@stylishbutdefinitelyillegal and @hamelin-born created this most fabulous AU where Graves got turned into a wampus cat and later kept the form as his animagus transformation. They also mentioned Addie the nundu adopting him. And. I can’t just leave that, can I?
Addie was just a kitten herself when Newt adopted her. Raising her was pretty much trial and error as there hasn’t been a lot written about nundus (can’t think why) and has some… interesting results. The jam and cream scones probably aren’t part of a nundu’s natural diet. The insistence on teddy bears might be more understandable, but then again, bears aren’t exactly common in Africa so maybe not. The running tackle-hugs are something Newt is trying hard to convince her she doesn’t like because now that her poison spines have grown in they’re potentially problematic.
BUT the point is that Addie takes to motherhood of Graves, who stands approximately as tall as her elbows, with an awful lot of enthusiasm and an awful lack of skill. Specifically, she tries to mimic what Newt did for her.
This means that she steals Newt’s coat for Graves and sits on him until he curls up in it and goes to sleep. This also means that she sneaks around the habitats and filches bits of every kind of food she can find (including the mooncalf pellets and they float it’s hilarious watching her trying to corral them into place) in an attempt to find the ones that Graves likes. The day she manages to present him a jam scone she just about beams with pride and poor Graves has to choke the damn thing down despite the fact that Wampus cats are strictly carnivorous. You’d have thought that nundus were as well, but apparently not. She procures a Baku from another habitat, an elephant-headed tiger-legged bear that Newt picked up in Japan, and stubbornly wraps all six of Graves’ legs around it because Teddy Bears Are Important Adelaide, Don’t Bite This One’s Head Off. (Thankfully, Newt always gave her transfigured soft toys rather than stealing creatures from other habitats, because Addie never did learn not to bite the heads off.)
The Baku is actually an excellent choice. It’s a lovely little thing that wards off bad dreams and actively devours nightmares. Graves has plenty of those for the Baku to prey on; he sleeps through the night like a baby, the Baku feasts and gets a nice warm Wampus cat to snuggle against, Addie is proud of herself for getting this mothering shit down, it’s win win all round.
Plus, now that Addie’s given Graves a teddy bear she stops being quite so insistent about stealing Newt’s coat for Graves to sleep in. She does, however, trot over to Newt with extreme self importance and pick him up by the scruff of his shirt to physically carry him over to her enclosure. She drops him on top of a rock, gives him an apologetic lick that leaves his hair standing up in a lopsided quiff, and nudge him to look over the rock and see quite how well she’s doing raising her kitten.
Newt leans forwards obligingly and looks. He sees Graves curled into a nest of bent grasses and dry bracken, tail tucked under his paws and head tilted so his chin is facing up. The Baku in his arms burbles sleepily, legs moving as it chases another nightmare in its sleep, and Graves pulls it closer and snuggles it with a yawned purr when it finally devours the pesky thing.
“You did good, Addie,” Newt says softly, and Addie puffs her neck out and rumbles a pleased agreement.
*snerk* Oh, this is lovely.
Graves, in turn is - slightly off-put by this BIG CAT BIG EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CAT! That keeps snuggling him and presenting him with things to eat and - well. Well, it’s nice being given an option of what to eat, most of the time. And Newt’s coat is soft and warm, and smells just like him - Graves is never admitting how comforting he finds that. And - and it’s nice having something to cuddle up against. It’s nice to have a warm place to sleep, and something extremely large and dangerous perched above you, keeping a sharp eye out for any possible threat. It’s - it’s just nice.
Not that he’d admit that under threat of torture, of course.
He doesn’t need a giant cat that decided it is, somehow, his mother, but he doesn’t quite complain as much anymore when Addie tries to take care of him.
Also, Graves probably has literally no idea about How To Be A Cat. There are instincts, yes, but there’s a difference between instinct and knowing how to do something - Graves probably manages to figure out a lot of things having to do with how to walk and move around as a non-bipedal just through observation of Addie, and the other inhabitants of the case; Addie might also take it upon herself to try and teach her ‘kitten’ how to hunt - or, namely, how to pounce. Mainly on Newt, it must be admitted.