Sometimes—it was sad to say—Headmaster Toby did not have good ideas. For example, his ideas about Mr. Shifty had been bad to poor at best. Fortunately he had changed his mind, but Madeleine was still wary of Headmaster Toby. She liked him as a person, and certainly Madeleine Paige Tennant was not the type of person to hold a grudge, but sometimes she really had questions about his judgment.
Secret Santa, however, was a very good idea. What better way to ring in the season than for RMI’s students to embody it? As a firm twelve-year believer in Santa Claus, Madeleine was happy to take up the mantle for this event. She loved all things Christmas, from the food (anyone who disliked eggnog was tragically wrong) to the carols (Madeleine especially loved Ding Dong Merrily on High) to the decorations (the house elves always did a fantastic job, and Madeleine especially loved when the McKindy-Tennants decorated their own personal tree before Christmas) to giving presents (picking out gifts for other people was one of the best parts of the holiday season). And it was quite festive that Toby had dressed up as jolly old Saint Nick himself!
She had spent aaaaaaaages figuring out her Secret Santee’s gift. Two whole Galleons was more than enough to sort out an amazing gift for someone, and Madeleine loved present-giving as much as she loved present-getting. Madeleine was very good at crafting, and she was sure her recipient would appreciate special crafts, so Madeleine had made a bow like how Remy had showed her. She just knew that her giftee was someone who would wear a hair bow. At first Madeleine had thought about making the bow Christmas-themed, but then she realized that might not be the best idea for year-round wearability, so instead she had used ribbons in her Secret Santee’s House colors. That would be good for a few more years at least! With Aaron-Dad’s help, Madeleine had charmed the bow to give off bright sparkles when the gem in the middle was pressed. It was an impressive bit of magic and Madeleine couldn’t wait to see the look on her person’s face when she gifted it to them.
Before she could get to them with her gift (wrapped in the leftover ribbon from her crafting and some shiny paper), Madeleine was stopped by a first-year with a beautifully-wrapped box. “Oooh, for me?” she trilled, tucking her box under her arm to accept the present from Dmitry. “Can I open it now?”
Eagerly, Madeleine tore open the paper and opened the box. Inside was a little wooden egg-shaped doll, painted brightly in cheerful patterns. It rattled in her hand. “This is beautiful!” she exclaimed, turning the doll around to see all the colorful sides of her outfit. “Did you make this?”