Disclaimer: I don't own anything except the characters I have created and the plot I have created. J.K. Rowling is a genius for coming up with the world of HP, and we should all be bowing down to her for giving us something to write about.
A/N: Twist of Fate takes place as if the events of HBP (Book 6) never happened! TOF is one of two books. Albus Dumbledore is still alive for the purpose of the plot.
The one thing Meredith Houston hated most about Longview Academy of Magic was not the fact that Longview Academy was an all-girls school, but that she was required to attend all year long. While her twin brother (who went to Broddick School of Magic) had all summer off, Meredith was rotting away in the antique classrooms of Longview; learning subjects she cared nothing about. The biggest annoyance by far was the fact that there was also no air conditioning, unless one wanted to count the ceiling fans that spun around at snail speed. It was the middle of August, and she was in southern California. Let's just say extreme heat could not be avoided.
Between the heat and her boredom, Meredith began to nod off. Soon, she had gone into dreamland where she was sitting on a beach, being fanned by gorgeous boys in gold Speedos. Ten minutes into her dream, a high pitched voice started screeching into her ear.
"HOUSTON," Madame Wilson bellowed "HEAD OFF THAT DESK NOW! HOW MANY TIMES MUST I TELL YOU THAT I WILL NOT TOLERATE SLEEPING IN MY CLASS?"
Meredith opened one sleepy eye and she saw Madame Wilson's glowering at her. Meredith's 'Magic through History' teacher, Madame Wilson had been droning on for the last hour about dead warlocks who "changed history," and Meredith frankly didn't care. Madame Wilson had a high pitched voice that would bother anyone. She was a tall woman with graying black hair, which she always wore in a long French braid. Her face was aging well, but she wore far too much eye make-up for a woman of forty-eight. Madame Wilson always wore colors so bright they hurt your eyes. She hated Madame Wilson. Of course, Meredith had her reasons. Madame Wilson was extremely strict, and she taught the most boring class at Longview. Madame Wilson also gave Meredith detention every other day for no reason.
Meredith raised an eyebrow at her teacher. "May I help you?" She asked in a sweetness that was so fake, Splenda would have been proud. There was a dull laughter from the rest of the class. Madame Wilson sighed heavily. "Up to my desk Houston. NOW!" Meredith rolled her eyes, stood up, and promptly marched up to Madame Wilson's desk.
Madame Wilson's tone was like acid. "Houston, I am sick and tired of your antics and lack of interest in my class! You disrespect me, and you disrupt this learning environment. I have put up with you for the last time." With that, Madame Wilson whipped out a piece of paper and scribbled a note. She shoved it into Meredith's perfectly manicured hand. "Take this to the headmistress. She'll deal with you from here," She ordered. "Oh, and take your things with you. I don't think we'll be seeing you again."
Meredith smirked at her teacher. "I'll gladly leave, Madame Wilson. I don't think I can take looking at your tacky clothes and listening to your bitchy tone any longer." There was a collective gasp from the others in the room as Meredith grabbed her possessions and proudly walked out.
The walk to the headmistress's office was short, and Meredith walked fast. She knocked on the large oak doors. A voice from within the room told Meredith to enter. She turned the brass doorknob and walked in. Professor Danehower was a short and pudgy woman. She was in her early thirties, and her bright orange hair could stop a train. Like Madame Wilson, Professor Danehower was very strict and made the students of Longview abide by irrational rules. Over the years, Professor Danehower and Meredith had become very well acquainted. Meredith had been a regular visitor in Professor Danehower's office. Meredith had broken every rule at Longview at least once. It was a wonder she hadn't been expelled yet.
When Meredith entered the office, Professor Danehower sighed. Meredith smirked. "Hello, Professor. It's nice to see you again." Meredith handed Professor Danehower the note from Madame Wilson and took her usual seat. When Professor Danehower finished reading the note, she sighed again and looked at Meredith.
"Houston, this is the last straw. You've been causing trouble since the year you arrived. You're a bright young woman, and I simply cannot understand why you must insist on being so difficult. Now, I have been very lenient, Houston, but I don't think there is a place for you at Longview for your seventh year. Meredith Houston, I am expelling you from Longview Academy,"
Professor Danehower paused to wipe her brow. "Your expulsion was going to happen at the end of the term anyway, Houston. This just means you're finding out a week in advance. I have already made arrangements for you to attend another school for your seventh year, but only because I believe that you can be better than this, Houston."
Meredith froze. She stared at Professor Danehower in disbelief. "What do you mean your expelling me?! That isn't fair!" Meredith exclaimed, rising from her chair.
Professor Danehower looked at Meredith with an amused expression on her face. "Houston, it is plenty fair that I expel you. I have given you more than enough warnings, and yet, you continued to break the rules of Longview Academy. Please stop arguing with me. I do not have time for it. Your new school is in England and I think you will enjoy it there ---"
"Did you just say England?! That's like - a million miles from here, Professor! You cannot be serious!" Meredith said now becoming over dramatic.
"Yes, Houston, I said England. Your will be attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Albus Dumbledore is the headmaster, and he is highly respected. You'd do well to show him some. Hogwarts is not a year-round school, meaning you will have the rest of the summer off once you leave Longview. Hogwarts is also – regrettably – coed. That should appeal to you, Houston. The family that will be taking you in has two children attending Hogwarts. One is a year younger than you, and one is your age. They have graciously agreed to let you live with them, so don't blow it. You leave in twenty-four hours time. I would advise you to go and pack your belongings. Good-bye, Houston, I assure that you will be missed.”
Meredith stared at Professor Danehower as if she had just slapped Meredith across the face. "Fine. It's not like I'll miss this place anyway." She replied coolly. With a final glare, Meredith stormed out of Professor Danehower's office.
The bell rang signaling that classes were over. Meredith went to her room to pack, and she waited for her best friend to return from class. She knew she could always count on her best friend, Stephanie Blake, to be there for her; especially now. It was a wonder that Meredith and Stephanie were best friends. From looks to personality, Meredith and Stephanie could not have been more different in every way. Inseparable since the age of four, most assumed the pair ignored their differences.
While Stephanie was short and blue-eyed, Meredith was tall and green-eyed. Meredith had long chocolate brown hair, and Stephanie's hair was short and platinum blond. Stephanie's frame was a bit stocky and Meredith's was thin and athletic. Meredith cared about her looks, and Stephanie…didn't care as much. Meredith was loud and outgoing, but Stephanie was quiet and reserved. Meredith hated school, and Stephanie loved school. They were almost polar opposites.
Within five minutes, Stephanie burst into the dorm room the two girls shared. Stephanie was out of breath as if she had run from class to find out the fate of her best friend. Meredith turned to her best friend with tears in her eyes. "They expelled me." She choked out. Tears began pouring down her face. Meredith wasn't crying because she was leaving Longview, oh no, Meredith hated LongviewAcademy. She was crying because she was moving three thousand miles away to London; three thousand miles away from her best friend.
Stephanie dropped her books and rushed over to her best friend to comfort her. "Oh, Meredith! It'll be alright. I can still come see you!" She said comfortingly. Meredith shook her head. "No, Steph, you can't," Meredith cried. "They're sending me away to another school…in London! I leave tomorrow." Stephanie gasped and she too began to cry. Meredith explained everything Professor Danehower had said to Stephanie. The two best friends sat and cried for a long time. Stephanie helped Meredith pack, and the girls at their last meal together silently.
Because Meredith had turned seventeen in early May, she could apparate. Stephanie and Meredith shared a tearful good-bye at six the next morning. With her bags in hand, a final wave, and a loud "crack," Meredith left Longview, and her best friend, behind for good.
Well, reviews are always welcome! I would love to hear your opinions! Next chapter should be coming out soon! ----twistoffate16
Chapter 2: Unexpected Assignment (Preview)
Dear Miss Houston,
Welcome to your first (and last) year at Hogwarts! Seeing as you are starting a little later than everyone else, I would like you to report to my office as soon as you arrive on the Hogwarts Grounds. There are a few things I need to discuss with you. Your school supply list is on the next page.