SEERiously: Part I
"This is the craziest thing we've done yet," said Hermione.
"Oh, really? I happen to think it's the most brilliant," said Ginny. "Just think….since it's never been done before, we'll have a complete monopoly of the market!
"Yeah….well, there might be a reason for that."
"Oh, quit being a spoil-sport. You thought of it."
"I did not!"
Ginny shrugged her shoulders. "Well…..you came up with the idea of voice apparition. You're a genius, do you know that? No hard patronus charm to learn….no sticking one's head in a hot fire….no having to wait on an owl…...and best of all….it's anonymous. Nothing to link it to the sender. I don't know how you came up with a spell that disassociates one's voice from oneself…..but like I said, genius!"
Hermione blushed. Everything Ginny said was true; but it was Ginny's entrepreneurial mind that had come up with the idea of using it for profit. Just like her twin brothers, Ginny was a visionary when it came to uncharted possibilities. No one could say the youngest Weasley didn't have a head for business.
It had all started when the redheaded witch visited Hermione over the summer. She had been mesmerized by the commercials on the telly. One in particular had grabbed her fancy.
"Need a new love in your life? Having trouble finding 'the one'? Our experts are on call day or night to guide you. Call for your own private psychic reading. Pick up your phone and dial: (in the US) 1-800-CAL-LUSA - or- +44 20 DIAL BRIT!"
"I tell you…..this will be a goldmine," Ginny gushed. She had come up with an idea of using Hermione's invention in place of a muggle phone call and tweaking the commercial she had loved to fit a young wizarding demographic. "I have to hand it to the muggles…..they are very creative….but gullible. Honestly….psychics? Please. What do muggles know about looking into the Eye? Their crystal balls aren't even crystal.
"Maybe some of their psychics are our seers moonlighting in the muggle world. It could be very lucrative for them."
Ginny's eyes gleamed. "Now there's a thought….."
"Oh Ginny!" laughed Hermione. "I was just teasing!"
"Well, you never know….besides, it doesn't hurt to keep one's options open," Ginny said in a tone that was too earnest for Hermione's liking. "But I would try to make a go of it in our world before doing anything like that. At least, in the magical community all our seers are real…."
"Not all of them," said Hermione, thinking of Trelawney.
"Okay, well...most of them are." Ginny waved her hand nonchalantly as if the point didn't matter. "But getting back to our idea…"
Your idea, thought Hermione.
"...can you imagine the business we'll have? We'll have the weeks leading up to Valentine's to give the readings. Everyone will want to know who their best match is. Maybe they'll ask for a future reading to see how their dates end? What do you think?"
"I think you're going to get us into trouble. Why don't you try a future reading about that before you plunge us into hot water?"
"What do you mean?" Ginny looked at Hermione with her big blue eyes. Eyes that were so much like Ron's.
Hermione huffed. "Have you not given a thought about the consequences for us if your predictions don't come true? We'll be scared to show our faces around here!"
"Never let others hold you back, 'Mione. Every great idea has setbacks at first."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "You know, you're beginning to sound like one of those self-help gurus."
"Pshaw. It'll be fun….you'll see." Ginny hummed happily to herself. "Oh….what should we charge? You think a galleon is too much?"
"Well a sickle's not near enough. I would be wasting my time doing it for that little piddly amount."
"I can't believe you're going to charge for whatever make-believe that comes out of your head. Don't you have a conscience?"
"'Mione, I won't be lying. I am a seer! You of all people know that!"
Hermione gave her friend what Ron and Harry called The Look. "It's one thing to give a true prophecy...it's quite another to shuck out fake predictions like a World Cup analyst showing partiality to their favorite team."
Ginny, not as easily intimidated by Hermione's stare as the boys, gave her friend a level gaze back. "How do you know my readings won't be real?"
Hermione shook her head. "Caveat emptor," she muttered to herself.
Ginny had been right. Hogwarts had been a goldmine. Witches and wizards alike had lined up to purchase instructions on how to voice apparate. Ginny was upset that not all who bought Hermione's charm used it to send in requests for readings, but thanks to her marketing skills, (heavily influenced by muggle media) she had enough customers to keep her happy and rolling in the galleons. The spell Fred and George had come up with to activate a touch payment feature on the ads was really ingenious in Ginny's mind, although it reminded Hermione of muggle credit cards. Professor McGonagall had pursed her lips at the advertising that had sprung up overnight at Hogwarts, but the Headmaster had chuckled after reading one of the many neon-colored signs.
Pooh on love potions! Bah to arranged dates!
Are you tired of the same old courting scene? Had enough of trysting with troll-like twits? Wondering if you'll ever find your soulmate? Look no further!
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Send in your request and our expert seer will reply with a reading that will change your life!
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But wait….there's more!
For our Early Bird Buyers, we'll add an extra reading at NO CHARGE!
That's right! Two readings for one low price!
So what are you waiting for? Voice Apparate for your reading now!
* Touch-N-Go Transaction is here!
(By touching this this ad you accept that payment for the service rendered will be magically withdrawn from your Gringotts' vault. Sorry, no substitutions, exchanges or refunds)
Hermione had a hard time accepting money for her charm; to allay her conscience, she gave her earnings to Ron for the purchase of new dress robes for him to wear to the Valentine's dance. Molly was touched by Hermione's gesture and thought it meant the two had become a couple. Ron's mother didn't know he had renewed his relationship with Lavender on the advice of the reading he'd received. Ginny had giggled uncontrollably when she'd seen the words materializing in front of her.
"Look, 'Mione. My dope of a brother actually signed his name," she pointed, laughing. "Hey...he's asking whom he should carry to the dance." Looking over at Hermione lounging on her bed, she raised her brows in question. "Interested?"
Hermione shook her head and said, "Don't you dare."
Ginny grinned. "That leaves Lavender, then. Serves you right, Ronnie," she chirped as she sent off her reply.
Later that night when Hermione was out on prefect duty, another request materialized in front of Ginny. As soon as she saw it, she stiffened. She knew right away this one was not like the others.
The words hovering before her quivered against the strength of the sender's unsuppressed emotions.
I am hopeless; but I wish
I have all; yet still I lack.
I was cold; now I burn.
My heart desires what's mine to have
My dream fulfilled will come to me.
Ginny paused. As she hesitated, the door to her dorm room opened and Hermione strolled in.
"Oh, geez, Gin. Another one?"
"This one's different," Ginny said in a low voice. "There's power in it…..can't you feel it?"
Hermione walked over to read the words. "I...I know this. I know those words."
Ginny looked up at her. "Huh? How could you?"
"It was an assignment in our Newt-level Casting class. Professor Schreiber was teaching us about the power of using words to call forth realities into existence. He called it The Magic of the Spoken Word. We all had homework to turn in. I...I remember Professor Schreiber reading some of our work. It was…..," Hermione sucked in a breath, "Gin….this was someone's attempt at calling forth! It's the same words!"
Ginny looked at the words in the air, still pulsing with energy. "I...this is beyond me, 'Mione. What should we do?"
Hermione cleared her throat and was about to answer when a shriek was heard outside their door. Jumping in fright, the two girls collided into each other. Hermione stumbled and accidentally pushed Ginny into the words hovering nearby.
"Oh! Gin...I'm sorry! Are you okay?"
But Ginny didn't respond. Girlish giggling outside their door replaced the earlier shriek, but Hermione's mind was elsewhere.
Sucking in a large rasping breath, Ginny began to speak in a weird monotone. Goosebumps began to break out on Hermione's skin. She had heard Ginny speak this way once before. Just like then, she knew her friend was about to utter a true revelation.
"The lack, the cold, the hopeless
Three in one but all the same
The love that lights the wishing flame
Will burn with ever-growing desire
It will consume. It will devour. It will have its way."
"Ginny…..Ginny? Are you alright?"
Ginny 's eyes began to blink and flutter. "Huh….wh…..what? 'Mione?" the redhead confusedly looked around the room. "What happened?"
Before Hermione could tell her, the levitating words that had pulled a prophecy from a true seer began to swirl around as if caught in a maelstrom. Tighter and faster they spun. Then with a soundless wave of light they flashed and disappeared. A tremor felt by both girls rumbled underneath the foundation of Hogwarts.
"What was that?" Ginny gasped.
Hermione bit her lip. "I...I think it was a new reality being born."
AN: One of my Dracolicious chapters dealt with Ginny being a Seer. So I thought I would visit that concept again. The bit in the ad that said "no substitutions, exchanges or refunds" came from the animated movie Aladdin.
Caveat emptor is Latin for "let the buyer beware."