Not a ‘Monster’ Unloved

Sam,

This is the physical revision of The Crimes of Grindelwald script. I’ve given some guidelines in the previous post about how I would have set up the film (and the previous Beasts‘ ending). I’m only going to focus on the inciting incident of the film, when Dumbledore recruits Newt to travel to Paris to find Credence. I said Dumbledore’s reasoning in the presented script was incomplete and–for me–didn’t provide enough satisfaction for Newt risking jail time for Dumbledore when Dumbledore gave him no good reason why he couldn’t do it.

The following exchange will combine parts in the existing script with additions of my own. I will range from page 42-49 of the original screenplay book from Scholastic Inc.:

Arthur A. Levine Books

SCENE 28
EXT. TRAFALGAR SQUARE–EVENING

DUMBLEDORE and NEWT Apparate and walk on past the great stone Landseer lions. The darkening sky is becoming increasingly ominous. A flock of pigeons rises into the air at their approach.

DUMBLEDORE
How was it?

NEWT
They’re still convinced that you sent me to New York.

DUMBLEDORE
You told them I didn’t?

NEWT
Yes. Even though you did.

A beat. DUMBLEDORE inscrutable. NEWT wanting answers.

NEWT
You told me where to find that trafficked Thunderbird. You knew that I would take him home, and you knew it would be safer to take him through a Muggle port. Less likely for poachers to tail me.

DUMBLEDORE
Well, I’ve always felt an affinity with great magical birds. There’s an old story in my family: a phoenix will come to any Dumbledore who is in desperate need. [DUMBLEDORE winks at NEWT.] Trouble is keeping them around. [Grins toothily at the stony NEWT.] Curious, isn’t it? The very desperation that calls them seems to disappear the moment they arrive.

NEWT
Professor Dumbledore, they’ve denied my travel requests because I’m associated with you! [NEWT made his best effort to look the professor face-to-face but could not meet those piercing blue eyes.]

DUMBLEDORE
Newt, you don’t have to call me professor anymore.

NEWT
Dumbledore . . . the least you can do is give me some explanations. [NEWT’s voice steadily lowers.] Did you know about Credence . . . what those attacks in New York really were?

A noise behind them. The silhouette of a man appears out of shadows. They Disapparate–

SCENE 29
EXT. VICTORIA BUS STATION–EVENING

Footsteps nearby. Both ready their wands, but the footsteps die away. They walk on.

DUMBLEDORE
What you must understand, Newt, is that we are dealing with powers–dangerous powers.

NEWT
Then why not help the Ministry? I’ve seen The Prophet . . . even Muggle papers say somethings not right. He’s escaped twice now. People are getting scared he’ll start to turn wizards over here. Britain has been through one war, professor, why put us through another?

DUMBLEDORE
[Somewhat darkly.] I’m flattered you think one man can prevent war. [HE pauses, peering at NEWT from under his bowler.] And you’re very aware of what happens to people when they’re afraid.

NEWT presses his lips together, no doubt thinking of all the creatures at risk in his case when GRAVES confiscated it.

DUMBLEDORE
Often, they don’t like to listen to the reason of those who want to help, especially if that reason goes against their suspicions.

DUMBLEDORE and NEWT board a stationary bus.

DUMBLEDORE
As for Credence. No. I had no idea what was doing all that damage in New York. But I had an idea–a hope–it was a creature rather than a wizard. If I was right, I think you could have helped remove it from harm and harming others. If not, then I knew you’d leave it to those better qualified to handle human miscreants.

DUMBLEDORE laughs; NEWT joins him, if reluctantly.

DUMBLEDORE
He’s in Paris.

NEWT
Credence?

DUMBLEDORE
[Nods.] He’s trying to trace his real family. There’s a rumor among purebloods he’s the last of an old French line. A baby thought to have drowned at sea . . .

NEWT
Not . . . Leta?

DUMBLEDORE
[Nods again.] Grindelwald realizes the err of his ways back in New York and knows the strength of Credence as the perfect champion for the purebloods.

NEWT and DUMBLEDORE take turns looking out the windows to check passing pedestrians aren’t their pursuers.

NEWT
Where is this coming from?

DUMBLEDORE
I don’t know. The rumor might be a fabrication of Grindelwald . . . or maybe not. Whomever he is we can’t risk him falling under the Grindelwald’s spell. He has to be found and protected.

They share a silent moment. Slowly, NEWT understands what the wordless DUMBLEDORE asks of him.

NEWT
Oh, no! [HE grasps his hair. ] Forgive me, sir, but why can’t you do it? I’ve been forbidden from continuing my work for you. [NEWT jabs a finger at DUMBLEDORE’s shoes.] My responsibility is to my creatures and those out there at risk from human harm.

DUMBLEDORE
[Flashes a smile. HIS brow wrinkles with a shadow of the wizard HARRY POTTER will know.] That’s exactly why it has to be you. Grindelwald wants to use Credence against me. I can’t move against Grindelwald.

NEWT
[Puzzled.] Use? You sound like Graves . . . like the Ministry . . . like Credence isn’t human.

DUMBLEDORE
Credence is the host to a dark creature of his own making. Grindelwald wants the obscurus. That poor boy is trapped in the middle.

NEWT
If you think I can help him, tame his obscurus. Credence is nothing like the one I captured in Sudan–

DUMBLEDORE
But you know what it takes to confront one!

A beat. DUMBLEDORE’s voice had spiked taking NEWT aback.

DUMBLEDORE
[Calm again.] If it had just been you down in that Underground station, I know Credence would have been in enough control to “come away quietly.” He would have found a belonging to wizard kind the kind he’s been denied for so long.

NEWT
I don’t think I could have protected him from MACUSA without knowing who his family is.

DUMBLEDORE
[Nods, permitting that thought.] Nevertheless, I have watched your patience and consideration for other beings take you far after Hogwarts, Newt. Your incorruptible conviction that the only danger we face is ignorance in times of fear. Grindelwald knows an obscurus is, possibly, the one thing I can’t defeat.

NEWT
[Shifting uncomfortably at the thought of DUMBLEDORE’s limitations.] What could possibly make him think that?

A hard pause between the two. A DRIVER enters the bus, sits and is about to turn on the lamps when NEWT casts a PETRIFICUS TOTALUS spell, freezing him to the spot.

DUMBLEDORE
It’s a long story, Newt. [DUMBLEDORE slides his palms over one another.] You need to know not everyone starts out so humble or considerate of others. [HE tweaks his crooked nose.]

NEWT waits, patient as ever.

DUMBLEDORE
For some of us, we have to earn it by learning from our . . . mistakes.

NEWT for the first time  looks at DUMBLEDORE, but HE considers his still fidgeting hands.

DUMBLEDORE
We don’t have time for the whole sordid tale. I expect people will begin to wonder why their bus is not on time. [Gestures with head at the driver.] Newt, you must understand Grindelwald and I were–for want of a better word–close.

NEWT
Close?

DUMBLEDORE
Once, yes. He put a stop to that. His conviction to his own mindset, a conviction I rather think equals yours, though on opposite ends of the line.

NEWT clearly isn’t comfortable being compared as equal in any regards to GRINDELWALD.

DUMBLEDORE
I refer to Credence’s obscurus as a tool not the boy himself because I know what it’s like to watch someone want to use another in this way.

NEWT
Who?

DUMBLEDORE
My sister.

NEWT
Your sis–?

NEWT puts two and two together. HE slumps back in the seat with wide eyes. DUMBLEDORE sniffs.

DUMBLEDORE
He wanted to use her to assume our proper place in the world.

A beat.

If it had been anybody else–Anybody!–I would have agreed immediately. That’s how blind I was, Newt. Anybody else but the sister I should have done better to get to know than the man who sought to use her for his own gain.

NEWT
But he didn’t succeed.

DUMBLEDORE
No, he did not. . . . Ariana grew scared in the confrontation, and–well–you know what happens when obscurials get angry or scared.

NEWT hears a memory of Credence roaring in the subway.

DUMBLEDORE
When it was all over, Grindelwald had fled, and she was there on the floor.

NEWT
That’s horrible. I’m so sorry.

DUMBLEDORE
[Smiling weakly.] Grindelwald knows the signs of destruction only capable by an obscurus. I believe that is what drew him to infiltrate MACUSA and what led him to Credence.

NEWT looks at him as if one of his Occamy had been plucked too early from its shell.

DUMBLEDORE
That’s why you’ve got to find him, Newt. I would trust this task with no one else.

NEWT rises to argue, but DUMBLEDORE presses on.

DUMBLEDORE
I have just demonstrated to you why I can’t go. I have failed to thwart Grindelwald when he has gone too far. I fear after all these years I’m still not up to the task.

NEWT
[Sits back, arms folded.] They’ve banned me from travel, Dumbledore. I would do a great deal for you, but I can’t risk being sent to Azkaban for you.

DUMBLEDORE
Then do it for magic and non-magic folk; do it for Credence. Don’t let someone who’s been through horrors no child should go through be taken advantage of. Do it for Porpentina.

NEWT
[Rises as if being stung.] Tina?

DUMBLEDORE
[Nods.] She’s coming to Paris, Newt. Investigating a lead on behalf of MACUSA.

NEWT
No! Dumbledore if she finds Credence or gets caught by Grindelwald supporters. [HE pauses, searching.] She barely got him to calm down as much as I did. [NEWT rises straightened his jacket.] He’ll think she’s there to hurt him, to arrest him! Think of what could happen to them, to Paris, if he rages again! And I don’t have another Thunderbird.

DUMBLEDORE and NEWT exit the bus. NEWT nearly forgets about the driver and re-animates him just before they Disapparate.

SCENE 30
EXT. LAMBETH BRIDGE–NIGHT

DUMBLEDORE conjures NICHOLAS FLAMEL’s card from thin air and offers it to NEWT, who takes it without question.

DUMBLEDORE
That’s the address of a very old colleague of mine. A safe house in Paris, reinforced with enchantments.

NEWT
Thank you for being a bit more forthcoming about this than with the Thunderbird.

DUMBLEDORE stops.

NEWT
[HE looks DUMBLEDORE at the chin, taking a bracing breath.] I’m doing it for them.

A beat.

And for you. [NEWT adjusts PICK who peaked out from around his lapel.] And let this put an end to whatever may have happened in the past.

DUMBLEDORE smiles, eyes glistening. HE reaches for something inside his coat and pauses, removing his hand.

DUMBLEDORE
Again I ask too much of you Newt, and again you rise to task not for any individual benefit but–if you will excuse the irony–for the greater good of wizard and Muggle alike.

NEWT looks away over the bridge at the sluggish, dark water of the Thames. DUMBLEDORE once more reaches inside his coat and pulls out a copy of FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM. NEWT looks at it and then at DUMBLEDORE.

DUMBLEDORE
You should know I had the headmaster add it to the reading list. [Returns book inside HIS coat.] I think it would do our Care of Magical Creatures students some good.

And with that, ALBUS DUMBLEDORE Diapparates.

Original photo by Lauren via weheartit.com

Far from perfect grammatically or structurally I’m sure, but I enjoyed this. I know I’m shaky when it comes to screen writing. I’m so used to novels; I had to cut back a lot on writing action in the stage directions.

Please comment and let me know what you think about this. Do you think the original scene and motivation was fine or were you left a little puzzled as I was? Would you like me to do more of this from other works? What I might do differently? I would love to hear from you here or on my Facebook page @WorldsofPossibility!

Cheers.

***This post is part of my Perusing Potter – a series of exploring the known and not-so-known aspects of the Harry Potter Series***

* featured image credit u/BCDragon300 via Reddit

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