'Hmm. I suppose some of the guess work has gone out of it at this point,' she says as a Wingardium Leviosa puts the last piece into place.
But, Ms. Bred! Isn't this a pleasant surprise?
'It is. It really is. I truly hadn't counted on it.'
Filius should be pleased.
'And I imagine Professor Sprout will have reason to be pleased as well soon enough.' (Not that they're going to include her. Really, in that light, Severus has no business complaining...)
Oh, Pomona wasn't likely to be offended either way, but if the Hufflepuff standard doesn't put in an appearance, I'll personally join in your letter writing campaign and send in an owl of my own.
'Thank you, Professor. I appreciate it.' The younger woman practically beams.
'What is it?'
Forgive me, dear. It's just a mite unexpected to find a Slytherin so concerned with equality.
'A levelled playing field has its value, even for us.' The slight hurt isn't audible in her voice, which is much better suited to her House than her thoroughly rubbish Exploding Snap face. Small favours.
Confronted with such blatant (and frankly negative) stereotyping, a certain ginger considers her response. It's not the first time, not by a long shot, and she's more weary of the mindset than offended at this point. Still, there must be a way to reach the older woman...
Ultimately she goes with what she believes might be expected, not wishing to present the Transfigurations Professor with a bridge too far.
'You find us ambitious?' Minerva's smirk answers for her. 'Where's the accomplishment in beating those disadvantaged from the outset?' Minerva can find no objection to that. She's still considering it when the younger witch continues.
'Of course that presents us with no end of difficulties when competing academically or intellectually with Moggies. They're apt to bring twigs to wand fights.'
Minerva blinks and then blinks once more, and then she begins to laugh. It's a deep, rich laugh, warm like a hug. Touché, Ms. Bred. Touché. I fear sometimes I let my own competitive streak get the best of me. It's been known to colour my thinking. (Not to mention her speech...)
'No worries, Professor. You're in good company.
'Race you to the lounge? Last one there takes the other's next hallway patrol?' Minerva has only just nodded when a Leglock sends her sprawling.
'See you there, Professor!' comes the cheery farewell as Minerva's Stupefy hits a suit of armour instead of the fleeing ginger to little avail.
I suppose I deserved that, Minerva mumbles as she Finites the Jinx. I'll be ready for you next time, Ms. Bred, she smiles to herself as she takes the nearest of the staff's secret passageways. There's still a good chance she'll catch the younger woman up.