Every single part of Madison Danielle Markson’s body hurt. She had been awake since long before the sun was up. Her mother’s handmaids had woke Maddy up, forced her into a dress that was way too tight for comfort, and a pair of shoes that were way to pointy in the toe. Her long, normally stick straight hair was now thoroughly tugged and tacked into a ridiculously curly up-do that Maddy thought made her look like she had a dark brown bush attached to the top of her head. Her face was covered in a thin layer of pale goop to hide all of her freckles, her lips had been painted a dark red, and her eye lids had been painted purple. Dressed like this, Maddy felt like her older sister, Melanie, which was not something to be celebrated, in Maddy’s opinion.
“Miss Madison Danielle, is there anything I can get for you?” Miss Rosie asked as she put the final touches on Maddy’s hair.
“A couple more hour of sleep,” Maddy requested. Maddy could see Miss Rosie’s face grow uneasy in the reflection. They were supposed grant all of Maddy’s requests, and this one being impossible concerned Miss Rosie. “I’m teasing, of course. A mug of hot chocolate, as quickly as possible.”
“Yes, Miss Madison Danielle, as soon as possible.” Miss Rosie hurried off quickly. None of the servants much liked being around Maddy. She was too sarcastic for their tastes. Maddy reached out and plucked her ribbon off of the vanity in front of her, tying it quickly around her neck. Printed on the thick dark green ribbon was the symbol of her father, Lord Blake Marcus Markson, the Lord of Nall. Even though Maddy did not like being a noblewoman, she did love that ribbon, for some reason she could not entirely explain.
Miss Rosie returned with Maddy’s hot chocolate, and her elder sister in tow. “Oh, Maddy Darling, you look practically stunning!” Melanie gushed. Four years older than Maddy, Melanie was the perfect example of a noble woman and the daughter of a Lord. She was everything that Maddy was not. Any day now, Maddy expected to be asked to help her mother plan a grand dinner to announce Melanie’s engagement to one of the nice young noblemen in the Land of Krall.
“I don’t understand why I have to get all dressed up. All I will be doing is going to sit in a giant temple to wait around for hours until I can be tested for Magic.” Maddy complained, sipping on her hot chocolate.
“Yes, but you will be sitting with all of the men of you age in the Kingdom. They will start looking at you right then and there to see whether or not you are fit to be a future bride for them. After all, I hear that Young Jonathon Polis will be there today. Isn’t he born in your year?”
“Yes, he is born in my year, but I don’t see why Jonny being there has any effect on what I should be dressed like.” Maddy did not like the look that her sister was giving her. That sort of smug smiled on Melanie’s face did not bode well for Maddy. “What? What do you know?”
“Know? I don’t know anything.” Melanie would make the perfect nobleman’s wife. She was all about the wording, and saying things without saying them.
“Alright, fine, you don’t know anything, but if you were perhaps to speculate on something that may concern Jonny…” Maddy set up.
“I might speculate that I heard Mother talking with Lady Clara Polis about you the other day. Lady Clara might have said she thinks you are an absolute sweetheart, and she may have half a mind to make sure that you and Young Master Jonathon are introduced in a more official capacity.” Maddy made a face at herself in the mirror. Jonny, the only son of the Lord and Lady of Holl, was a good enough guy, and was a fun kid to play with when they were younger, but to court him…Maddy didn’t think so. “Oh put that face away, Madison Danielle.”
“You are not my mother, Melanie Amber.”
Melanie rose in a huff. “Well, fine, if you are going to be like that.” and gracefully waltzed out of Maddy’s room.
Maddy hadn’t been nervous about her Test of Magic, and she still wasn’t worried about her test, but now she was extremely nervous about what would happen while she waited in the temple.