Author's Note:

The timeline for the drabble is based one year after the arranged marriage of Severus Snape and Elizabeth Romanova.

Snape is working against Voldemort as Albus Dumbledore's spy (as a Death Eater) but the Order doesn't know that yet.

Snape is twenty-two while Elizabeth is twenty years old.

"Remind me again, why the hell are we doing this?"

"You know very well why we are doing this. We need to be present in the social visit card list for half the people present here."

"But that means I'll have to suffer through this madness... again?"

Severus shuddered at the mere thought of spending another evening in midst of all these pea-brained puffed-up poncy peacocks.

He saw Elizabeth who had one of her arms entangled with his, hide her smirk behind the rim of her third glass of red wine while they swished through the crowd of their apparent illustrious and distinguished guest list.

It was half the ministry filtering in and out of the great hall of their manor, busy gorging on the appetizers being carried by the waiters and partaking in the overflowing wine happily. Sometimes Severus found that attending the parties of the Death eaters and Voldemort's cohorts was better than hosting one for the officials of the Ministry of Magic.

At least Lucius Malfoy's guests kept him on his toes and wary of slipping off. It maybe taxing but not boring. This.. this was head achingly boring. Pretending to be sickly sweet and having to listen to the fat arses go on and on about their own greatness was stifling at the least and made him want to murder someone at the worst.

"Oh come now darling, it's not that you are the sole and lonely person having to pretend that they are not on the verge of flipping open their own skulls to pour in water on their brain in a vain attempt to cleanse it."

Elizabeth drawled languidly, giving Lady Atwood a painfully fake saccharinely sweet smile while Severus stopped momentarily to relieve a champagne flute from the advancing waiter.

"I don't know how would we even get the information? So far all I have gathered is about who is courting whom and what are the general nonsense that all of their grandchildren are getting into."

Snape retorted thoroughly disgusted. Dumbledore wanted him to find out who was the Dark Lord's spy on their side. As per covert information gathered from the ongoing investigation into the following matter there is someone in the Ministry who is selling them out.

"I don't know how Albus figures we will be any help here. These people aren't even conversing with us like adults. They think we are still children."

Elizabeth huffed and resisted the urge to glare at the youngest son of Lord Cartwright as he kept leering at her like she was a leg of mutton. She wished she could hex him to next Tuesday.

"Of course they would! We are one third of almost everyone's age around here."

Snape grumbled and handed the fifth.. or was it the sixth glass of wine to his wife who quickly looked around surreptitiously trying to see if anyone is keeping count. Sometimes she forgot that she is an adult now, living on her own rights, out of her conservative family's shadow.

"Don't worry. I have a plan. We might just get someone useful information by the end of this entire migraine inducing poppycock."

Severus cocked an eyebrow at that but refrained from commenting. He knew better than to underestimate his wife by now. This woman is a devious fiend underneath all the refined poise and grace. And he lo.. admired. admired her more for it.

As promised, by the end of the party which had mercifully ended before he could strangle anyone or keeled over himself, Elizabeth Romanova Snape had successfully taken out two names who stood to be their primary suspects.

"How did you even manage it? I could hardly see anything suspicious in anyone's demeanour?"

Severus asked as he entered their bedroom, shutting the door behind him. The manor was blissfully silent after the night's festivities and he revelled in the quiet for some time before ripping open his stuffy black coat and dropped it on the armchair.

He was treated to his wife's amusing endeavours to open the corset as she struggled incessantly trying to reach all the trappings in the back, standing in front of the full-length mirror of the dresser. They had been married for one year now and surprisingly the frosty business-like relationship which both had maintained in the initial months had changed into a warm camaraderie.

There was something between them. A sweet familiarity of old friends and a sizzling spark of curiosity mixed with the excitement of uncharted territories. It was not as if the physical intimacy was lacking. They had unanimously agreed that sex was a good let out for mutual frustration and the initial shy awkwardness of first-time lovers had changed into smooth suave experience.

They would not call it love yet but Severus knew he was fond of his wife and he knew she shared his affection as well. It was good to have a partner. Someone who knows how it feels to be stuck in a situation as his. Elizabeth may not have been forced into this circumstance too roughly but she had been situationally coerced to some extent as well.

And both had decided to make most of the situation. Thus, agreeing to spy and work for the Light led by Dumbledore himself.

He saw her reflection smirk at him mischievously.

"There's nothing a beautiful woman and copious amounts of alcohol can't take out from a man."

He felt a hot flush travel lightning fast through his spine making him feel slightly sick. He realized the violent reaction as something borne out of jealousy.

"I hope her Ladyship hadn't had to be too overly friendly with said bastard."

To his delight she laughed out loud at that, her beautiful features glowing like the full moon sparkling outside in the night sky.

"My my... I had no idea that the green colour suited his Lordship this good."

"Shut up."

He grumbled but she could see his lips twitching upwards slightly on the mirror. She chuckled and called out to him.

"You shut up and come here. Help me open this thrice damned contraption before I suffocate."

Severus laughed and jumped out off the armchair and stood behind her taking the straps of her corset. He made short work of the elaborate bindings with his long and lithe fingers snapping the offending garment open.

Elizabeth drew an audible sigh of relief and pulled her chemise loose and it accidentally dropped to her waist completely leaving her torso naked.

"Woaps! Disobedient cloth piece."

She joked while Severus's brows furrowed noticing the red angry marks, the corset had imprinted on her soft creamy flesh. He did know it would have been highly uncomfortable given that his wife through having athletic limbs and a narrow waist, had quite a voluptuous chest.

"Why do you even wear these monstrosities when it pains you like this? Mad woman..."

He traced the lines on her waist and over her breasts gently with a finger, eyebrows drawn in an adorable frown. Elizabeth tried to control her shudder feeling his touch ignite a flame in the pit of her core while the cool breeze of the room hit her bare skin.

"Hah! It's easy for you to say. I have to maintain the look of the gentle bred high society dumb brained bimbo for these so-called elite guests of ours."

She found her voice sound slightly breathless. Severus was still busy looking at her torso with a remarkably unsexual gaze. Still, it did something funny to her insides. Before she could say anything, she felt herself being drawn closer and lifted up on the dresser to perch there in a smooth move.

"Sev..."

Her voice choked off in the middle when his lips touched her without warning. She felt his lips kiss over the bruised lines tenderly trying to soothe the soft skin. Elizabeth felt herself throwing her head back and her long raven curls recently escaped from the elaborate hairdo cascaded like a waterfall down her waist and spilled in front. She gasped feeling her nipples pebble painfully trying desperately to gain her husband's attention.

But when she didn't feel his mouth right where she wanted it and the heat pooling in between her thighs had started to get unbearable, she brought her white knuckled hands which had been gripping the edge of the dresser to tangle in his soft black locks. She pulled his hair open from the simple dark ribbon which was holding it in a pony at the nape and pulled at it in an attempt to guide his scorching lips where she wanted it.

But he abruptly leaned back up leaving her moaning in disapproval. She looked at him and was alarmed to see a smidge of pain behind the velvet darkness of his black eyes.

"Sev what.."

"I don't want you to do this Liz..."

She chuckled uncertainly taking aback at the seriousness behind his quiet words.

"What? Wear a corset? Oh Sev.. it looks worse than it is. Don't you worry about that. If you have forgotten let me remind you, I am a Romanova. These teensy discomforts don't pain me in the least."

He shook his head making his tousled hair fall over his unconventionally striking face.

"I am not talking about the corset. I mean I am but not in the way you think."

"Then.. what. I don't understand..."

"See.. you are taking the pain, however mild it is.. doing something you don't like in the least for some greater purpose as has been fed to us. This will increase in extent. till one day it turns into something which would be intolerable. Dumbledore has pulled you into this mess and he would keep asking sacrifices from you till he gas bled you dry. I wish... I wish I could get you out of this."

His voice had gone very low at the end of the surprising tirade and he had fixed his troubled gaze at some indistinct point on her chest refusing to look at her face. There was an ominous silence in the room for some time before Elizabeth cradled Severus's face in her hands and cajoled him gently to look up at her.

She felt a burst of affection bloom in her heart for her young husband which travelled through all the pores of her body making her feel warm and tingly. For the first time she saw the brighter side of Dumbledore's plan.

Suddenly the resentment she had felt for the wily old man for his conniving methods to get her hitched to a complete stranger, a death eater at that and so young, dwindle considerably.

"Sev.. look at me darling. I have opted to be in this mess. It is not your fault. I had been given a choice to walk away but I decided not to. I chose to marry you. I chose to spy for the Order. I am aware of the dangers of this profession. And I choose to face it head on. With you by my side. Do not worry about this."

He swallowed discreetly and looked askance. She rubbed her thumbs on his cheekbones and leaned forward to press a kiss on his cheek.

"We may have been forced into an alliance unwillingly, but I somehow feel it from the bottom of my heart that I struck quite lucky in this marriage game."

She gave him a wink and Severus let out a surprised laugh which made his entire face light up like the sun and his usual inky dull eyes glitter.

Happiness suited her husband too well.

Suddenly she felt an insane urge to spread him up like butter on a toast and lave him off till he begs for mercy in that husky and hoarse bedroom voice of his which she absolutely adores.

Unaware of her less than pure thoughts Severus linked their fingers and kissed each one of her knuckles before planting a kiss on the simple platinum wedding ring.

"Now I believe you left me off quite rudely sir. If you do not continue, I shall be quite cross."

She continued with feigned haughtiness. Severus gave a smirk which somehow thrilled her even though it made him look downright evil.

"Oh right! How remiss of me Madam. Let me make it up to you."

His voice flowed like chocolate on velvet and she squeaked in surprise when he literally swooped her up in his arms and walked towards the bed.

It would be a long night...

After she had been properly sated having had to almost sob for release and had in turn, turned her husband into a babbling pleading mess beneath her they were laying in a sweaty tangle of naked limbs on the dishevelled sheets.

Her head was tucked neatly under his chin and her hair spilled like waves over his chest, one of his arms wrapped around her back while hers were wrapped around his waist and their legs were tangled together as she practically was lying over him.

Severus knew he should reach for his wand and at least attempt to clean up the mess they have made but he could hardly gather the energy to move. Between the boneless limp weight of his naked wife tucked over him like a soft blanket and the thought of his legs giving away if he tried to walk after this, he gave up.

"Well.. that was a vast improvement from our evening activities."

He chuckled at her sleepy words and kissed on the top of her head.

"True. I really wanted to punch that old coot when he suggested to keep the party today."

He felt her rumble in mirth over him and saw the mop of her hair on his chest move as a soft pair of lips pressed on his left pectoral, directly over a rather large love bite left there. He hissed in pleasure and felt her lips press on his collar bone next.

"I for one would have loved to be a fly in the wall if that had happened."

She reached his face and caught his lips in her own and sucked in whatever he was about to say. Elizabeth returned to use his chest as her pillow after a few minutes of breathless kisses and yawned burrowing into him.

"Goodnight husband and a happy anniversary."