Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, or good-whenever-time you’re reading this, dear readers. Welcome back, once again, to the most positively pleasant prophetic place in all of Hogwarts where we ask the very power of the almighty cosmos for some glimpse into that which has not yet come to pass! Will we be given guidance on what path to travel, warnings for things to avoid, or some insight into things to come? The only way to find out, dear reader, is to keep reading!
Last time on Portents, I gave you a kinda ominous rune reading but how did that go? Did the runes speak the truth? Did you throw caution into the wind and brush off my warnings? Or perhaps that future hasn’t yet arrived?
Either way, this week’s reading we’ll be changing it up a bit. Since it’s the spookiest season of the year I’ve decided it’s finally time to dust off the little satchel I found in some dank and mouldy curio shop in Knockturn Alley over the summer. The shopkeeper hid his eyes behind perfectly round sunglasses and had a twisted and scarred sneer but I couldn’t tell exactly how or by what means he was scarred, exactly. Strangely enough, when I stepped back out into the street and turned around, the little shop was gone and I’ve never been able to find it again. Makes me wish I’d bought that fancy monkey’s paw I spotted behind the counter when I had the chance.
So I hear you all asking me what exact mysteries are held within the little leather pouch. I’m glad you asked but first the pouch itself. It’s made of the scaly snake-skin stripped from the deadly chimaera itself, or so I’m told, and appears to shift and change colour, depending how the light catches it. It’s just about fist sized and within are several small and gnarled bones of various shapes and sizes from different animals, both magical and mundane, many of whom are now extinct. Both the pouch and its contents are of questionable legality to possess but my secret’s safe with you lot, innit?
Seemed like a good purchase for just a couple galleons and what totally and completely sane person doesn’t need a random bag full of animal bones anyway? I hear you asking how we’ll be using them and what we’ll be doing with them and I’m bloody getting to that! Learn some patience.
We’ll be using a variation on scapulimancy, the use of bones, to collect some wisdom on the future. My returning readers may remember right around this time last year when I did some pyro-osteomancy in which I tossed a big hambone from the kitchens into the fire and got my reading from the different cracks that formed across the surface.
This time, however, I’ll be doing a different method known as throwing or casting bones. I’m currently sitting on a little ledge that’s just barely shielded from the wind and I’ve drawn one of those fancy circles in chalk on the stone floor. Bit like some of the circles we went over last year in Alchemy or the big circle thing on the floor of the DADA classroom. It’s divided into sections and with little points here and there and we get our reading from how, and where, the bones land.
So relax and take a few deep breaths as we together focus our minds on the circle because it’s that time again! What spookiness awaits us this Halloween season? What should we watch out for? That creepy singing business we’ve been hearing, perhaps?
I overturn the bag and let the bones tumble out onto the hard stone floor and once they settle I try to sort it out. Seems we have a big bone with some smaller ones clustered round that’s just a wee bit left of the centre. Beyond that we have two smaller clusters sort of above that one on either side then a couple bones here and there off by themselves.
According to my little guide, the big cluster in the middle seems to be a forest but could be a metaphor. A metaphorest, if you will. Anyway, could represent the whole world or nature rather than the forest itself but… considering we’re so close to the most forbidden forest in Britain it’s quite possible there’s something to watch out for in there. Full moon’s bloody tonight too innit?
Seems that the two little clusters above it then represent the heavens but could be referring to the weather or something else coming down from the heavens too. This one little claw-shaped bone off to the side is something like a modifier. Based on everything else it seems to be pointing to cold or ice but again, this could be either metaphorical or literal. Makes sense with winter coming up and all that but these things aren’t always so simple.
To bring this all together, it seems we’re being warned of something either coming from or going to the forest. Something either cold or that brings a cold chill with it. As I said the forest here could be a metaphor for the world, nature in general, or something else but I’m currently sitting back against the wall and looking down over the grounds and the forest beyond. We’re given these signs for a reason and reckon it’d be bloody ignorant to just outright ignore something ike that.
Reckon the lesson here’s stay the bloody hell out of the Forbidden Forest!? It’s forbidden for a good reason and not because there’s buried treasure out there. Probably isn’t, anyway.
Heard someone talking about that singing going on round the huts real close to the forest so maybe something to watch out for there as well. Sirens calling us to our doom? I guess that’d be the dreaded forest sirens rather than sea-sirens we typically hear about. Could it be mischievous fae folk leading us off the path and to our demise then? Reckon only time will tell.
Regardless, always keep your guard up, your wand handy, and don’t be afraid to use it or flee to fight another day if you need to. Our Dark Arts professors might be a bit mad but there’s something to the whole “best defence is to not be there” bit.
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That’s all for this week, dear readers. Stay alive and I’ll see you again sometime in the future!