Tina was very happy to have landed on her feet rather than her rear end when her journey by portkey ended. She'd only traveled that way once before; learning how to create one quickly and from anything was part of her training as an auror for emergency situations. She hadn't liked it then, and she didn't like it now. She had a new sympathy for those fish that No-Maj's caught by throwing hooked lines into streams and lakes.
A cheerful voice greeted her as she took a deep breath to get her bearings again. "Welcome to the United Kingdom."
Feeling her feet firmly on the ground again, Tina found herself standing in a room similar to the room she had just departed from back home, except the interior design of the room was a little-more old-fashioned. Standing in front of her was a woman about Queenie's age, with frizzy red hair, glasses, a clipboard in her hands and a ready smile on her face. Her accent was thicker than Newt's, possibly Scottish or Irish.
"My name is Deirdre," she said cheerfully, turning around and sitting behind a simple wooden desk that bore her name and a few other files and personal items. Tina saw that she was one of half a dozen in this spacious portkey-arrivals room. "I'm scheduled to be greeting an auror named Porpentina Goldstein, arriving from M.A.C.U.S.A in New York City. May I see your identification?"
With her free hand, Tina reached into her jacket pocket and unfolded her credentials for Deirdre to verify. Deirdre examined them, made a note in her clipboard, and then nodded to Tina with a smile.
"And now your wand, please?"
Tina produced her wand, and Deirdre laid it on a brass scale that had only one dish that Tina knew to be a basic wand-scanning device. The dish vibrated for a moment, and then a small piece of parchment came out of the base of the instrument. Deirdre read it aloud: "Maple wood, 10 ¾ inches, Thunderbird feather core?"
Tina nodded. Deirdre then clipped the small piece of parchment to her clipboard, made another note, and handed Tina's wand back to her.
"Glad all of that's in order, Miss Goldstein. I've been instructed to direct you to Mr. Scamander's office."
Tina's heart stopped for a moment.
"It's located on the second floor in the Auror Headquarters. Just tell them who you are and who you're there to see, and they'll show you where to go. The lifts are in our reception area, to the left down the hall. We're on Level 6, so you'll be going up. Got that?"
Her heart resuming its normal pounding, Tina nodded with a little embarrassment for herself. She'd automatically thought of the first Scamander on her mind (and heart), not the one who was an auror and who would be part of the official business that she had come to London for.
"Yes, thank you, Deirdre."
They exchanged a cordial smile, and then Tina walked out of the room. Following Deirdre's instructions, Tina turned left and walked down the hallway. She soon came into a spacious reception area, where twenty lifts with wrought golden grilles were lined up along one wall. She approached them, and pressed the 'up' button at one of the sets of buttons. As she waited, a few paper airplanes flew of their own accord and stopped just above her head, hovering as they too waited for an elevator. Tina showed no surprise at this; similar Interdepartmental memos were used at M.A.C.U.S.A.
Finally, one of the grilles opened. Several witches and wizards exited, along with nearly a dozen memos. Tina (and the memos waiting with her) entered the lift, which held half a dozen Ministry of Magic employees; the memos that had followed her in joined other floating above their heads.
Tina looked around for a set of floor buttons or a bellboy (or house-elf, as M.A.C.U.S.A used), but she found none. A middle-aged witch standing beside her must have noticed the confusion on her face, and said kindly, "These lifts run continuously up and down. You just get off when you get to your floor."
Tina gave her a small smile. "Thanks."
Tina felt the lift rattle and ascend. When it stopped, a cool female voice spoke: "Level five, Department of International Magical Cooperation, incorporating the International Magical Trading Standards Body, the International Magical Office of Law, and the International Confederation of Wizards, British seats."
Several of the memos and employees exited the lift, and a few more memos came aboard before the lift doors closed. Tina herself noted the floor number and department; she knew that the conference that she was attending would take place somewhere on that floor.
Again, the lift rattled and ascended until it came to the next floor. As it came to a stop, the female voice spoke again:
"Level four, Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, incorporating Beast, Being, and Spirit Divisions, Goblin Liaison Office, and Pest Advisory Bureau."
Tina's heart began to pound, hearing the name of this floor. As several more witches and wizards filed out, Tina unconsciously went on her tiptoes and strained her head to look through the now open grilled doors. But she saw nothing she recognized, and barely noticed the memos which had to zoom around her in order to leave the lift. She collapsed onto the balls of her feet dejectedly as the lift doors closed again. Well, at least I know which floor he's on, she thought half-heartedly.
"Was that your floor, dear?" the middle-aged witch beside her asked.
"Oh, uh, no, no it wasn't, I just, um, know somebody who works there," Tina said, wishing to Morrigan that she didn't have to stutter so much while she spoke.
The kind witch gave her a look of understanding (with a twinkle in her eye), and thankfully said nothing more.
The rattling ascent began and ended again at the next floor: "Level three, Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes, including the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad, Obliviator Headquarters, and Muggle-Worthy Excuse Committee."
"Well, this is me," said the kind witch, who gave Tina one last smile. "Have a lovely day, dear."
With that, she and three other employees exited the elevator. Tina was now alone in the lift – well, except for five memos that were zooming around the lamp overhead. She gripped the handles of her suitcase a little more tightly, knowing that the next floor would be her stop. She refocused her mind on the official business of this trip as the lift once again rattled upwards. When it stopped and the doors opened, Tina walked out as the cool feminine voice spoke:
"Level two, Department of Magical Law Enforcement, including the Improper Use of Magic Office, Auror Headquarters, and Wizengamot Administration Services."
Tina walked into a reception area about the same size as the last one she had walked through, but the design of it certainly suggested a more serious tone than the last one. She approached the reception desk, behind which a rather severe-looking witch was seated. "Excuse me," she greeted in what she hoped was a calm and collected voice, "I'm Porpentina Goldstein, an auror from M.A.C.U.S.A. I was told to report to Theseus Scamander."
The reception witch gave her the once-over, pulled out a marked piece of parchment from a small pile on her desk, looked it over, and seemed to make a check on it with her quill. She's probably checking off my name, thought Tina.
"The Auror Headquarters are to the right," said the witch briskly. "You'll want his office, room 204. It's marked."
"Thank you, ma'am," said Tina pleasantly, privately thinking that the woman looked as though someone were holding a rotten onion underneath her nose. She turned right and found herself walking down a long hallway, numbered doorways on each side. Judging by the sequence of numbers, it would be near the end of the hallway.
Tina couldn't deny that she was quite curious to meeting Newt's older brother. From his letters, Newt had described him as the type of guy who had the world on a string: handsome, smart, talented, charming, head boy, war hero, top of the auror division. He'd told her quite a lot of stories from their childhood in his letters, and Tina could tell that, despite a bit of envy over how easily his brother seemed to sail through life, Newt was also incredibly fond of his big brother. Tina could certainly relate to that kind of sibling dynamic: Queenie had always been the most charming and the most pretty, but Tina wouldn't have changed her for the world.
Finally, Tina arrived at the right door, which bore the right name and number. But when she raised her hand to knock on the door, she paused. She could hear muffled voices in the room, raised muffled voices, as if an argument were happening inside. Feeling quite awkward now, Tina looked around the hallway for maybe a place to sit and wait. But there was none, and she was very far down the hallway from the reception area. Also, she certainly didn't want to give the impression that she was tardy.
So, taking a deep breath, she knocked firmly on the office door. Immediately, the voices quieted. A moment later, a somewhat strained voice called, "Come in."
Tina turned the doorknob and opened the door. The office itself looked about the same size as her own, but it was littered everywhere with awards, medals and certificates. Two men stood on either side of a massive desk facing each other, but they turned towards her as she entered the office. When that happened, the man standing behind the desk may as well have disappeared. Because, in that moment, Tina only had eyes for the other man in the room.
"Tina!" breathed Newt Scamander as his eyes registered who had just entered the room.
Her heart pounding, Tina stuttered, "H-hello, Newt."
And then, he smiled, and his whole face lit up. And Tina smiled back, suddenly feeling that this first trip abroad would be as wonderful as she'd hoped it would be.