Author's Notes: Written for AllIKnowIsADoorInTheDark's Twenty Minute Drabble Challenge with the pairing Andromeda/Alice and the prompt "please" at femslash100 on LiveJournal.


Everyone was broken-hearted over what happened to Alice and Frank, but none more so than Andromeda.

She had known that this was her sister's work even before she heard that Bellatrix had been convicted of torturing her. The whole matter – torturing someone to madness, and doing so after the Dark Lord was gone – was Bellatrix all over.

And that made it, to Andromeda's mind, her fault.

It was her fault that Alice – her darling Alice – was lying mindlessly in a hospital bed. Her fault, because it was her sister who had done it.

Andromeda sat beside Alice day and night for weeks, stroking her hand and whispering to her.

"Please forgive me," she whispered. "Forgive me for having a sister like that. Forgive me. Please."

If Alice had been in any state to respond – if she had been the same girl then that she had been when they were in school together – she would have surely kissed Andromeda, ran her hand gently through her hair and promised her that she didn't blame her, that it wasn't her fault.

But she couldn't, and Andromeda left the hospital at last with a hollow ache in her soul.

And it never really left.