graves is stood in place next to Graves and the civilians - guests, damnit, guests - have taken their seats, but by the time the doors open Graves wouldn’t have been able to run even if he’d noticed the jinx cutting out.

The first thing he sees is Newt’s mother, clad in a pastel-blue dress with a really very elegant little fascinator (Mama Graves, take note, it’s physically possible to choose a headpiece that doesn’t embarrass your son on his wedding day) and her arm outstretched for -

oh

Newt is smiling. His hair is that particular shade of windswept that says he flew here and his cheeks are pink from the cold outside. He catches Graves’ eyes and his grin broadens impossibly wide until he’s almost laughing with it, his head dipping in a futile effort to hide his blush and when he looks back up, when he looks back up he pulls an apologetic face that’s ruined by the way his lips curl upwards in delight and his eyes sparkle with excitement and joy.

The world falls away. Graves gives Newt a look he hasn’t had chance to number yet, the one that says stunned and in love and sailed right past the edge of crying and set down anchor in sobbing with no regrets, and it’s only when he blinks that he realises his mouth is open and his vision is streaked with tears.

It sounds cliched to say it, but here, now, when Graves sees Newt for the first time on his wedding day, it’s just the two of them. 

“Sorry for being late,” Newt whispers when he comes close, reaching out a hand to loop their fingers together.

“You’re beautiful,” Graves says in awestruck response. He manages to time it just as the music ends and his words practically reverberate around the hushed hall, chased by a general chorus of aww from the guests that would’ve made him melt in embarrassment at any other time.

At this particular moment Graves’ entire existence consists of Newt, so he laughs wetly and scrubs his cheek with a sleeve. “You made me cry, that’s how beautiful you are.”

Newt squeezes their joined hands, his own grin in danger of going wobbly and his eyes suspiciously shiny. “You’re allergic to beautiful, then?” he tries in one last ditch attempt to keep things light-hearted.

“No you berk,” Graves says. “I love you.”

Newt blinks rapidly but he’s fooling no one. The tears will not be stayed. “I love you too,” he manages before his voice chokes up, and that’s Graves gone in a fresh flood again because it hits him, then. This is it. This is forever. With Newt. Newt who loves him and Newt who he loves and Newt who’s going to be his husband, and he just, he really loves Newt, ok? It’s a lot of emotion.

Delgado clears his throat.

“I had this whole ceremony thing with words and everything,” he says, “but if I’m honest, nothing can top no you berk I love you so do you guys just want the rings now and we’ll call it golden?”

“They didn’t say I do!” one of Graves’ smaller cousins heckles from about two rows back. “They have to say I do, it’s the rules!”

Newt laughs and Graves turns away to scrub his eyes with the handkerchief his mother insisted he keep tucked up one sleeve.

“Well, if it’s the rules,” Newt says obligingly.

“Can’t go half-assing a wedding,” Graves agrees. They turn to face Delgado, hankies stowed (Newt appears to have used his bow tie and it’s now decidedly skewed) and he snaps open an official looking book to reveal a hollowed interior filled with flash cards. He clears his throat, gives Graves one last moment to compose himself (composure, Graves think, will probably be on leave until after the honeymoon) then begins the sacred words of the wedding:

“Right then you lot, I assume you know why we’re here…”

Chapter Text

Fact: Young Grindelwald is described as having golden-blond locks and a ‘merry, wild face’

Fact: The spiky pineapple does not match this description

Thought: Grindelwald is a spiky pineapple because he’s been twisted by dark magic

Theory: Dark magic distorts people's appearances

Reversed theory: Magic that distorts people's appearances is called dark

Explain?  In the middle ages physical deformities were thought to be a punishment from God, either for your own sin or your family’s sin. Though early wizards weren’t religious they do appear to be heavily influenced by the middle ages, and if some magic made you ugly while other magic didn’t it would be easy to suppose that the ugly-making magic was evil. In the present day we have no distinct definition of what dark magic is, so we can certainly suppose that dark magic makes you ugly is a confusion of causality and that dark magic is evil is a linked cultural belief rather than a documented fact.

Summarise: In magic, there is no such thing as good or evil; only power and those too vain to seek it

Now.

Imagine: Stay away from magic dear, you’ll never find a husband if you look like a witch

Imagine: The mysterious saviour who always wears a mask, because they’re worried no one would call them a hero if they saw what magic did to them

Imagine: Don’t be so ambitious, child. Respectable girls and boys don’t cast those sorts of spells, they content themselves with the small magics that never leave a scar and never mess with things that could change the world

Are you with me? Then

Imagine: Two fingers up and a face full of acne, shit’s on fire and we started the flames

Imagine: Broken noses and missing teeth, thunder dripping from our fingers and lightning in our vicious grins

Imagine: Magic doesn’t wear a pretty face but our faces say we don’t fucking care what people think, we chose our path and we’ll rule it and we’ll make our beauty in the things we achieve with our lives

Magic that makes you ugly makes you evil? Please. Magic that makes you ugly shows you won’t bow to what society consider important. Magic that makes you ugly makes you dangerous. The first sacrifice you make for your visions and dreams is yourself, but you know you don’t need to look good when you’re going to be great.

So, Grindelwald, bleached pineapple with the hissing voice, what kind of dark lord are you?

Chapter Text

“Don’t worry,” is Jacob’s mantra. If he worried every time he thought he was going to die he’d have seven heart attacks a day, twelve on Thursdays (everything happens on Thursdays, don’t question it) and an aneurysm or two thrown in for variety. “Don’t worry,” he repeats with his eyes closed and every muscle in his body braced for impact. “Worrying means you suffer twice. Don’t worry - Newt I swear this is the least useful piece of advice you ever gave me.”

He cracks open an eye.

Nope. Death still imminent.

“Don’t worry, don’t worry, please Newt any time now would be good, don’t worry, don’t worry, any time, don’t - Tina most amazing woman in all creation where have you been all of my last ten minutes.

Tina fires off what may be a spell or may be a frazzled manifestation of rage, it’s hard to tell sometimes with her.

“Why are you just standing there?” she yells. “Run!”

Jacob runs. “Newt says,” he pants between breaths, “Newt says running away from creatures doesn’t actually help, and the important - ow my lungs - the important thing is to stay calm.”

Tina slices her wand down in an angry arc and blasts the side of a house into the path of imminent destruction.

“Newt’s a madman with a death wish!” she shouts back at him. “He takes ridiculous risks and he never has any sense, you shouldn’t listen to a word he - duck!

Jacob drops to the ground and flattens himself against it with his hands over his head. “Don’t worry, mustn’t worry,” he mumbles to himself with his face smushed into the cobbles as something roars over his back. “Nothing good ever came of worrying.”

There’s an angry shriek from the fire-whatever and Jacob peels an eye open and risks a peek.

Tina appears to have claimed a door as a surfboard and is using it to surf the flames, a four metre water whip spiralling around her and creating clouds of lurid blue steam everywhere it comes in contact with the screeching creature.

Oh, good. Jacob’s glad he’s got the sensible one of the pair looking out for him. He’d hate to rely on a madman with a death wish to get them both out of this.

“Don’t worry…”

Chapter Text

Well now that’s a thought.

Let’s start with Grindelwald. He’s slippery; he lies, he acts, he plays a part. But he’s also rash - when he decides to turn on the aurors he considers it for all of, what, six seconds then turns around wand out time to go. Grindlewald coaxes and slowly wears Credence down; Grindelwald lashes out and curses Newt in the subway just for getting in the way. Grindelwald as a young man swayed Albus Dumbledore to his cause; Grindlewald as an older man repulsed everyone who met him.

Grindelwald should have been water. He should have been a river that flowed any which way so long as it led to the sea, he should have started as a trickling stream and grown to something great and something that would change the world, he should have allowed himself to be wrong and change his course - but he is mud. Water is too pliant for Grindelwald’s taste, too patient and too easily diverted. He wants the strength that earth will give him and he wants the results being a dark lord will provide. He looks around at what the world has and he wants, and like a river gone stagnant from the dirt it collects and refuses to let go of, Grindelwald is mud.

Don’t underestimate mud. Mud builds castles, mud flattens cities, mud draws you in and won’t let go till you drown. But Grindelwald was meant to be so much more than mud.

What about Theseus, then? We don’t know much about him. He’s the war hero and the golden boy, and that’s about all we know. Is he fire? The fighter, the warrior, the unstoppable blaze - no, not quite. Fire would have burnt itself out on the field. Fire is what Theseus faced, what they threw at him with spells and what Newt threw back with dragons, and Theseus - Theseus is the forest that withstood the flames. He is the old tree, too great and too solid to burn; he is the roots that survive underground. He is the canopy that shelter his people and he is the branch that lifts them high, and when the war is done and the fire has burnt out, Theseus is the gentle peace that life returns to.

This is why he is loved. Not because he was a great commander, not because he was a deadly shot; Theseus is loved because the magical world sent its children to war and Theseus was the man that brought them home. Theseus is resilience and hope and new life and safety; Theseus is the trees.

If Theseus is the trees, is Newt the wind that blows through them? That pulls at their leaves, cajoles them to unbend and have some fun? Is Newt freedom and space, running and running and running and never look back -

Well. Yes, in part. He calls the wind friend and he throws himself at its mercy; it carries him across the globe and he goes with fierce joy and fiercer anger. He is never quiet, where he goes. In New York he fought to save an obscurial; in Cairo he rescued a thunderbird; in Beijing he split open an underground crime ring; in Singapore he set fire to a smuggler’s port. These are not the actions of the merry wind that laughs and dances and runs. These are the footsteps of thunder.

He rumbles in distant warning; count the seconds after the lightning and you’ll know how far away he is. When he strikes, he does it fast - why worry, why overthink? It only means you suffer twice - and when he leaves, there’s chaos in his wake but he only has eyes for the now. Newt is not fire but he lights fire; he is not the wind but he follows it; Newt is the pouring rain and the crash of lightning.

And, when his creatures are safe again, his rain turns soft. It washes away their hurts and it falls around them in a gentle caress, and did you ever hear anything so comforting as the sound of the steady rain?

Perhaps it will surprise you that Newt, the storm made man, is drawn to Graves or that Graves is drawn to him, but it shouldn’t. Newt attacks and Graves defends; Newt saves his individuals and Graves stands for his many; Newt is storm-fury and healing rain and Graves is the rock on which ages stand.

No, not the rock. Look closer. The rocks are what Graves has made, what he creates in his aurors and sends out to protect his people. Rock and iron and diamond and steel; these ones are shields, and he trains them to be kind, these ones are swords, he trains them to be just. These one are walls, he trains them to stand tall and keep his people safe.

Graves is the great craftsman, the blacksmith in his magma chamber; Graves is the fire in the forge and the unrelenting belief that takes people and reshapes them and makes them better.

Volcanoes can simmer for years without erupting. They enrich the soil around them and they bring life and prosperity to those who draw near, but be careful, be wary. Treat your volcanoes well. When they explode, it’s only the storms that can keep up with them.