A/N: The next chapter is finally here! I am so sorry for the long update, I've been so blocked and I was having a hard time writing this chapter. I made up for it though, because this would be the longest chapter of this entire fic. This is unbeta-ed (as always), and I just finished writing it a few minutes ago, so mistakes and grammatical errors are probably aplenty and I apologize for that. I feel so insecure about this chapter, even posting it now makes me feel like I could have done better, but I can't keep staring at it anymore, willing it to become better with better writing. So here it finally is. Do let me know what you guys think. There is still so much about the history of the characters that haven't been revealed in this chapter, but they are going to be revealed soon. Thank you for continually supporting this fic! I wouldn't be writing it without you guys. Enjoy!
Newt was not entirely sure this was a good idea. He wasn't even sure that whatever this Queenie person said had any ring of truth.
"Don't worry, honey," the witch in front of him said as she saw the turmoil on Newt's face. "I ain't no serial killer."
Newt looks up from his desk, back again at the beautiful blonde in front if him who had little to no resemblance to her sister, his eyes wide in surprise at the realization that the witch in front of him could read minds.
"You're a legilimens!" Newt remarked, looking at the witch in awe because he had never known anyone who was one before.
"Yeah, though I always have trouble with your kind," Queenie replied, her mouth so quick to open to clarify her sentiments after seeing the confused look on Newt's face. "Brits. It's the accent."
Newt's confused expression quickly fades after it appeared, Queenie's explanation enough for him to understand what she meant.
"It's been real doozy trying to read people's minds since we arrived here in London," Queenie continued, the long silence that settled between her and Newt making her a little uncomfortable, she didn't know the man after all and her mind was reeling with all the things she had to say.
Newt was still thinking, his brain trying to figure out what the young witch might need from him and if he could even help her at this point. He and Tina were not necessarily on the outs yet, but he was sure that he was certainly not one of the people anyone would go to if they needed help with Tina, not after what had happened between them.
His mind backtracks, realizing something in Queenie's last statement that would add yet another problem to this whole mess.
"I'm sorry, 'we'?" Newt clarified, finally looking back up at the witch with yet another confused expression.
"Oh, yes. I have a companion," Queenie explained with a sweet smile, innocence plastered masterfully over her features. "He's waiting outside for us."
"And why would he be doing that?"
"Because I wasn't entirely sure you would be inclined to help us, Mr. Scamander." Queenie replied bluntly, her innocent and sweet personality ever so evident in her smile.
"You know who I am?" Newt asked again, not even a little bit weary of the woman standing in front of him. Despite the fact that he had no idea who she was except that she could possibly be Tina's sister — a sister he didn't even know of by the way — he still felt at ease with her, as if he knew she wasn't here to hurt him, that she was telling him the truth.
"Well, of course honey," Queenie smiled again, a little chuckle escaping her as she took a small step forward. "I didn't mean to intrude or anything, but we've been tailing you and Teenie since we got here."
Teenie, huh. So, she definitely is Tina's sister. Newt thinks to himself, Queenie's claims and his own doubtful assumptions finally confirmed, his lips curved up into an amused smile after hearing Queenie's nickname for his friend.
Queenie smiled lightly as she read Newt's mind, amused at how sanguine it was despite him talking to a stranger claiming to know someone he considers a close friend. It made her let her guard down a little bit, being in the presence of someone she felt she could trust.
"So, will you help us?" Queenie asked again.
"I'm not really sure that's a good idea, Miss Goldstein," Newt replied, still very much adamant about being the bridge between the sisters right now. "You said you've been tailing me and Tina, why don't you just simply approach her and ask for her help?"
"Because she won't listen to me," Queenie replied desperately, her expression frantic. "She'd take one look and me and would go running for the hills."
Newt regarded the witch in front of him, his mind starting to weigh his options.
"Please," Queenie pleaded further, her eyes desperate as she took another step closer to Newt. "You're the only person I know who could help."
Newt could hear the sadness and worry in Queenie's voice. Over what, Newt didn't know, but after hearing what she had to say, and seeing the expression of desperation, grief, and regret on her face, he wasn't inclined to ask her what happened between her and Tina. He wasn't inclined to meddle in the sisters' business either, and helping Queenie might do just that.
"What is it you want me to do, exactly?" Newt inquired half-heartedly, still thinking twice of doing Queenie any favors.
"Take me to her," Queenie answered almost immediately, taking yet another desperate step forward so that she and Newt were now face to face. "I just need to talk to her."
Newt looks into Queenie's eyes, the greenish tint in them very different from her sister's. He knew it was a bad idea, he could feel it in his bones, but that doesn't stop him from opening his mouth and saying, "Fine, I'll help you."
Tina finally finished writing the last report she had for the day. She placed the page she had just finished writing atop the rest of the report where it belonged, deciding that she would arrange the thing tomorrow, along with the rest of the mess that was scattered all over her desk. She then tucked the papers into a folder, leaving it on her desk before standing up and giving her cubicle a onceover. She then grabs her coat and takes a last peek at the office, the dull light shining from the corner close to Theseus' office shedding a distinct glow over the different cubicles of the auror office.
No one was left in there except her. She turns back to her cubicle, turning off the night lamp she had in there, one that every other auror had at their desks as well, before finally donning her coat and walking towards the elevators, finally ready to head home after a really eventful day.
She reaches the atrium in a matter of minutes, the door to the elevators finally opening up.
In her haste to get home, Tina rushed out of the elevator so quickly she bumped into a man who was just about to get in. Luckily, he had excellent balance and wasn't carrying anything that could spill or go flying out of his hand his hands.
"Oh, I'm so sorry, I wasn't looking where I was going," Tina apologizes profusely to the man in front of her, hearing him chuckle as she did so.
"It's fine," the man replied, sidestepping and entering the elevator as Tina got off it. "Finally heading home, are we?"
"Yes," Tina replied with a smile. "And you're heading down to work, are you?"
"How did you know?" The man smiled in amusment.
"It's only people like you who work for the Department of Mysteries who stay in the ministry so late," Tina replied, smiling almost immediately after she said that, realizing that she would also constitute one of those people who worked late. "I mean, aside from some aurors."
The man chuckled again, but he wasn't able to reply. The door to the elevator closed in front of Tina and before she knew it, she was alone again in the atrium.
She started walking towards the fireplaces, taking one last view of the ministry at night, sighing with satisfaction at how serene it was, remembering a similar view, a similar feeling she had felt about it from earlier that day. She then steps into one of the fireplaces, imagining Newt's apartment, home as she knew it, as she was being transported back there.
She materializes in Newt's fireplace in a blink of an eye. She steps out, starts dusting herself free of soot before finally looking up to find one Newt Scamander standing in the living room, only a few feet away from her.
"Newt, what are you doing…?" Tina begins cheerfully before trailing off as she realized that Newt wasn't alone, the smile that started to form on her lips fading as quickly as it came. She spotted two other figures from the corner of her eye, glancing briefly at the both familiar faces before looking back at Newt, locking eyes with him, her own full of unanswered questions.
"They asked for my help," Newt replied instinctively, keeping good eye contact with Tina as he tried to figure out why she looked so distraught. "they said they needed to talk to you."
Tina was rooted in place, shocked at the situation she found herself in. When she left the ministry she didn't think this was what she was going home go. She could feels tears starting to form, her eyes stinging as she fought so hard to not let them fall. She blinked, finally deciding to rip off the band aid and look at the other two people in the room.
She inched a little further from Newt, taking a few paces so that his body wasn't shielding the two people she dreaded most to see. She glances back at Newt, her tears now fully formed in her eyes, before finally looking first at the man who stood a few feet away from her, a broad-chested man with chestnut colored hair and piercing grey eyes.
"Achilles." She said breathlessly, memories from before flooding back after months of trying to keep them away.
She blinked, a single tear threatening to fall as her eyes shifted from the man to the beautiful, radiant blonde who was sitting not so far from him.
Tina could feel her heartbeat against her chest as her eyes drifted from Achilles to Queenie. It felt like torture, anticipating what she would feel once she set eyes on her little sister, a sister she once thought would never betray her. Brown eyes meet green and the two women finally see each other after months apart. That single tear at the edge of Tina's eyes finally decided to fall, streaming down her right cheek as she tried so hard to keep her racing mind at ease.
"Hello, Teenie." Queenie greets, a simple smile spread across her face, her own eyes starting to fill with tears, but unlike her sister's they were happy tears.
Hearing her sister speak brought back a myriad of emotions Tina had been suppressing since she left America. Her emotions finally catch up with her, the pain, the heartache, the feelings of betrayal, all rushing back to her like a wave from the ocean. All at once, they hit her like ice cold water.
She closes her eyes for a minute, allowing all the emotions to drown her as she lets her tears fall.
This cannot be happening. Tina thinks to herself, trying to find the strength to open her eyes and look at the two people she once loved with all of her being.
She finally opens her eyes, looking back and forth between Queenie and Achilles. Her mind was racing, completely confused on how to deal with the current situation. She never thought she would see either of them again, and she didn't want to. They left her. They abandoned her. Anguish turned into resentment and fury, the tears that were now streaming down her face feeling hot as the anger that was boiling inside of her.
Tina turns abruptly, facing her sister with eyes red from crying, rage and hurt seen in her beautiful brown eyes as she glared at her sister.
"What are you doing here?" She accuses, her eyes full of trepidation, the feelings of betrayal she had finally allowed back in taking precedent. She then peers at the man a few feet away, glaring at him the same way she had done with Queenie, trying to keep her head as she spoke. "What are you both doing here?"
"Tina, please let us explain," Achilles pleads, starting to walk towards her before the brunette took a step away from him, arm outstretched in his direction in defense.
"Do not come near me," she said with so much anger, tears continuing to stream down her face uncontrollably, looking between the two people she considered her life before everything got so screwed up. She raises her other hand in Queenie's direction, her index finger pointing at the beautiful blonde as she added, "Neither of you come near me."
Newt stands in between the two parties, Tina on his left and Achilles and Queenie on his right. He peers at the two strangers before finally looking back at Tina, a sympathetic look plastered all over his face.
"I think it's best I leave," Newt comments, his eyes locked with Tina's in a silent conversation and his back now turned against Queenie and Achilles. He gives Tina a smile of encouragement, hoping that it would give her some form of comfort, and maybe even strength to deal with the situation she was currently in, even though he didn't have the slightest idea what was going on. To his surprise, she smiles back, a thankful smile that gave Newt the permission he sought to take his leave.
He ducks his head, breaking the eye contact between him and Tina, finally strolling toward the front door, a scenario he never imagined he would be in. He looks back briefly at the two people he had brought to see Tina, instantly regretting his decision to bring them to Tina after seeing her react to the sight of them both. They glanced at him thankfully, an apology evident in their eyes as they watched the lanky, auburn-haired man walk towards the front door.
Tina follows Newt as he leaves, her eyes glued to the back of his gray coat, using it as an anchor to the world and the room she was currently inhabiting out of fear that if she even gave her sister or Achilles even a little bit of attention she might break down and cry.
Her heart sank as she heard the door close behind Newt. She closes her eyes for a minute, allowing the last of her angry tears to fall as she gathered up the courage to finally look back at the two people she never thought she would ever see again, two people she realized never wanted to see again.
She opens her eyes, and her eyes immediately finding those of Achilles.
"Talk," she demands, her voice filled with hatred she never thought she would possess for both of them.
"Wouldn't you want something to eat first, Teenie?" Queenie asks timidly from where she was sitting, the younger witch beginning to get up from her seat. "You came from work after all, and it's nearly midnight."
Tina simply looks at her sister, her face now displaying only one emotion, resentment.
"I think that would be a great idea," Achilles adds, trying to lighten the tension that had been present in the room since Tina's arrival. "We could catch up while you eat."
Tina swiftly brings out her wand, pointing it at the cupboards that housed the last few pieces of bread she had and and a couple of jars of different flavored jams. In one swift motion, she managed to bring out all the contents and lay them on the dining table.
"I'm not here to have dinner with either of you," she replied with so much vitriol, it felt like poison. She glowered at Queenie before finally fixing a scowl in Achilles' direction. "Nor do I want to catch up."
She gestures at them then to the quaint meal she had laid on the dining room table, telling them to take a piece if they wanted to. "I just want to know why the hell you're both here and what you want from me."
"Tina, I know you're angry at us but—" Achilles began, finally finding the courage to approach Tina. He managed to hold onto one of her hands before she shook them free, her reaction almost immediate as if responding to a light jolt of electricity.
"There are no buts!" She yelled out in exasperation. "You're damn right I'm angry."
She huffs in frustration, looks at Achilles briefly before looking at Queenie and then back again.
"And I have every right to be," she continued her rant, her anger finally giving her the fuel to finally talk. "I had to leave home because I couldn't bare to see either of you ever again. How could I when both of you chose a power hungry lunatic over me?"
The two companions stared back at Tina guiltily, both gulping at the same time as they realized how much this conversation was going to take time, how much it was going to hurt. Neither spoke, even after a few minutes of silence covered the entire room. Tina continued to look between the pair, waiting for either of them to defend themselves.
"And neither of you decided to come after me," Tina cried out, her voice now full of hurt and betrayal as her emotions shifted from fury to hatred to anguish. "It took you five months to finally track me down and talk to me."
She catches a small movement coming from Queenie's corner, her eyes immediately darting over to her little sister, who was wiping a stray tear off her cheek. Sensing that the blonde didn't have any intention to speak, she continued. "And let me guess, the reason is because you need my help with something."
She looks back at Achilles, locking eyes with him the same way she did before their parting. A few seconds of swimming in those piercing grey eyes and she got her answer. She scoffs, pissed that her suspicions were right. They did track her down because they needed something from her, not because they wanted to reunite. She shakes her head, unable to believe the nerve that they had.
She couldn't bare it, the idea that the only reason they were here was to ask her for a favor. She could start to feel the pain of abandonment and betrayal all over again that it was like she was back in that moment five months ago, the time where she finally lost all the people she loved. They came running to find her the moment they needed her help, but they never bothered to look for her when she left.
Tina looks up, stares at the ceiling as tears started to form in her eyes once more. She realized she couldn't take it anymore, couldn't take one more moment standing in this room with the two of them in it.
"You know what," she begins, still staring at the ceiling as her tears started to fall again. "I thought I could handle this..."
She looks back at Achilles and Queenie, wiping her eyes dry before saying, "But I can't."
She starts walking towards the front door that Newt had previously exited, giving the two people she once knew so well a final look before finally wrenching the door open and leaving through it.
Tina shuts the door behind her, leaning against the hardwood finish with her hands still clutching the doorknob. She lets out a whimper, a cry of her as she felt the tears that she had been holding back rush right back to her eyes. She allowed herself to feel all the pain and hurt that she had been suppressing for the past five months, finally letting herself cry, allowing the tears she had not allowed to escape her beautiful brown eyes finally fall. She cried silently, completely unaware of another presence in the hallway, wrapped up her own little bubble. She sighs as the last of her tears finally streamed down her face, her heart feeling a little lighter. She lets go of the brass doorknob, relieving the door of her weight and decided to head down the stairs when a familiar face came walking towards her, wrapping his arms around her waist in a tight embrace as soon as he was in close proximity to her.
Tina was caught by surprise. She thought Newt had already left, but here he was, holding her in his arms as if shielding her from the hurt she had just been in. She relaxes a few seconds later, finally letting the distinct scent of Newt comfort her. She buries her head against the crook of his neck, the way she did with him when they reunited after his kidnapping, allowing his scent, his soft embrace, his strong arms to comfort her in a moment where she needed it the most.
Tears once again form in her eyes, and she allows herself to cry. She felt the soft touch of Newt's carress as he stroked her hair in an effort to comfort her, thankful to whatever deity was out there that brought him to her life. She cries and cries, lets out all the anger, pain, and hurt into her tears until her tear ducts went dry. She finally stops crying, couldn't bring herself to do so anymore. She detaches herself from Newt, bringing her arms to her nose to wipe off the tear stains on her face, before taking a final sniff.
She finds the courage to look up at Newt, realizing that he would have so many questions about what had just transpired between her and the two strangers he had brought home with him. His beautiful bluish green eyes latched onto her own brown eyes, trying to seek the answers to the myriad questions he had in his head.
"Do you want to talk about it?" he asked her, his eyes so full of comfort and concern.
Tina couldn't find her voice, her throat dry in that moment. She simply nodded at him, smiling as she did so, before finally following him to where he had been sitting for the past few minutes before she came bursting out the door.
"Please, I beg you both, don't do this," Tina implores, looking at the two people she loved more than life itself. "this isn't right."
"What they did to our parents wasn't right, Teenie," Queenie retorts fiercefully, a fire burning in her eyes as strong as the one that had been ignited in her soul.
"I don't disagree with you Queenie," Tina replies, her arms reaching for her sister as she tried to get the blonde to see reason. "but there is a better way to get the justice for what happened to mom and dad. Murder won't get us our parents back."
"Twelve years, Tina," the man beside Queenie spoke, completely ignoring Tina's pleas and explanations. "that's how long it's been since you and Queenie have been orphans. Twelve years and still no justice."
Queenie looks from her sister, shaking off the hand that the older Goldstein had placed on her cheek in her attempt to suade the younger to ditch this plan of theirs. She turns to face the man who just spoke, a man who became a big brother to them both when their parents died one fateful night twelve years ago, Percival Graves.
Graves, or Percy as the Goldstein sisters knew him, was an orphan himself. He grew up in the castle of Ilvermorny, where his ties were old and strong. It allowed him to live within the walls of the school protected by magical barriers, safe from the harm of No-Majs of the outside world. His magical lineage finally got him into Ilvermorny, and it was there that he met the Goldstein sisters, who he discovered were orphans just like him.
Tina and Queenie had lost their father to persecution by the No-Majs when Tina had just started Ilvermorny. Their mother died a year later of a broken heart, leaving Tina as Queenie's guardian a year before she was meant to attend Ilvermorny. Graves, who was four years Tina's senior, was in his final year of Ilvermorny, gearing up to go to Auror School after he graduated when the younger Goldstein finally arrived at Ilvermorny. When he learned of the tragic death of the Goldstein's father, and how their mother soon followed of a broken heart, he took them under her wing, finding them to be kindred spirits.
Percy had been there for the Goldstein sisters through thick and thin, guided them (particularly Queenie) through their years at Ilvermorny, and even got them permanent lodging at the prestigious school so that they didn't have to go home to No-Maj orphanages when school breaks came. He kept them alive when no one else in the American wizarding community did, when it felt like the world had turned its back on them. He was the only family they had left, and they his. They had come to love him as their own brother, as he came to love them.
Tina looks at Percy, looks into his deep black eyes trying to search for the man she once looked up to, a man with integrity, a man who helped raise her and a man she had considered family. But he was nowhere to be found. In his place was a power hungry wizard seeking revenge for things that he thought the world had done to him.
"Maybe this time it would be different," Tina supplies, desperately trying to convince Queenie and Percy to let this go. "I'm an auror now too, now there's two of us at MACUSA, Percy. Maybe together we could find a way to get justice for them at MACUSA."
"It's MACUSA that's covering up what happened to your parents, Tina," Percy belowed, his anger palpable. "Haven't you wondered why after 12 years nothing has been done to the No-Majs who killed your parents?"
He looks at both sisters, his eyes as convincing as his own demeanor.
"They're protecting them! The always have." He roared once again. "The only way to get justice for them is if we do it ourselves."
"What's in it for you then?" Tina challenged, her own anger start to rise up insider her. She sidesteps Queenie, her body now directed towards Percy. "Why are you so hell bent on getting revenge on the No-Majs? They haven't done anything to you."
"I'm doing this for you, Tina," Percy replies with such ferocity a part of Tina started to quiver in fear. "For you and Queenie both."
Percy about faces, turns away from the two women he called sisters since they were orphaned. "Don't you dare question my motives ever again."
Percy's comment stung Tina to the depths of her soul. He had never once talked to her in this manner, but now she could see that he has changed. What made him change, she did not know. All she knew is that she didn't agree with his plan, and she didn't want him dragging her and Queenie alongside him.
"You can do whatever the hell you want!" Tina yells back in rebellion. "We won't take part in any of it."
Tina turns away, takes Queenie's hand in her own before she starts to march out of the room, her sister in tow.
She felt a tug on her hand, a tiny quiver of resistance that came from her sister. "Teenie, no."
Tina faces her sister, shocked that the younger Goldstein would even think of siding with someone other than her. "What?"
"I said, no," Queenie replies forcefully as she wrenched her arm away from Tina, leaving her empty hands with the hot sting of betrayal. "I'm a big girl now, Teenie. I know what I want."
Queenie looks at her sister, her face neither etched with hostility nor hard with anger. What was left was a simple smile from a sweet kindhearted girl. The blonde frowns slightly, sad that she had to say what she was going to say.
"I can make my own decisions." She continues, feeling her heart break with every word she said. "And I want to stay."
Tina stares her sister, her mouth agape as shock flooded every fiber of her being. She knew that. She knew her sister had her own mind, never once thought of controlling her. But what she never thought that her sister could justify murder. She could feel herself slipping, could feel all the strength she had leave her. She ducks her head, scoffs incredulously, before looking back up at Queenie and Percy.
"So you're choosing him and his crazy plot of revenge over me?" Tina asks, tears already formed in her eyes, threatening to escape the moment her sister voiced out her answer. "I'm your sister. We've been through hell and back together, Queenie."
"Yes, we have," Queenie croacked in reply, her sobs evident in the way her voice was cracking as she spoke. "But it's time to do this. For mama and papa."
"Mom and dad wouldn't want you to do this Queenie!" Tina exclaimed, her own tears falling, staining her face like a stained glass window on a rainy day. "They wouldn't want their death to make you into this person, a person who would justify killing someone for revenge."
"We don't know what mama and papa wanted," Queenie challenged, her voice rising vehemently as the anger inside her reawakened. "They're dead!"
"Please Queenie, don't do this," Tina pleads, walking towards her sister and grasping her hands, squeezing them tightly in the hopes that it would get her sister to see reason. "There's another way, I promise you."
"Not anymore," Queenie replied, her eyes starting grow dark, hatred starting to spread throughout her. "I'm staying with Percy. And if you know what's best for you, you would too."
Tina looks at her little sister one last time, her eyes etched with so much disbelief at how she went from being the sweet, innocent, loving, and kindhearted girl to this woman so full of hatred. She shook her head in disbelief, finally giving up on her efforts to convince Queenie not to do this.
"Fine, but you're on your own."
With that she turns at her heel, walking away from the only family she had known ever since she had lost her parents.
As soon as the door shut behind him, Newt regretted leaving. This was the one time that his friend needed him and he decided to leave her.
It was none of your business anyway. That was something they needed to figure out on their own. He thought to himself, hoping that the simple explanation would quell his feelings of guilt.
He started to walk towards the staircase, pacing back and forth as his mind started to wonder if he should march right back into the apartment and be there for Tina. He looks back at the door from where he exited, staring at its hardwood finish and intricate details as he contemplated on what he should do.
Who was he to meddle in matters of Tina's past? He was no one to her, just a friend, no one important. Besides, if Tina wanted him to stay she would have asked.
He finally stopped pacing, his thoughts still in disarray. He half-heartedly came to the decision of going home, convincing himself that Tina could handle this, she was the strongest person he knew after all.
Newt glanced at the door one last time, hoping that by some miracle some sign would appear that told him that he should march right back in and meddle. No such sign came, so he started to walk towards the staircase, deciding that he would apparate at the dimmed out corner outside the building lest prying muggle eyes see him disappear from the well-lit hallway of his former apartment.
Before he could even take one step, he heard angry yelling coming from his apartment.
"There are not buts! You're damn right I'm angry."
He had never heard Tina yell with such ferocity and anger before, he never even believed she was capable of feeling such fury towards anyone, let alone people he knew she loved.
He was rooted in place, still thinking twice on what he should do, the silence that had settled in his old apartment not helping him make any decisions either. He started contemplating again, turning back to face the apartment door. He stares so hard at the hardwood finish he thought he was going to bore a hole right through it. He sighs regretfully, realizing that despite whatever was going on in there, it was still none of his business. This was a family matter, and he was clearly not a part of that family.
He was about to head down the stairs when he heard a door slam shut. His head immediately turned back to his apartment door, there standing one Tina Goldstein. She was sobbing, tears streaming down her beautiful face.
He felt his heart break as he watched her sob alone in the hallway. He had never seen her break down like this before. He immediately felt guilt. Guilt that he had brought these people to her despite his insides screaming at him to not. Guilt that he had left her alone with them. Guilt that there was nothing more that he could do for her but just be there.
He watched her as she cried, not caring that his insides were screaming at him for his intrusion in her private moment. She cried silently, wrapping her arms around her slender form as she did so. She took no notice of the world around her, she simply sobbed in silence, letting her emotions dictate how her cries came out.
He saw her calm down a few minutes later, watching her wipe her face dry before she had began walking towards the staircase, completely unaware of his presence in the hallway. It's then that he decides to act. He inched forward, one foot in front of the other until he reached her.
His arms immediately found her waist, wrapping them around her as he brought her closer to him. He knew he had caught her by surprise, Tina's body going rigid just moments after he had wrapped her in his arms. She relaxes a few seconds later, burying her nose into the crook of his neck as her hands settled on the cloth above his chest. She held onto him tight before finally crying again, letting all the anger, pain, and hurt out through her tears.
Newt instinctively pulled her closer to him, placing his right hand atop her head, stroking her silky smooth hair in an effort to comfort her. He holds her for as long as she sobbed in his arms, soothing her and stroking her hair as he did so.
He hears her sob for one last time, loosening his grip from her before she finally disentangles herself from him. She brings her arm to her face, drying the last of her tears and taking a final sniff before finally looking back into Newt's eyes, eyes that had so many questions in them.
"Do you want to talk about it?" he asked her, his eyes so full of comfort that she nodded immediately in reply.
He led her to the stairs, where he had been sitting since he had left the apartment. He held her hand as she sat on the edge of the stairs, looking up at him as he took the space beside her.
"So," Tina replies awkwardly, completely undecided on where to start.
"You don't have to talk about anything if you don't want to," Newt clarifies, watching Tina struggling to get the words out.
"No, no," Tina reassures, waving her hands in front of Newt. "I want to. It's just…I don't know where to start."
"How about what just happened when I left?"
"You heard that, huh?" Tina says guiltily, a little ashamed that her voice could be heard from out here.
"Well, not everything," Newt replies with a chuckle. "just your yelling."
Tina nudges Newt playfully, feigning insult at his teasing. This makes Newt chuckle more, prompting Tina to laugh a little as well. They both smile at each other, Tina thankful that Newt's teasing had lightened the mood.
"What has Queenie told you so far?" Tina asks, a somber mood starting to settle over her again.
"Well, just that she was your sister and that she needed my help to get to you."
"So, she hasn't told you about our history?" Tina inquires, looking up at Newt, a look of disbelief plastered on her face.
They lock eyes, Newt's green eyes full of reassurance as he stared into Tina's brown ones, urging her to believe that he wouldn't keep anything from her.
"No," Newt replies, shaking his head slightly, keeping the eye contact between him and Tina.
Tina looks down, breaking the connection between the two of them as she fidgeted. "Well, the reason I came to work here was because of a falling out I had with her."
Tina looks up tentatively, trying to find the reassurance in Newt's eyes before she continued. One look at him and she saw just that, so she smiled at him and went on.
"We're orphans, you see," she continues, finally finding the courage to tell someone in her new life about her old one. "our parents died because some muggles decided to recreate their very own Salem witch trials."
"What?" Newt blurts out in confusion. He knew about the history of the trials in America, but that was a long time ago when the muggle world still believed in archaic magic. The belief in magic had since waned as they've entered the modern world, and, at least in Britain, the wizarding and muggle worlds have came to an understanding that both should be keep this secret, that the muggle community should not be made aware about the existence of the magical one.
"You see, America doesn't have the same understanding between magical and muggle communities in Britain," Tina continues, answering the question that was etched all over Newt's face. "over here, both governments have constant communication to help keep the wizarding world a secret. But in America it's not like that."
"The No-Majs still aren't aware of our existence, not even their governments. MACUSA makes sure of that. They obliviate every No-Maj who comes to know about witches and wizards. Not even the No-Maj government officials knows about us, unlike here. And that's because of the original Salem witch trials, and the smaller ones that came after that. Witches and wizards have been persecuted too much in the past that MACUSA decided it was safer for the magical community to stay totally hidden, even from the No-Maj government."
"But there's a downside to that," Tina adds gulping as she continued to one of the hardest stories she will ever have to tell. "You can't control how No-Majs run into magic. We coexist with them in different neighborhoods and there are not enough spells or laws to keep us hidden from their prying eyes."
Tina could feel the tears coming, as she started to relive the story of her parents' death. "It was just when I began school, Queenie had just began to learn to control her powers. Some No-Maj walked by our house while my father was teaching Queenie how to ride a broomstick. He said it was so I could finally have someone to play with when I got back for the holidays."
Tears started to form in Tina's eyes as she felt the guilt over her parents' death wash over her again. "The No-Maj reported it to the local authorities, hoping to get them to conduct another wave of trials, but they found it ridiculous. I was in school when I found out. My mother had owled me, telling me that the authorities found no merit to what the No-Maj was saying and chose to ignore his complaint. The No-Maj didn't quite react well to what the local authorities chose to do, so he gathered a few of his friends to help him ensure that no witchcraft was practiced in our neighborhood anymore. My mother and Queenie had managed to escape their clutches, but they got my father as he tried to fend them off to help my mother and sister escape."
Tina sobbed, letting the tears stream down her face once more, but this time because of something that she had done and deaths she had caused. "They executed him the same way that those witches were hanged during the Salem witch trials. My mother returned for his body, so that she could bury him with dignity, but it was a trap. She managed to disarm the men, obliviated them when they were unconscious, but she died of a broken heart a year later, just as Queenie was about to go to school."
"I'm so sorry, Tina," Newt replies sadly, taking Tina's hand in his own as she sobbed silently from where she was sitting. He squeezed her hand, feeling her squeeze his back as she cried.
His heart broke as he saw her cry, unable to imagine the pain of having lost both parents. He knew that there was more pain to come if she decided to tell her story. Someone like Tina definitely had to go through so much to end up this strong.
He felt the urge to pull her in for an embrace, his hand on hers feeling inadequate. But before he could, Tina wipes her eyes dry and continues her story.
"During Queenie's first year at Ilvermorny, a boy named Percival Graves came and befriended us. He had lived in the castle since he was a baby because he too was orphaned. He helped us after the death of our parents, became a big brother to both Queenie and myself and we were both indebted to him in more ways than one. He became family."
"But one day he came home, suggesting that we finally get revenge on the people responsible for the death of our parents, and that he knew someone who could help us do that. He tried to convince us to join his cause, that it would finally get us the justice that we deserved."
Tina looks up at Newt, smiling sadly at him before she continues. "He managed to convince Queenie to side with him. I begged her not to do it, but she just wouldn't listen. I just couldn't understand how people I considered family could ever think that killing the people responsible for our parents' death was right. So, I left. I just couldn't bare staying knowing that someday I might need to turn them in once they finally exact vengeance on those muggles."
Tina shakes her head, sighing as she did so. She was so relieved that she had finally told someone about this huge weight that she had been carrying with her since she moved.
"Does this make me a bad auror, Newt?" she asks, looking back up at him.
"No," he answers automatically, finally taking her in his arms for a hug. She tucks her head against his shoulder, feeling a weight lift off of her chest as she hugged him. "you did what you had to do for your family."
Newt loosens his grip on Tina, feeling her disentangle herself from his embrace. She inches away from him, her eyes immediately trying to find his. She catches his eyes almost as fast as he caught hers, their faces only a few inches away from each other. They look at each other, realizing that their faces were so close they could actually feel the breath of the other against their skin.
The feel of Tina's breath intermingling with his reminded Newt of the the many dreams he had before of kissing her, he could vaguely remembered the feel of her lips on his. His eyes immediately flew down, darting to find her soft lips parted slightly as she she breathed heavily in front of him. He looks up at her, attempts to find her eyes again in the hopes that he would see that she wanted to kiss him as well.
He misses her eyes by a fraction of a second. He merely catches a flicker, his eyes now staring at the back of her eyelids, as Tina finally looked down too, her eyes now staring at Newt's lips. She catches her staring almost immediately, averting her gaze from his lips back to anywhere on his face.
Their eyes meet yet again. They stared at each other for a minute, gulping at the same time at the realization of how much they wanted to press their lips against the other's. The could feel the pull they had towards one another, inching closer and closer as they continued to look each other deeply in the eye.
They could feel the ghost of the other's lips on theirs, holding their breath as they inched closer to the other, feeling their imminent kiss near. Newt closed his eyes, ready to press his lips against Tina, yearning for the warm feeling he had felt when he kissed her the last time to come rushing right back. Tina inches closer, angles her head as she did so, remembering how perfectly she and Newt had fit the last time they did this. Her eyes fluttered shut, her breath hitched as she felt herself grow closer and closer to Newt they were practically breathing the same air.
They could have sworn they had kissed, their lips so close to each other's. But before their lips could touch, before they could share yet another unforgettable moment together, they heard a door wrench open, heavy footsteps walking towards them followed by a voice that they both were familiar with.
The pair broke apart as soon as the voice came, the towering figure of the chestnut-haired man Tina had just left in Newt's apartment casting a shadown over their crouched forms. He looked at the two of them, regretting that he came marching out of the apartment in an attempt to find Tina. He knew he had interrupted a moment between them.
Achilles cleared his throat, looking away as Newt and Tina inched further and further apart in an attempt to make it look like nothing had ever happened before Achilles came marching out to the hallway. The pair looked frantically in different directions, guilt embodied in their respective postures.
Achilles finally finds his voice, turning to look back at the pair who had just stood from where they were sitting. "Tina, please can you just come inside and hear us out?"
Achilles looks doubtfully at Newt, his grey eyes locked with Newt's bluish green orbs before he looked back into Tina's brown ones. "I know you're angry, and I know we have a lot to be sorry for. But this is important."
Achilles gives Tina a knowing look, pleading with her with his eyes so that she would just listen to him. Tina, unable to keep eye contact with him any longer, sidestepped him and started walking towards the apartment from where he came. She felt Achilles follow her, saw his shadow beside her own as she walked. She was disappointed when she didn't see a third shadow along with theirs, the shadow of a man whose presence she realized she needed if she were to listen to her sister and her ex explain why they needed her help.
Tina turns, glances back at the staircase where Newt was still standing. She looks at him, finds his eyes and pleads at him with hers. He looks back at her sympathetically, knowing from the look on her face that she was dreading to go back alone. He look at her, asked her if she wanted him to go with her as she listened to their story, a question that she understood immediately. She smiled at him thankfully, nodding at him in answer. Newt looks at Achilles briefly, a hint of self doubt starting to build up inside him. He squashed the doubt he felt and looked back at Tina as he walked towards them, following them into his apartment, his heart a happy at the realization that Tina did need him after all.
There they all were, standing in the living room of Newt's apartment, staring at the floor. Neither one of them knew what to say.
Tina was standing in the living room, her arms crossed against her chest as she looked back and forth between Queenie and Achilles who were in standing behind the living room sofa. Newt was behind Tina, leaning against the wall that separated the dining room and the living room with his hand in his slack pockets.
The four of them stood in silence, staring from one person to the other as they waited for someone to speak.
Tina eventually got annoyed of waiting, she shifted her weight from one foot to the next, uncrossing her arms as she did so, her hands settling on either side of her waist as she said, "I thought this was important?"
"It is," Queenie replies quickly in defense, seeing the familiar look her sister had when she wanted to get something over with.
"Then why the hell is no one talking?" Tina asks irritably, looking from her sister to Achilles in the hopes that one of them would start talking so that they could all go to sleep.
"Well," Queenie started, struggling to find the right words to say to explain her. She simply glances at Newt, Tina's eyes following her sister's gaze, her head whipping back so fast when she realizes why Queenie was hesitating.
"I trust him, okay," Tina explains, defending Newt's presence in a supposedly private conversation. "You need my help, and if this is something so important, I might need the help of people I trust here."
Tina looks back at Newt, catches his eyes and smiles at him. His lips twitch, forming a lopsided smile angled to his before he broke eye contact with Tina and looked back at the two strangers in his home.
"And Newt's one of those people," Tina adds, smiling one last time at Newt before facing her sister.
Queenie regards Tina for a second, looking back at Newt before turning to look at Achilles. The slightly elder man sighing before finally giving Queenie the go signal to tell them everything they came here to say.
"It's about Percy," Queenie begun, observing her sister intently as she began her story, knowing full well that Tina had a love/hate relationship with the man they considered a brother. "you remember how he told us to join him in his quest to avenge our parents' death?"
"How could I ever forget that?" Tina replies sarcastically, glaring at her sister as she did so.
"Well, when you left five months ago, I was ready to help him execute his plan," Queenie confessed, looking for one person in the room to the next before she finally settled on her sister again. "Everything he told me made sense then. How we should hunt down the descendants of the No-Majs that killed our parents, maybe tract down the No-Majs who killed our parents themselves, and kill them as payment for mama and papa's death."
Tina closes her eyes, shakes her head in disbelief the same way she did all those months ago, still baffled that her sister would think that that was a good way to get revenge on the people who killed their parents.
"I thought that we were going to do it together, but he brought me to a house in the Bronx after you left, claiming that there was man he knew who owned it that could help us. He gave us a home, a roof over our head, fed us, and kept us safe as we plotted and planned our revenge."
Newt observed Queenie as he listened, shifting from where he stood as he brought his arms across his chest. He never thought that Queenie would have turned out to be this person when he met her a few hours ago. He truly believed that she was a kindhearted witch who just wanted to see her sister and ask for her help, but maybe sometimes appearances can be deceiving. You never truly now someone until you get to hear their lifestory, and he had heard half of it from Tina, and now he's hearing more of it from Queenie.
"But weeks turned into months and I kept asking Percy when we were going to go through with our plan. I wanted it to be over with so I can finally leave New York and find you, ask for your forgiveness if I still could," Queenie gulped at that last sentence, glancing at Tina, her eyes hopeful that her sister would be willing to forgive her after what she did. "But as long as the plan wasn't going through I couldn't leave to find you, I needed to see it through before I did. For me."
Queenie pauses for minute, trying to collect her thoughts as the guilt she had felt since the day she let her sister go started to flood right back in. Achilles notices how distraught Queenie was and decided to step in to tell the story.
"After two month of constant pestering, Queenie finally understood why Percy had been stalling their revenge plan," Achilles continues, eyeing Tina intently as he did so. "that's when she came to me for help."
Tina looks at Achilles in disbelief, giving him an incredulous look as she tried to piece things together on her own. Nothing about what he just said made sense to her. "Why would she go to you for help? Weren't you in on this plan too?"
"I was," Achilles replied with regret. "but I was still an employee of MACUSA, I was still an auror, so I wasn't involved in the other aspects of Percy's plan. So, I had no idea that his intentions had changed. And neither did Queenie."
"What do you mean 'changed'?" Tina asked, stepping towards the sofa, closer to Achilles and Queenie.
The two Americans looked briefly at each other as they considered what they were going to tell Tina next.
"Well, Percy doesn't intend to just kill the No-Majs who killed our parents and their descendants," Queenie began explaining cautiously. "he intends to kill all of them regardless of their knowledge about our world or what they have done to us."
"What?!" Tina exclaims, shocked that someone who helped raise her to be the woman she is now would ever think of killing innocent people. "That's not the Percy I know."
"No, it isn't," Queenie replies. "this wasn't something that Percy thought of on his own, Teenie. It was someone else's plan, and that person convinced him to kill every last No-Maj there was."
"He said it was for the greater good," Achilles added.
"Do you remember the man I told you about, the one who took us in when you left?"
"Yes," Tina answered, looking at her sister tiredly. "what of him?"
"It was his plan all along," Queenie explained. "He had planted the idea in Percy's mind that killing the people responsible for the death of witches and wizards would bring us justice. That's where Percy got the idea of killing the people who were responsible for our parents' death."
Tina considers what Queenie says, turn to face Newt before she starts pacing. "Okay, so how do I fit into all of this?"
"We need you to help us stop him, Tina," Achilles replies.
"And how you do propose I do that?" Tina retorts, turning back to face them. "I'm just one witch, how am I supposed to stop some wizard hell bent on killing muggles for the hell of it?"
"Muggles?" Queenie and Achilles ask in unison.
"No-Majs," Tina clarifies immediately as she started pacing once again, her right hand resting on her forehead as she digests the things that she had just been told.
"Well, you're an auror, you could get help," Achilles answers.
"You're an auror and I don't see you trying to get help from MACUSA," Tina snarled in response.
"I did," Achilles replied calmly, surprising both Newt and Tina. "they're doing everything in their power to hunt both Percy and this man, but they've hit a roadblock."
"And now they need the help of the British Ministry of Magic," Tina finally says, putting two and two together.
Both Achilles and Queenie nodded in response, relieved that Tina finally understood why they came to her in the first place.
"What does MACUSA think the ministry of magic can do?" Tina queries after a few minutes to contemplating. "So far, I haven't heard any rumblings of anti-wizard sentiment in the UK since I started working here. Why would MACUSA think that the ministry would help?"
"All I know is that there's a wizard here in Britain who could possibly help stop this man," Achilles replies eagerly. "I was sent here to ask for your help to track him down and convince him to help us stop this terrorist."
"What's the wizard's name?" Newt asks from behind, bringing his presence back into light to the three people who seemed to forget that he was in the room. He had a suspicion of who the wizard was, his gut was telling him so.
Achilles gave Newt a onceover, looking at him curiously before finally answering. "Albus Dumbledore."
Newt falls silent upon hearing the name of his old professor. He knew that Dumbledore would be one of the only people in Britain capable of stopping anyone who wanted to annihilate the muggles, but hearing his name after so long sent chills down Newt's spine.
"What's the name of the other wizard?" Newt asked again, his head ducked this time, not looking at the three people who were eyeing him curiously. "The man whose idea this was."
Queenie glanced briefly at Tina, unsure on whether or not Newt was just curious or whether he was on to something.
"Gellert Grindelwald." Achilles said from where he was standing, starting to move in the direction where Newt was standing when he realized that the wizard might know more than he was letting on. "Do you know this man?"
Newt didn't answer. He simply stood there, leaning against the wall he had been pressed against since this whole conversation began. Tina, who was closer to him than anyone else in the room, started to walk towards Newt, resting her hand on his arm.
"I've heard of him," Newt replies simply, glancing up at Tina, looking her deep in the eye.
"From whom?" Tina asks, a part of her already aware that she might know the answer to her own question.
"You know Albus Dumbledore?" Queenie asks excitedly, she started striding towards Newt.
"He was my teacher at Hogwarts," Newt replied, moving his gaze from one Goldstein to the other. "He mentioned Grindelwald to me once when he called me over to his office. They used to be childhood friends."
Achilles and Tina made eye contact immediately after Newt's revelation. The wheels in their auror heads started turning as they pieced together every bit of information that they had so far.
"Do you think you can get us an audience with him?" Tina asks, looking at Newt in the hopes that he would say yes.
"I could try," Newt replies honestly. "I do visit Hogwarts from time to time."
Tina, Queenie, and Achilles cheered in unison, relieved that something was going to be done about their Percy situation.
"But I can't make any promises," Newt clarifies, looking from one of them to the other. "he may not agree to this."
"That's fine," Achilles says. "we'll accept any help we can get."
"Very well," Newt remarks, nodding at Achilles before looking back at Tina, a little adamant about the plan that they initially have in place. "I'll send him an owl in the morning."
Achilles and Queenie had finally settled in. After Tina had successfully moved things around the apartment, both Achilles and Queenie had settled into Newt's apartment after a tiring day of undercover work. Tina had managed to clean up the room she had been sleeping in since she moved in with Newt and let Queenie take the bed for the night, while Achilles took the makeshift bed that Newt had conjured up, one he had been sleeping in when Tina started living with him, that is, before he left to live with his parents at their estate.
With two of them tucked away in their respective rooms, Newt and Tina were left in the living room alone to talk privately about the revelations that have just been revealed to them.
"Do you think they're telling the truth?" Newt asks from where he was leaning, against the countertop in the kitchen where he had tucked in the last of the plates that he had dried off.
"I think they are," Tina replies, resealing the last of the jam jars she had brought out of the cabinet for Achilles and Queenie. She waved her wand and the jar went flying back into the cupboard where it came from. "Achilles is not one to lie about matters regarding MACUSA, and Queenie look rattled beyond measure, she could not fake being that rattled even if she tried."
Newt nods, finally relieving the counter of his weight, standing before finally walking into the living room to inspect the space for anything he might have left behind before he headed off.
"Looks like everything's now in order," Newt said tentatively, scanning the entire apartment for anything else that needed doing to make sure Tina's guests were comfortable. "I guess I'll be going then."
He glances at her and gives her a smile before turning back to the fireplace and heading in its direction.
Tina held out her hand almost immedialy, the tips of her fingers grazing Newt's arm, allowing her to grasp it fully in her hand. The touch of her hand against his arm brought Newt's eyes back to Tina's. He could feel his heart pound against his chest as he imagined what she might say next.
"Please stay." She pleaded, a soft smile plaster over her face, her grip still firm, but not too tight to cause any pain.
Newt's eyes drifted from Tina's eyes to where her hands were on his arm and then back again to her deep brown eyes. They looked at each other for a brief moment, Tina's pleading eyes making it clear why she needed Newt there.
He didn't need to know anything more, her eyes had told him so many things already. He gave her a comforting smile before using his free hand to grasp the hand that Tina had on his other arm. He took it lightly into his grasp, turned to face her before giving her hand a tight, comforting squeeze. He smiled at her, his blue eyes twinkling as he did so.
"Sure, anything you need."
"Thank you," Tina smiled thankfully, her eyes twinkling in a similar manner despite the hint of sadness that was laced into her beautiful smile.
The pair shifted their hands, Tina's grip on Newt's arm loosening to find it travelling down towards his hand. Tina weaves her hands through Newt's, taking his hand in hers. The simple gesture sent butterflies to both their stomachs, Newt immediately wrapping his own hands over Tina's.
The pair strolled over to the living room hand-in-hand, where the couch had been transformed into a makeshift bed with the couch cushions and a blanket laying atop it. Newt spotted the familiar blanket, the blanket that Tina had previously used when they were on the stakeout to find those potion smugglers. The memories from that day came rushing back it made Newt smile in amusement before he turned to Tina to say, "You got it back."
Tina peered back at the couch, looking at the blanket that Newt had just referred to. She crossed her arms across her chest and sighed gratefully, turning back to Newt with her own amused smile spread across her lips. "Yes, they finally returned it, said they didn't need it anymore. They said that the investigation behind the potion smugglers was closed now. They got everything they wanted from the boss we helped capture."
"All of it seems like a lifetime ago now," Newt remarked absentmindedly, his eyes suddenly turning dark with fear as memories of what had happened to him during his kidnapping rush back.
He was brought back to reality by the lightness of Tina's touch. "Hey, those men won't harm you ever again, you know that right?"
Tina plopped down onto the couch that was meant to be her bed for the night, her eyes completely on Newt as he continued to mull over the kidnapping, the experience obviously still haunting him to this day. Tina remained silent, watching her friend from where she was sitting, waiting for him to say anything that would give her the indication that he wanted to talk about that particular traumatic experience. She didn't want to open up old wounds that he wasn't read to tackle yet.
But despite how far they've come, Newt stays quiet, plops himself down on the armchair-styled companion of the couch that Tina was just occupying, the same chair Tina had fell asleep in before they began tea week. On top of armrest of the chair was a blue blanket, his favorite blue blanket, one that Tina had used in his absence because she missed him. A pang of longing and pain started to radiate from Newt's heart to his entire body, realizing that how he wanted things to be with Tina may never come to pass. But despite the pain, despite everything he knew so far, he was still happy to be in the presence of the one object that reminded him that Tina cared for him as well, his favorite blue blanket.
"How did you know?"
"Know what?" Tina asks from where she was lying, her back rested against one of the couch cushions she was going to have to use as a pillow for tonight.
"That I'd stay," Newt replies, peering at her as he leaned in toward the chair, making himself a little more comfortable in the armchair that would serve as his bed tonight.
"You always stay for me," she replies endearingly, a look of admiration spread across her features as she looked back at Newt.
He smiles at her remark, amused that she had noticed that he would do anything for her if she asked. He then turns his gaze back to his blanket, running his fingers across it's smooth surface before finally opening it up, and wrapping it across his entire body to shield him from the cold night air. He turns towards the fireplace, aiming his wand with purpose as he thought of a spell to cast an undying fire to keep Tina and himself warm for the night. A fire ignited as soon as he pointed his wand, casting a little bit of warmth into the room. Newt brandishes his wand some more, pointing it upwards towards the sealing as he whispered Nox and watched as the lights of the living room began to dim, the light from the fireplace the only thing illuminating the living room, and their tired faces.
He peers back at Tina, who had finally taken residence on the couch, her body reclined onto the comforts of its soft pillows. She was also wrapped in her own blanket, peering back at Newt as he turned back to face her. She gives him yet another smile before saying, "Thank you, Newt."
"For everything," Tina replies simply, still not breaking eye contact with him as she buries herself deeper and deeper into her blanket and the comfort of the couch.
"Anything for you, Tina."
A silence settles over the two of them as they stared into the space of the living room. Despite everything that has happened between them in the span of the months that they knew each other, they felt comfortable being in the presence of each other.
Minutes pass and sleep was still evading the both of them. Tina opens her eyes and looks up, peering at Newt, whose facial features were being highlighted by the dim glow that the firelight had cast on his lanky figure. Watching her friend attempt to fall asleep in her presence made Tina appreciate him even more than ever before.
"Newt," Tina calls out to him, his eyes immediately flying open at the mention of his name and at the sound of her voice. They lock eyes, the glow of the firelight accentuating the different flecks of brown, blue, and green in them. "I'm glad you're here."
He smiles ever so lightly at her confession, sharing in her relief that he wasn't alone tonight. He then replied simply, "So am I, Tina. So am I."