1 September 2017
Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. Especially with the use of his handy, dandy expensive watch, Rolf Scamander usually managed his time well, but it snuck up on him out of nowhere. The watch, a gift from his grandparents, switched time zones through voice activation, and there were Anti-Theft Charms on it, too. There were obvious bonuses to this; it had the added effect of zooming back onto his wrist whenever he lost it. It locked itself back onto his wrist as he bent down and searched for the thing. While parents were taking their children off to school, Rolf sat chained to a desk and wondered why he’d given up his world for a 9 to 5.
How had he ended up a regular bloke? He had the world, literally everything he could have wanted at his fingertips, and he’d given it up to work in Diagon Alley for a paper he didn't read. In the back of his mind, Rolf knew he had good reasons to be the grounded guy: Luna, Lysander, Lorcan, and his grandfather. The globetrotting had been fun, the globetrotting with a young wife even better, but the tiny humans shackled him and it all came down to a screeching halt. The Chief Consulting Magi-zoologist position? Rolf created this on the spot because he'd had twins on the way, and he really, really needed a job where he could go home everyday and enjoy those things people called weekends.
Bored, Rolf tossed a draft of an article onto a pile as a stack of parchment and paper reorganized itself. Some writer called Styles had handed him a rough draft full of mistakes. A woman approached his desk, and he half-expected Rita Skeeter to track him down and pick up the mind numbing conversation they’d had yesterday. Instead, and much more to his delight, a red-haired woman came with coffee and pastries.
“Mr. Scamander.” Ginny Potter stopped, thinking this through. She opened her mouth, closed it, and paused as she reconsidered her angle.
“Use your words.” Rolf linked his fingers together and pushed back from the desk.
“Yeah. Getting there. Damn.” Ginny turned around and faced Luna, who she had dragged along in this scheme. Luna shrugged, taking Lily’s hand. “I had this memorized and everything. Okay. What did Charlie say? ‘You’re dying. I needeth a man with a brain, and you, Scamander, you’re such a housewife. Boring.’ There was more, loads more, but I forgot.”
Luna covered Lily’s ears, grinning, and checked to make sure the coast was clear. “‘PS You're a whiny bastard. Stop being old and let's go with being awesome. Like me.’ And then he called you a …”
“Yeah. Got it.” Thinking the second part of that whiny bastard statement held true, Rolf didn't need her to fill in the blank. Despite his twelve nieces and nephews, Charlie Weasley never found the need to edit his vocabulary. Rolf gestured at Luna to uncover Lily’s ears and he smiled benignly at the girl. “You didn't miss anything. Your Uncle Charlie is rude.”
Lily scowled, disappointed she hadn't missed some colorful stuff, although she liked whenever Rolf caught her up in the end. The other grownups never bothered with this step. Of course, Rolf was raised by the Newt Scamander, and choice words got sprinkled into conversation like seasoning with that old man. Rolf pretended to read the draft again, but he couldn't concentrate with Luna reading over his shoulder.
“The Wrackspurt thing? Still not a thing.” He tossed in reminders every so often to help her to stay grounded to reality. Luna’s father had filled her head with a lot of notions, and Rolf spent the first few years of their marriage debunking these so-called magical beasts and creatures. He reached in his drawer and handed her a notepad without looking at her. “On the plus side? You might be right about the Nargles. Grandpa and I are seriously considering adding it to Fantastic Beasts in the next edition, so good job there.”
“Thank you,” said Luna, drumming her fingers on his shoulders and humming some tune she no doubt got stuck in her head. She tore off a sheaf and stowed the note away in her handbag. “What're you doing today? It’s Friday.”
“Eating breakfast at noon,” said Rolf, sipping his fancy coffee and nodding at Ginny, thanking her. “And working. I guess, or I’m hardly working.”
Ginny snorted and gave Rolf a high five. “Scamander.”
“Work. What is this? I used to be this fat little boy who did whatever I wanted.” Since he used to live by his own chaotic, over-booked time table, coming into the office remained a foreign concept to him. Rolf, deciding it was lunchtime, packed away his things and got up. He went the casual Friday thing and wore Muggle clothing to work.
“He’s not coming back.” Luna mouthed this to a young woman who sometimes acted as Rolf’s secretary. They gave each other a thumbs up and she left the maze of offices and cubicles with Rolf, Ginny and little Lily in tow. Origami rats scuttled into and out of offices with messages, and a typewriter clicked away in the main office of the Daily Prophet. Luna had snatched his Hufflepuff scarf off the back of his chair and draped it over his shoulders when they stepped outside. “You are surprisingly easy to spring from the brig.”
“Bored out of my mind.” Polishing the pastry off, Rolf tossed the wrappings in a wastebasket. A foodie, he considered food and drink a staple in culture. “You know what I miss? Mangoes and dragon fruit.”
Luna shrugged, walking ahead of him. Back in the day, Rolf went anywhere and everywhere at the beck and call of his grandfather, and he, Rolf, had loved every moment of it because everyday was a new day. Newt Scamander had retired back in 1990, yet it had really been a gradual stepping down; nobody really believed the old man knew what a quiet retirement really was. Newt neared 120, so he did whatever he wanted whenever the hell he wanted. The way he phrased it, the old man planned on doing nothing all day, and Newt didn't plan on doing this until around noontime.
“Why are you smiling?” Rolf grinned at Luna, bemused as she walked backwards down the cobblestone street. Ginny left with Lily, saying she had a deadline to meet with a sports article and owls pecking her with writing assignments. Rolf waved goodbye, mirroring his wife, and they continued on their way. He shook his finger at Luna as she dragged him along. “You’re up to something.”
“Maybe,” said Luna evasively. She doubled back and draped her arms around his neck before she kissed him. “Let’s run away for the weekend. You and me.”
“I like this game.” Deciding he really wanted to play and forget the world for a while, Rolf forgot about his locked away briefcase and returned her smile. “But we have these things called little humans. Remember them?”
“Come with me.” Luna frowned, pretending to forget about their five-year-old boys. “We get to do whatever we want whenever we want.”
“Before kids sex? I’m so in.” Rolf jumped on this opportunity eagerly because he couldn't remember the last time he'd really been alone with his wife.
They sometimes pawned Lysander and Lorcan off to their grandfathers, but Newt had warned them not to abuse the get out of jail free card, for it would leave the table. Luna laughed, pulling him in and shaking her head so her dirty blonde hair blew from her face. It was autumn, but it wasn't really autumn for a few weeks yet, and it rained in the city too frequently for Rolf’s comfort. Harry Potter worked at the Ministry and actually lived in London, but Rolf didn't understand the logic behind this at all.
There was an age difference between them, some nine years, but when they were together, really together, this melted away. They’d been married for fifteen years and jumped at any opportunity to take any and all assignments around the world. Whenever they finally decided to sit down and have the chat about the birds and the bees with their boys, Rolf really wanted to go with the truth.
Charlie had jumped on this offer the day the boys were born outside of Cairo. He’d actually held the boys while he sat down in an armchair and acted like he shared a bedtime story. “You’re what happens when your father’s half-asleep and forgets to take necessary precautions. Scamander says goodbye to his life as he knows it.”
Rolf didn't regret his boys because they truly gave his life meaning, and they were a happy mistake. He really did say goodbye to life, and maybe it took a while to sink in. Lysander, the shy one, favored his mother and walked with two left feet; Rolf worried about him constantly. Lorcan, their other son, danced to the beat of his own drum and didn't really care about what others thought, which took Rolf completely by surprise.
“You remember that?” Luna pointed Rita Skeeter out, spotting her outside the Leaky Cauldron. Rolf, cursing under his breath, sighed when Rita waved at them, and started to run with his wife. Luna took his hand and they Disapparated.
“What? Sex? Yeah,” said Rolf, thinking it rather sad she didn’t.
Checking out their surroundings after they appeared on a crowded street in the middle of a downpour, he pieced this together pretty quickly. There was coffee shop and a department store on Fifth Street. So they were in New York. Rolf didn't know anything about electronics or so-called technology the Muggles used, though he enjoyed watching people live their lives. They walked along, holding hands. It dawned on him that he hadn't been to New York in two years. Really, if they got down to the barebones, he hadn't been outside of the country and was getting stir crazy.
“Welcome home, American boy.” Luna fumbled for a key in her handbag as they raced up a rickety staircase.
She stopped outside a Brownstone and fought with the key in the old door until Rolf unlocked it with a simple spell. Although this place had belonged to Rolf’s grandmother and his great aunt back in the 1920’s, it stayed in his name now. Luna squealed gleefully when Rolf scooped her up and tossed her on the leather couch like a sack of potatoes. Although the place had been renovated, the clothes horse still stood in the living room. Rolf shrugged off his coat and the school scarf, and the thing wrung out his clothes.
Rolf kicked off his shoes and joined her on the couch. “Grandma would hate me doing this.”
“Probably. It’s your place now.” Luna fingered the Star of David pendant hanging from his neck. Judaism usually went with the mother, but as Rolf’s biological mother had been almost nonexistent in his life, Tina Scamander had raised him as her boy. Luna went back to why she'd planned this. “You’re stressed. You needed to get away, and Lysander says you’re freaking him out with all the sleep walking, and you’re talking to yourself.”
“Freaking him out?” Rolf sat up and conjured a bottle and glasses. When she was alive, Grandma always kept a secret stash in case of emergencies, and Rolf picked up the tradition of a rum and Coke. The glasses zoomed over, and he found someone had bothered to stock the apartment. Luna went for a plain Coke. Rolf made the drink and chased it down with another, swirling the contents of the second shot. “I’m a horrible person because I think I should get better as a Scamander, eh? I’m losing it.”
“No. You can’t be everything,” sad Luna, taking his shot glass and taking a sip of his drink. She was a lightweight and always went for a taste, even though both of them knew she hated it. “You drink like your father.”
Rolf grunted, giving the usual response he gave whenever the conservation reared its ugly head towards Frank Scamander. Rolf spent half his time pretending Frank didn't exist, for he considered Newt his father. He, Rolf, was named after Newt Scamander, and as time wore on, he would be the Newt Scamander. His grandfather had made him the head of the Scamander Foundation, and Rolf ran a magi-zoo, which is why he never bothered signing a contract with the Daily Prophet.
“Not to startle you or ruin the moment,” hedged Luna, slipping off her heels as she sat up. She placed her hands in her lap and undid her hair. “Francis wants to meet the boys.”
“What? No. Hell, no.” Listening to the laughter he hadn't caught on to before, Rolf drained the glass and flipped it over on the coffee table. The boys, he realized, were here, too. He studied Luna’s pained expression and guessed she’d set things in motion already. “Ah, Luna, no! Come on.”
“They’re my boys,” said Luna, getting to her feet and gaining confidence after she put the rum away. She pointed at the closed doors. “He is their grandfather, Newton, and if you take this away from them …”
“…it will be no loss! He’s a junkie, Luna. You see the good in everyone, but that’s not Francis, it’s not, and he’ll take advantage of you.” Rolf clawed at his face like he writhed in actual pain. How many times had they been down this road and shared this story? “He left me on the side of the road when I was two to get a fix of whatever in the middle of the night.”
“I know,” said Luna, hugging herself. She’d lost her mother at a young age, which is why she pushed the family angle like this. “But he’s changed, Newton. I saw him last week outside of Central Park and I … I introduced the boys to him.”
“I’m sorry,” said Rolf, laughing mirthlessly, certain he’d misheard her. He’d been born in New York, and he spent half his time between here and Dorset, but he called England home. “You … you did what?”
“That was the wrong move.” Luna kept calm and pointed her wand at the door. A light shone for the briefest moment and the shield evaporated into nothing. She’d cast a Silencing Charm. Well, Rolf had no way of knowing this because it was a non-verbal spell, but he took a wild guess. Rolf wasn't one to lose his temper, but when it came to his family, he got as protective as a paranoid person. Luna resorted to pleading with Rolf's given name, appealing to him like his grandmother, pulling a Tina here. “Newton.”
“I knew he was going to find you,” said Rolf, shaking in fury.
He hadn't invited Francis to the wedding, and they hadn't publicly announced the boys’ arrival, either, though this hadn’t stopped the press frenzy outside the Egyptian hospital in December 2011. They weren't as famous as the Potters in the wizarding world. Actually Rolf probably eclipsed Harry Potter’s fame in certain weirdo circles, so the word got around. Rita Skeeter, if she and Rolf weren't frenemies, would have gotten on with him famously because she was a gossip columnist.
“He gave me this.” Luna strode over to the other side of the living room and picked up a framed photograph Rolf hadn't seen before. It had been a newspaper clipping transfigured into a photograph. In it, Luna wore a cotton wrap around dress and held Lorcan close. Rolf, standing by her side, waved politely to the press as he shifted Lysander in his arms.
Rolf, shocked by this move, felt touched. He sat back down on the couch and buried his face in his hands. If they set themselves up for a trap, there were a thousand and one ways this could go wrong. What was he supposed to do? Forget his father was here and act like they never crossed paths?
“Grandparent’s Day on the tenth,” said Luna, grasping at straws. Rolf snorted, not buying this for a second, and Luna, falling to pieces in front of him, stopped by the window before she paced back and forth, losing control of her emotions. Rolf tried to say something, but words failed him. “Do this for me.”
“Luna, he’s not a good man.” Rolf raised his hands, already defeated.
“What about me? Newton.” Luna picked up his damp Hufflepuff scarf, Newt’s old scarf, and twisted it in her hands. “He’s a bastard, and he wronged you. I get it, I do, I really do. But he deserves… Lorcan and Lysander deserve …”
“You don’t know him,” said Rolf, wishing he had another drink.
“Neither do you!” Luna stopped her pacing, about to go the other way. Rolf got up and wrapped his arms around her; she buried her face in his shoulder and took deep, steadying breaths. “You’ll want to do this. You were calling out to Frank the other night in your sleep, so you need to let it go. You're scaring me.”
“Okay.” Rolf caved, shrugging his shoulders.
They could Disapparate and head to Romania. What’s the worse that could happen? Luna nodded, waiting for him to back out. If they were going to have this meeting, he wanted it in a public place without the press hanging over them like vultures.
And if he was agreeing to spend a Saturday afternoon with a man he hated, Rolf wanted a breath of fresh air. “I want to go see Charlie with the boys. I’m going to take an offer as one of his handlers.”
“Oh, Ginny said yes before she even suggested Charlie’s prepared speech.” Luna wiped her eyes. “Something about Mr. Scamander needing to find himself again?”
She patted him on the shoulder, put the Hufflepuff scarf down, and went to check on the boys. When she came out, Lysander and Lorcan were dragging her around and showing her the book they had found in the bedroom. Rolf needed a pick-me-up, and although he knew this wasn't a good call, he wanted to be five for a minute. He went into the kitchen, found his grandma’s recipe for hot cocoa, the real stuff, and got to work.
The mugs filled themselves and the spoons stirred the contents on a laden wooden tray. He set this down on the coffee table, took his cup, and stood by the window after he opened the latch. As the autumn breeze brushed his face, Rolf closed his eyes, tasting the chocolate frothiness.
“Are we better now?” Luna understood sometimes this was all it took, which is why he kept her around. She let them finish the hot cocoa, grew impatient, and dragged Rolf outside. Lorcan and Lysander followed. Rolf pulled off Lysander’s shirt because it was both backwards and inside out, shook it out, and fixed the problem.
Rolf purchased a hot dog from a No-Maj standing at a vendor cart and resigned himself to a horrible diet for the weekend. As a naturalist, he went against his rules of a healthy lifestyle and showed Luna his open hand. “I’m this old today.”
“Awesome. I have three boys today.” Luna didn't sound as though she particularly liked this train of thought, but she went along for the ride. Rolf gave the man a five and got rid of some pocket change. They both scooped up one of the boys while walking through the city after the rain stopped. “About the Foundation.”
“Luna, you really shouldn't discuss business with a little boy.” Rolf wished to stop this discussion in its tracks before it ran away from him. He licked mustard off his finger and handed the half-eaten hot dog to Lysander. Of course, they had to stop because Lorcan wanted one, too.
“Yes, but I have to talk this out with someone,” insisted Luna. She sat as the chairwoman or the chairperson of the Scamander Foundation because Rolf preferred the leg work and the endless assignments, and he was far too busy. Rolf pouted and stamped his foot, no doubt bringing their boys to mind; they tag-teamed with this move sometimes. Luna frowned and challenged him with a straight face. “Really? We’re going there, Mr. Scamander?”
“Yeah … no. Oh, goodness, that’s your no nonsense face. No. Definitely not.” Rolf picked up on the signs and straightened up his act. Lysander giggled. Newt Scamander had fought tooth and nail against turning his business into a corporation, yet it got too big for his britches, and all he cared about at the end of the day was his creatures. “What is it, Miss Lovegood?”
Luna chuckled, taking a bite of the hot dog Lorcan offered her. She spit it out in a bin. “I want Charlie to have a seat on the Scamander Foundation.”
“Why in the name of Merlin…?” Rolf’s voice trailed off as he spotted a bright blue, sapphire moth creature.
He took chase, recognizing this as a Billywig, and wondered how one of these ended up in the city. He checked the crowded street and ran like a madman, until it occurred to Rolf he carried extra chatty baggage. Luna lifted a finger, putting herself on pause, and slapped Lorcan’s hand away. They set the boys down by a newsstand of the New York Ghost.
“You stay there. You hold hands, and you do not move! Are we clear?” Luna shouted at Lysander and Lorcan.
“Yes, Mama,” they said together.
Rolf snickered, unable to help himself, for he lived for this stuff. Luna tied her hair back, cursing frequently under her breath, and ran along with him. She conjured a cage. Rolf, ahead of her, slightly worried about the International Statute of Secrecy, jumped on a closed restaurant dumpster, lithe as a cat, and corrected his footing and sighed when he spotted a school bus zoom by. He jumped off the dumpster, landed on his foot wrong, and cast a Permanent Sticking Charm on the window pane of a nearby building.
“I win!” Rolf whooped triumphantly as the agitated Billywig glued itself to the trap. He grabbed the flying creature, jammed it in Luna’s cage, and locked it with a flick of his wand. After erasing all traces of magic, Rolf spun around and kissed Luna passionately. “That was fun. Let’s do it again.”
“Yeah,” said Luna dreamily, running off a sudden burst of energy and levitating a few inches off the ground.
She’d been stung. Running off her high even though he noticed the symptoms straightaway, Rolf pressed her up against the brick wall and got lost in her kisses. They stopped when they heard a faint popping noise, and two wizards dressed in plain suits approached them. They announced they came from from MACUSA, flashing their badges with their animated photographs, and Rolf and Luna had broken Section 4E of something or another.
Rolf raised his hands in a gesture of surrender, backed off his wife, and did exactly as his grandmother had warned him ages ago. “Good afternoon, Aurors. That’s not ours.”
“Likely story,” said the Auror to his left, slamming him up against the wall.
Luna went willingly, totally not aware of what was going on as the enchanted cage clattered to the pavement. The Auror confiscated Rolf’s wand and marched with them along the street. The other Auror got the evidence and gathered Lysander and Lorcan. Luna had had enough sense to mention this, though Rolf was more focused on the Auror being none too gentle with him. They Disapparated. The other Auror went back again for the boys, and they were steered into the Woolworth Building.
“What’s going on, Mama?” Lysander waved at a goblin by the lift.
“It’s fine. I’m going to be ill,” said Luna, turning to the Auror who held Rolf and warning him. She came slowly back down to earth, her silvery eyes focusing. “What’s your name?”
“Auror Marquez,” he grunted, jerking his head at his partner. The other Auror let the kids walk alone and took Luna by the arm like he escorted her to a dinner party; this man called himself George Helton. Auror Marquez rolled his eyes and sighed exasperatedly as they edged into the elevator with the goblin. “It isn’t George. It’s Helton. Major Crimes Investigations, Bob.”
“You got it,” grunted the goblin, reaching up with an apparatus and mashing the button. Luna, green, covered her mouth as they zoomed up the elevator.
“Major crimes? It’s a Billywig!” Rolf’s indignant tone faltered to a small voice as they stepped onto a bustling floor and memos scuttled by. The overhanging clock revealed a low security level. “Would it help if I told you I’m Porpentina Goldstein’s grandson? Porpentina Goldstein Scamander?”
“You ain't Mr. Scamander,” snorted Auror Marquez.
“Yeah, well, not that one, obviously,” said Rolf, grasping at straws here. He challenged this on second thought, hesitating. “How do you know?”
“Here’s here,” said Auror Marquez shortly, opening an interrogation room.
Rolf cursed again, and Luna, glancing at their kids, hissed at him. “Newton!”
“Yes?” An old, stooped figure in fashionable jeans and a vintage black overcoat turned around ever so slowly. He had white hair, gnarled arthrititic hands, and a warm smile with all his teeth.
“Grandpa!” Lysander let his go of his brother’s hand and ran towards his ancient great-grandfather. Lorcan followed, ignoring Auror Marquez.
“Perfect,” hissed Rolf through clenched teeth. “I guess we’re adding this to the invisible list of stuff you’ll never let me forget.”
“Lorcan, Lysander.” Newt knelt down like an automation with oily, creaking joints and grinned at Rolf. He magicked chocolates out of the air and drank in every second. “You’re really not having a good day, are you, sir? That’s identity theft.”
“You …! My name is Newton Artemis Rolf Scamander,” said Rolf, panicked as time passed and Auror Marquez sat him in an uncomfortable chair by a metal table. Newt vouched for Luna. “Grandpa, this is not funny. I haven't been arrested in five years.”
“Five years,” said Auror Marquez, sitting down and cracking his knuckles, getting ready for a little chest. The other Auror let Luna go after questioning her. The nauseousness or queasiness abated her, but Rolf sweated like a pig. Auror Marquez set Rolf’s wand on the table, leaving the door open. “Five years ago, you say?”
“En route from Argentina to Egypt,” said Rolf carelessly, waving this away like it was nothing. He laughed nervously, which was another mistake. He pointed at his family, getting this out in a rush. “My wife was in labor in Cairo and I forgot to renew my International Apparition license. Come on.”
“Did you enjoy jail in Cairo, Mr. Scamander?” Auror Marquez conjured quill and parchment.
Rolf responded in Arabic and resisted an urge to answer the officer with an internationally accepted hand gesture. He spoke in a forced calm. “It’s a Billywig, and it’s not even mine! That’s a slap on the wrist for possible No-Maj sighting.”
“Section 3A, no Oblivation,” said the Auror in an almost bored tone.
“Damn it. When did I have time to Oblivate anyone?” Rolf, getting angry, slapped the tabletop. He reached down to get his Muggle passport out of his coat and accidentally ripped the Hufflepuff scarf. “You can't prove it is or isn’t mine. The way I see it, and I invite you to cast Priori Incantantem, sir, you have nothing to charge me with, and you are ruining my weekend.”
“Prove it ain’t yours,” said Auror Marquez lightly.
“You know what? I’m evoking my right as an American citizen,” said Rolf stubbornly, crossing his arms and standing his ground. He had dual citizenship, as he was born in this fine city. He decided not to say anything further to risk incriminating himself. “Jacob Bell’s Law. I want my lawyer, and Mr. Zabini is in Madrid.”
“He’s mine,” said Newt, throwing him a save. “Not the Billywig. He’s my grandson.”
Newt stepped in and reduced the charges to almost nothing.
Newt stepped in and reduced the charges almost to nothing.
“So, there’s Francis,” said Newt.
He offered a hand to both of his great-grandsons and waited patiently to cross the streets with the others. Rolf had no idea how he got caught up to speed, but he went with with it and frowned. The frown came automatically with the mention of Francis’s name, for he couldn't help it, and Rolf realized he shouldn't be surprised his grandfather knew Francis was in town. Newt raised his eyebrows, for he was clearly on Luna’s side and wanted a win here.
Rolf rolled his eyes. “Talk about coercion.”
“If you wanted to please the old man who just got you out of trouble and kept this out of the papers,” said Newt loftily, scratching his ear as he nodded at the boys, signaling at them to go as the crosswalk light turned green. Rolf and Luna held hands.
“How many chances have you given him?” Rolf had given up hope for Francis ages ago.
“I don’t know,” said Newt honestly, shrugging his shoulders as they picked up the pace,”but what I do know is he’s family, and Grandma never gave up on him. That’s not stupidity… foolishness, maybe, but that’s faith.”
Luna nudged Rolf in the arm, catching him before he managed to get out a smart remark about Newton Scamander being an atheist.
“I’m doing this for you and the boys,” grumbled Rolf, putting this to rest and not looking forward to tomorrow because he had lower than low expectations, “but this doesn't mean we’re friends.”
“Course not.” Newt scoffed, conjuring his pipe as they headed towards Central Park and watched the boys run off to play with the other children. Newt packed the pipe with a pinch of tobacco and lit it absent-mindedly with the tip of his wand when there weren't any No-Majs snooping around in crowded area; he stowed his wand away discreetly inside his coat. He rubbed his hands, forever cold now. “I’m your best friend.”
Especially since they couldn't prove possession of any creature, Rolf and Luna got out of there with no charges filed against them. As Rolf hugged and thanked his grandfather, letting the old fellow have his little laugh, he imagined his grandfather running after him as he boarded the scarlet steam engine on September first to give him one last hug and whatever Rolf had forgotten.
Luna went to go sit in the grass. Rolf, smiling, draped an arm over his grandfather's shoulder and stood there not saying anything. For him more than anyone else, Newt Scamander had been a Godsend, a gift thrown to a kid who probably should've been dismissed and thrown out with the bathwater as they say, yet the old man saw something in Rolf, and neither of them were ever letting go of each other. It was just another day, and for the moment, all was well.
Chapter Endnotes: As this was the line-up challenge, I used two lines: "Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year." and "All was well." This is what came to mind, and I'm kind of addicted to writing challenges in my free time. Thanks for reading. What'd you think?