It starts when Tina watches the witness flirting with Director Graves shamelessly. He's polite and patient with her, but rejects her all the same. And Tina wonders, she wonders why his boss is still single and it's not because of the lack of opportunities because Graves is attractive and the others notice, both men and women. Of course she's not the only one that wonders, the whole department does, they worry about their boss and they worry even more now after what happened with Grindelwald.
Why he never got married?
She's still thinking about it when arrives home, Queenie hears her, a sad smile appears on her face.
"I know why. He thinks about it a lot," she says.
Tina's so curious that she doesn't scold her sister for getting in other people's heads like she always does.
"He's in love," she explains. "He met someone a few years ago and hadn't been able to forget them."
Tina's jaw drops and looks at her sister in shock because can't quite believe what she just heard.
"You're saying that Director Graves hadn't had a single relationship because he can't move on from someone he met years ago?"
"He doesn't want to move on."
Tina frowns. She's still curious but doesn't ask again and Queenie doesn't seem like she wants to talk about it. They eat dinner in silence.
Newt returns to New York three days after that. The Goldstein sisters are happy to see him again and listen with excitement when their friend tells them about what happened to him since he left New York.
Then Queenie starts to act odd. She insists Newt to go to MACUSA with them because she doesn't want to leave him alone on his first day back in the city.
"I won't be alone," Newt smiles. "I'll be in the case with my creatures. I'll wait for you two in there."
Queenie shakes her head. She insists and ignores Tina when she arches her eyebrows at her.
They enter Tina's office and it's Queenie the one that offers him seat and basically tells him to stay there. She seems excited for some reason, but before Tina can ask her what's going on she leaves them.
And a few minutes later, while Newt is talking about how rare and beautiful is a fenix, her boss enters.
"Auror Goldstein, I need you to fill this report-" he starts but stops when he looks at the person sitting on the chair in front of her. "Newt," he breathes.
Newt? Since when Director uses first names to talk to someone?
The magizoologist doesn't seem to mind at least, he stands and approaches the auror and offers his hand.
Graves looks like he's in shock but takes Newt's hand anyway. But... he doesn't shake it, he just holds it.
"Percival," he says and smiles like Tina hasn't seen him before. "Please, call me Percival."
Newt nods, suddenly flustered, he looks at their hands.
Graves' grin just grows wide.
"You haven't changed at all," he comments and Tina can see the spark of something she can't quite place, dancing in his eyes.
But Newt just frowns, confused.
"I'm sorry but... have we met before?"
Graves smile drops then, he lets go of Newt's hand.
"You don't remember, do you?"
Newt bites his lips and shakes his head.
"I mean I know you're Theseus' friend, he talks about you, but that's it. I'm sorry... I have no idea why I don't remember-"
"You were sick," he says. "I think that's why."
Newt doesn't say anything, he's still clearly confused.
"It was five years ago," Graves begins. "I went to visit your brother. I remember we were talking about the war and then you came."
It's just when Graves smiles fondly that Tina realises and instinctively covers her mouth.
Newt's the one.
"You were covered in dust, your hair was a complete mess but you looked so happy," Graves continues, trapped in the memory. "Then you started to talk about how you encountered this dragon and Theseus almost has a heart attack," he chuckles.
"You were there!" Newt finally seems to remember. "I knew I was talking to someone about dragons, but I thought I was delirious because of the fever."
"The fever," he says and looks worried like he's looking Newt getting sick again. He touches the magizoologist forehead without realising what he was doing. "I was... You scared us. You were happily talking about your creatures and suddenly you closed your eyes and felt right into my arms."
"I remember falling," he says. "I'm glad you were there."
Tina expects a confession after that, but none of that happens. Newt stays in New York and Percival looks so happy, but he never tells Newt the truth. The others notice of course; Graves is anything but subtle and can't help but look at Newt like a lovesick puppy every chance he has.
And Newt? Well, he's an oblivious idiot.
Weeks pass and Newt thinks it's time to go and Tina panics because she knows it's going to make her boss sad and frankly she's tired of watching them both pine like teenagers so she goes to Queenie.
"You have to do something," she begs.
"Don't worry I got this," she assures, winking.
She convinces Newt to stay a couple of days more and one morning when they're at MACUSA she speaks to him.
"You have to tell him, honey."
"You perfectly know what."
"I can't." Newt shakes his head.
"Five years ago Percival Graves visited his best friend. Then a boy with reddish hair arrived, a boy who loved magical creatures. He started to talk about dragons and demiguises and nifflers and Percival thought him beautiful. The boy smiled at him and his face was like the sun. Percival fell in love that day."
Newt's face is red and there's tears falling from his eyes. He looks up at Queenie.
"It's true." She says. "And now you go and talk to him."
And he does.
Newt stays in New York after all. He still travels a lot, but he always returns home. He always comes back to Percival Graves.