Part III: The Magician
Snape's eyebrows rose at the sight of the Tarot deck
Leanora handed him. "Cats, Miss Summerlee?"
"Yes, Professor. I liked the pictures of the people
in the deck, too; they look rather like cats themselves."
Snape frowned, but made no further comment as he shuffled
the cards. Without a word he handed the deck across the table to Leanora,
leaned back in his chair, and folded his arms.
After seven years of Potions classes, Leanora had learned
to ignore Snape's barbed comments and disapproving expressions. Leanora
loved the exacting work of Potions, particularly the theoretical work.
Learning the symbols and equations had been like learning the languages
in Ancient Runes; once she knew the symbols, she could tell exactly what
would happen, even though she couldn't see the reaction itself.
Ashanti had told her many times how Snape favored the
Slytherin House students during their double Potions class with the Gryffindor.
However, Leanora was a Ravenclaw, and Snape had never been anything but
coolly (sometimes coldly) professional in her classes with the Hufflepuff
students. Leanora made it a point to be prepared for every Potions class
since her first year, and she suspected that was the only reason Snape
had agreed to allow her to do a reading for her. She wasn't one of his
Slytherin House students, but he seemed to at least respect her Potions
She quickly and carefully laid out the cards in the Celtic
Cross spread that Trelawney had taught them, the same spread she knew
her two friends would have used as well.
1. Present: The Magician
2. Immediate Future: King of Wands (R)
3. Goal/Destination: The Hermit (R)
4. Distant Past: King of Swords (R)
5. Recent Past: King of Cups
6. Future: Ace of Pentacles (R)
7. Querent/Questioner: Rejuvenation
8. Environment: Eight of Wands (R)
9. Inner Emotions: The Empress (R)
10. Final Outcome: Eight of Swords
Leanora tucked a strand of her long blond hair behind
an ear and gazed at the cards thoughtfully. "Well," she began
uncertainly, "the first card, the Magician, that represents the Querent,
and in this case I would take it to stand for skill, ability, someone
who's got everything he or she needs to complete a task."
"Correct me if I'm wrong," Snape remarked dryly,
"but can't it also stand for a deception or fraud?"
"Um, yes, I guess it can." Leanora felt herself
blushing. "But I wouldn't --"
"Never mind, Miss Summerlee. Continue."
"The King of Wands, which is in the position of
Immediate Future, is reversed, suggesting a man who is deliberate, severe,
and rather, um, rule-bound. Well. The Hermit, also revered, represents
someone who is extremely isolated. It can also stand for a bad judgment.
That's in the position of the reader's goal or destination.
"In the distant past is the King of Swords, reversed,
which suggests someone who is cruel, dangerous or wicked." At this
point Snape's eyes flickered; still focused on the cards, Leanora added,
"This could be a father or father figure.
"In the recent past is a man who is considerate,
generous, and reliable." She paused, then added uncertainly, "Maybe
someone who rescued the Querent from the person who's the King of Swords?"
Getting no response from Snape, she hastily ducked her head and continued
the readings. "Um, the Ace of Coins suggests wealth without happiness,
or misused wealth. It usually means money, but I guess it could also mean
something the Questioner himself considers valuable.
"The Rejuvenation card, which represents the Querent,
suggests someone who's looking for forgiveness or needs to atone for something.
The card suggests a rebirth, or at least a just reward.
"The Eight of Wands, reversed, could stand for jealousy
or disputes. It's in the Environment position, which suggests that the
Querent is at odds with someone over something.
"The Empress, reversed, suggests someone, possibly
a woman, who is indecisive or destructive.
"The Eight of Swords, in the position of the Final
Outcome, suggests conflict or bad news, or even imprisonment. Um, let
me check that...." She pulled out a book and hastily flipped through
the pages. "According to this, it can also mean that freedom is more
available than it looks, and that walking away is still an option."
She closed the book, her eyes still on the cards.
For several minutes, neither of them spoke. Finally Leanora
said in a small voice, "Well, usually there's a way to make a positive
interpretation of most readings...."
"Miss Summerlee," Snape said softly, "if
you have a positive interpretation of this, I'd be delighted to hear it.
Not to mention rather surprised."
"Miss Summerlee!" Snape's voice was suddenly
severe in tone. "As a Diviness, your job is not to sugarcoat what
you see. If you do indeed posses the Gift, which appears to be the case,
you are not doing anyone a favor by twisting a reading so that it's positive
just because you want to spare someone's feelings! If the Querent is facing
a dark future, he or she needs to know it -- you are merely the device
by which the warning is delivered. Now, stop wasting your time looking
for a happy ending; if you had to interpret the cards as you see
them, what would this reading mean?"
For a moment Leanora sat still, as though gathering her
strength; then she looked up to meet his eyes. "I'd say that this
reading represents a man who's not what he seems, but who has the capabilities
to achieve what he needs or wants to. At some point in the past he's done
something wrong, made a very poor judgment, which has to do with a man
who's deliberately cruel and very dangerous." She paused. "If
that man isn't the Querent's father, then it would be someone in authority,
or someone like, like...." Her voice faltered. "Well, You-Know--"
"Voldemort," Snape finished.
"Yes. The person in this reading was able to walk
away from what he had done, with the help of a man who is kind and generous
and willing to give him a second chance. Right now the Querent seems to
have wealth or fame or something else of value, but feels that something
more important is missing in his life. But there's still a need for the
Querent to be forgiven, or to pay for what he's done. A time is coming
when he'll be able to do that, but the end of that situation will mean
a loss of something valuable, possibly even the Querent's freedom. However,
the last card suggests that the imprisonment may be set by the Querent
himself, and that he will be able to choose freedom if he wants."
Leanora looked down at the cards, and deliberately took
several deep breaths to calm herself. Then, without looking up, she began
to gather up the cards. Snape was silent. Finally he remarked, "Miss
Summerlee, if you decide you don't want a career in Potions research,
you may want to consider making a living as a Seer. Your clients might
not always like what they hear, but if they don't listen, they'll have
no one to blame but themselves for their misfortunes. I'm told that having
the Gift is not a pleasant experience."
"If that's what I have, Professor, then I certainly
agree with that statement," Leanora replied grimly. Her hands were
trembling as she scratched notes on her parchment. Then she hastily gathered
up the cards and bid Snape a hurried goodnight and thanked him, doing
her best to ignore the unreadable expression on his face that lingered
long after she had left.