Today was the day!
Madeleine Paige Tennant had been waiting to be an RMI student for four thousand, one hundred and fifty three days, and today was the day!
She had laid out her outfit a week ago. It LOOKED like a plain white dress, but it was much more than that. Her Aaron-Dad had enchanted it so that when Madeleine’s dreamcatcher changed colors, the dress would change color to match it. She was wearing the dress with multicolored glittery flats, and Dad had French-braided her brown hair for the occasion before he took first-day-of-school pictures of her and her big brother Drew.
Then she and Drew waited outside the Finer Diner until their portkeys wooshed them inside—as staff kids they didn’t have to go very far—and Drew gave her one last big hug before he went on over to the Cetus bonfire. Then Madeleine just had to wait, dreamcatcher in hand, for her sorting. Drew said the smart money was on Draco, like Remy, but Dad thought she could just as easily be a Lyra, and Madeleine was pretty sure Professor Rob was rooting for her to be in Aquila, and she thought it could also be nice to be in Cetus with Drew and with Aaron-Dad as her Head of House. The eleven-year-old kept her eyes on the dreamcatcher, waiting for it to finally stop being black.
A flurry of little glittery star sparkle things came off her dress, and when their brightness faded Madeleine saw that both the dress and her dreamcatcher had turned Draco-red. Draco! Draco! Madeleine beamed at Drew and he nodded and gave her a double thumbs up, then waved her toward the red bonfire. She turned over her shoulder to wave to Dad and Aaron-Dad, then skipped over to the Draco bonfire and plopped down criss-cross applesauce next to an older student.
Madeleine was so excited about her very first day as a student that she had decided she and Headmaster Toby were in a truce for today, and she did her best to pay attention to his speech. She clapped super extra hard for Darlene (Drew’s girlfriend) and Huburt (Drew’s roommate) and Anssi (Drew’s friend and her new Housemate) being made prefects. Madeleine was surprised that Drew wasn’t a prefect, but she supposed it wouldn’t really be fair to make the Lyra and Cetus head of houses’ kid a prefect.
“Thank you very much,” she told the house elf who handed her a bowl of pumpkin soup. Mmmm. RMI had always had excellent food—Antoine, the head cook house elf, was a genius—but somehow it tasted even better now that Madeleine was a student. “Amazing,” she answered the student next to her. “This is the best day ever. I’ve lived at RMI for my whole entire life because Mr. Tennant and Professor McKindy are my dads and now I get to be a student! I’m Madeleine,” she added, not sure if the older girl knew her or not. They had probably seen each other around the school but Madeleine didn’t remember introducing herself before.