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Menagerie of Dreams

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Sans Auror Adams being held back from cursing a very talkative jarvey (Newt might be interested to know that they can actually favor someone to insult) the containment went quite smoothly.

The aurors had managed to corral the escaped animals into groups and Fossey and his two magizoologist managed to secure them in containment bubbles. Aside from wounded pride, the only injuries were a few nibbled ankles and scratches (thankfully no one was bitten in the ass).

It was actually pretty anti-climatic all things considered.

Then again, it was probably because it was the first time he, or any of the other aurors, had actually listened to the magizoologists advice. Damn, they owed the BPMS an apology didn't they.

Seraphina returned a few minutes later "Well done. The park is being restored and the few straggling no-Majs are being obliviated. All that's left is to move the creatures to a safe location, correct?" She looked at Fossey when she said this.

Nodding he replied "Yes. Dugbogs and jarveys are native to North America so we can simply transport them to a reserve. There's one in Boston that will take the jarveys. Marcus and another auror can apparate them there."

The older man that had two of the talking ferrets nodded, and after a meaningful glare at him, a reluctant Auror Adams took one of the bubbles. Marcus apparated them since he knew the location of the reserve.

"The dugbogs will have to be sent to New Orleans. They will be better suited in the swamp marshes there. A portkey would be easiest to move them with." he finished.

Seraphina nodded and tore out a page from a journal. "You're licensed to make the portkey Charles?" At his nod she continued "Please complete it then. I'll write a letter so that the New Orleans branch won't give you any trouble when you take them."

He looked hesitant for a second, as if weighing the decision for both of them to go or if he should send the girl by herself. He eventually just nodded before picking up a long stick on the ground and performing the charm on it.

Seraphina finished her letter and gave it to him. After making sure their cargo was secured to their bodies with a few sticking charms they left in a whirl of light.

"Thank you everyone for your assistance. You may return home to earn some deserved rest." Seraphina spoke.

A few of the junior aurors gave relieved sighs while the senior ones nodded before they all disapparated.

That left him and Seraphina alone in the park.

They let out simultaneous sighs of relief. However, his relief ebbed when he saw Seraphina glaring at him.

"You brought a civilian wizard with no affiliation to the MACUSA to a Level 1 Breach! Are you out of your goddamn mind!"

He cringed, put that way it did sound rather bad. Still... "I swear I didn't intend to, I even told him not to do anything stupid! But he made a compelling argument, saying that his knowledge could help! Which was true, seeing how his advice made everything that much smoother. We managed to fix everything thanks to Newt's help!"

"And we would have managed without him, seeing as how we had the Head of Department and two authorized magizoologists!" she retorted before taking a deep breath.

"I understand that you like him Percy. A lot"

He refused to blush again.

"But you still need to follow protocol even if -"

"Wait, seriously! You think I brought him just because I like him?!" At her raised eyebrow he felt a spark of anger ignite.

"What the fuck Picquery! You of all people should know that I don't play favorites! I'm a professional and can be professional - even towards a crush! I only brought him because of the conviction I saw in his eyes!"

How fucking dare she! She knew he took his job seriously "What did you think! Huh?! That I'd just brought him with to gain some points as a potential boyfriend! Screw you Seraphina!"

He panted in the silence that descended, stewing in his anger.

"Okay" she dismissed his tirade with one word, not even blinking.

He stared at her.

She just... What?

"What the fuck do you mean by okay?!" she was really pissing him off now!

Rolling her eyes she said "I've known you since you were a bratty little second year that wouldn't move from my spot in the library Percival. I know exactly what kind of man you are - you're a hardass, so you don't care about favorites, or brownie points or any of that crap. Which is why I know that you wouldn't have brought Newt unless you had a sound reason."

He was so confused. Then why did she imply that he...?

His confusion must have shown because she pinched her nose before holding her hands together like she was pleading with some higher power.

Fucking egotistical bitch.

"You Percival Graves, have miraculously managed to find someone for whom you can actually display 'feelings' for. Despite this, you are so emotionally repressed that you make wet dirt look some true love miracle between water and earth" he Glared at her.

"Knowing this, there is absolutely no way that you will admit that you like Newt romantically. Which is why I had to get you to come to terms with it and admit it. The easiest emotion you show is anger. I just had to push the right buttons and you were all but screaming your love for him" she said it like she was saying the weather and smirked at him victoriously.

"because I like him; even against a crush; points as a potential boyfriend." She recited slowly and smugly.

Percival was openly gaping at her now.

But she... and then... but he never... what?

"I can't really blame you though. Those freckles are very charming"

He blushed.

Seraphina was above laughing wildly but he thought that her coy smile was far worse.

Damn her.

He was about to snap at her to mind her own damn business when a man came running towards them. He recognized him as one of Seraphina's minions.

"Mam! You have to" huff " come quickly. By the eagle statue, hah, that way, there's a-" huff "another creature! A big one and there's an injured man there!" the man was out of breath but they both heard him just fine.

Percival, however, felt his blood freeze.

Another creature.

By the statue he left Newt at.

Newt!

He turned and fled, not even stopping for Seraphina's yells behind him.

Newt was in trouble. Because Percival had brought him!

Nearing the statue he could make out Newt's silhouette with his blue overcoat. Standing in front of him was a large figure that looked quite menacing. He slowed down as he got closer and stood behind a nearby tree, his lungs burning. He really didn't want to startle either party. He could see Newt looking panicked and that did not reassure him in the least. And now he was... bowing to it?

What was he doing!? This was not some freaking society ball where you had to be courteous and - the beast was now reciprocating him.

...

...

Rubbing his face Percival could only wonder if there was anything about Newton Scamander that was not unorthodox (he was surprised by just how much he wanted to find out).

The creature seemed to reign in its anger and dipped its head shallowly - animosity slowly dissipating. Seeing this, he moved from behind the tree - wand held firmly in case he had to act.

Newt was walking closer, taking one small step after the other. It seemed he had this under control. Feeling himself relax he lowered his wand and stayed back to let Newt work his magic.

Movement behind the creature caught his eye and in an instant he was alert again. The next second he was blocking a stupefy from hitting Newt.

However, the movement startled the creature and it was once again rearing on its back legs, ready to attack.

This time however it's focus was on him and he had to apparate away when it charged at him with a speed that should not be possible for a creature of its stature.

A pop later and he was standing next to Newt who had his wand raised to shield against more spellwork.

"Percival! Tell the aurors not to fire! Griffins may look fierce, but she isn't dangerous! She's pregnant and only acting in defense of her baby!" Newt spoke hurriedly and Percival hid a wince. He supposed that he could see why Newt assumed it was the aurors that attacked the creature - er, griffin. He had been a witness to their rather brutish methods of corralling them. Still, the aurors had already left which meant this was another party, and the only wizards he could think of that would be in Central Park at 11pm, firing spells at a magizoologist that was calming an angry, illegal magical creature would be -

"Its the smugglers. The aurors have all left already and I'm betting they've been waiting for that so they can recapture it" He said and added "The other creatures are all safe and have been taken to reservations that will care for them."

Newt seemed to relax slightly at this, but his eyes never left the wizards in front of him. Percival, however, was focused on the angry griffin that was trampling and clawing at the spot where he was previously standing. Its talons cut through the ground like a hot knife through butter and he was very glad he had apparated away instead of trying to shield himself from the attack.

"How about you deal with mama-griffin while I take care of the smugglers." Newt finally looked at him and the griffin to his side before biting his lip and nodding.

"Yes, I do believe that would be best." Nodding Percival cast a Protego in front of Newts, that allowed him to drop his shield and move to the side so that he was facing the griffin.

As soon as he was clear, Percival unleashed a multitude of spells at the smugglers. Normally he wouldn't have been so vicious with his attacks, but he had had a long day filled with Seraphina-induced migraines, freckled-magizoologist blushes and the very severe blow to his reputation.

The result was five battered and unconscious wizards, covered in bruises, scrapes and cuts.

Nodding he turned to Newt just as the younger man tackled him and apparated them away.

And now he was on the ground with an attractive magizoologist on top of him.

Which is what Seraphina and her minion saw upon reaching the scene.

Fuck, he hated Tuesdays.

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He felt a lot better allowing Percival to handle the smugglers. He was a far better dueler now than at Hogwarts - or that was what Theseus would tell him. Ever since he was attacked by the Slytherins, Theseus had made sure to drill stances, wand movements, and spell-chains into his head. He was proficient enough, but he lacked power when executing spells. However, he made up for it with his speed and agility. Theseus once commented that his stamina was like the beasts he studied. His patronus memory was still the high pitched scream his brother had made when he'd apparated behind him and spelled his curly hair into worms as retaliation.

The weak spells easily bouncing off of his shield made him feel confident that he could easily take care of them. And while he would love to make the smugglers pay for the captivity they had made the creatures endure, he was more concerned about the angry griffin and the stress that her baby was under. So he nodded to Percival and switched positions with him. He fleetingly thought about how easy and in sync they were with each other. It had a been a long time since he had felt this comfortable around another human being that wasn't his family.

Facing the irate griffin he saw that she was aggressively attacking the ground and nearby trees with vigor. Getting her to calm down was going to be far more difficult now. A high pitched screech filled the air as she seemed to realize that her target had escaped. She spun in a circle before zeroing in on him.

No. She was staring at Percival!

Bugger! Percival was busy with the smugglers and couldn't be distracted right now "Wait! Please, I know he startled you but he's helping! I can assure you that he's not dangerous"

She wasn't hearing any of it however and instead spread her wings and scratched at the ground.

She's going to charge.

In a last ditch effort he tried bowing again to show that they meant no harm. She faltered for a second but then shook her head and charged at them.

His body moved on reflex. Percival had shifted a few steps away during the duel so Newt had to jump at him to move them both out the way. The minute he had a firm hold he apparated them to the grass area he could see a fair distance behind the statue.

They landed in a pile on the ground with Percival lying beneath him. He tried getting up but ended up falling back down abruptly when the pain in his thighs started throbbing again. He must have reopened his wounds due to the strenuous movements. He felt dizzy from the sudden pain so he sat up to try reorient himself. Looking down, he saw that Percival seemed to be similarly dazed but was looking at something behind him. Turning he saw Seraphina and a younger man staring at them - Seraphina with a raised eyebrow and the man with a gaping mouth.

"Situation report." Seraphina's voice was expectant as she looked at them.

Percival still seemed dizzy so Newt spoke "It's a griffin Ser- er, mam. She's pregnant and understandably upset. I'd managed to calm her down when the smugglers attacked. Percival managed to stop them while I tried to calm her down again but she was still wary of him. I apparated us away so that she could feel safer." He withheld the fact that she was going to attack Percival and hoped that the man was too distracted to notice his omission.

Seraphina's mouth pursed at the information before she nodded "Will you be able to subdue her?" He startled and was confused that she was asking him to assist when she had earlier told him not to. His confusion must have shown because she continued "None of the other magizoologists are here. They were tasked with taking the trafficked creatures to appropriate sanctuaries." He was surprised but happy that the magizoologists were personally taking them, he had thought that it would be the aurors when Percival told him. "And though I would prefer not to involve a civilian, you know the most about how to help in this instance." He saw her give Percival a wry look when she said this but he figured it wasn't his business. He nodded and once again tried to stand but gasped when white pain spread from his legs and he collapsed on Percival again.

Percival seemed to be more alert now and quickly grabbed him by the waist before sitting up and moving him to lie on the ground. "You've opened your wounds" he muttered before performing healing spells to close them again. "Its not that bad, r-really" he didn't sound convincing even to his own ears. Percival shot him a look that clearly showed he thought the same.

"I'll calm the griffin down Director Picquery." Percival seemed to surprise all of them by saying this.

Seraphina looked at him and said with undisguised skepticism "You are a well trained auror Mr. Graves, but I'm quite certain you have never even read about a griffin before let alone encountered one."

"I haven't, but I have seen Newt interact with this one. He was able to calm her down by bowing to her and she responded. If I repeat the action it should abate her fears, right?" he looked at Newt when he said this.

Newt pursed his lips and thought about the idea "Bowing is a tradition more associated with hippogriffs to appease both of the animal halves. Eagles and horses are prideful creatures and bowing shows that you view them as an equal. If you bow, the eagle half might accept it but the lion half might be against it. The griffin saw you fire a spell near her, which makes you a threat in her eyes. I honestly don't know if it would work or not."

"But there's a chance it might?" Newt hesitated before nodding slightly. "Good because she seems to have found us"

Turning around he saw the angry creature move swiftly from the trees before she let out a roar instead of the expected avian screech. So the lion half was more dominant when they were angry, that would be useful to know in the future.

He saw Seraphina grip her wand tightly at her side and hiss at the man next to her to lower his wand. He shakily complied after much hesitation.

Percival stood up slowly and kept eye contact with her. She roared again and this time he noticed that the yellow beak was red at the tip, as well as her talons.

The smugglers he thought She most likely attacked them after we left. He wasn't fond of them but he still felt remorseful that they were most likely dead, especially because he had left them to deal with a raging mother-griffin.

He dispelled the thought when he saw Percival begin to bow to her. She seemed to pause her tirade to look at him - judging whether she should trust him or not.

He knew that she didn't find his gesture adequate enough when her eyes narrowed into cat-like slits, talons clawing at the ground, hind legs coiled and ready to charge with her tail swinging fiercely. She was preparing to attack Percival.

He saw Seraphina and Percival tense preparing to defend against her. No doubt to subdue or knock her out, but he was worried about the affect that injuries would cause to the baby.

He needed a way to stop her.

But he couldn't think of anything!

Griffins were cousins of hippogriffs so there had to be something that applied to them as well but what!

"Hippogriffs are beautiful aren't they darling. They have shared instincts from both animal halves but share common attributes as well. Part eagle and part horse but completely majestic. You'll see that many hybrid magical creatures have the same traits. You just need to look hard enough to understand them."

His mothers words hit him like a bludger!

Bowing wasn't working now because the lions instinct was in control! He could calm her earlier because the eagle half accepted his show of equality but now the lion was in control and expected deference.

So how did he appease the lion!

Submission? No, it would most likely see Percival as prey if he did that and attack anyway.

Dominance? He thought of how it reacted to the eagle statue and discarded the idea.

What else did he know about lions? They were a genus of feline, worked with a/b/o dynamics, they were the kings of the animals according to.. muggles...

Kings.

Regality!

Deference to a king! And eagles were known as the kings of the skies!

This could work!

"Percival kneel!" Percival stared straight ahead but didn't move so he continued "The eagles and lions are considered kings in their respective domains! Please trust me! Kneel!"

His voice seemed to break the standoff, as the griffin rushed forward - talons held in front with wings stretched wide to attack.

Just as Percival dropped to one knee while still looking into the eyes of the charging creature in front of him.

Bringing its talon down right in front of him and leaving a thin red strip on his bent knee.

The park fell silent. Everyone seemed to be waiting for someone else to make a sound or movement.

Finally Newt spoke "G-gently and slowly raise your hand and touch her beak."

Percival complied and gingerly did as he said. The griffin kept its eyes on Percival the entire time and tensed when his hand made contact but after a few seconds it closed its eyes and nodded its head once.

Newt could see the relief that washed off everyone's shoulders as the griffin calmed down. Percival got up slowly but she simply sat down and looked at him imperiously. Like a queen dismissing a subject he thought with amusement. Once he was up he made his way back to where Newt and the others were and promptly slumped onto the grass.

"I think we seriously need to work on what your perception of "Don't do anything stupid" means"

Newt blushed and ducked his head.

Percival snorted before chuckling.