The one thing Hermione had not anticipated that day was that she would die. But she realised the inescapable truth of her faith as she saw the chimney coming down on her in seemingly slow motion. It was huge. For someone who never swore, it was ironic that her last words were, "Oh Fuck."
Being twenty eight she was just too young to die, particularly after a life that had turned out quite unsatisfactory. She was single, had a job that kept her occupied but didn't really have the impact on the world that she wanted. Mostly she did administration. She was good at it. Everyone took her for granted.
Her relationship with Ron fizzled in a whimper. The fact that they had nothing in common just exasperated the final cruel blow; she was barren. They tried for a few years until the doctor confirmed, her womb was just for show. They cared for each other, but their relationship never had a natural flow to it. It took an exhausting amount of effort.
And the fact that Hermione was barren increasingly weighed on her. She couldn't walk past a baby anymore with getting a lump in her throat. It hurt to go around seeing Harry and Ginny with their one and one on the way. A house full of life, instead of her relationship at home which centred around talk about either work, Quidditch or the weather. It was sucking the life out of her. They were both relieved when they decided to throw in the towel.
Then she was single for a year or so, in a world where everyone was coupled or certifiable. She'd gone on a date with a man who spent the entire evening staring at her chest. Then with one whose life's ambition was to have a goat farm. She kind of gave up after that.
So now she was dead. This was it. Her cat would mourn her. Her parents had died in a car accident a few years back, so there wasn't anyone family. There were her friends. They would come to her funeral, say probably heartfelt goodbyes before hugging their families closer. At best, she would serve as an example of how fleeting life was. Here one moment, gone the next.
All this she thought in the second before her world went black. Forever.
The dark was quiet, comforting and, well dark. Wasn't there supposed to be a white light or a tunnel or something.
Instead she got some flashes of light and then a wall of pain hit her. She could feel someone giving her a potion and the pain subsided. Maybe she was alive. She would be amazed by her own body if it managed to survive that massive chimney falling on it.
The dark claimed her again.
The pain returned at some point and she groaned.
"Mistress?" A small voice said. "How are you feeling?"
She knew that voice belonged to an elf. An elf that called her Mistress. She didn't know St. Mungos used elves.
Eventually Hermione opened her eyes in a dark, large room. A designed room, much too nice for a hospital. Maybe she had been taken to some exclusive private hospital. She was a war hero after all.
An elf stood next to her bed watching her.
"Mistress?" The elf queried again.
"Please don't call me Mistress." Hermione said.
"Does your head hurt?" The elf said. "You hit your head in the bathroom yesterday."
"Did I?" Hermione said not being able to recall. Maybe she was conscious for a while after the accident and talked to this elf.
"I will give you some potion for the pain, Mis..." The woman said. "You took quite a knock on your head."
"I need to go to the toilet." Hermione said. "Where is my wand?"
"It is right her, Mis..." The elf said and pointed to the bedside table.
Hermione picked up her wand. She had a bit of double vision that didn't relent. She tried to shake her head, but it only send waves of nauseating pain through it.
The wand felt funny.
"This isn't my wand." Hermione said.
The elf took a closer look at it.
"Yes it is." The elf said eyeing her suspiciously. "Should I get the Master?"
Master, what master. The doctor? Yes she needed to speak to a Doctor. Her whole body felt funny.
"Yes, please get the Master." Hermione said and tried to stand up.
Her legs were all wobbly, but the need to go to the bathroom was pretty urgent. So she stumbled along.
What in the world was she wearing, she wondered and she made it too the toilet. She was wearing green silk. Is this common in private hospital, putting their unconscious patients in green silk camisoles? She would have to have a chat with this doctor.
As she reached for some toilet paper, her arm bumped into something soft and it took her a second to realise it was her boob. Her boob got in the way. That's weird. What? She checked under the camisole and her boob was bigger and unnaturally high. They had done something to her boobs. What kind of sick hospital would mess around with her boobs.
Now she was getting livid. She checked her arms and she was tanned too. What the hell? She stood up and walked over to the mirror to get a better look at what the hell was going on and was shocked to see someone else in the mirror.
It must be a mistake, some kind of enchanted mirror. She checked herself frantically and felt her face, which lead her to the unmistakeable conclusion that what she was seeing in the mirror matched what she was feeling. She could see her own movements in the mirror.
Then she did something she wasn't very proud off, she screamed. A girly scream, before the embarrassment took over. She fought the Dark Lord, for pete's sake. Being petrified by a change in appearance didn't deserve a scream in the scheme of things.
Someone must have used some polyjuice potion on her. Although she couldn't see why. If this was someone's idea of a practical joke, it was a good one, but she didn't know anyone that demented.
She spent a few minutes watching herself in the mirror. The face did seem somewhat familiar, but she couldn't place it. Beautiful and the body could only be describes as rocking. Tall and slim, with curves in all the right places.
She wore jewellery too, which was weird because jewellery didn't come with the polyjuice potion, someone must have put it on. There was a large emerald pendant, hanging quite lowdown on her chest, probably to draw attention to the boobs that just kind of stood up.
There were rings to, including a wedding band. Whatever was going on, they wanted her to think she was married. Seriously, did they think she was going to fall for this?
She took all the rings off is disgust, the pendant as well. Hermione didn't like jewellery, it just felt unnatural having things on her fingers.
She was really tall and Hermione considered how high she could reach. Her legs were really long too. Slim, shapely and tanned like she'd been on holiday for a couple of weeks.
Eventually she got bored with the new body and decided it was time to find out what was going on. She walked back into the large room she had woken up in. On second thought, this looked nothing like a hospital room. There was a huge wardrobe, which she found was stuffed full of clothes. Expensive clothes. No jeans or T-shirts. Nothing terribly comfortable.
She had to settle on a black skirt and a jewel-tone yellow blouse. Silk, she determined. It felt cool and buttery when she slid it on. Hermione had never had any silk clothes. The feel of the material was kind of sexy, but she dismissed it out of her mind. She had much bigger things to think about, like what the hell was going on.
Every single pair of shoes had a heel on it. Hermione only wore heals for special occasions which were fairly rare in her life, particularly so since she broke up with Ron.
The faint pop made her turn to see the elf was back.
"Master says if you need medical attention, you should owl for a doctor." The elf said.
"Where is the Master?" Hermione asked.
"He is in the Breakfast room, Mistress." The elf said with a bow.
Right, Hermione thought, time to go give this person a piece of her mind. She marched out of the room only to be hit by the thought that she had no idea where this breakfast room was. She walked more tentatively down the fall until she hit a staircase. This was a house and it was luxuriously furnished. Dark, shining wood. Think carpets. A massive chandelier hung over the stair case.
She had to try a few of the rooms outside until eventually she got far enough that she could smell food. The food made her feel nauseous and it reminded her of the horrible headache she had. She ignored it and marched towards the room. Each step made her head thumb.
She burst through the door, ready to have a go at whoever, whatever was going on. But what she saw when she got through made her pause. Unmistakably, Draco Malfoy was sitting at the table reading a paper.
"Malfoy?" She asked. Her mind whirring with thoughts, none of which made sense.
"Astoria." He said cooly without looking up.
Astoria, she repeated in her mind. Then she fainted.