She had never meant to fall in love with him. She knew why he was leading her on, too, and she also knew it had nothing to do with any love on his part. He had simply wanted her and her brother on his side, with the Dark Lord.

She was being used like a pawn, and she resisted it, in the beginning, like any sane person. She soon realised he wasn't quite sane himself, and neither was she. She liked it, even though she knew it was a plot, so she let herself be strung along, like a toy. That was all she was to him, really. When he was convicted to Azkaban, she had imagined she would be free, finally. She had not counted on the pain of loss, but she eventually learnt to cope with it.

And then, he had escaped, and that one news article in the Prophet had made her smile for weeks. He never came to visit her, however, though she kept telling herself she would. That sweet feeling of hope over their possible reunion soon turned to bitter hate, or perhaps it was love. She wasn't sure anymore.

Yet , she found herself being the only one to rush to his aid when the Battle at the Department of Mysteries left him with a child's mind. The way he would age and de-age caused pangs in her heart, and it was then that she realised she never stopped being his despite her denial. The children of Hogwarts could pay for her pains, and it even made the Dark Lord happy.

In a way, his fragile mind reminded her of her own, oscillating back and forth between reason and fantasy. She didn't like the comparison, even though it was her own.

She supposed that was why she risked everything to make sure both of them escaped the country after the war, going even against her own brother.

She would never understand what was passing through her mind as she plunged the knife into his heart, however. All she knew was that she had thought freedom would be sweeter, but now, she realised she would never have freedom after all.

Notes: Written for Pairing the Character (Rabastan Lestrange with Alecto Carrow)Also for the Cruel and Unusual Pairing Challenge.