Severus Snape frowned contemptuously as the Death Eater meeting droned on. Most of the time, his undercover work was, while not always exciting, at least worthwhile in that he'd discover some secret he didn't know before.
This was not one of those times. This meeting had revealed nothing other than things he already knew: that Pettigrew was a simpering fool, that Lucius Malfoy was an arrogant pretty-boy, and that Bellatrix was…well...Bellatrix. Presently, she was gazing adoringly at the Dark Lord, occasionally pausing to bat her eyes at him or toss her disheveled hair. Severus found it quite sickening, really.
A creaking sound rang as a door at one end of the room slowly opened. A man stood in the doorway, clutching what seemed to be a plastic bag in one hand.
Voldemort's hairless brow furrowed. "Dolohov," he said coldly. "Late again?"
"A thousand apologies, my lord," Dolohov muttered. "I wanted to make sure that I could provide you all with snacks."
"I brought Firewhiskey," added Walden Macnair as he poked his head out from behind Dolohov's shoulder.
"WHEN DID YOU GET HERE?!" Dolohov shrieked with a sudden, startled jump.
Lucius rolled his eyes. "Thank you for the offer, Wally, but we already have plenty of Firewhiskey here."
A few hours passed, rather uneventfully, until Peter Pettigrew suddenly sat up sharply in his seat. "Wait, did somebody mention snacks?" he said with excitement.
"Um, yes, I did. Several hours ago," Dolohov replied, sounding exasperated.
That was certainly a delayed reaction, Severus thought.
"Wormtail, how stupid are you?" someone chimed in.
A confused look appeared on his face. "Uh...could you give me a hint?"
"If you'll excuse me," Voldemort said quite suddenly. "There's something I must do."
With that he disapparated, leaving the Death Eaters sitting in silence for a few moments before one of them stood up and slammed his hands on the table.
This man's name was Avery, and he spoke in a deep, gruff voice. "Ladies and gentleman," he said. "It has come to my attention that we have a spy in our midst!"
Severus desperately hoped he didn't look to conspicuous- but to his surprise, it was Dolohov who looked the most distraught.
"Alright!" he said, suddenly sounding quite panicky. "I admit it! I'm actually a spy!"
Bellatrix turned towards him quickly, pointing her wand directly at his throat. "Who do you work for?!" she snarled.
"Nobody…" he rasped.
"Nobody," he replied. "I'm just a huge busybody, really, I can't stay out of other people's business-"
"Are there any other spies here besides us?" she asked with menace.
Several Death Eaters gasped. Bellatrix, looking very flustered, started to mutter under her breath; the most noticeable non-profane words Severus could discern were "oops" and "stupid."
"Care to explain?" came a guttural male voice.
Bellatrix smiled sheepishly. "Oh dear. I suppose it's time I came clean, isn't it?" she said. "I actually work for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement."
There was a very long, awkward pause.
Bellatrix shrugged her shoulders. "What?" she said defensively.
"Well, you are a wanted criminal…." one of the others replied.
"Yeah...just a little bit," she said.
"And what, exactly, do you mean by that?" asked Yaxley.
"I don't know. It's kind of weird, actually. They sent me to do undercover work and then they just sort of...forgot about me? And then I showed up at the Longbottoms' fifteen minutes late with espresso-"
"Why were you bringing the Longbottoms espresso?"
"Why not?" she replied, and then continued. "When I got there, Barty had already arrived, Frank was sticking his hand in a toaster, and Alice was eating paint for some reason? And there was a crying baby on the floor covered in macaroni and cheese, and Barty just looked at me like I was stupid...And then I tripped over one of those wooden pull-duck things that babies play with and spilled hot coffee all over Frank and Alice and they started screaming and-"
"Bellatrix, if you had literally nothing to do with them going insane, why did you plead guilty?"
She sat back in her chair and propped her feet up on the table; Severus swore he heard Lucius crying and complaining about her damaging the mahogany. "The ministry's way of doing things is just to arrest the first person on the scene," she said. "Which actually worked out perfectly, because what better place to learn about the inner workings of the criminal underworld than a maximum-security prison?"
Severus finally spoke again; the last thing he needed was for someone to comment on how quiet he was being. "Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?"
"Sometimes Andromeda and I trade places for a day just to mess with all of you," she said. "Also, I'm probably going to have to arrest all of you when this is over if I want my job back."
"I'm a spy, too," Augustus Rookwood said suddenly, with some awkwardness. "Well, investigative reporter, really. I actually work for the Daily Prophet."
"No kidding, eh?" replied Walden Macnair. "I help Xenophilius Lovegood write for The Quibbler!"
Rookwood rolled his eyes. "Fake news," he muttered.
"Hey! That story about the woman who married an owlbear is completely true! I actually know her father's mother's brother's cousin's roommate's daughter's best friend, and he told me about it personally! Xenophilius even officiated the wedding!"
Rookwood groaned. "If you say so."
"I actually work for MACUSA," muttered a scrawny blonde wizard.
"Me too," muttered another.
"I didn't know you were American," Macnair chimed in.
"I'm an American," muttered the scrawny blonde wizard. "He's from Indiana."
Avery slammed his fist on the table, much louder than the first time. "Is there anyone here who ISN'T a spy?"
Severus could feel himself sinking deeper into his chair as Lucius Malfoy raised his hand.
Avery sighed. "Yes, Lucius?"
"I was told this was the rich people club!" he said, astonished.
Narcissa, who was sitting next to him, visibly rolled her eyes.
Avery's brow furrowed. "You realize, of course, that I'm going to have to tell the Dark Lord you're all plotting his demise!"
"Actually, I don't think you're going to tell him anything," Bellatrix said, moving closer towards him. "You're under arrest!"
Avery laughed. "What for?"
Bellatrix began counting on her fingers. "Let's see….murder, destruction of public property, destruction of private property, jaywalking…."
"You can't arrest me!" he said defiantly.
"Oh dear, looks like I'm going to have to add 'resisting arrest' to your charges. However, I might let you off with a warning. On one condition."
"Yes?" Avery asked.
"You don't tell the Dark Lord about anything that happened tonight while he was gone," she said, a more devious smile on her face. "So, do we have a deal?"
Avery shuddered and nervously nodded his head.
A few days later, Severus was back at Hogwarts, in Dumbledore's office.
"So, Severus, what did you find out?" the headmaster asked.
"Well, Professor...I really don't think we have any reason to worry."