Malina chewed her lip in consideration then smiled. "Is it the big tablespread over there?"
Meg Mowton nodded. "Very good, child. You win this round. So, think of you what you wish to make us try to guess, and tell us when you've made a choice." She glanced at the crowd of children before her and smiled broadly. "My, isn't this fun, my dears?"
Agalia le Fidele sat her chin on her knees and pouted. "No."
"Can we go now?" asked Thalia. "Please? Pretty please? With sugar on it?"
Meg gave a merry chuckle. "No, dear. No, you can't. It's not safe. Now, come, let's wait for the Princess to choose her object."
"But do you really know that it's not safe?" asked Euphrosyne pointedly. "I mean, really? It could be safe now, and you just didn't realize it."
"I could go check," said Malina. "It'd be real easy for me to just apport somewhere else, an' then..."
"But then the rest of us couldn't play the game," said Meg quietly. "Wouldn't that be bad?"
"Oh, right," said the young Dev eyes going wide. "You are a smart old lady!"
"That's why I'm so old, dear," answered the witch, leaning back in her chair. "Survived five wars, and countless plots by being a clever old thing and knowing when to fight, and when to run very quickly away, find a nice hole, and stay there." She looked around at the room's fine furnishing and gave a satisfied nod. "Must say, this is a fine one. Very nice. Clean too."
"It is the Chamber of a Thousand Painful Deaths," said Malina, smiling cheerfully. "It's very old."
Meg regarded her for a moment, and then coughed. "That is... nice to know. Have you made your choice?"
"Yep!" said Malina. She pointed to her wrist. "My bracelet!"
Meg sighed. "You're not supposed to tell us what you chose, Malina. Not before we guess."
"Ohhh, right," said Malina. She considered things for a moment. "You could all pretend I didn't tell you."
"Just make another choice, dear," muttered Meg.