Mother: Part One
: The Buffy and Harry Potter universes belong to Joss Whedon and JK Rowling, respectively.
There came a point in every young squib's life at which they were forced to accept that to the wizarding world at large, and to their families in particular, they were a disappointment at best and an abomination at worst—nothing more than a blip on the family tree, a disgrace to their magical heritage, and a taint on pureblood society, rousing insecurity and superstition among those who feared that magic as a whole was weakening and dying out in the world, cursed as it was by half-breeds and mudbloods…
For Robena Flint, that point had come several nights ago, when she had gotten off the train at King's Cross Station for the winter holidays, in the middle of her sixth year, to find no one but the family owl waiting for her. Until that time, she had harbored the delusion that in their own emotionally-stunted, blood-purist way, her parents had loved her—at least enough to provide her with the security of food and shelter.
But she had turned seventeen in November, and, being of age in the wizarding world, her parents were no longer under any legal obligation to support her. So they chose not to. The letter the owl was carrying consisted of only a short explanation that Robena had been emancipated so that she could assimilate into the muggle world, and that the appropriate documents were attached. Her parents had ceased to pay her tuition for the respected boarding school she had attended since the age of eleven, and expressed their desire that there be no further contact between them, as they no longer wanted to be considered her family. Her mother had signed the missive, Best Wishes—Mrs. Flint.Best Wishes!
Her immediate response was indignation at her mother's pure gall—to use that phrase as if they had not just cast her out of the family—like she was no more to them than a piece of rubbish, or one of her baby brother Marcus's broken toys. Marcus, the heir, the prized boy child who had already shown signs of accidental magic…how she would miss him. As the reality of her situation began to sink in, the indignation dissipated to be replaced by a vacant sort of despair, ambivalence.
She realized she had nowhere to go. She did not have any truly close friends…none who she felt would take her in with open arms for an indefinite amount of time if she just showed up on their doorstep…though she did have a few galleons leftover from her summer allowance, perhaps enough for a week's lodging. Robena eventually decided to floo to Hogmeade and rent a room at the Hogs Head Inn, which was notorious for its cheapness, unkempt atmosphere, and the fact that it catered to a clientele of social pariahs. Considering that she had never felt so worthless, dirty, and unwanted, she thought it was a fitting choice.
On her fourth night at the inn, upon walking downstairs to the bar, Robena spotted a young man—good-looking in an average way, with shaggy sand-colored hair—sitting alone, nursing a glass tumbler half-full of dark green liquid which she did not recognize. With his hunched posture and second-hand robes, he appeared as morose as she felt, and nearly as poor. When his head swiveled in her direction, as if sensing her stare, her first impression as their gazes met was that he had kind eyes, the color of melted butterscotch…
It was those three traits which drew her to him, at first spurring her to approach and take the seat next to him, and then, after they had both had several drinks, invite him up to her room: kind eyes, a melancholic air, and poverty. Several weeks later, when she discovered she was carrying his child, Robena would be struck by the fact that she knew almost nothing else about the man who shared her baby's genes…