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HiH Sugarquill; Snake Mafia Challenge: A Chance Encounter

Title: A Chance Encounter
Summary: Remus is on a mission to get in contact with a group of werewolves; Severus and Evan are meeting for a drink before heading to a Death Eater meeting together. By chance, the three end up at the same pub. What should be an innocent exchange breeds suspicion on all parts.
Characters/Pairings: Remus Lupin, Severus Snape, Evan Rosier
Genre: General
Rating/Warnings: PG-13/mild language
Word Count: 1357
Author's Notes: Written for Snake Mafia Week. Thank you to nathaniel_hp for putting up with my nonsense!

Remus stared at the empty butterbeer glass in front of him. He watched the froth as it slowly slid down the inside. No one was taking any notice of him as he sat in a dimly lit corner of the dingy pub. It was the sort of place where people minded their own business. Rumour had it that a pack of werewolves was living in the woods nearby – a pack of societal outcasts who would be susceptible to Voldemort's propaganda. Remus had been a frequent guest over the last few weeks, hoping to overhear a conversation that would help him find the pack, or better still, gain one of the member's trust.

In another corner of the pub, Evan sat nursing a mug of beer, looking over to the door every so often in idle distaste. He absolutely could NOT understand why Severus had asked to meet him in this pub, when there were so many more inviting atmospheres. He couldn't help but feel that Severus rather liked living the cliche of the creepy young man, and it annoyed him sometimes, especially since he was trying to work his way higher up in the Ministry. One couldn't become Minister for Magic when one consorted with people who were regarded as freaks, much as he liked Severus - and his ambitions to do so were one of the main reasons he was valuable to the Dark Lord. Among other things -

He was distracted from his thoughts just then as a shadow fell across him, and Severus' voice drawled out loudly, and lazily, "What the hell are you doing sitting in a corner? Are you TRYING to seem creepy and conspicuous?"

Remus' head snapped up. He would have recognised the voice anywhere. Severus Snape. Interesting. And promising. Remus couldn't usually contribute much to Order meetings, the dealing with the wild packs were slow and tedious, not to mention dangerous, if there were any dealings at all. This might be his chance to shine. Remus moved his chair to the side to get a better view, carefully remaining in the shadows. He couldn't see who Snape was talking to, and leant over slightly to be able to see past Snape's back.

Rosier! Now this was definitely interesting. Rosier was a known Death Eater, and the fact that Severus Snape was meeting him here was definitely worth mentioning at the next meeting. If only he could hear what they were talking about ... Remus grabbed his empty glass, carefully walking close to Snape and Rosier's table on his way to the bar.

"Sit down before you draw attention to us," Evan replied irritably to Severus, gesturing towards the other side of the booth and watching the teen comply with a disapproving frown. "I would really like to know why you insisted on meeting me HERE, of all places. Do you realise the sort of riffraff that frequent dives like this?"

Severus laughed sharply at that and then shrugged. "The beer is cheap, and the food is good. Plus, no one bothers me. Do I need reason more than that? No, I was actually just trying to get away from Avery, he hasn't left me alone for the last couple days. He doesn't think I should bother, and I quote, 'wasting my time' on applying to be a Healer."

He glanced around and waved a moment later as he caught the eye of the lone, harried looking waitress there, and then said quietly, "Actually, I just had my interview an hour ago. I'm not sure how it went."

"Healer, hmm?" Frowning slightly, Evan looked away and took a pull from his beer, making a slight face at the taste. Call him snobby if you like, but he really preferred the taste of good wine to this swill. "I suppose that doesn't surprise me. They'd be damn lucky to have you on skill alone."

Remus stood at the bar, contemplating what he'd heard as he waited for the staff to take his order. Healer, that was unexpected. But then, he'd never known Severus all that well. What he did remember was that Severus and Rosier had been close in school, so the meeting was probably much less suspicious than he had originally thought. What he didn't understand at all was how anyone would voluntarily agree to meet in a place like this, but who was he to judge – tastes differed.

Evan blinked for a moment at the back of a particular person at the bar, and then, after a moment of studying the young man, said dryly, "I think someone you are intimately acquainted with is trying to eavesdrop."

"I beg your pardon?" Severus said, startled, and looked around, just as Remus Lupin turned to look at them. Oh. GREAT. His expression darkened, and he said crossly to Evan, "Alright, wiseass, thank you for making it sound like he was my lover."

"Always happy to help," Evan replied with a small smirk, quickly hidden by his mug again.

Weeks of unsuccessful, or rather fruitless, observation and nothing happening made Remus somewhat careless, and he turned around half way to look back at the table – only to find the occupants looking back at him. Shit!

Remus could have kicked himself. Here he was thinking he could for once arrive at an Order meeting with some real information, but no, of course he had to blow his chance. There was no way he'd be able to Apparate AND Obliviate the whole pub at the same time, so some damage control was in order. He nodded at Rosier and Snape in greeting before he turned back and ordered his refill. He wanted nothing more than to just leave, but that would have been entirely too suspicious.

Severus stood up. "Shut up, Rosier. Let's get the hell out of here, I've lost my appetite." Not like he'd wanted to eat anything today anyway.

"Aren't you even going to say hello?"

"Fuck off, I mean it!" With that, he scowled at Evan and then walked right over to stand beside Remus, a stiffness to his posture that indicated he didn't want to be here. Without even bothering with pleasantries, or, hell, even LOOKING at the man, Severus asked with pointed annoyance, "Are you following me, Lupin?"

"I could ask you the exact same question, Severus," Remus answered pleasantly, but not without some bite in his voice. To himself, he added, 'Especially since you look so much more out of place in this establishment.' Unconsciously, he smoothed out his threadbare robes before he continued, "But to answer yours: No, I am not. I actually come here quite frequently, if you must know. The beer is good, and the food cheap. It's reasonably quiet and people leave you alone. What more could I ask for?"

Remus knew he was babbling, and probably also parting with more information than was wise. Even if Severus was not a Death Eater, chances were that he'd tell Rosier about this conversation, and he'd know exactly which part of it needed to be brought to Voldemort's attention. 'Blew it again, Remus. Just great,' he berated himself. He really wasn't made for this whole secrecy and spy business, he really wasn't.

Turning his head toward Severus, who was still pointedly avoiding looking at him, he studied his profile. It looked like he'd lost some weight, but it suited him. He looked tired, not as tired as Remus felt, but Remus recognised the strain that he was all too familiar with. He sighed. Things could have different, if it hadn't been for … oh, too much had gone wrong.

"I think your friend is waiting for you," Remus said with quiet finality that left no room for further arguments. He turned back toward the bar and took a healthy swig from his glass to wash down the guilt and regret that threatened to surface.
Tags: fanfiction, hogwartsishome, writing
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