Everything had happened so fast - one morning she was feeding chickens and the next she was in this old castle.
Miss Amelia spent the rest of the day helping out in the farmhouse kitchen. She even had a gift of a lovely ham so they had a meal as fine as Sunday, and she peeled turnips and washed pots and Ma said she was not behaving as a proper guest should, but Miss Amelia laughed it off.
After supper, though, when it started to go dark, Miss Amelia got all serious. "Mr. Hensley, Mrs. Hensley, I'm afraid it's time now." She took out her wand, which was long and flexible and pretty like her and said a few words. Next thing Maggie knew, she was in her mother's arms.
"Be a good girl, Maggie, and listen to your teachers, so you'll come back to us a fine lady what can read and write and make us proud."
And her father was bending down from his great height and kissing her on the head. "We'll miss our poppet and her pretty things, but it's the best thing for you. Do as Ma says and Lord bless you and your teachers."
Maggie couldn't say anything, she was crying so hard, but she nodded and kissed them both, and her sisters and brothers, especially the baby in her crib. And then she bundled her Sunday dress and her good shoes and put on her hat and took Miss Amelia's hand. Miss Amelia's hand was soft and smooth, like a lady's, not like Ma's.
As they walked out the door, Maggie wondered a little if she'd ever go back. It was dark and clear outside, and not a little cold. Miss Amelia reached into her piecebag and pulled out a handful of toys - cloaks for a doll and a tiny broomstick and a little satchel. Then she waved her wand and they all grew! One cloak was bright, bright blue, like a robin's egg, and it fit Maggie perfectly, and was so warm! Miss Amelia put on the other one and stuffed Maggie's clothes into the satchel, then put her hand over the broom and said, "UP!"
And the broom jumped right into Miss Amelia's hand. "You'll be doing this yourself soon enough." She had the nicest laugh. She put a leg over the broomstick and then had Maggie sit on it in front of her. "Hold tight, dear, and remember that I have you." And then they were flying - actually flying!
They spent the night with a nice lady and her husband, who both had red hair and who both teased her about someone named Richard. Then they traveled by fireplace - Maggie didn't even know you could travel by fireplace - to a tavern called the Hogs Head, and they took a carriage with the prettiest horses to a great old castle.
The rest of the day wasn't so much fun, but oh, it was busy. Maggie met Daisy when they were in the hospital wing, while a mediwizard named Mr. Balm waved his wand over them. Maggie felt perfectly well, and so did Daisy, but he gave them both nasty potions to take - different ones, too, and told Miss Amelia to get them baths. On the way out, they saw three boys waiting with a man about Miss Amelia's age. Then there was dinner - so much food! - and a trip back to the village to get new robes for all five of them, and they got books and quills and parchment, too. And after that was supper and they all had baths even though it wasn't Saturday night, and they had their own water each, and it foamed and smelled like flowers. She could hear Dickon screaming because he'd never had a bath before.
He screamed louder when he found out he'd have one every night.
And later, Davy told them that Dickon had got water all over the bathing room, too. Just by shouting. And Mr Douglas didn't know if he should laugh or get mad.
And now she could hear him cursing over the letters and numbers Professor Longbottom was teaching them, even when the letters on the board became moving pictures of the things they were spelling.