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Menagerie of Dreams

Chapter Text

Newton Artemis Fido Scamander was no stranger to law enforcement. He could freely admit that he had been arrested more times than he (or the tiny green stickman in his pocket) could count. And if one were to consider the fact that Picket had only joined him three months ago, it may have been fair to say that 'stranger' may be putting it lightly - possibly. Theseus' letters definitely seemed inclined to agree with that assessment. It was a touch melodramatic if you asked him. It wasn't as if he could just stand back and watch as innocent creatures were attacked, poached or killed. Besides it was Theseus' idea for him to "explore the world and do what you love". And if that meant that he had to occasionally step outside the parameters of the law to ensure the safety of his creatures he was perfectly content with his decisions.

At the moment however, he was a tad bit concerned about the man glaring at him in the dark alley he'd just apparated them to.

It was a rather cramped space as well. That being said, it was still better than the cramped cabin he'd had to spend the last week on. He really didn't understand how muggles managed with such horrid transportation. He'd only just gotten off the ship a few hours ago. Since he had only brought a small suitcase with him on his journey, clearing customs had been much faster then he had expected and was making the most of the remaining daylight to explore the city. New York truly was a marvel, with its stacks of buildings and sky-touching towers. Unfortunately there appeared to be no wilderness to it whatsoever.

That was what Newt believed until he encountered the beautiful area in the center of the city. Central Park (how original) was the breath of fresh air he'd spent the last hour searching for. He'd placed his case on the ground next to him and sat beneath a lovely oak tree, taking in the sounds of the local fauna. The area was mostly empty with a few people scattered about allowing him to relax and close his eyes.

He had just begun to doze off when he felt Picket moving frantically inside his pocket. Opening his eyes he looked at the wide eyed man in front of him, a rolled-up newspaper held in his outstretched arm poised to strike. Taking in the situation with growing dread Newt deferred to his automatic reply whenever his creatures were placed in harms way, "He's not dangerous!"

The man paused looking at him with disbelief "You have a big freakin' green bug burying into your clothes an ya tellin' me its not dangerous?!"

"What? N-no he's just a bowt-" Newt quickly stopped himself from continuing. The mans appearance suggested he was a muggle and though he was adept at casting short-term memory charms he was quite tired and didn't think it a wise to attempt it in such a state. Therefore he went with his next option: Lie. "A bowt-le. I-it's a rare insect that I've been searching for. He's in my pocket because there's some vanilla inside. It attracts them you see"

The man stared at him for a while before his face morphed into one expressing disgust, as if him caring for Picket was a horrendous crime, before shaking his head and walking away muttering something about "Foreign nature freaks"

Used to the callous comments said during his school days, Newt brushed the comment aside. Deciding that it would be best to leave, Newt got up and dusted himself off before making sure Picket wasn't too shaken up. Seeing his bowtruckle safe and sound, Newt grabbed his suitcase and proceeded to leave the park idly looking around to avoid anyone nearby. In front there was a man in a trench-coat walking in his direction. Hunching his shoulders in order to make himself seem meek and uninteresting he lowered his gaze to the floor to avoid bringing anymore unwanted attention. He had a barely walked past the man, when he felt his elbow being grasped and pulled into the familiar tube that was accompanied by apparation.

Which is why he was now standing in a small, deserted alley with a glaring wizard. And it appeared that said wizards glare had intensified in the few seconds he'd taken to reorient himself. It almost felt as if he had encountered a wild hippogriff and completely disregarded the display of respect that would mandate his continued existence.

He was in the midst of contemplating whether bowing would actually help appease the man in some manner when he saw the glare shift from his face to his breast pocket and change from anger to bemusement.

"Is there a reason you have a bowtruckle in your pocket?". For a moment Newt was taken aback by the surprisingly pleasant voice speaking to him. He spent another moment in delighted surprise that the man knew what a bowtruckle was. And finally his brain registered that he was being spoken to and needed to provide a response.

"U-um yes. This is Picket... He has some, uh, attachment issues." He glanced down at said bowtruckle who was sticking his tongue at him.

Before he could scold Picket on his juvenile behavior the man spoke again, "Right. Regardless, you are aware that the owning of magical creatures is illegal right? Never mind the fact that you almost exposed a magical creature to a no-Maj"

Newt 's faced scrunched up in confusion, "A what?"

The man gave him a look of irritation "No-Maj? No magic? For Isolt's sake! The non-wizard!" Oh dear the death glare was back. Newt looked past the irate mans face to the wall behind "Oh, we call them muggles".

The death glare intensified (and for a second Newt wondered if this was what it would feel like to gaze at a basilisk) "Do you also break the statue of secrecy on a regular basis?! Because sitting in Central Park in broad daylight while talking to a bowtruckle is definitely risking exposure!"

The man, who Newt was starting to suspect was an auror, pinched his nose muttering about "moronic brits" before he looked at Newt again. "Anything you want to say?"

Newt avoided his gaze and muttered quietly "I apologize, I did not think it would be an issue since I told the muggle that Picket was a rare species of insect. He seemed to believe it well enough. After he left I saw that Picket would be a rather, um, odd sight and was preparing to leave. I believe that was when you apparated us to this alley."

It was rather silent after his confession and when Newt looked up, he saw that the man was still glaring at him. Curiously, the gaze appeared to lack the former animosity directed towards him. Rather they looked as if they were seeing through him, analyzing him and taking in all of him at once. Newt felt very flustered under such an intense gaze and was about to question the man when he was beaten to it.

"Whats your name?"

Newt stared at the man warily, but sensing only curious intent replied.

"Newt Scamander" and after some slight hesitation "A-and you are?"

His right eyebrow rose slightly and Newt noticed that without his death glare focused on you he was quite handsome. The mans lip twitched slightly, as if hearing him, and replied

"Percival Graves, Senior Auror for the DMLE."

Chapter Text

Percival Graves had a reputation. If he were to be honest he was quite proud of it. Percival was a Senior Auror for the MACUSA Department of Law Enforcement, and if rumors were to be believed he would soon be the youngest Head of the Auror Office at age 28. Percival was quite proud of his achievements. He had worked hard for his success and fought tooth and nail to overcome all the stereotypes and stigmas that he had heard since birth. Many assumed that as a descendant of one of the Original Twelve, Percival would be a spoiled pompous brat that all but demanded he be made an auror. As such he was often mocked by his co-workers or had a vast number of brown nosers trying to gain favor with him.

His counter was easy - a simple (if overpowered) knock-back jinx to the nose sent both types of moron running with their tails between their legs. The fact that he could to this wandlessly and non-verbally at such a young age only cemented the fact that he was not a man to be trifled with.

Yes, Percival had a reputation. He was strict, he was professional and above all: He did not. Have. Friends. He had even perfected the Grave Glare - a family secret that was able to infuse a slight terror inducing spell into his already intimidating gaze. His ancestor was said to be able to cause a man to spill his deepest secrets merely by blinking with the Glare in place. He did not tolerate incompetence and out of all his cases there were only two that were never able to be closed (he took solace in the fact that the investigations were over 10 years old and that none of his predecessors could solve them either).

In short, as most of the MACUSA could tell you, Percival Graves was a hardass.

That was not to say that he was a cruel man. Headstrong and temperamental maybe, but above all he was fair. He believed in the law and did his best to enforce it to the best of his ability. He was lenient as long as the individual acted in an acceptable manner.

A foreign wizard nearly exposing the wizarding world via tree guardian was not an acceptable act.

He had only left for some fresh air. Seraphina had still been acting too smug for his liking. So her presidential campaign was gaining more support than he originally thought, its not like he said she couldn't do it... Just that she wouldn't gain that much support until the end of the first quarter. Naturally she took that as a challenge and three weeks later she was leading in the polls... And taking 100 of Percival's hard earned dragots. He really should know better than to make bets with her by now. Even at Ilvermorny her reign over the betting pools was ironclad. The perks of being offered a place in every house, he supposed, was that all students felt that they had something in common with her. Meaning that she raked a hefty sum when her predictions came true. Damn woman's talent for arithmancy was scary.

So he had left MACUSA HQ for some fresh air to clear his head.

Wandering Central Park was soothing.

Finding a no-Maj screaming about big green bugs was less so.

Finding a no-Maj screaming at a man with a bowtruckle in his front pocket was enough for the Grave Glare to come out in full force.

Percival watched the man stutter about a 'rare species of insect' and withheld the urge to hex the moron. Who the hell would believe such an obvious lie. The bowtruckle had arms and three legs for Isolt's sake! And a very visible face! He'd be lucky if the no-Maj just -

Walked away.

...

...

He was actually leaving? He actually believed that pile of bullshit?!

Percival idly wondered how no-Majs could be brilliant enough to come up with mechanical transportation such as ships and automobiles but idiotic enough to accept a half-assed lie that said that a bowtruckle was a rare type of insect.

His attention returned to the foreigner (British judging by the accent) who had gotten up and appeared to be leaving. At least he seemed to understand the severity of the situation.

That did not mean however, that Percival was willing to let him go. He had ruined his soothing walk and nearly exposed a magical creature. He was going to put the Grave Glare to full use and make him pay. So with determined steps he walked towards the man and the moment he passed him he grabbed his elbow and apparated them to one of the hidden alleys reserved by aurors for dragging suspects.

Seeing that the man was not even remotely threatened by him made his glare go up a notch. Until movement made his gaze lower to his front pocket where a tiny green head was peeking out. He was admittedly curious as to why the man had a bowtruckle on him. It was well known by aurors that criminals used bowtruckles to pick locks when they wanted to avoid magical detection. Which begged the question of whether the man was a criminal or not?

So asking him why he had a bowtruckle was only logical.

Being told, after a slight pause, that said bowtruckle (Picket?) had attachment issues was unexpected.

And being asked what a no-Maj was, followed by "We call them muggles", was enough to make the Grave Glare reach a new level of intensity he didn't think could be reached.

Barely refraining from hexing the man, Percival decided to get the mans story. He expected denials, screams of misunderstandings or even the man fleeing.

What he didn't expect was honesty. He'd seen the entire scene and was prepared to call the man out on any lies. He didn't need to. The man freely admitted his fault without embellishment.

Percival was, to put it mildly, surprised. It was so rare these days to find someone capable of admitting fault.

Not many would go out of there way to protect a magical creature.

The man was kind.

Someone sincere and genuine.

For the first time Percival looked at the other wizard and really saw him.

He was tall, probably above 6ft considering his shoulders were lowered which made him seem smaller. He was lanky and wearing a long white shirt with a brown waistcoat over it, along with dark pants and a rather sturdy looking pair of boots. The dark blue overcoat however suited him the best. It complimented his eyes. His eyes that were a pretty shade of blue that drew you to him, like they were reassuring you that you could trust him. His face was framed by wavy reddish brown tousled hair. Percival wondered if they felt as wild as they looked. He lowered his gaze to try and stop that train of thought and looked to his nose and cheeks and -

Oh.

Percival stared.

Only years of perfect control prevented his blush from spreading.

Then realizing what he was doing looked up and asked the first thing he could think of.

Newt Scamander was how Percival learned that he had a very large attraction to freckles.

His own introduction was given on reflex. He thinks he may have even smiled. Percival may have been a bit distracted trying to count them all.

Seraphina could never find out about this.

Chapter Text

As it turns out, being accosted by Auror Graves was not the worst part of his day. After brief introductions were made he was politely but firmly told that intentional or not, he had still nearly broken the Statute of Secrecy. So here he was in front of a beautiful (intimidating) skyscraper, next to Auror Graves who was speaking to the doorman. Once they finished speaking the door was opened and Newt and Auror Graves walked inside.

He tried to stifle his gasp.

He wasn't successful.

The Ministry of Magic was incredible because of the sheer magnitude of space it encompassed. A wide floor that continued on and on with numerous witches and wizards bustling about or taking the lifts to lower floors. However, since it was underground it was rather dark and at times dreary. Light crystals hanging all over casting a glow of artificial luminescence.

The MACUSA was its antithesis.

Light streamed from the numerous windows lining the high walls of the building. An ethereal glow that illuminated everything with a golden radiance that spread warmth inside him. The building looked infinite, an expanse stretching above and below him, as if the building was endless. The sheer magnitude of enchantments that must have been used to create such a marvel must have taken decades to perfect.

It was breathtaking.

In in front of him appeared to be a large structure with four columns. Atop of each column was the statue of a phoenix - the detail on them was superb and he was happy to see that they were so accurate. Inside the structure at the center were more statues. He couldn't make out too much but it appeared to be witches holding hands with a child in the middle. The phoenix were all golden and appeared to be enchanted. Their gold faces seemed to see everything at once. One of their gazes seemed to pause on him for second, then Picket, before finally shifting its gaze to something next to him. Following its gaze he was startled to see Auror Graves watching him with an amused quirk to his lips.

Realizing that he had completely forgotten the mans presence, Newt ducked his head hoping that the auror would not see his rising blush. Luckily the aurors gaze was no longer focused on him as he seemed to be glaring at some of the other people around them. 'Better them then me' he thought. He felt decidedly pleased with himself when they dispersed after less than a second. At least he had managed to last for at least 5 before dropping his eyes to the floor.

Hoping to recover some semblance of dignity he decided to speak "S-so what exactly are you going to do to us"

Graves head snapped to him rather quickly and Newt inwardly cursed himself for bringing himself under Graves scrutiny again. Picket ducked back into his pocket, probably hoping to avoid being the focus of the glare.

"You're a foreign magical in America. One who nearly broke the statute. I need to go through your documentation and find out whether you should be allowed to stay in America, be deported or be arrested. So first stop: The Wand Permit Office"

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Watching people react to seeing the inside of MACUSA for the first time was always tedious for Percival. Yes its impressive. Yes its magical. Yes the phoenix really does have a permanent resting bitch face. You know what it also is: a colossal waste of his time. Whenever an auror trainee, or criminal, or even foreign agent entered the building they would always stare and gape like morons for an ungodly amount of time with Percival having to either glare at them, yank their cuff or politely (read tersely) remind them that he was still present.

He expected Scamander to stare at the statues and phoenix. He expected him to take everything in. He expected him to freeze and gape in wide eyed wonder and waste Graves time.

Watching Scamander's reaction was supposed to be the same.

It was not supposed to have Scamander tilt his gaze to the ceiling.

It was not supposed to have Scamander's exposed neck on full display.

It was not supposed to show Graves that the freckles spread down said exposed neck.

The blush he tried suppressing earlier came out in full force before he had time to stop it.

He vaguely heard surrounding people gasp, trip and point in his general direction.

Even the goddamn phoenix was staring at him with wide eyes.

There went his prized reputation.

He had only barely managed to will his blush away when Scamander turned his starstruck gaze towards him. Upon seeing his expression Graves felt his lip quirk in amusement without his consent.

When he heard more people gasp and (in some cases faint) he turned his Glare on them expressing exactly why he had a reputation in the first place.

They barely glanced at him before fleeing.

Slightly mollified he kept his Glare on the surrounding stragglers.

"S-so what exactly are you going to do to me"

Graves snapped his attention back to Scamander so fast he heard a click. Wincing slightly he played those words in his head a few times. Seeing the innocent face that the words had come from made Graves breath deeply before replying. Those words were not spoken with any, em, intent besides curiosity. He wasn't sure if he was relieved or disappointed.

At least he still had his reputation intact.

Mostly.

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The Wand Permit Office was a few levels below the main entrance. It was a bit dark and slightly cluttered, and there were a rather large amount of paper rats that were fighting each other but he'd seen worse on his travels.

A few people saw Graves and quickly fled the area muttering greetings to the intimidating auror.

A short man with a rather pompous air was bold enough to come close "Good day Mr. Graves, Sir!". Dear Merlin, the man even did a salute. Graves gave the man a dismissive look before saying "Abernappy"

"Oh. Uh, actually sir its Abernathy" was the embarrassed reply. "Right, well I'm a little busy now so if you don't mind..." Graves gestured vaguely for him to leave.

Once he left Graves faced him and asked "Do you have a wand permit Mr. Scamander?" Newt saw that Graves was holding a page and quill in hand and seemed to be making ticks on it.

"I applied for one in the post weeks ago in Haiti but never received a reply about the application" Theseus had even visited him in when he was in Haiti. There was a group of rogue wizards that had come to learn certain dark spells that were legal in the country. He had been on assignment and had followed the wizards to America before they made a detour to Haiti. He was a bit concerned that his (no-longer-a-)baby brother was in a country renown for its sacrificial rituals and dark arts. Newt had explained that he was traveling the tropics in hoping to find a lethifold. Upon being told what that was he was quite certain he heard Theseus mutter that he may have preferred him learning the dark spells.

Regardless, when Newt mentioned he was thinking of traveling to America Theseus leaped (literally) at the chance to have him leave. He had had extra forms on hand from when he was supposed to travel to America so he helped Newt fill them out a few days before he was supposed to leave (beforehand to ensure that they actually were completed).

Graves appeared to frown before waving his hand as a few sheets of paper came flying from various places. While he sorted through the various pages Newt couldn't help but stare at him with wide eyes. Picket was even staring with big eyes, looking like he wanted to jump on the flying pages. Wandless magic was a rare talent in of itself, but to be able to do it nonverbally was simply incredible. And to be able to control it so effortlessly at such a young age was even more so. Percival Graves was a scary man. Newt almost shivered at how easily he would have been subdued had he tried to run.

"Here we are. Wand permit for one..." At the pause Newt turned his attention back to Graves who was now looking at him with one eyebrow raised and lips twitching in barely suppressed amusement

"Newton..."

Oh no. Newts eyes widened in mortification.

"Artemis..."

Theseus was the reason he lost faith in humanity. How could he use his full name!!

"Fido..."

Maybe it wasn't too late to try and run away. Perhaps if he did he'd be stunned and could be saved from this.

"Scamander"

Graves was watching him with clear glee in his eyes, biting his lip to try contain his amusement.

Newt gave up on keeping any dignity and buried his face in his hands before muttering softly "I hate you Theseus". He could feel Pickets mirth without even having to glance down.

Thankfully Graves only chuckled lightly before saying "At least its not Abernathy"

Newt peaked up cautiously at him, but seeing no signs of mocking or jeering he offered him a small smile.

Graves gave him a small smirk in return.

Which promptly disappeared when a dark skinned woman with blonde curls walked in saying "So its true? You really can smile"

Chapter Text

Unlike the majority of students at Ilvermorny, Ansel Adams knew exactly what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. When his mother Alice (a renown journalist for the New York Ghost) bought him a camera for his 13th birthday, he knew then that he would follow in her footsteps and one day work at the Ghost as a photographer. As such he had become an opportunist and now at 17 he had learned that any moment could become an opportunity for him to further his dream. His father taking him to the MACUSA was one such opportunity.

His dad was still trying to persuade him to work here instead, but Ansel was said to be as stubborn as his mother for a reason and this seemed to be his fathers last card before he folded. So Ansel humored him and went in with an open mind. He had also brought his custom camera with him. He had once seen one of his mothers colleagues enchant their camera to print the photograph a few seconds after being captured. It took him a few cameras (and a lot of dragots) to get it working but he was happy with the result. He had even added a dispenser to the top filled with developing solution that would allow the camera to instantly print moving pictures. It was his baby.

The moment they entered the Woolworth building, Ansel could understand his dads love for the place. It was breathtaking.

His hands went straight to his camera and started clicking. The lobby. The central structure. The memorial of the Salem Witches. The lighting was perfect and -

His dad was blocking his lens with his hand. That's gonna cost you some points old man.

"No pictures inside" his dad was stern and... nervous? Ah, right he mentioned something about his colleague being a hardass once. Resigning himself to a boring tour, Ansel carefully hid the few photos he'd taken in his pocket.

His dad was staring at something behind him, so he moved to take a picture of the phoenix. He was determined get at least one last shot before putting his camera away. As he was doing so he heard a commotion behind him. Turning around, finger pulling the capture lever, Ansel recorded another opportunistic moment.

It really was just a case of right time, right place and an extreme amount of luck, no longer than 4 seconds at most.

The picture printed was of two men at the entrance - one was in a blue coat looking at the high walls in starstruck wonder, the other had a scarf and was blushing at the other man. Scarf started to smirk slightly when blue coat looked back at him. This was followed by blue coat blushing adorably and ducking his head. In an endless loop. The moment had been captured perfectly and he was close enough to even catch some of blue coats freckles. He was quite pleased.

Looking up he noticed that people were running away from the (admittedly) fierce Glare scarf was sending them. He started to worry that scarf would see his camera and try to arrest him (or worse destroy his baby!) when his head snapped back to blue coat with a loud click. Taking this chance, Ansel grabbed his still gaping father and fled the scene.

He was an opportunist after all.

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This was just not his day. The drastic loss of his reputation was disconcerting but he knew that he would put the fear of death back into the cretins by the end of the week.

He had even started to cheer up slightly when he discovered Newt's full name (and yeah he now knew why he chose Newt). It was still way better than Abernathy.

That cheer disappeared the moment a dark skinned witch with platinum blonde curls entered the room. Seraphina's face was just as carefully composed as it always was. But having known her for 16 years, Percival could detect the mirth in her eyes.

They glinted.

Fuck.

She was going to enjoy this far too much.

"Director Picquery, what can I do for you today?" His voice was monotone, save for the barest of pleadings, willing her to drop the matter.

Naturally the snake ignored him completely and turned to Scamander.

"Seraphina Picquery, Director of Magical Security" she raised an eyebrow in expectancy. Scamander gaped at her awkwardly and just when Percival was going hiss at him to introduce himself he seemed to gain his bearings and floundered (there was no real word for the arm-flapping tumble he did) his introduction to Percival's boss (and possibly only friend acquaintance). "N-newt Scamander, um, Director?" he stuttered out while avoiding her gaze.

"Please call me Seraphina, anyone that can get Percy here to show an expression besides broody, constipated, or Grave Glare deserves some form of recognition" she said. Her voice was sweet and pleasant, but her eyes were assessing, looking at Newt intensely as if taking him apart with her eyes.

"Thank you Director Seraphina... I think" he muttered the last part quietly but the both still heard. Seraphina smirked and Graves pinched his nose in aggravation. He was curious to note that Seraphina looked approving, of what he wasn't sure but the emotion was present nonetheless. Or it was until Picket popped his head out. "You have a bowtruckle" she said it questioningly, but was looking at Graves for an answer. He shook his head, knowing her long enough that she was asking if Newt was a criminal. She relaxed slightly but was still looking at him questioningly, asking 'then what are you doing with him?'

"Um yes, this is Picket. He has a few attachment issues. I found him in Colombia when I was traveling there. There were some muggles that were chopping trees and they cut his down. Poor fellow was the last of his branch, and I knew that the chances of him being accepted by another group was slim to none so I decided to bring him along with me on my travels. He's not dangerous I assure you!" Newt seemed to hastily add that part on at the end, but more impressively he managed to maintain eye contact with them without breaking away. His gaze was fierce and determined, daring them to argue with him. Confidence was a good look on him, Percival decided.

"Rest assured Mr. Scamander, we are well aware of the low threat levels of bowtruckles. We just wanted to make sure that you were not using... Picket, as a lock pick. I'm sure you understand why we wanted to confirm this, given that his name is literally Pick-It" Seraphina said this with a straight face but he swore that she smiled for a microsecond.

Seraphina made a joke.

What the fuck even?!

Scamander seemed to realize his rather odd name choice and had the decency to blush.

Graves couldn't help but chase that blush with his eyes, wondering just how far it spread. Did the freckles spread there as well?

A light coughing drew his attention back to Seraphina who was watching him with an intense expression. Percival blanked his face immediately but the damage was done. She looked at him for a few more seconds before looking closely at Newt searching for something.

Don't let her find it.

Don't let her find it!

Please for the love of God. Don't. Let. Her. Find. Them!

He heard a quick intake of breath and looked to see her staring at him. She had never needed to show more than a twitch for him to understand what she was feeling.

So the fact that Seraphina Picquery, ruthless Director of Magical Security, was openly smiling at him was more than enough to scare Percival. She was showing teeth and her eyes had taken an unholy shine.

He will deny to his dying breath that he whimpered.

"Mr Scamander - would you mind if I called you Newt?" without waiting for a reply she continued "Newt, since Percy here seems to be distracted, could you please tell me why a senior auror has personally accompanied you to the MACUSA?"

Percival was about to interject (he was not distracted, terrified was probably more accurate), when Newt replied "Oh, uh, I may have very nearly broken the Statute when a muggle tried to swat Picket in the park. Auror Graves witnessed the incident and, um, well he believed that it would be best for me to come here and, well, decide if I should be allowed to stay or not." He was looking at the ground when he spoke and made a rather pitiful sight.

Seraphina, however, seemed to lose whatever humor she had and snapped back to business in less time than it took to blink.

"Explain" she said looking straight at him, voice the epitome of professionalism. Ah, that was the Seraphina he knew. Hard working and damn good at what she does. She was meticulous about exposure and any implications they may have on the wizarding community. He just wished that that Seraphina wasn't so focused on Newt right now.

Percival explained the no-Maj's actions and Newt's lie to deter him. She appeared to calm down slightly at the explanation, and grudgingly said that an obliviation may have led to more problems given how open the park was. A straggler may have seen the obliviation. Besides there were some strange insects common to Central Park.

However, she still seemed wary of letting him remain in her city. "Both of you please follow me" and walked away clearly expecting them to follow her.

As they walked, Percival ignored the people whispering and pointing at them. Though he was puzzled about some of the more gossipy groups of witches. They seemed to be looking at something and giggling. Normally he wouldn't care, but considering they were stealing glances of him and Newt and going back to giggling he was a bit concerned. A feeling of dread spread in him, but before he could do anything about it, they reached Seraphina's office. Once she unlocked it they all stepped inside.

"Please take a seat Newt." Seraphina sat behind her desk while Newt took the one in front, his suitcase held tightly on his lap. Percival opted to remain standing.

"As the Director of M. Sec, I usually have my underlings take care of potential breaches of the statute. However, given the fact that your potential breach was rather circumstantial I'm willing to overlook it" she looked at him when she said this, and Percival thought that he may be missing something.

"But I require your complete honesty Newt. Can you agree to that?" she said seriously while looking him in the eyes. Newt seemed fidgety while looking at her, and eventually his shoulders slumped as if he were resigned to whatever happened. That was not a good sign.

"Yes Director, I can agree to be honest."

Seraphina nodded and continued, "Lets begin then"

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Seraphina Picquery was intimidating. She reminded Newt of Professor Merrythought in that they were both powerful witches that could take you down in less time than it took you to cast your first spell. Yet she was lithe and graceful, like a serpent encircling its prey before it struck. She also appeared to share Merrythought's rather unique humor that required wit and sarcastic barbs to make the recipient feel like an idiot. How did it never occur to him that someone may think he was using Picket as a lock picker. Well he did try to believe the best in people (except Theseus - he was a lost cause entirely) so the idea just never truly registered.

But that was dealing with the relaxed Seraphina. Right now, however, he was sitting in front of the very terrifying, very powerful Director of Magical Security, trying to disappear into the suitcase on his lap. If only it was bigger - he would definitely prefer staying inside it than dealing with people. He had already resigned himself to being arrested or deported. Hopefully they wouldn't ask anything too intense.

"Why are you in America?"

That wasn't a bad start he thought. If he could make them see that it was merely an education visit then perhaps he could stay. "I've been traveling for the past year and a half. Mainly to see the various different magical creatures around the world. I've recently come from Haiti where I was searching for a lethifold. My brother suggested I come to America next."

"You wouldn't have just come here without an idea of what to look for Newt. You were looking for a lethifold in Haiti, so what did you hope to find here?" the second question was said with more skepticism so Newt responded "W-well to be honest I came in search of your indigenous creatures: thunderbirds, um, wampi and perhaps even hidebehinds. Whilst in New York, however, I thought I'd visit Fleury's Fancy Fauna. They have the only breed of Appaloosa Puffskeins in the world."

Seraphina nodded but gave him a slightly concerned look "Aside from the puffskein, those creatures are quite dangerous. Are you a certified magizoologist trained to work with them?"

Newt paused before slowly answering "No, Director... I am not" Newt couldn't help but sigh at his admission. His dream since he was a child, since he first pet one of his mothers hippogriffs - and he could never do it. All because he wanted to protect a friend. A friend that abandoned him once she was accepted by others. After all Leta's family was one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight. Eventually her name would make people see that. It only took Newts near expulsion for her to realize that creatures were more trouble than they were worth.

"Why?" Newt looked at Percival in confusion. "Why aren't you a magizoologist or training to become one? You definitely seem to know enough about the various creatures to identify them and looking at Picket its clear to see you care for them. I don't get why someone with so much potential isn't making the using it"

Newt was stunned by the words of the handsome auror. He hadn't heard anyone compliment him so vehemently before. Picket seemed to perk up at his name and looked to be nodding along. It made a warm feeling spread in his chest. "I- uh, thank you, um Mr. Graves. But, well, um, Its not that I don't want to be one, its just that, well, no one back home was willing to take me on as an apprentice." It was still a bitter pill to swallow. Knowing that he wouldn't be taken seriously since his mother was a squib and his father was a muggle. The almost expulsion seemed to cement peoples opinion that he was just a half baked wizard - clearly not meant to be taken seriously and lucky to possess any magic at all.

"Why exactly is that Newt?" Picquery was looking at him like he was a puzzle she could solve if she was given a few more pieces. He was hesitant to tell them - he had never truly been able to open up to people. He didn't think they were going to arrest him anymore, so if he were to be deported it wouldn't matter in the end.

"That would probably be because I'm a muggleborn and was almost expelled from Hogwarts in 1913."

Chapter Text

Percival stared.

He honestly didn't know how to respond to that.

He knew enough about the British Wizarding Community to be aware of the high level of prejudice that was less common over here.

Pureblood, half-blood, no-Maj-born.

The latter was basically a guarantee to make you an outcast and heavily reduce your chances of obtaining a Ministry job. It was a sad practice but it wasn't his problem so he never dwelled on it. He had enough trouble with anti-no-Maj groups to really care.

America kept close tabs on any bouts of accidental magic. After Salem they had to keep magic completely hidden from the no-Maj world. The witch trials caused most settlers to return to their homelands and dissuaded magicals from entering America. As such the number of no-Maj-born was no more than 100 children each year if that. Which is why they had to be so careful when a no-Maj-born did emerge.

At first it was fine. No-Maj-born were rare and most of the time they would run away and be found by a wizard or witch. Twevletrees exposure and Rappaport's Law complicated things. Witch hunters and scourer descendants became more fanatical and children suppressed their magic out of fear, leading to obscurials.

Magical detection became more important and as soon as accidental magic was used an investigator was sent to monitor the child and determine three things: Was the child aware of their magic, Had anybody else seen their magic, and was the child safe to remain with their current family?

The first two were easy. The last was when the problems came in.

After the magical situation was established (and necessary obliviations were made) an auror and an obliviator would be sent to confront the parents of the no-Maj-born. They would explain the existence of magic (with demonstration) and inform them that their child possessed magic. It would go in one of three ways:

  1. The parents sit in stunned disbelief, process the fact that if they want to keep their child they can never breath a word of magic for the rest of their lives, receive an ID pass and sign a contract bewitched with a Double-cross charm that will inform MACUSA if they attempt to break the statute. If they break it, an obliviator is then dispatched to erase any memory of magic - including memories of the child. Percival likes this option the most.
  2. Parent A accepts magic while Parent B doesn't. Parent B is obliviated and Parent A receives custody of child. They receive an ID pass and sign a contract bewitched with a Double-cross charm that will inform MACUSA if they attempt to break the statute. If they break it, an obliviator is then dispatched to erase any memory of magic - including memories of the child. Percival found this option sad but acceptable.
  3. Denials are spoken, followed by outrage and fear, concluding with the child crying as their parents and neighborhood are obliviated of all traces of them. The child would then be sent to live with a magical family. Percival HATED this part of his job. It was always sad and depressing and ended in sleepless nights for him, picturing the child's teary face as they were taken from their home.

Unfortunately, option 3 was the most common. But as much as he hated it, it worked and there hadn't been many incidents like Salem or Twevletrees exposure since. He took that as a victory.

But while America had a better acceptance of no-Maj-born, Britain didn't seem to get the memo.

Staring at Newt - head down, resigned and defeated - made something in his chest ache.

He really wanted to bash a few prejudiced Brits in the face for reducing Newt to this.

"Could you please elaborate Newt" Seraphina's voice was reassuring and kind, but Percival could see it in her eyes - she was also upset by the current circumstances.

Newt took a breath before continuing "I began attending Hogwarts in 1908. I had never been much of a people person but I thought that at school I would meet some kindred spirits. It didn't go the way I hoped. I was sorted into Hufflepuff and for a time I was content. I was learning magic and had the company of my housemates so it wasn't all bad. I tended to stay in the background to avoid unneeded attention. It also helped that my brother was in Gryffindor, the most popular house, and rather protective of his little brother. But it was not meant to last. When he graduated the next year, the bullying started, followed by the isolation." Newton seemed to give an amused huff. "Hufflepuff was supposed to be the house of the loyal, yet not once was there an older student willing to stand up for me. As such I avoided the common room and spent most of my time on the grounds near the forest boundary interacting with the magical creatures"

Newts eyes seemed to gain some life as he spoke about the various creatures he'd interacted with - pixies, salamanders, nifflers and even a centaur foal. A blind man could see how much he loved them. It made it even sadder to think about how no one was willing to give him a chance to show it.

"I'd spend more time with them than any other student. Well except one student. She was just about the only friend I had" Newt continued "We were both outcasts so it was natural for us to gravitate to one another, and we both shared a love for creatures."

Percival felt a little annoyed by the wistful expression that took over Newts face when thinking about his friend. How close was he to this girl, that she could evoke such an expression just by being thought of. He wasn't quite able to hide the bite in his voice when he spoke "Your expulsion Scamander!"

Newt flinched and ducked his head, all happy traces of nostalgia gone.

Fuck.

Fuckfuckfuckfuck.

Why had he snapped like that?

Newt now looked like a kicked crup puppy whose only crime had been waving its forked tail too much.

He was a terrible human being.

And now Seraphina was giving him her Contain this and fix the situation Glare.

Fuck!

She only used that for serious exposure breaches. Had she really grown that fond of the Brit in such a short time?

Percival swallowed and prepared to do something he never did: apologize.

"I- uh. I'm sorry Newt. For um, snapping at you. I uh, get cranky when I don't..."

He looked at Seraphina for help but the witch merely raised an eyebrow.

"... Eat?"

Newt said it as a question but Percival was too horrified to respond so he merely nodded. Newt was looking up now and seemed to be nodding as if it made perfect sense "Yes, that makes sense. Some of the creatures I've cared for have been known to get testy when they haven't eaten anything."

Percival was torn between being offended at being compared to a beast and relieved that Newt was no longer looking like a kicked crup...

Newt shook his head and looked up at him "I'm sorry, I guess I have been dragging this out longer than necessary. I'll try to finish up quickly so that you can get something to eat" he finished saying and offered Percival a shy smile, his eyes looking up at him from under his fringe of auburn hair.

Percival Graves was a hardass. He knew it. MACUSA knew it. Hell, the majority of the East Coast knew it.

So why the ever loving fuck was a freckled unlicensed magizoologist capable of making him blush like some prepubescent schoolboy!!

Unable to stop it, he could do nothing but wrap his scarf higher and turn his head to the side to prevent Newt from seeing it.

Newt looked confused, but Seraphina spoke up.

"Please continue Newt"

She said it with far too much amusement for his liking.

He glowered.

₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪

"In 1913 there was an incident with a jarvey. It was the start of my sixth year at Hogwarts and nothing had really improved, and my time was always spent with creatures or Leta. One day Lila, the uh jarvey, got lost in the castle. She was understandably scared and running around. Leta and I split up to try and find her. She was on one of the upper levels and surrounded by a few students that - well let's just say that humans can be very cruel beings"

Newt was always a pacifist. He never enjoyed violence, and if he ever fought back it was always in the defense of someone else. Watching Lila get struck by diffindo's and stinging hexes and levitated towards a burning torch was enough to bring out his protective streak (mama bear mode as Theseus would say).

To say that the group of Slytherins were surprised would be an understatement. 

For the pariah of Hogwarts to willingly intervene. It was a definite anomaly. Unfortunately he had never been the most skilled dueler and had only managed to break one of their noises with a lucky flippendo before he was disarmed and at the mercy of the pissed off Slytherins.

"I tried to stop them but, well unsurprisingly I was easily subdued. Lila chose that moment to attack and she managed to give one of the boys a rather deep bite on their - um, in their arse."

Nearly being expelled was almost worth it, if it meant that he got to see Ferris Malfoy wobble around like a hinkypunk. And when he started being nicknamed Ferret Ferris, well that was just a bonus really.

He was happy to see that Graves was smirking at this and that the corner of Director Seraphina's lip twitched.

"Unfortunately the student that was bitten was from a very prominent pureblood family. The Malfoy's to be precise. They demanded the execution of the 'beast' that attacked their heir. As you can imagine, I was not going to let that happen. I went to the only teacher I knew of that would be willing to listen to me: my Transfiguration Professor, Albus Dumbledore. I begged him to protect Lila and he agreed."

What he omitted was that he and Dumbledore argued for over 3 hours about Lila's protection, him only focusing on Lila's well-being and Dumbledore only focusing on Newt's. Eventually Dumbledore conceded, only after reminding Newt that this decision would likely lead to his expulsion. Newt told him that he had understood that the moment he attacked the Slytherins.

"He contacted the Animal Welfare Department of the Ministry and informed them of the situation, and covertly allowed Lila to escape and be captured. Lila was rehoused in a sanctuary here I believe since jarveys are quite common in North America. She was another reason for my visit here" he continued.

"Your friend, Leta, she didn't help?" Director Seraphina asked.

"Leta was a ward of a renown pureblood family, the Lestrange's. She was an outcast in Slytherin but the family's reputation kept most of the bullies at bay. Our friendship wasn't common knowledge and it wouldn't have made much of a difference in the end."

He never mentioned that Lila was Leta's jarvey. He never mentioned that she lost her when she was attempting another experiment. He never mentioned how she came to him sobbing for him to help. He never mentioned that if it were discovered that the ward off the Lestrange's was responsible for the attack on the Malfoy heir, she would have been disowned. He never mentioned that he gave up his future, his dream, for a girl that would abandon him a year later.

Newt was loyal. It was why the sorting hat placed him in Hufflepuff. Even though it had been 6 years since her betrayal - he would keep Leta's secret.

He never mentioned any of it.

"How did you avoid expulsion?" Graves asked this time after what felt like forever.

"Professor Dumbledore argued on my behalf, saying that jarveys were docile unless provoked. He managed get the school board to allow me to provide memories of the incident using the Hogwarts pensieve. It clearly showed Lila's distress and that the Slytherins were not being 'viciously mauled' as they had first stated. In the end it was agreed that I would not be expelled, but I was banned from attending the Magical Beasts class and told that if I was ever seen with any creature besides an owl, a toad or a cat, I would be expelled - no questions asked."

It was an unfair sentence. He was allowed to remain at school, but his sanctuaries had been taken. He was avoided by the other students and the staff tended to watch him carefully in lessons - waiting for the troublemaker to act out. He only ever felt safe when with Dumbledore, Merrythought and Leporem, his charms Professor. It was a well thought out punishment by the Malfoy's.

Leta was the one who looked after his creatures when the ban was enforced. He wasn't sure if it was out of guilt, debt or their lost friendship, but he was still grateful.

"And that's it I suppose. I graduated in 1915 and spent a year after that trying to gain an apprenticeship as a magizoologist, but no one even gave me a second glance. It didn't help that I only had an OWL in Magical Beasts, since a NEWT level was required. The closest thing I managed was a caretaker at a menagerie in Diagon."

Newt avoided their gazes and looked down at his suitcase.

He waited in unbearable silence before one of them spoke.

"That was an unfair situation Newt. I'm sorry that it happened to you." The Directors voice had him snapping his head up at a frightening speed. Looking at her face he could only see sincerity. Percival was looking murderous but he was relived to see it wasn't directed at him. However, his infamous Glare seemed to be trying to burn the wall next to him. It made a warmth blossom in his chest that these strangers were sympathetic and even angry on his behalf.

"How long did you plan to stay in America?"

Looking back at Seraphina he replied "A-about three weeks, maybe a month?"

Seraphina nodded but before she could speak again he blurted out "A-are you going to deport me?"

Percival's gaze pinned him in place as soon as the words left his mouth, and scoffing he said "Of course not. You haven't done anything that would warrant that" He sent Seraphina a meaningful look.

She smirked before replying, "While you almost broke the statute you acted justly and prevented the need for memory charms. And while Percy here may have been acting like a thick-headed Neanderthal (HEY!), we both believe your reasons for visitation are genuine."

Her smile thinned as she said "However, that does not mean that I can willingly let an unlicensed magizoologist go out in search of dangerous creatures."

Newt deflated but nodded. He really did understand. He was about to thank her when she uttered the words that would give him a chance to one day regain his dream.

"Which is why I believe it would be best for you to accompany a research team heading to Connecticut, instead of rushing out on your own."

Chapter Text

Charles Fossey liked to think of himself as a fair man. He was strict and rigid but was always willing to listen to his employees - all 6 of them. Charles was the current Head of the Body for the Protection of Magical Species, a department whose sole purpose was to understand Magical Creatures and protect them from harm - both no-Maj and wizard alike. Unfortunately, no  one really cared about magical creatures nowadays so his department was rather understaffed. He often had squabbles with the DMLE about unnecessary brutality, but their crimes were often overlooked by the President. He honestly couldn't wait for Seraphina to demolish the polls when the elections came around. She definitely had his vote. And if he secretly kept his fingers crossed for someone to replace the DMLE head as well, well it was his business.

At the moment Charles was finalizing the details for the Connecticut expedition in a week's time before he headed home. He was still unsure of who to bring with him. Marcus was experienced but he had suffered nasty injury from a rogue sasquatch a few weeks ago and they needed speed and stamina for this trip. Theresa could work, but she could be rather impatient and might scare the creature off if they needed to wait it out. Everyone else was already assigned to an investigation or on leave. It was a rather hard choice to make.

A knock on his office door distracted him. Closing the planner with a huff he grunted out "Come in" while resigning himself to another late night.

He expected another smug auror coming to complain about one of his staff getting in the way of an investigation. Instead he got platinum curls and a focused gaze filled with determination.

His mind began thinking of scenarios that may have occurred. A breach? A loose creature among the no-Majs? Regardless, it was always best to be polite. Especially when dealing with the future Madam President. "Seraphina? How can I help you?"

"Charles, who are you taking with you on the Connecticut expedition?" Seraphina's voice was cool and collected despite asking such an out of the blue question.

Charles, for his part only blinked twice before replying "I haven't decided yet. Why do you want to know?"

Seraphina's eyes sharpened and if possible her determination tripled "I've found you an apprentice and I want you to take him with you on your trip"

Only 50 years of careful control and experience prevented him from gaping at her like a buffoon. "Excuse me?" The barest hint of incredulity escaped but Seraphina either didn't hear it or ignored it.

"I've found you an apprentice and I want you to take him with you on your trip" even though he was expecting it this time he still stared at her in disbelief. She met his gaze with her own calm one. Seeing that she was being serious, he took a moment to organize his thoughts.

Seraphina was already heavily in the lead in the polls so she had no reason to do any favours for anyone of importance. She couldn't be doing this as some form of publicity stunt since she was speaking to the Head of the BPMS which the majority of the population didn't care about. She was prideful and headstrong so she definitely wasn't being blackmailed (she was far to good to be caught doing anything anyway). Then would mean that she...

"You approve of him" she looked at him for a second before nodding.

Well wasn't this a surprise.

Seraphina had found someone that she believed to be deserving of an apprenticeship with him and, despite knowing that he hadn't taken on an apprentice in nearly 30 years, she had come to demand that he take them on. Seraphina's approval was almost as a rare as encountering a phoenix. To be able to gain the approval of the ruthless and terrifying Director of Magical Security and soon to Madam President...

"You have my attention" he crossed his arms and stared straight at her.

Seraphina smirked before pulling out a notebook and making her case.

₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪

Newt sat nervously in the corner booth of the wizards diner Percival had brought them to. It was short distance from the Woolworth Building that MACUSA was located at. The sunset outside had changed to dark shades of crimson that were gradually fading to black night. Newt alternated between looking at the menu, the outside and at Percival sitting opposite him. He sat stiffly and looked rather broody while sipping his coffee and reading the menu. Newt felt bad that Percival was basically ordered to babysit him. "I'm sorry about this. I'm sure there are many places you'd rather be" and with other people he thought sadly.

"Don't worry about it. This is just Seraphina's way of making me spend time with other people. Apparently contact with other humans is going to be a mandatory requirement by the Madam President."

Newt, who had just taken a sip of tea, promptly started to choke and stare wide eyed at the man seated opposite him. He fervently prayed that he had misheard that last part. "P-president?!!" Percival raised an eyebrow in confusion "Yeah? She's  running against the current president in the election. She's already leading the polls and the campaign only started a few weeks ago. Damn woman is terrifying." He muttered that last part but Newt was too busy panicking.

"P-Percival, please tell me that I, dear Merlin, please tell me that I did not just admit to the next president that I broke the statute of secrecy?!!" Sure he'd had transgressions with the law but never the leader of an entire nation!

Percival, the pillock, had the nerve to wave off his concerns "Nah, she dismissed it at the office so you should be safe from having any charges placed against you. Besides, I'm sure you don't need a reminder of scarily smart she is"

"I still can't believe she managed to figure everything out so easily. She probably thinks I'm such an idiot for letting it happen" it wasn't a new feeling for him, but he genuinely liked Seraphina and a small part of him still felt as though she were pitying him.

Newt felt a warm hand on top of his. Looking up he saw Percival staring at him solemnly. "Seraphina is a difficult woman. She is smart, powerful and terrifying and has no room for incompetency." Newt ducked his head at this. "So the fact that she is willing to go so far for you clearly shows that she thinks highly of you. Hell, I've known the woman for 16 years and she smiled more in the last hour with you than she ever has in all that time. So don't sell yourself short. You're definitely something special to be able to get the scariest woman in America to develop a soft spot for you." Newt stared at him and couldn't help but blush at the comment. He understood that Percival was just being nice but it still felt pleasant to have such a kind and handsome man call him special.

Percival seemed to realize what he had said and tried to stutter an excuse. Not wanting him to take back the comment and sudden happiness he was feeling, Newt interrupted him "Do you think my notebook will really be able to help?" 

Percival seemed relieved at the subject change and gave him his opinion, but Newt's mind was already replaying the earlier conversation in the office.


"Which is why I believe it would be best for you to accompany a research team heading to Connecticut, instead of rushing out on your own."

Newt stared at her, waiting for her to start laughing or to say that it was all a joke.

Seraphina's gaze never faltered.

"W-what? I-I don't understand" he was flustered and confused and so hopeful that it was dizzying.

"Do you want to know why I was made Director despite being so young?" Newt had no idea nor did he truly care, but he was too disoriented to do anything but nod. "Intuition. I have an uncanny ability to read a situation, assess it, and determine the various outcomes that will occur and which factors and variables will affect that outcome. Its made me damn good at handling my job." She took a breath before continuing "During your explanation, I noticed two things - first was that you never said that Lila was lost under your care" she paused and looked at him straight in the eye "because I don't believe she was yours to begin with"

Ice spread through him like a cold shock, as his most guarded secret was carefully unraveled. He sat in horror stuttering out a denial, but Seraphina spoke over him silencing his attempt.

"The second was that you were very vague when you mentioned Leta Lestrange, as if trying too hard to disregard her involvement. In your story, you would give details and explanations - Lilas attack an self defense, the meeting with Dumbledore and his testimony to rescind the expulsion, even the duel with the Slytherins and their injury. But Leta was given basic facts and then dismissed. I found it odd how someone you seemed close to would have no involvement, since she also searched for Lila. But more than that was your eyes - when you spoke about her they were wistful, but shone with pain; like an old wound that never healed." She gave him a meaningful look and he felt as if the air in his body had been stolen. "Following this train of thought led me to two conclusions: the first was that the incident was her fault and you took the fall for Leta Lestrange"

Newt could only stare in disbelief as she spoke. A distant part of him marveled at her analytical prowess. The greater majority shook in fear at how scarily easy it was for her to tear through a story that no one else had bothered to give a second thought to.

"and the second was that Leta Lestrange has since abandoned you"

He didn't even try to suppress the pained gasp that was practically punched out of him. He could only sit numbly as Seraphina got up from her desk and walked up to him. He hoped to avoid her gaze and prevent her from seeing the tears pooling there, but it was to no avail as he felt a hand gently hold his chin and tilt it up.

The brown orbs he met only showed kindness and sympathy.

Her voice was gentle as she spoke again.

"I meant what I said earlier. You were put in an unfair situation and have had to suffer dearly for it."

A broken sob escaped him as someone looked at him for the first time. Not as the dangerous troublemaker that attacked another student. Not as the 'lucky' creature lover that avoided expulsion.  But as Newt.

Seraphina's gaze was warm when she spoke "I want to help you, Newt." He looked at her directly this time and she continued "Not out of pity or charity, but because I see potential in you. Potential to do great things. Incredible things." Her eyes shone with conviction as she said "Fantastic things."

A tear spilled over and he said the only thing he could think of "Th-thank y-ou". It came out stuttered and garbled but Seraphina smiled at him so he was sure she understood.

"Me too." It was the first thing Percival had said since this emotional upheaval began. Looking at him he continued "I want to help you too."

Seeing the two people in front of him filled with so much conviction to help him made the ever-present knot in his chest loosen. For the first time in years he felt content.

"Thank you" he said it clearly this time, his voice only wobbling slightly.

Seraphina nodded with a small smile.

But Percival's reaction captivated him. It was the first time he'd seen the man truly smile. He'd seen his lip quirk or take on a bemused expression and even watched him smirk.

But seeing him smile, relaxed and openly for the first time, was magical. He thought that if he could wake to that smile everyday for the rest of his life he could take on anything the world had to throw at him.

He shook his head to dispel the feeling of longing he suddenly felt.

Seraphina spoke up then "I believe that will be all. I'm going to speak to a colleague about getting you on that trip."

She started walking to the door before pausing and turning back to him "Did you travel to many places before Haiti?"

Startled by the sudden question after his emotional upheaval, he took a few seconds to gain his bearings "Um, yes actually. I've been traveling the globe for the past two years searching and observing various magical creatures from afar." he had mainly researched their appearances, behavior, and - in a few fortunate instances - mating rituals.

"Do you have your research with you?"

Confused, Newt took out a notebook from an inner pocket in his coat. "Um, yes? I kept a record of all my notes in this journal"

"May I borrow it. I think it would hep convince them if they can see firsthand how capable you are"

Newt was hesitant to hand it over. It was everything he'd culminated since leaving home. It was his pride and he felt protective of it.

Seraphina seemed to understand and said gently "You can trust me. I promise that I will take care of it"

He replied instantly "I do trust you" and after saying it, realized that he truly meant it. So he handed his journal to her.

Before she left she turned back to look Percival  up and down and smirked saying "Take Newt with you for dinner Percy. After all we know how cranky you get when you don't eat" Her eyes held an air of mirth and Newt thought he might be missing something. Percival was Glaring at her now (was that the Grave Glare she mentioned earlier? It certainly was impressive).


"... to eat?"

 Snapping back to the present he heard Percival speaking "S-so sorry, could you repeat that?"

"What do you want to eat?" Percival was looking at him with amusement.

Switching from him to the irritated waitress, he asked "Um, what exactly would you recommend for vegetarians?" 

The waitress glowered but before she could say anything Percival spoke up "A grilled cheese with fries for him, and a house burger with fries for me. No onions, no pickles."

"You got it hon" she said and left, but not before giving Percival an exaggerated wink.

Newt felt irrationally happy when she left.

"Your teas gone cold" Looking back at Percival he admired how the man wandlessly re-heated his tea.

"Incredible" he breathed out.

"What, this? Its nothing special" he said casually. "Seraphina can do it too. So can a few of the other department heads."

"Yes but I imagine they are quite older, for you to be so capable at such a young age... You truly are amazing" he meant it to be a compliment, but judging by the red flush that went up his ears Percival seemed to take offense. Perhaps he didn't like being told he was young as it suggested inexperience. Of course he would muck up something as simple as a complement.

"S-sorry" he said looking down while blushing.

"Its fine" he said stiffly.

Just as the silence was starting to become awkward the waitress returned with their food.

"One house burger with fries, no onion, no pickle for the handsome auror" she gave him a wide smile and placed it gently in front of Percival.

"And a grilled cheese with fries for guest" she dropped it with a rather loud clang on the table. Picket, who had peaked his head out at the smell of the food, squeaked and hid once more. The harlot really was starting to annoy him.

He was happy to note that Percival seemed annoyed as well. "that will be all thank you"

She winked again before saying "Sure hon, and if you want I get off work at -"

"I'm busy" he replied and dismissed her without a glance. She seemed shocked at first until she turned and stomped away, while sending Newt one last look of fury.

Why on Earth was she glaring at him?

"He hungry too?" It took him a moment to understand that Percival was asking about Picket. "He is a bit peckish yes, but that can be sorted out rather quickly. Bowtruckles are partial to woodlice and other insects but are known to eat fairy eggs as well." Reaching over to his case he opened it and took out the jar of Pickets preferred food. "Luckily I have a few woodlice in here for him to enjoy" He put Picket on the seat next to him and let him enjoy his treat.

He noticed some of the other patron giving him odd looks, but one Glare from Percival had them turning away.

They sat in companionable silence while they ate their meals, the tension from earlier dissipating.

Once they finished and Percival paid (you haven't converted your galleons to dragots yet. Don't worry, I got it) they left.

As they were walking Percival spoke "So where exactly are you staying?"

"The Cosmopolitan Hotel. Theseus recommended it. He said that they cater for wizards and are relatively inexpensive."

Percival nodded "Good choice, its only about 5 minutes away from MACUSA too. I'll walk you back before I come back to the office."

Blushing Newt could only stutter out "Th-thats really not necessary Percival. You've already d-done so much for me and I could apparate and I'd hate to w-waste more of your time and -"

He was cut off when Percival chuckled "Hey, hey. I wouldn't have offered if I minded. Like I said, its only 5 minutes away. Its not a problem Newt"

Still blushing Newt uttered a weak "Okay" before they set off.

However, as they were reaching the second block, Percival stopped and took out a book that was glowing. Reading it his expression grew grim.

"Damn, I'm really sorry but an emergency's just come up. I need to head to central park"

"Of course, what exactly is going on?" Percival hesitated before replying. "Animal traffickers were busted earlier and a few of their creatures escaped in the chaos."

Creatures.

Creatures in danger.

Those words reverberated in his head.

"Take me with you." He looked Percival in the eye with as much conviction as he could muster.

Percival frowned and was most likely about to protest so he continued "There are magical creatures on the loose, most likely rare since they were being trafficked, and scared and confused in an unfamiliar environment." He breathed and continued "Take me with you Percival, I can help."

He stared at him for what felt like an eternity before finally sighing and grabbing his arm. As they disapparated Percival uttered four final words 

"Don't do anything stupid"

Chapter Text

Central Park was an area of approximately 843 acres. It was a huge urban park that was a fair distance from MACUSA HQ and would normally take the average no-Maj nearly an hour and a half to reach it.

Apparation truly was an amazing skill as it cut that time into less than a second.

Just in time for Newt and him to see a number of aurors flinging multi-colored lights at various creatures.

He could already feel a headache forming.

Next to him, Newt gasped before rushing forwards.

...Jumping in between an irate auror and a rat with tentacles on its back

...Deflecting a jinx from reaching said ugly tentacled-rat creature

...IGNORING his very clear instructions. He was sure that "Don't do anything stupid" was pretty straightforward.

And now auror McKenzie was taking aim at Newt, who was holding the rat-thing up by its tail.

This really was not his day.

"Hold your fire McKenzie!" he bellowed while running closer.

McKenzie stopped but kept his focus on Newt. At least he was slightly competent enough to know not to take his eyes off of a potential enemy.

"Hold your fire" he continued, "this is Newt Scamander. He's a magizoologist, here to assist us with the creatures." He technically was one, just without the license.

McKenzie flicked a glance at him before lowering his wand. " 'Bout time you got here Graves. These beasts have been rampagin' all over the place."

Percival couldn't help but give a grim nod at that. Looking around he knew that the fixers and obliviators would be working overtime to repair all the damage done to this area of the park.

He could see three aurors casting water charms on a group of red lizards that were hissing and spitting fire balls at them, a few large weasels running in the tress insulting the pursuing aurors, and what looked to be moving logs biting aurors on the ankles. Looking back to Newt he was surprised to now see him holding the rat-creature by the scruff of its neck, and pleading with it, while it thrashed around.

"I understand that you're scared and upset! You have every right to be, but I need you to calm down so that -" it's tail managed to smack him in the cheek and Percival was about to intervene when he saw Newt shake his head.

"You have a very strong swing you know. And normally, I'd allow you to release all that tension" it swung again, but Newt dodged and pushed on "but at the moment there are quite a few other creatures that need my help. So please." another swing, but Newt caught it this time before yelling "STOP!". The rat continued its agressive tirade and seeing this Newt sighed before letting go of the tail and pressing two fingers into the center of its tentacled growth, before he started to wiggle his fingers. The rats eyes widened and a squeak left its mouth before its movements ceased and it slumped, almost happily.

Percival was surprised by the spectacle, but he did a good job of hiding it. McKenzie however was looking irritated "If you were just gonna put it to sleep, why did you block my spell?"

Newt looked up at him after putting the creature down and said calmly "She is a murtlap. The tentacles on her back are resistant to low level jinxes and hexes so your spell would have had no affect except to aggravate her further. Furthermore a knockout jinx would have put her to 'sleep' by concussing her. I'd rather avoid brain damage when a simulated, erm, 'peak' could put her in more relaxed state."

Newt was giving McKenzie a hard look, but it was marred by the blush adorning his cheeks... and neck... and spreading down towards his -

Wait.

What?

Did he hear that correctly?

"simulated, peak, relaxed state."

Did Newt just -

"Did you just make it cum?!" McKenzie appeared to have come to the same conclusion, though he said it in a more crass way.

Newt looked away, his cheeks nearly matching his hair "A-an orgasm is, er, can be v-very disarming s-so I thought that - It was the l-least harmful way I could think t-to subdue her!" he stuttered out. McKenzie was looking disgusted and Percival had to admit that he was also feeling a bit ill at the idea.

But though he was felling nauseated on the inside, the outside only showed tempered steel - strong and unyielding. Before McKenzie could insult Newt he intervened, his voice cold as he spoke "There are still more creatures loose McKenzie, so instead of glaring at the assisting expert on magical creatures how about you go to the perimeter and prove that you can actually be useful at something! Keep the muggle-repelling wards up and do your damn job!"

McKenzie looked pissed at him but fled shortly after he Glared at him.

He heard a soft "thank you" but when he turned back Newt was already running towards the red lizards.

He let out a muffled curse before following.

₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪₪

Newt was horrified at the pandemonium before him. Salamanders being doused with water, dugbogs being levitated and flung about, and jarveys being fired at with stinging and cutting hexes like Lila was back at -

NO!

This was not right! He had to stop them. He had to save the creatures!

The murtlap was secure and the idiot auror was being sent away before he could get a chance to harm another one of the these innocent animals. He thanked Percival before running towards the salamanders.

How could the aurors cast water charms on them! Couldn't they see how distressed they were?!

"STOP!" he screamed while sprinting to them. He heard Percival yelling at him but he barely heard him as he ran between the aurors and six lizards on the ground. He lifted his wand and yelled a shield charm to protect the creatures behind him from the streams of water.

"Stop!" He repeated, wincing as some of the fireballs grazed his arms, legs and back. He resolutely ignored the flare of pain before continuing "Please! Stop dousing them with water! Its killing them!"

Two of the three looked at him with annoyance while the third seemed to pause and actually look at the scared lizards behind him.

Another fireball managed to hit him in the thigh and he couldn't hide his gasp of pain. He buckled slightly, and his shield flickered. The first wizard capitalized on it to send a strong bombarda to break it, while the third yelled at him to stop. He knew that the explosion would break through and probably send him and some debris flying back onto the small lizards behind him, so he moved forward to take the brunt of it.

It wasn't necessary.

He heard a voice yell "Protego Maxima!" and he was suddenly inside a small dome that deflected auror1's spell and the salamanders fireballs. Auror2 and auror3 were looking shocked at their colleague. Percival however looked apoplectic.

"What the fuck do you think you are doing Thompson!! Firing a spell at an ally is a class 2 offense! Never mind the fact that he's a civilian!" he snarled. Auror3 was also looking upset at auror1, Thompson?, while glancing from Newt to Percival to the salamanders.

Emboldened by the fact that Percival was here and that auror3 seemed more opened minded than the others he spoke "They're called salamanders, fire salamanders, to um, be precise. They require fire and warmth to survive. I don't know how long they've been out here for but if they've been removed from their birth fires for more than six hours they won't be able to survive! The water charms are preventing them from igniting and killing them faster!"

Auror2 and auror3 seemed to stop and consider this while Thompson actually had the audacity to snort "So if we keep watering the fuckers and leave 'em out here they'll die? Sounds good to me."

Newt was horrified that the man had the audacity to chuckle after saying such an abominable thing.

"L-leave them t-to d-die! LEAVE THEM TO DIE! Those are living, breathing creatures! H-ow can you just, just disregard that! Aren't you supposed to protect the innocent?! How can you dismiss the value of their lives so easily!!! As if they mean nothing! How can you be such a heartless bastard!"

Thompson snarled and raised his wand at Newt, ready to curse him, until he was stopped by a commanding voice "I'd think very carefully about your next actions Auror Thompson."

The area had been explicitly warm due to the salamanders flames and rekindling body heat.

Now it felt as if that heat was being eclipsed by an arctic fury, and the cold of the underworld was being shaped into a voice.

When he was with Seraphina earlier that day her voice had been soothing and beautiful to listen to, like a phoenix song seeped in honey. It gave him a feeling of warmth, similar to what he used to feel from his mother.

When he looked at her now he didn't see the kind woman that saw something in him. In her stead was the Director of Magical Security, glacial and ruthless, and looking at her like this told Newt that Percival was wrong. This was the most terrifying woman on the planet.

"Auror Thompson" her voice was a blade covered in black silk that silenced the area with less than a whisper "as Auror Graves has said, attacking an ally is a Class 2 offense. Reckless endangerment of a civilian, however, is a Class 3 offense."

Thompson seemed to pale the more she spoke while sweat pooled on his head.

Seraphina was merciless as she continued "While your first attack could be excused as ignorance since you did not know of Mr Scamander's identity nor involvement, you still chose to attack an unknown person. A person who was asking you to stop with valid reasons pertaining to your assignment."

She looked at Thompson with an expression of marble - strong, beautiful and expressionless. Like a statue incapable of emotion.

"Tell me Thompson, what was your assignment" her voice sent chills up his spine and he was pretty sure he saw the other men shiver as well.

"T-to capture a-and s-" he gulped "s-secure the ma-magical creatures th-that escaped, ma- mam" he stuttered out.

"Yes Auror Thompson. Secure and capture. I wasn't aware that that entailed killing helpless magical creatures and making them suffer. Instead it is actually a direct insubordination against the orders you were given, also a Class 3 offense." she looked him up and down with contempt before turning to look at the man next to her "What do you think Mr. Fossey?"

Looking next to her Newt saw a man, Mr. Fossey he presumed, whom he hadn't noticed before. He had yet to stop glaring at Thompson.

His voice was thunderous and seemed to vibrate with righteous fury when he spoke "Fire salamander's are a rare species given their short lifespans. Torturing them and allowing them to die after being told how to save them can be charged as both animal cruelty and herpicide. The ICW has decreed that such attacks are subject to incarceration for up to six months and as the as the Head of the BPMS I can see to it that you will be forced to pay a fine of ₯25 000."

Thompson was shaking now at the two imposing figures before him. Seraphina nodded before speaking again with finality "Return to HQ Mr. Thompson. Your services are no longer required here."

Thompson seemed to gather some fleeting semblance of bravery before it disappeared under Seraphina's unforgiving glare "You have two Class 3 offenses and one Class 2 offense, as well as charges against you for breaking International Decrees."

She didn't even glance at Thompson as she walked past him to stand before their protective dome. "Return to HQ Thompson. Now!"

A loud pop was heard as Thompson disapparated.

Fossey walked around them to stand before the distressed salamanders and pointed his wand. "Ebublio" he said and cast a spell Newt hadn't seen before. The spell was a purple fire-like light that surrounded the six salamanders and lifted them into the air in a transparent mid-sized bubble. Following this he waved his wand again and a blue fire appeared inside the bubble. The salamanders rushed towards the flames and before long, their crimson parlor began to return.

"Fire salamanders die if their birth fires go out, so if they're still here, it means that that their birth fires haven't been extinguished yet. The smugglers most likely kept it with them to keep them alive. It should be at their base." Fossey said. Seraphina nodded before looking at them.

"You may lower the shield Auror Graves. Please treat Mr. Scamander and continue assisting with the operation." nodding, Percival let the shield fall and began muttering healing spells on the burns on Newt's body. Seraphina looked at him then said "Please inform him of how to handle the creatures Mr. Scamander. You are not an official member of MACUSA and therefore should not have been brought here in the first place. As such you will remain here and recover." He was about to protest until she said in a voice that brooked no argument "Is that understood?"

Newt could only nod meekly and respond "Y-yes, Director Picquery".

Nodding she looked at Fossey "I'm going to check in with the obliviators, please handle everything here." Turning to the aurors she said "Please return to the smugglers warehouse and look for a burning magical fire?" She looked at Fossey for confirmation and when he nodded she continued "Keep it intact and bring it back here to Mr. Fossey." She departed without waiting for a response. The two aurors left shortly after.

Fossey however remained. He turned to Newt before speaking "That was quite stupid of you young man."

Newt looked up to see him leveling him with a blank face, but also curiosity.

"Yes, I suppose it was." He muttered "A conjured fire would have helped to calm them down somewhat." Fossey snorted while Percival said dryly "I think he meant jumping in front of hex-happy aurors and fire-spitting amphibians."

"Reptiles actually/ They're reptiles" He and Fossey spoke at the same time and he was leveled with an intrigued look by the other wizard. "U-unlike muggle salamanders, magical ones are actually reptiles, not amphibians." Newt continued looking away.

"Right..." Percival said after a moment while standing up "Well I think you'll be fine now. Maybe you should sit down though. There's a statue over there that you can rest at." Percival wrapped an arm around his shoulder and supported him as they hobbled together towards the statue, while Newt explained the other creatures he had seen and how to handle them safely. Fossey trailed behind for some reason. "Dugbogs look like logs and are quite territorial. They go for the ankles due to their short stature. Levitating them and not flinging them about will help contain and calm them and reduce injuries, for both parties. I suspect a bubble similar to the one used for the salamanders may also work?" He looked at Fossey for confirmation and was happy when the man gave a small smile and nodded.

"The jarveys will be more tricky. You remember Lila?" Percival nodded but Fossey looked confused. "They will be fast and agile and will stick to the trees or any holes in the ground for cover. They won't bite anyone unless it's a last resort."

They reached the statue and Newt saw that it was of two eagles with their talons in the goat below them. It was beautifully done, and the details were exemplary. Percival gently eased Newt down to sit down at its base, though he couldn't prevent a few winces at the pain the movement caused. "It'll still sting for a bit but it won't get an infection as long as you don't move and just stay here and Don't. Do. Anything. Stupid." He leveled him with his patented glare when he said this.

Newt blushed as Percival's earlier words came back to him, before nodding shyly.

Percival seemed satisfied and turned to leave. Remembering one last thing Newt called out "Oh! Jarveys also have a tendency to use short, and er, rather rude phrases that they've heard. S-so they may come across as antagonizing b-but they really don't know any better!" Percival was looking at him in amusement and even Fossey was chuckling. Embarrassed he finished "So, u-um don't take what they say personally. They're, er, rude to everyone?"

Percival shook his head and chuckled slightly before saying "Thanks. I'll try to keep that in mind" and leaving him and Fossey.

Fossey looked at him before turning to leave as well. He did say one last thing before that though.

"Mr Scamander" Newt looked up when he said this "after this is all over I'd very much like to speak to you about some things"

Newt was confused but answered anyway, "Oh, um, al-alright?" he wasn't sure what to say but Fossey nodded before leaving to assist the aurors. He was curious as to why he didn't depart immediately.

Newt was left by himself to hear the distant sounds of the aurors and creatures.

He was thinking about how to replicate the containment bubble that Fossey had produced and how useful it would be for containing other creatures in the future,  when he heard a nearby cry.

Looking up he heard the sound again, this time very much louder which meant that it was a lot closer.

He was able to tell that it was an avian screech and belonged to something very large.

And behind him.

Turning his head slowly so that he did not scare it into attacking, he peaked over his shoulder to look at the creature approaching his current location.

His eyes met great wings and lowered to lock with dark beady eagle eyes and a beak, sharp and deadly, that looked hard as steel.

Oh dear.

Percival was not going to be happy.

Chapter Text

Promising.

That was what he had decided upon seeing the lanky, auburn haired man easily grasp and non-lethally subdue the murtlap. He had either gotten first-hand experience or was a natural genius when dealing with magizoological situations. He knew the exact spot to put pressure on to put the murtlap into a post-coital slumber, not an easy feat since the one specific nerve that could cause such a reaction in the females was about the size of a button. He himself had only known because he had met some fishermen in Maine that bred them. The tentacles were a delicacy there so they had to keep supplies high. He had seen two of those fisherman struggle to even hold a single murtlap while a third had to (futilely) try to find that one specific spot.

Which meant that Scamander was either both naturally talented and lucky or had years of experience. Considering his age he suspected the former.

So Charles thought he was promising.

Rough around the edges but extremely promising.

As he walked away from the young man resting at the statute, he contemplated everything that had happened.


He felt disappointed in Seraphina as she told him about the boy and why he was exactly what he was looking for in an apprentice.

He had nearly been expelled, and only had an OWL in Magical Beasts. Severely unqualified for an apprenticeship and seemingly lacking any actual field interaction.

Oh she had plenty to say and show from his notebook. His research was definitely remarkable - his diagrams detailed, annotations neat and easy to understand, and his notes were perfection! The boy had hypothesized ideas and possibilities he - a magizoologist with close to 50 years of experience - had never even considered. But he had never actually interacted with them, only observed from afar.

And that wasn't enough. He had seen plenty of candidates over the years; all talented and promising (though Scamander's research level did exceed them all) and more than capable at being successful magizoologists. But all lacking what he was looking for.

So he let Seraphina talk, waiting for her to show him that the boy had what he was searching for. But after all these years, he had learned not to hope too hard for the impossible.

They had been discussing Scamander's application for nearly an hour when the threat-clock went off.

They both stood immediately and headed out. He had barely opened the door before the President and the Head of the DMLE entered. "Seraphina! It's terrible, you have to fix this! I can't have a breach like this on my record! Do you know the field day the press would have?!"

President Wilkins was an extremely diminutive man that was as selfish as he was short. Which was why only he could care more about himself than a potential breach of the statute of secrecy.

"Please calm down sir! I can personally vouch for my aurors and say that they will handle everything in no time"

Ah, and there was Everett with his nose up Wilkins ass like usual. The man was the most irritating person he had ever met. Even at school he was an unremarkable man who thought himself better than everyone else for doing nothing. He never gave Charles anything but grief and always tried to belittle him despite them both being Heads of Department.

Wonderful.

The two people he hated most at MACUSA in the same room.

With him.

AK him now.

Seraphina seemed to hear his thought as her lip curled. It lasted less than a microsecond as she flipped to business immediately.

"President Wilkins, Mr. Everett, what's the situation?" her voice left no room for excuses, blame, or scapegoats.

Everett stopped his brown nosing and looked at her before sighing "There was a raid at a warehouse on the Hudson. Smugglers." He spared him a contemptuous look when he said this, as if stopping smugglers was some chore that was beneath his aurors.

Charles ignored him as he felt his blood boil at the thought of all the confined, and most likely abused creatures. He truly couldn't fathom the cruelty of humans.

"What else?" she said impatiently. Seraphina's irritation was clear and Everett winced.

"During the battle, a few, erm, wayward spells hit the cages and set some of the creatures loose. Don't worry though, my aurors have lured them to Central Park and are taking care of the beasts as we speak." He sounded smug as he said this as if waiting for them to give him a pat on the back and congratulate him.

Charles wanted to hex his fat nose into his skull!

"I sincerely hope that by 'taking care' you mean that they are subduing the creatures with non-lethal force." He spat the words out with venom at the man. The fucker looked at him with contempt and Charles could feel his hand twitching for his wand.

Unfortunately (or luckily), Seraphina spoke before he could "These creatures are protected by our laws to ensure that no-Majs remain unaware of their existence Mr. Everett. As the Head of the Body for the Protection of Magical Species I'm sure you understand and can appreciate that Charles is only doing his job. And as the Director of Magical Security I agree that it would be easier to remove memories of creatures that can be dismissed as fantasy instead of trying to hide very vivid corpses from the no-Majs. Therefore. saving the creatures would help to resolve this faster. Don't you agree Mr. President?"

Wilkins, who was muttering in the armchair he was sinking into, looked up "You'll fix this situation?!"

"Yes, Mr. President. If I have your approval for this plan, I'm certain I can contain and fix the situation. I just need temporary control of Mr. Everett's aurors to do so." she said it with her usual monotone, but he could see the aggravation in her eyes at having to deal with such an incompetent man.

He was sure everyone, sans Everett and Wilkins himself, was waiting for her to win the election.

Everett spluttered and said "Now, wait just a second! You can't just ask for my aurors and order them around without my -"

"Control the whole department if you have to!" Wilkins interjected.

"- explicit approval! Which, you now, um have. Haha." Everett finished, chuckling forcefully, as his mood did a complete one-eighty to agree with the President. The man truly was pathetic.

"Thank you. May I have the Auror Journal so that I can inform the off-duty aurors that they are needed?" Everett grudgingly withdrew a black book from his jacket and gave it to her. Nodding, she said "I'll take my leave now." and started to walk to the door calling back for him "Come along Charles, your expertise will be needed."

He gave them both a microscopic nod before following her, eager to leave the imbeciles presence before he cursed them.

Thank the Lord for Seraphina.

He quickly sent two memo-mouse to Marcus and Theresa to ask them to assist with the situation.

Seraphina was writing in the black book when he joined her.

At his curious look she elaborated "All aurors have a similar book. Each page has the name of the auror you want to send a message to. They're linked together by the Protean Charm so that whatever is written appears in the other books and corresponding pages. This is the master book, so it can send a message to all the aurors at once. The linked journals glow and heat up when a change has been made."

Charles nodded and was impressed by the idea and the incredible charm work that must have been used to make it. He contemplated making one for his staff but dismissed it soon after. He didn't have nearly enough employees for it to be necessary.

Once she finished writing she said "There, I've informed the aurors not on the scene of the situation and notified the ones present that the creatures are now to be secured and captured" and put the book away.

"I've already used my own Department book to inform the fixers and obliviators of the breach so that we can start correcting it" she took a breath before muttering about extra paperwork.

He nodded and gave her a sympathetic look.

Paperwork truly was the scourge of administration.

Looking up again she took his arm and said "Let's go" and they disappeared with a pop.

They had arrived in time to watch a boy run in between auror McKenzie and the murtlap and deflect his spell from hitting.

Seraphina stilled at the sight and looking at her he was shocked to see her with an expression of open surprise for a second before it disappeared. Emptiness slammed down like a portcullis, hiding any sign of the openness that was previously there. McKenzie was now pointing his wand at the boy but auror Graves managed to intervene.

And seeing Seraphina's almost invisible relief for the unknown man caring for the murtlap made the dots connect.

"That's him then?" he knew the answer but asked for it anyway.

"Yes. That's Newton Scamander, your current apprentice." she sent a coy look at him as she said this.

He huffed at that "I haven't agreed to that"

"You will" she replied, not even phased.

He snorted. That wouldn't happen anytime soon.


That was what he had thought. Until Scamander showed why he was so special.


After securing the murtlap the boy sprinted to the aurors that were busy casting water onto -

Salamanders...

THOSE FUCKERS WERE KILLING THE FIRE SALAMANDERS UNDER TORRENTS OF WATER!

He barely registered that he was moving closer. Wand already out and ready to cast water repelling charms on the salamanders when Scamander jumped in between the two groups and cast a shielding charm to stop the streams of water.

And doing nothing about the fireballs that hit him.

And that.

That had been when his opinion on the boy - no, the young man - had started to change.

Charles had always loved nature. He had been offered a place in both Pukwudgie and Thunderbird at school - a healer or adventurer - but had chosen the gorgeous bird due to his love for animals and desire to seek other different species. He had excelled in Herbology and Magical Creatures the most, and succeeded in his chosen field because of how much he loved and cared for the beauties that most called 'beasts'.

It was why he had only ever taken on one apprentice in his life. He had seen a same love for animals in Diana that he himself possessed. She was caring and nurturing and grew to be someone he considered a daughter. It still hurt to think about her death after all this time.

And looking at Scamander as he stared at the aurors, ignoring the burns littered on his body to plead on behalf of the creatures behind him, he saw the same thing that he saw in her and in himself:

Heart and soul.

It was something he could never find in anyone no matter how hard he searched.

He'd seen ambition, avarice, and arrogance.

He'd seen kindness, intelligence and diligence.

But in nearly 30 years, he had never seen such a kindred spirit in a person as he did looking at Newt Scamander.

An indomitable will that stood strong even as a bombarda was sent towards him; a determination to protect the creatures at any cost.

He was willing to die for his conviction to protect.

Heart and soul.

Yes, he could definitely see himself taking Scamander as an apprentice.

He and Seraphina were heading toward the confrontation, she however had rage emanating off her person.

Getting closer they picked up parts of the scuffle including Graves tirade on the numerous offenses Auror Thompson had broken.

Scamander then started explaining how to save the salamanders while inside Graves protective dome.

He knew what he was talking about, that was good. It seemed he had studied for his NEWT but had unfortunately failed for some reason. That was fine, they could work on it and hopefully get him to test here instead of -

"So if we keep watering the fuckers and leave 'em out here they'll die? Sounds good to me."

Charles felt his wand spark dangerously in his hand at the idiots words. He HATED men like Thompson that disregarded any non-human form of life as if they were beneath them. If this kept up he knew that he would be stuck in disciplinary hearings about not hexing (deserving) aurors.

Scamander's voice was horrified and outraged as he spoke "L-leave them t-to d-die! LEAVE THEM TO DIE! Those are living, breathing creatures! H-ow can you just, just disregard that! Aren't you supposed to protect the innocent?! How can you dismiss the value of their lives so easily!!! As if they mean nothing! How can you be such a heartless bastard!?"

Charles was really starting to like him. Spirit, talent and intelligence were needed, but if you were just a pushover you would go nowhere. The verbal lashing Scamander gave just earned him a lot of points.

Seraphina's lashing, however, was a work of art. The woman was downright terrifying as she verbally reduced the moron to a stuttering mess before allowing Charles to give his own bout of revenge.

She was definitely getting something nice for Yule this year.


After that ordeal things calmed slightly.

He'd secured the salamanders and Seraphina had left after giving the aurors their instructions. He, however, had remained and given in to his curiosity so that he could gain more insight on Scamander.

He knew the creatures would be fine since he'd sent for Theresa and Marcus to assist.

And Scamander continued to impress him with both his knowledge and capability. Though he did seem to disregard his own safety in favor of the creature he was saving.

They'd have to work on that, he refused to let Diana's fate befall another.

He was impressed about his fast deduction of the Ebublio Charm and how he could use it. He was quick on his feet then, that would be beneficial.

As he walked away from the statue Scamander was resting under he marveled at the younger mans potential. But there was one thing he was still stumped on.

Scamander was talented, adaptable, smart, magically capable, and had a heart and soul strong enough to gain Charles favor.

So why hadn't he been snatched up yet?

The man was clearly more competent than most licensed magizoologists and bounds ahead of any apprentice he could think of. Even if he didn't possess a NEWT in Magical Creatures, a blind man could see his promise as a magizoologist.

Did something prevent him from going forward?

He couldn't fathom what, but he'd get the story eventually.

Regardless of what it was he was sure of one thing: he wanted Newton Scamander as his apprentice.

Seeing Seraphina's smug face would be a small sacrifice to pay.

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He had always been fond of hippogriffs.

His mother had been a liked breeder despite her status as a squib. The majority of the herd she looked after were often selected to be on the covers of many wizarding calender's and catalogues. It provided a generous income that allowed Theseus, his mother and him to live a comfortable lifestyle after his father died.

He first met them when Theseus had brought him to one of the fields in the back to observe from afar. It was an amazing sight to see and made him happy to know that his home held such exquisite and beautiful creatures. From then on, whenever he saw a hippogriff he always felt like a piece of himself was returning - like he was coming home. To his mothers smiles, and the days of being carried on Theseus' shoulders, and the loving hair ruffles that his father used to give him.

The creature before him evoked no such feeling which is why he knew immediately that what he was looking at was not in fact a hippogriff.

Turning slowly to face it he marveled at the creature before him.

The face was that of an eagles - amber eyes and a bright yellow beak that could shred him as if he were paper. Its head was covered in snow-white feathers with flecks of grey dispersed throughout it. Below that was the front legs - a pair of bright yellow eagle limbs with a beautiful, but deadly, set of four talons on each foot. The talons glinted like obsidian even through the hazy light of the darkened park. The feathers stopped above the legs and they tapered off into tawny hairs that stretched into a puffed out mane, and eventually sleeked into a dark beige fur that covered its rear body, large belly and pawed hind legs. At the back, a black tasseled tail was swinging quickly from side to side in an agitated manner.

It was its wings however that thoroughly captivated him. They were folded behind it and reached past the tail and he estimated them to be around 8 meters wide; a shimmering gold that glimmered in the darkness. The gold eagle-wings were coalesced into layers upon layers of feathers that shone like an aurous waterfall. It's majesty stole his breath.

A griffin.

He was actually looking at a real life griffin!

This was incredible!

She was incredible!

And majestic, and beautiful and pregnant and -

Pregnant.

PREGNANT!

Oh no. Oh dear! Oh Merlin's saggy bollocks!

What did he do!? He had no idea how to handle this! How did griffins give birth! Was it oviparous or viviparous? Did they require an open ground or a nest to lay an egg in? He was lucky that she hadn't gone into labor yet or he really would have freak-

An involuntary gasp left him.

He felt his blood freeze as he realized why the griffin hadn't been traded yet.

Griffins were a rare species that were mostly found in Greece. They were uncommon and their feathers and tails were prized commodities. So the fact that they hadn't traded her yet meant that they were keeping her for the baby.

A baby griffin that they could do anything they wanted with. Trade, train or even use as an endless supply of griffin feathers.

He nearly retched at the thought.

Humans truly were the most horrid creatures. To defile something as pure and precious as birth - the depravity was beyond words.

His gasp seemed to startle the griffin as she screeched at him, her wings flaring up in front of her as both a warning and display to make herself seem bigger.

Bollocks.

She was wary of him.

But curiously she kept shifting her gaze from him to something behind him.

Turning slightly he was confused to see no one behind him. Until he looked up.

She was staring at the statue.

Holy Hecate! She was eyeing the two eagle statues as potential threats!

Admittedly, they did cut quite an imposing figure. Their wings were outstretched in a pose that made them appear as though they were challenging her for dominance, so as an apex predator she was more than offended by the display.

She screeched again and reared on her hind legs with her wings stretched wide. She was preparing to attack and since he was closest he would likely be the first victim.

Double bollocks.

He needed to act quickly. Show that he wasn't a threat.

But how! How could he show her that he wasn't dangerous! Submission may work, but while lions worked with a/b/o dynamics, eagles had no such records. So that may not... work.

Wait.

Eagle.

She was part eagle!

Like a hippogriff!

If he followed the same etiquette, would that work?!

It was risky.

It was very risky, but he didn't want her to endure the birth alone and the aurors would no doubt take his demise as confirmation that she was a dangerous beast. He couldn't let that happen.

"In for a penny out for a pound."

It was something his father would say when he was stuck on whether to go forth with a decision or not.

Newt took a deep breath before making his decision.

Looking up he stared the griffin directly in her eye and waited for her to match his gaze. Once she did and lowered herself back to the ground, he gathered his confidence and bowed to her, never once breaking eye contact.

She stared at him for what felt like an eternity, but what couldn't have been more than a few seconds, before finally inclining her head in a shallow dip.

Relief flooded him in waves as she calmed down and  began to dismiss him as a threat. He took a tentative step forward while keeping her gaze locked to his.

He managed three more steps before Percival showed up and startled her.

Triple Bollocks.

Chapter Text

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.