fantastic beasts

❝she loves those creatures more than anything. even you, i'm afraid. but she looks at you special, is the thing. you put the stars back in her eyes.❞

or, the oneshot adventures of newton artemis fido scamander the second + seren jenkins, from ingary.

[A NOTE: "moving castle" will be the only chapter done in second person. all other chapters will be in variants of third person. All AUs will be marked as such in an author's note at the beginning. I am, of course, open to any requests or suggestions you may want to make, excluding smut - just comment on the story or PM me if you want to know something more specific.]

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1. 1 // fantastic beasts

Newton Artemis Fido Scamander is born in a Muggle hospital to a wizard father and a Muggle mother. Her great-grandfather is still alive at the spritely age of one hundred and seventeen.

She is born to a Scamander for a father and a physicist for a mother, who wanted to name her after her great-grandfather and a scientist, respectively.

It's two birds with one stone, really. How convenient it was that her great-grandfather was named Newton.

***

Lorcan and Lysander take to calling her Fig, of all things, if only to differentiate between her and their great-grandfather. It becomes a normalcy, for the most part. It catches on, oddly enough. Frequenting her great-grandfather's suitcase, too, becomes a normalcy. It becomes something she grows up with more than her increasing number of relatives do.

It came with the name, she supposed; this love of the wizarding world's creatures and their ilk. But it is as much of her life as anything else.

It is something she cannot help, really. ("...won't have to change the name on the book at this rate," Newt Scamander the older says, only partially joking. As though she will carry on his research.

She will. She will. There has never been any doubt about it.)

They worry sometimes, her family, that she is too engrossed in this. Too invested. It will be the end of her one day, they try to tell her. It isn't practical. Besides, there are fifty two editions of that book! (And still growing, she reminds them. There is very little she does not already know of the creatures that reside in the wizarding world. It's up to her to learn more, isn't it?)

But just as any creature's nature cannot be changed, neither can hers.

***

She is sent packing off to Hogwarts when Lorcan and Lysander are in their seventh year. Her great-grandfather sends her off with an Occamy in its teapot, small and newborn.

She fidgets, mostly; twitchy more often than not. (She ends up joined in her carriage - empty except for her - by a girl with black hair and blue eyes and a charming smile who talks at her the whole time. She doesn't mind, really; welcomes it, in fact.

The girl is named Seren, turns out to be Welsh, and has an odd way of doing magic that she says is from her mother. They do not meet again until both are in their seventh year.)

She is nervous the whole train ride, and all the way through the Sorting Ceremony. She is relieved, somewhat, when the Hat bellows HUFFLEPUFF! and she finds herself among a familiar sea of yellow and black. Habitually, she wrings the life out of her great-grandfather's old scarf.

(The Jenkins girl had been sorted into Slytherin, earlier. Our Newt is rather surprised to find she doesn't particularly care.)

***

She meets Seren Jenkins properly in seventh year. They are older, obviously, and yet she is nervous. She stutters out a hello before squeezing past through the doorway of the classroom, leaving Seren behind (a bit rudely, she realizes later, somewhat embarrassed).

They are in Potions, and end up partnered, out of all the people in the room. She cannot stop her hands from shaking, no matter how hard she tries.

It's a surprise when Seren reaches over and steadies her shaking hands, calm and kind and not bothered at all by doing it.

It's even more of a surprise when the girl smiles at her. Slytherins were not particularly known for being gentle people. No, that was, perhaps, a more common Hufflepuff characteristic.

It's an odd feeling.

***

Lorcan and Lysander tease her endlessly about this; her infatuation with the Slytherin girl. Endlessly is less accurate than a week or two, though it certainly feels like endlessly.

But it isn't as though she is done being fascinated by Seren like the girl is one of her great-grandfather's creatures. She will come to look at Seren differently, but for now she looks at this girl from an unknown land the same way she does magical creatures: with endless fascination and stars in her eyes.

***

They form an odd sort of friendship. Seren is shrouded in mystery, for all that she seems to have revealed about herself.

In a school year, Seren manages to enchant her so thoroughly. There are no walls around her, exactly; it is more like Seren is a fantastic creature that has yet to be discovered.

***

She manages to get Seren down to her great-grandfather's suitcase the summer she stays at the Scamander estate. It's a challenge, given her family.

She expects Seren's bemused reaction - most people reacted that way: puzzled and bewildered - but does not expect her to marvel at it.

They spend ages down there; Seren marveling at the creatures as they were shown to her. This was a result of fifty two editions of Fantastic Beasts: a girl who found comfort in it and another who loved it as much as she did the girl.

(The way Seren looks at her and thinks, Yes. I want her to look at me the way she looks at these creatures, goes well over her head.

"She never will," Newt's cousin Queenie will say. "She will always love those creatures more than anything."

"She will," her namesake says. "Not in the way you want, perhaps, but she will look at you with an endless determination that she loves you.")

***

"She's a fascinating girl, that one," the original Newt Scamander will say to her later. (He has seen the way they look at each other and think the other is looking at the ground. Perceived unrequited love is not something he is new to. As though he would let his great-granddaughter pine.) "We ought to let her stay."

"She lives in Ingary," she points out. "An entire world away."

It's a funny thing, she thinks. She so desperately wants Seren to stay, but could not possibly ask her to.

It's a funny thing, she thinks, because her great-grandfather was already calling down the hall to Seren, asking her to stay.

***

They spend more time in each other's company in the next four years than they ever did at Hogwarts. Seren travels between Ingary and England, dragging her along for the ride occasionally.

It is another summer that Seren is staying when her great-grandfather dies. He wills his suitcase and wand to her, and the Dorset house to his own children.

What she remembers of that time is an odd emptiness where she thinks sadness should be. She is sad, truly, but it feels like that is delayed.

She sequesters herself away in her great-grandfather's suitcase - hers, now; even that is hard to remember - for days at a time. Oftentimes, Seren is down there, too, so uncharacteristically quiet. She feels so exhausted these days.

Her family worries that she will not recover from this. They speak in hushed tones of the depression she is falling into. She can hear Seren among them too, sometimes. It almost sounds as though she is scared, then.

("Those creatures are the only thing keeping her alive," Seren says. It is clear even to her how much of a lifeline that suitcase is. What is terrifying is how literal that was right now.)

***

Slowly, surely, she recovers. It happens over the course of five years, but she recovers.

She never is quite sure what it is she and Seren are ("Dating!" Lorcan and Lysander shout at her. "You're dating!" Honestly, she begs to differ.) but it certainly is something.

It's close to the end of the year when Seren asks after the silver ring on the desk in the suitcase. "My great-grandfather's," she says simply, expecting it to end there.

It doesn't, given the nosy person that Seren is. "Did you ever try it?" Seren asks not so innocently, knowing full well the answer.

"Of course not!" She could never bring herself to do it. Unlike everything else in this suitcase, the ring was something that wasn't meant to be left to her, at least not to her knowledge.

Seren watches the ring curiously as it glints and shines in the mix of lamplight and the light of the fire. With bated breath, she allows Seren to slip the ring on her finger. It shrinks ever so slightly to fit her finger, but it fits.

***

She forgets to take the ring off and that, perhaps, is what leads her family to assume that Seren had proposed.

It's a bit of a mess, really, and it doesn't particularly help that Seren swings an arm around her shoulder and confirms it.

She doesn't really mind, surprisingly.

It's an odd feeling.

***

They end up with the Dorset house, shortly after the new year begins.

All her relatives had been debating about what to do with it, after her great-grandfather had died. They had refused adamantly to sell it - it was made for Scamandersand to have another family live in it felt too much like an intrusion on a house they had all spent a good part of their lives in.

Rather unfortunately, this was also the year Seren went back to Ingary. Not permanently, but to temporarily fill the empty spot her father left as the Royal Wizard while he attended to more pressing matters, according to the letter that Seren had received.

She frowns at this, pointing out that there was another Royal Wizard in Ingary already. It is the slightest bit selfish, to want Seren to stay when her far away world needed her. Seren leaves her with a soft kiss and a goodbye, promising to be back come next spring. (I need you, she doesn't say; the words catch in her throat, snagging. She has fallen so hopelessly. What does a little candle say to a staggering sun?

I melt as you approach.)

Ilvermorny approaches her with an offer to be their guest lecturer for the next school year shortly afterwards, asking her to arrive early so that she might have time to get used to America; create a lesson plan. She accepts, if only to distract herself from the deafening quiet of the Dorset house.

***

They finally marry the spring after they move to Dorset. The wedding is eventful, and larger than she expected, but that is what comes from having a rather large family, and one well rooted in the wizarding world at that.

They do not really decide on whose last name to take - they end up using Seren's in Ingary, and hers in England. It only ever causes confusion when someone from Ingary came to England, or the other way round, but for the most part it is the easiest way around it.

She is very lucky, she knows, to have married her first love. It is hard to pinpoint when she looked over at Seren and thought, rather determinedly: Yes. You are the person I love.

It was different from the way she loved her creatures; it is closer to you deserve better and at my worst i worry that is what you'll realize.

***

They travel between Ingary and Dorset more often, and when she emerges from the fireplace into a moving castle she is utterly fascinated.

(The way Seren's mother glares at her only child and hisses under her breath, "If you dare hurt this girl--" and the way Seren pales, quick to agree, goes well over her head.

"Ah, yes, I'm afraid your mother will beat Death themselves to you if that happens," her father jokes, narrowly missing the look she gives him.)

Ingary is endlessly fascinating, to her at least; Seren had lived here for the majority of her life, and thus already knew just about everything about it. Still, Seren allows her to ramble on about Ingary, only all too glad to listen. (This has become a major part of their relationship: Newt rambling on about things and Seren listening, and in some ways, it is what got Newt through that bout of depression when her great-grandfather had died.)

They talk deep into the night, those days, as they fall asleep and it feels like being objects in the night sky outside of time.

It is the exact opposite of alone. 
 

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