"You do realise you're not allowed to bring this thing in to work with you, don't you Finnigan?"
Finnigan glared at the speaker. "We all know you would complain very loudly and annoyingly all day if I didn't bring her."
Malfoy didn't have a response to that; and even if he did, he was far too busy cuddling the tiny Crup he had stolen from Finnigan's hands the moment the other man had stepped into the office.
"Oi! Malfoy, Finnigan! What happened to me saying you shouldn't bring Athena in anymore?" came a yell from the Head Auror's office across the hall from them.
"Shouldn't doesn't mean can't, Potter. Besides, you bring Hermes in, why can't we have Athena?" Malfoy retorted.
"One, you can't accurately and effectively communicate with Athena while I can actually talk to Hermes and understand what he says. Two, Athena is a pet whereas Hermes is—for all intents and purposes—my field partner. Three, Crups are notorious for being overexcitable, and we have seen evidence of that in the form of the dish incident. Four, Crups are also notorious for eating anything they lay their eyes on, such as important paperwork that you two don't want to do. Five—"
"Okay! We get it, Potter. There's no need to continue down your itemised list of reasons we shouldn't bring Athena into the office. Honestly, sometimes you're as bad as Granger."
"What can I say, living with someone tends to make them rub off on you. And is that a bad thing, Finnigan? I distinctly remember you two being very glad of her itemised lists last week when she noticed the discrepancy that meant we could save your ungrateful hides."
Malfoy and Finnigan looked at each other. "He's got a point," Finnigan said with a little reluctance.
Malfoy glared. "Maybe," he mumbled more reluctantly than Finnigan.
"Glad you agree," Potter said from their office doorway. "Now, either train Athena to work with you and the Corps or find a Crupsitter and keep her out of the Ministry." Potter walked away, presumably going to see the Head of the DMLE—who also happened to be his housemate, Hermione Granger—for a meeting full of itemised lists, rumours and speculation that would eventually turn into Auror missions.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~
A few months later the Auror office was once again greeted with the sight of the small Crup that was devoted to the two wizards that looked after her. Potter groaned as he saw the wagging forked tail enter Malfoy and Finnigan's office. "I thought I told you to get a Crupsitter," he said, leaning against the doorframe with his arms crossed.
Malfoy grinned at him, "Actually you told us to get a Crupsitter or train Athena to be an Auror Crup."
"Please tell me you didn't…"
"Oh, we did," Finnigan smirked.
Potter looked at the three of them, examining them as if to assess the validity of their claim and how well the two idiots could work alongside the small Crup. He noticed that Athena was sitting right next to a small pile of—to her—delicious food consisting of paper and other such inedible objects that she would eat anyway, and not even glancing at it. "Fine, but make sure you fill in the proper paperwork with Granger."
With that, he turned and walked into his own office across the hall, closed the door and the blinds on the small window before sitting heavily at his desk. Whereupon he placed his head down firmly several times before resting it on the desk and wondering what his life was coming to. Hermes slithered out of his sun charmed pillow and wound himself around Potter's neck, hissing soothing words.
Finnigan and Malfoy grinned at one another and proceeded to congratulate themselves heartily on a job well done. Well, almost done. For when they turned back to Athena, there was a small slip of paper escaping her mouth that she had evidently just been eating while they weren't looking. They sighed as one and started the arduous task of trying to convince Athena that she really didn't need to eat that piece of paper, and it would be great if she could spit it out.