A/N: Who was Sabriel's mother? Why does Terciel say that his wife "would have lived if she had loved another"? Why did she die in childbirth? This story takes place before the prologue of Sabriel

Thanks for the correction, Lady!

Disclaimer: None of this is mine. I got to name Sabriel's mother, but you will see that even her name is not entirely mine.

Chapter 1: Prophecy

Abhorsen let out a clear whistle, and the Paperwing banked, coming to a smooth landing in the hangar. Two green Paperwings slept nearby, their painted eyes dull and lifeless. Abhorsen vaulted out of his blue and silver Paperwing, and tenderly helped the woman who had been sitting behind him out of the craft. Once she was safely on the ground, Abhorsen buckled his ever-present sword and bells over his fur coat.

Four women emerged from the darkness at the end of the hangar. The eldest stepped forward and dropped into a curtsey. "You are most welcome, Lord Abhorsen, as is your lovely wife."

Abhorsen grinned and bowed in return. "Hello, Filris," he said cheerfully.

"I take it you will not be staying?" a tall, willowy Clayr asked shrewdly.

"No," replied Abhorsen. "I do not think that Sabrine could handle the Starmount Stair, in her condition."

His wife playfully swatted his arm, one hand unconsciously going to her belly. "That is why we came, actually," the woman told the Clayr. "We wanted to know if you have Seen anything of our child."

The Clayr exchanged glances full of meaning. Filris opened her mouth to speak, but broke off as a young blonde girl suddenly darted through the crowd of adults, ran right up to Abhorsen, and stared unabashedly at his face with large blue eyes. An older girl came dashing after her.

"I'm sorry, Granny," the older girl panted. "She got away from me again."

"Keep a closer watch on your sister, Kirrith," scolded Filris.

Kirrith nodded and took the child's hand firmly in hers, tugging the little girl away from Abhorsen. "C'mon, Arielle," she said bossily. The child kept staring solemnly at Abhorsen over her shoulder even as she was led away.

When the girls had gone, Filris heaved a long-suffering sigh. "I apologize, Abhorsen."

The man laughed. "No harm done," he assured her. The Abhorsen waved a pale hand, and the piled drifts of snow swirled and hardened into icy chairs. He led his wife over to one, helping her to sit before settling down in the chair next to hers. The Clayr took the makeshift seats gratefully.

"So," said Filris in a businesslike way, "You came to ask about your daughter."

"A daughter!" Sabrine exclaimed, sharing a happy smile with her husband.

"Yes," the willowy Clayr confirmed. "A girl dark of hair and eye. She will be Abhorsen. She will not be Abhorsen. She may be Abhorsen."

"Possible futures," Filris explained. "If Abhorsen, she will look on Kerrigor's body."

A silence fell as the expectant parents digested this information. "She will slay Kerrigor?" Abhorsen asked quietly.

"We do not See him being destroyed," elucidated the willowy Clayr. "We Saw your daughter looking down on his face. We do not know where."

"That will come in time," another Clayr stated sharply. "Protect your daughter. For the good of the Kingdom, she must live."

The young man and woman nodded, and Abhorsen took Sabrine's hand resolutely.

Hidden near the doorway, a young woman pondered over what she had just heard. This information would be important to someone. Perhaps if she told him this, he would release her sister's spirit from his hold. She crept back to the Starmount Stair, taking care not to be seen. A message needed be sent at once.

A/N: Who is the eavesdropper, and who is she sending the message to? You'll find out later – for now, reviews are most welcome!