If you had control on ending snk, how would you end the story?
Well. I want Annie to get a fucking redeemption arc. Please god. Let her join the Eldians and be on the same team as Armin and Eren.
But in general, like, a conclusion to the entire plot?
The Marleyans and Eldians come to some kind of agreement where they stay on opposite sides of the world where they can live away from each other long enough to get over their generations of bitterness.
They can’t settle their differences, fine, but I don’t want to see one side or the other get totally eliminated.
I want them to take a damn time out and try to share the damn world, and realistically, it would take a looong time to get over it.
Christa lives a long and happy life as a queen and fucking, Isayama, give her a wife or so help me god….
Connie and Sasha are alive and well. They get married and work for the government, maybe in agriculture or management of food storage.
Levi and Hanji are alive and they get married. They go on adventures together, even when they’re old. Hanji never loses that scientist’s spark and Levi would never leave his last remaining friend and partner alone.
Jean…well. I see him being some kind of politician or head in the military. But the military’s not fighting anymore, so he’s really in charge of helping people settle outside of the walls and adjust to the “Real” world.
I see him getting married, but I don’t know if I see him getting married to Mikasa. He’s the jealous type.
I’d like to see her branch away from Eren and perhaps use her strength for other things.
Since in this ending, the fighting is over, she’s now allowed to pursue other interests.
She’s never cared about exploring, not as much as Eren and Armin.
I see her…settling down somewhere, keeping to herself, maybe taking care of horses and animals on a farm.
I don’t see her…chasing Eren and Armin.
Like I know she wants to “be by Eren’s side” but I feel like that’s only because it’s a dangerous world and she feels she needs to protect him.
I feel like she would trust Eren’s safety with Armin.
Which brings me to my next and final dream snk ending.
Eren and Armin, if they can’t have a cure, go out on a last adventure together.
They know Eren will die.
Armin knows he’ll follow shortly after.
But Armin wants to show Eren everything before he does.
They travel as far as they can in the time they have left, mapping lands and admiring the view and camping on all kinds of terrain.
They settle down when the time is near and Armin prepares for the end.
And when Eren does die, he buries him out there, I imagine on a cliff overlooking the sea.
And Armin is alone now, but he’s still got a job to do.
He writes the entire story, everything that had happened up until that point.
He leaves it at Eren’s grave for someone to find.
He goes back home to Mikasa, tells her the news. They mourn together and Armin has to tell Mikasa that he doesn’t want her to be alone, to find other friends and family once he’s gone.
Maybe Mikasa and Jean reconnect here, I don’t know.
I could see that, actually. Mikasa and Jean, old friends, reminiscing about the past and realizing that they’ve been through a lot together and they have more in common than they ever thought.
When Armin dies, Mikasa has him cremated.
She goes out, maybe with Jean, maybe with the entire surviving 104th squad, with Levi and Hange with them.
They bring his ashes out to Eren’s grave and scatter them over the cliff and all of them pay their last respects.
I don’t know if the book Armin wrote is still intact after years of weathering.
But what remains of it is still there, near Eren’s grave, and Armin’s too.
it’s the story of a boy who wanted to see the ocean.
and the story of the friend who took his hand and lead him there.
percival graves who stubbornly goes back to his post as the director of the magical security in MACUSA – despite the limping in his walk and the slight tremors in his left hand.
percival graves who still wears his long coat and immaculate sharp suits – even when the coat drapes over his shoulders, not quite fitting his body anymore since he lost a lot of weight.
percival graves who looks at his Aurors and sees guilt in their eyes, watching their lines of their shoulders go tensed as if they are waiting to be reprimanded by him for not being able to recognize that he has been replaced by an impostor.
percival graves who forgives them – puts the entire blame on his wary shoulders to carry because he should have been more careful, he should have been a better duelist, he should have fought until he die.
percival graves who barks orders at them without raising his voice because his vocal-chord is damaged from the hexes and dark spell, from screaming in silence when he was being tortured.
percival graves who still keeps everyone at arm’s length because while he forgives them, the lingering bitterness is still there inside his chest, how betrayed he had felt when days turned to weeks and then it was months and yet he was still imprisoned.
percival graves who works ten times harder just to prove to his Aurors, to Picquery, to himself that he’s still a very valuable asset to MACUSA – even when his Healer tells him to take it easy, he still pushes himself to the limit.
percival graves who needs all the soft love from anyone but is too proud to ask for it, too stoic to even admit that he’s lonely, that his nightmares keep him awake, that he hasn’t had any decent sleep in weeks and he lives on coffee and spite.
percival graves who eventually falls asleep on the hard sofa in his office, bone-tired to the world that he doesn’t even stir when there are magical beasts trespassing his domain because they can sense a wounded soul needing comfort even from miles ahead.
percival graves who wakes up startled because there are fingers in his hair, combing the strands gently; the eyes blinking slowly as percival looks at its translucent white long fur. there’s a winged snake winding loosely around his neck, cheeping at him and nuzzling his jaw as if its reassuring percival that everything is fine.
percival graves who turns his head towards the door when there’s a soft murmured hello greeting him and feels that his breath being knocked out from his lungs because the man standing before him is beautiful in swirled of blue and coppery red.
percival graves who murmurs a soft hello back, who tries to get up but the winged snake presses him back into the sofa and he cannot do anything but accept his fate and when he tries to talk, he yawns instead and slowly, eventually, with the man’s smile as the last thing he sees, percival graves falls back to sleep.
they tried to get noodle to eat brussels sprouts when she was little and they went on a health kick. she didn’t understand what they were called and thought they were called russel sprouts. to this day brussels sprouts are referred to as russel sprouts by everyone in the band and this is just an accepted phrase now. whenever they pass the produce aisle someone inevitably yells “hey russel!” and holds up a brussels sprout when he looks over (at least, 2d and noodle do. murdoc tends to just chuck a brussels sprout at russ’s head from all the way across the aisle and then pretend it wasn’t him.)
they all love the beatles so much. they tend to play beatles songs to warm up before practice; can’t buy me love was a favorite of noodle’s when she was little because 2d would dance with her and swing her around during the instrumental part while they sang. i want to hold your hand is also a popular one because during the bridge — “and when i touch you i feel happy inside” — 2d and noodle go all fake-sentimental and dramatically sigh and swoon all over the room. usually they sing to russ and get him to clasp their hands during this part or stroke murdoc’s face dramatically (he always pushes them away but he’s laughing.) one of the first songs murdoc learned was blackbird and he tends to play it to himself in his room when he’s alone, singing quietly. he taught it to noodle when she was really young and caught him singing it and even now, sometimes they’ll sit in the studio with their guitars singing blackbird together — it’s their thing.
A lovely thank you (that I completely missed!) from TheirWorld to Rupert and his fans for the birthday fundraiser. [x]
The total actually finished even higher than that, at an amazing358% - that’s £1,792.74!!!
Thank you again to everyone who helped in any way to contribute to that total - you’re all lovely, generous, beautiful people and it’s a delight to support such a lovely, generous,
man alongside you :)
I sent an ask to @ladyoftheshrimp about how Newt is a Hufflepuff so he must be good at finding things and in the end he’s the one who finds and rescues Percival Graves. So tada! This happens.
When he goes back to England, the first thing that Theseus says to him is, “You have to help us find Percival Graves.”
In all of their lives together, Theseus never once asks Newt for any help. He is always the capable one. The reliable son. The stronger brother. The one people idolise and praise.
So it’s a surprise to see Theseus looking so troubled and haunted, clutching at his coat and begging.
“You have to help us, Newt. He’s the only who knows what kind of damage that Grindelwald is planning to do. And I know for a fact that MACUSA cell won’t be able to hold the madman before he makes his escape.
Newt tries to wiggle his way out of this sudden request. Yes, he had revealed Grindelwald’s true identity. Yes, he had brought Grindelwald to his knees. But, Newt is nothing compared to Theseus. He’s just a simple wizard.
But Theseus is relentless, so desperate that he won’t take no for answer. He even promises to hire a famous linguist from Oxford to edit Newt’s manuscripts.
So Newt agrees, on the account that Theseus will provide him special permits for all of his creatures, "Yes, Thes. Even the Nundu and the Obscurus.”
He makes his way back to New York after only a week leaving the big city. Careful to avoid MACUSA prefered routes. Walking in shadow and slipping silently into the backalleys. It’s better this way, because he knows there are still Grindelwald’s fanatics who are hunting for his head. And he knows that the Madame President won’t be happy about his return to the city.
He works tirelessly. Poring over Theseus’ notes about Percival Graves and his family. Memorizing his favourite haunts and visiting the places to extract more information. The point-me spell brings him to the Graves Estate.
Unplottable to ward off the muggles.
And it won’t let Newt in because Newt is a stranger. Because Newt’s intention is to raid the place. The old magic is too thick and it has been contaminated with Grindelwald’s own dark spells.
He almost gives up but then he looks at the suitcase in his hand and rolls his shoulders.
Hufflepuff is not a quitter. They will do anything to find a way to help someone in need.
And Newt will ask for his creatures’ help.
So he unlatches his case and lets the Niffler out to sniff her way to find Percival Graves. Dougal follows after her, careful and cautious as he passes by the wards easily.
Newt waits outside the great gate, underneath the big oak tree. Doodling the impressive manor in his sketchbook and thinking to himself that he won’t mind staying here for a bit because the ground is vast enough for all of his creatures to roam freely.
Pickett chirps, agreeing with Newt’s musings.
He doesn’t know how long he waits but he eventually falls asleep and is woken up to a slight heavy weight on his chest.
The Niffler is back and Newt sees the shiny silver spoons poking out from her pouch and he heaves a heavy sigh.
“I told you to find Percival Graves. Not to rob the family manor.”
The Niffler growl lowly, pulling at Newt’s collar in an attempt to haul him up. She looks desperate. Eager for Newt to move faster and he feels his heart jumping now.
“Did you find him? Is Dougal with him now?”
The Niffler makes a noise and drapes herself around Newt’s neck, mindful of Pickett who is hanging by Newt’s ear.
“I can’t passed the ward. It won’t let me in.”
The Niffler growls again, climbing down from her perch to pass through the gate. Then she walks back out, raising her paws for Newt to take and he does. Bending himself over to hoist her up and he takes a deep breath. Closing his eyes, he thinks to himself that he means no harm to the house or the family.
He just wants to save Percival Graves.
And when he takes a step, there’s a soft tingle of warm magic running through his face and the wards let him in.
He remembers afterwards that as soon as he opens his eyes, the Niffler jumps off from his arms and makes her way into the house. Scurrying fast across the great hall and pass the kitchen. There are sharp turns and twist ends, before Newt stumbles into a narrow passageaway. Hidden from the naked eyes. The passage leads him into the small basement, where the ceiling is low and the wall is tight.
And there, at the end of the small space, Dougal sits next to an unmoving broken body; his long fingers grooming the tangled hair; a soft, comforting croon tumbles out from his mouth.
Newt kneels before Percival Graves, careful not to touch the man too tightly as he checks for his pulse. It’s there but it’s erratic, like the fluttering of a golden snidget trying to escape.
“Mr. Graves can you hear me?”
There’s a weak groan and Newt leans in to press his ear closer to Percival’s mouth.
“Grindelwald,” he says weakly, clutching at Newt’s fingers like he’s afraid.
“He’s not here Mr. Graves. He’s been captured and we’ve been searching for you ever since.”
Graves closes his eyes again and Newt works faster now. Asking for Dougal to apparate to MACUSA to bring Tina in. It can’t be helped at this point. The Madame President will be upset with him and the Ministry of Magic will not have the glory of rescuing Percival Graves now that MACUSA will be here.
But he doesn’t care about all that. His priority is on Percival Graves now, the man that clutches at his hand so desperately.
“It’s alright now, Mr. Graves,” Newt murmurs, cradling the man closer to his chest. “You’re safe now. Nothing will harm you anymore. I’ll make sure of that.”
@iiiiitschloe requested: Can you do a Jason Todd x Reader where he comes back from the dead and goes back to his grave, where he sees the reader leaving flowers and talking about how she’s been trying to move on? This upsets him because he loved her but he realizes that she’s probably worked a lot at moving past him and decides it’s for the best that he doesn’t try to force himself back into her life
His footsteps hit the ground as he walked, but mentally he didn’t quite remember how he got there. It was the anniversary of his death and he was back as a reminder.
A reminder as to why he even bothered to wake up that morning, a reminder as to why he dons the red hood at night, a reminder as to why you’re no longer in his arms. As he approached his grave, he spotted a familiar figure and darted quickly behind another tombstone.
He recognized you instantaneously as you silently sat in front of his grave. Wanting to reach out, he planned how he was going to approach you. Would he even try to talk? Would you loathe him? Would he just hold you in his arms? Either way, nothing here and now was going to result well, so he hung back and thought of another good time to do so. Like tonight?
His planning was interrupted by your voice and his heart jolted thinking you had caught him. “I’m doing well i think. Well my therapist says i’ve made major improvements.” you said with a proud smile.
Smiling to himself he felt proud of you, he hurt knowing the pain he had put you through and what the clown had put you both through - but atleast one of you was doing better. Falling in love at such a young age had its drawbacks, but he remembered being so proud of you when you’d pass a test - or the way you made an effort to celebrate when he passed his exams. You’d both found tiny ways of celebrating another and if he was asked today how to make a relationship succeed, that would be his exact advice.
A relationship with you again would be perfect. You were High school sweethearts who were basically inseparable. He smiled fondly at the memories of you telling him to tell Bruce to suck it for trying to pull him away from you, and just knew that you’d get along with his new friends perfectly.
“This is so awkward but i think it’s time.” He heard you sigh “I’ve been asked to go out with a friend from college. I know you’d like him. You know, he almost has a book collection that rivals yours! But even if its not with Michael, it’s time for me to stop wishing that this is just some sick joke. I’ll always love you Jason and i will always keep you in my heart, but, it’s time.”
He hung his head in response and bit his tongue from responding and heard the plastic cellophane of flower wrap touch his tombstone.
“I’m sorry Jason.”
“Me too y/n.” He whispered as he hung back, thinking better of his plan, that he now knew was frankly idiotic.
Hearing your footsteps he looked up to take one last glance at you as you walked past. However as you dropped your phone, you noticed the man wearing the helmet sitting behind the grave, looking directly at you. Taking one glance at his insignia, you offered him a polite smile after picking it up and walking off unknowing that you were the only reminder he ever needed.
AU where you don’t know your soulmate is your soulmate until they die
You never understood soulmates. Your parents explained that you couldn’t ever be sure if the person you date, marry, love, is even your soulmate. It sounded stupid to you. It wasn’t until you were older that they explained more, that it wasn’t until you lost your soulmate that you would feel the love and moments you could have spent together.
This made you very wary of love, you didn’t want to devote your entire life to someone and have them not be your soulmate and you also didn’t want to have to be attached to someone to have them die on you. You thought you could just avoid your soulmate, maybe you didn’t even have one.
You heard stories of people never finding their soulmate which sounded like the best option in your mind, It wasn’t until 6th year at Hogwarts that you truly hated soulmates. You met a boy named Cassius. That boy stole your heart. You were positive you were soulmates, you were planning on getting married after school.
Until a 7th year died from an accidental hex. Cassius felt the love and pain that could have been. You tried convincing him you could still be together but he left you. You cried all night cursing at no one. From that day you swore you would never fall in love again.
You graduated and started a job at the ministry. Beast division. You had always had an interest in magical creatures, they kept you company in place of humans. You met an old friend, Newt Scamander. You were surprised when he said he was no longer in touch with Leta. The two of them were inseparable but once again, soulmates ruined another person. You both shared the hatred of Soulmates and became better friends.
When he got the offer to write a book he asked you immediately to join him. Of course you accepted, he was quickly becoming your best friend. Your adventures were the best, always crazy and wild. Sometimes sitting in his case you would wonder what it would be like to find someone. The only things that stopped you was the thought of heartbreak.
Unknowing to you, Newt fell hard for you. He would watch you and Cassius at school, laughing, and in love. He watched as you shut yourself from the world and he was determined to befriend you. He secretly hoped you were his soulmate but he could never be sure and he didn’t want to have to watch you die to find out.
It’s been a few years since you started your adventure and you and Newt were in New York. It was, an interesting experience to say the least. You met and got arrested by a young Auror named Tina, met a no-maj, almost got killed by MACUSA and now you were trapped in a battle between Mr grave, who was some important Auror and an Obscurial. This was definitely not how you thought the day would go.
“Y/N! Get out of here!” Newt yells at you.
Graves fires a spell and Newt goes flying back. You apparate right in front of him and fire spells at Graves. Newt struggled to stand up and joined you in firing spells.
“See Scamander, you can’t do much without me” you tease.
You and Newt were getting tired and you couldn’t see and end to this fight. You could see Credence starting to form into black mist again. You left the fight and went to try to calm Credence. It was no use, he exploded into a big ball of destruction. You ducked to the ground to avoid getting hit. Tina came running in and started talking to Credence.
“He’s listening to you Tina, keep talking” Newt says slowly to Tina.
You slowly walk towards Credence. Whispering comforting things as Tina was coaxing him to calm down. You were almost able to touch him when Aurors filled the station. They fired at Credence, you could see the poor boy in pain. You glanced at Newt who was covering himself and smiled before rushing into to cover credence.
You got hit with spell after spell, each more painful than the last. You look and see Credence, his face filled with relief. You still knew he had to disappear. You took out your wand and sent credence away. You collapsed and let your wand roll across the floor. Newt felt a pang in his chest. It’s like his heart was being torn into shreds.
“Y/N! I-I think soulmate is dying” He yelled out to you.
“Y/n?” Called out again.
He stood up and saw you on the ground.
“No no no no no” he murmured. he got up and scrambled to you.
His heart getting heavier and heavier as he reached you. He was crying when he reached you. He searched for a pulse but couldn’t find one. His head filled with memories of you two. the love that could have been. His buried his face in your neck and held your cold hand in his hand. His heart filled with grief and sadness but also hatred.
He hated soulmates.
He hated that he never got to love and care for you. That you never got to know how much he loved you. Newt’s heart was shattered and the only one who could fix it was you.
He finally understood why you hated soulmates so much. He brought his hand to your face and closed your eyes. He placed a shaky kiss on your lips and stood up and walked away.
He clutched the Swooping evil venom in his coat and pulled it out. He looked at it and remembered what you told him a long time ago
“It secretes venom that, when properly diluted, can be used to erase bad memories”
I have alot of fics im going to write soon but honestly, this was not the way I thought this would go but hey, Angst 5ever am I right
If Graves were a kinder man, he would’ve taken the boy to hospital that day he found him adrift on the seashore. He would’ve gotten Credence a proper doctor, found him a linen-pressed bed, and been done with the whole thing.
If Graves were a less selfish man, he would’ve driven the boy down to his own office himself to fill out a missing person’s form and inquiry papers. Would’ve asked his lieutenants and old colleagues from his Dublin days about missing white boys with dark eyes, darker hair, and skin like the moon.
If Graves were a better man, he would’ve gotten on the phone with Social Protection, would’ve reported a missing, potentially underage boy found nude and trembling on the beach, would’ve reported signs of abuse.
But instead, he swoops in himself and carries the boy into his home, into his life, like he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Like he’s not purposefully making the lad dependent on him. And no, Credence has never complained, never once expressed a desire to leave, but that doesn’t mean the situation is in any shape or form okay . With a growing sense of guilt, Graves realizes more and more the many ways he’s been taking advantage. He’s imposing himself on this lovely young thing, making himself an indispensable source of comfort and shelter and love. Every kind word, every gentle caress and loving glance, is a lock clicked on the boy’s door. And Graves doesn’t even hold the keys anymore.
And even if he did, he’s come to realise that he doesn’t want the boy to leave, impossibly, selfishly. And the boy never asks, only smiles and claws out a place for himself in the vast emptiness of Graves’ life, fills up the room with brightness and silent laughter.
Graves goes back to work after four days. Four days of holding the sweet, lithe body close and safe, four days of chasing the boy’s lurid nightmares away, of feeling the gentle trembles calm under his patient touch, of letting the boy tuck his pale face against Percival’s throat, of spooning sweet porridge and soup into the little plush mouth.
To have to go and sit in the grey-lit station, a fat pile of paperwork lumped on his desk, and hear the grappling of petty thieves and vandals being wrestled into the holding cells is a horrid, cruel torture that sets his teeth on edge and makes him pace and snarl like a tiger in a cage.
He wants to be at home with his boy, his sweet lovely boy, tucked up nice and warm and safe within Graves’ arms. Because four days is too short a time to know someone so completely and even now Graves knows the boy was kind and gentle and sharp of mind.
He found him hiding in the bedroom once, he remembers.
Graves loves his bedroom, and so does Credence apparently. Graves can’t blame him. It’s warm and dark and just this side of small to be recognized as more cozy than cramped. There’s a large window with a soft, cushioned alcove across the room facing the bed, a little bench piled high with pillows and blankets.
Graves found Credence sat in front of the wide, bay window the third day, when he was supposed to be eating lunch. There was a frantic chirping, the loud flap of wings, and it only took Graves a few moments to realize that a little bird’s frail feet had frozen to the wrought iron frame of the window.
Graves was about to make his way forward, to do what, he doesn’t know even now, but then Credence leant in, wrapped a slim, gentle hand around the bird’s plump body, and breathed low and warm. It was such an ingenious little move that Graves stopped and stared for a moment. He watched the boy melt the ice with his hot, sweet breath, and eventually Credence pried the little feet from the metal and turned to Graves with bright, happy eyes.
Look what I did!
The bird meeped in the boy’s careful grip, and Credence turned to the window and carefully let go. There was a sharp flutter of wings, a goodbye chirrup, and the fat little body disappeared into the distance, leaving behind a fluff of feather on the windowsill and a soft smile on Credence’s lips.
Graves finds himself smiling at the memory, but blinks and Abernathy, one of his subordinates, is gaping at him like he’s seen the good lord’s face in a potato crisp.
“What exactly are you looking at, Abernathy?” Graves snaps, sharper than he’d intended, and the shrimpish man stutters out something and scampers away like a spooked mouse.
“You’re in a good mood,” Tina says over lunch a bit later. She’s skeptical, and Graves thinks irritably that she’s a better detective than Chief Inspector Picquery gives her credit for.
“What about it?” Graves mutters, the smile that had been hovering at the corners of his mouth vanishing. He’d been imagining Credence this morning, sat up on the bathroom sink, chin and jaw smeared with foaming shaving cream and giggling at the rasp of the straight-edge shaver which Graves drew ever so cautiously across his jawline. Tina’s voice was a cruel break to the memory.
“You’re never in a good mood.” Tina picks at her salad, tone factual.
“I beg your pardon,” but Graves isn’t as offended as he’d like to pretend to be. He is in a good mood. Imagining his boy waiting at home for him, fiddling around with Graves’ da’s old radio, bouncing around in his longish sleep-shirt. It makes Graves’ ribcage swell, but not painfully—warm and brimming, happy.
“Well, I’m not complaining.” Tina smirks now. “You’re less likely to go off on the secretaries when you’re getting laid.”
Graves sputters—”Is that anyway to talk to your superior, Goldstein?”—but inside he’s grinning. It’s a good day.
He’s productive despite all of the distractions, and queerly it is the thought of Credence waiting, swinging his socked feet from the kitchen bar that has Graves finishing up much more paperwork than he’d thought he’d accomplish in a day. He’s able to leave early because of it, and decides for a quick stop at one of the grocery stores, thinking about picking up more milk and eggs. But instead, he finds himself perusing a techie shop front, full to bursting of sleek television screens.
Graves has never worried much about his lack of a television. He has never put much stock in that form of entertainment, though he knows his officers adore popular dramatic programs on Friday nights and Sunday mornings, coming in on Monday chattering about who cheated on who and who was brutally murdered and such and such. But now he finds himself fretting in front of an entertainment shop when he should be grocery shopping, because Credence gets bored quite easily, bright, feline eyes going blank and dazed on some middle distance Graves can’t see.
He eventually pulls himself, and finds his way to the market. He gets what he needs and heads home, the newest TV model still sat in the shop, and he’s glad of it because when he opens the door of the house, Credence comes bounding up to him, grinning, Shakespeare’s Hamlet clutched between his fists.
The boy gestures wildly at the cover, panting, but then stops and just beams and there’s a hard, sticky lump in Graves’ throat, looking down at this sweet-eyed boy. The version he’s holding was Graves’ father’s copy, the only book the old man had ever read that was written by an Englishman.
“That was my Da’s,” he says, clearing his throat roughly, and he sees a worried expression forming on Credence’s face, darkening the smooth brow and thinning the soft lips. “Don’t worry. He would’ve liked you having it.” He would’ve liked Credence period, Graves finds himself thinking, would’ve liked the mystery and strange kindness of him. “I could read it aloud, if yeh’d like,” he finds himself offering for some unknown reason. He knows the boy can read and write, seen it with his own eyes, but finds he wants to do everything he can for Credence.
And it’s worth it to see the pretty, plainly joyful smile twisting those pink lips, making those dark eyes shine.
“C’mon, love. Let me put the milk away and I’ll tell you all about the Dane.”
Queenie’s the one who tells him about the man in the bakery.
Queenie’s a sweet girl, chicly curled hair and bright eyes, and she’s sharp as a knife too—one of the many reasons Jacob’s lucky to have her. So when she sees a tall, strange Nordic man showing her patrons photos of a pale-faced boy and asking after his runaway “son”, she feels a creeping suspicion curling in her gut.
When Graves comes into the shop Saturday morning, searching the shelves for the lemon tarts he knows Credence likes the best, Queenie tells him all about it.
“It was strange, you know,” she mutters lowly to him. “I hope it’s not true, the poor lad.”
Graves’ skin crawls with nerves. “What made you nervous?” he asked, tone suddenly serious and businesslike.
Queenie’s got good instincts. He remembers vividly when Siobhan O’Hare got engaged to some Dublin slicker last July. Queenie had called him a cheat, and two weeks later Siobhan’s mother had found the scrub in bed with one of the Langer girls. If Queenie thought this man was bad news, Graves was inclined to believe her.
Queenie hesitates for a second. She’s the lovely type of person who doesn’t like to speak badly of people she doesn’t know, but she eventually talks, instincts winning out over courtesy. “I don’t mean to be rude or anythin’, but he was a bit weird, the man. Some sort of thick accent, tall. Well-dressed. And there was something wrong with his eyes, you know?”
“His eyes?” Graves prompted, more and more ill at ease.
“Something missing. Something—wrong. I dunno how to explain it.” Queenie fiddles with her apron, frowning at a muffin whose top is the slightest bit lopsided. “Wonder why he thinks his son would run all the way up here, middle of nowhere.”
“What did the boy in the photo look like?”
She shrugs. “Waifish, dark hair, pale skin.” She blinks gold-spun lashes. “He looked sad.”
Spine icing up, Graves manages to calm himself enough to buy the pastries and walk home at a normal rate. He doesn’t burst out into a sprint the moment he sees the swell of his hill, but it’s a near thing. He nearly wrenches the door off its hinges, though, and Credence is startled enough to nearly fall off the living room couch.
He can see the question in Credence’s face— “What’s wrong, what happened?”—but he can’t physically do anything other than crowd Credence up against the couch and just press their foreheads together. He twitches, then gives in, grabs the boy by the waist, slides his nose down Credence’s cheek to his neck, and just breathes.
Graves remembers when he first found the boy washed up on the shore, cold and pale and faded. He thought the boy was a ghost, a faerie from one of the old legends, flickering on the twilight. He thought if he dared to touch him, his hand would find mist and magic. Now, he can’t think that anymore, because Credence is warm and soft and solid underneath Graves’ hands and arms. The boy doesn’t tremble or whimper, only makes a soft, confused noise, a little hum in his throat that Graves can feel under his lips. He presses three quick kisses, gentle and fond, up the boy’s neck and jaw, before pulling back, cupping the boy’s cheek with a large, warm palm, can’t help himself because the boy is safe and here.
Credence is flushed and confused, but pleased, smiling brightly, and Graves can’t help himself.
“Sorry,” Graves whispers, and then dips in for another kiss. This time his mouth touches smooth, soft lips instead of the silk of Credence’s neck, and the boy shudders, clutching at Graves’ shoulders as they trade heat and warmth, and a weight loosens in Graves’ chest, unfurling into something hot and sweet and beautiful. The boy’s new at this, lips clumsy and unsure and his hands flutter in the air, hesitant to touch, but his inexperience only makes Graves growl, low and pleased in his throat. He cups the boy’s crystal-line jaw, feels the impossibly smooth skin, trails his thumbs over the arch of the jugular. There’s a quick, thrilling slide of tongue, the catch of teeth, and Graves has to pull away, panting like he’s just run twelve kilometers, because if he doesn’t stop, he’ll consume . And he just wanted to hold the boy, wanted to gather the boy lovingly in his arms so the world wouldn’t be able to rip him away, and now, without planning it, he can taste the sweet on his lips, the ghost of the boy hot against his side.
“Credence,” he murmurs, and the boy looks up with limpid eyes, shy and delighted. He gives a little huff and nuzzles into Graves’ chest, arms trapped between them. He fingers Graves’ tie, pressing his swollen lips to the fabric, and Graves’ heart plays a tap dance on his third rib.
“Oh lord,” Graves murmurs, stunned. “Oh—I didn’t plan that.” He pulls away, bereft at the lack of Credence’s warmth, and his heart hurts at Credence’s soft noise of protest. “No—I—it was my fault, something happened today at the bakery.”
Credence stands there, stunned. Graves draws back, paces, rakes his hands through his hair. Credence blinks, makes a little questioning sound. What happened?
“Queenie—the baker I go to—she said a strange man had come round, asking after his son. He had a picture.” Graves can’t look at Credence, doesn’t want to see the happy light in his eyes at the news that his father’s come for him. Doesn’t want him to leave. “Is—did you run away from home, Credence?”
The boy doesn’t answer, and Graves looks up, and—
The boy’s stricken, healthy color leaching from his skin as he pales. Graves sees the tears well up silently, watches as they roll down trembling cheeks and drip off the sharp jaw and dampen the boy’s jumper, and automatically he reaches out, but the boy flinches back.
“Credence,” Graves fumbles.
Credence gets small, his shoulders hunch, and Graves wonders frantically whether the boy is going to shatter.
“Credence, please, what is it?” Graves had never wished so much that Credence could speak as he does now. He glances around frantically, finds the pad of paper and pen on the writing desk. “Please.”
The boy swallows, sniffles, but takes the paper.
Are you going to give me back?
“Back?” Graves’ mind whirls. “To—to the man?”
Credence nods, doesn’t look up.
“Remember what I said. No matter what, you’re welcome here.” Graves takes two steps forward, silently cheers when the boy doesn’t back away. He opens his arms, reaches out. “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to, Credence. Not in my house.”
The boy lifts his chin, swipes roughly at his wet eyes, but doesn’t move yet. He scribbles something down instead.
“Always,” Graves whispers, the tiny word in the middle of the paper cracking his heart, and the boy rushes into him, crumpling, sobbing and hiccuping loudly. “Oh, baby. Baby, I’m so sorry, I didn’t—Come here, let’s—” He picks the boy up by the soft thighs, lets the boy nuzzle into his neck in a parody of the loving embrace they had entwined in only ten minutes prior. He adjusts his grip, and then sits on the couch, the boy clinging to him, a trembling, warm mess on his lap, terrified. And this isn’t right, can’t be right. No teenager in their right mind should be so petrified at the idea of their father coming for them, no young person should sob and tremble and flinch at the very idea.
“Is that man your father, Credence? The one looking for you?” Graves whispers, and he feels the boy shake his head in the negative, curls tickling his chin. “Who is he?”
The boy shifts, finds his pen.
A bad man.
“What did he do?” Graves can feel a beast awakening in his chest, a feral animal dripping from the maw, teeth snapping and clawing at the ground. Fury makes his jaw stiff, but he’s careful to keep his grip on the boy’s waist firm, but careful. “What did he do to you, Credence?”
Credence looks up at him with dark eyes and doesn’t answer. Doesn’t even move to reach for his pen. Graves remembers vividly the dark, splotched bruises on the boy’s hips and thighs, remembers him naked and trembling on the beach.
Graves is one of the few men in the local Garda who is certified to carry a gun, and for good reason. He doesn’t like guns, never has. Has met one too many egomaniacs with god complexes because they had a finger wrapped round a factory-made trigger. He respects the power a gun has. He has never, ever felt the urge to kill someone unthreatened and unprovoked, never had any sort of temptation to threaten or degrade.
Now, his eyes shine red and his breath gets thick and heavy in his chest. Now, he finds himself struggling to not pin Credence to the couch and blanket his weight over the boy, protective and feral as a mother bear, the world unable to pry him away from the sliver of boy he guarded. Now, he finds his own fist curling in on themselves, teeth gritting against each other, and he can see in his mind Credence’s faceless tormentor crushed and broken from Graves’ bare hands.
The only thing that jerks him out of his bloodlust is the feeling of Credence shifting closer, slim fingers sliding up to twine at the hair at the back of his neck. He pulls back a bit, just to see the boy’s face.
“You’re so beautiful,” Graves says aloud, feels his own eyes water hotly as he cups the soft, rosy cheek. “How could anyone ever hurt you?”
The boy doesn’t answer, just dips his head, holds Graves tighter, and Graves thinks about thick, clotted blood and the spatter of gunfire.
He can’t go back, he refuses to go back.
When Graves comes home, feral-eyed and hungry-mouthed, swoops down and presses his lips to Credence’s, Credence thinks he might swoon. He feels lost, feels stardust swoop through his veins, leave grit of glitter to ache in his chest and swell in his fingers. He clings to the man as long as he can, but then.
Then Graves retreats and he says something about a strange man, looking for Credence. And Credence knows the witch has come back for him, will take him. And he looks at Graves, looks at his uncertain face and his beautiful eyes and his darkened brow and Credence thinks he would let himself drown in the murky depths of the sea, his own home turned against him, before he gives up this lifetime with Mr Graves.
He knows it.
The man is taller than Graves originally expected, thick ashy hair carefully combed away from the pointed, lupine face. He’s dressed finely, sleek dark suit with a pale silver tie, but it is his eyes that draws Graves’ stare—they are flat and dull and Graves can’t help but compare them to a slow-gliding shark circling a stranded swimmer. Patient and watchful one moment, murderous and terrifying the next.
The man smiles. He has a cruel mouth. The lips look thin and soft, but the eyeteeth are wolfish, long and needle-sharp. “Yes, how may I help you?” His voice is thick and heavy, the Baltic salting the slanted vowels and clicking consonants, and Graves knows this is the man that Queenie spoke of. The bad man.
Graves takes out his badge, allows the man a look at his identification. “Inspector Percival Graves, district Garda.”
The man blinks down at the badge and says, “Ah.” He reaches out for a handshake. “Gellert, Gellert Grindelwald. May I ask why the sudden visit?”
Graves smiles tightly, keeps his grip light and unthreatening. A heavy, cold ring digs into his palm. “A few concerned folk downtown have let me know you’ve a missing son.” The lie leaves his mouth smooth as butter. “Wanted to ask if yeh wished to file an official report with the authorities.”
The eyes go flinty and sharp, and then the predator subsides. The hairs on the back of Graves’ neck stand. “It’s nothing.” The man’s dismissive, and he has some charm, Graves can see that. But it is an empty charm, empty words and empty eyes. “Just a bit of family business, I wouldn’t want to trouble any of your fine officers.” Another depthless smile.
“With all due respect, sir, if a child is in danger, it’s the Garda’s responsibility to put out a missing minor’s report,” Graves says, affecting sternness.
“Ah, yes, no it is nothing like that.” Grindelwald waves him off. “I would offer an invitation in, but I was in the middle of something just before you came. Perhaps we could have this conversation at a later date?”
Graves looks at him and his expression must’ve been extremely skeptical, because the man laughs deeply and says, “No, no, of course. You take safety very seriously here in Ireland, yes. I understand.”
He opens his room’s door, and Percival is ushered into a dim-lit sleeping/sitting area, a rumpled bed shoved in the corner, a couch shoved in its opposite. Nothing sinister or out of place, a dirtied coffee mug set out on a coaster, a wrinkled shirt hung on a hanger on the curtain rung. A pile of musty, old-spined tomes draws Graves’ eye, but he can’t make out the titles on the back, even though they glint brightly and embossed. Some sort of Cyrillic alphabet, entirely foreign to him.
Grindelwald clears a small chair and a desk off for Graves, but Graves declines to sit. “I won’t stay for long, won’t want to inconvenience yeh.”
Grindelwald smiles humorlessly. “Of course, of course.”
“If there’s any light yeh could share on the situation, maybe?” Graves prompts after a tense, awkward silence.
Grindelwald draws a quick, sharp breath, dusts off the tops of his pants. “Yes, yes. Hmm. Where to begin.” He taps his mouth with his middle finger, a habit it looks like. “To clear some things up, no, my son isn’t a minor.”
(Inside, Graves lets out a long, relieved sigh he does not want to address).
Grindelwald continues, oblivious, “He’s not missing. He’s left, after a very heated argument. Our opinions differ greatly on some things, you see, and it’s created a large rift between us.” Grindelwald moves to the kitchenette, trailing long fingers over the miniscule counter. He doesn’t seem uncomfortable, meets Graves’ gaze head on. “I am here looking for him, yes, but my son is an adult. I have no legal holding over him. I cannot force him to come home with me. But I wish to talk sense with him. To apologize, and get on with our lives.” He licks his lips, a small wet flicker, perches on a stool. “I’ve heard rumors among his friends that he’s found refuge in a little Irish town named Perth. And so here I am. Still searching.”
Graves blinks. “And you’re sure there’s nothing you want to be done in search of your son?”
Grindelwald dips his head politely. “Ah, no thank you. It is a kind offer, but a misplaced one. He will come to me when he is ready to make amends.”
Graves moves his lips in the small image of a smile. “Ah, alright. Just lettin’ you know, Perth’s a small town. Size of a shoebox, nearly. If your son was hiding here somewhere, people would know, trust me. Strangers aren’t common, not in Perth.”
“Thank you, Inspector,” Grindelwald nods. “But I’m sure he’s here. I can feel it.”
“Just one more thing, Mr Grindelwald, before I leave,” Graves says, adjusting the lapels of his coat, careful to not look the man in the eye. “Do you have a current picture? Of the boy?”
Grindelwald smiles, reaches into his pocket. He withdraws a small, battered leather wallet and flips it open. Graves cranes his neck, takes a quick peek—no credit cards, strangely, or pictures of family that he can see, just a glossy Polaroid slightly bent at the edges.
“Here,” the man reaches out, and Graves grasps it, brings it close to his eyes to see.
A pale, wane Credence, but the same age. Sunken cheeks and puffy mouth, lovely, knobby knees bared in cut-off shorts, slim arms vulnerable and bared in a black tank. He’s sitting on some sort of porch-step, and it would’ve looked like any other suburban teenager lounging in a friendly neighborhood had Graves not seen the eyes. The boy looks terrified, eyes blown and wild, mouth open the slightest bit as if he were about to yell. And there is a kind of vagueness to the whole scene, the background too cloudy, the clothes the boy’s wearing too sharp, as if the photo had been modified somehow, tampered with.
“Yes, I’m sure I’ll recognize him now,” Graves says faintly instead of any of these things, already slipping out the door. He barely manages to hand the photo back, barely manages to return Grindelwald’s unnerving smile. “I’ll—I’ll notify you if I hear anything.”
A few more smiles and thank yous and have a good days, and Graves begins to wander his way down the drive.
“Oh, before you go, officer,” Grindelwald stands in the doorway, watching as Graves stumbles his way to his patrol car. “My son’s name—it’s Credence. Credence Grindelwald.”
Graves sits for a good few minutes in a grocery shop parking lot after that, an accented voice rattling in his head, I can feel it.
* Sometimes when Aaron is talking, Robert is struck by how much he loves him, he barely hears what he’s saying, all he can do is stare at the man because he’s never seen anything so beautiful, so perfect, and he cannot believe that he’s his. It won’t matter where they are, he just sits staring at him with a stupid grin on his face because he’s so unbelievably in love.
* Aaron can read Robert like a book. He knows when something isn’t quite right; Robert has a pretty thick skin but sometimes words get to him. When Aaron can see this happening he leans in and whispers, “I love you. It’s all that matters.” And Robert feels better.
* One of the biggest rows they’ve had stemmed from a game of FIFA. It went on for hours until Liv started screaming at the top of her lungs to make them shut up. They don’t play FIFA when they’ve been drinking anymore.
* When Aaron is trying to think of something he has the same look on his face as when he needs to sneeze and it’s not happening. It cracks Robert up every time. This proves tricky when he’s on the phone to someone.
* When Aaron is having a bad day Robert drops everything, takes him out of the village and they drive somewhere. Anywhere. They sit outside and stare up at the sky until Aaron is ready to talk. Usually it’s enough to just be away from the village.
* When Robert is having a bad day, Aaron takes the day off and gives Liv money to go out for the day. He then orders in food, gets the beers and Robert’s Marvel box set and sets them up on the sofa until Robert is relaxed and cuddled in to him.
* Everyone knows when Robert has a romantic night planned because he buys dark chocolate to make chocolate mousse. It’s his “seduction dessert”. Aaron is ashamed that he now gets a little turned on when he has dark chocolate in other situations.
* Wanting to be a ‘cool brother’ and encourage Liv, he bought her a guitar so she could learn it. Two weeks later the guitar 'disappeared’ No one would admit where it went but Aaron sure was shifty for a couple days.
* Sometimes they need a cuddle. There’s no shame in that. They find the other man and just hug him. Just hold each other for a while. No kissing, no talking, no pulling away, just holding.
* It’s actually Aaron that says no to getting a dog, they don’t have time for one, it costs money, he doesn’t wanna have to be the one taking care of it. Robert and Liv wear him down, and Oscar the black lab is brought into the family one cold October afternoon.
* Robert traces shapes and words on Aaron’s skin when they’re laying tangled in the sheets after having sex. Sometimes it’s nonsense, sometimes he traces his name, Aaron’s name, the word love, anything. He does it automatically and he doesn’t stop until Aaron is fast asleep in his arms.
* When Robert is hungry he gets a far away look on his face and he doesn’t answer very much. When Aaron is hungry he just gets mad. They’re a nightmare when they’re both hungry at the same time.
* Aaron pays extra attention to Robert around his parents birthdays and their anniversaries. He does whatever Robert wants. He goes to the graves with him and rubs his back as he stares down at the stone, kissing his shoulder if he cries and gripping his hand to let him know he’s not alone.
* Robert offers to go to Jacksons grave with Aaron, Aaron declines, he doesn’t like to go himself, doesn’t like to drag it all up. But he does take him once, cracks open a couple of cans and introduces Robert. It doesn’t make him feel any different about it all but he’s grateful he can share that part of his life with him.
* Aaron has walked in and found Liv and Robert sat at the kitchen table as he helped her with her coursework. He had to take a moment to watch them, in their home, domestic as anything just working away. He eventually walked over, pressed a kiss to Robert’s head and ruffled Liv’s hair before heading to the sofa and collapsing into it, happy as anything.
* No one but Aaron knows that sometimes Robert cries in the bathroom because he’s stressed. He’s spent so many years hiding, so many years being his own strength that he forgets he can ask for help. Aaron finds him sometimes, sat on the floor with his knees to his chest, hands in his hair and tears streaming. Aaron just sits beside him, pulling him close and holding him until he’s ready to talk to him.
* Aaron and Liv get bored and decide to start a nerf gun war with Robert when he comes home. They get in position; absolutely certain they’re gonna see Robert make a fool of himself. They were not prepared to find out that Robert is in fact part ninja. The battle went on for hours, only ending when Aaron came out with his hands up to find Robert holding Liv back and pointing the gun at him. “Any last words punk?” Aaron just laughs, smacking the gun from his hand and kissing him as Liv groans in disgust.
Newt is curled up beside Clara; the hippogriff has her eyes closed and he’s trying to comfort her while the potion he gave her takes effect. Humming a lullaby, the magizoologist starts to stroke Clara’s feathers. Dougal must’ve listened, because the demiguise appears right next to him and climbs up to his lap, his arms are around Newt’s neck in a second and the wizard can’t help but smile.
Dougal has always felt when something is worrying him and does his best to comfort him. This particular moment, Newt is concerned for Clara’s health; she took the potion, but she was so weak when he gave it to her, he’s not sure the potion is going to work. By the time he had gone back to the case, Clara was lying on the soft grass of her habitat and burning in fever.
From the mass of reddish curls above his head, Pickett gets down to his right shoulder. He’s worried too, Newt can see it, so he tries to talk to both Dougal and Pickett about other things for a few minutes.
When she opens her eyes again and tries to rise, it’s Dougal not Newt the one that rushes to get her water; the hippogriff seems to trust the demiguise so she licks as much as she can from the bucket Dougal has brought.
The potion is working.
Newt keeps taking care of her until she starts to flap her wings happily. He decides not to give her all the portion she normally eats, at least until her stomach recovers from the days she refused to even look at the food. Although he knows once he steps a foot outside the case Dougal would probably take the chance to bring Claraanother piece of meat.
He smiles fondly at his creatures and feels his heart warming up again. And because he’s not worried anymore, his mind goes back to other matters like Percival Graves.
Newt’s so grateful with the Director and he certainly plans to thank him as soon as he sees him again… at the dinner. Also, he has to give the money back…
A knock takes him out of his thoughts and Newt blinks in confusion when he sees Queenie with her apron around her waist.
“Tina brought your case to the apartment, sweetie,” she explains. “Although I was worried because that was hours ago and- Oh Mercy Lewis! Why didn’t you tell me?”
Newt’s tilts his head to the side and looks at her even more puzzled.
“About your date! Come, come! There’s no much time left!”
Queenie yanks him up so fast he doesn’t have time to explain.
“It’s not a date,” he barely manages to say when the witch is already pushing him inside the bathroom.
“Take a shower, honey. Relax and leave the rest to me!”
Newt tries not to think too much in the mischievous smirk on Queenie’s face and does as he’s told.
The problem, he realizes minutes later, is that he has no idea where Graves is going to take him and he doesn’t know what he should wear, well… It’s not like knowing would make a difference because the truth is he only has what he calls practical clothes; he doesn’t care much about fashion and he doesn’t go to dances or fancy places so he manages with the few things he has.
So he chooses the green sweater with the gray pants and thinks is not as bad as Theseus commented once.
But then Queenie storms back in the room with a garment bag with a hanger floating behind her.
She looks at him and shakes her head.
“None of that. At least not today. And don’t get me wrong, you look adorable, but you can’t wear casual clothes tonight.” She tosses him the bag. “Here, put this.”
Newt almost squeaks when he looks inside the bag.
It’s a beautiful navy blue suit.
“Where did you get this?”
“Just put it on, sweetie! Mr Graves will be here soon.”
Part of him thinks it’s fine she didn’t answer his question. He has the feeling he would have liked the answer.
At least he has a decent pair of shoes; only because Theseus had insisted he should get ones.
Newt’s not used to fancy clothes, so when he looks into the mirror he almost doesn’t recognize himself. He walks out of the bedroom to tell Queenie it’s not a good idea and that he’s gonna change back, but he finds Tina who only blinks at him and then smiles, soft and warm.
“Stunning,” Graves cuts her off in a tone that sounds almost like a low purr. He closes the distance between them in a second, leaving Newt no time to recover from the fact that Mr Graves is already there and staring at him like he has nothing better to do.
“T-thanks,” he mumbles, looking at Graves eyes just for a second before deciding his left shoulder is a safer place to stare at. “You look nice too.”
He hears him chuckle and doesn’t blame him, Newt’s probably looking quite awkward with his blush spreading down from his cheeks to his neck.
Graves takes his hand and before Newt can realize what’s happening, the wizard kisses his knuckles.
His face is going to burn if that man keeps doing things like that.
Queenie winks at him behind the Director and for the first time since he met her he’s glad she’s a legilimens.
‘It’s not a date,’ he thinks and sees as she smirks and giggles.
“I’m glad you liked the suit,” Newt gets distracted the moment he hears Graves speak again.
“You…? I-I didn’t know you bought- How?” Newt’s mouth stops functioning properly for a moment. Still, Graves manages to understand.
“Miss Goldstein came back to MACUSA and told me you didn’t have a suit for our da- dinner.”
“Oh my!” Newt covers his face in his hands. He can’t help but think how on Earth did Graves get the perfect suit on time. How much does he owe this man? “You didn’t have to! I could… I can pay for it, you just tell me how mu-”
“It’s a gift,” Graves says and takes both his hands in his. “Besides, you have no idea how much it pleases me to see you wearing it. You look absolutely delicious.”
The last comment sends a shiver through Newt’s spine, makes Tina roll her eyes and Queenie chuckle.
It’s like Mr Graves is trying to flirt with him, but Newt knows that’s not the case, he's just trying to distract him.
“I really appreciate everything you have done for me already-”
“Great, because I also brought these…”
Something more? Newt almost rolls his eyes, but he stops before doing it when his eyes catch the gold spark in Graves’ palm and finally see the pair of cufflinks.
Two Thunderbirds. Newt gasps and reaches out before he can stop himself.
“They look like Frank!” He definitely squeaks, but he doesn’t care. It’s the first gift he doesn’t question, the first one he takes without realizing what he’s doing. He even lets Graves to put on the cufflinks for him.
“I heard what happened with Frank and you missed him so I thought these could help you feel like he’s still with you.”
It’s like something invisible has taken Newt’s breath away. There are tears falling from his eyes and Graves looks almost alarmed when he notices them until Newt practically beams at him; there’s a huge, bright smile on his face.
“Thank you,” Newt breathes. “And thanks for helping Clara too, Mr Graves.”
“Percival,” he says as he wipes off the tears from Newt’s cheeks. “Please call me Percival.”
Newt nods and adds: “And you can call me Newt.”
There’s a spark in Graves’ eyes as soon as he says that and a smirk that makes Newt wonder why is the Director being so nice to him. Maybe the auror wants to be his… friend?
Queenie facepalms herself. It’s so loud everyone looks back at her.
“Don’t you have a reservation?” She says, deliberately ignoring the stares.
“Actually, yes… I almost forgot,” Graves says and offers his arms to Newt. “We should go now.”
Newt takes Graves’ arms and allows the other man to lead him to the door.
It takes three days for Graves to recover completely. And although Newt would like to say everything is as it was before the incident, Graves changes.
He’s the same grumpy wizard, he’s still a workaholic, but his attitude towards Newt changes and he’s not sure if it’s a good or a bad sign.
No, he’s sure it’s bad, it must be. Because Graves constant staring must mean that he still doesn’t trust him. That’s normal… right? As a Director of Magical Security, Graves cannot take risks, he can’t allow himself to make a mistake just because Newt stayed with him in the hospital.
So Newt understands… The only thing that bothers him is Graves trying to be subtle about it, but he can’t. There’s no point in denying it or keeping it as a secret. Because Newt notices, he actually feels Graves’ gaze on him when the auror thinks he’s distracted and when Newt turns up his head again, Graves looks away. He usually looks almost embarrassed as he regrets doing it. And that confuses Newt… It wasn’t Graves himself who told him his job was to keep an eye on him? Newt knows and accepts it, he doesn’t understand why out of the blue he tries to pretend he doesn’t.
It’s the other signs that help Newt realize what’s going on and when he does he feels stupid for not noticing before.
The first one is the first time Graves offers him to bring him lunch… Actually, he doesn’t offer, he just kind of drops it next to Newt while the magizoologist is reading a report and mutters a very soft “you’re welcome” when Newt smiles and thanks him.
It becomes a routine; every day the Director buys Newt something to eat and sometimes he watches as the wizard takes the first bite and moans. Sometimes he catches Graves staring at him from his desk, face red and eyes wide open. He usually clears his throat and at the papers he’s holding as nothing happened.
He also likes to have Newt by his side all the time, and when necessary, he follows the magizoologist everywhere he goes. One day offers him to apparate along a few streets from Tina’s apartment (they can’t apparate outside because of the muggles). Newt insists he’s okay, but Graves tells him New York is a dangerous place for people who are linked to MACUSA.
It’s almost like he’s worried, but Newt dismisses the thought right away and accepts Graves company.
The others start to notice as well; Queenie, who’s normally the one that opens the door invites the auror to have dinner with them, but Graves always refuses, he walks away after giving one last glance in Newt’s direction. Queenie closes the door behind them and sometimes she giggles and winks at him.
It’s when he stumbles and falls on the hallway one morning, that Newt finds out what’s going on.
He’s distracted, the Niffler managed to escape and the wizard is following him around all MACUSA trying to catch him and return whatever it is he has robbed, but by trying to do so he stumbles and when he realises what’s happening, he’s on the floor and his head hurts.
He doesn’t notice Graves storming out of his office, nor he sees the wizard approaching until one of the aurors leans towards him and offers him a hand. Newt can’t focus very well because of the pain, but he nods and tries to reach out, when Graves appears beside him and bares his teeth at the other auror. Everybody that’s watching is so shocked and afraid they take a step back.
Newt feels strong arms wrapping around him before he can even process what'sgoing on and he’s lifted and taken to Graves’ office.
“How do you feel? Where does it hurt?” Graves asks. He places him on the couch and kneels in front of him.
“The head,” Newt mumbles. “But I’m fine, I’ll be fine.”
Graves caresses the curls that have fallen over his forehead and then proceeds to check out the wound on his head. Newt feels a soft hand close to his ear and knows the moment the auror starts to use wandless magic to heal him.
“Thank you,” Newt breathes as soon as the pain goes away. He smiles and Graves grins back at him with a vulnerable look on his face that Newt thinks he’s imagining it.
Until Graves sighs and admits: “I was worried.”
Newt blinks in confusion, blushing bright red as the other wizard leans and holds him tight. Then Graves nuzzles into the curve of his neck, breathes and relaxes.
Then something clicks inside Newt’s head and he start to caress Graves’ back.
“How much until the full moon?” He asks in a whisper.
“Two days,” it’s the pained response that comes from Graves’ lips.
“Have you taken your potion yet?”
Everything makes sense; werewolves start to act out of instinct when the full moon approaches. It’s normal for them to act more protective and possessive around certain people. Newt knows that kind of behavior is normal, the only thing that puzzles him is why Graves is focusing on him of all people.
Werewolves act like that only around family, very close friends and… lovers.
Is it possible that Graves considers him a friend now? Yes, it is. But it’s really hard for Newt to believe something like that.
“Do you want me to stay with you that night?” Newt asks.
Graves looks up and smiles at him like he’s some kind of unique rare thing.
“Only you would offer such thing,” he mutters almost fondly.
“Does that mean-”
“No.” Graves shivers like he’s in pain. His grin disappears. “I don’t… need you there.”
“You won’t hurt me,” Newt assures, but the look on the auror’s face is determined.
“No,” he shakes his head.
“Fine,” Newt says and watches as the auror relaxes again.
Then Graves blushes; he stares at him like he’s suddenly flustered.
“Can I-I hold you again?” He asks, there’s uncertainty and fear in his question.
“Of course,” Newt smiles calmly; Graves must be so used to people being afraid of him that he’s expecting him to flinch and run away as many others before.
But Newt understands what he needs, so he tries to look as calm and content as possible. He allows the other to take him in his arms and because he’s prepared, doesn’t even move when Graves buries his face in the curve of his neck.
Newt sighs and notices the warm feeling that spreads all over his chest. He doesn’t know if part of Graves intention is making him feel protected, but it’s working anyway.
She doesn’t take her mask off, and she doesn’t speak. She just sort of follows Grave around and either helps or holds Grave back. It generally goes 50/50, because she’s not opposed to getting her hands dirty. She’s just a bit more strategic about it.
Constantin and Doruntine (Albanian: Kostandini dhe Doruntina), or Constantin’s Besa (Albanian: Besa e Kostandinit), is an Albanian ballad and legend. It is also narrated in a prose version.
Doruntine is the only daughter in a family with 13 children including herself. When Doruntine is asked in marriage by a foreign prince, everyone in the family disagrees to let her go so far away. Only Constantin, the youngest of Doruntine’s twelve brothers, wants to make her happy and promises his mother that he’ll bring Doruntine back to see mother as soon as mother wants to. Eventually mother agrees to the marriage because of Constantin’s promise. At this point all twelve brothers agree to the marriage, but soon they all die in a war, Constantin included. Mother cannot bear the loss of all of her children and not having even her daughter close to her at an old age, her mourning too heavy to bear. Her monologue is full of pathos and anger. During her rage she curses her own dead son, Constantin, who made her a promise he couldn’t keep. At the curse, Constantin wakes up from death and brings Doruntine back, because a mother’s curse even after death, is worse than anything else. He finds Doruntine dancing during Easter time. Doruntine knew absolutely nothing about all 12 brothers being dead. Constantin tells her to come immediately with him and brings Doruntine back overnight on the back of his horse. She observes that he looks tired and that he is full of dust, but he tells her that it’s because of the long trip. She cannot know that he is already dead. When they arrive back home, he leaves her at the door and tells her that he has to go to Church, but instead goes back to his grave. Doruntine doesn’t realize that she has travelled on his brother’s horse when he was already dead, until she is told so by her mother. The finale is breathtaking because of the shock of the two women who realize that Constantin has risen from the dead. The moral of the legend is that the Albanians will get up from their graves to keep a promises and to maintain their Besa. This is the reason why several times the legend is called Constantin’s Besa.