First of all, Happy New Year everyone ! I wish you an amazing year, and everything you can hope for.
Here is my take on how Porpentina Goldstein reacted to the spellbound article. I wrote it two month ago, but then, wasn't exactly happy about how it turned out. So here is the final version. I hope you like it.
Quick reminder : I am French, and haven't been corrected so any mistakes are mine. I do try not to make too many though. Apologies.
Enjoy and don't forget to tell me what you thought about it, nothing could make me happier.
Every time Porpentina Goldstein came home to her sister, after a long day at work, she would always ask the same question as she crossed the threshold. Queenie, did we get any mail ? And by that, she meant : Did he write me back ? There was such hope in her voice that sometimes, it was hard for the younger sister to tell her that nothing came for her today. She didn't want to wipe off that genuine smile off her enlightened face, she didn't have the heart to. It wasn't easy to know when to expect his response. His letters arrived sometimes every weeks, sometimes every months, depending on his work and current location. But he always wrote back. No matter where he was, what he did. He always found time for her. Queenie found that endearing.
Upon seeing the white thick letter right next to her plate, waiting for her on the table, Tina would have that smile on her face, that shimmer in her eyes, like a child who just discovered presents underneath the christmas tree. But Tina wasn't expecting any gifts. She just wanted Newt.
She missed him so dearly, it was written all over her thoughts. She didn't have to utter a word, Queenie knew. The blonde would sometimes feel the overwhelming adoration her sister carried for the british magizoologist as she remembered their time together. Glimpses of Newt's face, his voice echoed in the brunette's head as she tried her best not to grin. And failed. Tina always thought of him daily, hanging to his promise of returning.
She always read his letters with eagerness, smiling uncontrollably as her hand came to touch a single lock of hair, right on the side of her ear. The same spot he had so carefully brushed before leaving America for good, Queenie had gathered.
The auror sometimes giggled at the words, covering her mouth with her hand as if she were ashamed of herself, blushing furiously. Embarrassed, she always glanced at her younger sister to make sure she hadn't heard her, and Queenie pretended she didn't. She always respected the silence that hung in the room, letting her favourite sister acknowledge his words and stories, watching as her features changed throughout her reading. Her excitement upon seeing the familiar "Dear Tina". Her wonder when he described his work for her. Her disappointment when he admitted that he couldn't come back just yet. Worries as he told her about the dangerous missions he had to do.
Sometimes, Tina even forgot to hide her thoughts from her as she read, and so, her sister could follow unwillingly their correspondence, smile at the turn of phrase he was using, at what he truly meant, between the lines. Porpentina seemed oblivious, but Queenie knew better. She could feel how much he cared. How much he missed her, just the way she did.
He usually told her about his creatures, the new and old ones, or complained about his not-so-thrilling adventures in London as he kept on writing his book. Newt constantly worried about her work, or her health, asking as many questions as he could. He mentioned multiple times that he was always pleased to hear from her, and couldn't wait for their reunion. One his book was done.
This little game lasted for about six month. Six month of seeing her sister hopeful again, constantly remembering their little adventure in New York. And maybe Queenie liked the smile she could see on the auror's face, brightening her serious features, a smile that had not surfaced in so long.
Tina had always been the sister she needed, worrying for her, taking care of her the way their parents did, when they were alive. But this responsibility had turned her into a very suspicious person : the brunette rarely let anyone in, afraid to be hurt again. Afraid to fall. She focused on her work instead, in order to forget that she would never be able to have what everybody else had. Or so she thought. But Newt. Newt had broken into her shell, had pulled down her walls. She seemed to relax around him, to allow herself to feel, to wonder, to dream. That was the sister she wanted. The sister that allowed herself to be. To live. To love.
He was always somewhere in her mind, his smile, his eyes, his everything. Sometimes at night, when she couldn't sleep, Queenie would find her near the living room's window, watching the horizon, waiting. The golden-haired witch didn't have to read her mind to know what she was so patiently waiting for : his return, as he promised. Tina was fiddling with the locket she always wore, turning it between her fingers as she immersed herself into her dream. She would sometimes turn to her younger sister and wonder : Do you think he will ? Come back, I mean ?
And the youngest always answered earnestly : "Of course he will."
Because she was certain of it.
That was until the article was published. That damn article.
Queenie had seen it first, occupying her thoughts with gossips about famous people she had never met. It was her guilty pleasure once she had taken care of her chores, had prepared dinner and visited the most famous bakery in New York. It filled the void that Jacob had left when he was obliviated, somehow. So, when she had seen Newt on the first page, she had immediately bought it, for herself, maybe, because she was curious, but mostly for Tina. Yes, Tina would be thrilled. She knew her sister liked to be kept updated on her friend's life and adventures, and as Newt was really busy at the moment, he wasn't always able to respond to her promptly, even though he always apologised for it.
Queenie came home that day, with the magazine in her arms, cheerful. As she entered her apartment, she noticed an owl, patiently waiting by the window. She smiled, as she took the thick envelope between her delicate fingers, and recognized the handwriting. Another letter from Newt. The first in months ! Tina would be enchanted to hear from him after such a long time. Resisting the need to read it herself, she put the letter next to her sister's plate, as she always did, and settled near the fire to enjoy her afternoon's reading.
She would have had a lovely time, if it wasn't for that stupid article.
Newt to wed.
She read every words to be certain. She read them a few times. But it wasn't a mistake. She glanced at the picture that accompanied it, perceiving Newt's uneasiness. Leta Lestrange's hand was on his shoulder, tender, protective. She would have recognized that face among a million, that smile that decorated Newt's case. Deception escaped from her lips as a deep sigh. Her first thought went to Tina. Surely, she wouldn't react well to this. She who was already saddened by Newt's current difficulty to answer her letters would be devastated to hear he had patched up his relationship with his former schoolmate. He was engaged. She couldn't tell her sister. No, she would never do that to her. It would break her heart, again, and that was out of the question.
Damn you, Scamander. She thought, closing the magazine out of disappointment and anger. With a flick of her wrist, she murmured "Incendio" and the paper went out in flames. It disappeared from her sight like it had never existed, which was for the best. She couldn't risk Tina finding it.
After Grindelwald's escape, the auror already had so much pressure on her shoulders. She worked days and nights on a way to find the dangerous wizard and quite possibly save the world. Dark circles had appeared on her pale face. She didn't sleep much.
She would soon be home. Queenie could never tell her about Newt.
Yet she never had to.
Tina came home that day, late, obviously exhausted, her dark eyes glimmering with utter sadness. Her hair was wet from the rain that was pouring outside, sticking her locks on the side of her face. It looked like she had been walking : her boots were covered in mud, her favorite coat was absolutely soaked. As soon as she stepped through the door, Queenie knew. She could feel that something was wrong yet, could tell what.
The auror didn't bother greeting her sister, nor did she acknowledged the presence of the letter on the table. She didn't say anything. She silently took off her shoes, as she always did, removed her coat, and hurried to her bedroom, ignoring Queenie's call behind her back.
The blonde witch feared the worst, but couldn't tell what had happened. Tina was hurting. She could hear her thoughts, but everything was blurry, fast, impossible to get. It was loud, too loud, too painful to hear.
The door closed loudly. Tina's mind screamed one name.
The legitiment sighed. Of course she would have heard the news by now. What a fool she was to think she could actually spare her for a few more days ! Queenie quietly followed her sister's steps with a heavy heart. She knocked on the door, called out her name.
Porpentina never answered. Porpentina would never answer. She preferred to be alone whenever something happened. The young Goldstein didn't have the heart to leave her be.
She let herself in, knowing she would probably be unwelcome and found the brunette laying on her bed, staring at their ceiling, thinking too loud for her not to hear. She had no tears in her brown eyes that had never looked emptier. No smile or grimace on her lips. She seemed motionless, drained of all feeling while there was a battle raging inside her heart.
"Teenie…" She whispered sadly as she took a few steps closer to the bed.
The Auror didn't move away, didn't ask her to leave. Queenie hesitated, and finally found her way next to her. She sat on the side of the bed carefully, studying her sister's features as she did, looking for a sign of dismission. She found none.
They stayed that way for a while, in silence. The golden-haired witch waited for Tina to say something, to think, in order to soothe her the best way she could. But she didn't. Instead, a silent tear fell down Tina's cheek and died at the edge of her shirt. Carefully, Queenie reached out and laid her hand down on her sister's shoulder, almost expecting her to brush it away. But she couldn't. She didn't.
She didn't because she was too hurt.
Because she had hoped, and had been failed.
Because she was in love, and she thought he was.
She didn't push her away for once.
Instead, she turned around, her eyes filled with tears, staring at the blonde, trying really hard not to let salty pearls escape from her already puffy eyes.
"Teenie, I am so sorry…"
I thought he liked me.
Queenie sighed, unsure of what to do. She had comforted her sister before. Many times. Mostly because of work events, sometimes because of some memories that rushed into her mind. Memories of their parents. Porpentina liked to act strong and unbreakable and she was, most of the time. Losing their parents so early in life had made her this way. She had clawed her way into this world, was now an auror against all odds, had fought for this life. She had built a wall around her heart, to protect herself mostly, but also to protect her little sister from the evil in the world. But there was this part of her that felt everything deeply, that cared so much it ended up hurting her. She was strong, yes, but she was above all vulnerable, and maybe it was what was beautiful about her. At least, it was what her sister admired most.
The older witch brought her hand closer to her face, wiping off the tears that had started to cascade down her cheeks. She hadn't seen her cry in years. And it was breaking her heart. She couldn't stand Tina's sadness for she deserved everything. But not this. Not like that.
"I know, honey. I know." She whispered, trying so hard not to break as well. Trying to be strong for the both of them.
And to be honest, Queenie did know. She did read her thoughts, all these weeks, did witness the happiness he brought into their homes without even being present. The golden-haired woman also thought that as well. That he liked her. There was something about his letters, something about the way he looked at her, those days in New York. No. She couldn't believe it. It wasn't something he could have feigned. His thoughts couldn't lie. Not to her. Not when he already had trouble expressing himself out loud. No, he had thought about her. Had cared for her. She couldn't believe he would do something like this.
I thought maybe… I would be enough.
"You are more than enough. You are far more than that. Please don't cry, dear sister. I don't like to see you that way." Queenie immediately answered, running a hand through her sister's hair to push out any messy locks.
A sob escaped Tina's throat, against her will, her chest was jolting with her heavy breath. It was heartbreaking to see her that way. Queenie did her best to fight her own tears but she couldn't help but be filled by her sister's grief. The brunette desperately clung to her pillow, trying to bury her entire face to hide her sorrow. She shuddered and trembled, so small inside of this bed. For a minute there, the youngest remembered the last time she had seen Porpentina cry, when they were child. It was the same hurt in her eyes, the same tears that kept steaming down her face.
Her beautiful hair was now even wetter, and stuck on her face as she wept, again and again, until her eyes were too dry to produce any more tears. Until her throat was too dry to let out any sobs. She stared at the ceiling for a few minutes, letting the emptiness embrace her weary body.
"I know…" Queenie said, expecting her sister to tell her how this simple article had affected her.
Like a fool. I am… so mad at myself. For letting him in. For falling for him. For thinking he would actually come back for me. For imagining that there was a future out here for us. For believing that he could actually love me.
Queenie had believed that too. She still did somehow. There was something about this stupid article, something not right. Newt was no monster. He was absent-minded, yes, but he would never hurt a fly. Not on purpose. Why write to her if he knew their story would never go further ? Had he been forced to marry Leta ? Back then, when he was in New York, she had read some his thoughts. He did love Leta at some point, and she was perhaps, the only woman he had ever loved. There was hurt in his thoughts, which was perhaps, the reason she managed to read him so well. But she belonged to his past, that much was clear.
Tina had been his present.
He had found her beautiful. So utterly beautiful in every way, he had thought.
Had been impressed by her strength and her pugnacity.
She couldn't believe he would do something like this. It seemed out of character. But maybe she didn't know him as well as she thought she did?
"I think he did, Teenie. I really do. He keeps writing to you, you know." She tried, quietly, missing the way her sister's eyes closed in desperate pain.
She used her wand to summon the letter that was carefully resting on the untouched table, where the dishes were getting cold. She didn't care. Nothing mattered. Nothing but her sister. She wasn't sure Tina would want to read it, but she had to tell her. Her hand carefully caught the flying item as she held it to her sister. Porpentina's heart clenched violently as she turned away from the small piece of paper, not even willing to look at it. It was like the sight of that handwriting burnt her, and Queenie didn't insist. Everything of Newt, including some letter he had written, would only revive the burning ache and the sorrow that had filled her entire soul. The blonde was about to put the white paper on the bedside table that hang between their separate beds but she was stopped by a hand on her wrist. The brunette hastily sat on the bed, snatching the envelope from Queenie's hand. She took a few seconds, considering the item, staring at her name written by the hand of the man she loved.
One last tear fell. She ripped the paper into pieces that fell at the edge of the bed, eyes closed, anger finally making its way in her veins.
I don't want to hear from him. Ever.
The sentence had fallen. There was something so violent in the way she had tore his letter apart, just like he had broken her heart. Queenie stared at the shattered words spilled on the ground with sadness. She wasn't quite sure it was the best idea : she wanted to give Newt the benefit of the doubt, or at least a chance to explain himself. A chance Tina was not willing to give him. At least, not yet. She carefully knelt down to gather every single fragment to throw away later, when her presence would not be needed anymore.
Could you… Give me some time to…
"I will be in the dining room."
And Queenie left to more tears and strangled sobs. She left her, knowing that she needed time, space even, to figure out exactly how she felt. Because Tina was angry. Angry because despite everything that had happened between them, despite his harsh words about aurors and the recent engagement, she still loved him.
With everything she had.
Tina had never loved anyone the way she loved this British Magizoologist. She had loved alright, before, but had ended up heartbroken each time. But not like that. Not like this time.
Newt, Newt had always been different. In such short time, he had managed to fill her soul with the most purest form of love there ever was. He made her smile. He made her laugh. He made her heart beat faster and her mind go wild.
Her soul radiated with his memory.
The youngest sister sat by the fire again, hands full of the fragments of Newt's last letter. It was a simple paper, yet, it seemed to contain secrets. She wanted to read it. She was dying to. Wanted to know what was inside. An explanation maybe? Some more informations about the wedding perhaps ? Queenie was genuinely curious, and interested. She had never been able to hold Newt's letters. Tina hadn't let her. It was personal she said. Now was the chance. Oh, but, Teenie would be so mad if she knew. But a quick peak wouldn't hurt right? She would never know, and from her thoughts, so loud in her mind, she was not ready to join her yet. Yes, a quick glance could not hurt. She would burn the letter afterwards, and never talk about it again. Tina didn't have to know any of this.
"Papyrus Reparo" She whispered, as the shattered pieces stuck together again.
The golden-haired witch cut out the envelope, after a quick glance towards the bedroom, and pulled out a single page filled with scribbles. His writing was uneven, small, making it hard to read. She did it anyway. It took her time to adjust to his style, but as soon as she started to read, she couldn't stop.
She began to read about his creatures and his discoveries, almost hearing, behind his words, his english accent. She smiled down at his questions concerning her work. He did seem interested. He deeply cared.
And as she continued, she soon found her eyes watering at a very specific paragraph.
As you may know, I did try again to get my travel ban lifted, unsuccessfully I am afraid. It seems that I have caused so much trouble the last time they won't let me visit, not even for a day. They think that Dumbledore sent me, which might be true, somehow. But he is not the reason I want to return, Tina. I tried to explain myself. Tried to make them understand. They won't hear me out. I do keep the copy I promised you with me at all time, hoping to be able to give it to you. Someday, maybe.
I keep hoping, Tina, and maybe it is foolish of me, but this thought alone is the reason I fight. I hope you won't think of me as forward, but I needed to let you know.
I made you a promise and I intend to keep it.
He surely was not the best at expressing his thoughts, but the letter was clear.
Tina loved Newt.
And Newt loved her back.
That he did.
But Tina was not ready to see that yet.