When Newt finally meets Director Graves (the real one) he’s outside MACUSA talking with Tina and Queenie about his book. He’s so excited he managed to publish his book and he could bring a copy for the Goldstein sisters he doesn’t notice the man standing close to them nor the way he’s looking at him. Newt’s too immerse and happy telling Tina every single detail about how he encountered a unicorn on his last trip. And he’s smiling and laughing and moving his hands in front of his friends trying to explain, showing the passion and love he has for his creatures in every word that comes out of his mouth. He’s happy and excited of course he doesn’t notice the way the man’s breath caches when he looks at him, he doesn’t notice those dark eyes following every gesture, every move he does.
In fact, nobody notices but Queenie who knows it’s Director Graves before she sees him because his thoughts are loud and clear and full of emotion and they’re all directed at Newt. She smirks but tries to hide it and somehow Tina notices and becomes visibly tense when she follows her sister’s look and sees her boss standing right there.
“Good morning, Director Graves” she manages even though she’s clearly nervous and that’s when Newt stops talking and feels the eyes on him. He shivers but force himself to look up (he knows people doesn’t like when you don’t look at them in the face but it’s really difficult for him) and his eyes met with Graves’ but the intensity of the look makes him blush so he can’t help but look away.
“We were heading to work… I was planning on finishing that last report today,” Tina starts babbling waiting for some kind of response or scolding but Graves just turns his head at her reluctantly like he hadn’t noticed her till that very moment.
He frowns and Tina looks even more mortified.
“What are you talking about, Goldstein?” He asks but even as he’s doing so his eyes lay on Newt again.
“The report about the illegal muggle cars and-” but she gets shushed by her sister.
“He’s not interested in that, at least not in this particular moment, you’re waisting your breath” Queenie explains looking at the director with a mischievous smirk on her face.
Suddenly Graves tenses and looks at her with something close to alarm that quickly turns to irritation.
“Miss Goldstein, how many times have I told you to stay out of my head?”
“I swear I’m not in your head, but you’re thinking too loud. People are more easy to read when they’re experiencing strong emotions.” She explains and doesn’t seem affected by the murderous glare Graves gives her. Tina, on the contrary, is almost trembling.
“Miss Goldstein,” Graves warns at the same time Tina lets out a mortified “Queenie please.”
But the woman ignores both of them and turns to Newt who was trying to escape the place as quiet as possible but got caught by Queenie.
“He wants to know your name, honey.” She whispers kindly and gives him a push towards Graves.
Newt’s face feels hot again but manages to look at the director once more whose irritation seems to evaporate the moment his eyes make contact.
“I’m Newt Scamander,” he introduces himself and offers his hand “it’s a pleasure to finally meet the real you, Mr Graves. I mean-” he babbles and stops when he realises his mistake. He looks at Tina for help but feels even more worried when sees the horrified look on her face.
He’s ready to apologise but the words get stuck in his throat when a hand covers his. He dares to look up again and finds (to his and Tina’s shock) that Graves is grinning at him.
“The pleasure is mine, Mr Scamander.” He says and hears Queenie chuckling behind him. Graves doesn’t let go of his hand. “Although I’d like for you to call me just Percival since your brother is a good friend of mine.”
“Oh” Newt blurts out, because he gets distracted at the feeling of a thumb caressing his knuckles. But the sensation disappears quickly and the hand lets his go. “Then you should call me Newt.”
“Newt,” Percival says like he’s savouring the word “your brother used to talk about you a lot.”
Newt arches his eyebrows with curiosity; he didn’t know that. He wonders what kind of things could Theseus say about. His brother had always been kind to him, he had taken care of him when their parents died and had always supported him, even after the incident in Hogwarts. He’s kind and patient even though Newt ended up being the family’s disappoinment.
He knows Queenie is hearing his thoughts because she suddenly looks sad and worried.
She opens her mouth like she’s about to say something but Newt decides to talk to Percival instead.
“What did he say?” He asks.
Graves looks at him and smiles; his eyes shine with something close to amusement like he’s hiding a very entertaining secret. Although that grin disappears when Queenie approaches and takes Newt’s arm.
“Well it seems Theseus was right after all, don’t you think Mr Graves?” She comments smirking playfully.
“Miss Goldstein,” Percival warns but is ignored once again.
“Right about what?” Newt asks because he can’t help being curious.
“You’re easy to love,” she says and winks at something behind him but Newt doesn’t pay too much attention to it because he’s busy blinking and looking at her with confusion.
And then he laughs because the whole thing is so ridiculous.
“Of course he’d say something like that,” he breathes through his laughter. “Theseus loves me too much to accept the fact that people just don’t like me.”
“That’s not true,” Tina finally speaks. She seems to have recovered from the shock she suffered earlier.
“They find me annoying,” Newt says calmly and then tries to smile reassuringly at her. “But it’s okay because I have my creatures and Theseus and you two.” He continues looking at the sisters.
Percival seems like he wants to intervene but is interrupted by Picquery’s arrival.
“Director Graves, Auror Goldstein I need to talk you two in my office,” she speaks and even though her tone is not harsh it’s a clear order, one that has to be obeyed immediately.
“See you two at dinner then,” Tina says looking at Queenie and Newt who nod at her.
She follows Picquery right into MACUSA and enters with her quickly. Graves on the other hand, looks like he’s about to do the same but hesitates and takes a few steps towards Newt instead.
Percival looks flustered? No, he can’t be, he’s the Director of Magical Security and one of the most powerful aurors in America.
“I would like to read a copy of your book, if you still have one left,” he lets out but it doesn’t seem like that’s what he tried to say.
Newt’s so happy to find someone else caring about magical creatures that he practically beams at him and of course misses the tender look Graves gives because he’s too busy searching in the pockets of his coat.
“I think I have one in my case, if you wait here-”
“Actually I was thinking that maybe we could see each other later today… You could choose the place… to discuss about the book.” Percival suggests.
“Really? You want to talk about my book?” Newt can’t contain his excitement. “I didn’t know you were so interested in magical creatures.”
At that, something changes in Graves’ eyes like he finds the conversation really amusing for some reason.
“Well, I think it’s clear he’s interested in something related to the book, sweetie,” Queenie comments chuckling. Graves glares at her.
“I’ll see you later, then?” Newt asks, oblivious. “At your office?”
“My office? I was thinking of something more… I mean…” He looks at Newt like expecting some kind of response or a sign of understanding but honestly the magizoologist feels lost.
“My office it is. At five is okay?”
“Perfect.” Newt agrees.
Percival grins like he just drank a bottle of Felix Felicis and returns to MACUSA.
“See? Easy to love.” Queenie winks and Newt frowns at her because he doesn’t see how Theseus words have to do anything with that.