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Written for the prompt "McGonagall, Sprout, and Hooch on tea break in the teachers' lounge, complaining about: a. Dumbledore; b. students; c. another teacher."


Pomona Sprout collapsed into a chair with an un-graceful thump.

"Remind me again why I ever thought becoming a teacher would be a good idea?"

"Because the alternative was to marry whatshisname and you had too much sense to do that?" a voice above her replied. Pomona opened her eyes to find a cup of tea levitating in front of her.

"Oh bless you, Rolanda," she replied and grasped the tea cup, letting the warmth soak into her aching hands. "On days like this I wonder if becoming Mrs. George Whitterby might not have been the safer choice."

"What happened?" Minerva asked, looking up from the pile of parchment she was grading.

"Miss Jessie Laband happened. I love that girl dearly, but Hufflepuff or not, I will be thrilled when she no longer has to take Herbology."

Minerva raised her eyebrows. "That bad?"

Pomona closed her eyes and shuddered at the memory of chasing down three dozen leaping toadstools. "That bad. The girl is as bad at Herbology as Longbottom is good."

"Don't let Severus hear you say that," Rolanda comment with a chuckle. "I've already been treated to three rants this week about the incompetence of Longbottom and the idiocy of Potter."

"That man," Minerva spat, "wouldn't acknowledge talent in a Gryffindor if his life depended on it."

Whatever Pomona might have replied was cut off by the wall calendar chiming loudly.

"Oh what now?" Rolanda groaned and went to check the calendar. "Merlin save us," she swore. "Albus has called another staff meeting. That's the fifth one in the last two weeks!"

She and Pomona turned to the Deputy Headmistress.

Minerva held up her hands in frustration. "Don't look at me, ladies. I'm finding out about these when you are." She gathered her papers with a sigh. "I suppose we should be off and find out what nonsense Albus is inflicting on us this time."

"Fine," Pomona replied, heaving herself to her feet. "But I give you fair warning now, Minerva - if he tries to make us do any more of those 'team building' exercises, I shall walk out the door and lock myself in greenhouse two until the spring!"


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