Title: An Inevitable Fate

Chapter One: Fate's Twisted Sense of Humor

Author: KissThis


Rating: R - if not now, then later. Just shut up and read it.

Pairing: Wouldn't you like to know?

Setting: 6th year in Hogwarts.

Summary: Hermione. Is. Dying. She doesn't know when, but it's a depressing inevitability. Can she summon the strength to tell her friends? And what of all the things she's never going to get to do? Can she get her life in order before it's over? You'll have to read, now won't you?


Disclaimer: JK owns everything. *cries* Yes I know...depressing isn't it?


A/N: I have about 50 other stories going on at once, and I still wanted to start this one. The idea for this story has been bouncing around in my head for days and I just HAD to write it out. I hope you like it as much as I liked it when it was in my head.


Special Thanks: I'd like to thank meggiebaby81 for coming up with a title for the chapter! She's is my kick ass muse and you all shall bow down before her! I love you babe!


Hermione Granger stepped out of the building she had previously been occupying and scanned the streets for any sign of the friends she had planned on meeting. The depressing atmosphere of the white brick building already dissipating beneath the blinding rays of sunlight. The mature woman of 17, looked anything but as she darted down the stone steps that led from the building after catching sight of a familiar crop of flaming hair.

Ron! She started to call out, but the words died on her lips as she found herself facing the youngest Weasley - Ginny. But it didn't matter - she smiled all the same. "Gin!" She called out in order to grab the younger woman's attention.

"Hermione?! God you look great!" Ginny exclaimed when she had turned around and was given the chance to finally take in her friend's entire appearance.

Hermione sighed and let herself fall into the familiar embrace. It felt so good after having been trapped in that oppressive building to be in the presence of a friend. She'd never noticed before but Ginny smelled faintly of wildflowers and cookie dough. As the redhead pulled away, Hermione logged away her observation and committed it to memory.

Her soft and earthy smile came easily as she swept her honey colored eyes over Ginny - starting at the crown of her head and ending at her feet in their beaded flip-flops and her toes decorated with pink nail polish. "You too!" She exclaimed, "Just gorgeous!"

Her small smile widened slightly while she watched the blush rise in Ginny's cheeks and spread to the roots of her flaming hair. Her eyes followed the flowing strands of hair to where they ended beneath her breasts; already well developed. Her wavy tresses that had once been almost neon orange had darkened into a richly vibrant auburn that transformed her childish face into one of subtle elegance.

The color suited her and Hermione secretly wished that her friend had no desire to alter it, magically or otherwise. Just in case, Hermione made sure to comment on it, "Especially your hair! It suits you so well, Gin."

Reaching out, Hermione ran her slender fingers through the rust-colored hair. Another smile tugged at her lips and she found that her smile was contagious - as soon as she let it out Ginny was smiling too. "It's so soft too."

Extricating her hand from the waves of hair she ran it through her own chestnut tresses pulling them away from her face. This summer has done her good. A breeze picked up about the pair stirring the hem of Hermione's summer dress. The scratch of the cotton against her skin brought Hermione's mind back to her companion.

"So where might your brother be? I was looking for him and Harry when I saw you. We were going to do our school shopping together, but I had a prior engagement to see to so I told them I'd meet them after. Only now I realize we never set up a time or place to rendezvous."

Hermione realized by the look on Ginny's face that she had been babbling. Having the decency to blush she gave the redhead a chagrined look. "You get the idea."

Ginny nodded and hoisted her knapsack higher on her shoulder. "Well I don't keep tags on my block-headed brother, but you and I both know they're most likely staked out at the Quidditch shop."

Hermione laughed, her mood already lifting. "Brilliant deduction, Watson." She complimented giddily in a posh, male, British accent. Ginny, who had hardly any Muggle experience, gave her a bewildered expression. Linking arms Hermione started them walking towards Quality Quidditch Supplies and began to explain the quote from Sherlock Homes to her confused friend.


When they had finally made it through the crowd of bustling people to the front of Quality Quidditch Supplies, Hermione had given up on explaining it to her rather dense friend and promised to loan her the book sometime.

" 'Mione!"

Hermione's head snapped up at the mention of her name, and she turned away from Ginny with whom she had been conversing. She had to wait for the crowd to part before she could even get a glimpse of the owner of the voice.

It was Harry.


As he had been leaning against the stone building he had caught sight of the distinctive Weasley hair and than Hermione herself walking beside Ginny. She was wearing a baby blue dress that fell smoothly to just above her knees. Harry also noted with surprise that her dress sported a very low V-neckline and tied, like a halter, behind her neck - things that were not usually found in his best friend's normal attire. Her chestnut hair, un-frizzy as of last year, fell a little past her shoulders. Harry noticed that the corkscrew curls bounced when she walked.

He called out to her and felt a satisfied tug inside of him when her head immediately shot up. Glancing at Ron, sitting on the steps beside him he found his friend's eyes to be locked on Hermione even as she ran towards them.


From her position within the throng of people Hermione studied the two of her best friends. Quidditch had honed both of their bodies making them into the muscled hunks of Gryffindor house. Harry's hair was still as messy as ever, and Hermione couldn't imagine her boy-hood friend without his characteristic raven locks. He was wearing khaki shorts, a white beater that was tight enough to show off his abs, and blue flip-flops.

Ron, finally in his own spotlight, was, in Lavender's words, "super dreamy" as well. His fire engine red hair was spiked with gel giving his boyish face a sexy undertone. He was wearing black warm-up pants that snapped up the sides and a white, muscle T-shirt that was certainly doing its job.

It seems the summer has treated everyone well...

She couldn't bring herself to finish the thought. What she really wanted to say was except me, but she wouldn't let her pessimistic thoughts ruin such a bright and sunny summer day.

Dragging Ginny through the crowd with her Hermione only released her when she flung herself at Harry without the slightest bit of hesitation. He smelled like cinnamon. With his arms around her waist and hers about his neck, Harry picked her up and spun her around. She was laughing when he finally set her back down and she quickly hugged him again. "God, Harry! I've missed you!"

"The feeling's mutual." He held her out at arms length, "Beautiful as always." He grinned cheekily.

"Always the charmer," She replied giving him a quick peck on the cheek. Turning around she saw Ron in the process of getting up and leapt at him as well. Trying to support both himself and Hermione, Ron failed and Hermione's momentum sent them tumbling to the ground.

With his body pinned beneath hers it was all Ron could do not to blush. Instead he smiled his sly half-grin that only he could pull off and looked up at her, "I didn't know you missed me that much."

Hermione pretended to look affronted and slapped his arm, "Very funny Ronald." Untangling her limbs from his she grabbed his hand and helped him into a standing position. Then, when all she did was hug him he pouted and pointed to his cheek until Hermione took the hint and gave him a kiss as well.

Once all of the greetings had been exchanged, Ginny had run off to meet some friends at Madam Malkin's. The three friends linked arms, with Hermione placed comfortably in the middle, and headed off towards Flourish & Blotts - Hermione's idea.

Though Ron agreed to go he sportingly complained the entire way. Hermione smiled to herself as her friends fell comfortably back into the familiar routine they had created for themselves. Ron argued and complained, she countered and was "the voice of reason", and Harry served as the buffer between the two making sure they didn't tear each other apart - though nowadays their "fights" were less out of anger and more out of tradition.

"Honestly, Ron. We've been friends for six years and you still can't stand going to the bookstore for ten minutes." Jerking her head slightly, she flicked her mahogany locks over her shoulder.

Ron jovially bumped his shoulder against hers making their whole line sway slightly, "Well, you know. I'm a free spirit me."

It must have been the way he said it because Hermione burst into peals of laughter even though the statement itself wasn't particularly funny.

Coincidentally, her laughter was also infectious because almost immediately Harry and Ron were laughing along with her. Harry's laughter subsided to deep throaty chuckles as he broke their arm-linked chain and jumped between Ron and Hermione throwing his arms about their shoulders.

"Can't we all just get along?"

Hermione looked at him sternly, making harry gulp in nervousness and uncertainty. But she couldn't keep up the fa├žade and dissolved into hysterical laughter - both of the boys joining in. Finding it impossible to walk and laugh as hard as they were, the trio stumbled and staggered through the front door of Flourish and Blotts.


Mumbling something about the scandalous selling of abridged books, Hermione slammed shut the book she had been skimming through and set it back upon the teetering tower of books she had pulled it from. Staring at the stack she wondered vaguely if the employees used magic to keep the books from toppling. It seemed a very reasonable possibility due to the fact that the haphazard stacking combined with the Earth's gravity would have surely brought the pile tumbling down by now.

But, alas! She was overthinking again...

With a sigh she went back to perusing the towering shelves of books in a casual and cursory manner. After a few more minutes of scanning the spines of the books she spotted the one she was looking for - four shelves above her head.

Standing on her tiptoes she strained her arm upwards and stretched her fingers as far as was physically possible but she barely reached above the third shelf. Her heart-shaped face scrunched up in frustration and she started jumping. But even then her fingers only grazed the bottoms of the books on the fourth shelf.

Unable to pull the book out she had ended up pushing it farther in. Swearing under her breath she stepped back so that she could properly glare at the book that was evading her so easily. Stomping her foot angrily and cursing her measly 5'6" height she whipped out her wand.

She had had about enough of this...and she really needed that book.

She had just raised her wand - ready to hex that damn book into oblivion when there was a low chuckle behind her. Someone reached over her and grabbed the object of her frustration. "I never thought I'd see the day Hermione Granger would draw her wand on one of her beloved books..."

The book she had been so bent on retrieving became suddenly insignificant as she whirled around. "Draco!" She squealed and leapt into the startled boy's arms. Draco...always a Malfoy at heart...still found it difficult to give and receive hugs having never been allowed to take part in such "frivolous activities" growing up.

Nonetheless, after joining up with the Golden Trio to defeat Lucius and his band of Death Eaters and working together, even now, towards the defeat of Voldemort, he had grown accustom to the female Gryffindor occasionally flinging herself at him and practically strangling him.

He struggled to maintain his balance with Hermione latched on to his waist. Finally, Hermione seemed to understand that their ability to stay standing was quickly failing and she released him. She stepped back so that she could look at his face without having to crane her neck at a rather painful angle.

"How did you get so bloody tall?" She complained - already estimating in her head how tall he was.

He shrugged and smirked roguishly down at her, "Magic?" He suggested slyly. He handed her her book.

"Very funny, Malfoy." She scoffed, reflexively reverting back to calling him by his last name. The nostalgia of their habitual fighting washed over her making her feel weak in the knees. That'd be another thing to her rapidly growing list: No more bickering with Malfoy. Or should she write it down as Draco. No...she was friends with Draco -- she bickered with Malfoy. Hermione laughed inwardly. She was talking about him as if he were two entirely different people. She paused thoughtfully. But in all honesty, if she was going to continue with her list she should do it correctly.

"What are you...6 foot?" She mused - unconsciously finding a chestnut-colored curl and twirling it about her index finger.

His smirk grew wider, "Good guess."

Hermione grinned impishly and turned her face so that one half of it was covered by the cascading waterfall of curls that was her hair. "It wasn't a guess..."

She watched in guilty fascination as he struggled to hide his bewilderment beneath an ever-present mask that acted like a brick wall; blocking all emotions from view. The thing that gave it all away was his eyes. He couldn't put up his defensive shield -- which seemed to be an accessory equipped to all Malfoys at birth -- in time to completely prevent Hermione from sensing his confusion and surprise.

Deciding she wouldn't let him suffer any longer under her calculating gaze, she rolled her eyes, "It's quite simple, really." She reproached in that superior tone of voice she assumed when explaining something she thought was tremendously easy.

"Using Muggle Trigonometry and the different shadows we cast due to the sunlight coming in through the skylight above us I was able to closely approximate your height using mine as a comparison."

Draco was indeed a formidable rival within Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but the disgustingly intelligent teenager had almost no knowledge of Muggles, their culture, or their ways. And especially not their higher mathematics.

"You see by taking my height, my shadow, and the line that could be drawn connecting them I made a 30-60-90 triangle. Then, knowing that my height was 5.6, I could use tangent and --"

" 'Mione!"

Hermione and Draco turned away from each other and watched as harry and Ron elbowed their way, rather rudely, through the crowd of bookstore-goers. Harry called her name again, but stopped short when he noticed Draco beside her. He didn't hesitate long in thumping the other boy soundly on the back in hello before turning to Hermione who he had been trying to hunt down in the first place.

" 'Mione, we have to get our books quickly so we can go and meet up with the rest of the gang."

Draco's body stiffened and the action did not escape Hermione's notice. She knew it was because Draco knew he wasn't part of that group. She had tried before to insert him into their "gang", but Ron had promptly shot down the idea.

Hermione sighed, "All right. Maybe I'll explain it to you later?" She suggested to Draco holding the book across the front of her body.

He nodded and she gave him a quick hug and a peck on the cheek -- having to stand on her tiptoes to accomplish the second task.

"It's a date." His familiar smirk was back in place.

Hermione could feel her face flushing and she ducked her head in embarrassment. Harry was smiling in amusement, but Ron looked immensely uncomfortable throughout the entire exchange. Hermione knew he still didn't fully trust Draco -- but she suspected it was mainly because he didn't like him much. Every time the two got together Hermione had to struggle to refrain from laughing because, bottom line: the two just couldn't get along together. Ron fidgeted in place and a twisted spike of red hair fell in front of his face.


She misjudged his tone as one of mild impatience and looked up, "Oh, sorry Harry! I was overthinking again. Let's go." She started forward but was stopped by Harry's hand on her arm.


"What were you doing in the Muggle's section?" He asked curiously. He took a step forward and brushing the hair out of his face scanned the single bookshelf.

Hermione could just see him pushing those round glasses of his higher up on the bridge of his nose. Squinting and scrunching up his face in concentration as he looked over the different arrays of books. But he'd long since gotten rid of those oversized glasses in favor of contact lenses and the familiar actions became just another memory.

But all Hermione's imagining and all her thoughts about harry and his glasses were just a mask that she was attempting to hide her other, less-nostalgic thoughts behind. The amazing gift she had to remember everything around her and to store all the vast knowledge in the world into such a tiny organ as the brain, was also her curse. She often felt that her brain was spilling out more thoughts at a time than she could handle. She found herself talking to someone and thinking about 1, 2, 3, even 4 other things, at the same time and completely unrelated to each other or what she was talking about.

But overthinking wasn't her problem. Harry's damn curiosity was.

Draco grinned. "And what was that book you were so bent on getting?" Hermione floundered like a fish out of water - her mouth struggling to form a reply that didn't sound too farfetched. She was so rattled by Draco's sudden inquiry that she could hardly react as he snatched the book from her hands.

Draco didn't expect her to freak out, so when she leapt at him to retrieve her book he was a little startled. Holding the book out of Hermione's reach, his silvery blue eyes darted across the cover. His brow furrowed and Hermione shrunk back nervously.

Oh God...don't let them find out...not now!

"Withenthorp's Detailed Works on the World's Deadly Diseases." He read slowly aloud. A lump rose in Hermione's throat as the silence following his words stretched on. Draco looked up at her through his lashes. His eyes were completely blank and his face showed no emotion.

Hermione couldn't understand how he could look so calm when she was practically melting into a nervous puddle of goo. She felt, rather than saw, Harry and Ron slowly turn to face her because she had forced her eyes on her jeweled flip-flops.


She couldn't breathe. Her throat contracted and her mouth became dry. She futily reached out again for the book, but didn't even come close before she dropped her hand back down to her side.

"It's for Muggle Studies" She insisted even as she heard her own voice raise shrilly. Harry and Ron seemed satisfied well enough with her answer, but Draco wasn't as convinced.

"I'm in that class -- and this book isn't required..." Draco commented. He idly turned the book over and over in his hands, but his stormy eyes never left Hermione's. He glanced down at the book quickly and then back up at her before handing the book back to her.

Instantly, the vise around her throat loosened and she was able to inhale shakily. The pounding of her pulse in her ears faded away and her mind stopped it's frantic reeling. Just the possibility of them finding out...the people she loved the most...it made her entire body tense.

How would she ever be able to tell them?

She clutched the book to her chest and grinned weakly. "You know me -- always doing that extra credit."

Ron groaned as he and Harry dragged her towards the front of the store, "Honestly 'Mione! Can't you think of anything besides school?" He jibbed comically.

Hermione allowed them to lead her away; her knuckles turning white from her fingers' death grip on the book. Glancing back over her shoulder her honey eyes locked with Draco's as he watched her go.

If you only knew...fate's got a twisted sense of humor...


R & R!

Woah this baby is long! Don't expect the rest of the chapters to be this long 'cuz I don't know if I'll have the patience for it, lol.

Movies watched while writing...

Princess Mononoke

The Italian Job - {ok, so it wasn't really when I was writing it -- more like before, but still...quality movie}