JKRowling owns Harry Potter and all the characters in that story.

FASA owns Earthdawn

§ - Parseltongue will start and end with § and be in italics. §"Example of Parseltongue"§


Special thanks to my Beta Reader, the 'MoleOfWar' for the excellent feedback and diligent work in making the story better.



Diagon Alley, London

Early Morning

Joseph Selwyn slowly walked down Diagon Alley toward the law firm his family had used for generations. A few shoppers were moving about, collecting odds and ends. All said, the alley was reasonably quiet and the smell of baked bread filled the crisp autumn air. He loved the alley when it was like this. It was nothing like the chaos of August, where families were busy shopping for school supplies. The noise and chaos drove away all who didn't have to be there.

As he walked, he considered what Narcissa told him. Would Potter actually see reason? He doubted it. After all the boy had been through, he'd never accept anything less than a complete victory. Not that the plans could be changed at this stage. No, too many moves were already in motion and too many galleons had been spent. The die had been cast and now it was a waiting game.

Joseph had been playing the long game and it was finally paying off. He'd been romantically involved with Narcissa and gathering intel over the last two years. He and his colleagues had slowly been tracking the movements of the Black family. They had done this by tracking when Narcissa was and wasn't available. They'd carefully noted her interactions with her sister and triangulated it with when she'd accepted and declined romantic liaisons.

It was akin to seeing a picture by focusing on the negative space, but he and his associates had slowly and meticulously reached a point where they could predict the movements of Narcissa and, to a degree, her sister. Potter was near impossible to predict, but Andromeda Black was not. The therapy sessions with her grandson. Appointments to meet with the Ministry. Shopping trips that always ended with either ice-cream at Fortescue's or drinks at the Wyvern, depending of if she had the child. But whenever Narcissa mentioned 'Family Obligations', there was a scheduled trip to visit different the different charities the Blacks and the Malfoys favoured.

Now he just had to determine the 'when'. That was the tricky part. Push too hard, and it all comes down like a deck of cards. Too gentle, and nothing is learned until after the fact. But if he was right, this was the opening they needed. They'd check recent movements and determine which charity was due for a visit. With scrutiny, they should be able to determine which charities need Lady Black's attention. Perhaps… perhaps they could even influence the sequence of charitable visits. A subtle spell here or there and one charity would be moved to the top of the list.

But first he needed to know which day the visitation was to take place. Then they could signal their operatives in both London and South America. Timing was critical. With a little luck, Narcissa could be protected. He'd come to care for her… but, if necessary, he'd see her burn with the rest of the Blacks.

Hopefully, it wouldn't be necessary.


The South American Rain Forest

Hogwarts and Castello dos Bruxos Base Camp

Mid Afternoon

Harry took deep breath while standing in the middle of the campsite. There was no other way to describe that deep breath other than 'clean'. It was wet and green with the scent of a fresh rain. It teemed with life and sound, but the underlying magic of it was what drew him in. He'd been here years before, but it always affected something in him. Then again, most forests did. They were all different. Special in their own way. Full of magic and mystery. It was very different from forests in the British Isles. It felt both less tamed and less dangerous, but no less mysterious. For some reason, Harry wondered how well an oak tree would thrive there.

He decided it definitely would not.

He and Aina stood at opposite ends of a circle, twenty feet in diameter. In the centre, a glowing image was suspended between them. A glowing ethereal oak tree stood in the centre with multiple concentric circles around it. On each circle rested a pulsing shape. Cubes, Diamonds, circles, Octagons, and more. All slowly circling the tree at the centre. It was a representation of the primary elements and the centre element of Wood. They had spent the last hour trying to determine how many hybrid elements existed between each of the 'pure' elements. Above the tree was the realms of Spirit, the high Umbra where thought and magic were the same. Below the tree, nestled in the roots, was the underworld. The Lower Umbra. It was all esoteric, but a fun exercise to determine where their knowledge overlapped and where they differed.

They both chose to ignore the students trying so hard to inconspicuously watch their work.

Aina said, "Your elemental theory has its roots in Shoshanna, but clearly there are other influences. Theran, Landis, Fomorian… but Shoshanna at its core. Not many modern practitioners even consider Wood to be a pure element."

Harry smirked and said, "It'd be hard not to, considering I'm so closely linked to an ancient Elder Wood Elemental."

"Right." Aina slowly dispersed the image between them. "There is much of your magic that carries the signature of Oak Heart."

"Well, years ago, my magic was damaged. Oak Heart and a Blood-Rose Elemental rebuilt it. She's as much a part of me as Oak Heart." She was his wild side. Or was it Wyld side?

"I know her presence well. Many of my people do." Her face turned dark, the pain she felt was etched on her face. "She was summoned to aid in resisting an outer-planar incursion, thousands of years ago. The last Scourge."

Harry nodded silently. He knew this story. It was a tale of loss and pain. One that nearly destroyed Oak Heart due to the refusal of an ancient queen to make the ultimate sacrifice for her people. He and Rose had repaired the damage.

He and Aina finished their exercise and removed the faint traces of their magic. It was quiet and calming work. Very few people could match his knowledge and talent, but in Aina he'd found a person he could collaborate with.

Once the clean-up was complete, Aina said, "I'm turning in now, Harry. Today has been illuminating."

"Thanks." He wasn't sure what else to say as it wasn't really that late. Aina was like that, though. Hard to predict and mysterious.

She casually entered her own tent and closed the flap, leaving him with the majority of the evening to do whatever he wanted.

He could practice wood weaving, but he'd done enough of that this week. No, he needed to plan out the next phase of the trip. Soon they would depart from the joint school expedition and head into the mountains. As he considered the timing, he sensed someone approaching him from the Hogwarts side of the camp.

A young man's voice said, "Mr. Potter?"

This was the student Pomona had been favouring over the last few days. The unpopular one avoided by the other students. He was a medium height young man with light brown hair and an average build. Over the last few days, Harry had observed him and decided he was rather sharp and definitely knew his plants. He was the sole Slytherin student.

Harry adopted a polite smile as he turned to the teen. "Can I help you?"

"I thought this might be a good time to introduce myself, my name's Christopher Stevens. My friends call me Chris."

"It's nice to meet you… I guess you know my name." Should he call him Chris or Mr. Stevens? 'Stevens' certainly wasn't a pureblood name. Of course, neither was 'Potter'.

"Yes, sir." Chris shifted and grinned. "We all know you." Harry started to protest being called a 'sir', then remembered he'd be teaching soon. Still, it seemed off out here in the rain forest.

"Let's keep things informal until school starts. Call me Harry." Twenty-one really was too young to be a sir. "What can I do for you?"

"I'm one of next year's Prefects and thought it prudent that we got to know each other." He sounded rehearsed. He hesitated and added, "Slytherin House prefect."

"Right. I'm the Head of Slytherin House." Would he ever get used to that?

Chris fidgeted, then asked, "Are you comfortable being affiliated with Slytherin?"

"Well, I'm traveling with Draco Malfoy - a former Slytherin. My adopted mother was a Slytherin." He raised his eyebrows and grinned. "I'm dating a gorgeous woman from Slytherin… And I'm a descendant of Salazar himself." He held up his hand showing the Gaunt family ring, then added, "Through my supposedly Muggle-born mother."

Chris smiled and nodded. "So much for Blood Purity. My mum's a Muggle-born."

"And you're a Prefect." No point adding more to that. "So, can you tell me a little about how things are at Hogwarts?"

Chris looked away briefly, but it was telling. "They're… alright I suppose."

"Right." Harry glanced over at the rest of the Hogwarts group. "I couldn't help but notice how none of the other Hogwarts students… Well, they look a bit standoffish." Flat out rude was closer to the truth.

Chris shrugged. "Sour grapes. Now that Professor Longbottom has completed his apprenticeship, Professor Sprout decided to take on another apprentice." He grinned and pointed both thumbs at himself. "After graduation, I'll apprentice under her for at least two years earning a Mastery in Herbology."

"Yikes! You beat out a bunch of Badgers to work with Sprout!" He shook his head and snorted. "No wonder they're piss… annoyed."

Chris rubbed the back of his neck and looked over at the Hogwarts students. "It was a coveted position, but I earned it." He was clearly the odd man out.

Harry caught his attention. "Well, I know what that's like. The resentment."

Chris gave him a side look and a half grin that showed he clearly didn't believe him.

"No, really. When I was forced into the Tri-Wizard Tournament, the whole school pretty much turned on me. I was cursed in the halls, ambushed between classes, even ejected from Gryffindor."

"You were ejected from Gryffindor?" The young man's eyes were wide in disbelief.

"Oh yeah. And I have no desire to ever re-join." Harry grinned as he saw Chris struggling for words. "I guess I'm a Slytherin now, Head of House and all." It didn't bother him the way it once had.

Chris' relaxed slightly. "I spend a lot of time dodging hexes and jinxes. Most of Slytherin House is targeted." He then added, "It's been better lately. The instigators were suspended, things got better, but it hasn't completely ended."

"I see." Looks like his work with Bill had been partially successful. "I'm fairly sure I can put a hard stop on all that. Well, the majority of it."

"Most of us are hoping you will." His words were calm and quiet. "The last few years have been rough."

"When you say 'most of us', who are you excluding?"

Chris visibly tensed and his hands clenched. "Not everyone is glad You-Know-Who is gone. The… inter-house animosity plays into their rhetoric." He gave Harry a timid look and added, "You'll find out soon enough, but most of us sorted in Slytherin just want it all to end."

"Right." Harry recalled how alone he once felt at Hogwarts. "The Conservative Blood Purist faction likes the power they get from it."

Chris nodded hesitantly. "Not just them. There are plenty with a score to settle. Lots of people lost family on both sides."

"Trust me, I know how Gryffindors can act." Pausing briefly, he said, "But to be fair, I always thought the Hufflepuffs were the worst."

Chris scrunched his face, but didn't say anything. Clearly, he was watching his words.

Harry glanced back across camp at the other Hogwarts students noting they quickly looked away. "They think we're talking about them. I guess we are… the Puffs pride themselves on being the kindest and most loyal house, but it always seemed like they were mostly just circling the wagons. They'll close ranks at the drop of a Knut." Painful memories of second and fourth year. The Slytherin were horrible too, but no point bringing that up.

He grinned at Chris and said, "I used to refer to Hufflepuff as the 'Gossip House'."

Chris smiled back at him. "They can be a handful."

"You're choosing your words wisely. That'll take you far. Especially given your apprenticeship." Maybe I've said too much. "Every house has its own problems, just know that after you graduate, almost none of it matters. Pomona is a good person. You'll do well as an apprentice with her."

"Professor Sprout's been great." He looked back at the Hogwarts side of the camp. "I should be going back; it's been nice talking with you."

"You too." Harry shook the young man's hand and headed into Draco's tent. He needed to review the potential Inca sites he wished to explore.


South American Rain Forest

Late Afternoon

Harry was reviewing an old and weathered map inside Draco's expanded tent. He'd summoned an orbital spy to keep track of what was happening outside of the tent. Just in case. It was easy to get distracted in an expanded tent.

Despite his early complaints, having a portable 'apartment' had its advantages. The tent had three sleeping areas, a small efficiency, and a sitting area. The sitting area had a round mahogany café table surrounded by four matching chairs. The chairs had leather seat cushions in emerald green. Off to the side was a small sofa and a coffee table supporting a chess set. The air smelled of vanilla and roses, obviously something Draco enchanted into the design.

This was absolutely not 'roughing it'.

In the past, Harry and Bill used to map their routes under the stars and around the fire. With all the students running about, that just wasn't feasible. Aina, Draco, and he were planning to depart soon in search of a way to break the Greengrass curse and they had a lot of ground to cover. They planned to start north of Cuzco. From there, he'd attempt to contact the spirit of Amaru.

He liked his odds.

He looked up from the map when he sensed Luna approaching his 'orbital spy'. With all the activity of the camp, he hadn't spent as much time with her as he'd liked. It wasn't just the business, she and Rolf enjoyed exploring together from sun up to sun set.

She peaked her face into the tent and gave Harry a wide grin. "Hello, Harry!"

Harry heard a gentle hiss and glanced over to the chair beside him where his familiar was coiled up trying to sleep. Hecate twitched her head in irritation while Selene perked up. Artemis didn't stir. They'd been sleeping quietly until now. His familiars all knew Luna well. Selene enjoyed Luna's company, Artemis accepted her as an ally, but Hecate found her flighty ways tiring. Fawkes, on the other hand, seemed to gravitate toward her and spent as much time on her shoulder as Harry's. Today the phoenix was nowhere to be seen.

Luna's smile was infectious and Harry was immediately grinning back. "Hello Luna, I wondered when you'd return." She and Rolf had been out and about all day cataloguing the indigenous fauna. Harry snickered when he thought about it; Everyone knew what they were up to when they were away from their professor.

"Today's work went well." Her cheeks flushed slightly. Then she said, "I thought we could spend a little time together before you depart on your quest."

Her pale hair was a bit frazzled and her robes looked damp. She must have encountered an unexpected shower while out exploring. From her bright eyes, it was clear she was brimming with happiness and contentment. Luna was one of the few people he knew that seemed more relaxed away from civilization. They had that in common.

Harry waved her in. "I'd like that. Where's Rolf?"

"He's with Professor Eduardo, going over our observations. Did you know there's a magical breed of toucans?" She didn't wait for an answer. She pulled a chair up to the table and looked down at the map. her chin was in her palm and her elbow rested on the table. "This map looks old, Harry. Is this where you're headed?"

Harry nodded. "Umm-Hmm. The map details out the Inca Road system. The black lines are the ones originally used by most of the population. Fairly common knowledge." He pointed to a set of rust-coloured lines. "These were the roads travelled by their mystics." After a brief pause, he asked, "Did you say something about magical toucans?"

"Yes, they're quite lovely. Fawkes seems to like them." Luna's eyebrows then drew together as she leaned forward.

Now he knew where Fawkes had been all day.

Luna peered at the rust-coloured lines. "Is that blood? The colour looks right, but it must have been treated."

"Yep. The blood is from a high priest or priestess. Something about paying a price to protect the mystic paths." He grinned and added, "Would you believe I picked it up in France of all places?"

She studied the lines for a few minutes, then asked, "Do you plan to return the map to the people here? It looks like something they should have."

Leave it to Luna to ask the painful questions. "It isn't actually mine. The Département des Mystères des Arcanes let me borrow it. They're the French version of the Department of Mysteries." After a quiet minute, he added, "I'd return it if I could, but… not mine." He shrugged, noting her disapproval. It wasn't his map.

"Perhaps you can convince them to part with it. Many of the ancient artifacts from the region were plundered. There's a great deal of bitterness about that."

Harry ran his hand through his hair. "I'll see what I can do." He'd heard this argument before. In truth, he thought it should be returned. But that was Madame Bellamy's decision, not his.

Luna straightened her back and tilted her head to the side with an unfocused 'lost in thought' look she was known for, then turned her stare to Harry. "That might do it. You carry a lot of weight in Europe."

"Yeah, go figure." This was just a map. He hoped Luna never found out how many artifacts had been taken back to Europe in years past. It was staggering. "I'll definitely bring it up."

"So, you're leaving tomorrow…" She began rooting around in her bag, looking for something. "Every quest deserves a look-see into the future."

Harry began folding up his map. "What'd you have in mind?" He half expected her to pull out a crystal ball.

Luna turned back and placed a deck of mismatched cards on the table in front of her. "I'd like to do a Tarot card reading." Her eyes seemed to sparkle as she beamed at him.

Selene rose up from where she was resting, § "Yesss!" § Her two sisters merely hissed in annoyance.

Hecate rolled her head and said, § "You can't seriously believe a deck of cards can predict the future. It's just chicanery. They tell you what you want to hear in a vague enough way that no one can say is wrong." §

Selene was in no way agreeing. § "You clearly have no idea what you're talking about." §

Hecate glared at her sister and said, § "Fortune telling is just something to part fools from their hard-earned money." §

Sensing an argument, Artemis took an interest. § "It's all in the interpretation. You can learn a lot about your allies and your enemies in how they interpret the images and patterns." §.

Harry smiled at his 'girls' and smirked. § "You do know I'm more than a little talented in the art of Divination." §

Selene looked at both of her sisters and hissed, § "You're both killing the mood." She turned to Harry and said, "let's do this!" §

Luna cleared her throat. "It's rude to talk in a foreign language in front of others. One might get the wrong idea."

Harry winced. "Sorry. My girls have different opinions on divination. Selene is a fan and always has been. Artemis is… intrigued. Hecate is less enthused."

Luna gave a simple nod. "That's understanable. Not everyone can truly appreciate the art of divination." She moved the deck to the middle of the table. "Alright, Harry. Mix up the cards until you think they're ready." She sat back, her large eyes watching him eagerly.

Harry took the deck in hand and realized it was a collection of different cards. Most were tarot cards, but not all were from the same 'type'. About half were Rider Waite Smith, the rest were a collection of different interpretations and styles. It was like Luna went through a dozen different tarot card decks and selected the cards she liked best from each deck. To top it off, there were playing cards in the deck with a few Pokémon and Chocolate Frog cards thrown in. Most of the Rider Waite Smith cards looked scorched and burned. A few were held together with spell-o tape.

Harry was struggling to shuffle the miss matched cards due to the differences in their sizes. The 'shuffling' was more of a 'mixing up' of the cards in his hands. Some rotated about before they settled.

"Luna, where did you get this deck?"

Luna said, "Most are from my mother's deck. It was her mother's before her." Her voice was just slightly above a whisper. She gazed at the cards as Harry shuffled them. "Almost half were destroyed in her accident, so I replaced the ones that were beyond repair with different cards I liked. It can be a challenge to shuffle, but it's a wonderful deck."

Harry gave her a gentle smile. He set the deck down on the table and cut it. Luna picked up the deck and gently blew on it. She then placed ten cards on the table in a wavey line where the last card was horizontal. Selene was extending herself to inspect the cards as Luna spread them out. Artemis had a casual interest while Hecate lay back down and turned away.

"I don't recognize the pattern." Harry considered the layout. "Is it European?"

"This is one of my own. I suppose you could call it a 'Lovegood' pattern." She smiled ever so slightly. "I like to make each reading unique."

Selene stretched out her neck as she peered at the cards. § "Lavender never used this pattern." Her gaze on the cards was so intense, Harry wondered if she planned to strike at the cards as they were turned over. That'd make for an interesting reading. "Do you think she know what she's doing?" §

Harry glanced at Selene. § "Every reader has their own style." § For Luna's benefit, he said, "Selene's never seen a pattern like this either. We're looking forward to it."

Luna looked from Selene to Harry. "Are we ready?"

Once Harry nodded, she turned the first card over. "Hmmm. An eight of swords."

Harry winced when he saw it. He'd always found the suite of swords to be the most negative in the set. It frequently showed the worst and given the life he lived, there were no surprises there.

Luna tapped the card gently and said, "This is not a good card, Harry. It represents… Restriction by your surroundings. Something seems to be holding you back. There's also… Betrayal."

Harry noted it was inverted, but she read it as if it wasn't. If she'd read it as an inverted eight of swords, it wouldn't be so bad. It might even be pretty good. As the first card drawn, it had a powerful influence on the spread. Before he could say anything, Luna moved to the next card.

The next card was a Pokémon card and was significantly smaller than the Tarot cards. She flipped it over revealing a small mammal-like creature with a tail in the shape of a lightning bolt. It was a happy looking mammal. Like the last card, it was inverted from Luna's point of view.

Harry said, "I know that one! Pikachu! Dudley used to have that card." It looked a little different than he remembered.

Luna pursed her lips and shook her head. "No, Harry. This is a Raichu, the evolved form of a Pikachu. It's all grown up and revels in thunder and lightning." She stared at Harry for a good three seconds and said, "It represents you, Harry."

He gave her a slight nod. "Makes sense. Does it matter if it's inverted?"

"No, I don't see it as inverted if it's facing you."

Harry started to argue, this wasn't how it worked. Then he remembered who he was talking to and decided to just go with it. "OK, if it's facing me, it's not inverted. Got it." She was reading the cards from his point of view.

The next card was also a Pokémon card. She flipped it over and displayed a large rotund creature with a massive tongue hanging out of its mouth. It looked like some sort of weird cartoon of a sumo wrestler that had a six- or seven-foot tongue. It was inverted to him, but right side up to Luna.

"That's the 'Licki Tongue' Pokémon", she said with a slight blush. "I think that's mine." She took the card and placed it on the bottom of the deck. Her mischievous grin went well with her flushed face.

"How can you tell?" Harry smirked at her. "I mean, isn't this my reading?"

She peered at him and said, "It was upside down to you, so obviously it was looking at me. My card."

Harry leaned forward, resting on his elbow. "So, inverted to you means it's my card and inverted to me means it's your card?" Was she making this up as she went along?

She nodded, seeming more serious now. "My deck, my rules." Her lips were tight and her jaw was clenched. Clearly someone had challenged her before.

"Sooo, how do you know if it's the positive or negative interpretation?"

"I just know." She shrugged and added, "Besides, I think this will read best if you have no more than seven cards. I've always suspected seven to be your mystic number. I knew I'd be taking at least one away." She reached out and turned over the next card.

It was the Death card, inverted to Harry. Not a Rider Waite Smith design, but a Tarot card all the same. It looked like a skeleton wearing a large brimmed hat and holding a scythe. All around it were skulls and flowers. It had a Latin American feel to it.

"I guess that one's for you, right?"

"No." She closed her eyes a moment, then opened them and said, "That's your card." She sounded like she was talking to a child.

Harry and Selene briefly traded glances. He could sense Selene's amusement through their familiar bond. Hecate was watching now as well. Also amused.

"Wait, I thought 'inverted to me' meant it was your card."

She locked eyes with him. "No, Harry. I have to choose to accept the card for it to be mine. I'm sorry to say it just doesn't feel like my card."

"But…" Harry decided not to question it. "Alright. Your deck, your rules." Lovegood rules.

Luna gave a brief nod, then looked back down at the card. "Inverted Death… This symbolizes upheaval and change. No, this isn't good at all, Harry." She shook her head sadly. He noticed she avoided touching the card. "Another challenging card."

She looked back again at the Death card, her eyes intent. Harry saw a brief flicker of doubt, then she shook her head. The next card was a Chocolate Frog card. This should be interesting. Who would it be? Dumbledore maybe? Rowena Ravenclaw? She turned it over and revealed the smiling image of Gilderoy Lockhart.

He groaned. "You have got to be kidding me! I thought they stopped making that card."

"They stopped producing them a few years ago." She raised her eyebrows. "It's quite valuable now."

What the hell could that guy symbolize? "So, is he like… the inverted Page of… Cups? Maybe?" Nothing good, that's for sure.

Luna shook her head, "He's the Liar. The Cheater and the Deceiver." She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. "You seem intent on having negative cards." Was she blaming him for the cards?

"Oi!" He flashed a trademark smirk at her. "I got a Raichu."

"That's true, Harry. You got a Raichu." She said it the same manner someone might say 'I found a rock'.

Her hand hesitated over the next card. Well, at least it was Tarot card. It'd be easy to interpret. After a short pause, she reached down and flipped it over.

The card was the Page of Swords. "Hmm. Difficult. I believe this means a young person in a position of authority will interact with you." Luna considered the card for a few moments. "I don't think he will have your best interests at heart. Or she. Sometimes the page is a 'she' and not a 'he'."

"Why do you say that?" He looked up from the card and met her protuberant eyes. "I mean the 'not having my best interest' part, not the page being a unisex card."

"It just seems to fit in with the overall tone." She slowly moved her hand over the cards that had been exposed, then stopped on the recently flipped Page of Swords. "This card definitely has a negative feel to it."

"Yeah. Don't take this the wrong way Luna, but this whole reading has had a negative feel to it."

Luna looked up with a half-smile. "Well, at least you got a Raichu."

"Touché." He couldn't help but grin at her. Luna was fun and playful. She always brought out his inner child. "So, do any of the cards represent my past, present or future?"

Luna drew her brows together and shook her head. "I don't like to restrict my readings in such a linear manner. Too much temporal rigidity restricts the reading."

"Right. Okay."

Her deck, her rules… Fritz Oppenheimer* would pull his hair out if he'd been here for this reading. Then again, maybe not. He always was open minded about these things.

The next two cards consisted of a muggle playing card and a Pokémon card. Luna surprised him by reaching down and flipping them both over at the same time. The playing card was a Joker. The Pokémon was a muscular blue creature that resembled a frog wearing boxing gloves. It had a swirling pattern on its torso. Harry didn't remember seeing this in Dudley's collection, but it sort of reminded him of his cousin.

Selene nudged his hand. § "Ask her about that one." § She then touched her nose to the Joker card.

Luna saw Selene direct Harry's attention and said, "That's the Joker card. The Wildcard and the fool. It can mean virtually anything. I've never drawn that card before. In many ways it represents Chaos, but not always in a bad way."

"What's with the crazy outfit he's wearing?" This Joker looked like a court jester and wore a patchwork outfit with bells hanging from the three points of his hat. The only Joker card he could remember had the King riding a bicycle. Hadn't his aunt read a bunch of paperback books with a miniature version of this guy in the corner? Usually it had some shirtless guy with long hair on the cover.

"It's muggle inspired." She tapped her chin and stared at the card. "Something about assembling an outfit from the scraps of other outfits."

"Right. Wildcard." Fit right into this reading. He then pointed to the Pokémon card. "What about the fighting frog?"

"That's a Poliwrath. He's a fighting and a water type Pokémon." She traced her index finger over the image. "Water doesn't mix well with lightning types, like Raichu."

Harry waited while she laid her right palm over the card. She then extended her other hand to the Raichu, lying her left palm down on that card. She closed her eyes and began taking slow and shallow breaths.

"Luna, is everything alright?" She didn't answer. A full minute ticked by.

Harry leaned in closer. "Luna?" His voice was low, just above a whisper.

She opened her eyes. "I hope you brought swim trunks." She raised her hands from the cards and smiled softly.

Harry let out a long breath. "I did." He settled back in his seat. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, Harry." She answered as if nothing was out of the ordinary. "Let's see what the next card brings." She reached toward the second to last car. It was a tarot card with a charred corner.

She turned it over and showed the Queen of Wands. "The Queen of Wands…" She touched it and shivered. "Hmm. Normally the Queen of Wands is a very positive card. But this card is expressing her negative traits."

Harry ran his hand through his hair. "Of course, she is."

Luna gave him an annoyed glance, then looked back at the card. "She is a domineering and vengeful woman. A woman who can… hold a grudge for years. She is inflexible with a bitter and jealous nature."

Harry snorted. "Well, Ginny already broke up with me…" He couldn't stop himself from chuckling.

Selene hissed, § "Good riddance to that bitch." § In a lot of ways, Selene was like the inverted Queen of Wands, especially when it came to Ginny.

Luna chewed her lower lip and slumped in her seat. She was still looking at the cards, but clearly wasn't happy.

Hecate whispered, § "Timing, Harry. It's all about the timing." §

"Sorry, Luna." Ginny and Luna were old friends. Maybe their breakup had affected her in some small way. Breakups can affect a friend group. Was that it?

"It's alright, Harry. Humour and Sarcasm are how you deal with pain and uncertainty." Luna continued looking at the cards, moving from the first to the last. "I know how much you wanted a family."

The truth of her statement stung. Yes, he'd moved on, but their breakup had hurt.

"Is there any chance you can take that one?" He hesitated a moment, then added, "You only have one card, right?"

"Be serious, Harry. That's clearly your card." She didn't even look up. "Remember, this is your reading."

Luna then tapped each card, but skipped over the inverted Death card. "I don't like this at all."

Harry waited, then said, "Well, we have one more to go, right? Maybe it'll be better." He pointed to the card that on its side. "So, who is the next card for? It won't be facing either of us."

Luna reached over an placed her finger on it. "That's a card we'll share. One of us will get the positive aspect, the other gets the negative."

Harry winced, but managed to suppress a laugh. "Three guesses which aspect I get."

Luna raised her eyebrows. "Your attitude isn't helping, Harry."

He smirked back at her. "It never has."

Luna laughed softly at that comment. There was no denying it. She reached down and turned over the last card. It was the Empress.

Luna took in a deep breath. "That's a powerful card." She closed her eyes and rested her palm on the card. "I'm feeling maternal instincts. A lioness. The positive aspects are radiating love and protection. The other… Maternal vengeance. Fierce…"

Harry waited for her to finish. When she opened her eyes, he asked, "So, what do you think?"

I'm sorry, but the negative aspect of the Empress seems intent on you." Luna took Harry's right hand into her own. "This entire reading centres on betrayal and vengeance." She pulled her lips together into a tight frown. "I think there's a woman at the heart of it. Possibly more than one. So much malice."

"Story of my life."

Luna just smiled and nodded. "Right. Just know that there's a mother figure searching for vengeance in the equation. Do you have any mothers you've angered, Harry?"

He could only snort. "Many, I'm sure. It could be anything, Luna. Anything, anywhere, and anyone." He'd killed a lot of Death Eaters. How many had families? Grieving mothers? Could Narcissa be involved? "It could be something we're not even considering. It could be… Pansy Parkinson for all we know."

At the mention of Pansy, Luna made a face like she'd bit into a lemon. "Yes. I suppose you're right. Still, it never hurts to be extra careful."

"Well, at least you got the positive side of the Empress." With a smirk, he added, "And that Licki-Tongue guy."

Luna chuckled and released his hand. Her laughter always had a musical pitch to it.

Harry then remembered something she'd said, "Wasn't I supposed to have seven cards? It looks like I have nine."

Luna looked at the cards in front of them, her laughter immediately ceased. "The shared card doesn't count, so you have eight." Her eyes hovering over the Death card. Then she looked back up at him, all amusement gone.

"This was a challenging reading, Harry. All said and done, there's a lot of danger here." She gave him a piercing stare. "How well do you know Aina?"

"Well enough to trust her."

Luna gave a nod, clearly accepting his answer. "That's good. But you still drew Lockhart, the Eight of Swords, the Inverted Death, and the unpleasant side of the Queen of Wands. When you add in the negative aspect of our shared card and you have something to be concerned about." She collected her cards and stacked them in front of her. "Be on the lookout for betrayal and a vengeful woman… Or possibly a group of women. Expect there to be combat and fighting too."

"There usually is." Harry shrugged and added, "What about the Page of Swords?"

"Not good, either."

They heard Rolf laughing out at the campsite. Professor Eduardo must have told another of his odd jokes.

Luna looked at the tent flap, then back at Harry. "I'd best be going; it'll be an early day tomorrow." She began gathering her cards. "Goodnight, Harry."

"Goodnight Luna."

As she got up to leave, she offered a small smile and said, "Constant Vigilance, Harry!"

Harry laughed long and hard. They were both laughing.

"Oh, I needed that. Thanks Luna. And I'll be careful." He then said, "You do the same."


* Fritz Oppenheimer was Harry's Divination Tutor in 'Harry Potter and the Dance of Death'. He was also an Unspeakble and head of the Hall of Prophesy.

I've wanted to post a Luna Lovegood Tarot card reading for some time now. If the reading is reflective of the reader, it had to be both quirky and insightful. I hope you all enjoyed the chapter.