Madeleine had lived at RMI for her whole entire life and there had never been a carnival before! AND, even better, Headmaster Toby had made a blanket exception so everyone could go to Pearl Street, even first and second years. Madeleine had not wholly forgiven Toby yet for the situation with Mr. Shifty—the girl knew how to hold a grudge—but the fact that the poltergeist was back among his people and also Toby was being super nice this year made her loosen her grip a little.
Assured that this was the kind of event you could go to as a witch, the twelve-year-old put on her green knit tights and a long-sleeved dress (printed with unicorns that frolicked and gamboled, thanks to Aaron) and her midnight blue pointy witch hat. It was charmed not to blow off in a strong wind, so it would probably be fine on any of the carnival rides. Just in case she needed to take the hat off, though, she’d brought her purse, a pocketbook on a strap made out of a hollowed-out copy of Nancy Drew Mystery of the Tolling Bell that had an undetectable extension charm so it was bigger on the inside. Dad gave her a little money for the carnival and Madeleine was off to the races!
First things first: face paint. The artist, Destinee, was super talented and painted a unicorn that looked just like the ones on Madeleine’s dress, and frolicked across her freckled nose between her two cheeks. Next, she wanted a snackeral. There were so many choices that it took her a looooong time to pick, but as Madeleine looked at the options one question kept coming back to her: how did they get the mac and cheese to stay on a stick? The answer, she discovered, after ordering that and a deep fried cauldron cake, was deep frying the pasta into balls, and the result was delicious.
She finished the stickful of mac and cheese and was nibbling at the cauldron cake when she spotted it: a magnificent plush rabbit with a unicorn horn, hanging as a prize at the hippogriff racing game. It was so fluffy. And it would make a great friend for Woosh, Madeleine’s stuffed dragon!
There was just one problem: Madeleine couldn’t cast Aguamenti. She would need some help. Looking around, Madeleine saw a Trusted Person (aka an older RMI student—she trusted all of them) and skipped over to them. “Hi! Would you help me win that Al-Mi’raj?” she asked, pointing at it. “You can have some of my deep fried cauldron cake in return,” she singsonged temptingly.