Remaking the Deal

Filius refrained from doodling on the edge of the parchment that he was taking notes on. This meeting was as boring and as meaningless as he had thought it was going to be. A quick glance about showed that the other Heads of House agreed with him. Not that the Auror that was talking to them would even notice. Most likely not even the other teachers could tell, but he knew his fellow house leaders.

This school year was shaping up to be as aggravating as last year, if not more so, which was a feat in and of itself as last year there had been a basilisk roaming the halls. This year they were faced with an escaped convict who not only succeeded in doing the impossible by getting out of Azkaban, but knew the grounds of Hogwarts like the back of his hand. That was, as long as he wasn't insane by now.

Sirius Black had once run about the grounds with one of the pranking groups, one of the more infamous groups. Only the Weasley Twins rivaled them in their knowledge of the school, and truthfully, Flitwick preferred the redheaded menaces to the other group. At least their pranks were more fairly distributed against the houses.

Filius leaned back in his seat, attempting to focus on the Auror. The teachers had come back this year to an unprecedented amount of meetings and their time to complete what needed to be done was being eaten away. The ones who this affected the most were the House Heads mainly due to the fact that they had more work that had to be completed within these walls. There was only so much you could do over summer break.

When the Auror brought up the dementors for the twentieth time, Filius made another tally mark on his parchment and cast a look over at Pomona and Minerva. They were the ones he could see without turning around. Pomona was tightening and relaxing her grip around her quill. Each time her fingers tightened, the quill came closer and closer to snapping. Minerva seemed focused on the man in red that was addressing them, but Filius could tell that her eyes were focused inward not outward. Her quill was not quite moving in time with the speaker to be taking notes.

He knew that his parchment was covered with notes on what he needed to do to be ready for his eagles. He had also written out the schedule for the seventh years. It was currently tucked under the parchment that he was using to hide his actions from prying eyes. In a moment, he was going to work on sixth year. He watched as the Auror scanned his captive audience to see if they were taking him seriously. Filius refrained from the sigh he wanted to heave. 'Albus has already covered most of this. And he did a better job at laying out the reason and the safety procedures in place. He at least was willing to say that all this was because they are worried that Black might hunt down Potter. This Auror just keeps dancing about the issue.'

Holding in the sigh, he realized what he really needed at that moment was the promise of a drink, some biscuits, and a good laugh. He flicked his eyes once again to his fellow heads, even going so far as to turn just slightly so that he could see Severus out of the corner of his eye. Even the Head of Slytherin was not completely paying attention. Taking care not to attract unwanted attention, Filius tore a small square off the edge of his upper parchment page. On the top of the fragment he wrote "F= the bowl". Using a charm he had learned from the Severus, he caused the fragment to appear in the center of Pomona's parchment.

Pomona blinked at the slip of parchment that appeared in the center of her greenhouse plans. A quick glance told her who it was from and what it was about. She looked back at the Auror who was now on his second hour of saying the same thing he had covered in the first fifteen minutes. She had lots of practice noticing when she was not holding her students attention, and also how to tell if they weren't listening. She made sure that she did not display the signs of her wandering attention, and unfortunately the Auror had no clue what to look for to tell. 'I hope that if he did, then he would have stopped by now.'

She glanced around at the glazed over eyes that were doing their best to look like they were giving their undivided attention to the man who needed a silencing charm. Looking back at the slip of parchment, she inscribed a "PS= snacks" under Filius' entry. She leaned over to dip her quill in the inkpot that she and Minerva were sharing, and she slipped the note into a spot where her friend was sure to notice it. It was a move she had seen students do numerous times, and if it had been Albus talking she wouldn't have dared, but at the moment she almost didn't care if the Auror noticed.

Minerva started slightly when Pomona nudged her arm as she dipped her quill. She threw a quick glance at the herbology teacher to determine what was wrong.

Pomona briefly flickered her eyes towards the note that was now resting under Minerva's arm.

Sliding the scrap over a bit, Minerva scanned it quickly. She made a few more notes on her parchment before she wrote on the scrap. She glanced across the room towards Severus wondering how to get the message to him. His eyes were fixed on the Auror, and the glare that he was sending should have ended the speaker's life. She remembered that he had been drawn out of his potions ingredients inventory for this meeting. Part of her hoped that the Auror was staying for lunch. If he was, she made a mental note not to eat whatever he did just in case the house elves spiked the entire dish versus just the man's serving.

She narrowed her eyes slightly, willing the spy to feel her gaze and look at her. When he did, she gave a meaningful look to the parchment scrap she had sitting next to the inkpot. When he flicked his eyes back front, she did as well. When she looked back down, the scrap was gone.

Severus had just finished deciding what he was going to give the long-winded, self-important Auror who had rambled on for an hour and a half too long when he felt someone's eyes digging into him. A quick glance showed him that it was Minerva. He caught sight of the tiny scrap of parchment that she indicated to him. He looked back to the presenter, hoping she would do so as well. He did not want to call anyone's attention to him at that moment.

Resting his fingers on his wand, Severus carefully summoned the parchment to him using a charm of his own creation. It caused the parchment to pop from one place to another. It was a wonderful tool when he was a spy. It let him look at plans without actually being near where they were created. All he had to do was look at the trash the others threw about the table. From that he could typically determine more than he could from the final plan. The parchment appeared in his fingers. Slipping it onto the table top he repressed the smirk that was trying to form. Jotting a quick "SS- the cure" under Minerva's "M – drinks", he popped the scrap back to Filius since he was in a position to let the other know that he had agreed.

Filius barely repressed the start when his parchment scrap appeared back under his hand. Looking at it he smiled and relaxed back in his seat. He notice Minerva and Pomona watching his action. They relaxed as well. A side look showed that Severus hadn't. Then again, the man was good enough not to give himself away like that. He looked towards the headmaster who was sitting in the front. 'Does he even know what we were doing? Is he even really paying attention?' From the back he couldn't tell.

Suddenly a house elf appeared in front of the room startling the Auror. "Tiffy wants to know where to serve lunch, Headmaster sir."

Albus looked at the elf, his eyes twinkling. "It is lunch time? Then we should repair to the Great Hall. Auror Stanley, would you care to join us?"

The man that had been boring them nodded in agreement. "I would be pleased to have lunch here. There are a few more points that I feel that I need to cover, so perhaps we can reconvene afterwards."

Severus' eyes narrowed slightly before he slipped out the door. He made it to his dungeons and picked out the small bottle he wanted. "Tiffy."

The small house elf appeared, her bulbous blue eyes widened slightly when she spotted the Potions Master. "Professor Snape, sir. Did Tiffy do wrong?"

"No Tiffy, you did just right. I just have one more thing to ask of you." He smirked when he noticed the house elf's grin. He handed her the small vial. "Spread a drop of this over the inside the Auror's cup, and lightly brush a drop over his silverware. Make sure that no one else gets any."

Tiffy's eyes brightened. "Right away Professor Snape, sir." She popped away not needing any other directions.

Severus rushed off to the Great Hall not worried that anyone would have proof of what he did. There were no portraits in his room, and Tiffy would not tell Albus even if he questioned her. Patting his pocket, he made sure that he had the headache potions that he had slipped in there.

Entering through the side door, he settled into his seat next to Minerva. Setting one of the potions next to her plate, he smirked at her. "I noticed you were starting to rub you forehead and thought you might need this."

Minerva looked at the offered vial. Looking up at the dark eyed man, she gave him a grimace that was a smile in disguise and tossed back the potion. "Thanks. Do you really think we will have to go back?"

Severus glanced over at Albus. "I'm sure that we will have to."

He watched as Albus signaled for the food to be served. Digging into his food, he decided on which storage closet he was going to start on first.

It wasn't long into the next part of the session that Auror Stanley had to rush out the door, heading for the nearest restroom. When he came back, Poppy took one look at him and marched him up to the infirmary. Albus dismissed them to do what they needed to do for the rest of the day.

Severus, Filius, Minerva and Pomona caught each others eyes. They would meet up tonight, normal time.