An elderly lady approached the two. "Welcome to the Magical Menagerie. How can I help you?" She looked down at Asura, her eyes bright with enthusiasm. "Well hello there! First year at Hogwarts, are we? Looking for your first pet?"
Asura looked surprised. "Pet?" He didn't know how to react. Because of his past living, he had never had a pet before. His stepbrother had a gerbil when he was seven. It died when he wanted to see what happened when a car ran it over. An image that Asura will never get rid of.
Cho stepped forward slightly. "Yes, this young boy is looking for his first pet."
The woman looked at Cho. "Well, you've definitely come to the right place. We have all kinds of animals here. Of course, you'll only be able to take an Owl, Cat or Toad, but that's not a problem. No it isn't!"
Her tone was friendly, but Asura couldn't help but feel slightly annoyed at her overcheerfulness. "Well, I think I would like a cat," Asura said, looking round at all the animals in the store. His eyes stopped on a black cat sitting in the corner. "I like that cat." He pointed at the cat. "Yeah, that cat."
The woman followed Asura's finger, and looked at the cat. "That cat? That cat is part Kneazle. He'll be very loyal to his owner. He's very quiet though, tends to keep to himself. But he'll be a wonderful friend."
Cho looked at Asura. "Are you sure that's the pet you want?"
Asura looked back at her, then at the cat, then at Cho again. "Yes," he said finally. "Yes, I would like that cat."
The woman went over to the cat and picked him up, stroking him gently before putting him in a carry-cage. "That'll be 5 Galleons," she said, smiling at Cho. Cho handed over the money and took the carry-cage. "Thank you very much," the woman said. "Thank you for shopping at the Magical Menagerie!"
Asura and Cho left the shop, the cat looking through the cage at Asura. The cat seemed to be purring gently, happy at the fact that someone bought him. Asura couldn't take his eyes off the creature. He had never seen anything so wonderful. Shiny black fur, tiny eyes that glimmered whenever light hit them and a tail that seemed never to stop moving.
Asura looked up at Cho, a smile spread across his face. "Thank you so much for all of this Cho," he said to her as they walked down the busy street, back towards the back entrance to the Leaky Cauldron.
Cho smiled back at him. "You don't need to thank me, just promise you'll work hard at Hogwarts."
Asura nodded. "I promise I will work hard!"
"Then you don't have to worry about it," she looked at the cat in the cage, who was now lying down. "Have you thought of a name for him?"
Asura pondered for a minute, then nodded at Cho. "Yes," he said, finally, looking at the cat. Asura remembered how, when we was eight, he would sneak into his stepfather's study and read books. He always made sure to put them back, so he wouldn't be in trouble, but one particular book always made him come back for more. He spent countless hours pouring through the pages, reading the many short stories that the pages held, memorising the wise words at the end of each story. These stories made him feel like there was hope. He knew the perfect name for his cat, thanks to these stories.
He looked at Cho. "He will be called Aesop."