Chapter 1: The wizard in the black coat
Newt was five years old when his mother died. His father told him death was something that couldn't be changed. It was like falling asleep forever. And it seemed like that, at least to him, because his mother looked as she always did when Newt walked in his parents' bedroom and climbed the bed to wake her up. Only that time when he quietly called out her name she didn't open her eyes, she didn't smile at him and she did not kiss his forehead.
It was difficult and painful for him to understand that his mother would never talk to him, she wouldn't hug him at night to take the nightmares away. She wouldn't do any of those things, not anymore.
So when the funeral began, Newt took his old friend Danny, a bowtruckle he found a year ago, and ran away with him to the woods.
But Danny was old and he was sick. Newt tried to find something to help him, but the bowtruckle stopped moving and closed his eyes as his mother did.
Tears fell down his cheeks as he looked at the tiny green figure in his hands. He sobbed and cried because he couldn't do anything to save his mother or the bowtruckle.
He sat on the ground and rested his head against a tree. He was so focused on his own sorrow he didn't notice the man walking towards him till said man kneeled next to him.
"You know it's dangerous for a kid like you to be in the woods by yourself?" The man had a very deep voice and his tone wasn't that happy either.
But Newt wasn't afraid. He looked up at him with his teary big eyes and forgot what his father had told him about not talking to strangers.
The man... The wizard, because he didn't look like a muggle, sighed and looked back at him.
"What's your name, little bird?"
"I'm Newt. Newt Scamander." He said, trying to stop his sobs.
"And why are you crying, Newt?"
Instead of answering him, the kid opened up his hand and showed him the bowtruckle.
"His name is Danny," Newt told him. "He doesn't... wake up."
He could see the wizard's dark eyes looking from the bowtruckle to him. He heard him mumbling something under his breath and Newt was almost sure it was one of those bad words his father told Theseus not to repeat.
The wizard put his right hand above his, without touching the creature and suddenly Newt felt warm. He was so fascinated to see the light shining between their hands that he didn't move. Then, when the man moved away his hand the bowtruckle opened his eyes.
"Danny!" Newt squeaked happily. The bowtruckle didn't seem no longer sick, he was so full of energy he climbed up his arm and sat on his shoulder.
It was then when Newt got the idea. He rose from the ground as quickly as possible and took one of the wizard's hand. He pulled and of course he didn't have the strength to lift the man, but he got the idea and stood on his own. One of his dark eyebrows quirked up with curiosity and amusement.
"What is it now, little bird?"
"Hurry!" Newt urged. "I'm gonna take you to Mum so you can wake her up too! Dad said she couldn't, but you..."
He stopped when he noticed the wizard was not walking behind him anymore.
"I'm sorry, Newt. But I can't wake her up," the wizard said, looking like he truly was sorry.
"I just... can't."
Newt frowned and crossed his arms, he was trying to fight the tears this time, because he wanted to be angry.
"I thought you were my friend!" He wanted to yell, but his words got out from his lips like a whimper.
"I am your friend."
"No, you're not! You don't want to help Mum!"
"I'd like to, but I can't," he insisted, looking miserable as he said it.
Newt was ready to turn around and ignore him, but Danny touched his ear, he remembered what his mother used to say.
Be kind, Newt. Be kind to others.
"I'm sorry," he mumbled and then lifted his chin up, trying to appear as strong as his brother and his father were. "I-I understand."
The wizard smiled and took his hand.
"C'mon, let's get you home," he said.
But the wizard didn't walk him all the way to his house, he just followed to the kid could see his father in the distance and he disappeared.
Nobody believed him. They told him it was just a dream and as the years passed he started to believe their version till he forgot completely about the incident.
He was twenty years old when he remembered him, because he saw him again. And the circumstances were as unfortunate as they were the first time.
Newt had managed to detach himself from his brother when their father's funeral started. He assured Theseus he was going to the bathroom, but he lied. He ran away as he did so many years ago.
That time it was night, but the stars couldn't be seen in the sky because it was all covered in clouds. It wasn't a surprise when it started to rain. And although Newt had his wand with him, he let the pouring rain to soak his clothes.
It felt right to let the drops mix with tears over his face.
"You're going to catch a cold, Newt," a familiar voice commented, startling the young wizard.
Newt looked at the man in confusion.
"You don't remember me, do you?"
But as soon as he said it, Newt had a flash of an old memory. He smiled a little; he was definitely sure he was dreaming then.
"Actually I do," he said. "You're my friend."
The wizard's lips twitched up.
"My name's Percival Graves," he introduced himself. "I do believe I didn't told you last time."
"No, you didn't," Newt conceded and shivered feeling his back cold and wet from the rain.
"Let's do something about your clothes," Graves said and waved his hand to dry all of them. Not only he did that, he made sure no other drop fell over him.
He didn't cast an umbrella though. It was like the rain avoided on purpose the spot they were on. It was a very powerful magic Newt hadn't heard of, he was about to ask when he remembered it was only a dream.
Anything could happen in dreams.
"What happened, little bird?" Graves pushed his curls out of his forehead.
"My father," Newt answered, having the weird sensation the wizard next to him already knew that.
"I'm sorry," Graves said and Newt remembered that moment years ago when he told him that.
So this time, he didn't ask. It was a dream after all, even if something happened there the reality would remain the same.
He couldn't help but bursting into tears again only then he was not alone and the wizard close to him offered the comfort of his arms. And while Newt was usually a shy man when it came to people, he accepted the hug gladly believing he was in the safety of his own mind, asleep.
But that particular dream was the oddest he had had in years, because once the tears stopped falling and his voice went hoarse he felt so tired his eyes began to close.
He wasn't dreaming himself falling asleep, maybe it wasn't as uncommon as he thought, but it hadn't happened to him before.
He woke up in his own bedroom. Theseus was very pissed at him for escaping, but Newt knew he was only trying to mask his worry about him.
They ended up hugging each other, knowing it was only the two of them from then on.
He was twenty five when he arrived in New York. He didn't plan to stay long, but then he met Tina, Queenie and Jacob and they needed his help because they were rumors Grindelwald was in the city. Also Tina was sure he was the responsible for Agatha Weiss disappearance, a witch better known by her gifts for prophecy and clairaudience.
They managed to find her. She was tied in a basement. It was clear by her emotional and physical state that she had been tortured. Newt was the first to approach her because she was so scared she screamed whenever one of the auror took a step to her.
When Newt sat next to her and began to untie her carefully, the woman didn't even flinch, she just looked up at him with curiosity.
"Oh... Oh you poor thing," Agatha lamented. "You have a dark aura all around you."
Newt tried not to pay attention to her words, he convinced himself she wasn't having a real vision, he thought it was the result of the torture, fear and starvation.
"You have been... marked, my dear," she coughed. "It's Death's mark."
Queenie insisted it wasn't something he should worry about.
"What was in her head then?" Newt asked.
"I couldn't hear anything coming from her," Queenie explained. "I don't know why."
Newt decided to forget everything about it. He instead focused on Theseus last letter, he was coming to New York.
He also focused on his creatures; it helped him to relax. He began to explore New York city little by little, after all, he had been offered a job and he was seriously thinking about accepting it.
It was late at night when it happened. He was trying to get the damned niffler back in the case, when the mischievous thing leaded him to a frozen lake.
He was being careful, he truly was. But then he felt it, the wave of magic that pushed him further and made the ice crack open. He just had time to move the case away, but when he was ready to apparate away, another hex hit him in the head. He fell into the lake, but something pushed him even down and he watched as the new layer of ice formed above him, trapping him inside.
He searched for his wand and when he couldn't find it he tried to use wandless magic even though he had never tried it before and he was to tired to cast a spell.
He was drowning and the water was already in his lungs when he lost consciousness.
When Newt opened his eyes once more he was convinced he was dreaming again. He was inside of a tunnel with lamps and light marking a straight path. And he followed it because he was freezing, his clothes were soaked and there was ice forming on the collar of his coat. He thought that maybe following the path he had a possibility to find a place where he could change his clothes.
Walking down the path, he found another people heading to the same direction, but when he tried to talk to them and ask about the place he was completely ignored.
He tried it a few times with different people when he finally gave in and kept walking.
Then, when he reached the end of the tunnel he saw the harbor and the boats waiting for the people to board.
But Newt didn't know where to go, because there were lines to get in the different ships... and the others... they seemed so sure about what line to follow that Newt started to wonder if he should try and get the information himself.
There were also books, five books floating close to the different lines. Newt couldn't help himself and examined them carefully. They were full of names and dates. He was curious, but didn't think much of it till he saw his own name written in golden ink in the first book.
What did that even mean?
He was shocked to realize it seemed his own handwriting. And when he touched it the name started to fade away which made him step back, thinking he had messed up.
Something changed; the air roared violently but it didn't seem to bother anyone in the lines.
He shivered, feeling the cold in his bones. He tried to walk but stopped before he even started when he saw the hippogriff bating his wings above him. Newt grinned from ear to ear when he watched the creature landing next to him, but his smile fade away quickly when he noticed the wizard riding the creature.
"I didn't think you were coming so soon, Newt," Percival Graves smiled.
Newt felt relief because he was sure he was dreaming and he knew Graves was going to help him.
But when Graves offered him a hand, his expression turned serious. He was eyeing the lines almost with hate.
"You must choose," he said, making Newt blink a few times in confusion.
"Either you follow the line or you come with me," Graves clarified. There was something desperate in his tone that Newt managed to catch even though he was trying to appear indifferent.
Newt bit his lip and looked to the lines... He was freezing and tired and he just wanted to rest. He didn't know where the ships were heading and if the books had something to do with it he knew the fact that his name fade away it couldn't mean anything good.
"I just want to rest... I'm tired and I'm freezing," he complained.
"I'd help you, but we need to get to my house first," Graves voice softened. "You can have anything you want in there. Dry and warm clothes, a bed and plenty of food."
Newt wondered why Graves didn't just used a spell to dry his clothes right then and there, but he told himself it was a dream, dreams were supposed to be weird anyway.
"You just need to choose," he pressed, looking more anxious.
"Fine," Newt took Graves' hand. "Take me with you."
The wizard took his dark coat off and placed it on Newt's shoulders and just then Graves decided to use magic to dry his clothes. He didn't question it, he climbed up the hippogriff and put his arms around the other wizard's waist and relaxed immediately.
He wondered how long it would take for him to wake up.
It seemed Graves and he had very different concepts about what a house was, because that wasn't a house it was a manor. Newt could see the gardens and the black roses growing up in the principal entrance. He was very much impressed and fascinated by it.
"Do you like it?" The wizard asked, his eyebrows quirking up as the question escaped his lips.
"Of course! It's beautiful!" Newt answered in all honesty and didn't know why but Graves looked very pleased about it.
Graves jumped down the hippogriff as soon as they were in front of the manor. Newt was going to do the same, but despite his protests about being perfectly capable of doing it himself, Graves took him by the waist and helped him get back to the ground.
However, Newt attention didn't last much when a magical creature was around, so he thanked the man next to him and turned to face the hippogriff doing all the proper code of etiquette before he approached and started to caress his muzzle.
Luckily, it seemed the creature liked him as much as he did.
"Hello, beautiful!" Newt grinned from ear to ear. "What's your name?"
"Helen," Graves told him, appearing by his side.
Newt looked at Helen and hugged her by the large neck.
"Such a nice girl you are, Helen," he chuckled, feeling a lot better since he arrived at that place.
"It looks like anyone who meets you can't help but love you immediately, Newt," Graves commented with a fondness in his voice that made Newt blush bright red. "C'mon, you need to see the inside of the house as well as your bedroom, I think you're gonna like it."
Newt had no time to feel confused, because Graves took his hand and pulled him inside the house.
Maybe he had heard wrong or maybe it was all just part of the weirdness of the dream.
The first thing Newt eyes noticed was the living room and the brown sofa placed next to the window that faced to the backyard. It was a nice view, Newt imagined himself sitting over there with a nice book on his lap and Pickett over his shoulder.
And then he noticed the lack of noise inside the house. It gave him a cold and sad feeling.
"Who do you live with?" He asked, knowing that was an impolite question, a very intrusive one, but curiosity always got the better of him.
"It must be... lonely." He commented before he could stop himself. "I'm so sorry! That was really inappropriate of me-"
"Don't worry, Newt," Graves leaned in and stroked the hair that had fallen over his forehead. He didn't look angry at all. "It's true. It truly was."
Newt relaxed under his touch, but the calm sensation only lasted seconds. He felt dizzy out of the sudden and stumbled, but Graves catched him before he fell.
"Newt, what is it? Are you okay?" The wizard asked.
Ignoring the questions, Newt looked at his hands. He had the odd impression that his hands didn't look as clear as they used to be. It was like he was fading away, but it only lasted a second, because when he blinked they looked as clear as always.
Graves noticed too and on his face an alarmed expression appeared. He took Newt in his arms, lifting him as he weighed nothing.
"You just need food and a hot beverage to feel better," the man assured.
Just Newt noticed how very hungry and thristy he was. He was so tired he didn't protest when Graves carried him all the way to the second floor and left him on a very comfortable bed, so comfortable indeed Newt couldn't help but curl up there and close his eyes.
A hand caressing his cheek prevented him from falling completely asleep.
"Newt, you need to eat something first. I promise I let you rest once you eat... or at least drink something."
It was definitely his imagination the way his voice insisted with a desperate tone. Newt opened his eyes reluctantly and sat on the bed. In front of him appeared a table full of all kinds of food, for a moment it reminded him his first time in Hogwarts.
Everything looked delicious. He reached out to take a piece of bread when he remembered something.
"The white door," he mumbled, "the one at the end of the hallway, where it leads?"
Graves frowned, like the mere thought of it bothered him.
"Nowhere, it doesn't matter."
"Are you sure?" Newt insisted. Because he could swear he heard Theseus voice calling out for him and it seemed the voice was coming behind that door.
Graves waved a hand dismissively and pointed at the table.
"You must be hungry," he said and the truth was that Newt was very much hungry.
"Or maybe you would like something to drink first?" Graves offered and smiled when Newt's eyes sparkled with happiness.
"I'd like to have a cup of tea, please," he said and hummed approvingly when a cup full of Earl Grey appeared in front of him.
Newt took it in his hands, closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. And when he opened them again, Graves was sitting next to him on the bed, looking him with an intensity that made his cheeks burn.
"Won't you at least take a sip?" He asked and that question only made Newt remember his brother and what he used to say.
When Theseus came back from the war he wasn't the same. The things he saw made him think about family as the most important thing in the world for him. And since Newt was the only family he had left, he became his priority. He was very protective of his little brother and while he didn't approve of his little adventures around the world he didn't stop him from traveling. But Theseus always gave him all kinds of advices before he left England. His brother was very clear about people, he could not trust them because trust must be earned.
'And Newt, please... don't drink or eat anything a stranger offers you.' He used to say.
The younger wizard looked at the liquid in his cup and frowned. It was ridiculous he trusted Graves and it was all a dream, right? Nothing could happen to him in there.
Except that a voice in his head started to whisper to him that he was wrong and everything in there was pretty much real.
"What is this place?"
Graves sighed and looked at him with something like pity.
"Newt, you're tired... You must eat something first and then I'll answer any questions you may have."
Newt took the cup to his lips and pretended to take a sip, but his lips were firmly closed. And he saw the moment Graves relaxed after seeing him 'drink'.
He had the feeling the wizard would be more willing to share information with him now.
"Actually, I'm not very hungry at the moment," he lied. "But I'd love to talk, please?"
"Fine," Graves nodded. He started to run his fingers through Newt's curly hair. "This is the Underworld."
For a beautiful moment Newt thought Graves was joking, but when he looked up at him he noticed how serious he seemed.
"But I thought the Underworld was someplace you went when you died."
"I'm sorry, Newt."
"What? Am I dead?" Newt's eyes opened wide in shock. "But I never got to say goodbye to Theseus... And my creatures! Who's going to take care of them?"
Graves kissed his forehead. He was trying to comfort and it worked, just a little.
"Well... At least I'm gonna see Mum and Dad again," he said, feeling better.
The man stared at him with something close to guilt in his eyes.
"They're on the other side of the sea," he explained. "You were supposed to board a ship to go there."
"Well... I just go and take another," Newt said.
"I'm afraid it doesn't work like that. You... you had to take the one you were registered, otherwise you can't. You won't be able to board another."
Newt realized what happened and pushed Graves away from him.
"You lied to me!" Newt accused.
The wizard knelt before him and took his hand in his, Newt glared at him.
"I gave you a choice," he pointed out. "And you chose me. I didn't lie to you."
"But you hid information which is as bad as lying!" Newt snapped. "I wouldn't have chosen to come here if I had known!"
Graves' eyes darkened. There was a sadness and loneliness in them.
"I know," he breathed, resting his head on Newt's lap. "I knew. Please, forgive me, little bird."
But Newt wasn't a man who accepted his fate without fighting first and he was already thinking in a way to escape.
"I promise you'll be happy here. I'll make you happy."
I doubt it, Newt wanted to say, but bit his lip to prevent the words from coming out.
Dizziness took over his body again and this time Graves fear was more palpable that before.
"You didn't drink your tea," he pointed out. "You must-"
But Newt wasn't paying attention anymore, because now he was sure he was hearing Theseus voice calling out his name.
'Stay with me, little brother,' Theseus pleaded and Newt knew it was coming from the door.
So he did the only thing he thought at the moment and threw the tea over Graves' eyes, creating a momentary distraction. He stormed out of the room and reached the door, feeling his clothes wet again... He couldn't breathe and yet he opened the door and closed behind him.
There was blackness and then sound and he opened his eyes he was coughing, expelling the water that had entered his lungs.
Theseus was leaning over him with relieved tears in his eyes.
"You're safe now, baby brother," he said as Tina knelt next to him.
"We're gonna take you to a hospital," she informed. "The healers are already waiting for you."
Newt thought for a second all what had happened with Graves was just a delusion his mind tricked him with because he was dying. But he couldn't lie to himself for long because when he shivered, Theseus took a coat a black coat lying next to them.
A coat Newt was sure it didn't belong to his brother or Tina.
Poor Newt... He's very confused and scared now.
But I feel bad for Percy too. The poor guy doesn't know is not a good idea to woo someone by trucking them into staying with you forever... But well... He's not very good at feelings, okay?
But will he be able to earn Newt's forgiveness? Or will he try to take him to the Underworld again?
It took Newt a couple of days to recover completely... at least physically. His mind was still internally debating if the whole thing had been real or not even though he had the black coat as proof of what had happened.
He was lying on his bed in the new apartment Theseus had decided to rent while they were in New York. He looked at the ceiling while thinking about the incident, his heart was pounding in his chest.
The truth was he didn't want to believe it; part of him knew it was all real, but it was too much for him to handle. Because he had been reading stories about ancient magic; there wasn't anything in the history books, nor in the encyclopedias of magic, but there were fragments in legends, in children's books and works of fiction. Which only meant none of it could be true and it probably wasn't.
But he was sure of at least one thing, if Percival Graves was real and if he was truly Death himself it meant he had just throwed hot tea to the eyes of an immortal being that just happened to have the power of taking any life he wanted.
Merlin help him, Theseus was right all along, he seemed to get himself in the worst kind of situations.
And still... he was crazy enough to feel a little bit angry at him for trying to trick him. Not that he could do anything about it... Besides, why would a being with so much power care about what he thinks? It was just ridiculous, everything was.
He came up with a plan in the morning; Theseus was waiting for him downstairs to go to MACUSA.
Newt sighed, taking the coat out of his wardrobe and putting it on the chair that was next to his bed. He had decided it was best for him to return it, but of course he wasn't going to come back... so it just remained one option.
He took a deep breath.
"Listen... Percival, here's your coat. I-It wasn't my intention to bring it here... so you can take it back," he blurted out, feeling stupid talking in his bedroom where there was clearly no one. He bit his lip and shook his head.
Maybe he wasn't listening at all.
Newt walked out the room and joined his brother, trying not to think too much about Percival.
Luckily for him, being at MACUSA was distracting enough to forget some of his problems. Tina liked to share the cases she was working on with him, he spended most of his time in her office while Theseus had meetings with Picquery and some of the aurors. They all were worried about Grindelwald; he hadn't been seen since they rescued Agatha and the lack of news about him had his brother more tense than anything. He was sure Grindelwald was planning something and it wouldn't take long for him to set it in motion. He wanted both the Ministry and MACUSA to work together.
Newt offered to help and it didn't surprise him when Theseus rejected him. He knew his brother was scared since he almost dies in the lake and he didn't want to risk Newt's life anymore.
And Newt didn't insist because he had his own problems to solve at the moment. It was difficult to focus on anything else with something like that sneaking in his thoughts all the time.
And because he couldn't stop himself from thinking about it, he had tried to avoid Queenie as much as possible since he... came back. He wasn't ready to tell anyone and he knew if he spent more than a few minutes with her she'd probably find out everything.
It was at night, when he was sitting on Tina's couch, that Queenie surprised him and sat next to him.
"Tina is still in the meeting, she said you didn't have to wait for her, that you should return home." Queenie told him, offering him a kind smile.
Newt nodded, trying to concentrate on what she was saying, but it was difficult, then she said something more, something that worried him.
"There's something different about you, you've changed since you... since that day in the lake," she whispered, like she didn't want anyone to hear, even though they were alone. "I cannot hear your thoughts anymore."
Newt could tell she was worried.
"Are you okay? You know you can tell me," Queenie took his hand and squeezed it.
Feeling his chest heavier than before, he tried to smile.
"I'm perfectly fine. It's just... I've been practicing occlumency that's all," his lie sounded so obvious even to his own ears.
Queenie didn't believe him, but she didn't press either.
"If you need something, you know where to find me, sweetie," she reminded him.
When Newt returned to the apartment and after having dinner with his brother, because even though he wasn't hungry he knew Theseus would be worried if he didn't see him eat something.
So he ate and went immediately to his bedroom to try to sleep. And when he saw the coat just where he left it he felt... disappointed, at least just for a brief moment. Because the coat being there it was a good sign, right? It meant Percival had forgotten about him or he had just decided he wasn't worth his time.
It was okay. He didn't have to worry about that anymore.
He couldn't sleep well. He woke up in the middle of the night, after dreaming of a boat sailing across a very dark ocean. He opened his eyes when he felt a cold breeze on his cheek, but when he rose from the bed to close the window he saw it was still closed.
Newt returned to bed with his heart beating so hard it seemed it wanted to get out of his chest and did the one thing he was avoiding: he looked at the chair next to the nightstand.
Two things made him shivered, the fact that the coat was gone and the chair considerably closer to the bed.
He covered himself with the sheets.
It was going to be okay.
Few weeks later, Madam Picquery decided to offer him a job at MACUSA. Theseus wasn't pleased with the idea, he wanted to take back to England with him, but he ended up accepting it or at least he stopped complaining all the time. He sent an owl to the Ministry instead and told Newt he was going to stay in America for the rest of the month.
It was after he started to investigate his first case as an official consultant that the 'incidents' began.
Actually, they were more like helpful incidents.
The first one happened while he was helping Tina and her aurors stop a group of potion dealers. They got the majority of them trapped inside the building where they were making the potions and Newt thought he could catch the one he saw running towards the main door. Except when he got out he realized another two were waiting for the first one and while Newt considered himself a capable wizard, he couldn't beat three wizards at the same time.
And when he found himself trapped against the wall, without wand and a hand over his throat, he closed his eyes and waited for the unforgivable curse to hit his skin.
It never happened. Instead the pressure on his throat disappeared and when he opened his eyes the three wizards were on the ground... unconscious, as he noticed by watching their chests go up and down.
When Tina arrived she was very impressed, because she thought he had done it. And Newt didn't correct her, because she wouldn't believe him if he had told her the truth.
Those kind of things used to happen when he was in danger; it happened when he was trying to take care of an injured manticore and the creature, scared and hurt, almost attacks him, but he was shoved out of the way just in time... by no one apparently because he was the only one in the room at the moment. It also occurred when the house where he and Tina were searching for traffickers and they both were surprised by the whole group, Tina was able to get out and follow two of them before the house started to crack open; Newt wasn't so lucky and got hurt and couldn't apparate out of there, but before it all collapsed over him he was out, on the ground, breathing hard and trying to think how on Earth that happened.
By the time he went to search for a sick wampus in the woods and he saw the shadow following him after the corner of his eye, he was completely sure what was going on and he stopped.
"I know it's you, Percival," he said. "Please come here and talk to me."
The shadow appeared in front of him, quickly looking more and more like Percival Graves as he approached Newt.
"You've been helping me," Newt told him, letting him know he was completely aware of all those 'incidents'. "Why?"
Percival looked up at him, his dark eyes had this pained shade inside.
"If you die, you go to the Underworld, you know that. And since you made perfectly clear the last thing you want to do is to go back there, that you don't want to be near me... well, I'm just trying to prevent that from happening," he informed him like he was talking about breakfast or the whether. He tried to sound indifferent, but his tone was bitter. "And for a person who claims that you get yourself into dangerous situations pretty often. If you don't want to go back there then stop trying to get yourself killed."
Newt bit his lip and looked down, feeling guilty.
"How are your eyes?" He said then, remembering the tea.
"It's fine," Percival huffed. "I heal fast. But it hurt."
Newt got the feeling that he wasn't only talking about physical pain.
"I'm sorry," he said and he had to look back at him because Percival stepped closer.
"I deserved it," he admitted. "I'm sorry for... trying to keep you there. Forgive me, Newt."
The wizard smiled.
"I already did," he told him and gasped when he watched Percival grinning from ear to ear and taking him in his arms.
"Really?" He asked staring into Newt's eyes, their foreheads touching.
Newt nodded and his face was so close to Percival's his nose rubbed against his. Newt's cheeks started burning.
"Can we start over?" He asked, looking at Newt with hope.
"Yes, I'd like that," he confessed. Because despite everything that happened, being as close as Percival as he was then he felt weirdly safe and warm, which was honestly ridiculous 'cause he was being held by Death himself.
Newt's smile disappeared from his face suddenly, he then remembered the 'accident' at the lake.
"If it wasn't you who pushed me down to the lake," he mumbled. "Then who-"
"Newt, I would never..." Percival interrupted, he ran his fingers through his curls. "I know I was trying to keep you there, but it wasn't me... I thought... So you're saying someone tried to kill you that day."
"Maybe it was just an accident after all," he said, but he didn't believe his own words.
Percival shook his head.
"This is serious, we need to find out who was it, before he tries again," Percival growled.
"Tina will help," he said after a few sentences.
"The auror that's constantly with you?" Percival asked, grimacing like he had eaten something incredibly disgusting.
"Yes. She's great! She's intelligent and so brave. I know I'll have no doubt she'll find out."
"She sounds... fine," commented Percival through ground teeth.
"I know!" Newt smiled, forgetting his problems for a moment. He was glad Percival liked Tina, although he wasn't sure he could have a chance to introduce the two of them.
Percival sighed and pulled something out of his coat. It was a silver bracelet with a ruby in its center.
"Please, accept this gift," he said. "It'll tell me if you're in danger so I can protect you. Please, little bird."
"But you've been there when I need you... You don't need this to know where I am, do you?"
"Actually, I do."
"Then how did you find me all those times?"
Percival avoided his eyes, his face turned red.
"I've been keeping track of your cases," he admitted. "But that's not enough... Remember the house that got destroyed? I almost didn't make it on time to get you out."
Newt saw the immense worry in those eyes and sighed.
"Fine," he reached out his arm.
Percival took his hand and put the bracelet around his wrist before placing a kiss on it.
Newt blushed bright red and hoped he was making the right decision.
He had to admit, for the second time, Theseus was right, trouble seemed to follow him everywhere. And in this case was not only trouble but Death himself.
Who tried to kill Newt? And more importantly why?
And also... Will Theseus find out about Percival? And if he does, how will he react?
I bet he won't be pleased, not in the slightest.
Even though Newt was completely sure Percival was real, he had a hard time adjusting to the idea that he was friends with Death.
He also wondered how Theseus would react if he met Percival. Newt shook his head, remembering all those times his brother had basically bared his teeth to the few people that tried to talk him. There was a particular time at a pub (Theseus had yanked him to the place) when a wizard offered Newt a drink and he accepted, because the guy seemed friendly, but he was a little too much handsy for Newt's taste. Actually he had ended up feeling uncomfortable, but Newt didn't blame him, 'cause he was probably drunk and didn't even know what his hands were grabbing. Newt excused himself and tried to walk away, but the wizard stopped him, taking his arm and then he grabbed his butt.
It was the exact moment Theseus returned from the bathroom and he just... He lost it.
The man ended up floating above their heads hanging upside-down from his ankle and with a black eye.
Theseus let him go with a warning and Newt never saw him again. Not that he lamented it, he really didn't like him, so sometimes he felt grateful for Theseus protection.
Only sometimes. Because his brother could be very infuriating even though Newt knew he only meant well.
So telling Theseus about Percival was definitely out of the question.
Instead he focused on the fact that someone had tried to kill him. He decided to go to Tina for help.
His friend listened everything he had to say about the 'incident' and even asked a few questions after he finished. She sat back at the chair in front of her desk and looked at the papers she had without actually looking at them. Then she lifted up her head and stared at him with worry.
"There's normally a process we have to follow when someone comes with an accusation like this," she explains. "We ask the victim, in this case you, to make a list of the possibly enemies or people they have affected in the past, while also take in consideration family and friends."
He frowned and opened his mouth to point out how ridiculous was to even think about Theseus when Tina make a motion with her hand to shush him.
"Newt, please let me finish," Tina protested, looking irritated. "Now, in your case, I'd take away your family and friends of the list and focus on the people you have caused any... inconvenience over the years. However, we both know that list would be long since you seem to get into any kind of trouble not to mention the way you seem to get in other people's way to save your creatures."
Newt nodded because he didn't know what else to say or do, he felt a little bit embarrassed.
"But we must consider, even I don't like the possibility, that it was Grindelwald the one who tried to kill you," she continued. "We ruined his plans by saving Agatha. Of course I can't be completely sure, but it's the most probably option. And I said I don't it because Grindelwald is one of the most powerful and dangerous wizards of our time. I don't like the idea of him being out there and attempting to do that to you again."
Tina's neutral expression fade away; she looked so vulnerable without it.
"What do you think I should do?" He asked though he wasn't as worried as she was, because he had Percival and he felt safe around him.
"Tell your brother," Tina said without hesitation.
Newt shook his head. No, they weren't sure yet if it was Grindelwald.
"Newt, he's an auror, a powerful one if what I heard is true, also he has a high position in the Ministry, he can protect you."
The magizoologist shook his head for the second time. Tina huffed, looking like someone about to pull her hair.
"He would want me to go back to England," Newt explained.
"Well, if that's what it takes to keep you safe..." She trailed off.
"I won't tell him until we're sure," Newt decided.
Tina rolled her eyes.
"We have no idea where Grindelwald is right now and that's why he's more dangerous, we don't even know what his plans are."
"I'll be fine, Tina."
The auror sighed.
"Fine, but you'll be in my office the whole time and you'll allow me to keep you company outside of MACUSA." She said and Newt was sure she wasn't taking no for an answer.
"I don't want to be a bother," he told her.
"You won't, you're my best friend. In fact, I'd be terribly worried if you don't let me become your personal shadow," Tina smiled. "At least until we find Grindelwald. Please, Newt..."
"Fine," he gave in, because there was no other way.
Percival used to visit him at night in his bedroom. He liked to appear whenever he was at the moment, but since Tina decided to his guardian he couldn't see him until much later.
Also, Newt hadn't told him about Grindelwald because... he didn't know how Percival would react. He didn't know how much he was allowed to interfere in a mortal's life.
But he had the bracelet and if he was in danger Percival would know.
Inside Newt's bedroom they talked... Well, to be honest, Newt was normally the one speaking about his creatures, but Percival seemed genuinely interested so at least he knew he wasn't being annoying.
One of those nights he invited Percival to look inside the case. His creatures were afraid of him at first, they seemed to sense something different about him, but once they saw Newt trusted him, it was more easy for them to accept his presence in their territories.
However, there were times when Percival acted different... like he was immerse in a very deep discussion with himself.
One night, when Newt was trying to explain how two of the aurors in the department started fighting and how Tina stopped them, Percival cleared his throat, catching his attention.
"You spend more time with her now," he commented as it wasn't something important.
"The woman... the auror you always talk about," Percival pressed.
"Tina! Well, of course I do, I work with her," he said, smiling. He was pretty sure he had mentioned her name many times before, but Percival always forgot it.
"You also spend time with her outside of MACUSA," Percival continued through gritted teeth. "That's why I can only see you a few hours at night."
"Have you considered meeting her?" Newt asked, beaming at the possibility. "I think you two would get along."
"But maybe if you don't tell her who you really are-"
Percival shook his head.
"I have no particular desire to meet her."
"Why not? She's great!" Newt insisted.
"I don't come to the mortal world every day for her. I'm here for you, little bird."
Newt blushed and managed to smile despite of feeling flustered.
"I'm glad you consider me your friend," he told him.
Percival sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.
"Well... Tell me, what should I do if I want to court someone from here. Are there rules to follow?"
Newt blinked a few times, before looking at him. Does that mean Percival has fallen for a mortal? How that could work out? And why did he feel disappointed out of the sudden?
Newt shook his head and put aside those thoughts. He was going to help his friend.
Only that he was probably the worst person to offer any kind of advice about that.
"Well... We usually have dates first."
"And how does a date work?" Percival questioned, curiosity in his eyes.
"You can go and have dinner with the person you like," Newt tried to explain. "Well, not just dinner you can go with them to any other place and talk to know each other better. You can also buy something for them, like a gift, it could be flowers, chocolate, but it usually has to do with your partner's preferences."
Percival nodded, but his expression turned dark almost immediately.
"Have you been dating her? Is that why you spend so much time with her?" Percival grimaced.
"Tina? No, we're just very good friends," he replied with a smile on his face.
And finally... Percival smiled back, he looked more relaxed.
It looked like he wanted to say something more, but there was a knock at the door. Percival disappeared as Newt prepared him to let his brother in.
"What is it, 'Seus?"
His brother sat next to him on the bed.
"Have you thought about what I said?"
Newt rolled his eyes.
"I'm not going back to England," he huffed.
"It's because Miss Goldstein?" Theseus asked, quirking up his eyebrows.
Theseus had met Tina since he arrived, but since she refused to let Newt out of her sight, she had even insisted on accompanying Newt to the apartment his brother and he stayed at. Theseus has seen her every night, hugging and kissing Newt on the cheek before walking away.
Newt could tell his brother didn't like her very much, but he had gotten used to her presence.
"Because if you two are together... Well at least I should know her better to see if she's right for you. It's not that I dislike her, but-"
"We're just friends!" Newt cut him off.
Why suddenly everyone thought he was dating Tina?
"Oh, well..." Theseus rubbed the back of his neck. "Are you sure you don't want to go back to England with me?"
"I'll be fine," he assured. "Like I always am."
Theseus hugged him.
"I can't help but worry," he muttered.
"I know," Newt smiled fondly. "Wait... When are you going to leave?"
"In two weeks."
Newt relaxed, because despite of his brother's infuriating overprotection he knew he was going to miss him.
There were just so many things he had to deal with at the moment. He felt a little bit lost.
Poor sweet and oblivious Newt!
What kind of plans does Percival have for him?
Tina tried to avoid visiting Agatha, not because she didn't think she couldn't help them, she definitely could, but after what happened, she wanted to keep her as far away as possible. She had suffered enough, she didn't need to know about Grindelwald's plans or what was going to be his next move.
And Newt agreed with her, he didn't want to be the cause of Agatha's pain.
The problem was that time was running out and they still had no idea where Grindelwald was nor what he was going to do next and that was a serious problem since he seemed determined to end Newt's life.
The day Tina told him they were going to see Agatha, Newt shook his head.
"No, we won't," he refused, making her sigh, tired.
"It's the only way we can have at least an idea of what Grindelwald wants. Maybe that way we could catch him."
Newt doubted it could be that easy. He avoided his friend's eyes and shook his head again.
"I know it's not fair for Agatha, but I'm worried about you. I don't want you to get hurt just because I didn't do enough to stop Grindelwald."
"I'll be fine," he said.
"Grindelwald is very dangerous, you cannot underestimate him," she took him by the arms kindly. "If you think he has forgotten about you only because he had made another attempt to attack you you're mistaken. We both know he's a good strategist."
Newt looked up at her and regretted immediately, the worry on her eyes was painfully obvious.
"Fine. But if she's not feeling well..."
"We'll go immediately," Tina nodded.
At least she looked so much better than the last time Newt saw her. The house whereshe lived now had numerous protection spells around it, that had been put there by some of MACUSA's best aurors. That's why Tina and he had to wait a few minutes before walking in the living room.
Because of her abilities she must've known why there were in her house and still she welcomed them with the kindest smile.
Newt felt guilty when she invited them to sit on the blue couch. But he did anyway, he sat next to Tina who squeezed his hand as she knew what he was thinking. She was not like Queenie, but she always seemed to know when Newt was particularly distressed.
"I'm glad to see you again, Newt," she said. "I was worried about you."
She didn't say why, but offered them cookies and coffee instead.
Tina leaned in, trying to look as her sister always did; friendly, relaxed. It was a look she didn't manage to pull off.
"You mentioned you were worried about Newt," she commented once the witch finished her story about an animagus girl who could turn herself into a cat. "Can you tell us why?"
Agatha blinked and the her eyes met Newt's and the wizard shivered, feeling that gaze looking into his soul.
"Well... It was because Death was following him," she explained. "And I thought he was in danger, because he was marked."
"So... You saw what Grindelwald tried to do," Tina tried to make some sense of what the witch was saying. "Because he could've died."
The woman trembled at the mention of the dark wizard's name; she shook her head.
"No, my dear," Agatha looked at Tina, like she was a little girl that had no idea how the world worked. "I'm not talking about death as in the end of life but Death, the being that rules the Underworld."
Tina sighed. She gave Newt a look and he knew she didn't believe her, that she thought Agatha was losing her mind.
"He follows your friend whenever he goes and I thought at first he wanted to hurt him, but it seems he worries and cares about him."
Newt blushed under the witch's knowing smile and looked at his feet also avoiding Tina's confused look.
"In fact, it seems like he's courting you," she continued and without a warning, took Newt's sleeve and rolled it up.
Everybody could see the bracelet.
"He's not courting me!" Newt mumbled before he could stop himself.
"What? Do you have a suitor? Why didn't you-"
"It's nothing, Tina."
"You must be careful though," Agatha warned. "Being courted by Death could be difficult. He's an immortal being, and a very possessive one if all the legends and stories are-"
She stopped suddenly and used her one to conjure a very old book, a children's book.
The tales of Beedle the Bard.
"Grindelwald was obsessed," she started to turn the pages, looking for something. "He wanted to know about all magic, all the legends and books that talked about it. He seemed interested in this tale in particular."
Desperate for information and clues, Tina took the book off the witch's hands.
"The tale of the three brothers?" Tina muttered, but none seemed to pay attention.
Agatha covered the bracelet in Newt's hand.
"Grindelwald must never know about your relationship with Death, Newt. You have to be careful."
"What does that have to do with Grindelwald?"
"You think he's looking for the deathly hallows," Tina cut in. "But those don't exist, they're just tales for children."
"They do exist, my dear. And the dark lord wants them."
"I don't see why that has anything to do with me..."
"Do you remember the story, Newt?" Agatha asked.
The wizard nodded, Theseus used to read it to him when they were children.
"Do you remember who gave the three brothers those powerful objects?"
Newt gasped, eyes wide in realization.
"Why did she mean by that?" Tina asked as soon as they arrived to Newt's apartment. "Who's courting you?"
"Nobody!" The magizoologist snapped, thinking about Percival. His friend had asked him about dates yes, but he was interested in someone else.
"Fine, but at least explain what she meant by the whole 'Death' thing she was talking about," Tina pressed. "Because you don't believe there's a person or being or whatever that rules the Underworld, right? There is not even a place like that..."
Newt sighed. He knew she wouldn't believe him.
Then, just when he was thinking something to tell her, instead the truth, he saw him.
Tina turned around to see what had caught Newt's interest.
Tina could see him. Percival had decided to meet her, finally. Newt was so happy, well... he would've been if it wasn't for the fact that Percival looked back at her with a frown.
Percival approached and Tina, as the good auror she was, pulled out her wand and stood between Newt and the dark figure.
Not a good sign. Percival clenched his fists and something changed around them; the wind started blowing furiously.
Newt tapped Tina's shoulder kindly.
"He's my friend, Percival Graves," he told her and ignored the tension in her body when he walked towards Percival.
The man took him in his arms in what it looked like a very possessive hug.
"She just wants to protect me," he muttered.
"From me? I would never hurt you!" Percival growled starting over Newt's shoulder.
The wizard rolled his eyes.
"She doesn't know that." He explained. Then he detached himself from the embrace and looked at her. "Allow me to introduce you two. Tina, this is Percival Graves, a friend of mine. Percival, this is Porpentina Goldstein, also a very good friend."
Tina looked at Percival for a moment, she didn't trust him, but at least she relaxed a little when she looked back at Newt. And when the man took Newt by the waist and pulled the magizoologist towards him, there was a spark of amusement in her eyes.
They shook hands reluctantly.
"Miss Goldstein, do have romantic feelings for Newt?" Percival asked out of the blue, making said wizard's face burn in embarrassment.
Tina, on the other hand, looked like she was having the time of her life.
"No, I do not. He's like a brother to me," she replied, fighting back a smile.
"Good," Percival said, looking pleased.
"I suppose you haven't met Newt's older brother, Theseus Scamander," Tina's eyebrows twitched up.
"You're planning on meeting him, I believe."
"Of course, my intentions towards Newt are serious."
Intentions? What was Percival talking about?
Tina couldn't resist anymore and chuckled. She patted Percival shoulder like she wanted to encourage him.
"Good luck with that." She said.
Newt whined, but recovered himself enough to glare at the auror. She grinned.
It was a relief that day Theseus had decided to go to MACUSA and he hadn't arrived yet.
Newt decided to think about that little problem latter and focusing on Grindelwald first.
He needed to talk to Percival about the tale of the three brothers.
I wonder how Theseus would react...
Well... as Tina said "good luck with that."
Chapter 6: The first date
“Have dinner with me,” Percival’s voice startled Newt for he was so distracted thinking about Grindelwald. He turned around, more relaxed now that Tina had decided to go back to her flat.
His friend looked nervous for some reason and Newt considered that perhaps that wasn’t a good night to start asking questions. Although dinner seemed like the perfect opportunity to do it.
He bit his lip, considering. Theseus would be worried if he returned late, but they still had time for that to happen, also he realized he was very hungry.
“Alright,” he smiled, thinking that was the best idea after all because Percival beamed at his response.
Considering the amount of time Percival had spent on Earth, Newt was really surprised he was the one that apparate them both to an Italian restaurant.
“I did my research,” he explained, looking amused at the expression on Newt’s face. It was almost like he had just heard his thoughts, only that Newt knew he couldn’t do that.
Newt didn’t have the opportunity to bring the tale of the three brothers up because Percival once again seemed very interested in Newt and wanted him to talk about his creatures and he… well… he just couldn’t resist something like that.
They both quickly forgot about everything else and Newt pushed the topic of Grindelwald aside; his mind was full of the man in front of him and his creatures.
But then he noticed the clock on the front wall of the place and told Percival he had to return to the flat before Theseus started to get worried.
“I would like to meet your brother,” he said, serious, the same expression on his face that he made when he told Tina about it.
“Fine,” Newt sighed. “But don’t mention that you are…”
“Death?” A dark eyebrow quirked up. “Why? I’d like to be honest with him.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Newt said, mentally picturing a very pissed Theseus, trying to kill Death himself because he tried to take him away once. Well… That probably wouldn’t be his first reaction. He’d probably think Percival is completely crazy. “Not for now, at least. Even for a wizard like my brother it’d be hard to accept something like that.”
Percival considered it and after a couple of seconds nodded at him.
“You’re probably right,” he said. “I won’t tell him who I am. But I still want to meet him. I’d like to let him know my intentions are serious.”
“What do you mean?” Newt asked, completely confused. Percival must’ve noticed it because he sighed and took the magizoologist hands in his.
“Newt, I want to court you.”
He froze, heart beating uncontrollably inside his chest and face quickly turning bright red.
Percival smirked and kissed his fingers only to make him blush even more.
“This was supposed to be our first ‘date’. I thought I was doing it right, as you told people do here, but it seems I didn’t make it clear enough for you.” He chuckled.
“But… Why me?” Were the first words that came out of his mouth. “I mean… you’re basically a god and I’m just… me.”
Percival frowned, but he didn’t seem angry at least not with him, it looked more like concern. “And what’s that supposed to mean? Newt, you’re beautiful, intelligent and one of the kindest people I have ever met. I want you by my side… I think- no, I know I’m in love with you. That’s why I wanted to make you stay that day -I’m not trying to justify my actions, that was wrong and I’m still sorry for it-.”
“Oh,” Newt gasped. He genuinely had thought Percival just wanted to be his friend, but now that he had said what he said, Newt finds himself liking the idea of having him as his boyfriend. “But- I mean… I don’t know what you expect of this… Because if we’re going to try, I’d like to go… slowly.”
Percival grinned from ear to ear, he intertwined his fingers with Newt’s and leaned even closer.
“Anything you want, Newt,” he promised. “I just want you to give me a chance.”
Newt nodded, feeling his own lips quirking up in happiness. He gave Percival a peck on the lips, it was quick and sweet, maybe even a little shy, but Percival looked at him like he just received the best kiss of his life.
Newt giggled, feeling his chest warm.
“C'mon, let’s go back to the flat so I can introduce you to Theseus.”
Which, he knew already, wasn’t going to be easy.
Theseus Scamander was not unreasonable, most of the time, the problem was that he was very protective of his little brother.
And Newt knew it, that was why he asked Percival to stay behind him when they both apparated in front of doorstep.
“Newt, I’m glad you’re back!” He heard the relief in his brother’s voice as soon as the wizard saw him. Theseus took him in his arms and pulled him closer; he was so focused on Newt that he completely missed the figure, hidden in the shadows, behind his little brother.
“I want you to meet someone, ‘Seus,” Newt said when his brother decided to release him and stepped back.
Theseus looked at him and then, with a confused -not pleased- expression, his eyes saw the man approaching them. Finally, his face was illuminated by the lights and Theseus frowned immediately. He took his brother’s arm and yanked him away from the other man.
Percival narrowed his eyes at the gesture, but, to Newt’s relief, he didn’t comment on it.
“He’s Percival Graves,” Newt continued as nothing had happened. Then he turned to Percival and added. “This is my brother, Theseus Scamander.”
Percival smiled and offered his hand to Theseus, who looked at his little brother and pressed his own lips into a fine line. But at least he shook the other’s hand.
“I’m glad to finally meet you, Mr. Scamander,” Percival said. “I wanted to see you personally before continuing the courtship.”
“C-courtship?” Theseus choked at the word and looked at Newt almost alarmed, although it seemed like part of him was waiting for one of them to say that was all a joke.
Percival nodded, not noticing the other’s distress.
“I’d like to start a romantic relationship with him,” he continued. Newt tried not to chuckle because that would only increase his brother’s bad mood.
“What?” Theseus frowned then started back at Newt. “Can you please explain me what’s going on?”
“I will, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to discuss this outside.” Newt told him and invited Percival in. He also offered a cup of coffee that the man accepted with a huge grin on his face.
Once the coffee and the tea were ready, the four men sat at the couch in the living room. Well… just Percival and Newt because Theseus grabbed a chair and put it just in front of the two of them.
Instead of waiting for his brother to start talking, Theseus started to ask questions.
“When did you two meet?”
Newt bit his lip. Of course it’d be a difficult one first. Because there was no way Newt could talk about the incident with his first bowtruckle.
“A couple of years ago,” he said instead.
“Why didn’t you tell me anything about him?” Theseus demanded, staring at Percival suspiciously.
Because he wouldn’t have understood that I met Death and he had helped me all these years. Also Theseus wouldn’t be so happy to know Newt almost died because Percival wanted to keep him in the Underworld.
“I… I wanted to wait,” he said. “I know you don’t like the idea of-”
Theseus shook his head, interrupting. He glared at Percival.
“What are your intentions towards my little brother?” He asked.
“I’m serious about this,” Percival said, without hesitation. “I love him.”
Newt covered his face in his hands, just for a few seconds because he knew he had to intervene, no matter how much he wanted to cover the blush on his cheeks.
“How can you be so sure-”
“Please, ‘Seus,” Newt cut him off. “We just… We’re just dating, okay? I know you worry about me, but I can make my own decisions.”
But Theseus was not pleased. He also didn’t seem to like Percival, but, instead of keep arguing, he sighed.
“So… Mr. Graves,” he huffed and Newt knew that was his version of being 'polite’. “What do you do? I mean… where do you work? Because you do have a job, right?”
Newt paled, looking at Percival opening his mouth to answer.
“He’s a historian,” Newt answered for him, taking Percival’s hand in his. The man quirked up one of his brows at him, apparently amused by his words.
Theseus’ frown didn’t fade away, but at least he wasn’t as tense as before.
“Why do you-”
“Please, 'Seus, it’s late. Could you stop treating him like he’s a suspect?”
“Fine,” his brother accepted. “Besides, you’re right. It’s late I think it’s time for Mr. Graves to go back to his own house. He must be tired.”
Percival seemed like he was about to protest but a glance at Newt seemed to calm him. He kissed him on the forehead, ignoring Theseus’ glare.
“I’ll see you soon,” he promised and then nodded politely at Theseus who seemed relieved to see him go.
“There’s something odd about him,” he said as soon as the door closed again.
Newt rolled his eyes.
“No, don’t look at me like that, Newt. I’m serious,” Theseus huffed. “I feel magic around but it didn’t feel like any other wizard I have met before. His magic is different, more powerful.”
Newt looked down, hoping his brother didn’t notice the way his face paled.
“You just say that because you don’t like him,” he insisted, trying to sound exasperated.
Theseus shook his head.
“No, this is different, Newt-”
“Let’s talk about it in the morning, alright?” He cut him off, walking towards his room. “I want to sleep.”
Theseus didn’t argue, but Newt knew he wasn’t going to let it go.
It was a mistake to introduce the two of them after all.
Chapter 7: The three brothers
Newt didn't expect to see Percival sitting at the end of his bed, but that didn't mean he was surprised. He closed his door immediately, reminding himself that his brother was in his own bedroom by then.
"Your brother doesn't like me," Percival commented.
"Theseus is an overprotective big brother," Newt whispered. "Of course he doesn't like you, he just met you. But I'm sure he'll hate you if he knows you're in my room."
That last part made Percival smirk. He stood and walked towards Newt until the magizoologist was trapped in his arms.
"He won't find out, I promise," he assured and kissed Newt on the forehead.
"Fine," Newt sighed, giving the door one last look before taking Percival's hand in his and guiding him back to the bed. "There's something I need to talk with you anyway."
Percival's brows quirked up with curiosity.
Newt closed his eyes, took a deep breath and then opened them again.
"I want you to tell me about the three brothers. You know, one of the tales of Beedle the Bard. Is that true?"
Percival tensed; the spark in his eyes disappeared as Newt's words reached him.
"Would you forgive me if I said it's true?" He asked, looking down.
"You don't have to apologise to me for that," Newt cupped the other man's face in his hands and made him look at him in the eye.
"I was arrogant back then," he admitted. "And I made a terrible mistake."
"Everybody makes mistakes."
"I know, but mine have ruined thousands of lives," he pointed out, his expression miserable. "I've been trying to get them all back to destroy them, but it's not that easy. The hallows were made to be difficult to find, even for me."
Newt didn't like the look of sorrow on Percival's face, so he moved closer and put his arms around his neck. When the other started to grin, the magizoologist kissed him on the lips, ignoring the blush that was spreading from his cheeks towards his neck.
"I can help you to find them," Newt offered, his lips brushing Percival's.
"It's dangerous," the other protested, but Newt noticed how difficult it was for him to focus now that Newt was so close. "I don't want you to get hurt."
"I know how to take care of myself," the magizoologist insisted.
Percival rolled his eyes, put a hand on the back of Newt's neck and pulled him in for a much more demanding kiss that left Newt breathless.
"Why did you want to know about that?"
Newt didn't plan to tell him about Grindelwald, at least not yet, because he suspected Percival wouldn't be so happy about that.
"I was curious," he breathed instead and when he saw the frown of disbelief on Percival's face he kissed him again, shocking himself; Newt wasn't used to kiss like that, passionate, desperate...
Percival moaned into the kiss and Newt couldn't help but giggle when he pulled apart and Percival groaned, chasing his lips.
"You're trying to distract me," he accused, but didn't seem angry about that.
"Of course not," Newt grinned, detaching himself from the other man. "Now come and help me feed my creatures."
By the look on Percival's face it seemed he wasn't going to let that topic go that easy, but at least didn't insist at the moment.
Theseus made very clear how much he didn't like Percival Graves the next morning and all the way to MACUSA.
Newt understood that Theseus worried about him -and he certainly had a point about Percival- but sometimes it was overwhelming for him.
He tried not to roll his eyes as Theseus told him for the fifth time that Newt couldn't consider to have a serious relationship with Percival.
"I can't trust him, Newt. I don't know anything about the man," he insisted. "I don't want to leave you here alone in New York knowing he's trying to catch you."
Newt held back a chuckle at the choice of words.
"Don't worry, I can take care of myself. Besides, I have my creatures," he told him. "Although I won't need to protect myself because Percival is a good man."
Okay... He was not exactly a man, but Newt was sure he was good. Although he was glad he had decided not to mention what Percival really was to Theseus because he was sure his brother would definitely lose it.
He felt relieved when Theseus was called by Picquery and he decided to go straight to Tina's office, only Tina was no there, instead a very worried Queenie looked right at him the second he set foot in the room.
"What happened?" He definitely had not Queenie's ability, but he knew something was not right.
"Tina had to go with a group of aurors to Agatha's place."
"Why? Did something happen to her?" Newt turned around, thinking if he should join them, but his friend took him by the arm.
He knew Queenie could not hear his thoughts anymore, but apparently she still knew how to read him well without having to use her gift.
"I don't know yet, but I think it's bad."
Newt wanted to go, but Queenie didn't seem willing to let go of him.
He was going to ask when Tina stormed into the room with a horrified look on her face. She even flinched when she noticed him.
"How's Agatha? Can I see her?"
Tina shook her head.
"I'm sorry, Newt." She blurted out in a weak whisper and he refused to believe what that could imply. "She's... dead."
"How?" Newt asked and didn't even recognized his own voice when it broke.
"Killing curse," she confirmed his fears. "A powerful one. I don't know how. It's nothing like I've seen before."
"That's what I think, but I'm not sure," she nodded and walked towards Newt. Her lips were pressed into a fine line. "I thought... I saw him, for a second."
"No, not him," she cut him off. "I-I think it was Graves. The man who was with you the other day."
Of course he was there, he must've taken Agatha to the Underworld. But why did he let Tina see him.
He needed to find him, to ask him if Agatha talked to him about what happened to her.
"Newt, there was something about him," Tina took his hand. "Perhaps it's better if you don't see him again."
"Newt, he was on a crime scene."
Newt shook his head. No, she didn't understand.
"You said you weren't sure."
"It's okay, honey. Tina's just worried about you," Queenie told him.
"I know and I appreciate your concern, but you have to trust me on this."
"He's a suspect."
"Please don't tell anyone about it," Newt pleaded. "Not even Picquery or Theseus."
"I know you like him, but this is part of my job, Newt. I need to interrogate him."
"I'll bring him here so you can ask him whatever you need to ask, just please don't tell anyone."
Tina looked from him to her sister, who nodded and then back to him.
"Fine," she sighed. "You have 24 hours to bring him here."
Chapter 8: Last words
When they both arrived at Tina’s flat, Newt asked Percival if he had thought what he was going to tell her; he looked back at him with a confident smile and Newt felt relieved.
Then, when Queenie opened the door for them and stared at Percival with a confused expression on her face, Newt should’ve known something was not quite right.
Judging by the look on Tina’s face it seemed she wasn’t going to make things easy for him. Queenie even tried to offered them something to eat, but her sister shook her head and began with the interrogation she had already planned in her head.
Newt and Queenie were sitting on the couch, looking as Tina was walking back and forth from the other side of the table where Percival was sitting at. To the auror’s frustration, he didn’t look a bit intimidated, which Newt didn’t find surprising since he was Death himself. Why would he be intimidated by a mortal?
“Where were you last night?” Tina asked, she had decided not to act kind with her ‘suspect’; her glare had no mercy.
“I went to Agatha’s house of course,” Percival said. “I needed to take her soul to the Underworld.”
Newt paled at the same time Tina’s expression turned into a shocked one and her lips parted to let out a confused “What?”
He hadn’t thought Percival was planning on telling the truth.
“Mr. Graves, I’d like to remind you that this is an official interrogation, we’re not in MACUSA just because Newt asked me to give you the benefit of the doubt, but if you keep with this nonsense I’m afraid I’ll have to take you to-”
“I’m being completely honest with you,” Percival cut her off.
“Do you seriously expect me to believe that your job somehow is to take souls to the Underworld?”
“Yes, because it’s the truth,” Percival insisted. “I am an ancient being better known as Death.”
Tina snorted, she was half amused and half irritated by his words.
“He’s not lying, Tina,” Newt said and his friend stared at him like he had gone mad.
But then, the person he didn’t expect to be on their side decided to intervene.
“I believe them, Teenie,” her sister said, making the auror roll her eyes at her, almost in shock.
“You can’t be serious!”
“I’ve seen glimpses of him in Agatha’s mind. At first it didn’t make sense, but now that I saw him again-”
“Agatha was old, she was not in her right mind,” Tina protested, looking more and more confused. Newt knew part of her was seriously considering Percival’s version of the story.
“She always knew what she was talking about,” Queenie smiled gently at her. “You know that.”
“You two have seen me before,” Percival looked at the sisters.
Newt wanted to ask but he saw right on Tina’s face as the memory hit her like a strong slap; it was something painful.
“Our parents funeral,” Queenie whispered and even though she tried to understand, she stared at Percival with a frown on her beautiful features.
Tina’s reaction was stronger than her sister.
“You took them away, didn’t you?”
It was obvious that his friends needed some time alone, so Newt decided to take Percival inside the case to feed his creatures while the sisters talked about what had happened.
Percival had explained Tina several times that he was not the one to decide when a person should die or not, he only make sure they arrived to the Underworld.
But it was too much to take in so little time for both of them, Newt knew it wasn’t going to be easy for Tina or Queenie.
“Did you really have to tell them?” Newt asked, he was trying to get Pickett to go back to his tree, but the bowtruckle was being unreasonable as always.
“I need them to believe me,” Percival nodded and kissed Newt’s cheek. “I need their help to protect you.”
This time he didn’t fight the impulse to roll his eyes. “I’ve told you I’m very capable of-”
“Why you didn’t say anything about Grindelwald?” Newt did not only went silent when he heard the question, he paled and looked anywhere but at Percival’s eyes.
“Agatha mentioned, she was really worried about you,” Percival interrupted him again. He crossed his arms over his chest. “Listen, Newt, if Grindelwald knows about you and me, he’ll use you to get what he wants.”
“He doesn’t,” Newt assured. “How can he know?”
“You’d be safer if you were in the Underworld.”
“You said you couldn’t decide who dies or who doesn’t.”
Percival looked at him almost horrified by his words.
“I can’t,” he conceded. “And even if I could I’d never take your life away, Newt.”
“Then I don’t see how- You can take living things in there?”
“If I want to.”
Newt took a step back and regretted immediately when he saw the hurt expression on Percival’s face. “You wouldn’t…”
“I’m not going to take you there if you don’t want, Newt,” he assured. “I’m just trying to tell you that is the best way to keep you safe.”
Newt shook his head.
“That’s what I thought you’d say and that’s why I need your friends. Maybe it’d be better if we told your brother too.”
“I don’t think 'Seus is ready to hear the truth yet.”
Once Tina and Queenie had time to talk to each other, Tina decided she was willing to hear what Percival wanted to say.
They all sat around the table and Queenie brought them coffee and tea before Tina asked Percival to continue.
Percival told them exactly what Agatha had said and to Newt’s surprise, Tina found the rest of the story believable.
“It makes sense,” she commented. “Grindelwald wants Newt to manipulate you.”
“You can’t be sure,” he protested, but no one payed attention to him.
“Which means he’s in danger,” Tina continued.
Percival nodded once. “And that’s why we must find Grindelwald first.”
They were babysitting him. That was the only explanation; it was the reason why Tina was with him all the time during working hours and Percival’s apparated the second they were outside MACUSA.
And honestly Newt was getting tired of it. He knew they both were worried about him, but he also needed to feel they trusted him.
It didn’t help that Theseus was acting even more grumpy than before because his time in America was coming to an end and he didn’t like the idea of leaving him with Percival around.
And he didn’t even know Percival was an immortal being that was in charge of the Underworld.
Of course Newt was not planning on telling him anytime soon. Instead, he tried to talk with his brother and convince him he was going to be fine being in New York by himself.
“There’s something about him,” Theseus insisted the morning he was preparing himself to go back to England. He had even begged Newt to go with him. “I don’t know what it is… Please don’t trust him.”
Newt rolled his eyes.
“No, don’t look at me like that, little one.” Theseus snapped. “I’m being serious. If anything happens, you must promise you’ll fire-call me. Promise.”
“Alright,” Newt agreed. “But seriously, you don’t have to worry so much.”
“You’re my baby brother, I’ll always worry,” Theseus said, making Newt groan in frustration.
The worst thing was that even if his brother was gone, he’d still have to deal with other two overprotective people.
Newt enjoyed Percival’s company and of course he liked the moments they had together (the kisses and the touches) now that Theseus was not with him. The only problem was that Newt knew he not only spent time with him for the pleasure of his company but because he was watching over him.
He tried to reason with Percival, he told him he could let him alone and go down to do what he needed to in the Underworld. But the man was stubborn, he was concerned because he hadn’t been able to find Grindelwald.
Newt insisted he could take care of himself just fine, but it didn’t help when one night he returned home with a need wound in his arm; he had helped Tina during a case and because he was so focused on the dying wampus on the floor he was too slow to defend himself.
Percival was worried and completely furious with the wizard that caused it. He had been able to escape and a group of aurors was trying to find him.
Despite of Newt’s begging, Percival went to hunt down the wizard and dropped him outside MACUSA’s front door.
Later, Tina told him the man was unconscious and all of his bones were completely broken.
“Your man is a little bit… intense,” Queenie had commented.
Newt sighed, making a mental note to talk to Percival about it.
At night, just before going back home, Fontaine had rushed to tell Tina Weiss had followed one of Grindelwald’s followers only to find him dead in a old house near Central Park.
But that was not the important part of the information; Weiss had also found six bodies more in the place.
Tina and he apparated in the place; Newt had to look away because the first thing he saw was the twisted body of a girl who had clearly been tortured. He had seen cruelty before, but no matter how many times he had encountered scenes like that, he thought he’d never get used to it.
He heard Tina already talking and ordering her aurors to inspect all the place; it took a few minutes more for Newt to move away from the first body.
But then, Tina returned to him with a horrified expression on her face. She paled as she began to talk.
“I-I think this is about you, Newt,” her voice trembled.
“What do you mean?”
“Let me show you.”
And he saw. There were six dead people, men and women; all redheads with freckled skin.
“This doesn’t mean-”
“Grindelwald is a smart man, everything he does is for a reason,” Tina interrupted. “It’s obvious he’s trying to send us a message.”
“It was for me,” the deep voice made Newt’s heart feel warmer.
Tina, on the other hand, wasn’t happy to see him there. She looked around to make sure none of her aurors were in the same room as them.
“What are you doing here?” She frowned. “If the others see you-”
“I don’t care,” Newt felt surprised by the harsh tone on Percival’s voice.
There was something more about him, Percival was acting different that night. He looked worried and almost… terrified.
His arms wrapped themselves around Newt before he could say anything; Percival buried his face in the crook of Newt’s soft neck and breathed his scent.
Despite of the situation, Newt couldn’t help but blush.
“I’m so glad you’re okay,” he whispered, tightening his hold.
“What happened?” He asked, almost afraid of his own question.
“I talked to them,” Percival said.
“What did they tell you?” Tina demanded and Newt couldn’t believe he had forgotten she was still there with them.
Percival took a step back and turned to her, however he kept a hand on Newt’s waist.
“They were tortured to death,” he said. “They were told to describe me how it happened in detail and so they did.”
Newt felt Percival shiver next to him before he looked back at him.
“I am afraid,” he admitted and Newt could see it in his eyes, a terrible fear that took over his eyes like a dark shadow. “I’ve never been so terrified before. I-I don’t want that happen to you. I don’t want anything happen to you.”
“You don’t know-”
“They died one by one… First was Natalie Lance, then Edmond Wallace, Will Grey, Thomas Warrington, Olivia Ferguson and Nathan Richards. Don’t you see it?”
Newt couldn’t think at the moment… He was just thinking about the pain they had suffered.
“It’s in their names,” Tina mumbled. “They’re the message!”
“I won’t let him hurt you, Newt,” Percival ignored her once more. Putting one of his hands on the back of his neck.
“I’m gonna be fine,” Newt assured, trying to calm him down, at the moment Percival looked like he was the one being tortured. “We’ll find him.”
Percival pulled him close.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, the warmth of his breath caressing Newt’s neck when the words escaped from his mouth. “Please, forgive me.”
Newt tried to look at him, but Percival refused to meet his eyes.
He felt suddenly cold, his body was unable to move as the world around them seemed to disappear.
“What are you doing?” He heard Tina yell. “Let Newt go!”
Tina tried to reach him, but it seemed impossible.
He shouldn’t have. Because when he opened his eyes again, he was in a familiar room, in the same one he once was… when he almost died.
Percival stepped back and stared at him with guilt and sorrow.
“We are…?” Newt couldn’t finish the sentence he knew exactly where he was already.
Percival nodded; his hand tried to reach to him and touch his cheek but Newt moved away.
“Take me back,” he demanded.
“You’ll be safe here. He won’t be able to hurt you. You’ll stay here until I find him.”
Newt felt tears in his eyes, but he didn’t do anything to wipe them away.
“I will never forgive you if you don’t take me back,” he blurted out.
As he had been slapped, Percival started at him, petrified. Newt could see how much pain his words had caused him.
He almost regretted saying it.
“I can’t, Newt,” he said. “Please… you have to understand-”
“You can’t protect me up there,” Newt insisted. “I need to take care of my creatures.”
“Little bird, you must-”
“You promised you wouldn’t do it!”
Percival tried to close the distance between them, but Newt shook his head.
“Don’t,” he hissed, feeling desperate and hurt. “I can’t trust you anymore.”
“Rest,” Percival managed to say. “I’ll come back later.”
Newt didn’t respond, he just looked down at his feet and heard the moment Percival disappeared.
He approached the door and took out his wand… Sadly, none of the spells he tried worked.
It seemed he was trapped in there.
I promised a Hades and Persephone AU, didn't I?
Chapter 10: Consequences
There must be a way out, after all he could return to the other side the last time he ended up in the Underworld. However last time the room wasn’t completely closed.
Maybe it was better just try to convince Percival when he came back. But the thing was… Newt wasn’t entirely happy with him at the moment.
He felt betrayed. Of course, he knew Percival was worried about him, but he had promised him he wouldn’t bring him to the Underworld unless Newt agreed.
His creatures needed him; perhaps Queenie and Tina could take care of them, but Newt knew they wouldn’t feel safe if they didn’t see Newt soon; Dougal would get desperate to find him and Pickett would stop eating for a while.
He had to go back.
Walking around the room, Newt tried a couple of spells and he even decided to use muggle methods and pushed, hit and tried to break the door.
The only thing he managed was to get himself completely exhausted after a couple of hours. After that he fell over the bed and closed his eyes to find another solution.
He couldn’t find any, he fell asleep instead.
He woke up with a gasp as he felt a hand caressing the curls that had fallen over his eyes. When Newt’s eyes blinked open, he moved far away from Percival’s touch.
The man sighed, but didn’t try to touch him again; he sat at the end of the bed and looked at Newt with so much sorrow that he had to turn his head away.
“I brought you something,” Percival mumbled, he sounded so hurt that Newt couldn’t help but look back.
He was ready to insist on being released when he saw his case. With a weak gasp, Newt took it in both hands and pulled it close to his chest.
“What will happen to them?” He asked, alarmed. “If they stay…”
Percival shook his head.
“Nothing if they don’t eat anything from this place,” he explained.
“What happens if they do? And what about me?”
“The rules are clear: no living creature can eat or drink anything from the Underworld. If they do, they cannot go back to the other side.”
Newt paled; he knew he had food for his creatures inside the case, but he didn’t have anything for himself.
He was about to ask when Percival took something out of his coat. It was a bottle of water and a couple of sandwiches. He offered them to Newt but the magizoologist didn’t touch them.
“They’re from up there,” Percival cut him off.
Newt looked into Percival’s eyes; he wanted to make sure he was telling the truth. He must’ve guessed the reason for Newt’s hesitation because his expression turned into a painful one.
“I wouldn’t… I would never do something like that,” he whispered and Newt felt completely awful for not trusting him.
He took the food and the water and opened his case.
“Do you need help?” Percival asked, almost shyly.
Newt shook his head and got inside the case without another word.
Percival allowed him to explore the rest of the house, but of course the door at the end of the hallway, the one that could lead Newt to the other side, remained closed.
It was difficult to count the days down there; the lights were dim and they didn’t come from a natural source, but a weird, more ancient and powerful magic.
Percival disappeared often, Newt knew he was still looking for Grindelwald, and came back hours later to see him and bring him food.
He also tried to spend time with him even though the first few times Newt refused to talk to him. But Percival always looked so miserable that sometimes Newt let him help him with his creatures.
“Forgive me,” he used to whisper every now and then at which Newt always answered by telling him he wanted to go back.
But not that time.
“I’ll think about it,” he breathed instead and tried so hard not to chuckle when he saw Percival’s hopeful expression.
“He says Newt’s okay, but I don’t… I don’t trust him,” Tina paced, like a possessed woman inside of her office.
Queenie had never seen her sister like that, even her thoughts were difficult to read at that moment, there were so many emotions behind them.
But she understood; Percival had taken Newt against his will and although they both knew we’re he was, it was still difficult to believe.
When he first came back after taking Newt, Tina had punched Percival in the face and for a moment Queenie had feared for her sister; to hit Death himself it could never bring something good, but that time the man did nothing to defend himself.
Then Percival had tried to explain, but Tina was not happy with it, she was pissed and wanted her friend back.
Sadly, neither of them could do nothing about it. Or at least that was what Queenie thought until her sister’s chaotic thoughts reached her.
“It’s not a good idea,” she warned her, but Tina had made up her mind.
“I’m gonna pay Theseus Scamander a visit,” she said with a worried frown on her face.
Queenie shook her head.
“Perhaps is better if you don’t share with him ALL the information.”
But Tina already had a plan in mind.