It's been a year since he's been rescued; he's been avoiding the topic as much as he can (making Goldstein, Abernathy and Fontaine read and fill the paperwork required to close the case) he doesn't even want to check the reports... even though he knows he should. His unprofessionalism ends today; he should confront pieces of that past he wants to erase from history and the first step is to request auror Goldstein to bring her best friend (whom she doesn't stop talking about) Newt Scamander. He's heard he's coming to give Goldstein his book. Percival knows he owes that man his life so at least he has to thank said man in person. He recalls the few conversations he has had with Theseus Scamander about his brother and dismisses them instantly because starting to form an opinion of a person from the perspective of his overprotective, obviously biased older brother is not a good place to begin with. 'Newt? He's a wild, little creature with no respect for the law,' Theseus had said with the most fondly look on his face. 'Be he only means well. He's also reckless and gives me a heart attack every single time I see him, but he's passionate and kind as well.' Definitely biased. He sighs and decides to check on the documents about Mr. Scamander. (Why is there no pictures of him?) He reads anyway and, after all he has heard from the Goldstein sisters and from his aurors as well, he's shocked that the man has been arrested only twice? How? The sole content of that infamous case -if the rumors are true- must be enough to make a wizard earn at least few years of imprisonment. It's not that he plans on arresting Mr. Scamander -the man saved New York and him- but he doesn't plan to go easy on him either; if Scamander wants to stay in the city he should arrange the permits necessary for ALL of his creatures. He smirks to himself, with that new goal in mind when auror Goldstein walks in her office; there's a spark on her eyes when she looks at something beside him. "Can we come in, Sir?" She asks, carefully, almost afraid of interrupting. Percival nods. "This is Newt Scamander," she introduces him with pride in her voice. "Newt, this is my boss, Director Percival Graves." It's very unfortunate he has decided to stand to greet the newcomer because just when those green eyes meet his Percival feels weak on the knees. He thinks he might be sick, only for a second, because Scamander looks away which helps the auror to recover... a little bit. The magizoologist avoids his gaze (which makes him feel oddly irritated for no apparent reason) and Percival feels with the liberty to stare. And he does. He notices the freckles all over that lovely face and the reddish curls falling over his forehead and those soft, inviting lips of his... Then he stumbles, like a clumsy child, and drops the cup of coffee he just grabbed; the thing falls to the ground and breaks into pieces before he can do anything. Goldstein looks at him, shocked. And Percival blinks because he has completely forgotten she was still in the same room with them. That means she just saw him ogling at her friend... What? No! Of course not, he's not... he wasn't ogling, his eyes only roamed over Scamander's body once... or maybe twice. But that's normal because he's an auror and he was just inspecting Ne- Scamander because he's used to it. He feels his cheeks hot, but ignores it as well as the look Goldstein is directing at him and waves his hand to fix the cup. Percival offers his hand in order to end the awkward silence that followed and he regrets it almost instantly. "It's a pleasure," Scamander mumbles and his voice is so clear and kind it makes Percival relax. He shakes that freckled hand and although it's not soft, it's definitely warm. And the Director likes the feeling, perhaps a little too much. "The pleasure is mine," there's something in his own voice, something low and primal that reminds him of a cat and to his utter horror he realizes that he, Percival Graves Director of Magical Security, has just purred like a fucking horny teenager. Scamander blushes, which only makes things worse because suddenly Percival takes another step forward, hitting himself with the corner of his own desk in the process. What's going on with him? The wizard starts talking, but Percival gets distracted by those lips of his. Newt Scamander has to repeat himself. "Sir... my hand..." "Right. Sorry," he lets go of the other's hand and wonders how he hadn't noticed he was keep holding it. Something is not right, because he has seen beautiful people before, wizard and witches, some of them have tried even flirting with him, but none of them had gotten a reaction like that from him. Although none of them had been as devastatingly beautiful as Newt Scamander. He's overwhelmed by need and want; he has to touch, kiss and claim... Percival shakes his head, no, he wouldn't do that. There must be something wrong with his head, the months of torture must've affected him. Or maybe it's Scamander and his unnatural beauty? Percival needs to know, he needs answers and he's going to get them. *** He decides the best thing to do is to keep an eye on the magizoologist; Picquery has offered the man a job and it's only natural for Percival, as Director, to spend as much time with Scamander as possible just in case... It doesn't cross his mind it might be not a good idea at frist, not when he offers Newt to drop formalities and call each other by their given names, not when he hears his laughter for the frist time and thinks it's the most beautiful sound he's ever heard and certainly not when they both end up in his office talking about nothing in particular with grins on their faces. Instead, Percival Graves forgets eventually why he started to follow Newt everywhere and enjoys his time with him; he keeps being clumsy and unfocused around him, his eyes betray him sometimes and sparkle when he's in the same room as him; he doesn't care when he breaks his own promise and ignores the rules in order to give Newt what he wants. But he remembers, all comes back to him when Weiss informs him about the new group of traffickers that arrived New York only a week ago. "The leader is with them this time, I think we have a chance to capture her if we investigate further the information our sources have found." She explains, waiting for approval, which the Director gives. "Alright, take Fontaine and Abernathy with you." But Weiss shakes her head. "What about Roberts and Goldstein, Sir?" "What's wrong with Abernathy and Fontaine?" "They're men." Percival frowns, half irritated half confused. Then something must've clicked inside her head because the next thing she does is to look embarrassed and blurts out an apology. "I'm sorry! I forgot to tell you our sources have said the leader is half-veela, Sir." Now he gets it. He gives her permission and dismisses her with a gesture of his hand. She's gone by the time Percival realizes. Newt Scamander must be half-veela or at least part-veela, he must be the only one in his family that has inherited the abilities because Percival knows Theseus and he's nothing like his brother. He must be; it's the only reason why he affects Percival the way he does. That's why he can't stop thinking about him, that's why he stares at him and why he feels like he's starving every time Newt's around. But now he knows Newt enough to be sure he doesn't use it to hurt others, although everyone in the department seems to love him and can't say no to him when he looks at them with his big, bright eyes of his. It's impossible to deny him something. But he's the Director, he can't be compromised... he can't. He starts avoiding him and because he's a weak, weak man he only lasts two days. Two long and horrible days without Newt. And because Percival Graves is pathetic, he decides he doesn't care. At least now that he knows and he's prepared it can't get any worse... He's wrong. He has never been so wrong. *** Men that have been entranced by a Veela tend to act in certain (ridiculous) ways in order to catch her attention. Percival Graves doesn't do any of that, he just gives Newt whatever he asks for. "Percy, I think it's a great idea to start giving conferences here in MACUSA so the other wizards can learn more about magical creatures." The very next week all aurors are invited to a conference about the importance of the Erumpent and all of them have to go and listen to the magizoologist unless they want to be murdered by Percival Graves himself. "Percy, it's just a cub, I have to keep her and take care of her until she's prepared to be in the wild." "It's a full-grown Nundu and it's hissing at me right now." "That's because she knows you're angry, she's sensitive!" "Fine, keep it!" "Percy, would you help me feed my creatures?" "Your Graphorn almost killed me!" "Nathaniel would never do that! I'm sure you misunderstood his intentions; he's just grumpy because his horns are growing again." He wonders if the others notice his favoritism, he hopes not. The only one he's sure is aware of it it's Queenie Goldstein, he tries as best as he can to block her, but something must've slipped at least once, because she always has the same amused grin every time she sees him. After the first few times Percival just ignores her. *** Oddly enough it doesn't bother him, just on the days he has much work to do and Newt is sitting on his couch, reading or talking with Pickett and makes Percival's work twice as hard because he's adorably distracting. "Can you please turn it off?" He asks almost in a whisper because it's the first time he acknowledges it out loud, the first time he lets him know how much it affects him. "What? What are you talking about, Percy?" Even his confusion looks adorable and the auror wonders if he's doing it on purpose. "You know what, your... ability. I'm sure you don't need to use it all the time," he huffs, but his expression softens the moment he sees Newt's face. He's completely lost and Percival knows he's not faking his confusion; he has no idea. Of course Newt Scamander would be the only half-veela that doesn't know how to control his abilities. Because Mercy Lewis is cruel and wants to punish Percival for some reason. "It's nothing. Forget it." *** After a month of constant chasing, they manage to capture them. The problem is when Newt doesn't listen to Percival and enters the building to search for the magical creatures. And the Director follows him because Newt's semi-human magic has a strong pull, especially on Percival. He doesn't listen when Weiss yells behind him 'don't look at her.' With a movement of his wand, he disarms the three wizards that come after him. Then a woman with silver hair arrives and instead of attacking him she just tries to convince him to stop the fight and join her. Percival Graves has never been more confused in all his life because honestly that witch thinks he's going to turn his back on everything he believes him, that he's going to leave Newt because of her? Just because she's making eyes at him and talking so oddly slowly? He takes her wand in a second. She's completely shocked for a second, then she smirks, knowingly. "You must be Director Graves, am I right?" She purrs and it sounds so wrong in Percival's ears that he can't help but think of a dying cat. His answer is a wave of his hand, she kneels and her arms get tied by magic behind her back. She doesn't seem to mind. "Are you in love, Mr. Graves?" Percival doesn't think about love, he's a grown man and has no time for such things. But now that her words are in his head, just for a second the word 'love' transforms into images in his mind; soft curls and freckles, a soft voice in the afternoons in his office, a voice filled with passion for magical creatures. He blinks and shakes his head. He knows he's not in love, he just has been bewitched by Newt Scamander. Nothing he can't handle. Percival is about to leave the room and search for said magizoologist when he sees him, carrying a wampus cub in his arms and looking so happy the auror can't help but smile. "Percy, look! He's okay, he was just scared and a bit thirsty." Another creature to feed and take care of. "Oh, I see," the witch says and only then Percival remembers that he has capture four of the traffickers. Goldstein and Weiss storm in the room, followed by other two aurors that suddenly look away when Weiss tells them two. "Did you find her?" It's the first thing he ask and when Weiss looks at him with shock he adds: "Their leader." "That'd be me," the woman on the floor says. "I thought you were half-veela," he comments, although he doesn't mean to say it out loud. She smirks. "I am." Percival stares at her, hoping to notice the entrancing beauty he's used to, but instead he finds... nothing. "You look disappointed," she comments. "Were you expecting something else?" His gaze lands on Newt, who's sitting in a corner with the cub, making it follow a light on the floor he just conjured with his wand. He chuckles when the wampus jumps back into his arms and Percival grins like an idiot at the sight. Reluctantly, he looks back at her; no reddish curls, no green eyes and no freckles... That doesn't seem very enchanting. Maybe it's because of Newt. His beauty must be stronger than hers. That must be the reason he's not affected by her; Percival is so completely enthralled by him already. Still, it's hard for him to believe she's half-veela until she starts to sing and Collins runs right towards her and Percival petrifies him with a simple movement of his hand. Then he casts a strong Silencio on her. For a second he not only feels sorry for Collins but also irritation... no, he's offended and shocked because how on Earth does a man fall for such a trick when Newt Scamander is in the same room? He just doesn't understand. But instead of keep thinking about it, he tells Weiss and Goldstein to take care of everything and walks towards Newt to help him with the cub. Then, because he's ridiculous, he asks: "Newt, can you sing?" "No, but I can dance." Percival regrets asking in the first place. He doesn't need images of a very tempting Newt dancing in his head. No, he can't be distracted. "I learned an expressive dance when I was in the Middle East, I think it's called Baladi. The clothes to perform it are beautiful, I still have the one I used to dance there. It's not simple, but if you practice enough you get the basics in a few weeks. You have to move your torso, your hips and arms, it can be used to perform fluid movements, vibrations an-" Newt stops as soon as he notices his... distress. "Are you okay, Percy?" "P-perfectly fine." "Are you sure? I think you might have fever, do you want me to fetch you a healer?" "N-no, I'm alright." Newt doesn't look convinced. "So... Did you name him yet?" The magizoologist stares happily and the cub on his lap, who purrs when Newt strokes him behind his ear. "I like Damian, what do you think?" "It suits him." *** "I'm impressed with your team, Graves," Picquery says the very next day, when the Director present her the reports and the conclusion of the case. "And with you of course." Percival nods and smiles back. "And... actually, I'm surprised," she adds, amused. "It's been a long since you used so much wandless magic, not for combat at least... It looks like you really were trying to impress someone." "I wasn't," the response comes too quickly. He was, of course he was. Newt has mentioned a couple of times he considers Percival's ability to use wandless magic 'truly amazing'. And it has been proven since Newt arrived New York that the Director is a very weak man. Picquery seems to be very much aware of it as well. *** When Theseus Scamander arrives New York to pay a visit to his baby brother, Percival doesn't plan to mention anything about Newt and he tries not to show how much he affects him. But Theseus notices, of course he does. And he waits, he waits for Newt to go with Tina and Queenie for lunch. The smile on his lips dies when they're alone. "Mate, I really like you, but you're making very difficult for me to keep considering you my friend right now... Could you please stop ogling my little brother while I'm in the same room with you two? No, just stop ogling at him at all!" "I wasn't ogling him." Theseus' eyebrows quirk up. "Well... You can't hardly blame me, he's half-veela. Also, a warning would've been nice! I'm only human, Theseus!" "For Merlin's sake, Percival! What kind of nonsense is that? Newt is not half-veela, there's nothing like that in our family!" Percival freezes; his heart is beating so fast he can feel it in his ears. "Why would you think something like that?" The Director blushes at the question and Theseus eyes open wide with the same realization that is hitting his own mind right now. "You're not just attracted to him, aren't you? You're in love with him!" It seems he is and now Percival is panicking because he doesn't know what to do, because probably Newt doesn't love him back and a confession would only chase him away. And Percival doesn't know how to go back at his time before Newt, doesn't know how to live without him. Perhaps he should woo him, but doesn't know how. He turns to his brother, desperate. "Help me." "I will, but first you have to pass a few tests to prove yourself worthy of my brother." He has changed his mind, he's not as desperate to ask for Theseus' help. He'll think of something else. *** Theseus has returned to England, but not before warning him what would happen if he dares to break Newt's heart. Which is ridiculous because he'd never do something like that. 'Are you sure none of your ancestors is a Veela or part-veela?' he asked one last time before the other parted. Theseus rolled his eyes. 'Pretty sure. You're just besotted, my friend.' He is. The problem is that he doesn't know what to do about it yet. "Talk to him," it's Miss Goldstein's advice, weeks later. Percival doesn't know how. *** Newt is breathtakingly beautiful, he always has been and it doesn't matter he has not a single drop of Veela's blood in his system, he has something that is constantly pulling Percival towards him. But sometimes it's too much for Percival to handle. Like in that moment that Newt's so happy he just hugs Percival and the auror has no choice but to hug back. He inhales his scent and smiles over his shoulder. "I love you," he blurts out, because it seems his mouth has life on his own. Newt takes a step back, then two and stares at Percival for a couple of seconds. He has made a mistake. But then Newt blushes and smiles. "I love you, too." *** The first bet the whole Department of Magical Security made about them ends when they finally get together. The second bet ends at the wedding and leaves a few complaining about losing all their money. Picquery wins a considerable amount of money with the third one because she's the only one to know Graves well enough to be sure he would still act like the same besotted idiot even years later.
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