Summary: After Evan, Severus and Remus leave the pub, they each report to their respective meetings. Information is exchanged, speculation ensues, and old grudges abound.
Characters/Pairings: Remus Lupin, Severus Snape, Evan Rosier, Albus Dumbledore, Sirius Black, Walden Macnair, Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange, Rabastan Lestrange, Varian Avery
Rating/Warnings: PG-13/mild language
Word Count: 1144
Author's Notes: Written for Snake Mafia Week. Thank you to nathaniel_hp for putting up with my nonsense!
"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.
For a long moment, Severus didn't move, body tensing even more at hearing his own words parroted back to him. Finally, hearing the sigh, he half turned towards Remus, expression guarded and a question on his lips that died as his gaze met the werewolf's for an instant. Despite the bite to Remus' tone, he didn't see any hostility in his former classmate's eyes, nothing except what he thought might be a tired sadness - for a brief moment, he debated on saying something ... before Remus turned back to the bar and effectively ended the conversation. Of course, Severus usually didn't play by the rules his peers put down.
"He probably is," Severus said in a quiet voice, studying Remus for a moment before shaking his head. "Funny, I come here off and on too, but I haven't seen you here till now. I hope you don't think this will make me stop coming here. See you around." Or not, he thought as he retreated back to the table Evan sat at and hovering over him again before tapping at his wrist.
Evan stood up at that gesture, nodding, and they left the pub together. He kept silent until they had gotten to the pre-approved Apparition spot, and hesitated a moment before looking at Severus. "You're very quiet for someone who just confronted their almost-murderer."
"Shut UP, Evan," Severus said quietly, slipping the hood of his robes up to shadow his face before Apparating on the spot.
Shaking his head, Evan murmured to himself, "Typical. Can't even talk to a friend about it." He sighed and followed Severus' example, Apparating as well to show up at the pre-arranged meeting destination just after Severus. Looking around, he saw that there were already others there. Bellatrix, Rabastan and Rodolphus talking amongst themselves, of course - he would recognise her stature anywhere, even hidden in the heavy robes that they all wore, and where Bella went, the brothers Lestrange went, these days. Walden, sitting in a corner and watching the others calmly - naturally. Even Varian Avery, his best friend, was there already, defiantly unhooded and staring over at Walden with a sullen little glare, as if Walden had mortally offended him somehow.
The familiarity of the scene made Evan smile a bit, and before Severus could get away from him to go sit with Varian, Evan gripped at the younger man's elbow and asked him quietly, "Did you at least get any information we can report about Lupin?"
"He claims he goes there often," Severus responded, giving Evan an annoyed sneer. "Either he was telling me the truth about liking the place for the same reasons as myself, or he's trying to get in touch with the pack that hunts in the woods near that pub. I'm going to go sit DOWN now, if you don't mind." He wrenched his arm from Evan's grip then and went to sit beside Varian.
Evan stared after him, lost in thought. Clearly, their meeting at that particular pub for a simple drink had turned out fortuitous after all, since they now had a clue as to whether the werewolf was an Order member or not. Not bad.
Meanwhile, Remus sat on an uncomfortable plastic chair – how the hell it had found its way here, he had no idea – Sirius and Peter to either side of him. Dumbledore was droning on about their current, less than ideal situation, though he made it sound like all the hope in the world was there at their disposal. Beside Remus, Peter fidgeted nervously, no doubt tired of hearing more or less the same speech every time they met. Sirius was idly playing with his hair, waiting for the more interesting part of the evening to begin.
Remus barely registered a word of what was spoken, even after they'd move on to the individual reports. He was unsure of what to do. Should he tell the others about this afternoon's meeting? He probably should, but something was holding him back. What if it had been a perfectly innocent chance encounter? But then, no matter what Severus had been doing there, Rosier had been with him. He'd definitely need to report on Rosier. There was also more than a slight chance that his cover was blown now. He wasn't sure whether he could go back or if he'd have to find a new place to get in contact with the pack. Remus sighed and rubbed his eyes; he was so tired.
"Remus!" Sirius elbowed him in the side and effectively shook him out of his thoughts.
"Wha- Oh, right. My turn?" The people around the table looked at him expectantly, so Remus cleared his throat and began, "Well, as you know I am currently attempting to get in contact with the wild packs up in the Dales -"
"Attempting? Come on, Moony, it can't be that hard to miss a pack of wild wolves, can it?" Sirius interrupted rudely.
Remus blushed and opened his mouth to explain to Sirius – and the rest of the Order – that his task wasn't as easy as Dumbledore had made it sound. Before he could even start with his justification, Dumbledore spoke up, "Please, Sirius, let Remus finish his report. Do you have anything new for us, Remus?"
Remus wasn't sure whether he imagined the emphasis Dumbledore put on the word 'new'. "I – I saw Rosier today, Evan Rosier. He was meeting with Severus Snape in the pub I use as my -"
"Rosier? Seriously? Why didn't you say so straight away? Death Eater, that one! And Snivellus? I knew it!"
"Sirius!" Dumbledore warned. "Go on, Remus."
"It looked like a perfectly innocent meeting between friends to me."
"Only that one of the so-called friends is a Death Eater!" Sirius scoffed.
"Well yes, but I overheard Severus saying that he applied for a job as a Healer. Not sure if that's important, but Death Eaters aren't usually Healers, are they?"
"We can't know that, Remus," Dumbledore interjected. "This is certainly interesting news. Anything else?"
"No … No, nothing. Just, I mean – I won't be able to go back there, will I?" Remus asked.
"It's probably best if you didn't." Dumbledore looked at him intently, and Remus knew what he was asking of him. He was going to have to live with the pack, in the wild – like an animal, stripping himself of his humanity in more ways than he dared to contemplate.
Remus nodded gravely, even as a small voice at the back of his mind told him that he'd be back at the pub, sooner rather than later.