"A Night at The Leaky Cauldron." Newtina Fanfiction.
For this one I decided to use my absolute favourite fanfiction trope - there is only one bed! In this trope, there's only one bedroom available in the whole city, and two love interests have to share it, and of course fall in love in the process. I took quite a lot of liberties with this (I mean, Newt could just sleep at his flat surely?), but I had a blast writing it.
This is set sometime in the 1930s in an alternative universe where Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald haven't happened, and this is their first meeting. I also had to add a Hagrid reference, of course!
I hope you enjoy it! Man I love these awkward nerds. ❤️
Newt Scamander hurries along the dark London streets, so set on his destination that he doesn't seem to notice as he splashes through puddles, soaking his shoes and trousers. He is clearly a man on a mission.
The pavements are crowded with the evening rush hour, but the commuters give him a wide berth: they seem to sense his 'otherness'. He certainly does stand out; his startlingly blue coat bright amongst the greys and browns of the office workers, but his air is also one of someone who doesn't quite belong, and isn't comfortable in his own skin.
A small click makes him look down towards the battered leather case he is clinging onto like a lifeline, and he carefully reaches down to secure the clasp that has popped open of its own accord.
"Not now, Dougal," he murmurs, seemingly to the case. This earns him a strange glance from a passing man, but Newt doesn't seem to notice, as he is now intently pulling a letter from his pocket, a frown on his freckled face.
Tom's having a spot of bother with an Ashwinder. Could you drop by The Leaky Cauldron to take a look?
Newt's frown deepens as he reads; he can't shake the feeling that Dumbledore isn't giving him the whole story. It wouldn't be the first time. While reading the letter, Newt has been neglecting to look where he is going and bumps into a woman standing in the middle of the path, checking a map and eating a hot dog.
"Mercy Lewis!" she cries, at the same moment he yells "Merlin's beard!". Her hot dog and map have fallen to the floor, landing in a puddle.
"Oh no! I'm so sorry, I-I wasn't looking," Newt stammers, not meeting her eye. She is tall and beautiful and intimidates him.
"Don't worry," she says kindly, "I probably shouldn't be eating that anyway." A smile plays on her lips. Newt works up the courage to meet her eye and is left temporarily speechless: they have an effect in them, like fire in dark water. Just like a salamander. She raises her eyebrows; he has been silent too long. He internally chastises himself; why is he always terrible at social interactions?!
"I... um... sorry... again." Newt moves to walk off but she catches his arm and he jolts; a spark of electricity seems to run through him at her touch. She seems to feel it too, and hastily removes her hand.
"Could you point me in the direction of The Leaky Cauldron?" she asks, those fiery eyes boring into his. "I'm a bit lost and..." She trails off, gesturing helplessly at her map that is now soaking wet and illegible; the ink running into the puddle it sits in.
"I'm on my way there now, actually," Newt replies, secretly pleased that he can stay in her company a little longer. "I could walk with you." Tina eyes him suspiciously for a moment, seeming to consider him, before nodding curtly and starting off in the direction that Newt had been heading.
"Are you American?" Newt asks, running slightly to keep up with her long strides. He usually hates small talk, but he is desperate to impress her.
"Yes", she replies, "I'm on special orders from MACUSA. You?"
"Oh I'm just...helping a friend." He answers, trying very hard to not look guilty, but from her expression he's not sure she's convinced. She has the uncanny ability of seeing right into you, he thinks.
They have almost reached The Leaky Cauldron now, and Newt wishes that it could have been a little further away. Usually he prefers to be alone, but there is something about her that makes him wish he could get to know her better.
"Here we are!" Newt stops outside the door, pointing to the sign that proudly states: The Leaky Cauldron.
She smiles down at him. "Thank you for your help, Mr..."
"Scamander!" Newt cries, immediately embarrassed by his eagerness. "Newt."
"Tina Goldstein. Nice to meet you Mr Scamander." Tina extends her hand, but they both stare at it awkwardly for a moment, remembering the jolt of electricity that passed through their last touch, before she withdraws it. Neither of them are very good at this, and it shows.
"Well...shall we...?" Newt gestures towards the door, hoping to diffuse the tension. He holds the door open for her, and Tina raises an eyebrow as she walks past him into the pub; clearly a woman used to taking care of herself.
Why do I always do everything wrong? Newt thinks, starting to wish he had stayed home instead of running off on an errand for Dumbledore and bumping into this beautiful and infuriating woman.
Tina has reached the bar now, and Newt can see her talking to the new landlord, Tom. Tom looks old beyond his years; already beginning to bald and missing several teeth, but he is very popular among the locals and always remembers a face. He smiles at Newt as he approaches.
"There might be some noise, I'm afraid." Tom is telling Tina, a slight wheeze in his voice, "you're next door to Mr Hagrid and his son, and then can get a bit rowdy."
"Oh that's fine, I won't be staying long." Tina replies, before nodding at Newt and starting towards the stairs that lead to the bedrooms upstairs.
"Newt!" Tom greets him enthusiastically, "Dumbledore said you might be dropping by. Would you like a room?"
"Oh, no. I've just come about the Ashwinder." Newt offers the letter to Tom who just gapes at him.
"An Ashwinder?!" He exclaims, causing quite a few concerned looks from his patrons. "There's no Ashwinder here. Dumbledore said you would be wanting a room, and that he'd be here to speak to you in the morning."
Newt sighs; typical Dumbledore. He had been expecting this.
"But I'm afraid there are no rooms left," Tom continues, breaking into Newt's thoughts. "I just gave the last one to Miss Goldstein."
Tina has stopped halfway across the room, listening intently to their conversation. Newt turns to her with a pleading look, and she raises her eyebrows; clearly less than impressed with this development.
"Please" he begs, "would you share your room with me? I'll pay for it, I'll sleep on the floor. You won't even know I'm there. I promise."
She eyes him suspiciously for a moment before replying "Okay. But no funny business."
"Oh no, of course!" splutters Newt, a blush creeping up his face. Tina smiles and they turn and walk together up the wooden staircase, leaving a perplexed Tom staring after them.
They walk side-by-side up the hallway, both pretending to look for their room number but stealing glances when the other isn't looking and smiling shyly.
"Here it is!" Tina announces, stopping in front of a door with a big brass number 7 on it.
She pauses with the key halfway to the handle, and turns to face Newt. He notices that her hand is shaking slightly.
"You'll sleep on the floor?" She asks.
"Of course." Newt reassures her, "trust me." Tina is not sure why, but she does trust this ungainly British man, and her instincts are usually good, so she turns the key in the lock and opens the door. The room is simple and sparse with a large bed in the centre that draws their eyes and makes them blush.
"I'm going to sleep now if you don't mind," Tina says, in a tone of voice that says that if he does mind they're going to have a problem.
"Oh yes, of course," replies Newt, "I'm tired too. Long day." He flashes a small awkward smile at Tina but she is digging in her bag for something and doesn't notice.
Finally locating what she's looking for, Tina pulls out some striped button-down pyjamas that look eerily familiar to Newt: an identical pair is folded neatly in his suitcase. Newt looks from the pyjamas to Tina, hardly believing his eyes, but she is giving him a pointed look.
"Do you mind turning around?" She asks, arching one eyebrow expertly (how does she do that?). Newt blushes furiously and stumbles over his own feet while turning to face the wall. A few awkward minutes pass.
"Okay. You can turn back around now," comes Tina's voice, smaller than usual. She is standing with her arms crossed, looking self conscious and nervous. "Don't you want to change?" she asks.
Newt considers it for a moment. "Uh, I didn't have time to pack pyjamas," he lies, not wanting to make her feel more uncomfortable by pulling out matching pyjamas. He takes off his coat and folds it into a makeshift pillow on the floor while Tina pulls down the covers and gets into bed.
"You can sleep up here if you like; there's plenty of room."
"Are you sure?"
A pause. "Yes."
Newt gets clumsily to his feet and climbs onto the other side of the bed, facing Tina. Her eyes are already closed, feigning sleep, so he follows suit; careful not to move too close to her but occasionally brushing a foot or a hand accidentally. Soon her breathing deepens as Tina succumbs to sleep, and Newt opens his eyes slightly to watch her.
Newt wakes in the early hours of the morning with a start, having heard a loud snore from the room next door. He is surprised to find himself in the middle of the bed, and even more surprised to find Tina in his arms, her head resting on his chest. He tries to carefully move away without waking her but her hand unconsciously reaches out to grab his shirt and pull him back. Newt usually shies away from physical contact but something about this just feels right: the weight of her in his arms; her scent of lavender and hot dogs; her hand clinging to his shirt.
He smiles softly down at her, runs his hands through her hair and closes his eyes.