How To Train Your Auror 3: Dead On Arrival

BY : Mr. Benzedrine
Category: Harry Potter > Het - Male/Female > Draco/Hermione
Dragon prints: 947
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, and I will not make a profit from this story.

When I announced there would be a HTTYA3, I was overwhelmed with all of the positive feedback surrounding the idea! First off, let me start off by saying: THANK YOU to every single person who has stuck by the How To Train Your Auror series. It is my pride and joy, and probably my favorite thing I've written in the fanfiction world besides Starlight. I'm pleased to take you on one final adventure, paired with finishing up the Jameson Chronicles, which you can find on my author page.

If you haven't read the first two HTTYA's, please go do so now! Or you will be VERY confused.

I'm pleased as pie to announce waymay is back as my beta reader! LightofEvolution is here, cheering me on, and LondonsLegend has helped me fine tune the plot. She also gave me the brilliant title of this story, HTTYA3: Dead On Arrival. If you don't get that joke, it's a Fall Out Boy song, and my penname is from a Fall Out Boy song. Also, it pretty much sums up what to expect this time around. Be prepared for more twists, turns, crazy reveals, and oodles of sarcasm. Back to my previous point, this story wouldn't be possible without these 3 lovely ladies, the real Team Trio. And you, the reader, of course. ;)

Without further ado, I give you HTTYTA3: Dead On Arrival
Rating: M, for language, violence, and lemons
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, and I will not make a profit from this fanfiction.
Summary: The 3rd and final installment of the How To Train Your Auror saga. Follow Hermione, Draco, and all of our HTTYA brethren as they balance a Malfoy wedding, a gravely ill Astoria, a new Diggle, and a torturous serial killer as grim as their name!

~A.


"Leaves fall

Rain dries

Snow melts

Fame dies

Four words, simply

Grow old, with me

And when the day comes

When we can't walk no more

We'll have 2 seats, on my front porch

I'll still call you young girl

So young girl, rock with me"

-2 Rocking Chairs by Jon Bellion


Chapter One: Time Sensitive


"Draco Malfoy!"

It was in moments like these, Draco thought to himself, stepping through the floo having just gotten off of work, when he wished he could hop back through the green flames and volunteer to work overtime. "I didn't do it, whatever it is," he muttered under his breath, shrugging his work bag off his shoulder, which was filled to the brim with Wizengamot trials he was supposed to testify in later this week. He nearly tripped over one of Scorpius' toy trains in the process, catching himself at the last moment and fumbling forward to grab the edge of the leather arm chair by the fireplace.

Draco was exhausted. Working sixty hour weeks at the Ministry so he could take two weeks off for his wedding and honeymoon was running him ragged. His stag party was tomorrow night, thank Merlin, and he couldn't wait for some time away from the hustle and bustle of Auror duties. Just one more day of work, and he could kick off his boots, trade them in for some comfy dragonhide dress shoes, and drink the night away. Not to mention, he could come home and shag Hermione senseless. Speaking of the witch…

"Draco!"

Shit. That didn't sound like the voice of a happy bride-to-be. He straightened his posture and hopped over a few more of Scorpius' toys before arriving in the foyer of Malfoy Manor. A year and a half ago, this entire section was in shambles after his run in with Abraxas and the Sacred Twenty-Eight. But thanks to magic, they were able to make repairs little by little. Now, the entrance hall was hardly recognizable. They'd managed to open the floor plan and give natural lighting in the form of stained glass windows; the assortment of hundreds upon hundreds of flower arrangements, though, was not typical.

"Who vomited a gift shop in our foyer?" he asked, leaning against the doorframe. Hermione sat on her knees on the floor, her hair tousled and bushier than normal (even for her) and a stack of papers nearly a meter deep in her lap. Her eyes snapped up to his the moment she heard his voice, and she gave an auspicious smirk before ripping a paper from the middle of the stack and waving it around wildly.

"I've found it!"

"You certainly have," Draco nodded. "What have you found?"

"A copy of the order form you sent off four months ago to the florists. I told the delivery elves they'd made a mistake, but they only deal in their jobs, you see, and unless there's paperwork to back up my statements-"

Draco glanced around the room. "Are these our wedding flowers?"

"Yes!" Hermione shouted with aggravated excitement. "And now I can prove to them they're six days early." Her eyes scanned over the parchment in her hand. "...Or...perhaps not." She jerked her head up to meet his stare. "Draco, what's this?"

"What's what?"

"You've written a two here on the date line. It's supposed to be a seven."

Draco squinted his eyes. "Give me that." He waved his wand and floated the paper to him, careful not to get too close to his furious bride-to-be. As his eyes scanned the paper, his stomach dropped. "Well, I had every intention of writing a seven…"

"Why did I send a man to do a woman's job?"

"That's a bit sexist, don't you think?" he chided, dropping his smirk when he read Hermione's withering glare. "It's fine, Hermione. We can just put them in a stasis spell-"

"-For six days? And where are we to put them in the meantime?"

Draco rolled his eyes, finally gathering enough courage to step forward and offer out a hand to her. "This is a mansion, love. There's plenty of room for a cornucopias amount of anything - including…" He pulled her upright, scattering her stack of papers all around the floor. She looked as if she was about to protest before he purred in her ear, "a ridiculous amount of hate-sex."

"I would have to hate you first," she whispered back, her face cheek-to-cheek with his. Her arms curled around his neck, and she settled her weight against him.

"We could pretend." His hands slithered around her waist, drawing her even closer. "I could call you filthy," he nipped her earlobe, "and you could call me foul. We could make a night of it, and you could scream my name over and over and-"

From down the hall, the sound of the floo lit to life.

"Damn it," Draco growled. "I swear, if it's Potter, I'm going to get him a badge that says 'cock block prefect' and permanently spell it to his clothes." He grabbed Hermione's bum for good measure before releasing her and guiding her hand-in-hand toward the doorway leading to the hall. At the end of it, coming from the den, stood a proud, rigid auburn haired man with a swooping brown coat and matching boots. Attached to him at the hip was a small blond boy grinning ear-to-ear when he saw his parents at the end of the hall.

"Hermummy! Daddy!" Scorpius released Theodore Jameson's hand and set off running down the hall.

Draco nearly fell over at the force of Scorpius' hug, trying his best to keep an air of Malfoy posture to him despite the large grin on his face. "Hey, Scorp."

"How was Mum's?" asked Hermione, crouching down to give the four-year-old a hug. He reciprocated in kind, wrapping his stringy arms around her neck and snuggling into her nest of hair. "Did she have a good birthday?"

"Mummy's never saw a sea lion. She thought it was cooooool."

"I take it the sea park went well?" Draco asked Jameson as he approached. Quietly, as not to alarm Scorpius, he whispered to the Auror, "How's she feeling?"

"It was a good day," Theodore muttered quietly, forcing a smile on his face. The strain around his eyes told a different story, however. Ever since the discovery of Astoria's blood curse over a year and a half ago, Draco and Jameson threw themselves into developing a cure. Thanks to Jameson's parents' research, they'd managed to slow the spread of the curse, but nothing, so far, had halted the curse completely. As the months dragged on, it was obvious they were running out of time. Astora grew weaker each passing month until they'd forbidden her to use magic unless necessary, as it spread the curse. As such, Astoria was forced to do many things the muggle way - less Apparition and more walking, for example. However, this left her entirely drained, so it was up to Jameson to transport Scorpius when she felt at her weakest. "She's resting," he added thoughtfully.

"-and we saw a penguin, and a flam-in-grow, and a turtle. It was big, Hermummy. Like, this big." Scorpius threw his arms out as wide as he could.

Hermione giggled and brushed a lock of hair out of his eyes. "That's quite big."

"Albus says turtles can't get that big, but he's wrong. Isn't he?"

"Leave it to a Malfoy to try to start competing with a Potter at the age of four," she sniggered under her breath, exchanging entertained glances with Draco before turning her attention to Jameson. "And how are you doing, Theodore?"

Jameson simply smiled, still stiff in his posture. "I'm fine, Auror Granger." He frowned. "Forgive me. Miss Granger. It is difficult sometimes to-"

"-Don't worry about it," Hermione waved her hand dismissively. "Really." She stood up and rubbed the back of Scorpius' hair fondly. "I have some pancakes under a stasis spell in the kitchen. Would you like-" But Scorpius was already bounding down the hall at the word 'pancakes' and soon was out of sight. The three adults shared amused glances before Hermione crossed her arms and added, "I made the choice to transfer departments, Theodore, don't give me that look."

"What look, Miss Granger?"

"The one like you've just kicked my puppy."

Theodore blinked. "You don't have a puppy…"

Draco rolled his eyes. "It's a figure of speech, Jameson. Do learn to get out a little more."

"I would if Astoria felt up for it," Jameson replied, clearly not understanding this was a figure of speech as well. "Lately, it's all she can do to get out of bed, sometimes. She puts on a good show for Scorpius, but I fear the curse is progressing more rapidly." Pain encompassed his expression, but he attempted to swallow it down as he cleared his throat.

"My sources in the Research Division say there's a new discovery of a type of Valerian Root that we could try. I could have a sample shipped to you by the end of the day."

"Forgive me for being so blunt, Miss Granger, but I doubt the type of healing root is to blame for our shortcomings. There's something we're missing, but I just can't seem to figure out what it is. And what's worse is I know my parents were successful with this type of thing once before."

"I take it no success in tracking that witch down?" asked Draco.

A cold look spread across Jameson's face. "No." It was obvious he didn't want to go into it.

"Right, well…we'll get there," said Hermione, trying to ease the tension. "Just a matter of time. Some tea before you go, Theodore?"

"Actually, I have to head to work. Evening shifts for me for the time being. Since Tori's father is able to stay with her overnight, I've learned to appreciate those shifts so that I can spend my daytime with her."

"And when do you sleep?" asked Hermione thoughtfully.

"Between the moments." Jameson bowed politely. "I must be off. I'll just see myself through the floo again, if that's alright. Auror Malfoy. Miss Granger." He turned on his heels and strode down the hall, leaving the pair to themselves.

"He seems very stressed," she whispered when he was out of sight. "Maybe we should go visit Astoria more often."

"We need to be focusing on a cure," Draco muttered, carefully glancing behind him to make sure Scorpius wasn't sneaking back into the hall. To be safe, he waved his wand and cast a privacy charm before continuing. "It's why you transferred to the Research and Development Department of the Ministry, after all."

"Yes, I know." Hermione gave a sigh. "Sometimes, I feel as if we're all so busy trying to find a cure, we're forgetting to spend time with Astoria while we still have it."

Draco could sense Hermione's aggravation, and he reached over, entwining their fingers together. "You miss, it, don't you? Being an Auror?"

"Admittedly, sometimes," she said sheepishly. "I feel terrible saying that. Astoria's life hangs in the balance, and I miss catching criminals. How selfish do I sound?" She gave a tight laugh that wasn't at all happy.

"You're good at it - catching criminals. Not being selfish. That's my bag." He sent her a wink. "You know what would cheer Tori right up?"

"If I told her how you flubbed it up with the flower order?"

"Exactly."

They both grinned at one another. "I love you," she said.

Draco brought her hand up to his lips and kissed it like a proper Malfoy gentleman. "Love you too, know-it-all."

He leaned in for a kiss and almost landed it, too, before Hermione pulled back and exclaimed, "Oh! I nearly forgot!" She patted her pockets and retrieved a small envelope. It was addressed to both of them. "We have a letter."

"Both of us," Draco noted. "Interesting…"

"Yes, I thought so, too. But that isn't the peculiar part. Look at the sender."

Draco plucked the envelope from her hand and scanned his eyes over the return address.

Dedalus Diggle
303 Rowena Way
Kent, England

"Diggle?" he read and re-read the words.

"I remember a Dedalus Diggle. He was a member of the Order in both the first and second war," Hermione explained, eyes trailing over the envelope as well. "It never occurred to me to think he, Douglas, and Greg could have all been related, but what are the odds of him contacting us?"

"You think Dedalus Diggle is related to our Diggle?" Draco scrunched his nose up at the sound of the words. "'Our Diggle.' That does not have a nice ring to it."

"It's not nice to speak ill of the dead," scolded Hermione. "But, you're right. It doesn't sound great." She inhaled slowly through her nose, seemingly to calm her nerves. "Shall we open it? See what he has to say?"

"Maybe it's a thank you letter for putting Greg away in Azkaban."

"Again, it's not nice to speak ill of the dead."

"Yeah, but I doubt he'll hold it against us. He knew he was a sod." Draco turned the letter over and peeled back the wax seal, coaxing out the letter within.

Dear Miss Granger, Mister Malfoy

Dedalus Diggle, at your service. My deepest and sincerest congratulations to you and yours for the nuptials you soon will vow. I fear there is no easy way of telling you how terribly sorry I am for all of the grief my nephew has caused the two of you. I know it was not my brother Douglas' wishes for Greg to do what he did, and perhaps you can understand why I have not come forward until now. Our family is turmoiled with the stain of my nephew's decisions, but I, myself, am trying to make amends for Greg's transgressions.

I would like to invite you to tea at seven, the second of April, at my estate in Kent. The floo will be open, and I do hope you accept my invitation. There is much to discuss.

Dedalus

"Confident in his owl, isn't he?" asked Draco after finishing. "What if this letter had arrived tomorrow and not today?"

"The letter was sent with a Ministry regulation owl, which means it was forwarded from my office. It's possible it arrived yesterday or the day before."

Draco ran his hand down the side of his clean-shaven cheek, mulling the invitation over. "Do you want to go?"

Hermione chewed on her lower lip, as she always did when she was thinking. "I'm not sure. Do we really want to open up that can of worms?"

"Why would someone open a can of worms? Who is canning worms in the first place?" Draco asked, perplexed.

"Now who's the one who doesn't understand expressions?" she chided. "It means solving one problem only to create problems that weren't there in the first place."

"I find it difficult to trust a Diggle already."

"As do I," she agreed, "but Dedalus was an Order member. He's as reputable as they come."

"Greg Diggle was reputable as well. Look where that got us."

"But his father was an upstanding man."

Draco ground his teeth together. "So what do you want to do? It's your call."

"I think we should hear him out, whatever he has to say...I think Ron would want it that way."

The mention of the late Ron Weasley, in any capacity, used to make Draco's insides lurch with guilt, but nowadays, only a soft pang was present. "Another Diggle in our lives. Oh, joy."


They arrived through the floo at precisely seven on the dot, as per Hermione's diligent timekeeping. Scorpius held his father's hand when the stepped out, grinning like he'd just been gifted a new broomstick.

"That was fun!" he shouted. "Again!"

"Scorp," Draco scolded, "Quieter, please."

"Sorry, Daddy," Scorpius whispered. "Agaaaain?"

"Not until we're ready to leave for the evening," Hermione said, crouching down beside the child and pinching his cheek. She loved and hated the way his eyes glistened with mischievousness like his father as they searched the small living room adorned with mismatched, patched sofas and armchairs. Clocks filled every available space on the wall, ticking away. Some were small and muggle, others magical with various symbols. Each one of them held a different time.

"Great. We've wandered into a time-fanatic's abode," Draco muttered, turning around. "Dean?"

Hermione whipped her head around to see Dean Thomas sitting lazily on one of the sofas closest to the fire, mouth full of a biscuit. He waved eagerly at the pair, swallowing his food before brushing the crumbs off his shirt. "Allo, Malfoys."

"Dean, what are you doing here?" Hermione asked, helping Scorpius slide his tiny backpack, filled with toys to keep him busy, from his shoulders.

Her friend shrugged. "I assume you two got an invitation from Greg's uncle as well?"

"-Ahhhhhh, the Malfoys!" came a soft, friendly voice from the other end of the room. A cheery, older man in a mauve top-hat and fitted waistcoat held a tray of tea and biscuits in the doorway, his green eyes twinkling. It seemed all Diggles adorned the same pair of emerald orbs in their skulls. He wore facial hair in the form of curly, grey mutton chops and bushy eyebrows. "Welcome, welcome!"

"Dedalus Diggle, I presume?" Draco drawled, possessively taking a stance in front of his family. Hermione thought it was cute, considering out of the two of them, she had the better reflexes.

"Assumptions get us nowhere, but yes. I am he." Dedalus shuffled into the room and sat the tray down on the nearest coffee table. "So glad you could make it. Ah, and who is this strapping young man?" He grinned down at Draco's son..

"I'm Scorpius!" the boy said eagerly.

"Scorpius. What a fine name. Do you like cats, boy? My kneazle is around here somewhere. Fluffy little thing called Jinxy. - Jinx! Jinxy!" Dedalus called out, smacking kisses in the air, making Draco roll his eyes. A second later, the jingling of a collar could be heard, and a grey striped kneazle popped out from behind a grandfather clock, stretching leisurely. "Ah, there you are, Jinxy. Come here, sweet girl. That's it." He pet the cat behind the ears as it curled itself around his ankles, purring.

"Can I pet her?" asked Scorpius.

"Of course!"

A second later, the cat was scooped up into the four-year-old's arms, being squished against his chest. The cat mewled but otherwise hung there like a ragdoll, completely motionless.

"You have a lovely home," Hermione tried. "Very...punctual."

Dedalus glanced around to the clocks, smirking. "I do love a good clock. It's interesting, isn't it? We're bound by them. Here. There. All over the world, we're bound by the hours in a day. Time is a precious thing, Miss Granger. Or, should I say, Missus Malfoy?" He gave a wink. "Tea?" he offered to her and Draco, motioning to the sofa for them to sit. When they did, and were sure Scorpius was fine rolling on the floor with the kneazle, they allowed Dedalus to pour them each a cuppa in silence.

It was Draco to break the ice.

"No offense, Diggle, but why are we here? You've had a year and a half to contact us after Diggle's passing. Why wait until now?"

"Wonderful question," Dedalus answered, keeping an evenness to his tone which made Hermione skeptical. Perhaps she was only cautious because of being tricked by Greg, but deep inside, her instincts told her she could trust the man. "It actually has taken me a year and a half of legalities to finally obtain my nephew's final will and testament from his vault, which, as you know, is currently under possession by the Ministry of Magic."

Hermione felt her cheeks warm. "We had no idea you were trying to obtain his possessions-"

"-And you wouldn't have, either, I'm afraid. The legal departments for the Ministry like to keep those things hush-hush from the families of criminals and the like. It took a good bit of blackmail and knowing my way around the legal system to obtain simply a piece of parchment."

"So," said Dean, leaning over to pet Jinxy as Scorpius kissed his paws, "What does that have to do with us?"

"Straight to the point, aren't all of you?" Dedalus nodded sadly. "Very well. The truth. Greg left very specific instructions in his will, and..you each were included in it. "

An eery silence befell the room.

"Included...in his will?" Hermione gasped.

"Yes." Dedalus pulled off his top hat and revealed a scroll inside before pulling it out and replacing the hat on top of his head. "As awkward as this situation is, I find it imperative to honor my family's wishes. I did it with Douglas when he passed, gifting Greg with the family library. Which, incidentally, has now been gifted to you, Miss Granger."

Hermione's mouth went slack-jawed. She couldn't think - could hardly breathe. In shock, she fumbled out, "Why?"

"Why do you think?" Draco growled quietly. "Because the sick pervert had a less-than-innocent fascination with you."

"Well, it isn't just Miss Granger that has been gifted," Dedalus replied, trying very hard to keep his calm demeanor despite Draco's interjections about his nephew. "You as well, Mister Malfoy. And you, Mister Thomas. I don't mean to say you were all individually gifted. The library is yours. All of yours."

The trio exchanged glances.

"We couldn't possibly," said Dean. "The Ministry's confiscated it-"

"But in the events of a last will and testament, the confiscations of a criminal can be released upon his death," said Hermione, finding her voice.

"Why don't you want to keep it?" Draco asked with skepticism.

"I'd like to honor my nephew's wishes, if at all possible," said Diggle, stroking his mutton chops. "And I am an old man with no sons of my own. When I pass, I would have no one to gift the library to. It would be better if it went to someone who appreciated it," he glanced at Hermione.

"And what if one of us says no?" she asked.

"Then you are free to do so."

Draco reached over and clasped Hermione's hand immediately, as if he sensed her tension. Perhaps he did. "As a man who respects time, perhaps you could give us some to talk it over?"

Dedalus nodded. "Of course. However, this is a time-sensitive matter. I have an appointment with the Wizengamot in three days to approve or deny the request for the Library."

"Talk about a bonkers evening," said Dean, reaching over and picking up another biscuit from the tray on the table between them. "What? No one was eating any…"


Please let me know your thoughts and give the others a favorite if you haven't done so already? XD Really, there's no pressure! But it's always a nice thought. 

See you next Friday!
With love
A.



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