It was not as though Eric extended his hand to the stranger: no harm, no foul. The unfriendliness of this particular individual grew irritating rather quickly, and as much as they seemed to want to escape one another, that became the point Eric knew it would be far more enjoying to force a conversation.
Regardless, Eric was no good talking about much other than politics (for which, he thought, he had all the solutions to all the problems within the Ministry, real or conceived within his own imagination) and Rugby (which he rarely had the opportunity to talk about in the wizarding world).
The smile remained, "are my big words too much for you?" he asked, turning his body so that he no longer faced the stranger. A small, old wizard sitting on the other side of Eric informed Eric that this 'stranger' was, in fact, a professional Quidditch player. Eric did not quite catch the name as the wizard mumbled something else before stepping down and wandering off. The name did not matter—now Eric knew what he was up against.
"Somewhere close?" he asked in a surprised and incredulous tone. "Look outside, mate! The war is on the doorstep. It's not close, you're standing in the middle of it all. The enemy and the friend, whatever your alliance, in the same city, on the same street, in this pub... Can you not see what this war is doing to people? Do you not see the homeless in Diagon Alley, crowding St. Mungos for a free meal and a warm bed, and panhandling in muggle London for anything they can get? You're a Quidditch player: a professional, an idol or some, a role model, and people listen to you. If you were at least trying to make a difference in this war, I'd've seen your name in the papers. If you remain indifferent to this war, and you're the reason others do nothing, then you should be aware of what kind of damage being inactive can do."
Eric would have appreciated a position of influence like Marcus had. Even if Eric disagreed with Marcus, he thought it better for people to choose a side rather than sit on a fence and ignore the elephant.