A/N: Hey, there! This chapter was a bitch (pardon my French), but I think it turned out okay.

Anyway, I just have to thank you guys for all your kind reviews. I love reading your thoughts on the story and where you think I'll take it next. I hope you continue to grace me with opinions and words of encouragement because I think it's just so cool. Really.

Okay. So, grab yourself a snack and settle in 'cause this might take a while.


P.S. If I had to name this chapter, I'd call it: Severus Ain't Goin' Down Without A Fight

Oh, and standard warnings apply – the luvin' gets a little dirty in this one.

Chapter Seven: The Honeymoon (Part 2)

Hermione stretched her legs, her awareness rising up from it's slumber to the feel of warm, soft sheets and something tickling her nose. She snuggled deeper into her warm blankets and rubbed her face back and forth against her pillow, too lazy to lift her hand and scratch. She felt so content in that level of consciousness, hovering blissfully before coming fully awake. She was safe and warm, and her worries and obligations hadn't erupted into her thoughts yet.

Then, her pillow moved.

She popped her head up and opened her eyes, discovering that her warm blankets were actually her professor's arms, and the tickle she had felt was caused by the hair on his broad, firm chest.

Dismayed, she wrenched herself back, moving quickly into a kneeling position and jostling the bed in the process. The sudden movement woke the object of her alarm, causing his eyes to flip open as he too startled back away from her.

Upon realizing it was only her, he relaxed his head back onto the pillow, and met her wary gaze.

"How did I get here?" she asked, looking around the room – confused.

"I brought you here from the hospital wing last night," he replied, his deep voice made more sultry by sleep.

"Oh," she said innocently.

As she looked at his expressionless, sleep-weary face, her memories of yesterday afternoon slowly came back to her... She remembered their trip to Diagon Ally, and how he had been so unkind to her. Then, going to the Gryffindor common room where she had been talking to Ginny. After that, the last thing she remembered was waking up in the hospital wing with Madame Pomfrey tending to her.

What she couldn't remember was being brought back here. Why would he do that? She would have thought him glad to be rid of her – he hated her so much. That was the one thing she clearly remembered about the day before – he absolutely loathed her.

She brought her hands together on her lap, wringing her fingers nervously. She wasn't sure what to say or do, and he made no move or attempt to converse. He simply stared at her, his eyes traveling up to her hair then skimming her face until they settled and remained focused on her chest. The dark, almost dangerous, glint in his eyes was unnerving. Why was he looking at her like that?

She glanced down at herself and realized what was holding his attention. She was naked. Great Merlin, her breasts were completely exposed to him! She grappled frantically for the sheet at her waist, pulling it up and clinching it in her fists in front of her chest.

"I … I'm just going to …" She started backing away from him, wanting nothing more than to be away from his disapproving scrutiny as she inched her way to the edge of the bed. The severe expression he wore as he appraised her told her well enough how unimpressed he was by her exposed flesh. She needed to get away from him before he could remind her again how lacking she was in his eyes.

She normally tried her best not to let his scorn get to her, but until recently she had never had to endure more than a few hurtful words in the classroom setting. Being alone with him and the sole recipient of his mistreatment and personal debasement for another whole day was more than she thought she could endure, especially after the stresses of the past week. She was simply too worn out emotionally to cope with him. "I'll just leave you to your rest," she said, speeding her retreat.

"No," he commanded forcefully, causing her to freeze in place with one leg dangling over the edge of the bed. "You will stay here."

She bit her lip, torn between following his command or making a break for it. Deciding she probably wouldn't make it to the door before being caught, she slowly brought her leg back on the bed, returning to her kneeling position as far from him as she could manage without falling off and sat quietly with her eyes lowered, chewing anxiously on her lower lip and waiting for him to speak.

She felt the bed dip as he moved closer to her and into her line of sight, and she tensed as he raised his hand to her chin and lifted her face. He didn't move or speak until she hesitantly brought her eyes up to meet his.

"You will stay in bed today," he informed her, his black eyes boring into hers. "Madame Pomfrey's orders."

Uncomfortable with his close proximity and the intensity of his stare, Hermione lowered her eyes and tried to pull her chin from his grasp, but he held her firm.

"I can rest in my rooms," she said keeping her eyes downcast, her mind quickly searching for any excuse to warrant her exit. "I don't want to disturb you, and … and I have homework…"

Slowly and curiously, she felt his eyes roam over her face, as if she were a puzzle he was trying to solve.

"Nonsense," he snapped after a few strained moments, releasing her chin and leaning back on a propped arm as if nothing were amiss. "You are my wife, and you will rest in my bed."

She glanced at his face again to find his eyes had returned to where she was still fisting the sheet at her breasts. She dropped her head timorously, and began fidgeting with the fabric held tightly in her hands.

"And, in my bed you will not hide yourself from me," he proclaimed as his large hand came up to her chest, enveloping both of her small ones and pulling them down against her weak resistance to expose her breasts to him once more.

The sudden exposure to the chill air made her nipples pucker, but she didn't move to cover herself. She was too afraid to cross him, remembering their wedding night and how angry he got when she hid herself. He had made it clear then that he was her husband, and he could look at her whenever he desired. She just couldn't understand why he would want to when he so obviously thought she was deficient. Unless… Oh.

"I'm sorry, sir," she said, her nervous hands searching for occupation in her hair and then the sheet across her bent legs – anywhere except to cover her chest where she really wanted them. "I'm not quite ready to do that again. Madame Pomfrey said I should be healed by tonight…"

"Hush, girl," he scolded, causing her to flinch. "I only want to look… and maybe touch you … here." He reached out and cupped her breast, rubbing his thumb across her nipple.

Severus hadn't intended to start fondling her, but he couldn't resist. Her full, round breasts looked so inviting, and she had agitated him with her modesty. He thought he had made it clear that she wasn't to hide herself from him. He had to teach her that as her husband she was his to look upon and touch as he pleased. Besides, a small part of him felt like he should do something to ease her. She looked like a frightened bird in search of the nearest window, and, strangely enough, he didn't like it when she was afraid of him.

He wasn't sure why her fear agitated him – it was a tried and true Slytherin tactic, especially in the classroom where it was a valuable tool in maintaining order. But in his chambers with his wife, it seemed only to stir up too many bad memories of his childhood when his own mother would cower to his father.

Unfortunately, he didn't know how to be … kind, as he proved yet again by startling her with his abruptness when he had only meant to quiet her, but he did know how to make a witch feel good. And, it was obvious his touch made her feel good. A few strokes of his hand on her breast and she was no longer trembling or retreating from him. Instead, her breaths became shallow, and she unconsciously pushed her chest forward slightly as she chewed on that pouty lower lip of hers. Yes, he definitely found her arousal preferable to her fear.

Prompted by her response to his touch, he bent forward, squeezing and lifting her breast as he lowered his lips to the prominent bud of her nipple and started suckling.

Initially, the girl went rigid as he leaned forward to take her in his mouth, but once he earnestly set to work on her, she slowly relaxed her posture and brought her hands lightly to his shoulders, bracing herself as her body began to sway and her eyes fell closed. Encouraged, he brought his arms up around her and held her steady, guiding her down beside him onto her back.

Once she was placed at his disposal, he leaned over her and used his tongue to circle her areola and his teeth to nibble at the spongy flesh on the underside of her ample globes. Merlin's balls, how he liked the girl's tits. They were probably her only redeeming quality – bloody fantastic! He flicked and pinched, sucked and twisted, enjoying the soft, doughy weight of them filling up his hands and the sweet taste of them on his tongue, until she was wiggling about underneath him – all her apprehension melting away at his touch.

When he had her breasts red and splotchy from his rough hands and whiskered face, he moved up to her neck, turning her head and exposing her jugular with a firm but gentle tug of her hair. She gasped, her eyes flickering open in surprise, and then she moaned, her lower lip sucked in between her teeth and her brows tensely drawn in pleasure. His suspicion of her submissive nature was confirmed, and her surrender pleased him, satisfying his own dominant tendencies.

He took his time ascending her neck as she let her eyes drift closed and lost herself in his attentions once more, alternating licking and blowing with hard and soft nips until he came across her cheek, pressing his chin into her soft flesh as his lips hovered at the side of her mouth.

With his elbows propped at her sides, his forearms under her shoulders and his hands both fisted in her hair, he looked down at her. She was completely at his mercy, and he was overwhelmed by one thought – Mine! He turned her head and captured her mouth savagely, using his tongue to delve and explore and take possession of her as he had wanted to do since he woke up next to her the day before.

"Who do you belong to?" he asked, breaking the kiss and turning her head roughly so he could lick at her ear. He had to hear her say it.

"You," she replied, her voice breathy. "I belong to you."

He wasn't satisfied – wouldn't be until he had his rock-hard cock buried inside of her again, and she was crying out for him. The overwhelming desire to be inside her, to have her wrapped around him and feel her small body held fast in his arms was something he had never experienced before with any other witch.

The other witches he had fucked were just that – to be fucked and then forgotten. Not this girl. With her, he needed more. He didn't know what it was about her, but one night of release hadn't been enough. She had been all he could think about yesterday, and now that he had her within his grasp she felt so good … responded to him so ardently… He didn't think he would ever get enough, which both thrilled and galled him.

"That's right," he said decisively. "All. Mine. And tonight, when you are healed, I will show you how well I tend what is mine."

He recaptured her lips, slowing his movements and bringing them back from their passion languorously, until he was merely running his nose gently along hers, drinking in her scent.

When he stilled completely above her, Hermione was panting and spent from their brief and unexpected snog session, but she felt blissfully relaxed. Great Merlin, that man could kiss!

She opened her eyes, looking up at her professor with a dreamy expression on her face. Unfortunately, her bliss faded into confusion and uncertainty by what she saw in his dark eyes. Of course, there was an intensity in his gaze that betrayed the passion he had just displayed, but, otherwise, he seemed so … unaffected. There was no evidence of emotion at all in his eyes. She hadn't expected his undying love, but maybe a little tenderness … or somethinganything more than just lust.

It shouldn't have surprised her after yesterday. She had felt let down and foolish then, too. But still, the cold avarice in his gaze cut her to the quick. It obviously echoed his words – proof that he did not care for her at all; that she was nothing more than a possession and convenient receptacle for his physical needs. She wondered how he could kiss her like that – make her feel so desired like that – when he cared so little for her?

It hurt her inside to experience so much passion with someone when she knew it was devoid of any true affection, but she couldn't help responding to him. All her will seemed to bend to his when he kissed her, and when he touched her body she came alive – burning like a candle, and he was the oxygen that set her aflame. Strange that when it was over that wonderful, burning sensation should leave behind such a dull, empty ache.

As she looked up into his eyes, he held her gaze, looking at her critically for the second time that morning – as if she were a mystery he had to riddle out.

"You didn't tell me you were hurting," he commented.

She wondered if he was reading her mind, then belatedly realized he was talking about yesterday when she had been taken to the hospital wing.

"You said before we were married that I wasn't to trouble you," she countered. "That you didn't care about me outside of your duty to protect me."

"I don't," he said, his eyes flitting away and then back to hers, "but I do care when others accuse me of neglecting my responsibilities, and as we just established, you are mine."

His words added to her suffering, making her feel small and worthless. In the midst of their passion, when he asked her to confirm his claim on her, it felt good, like he desired her – wanted her to want to be his. But now, after he admitted with his words what she had seen in his eyes, she just felt dirty and used.

"I'm sorry," she apologized reticently, drawing into herself protectively. "I'll let you know the next time I feel unwell."

Severus heard her say the words he wanted to hear, but he didn't like the way she lowered her eyes from his, as if she were disappointed somehow or distancing herself from him while she was still right there in his arms.

"Good," he said, lifting himself from her.

As soon as the girl was free of his weight, she rolled away from him and closed her eyes, pretending he wasn't there. It seemed his attempt at alleviating her fear of him through physical gratification had backfired. Instead of trying to make her bodily escape from him, she was now retreating mentally.

He paused and looked at her back in frustration before rolling off on his side of the bed. He was right when he told Albus he didn't know how to take care of her; she made no sense to him at all.

After going into the attached bathroom to shower and tend to his erection, he returned to find the girl in the same position he left her in, with her eyes staring off vacantly. What was she playing at? Did she think to make him feel guilty for being honest about his feelings – or lack of them in her case? Only two days into this marriage and she was already trying to manipulate him with her theatrics.

Well, it wouldn't work. He wouldn't offer apologies or consolation. It wasn't in his nature, and he had nothing to be sorry about. He didn't care for the girl, nor would he ever travel down that road again, no matter how excruciatingly appealing he found her feminine charms. The fact that she was perpetually on his mind, muddling his thoughts with visions of her naked body and guileless expressions, was of no consequence – she was only another responsibility, and he wouldn't encourage any other notions. He had already told her as much before they wed.

He determinedly went into his walk-in closet, dressed, and returned to the side of the bed to address her.

"I'll have a breakfast tray sent in, and you may retrieve your books," he told her coldly. "But, I want you to stay in bed. I'll be back to check on you later."

Hermione didn't respond. She simply lay there and watched him go, letting out a sigh of relief when the door closed behind him. She tried to tell herself that she had to remain positive, that she knew the situation going in, that he was an awful man and she couldn't let him get to her, but she hurt nonetheless.

Although the sting of contempt wasn't new to her, having been on the receiving end of more than one bully over the years, she had let him get to her as she swore she wouldn't. It just wasn't in her nature to let thoughtless words slide easily off her back. In the past, she had learned how to guard herself, finding solace in the only place she felt truly safe – lost within the pages of her books, but then she had never been kissed or held so close by any other tormentor.

Regardless, that gave her an idea. Perhaps, that was what she needed to recover from this injury as well – a respite in her safe haven.

Sitting up, she looked for something to cover herself with other than her professor's robe hanging invitingly by the bathroom door. She'd never make that mistake again. Instead, she slid from the bed, pulling the sheet with her, and wrapped it around herself several times, securing it in front with a quick tuck.

Opening the door, she stuck her head out, making sure the coast was clear and, as quietly as she could, scampered down the hall through her professor's parlor and into her own chambers. After feeding Crookshanks and having a good soak in her pink marble tub (without the bubbles), she dressed herself in her favorite pink, plaid flannels and a t-shirt then returned to her professor's bed with her school books and a copy of Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice – her favorite. Curling up under the covers on the high, downy bed, with her books all around her, she made her escape to the Regency era and the romantic attentions of Mr. Darcy.

That was where Severus found her several hours later when he came to check on her. It was nearly lunch time by then, and his earlier frustration with the girl had gradually morphed into concern and an niggling need to know that she was eating properly.

When he entered the room, she was sound asleep with a paperback held loosely in her hand at her bosom, as if her eyes had drifted closed as she read.

In his mind, he compared her again to that scared little bird, now nestled in the center of his bed with a mess of blankets and books around her. He noted that her coloring had improved, a rosy glow having spread over her cheeks and the buds of her lips, and that she had changed into her pajamas and put her slightly damp hair up in a loose bun on the top of her head.

He lifted the breakfast tray that she had scooted precariously close to the edge of the bed and set it on the dresser top, observing that it was barely touched – the eggs having been disturbed, but little else.

He could see that he was going to have to oversee her meals, at least for the time being. He rather preferred a witch with a little meat on her bones, enjoying the feel of the soft, tender flesh against his own lanky hardness. Come to think of it, the girl was just about perfection from the neck down – large, succulent breasts, rounded hips and a plump bottom, all on a petite frame. He knew that other wizards preferred tall, slim witches but not him – he liked them curvaceous. Too bad he had to deal with her head as well as her body.


He turned toward the sound of the girl's waking sigh to find her stretching and yawning. Standing immobile, he watched her as her eyes fluttered open and went big with surprise at the sight of him looming next to the bed.

"You failed to consume all your breakfast," he said, reprimanding her before she had even rubbed the sleep from her eyes.

"I wasn't that hungry," she defended, sitting up.

He noticed how she unconsciously scooted farther away from him on the bed, the action reminding him of her fearful suspicion of him. It troubled him again, just as it had done earlier.

"Hmmm." He paused, considering how best to deal with her. "Perhaps you need an appetite potion. I will speak to Madame Pomfrey."

"No," she said hastily, then clumsily tried to explain herself. "That won't be necessary. I'm just not a breakfast person. I usually just have tea and toast. I don't like to start the day feeling too full and…"

"I've sent for you're lunch," he interrupted, annoyed with the girl's incessant prattle, "and you will eat every bite."

As he saw it, he was only being cognizant of his duty as her husband to see to her basic needs – as he had been pointedly reminded was his obligation the night before – but instead of looking grateful for his direction as she should, she stared at him with her mouth agape.

Among many other qualities that made Hermione an excellent Gryffindor, she possessed a mean independent streak. When anyone thought to tell her what to do – even her beloved parents, she bristled and became more likely to do the opposite. And, until that moment, she had been willing to concede to his wishes for the sake of forgoing an argument she hadn't been feeling up to having and because she had been honestly intimidated by him, but having her new husband – a man who had been less than charitable with her so far – dictate when and how much she ate was, as she saw it, simply not going to happen.

"I will not," she stated, straightening her back and setting her jaw rebelliously.

"What did you just say?" he questioned, biting out each word incredulously.

"I said 'I will not' and I meant it. I won't," she reiterated adamantly. "I am not a child. I know when I'm hungry and when I'm not."

Hermione could tell by the look on her professor's face that he was outraged at her insubordination, but he had gone too far for her to ignore it. She'd more likely go on a hunger strike than be treated this way any longer. She had misplaced her Gryffindor courage as of late, being so overwhelmed as she was, but she was feeling better now and getting her feet back underneath her – so to speak. And besides, deference to him as a wife was one thing, but she wasn't going to be ordered about like a house elf – no, sir!

"You are practically a child, and you will do as I tell you," he replied menacingly, his fists clinched and his tall, imposing body leaning threateningly toward her.

Suddenly, it seemed to her that the room went a little darker along with his countenance. The malevolent change in the atmosphere triggered her survival instincts, and she began to have second thoughts about challenging his authority. But then, he wouldn't really harm her… would he? Maybe it would be prudent to try a different approach in expressing her displeasure – a little less confrontational … and she was rather hungry.

"I am an adult," she reasserted cautiously, "as I proved to you the night before last." His lip curled into a virtual snarl at the reminder of their sexual intimacy, an irrefutable example of her maturity and blatant dismissal of his assertion. "But, I don't wish to quarrel."

"Then, you will do as I say," he snapped.

"No," she said again in a less aggressive tone of voice and held up her hand to stall his rebuttal, "but I will try to do as you ask only because I know you are looking out for my best interests." Maybe he was looking out for her, or maybe he was simply being domineering and difficult, but her mother advised her that 'you catch more flies with honey,' so she put a complimentary spin on his behavior in the hopes of defusing his volatile temper.

His shoulders relaxed slightly, and she watched him deliberate her assent, presumably deciding if he it was somehow being manipulated – a very Slytherin reaction.

"And, if you had allowed me to finish my explanation about breakfast," she continued, "I would have told you that…" She faltered slightly, hesitant to bare yet another weakness to him, but knowing that she was going to have to be the one to bend first. "I … I don't like to eat alone," she finished softly.

He gave no response, and when she glanced up at him his irate posture had mellowed into one of mere agitation and brooding.

Seeing that her tactic was working she continued. "I'm sure you think it's silly, but at home we always ate our meals as a family, and here at Hogwarts there are always tons of people at meals. It was just so … quiet in here without … you… or someone… or… Yeah. Stupid, right?"

Severus's indignation ebbed as he listened to the fumbling girl try to talk her way back into his good graces. Her disobedient nature had riled him immensely – his temper as well as his rebellious dick. How she managed to both infuriate and arouse him simultaneously was a mystery, but as she sat in her nest of covers on his bed and admitted a desire for his company – something no one had ever done before, he thought she looked too vulnerable – like that lost little bird, and it quelled both of the fierce reactions she incited within him.

At first, he wondered if she were continuing her efforts from that morning to manipulate him by playing to his sympathies. It would have been very Slytherin of her – which in itself negated the notion. No, she was genuine in her anxiety. He didn't understand her juvenile need to have the constant reassurance of another's company, preferring the repose of solitude wherever he could find it, but he couldn't find it in himself to remain angry, despite his frustration with her.

It also helped somewhat that she had expressed a need for him, even if she had implied that she only preferred his company to being alone. He had never had anyone need him for anything before, unless it was to use him for their own gain, and he found the feeling rather compelling – even if it was only a little Gryffindor chit who couldn't even take a meal without the assistance of another.

"If I stay with you, will you eat?" he asked, his tone even.

"Well," she hesitated at his unexpected offer. She had only thought to explain herself, not garner his sympathy or attention. "I … um, okay."

He turned from her bedside with a flourish of his robes and seated himself in a chair by the fireplace just as a house elf appeared with her lunch tray.

"There you are, Madame," the little tea-towel clad imp cooed as it set the stilted tray over her lap and fluffed the pillows at her back. "I brought your favorite: fish and chips."

"Thank you, Merri. It looks wonderful," the girl replied sweetly, smiling at the elf.

The tiny, wrinkled, hairless being absolutely beamed with pride at his wife's compliment. "If you need anything, Madame, you just say my name and I'll come."

Having eagerly taken a bite, her mouth was too full of the scrumptious, deep-fried fish to politely reply, so Hermione simply nodded to her friend before the creature popped away to the kitchens. The food was delicious, it's greasy goodness covering her fingertips as she prepared for her next bite. She had dug into her food with abandon, forgetting all about the quiet wizard next to the fire until he spoke.

"Your manners are atrocious," he commented, curling up his lip in distaste as he sat watching her.

She stopped mid-chew and glanced up from her tray at him, becoming aware of how she must appear to him – her cheeks bulging with food and eating sloppily with her fingers. Suddenly, the delicious fish tasted like ashes in her mouth, and she wasn't so hungry anymore. Maybe eating alone was preferable to eating under the consideration of his critical eyes.

Gently putting down the chip she was prepared to stuff in her mouth, she picked up the napkin and wiped her fingers before pushing the tray down her lap and away from herself. She slowly finished chewing and swallowing what was in her mouth before clearing her throat.

"You don't need to stay with me anymore," she announced politely and reached for her book.

"You've barely eaten," he commented, perplexed by her sudden change in demeanor and a little displeased that she no longer appeared to desire his company – a surprising emotion, and, like the many other new feelings he was coping with since his wedding, it disturbed him greatly.

"It's a little hot. I'll wait a few minutes for it to cool off and then try again." She didn't wait for his response. Instead, she started reading her little paperback and ignored him completely.

Of course, Severus knew she was lying about the condition of her food. She was a terrible liar, any first year Slytherin could do better, and he knew she was trying to be rid of him. Silly little chit! He had merely commented on her manners, and he saw no reason for her to take offense. She would have to grow a thicker skin if she is to learn how to survive in pure-blood society, that's for sure. Besides, his comment was only meant to point out where she needed to improve herself.

After a few minutes of watching her read and pointedly ignore him, he started to feel foolish. It seemed to him that as far as the girl was concerned he was damned if he did and damned if he didn't. He didn't know what to say to the girl that wouldn't give insult, and he didn't want to leave because then she would starve herself, causing Albus and Poppy to blame him. All he wanted was for the damnable girl to eat her lunch without protest – was that too much to expect?

It seemed he was again going to have to resort to another Slytherin tactic – adulation, to get what he wanted from the girl. No witch could resist a well aimed compliment given under the right guise, and he knew what topics were most likely to lure her out of her shell where he could win her over. He would start with a topic she enjoyed. Yes, that should work.

"What are you reading?" he asked with all the pleasantness his surly demeanor would afford him.

Hermione looked up from her book, having only managed to read a few lines of text in the presence of her new husband. She had tried to pretend he wasn't there, but it was no use. He was like a dark storm cloud hovering in her peripheral vision. Why couldn't he just leave her be?

"Pride and Prejudice," she replied, returning her eyes to her book. "A Muggle book. You wouldn't be familiar with it."

"Actually, I have heard of it," he responded, ignoring her dismissive tone. "Jane Austin, I believe. I've never read it."

"No, I don't suppose you would have."

"I prefer espionage or mystery novels, myself."

"That sounds about right." She still didn't look up from the pages of her book, hoping he would take the hint and quit with his ingenuously polite discourse.

"I particularly enjoy John le Carré or Tom Clancy, but I have an assortment of favorites."

Hermione glanced up at him suspiciously. Did he really read Muggle novels?

"I've never read their works," she commented, returning her focus to her book.

"Not surprising. They do have a more masculine appeal, as Austin's works lend themselves to the romantic tendencies of young women."

She wasn't sure if that was an innocent comment or a personal dig.

"I'm sure you have diverse tastes," he continued as she increasingly looked up from her book to glance at him. He knew he was making progress with her, the topic of books having peaked her interest. "What other books do you enjoy?"

"Um… I like romance mostly, but the occasional science fiction novel never fails to satisfy," she admitted cautiously.

"Yes. Well, I suppose some of those science fiction stories pale to the reality of the wizarding world for you now, don't they?"

She let a small reluctant smile escape. "Yeah, I guess they do," she admitted. Before coming to Hogwarts, elves and goblins were the stuff of fairytales. Now, they were her reality, and she was amused by the revelation.

Severus was pleased to see that the girl's defenses were slowly melting, as was his goal in engaging her in conversation. He would be a poor spy indeed if he couldn't convince a school girl of his interest and draw her under his influence.

"How are your studies coming?" he asked, knowing she wouldn't be able to resist discussing her schoolwork. The little know-it-all lived for her academics.

His inquiry flew up a red flag for Hermione. What was he about? She knew he didn't care how her schoolwork was going. He was always berating her enthusiasm for learning during class, so why the sudden interest?

Still, she couldn't fight the compulsion to reply. It was her one true weakness. Finding the topic fascinating, she could and would talk endlessly about the discoveries and breakthroughs she had everyday. Learning was the true magic to her. Every new fact and every new experience thrilled her endlessly. How could she not talk about that when given the slightest opportunity?

"It's going well," she said. "I'm enjoying my classes." All of them except Defense Against the Dark Arts, but she wouldn't share that little fact. "Right now I'm particularly liking Advanced Arithmancy, and Professor Vector says I have an aptitude for it and would make a fine Curse-Breaker…"

Severus likened it to a dam breaking the way the girl let loose her thoughts once engaged. She had no filter at all. Although, he was surprised to find that he was able to tolerate her blabbering. He expected to have to expend a generous mount of effort to conceal his boredom, but he found their conversation to have the opposite effect on him. She had no hidden agenda, and she was making no demands on him. She was simply… happy to share her thoughts, and he found himself relaxing back into his chair as she yammered on.

"You and I are alike in that fashion," he commented when she finally came up for air. "I always enjoyed the challenge of my studies."

"Yes," she agreed, looking down and adding softly, "I always knew you were intelligent."

She had paid him an honest compliment. Something he had certainly never done for her, and he couldn't remember the last one he'd received that wasn't followed by a request or demand – perhaps he never had.

A loud pounding on his chamber door interrupted their burgeoning discussion, and Severus was instantly jarred from the calm he had unexpectedly fallen into, spiking his irritation. Who the fuck could that be? No one came to his private chambers unannounced – not even Albus.

Rising swiftly and imposingly from his chair and stalking angrily out of the bedroom to answer his door, Severus was determined to correct the interlopers miscalculation.

Hermione had never met a person whose mood could darken so quickly. One wrong word, or knock at the door in this case, could send that man into a fury. She was only beginning to think they might have something in common to discuss when the knock on the door changed his whole demeanor. Gone was the inviting conversationalist she was catching her first glimpse of, replaced by the familiar tyrant she recognized.

Moments later, she heard raised voices filtering down the hallway and into their bedroom. Unable to ignore her curiosity, she slipped from the bed and went to see what all the ruckus was about.

At the doorway to Professor Snape's rooms stood Harry and Ginny, both looking a little pale – her professor had obviously given them a piece of his mind.

"Your friends insisted on seeing you," her professor announced icily, noticing her presence. "No doubt, they think I'm torturing you here in my dungeon chambers."

Hermione smiled heartily, welcoming her friends and inviting them inside. "Come. Sit. What are you doing here?" she asked. "Not that I'm not glad to see you…"

"Ginny was really worried about you," Harry explained as both he and Ginny slipped past their glowering DADA professor and came to sit on his sofa on either side of Hermione. "We all were."

"You gave us a real scare yesterday," Ginny added, taking Hermione's hand and squeezing it.

"As you can see, my wife is fine," her professor interjected. "Now leave."

Hermione sighed. "Can't they stay for a few minutes, sir?" she pleaded.

Severus was thoroughly annoyed and oddly discomfited. He had made it explicitly clear he didn't want his private chambers turned into a dorm room social, and he felt like the two Gryffindors were usurping him for the girl's attention – not that he really desired it. Yet, she looked so pleased to see them…

He huffed, relenting. "They may stay to serve as your required company while you finish your lunch – no longer, and they must promise never to darken my doorstep again." The two intruders nodded in agreement. "I won't be back till late, and I expect you to make use of the time – resting," he said with authority but not unkindly.

The girl smiled unexpectedly and genuinely at him in response.

Over the years, he had seen the girl freely bestow that expression on her friends and his colleagues too many times to count. Even today, the pruney, little elf who brought her lunch had been rewarded with it for simply doing it's job. In fact, he would have to admit that the girl's very temperament had always radiated with kindness, a trait he had generally perceived as another one of her many flaws – until now.

Being the first and only time he had been on the receiving end of her esteem, he wasn't prepared for his own body's reaction to it, an unfamiliar tightness spreading in his chest. The power in that simple token of her approval was so strong he felt like he had been blasted with a constriction curse. In the blink of an eye, he was transported back to his youth and to the feeling he got the first time Lily had given him a similarly kind smile.

As far as he was concerned, that soul-stirring smile was the final straw in a series of disconcerting events. No one noticed his distress, least of all the girl. She was too busy chatting with her cohorts and forgetting he existed at all to notice his troubled expression as he stalked out the door, making his escape, with his dark robes billowing in his wake.


Later that evening, Hermione was awakened from her light slumber by a whispered charm and the subsequent soft light emanating from her professor's wand as he entered his bed chamber. She remained still, lying on her side facing the door and letting her eyes follow him as he crossed the room and entered his bathroom to prepare for bed, leaving her in the dark once more.

After Harry and Ginny left her earlier that day, she spent the rest of her afternoon alternating between drifting in and out of sleep and thinking about her professor. Her only interruption had been when Merri brought her dinner, and she picked at her food in the overwhelming silence of her temporary prison. Not even Crookshanks had bothered to make an appearance. She would be so relieved to get back to her routine tomorrow. She missed her classes and her friends. She'd only been married two days and yet it seemed like she'd been gone from her old life for ages.

She'd also spent a good deal of her time that day worrying about what would happen tonight, more-so even than she had for her wedding night. She wasn't worried so much about the physical discomfort she may still feel, having been assured by Madame Pomfrey that the worst was over in that regard – especially since the Healer had given her the special potion that would help her tissues heal with a bit more elasticity.

What she was unsure of was her ability to keep herself emotionally detached from her dark, brooding professor. He made her feel so much when he kissed and touched her – so much more than just physical gratification. She couldn't seem to separate her emotional responses from those of her body, and she wondered if he would continue to make her feel wonderful and desired physically only to disappoint her again with his emotional immovability. Was this to be her life – always wanting to receive something from him that he could never give?

A short time later, he stepped from the bathroom and into the bed chamber without lighting his wand, his dark form walking silently to his side of the bed and drawing back the covers. As he slid in behind her, she noticed his spicey scent wafting toward her and the warmth that radiated from his skin as he drew nearer. She still hadn't moved, not that she was feigning sleep, but simply waiting to see what he would do.

Not wasting any time, Severus wrapped his arm around her waist, drawing her back to his front and slipping his hand under her shirt across the soft, smooth skin of her belly. He knew by her breathing that she wasn't asleep, only being still and quiet. He also knew that he had made clear his intentions for that evening, and he wondered if she would try to refuse him.

Since the moment she had bestowed her damnable smile on him, throwing his world off kilter, he had resolved to do whatever it took to get her out of his system. All the strange thoughts and feelings she stirred in him since their wedding night two days ago were setting him an edge and distracting him from what he should be concentrating on – bringing an end to the Dark Lord. He simply had to get her worked out of his system and let the novelty of her body and her infuriating … sweetness wear off. A few good turns in the sack, and he would lose interest. He was sure of it.

As he caressed her stomach, he was relieved to find she didn't protest his touch because he had thought of little else but this moment for the last two days, and being away from her that afternoon – as seemed to be the case any time he left her side – had only exacerbated the situation.

"Are you well?" he asked against her ear, making sure he could proceed without harming her.

"Yes," she squeaked, her nervousness infusing her voice.

"Good," he said, dipping his fingers under the waistband of her pajama pants and pushing them down and off. "When we are in bed together, I want you naked. Understood?"

"Yes." Another squeak.

He brought his other arm underneath her and lifted her so that he could pull her t-shirt over her head.

Once she was naked, he immediately wrapped his arms around her torso and pulled her whole body against his own – spooning her. With one hand grasping her breast and the other skimming over her stomach and hips, he rocked his pelvis against her bottom and relished in the feel of her soft, pliant flesh against his hard cock.

He was so eager that he didn't know if he could be gentle this time. He would just have to make sure she was as ready as he could get her and hope she could endure what he wanted to do to her, and – Oh, the things he had planned for her! He had spent almost every second of his time since he left her with her housemates earlier that day imaging all the ways he was going to have her – picturing every detail of what they would do.

Hermione was surprised by how quickly the worries she had struggled with all day simply fell away as soon as he put his hands on her. The warmth and assuredness of his touch just seemed to melt away her doubts, leaving her open and willing to receive him. She didn't think about his feelings toward her as he pulled her tightly against him, his strong arms around her making her feel safe, and his hands roaming over her skin, giving her goose bumps.

She also forgot about how foolish it was to let her guard down around him as he pushed aside her hair and kissed and nipped her shoulder and neck while his thumb flicked at the nipple of the breast grasped firmly in his hand.

And, she was most definitely too busy getting lost in the sensations his long, capable fingers provided as he brought his other arm back around her and dipped them down between her legs, slipping between the folds of her labia and circling her clitoris, to worry about how disappointed she would feel when it was over.

No, she could think about those things later when he was done pulsing his hardness against her from behind and making her feel as though he were touching her everywhere at once.

"I'm going to make you feel so good," he said huskily in her ear, stimulating her mind as well as her body. Then, he dipped his fingers further down to the opening of her vagina and pumped two of them inside her a few times before going back to circle her clitoris again. "You're getting so wet. Do you like what I'm doing to you?"

"Ya … Yes," she stuttered, then moaned as he repeated the pattern of circling her clit and fingering her, never halting his other attentions.

He was biting, licking, circling, pumping, tweaking, pinching – everywhere warm, and strong, and hard.

He took his hand from her genitals, running it down her thigh to grasp the fleshy underside of her dimpled knee, and lifted her leg, opening her up. She felt his penis slide between her thighs, the hard shaft taking over the job of rubbing her clitoris with each thrust of his hips. She thought it was all so wonderful and yet not near to being enough.

"Sir," she pleaded, turning to look at him. He was a dark shadow behind her, the planes of his face shown only in shades of gray, but she wanted to see him – to have some form of connection to him. "Oh, sir…"

Severus heard her plea and it made his dick ache and twitch. He didn't want to wait a second longer to be inside her, but, like her, he also felt a more urgent need to see her face – to see the unfeigned expressions she would make as he took her. With that goal in mind, he brought his arm from under her torso and propped himself up on his elbow so he could look down at her and cast a silent charm to light the fire in the hearth, illuminating them both with soft golden light.

Immediately, her brown, doe eyes met his as if she had been trying to see him too, even in the dark. Pleased by her earnestness, he bent to capture her lips, and she tasted like honey to him – sweet and warm and a little bit sticky. He wanted to taste her quim again too, but it would have to wait. He was too impatient to claim her, settling instead for exploring her mouth with his tongue while he continued his endeavor to make her ready to accept him by lifting her leg higher and pulsing his cock across her fanny, coating himself in her warm juices.

By then, Hermione's desire for him had risen to a fever pitch. She barely had time to look at his dark features before his hot, forceful mouth had met hers, making her so desperate for him, and then he began moving himself back and forth across her vaginal opening, teasing and tormenting her. He made her feel so reckless and wanton that she didn't know herself. She was acting purely on instinct, only trying to be get closer to him, when she arched her back, changing the angle of her pelvis so that when he pulsed himself forward his penis was thrust up into her vagina instead of forward and across her clitoris as he intended.

Severus grunted, breaking their kiss as he sank balls deep into her tight cunt, her resulting loud cry echoing in his ears and throughout the room.

"Holy fuck," he cursed, looking down at the girl. Her face was contorted, but he wasn't sure if it was in pleasure or pain. The silly minx obviously hadn't thought her action through.

"Oh, sir," she cried, rocking her hips slightly and whimpering. "So good."

Relief coursed through him. Definitely pleasure.

"Are you so impatient for me to fuck you that you can't wait until I'm ready?" he asked disapprovingly. He didn't like being superseded, and he definitely didn't like her taking control. This was his show, so to speak, and he would have to reassert his authority.

Still propped above her on his elbow, holding her leg aloft, he pulled out and pushed back into her from behind several times, watching as her mouth dropped open, her eyes scrunched closed, and her hands fisting the sheet before he said, "Maybe I should punish you."

She whined desperately at his words, obviously alarmed – or maybe excited – but too distracted by what his dick was doing to her for her to reply coherently.

Although he was reticent to remove himself from the warm, silken quim, he wanted her full attention. "Maybe I should stop," he said, pulling out all the way and hissing at the feeling of the cool air on his now moist cock.

Determined, he moved away quickly, rising up to his knees as she whimpered her disapproval. In the absence of his support, she rolled onto her back as he moved from behind her, and as he looked down at her – flushed and willing, a million visions of all the ways he had wanted to fuck her flickered through his mind. It made him delirious with desire.

Nooo…. uungh... pleeeese," she begged, her words breathy and like gibberish.

"If you want me inside you, then you have to let me do it my way. Do I make myself clear?"

Hermione nodded and looked up at him beseechingly. She didn't think she could form words, she was so desperately aroused. This was nothing like last time. Tonight, when he thrust himself inside her, there had been no pain – Well, there had been some pain, but it was a wonderful, full to the point of almost being too much pain, not the burning, tear you apart kind of pain she'd experienced the other night. And, when he moved inside her, she had felt it all over her body, like when the waves surge onto the beach, sending ripples of sensation to her extremities, tingling her to the tips of all her fingers and toes.

She couldn't help the way she responded to him, and it wasn't only the way he made her body feel. He affected her in other ways she hadn't anticipated, too. The way he held himself – tall and strong and lethal looking, with his dark eyes and hair and his long, lean muscles. And the way he manipulated, controlled, and guided her – kneeling beside her commandingly and holding her leg while his long, thick penis jutting out in front of him, ready to penetrate her. All of it – all of him, affected her, and she wanted to please him and make him feel toward her the same things she was feeling for him – if only that were possible; if only his heart wasn't made of stone…

Severus saw the needy look on her face and decided it was time to stop with the games and see exactly how sexually compatible they were. He moved her leg aside and scooted closer to her on the bed, placing himself between her parted thighs and putting her ankle on his shoulder. Leaning over her, he brought one of his arms to brace beside her head and used the other to hold his cock, lowering his pelvis so that the bulbous head was at her entrance. He swiped it up and down, coating it in the warm liquid seeping from her opening. She made a pitiful, little sound every time he teasingly passed over her swollen clit until, finally and without warning, he plunged into her pussy, grinding down on her clit with his pelvis and generating a deep groan from her as her hands came up to grasp at his shoulders.

"You like that?" he asked, bringing his other arm down to support his weight above her as he repeated the plunge and grind motion.

Hermione could barely think let alone respond to him, only managing to make an incoherent grunting sound as her professor continued to quickly plunge into her and then slowly grind against her clitoris before pulling back and doing it again. It was heavenly torture. In the position he had placed her in, she was pinned on her back, practically folded in half with one of her ankles propped on his shoulder as her other leg fell limply to the side – the angle and compression somehow making every sensation a little more intense.

Severus watched her face as he moved inside her, the expression of wonder and complete surrender was fascinating to him. Her every reaction was genuine, not contrived to please him for her own gain. She was simply enjoying what he did to her and accepting him unquestioningly. It was beautiful – as was her body as it complied with his demands, her limber legs bending to his will and her ample breasts jiggling with every impact of his hips.

He grasped her free leg and brought it up so that her ankle was placed on his other shoulder to match the first. In this position, she was completely folded underneath him, and her already tight quim was compressed so much that he had to thrust harder to enter her completely. Fuck, it felt so good! She was warm and wet and squeezing his dick so fucking hard, he couldn't keep himself from pounding into her. Over and over, faster and faster, his balls slapped against her ass as a tightening in his lower abdomen began to build. He wasn't going to last long like that, so he paused and brought his knees forward, shifting his weight back until he was kneeling upright. He'd been looking forward to this for two days; he wasn't about to let it end yet.

Hermione was barely aware of how her professor was maneuvering her, bending her in half and then pounding roughly into her. She was beyond noticing the details of their encounter. Instead, she was on a whole other plane – eyes cinched closed and lost inside her own head. She couldn't concentrate on any one thing, too overwhelmed by wave after wave of exquisite sensation from his penis thrusting deep inside her. He was so large and hard. It felt as if he was impaling her, but all she could think was that she wanted him deeper and harder and faster. How could it hurt so good? And, when he suddenly stopped to change his position she felt bereft, moaning her dissatisfaction and opening her eyes to make sure he wasn't leaving her again.

Looking up at him, another wave of desire coursed through her as she watched him move himself into a kneeling position. His eyes were dark with lust and his expression of concentration was so intensely focused on his task and her body that she melted at the sight of it. He could have done whatever he wanted to her at that moment and she wouldn't have protested – she was that far gone with need for him.

Still seated inside her, she felt him grab roughly at her hips, easily lifting her pelvis so that he could scoot forward under her and sit back on his heels to place her bottom on his parted thighs and penetrate her even more deeply. She didn't know how he would thrust in this position. He was seated so deeply within her and situated so snugly against her that she could feel his testicles as they pressed against her anus. But, instead of continuing to thrust as she thought he intended, he removed one of her legs from his shoulder and let it fall to the side while his other hand grasped the remaining ankle and spread her completely open on his lap.

With her pelvis elevated above her shoulders and resting on his thighs, and her legs spread wide as he penetrated her to the hilt, he used his free hand to caress her, moving over her inner thighs, across her stomach and then down to her breasts that were obeying gravity by surging up toward her face. When he had his fill of kneading, pinching, and twisting her until she undulated on top of him and moaned as her unrestrained movements ground his penis impossibly deeper inside of her, he drew his hand back up to her genitals that were spread wide and set conveniently in his lap.

Severus had never before enjoyed giving pleasure to a witch like he was now. He wasn't in a hurry to be done and be on his way as it seemed was the norm for his previous sexual encounters. No, he wanted to savor this, wanted to hear every sound that fell from her lips, watch every expression that crossed her face, and feel every sensation her body could provide. All of them were for his amusement, and he would take them willingly.

Needing to slow down or risk coming too quickly, he had positioned them so that he could attend to her while still remaining as deep inside her as their bodies would allow. He didn't stop to analyze why he felt that way, but it was imperative that he stay within her – be as close to her as he could get. It was a primitive instinct that he was subject to. As a man, he only knew that she belonged to him now, and if he could have melded her flesh with his, it wouldn't have been close enough for him. His instincts also demanded that he make her come. To him, it was the ultimate act of dominance, a moment of complete obedience to him on her part, when her body and mind would surrender to his will. It was his right as her husband – her man, and he would exercise it.

He opened her wide and brought his hand to her folds, exploring and caressing her. The Slytherin in him was enjoying the view of the girl spread helplessly before him, his dick buried deep within her warm, wet pussy. Still, that wasn't enough. He looked down at her face, holding her hooded gaze as she watched him dip his finger to where he was joined to her and spread her secretions over her labia and onto the hard nub of her clit. He worked his thumb back and forth over her most sensitive spot and continued to watch her face for her reaction. Her eyebrows drew tighter and her teeth worried her plump lower lip as he rubbed her. When her eyelids started to fall closed he stopped abruptly, and she looked at him beseechingly. He needed to have her eyes on him – to make sure she knew who she belonged to and who was making her feel this good.

"Don't close your eyes," he ordered sternly.

She whimpered.

"In fact, I don't want you to move a muscle unless I tell you to."

Another whimper.

Hermione tried her best to obey him. She would have done whatever he said if only he would keep touching her there. She was so close to coming. The heavy tingling sensation was building inside her where his long, thick penis was so deeply embedded. Even though he wasn't moving, she was so sensitive, and he was so big it was all she could feel. She wanted to squeeze with her Kegels, but when she tried he looked at her threateningly.

"Not a muscle." he warned.

"Sir," she said desperately, shaking her head, "I can't…"

She simply had to move.

"Yes, you can," he said as a matter of fact, his tone softening slightly in encouragement, "and if you want me to let you come, you will."

She was at his command, unable to look away from his dark, penetrating gaze as he held her still with his firm grip and used the fingers of his other hand to circle and rub her clitoris. Her breaths were coming in increasingly halted, shallow gasps as she tried not to move, but it seemed that concentrating on not moving only served to focus her mind on every minute sensation his deft fingers inspired.

She could feel ever inch of her overstretched vaginal walls throbbing along with the beats of her heart, producing the liquid evidence of her pleasure now trickling from her opening and soaking the coarse hair around his genitals. When she felt the burning ache start to spread from her abdomen into her thighs and reach her curling toes, she shook her head at him again and grimaced, unable to hold on any longer.

"Oh, sir…" she cried desperately.

Severus watched the girl struggle to do as he instructed, and he reveled in how she tried to please him. She willingly gave herself over to his direction, and it made him feel competent – powerful. The Slytherin in him thrived on having control over her, having her provide for his need. Yet, something troubled him about the way the girl addressed him. He knew she was hesitant to use his given name – him being an authority figure and virtual stranger to her, but in this intimate act he needed her to say it, to show deference to him as the man responsible for her pleasure.

"Say my name," he ordered, looking deep into her brown eyes as he increased the speed at which he was rubbing her clit, using a frenzied motion. He knew that she was on the edge, and he needed her to fall. "Come for me and say my name," he ordered again.

The seductive sound of his deep, commanding voice, finally sent Hermione tumbling endlessly over the precipice. She came with an explosion of light and sensation that consumed every nerve ending in her mind and body, catapulting her into ecstasy. She was blissfully unaware of anything except the blinding white light behind her eyelids and the lightening emanating from where he filled her and firing through her body. For an eternity, she floated in rapture, coming back to herself slowly, only to find herself filled with gratitude toward him as she repeatedly mumbled his name.

With each repetition of his name the girl uttered, Severus's pride swelled. He had caused her to come calling out his name over and over again until both her pleasure and her voice waned. She was his completely in that moment, and it was magnificent. Her face had tensed as her back and neck had arched upward, thrusting her breasts toward him. Her pussy had clamped onto him like a vice, milking his cock in rolling waves until she collapsed limply, murmuring his name.

Though she was spent, he was not. Watching her climax had made him insane with the need to chase his own end. He had no further motivation to refrain, and no longer did he possess the ability to show restraint. It would be his final claim on her, and he would make it.

In one swift motion, he clasped both her ankles, spreading her bent legs wide and pushing them forward and down to the bed so that her knees were beside her shoulders. Simultaneously, he came forward from his kneeling position to hold himself above her, supporting his weight on all fours and pinning her, immobile, to the bed. In this position, her back was curled and her pussy was high and open beneath him, reminding him of a bug flipped onto its back. She gasped and her eyes flew open as he contorted her body, but before she could protest he began pumping his cock furiously into her sopping cunt.

"Uh … uh … uh… uh," she grunted, grasping his forearms to anchor herself as he began pummeling her.

It felt so fucking good to let go and take what he wanted from her. Her pussy was like a warm, gooey sheath around his dick, sucking him down into her body over and over again. He fucked her like that for a long time, basking in the animalistic, almost brutal, nature of their coupling.

"Fuck … uh … yeah … fuck … that's it," he mumbled as he repeatedly bottomed out inside her, causing the bed to dip. He liked it hard. He liked watching her tits jiggle and bounce and feeling her buttery pussy squelch every time he thrust back into her – beyond truly caring if it was too much for her.

It wasn't. Hermione was loving every second of his bestial assault. She thought the savage way he took her was perfection in motion, and she was awed by him. His broad shoulders and defined arms held him stiff above her as his flat, lean stomach constricted franticly to move his pelvis up and down as he plunged repeatedly into her. The expression on his face was that of a predator hell bent on devouring her – ferocious and fierce, and she felt weak at the sight of it.

The best part was watching where his penis, glistening with her moisture, disappeared inside of her. It was unbelievable to her that the length and girth of his shaft could fit, but it did. The rosy, wrinkled skin of her minor labia opened like the petals of a flower at his intrusion and accepted every enormous inch of him. Great Merlin, the way it felt! She couldn't describe how good it was. She was still so sensitive from her orgasm that her body welcomed the friction and pressure of the harsh pounding it was receiving, anything less would have been irritating. No, this is exactly what she needed.

"Uh … uh … Oh, … uh … Sev.. er.. us…" she whined, her longing plea broken up by the impact of his hips.

At the sound of his name on her lips, Severus drew his gaze from her body where they were joined and up to her eyes. He too had been mesmerized by the sight of her small opening stretched tight around his thick shaft as her little cunt strained to accommodate him.

"Do you like me fucking you hard, little witch?" he asked, his tone sharp and domineering.

"Uh … uh … yes … oh, … uh … yes… love … uh … it…"

The sight of the girl willingly accepting the thorough fucking he was giving her and confessing her delight with it was the culmination of a litany of sights, sounds, and sensations driving him toward his zenith. He couldn't look away from her face, and he couldn't prolong it any longer – nor did he want to. When he felt the constriction in his balls and the sinking feeling in his stomach, heralding his release, he held her gaze and chased it, slamming into her barbarically again … and again … and again…

"Uuung…fuck!" he groaned, closing his eyes and throwing his head back as he stilled above her. His dick was seated inside of her as deep as he could force it as waves of unadulterated bliss surged through him in time with the waves of his ejaculation. When he finally came back to his senses, he realized he had collapsed on top of the girl, having released her legs and fallen down onto his elbows.

She didn't mind. In fact, Hermione thought that she must be in heaven. Not only was she basking in the newly familiar sense of completion that swept over her as he ejaculated inside of her, but, more importantly, she was lost in amazed astonishment by what she had seen in her professor's eyes during the last few unguarded moments before he fell over the edge into climax. There was something there that gave her a glimmer of hope that she hadn't ever expected to find. As he moved himself above and inside of her, losing himself in the union of their bodies, he had inadvertently let the walls he had built around his heart slip away, exposing his true emotions to her for that briefest duration of time. And, in that instant, she saw a vulnerability and longing there that spoke to her soul.

As his strength left him and he settled upon her, a sense of calm and lightness filled her. She welcomed his weight, grounding her as she floated lazily in their post-coital haze. He was so much taller than her that her face was nestled under his chin in the crook between his collar bone and his neck – the span of his broad shoulders and arms encasing her. She felt … right there, like they were one being – him deep inside of her with her legs and arms wrapped around him, embracing him and molding their bodies together – his hard to her soft. It was simply wonderful, especially knowing that he wasn't without feelings. And, that if he had them, then she could find a way to touch them. She realized her mother was right about him – he may be cold and prickly on the outside, but somewhere in that hard, imposing body he had a heart, and she resolved in that moment to make every attempt to gain entry into it.

When his breathing evened out and he lifted his head from where it had fallen into her hair, she turned her face into his neck and gently peppered it with wet, sloppy kisses.

"You were amazing," she said reverently. "I never dreamt it could be like that."

Severus brought his hands up and stroked the hair from the sides of her face tenderly, but – he told himself – it was only because it was tickling him, and rested his chin against her forehead, slowly breathing in the scent of her. He didn't want to move. The contentedness he was feeling was completely new to him, and he suspected it wasn't only due to the climax he had experienced moments before. It was her. The annoying little chit had just turned his world upside down and set it on it's head, and he couldn't think to be angry with her. He was too at peace, and that was something he had never – ever – been.

"Neither did I, little witch," he confessed, then sighed. "Neither did I."