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Ron awoke very suddenly just before dawn, unusual as this was, since he was normally a very sound sleeper. He had felt something odd, but it was a feeling that was hard to describe. When he fully opened his eyes, he realised that all was in darkness and turned on the Muggle bedside lamp. As soon as he looked around, he found Harry lying on the floor by the bed next to his. He shouted his friend’s name several times and, when he received no reply, began to panic. It dawned on him that Harry was unconscious and couldn’t but notice how scarily white he looked. For a moment, he lost track of where they were and his first thought was to go and get his mother, only to realise they were still at Hermione’s. But he had to do something. With a stroke of genius, he picked up a glass of water that was on his bedside table and splattered it all over Harry’s face.

Harry blinked a few times and shook his head forcefully, to Ron’s relief.

“Are you ok, mate? I mean, what’s happened to you?” he asked frowning with worry, thinking that it was unlikely that Harry just had rolled down from the bed onto the carpet in his sleep.

Harry took a few long minutes to answer. His forehead had stopped burning but he felt disorientated. As he started to recover and made an attempt to sit, he began to feel embarrassed. He had always had problems admitting how painful those experiences were and hated making a fuss. Finally, he replied that he was Ok, that Ron wasn’t to worry. Ron just wasn’t too sure.

“You always say that, don’t you?” stated Ron reproachfully. It was your scar again, wasn’t it?"

Harry now was sitting on the bed but he still looked spaced-out. He then noticed that Ron was standing by the door as if about to leave the room.

“I’m fine, Ron,” Harry bellowed. “Don’t bother anyone, for Merlin’s sake! Let it be. It was just a nightmare!”

“Yeah, a nightmare that made you pass out, some nightmare it must have been!” As far as Ron was aware this hadn’t happened before. Harry had felt terrible, had been physically sick even, but he had never lost consciousness. This was getting very serious. He was going to get help.

Harry had to admit that his scar had not troubled him for sometime, well not until a recent episode just before they had left Grimmauld Place. Why again, and so soon after the previous time? he wondered. Then, vague memories came flooding back, as he realised that it had been him who, willingly, had provoked his latest vision.

All he could clearly remember from the incident a few days back was how Voldemort was ordering someone to get the wand for him, his mother’s wand. That had been why he had warned his friends about how urgent retrieving it had become. He also knew somehow that Voldemort had spies at the Ministry, but who were they? He was aware that he had seen more, but hadn’t been able to properly remember afterwards. At the time, the pain had been so intense that he had had to let go. Tonight, stupid him, he had tried to venture further, to find out who the person receiving orders was. Again, he had felt as if his head was splitting, with the result this time that he had ended up fainting and now, he was too weak to try to dig from his brain what he had learnt. But he had to pick himself up, be strong. He had to force himself to retrieve the contents of the vision that had made him so ill. He closed his eyes for a second and concentrated once more. Then, he saw the scene, completely crystal clear. The Ministry delegate had been Percy!

Before he got a chance to figure out how to convey this terrible news, the bedroom door swung open and Ron, Ginny and Hermione came in.

Ginny darted towards Harry’s bed, where he was now sitting. The expression in her eyes revealed to all how worried she was.

“Harry!” she exclaimed holding him tightly.

“Don’t fret about me, please, Gin, it’s not me we need to worry about.”

His three friends looked at him and at each other rather disconcerted.

“Harry, what do you mean by that?” asked Hermione with a shudder. Immediately, however, she realised that pressing him for answers was hardly what he needed right then. “Look, I brought you a glass of milk. Drink some, it’ll do you good,” she continued almost forcing the drink onto him, noting how dreadful he really looked.

“Thanks, Hermione,” he said after taking a small sip. Colour was beginning to return to his cheeks but now, he felt oppressed with worry and apprehension to the point that he was practically shaking. He had to come clean, there was no other option and the quicker he let it out, the least chances he would be giving himself to change his mind.

“What I am going to tell you is not going to be easy,” Harry started. “It’s about the vision,” he paused “Well, what I saw the other day, as you know, was that Voldemort was ordering someone to get my mum’s wand. I knew I had seen more, I just couldn’t remember. So, I forced myself really hard to relive that experience, that’s probably why I, well... And now, I know who the person he was talking to was.” He bit his lower lip and looked at Ron and Ginny.

Hermione threw a disapproving look in his direction. Dumbledore had wanted him to close the connection and now Harry was willingly opening it up. To have a vision unwittingly was one thing but this was just like opening a can of blast-ended newts!

“Well, who was it? Ginny asked impatiently.

“Come here,” he said as he motioned her to sit by his side and gave her a cuddle. Ginny’s eyes met his. “It was Percy,” he concluded very sullenly.

Hermione blinked in shock and looked at Ron first and then at Harry with a horrified expression.

“The little shit!” shouted Ron. “I should have known he’ll do something like that! The fucking traitor!” 

“Ron, wait a minute,” Hermione interrupted. “Harry, are you sure this vision was real, that it wasn’t just a dream?” she asked trying to remain hopeful.

“Hermione, it was so real that it made me pass out, my scar hurt worse than ever, I cannot even explain…” he said resting his head in his hands.

“But, but,” she continued “what if Voldemort planted this vision on you? to divide the Weasley family, perhaps.”

“Well, there is always that possibility. It’s not like he hasn’t done it before,” Harry admitted thinking that perhaps she was right, that maybe he should have kept it quiet. After all, his jumping the gun in fifth year had cost the life of his godfather.

Ginny was now holding Harry’s hand really hard. She couldn’t speak a word just yet. That was just too painful. Her brother was a git in her eyes, but a traitor!

“I think the Order has to be told, though,” Harry went on, “of course we will have to mention too that this vision may not be true, well, I’m not suggesting that we do anything against him but, maybe your father – he said looking at Ginny and Ron – could keep an eye on him for us, I dunno.”

“Mum is going to have kittens,” Ginny said sadly, now playing with Harry’s hair, which she seemed to find comforting.

“We have to get back to Grimmauld Place,” said Harry, “I mean today, if Percy is truly a traitor and he contacts your mother,” he added glancing at Ron “you know she would be vulnerable.”

“Yeah, she would tell him anything, wouldn’t she? As long as he comes round and stops ignoring us, wonderful!” exclaimed Ron.

Ginny now spoke again looking a bit annoyed “Ron, Mum is not that stupid, she would welcome him, yes, but wouldn’t go telling him Order stuff!

“Anyway, we have to warn them, just in case what I saw was real. Of course your mum is not stupid, Gin, but I agree that the love for her children could be our downfall. She has to be made aware.” Harry concluded.

At that point, Mr Granger heard noises and wondered what could be going on so early in the morning.

“Hermione,” he called.

“Oh, gosh, Dad,” she muttered “We'll have to tell him why we’re leaving so soon.”

“I wouldn’t trouble him any more, Hermione, he has done quite enough by worrying about my problems, and anyway, I don’t see why you cannot stay with him a bit longer. It’s not as if it takes twenty people to deliver the news,” Harry said.

“Harry, you still look really ill. I think I’ll get Dad to take a look at you, he has some medical knowledge,” Hermione told him.

“Don’t even think of it. I’m perfectly alright!” he protested.

Mr Granger was now knocking on the boys’ room’s door.

“Mr. Granger?” Harry was the first to reply.

“Is everything ok?”

“Yes, thanks,” Harry answered.

“I thought I heard voices, may I come in?”

Harry didn’t like this one bit but had little choice in the matter so he replied “Of course.” 

Will Granger looked at his daughter, still in her dressing-gown, a bit perplexed and then at Harry realising that the boy really didn’t look too well.

Hermione caught her father’s gaze and was the first to speak “He is not well, Dad, although he’s trying to pretend he’s fine.”

Harry threw a really hard look at her for spilling the beans.

“You do look very pale, I must say,” stated Hermione’s father moving closer towards Harry. Ginny moved towards the bottom edge of the bed to allow Mr. Granger to sit next to him.

“He fainted earlier on,” Hermione continued.

“I, umn… it’s absolutely nothing, honestly.”

“It sounds as if you’ve had a fairly serious blood pressure drop, and yet you seemed perfectly alright yesterday. Do you suffer from low blood pressure?”

“Not to my knowledge.”

“Leave it Harry, let’s tell my dad the truth, you trust him, don’t you? Hermione cut in.

“Of course I trust him” replied Harry annoyed.

Hermione at that point started putting her father in the picture, explaining how Harry’s scar hurt at times but adding that this had never caused him to lose consciousness before, although she was herself doubting if this was actually the case or if Harry had just been keeping it a secret.

Mr. Granger frowned in slight frustration since, of course, he didn’t know anything about magical maladies.

“I think you ought to see a doctor, or a healer rather,” Will Granger corrected.

“Stop fussing about me, everyone, please.”

Hermione then continued by telling her dad that they would have to leave that day, that there was something important they have to tell the Order, something that Harry had seen in his vision.

Mr. Granger did not wish to pry into their business but felt really concerned. He understood that they had things to attend to and that for his daughter to keep him company was not a priority. The teenagers decided that they would leave that day for Grimmauld Place but that they would return, once matters were settled, to carry on discussing Harry buying the apartment. Mr. Granger, however, insisted on taking a reading of Harry’s blood pressure. Harry, realising there was no way out of it, allowed him to do so.

“Goodness, let’s try again. This can’t be right,” Hermione’s father said still holding the machine he had attached to Harry’s arm. “No, I’m afraid it’s correct. I think this must be the lowest reading I’ve ever seen!” he exclaimed looking into his guest’s eyes very intensely, in a way that was both kind and authoritative. “Harry, I’m sorry but you’re ill. If your pressure doesn’t rise somehow, you are likely to faint again and what’s more, if it continues to drop, sufficient oxygen won’t reach your vital organs. Listen to me Harry, it could lead to permanent and irreparable organ damage.”

Hermione, Ron and Ginny glanced at one another panic-stricken.

“Mr. Granger, I don’t wish to be rude, but are we not just taking this a bit out of proportion?” argued Harry, desperate for them all to stop worrying like that.

“If your blood pressure doesn’t reach normal levels soon, I will have to seriously consider getting some drugs for you, but we’ll need a prescription; so yes, unless this situation changes pretty soon, I’ll have to call a doctor. Also, please do not attempt to stand up for a while, or the symptoms are likely to recur. I’m afraid I cannot let you go anywhere just yet.”

As far as Harry was concerned, this could just not be happening. “Oh, come on, I’ve always been in good health!”

“Precisely, Harry,” replied Hermione. “Something of a magical nature has caused this and you know it. You need St Mungos, I’m sorry.”

“Last thing we need, to inform the wizarding world at large that I’ve seen into his mind and, with Umbridge now as Minister, for Merlin’s sake, Hermione, how long do you reckon it’d take for Voldemort to find out?

Hermione remained silent, mulling this over. “Point taken, but you’ll have to stay here until you are better,” she ordered.

“But you know we need to warn…”

“Harry, I’ll go and talk to my mum, I’ll do it,” Ginny volunteered resolved.

“No, I’ll do it!” said Ron.

Mr. Granger wondered about the nature of this conversation. Did the kids really need to convey a truly urgent message or was this the result of their imaginations having run amok. His main concern was Harry’s well-being and no matter how determined the boy may be, he was certainly not fit to leave the bed. “Can we just not send Mrs.Weasley an owl?” he suggested.

“Dad, what Harry wants to tell her it’s going to hurt a lot. It’s not fair to do it other than face to face. Yet, what if the vision didn’t reflect the truth?” Hermione continued to ponder aloud.

“I wish there was a fool-proof way of finding out,” Harry conceded.

“Hang on a minute,” Ginny had just thought of something, “I’ll go back and get the deck of Tarot cards that Trelawney gave you for your birthday, and Hermione – she continued looking in her direction – you can read runes, can you not?”

“Yes, I can read runes, but as symbols, you know full well what I think of Divination and of that old fraud,” Hermione replied dismissively.

“Well, where is the harm in trying? Anyone’s got a better plan?” Ron said, supporting his sister's suggestion.

“Harry?” Hermione prompted him.

Harry shrugged and said, “It’s fine by me, I don’t see what we’ve got to lose either.”

“I can’t believe you guys, all these years making up predictions for your Divination  homework and now you are all willing to believe in it!” mocked Hermione.

“Yes, but even Dumbledore admitted that she had made two real predictions, didn’t he?” Ron reminded them.

“Ok,” Ginny decided. “If you are alright with this, Ron, I Apparate alongside with you to Grimmauld Place and bring the Tarot and the runes and get back here as quickly as we can and then, we’ll take it from there.”

“And goodness, Dad, go to work. I’ll check Harry’s blood pressure, it’s simple enough! I promise I’ll phone you and let you know how he is,” Hermione told her father.

Mr. Granger decided to trust that her daughter would do this. After all, she wasn’t the type to risk her best friend’s health, also, no doubt they needed privacy so, as brother and sister were ready to Apparate out, he drove away.

Hermione was now glad to have been left alone with Harry, at last.

“I think as my dad said, you better lay down for a while,” she advised him sitting at the edge of his bed.

Harry couldn’t be bothered to argue this time. The sooner he recovered, the sooner they could deal with everything else.

“Harry, you understand what’s happened, don’t you? Hermione asked looking really serious.

He held her gaze and said in a flat tone “Yes, I know, you’re about to tell me off for forcing the connection.”

“And you did it again after you fainted, didn’t you? I know you did because when I saw you you were worse than when Ron found you,” added Hermione now on the verge of tears. Her friend nodded very faintly. “Harry, he’s trying to kill you!” she shouted. “Can you not see that? You could have died if you’d gone further. Did you listen to my dad? Your vital organs could eventually fail. Voldemort seems to have learnt new skills these days. I don’t know the whole story but it would seem to me that he killed Narcissa Malfoy by sort of remote control.”

That last word made Harry laugh.

“Harry, this is no laughing matter. Since he has been so far unsuccessful with you with the Avada Kedavra, he’s trying to kill you in a different way. He’s trying to lure you to his thoughts and then, he is somehow controlling your vital functions. He may be just experimenting at this stage, but he is doing something. People’s blood pressure doesn’t just drop like that for no reason!” Hermione was now obviously agitated.

Harry had to admit, even if only to himself that she had a point about Narcissa. Voldemort hadn’t been at Malfoy Manor when he killed her, he did it from afar. That much was obvious from what he had seen in Draco’s thoughts.

“Hermione, I’m grateful that you care, of course I am, but you have to understand why I did it. We need to know who our enemies are and what they’re up to. Think about it, if I could do this again, I may find out what and where the rest of the Horcruxes are, maybe even how to destroy them,” he reasoned.

“And at what price, your life, Harry? We don’t even know if what you see is the truth, do we? Harry, please, promise me, swear to me that you will never, ever, try to do this again!” She locked her hazel eyes onto his bright green ones.

Harry maintained eye contact but couldn’t make the promise. He honestly believed that he could get the necessary information and find a way to protect his body from this kind of attack. What was more, perhaps that was a sacrifice he had to make in the end; to give his life in order to discover what was required for Voldemort to be defeated. Maybe he didn’t have to kill him personally, just to provide the necessary means…

Hermione spoke again “Also, if he has consciously made you ill, it’s because he knows that you got into his mind; that leaves us completely opened to him. Harry, please, please, come to your senses. I know you think this quest is worth dying for but, from where I can see it, this connection could even prove advantageous to him.”

“Ok, I promise that I will not do this again without consulting with you, Ron and Ginny first, is that enough?”

“If you solemnly promise me this, that will do for now,” she replied now holding Harry’s hand and momentarily closing her eyes, feeling a bit better as she knew Harry well enough to know that he would honour his word.

“Now,” Harry changed the subject, ”what’s your true opinion on this Percy business?”

“My opinion is that it’s probably true, awful as it sounds. Then again, he’s Umbridge right hand now, isn’t he her Personal Assistant? He’s probably just acting on Ministry’s orders. On the one hand, I don’t really see him as someone courageous enough to join the Death Eaters, especially at this stage in the war, but then again, he’s ambitious enough to do just about anything to get a promotion. I reckon Umbridge has had a hand on this but, poor Ron and Ginny and everyone, especially Mrs. Weasley! How are going to tell her? I just really don’t know.”

Harry nodded in agreement, looked terribly sad but said nothing.

As soon as Ron and Ginny apparated back to Grimmauld Place, they were greeted by their mother who was clearly in the middle of baking, since she was wearing an apron covered in flour.

“Is everything alright?” she asked giving them each a cuddle after magically clearing up the flour to avoid dirtying her children’s clothes. “I didn’t expect you for a few days yet, and Harry, where is he?”

Ginny threw her brother a look of complicity and took control. “Everything is alright, Mum. We just came to collect something,” she quickly improvised.

“To collect what?” Molly Weasley curled her mouth a little suspiciously. What were this lot up to now? 

“A pack of Tarot cards, Mum,” Ginny decided to go for a half-truth. “Muggles seem to like Tarot cards. Hermione’s father finds them very amusing, as it happens.”

“Does he indeed?” Molly still wasn’t truly convinced. Her sixth sense was telling her that something was amiss, yet she had so far no evidence to disbelieve them. “By the way, Remus and Nymphadora have just got married, I’m making a few nibbles for them for later on and baking them a cake.”

“They just got married?” I know they were about to, but thanks for the invitation, that's what I'd say to them!” shouted Ron, now having found another outlay to vent his not so easy to hide anger. 

“They had to do it in secret, Ron, it’s not what they wanted, please don’t hold this against them. You know, with the Ministry forcing werewolves to come forward and whatnot. They’ve done it the Muggle way, at the Registry Order, or whatever is called. They couldn’t have us all there, it might have attracted unwanted attention.They’re going to have to hide in here from now on, well, until this is all over. We have reason to believe the Ministry has set up concentration camps for werewolves,” she explained almost crying. “Only her parents attended.” 

“Sorry, Mum,” Ron apologised sheepishly.

“Let’s get on with it, Ron,” Ginny commanded pulling her brothers’ T-shirt sleeve.

The two younger Weasley siblings run up the stairs and in no time they found what they needed in Harry’s room, since they have detailed instructions as to where the cards and the runes were.

“We could do with something belonging to Percy,” Ginny thought aloud.

“I bet Mum has something of his in her room, hurry up Gin, before she comes looking for us.”

As soon as they reached their parents’ bedroom, Ron magically shut the door and cast the Muffliato Charm. Ginny darted straight away towards the top drawer on the bedside table on her mother’s side. “Here, look Ron, it’s a baby’s ring with the letters “P” and “W” engraved in the reverse. This must have been Percy’s from when he was a small child.

Ron pulled a face at the sight of the object. Anything connected with his now estranged brother appeared to repulse him.

“Com’on, off we go, we’ve got to get back to Harry,” Ginny said taking the lead again.

“Hey, you two,” Mrs. Weasley summoned her children. “I was going to send an owl in fact, about Remus and Tonks. You’re all expected back here tonight for a very small celebration. Mr. Granger can come as well, of course.”

“Mother, what about Malfoy?” Ron asked, frowning with suspicion. “If Remus is going to hide here, will he not go blabbing?

“I don’t reckon he’s as bad as you think, Ron. I mean, he keeps himself to himself, certainly, but he’s no trouble really. He’s a bit of a snob, I grant you, but I just have to feel a bit sorry for him. After all, the Death Eaters want him killed,” Molly defended.

“Mum, is there anyone in this world you don’t feel sorry for? I mean, just because he’s lost his mother, it doesn’t mean he’s a saint, does it?”

“Well, I just don’t think it’s in his interest to get in trouble with us and, what other option do we have, anyway? I mean, if we don’t protect him, he’ll probably die. We shall just have to hope,” their mother concluded. “And let me give you a cuddle before you go off again.”

Ginny this time was almost about to cry. Normally, she found her mother’s displays of affection a little too extreme but, this time, she really felt for her, she could feel her warmth and she was most certainly not looking forward to having to tell her what they knew they would have to. She hoped that the cards would be sufficiently clear for them to establish without doubt that the vision had been planted, that Percy had not betrayed them; yet, her intuition was telling her that that wouldn’t come to pass. She then realised that they had to drop some hint.

Molly noticed that her youngest child was becoming emotional and asked again: “Is everything ok? You look sad, Ginny. Is Harry ok?”

“Harry? Why do you ask about Harry?” enquired Ron in turn, amazed that her mother seemed to have guessed.

Ginny tried to avoid eye contact with her mother as she was aware that her own eyes were humid and replied “Harry’s scar hurt last night. He’s a bit under the weather, but he’ll be alright. He may not be able to join the party though,” she thought she better warn her.

“Explain yourself, Ginevra, how ill is he? And, and, did he have a vision, like when he saved your father’s life?”

“Umm… he thinks the Ministry is in with Voldemort,” answered Ron quickly trying not to elaborate too much. Breaking the news completely on the day of Tonks’s and Lupin’s wedding didn’t seem a very kind thing to do.

“I’ll go to see him as soon as I finish baking. Poor kid!”

“Honestly, Mum, that won’t be necessary, he’s just a little weak. He’s not in pain or anything now,” said Ginny in an attempt to dissuade her.

“Anyway, let me finish with this and I’ll get over to Hermione’s as soon as I can. I have the address and a picture of the house, so I’ll be able to Apparate. Then, hopefully, we can all get back here to celebrate,” were Molly’s final words.

The bell rang at Hermione’s house. Her and Harry had been awaiting their return for a while now. She unlocked the door with urgency and let them in. They hurried up the stairs, Ron and Ginny were anxious to see how Harry was.

He was now sitting on the bed and he had a bit more colour but still looked very weak.
“How is his blood pressure?” Ginny asked Hermione almost in a whisper.

“You can talk in front of me, Gin, you know,” he said slightly smiling.

“But you always say you’re fine, don’t you?” she smiled at him back and went over to him and softly kissed his forehead.

“He’s not doing too great still, but he’ll live anyway" she joked, "he’s a little better though,” Hermione added putting them in the picture.

“Now, how did it go?” Harry asked impatiently. “Did you tell your mum about…?”

Ron detailed what they have learned at Grimmauld Place and the fact that it had been impossible to conceal that he was ill as they were all expected there that night. Also, he told him how his mother had guessed something and had enquired as to any visions and what he had told her.

“Fantastic!” Harry said sarcastically. “Of course we can't just tell them in the middle of a wedding celebration, that would be awful! But what do I do if she does actually turn up here. Tell her that I don’t know who I saw from the Ministry? This makes matters even worse.”

“Why don’t we try and see what the cards and the runes have to say first?” Ginny suggested.

Hermione rolled her eyes sceptically.

“I have something of Percy’s by the way, Harry. It was a lucky find, in my mum’s drawer,” Ginny told him excited, passing the ring to him. I think it’s best if you shuffle Harry, since it was your vision and the cards were given to you. You have now held the ring. Now, think about the question whilst you shuffle,” she added in a soothing tone.

“Don’t make him concentrate hard again, look what happened to him earlier!” protested Hermione enraged at the irresponsibility of Ginny’s request.

“I’m not asking Harry to re-establish the connection, I’m only asking him think about the question,” she retorted frustrated.

“And what’s the actual question, by the way?” Harry asked.

“How, about, is Percy really a traitor?” said Ron automatically.

“Ok, that will do,” Ginny gave her approval. “Now, Hermione, have you got a velvet cloth anywhere?”

Hermione thought for a moment. A velvet cloth? “Just a minute, I have some velvet fabric, my mum was thinking of making some cushions at one point, yes.” 

“That will be excellent actually, and thanks Hermione, the connection with your mum is good, it will have helpful vibrations, that’s very positive.”

Harry was slightly in awe watching his girlfriend conduct herself like a High Priestess. She was the seventh daughter after all. Maybe she had many talents he had not discovered yet.

“Now, if we all place our wands on top of the cloth. It’s four of us, brilliant, we position one pointing north, one south, one east, one west,” Ginny explained. She also conjured up a blue candle, the colour blue standing for enlightenment. Hermione gave a look indicative that she remained as unconvinced as ever. Harry and Ron were minded to try anything once but it couldn’t be said they were great believers either. “Now,” Ginny added giving a signal to Ron and Hermione, “we join our hands, and Harry shuffles. We all think about the question.”

A circle of blue light surrounded them all. At Ginny’s request, Harry placed the deck in the centre of the cloth and tapped it three times with his wand to select three cards. Three cards positioned themselves facing down on the cloth. Harry, now instinctively tapped gently the first one. It revealed itself as the Ace of Swords. They all looked at if for a moment. Both the girls recognised it at once, even Hermione, despite her lack of interest. It depicted a hand emerging from the clouds holding a double-edged sword, the tip of it covered by a crown.

“The double-edged sword, indeed,” muttered Hermione admitting to herself that the card seemed very fitting.

“There is a struggle here, Harry, a struggle for glory, hence the crown, but the struggle can turn either way, could be the cause of victory or the route to destruction. It indicates danger,” started Ginny.

“I think this refers to what we talked about earlier, Harry, about opening the connection and its dangers,” interrupted Hermione surprising herself by her desire to get involved.

“This could well be, but the position it’s in represents the root of the matter we are asking about. I can see Percy’s ambition and how he would use two different sets of means to achieve his goals but if this is right, he’s playing a dangerous game. Now, Harry,” she continued, passing onto him a leather pouch, “put your hand inside and give us a rune.”

“Ice,” pronounced Hermione who was the only one who had studied runes. The stone had something written in it that ressembled a capital letter “I”. “This stands for obstacles in communication, for frostiness. I take Ginny, that this is also connected with the root of the question?” Ginny nodded in assent.

“Wait a minute,” said Harry motioning for them to stop talking for a moment to let him think. His eyes were now sparkling and he smiled. “I saw ice in the vision. Voldemort’s Headquarters are somewhere where there is ice. It’s come back to me now!”

“Harry, this is supposed to be metaphorical,” Hermione retorted.

“Does it always have to be metaphorical? I’m telling you I saw ice!” Harry insisted.

“Just let’s leave that to one side,” said Ginny not wanting this to turn into a debate. “Now Harry, please, tap the next card, the present and the core of the matter.”

“The Moon, Major Arcana and a complex one at that. Actually, since it’s this complex I think I will consult the book but it has to do with treachery, not all is what it seems,as we already knew,” said Ginny a little overwhelmed by the multitude of possible meanings that this card could have.

They all, again, observed the card's imagery. The moon on the horizon, flanked by two identical pillars. At its foot, a dog and a wolf howling, beneath that, a crab emerging from the water.

“Ok, let’s see,” Ginny this time was reading from a book: “Following the star the Fool travels through the night. The full Moon rises, illuminating for him a watery path. And he begins to feel disoriented, as if walking in his sleep.” Merlin, that was you, Harry, your vision!

“Why does it refer to him as the fool though?” asked Ron a bit flippantly.

“Don’t be silly, Ron, the fool is anyone, the questioner really, we are all described as the fool when we begin a journey, it's the first of the Major Arcana, it also represents innocence and impulsiveness, which is in fact very like Harry,” Ginny said in the sort of tone that Hermione would had used at school when an answer was patently obvious to her. She continued: “He passes under the moon, between two pillars ancient and strange. Suddenly, he looks around to find himself in another land entirely… “Now, he has at last passed behind the veil. Here are the mysteries he sought…” 

"The veil doesn't mean that you are dead, obviously, but that you went into a different reality sort of thing," Ginny also explained.

They all sighed simultaneously. Ginny spoke again. “The mysteries you sought. That can only mean to me that your vision was true,” she concluded looking at Ron almost in tears.

She finally read again: “The questioner has only two choices. He can lose himself in this desolate, primal land of madness and illusion, howl with the wolves, be hunted down, or he can get into the boat, and trust himself to the river. The moon will be in control either way, but in the boat, his surrender to the powers of the unconscious and the natural world will at least take him somewhere.” This is pretty hard to comprehend, if you ask me. Now, I think it says, Harry, that you have to act, that the future is less in your hands if you don’t.”

“You’re not trying to encourage him again to provoke more visions?” Hermione wanted to know, looking very irate.

“Again, of course not. I think what it means is that we have to tell the Order and my parents though,” Ginny answered sullenly.

“Now,” Harry spoke again, “this dog and this wolf, I wonder…”

“You mean, Sirius and Remus?I think this time this is metaphorical but we’ll bear this image in mind anyway,” Ginny stated.

The next rune turned out to be “Peorth”, the rune sacred to Frigg, the Mother. This, according to Hermione signified very much what the Moon had done. In a way, it reinforced it. “It means treachery, hidden aspects, not all is what it seems, again.”

There was silence. The theme of treachery was awfully recurrent.

The next card unveiled was the Ace of Wands. Harry nearly chocked at the sight of it. “The wand! This is getting scary. My mum’s wand!”

“I think you may be right, Harry,” contributed Ginny, I think this time your very literal interpretation may be spot on. This is the goal, the aim, this is in the future.”

“But will Percy get it or will I get it?” Harry enquired almost in a panic.

“They are your cards, Harry, so presumably, you will get it. However, the reading is about him, so he will also be in the race for it, I would have thought,” Ginny looked at Harry and smiled trying to give him hope, comfort, despite how sad she was feeling. “I think I’ve seen enough to conclude that according to this, your vision was real.”

But finally, as if for the sake of finishing the spread, Harry drew the last rune.

“The blank rune!” exclaimed Hermione a bit mesmerised: “Odin or Wyrd, the beginning and the end, fate.” She was now a bit frightened. Harry, if there is any truth in any of this, which I have always doubted, we are dealing with something huge here, something over which we have little control, which I must say I hate, something fated.”

“I think I know what that must be,” Harry told them “fate, the prophecy, what I cannot control, like having the scar. The end, the beginning, the final battle... and with the wand being there in the future, I think the wand will come into play, then, at the end.”

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