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Brood

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This story is No. 3 in the series "Cross Sections of History". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Remus Lupin fathered another child before Teddy, one he never knew about. Veruca-Centered.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Other BtVS/AtS CharactersindigoFR1321,5651488112 Jul 1013 Jul 10No

Mother: Part Two

Disclaimer: The Buffy and Harry Potter universes belong to Joss Whedon and JK Rowling, respectively.

***

As it turned out, Aberforth, the man who owned the inn, was a gigantic softy. When Robena spilled her sob story to him after spending the last of her meager funds on several too many Chinese Fireballs at the bar, he had tried to keep pretending to be impassive, but eventually his tough facade cracked under her onslaught of drunken tears.

He had offered her his tea towel (the filthy rag he used to wipe the filthy glasses) as a handkerchief, which was not particularly helpful as it just made her eye itch…but it was a generous gesture, all the same; then, he had walked her back to her room, steadying her as she stumbled, and wished her a good night.

If his kindness had stopped there, she would have simply judged him to be a decent human being—albeit one who was rumored to have had a squib little sister, growing up—and left her opinion at that, but it had not stopped there. She had woken around noon the next day to find a short note on the floor in front of the door, as if it had been slipped under: Stay as long as you need. Help at the bar, if you want. Upon reading that, Robena had decided Aberforth was a gruff old man, but he was also the kindest, most unassuming person she had ever met.

So she stayed, and she worked at the bar two or three days a week, enabling Aberforth to take more time off to spend with his beloved goats. Although inn keeping was not something she could see she herself doing for years to come (she had a vague idea that she wanted to be an actress, maybe even move to California eventually…), at this point in her life, it was a godsend.

The relief of the having a place to stay while recovering from the shock of disinheritance was so great that it elevated her mood for weeks on end…until she found out she was pregnant.

***

October 1982

Robena was in the process of brewing a pepper-up potion (being a new parent was a draining experience, even if you weren't a teenager trying to manage on your own), when her nineteen-day-old daughter, Veruca, began to cry.

The young mother sighed, and then inhaled deeply, pausing a moment to stare out the window at the beautiful sunset in an effort to absorb some of its tranquility, before walking over to the crib with the hope of finding a way to placate the wailing infant... but since Veruca had been fed and burped, had her diaper changed, and been sung to sleep all within the last thirty minutes, Robena was at something of a loss as to what her baby wanted.

She rocked the little girl back and forth in her arms, beginning to sing her another lullaby, but Veruca's wails only grew louder and more unbearable, turning into shrieks. Could she be ill? Robena began to fret. The onset of agitation seemed too sudden, but it was becoming distressingly obvious that her daughter was in pain…her little face was scrunched up in a grimace, her back arching, her tiny fingers curling into a grip tighter than what she should be capable of at less than one month old…

When Robena heard several cracks, she felt as if her heart was going to jump out of her chest. Her bones are breaking!!!—NO—how is this happening!!! Within moments, instead of her baby, there was a wolf cub in her arms, squirming and growling. As it lunged up, snapping at her face, she dropped it with a scream and ran from the room, slamming the door and throwing herself up against it.

Well, that explains his scars! Robena thought half-hysterically, remembering how the body of her one night stand had been covered with them. She felt bile rise into her throat, as horror seeped into every part of her. I slept with a werewolf! And now I've given birth to one…

Two words echoed in her mind as she leaned against the door, overlaying the sounds of frantic scratching, tearing cloth, and feral yips coming from inside the room which had been her home for the last ten months: Disappointment. Abomination.

Her knees buckled, and she slid down to the ground.

Was this how her own parents had felt when she failed to show signs of magic—as if she had transformed into a dangerous, diseased creature?

I will not punish my daughter for what she is, as my parents did to me. I will raise her to be proud of who and what she is, never ashamed.

Resolved, Robena stayed up all night in the hallway outside of her room, slumped against the door, worrying about her baby werewolf. When morning came, she went inside and found Veruca lying limp as a rag doll on the hard wooden floor underneath the window, breathing shallowly and covered in cuts, but sleeping, it appeared, more peacefully than ever.

Gently, Robena lifted her daughter and carried her back to the cradle, already dreading the next full moon. Even if it frightens me; even if it kills me…I will love her for what she is.

***

A/N: That's the last chapter from Robena's POV. Next will either be Veruca, Remus, Fenrir, or Marcus Flint…I haven't decided yet.

The End?

You have reached the end of "Brood" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 13 Jul 10.

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