Author's Notes: This collection was written for darkarts_ldws on Livejournal - a drabble writing competition in which, each round, a Death Eater and a theme are provided as prompts, drabbles are written about them, and there is voting for the best ones. I won second place overall, and now I'm finally allowed to post the drabbles.
Title: The Marking of a Black
Characters/Pairings: Regulus and Bellatrix
Prompt: Ritual Scarification
Word Count: 500
Warnings: Sadistic behaviour
The door of the dungeon in which Regulus had been locked in solitude, in preparation for taking the Dark Mark, creaked open, and the light of a single candle appeared. Regulus looked up eagerly, expecting the Dark Lord, come to finally give him his mark, but his heart sank when he saw his cousin.
"Bellatrix? Why are you here?"
"To prepare you." She sounded breathless and excited, and her eyes gleamed in the candlelight. "Hold out your arm."
"So I may ready it for the Dark Mark. You do not expect the Dark Lord to be the only one to be involved in your marking, do you?" She set the candle down and knelt before him, pulling a silver dagger from a scabbard at her waist.
Regulus swallowed hard, eyes trained upon the knife. Bellatrix smirked slightly at the expression upon his face, grasping him by the wrist and pulling his arm straight.
"Now, don't be afraid…" she crooned. "This won't hurt…"
Regulus looked up at her, mutinously, conveying with his expression that he knew quite well that it was going to hurt and that she was going to enjoy it.
"Don't be pathetic, cousin," she told him when she saw the look on his face. "You are a Black. Blacks should not feel pain."
"Shouldn't they?" he asked quietly, tempting fate in the form of his cousin's anger for disagreeing with her. "I think they should… I think they do…" A part of him realized his own stupidity – he was here alone with her, and she had a knife and he was unarmed - but he spoke despite that.
Bellatrix's eyes narrowed with anger. "Blacks are above pain."
Regulus said nothing, but he allowed a sneer to play around his lips, making it abundantly clear that he believed nothing of what his cousin said. She wanted to believe Blacks were impervious to pain to justify her twisted ideologies, and her own sadism. Telling Regulus it was below him to object to it was her method of telling herself that it was not wrong for her to enjoy inflicting it.
He shut his eyes again and breathed deeply, letting his face go smooth when Bellatrix lowered her knife to his forearm. He tried to avoid exhibiting any reaction as he felt his flesh splitting beneath the intricate movements of her blade.
Her breath hitched, and Regulus knew that she loved hurting him, even if she did not get the satisfaction of seeing his pain and being able to mock him for it.
Bellatrix took her time, carving up her cousin's arm until she had to press her fingers to it to keep ribbons of skin in place, and. finally, when Regulus thought he could no longer contain his agony, she spoke.
"Look at it."
He did, lowering his eyes to his forearm.
There, carved into his skin, streaming blood and ready for the Dark Lord to enchant it into full power, was the outline of the Dark Mark.