A/N - Written for Jelly Bean Bingo at the Hogwarts Fair with the prompt coconut.
Also written for the Pairing God Challenge on HPFC - Lucius/Hermione.
Another loud sigh emanated from the vicinity of where Hermione was working. Lucius smirked and rose from his armchair by the fire and walked to where his wife sat.
"Problems, my dear?" he asked as he settled into the chair in front of her desk.
"It's this ridiculous proposal," she said. "It's not researched properly, the points are not well-defined or adequately defended and he doesn't even know the different between past and passed." She propped her elbows on her desk and began to rub at her temples. Lucius stood once again and walked around behind her.
"Let me," he instructed and began to rub her shoulders. Hermione sighed and leaned back towards him.
"As I have told you before when your job has become utterly exasperating," Lucius continued. "You do not have to work." She turned her head slightly and scowled at him.
"And as I have told you before," she returned. "I enjoy working."
"Yes, I can see that," he said dryly. She huffed in annoyance and he chuckled.
"Can we please not have this argument again?" she requested, her voice tight.
"As you wish," he replied, continuing to rub her shoulders.
"What I would really like is a holiday," Hermione said with a wistful sigh.
"Then take one," Lucius said simply.
"I can't Lucius," she protested. "We've got three cases to argue against the Wizengamot in the next month."
"You have not taken a day off in over a year," he said stepping around from behind her and leaning against the edge of her desk. "Not only do you deserve a holiday, you need one." Hermione bit her bottom lip and stared off across the room. He could tell she was tempted.
"Wait until you have argued your cases, if you feel you must," he continued. "Then, let me steal you away."
"Where would we go?" she asked. He held back a smile, knowing it wouldn't take much to convince her.
"We could go to the chateau in France," he replied but she shook her head almost immediately.
"It will be February, Lucius," she said. "I want to go somewhere warmer than it is here."
"The villa in Italy then," he suggested.
"I want to go to the beach," she said.
"The beach," Lucius repeated. Hermione nodded, smile on her face.
"Malfoys do not go to the beach," he said flatly.
"Well, Grangers do," she returned.
"Then it is a good thing you are no longer a Granger, isn't it?" he replied smugly. Her eyes narrowed and he instantly regretted his last statement.
"I only meant," he began, but she interrupted.
"I know what you meant," she fumed.
"Darling," he tried, but again she cut him off.
"Do not 'darling' me, Lucius Malfoy," she snapped. He sighed and reached down and took her hand, a bit surprised that she allowed it. He pulled her to her feet and into his embrace. She stood stiffly in his arms.
"I am sorry," he said. She relaxed slightly. "Saying you were no longer a Granger had nothing to do with being a Muggle-born." She leaned against him fully and wrapped her arms around his waist.
"I know," she acknowledged.
"Perhaps we could discuss the beach," he said. She looked up at him and grinned.
Hermione was a bit shocked they were actually here. Lucius had argued with her every step of the way, trying to convince her of Greece or Spain or even Egypt. Hermione, however, had dismissed all of those ideas and finally he had acquiesced. But he had completely refused to even contemplate taking an airplane. She grinned remembering his look of utter disbelief when she had first suggested it. He had actually sputtered before he told her in no uncertain terms that he would never voluntarily set foot inside a metal tube that somehow managed to stay in the air without magic.
And so they had arrived in the Virgin Islands by International Portkey. Once they arrived in Tortola, they had taken another to Salt Island where Hermione had rented a private beach house. Thought to be mostly uninhabited, the island actually had a very small wizarding community hidden on one side. Hermione had briefly entertained the idea of staying at a Muggle resort, but for as much as he had changed, she didn't think Lucius would be able to handle more than a day without magic and even that was probably pushing it.
They had been taken in a small magically enhanced vehicle that looked very much like a golf cart, from the Portkey office to their beach house. Lucius, although having taken off his cloak, had still been dressed in his layers of robes and Hermione bit her cheek to keep from laughing at his obvious discomfort in the heat. Hermione had shed both her traveling cloak and outer robes in Tortola, revealing a simple short-sleeve dress that was much more appropriate to the weather.
The house had a small staff, a cook, a gardener and a maid. It was the gardener, David that met them at the door and levitated their luggage inside, giving them a tour of the house as they did so.
"Dinner will be served on the veranda in one hour," he said politely, giving a small bow and leaving Hermione and Lucius in the bedroom. Hermione immediately went to the French doors and pulled them open to reveal a small porch that looked out on the ocean. She stepped outside and inhaled deeply, raising her face to the sun.
"It smells like the beach," she said with a smile when Lucius joined her.
"And just what, exactly, does the beach smell like?" he asked.
"Mm, sand and salt and coconuts," she replied.
"Coconuts," he repeated in amusement. She nodded.
"I see no coconuts here," he said indicating the palm trees outside. "And even if there were, I doubt you could smell them from this distance." She slapped his arm playfully.
"When my parents used to take me to the beach when I was a little girl, my mum would put suntan lotion on me and it smelled like coconuts," Hermione explained. "The beach always reminds me of that." Lucius smiled at her fondly.
"I happen to be rather fond of coconut," he said. "Did you by chance bring any of this suntan lotion with you?" She stepped into the circle of his arms and put hers around his neck.
"No," she replied. "Because we have sunblock charms."
"Hm, pity," Lucius said, bending his head and kissing her.
"But I'm sure that David could get some for me if I asked," Hermione said once he had pulled back.
"See that you do," Lucius instructed and then kissed her again.
The next day, they sat on lounge chairs on the beach, an umbrella providing them with a bit of shade. Hermione had convinced Lucius to shed some of his layers and he sat next to her in a white linen shirt and lightweight trousers. He absolutely refused to even entertain the idea of a swimming costume, however. Or a bathing suit, as Hermione called it. Hermione wore a pretty flowered sundress and had her hair piled on top of her head, held in place with either magic or a clip, Lucius wasn't sure. Perhaps both.
David had indeed brought Hermione coconut-scented sunblock lotion and Lucius had a most enjoyable half hour putting it on her. Although he was told that she didn't need it everywhere, just the parts of her that would be exposed to the sun, she hadn't complained too much when he had made sure she was covered very thoroughly.
Hermione was reading a book and Lucius had one as well, although he wasn't reading it at the moment. He was too busy enjoying the vision that was his wife. When Narcissa had died a year after the war ended from a slow-acting curse that Bellatrix had cast on her after she discovered Narcissa's betrayal of the Dark Lord concerning Potter, Lucius had never intended to marry again. And he certainly never expected it to be to the Muggle-born witch that was tortured in his drawing room.
Hermione had married Weasley only months after she had taken her N.E.W.T.S., just as Potter had married Ginevra. The 'Golden Quartet' as they were often referred to in the press, seemed to have the world by the tail. And then an Auror raid a little over a year later, against a small remaining enclave of Death Eaters had seriously injured Weasley. He died after two days at St. Mungo's.
Draco, while merely tolerated by Potter and Weasley, was friendlier with Hermione. He had attended the funeral and Lucius, knowing what Hermione was going through, had sent a short note with his son, expressing his condolences and offering a few pieces of wisdom on coping.
The two had begun a correspondence after Hermione had sent a note a few weeks later, thanking him for his. They communicated solely by owl for over a year before he finally asked to meet her for lunch. The lunch date became a weekly event for more than six months before he asked her to dinner. And it was another three months after that until he kissed her. She had slapped him afterwards and hadn't talked to him for nearly a month before she showed up the gates of the Manor one evening. When Noddy, one of his House Elves, had showed her into the study, Hermione had stared at him for a moment before throwing herself into his arms and kissing him quite soundly. He chuckled at the memory.
She looked at him inquisitively, but he merely shook his head and went back to his book. The read in companionable silence for a while longer before Hermione stood and stretched and then pulled her dress up over her head. Lucius gaped at what she wore, or barely wore, underneath. He immediately jumped to his feet and grabbed her discarded dress, wrapping it around her.
"What in Merlin's name are you wearing?" he demanded.
"It's a bathing suit," Hermione said in confusion.
"That, that," Lucius spluttered. "That is not a bathing suit. There is barely enough fabric there to consider it undergarments."
"You're being ridiculous," Hermione said rolling her eyes. "This is our private beach. No one is here but the two of us and the last time I checked, you enjoyed my undergarments. Or lack thereof." He scowled at her as she gave him a cheeky smile.
"We are outside and there are servants," he returned. "It isn't proper."
"Oh for god's sake Lucius, this isn't the eighteenth century," Hermione said in exasperation. "This is what women wear to the beach. I'm sure the staff has seen it all before, probably less than this actually." As she finished her statement, David came towards them levitating a tray in front of him. On it sat two coconuts with straws and tiny umbrellas in them. Lucius immediately pushed his wife behind him, shielding her from view with his body, eliciting a noise of frustration from Hermione.
"Mr. Malfoy," David said with a deferential nod. "Your wife requested drinks on the beach today."
"Thank you," Lucius said tightly as David set the drinks on the small table that sat between their chairs. Lucius kept a grip on Hermione's arm to keep her from stepping out in front of him.
"Thank you David," Hermione said from behind Lucius' shoulder. David gave a wave and turned to walk back into the house. Lucius waited until he was out of sight to release his hold on his wife.
"You are the most bloody infuriating man I have ever met," Hermione snapped as she stepped back in front of him.
"I will not have my wife parading around nearly naked in front of other men," Lucius fumed. Hermione rolled her eyes again.
"First of all, I wasn't 'parading' around," she retorted, hands on her hips. "I was planning on sitting here in my chair and continuing to read my book. Secondly, I am not 'nearly naked'. All the parts that should be covered are and well covered at that. And lastly, I don't remembering giving you leave to instruct me in how to dress." Lucius glared at her, his nostrils flaring.
Hermione flopped down in her chair with a huff and grabbed one of the coconuts David had set on the table. Lucius realized they were some type of container or cup. She took a long sip from the straw and stared out at the ocean like it had done her a personal disservice. Lucius took in a breath and let it out slowly before seating himself back in his own chair.
"What are these?" he asked picking up the other coconut.
"Pina Coladas," Hermione said shortly. "I asked David to make them, since you like coconut so much." Lucius took a sip and thought they were quite good, even if they were relatively sweet. They sat in silence for a few minutes longer, Lucius glancing at his wife from the corner of his eye every few seconds. She continued to stare at the ocean, completely ignoring him.
He got another look at her bathing suit and he supposed it wasn't as bad as it had first appeared. It did have a bit more fabric that her normal undergarments, or at least not any less. He supposed it had been more the shock than anything. And he was not unaware that the wizarding world was a bit antiquated in terms of dress, as well as other things. Nor was he unaware that his young wife was going to pull him fully into the twenty-first century, as well as the Muggle world, even if he was kicking and screaming the entire way. Truthfully, he was not all that sure that he really minded.
He opened his mouth to apologize when she abruptly rose from her chair.
"I'm going for a swim," she said and began to walk towards the water. He appreciatively took in the view for a few seconds before he called out to her.
"I am sorry," he said as she turned back towards him.
"I know," Hermione said with a smile, then continued her walk to the water's edge. She waded in until the water was up to her waist, then turned back to him once again. "Come and swim with me."
"Hermione, as much as I am willing to sacrifice for you, I refuse to wear a bathing suit," Lucius said in disdain. Hermione grinned and dove under the water. When she surfaced, she was further out and the water came to her shoulders.
"Who said anything about bathing suits?" she said, holding hers up above the water. With a whispered spell, she sent it flying towards Lucius and it landed in his lap with a wet splat. He stared at it for a moment, then looked back up at his wife, who winked. He dropped his coconut drink to the sand and scrambled to his feet. He rushed to the water, Hermione's laughter ringing out over the waves.