The Page of Pentacles
When Luna Lovegood was nine years old, she foresaw her mother's death. She was learning to read the Tarot from her mother, who had the most magical way of weaving a story with the meaning of the cards in front of her. And now it was time for Luna to learn.
The anticipation was almost unbearable. They had gone to Knockturn Alley to buy a new pack of cards for Luna. She had wanted to use her mother's, but her mother was insistent. Tarot Cards were not to be shared. Luna would have her own cards.
Once the cards were hers, and hers alone, she needed to transfer her energy onto the cards. Luna would spend hours every day, shuffling the cards, memorizing the colors, thinking of the secrets she would be able to unlock. She took a piece of black silk and embroidered bright yellow moons and stars along the edge. Every night she wrapped the silk around the cards and laid them under her pillow.
Finally, her mother announced that Luna was ready to give her first reading.
Luna unwrapped the cards and handed them to her mother to shuffle. When her mother handed Luna back the cards, she could feel the magic surrounding them.
Slowly, reverently, Luna laid three cards face-down in front of her: past, present and future.
Luna widened her eyes in excitement as she flipped over the first card. It was a reverse three of wands. She then closed her eyes tightly, trying to remember what that specific card meant, not seeing her mother's face whiten.
"Your past shows that your refusal of accepting the truth could hamper your efforts and a stubborn independence," exclaimed Luna in triumphant.
"Continue," her mother said softly.
The next card was The Hierophant. This was an easy card to remember. She beamed up at her mother. "Your present is The Hierophant, who symbolizes a wise and capable advisor. A trusted teacher," said Luna happily. "Mummy, that's you!"
"One card to go, Lovely Luna," her mother told her.
The moment Luna turned over the next card, the card representing her mother's future, she started crying. She cried so hard that her mother came around the table and scooped Luna up in her arms, rocking her back and forth.
"Shh, Lovely Luna," her mother whispered over and over again. "The Death Card is a good card. Shh…it rarely means actual death, love. It's a transformation or a change. Don't worry, love, I'm here."
Two days later, her mother was dead, killed by a spell of her own invention.
The day after her mother's funeral, Luna took her Tarot cards, wrapped them in the black silk she had labored so long over and put them in the bottom drawer of her dresser.
She didn't think of them again until her the start of her fourth year. As Luna packed her trunk, she placed them at the very bottom. Maybe there was a chance she could use them in Divination that year.
The Hogwarts Express was where she first noticed him. He called himself a nobody. That saddened her. Couldn't he see that everyone was somebody? That everyone, no matter who they were, was special in some unique way? Her mother had taught her that.
That night, sitting cross-legged on her bed, Luna felt the urge to read her cards. She quickly took them from her trunk and then sat back on her bed, closing the curtains tightly around her.
It would be an easy spread. She remembered the ones her mother had used, complicated ones that could last hours, but Luna wasn't ready for those. This first reading would be simple.
The card representing her past was The Hanged Man. A temporary pause in life. Acceptance of change. Patience.
That made Luna smile. If she was anything, she was patient. One had to be in order to prove to the world that Crumple-Horned Snorkacks and Wrackspurts did indeed exist. People's attitudes didn't change overnight, after all.
The next card (for the present) was the reverse Ace of Wands. Luna stared at this card for a while, as it simply didn't make sense to her. The reversed Ace of Wands showed restlessness or an uncontrolled desire for change. Luna was perfectly happy with her life right now. Why would she want a change? She moved on.
Her hand stayed on the last card for a good five minutes before Luna had the courage to flip it over. Taking a deep breath, she did, and saw the Page of Pentacles staring back at her. Physically, the Page of Pentacles was an introverted young man with dark hair and eyes. He was a conscientious, capable person. A patient student with a sense of duty.
A slow smile spread across Luna's face. It was him.
Fourth year was different than the first three. Harry Potter started the D.A. She would go to the meetings and people talked to her. Ginny Weasley in particular was very nice. But her favorite part was being able to watch him.
When the D.A. just started, Luna had the feeling that he didn't like being a wizard very much. Nothing else could explain why he clearly wasn't trying his hardest. She couldn't understand it since it was completely against her philosophy of life. Luna loved life, wanted to give life a hug. She embraced everything and threw herself into everything she did. Luna simply didn't know any other way to live.
She tried talking to him once or twice before the holidays, but he always mumbled something about needed to check on his plants and walked away. Luna never minded. Occasionally, she would walk by the Greenhouse and watch him work. His shirt sleeves rolled up to his elbows, his hands covered in dirt. He radiated power when he was in the Greenhouse and Luna thought it was beautiful.
But then, after Christmas, he changed. And Luna was lucky enough to witness his rebirth. One would need to have known his face very well to see the difference. But after watching him carefully for almost five months, she knew his face.
He had been alone at the Gryffindor table, eating breakfast. Casually, he picked up a disguarded copy of the Daily Prophet. Luna knew what the story of the day was. She knew what the competition was printing. Luna also knew that the important question wasn't who helped the Death Eaters escape but which Ministry official was controlling the Dementors by contaminating the mead used for butterbeer.
As he scanned the article, his face hardened. A quiet strength that she had never seen before settled in his eyes. He slipped the newspaper into his shoulder bag and stood up, his hands slowly clenching into fists.
In that very moment, Neville Longbottom had become a man.
And Luna had discovered love.
That night, Luna read her cards again with the same simple spread. The first card was The Fool, her favorite card. That would represent her new life at Hogwarts. Next, the Ace of Cups. Another good card, meaning the start of love. She couldn't have picked a more accurate card for the present. Finally, her future, the two of Swords. Friendship at the time of adversity or an ally on whom you can depend. A possible duel.
Luna hugged herself with pleasure at the reading. Someday she might have a friend.
Soon his change wasn't just her secret anymore. Soon everyone realized that he had changed. They wondered and speculated but no one had the courage to actually go up to him and ask. Luna didn't need to ask. She had been there to witness his transformation after all.
Her secret remained a secret. There was no one to tell. Luna was content to watch him work during the D.A. meetings. That sense of power she felt from him in the Greenhouse followed him everywhere now. She couldn't be the only one who sensed it.
Once, during a meeting, she dropped her wand, and he bent over to pick it up. Their hands brushed and Luna thought her skin was on fire.
But he never truly saw her. He wasn't ready. Not yet. That didn't bother her. She would wait until he was.
Then there was the incident at the Ministry of Magic. Luna was very glad to have a practical test for her Defense against the Dark Arts skills. The fight made her realize that she had some work to do over the summer if she wanted to get a good score on her O.W.L.S.
It was the first summer that Luna remembered being restless. Her father cancelled their trip to Sweden without an explanation. Her own research projects for articles for the Quibbler weren't giving her any joy. There was only so much studying she could do.
Luna took to taking long walks around the village, trying to clear her head. Sometimes, it simply felt so full…But she would never use a Pensieve, not when it could case serious brain damage.
She knew her father was worried about her; he told her as much. Her father said that she was acting just like her mother before she was killed. Luna simply smiled at such statements. There was no one on earth that she would rather be like.
Finally her fifth year started. She saw him right away, the moment she crossed the barrier onto Platform Nine and Three Quarters. He waved when he saw her.
But then she found out that the D.A. wouldn't be continuing. Both Luna took the news hard. She enjoyed the D.A. and now it would be harder to spend time with him. They were in different years and different Houses.
Luna didn't put the magical coin away; she kept it in a place of honor on her nightstand. She would check from time to time, hoping that the dates for the next meeting might appear. But she was always disappointed.
Fifth year was disconcerting in the beginning. She wasn't used to people walking up to her and starting a conversation. That would happen occasionally with Ginny Weasley. Luna found herself on her guard in the hallways, as a few students would say hello now, like Harry or Hermione. If she was paying attention, which sometimes she wasn't, Luna would always try to return the greeting.
He always said hello. Luna learned where there was the best chance of seeing him in the hallway and would force herself to pay attention. Tuesdays she had Herbology right after him, so they almost always exchanged pleasantries.
The first half of the year passed quickly. The biggest treat was when Harry Potter invited her to a party. A real party. She briefly wondered if he would be there, but there was no sign of him. Luna had a wonderful conversation with a vampire named Sanguini when Harry disappeared for a while. Sanguini might have denied it, but he simply confirmed her belief that the Minister of Magic was indeed a vampire himself.
After the party, once her dress robes were packed away, Luna settled on her bed and laid out her cards. It had been almost a year since her last reading and so many things had changed. Her past showed the reverse six of Pentacles, the careless loss of money, the squandering of resources.
Luna thought back to her childhood, when the Quibbler was just getting off of the ground. It lost a great deal of money back then and they ended up selling a good deal of her mother's jewelry to make end's meet. But her mother compensated by making her own. The necklace of butterbeer caps had been her favorite.
The next card was the three of Cups. Luna smiled at this card, which indicates parties and meetings. That certainly was right.
She thought of him as she turned the last card of the spread. The ten of Cups. That represented peace, friendship and long lasting family happiness.
Luna always believed in living day by day. Especially in times like these. She was not one for long term planning. But the readings she had done…Luna wouldn't mind that future.
As her O.W.L.S. approached, Luna spent more and more time in the library. Mainly on her own, but occasionally Ginny would invite her to join a study group.
One night, he was in the library at a table by himself. Luna found herself staring at him instead of studying Charms. She watched him, trying not blink, not wanting to miss anything. But then he looked up and saw her.
During that moment, Neville Longbottom smiled at her. A real, genuine smile.
And Luna was reaffirmed in her belief in love.
That was the night when everything changed. When Luna went back to her room, her magical coin told her that the D.A. was meeting. With a rush of excitement, Luna hurried to the Room of Requirements, so pleased there would be another chance to see him. They made a connection tonight, she just knew it.
He was already there when she arrived. They shared another smile, both happy that the D.A. was back. Hermione gave out instructions quickly, and Luna found herself outside of Professor Snape's office.
She tried to have a normal conversation with Hermione, but she didn't respond to any of Luna's questions regarding Aquavirius Maggots or Heliopaths. But then Professor Flitwick appeared and then Professor Snape told them to care for the Charms instructor.
Everything happened so fast.
They managed to get Professor Flitwick to the Hospital Wing. Just as they were going to find the rest of the group, the doors burst open. There were people that fought at the Ministry last year and someone that Luna didn't recognize.
But then she saw him. And he was unconscious. Madame Pomfrey worked quickly on the other injured wizard, who had red hair just like Ronald. He was left alone on a bed.
Time seemed to stand still. She couldn't take her eyes off him. Luna was vaguely aware of the heated words and tears around her. The only time she stopped looking at him was when she heard Ginny say the words, "Ron, Dumbledore's dead."
Luna was saddened by the news, but was well aware that the Headmaster wouldn't have lived forever. No one did. The Headmasters loved ones would see him again someday.
She was the last one to leave the Hospital Wing. Madam Pomfrey had to ask her to leave in a pointed voice. Luna didn't want to leave. She needed to be by his side. She tried to explain this to Madam Pomfrey, who wouldn't hear it.
Even though Luna felt like she could sleep standing up, she took her cards out for a reading when she got back to her dorm. The first card was Strength. Courage defeating mean attitudes and hatred. Triumph over enemies.
Luna pondered that card for quite a while, wondering when the triumph had been. She couldn't recall it at all.
Next was the reverse five of Swords. Luna almost started laughing in disbelief at that cards. The five of Swords generally shows attendance at a funeral. Which undoubtedly, Luna would be doing in the next few days.
The future showed Temperance, a harmonious partnership and a peace restored after a troubled time. Luna closed her eyes as she put the cards away, pleased to know that after the war, even with all that had happened, there was peace to look forward to.
She was by his bed when he woke. Luna was reading aloud to him from The Life and Times of Albus Dumbledore. It was a book she had meant to read for a while, and now seemed as good of time as ever.
He seemed pleased to see her. They talked about what had happened the night before. Luna was the one to tell him that the Headmaster had been killed. He started crying and Luna offered her hand. He held on to it tightly. She still sensed that power radiating off of him. Luna wanted to be tinder, she wanted to help fuel that power any way she could.
The day of the funeral, Luna was walking with her House when she saw him limping alone down the hallway. His House had left him behind. She walked towards him, calling his name. He looked up and smiled. She offered her arm and together they made their way to the lake.
They sat next to each other and held hands. Luna didn't pay attention to what the Ministry official was saying, but instead looked around at the witches and wizards mourning. She herself wasn't crying. Luna hadn't even cried at her own mother's funeral. She had learned long ago that death was not fair in choosing its victims.
On the Hogwarts Express heading home, they sat very close, even though they had the entire compartment to themselves. He had his arm around her waist and Luna rested her head against his shoulder. It was very nice, almost like having a real friend.
Then, right in front of her, she had the fortune to witness him change again. His face softened as he stroked her cheek. They looked at each other and Luna could see her future in his eyes.
Neville Longbottom kissed her gently.
And Luna kissed him back.
That night, Luna wrapped her Tarot Cards in the worn black silk and placed them back in the bottom drawer of her dresser. She didn't need picture cards to reveal the future to her any more.
A/N – Just a little idea I had to get out of my system. I wanted to write something that would make me smile since I'm dealing with so much angst in my other story. If I happened to make you smile, please feel free to leave a review, which will make me smile even more!