“So do we have an agreement?”
Albus Dumbledore frowned and laced his fingers together on the tabletop, studying the bearded man who sat opposite of him. The glass eye was disconcerting, as was the other man’s habit of staring for too long without blinking. Albus didn’t know if this was some habit common among his host’s kind, or just a negotiating tactic designed to put others off balance.
They were seated in a small cafeteria on the edge of a small Midwestern town. Dumbledore wondered why this town was designated as their meeting place, as it seemed more or less a random choice. The worthy sitting across from him was known for many things; randomness was not one of them.
“I admit your offer is...appealing,” said Dumbledore, carefully keeping his tone neutral. “However, I notice you refuse to specify the price for this promised service. How, exactly, do you expect me to buy a butcher’s services when he will not show me the bill?”
“Because, Albus,” came the smirking reply, “both you and I know that you need this. How many tries has the Ministry made at destroying You-Know-Who? How many tries have you made?”
“That is neither here nor there,” Albus replied, seething inside. “You can provide him with false information? And lead him to his death?”
Wednesday cocked his head in mock surprise. “Did we discuss death? No, I don’t think I’m selling death today, Headmaster. I think I’ll just remove this thorn in your side from the time being. Whatever you do with him afterwards is up to you. And I don’t think I’ll be naming a price.”
Because you know we need you, Albus though wearily. We need Voldemort gone, before our world unravels. You hold all the cards, and you know it, you vile old wolf.
An ocean away and several hours later, Albus Dumbledore tried to convince himself that it had been for the best. That Vodin wouldn’t demand too much, that innocents would live because of his bargain. He told himself that all day, and when he finally laid down to sleep, he had fortunately managed to convince himself.