Chapter 23 – Part II
Tina's gut feeling on the whole trek was getting worse as the day progressed. That morning they'd gone straight to the German Ministry of Magic and instead of going out in the daylight, it was decided that they should wait until nightfall to apparate to the edge of the location in question. Instead, all day they were sequestered away so no one knew they were there.
When the time finally came to leave, they were paired off, joined by Aurors from all over Europe, but Tina still found herself paired with Theseus.
"Tina, you know, I do believe we make an excellent duo," Theseus said as they held their wands out for light as they moved.
Tina said nothing.
"You and I will go down in the history books," he told her.
Tina rolled her eyes, grateful for the darkness to shield her. "We should worry about finding the fortress first, Theseus. Don't start writing your autobiography just yet."
He chuckled. "I like that you just say whatever you're thinking."
"Thank you," she said in an uncertain voice. "I assume that this tip – on this particular location – it was determined that it was from a credible source?" she asked.
"Why, of course, my dear. Don't you trust me?" he asked. "It was passed to the Ministries and was researched thoroughly by several of them separately. It was determined that the location was a hotspot, so to speak, for magic. And our trackers will alert us as we get close so we can reveal it," Theseus told her.
Coming from anyone else, she might have believed the story she was being told. But because it was Theseus Scamander, she had little faith in his truthfulness. She couldn't decide why he'd decided to become a Grindelwald follower, though.
He had the intelligence, the reputation and he could even be considered attractive – all things that could be used to move up the food chain at the Ministry of Magic. And that's when Tina realized that he obviously hadn't chosen to become one of the fanatics. It was being done to him. And now, Tina had even less of a plan than before.
"Theseus, what do we do if we actually catch Grindelwald?" she asked.
He laughed again. "What a silly question. Particularly from you, Miss Goldstein. You should know better," he told her.
"What's that over there?" Tina pointed. Something had moved in the bushes in the distance, but it was clearly just some kind of animal.
"You can stay here on guard; I'll go and determine what it is," Theseus said.
Tina watched as he moved over the small bush and stared down with his wand out. She knew she had to take her chance.
"Stupify," she whispered and it flew out into the night from her wand and hit Theseus square between his shoulder blades. He tensed up and then fell to the ground with a loud crash into the leaves.
Tina moved towards him tentatively. She knew she would be in a hefty sum of trouble if her hunch was wrong.
Tina made short work of tying Theseus up but was also well-hidden for safety with a couple of quick charms. Now she needed to go find everyone else.
"That was awfully…brave…of your, you know," a voice said out of the darkness. "Tina Goldstein."
She recognized it as soon as it hit her ears and a shiver went down her spine. It was Grindelwald. Tina slowly turned around, her wand held out in front of her.
"I had wondered if you would be so curious as to come out here," he said, his white-blond hair almost ghostly in her wand light. "But here you are," he said slowly. "You knew this was a trap, yet you've come to me. Tell me, dearie, why would that be?"
Tina said nothing.
"That's all right, my dear," he said. "You know I already know all about you," he smiled sinisterly. "I would have thought that you would have figured out Scamander over there a long time ago – you are usually rather clever."
Tina finally found her voice. "I needed him to bring me here," she lied.
"Oh," he said with a raised eyebrow.
"What have you done with the others?"
"Others? Others? What others?" Grindelwald replied. "Oh, you mean the other Aurors – if you want to call them that – they're well on their way to my actual fortress as my prisoners."
Tina and Grindelwald were circling one another now. They were both ready to strike.
"You could join my side. Your sister married a Muggle – don't you want them to be happy and live freely? And your family is pureblood. Don't we all want the same thing, really, Tina? For the non-magical people of the world to understand us," he said.
"But it won't happen the way you're doing it," she said. "And I'm not going to let you do it."
Grindelwald laughed. "How adorably naïve you are. I should have thought that I had taught you better. But, if that's your choice, then on your head be it," he said.
He raised his wand and without a curse, he fired at her. Tina had her wand out in time and she managed to block most of it.
The dark forest around them was lit up by their spells flying back and forth.
Tina ducked behind a thick tree to catch her breath. She had gotten herself into this and now she had to get herself out of it. She took a shaky breath and fired around the tree.
"Is that all, Miss Goldstein?" he laughed. He stood in a clearing, totally open with his arms out to his sides. "Surely you can do better!" he called.
Tina launched at him, winging spells at him at a rapid pace. He simple deflected them with a graceful swipe of his arm. She tried another curse, a nasty one, and he sent it back to her. She wasn't able to move in time and she caught it in the left shoulder. It began to bleed immediately.
She screamed in pain but she kept on her feet. She fired again and he deflected it once more, this time she side-stepped it.
"Gellert, if you want a fight, you'll have to fight me," Dumbledore said, coming out from the shadows.
"Albus," Grindelwald almost-hissed. He smiled snidely at his old friend. "Very well, then."
Grindelwald began to fire spells and Dumbledore followed suit, each of them trying to out-do the other. Dumbledore moved in front of Tina to shield her from the wayward magic in her already injured state.
"Tina! When I tell you, you run to Theseus. Then get yourselves out of here," he said.
"What?" Tina shouted. She was having a hard time focusing as she lost more and more blood.
Dumbledore fired a particularly large curse at Grindelwald and knocked him back several paces. It gave Tina the chance to run. She moved as quickly as she could back towards the place she had cast the shielding charm over Theseus. She removed the charm and saw that Theseus was beginning to come around.
"Theseus?" she whispered to the confused looking man. "Do you know who I am?" she asked.
"I'm afraid not," he said. "What is going on?" he asked as he watched more blood coming out of Tina's arm and blooming on her shirt sleeve.
"I can't explain now. We need to get you and I…"
A pop behind them caused Tina to turn around quickly. Her wand was out, but she'd expended the last of her energy. Newt rushed to her and caught her just as she passed out.
"Newt?" Theseus said. "What's going on? Why am I tied up?"
He wasn't paying any attention to his brother, though. He seemed in relatively good health compared to the woman who was unconscious in his arms.
"We need to get out of here, Newt," Queenie hissed. "What should we do with him?" she pointed to Newt's brother on the ground.
"He sounds like he's been stunned. You can stun him again and we'll take them both to St. Mungo's," he said.
Queenie didn't wait. "Petrificus Totalus!" Theseus went still.
"Meet me at St. Mungo's," he said and was gone immediately.
It had been hours since they had gotten Tina to St. Mungo's. The Healers had taken her back and begum to work on her and neither Queenie nor Newt had been allowed in.
The Healers immediately were able to tell that Theseus had been under the Imperius Curse. And it had likely been since he'd come back from the war, sending information from the Ministry to Grindelwald. He was going to be fine, save for the embarrassment that was due to come.
Queenie and Newt were taking their turns pacing. Newt had temporarily stopped to send word to his parents and Jacob about both Tina and Theseus, but he'd resumed his path only moments later.
"Do you think she'll be all right?" Queenie asked in the small, private hall they were in.
"I don't know," Newt said quietly.
"I can't read her. I can't hear anything," she began to sob.
Newt moved to Queenie and without hesitation pulled her into a tight embrace. He knew he wasn't very good at this sort of thing, but he hoped it made her feel at least a tad better.
"Newt? Queenie?" Agatha called as she came down the hall towards them. Shortly after her came Jacob and Artemis.
Newt released Queenie into Jacob's arms and she began to sob harder into his waistcoat.
"Any news, son?" Artemis asked. "Theseus is going to be all right. He's probably not going to have a job at the Ministry, but…"
"Have you seen her?" Agatha asked. "How bad was it?"
"It's bad," Newt said quietly.
"They won't let us see her yet," Queenie sobbed.
Tina had no idea where she was. She blinked her eyes a few times and tried to make them focus. She shifted slightly and a shooting pain came through her shoulder, into her whole body.
A woman bustled in and smiled warmly at Tina.
"Finally awake, I see," she said. "How are you feeling, dear?" the woman asked.
"I'm okay, I think. Where am I?" Tina said quietly.
"St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, dear," the woman said. "I'm one of the Healers. How does your shoulder feel?"
"It's a bit stiff. And it hurts when I try to move," Tina said. "What happened?" she asked.
Then suddenly she remembered everything. She'd gone head to head with Gellert Grindelwald in a duel and was apparently still alive to talk about it.
"You're going to be sore for a long while, I should think, Miss Goldstein," the Healer said. "It was a nasty bit of magic here. Do you know how it happened?"
"I was dueling with a dark wizard. He turned my own curse against me. This is the rebound," Tina answered.
"Well, I do believe we've got you all sorted out now…it took a bit, for certain…and we will have to keep you here for a bit," the Healer said. "However, now that you're awake, I will let a visitor or two in," she told Tina.
"You've got quite the crowd. I assume the incredibly nervous fellow is your boyfriend or husband? And I think it's your sister that's here as well. Are you feeling up to that?"
"I…I guess so…"
The Healer smiled warmly and exited the room. A moment later, Queenie burst into it and came directly to Tina's right side. Jacob timidly followed behind her, clearly not certain that he should be present.
"Teenie!" she exclaimed before hugging her carefully. "Don't you dare ever do that to me again!" she said once she stepped back.
Tina managed a small smile. "I will do my best," she said. "I think congratulations are in order?" Tina said. "You can come in, too, Jacob. You don't have to lurk."
"Hi there," he waved from the doorway. "How ya feeling?"
"I feel like…I don't know how to explain it, really. It's not that great, actually," Tina said. "But the Healer said I'd be okay."
"You're going to stay put for a while, too. Jacob has to go back to the bakery, but I'm going to stay in London and take care of you," Queenie told her. "And when you're all better, we can have another ceremony so you can be there. It just wasn't the same without you there, Teenie…"
"I really think it would be best if I just went home with the both of you – at least go back to New York. I can take care of myself once we get there and…"
"You won't be able to travel for a while, Tina," Jacob said. "And don't ya wanna stay with Newt?"
"Newt needs to…"
"Why don't you just talk to him, Teen?" Queenie said. "We'll go get him," she said. She pressed a kiss to her sister's forehead and then both she and Jacob left the room.
A moment later, Newt tentatively knocked on the doorframe before walking into the room. A whole minute passed that he simply was silent as he watched her lying in the hospital bed.
"You don't have anything to say?" Tina asked.
"I'm just so happy that you're all right," he said as his eyes returned to the floor. "You are all right?"
"The Healer seems to think I will be," Tina replied.
"I am so sorry, Tina. I should…"
"You don't need to apologize for anything, Newt. It's really me who should be apologizing. You don't need me getting in your way. The whole see the world with me thing was never really going to be able to work. So, as soon as I am able, I'll be headed back to my life in New York," Tina said. "I think it would be for the best."
"No," he said, bringing his eyes up to meet hers.
"Isadora Fanson told me last week that Obscurus Books, and you, wanted me to not be a distraction. They want you to be working on the next edition of your book and…"
"I love you," Newt blurted out. "I love you and I cannot think about losing you. Isadora – that day she was simply supposed to hand you a note with my apology for missing our dinner. Instead, she came up with that whole story – she even went so far as to impersonate you to my parents and had your things sent away. She confessed to me yesterday that she'd been jealous of you and just wanted you out of the picture. But I cannot lose you, Porpetina Goldstein. I will do anything I can to make sure that I never have to," he said.
Tina was speechless. She'd been so angry and so hurt and she'd been ready to push him aside. And now this.
"Please, please say something. Just say anything, even if you hate me. Just please say something," he was pleading. It was the same tone he'd used when his case was being taken away.
"I love you, too, Newt," Tina said. "I'm so sorry," she said, her tears beginning to flow down her cheeks. "I just – I can only apologize. I have no excuse for how I treated you. Can you forgive me?"
Newt had crossed the room in an instant and held her hand in his. "All is forgiven," he said. "Will you stay here with me?"
Tin could only nod before Newt pressed a kiss to her lips.
She wasn't going anywhere.
Author's Note: So…there it was. Let me know what you thought and if there is any interest in an epilogue and/or a sequel. I've got some ideas floating around…
Thank you all for reading! Best wishes to you all!