"So Adam." Said Joe relaxing into the sofa with his tumbler.
"As it's Christmas and all." "uhmmm?"
"Don't you think I deserve something? You know as a reward." Severus tensed as he heard the whine in Joe's voice. After a week of being subjected to blue lightening and shrinking books, it was hard not to guess where this conversation was leading. "Have you been a good boy Joe?" "Come on give it up old man. You know I earned it. I've been patient and I should get brownie points for not ratting you out to the highlander."
"I suppose you deserve a present," said Adam.
"Ahh Adam?" said Severus trying to get Adam's attention before the mage let the proverbial cat out of the bag. Severus wasn't sure what the penalty in America was for exposing the wizarding world to a muggle but he was quite sure it was severe.
"Yes Severus?" said Adam with an indulgent look on his face.
"Perhaps..." he said pointedly looking down at his sleeve and then at Joe. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Joe tense as he worked out the veiled threat.
"No it's alright," said Adam, "Joe deserves to know." "Darn tootin'" snarked Joe placing his tumbler down on the low table in front of him with a bang and glaring at Severus. Severus conceded defeat. Adam was right Joe did deserve to know. Anyway, it was out of his hand. After all, what could he do against a mage. For that matter what could the American authorities do against a mage. Severus took comfort in the fact that he could always obliviate the barkeep later.
As if reading his mind Adam smirked and said "Obliviate is not an option in this case Severus."
"Wait a minute. What's obliviate?" said Joe, "it better not mean what I think it means."
"Yes it means exactly what you think it does Joe. It's a simple spell to erase memories."
"A spell? You can do that?" said Joe panic apparent in his voice.
"In general yes. However in your case it's not that simple."
"What do you mean?" said Joe. "As I was just trying to explain to Sev here. Normally I can just erase unwanted memories. But I can't do that in your case," continued Adam.
"Thank god for that," said Joe reaching for his tumbler and taking another sip. "Joe you're a watcher," said Adam as if it explained everything. Severus raised his left eyebrow at Adam in query. "Honestly what are they teaching young wizards these days? Joe's the watcher, Severus."
Watcher, thought Severus, why is that word familiar. It niggled at the back of his mind. Was it defense? History? "The eternal scribe?" mumbled Severus.
"What?" said Joe.
"And what about the eternal scribe, Severus?" prompted Adam.
"It was only briefly touched upon in History." Said Severus, "the current curriculum is more focused on the Goblin wars. But I seem to remember Binns droning on about a scribe in I think sixth year? Or was it the seventh? It's an old legend. What was it...uhmm? Something about, in the time before death, when gods ruled the earth, a mortal got caught trying to meddle in the affairs of immortals and as punishment he was doomed forever only watch and record but never to interfere."
"Give the boy a gold star!" said Adam giving Severus' head a condescending pat. "Bugger off," said Severus swatting Adam's had away, "what does the legend have to do with Joe?" Severus thought he heard Joe mumble something about how secret societies were supposed to be secret.
"No Joe," said Adam, "this isn't about the Watchers. This is about you being the Watcher." Joe looked up at Adam confused. "What do you mean?" said Joe.
"The Watcher, Joe. The keeper of the knowledge of man." Adam leaned forward and gazed directly at Joe. "You know that I'm the one don't you Joe."