For the Drabble Game Challenge (BellatrixAlice, "Hold me. Please. Just hold me.", requested by Maisie)

"So that's it, then?" Bellatrix asks.

She isn't surprised. Their relationship, however beautiful it was, was always so forbidden. She's always known that it would come to an end eventually.

Still, she thought she would have more time. Even when they chose different paths, part of her foolishly believed that there was hope. They could continue like this, under the security of shadows. They could be lovers, even if the stars cursed them.

"It isn't too late," Alice whispers, her voice trembling. "It doesn't have to be like this, Bellatrix. You've made mistakes, but there's still hope. Join me."

Her words are far too tempting. Alice has always had a way to make Bellatrix question everything. She doesn't need that now. She's already made her choice. The skull and serpent on her arm binds her to her decisions.

"You know I can't," she says, finally daring to look at her lover's face.

She immediately wishes she hadn't. Alice, always so sweet and kind, looks as though she might cry.

"Hold me," Alice says. "Please. Just hold me. That's all I need."

"Why would you want to be held by a monster, my love?"

"You aren't a monster."

Bellatrix almost laughs at that. She isn't now. Her soul has not yet been stained with blood. But it's a matter of time. She can feel the siren call of the war. Something inside her stirs at the idea of battle.

She is not made to be pure. She is made of fire and darkness, and, like the stars she was named for, she is a warrior. She will only destroy.

Alice is not like her. Alice is good. Her heart is warm where Bellatrix's is cold. Alice is destined for great things, things that Bellatrix is not meant to be a part of.

"When we leave this room, we'll be enemies," Bellatrix points out, wrapping Alice in her arms for what she knows is the last time.

"No," Alice whispers. "We could never be."

Bellatrix doesn't want to let her go. Alice can reassure her all she wants, but Bellatrix knows the truth. One day, they will meet in battle. Her heart breaks at the thought, and all she can do is hold the Gryffindor tighter, if only for one more night.