Author's Notes: The following are a few "Angsty/Suggestive Sentence Starter" prompts I fulfilled on Tumblr a while ago. I've chosen to cross-post them here. The first prompt is the only true angsty one; the second and third are more playful.

Disclaimer: Harry Potter is copyrighted to and belongs to JK Rowling. I'm just playing in her sandbox and own none of her associated characters. Artwork is credited to dawninhell on DeviantArt and entitled "His Royal Snarkiness".

"Don't lie to me."

(Prompt chosen by Ash-Castle)

Pairing: Severus Snape/Hermione Granger

"You're angry with me," she whispered. It was a statement, not a question, and pervaded with a mixture of worry and regret.

"Have I reason to be?" he hissed between clamped teeth.

Those endlessly dark pools for eyes, nearly always on guard, would soon betray him as he stared down at her beneath the canopy of the Forbidden Forest. Gone was the openness and vulnerability the witch had glimpsed in precious, past spurts between them, when stolen kisses in shadowy alcoves had kept them warm for weeks; when hands clutched each other during countless goodbyes that came too fast; when tender fingertips ghosted over balmy lips and flushed cheeks, desperate to have and to hold for as long as possible.

Life had meant something in those perilous times. Since the end of the war, little had made any sense to Severus Snape or Hermione Granger.

Hermione wanted to recoil from the cold sneer she recognised, but the pain caving in on her chest wouldn't allow for anything short of reckless abandonment to long-standing stubbornness. She wasn't sure which outcome would be worse after tonight: losing him all over again (and on account of her own misfortunate actions) or the wizard's absence bestowed on her of his own headstrong accord.

"I made a mistake," she choked, trying to keep from breaking down, even as she sensed every fraction of his being about to retreat further into the woods. "I thought you were dead."

"Yet I've never strayed."

She understood the gravity of that blunt remark. He had never stopped loving her; never considered anyone else.

His voice was as frigid as the ice that covered the forest grounds, his eyes glinting at a weakness in his stance. There remained the utter powerlessness to feel—at least, in part—at this long-awaited, desperately sought after reunion. It was not how it was intended to go, of course, and yet, there was no turning back from this moment.

Hermione couldn't prevent her voice from catching in her throat. "Had I known you had lived, I wouldn't have strayed either. I was weak. Can you not forgive me?"

Her plea didn't seem to be enough of a wager for him to consider. When Severus offered no rebuttal but continued to stare Hermione down in that harsh, resentful manner that she despised, her eyes easily succumbed to tears. "I never stopped loving you. Never. Not once. I... I was lonely."

"Indeed. It would take a great deal of desolation to go to bed with him."

"Don't be cruel!" she begged. "We were both looking for someone else in each other. It was never, ever right, and we both knew it." Hermione reached out to him but halted halfway. "Is my continuing to love you not enough?"

Severus's lips tightened under the pale moonlight. "It would be, if I still felt the same."

Hermione's watery eyes suddenly hardened, pulling an affected Severus in with their glare. "Don't lie to me. You are many things, Severus Snape, but you're not a coward. Don't start now."

Severus stilled at those words. His cool eyes flickered in response, forsaking the wizard's wounded pride. Before he realised what he was doing, he had stepped forward to capture Hermione's face between his hands. She didn't startle at the abruptness of his touch but craned her neck in order to peer deeper into his eyes. They had changed; opened. A calloused thumb caught one of her tears and gently cast it aside.

"You always know how to get to me, witch," he growled, echoing an amused but sustaining reluctance to admit defeat.

"As do you, you arsehole!" she half laughed, half sobbed.

Hermione's lower lip quivered at their closeness. Overrun with emotion, she reached out her trembling hands to finally caress him, determined to feel Severus against her for as long as their homecoming might last. She had never felt more relieved than when she received his gift at last. He wrapped his arms—wiry, welcoming, and as sturdy as Hermione remembered them—around her and eased her into him as if she was weightless.

"Tell me you love me," she murmured, moaned, as her lips breathlessly brushed against his.

"I fucking love you," he answered before bending down to take her mouth. Neither would ever let go.

A/N (cont.): Thank you to those who review.