Chapter One: "She Works Hard for the Money"
"It's a sacrifice working day to day, for little money, just tips for pay.
But it's worth it all just to hear them say that they care.
She works hard for the money. So hard for it, honey. She works hard for the money. So you better treat her right."
A young woman with tired eyes stood outside, looking in the window. The dark Apothecary loomed in front of her, filled with herbs, powders, claws and fangs. With only a handful of coins, she needed to figure out what she would need. She would need a couple vials of pain-easing potions, that was for sure; and something for Jane's cold. She slowly pushed open the door and greeted the owner, "Hello, Eric!"
"Hullo, Jess," he greeted. Eric was about 10 years her elder and had a soft rough voice. "What can I do for you today?"
"I need about 4 ounces of salamander blood, five dried roses, and a moonstone" Jessica told the owner, trying to remember everything she would need for the potions.
Eric moved around the store, gathering up the materials, "Your total comes to five galleons, 10 sickles, and 26 knuts."
The dark brunette let out a soft sigh, digging through her purse for that money. She was pissed at herself for spending all her parent's money within those short few months. She hated herself for acting how she did, like a reckless teenager. Jessica paid Eric and thanked him before hurrying away from the store.
The woman walked down Diagon Alley, like she did every day. Moving from her first job at Flourish and Blott's to where she worked as a dancer at a local spot called "The Alley Cat", it was a popular spot for the local college boys. She hated the job, but she had a four year old to feed. They all called her the pixie, for everything about her was tiny, expect for her hands, feet and chest. She always looked terribly out of portion, ever since she could remember.
Jessica sighed as she entered the Leaky Cauldron and waved to Tom. It was prime dinner time and the place was packed. She remembered the days when she and her friends came here every Friday, ignoring the growing danger of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Now she was a single mother working sixteen hour days whose daughter was constantly over her mom's friend's houses. Exiting the pub and coming onto the busy London street and smiled as no muggle seemed aware that she had just exited a pub. It was a twenty minute walk to The Alley Cat and then she had to deal with seven hours of hormonal drunk boys.
"Mommy!" a tired screech echoed through the flat.
"What are you still doing up young lady?" Jessica scolded as her young daughter came flying at her.
A pregnant woman came into view with her husband's arm around her shoulder. Kelly was an old school friend of Jessica, both of whom were in Ravenclaw at Hogwarts. Last March, Kenny of Gryffindor proposed to her and they were now happily expecting a child.
"Kenny was introducing your daughter to Star Wars" Kelly laughed, drying her hands from where she had been washing dishes.
"Mommy" Jane cried, pulling on her mom's coat, "I'm going be princess Leia when I grow up!" Jane had just turned four in April and was growing up so fast. Her long straight honey hair definitely came from Shawn, but her bright blue eyes were her grandfather's. "Sweetie, go gather up your toys for Mommy" Jessica instructed as Jane happily skipped off.
"Thank you again for watching her" Jessica said softly, brushing her side bangs out of her face.
"It's no problem really" Kelly answered, smiling, "She's such a sweetheart."
"So, I'm guessing she behaved herself?"
"Very well, she had mac and cheese for dinner and then watched Star Wars with Kenny" Kelly smiled as the child came running back into the room.
"Well, I think we better leave you two alone, say good bye to Aunt Kelly and Uncle Ken" Jessica told her daughter, while gathering up her backpack filled to the brim with Barbie's and stuffed animals.
"Thank you!" the girl exclaimed as she gave a wide yawn.
Laughing, the young couple waved as the mother and daughter left.
Once they closed the door, Kelly let out a sigh, "Did you see how thin she's getting?" she addressed her husband.
"…Who?" Ken asked.
Kelly rolled her eyes as she went into the kitchen to finish off the dishes.
Down the hall, Jessica tucked her daughter into bed; thanking God she lived so close to her friend. "Mommy, where's daddy?" the child yawned, curling up with her stuffed dragon named Rosie.
"I don't know, honey," Jessica replied honestly.
"Do you think, if I'm very good, Santa will bring me Daddy for Christmas?" Jane asked, hope in her eyes.
"I would think so," Jess smiled, lying through her teeth, "Good night, Jane."
Disclaimer: I own nothing execpt my humble characters and plot, everything else was created by J.K.Rowling, I could never live up to her writing style, characters and stories.