Makers of Their Own Fortune

by Seldes Katne

Part I: Page of Swords

"Hey, Haviland!"

"Heads up," muttered Malcolm O'Bannon. Across the table, seventh-year student Roderick Haviland glanced up at his friend, then at the mirror over the Slytherin House common room fireplace. The mirror showed a blond fourth-year, Draco Malfoy, who had turned away from his crowd of friends (or "toadies-in-training", as Malcolm sometimes described them) to approach the two older students.

One of the first lessons most Slytherin House students learned was "always watch your back". Somewhere around third year, Haviland and O'Bannon had discovered enough common interests to form a partnership, which had later become a friendship. Now, four years later, the two of them still made it a point to always sit where each could look over the other's shoulder.

Haviland grimaced and briefly crossed his eyes; when he turned toward Malfoy, however, his expression was one of polite attention.

"A couple of the second years said they'd seen you loitering outside the Prefects' Bathroom this afternoon. Then they saw Ashanti Myers come out, and the two of you walked off down the corridor together. Don't you have any standards for choosing your friends, Haviland? I mean, I can see why you might want to hang around with Summerlee – she's not bad looking, and at least she's in Ravenclaw – but, c'mon, Myers is a Gryffindor!"

Haviland stared at him steadily for several moments. "You really are thick, aren't you, Malfoy?" he drawled finally. Malfoy's jaw hardened, but Haviland continued. "I'd have thought someone in your family would have taught you some concept of strategy. If you want to know what the other side is up to, what better way to find out than to buddy up to them?"

Several of the older students were nodding appreciatively. "Think about it, Malfoy. How d'you think we managed to get the Weasley terrors caught by Filch a couple months ago? Myers dropped a comment about their plans in conversation. We tipped the old man off, and he nabbed them a floor away." There were grins on many faces around the room – getting Fred and George Weasley caught had been something of a House triumph.

"Is that how the Gryffindors got wind of our plot to bespell the Quaffles at the last Gryffindor game last year?" Malfoy sneered.

"Sure. I mean, let's face it, it was a stupid idea to begin with. Madam Hooch would have noticed straight off -- she checks everything right before she carries it onto the pitch."

"We could've figured out a way to make it work," Malfoy shot back.

"Oh, yeah, like that brilliant stunt you lot pulled with the fake dementors?" Haviland laughed. "Besides, tipping off the Gryffindors meant that Oliver Wood and the Weasleys had to risk getting caught sneaking out after dark to make sure we weren't messing with the equipment. And we didn't have to lift so much as a finger."

This time there was a definite round of chuckles from the rest of the students.

"Those aren't the only times we 'leaked' information to the Gryffindors. You have to give out a little info to get some back," Haviland remarked dryly. "See, there are perfectly good reasons why I hang around with Ashanti Myers." He turned back to his work. "Oh, and for your information, Malfoy, Leanora Summerlee isn't just 'not bad looking', she's drop-dead gorgeous." He shrugged. "'Course, I suppose you're a bit too young to appreciate the distinction just yet."

There was some scattered clapping, and most of the students turned back to whatever they had been doing before Malfoy had asked his question.

Malfoy stayed where he was; his eyes traveled to the deck of Tarot Cards stacked at Haviland's left elbow. "You don't really believe in that tripe, do you?"

Haviland laid his pen down. "Doesn't matter what I believe. A lot of other folks believe in Divination, and that's what counts. You know, so-called 'Spiritual Advisors' can make a fortune if they foretell the future for the right people."

Malfoy snorted, but made no move to leave. Haviland glanced at O'Bannon, then reached over and picked up the deck. "Here. Shuffle. I can do a simple three-card reading. Let's see what happens."

For a moment, Malfoy's eyes flicked from the deck to Haviland's face; then he glanced at O'Bannon. Taking the hint, the other student closed his Arithmancy book and rose, wandering across the room to settle into a chair where he could watch but not hear the conversation. After glancing around the room to make sure no one was watching, Malfoy accepted the deck. "Nobody finds out about this, Haviland," Malfoy said in a low voice.

"Not unless they hear it from you," Haviland agreed easily. As Malfoy shuffled the cards, Haviland cleared a space on the table. A few moments later Malfoy passed the deck back and seated himself across the table from Haviland.

The older student turned the first card over and laid it on the table. "This is the past," he told Malfoy. The card revealed a dragon surrounded by five-sided pentagrams within circles. Haviland smiled. "Ten of Coins -- very positive card. Suggests money, influence, security, family, inheritances." Malfoy nodded, and Haviland noticed the sides of his mouth twitching into a smile.

"Next card is the present," Haviland continued, and laid the Seven of Wands, represented by a red dragon circled by a ring of blazing torches, on the table. "This represents a position of advantage. It shows you're in a superior position, although you may find yourself facing a time of challenge and conflict. However, with your superior position and some perseverance, you should prevail."

Malfoy nodded again, and this time he eyed Haviland speculatively.

"This card represents the future," Haviland said. The card bore a single silver dragon and a large sword. "The Queen of Swords! It can stand for a strong, possessive woman, someone who will fight on your behalf. It can also stand for a manipulative woman, or an uninvolved parent. Hm." Malfoy's face took on a discontented expression. Haviland flipped over the next card. "Let's see...."

"I thought you said you were only going to read three cards," Malfoy snapped.

"I'm trying to qualify the last one," Haviland answered. He laid the Knight of Coins in a reversed position next to the Queen. "A deceiver. Someone who tells you half-truths or gives vague information to trick you. This card warns you to beware of lies and deceits."

"My mother would never --" Malfoy began.

"Who said it was your mother?" Haviland asked. "It could be a woman you haven't met yet. This card does represent the future, after all." He turned over the next card and laid it on top of the other cards on the table. A black dragon, coiled around a single large chalice, represented the King of Cups; the card was upside down. "King of Cups reversed," Haviland murmured. "Definitely want to watch for someone lying or plotting to use you. Someone, probably male, who seems very charming and tries to talk you into a bad or dangerous project."

Malfoy shrugged. "My father deals with that sort of things all the time. That's what happens when you're an influential man." He smirked. "Not something your family would understand, is it?"

Haviland offered him a sardonic half-smile. "Don't say that where my mother can hear you."

"But your father disappeared several years ago, didn't he?" Malfoy persisted.

Haviland paused, then shrugged. His father had vanished when his son had been three years old. One set of rumors claimed that the man had disappeared to get away from his wife, who was known for being an aggressive businesswoman. Another rumor hinted that Haviland's father had, like many other people, run afoul of Lord Voldemort and been murdered. And an even darker, more softly whispered rumor suggested that Haviland, Sr. had been recruited by Voldemort, and had fled justice when the Dark Lord fell. Neither Roderick Haviland nor his mother had ever heard or discovered what had become of his father.

Malfoy sat watching Haviland's reaction. Finally he said, "Listen, Haviland, let me give you a little piece of information. You know that big flap at the end of the Triwizard Tournament? When Cedric Diggory came back dead?"

"Kind of hard to miss that one," Haviland remarked.

"My father sent me word -- there's something big connected to it. Everything's going to change soon. Now might be a really good time to start thinking about what you really want in life -- and who your friends really are." Malfoy laughed and stood up. "Think of that as being my way of giving you hints about your future, Haviland."

Haviland grimaced behind Malfoy's back. As he gathered up the cards, O'Bannon returned to the table. "So, was His Highness happy with his reading?"

"Some of it, anyway." Haviland slid the cards back into their silk pouch and reached for a quill and parchment.

"Going to share?"

Dipping the quill into an inkwell, Haviland remarked, "I promised no one would hear it from me." He began to note the cards' positions and his interpretations. "But I can't be held responsible if you just happen to be able to read upside down." He glanced up at O'Bannon and grinned.

Part II: Knight of Cups

"Is that the last of them?" Ashanti Myers held the cage door closed and glanced over her shoulder. A niffler's black nose poked between the bars and snuffled her hand. Ashanti scratched the niffler between the eyes.

"Tha's the lot," Hagrid answered cheerfully. "Goin' to good homes, all of 'em. Miners an' the like."

The Gryffindor prefect nodded. "We're all leaving Hogwarts together." She paused. "It's going to seem strange not to be back here next year." Ashanti was the only one of the three who had taken Care of Magical Creatures; Leanora was more comfortable with thinking and theory courses, and Haviland, Ashanti suspected, just really hated getting his hands dirty.

"Aye," Hagrid said. "An' I'll miss seein' you here, too. But I'm sure you'll do well enough. You an' yer friends got any plans fer after?"

"We reckon Lee will end up with a job in Potions, either at the Ministry or in research. Professor Snape's writing her a letter of recommendation, I think." Ashanti grimaced; like Haviland, she wouldn't have wanted to leave Hogwarts feeling she owed that man anything. "Haviland's expecting to get a job at the Ministry in the Magical Law Enforcement Department -- he did really well in Defense Against the Dark Arts and Charms, and his Transfiguration grades weren't bad.

"I'm thinking of applying to the Daily Prophet. I did a few little pieces for them last summer, and the editor seemed to like them, so I'm hoping for a bottom level position. Lee's dad used to work for them, and he said he'd recommend me."

"Didn't know you could write."

"I'm not a great writer, but I'm not bad, either. After second year, I learned enough to keep my papers from coming back with points off for grammar, so I'll do all right."

"Not goin' to use the Divination class, then?" asked Hagrid.

Ashanti shrugged, smiling. "Lee's the best at it, and she doesn't want anything to do with it. I passed the class, and that was enough."

"Seventh years study the Cards, don't they?" Hagrid asked. At Ashanti's nod, he added, "Would you mind doin' a reading for me, then?"

Ashanti blinked. "Are you serious?"

"Wouldn'a asked if I wasn't."

"Oh. Well, sure." Ashanti drew her wand. "I'll have to Summon the deck, though." She sketched the shape of the wooden box that held her Tarot deck in her dormitory, murmured the words to the Transport Charm, and a moment later caught the box as it popped into sight just above her outstretched palm. She grinned, white teeth against her dark skin; the ambient magic around Hogwarts made that a tricky spell.

A few moments later she was seated at the rough wooden table in Hagrid's hut, watching the gamekeeper shuffle the cards carefully with his large, blunt fingers. Ashanti accepted the cards, cut the deck twice herself, then began laying the cards in the classic Celtic Cross shape, reading them aloud as she did so.

The first card bore the picture of a man crowned with a laurel wreath and sitting on a throne. "The Emperor in the Present position. Someone in authority. Security, status, power. Establishing a project on a firm foundation. Establishing yourself.

"For the Immediate Future position, the Four of Coins." This was a gnome-like man surrounded by four Pentagrams. "Sound judgment. Financial security. Hard work will pay off."

A card with eight staffs went into the third position. "Your Goal is shown by the Eight of Rods, reversed. Wasted energy delays. Plans don't work out. Travel plans may be canceled, or you may experience difficulty getting somewhere. Broken engagements.

"The Fool, reversed, is in the Distant Past position. Recklessness, poor judgment. Obsession. Someone not as loyal or as committed to a relationship as you are. Failure to keep things in perspective." The card bore the picture of a young man with a bundle tied to a stick. Immediately following it came a card with a bearded, crowned man holding a Pentagram.

"For the Recent Past, the King of Coins, reversed. Poor management. Materialism. Dishonest actions because of greed or materialism. It can also mean a bully, someone who's self-indulgent or opinionated or just superficial.

"The Four of Rods occupies the Immediate Future position." This was a card with a young man and woman placing flowers on four staffs that seemed to form a bower. "A well deserved rest. A haven. Achievement. Celebration. Possible romance." She glanced up at him and arched her eyebrows in an unspoken question. Hagrid flushed, but only shrugged. She turned back to the reading. "This card usually means rest and reward after labor, or a pause after achieving one goal and before beginning another project.

"For the Querent, the Nine of Rods, reversed. This suggests you've been caught off guard, or failed to stand up for yourself. You could also be feeling overwhelmed. You need to assert yourself in some way." The Nine of Rods was represented by a roguish man surrounded by nine staffs.

"The Environment, what's going on around you, is signified by The Lovers, reversed." In the picture, a man and a woman stood with their arms around each other, apparently being blessed by an angel. "This can mean a fear of commitment, troubled relationships, someone refusing to make an important decision. It could also mean quarrels and disagreements, or possibly you're faced with an impossible choice.

"Your Inner Emotions? The Seven of Swords." An unsavory-looking character was carrying five of the seven swords away. "Diplomacy or evasion may be needed to achieve a goal. An ability to look at things from a unique point of view or to do the unexpected will come in handy. You may be trying to move on while leaving part of your life behind.

"The Final Outcome: Queen of Swords, reversed. Misfortune. A manipulative woman who opposes you, often in secret. Someone who twists facts to her advantage. A secret enemy. Someone who may want to force you to do something." The picture of a stern woman with a shining sword and helmet re-enforced Ashanti's somber interpretation.

Ashanti sat and gazed, first at the reading, then at Hagrid. "Does any of that mean anything to you?"

The gamekeeper nodded slowly. "Some. The part about the travel, an' the bit about not standing up fer m'self."

"If you mean that Skeeter article, forget it, Hagrid. I mean it." Ashanti frowned to add impact to her words. "No one cares about the giant part of your family background. At least, no one important cares."

Hagrid shrugged. "Aye, I've heard that from enough folks, I reckon." He gestured back at the cards. "Some o' the rest of this fits, too, but I can't tell you about some of it."

"It's all right," Ashanti assured him. "It doesn't have to make sense to me, just to you." She gathered the cards back up, careful to keep them in the order in which she had laid them into the reading. She glanced at her watch. "I need to go up to the castle. I promised Lee I'd meet her at the library. She's finishing her last report." Ashanti laughed. "I think we're going to have to pry her fingers off the doorknob of the library when we leave tomorrow."

Hagrid grinned. "Professional student, that one. You make sure she doesn't spend all her time workin', now."

"Don't worry -- we're going to make sure she doesn't do a bit of studying for at least the first week after we get home." Ashanti grinned. She wrapped the deck in its silk cloth and slid it back into the box.

"Well, if'n I don't see you before you leave, take care o' yerself," Hagrid said, rising to his feet as she stood up. "An' if you ever get back to this area, stop in, all right?" He opened the door for her and offered his hand.

His huge fist swallowed up her dark hand. "I will. Thanks for everything, Hagrid. Take care of yourself." She gave him a wave and set off up the hill.

Part III: Page of Wands

"Hey, Potter. Potter! You dropped this!" Ashanti stooped to pick a piece of parchment off the floor and held it out to the dark-haired, bespectacled boy who had turned to eye her warily. Down the corridor, two other Gryffindor students, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, had stopped to wait.

Harry Potter's expression turned from wariness to weariness as Ashanti watched. "Thanks," he said finally, accepting the parchment.

"Potter. Are you all right?" Ashanti knew of Potter and his friends – everyone in the school did – but she didn't know him well personally. He was three years behind her, and the only relationship she tended to have with younger students was that of prefect, which meant she wasn't exactly warm and friendly much of the time.

"Yeah. I'm fine, thanks," Potter responded carefully.

Ashanti watched him for a moment before letting go of the parchment. "All right. Take care of yourself over the summer, Potter."

He blinked, nodded, and turned away to join his friends. Ashanti watched them go, then went off in search of Leanora Summerlee, who as usual was settled at a table in the Hogwarts Library.

"Lee, I need you to do a Tarot reading for someone," Ashanti told her, sliding into a chair across the table.

Leanora looked up from her Transfiguration notes, frowning. "What? A reading? For whom?"

"Harry Potter."

"Harry Potter?" Leanora looked puzzled. "Harry Potter asked for a reading?"

"No, I'm asking. I ran into Potter on my way here, and he just looks.... all in. He says he's all right, but of course he's not going to tell me his problems. There's a way to do a reading for someone who's not present, isn't there? Don't you use a signifier card?"

"Yes, but there's a question of privacy here -- I mean, what if he doesn't want a reading done?"

Ashanti paused to think. "Look at it this way. I'm one of the Gryffindor Prefects, which means Potter is my responsibility."

Leanora laughed. "For the next, what, day and a half? Once we get off the Hogwarts Express, none of this is really going to be our business any more."

"That's still a day and a half," Ashanti remarked. "I'm planning to leave here having done the best job I can for all the students of Gryffindor House. That includes Harry Potter. C'mon, Lee, I need some help here."

The other girl laughed. "You're starting to sound like Roddy."

Ashanti assumed an expression of mock anger. "Hey, there's no need to be insulting about this."

Leanora shook her head, but reached into her bag and drew out a silk pouch. A moment later she was shuffling the cards. Her long, delicate fingers separated the deck into two parts, riffled them together, and shuffled some more. Finally she stopped and began thumbing through the deck without changing the order of the cards. She drew out card bearing the picture of a young human with a thick wand in his hand and a cat sitting contentedly just behind him. "Page of Wands," she explained, beginning to shuffle the cards again. "It generally stands for action, good news, a young person who is courageous and energetic."

"Sounds like Potter," Ashanti remarked. "Especially considering his background."

Leanora nodded absently and began to turn the cards over and lay them on and around the signifier card, beginning with a grieving, dark-haired woman sitting beside four chalices; the cat face behind her was weeping.

"The Four of Cups reversed represents the Present. It means that someone is coming out of a rut, or has renewed relationships, or is seeing the end of a period of discontent.

"In the Immediate Future position, the Ten of Cups reversed. This means the Querent is entering a period of disharmony and conflict." The card bore the likeness of a robed man with ten filled chalices; several cats were nestled contentedly against him.

"The Queen of Swords reversed shows the appearance or influence of someone who will betray or lie or deceive the Querent." A regal, older woman leaned upon a sword, flanked by a black panther. "Usually this card represents a woman."

The next card carried the picture of a robed, cloaked woman floating a circle at the end of her scepter, while a very plump cat crouched on the floor. "In the distant past is the Ace of Coins, which stands for an inheritance or a windfall or a new business venture. Usually this means money or material wealth, but can also mean anything of importance or value to the Querent.

"In the recent past is the Five of Swords. The Querent has recently experienced a sneak attack or some other form of hostility. It can also stand for a period of loneliness and uncertainty." A man wearing a leopard-hide cloak, surrounded by four swords and leaning on a fifth, represented the Five of Swords. Two leopards sat behind him. On the next card, a bearded man carried six scepters; three shadowy cats peered around the hem of his robes.

"In the future, the Querent can expect victory and success or good news of some sort, shown here by the Six of Wands. However, I wouldn't call this the happy ending, since the card in the Destiny position is the reversed Queen of Swords. But the Querent will experience some successes.

"The Querent card is the Empress reversed." A richly dressed woman, a snow leopard crouched at her feet, wrapped her cloak around her. "Given that the Querent is male, this suggests some kind of missed or ignored opportunities, a feeling of despair, stagnation, or unsatisfying relationships."

The next card was the picture of contentment -- three cats and a woman sat on or near a comfortably stuffed chair, reading a book by lamplight. The "coin" was actually held in a stand similar to the ones used to hold a globe. Unfortunately, the card was upside down in its position. "For the Environment, we have the Page of Coins reversed. This means rebellion against good advice, or a need to investigate something before making decisions. It can also mean a poor choice, or an established bureaucracy that's holding something up.

"Inner feelings: the Four of Coins reversed. He's concerned about security, either his own or someone else's. Or he's holding onto something that should be let go." Leanora had turned over a card with a picture of a woman clutching four circles, each bearing a star in the center. A cat crouched facing her, tail lashing.

"Final outcome." She laid the last card, showing a man riding a huge bobcat and bearing a scepter, in the position under the Four of Coins. "The Knight of Wands. Creative energy. Change. Involvement in new projects. This card represents travelers and sportsmen."

"He's going to become a world-renowned Quidditch player," Ashanti remarked.

Leanora smiled. "Maybe. It's interesting that his signifier card is the Page of Wands, and here we have the Knight of Wands, which can also mean a grown man who is energetic and creative. Maybe this is what Harry Potter will become as an adult."

Part IV: Eight of Wands

"Hey, last meal in the Great Hall before we leave Hogwarts for good! O'Bannon! Get a picture of this!" Haviland struck a pose, one fist on his hip; he sported a goblet in his other hand.

As O'Bannon aimed the camera, Ashanti walked up behind him. "Oh, yes, absolutely -- shoot him, O'Bannon," she drawled, and O'Bannon jumped.

"Shall I get one with all three of you?"

The trio exchanged glances. Leanora smiled, Ashanti rolled her eyes. "Oh, why not? It's not exactly a secret. What are they going to do, kick us off our House tables?"

Haviland put the goblet on a table. "All right, I'm in the middle, ladies on either side...." Leanora stepped up to his right, Ashanti to his left, and Haviland dropped an arm over each of their shoulders. "There! Perfect. Here we are -- Haviland's harem." The flash went off before either young woman could react.

(When the roll of film was later developed, it revealed, among other scenes, a photo of Roderick Haviland smirking and raising a goblet in the Great Hall; a Gryffindor, a Slytherin, and a Ravenclaw posing with arms around each other and grins on their faces; and, finally, a sputtering but laughing young man being drenched from two sides by identical streams of water.)

The three of them had, as usual, gotten a compartment on the train to themselves. Unlike most of the years they had ridden the train home, however, they were silent for a long time after pulling out of the Hogsmeade station.

"Some Last Feast," Ashanti remarked finally. "Dumbledore doesn't sugar-coat anything, does he? Poor Cedric.... Remember that reading you did for Potter, Lee? He's supposedly going to face a time of turmoil and uncertainty? Looks like we're all going to share that one."

"She did a reading for Harry Potter?" Haviland asked.

"Well, not exactly. I did a reading about him," Leanora explained. Ashanti pulled the parchment out of her baggage, and the three poured over it. "Look," Ashanti said. "The Queen of Swords, reversed -- that showed up in your reading, but it also showed up --" here she rummaged around in her bags for another piece of paper "-- in this reading that I did for Hagrid." She laid the paper next to the parchment. Haviland's gaze was darting between the two girls.

"Funny you should say that," he said finally. "I did a read for Draco Malfoy. Yes, I know," he added, gesturing with one hand while the two girls regarded him with startled faces, "but he was being less annoying than usual, and I was kind of curious. But the strange thing is that the Queen of Swords reversed came up in that reading, too."

"Who is she?" Ashanti mused. "Or who is she going to be?"

"Maybe McGonagall's going to make life difficult for all three of them next year," Haviland suggested.

"Maybe it's not the same woman at all," Leanora added. "The Queen of Swords reversed could be a situation in which someone is suffering or emotionally bogged down. The person will need help from others to get out of that situation." She turned to watch the scenery going by outside the compartment window. "But either way, it sounds as though all three will have to deal with trouble, possibly lies and manipulation, and none of them will escape unscathed."

"I wonder," Haviland murmured a few moments later, "if the rest of us will facing those things right along with them. That was a pretty gloomy speech Dumbledore made last night. It's true then --Voldemort has come back. Malfoy said so, too, or at least hinted at it."

He rummaged around in his baggage for a quill and ink. "Look." Under Ashanti's notes of Hagrid's reading, he jotted down the names and positions of the five cards he had drawn for Malfoy two days before. Ashanti and Leanora studied the spread thoughtfully.

"So, what do you think it really means?" Ashanti asked finally.

"Well, people usually hear what they want to hear, but...." Haviland shrugged. "Knowing what I do about Malfoy, I'd say the Ten of Coins really does represent his family, wealth, power, what have you. He's grown up in a rich and powerful family, and the family has had been rich and powerful for a long time. The Seven of Wands does suggest an advantage, of starting something from a position of strength." He paused. "The Queen of Swords? I'm betting that's Malfoy's mother, and the Knight of Cups reversed is his father. Lucius Malfoy's got a reputation as a smooth, clever man who manipulates situations and people and usually comes out on top." He frowned thoughtfully at the final card. "But the King of Cups reversed.... I'm not sure if that's Malfoy, Senior, or someone else. This card could be reinforcing the idea that Lucius Malfoy's a scheming deceiver, or it could represent someone else altogether -- maybe someone who's a friend of Malfoy's, or someone he's working with.... or it could go all the way to...."

"Voldemort?" suggested Ashanti. "Malfoy, Senior was thought to be a supporter of his, wasn't he?"

"And Draco was dropping innuendoes like size twelve boots," Haviland remarked.

"I wish I could believe Professor Dumbledore was wrong," Leanora said. "But the cards in all three readings represented trials and difficulties."

Haviland snorted. "Don't they always? Don't most readings point to some kind of problem? C'mon, Lee, I know you're smarter than Trelawney. No matter how difficult everything gets, we're going to see it through together. If people couldn't separate us in school, in spite of being in different houses, we're not going to let them separate us now."

"That's right." Ashanti rolled up the parchment and slipped it back into one of her bags. "We're going to keep right on watching out for each other. All right?"

Leanora finally smiled back. "All right."

"So," Haviland said heartily, "who wants to place bets on which of us gets a job first?" With that, the conversation turned to other matters.


Author's Note: Everything recognizable here from the Harry Potter books (including Harry Potter, Rubeus Hagrid, Draco Malfoy, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and its various rooms and Houses) belong to author J.K.Rowling. They have been borrowed without permission for the purposes of this story, and no money has been made from their use.

Many thanks to my beta-reader, Zsenya, for catching all those embarrassing little mistakes before they became public. Behind every good author is a great editor.

The title of this story is a paraphrase of a quote from Sir Richard Steele: "Every man is the maker of his own fortune." I don't think he was talking about Tarot cards, but the quote fit the story.

As in "Fortunes Favor the Bold", the readings in this story are actual Tarot Card readings done for each of the characters, and not cards chosen for dramatic value. For those interested in books on the Tarot, one of my favorite works is Tarot Plain and Simple, by Anthony Louis, with artword by Robin Wood. I like her card illustrations, although I wish some of the male and female figures would cover up a few things. Mr. Louis covers the Tarot deck card by card, discussing the meanings of both upright and reversed cards. It's an excellent book for beginners.