The Sugar Quill
Author: Christina Teresa (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: A Boy and His Mother  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.


A/N: For several weeks, I have tried to write a prequel to "For the Love of Hufflepuff" recounting the schooldays of my original villain, Rupert Balin. I have since abandoned the idea and decided instead to write a sequel to FTLOH which should be coming soon. In the meantime, here is a little vignette—actually the opening scene to my prequel—that I thought might explain exactly why I decided I couldn't handle writing an entire story revolving around the little SOB.



"Yes, Mummy?"

Eleven-year-old Rupert Balin's mother backed away from her son warily, almost running into a young girl and her parents, just as they came through the secret entrance to platform nine and three-quarters at King's Cross station The girl, like Rupert, was laden with bundles and a trunk full of supplies for the new year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

"I thought it best if you stay at Hogwarts over the Christmas and Easter holidays," she said timorously, obviously fearful of the boy's response. "I've already arranged it with Headmaster Dippet."

Rupert just smiled. As his mother prepared to breathe a sigh of relief, he asked, "Aren't you going to kiss me goodbye?" He wouldn't miss his mother, but she had been useful, beyond giving birth to him. She had protected him—as much to protect herself—from prying neighbors, not to mention the authorities. His father…well, Rupert hadn't seen his father since his fifth birthday and that nasty incident with the kitten Daddy had foolishly given him as a present.

His mother stiffened with fright. She looked about her, openly envious at the sight of other mothers gratefully holding their children, smothering them with kisses, and showering them with tears. She took a few tentative steps towards him. The hate and fear in her eyes was as funny to Rupert as ever. She placed a quick kiss on her son's cheek without incident and backed away, but her escape was once again thwarted.

Rupert held out his hand. "Money."

She dug in her handbag, pulled out a leather pouch and took out a few coins. Rupert shook his head. "All of it."

"But I need five Sickles for the Knight Bus," Mrs. Balin protested, but then sighed and cursed under her breath as she shoved the pouch into her son's hand. "For once in your life, Rupert, behave yourself!"

"Don't worry, Mummy," he smirked, "I'll be good." He would at least give the appearance of being a good boy at Hogwarts. He couldn't afford to be expelled before he learned what he needed to. As soon as he was a full-fledged wizard he could do what he liked. Trouble was, that for reasons Rupert himself didn't understand, it was next door to impossible for him to even pretend to be good.

Mrs. Balin snorted and walked away towards the barrier separating platform nine and three-quarters from the Muggle parts of the station, but not before she pitifully begged a wealthy-looking wizard couple for bus fare. At the sight of his mother's humiliation, Rupert laughed out loud.



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