Part Three: Magical Menagerie
Jade stood in front of Magical Menagerie, gaping at the store in Diagon Alley. The display case presented tanks full of purple toads on sale; buy 1 get 5 free.
"I am not going inside." Pansy said next to Jade.
"Fine by me. If I find Dahlia in there, you can stand out here all you want." Jade said walking into the store.
Jade smelled all different kinds of animal droppings. She came to the store only on one occasion and that was to find a pet as a little girl, but that was before she found Jerry. Kneazles used to scare the crap out of her and always reminded her of catty schoolgirls that always used to pick on her in school. Purple toads were purple toads, what can she say about them? Snails were slimy and the ones Magical Menagerie had were poisonous so Jade bought a snapping turtle and named him Jerry. Her heart melted all around him when she first picked him up in her hand. He lovingly nibbled on her finger and not like Jade would allow him to nibble on her finger or anyone's finger anymore, she still loved him all the same.
"Excuse me? Anyone here?" Jade asked tapping the desk bell.
"I'm an Aurseize so make this quick!" Pansy added. Jade shot Pansy a look who gave a dirty look back.
"Was that necessary?" Jade asked.
"Is the sky blue?" Pansy asked.
"Not today it isn't, there's going to be a thunderstorm. Arse face." Jade said.
They heard someone padding towards the register from the back room and to Jade's surprise, it was Rita.
"Jade! So wonderful to see you again! How are you?" Rita asked pleasantly, looking flushed.
"I'm good…hey I didn't know you work here." Jade said seeing Rita nod.
"I need to protect these poor animals! Otherwise bad people will kill them if they don't profit the business." She whispered.
"Great…another moron." Pansy said walking away.
"That's not very nice." Rita said as if she were scolding a child lovingly.
To think that Pansy Parkinson needed affectionate scolding was beyond Jade's meter of bizarre things.
"Yeah well she's one of the bad people that would chew on those purple toads just to get a kick out of it. Anyways, I came to ask about Dahlia Noor? She used to work here one and a half years ago until she got married?" Jade asked seeing Rita frown.
"Now there's a horrible person. Why would you ever ask about her?" Rita asked tearing up.
"I'm working on a case…she sort of left and I have to get her back." Jade said.
"We have to get her back." Pansy said. Rita took a handful of tissues and blotted them on her cheeks.
"I knew her. She used to work under me and I asked her nicely to leave but she was very mean to me…she used to neuter my animals and enjoy watching them bleed out. Very horrible, terrible woman." Rita squeaked.
"Yeah…that is pretty horrible." Jade said seeing Rita nod.
"But she left to lunch with a man she met and he was handsome…looked like Draco a bit." Rita said. Jade cringed inwardly and Rita smiled brightly.
"Oh but I know you're with him and he is a lucky man and you are a lucky woman to have each other." Rita said. Jade chewed her lower lip and Pansy started again.
"It was lucky while it lasted." Pansy sang away.
"So anyways, you were talking about the man Dahlia left with?" Jade asked seeing Rita nod.
"I went to the backroom and saw a piece of paper with the drawing of a small building and in it, she wrote 'Dahlia's Underground Morgue'. I suspected she was building her own world underground." Rita said.
"Where did she say it would be?" Jade asked seeing Rita shake her head.
"I don't know. It didn't say and I never bothered to ask her about it." Rita said.
"All right…thanks." Jade said preparing to leave.
"Oh! Where are you going now?" Rita asked.
"Um…I'm going to try and find the Underground Morgue or maybe go home and go to sleep." Jade said seeing Rita cringe.
"All right then. Well I'll see you soon. You wouldn't get mad if I sometimes dropped by the Ministry to say hello?" Rita asked seeing Jade smile and shake her head.
"Come whenever you want…just um…don't bring anything to eat." Jade said seeing Rita nod.
"Bye Jade." Rita said as Jade left with Parkinson.
"Bye Rita." Jade said. As soon as they were out, Pansy let out a long breath of relief.
"She's a crazy happy maniac." Pansy said.
"I'd rather you not talk about my friend like that. Anyways, I'm going home. I don't know where this Underground Morgue is so I'll just sleep it off." Jade said.
"But-" and before Pansy said anything, Jade apparated to her building.