Everything was so awful.
This year had started out great! Madeleine was a second year which meant that she got to help teach first years, and she was playing Matilda in Matilda which was absolutely a dream role, and she and Dakota were spending more time together than ever which was so so fun, and Remy and Drew were dating which was adorable, and this was supposed to be a good year.
And then. Madeleine knew her brother had been tired a lot this year but he just said it was because he had a lot to do, and that made total sense to Madeleine because he was really busy for a sixth year. But then one day Kizzy popped into Madeleine’s room to say that everything was okay now but her family needed to see her in the Infirmary and then Dad and Aaron-Dad had told her before the rest of the school found out and Madeleine sat on Drew’s lap in the Infirmary bed and hugged him for twenty minutes because he wasn’t tired from being busy. He was tired because someone was trying to hurt him.
And that someone was Darlene, who Madeleine had always thought was just one of the nicest people in the world. They had had tea parties together! Madeleine thought they were friends! And all this time Darlene was making Drew sick! That made Madeleine want to use one of the new spells she’d learned.
But mostly it just made her sad. And everyone was talking about it, and some people had asked her about it because they knew Drew was her brother and long story short Madeleine had kind of yelled at Nylah Corbyn. It felt a little good at the time but even worse after, but fortunately Nylah had accepted Madeleine’s apology cookies.
The prospects of Christmas in May really brightened Madeleine’s spirits, so she wrapped herself up in her puffy pink winter coat and her owl-shaped mittens and her Marky scarfy and her cozy knit hat with the puffskein pompom on top and waddled to the Quidditch Pitch. And it did immediately make her feel much, much better. Snow was the perfect combination of peaceful and fun and Madeleine could almost forget completely about all of the bad stuff when there was a snowman that needed building.
She rolled a gigantic ball for the snowman’s bottom, and then another slightly smaller ball for his torso, humming wintery songs to herself. The next step was to put the torso on top of the bottom but Madeleine very quickly found that either she was not strong enough or the snow was much too big. She had her wand with her so she could levitate it, in theory, but the wand was underneath her puffy coat and it would be so cold if she took it off. Spying another student nearby, she gestured to the disassembled snowman and called out, “Hey, can you help me put him together? It's too heavy for me.”