(1940-01-25) The Chocolate Diviner
Details for The Chocolate Diviner
Summary: Zack wanders into the wrong shop by accident and gets more than he bargained for.
Date: 25 January 1940
Location: Fortune Teller's Shop

Cassandra swishes from shelf to shelf, surface to surface. With a feather duster that rather matches her outfit she makes sure the things on display are all shining and dust free. Delicate fingers capped in nicely manicured nails tap and turn and place some price tags so that they are nicely presented for any customer that should enter. It's a bit of a slow patch, so the fortune teller finds herself in shop upkeep.

Zack walks into the fortune teller's shop. He's wearing sharp black robes that seem too stiff - they fit him fine, but it's almost as though they are too formal for him. He takes two steps into the room and then stops, looking around. His brow furrows as he examines the walls, the displays, and finally the lady with the feather duster. "This is not the sweet shop," he says.

Cassandra smiles as she shakes her head, fluttering her feathers lightly. The handle of the duster is used as a pointer as she instructs. "Back out the door, across the street. Kitty Corner. It has the purple door and the wooden sweet hanging above." She continues to preen over the items after the directions are given. "I couldn't tempt you in a lovely crystal ball? Something that can show you just what sweet you are in the mood for if you gaze into it?"

"Yes, there were cats all over the place yesterday," Zack says. He starts to turn to leave the store and then stops. "But I took two rights and a left. So I should be at the sweet shop. Oh! I came from the other direction, so it's backwards." He looks at Cassandra. "Why? If I wanted to know what sweet I wanted I'd gaze into my own mind." He points to his head. "I want Chocolate Frogs."

Cassandra gives a soft little giggle using the duster to hide her smile and laugh. "Mmm, Chocolate Frogs, one of my favorites." She lowers the duster and her other hand is there with a crystal ball perched on the tips of her fingers. "But wouldn't you like to know what card you will find? I'm sure you've got plenty of doubles. Gaze into this and you'll be able to pick the perfect Frog with that rare yet to be gotten card. Also, do you always know what you want?"

Zack hesitates. "You can do that?" he asks. Then jerks his head in a short nod. "Yes, of course I do. That's what wanting something means: you know of something and you want it. If you don't know it you can't want it. It's impossible." Hardly pausing, he goes on to say, "How can you tell which card I'll get? I tried figuring it out before. When I was in school. But the numbers didn't add up."

Cassandra drifts closer to the lost gentleman and lifts the crystal ball up so that it is at his eyes levels. She tilts her head so that she can look at him through the polished crystal sphere. "Gaze into the ball like this, with the Chocolate Frog box where you are. Gaze with you mind open and you will see a face within the ball. That face will be the face within the box. Arithmancy has its place in the Knowing. But nothing cheats at Chocolate Frogs, like this little beauty."

"But there isn't a Chocolate Frog box where I am," Zack says. "I'm where I am. I'm not a Chocolate Frog box." Nevertheless, he looks into the crystal ball, his face screwed up in concentration as he tries to see a face. Several seconds later he says, "I just see my face. I don't have a Chocolate Frog card. I'm not famous. It must be my reflection."

Cassandra presses her lips together in an amused smile. "Of course, that's because you've not bought it, and taken it to the Sweet Shop where the Chocolate Frogs are on display." Her tones are sweet and hopefully inticing as she continues the sales pitch unflustered by her customer's clear cut and precise way of viewing things.

"I can't buy it," Zack says. "I don't even know if it works. It could just be one of those things you set on papers to stop them from blowing about. I need to get one of those. I'm always losing papers. You should demonstrate your glass ball's power. To prove that it works. Can you do that?"

Cassandra must give a light bite to the back of her lower lip to keep from smiling too much. "It doubles well as a paper weight, it's true. But I will prove it. If you would like, return once you've purchased your Chocolate Frogs. We will then test the powers of this handy bobble." The crystal ball drops from her fingertips into her palm and appears to float back up into her fingers where she gives it a twirl so that it sparkles and shines in the candlelight.

"Oh, you will?" Zack asks. "Okay, I'll be right back. I won't get lost this time. Don't worry." He turns to the door again, but stops when makes the crystal ball move on that rather dazzling way. "No," he says, pointing at it. "That's not good paperweight behavior. Paperweights need to sit still and not float about or the papers will get away." He looks at the ball a second longer, purses his lips, and then walks out the door to go buy his Chocolate Frogs.

Cassandra upon his return she is able to use the crystal ball and indeed proves that at least she can gaze into the ball and deduce what is inside of it. "So you see, it does work, and this one, I assure you doesn't float unless of course you levitate it yourself. And this beautiful stand comes with it at no extra charge. What do you say?"

Zack considers the crystal ball and then Cassandra as though trying to make up his mind. Then he looks to the box of Chocolate Frogs he bought. "You said I needed a box," he says, "so a bought a whole box. But now there's no point in me figuring out which has the card I want because I already own them all." He frowns, gives his head a short shake, and then looks back to the ball. "How much is it?"

Cassandra holds up a single package of the Chocolate Frogs. "See, a box." But she smiles and shakes her head, "It will be good practice for you, to try to see what's inside before you open them. Then when you're done with the crate, you can be more selective. 2 sickles. A most reasonable price. I'm sure easily afforded by you in your new windfall. Congratulations and a pleasure doing business with you."

Zack scratches his head, trying to figure out what happened between the moment he entered the fortune teller's shop and the moment he's in now. "Yes, okay," he says. "Fine. I'll take it. It's two sickles." He starts digging about for some money. "I don't like these robes. The coins are never where I left them. Oh, here they are." He hands two sickles to Cassandra and frowns at her. "I don't know how you know about that. But I'll figure it out."

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