"Rodolphus has always been an opportunist. If he hasn't had his hand in this from the start, he'll be in it up to his wrists by now..." Snape had managed to maintain a look of cool detachment throughout most of their exchange, and to most observers the change that came over him after Dumbledore had finished speaking was so subtle that it would go undetected. His eyes, still and dark a moment before, now gleamed like shards of obsidian. "I see." Better to crush -first-? It's hardly considered a first strike if your enemy has already dealt you a blow to the face-And if Dumbledore had only listened to him in the first place, they might have had the first strike, might have headed off the Renegades before they were even able to act- But Snape's remark died behind his teeth. 'I cannot allow this'- That had been as far as Dumbledore had gone to prevent Snape from taking care of the Renegades on his own. In the time since, Snape had done nothing to uncover Rodolphus' motives. He'd been so certain that Rodolphus would come to him before putting any plan into action...So certain that Rodolphus would honor the man the Dark Lord trusted above all others. It would have made no difference if Dumbledore had backed Snape's plan the first time around; he still would have failed. Dumbledore must have realized it. Why else would he issue as a command the suggestion Snape had made in the first place, if not to remind Snape of how totally incompetent he was? Snape dropped his eyes, his face paler than usual. "I agree." He said softly, hating Dumbledore.