Warning: Fantastic Beasts spoilers
One thing I would like to see in the Fantastic Beasts sequels? Newt and Tina adopting Modesty Barebone. I know, you’re probably wondering where that came from, but just hear me out:
After what happened in the first movie, Modesty is now on her own. Somewhere in that obliviated city, she’s waking up with no memory of what just happened, in an empty house, with her mother and Credence nowhere to be found. Maybe she wanders out into the city, looking towards a brighter future but still vulnerable and haunted by everything that’s happened to her. Maybe she wanders right into a familiar face, someone who had been kind to her and her siblings before: Tina Goldstein.
She doesn’t remember, but Tina does. She tried so hard to protect the Barebone children before, so she takes Modesty under her wing, ignoring Rappaport’s Law for what she knows is right. Not just for Modesty: she starts trying to help the other New Salem kids as well, getting the ones in the worst situations out, finding them new families, watching for any signs of young witches or wizards so that she can protect them from what happened to Credence. And if we do see Credence again (I think he’s dead, but it’s hard to say for sure), what would be more heartwarming than for him to find his little sister happy and safe?
But Modesty is still haunted by memories of an abusive mother, and maybe calling someone else “mom” hits a little too close to home for her. So Tina and Queenie become her aunts.
Maybe Modesty, who hid a wand under her bed and threw away Second Salem flyers, turns out to have magic in her after all. Maybe with Aunt Tina and Aunt Queenie’s guidance, she learns to accept it instead of letting it destroy her, and once she’s eleven they send her off to Ilvermorny to learn how to use it. Or maybe she never develops powers of her own, but finds the love and warmth her old family lacked in the magical world.
By the time Newt comes to see Tina again, Modesty is barely recognizable. She skips across the sidewalk, singing an ordinary song instead of a creepy chant, bright-eyed and smiling. She still sometimes has nightmares, still sometimes panics when something reminds her of her old life, but she’s learning to be a kid again. He’s immediately won over. She doesn’t know much about magical creatures, so he decides to teach her, because it’s always better to understand something than to be ignorant and scared. Maybe he even gives her a pet kneazle, Tina having put her foot down when he suggested a niffler. And a few months later, or maybe a few years later, he takes her aside and asks her how she’d feel about having a new uncle.
“Only if it’s you,” she tells him. So Modesty Barebone becomes Modesty Goldstein-Scamander. Just like Harry, she leaves behind a miserable childhood and finds a new family in the wizarding world.
Unlikely, I know, but wouldn’t it be sweet?