Headcanon: Real!Percival Graves took lessons from the Sam Vimes School of Policing.
…I now can’t stop imagining Graves displaying the classic Sam Vimes reaction whenever someone mentions ‘the divine right of kings’.
For your consideration: Picquery getting Graves to do things simply by telling him to stay out of it while counting on his immediate ‘the hell I will’ reaction.
Percival Graves. In the Congress Chamber. With the axe.
Percival Graves reading ‘Where’s My Cow?’ to the occamys every night at 6 o’clock. Percival Graves struggling with the Summoning Dark. Percival Graves defeating the Summoning Dark by being aggressively himself.
Percival Graves holding up his right hand and gravely intoning “I comma square bracket recruit’s name square bracket comma do solemnly swear by square bracket recruit’s deity of choice square bracket to uphold the Laws and Ordinances of the city of New York -”
The threat of Percival Graves going spare hanging over every auror who messed up. ‘Graves will go spare’ is the ultimate deterrent whispered to the foolish who’re about to do something stupid.
Percival Graves wearing his shoes down until they’re about to fall off, because it lets him feel the city streets through his boots.
Percival Graves sitting on the steps of the Woolworth building with a cup of hot chocolate.
Percival Graves and Gondulphus ‘Old Stoneface’ Graves.
Percival Graves falling for Newt Scamander, the man who’s far too attached to dragons and literally spends all his time caring for his creatures.
Percival Graves struggling through the need to make all the shit he sees in his work easier to bear through alcohol. Percival Graves keeping a bottle of firewhiskey in his desk drawer just to prove that he can, never touching it.
Percival Graves and the Beast.
Percival Graves stopping a war by arresting both sides.
Percival Graves whispering “You’re nicked, chum!” as he tackles the serial killer who killed two of his aurors.
Percival Graves insisting on going after an unpredictable serial killing dark wizard himself, having given strict instructions to his aurors to keep out of it because they’ll try to do it by the book and it’s going to get them killed.
Percival Graves, due to an accident with a time-turner, being his own mentor.
Percival Graves being slightly horrified by just how naive his younger self was. Jesus Christ, kid, stop expecting the best of people (even if you’ll always defend them) and definitely stop blindly taking orders from those crooked aurors you had to call boss.
Percival Graves thinking longingly of Picquery‘s term in office, carefully keeping his face straight as he hears his younger self talking enthusiastically on how the latest Presidential candidate is definitely For the People, and how thing will be so much better when the current President is gone.
Is this really me? Graves wonders. Did I really have the political awareness of a head louse? And the self-preservation instincts of a lemming?
Percival Graves close to losing all hope stuck in the past, when his pocket watch - the one that Newt gave him after the Niffler refused to return Graves’ old one - is returned. He draws his fingers over the engraved initials, thinks of the future waiting for him and soldiers on.
Percival Graves, ordered the rioting population to take down that fucking barricade! And re-build it at the end of the street! And build another one at that corner there! Move it, people, they don’t have much time!
(On an aside, I considered Percival Graves arresting a dragon, but then realized that Newt would pout at him. And give him the wet, teary eyes, and - well, Graves would be very distracted.)
Oh, but no - Graves arresting the dragon saves the dragon from a rioting mob and Newt got to smuggle him out later.
Percival Graves arresting President Picquery because she was implicated in some crime, then working tirelessly to prove that she was framed.
Percival Graves breaking ranks and abandoning the ceremonial parade he was supposed to have been leading to chase after a pickpocket.
We’re talking about the Niffler here, right? Because Graves would totally throw over a ceremonial whatnot in favour of chasing the Niffler.
Percival Graves, constantly annoyed by the press - especially when they print satirised cartoons of him.
Well, not only is it a pickpocket, but Newt would be very sad if the Niffler got lost again. Also, it’s become - almost a game with the niffler, by now.
Percival Graves, staring down the length of the War Table at the rest of Picquery’s advisors after someone makes a reference to Old Stoneface Graves, who lead the city’s militia in an effort to bring some sort of freedom and justice to the place. And was he Director at the time? Good heavens, yes, as a matter of fact he was! Was he hanged and dismembered and buried in five graves? And is he a distant ancestor of the current Director? My word, the coincidences just pile up, don’t they?
Graves probably has the Niffler trained by now. Something shiny in exchange for causing havoc at just the right time so he can get out of a boring meeting/stuffy ceremonial whatnots.
Percival Graves is starting to hate the word ‘coincidences’. Coincidence my ass. He’s proud of his ancestor even if no one thinks he should be.
…oh god(s). An unimpressed Graves nick-naming the Niffler Nobby Nobbs, because even after their accord, it’s still snatching things from his pockets.
Percival Graves, whose scorn for ‘coincidences’ is matched only by his utter fury and loathing of Clues. And don’t get him started on detectives, he absolutely hates it when someone deciphers everything about a person by the stains on their collar when in fact they could simply be a slob and chosen to wipe their mouth after lunch.
Do you think ‘Old Stoneface’ Gondopholus Graves chopped the head off of some would-be king who tried to secede from the newly-formed MACUSA and form his own kingdom?
Nobby Nobbs the Niffler, OMG that’s perfect. (Does that make Pickett Colon?)
When there’s magic involved clues might as well be called misdirection and left at that. Only really inept criminals make it that easy, and those are hardly worth chasing because they usually end up putting themselves out of the game without any assistance on Graves’ part.
I was rather thinking a MACUSA president who went a bit nuts/dark. Can’t quite see how a king would play into it unless we went some kind of fairy route…
Pickett is too industrious to be Colon; I’m honestly not sure if we’ve seen a Fantastic Beasts character that could serve as a good counterpart for him. (although I’m tempted to name the Erumphet…)
Percival Graves, who doesn’t give a bloody damn that one of his aurors is a werewolf and simply utilizes their talents to best advantage.
An early MACUSA president who went dark/insane, called themselves a ‘king’, and ran headfirst (no pun intended!) into Old Stoneface Graves.
Percival Graves who has some reservations when it comes to employing a vampire (mostly because he’s seen too many grizzly vampire-related deaths), but does so anyway. The vampire and the werewolf becomes best friends and a major headache for him to deal with, but they do their job well so it’s worth it to him.
Personally Graves thinks that the whole beheading thing might have been a bit over the top, but the ‘king’ definitely had it coming. There will always be a Graves around to stop people like him.
Percival Graves, who doesn’t care what you are as long as you DO YOUR DAMN JOB. (The zombie auror gets some raised eyebrows, but Graves ignores it; he’s one of their best, and besides, he always stitches his bits back on.) Anyone messing with them will get the book thrown at them - literally; Graves has been known to use The Laws and Ordinances of MACUSA and the City of New York as a blunt force instrument on previous occasions, and everyone eyes the apparently-innocuous book on the side of his desk with the gravest suspicion.
Percival Graves, being introduced to a foreign wizard who wants to make a Complaint about how casually everyone is treating him - “I am the King of Magical [fill in blank]!”
“It’s a pleasure. I’m Director Graves.”
“ - And I demand that you and your show me the respect that I am owed - wait a minute, Graves? Graves as in - as in - “
“Yes, that Graves.”
“I have to go now lovely to meet you so sorry affairs of state goodbye!”
(There has been at least one occasion where people swear they’re seen Graves conjure an axe and walk casually past a room where Picquery is debating with foreign representatives.)
His version of The Laws and Ordinances is heavily annotated with practical tidbits such as ‘delightful idea, not actually workable’ and ‘what idiot thought to put this in, we’re not some kind of police state’ and ‘NO’. There is after all the law, and The Law. Not that anyone who gets hit over the head with the tome appreciates this.
Graves got very good at the axe conjuring charm. He doesn’t ever have to actually use it after that one time he almost split the table in half, but it works wonders to get everyone to agree on a compromise post-haste. (It doesn’t escape the more observant of politicians that Graves is usually the one who proposed the compromise.)
His version of The Laws and Ordinances might also have a reinforced binding, with steel plates cunningly inserted into the leather covers. It makes for a lovely heft, even though the grip is slightly awkward. Also, if anyone ever asks why the book is so damn heavy, Graves can, without cracking a hint of any smile, respond that it’s because it’s full of justice.
Not that Graves would ever threaten a foreign representative. He’d the Director Of Magical Security and Law Enforcement, after all, would he do something like that? Casually conjure an axe just because he was irritated? The axe is a reminder that Graves takes his job - and The Law - very seriously indeed. Very seriously.
…I think that the first time Graves actually used the axe-conjuring charm was when he buried an axe head into a table in front of the Magical Congress - who were taking advantage of Picquery’s ‘illness’ (attempted assassination via poisoning) to push her out of office, and in fact had been implicated in the murder attempt. Everyone was suddenly reminded that he was the direct descendant of Director Gondolpholus ‘Suffer-Not-Injustice’ Graves.
…I have to wonder how much the rank and file actually know about ‘Old Stoneface’ Graves? I don’t think it’s exactly common knowledge; oh, it’s there in the history books if you care to look, but it wasn’t the brightest spot in American History and a lot of schools skim over the era.
Picquery typically responds to Graves’ most recent Graves-ism by heaping him with rewards, gifts, and titles. She finds that the expression on his face is priceless every times. (This is also why Graves technically has the second-highest social status in MACUSA, not that he’d admit it under torture).
The book is full of justice! Graves’ face is so serious every time someone receives this answer that not even his aurors aren’t entirely sure if he’s joking.
Tina knows because she’s the kind of person who will research her boss at three in the morning because youo can never have too much knowledge, but most of the aurors don’t. As a whole, they aren’t exactly a history-conscious bunch (it wasn’t one of the subjects needed to pass the auror exam - Graves thinks this is stupid and is working to change that; if those who’re supposed to protect them forget the mistakes of the past, who is going to remember?).
Graves hates hobnobbing with a vengeance. He would take the axe with him just to have something to fend off vapid high society asshats with, but Picquery explicitly forbade it.
The fact that Graves has been known to use said book to deflect spells and apprehend suspects doesn’t help. It actually has a lot of aurors warily eyeing their own copies of the book.
I wonder if Graves has an axe - loving framed and carefully polished - mounted on a wall in his office. It’s old and chipped in places, but some visitors can’t help but stare at it and wonder - is this THE axe? (It isn’t; Graves conjured it, and then spent an afternoon carefully aging and chipping it before mounting it in his office. He also went out and got some lessons on how to properly swing an axe, because as long as he’s using the thing, he might as well learn how to do it correctly).
On that note - Percival Graves, who carefully and thoroughly traps all the entrances and exits to his home and office, maintains them religiously, and regularly sends an auror squad around to arrest the would-be assassins who fall into the alligator pits.
It starts rumours about Graves having hexed all copies of this book in the name of Justice and anyone who dares so much as crinkle its pages unduly is going to find themselves with a nasty surprise.
All the axe-swinging has impacted his wand technique - he now incorporates wide sweeps when he knows he can get away with it.
Graves making a training exercise out of his booby trapped house. Junior aurors both dread the task because rumour has it no one has managed and are a bit excited because everyone wants to know what Director Graves house looks like from the inside. (They never get that far - Graves likes his privacy after all.)
No, that happens when they try and crinkle the pages of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Graves has a signed First Edition, and he has hexed this one - anyone who tries to damage it will find themselves facing a Very Nasty Surprise.
The sight of Director Graves swinging an axe in a professional, businesslike manner probably haunts the nightmares of various individuals. And once they make the parallels between his wand movements and his axe-swinging, they can’t unsee it.
Newt, of course, probably absently wandered through the traps on his first try (Graves is the Director, yes, but Newt has been breaking in and out of smuggling operations to rescue creatures for a long time), and then quite happily helped design newer, better, and much more vicious traps incorporating various magical creatures.
Percival Graves scowling as he plays chess, because it seems so terribly elitist. He subsequently trains his wizarding chess set to reflect this opinion.
Newt is probably slightly baffled by this. It’s just a book after all, not the real thing. (Now if Graves started putting such defensive hexes on creatures, that would be a different story.)
His wizarding chess set is the most foul-mouthed since Merlin’s himself (or so everyone who’s ever forced to play against him with it says).
Percival Graves solving a case with a small dragon on his shoulder/threatening a criminal with incineration via said small dragon.
The Department of Magical Law Enforcement probably can’t decide which is more dangerous - The Laws and Ordinances or Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. The entire department quails when they walk into Graves’ office and sees the two books stacked neatly together.
Graves’ wizarding chess keeps trying to entice the opposing chess set in revolution against the ruling class. (Yes, Graves’ chess set absolutely hates kings. His king piece has actually abdicated and instead been elected as leader in a fair and democratic election. Graves was so proud.)
“This is Mister Freddie Scamander-Graves, the hottest dragon in the city. He could burn your head clean off. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering, after all this excitement, has it got enough flame left? And, you know, I’m not so sure myself. What you’ve got to ask yourself is: Am I feeling lucky?”
“Well? Are you feeling lucky?”
Percival Graves knowing exactly who watches the watchmen. “Me.”
Percival Graves in a love-hate relationship with New York City, while also being a possessive little shit.
“You think you can blow up a building in my city? Think again.”
“If anyone is allowed to try to assassinate Picquery it’s me, dammit.”
Percival Graves looking very, very uncomfortable in his dress uniform because it restricts his movements and is a fashion disaster at the same time.
Percival Graves, who keeps finding ways to ‘lose’ his dress uniform. Off the side of a moving train, for instance.
Percival Graves, who is late to his own wedding because he had to prevent the assassination of President Picquery. (Newt understands. Theseus is - less understanding).