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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3. i put my hand out, unfolded, into the sunlight

It is the fourth year following Newt's grandfather's death that the two of you head out to America.

Newt insists on dropping by Queenie's; you aren't sure why, when they apparently were never friends despite their relation. When you arrive, you are hit immediately by the warm smell of baked goods; a bell rings on the door and Queenie shoots out to greet Newt, smiling warmly.

"Where's Tina?" you hear Newt ask worriedly, soft spoken as always.

Queenie frowns, her brow furrowing. "At the MACUSA building, I imagine. She's been so busy these days." She glances at you curiously; when she looks away you can still feel the intensity of it. That is a Goldstein trait, you think, a stark contrast to the Scamanders.

"Pity," Newt murmurs. "I was rather hoping for her to meet Seren."

With that, Queenie seems to relax; you seem to have this effect on people: when you are around, people are immediately wary. You don't know if it is simply your presence or if the wizarding world was attuned to the fact that you are not one of them. You see Newt's grip on her suitcase loosen ever so slightly with relief, but the strain of her tight grip is still evident. You reach out and steady her faintly shaking hands, ease her small frown.

She does not seem as fragile as she had when her great-grandfather had first died. She is handling it better, but still the effects are visible. You still worry that she will relapse. Everyone in her family does, but you especially. They trust you enough to entrust you with the task of making sure she does not relapse when you are in America. New York was loud and raucous, and for someone like Newt - who is still soft spoken, still a far cry from being Gryffindor's brave - it could be terrifying. (Even more terrifying still for her creatures, Newt says of this.)

The bakery is cozy and smells of a warm sort of sweet. People flock in eagerly, Muggles and wizards alike. The Muggles seem unaware of the faint magic that clings to the baked goods: the Felix Felicis mixed into the dough, the Amortentia sprinkled into the glazes and frostings.

Newt does not seem at home here, you notice; she is more nervous and jumpy than you remember at Hogwarts. Then again, you never did take much notice of her then until seventh year. She busies herself with her creatures as a distraction from--

Well, from everything else around her, you supposed. Newt never was a social person, preferring the company of her creatures over people. You cannot say you know her well, even after these past four years. Thinking back, you briefly regret not making more of an effort in befriending her in first year. You wonder, though, what would be different if you had.

From behind the counter, Queenie looks over and comments, "She won't relapse," sounding so sure of it that you want to believe it to be so.

"You think?" you ask her, believing. (In a corner, you see Newt walk herself through the inhale exhale inhale that she so often reverts to when she is nervous, when she is panicking, when things are too much too fast--)

"She won't if it's for you." You blink, surprised. Where you have always thought of Newt as a waterfall, endlessly giving (loving) and woefully unable to receive, you never thought she would ever think to turn that to yourself.

"She loves you, you know," Queenie says on your look (or so you think; really it is off your thoughts), "more than you think."

You fall silent at this; your breath catches if only for a moment. "Why wouldn't she?" you say, breathless. Queenie watches you curiously, intently.

"She loves those creatures more than anything," she says. "Even you, I'm afraid. But she looks at you different, is the thing. You put the stars back in her eyes."

It is a nice sentiment, you think, and you remember how Newt's grandfather had told you that she would look at you one day with an endless determination that she loved you.

***

You find Newt inside the suitcase later, bent over an endless array of creature related things: books and poisons and the infamous Fantastic Beasts. The fifty fifth edition is still in the works. It is close to being finished, Newt has said for a better part of the year.

"You really ought to rest," you tell her, pressed against her shoulder.

"I can't," Newt mumbles, blinking away fatigue. The dark circles under her eyes are evident even under the dim candlelight. "I can't--" In between blinks, she falls asleep on your shoulder, giving in to exhaustion. She hardly notices how tense you are from worry; it is a tight knot in your stomach that utterly refuses to loosen. You think of Queenie saying that Newt wouldn't relapse if it was for you. If your heart skips a beat, you don't notice. It flutters, threatens to swell with emotion.

You wonder frequently about the use of feeling. It is inconvenient at times; it is human nature to feel, but you are-- you are not quite human. You are from Ingary, where shooting stars become demons and princes become dogs, so you do not quite trust that somewhere along the way, you were not switched out for someone else, or did not become inhuman entirely. You are human, surely. But you are from Ingary, where just about anything is bound to happen.

You watch Newt, curled up against you; every breath of hers is warm on your skin. You think you get it now.

***

Newt remains dead to the world for most of the next day. You manage to untangle yourself from her grip on you, stumbling your way to the house attached to the bakery. Its doorway is invisible, to Muggles at least. You nearly bump into Queenie, still blinking sleep from your eyes. You think you might have caught a glimpse of Tina Apparating away - to the MACUSA building, you assume.

The bakery is bustling that day, but it feels strange not to have Newt hovering as close to you as she usually is. She is a constant presence in your life now; everything seems strange without her around.

The Amortentia wafting from the pastries smells strongly of crackling fires and the moving castle and of Newt.

Briefly, you think of the small girl alone in the carriage that Newt used to be. You know that she is no longer that little girl, but there is a small part of her that still is. There is a small part of you, too, that is still the eleven year old you were on the train in first year. It is an age you wish to both return to and not return to: the former because of the wistful longing for a simpler time and the latter if only because you had not had Newt then. If anything, you would choose the latter. Newt is, at this point, far too important to you for you to choose the former.

You don't know or remember when you had looked over and thought, i forgive this world because it has you; i adore you even on the days you hate yourself; why must i always concede to that smile of yours--?

Feeling was human. So were you.

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