The Sugar Quill
Author: Moey (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Foreseeing Fate  Chapter: Chapter Two: Glimpses of Books and Covers
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Foreseeing Fate

Foreseeing Fate
A Harry Potter Fanfiction by Moey

~*~

Author's Note:  Special thanks go to Cap'n Kathy (AKA Elanor Gamgee) for her help with the book titles (she came up with the best ones) and for letting me borrow 'Aura Libris' - go read her story - Not So Bad After All - it's awesome.  To my wonderful beta readers - you guys ROX!  Also, to Jedi Boadicea, a big thanks for asking me to be a part of her Yahoo Group.  Join us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Weird_Sisters    

Disclaimer: Harry Potter et al belong to the wonderfully talented J. K. Rowling. Who would want it any other way?          

~*~

Chapter Two: Glimpses of Books and Covers

Reed eek of Joseph, and ther shul ye see
Wher dremes ben somtyme (I sey nat alle)
Warning of thinges that shul after falle.
~From the Nun's Priest's Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer

~*~

Ginny sat back in her chair and rubbed her eyes, taking a moment to rest before plunging back into her research.  She didn't know what was worse, studying for a full set of N.E.W.T.s or only having a few along with the paper.  McGonagall had decided that they needed something to make up for the lack in end-of-year tests. How nice for Ginny and her remaining classmates that McGonagall had thoughtfully added a research paper - at least twenty whole rolls of parchment!  As if they hadn't been through enough.  The war had left Hogwarts closed for almost a year and many of the former classes were still not being taught.  As it was, she was finishing with only the core classes in her last term.

Not that it mattered.  She and most of her classmates had learned things by trial and error, out in the real world.  Ginny shook her head.  She didn't want to revisit those memories. Not right now.  

But it was too late.  Visions of the last moments before the end swirled around inside her head.  Fallen classmates and teachers strewn against a backdrop of crumbled brick and mortar.  And just like every other time that her memory traveled back to the not-so-distant past, it stopped on Harry. 

That night.  It had been the beginning and the end.  A beautiful memory and a horrible nightmare all at once.  It had been innocent and wonderful; they had talked in the common room for hours about nothing in particular.  It was late and the common room was empty of anyone but them.  She'd known that Harry hadn't been sleeping much during that time, and usually Ron and Hermione were there, keeping him company.  But that evening had been one of their library nights and Ginny, having long overcome her self-consciousness around Harry, made herself at home next to him on the couch in front of the common room fire.  They had become good friends over the last few years, and up until that night Ginny had been sure that she had her feelings in check.

They had been laughing over a shared joke - a joke she could no longer recall.  What she did remember was how his hand kept brushing against hers.  How he had seemed to move closer to her on the couch.  When he laughed, he had leaned into her, and when Harry Potter had turned his head to smile at her, she'd known what she had to do.  The kiss had been wonderful, brilliant. She didn't care that she had initiated it and not Harry - the wayshe'd always imagined. She just knew how right it felt; she knew that he hadn't stopped her. 

 Ginny couldn't say when his glasses had come off or which one of them had removed them.  She remembered that he had looked so different without them.  His face had seemed younger, almost free from worry.  Almost.

That night was one she would never forget.  That was the night that changed all of their lives forever.

Ginny sat quiet and still for a moment, waiting for her head to clear.  It didn't do to dwell.  Sighing, she sifted through the books and parchments piled around her, feeling around for something in particular.  It was a large package wrapped in crisp paper that had been delivered that morning. 

Turning  it over in her fingers, she felt the large, wax seal.  She had seen it enough times to know what it was just by touch - the official seal of the London Magical Library - the letters LML in large, gothic print surrounded by a ring of laurel leaves.  Hermione had sent the material to her by owl not long after she had left for work in the morning; Ginny had almost forgotten about it.

She found and opened the accompanying letter, which Hermione had charmed to read itself out loud.  Ginny smiled as she heard her friend's voice...

 Dear Ginny,

 I was able to find several texts that I think will be essential to your research and sent them out first thing this morning.  I know you are eager to get your paper done and I didn't want you to have to wait until tonight for them.  I also happened upon the last one while reorganizing some of the collections in storage.  (Honestly, you wouldn't believe the mess!  You would have thought the boys worked there.)  Anyway, I hope you find it interesting.  It's the journal of an Ancient Muggle named Joseph.  He was a holy man and a prophet.  Let me know if it proves helpful.

 I do hope you find the books useful.  The Hogwarts Library is still one of the finest, but I know how helpful it would have been to have access to other resources when I was there.  I'm still trying to persuade Madam Pince to participate in interlibrary loans - but she's very resistant.  She doesn't want any of her books to leave Hogwarts.  I'm not sure that I blame her, considering what happened.  It's lucky that so many survived.  I'm sure I'll convince her though, as it's in the best interest of the students.

 Let me know if there is anything else you need, or if you need any help.  I'll see you at home.

 Love from,

 Hermione

Ginny put aside the letter, a smile crossing her lips.  Imagine wanting more books in school!  Only Hermione.  As it was, Ginny hadn't asked for these, Hermione had just taken it upon herself to send them.  However, since many of the books in the Hogwarts library had been stolen or destroyed, good resources were hard to come by.  Besides, since Hogwarts wasn't open, she didn't have anything at the ready.  Madam Pince was wonderful, owling her whatever she needed, but Ginny wasn't going to complain about the unsolicited help that Hermione offered.

Classes still were not being held at Hogwarts.  The staff was minimal, and the students willing to return were few.  Some teachers had fallen during the war; others had retired, desperately in need of quiet after the events of the past year.  The same held true for the students - many were trying to come to terms with what had happened and few were ready to continue with their normal schooling. The staff that was at Hogwarts was spending much of their time performing Cleaning Charms, taking inventory of everything from the chairs in the common rooms to classroom supplies, and most importantly, reproducing the protective magic around the school and grounds. 

Twice a week, those students from Ginny's year who had decided to continue their lessons met in a room at The Leaky Cauldron with one or more of their professors for lessons.  There were only eight, including Ginny, but she looked forward to the time they spent together.  It felt almost normal as she and her classmates spent time after their lessons walking through Diagon Alley and enjoying an ice cream at Florean Fortescue's.  Almost normal. 

Ginny shook her head clear.  She had to stop dawdling and get to work.  Unwrapping the package, she counted five large books and one smaller one.  Tapping her wand to the covers she said, 'Recitare Titulusi,' and her wand read the titles of the books to her.  There was If We Knew Now What They Knew Then: 10 Ancient Prophets and How They Could Have Changed the World if the World Hadn't Thought They Were Dingbats, Violent Visions, Goggling at Glass: Crystal Gazers of the 20th Century.  Ginny laughed hard when her wand read, Scrying With Seers by Gilderoy Lockhart.  Sometimes Hermione was really funny. 

The last book was small; its pages and cover felt fragile and it smelled musty.  Ginny was almost afraid to touch it, and probably wouldn't have even opened it if she hadn't been positive that it had already been charm-protected from further aging and damage.

Carefully she opened the book, and it fell to a page near the end.  Using the Aura Libris Charm, she quickly found that she didn't understand a word.  It was written in some ancient form of English with a mix of Latin.  She pointed her wand at it muttering, "Converterious English."  The spell transformed the words into modern English. 

Her wand described what must have been a map of Britain.  An ancient map of Britain - she didn't recognize many of the names although some sounded familiar.  It continued reading,  describing a particular area that was detailed on the map: Glastonbury.  Now Glastonbury she was familiar with.  She and her family had visited the town and famous abbey there when she was younger.  Fred and George had complained how boring it was, Ron had been very interested in the grave of King Arthur, and their father had gone on about how their ancestors were originally from Glastonbury.  She remembered the moans and eye rolling that went along with this particular story.  All the Weasley children had heard, no less than a thousand times, about the Muggle persecution and how all wizards, including their ancestors, had been forced into hiding.  That was when some ancient Weasley relations had left Glastonbury.  Blah, blah, blah.  Her father could go on and on. 

Well, it probably wasn't going to be any use to her, but she made a mental note to tell Hermione to show it to Ron.  He might be interested in the old maps and the King Arthur references.

She flipped through the book pausing occasionally to listen to bits of the entries.  It seemed that Joseph had traveled extensively and had documented, in detail, the many places he had been.  Ready to put the book aside, she flipped through one last time, landing on the last entry.  Her wand read the short passage aloud:

And the Guardians will receive the light and bear the one.

Ginny yawned.  Even though Hermione's opinion might differ, Ginny knew that not every book could be helpful.

She placed the book off to the side, grabbed another text, picked up her wand and began listening to - “Lockhart?” she burst out loud to no one.

~*~

Ron came into the flat, dropped his bag next to the door, and threw his Ministry ID badges on the table.  As he walked over to the couch and flopped down he heard noises from the kitchen.

 "Hermione?"

 "Yes?"

 "Just checking."

Not that he wasn't happy that Hermione was there, he was.  But one of these days he hoped that it would be Harry instead. 

He and Harry had taken the flat last fall, and Ron had hoped it would help lift Harry out of his funk.  In school they had often talked of taking a flat in London, about the jobs they would have, about what they would do out on their own; and that September, after the end of their last year at Hogwarts, after the end of Voldemort, they had moved out of the Burrow and into the small, two-bedroom flat.  Ron had been excited but Harry had been indifferent.  He'd been more and more withdrawn since the end, putting more and more space between himself and his loved ones.  Shortly after they had moved in, Harry had taken a runner and fallen off the face of the earth.  No one had heard from him in over six months.  Ron's emotions were constantly rotating from hurt and frustration to a powerful anger that hurt his stomach. Potter was giving him an ulcer and not even Pomfrey's Powerful Peptic Potion was making it feel better.

He laid back on the couch, propping his feet on the coffee table, but as he did so he knocked off a stack of books that was piled not only way too high, but precariously close to the edge.  He reached down, muttering to himself about librarians who bring their work home with them, when he picked up a small, blue, innocent looking book.

As soon as he touched it, he cursed and let go, as if it had burned his hand, dropping it onto the table.  Ron knew immediately that he wasn't interested in any story that book had to tell.   Hermione had heard the racket and came into the room.  "What's the matter?" she asked.

"Nothing," Ron replied, trying to keep his voice steady.  "Is this your book?" he asked, pointing to the small blue one he had dropped at the top of the stack.  "Never mind, stupid question."

 "Ha, ha," Hermione responded dully.  "Actually, that's one of the books I lent Ginny.  She said you might be interested in it.  Something about old maps and King Arthur."

"It seems pretty old even for a library book," Ron said, looking but not touching the book.  He couldn't help being a little bit curious.

"It is.  I found it in the basement in a box marked 'special collection'."  Ron watched her face; her eyes sparkled whenever she spoke about books.  "I probably shouldn't have taken it out, but no one will ever know.  It was buried way in the back of the basement.  Anyway, it had something to do with her topic.  It's filled with hand drawings of old maps of England.  She thought you might like to see it.  Why don't you take a look?"  She opened the book, turning pages until she came to a drawing.  "Here,” she said, holding it out for him to take but Ron instinctively drew back.

"What's the matter?"  she asked, still holding out the book.  But Ron couldn't help backing away like it contained the plague.  Hermione gave him a confused look then said, "Really it won't bite, I promise.  There's not even anything magical about it. It was written by some ancient Muggle."

Ron shook his head, not so much in an answer as to clear it.  "No," he answered flatly. That book had something to say all right, but he had no desire to find out what that was.  Bloody stupid things.  Always wanting to talk.

"Fine," said Hermione looking at him like he was going slightly mental.  Placing the book back down on the table, she pulled another book out of her bag and started reading.

Ron resumed his silent meditation, watching Hermione.  He still hadn't told anyone, even though the danger was over - well, except for Harry.  He'd told him during the war, but then it had been because lives were on the line.  It had been necessary and Harry had demanded the entire story. Still, he felt guilty about not having shared it with Hermione and there was no way he could predict her reaction from his morning tea leaves.

The problem was that it was becoming harder and harder to keep it hidden from her.  Lately it had seemed more pronounced, but maybe he was just noticing it more now.  He had had little time to dwell on it before.  Now though, Ron was pretty sure Hermione was starting to notice.  It wasn't unusual for them to finish each other's sentences, but lately Ron had begun to start hers before she did, and she was starting to give him funny looks.

He really had let his defenses slack once Voldemort had been defeated.  Maybe he should just tell everyone.  He thought back to their early schooldays when Hermione had stormed out of Divination, and grinned at the memory.  He had been in such awe of her on that day.  But then he was always in awe of Hermione.

 But for all his precognition, he really couldn't be sure how she would react.  He had kept the secret for so long.  Now, however, it was different.  Before he had been in danger and he would have endangered the lives of anyone who knew.  Now he was just hiding something.  Something that was becoming more and more difficult to conceal.

So what would he tell her?  How would he tell her?  Hey, Hermione, you look lovely today.  By the way, you know how you're always teasing me about Divination and my tea leaves? You know that 'Inner Eye' Trelawney was always going on about?  Yeah, well I have it.  You know, I can sense the future, well danger mostly.  I can also see things about a person's past.  Oh, and objects -  they're the best.  I can touch something and if it has any residual spiritual energy, look out, Ron can tell you what happened.  Oh yeah, she'd buy it.  Hermione was sitting across from him still thumbing through her book.

Argh!  What should I do?  He supposed starting at the beginning was as good as anything.

 It had been their sixth year and he had been the only one of the three of them to continue studying Divination.  Harry and Hermione had tried to convince him what a waste of time it was, that he would be better off taking anything else, but he had just passed it off as an easy O.W.L and left it at that.  He really wasn't sure himself why he had continued to take it, but it definitely wasn't just the easy O.W.L.  The classroom was hot and stuffy, Parvati and Lavender were annoying, and Trelawney was a flake.  Or at least that's what everyone had believed.

It had been late in his sixth year when Trelawney approached him.  It was a particularly warm afternoon in April, which meant that the temperature in Professor Trelawney's classroom in the North Tower was unbearable.  Ron was pretty sure he had dozed off during the lesson on Mediums, because  he suddenly realized that he was the only person left in the classroom.  He gathered his books and was just about to go through the trap door when Professor Trelawney appeared out of a shadow. 

"Ronald, may I have a word with you?"  she asked, startling Ron, not with the question but with her voice.  It was not the soft, misty voice Ron had been accustomed to associating with his Divination teacher.  It was a strong, forthright sounding voice.  His jaw dropped and he stood there looking confused.  She sounded normal.

"Ronald, I asked you a question," she stated, still using the new voice.  "Never mind, it's a silly question because," and here she went back to her flighty voice, "I already know the answer."  She grinned mischievously at him, but all he could do was stare back in astonishment.

"Come Ronald, have a seat."  She pointed to one of the overstuffed chairs next to hers at the front of the room.  Ron hesitated a moment then crossed the room and sat down.

"I'm just going to get right to the point," she began, "and tell you that I've been observing you since you first started this class three years ago."  Ron still stared at her unbelievingly.  He really couldn't get past the voice.

"I've been taking note of all your predictions from assignments, what you've seen in the orb, and in the teacup - although, I have to tell you," she chuckled, "I don't put all that much stock in tea leaves.  But," she shrugged, "others seem to think them useful so I teach them."  With this Ron could no longer contain himself. 

"What is going on?  Why are you talking funny?  And what happened to your voice?"  Ron was incredulous.  "What do you mean you've been observing me?" He blurted it all out, practically shouting the last part.  Then, as if suddenly remembering himself, he added, "Sorry, I didn't mean to shout, it's just, well - I'm confused.  Why me?"

Professor Trelawney smiled at him and patted his arm reassuringly.  "Ever since you came into my classroom, I knew.  You see, I'm what is called an Auric Visionary.  I can see and read peoples' auras.  Yours just screamed at me that you had the gift.”

"The gift?  What gift?" Ron said sounding with complete disbelief.  "You've got the wrong person.  I don't have any gifts."  Ron had truly believed that too.  He was certain that he was just an average wizard with average wizard abilities.  He may have found himself in extraordinary situations, but they were a knut a dozen those days. 

After giving what she'd said some serious thought he said, "Maybe I was standing too close to Lavender or Parvati."

"A typical Ronald Weasley answer," she said laughing.  "But please, those two?  Nice girls, but they are only good at interpreting the signs from a book.  True Seers, Ronald, are very rare."  Professor Trelawney looked extremely serious, especially since she had taken off her ridiculously oversized glasses and headwrap.  "No, I can see it, and it's just as apparent now as it was three years ago - maybe even more so."  Then her voice took on a much more serious note.  "You know about it, Ronald.  You cannot honestly say that this is a surprise to you."

He didn't raise his eyes to meet hers. He just sat and stared at a spot where a button was missing from his robes.  How did she know?  What was going on?  Even more importantly- could she help him sort things out?  He took his time answering.  He felt a breeze flowing through the room and the air felt less stuffy.  She must have opened a window.  Ron looked up and stared out at the cloudless sky.  He had no idea what to say.  He just kept wondering how she knew.

After a long period of silence, he took a deep breath, looked up at her and spoke, "What do I do?"

That was the beginning of his mentor relationship with Sybil Trelawney.  During those last years of school, no one really noticed that he was gone for long periods of time, or that he spent this time up in the North Tower.  Harry and Hermione had both on occasion asked where he was, to which he would shrug and say, "Just hanging around."  He figured that most of the time everyone thought that he was just going about his prefect duties or off making up new Quidditch plays.

That was also the day he had learned to keep his gift a secret.  Not that he hadn't been doing so already.  However, now the reasons for hiding it were completely different.  Once he became aware of the danger he was in, he became even more guarded. 

Professor Trelawney did not put on the 'crazy fortune teller' act for nothing.  There were several reasons, which she explained in detail to him.  First, and most importantly was Voldemort.  He had sought out Seers during his last reign and now that he was gaining power again, it was even more important that they keep their gifts secret.  When Ron had pointed out that her teaching Divination at Hogwarts was not exactly a secret, she told him that was the reason she continued using the persona she had created, not why or how it had started. Ron soon found out that Sybil Trelawney and Tom Riddle had attended Hogwarts together and that she knew he was Voldemort.  Luckily, in school, she had put on the 'crazy fortune teller' act to make a joke out of it.  However, the one thing she was never able to completely control was her channeling abilities and, on occasion, she would fall into a trance without warning.  Riddle had been witness to one during their school years.  She only hoped that he had long forgotten it, and that he still remembered her as the flighty Gryffindor he'd thought she was then.

Another reason for the act was simply that Sybil Trelawney had a brilliant sense of humor.  It really had all begun as a childhood prank, but early on, she learned of the danger surrounding her gift, so she continued the act, dressing and acting the part of the flighty fortune teller. She even admitted to stifling a laugh that time during his fourth year when he had made the Uranus joke to Lavender.  Ron had vaguely remembered it, but he couldn't help but start to warm up to her after she admitted finding him funny.  When he had asked her why, if she had found it so funny, had she given them extra homework, she replied, "Well it may have been funny, but it still was not appropriate.  I couldn't have the class thinking that I was a complete pushover."

After their first meeting, Divination was that much more bearable for Ron.  Until, of course, his last year at Hogwarts when it was canceled.  Professor Trelawney went missing after the Christmas holiday and Ron had neither seen nor heard from her again.  He didn't like to think about what Voldemort had done.  It was then that Ron really realized and understood the danger Trelawney had told him came with the gift.

He sat staring at the book on the table.  Whatever it was going to tell him, it was going to do it one way or another.  It might as well be now.  Slowly, he reached for the book and as soon as he placed his hand on the cover the images began.  He saw knights on horseback, battles, women running, a king being crowned.  Then suddenly, something happened that had never happened before - he began to see images of what could only be the future.  Not only that, the visions were of himself and Hermione, Harry and Ginny. 

Panicked, Ron stood up and practically threw the book across the room.  Shaking, with temples throbbing, he stood in shock, sweat running down his face.  He felt as though he was going to throw up.  Hermione ran from her chair to his side, taking his hand and gently smoothing the sweat-drenched hair from his forehead.  "Ron, what is it?  What's the matter?" She sounded frightened.  "Sit down," she said as she eased him back onto the couch.

 Ron sat, and slowly he lifted his head to meet her eyes.  Still shaking, he blinked back tears and said, "Hermione, I have something I need to tell you…"

//
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