Disclaimer: I don't anything in Harry Potter. J.K owns all the characters and places.

Author's Note: This will be an AU story and the characters are OOC. Some of the dates in the story have also been changed to fit in with the story itself.

Review Reply to MALFOYOBSESSED: Thank you for reviewing. Just a heads up, when you look at the Black Family tree, you will notice that Sirius, Regulus and Cygnus were not the first of their names, there were others before them. The Sirius I was referring to was the son of Phineas Black, not the son of Orion Black.

Summary: Hermione takes a break from the wizarding world, five years later she returns with her four-year-old daughter. Lucius Malfoy bumps into Hermione and her daughter whilst in Diagon Alley… A few weeks later and they're going on their first date. Post-Hogwarts & Second War. Will be AU & OOC. Some dates have been changed to fit the story.

Chapter 8

Four Seasons Hotel Moscow, 2004,

Upon their arrival at the hotel, Hermione, who held Luciana's hand, led them through the rotating doors and down toward the front desk. Lucius followed behind them, his hand luggage in hand with a porter behind him with the rest of their luggage. Hermione had spelled all three of them with a translation charm which would allow them to communicate with the Russian's while they travelled in the taxi. "Good evening. Welcome to the Four Seasons Moscow. Do you have a reservation?" Hermione smiled at the front desk agent. "Hi there, yes we do. Granger and Malfoy." The front desk agent typed into the computer and smiled when she'd confirmed their bookings. "If you require anything, please contact us. We hope you have a lovely stay." Hermione and Lucius gave her their thanks. Taking their keys and began their walk toward the elevator. When they'd arrived on their floor, Hermione followed behind Lucius as he walked along the corridor to where their rooms were situated.

Opening the first door, which happened to belong to Hermione. Luciana rushed into the room first, giggling with excitement as she launched her tiny body onto the large bed. Lucius walked in behind them as the porter brought their luggage in. "Thank you, you can leave all of it here, I'll take mine through to the other room." The porter nodded and left them. Lucius closed the door and turned back to face the room once again. "I'm going to unpack; shall I meet you here or down in the dining hall?" Hermione turned around having just finished unpacking hers and Luciana's bags, "You're more than welcome to come here or we can come to your room?" Lucius smiled at his witch, "I'll meet you both here in… Let's say an hour and a half from now?" Nodding her acceptance, Hermione waved as he closed the door. "Luciana, I'm going to have a quick shower. Please keep the telly volume down." Nodding at her mother, Luciana lowered the volume until she received a nod. Hermione, satisfied that everything was in order, headed for the bathroom where she finished unpacking their toiletries before she stepped into the large cubicle and turned the faucets on.

When both Hermione and Lucius had freshened up, he knocked on her door before opening the door upon her call to enter. He found her resting on the bed with a book in hand, Luciana was sitting on the couch staring out of the window, watching a large flock of birds as they flew nearby. "You ladies ready?" Hermione nodded, closing her book as she stood up and straightened her clothes. "Luciana, come along." The trio headed down to the dining hall, Lucius with his hand securely wrapped around Hermione's as Luciana walked in front of them. Arriving at the large dining room, Lucius pulled out both Hermione's and Luciana's chairs before he helped push them closer to the table. Having taken his own seat a few moments later, he turned his attention to the room itself, taking in the décor.

"Tomorrow morning I'll be going through to the restaurant, I'd like to head in early so we'll probably only see you later in the day." Lucius turned his attention back to Hermione as she spoke, her hands busy opening the cloth napkin over Luciana's legs. "You don't have to take Luciana with you, I'd be more than happy to watch her while you're at work." She lifted her head up a bit too fast and felt a twinge in her neck from the movement. "You don't have to do that; I don't want to rob you of a mini-holiday." She was rubbing a hand over the area that hurt as she spoke, still feeling the ache. "It's alright, I'm really happy to help and besides, I'm here for a week, it's not as though I won't be able to have a walk around when I feel like it." He watched as she silently rubbed at her neck, her other hand fighting with Luciana's as she tried to grab the jug of water that sat nearer to her. "Stop that Luciana." Huffing as she fell back into her chair, Luciana glared at her mother with her lips in a pout of petulance.

"Poppet, why don't we stop behaving petulantly and ask mama nicely for a glass of water, hmm?" Lucius leaned forward as he spoke to Luciana, keeping both Hermione and her daughter in his line of sight. Luciana's eyes moved to his as she became bashful at his reprimand. "May I please have a glass of water?" Turning her blue-green eyes on her mother, Luciana tentatively requested for her water. Hermione smiled gratefully at Lucius before she poured water into the smaller of the three glasses that sat before them. "Good evening, are you ready to order?" Lucius looked up at the sound of their waiter's voice, "Could you give us a couple more minutes." The dark-haired man nodded before heading off to assist one of his other tables. They'd decided to sit at the Quadrum restaurant and Lucius couldn't be happier, he loved Italian food. Hermione was pointing out different meals to Luciana who was pulling faces the further along she got.

Lucius smiled at the two of them, feeling his heart swell with the beginning of what he knew to be love. Luciana's expression turned to one of excitement and he knew immediately that she'd chosen a meal that sounded nice. Hermione then scoured the menu for her own, eventually finding something that looked appetizing. "Are we ready?" Hermione and Luciana both nodded. Lucius signalled for the waiter and waited patiently for him to return to their table. "You may start with the ladies." He gestured to both Hermione and Luciana, listening as Hermione ordered their meals. "My daughter would like a kid's portion of the beef lasagne and I'll have the tomato and basil Gnocchi please." The waiter turned to Lucius next, "I'll have the Ossobuco with Risotto alla Milanese and you can bring a bottle of your best Chardonnay please."

Once the waiter had left, Lucius turned his gaze to that of Hermione, who was once again battling with Luciana. This time however, the young girl was wanting to run from the table to explore the dining room, "Luciana. Enough of this, you are to behave or you will be sent to bed." Kicking her small legs beneath the table, just hard enough to kick at the table leg, Luciana frowned in childish anger. Lucius, having grown weary of the behaviour that reminded him so much of Draco, surreptitiously hit her leg with a very mild stinging jinx. She yelped as small tears sprung to her eyes, she began rubbing at her leg to ease the pain as she glanced up at Lucius' stern face. "Now Luciana, is that any way for a young lady to behave? Kicking tables in anger?" She slowly shook her head from side to side. "Then why are you giving your mother grief, hmm?" Looking down at her lip, she shrugged.

"Look at me." When her shimmering blue-green eyes found his, he continued. "You must apologise to your mother for your behaviour, you're a young lady and must behave as such, you're not a hooligan." Luciana's teary eyes turned to her mother who sat patiently watching the second reprimand of the evening. "I'm sorry Mama." When she looked back at Lucius, he nodded and turned to Hermione after. "Thank you." He took her hand and squeezed it, a silent acknowledgement of her thanks. "Back to what I was saying earlier, if you're happy to watch Luciana for me tomorrow, I'll only be gone for around two or three hours depending on how long it takes to go over everything with Tatiana and the phone call with the council as well as the refurbishment companies."

Hermione lifted her glass of water to her lips as Lucius nodded. She couldn't help but admire him from the top of the glass rim, he was a beautiful man, not a pretty boy which she was grateful for. She loved how his lips quirked when he smiled and how his left eyebrow twitched when he chuckled, she would even go as far as saying that she was falling for him… 'Who am I kidding? … I have fallen for him.' His gorgeous silvery eyes found hers as she stared at him, raising his brow in silent question, she merely smiled in return. Leaving him confused for a moment before their musings were interrupted by the arrival of their bottle of wine.

First week of November 2004,

Hermione exited the taxi, taking in the entrance of The Alexia as she looked around the front of the restaurant. In her hands she held a pen and a notebook, already scribbling a note on the need to have the signage replaced on the outside. Looking up to the rooftop, she made another note of having a large awning put in to help prevent the build-up of snow near the door. Pushing the pen into the holder on the side of her notebook, she headed for the door. Upon her entry to the restaurant, she noted the lack of welcome both by the interior and missing Maître d, tutting to herself, she removed her coat and scarf, hanging them up on the coat rack behind the Maître d's desk. Looking around, she took in the damp smell as well as the dark spots on the carpeted flooring, twisting her face into that of disgust she immediately retrieved the front door keys from her pants pocket and went to close the doors locking them once she'd twisted the 'open' sign to show 'closed'. "Hmm-hmm, might I be of assistance Madam?" Turning around she found herself staring into steely eyes belonging to a frowning brunette. "Indeed you may. I am Miss Granger and I must say, I expected a different greeting in my own restaurant." Her own eyes took on a cold edge, causing the woman before her to step back.

"Madam Granger, I apologise, I wasn't aware of your arrival." Thinning her lips at the comment, she mentally made a note to look into hiring a general manager to oversee the goings-on. "I can see that, regardless of not being aware, how can you open the restaurant to the public when it looks as it does?" Gesturing around her, Hermione turned her cold gaze back to the woman. "I'm appalled at what I can see and I am only seeing the entrance, what on earth will I find when I venture further into the building." Understanding that Hermione's question was a rhetorical one, the brunette refrained from replying. "I must assume that you are Tatiana, am I correct?" A nod was her only response. "Hmm, yes well… Let us proceed, I do have quite a lot to deal with today." Turning away from the brunette, Hermione continued walking through the archway that led to the open space of the main part of the restaurant. Her notebook open, pen in hand, she began noting that she would need more tables and chairs as the one's already laid out were looking rather drab and out-dated.

"When was the last time the crockery and cutlery were replaced? Roberto hasn't sent the figures as yet so I've not seen them." Tatiana hurried to meet Hermione's pace as she walked around the ground floor. "I-I don't believe they've been replaced." Hermione whirled around, her expression bordering on furious. "Haven't been replaced?! This restaurant has been in business for four, close to five years already." Writing furiously into her notebook, Hermione swore in her head that she would not murder her staff, "It's not worth Azkaban." They continued walking around the restaurant's ground floor, Hermione taking notes on everything that caught her attention, including the old water stains in the ceiling from the leaks and the mildew covered carpeting near the kitchen. By the time they had reached the kitchen, they'd been through the entire ground and first floors and Hermione was already three-quarters of the way into her notebook.

"Right, before we enter the kitchens, we'll break for tea and a discussion." Tatiana nodded, moving to the kitchen's double swing doors to request for their drinks. The second she was seated opposite Hermione, she was given the coldest stare, making her insides freeze from the simmering fury that lay beneath the hazel eyes of her boss. "Tatiana, how long have you been my front of house manager?" Tatiana looked down to the tabletop before meeting Hermione's once more, "Four years." Hermione hummed softly, "And you've not felt the need to perhaps contact interior decorators to quote on a face-lift to the interior? Nor have you had painters come through to fix the ceiling or the deep cleaners to thoroughly clean the carpeting. How many people could have or have already gotten sick from the mildew that seems to be consuming my entire ground floor?" Tatiana could feel her cheeks suffuse with her embarrassment, she felt chewed out already but knew it was only going to get worse when Hermione entered the kitchens.

"I don't expect a response, I already know you'll apologise and tell me how you never meant for this to happen, so I don't want to hear any excuses. What I would like to hear is that you are going to make sure that once I've had this place thoroughly checked and fixed up, you will maintain it correctly." Hermione leaned closer to the table after she'd spoken, "Because should I or Roberto come back here to check-in and it looks as it does now, I will fire you." Hermione watched as Tatiana nodded solemnly in acceptance of her warning. Turning to her tea which had just been placed in front of her, Hermione took hold of the teacup and brought it to her eyes, inspecting it and deciding that she would go ahead with an entire kitchen replacement. Turning her eyes back to Tatiana she noticed the woman was fighting back tears, clearly upset by what was transpiring. Hermione kept a steady watch on the woman, not feeling bad in the slightest, she felt justified for her reaction as hers and Roberto's hard work had spent hours building it up to be where it was today.

Lucius sat with Luciana in the dining room, the two of them were enjoying an early lunch having been out at the park for most of the morning. Feeding the ponies at the small petting zoo and making snow angels, now however they were both cold and tired so had decided to venture back to the hotel to grab an early lunch to help warm themselves up again. Luciana was happily slurping on her potato and leek soup while Lucius dipped a piece of his roll into his beef and vegetable soup. "Thank you for taking me to the park." Looking up at the sound of Luciana's small voice, Lucius gave her a smile, "You're very welcome poppet. Did you enjoy yourself?" She nodded with a large smile on her face. "Good. I think when we're done here, we can go up to the room and watch the telly until your mother returns, how does that sound?"

Again, she happily nodded her head, spooning more soup into her mouth. He sat silently once more, his thoughts moving to when Draco was but a small boy, so very eager to please his father and yet never receiving acknowledgment. It made him wonder if he'd not been brought up as a blood supremacist if Draco would've turned out differently. Looking at Luciana as she happily consumed her soup, not a care in the world, he felt a small ache in his heart. He'd taken to his girlfriend's daughter, looked after her, played games and watched muggle television with her and cared very deeply for her… Yet, he'd never once done this sort of thing with his own son, not even when Draco begged him to play Quidditch with him to help improve his skills. Sighing out loud, he turned his gaze toward the windows opposite him, watching as the snow began to fall. "I'm finished now."

Shaking himself out of his depressing thoughts, Lucius turned to see Luciana standing next to him, her eyes alight with joy at the knowledge that she would get to watch the telly with him. Something they hadn't done for a few weeks. Standing up from the table, he took her hand in his with a smile, "Alright miss Luciana, let us go." Together they headed for the elevators. Once inside, he let her push the button for their floor, lifting her slightly so that she could reach. The elevator doors opened up allowing both occupants to leave, Luciana rushing down the passage to hers and Hermione's room. Lucius chuckled softly at the sight, such eagerness to spend time with him, which once again had his heart ache. "Hurry Lucius." Her girly giggles found their way to his ears and he couldn't help but smile as she wormed her way deeper into his heart.

Hermione arrived back at the hotel after having spent four and half hours at the restaurant, she was exhausted and irritated, desperately wanting to relax with her daughter and boyfriend. Upon her arrival at her room, she keyed herself in and walked in, depositing her handbag, coat and scarf along the way. Turning the small corner that led to the room, she found her two platinum blonde haired people fast asleep on the bed. Lucius had an arm behind his head, lips slightly parted as he breathed in and out. Luciana was curled into his side, her one arm under her cheek as she drooled onto his long-sleeved shirt. Heart swelling with love at the sight, she moved around the bed to collect her book, before heading over to the window seat to settle down. Flicking her wand, she prepared herself a cup of tea which steadily floated across the room to her outstretched hand. Another flick and the telly switched off, sighing happily to herself, she slid beneath the blanket and flipped her book open to the last page she was on before falling asleep the night before.

Hermione flipped another page as her eyes travelled along the many letters, absorbing the words as she read them when a warm pair of arms wrapped themselves around her shoulders as lips found the side of her neck. "Hmm… Hello sleepy head." Turning to face him, she sought his lips with her own, savouring the moment while Luciana remained asleep on the bed. "When did you get back?" Pecking her lips again, Lucius slipped onto the window seat next to her. Pulling the blanket over his legs, he pulled her body closer to his own, having already taken her book away from her hands. "I'm not sure, I've been reading for quite a while I think." He chuckled as he nuzzled her neck with his nose, sniffing her perfume and humming in appreciation. "I love this smell, it's so you." She blushed and smacked his arm, "Stop it you. What if Luciana wakes up?" He turned his gaze to the bed before looking back to his witch, "She won't, she's out like a light my darling." Shifting his body slightly, he took her chin in hand and turned her face up so that he could ravage her mouth.

While they were battling each other's tongues for dominance, Hermione turned around in his arms. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she moved until she was nearly straddling his waist, her hands already tangling into his hair at the nape of his neck. "As much as I am enjoying this, I fear we might wake poppet." Lucius leaned his forehead against hers as he lovingly gazed into her slightly darker eyes. He slowly moved his head from side-to-side, rubbing their noses together as he did so. "We can place a silencing ward around the bed…" He chuckled at her eager tone before pulling away from her, "I like the idea but I don't want to rush this, taking things slow has been nothing but amazing for me." Hermione let her arms drop away from his shoulders as he once again took hold of her chin, "My darling, I want you, believe me I do, but I'm truly enjoying taking things slow."

She lifted her hand and rested it against his arm, rubbing his bicep slowly, "I know, I have too and I also know that when we do, it will be incredible." He smiled, lifting her other hand to his face and turning it palm up so he could pepper the inside of her wrist with light kisses. Deciding on the spur of the moment to pull her into his lap, Lucius made sure she was straddling him, "My beautiful witch, I do believe it's time I tell you something…" She felt her stomach burst with the fluttering wings of the damned butterflies. "What is it?" Holding onto his shoulders, she shifted back a little. "I'm falling for you my dear, hard and fast. No longer am I elegantly descending the stairs towards you, I've tumbled down them straight into your arms where I never wish to depart from." His silver eyes were swimming with two emotions, love and desire and Hermione's heart was flying.

Her mind couldn't formulate a response to his words so her body took action. Crashing her lips to his, Hermione devoured his mouth, pouring her own affections into the kiss that was leaving him absolutely breathless. He pulled her hips closer until their upper bodies were flush with one another, angling his head to gain a deeper access of her mouth, he nipped and licked at her lips as her fingers curled tightly into his hair. Their ardent kissing was curling her toes as his head swam with his wanton desire. Pulling away from each other, they both sucked in a deep breath, their hearts racing and cheeks flushed, they looked straight into the other's souls. "Would it be too early…" Her voice died off as she pulled in another deep breath. "No, my darling, it's exactly the time…" Lucius inhaled another lungful of air as Hermione kissed his cheeks, "I'm nervous…" He placed both his hands either side of her face, he then kissed her forehead, her eyes, her nose, her cheeks and finally her chin before he kissed her bruised lips. "Don't be, they're the words that express how you feel, they're words I want to hear you utter…"

"I love you."