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Title: Reel Around the Sun (3/3)
Author: (anonymous for now)
Summary: After years of service, Headmaster Snape steps away for the summer. The sea calls – but he is not the only staff member to answer.
Prompt: Romantic Smut: a slo-oh-oh-oh burn. Severus and Hermoine both take a holiday away from their respective teaching jobs at Hogwarts. Unbeknownst to either of them, they have picked the very same seaside town to call their home-away-from-home. Crashing waves and steep cliffs, fog and long hair whipping in the wind... a thumb across a bottom lip starts it all...
Prompter: [livejournal.com profile] snapebraille4tu
Warnings: None.
Notes: Title comes from the Bill Whelan musical masterpiece of the same name. Lyrics at the beginning of each part belong to Damien Rice’s fitting song, ‘Colour Me In’. Inspiration has also been taken from the Margaret Atwood quote: “Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.” Thank you to the incomparable group of three women who guided, edited and wrangled this into submission. Dear prompter: please forgive the long length, but I hope to give you every single one of those ‘oh’s in your slow burn request.



So come let me love you
Come let me love you
And then… colour me in

Come let me love you
Come let me take this through the end
Of all these useless dreams of living
In all these useless dreams
All these useless dreams of living
In all these old noes

Come let me love you.


Part Three

There was no sign of him for the rest of the day, but when she heard the click of the front door opening, Hermione checked her reflection and hurried to meet him. The simple wraparound black dress that she wore was entirely a front for how nervous she felt; in the dress, she looked confident. That had to count for something.

“Severus?” she called, finding him about to take the stairs. He turned, clad in his usual black trousers, grey jumper and nondescript jacket. It was satisfying to see his eyes widen and track her body from her boots to her stockinged legs, then up and up and up to the curve of her waist and breasts. Pleased, Hermione put a hand on her hip and smiled gently.

“Are you ready for dinner?” she asked, determined to see the night through. There was a reticence in him that she would need to overcome, but she could do it. She would do it. She could not in good conscience allow them to leave the island without finally admitting the effect he had on her. In truth, Hermione suspected that the feelings she’d harboured had begun to develop into something far deeper than simple attraction. She would not think on that though, not tonight, and she put it out of her mind in favour of concentrating on the way Severus’ eyes were following the movement of her body as she walked towards him.

“Are you?” she asked again, coming to a stop a foot away from him. He smelt of the sea; she wondered if his skin carried the taste of the salt.

He frowned and opened his mouth, then closed it, before finally muttering: “Just… just give me ten minutes. I need a shower.”

“Of course. Where did you go?”

“Today?” he said, tearing his gaze from her and taking the first step towards his room. “Just for a walk.”

“All day?”

“Not that it concerns you, Hermione,” he reminded her, though there was no unkindness in it. Instead his black eyes were almost soft as he considered her there, standing at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at him with a smile on her lips. Somehow she knew that his half-hearted reprimand was a cloak of protection for himself; she would not allow him to retreat into it. She watched him steadily, unbothered, and he muttered: “But mostly all day, yes.”

“All right. I’ll be down here when you’re ready to go.” She was breathless, but then he had always made her so – deny it she would always, but the sight of the Headmaster striding through the corridors had always been enough to rid her of both thought and breath.

.
.

She gave me ten minutes – I was ready in five. I scrubbed my body raw under the hot shower, and all the while I saw her in the back of my mind: a temptress, dressed in soft, clinging black, her hair long and messy and horrid and all things enticing. I wanted to bury my hands in the curls, to place my lips around the tightened buds of her breasts. Under the steady stream of water, my cock hardened but I ignored it ruthlessly, leaving the warmth to rub my hair dry with a towel before hastily turning it on the rest of my body.

I was half-mad with desire for the woman waiting downstairs.

.
.

There was a glow on her skin in the pub. It was from the low lights, or perhaps a blush that simply refused to budge. She felt it there, as a low-lying heat under her cheeks. They sat at a table near the back of the room; closer to the windows would’ve been nicer, but Stromness was busy on this Friday evening.

Conversations buzzed around the two; there were the at times undecipherable Orkney accent, smooth Scottish lilts, and a Norwegian or three. When Severus asked what she wished to eat, he had to raise his voice above the cacophony. It was hardly romantic or quiet or sensual—the adjectives that she might have hoped for, if she were honest—but, buoyed by the vibrancy of the room, she felt happy and anticipative.

That morning, she’d been disappointed and rash, still smarting from his dismissal of her proximity on the beach. Now, whatever it was that had made Severus step away from her the day before had either lessened, or he’d put it aside for the moment. She didn’t particularly care – he was there, and one way or another, there would be an outcome of sorts at the end of the evening.

The striking black-haired man sitting opposite her must have sensed her confidence, for he stopped asking for her order and simply sat back in the chair and watched her, one side of his mouth curving in a grin.

When he left and took their menus to the bar, she unabashedly chose to examine how his trousers sat snugly on his lean hips, caressing each buttock in the way that she so desperately desired to do with her own hands. It was a struggle not to just follow him – his departure left her feeling lonely, and when he returned, her beatific smile prompted Severus to arch one quizzical eyebrow.

“Something wrong?” he asked, his long fingers busy with tearing up a paper tissue from the box on the table. His eyes flicked between her face and the tiny squares.

“No, no,” she said, unsure of how to guide them to where she wanted them to be. Now that the initial thrill of being at dinner with him had worn off, Hermione found herself anxious. “And how are you?” she tried, wincing.

He bit back a grin. “Well enough,” he answered. “I like this place.”

“The pub?”

“Everywhere. All of it. The island, the pub, the…” Severus gave her a sideways glance. “I like the accommodation. I like the wind, surprisingly enough. I like the weather. I keep thinking I should go somewhere warm one day, but somehow I keep staying in places like this.”

She set her elbow on the table and rested her cheek on her palm. “There’s magic here,” she said in a low undertone, recognising that he’d cast a spell at some point to dim the noise. “It’s… something else, isn’t it? Ancient. Natural. Not like anything you’d really notice, but it’s…”

Severus steepled his fingers and stared at her. “Most places have a form of magic about them. Magic is drawn from the elements. The might of the sea and the sheer nothingness of the sky contains power that will never be found in cities, after all.”

“So why am I only just feeling it here?” she asked curiously.

He looked uncomfortable for a fleeting second. “I presume it is because you are… receptive to it,” he said eventually. The meal arrived then, and both were grateful for the chance to rearrange the table in order to avoid serious conversation for the time being.

Hermione took the chance to gather her thoughts and her intentions. After making quick work of the food—somehow both ate swiftly, and the meal was full of glances at eyes and hands and chests—she cleared her throat. The pub was full now, and patrons were filling all empty spaces. There must have been entertainment planned, though neither witch nor wizard were aware of it.

“I wanted you to kiss me, you know,” she blurted, stunning herself with the words. Hadn’t she had a speech planned about choices and life paths? Hadn’t she been planning to be mature and confident? Christ, but she was about to make a fool of herself.

Severus coughed and stared at her, his black eyes wide in his harsh, pale face. “What did you say?”

She groaned, but then thought better of playing the mortified card. Sod it all – if this wasn’t the man that had haunted her dreams and filled her waking thoughts, then she was no witch.

Gathering her determination, Hermione reached around the plates and touched his hand. He did not look at her, but she felt his fingers creep around her wrist and settle there, holding onto her.

“I had a speech planned,” she began, and he raised his head to meet her gaze. His black eyes were gleaming and his grip on her wrist tightened.

“Oh?”

“I did. I wanted to be calm and mature and intelligent, and I wanted to confess that I care about you, and I’d very much like to…” Hermione faltered.

“To?” he pressed, voice barely above a whisper.

She bit her lip, hesitant. “I wanted you to kiss me. At the beach yesterday. You were going to – I know you were. You… you touched me here—” She touched her lower lip and pressed down on the pliant flesh; his eyes were riveted on her mouth. “—and I wanted it. I still… That is, I… Why didn’t you kiss me?”

“You wanted me to,” he repeated disbelievingly. She couldn’t comprehend that he was even doubting it.

“Wasn’t it obvious?” she exclaimed, laughing from the shock of it. “God – I think it was obvious.”

He was delightfully shamefaced. “It wasn’t. Or it might have been, but I didn’t really… notice.”

“Really? You didn’t notice? I thought you were observant.”

“Not at the time!” he said; his thumb began to gently rub her wrist, softening his words. “We don’t know each other very well. Beyond our shared history, that is…”

“That’s no fault of mine,” she mumbled, ignoring the musicians that were beginning to set up their equipment near the door. “You’re very aloof, you know.”

He grimaced. “I do. Although I must admit that my temperament is… much improved.”

“Oh, it is that, yes. You’re a wonderful man.”

“What?” Severus leaned forward; his voice was full of intent.

She flushed, unable to put her feelings into words. “I wanted you to kiss me,” she repeated firmly. “Make of that what you will.”

He bowed his head. “You made a joke about my appearance and… ‘charms’. I had assumed…” Shrugging, he said lowly, “I had assumed that you were uninterested.”

It was that. That.

Now or never.

“Severus.” Hermione smiled awkwardly as a waitress came to remove their plates. With the way clear, she slid her other hand over the table and curled her fingers around his forearm. “I was hiding,” she whispered.

“From whom?” he asked, frowning at her.

Hermione shook her head, her smile widening into a shy grin. “From myself. From you. Honesty seemed like the best policy, and it was honesty... I know how it sounded, but at the time…”

Severus gave a short, hoarse laugh. There was a self-depreciating layer to it, but mostly he appeared unsure of how to continue. “Ah. Right, then.”

“Right,” she echoed, and then whipped her head around to stare at the open door as the air filled with the strong, brash sound of bagpipes starting up. “What on earth?”

“Wait there.” Severus weaved his way through the room to settle the bill then returned as quick as he’d left, holding out his hand. “Come on. I want to see.”

“You want to see?” she said, giggling as he hauled her to her feet. “Aren’t they in here?”

“Come on, Granger,” he demanded, tugging on her hand. He pulled her laughing form through the crowd, past the lone piper in the corner, then out onto the street. Muttering to himself, he darted back in and dropped a few coins into an old velvet-lined box near the equipment. She waited for him, giggling as he returned and shepherded them to a vacant spot in front of the pub. People were bursting out of doorways and shops, craning their necks. Tourists had cameras and phones at the ready.

“Have they got something planned?” Hermione stood on her toes, trying to see. All she could manage was—

“My God – there are more! Did you know about this?”

“Absolutely no bloody idea,” Severus answered, a boyish grin on his lips as he looked down at her. Daringly, he reached out and pulled her to his side, his arm staying hooked around her waist.

Entranced, Hermione watched as the piper from the pub strolled out of the door, his lined face stern as he played. He was joined by four others from various spots on the street, and together the men stood in a group. She might have said it was a bold-as-brass tourist trap, but Hermione found herself moved beyond words by the sound of the bagpipers – it may have been a passing pleasure for the tourists around her, but she felt the music sliding through her very skin, lighting passion in her blood. Her eyes filled with unshed tears and, overwhelmed, she turned into the man at her side, burying her face in his chest. His strong arms closed around her; she smiled, lost in the sensations as she breathed in the rich, spiced scent that clung to his chest.

Oh, home, she thought, sighing. Here he was, and she wished for nothing else.

.
.

Soon the music faded; not to the crowd, but to my own mind. She was in my arms, her cheek on my chest. I held her and she filled my arms.

I had not believed that I could have this.

“Hermione,” I murmured, my hands beginning to wander down to her hips. I dug my fingers into the softness there and bent my head to her ear: “Hermione…”

We were surrounded by tourists and residents, all intent on the performance. She stepped slightly away from me and I should have kissed her then but there was something—there was something…

I took her hand again and led her away, threading our way through the thick crowd of bystanders. We might have stayed, perhaps we should have stayed and sunk into the moment that we had been gifted with, but I was mad for her.

I held on tighter to her hand as we reached the point that the crowd thinned; the music was roaring but I did not hear it. All I could hear was the pounding of my heart, the rush of blood in my ears, all because of the knowledge that she had called to me, that her lips waited to be kissed, that—

“Hermione—”

If waiting just a few more seconds was ever an option, then I could not take it.

I led her into a quiet alley. The wind whipped around our bodies and I tugged her closer, turning with her until her back was to the grey stone wall of whatever building was fortunate enough to have her body near it.

“Hermione…”

Slowly I placed two palms on the wall beside her head. Her dark eyes still swam with water and I bent down closer to her, knowing all the while that I was trembling.

Our mouths were but an inch apart. Her breath was warm in the cool, crisp air.

“Severus,” she whispered, and still I took the path of hesitation and rested my forehead on hers. I breathed in the scent of her—lilacs and jasmine and the sea—and let out a sigh of longing.

“Hermione – I want…” I closed my eyes, bringing my mouth to her cheek, grazing my lips on her soft, warm skin.

Her hands slid into my coat and pulled my hips to hers, and I groaned from the pleasure that could come only from her nearness.

“I want you to kiss me, Severus,” she whispered; there was never any other choice but to obey her.

.
.

The first touch of his lips to hers was careful; delicate. Once, twice, thrice he kissed her, and when he would have moved away to measure her reaction, it was her desire that kept him there. Hermione slid her hands around his neck and pulled him back to her, whimpering at the feel of his tongue flitting into her mouth.

She felt him everywhere – on her mouth, where he pressed kisses that tasted of him, and on her body, where his lean form entrapped her. She felt him surrounding her with the sound of his quiet, quickened breaths; his small sigh when she tilted her head, deepening the kiss; his hands that moved from the wall to her cheeks, cupping them with care.

He was everywhere and she pushed away from the wall, pressing her body into his with as much strength as she could gather. He caught her with a groan of satisfaction and buried a hand within her hair, the other delving down to her lower back.

She was on fire for it. She wanted his hand to move lower, to stroke her, to touch her buttocks, her thighs, her sex. She wanted – no, needed him closer.

When his mouth left hers, intent on tasting her skin, she gasped. “Severus—Severus…”

He gave a questioning hum and paused, the only movement being his lips on her jaw, pressing teasing kisses down towards her neck.

“Severus?” she whispered, nudging his cheek with hers. “Take me home, Severus.”

“I will,” he vowed, gathering her into his arms. “I will. Come here, come closer.”

With a breathless laugh, she held onto his lean, strong body as he twisted them away.

They appeared in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs. He stepped away and she caught her breath, barely able to believe her good fortune.

Somehow he managed to speak. “I think you should come upstairs,” he said evenly, his deep, silken voice wrapping around her. He reached for her then, but kept his hands away from meeting her body, giving her the option of turning away.

Hermione closed her eyes. She could say no, she knew she could. She knew without a doubt that he would never change his treatment or opinion of her if she did so. She could walk away now and go to her bed, and the next morning she would see him and smile and they would talk. The very idea of such a thing was painful.

“I think,” she murmured, opening her eyes to see him staring at her, his black eyes gleaming with lust. “I think I should… oh, I think I should—”

She gave up and half-fell forward into his waiting arms, and he crushed her to him, turning his face until he could cover her waiting mouth with his. He kissed her insistently now and his tongue was in her mouth, dancing with her own. With his strong grip on her hips, they took a step together; his mouth stayed with hers as he walked her backwards, and she tore herself away to check the stairs before turning to him again.

He grinned, and his eyes were locked on hers as he reached behind her, hands smoothing over her backside before pulling her up. She went into a peal of laughter and let him lift her, his chuckles music to her ears as he walked them higher into bliss.

When they reached the landing outside his door, he backed her to the wall again, sinking his teeth into her neck. She gasped, her voice loud in the quiet home, and rolled her hips. He moaned then, wrenching his mouth away from her to fumble with the door handle, kissing her between her breathless giggles. He shifted her weight in his arms and entered the room, kicking the door closed behind them. Gracelessly, both fumbled with their boots before he kissed her again, clutching at her body.

And then they were falling onto the bed, and she knew that he would catch her. Severus gathered her into his arms and kissed her soundly, lying beside her there in the dusk of the summer night.

“I want you, Hermione,” he declared quietly, his calloused fingers tracing circles on her stomach. “I want this. I have wanted this since you first opened the door,” he admitted faintly, surprising both her and himself.

There was a question there, and the witch tilted her hips closer to him, near gasping with desire. “Yes, yes,” she whispered, pushing his jacket off his shoulders. “Yes, Severus.”

He undressed her slowly, untying the sash on her dress and pausing to press an open mouthed kiss to her newly revealed cleavage. His fingers fumbled with the inner clasps, and he laughed under his breath with delight when finally each side of the dress gaped open. Tentatively, Severus slid his hands under her back and pulled her up, studying each sliver of skin intently as he tugged off first one shoulder of the dress, and then the other.

“You are beautiful,” he murmured, running his fingers over her matching black brassiere and underwear. “Oh, Hermione – this is… you are…”

She leant closer, arching towards his seeking hands. With one finger, she reached for him and covered his lips. “Stop thinking now,” she whispered with a smile of quiet joy.

He grinned, but the amusement soon left his dark gaze as he took her in, kneeling on the bed as she was. Again he trailed a finger over her lace covered breasts, pausing to teasingly drag a short nail over her nipples. She gasped, her head falling back, and he bent his head and suckled her over the lace, the combination of wet tongue and delicate fabric causing a storm of desire within her that she was helpless to avoid.

Hermione moaned, planting her palms on the bed as his hands snaked around her body. Carefully, he unclasped the black brassiere, his mouth still on her breasts. He drew back and hooked a finger over one shoulder strap; his eyes were alight with desire and a softness that caused her to blush.

Inch by devious inch, he tugged the strap down. Severus watched her, a smirk playing on his lips; she knew that he was enjoying it.

When one shoulder was free, he bent his head of long, black hair and kissed her bare skin, dragging his mouth to her neck. As he pulled the other strap down, he nipped and licked her skin, his tongue tasting the salt air on her body.

“This can go, I think,” he murmured teasingly, tossing the bra onto the bed. “And these…” Severus splayed his hand possessively over her stomach before his fingers danced on the waistline of her sheer stockings. Without a word, Hermione raised her hips, grinning at him when he triumphantly glanced at her.

He rolled the stockings down, his palms following as he caressed her legs, gently pinching her toes when they were finally off. She gasped again, unrepentant, as his touch came higher and his impatient hands dragged her knickers off. Giggling, she kicked her leg, dislodging the scrap of silk. Severus smiled, watching her as one wandering hand delved over her mons, coming to rest between her thighs. He pressed provocatively on her sensitive flesh, but soon enough his hands left her centre and returned to pressing down on her belly.

His hand was warmer than warm on her skin; like a panther, he crawled over her with cat-like grace, and soon she was under him, her body covered by his long, lean form. She gazed up at him, still incredulous that he was here with her in the bed as the sea roiled below the window. She felt as if her desire echoed the fierce waves – it was unrelenting, unquenchable but by his touch. Hermione reached for him, tracing the angles of his face.

“Severus,” she whispered, closing her eyes and melting into his touch.

Severus exhaled in a trembling sigh as he bent to kiss her again. She opened her legs—she was powerless not to; her very soul demanded his admission—and he settled between them, his clothed body fitting there like he was made for it. She felt the heat of him pressing against her quim and her hunger rose until she was tearing at his grey jumper, pulling it quickly over his head.

“Trousers,” she commanded breathlessly, batting away his own fingers to pull open his belt. Hurriedly she shoved them down to his thighs and he kicked them off the rest of the way. They fell to the carpeted floor with a thud.

On another night or another time, Hermione would have taken him in her mouth, rubbed him through the wetness between her thighs… she would have eased them into the sensual dance that they were yearning for. And yet, as she lay underneath him, his smooth, pale skin on her tanned body, she knew that she could never wait.

He watched her closely as his fingers slid over her clitoris; swiftly he replaced his hand with the velvet head of his cock. She groaned, undone and utterly defeated by the man and his passion that was all centred on her. It was exhilarating, and Hermione knew then that she would not—could not—continue on as she was without him inside of her.

“Now,” she commanded him, reaching between their bodies to touch the hard and ready length of him. His features twisted with pleasure as she stroked him and settled him there, and she raised her hips, taking him in as far as she could.

“Oh, gods—” he breathed, his head dropping to her shoulder as he slowly eased his way into her body. Hermione cried out from the fullness of him, from the thickness

“I know,” she said, laughing from the sheer impossibility of this unexpected and disarming discovery. “Do it, Severus. Oh – do it!”

He let out a short, incredulous laugh and she smiled, wrapping her arms around him in a fierce embrace as he retreated and then thrust into her body again. His delectable movements wrought a whimper from her lips; she dragged her nails down his back and clutched each buttock, digging her nails in, seeking an anchor in the face of a pleasure that she would never hope to halt. He grunted once, sighing from being enveloped within her, in the heat that would not abate; instead it welcomed him, luring him in, coaxing him further and further—

Severus hooked his hand around her thigh, gritting his teeth as he drove into her slowly, so achingly slow.

She had never felt this. Indubitably, a man had never driven her wild with desire like this. Surely this intense connection between them was borne out of the days of drawing it out, of dancing around each other; she thought immediately of his thumb pressing down on her lip on the beach.

Severus kissed her neck; her collarbones; her jaw. He suckled each lip, slipping his tongue into her mouth as he thrust his cock inside of her. She could only push back to meet him, her tongue and her quim meeting him with each sweet plunge. The heat and sweat and lust grew in the summer-dim room until the air itself carried the scents and sounds of their desire.

Suddenly he paused, staring down at her with a faint smile on his lips. She hardly dared to breathe; she was full of him, and she felt his hardness deep within her belly.

“Severus,” she whispered, clenching her walls around him, drawing out a dark, hoarse groan that seemed to slide out of his body. Their eyes met as he raised his hand and pressed his thumb down on her lower lip.

“We should have done this yesterday,” he said quietly, easing out and into her in one smooth, steady stroke. She gasped, tossing her head on the pillow. His undulating hips stole a mewl from her dry, panting mouth.

“I wanted you then,” she confessed, trembling. “I did. I wanted you. I wanted you to bear me down on the sand and have me then and there.”

“I would have done it,” he declared in a deep, rough tone. “I swear – I would have done it. I would have taken you on the sand with no-one to hear you but the gulls.”

She tittered, fond of the forthright tenderness with which he spoke. “It would’ve been cold. There would’ve been too much sand.”

With his gaze intent upon her face, Severus placed his fingers in his mouth and sucked. Hermione was speechless – it was the most erotic thing she had ever seen. Her very flesh felt aflame with raw desire and she moaned, unable to stop her body from quivering. His black eyes glittered as he slid his damp hand down her body before his wet fingers found her clitoris and teased her with rolling, provocative strokes.

“No,” he said with a sly smile, “it would not have been cold.”

“No?” She bit her lip and sighed, her body bowing as she submitted to the pleasure he was intent on giving her. Again he lowered his head, settling it on her shoulder; he kissed her skin; she ran her hands over the powerful muscles of his back that shifted with each deliberate thrust.

Giving in to an urge she had not yet named, Hermione tugged his hair free from the band that restrained it; she ran the strands through her fingers until it surrounded them both in a curtain of black silk. It slid over her breasts, gently stroking her nipples seemingly of its own accord. She was entranced by it.

“I love this,” she murmured, her body, her sex, her arms clinging onto him. Pushing his hair behind his ears, she pulled his face to her and kissed him fiercely. He held nothing back, running his hands over her body, his tongue in her mouth echoing his cock in her quim.

She wanted more of this – of him. She pushed him gently and he pulled her over him, cursing as he slipped out of her. She laughed—deliriously happy—and sank down onto him again, moaning as his hands mapped her belly, her breasts. He lay back and watched her, black eyes burning.

It was the fullness that she wanted. Hermione rolled her hips, taking him in further. He sat up and wrapped an arm around her, tilting her body back until her hair fell to the bed behind her. With strong hands he held her, coaxing her into his concupiscent spell. His lips closed around each nipple and she felt each lap of his wet tongue right down to where his cock was inside of her.

Severus ran his fingers through her hair and kissed his way to her ear. “Hermione,” he groaned; with the slightest of pressure, he pushed on her shoulder. She sighed, enthralled, and he flipped them back over.

“Oh, my Hermione,” he groaned, his thrusts building and building until he was driving into her. Again his fingers were at her, pressing insistently on her clitoris. She felt it then, as pleasure twisted and turned within her like the waves outside. Pleasure was often an illusory goal, she had believed, but here with Severus, the truth of their act was begging to be told; her body was tightening, heat was increasing, and she arched under him restlessly, seeking, searching—

“Oh, God!” she cried out as he took her hands and pressed them onto the bed beside her head of wild hair, driving into her with a growl that sent her over the edge like a wave upon the shore.

.
.

I felt it. Oh, by God, it was impossible but I felt it—

I felt her—

Oh, but she is brilliant and I am falling, I am drowning in the waves of her and I cannot surface—

.
.

She spent the night in my arms. I woke often, unused to the warmth of a woman’s body being curled up around my own. Her hair tickled my neck.

The sun barely set that night, though it shone through the window ferociously the next morning. I stayed close to Hermione, curving my body around her back; I was drawn to her soft, golden skin. There was a comforting—and arousing—scent clinging to her skin, of day-old perfume, sweat and sex.

I hesitated, wanting to bring my nose to her hair and drink in the smell of her shampoo, but would she welcome it? In the cold light of day, would she welcome me?

I was sure that my heart had already admitted her. Her unreserved passion was irresistible. My only true regret was that I had not seen it—seen her—sooner. She was a woman that I wished to know better, though somehow I knew that I had come to know her better than all – touch comes before sight, before speech, after all, and in that first and ultimate language, I knew her down to her very bones.

My body craved her; reminiscing left me half-hard. I swallowed, turning my head away from her sprawling, frizzy morning hair. The delicate, fledging nature of what we had shared—and what we would—share could wait to be tested. Lest I woke her, I moved carefully out of the bed, standing to watch her for a moment. She was dozing; her eyes moved beneath her lids.

I closed the door to the bathroom quietly and made for the shower, and all the while I pondered with a smile just what my witch would be dreaming about.

.
.

The day that followed was quiet. For the sake of the school, there were things to say, though I was not in a hurry to begin that conversation. Instead I found myself in a far more pleasurable position; the book I had stumbled over time and time again was now more interesting, and I read while lying on the couch. In between making pots of tea, checking the e-mail, and taking Miss Lovegood’s delivery of fruit and vegetables, Hermione settled herself alongside me, her head resting on my chest as she devoured her own paperback.

We spent the morning this way; in the afternoon she took a bath and I walked the perimeter of the B&B’s land with a mug of steaming coffee. I composed my speech, and rehearsed possible arguments to her rebuttals – if she had any. The wind wrapped around my body, cooling the coffee swiftly. I stood and stared at the ocean.

.
.

“Shall we walk?” she asked, coming into the sitting room with both jackets. “We should take advantage of the sun. It’s such a pity really, that Hogwarts isn’t near the sea…”

I watched her from the couch. I wanted to bury my face in her breasts. “Why? It has the lake…”

“You know,” said Hermione, putting a hand on her hip, “now that I know where to look, I can tell when you’re being deliberately obtuse.”

“Can you now?” I stood and strolled over to her. Amusingly, she stood on her toes and helped me into the jacket. When I turned to face her, she was smug and blushing.

“Oh, yes,” she said, stepping into me. “It’s your eyes. And your lips. They twitch.”

My arms came up to hold her; as I did not think on the movement at all, it seemed that it was instinctive; automatic. Interesting. She nuzzled into my chest and took in a deep breath before releasing it with a soft, low moan.

“You always smell so…”

“So…?” Her body was pressed to my chest; I felt a twist slither down to my groin. I wanted her, but there was a certain intimacy involved in suggesting a fuck on the dining table, and I wasn’t sure that we had it. Not yet, at least. I would leave it up to her. “So?”

She put her nose to my chest again. “So… delicious. It’s… Do you wear cologne?”

“Aftershave,” I said idly, shrugging.

Hermione gave a small shake of her head. “Do you make it?”

“How else would I get it?”

“Make me some,” she demanded loftily, stepping away. My chest felt cold. She turned and I eased her coat onto her shoulders; unable to resist, I bent and kissed the back of her neck before twisting the scarf she handed to me around and around. She twirled as I worked – the black piece of fabric seemed to go on and on, and by the time we were done, I was staring at the warm, bundled-up woman and knowing that it was not just desire that I felt for her. She smiled impishly.

“Why should I do that?” I asked when we left through the back door. She took my hand; the intimacy of the casual gesture was heady.

“I want to smell you,” she said simply, like it was the most natural thing in the world. And perhaps it was: I want to smell you.

When?’ I wanted to ask. ‘Now? Always? On a semi-regular basis? Monthly?’

Merlin himself knew that I could certainly not keep myself in check if she were to say: monthly.

She dragged me away into nothingness, and we popped into existence on a beach that I didn’t recognise. “I found it yesterday,” she said, keeping hold of my hand. “Or at least, I saw it from my walk yesterday. It looked quiet; calm.”

“It is those things,” I allowed, automatically looking over the rocks. There were less here than Skaill—no treasures today, I thought wryly—but we had traded picturesque seas for privacy. This was a small beach, almost a tiny little inlet. The land banked up behind the rocks and sand – we were utterly alone. Almost without thought, I led us to the larger rocks near the south end. I sat—a warming charm placed before arse met stone—and drew her between my legs. She swivelled around and watched the water, and I watched her.

The sound of the sea lessened gradually, though it was entirely due to my awareness of her rather than a gentling of the currents. “Why do you want some of my aftershave?” I asked eventually, placing my hands on her hips to turn her around. She allowed it, coming to rest in front of me. Hermione looked shy; awkward. There was a flash of curiosity in her warm brown eyes as she studied me there, sitting below her.

She blinked; stared at my mouth. “I like the smell of your skin. I would like to…” Hermione paused and tilted her head. I smiled, drawn into the web that she was weaving around us. Had anyone ever said such things about me?

Never.

But it wasn’t just that; it wasn’t just the unexpected comprehension that a woman could feel such things about me. It was more… more…

It was more.

I think that it was just her.

She gave a mild smile that probably was supposed to be innocent. It wasn’t.

“I suppose that I just want to be with you more often; I want to see where this goes. Have dinner with you. Again, that is. Read. Take more walks. More dinners. More sex.”

I held my breath, then let it all out in one gush of lust and relief. “Ah. I think that would be…”

“Agreeable?” she put in teasingly, placing her small hands on my shoulders.

“I disagree,” I said, too lost in looking at her to truly grin, though it was there somewhere, just waiting to spread over my face. “Good. Marvellous. That’s what it would be.” I glanced down in surprise as her hand slid to my waistband, accompanied by her tempting, cunning smile. “It would be marvellous,” I confessed, suddenly closer to rapture.

And it was marvellous. She knelt down between my knees and unbuttoned my jeans; her tiny hand slipped inside; she coaxed my cock out and covered it with her hot, wet lips. I tipped my head back and groaned, lost in the sensation of sea and sky and woman.

Yes, yes, yes - it was marvellous.

.
.
.

The sea was wild, harsh and strong. It battered the ship, its waves smashing into the hull, its force lashing the sides. The vessel dipped and dived, carving out a path through the battleground of the oceans that met underneath. Atlantic and North fought for dominance in a dramatic display; perhaps we should have heeded the warning of the captain, and found a seat within to wait it out. We chose instead to stand huddled in the open, our feet anchored to the floor by a charm, the spray of the sea hitting our faces.

It was fitting; I had arrived this way, and I would leave this way. The cold water was refreshing, and yet it was a reminder. I had come seeking solitude; the woman who was anchored to my side was everything that I had not sought. And yet she was here and I was here, and I would not forget the weeks by the roaring, powerful sea. I could not forget it. The rough wind had worked its magic on me; the skies had drawn me into their spell.

I glanced down at the witch and, seen by none but the endless skies and sea, I smiled.

The bottle of Spanish red was safe in my trunk. In my pocket was a vial of Skaill sand.

I held Hermione in my arms as the ship returned us whence we came.

.
.

The end.

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