Arielle Potter: Book One

Arielle Potter is an unusual girl. Not only is she a witch, she is also the only one to thaw the heart of Severus Snape. Read how Arielle starts a family with the dour Potions Master in this, first, book of the series.

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2. And the Story Begins!

And the Story Begins!

If you looked around the house of 4, Privet Drive, you wouldn't notice that almost ten years have passed. But they indeed have as the pictures on the tables and walls have changed from a small pink piggy to a large pink pig. Well, not literally. That was just Dudley, the son of Vernon and Petunia Dursley.

If someone looked in the house, he would think, 'Oh my, what a normal looking house!' and he or she would be right. But... the family held a dark secret. At least in their opinion. You see, almost ten years ago, on the 1st of November 1981 to be exact, a small bundle was left on their doorstep and the Dursleys didn't have a choice but to take that bundle into the house and sealing the contract with doing this.

That bundle was Arielle Lily Potter.

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At the moment the petite girl made her way to the kitchen where she had to make breakfast for her cousin. It was his birthday, namely. She sighed as she massaged her shoulder which was dislocated from where Uncle Vernon threw her in her cupboard. Arielle Potter was not your every day girl. And that wasn't just because she was beaten to a pulp every time something strange happened around her. Her stature was petite, which could be contributed to her being malnourished all the time. You see, the Dursleys often forgot about her, her being locked in her cupboard. She was often starved and that wasn't doing her any good. She had long curly jet-black hair that seemed to never be completely neat. She wasn't allowed to comb it nor wash it, so it lay limply on her back, her curls in a greasy lump. She didn't even know how it really looked like! She was wearing a black skirt, which had many holes in it and since Aunt Petunia said that she won't waste any time on the girl, she didn't sew the holes. Her jumper was milky grey, but that could be because it was so washed that even Arielle couldn't remember the original colour.

The only interesting thing on her were her brilliant green eyes that once remembered of an emerald, but were now dull with sadness and hopelessness. She also had a scar on her forehead that resembled a lightning bolt. As hard as she tried to remember how she got the scar, she couldn't remember anything but a green light and a woman's scream. The one time she asked her Aunt how her parents died, the answer was, "They died in a car crash... And don't ask questions!"

... Don't ask questions! This was the rule number one when it came to Arielle. She was never allowed to ask questions. She was never allowed anything really. Sometimes Arielle would dream of a distant relative, coming to save her from her sad fate, but no one ever came and Arielle was starting to lose hope.

Turning her attention back on the task in front of her - making breakfast - Arielle sighed softly. Putting the eggs and the bacon on three plates she put them on the table and went to sit on the chair that was in the corner of the kitchen. Apparently, her Uncle found it funny watching her looking at them eat. What a sadistic bastard, thought Arielle with a mental sneer. After the family (which didn't include Arielle) ate their breakfast, Dudley turned his attention to his presents. There were many of them. Big, small, short and long.

Arielle was just about to slowly make her way to her cupboard when Dudley started complaining about there being only thirty six presents. That ensued to a fight that ended with Aunt Petunia's promise to buy him two new presents when they went to the Zoo. Arielle opened the door, just as the telephone begun to ring. Aunt Petunia picked the telephone up and started talking to whoever it was that called. Arielle made her way to her cupboard as Aunt Petunia finished the conversation. Her Aunt had a look on her face that could make the milk go sour. The older woman walked towards Uncle Vernon and said, "Mrs Figg just called. She said she broke her leg... She can't take the insolent girl."

Arielle sighed in relief. It wasn't that she didn't like Mrs Figg; it was just the cats that got on her nerves. Not that she didn't like cats... it was just those cats that she didn't like. Mrs Figg had an obsession about cats and told her numerous stories every time she had to stay there, which was a lot, since the Dursleys never took her anywhere. Turning her attention back to the conversation between her Aunt and Uncle she gave a jolt as her Uncle said, "Well, we'll just have to take her with us. I won't be leaving her here alone! She would blow up something even before we got back."

And that started another temper tantrum of the famous actor Dudley. He started wailing and sobbing and yelled, "I d-don't w-want her t-to come! S-she always r-ruins everything!"

Yeah, right, Arielle thought. When have I ever gone out with you before to ruin something?

But he did have a point. Everywhere that Arielle would go, something strange would happen. Just last week there was this accident with where Dudley and his gang were once again Arielle Attack and suddenly she found herself in a park near Wisteria Walk. And she was on Privet Drive only a few moments ago. It seemed almost as if she had disappeared and reappeared at another end of Little Whinging.

Dudley cried until his best friend Piers Polkiss came. It was kind of funny, how Dudley stopped crying immediately after seeing the other boy. After being pushed around and punched a little the Dursleys, Piers and Arielle settled in the car.

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Uncle Vernon often talked about his work in the car and loved ranting about banks, Arielle, his employees, Arielle, people with strange habits, Arielle and generally everything that wasn't as normal as he was. Today for instance he was snarling something about motorcycles. Arielle suddenly remembered her dream. She had that dream quite often. It was something about a flying motorcycle with a big man sitting astride it. She didn't know what to think of it. Even so, she kept her mouth shut. Her Uncle didn't like listening to her so she didn't say anything about her having this particular dream. It would only give her another pair of bruises. Looking around herself she noticed that they were stopping. Dudley and Piers pushed her out of the car so that she fell on the pavement and got out themselves. Trying to stop her tears from flowing down her cheeks, Arielle nursed her bleeding hand and stood up. She wouldn't give them the pleasure to watch her cry. She got that enough at home.

After getting past the Entrance, Dudley and Piers got ice-cream and after the lady at the desk asked Arielle what flavour she would like, Uncle Vernon had resorted to buy her the cheapest lollipop that tasted like lemon, but Arielle was happy. That was the first time that she actually got a candy.

She licked it happily and tried to make herself as small as she could so that she could get away from the Dursleys for at least a few minutes. After quickly hiding herself behind a bin and waiting for the Dursleys to disappear from her view, Arielle made her way to the opposite side of the Zoo. She snickered at the monkey that reminded her of Dudley if he had brown hair and patted the horses. She always had a strange affinity to animals. As she made her way to the Reptile House she quietly made her way towards the biggest snake. After seeing Dudley and Piers both watching and agitating the sleeping snake she decided to wait for them to move on. Soon the boys were bored and made their way to other snakes and reptiles. Arielle stepped to the glass and peered down at the snake. It raised its head and looked at her. Arielle cocked her head and the snake rolled her eyes as though to say, "I get that all the time..."

Arielle laughed quietly and nodded. "I know how you feel, being stared by the people day after day."

The snake nodded vigorously as Arielle turned her attention to the plate with the name of the snake. Apparently the snake was a Boa Constrictor and came from Brazil. Just as she was about to ask how it was there, she noticed the small writing 'Bred in Captivity'. Signing sympathetically at the snake she said, "I'm sorry that you never knew your parents. I never knew mine either."

The snake hissed a little and just as Arielle was about to say something else, she was suddenly pushed to the ground by her big fat cousin. She glared at him through the hair that was in her eyes. Dudley leaned to the glass and started calling for Piers. He must have seen her talking to it...

That was bad.

A splash brought Arielle back to the Earth and she gaped at Dudley who was in the small pool of water that was INSIDE the glass container. The glass was gone and the Boa Constrictor slithered out of it. As she passed Arielle, Arielle could swear that she heard the snake say, "Thanks, Amiga!"

She was about to say something in return when a shriek made her wince. It seemed as if Aunt Petunia discovered Dudley's predicament. As the Zoo Keeper rushed to them Arielle was roughly pulled up from the ground by her irate Uncle. His eyes told stories.

Arielle gulped. She knew what that expression meant - punishment. Dudley was quickly wrapped in a warm blanket and the Dursleys plus Piers were given hot tea to calm them down. The Keeper kept repeating, "How on Earth did the glass disappear?"

Arielle made herself as small as she could and watched her Uncle's purple face.

She was in for it.

As soon as they returned home she was grabbed by her hair and stuffed in her cupboard. Gently putting her hand on her throbbing skull, Arielle sat on her little cot. She was trembling in fear. She never liked being punished. Sometimes she would be beaten; sometimes her Uncle made her do chores for months and if she didn't finish them in time, guess what happened... she was beaten again.

Sighing softly she mentally prepared herself for her 'torture session' as she called it. After a few hours, her Uncle came to the cupboard and started the punishment. After he was finished, Arielle was barely conscious.

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The punishment that Arielle got lasted for a long time and in time that she was allowed to go out of her cupboard it was already summer holiday. As Arielle made breakfast, or at least trying to do so, the mail came. Uncle Vernon grunted from behind his newspaper, "Dudley, get the mail."

Dudley decided to have none of that and smacked his Smeltings stick on the table with such force that the glass with his milk jumped and fell on the floor. Yay. Another chore for her. His father bought it to him along with his Smeltings uniform, which consisted of maroon tailcoats, orange knickerbockers and flat straw hat called boater. Smeltings was also the secondary school that Uncle Vernon himself went to and Piers was accepted there too. Arielle on the other hand was accepted at Stonewall High, the local comprehensive.

"Make Arielle get it!" Dudley whined. Uncle Vernon never said no to any of Dudley's wishes so Arielle made her way to the doormat where the post lay and picked it up. There was a bill, a postcard from Uncle Vernon's sister Marge and... a letter for Miss Arielle Potter.

That was her!

The envelope was made of parchment, so it seemed and it didn't have a stamp. There in the middle of it was a loopy handwriting.

Miss Arielle Potter 
Cupboard under the Stairs 
4, Privet Drive 
Little Whinging 
Surrey

Making her way back to the kitchen she absentmindedly gave the bill and the postcard to her Uncle, still staring at the letter in her hands. Uncle Vernon grunted something and after a few moments said, "Marge is ill, ate a funny whelk."

It was at that moment that several things happened. Arielle was just about to open her letter as Dudley yelled, "Dad, Dad! Arielle's got a letter!"

Her letter was pulled out of her hands and her Uncle sneered, "Who would be writing to you, whelp?"

After opening her letter, Uncle Vernon gasped and barely made out, "P-Petunia!" Aunt Petunia read the first few sentences and gasped in horror, while Dudley smacked his father on the head and whined, "I want to read the letter too! Give it to me!"

Arielle sat there stunned but those words made her jump up and yell, "Give it back, it's mine! It's my letter!"

That seemed to put her Uncle out of the stupor as he angrily tore the letter in front of her eyes and drag her to the cupboard. After locking her in, she heard him grumbling, "How dare they! The freaks! Following us, no doubt!"

She wondered who he was talking about, but remembered that it was probably the sender. And her Uncle knew who it was. That fact alone made Arielle even more depressed than she was when she wasn't able to read her letter.

Later that day, her Uncle opened her cupboard and gave her a strained smile. He said, "Your Aunt and I have been talking, and we decided that the cupboard was too small for you. You'll move to Dudley's second bedroom."

Arielle made a small sound in the back of her throat. Plucking up her courage she asked, "Where's my letter?" Her Uncle turned purple and barked, "It was addressed to a wrong person, I burned it." Arielle protested, getting angrier as the seconds passed, "How could it be the wrong address? It had my cupboard on it!"

This remark got her a punch in the eye and her Uncle yelled, "Silence! You'll do as I say! Go to your new room and stay there! No dinner for you!"

Arielle sighed and resigned to her fate once more. It took her only one time to get all of her possessions in the room where Dudley kept his toys and books. Her eyes brightened a little at the prospect of reading those books before she remembered that she was forbidden to read. Throwing herself on her bed she decided that while she would give anything to move to this bedroom a few days ago, now she would give everything for that letter that arrived for her that morning. Looking up at the ceiling she heard Dudley screaming, "M-Mummy! I don't want her to be in my room! Make her get out of it! I need it!"

Arielle suppressed a snort and looked around herself. There wasn't a toy that wasn't broken. A glance in the corner of the room made her realize that the camera that Dudley got for his birthday a few months ago was broken already. Turning her attention on the books that lay on the shelves untouched she stood up and read the titles. There was the Lord of the Rings collection, some bedtime stories and classic works. She ran her fingers down the spine of a particularly interesting title, and sighed in frustration.

Next morning, Uncle Vernon was kind enough to tell Dudley to get the mail for him. It resulted in Dudley's cry of, "There's another one!" Uncle Vernon turned purple again and by the sounds of it, tackled his son on the ground to get the letter from his obese fingers. Next day, Arielle tried to sneak down the stairs at six o' clock to get the letter, but ended up being punished for stepping on Uncle Vernon's face as he slept in a sleep bag in front of the door.

The day after that three more letters arrived for Arielle. This time addressed to the Smallest Bedroom. Uncle Vernon decided to take a day off from work and started to nail the letter-box while murmuring, "No more mail through this letter-box."

On Friday no fewer than twenty-four letters came for Arielle in the eggs that a surprised milkman gave to Aunt Petunia through the window. Aunt Petunia mixed them in the mixing machine. Then the next day there was fifty letters, which made their way in the house through the bathroom windows.

Sunday was a relatively calm day, as the Dursleys sat in the living room chatting stupidly about whatever, while Arielle served them their cookies and tea. "Fine day, Sunday," grumbled Uncle Vernon happily while munching on his cookie. "Why is that Dudley?"

Dudley shrugged his shoulders and Arielle said, "Because there's no post on Sundays, perhaps?" Uncle Vernon ignored the sarcastic question and said, "Right you are, Arielle. No post on Sundays! HA!"

He was about to add something else when a letter flew in his face making him drop the cookie. The whole house started shaking and suddenly hundreds of letters found their way in the house through the fireplace. Arielle jumped on the empty couch and tried to catch a letter, but Uncle Vernon had different plans. Grabbing her around her waist and dragging her to the cupboard, he locked her in and yelled to her Aunt, "Petunia, get your things! We're getting away! Far away where they can't find us."

A few minutes later, the Dursley family and Arielle could be found in a car on their driveway. Dudley was sobbing as his father had hit him when he wanted to take his computer and TV with him.

Arielle stared through the window as they drove on the motorway. Once in a while Uncle Vernon would change directions, mumbling something about shaking them off. They drove and drove and drove and drove and - guess what - drove. Aunt Petunia and Dudley decided that it would be a smart thing to do to be quiet and let Uncle Vernon do what he thought was the right thing. They stopped at a motel and Uncle Vernon rented a room for them. The next morning when the Dursleys were eating breakfast while Arielle was watching them again, a young woman came to their table and asked, "Excuse me, but is one of you Miss Arielle Potter?" She showed them a yellowish envelope with the address,

Miss Arielle Potter 
Room 17 
Railview Hotel 
Cokeworth

Her Uncle turned purple again and, even before Arielle opened her mouth to say that it was her, made his way after the woman.

They drove again.

Uncle Vernon would stop at odd places and left them in the car, muttering something about finding a place to hide. It was nearing the evening as they finally stopped again and Uncle Vernon left them in the car again. After a few minutes he returned with a stupid grin on his face.

"Come on, I found the perfect place!"

Following behind him, Arielle saw a shaky house on the top of a small island in the middle of the sea. An old man took them over the water and left them there. She trudged behind her relatives and watched as Uncle Vernon opened the door of the house. He tried to make a fire, keyword tried, and Aunt Petunia took the blankets that were on the couch and made the bed for her and Uncle Vernon. She also put two blankets on the couch and tucked Dudley in, while Arielle was left to lie on the cold floor without anything to cover her. Shivering in the cold, Arielle suddenly realised which day it was. Dudley had moaned that today was the Great Humberto. And since Dudley knew the days of the week, because he watched various TV programmes, she also knew that tomorrow would be her birthday.

She would turn eleven.

Drawing herself a birthday cake in the dust, she waited for midnight to strike to make a wish and blow the dust-candles. She watched Dudley's digital clock and counted silently. Ten - Nine - Eight - What was that? Something was outside - Seven - Six - Five - Four - Three - Two - One -

BAM!

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