Story Summary:
Prejudice runs both ways when the Malfoy and Prewett families are entangled in something with far-reaching consequences.

Chapter 01 - Somewhere


Fabian Prewett sat in the back corner of a Muggle pub he often frequented for a drink these days. He didn't much care to try his luck in the Leaky Cauldron anymore. Too often he had to guard his tongue and watch what said and to whom. He couldn't enjoy a lager, or even relax - to take a few stolen moments from the day and the fear to remember what it had been like when he and Gideon had been known as dual forces of nature. Two, tall, laughing men who lit up a room, just by walking inside it.

He glanced sideways at the woman sitting at the neighboring table. She glared into her drink, as if she could make it disappear by the intensity of her gaze. She raised the glass to her mouth, lip curling in distaste. Fabian grinned to himself. She wasn't used to it, obviously. Her clothing was just a shade too formal, too correct, too perfect... too buttoned up. Fabian inched his chair around until he was closer to her, his glass cradled between his hands. 'Slumming tonight, Livvy?'

The blonde woman started, reaching up to smooth her hair into place, even though it was already painfully neat. 'Perhaps,' she murmured.

Fabian tipped his chair back on its hind legs, sipping his lager. 'Your brother would have a litter of Kneazles if he knew you were here.'

'What my brother doesn't know won't hurt him,' Lavinia responded, attempting a sip of the lager she'd ordered, aping Fabian's actions earlier. She grimaced at the bite of the alcohol and set the glass back on the table, scooting it a bit further away from her. 'And I was under the impression the reason we're at this...' she glanced around the dark pub, 'charming location, is because it's the last place my brother would find me.'

Fabian nudged her still-full glass with a long finger. 'You want me to get you something else?'

Lavinia shook her head. 'It's fine. See?' She attempted to gulp the lager, but started coughing, much to Fabian's amusement.

'Don't go anywhere,' he told her, striding through the crowded pub, and returning a moment later with another glass. 'I think you'll find this more to your liking.'

Lavinia cautiously sniffed the contents of the glass, then sipped it, wrinkling her nose at the tart flavor. 'What is this?'

'Lemonade.' Fabian chuckled at the expression on Lavinia's face. 'They make it with lemons, sugar, water....'

Lavinia took another cautious sip, her face brightening a bit more. 'It's delicious.'

'You don't wear Muggle clothing very often, do you?'

Self-consciously, Lavinia patted the front of the prim blouse. 'No. Is it obvious?'

'Only because you look horribly uncomfortable.' Fabian reached out and unbuttoned the top two buttons of Lavinia's blouse. 'There... That's better, then.' He suddenly shoved his chair backwards, away from her, nearly knocking his lager over.

'Ah, thanks, bro.' Gideon picked up Fabian's unfinished drink and drained the glass. He set it down, eyes flicking between Fabian and Lavinia. 'Come on. Molly's got dinner waiting.'

'Yeah. I'll be along in a bit.' Fabian glared at Gideon, hoping he'd get the hint and leave, but his twin wouldn't budge. Sighing Fabian gathered his jacket and left the pub.

Gideon leaned down close to Lavinia. 'What are you playing at?' he hissed.


'He'll never turn for you,' Gideon promised.

Lavinia swallowed, tongue inching across dry lips. 'I know.'

'And if I ever find out this is some trap, so you can turn him over to that brother of yours, I'll find you and kill you myself.'

She looked at him coolly, with an outward calm honed over the years of her life. 'I'll keep that in mind.' Lavinia stood up and edged her way around the table. She could feel Gideon's eyes on her back as she walked out of the pub.


Fabian settled Ronnie into the crook of his elbow, rubbing the nipple of a bottle over his lips. It never ceased to amaze him how much his youngest nephew could eat. 'I hope you learn how to cook, little man,' he crooned. 'Otherwise, feeding you is going to turn into a full-time job.'


'Go back to bed, Moll,' he said, not looking up.

'Is it true? What Gideon said?'

'It depends. What did Gideon say?'

'He said you were in the pub down in the village with...' Molly's lips clamped shut. 'One of them.'

'She's not one of them,' he said mildly.

'How do you know?' Molly exclaimed, wanting to shriek, but the house was asleep.

'I just know.'

'Have you ever bothered to even check her arm?'

Fabian's eyes closed. He could see her pale skin, smooth and unblemished, the sleeve of her jumper pushed back. She'd done it without his asking three months ago, the first time she'd stumbled into him in the village square in Ottery-St.-Catchpole. 'Go back to bed, Molly,' he repeated. 'I can handle my own affairs.'

'Is that what you call meeting up in Muggle pubs with her? Handling your affairs?'

'Enough, Molly! All right?' He set the nearly-empty bottle on the floor next to the rocking chair, and shifted Ronnie to his shoulder, firmly patting the baby's small back.

'Do you mind not taking out your frustrations on my baby?' Molly asked. 'If you pat him any harder his head's going to fall off.' She stood up, wrapping her dressing gown tightly around her body. 'It would never work,' she reminded him. 'Nobody would ever trust her and she wouldn't be accepted by anyone on our side. You'd be outcasts. You're better off just ending it now. Before you really fall for her.'

'Would you really disown me, Molly? Shun me because I married...?' Fabian leaned over and picked up his book from the floor, Ronnie cradled against his chest. 'Good night, Molly,' he said, leafing through the book for his page, the conversation clearly finished.


Narcissa eased her body into a chair. She couldn't remember a time when she wasn't pregnant. She had resented the weekly intrusion on her person that occurred without fail until at last, she had become pregnant. She fervently hoped it was a boy. Lucius wouldn't stand for a girl. She wouldn't put it past him to have it drowned if it did end up being a girl. The baby kicked her vigorously, making her frown. Narcissa had heard that most women felt a rush of love for their babies, even before they were born, but she was tempted to think it was a rumor to get through those endless months to the birth. But as of this moment, she didn't feel anything.

Lavinia swept into the dining room, her robes fastened up to her throat, in spite of the warmth of the late spring morning. She piled strawberries on her plate, nibbling them with a slight smile. 'I trust you slept well?' Narcissa asked.

'I did, thank you.'

It was their daily game, lest Lucius think they were closer than they appeared. Narcissa slid a book across the table with a significant look. 'You left this lying about last night. You're being rather careless...'

Lavinia picked up the book, and slid it into a pocket of her robes. 'My apologies. Thank you.'

Narcissa picked at the mixture of blueberries, cut melon, and sliced strawberries in a bowl in front of her. 'You will be careful, will you not?'

Lavinia sipped her tea, replacing it on the saucer just so. 'He'll never know you're involved,' she said simply. 'I promise.' She rose from the table, nearly running through the sitting room to the French doors and out into garden. She found a hidden bench under a tree, and opened the book.

A short note was hidden in the pages, containing a location in Gloucestershire, a time, and nothing more. Lavinia memorized it quickly, then Vanished the note. Fabian would wait for one hour. If she didn't arrive, he knew she wasn't able to slip out of the mansion. She would leave notes for Fabian tucked into a book she would then pass on to Narcissa. How or when Narcissa owled them, Lavinia didn't know. Fabian reluctantly sent them via Narcissa. He didn't quite trust her, but Lavinia couldn't blame him. Narcissa was, after all, one of the enemy.


Gideon dove to the ground, cursing. 'Mad-Eye's going to kill me!' he muttered.

'Not if Malfoy doesn't kill you first,' Sirius hooted, sending a Stunning spell across the clearing.

Jagged purple jets of light flew over their heads. Gideon ducked behind a tree, panting. 'Bloody hell, Dolohov's been teaching the others that damn spell!'

'At least he's doing it nonverbally,' Sirius said. 'Less damage that way.'

Venomous orange streaks of light flashed between the trees, one of them hitting Gideon square in the chest. He howled with pain, clutching at the front of his shirt, unable to breathe. It was worse than a Cruciatus curse. Every nerve ending felt like it had been set on fire. Thousands of tiny pinpricks of flame licked over his skin. Gideon felt Sirius' hand close around his arm, making him scream in agony. Apparition had never been so unbearable - the squeezing sensation made the effects of the spell Malfoy had sent at him even more terrible. His knees buckled, his nose full of the antiseptic scents of St. Mungo's.

And Gideon Prewett mercifully lost consciousness.


Fabian stared at the clock on the wall over Gideon's bed. He was still unconscious, and nothing the Healers had done had been able to rouse him.

Inwardly, he seethed with rage. Gideon and Sirius had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Neither of them could stay out of trouble very long, chafing under the long hours and stress, needing to push themselves to the brink, just to reassure themselves they hadn't turned into a paranoid husk, like Mad-Eye was becoming.

'It was Malfoy. With Rodolphus Lestrange.' Sirius slumped against the wall, deep green paste smeared over the cuts and scrapes on his face. 'I just got him out of there in time...'

'Why were you there? Of all the places in Britain to go, you just had to go to Wiltshire to prank the Malfoy mansion, didn't you?'

Sirius opened his mouth to speak, but Fabian cut him off rudely. 'Was it worth it? It had better have been. You both could have died... he still can...'

'I... I'm sorry...' Sirius stammered.

'Just get the hell out of here, Black...' Fabian leaned forward, gripping Gideon's hand tightly. 'And don't come back round here.' His shoulders slumped in exhaustion. The past year had worn him down to almost nothing mentally. He understood what drove Gideon and Sirius to such behavior. He also worried for Lavinia's safety. They couldn't keep going on the way they were, in hurried clandestine meetings. He would have to try and approach other members of the Order to put her in hiding, if not the both of them for the imaginable future.

He couldn't let himself think about what his life might be like without Gideon. It was unimaginable.


Lavinia paced outside the abandoned cottage on the edge of a forest. She had been waiting for Fabian for over two hours. Her knotted fingers ached, and she strained her eyes searching in the thick darkness for Fabian. She shivered as if from cold, but the forest was warm, almost sultry that night. Fear left its bitter aftertaste on her tongue, metallic and bitter.

He's not coming... she thought wildly. She wouldn't have blamed him. She wouldn't have blamed him if he never saw her again. Lucius had boasted about how he'd nearly killed, 'one of those blood-traitor Prewetts,' at dinner earlier, to the laughter of his friends. Lavinia and Narcissa had joined in the laughter, although their laughter was a bit forced, but she didn't think anyone had noticed. They were all too busy toasting Lucius.

Sighing, Lavinia looked at her watch. Five more minutes... If he's not here... Then I shall go home... She pulled her wand from a sleeve of her robes, holding it loosely in her fingers. The seconds ticked by and her hand tightened around the handle of her wand. Lavinia was about to turn, when she heard a soft pop behind her. Lavinia wound a lock of hair around her finger. 'How is he, your brother?'

'He's going to be fine. Might be shaky for a few days, but he's awake now.'

Fabian stood in the shadows of the ancient wood. He made no attempt to come closer; his body stiff with what Lavinia assumed was anger. 'I'm sorry,' she whispered. 'I am so sorry...' He didn't respond, and Lavinia was startled to find she had closed the distance between them. 'I'm sorry...' She fell to the ground, her arms wrapped around his knees, face pressed against them.

Fabian folded himself to the ground, prying Lavinia's arms away from his knees. He pulled her into his lap, as if she were one of his nephews, rocking her while he stroked her unbound hair, her broken weeping echoing around them. 'It wasn't you...' he murmured. 'Not your fault...' His lips brushed over her forehead. He tilted her face up and thumbed the tears off her cheeks. 'Shhh.' Lavinia looked up at him, and Fabian's heart nearly broke. Her eyes were wide and vulnerable, tearstains streaking down her face.

So he did the only thing he could do.

He kissed her.


Dim firelight flickered in the small cottage's sitting room. Fabian ran his fingertips up Lavinia's back, gliding over the ivory-hued skin. He wasn't surprised to find she had been a virgin. He would have been surprised had she not been one. Most pureblood women were, before their marriage. They were normally carefully watched and chaperoned, their value reduced to a notion of purity. Families like the Malfoys and Blacks even subjected potential brides to the indignity of an examination to verify their virginity before the marriage could take place. 'I've ruined you, haven't I?'

'For what?'

'Some terribly appropriate marriage to someone of the "proper" blood status.'

'I'm afraid the window for that particular window of opportunity closed ages ago. I shall be thirty-three this...'

'August twenty-fifth,' Fabian supplied. He shivered at the feel of Lavinia's hands boldly exploring his own body, and captured her wrists in one of his hands. 'That tickles,' he informed her, pressing a kiss to her shoulder.

She shifted, draping her body over his, her long hair trailing across his chest. 'I suppose I shall have to do this...' she said languidly, replacing her hands with her lips.

'Livvy... You have to come away with me...'


'We could do it,' Fabian insisted. 'We could find a place like this, in the country...'

'Not anywhere in Britain. They'd find us...'

'Then we'll go abroad. France, Italy. Maybe even America...'

Lavinia smiled a little. 'You're being silly. You'd never leave your family.'

'But at least we'd have a chance,' Fabian pleaded. 'Please, Livvy?'


'It'll take a week for me make arrangements. Gringotts has been trying to get me to become a curse breaker in Italy. That's how long it'll take the paperwork to go through for my transfer. We won't be wealthy, but we can be comfortable...'


Fabian paused in the midst of drawing breath. 'What?'

'Okay. I'll go...' Lavinia sat up. 'But now, I must go home... Before they realize I'm gone...' She began to attempt to sort through their jumbled clothing. She found her slip and let the silk slither over her head. 'Move... You're on my robes...' she said, tugging at the heavy robes under Fabian's head. He obliged and she separated the layers that made up the traditional robes Lucius insisted she wore. She struggled to button the underdress, but it buttoned up the back. Fabian's hands covered hers.

'Let me...'

'You're not my servant,' Lavinia snapped.

'Just this once.' Fabian's fingers nimbly slid the tiny buttons through their buttonholes. He held the long cloak-like overdress out and slid it over her arms, fastening the frog clasp at her waist. 'I promise, you will never have to wear something like this ever again, if you don't want to.' He bent to pick up his own clothing and quickly dressed. He stood behind her, one arm wrapped around her waist. 'Right. I'm going to take you home. Send green sparks out of your bedroom window, so I know you're all right.'

Lavinia hesitated, but nodded. 'Just Apparate on the south side of the mansion. Lucius won't be anywhere on that side of the house this late.'

'Meet me right back here in one week. Same time...' Fabian's arm tightened around her waist, and they Disapparated


Lucius' eyes narrowed as he peered through the French doors. His jaw clenched as he managed to make out Lavinia in an embrace with one of the Prewett twins. 'Fabian...' he muttered dangerously. His hand fisted in the heavy curtains over the windows. He started to stride into the garden, to yank her away from Fabian and drag her back into the house. 'No...' A cold, calculating look came over his face. 'It will be so easy. To take them both down.'

Lavinia danced into the house, waltzing up the stairs. 'Where have you been?' Narcissa whispered from the door of her bedroom. Lavinia's only reply was a broad grin. She reached out and grabbed Narcissa's hand, pulling her into her own bedroom. Lavinia quietly closed the door and began to dance around the room, the thick rug muffling her bare feet. Narcissa perched on the edge of Lavinia's bed, a frown shadowing her features. Lavinia's robes were badly wrinkled and creased, smudged with dirt and dust. Her hair, normally tamed into a neat chignon streamed down her back, tangled and disheveled. 'Are you all right?'

'I've never been better,' Lavinia assured her.

'But your clothes,' Narcissa said in bemusement. 'You look like you've been mauled by someone or something.'

'Something like that.' Lavinia shrugged the outer garment of her robes off, throwing it carelessly over the arm of a chair. 'I was with someone,' she added, giving Narcissa a significant look.'

Narcissa's brows drew together. 'Oh?' Suddenly her expression cleared as comprehension dawned. 'Oh!' She nibbled a manicured fingernail for a moment, then asked shyly, 'What was it like?'

'Don't you know?'

Narcissa snorted. 'The last time I was with Lucius before I discovered I was pregnant, I found myself making a list of things on the ceiling that needed dusting to give to the house elf.'



'Every time...?' Lavinia looked at Narcissa askance.


'Oh.' Lavinia plopped on the bed next to Narcissa. 'It was... Marvelous. Made my fingers tingle. I couldn't move after, even if I'd wanted to.' She grinned slyly. 'Even saw sparks, and he didn't need to use his wand.'

Narcissa burst into peals of laughter. 'Well, not the one he got at Ollivander's at any rate,' she chuckled in an uncharacteristic moment of lewdness.

'Oh! I forgot!' Lavinia sprang from the bed, and flung herself at the window, throwing it open. She flicked her wand sending a trail of bright green sparks over the garden. The shadow that she knew to be Fabian disappeared. She spun back around, arms outstretched. 'I didn't know anything could be so wonderful!'

Narcissa's smile faded. Soberly, she asked, 'Was it worth it?'

'It will be.' Lavinia grabbed her hairbrush from the vanity and began to work the tangles from her hair, smiling coyly. Narcissa knew that smile. She had seen it on Lucius often enough.

'What have you got planned?'

Lavinia's mouth opened, ready to confess everything. 'No. I won't tell you. Because then if you're asked anything, you can honestly tell them you know nothing.'


'Are you sure the tip said here?' Frank Longbottom asked Gideon.

'Yes. They said five Death Eaters would be meeting here. Sort of like a rendezvous point.'

'I don't like anonymous tips,' Fabian grumbled.

'Neither do I,' Frank seconded. He could feel the hair on the back of his neck ripple. 'There's something not right about this.'

Gideon glanced at the shorter man. 'What do you mean?'

'I've just got a bad feeling about this,' Frank muttered.

Fabian felt his stomach churn slightly. 'Frank... Do exactly as I say; and no arguments. Go back and send someone else who's not a father.' He mentally ran through a list of the other members of the Order. 'Send anyone but Arthur or James.'

'I'll get Mad-Eye,' Frank breathed, as he Disapparated.

High above them on a heavily wooded ridge, Lucius held Lavinia, pointing his wand at her throat. 'Scream all you want, but nobody can hear you. You will stand here and watch him die, even if I have to Petrify you.'

Tears streamed down Lavinia's face, as she struggled in vain to reach her wand, her mouth working soundlessly.

'What's that?' Lucius leaned closer to her, cocking his ear toward her mouth. 'I'm terribly sorry, but I cannot hear you.'

Five shadows flew overhead, landing with horrible shrieks around the twins. Instinctively, Gideon and Fabian moved so they stood back-to-back, wands aloft. The land below the ridge shone with light, as spells whipped from the center of the circle to its edges. Gideon and Fabian were able to incapacitate two wizards and disarm another before a spell went awry, slashing Gideon at the knees, sending him tumbling to the ground, bleeding profusely. He managed to push himself upright, streaks of bright red staining the grass under his feet.

Fabian dove to shield Gideon as best he could. 'It's a good thing you sent Frank away!' Gideon shouted. 'Alice would never forgive us if his pretty face got roughed up.' He ducked another spell and shot one of his own toward one of the remaining two Death Eaters.

'We've got to get to those trees!' Fabian hissed. 'We need some cover to Apparate out of this!' Fabian could smell singed hair as a spell narrowly missed his head. Suddenly, he thought about Lavinia. They hadn't used any sort of contraception at all last week. He'd been around Molly and Arthur far too much to not know that once was all it took. The idea of Lavinia alone and pregnant made his blood run cold. He grabbed Gideon's arm and began to tow him toward the line of trees midway across a meadow. 'Can you walk on your own at all?'

'Not much...' Gideon grimaced in pain, one arm wrapped around Fabian's shoulders, sending spells haphazardly over his shoulder, his feet dragging behind him. He collapsed to the grass, dizzy, his vision fading at the edges. 'Go on! You've got a much better chance to survive without carrying me along.'

'Don't be an idiot,' Fabian growled. Just ten more yards! He felt, rather than heard Gideon's gasp, head snapping up. The remaining two Death Eaters had suddenly appeared between them and their goal. A jet of green light slammed into Gideon's chest. His lifeless body sagged in Fabian's arms. Seconds later, a second bolt of green light sent Fabian flying backward.

Above them, Lucius growled in triumphant satisfaction. He threw Lavinia to the ground, where she huddled, whimpering silently. He roughly dug through her robes for her wand. 'Look at me!' he demanded harshly. She shook her head, hair hanging on either side of her face. Lucius wound his fingers through her hair and yanked her head backward. 'Look at me, damn you!'

She cried out in mute pain at his fingers digging into her scalp. Lucius held her wand in one hand, then viciously snapped it in two. Lavinia nearly choked on her sobs as he released her hair. 'Do not ever come back into my house. And do not make any attempt to contact my wife or my son. Consider yourself fortunate to be alive. For now.' He lifted the Silencing charm on her and Disapparated.

Lavinia painfully crawled down the steep hill, bruising her knees and scraping her hands on the rocks that protruded through the soil. She slid several feet, rolling head over feet in a nauseating plummet that ended a half dozen yards from where Fabian lay. She stumbled to him, cradling his head in her bleeding hands, kissing his sightless eyes. 'No, no, no, no, no...' she moaned pitifully. She eased to the grass next to him, resting her head on his shoulder, curling into his body, hoping if she prayed hard enough, the still chest under her hand would rise and fall once more, and the pulse would steadily bump at the base of his throat.

'Bloody hell, it's Malfoy's sister!' someone said in shocked tones.

Lavinia turned her head, blinking to clear her gaze. Three men stood over them, wands trained on her. 'Kill me,' she begged.

One of them - a young man with sad grey eyes - knelt next to her. 'That's an Unforgivable,' he reminded her quietly.

Fresh sobs welled from deep inside her. 'Then I forgive you,' she wailed.

'We can take you somewhere,' Remus continued. 'Anywhere you want.'

Lavinia shook her head, burrowing into Fabian's side.

'We can't just leave her here,' Sirius said.

'If she's Malfoy's sister we ought to take her MLE,' Mad-Eye added.

'She's not a Death Eater,' Remus sighed.

'We don't know that,' Mad-Eye reminded him.

Two more pops sounded, signaling the arrival of two other people. Furious whispers flew over Lavinia's head. 'She's in a bad state,' someone said.

'We'll take her to my place,' another person said with finality, ending the argument. 'Poor thing needs a few days to recover. She's obviously had a terrible shock.'

'Are you sure, Dorcas? It's an awful risk for you to take.'

'And this isn't?' Dorcas scoffed. 'It's just until we can figure out what to do with her.'

Lavinia barely felt the hands lift her from the ground. She gratefully fell into the merciful blackness that had been threatening to overtake her.


Dorcas Meadows' small cottage huddled on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the sea in Cornwall. She carried a tray with tea and toast on it into the small spare bedroom, but the room, and its bed was empty. Dorcas dropped the tray, shattering the teapot, splashing tea over the floor, and scattering the toast. The small door that opened into her garden was open, swinging in the breeze off the sea. She ran into the garden, frantically searching the area around the cottage, even peering over the edge of the cliff, but it was as if the woman had never been there.


Lucius leaned over Narcissa's shoulder at breakfast and dropped the pieces of Lavinia's wand onto her plate. He bent his head so his mouth nearly brushed her ear. 'If I ever discover you had a hand in aiding her to her disgrace, then I shall have you declared mad and locked away in St. Mungo's for the rest of your life.'

Narcissa kept her face smoothly blank.

'Never mention her name in this house. Do you understand me?'

She nodded once.

'Excellent.' Lucius strode out of the dining room, without a backward glance.

Narcissa waited until his footsteps had faded before reaching out with shaking hands, and scooped up the pieces of Lavinia's wand. Her hand briefly tightened around them, before she tucked them into the pocket of her robes.