These days of war were not what Bellatrix had expected. She was supposed to be celebrating, they had taken the Ministry, playing each of their moves carefully and taking their rightful place in charge. But she was supposed to be there with Him, His right hand and most trusted companion. So much had been lost. He didn't trust her, or even see her as valuble. He couldn't possibly see her at the same level as Lucius. She was just another playing peice, no more important than the smallest pawn, only wanted when it was in His best interest to do so.

Bellatrix became weak at the thought. She leaned heavily into the wall, her fingers becoming stiff as she pushed her nails into her stomach on reflex, trying to make the pain of His rejection physically leave her body. She could hear screaming, though she wasn't sure whose screaming it was.

She realized her eyes were squeezed tightly shut, when she opened them, finding herself sitting on the floor with her knees pulled to herchest and her back to the wall. She raised her head and listened carefully, hearing only her own erratic and heavy breathing.

She was alone, she knew, in her home. Rodolphus was out, she hadn't cared enough to listen to where he was going. She wasn't even sure if he had cared enough to tell her. She was sitting in a hallway, long and dark. With doors and a staircase being its only landmarks, she wasn't particularly sure which hallway it was. She tried to calm herself by looking at one of the small candles dripping wax from its perch on the wall. There was a pile of wax directly below the candle forming a small pyramid, the edges dusty and cold, while the tip was wet and ever growing.

She rose slowly, keeping most of her weight on the wall, and smoothing her robes when she was on her feet. She noticed the wrinkles and dust on them and wondered how many days she had been wearing them. She looked at the starcase at the end of the hallway and determined it would best lead her where she was supposed to be. A mirror was hung on the wall between herself and the staircase, and she remembered always having admired her own reflection.

She was shocked by her own appearance. Dark circles gave her eyes a hollow look and she was not surprised to see red veins reaching towards her irises from the corners of her eyes. Her face shone with sweat in the candle light and her hair was half braided in an attempt to move it from her face. She ran her fingers through it to smooth it out some and noticed that two of her fingernails were broken.

"Oh, Bella..."

She narrowed her eyes at her sister's reflection. Andromeda looked the same as the last time she had seen her, nearly thirty years ago. Her face was not blemished with wrinkles as Bellatrix's was and her hair was pulled over one shoulder, falling in loose, soft brown curls.

"What do you want?" Bellatrix demanded.

"I want to help you."

"Help me!" Bellatrix laughed, but it sounded far away, and slightly frightening. "You can't help me. I'm happy!" She hissed the last word at Andromeda, her face inches from the glass.

"No. You're not."

"How would you know! You have absolutley no idea who I am. I am powerful, I am honored." Bellatrix swelled her chest with pride in an exaggerated show of confidence and rose her nose away from her sister.

"Please, Bella, just let me help you. You can make up for the past, everyone has mistakes."

"You'd know all about mistakes, wouldn't you? Regreting marrying the Mudblood are we?"

"I could never regret marrying him. I love him."

"More than your own family? You left us. We could have died, and you wouldn't care."

"I would care-"

"Don't lie to me! I know how you feel about me!"

"I love you. I will always love you."

"You hate me! You think I'm a monster!" Bellatrix took loud, shallow breaths through her mouth, her throat was raw and she could hear her heart beating in her ears.

"I don't think you're a monster, I think you-"


"-are just hurting. Bellatrix, it's okay to hurt, to be vul-"


"-nerable. You are only human. Humans have weaknesses-"


"-and strengths. You can be whole again if you accept-"

Bellatrix screamed, trying to drown out her sister, but no matter how loudly she strained her throat Andromeda's calm, clear voice was ringing in her ears.

"-yourself and your past. You can redeem yourself."

"LEAVE ME ALONE!" Bellatrix caught a glimse of her own reflection, her face contorted with pain and anger and fear, tears dripping down her cheeks and neck, leaving cool paths behind them. Her teeth were clenched together and her lips were pulled back into a snarl. Her chest rose and fell rapidly. Her fingers and forearms tingled, as if they had fallen asleep. She plunged her hand into her pocket and brought the tip of her wand to Andromeda's nose.

"Bella, I love y-"

The mirror shattered in a flash of red light and the sparkling peices littered the floor. Bellatrix briefly smile when she saw Andromeda was gone. She tossed her wand to the side, collapsed to the floor, clutching her stomach.

Another scorch mark stained the wall of her home and no one was around to hear her screaming to herself.