Author's Notes: Written for psychopath-convention's Confession Challenge on Megsy42's Harry Potter Fanfiction Challenges forum. Prompt: "I can't hold my liquor". AU. Takes place some weeks after Andromeda leaves the Black family.
Andromeda wasn't expecting visitors.
She was curled in a chair in her London flat, which she and her husband – her husband, she would never get tired of thinking that – had rented. Ted had assured her that a Muggle flat was the last place the Blacks would come looking for her, and Andromeda agreed. No one in her family would sink to the level of searching through flats for her. They would rather let her go.
Secure in this knowledge, Andromeda was reading a novel, and not thinking about anything except whether the heroine of her book would ever tell the hero that she loved him. She especially wasn't thinking about her family.
Someone knocked on the door.
"Come in!" Andromeda called. She didn't feel like getting up, and besides, her wand was right next to her. If it was anyone dangerous, she had magic.
Andromeda marked her place in the book, and looked to the doorway.
Her heart stopped.
Bellatrix was standing there, in Andromeda's flat, with her wand, and a bottle of wine – wine, of all things – in her hand.
"Bellatrix," Andromeda said warily, inching her hand towards her own wand. Why on earth had Bellatrix turned up here, now? How had she found Andromeda? She had thought she would be safe here. Really, though, it was too much to hope that the Blacks would never catch up with her.
"Andromeda," replied Bellatrix. She watched her younger sister warily, as though afraid Andromeda might attack at any minute.
"Why are you here?" Andromeda asked. Her fingers closed on the handle of her wand.
Bellatrix's wand hand twitched, as though she was suppressing the urge to aim at her sister.
"I came for a… friendly conversation," she said. "Brought you a housewarming present." Bellatrix held up the wine, her mouth twisting into a sneer.
Andromeda hesitated. On one hand, Bellatrix was her sister, Andromeda was sure that she would never do anything to hurt her. On the other hand, she had underestimated Bellatrix many, many times before…
"Do you have any glasses?" Bellatrix asked. There was no emotion in her voice, nothing to suggest that she and Andromeda had once been the closest of sisters. "I'll pour us a drink."
"In the corner cabinet," Andromeda said, indicating it, watching her sister, ready to defend herself at a moment's provocation. Bellatrix walked over, keeping an eye on Andromeda all the time. She took two glasses out, and set them on the coffee table, then sat opposite her sister and poured two brimming glasses of the wine. Bellatrix took one for herself, and Andromeda picked up the other.
"To family," Bellatrix said with a touch of sarcasm. She raised her glass in a toast.
"Quite." Andromeda copied the motion.
The sisters drank in silence for a moment, and then Bellatrix spoke.
"Congratulations," she said bitterly. "You got out. Well done."
"I'm sorry, Bella."
"Oh, no need to apologize." Bellatrix downed the last drops of her drink and poured another. "You're lucky. Happily married, no more responsibilities. Don't have to be an obedient daughter anymore. You don't have to worry about anything. Especially not about your sisters."
Andromeda refilled her own glass. "It isn't like that, Bella. I didn't leave to get away from you."
"Narcissa's getting married this summer, did you know that?" Bellatrix's voice rose by a few notes, and Andromeda knew her sister well enough to know that she was fighting back tears. "Lucius Malfoy. She won't have a maid of honour."
"And you won't get to see Sirius graduate from Hogwarts," Bellatrix continued. "I'm going to have a baby, you won't get to see it born–"
"Why are you doing this?" On her third glass of wine now, Andromeda was getting tearful. She had always been sensitive to alcohol, and was quickly approaching drunkenness. "Did you just come here to tell me all the things I'm missing? Did you come here just to make me feel guilty?"
"Maybe I did, Andi," said Bellatrix spitefully. "You should feel guilty. Narcissa's barely stopped crying since you left, you know. But you're here, in your pretty little Muggle flat, and you have your Mudblood husband, and everything's just perfect, isn't it? I hope you're happy, Andi, because none of the rest of us are!"
Andromeda downed another glass. She was feeling definitely hazy now, and she thought she might be crying too.
"Are you happy, Andromeda?" Bellatrix asked. Her voice was low and sharp, and she spat out the words as though they tasted bad.
Andromeda's vision had gone blurry, and she was a little dizzy. I shouldn't have had all that wine.
"Are you happy? Are you happy that you've made your baby sister miserable? Are you happy that you'll never have to see us again?"
Andromeda wanted to say no, but she couldn't make the words come out. No, Bella, no.
"God, I hate you," Bellatrix hissed.
The alcohol had gone straight to Andromeda's head, and she couldn't make herself move. Her wand slipped from her fingers, and she heard it clatter on the ground as though from a great distance.
"You don't deserve to live."
Bellatrix's voice, too, sounded very far away. And although the small functional part of Andromeda's brain registered the hatred in it, the bigger, alcohol-saturated part only registered that it was her big sister talking. It's only Bellatrix, said that part of her brain lazily. Your big sister. It's safe.
"You need to die, you little blood-traitor bitch."
She won't hurt you.
Andromeda's head tipped back against the back of her chair. She was virtually blind, and sinking quickly into a stupor.
"Avada Kedavra," said Bellatrix's voice, from its great distance.
Andromeda could have sworn she just fell asleep.