A/N: Hello Everyone. Sorry it took so long to update, but had a bit of a family crisis that took up a bunch of my time. Hopefully things will be calming down soon. Here is the latest installment of this series and I hope you all like it. Thank you all for the wonderful reviews, I loved them all. I've not had a chance to get to them all with everything that was going on, but I will.

Special thanks to KristineThorne for beta'ing this for me. You've done a great job on this and I fully appreciate all your hard work.

When the Masks Come Off: Part 3

Hermione and Percy talked, which ended up taking so long that Fred went and searched them out in the orchard, and making them table it until they got home. Dinner was as boisterous as usual, though both Hermione and Percy were rather reserved during it.

Hermione noticed that Lucius barely looked at her, for which she was grateful and had a feeling he knew she would need the distance. Everyone else was so wrapped up in their discussions, even Lucius chatted with Charlie about his dragons in Romania, no one really paid the two silent figures any mind.

After dinner, Hermione helped Mrs. Weasley in the kitchen, who happily let her help since Hermione had pulled Luna aside to mention not chasing the garden gnomes when Mrs. Weasley was in view of her doing it.

When the night was called to an end, Lucius met Hermione's eye for a moment, a moment that had her heart fluttering inside her as heat filled her again. A slight quirk of his lips made her aware of him knowing just what her reaction was too. The moment only lasted for a single heartbeat, maybe two, before he said his goodnight and took his leave.

When it was long enough for her and Percy to hang around without garnering suspicion, they too went home. There they spent hours talking into the night. During which, it came out that Percy hadn't been happy for a long time too, he just hadn't known how to bring it up. He was grateful to Hermione since she had helped bridge the gap between his family and him after the war, which was partly why he'd never mentioned his unhappiness.

Hermione wanted to be angry with him for staying silent so long, but she knew that she hadn't said anything either. Making both of them at fault, though Hermione shouldered more blame since she'd cheated. Twice including that night. Though she did keep her cheating a secret.

Their flat was only one bedroom, but Hermione's guilt wouldn't let him take the couch when they finally went to bed. There she laid for quite a while, thinking on all that had happened. Not just between her and Percy, but between her and Lucius too.

The next day, she called in sick, needing to talk to Ginny. The woman was like a sister to her and she needed some female advice. A short letter owled to the redheaded girl later, and Hermione was apparating to just outside the Manor.

The elf that greeted her at the front door gave her a short bow before leading her inside. It took her to a small sitting room as it went to fetch Ginny, popping back moments later to tell her that the redhead would be down in ten minutes, she was busy dealing with her son.

A sigh on her lips, she walked to the window and stared out at the lush lawn. It wasn't long before a set of arms encircled her waist and a pair of lips were on her neck. Well aware of who had her without even needing to look by the scent of his cologne that tickled her nose, she found herself leaning back into his chest, even knowing it wasn't quite right to do so yet.

"I wasn't aware you were coming here today. Did you miss me already?" Lucius purred as he gave her neck a soft nip.

Hermione sighed in pleasure. "I...I came to talk to Ginny, she'll be down any moment."

Lucius' hands moved up to cup her breasts. "Then, I've a moment that I can have you to myself." His thumbs brushed her nipples before turning her in his arms.

Hermione's eyes met his gray ones a moment before he kissed her. She knew she needed to pull away, but couldn't find it in her to do so. Instead, she danced her tongue with his as his hands slid down to cup her rear through her muggle jeans. Her own arms wrapped around him as she raised up on her toes to reach him better.

After a bit, he broke the kiss. "I think you should find me when you're done speaking with my daughter-in-law. I'd be more than happy to give you another tour."

Hermione felt her lips curving slightly. "I can't. I need...I need to get this done with Percy before...we won't be very discrete if I disappear for a while after Ginny already knows I'm here."

Hands sliding up her side, his eyes met hers. "Who has to know that you came back after you left? You could floo straight into my bedroom from your flat."

Hermione knew it was a bad idea. "Give me a few days, Lucius. Let me get this straightened out first and an answer fully formed before I...do anything more with you."

He brought her in for another kiss, one that left her feeling breathless and very aroused, before he pulled his lips from hers. "Only a few days, my sweet. I'll come find you otherwise, discretion be damned."

She took a deep breath and swallowed. "Alright."

He eased away from her, his lips curving. "I'll set my personal floo to allow you access. Be sure you specify where you want to arrive, otherwise...you may find yourself in my room by accident if you only wish to visit Ginny or Draco, or somewhere else if you've got spending time with me in mind."

She nodded but at the sound of Ginny approaching, speaking to Draco, he kissed her a final time before he was gone with barely a sound at all from his apparation. The doors slid open to the sitting room as Hermione was moving back to the window to compose herself.

Mind distracted now, it took her a bit to focus on her reasons for showing up at all. As soon as Draco realized that Hermione came for girl talk, he gave them both smiles, though the one he gave Hermione was more of a smirk, and left them to speak alone.

To say that Ginny was disappointed to hear about Hermione and Percy talking about divorce, was an understatement. Though, not because she thought they were that good of a couple, but because she liked having Hermione in her family.

In fact, Ginny was quick to point out that she always thought Hermione was nuts to have married Percy to begin with. The statement earning the redhead a narrowed gaze and a soft growl of annoyance. It would have been nice to hear this before the wedding, not three years later.

They spent hours talking. The more Hermione spoke about their problems, the more she realized how big of an idiot she'd been to have married him at all. She had wanted intelligence, but got his slightly pompous attitude as well, which had annoyed the hell out of her. She had wanted someone who understood the value of waiting before rushing into having kids, but Percy didn't seem to want any for another decade at least.

Meaning Hermione would be having her first child at the age of thirty-seven at the earliest. Not impossible by any means, but much later than she'd originally intended. Not that she was dead set on kids anyway, but they'd be nice to have one day.

Morning turned into afternoon and the two women moved their talk to the gardens, where they had a small picnic as they talked more. Ginny said that with Percy being equally unhappy, maybe the parting could be amicable and not cause a split in the family. Meaning Hermione could still be part of her family life at the Burrow.

When afternoon made way for early evening, Hermione sighed. There wasn't any real point in talking further. Divorce was the only option that she could see. Hermione would need to make arrangement in getting a flat of her own, declining Ginny's offer for her to stay there, though she didn't say that Lucius was her main reason at all.

Ginny tried to push a little, saying it made more sense instead of staying there with Percy or getting a room somewhere that would drain her resources. Hermione shook her head and said she'd call in sick again and find a flat the following day. It shouldn't take long since she really didn't need much.

Ginny told her that offer was open either way, she was sure Lucius wouldn't mind. Hermione didn't say a word, though she was positive he wouldn't mind either. It would just make it easier to get her into his bed, or for him to crawl into hers. Though...that did have her wavering for a moment or two. Or five.

In the end she gave Ginny a hug and went home. Knowing she had to talk to Percy again and that they needed to start making arrangements.

Spending the next day looking for her own flat, she was surprised to find a nice and rather spacious one that was perfectly within her price range. Of course, it wasn't until she'd signed her lease and spoken to Ginny that she found out that the building was owned by none other than Lucius himself. Making her think he'd had a hand in insuring the price was just right for her. An eye roll later, she shrugged it off.

The man owned too many things to worry about what he did and didn't own. That would take forever to sort through otherwise. It did have her smirking to herself a little later, especially when she called the management company while using a fake name to inquire about a similar model in the same building and found that it went for almost three times what she was actually paying per month.

She only paused to wonder how he'd known she was looking for a flat already for a few moments, when she decided that Ginny must have mentioned it to either Draco, or Lucius directly. It had been a coincidence that she'd even inquired about it, she'd called one company and was quickly referred to another that might have what she was looking for. That didn't take a genius to figure out either. Again, Lucius.

Percy and Hermione took the following day to break the news to his parents. Molly was angry at first, but hearing that both mutually decided to part ways, a bit of prodding from Arthur as well, and Molly sighed and hugged them both. Telling Hermione that she would still be family, no matter what.

Hermione found a solicitor that specialize in wizard marriages and divorce to get things started in drawing up their papers, surprised at how quickly it was all able to be dealt with, again making her think that Lucius had a hand in it. She wouldn't put it past him. Though it could be a coincidence, but she doubted it.

However, both Percy and Hermione had to meet with the solicitor to actually get their divorce really going. At this point, it was just talk about how quick it could be handled. Preliminary papers would be drawn up for them to look over before their meeting so that final ones could be drafted.

Four evenings after she last saw Lucius, Hermione was inside her new flat, unpacking since Harry and Ron had helped her move earlier in the day, when there was a tiny pop in her living room.

Hair in a messy bun, blue jean cutoffs riding high on her thigh, and a faded tank top that had seen better days with how old and worn it was, Hermione came out of her new kitchen and saw Lucius standing in her living room.

"What are you doing here?" She asked while looking confused, a smear of ink on her cheek from the newspaper that had been used to wrap her dishes in. Her hands were covered in the same ink that had rubbed off while handling the muggle newspapers.

Lucius brow rose. "I believe I said you only had a few days, my dear."

Hermione rolled her eyes and went back into the kitchen, annoyed now. It wasn't long before he was leaning against the door frame of the room she was currently unpacking in.

"I'm sorry if my busy schedule is interfering with you wanting to shag, Lucius. I'm only closing the door on seven years of my life here." Two years to date, two years being engaged, and three years with our marriage. Seven years with Percy, and he'd been unhappy too. So much time wasted, she thought even more angry as she tore into another wrapped bowl and set it on the counter along with the rest of them.

Lucius contemplated her for several moments, which while he did so, she unwrapped the last two bowls and after using a spell to make sure they were still clean, she put them away via magic.

"Actually, I came by to see how you were doing. I know ending things is not always easy, no matter the circumstances. The shag was optional, of course." He said, lips curving slightly after he'd decided to not let her statement annoy him.

Hermione sighed, looking over at him. "I'm sorry. I'm...crabby and...I'm sorry."

Lucius studied her for another moment, before moving over to her and taking her inky hand. "Come, you need a break."

When he turned to leave the room, her hand firmly tucked into his and pulling her with him, she glanced over her shoulder at the half-empty box. "But...I'm not done." She said uselessly.

He spared her a brief glance. "I was aware of that. I said you needed a break, not that you were finished."

He headed into her bedroom, making her frown in annoyance at what she was thinking he was doing, but instead of heading towards her bed, he gently pushed her into her attached bathroom. "Take a shower...or better yet, take a hot bath and relax. When you are done, get dressed in something comfortable and come back into the living room."

Her frown of annoyance, turned into a frown of confusion. "But..."

He touched his finger to her lips. "No buts, just trust me, my dear."

Hermione sighed, knowing there was no use arguing. "Alright."

He gave her a small smirk before leaning down and placing a soft kiss on her lips. Not letting it be anything but a brief touching of lips, before he left her to bathe in peace.

Still not fully understanding, she did as he asked. Filling the large porcelain tub with hot water and sprinkling in her favorite bath salts, she allowed herself to soak for a good twenty minutes after getting washed up, before draining the water and wrapping a fluffy towel around herself.

Staring at her choices in clothes, she decided to hell with it and went for comfortable after all. Lacy knickers, since that was all she wore, loose drawstring pants and another tank top that was soft against her skin. She wasn't going to get dressed up all sexy when she wasn't in the mood.

Feet still bare, she went into her living room and paused in shock. The entire floor in front of the fireplace was covered in a large soft, velvety looking cushion, with many pillows around it, while a cozy fire was burning away. The lights were dim, and a picnic of sorts was set out for them with two chilled bottles of wine already breathing. He even had soft music playing from her small wireless radio. It was...sweet. Lucius never struck her as sweet before.

The man in question had shed his outer robes and vest, rolled up his sleeves, removed his shoes and socks, and was currently staring out of her balcony doors as she stood there in shock.

"Wow." She said softly, her voice drawing his attention as he turned to look at her.

She realized he'd undone the first few buttons on his shirt too. Looking...well, not like Lucius. The Lucius she knew was always impeccably groomed. This man wasn't, he looked almost casual and it kind of threw her a bit.

He gave her a once over and nodded. "You look much more relaxed now." He said, gesturing for her to take a seat.

She walked farther into the room and sat down in the middle of the thick, velvet cushion, watching as he took a seat beside her. "What made you do this?" She asked. "It's lovely."

His lips curved. "You looked like you could use a night without any additional stress. So here it is. There are no more boxes tonight, no more details to work out, no more thoughts to analyze or juggle. Its just you, me, and a nice dinner with some wine to help you stay as relaxed as you look now. Nothing more. Your floo isn't hooked up yet, and your flat now has wards up to keep company away, so there is no one to bother us either."

She smiled as she studied him, shifting to get a bit more cozy on the large soft cushion. "You're a closet romantic." She said, realizing he hadn't done this to seduce her, but just because she'd needed a night off.

His lips curved more. "And?"

She shrugged. "And nothing. I just wouldn't have pegged you for one. Its nice actually." She hadn't had any romance in her life in more years than she cared to count.

He nodded, lifting the bottle of golden wine and poured her a glass. Handing it to her, he filled his own. "There are many things you don't know about me, my dear. I intend to remedy that...if you'll allow it, of course."

Hermione tapped her glass softly to his and took a sip. It was delicious, which was not surprising when she figured in who chose it. "I think I might just have to."

Dinner was interesting. They ate and talked of several things, nothing strenuous, mostly about things they both liked and disliked. It took Hermione about an hour to realize that this could be seen as a first date. It had her smiling a bit more as they continued talking.

A bottle and a half of wine later, she felt very good and very relaxed. Which had been his goal. She'd looked more than a little stressed out when he arrived and he'd wanted to correct that.

As they lounged on the wide assortment of pillows at opposite ends, watching the fire glowing, Hermione turned her head towards him. "Were you surprised to see me that night?"

His eyes found hers again, her foot in his lap as he rubbed out the tension still hiding in it. "I was, yes. I caught sight of you several times, but never got a good enough look to know if it was really you or not. I thought I was just hoping you'd be there so much that I was imagining the brief glances I was getting. When I finally spotted you, I was curious why Draco and Ginny insisted you were out of town when you were standing right there. Looking very delicious, I might add."

Hermione merely looked at him, not betraying her thoughts, though what he was saying was only adding the warm glow she felt with the wine.

When she didn't say anything, he went on. "Then, you smiled. I knew for sure it was you after that. I have rarely seen anyone smile like you do. When you didn't look away, I was more curious as to why, since you'd never held my gaze for that long before. The closer I got, the more I could see what was in your eyes and the more I realized that you weren't just trying to say hello. I hadn't fully decided if I was correct about what I saw in your eyes when I greeted you, but your voice...it suddenly made it all click. You didn't want anyone to know it was you, so I...played along. Wondering the whole time just how far you intended to take it."

Hermione smiled. "Hence you pausing to ask if I wanted to see more each time."

He nodded. "Yes. I still wasn't sure if maybe you didn't realize exactly what your eyes were saying to me."

She sat up a bit. "Which was?" Well aware of what they were saying that night, but curious if he saw it all.

"That you wanted me. That you wanted me to take you into my room and...make love to you. Though...part of me was surprised. You didn't seem like the type to have meaningless affairs, or affairs at all, for that matter." He said, switching to her other foot.

Hermione glanced down at her glass. "I'm not. I pondered it for a long time, dismissing it each time I thought about it as being insane and completely impossible. But...when everything worked out the way it did, my trip coinciding with the party, everyone thinking I was going to be gone...it seemed like it was now or never."

"I'm not complaining, by any means, my dear." He said softly.

She met his gaze again. "I know, I just...want you to know that it wasn't...something I decided on easily. I'm not one to have affairs...especially since I was and am still married. I took my vows seriously and intended to keep them. Only...I was attracted to you, had been for a long time and...six years is a long time to want someone."

Lucius nodded. "That it is, my dear." He'd wanted her for just as long, so he understood.

Hermione sighed. "I think I really was going insane. Mostly...the attraction aside, I felt guilty. Like I'd already cheated just by letting you into my thoughts as often as I did. At that point...I decided that if I was going to feel guilty, then at least I'd have done something to really earn the guilt. It doesn't excuse it...but that was what my thoughts on it were."

"I take marriage vows seriously myself, I don't usually touch married women, but I wasn't above thinking about seducing you anyway." He told her, making her smile. "I'd even contemplated having young Percy set up so that you would leave him. It wouldn't have taken much to have a pretty young woman seduce him, get photos of it, and have them passed to you via one of your friends. You wouldn't have even known I was involved at all."

Hermione's lips parted, mildly shocked. "You're joking."

He shook his head. "No, I thought about it. You weren't the only one going mad. I simply decided I didn't want to cause you unnecessary pain to get what I wanted. I just hadn't come up with a better plan to get you before that night."

Hermione started laughing softly. "Goodness. We're a pair, aren't we? I cheated to get what I wanted, and you schemed to find a way to get what you wanted. Neither us could just admit it to the other. I'm not sure what that says about us, actually."

Lucius shrugged, not the least bit insulted. "That we really wanted each other and were going crazy. They say love makes you do strange and odd things, but I think lust is worse. Love only happens once, maybe twice in a lifetime. Lust happens much more often than that. You can love someone, never act on it, and not go nearly as insane as you can over lust. I know lust can and does fade...but if it doesn't, if it only grows worse with time...it truly can drive a person to derangement."

Hermione took another sip of wine. "Hmm...lust. It doesn't sound like it did much good to satisfy the lust. We're still here. I wasn't able to move on, and apparently neither were you."

His brow rose. "Who said the lust was fully satisfied? Or that I want it to be anytime soon."

Her lips curved and she shifted to set her glass down, before moving down to lay beside him. "I don't think I want it to be either. Its too bad I left after you fell asleep. I had a few days before I even had to be home and I could have spent them with you."

He debated for a moment before speaking again. "Who said I was asleep?"

She frowned. "No...you were. I waited until your breathing evened out."

He chuckled softly, shifting to rest onto his elbow so that he could look down at her, his other hand resting on her belly. "My dear, we've already established that I knew it was you, and knew you didn't want anyone to know it was you, including me. Do you not think I hadn't already figured out that you'd stay only as long as you could? Until the charms wore off on our masks? I knew you were waiting for me to fall asleep and allowed you to believe that I was. I felt you get up, heard you dress, and was fully awake when you kissed me goodbye that morning. I had almost thought you left, but I heard you sigh before my door opened. That is what started my epiphany."

Her frown grew. "I thought your epiphany was learning that it was me at all that night."

He smirked at her. "No, my sweet. It was learning that after the incredible night we shared...I still wanted you. Just as much as I did before, only more so now that I'd had you. It was figuring out that with the soft and sad sigh of yours...you still wanted me too. That is why I showed up for Sunday dinner with the Weasleys. I knew you wanted me and knew too that you probably wouldn't come to me again on your own. That you would need a few gentle pushes to make you see what I'd already seen. That we were good together and were far from finished."

Hermione looked up at him. "I was angry at the pushes, even though I wanted you...I was angry about them too."

He brought his hand from her belly up to her cheek and gave it a soft stroke with his thumb. "I know, my dear, its why I didn't give you a chance to speak in the orchard. I knew that while you were angry, you needed one last push to see the truth. That I couldn't let you go and that you didn't want to really let me go either."

She searched his eyes, but knew what he said was true. She hadn't wanted to leave when she did that morning. She hadn't been able to let Percy touch her, not only because of her guilt, but because she wanted Lucius still. She hadn't been ready to give him up, she just thought she had to do so.

She lifted her head, closing the distance as her arms wrapped around him and brought him down to meet her. Their lips touched softly, parting to let their tongue swirl gently together.

She knew he'd said that tonight was about her relaxing and nothing more, that it wasn't about a seduction, and she believed he had meant it, but that didn't mean that she still didn't intend to have him. His sweetness and honest words had seduced her anyway, though she was sure that hadn't been his intention.

With a gentle push, she ended up on top of him, sitting up with her legs straddling him, she pulled off her tank top before sinking down and kissing him again. Her actions more than letting him know what she wanted. Him.

Not wanting to part with her long enough to undress, he used his magic to get them naked as he shifted her back under him. His hands caressing her softly, easing her into her passion as he touched and tasted every inch of her. Letting her have a chance to do do the same with him.

He wasn't interested in rushing things, as far as he was concerned they had all night. He didn't have anywhere to be, and she was already home. It was Friday night and she didn't have to work, his own work was done at his pace, and he rarely worked weekends anyway. Unless he had nothing else to occupy his time.

Which, he did have something right now. He had a beautiful witch that was moaning and sighing softly while under him, one he didn't plan on removing himself from beside all night, one that he planned on waking with in the morning to make love to her again.

A hint of her essence still on his tongue, he kissed her again, shifting to settle his hips between her spread thighs. Without breaking the kiss, he slowly slid himself inside her. Both groaning at the wondrous feeling of her tight, slick walls surrounding his length and girth that stretched her.

If there was heaven, it was here between her thighs, he decided. Nothing had ever felt better in his life, than when he was inside her. He had told her true, his lust hadn't been sated, no matter how many times he'd had her already. Their first night alone had been long and filled with them joining again and again. He doubted it would be fully sated anytime soon, not if he had his way about it.

With his hips rocking against hers as she moaned out her pleasure, he knew this was only the beginning for them. They would have to keep things discrete, hiding their lust and passion from the world, close friends, and even family. But it wouldn't always be so.

Hermione cried out as his thrusts grew stronger, finding that magical spot inside her and making everything tighten as he stroked it again and again. Her nails raked down his back as he lifted her leg onto his shoulder so he could get just a little bit deeper inside her.

Eventually though, enough time would pass that they could start easing everyone into whatever it was they were doing at the time. If it was still lust, then so be it. But if was something that was growing beyond that, turning into something more, then everyone would just have to accept it.

She screamed out his name as he pounded into her. His thoughts on keeping it slow and easy gone as her walls pulsed and clenched around him. His groans of bliss escaping him as he moved faster and faster, unable to hold back with just how spectacular it felt to have her.

Her body arched into his, her cries building again as his hips pistoned into hers. This woman was incredible and he had no idea how he'd survived these six long years without what she was giving him. How he'd lived his life without her wrapped tightly around him as her body milked and squeezed every ounce of pleasure out of him.

But he knew this, he refused to go longer than a day or two without having her again. Now that she had her own place, now that his private floo was open to her, he would be damned if he let her spend more than a single night or two anywhere but beside him. Both of them worn out before letting sleep claim them too.

She shrieked his name as he slammed himself into her over and over. His body taunt only seconds before her beautiful body ripped his release from him viciously. Her name pulled from him as he spilled inside her with a final jerk of his hips.

Both gasping for air, he let his head drop to her shoulder, as her hands barely hung onto his pale and scratched up shoulders. They needed a moment to just float in their bliss before trying to move, though neither really wanted to move at all.

When at last Lucius had enough oxygen and energy, he moved off of her, pulling her to rest against his side. Her head on his shoulder while her hand rested on his chest, his arm curved around her back with his hand on her waist, they continued enjoying their euphoria.

It wasn't long before they cast a cleansing spell and had a thick blanket from Hermione's bed appear and cover them. Both fully satisfied and too tired to do anything more than sleep.

Lucius last thought before drifting off to sleep, was that he still intended to have her after he woke up. Sated or not, he still knew he'd want her again come morning.

A/N: I've always thought Lucius would have a inner romantic side to him that he hid from the world. That even with how harsh and vicious he could be, he could just as soft and sweet too. Maybe its just me, but this is how I see him. Smart, cultured, cunning, hard as nails when needed, but still able to show a lover the kind and gentle side of himself if they were worthy enough to deserve of said affection.

Anyhoo, I hope you liked it. More coming soon. Take care and Please Leave Me Your Thoughts.