TWIST OF FATE

Disclaimer: Harry Potter and everything related belongs to J. K. Rowling

Author's note: Thank you very much for your reviews.

I believe I have certain things to explain, well here you go

I could not write Draco as a nice guy like Cedric or Dean or even Ron because that would be OOC. I think you all agree that Draco won't be Draco if he wasn't arrogant and rude brat.

Draco was taught all his life that people with money, power and beauty are superior to others and he has got all three. Well I believe it will take nothing less than life altering experience for him to rethink his views. And I assure you that Harriet will be in the center of it.

Please be a little patient and don't be so hard on him. I have plans for him. When Draco starts to change Harriet will notice his more endearing qualities. After all he is a young man. And I believe that people change all the time. I promise he will mellow some of his arrogance. Not all though. Also no one is perfect, Take Hermione for instance, She loves books. But she looks down on Pansy's fashion study just because it doesn't involve reading heavy tomes.

Ron makes fun of Hermione's obsessive reading although behind her back, because he despises studying and loves games instead.

Harriet has flaws too. But since she is my protagonist, I will say nothing.

As to Harriet, I am gathering her, friends who would support her through much difficult times ahead. You could say I am preparing her for the much bigger problems than dealing with silly comments about financial status or looks. After all the summary says Harriet learns friendship first.

Also it is people like Snape, Draco and Smith that give Harriet the drive to do better, though in negative way. Also I want them to bother her to make her stronger to fight back. Haven't you noticed how Harriet started standing up from herself and her friends when she couldn't, with Dursleys. Clarissa had to deal with them.

Please be patient and keeping reading. It is all calm before the storm.

Anyway Thank you for your reviews. Well here is the new chapter, enjoy

CHAPTER 17: SECOND YEAR

Since there was no bustling coward of Hogwarts' students in the summer months, Harriet had to leave the café and travel everyday to Edinburgh for work. There she worked on odd jobs in order to make money. Clarissa called Harriet several times inviting to her house in the holidays but Harriet refused each time. She couldn't afford to spend money on train travel to London and also she didn't want to lose the opportunity to earn money during the holidays. She wanted to make enough so that she could take leave from waitressing at café during exams and such. She knew that years would get tougher as she moved up in the year.

Travelling such distance everyday was getting tougher on her but Harriet endured. Rosmerta as a habit closed the café in the month of July in order to visit her relatives in France. Harriet couldn't find any job in Hogmeade either.

When Rosmerta returned in the middle of August, Harriet helped her clean up the café before students arrived.

On September 1, Hermione arrived back at the apartment even though her classes didn't start for another week. She said she wanted to settle down before the college started.

Harriet and Hermione attended to their respective Welcoming feast. Ron visited their apartment after his welcoming feast.

"I can't believe Ginny chose Management?" Ron muttered irritated

"What's your problem now, Ronald?" Hermione asked impatiently

"My problem?" he asked angrily, "My baby sister chose to study with those arrogant snorts. How'll she survive? They'll eat her alive," Ron said looking horrified and then mourned, "Why couldn't she choose Engineering like me or Law like you or Medicine like Harry or Science or bloody hell, Arts would've been better than sharing classes with those stuck up pricks?"

"Language, Ronald," Hermione admonished immediately. "You are over reacting. Ginny can take of herself just fine. Beside it's her decision what she wants to study".

"I guess there is nothing we can do now. She'll be here tomorrow. Since Percy finished college, Mum said it was my duty to look after her," Ron sighed.

"I am sure you'll be more than up to the job," Hermione said encouragingly.

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Again by 20th all students arrived at Hogwarts and were now taking meals together. On their first Lunch together, Ron introduced his sister Ginny to Harriet and others. Ginny brought along with her, a girl with straggly, dirty blond hair, very pale eyebrows and protuberant eyes. Ginny introduced her as Luna Lovegood, her childhood friend.

Harriet recognised Luna as her junior in medicine while Ginny was studying Business Management.

Ginny and Luna joined them during lunch sometimes. Harriet noticed that while Ginny had no problem making friends with her classmates, most of students ridiculed Luna on her eccentric nature. Harriet was surprised that Luna didn't seem to mind them. Even Ron and Hermione seemed to be exasperated by the girl. But Harriet realised that the girl was quite intelligent if one overlooked her odd quirks. Often Harriet and Luna spent their free periods studying together in the library. Harriet even helped her with the subjects. And Harriet grew to like her because of her blunt honesty and her ability to point out the positive things in difficult times.

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On Saturday afternoon, Harriet heard knocking on the door.

Harriet opened to see a man and woman in around early fifties. The man had black hair with greying around the edges while the woman, bushy brown hair.

"Can I help you?" Harriet asked politely

"Oh Madam Rosmerta sent us up. I am Joseph Granger and this is my wife Emily. You must be Harriet Potter?" the man replied with a bit of a smile

"Oh sorry, you are Hermione's parents. Please come in," Harriet said opening the door wider.

"Hermione did tell me that you were going to visit but we didn't know when," Harriet explained pulling two chairs for them to sit on.

Mr and looked around the small living room as they settled.

"Isn't it Hermione here?" Emily asked her

"Hermione had to return some books to the library so she went to Hogwarts but she should back any minute now since it's already time for Lunch," Harriet said hoping Hermione would hurry up. Though Hermione talked about her parents often, Harriet didn't know how to behave around other's parents all by herself.

"Speaking of lunch, something smells delicious," Joseph commented lightly.

"Umm… yes, I am cooking lunch for us. Would like to join us?" Harriet asked graciously

"If it's not much of trouble for you," Joseph answered while Emily nodded.

"No, not at all. Er…. could you excuse me I've to check on food?" Harriet asked pointing to the kitchen.

"Of course"

Harriet stopped on her tracks to the kitchen and turned around remembering something.

"While you wait would like something to drink?" Harriet asked them

"What do you have?" Emily enquired politely

"Umm….diet coke, orange juice, tea, coffee, some wine not very good quality though …er…That's what Hermione said," Harriet said feeling slight embarrassed.

"Just water will be fine," Joseph said smiling good-naturedly at her and Emily looked slightly amused.

Harriet nodded.

"How is Hermione coping living on her own here?" Emily asked curiously

"Oh she is doing great. She is quite adaptive to the situation. Well that's my opinion but you should ask Hermione itself how she likes it here," Harriet answered as she handed her a glass of water.

"She definitely like it or she wouldn't have decided to continue living here," Joseph said taking a sip of water.

"I must comment the apartment looks very neat. No clothes thrown around or books haphazardly piled at the corners and the kitchen, it is sparkling," Emily complemented when Harriet returned from kitchen 5 minutes later.

"Thanks. We clean the apartment thrice a week since neatness is one of the many things we have in common".

"Hermione said you are in medicine just like your parents," Joseph commented.

"Yeah my father was pathologist and mum, gynaecologist. Hermione told me that you're both dentists," Harriet nodded.

"Yes, have you decided what field you want to go in?" Emily asked smiling

"Not yet, I have couple more years to decide"

Suddenly the front door opened and in walked Hermione carrying a few heavy books in both her arms. Harriet rushed forward to help her.

"What happened to your bag?" Harriet asked as she helped place the books on her study table

"It completely tore apart on the way. I can't believe that shopkeeper sold me a shoddy bag. Next time I go to that shop I am going to give him piece of my mind if I thinks he can get away with fooling me," Hermione panted angrily.

"Hermione, I don't think any bag can survive your tomes," Emily commented lightly in exasperation.

That's when Hermione noticed her parents seated in their living room.

"Mum, Dad when did you arrive?" Hermione asked as she quickly walked up to them to hug.

"You didn't call to let me know that you were coming," Hermione asked frowning

"The decision to visit you was made in the last minute so we thought we could surprise you," Joseph answered cheerfully.

"Well, it is a pleasant surprise. When did you arrive here?" Hermione asked

"Just half an hour ago. Your roommate is quite a host," Emily told her. Harriet blushed a bit and returned to kitchen.

"Of course. Well you didn't harass her with your enquires, did you?" Hermione asked narrowing her eyes at her parents.

Both Joseph and Emily laughed at that. But Hermione continued to stare at them.

"They didn't, Hermione," Harriet assured her smiling. "Well, lunch is ready".

Hermione nodded and followed Harriet to the kitchen. Together they set the plates on Hermione's study desk, as the wooden partition on which they ate everyday wouldn't be enough for four people.

Joseph and Emily watched in wonder as Harriet and Hermione set the table and served in unison.

"That's lot of food," Joseph commented, as he looked at dishes filled with Spaghetti, sauce, meatballs, and boiled and fried vegetables. "At least we can stop worry about you not eating well if you get to eat all this everyday".

"Harriet, this is delicious," Emily commented tasting the spaghetti with sauce and meatballs.

"Thanks," Harriet blushed.

"Oh dad, we don't eat this much everyday. Harry makes special dishes on weekends. And being friends with Ron, so much has to be cooked," Hermione said rolling her eyes.

"Ron eats here, why? Isn't food at Hogwarts good?" Joseph asked frowning

"Food at Hogwarts is great, dad. But that does not stop him from eating here too," Hermione answered.

As they were about to get up having finished eating, Harriet said, "Wait there is desert too. I'll just get it".

"Harry you sit, I'll go get it," Hermione said getting up and walking out of the apartment.

"Where is she going?" Emily asked frowning

"Er… you see we don't have a fridge so we use Rosmerta's to store food," Harriet admitted quietly.

Hermione walked back in couple of minutes later and served them mango pudding.

After Lunch they talked for few minutes before Harriet announced that she had to leave.

"You don't have to leave on our behalf, Harriet" Emily said gently.

"No Mrs. Granger, it's not that. I work in the café downstairs and its time for my shift," Harriet told her before leaving.

By the time Harriet returned to the apartment, Mr and Mrs. Granger were getting ready to leave.

"Harry guess what? My parents are going to buy us a new fridge," Hermione announced excitedly.

"Er… You don't have to Mr and Mrs. Granger. We were planning on buying one before Christmas," Harriet told them distressed.

"But we want to. It must be quite problematic for both you and Madam Rosmerta to keep asking for your own food," Emily said reasonably.

When Harriet still looked like she was against it. Hermione dragged her to the corner and whispered to her, "Agree to it, Harry. My parents are rich enough to afford a fridge for us. Besides you bought many things for our apartment. Except for my things and couple of chairs, I didn't buy much for the apartment anyway".

Harriet had no choice but to agree.

"The meal was delicious, Harriet. Although we advise people against eating deserts I must say it was decadent," Joseph said while Emily smiled before leaving.

Harriet smiled and bid them goodbye.

A couple of days later, a small refrigerator arrived that fit nicely in their kitchen.

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One cold evening in the middle of November, Harriet was briskly walking towards the gates. She didn't notice that the night had already fallen until Madam Pince informed her that it was time to close the library. Harriet was pulling her jacket close to strive off the cold as she continued to walk when she heard a loud cry coming from the woods. She ignored it thinking was some animal.

Again she heard the cry. Only this time there was no mistaking the human voice. Harriet frowned narrowing her eyes to look in the dark. Then she noticed a movement at the edge of the forest.

Harriet rushed to inspect it as her heart hammered in the chest. As she reached closer to the forest, she noticed two boys, one standing and sneering while the other beating another boy.

"Hey stop that. What the hell are you doing?" Harriet yelled at the boys

Three boys turned to face Harriet.

"Go away, Potter. It's none of your business," Zabini sneered while Nott continued to hold the collar of the other boy.

"No. You get away from him right now," Harriet told firmly turning to Nott.

"Or what?" Nott challenged throwing a punch at the boy.

Knowing she couldn't take the boys together herself, "I'll yell for Hagrid if you don't stop right," Harriet warned glaring at Nott.

"What could that stupid Oaf do to us?" Nott sneered at her, laughing mockingly along with Zabini

"Hagrid mightn't be able to punish you but I am certain that he can inform Headmaster of your actions. So I suggest you leave now if you don't want to get expelled," Harriet told them glaring fiercely.

Sneering at her one more time, Nott jostled the boy one more time before letting go, "You have been warned, Longbottom".

"You really are pathetic, Longbottom seeing as you need a girl to protect you," Zabini sneered at him.

"Actual it is you who are in need of my protection if you don't want me complain about it to the headmaster," Harriet informed them coolly.

They turned and walked away without another word.

"Hey, are you ok?" Harriet asked hearing the piteous whimper coming from the boy.

Walking up to him, Harriet inspected the injuries on the round-faced boy.

"Just few bruises and scratches. You shouldn't have gotten involved. They can turn very nasty," he said quiver in his voice.

"Don't worry, I can deal with them. But you should go to hospital," Harriet advised pointing to his wounds.

"No I can't, they'll want to know how it happened. I don't want to get in any more trouble," the boy refused shaking his head vehemently as he slowly stood up.

"All right sit here. Lucky for you there is only one small bruise on your face," Harriet sighed pointing to the nearby wooden benches on the campus grounds. "I'll patch you up".

The boy stared at her nervously. When she continued to stare at him, he slowly walked to the benches and lowered himself on it.

Settling beside him, Harriet opened her bag and pulled a box.

"You keep a first aid box in your bag?" the boy asked in wonder

"Of course. I am medical student," Harriet replied.

"I don't think all medical students do that," the boy argued.

"No," Harriet agreed as she took hold of his chin and started cleaning the wounds with cotton. "But I recognize its importance from personal experience".

"Where else?" Harriet asked finishing cleaning the bruise on his face.

The boy quietly pointed to his arms as he stared questioningly hearing her statement, occasionally hissing as she applied ointment on the wounds.

"So were they just picking on you because they had nothing else to do or is it something serious?" Harriet asked nonchalantly ignoring his look.

"They got bored of picking on me for fun a couple of years back," the boy snorted bitterly.

"I went to school with them," the boy clarified seeing the questioning look on her face as she applied tiny bandages.

"So what happened?" Harriet asked curiously and then noticing the hesitation on boy, she quickly added, "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to".

"It's all right. I am botany student as well as Daphne Greengrass who also happens to be Nott's cousin. She and I became good friends since first year here though she never talked to me in school. Now Nott got the wind of it and doesn't want me to talk to her anymore," he explained quietly.

"Why does he care who she is friends with?" Harriet frowned

"I don't know but I guess that Zabini's got a crush on her and he must have informed Nott about us," the boy shrugged.

"Are you going to continue being friends with her?"

"I don't want to stop," the boy admitted blushing a little.

"Then don't. It's Zabini's problem not yours. And Nott, you know biggest weakness of bullies like him is that they are dead afraid of getting caught by authorities. Next time he pulls something like that tell him that you'll inform a professor," Harriet suggested.

"You seemed to know awful lot about bullies," the boy observed.

"Yeah I grew up with and had been victim of one," Harriet confessed

The boy stared sympathetically at her and asked, "Who?"

"My cousin. All right that's about everything I could do for you," Harriet said packing the box again.

"Thank you …er…. Can I know your name?" the boy asked embarrassed

"Harriet Potter. It's no problem," Harriet smiled. "What's your name?"

"Neville Longbottom. Thanks again," the boy said gratefully.

"You should go and rest that way the wounds will heal sooner," Harriet suggested as she watched him walk away.

The boy nodded walking with a slight limp in the direction of dormitories.

Harriet then frowned and making a decision she walked back to the castle. Few students were walking into the Great Hall. Harriet could hear loud noises from inside. Harriet didn't want to walk in the middle of dinner when she was not allowed. As she was puzzling for a solution, she noticed Padma who was about to enter the Hall.

"Hey Padma" Harriet said loudly stopping her in the tracks.

"Could you do me a favour?" when Padma nodded, Harriet continued, "Could you get Ronald Weasley for me, Please. It won't look nice if I walked in on dinner as I don't live in dormitories".

Padma nodded.

"Thanks" Harriet sighed in relief and waited for Ron to show up.

Ron walked into the entrance Hall in less than 2 minutes.

"Harry, what are still doing here?" Ron asked frowning

Harriet explained what happened to the boy and asked Ron to bring Neville some food after dinner. Ron as expected got angry but Harriet managed to convince him not to get involved without Neville's permission. Ron reluctantly agreed and promised to take him food later. Though they barely spoke with Neville, Ron told her that the boy belonged to Gryffindor house.

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PLEASE PLEASE REVIEW AND ALSO CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM IS MOST APPRECIATED