"...they fought like heroes."
"...they fought like heroes."
He remembered wanting to be a hero and wondered what this fight was making him.
Heroes? Heroes were supposed to get the girl- a girl at any rate- and the glory and thanks and sometimes a spiffy medallion, not this hard bright death.
It was Dolohov, Rosier, the bigger Lestrange brother, Bellatrix Black- no wait, Lestrange- and Wilkes.
He was a little bit proud of that.
He hadn't warranted the best, perhaps, and he hadn't gotten the Bastard himself, but it wasn't some silky devil like Lucius Malfoy who was going to do him in.
It was the hard-hitters. The dangerous goons. The smart ones, too, not some henchmen like Macnair or Gibbon.
The bloody fucking warriors.
Maybe he wasn't going to be a hero, but he was a fighter anyhow.
The curse slammed him back into the bar of the Green Dragon tavern. It struck him at the base of the spine, where the tail bone might start.
His face slammed into the glasses, and he came up roaring mad, pieces of glass cutting deep into his freckled cheeks in a streak of pain too sudden and fast to ache, just burn around the eyes.
His wand was already up and blasting backwards before he even got himself turned around.
The unspoken Expelliarmus spell knocked one of the masked figures into the wall, and Fabian leaped forward to catch the man's wand. With his own wand he set off a Patronus charm to call for help, the bear surging in a burst of light which faded out alarmingly quickly.
Gideon always brought backup.
The tavern had only had the last of the late-night stragglers before. They were fleeing by now, out the door; Fabian tackled the lone womanly Death Eater blasting killing curses about.
He was blown off her just as swiftly by a rushing purple spell from the largest fellow that brushed against his shoulder.
He cried out once before staggering back to his feet, barely, nearly collapsing again as he lost both wands.
Alarm for his brother did not strike Gideon, who was too preoccupied to notice, entangled by a Choking Curse as he simultaneously tried to hold off figures he knew to be Rosier and Wilkes, deflecting the Diffindo spell back at them with his shield.
He threw off the Suffoco spell and tried to Apparate but discovered, as expected, anti-Apparition wards were already set in place.
He had been stupid, very stupid, to half-trust Sirius Black.
Peter Pettigrew had relayed the message to meet the man here, to discuss the dilemma of the spy. Black had information.
He ducked a blast of red light and rolled, catching sight of Fabian flailing.
Fab was alright, though. "Accio!" he boomed in his brokering-no-nonsense-I'm-older-by-three-minutes-and-eleven-seconds voice.
The wand leaped to his hand. Fabian was good at Summoning.
Undistracted, Gideon Banished the hulking figure he knew was Rabastan Lestrange and knocked him into Wilkes with a trace of pleasure.
They had their talents, the Prewett brothers.
Gideon deflected a spell from Rosier, barely and with a sweat, because it was green, and turned in time to catch in the corner of his eye a whiplike streak of purple.
It brought him to his knees.
Wilkes pulled off his mask, beads of sweat on his face, sandy brown hair stuck by moisture to his young features twisted by menace, and muttered, "Locomotor Mortis."
He gasped for a breath as his legs locked, lunged forward and grabbed Wilkes' ankle, yanking hard to bring the man down. The Death Eater's booted foot slapped hard against his bleeding face but he didn't notice. His Diffindo curse slashed hard into Rosier's arm, the man- boy- Evan was a few years behind him- cried out, swearing viciously, and withdrew to try and repair the damage.
Fabian tumbled in a world of darkness, struggling to keep his feet, and stared into the eyes of the stunningly beautiful dark girl who was taking great pleasure in using the Cruciatus Curse upon him.
Rabastan knocked Gideon hard against the ground with a spell that hit like a backhand slap. He tumbled over, winded, only to have the big man step on his chest. Wilkes leaped for his wand, Gideon squeaked out a "Furnunculus," and watched as the man positively exploded with enormous sprouting mushrooms.
It didn't stop Wilkes, he grabbed Gideon's wrist and pried at his fist.
Gideon started to mutter "Suffo-" but was hit with the Choking Curse himself first.
Dolohov, eyeing both Prewett brothers from his position in the heart of the struggle, with his wand pinning Fabian with the same Cruciatus Curse Bellatrix was administering, turned his attention for a moment towards snapping Gideon's wrist with a quickly bitten word in a language that might have been Russian or German but was probably Ukrainian.
The pain seared for a moment and then his hand went numb, the wand pulled from his tightened fingers.
They didn't take Fabian's.
Business-like, Dolohov snapped his own fingers in a commanding gesture with the dull sound of leather against leather and Bellatrix and Rosier, who was still nursing his arm and with his own mask now off, administered the Cruciatus Curse once more.
The scream tearing from Fabian's throat reminded Gideon of the Kneazle he'd once seen tormented by some first year Slytherins in Hogsmeade.
"Imperio," Dolohov oozed in his accented voice, and Fabian turned jerkily to face him in response.
Kill your brother.
Kill Gideon Prewett.
Fabian was in a floating world, contentment racing through him, and then the pain yanked him back, before he was restored to the soft, mind-clouding space with the gentle voice that wanted him to do something.
His hand was shaking and he couldn't imagine why, he didn't know why he was stepping forward jerkily, and then he was staring down at a pinned, desperate man, hollow-cheeked and flint-eyed.
He wondered if he knew him.
Kill your brother.
The wand rose.
The man was saying something, mouthing something, and for some reason he pictured him dancing, smirking and smiling.
Fabian Prewett spun on his heel and the word "Sectumsempra!" leaped from his throat and struck Rabastan Lestrange, who began bleeding profusely.
Stupid to leave him his wand.
He charged forward, bowled Wilkes out of the way, muttered Finite Incantatem and reached to pull Gideon up.
Gideon was already up, springing to his feet and wrestling for his wand with his one good hand, but he lifted the thumb of his limp one in a thumbs-up.
Bellatrix Lestrange was trying to kill him, Fabian realized as he moved quickly away and fiercely thought "Protego" but all of a sudden he was engulfed in red light, Stupefied with a lazy flick of Dolohov's wand.
Rosier hit Gideon with Crucio as he paused in his deflections to release his brother; he stumbled but did not fall.
They fought for a moment or an eternity longer. Gideon dove behind the bar and fired spells, picturing he was hitting Sirius Black and trying to remember if Wilkes' first name was Roy or Headley. Fabian bobbed and weaved and tried desperately to avoid Dolohov.
Bellatrix struck him eventually, with Petrificus Totalus, of all things, and Rabastan yanked Gideon forward while Fabian watched, fending off Rosier and Wilkes. If he hesitated he did not show it.
"How're you doing, ickle Prewie?" Bellatrix crooned as she leaned forward, her curtain of soft near-black hair brushing against his cheek, to idly drive a still-clinging piece of glass deeper into his cheek.
He managed to spit at her, so Rabastan, with deep pleasure, bashed in his teeth.
She pulled back, still close enough he could see the whites of her eyes. "Who do you think you are?" she hissed.
Somehow he broke the Petrification. Every ounce of magic in his being was poured towards the sole thought Finite Incantatem, and to their surprise he rolled away.
"I'm Gideon Prewett," he replied, as if it were the most natural thing on the world, even though he was on the floor and about to die.
Fabian surged over, grabbed his shoulder, pulled him to his feet, their backs met defensively. "That's Fabian," Gideon explained giddily, with an empty-handed gesture.
He had no wand.
The unmasked Death Eaters smirked and circled.
One looked left, one looked right, and they waited.
"Lousy lookout you are, prick," Gideon muttered gently.
"Some hero, arse," Fabian answered warmly, and that was better than any I'm sorries or I love yous because that mushiness would be somewhat embarrassing, after all, in the here and now.
Besides some things don't need to be said.
When you're twins it's simply understood.
It was Dolohov who said the words that pulled them apart.
The boy fell, crumpled hard and fast in a burst of purple light.
Prewett stared and started to bend but then leapt, diving forward, and he was smashed down. He fought and raged but they broke him, as the spells hit again and again.
He fell but he hit back, and their faces swam in his mind, and he knew no help was coming.
There was a sheer second, in the midst of the Cruciatus Curses and the Severing Charms he tried to dodge, where he thought he might be able to Apparate away, when a voice screamed in his mind to run, but he hurt and his brother was dead and there was nothing left to do but fight back.
He thought he got Wilkes. He didn't know, never know, but there was a look in the man's eye when he reeled back that made him think that was it, that Wilkes wouldn't be standing up again. He thought he got Wilkes…
He choked out one name when they had the Imperius Curse on him.
"… members of the Order of the Phoenix?"
He stared at them with his dark eyes under his floppy hair, bleeding. "E-e-e-" he choked out.
"E-evan Rosier." He tossed a perfect Prewett smirk at them.
Disgusted, the man made to hit him, and Fabian swore loudly, cursed them blackly with all the words he'd ever picked up and all the names he'd ever heard women call Gideon and a few more too.
He'd have done Marlene proud.
He never heard what they said, saw what they decided, though he wondered what they planned to do with Gideon's body, what they planned to do with his, and then he heard a shout.
The voice might have been Potter's.
The Death Eaters, which he hazily thought was such a silly name, those great Swallowers of Decease, Demise Devourers, looked down on him, and Antonin Dolohov sneered and opened his twisted mouth.
There was a great rush of green and all he could think of was Molly and the baby and Billy and Charlie and George and Freddie- oh, Fred and George, what little rapscallions and would they remember him and Emmeline and Mack, Gideon had god-damn loved Mack and if-if-if-if-if… he wondered when he last kissed Hestia, he wondered what he said to Molly, he thought he heard Sirius Black saying something, what was he saying…?
Damn fool, he thought, and then he died.
Gideon blinked and saw blood.
There was no one around, no noise. He was on the floor.
He blinked again, and hazily he saw Fabian's still form.
He looked asleep.
Oh, thought Gideon dozily. "Fab," he tried to say, but he choked, there was a tangy liquid in his mouth, metallic taste, not so bad.
He reached an arm out to his brother, or tried to, but Fabian was so far away and his arm simply wouldn't move.
He tried to breathe and got the taste again, and remembered it, the blood taste he'd gotten when he'd broken his nose a couple times before.
His chest heaved but there was no air, no air, and he tried to say his brother's name again, tried to swear, and the effort made his eyes well.
He knew he was imagining it, as his eyes fluttered again, but he thought he heard Molly yelling at him and Sirius Black laughing, and a soft voice in his ear.
Wasn't it great, he wanted to tell Fabian, he was gonna see Marlene again…
Everything was bright and dark all at once, and he heard footsteps, real solid footsteps.
Maybe he was a hero, he thought, and slept.