Disclaimer: It all belongs to the lovely and glorious JK Rowling.
He touched one thin finger to his forearm. He pulled his finger from his wrist up towards the crease of his elbow and back again. The trail tingled, as though anticipating what was coming. In the dim room, his arm shone alabaster white, unblemished and perfect. No scar had ever felt this skin, no pocks or freckles. Soon this would change.
"Draco," An oily voice slipped through his closed door, pushing through the gloom to assault him. "It's time to go. We mustn't keep Him waiting." The simple pronoun was spoken with reverence. The slimy voice caressed the word as though speaking of a god. And, Draco supposed, she was.
With a gentle tug Draco pulled his sleeve down and buttoned it deftly. He plucked the new dress robes from his bed and shook out their neatly pressed creases. After quickly pulling them over his head he flattened his collar and took one last look in the mirror. Though perhaps unnoticeable to others, Draco knew his face was several shades whiter than its usual pale hue.
Not that it should be. Today was his day. Now was his time. No longer would Draco Malfoy be left in the shadows. No, today he would take his rightful place in the Dark Lord's circle. Today his careful breeding and upbringing would prove his worth, all that time and energy finally rewarded with the most glorious praise he could ever receive.
But damn was he scared.
So much to live up to. So many people to impress. Not to mention there was no end to his newfound occupation. Then there was the pain involved in merely joining this "society." For nearly a week Draco had taken to loitering round outside muggle tattoo parlors, unable to tear himself away from the sounds of pain issuing out of the place. Each shriek seemed to be coming from his own mouth, every moan his inner worries bleeding out. How would he stand this? And then there was the Dark Lord himself.
Draco had only met him once. Only a week ago his aunt Bellatrix had pulled him from his chamber and brought him out of the house. He had not known their destination until she set him in front of the Dark Lord. Her stance had been cocky, as though showing prized horse off to a buyer. The Dark Lord had appraised him much like one considering buying a new piece of meat.
Ever so slowly he had trailed around Draco, his bare feet making hardly any noise at all. The whole time not a word was said, though the Dark lord had been hissing with his snake rather frequently. The noise was off putting. Draco remembered when Potter had demonstrated his ability to speak to snakes, though he didn't recall it being quite so… evil.
And so Draco was sent away. Only to be told by his aunt that the Dark Lord wanted him. His tender age meant nothing, it would be utilized she said. He would be important. So the date was set and now Draco stood before a mirror stealing himself to pull away and live his fate.
A gentle rap sounded on the door and Draco quickly straightened his back and opened it. Outside stood his mother, her face stoic and unfeeling. She held her hands before her clasped together tightly; her knuckles going slightly white at the pressure. "Come along, dear." Without awaiting a response she turned on her heel and descended the staircase, knowing he would follow.
Aunt Bellatrix stood at the foot of the stairs. Her face alight with glowing pride. She smiled broadly at him. Though her smile reached her whole face, penetrating her whole being with a slightly crazed joy, there was no warmth in it. "Come Draco. Now is your time to prove yourself. Now is the time for redemption."
She held out her hand invitingly. Draco took it carefully and she clamped down on his wrist, much like a trap catching fresh prey. She spun swiftly and the two of them disappeared with a crack.
As usual Draco stumbled a bit on impact. No matter how often he experienced apparition it never really got any easier. His mother appeared a moment after their arrival and the three of them set off. Aunt Bellatrix never releasing his hand for a second.
He wasn't quite sure where they were. It was quite dark out and hardly any stars could be seen in the sky. In the distance he could see an old house, steadily growing larger as they approached. The structure seemed rather unstable. The house seemed to be bending gently to the left, as though waiting for the right moment to fall. In the darkness he could make out few details which made the place much more alarming.
Aunt Bellatrix had no fear as she tugged him up the creaky steps towards the door. His mother trailed behind silently. That was his mother's way though, she walked through life like a ghost, hardly ever making noise unless it was absolutely necessary. Aunt Bellatrix was not the same, she relished in the clip of her heels on the wooden porch and threw the door open with gusto mindless of the small bang it made when connecting with the wall. Her anticipation seemed to mount with every step, as did her speed and grip on Draco's arm.
They swept through dusty halls into a dimly lit parlor. While the rest of the house seemed ill kept and crumbling this room was the complete opposite. The furniture was lush and looked extremely comfortable. Every surface was so clean it seemed to almost shinei n the light from a crackling fire in the grate. The walls were curiously bare, Draco supposed they were completely white, though in the light it was difficult to see.
He hardly noticed these things for what drew his attention was the figure standing at the fire. He stood tall and perfectly still. Two alabaster hands clasped behind his back were all that disrupted the steady flow of ebony of his robes. Curled at his side was the tremendous snake Draco had seen on his last visit with the Dark Lord. While Draco could not see His eyes the snake's seemed eerily similar. Its penetrating gaze filled him with the same fear and forced respect that the Dark Lord's had done.
"My Lord," Aunt Bellatrix stepped towards the Dark Lord, bowing deeply despite the fact he could not see her, "I have brought him. He is ready now."
For a moment silence reigned before he finally turned his head to one side. One Red eye could be seen scrutinizing Draco in the periphery. Draco tried to unconsciously straighten; even this half glare was frightening.
"Why does the boy not speak for himself?" The Dark Lord finally spoke. His voice was quiet, yet it seemed to fill the whole room with its power. "Draco, have you nothing to say?"
Draco's mouth went immediately dry as he stood frozen in place. His mind stuttered as it tried vainly to find words. Never had he imagined the Dark Lord would stoop so low as to speak with him, a silly thought really. Aunt Bellatrix turned to glare at him. Her expression was sharp and pointed. Her wide eyes conveyed a clear message "say something."
Somehow those piercing eyes pushed his brain back onto motion and he found his tongue again, "I am ready to serve you, Lord. In whatever way you see fit." His voice quavered only slightly.
The Dark Lord's face turned back to fully face the dancing flames. "I am happy to hear that. You are willing to do as I say?"
"You realize there is no leaving my service. You will be mine until your usefulness has worn out."
Draco did not miss the implication of those words, "I know." Aunt Bellatrix's glare intensified tenfold as she seemed to coax more words from him. "My lord."
A chuckled sounded from the fireplace, it was eerily light and carefree for such an imposing figure. "A typical child, needing reminding for his manners. It's almost sweet." With these words the Dark Lord unclasped his hands and turned around. Now Draco could appreciate the full depth of his scarlet gaze. "Look at you. So small and unimposing. Not even of age yet are you?"
He began to step closer across the floor, "The last time I had one so young it didn't end very well. And he had so much more potential than you. A finer pedigree as well, not tainted by a disappointing father. Bellatrix brought me him too. Her little cousin. Perhaps the nephew will be better, hmm?" He now stood inches from Draco, the faint smile on his lips magnified by the proximity. "Are you up to the challenge, Draco? Or will you fail as well?"
Draco stared into the steely gaze, putting any once of courage and resolve he could muster into the gaze. He would not fail. He would be powerful as he was meant to be. People would remember the name Draco Malfoy and cower at its mention. He would be great. "I will not fail you, my lord. I want to serve and prove myself to you."
The two continued the staring match for a few moments before Draco was finally made to look away. The slight smile on the Dark Lord's face curled higher. "Very well. I already have a plan set out for you. Hold out your arm."
Draco extended the appendage and closed his eyes. He felt the smooth silk of his robe sliding up his arm followed by the faint tug of a button being undone. Finally his shirt scraped across his bare skin as it was pushed up to his elbow. A long finger pulled across his skin following the same pattern he had made earlier that evening. The finger was replaced quickly by a smooth wooden wand.
There was no warning. No spell was uttered, no warming of the wand, just a sudden blast of white hot fury. Draco let out an involuntary shriek of pain. The air was ripped from his lungs and he could hardly grab another breath to refill them. It seemed it was not only his arm in pain but his entire body suffered. The power sprang from the wind like tendrils of devil's snare. It quickly wrapped around his entire arm before spreading to every other precipice of his body. As suddenly as it began, it stopped.
As the wand lifted Draco dropped to the ground, right hand grasping at his left arm, which only heightened the pain. He barely noticed the final caress of a wand on his head and the whispered "mine" floating through the air as the Dark Lord departed. Once he had cleared the room and a crack sounded from outside Draco was enveloped again. Not by magic, but by his mother's embrace.
"You've hurt him. I said all along it was bad. My poor darling. I said it. I said it over and over." Draco did not comprehend the words his mother sobbed into his hair, his top priority still the burning in his arm.
"He will be fine." His aunt's harsh tone came from above, "He is better now. The mark has purified him. It is a sign of dignity and respect. Two things you sorely need at the moment."
Mother pulled Draco in closer and burrowed her face farther into his hair, her words turning to gibberish.
They sat on that floor for a while, his mother's cries and aunt's sharp reprimands hardly penetrating his bubble of pain and pride. Once the pain faded enough he loosened his grip on his left arm and looked down at it in wonder. Deep black lines sketched out an intricate design over the inflamed red flesh of his arm. It was glorious in its familiarity. So many years he had seen his father bear the mark of the Lord and he now had it as well.
He was now ready for the world. Ready for power and greatness. He was above the highest class of society. Despite the pain and suffering he was perfect. Why had he ever been afraid? Now, he was great.
AN: Been a while since I posted anything and I found this rotting in my files. I finished it up and tada! Here you go. Not sure of what I think of this. I like it, but I'm not sure how the characters are. Your thoughts would be very welcome if you'd leave one of those lovely things called reviews? I swear it isn't hard. Just a few words would be greatly appreciated.