Author's Notes: Written for ThisLife103.7's Forbidden Love challenge on xoxLewrahxox's Bellatrix Lestrange: The Dark Lord's Most Faithful forum – the task of which was to write about a character on the "light" side having a relationship with one on the "dark" side.

I own neither these characters, nor the lyrics to the Blackmore's Night song "Ghost of a Rose", upon which this is based.

I'm thinking of expanding this into something longer when I have time (read: after November). This pairing is slowly taking over my imagination.

Well, that's enough in the way of author's notes. Enjoy!

)O(

Ted was freedom.

That was what Andromeda told herself, over and over again. She had made the right choice to go with Ted. And even if she hadn't, the choice was already made. She couldn't take it back, not after so many years. She had wanted freedom, and that was what she had gotten.

Freedom at the expense of love.

The world looked unnaturally serene as she made her way across the moors. Though Andromeda was in despair, the world outside looked beautiful, bright and clear. She sat down amongst leaves of amber, and let memories overtake her.

In a way, she thought of this place as hers and Ted's. They had met here, they had spent so many happy hours here on the moors, talking and playing their games. Andromeda had managed to put the place's earlier memories out of her mind.

Once, she had met her true love here.

She had promised her heart to him and only to him.

And she had given it away to Ted.

"I love you so," her love murmured, kissing Andromeda's hand. "I always will…"

"Never let go of that," breathed Andromeda. "I won't. I'll always stay with you…"

Foolishness. She had had the heart of a child, had been willing to give her love to any man who happened to be around to take it. She tried to convince herself of this, that her former love had been childish and that it was her logical, intelligent marriage to Ted that would make her happy.

She couldn't convince herself.

He touched the inside of her wrist, where he had delicately inked the outline of a rose. The lines of pale brown ink shone against Andromeda's white skin.

"Promise me," he said, "that when you see a white rose you'll think of me…"

Andromeda had promised, but when all was done she'd turned and run away, run off with Ted and left the romance behind.

No one knew that the little mark on Andromeda's wrist was a tattoo, a promise. People who bothered to notice it assumed it was simply a birthmark.

Looking up at the sky, Andromeda started, sure that she saw him upon the moors, coming her way, but it was only a trick of the setting sun in her eyes. Of course he wasn't there.

He was in Azkaban.

He had been for years.

She was never going to see her love again.

A tear trickled down her cheek. If she hadn't run away with Ted… if she had stayed…

"I'm sorry," Andromeda breathed. "I'm so, so sorry I left…" Illogical though it was, there was a part of her that believed that if she was here, in this special little place they had once shared, he would know. Even from prison, he would know she was speaking to him.

"I still love you, Rabastan," she murmured.

The whole world seemed to go silent around her, giving Andromeda a moment of complete, solitary peace.

Glancing down at her wrist, she could still see, etched into her skin, his ghost of a rose.

)O(

Fin