The thing about Aunt Cindra’s Defense Against the Dark Arts classes, as compared to Professor Brooks’, was that fewer things flew right at your head in Aunt Cindra’s class. Clearly Madeleine needed to be much more on her toes for Professor Brooks, or she and Paola were not going to have a good time in this maze.
The spider hurtling toward them was wearing a tiny blue sweater (an adorable little thing with eight arm holes—Madeleine would have to remember to tell her cousin Kit later. Kit was crafty, she could totally make a bigger version for Darby. Not that he would need a sweater in Africa, but it was the thought that counted). Madeleine couldn’t remember which spell went with blue, but she figured that if she cast the Shield Charm, then she and Paola wouldn’t get hit no matter what they were actually supposed to do. Plus she was much more comfortable casting it than Expelliarmus or Stupefy, and better at it to boot. Plus-plus Paola seemed to be frozen, and Madeleine was the older student! She had to help her firstie!
Madeleine flung her arm towards the besweatered spider and shouted “Protego!”
Her shield popped up in front of her and Paola, and the spider—now satisfied, she guessed—turned right around and went the other way. Well, that seemed like what would happen if she’d done the right thing. Wand still out in case of any more surprises, Madeleine turned to Paola. “Wow that was fast. You okay?” she asked. “I like hands-on stuff but this class is pretty intense, you know? I never want to use this stuff for real.”