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sherlock.  not good?

Author: verus_janus
Title: Adolphopoiesis
Characters: Regulus Black, Severus Snape, Rabastan Lestrange, Evan Rossier
Word Count: 500
Rating: G
Warnings: ritual scarification (obviously)
For: [profile] darkarts_ldws
Prompt: Regulus, Ritual Scarification

Regulus was youngest. But Severus was only one year older and Rabastan was only two. They were no longer children, with the world bubbling and percolating around them, not with the promise of spy games turned to real intrigue and the exciting stimulating aroma of danger, a tantalising, almost-real presence. Almost-breathless, they watched the older ones. Lucius was out of school now, and Bella, Regulus' cousin, and Roddy, Rabastan's brother. They were children nevertheless. They wanted to be more, already.

Regulus would have been downcast, but for the sense the very air seemed to thrum with dark magic. "Rabastan will be next; then it will be Sev's turn. I'll be all alone, just waiting. Maybe an errand boy."

Severus thought of the others, one day cradling their arms as if nonchalantly, then hiding them, sleeves always tight, always long. The flowing grace of Lucius' silk tamped around his arms. They, the younger ones, were factors in the calculations, part of the plan. But only factors.

They sat beneath the big tree. Severus leaned his head against a thick root. Considering, he looked at Regulus sitting above, toes pointing downward. He looked at Rabastan next to him, quiet and solid. He looked at the branches and said to the sky, "There's something Antonin told me. Something they do in Bulgaria. It's not a Mark, but something we can do. Magic between us. I'll ask him tonight. Even if we can't really be Death Eaters yet, we can join each other!"

"Adelphopoiesis," Severus pronounced carefully, excited, corners of his mouth stretched up, as he tried to pretend he was not thrilled to be central among them. It was two days later and they were under the tree again with Evan Rossier, older than Severus, younger than Rabastan.

"So... we're actually going to cut each other?"

"It's blood magic. Brothers. To the end."

"That's what a Dark Mark is, partly anyway."

"We don't want to wait."

Regulus drew the circle around them; Rabastan set the wards. Severus pronounced the words from Antonin; Evan sliced deep into each palm, left and right with a razor he'd acquired. He was careful not to cut tendons, but these were not just paper cuts.

They joined hands, palm to palm, a circle within Regulus', becoming one as their blood flowed from cut to cut. They changed places. Their placement and lithe movement - dancing - formed patterns of power. Where Regulus had been between Severus and Rabastan, he now held Rabastan's hand and Evan's. The air within the circle was contained, vibrating, pushing heat through them as they stepped carefully. Now Regulus was between Evan and Severus. Now he was back where he started, and it was done.

They looked at one another, a little shy, humble at the deep change they had made in themselves, bound blood brothers.

The cuts healed white, raised, like embroidered lines hemming a blanket. When Regulus died, then Evan, they bled for days. And then only Severus and Rabastan were left.

first posted to my dreamwidth account.
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