Disclaimer: I oke up this morning and suddenly realised that I am NOT J. K. Rowling, and so unfortunately I don't own Harry Potter.
Minerva cringed as she heard those fated words. Nothing good ever came from those words when spoken from the mouth of Rolanda Hooch. She glanced quickly at Poppy who seemed to be looking for the nearest exits, she too aware of the danger. Minerva knew they'd never make it, and so resigned herself to have to at least hear whatever bright idea Rolanda came up with to cure her boredom. Luckily it was just the three of them in the staff room; the recipe for disaster while still quite potent was not nearly as dangerous as when everyone was present.
"Aren't you two bored?"
"No," Minerva and Poppy answered at the same time.
Rolanda sighed, putting her Quidditch book to the side and glaring at the two women before her. "How is it you two never get bored?"
Minerva peered at Rolanda over the stack of essays she was grading. "Because, Rolanda, we are adults with responsibilities and have no time for boredom. You, however, seem to be stuck in your teenage years."
Poppy made a noise of assent. "We have the ability to entertain ourselves, while you apparently need to embarrass others to be entertained."
Rolanda placed a hand over her chest in mock offence. "You can't be serious! I find no delight in embarrassing others!"
Minerva and Poppy merely snorted.
"Let's play a game," Rolanda said.
"No," came the response from the other two women.
Rolanda glared at them, leaning her head back against her chair in exasperation. "Oh come on… I'm in misery here. Just an innocent little word game; unless you're scared," she taunted.
Minerva rolled her eyes. Nothing about Rolanda Hooch was ever 'innocent' and her games were always even less so. "Rolanda, why don't you go fly or something? I need to finish grading these essays."
"Yes, and I need to finish reading the newest issue of Medi-Witch Monthly," Poppy said over the top of said medical journal.
"You two know that I won't leave you alone until you give in, so why don't you just go ahead and get it over with and you can get back to your boring existences," Rolanda drawled, her yellow eyes glowing with humour and challenge.
Poppy sighed, looking over at Minerva. "She's right you know. What say you, Minerva?"
Swallowing her annoyance she reluctantly nodded, against her better judgement. "You're right of course; the wench never takes no for an answer. Very well, Rolanda; let's get this bloody game over with."
Rolanda clapped her hands together with childlike glee. "Wonderful! Now, let's play word association… I will say a word, and you must say the first word that pops into your head in response. You're not allowed to think about it; you have to answer immediately. The first time you hesitate, you lose… and I know what you're both thinking! Don't you dare screw up on purpose! I expect you both to get at least five words before you screw up," she said sternly, fire in her eyes.
Both Minerva and Poppy recognised that look and knew that if Rolanda thought they messed up on purpose the consequences would be most embarrassing, whatever they may be. Rolanda was, after all, known as the queen of embarrassing others.
"Okay," Rolanda continued, "Poppy, let's start with you."
"If you must," Poppy said, looking resigned, but slightly wary, which was exactly how Minerva was feeling. The game sounded innocent enough, but Minerva knew that Rolanda always had ulterior motives when playing these little games; and it was usually to get information that she craved.
"Okay, remember, don't hesitate. Ready?" at Poppy's reluctant nod, the game was on. "Blue."
"Sky," Poppy answered immediately.
"Bacon!" Poppy shouted enthusiastically, causing Minerva to chuckle. Everyone knew Poppy's love for bacon; you practically had to beg her to hand over the bacon platter.
Rolanda too had laughed, before continuing the game. "Minerva."
Minerva smiled at that.
"Job!" Poppy cried, causing everyone to laugh. Only Poppy would look at sickness as a job, as it was her job.
"You hesitated!" Minerva found herself shouted, having gotten caught up in the game, much to her annoyance.
Poppy slapped her hand against the table. "That was so obvious too!"
Rolanda chuckled, turning to Minerva. "You're turn! Ready?"
Nodded, Minerva ignored her nervousness. She still had a bad feeling about this, even though nothing bad had happened to Poppy. Something always happened during one of Rolanda's games. "As ready as I'll ever be."
Rolanda smirked. "Here we go then. Yellow."
Rolanda and Poppy chuckled at their friend's obsession with the treat. Minerva didn't care much for most sweets, but everyone knew she could never refuse a Ginger Newt.
All three laughed at that.
"Voldemort," Minerva said, rolling her eyes as both the witches cringed.
"Filius," Minerva said with a smirk, getting caught up in the game despite herself.
"Albus." As soon as the name left her tongue Minerva clapped her hand over her mouth, her eyes wide with shock.
"I knew it!" Rolanda shouted, jumping up from her chair in her excitement.
Poppy was staring at her friend in surprise. She and Rolanda had been speculating that Minerva was in love with the headmaster for some time, but no matter how they pestered the stern professor she would never tell them.
Minerva was horrified. No one was supposed to know how she felt about Albus. She had kept it secret for years, even from the man himself. She knew he could never feel the same way about her, and she didn't want to risk their friendship. "Oh please… don't say anything you, two. I don't want him to know!"
"Of course we won't say anything, Minerva. But I think that you should," Poppy said seriously.
"Yes," Rolanda agreed. "It's painfully obvious that Albus feels the same way about you."
Minerva shook her head, standing and gathering her parchments. "You're delusional. Albus would no more think of me than he would of you, Rolanda. And I refuse to talk of this any longer. The only way I will ever admit my feelings for Albus is if he admits them first," she huffed.
That night at dinner, Rolanda managed to secure a seat next to the esteemed headmaser. "Good evening, Albus."
"Good evening, Rolanda," Albus replied, his eyes twinkling merrily.
"Would you like to play a game with me, Albus?" Rolanda asked innocently, knowing that if anyone loved games, it was the eccentric and boyish headmaster.
"What kind of game, my dear?"
"It's called word association…"
Hope you enjoyed!