Prettyinpinkgal: Hello! This is my first multi-chapter HMC fanfic. I was inspired to write this after watching "Pride & Prejudice". I couldn't think of anything else to call this fic except for "Destiny", but I don't really like it that much XP Maybe I'll think of something later to call it. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the story!

Oh, I may not be able to update this for a while, cuz I'm busy working on another fanfic I have, called "Just a Dream". However, I'll try to update this ASAP! I just wanted to let you guys know that, in case it's a long time 'til I update again.

Disclaimer: I do not own Howl's Moving Castle. It belongs to the brilliant Diana Wynne Jones, while the adapted movie version belongs to Hayao Miyazaki. This fanfic is based loosely off of "Pride and Prejudice", too, so I don't own that, either.

Summary: Sophie Hatter was a young hatter in the town of Market Chipping, in the country of Ingary. Destined to marry a wealthy man, but unable to love him, Sophie is stuck in a life that she has no control over whatsoever. However, when she meets a handsome man on May Day, will she be able to able to live life the way she wants to? Or will she abide by her family's wishes, doomed to a life of boredom and no love?



In the land of Ingary, where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worst, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes.

Sophie Hatter was the eldest of three sisters. She had ginger--"red gold," Sophie always called it--hair, and was a lovely young woman. She was only eighteen, but was quite mature for her age, as her mother had died when she was two and her sister Lettie was one. Sophie's father, although he loved his children dearly and tried to give them the best of the best, was busy working in the hatshop the family owned, so his eldest daughter was the one who mainly looked after her younger sister.

Mr. Hatter soon married Fanny, a young shop assistant. Fanny gave birth to Martha, the third daughter. She loved all three girls equally, never favoring her own daughter in the least. While Fanny tried to be mother-like to the girls, she was often busy helping her husband in the shop. Sophie became quite skilled in breaking up squabbles between Lettie and Martha, and acted almost as a mother would to the two younger children.

The girls went to school, and all three received good grades. Sophie, however, loved to learn. While Lettie and Martha did well, they just didn't have a passion for knowledge. Because of Sophie's love for learning, she discovered quickly that being the eldest was a terrible burden. You could not live life as you would like, because you'd most certainly fail. After learning this, she felt rather sorry for herself, then decided to help Lettie and Martha become very successful.

Unfortunately, Mr. Hatter passed away, leaving Fanny to manage the shop alone. Soon, the tiny hat shop gained more popularity; in fact, it became too popular for Fanny to handle alone. After a given amount of time, when Sophie was eighteen, Lettie was seventeen, and Martha was fourteen, the two younger girls were sent away to live as apprentices.

Sophie was left to create hats for the hat shop for the rest of her life.

At first, Sophie didn't mind so much. After all, she was the eldest. It was her duty to work in her family's hat shop, even though it wasn't exactly her first choice in a career. But she really had no other option. After a couple weeks, the job turned into a boring, dull occupation. Not to mention, Sophie was stuck in a room with many middle-aged to elderly women, and no young girls to talk with. Sometimes, Sophie had to resort to speaking with hats. If she didn't, surely she'd forget how to speak.

A few months after Sophie started working in the hat shop, Fanny had come into the workroom with a happy grin on her face.

"Sophie, my dear, I have some splendid news for you!" she cried to her stepdaughter, the grin on her face seeming to get larger by the second, if that was possible.

Sophie blinked. "What is it?" she inquired. What could possibly be "splendid news" for the eldest daughter?

"My friend has a son who is only five years old than you. I've met him, and he seems like a fine gentleman. Not to mention, he's absolutely rich! He's a perfect match for you, Sophie! If you two marry, then you will never have to work in the hat shop! Doesn't that sound wonderful?! ...Er, Sophie dear, are you listening?" Fanny asked, finally noticing Sophie's blank stare.


"Yes, dear. I know you're only eighteen, but many women marry at your age."

"I'll marry a man I've never met?"

"Well, of course you'll meet him before the wedding! Oh, Sophie, I'm positively sure you'll love him! He's quite handsome too."

"Of course, he's wealthy, too," Sophie said with a sigh. She couldn't see any way of getting out of this. Fanny was so excited about the match, and the man's money would help Fanny with some financial issues she'd been having. Plus, Sophie wouldn't have to work at the hat shop anymore. It was a win-win situation.

But what if she didn't love this man?

Oh, for goodness' sake! Don't be so selfish, Sophie! This is a great opportunity! I should at least meet him, she decided.

"Alright. I'll meet him."

"Wonderful!" Fanny gave her stepdaughter a hug that nearly sufficated Sophie. "I'll have him over for dinner tonight. Lettie and Martha are going to be stopping by for dinner anyway to visit, so you won't feel so shy."

"I-isn't it going to be on too short a notice for him?"

"Actually, I had already asked him yesterday. He said it'd be fine," Fanny replied.

Sophie bit her tongue so she wouldn't snap, "You were going to have him over whether I agreed to it or not, weren't you?!" Instead, she replied with a simple, "Oh."

After Sophie calmed down a bit, she asked what the man's name was.

"Mr. William Collins," said her stepmother, who was busy giving change to a woman in the shop.

Prettyinpinkgal: So there's the prologue. I don't really like it too much (sighs). But it was just a prologue, so hopefully it'll get better. See ya in the first chapter!