a/n - for the prompts from the mods thread over at the prompts, prompts, prompts forum.
prompts: glassy eyes, saving grace, redemption
live through this and you won't look back
He first meets Marlene McKinnon when he's a first year and she's a second. She's shy, almost timid, her eyes big and brown and lined with fine gold lashes. They pass each other in the corridor a few times, their eyes meeting and then sliding over the other, not really seeing them. He doesn't know much about her, doesn't want to. She's just this unpopular Gryffindor girl who's not even that brave compared to the rest of her house.
Little does he know how she'll cause his heart to race and his throat to constrict.
He properly meets her when she's all grown up; a strong, independent nineteen year old with a flair for the dramatics and a dirty sense of humour. He introduces himself to the rest of the Order rather uncomfortably while his twin grins and manages to charm his way into their ranks already. Marlene picks at her nail and says, "Hi, I'm Marlene," without even looking and Gideon says, "Hey," and maybe he adds in a, "Nice to meet you," despite how awkward that is.
She makes eye contact with him once, and oh, how that timid little face has changed. Now she's all long legged and golden haired and really, she's quite pretty. Not that Gideon cares or anything.
It all happens in a bit of a rush after that. Coffee stained, scrawled notes turn into frequent Floo calls turn into meeting up for lunch or maybe dinner turn into kisses straight onto the lips, none of this peck on the cheek stuff he normally gets when a girl likes him — but that's what Marlene's like, really. Completely abnormal and unconventional; Gideon doesn't think she even cares what people think of her.
She'll wink at him across the table they sit at during meetings in full view of everybody, and they all just know there's something going on, but nobody says anything and so they keep it quiet (for a while).
Fabian's always had this habit of taking whatever Gideon has and making it his own. Gideon's sure he doesn't mean to do it, he just doesn't seem to notice he's doing it until it's in his possession. Now, Marlene McKinnon is not an object to be claimed, but she can certainly be taken. And she can most definitely be taken by the more confident and charming version of him.
And it's not like he didn't see his twin brother staring at her across the room or anything, it's just he never thought Fabian would actually act on it (they're brothers till the end and all).
"It's you," Marlene tells him, and he doesn't know if she's lying any more — she makes it an art, "it's always been you." Her brown eyes glimmer in the lamplight, but whether they contain the truth, he doesn't know. Because she's Marlene, and these days, lying seems to be what she does best. She'll weave her web around you that you'll think is studded with stars she dragged from the heavens herself, until it's too late — and that's that, you're stuck forever.
"Redeem yourself," Gideon says bravely, and maybe that's a hint of frustration residing in the nonchalant corner of her mouth. Maybe.
He avoids her for a few weeks, skulking in his brother's shadow and making sure the coast is clear before he reappears. Fabian has turned his interest away from Marlene and now has his sights set on Dorcas, who Gideon notices has taken to ducking out of rooms the minute his brother appears. He doesn't blame her. She's got Benjy, but if she lets Fabian in for even a second, he'll snatch her up as quick as anything. It makes Gideon's stomach curl in disgust.
Marlene catches his eye across the table at a meeting and Gideon can't help but stare as long as he can get away with. She smiles, and Gideon tries his best not to beam back. He fails.
"Do you ever think you're going to die in this war?" Marlene asks, hand casually tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. He admires the way it falls down her back, almost glowing in the dark. He admires the way her jaw is half-cut into a penumbra by the streaming moonlight that pours through the open window. He admires the way her arms rest across her knees, legs crouched under her, head tilted back and soaking up the light.
"Yes," he says honestly. "All the time." Then he asks, "Don't you?" and watches her smirk half-heartedly, her eyes suddenly lowered and he barely catches the breath of, "Of course."
Marlene is a dash of sunlight on a gloomy day, sometimes, and sometimes, she is the gloomy day. She's running miles ahead of him in ridiculously high-heeled shoes then she's lagging behind, gasping for breath and tramping through the puddles that slow her down. But, really — she's Marlene, just Marlene, and that's how she is — Gideon tells himself he wouldn't change her for the world, and then he thinks that he'd never lie to himself, just to make him believe it.
But then, he also tells himself he's in love with her.
"You're my saving grace," says Marlene, and this time, Gideon thinks she's telling the truth because her eyes are doing that thing where they're wide and honest and sincere, and there's not a person on the planet who wouldn't believe her when she's like this. He finds himself drawn to her, reaching out and longing; he just wantswantswants her to look at him how he looks at her — and sometimes, she does. It makes him so happy it terrifies him.
"You're mine too," he replies, inclining his head and allowing his mouth to quirk up in a feeble smile. It flourishes when she smiles back, and then she says just three words: "I'm not lying."
Fabian's the first to go, Dolohov striking him down ruthlessly and Gideon feels his heart rip down the seams because there is his brother — glassy eyed on the floor, mouth slightly open and arm still outstretched. He blinks, once, then his wand is pointed at Dolohov and everything seems to slow to a stop and the world watches the Prewett twins fall with just two harsh, cold words.
"Avada Kedavra!" — and Gideon sees Marlene's eyes across the room widen, hears her scream, then nothing.
Marlene waits for Gideon to come back every day. She searches for him in the space between the tree branches, in the cracks in the ceiling, in the dregs at the bottom of her teacup. She searches for him in all the things that he reminded her of — open windows and park benches and the flames in a fire. She waits and waits and waits and she thinks she sees him sometimes, just at the corner of her eye — then she turns, and he's gone.
She's still waiting when the Death Eaters come for her, and then she's not.
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