"Please," she whispered. "Oh, please, no."

She couldn't remember the last time she had seen her lover's eyes so remote, so cold. She huddled into herself, arms folded, shuddering reactively.

"You can't possibly have thought this could end any other way, Miss Granger."

Severus smirked, allowing his insolent gaze to wander down her body. "While I have derived some gratification from your...modest attributes," his eyes resting on her breasts momentarily, "my tastes tend towards more sophisticated pleasures. And after last night, I believe it prudent to end our, ah, intimate association without further dramatics. Of course, you are still expected to fulfil your duties as my apprentice."

Hermione closed her eyes tightly against the tears that threatened to spill, memories of the night before sweeping into her mind.

Finally, after endless torment, he'd laid her on his bed, the familiar black duvet yanked back to expose red satin sheets, her Christmas gift to him. His mouth—gods, his mouth was everywhere, nipping at her earlobe, laving a path down her jawbone, biting and suckling at her throat. "Mine," he growled, his long, slightly callused fingers sliding up her sides to cup her breasts, pinching her nipples ever harder until she arched off the bed, writhing and keening in excruciating pleasure. Her hands gripped his forearms, nails digging tiny half-moons into his skin, and her eyes flew open to meet his hot, hard gaze. Teeth clenched, breath hitching, she groaned as he ground his impossibly hard cock into her belly.

"Please, Severus!"

"Oh my," he crooned into her ear, slipping one hand down between her slick thighs, his fingers tracing her cunt lips idly. "Look at my pretty slut, such a wet pussy! Greedy little girl, I know what you want, don't I—don't I always know what you need, hm?" Two fingers slipped into her hungry pussy as his thumb circled lazily around her clit, causing her to shriek in pleasure. His other hand moved to her hair, wrapped it tightly around his fist, and gripped her head as his mouth hovered over hers, a breath away, murmuring, "Shall I fuck you now, love?"

"Yes!" she cried. "Now, Severus, please!" She was humping his hand in wild abandon, her cunt spasming around his fingers, soaking his hand in her honey. His mouth captured hers, their tongues twisting, and she reached down between their sweat-slicked bodies to wrap her fist around his cock. His growl of pleasure reverberated through her body, travelling down her nerve endings straight to her empty, needy cunt. He withdrew his cream-slicked fingers and slid them into her mouth, and as she eagerly sucked them clean, he positioned his dripping cock over her entrance and penetrated her, swiftly and deeply. He paused, grinding his cock into her pussy as he watched her eyes roll back in her head, felt her teeth bite down on his fingers, heard her deep, resonant groan. Her legs came up around his waist and her arms encircled his neck as he slowly drew out, prompting her to release his fingers as she whimpered against the emptiness. "More, pet?" he gritted out through clenched teeth, his self-control finally at the breaking point. His breath caught in his chest as her lust-clouded eyes locked onto his and her lips curled into a snarl, and he found himself with his head thrown back, howling in delight as she pistoned her hips upwards, taking him fully into her slick, gripping cunt.

He began to thrust in earnest, driving her into the mattress as he fucked her, her body wrapped around him, her mouth biting and licking and sucking on his. He ripped his mouth away and snarled, "Gods, you're beautiful, my pet, my own. Touch yourself, Hermione. Rub your clit while I fuck you. Take your pleasure, pet!" She unhooked an arm from around his neck and slid her hand between them, rubbing her clit as his cock filled her over and over again, as he trailed love bites across her chest, as she listened to his filthy words and his primal grunts and groans of pleasure, and there, there it was, spiralling, soaring, and she came, screaming his name, screaming her love for him, as he thrust one final time into her heat, roaring her name in his rapture.

Her eyes flew open and she saw him standing with his back to her, watching the fire, fists clenched.

She stood.

"Last night...last night I told you I loved you. Is that what this is about?"

His posture stiffened. He did not turn around, but instead picked up the poker and began to stoke the fire. "Whatever it is you think you feel for me is irrelevant to my decision. I have already explained my position, Miss Granger, and further discussion is unwarranted." He threw the poker down and turned to face her, his gaze impassive.

Hermione drew in a shaky breath, and then another. Slowly, carefully, she approached him, noting the wary look in his eyes with a tiny amount of satisfaction. Stopping before him, she rose up on her tiptoes and gently, almost reverently, kissed the corner of his mouth. "I understand, sir," she whispered. She turned, then, and walked to the door. "I will see you tomorrow, sir. We have Wolfsbane to brew, and Poppy needs more Blood-Replenishing Potion." Closing the door softly behind her, she left.

He turned to the fire, watching the flames as his fingers traced the spot where her kiss lingered.