AN: For the lovely Bex!
Forget Me (Not)
Andromeda stood directly before him. Her chin was in the air, stubbornly defiant (as she had always been), despite the tears filling her chocolate-brown eyes. Her eyes were usually warm, but right now, they were full of hurt; it was as if the wrongs of the world had seated themselves there. Rabastan frowned as a drop of water fell from her eyes.
He knew that despite appearances—that surely nothing bitter could come from a girl so beautiful—her tears were salty; they were as bitter as sin. The thought made him wonder why she was stood so far away from him, when usually, she would be in his arms. Perhaps today was the day...
Over the past few months, they'd had a few explosive arguments. Andromeda hated the fact he was a Death Eater, and didn't hesitate in telling him so. He suspected today was the day she was going to tell him, in far more polite terms, to fuck off. He wouldn't be surprised.
In fact, he thought with an inkling of something like surprise, he probably deserved it. Or another thought: perhaps this was what he needed—to serve his master without any distraction.
"Take it away," she whispered, so quietly he almost didn't hear her. If he hadn't been paying attention, he would have missed the words, but he had always been hooked on her every whisper and every word.
"Take what away?" he asked, his gentle tone belying the horrors he had just seen. He called them horrors, even in his own mind, for Andromeda's sake. She hated the death he delighted in.
Andromeda sniffed, squeezing her eyes closed. "The memories."
A strange sensation wormed its way up from his stomach to his neck. "Memories of what?"
And the air left his body.
"Why?" he asked; his voice was hoarse.
"I can't do this, Rab," whimpered Andromeda. She was crying now, and he watched her curl over, wrapping her arms around her middle. He wondered if she was trying to strangle the same odd feeling he was.
He shook his head. She didn't kill.
"I can't look at you knowing you've killed—you've killed people I care about."
"Andy," he said softly, "I've only ever done my duty to the Dark Lord."
"I've told you time and time again that I do not support the rhetoric of a mad man," hissed Andromeda and he noticed her flinch.
His scowl hadn't been that threatening, surely?
Dismissing the thought, Rabastan shook his head. "Don't say such things."
"Don't say the truth, you mean?"
Rabastan squeezed his eyes shut. "You can't."
"Can't what?" asked Andromeda, and he couldn't help but smile at the insult in her voice. She had always risen to a challenge.
But as he opened his eyes to gauge her emotions before replying, the tears still streamed down her face. "You can't give up on us."
The words hung in the air for a painful moment. Finally, Andromeda seemed capable of answering.
"I love you, Rab," she said, and he smiled. "But every time I look at you all I can see is what you've done—what you've become."
The blood in his veins felt like it had frozen. "I'm the same man."
"And that terrifies me."
Rabastan looked up in shock.
"I fell for the man you are now. What does that say about me?"
Quashing down the urge to tell her that it said she had good taste, Rabastan said: "It says nothing about you except for the fact you have a heart—and you are entitled to your feelings."
She seemed to be swaying slightly; she always did when he spoke like that.
But her words said otherwise. "I can't let you hold me with that mark on your arm. I don't want to be married to you and be forced into of life of rigidity and tradition."
"I wouldn't allow it," said Rabastan stubbornly. His Andromeda had always been a free spirit.
"No, but that's the thing. You wouldn't, but you would be serving the Dark Lord without a care for what I think—take right now as an example."
"I'm here right now."
"But your mind is with him. You're his slave, Rab." Andromeda was looking at him; the challenge was clear in her eyes—and there was that feeling in his stomach. He could only describe it as pure dread, (but even that didn't quite capture it).
He was going to say something to reassure her. It certainly wasn't going to be a denunciation of his loyalty to the Dark Lord, but perhaps a promise to mellow his habits? Either way, before he could say a word, the mark on his forearm released a pain that shot up his arm. He grimaced and grit his teeth together, trying to appear perfectly fine in front of Andromeda.
"I have to go," he ground out, and Andromeda shook her head in disbelief.
"You said yourself that I shouldn't give up on us, and now you're running away?" she asked. The pain in his arm was beginning to ebb away, (the Dark Lord must have gotten what he wanted), but the damage was done.
"Please, Rab. Please just take them away from me. I can't love you anymore. It kills me to look at you, and it kills me to feel that way because I love you so much."
"Please, Andy, don't make me do this." He thought for a moment, trying to find some loophole where he didn't suffer in the end. "Obliviate me instead. Remove my memories of our times together."
Andromeda gawked at him. "I couldn—"
"Then why ask me to do the same?" he asked.
He knew the answer, and he knew she would never say it aloud. Firstly, she was being selfish. She didn't want to be unhappy, even if that was at the cost of his happiness. She loved him, but that didn't mean she wasn't going to put herself first. Secondly, she thought he was a monster. She looked at him and saw a Death Eater through and through. He was a Death Eater through and through, but he still loved her—and it certainly didn't change the fact that it would kill him to remove Andromeda's memories and watch her move on happily whilst he remained moping over her
They were both selfish in that respect.
Andromeda shook her head just as he came up with an idea.
"We could obliviate each other?" he suggested, and it was the tightening of his chest that reminded him what exactly he had just supported. "But we're not going to do that. We're not giving up."
"Please, Rab—for me."
She knew he could never refuse her... He had ignored the pleas of a Muggle to spare her husband, another Muggle who begged him to spare his daughter, but Andromeda, he was incapable of ignoring. Her tongue, unlike her tears, was honey-sweet, and her words trapped him like the sticky substance itself—and he was powerless to the sugar rush she induced.
He felt his heart rate speed up, and he removed his wand from his sleeve. Tears blurred the edges of his vision as he watched her do the same. Just as he was about to mutter the spell, he froze.
Andromeda looked at him with imploring eyes, but he spoke before she could ask him to remove the memories from her mind again.
"You can't obliviate me," he said.
Andromeda was evidently confused.
"It would be too dangerous. With no previous attachment or emotion towards you, I could hurt you."
Andromeda nodded in pained understanding. "So what do we do?"
"I'm going to have to obliviate you."
She nodded again and straightened, looking at him expectantly. He knew it was going to be difficult watching her live without remembering him, but for her, he was willing to make a sacrifice if it meant she would be happy.
So he took a deep breath and whispered: "Obliviate."
He felt the magic pouring through his wand and watched as it filled her, making her eyes, so full of recognition and reluctant affection, confused and suspicious.
Then, he pulled a handkerchief from his pocket, and looking at the initials A.B. that he had hoped to, one day, turn to A.L. he whispered, "Portus."
He shoved it into her hands just as it glowed blue, and let his tears fall after she had been transported back home.
He would never forget her, as much as it pained him.