No beta for this one, sorry in advance. :)
Theodore Nott had never been one for polysyllabic words. Come to think of it, he had never been one for more than four words in a row. This could prove to be a stumbling stone, she was afraid. He was going to have to talk if he was going to lecture her about… that, after all.
She faltered. She knew the why of it of course, but it wasn't easy to admit to her failure out loud. It also suddenly dawned on her that the entrance hall of St. Mungo's at seven on a Monday morning was probably not the best place and time to ask a man she rarely ever conversed with to give her pointers on how to improve her withering sex-life.
"Because I need help," she admitted. "I'm… I don't know what else to do."
He stared at her impassively for a few seconds before elaborating, "No, why me?"
She felt her face heat up and was sure she was currently turning a shade of red that would do any Weasley proud. It had all seemed so easy last night when she had devised her plan. Granted, in her mind all she had to do was casually walk up to him and ask "Hey, can you teach me how to be a better lover", immediately prompting him to assure her that yes, of course he could do that. She supposed it was better to not inhale a whole bottle of red wine the next time she was busy pondering a possibly life-altering course of action.
A quick contemplation of her options had her settle on the truth, or as much as she was willing to share anyway. The only problem was she didn't know him well enough to be sure whether that would go down well or not. They had attended Hogwarts together, both before and after the war, and started their apprenticeships at St. Mungo's Hospital at the same time as well, but all she knew of him was that while his father had been a Death Eater and died during the Battle of Hogwarts, he and his mother had left Britain in early 1998 and only returned well after Harry had defeated Voldemort. She didn't know why he and his mother had left, how he felt about his father or even what he did during his days not spent at this hospital. Apart from that one thing, of course. And she didn't particularly care at the moment. Her natural curiosity was more than overshadowed by her desperation to find any form of help.
"People talk," she finally said and when he didn't say anything in return, she added, "Women talk."
He raised one dark blonde eyebrow and she could have sworn the beginning of a crooked smile was beginning to form on his face. She held her breath, never having seen him smile before – crooked or not, a smile was a smile – but it seemed that fate was not on her side this morning.
"Good morning. Have you been waiting for me, Miss Granger? How unusual."
Marylind Inishcrone, her appointed residency healer, came rushing past them in a whirl of blue robes and long blonde hair, heading for one of the many elevators at the back of the entrance hall. Hermione sighed. Now she'd have to follow her ASAP or risk another day spent out of Marylind's good graces. Since Theodore and she were nearing the end of their four-year apprenticeships to become healers, they were already working full time in their chosen fields of specialization. For Hermione that meant heading up to the fourth floor to Spell Damage, while Theodore would commence to the third floor, where he worked in Potions and Plant Poisoning.
"I'll talk to you later," she said curtly, before heading off after Marylind without looking back.
Five hours into her working day it became clear to Hermione that things weren't about to get better anytime soon. She had just finished doing rounds, routine check-ups and treatments with Marylind and they were currently in the middle of what the resident healer liked to call "a professional disagreement" but Hermione had long since realized was simply "cutting the trainee down to size". Marylind was a very good but also a very self-confident healer. She wasn't exactly open to new ideas, especially not if they came from one of the trainee healers. She had spent the last fifteen minutes being told off inside the older healer's office, after which she had unceremoniously been kicked out into the hallway. This wasn't anything new. She barely even listened anymore. She was pretty sure she remembered hearing something like "You might think you're full of new and fresh ideas, but that's bullshit." It was always more or less the same speech, but sometimes it was horseshit instead of bullshit.
And then, just as she thought her day couldn't get any worse, she remembered to take a look at her pocket watch and saw that it was just after twelve and her only chance to discreetly approach Theodore Nott again today was only a few minutes away. She had observed him over the last few weeks. Well, there hadn't been that many opportunities for her to observe him, given that they were now permanently training in different departments. But after some snooping she now knew that he usually spend his lunch break alone in one of the less frequented staff rooms located in the far back of the second floor. And she also knew that he usually took his break at around half past 12, unless there was an emergency patient or scheduled staff meeting at that time.
She straightened her shoulders. Time to face her demons.
He didn't seem surprised when she entered the brightly lit staff room twenty minutes later, which she would have found suspicious if she hadn't been so used to his impassive behaviour all the time. He was sitting on a plush, blue sofa opposite the door, mug of coffee in one hand, a sandwich in the other and an open book balanced on his right thigh. She thought he made for a rather comical picture, sitting there like this. For some reason she would definitely have pictured him eating while sitting at a proper table and not like this. It seemed like something the younger, lankier and somewhat awkward Theodore she had often seen inside the Hogwarts library would have done. This Theodore had filled out some, moved with determination and seemed to have shed all his youthful awkwardness. Well, maybe not all, she conceded. He was still rather ineloquent.
She went over to him and sat down in one of the arm chairs opposite the sofa he was currently occupying. He looked at her with a contemplative look on his face, half-eaten sandwich and mug still clutched in his hands.
"Hello. I came to finish our conversation from earlier," she declared in what she hoped was a confident tone of voice.
His only reaction was to lean slightly forward to put the mug down on the narrow coffee table between his sofa and her armchair. Then he also put the book away, the sandwich atop of it (this nearly made her tell him to take better care of his books) and sunk back into the sofa cushions. Looking at her. Always just looking. What was wrong with this man? Were all the stories she had heard about him even true?
"So… I already told you what I needed assistance with. Are you willing to help?" She asked in a business-like manner.
"You're with Weasley."
She wasn't anymore, not really. Over a month ago, she and Ron had decided to "take a break" from their relationship for a while… Okay, Ron had decided. They had, however, agreed to not meet other people while they were still officially on a break and talk about their possible future again in a few months' time. She needed to prepare for that. She knew that she wasn't exactly an easy girlfriend to have. Her need to always be right and penchant for telling others what to do saw to that. But she couldn't very well change who she was just to please him. She wasn't the type of girl to do something silly like that. She could, however, change one thing she knew for a fact Ron had a problem with. It was simply a matter of studying. She could do it. She would do it. All she needed to do was convince Theodore Nott to help her out.
Deciding he didn't need to know about her relationship status, she said, "I'm not asking you to touch me or even sleep with me," she willed herself not to blush again, "I'm asking you to tell me how to improve my… technique."
He was laughing.
He was laughing!
Theodore Nott didn't laugh. She had never even seen him smile before and now he was laughing at her. The fact that he had a very attractive laugh served only to annoy her more.
"It's not funny."
Still laughing, he waved at her, as if telling her to stop joking or else he would expire from laughter.
"It is," he gasped.
She glowered at him and crossed her arms. A few moments later his laughter died down and he wiped at his eyes.
"Why me?" He asked again while his face took on its usual impassive expression once more.
Was he serious? One second he was laughing his behind off at her expense and the next he went back to being a stone.
"I told you. Women talk. The girls back at Hogwarts talked as well. I talked to… a friend the other night and she told me about an… encounter the two of you had."
She didn't know if Hannah would mind her mentioning her name or not, so she didn't.
"Anyway. I thought about who could help me. I've read books, of course. But I'm mostly interested in what men like, so I thought asking a man would be the practical thing to do. Since I couldn't very well ask any of my male friends, because that would be uncomfortable, I decided to ask you instead."
He blinked. "This is comfortable?"
She gritted her teeth. "This is starting to get on my nerves. Will you help me or not?"
After a moment he simply inclined his head and said, "Okay."
She was surprised to say the least. She had hoped he would say yes of course, but she hadn't really thought he would. At least not so quickly and not before asking her for something in return. He was a Slytherin after all.
She gave a nervous little cough that reminded her horribly of Umbridge. "Okay then… Could we meet once a week? I don't think it should take much more than two, maybe three meetings for me to learn all the pertinent information."
Was he smirking?
"Is tonight at eight okay? I don't want to intrude on your weekends and since all the trainee healers have a mid-day shift tomorrow, it should be okay to stay out tonight… I would like to meet in Muggle London."
"Okay," he said again and she got up, feeling thoroughly annoyed with his short answers. The more monosyllabic he was being the more she felt like she had to say something and explain herself, which always led her saying stupid things. He knew perfectly well that he had a mid-day shift tomorrow. She felt like a babbling idiot.
"Thank you. I'll send you an owl with all the pertinent information later."
Even as she said "pertinent information" she could feel herself cringe. He was definitely smirking now.
She left before she could make an even bigger fool of herself. Not that she could possibly have felt any more incompetent after asking someone to tell her how to properly have sex.
Hermione nervously checked her watch for what must have been the fifth time within three minutes. He wasn't even late yet. She sighed and looked down at herself, checking her grey button down blouse for wrinkles. Something she had also done an embarrassingly lot since arriving at the little pub located in Camden Town ten minutes ago. There were quite a few people about tonight and there was music on. It wasn't so loud that they weren't going to be able to understand each other but loud enough to not worry about others listening in on them. Perfect.
She looked up when she heard the sound of a chair scratching against the floor. He was here. He was wearing black jeans, a black hoodie and white t-shirt and he was here. She had fully expected him to not turn up tonight. Maybe write to his old school mate Draco Malfoy so they could have a good old laugh about the prude doesn't-know-so-much-after-all.
She had also expected it to be a problem for him to meet up in Muggle London. Not necessarily because he was a pureblood and a Slytherin. She had never heard him make any snarky remarks about blood traitors or mudbloods in school – she had never really heard him say anything, to be honest – so for all she knew he could be the most liberal and open-minded Slytherin in history. But in her experience most witches and wizards, even some of the half-bloods, felt extremely uncomfortable around Muggles and didn't know some of the most basic things about how to get around in a Muggle environment. So, seeing him smack in the middle of a Muggle pub, without a robe and realizing he had even gone up to the bar, ordered a larger – Muggle beer! – and paid in Pound Sterling was a surprise for her. Even Ron, whom she had taken out to Muggle London on numerous occasions, had always let her handle the talking to Muggles.
"Hi," she said.
"Thanks for coming."
"Why wouldn't I?"
She sighed and took a sip of her white wine.
"Can you say more than three words in a row?"
She looked at him crossly and he continued.
"How do you want to do this?"
Seven words. That was progress.
"I thought I'd … Ask and you'd answer."
She ignored his sarcasm and said what she had carefully planned out all day, "I want to know what kind of woman men like in bed. I am obviously aware that not all straight men are the same, but I'd like to have a general idea first."
"Shouldn't you ask your boyfriend what he likes?"
She would never have thought that'd be the case, but she liked him better when he only said a maximum of three words in a row.
"He doesn't like to talk about things like this. But I have a very academic mind. I need to talk about stuff and gather information before I can learn how to do something." She had in fact tried to talk to Ron about their lack of passion on numerous occasions during the past few years, but he had always cut her off and told her something along the lines of These things should just come natural. Let's not talk it to death. As if things could have gotten any deader than they already were.
He gave her a look she couldn't decipher and leaned back in his chair after taking a sip of his larger.
"I can tell you what I like."
She hated that it sounded like a challenge but she was also a Gryffindor and Gryffindors never backed down, so she nodded.
"I like a woman who is confident."
"I want a woman who knows what she wants and is not afraid of taking it. Sex shouldn't be about one person doing all the work and the other just letting things happen."
She felt her face heat up once again at his use of the word "sex". Of course she wasn't a virgin anymore and of course she knew what they were going to talk about –she had asked after all – but hearing him say it so bluntly made her double check that none of the other customers around them were eavesdropping on them.
But what he had just said also intrigued her. Ron had never given the impression that he wanted her to do anything more than just, well, be there and be naked.
"But… Not both can be active. They would… get in each other's way."
She could see another crooked smile form on his face and this time nobody interrupted them. She was startled to realize his smile, much like his laugh, was very attractive. It should probably not have come as a surprise to her though. She had heard girls back at Hogwarts, female friends and some of the mediwitches she worked with whisper about him and his… prowess. He must exude a certain amount of charm to get all these women to spend the night with him.
"Getting in each other's way is the best part. Nothing like a little fight for dominance."
She spluttered, "Don't be vulgar."
"I'm far from vulgar. How would you like me to talk about this? Should we use nice, clean code words for all the different body parts and positions?"
She took a deep gulp of her white wine and tried to regain her composure. This was a nightmare. She had never talked to anyone about sex before. Her best female friend was Ginny and she sure didn't want to hear stories about her own brother. Her other female friends… It just didn't feel right to talk to them about it. And the "little talk" her mother had with her when she was 13 didn't help her in this situation either.
She needed to get over her shyness, she knew that. It was the only way to get Ron back. It wasn't right for them to break up. They were supposed to stay together.
"Okay," she finally said in a determined tone, "How exactly can a woman show and take what she wants without offending?"
"Before, during or after?"
He was teasing her.
"We should do this systematically. If by during you mean… penetration, then I don't think there's much to the "before" part anyway, so let's start there."
He raised an eyebrow, "There's much more to the "before" part than "during"."
"Fine then," she gritted, feeling like a fool. "Do enlighten me."
"I like it when a woman grabs my shoulders and pulls me closer while we're kissing."
She furrowed her brows.
"She could also nip at my neck and touch me. Over my jeans."
And turned a deep shade of red again. He was sitting down but she hadn't forgotten that he was wearing jeans right now.
"You wouldn't find that a bit… distracting?"
Ron had always told her to not touch him there, unless she wanted things to be over before they got started.
"No. I would find it very pleasurable." He was looking at her over the rim of his glass with a most curious expression on his face. He looked almost angry, but she couldn't fathom why that should be the case. She couldn't imagine a single situation in a conversation like this where anything she said would manage to offend him.
"We would start undressing each other. She and I," he added after she gave him a look.
"Okay, I think I know how undressing works, we can skip over this part."
"Have you ever been in such a hurry that you practically ripped someone's clothes off?"
That stumped her. Of course not. Why would she do such a thing? That was something only characters in bad books and movies did.
"I thought I was the one who was supposed to ask the questions."
"Just checking what I'm working with. So, have you?"
"I really don't see why you would want to rip someone's clothes off."
"I don't know, Granger. I guess it's different for everybody. In my case, I'd do that, because I couldn't wait a second longer to have that other person naked and panting in front of me."
Ron never panted. Naked or dressed.
"How would you do that?" Her voice sounded slightly raspy and she took another sip of wine.
He looked her dead in the eye. "If she was wearing a button down blouse…"
She was wearing a button down blouse.
"I would rip it open with one hand."
"The buttons would come off."
"She wouldn't care. She would tell me to hurry and fuck her."
"Now you're getting vulgar."
"You're asking me how men like to fuck, that's a vulgar topic."
He was right and she hated it.
"Then I would push her bra down," he went on, "and I would latch onto her nipples."
She was mortified to feel a familiar tingling sensation at the juncture of her thighs.
"What would the woman do?"
Another crooked smile, "Moan, grab my hair, sling her legs around me. Have your pick."
For the first time she was the one who didn't have anything to say and he kept on talking.
"I would want her to moan though. Uninhibited, genuine moaning. No faking, no supressing. I'd be able to tell the difference."
This made her roll her eyes despite the fact that she could feel herself growing ever more aroused. She didn't have that much experience with men but she knew they all prided themselves in supposedly knowing when a woman was genuinely aroused and climaxed and when not.
"I'd be able to tell the difference," he said once more and she felt inclined to believe him. God only knew why.
"Do you moan?" She asked feeling slightly light headed.
"When I do, it's genuine."
She didn't know what to say to that so she asked once more, "And then?"
"Then I would get her out of her jeans…. Or whatever else she was wearing."
"Surely you wouldn't rip them."
This made him chuckle. "I'm afraid not, unless it was a very flimsy pair of jeans. Do you want to know what I'd do then?"
He looked dead serious. "Rip her panties."
This actually made her laugh and from the look he gave her she guessed it was the reaction he was looking for.
"Then I would slowly touch her between her legs."
Her laughter died down.
"Only with one finger at first. I would let it glide up and down carefully. Then I would stop right at the top, where she liked it best, and apply more pressure."
Her thighs clenched together.
"I would spend some more time kissing her breasts, then slowly move down."
"Okay," she squeaked. Squeaked? Good God.
She knew what was coming next and she definitely didn't want to hear him talk about it. Ron and she had tried that a couple of times but it had just felt weird.
"We're going in the wrong direction."
Oh, that smile.
"I thought I was going exactly where you wanted me to go."
She had to get back in control of this conversation. This was bad. The way her body reacted to his words was bad. The way everything he said made unbidden images rise in her mind was bad.
"I asked you what the woman could do. Nearly everything you told me so far only involved you getting the woman naked and you doing… things."
"It's give and take. Sometimes the man only wants you to enjoy what he does for you."
"I want to do things as well," she blurted out. Usually, she would have been mortified by her frankness but she was past caring.
His pale blue eyes seemed to light up… It was probably just the dodgy lightning.
"… He is going to like that very much."
Again with the strange expression.
"Maybe we should continue next week… Then you can tell me what to do."
He stared at her a bit longer, then inclined his head.
Thirty minutes later she was back in her flat close to Diagon Alley, panting in her shower and wondering what she had gotten herself into.
Thankfully, she didn't see him all day at work the following day. She wasn't sure she could face him again so soon. So she went about her day as usual, trying not to step on Marylind's toes and taking a few minutes to visit Neville's parents in the Janus Thickey Ward. She went to see them from time to time and put some flowers on the table between their beds. She knew they probably couldn't tell she was there but she still went. And Neville had told her he appreciated it, since he and his grandmother were the only people visiting these days.
She was out of the hospital by nine p.m. and hurried over to the Leaky Cauldron where she had arranged to meet with Ron. It would be their first meeting in over four weeks and she felt nervous about it. She had tried to talk to Harry about it all, but despite saying that he hoped everything was going to work out for the best, the Boy Who Lived hadn't been much help. She didn't blame him, really. Poor Harry had always been a bit overwhelmed when it came to matters of the heart.
She silently cursed the fact that she didn't have time to head home first and change into something nicer than the practical black robes she had worn on her way to work today, but it couldn't be helped. She had been scheduled to be out of the hospital half an hour earlier, but hardly anybody ever ended their shift on time.
Ron was already there when she arrived, sitting in one of the booths.
"Hello," she said as she sat down opposite of him.
She had expected to feel more… elation upon seeing him again but as usual there was only the familiar warmth she had always felt when she met him. It was nice. But it wasn't terribly exciting.
"Hi, Mione," he said, smiling sheepishly at her.
"How are you?"
Huh. That wasn't exactly what she wanted to hear, considering the circumstances.
"I guess I'm alright."
They sat in silence for a few minutes. It wasn't a very comfortable kind of silence, like she often had with Harry. There was too much tension in the air and too many things they weren't able to say to each other, for whatever reason.
"How is this being apart thing going for you?" He finally asked and she wasn't sure of how to answer that. What could you say to a question like that anyway? Their relationship lay in shambles after four years and their friendship, which was even more important to her if she was being honest, was about to meet the same fate if they didn't find a way to turn this situation back around soon. She felt terrible about the prospect of not having him in her life anymore and while she was willing to work towards rekindling their relationship, she didn't think she missed him like she was supposed to. This made her feel even worse.
"I don't want to lose you, Ron."
He sighed and looked at her with sad eyes, "I don't want to lose you either. I just don't… I don't know how much longer we can last. Something doesn't feel right and you must feel it too. You often claim I have the emotional range of a tea spoon, so if I can tell something's not right, I'm sure you've known for a long time now."
No. He was going to break up with her for good, she could feel it.
"We can work on that, Ron. No relationship is easy. It takes compromise and dedication to get things to work. If we could improve our communication and maybe do something about our sex-"
"Hermione!" He held up a hand and turned beet red. It was almost comical how the tables had turned for her. Just last night she had been the one to blush like a 12-year-old at the mention of the word sex.
"Don't talk about that, especially not right in the middle of the Leaky Cauldron."
"You're supposed to listen!" She was getting angry now. How were things going to change if he wasn't willing to talk?
"Do you think things are just magically going to get better? That's not how it works. We have to talk."
"We shouldn't have to talk about this. I never had to talk about stuff like this with Lavender."
She felt like she had been punched in the stomach. The mention of Ron's first and only girlfriend beside Hermione stung, not only because she had sadly been one of their classmates to fall during the Battle of Hogwarts.
"You were 16 back then. I doubt there was much more going on than you coming into your own briefs."
Much like him, she was lashing out now, but she couldn't help it. She tried to come up with ways to fix this mess and all he ever did was dodge her.
He looked about ready to explode when he said, "I don't think this is going to work any longer."
"So you're breaking up with me." The anger she had felt only seconds before quickly gave way to fear. "Please don't do this to us. We've known each other since we were 11. I can't lose you."
"I don't… You're not losing me as a friend, okay, Hermione? I promise you that. But we can't be together like this anymore. You always wanted us to talk about…" He couldn't bring himself to say it, she could see it in his eyes. "About that thing. I don't think that's gonna change much though. We've both been our firsts and frankly I don't think we're good enough to learn anything from one another."
She narrowed her eyes at him. "So, what, we should just go out and learn from somebody else?"
"That's what it is, isn't it? You want to be with other women."
In what could only have been a bout of clarity mixed with a whole lot of courage, Ron ignored the bait she had just thrown him and asked her straight out, "Do you love me?"
What followed was a whole lot of silence.
The next few days went by in a blur. She was pretty sure Ron and she were over for good after her less than satisfactory answer of "You're my best friend, of course I love you" when he had asked if she loved him. She was now trying to come to terms with the fact that the man she had always thought she would end up with was probably not her One. She also spent way too much time thinking about Theodore Nott and their "lessons". There was really no need for that now, was there? Except, maybe there was. She felt a bit pessimistic at the moment but she didn't honestly think Ron was going to be the last man she'd ever be with. The fact that she felt worse about possibly having damaged their friendship than their dead relationship spoke volumes.
She wasn't going to make the same mistakes again next time. Hermione Granger learned from her mistakes and she was still determined to find out what exactly it had been she had always done wrong in bed.
She did her best to ignore the nagging voice at the back of her head that kept telling her that maybe she should encourage Theodore to use a more direct, hands-on method of teaching. She really wasn't the sort to dally with playboys. She would continue to listen to him and make sure she was able to remember and reenact the most crucial points later.
So, after a weekend spent holed up in her apartment despite Harry and Ginny's insistence that she come over, she went into St. Mungo's on Monday morning. She saw him once, but only in passing and as usual they didn't openly acknowledge each other.
They had, however, set up to meet again at the same pub tonight. After work, she went home, ate and tried to not take extra care while getting ready. She decided on another button down blouse, as was her usual attire. A deep red one this time and she combined it with a dark, boot cut jeans. There, just what she would have worn on any other evening out.
She entered the pub at eight o'clock and saw him already sitting at the same table they had occupied last week. She inclined her head in greeting when he looked over to her and went to the bar to get a larger before sitting in the chair opposite his.
"You were early."
He simply nodded and looked at her.
"Should we start?"
"If you want."
"Last week you mentioned something about going down on the woman."
He looked at her expectantly.
"Am I right to assume you would enjoy it if the woman did the same for you?"
He nodded. She bit her lower lip. She had tried to do it for Ron a couple of times but always had to stop, because he got too excited and tried to push her head down, causing her to start gagging. She didn't imagine she'd enjoy it very much when she did it again.
"Do you think the women who did it for you enjoyed it?"
The way he hesitated before answering told her that he was a bit taken aback by that question.
"I'm assuming, yes. It's nothing I openly ask for or would expect her to do if she didn't enjoy it."
"Do you… Do you enjoy it when you do it to a woman?"
"I thought you wanted to talk about what the woman could do."
"Just tell me. Please," she hastily added.
"Yes, I enjoy it."
"What about it?"
He leaned forward a bit and she was once again unable to read is expression. He was like a closed book most of the time.
"The smell, the taste, having her in my mouth, the way she will clamp her thighs around my head and her lower body will automatically try to lift off the bed. I also enjoy holding her down with one arm and using my free hand on her while I'm sucking on her clit. I enjoy listening to her moans while I fuck her with my mouth."
Once again she could feel the familiar heat rushing to her face. She also felt a tingling sensation between her legs again but it didn't shock her as much as yesterday. They were talking about sex. They were talking about good sex. She assumed it was only natural for her to react one way or another.
She took a deep breath and quickly asked her next question, "And during sex. What positions do you enjoy? What is there that a woman can do to make it better?"
"I like whatever position the woman likes."
She snorted. "Really."
"It actually doesn't take that much to make a man come. In fact, we spent most of our time during sex trying not to come. Some of us are better at it than others. I've never done a position with a woman that I didn't enjoy. For women it's different, I'm guessing, but you'd have to tell me that."
She didn't know what possessed her to say it, but the words were out before she could stop them, "I've always wanted to be on top."
He narrowed his eyes. "You've never been on top."
It was a statement, not a question. She had pretty much already admitted to it anyways.
"Weasley must be a real tosser in bed."
She chose to ignore that.
"So that's something you would enjoy? If the woman told you she wanted to be on top, you'd do it?"
It was hard to tell with the lighting but she was sure his gaze was roaming over her face, down her blouse and back up again.
"It gives me a nice view of her breasts and face when she is riding me. I also have my hands free to touch her whenever I want."
"You don't mind not being able to set the pace?"
He grinned. "I can always grab her hips and guide her."
"So the one who's really in charge is always you."
"Only if the woman wants me to be. I can be perfectly happy just lying there, playing with her breasts and having her ride me however she wishes. Fast and hard or slow and gentle."
"What do you prefer?"
"I like her riding me slow and gentle until I can't take it anymore and then throwing her on her back and driving into her until she screams."
God, he was so crude and it shouldn't sound as good as it did. He was dangerous. She had a feeling he would be, even before she had approached him last week, but now she knew for sure. Did he realize he was having such a strong effect on her? Would he talk differently if he thought that would get her worked up even more easily?
"You said you wanted her to moan. Why?"
"I want to hear how much she enjoys it. And it gets me quite hot," he added, almost as an afterthought.
"What if she doesn't enjoy it as much as you do?"
"I'll do anything in my power to make her enjoy it. But she has to do something to let herself enjoy it, too… She has to stop overthinking things all the time."
"I've been watching you."
"A bit more cleverly than you've been watching me by the way. You've been terribly obvious. I didn't know what you wanted but it was only a question of time before you would find me in that staffroom."
She was probably gaping at him like a fish out of water but she couldn't help it. So he really hadn't been surprised when she had come to him.
"You're very beautiful, did you know that? I've always thought so. But you can't stop thinking about things, rationalizing them. Even when you asked me to talk to you about sex you made it sound like one of Professor Binn's history lessons."
"Why… you… That's what it was supposed to be, a simple lesson to help me out!"
"But it wasn't. At least not in the end when you were all flushed and aroused."
She felt utterly humiliated. So he had noticed. Why had he agreed to meet her again? So make fun of her? To try and get into her knickers?
"I've been aroused as well. I've been hard for you every night since last Monday."
"I'm not sleeping with you," she said weakly, because she could think of nothing better to say.
He seemed unconcerned. "I'm still offering. And despite what you might have heard about me, I don't jump into the sack with just any witch. Half of the stories you came across were probably made up."
This was too much. That's not how she had planned tonight to go at all. Ron had broken up with her just last week and every last bit of security and superiority she had felt in these conversations with Theodore had now completely departed her.
But most of all she was overwhelmed by how much she wanted him. Much like what he had just mentioned so casually, she had been in a perpetual state of distraction because of him for the better part of the week. She couldn't pinpoint why but she wanted what he offered. Maybe it was because he was so attractive with his sandy blonde hair, crooked smile and casual demeanour or maybe it was simply because she thought that after four years she deserved at least one good shag without worrying about what she was doing wrong.
She had to leave before she made a fool of herself.
She got up abruptly, nearly toppling over her chair in the process.
"I have to get out of here."
She was out of the door within seconds and headed straight for the apparition spot in one of the dark sideways next to the pub. She would usually have taken the tube home, but she wanted to get away from here as quickly as possible.
She was suddenly grabbed by the upper arm and spun around.
"What?" She asked with a hint of desperation in her voice as she looked up at him.
His face was serious but not unfriendly and he kept a loose grip on her arm as he said, "I've been watching you for longer than you've been watching me."
She didn't know what he was saying anymore.
"I know you and Weasley broke up."
"I saw him and Potter at the Three Broomsticks last weekend. They were talking about it."
"I know you want me, too. I've seen it in your eyes. Let me show you how good it can be."
She felt her knees go weak and came up with one last-ditch attempt to stop what she otherwise wouldn't have the will power to stop anymore.
"I don't do one night stands."
He let go of her arm and she felt her stomach sink, thinking she had just said the one thing that was sure to make a man like Theodore run the other way.
But instead of telling her to have a good night and leaving, he raised his hand to her cheek and looked her straight in the eyes.
"It doesn't have to be a one night stand."
Once again the words were out before she could properly think them through."… If I enjoy it," she whispered, unable to look away.
He gave her another crooked smile.
"Oh, you will enjoy it."
Then he was kissing her and it was all she could do not to jump him right there. Their first kiss was different than any other first kiss she had had before. The others had been tentative, shy, like first steps. This one was like an explosion, almost aggressive, consuming and wonderful all at the same time. When he let his tongue glide over the seam of her lips, she welcomed it greedily, trying to pull him even closer to her with her arms around his neck. She was dimly aware of them stumbling into the small side street she had wanted to escape into before and it wasn't long before he apparated them into his flat. What followed was even better than his words at the pub. Theodore's actions, she would soon learn, always spoke louder than his words.
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