: Draco Malfoy, Severus SnapeRating
: bloodplayThemes/kinks chosen
: Charms/talismansWord Count
: Snape performs a protection ritual for Draco.Author's notes
: I know that while some of what's in Snape's ritual somewhat resembles pagan rituals, it is in no way meant to be or reflect such rituals. Most of my pagan ritual knowledge comes from Supernatural
, so that's what I've modeled it on. More or less. (Or: I made this up, y'all.)Sanguinary
"This wasn't how things were supposed to be when Lord Voldemort killed Harry Potter," Draco whispered to Snape.
Snape's anger twisted his features in the wan candlelight. "Do you think I don't know that as well as you do?"
"I...of course I know," stammered Draco. "I just...what can we do?"
"There is something," Snape said. He stood and began to pace. "It's not much, but it's better than nothing."
"What is it?" Draco looked around. He didn't think anyone was listening but one could never be too certain. Lord Voldemort had sworn death to the entire Malfoy family and so far had made good on his promise. Draco hadn't even been able to give his parents a proper funeral. The night before Voldemort arrived Narcissa had sent Draco to stay with Snape at Hogwarts. Hogwarts wasn't perfect but it was still one of the strongest fortresses around.
"It's a very old magic, a blood ritual, with only the most basic of ingredients. Chalk. Salt. Paint. Sage. It would be easy enough for me to perform but, Draco… look at me.
"There are no guarantees with this ritual. No promises. At best it will give you enough protection against Lord Voldemort so you could escape him if faced with a confrontation. He hates you enough that he will be slow to kill you. He will want to torture you first. You'll have to use his arrogance to your advantage. This protection, if it works, will not afford you much, but what it will afford you might be enough to save your life. Do you understand?"
With a shake of his head and a downward glance, Snape replied solemnly, "I don't think you understand. I don't think you have the faintest idea."
"Did you bring what I asked you to?"
Snape had wasted no time constructing a center for their ritual in his suite of rooms. The room's light came from a set of tall white candles set at five even points around a red circle.
"Good. Now, you won't be needing your wand and you should not enter the circle with it in your possession."
"Not... not needing it?" Uncertainty shook Draco's words. "But how can we perform an entire ritual with no wands? Are we mixing a potion?"
"Do you see a cauldron, Draco?" It was all Snape could do to resist calling him "boy." Draco was eighteen. He had to abandon that habit. "This spell doesn't use a potion. The ring you brought. Does it fit on the index finger of your right hand?"
Draco nodded. He reached into the neck of his robes and pulled on a long chain, two twisted ropes of gold. "Mostly. It's a little loose, though, so I wear it on the chain."
The edge in Snape's answer worried Draco. "Resize the ring right now. It needs to fit you perfectly. Do it now! Once we perform the ritual you can never take it off and if it falls off the result could be disastrous."
"Yes...yes, sir." Draco slipped the ring around his finger and took out his wand. He hadn't wanted to change anything about the wide platinum ring set with emeralds, which was a Black family heirloom. It was the last thing his mother had given him. She had told him never to sell it, always to wear it, never to remove it. A ring like that attracted thieves, however, especially in times like these, so he always wore it out of sight. He sized it to fit his hand and looked to Snape. "Done."
"Good." Snape didn't look up at Draco when he answered. He had two black candles and an old book on the table in front of him, along with a brass bowl. "Give it to me."
Loath as he was to part with the ring, even to Snape, Draco obeyed. Snape dropped it into the bowl and the clang of metal on metal echoed around them. With a match rather than his wand he lit the black candles.
"This is... You're serious about the wands," Draco breathed.
"I am. Remove your robes and step into the circle. I need for you to stand in the center of the pentagram I've painted there.
"A pentagram?" Draco asked. His hesitation and fear made him stutter in both voice and movement. "That's your idea of a protective ritual? That hasn't been used for centuries. It's useless."
"On the contrary, it's quite a powerful symbol of protection. But your training in protection has been with Shield Charms and various jinxes. This is something more..." Snape looked to the center of the circle, and then slowly back to Draco, who had his arms crossed over his chest. "...more spiritual. Please do as I've instructed."
Snape walked around the circle clockwise, lighting each of the white candles. When he completed the candle lighting he pulled a stem of sage from his pocket. On his second walk around the circle he burned a leaf of sage in each candle. By the time he finished burning the sage Draco had shed his robes and stood with his hands crossed in front of himself. Draco's eyes were closed and he was breathing deeply, inhaling the scented smoke. The flickering light cast jagged shadows on the walls.
"Yes?" Draco asked, opening his eyes.
Snape handed him a second stalk of sage. "Take this into the circle with you. Kneel and place it on the ground in front of you. Face me, but remain on your knees."
When Draco entered the circle Snape thought to himself that the recent events of Draco's life had taken a much heavier toll on him than he let on. Draco's ribs and vertebrae were visible and he looked pale, paler than he should. He hadn't cut his hair in months and the ends were uneven over the back of his neck. Draco knelt in the center of the pentagram and Snape felt a pang about what was to come. It didn't seem right to take what he intended to take from Draco, but it had to be done.
"Stay there," Snape instructed. He returned to his table, lit the black candles, and began to read aloud from his book. Salt and sage went into the bowl along with Draco's ring. He read another page and dropped a lit match into the bowl. The sage leaves smoldered. Draco shivered inside the circle.
"There is one more part," Snape said when he finished his reading. The fire in the bowl was just about out, but he placed a cap over the bowl to speed its death. To Draco he remained calm.
The silver blade of the knife he pulled from a drawer caught the candlelight and Draco jerked his head upward.
"It's necessary to finish the protection spell. You will be fine."
Although, Snape admitted to himself, it was going to sting a little.
Holding Draco's ring, a bag of salt, and the knife, Snape entered the circle. From the inside he sprinkled a ring of salt outside its confines. When he completed the salt circle he felt something shift in the earth beneath his feet, a pull of old magics.
"Sir?" Draco looked to Snape's face. His back was straight and gooseflesh appeared on his arms. "What...did you feel that?"
The spell was working. Snape drew his lips into a tight line. He nodded. This next part had to be done delicately.
"Hold out your right arm, Draco."
Kneeling to match Draco's position, Snape took Draco's right wrist and turned it over. The lines on Draco's palm were deep but short, unfinished. Snape drew the knife and Draco tried to pull away. In response, Snape tightened his hold. Draco's veins were a blue shade of green.
"What are you--"
Draco's words stopped as though Snape had drawn the blade of the knife across his throat rather than his arm.
"Do not move, Draco. The circle has to remain intact until the ritual is done."
The sight of the blooming line of Draco's blood made Snape's heartbeat accelerate. Draco's vulnerability and the trust he displayed along with it, though he sat naked and bleeding in a red pentagram, it was…
It was enticing. Intoxicating. Irresistible. And in the instant Snape lowered his mouth to the long cut on Draco's inner arm, he knew why these ancient magics had long been abandoned in favor of having the barrier of the wand between a wizard and the outside world. The cupric taste of Draco's blood on his tongue sent Snape into shock. It undid every ounce of reserve he had and he sucked at the wound, ignoring Draco's whimpers.
"Is this...the ritual?" Draco gasped.
"It will neither destroy nor enhance it," Snape replied, his voice thick with Draco's blood. He didn't tell Draco that he was sure he'd be destroyed by desire if he didn't act on this impulse that was made all the stronger by their bond within the circle. Stopping for a breath, he saw that Draco had broken out in a sweat. They were both panting and when Snape looked down he saw that Draco was erect.
Ignoring Draco's inability to speak, Snape pushed back the sleeve of his robes. He couldn't let the taste of Draco, warm and pulsating with life, deter his finishing the ritual. Draco was depending on him. Taking the knife, he let go of Draco's wrist and cut his own left arm in a long diagonal streak, putting pressure on the wound to bring blood to the surface faster. The knife was no longer needed. Instead, Snape pressed his cut to Draco's, mixing their blood. The need to taste more of Draco's blood made Snape lightheaded. No. Not yet. He had to finish the ritual and then here and only here, within this circle, he could sate himself.
"Let me taste you," Draco rasped. The pulse in his neck was visible and he was panting. "Please."
The temptation was stronger than any Snape had known in years. It was only when he looked at Draco's bare fingers that he remembered the ring and pulled himself away from Draco. "Not yet. I have to finish."
Snape removed Draco's ring from his pocket and held it tightly in his hand. He chanted the rest of the spell and slid the ring onto Draco's right index finger. There. Snape's field of vision was black and fuzzy at the edges. He couldn't believe the pull of Draco's blood, how strong it was when amplified by magic. The most important part of the ritual had nearly destroyed them both. But it was complete now and he had kept his promise to protect Draco.
"Never take that ring off. Do you understand?"
Outside the circle there was no world, there was no Lord Voldemort, no war, no fallout. All that existed to Snape as well as Draco was contained in salt and paint and chalk and smelled of burnt sage. Draco whined as Snape gripped his wrist too tightly and licked along the open cut, wrapping the fingers of his other hand around Draco's cock.
The searing pain from the cut combined with the heat and pressure of Snape's hand heightened Draco's perceptions. Suddenly the candles blinded him and the smoky air made his chest tighten. Unable to sit still, Draco thrust his hips forward, pleading for both extremes of pain and pleasure. He rotated his arm right and left, offering Snape all the blood that his arm had to offer. "Please, if I can't taste you…"
"Stop your merciless begging, Draco," Snape admonished. His words had little power, however, because Draco was seconds from coming.
Draco cried out, unable to maintain any semblance of reserve. Semen mixed with blood over Snape's hands as Draco crumpled forward, supporting himself on his unblemished arm. Draco's breaths were sharp and deep. He was quivering with the aftereffect of an adrenaline rush, still lost in pure sensation.
The pentagram was broken now. Red chalk stained Draco's legs and palms. Snape felt a dull ache deep in his heart, a reminder that the world outside their circle was returning, weighing on them. The spell was done and Snape knew that it had been a success, for whatever these ancient wandless spells were worth.
As for the enchantment, he would have to wait and see.