Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. I make no profit from this work of fiction.
This is dedicated to Danyealle-sama, for several years of friendship,
and generally just putting up with me and my oddities.
I hope I can give you a chuckle.
Note to all: This is AU. I'm not using the canonical initiation for Draco. This is just a bit of rampant silliness.
"Whatever you do, don't mention the teeth."
Draco Malfoy had not expected that piece of advice. It startled him so much that he stopped fidgeting for the first time in several hours. Tilting his chin up, he looked up into the mirror before him. He grimaced as he noticed that several of his blond hairs had fallen out of place. Staring into the mirrored gaze of his Head of House, Draco found himself stifling laughter at the seriousness reflected there.
"Severus!" His mother's hiss had him raising an eyebrow. "If you hadn't brought it up, he might not have even noticed." Draco lowered the one eyebrow, drawing them both together as he considered his mother's wholly uncharacteristic attitude. He could not help but be curious as to the possible punishment that might be visited upon him if he dared to ignore the admonishment.
Severus scoffed, his arms crossed over his chest. "Be serious, Narcissa. The boy has never been able to keep his mouth shut about anything he felt was worthy of comment. No matter how inappropriate the timing."
Draco blushed, scowling at his mentor as he stamped his foot in a fit of childish pique. The action earned him a scratch across the back of his leg. Hissing in pain, he pulled away from his mother's ministrations. She frowned at him, pulling his leg back as she continued to wash his skin thoroughly with the sponge.
He tried to relax, to let the fragrance wafting in the room through the incense burners calm him as it was meant to do. Despite breathing the scent for over an hour, the spicy fumes still burned his nose slightly. The oils had been meant to relax him as well. The fact that Severus had created an aberrant form of the calming draught that could be applied topically did not surprise Draco. He had never expected that he would find out about it while it was being rubbed into his skin by his own mother, though. The thought was slightly creepy and made him shudder, earning him a light slap on the back of his thigh.
"If you move one more time, I'll petrify you." His eyes widened and he did his best to remain still. From her tone, his mother really did mean to do it. He doubted she would take the curse off before setting him in front of the Dark Lord either. Glancing into the mirror, he saw Snape's smirk. Since moving was out of the question – unless he was willing to test his mother's edict, he resorted to the only alternative. He stuck out his tongue, scrunching up his nose as he wiggled it rapidly.
"Draco, put your tongue back in your mouth." His eyes widened at hearing his father's voice. He had not heard Lucius enter the room. "And that lewd gesture is inappropriate when directed towards your professor." Quickly pulling his tongue back, he pressed his lips together. Draco did not dare answer his father after Narcissa's insistence that he not move. It didn't stop his face from heating up as the blood rushed to his cheeks. He saw his mother moving in the mirror behind him as she rose to her feet. Feeling the slap on the back of his head, his teeth bit into his tongue as his head fell forward.
"Answer your father, child." Turning to look over his shoulder, Draco saw Narcissa put the sponge back into the bowl. Pivoting on his foot so his body was only turned half towards the mirror, he looked up to his father. Lucius' cane tapped once on the floor in expectation. Looking up to the older man's face, Draco saw his father's right eyebrow raised.
He swallowed thickly, poking his tongue out briefly to wet his lips. "My apologies, father."
The elder Malfoy gave a brief nod, turning to face his wife. His nose wrinkled at the scent of the incense filling the room. He had despised the scent every time that it had filled the halls of the manor. For some reason, the Dark Lord has taken a liking to the odor somehow ignoring the noxious fumes the incense generated. "Is he ready?" He tried to clear his throat inconspicuously, but the phlegm would not cooperate.
Narcissa nodded as she snapped her fingers. One of their elves appeared, ears turned down and head bowed. She quickly took the bowl from Narcissa, vanishing with a quiet pop. Stepping towards her husband, Narcissa caressed his face gently, her fingers tracing each cheek before resting along his jawline. "The oils have been applied, and the incense has been burned, my love." Lifting up to her toes, she gave her husband a brief kiss. Daintily dropping her heels back to the floor, she pursed her lips before continuing. "But I cannot vouch for his being ready." Lifting her hand from his cheek in one swift motion, Lucius gently kissed Narcissa's knuckles. She smiled as she turned from her husband, before her lips turned downward into as she scowled at her only child. Her steps were nearly silent as she left the room, the door closing quietly behind her with a wave of Lucius' hand.
Draco dared not move from the platform he had been standing on as Lucius approached him. The older Malfoy walked slowly around his scion, his nose turned up at the sweet scent that had been chosen. It did not blend with the spicier tone of the incense, making his nostrils burn with each breath. Finishing his circuit, he stared into his son's eyes, giving a brief nod of acceptance. Draco exhaled deeply, the muscles which had been drawn taut in his shoulders visibly relaxing as the tension flowed from them.
Severus stepped forward, fresh linens folded in a neat pile resting on his outstretched arms. Seeing the movement from the corner of his eye, Lucius turned. Fingers picking at the corner of the material, Lucius rubbed the rough material between the pads of his forefinger and thumb. "It may scratch against your skin a bit." He glanced over his shoulder to the dais, his face impassive as he regarded his son. "Do your best not to let on that you feel any kind of discomfort." Draco frowned at Lucius once the older man turned away. Nodding to Severus, Lucius walked back to the door. He tapped his cane against the floor, seemingly in deep consideration. Finally coming to a decision, he turned back to Draco. "Whatever you do, don't mention the teeth."
Severus smirked as Draco's jaw fell open slightly. The boy had no idea why they were warning him about the Dark Lord's teeth, of all things.
Kneeling outside the room he would soon enter, Draco's limbs shook slightly. He could not help but be terrified of what was to come. The ceremonies involved with this were far more than what he had expected. He has assumed that there would be kneeling, pledging, and marking. Draco had never expected to get a sponge bath with ceremonial oils containing a calming draught. The incense that had burned his nose as it filled the room confused him, but his mother had simply told him to accept it and breathe deeply.
The linen robes that Severus had brought were dyed black as Muggles tended to do for funerals. He had turned his nose up at them, but the professor had refused to let him leave the room without putting them on. Draco knew better than to test Severus on anything. His head of house was known for enforcing his edicts. It did not escape Draco that this particular order likely came from the Dark Lord himself.
As far as Draco was aware, none of the others had been required to go through such strange steps. Despite this, he knew quite well that he should never question anything where it concerned Lord Voldemort. His fear had kept him from asking any questions when he was told he was not to have his hair trimmed as he was accustomed to doing. Feeling the hair gathered at the nape of his neck by his uncle Rodolphus made him shiver involuntarily.
The wand traced gently along his neck, tickling the skin there as it severed his hair. Though his limbs shook with the tension of wanting to move, he forced himself to keep still. Fear kept him from speaking as the long blond strands were separated from his scalp while he knelt before the doors that kept the Dark Lord from his view. The strands fell into a neat line, bound by a black ribbon. Once the band was full, a spell whispered over the clippings. Rodolphus came around in front of him, letting him watch as the ribbon was neatly tied into a knot, producing a lock of hair that looked very much like a keepsake. A hand patted his shoulder in reassurance as the ribbon quickly turned green. Though he did not understand the significance, he accepted it as simply as he had been expected to do everything else in the ceremony.
The doors opened slightly, allowing his uncle entry before clanging closed loudly once more. He stayed kneeling for several moments, not certain what task he should be undertaking. When the heavy oak panels slowly swung open once more, he looked up to see the chamber full of wizards and witches lining a walkway that led directly to the Dark Lord.
He rose from his knees, walking forward slowly. Draco briefly considered running, but he knew better than to test the patience of such a powerful and manipulative wizard. His slow gait allowed him to be able to read clearly the lips of several of the Death Eaters he passed. From his aunt Bellatrix to even the rodent Pettigrew, each one silently gave the same admonition.
"Whatever you do, don't mention the teeth."
When he finally reached the end of the walkway, Voldemort was not seated on a throne as Draco had expected him to be. The Dark Lord was standing, facing him with his wand drawn and his hand extended. Kneeling, Draco looked up at the imposing dark wizard. His lips were drawn into a tight smile, and the blond noted the snakelike snout where a nose should have been. Draco could not help but stare at the space. The deformed nostrils were extremely unusual and unique.
Holding up the ribbon of Draco's severed hair, the witches and wizards made a collective sound of approval. "Your purity has been proven. You hold allegiance to no other wizard or witch that will supersede your pledge to me."
Draco felt his lips turning up in a smile as he reached his hand out to accept the Dark Lord's hand. He rose, staring at the man that he had every confidence would be his master until his death. The blond had been determined not to shame his family in refusing to accept his service with the Death Eaters. The older wizard clasped Draco's hand tightly, as though executing a Muggle handshake. Voldemort turned their joined hands, exposing Draco's forearm. Raising his wand, the Dark Lord looked into the blond's eyes as he spoke.
"Draco Malfoy, are you prepared to serve me unto your death?" Despite his terror at the prospect, Draco nodded. "Are you prepared to defend you fellow Death Eaters, to fight against those who would oppose them unjustly?" Again, the boy nodded. "Are you prepared to sacrifice yourself to me for all eternity?" Swallowing deeply, the younger wizard nodded.
With each question the Dark Lord had asked, Draco's gaze had become increasingly fixated on his mouth. His eyes had widened a fraction each time the thin, slitted lips had pulled back over the teeth and gums. Staring at Voldemort's mouth, Draco noted the very small front teeth. If he had to guess, the younger wizard would say there were two fingers' breadth of space between the Dark Lord's lip line and the top of his two front teeth. He had never seen such a condition and was entirely uncertain what type of spell could have caused such a strange growth.
He continued to nod at the end of each question, his eyes fixated on those elongated gums and the miniscule teeth which sat at the bottom of them. Draco felt his eyes become increasingly dry as they continually widened. He blinked rapidly as Voldemort reached the end of his long line of qualifying queries, finally satisfied that Draco would be a loyal servant to his cause.
"Draco Malfoy, before you take this mark, have you anything you wish to say?"
Slipping his tongue between his lips to wet them slightly, he swallowed. Clearing his throat gently, he nodded. "Yes, my Lord." Voldemort smiled broadly at him, his deference having obviously won him some acceptance. He could not help the question as it bubbled to his lips, even though he knew how impertinent it was to ask. "What happened to your gums?"
Even as the pain coursed through his body for several hours after the ceremony had been completed, Draco had only one coherent thought. At least he had not mentioned the teeth.