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30 January 2017 @ 01:23 am
i tried to go on (like i never knew you) ; a credence barebone fanfiction  
Title: i tried to go on (like i never knew you)
Pairings: none, credence centric
Rating: G
Words: 2987
Prompt 2/20: complicated
Summary: credence remembers about his ma, about the real mister graves and about the darkness living inside of him, and when he feels like he's in the deepest he can fall, the light of queenie reaches out to him.
Disclaimer: work of fiction, original story and universe belongs to the one and only jk rowling no profit gained out of this
Comments: i am still thinking what to do about credence and the obscurus thing, but i am going to focus on credence being happy and supported by queenie now because he deserves it ♡

as a disclaimer, i do not want to romanticise the relationship credence and graves/grindelwald have in the film, i refuse to dwell into manipulation, abuse and toxicity or any kind, i reject it and reprimand it. this is just credence feelings and memories about that time, but there's no attraction/love about it.
i will try very hard to separate the “real” graves from grindelwald, and explore their dynamics in a less toxic and abusive way.

title is from backstreet boy's song incomplete, english is not my first language so there might be some grammar issues here and there.
any positive thoughts, comments, and criticisms are more than welcome!

The Goldstein household was the closest thing Credence had experienced to a home. Even after a few weeks when Miss Queenie resumed her working and he was left by himself, Credence felt more at ease there than he remembered the church, forever.

Miss Queenie left him with a few books, “Ilvermorny textbooks!”she said to him excitedly, about History of Magic, and Charms, and Herbology. Credence read very slowly, his Ma had never spent any time trying to teach him properly enough, and most of the words went all over his head, but he had the patience and the perseverance of someone who was starving to learn, to know more, as many other things Credence had been deprived of. And Credence's days passed by immersed in the fascinating world of Magic, often too lost into it until Miss Queenie returned from her job.

But before she came back, Miss Queenie took him once to a Non-Maj mall, because she couldn't bear the sight of Credence in such old and battered clothes, and she seemed more excited to be there, than him. Credence had tried to insist that his clothes were fine, that there always had been, but one thing he had learned about the Goldstein sisters was that, if they set their mind on something, there was no way to convince them otherwise.

Like so, that night Credence came back home with two shirts, jackets and trousers, and even a new pair of shoes. Shoes! Credence didn't really remember the last time he owned a new pair of shoes, the ones he was wearing had holes everywhere, and when it rained outside, he would comeback to the church with muddy and wet socks, and frozen toes.

As he tried everything on, to show Miss Tina after dinner, he promised himself that one day he would find the way to repay Miss Queenie's and Tina's kindness, even if he knew that neither of them were ever going to ask to do such things.

But even with everything they did for him, there were moments when the darkness was too big, and not even Miss Queenie's smiles and mugs of warm cocoa could help Credence to fight against the monsters and the ghosts living inside of him. The worst part of it, was that all those ghosts and those monsters had his face, and the memories of the things he had done and the people he had hurt, were too big for Credence to handle.

Ma had been a cruel, distant and cold woman and she had raised her children in fear, silence and violence. In the learnings of God's rage and punishment, in hatred and suspicion. Credence had learned too early to conceal his true feelings and thoughts, to label any action as impure and ungodly, to expect punishments, insults and beatings for every single action and word, whether he thought he deserved it or not.

It was a matter of time for him to start feeling the darkness expanding inside of him, like oil dripping on top of water. Unstoppable and fast, like rats hiding away from a fire. It contaminated everything, it reached everywhere, from the tips of his toes to the palms of his hands, making him even more wicked, filthy and unworthy. Forsaken by God. Abandoned and tossed around, like a freak, freak, freak.

The darkness took over him, and in the end and Credence didn't know where the spirals of dark fog finished and where he started, or if he could tell the difference any more. There was no light in Credence's world, no colours apart from grey and red and no feelings but fear and shame. Resilience was a valiant act, but it needed strength and a foundation of kindness and respect for yourself to work, and no one even taught him that. And like so, more into the darkness Credence fell.

The falling was always about him succumbing to his memories, falling to the tricks his mind played on him. It was almost funny, how it associated faces with scents, places with tastes, eyes with touches and voices with feelings. And how, in the end, they left him in the same place, drowning and thinking about the same person. In one of the most secluded places in Credence mind, the one he hoped it was even far away from Miss Queenie's powers, was riddled with slivers of skin and flickers of calloused fingers, the strong scent of dark coffee and the faintest of spilled ink. Raspy voices and low curses, curled smiles and hints of throaty laughs.

Because Credence wasn't only starved of knowledge and warm food, he was craving for understanding, for kindness and for friendliness. In a world of beatings and cruelness, it was only normal he would fall easily into whoever treated him with the slightest touch of kindness, with care, like he was actually worth of something more than being tossed around and getting ordered at.

He will never forget the day Miss Tina started to come, the days when she asked, when she smiled at him sadly, when she actually took care of him. Her anger towards Ma was scary, but at the same time, it felt like relief. Because it meant someone cared, beyond Modesty. Someone who was an adult and maybe capable of stopping Ma was willing to help them, but then, one day Miss Tina stopped showing up, and Credence's heart dropped somewhere in the vicinity of his knees.

Mister Graves came next, the real Mister Graves, for what he had managed to find out after talking with Miss Tina. She pleaded him to keep an eye on him, and Mister Graves did. But Credence only saw him two times. The first time, he simply stood in front of him and asked for a pamphlet, actually asked, like he was interested in what Credence had to say.

That day was forever going to be imprinted in Credence's brain. Mister Graves was like a hero of those novels his Ma forbade him to read. His clothes were possibly the most elegant thing Credence had laid his eyes on, and when he came closer to take a few pamphlets from his hands, the heat of his body, surely well kept with the rich fabric of his coat, emanated and reached Credence like the breeze of a sultry spring morning.

He didn't say much, he didn't call him boy, he just asked him to explain him briefly what the cause was about, and the hours of their meetings. Credence remembered with embarrassment how he stammered when he started to speak, choking on his own spit, and praying for the eloquent, sophisticated man in front of him not to notice. If Mister Graves did, he never said anything. He simply listened, bushy eyebrows frowning together as he nodded, a hint of a ghost of a smile as Credence kept talking. When he was done, he folded the pamphlets into the pocket of his coat. “I will see you soon, Credence.”

When he saw the broad shoulders getting smaller and smaller as Mister Graves walked down and away from Pike Street, Credence noticed with a blush he had never told the man his name.

He came back a week later, and he still asked for more pamphlets. Credence never understood why, but he gave them anyway, his calloused, full of blisters fingers brushing against the smooth fabric of Mister Graves' leather gloves. He didn't ask him again for the hours of the meetings, or the content of the pamphlets, instead he asked Credence how he was, with such a sincere curiosity, the younger man was taken back.

He said he was okay, sir, and it was then when he noticed he still didn't know his name. He was far too shy to ask, but it was like the man in front of him could read his mind as easily as Miss Queenie did. “Percival Graves, Credence.” Credence remembered thinking how even his name seemed sophisticated and smooth as he was. “Mister Graves.” He repeated with a rigid nod, taking time in feeling the name rolling on his tongue, a luxury that made him smile, the action reaching to the corner of his eyes making their edges curl.

Soon after, Mister Graves excused himself, talking about work and left, with a fleeting touch on his bony shoulder, a word to take care of himself, and the linger promise of seeing him again. Credence was still smiling when the older man walked away, the folds of his coat undulating with the crisp air of the end of autumn.

Mister Graves took much longer than a week to come back the next time and Credence knew too little of him to notice any change. He started to call him boy along with using his name, and it was the first time someone called him by a name that showed kindness, instead of an insult. Credence fell too easily, too deep, into the kindness and the company of someone as interesting, cultivated and mature as Mister Graves.

He was everything Credence was not, he was everything Credence aspired to be, one day, maybe, away from the evil hands of the woman he still called mother, even in the aftermaths of cruel beatings. He was gullible, how could he not be? Blinded by a virtually stranger showing him kindness and care, Credence fell in a trap of manipulation he never saw coming until it was too late.

Sometimes Mister Graves kindness would harden, and what it usually was a friendly touch, became something too close to how his mother used to treat him. He desperately wanted to help Mister Graves, he really wanted to, but he wished he could tell the older man about the darkness he lived with, the monster hiding inside of him, to ask him for help, to see if those same hands which touched his face tenderly would also be there when he needed to be saved from himself.

But it wasn't like that. It was never like that. And those memories were still the worst, they came after a lifetime of suffering: The almost dull feeling of his own belt when it came in contact with his back after minutes of beatings and Modesty's cold and small hands on his face, wiping away the tears and pleading him to be quiet, before Ma could heard. Chastity scolding him for being slow and dumb, for making their work more difficult when every step felt like blades piercing into his skin. Cruel hands dropping the pamphlets he was holding into poodles of rain and dirt on the ground, along with merciless whispers, cracklings, snorts, every time he passed by the street near the church. And finally, Mister Graves: A ghost of grey hair, a swept of a long coat, icy fingers on his neck and a clammy whisper against his ear, a snarl of “I am done with you” as the darkness was starting to consume him. That was the deepest Credence could reach, the last threads of his poor self-control.

He didn't know if there was a place on earth that could be called heaven, but Credence was sure he had inhabited in an earthy hell for too long, and there was no signs of eternal salvation or redemption. He wondered if these thoughts were the ones that made God left him behind like this, or if God was even there to start with. What he knew it was, once he started to descend into the depths of the darkness of his mind, it was hard to resurface, it was hard to put an end to it.

But somehow, when he had reached to that point, when he was on the brink of feeling the fog, the pain and the panic absorb him, in the middle of all that chaos, and anxiety, Credence found himself listening to Miss Queenie's voice. “Oh, Credence.” She lamented, with a deep sigh. “It wasn't your fault, sweetie.” Her voice echoed inside of him, a voice so, so sweet, it almost felt like liquid honey, sticky like amber dripping down the trees. “It was never your fault, Credence.”

And she always made him came back to where he was, in their main room, a book on his lap, a lukewarm cup of tea resting on the table next to the couch, with Miss Queenie kneeling in front of him. She always looked sad when she seemed to read any of Credence's deepest memories, when she saved him from another attack, but still beautiful, kind and understanding. She was so full of light, it illuminated every corner of any space she was at, piercing even through the darkest places of Credence's soul, like his Guardian Angel.

But he hated himself more when he looked into her eyes, and he noticed that he was making someone so bubbly, optimistic and beautiful like Miss Queenie sad because of him. “I am not sad because of you, Credence. I do feel for you.” Queenie would say instead, and her fingers would curl lovingly around his wrist. She had such a loving touch, warm and affectionate as the rest of her, and Credence smile crept up to his face no matter how dark his thoughts were, how sour his mood was, how deep the guilt caved inside of him.

“That person wasn't Mister Graves.” Miss Queenie kept talking, the pads of her fingers touching the delicate skin of Credence's wrist, because her power wasn't only to read into people's thoughts, was also to say the right words, to calm even the worst of Credence's monsters and ghosts. “It wasn't Mister Graves, it was Grindelwald, the wizard from Europe, Newt explained it to you, right?” Miss Queenie talked to him like a mother would speak to a frightened child, but Credence never felt stupid or ignorant next to her, instead, he felt safe, he felt understood, he felt at home.

Without looking up at her, he nodded weakly, trying to find the words inside of his mouth, like they got lost in the way from the depth of his throat to the tip of his tongue. “The bad wizard.” He whispered, his voice deep and hoarse with feelings, and Miss Queenie would nod, her curls nodding along her when she did so.

It wasn't like she did know much about the real Percival Graves, it was her sister who worked with him on a daily basis. She was never able to enter into his mind, not even once, and from what she had seen in the bustling corridors of Macusa, Graves was just a very dedicated Auror, too focused and devoted to his work. But she also knew that when Tina got in trouble for attacking that evil woman Credence called Ma, she asked him to keep an eye on Credence while she was demoted to wand permits. And she knew her sister too well, she would never trust someone cruel and manipulative to help Credence, who was in such a difficult and hurtful situation already.

“Grindelwald said horrible things, but none of them were true.” She kept on, and moved from her kneeling position on the floor to sit down on the couch next to Credence, even if she always tried to keep a distance between them, and her two hands were now cupping Credence's ones, making them rest on top of her thigh. “You never deserved to hear any of them.” She continued, and this time her thumbs were stroking all over Credence's knuckles. “And Mister Graves would have never said them.”

It was the last words the ones which made a difference, a crack inside of Credence's tortured mind. Finally, he looked up and the caring smile on Miss Queenie's face started to blurry the moment tears filled his eyes, feeling them hot and thick, pooling on his eyelashes. He desperately wanted to believe her, he wanted to cling to her words like a crying child would cling to their mother's skirt after scrapping their knees.

But no matter how much he liked Miss Queenie, and how Credence knew she would never, ever lie to him, it was entirely too soon. His wounds were too fresh and his memories too vivid. The pain of his loses, of the realizations, the new life he was thrown too... He was like a tickling bomb, and he was never sure when he was going to explode, when the darkness was going to win. He felt like he was always making a fight against time, and was always on the verge of losing the final battle.

Right now, nothing seemed to be going well, he was still consumed by his past but maybe one day, he would manage to be. Maybe the light infused to him by the good people surrounding him, would find its way deep enough for clearing out all the darkness.

When the tears spilled, down his cheeks to arrive to his chapped and abused lips, his vision cleared and Miss Queenie was still sitting next to him, holding his hands, rubbing a soothing circle on a patch of skin right above his wrist. She was saying nothing, her lips pressed together into a thin line, but she still looked relaxed, like she was simply waiting for him to say something instead, to calm down. Credence was sure she could listen to whatever what he was thinking about, but he didn't think it was an intrusion, she felt like a guest, like a friend.

Right now, nothing seemed to be going well, but when he looked at the sparkle of Miss Queenie's eyes, who smiled to him with a last squeeze of her hands, getting up and saying something about Miss Tina and dinner, Credence felt her light seeping into him, and basking into that warmth, Credence felt himself believing that maybe one day, he would be.