Seraphina Picquery is expecting to find Percival Graves as she found him three weeks ago: unwilling to speak and staring right ahead like his mind was anywhere else but in the present. She understands; being held captive by a dark lord and being tortured is not something easy to forget, also Graves has always been a man of action so being stuck in a hospital must be a nightmare for him.
But instead of finding him frozen, lost in his own mind, Seraphina watches as Percival Graves talks (growls would be a more accurate description) with the british magizoologist. She stops right at the entrance, but doesn't step in, she doesn't want to interrupt.
"Mr. Graves, I brought you a sandwich! I heard you complaining about the food here and I thought-"
"I wasn't complaining," Graves huffs, crossing his arms over his chest. "Also you shouldn't sneak food in, that's against the rules, Scamander. But who am I kidding? You're the last person to care about rules..."
Oh Mercy Lewis... Seraphina wants to facepalm herself because that man surely has no idea how to say a simple thank you, does he?
Newt Scamander looks flustered and is about to apologise, but Graves waves his hand and the sandwich floats towards him. He eats it anyway and tells the other wizard is delicious which makes Scamander smile in response. The frown on Graves' face doesn't fade away, but Seraphina swears she sees the corners of his lips quirking up.
The magizoologist is the first one to notice her and he immediately rises from the chair he's sitting on and takes quickly something off of his shoulder to put it inside his right pocket, Seraphina rolls her eyes but doesn't say that she knows he has that bowtruckle with him.
"I have to go," he mumbles, looking at Graves and then at her. "Nice to see you again, Madam President."
"You too, Mr. Scamander," she says as she watches him go. Then she turns back to Graves and sits on the chair Newt has left. "So... Do you like our new consultant magizoologist?"
The man groans like he's being tortured and puts a hand on his face. Seraphina would've been mortified if it wasn't for the fact that she knew him pretty well to know he loves to be overdramatic.
"He's too... much," he finally blurts out to her amusement and even better he seems to be regretting his choice of words.
"What do you mean by that?" Seraphina asks, her brow twitching up, curious.
Percival Graves takes a deep breath and Seraphina prepares herself to the ramble that's about to come.
"He's reckless, doesn't care about rules, wants to pet anything that moves even if that thing has fangs the size of his head, even if it breathes fire or even if it's about to kill him. And that's just what I got from Goldstein's stories and his own excited babbling. He doesn't pay enough attention to his surroundings, his hair looks like he just woke up, his freckles are-"
Wait a minute, since when does physical appearance has anything to do with professionalism? And since when does Percival Graves notice those kind of things?
"What about them?" She asks.
"They're distracting," he growls, annoyed. And Seraphina is almost in shock to hear him talking like that; does Graves know what that sounds like? He probably doesn't. "And he brings Pickett even though is clearly forbidden to bring any kind of creatures to a hospital."
"I heard one of the healers gave him permission," she comments, reminding herself to thank Queenie Goldstein later for all the information she has given to her the past days.
Graves almost bares his teeth at her when she mentions that.
"That fucking bastard," the Director mumbles to himself, but Seraphina hears anyway, it takes all her strength not to laugh at the grimace that appears on his face. "That's because that idiot of Rogan has no idea how to say no to Scamander. He's been trying to flirt with him for weeks, the fucker. That's highly unprofessional of him."
"Why is that? Scamander is not his patient."
"He shouldn't try to flirt with him in front of me- in the hospital I mean..." Graves shakes his head, like trying to forget an unpleasant memory. "Everything is going to be different once I return to MACUSA."
"Is it? How so?"
"Well, Scamander needs someone to keep an eye on him all the time, at least the first days to make sure he doesn't hurt himself... And he still carries that case with him, we cannot take more risks."
Seraphina nods, tapping her lips with his fingers; her expression serious even though she wants nothing more but to chuckle because that ridiculous man has a big, no a huge crush and he has no idea.
"All the time, huh?"
"Of course it is," Seraphina says and allows herself to grin when Graves glares at the exact spot where he last saw Scamander. "So... How about Goldstein? She can take care of-"
Graves huffs, irritated.
"She's biased. It's not going to work. Besides, those two spend too much time together already." He frowns and Seraphina thinks that maybe is not that he just frowned but more like he hasn't stopped since she arrived.
That man doesn't seem to know the meaning of relax.
And just because she has always been a tease, Seraphina decides to make Graves growl one more time by suggesting someone else.
"Okay. But how about Fonta-"
"It has to be me," Graves tells her, serious.
"Why? As Director of Magical Security you have plenty of responsibilities already."
"I know, but I'm the only one capable enough to... handle him."
Seraphina stares into his dark eyes, looking for an indication that wizard is joking and he actually knows what's going on. Sadly, Graves seems to believe his own words.
She has the brief thought that man is going to die alone if he doesn't figure things out or if he doesn't learn soon how to do feelings.
"So you'll become his personal shadow then?"
"If that's what it takes," Graves looks so determined Seraphina decides not to tell him yet what's going on.
She pinches the bridge of her nose and sighs. Why are men so complicated?
It's just the second day that Graves is back at his office in MACUSA and it's like he hasn't left.
True to his word, Graves keeps Scamander close and Seraphina is not surprised when he hears some of MACUSA's staff saying the Director doesn't trust the new consultant at all. She doesn't blame them, Graves has never been good at feelings.
"Hey, next time when you stare at him for more than ten minutes please don't narrow your eyes," Seraphina says when the two of them are walking down the hallway and they find Scamander talking excitedly to Goldstein about something. "Otherwise he'll get the wrong impression."
"I wasn't staring at him," Graves huffs, turning his head towards her, even though he looks like he wants to look back at Scamander more than anything.
"Of course you weren't," she sighs.
Three more days later she hears them discussing about something, but by the way Scamander is talking it's probably about a creature.
"She's harmless!" The magizoologist insists for the third time.
Graves rubs his temples and closes his eyes.
"You're going to kill me one of these days, Scamander."
Seraphina chuckles then because she knows none of them can listen.
The amused smile vanishes when she finds out that the Director of Magical Security has sighed a permit for Newt Scamander to keep a... Nundu?
She looks at the permit, just to make sure she has read correctly and then serves herself some of the firewhisky she had reserved for especial occasions. She's aware that definitely doesn't count as 'especial' but she needs something strong to drink at the moment.
Fontaine, as many of his co-workers, thinks it’s a blessing that Newt Scamander is the new consultant magizoologist; boss is, for some weird reason, so focused on him the majority of the time, that doesn’t snarl at them as much as he used to.
He and the other aurors think the way his eyes never seem to leave him or the way he’s constantly complaining about Newt’s reckless behavior is due to the fact that the auror doesn’t trust him. They all feel sorry for the young wizard, because they have started to like him; Newt’s adorable and kind with all of them, so who wouldn’t like him?
Only Percival Graves it seems… Or that’s what everyone thinks, including Fontaine. Until Fontaine witness something that makes him think otherwise.
He’s in Graves’ office, boss is in a good mood that day, so Fontaine feels more confident in telling him how exactly went the last case; there were a few of Grindelwald’s fanatics in the pub they had to get in, but none of them seemed connected with the trafficking.
Boss nods every now and then, listening attentively, and even says they did good when Fontaine tells him they manage to stop all of them from fleeing the country.
Graves asks him to write a report about the case and interrogate Grindelwald’s followers just in case. The dark lord is imprisoned at the moment and without him, his fanatics don’t seem to have purpose, but it’s better to make sure they don’t have future plans, even with their master gone.
In that moment, there’s a crack outside the office, they both hear it clearly because Graves likes to leave his door open. Like boss knows what is that about, he sighs, irritated and rises from his seat to follow the noise, Fontaine walks behind him because he’s curious.
They both see Newt right outside, standing with a black little thing in his hands that Fontaine recognizes as a Niffler, the damn burglar; the whole Department knows about the creature by now because all of them have been victims of his quick paws and and have lost at least one thing in the month Newt has been at MACUSA.
Newt blurts out something that none of them understands because the wizard is doing the thing every student of Ilvermorny is told not to do on the first day; he has his wand pressed between his lips. Fontaine had been told by his teachers that was dangerous because you have no control over the wand and that could lead to an unfortunate accident.
Boss has noticed the same thing because he rolls his eyes and pinches the bridge of his nose almost in frustration. However now that he seems to have forgotten Fontaine completely, the auror can look at his Director freely and he catches the two-second smile that quirks his lips up before vanishing, it’s a fond grin he has seen only once, when Kenneth told them his wife got pregnant.
Graves walks towards the magizoologist and Fontaine thinks he should give them some space, so he watches from his spot, right under the doorway.
“What are you doing, Scamander?” Boss sounds irritated, although his voice is not aggressive; he doesn’t yell at Newt.
The other mumbles something unintelligible and Graves frowns, shakes his head and asks him to stay still. And Fontaine watches with fascination as his boss puts his hand on Newt’s chin with so much care that doesn’t quite match with the irritation on his face. He then takes Newt’s wand with his left hand, but doesn’t remove the other. They both look into each other’s eyes until Newt blushes.
“I was just trying to c-catch Niff, Mr. Graves,” he looks flustered and Fontaine doesn’t blame him, boss is still frowning at him.
In Newt’s hands, the little creature protests as it has heard its own name. Right on their feet, there’s a bunch of jewelry, coins and all kind of shiny things, stolen ones.
Graves sees them and sighs.
“Just don’t do that again, okay?” He says while giving Newt his wand back. “It’s dangerous, you could hurt yourself. Also, find the owners of these.”
“Of course, Mr. Graves!” Newt says and runs away, but Boss stays right where he is, looking at the spot the other left like a man lost.
And then Fontaine understands. He was wrong about how Graves feels about Newt Scamander, they all were.
“You know, boss…” He clears his throat, feeling suddenly with the courage to talk again once they’re both back at the office. “Flowers always work, if you don’t know how to tell-”
“Flowers? What are you talking about, Fontaine?” The Director frowns at him and the auror regrets opening his mouth.
“Nothing,” he shakes his head and tells boss he’s going to write the report immediately.
Now that Fontaine knows is easier for him to spot certain details that make more sense with the new information he has, like why always boss stands close to Newt when they’re both talking or why he seems to find a reason to put a hand over the other’s shoulder or grab him by the arm when they’re in the same room. Boss also always seems to know where the other is, his body usually turns to the other’s direction almost automatically.
He also realizes his boss needs all the help possible because not only he’s bad (he’s terrible) at feelings, he doesn’t seem aware that he has them. He’s always frowning at Newt and he always manages to look irritated whenever he speaks to the other wizard.
Percival Graves needs help, because if he keeps doing the same, he’ll chase Newt away for sure.
But how to help him? Fontaine tries again to give his boss advice on courting, but it has the same results.
The next time he tries to help, Newt’s already inside the office, it’s fascinating to see he doesn’t need to voice what he needs, Graves seems to know anyway.
“Mr. Graves I-” but he doesn’t finish, because the Director hands him a potion. “Thank you!”
“Is Nancy still sick?” He asks and Fontaine notices how hard his boss tries to keep his gaze on the document he has in front of him.
“Yes, but with this and enough sleep she’ll get better soon,” the magizoologist says and even though Fontaine has no idea what is he talking about, he knows it has to be a creature.
Graves nods and dismisses him with a wave of his hand, his eyes glued to the document, although Fontaine suspects he’s not even reading at that point. Newt thanks him again, leaves the case on the couch and opens it before disappearing inside.
“So… What did you want to talk about, Fontaine?” He asks, but the auror has the feeling he’s not paying any attention. Now that Newt’s gone, he keeps eyeing the case, a worried frown appears on his face before sighing. “You can tell me later, now I need to make sure… I mean I need to do something.”
Fontaine nods, fighting back the temptation to grin, because even if he doesn’t see, he knows the Director got inside the case as soon as he walked away.
He returns to his own desk with the certainty that boss is quite hopeless and he needs all the help possible.
The worst-kept secret in MACUSA is the fact that Jacob Kowalski remembers everything and that Queenie still sees him. But the thing is, everybody likes Jacob, well… Tina must admit that is mostly because all the aurors love his pastries, but also because he’s a very likable man.
They even take turns to go to the bakery and bring pastries to everyone in the Department. And that particular day it’s Tina’s turn.
She decides to bring a little of everything that Jacob sells and (because they all have agreed their boss has the privilege to choose first) she goes directly to Graves’ office.
The first thing she notices is Newt’s case lying on the couch, which doesn’t surprise her because that office has become also Newt’s. Tina has no idea why her boss insists on keeping an eye on her friend all the time if it has become very clear that Newt Scamander knows what he’s doing and is a very valuable worker.
Although she doesn’t see him, which only means that he’s with his creatures.
“May I come in?” She asks and Graves nods almost immediately, he doesn’t look at her.
“What is it, Goldstein?”
“I brought pastries,” she says and only then the Director looks up, with a single eyebrow quirked up at her.
“Who else knows about your no-maj friend?”
“Almost everyone here,” Tina answers, feeling a little bit intimidated by the other’s look.
“Just be careful, not every wizard is as kind as Newt. There are people who wouldn’t be happy to know that a no-maj has information about us.”
It’s not like Tina doesn’t appreciate the warning, it’s not like she doesn’t take it seriously, it’s just that she’s too surprised, almost in shock, to think properly at the moment.
She blinks and tries to process what just happened.
Mr. Graves called Newt by his given name and he doesn’t ever do that… ever. He also said that he’s… kind, which is a huge compliment coming from him.
“Yes, of course. I’ll be careful.” She says, after looking at her boss with a ridiculous bewildered expression. “We’ll be careful.”
Graves seems more relaxed after hearing her response. “Good. New- Scamander likes him and he’d be devastated if they obliviated his friend again.”
Tina wonders if her boss is hearing himself speaking and if he knows how that sounds.
Then, as if he doesn’t notice Tina’s shock, he picks a pastry; a demiguise with sugar on the top.
“I-I’ll leave one for Newt,” she mumbles, trying to recover and then proceeds to leave a Erumpent, but Graves shakes his head.
“Scamander’s favorite is the chocolate Niffler,” he comments and Tina wonders how she doesn’t know that and -most importantly- why does her boss has that information.
“Alright,” it’s the only thing she can say and just when she thinks there are enough surprises for one day, Graves rises from his seat and starts making… tea? “I didn’t know you liked tea, Sir.”
Mr. Graves, at least according to what she knows about him, loves coffee so much no one has ever seen him drinking anything else. Until now.
“I don’t,” he replies and doesn’t give any other explanation. He serves the hot water in a cup, then Earl Grey, a little bit of milk and honey.
Tina doesn’t ask why, even though she wants to know and watches him leaving the cup on his desk before start making coffee.
Then Newt comes stumbling out of the case, a smile on his face and messy hair. He thanks Tina for the pastry and Graves for the tea. Newt doesn’t look surprised which leads Tina to believe that’s something that occurs very often.
And it hits her then.
Holy Mercy Lewis. Mr. Graves cares about Newt, so much he knows by heart how to make tea just the way her friend likes it.
Newt eats the chocolate Niffler almost entirely, his hands shaking while doing it and Tina and Graves sigh at the same time.
“When was the last time you ate, Scamander?” The Director says, almost snarling.
Tina allows herself to roll her eyes because her boss has completely forgotten she’s there (now that his attention is on Newt) and because not only she has discovered Graves likes -maybe a little bit too much- her friend, she also has found out that the man is terrible at showing it.
“I just did,” Newt answers, avoiding the other’s eyes.
“You know what I’m talking about,” Graves frowns and Newt blushes.
“Uhh… Yesterday?” As soon as the word comes out of Newt’s lips, the Director closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.
“I don’t know how you can take care of so many creatures if you don’t even care about yourself,” he huffs and then takes a paper bag that Tina recognizes immediately; it’s from a cafeteria across the street. Graves loves their sandwiches. “Here, take this.”
“No, you don’t have to… I already ate, I’m not that hungry anymore,” Newt assures.
“A pastry is not proper food, it’s sugar and flour” Graves protests. “You need something more.”
“But it’s yours… I cannot accept-”
“Weiss bought it for me. I don’t like it that much.”
Lies. Tina thinks. Her boss is lying to Newt because she knows that sandwich is Graves’ favorite and that he doesn’t ever ever share his food with anyone.
“Well… If you’re not gonna eat it,” Newt takes it shyly; he unwraps it carefully and starts to eat it with pleasure.
And Tina sees it; the relieved expression on Graves’ face that lasts just seconds but it’s enough for her to confirm her theory.
“Do you need anything else, Goldstein?” Her boss asks almost irritated to find her still there.
“No, I have to go actually,” she doesn’t wait for a reply, she just turns around and walks away.
When she reaches her sister the words come out of her mouth without her permission.
“Is he..? Is he-”
“Like a twelve-year-old” Queenie giggles, amused.
“Oh Mercy Lewis! Since when?”
“I think it started when Newt visited him at the hospital,” her sister says. “He’s so lost, the poor thing. He doesn’t know he’s in love.”
Tina wants to pull out her hair, but she stops herself from doing it.
“Newt will never notice, because he’s oblivious and because Mr. Graves doesn’t make it any easier. He always looks at Newt like he’s irritated or frustrated.”
“Don’t worry, Teenie, they’ll figure it out, trust me,” Queenie assures.
Tina nods and tries to forget about it because if she starts to worry she’ll just end up with a headache for sure.
It never happens again. Newt never starves, he doesn’t skip meals because he has promised to Graves he’d take care of himself and because in those occasions when he forgets to feed himself because he’s too focused on work, there’s always warm food waiting for him in Graves’ office.
Graves also knows when Newt’s tired just by looking at him once and he usually convinces him to sleep on the couch of his office.
Tina found her boss once staring at Newt while he was sleeping instead of doing his paperwork.
“He’s so stubborn,” he huffed once he noticed her. He tried to make it sound like he was irritated, but his expression was too soft to make it believable.
“He is,” she conceded before handing the report to him.
That wasn’t the last time she saw something like that.
Because now that she knows is so easy to see that she wonders how didn’t she notice before.
“This is ridiculous,” she tells her sister. “They’re ridiculous.”
“Give them time,” it’s the response Queenie always gives her.
Weiss hates when a new auror is hired by MACUSA, especially if she's the one assigned to be their official babysitter. Well... It's not like she doesn't like Hobbs, the young wizard is very enthusiastic and he actually listens what she has to say, the only problem is that guiding a new auror usually means a lot of work.
That's why no one wants to do it and that's why they take turns and sadly this time is hers.
She basically has to become his shadow for at least two weeks or until Weiss is sure the wizard is used at the way everything works in MACUSA. It's protocol and she has to follow it.
Although she doesn't like to spend her time keeping an eye on him, not everything is a complete waste of time. Weiss learns many things in those two weeks.
The first thing she notices is that tall wizards with reddish curls and freckled skin are just Hobbs' type. The second thing is that Newt is the most oblivious person she has ever met.
Mercy Lewis forgive her but she's having so much fun with those two, she believes it cannot get better than that.
Weiss realizes it actually can get funnier when her boss asks her to go to his office. Of course she's scared at first but the emotion fades away as soon as Mr. Graves makes clear what he wants to talk about.
"Where's the new one?" Graves snarls like the words are the most unpleasant thing he has said in the whole day.
The truth is that Weiss wanted to be helpful for once; Hobbs seems like a nice man and since she has no idea what Newt actually likes she just... she decided to leave the two alone for a couple of minutes so Newt could realize.
"He's with Newt, I think he offered to help him with his creatures," Weiss says.
The cup next to Mr. Graves brakes into tiny pieces and Weiss almost jumps in her seat when she looks at her boss' dark eyes.
Oh, how interesting... So her boss is aware of everything that happens in MACUSA after all. But... Why is Mr. Graves so angry about that? Is it because he thinks they're wasting time?
"Hobbs is doing his job, Sir. He just uses his breaks to be with Newt." She tries to defend him, because that seems to be the right thing to do at the moment. "I think he has a crush on the magizoologist but it's not-"
She stops the moment she hears the pen Mr. Graves is holding breaking in half.
"I don't trust the new auror," Graves growls although that doesn't look like mistrust but hate. "I don't want him near Newt."
Oh. That's something she does not expect.
Weiss is normally very perceptive of others feelings, it's just like a gift Mercy Lewis has given her. But it's always difficult to notice something when you see it in the person you less expect to find it.
Weiss has seen many men jealous, she just really didn't think she would ever see it in her boss.
She cannot decide if that's going to be a problem or it means even more fun for her. Perhaps it's both.
"Where are they?"
"I think the case is on Hobbs' desk so..."
But she can't finish because Mr. Graves is already walking out of the office and Weiss follows because now is her problem too.
At least everything ends up -more or less- fine because Mr. Graves just snaps at Hobbs that he has work to do and basically orders him to get out the case. Newt's so distracted by the mooncalves he's feeding that he misses the whole discussion.
Hobbs promises Newt to see him the next day and Weiss swears she sees for a second how her boss bares his teeth at the other wizard.
Newt mumbles something in response but doesn't seem to care that much because he's so happy now that Graves is there.
"I'll help you with the rest, Mr. Scamander."
"Thanks, Mr. Graves." Newt beams and her boss' expression softens when their eyes meet.
The thing is... Not all men are unreasonable when they're jealous, but what about the ones that are jealous without even realizing they are in the first place?
Well... That's just the case of Weiss' boss.
He does everything in his power to not let the two of them alone. The problem is that Hobbs is not a shy man and he's really comfortable flirting with Newt right in front of everyone.
Newt doesn't notice, but everybody around does and that's when boss self control breaks a little and the grumpy stares turn into actual glares.
Hobbs thinks Graves' hostility is because he doesn't like the way he's doing his job... Weiss assures him that's not the case that it's just the way boss is. She doesn't tell him the truth because she doesn't want the 'thing' that Graves and Newt have to be known by the whole department. That'd only make it worse.
She later finds out that was a mistake.
Weiss is enjoying the freedom that comes after the two weeks of being a babysitter and she's more than happy handing her reports to Mr. Graves when Newt walks happily in the office.
She wonders how she has never noticed Graves 'soft' attitude towards Newt. It's not like he stops frowning or that he doesn't narrow his eyes at the magizoologist (the poor man clearly doesn't know how to be charming) but the things he allows Newt to do. If that freckled wizard was any other auror, Graves would've snapped at them the moment they entered the room without knocking first.
But Newt is Newt and he has the Director of Magical Security wrapped around his little finger without knowing it.
"Mr. Graves! Look at what Thomas gave me!" Newt shows them what appears to be a brush. "It's for Nancy. It'll help me to take care of her beautiful fur."
Well... Hobbs gets points for realizing that the best way to make Newt happy is by giving him something for his creatures.
Weiss tries to cover her mouth to stop herself from grinning. Graves' expression is a mess; he tries to smile because Newt's clearly happy, but he can't help but frown when he looks back at the brush Newt has in his hand.
"He's so friendly, isn't he?" The magizoologist comments.
"Oh for Lewis' sake, he's flirting with you!" The Director blurts out and Weiss is definitely sure he hasn't meant to say that out loud just by looking at the way he presses his lips together afterwards.
The realization hits Newt slowly; he starts blinking when he looks down at the brush.
"Oh," that's all he says at first.
Graves is tense, like he's expecting to Newt to announce his wedding with Hobbs and Weiss doesn't know if she should laugh or groan in frustration.
"Well... That's- I mean I like Hobbs, but just as a friend." He starts and it's ridiculous how evident is Graves relief. "How do I tell him that? I don't want to hurt him."
"I can tell him for you, if you want," the Director offers.
"Would you do that for me?" Newt smiles. "Thank you! You're very kind!"
Weiss knows Graves is the worst person to handle the situation and she's about to volunteer herself, but then she sees that her boss looks determined and honestly she prefers not to have an argument with him.
Nobody knows what Director Graves told the new auror, but from that day Hobbs is never seen near Newt Scamander again at least not unless is strictly necessary and there are more people around.
Weiss just rolls her eyes.
It's not like Theseus Scamander doesn't love his baby brother because he really does, it's just that sometimes he's too busy at the Ministry to think about anything else. Of course he writes to Newt regularly, but it's been a while since they have seen each other and although he wants to see him as soon as possible, he has decided to wait until Christmas holidays to pay him a visit.
But then the Letter happens. And that particular letter gets a capital L because it's the weirdest thing he has ever received. It doesn't make any sense.
First of all, it's not from Newt (and it's not like Theseus doesn't have other people to correspond with) but the content of the letter, it doesn't match with the person who actually has sent it.
The letter it's from Percival Graves and again that's not odd; they write each other to talk about work most of the time, sure every now and then Theseus asks about his brother (he knows he works for MACUSA now) to see if he hasn't gotten himself in any trouble and Percival usually gives him a short but positive response and that's it.
This letter? It's all about Newt, from the beginning to the very end. And by the way it's written it looks like Percival knows his brother very well.
He doesn't actually know how Newt works in there, he has no idea if his brother has his own office or just a desk among the other aurors of the Department of Magical Security, he's not sure if he spends all of his time with that auror he likes to talk about, Tina Goldstein. But he knows Percival has his own office and he knows he doesn't get out of there unless is strictly necessary.
Which is why Theseus doesn't understand how Percival Graves seems to know what his brother does every single second of the day.
The first part of the letter is basically a detailed description of what Newt's been doing for the past few weeks and how he has made Percival have a couple of heart attacks because he doesn't have 'sense of self preservation' according to the Director. Which is completely true, Theseus can't argue with that.
Then he tells Theseus that three of the occamys got sick (Mark, Ginger and Lila) and that two of them are fine now but Ginger didn't make it. Which is why Newt is depressed, even though he doesn't say it, even if he tries his best not to look like he is.
Theseus sighs. He knows Newt, he doesn't like to "bother" others with his problems and usually keeps his emotions to himself.
Usually when he's sad it's only Theseus the one that notices, because Newt's his baby brother and he knows him well, but it seems that now he's not the only one.
But how? And most importantly why? Why does Percival know the names of the occamys? Why does he know Newt always visits Dougal when he's feeling down?
And even though that's intriguing enough that's not the most interesting thing in the letter.
The most interesting thing it's the part where Percival starts to scold him for not being a good brother and not being there when Newt needs him the most.
What the hell? The first reaction Theseus experiences is irritation and he frowns at the paper in his hands because how dare he implies that he doesn't care about his brother. However he tries to calm himself down because now that he reads the paragraph again it looks like a desperate man wrote it. It seems more like 'please help Newt is sad and I don't know how to handle this' than anything else.
Which also doesn't make any sense.
Theseus shakes those thoughts for a moment and only focuses on the information. He needs to be there for his brother now.
This cannot wait until Christmas.
Theseus freezes right after he enters Percival's office. He blinks a few times just to be sure what he's seeing is real.
Because Percival Graves is putting a cup of -what appears to be- tea in Newt's hands and helps Dougal to climb up his couch. But Dougal's not the only magical creature that is there; Pickett is over his brother's right shoulder and the Niffler is on Percival's desk before being caught by the Director with a quick spell. Graves frowns at the thief and looks like he's about to complain but when Newt giggles and shakes his head before taking the Niffler the Director changes his mind.
Percival's lips quirk up in response to Newt's smile. It's very subtle, but Theseus sees it anyway.
Newt looks better (according to what Percival told him in the letter at least) and Theseus tries not to feel jealous about the fact that maybe his baby brother doesn't need him now.
"'Seus!" He doesn't have time to blink before Newt jumps over him and hugs him tight. Theseus smiles almost immediately and realizes just then how much he has missed his brother.
"Hello, little brother," he says, caressing Newt's messy curls.
"I wasn't expecting you! Why didn't you tell me you were coming?"
Theseus looks over his brother's shoulder at Percival, the Director seems to be doing his best to avoid looking back at him.
So Newt doesn't know it was Percival the one who told him. He probably has no idea he already knows about the occamy.
"I wanted to surprise you," he says, grinning. "Tell me, how's everything going?"
Newt seems not only used to be in Percival's office but comfortable enough to sit with Theseus on the couch and start talking with him.
Graves stays on his chair and begins writing a report (or at least pretending to because Theseus catches him looking at Newt every couple of seconds).
So he listens to Newt and pulls him close when his brother gets to the part about the occamy, he lets him sob over his shoulder and assures him it's not his fault.
And Newt's so distracted remembering Ginger that he doesn't see the tension and the concern on Percival's face. But Theseus does and he also notices the way the Director starts relaxing when Newt stops crying.
Newt even smiles a few minutes later and by the time he tells Theseus he has to feed his creatures the older Scamander has figured everything out.
Which is why as soon as his brother disappears into his case Theseus rises from the couch and turns towards Percival with his arms crossed over his chest.
"If you want me to approve of 'this' you have to get better at this part," but Percival only looks back at him in confusion. "You need to know how to comfort him. I need to be sure you'll take care of him so-"
"What do you mean?"
Theseus not only stops talking he also wants very much to facepalm himself.
He can't believe Percival doesn't know he's in love.
And he thought Newt was oblivious.
"You emotionally constipated idiot," he mumbles under his breath. "What are you, twelve?"
"Why are you insulting me out of the sudden? What is this nonsense you're talking about?"
Then Theseus remembers the letter and realizes he has a letter written from a twelve-year-old about his crush which he'll definitely keep to use it in the future.
"Forget it, okay?" He huffs. Perhaps he's not so opposed to the idea because Percival seems to care about Newt. But that doesn't mean he's going to spell it out for him. "I'm gonna help my brother."
Percival will have to figure it out on his own.
There are so many things Percival finds distracting in Newt, from the way his laughter fills his office when he stays there to his wild curls that are always out of place and the way he smiles whenever Percival helps him with his creatures.
However there's one thing in particular that always makes Percival incapable of concentrate: Newt's freckles. The first time he saw them, he was in a hospital bed; he used to stare at Newt's face and think about the night sky and the many stars that could be seen in the darkness.
Now it's worse; before he thought of the universe every time he saw Newt's face, now every time he sees the sky he thinks of him. Not only that, he has found himself wondering if Newt is completely covered in them.
Percival tries not to think too much about that, especially not when Newt is sitting on his couch talking with Pickett or scolding at the Niffler for stealing again.
Of course there are aspects of Newt he doesn't like, he doesn't like when he forgets to eat, when he seems not to care enough about himself to sleep the amount of hours necessary for a man to keep functioning properly. He also hates when Newt's goes with Goldstein to investigate further a case and neither of them think of telling him first. Percival knows they don't have to and even if Newt is an expert magizoologist, he's not an auror and Percival doesn't like when he's not with him; he feels a strange need to protect him.
One day he lost control because one of the wizards trying to escape from MACUSA's aurors hit Newt's chest with a spell that knocked him out.
Percival almost killed the bastard. Then, when the anger was completely gone, he knelt next to Newt and didn't move from his side until he opened his eyes again and one of the healers assured him it was nothing to worry about.
He had never felt so scared before.
After that particular incident he starts to think that maybe Newt doesn't irritate him as much as he thought he did.
Perhaps he likes Newt. He doesn't even remember when his mind decided that he was not Mr. Scamander anymore and started to call him by his given name.
He likes him, but that's it. Those things happen when you spend time with people right? Percival always tries to keep his distance, to be professional but sometimes people like Newt get themselves into other people's lives without realizing it.
Now Percival enjoys Newt's company, he looks forward to spending time with the other wizard and makes sure he's always happy.
He doesn't know the trouble he's into until Newt tells him he has to go to back to Europe for a couple of weeks to free the two hippogriffs he rescued days ago.
Percival helps him get everything ready; he also gives him his pocket watch and casts a spell on it, a protection charm that not only will tell him if he's in danger but will help Percival know where he is.
"You're worried," Newt comments and smiles almost delighted at his own words. Percival can't help but frown. "I'll be fine."
Then the magizoologist hugs him and Percival ignores the way his heart is beating inside his chest and watches as Newt takes the portkey in his hands.
The problem starts when Percival finds himself looking at the spot Newt usually sits on the couch, or when he closes his eyes every now and then to remember Newt's laughter or the way his eyes sparkle with joy whenever someone mentions magical creatures.
Percival looks around and realises how much he has changed his own office just because of Newt Scamander; the tea bags waiting inside a box over his desk or the amount of books about magical creatures that now fill his shelf.
He groans and leans in, banging his head on the surface of the desk.
He's the Director of Magical Security for Lewis' sake. Percival has a reputation, he definitely doesn't feel lonely in his office, he has always been alone... Why is now different? Why he can't stop thinking about Newt?
He's a powerful auror. He's definitely not pining.
"Come in," he hears Seraphina's voice seconds after he knocks at the door.
Percival doesn't say anything until he's sitting in front of the President, then he looks at her and somehow she understands that he's not going to talk about work.
"I think I'm in love," He blurts out, feeling vulnerable, waiting for Seraphina to start questioning him.
Instead, she stops writing, looks up and sighs.
"It took you a while to figure it out, huh?" She smirks and Percival blinks, surprised.
"What do you mean?"
"Percival, you've been in love with our consultant since he started visiting you at the hospital," his friend tells him like she's talking to a child.
The heat on his face spreads down his neck and towards his ears. Now many things he has done make more sense, like the way he ended up sitting or standing very close to Newt or the way his eyes always stared at him or why he feels miserable and grumpy and why he's particularly angry all the time because Newt's away from him.
And Seraphina knew from the beginning.
"Does he know?"
She shakes her head, chuckling.
"He's as oblivious as you are. But I think all your aurors are aware of the situation though."
That was why Fontaine insisted so many times about the flowers?
"What should I do?" He has planned to say that out loud, but it did anyway.
"Well... I'm no expert but you probably should ask him out?" Now she's just mocking him.
"No, I mean... I don't think he fee-"
"If you start to avoid him like a coward I swear I'll tell Hobbs he has a chance with Scamander. Or maybe I'll talk with that healer, what was his name? The one that couldn't say no to-"
The growl that escapes Percival's lips is almost feral, but Seraphina doesn't look intimidated by it. She laughs.
"That's what I thought."
Percival is pacing in his own office when Newt comes back from his trip. Trying to shake the nerves he feels, he lets the magizoologist hug him, fighting back the temptation of kissing him right then and there.
"I missed you," Newt admits and Percival smiles like an idiot.
Instead of telling him how much he has missed him, Percival takes a deep breath and takes Newt's hands in his.
"Newt," the magizoologist blushes at the sound of his own name on Percival's lips and the Director grins even more. "Would you like to have dinner with me? As... a-a date?"
"Date?" Newt blinks adorably right before the word comes out of his mouth.
"Yes. We could buy something to eat and have dinner inside the case if you want."
Newt beams at the suggestion and presses a quick kiss on Percival's lips.
For a moment, with his face completely red and heart beating uncontrollably, Percival feels like a twelve-year-old again.
"I'd love to."
Then, intertwining his fingers with Newt's, he thinks about asking Seraphina a few days off the next time Newt needs to get out of the country.