Final Snapely Holidays Entry - 'The State Of Things' (Snape/Narcissa)
MODDY NOTE - Sorry this is late, but both journals have been down each time we were able to check to post. That said, we are a bit sad this is the last entry, but we hope you all have enjoyed the exchange. :)
Pairing Snape/Narcissa Rating hard R Warnings first time, a little emotional h/c Summary Narcissa reflects on her own and Severus's life after the war. Disclaimer The world of HP and its characters belongs to Rowling. The author of this fic has borrowed them for the purposes of storytelling. No profit was or will be made. Word count ~4,630 Author Notes Happy Hols, leni_jess!
The State Of Things
She did not mind sitting with him. It was the least she owed him, so far as she was concerned.
She did not mind the reporters or naysayers. She had heard them on and off most of her life, and had been called worse things before. It only bothered so far as it might disturb him.
Narcissa studied him again and saw in the repose of induced sleep, a much-younger face than when Severus was awake. He looked as he had when he first began to teach.
She smiled now, remembering the party she had held in honour of his becoming Head of House. She had been wondering if he would bring a lady friend. To everyone's astonishment, Severus Snape had followed the proper Pureblood protocol and brought his mother.
The Lady Eileen, a scion of the gentrified and endangered Prince line, had done her son proud. Narcissa soon realised where Severus had come by his natural reserve. Eileen was, if anything, even more taciturn than her son.
Still, she could sense how very proud mother was of son.
Narcissa remembered now a funeral in the cold Northern rain. Lucius had been too busy to attend, but she had come to represent the family and show her respect for a friend in his time of grief. She had insisted on procuring an awning for the burial site in case of inclement weather and Severus had been too busy, or perhaps distressed, to gainsay her.
She had left the warm, cosy mansion where her tow-headed son slept on his comfortable bed amidst silk bedclothes to traverse to the harsh, industrial town Severus had grown up in -- from warm gold and velvet to cold grey and stone.
She had been appalled to discover that aside from the stony-faced Rosiers, Headmaster Dumbledore, Professors Flitwick and McGonagall, and the half-savage groundskeeper named Hagrid, no one else attended.
The large awning stood them in good stead under the heavy downpour, but it also served to emphasize the too-small number of mourners.
As the group dwindled away after the service and Severus stood alone at the grave, she felt sadness beyond words at how pathetic they both seemed, two mourners under a huge sheet of slick, coated canvas, whilst two gravediggers waited patiently in the rain with shovels, clearly used to the weather and merely waiting them out.
He had not seemed surprised when she took him by the arm, nor did he protest when she urged him away from the mucky hole in the ground.
Colour had flared high on Snape's face when he discovered he had led her unthinkingly to his home. She had not let him see by either word or expression how she felt about Spinner's End.
Narcissa had led him inside, fighting a face against the pungent smell of potions and medicaments that seemed to permeate the air within, and cast a warming charm on them both, urging him to remove his overlarge greatcoat. She bundled him into a chair by the fire which she added a log to with the flick of her wand, silently casting a spell to refresh the air in the parlour, before snapping her fingers.
Mitsy, her personal elf had arrived and quickly fetched the tea she requested. Severus appeared ready to argue, but she merely smiled and told him she wanted a spot of tea and would not dare intrude on his mother's kitchen.
This made him subside. Whilst reminding him anew of his mother's death, it was also just the right thing for Narcissa to say and do. It was what any proper Pureblood would do. Not knowing their way around an unfamiliar place, they called for their own, more familiar belongings, or in this case, food.
Soon, a tea tray was set up on a table she summoned from the corner of the room and surreptitiously dusted with a rapid, wordless charm.
Narcissa poured Severus a steaming cup and added a dash of brandy to it, sweetened it with honey and placed it in his hands. She made her own and then put an egg sandwich and a fish sandwich on a plate and placed it before him. She took a bite from her own egg sandwich and began to sip at her tea, grateful for the warmth.
She noted the tremble in his hands as he reached a hand out to touch the plate, not taking a sandwich, but as if testing the plate's reality.
"I... should be doing this." His voice sounded rusty, unused. She wondered when the last time he had spoken had been.
"Not at all. What a poor friend I would be if I didn't see to your comfort at a time of need."
He looked up at her then and she could see the strain on his youthful face so clearly. Deep lines were drawn about his eyes and mouth, dark circles made ditches beneath his eyes. This was more than grief, she realised, but utter exhaustion. How long had his mother been sick? How long had Severus been caring for her?
She recalled the harsh scent of the room before she had freshened the air and broke decorum by reaching across to touch a hand to his pale, gaunt cheek.
"How long, Severus? How long was she ill?"
His eyes shuttered closed, and she was stricken by the sight of moisture glistening on his lashes.
"I... came home for the Easter break. She was ill. I began making potions for her then and when I went back."
"You didn't teach, as well?" She was aghast; it was almost June. "Whyever didn't you ask the Headmaster for time to see to her?"
His face crumpled slightly, and she gripped his hand with hers.
"I can't. My position at Hogwarts is conditional... probationary. I--"
Her anger was swift. "Because you were a Death Eater he doesn't trust you."
He opened his eyes then and looked at her, his expression ravaged.
"I would have been here... otherwise. I came as often as I could. I came every weekend."
Narcissa pushed the table aside and moved to him, slipping her arms around him without thinking, and pressed his head to her chest.
She expected it, but said nothing as he stiffened, scarcely breathing.
She said nothing as he began to tremble, fighting the urge, she knew, to push her away, almost as strongly as he was likely fighting the urge to give in to the cleansing tears he badly needed to shed. Narcissa sighed gently and held him tightly, and without realising it, began to croon softly under her breath.
It was the same soothing lullaby she put Draco to sleep with. It was the same lullaby her mother had crooned at her when she'd been a girl and needed comfort. She had no way of knowing Snape had heard it, if rarely, from the lips of his own mother.
Still, she recognized the muffled sounds he made and the way he suddenly clutched at her, and just held him the more tightly.
Narcissa started at the raspy, thready whisper that broke through her reverie.
Severus was restless on the Infirmary bed and she hurried up, taking his hand.
"Easy. You're safe."
His eyes swiveled about under his ashen eyelids, seeing things in a fevered dream, no doubt.
"Easy, Severus. You're safe here."
He nodded almost imperceptibly, wincing as the bandages pulled at his throat, and then subsided. He sighed softly.
She held his hand until his fell lax in her grip and then put his hand to his chest, patting it before going to sit in her chair again.
She thought now of Draco. She hoped most profoundly that he would find a good woman to be wife to him, to hold him and care for him. She hoped he would never be as Severus was now -- ill and alone and bereft.
Narcissa thought of what the Potter boy had said during the battle.
Had everything Severus had done been for love of a Mudblood? Was he truly like Andromeda after all?
Oh, her poor sister! She frowned now at the thought of her sister, widowed and childless and a chill went through her heart.
You still have Draco, even if... Narcissa swallowed and looked down at her ringless finger. Even if Lucius made the decision for us. It is his prerogative as head of the household.
Lucius was already in Switzerland. Ostensibly, he was seeing to the family's business interests, but in reality, it was the easiest, the most logical, way for him to avoid prosecution whilst ensuring most of their fortune did not end up in Ministry hands.
Like in the aftermath of the last war, he would be gone for years. Except the last time he had not removed her ring from her finger nor taken his own off and placed them both on a chain which he had given Draco to wear. Then again, the last time they had both been young and with an infant son. Now they were older and their son was a man.
"Whatever happens," Lucius had informed their son, "we both love you. But we cannot be together and I would not be so foolish as to demand constancy of your mother nor would I appreciate her demanding it of me. We do what we must. That is a Malfoy trait and I would ask you to honour it... as I would ask that you remember me... as a good father."
It was the right thing to do, she knew, even as she had cursed him for it. She did love Lucius and she knew he loved her, but their marriage had been begun as one of convenience, and any love that had sprung from it was, like poor Severus's position, precarious and conditional.
Still, it made her current situation easier. She owed Severus a great deal. He had kept her son alive, and more importantly, kept him from harm from the Dark Lord. Regardless of his personal motivations, he had kept his vow to her, and Narcissa was a Pureblood and a Slytherin. She knew when she had a debt and she paid it.
She would see to his recovery. She would ensure his welfare and help him sort out his future.
~ * ~
Severus felt out of his depth.
To start with, he had awoken in the Infirmary, feverish and in great pain, but clearly still alive, and that was not something he had planned for.
He was supposed to be dead, damn it! Finally, properly, undeniably, no-secret-Horcruxes-or-dark-magic-cures-unleashed d-e-a-d. Unmourned, unloved, unwanted, much as in life, so as in death, gone and buried.
He wasn't supposed to be showered with concern and affection from his colleagues, given accolades by the bloody Boy Who Bloody Well Lived After All, nor given a guest room at Malfoy mansion where he slept on silk sheets on a bed fit for royalty, was fed mouthwatering dishes whose names he couldn't even pronounce and was waited on hand and foot by his own personally assigned House Elf.
Nor was he supposed to be lusting after an old friend's wife.
It was this last that put him in a dire dilemma more than anything else.
He knew Lucius was in Switzerland dealing with the family finances, much as he had during the last war, setting up a War Reparations fund and shoveling money into it and funding rebuilding that the Ministry could not put a stop to. Nor could the Prophet label him anything less than a saviour if not quite on the same level as Harry bloody Potter, the Chosen One.
Severus couldn't argue. It kept the Malfoys out of jail, kept their name respectable. They were everything he was not. They were monied, respected, and, as a family, extremely attractive.
This thought always brought him back to Earth, and lately, kept his libido in check.
After all, what would a beautiful woman like Narcissa want with an ugly, impoverished teacher?
~ * ~
Narcissa was delighted when Severus was finally well enough to join her at the family table for breakfast.
Draco was diligently carrying out his father's "suggestion" that he assist with the school rebuilding directly, and so he was at Hogwarts, overseeing, or so he had written her, the creation and emplacement of several broken and beautiful stained glass windows that had been destroyed during the battle. For once, his artistic taste and talents had held him in better stead than merely attracting a like-minded mate.
Severus was awkward, though, and it was clear he felt ill at ease. This would not do.
Narcissa was nothing if not a good hostess and she sought to discover the reason for his discomfort as soon as she became aware of it.
"Our library is at your convenience, of course," she began, hoping that perhaps he was merely bored from convalescing.
"Thank you. That's very kind." He avoided her eyes, staring at his poached eggs.
"Are the eggs not to your liking? I can--"
"No, they're fine. They look quite... good," he managed to finish in a stilted voice, before picking up the salt and sprinkling some on them.
"Well, perhaps you'd care to join me in the conservatory after your food has settled. I do enjoy a walk after breakfast amidst the flowers. We have some very rare specimens you might find of interest."
He gave her a strained smile. "Perhaps. That sounds... pleasant."
"Then it's settled," she said with a cheery smile that gave away nothing of her unease. "I'll expect you in the lounge at 10."
He nodded and returned to eating, but he never once looked her way, she noted.
~ * ~
"This is our family of aconite. Aconitum degenii. Aconitum angustifolium. Oh, and do look at our Romanian Vulparia. We send samples to healers of it all the time."
"Impressive," Severus noted, truly interested in the plants, but finding Narcissa's warm hand highly distracting.
She had taken his arm as was proper, but kept touching him fleetingly as they strolled through the conservatory.
He could still feel her touch, his chest, shoulder, back and cheek all tingling from her light, affectionate gestures.
"Oh, and let's see if the Anacamptis has blossomed," she enthused, heading him toward one bright corner where orchids grew in a profusion of colour.
Unfortunately, the sunlight through the glass rendered Narcissa's chosen gown practically translucent.
Severus could see her lacy-edged bodice and practically count every eyelet. The satin cord was a lustrous dark gold. He began to grow hard.
He gently disengaged from her and bent as if to study an ailing flower.
"Oh, dear. I think that little one is not getting enough sun," Narcissa crooned, setting a warm hand on his back.
The heat from her hand made him start to sweat. He nodded, feeling his member stiffen to full attention and swore silently. He could not adjust it unless she turned around.
"Are there any others in this condition," he managed to enquire.
She turned from him and he rapidly tugged his erection into a more comfortable and less noticeable position, flat up against the placket of his trousers.
He stood and gave her a stilted smile as she turned from her inspection of the orchids.
"Just that one, it appears. I'll tell Tulsy to replant it."
He nodded, swallowed as she retook his arm and cursed silently at every step which caused his organ to rub against his linen smalls within the worsted wool of his trousers.
He could not pay attention anymore to what she said, thinking frantically of a properly genteel excuse he could use to disengage, and preferably, leave and deal with his dilemma.
"Severus, have you heard a word I've said?"
He blinked, looking to Narcissa and dumbstruck as he noted how the slanting light in this section of the Conservatory illuminated her breasts. Her nipples were clearly delineated.
He could not help it. He bit his lip and groaned, even as his organ gave a hopeful twitch within his pants.
The hand to his face made him shudder and she stepped up and before he could stop himself, not that he wanted to, he reached his own hand up to touch her cheek.
She looked up at him guilelessly, blue eyes showing only concern.
She nodded, waiting, and, damning himself silently, he moved in and down and kissed her.
It was gentle, for all his trembling nerves, but firm, and he let her go as soon as he had done it, wondering what on Earth had possessed him and how he could explain his behaviour whilst estimating how long it would take him to reach the Apparition point so he could leave, which he should have bloody well done in the first place once he was on his feet.
She would slap him soon. She would call him what he deserved to be called and demand he leave. She would contact Lucius and demand he be banned from the grounds of their home.
He waited for her judgment, feeling his erection dwindling in fear, wishing the entire ludicrous moment was over and done with and he was far from here, far from the confusion he'd been in since his awakening. Nothing had been as expected since he woke. Once she struck him or cursed him or disavowed him, his world would turn right side up and he would once again be despised, disrespected, alone...
Narcissa surged into his arms and began to kiss him in a fierce and fiery fashion.
His nervous system was in a state of agitation for a single thunderstruck moment before his impulses took over and he clutched her to him, moaning and kissing her back, growing dizzy as the blood once again headed south.
After several heady moments of sublime snogging, Narcissa gently pulled back from him, placing a hand on his chest. He blinked at her, waiting for whatever she was going to say.
"I think this... conversation... might be better continued in my rooms."
Part of him cheered, but a larger part insisted the words had to be said; the forms had to be followed.
"Wh-what of Lucius?"
There. It was out of his hands.
She smiled a sad and gentle smile.
"He released me. And himself. He knows he will be gone for years and if the Malfoy name should be dragged through the muck, it will be easier if I am not attached to him." She sighed now. "Rest easy, Severus. You are not intruding or encroaching on anything sacred. Moreover, you above all others, he would not gainsay. He knows you care for me. That would be what matters most to him."
Severus swallowed, and sighed, too. Then he nodded and extended his hand to her.
~ * ~
She dimmed the lights in her room and drew the lacy curtains closed, letting the sunlight filter in and provide a comfortable amount of illumination.
"You should know," he said quietly as she turned back to face him. "It's been a rather long time since I..."
She shushed him with a gentle hand to his lips and kissed him again, before taking his hand in hers and moving them both to the bed.
"That does not matter. We are both new come to this. Leave the past behind."
Without a further word, she began to gently undress him.
He trembled, but reached for the gathers of her gown and began to untie them. His hands trembled as he slid the chemise off her to reveal her warm, soft skin. Merlin, but Narcissa was beautiful!
Soon they were both nude and he stood awaiting her assessment of him. His body was not at all like Lucius's, he knew. He was skinny, ugly, scarred...
"Oh, my poor Severus," she said before bending her head to kiss the hex marks and curse scars he bore on his torso. He moaned as she eventually slid up to his neck and began to lick the livid pink scars Nagini had made and that he would bear for the rest of his life.
"Oh, but this, this is magnificent," she murmured, bending to place a kiss on the very tip of his jutting member.
"Merlin..." he clenched his hands into fists and she smiled at his reaction.
"Exactly how long has it been?"
He blinked at her, trying to focus. "Not since after the first war. About fourteen years." His cheeks grew red. He did not tell her it had been a prostitute and only the once, when he had finally grown sick of not knowing what everyone else seemed to understand.
She smiled, but it wasn't mocking, and she grasped his erection with a firm hand.
"In that case, I'd best give you ease. When we are first joined, I would like to enjoy you for as long a time as possible."
Severus groaned and Narcissa slid down gracefully, tongue extending to taste him, taste the tiny bit of his reddened tip that wasn't covered by his prepuce. She slid his foreskin back and licked all around his head, ignoring the gasps he made and the way his hardened organ jumped and pulsed in her hand.
It would be soon, she knew. She wondered if he would prefer to spend in her mouth, or on her body.
She glanced up at him to ask, but he had his eyes tightly closed, his fists clenched. Glancing down she noted his toes were gripping the carpet.
"Poor boy. It's been far, far too long."
Without further words, she began to suckle on him, pulling at his prick with one hand and gently fondling his bollocks with the other. As his hips jolted and his scrotum tightened, she slipped her mouth free of him and tightened her fist, pressing the head of his prick against her breasts.
With a loud cry he spent on her bosom, twitching and moaning as she gently stroked him.
"Oh, I am hurt," she mock-pouted and he managed to open his eyes to look at her, only to groan as he noted how she smiled up at him, lacy pearls of semen decorating her beautiful breasts. "Merlin had nothing to do with it."
She got up gracefully and cleansed his seed with a wave of her hand. He swallowed, studying her and she smiled gently at him, touching his cheek with the same graceful hand.
"Is that better?"
He smiled back and nodded, stepping forward to kiss her.
She was right. Without the mortifying feeling he would erupt any second, he was able to do as she deserved, to be gentle and see to her own needs.
Severus required no instruction. He kissed her thoroughly as he gently laid her back on the silk sheets.
Then it was his turn to go down on his knees as he urged her to spread her lovely legs and gazed at the glorious sight that lay before him.
She was a vision in alabaster, and, to his astonished delight, she was smooth and bare below, her silken skin unspoilt by hair or, indeed, any markings. She had no moles or beauty marks and only the faintest of silvery lines splayed above her hips and over her abdomen, signs of her motherhood.
"I prefer it," she murmured now, knowing what he was seeing. "Neater."
He nodded absently and then bent to touch and smell her. Her scent was maddening, and it was not long before he was holding her open with two gentle fingers and bending his head to taste her warm folds.
Her hands caressed him, slid through his hair and held him to her as he feasted.
Severus could barely hear, but detected his name amidst the sounds she made and felt a fierce sense of gratification. Without hesitation he began to suckle on her tender lips, moving up to that delicate bud he had read about.
As he gently sucked on it, Narcissa screamed, and he had enough time to worry about House Elves and silencing spells before she convulsed and her opening grew slick and trickles of warm fluid slid from within her.
He leant back on his heels, awaiting her verdict. He knew she had enjoyed it, but had he gone too far?
"Oh, my, I haven't had that happen in ages," she breathed. She propped up to look down at him and smiled. "Did I scare you?"
He shook his head, eyeing her enticingly glistening nether lips briefly before meeting her eyes.
"Oh, good." She sat and her smile grew quite wicked, indeed. "I can see we are both more than ready to proceed to the... main event."
He frowned, and then looked down, rather astonished to note he had a full-fledged erection again.
"Severus. Please join me."
Narcissa extended her hand and when he took it, she gently pulled until he was atop her.
"Oh, it's been much, much too long."
He did not ask any questions, merely glad they were both finding gratification, before bending his head to kiss her.
The kiss was as intimate as anything else they had done, deep and rhythmic, and before he knew what had transpired, he was sliding inside her, so naturally it was as if they had been doing this for years.
"You are so beautiful," he whispered against her neck. "So lovely."
She clutched at him and moaned as his thickness pierced her deeply, filling her completely much as his presence had filled her life with new purpose.
"Oh, yes, Severus."
They moved like so for ages in the oldest rhythm known to Witch or Wizard, possibly even to Muggles, as the sun reached its zenith and the room filled with a lattice of patterns that gave their coupling a surreal quality.
Severus moaned as he struggled to lick and suck on her nipples without leaving the warm, snug cocoon of her glorious quim. The unreality of it all swept over him and he swallowed.
Things this good simply did not happen to him. Surely he was dreaming. Even if he was, though, he wanted to leave dream Narcissa with the best impression of him that he could.
She cried out again and he felt her tighten on him, gentle contractions milking him and his eyes rolled back.
As orgasm found him and he held her tightly through the gasps and trembling, he could only think how very glad he was to have enjoyed this wonderful dream. He would never forget it.
He sighed sadly as he roused at it being over and having to face reality once again.
Narcissa -- a gloriously decadent, disheveled and sweat-filmed Narcissa -- smiled warmly at him when he opened his eyes.
"Severus," she whispered. "You are a love."
Then she slid forward to press a grateful kiss to his lips and put her head on his chest and sighed contentedly.
Soon he could hear her breathing deepen and knew her to be sleeping.
What had happened?
He lay there, gently holding her in the warm, hazy afternoon light and pondered.
Either he was still dreaming or this was reality.
Severus thought back over the last few days and recalled what Narcissa had told him. He was not intruding or encroaching on anything sacred.
He was not dead. He was very much alive. He was wanted, for more than what he could do. He was loved. That was the new state of his world.
Narcissa suddenly sighed and held him closely for a moment, before drifting back off into sleep.
He supposed he could get used to it. He had gotten used to worse things, after all.
~ * ~
Post a/n: I wanted to thank you, Leni, because I've wondered why Narcissa knew of, and didn't seem to mind, the location of Spinner's End. I always figured it was something like this, so it was nice to bring speculation to life, as it were. :)