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Chapter Thirty Six

"Wait, where are you going?" Hermione demanded as she watched her husband spin on his heel in a billow of black robes, catching a glimpse of a very fierce and terrifying scowl on his face.

"Today?!" She exclaimed, realization choking her. She was almost running to keep up with him. "Right now? Oof!" She stumbled over a dip in the lawn, but caught herself and hurried after him. "Severus, it's our wedding day!"

He didn't seem to hear her and she was becoming almost frantic. "You can't do this in front of everyone, they'll take you away from me!"

Still no reply and too quickly they were back in the party tent, all eyes on them due to Hermione's loud protests. Many mouths were gaping in shock at the rage Severus was emanating, others covered their mouths with their hands, trying to hide their surprise. Everyone's eyes were wide, barely daring to breathe.

"Lucius Malfoy!" Severus thundered. There was a tinkling of glass as someone dropped a champagne flute and gasps flitted around the space.

"Severus, no!" Hermione pleaded, grasping his elbow. He did not shove her, but he did disentangle her fingers and firmly set her away from him. Not making eye contact and not answering her, he was too far gone in his wrath.

"I invoke the challenge of the Nabu Dehul for the wrongs done to me and mine!" Magic cracked through the air; the marquee and table cloths billowed with its force. Several surprised shouts came from around the room. A small shriek reached Hermione's ears, it was obviously Narcissa's protest of surprise. She was distracted from looking at the woman by the raw power of the challenge that was cascading through the tent, it was fascinating. Hermione had read about past Nabu Dehuls – Wizard Duels – while doing research for an essay Professor Binns had assigned in sixth year. The last one had been fought in 1873, over 125 years ago. It was an ancient right, she knew. One still respected by the ministry – at least if Severus won, he wouldn't be carted off to Azkaban. If he won. If he didn't, he'd be dead and she would be a widow the same day she wed.

Severus' voice ripped through the crowd again, laying the specifics of Malfoy's crimes at his feet. "Lucius Malfoy, I accuse you of the rape and torture of my wife – what say you, man?!"

More shocked exclamations met her ears, but her eyes were fixed on her wizard; the power radiating off him was riveting.

Lucius Malfoy, who had looked up at Snape's explosive entrance, seemed calm. Every witch and wizard gathered was staring at him with bated breath, awaiting his answer. The magic of the duel was as old as time. It forced the challenged to accept a fight to the death if the accusations were true. While it had been a long time since it had last been invoked, it's power and prestige did not let the wizarding world forget what it truly was – an infamous form of revenge.

Slowly, the chiseled, blond-haired man raised his fingers to his cloak and undid its tie. He calmly removed it and handed it to his wife before undoing his cufflinks and rolling his sleeves. Only then did he answer. "I say I accept, Severus Snape."

Narcissa moaned in horror, tears cascading down her face. Draco left Lizzie's side quickly to comfort his mother. Lizzie watched him with alarm and dismay.

An outrage exploded around them. Ginny and Luna had to put themselves in front of Harry, Bill rushing to help hold him back as Charlie and George grabbed Ron in order to stop him from rushing the elder Malfoy.

Hermione felt sick as she watched her new husband shed his dress robes, his cravat was being torn from his neck with angry, jerky movements before it was tossed over his shoulder. He ripped the buttons open at his neck to allow for better movement as his wand slid down from its spot up his sleeve to be held defensively in his right hand.

Molly and Minerva were dashing around banishing tables and linens and chairs. The deejay shrunk his system and Disapparated with a reverberating crack! She heard Kingsley Shacklebolt send out his Patronus, requesting Auror back up.

The leer emanating from the senior Malfoy was cruel and unabashed. "How did you figure it out, friend?" The last word was full of sarcastic humor. Hermione saw Draco's face drain of color at his father's admission, Narcissa buried her face in his shoulder as he held her to him. From fear, embarrassment, shame, grief? Only she knew.

"Very few people knew her scar had been reopened during her capture," Snape snapped, raising his wand and taking a fighting stance. "Among a few other tells."

Lucius mirrored him from approximately nine meters away, holding out his left hand, palm up, before curling his fingers in a few quick successions. The gesture screamed "bring it on." Hermione whimpered with fear.

"You know the rules, Malfoy." Snape's words were snarled, his deep voice laced with anger and malice.

"Yes, Snape. I know you'll be dead shortly, leaving your pregnant new wife behind. A widow the same day she wed. How tragic."

Ron let out a growl from across the room and Arthur had to grab his arm to re-aim his wand as a hex flew from the tip. "If anyone helps, they die!" He cried above the hum of magic swirling around them. "Only the challenger and challenged can participate! Lower your wands!"

No words were exchanged from the duo, but suddenly it started. A swarm of daggers were flying at Snape and a few people screamed as he threw up a Protego and changed the daggers into daisies that floated harmlessly to the ground before swirling his wand and making it hail fire. The crowd backed up as Malfoy deflected the spell and aimed a slicing hex at Snape. There was a grunt of pain and Hermione gasped, her fingers flying to cover her mouth, as a red streak appeared on her husband's cheek.

There was a pause of shock that anyone had gotten a spell through so early in the game. Hermione watched as he reinforced his shield and aimed a Reducto. It rebounded off Malfoy's shield and shattered a table to the man's left.

It was countered quickly with a Sectumsempra which Snape barely deflected right after it shattered his shield. "How is he getting spells through Snape's Protego? He has one of the strongest shields I know of." The words were distant in her ears because her heart was thudding too loudly, but they pulled at her. Something was wrong. She clutched her chest over the pounding muscle that was trying to crash through her ribcage. Desperate to keep herself together when she just wanted to fall apart. This couldn't be happening! Not now. Not today!

Malfoy deflected two more spells in quick succession before getting another slicing hex on Snape's arm. The Potion Master's face contorted with rage and anguish and it hit her.

He was emotional.

This wasn't the cool, calm, and collected Snape they all knew. He wasn't hiding himself like he always had. His guard was down, he was allowing himself to feel today, this important day, in order to connect more deeply with her.

But he was too emotional, too angry, too hurt, too scared. …the strongest shields I know of. "Put up your Occlumency shields, Severus!" she screamed. "Damnit, don't you dare do this to me!" He didn't react, didn't look at her, she felt like she was yelling at a brick wall. "Shield your mind!" As she bellowed the words, she doubled with dread because another slicing hex hit his forehead just above an eye.

Then, Lizzie was there, finally able to fight her way across the room to envelop Hermione in an embrace and pull her back from the sidelines. Ginny, Harry, and Ron were not far behind. The boys had calmed enough to realize they could do nothing but watch and take care of the overwhelmed and tearfully hysterical Hermione.

While she felt her friends' presence, her eyes did not leave the man she loved. She knew the moment he registered and complied with her frantic plea because the game changed instantly. The mental shield allowed him to cut out the distracting emotions and reinforce his Protego tenfold. The next rapid progression of spells from Malfoy bounced off it, shattering glass, bowling over a table, and firing a hole through the side of the tent.

An evil sneer crossed Snape's face and silently he shoved his hands forward and the Earth sprang up to bury Malfoy, who deflected and turned it into shards of glass to push back at Snape. Snape turned the glass into rain that pelted down heavily on his shield and sprayed their audience. Before the all the rain had settled, he sent a Confringo, which shattered Malfoy's shield and immediately followed it with a slicing hex. Blood bloomed across Malfoy's chest as a shallow cut ripped through his shirt and skin. A look of shock on the handsome man's face was quickly covered by a sneer. Sweat was dripping down his face from his exertion.

"Is that all you have, Snape?" Malfoy goaded, reinforcing his shield before sending two more quick curses at Severus. They ricocheted off Snape's Protego.

"You know I've tasted her?" There was a disgusted intake of breath from the crowd. Draco's face looked green at his father's words. Lucius grunted as he chased away another hex, his hair coming loose from the plait that hung down his back. He spun and fired again. "I hung her from the ceiling by her wrists and whipped her until she bled before I fucked her from behind." Snape's face darkened, moisture beaded on his forehead, but his concentration was not lost. Not even when Hermione let out a low groan of shocked humiliation at Malfoy's disgusting anecdote. More protests flew from the lips of onlookers. Hermione was special to everyone there, no one wanted to hear the filth coming from his mouth.

Harry enclosed his arms around both her and Lizzie, Ginny and Ron crowding them closer in attempts to protect their friend.

"I know the sounds she makes when she climaxes, Snape!" He followed his words with flashes of sickly green light. Severus had to duck and roll to avoid the Avada, half of his inky hair falling out of the leather thong that bound it back from his face before he leapt back to his feet in a low crouch. Shock registered on his face for a split second before he dispelled it.

Malfoy used the momentary glimpse of emotion to his advantage. "Oh, you didn't know she received pleasure from her captors? She has a very responsive body, your wife. I have two friends that were very, very skilled at making her come over and over again." More hexes deflected. Snape still didn't respond, his Occlumency shields protecting him from this new horror of information.

Hermione sobbed, her face hiding in Harry's neck for a moment. "Don't listen, Hermione," Lizzie whispered, rubbing her friend's back as the others circled them more tightly. "It's okay."

"You can't blame her, though. Any good Healer will tell you it's a natural response, even when the stimuli is unwanted." More repulsive words to goad her husband.

"Let's get her out of here!" Ron suggested hoarsely, sickened by the descriptions and taunts leaving the elder Malfoy's vile mouth.

"I will not leave!" Hermione hissed through clenched teeth.

"I watched as my true friends claimed her virgin arse." The man snarled, sweat now pouring down his face.

"Oh, gods," Ginny moaned, tears streaking down her face in absolute alarm and repugnance. Overwhelming sadness for her friend took hold and she was sobbing along with Hermione in the next instant. Ron and Harry and others in the room were passionately shouting insults and protests back at Lucius, trying to drown out his words.

"Shut your fucking mouth, Malfoy!" George and Charlie could be heard over the other screams.

And he did, when Snape hit him with a Silencio followed by a Sectumsempra that splayed open a thigh and sent Malfoy to his knees with a silent grunt and a hiss of pain. "Lucius!" Narcissa screamed, her hands flying to cover her mouth as she jumped from her son's side. Her eyes wide with fear and wet with tears, one arm outstretched as if she could protect him. Her son pulled her back into his shoulder, willing her to not watch. His father deserved whatever Snape wanted to dish out, but how was he to tell his mother that?

"Mother, shh." The pale boy hissed, his eyes round as the fight between his father and godfather continued.

Mere moments and a well-placed stinging jinx later, Severus was standing over Malfoy, one dragon-hide boot crunched down over the elder wizard's wand hand. Lucius' fingers did not loosen, he refused to let the wand drop.

"Do you yield, Malfoy?" The deep baritone came out around panting from his exertion. They were the first words he had spoken since he invoked the challenge. Snape pulled in deep gasps of breath, trying to slow his heart. Sweat had soaked his hair and his once white dress shirt clung to every inch of his torso. Perspiration trickled down his temples and off the tip of his nose, blood streaked his face along the left side from the cut above his left eyebrow and along his left cheek bone. More blood was on his chest, streaking his shirt, from shallow cuts that had been landed through a heavy shield. "If you yield, I'll make your death quick. Painless."

"No!" For the first time since the fight started, Snape reacted to her voice by looking at her. His head snapped up as his young, beautiful, and terrified bride pushed her way through her friends. "Don't, Severus. Stop. I know I said I wanted you to, but I don't. I changed my mind. This isn't worth the damage to your soul. Let the Ministry have him, let the Aurors take him."

"He doesn't deserve to live, Hermione." Snape's voice was quiet and seemingly calm, but there was as tremor that showed the venom and hatred he felt. "He deserves to die for what he did to you."

"No," Hermione whispered, slowly crossing the space between them. She stopped a couple meters away and reached a hand out to him, her fingers were trembling. "He deserves to rot. We need him to bring an end to the abductions and murders. I am not the only one who he has hurt. We need him to bring justice.

"Revoke the challenge, Severus. You are the only one who can. Don't let him drag you down with him." The voice belonged to the Minister.

"I have already murdered, Hermione. You know this. What is one more?" Severus acted as if he hadn't heard Kingsley.

"You haven't murdered like this. All your other murders were to protect – yourself and many, many others. Your soul was shielded by your double life. Dumbledore was a mercy killing – planned – an assisted suicide. No one in this room would argue that. This murder would be done for revenge, it will damage you. He was your friend." Her argument was insistent; her voice clear as it carried around the marquee. The others murmured their agreement, encouraging Snape to end the duel.

Sensing his weakening resolve, Narcissa spoke, her voice quivering with emotion. "Please, Severus," she murmured, even though Draco tried to stop her words with a low hiss of conversation no one could make out. "I know he's done wrong, but…please."

Severus' eyes slid closed with consternation as he contemplated. Kingsley and the Aurors he had summoned seemed to materialize out of nowhere, moving in to take Lucius prisoner. Snape decided, opening his eyes and removing his foot from Malfoy's hand. He watched dispassionately as the man angrily shoved himself to his knees, face red with defiance. His wand was left on the ground before him. The Aurors waited, no one could interfere physically until Snape released the bond of the challenge.

"Severus Snape releases the Nabu Duhel challenge beholden to Lucius Malfoy," he breathed and a shower of silver sparks burst from the tip of his wand. The powerful magic that had swirled the room ceased as if a large retaining wall had caught the breeze and pushed it in a different direction. There was a split second of silent stillness and then it was as if someone hit a slow-motion button. As the Aurors moved to put an Incarcerous bind on the man, Lucius pitched himself forward, grabbed his wand, rolled, and Disapparated with a resounding crack of deafening sound.

The stunned silence that followed was broken by a sob from Narcissa and a roar of rage from Snape as the whole crowed burst into a flurry of action and sound. Before Severus could do anything rash, Hermione sprinted the short length that was still between them and launched herself into his arms, pulling his face around to hers with her hands on each cheek. "Let him go!" She insisted, pulling his lips down to hers in a searing kiss which he did not return, so deep was his fury.

"Stop," she whispered against his mouth while pandemonium raged around them. "Look at me," she pleaded. "Be here with me, now." He finally met her eyes, black coffee to swirled caramel, and took her in. Her hair was coming undone and there were tear streaks on her face, the Impervious charm wearing off long ago. Her beautiful gown was now stained with his blood and covered dirt. There were strips of scorch marks from the fierceness of the magical entity that had surrounded them all.

Realization dawned; what he had done sank in. He had terrified her. She had cried because of him. Today – on her wedding day. "I'm sorry," he growled, feeling his shoulders drop. "Oh, Hermione, I'm sorry." He raised a hand to her face and gently brushed a smudge of dirt off her cheek.

"Don't be sorry. Be here. With me. Now."

"Yes." One arm slipped around her waist and he pulled her closer. There was a beat where heat seemed to blossom through them.

"You were magnificent," she rasped.

An eyebrow quirked as he realized her voice was laced with a tremble of desire, her eyes heavy lidded and focused on his lips. She glanced up at him through her eyelashes.

"I want you to take me to bed, Severus." Her voice was husky. "Take me home, make me your wife."

His eyes darkened perceptibly, the pupils dilating, and he pulled her completely flush against his body, dipping his head to kiss her. Unfortunately, that was as far as they got. They were interrupted with a barrage of questions and Madam Pomfrey, who came to tend his injuries. With no way to stop the inundation of their friends, they were pulled apart. Severus was dragged to where Draco and Narcissa were being held for questioning. Hermione was engulfed by the Weasley's and Harry in attempts to calm her, make her sit, and press water into her hands. She looked longingly over her shoulder at her husband and sighed.

Two hours later, Hermione was feeling giddy with fatigue. She giggled as she heard Molly arguing with the matron of Millamant's Magical Marquees, who was berating her for the damage to the tent and insisting they would never again do business at the Burrow. "That's two of two weddings that destroyed my property!" The angry woman was hollering.

"For Heaven's sake!" Molly threw her hands up in the air. "I said we would pay for the damages, just like we did the last time!"

She was distracted by Lizzie whispering tearfully with Ginny. "I don't know if he knew." The pretty blonde's voice hitched on a sob. "Oh, Gods, Ginny. What if he did? What if him being with me was all a ruse?"

"Lizzie, no. I don't believe that for a moment." Ginny attempted to sooth. "He loves you, it's so obvious. Not even Draco is that good of an actor."

The only answer was more quiet sobs. Her eyes roamed the small crowd again to settle on Severus who was speaking with Kingsley and Arthur. Harry and Ron were just on the outskirts of the conversation, listening to every word with rapt attention. Suddenly, she heard Severus' voice cut across the noise. "No more, tonight, Shacklebolt. I got married today, I want to take my pregnant wife home."

Kingsley looked surprised for a moment, shooting a glance at Hermione and catching her eye. She gave him a small smile and a nod. She couldn't hear his reply, but knew it was in the affirmative when her husband's shoulders relaxed.

She whispered her goodbyes to Ginny and Lizzie, kissing their cheeks before telling Lizzie to not fret until she heard more from Draco and that she agreed with Ginny that he probably had not known. Molly intercepted her for a fierce hug on her way to say her farewells to Harry and Ron. Both of her dear friends hugged her tightly and kissed her. Harry brushed a lock of hair from her face and told her again how beautiful she looked. Ron agreed with pink cheeks and a bashful smile. It seemed they were both a little drunk, being much more touchy and sentimental than they'd normally allow themselves.

She waved her good-byes to more Weasley brothers before nodding at Arthur and Kingsley as Severus wrapped his arms around her, turning on the spot. A tight tunnel ride later, and they were at the gates of Hogwarts – home. It would be her home until they figured out what she was going to do for further education or a job. Then they would make the decision to settle in Spinners End and floo to their respective work places, or sell the house in Spinners End and purchase something together, closer to their respective work places. However, all that mattered tonight was Hogwarts and their quarters and being together again.

She knew without a doubt that tonight was it, she was ready. She married him because she loved him, he fought for her because he loved her and wanted to protect her honor. Tonight, she would show him she was whole again – and she would be whole again as soon as they became one.

They quietly made their way through the wards of the gate and reset them before walking hand and hand up to the castle. No words needed to be exchanged, the silence was loaded with promises and heat.

When the doors to their chambers were locked and warded, Snape turned and met her eyes with a searching look. She smiled softly and toed off her slippers, watching as he removed his boots. Then she grasped one hand in hers and reached up on her tip toes to press a gentle kiss to his lips before spinning away and backing into the bathroom, leading him forward with their still clasped hands.

He started the shower wandlessly, the sound of the water fall was soothing. Silently, she undid his buttons as he plucked bruised flowers from her hair and released the sticking charms. She felt the weight of it sag around her shoulders and down her back before she smoothed her palms over his chest to push the shirt off his arms. It collapsed in a pool of muddied white at his heels.

Gently, he guided her to turn and pulled the zipper of her gown down, over her bum. With a soft groan of appreciation, he uncovered a triangle of ice blue lace at the cleft of her cheeks. The fingertips of both his hands trailed up her spine, only to separate at the base of her neck to slowly move over her shoulders. He turned them again, so he could watch her in the mirror that hung above the bathroom sink. Slowly, he slid his palms across her bare nape to the cap sleeves, his fingers slipping underneath to push the heavy, lacey, beaded fabric from its perch. Having nothing left to hold it up, the dress cascaded down her body, revealing her to him in the reflective glass completely.

A low growl escaped him and he put his mouth to her ear. "I will make you mine again tonight, wife," he rumbled. A delicious shiver ran up her spine as she made eye contact with him in the mirror and nodded. She was riveted with the image of them. She was completely nude outside the triangle of blue lace at the apex of her thighs. She could see hints of her dark pubic hair behind the fabric and knew they were already soaked with her arousal. He looked dark and dangerous, his eyes glinting like lit coal. His hair was pulled loose from its tie and wild from his fight. It hung over his shoulders. She hadn't realized how long it had gotten, it almost grazed his nipples.

She watched as his hands slid back down her arms, caressing her sides before snaking around her and cupping the small swell of her abdomen where their daughter lay in her womb. Her skin tingled, over-sensitive and on high alert. She observed with hooded eyes as his long, slender fingers – so white against her creamy skin – made their way up her tummy to caress the undersides of her breasts before lifting their weight in his palms. His thumbs and forefingers encircled both taut, dusky pink nipples to pluck and roll them, pulling that cord attached to her sex and making her squirm with a puff of pleasure. Her head lolled back to rest in the hallow of his shoulder, the one that had been made just for her. She could feel his erection pressing against one bare cheek of her arse through the layers of clothing he still wore. Her hands came up to cup under his and he growled his approval as she helped him stimulate herself.

When his fingers were done teasing her breasts, she turned in his arms to press kisses against his chest. Her tongue flicked out to caress a nipple, making him inhale sharply as her hands wandered down to open the placket of his trousers, rubbing him through the fabric while she struggled with the buttons.

Finally, she had him free and tugged the slippery fabric over his hips, watching his manhood spring free like a tightly wound spiral letting loose. She sank to her knees into the pool of their discarded clothing to follow his pants to the ground and help him step out of them. His cock brushed her cheek, leaving a smear of precum behind. She felt her own excitement drip past her lips, soaking her pubic hair and knickers.

Before he could think to stop her, or help her back to her feet, one of her small hands was wrapped around his heat, pumping her towards him as her mouth engulfed his tip. He let out a startled grunt of pleasure as her tongue attacked his hardening length with enthusiasm. Her other hand came up to cup his bollocks, swirling them in her hand gently, like a pair of Chinese stress balls.

She hummed her pleasure at the pure masculine taste of him, dragging him deep into her throat and pulling back with firm suction and a twist of her wrist that caused him to sink his hands into her hair and jerk his hips with a low curse. He allowed her to continue her ministrations for a few minutes before gently insisting she regain her feet. He hiked her up onto the counter, where she hissed as the cold, stone top made contact with her bare bum. He chuckled as he grasped the strings that held the two triangles of fabric together and tugged them down her smooth legs and off her feet before forcing his way between her legs to capture her mouth with his.

His tongue dove deep, tasting her with a desperation that had been absent from them for too long. Her arms came up to encircle his shoulders while his hands closed around her back, splaying his palms flat before pulling her flush against him, her bare breasts being teased by his chest hair. His prick and coarse, black pubic hair was pressed against her belly and she moaned deep in her chest, opening her mouth wider for his explorations even as she wrapped her legs firmly around his slender hips. He could feel her wetness pressed to his thigh as she ground against him, desperate for relief from the delicious tension that was coiling in her tummy.

His hands came down to cup her bum and he pulled her off the counter and into his arms, walking them straight into the shower and under the hot spray of water. They groaned together as the sensuality of the heat and pressure of the rainfall showerhead cascaded around them, their lips still locked in a heated snog. He pulled away from her reluctantly, letting her slide down him until her feet were firmly on the ground. There was a heady smirk on his face at her glazed look. He reached behind her for the shampoo and squirted a heavy handful of it onto his palm before rubbing his hands together. He indicated for her to turn around and she obliged, moaning in contentment as he massaged the soap into her tresses. After her hair was rinsed and conditioned, she leaned her bum into the cradle of his thighs, enjoying the feel of his cock on the small of her back, before letting her head fall forward as he worked her over with a soft flannel, sliding it over her body, washing away the dried sweat and grime of the long, emotional day. Once she was rinsed, she returned the favor, paying special attention to his heated length, pulling more visceral sounds from his chest as she rinsed him and then followed the rinsing by engulfing him with her mouth again, not able to get enough of the taste of her husband.

Too soon, he stopped her again with a rough jerk to her feet. She gasped her surprised protest even as he pressed her into the corner of the tiled shower stall. This time, it was he who sank to his knees. Using his hands to brace her bum, he guided her legs over his shoulders. The water from the shower head cascaded down his back, the spray of it coating them both in warmth and steam. He helped her prop herself against the wall before diving face first into her pussy, eliciting a guttural yip of delight from her as he pulled her labia into his mouth, his tongue searching out her sweet spot. She tangled her hands in his hair, shouting her ecstasy in non-sensical phrases and praise. Her climax crashed around her hard, making her hips jerk erratically. If he hadn't had a death grip on her slick backside, she would have slid right down the wall.

Instead, he held her steady and anchored her until she came down from her high. He helped her regain her footing before pushing himself to stand with the assistance of the shower walls. He turned the water off and pulled her out of the stall, using a wandless spell to dry them, making her hair poof wildly and bringing them both to laughter. It stilled almost instantly as her laughter made his slightly wilting cock spring back to full mast and her eyes dropped to it, lust erasing mirth. He swept her up bridal style in his arms and carried her into the bedroom where a fire danced wildly in the hearth and lit candles were scattered around the room. Soft piano music was floating in from somewhere. She looked around in surprise before turning sparkling eyes on him.

"How?" Was all she said.

"Help from Pepper," he explained with a shrug. She smiled softly at his sweetness while he continued the short walk to their bed. He set her gently on top of the comforter before his gaze became predatory and he stalked her – his prey. He climbed lithely onto the bed as she scooted herself back into the pillows. He once again reminded her of a sleek, black panther – and she was his meal. Her eyes drifted closed as his lips made contact with one ankle, his hands sliding up a silky leg as his mouth trailed in its wake. When he reached the juncture of her thighs, he retreated and started again with the other leg. Once again, he skipped the spot screaming for his attention and lavished the swell of her belly with his hard mouth and hot tongue, his hair occluding his face and caressing her abdomen, his fingers sinking into her hips.

She writhed beneath him, reaching down to tug on his hair, trying to pull him up to her. He refused to move quickly, paying extra attention to every nook and cranny over her body, giving more love to the undersides of her breasts and her collar bones and neck. Her nipples ached with want of his touch, and he continued to deny her, driving her barmy with a desperate need.

Her hands clasped and pulled at him, his hair, his shoulders, reaching down to cup his bum as she thrust her hips up to rub herself against his sex. He growled a warning at her, before lacing both hands with hers and holding them above her head. He dropped a buss to her lips. "I will have my way with you, witch, stop trying to rush me." It was a promise and a threat and was quivered with pent up lust and a desire to please.

"Please, Severus, I need you inside me. Please!" She groaned as he relented a little bit, encircling a nipple with the tip of his tongue before sucking it into his hot mouth, making her cry out and arch her back. "Oh, gods!" She whimpered pitifully.

Severus was so hard it was painful, the prolonged teasing was driving him as mad as it was her, but he continued on the path of righteousness. He had plans. Divine intervention would not help either of them tonight. He would take hell with the sins of her flesh and die a happy man.

He finally let his fingers leave hers and slide into her heat, thrusting two fingers up inside of her, making her cry out expletives that turned him on even more. He watched her face with rapt attention as his digits set a grueling pace that she matched with jerky thrusts, begging him for more, for harder. He added a third finger and watched her eyes roll back and her neck arch. He dipped his mouth to her throat and suckled, leaving a love bite, and then another where her neck met her shoulder, before adding his thumb to her clit to increase the intensity of the assault on her cunt. It took very little to bring her to another screaming, sobbing climax, and she clung to him as he pushed her off yet another cliff into the deep abyss of sexual sensations. He rolled her onto her side and crooked one leg up to her chest. Her vision was blurry with her most recent orgasm and all she sensed was a position that she had never been in before.

"Look at me, wife. Look at me when you become mine, again." Her rolling eyes finally sought him out, her jaw slack with satiation. He gave her a wicked smile and pressed himself into her, never removing his eyes from her glazed gaze. She parted for him willingly, her tightness almost his undoing. She couldn't help that her eyes slid closed with the sheer intensity of the moment, of receiving him into her after so long. A swirl of magic flitted through the room, guttering the candles low before they rose again at the consummation of their binding. Then, they were moving. The position left the thrusts shallow, but intense. She wound one arm up and around his neck, dragging him down to kiss him full on the mouth, nipping his lips with her teeth before pushing his head down, down to her presented nipple. He took her wordless plea to heart and sucked it fully into his mouth, making her hand clench at the nape of his neck and mewling "yes" to explode from her. He reangled slightly and knew he found a perfect spot when she gasped and groaned, thrusting back harder against him. He toppled her off another cliff within minutes. She shouted her joy with his name on her lips. She was so incredibly responsive tonight, months of little to no intimacy making it easy to drag her off each precipice.

He lifted himself up onto his knees, pulling out of her, which made her growl in protest, her eyes flying wide as she rolled to her back and pushed herself up on her elbows.

"What - ?" But he broke her off with another hungry kiss, silencing her question as he scooped each of her knees in his elbows and pistoned back into her, hard and fast. It made her squawk against his lips as he bottomed out fiercely before she reached and clasped him to her breast, scratching her nails up the rippling muscles of his back. He angled himself on his knees and drove into her again and again, driving crazed, sexy whimpers and gasps from her.

"You'll come again," he demanded and she hissed.

"I don't know if I can," she gasped, her nails digging in harder as she met him thrust for thrust. He let her knees go and they slid down his torso to wrap around him, her feet cupping his buttocks, allowing him to slide a little deeper. His balls were screaming with their need, but he held himself off, determine to drag one more climax out of her. He reached down and shoved her legs off from around him, rolling them and pushing her up to straddle him. She fell limp on top of him for a moment breathing heavily before pushing herself up with her palms flat on his chest. He placed the soles of his feet flat on the mattress and grabbed her hips as he drove up into her. Hermione's head fell back with a low cry of delight, her insane tendrils of hair everywhere. He growled as she picked up a rhythm, slamming down as he thrust up. He watched a bead of sweat trail between her perky, bouncing tits. Feeling firm in his conviction she wouldn't lose their rhythm, he reached out and plucked one of the budded tips. She cried out, her nails digging into his chest at his nipples, making him curse. He snaked his other hand between her folds, pinching her nub before rolling it in his fingers. This did make her lose rhythm and he settled her into a grind as he swirled her nub.

"Come for me, Hermione," he demanded. She made an inarticulate noise of consent, her bottom lip caught between her teeth, a look of utmost concentration on her face. Her eyelashes fanned out across her cheeks; she looked absolutely gorgeous. "Let go," he growled, his deep voice reverberating like thunder through her nerve endings.

He was going to fill her up so full, his seed would be leaking out of her for days. He wanted her there with him. He circled her clit a little faster and her gasp and the tightening of her thighs let him know he had her. Without losing a beat, he rolled them again, lifting her bum and increasing the pace and force. She came with an inarticulate cry. "Unngggg!"

Her release was borderline hysterical and mindless and curled his toes as he hissed "Yessss!" and catapulted himself off the nearest ledge with her. "FUCK!" He poured himself into her, driving through their combined orgasm. Her inner muscles sucking at him with a strength that was otherworldly as he jerked into her again and again before collapsing on top of her, rolling slightly so as not to smother her. He grasped the back of her head and sealed his lips to hers, pulling her tongue into his mouth hotly, possessively, before slowly gentling the kiss. Sweeping his tongue against hers, nibbling her lips, then suckling her bottom lip as they both breathed heavily through their noses, their hearts gradually calming. He was watching her face as she slowly opened her eyes and smiled at the unfocused, sated look in them. She returned his smile with a shy one of her own, tilting her head again to give him a sweet, chaste kiss.

"That was incredible." Her voice was thick and raspy, laced with contentment.

"It was," he agreed, pulling her into his arms as he settled onto his back. He cast a Scourgify over them, chuckling as she squealed her surprise before wandlessly dousing the candles that were strewn across the room. He silenced the music and reached out to summon the blankets that had been dilapidated during their romp and a pillow that had found its way to the floor. Finally settled and comfortable, he began to gently stroke her bare shoulder, smoothing hair away from her face as she rubbed a thumb across his jaw, her breathing evening out.

"I love you," she whispered, yawning.

"I love you," he answered, conviction ringing in the tone of his voice. "More than anything."

She was already snoring softly against him. He buried his nose in the top of her head, breathing in lavender and vanilla and sweat before drifting himself.

I hope the lemon made up for Lucius escaping...I need him for the next few chapters. Hang in there, he'll get his due.