As requested by anonymous, who wanted a story where the reader is “Percival’s wife. You live a relatively normal life pre Grindelwald, until Percival finds out that you’re one of the most celebrated dragon trainers in America.” It turned out way too lengthy, and well, not too much of Percival’s reaction to the reader being a dragon trainer, but I hope it’s ok!
Everyone knows Percival Graves has a wife, a quiet
thing who never appears in the office unless it’s to coax him out for lunch.
Most of his Aurors have seen you, tall with high cheekbones and fiery hair, and
some have heard the softened Irish lilt of your voice. Yours is an image
carefully cultivated; in public, you are the perfect, dignified wife of
Percival, the heir to the illustrious and powerful Graves family. In the
privacy of your home, your husband is the only one who knows about the hearty
sound of your laugh, of how your limbs are strong and lithe wrapped around him,
or how you like to sing in the shower at the top of your voice. In return, he
shows to you Percival the man; the man who sings beautifully with his low raspy
voice when he’s helping you wash the dishes, who snores only when he’s
exhausted, who hates waking up early in the morning and burrows deeper into the
blankets, and it’s only when you start brewing coffee that his messy mop of
hair appears from the blankets. It’s a quiet life you both live, despite his
job as the Director of Magical Security. Until one day, it isn’t.
Thinking back on it, it’s ridiculous how many
coincidences occur. When Percival returns from Europe after following a lead to
apprehend Grindelwald, you’re needed in Scotland. Hogwarts, to be precise. When
you first tell him about it months ago, he’s curious as to why you would need
to travel all the way to your alma mater. You’re purposefully vague about it
then, something about your professors needing some help on a matter, and he
doesn’t pursue it because an owl arrives with an important missive for him, and
he’s distracted again. You don’t mind, because you’re not quite sure how best
to explain it to him, and you think you’ll tell him one day when he’s ready to
When Percival returns from Europe, you’re together for
less than a day before you board the ship to Scotland. Damn these Apparition
laws. You’re making last minute checks of your baggage, and he’s standing in
the door way, looking as handsome as ever. You welcome him home with a
delighted kiss, and he stiffens for a fraction of a moment before returning
your kiss. You didn’t think it strange then, but you remember there were times
when the sunlight glinted and you swore his eyes were mismatched for but a
second. Humans really are something; excuses can be made for every single unexplainable
phenomenon that seems strange, and you’re no exception to this tendency.
You return home to New York a month later, only to
find that the world has exploded in your absence. Whilst at Hogwarts, you
received a letter frantic in nature, asking you to return immediately and so you
board the next available ship back home, only to find that Grindelwald is
captured, and your husband is missing. You’re whisked off to Seraphina Picquery’s
office, where there is a tall lanky red head with a suitcase in hand, and you’re
horrified to learn that Percival wasn’t the one who came home from Europe, that
it was Grindelwald. You feel bile rise to your throat because those lips you
had kissed, the hand you held and the man you had hugged goodbye was not your
husband, but the most vile, evil man on the face of the planet. It’s at that
moment when you realise just how you’ve failed Percival; you’ve loved him for
five years, known him for longer and you should have noticed something was
wrong when he showed up in your home, should have noticed how his smile was
stilted and how his eyes was the gaze of a crazed man. The fact that it had
taken Newt Scamander, a complete stranger who had known nothing of Percival,
save for what his brother Theseus who had once served alongside Percival told
him, to expose the lies Grindelwald had fed everyone. You see Seraphina’s
knuckles turn white as she grips the edges of her desk, and you know you’re not
the only one feeling the guilt.
When you leave the office with Newt however, he’s
gazing at you with the most curious of looks, and you’re in the elevator
heading down when he suddenly asks you how the Triwizard tournament went, and
how were the dragons. You splutter and shush him, and Red has his back to you,
pretending not to listen but his ears are perked up. What’s this about dragons,
eh? When you reach the ground floor, you pull him out of the Woolworth building
and into an empty alleyway. You grab hold of his lapels and your voice is rough
when you question him, and he’s startled, because even when you’re told about
Percival, your voice remained level and quiet and soothing. “What are you
talking about Scamander?”
He stammers and you loosen your hold somewhat, but your
gaze on him doesn’t waver. He explains that he’s heard of your work as a dragon trainer, and of course he would know
who you are. His eyes are shining with excitement as he shakes your hand,
ecstatic that he’s meeting the
greatest dragon trainer in America, and you’re blushing because you’ve been
working under a pseudonym for so long, that even Percival has no idea who you
really are. There’s a sudden pause when you both stare at each other with wide
eyes filled with hope, and you say simultaneously, “Dragons.” Racing back to MACUSA, you burst back into Seraphina’s
office and tell her of a plan so ridiculous that she can’t help but agree,
because if Percival is really held captive in some forsaken location that no
one can find, then maybe dragons can help track him down. It’s just insane enough
that it might work.
Arrangements are made for a tentative date when you
and the Aurors will set off to search for Percival. Seraphina lets you know
that they have suspicions as to where he might be, although there’s nothing
concrete so they’re trying everything they can to narrow down the possibilities
and gain more solid leads. You’re kept updated about the progress while you
contact your friend who works at the research centre in Romania, and while the
Aurors are making swift arrests of any known Grindelwald supporter for
interrogation, you’re in Romania choosing which dragons will be of the most
help to the search and rescue mission. You obtain the necessary protective gear
for the people who will be coming with you as well, and when you visit MACUSA
to touch base with Seraphina, you bring with you manuals on how to interact
with dragons, and Newt holds short workshops in his suitcase on the basics of
dragons. He’s somehow managed to obtain a newly born dragon (he promises you
and Sera that he has the necessary permits for it) and the Aurors come back out
with singed hair and smoking coats, and they gaze at you with newfound respect
because dragons, even babies, are fucking scary and the fact that you chose to
deal with dragons as your profession, makes you even scarier than the dragons.
You’re chuffed because for the first time, you’re not a trophy wife or the
quiet companion to Percival, and everyone learns that your fiery hair is a very
accurate indication of your temper.
Three weeks have passed and you’re getting impatient
even though you know you shouldn’t, because despite the numerous arrests MACUSA
has carried out, no one offers any useful information. All everyone knows from
the interrogations is that somehow, Grindelwald has managed to inspire such
fanaticism in his followers who hang onto his horrifying ideology, and they all
say the same things when being interrogated, eyes vacant and voice hopeful,
that Grindelwald will be their saviour and he will bring peace to the wizarding
world. One day however, someone tracks down a homeless vagrant who overheard a
conversation between Grindelwald, then masquerading as Percival, and the
Barebone boy, something about how when the time comes, the Barebone boy will
see everyone who’s hurt him before, chained and powerless in a place called Nurmengard.
No one knows where it is, but Tina recalls a prisoner saying that Grindelwald
has an impenetrable stronghold somewhere in Europe, and it’s a long shot but it’s
something. They set off the day after,
with you and Newt in tow.
Taking into consideration that Newt has worked with
Ukrainian Ironbellies in World War I, it’s decided that you’ll be loaned two of
these dragons for the mission, and Seraphina pulls out all the stops to work
with the Romanian government to make sure all formalities are cleared and
Disillusionment charms are cast so that no one notices two large dragons take
to the sky. You and Newt each take a dragon and five Aurors respectively, and
everyone is wearing their gloves and goggles and look terrified because holy shit they’re going to ride a dragon. The
two other trainers from Ukraine who got the dragons to New York go along in case
anything happens, and because someone has to make sure the dragons don’t fly
off should you need to land. Supplies are plentiful and packed into bags with
Extension charms and once everything is done, you’re off.
It takes you a day to reach Europe, and two more still
to locate the island. Thankfully, the dragons sense something, nostrils flaring
and smoke rolling from their snouts. It’s the reason why you wanted dragons on
this mission, because they can sense magic witches and wizards can’t, and you
and Newt are nudging your dragons to the source of magic. You’re diving through
a heavy wall of fog when the dragons suddenly screech to a halt and you nearly
slam into brick walls suddenly made visible. Nurmengard. As you move the
dragons to land somewhere uninhabited, you feel the thrill of adrenaline rush
through you because Percival could be here. He has to be. A quick look around confirms that everyone is feeling
the same buzz, and wands out, you advance quietly and cautiously into the
You’re surprised to find it poorly guarded;
Grindelwald might have been too confident in thinking his island was
unplottable and therefore safe, but you’re grateful for this because the less
people inhabiting the island, the lesser the chances of conflict. It’s a
sprawling building, the prison, and everyone splits into teams to search every
floor, and with each cell that comes up empty or void of Percival, your heart
drops all the more. You come to the last cell of the floor you’re in, and the
light of your wand lands on a skeletal being, who groans and turns away from
the light. You move closer and you cry as you scramble to unlock the door
because it’s Percival, it’s your Percival. The lock comes tumbling free and you’re
in the cell and holding him to you and crying wet tears that stain his cheeks,
and he can’t speak, but he thinks the sight of you staring tearfully at him is
the loveliest thing in the world.
All the prisoners who aren’t beyond saving are
transported back to New York, and Percival is taken from your arms and onto a
stretcher the moment your feet touch the ground. You follow the healers to the
hospital, and it’s an agonising 3 hours you have to endure before you’re
allowed to see him. Your heart breaks at the sight of your poor love, thin and
gaunt and malnourished, with long hair that is scraggly and messy, and there’s
a haunted look in his eyes that you think will stay for a long time. When he
sees you, he’s first confused, then disbelieving, and then you’re in his arms
and you’re both sobbing and he’s pressing kisses to your hair and his voice is
raspy from disuse but he tells you he loves you over and over again, and you
think you’re the happiest woman in the world because the other half of your
soul is finally home.
When your tears have dried and he’s drank in his fill
of you, you sit by him and you tell him everything that’s happened, and your
job as a dragon trainer. He’s stunned to know that his wife, his beautiful,
gorgeous, loving wife, is the most celebrated dragon trainer in the entire United
States. You explain to him that you were in Scotland to assist with the
Triwizard Tournament, and that your former professor, Albus Dumbledore was the
one to reach out to you, with one of the tasks dealing with dragons. He’s relieved, joking about how he’s glad it’s not because you have a lover sequestered somewhere in Scotland,
and offers you a weak, “Dragons, eh?”. And you’re glad he’s still able to laugh and joke, because it means he’s not broken beyond saving and you’re determined to always make him smile, because those crow feet at the corner of his eyes make him look dashing. You tell him so, and he brushes a strand of hair from your
face with knobbly hands, affectionate smile on his face because he knows this is you wanting him to not dwell. There’s a bit of his finger missing but you press a
kiss into his hand, calloused and worn and loved and he drifts off after that,
exhausted from his ordeal and his lack of proper nourishment. He’s far too
thin, and the healers say that he’ll always have a limp in his left leg, and
there’s a scar on his neck because Grindelwald thought it would be fun to slit
his throat open before healing him, but it’s ok, because he’s home and he’s
safe, and you’ll help him through healing and everything else the world throws
at him. Hey, you can always break out the dragons if someone ever doubts
We all know that, realistically, Claire wouldn't have gone back through the stones any sooner, even if she knew Jamie was alive, not when it meant leaving her child behind - but what if she had to come back because of Brianna? What if, with Bree originally being meant to be born in XVIII century, and with only one of the parents being a traveler, she was getting sicker every day and the only cure was to get her back to her own time? A druid-lady can diagnose her ;)
Brianna moaned from the sofa in Claire’s office. Her brow was slick with sweat, face the pallor of chalk, and her small body curled up in a ball trying to fight off the pain in any way possible.
Claire looked down at her daughter, distraught and frantic with herself for not being able to help. Colleague after colleague made their way into her office eager to help and all left with forlorn faces and disappointment.
“I’m sorry, LJ. I wish there was something I could do for her. You know I would if I could.” Joe whispered and clapped a hand to Claire’s now shaking shoulders. “Take this time to be with her. She’ll—” Joe cleared his throat, his voice becoming thick with emotion. “She’ll want someone who loves her beside her when it happens.”
“Oh, God!” Claire sobbed as she stared at her only reason for living growing weaker by the second.
“Mama?” Bree’s broken voice called out, barely audible.
“Yes, sweetheart. Mama’s here. I’m right here.” Claire said rushing over to kneel by her daughter.
Claire lightly moved a wayward ruddy curl from Bree’s face, committing the silkiness to her memory.
“Mama, I don’t feel good,” Bree whimpered out, her pale face splotched with fever flushed cheeks.
Stroking her head, Claire whispered, “I know sweetheart, I know. Mama is trying to make it better. Can you tell me what hurts the most?”
A feeble nod came from Bree and she turned her head to the side to face her mother—eyes glassy and unfocused. “Right here,” she said and pointed to her chest, just above where her heart lay.
Claire grimaced and felt her stomach drop like a lead ball. She picked up Brianna and set her in her lap, curling herself around her frail child.
“Is it normal for me to dream of places I’ve never been, Mama?” Bree muttered turning over to bury her face in Claire’s chest.
“What sort of places, darling? It’s very normal to dream of far off lands and places your mind longs for.”
“I-I’m not sure where it is,” she said, nuzzling deeper into Claire’s safe embrace. “It was really green and so cold!” her small body trembled with the memory. “There were these purple flowers that covered the hills and people laughing while running through them.”
Claire smiled and vowed if Brianna survived this, she would take her anywhere that her heart desired. “That sounds like a lot of places, darling. Could you tell me more?”
“Well, there was this one place, and I go there a lot, that was super tall! Like an apartment building, only it looked like a castle! It was a yellowish white stone all over, with a big garden and horses.” Bree tilted her head up and Claire could see the smile on her face, “It was so beautiful, Mama. I like it there—even if the people talked funny and had weird clothes.”
“Oh, really?” Claire exclaimed, a smile on her face. “Tell me about these funny accents and clothes. I want to hear all about it.”
And Brianna did; she told her mother everything she could remember from her dreams. The endless hay fields, the babbling brooks, and the little kids she played with while she was there, all depicted with the utmost care and excitement. As her stories went on, Claire couldn’t help feel a pang of regret. The children and area Bree described eerily reminded her of Lallybroch, and the people she spoke of sounded like the family she longed to return to.
“—and there’s this big tower with a silly name! Broch Tuarach, it means north facing tower.”
“North facing tower,” Claire said at the same time as Brianna, who was giggling.
“It’s round so it doesn’t face any way, but the door,” Bree covered her mouth giggling with even more enthusiasm. “The door faces north!”
“Does it indeed, darling? That is a silly name for a tower. You are quite right.” Claire felt her skin crawl with electricity and a knot—that had never fully gone away—tighten even in her chest.
“Yes, Mama?” Bree said through her giggles.
“Did you meet a man there that had the same colored hair as you?” Claire dared to ask. Her heart stuck in her throat.
Bree’s eyebrows scrunched up in thought. “Umm… I don’t think so. There was a very nice man with a peg leg and there was one who used to live in a cave—but he always wore a hat. I never saw his hair. He’d come out to say hi sometimes, not very often. But he did tell the best stories!”
Disappointment flooded through her. For a moment, Claire had hoped that Bree would have had a glimpse of her father through a dream world.
“He sounds wonderful.” Claire kissed the top of Bree’s head and sat up. “It’s best we get home. Maybe you’ll dream again of this magical place.”
On 24 August 1947 the first Edinburgh International Festival of Music and Drama opened.
The Festival was seen as an antidote to war-time austerity. Its founders wanted it to be a chance for people of all nationalities to come together in peace to celebrate the arts. The event was an enormous success, attracting attention from all over Europe.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though, in 1948 the famous conductor Sir Thomas Beecham said, “the people of Scotland are damned fools to throw away £60,000 on a music festival.” Coming only two years after World War II, the timing seemed off. Continued rationing, shortages, and a beleaguered British economy felt at odds with the rich cultural feast promised by the inaugural festival.
The first souvenir programme proudly stated that The Edinburgh International Festival of Music and Drama was committed to presenting the “highest and purest ideals of art in its many and varied forms”. There was an emphasis on high culture. Scottish drama was excluded from the programme, on the basis that it did not yet meet the organisers’ high standards.
The decision to ignore drama was ignored and eight theatrical companies “gatecrashed” the official Festival by organizing their own event, these companies, from their humble beginning, were responsible for what is now the Festival Fringe, which took on a life of its own and is now bigger than the official festival.
People from all over the world flock to the city nowadays to take in the occasion, shows from established companies, to schools, well known comedians to obscure comedy acts all take their place, some more successful than others, there is quite literally something for everyone.
You still have a few days to visit, the Festival ends on Monday with the finale, Fireworks and concert featuring the beautiful voice of Scottish folk singer Karen Matheson vocalist of Celtic supergroup Capercaillie accompanied by Scottish Chamber Orchestra. The 40 minute fireworks display itself is played out to music including Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty as over 400,000 fireworks are launched from the beautiful backdrop of the jewel that is Edinburgh Castle.
If you can’t make the evening, there’s a concert in The Ross Bandstand at 1.30pm from schoolchildren across Edinburgh, I’m not sure if this is ticketed but am sure if you are in the East Princes Street gardens you will be able to enjoy the event from there. Tickets for the Firework concert are sold out.
Murray: Jeez! I can’t believe how after everything that’s happened, Sly and Carmelita still can’t get along.
Slaigh: It’s the way of things, lad. Foxes and raccoons are natural enemies. Like Englishmen and Scots. Or Welshmen and Scots. Or Japanese and Scots. Or Scots and other Scots! Damn Scots! They ruined Scotland…
Bentley: [idly, without looking up from his laptop] Yes, you Scots certainly are a contentious people.
[Slaigh slams his massive hands on Bentley’s desk]