Author's note: Winner of harrypotter_las Round 1 / Challenge 1. Thank you to everyone who voted for it, I was totally surprised!

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

The Initiation

"Is it gonna hurt, Draco? I don't think I can go through with it if it's gonna hurt." Vincent Crabbe looked at Draco with big, fearful eyes.

"Of course it hurts, you ninny," Draco said impatiently, plucking Crabbe's grubby fingers off his impeccably tailored suit. "But the Dark Lord insists. You don't want to disappoint him, do you?"

Crabbe shook his head and squeezed his eyes shut. "Go ahead then. I'm ready."

With a single, smooth motion, Draco yanked off the thin layer of wax coating Crabbe's left arm.

Crabbe shrieked and opened his watering eyes in shock to stare at his now red but hairless arm. "Bloody Merlin, Draco! Did you have to do it so quick?"

"Better to get it over with, Crabbe." Draco inspected the arm with a practiced eye. "Looks like we missed a patch over here. Hold on, I'll get the tweezers."

Crabbe closed his eyes again as Draco set to work plucking out the remaining hairs one by one.

"If I'd known it was this hard to become a Death Eater I never would have agreed."

Draco yanked particularly hard at a hair, causing Crabbe to gasp in pain. "Wait until you've had the phenol peel. My father passed out the first time."

"Then why go through with it?" Crabbe whined. "What's the point? Can't we hate Mudbloods without smooth skin and a dew-like complexion?"

Draco threw the tweezers aside and grabbed Crabbe by the neck of his robes, thrusting his face so close to Crabbe's that Crabbe was horrified to discover he couldn't see any pores in Draco's skin. "Don't EVER let me hear you say something like that again!" Draco seethed. "Death Eaters stand for the superiority of our race in EVERY way! Would you look up to someone whose teeth were uneven? Would you want to be led by someone with a pimple? Look around you, man! Who's top of the heap in Slytherin? Me, that's who? And why? You think it has anything to do with natural charisma and good looks? If that were all it took, Blaise would be handing down the orders. Scintillating wit? Ha! Guess again. Or do you see anyone kowtowing to Pansy? And don't make me laugh and risk creasing my Charvet by even suggesting that out-and-out brutishness will win you any influence. We hardly need look further than yourself and your charming compatriot to dismiss that theory.

"No, it is perfection unknown to nature, the illusion of eternal youth, the elusive promise that this, too, might be yours. Look at me, Crabbe. Look at me!" Draco grabbed Crabbe's stubbled chin with his perfectly manicured and buffed fingers.

"You will wax until every inch of your body is as smooth and hairless as a naked mole rat. You will be abraded, exfoliated, injected, and peeled within an inch of your life. You will bleach and condition religiously. You will apply oils, salves, lotions, cremes, and powders until you're so sleek an Avada Kedavra would slide off you. And you will like every - bloody - minute of it. Do I make myself clear?"

Crabbe didn't even dare to blink. "Yes, Draco," he whispered, cowed.

Draco let go. "That's better." He took a few breaths to calm himself. "We'd better finish up here. Macnair will be here at seven to do your colors, and he does NOT like to be kept waiting."