You had to be a fifth year to start becoming an Animagus. Madeleine had asked Aaron-Dad and he said there were not exceptions and she couldn’t start early, but he told her all about how it worked and gave her some books to read about the type of transfigurations she’d learn once she was old enough to start.
Everything in the books was really neat and interesting, but so far Madeleine had learned two especially important things. First, you had to get really good at meditating. The book didn’t have a lot of information about meditating, but Aaron-Dad said it helped a lot with the process. It made sense to Madeleine. If you were going to change your body, you needed a really strong mind-body connection so that you could find your way back to it. That was what separated being an Animagus from just getting plain old transfigured into an animal. You kept your mind, and you could control going back.
The other important thing she had learned was that there was a ritual you could do to find out your Animagus form, and it didn’t involve any transfiguration, so technically it would not be starting early. You just needed a mandrake leaf and a potion.
The potion looked super complicated, but luckily RMI had the best potions professor ever. Professor Rob had helped Madeleine with super secret projects before, like the forgetfulness potion thing (which had totally worked because Mr. Shifty was back now!!), so she was a hundred percent sure that he would say yes when she asked him to pretty please help her make the Animagus form-finding potion. And sure enough! He did say yes, and he also understood that this was another super secret project. Madeleine knew that finding out her Animagus form was definitely not against the rules, but she also had not asked if she could so this might be a time where it was better to ask forgiveness than permission, because at least if she did it that way then she would get to learn more about her Animagus form!
Today was day three out of twenty-nine of keeping the mandrake leaf in her mouth, and it did not taste good. Magic things usually didn’t taste very good. Pepperup Potion tasted like way too much pepper, and Hiccoughing Solution tasted like stale crackers. But it was all in the name of moving along her Animagus process, so Madeleine was totally committed. And she was committed to the other part she could work on, which was learning how to meditate.
All she knew about meditating was that you were supposed to have contact with the present moment, and sit criss-cross applesauce and breathe deeply. That seemed pretty straightforward. And she wanted to be out in nature but not like in the woods, so she decided to go to the Quidditch Pitch. None of the teams had practice today, so hopefully it would be quiet. No one was there when Madeleine arrived, so she set up on the pitch itself. She arranged the Draco blanket she’d brought (it was red and had a gold dragon on it) into a comfy seat and sat down.
Meditating was hard. First she couldn’t quite get her spine comfortable, and then her nose itched, and then the wind blew her loose brown hair around into her face. Plus it was hard not to think about anything! Madeleine’s brain was always whirring away like a pair of fairy wings.
Then she heard a commotion and she had to open her eyes to see what it was about. Spotting another student, Madeleine put her hand up to give them a friendly wave. “Hi!” she called once she had tucked the icky mandrake leaf in between her cheek and her teeth. “If you want to use the Pitch, go ahead! I’m just meditating! Oh,” she added as the thought occurred to her, “you can join if you want!”
[OOC: Mentions of Rob and Aaron approved by Austin.]