Disclaimer – I don't own Harry Potter or Bleach. Chapters one to fifteen were written before chapter 529 of Bleach and the other chapters were written afterward.
Hermione Granger was to say the least not a normal girl. The young girl easily sensed that she was different from the other children. Her parents acted like they knew full well about everything that made her different. For what they couldn't they at least choose to be understanding and patient. Of course, her younger sister and the other kids in the neighborhood seemed troubled with the fact she was different. The way the children acted made it seem as if they could sense the differences like a magnet.
Some of the things that made her different were things that the adults around her praised, which in turn caused a bit of jealousy. Other things the adults saw as simply weird quirks that caused them to give the brown, curly haired girl strange looks. Other things simply couldn't exist at all, or so the adults around her told her that this was in fact so.
One of the first things that set the girl apart was the fact that she was a child genius. At only the age of eight she could already read at what was considered an adult level. While her parents restricted of course the books she could read due to sensitive issues within the books, her reading list included quite a few books that were above the level of the students around her. The vastness of her vocabulary in truth also amazed the adults around her.
Her level of genius was something the kids at school picked up on from the very first day they had met her. She didn't read the basic reading books like the other students did, which caused one girl to make a scathing comment that followed her throughout her lower school years and maked it hard for her to believe that anyone would ever want to be her friend. Of course everyone including her own sister Elizabeth considered that she was a know-it all.
The adults on the other hand ate up her talents and treated her nicely in ways that she never expected the other children to do. This only added strife as everyone as comparing her and her sister to each other, which caused more distance between the two siblings. Her mind worked so fast that a million ideas seemed to be spinning through her head at any one time. At times she wondered how it was that she happened to have all these numerous ideas.
She also had the frizziest hair imaginable and buck teeth, while her sister came with nice straight blond hair and cut freckles, along with straight, purely white teeth. This was the other way that adults compared the two of them. Elizabeth was also only a year younger than her in regards to everything. Many an adult commented on the fact that Mr. Granger would be needing to beat off the boys when Elizabeth was older. Both girls knew what this meant and both girls knew what not saying it about Hermione meant as well.
On top of being smart and not as pretty as her younger sister there were the odd quirks that no one could explain. Like the time some of the girls tired to put glue on her school seat, but for some reason the desks switched and the other girl ended up sitting in the glue. Or the time that a girl tried sticking her gum into Hermione's bushy hair. The girl laughed as she did this. Except... the gum wasn't there after a few minutes. Or a thousand other small, impossible happenings.
This had brought to her parents attention that bullying occurred to their eldest at school, as the girl who ended up sitting in the glue squealed out exactly who was supposed to sit in said seat only to have the teacher hear said squeal. The teacher passed on word to the Granger parents who voiced their displeasure that Hermione was treated the way she was. Thus the decision to pull her out of school and to home school her had occurred.
One of the perks of this was that she could learn foreign languages. Hermione choose French, while her mother was adamant that her daughter learn Japanese. The woman never stated the exact reason why the learning of the language was important. Hermione however had only smiled, despite the fact that she was puzzled as to the reasoning. She had picked up fast on both of these languages. Elizabeth's reaction was to stick her tongue out.
But then there was that other thing. That other thing was Hermione's imaginary friends that would come and go. She made the mistake once of telling her mother and sister about them. Her mother simply smiled despite the odd statement. Elizabeth had gone and bemoaned to her friends that her sister was a super intelligent psycho path who would end up murdering the whole family because she heard voices in her head.
Which was where Hermione's sister's intelligent went. It was focused around finding ways that could make the eldest Granger feel bad about simply existing. The older female couldn't deny the fact that while others couldn't see them, she could indeed see these friends of hers. She found it very odd that these people had chains coming out of their chests from a plug that plugged up a huge hole in the chest. Sometimes though, the hole had opened up slightly and the plug was disappearing. Quite a few of them were sad, so she would talk to them until they disappeared and the next ones came.
Then one day a letter addressed to her mother came from Japan. Hermione became excited and ran over to where her mother sat knitting, the task she took up during her free time. The eldest Granger child had never expected to see a letter coming all the way from Japan to the residency. She waved it in front of her mother's face, quite happy about the fact the letter had come. Her mother's eyes glowed when she saw the letter.
"Oh... that must be from your Aunt Acacia," her mother smiled. However, when she took the letter, her smile turned into a frown. "She's written in Japanese. I know I asked her to write you, but I thought she would either simply send you the letter or include it in one of mine."
"So that's why mum wanted me to learn Japanese," Hermione thought to herself.
"She was so smart, she got to be an exchange student to Japan. That's where she met her husband. When she married him, she took the name Masaki. Both Masaki and Acacia mean tree, though different kinds." The woman glanced at the envelope, looking at who it was from. "No... it isn't from her... it's from her husband Isshin. Hermione dear... would you please read this for me?"
Hermione took the letter, gleefully translating it as she did so. However, as she read it, her glee left her.
To my lovely and dear sister-in-law –
I apologize for not contacting you sooner, but we've been in turmoil for the last few days, and in truth... I was hoping I would never have to send you a letter like this. Unfortunately, I do have to send it, as there has been an unfortunate event. Masaki was out with our eldest when an accident occurred. She made sure that he didn't get hurt, but in the process, she died. I apologize for this being brief, but I have to go and cheer up the twins. Please... if you are able to come out here for the funeral, please feel free to do so. You are most welcome.
Hermione glanced up from reading the letter, to see and hear her mother suddenly crying, tears streaming down her face. Hermione frowned at this, knowing that she could do nothing, but she didn't really know what to think, as she hadn't gotten the chance to get to know her Aunt. She also had never known anyone that had died.
When Mr. Granger heard that his wife's sister had died, he instantly insisted on pushing their dentistry practice on some of the assistants and flying out, for his wife's sake and sanity. Hermione found herself glad that her parents had ready to go for all four of them, though Elizabeth thought that one could just fly around the globe with no worried at all about what might happen to them.
They arrived at the airport and Hermione could not hide her shock. She had expected her Uncle Isshin dressed in typical morning clothes. However, he came up to them completely excited and with an obnoxious colored tie around his neck, shaking their hands as if they were simply there on vacation. Mr. Granger gave the man a dirty look, which told Hermione that her first impression of the man was not a good one. Then she heard what the man sad as he took Mrs. Granger's hand and adimitly shook it.
"Masaki would not be happy if you are down in the dumps! You'll have to participate in some of the Kurosaki games I've planned to celebrate her life!" The man's smile would have been contagious, had it not been for the reason they were together.
Hermione turned to her family, more specifically to her father. "Uncle Isshin says that Aunt Masaki wouldn't be happy if we were sad. We're going to celebrate her life."
"Why?" Elizabeth muttered under her breath.
Her father's facial expressions softened a bit though at what his eldest had translated for him. He did though, find himself glaring at his youngest for her comment. Hermione's mother then asked about how the children were doing, which the oldest Granger girl translated for her uncle's benefit. The smile left briefly as he spoke up. "The children are very sad. Ichigo blames himself, I can tell. Yuzu's taken over the housework while Karin has gone and started beating up other kids. Let each deal in their own way. My job is to put on a happy smile for them."
When Hermione translated this, her mother smiled. "I'll have to check Yuzu's work and make sure if there isn't anything she doesn't know that I might possibly show her before we go back."
After this was translated, Isshin nodded his head, showing his happiness. "I am sure that Yuzu would like this."
"Aren't the twins four?" her father suddenly asked, not sure what to make of the man in front of him.
"Yes... well... I am sure that she has supervision while cooking, right?" Mrs. Granger muttered.
Isshin's response was a little bit shocking, but they took it at face value. "Daddy runs a clinic, so Yuzu and Karin already know first aide... they always like helping mother and I there when they can."
"I see... they're good kids," Hermione's mother smiled, despite the fact that her eyes had a bit of misgiving.
Elizabeth hated the funeral. They had to sit on the floor and sit silently as the whole pomp and ceremony went on. Ichigo had practically ignored Hermione, while Karin had tried to punch both of the Granger girls. Yuzu had decided to cling to the eldest cousin, crying as she did so. She couldn't for the life of her figure out why the small girl was attached like that, until she saw a picture of her aunt. Then it sort of hit her, and she felt guilty despite there being no need to feel such.
Hermione had the same color of hair and eye as her Aunt Masaki. The simularity went down to the wave in her hair. This also caused Hermione to bite her lip, as she had a problem with the fact that she didn't feel as if she was as pretty as her aunt at all. To her, Kurosaki Masaki was one of the prettiest women in the world, besides her own mother. This made her look at the ground as Isshin introduced certain people.
One of the first that he introduced was a man with whitish, silvery hair, something Hermione didn't think at all possible. He tipped his silly hat at them, then continued on his way. His name was Urahara Kisuke. Something bothered her about the man, not in a bad way, but she had one of those feelings that she at times had about people. He also eyed her with a spark of speculation and mirth.
Next came a little girl with her family. "Ai... my name is Tatsuki." Her father then shook her shoulder slightly, shaking his head. "Gomen, my name is Arisawa Tatsuki. I am one of Ichigo's friends from the dojo. This lady is Ichigo's mother's sister?" This caused her father to shake his head and shake her shoulder again. However, Hermione translated for her family and her mother nodded her head. "Ichigo's aunt is pretty like his mother."
As Hermione translated this for her mother, she saw that the girl's father didn't shake her shoulder again for being impolite. Tatsuki then turned to the orange haired boy. "I hope to see you in class soon. You've been walking by the river too much... we miss you."
At this, Ichigo let out a small sniffle, then that was about it. It was then, after a good deal of time sitting there, that the children were beckoned to go out of the room and Elizabeth followed them, quite unhappy about not being able to understand what was going on. As Hermione followed the Kurosaki children, she couldn't help but wonder where they were going.
It was then that he saw a person with a chain in their chest. To her surprise, Ichigo walked up to the person. "Hello... I'm sorry momma and I can't visit anymore."
"I know... she passed away... hopefully... no... no need to worry your young mind about those things."
Hermione walked over to the man. "Why is it that only certain people can see you?"
She felt Karin suddenly hit her in the ribs, having heard all of this. The four year old hissed. "If you don't believe in them... they can't exist!"
"Karin-chan's in denial," Yuzu chirped up, suddenly happy about the whole thing. "I want to play with them, but I can't see them."
"Hold on... you can see them?" Ichigo asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Yes... I mean... yes," Hermione commented.
"Those are ghosts..." the boy muttered. "What you're seeing are ghosts... not invisible friends. I thought I could see momma by the river... when I figured out that they weren't imaginary friends. However... she isn't there. I guess she's just passed on."
"Dead people," Hermione muttered, her eyes going wide. "Ghosts can't possibly exist."
"Yup... no invisible friends," Karin muttered, frowning at the ghost and wishing it to go away.
"What are you guys talking about," Elizabeth muttered.
Hermione turned to her. "About... imaginary friends..."
"You are all crazy! Elizabeth stated, storming off. "How can you guys belive in something that isn't there?"
"What did she say?" Ichigo asked.
When Hermione translated, Karin nodded her head in agreement. "Told you, didn't I Ichi-nii!" Hermione knew then, that when she got back to England, she wouldn't forget any of this, not one single bit.
Author's note – Yeah... I have too many ideas rolling around in my head, but I am feeling depressed due to certain things happening... which I would rather not explain and this happened to come to mind. That, and having read a few crossovers between these two fandoms, I decided to toss out one of my ideas for one... and I mean... one of my ideas for this one.
6/18/2009 – Thanks to Ayriannah for looking over this chapter for gramatical , spelling and syntax errors! :)
12/26/2010 – Due to the fact that I have lost my notebook with my notes, I am rereading my story and doing some minor edits to the chapters as I go. I also happen to be planning a side piece to this fanfic, Muggle Ghost: One Shots, which is to put in some filler that I can't easily put into the story without crowding it.