OK, OK. yet again I've been cautioned that this story is too--hot, I guess--for ff . net. So I've edited again. Pity.


Maneuvering for Advantage

She pinkened. "Can't that wait, Sev? I'm just getting used to the idea that James is—-dead—-" Her voice got higher. She controlled it with an effort. "What kind of wife would I be if I'm, with someone else...so soon?"

She thought she saw a slight relaxation of the muscles in his severe face that made him almost look as if he admired her. But his voice was hard. "You'd be a widow who cares about her son. I don't want a sham marriage. Either you're married to me, or you're not."

She set her jaw. Damn Severus! But the image of little Harry floated in her mind again, Harry, for whom she would do any and everything. She bent her head in resignation. "You're right, of course."

Her easy capitulation took him unawares, and he had to change tack quickly. "I thought we might return to my childhood house," he said more quietly. "That's where I met you, after all. And it's under strong concealment charms."

"Er—-do you—-do you have—-"

But Snape had heard enough. He grasped her arm and turned on the spot. They were back in the cozy but careworn little sitting room, which Lily now realized was Snape's childhood home on Spinner's End, refurbished. He had hated his childhood home, she knew, but now it afforded him protection, and he had made it his. Lily sat down while he began a fire in the living room. She shivered. "I thought you liked it cold," she said.

"You don't."

"Where's Harry?"

"Dumbledore is taking him to the Weasleys' for the night. You remember them."

"You hate them."

"They have their uses. Some of them are more intelligent than others. At any rate, I don't hate them, but it's helpful to pretend I do."

She let it go. Unfortunately, in the ensuing silence, the clatter in her head returned: James...gone...James...gone...oh, James...oh, James...

"Do you want me to give you something for that?" Snape asked. She glanced up at him quickly to see concern and something else in his eyes. But her brain was too fogged with grief to figure out or care overmuch what it could be.

"That's very...kind of you, Sev," she managed.

"Please don't let it get around," he said with a tight smile. "I have a charm--"

"Is it Ministry-approved?"

He tilted his head to one side. "It would help you, though. Make it easier on you for one day. You could concentrate on other things."

"You, for instance?"

"I prefer to think of it as us," he returned without heat. "Do you want it?"

Did she want it? She could hardly think straight any more. She should grieve, she should weep! And if she didn't, what kind of awful widow was she? What kind of--

"Lily," he said, still using a gentle tone she had never heard in him before, "you'll tear yourself apart. Now it's just for one day."

Suddenly, it lifted. The leaden pane through which she had viewed the world ever since she left St. Mungo's fell away. She still felt sad, tremendously sad, and full of loss, but the clatter in her head was gone, and she could listen to Snape and see him clearly for the first time since she had regained consciousness.

"Better?"

"Yes. Er--thank you."

"It was...my pleasure." Now, at last, they could move on to other, more pressing matters, he thought, as his attention moved southward. He schooled his features into a neutral expression, though he felt as if he were burning inside.

"Where is the..." she cleared her throat, "bedroom?"

"Here, for tonight. Accio Bed." A four-poster hung with a rather dark tapestry appeared before the fireplace, and the room began to warm as the fire cast its merry glow about it.

"Are you hungry? You must be."

"No," she stammered.

"Eat," he said. "I'm not expecting things to be anything but as they are."

Lily laughed, sounding rusty and tense. "What is there to eat, then?" she said.

So they sat on the floor in front of the fire and had a wedding supper of bread and butter, rolls, some cheese, and an treacle tart that they shared. Snape found two bottles of ale, and they drank those, too.
Once Lily had had her ale, she seemed both more tired and yet, more languid.

"Shall we go to bed?" Snape said lightly, his eyes boring into her.

"I started to ask you," she said, "do you have—-strange, er, desires? Something I should know about?"

"I rather think you'll get to know my desires as time goes by. I'm catholic in my tastes."

Uncertain, she started to say something, but he pulled her into his arms and splayed his hands around her rib cage while he kissed her. He could feel her heart pounding, and his mouth twisted into a small smile. His hands curved around her, and he heard her small intake of breath.

He pulled her up, sat on the bed, and pulled her on top of him as he lay down.

Again, the intake of breath.

He pulled her lower, so he could kiss her.

"How do you like to do it?" he said.

He saw her bite her lip slightly, pinkening again.
"I, er, like to be, like this."

"On top?"

She nodded.

"You like to dominate."

Now she smiled. "Yes."

"Well, then, we have something in common."

"You like me to be on top?"

"I like to dominate, too."

She was not intimidated. Not in the least, he noted with pleasure.

"You won't dominate me," she said, leaning close, fire in her green eyes.

He smiled again, his eyes heavy-lidded. "We'll see."

Truthfully, he could enjoy her domination. But he wasn't going to tell her that. He pulled her down for another kiss and slid his hands under her sweater. With a quick movement, he unfastened her bra and slid his hands under it. She jumped slightly.

"Easy..."

His caressed her again.

"Easy..."

He heard another small gasp.

He pushed the blouse off her shoulders and took a long look at what lay beneath. He was painfully hard, pressing into her through her jeans and his own trousers. He could tell she felt it from the way she shifted over him awkwardly, trying not to inflame him. He pulled her more firmly over him and removed the blouse entirely. Then he unsnapped and unzipped her jeans.

"Pull them off."

He sensed resistance in her, some defiance about to issue from her lips. No need for Legilimency, and he almost didn't dare use it at such close quarters to her. He reached out and gently pushed the first two fingertips of one hand against her collarbone. "Now."

She hesitated, but his commanding tone had an odd effect on her. Somehow, that tight, full sensation between her legs got tighter and fuller. She sat next to him and pulled off her jeans, shoes, and socks. Her knickers remained, high-cut in white lace. He smiled lazily, an expression that made his thin face with its hooked nose and crooked mouth look sensual.

"You like lace?" she challenged, delighted to feel some measure of power of him being put into her hands.

"Mm." He ran his fingertips over the crotch of the knickers. Then he pulled her back over him, so her crotch was again pressed to him, but this time with less in the way. Again, the soft gasp. Unhurriedly, he moved her hips in small circles over him, rubbing and pressing.

"Sev..."

Her fingers shaking, she reached out and began unbuttoning the front of his robe. Snape knew his appearance was deceptive. Concealed beneath the head-to-toe fluttering black robes, flat muscle overlay his spare frame. She pushed back his robes. Merlin, she had never imagined..! She ran her hand down his chest to his sternum, and over one bicep.

"Surprised?"

She blinked up at his unfathomable black eyes. So black! What was he thinking? "I just never thought—-I mean—-" Her hand stilled. He grasped it and moved it back over his chest, closing his eyes. After a moment, she began her tactile exploration again. Then, shakily, she leaned over and flicked her tongue over his chest. That wrung a reluctant groan out of him. She began moving down his body. When she got to his fly, she unfastened it and pushed it down. He couldn't tear his eyes off her, not even when she glanced up at him from her near-crouching position. She pushed his knickers down. He heard her suck in breath. For a moment, she didn't move.

"It doesn't bite," he said dryly.

Still, she seemed fixed to the spot.

He laughed and took her arms to gently push her to one side so he could pull off the remainder of their clothes. "I thought you liked a challenge."

"I—-"

"And anyway," he continued, "you must not have much experience with men. You can take me."

"Oh!"

He got his hand under the lace of her knickers and probed. "Like it here?"

"Oh, Merlin's robe, Sev, I can't talk now..!"

"Or here?"

She gave a high moan.

"Mm." He established a rhythm, and her gasps became louder and higher. She reached down.

"Take me inside you," he gritted.

"Mmm," she playfully mocked him. "I rather like this instead." Her green eyes danced as they met his.

"You're killing me." He arched his back slightly. "Lily..." He could force her to yield, he knew, but he also knew she would never stand for it. Reluctantly, he lay flat on the bed. Feeling him subside, she lowered herself onto him. He stayed silent with effort. She began to rock, and he watched her, feeling his excitement grow. He knew how to be patient. He made a small movement. Lily tensed, and then suddenly, he heard her incoherent cries. At last, she jerked slightly away. "Oh, God," she said muttered thickly into his chest. Snape didn't speak, but that small smile played on his lips.

For a long while, they lay still, while he felt his blood pounding in his ears. She raised her head, her dark red hair tousled and enchantingly mussed. With a quick glance his way, she moved down his body. He held his breath. A moment later, her warm lips were on him. He said nothing, but his eyes closed. Good Lord, he thought distractedly, did James get this on a regular basis? Good Occlumens that he was, he squelched that particular thought. He didn't think he could take much more of this. Time to give her a small taste the kind of domination he'd grown to like as a Death Eater.

He sat up, and she lifted her head, as he'd known she would. Fluidly, he pulled her under him, kneeing apart her thighs apart.

"Hey!"

He ignored her protest and controlled her shifting body with his greater strength. "Hey!" she said louder. Easily, he got both her wrists in one of his hands and pulled them above her head. She twisted in his grasp, but couldn't free herself. Then he pushed in deeply. Her frown melted into a glassy look. She moaned. "You like it this way, don't you?"

"Sev—-"

"Tell me you like it."

"Sev—-"

"Tell me!"

She moaned again.

"Tell me or I'll stop."

"Don't!"

He stopped moving.

"Please…"

"Tell me."

She gulped. "I like it, Sev. I like it when you're holding my hands and—-" Her voice dropped to an embarrassed mumble.

He moved experimentally inside her. "Say it," he said thickly.

Her breathy whisper rasped in his ear, telling him all he wanted to hear. He thrust deeply into her and both of them seemed to reach the edge together.

Afterward, they lay panting on the bed for some time.

When their breathing returned to normal, Snape lifted his head, looked around, and intoned, "Accio fags."

The pack of cigarettes moved within reach. Snape took one out and tamped it a few times against the pack. "Accio matches." The matches materialized. It took him a couple tries, but he struck the match, lit the cigarette, and sucked in a deep lungful of smoke.

"Sev, that's a nasty habit," Lily said in a cajoling tone, as he blew out a long, blue-gray stream with satisfaction and relief. Maybe she could change him, a little? Tame some of his less--savory aspects?

He considered what she had said as he watched the glowing end of the cigarette. "Lily," he said finally, "I may be a spy for the Order, and I may be Dumbledore's man, and Merlin knows, I'd go wand-to-wand with the Dark Lord himself for your sake, but there are some things I've—-learned—-as a Death Eater that I'm afraid I just can't give up."