Sighing a bit, Eric grew tired of playing the game with Rodolphus—the pissing contest needed to end. The only reason Eric pushed Rodolphus that far had been because he sat within the comfort of the Ministry and witnesses that, he assumed, would have done something to counter any attack, hex, or torture Rodolphus spit at Eric.
But Rodolphus was not the only one annoyed. If Eric could have walked away, he probably would have—he did plenty of times, even in the last few weeks. Diagon Alley was not somewhere he necessarily found fantastic conversation (though the drunken old wizard at The Leaky Cauldron at 2 o'clock in the afternoon in the middle of the week he could not help but encourage).
Peering at Lestrange over the top of his copy of Witch Weekly—surprised, to say the least, that Rodolphus had yet to comment on his choice of literature—Eric said nothing right away. "What is your business in the Atrium?" he finally asked, keeping his voice even and professional.