Author's Notes: Written for VivusEtIterum's Oneshot Challenge on the HPFC forum.
Please, please forgive me…
Rabastan lay on the thin, hard wooden slat that passed for a bed in his cell in Azkaban, his emaciated hand upon the wall. The rough stone felt nice against his fingertips – tiny needles of pain that reminded him he was still alive.
Though only just.
Rabastan would die in that tiny room between his brother's cell and young Barty's, he was resigned to that fact. He would die, he would be buried, his name printed in a tiny column in the Daily Prophet, and Rabastan Lestrange would be forgotten.
He would never see her again…
And she, she wouldn't cry for his absence.
Oh, Rabastan… why did you have to think of her?
Immediately, against his will, memories overtook him.
The first time Rabastan saw Andromeda, he thought she was an angel.
He had been in bed, ill – no surprise to anyone, for he was always ill. He had long since come to terms with the possibility of death, and he had put up walls to stop anyone from getting close. He didn't want to hurt them when he died.
He remembered lying abed, and he remembered that there had been a noise. His eyes had been closed, and when he opened them, he remembered being blinded by light.
Later, when he had had time to think, he had realized it was only the light of the sun filtering through his window – his curtains opened for the first time in days – but when he saw the glow, he was sure it was the light of heaven.
His eyes opened a little more.
"Are you… an angel?" he whispered.
He thought he could see her halo. He thought that surrounding her head…
"No!" He heard a gentle giggle. "I'm not an angel. I'm just Andromeda Black. Bellatrix Black is my older sister. She told me to come visit you. She said you were ill."
"Hmm?" He rubbed his eyes and sat up in bed, and sweet Andromeda's face came into focus.
Now that face was everywhere he looked. That beautiful face, surrounded by that beautiful, heavenly light.
The memory of that first meeting was the only thing he had to live for.
You forgot me long ago…
She didn't know he was in Azkaban, did she? If she knew, surely she would visit? Or was he so insignificant that she wouldn't care…
Does she not miss me?
Tears came to Rabastan's eyes, though that was hardly surprising – his eyes were perpetually filled with tears in this dark, dank, dusty prison that was now his home.
He wouldn't ever go to his real home again. He'd never see her again. Never again would he see her soft, sweet face, feel her hands on his…
He lay all alone.
Rabastan would gladly have died if it meant that Andromeda would love him, but even if he were dying, she wouldn't care, he knew. She wouldn't shed a tear for him – no, good women like Andromeda did not cry for those of Rabastan's ilk.
And who could blame them for that?
Lying upon his bed, dreams overtook Rabastan –dreams that were the only reason he slept, the only reason he lived anymore.
Sweet Andromeda sitting at his side, upon the narrow wall that had been their place as children. Her hand rested upon his shoulder, her soft lips curling into the most delicate of smiles. She leaned in to kiss him…
Things changed. He was no longer sitting on the wall with her, but watching from afar as she pressed her lips against those of another…
Rabastan struggled to make himself wake up. The dream sickened him, and he did not want to see any more. But he could not pull himself out of slumber.
Andromeda turned, her arms twined about the other man, and smiled at Rabastan. Smirked at him
That snapped him awake.
Why had she left him?
He had turned the question over and over in his mind, and he had pretended that there was no answer for it.
In truth, the answer was crystal clear.
Of course she had left him. Andromeda was a moral woman – he had known and admired that quality in her since their childhood, wishing that he had possessed it as well. But he never had…
Never had his lack of morals been clearer than when he had been marked.
He had been so proud that the Dark Lord had taken him for his own. He had expected Andromeda – who he had been so sure loved him as unconditionally as he loved her – to be overjoyed for him.
She had not been.
"The Dark Lord is nothing more than a glorified murderer," she had told him, voice firm, when he first rolled back his sleeve to show her the Dark Mark. "And I will not marry a man who believes in him."
Rabastan had been so sure that she was being dramatic, and that she hadn't meant it. They loved each other. Surely they would marry…
No. They did not.
Andromeda had left not one week later with Ted Tonks.
And for all his attempts to turn it into an injustice against him, Rabastan could not fault her for her choice.
All he could do was wish for her forgiveness.
Please, please forgive me.
But she never would.