(1941-08-07) Fortune Favours the Bold
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Summary: Little Mistress Moira Woodcroft visits the Fortune Teller Shop on a hot day and her sunny presence draws other customers.
Date: August 7th, 1941
Location: Hogsmeade - Fortune Teller's Shop

It is a summer afternoon. The weather is hot and overcast.

Black velvet walls are covered in glittering metallic silver stars and embroidered with astrological symbols and glittering silken threads go between some of the stars linking them in celestial constellations. Models of galaxies slowly spin in precious and semi precious metals. Some of the planets and moons are even bejeweled. There are a few private rooms off of the main shop area. These private rooms are for more personal readings and seances. Every room is similarly decorated as the main room, but each smaller room has a round table shrouded in velvet table clothes that are covered in crystals, runes, bones, and in the center of each table is a large crystal ball on a pedestal. Behind a zodiac tapestry behind the clerk counter in the main room is a concealed stairwell that goes up to the Fortune Teller's domicile.

The weather being hot and grey has the windows and door to the Fortune Teller's Shop all opened. A crystal ball on a brass stand keeps the front door open. The rare little breeze makes the pendulums and dangling decorations inside the shop tinkle pleasantly. Sitting in her chair on the seer's side of the divination table. Cassandra has her sleeves pressed up and a fan hand painted with a cosmic scene of stars and nebula dust. Slow but steady the fan is waved to keep her cool. Idly to pass the time she is doing her own tarot spread, a rather blank and bored expression on her face as she does so.

In the heat, Moira has foregone her usual long-sleeve dress and cloak look in favour of a breezier summer dress of lime green. While spinning in the street (because spinning keeps one cool, obviously), she spots Cassandra through her open door. She stops — whoa, dizzy — and waves cheerfully. "Hello, Madam Cassandra!"

Cassandra perks up with a sweet little smile, the child's summery nature is contagious. "Hello little Mistress Woodcroft. My don't you look so very pretty. Would you like to see something interesting?" The seer stands and waves the girl into the shop, going to one of the displays she lifts a white shimmering crystalline stone that's been cut to look like a unicorn horn.

Moira skips right into the shop, the skirt of her summer dress bouncing. "What is it? Och! It's beautiful!" Her jaw drops dramatically at the sigh of the spiraling crystal. "Is it magical? What's it for?"

Beauford slips into the Fortune Teller's shop with a curious look around, his own clothing is not quite school clothing but he's still dressed in a well-to-do fashion. He has on a white collared short sleeve shirt and charcoal slacks below his pale blue robes… the robes appear to be of a lightweight material to celebrate summer. Ford looks around with large brown eyes as he slowly makes his way into the shop, after a few paces he glances behind himself to check for his father. Ford does a little doubletake as if looking for someone… he drifts back to the door to poke his head out of the open walkway.

Cassandra lifts the crystal horn up to Moira's forehead between her eyes and places the flat of the horn there. Even though it was sitting out on a hot day the crystal is very cool to the touch and doesn't seem to pick up body heat either, or at least it does very slowly. "It is a crystal called Selenite. It is used in healing. You place the horn over troubled areas and the cool crystal draws out the negative energy and sends it away." The young boy's arrival is caught out of the corner of her eye and she turns her head to greet him while allowing Moira to hold the crystal horn. "Good afternoon young sir. Might Madam Vablatsky be able to help you with something?"

Moira eyes drift half-shut at the touch of the cool stone to her forehead. "That feels good," she murmurs, taking hold of the crystal and holding it in place, like a proper unicorn horn. From behind Cassandra, she wiggles her fingers at Beauford in a little wave of greeting.

"Oh, uh, yes?" Ford asked as he turned back from the open door to address the greeting being given his way by Madam Vablatsky. "Yes." He sounds more sure has he of himself as he withdraw from the open doorway and walked deep into the shop. "I'm exploring, Da promised he'd take me to Hosgmeade the summer before third year. We're on Holiday…" He points to the crystal held against Moira's forehead, "What's that? Unicorn horn? I thought those were illegal." He drifts closer to them as he spoke, wandering and looking around with a hyperactive natural distraction as he went.

Cassandra assures, "This is a Selenite Crystal that is shaped and polished to look like a unicorn horn. Very Unicorn friendly, I assure you. Please come in and take a look around. Everything you see but what's specifically on that table there is all for sale. Would you like to try one of the horns? They are very cool and feel very nice." Moira is then smiled to again, "Would you like it? Maybe one for your mother as well?""

Moira nods eagerly. "I'd love it! Maw would, too. But…I havenae enough money. I was goin' to get a readin', too." She blinks up at Cassandra with big, bright eyes — so innocent and guileless.

Ford looks at the Selenite horns an he nods, "Yeah, I'll try one… Thanks!" He carefully picks one up and presses it to his forehead with a quiet wonder written in his features. "That's peaceful." He agreed but he pulls it away soon enough to gingerly set the horn down and start to examine the other stuff nearby. "Oh, like a tea reading?"

Cassandra smiles down at Moira, "I tell you what little Mistress. I know that you will bring the money in by the week's end. So two horns and a reading are yours if you would like them." She speaks as if it is fortold in a vision that she knows Moira is good for it. A regal gesture is made to the customer side of her divination table. "Wha sort of reading would you like today?" Beauford is nodded to, "Tea reading, Crystal Ball, Tarot, Runes, Palmistry, I am able to perform most any sort of Divination. Each for it's own price of course."

Moira beams with pure glee and bounces over to the divination table to take her seat. "Um…I dinnae ken what's best. What do you think?" She turns in the chair to pose the question to Beauford, apparently deciding that his opinion is important in this decision.

"Me?" Ford says with a bit obvious confusion at being asked, "You want me to stay? Can I watch… I thought these things were private things." He walks over though with a wide grin on his mousy features, reaching up to tuck some messy brown hair out of his face as he looked over the array of Divination tools availble. "Uh… crystal balls are interesting. I bet you don't drink tea yet, do you?" He wondered as he sized up the smaller Moira.

Cassandra looks rather amused as she watches the children discuss what reading she will do. Patiently she tidies up the divination table.

Moira shrugs. "I've had tea. I dinnae drink it much, though. I'm Moira. Moira Woodcroft." She emphasises her last name, as if it should mean something — which it should, to any resident of Hogsmeade. "Do you go to Hogwarts? What year are you in? Have you done Divinatin lessons?"

"I do go to Hogwarts but I don't drink tea, my mother says I can't have tea…" Beauford twitches a little as he adjusted his pale blue summer robes with an evident inability to stand still. "I prefer hot chocolate." There is a tiny pause before he offers, "Beauford Bagman" with no special emphasis despite the fame in his own last name. "You can call me Ford."

During one of his strolls, Laurean seems intrigued about the ongoing activity inside the Fortune Teller's Shop at Hogsmeade, so he decides to enter the establishment quietly. Once inside, he recognizes a familiar face. The young girl of Hengist Park, of course. When checking his notebook, Laurean notices that her name is not mentioned anywhere. Unconceivable! Ford shakes his head no at the question of Divination lessons.

Cassandra is doing her best to maintain her refined image and not outwardly giggle in delight at the children's discussion. When a new customer arrives she bows her head and greets him with, "Welcome. Please have a look around, everything you see but the items before me on this table are for sale. If you have any questions, please let me know, unless I'm in The Beyond. If that is the case I humbly request your patience." Attention back on Moira, "Now then Little Mistress, how will we look into your future?"

"Ford," Moira repeats. "I like hot chocolate, too. Och! My fortune!" She turns to face Cassandra again. "Ummm…do the cards! I like the drawings on them." The wisp of a girl leans forward, folding her hands on the table and resting her chin upon the back of her hands, eyes fixed on Cassandra.

"I've never seen tarot cards, Mum doesn't usually go in for that sort of thing…" Ford comments as he stood there craning his neck beside the table to watch the show about to unfold. "They have pictures?" He wondered but the question rings rather rhetorical since the cards will soon be on display with their pretty pictures. He falls silent but his sharp clever gaze scoots around the room as the door opened, he shoots the man a grin but looks back down at the table.

Cassandra gracefully sweeps open a silk scarf that is parceled around her Tarot Deck. They are fanned out some for Ford's benefit so he can see the pictures briefly. But soon enough she is passing the deck over the table to Moira. "Shuffle the cards as long as you would like. Speak the question aloud once and then think on it over and over again as you shuffle."

Moira takes the large cards in her small hands and she clutches the cards to her chest and shuts her eyes reverentially. "What kind of adventures will I have when I grow up?" Then she begins to "shuffle", which is mostly comprised of moving whole stacks of them into the middle of the deck over and over. After a good fifteen seconds of this, she places the unevenly stacked deck back on the table for Cassandra.

Laurean isn't looking for anything in particular inside the shop, and seems more interested in the reading that is about to start. He has no knowledge at all about Divination, but his mind is always open to new subjects. Laurean smiles back briefly to the young boy. He remains silent and still, with a sober expression. The young Maestro seems to perceive Divination as a ceremonial discipline that has to be treated with great respect.

At the fanning of the cards his brows leap up intrigued, "Fascinating." Once things are underway Ford pointedly shifts his weight away from the table even though he is still watching- he gives the experience a little space.

Cassandra lifts up the deck and because of the…loose way it was place a couple of cards fall out of the deck and land on the table. This seems to have enough significance that they are set aside for later. The reading is pro-bono so it's not one of the more elaborate spreads. Simple three cards in a row. "This first card is about the past, giving us insight to what's happened to lead you into an adventurous life. Or what must happen for the future you desire to open up to you. This is the Page of Cups. A message from far away brings two parties together. Have you received a message lately? An invitation to a certain School perhaps?" The seer gives Moira a little smile that seems like it holds all the knowing of the univers within it. "Communication is all important. A dialogue opens up new possibilities and leads to change. Hmm, a question I often get this time of year from those going off to Hogwarts is about the Sorting Hat and if it will take a student's wishes into consideration. I had quite the lengthy talk with the Sorting Hat when it was my turn, thankfully I was last, V for Vablatsky. So I wasn't putting off anyone elses sorting. This is telling me that you should maybe make sure to have a nice conversation yourself with the Sorting Hat. Do you have any questions so far?"

Moira shrugs. "I'm sure I'll be in Hufflepuff. My Da, my Maw, and my Granddad were all in Hufflepuff. But I thought you said it has to be a message from far away. Hogwarts isnae very far away at all. I don't get any other mail, though. Everyone I know lives here in Hogsmeade."

'Ford!' A faint baritone calls from out in the streets and it carries to those inside the Fortune Teller's shop. Beauford alerts suddenly and wheels around in the direction of the voice.. He glances back to the Divination table. "Excuse me, I gotta run, broomflying with Da tonight." He gives a wave to Laurean on his way past.

Cassandra gives a little startle at the calling but smiles over at Ford, "Come again soon. It was very nice to meet you." She seems to need a bit of a break to refocus herself. Taking a deep breath she looks over the spread on a whole. "Interpritation is fallable, but I think that this is what the cards are trying to say. This next card is the present or near future. It is the Seven of Swords. A confusion of options causes goals to become confused. To go in circles or waste time. A need for assistance and guidance goes unanswered. … Perhaps the cards are trying to tell us that this is not the way to answer your question?" It is a soft laugh that follows. But she is very willing to believe that the cards themselves are telling her to go with something else for this girls question.

"But this last card in the Future position is the Page of Wands. To relax and do it in style. One who enjoys the good things in life. A lifestyle that is lavish and entertaining. A passion for living to the fullest." She smiles across to Moira, "So if you want my answer, it is communicate your desires, don't listen to anything trying to disuade you and just be you." Becaue Cassandra obviously believes that Moira is the sort to live a lavish and entertaining lifestyle with passion for living. "Living life the way you want to live it will be the greatest adventure of all Little Mistress."

Laurean waves back to the young boy when he passes in front of him. He identifies him almost inmediately. A Ravenclaw housemate, Beauford… Bagman, that's it. Laurean checks his notes briefly to make sure. The reading catches Laurean's interest again, and he closes his notebook soon afterwards in order to listen carefully.

"Bye, Ford!" Moira waves to the boy as he goes, and her eyes catch Laurean there. Recognising him from a recent day at the park, she gives him a smile of greeting. But it is Cassandra's words that really catch her, and she beams a grin of pure satisfaction. "I knew it! So I don't have to do what people tell me to?" Now that's a dangerous question, if ever there was one.

Laurean gives a brief smile to Moira and chuckles softly at hearing Moira's last question. An interesting question about the borders of freedom. Laurean's gaze is fixed now on Cassandra, as he waits a profound answer to the question.

Cassandra lifts up a finger to call for pause from Moira. "You don't have to feel like you need to change who you are. Listening to good advice is always a wise thing to do. But if they are telling you that you need to change the core of your being, then you shouldn't listen to them, at least if you are going to have the adventure you were asking about in your question. So be mindful of your parents, relatives and friends." Merlin help her if Moira uses, "But Madam Cassandra said!" When Alistair is discipling her. So the seer is careful to clarify things on that point.

Moira pinches up her lips off to the side as she considers Cassandra's words, finally nodding, apparently satisfied with the answer. Getting back to her original question, she asks, "So…what kind of adventures will I have, then?"

Laurean nods in agreement to Cassandra's response, smiling briefly at her, but without saying a word. He wants to keep a serene atmosphere between question and answer that invites inner reflection.

Cassandra lifts up one of the cards that fell out of the deck, "The Nine of Cups…a lot of cups in your spread is a good sign. This card means that your adventures will bring you fortune, opulence, wealth." The next card is flipped. "The Queen of Pentacles. She means that perhaps you will become a diviner yourself. Insight and understanding. A confident ability to see through the surface and see underlying values. A sure and contemplative person. A person exhibiting a deeper awareness. Your adventures will reveal the inner value of something very important Moira, you have a great destiny ahead of you. It will bring you great fortune indeed."

Those last words draw out Moira's awe more than anything else. She lets out a slow breath which transforms into a whispered, "Wow." Her smile glows like the morning sun. "Thank you, Madam Cassandra. I can't wait to grow up!" She slips out of her chair, heading right for the display of crystals, selecting two of the spiral-carved stones. "Maw will love this. I'll tell Da to pay you!" Already she is heading for the door, ready for the next adventure of the day.

Cassandra gives the exiting girl a soft smile and a wave of farewell worthy of a parade queen. "Good bye little Mistress, give Mayor, Mr. and Mrs. Woodcroft my best. Tell your Maw to go with the powder blue." After she says that there's a momentary expression of 'why did I say that?' but she above all others is quite used to the strange things that sometimes just come out of her mouth unbidden. "Stay cool and have a wonderful summer. Come see me again soon." Once the redheaded Princess of Hogsmeade has left her attention goes to Laurean, "Now, thank you for waiting so patiently. What might I be able to do for you?"

Laurean thinks aloud for a second: "Ah, adventures, of course. Some people take risks, and some others… observe." A philosophical statement that seems to discourage the young Maestro, who yearns for a moment before paying attention to Cassandra's question. "Oh, I'm sorry, I was just… nevermind. Perhaps you could help my inner self, Madam Cassandra, since I'm unable to study my own behavior properly. Guess I'm too… analytical, so to speak."

Laurean is not familiar with the reading procedure, the main reason why he shows a rigid body posture, with a hint of nervousness.

Cassandra gives a soft smile to the young man and gives a gesture to his notebook. "My first bit of advice is to slide that into your pocket for a full day. Challenge yourself to keeping it away for an hour, the two, just enjoy what's going on around you. Breath it all in and let it all go." Along with the last bit of advice she takes a deep breath in, holds it a moment and then lets it out. It's all done in a rather meditative serene way. Don't study yourself, just be yourself." She stands up with elegant poise. "That is a bit of free advice. I encourage you to come back when there is something you know you wish to ask. Until then Adieu, I hear my father calling for dinner." Surely enough a masculine voice is calling down from above.

"Thank you, Madam Cassandra. Your wise words have given me the inner strength I needed." Following Cassandra's advice, Laurean slides the notebook into his pocket determinedly. He bows to say goodbye and leaves the store with the same quietness with which he entered.

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