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A New Beginning
December 2st, 1889 — Hog's Head
Being a maid was about as easy as Bella could have expected: in short, not very.

It wasn't the actual work that dampened her morale, but the lewd comments from drunken guests and the passive aggressive management tactics. How many times tonight had she been called an 'idiot woman'? (Or from one aggressively drunken gentleman, a whore?)

"You said you've been working here how long?" she asked quietly, a hint of exasperation in her voice as she bent over behind the bar to grab a bucket of water. Her nose scrunched at the stench; everything smelled murky and musky. She supposed there was a reason everything came cheaper here.

beautiful set by Lady
The new girl had appeared quite out of the blue. Hestia had left work one night and come back in the morning with one more co-worker than she'd expected. Not one to question other people's motives but ever one to keep a sharp eye, the witch had observed the other girl's movements these past few days. While she certainly had a bit of strength and grit about her (as well as giving off the air of someone not a stranger to hard work) Hestia couldn't put her finger on why the girl didn't quite strike her as someone to have fallen into this work from the start.

While getting used to Bella's presence, Hestia made sure to give her guidance on the whereabouts of the cleaning supplies, but thus far let the girl handle herself for the first few days. She seemed to handle it fairly well until she spoke to her one day.

Hestia paused her cleaning of the bar and turned to look at her. She could detect a slight strain to the girl's question but thought to refrain from prodding right away. "Around three years, give or take a few months." she replied, turning back to finish her scrubbing before rinsing her washcloth in the sink. She turned back in time to see Bella's nose scrunch whilst she picked up the bucket of water. She turned completely to the other girl, crossing her arms comfortably across her chest and leaning against the counter.

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Three years. The woman had been working here for three whole years and had not cracked under the comments from customers. That begged the question of whether the woman ever got those sort of comments, but she was not unattractive and wore no ring on her left hand. Maybe she did get those comments and just... didn't care. If only!

The concept of being trapped at one place was a reality for man, but a luxury Bella had been able to afford until she'd ousted herself from the MacFusty residence on her own accord. Despite her disowned and penniless state, Bella struggled to free herself of the privileged mindset she'd cultivated during her Hogwarts years.

"That's a long time to work at one place," she commented. It was longer than any time Bella had spent at one job. Eight months at the hospital, a year and a half at the MacFusty residence—and now, less than a week at the Hog's Head. As the night went on, she began to wonder whether she'd stick around very long. "You must be good at this." She held up her own bucket of water to inspect, nose still scrunched in disgust, and fetched a rag from the table.

She glanced up at the woman, who seemed less than impressed. Bella made no comment, instead choosing to raise a brow in question. Or challenge.

beautiful set by Lady
Catching the other girl's eye, Hestia realized her stance might have set a different tone for the impending conversation than she'd originally meant. She relaxed her stance and leaned back slightly, dipping her shoulders in a casual shrug. "Perhaps," she conceeded before reflection upon her work at the carnival. "Though I've worked at other places for longer." That had been work, but it'd also been her life. There was no break from it aside from those dictated to her on those rare occasions. And even when it wasn't work for the carnival, it was work for food or clothes or shelter.

Something told her, she thought as she regarded Bella with a gaze that neither judged nor pitied, that the idea of working around the clock might have been an interesting concept for this new girl in front of her. "I'm not entirely sure there is a 'being good at this' - here –" Hestia plucked another rag from behind the bar and tossed it at Bella without warning. "- that one you have is about at the end of its life."

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