Early in the Game (G; Minerva, Poppy; 200 words): Minerva's been dealt a bad hand.
"Oh, Minerva," said Poppy, seeing how stricken she appeared as she opened her office door. "What happened? Did the Headmaster refuse your application?"
Tightly, Minerva replied, "No. I'm to teach here, but I wasn't able to persuade him of the seriousness of the situation."
Poppy led Minerva to the sofa. "You need tea."
Minerva sat, hiding her face in her hands. Poppy pulled them away.
"No, you mustn't give in to despair. You're safe now."
"Am I? You didn't hear him, Poppy. 'If he's using you to raise the stakes between us, I warrant he'll follow you', he said, as if it meant nothing, using me as bait. Dumbledore's a fool!"
"But you wanted him to deal with Tom, didn't you?"
"I wanted him to involve Magical Law Enforcement . . . because I can't."
"Oh, Minerva, Tom's no match for the Headmaster."
"You haven't seen what he's been doing, what he's become, since we left school."
"Well, since you won't tell me about—"
"I can't, don't you understand? I've been hexed. Tom made it possible for me to speak of what I've learned to Dumbledore alone, and now he stupidly believes that I'm some sort of trump card for him to play!"