Chapter 1: Normality
Percival stared down at the pile of paperwork that had accumulated on his desk with barely concealed disgust. He got up earlier than the rest of his department, and worked until later, and yet every day it seemed he finished with more to do than when he began. He sighed, and rubbed his forehead, glancing over a few of the newest files.
A mysterious explosion in a deserted warehouse - the No Maj authorities were blaming it on a gas leak. For all Percival knew, it might actually have been a gas leak. Regardless, no one had been hurt, and no one had seen anything, which put that at the bottom of the pile. A gang of wizards down by the docks had been linked to the illegal importing of animal parts. He read on for a little while. The Anubis Gang had been operating across America under the noses of the authorities, trading in dangerous parts of creatures. More worryingly, they had been linked to several seizures of living creatures.
Percival was only too aware of the chaos that a magical creature on the loose could inflict on the city. He penned a few quick notes, setting Fontaine and Garner to investigate further, then continued leafing through the pile.
Percival knew that he was lucky to have this. If someone had told him when he was in his second year of Ilvermorny that he would grow up to be the Director of Magical Security he would have laughed in their face and questioned their sanity. Now, no one would have doubted that he earned the role. He worked hard, and he had managed to massively improve the department's results.
His gaze was drawn by a note still in an envelope, headed by a very familiar hand. Theseus Scamander. He opened it curiously.
I do hope that this finds you well. Been rather busy at the moment with that charismatic bastard Grindelwald, he has the most dreadful habit of turning our own aurors against us. The Imperio curse helps of course. Percival smiled a little, able to almost hear his friend's sarcastic voice dripping through the words. Worried for dear Newt, you know what a trouble magnet he is. He's going off and travelling the world in the hope of finding new creatures and the like. He's been given a vast quantity of money by some alpha editor who thought that they were wooing a cute wide eyed omega, and who was too embarrassed to ask for the money back when they realised their mistake. You know how it is.
Percival frowned at the paper, hoping that Theseus wasn't biting off more than he could manage with the Grindelwald situation. Theseus was one of Percival's two true friends, and therefore one of the only two people in the world who knew Percival's secret. Unlike Picquery, Percival had chosen to tell Theseus when he found out that they would be sharing a room in the field. He'd held up his bottle of tablets, gazed into Theseus's eyes, and told him that if he so much as touched the bottle Percival would murder him.
Percival had been braced for anger, for laughter, for cruelty. What he wasn't expecting was for Theseus to nod his acceptance and not mention it any more until Graves was badly injured. He'd been lying in a hospital wing, hoping he could escape before the suppressing residue in his blood faded, when Theseus dropped by. He had smirked and held out the bottle.
"I touched it. Don't kill me?"
"I won’t kill you." He'd agreed. When he was better, they didn't speak of it, until one day when Theseus walked over and sat with him. Percival had instantly been on the alert in case he was attacked. Instead, Theseus smiled at him a little.
"Must be pretty lonely, getting stuck with the wrong body." Theseus had muttered.
"I cope." Percival answered, and the matter had been settled.
Percival rubbed his eyes and tried to focus on the paperwork. The reply to Theseus's letter could wait. For now he had work to do, and even if it was inconvenient he was very aware of how lucky he was to get the chance to do it. An omega heading any department, let alone the aurors, was unheard of. Everyone knew that aurors were tough, macho, violent - everything omegas were not. Percival knew that working as an auror wasn't a job omegas were suited for.
But Percival was an alpha, and the job suited him just fine. The messed up body he had been saddled with didn't change what he was and what he could do, and the pills stopped his body from doing anything additional that it shouldn't do. He trained physically so he would have the muscle mass that came naturally to alphas, and he was skilled with combat spells. He rubbed a calloused hand across his face and turned his attention back to the pile of reports. He paused, noticing Goldstein's handwriting on one page. Another report on the Second Salemers, setting out why MACUSA needed to take an interest. Goldstein was softhearted and would make a fine auror one day. Not yet though. He sighed, and looked up as a knock sounded on his door.
"Come in?" He called out, and it was pushed open to reveal the only other person working this late. Seraphina Picquery. Momentarily freed from the expectation of her role, she looked exhausted. She walked to his desk, leaning against it, and he called a chair over for her to collapse into with a wave of his hand, before pulling out a bottle of firewhiskey and pouring two glasses. He handed it over, and gazed into her eyes.
"You look like shit."
She smiled slightly at that.
"I am still your boss." She muttered, taking her glass and clinking it against his own. He knew how hard it was for her to spend her days surrounded by sycophantic yes men. The least he could do was tell her the truth.
"You are my boss. And you look like shit."
"Tina's still staying with her sister. She's not answering any of my firecalls, won't even meet with me." Seraphina explained.
"No wonder you look shit." Percival said, half teasing and half sympathetic. For Seraphina, being an alpha woman of mixed race had been hard, but falling for another female alpha had sent shock waves through the magical world. Just as the rumours about them had calmed down, the Second Salem incident had occurred, and the rumours had started up again. He glanced down at the report, frowning when he saw it was dated the third of September. Tina had written the report yesterday, and even though she wasn't an auror anymore had given it to him. He had to admire her bravery at least.
Seraphina drained her glass and held it out for a refill which he quickly provided.
"Thanks." She muttered, gulping down the liquid. "I don't... know what to say. I stand by what I did. She nearly exposed all of us. I can't be seen as going lightly on her just because... because I love her..." Seraphina muttered. "You're lucky you're single."
Percival arched an eyebrow, but didn't argue with her. He just kept the drink topped up.
"She'll calm down. She's a hothead, but she's got a good heart. She loves you too much to hate you."
"She's just... she wants us to help those No Maj kids and we can't..." Seraphina murmured. This wasn't the first time they'd had the conversation over the past week or two, but he couldn't blame her. It was hitting her hard.
"Rappaport's law keeps us safe. If we start interfering with the No Maj groups, we’ll get found out." He agreed, sighing. "She'll calm down. Just give her some time." He smiled at her and pointed at the paperwork.
"I think it's breeding."
She laughed a little, and nodded.
"Sorry, you were trying to work and I just wander in-"
"You are always welcome here 'Phina." Percival reassured her. "Just maybe get someone researching whether or not the paper has started to reproduce."
She nodded, staring at her glass. He was quiet, seeing how she had grown - remembering the young girl he had met as he arrived at Ilvermorny. She had been confident, even when the other children called her names. All four houses had wanted her, and Percival had known then that she was the kind of person he needed to stay close to. They'd been close friends since that first day.
Even at school, he'd managed to convince everyone that he was an alpha. The school's healer had provided him with his first suppressants with a sympathetic smile, and aside from the packet delivered every month nothing changed. He was an alpha. Seraphina had found out about his biology during a potions class. They were in the alpha class, focused on potions for combat and work while the omegas learned potions to heal.
Professor Infico was an alpha of the worst sort. He knew what he was doing, was skilled at potions, but he was also convinced that alphas were superior in every way. Therefore, while he taught the alpha students, he refused to work with the omegas. But he was the most knowledgeable teacher. It had been towards the end of term in their fifth year when he brought out a glowing blue potion.
"This is the Aestus potion. Now, I know a lot of you are going to go on to be aurors, who can tell me what this does?"
Percival had known. Percival's heart had started to race as he stared at that small blue potion which had the potential to ruin him. It was Grimsditch who answered in a bored drawl.
"Puts omegas into heat. And makes them immune to suppressants."
The bottle had been passed around as Infico rambled on about the production and the effects, about how heats impacted omegas, about why it would be something aurors might need to recognise. As the vial reached him, Percival's hands shook, and Seraphina reached over to take it from him, shooting him a concerned look.
"Sir, I feel sick. Can Graves take me to the medical wing?"
With permission granted, Seraphina had got him out of sight of the others before he had started to panic, his heart racing. She squeezed his hand, looked into his eyes and nodded.
"You're still my best friend."
He'd been worried things would be different afterwards. They weren't. They didn’t talk about it. Seraphina had never treated him any differently, and they would flirt with other omegas. It had been a couple of weeks later that she had taken him aside to admit her own secret - that she liked alphas as well as omegas. Each knowing the other's secret, life went on.
His parents were disgusted by him - they would have been pleased with an alpha son, and would have tolerated an omega, but what he was infuriated them. The only kindness they gave to him was that they backed up his story that they had thrown him out after he had taken an omega they disapproved of, and left him in the will. He had slept on Seraphina's couch through his auror training, and then one day he'd been able to get his own place. A few years later he’d inherited Graves manor, but had chosen instead to live in the city, near his work. He'd done well.
There was a small part of him that was relieved when he heard the school's healer had died. He had been kind, had never made a comment. But with his death, the people who knew Percival's secret were down to two, and neither of them would tell. He could pursue promotions without worrying about being found out. He shook his head, focusing.
"Any interesting cases?"
"Nothing spectacular. Sounds like Europe is having a few issues with dark wizards."
"And the Salemites?"
"They know more than they should, but enough of their information is false that we don't need to fear them." Percival answered. "I'm keeping an eye. Goldstein is still trying to investigate, I'll get Abernathy to have a word with her."
Seraphina nodded, and jumped as the clock started to chime out eleven o'clock.
"I... should go home. I've got a meeting with the Ghost in the morning."
"Goodnight 'Phina. I'll see you in the morning."
"Goodnight." She apparated away.
Percival stared at the desk for a few moments, aware that he’d had more to drink than he should. Rather than risking drunken apparating - something he avoided since the war when he had managed to leave a chunk of hair behind - he walked across town to his house. The wards were up, and he parted them easily before repairing them. He made his way up to his bed, changing his clothes with a wave of his hands, and collapsed down into bed. His mind was racing with thoughts about cases, regretting the loss of Goldstein from his team.
He was just drifting off to sleep when he heard the door unlock.
Chapter 2: Adventure
"Mummy's home!" Newt's voice rang out loud and clear as he pushed open the door to Theseus's apartment. Theseus glanced down at the pile of paperwork on his desk, then at the large hippogriff chick which had been left on some space he had cleared, in a basket filled with Newt's clothing - 'the smell will help her feel safe Theece'. Theseus had joked with him about it being an excuse for Newt to get his smelly socks all over Theseus's desk.
"This is your fault you know." He told Mayari. She squawked in response. Newt had named her after some goddess of the moon and beauty. Which to Theseus seemed a little odd.
Theseus was no expert on hippogriffs, but growing up with his mother (and with Newt) had meant that he still knew more about them than your average man on the street. And that information was enough to be fairly sure that Mayari was not a pretty hippogriff. Her feathers stuck up strangely, she was underweight, and when she had first been found she had been infested with mange, which had meant she had lost a lot of the down that young hippogriffs were covered with.
Not that Newt seemed to care about any of that. He doted on the creature, feeding her mashed up worms every hour. Aside from when Newt had to go to an important meeting which he wouldn't tell Theseus about, one where hippogriffs would most certainly not be welcome, and then 'Theece it'll only be for a few hours' and 'I really can't leave her on her own' and 'you're taking the day off'. The problem was that Theseus couldn't actually deny his baby brother anything. Not when Newt asked quite so desperately. So he had been left with the scruffiest hippogriff chick he had ever seen.
If Theseus was honest with himself, he hadn't minded it all that much. Mayari was cute in an ugly sort of way, and there was no way Theseus could ignore that Newt always did best when he had something to care for. Newt walked in and picked Mayari up, patting her beak. He pulled a chunk of raw meat from a paper bag, handing it over to the chick and rubbing his fingers over her head, the way a mother hippogriff would groom her child's feathers.
"Look, I didn't kill her!" He pointed out. Newt nodded.
"Never thought you would." He smiled. "You care about her Theece, I know that."
"Course I do." Theseus answered. "You heard from mother yet?"
"She's found space in the herd. Artemis would probably get on well with another chick, once she's got a little bigger and healthier." Newt answered. "She's already making a start on getting Artemis accustomed to the idea, has put a fake nest down, and apparently it's ...it's positive. She's a good mum." He sighed a little, brushing his fingers over Mayari's head.
Mayari was a hippogriff. She belonged with her own kind. But he'd make the most of the time he had to care for her.
Theseus nodded, holding out a bottle. Newt shook his head, and Theseus stood up from his desk, walking over to Newt and wrapping his arms around his shoulders.
"You want me to come with you when you say goodbye?" Theseus offered. Newt nodded. It was silly really. When he was younger, he'd been stupid. He'd known he wanted a child, wanted to be a mother. When his own alpha body wouldn't have allowed him to do that, he had tried to mess around with it.
Leta had been the only one at school who had been willing to give him the time of day. She was an alpha, and she could have had her pick of omegas. But she'd been interested in Newt, told him that there was a spell that they could do to let him be an omega. That way he would get the child he wanted, and she could do what she wanted with him. They'd even decided on names - Rodolphus for a boy, Lacenta for a girl. Leta would never hurt the children.
Newt hadn't particularly wanted to be an omega. He hadn't wanted to be a woman either. He was an alpha male, and he was attracted to men. It was just that he wanted to have a child, to be a mother. The irony of it was, the potions she had made him drink and spells she had pushed on his developing body - they hadn't made him an omega. But they'd taken enough of his alpha biology from him to make him infertile. He could knot, but he couldn't father a child, let alone carry one.
He was an alpha. His face was a little delicate, his body a little slender, but he was an alpha, and no children would be coming. Just a succession of rescued creatures. Mayari was just the most recent of dozens of little lives - she had been rescued from a crate where she had been hatched. She had been underfed, sick. He had thought that he would lose her. But she was strong, and one day she would be able to stay with a herd.
Theseus knew. Theseus knew, and their parents knew, because Newt had been trapped in the hospital wing for two months after the Ravenclaw quidditch team had found him collapsed in one of the equipment sheds. They had never blamed him, understood. They had spoken to Hogwarts, got Newt permission to keep a kitten. It had given him something to focus on, and the little creature had grown stronger with his care.
All that had been for naught though, when he and Leta had got into more trouble. He'd been young, frightened. He'd still been grateful for her trying to help him. He'd taken all the blame, and the punishment for it. And Leta had married an omega boy, and he was alone. Alone, but after the meeting he had options now.
Theseus tapped Newt on the shoulder.
"Off with the fairies again?"
"Just thinking." Newt sighed, then turned to the paperwork. "The ministry overworking you again?"
"Don't they always?" Theseus sighed, flicking through the files.
"Anything interesting?" Newt asked.
"Some genocidal wizard that wants to get rid of all muggles has been causing chaos." Theseus answered. "I've been put in charge of investigating him. Bit of an incident last week, he caused one of our younger aurors to attack everyone under the imperio curse. They're okay, just a bit shaken up."
Newt nodded. Listening to Theseus talk always calmed him in a way. It felt safe, with his brother there, talking to him the way he always had. He still couldn't believe the brother who used to steal his diaries had grown up into the head of the British aurors. Theseus was remarkable. But the smile was still the same.
"Now, other than that, well, in terms of what might interest you..." Theseus dug through the files, and pulled out a couple of sheets of paper. "Anubis Gang, international smugglers."
"Anubis as in... God of the dead?"
"The one with the dog head, yes." Theseus agreed. "They've been working mostly in America, but they've been in Europe a little as well." He explained. Newt always found it easier to understand when Theseus talked about creatures. "Animal parts and living creatures. Not been taking care of them either by the looks of it."
"You're working with the Americans on this?" Newt asked, and Theseus nodded.
"Course I am Newt. You've done bloody brilliant, advocating for those creatures of yours, and people are listening. You are making progress."
"You just don't want smuggling going on." Newt pointed out. He'd heard about smuggling focused on Egypt, but was unsure as to whether that was linked. Now though, he knew he would be able to do his own research.
"A little." Theseus agreed. "But we care about the creatures too. Especially me. Don't you go telling my aurors this, but I care about them. Don't think anyone could talk to you and not care Newt."
Newt smiled shyly. Theseus hugged him for a moment.
"Percy's a good friend. He's looking into it for me. Sharing information internationally and all that stuff."
"They still sticking to their creatures ban?"
"Of course. They're stuck in their ways, we've talked about that." Theseus teased, and Newt nodded. He'd learned Theseus's opinions about the American segregation laws years ago.
Newt felt a bit safer with Theseus on his side. He always felt better with Theseus there. He was pretty sure Theseus knew that. But he couldn't stay with Theseus forever. Couldn't let himself remain a child, even when thoughts of being an adult threatened to overwhelm him. The work he had been doing with the ministry - House Elf Relocation and the like, was important. But it was a step down from what he had done in the war. He'd been helping creatures in need then, and now there was a chance to do the same.
Newt was never frightened with creatures; never afraid as he stared down a fire breathing dragon. It was only humans that unsettled him. What he had got from the meeting today gave him a chance to see the creatures he cared about.
He cradled Mayari to his chest.
"Yeah?" His brother asked, looking up at him.
"After she gets healthy enough to get back to the herd... I want to travel."
A surprised look passed across Theseus's face,but he nodded.
"Where are you travelling?"
"I want to explore." Newt answered. "The meeting today. It was with a man called Augustus Worme. He's ... he's a publisher. And he wants to pay for me to find new kinds of creatures. To write a book on it. A book about them, with how I see them. Not as monsters. But as creatures, magical creatures that we share our world with..."
Theseus laughed, and embraced Newt tightly, laughing.
"He does know you aren't interested right?" He teased. There had been a few alphas before, sniffing around his brother and then backing away when they realised the young man wasn't an omega.
"He does now." Newt smiled. "He wasn't ... he hoped, to start with. But I let him down, and he still thinks the book is worth investing in."
"You told mother and father?"
"Not yet. Not until Mayari is settled in with her herd."
"And when she is? Where are you going?"
"I want to go everywhere." Newt smiled. "I want to see all the creatures..." He paused. "Remember the plan I told you about a suitcase? A kind of place that could be a haven for all kinds of creatures? I'm going to make it. I'm going to make it, and I am going to study them within it."
"You can't just go everywhere Newt." Theseus pointed out, pulling a map out from a drawer and spreading it out in front of him. "You need a plan. Where do you want to start?"
"I've heard rumours of smuggling from Egypt, and with the Anubis gang - well, maybe that's a place to start?"
Chapter 3: Attack
Please heed the fic's tags for this chapter - if you need more information take a look at the note at the bottom.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Percival sat up in his bed. In an instant he felt awake, and his hand reached out, summoning his wand to his hand. It shook a little in his grip - the firewhiskey he had shared with Seraphina was still circulating through his blood. He tried to untangle himself from his sheets as the bedroom door pushed open.
There was a man standing there, barely visible in the dark of the room. The scent was undeniably alpha, stronger than the fabricated scent Percival created with potions and suppressants. His hair was pale, his gaze staring from the shadows, and Percival lashed out with a spell. The man raised his hand, pushing the spell away with a flick of his wrist. He made the movement look effortless.
"I do hope this isn't all you can do Director. I've heard a number of people say that you are skilled. Don't let it all be a disappointment, I was rather looking forwards to this."
The accent was European, his eyes angry, cold. He was chilling, and Percival tried to use his monologuing as a distraction, sending a barrage of spells his way.
He couldn't be sure if it was the alcohol in his system that was slowing him down, or if the other wizard was just that powerful. He felt himself pressed back against the wall behind the bed, his body thrown around like a leaf in the wind. His head was thrown back, slammed into the wall, and he felt dizzy. It slammed again, and the world went dark. He screamed, trying to fight it, but his consciousness slipped away.
As he woke, he became aware of a pounding headache. For a moment he thought of Seraphina, and the discussion about her crush. He didn't think he'd had that much the previous night. He tried to move, and felt pain shoot down both arms. He cracked his eyes open, to find that he had been chained to the radiator in his kitchen. He gazed towards the knife rack, trying to summon one of the blades towards himself. If he could arm himself, he would be able to fight whoever he was faced with. It didn't move. Didn't even rattle. As a child, he would have been able to move this. Now, there was nothing at all. Only a worsening of the pain in his arms in response to his attempted use of magic. He tried again.
A man stepped into view, and the duel swirled through his mind. The sky outside was dark, but there were hints of light. He looked up, and felt sick. The man looking down at him wore his own face.
"Polyjuice?" Percival asked softly, trying to understand what was happening. He tried to control the situation, even though he could tell it was very much out of his control.
The man chuckled softly, a smile resting on Percival's own lips as his face gazed down at him.
"Smart aren't you director? You're working this out quickly..."
"Why are you here?" Percival asked softly, trying to get him talking. If the previous night and his past experience of dark wizards was anything to go from, then the man he was faced with liked monologuing. It was something he could use to his advantage. He fought at the chains around his wrists, straining against the metal as he listened to the man's words.
"Because New York has something I need. If I am going to take control of all of the world, I need something which is in your city, under your very noses. What I need, it will be in your office. I can find the information I need there." The man shook his head. "And you can try and fight it all you want. You won't get very far, the chains are designed to suppress your magic. You should be proud director. I set these up for you especially."
Percival swallowed, and nodded. For now, he couldn't find anything to argue with in that analysis of the situation. It struck him as infuriating that he didn't know the name of his captor. That was the worst part of the entire situation in a way. Even if the man left and he was found, he would have no information to provide.
"You won't get away with this." He said simply. "You look like me, but that's all. You won't even get into MACUSA. Every person there will see you for what you are."
"I suppose we shall see Director." The man answered, pointing Percival's own wand at him. "But you are going to assist me."
"No I'm not."
"Crucio" The pain swept through Percival's body like a wave, burning his blood and making him want to scream, but it was nothing he hadn't faced before. He'd learned from past torture sessions that he couldn't fight the cruciatus curse. He couldn't stay quiet. The best way to survive was to let the agony sweep through him, and scream himself hoarse. If he managed to scream loud enough, he might not even be able to speak.
The curse was lifted after a couple of minutes, Percival's heart hammering in his chest.
"Tell me what you are working on Director, what you have seen about the events happening in New York."
"You will have to be more specific." Percvial spat, trying to play the man. He got the sense that he would be easy to anger. If he lashed out enough, then Percival would be unconscious and unable to provide the information this man wanted. Percival was prepared to die, if that was what it took to keep the city he served safe.
The man shook his head and smiled.
"You will tell me soon enough Director. For now, I will see what you have here, and then I'm going to your office. The rumours say it is full of confiscated artefacts, the worst that MACUSA has stolen lining the walls of one room." With that, the man apparated away.
Percival stared up at the chains at his wrists. He wouldn't be here for long, his aurors would see through the other man's disguise. He just had to make sure he was at least partially through the escape before the rescue party arrived, or he would never hear the end of it.
Every attempt to summon his magic sent another burst of pain down both his arms. It wasn't as severe as the cruciatus curse, but it was still rather an unpleasant sensation. Percival tried anyway, and when that didn't succeed he strained against the chains. He would have screamed, but he knew his own wards kept any sound escaping the apartment, and he wasn't going to waste his breath.
He would escape. He was a Graves. He was Director of Magical Security at MACUSA, and he would not be held.
The man's identity was a mystery. Unable to remove the restraints for the moment, he focused on working out who it was that was keeping him a prisoner. They were clearly powerful. Stronger than most wizards he had fought before, and versed in the dark arts if the bonds around his wrists were anything to go by.
He thought of Theseus, wondered what he would make of it all. His mind drifted to Theseus's last letter, the mention of that charismatic bastard, Grindewald. Last he had heard, Gellert Grindelwald had been in Europe, but it wasn't as though Trans-Atlantic travel was impossible among the magical community. He'd visited Europe plenty of times himself.
With nothing else to go on, he decided to act on the assumption that the man who had captured him was Grindelwald. Most importantly, that meant that the rest of his team was in serious danger. When they uncovered the deception, he would attack. Percival fought the cuffs again, before closing his eyes for a few moments to think.
"Crucio." was the first sign that the madman holding him prisoner had returned. He held the curse longer this time, enjoying watching Percival in agony. He was still wearing Percival's face, meaning that Percival was treated to his own expression smirking at the torture inflicted upon him.
"Yes?" Percival spat.
"I want you to tell me about the Second Salemites. I've been looking at the cases on your desk."
Percival thought of the children Tina had risked her life and career to save, thought of little Modesty and Chastity and the boy - his name was Perseverance, or something equally ridiculous. The Barebone boy was exactly the kind of omega that Percival had got used to waking up next to during the war. Not that Percival was having sex; Theseus sometimes got drunk and would pick the wrong bed to throw his latest conquest into, meaning that more than once Percival had been woken by a pretty omega landing on him, and then his best friend desperately trying to apologise before said omega screamed or hexed him.
He was the kind of omega that needed MACUSA's protection, even if he was a No-Maj. Percival was not going to hand him over to this monster.
"They aren't relevant." Percival said simply. "A No-Maj group that think they know more than they do. You're wasting your time. Focus on the Anubis gang and the creature smuggling-"
"Director, I'm not trying to do your job." The man answered.
"Then what are you trying to do Grindelwald?"
"I did wonder if you had realised." Grindelwald murmured after a moment. "I am trying to find out some information that I need, and minimise the number of MACUSA staff I have to murder to get it. This might come as a surprise to you Director, but I'm not taking any pleasure in hurting you. I want to persuade you to join the right side. Not to fight me. We are already outnumbered by the Muggles. I don't wish to aid their cause."
Percival closed his eyes, and tried to pretend he was elsewhere. He didn't want to give anything up, but he did believe that Grindelwald didn't want to kill anyone in MACUSA. That meant that in one way at least, they were on the same side. It wouldn't be long now. The aurors would already know that something was wrong.
"I should get back Director. I do suggest you give some thought to whether you want to cooperate." With that he apparated away, leaving Percival chained.
There was still time for MACUSA to get its act together and find him. The last of the suppressants would linger in his body for a week, a side effect of the high dose he took. That gave them a little time before the bastard who had stolen his body went in to heat and destroyed everything he had worked for. He had worked out how to exercise despite his restraints, and was working on using his magic to open one of the kitchen drawers. So far there had been no success, but he had to have hope.
"Percy." Grindelwald crouched down to look Percival in the eye, the first time he had got so close to him. Grindelwald was back to wearing his own face, which was a relief. If they were in for another torture session, Percival thought he would rather avoid being the one to inflict it on himself. "We need to have a little talk..." Grindelwald's voice was gentle, almost tuneful, and a faint smile rested on his lips.
"I must say, your bed is very comfortable." Grindelwald continued, and Percival tried not to think about the fact that this man had slept in his bed, wore his clothes. "But I was poking around in one of your drawers..." For a moment his voice trailed off, and then he smirked wider, pulling out a small glass bottle filled with white tablets. "And I found these. I did wonder, looking at our body in the shower, but I thought... “ he paused and shook his head before continuing. “I never thought MACUSA would be so easy to fool. But Percy dear, its clear now why they haven't noticed me. They're already used to your lie."
Percival stared up at him, eyes glinting in anger. His gaze kept being drawn to those pills. Those pills that for so long had allowed him to live the life that he needed. They were so close. He tried to focus his magic to pull them towards him, but all that happened was that his wrists felt like they were burning. He whimpered softly, the sound escaping him before he could call it back.
"Do any of them know?" Grindelwald asked, and he leaned in, stroking his fingers through Percival's hair. Percival tried to twist, to bite that tender hand, but Grindelwald merely chuckled and moved his hand out of the way. It was clear Grindelwald found the entire situation amusing.
"Common knowledge." Percival spat. He could only hope that Grindelwald would give himself away.
"I don't think it is. If it was known, a pretty little omega like you wouldn't be allowed out into the field. MACUSA might have some strange ideas about muggles, but they wouldn't put an omega at risk. They aren't that foolish... now, I wonder, if you've been hiding for that long... when your heat hits, it's going to be pretty hard, isn't it..."
Percival glared, staying silent.
Grindelwald smiled calmly.
"Oh Percy, it must have been so hard, having to hide your true nature for so long... it's safe now. I'll take good care of you, make you feel like a proper omega..." Grindelwald leaned in and kissed him softly.
Percival took that opportunity to bite down on Grindelwald's tongue, snarling with rage. He wasn't some little omega to need care. He was the Director of Magical Security at MACUSA. He could feel fury bubbling along inside his chest. He pressed back against the cold tiles that lined the kitchen, putting what little distance he could between himself and Grindelwald.
Grindelwald pulled away, blood dripping from his lip. It would have been the work of a second for him to heal the injury, but he didn't. He just smirked bloodily down at him, ruffling a hand through his hair.
"I'll let you take some time to calm down Percy, this behaviour really isn't seemly..." He shook his head. "An omega should be much more gentle...Now, you have left me with a little problem. Polyjuice potion won't work for me any more. I'll have to use transformation instead. A naughty little trick you've played on me Percy."
Grindelwald sighed, shaking his head, gazing at Percival as though he was a misbehaving child.
"Now, I need to know who would be aware of this."
"Common knowledge." Percival insisted, and Grindelwald shook his head.
"You've been getting letters from a man called Theseus. He's meant to be investigating me, says his brother should be coming to America in a month or so. But he hasn't realised you aren't yourself. Today I'm going to investigate the Second Salemites. One of the children is an omega, did you know that? A proper omega, sweet and soft... Really, I should bring him back here to set a better example to you."
Percival didn't answer. There was nothing he could say to that. To plead with Grindelwald not to hurt the boy would only encourage him.
"Do you want that?" Grindelwald asked. "An omega to teach you, to show you what you really are?" Reluctantly Percival shook his head, his heart sinking.
"Tell me who knows Percy."
"Seraphina." Percival said quickly. "And Fontaine." Fontaine was his second in command. There would be a logic to him knowing, even though in fact Fontaine knew nothing. Perhaps it would be enough for Grindelwald to give himself away.
"Good boy Percy." Grindelwald placed the pills down just beyond Percival's reach. With that, he apparated, leaving Percival alone to his thoughts.
It was hard to track time from his position chained in the kitchen. Percival was only aware of the sounds from elsewhere in his rooms. Grindelwald was still staying in his house, still managing to fool MACUSA, but he hadn't appeared, seeming to want to leave Percival to stew in his own thoughts and fears.
The jar of pills remained frustratingly out of reach. A constant reminder of how Grindelwald saw him, how he was tormenting him.
As time continued, the last of the suppressants worked their way through Percival's system. The cold tiles that had once been uncomfortable to be resting on were now a slight relief. His body temperature had risen, and he found himself squirming on the floor, trying to ease the pain that was building. He was thirsty and hungry, but those thoughts faded when compared to what his own body was doing to him.
Percival had never been through heat. He'd been saved from that by the kind healer in Ilvermorny. He knew about heats of course, but in the disinterested manner of an alpha who wanted to be good at his job. Feeling his own body changing was different.
He tried to keep up his exercises, and played games in his head. He multiplied three digit numbers together, trying to focus on the complexity of the numbers. But the thoughts flickered away, leaving him unable to hold onto them.
Time passed, and the floor was warmed by his body. His heart hammered weakly, and he wondered if he might be close to death. If he was, it would be a relief. If Grindelwald could no longer question him, he might expose himself. There was nothing else he could do for MACUSA. Nothing he could do for his friends but die, and that was sickening.
He felt dizzy. When Grindelwald arrived in the apartment he could smell him now, his body shuddering. He bit his lip to try and stay quiet. He didn't want to beg for the man.
The door opened, and Grindelwald stood there, face twisted in a smirk.
"Oh Percy, you look so pretty like that..." Grindelwald murmured, walking closer. He rested a hand on Percival's hair, and the touch felt soothing. Percival tried to gather his strength to pull away, hissing up at him, but the sound was quiet. Grindelwald chuckled fondly.
"Such a pretty little omega..." Grindelwald murmured. "Now... I've been thinking..." He answered, his voice gentle as his touches continued, fingers tracing over the buttons of Percival's pyjamas. "I didn't want to waste such a pretty little thing..." He started to unbutton Percival's shirt. "But you are a powerful wizard. You didn't get a fair fight when we met-" For a moment, Percival thought he was being offered a chance. He was weakened, but if he was freed he might be able to attack Grindelwald. Even if he couldn't, he might be able to apparate away. Even if he splinched himself, if he could get warning to MACUSA it would be worth the cost.
Grindelwald smirked, and drew out from his pocket a glowing blue bottle.
"You recognise this?"
Percival thought back to Ilvermorny, to Professor Infico. It was the aestus potion, and if Percival drank it he would find himself immune to suppressants. Even if he escaped, he would still go into heat. His heats would come every few months, and no tablet could stop them. He would never be able to continue working for MACUSA. He would be trapped by his own body for the rest of his life.
"I thought you would recognise it." Grindelwald said, calmly, a smirk on his lips. "You see, you have a choice. You can either let me force your mouth open and make you drink it, or you can cooperate for this evening."
"What are you going to do?" Percival asked, pretending for his own sake that they didn't already know the choice he was going to make.
"I'm going to fuck you." Grindelwald said calmly, pushing Percival's shirt to the side. "That's what you've been waiting for Percy. A proper alpha to put you back in your place..."
The air on his bare skin was a relief, but Percival tried to pull away from him. There was nowhere to go.
Grindelwald chuckled softly.
"You are going to have my child." Grindelwald continued. "We both have powerful magic Percy. I am sure that in time, I can help you be a good mother..." He chuckled. "We'll have a child. I have foreseen it, and they will be strong. Under my tutelage, they can bring an end to the Muggle rule of our world."
Percival stared at him in horror, his mind barely able to comprehend what he had said after everything that had already happened. The threat was too dreadful, too sickening for him to face.
Grindelwald didn't seem to notice or care about Percival's fear. He had pushed the shirt off fully now, and it was trapped only by the cuffs around his wrists.
"Your choice. We can do this here, or in your bed."
"Bed." Percival murmured. He had to hope that he would find a way of escaping the restraints then, manage to get away from this man. The cuffs released him, and he tried to summon up his magic, but they were back in place, Grindelwald floating him down the hall like a pile of laundry. He landed on the bed, and Grindelwald vanished his pyjama top. He pressed against the cool bed sheets, seeking relief from the fire that was burning through him. The cuffs tangled with the headboard, holding him to the bed.
Grindelwald dragged down Percival's pants and underwear, stroking over his thighs. Percival gagged, shuddering and trying to pull away.
"Relax." Grindelwald demanded. "It's going to be a lot easier on you if you just lay back and let your body do what it's meant to. I can always get the bottle from the kitchen if you need it-" Percival shivered, but lay still. "Good boy Percy."
Grindelwald kissed his forehead.
"There we go... now, open your legs..." Grindelwald demanded. Percival whimpered, sickness burning in his chest, but he did as he was told. Grindelwald's hands trailed over him, bringing momentary relief from the fire that was dancing across his skin. He tried not to think about where he was. It was hard, with the sensation of Grindelwald touching him so intimately.
He bit his lip, determined not to cry as Grindelwald pushed into his body. He didn't want to be some stereotypical omega, sobbing their way through knotting. If he was going to suffer through this, he would find a way of surviving it without being weak. Grindelwald pressed a kiss to his forehead.
"See, isn't this better? Isn't this natural? You feel so good..." Grindelwald was buried deeply within him, and Percival tried to keep himself from making any noise.
The sensation wasn't pleasant. An end to the intensity of heat was a relief, but he hardly felt grateful for it when he was being raped by someone who refused to see him as a human. Whatever Grindelwald did, Percival was still an alpha. He tried to cling to that thought, to how his friends had always acted. To what he was, not what his body was going through at that moment.
"It's not that bad now, is it?" Grindelwald asked. "You should see how well Credence takes it. Fertile little thing, and so eager to please. I still think he would set a good example... but maybe you don't need that..." Percival barely heard the words. He focused on trying to return to his dorm in Ilvermorny, to conjure up the mental image of the first place he had felt safe. He remembered laying on his bed, Seraphina flopped in the armchair beside, knowing that his pills were under the pillow. They had been revising together. It was the place Percival had hidden in in previous captivities, in the war, the place he felt safe.
Grindelwald's hand stroked Percival’s cock, and he gasped, pulled straight back to the reality of what was happening around him. The movements inside of him had become faster. They hurt, and he hoped that it wasn't like this for omegas. He thought of cases he'd worked on, where young omegas had been abused, and felt sickened by the knowledge of what had happened to them, what was happening to him. Grindelwald pushed into him hard, and he screamed at the pain, feeling violated. Guilt twisted inside of him. He had tried so hard to hide what he was, and Grindelwald was tearing down every wall he had ever built.
A different kind of heat filled him after a few more thrusts, and then he could feel Grindelwald's knot swelling inside of him, tying him to Grindelwald. He gasped, trying to pull away, feeling a tug of pain at the foreign intrusion. It was unnatural, too big within him, and the fact he couldn’t move made his pulse race faster. He realised with some horror that he had cried, that his face was damp with tears. Grindelwald leaned down, kissing over the wet skin there.
"You'll have to hold still for a little longer Percy. I know this is new to you, but in time you'll really get to like it. Another few days, to get you through the heat, and you are definitely going to be carrying my child. You should be proud Percy. You're not just an omega. You are the omega that will carry the child who will change everything. The one who will carry my true heir. Credence might carry a child for me, but that child will be nothing. Our child will inherit our magic..." He pulled away after a short while, kissing him again. Percival didn't have the strength to pull away.
Grindelwald smirked, gazing down at Percival in victory. He waved a hand after a moment, summoning something to his hands. After a few moments he revealed what it was he had summoned - the aestus potion. Percival glared, his body aching and burning. Grindelwald chuckled, raising his wand.
"Our agreement was that I wouldn't force the potion down your throat. We never said anything about what you would do to yourself." Grindelwald explained. "Imperio." Percival tried to fight the spell. He had fought it before, but the impact of the heat was stopping him from being able to concentrate. He felt his mind beginning to float, his body relaxing a little. "Percy, look at me?"
He glanced up, his head moving without thought.
"Good boy Percy. Now..." Grindelwald looked at him almost fondly, lifting the top off of the potion and handing it to Percival. Percival tried to drop it, tried to get his fingers to release the bottle, but they wouldn't move. He was trapped, unable to fight, Grindelwald's magic flowing through him. "Drink."
This chapter contains rape, Percival's body going into heat, and Grindelwald insisting that Percival is an omega. If this might upset you please take care.
Thank you for the lovely reviews so far. And if after reading this you need something lighter in the same universe, check out the Jacob/Queenie fic also in this series.
Travelling to Egypt had quickly become exploring Africa as a whole, then Asia, then from there on to regions of Europe he had never been to before. The case had grown as he went on, becoming better than Newt had dreamed, full of creatures that had no where else to go. Some he released, and others stayed. Newt had saved creatures, and failed them, and learned more than he could have dreamed. Throughout, he wrote letters to his brother, letting him know where he was and what was going on. He also spoke to mother, and was relieved to learn that his little hippogriff, his Mayari, was fully integrated within her herd. He missed her, but he knew that was where she belonged.
He had travelled the ocean to get to America, to release a thunderbird he had found in Egypt. Newt had helped him heal, and was planning to release him, only things didn't quite go to plan. A slight miscalculation about how likely it was that his case would stay locked had led to being brought into MACUSA. He leaned against the wall of the elevator as it made its way to the 'Major Investigations Department'. As it climbed higher, he tried to think of apologies he could give.
He would finally meet Percival, Theseus's roommate from the war. He was smiling a little at the thought, as the woman who had brought him in shifted awkwardly. She pulled him forwards when the elevator stopped, and he followed her out into a room filled with maps, several other alphas around the table. Newt averted his eyes slightly, as uncomfortable around the bravado of American aurors as he was with British.
The woman who he recognised as the president turned on the woman by his side.
"I made your position here quite clear, Miss Goldstein."
"Yes Madam President, but-" She started to argue, but the woman would hear none of it, sending them both from the room. As they left he saw the infamous Percival Graves. Theseus had said Percival moved like a panther, but here he looked more like a peacock.
He was still lost in those thoughts when Percival joined them in the Wand Permit office, looking at Newt with a mixture of curiosity and disgust. It was a look Newt was long accustomed to - the expression of someone who couldn't square his alpha scent with his more delicate appearance. He had hoped for better from the man Theseus spoke so highly of, but he knew America was restrictive about what they allowed omegas to do. It still unnerved him slightly.
He was far more unnerved to find that his case, which should have contained his creatures, his notes and all the paraphernalia needed to care for them, instead contained a handful of freshly baked goods.
Tracking down his own case had been rather an adventure. He'd ended up finding Myrtle the Murtlap biting at a male muggle alpha with dark hair, the one from the bank. And the alpha woman from MACUSA had done quite a lot of yelling at Newt, most of which he didn't feel he deserved. He had been willing to do what she asked and obliviate the muggle when she had yelled at him for trying it, and instead brought him into her own house. That at least had made sense.
What made far less sense was the fact her omega sister had been eager to greet them, wearing clothing short enough that even Newt had realised it wasn't standard dress. The sister, Queenie, was a fantastic cook and a legilimens. She was also quite clearly flirting with the muggle - Newt had found out his name was Jacob. He seemed to approve, so Newt didn't interfere.
Tina however was looking more and more concerned as the meal wore on. Newt wondered how much practice she had had of protecting Queenie from the alphas she worked with. Aurors could be flirtatious and expected women to throw themselves at their feet.
"Oh don't you worry about me." Queenie called out with a smile. "I can look after myself. But Teenie always worries about me meeting new men." She turned to Jacob, tapping him gently on the nose. "You're just my type."
Newt smiled a little at them. It was good, they were clearly a cute couple. He wanted to get back on the road to release Frank, but he couldn't let the others know the extent of what was in his case. Realizing his thoughts were straying, he focused first on Queenie and Jacob, and then thought of their relationship and the children they might have. They would be wonderful parents.
For a moment he wished he could have his own child.
"You'd be a good pa." Queenie said softly. "You've got a real caring heart."
"Doesn't matter." Newt muttered. "I'm too awkward to end up in a relationship." He wasn't unhappy with that fact, merely stated it as the truth it was. He added in his thoughts Anyway, I'm infertile.
"Oh sweetie, that's just not fair." Queenie breathed, gazing at him sadly. "I know you'd be a real good dad if you got the chance."
"Thank you." Newt managed to murmur, then focused on his food, not letting himself think about anything more, before he remembered the girl in Sudan he hadn't been able to save. He clearly didn't quite manage, Queenie flashing him a gentle smile and then asking about Pickett.
Despite how difficult Newt normally found conversation, talking to the three of them came simply to him. When it was time for bed, he lead Jacob into his case. He was surprised by how badly he had reacted to the murtlap venom - it was unusual for men to get so sick from a single bite. But he knew how to treat it, and soon Jacob looked a little healthier and the two of them were able to go off on an exploration of the city, trying to find the creatures that had escaped. Which was going fairly well - until the lid of the case got slammed down as soon as Ellie the erumpent was back in her enclosure.
Newt tried to stay calm, even though he had no idea where they were being taken. When he found out, the answer wasn't good, and far too quickly he found himself dragged to MACUSA’s cells alongside the two alphas he had befriended. Aware that an obscurus was on the loose and without his case.
His heart ached for all of his creatures. For the young graphhorns who might one day be essential for saving the species. For the occamy who had only just hatched, and the niffler he had saved from smugglers. For the dozens of lives he had tried to save. He sat away from the others, lost in his thoughts, his knees drawn to his chest. He continued to think. He couldn't help being angry about what had happened to the creatures, but he was also angry at Percival. He hadn't even been willing to listen.
When he and Tina were taken from the cells, he thought he would at least get a chance to explain everything. That gave him strength as he shouted his goodbyes to Jacob, knowing the muggle would be obliviated and hoping he would be given a happy memory.
The executioner behind him shoved him along, and Newt went along with what they wanted, letting them guide him along the corridors to an interrogation room.
The room he was shown into was cold, a bright light shining directly at him, stopping him from getting a proper look at the alpha opposite. He could still recognise Percival Graves before he spoke, the man’s silhouette clear.
Papers were shuffled before the man spoke. "Well, you are an interesting man, Mr. Scamander. Thrown out of Hogwarts for endangering human life-"
"That was an accident!" Newt protested. Percival Graves merely smirked and continued.
"One of your teachers argued strongly against your expulsion. What makes Albus Dumbledore so fond of you?"
"I really couldn't say." Newt murmured, staring at Graves as the man's questions tore into him, seeming to think that he wanted to cause the chaos that naturally occurred around him. It was when he suggested the release had been intentional that Newt startled.
"Why would I do it deliberately?"
"To expose wizardkind." Percival Graves spat. "To provoke war between the magical and non-magical worlds."
"Mass slaughter for the greater good?" Newt queried. He'd heard these ideas when he and Theseus discussed cases, and the very concept of it sickened him.
"I'm not one of Grindelwald's fanatics, Mr. Graves."
"Then what are you?" Percival asked, leaning in. "You smell like an alpha, but you don't look like one. I've known omegas who have passed to try and live the lives they want. Its foolish, to try and get away with their lies. But they don't look the way you do, don't act like it. What are you?"
"I'm me." Newt said, refusing to get drawn into a discussion about his status.
Theseus had always spoken about Percival Graves as a good man. But there had been no sign of that goodness in the man today. He wasn't just protective over omegas the way Theseus was - the way that Theseus had said Percival was. He was judgmental, thought he was better than an omega or a muggle. Newt was upset on his brother's behalf that the man was like this. He was furious a moment later as he drew the Sudanese girl's obscurus from under his desk.
Newt tried to defend her, but Percival seemed to think that the obscurus was merely useless. Newt had no idea what that meant, what something so dark, so murderous, could be used for. But questioning that was enough to get him sentenced to death. He knew then that something was wrong. Theseus had told him about the war, how every death had haunted Percival. How he had struggled with the aurors he lost. He couldn't just casually sentence someone to death. That wasn't who he was. Wasn't how someone Theseus cared about would act.
Then he'd been caught up in escaping, and Queenie proved how clever she was, managing to sneak all of them out from underneath MACUSA's noses.
Now he had to find Dougal, work out what was wrong with Percival, and make sure MACUSA didn't kill his friends. He thought about that, gazing across the city with Pickett on his shoulder.
Tina walked over to stand beside him.
"Graves always insisted the disturbances were caused by a beast. We need to catch all your creatures so he can't keep using them as a scapegoat."
"There's only one missing. Dougal, my Demiguise." Newt explained, worrying about the soft-haired creature. He had found Dougal as a small cub, had raised him himself. Dougal was clever and caring, and he hoped that he might be able to persuade him back despite the one issue. "Slight problem is that, um... he's invisible."
"Invisible?" Tina asked.
"Yes - most of the time, he does..."
"How do you catch something that-"
Newt couldn't help smiling, remembering how many times as a cub Dougal had turned invisible and hidden away from him in the depths of his case.
"With immense difficulty." He answered, the two of them smiling.
"Gnarlak!" She suddenly shouted, and Newt jumped slightly.
"Gnarlak - he was an informant of mine. He used to trade in magical creatures on the side-" Tina explained, and then led them to The Blind Pig.
Newt had heard about speakeasies of course, was aware of what they were. It was different to be walking into a magical one with people he cared about. Queenie looked stunning in her short dress, and drew the eyes of every alpha in the room. She only had eyes for Jacob though, the two of them heading to the bar as Tina squirmed beside Newt.
"I've arrested half of the people in here."
Newt smiled at her.
"It's okay. I've stolen from that group over there..." He tried to ask her questions to distract her, dragging out the truth about the Second Salemers. It broke his heart to hear about the omega boy that Tina had tried to save. A boy with no one else. Newt initially thought that Tina might be interested in the boy, but it was clear she merely wanted to protect him.
He was distracted when a goblin approached - the ‘Gnarlak’ they had come here to see. He swaggered with confidence.
"You're the guy with the case full of monsters?"
"News travels fast. I was hoping you'd be able to tell me if there have been any sightings. Any tracks."
"Well, the Anubis gang has been smuggling creatures in and out for the last few months. If they find your invisible little friend, I think they'll make a rather stunning invisibility cloak."
Feeling sick, Newt tried to bargain for the information he needed, finally handing over Pickett. He doubted the bowtruckle would ever forgive him. When he had the information he needed, he tried to press, to find out what was going on with Percival. The man he had met wasn't the man his brother cared about, he was sure of that.
"One last thing. There's a Mr. Graves who works in MACUSA-"
The look Gnarlak gave him made Newt sure that something was very wrong, and that Gnarlak knew what.
"You ask too many questions, Mr. Scamander. That can get you killed."
As though in answer to his threat, aurors began to apparate in, and they only just escaped.
It turned out that his suspicions had been correct. The alpha that had been masquerading as Graves was unmasked as the very Grindelwald his brother was investigating. Grindelwald was brought into custody, and the President stepped forwards, glaring at Grindelwald.
"Where is he?" She snarled. Newt was already worried. Grindelwald had used a spell, not polyjuice, and that meant he no longer needed Percival Graves alive.
"Oh, he's been well taken care of." Grindelwald answered. "It's been a very long time, and no one noticed. Our time together has proved quite...fertile..." He smirked and the aurors dragged him away. Picquery's expression was full of anger and fear, and she shook slightly where she stood. She turned to Newt, as he heard Queenie whimper in the background.
"We owe you an apology Mr. Scamander. But the magical community is exposed! We cannot Obliviate an entire city." Newt paused, and then smiled a little.
"I think we can." He murmured softly, setting out his plan. He didn't like it, but it would save them from all out war.
As Frank flew above the city, President Picquery approached him.
"Mr. Scamander? Would any of your creatures be able to aid us in the search for the real Percival Graves?"
Huge thanks to my beta for their help with this! Thank you for the comments :)
Chapter 5: Rescue
Alongside the standard warnings for this fic, warning for some suicidal thoughts.
"Percy..." Grindelwald's voice whispering in his ear made Percival jump a little, sickness bubbling inside of him. He'd been hovering on the edge of sleep. A few months ago he would have denied that it would ever be possible to sleep with your rapist laying beside you. Now he knew better. He wanted to pull away, but the chains binding him to the bed held him tightly. He'd lost track of time. Grindelwald rarely gave him water, let alone food - the spells he had put on the room ensuring Percival couldn't starve to death. He'd cast a cleaning spell over him regularly. Otherwise, he was trapped here. He missed the days when the man had called him Director, when any protest could lead to the cruciatus curse rather than gentle correction. He had no idea how long he'd been imprisoned. He couldn't even use his appearance to measure it - Grindelwald had used a spell to grow out Percival's hair, to make him look more like an omega, and shaved him every few days with a straight-razor.
After the first time, he used the imperius curse with the razor. Percival had nearly managed to jerk forwards and slit his own throat. But it hadn't been enough. So far there was no sign of pregnancy - but with no heat coming, it was clear that he must be carrying. Grindelwald's fingers traced over Percival's hip, the touches almost tender, then ran around to caress his stomach. Grindelwald had been careful the last few weeks. He never tried to make Percival feel good, and at times Percival was so grateful for that he could barely hold back tears. But he didn't try to hurt him either. Percival's body was barely bruised, aside from around his wrists. Whenever he was left alone he would fight his chains, try and escape, or at least ensure he didn't lose his muscle mass. He needed to still look like an alpha, even as Grindelwald tried to take that from him. There were few exercises you could do chained to a bed, but Percival did his best.
"I need to leave you to go to work... I'm afraid things are going a little badly for us at work, but it will all be alright soon." Percival twisted, trying to put his back to the other man. Grindelwald chuckled a little, amused more than anything by Percival's behaviour. Grindelwald swatted his ass playfully before standing up, a smile on his face. He transfigured himself to Percival's appearance. "Don't worry Percy. A few more weeks and we'll be able to see our baby. I might even let you out supervised. You can cook for me, keep house like a proper omega..."
"I'll stab you with a knife first chance I get." Percival snarled. Grindelwald nodded, ruffling his hair.
"Of course you will Percy. You know, Credence has been begging me to take him home. He's worried his mother will see that he's carrying, he's a couple of weeks further along than you, and he's already showing. He's a worthless little thing, but it would be tempting. Have my two omegas at home, and he'd be a good example for you."
Percival didn't answer that. He'd learned not to respond when Grindelwald mentioned Credence. There was nothing he could do about it either way, but if Grindelwald knew how much he worried about the boy he would see it as a reason to bring him here. He didn't want to inflict further torture on the boy.
"Another few days and everything will fall into place." Grindelwald murmured, and Percival tried not to hear the same as he did every time Grindelwald discussed his vision for the future. "You'll be carrying my child, and I will be ruling America. We'll get you some pretty little outfits, and you can stand at my side, my mate.” He brushed a thumb over the mating mark on Percival's neck. “I will see you both later..." Percival shuddered at the sensation, heat pooling in his stomach. Grindelwald always left him with thoughts of what he would achieve, horrors which tormented Percival while he lay there, waiting for the man who called himself his mate to return. When Grindelwald apparated away, he allowed himself a few minutes to calm down, before resuming his daily struggle to escape.
The cuffs around his wrists gave no more than they had on any other day. He pulled at them, tried to lift his legs, to strain against the chains. He twisted and squirmed until blood began to run down his arms. There had been a time when he had thought he could die that way. But now he knew he couldn't. He closed his eyes, thought of Ilvermorny, of the war, of his office. Of the life he had lived before Grindelwald had appeared on the scene, insisting that he was an omega. He missed what he had been before. He was starting to suspect that it was too late for that to ever return.
It was dark outside before he heard the door unlock, heard more than one person walking into his house. Grindelwald had threatened to bring other alphas home, if Percival continued to disobey. Percival couldn't think of any particular incident which could have triggered it. Perhaps Grindelwald had tired of being Percival's only tormentor.
He braced himself to hear Grindelwald's voice floating up the stairs. Honey I'm home. Same as every evening. At the start he'd hoped his aurors would realise. But there was nothing. He just lay in bed, waiting for the man's return. At least now his heat had passed, he could focus properly on dreading it. He'd hated the thought of Grindelwald walking into work, of people congratulating him on finding an omega. On the kind of jokes aurors made among themselves being unknowingly aimed at Percival as they smelled him on the impostor.
There were no words. Whoever was downstairs had spelled themselves to silence, had wanted to creep up on him, and that was a worrying thought. He closed his eyes again, focusing on the four simple words he reminded himself of every day as Grindelwald returned. You. Are. An. Alpha. No matter what happened, what Grindelwlad did to him, he was an alpha. He was the real Director of Magical Security at MACUSA. He was the President's closest friend. These facts were becoming harder to hold in his thoughts every day, but he tried. He had to try.
When the door to his bedroom opened he tensed. He didn't bother to try and press his legs together - he knew how that would end, and refused to act like some virgin omega protecting his purity. He just laid on the bed, waiting.
Something peered back at him.
It wasn't Grindelwald. That much was clear. It moved forwards. It was about two feet tall, with long white fur and huge brown eyes. Those eyes glowed a vivid blue, the same colour as the potion which had made him this for the rest of his life. Then the thing vanished.
"Fuck." He cursed under his breath. He was going mad. And that wouldn't help anyone. He heard a noise at his wrists, and twisted awkwardly, arching his spine to look up. A stick - no, a bowtruckle - was balancing on the cuffs.
Bowtruckles picked locks.
He held his breath, hoping, almost praying that it would free him. Tears were starting to collect in the corners of his eyes. He was probably imagining it. If not, this was a new cruel game of Grindelwald's - to weaken him and give him a chance to fight, before dragging him back to the bed and proving who was in control. But freedom, however brief, would give him a chance. The cuffs unclicked from around his left wrist. He made himself hold still as the bowtruckle moved to the other hand - he needed both hands free if he was to use his magic. There were footsteps on the stairs. He wondered who Grindelwald wanted to show him off to.
"Percival?" A voice said, and he almost gagged.
Seraphina Picquery. Grindelwald would have brought her back, planned to show her the truth, and she'd learn how much he failed her. He focused on magicking away the scent of omega from the room, diving under the blankets in an attempt to cover himself. Even that small effort was exhausting, and he found himself panting a little, tired.
"Here." He spoke, his voice shaking more than he wanted. He used what energy he had left to cast a glamour over the mating mark on his neck - he couldn't fix his hair but the mark had to be hidden.
The door was pushed open, and there was a gasp. He looked up to find auror Goldstein there, staring at him in barely disguised horror. Beside her, a redhead man held out his arms and whistled, and the white thing appeared, cuddled up to his chest. Goldstein pointed her wand at him. For a moment, he hoped she had come here to kill him.
"Revelio." She cast. He held still. There was nothing to reveal. She moved closer.
"Goldstein." He answered, forcing himself to stay awake despite the exhaustion. "Well, check for polyjuice..."
She did, charming a little of his blood from him and placing it into a vial. The potion in it reacted, and showed he was still himself.
"Is he there?" Picquery called from the hallway.
"I think so Madame President!" Tina called back over her shoulder, then turned to Percival. "I hope that's you Director. Not sure about your new haircut."
"What was the first thing I told you?" Seraphina asked as she walked into the room.
"That you didn't need a family name to succeed." Percival answered quickly. "And you were right."
"It's him." Seraphina announced. "Mister Scamander, thank you. Goldstein, Mister Scamander, please guard the door. Send for healer Stag. No one is allowed to enter this room without my say so." She ushered the other two out.
Percival shuffled in the bed so he could prop himself up on the pillow, feeling almost dizzy with the movement after so long trapped. When they were alone, Seraphina turned to him.
"I'm sorry we took so long."
"It wasn't your fault."
Seraphina shook her head at that, looking away for a moment before gazing into Percival's eyes. Percival gazed back. He wouldn't be some shy omega avoiding eye contact, no matter who addressed him.
"He said...are you?"
Percival grimaced, and nodded his head once. There was only one thing that mattered now - that Grindelwald's child was inside of him. That Percival was exposed.
"He's in jail." Picquery promised. Then she swallowed. "May I..?" She held out her arms. He nodded, letting her pull him close.
"The Second Salem Boy. Credence. He's carrying Grindelwald's child as well..."
"Credence didn't make it." Seraphina said softly, rubbing Percival's back. He whimpered slightly at that.
"I'm sorry." He mumbled. "I tried to fight him."
"I know." Seraphina answered. "I know. It's alright, you're safe now."
"Everyone will know." Percival whispered, feeling his old life slipping ever further from his grasp.
"No." Seraphina said calmly. "No one will know other than Healer Stag and I." Maisie Stag was Seraphina's personal healer. That wasn’t a position you got unless you were utterly trustworthy.
"I was found chained up in his bed." Percival pointed out.
"He won't be the first dark wizard to rape an alpha auror in order to prove a point and humiliate his prisoner. Healer Stag can help you fashion a glamour to hide your condition until you work out what you want to do." She pulled away and gazed into his eyes.
"It's good to have you home Percival."
"It's good to be back." He answered. "I'm... I'm tired. He kept me bound with the chains for so long-"
"That night we drank in my office." Percival answered. "He didn't realise what I... What I am for a few days after-"
"It's not what you are." Seraphina told him. "You want me to sort out your hair?"
Percival nodded, shivering in relief as his hair returned to its normal style under Seraphina's careful touch. To distract him, she told him what had happened during his absence. He teased her about everything going to hell without him, and for a moment it felt like normal.
Healer Stag was a kind older omega woman, her black curls sprinkled with grey. Her eyes sparkled, and she spoke to Seraphina almost as though she was a daughter. But she knocked smartly on the door to Percival's bedroom.
"Come in." Seraphina called, closing the door behind her with a wave of her wand.
Stag looked from one of them to the other, and frowned.
"Oh dear, what has happened here?"
"Percival has been tortured." Seraphina answered. "I want everything you find here to be kept between us Maisie."
"Of course." Maisie walked over. "Can I examine you?"
Percival flinched, curling up slightly beneath the sheets. Seraphina took his hand between hers, squeezing gently, and he let her peel the sheets away. The healer was gentle, examining him clinically but carefully, explaining every action before she did it. It helped him, although he couldn't stop himself tensing at every touch.
"Nothing other than your wrists will leave permanent scars." She told him. Percival nodded, then dropped the glamour at his throat. She gasped, leaning in to check, and frowning a little.
"That ... that will remain." She told him softly. "I'm sorry Director."
"Director Graves is an alpha." Picquery said firmly. "Just because Grindelwald tortured him by depriving him of the medicine he needs to be healthy doesn't change that."
Percival shook his head, and looked up at her desperately.
"He made me drink aestus potion." He told her.
"I'm sorry." Seraphina squeezed his hand. "We'll work out something." His friend looked more distressed than she had even when she had found him. "I'll find something. I'll get research going on a cure. We will fix this Percival. I promise you."
He pulled her close, rubbing her back gently. He didn't allow himself to cry. It wasn't the time to show weakness. Seraphina shivered in his arms as Maisie took notes on his injuries, healing him.
"Do you want to shower?" She asked.
"Please." He answered. He wasn't sure he could stand unsupported. Seraphina seemed to understand, resting a hand on his wrist, careful of the injuries.
"I can go with you."
She used her magic to help him stay upright as he cleaned himself under water that was a little too hot, leaving red across his skin. After so long, it felt good to be clean.
"I tried." He murmured. "Every day, I tried to escape. I tried not to give him information."
"I will do everything I can to back you up." She answered, her head held high. She looked like she was about to give a speech. "It's just good that you're safe. I won't let you be punished for something that wasn't your fault." The only sound in the room after those words was the spray of the shower.
"You said he's in jail." Percival said after a few minutes, breaking the silence that had fallen between them.
"Do you want me to lead his interview?" It wasn't an easy question to ask, but Percival wanted to show the other man who was in control of the situation. For so long he had had no choice over what was happening. He would take that choice now.
"He has been asking to see you." Seraphina answered. "You don't have to go. If you do, I will accompany you."
"I'm not some omega that needs babysitting."
"And I'm not the kind of woman that would leave anyone, alpha or omega, alone with their torturer."
Percival stepped out from the shower, and Seraphina wrapped a towel around him. He felt too unstable to stand, the force of her magic propping him up.
"Thank you." He conceded after a moment.
His suits were a little too big now. He'd lost weight and muscle mass during his captivity. But Goldstein had appeared with a handful of pastries, and he ate those as Picquery organised for aurors to check the rest of his house, to ensure that no traps had been left. He startled as a pastry lifted up from his plate, and disappeared from in front of his eyes.
"Dougal!" The redhead chastised. "Leave the poor man's food alone. If you're hungry, bother me."
"What is that?" Percival asked, realising that it was his invisible rescuer.
"Dougal is a demiguise. They're really quite remarkable creatures. They can turn invisible at will, and they can predict the future. As soon as we arrived here he picked Pickett out of my pocket and he was off." He paused. "Newt Scamander by the way. I believe you know my brother?"
"Theseus." Percival supplied. "Let him know I'm alive will you?"
"He does tend to worry." Newt agreed. Percival looked him over curiously. Theseus had said his baby brother was an alpha, but the man facing him didn't look it - he was quite delicate, and fussed over the creatures in an almost motherly way.
"Your brother saved my life during the war."
"From what he's told me, you saved him in return more times." The British man held a hand out towards him. "It's good to finally meet you."
Some part of him felt sick at the thought of touching another alpha. But he shook Newt's hand, determined not to let Grindelwald win.
"Seraphina tells me you're responsible for unmasking that man."
"Luck more than anything. If he'd been using a polyjuice potion it wouldn't have worked." Newt answered with a shrug.
"Well, thank you." Percival said firmly. He was grateful that he had been saved. He could only wish that it had been earlier, that he had been rescued during those first few days when he had been tortured, rather than what came after. But nothing could change it now.
"It's nothing." The man answered, ducking his gaze down, seeming to shrink into himself. He wandered off conversing with his bowtruckle, and Percival raised an eyebrow at Goldstein. She merely shrugged in response.
Seraphina offered Percival a few days off, but he refused to take them. His department and MACUSA as a whole needed him more than ever. He needed to carry on as things had been before, needed to serve America and help the people who needed him most. That first night, he went home with Seraphina, laying in bed beside her the way they had done when they were young.
"I'm sorry." She murmured. "I should have realised it wasn't you. That you would never be that cold...I just thought, well... there was an investigation about a group dealing the aestus potion. I thought that had upset you."
"It's alright." Percival said softly. "He would’ve killed you if you knew." He sighed. "I want to burn that bed. And everything he's touched."
"You can stay here as long as you need." She told him. "Not the bed, but I've got a sofa you can sleep on, and if you want to move you have my support."
"Thanks." He mumbled.
"I should have known." Seraphina repeated, stunned. He shook his head.
"If ...if with the heats, you need me to take care of you..." She offered. "We can say we're sharing an omega. I can't take the time off work, especially without you there, so there will be a few hours at a time when you'd be alone, but we can keep on as before. I wouldn't be... I wouldn't be your alpha. I'd just be an alpha helping you out."
"I'll think about it." Percival answered, even though he felt sick. "If his plan's worked, I won't be going on heat for nearly a year." He stared down at his stomach. He knew he should have asked Healer Stag to do a test, to find out whether or not Grindewald's visions were true, but he couldn't face what the answer might be. Seraphina squeezed his hand, and he closed his eyes and let her rest his head on her shoulder.
Walking back into MACUSA was strange. He could feel all eyes on him - he was seen as the man who had given Grindelwald a way into their heartland. Whispers followed him. As he walked through the hall, the aurors stepped forwards, forming two lines which he walked between. It took him a moment to realise they were shielding him. Fontaine approached, holding out his hand.
"It's good to see you sir."
"Good to be back. From what I've heard, it's all fallen apart without me." He shook Fontaine's hand, and applause broke out. His aurors were surrounding him, cheering for his return.
"Were there any casualties?"
"None of ours. Only the Second Salem boy."
"I'm guessing I've got even more paperwork to battle through?"
There was laughter, and the aurors followed him up to their floor. Percival found his desk swamped with work. He was grateful. He could focus on that. It would keep him busy. He spoke to Fontaine, getting an update on cases, and then started to work through what he had been given. He felt sick, seeing about the obscurial. Credence had been torn apart by the aurors' spells. He was little more than a child really. A young omega, vulnerable, taken advantage of by a cruel mother and by a monster wearing Percival's own face. The boy had died thinking that he carried Graves's own child.
"His name will be carved on the Salem memorial." Percival told Fontaine, who nodded. Eventually, his deputy wandered away to continue his own work, leaving Percival to stare at the files and try not to remember what the past few weeks had held. It was only too easy to imagine that he was back there, but he had to focus. He had to ensure that what happened to Credence would never happen again. The boy deserved that at least.
He glanced at his face, reflected in one of the glass-lined cabinets. He looked exhausted, pale, his face haggard. He looked softer too, the time he had spent imprisoned gradually taking an effect on him. He reminded himself that he was looking at Percival Graves. That he was looking at an alpha the aurors relied on, not some sniffling broken omega who needed to be held. He swallowed and tried to focus.
Concentration was hard. After so long doing nothing other than being available, like a good little omega aren't you Percy, just waiting for me to come back it was hard to play the part he had once mastered. He gagged a little, seeing Grindelwald's face in his own reflection. He sent a wave of magic out, smashing the glass. It shattered to the ground like rain, and he rested his head on the desk, not wanting to see what he had done. He tried to gather his strength together, to fix the broken glass, but he couldn't bring himself to do it.
He picked up a file, saw it was to do with the explosions, with the obscurus, and put it down again. He pushed aside some papers about the Second Salemites a moment later. A paper about creature smuggling caught his eye, and he read it over. This at least was something within his power to tackle. He wanted to repay the alpha that had saved his life. Making sure the creatures he cared about so much weren't traded for parts was at least a kindness, so he focused on that. It was easier than thinking about Grindelwald would have wanted him to do. Grindelwald would tell him how a good omega would thank him often enough that those thoughts wouldn't leave him alone. Aren't you going to thank me for giving you some water Percy? If you're good, I might even let you have another sip.
For now, he would focus on the creatures. The reports focused on what had been going on at The Fallen Witch, a wizard speakeasy that had a rather sinister reputation and an alpha-only door policy. It was said to be somewhere you could find anyone, and arrange anything. Percival would go and he would find out what was happening with the creatures - he could organise a coordinated raid.
After a few hours Seraphina's knock sounded on the door.
"Come in?" He called out. She walked in, stepping carefully across the broken glass without commenting on it, and made her way to his side.
"Do you think you're ready to see the prisoner?" She asked, not mentioning his name. The disdain on her face made it clear that it was Grindelwald she meant.
"I don't think we'll learn much from him." Percival answered. "But I won't let him think I'm afraid."
The two of them walked side by side to the cells, where Grindelwald was chained to a bench. He was smiling to himself, and at the sight of Percival his grin grew wider, as Percival's heart twisted in his chest, sickness building.
"Hello Percy. It's good to see you, I wasn't sure they allowed conjugal visits. Although I must say I much prefer you naked. You look like you're a child dressed up in that suit, trying to pass as an alpha."
Grindelwald didn't look at all afraid. He looked at Percival with the same expression he had when he'd got home from work.
"Don't tell me they've given you your old job back Percy. They really think a pretty little omega like you has the capacity to head a department? They wouldn't think it if they'd heard you moaning the way you did for me. I think you'd make most of them blush."
"We're both back where we belong." Percival replied. Seraphina stood at his side, her gaze cold and professional. Her hand rested on Percival's arm, a solid reassurance that he wasn't alone.
"Do you think you can hold me?" Grindelwald asked, paying no attention to Seraphina. His gaze was fixed solely on Percival, looking at him hungrily.
"We'll do our best Mister Grindelwald." Seraphina answered. "Now, are you going to provide us with any information, or shall we leave?"
"One piece of information. The rest, he'll have to come back for. But Percy, darling?"
Percival didn't answer, but Grindelwald continued after a few seconds as though he had.
"I do hope you've given some thought to baby names. Dear Credence seemed to want to call our child after a virtue. Even suggested 'Hope'. Foolish boy. I wouldn't hear of it."
"He's dead now."
"He's hardly dead. I don't believe that merely shredding them is enough to kill an obscurus." Grindelwald settled back against the wall of the cell. "That's all I'm giving you today Percy. I know how omegas like to plead, how they like to feel that their alpha will give them whatever they want. But I won't spoil you." Seraphina tugged on Percival's arm, leading him away.
Grindelwald called after him.
"Percy, when your next heat hits, I'll be waiting for you."
Percival couldn't stop himself shuddering as they walked away.
"I'm sorry." Seraphina whispered.
"Don't be. We need to find out if what he said about Credence is true."
Chapter 6: Meeting
Newt's travels across the world had brought him into any number of strange and unpleasant places. It was that which gave him confidence as he walked into The Fallen Witch, head held high.
Madame Picquery, had granted him permission to stay within the city for a little longer, and he was determined to make the most of the opportunity. He had saved the country and her best friend, and so he assumed he would get away with visiting at least a couple of disreputable bars. It was for a worthy cause anyway - he was sure that there were a lot of creatures out there that could be saved with the right support. He wanted to find them, stop the people that were hurting them, and find someone that would treat them right. He hoped he would even be able to get them some of them home. His goal was to help creatures, even those that other wizards thought were worthless.
That knowledge drove him onwards as he walked down the steps that led to the bar.
"Alphas only." Said one of the heavies on the door, reaching out to grab Newt's arm. Newt raised an eyebrow at him, twisting his arm from the man's grip.
"I am an alpha."
There was a slight pause as the man looked him up and down, before leaning in to smell him. At that his eyes widened.
"You don't look like one."
"Well, you don't look much like a troll."
The bouncer frowned, trying to work out if he had been insulted. Newt smiled at him innocently.
"Can I carry on? I've got an important meeting in here, and if it's delayed because of you I will see if I can take the money it costs me from your wages."
The bouncer stepped aside, and Newt walked on through, trying to project confidence and assurance. He tried to channel Abrazas Malfoy, who had been a few years above him at Hogwarts, and exactly the kind of powerful snob that Newt despised and now needed to emulate.
For all the issues that his alpha status had brought him over the years, he couldn't deny that at times it could be a useful role to play. He knew he certainly wouldn't have had any chance to do this kind of work had he been an omega. It wouldn't have been safe, and regardless he wouldn't have been allowed to try. Not to mention Theseus would have fretted even more than he already did if his brother had tried this kind of behaviour as an omega.
The Fallen Witch had its own band playing jazz, the pundits laughing among themselves. It was clear that several of the wizards in the pub were already quite drunk. Newt knew from past experience that it could be useful for those he was speaking to to be a little drunk - it made them more open to sharing their knowledge with him. He often ended up buying other people a lot of drinks, but the information he would get in exchange would be more than worth the cost to him.
He took a seat at one of the tables, eyes darting around the room. In a normal conversation, he found it hard to pick out how to respond. But at a time like this, he could pick out who he needed to speak to from the crowd. There was money changing hands, and whispered conversations. A glass vial slipped across the table opposite, its contents glowing the vivid blue he recognised as the aestus potion. A nasty little concoction that he had been slipped more than once. His biology had protected him.
He turned his attention to the potion's dealer. While there were valid medical reasons to use a potion that could induce regular heats (such as those who were struggling with excessive pain or unpredictable and fierce fevers with their heats) a lot of the time the potion was used to target omegas who were trying to take control of their body. Newt had listened to enough rants from Theseus to have strong views on that. More than that though, he knew the potion was made from the blood of the Swooping Evil. It wasn't unusual for entire colonies of the creature to be slaughtered so their blood could be harvested.
His own Swooping Evil had been rescued a few months back from some smugglers who had regularly been cutting and bleeding the poor creature. By capturing Grindelwald, that magical creature had done more for the wizards and witches of New York than their own aurors. And in repayment, the blood of his species was traded on the streets.
Newt squared his shoulders, walking over and sitting facing the dealer. The dealer was a man in his late thirties, with square shoulders and a rough appearance - the kind that found his calling in manual labour, or else in threatening others to do the labour for him.
"What do you want?"
"I saw what you gave him." Newt said softly. "I happen to be having a few...issues with my girlfriend. If I could purchase some?"
A wand tip pressed against his throat, and Newt squirmed a little. He'd been right in his assumption then - the man was big and stupid and quick to violence. He also wasn't very observant, judging by the fact he hadn't noticed that his pocket was being picked by an invisible demiguise.
"I was only asking."
"You keep your face out of what don't belong to you." The man snarled. "Or I'll hex it off."
"Yes sir." Newt backed away, his hands raised, stumbling into an alpha woman with a dark coat on. She looked vaguely familiar.
He felt Dougal slip something into his pocket. Dipping his hand in, he found that he was now in possession of a notebook. He took a few steps backwards to take a look, sitting back at a table and summoning a glass, which he filled with water.
He gagged at what the notebook contained. Crushed Billywig x 9, powdered bowtruckle (6 oz), fwooper feathers, dragon horn, SE blood, mooncalf eyes. He shut the notebook, sick to the stomach. The thought of poor innocent creatures being cut up for potion ingredients horrified him.
He glanced down at the closed notebook. It was leather, with a jackal's head embossed on the front. He traced the design with a finger absent mindedly.
A strong hand seized his shoulder, and a dark wand pressed into his chest.
"Stay where you are." A voice commanded. Newt nodded. After a moment, the speaker continued, "Put your wand on the table. Now."
Newt reluctantly obeyed, wondering if this was how he was going to die. Avadaed in some filthy pub in the back streets of New York.
"Give me that notebook."
He held it up, careful to keep his gaze ahead and his movements slow. He needed to find a way out of this. He felt Dougal's solid weight settle on his lap, but the demiguise made no movement to attack, merely waiting. He took a few slow breaths as the notebook was lifted from his hand.
"What's your name?" The voice demanded.
"Your real name." The man behind him insisted, poking the wand into his chest. Light blue sparks skittered across his skin, leaving pinch points of pain where they had touched him. He closed his eyes, silently wishing he had a rescue planned. Dougal was with him, but the demiguise was making no move, and Pickett could free him from chains but could hardly fight a dangerous wizard. He'd left his Swooping Evil in his case as a concession to Tina's concerns, and now he was regretting that.
"So a thief as well as a smuggler." The man behind him spoke with a smirk. "Now, you and I are going to have a very interesting talk." He felt a petrification spell being cast over him. He couldn't run, couldn't get away. Dougal was still sitting on him, as though nothing were happening, and it was all that Newt could do not to yell at the poor beast.
Then a wave of blinding light ran through the air, followed by the pop of apparation. Aurors coming in, and the bar's clientele trying to leave. Newt was sat in his chair in the middle of it all, unable to get away.
Chaos continued for several minutes, before movement suddenly returned to all of Newt's limbs. He looked around, only to find Director Graves staring down at him. Disgust was written across the other alpha's face. Newt tried to remind himself that this was the real Director Graves, even though the other man looked a little different from their initial meeting - his hair was cut short, and he had a slight shadow on his face which would soon become a beard. He glared.
"You and I need to have a talk, Mister Scamander." A hand grabbed his, and he was apparated into MACUSA itself.
Newt felt sickness building up in his chest as he was marched into the very interrogation room where he had previously been sentenced to death. He wasn't cuffed now, and he sat waiting for the Director to begin talking, holding Dougal on his lap. The Demiguise had stubbornly remained invisible throughout the entire process, but his fur was warm and soft, and Newt felt safer holding him.
"Would you care to explain why you were invading my investigation?" The director began, sitting forwards in his chair. The lights weren't pointed directly at Newt at that moment, but he knew it could all change within a second.
"I heard there was creature smuggling and trade in animal parts at The Fallen Witch." Newt tried to explain, his body curling in on itself. He would protect Dougal at least. He tried to remind himself that none of this was like the last time he had been here. In an attempt to distract himself, he looked up at the Director. He was objectively a handsome man, and the stories Theseus had told Newt since he came home from the war made him only more so - that this was the alpha that had single handedly saved half a muggle village, and who had fought back an Austrian werewolf. "I wanted to find out more."
"You are a civilian, Mister Scamander." The Director reminded him. "You may not realise it, and you may not act like it, but you are a civilian."
"I know." Newt murmured after a moment. "I just... I care about creatures, and a lot of the time no one else does. I found that notebook, which might be of help, and..."
"We would have found it. It's lucky you didn't blow the entire operation, or worse get yourself hurt. Leave the investigation to the aurors."
Newt glanced down, ashamed. The Director leaned in a little, a kinder smile on his face. Newt couldn't quite meet his eyes.
"From what Auror Goldstein has told me, you've got a natural talent for creatures of all kinds. If our investigations go well and we track down the people responsible, we might have a lot of creatures to rescue. I'll need you ready to assist on that."
"Thank you." Newt murmured. "I saw him dealing the aestus potion."
For a second, a look like pain crossed the Director's face, but then he nodded.
"Thank you Mister Scamander. I'll be in contact about any beasts that we find. Please try and stay out of trouble. I gather that might be quite hard for you, but I'd be grateful if you would."
Newt managed a shy smile.
"I'll see what I can do Director."
"Good." The door behind him swung open at a wave of the Director's hand. "You are free to go."
Newt stood up and made his way out of the Director's office, only to find himself faced with a rather annoyed looking Tina.
"You nearly ruined the raid."
"The Director said that."
"And you could have been killed."
"He said that too."
Tina wrapped her arms around his shoulders, and then held out her ID card. It had changed to a pale green colour, and written across the top were two words. Probationary Auror
Newt smiled, and Tina embraced him, hissing into his ear.
"Now just don't get me into any more trouble."
"Want me to help decipher that notebook?" Newt asked. "I'm somewhat of an expert on how creatures can be used."
Tina nodded, and ushered Newt over to a free desk. He got to work.
Chapter 7: Parasite
Within this chapter, an unsuccessful abortion attempt is made. If this is something that could be hard for you to read, stop at the point Percival locks himself within his office.
Percival tried to delay visiting Healer Stag, to ask for her help in concealing his condition. He didn't want to think about what had happened. So far the fact he had been raped wasn't office gossip among the aurors - although Goldstein had started to bring him cups of coffee whenever she came back from her lunch break. He could hardly stand that particular show of sympathy, even if Goldstein was good at making coffee. He lived in utter horror of what would happen to him if they knew the truth.
He had still not gained back the weight he had lost under Grindelwald's torture, and he still flinched whenever he heard a door unlock. But he was slowly reducing the mountain of paperwork that had been Grindelwald's passing gift, his focus moving from trying to repair the damage that had been done to handling cases that had been missed.
He worked hard. He got to the office early, and often found he could put things in place to solve a more minor case before the other aurors made their way in. He would stay late at night, before making his way to the President's office and going home with her.
His own house was basically untouched since his rescue. He would visit occasionally in order to gather some clothes or a few other possessions. But he didn't want to sleep there. He was only able to face heading into the bedroom with Seraphina at his side, and even then the sight of the bed he had been imprisoned on for so long seemed to overwhelm him, the room spinning as Seraphina helped him stay on his feet and he tried to block out Grindelwald's words. How long have you been waiting for this Percy? Having an alpha put you in your place, show you where you really belong, you must have been waiting a long time. But I've got you now. I won't ever let you go.
Long thin fingers slapped his face, and he looked up to see Seraphina gazing at him in concern.
"You with me?"
"I'm with you," he promised her. "You said that you didn't need a family name."
She glared at him, and shook her head.
"I didn't think that you weren't you Percival. I thought you weren't coping. That you were on the verge of panic... no one would blame you for that. Not after what he did."
"I need to get the photoalbum from the bedside table. And some clothes." Percival argued.
"Then I will get them." Seraphina insisted. "There's nothing wrong with not wanting to face this room, not after everything that happened."
Percival had lacked the strength to argue. She walked into his prison, and returned a few minutes later with everything he had asked for. He brought it to her house, setting up on her sofa so that he didn't have to be alone.
His heat still didn't come.
When Seraphina sent a note scurrying onto his desk, handwritten and sealed with her unofficial seal, Percival knew that whatever she wanted to speak to him about, it had to be serious. He made his way to her office, knocking smartly.
"Come in Director Graves," Seraphina called out. He walked in, freezing when he saw that her personal Healer was in the room. It was tempting to turn and run.
"What?" he asked cautiously.
"I've asked Maisie here to explain the possibilities of what to do. With what he left."
"I know the possibilities." Percival snapped. "I'm not some blushing virgin omega who has no idea about-"
"But you were a virgin." Seraphina answered. A moment after she had spoken she looked down, clearly shocked by her own words.
Percival glared at her, and only just managed to stop himself from storming from the room.
"That doesn't matter."
"No," she agreed. "It doesn't. I shouldn't have mentioned it."
Healer Stag cleared her throat.
"What are your plans?"
"I want to give it to someone. I don't care who, and I don't want to see it. Just take it, and put it as far away from me as possible. There are enough wizarding families who can’t have children. Give it to one of them."
Seraphina looked like she was about to argue, but Maisie nodded.
"Then we need to find a way to hide it as you move further through the pregnancy." That word made Percival cringe, but he sat still and awaited her judgement. "I've been able to craft you a charm that will hide the pregnancy for another month or two. After that, you will need medical leave, do you understand me?"
"We can find an excuse." Seraphina said quickly.
Percival nodded. He couldn't face arguing about this.
Healer Stag stepped forwards, casting a layering of spells onto him. He tried to ignore it, to think of being somewhere else, with anything other than this happening.
"Is there anything you want to specify about the family?"
"Someone who won't know where it came from." That would be safer. He was fairly sure that one day Grindelwald would come looking for the child. It would be better for both of them if Percival knew nothing about where it was.
Seraphina stood beside him, silent but reliable.
That night, she brought out her favourite recipes, making gumbo and a peach cobbler that filled the kitchen with a rich comforting smell.
"You sure you want to go through with this?"
"It stops the heats," Percival said simply. A lesser witch would have been shocked by that comment. Seraphina merely nodded, and they ate together, joking about work and about their memories from Ilvermorny.
It was when Percival went to wash that evening that he noticed the faintest curve of his stomach, an unnatural distension as Grindelwald's lasting torture took effect. He placed his hands on the sink as sickness rolled through him, and scourgified himself clean.
As he stood, he caught sight of himself in the mirror. For a moment it was Grindelwald wearing his face which stared back at him, and he shuddered. Such a good little omega brood mare Percy. This'll just be the first. And you're going to ask for them, because I know how much you like not having your heat. Maybe we will pause before the next child. Let you get an understanding of what it really can be like.
The sound of shattering glass brought him back to reality, and he found that he was standing in Seraphina's bathroom, her mirror in pieces on the floor before him. He took a deep breath and then cast a simple repairing charm. He was careful not to see his reflection as he left the room.
Scamander was still taking up space in the aurors' office. Annoyingly, he had proven himself to be a surprisingly useful individual to have around - that was when he wasn't releasing potentially dangerous creatures. Hearing someone argue that their nundu wouldn't hurt a fly and just needed to stretch her legs had made Percival ten years older, he was sure of it. Newt had taken responsibility for a number of creatures which the aurors had found, and they were safely stashed away in his case.
The large white ape thing - the Demiguise - was called Dougal, and made a habit of sitting with Percival sometimes. Percival found himself reaching out to pet its fur when he was tired. Dougal seemed to appreciate the contact, and if he found it soothing – well, no one else needed to know.
Percival was still the Director of Magical Security. He was still viewed as an alpha by the outside world, and he wanted to carry on with that for as long as possible. At times he hated Scamander - an alpha who was confident in what he was, but was at the same time delicate and almost pretty. The fact that man could be an alpha, when the growing parasite inside of him was a reminder that he was not, made him feel angry.
Scamander was a hard man to hate. That was the worst thing about it. He was just so earnest. The other aurors were all smitten with him, and Percival could see why his brother held him in such high regard. Even if at times the man's eccentricities were infuriating.
Almost a month after Percival's return to work, he still stayed with Seraphina. Seraphina despised coffee, and refused to have it made in her house, meaning that Percival began every day by making himself a fresh mug of coffee - as black as his own heart, if you asked some of the younger aurors.
One morning, he walked into the office, casting a quick charm over himself to ensure he looked flawless. He was aware of the weight of the child within him, and the way his body was distorting, but no one else could see it yet. The spell Healer Stag had cast was holding for now. He made his way over to where his coffee mug was waiting, and went to Aguamenti himself some water, only to pause with his wand at the rim of the cup as something stared up at him.
The something in question was about as long as his wand, although it was coiled up. Its body was blue and scaled, and large orange eyes gazed up at him. For a moment he considered pouring water down on the creature's head, but that seemed cruel. So he merely placed a large book on top of the cup, created a sign saying "Snake thing, FAO Mr. Scamander", and found a spare mug.
An hour later, Scamander stuck his head around the corner.
"Hello Director Graves, I just wanted to say thank you for locating my lost occamy." As he said that he walked into the room, and Percival saw he was cupping the 'occamy' in his hands.
"Why do you find it so impossible not to lose your creatures? I thought your case was tied up with string while you were in my department."
"It is sir," Scamander answered. "It was just that Bethany was cold so she was in my pocket for body heat, which wouldn't have been a problem only I took my coat off and it seems she went for a little wander."
"She can't wander Scamander. She doesn't have legs."
"My name is Newt," Scamander protested. "And she clearly did go for a wander, because you found her... where did you find her?"
"In my coffee cup."
"Oh... you didn't get any coffee on her did you? She really wouldn't enjoy that."
"No, I didn't." Percival said firmly. "As you can see, she's completely fine. If you're grateful for me saving her, then please just keep her out of my coffee mug in future."
"I will try," Newt said, and then walked forwards, holding the occamy out towards him. "What do you want to say to Director Graves Bethany."
The occamy lifted its head, waving from side to side and hissing. "She says thank you," Newt translated. Percival arched an eyebrow.
"If you say so."
Newt smiled at him softly.
"Fontaine told me that you were going to be doing a raid in the next couple of days on the Anubis gang. Can I come with you?"
"Possibly," Percival answered. "Although I will have someone search you before we head out. Just to ensure that you aren't smuggling in more creatures than we manage to take out."
Newt walked away with his occamy, and Percival watched him go, shaking his head slightly. The man was odd. But he had a good heart. He was the kind of man that Percival used to like - had he been an omega. But Percival couldn't get close to another alpha, couldn't let his secret out. He was fairly sure that now he wouldn't ever be in a relationship. Previously he had thought one day he might get an omega who understood. But now even that possibility had been snatched away.
He waved a hand to summon a book towards him, and it wavered for a moment before it floated over to him.
The raid on the Anubis Gang would be the first major one that Percival had carried out since his return to work, and he was more anxious than he had been for a long time. A small part of him hoped that a spell might hit him. Might end the entire situation.
He stood at the main table of the Major Investigations Department, his aurors clustered around him as he set out what would be happening. He shot a glare over to Newt Scamander.
"You are to stay back until one of the aurors collects you, do you understand?"
"I will stick your feet to the ground if you consider sneaking in, do you understand me?"
"Possibly," Newt mumbled, crossing his arms. On his lapel, the bowtruckle crossed its arms as well.
"I thought Goldstein had already frisked you for creatures."
"Pickett doesn't count," Newt protested.
Percival considered arguing about that, but then decided he needed to pick his battles with Newt.
"Just make sure it doesn't interfere."
"He won't," Newt answered, walking away to mutter to the bowtruckle. Percival cleared his throat, tapping his wand on the table to try and draw his aurors' attention.
"Fontaine, you and I are going in first. We will assess and take out any guards that are around. Hopefully, we will be able to trap most of them and ensure that they are out of the way before the other aurors arrive. Scamander is to stay back until Fontaine or I collect him. Is everyone clear on this particular topic?"
Murmurs of affirmation echoed around the meeting room. Everything was falling into place, the way it had done before this hell had been unleashed upon him.
"We strike in an hour. I expect everyone to be in position."
The lower ranking aurors scurried off to finish the necessary preparations, and Fontaine walked over.
"It's good to have you back."
Percival braced himself for a refusal, to be told he was too weak or not yet ready to resume full duties. Instead Fontaine smiled at him, holding a hand out towards him. Percival shook it. He wasn't cringing from other alphas any more. He was their equal and men like Fontaine could see it.
"It's good to be back,” Percival assured. "And getting rid of this group will mean one less problem for my people. I would not be able to do this without my team."
"Good thing we aren't going anywhere then," Fontaine said with a smile. "You do need to come over for dinner sometime soon. Charlette misses you. She's pregnant again, and Toby has missed his favourite uncle."
"Congratulations. Of course I will come," Percival promised. "Now, don't we both need to get ready? It will look bad if neither of us is there when the others are prepared to attack."
"I miss one raid, and you never let me forget it," Fontaine chuckled, before heading to prepare. Percival waved a hand to call a pen over. When it didn't move he reached out to grip the pen in his hand. He wrote a brief note to remind himself to go to dinner with Fontaine soon. Charlette was a sweet omega, who doted on her only child. Percival knew that the two of them had struggled to conceive previously, so another child truly was wonderful news. Percival would be sure to send some present to the happy couple. He added that to his note, then apparated into position.
Fontaine appeared a few minutes before it was time to act. There was a faint lipstick mark on his throat.
"How is the wonderful Charlette?"
"Delighted you will soon be joining us," Fontaine answered. "She asks if you might be bringing the omega you-"
"I won't be." Percival cut him off, not wanting to know what he would have said if he had been able to continue. Fontaine hesitated, but then nodded.
"I suppose Grindelwald-"
"Rather destroyed that relationship," Percival agreed. "We haven't come here to discuss that. We have come here to do a job. For now, let's focus on that."
Fontaine nodded, and Percival held up his hand, slowly counting down until it was time for the two of them to apparate into the building.
The smell of the place made him gag. There were creatures here, dead and alive. Percival stepped over a large egg, unsure of what it contained, and made his way along a corridor. He could hear voices, and drew his wand - his wandless magic was not as reliable as it should have been after his long captivity.
Fontaine was alongside him, and it was he who cast the sealing spells on the door, trapping people within it and then following that spell with wards to prevent apparition. Percival set out to explore.
An older man with pale blond hair stepped out from a corridor. From even this distance, he could smell the man was an alpha. It looked like Grindelwald himself. His wand flicked out, as the man moved into an aggressive stance. It took barely a moment for him to send forwards a spell, but in that time his opponent had already cast a defensive spell. His own action rebounded helplessly off the shield, and a moment later the man sent forth another spell, one that knocked Percival off his feet.
His movements were slower than usual - not by much, but in a duel like this, a few seconds could make the difference between survival and death. He blocked the counter-spell, then surged forth with his own magic. He sent a wave of power, knocking his opponent from his feet, and he scrambled back to standing, his wand held out. He sent forth a second spell, ropes wrapping around his opponent, holding him in his prone position.
Another enemy stepped forwards and Percival stepped forwards, but as he duelled him a third man approached. A spell arced over Percival's shoulder, and he dodged it, flicking a counter at the third man. He heard someone scream behind him. It took a moment for him to realise that it was Fontaine who had screamed.
"It's okay," Fontaine answered, although Percival could hear that his voice was shaking a little. He was injured.
Percival sent forth another spell, and another, doing all he could to keep their opponents back from the wounded man. They were beating him back. As the blows continued, he stumbled further back along the corridor, closer to his fallen friend. He screamed in agony, as another spell hit him, pain running through him. He had been injured before, by other duels, but he had stood his ground on previous occasions. Now his legs were barely keeping him upright.
He nearly tripped over Fontaine's body, the man lying sprawled on the floor where he had fallen. Glancing down at his feet he saw he stood in a puddle of blood.
Someone apparated into place in front of him, wand out, and started to push back his attackers. As the others pressed the enemy away, Percival looked down to see Fontaine smiling up at him. Fontaine had managed to summon the others. Percival crouched down, casting emergency healing spells over his deputy.
"I'm fine," Fontaine murmured. "I'll be alright."
"You need to get to the hospital wing," Percival insisted. He looked around, trying to find the right auror to take him to safety. He sat beside him, holding Fontaine's hand until the other man passed out. Then he got to his feet, and raced after the rest of his aurors.
"Goldstein, get Fontaine to help."
She nodded, and dashed back as Percival resumed the fight.
The next morning, there was paperwork to fill in as Fontaine recovered within the hospital wing. Percival couldn't stop thinking about what he had done. About how he had failed his team due to his omega nature because that's all you are Percy, a weak little omega, how could you ever play pretend at being anything more. He stumbled as he walked through the office, aware of how his body had changed. He could feel Grindelwald's parting gift moving within him, and it left him angry.
Scamander had picked up the large egg, and was sitting at his desk making notes on it. The rest of the creatures were thankfully stored in the case.
"What is that?" Percival asked, trying to hide the fear and anger that twisted inside of him. He wasn't sure if the sickness he felt was the child, or his own guilt.
"An Ironbelly egg. I haven't seen one since the war..."
"You're telling me you have a dragon?" Percival asked, his concern for the other man momentarily overwhelming even his self-hatred.
"No," Newt answered petulantly. "I am telling you that I have the egg of a dragon. And even when it hatches, it will only be small."
"I thought Ironbellies were the largest breed?"
"It'll only be a baby."
Percival could feel the headache he recognised as the one Newt always caused starting to form. Rather than continuing to discuss the topic, Percival headed to his office. He shrugged off his coat, and sealed the door with a tap of his wand. He needed to be rid of the monster within him before it caused anyone's death.
He realised, after a moment, that he was afraid. He pushed that fear aside, pointing his wand at the most rounded point of his stomach, and then casting a silencing spell. Finally, he cast a spell to snuff out the life within him. The pain burned within him, the spell absorbed inside of him. A moment later, a fire burst through him, radiating out from his stomach, and he was screaming although the magic blocked his sounds. He recognised the feel of Grindelwald's magic alongside his own, the arcing lightning the other man favoured racing across his skin.
The world around him started to turn black and he fell forwards onto his desk as he heard someone knocking on the door.
Chapter 8: Healing
Newt was staring at his new Ironbelly egg when he heard a loud noise through the door, accompanied by the splintering of wood. He paused, glancing up towards it with a sense of concern - he knew that Graves was within the room, but as far as he could tell, he had made no noise. Which meant that either he had silenced himself, which would be a cause for concern, or else it meant that he was too injured to make a noise.
Newt knocked on the door. If there was anyone within who posed a threat, it was better that they believed him to be unaware of their presence.
"Director?" he called out, glancing back at the egg. With a wave of his wand he floated it beneath the table - if anything was to happen, that might provide the poor creature with the protection that could save it. He had found the egg, and he was responsible for the fragile life within it. He wouldn't let the little one down.
There was no answer.
There was no one else in the office yet, which left Newt with two options. He could either go for help, and abandon the Director with whatever threat he was facing. Or he could try and save him, and risk his own life if he was right and whatever was in that room was dangerous.
Really, there was no competition.
"Pickett?" he asked the bowtruckle, holding his hand out towards the lock. Pickett helpfully bounded along his arm to pick the lock. After a few seconds, the lock opened with a loud click, and Newt put the bowtruckle safely to one side before he pushed the door open, his wand held out ahead of him.
He wasn't quite sure what would be there. But he wasn't expecting what he found - to see the Director laying over the desk, his suit stretched around a swollen stomach, blood trickling from between his lips. He was unconscious. Aside from the Director, the room was deserted, and all the dangerous objects were safely stowed within glass cabinets. There was no obvious sign of what had injured him.
Newt made his way towards the Director, resting a hand on his shoulder.
"Sir?" he said softly. The other man groaned faintly, and Newt eased him back into one of his office chairs, examining him.
The most obvious thing he noticed was that the Director appeared to be several months pregnant. Newt knew that whilst occassionally alpha females fell pregnant, it was impossible for alpha males. That had been what had caused his own infertility, playing at potions with Leta to try and find a way that he would be able to carry. He put that information to one side, keeping up the same routine of gentle words he would use if he found an injured creature.
"It's okay, you've been through a lot, you're safe now..." The litany slipped from his words without any conscious thought. He undid the Director's shirt as he was searching for a wound. The Director had been struck by magic, but from no obvious source - the burns on his skin were backwards in a way. It was like fire that had sparked inside his body - thin lines like lightning.
Newt thought of the scars across his own back, from Grindelwald's spells. Grindelwald had held the Director prisoner for several months. Rarely, there had been cases of children using magic to defend themselves even before birth. For a man like the Director, an alpha at the top of his game - well, Theseus would have panicked if he had been in such a condition. It would only be natural for him to try and destroy the child - and only natural for the child to protect itself in turn.
"The fuck are you-" The Director pulled back from him, wrapping his scarf more firmly around his throat and glaring at Newt.
"Sorry." Newt averted his gaze, seeing that the Director still looked pale. "I just heard a noise-"
"And you started undressing me?" the Director snapped.
"Your glamours had dropped. I think it..." He gestured towards the Director's stomach. "I think it might have attacked you. Possibly in self defence, possibly by accident."
The noise that the Director made was barely human. It was a sound of terror and of pain, the noise of an animal who was utterly trapped. Newt swallowed.
"I'm sorry I undid your shirt. I was looking for a wound."
The Director fumbled at his buttons, and Newt helped him to redo them, before using his own magic to rebuild the Director's glamour, pretending not to hear the whimper that escaped. Newt busied himself by finding a glass and filling it with water, handing it over to the Director.
"Here. Drink this."
The Director nodded, not saying anything in response. He was lost in thought, and Newt didn't want to startle him.
"In cases like this, I haven't heard of successful abortions," Newt said, and the Director raised a hand.
"Don't... don't say that," he muttered. "It...this parasite is sucking me dry of magic. I'm weaker now. And Fontaine nearly died because I can't throw the spells I normally can-"
"Nothing about this is normal," the Director snarled.
"No." Newt replied. "It isn't. Sorry. But what I mean is... that often...this condition weakens magic. There are potions you can take to help, if you'd like."
Relief passed across the Director's face.
"Do you have any children Mister Scamander?"
"No." Newt shook his head. "I can't. And I'm hardly the kind of person that someone would choose. But I've studied it a lot. I could produce a potion for you, if you would like. And you can call me Newt."
"Thank you Newt." The Director looked up at Newt's eyes. "If it is just the two of us, you have my permission to call me Percival."
"Thank you Percival." Newt smiled. "Now, we need to talk about how your magic is affected so I can make the correct potion. If that's alright?"
When Newt had learned all he could about how the pregnancy was affecting Percival's magic, he headed into his case. He grabbed a scrap of paper as he started to produce a potion that might help.
"Theseus. Come if you can. Newt." He knew his brother would respond soon, and was aware that he and Percival had been close in the war. If anyone was going to be able to help him with the position he found himself in, it would be Theseus.
Newt presumed that Percival would want to keep his condition quiet, and in that Theseus's connections could assist - he could find an excuse for Percival to work with him officially, and hide him from public.
It wasn't an ideal solution. But even with fortifying potions, there was a risk that Percival would find himself unable to hide it. Glamours could conceal the earlier stages of pregnancy, but for the last month or two the child would require too much magic for it to be hidden.
Having sent a note asking for help, he got to work. He flicked through his books until he found instructions to create the most powerful fortifying potions, and then he began to crush up the ingredients, mixing them in with some brandy. The liquid he was left with was the same red as food for baby dragons. He ensured he had a bottle of brandy and some chicken blood prepared for when his ironbelly hatched, then poured out the potion into a number of small vials.
He carried them up, and handed Percival the first bottle of crimson liquid, closing the case behind him.
Percival regarded it with some concern, frowning and twisting the vial in his hand.
"What is this?"
"A mixture of mint, brandy, wormwood, billywig sting - only a tiny pinch of that, some diluted murtlap venom... it's designed to strengthen a pregnant om-" Newt managed to swallow the word before it escaped his mouth. "To strengthen a pregnant person. I've not included anything that is designed to alter memories or calm. Just to strengthen your magic and to fortify you."
Percival still looked unsure.
"I'll leave them with you, make more if you'd like. You need a bottle a day, half when you wake and half when you go to sleep. You don't have to take it if you're uncomfortable." Newt said simply. "But it should strengthen you. You'll notice an improvement in a day or two"
"Thank you." Percival took the vials.
"If you'd like, you can come into the case? I know you've heard all about it." Newt shrugged. "I'd like to introduce you to the creatures, and Dougal has been missing you."
"You aren't telling me you can speak Demiguise?" Percival asked, and for a moment he looked almost nervous.
"No." Newt shrugged. "But I've raised him since he was a cub. I can recognise when he wants to see someone."
Percival smiled at that comment.
"Well, if I'm being missed..." His voice trailed off and then he nodded. Newt hesitated and then shrugged.
"I'd best grab the egg first, I'll put them down in a spare nest."
"You have a spare nest?" Percival asked as Newt walked out from the office, returning a few minutes later with a dragon egg sticking out of his pocket.
"Of course I do. I never know when I'm going to find another creature that needs looking after."
Newt placed the case down on the floor so that it would be easier for Percival to climb inside, leading the way into his sanctuary. He stepped down first.
"Sorry about the mess." He murmured. "I blame... well, mostly I blame me."
Percival laughed a little, and followed Newt out of the shed, then gasped.
"This... this looks amazing."
Newt couldn't help smiling at that comment. It was good to see his friends impressed by his life's work.
"Thank you." He waved his hands around. "I try and make suitable places for each of the creatures. I want them to feel at home."
He led Percival along on his standard case-tour, pointing out each of the habitats. He paused near the Runespoor cave to place his ironbelly egg down amongst the rocks, casting a quick charm so that the rocks would remain warm. They would be happy there, and it would encourage the hatchling to grow stronger.
"Spare nest for dragon eggs," Newt explained. "Well, an occupied nest now. but the point still stands."
He lead him on, pointing out the niffler and then leading him to the occamy nest.
"These are some of the children Dougal is looking after," he explained. "Occamy. They change their size in order to fit in whatever environment they find themselves in."
Percival was looking a little uncertain, when he glanced up at Newt.
"You didn't seem surprised. About my... about the condition."
"I wasn't," Newt said carefully. "Dougal likes children. He pays particular attention to... to creatures that might need a bit of extra support, and he was offering that attention to you. It was clear to me what the situation was."
"Oh." Percival frowned, but didn't deny it. He frowned, eyes settling on a bed that was nestled near the niffler's mound and within sight of the mooncalves. "Do you sleep in here?"
"Sometimes, but that bed isn't for me. I made it for ... well. I made it for the obscurial girl I met in Sudan, in case I was able to save her. And I was going to get rid of it, but then I heard about Credence Barebone here, and after that, well..if I have the bed there, it's available if someone needs it. You could use it if you want. There are some shelves nearby... I mean, I know you have your own place. But if you ever want to get away for a little while."
For a moment he expected Percival to be angry, to refuse. Instead, he nodded after a second, resting his hand on his stomach where the glamour disguised what had been done to him.
"I might. Thank you."
"You don't ever need to thank me for treating you like a human," Newt told him firmly. Percival nodded, passing into silence as they continued their journey around the case.
They climbed back out, and Percival murmured that he had to see the President. Newt waved goodbye, then went to check on his egg. It was starting to show a few hairline cracks, so he picked up the egg and carried it in his pocket so that he would be there when the hatchling entered the world.
He was working by Tina's desk when Percival returned.
"Scamander, a word?"
"Yes Director," Newt answered, following the director into his office.
"I have spoken with Madame President. We have both agreed that it will be for the best if I take a couple of days off, until the potions kick in. Officially I will be fully cataloguing your case and ensuring that I am on top of all the paperwork Grindelwald left undone."
"Alright." Newt looked at him, waiting for more.
"Unofficially, with your permission I would like to spend some time in the case. At the moment I do not feel that I am able to fully control my body, and your case offers a place for me to rest before I resume my full duties."
"That sounds good to me," Newt promised with a quick smile. He didn't want to seem overly eager, but he did think that his case was the best place in the world for someone who was feeling lost. It had helped bring him back to sanity following the war, the mixture of creatures to care about and physical labour to keep them content. It might give Percival that grounding - even if it didn't, he wasn't enough of a monster to refuse to try. The bed had been placed where it was in case it would be soothing for the girl to see some of the cases more gentle creatures, and within reach of Newt.
He lead Percival down into the case there and then, letting him set up the space he had for him however he would like. Percival would be working afterwards, but he wanted him to get a chance to relax first. It didn't take long for him to get everything sorted.
The egg was starting to crack open, and Newt sat it down on a lump of rock within the mooncalf enclosure, watching as the spiderweb of cracks widened.
"What will you do with it?" Percival asked, and Newt had to stay very calm to avoid jumping at his voice.
"I'm going to take them to a sanctuary soon," Newt said softly. "Let them live among their own kind. I'd like to keep them, but I know I can't."
Silence fell, and Newt thought that Percival was struggling with some words, trying to work out how he could say whatever it was that was praying on his mind. He was sure that there was something important, but equally something which he did not know how to voice. Theseus would be here soon, and he would be able to help Percival.
Newt knew they had been close during the war. Theseus spoke of Percival with admiration and respect, and had never mentioned that he was an omega, despite what the pregnancy suggested. Newt considered. He had heard of cases where an individual's mind and body didn't match. For one of the greatest aurors of the century to be trapped in the body of an omega, somewhere they didn't belong, must have been heartbreaking.
Percival was watching the mooncalves, as Newt helped the hatchling out from the egg, cradling it to his chest and smiling as sharp teeth nipped at his fingers. Percival nodded after a moment.
"Careful you don't lose a finger."
"She can't bite that hard yet, can you Bipsy?" Newt asked, scratching the top of the hatchling's head and making her close her eyes and chirrup in pleasure. The silent companionship of Percival beside him was a comfort, but he could tell the other man was still lost in his thoughts.
Eventually, he reached out to pull him back from wherever his contemplations were taking him.
"I hope you don't mind me asking-" he began, seeing Percival grow tense beside him. "But you're an alpha, aren't you?"
Chapter 9: Companion
"You're an alpha, aren't you?" Newt asked, not looking up from where his hands were full of the baby dragon. Percival was far from an expert on baby anythings but he was certain that 'Bipsy' was not an appropriate name for a dragon.
He didn't answer immediately, didn't know what to say. For a long time he had been an alpha - in the Ilvermorny dorms and in the classes, in auror training, even on the field of war. But right at this moment, he was as far from an alpha as it was possible to be, his own body betraying him in the most intimate and wrong way imaginable. He couldn't answer that question, had nothing to say to it. After a few moments, having successfully wrangled the tip of a metal bottle into Bipsy's mouth, Newt looked up.
"On the inside I mean?" Newt swallowed, squirming a little, fingertip rubbing the underside of the dragon's throat, encouraging it to feed. "I've read about cases. And Theseus would always refer to you as that American alpha he shared a room with. I don't think Theseus would lie about something like that."
"I'm pregnant." Percival spat the word, hoping that in some way his disgust would remove the truth from the statement.
"I know," Newt answered. "I saw that. I assume the child is Grindelwald's - the defensive magic it cast resembles his."
Percival glared at him, wishing he had the strength left to argue his point. What Newt was suggesting was impossible, and both of them knew it.
Bipsy had finished her meal, and was curled up against Newt's hand, letting out soft noises of contentment. Newt checked her over, then looked back at Percival.
"I presume he impregnated you while you were a prisoner. But that wasn't what I asked. Are you an alpha?"
Percival hesitated for a moment. He knew what he felt was the truth, and he knew what the truth was, and never had those two things been in such direct conflict. He took a slow and shaky breath, then looked Newt in the eye.
"Thank you." Newt's smile in response was brilliant, and while Percival had half-expected ridicule, none arrived.
Percival tried to fight down the wave of nausea that these words brought up inside of him. Admitting he was an alpha meant admitting how very wrong this situation was, meant saying that his entire life had been a lie. He wanted to scream. Newt just looked at him, and Percival glanced away, watching how the mooncalves struggled up their hill and then bounded back down, focused only on their sheer joy of being alive.
"I knew Theseus wouldn't have lied," Newt said softly. "You're an alpha, in the eyes of my family, and in the eyes of the world."
"I can't hide this-"
"You don't need to." Newt shrugged. "Not if you're taking time off work. I'm the only one in the case, and none of the creatures will tell-" He paused, glancing off to one side as Dougal approached carrying two cups. He held them out, and Percival automatically floated one over to Newt as he took his own.
"Thank you." He said to the demiguise. It chirruped at him gratefully, climbing up on to his side. He brushed his fingers through its fur.
"Careful," Newt warned. "He doesn't use the kettle, so it'll be cold."
Percival took a sip of the tea and then cast a quick spell over the cup to warm it, careful to mask his cringe at the taste in case it upset Dougal to see. Newt smiled knowingly at him.
"It's not just -" Percival gestured down at his stomach in despair. "He..." Percival reached up and undid his scarf, parting it to reveal the bite mark.
"He bonded you?" Newt looked pained for a moment.
"He did." Percival tried to clamp down on his terror, on the memories that began to bubble up. "He said he was going to find me." I'll find you and I'll keep you, my pretty little omega bitch, everyone is going to know that you are a traitor to your kind. That you let them down by being an omega, and that you betrayed them all for a touch of alpha cock. The landscape of the case seemed to fade before his eyes, and for one horrifying moment he thought that he might have imagined all of it, that he might still be chained to his own bed.
A hand on his shoulder made him jump, and he looked up to find Newt staring down at him.
"You're safe now," Newt insisted. "He won't find you here. And you can stay here as long as you need, when it becomes impossible to hide." Newt reached out, squeezing his hand.
"I can't kill it?" Percival asked desperately.
"An attempt at an abortion would most likely kill you both," Newt murmured, and Percival snarled. He was furious, but he knew there was nothing that could be done about his treacherous body or the life that had been forced inside of him. His anger landed on Newt. Newt who was an alpha without even trying, who was bordering on feminine. Who was gentle and who was mothering a baby dragon as though it was his own. Who would have suited being an omega.
"Let go," Percival snatched his hand back from Newt's gentle grip. For a moment pain passed across Newt's eyes, but then he nodded and smiled sadly.
"What will you do with it?" Newt asked.
"I'm going to have them adopted by a magical family. Keep them away from Grindelwald, because he'd only hurt them if he got the chance. Once it's... once it has happened, I'm going to see what can be done to stop this happening again. The drugs he gave me means I'll have heats, but I'm not... I refuse to let him use me to bring life into this world." Percival was startled by the feeling of Dougal's fingers stroking through his hair, and reached up to find that his face was damp with tears.
Newt nodded slowly.
"I might be able to help you." Now, Newt's gaze was down, and Percival wondered if he had gone too far with his earlier outburst. "When I was younger, I aimed to become an omega." The British man spoke softly, his body tense and arms wrapped around his stomach as though waiting for a blow.
"Why would you want this?" Percival asked incredulously. "If I was an omega I couldn't do my job. You couldn't... you couldn't do what you do now. You would never be able to travel this freely."
"I wanted to carry a life within me," Newt's answer was little more than a whisper, but it felt like a shout in the calm of the case. "And I messed around with potions when I was too young to understand them. Now, I won't ever even sire a child, because I rendered myself infertile." He glanced up, face flushed a little with the pain of his words. "I can try and use what I learned then to assist you."
Newt looked utterly miserable at that moment, and Percival reached out for his hand, rubbing a thumb over the back of his palm. It was a tender gesture, one he would often use on cases if he was dealing with a distressed omega. After a moment Newt relaxed, looking up at Percival through eyelashes wet with tears.
"You've got Bipsy," Percival pointed out, and Newt's lips twitched in a faint smile.
"Until she goes to a sanctuary at least," he agreed. "She'll be better off with her own kind..." He nuzzled the small dragon which had settled on his shoulder, his eyes shining slightly. "Thanks. Look... I know this isn't what you wanted. But in a couple of days you'll be feeling stronger, and you can return to work."
Percival nodded slowly, making himself smile like Newt was. His thumb still rubbed the back of Newt's hand, calming him.
"Alright. I'll work for as long as I can-"
"And then you can come here. I'll protect both of you," Newt said firmly, his tears giving way to faint shuddering breaths.
"People will notice that I'm missing."
"Not if we've given them a reason." Newt swallowed, and he managed to look up into Percival's eyes. "I'll find a way of keeping your secret."
"Thank you," Percival murmured, leaning forwards and pressing his lips to Newt's forehead for a moment, before he realised what he had done and pulled away. He glanced at Newt curiously, but Newt was smiling up at him and he looked calmer.
"Will you help me feed the creatures?" Newt asked, and Percival stood up, shooing Dougal off of his lap. Newt kept close to him as they began to walk around the case, glancing shyly up at him.
Percival's mind drifted, and he thought of the kind of omegas he had been attracted to when they were younger. It had never been more than a harmless flirtation, only too aware that his secrets would be revealed if he allowed them any kind of intimacy. But they had been men and women like Newt, pure in a way that so much of his day to day life wasn't. If Newt was an omega, he would have flirted with him now, teased him. As it was, he was aware that the other man was biologically more of an alpha than he could ever be. He wore a bonding mark for a dark wizard at his throat, and carried a potential monster within him.
Everyone will see that you are mine Percy. No one would ever mistake you for an auror, not when you're carrying our child. And you're such a pretty omega really, now your hair's getting longer, so much better than the pathetic excuse for an alpha you pretended to be. Something sharp tugged at Percival's earlobe and he yelped, dragged back to reality by the sudden burst of pain.
"Bipsy!" Newt reprimanded the dragon hatchling, reaching out to carefully remove the small beast. He rubbed at the underside of her throat until she released his ear. "I'm so sorry Percival. She shouldn't have done that."
"It's alright," Percival murmured. "Now, what can I do to help here?" Working hard was the one thing that might distract him from the circling thoughts which were threatening to consume him.
Percival cast his own wards around his bed before he slept. Even knowing that the case was safe, he couldn't help worrying that he would be discovered. By casting a few spells, he hoped that he would be able to shelter himself from an attack or from discovery. His hand rested on his stomach, and he tried to ignore the movements that he could feel within him. This was only for two days. Just until the potions that Newt had provided enabled his magic to return to full strength.
He lay on the bed, and stared up at the ceiling. It was spelled to look like the night sky, and he found that more comforting than he could put into words - it brought back memories of the war, and stopped him feeling trapped. He hadn't expected to sleep that night, but the manual labour combined with the draining of his magic by the thing growing inside of him meant that darkness overwhelmed him soon enough.
He woke to the sound of a discussion, and Newt laughing a little. For a second, a bead of jealousy reared its head before he pushed it away, reminding himself that he was broken, that he had nothing to offer just a pretty little omega. He shook his head, and struggled to his feet, bringing down his wards.
The sight that greeted him made him smile in spite of himself.
Newt was sitting on the ground in front of the mooncalves, laughing at his older brother. Theseus had clearly been feeding the other creatures, only to be swarmed by them. Now he was laying on the ground, with mooncalves standing on top of him and keening plaintively. For a few moments Percival just smirked, before he walked across to them, whistling and then grabbing a handful of the pellets. He threw them away from Theseus, and the little creatures bounced off after their food.
Theseus cleared his throat and struggled to his feet, then held his hand out towards Percival. Percival shook his hand for a moment, then pulled him into an embrace.
"Perce, it's good to see you, I heard that bastard had caught you, I was pretty worried he might have..." Theseus trailed off, and Percival glanced at Newt and shrugged his shoulders, forcing himself to be brave.
"He did. Newt knows." He allowed the glamours to drop for a moment. "Newt is showing me how I can regain my strength. It's... it's good to see you."
Theseus glanced down at the bump, his eyes darkening with rage.
"I'm sorry," he muttered. "I should have defeated him before now. I had no idea. If I'd known-"
"I know." Percival quickly placed the glamours back up, and reached out towards Theseus. "It wasn't your fault."
"This is why you wrote to me?" Theseus rounded on Newt, pulling out a scrap of paper which he brandished towards his brother. "'Theseus, come if you can, Newt.' I thought the Yanks had locked you up again!"
"I'm sorry." Newt mumbled. "I just... didn't want to-"
"He was protecting me," Percival said quickly, stepping forwards and moving in front of Newt, defending him. "He didn't know you knew."
"I thought that possibly Percival could be seconded to the Ministry, when the glamours don't work anymore," Newt explained from behind him. "And I thought he might need a friend."
Percival shrugged, and reached out to put a hand on Newt's arm.
"You're my friend."
The look of sheer joy on Newt's face startled him for a moment, before Theseus narrowed his eyes and looked between them.
"Newt, is that a dragon on your head?"
"She's called Bipsy," Newt explained, retrieving his dragon. "She's an Ironbelly. That's why she keeps climbing - they are drawn to cliffs and mountains."
Theseus rubbed the bridge of his nose and glanced at Newt in something approaching despair.
"Of course she is. Merlin knows you're never going to be drawn to something sensible to look after."
"Don't listen to him Bipsy," Newt told the dragon, and then smiled at them. "I thought you two might need to talk." With that he headed into the darker recesses of the case.
Theseus reached out to put his hands on Percival's shoulders, staring into his eyes.
"I will get the bastard for what he's done to you."
"He's in MACUSA custody," Percival said quickly. "I have been interviewing him. Apparently he only talks to me."
Theseus's lips pressed together into an angry line.
"What are you doing about...that?" He gestured at Percival's midsection.
"I can't kill it. I tried and I nearly died. But I'm not letting him win."
Theseus embraced him for a moment, and then nodded, his eyebrows pressing together for a moment.
"I know Newt is a complete idiot," Theseus began, "and he cares far more about his creatures than any sane person would, but he does care about those he looks after. And he's always wanted a child of his own." Theseus lowered his voice as he admitted that. "Just... something to think about."
Percival didn't answer, and after a moment Theseus sighed.
"So, how come your team didn't realise you had been replaced?"
"I suppose I shouldn't take it personally, but it's rather hard not to when a sociopath was wearing my face and none of the people I work beside realised it."
"I'm sure I would have," Theseus said with a grin. "Now, let’s go and make sure that Newt doesn't get devoured by any of his creatures."
"His dragon bit me," Percival complained, and Theseus laughed.
"Yeah, that happens a lot. Newt tends to collect bitey things. He says it's a family trait."
"You didn't collect me."
"I never said you were bitey," Theseus replied, with the same confident grin that had seen them through the trenches. "Come on."
Chapter 10: Mother
Newt had left his brother and Percival to talk, knowing that his brother was better at handling other people in times of distress than he was. Creatures and their young came naturally to him, but not humans. Not soldiers. Theseus had always spoken highly of Percival, and that admiration was what Percival needed to see at this moment. He needed to feel that he was respected, that people would look up to him. That alone would give him the strength he needed to get through everything that was happening.
Newt would try and support him, but he didn't think that he alone would be able to help Percival. Percival would need the support of a friend, a strong alpha like he was. Newt yelped slightly as sharp teeth pierced his fingertip, glancing down to find Bipsy with her mouth around his finger.
"I can leave you with the runespoor you know?" he threatened, as he tickled her under the chin until his finger was released. He stretched his finger, rubbing at the spots of blood which had beaded up, and put her back on his shoulder. She responded by promptly climbing up onto his head and chirping triumphantly from her new vantage point. He considered complaining, but was fairly sure she wouldn't listen to him, so instead he went to check on the graphorns.
He had just finished feeding them when he heard two sets of human footsteps approaching. He spun to find his brother and Percival side by side, watching him. Theseus was smirking a little, the same expression he used to get when he knew that their parents had got Newt a new creature and Newt was still asking for it: the look he had when he knew something and Newt didn't. Something that was going to be good for Newt.
"Is that demiguise of yours still around?"
"He's over by the bowtruckle tree." Newt answered, unsurprised by his brother's request - Dougal was one of the creatures that Theseus actually liked. Theseus walked away, leaving Percival and Newt standing facing each other.
"Hey," Newt greeted softly. "I hope you don't mind. I just thought... well, I know you're old friends, and he's the kind of person who can help... when I was finding things hard, he always knew how to make life better. I thought he might be able to help you too."
"He did help," Percival agreed. "He's always been supportive of who I am, and he helped me to get a new perspective on the situation."
Newt nodded, and when Percival held out his arms he moved closer, nuzzling into his side. He knew how to give cuddles, found them calming. If Percival enjoyed them too, he was happy to indulge him.
"In a day or two I'll be healthy enough to return to work for a little while," Percival murmured. Newt nodded his agreement, and Percival smiled for a moment before his forehead creased with a frown.
"It'll only be temporary."
"After the child, you can return. No one needs to know." Newt was quick to reassure him, not wanting to add to his concern.
"How long are you going to look after Bipsy?"
"Two months? Three at the most - she needs to be among her own kind really, I'm just taking care for her for now."
Percival nodded, reaching out to pat one of the graphorn, blinking a little as its tendrils encircled his hand and brushed over his skin.
"He likes you," Newt confirmed, and Percival nodded, rubbing the creature's side.
"If I'm going to be staying here for a little while, I'd best learn how to care for all of them." Percival said, and Newt's face lit up with joy.
Percival flinched slightly.
"Kid's got better aim than-" He swallowed wherever that sentence was going, and tried again. "I swear it's like I've got a target on my kidneys."
Newt looked at him sympathetically.
"I can make you some tea to help a little with the pain if you would like?" he suggested and Percival nodded. Newt left him sat on some rocks, walking off to fetch a herbal tea, full of exotic leaves which would lessen the pain and help soothe both parent and child. He returned to find that Percival was laughing, one of the baby graphorns nuzzling into his side.
Percival took the cup from him with a grateful smile, sipping it.
"Lavender?" he asked, and Newt nodded.
"I like the flavour," Newt mumbled. Percival smiled at him fondly for a moment, and then reached out for Newt's hand. Newt let him take it, and as Percival pulled him closer he went eagerly, ending up sat on Percival's knee. Percival's hand rested on his stomach, and he shivered a little at the look in Percival's eyes.
"You are a good man Newt Scamander. And I don't want that goodness to mean you answer me how you think I want to be answered. I want your honesty, about this, about everything."
Newt nodded, confused by the serious tone Percival was taking. He was surprised - a few minutes before the two of them had been laughing together, but now things were far more serious.
"Alright?" Newt promised. "You don't want me to lie and make you feel better, I won't."
"Thank you." Percival nodded, then his hand stroked Newt’s houlders, and for a moment he closed his eyes, soothed by the touch. "Your brother said... well, your brother said that you want to be a mother..."
Newt nodded, eyes closed, face heating slightly with shame.
"I wouldn't wish what happened to you on anyone. I just know that... I'm meant to be a mother..." He gasped as Percival's lips brushed against his for a moment, before the auror pulled away and smiled a little.
"I know you are. And I'm not meant to be. But I could be a father."
It took a few moments for the true meaning of his words to sink in, for Newt to understand exactly what it was that was being offered. As he began to work it out he nodded breathlessly, and Percival's hand on his stomach pressed a little harder.
"We can take care of the child together. I can't promise you now that it'll all work out, that we'd be a suitable couple. But this way I know the child will be safe, and your brother has said you and it can always go there if you need protection. Grindelwald won't look for them with you."
Newt nodded, still lost for words. Percival's free hand rested on his hip, his thumb stroking across the ridge of bone hidden under fabric.
"The child will be wanted, and you won't have to be alone any more... How does that sound," he leaned in to whisper in Newt's ear, and his teeth caught slightly on the lobe before he breathed the final word. "Mummy?"
Newt thrilled at the word, and nodded once before Percival's lips claimed his. He moved so that he was straddling Percival, Percival pressing heated kisses to his face and neck as he whispered.
"You're going to take such good care of our baby. I know you are you're going to be so beautiful with a child in your arms-"
"Ahem," Theseus coughed, and the two of them jumped apart as though they had been burned. He glanced between the two of them.
"You listened to my suggestion then Perce." Theseus's smirk was almost unbearable, and Newt blushed, hiding his face in Percival's neck. Percival's arms wrapped around him protectively.
"I know," Theseus murmured. "It's been a long time huh Perce? You better take good care of him or they'll never find the body."
Percival chuckled at that, and Newt could feel the noise reverberating in his chest.
“Newt, Bipsy’s on your head.” Theseus informed him, and Newt squeaked and felt his face colour with a blush.
Newt reached up, scooping his dragon off of his head with a wave of his hand. He looked at Percival curiously.
"You didn't feel that was something you should mention?"
"I didn't want you to get distracted from our conversation," Percival answered with a teasing smile. "Anyway, if we're going to make this work, I'll have to get used to creatures everywhere." He leaned in to brush his lips against Newt's, and Newt shivered a little. It felt good, to be kissed like that. To be wanted. He could remember before, with Leta, when she had kissed him and told him that once he was fixed, once he was a proper omega, she would have him. Not as a husband of course, but he would have her children and the children at least would take her name. He'd have been happy with that life once. But Percival kissed him like he wanted him, like Newt was valuable.
"I am standing right here you know," Theseus pointed out, and Newt blushed, burrowing his head against Percival's chest. He could feel his breathing slowly making his chest rise and fall. It felt solid and reliable, and he felt safe. That safeness was almost a surprise. Percival rubbed his back soothingly, and Theseus stood in front of them.
"Perce, you can probably manage another month or so before it gets to the point where you'll have to go into hiding. Newt's case is as good a place as any, and afterwards we could have use of you in England, at least for a few weeks."
"Thank you," Percival answered, before they started to discuss cases. Newt couldn't be bothered to listen, too busy daydreaming about the words Percival had purred into his ear.
He was aware that the situation wasn't ideal. but it would work, or at least it might work and that was enough to give him hope after years of hopelessness. He could raise the child by Percival's side, taking on the role he had always dreamed of as Percival stayed true to himself. In that at least it would be good.
Theseus insisted on taking them both out for dinner, and Percival selected a small Italian place which served the food fresh from the oven. Newt was contented, his case at his feet, sat beside Percival and opposite Theseus. Bipsy had been placed inside a charmed pocket so that she could stay close to Newt and in doing so avoid causing distress either for herself or for any other creature or human.
"I suppose I should congratulate you," Theseus said to the two of them with a faint smile. "Both of you. I think you'll be happy together. And Newt, I'm not letting you bully my best friend, and Percival no making my brother sad, you hear me?"
"I heard," Percival muttered, an expression on his face which could best be described as sulking. He cheered rather as Theseus refilled his glass with whisky, careful to hide it from the waiter who was passing by.
"I'm feeling stronger," Percival said. "I'd like to return to work tomorrow if I can."
"Of course," Newt agreed, then smiled. "I can use a glamour."
"If I use a glamour it looks like I'm hiding a pregnancy. That will get people talking, and then when we take time off together-" Newt's voice drifted off, letting Percival put the pieces together. He nodded.
"You can come in and work in the office - maybe with auror Goldstein, she's fond of you. And then... if I have another interview you could come. Tell me if you think it's a foolish idea, I just want to show him that he hasn't won."
"I'd be honoured to come," Newt answered quickly. "I want to see the look on his face when he realises that you are still an alpha as worthy of respect as you ever were."
Percival initially moved to kiss Newt, before thinking better of it and reaching out to squeeze his hand.
Newt barely noticed the rest of the meal, caught up as he was in his thoughts about the awaiting interview. He had met Grindelwald only briefly before, while he was first sentencing Newt to death wearing Percival's face and then trying to torture him. Had he never seen the man again he would have said that was two times more than he needed to see him. But at the same time, he knew he had to support Percival. It didn't matter what had happened to Newt - Percival had suffered far more, and in worse ways. If he was asking for someone to hold his hand, Newt would do it.
When the meal was finished they headed back, Percival climbing down into the case and laying on the bed that had initially been planned for an obscurial. Newt considered checking on him, but was aware Percival probably wanted some privacy. With that in mind he went to his own bed for the night and tried not to consider what the morning would bring. His thoughts began to circle on the idea of what it was that might make him attractive to a man like Percival, and kept settling on his own broken body. He would be useful because Percival couldn't conceive from him. That thought haunted him and made it hard to sleep.
He woke to the sound of his brother frying eggs in the kitchen and he stretched before wandering over to see if Theseus needed help. Even since childhood he had always tried to help Theseus, to be useful. It would have been easy for his brother to ridicule him, but instead he always found some task that was within Newt's abilities. He prepared the toast, floating it to the table as Percival emerged, glamour still firmly in place. Percival nodded smartly in greeting, and Newt smiled.
"Morning," he mumbled, before frowning a little. "Something wrong?"
"It's not... it's not because I'm infertile?" Newt whispered, ashamed to even ask. "That you want me-"
Percival walked over, pressing a kiss to Newt's forehead and gazing into his eyes.
"It's not. I'm still having you use protection, and I'm going to be taking potions to make sure that this particular situation never arises again. I'm not quite that shallow. I want you Newt. Because I had to put up with your brother rambling about how wonderful you were in the war, and I always thought he was a liar, and then I meet you and you're even better than he said. I want you because this could be good for both of us."
Newt nodded, feeling embarrassed to have asked. Percival leaned in and whispered.
"Don't worry, I'll take good care of you in our heats..."
Newt shivered again, sure that he was blushing so hard his freckles must have disappeared. Theseus snorted and pointed at the table.
"Leave it you two. Food."
After food, Percival helped Newt create a glamour that didn't quite look stable - that occasionally would flicker, implying a hint of pregnancy but otherwise hid it. It was guaranteed to be the talk of MACUSA in a few hours.
"You're sure about this?" Percival checked, frowning a little.
"I'm certain," Newt promised him. "I'm not a fool Percival. I know what I want, and this is the right thing for both of us."
Percival wrapped his arms around him, and apparated him to an alleyway near MACUSA, the two of them walking in together.
Grindelwald was sat in the cell, but he looked up as the two of them approached, making his way to the entrance and smirking.
"So good to see you Percy, I was worried that they had decided to stop our little conjugal visits. You're much more interesting than that broken little alpha you've got clinging to your coat tails. Surely after having me you can't want him - you should have seen the look on his face when I told him his creatures had been destroyed. He's hardly an alpha. I give it a week at most before you're back here on your knees, begging me to take you again the way you need."
Newt tensed a little. He felt sick at how Percival was being spoken to, but at the same time he knew that he wasn't the auror here. He couldn't stand up for Percival without undermining him.
Percival pulled him close, wrapping an arm around his shoulder.
"You lose Grindelwald," Percival said firmly, staring down his ex-captor.
"You're carrying my child," Grindelwald sneered.
"Newt and I are going to have a child together." Percival corrected. "In the eyes of MACUSA, and of the world, it will be Newt that carries it. I hate you, and I will never show you even a fragment of mercy after what you did to my department and to me. But Newt is going to be a good mother, and the opportunity you have provided for us will not be wasted." Percival's smirk was sharp, but his touch to Newt's waist was soothing. This was going to work out.
"Do you think that this is going to happen?" Grindelwald chuckled. "That you are going to play happy families with some broken alpha? That you can be an alpha carrying the baby?"
"It happens for nifflers," Newt answered quickly, then ducked his head as he realised he had said it out loud. Even Grindelwald looked startled.
"What?" Percival muttered.
"Nifflers. They have babies that are about the size of a fingernail, but four or so in a litter, and then the father takes some into his pouch to grow big and strong to lessen the burden..." Newt mumbled. "It's what you're doing. You're doing the carrying for our child."
Grindelwald frowned, but Percival slowly nodded, kissing Newt's forehead.
"Don't you ever change."
That, more than anything, made Newt feel positive. Percival liked him and how he thought, and they could make this work.
"Let's not waste any more time with him," Percival muttered. "He's got nothing to tell us today."
"Have you found Credence yet?" Grindelwald called out. Percival's hand rested on Newt's hip, leading him from the cells and to his office.
Newt glanced down at the paperwork.
"So what can we do to tackle animal smuggling?"
Percival smiled at him and waved a hand, drawing over a chair.
"I thought you were the expert at that. I'd like to hear your thoughts."
Newt started to explain. He couldn't help thinking about their child. He hoped that it would grow up in a world where creatures were valued. He was going to be a mother, the mate of MACUSA's most senior auror, and more than that, Percival cared about what he thought. They were going to be alright, Newt was sure of it.
Percival looked across the table at him.
"You think dismantling the major trade networks here's the way to start?"
"It's the only way I can see this working," Newt agreed.
Chapter 11: Escape
Percival had been uncertain when he set out to woo Newt whether things were going to work out for them - whilst it had seemed like an option at the time, he hadn't been certain of it. It was convenient, certainly, to find himself an alpha who would see him through his heats, but that wasn't why he asked - he refused to take advantage in that way. Of course, most alphas were the kind to take advantage. But Newt had been quick to put any of his concerns to rest - he was an enthusiastic mother, putting together a space for the child in the case, and genuinely tender both to Percival and to his creatures. He was also a good partner to Percival - both affectionate with him, and supportive of his work as an auror. Percival had feared being told that he wasn't allowed to continue. Instead Newt was eager for Percival to get back to work.
After the first few weeks, he was feeling a burst of hope about their futures together. Even with what had happened, the Aestus potion he had been forced to drink, he thought that they were going to be okay. First though, the child needed to leave his body and go into Newt's embrace.
He wanted to continue working for as long as possible. He worked on his glamour, ensuring that no one would think anything was amiss as his body was deformed by the life which had sprouted within him. Newt meanwhile was careful to ensure his own glamour wasn't perfect - to let people think it was he that was pregnant.
At some point soon, he knew he would have to stop heading into the office. He was already uncomfortable, having to regularly excuse himself to make use of the bathroom and trying to hide the waves of nausea that struck him. But being an auror was vital to who he was. It was his identity as a Graves. He couldn't face losing that. He stared down at the paperwork scattered across his desk. Even when he was off work, officially in order to care for Newt, people would be bringing his paperwork home. He was the Director of Magical Security, and that meant he had a role to play even if his omega was pregnant. He wasn't allowed to be weak. One of the Goldsteins could bring the paperwork back for him, but briefing the aurors would have to be done via written instructions for a few days.
He had to get this work done. He stared down at the papers, his eyes a little clouded in pain. He couldn't be weak, couldn't show any sign of failure. Pregnant omegas were normally given leave with three months to go, spoiled rotten by their coworkers. He didn't want any of that fuss, but Newt seemed to be enjoying it.
He rubbed his forehead, trying to ignore the pain, and looking up as a knock sounded on his door.
Newt walked in, with a smile on his face and a small dragon perched on his shoulder.
"Camomile tea." He held out the cup. "It's good for you. For both of you."
"Thank you." Percival frowned, hating the reminder of what was inside him. But he took the tea, sipping it anyway.
"How is the world's best father today?" Newt asked. "Not burying yourself under too much paperwork?"
"Not too much." Percival pointed out the work, sighing a little. He didn't know whether Newt's concern was driven by the man's alpha instincts, or if it was a genuine show of concern. It wasn't always clear what the difference was.
Newt moved over, sitting down on Percival's desk and leaning in for a kiss, guiding Percival's hand to rest on his treacherously flat stomach.
"How do you think our baby is today?" Newt asked softly.
"I think the baby's okay," Percival reassured him. "Growing strong, even if he makes you feel a little sick."
Newt nodded, and made himself comfortable on the desk, humming softly.
"I want baby to get used to my voice," he explained. Percival rolled his eyes but nodded, pulling Newt against him and trying to ignore how the bump was blocking the space between them.
Newt leaned back against him as best as he could.
"Seraphina's working you too hard."
"The President only gives me what she knows I can handle," Percival argued. "I can do this. I know I can."
"I know you can too," Newt answered, his voice a little shaken. "I just ... I don't want either of us to get exhausted."
Percival made himself relax.
"I've arranged a raid of the Anubis gang's premises. I'd normally have you accompany us, but with your condition neither of us is going to go. Instead, I'll have any creatures brought to a secure space, and you can assess them there."
Newt nodded, and looked over the files, before starting to write down some instructions for the aurors that would be carrying out the raid.
Percival let himself enjoy the company of his lover for a little while. It was soothing, to know that his small family was all in one place.
"I've been wondering... we had a cot when I was little," Newt murmured. "A wooden thing, with the Scamander name on the foot of it. It was charmed to have my name at the top, and Theseus's name before that..." He swallowed. "I don't know if you have one. But I'd like it here. If... if you'll indulge me?"
Percival smiled a little, and wrapped his arms around Newt protectively.
"We can get it. But I think I'd rather make a new one, for our child. With Graves on. That way if Theseus ever settles down he can have that one. I'll make it, you can decorate it however you want."
"That sounds good," Newt agreed with a squeeze to Percival's hand. "I'd like that a lot."
"First project for when I get alphan leave," Percival promised, and the look in Newt's eyes was so full of hope he felt almost dizzy with it.
Newt was going to be a wonderful mother to the child. It wouldn't be long now, another month at most, and the child would be with its mother. He could get through this until then. He had to be strong.
Percival was carrying out a case review with Fontaine when the door swung open, and Newt raced inside. Newt's eyes were wide with terror, and Fontaine was instantly at his feet, ready to defend the omega. Newt headed straight to Percival, wrapping his arms around him, and Percival cradled Newt to his chest.
"What is it?" he asked, freezing as Seraphina walked in, her own wand drawn - followed a moment later by a grim-faced Theseus.
"Fontaine, assemble the other aurors. Ensure identity checks are carried out on all of them," she ordered, and Fontaine left the room. Percival looked at the other two alphas, his arms wrapped around Newt in an attempt to soothe him and keep him from panicking.
"What is it?" he asked softly, trying to brace himself against the desk. He could feel Newt's shoulders trembling a little beneath the thin fabric of his shirt.
"It's Grindelwald," Newt admitted, his voice barely more than a whisper. "He's escaped."
Percival's first response was an almost irrational burst of anger. After everything that Grindelwald had done, he had the audacity to reappear on the scene, and to threaten them.
A moment later a wave of confusion swept through him - he knew the cells were secure, knew they were warded. If Grindelwald had escaped, it had to be because he had been given help, and that was a worry. Someone had betrayed them.
He looked over at Seraphina, saw by her dark eyes that she had already came to the same conclusion.
"He had help?"
"As far as we can tell. We found a dead auror in his cell... it wasn't pleasant. And he left a note for you." She swallowed.
"What?" he asked.
"He said he was going to come for you," Theseus said, his gaze hard and words abrupt. He was angry and Percival could see why, could feel that Newt was shaking in his arms.
"It's okay," he murmured. "Best team of aurors in the world, and your brother, we'll be fine."
"You can both stay with me if you would like Percival," Seraphina offered. "Newt has promised to keep his beasts under control. Newt and I had been speaking about his heat-leave, we're going to explain to people that he's had a bad past experience, that just hiring someone wouldn't solve the pain he is feeling - he needs his mate. We'd decided that when the news arrived."
Theseus nodded, raising a hand.
"I was going to check on Grindelwald when I discovered he was missing."
"And you-" Percival began, and Newt nodded.
"We all checked each other. We're who we say we are."
Percival nodded, feeling a wave of nausea building up within him. After a moment, he waved Newt away, the bile sweeping through him. He vomited on the floor of his office, tears beading up in his eyes for a moment. He cleaned it with a wave of his hand, face burning with shame. A second later, he pulled Newt close again, rested his head on Newt's shoulder.
"We're going to be okay," Percival promised, even though the words were a lie. He couldn't make that promise, not with Grindelwald on the loose. Newt nodded, and looked up at him with fear. All of Percival's instincts screamed at him to protect his mate, to make things better for him. He rubbed Newt's back. "I've got you."
Those words seemed to soothe Newt, and he relaxed in Percival's arms. He remained on Percival's lap as the aurors slowly arrived, each having been checked. Wherever Grindelwald had gone, it wasn't here.
Hashing out a plan took most of the rest of the day, with Newt being placed under auror-guard and not allowed out of Percival's sight - which had the added benefit of ensuring that two aurors were always there with Percival. Percival was under no illusions - Grindelwald would be coming for him. The best he could do was try and be strong when he arrived, and hopefully he would win the fight that would be coming. He couldn’t face thinking of what the alternative was.
They stayed at Seraphina's, Theseus sleeping in the corridor outside their room. Percival felt he was being overprotective, but couldn't ignore that his action soothed Newt. So he permitted it.
He would do whatever it took to keep Newt safe, even if it meant that their shy kisses and careful exploration of each other faced a delay - Newt had quite a voice on him, and Theseus slept lightly. He’d come into the room whenever Percival had a nightmare, holding out a glass of firewhisky or similar to soothe him back to sleep.
The aurors were scouring the country for Grindelwald. Percival told himself soon that he would be captured. The only incident in the first week of staying with the President was that the niffler stole her headdress. Twice. After which she put up charms to prevent him getting his greedy paws on anything else. The small dragon, Bipsy, was well behaved, and Newt had contacted a sanctuary to take her home prior to the child’s arrival. Things began to feel easier, and he let himself relax, allowed the constant armed guard to slip.
That was the most major mistake he had ever made.
He was helping Fontaine with some case reports, ensuring all the paperwork dealing with the Anubis case was finished. He knew that Newt would be delighted to know that the monsters who had traded in creature parts were behind bars.
He took a sip of his coffee, smiling a little at the completed forms. The trial would go ahead, and they would be victorious, he was sure of it. That confidence made him feel better than he had for weeks.
Fontaine fidgeted and brought a bag out from his pocket - it was a mokeskin bag with what appeared to be an enlargement charm on it. The material was baby blue, with Fontaine’s surname stitched into the material.
"What is it Fontaine?"
"I thought that you and Mister Scamander might want this - my wife had it when Lucia was younger, it contains all the baby things - bottles and towels and clothes and the like. It's really useful, and I just... I know how worried I was when I was going to be a father."
"You're excellent with Lucia."
"And I'm sure you'll be great with your child sir. But this is just to help."
Percival reached over and pulled Fontaine into an embrace, careful to keep the table between them so that Fontaine couldn't feel the child within him.
"Thank you. It will help a lot."
Theseus wandered in with a smile, twirling his wand between his fingers like a baton. He grinned.
"You getting on okay there Perce?"
"We'll get them put away," Percival agreed, pocketing the mokeskin bag.
The three of them were discussing retiring to one of the nearby bars when the door crashed open.
Tina Goldstein stood there, her face white and eyes wide. She looked like a ghost.
"Sir," she gasped, her breaths coming quickly. "It's Newt."
All of Percival's protective instincts roared to life at once, and he only just managed to approach her calmly.
"What about Newt, Goldstein?"
"He's gone missing sir," she murmured. "He said he needed to get some food, and I was under half a mooncalf herd, and he walked off. When he wasn't back in a few minutes I went to look for him. He wasn't there sir. But this note was-" She held out a piece of paper.
Percival could recognise Grindelwald's handwriting, remembered him tracing words on Percival's own skin. Theseus hissed, clearly reading what was written. It took a few moments for him to focus on what the paper said.
"I've got your little toyboy Percy. I'll be waiting. GG."
Percival only just held back a snarl.