A/N: This piece was written for the inaugural Severus Snape Fest on LiveJournal. I've changed quite a few grammatical words and phrases since it was originally posted, and I prefer this version much better, but the gist of it is still the same. You can find more information about my prompt below.

I've long been intrigued with this rare pairing, so this was a fun challenge to undertake. Hopefully what transpires strikes the right balance of romance, subterfuge, and appeal to the reader.

However, be forewarned: this one-shot is rated M for reasons.

Many thanks to my wonderful beta, Brittny, for her immeasurable help!

Disclaimer: Harry Potter is copyrighted to and belongs to JK Rowling. I'm just playing in her sandbox. No money, just fun. Artwork is credited to hpslashlover on DeviantArt and entitled "comm_narcissa X snape".

LJ Fest: Severus Snape Fest
Prompter: Anonymous
Creator: CRMediaGal
Beta(s): Brittny
Rating: M/R
Warning(s): Smut, Mild Language
Prompt: Everyone needs a little comfort now and then. Snape and Narcissa strike up a secret relationship during the second war.
Likes: Great dialogue, canon-compliant characterization, intrigue and subterfuge
Dislikes: Hard kink. I'd rather see their relationship as a positive (if somewhat dysfunctional) aspect of their lives, not something dark or creepy

One Day

By CRMediaGal

Narcissa Malfoy stood straight, pensive, and silent before the warmth of her hearth, the soft light emitting from the flames flickering delicately across her glamorously carved face. She let forth a small impatient sigh and eyed the antique clock on the mantle with apprehension.

He should've been here by now.

Cradled in Narcissa's right hand, and pressed to her bosom so that it was hidden from view, lay a treasured token of utmost secrecy. The concealed gem meant more to her than all the galleons her estranged husband could have provided; or, rather, used to be able to afford when he had been in good standing with the Dark Lord. Perhaps the token's only equal in value would have been the son she had borne seventeen years ago.

Only him, though...

Nothing else—no amount of money, power, or prestige—could take this precious gift's place, and Narcissa refused to part with it for as much as a spare moment, fearful that it may go missing or, Merlin forbid, accidentally fall into the wrong hands. In such perilous times as these, one couldn't afford to be too careful...

'Or too superstitious,' he often—gently—teased the blonde beauty regarding her paranoia.

Yet Narcissa knew the shrewd wizard who had given it to her—the dark one sworn to a life of secrecy and danger beyond most people's wildest dreams, and who also happened to own her heart—was just as guarded with his cherished safekeeping as she was with the gem he had entrusted her with.

In uncommunicative terms, they appreciated one another's like-minded vigilance, their shared, unparalleled loyalty not to be found in anyone else other than each other.

'Ahhh,' Narcissa would jest in return, linking her arms around his neck, 'but that's why you love me, is it not?' before adding, with good humour, 'One of many reasons, I should hope?'

'But, of course,' was always his response, teetering between appreciation and awe.

Narcissa clutched the item tighter between her fingers as she grew deeper and deeper in thought, grey eyes fixed upon the fireplace, though she was worlds away from this too quiet place.

One day she would be able to wear the gift proudly, boldly, without the potentially negative reception from the pretentious, narrow-minded superiors of high Wizarding society. Not that she gave a damn one way or the other what any of them thought.

Yes, one day...I'll be his...

The war may have been paramount—the final battle between Light and Dark drawing nearer by the hour, bringing them ever closer to the edge of oblivion—but Narcissa was too far gone in her attachment to turn back now. She loved this man fiercely. He had given her his word, his promise in entrusting such a treasure to her as his vehemently guarded heart, and she would hold onto it in the hopes of being able to bind herself to him.

Yes, one day... We won't have to meet in secret like this...

One matter that was no mystery to those closest to the Malfoys was the financial gain Narcissa's and Lucius's marriage had once been for the ambitious wizard who emanated from Slytherin House. Although they had long mutually respected one another, and cared for each other on their own terms, their union was of a purely platonic nature, never delving into a commitment of burning passion, though, in those early years, a naïve Narcissa desperately hoped such maturation might occur.

Such a callow fool I was...

It was quite clear from the off of their courtship that Lucius wasn't all that serious about monogamy. As it turned out, everyone in their social circles was privy to this knowledge about the man—except Narcissa.

After they married, Lucius continued to attract and toy with partners of both sexes, showering them with gifts and flaunting his power over them until had had his fill, by which point they were either bribed with money or other trinkets of materialistic value to keep them quiet and from ruining his prized reputation as a faithful husband.

Narcissa, entirely guileless at the start, yearned for a far deeper connection on more than the occasional physical level. She desired more than the frivolous role of convenient trophy housewife and provider to the continued family lineage. She craved to be wooed and lusted after, and by someone who believed in fidelity. To be someone's one and only and everything was, to her, the ultimate.

Having quickly come to the harsh realisation that she could never fill that role in Lucius's life, Narcissa eventually gave into her own heart-hungry aspirations, turning to a number of lovers in search of that solace and affection she thirsted for, hoping in one of them she might find what she couldn't gain or be in her own caged marriage of convenience.

And, at long last, she finally found her prayers answered: in him.

It had taken Narcissa many years—almost two decades, in fact—to notice him; to become fully aware of the certain figure who had long been in her presence—a close family friend—but who she hadn't truly recognised until it was nearly too late.

I was so blind.

One particularly rainy evening, Severus Snape, long-standing Potions professor at Hogwarts, where her son attended, called upon Malfoy Manor to ask after Lucius and how her husband was faring with a new business venture. The top secret operation involved the Dark Lord's input, so Severus's inquiry—and visit—wasn't at all unexpected. However, Lucius had been out when Severus called, so Narcissa invited the dark-haired, intriguing-minded wizard in for tea, and, in a rare moment of affability, the reserved professor accepted Narcissa's invitation of hospitality.

There, on a stormy night in front of the cosy hearth, with hot tea and polite conversation passing between them, Narcissa spent a considerable amount of time getting to know her elusive guest on a more personal level. That evening, too, marked the beginning of her infatuation with Severus Snape.

In the span of a few hours, she unearthed a couple lesser known details about the man—marginally few, of course, for Severus Snape was the immensely private sort who didn't divulge his secrets easily—but, slowly and surely, Narcissa fell for the real flesh and blood wizard of strength and resilience who well-concealed himself beneath layers of black robes, cold stares, and an off-putting scowl.

The spark that erupted from what started off as light-hearted banter was irrefutable, though the restrained professor proved unwilling, at first, to act on the feelings that that initial conversation stirred within his soul.

Narcissa was a Slytherin, too, however, and she retained patience and perseverance.

Yes... In the end, I got him.

An alluring smile slithered across Narcissa's cheeks, now rose-tinted from standing so close to the working hearth, but her thoughts were still lost amongst the conjuring flames.

Several times more, Severus would drop by unannounced, all in the hopes of catching Narcissa home sans Lucius, and their encounters sparked more conversation. Narcissa encouraged these impromptu visitations, soon suggesting specific times and days of the week that they might keep meeting in private.

Their intimate gatherings—innocent at first—grew to be the only long-standing joy in both parties' lives. Amidst a world turning on its head and spinning deeper and deeper out of control, Severus and Narcissa found solace and comfort in each other's company.

Nearly a year to the day of that first late-night calling, Narcissa managed to finally entrap her lover once and for all. By then, she was certain that he was her soul mate for life, and, so, she paid Severus an unanticipated visit of her own. She hadn't expected to receive the heartfelt confession that poured from Severus's lips when she showed up at Spinner's End uninvited that particularly gloomy afternoon, nor had she intended to wind up having a night cap at his place—she had sought him out for far more pressing reasons at the time, which included him taking an Unbreakable Vow to protect her son for the upcoming term—but, when her sister finally took her leave, Narcissa lingered behind. She bestowed her gratitude on Severus for his bravery and commitment to those she loved, and, in turn, was given a gift that was far more than she ever would have bargained on: Severus's heart and the promise that she now held in her hand.

Yes... Mine.

With Draco safely tucked away at Hogwarts (or as well-protected as a young man of seventeen could be under his mother's lover's watchful eye), and Lucius rarely leaving the manor, Narcissa took up near permanent residence at Spinner's End. Lucius preferred the comfort that drink, tarts, and hustlers provided his wounded ego, and Narcissa favoured her soul mate's warm, humble abode in Cokeworth to the lifeless, empty pit that had been her elaborate, stately home.

As it turned out, a far more modest lifestyle suited Narcissa just fine, despite what her uppity friends and distant husband might have thought, if they knew about her secret affair.

Spinner's End was drastically smaller by comparison to the manor, yes, with certain sections in desperate need of repair, but every nook and cranny, which was mostly filled to the brim with tomes, potion vials and ingredients, or material unsuited to those who didn't share an interest in the Dark Arts, reminded Narcissa of her sharp-minded, and equally sharp-tongued, companion. She adapted to his quirky establishment far quicker than she ever would have predicted and began adding her own personal touches to the place, content to make Spinner's End her own. Severus subtly expressed his appreciation for her presence and willingness in more ways than one.

Speaking of which... Where is he?

Issuing another heavy sigh, Narcissa whipped around and strolled over to an old, creaky couch along the far wall to take a seat and give her legs a rest.

Something must've come up, she pondered, a series of worry lines now marring her forehead. I hope he wasn't called away...

As though those very all-consuming thoughts served to automatically draw him to her, the fireplace suddenly roared to life, turning a vibrant green before resuming its normal glow. Severus quietly stepped through the grate, looking as foreboding and enigmatic as ever, and, much to Narcissa's relief, he also appeared unharmed.

"My dear," he greeted her in that velvety purr that always made her knees buckle; he bowed his head towards her in respect, and Narcissa's heart fluttered.

There could be no disputing that, physically, Severus Snape was as far removed from her estranged husband as two Slytherins could ever be. He wasn't at all handsome by conventional standards, what with that unsightly hooked nose, sunken cheekbones, and nearly gaunt exterior. Ripping apart his soul for the sake of granting Albus Dumbledore a peaceful passing, as well as stepping into the reluctant, stressful post of Headmaster (amongst countless other pressure-inducing duties), left the wizard scragglier and older than he had ever looked in the past. It broke Narcissa's heart, but it made her appreciate him all the more. His build was lankier and smaller than Lucius's—wiry like a spider—and his hair was black and limp and hung like two folds of drapery around his face, unlike Lucius's silky, smooth blond tresses.

The equilibrium of darkness and paleness served only to exacerbate the harshest aspects of Severus's features. Yet none of this mattered to Narcissa. Contrary to what the Malfoys, as a unit, had long projected to the outside world, Narcissa cared little for such shallowness when it came to one's appearance. Interest in material possessions or outward appearances had left her terribly empty inside, void of the one thing she longed for that couldn't be bought: love. Unwavering, all-consuming love.

Severus Snape provided exactly what she needed, and then some. Thus, to the highly attractive witch, her lover was exceptionally handsome. Magnificently so, in fact.

Damn it all to anyone who thinks otherwise.

In an instant, Narcissa was on her feet and striding into Severus's outstretched arms, his curtain of hair sweeping forward to surround her as she craned her neck upward to press a fervent kiss to his lips—lips she had kissed an unfailing amount, in ways she had never and would never have done with Lucius. Severus reciprocated her fervency and deepened the exchange, easing his large hands around her waist to draw her closer.

"I'm glad you're here," she expressed with a measured sigh as their lips reluctantly parted. "I was starting to worry."

"My apologies. I would've sent word, but there was no time."

"He called on you then?" she inquired hesitantly, though Severus's sable-coloured eyes expressed as much.

"Yes. He believes Potter intends to return to the school within a fortnight. He's demanding that we be prepared." At the glimpse of concern that crossed Narcissa's eyes, he added in a delicate tone, "Lucius was called upon as well. I'm afraid he didn't come away from our gathering...unscathed."

At once, Narcissa's eyes dropped to the floor, her hands slinking from around Severus's back to rest on the front of his Death Eater robes. In the tense-filled silence that followed, Severus took her tightly into his arms again.

"I saw to his injuries and ensured that the house-elf would look after him before coming here."

"Thank you, Severus," she replied quietly, once she had found her voice.

"You needn't thank me."

Narcissa closed her eyes. That was just like her lover: selfless and always able to be counted upon.

"Severus," she managed after a pause, "what if... What if Draco's to be—"

"He'll be fine."

Slowly, Narcissa opened her eyes, and they came to rest on Severus's grossly ashen face. The hard expression he wore hardly brought her relief for what was to come. The stress was prevalent, though quietly etched across his features. For Narcissa, it gave her a sickening feeling in the pit of her stomach.

"And you..." she started, quickly finding the words were lost on the tip of her tongue.

"I'll be fine," he insisted just as quietly as before.


Severus gradually replied with a soft but affirmative, "I know."

Narcissa's head came to rest against his chest in resignation. What more was there to say? She knew that he loved her, that she loved him, and that the end, for either good or bad, was imminent. There was nothing either of them were capable of doing to prevent its fast and furious approach. All they could manage was to hold out a scrap of hope for better; hope that there was a future in store for them.

"You should put it on," said Severus after another pregnant pause, disrupting Narcissa's morbid reflections. "You know how I enjoy seeing you wear it."

Narcissa reared back and smiled, the few lines marking her face smooth and mild. "I wanted to wait till you were here."

"Well..." Severus reached out to unfurl Narcissa's clasped hand that held the beloved valuable that meant so much to them. Carefully, he grasped it between his thumb and index finger and slid the silver heirloom onto Narcissa's un-ringed fourth finger on her left hand. "I'm here now," he finished, meeting Narcissa's gaze with understated warmth.

Narcissa drew close and placed a hand on his chest. "One day I'll be able to wear this in the open. For everyone to see."

"I hope so."

"I will," she insisted, with feeling.

Severus conveyed the unified fancy they were both counting on through a long, drawn-out sigh, his piercing eyes never withdrawing from hers. "A promise is a promise." He took Narcissa's left hand in his and considered the precious jewel a moment; it glistened and shimmered against the fire light like an illumination of conviction. "This was my promise to you..."

"And you have my promise in my answer," Narcissa assured him, her attractive smile lengthening. "I'm yours; I will be yours. One day..."

"One day," he repeated her words and squeezed her hand in gratitude.

The promise ring had been gifted to Narcissa that night following the Unbreakable Vow Severus took. A long line of Princes on his mother's side of the family had apparently worn it before her, and Narcissa was looking forward to the day that she could finally put it on. For good.

Severus pressed his large nose into her hair to breathe in her scent, his subsequent inhales and exhales long and deep as he held her to his chest. Narcissa's arms unconsciously snaked around his trim waist, and, for a time, they remained standing perfectly still in the middle of their quaint sitting room, listening to one another's even heartbeats.

Severus finally broke from their embrace to express his desire to take the witch upstairs, quirking a raised eyebrow for what was implied. Narcissa, who was feeling game, raised her chin, as if to silently challenge the Hogwarts Headmaster to a duel of the minds.

"Oh?" she purred casually, sinking further into his arms; Severus caught her with ease. "Did you have something in mind, my love?"

"You'll never know if you won't permit me, will you?"

Narcissa met his alluding smirk with a cunning one all her own. "Very well, then. You have my permission."

All of a sudden, Narcissa found herself being swept right off her feet. Severus gathered her into both arms rather effortlessly and stalked towards the stairs, taking the steps two at a time as he manoeuvred a humoured Narcissa around bends, corners, and then down a narrow corridor towards the bedroom.

A fire was already smouldering, filling the room with sleep-inducing warmth as well as a low lit, tranquil glow. Severus unceremoniously kicked the door shut with his boot and fanned Narcissa out across the top of the duvet, leaning over her with his body pressed eagerly to hers. The low lighting cast dramatic shadows across their faces and placed Severus mostly in darkness.

"You're exquisite," he breathed aloud, his voice uncharacteristically shaky as he studied her.

Narcissa's stomach contacted at the underlying adoration she detected. She reached up to brush long, straggly hairs behind the wizard's ears, her hands gliding into a cradling position around his face.

"Make me forget, Severus," she begged him in a delicate whisper. "Make me forget everything...except you..."

Severus's subsequent nod and drawing downward to capture her lips rendered Narcissa's reeling worries forgotten. She did indeed cease to contemplate anything about the war or lost causes and could only focus on the man she loved hovering over her, his pressing weight heating and nestling her like a security blanket. His warm mouth devoured her concerns and increased the electricity rocking through her body with each sweeping pass of his tongue over her lips.

Narcissa deeply inhaled Severus's taste—his masculinity and vulnerability—and strove for more, her upper body curling and rising into his, whilst her hands sought purchase in all those inky tresses. Larger, equally slender digits stroked Narcissa's exposed jaw and neckline before rubbing over her covered shoulders, arms, and breasts, cupping and massaging them through the silk fabric of her robes. He loved her breasts in particular, and she loved that he loved them.

All the while, their lips never ceased locking, the occasional passionate peck to an earlobe or cheek notwithstanding. "Yes," Narcissa moaned breathlessly into his mouth, her head tilting back onto the bed as she stretched, her eager hands tugging at his neck.

The ache between her legs was near burning. In a small huff, Narcissa forced her pointed stilettos off her feet and slithered her legs up the sides of Severus's, wanting to press him further into her, though it wasn't necessarily possible. Severus drove a knee underneath her robes, situating it between her legs, and Narcissa hissed with exasperation and playfully bit on his lower lip, releasing it with an aggressive-sounding pop. If he was intent on making her beg, she would resort to whatever means necessary to ensure that he struggled as well.

Severus growled lowly when Narcissa released him, gazing down at the enticing smirk she bore that had his bits tightening and bunching his trousers. Damn, but this witch would be the death of him, and, if that was to be his fate, he would succumb willingly!

Severus grunted and sought to adjust himself before capturing Narcissa's lips in another, far more ardent kiss, greedy hands discreetly working over the top of her robes, trying to unbutton them so that he might access those perfect breasts that lay beneath. Instead, he wound up tearing the fabric and fumbled as he abruptly pulled away to inspect the damage.

"Sorry," he half mumbled, half ground out, both annoyed and aroused.

"No need," she rasped back, her red lipstick now smudged and out of place.

Narcissa clawed at her expensive, hand-tailored robes, pulling them apart without so much as a flinch or a whine at the ruination her actions caused, until, at last, the material gave way and her breasts were fully exposed. She reached round on the bed to undo her bra clasp whilst Severus tormented her hurried efforts by offering a simmering look that set her core on fire. Her thighs shook at the intensity in Severus's stare, and, in the next moment, he bent down to leave a series of steamy pecks along her chest and between her breasts in appreciation.

"Ughhh! Mmmf!" Narcissa groaned and writhed, finally able to successfully slip out of her bra; she tossed it over her head and out of sight and feverishly pressed Severus's head back to her bosom, hearing him chuckle roughly against her flesh. Her skin immediately broke out into excited goosebumps.

"So impatient," he t'sked at her, thoroughly amused by her eagerness.

Severus's hands fondled each round globe and pulled at her nipples, sending sharp quivers to her quim. A naughty tongue aided his efforts along as he flicked and circled her nipples until they were two hardened buds.

"You don't understand...how long...I've been waiting!" Narcissa heaved through her teeth, eyes squeezing shut as she let him continue unsupervised.

Her insides were fluttering in anticipation as Severus worked his way down her shuddering frame, ripping the front of her robes farther and farther apart as his mouth and hands glided lower, devoted to pleasing and worshipping her person. Warm and explorative, his lips kissed and nipped at various spots whilst his fingers lightly brushed over goose-pimpled flesh. Narcissa clenched, whined, and wiggled all the while, encouraging him along.

Suddenly, Severus halted where her robes ceased tearing just above her low-cut knickers. He shot her a taunting raise of one eyebrow, pausing long enough for Narcissa to raise her head and bite back a curse that would have involved hexing the man into oblivion if he didn't get a damn move on.

Echoing another sultry laugh that caused Narcissa's already rosy cheeks to blush a deeper shade of red, Severus slunk off the bed, knelt down between the anxious witch's bent legs, and scrunched up the bottom of her robes, his face disappearing beneath the tedious material. Narcissa's thighs, already wet with her avid response to Severus's ministrations thus far, were gently pried apart, and her body relaxed. She hitched a sharp breath at the sudden, overwhelming sensation of Severus's hot mouth on her wet pussy, though, that lavish, experienced tongue working over her as only he could, confident in the knowledge of what exact strokes and sucks would drive her mad with pleasure. He thumbed her throbbing clit and exercised two of his digits to both pull her pussy folds apart, then to dip two others inside her and locate the spot.

"Oh! Oh...! Fuck!" Narcissa hummed and—surprisingly—cursed, clasping a hand to her furrowed brow.

Severus's appetite was fierce and unforgiving, and Narcissa was ill-prepared to not relinquish what little control of the situation she thought she had. He vigorously varied between fingering her and exercising his tongue to absorb all of her sweet nectar, leaving a poor, unruly Narcissa to latch onto what of him she could grasp that was hidden beneath her robes, gasping and crying and clinging to his face with both trembling thighs as he brought her to a swift, exploding orgasm.

It took Narcissa several moments to come down from her blissful high in order to release her grip on Severus's face. He quickly emerged from between her legs, cheeks flushed a healthy glow and his lips wearing a proud smirk that made her insides tingle with delight. A trail of her essence dripped down his chin, which he smugly lapped away.

At some point in the midst of pleasuring her, the impressive, multi-tasking wizard had removed his Death Eater robes and unbuttoned his trousers, most likely with the added aid of his wand. He crawled back onto the bed and hovered over top of her, still half clothed, the intense drum of Narcissa's heartbeat thrumming against his chest, and he felt enlivened by how he had pleasured her. If her harsh breaths and languid smile were any indications, he had done a stellar job.

Severus's painful erection was brushing against Narcissa's lower stomach, and, though she was still humming from her wonderful climax, she lazily consented to untying Severus's cravat and unbuttoning his coat, enjoying the slow but steady progression of seeing her lover unclothe. It was intoxicating and arousing, and Severus assisted in the removal of both garments, strewing them onto the floor somewhere once he had them removed. His white dress shirt was discarded last, leaving only his trousers to contend with. Narcissa already had that sorted, however, and gingerly heaved them down beneath his buttocks, along with his boxers, so that his cock could hang freely of its restraints.

"Oh, Merlin..." Narcissa intoned and licked her lips as she considered him. "But, your cock... It's beautiful. I need it in me, Severus. Now."

Undoubtable lust loomed in Narcissa's eyes as they hazily came up to meet his. She moaned his name and praised his cock over and over again, sending Severus spiralling into a tizzy. She really would be the death of him, but what a way to go.

Severus closed his eyes as the smitten witch raised her head to peck at his chest, teasing him with random sucks to each of his taut, dark nipples. When she began biting, Severus inhaled sharply through his nostrils and grabbed at Narcissa's breasts again, wanting to match her ministrations with aggressive motions of his own. She properly squirmed and hissed beneath him but was snogged into silence. He would win this battle, of that he was certain.

One pale hand cupped Narcissa's moistened sex and began fingering her again, preparing her for entry, and the normally staunch witch was swayed into a somewhat submissive stance by the man's engagements, though she, too, exercised some control of their foreplay by reaching down to grip him in hand. She feistily stroked and rubbed along his mushroom tip, now oozing with pre-come, until he was resigned to gasping and groaning into her mouth, unable to help himself.

"Damn you!" he snarled, hungry lips pressed against hers.

"Damn you, more like!" she retorted through a wicked smile.

Narcissa soon wound up on her side, one leg bent at the knee and half raised into the air by Severus. Moments later, he slipped inside her, and they both shuddered and stilled as he reached her farthest point, stretching and filling her to compacity.

"Oh, Merlin... Yes!"

"To hell with Merlin," Severus hissed, breathing heavily into her ear; when she clamped down around him, he let forth a long, guttural moan. "Say it, Narcissa. Say it." He refused to move inside her until she appeased him.

"Ugh! Severus," she was reduced to whimpering, desperate to ride him to ecstasy. "Fuck me, Severus. Fuck me!"

Thankfully, Severus didn't waste anymore time and began driving hard. Narcissa instigated a glorious circular motion of her hips and fell into synch. He repeatedly hit her favourite spot, and she sharply contorted and panted for air. The faster they moved as one, the harder they exerted themselves. With Narcissa's back pressed hard to Severus's chest, her face was turned towards his, positioned over her shoulder so that he might stare into her eyes as she came for him. The tickle of one another's sweet breaths persistently graced their cheeks as they gasped harder, louder, both desperate to come.

Shortly thereafter, Narcissa hit another wave of mind-boggling rapture and uttered another piercing cry of Severus's name as she clenched around him. She arched her back and rode Severus feverishly until she could move no more, rasping for breath and unable to stop the convulsions that took over.

Severus, still holding out, though just barely, was swift to move a lithe Narcissa into another position. He turned her over as though she weighed nothing at all, and, within seconds, the blonde siren was on her stomach, one side of her face planted into the plush duvet and her rear propped high in the air, held in place by Severus's quivering hands. His lean form curled around hers—their pale, perspiring bodies perfectly married to one another—and, whilst bent over her, Severus shoved himself into her warm, wet pussy one last time.

Narcissa groaned and fisted her hands into the sheets as Severus plunged with a vengeance, as though his very life depended on it. Both of them shook from head to toe, their chests heaving excitedly, neither able to hold out for long.

Within a minute or so, Severus, at last, reached the finish line. His fingernails pierced Narcissa's hips as he finally caved in and flung his head back, euphoria capturing mind and body. He bore his teeth and his cock throbbed, the final act of which brought Narcissa to her last and final orgasm. She cried out into the sheets, clung to them like a lifeline, and tried to ride Severus from in front until the wave passed, though Severus had her so steadily pinned in place that she couldn't rock much at all.

It took all of Severus's strength not to collapse directly on top of Narcissa, but, somehow, he managed to drop onto his side behind her, chest rising and falling laboriously as he fought to get his heart rate under control. One hand remained resting on her hip, however, not wanting the witch to get too far. Narcissa, too, relaxed and curled up on her side, appropriately but deliciously knackered.

There were no words exchanged in the afterglow; no sappy expressions or quiet declarations of love—only a loose embrace that lasted until the appeased couple drifted off to sleep.

Severus inched closer to spoon Narcissa from behind, his arms coiling around her midsection to hug her flush against him. Narcissa ended up asleep with her arms draped over top of his, a finger or two occasionally stroking the prominent veins on the back of his hand or along his forearm. Otherwise, both remained still and subdued, never uttering a word, not even in sleep.

One day, their intertwined figures conveyed in the stillness of rumpled bed sheets and the soft brilliance of a warming fire. One day...this will be our forever.

"Having second thoughts?" purred a rich voice from behind.

Narcissa let slip a contented smile and twirled around into Severus's arms. She could no longer contain her excitement and had been thoughtfully regarding the one-time promise ring, now an official engagement jewel that she could wear proudly, when her lover—nay, fiancé—had snuck up on her unexpectedly.

"Hardly, my love," she assured him in a gentle whisper, reaching up to caress one side of the wizard's face, which was a healthier complexion than it had been months ago. She leaned in for a proper kiss—one that was tender and unhurried—and Severus responded appreciatively. "After all," she murmured as she reared back to stare deep into his eyes, "a promise is a promise, yes?"

Midnight irises alluded to the same tranquility and utter happiness Narcissa displayed so openly, though it was somewhat overridden by the snarky sneer that was presently stamped across his cheeks. Severus gave a small, agreeable nod and turned his mouth into her palm to lovingly kiss it.

Nearly one year to the day the war had ended, Severus and Narcissa announced their engagement to The Daily Prophet, shocking the Wizarding public at large but none of those who knew them best.

Narcissa and Lucius had parted amicably as the dust from the Final Battle settled, and Narcissa had moved in with Severus at Spinner's End almost immediately thereafter, keeping her relationship hushed for the next six months before the two stepped out as a couple. The least surprised of all those closest to them that they shared their good news with first had been Draco. Evidently, the smug young man had had his suspicions about the pair of them for sometime.

'The fact that you started smiling more, Mum,' he snorted the day he learned of their news, 'and that Uncle Severus was acting less like his charming, moody self clued me in a bit.'

The preparations for the wedding—set to be an intimate affair with only close friends and family—were going splendidly, but the buzz and hype of a marital celebration were quite secondary to the sheer excitement both had at being able to, at long last, commitment to one another with public vows.

"I believe our 'one day' is no longer," uttered Severus as he held Narcissa—his witch—to his chest.

"No," Narcissa concurred and her smile stretched, as did she onto her toes for another kiss. "It's forever now."

A/N #2: Thank you for reading. Reviews are always greatly appreciated.