Can I put forwards a petition for Graves’ animagus form to be a black smoke Norwegian forest cat? I mean.
Majestic as fuck.
100% done with your shit.
Bitching black and silver colour scheme and a boss coat.
Fanged death machine that strikes terror into the hearts of prey dark wizards and manages to look hella fine while doing so
paint me like one of your french girls
So I can’t stop thinking about this post. ><
Since I’m terrible at contributing to headcanons, I can only offer this humble (and unfinished) drabble:
There was a black cat sitting primly beside the entrance of the Woolworth building when Newt headed out that drizzly gray Friday evening.
It watched him with a piercing golden gaze as he exited, seemingly unaffected by the chilly bite of the night air and the smattering of rain that struck it periodically when the wind changed directions. Contrary to its regal demeanour however, the cat was a sorry sight physically, bedraggled fur dotted with splatters of mud and patches of missing fur.
“Oh,” Newt murmured quietly, careful not to startle the feline, “hello there.”
He carefully knelt down when the cat did not immediately react and slowly extended his palm out. Newt lowered his gaze and waited patiently, alert for any sounds from his feline companion. After several minutes of inactivity, he considered lowering his hand, having decided that the lack of response was likely an indicator of disinterest.
Just as he was about to do so, Pickett peeked out from his pocket and made a small inquisitive noise.
Newt heard, more than saw, the cat flinch.
He lifted his gaze high enough to stare at the cat’s chest and said softly, “don’t be alarmed, I promise that Pickett is very friendly.”
Newt smiled slightly when the cat got up onto four paws and padded closer, but kept his gaze low until it tentatively reached his still outstretched hand. To his surprise, instead of sniffing at his hand, the cat padded right past and straight up to Newt where it sat down again.
When Newt got over his surprise and took a proper look at the feline, he noticed that it appeared to be glaring at Pickett.
For a scruffy stray, it seemed surprisingly fierce, and Newt absolutely did not blame Pickett when the Bowtruckle quavered under the cat’s watchful gaze and shrank back into Newt’s pocket.
Apparently unsatisfied, the cat made to move closer, boldly placing its paws onto Newt’s thighs, intent on climbing its way up.
“Oh,” said Newt, thoroughly taken aback, “I’m afraid I can’t let you scare poor Pickett.”
An irritated chitter came from his pocket and Newt winced apologetically. “Quite right Pickett.”
He smiled ruefully down at the black cat. “Excuse my poor wording just now, Pickett is definitely not afraid, he’s just trying to give you space.”
He suppressed a wider smile when the cat sat back on its haunches and made a huffing snort.
This close, Newt can see the stray was not only dirty, but severely underfed. The girth he had assumed to be a healthy amount of weight turned out to be nothing more than knotted, but still fluffy, fur.
Newt’s heart clenched.
He offered his hand out to the feline again, fervently wanting to scoop the poor thing into his arms but unwilling to intrude upon its space without proper permission.
When the cat continued to simply watch him with a narrow-eyed gaze, Newt found himself speaking again. “My name is Newt Scamander,” he said, “and I would very much like to treat you to dinner.”
For another tense moment, the cat simply sat there and Newt had the impression that the feline was thinking, weighing Newt’s worth with its golden gaze.
Abruptly, it got onto its paws again. Stepping closer, the stray sniffed delicately at his index finger before pushing its head against his hand briefly. Newt ducked his head to hide a pleased smile and allowed himself to inch closer, keeping his movements deliberately slow so the cat can move away if necessary.
It didn’t, though it did tense again when Newt carefully ran his hand down its back.
“You’re absolutely lovely,” Newt told it quietly, “won’t you come home with me tonight?”
The cat gave him another considering look, then, strangely enough, it turned away to stare intensely at the entrance of the Woolworth building.
Newt followed its gaze. He frowned, and moved closer to the door closest to him. There appeared to be scratch marks on the wooden panelling, as if-
He looked down and met the cat’s intelligent gaze. “Were you-” he stopped himself and rephrased his question, “do you want to go inside?”
Newt’s eyes widened when the cat nodded.
He stared down at it.
The cat gave an impatient huff when several seconds passed and Newt had not moved. Startled into action, Newt stood up and took a step back, suddenly all too aware of the events of the past few days and the entirely unpleasant events with Grindelwald. He discreetly felt for his wand and tried to quiet his heart as it began to pound anxiously in his chest.
“I’m afraid I can’t let you in,” he told the cat, trying to sound firm.
Instead of lashing out or transforming into a Dark Wizard or a million other scenarios Newt’s suspicious mind conjured up, the cat merely looked begrudgingly resigned. It seemed to shrink into itself and made no move to approach Newt.
After a beat, the cat turned away and slunk back to its original spot by the entrance. Only, instead of sitting down, it moved closer to the door and curled into a small ball, heedless of the wet ground or the continued existence of the rain.
Newt watched helplessly from his spot.
After a minute, he bit his bottom lip and casted an Impervius Charm on the stray. Then, he forced himself to look away and Apparate back to his hotel.
He did the right thing, Newt told himself firmly as he went through his suitcase and fed all his creatures. There was something odd about the cat, and as much as Newt wanted to help, he can’t allow it entrance into the MACUSA headquarters without a better understanding of what it was.
Because there was no way it was a normal Muggle cat.
Still, Newt couldn’t help the pang in his chest when he came out of his case and noticed the rain had gotten stronger in the intervening time.
He hoped the charm would last the night.
Newt does not see the black cat the next morning.
He dithered by the Woolworth building entrance, under the pretense of purchasing and reading a Muggle newspaper. During this time, he saw countless Muggles, wizards and witches enter and exit but never once caught a glimpse of the stray from last night.
It seemed unlikely that anyone would have stopped to let the cat in.
Newt was familiar enough with Muggle laws to understand that strays are not usually tolerated in public spaces, and whilst he has not yet encountered an animal control officer or an animal shelter during his stay in New York. He had no doubt that they existed and, given his experiences with said institutions in the past, would likely be very unforgiving with the black cat’s life.
Perhaps it had snuck inside after someone?
Unlikely again, Newt concluded after some thought, if the cat simply wanted to sneak inside, it could easily have done so last night, when Newt exited the building. He was broken out of his thoughts when the Muggle newspaper purveyor cleared his throat pointedly. Realizing that he has easily stood outside of the entrance for more than fifteen minutes, Newt ducked his head and entered the building.
Once inside, Newt spent the next half an hour trying to track down either Tina or Queenie. There was something decidedly strange about the stray from the prior night, and he wanted to inform one of the Goldstein sisters if his suspicions are proven to be correct.
Eventually, he spied Queenie as she strode purposefully down one of the hallways and hurried to catch her. Queenie slowed when he approached and turned around with a pleased smile. “Good morning,” she greeted happily, seemingly unconcerned when Newt flashed her shoes a brief smile in response. She then said, with a small frown, “oh. That is indeed odd.”
Newt ducked his head, quietly glad that Queenie agreed with his assessment of last night’s events. “Yes, I thought so as well.” He briefly peered up at her thoughtful expression before looking back down and staring at her chin, trying to concentrate on visualizing the intensity of the cat’s gaze. “It seemed so intelligent.”
Queenie hummed in acquiescence before tugging Newt gently closer to her. “We should drop by and see if dear Tina has a moment to chat.”
Newt nodded and disentangled himself from her grip, which Queenie relinquished with a slightly apologetic grin. Instead, she began moving again, in the opposite direction this time, seemingly turning down corridors at random until at last, they turned right one last time and came across a harried looking Tina.
She was in discussion with several other Aurors, heads bent together conspiratorially and murmuring in soft voices.
As they drew closer however, Newt was able to catch snippets of their conversation and realized idly that they were discussing the search for their Director and, judging by the exhaustion on their faces, he concluded that they likely haven’t had any success.
Tina had noticed them by now, and carefully extricated herself out of the group, gesturing that she would be back. She moved to greet them with a small nod, smiling fondly at her sister before turning the same expression onto Newt.
She must have noticed something on his face because she immediately frowned. “Is everything alright Newt?”
“Oh, yes,” Newt said, then added uncertainly, “only I had the strangest encounter with a most fascinating creature last night.”
Tina tensed. “What was it? Wait, where is it now?” She questioned and glanced down quickly at his suitcase with a furrow in her brows which belied her unease at the thought of Newt acquiring yet another largely prohibited beast.
Newt shook his head and peered up at Tina’s chin. “It was a cat actually.”
She visibly relaxed, shoulders slumping with a relieved sigh. She must have caught sight of Newt’s slightly offended pout because she straightened again and inquired in a more collected voice. “A cat?”
“Yes, it was behaving in a decidedly strange manner,” affirmed Queenie from the side, “it seemed to understand Newt’s speech.”
Newt found himself nodding along with that description. “It was trying to get into the building,” he continued, “it had left visible scratches on the wooden panelling of the door but had likely stopped once it realized the futility of the action in its current form.”
“Current form,” Tina said, then trailed off, “you don’t suppose it could be an Animagus?”
Newt darted a look at her face, taking in the worried downturn of her lips with a small pang of regret. The aftermath of Grindelwald’s deception has not been easy on MACUSA, and having been re-instigated as an Auror, Tina has been running around along with the rest of the Department, trying to tie down loose ends around the city. The toll of the long work hours was visible in the dark circles under her eyes and they made her seem especially pale under the dim light of the hallways.
“I’m afraid I can’t say for certain. It exhibited intelligence far beyond what is commonly attributable to the species, though it is unclear if this is simply an anomaly, an Animagus, a Transfiguration or something else. However,” he paused until Tina looked at him again, “it did not attack me when I refused to grant it entrance.”
“Oh,” said Queenie in a small voice when Newt thought of the last time he saw the stray, how it had curled its malnourished and dirty form into a tight ball against the door, as if that would be enough to keep out the chill. “Poor dear.”
Tina gave her sister a puzzled look but let the comment slide in favour of the more pressing issue. “Is the cat in your possession?”
Newt shook his head. “It, ah, did not seem interested in coming with me and I did not see it when I came in this morning.”
“Thank you for alerting us, though I’m not sure there is anything the Department can do for now,” Tina sighed and turned an apologetic look at Newt. “Grindelwald’s schemes have left us quite short handed. And between the restorations to the city, clean up within the Department and the search for Director Graves, I’m not certain the Madame President will be willing to spare any Auror to investigate into this, especially not with the new wards they’ve put up.”
Tina nodded at Newt. “Not fully sure of the specifications myself, but I understand that new wards are able to detect the individual’s wands and are meant to deny entrance to those without a registered wand in good standing in the system.”
Newt mulled over the implications for a few seconds and nodded his head. “This would explain why it could not simply sneak in through the doors.”
“Yes,” agreed Tina. She twitched when one of the Aurors called her name and gave them a brief smile, reaching out to briefly touch Newt’s arm. “That’s my cue, there’s been rumours that Grindelwald kept a warehouse down by the docks for his,” she grimaced, “prisoners. Thank you for informing me, I’ll be sure to warn the others to keep an eye out.”
Newt smiled back and ducked his head. “I hope you find him soon.”
“Me too,” said Tina quietly.
The cat was back by the time Newt left the Woolworth building that night.
He stared at it from under the fringe of his bangs and was fiercely glad that the weather tonight was a significant improvement from the prior eve. He didn’t think he would have the heart to leave the poor thing again, even if it was a Dark Wizard in disguise.
Newt had spent the remainder of the day secluded within the confines of the library within the Woolworth building, pouring over what little information there was on Animagus transformations, Transfigurations and potential spells to detect magical deceptions. He had intended to leave around ten, only Newt had found a particularly detailed dissertation on the transference of physical attributes to the Animagus form and gotten lost in the discussion, and by the time he finished, it was close to midnight.
Newt watched the cat.
It was sitting by the doors again and had perked up briefly when Newt stepped through, but upon recognizing Newt, it made a huffing sound and flicked its tail once.
Newt swallowed, and turned so he was facing the feline properly.
It stared back at him.
“Good evening,” Newt said carefully and palmed his wand in what he thought was a discreet manner. He bit the inside of his cheek when the cat immediately tensed and stared at where his hand was gripping his wand inside his jacket.
Definitely not a normal cat.
Newt observed its sudden wariness and made a split decision, unable to bring himself to cast anything on the creature without provocation. He loosened his grip on his wand and slowly withdrew his hand, watching as the cat fully relaxed once his hand was completely out of his pocket.
“You’re not just a cat, are you?” Newt asked.
The black cat swished its tail once, and Newt got the distinct impression that it was very unimpressed with his deductions. Regardless, after a moment’s hesitation, it shook its head.
Newt suppressed the instinctive sense of apprehension that flared bright in his mind, aware again of his current isolation and the lateness of the hour. He forcibly told himself to take a deep breath and continued. “You can understand me.”
This time, there was no hesitation. The cat nodded.
“Are you,” Newt began then stopped. He rethought his plan and instead said, “will you trust me?”
This seemed to give the cat pause, because it made a low growl in the back of its throat and tensed again.
Pickett stirred in Newt’s shirt pocket and made an inquisitive noise. Newt reached up to place a comforting hand over his pocket, offering silent reassurance to the Bowtruckle. He knelt down slowly and reached out his hand again, a reenactment of his actions from the prior night. “Will you trust me?”
The cat watched him with its golden gaze and Newt forced himself to meet its eyes. Now that he was certain this was not an actual Muggle cat, he was no longer worried that it would interpret his direct gaze as a challenge.
Newt held his breath as the cat slowly padded up to his proffered hand. It does not rub its head against his hand again, instead, it simply placed a paw in his hand.
“I’m going to cast a few spells on you,” he told it quietly, and does not wince when it responded by digging its claws pointedly into his palm. “You need to trust me.”
It huffed at him and flicked its tail against his hand, but it does not react when Newt reached into his pocket for his wand again.
“Revelio,” Newt said.
Nothing, not a simple Transformation spell then.
“Finite Incantatem,” he tried.
Newt frowned down at the cat. “Reparifarge.”
The cat huffed.
That only left one other option, the spell to force Animagus to transform back into human form. Newt steeled himself for a confrontation and casted the Homorphous Charm.
A bright blue and white glow settled over the cat’s form and Newt gasped. He gripped his wand tighter and readied himself for a fight. Only, the light quickly faded away and left a distinctly grumpy looking feline.
The cat hissed at him and lifted its paw from his palm with the wounded dignity of the deeply offended.
“What,” said Newt then winced when the cat gave him a particularly spiteful scratch. He stared down at it and said faintly, “well then, I suppose we might as well as get dinner.”
It scowled at him.
Hi. Scroll back up. Read the story. Thank you.
Please, may we have some more?