There Was A Time

Chapter 7

When Harry stepped in the ball room, he made sure to blend in with the shadows. He subtly makes his way to where Lady Ginevra and Sir Malfoy were still sitting. Before Harry could step any further, Malfoy spotted him and whispered something to Lady Ginevra, before getting up.

"Harry… can we talk, for a moment?" Sir Malfoy approached Harry, looking quite restless.

"Yes, of course." He replied, raising an eyebrow at him.

Malfoy took a look around them, seeming pleased, he continued. "Lady Ginevra is a nice and very strong girl. I beg you to try to get to know her; you barely spoke two words the whole evening." He kept his voice low, in order to not be heard by bystanders.

"Draco…" Harry felt a little guilt. This was the plan all along and he knew it, but somehow he got lost on Hermione. "I'll try to get to know her, but don't you think she deserves a life with someone she chooses?" Harry asked.

"Who would give her a better life besides you? You are the Prince of Gryffindor, for Merlin's sake!" Draco said, his brows rose in astonishment. "I don't think there's a better man for the job. I understand if you're afraid; she is too. But I think you'll be surprised by her spirit; she's a fighter." Sir Malfoy seemed a little insistent, but Harry didn't pay attention to it, as his thoughts were leading somewhere else.

"I'm just somewhat overwhelmed about it all." Harry said, pretending to lighten the subject. "I've counting on it, but well... now it is happening."

Sir Malfoy eyed him suspicious, but decided not to pressure Harry anymore. Instead he patted Harry on his back and left. Harry saw him join some pretty girls waiting for dance partners before concluding his way towards Lady Ginevra.

In his eagerness to understand his attraction to Hermione and his feeling towards her, Harry quite forgot about Lady Ginevra. He didn't overlook their marriage, but he forgot her, as a person. Her wants, her needs, her fragility in society if he didn't oblige to his part of the deal. Harry felt a headache coming. Definitely he was in no mood for this. He had always put his duty, his well-being, everything that he was into being what was expected of a rightful Prince and heir. Not wanting to hurt Lady Ginevra, nor Hermione, Harry felt trapped. He needed a plan; he needed to know if Lady Ginevra wanted to fight for her own choices. Recalling the last hours, Harry realized something.

All those years, since Hermione left, he had been acting like an empty shell of himself. And what was most evident is that he hadn't been truly happy during that time. Sure, there were moments that made him smile and moments of happiness. Being with Hermione in the library was when Harry finally got what he had been looking for, all those years: something to fight for, and stay alive to. He was born into royalty, and had a natural knack for leadership, but Harry had never had a desire for power. Fighting for his people was his duty, and he valued their thrust in him. But every once in a while, every man needs just a tiny bit of motivation, and Harry was no exception to that.

"My Lady." Harry said, respectfully. "You seem to have enjoyed Sir Malfoy's company. I'm sorry I haven't been very present this evening."

"Yes, he is very gallant." Lady Ginevra paused, as if in contemplation, but decided to continue. "I haven't seen Hermione some time now, do you know if she is okay?"

"She is just fine; I just took her to the library. Hermione used to love that place." Somehow, Harry though better not to lie to Lady Ginevra.

"Hermione talked about it a lot." Lady Ginevra seemed distracted by something, and Harry followed her attentive gaze to the dance floor. "Who is she?" Lady Ginevra asked eyeing a beautiful young lady, with curly dirty blonde hair caught with green velvet ribbons. The lady in question was laughing very loudly, surrounded by a couple of young girls and some knights. She was rolling a teacup in her hands, observing it thoughtfully.

"That is Lady Lavender Brown. She is the daughter of one of my council men." Noticing what Lavender was doing, Harry clarified, "She likes to read tea leaves. Would you like her to read your fortune, Lady Ginevra?"

"Please, call me Ginny." She said, still looking curiously at Lavender. "Yes, I would like that."

Offering his arm to her, Harry lead to way to the round table where Lady Lavender was. They observed her for a while as she talked to a girl sitting next to her.

"See this pattern here? The hen on a nest, near the handle, points to a home life of comfort and affection." Lavender explained to her attentive listener. "So, I really do think you'll be fine with him. Even if he's much older than you, dear, there will definitely be affection."

Contented with her prediction, the young lady thanked Lavender and got out of her sit. With that, Lavender looked around, in search for someone who wanted their future told.

"Oh my, my… I'm honored, the Prince and his fiancée, waiting for poor old me." She said, playfully. "I'm dazed, Harry, you've never let me read for you before."

"And I still don't want you too." Harry smiled, lighthearted. "Lady Ginevra was curious about your forecasts though."

"Is that so?" Lavender observed Ginny, and then patted the chair beside her. "Sit here, my dear Lady. Do you want me to use cards? Tea leaves? I reserve the crystal ball to my private study; if you want I can make an exception."

"No need for that." Ginny affirmed, taking a seat, determined. "Cards will do."

"Very well…" Lavender bit her lower lip as she reached for the pack of cards.

"Have you done this for a long time?" Lady Ginevra asked.

"I've always been interested in the art of Divination. My aunt was kind, to teach me." Lady Lavender shuffled the cards carefully.

"Have your predictions always come to pass?" Ginny's voice carried a tone of playfulness.

"Sometimes…" Was Lady Lavender answer. "Break the deck, please."

Lady Ginevra broke the deck in half like she was asked to. Lady Lavender placed one half of the deck above the other and opened the cards in a fan.

"Take three cards. Place each one on the table, side by side, facing down."

Ginny did as instructed, taking one card and then another. When there was only one left for her to take, she locked eyes with Lavender and her fingers slightly brushed against Lavenders fingers, slowly. Positioning the third card on the table, Ginny almost missed Lavender's shiver, after their accidental touch.

Harry watched the exchange between the two. The small group around them was silent, expecting to hear what the predictions for their future princess. Solemnly, and taking advantage of the show she was giving, Lavender turned the first card.

"The Reversed Sun…" Lavender said keeping her voice dramatic and intense. "It means that life has been good to you, in the past. No matter what was going on in your life, you focused on the good things. It was a wonderful time to meet new people, to get out and about."

With a small condescending nod, Ginny encouraged Lavender to continue. Not seeming at all amazed with what the blond was saying. Lavender turned the middle card up.

"The Empress, things should be going very well for you. People will be inspired by your ideas, your passions, and your way of doing things. This is a potent time for love; this is a time when love - true love - could very well come your way." With that, most of the group loudly exhaled in satisfaction, as they thought it to be a good omen for the pending marriage. Continuing, Lavender reached for the last card, turning it face up. "Finally, for your future, we have the The Lovers. It's possible when this card appears that you are feeling ambivalent about a relationship or situation in your life. It could be that your heart is telling you one thing, and your head, another." Lavender paused and looked Ginny directly in the eyes for a moment, biting her lip. "In general, the thing to do is to follow your heart. When this card appears, it usually means this time is likely to bring love to the center stage of your life."

"So, in short: I had a good life in the past. I have true love in my way, presently and I will have to make a choice between something that will divide me, but I should choose love?" Ginny seemed amused by Lavender's dramatics.

"Yes that is it exactly." Lavender seemed somewhat taken aback, as if she was afraid Lady Ginevra was mocking her.

Harry did not need and divination gifts to conjecture where that conversation was heading. Glad that Sir Malfoy warned him about Lady Ginevra lively spirit, Harry could see that she was trying to mess around with Lavender. Even if it was in a playful way, Harry though best to intervene, avoiding the gossip a confrontation between Ginny and Lavender would generate.

"It seems like a very good future you have waiting for you, my Lady." Extending his hand towards her, he helped her to her feet.

"Indeed." Ginny said, her lips closed in a smirk, a mischievous look in her eyes. "Perhaps I should go and get my energies up for tomorrow. Who knows; all that good signs can become reality in a few hours." Ginny said, choking a laugh, trying not to roll her eyes. "Thank you for your time Lady Lavender, we should talk again sometime."

"As you wish, my Lady."

Harry called upon a servant, asking her to escort Lady Ginevra to her quarters. Lady Ginevra motioned to Lady Luna, who was expecting her.

"Will you please be so kind to send Hermione to help me?" Lady Ginevra asked Harry.

"I will, my Lady. Have a good night, my ladies." Harry said, to both Luna and Ginny.

"Good night."

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