A.N. I do not own the characters depicted in this story although I took the liberty to tweek a bit with Bill's name because I consider this nickname to be a bit to old for a toddler. This was written for Lizzacc's "Minor Character Challenge".
Fabian Prewett sat in front of the fireplace in the Gryffindor common room, fuming. In his hand he held a crumpled letter and just the thought of it made him angry. How dare his parents do that to him? He was barely 17, not even out of Hogwarts yet and his parents were already trying to set him up with a “charming, respectable pure-blooded young lady”. Vespera Rosier, a charming young lady? Right! More like a pureblood fanatic, evil snake. She was three years older than him, therefore, Fabian had known of her during her school years. Vespera was part of a group of Slytherins who openly showed their affiliation to the so-called Lord Voldemort - something he hoped his parents weren't aware of - and spent their days torturing younger students. One time, during his Prefect duties, Fabian caught her in the act of using the Cruciato curse (a weaker and sadly legal version of the Cruciatus curse) on a third year Hufflepuff when she, herself, was a seventh year. The reason she gave him for doing so? He was a muggleborn; that was it.
Two weeks ago, Fabian’s mother wrote to both him and his twin brother Gideon to tell them that they would be introduced to potential future spouses at the Annual Prewett Christmas Ball. The boys, insulted that their parents would actually dare try to set them up given what had happened when they had try to set up the marriage of their older sister Molly, had written back saying that they would not follow through with their parents’ plan. Fabian still smiled at the thought of that day, when Molly had told her parents exactly what she thought of their plan.
June 20th 1970
It was a beautiful summer day. The entire Prewett family had spent the morning at Hogwarts for Molly’s graduation. In the afternoon, a tea party was to be held at the Prewett Residence in this occasion, where family members, close friends of the family and friends of Molly were invited. Fabian and Gideon, both twelve at the time, were bored out of their minds even before the graduation celebration at Hogwarts was over and couldn’t wait for the real holidays to begin.
"Fabian, Gideon! Put your trunks away and come back in the garden for tea," their mother called when the family Apparated home (the boys by side-along that is).
"Yes mother!" both boys chanted as they climbed the stairs two at a time.
"And Gideon, change your robes, you managed to get these filthy."
"Yes mother," the boy shouted back, then he turned to his brother and added, "think she would get mad enough to send me back to my room for the rest of the day if I came back there naked?"
"Yes I do. But there’s a risk she might be so angry, she'd ground you for the rest of the summer and that would not be worth it." Gideon shrugged, sighing as he changed into clean dress-robes.
The twins were energetic and liked to have fun, pulling pranks and laughing as much as they could. As much as they loved their family, they sometimes felt out of place. Their parents demanded that they behave themselves and they sat in silence, pretending to be perfect good boys in front of their visitors. Today however, Fabian didn’t have a problem acting the good boy because it was for Molly’s sake. Fabian loved his sister to bits and even if she had never said it out loud, he knew he was her favorite brother.
"There, am I good looking enough, brother?" Gideon asked, turning on himself and taking the pose, like the models took in magazines.
"Yeah, come on pretty boy. This party has got to begin if it’s ever going to end."
Back in the garden, over fifty guests mingled happily, waiting for the star to arrive. Fabian led Gideon to two empty chairs on the porch, politely saluting people as they passed them. Just as they finally sat down, the door opened and a radiating Molly entered the garden at her father’s arm. The twins, although they couldn’t understand why, joined the rest of the crowd and applauded their sister’s arrival, as if she was the Queen. Their mother motioned for the guests to quiet down a little and she walked up to her daughter.
"Molly," she began, tear in her eyes, "my beautiful daughter has now officially become a woman. Finishing her studies at Hogwarts with great distinctions, we can be certain." Fabian and Gideon snorted at this declaration, knowing their sister had put more effort in her relation with Arthur Weasley than in her studies; if she distinguished in something, it must be in snogging!
"We are all gathered here today to congratulate you and welcome you to adulthood," the crowd applauded again as Molly thanked them silently for their presence. "Now my dearest daughter, allow me the honour of introducing you to this charming young man who is quite interested in knowing you better and, who knows, maybe even in taking your hand, Mr. Roman Chambers."
People applauded loudly when a tall, blond young man, dressed in rich-looking dark robes took Molly’s hand and kissed it, giving Molly a seductive smile. Fabian and Gideon didn’t clap this time because they were not looking at the man; they were looking at their sister’s look of utter horror. She pulled her hand aggressively out of Roman Chamber’s grab and took a step back. The crowd fell silent instantly.
"What exactly is this mother?" She hissed.
"Now Molly, this isn’t a way to treat the young man!" Her mother said, taken aback.
"Because it’s a way to treat your daughter? Nothing against you, Chambers but is this party solely about matching me with this stranger? You know I already have someone in my life."
"You can’t be serious about this Weasley boy Molly! He’s a worm; won’t ever be up to your standard! Now Mr. Chambers here, he is –"
"You’re crazy! Again, sorry Chambers," Molly interrupted her father, looking at the now very red and clearly uncomfortable young man. "I will not stand here and let you insult the love of my life."
"Love of your life? Molly, this is a schoolgirl fling! Now quiet down, you are making a fool of yourself in front of our guests," her mother said in a low, but very carrying voice.
"A fool of myself? You set this up, arrange for me to meet some strange man, even knowing I am already involved with someone. Then you go and insult him and I’m supposed to accept this and smile? Do you even know me, mother?"
"Now Molly I thought we cleared this up already, you are not going to keep seeing this Weasley boy. You are a Prewett and, as such, you will marry a man of your rank, a man of quality; like Mr. Chambers.’"
"Ok, I’m out of here," Molly said, shaking her head in disbelief. She turned to the crowd, apologized and began walking out of the garden.
"Molly Prewett!" Her mother shouted, making Molly stop in her tracks, out of habit most likely. "I order you to come back this instant and act like the lady you were raised to be!"
"If being a Prewett means lying openly to people about who I am and being denied the man I love, then I don’t want to be a Prewett anymore." And with that, Molly walked out of the garden. That night, she held true to her word and became Molly Weasley. This had happened five years ago already; Molly was happily married and had a little boy named Billy. She had not talked to her parents once since that eventful day.
And yet again, their parents were trying to set their boys up with “decent” women. At least they had been warned, Gideon had said. But Fabian simply refused. Not that he was involved with anyone; he just liked to be in charge of his life and his decisions. His mother had ordered him to be present for the Christmas Ball and to have an open mind about Vespera; she had high hopes that they would be engaged by the end of the Christmas holiday.
Still angry, Fabian suddenly got up, struck with an idea. He grabbed a piece of parchment and asked his sister to accept his presence in her home for the holidays. He briefly explained the situation before pausing. What if Gideon wanted to come too? Fabian scanned the room and quickly found his brother, laughing heartily with friends.
"Oi, Gid! Come here a second?" He shouted. His brother smiled and excused himself from his friends. When he reached Fabian, he pointed to the letter and frowned.
"Is this your acceptance of Mother’s invitation for the Ball?"
"No, I already decided against it; am I known for changing my mind?"
"Merlin no! So, what is it?"
"A letter for Molly, I’m asking her if I can spend the holidays with her and Arthur."
"And Billy and the new baby too, remember? She’s due soon isn’t she?"
"Yeah, I think you’re right; the new baby should be born by Christmas! But anyway, I’m asking her for myself, are you interested in joining me there?" Fabian watched his brother frown and he could follow his track of thoughts. Gideon hated the idea of the set up but he also had a very profound dislike for small children. The young man had no patience whatsoever with them and couldn’t stand their crying. When they had stayed a couple days the summer before, Gideon was ready to jump out a window after one night of Billy’s crying.
"It’s nothing against them you know, but I much prefer standing up to Mother and refusing loud and clear the set up than spending two weeks not sleeping because of a baby’s bloody cries!"
"I thought so," Fabian smiled. "I’m still going though."
"No problem, brother. It’s your decision," Gideon said, clapping Fabian hard on the shoulder. "I won’t tell; I prefer seeing their faces when I Apparate alone at home."
"Thanks, brother. And I’ll give Molly your love."
On December 24, the Prewett twins disembarked the train on platform 9 ¾ with the rest of the students. They hugged and wished each other a good holiday before Apparating to different destinations for the first time in their lives. In 17 years, it was the first time that Fabian and Gideon Prewett would spend a night apart; all that because of a family feud.
Fabian Prewett Apparated in the front lawn of his sister’s home warmly named “The Burrow”. He couldn’t help but smile every time he looked at the place. The Prewett children had been raised in a rich environment; a house always sparkling clean thanks to the 5 house-elves the family owned. They wore tailored clothing and were expected to keep clean and act distinguished at all times. The Weasley’s lifestyle couldn’t be more different and in Fabian’s mind, this suited Molly so much better.
The young man made his way toward the house, already hearing Billy’s ringing laughter. He waited a couple seconds after knocking before someone came to the door.
"Billy, step back from the door," came Arthur’s tired yet patient demand. The man cleared his voice and asked in a louder voice who was at the door.
"Fabian, hello! Come in, come in! Man, you’ve grown since I last saw you!" Arthur said, giving Fabian a strong hug. The man looked strained but he shone with happiness.
"Hey, Arthur, thanks for welcoming me for the holidays. Hey, Billy, my man! Whoa, you’ve gotten big too," Fabian said, holding the boy at the top of his arms.
"M’ a big bo-ther now!" The two years old boy laughed. He took his uncle’s hand and went to lead him in the hall.
"Billy wait a second," Arthur smiled at his son’s excitement. "Let him take off his shoes and his coat first."
Billy waited impatiently for his uncle to take off his things before he could finally bring him to the living room where Molly sat, holding a small bundle in her arms. Molly smiled when her younger brother walked in and Fabian noticed how happy she looked. He didn’t think he had ever seen his sister look so peaceful and contented.
"Fabian, sorry I couldn’t come and greet you; I was in the middle of feeding this one." Molly looked lovingly at the baby in her arms. Billy climbed on the arm of the chair and gave a peck on his mother’s cheek. He beckoned Fabian to come closer and pointed at the baby.
"This is Cha-li, my baby bo-ther," the boy whispered loudly. The three adults chuckled at the boy’s behavior but Fabian could see that Molly and Arthur shared Billy’s pride.
"He’s so small," Fabian whispered, filled with wonder by the little boy asleep in his sister’s arms.
"Want to hold him?" Molly asked her brother, who was silently admiring his tiny nephew.
"Can I?" Fabian didn’t understand where this love for children came from. They mesmerized him; how they could be so small and yet so perfect. How, even at this very young age, you could see the resemblance with their parents. And how, when they reached Billy’s age, they had this ability to fill him with happiness and joy.
"Of course you can," Arthur said, taking the boy from his wife. Molly gave Fabian her chair and Arthur lovingly put the baby on his brother-in-law’s lap.
"He’s so perfect, congratulations, both of you. And congratulations to the big brother too; you look like you are taking good care of him, am I right?"
"I do!" Billy nodded enthusiastically.
Around eight o’clock, Molly and Arthur embarked on their bedtime routine with the boys. Arthur bathed Billy while Molly fed Charlie. After that, Arthur took Charlie to bed while Molly went to read Billy a story and wish him a good night. In thirty minutes, both adults had joined Fabian in the living room and together they set up a Christmas tree for Billy to find in the morning. The night ended right when they were done, the Weasley parents being understandably quite tired. Fabian followed them to his designated room to wrap his Christmas presents.
He couldn’t help but feel a little out of place when Molly told him he was to sleep in the nursery. It was the only way to accommodate him since Billy now had his own big boy room and Charlie was still sleeping in his parent’s room. Plus, Fabian being so tall, he couldn’t sleep on the couch or he would have almost half of his body hanging out! So, it was with a load of warm blankets and a pliable mattress that Fabian walked in the small baby blue room; magically painted stars blinking away at random around him. Upon entering the room, Fabian felt very alone and lost. The absence of his twin brother by his side was heavy on him, so much that he found himself almost wishing he had chosen to face his parents with Gideon.
While he wrapped the few presents he had with him, Fabian reflected on the night he had just had. It was certainly quite different from the Christmas night his brother was having back at home. He himself couldn’t remember having such a quiet night during these holidays. The Prewetts were a prominent family in the wizarding world and had many friends with whom they celebrated almost every night between December 23rd and January 3rd. Therefore, between glamourous balls and high-class diner parties, the Prewett children were always surrounded with people and had to act like well-educated, model children. By New Year however, the kids couldn’t wait to get back to school in order to relax a bit.
Fabian was surprised to find he greatly enjoyed the night with the Weasleys, even if it wasn’t as flamboyant as the night he would have had at his parents’ place. They actually talked about him and his dreams for a career. Fabian told them of his intentions to join the Hit-Wizards’ department when he finished school; a career his parents didn’t approve of. Molly and Fabian had a good laugh thinking of Gideon, stuck at home feeling the wrath of their parents because he had not brought his brother along. Fabian was thankful that his brother would take this on for him. Gideon took things less to heart and would be able to confront their parents about their set-up ideas without getting tricked by his mother into accepting the deal.
Not that she was a bad woman, it was simply that Madam Prewett was a very gifted witch when it came to having things go the way she wanted them to be. She didn’t have much difficulty manipulating people around her into feeling guilty of some fault or another. Fabian always fell for it and, incidentally always ended up doing things the way his mother wanted them to be. Fabian couldn’t stand to hear his mother tell him he was hurting her purposely by going against her will, or that he would be responsible for bringing shame to the family and for making his father cry if he decided to follow another direction than the one she choose. Molly and Gideon didn’t have a problem putting up with it but Fabian was the weak link and their mother knew it.
Sure he would have to face the wrath of his parents eventually but for now, he wanted to take in as much freedom and simple family happiness as he could. With the war growing more intense by the day, Fabian made himself a promise that night. From now on, he would try to give everything he had to push the darkness away from this family that made him so happy and spend as much time as he could with them.
"Uncle Fa-bi-an!!!!" Billy’s high-pitched shout resonated directly in the young man’s ears. And directly it was, considering the toddler was perched on his uncle’s torso. Needless to say that Fabian woke up with a start. His first thought as he smiled to his hyper nephew, was that Gideon would be having murderous ideas if he had been woken up like this.
"Hey mate, had a good sleep?"
"Santa made a t-w-ee!" The boy shouted, completely ignoring his uncle’s question. Fabian laughed and decided not to let the poor boy wait any longer. He grabbed Billy under the arms and got out of the camp bed, running to the living room with the boy laughing madly, perched up on Fabian’s shoulder. Molly and Arthur were already in the living room, setting up breakfast. They did not try to hide their mischievous smile when they saw a dishevelled Fabian, still in his pajamas, jog in the room with their bright-eyed monster on top.
"Wow, Santa is a multi-talented man; he not only brings gifts, he brings trees too!" Fabian answered, letting the boy down. Billy ran to the tree and began pointing at different ornaments, showing them to the adults.
"Sorry, we couldn’t hold him up," Arthur chuckled.
"Bet you could," Fabian yawned with a smile, "but this was certainly more entertaining."
"Yes it was!" Molly laughed, hugging her little brother. "Happy Christmas Fab."
"Happy Christmas to you too. So are you usually having breakfast in here?"
"No, Molly decided to make a special for this morning because, well, you might not have noticed but there’s a little someone who can’t wait for Christmas to begin."
"You don’t say."
Billy now stood still in front of the tree, completely mesmerized by the lights and the shinning ornaments. Fabian sat with Molly and Arthur around the improvised table, and cooed a little at baby Charlie before taking the plate his sister was handing him.
"I don’t think he even noticed the presents," Fabian said a bit surprised.
"No he did not," Arthur answered giving Molly a sideway look.
"Ok, you were right! There, are you happy?" Her husband gave her a toothy grin and nodded.
"What is he right about exactly?"
"Arthur said that Billy was still too young to fully understand Christmas and the gift giving tradition. He was right, Billy appreciates the multicolored tree much more than the packages underneath."
"I had younger cousins," Arthur explained, "and it wasn’t until their fourth Christmases that they started enjoying what was in the boxes more than the actual boxes."
"Wow, I didn’t know that," Fabian said, impressed. "If I had known, I would not have wrapped his super gift so shoddily."
"You didn’t have to get him anything Fab, he’s so happy you’re around – and so are we; you actually take all of his attention away from us, that gives us a break!" Arthur said, putting Charlie down in the small seat so he could eat with both hands.
"Arthur, he’s not that bad," Molly chuckled as she watched her son. Billy was now climbing on Fabian’s knees, a silver drummer boy in hand to show his uncle up close.
"It’s very nice Billy. Say, did you notice the big box over there?" Fabian pointed. The boy shook his head and jumped down to get the box.
"Look, it has your name on it, 'Billy'. It means there is something in there for you man, you should open it." The toddler obliged, tongue peeking out with the effort he was making to unwrap the present. Fabian eventually got up to give his nephew a hand.
"You see," Fabian said when he the toy was on the floor, "this is a replica of a much, much bigger train named 'The Hogwarts Express'. One day, you will take the bigger train to go away to school."
"What do you mean no? Of course you will!"
"No," the boy shouted, "I stay with Mommy and Daddy and Cha-lie!"
"Well, yeah, right now you do but one day -"
"Nooo! Mommy, I stay with you!" Billy shouted, hugging his mother’s knees with an evident distress.
"Of course you do Billy; you stay here with Daddy, Charlie and me. Just because Fabian went away to school doesn’t mean you will; he must have been a bad boy." Arthur couldn’t control himself looking at Fabian’s crushed face and he broke into fits of laughter.
"You keep me too Daddy?"
"Yes, yes I keep you and I love you Billy," Arthur said, trying to hold his laughter in order to calm his distressed boy.
"I thought he’d be happy," Fabian said.
"He was until you threatened to send him away!" Molly was now laughing too; her brother was good with kids but he still had lots to learn!
"Hey Billy, why don’t you go and take the small one there. Yeah this one, and give it to your uncle," Arthur directed his son, trying to change his mind.
"You didn’t have to," Fabian blushed. "I was last minute; you shouldn’t have spent your time getting me something."
"Oh but we didn’t," Molly said with a mysterious voice.
Fabian delicately unwrapped the small flat box and opened it to find a thin sheet of silver with a baby’s footprint on it. He took it in his hands and the sheet shrunk itself to become a chain pendant. Without knowing what to say, Fabian looked up at his sister and brother-in-law, questioningly. This couldn’t be right. Did they not know what this magical piece of silver represented?
"You can’t be serious," he bluntly declared.
"I don’t see why not," Arthur answered with a smile at his brother-in-law.
"I’m just a kid myself; I don’t know how to work with a child!" Fabian exclaimed, overwhelmed.
"We’re not giving him to you Fabian!" Molly snorted at her little brother. "We’re asking you to be his godfather. To have a special place in his life, helping us make sure he becomes a good boy and a righteous man. And, if anything was to happen to us, well, you’d make sure he’s ok."
"Don’t say that, nothing will happen to you because of this war, I’ll give all I got to fight against those mad snakes and protect all of you," Fabian announced to his sister with a seriousness and resolution so strong that she couldn’t help but feel he had voiced his deepest convictions but also that there was no changing his mind from it.
"I know you will," Molly answered him, "although I wish you didn’t! But I’m proud of you for choosing to fight; it’s a brave choice. Charlie would be proud to have you for a godfather."
"But why me? I mean, you have another brother Arthur don’t you?"
"Yes but it is you we want to ask, as simple as that," Arthur calmly answered. "There is something about him that reminds us of you; we believe you would be better suited to guide him."
"You really think so?" Fabian blushed uncomfortably. He always liked his brother-in-law; Arthur was a good, honest and smart man and he was clearly head-over-heels in love with Molly. But the Prewett ways were strongly implanted in his mind, and Fabian had difficulties forgetting that Arthur came from a poor family and that there was a fair chance that he would keep Molly and the boys in a similar life of poverty.
"Yes, we both do," Molly answered him. Then a thought crosses her mind and she said, "Oh and I’ve already told Gid. He played the hurt boy but when I said it was expected of the godfather to change diapers, he agreed you would do a better job."
"Is it really expected?"
"You changed him twice yesterday and didn’t seem to be bothered all that much by it!" Arthur got up and hugged his brother-in-law to thank him for accepting the role.
"Thank you both, really. Ok so, I guess here goes my first act as a godfather," Fabian cleared his throat as he got up to disillusion a poorly wrapped five-foot high and three-foot wide present. Molly and Arthur’s jaws dropped and Fabian gave them a cheeky smile. "For my godson Charlie, I give you the best gift I figure a godfather must give: A giant plush toy!"
"Oh Merlin!" Molly blurted out when he removed the paper to show a red and gold dragon that emitted small puffs of multi-colored smoke from time to time when the spell was activated.
"Whoa," Billy whispered, carefully going closer to the plush. "Mine?"
"No Billy, sorry, this is Charlie’s," Arthur whispered, also going closer to touch the dragon with a childish grin. "Amazing, I’m almost jealous, it’s so wicked!"
"Yeah, it’s very soft and cute, in a terrifying way," Molly told her brother who’s face shone with happiness. She couldn’t get herself to break her brother’s joy but turned to her husband and asked, "but where are we going to put it?"
Fabian laughed and picked up his new godson to show him his first Christmas present; a gift that would forever make Billy jealous and mark the beginning of a Weasley tradition; every child’s favorite of all the family traditions (although it was closely followed by the traditional Christmas Weasley jumper). All thanks to Fabian Prewett who, on the cold Christmas morning of 1975 stated that it is the task of the godparents to give a child the biggest plush toy possible. Therefore explaining Percy’s giant creeping caterpillar, Fred and George’s enormous black and white puppies, Ron’s formerly immense teddy bear and Ginny’s five-foot high, whinnying horse. As well as Bill’s ever growing – though never admitted – longing for a giant plush toy of his own.
A.N. After much demand, part 2 of this story is in the work! I don't know when it will be up but know that Fabian will face his parent's wrath sooner or later.
So, how was it? I would love it if you left a review to let me know...
Write a Review The Prewett Emancipation: Christmas 1975