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Notes: Lucius/Draco written for Slytherlynx, with touches of Voldemort/Draco to hold down the fort.
Draco had thought the Dark Mark would burn--that it would be pressed into his skin like a brand, leaving ash and raw tissue in its wake. Instead the Mark is gentle, almost beautiful--a slow melting of black wax under his skin, a moving, shifting shape that makes him dizzy looking at it, boiling his blood gently from within. He feels like cream parchment, a blank letter now closed with a seal--he feels clean and folded and given, carrying someone else's secrets in himself. Voldemort is writing words across him, across his soul--something between a giving and a taking, a killing and a birthing--a contract, an agreement, that makes Draco feel owned.
Owned. Not loved.
Snape watches from the outskirts, one more tall shadow amongst so many--but he is the only one here who watches Draco with anything resembling concern, even though his face is no doubt expressionless. One white mask beneath another. Draco wants to stumble to him afterwards, say take me home, Professor, but he can't--because he is Lucius Malfoy's son, and it's ridiculous but people expect him to live up to that, to be clean and pure and wrathful when appropriate--to be Voldemort's pale paring knife, applied judiciously to whomever the Dark Lord sees fit.
But Draco doesn't tell them the truth--he doesn't, because truth is an expensive commodity here, one even Voldemort cannot afford. So Draco keeps his counsel, and pretends to be strong--and smiles, almost without the hint of a tremor, when someone gives him wine. He doesn't think of his father in Azkaban, because that's another unaffordable truth--he doesn't think of comfort, of his father's long, slow kisses--of how spectacularly Lucius Malfoy had failed in bringing up his son. It is remarkable that the men here don't see that. It is remarkable that they incline their heads condescendingly but with a certain sense of wariness--as though Draco isn't a whore, as though Draco isn't a pet, a silver-lined thing to be arranged neatly by moonlight. It is remarkable that Draco should be returned home untouched, unused--but perhaps that's because the Mark has already claimed so much of him that there's nothing left to take at all.
Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned, hisses Voldemort mockingly in his ear. Draco doesn't know what it means, but he finds himself repeating it all night long after Snape takes him home--all night long, all night, but his father doesn't come to silence him with a kiss.
* FIN *