Part IV: The Three of Cups
A seventh-year Hufflepuff girl flagged Haviland down
as he entered the library and told him that Ashanti Myers would meet him
outside the entrance to the Prefect's Bathroom on the fourth floor. Though
not himself a Prefect, Haviland knew perfectly well where the bathroom
was; over the past three years it had become one of the few places the
trio of mismatched students could meet.
Within minutes of his arrival, Ashanti appeared at the
door to let him in. Her dark face was grim. "Come on. We're in here."
She led him into one of the "powder rooms" on the girls' side
of the bathroom suite.
Leanora Summerlee sat on a long couch, a tissue held
to her face. Her red eyes and nose showed plainly that she had been crying.
"What happened?" Haviland asked, settling onto
the couch next to her while Ashanti knelt on the floor.
"I -- I did the reading for Professor Snape,"
Leanora began, and then swallowed hard and stopped.
Haviland leaned forward and peered at her intently. "Are
you all right? Did he hurt you? If he did, I'll --"
Ashanti snorted. "You'll do what, Roddy? Charge
into his office and challenge him to a duel? He'll make mincemeat out
of you, mate."
At the same time, Leanora shook her head. "No. He
didn't hurt me. It's just -- the reading -- it was so dark! And what came
out of it was just -- so personal!"
Haviland shrugged. "Well, readings are supposed
to be personal, aren't they?"
"This was -- this wasn't like any of the other readings
I've ever done," Leanora said. "There were things... I can't.
I can't turn this in to Professor Trelawney. It would be wrong."
"No!" Leanora insisted. She drew in a deep,
rather shaky breath. "I can't. I know you don't like him, Roddy.
Sometimes I don't really like him, either, but I respect him and I'm not
going to put this reading on display for Professor Trelawney."
Haviland opened his mouth, but Ashanti spoke first. "Okay,
Leanora. If you don't want to, it's all right. Look, we've got 'til the
end of the week to finish this, right? Tell you what -- I'm going to go
into the other rooms and see how many of the prefects are around. I'm
pretty sure I can get a couple of them to agree to let us do some readings
on them, and we'll turn those in as our assignments. Trelawney didn't
say we had to read for teachers; that was our choice." Seeing the
look on Haviland's face, she added, "I'm not turning in my reading
from Professor McGonagall, either. I think she agreed to let me do the
reading because I've been a good students and a decent Prefect, but I
also think she'd really rather have refused. You know what she thinks
"The same thing a lot of folks think about it,"
Haviland remarked. "Well, if it's all the same to you, I'm keeping
my reading. I got two for the price of one."
Ashanti shrugged. "It's okay with me."
Leanora sighed; then her mouth tightened. "When
I get back to the Ravenclaw common room, I'm going to burn this parchment."
She had the paper crumpled up in her hand.
"Wait. I think we should hold onto them." Haviland
looked back and forth between his two friends. "Haven't you noticed
all the strange stuff that's been happening this year? Something happened
at the end of the TriWizard Tournament that everyone's trying to keep
secret. But we know that Cedric Diggory's dead, and Harry Potter came
back injured. And we know that the guy who's been teaching Defense Against
the Dark Arts wasn't really Professor Moody." He added as an aside,
"Which is really too bad. I did really well in that class this year.
I could have used a job reference."
Ashanti rolled her eyes. "You're all heart, Haviland."
Haviland shrugged. "I have to make comments like
that every once in a while, or they won't let me stay in Slytherin House."
He sobered. "Anyway, I think we should keep our copies of our readings.
Aren't you curious about whether or not our future predictions will come
true? I'm willing to bet five Galleons that Leanora's reading is dead
on. Trelawney swears Lee has the Gift."
"Professor Snape said so, too," Leanora said
in a low voice.
Haviland rolled his eyes. "Oh, yeah, like he's
an expert." He saw Leanora's expression. "Look. One of the Slytherin
prefects owes me a couple of favors. I can get him to let you do a reading
tomorrow, okay? Just promise that you'll keep the reading you did for
Snape. Just out of curiosity. In a year from now, I'd like to look over
our readings and see how well we did. Agreed?"
The young women exchanged glances. Finally Leanora nodded.
"Deal," Ashanti agreed.
As they stood up, Haviland remarked thoughtfully, "You
know, whatever's coming, those three teachers are probably going to be
right in the thick of it. I guess we'll see if Professor Dumbledore was
right about fortunes favoring the bold."
"Let's hope so," Ashanti responded, and she
shepherded the other two toward the exit.
Author's note: Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall,
Severus Snape, Sibyll Trelawney, Cedric Diggory, Rubeus Hagrid, and the
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (along with its prefects and
various rooms) belong to author J.K. Rowling. No money or other form of
payment was received for this story. I already have a full-time job, anyway,
and I write strictly for enjoyment.
Many thanks to my beta reader Zsenya who, despite my
assurances that there was no deadline for this story, insisted on reading
it right away because "I feel like reading something good before
work". As if my ego wasn't big enough already
In the spring of 2001, I took a four-evening course on
the Tarot. After doing readings for my classmates, my mother, and a few
other folks, I thought it might be interesting to do Tarot readings for
some of the Harry Potter characters. If nothing else, it would be good
I did not go through the decks and choose certain cards
as plot devices; the readings contained in this story were actual readings
done for each of the characters listed. These are the cards that really
turned up. The "section headings" for parts I, II, III, and
IV are cards that would describe the people for whom the reading is being
done, or, in section IV, the three students discussing the readings.
The card used to stand for the Querent in a reading is sometimes called
The Celtic Cross, which is the spread (or layout) that
I used for the readings, is probably one of the best-known spreads in
the practice of Tarot. Any good Tarot book will mention it, and many give
an actual diagram of the layout. A Tarot book will also describe the four
suits of wands, coins (or pentacles), swords and cups. Briefly, wands
stand for activities or projects, swords stand for actions, cups stand
for emotions and relationships, and coins stand for money, jobs, or other
things relating to the material world. Cards with these four suits belong
to the Minor Arcana; the picture cards that have none (or in some cases
all) of the suits belong to the Major Arcana. The Major Arcana cards are
supposed to represent significant events in a person's life, while the
Minor Arcana supposedly deals with day-to-day details.
I really do own each of the decks mentioned in this story;
the deck described for each reading was indeed the deck I used. Roderick
Haviland's deck is The Dragon Tarot; Ashanti Myers's deck is the Hanson-Roberts
Tarot Deck; and Leanora Summerlee used the Tarot of the Cat People deck.
For anyone interested in seeing depictions of the Tarot decks mentioned
in the story (along with a number of others), you might want to try http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/
. Over 75 different decks are displayed and reviewed at this site.
At the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,
great changes are taking place in the magical world. The readings in this
story were done to offer a glimpse into the background of the teachers
mentioned, but also an experiment in foretelling their futures as well.
I'll be interested in seeing how close my readings come to the truth as
laid out by Rowling in her next three books. I don't pretend to be an
expert in Tarot readings, and all three readings may turn out to be completely
off the mark by the time we reach the seventh and final book (or even
by the time we reach chapter two of Book 5....)
I thought it was worth noting that in three of the four
readings, the one common card was the King of Cups, which presumably represents
Professor Dumbledore. We know that he has already given Professor Snape
a "second chance", and that Professor McGonagall has referred
to him as "too noble" to use certain spells against his enemies
(suggesting that she respects him); the fact that his card appeared in
Roderick Haviland's reading suggests that he's had an influence on Haviland
Personally, my opinion of "fortune telling"
more closely resembles McGonagall's than anyone else's. I don't believe
that many of the people who claim to be psychic are indeed psychic, and
I tell people to take all forms of fortune telling with a grain (or six)
of salt. Irregardless, I do agree with Professor Dumbledore's advice
to Roderick Haviland: no matter what the cards or the horoscope or the
tea leaves or the astrology chart says, fortunes favor the bold -- or,
if not the bold, at least the ones who keep working toward their goals.