Just so we get this straight: This fic contains an incestous, twisted relationship with some graphic details to come. I'll use any flames to light candles for a better world...
Oh, and please let me know if you liked what you're about to read. Hugs to ya.

17th December: Christmas trial

It was the very first day of the Christmas holidays when the games began.
Draco almost ran the last few yards to the front doors to avoid the heavy snowfall, which was threatening to break out into a real storm. He was determined not to look a mess when entering the hall of his family home, knowing that his father would hate it. Narcissa, however, was walking calmly behind him, set on keeping her stylish dignity at all costs.
Draco turned to wait for her at the last step with the most impatient glare he could manage while shivering violently from the cold.
Naturally, this did not affect Narcissa the slightest and both of them were quite ruffled by the cruel wind before they finally set foot in the blessed heat of the Wiltshire manor.
By some unknown divine intervention, Lucius was not waiting for them inside and Draco hurried off to his private quarters as soon as Narcissa had reminded him of all the guests they were expecting for Christmas.
His mother had been picking him up at the train station in London, all according to costume, to bring him home after his first half of the fifth year at Hogwarts. They had both surveyed Draco's grades very carefully, discussing all the merits and faults. As usual, his father would only concentrate on the faults, so building up a good defence through well-laid preparations was absolutely necessary.
Draco entered his private bedroom and shut the door behind him before throwing himself on the bed with an exhausted moan.
He knew it would be better to get clean and change clothes immediately. Lucius seldom waited very long before calling him in for a review of the recent term.
But what could he possibly have to say this time?
Draco had been appointed prefect and done a very good job, his grades in DADA, Potions and Broomstick Flying was outstanding and he had even managed to improve in Divinations and Charms. No Quidditch game had been lost against the Gryffindors and as far as he knew, Potter's reputation was still horrid among the students.
But Draco knew better than that.
He found it astonishing how his father could harbour such contempt for the half-giant Hagrid and yet reproach Draco so hard about his grade in Care of magical creatures. And his father always found unexpected things to remark about. Always.
Draco sighed and rose from bed, starting to pull his travelling clothes off. He might as well fix himself up to be presentable and get it over with.
The last garments had hardly fallen to the floor when the door opened and Malfoy senior stepped in. Lucius never knocked. It was his house and he walked about it as he wished.
Draco felt the critical weight of the cold grey eyes hit him and cursed for throwing his robes all around the room while undressing.
"You did not announce your arrival to me." Lucius sounded just as cold and uncaring as always and it took another member of the family to notice the accusing edge in his voice.
Draco straightened up and did exactly the regretful expression that he thought his father would like to see.
"I'm sorry, father. I thought I'd just change clothes…"
Lucius were eyening the mess on the floor with open dislike before letting his gaze examine Draco from head to toe.
Draco stood absolutely still although the room was freezing and he wished to enter the bathroom as quickly as possible. He tried not to look too impatient. Now, what could come out of this? 'Draco, you haven't been training enough' or 'Draco, your hair is a mess! Fix it!' or 'Draco, there's a birthmark on your left knee that wasn't there six months ago'.
Instead, Lucius nodded with a quite bored expression and put his hand on the doorknob.
"I'll see you in my office in half an hour."
And then he was gone. Just like that.
But nothing of this surprised Draco. He knew for certain that any displeasure he might have caused Lucius would be accounted for, either now or later. Without further delay, Draco entered his private bathroom to prepare for the traditional Christmas Trial in his father's office.

No more than one knock was needed on the office door before the cold, authorative voice rang through it.
Draco did as he was told and strode with quiet steps over the thick carpet before stopping before the huge desk. His father had not yet taken his attention from some parchment he was scribbling on and Draco waited in absolute silence. Only the sound of the thirteen-numbered clock above the fireplace was heard.
Draco took the opportunity to study the stern features of Lucius as the older man seemed sharply focused on the document he was editing.
The silver-blonde hair hung loose, but was neatly stroked back in place. Only a few shining strands of hair fell over the serious face, making a tasteful contrast to the stone grey eyes. Draco had studied those eyes many times, hoping to find but the slightest sign of approval or fatherly affection in them. Sometimes he thought he could see something akin to genuine interest in him flickering by, but fearing that he might fool himself, he did not dare to think it.
After all, taking interest in anyone but himself would be so unlike his father.
A few minutes later, Lucius put down the quill and faced him.
No. Not a hint of feelings anywhere.
"Sit down, Draco."
Draco sat down immediately. The colder Lucius seemed, the more eager Draco became to please him.
"So." Lucius pushed the scroll showing Draco's grades over the table with calculated superiority. "Can you tell me what this is?"
It was really tricky to come up with a good answer. Draco had no idea where the conversation was heading and he knew even less what Lucius expected from him. His father always invented new ways of torturing him during a conversation.
Draco shifted uneasily in his chair. The time was almost up for a fitting reply.
"That's my grades, father."
Draco bit his tongue as soon as he had said it. He desperately hoped that his father wouldn't find the answer insulting, but the sneer meeting him did not leave much to hope for.
"No, Draco." Lucius hissed, getting to his feet with a very dangerous gaze. "I call that failure!"
Draco froze in his chair and his heart started to pace quicker as Lucius left his side of the desk and walked up to stand less than a feet from Draco.
"Stand up!"
Draco obeyed, the fear heavy like a cold stone in his stomach.
The burning slap in his face made Draco flinch slightly, but he didn't dare to move anymore than the blow forced him to. Any sign of fear would send his father into a fury ten times worse than this.
"How is it" Lucius continued, "that a filthy mudblood has four more O's than you?"
Oh. So this was it. The old matter of the mudblood Granger and her unnatural feats.
"The teachers, father." Draco answered, trying to sound unmoved by the recent show of physical threat. "They give Granger certain merits because of her involvement with Potter."
Lucius snorted contemptuously.
"Really? But what about your efforts, Draco? Did it even once occur to you that your test results could have brought you the same grades? Provided that you had been paying enough attention to your books?"
The words struck Draco harder than he dared to admit. He had been struggling so hard to please his father this year, pushing beyond his own limits to manage the Prefect position, the Quidditch training and the tests, despite his complete lack of free time to use.
Draco swallowed to hold any feelings at bay, but the diplomatic answer he intended to give somehow twisted itself around in his mouth and came out in an unexpected shape.
"I did pay attention to my books."
Lucius took a firm grip of his chin the moment the words left his mouth.
"Is that so?" His father's voice was but a whisper, matching the recent strength of Draco's own voice.
"Yes." Draco answered, determined to hold his ground now that it was to late for repair anyway. And the cruel suggestion that he had ignored his father's will this term despite his huge efforts, was too painful to remain unquestioned.
"Professor Snape thought me outstanding as a Prefect although he was well aware that it stole valuable time from my studies. And even so he thought my results in the Christmas exams to be most satisfying."
"Did he now? Well, then there is but one problem left to solve." Lucius used his silkiest voice, despite the hardening grip on Draco's chin.
This was an alarming sign that told Draco to be absolutely silent from now on and agree with anything his father might say. Lucius released his chin and grabbed Draco's arm very harshly, pulling him towards a door behind the desk. Draco was too frightened to protest and followed obediently, while Lucius kept talking in a normal voice that did not fit into the situation very well.
"The problem is, you see, that Snape is a Potion's teacher and you are the heir to the Malfoy empire."
Draco was pushed into this unknown room and Lucius locked the door behind them with a very resolute wrench of the key.
"Furthermore, I am your father and the head of the empire and you are supposed to follow my directory and not Snapes."
Draco only nodded, trying not to panic in the small room he had been dragged into. All he could see was a four poster bed and a fireplace. Nothing more would fit in there. And the fact that he had been forced into such a secluded room meant that he was up for a beating.
Lucius wasted no time.
"Place yourself by the bed." He said. "By the right post. Move!"
Draco did so, with only a moment's hesitation. It was not just the punishments that made him hate to disappoint his father so much. He would have given anything to make his father understand how much he had sacrificed to achieve the results he did this term. Why was it just never enough?
"Turn around."
Lucius made a slight gesture with his hand and Draco acted against his survival instincts and faced the bedpost. Then his father stepped up closely behind him and Draco held his breath not to start hyperventilating as his wrists were suddenly caught by a strong hand and guided above his head.
Draco gave a start as the tip of Lucius' wand struck his hands. Within seconds, tight ropes held his hands tied to the bedpost.
This started to emanate into something really scary. Draco couldn't remember the last time Lucius had actually tied him up. All he knew was that he had underestimated the effect of the small protest he had made. He had gotten away with worse things than this, hadn't he? What could possibly have been provoking enough for this in his simple statement about Snape?
When Lucius unhooked Draco's robe and let it fall to the floor, Draco writhed a little and made a wild try to get out of the awkward situation.
"Father, I am sorry if I…"
"Silence!" Lucius ripped Draco's shirt off as if to state the seriousness of his reply.
Draco felt his heart make a frightened jump and feared it would stop from the unbearable tension. Then his father seemed to back away for a moment and next, he felt a small, light piece of leather touch the nape of his neck.
"How sorry are you?"
Lucius mouth was so close to his ear that Draco shivered uncomfortably from the tickling sensation the words caused.
The world exploded in red pain before Draco had a chance to answer. The unmistakable sound of a horsewhip striking with full force was heard again and Draco couldn't quench his cry completely this time.
"I said: How sorry are you?"
"Are you begging, Draco? What have I told you about begging?"
Several hard blows rained down on his back again and there was no way he could keep from screaming out loud.
The whip must have cracked his skin open. He was sure of it!
"STOP! STOP! I take EVERYTHING back, I…"
But the whip kept sending streams of fire across his back and finally the forbidden happened. Draco couldn't contain his tears anymore, even though he knew his father condemned crying more than anything in the world.
But when the first audiable sob came up, the whip stopped working and the scene froze in a very tense moment.
But Draco couldn't care less what happened to him. The truth was that his father's plain anger with him struck a hundred times harder than the whip and he wasn't sure about if the tears came from the physical pain or from this fact.
Draco kept crying, expecting to feel a new lash at any moment. But the seconds passed with no visible reaction from Lucius at all. Then the wand touched his hands again.
The ropes loosened and Draco fought to regain his normal breathing when he felt Lucius cold hands directing him to turn around. Before he knew it, he was caught up in an impossible event.
His father held him in a close embrace, carefully avoiding touching the fresh wounds on Draco's back. Tender fingers were stroking his hair, soothing the throbbing headache somewhat.
Draco had no idea what was going on. All Lucius actions were way above his head, but he gave in to whatever he had to do if only to make this moment last but a little longer.
Surely, it was another cruel game. But even if nothing was real, he needed the moment so desperately that it hardly mattered.
"Calm down, Draco."
The soft whisper worked as a spell on Draco's self-control. The tears stopped coming and Lucius inspected his face carefully to wipe every remaining tear away from his cheeks.
"Father, I really tried, I really did…" Draco whimpered, at a loss about how to handle the strange situation.
"Hush now, Draco. I know that."
Was it for real?
But the hands guiding him to sit down on the bed felt real enough, although his back burnt with such an agonizing intensity that there was no denying what had just taken place either.
"Let me see your back."
Lucius placed himself behind Draco on the bedside, letting soft fingers press around Draco's neck while a finger slid down the injured back, strategically avoiding the wounds by twisting and playing around them.
Draco's nerves tensed like a rubberband about to snap.
Expecting to feel the finger stab into a wound at any moment, he was surprised to find it ended by the small of his back and lifted only to land at his cheek.
"Tilt your head slightly." Lucius whispered, pressing the soft jaw upwards with a firm, clawlike grip. "Like that, yes."
Draco's head was moved in a position as to expose the side of his throat and it certainly did not help him to calm down.
Something unexpectedly soft brushed against his neck and suddenly a harsh bite made bloodred spots explode in front of his eyes.
The sharp teeth had him caught as mercilessly as the ironlike fingers, digging into his skin to hold him in place.
The pain was engulfing and it was impossible to remain still, or to prevent the whines and whimpers from leaving his lips.
Pure panic shot into his head, right through the increasing cloud of pain. Some very important veins were there, right where the teeth was. How far did his father intend to go on this punishment?
But before the teeth went fatally deep, a warm, wet tongue tasted the tender skin instead and a stinging ache rising from the intense sucking replaced the knifelike one.
It was still hard to breathe and Draco's heart seemed to hammer frantically inside his chest, as if to alert him about the lack of sanity in this situation.
He had no idea where this was heading anymore. All he knew was that he had to fight to keep his fear in check and cooperate until his father decided to let him go.
His thoughts went dull and elusive as fog by the bite, as if Lucius sucked his blood out like a vampire. He winced repeatedly and felt his skin prickle and his stomach twist several turns, the tension becoming unbearable.
Then, without warning, he was released and Lucius stood up beside the bed, beaming with a strange smirk at him.
"Put your robes on. We're done for now and it is nearly time for dinner."
And then, in his usual manner, Lucius turned abrubtly and walked out the door, leaving Draco more confused than ever.
He knew only one thing for sure.
His father had started a new, strange game. He could recognise as much. And where it was about to end, nobody knew but Lucius.