Once again Mary explained the day's events
Abigail laughed, "He'll enjoy being in that freezer. I'll bet he hasn't felt that cold since Jennifer Jane made him."
Robert was just pushing the cloud into a workshop, so Mary went over and thanked him for the ride. Then she and Abigail walked slowly back to the front door chatting as they went.
"Come into the Refectory and have a chocolate swiss roll or two," said Abigail.
"That's an idea," said Mary, "you've taught Jennifer Jane how to make chocolate swiss rolls, do you think you could teach me how to do some magic?"
Abigail looked doubtful. "Jennifer Jane's a special case, I'm not at all sure that the authorities would let me show you."
"Just something simple," begged Mary, "how about a nice cherry cake for instance, it's one of Dave's favourites."
"Stay there for a minute or two," said Abigail, "I'll just pop along to the office and ask the senior witch if it would be alright."
Mary sipped her tea and had eaten half of her chocolate swiss roll as Abigail came back. She looked up hopefully.
"You're lucky, she was in a good mood and when I said you were Jennifer Jane's Mum she agreed. But only cherry cake mind."
"Great," said Mary, "when can I start?"
"As soon as you've finished your tea"
Two mouthfuls and a quick swallow later, Abigail lead Mary down to the basement and along the corridor, to the special room with her name on the door where she could work at her spells without any interruption.
"These rooms are all spell proofed so that any mistakes won't have any effect outside. Now then watch my fingers carefully."
Abigail demonstrated the required finger twiddle. She pointed her first and little fingers at the table with the middle two fingers pointing downwards. Then she straightened the middle fingers and flicked her thumb sideways. At the same time she pointed the index finger of her left hand and moved it rapidly backwards and forwards in a quick pushing motion.
"The left hand puts the cherries in," she grinned as she took a beautifully cooked cake from the table and handed it to Mary.
Mary cut the cake with a knife that was lying handy. It was absolutely perfect with evenly spaced cherries throughout.
"Your turn now," said Abigail, "don't worry about making mistakes, nothing outside this room will be affected."
Mary remembered the first bit of the spell quite easily but found it difficult to keep her fingers together as she straightened the middle two. As she finished, a splattering of cake mixture arrived on the table.
Abigail smiled, "Not bad for a first attempt. You must try and keep the outer fingers parallel, that's what keeps the ingredients together."
Mary tried to do as she was told and produced a lump of cake a bit like a cottage loaf. Abigail wiggled her fingers and cleared up all the mess.
"Now have another go and this time try and remember to put in some cherries."
Mary wiggled her fingers as best she could and stabbed at the air enthusiastically with her left index finger. There was a sound rather like a distant machine gun and the table was once again covered in cake mixture, this time embedded with dozens of cherries. Abigail and Mary picked out the cherries and ate them.
"At least I can produce something to eat," said Mary but my fingers are getting awfully tired."
"All you need now is practice," said Abigail, "but whatever you do don't try any other finger movements. Jennifer Jane can show you if you forget. It's very similar to chocolate swiss rolls, but of course you have to add the cherries."
Mary practised some more and found that the cake became rounder and more compact if she moved her wrist slightly as she straightened her middle fingers.
"Good thinking," said Abigail, "I think I can let you out now. However, remember that you mustn't let any one who doesn't know about us realise what you're doing, or you'll lose all your memories of the fairy folk."
Mary promised to be careful. "Life is certainly a lot more interesting since I've met you all," she said, "I'd hate to lose it all now."
"That cloud won't be ready for days yet," said Abigail as they came up from the basement, so as it was getting late in the day, she flew Mary home on her broomstick.