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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6. Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley

After changing in a white T-shirt and blue jeans that the Snape Man had given her, Arielle peeked out of the room she slept in. She wandered to the fireplace and wondered what that strange word, Floo, meant. Maybe it's some sort of a car, she mused. A small cough from behind her almost made her shriek when she remembered that it could only be one person that was behind her. Professor Snape. She turned around and looked at him with a confused expression.

"What's a Gringotts and a Floo?" she asked, trying not to sound too curious, but still blunt to the point. The Snape Man sighed and said, "Gringotts is a Wizarding bank, and a Floo is our way of going from one fireplace to another. We will use this method to go to Diagon Alley."

Arielle didn't like the sound of it... no she didn't like it at all. She shuddered at the image that floated in her head. She shook herself again and asked another question, "And how do I do that? I mean, I can't just step in the fireplace, drop some powder in it and yell the destination, can I? That would be just too strange..." She trailed off at the smirk on the Snape Man's face. "What? You don't mean to tell me that that's how it works, do you?"

The Snape Man nodded with an amused expression on his face. Arielle sighed in resignation. The Snape Man seemed to sense her discomfort as he suddenly kneeled down in front of her so that they were eye to eye. He cleared his throat and it was obvious that he wasn't used to comforting young girls. After taking a small breath he said, "Because it is your first time taking the Floo, I'll go with you. Just keep still and try not to choke me."

Arielle looked at him in confusion until he spread his arms wide and waited for her. He wore such an expression that Arielle didn't want to make the Snape Man even more uncomfortable. So, she stepped forward and put her arms around the man's neck. The man stood up while he held Arielle as tightly as he could without squishing her.

Taking a bit of the sparkling powder, he threw it in the fireplace, stepped in when the flames turned green and said out their destination. Arielle tightened her grasp on the Snape Man's neck as they hurled through something. It wasn't a nice experience. And then, just as suddenly the experience was over. She looked up and around herself. They were in a room that only held this fireplace. The Snape Man put her down and took her hand. He didn't seem to notice that he did...

She trotted after him to a large pub-like room. There were many people in the room, but also some really strange creatures. She was just about to ask what those things were, when the Snape Man crouched down a little and told her that they were Banshees, Vampires, and Hags. Arielle only knew what Vampires were, she never heard of the other two before. She swore to herself to read everything she could about the world she just entered into.

They stopped in front of a wall behind the pub. She looked around herself for a moment and watched as the Snape Man took out his wand and tapped the wall in a pattern. She gasped as the wall started to move away and an alley appeared behind it. "Welcome to Diagon Alley," professor Snape said quietly. She glanced up at him (she was really small, she was only up to the man's elbows after all) and then turned her attention to the alley in front of her. It wasn't huge, but it was still big. Arielle wished she could have fifty pairs of eyes so that she could see everything that was in the alley. There were stores that sold cauldrons, owls, wands, potion ingredients, clothes, broomsticks (what could people possibly do with broomsticks was a mystery to Arielle), books, school equipment,... all she ever wanted or needed for this new world was sure to be in here somewhere.

She smiled for the first time since they came to Diagon Alley as she watched everything around her. Professor Snape looked down at the girl that was following him like a lost puppy and watched her as she experienced her first Diagon Alley visit. He could see her big eyes trying to take in as much as she could and tightened the hold on her hand. It wouldn't do any good if he lost her, would it? It was surprising really, what a little girl like her could do to people's hearts. Not that Snape would ever say that out loud, but he was afraid that the girl made a small, but noticeable, dent in the walls that surrounded his heart. Yesterday, when she started shouting at the Headmaster about living in hell, he could see the anguish and pain and desperate wish for someone to just like her, if not love, and couldn't help himself but try to comfort her.

It worked pretty well, if he admitted the fact to himself. The girl obviously craved love and acceptation, and Severus Snape was trying very hard not to give the girl those two simple things... if for the sake of his heart.

Arielle on the other hand, didn't have such restrictions. She wasn't even thinking about that at the moment. She was staring at a creature in front of her. It was almost taller than she was and had strange teeth, similar to those of a shark. She shuddered at that thought. She didn't want the creature to bite her or something. Hiding herself behind the Snape Man, she peeked over his robes and asked with a shaking voice, "Just what is that thing? Does it bite?"

The Snape Man looked back at her small head and said in a normal voice, "That is a goblin. And no, they don't bite... at least if you don't have intentions to steal money from Gringotts." Arielle blinked at that. So, this was a goblin? And that white building they were standing before was Gringotts, the Wizarding bank? Wow! The architects really didn't know their geometry! She snickered at the thought, but immediately hid herself behind Snape's back when the goblin looked at her. The Snape Man just shook his head and pulled her in front of him as they entered the bank. He spent a small amount of time talking to another goblin, which Arielle heard that was named Griphook, and then they were on their way to the vaults.

The ride was great! It was almost as if she were riding a roller coaster! She relaxed completely and squealed in delight when they made sharp turns.

Snape just watched her with hidden amusement. He couldn't understand how she found that annoying cart ride amusing. They stopped in front of a big vault with a big three digit number on it. The Snape Man gave the goblin a small key that Arielle saw before they entered the cart, and the goblin unlocked the vault. What Arielle saw in it, made her gasp. In it were mountains of mountains of gold, silver and bronze coins. She stared at the amount of Wizarding money that was in the vault. She wondered if that was a lot in the Wizarding world and whose money that was.

"Well? What are you waiting for?" she heard the Snape Man say from behind her. She gave him a really intelligent answer. "Huh?" The Snape Man sighed and proceeded to explain the basic things to her, making her feel like a dunderhead. "This is your vault, and this is your money. I want you to take some of it from the vault and put it in this money sack here. Just make sure you take more bronze and silver coins than gold ones."

He paused for a moment and after clearing his throat of the over-usage, continued, "The gold coins are Galleons, silver ones are Sickles and it makes seventeen sickles to a Galleon, while twenty-nine bronze Knuts make one silver Sickle." Arielle just stared at the Snape Man. What? What kind of a currency was that? She sighed after a moment and went inside the vault where she picked up the aforementioned money.

On the way out they bumped in a huge man with brown bushy beard and bushy hair that cascaded down to his shoulders in heavy waves. Arielle once again hid behind Snape as the 'giant' went over to them with a jovial wave of his hand. Snape could feel the little girl behind him tremble a little and wondered what the cause was this time. Then he heard a booming voice calling out his name.

"P'fessor Snape! What are ye doin' here? I thought ye were goin' to Italy fer a few weeks!"

He sighed as he understood that Arielle was afraid of the half-giant, and crossed his hands to glare at the approaching man. "Keep it down, would you?" he asked irritated. Hagrid could never keep a voice down, being a half-giant. "You're scaring my ward."

Hagrid, as was apparently the 'giant's' name, looked gob smacked as he stared at the potions professor. Arielle didn't know what was so strange about the Snape Man that the 'giant' had to stare at him like that, but she decided to think about that at a later time.

"Yer ward? Who?"

Arielle then decided to show herself and stepped from behind professor Snape (not the Snape Man, she had to get used to calling him a professor after all). She still stood pretty close to the man in black robes, just in case, and almost broke her neck trying to see the Big Man's face. She rubbed her neck a little and blushed as the Big Man stared down at her in shock.

"Ye're the Guardian of Ellie?" the Big Man asked professor Snape with wide open eyes. Arielle was surprised. Did the 'giant' know her from before? She tried to remember hard if she met him before, when a flashback from her dream on a flying motorcycle crashed in her brain. She gave a double look at the giant and went to stand before him with a curious expression. She motioned for the 'giant' to crouch down so she could look at the face more closely.

Professor Snape watched as Arielle moved forward to Hagrid and wondered what in the name of Merlin was going on. It looked like Arielle was examining Hagrid, who crouched down on his knees like a dog, for something or another. "You're the man who flew on a giant motorcycle!" Arielle finally exclaimed as she linked the memory with the 'giant' crouching before her. She grinned up at him and Hagrid almost started crying as he picked her up and put her on his shoulders. "Blimey, p'fessor Snape, she remembers me!"

Arielle laughed a little, making herself comfortable up there and peered down at the scowling professor. Professor Snape had crossed his arms and looked really grouchy. She wondered if that was his mask in the public, since when they were alone he was nicer to her and didn't scowl all the time like he did at the moment. She didn't like his scowl. No, not at all. She tugged on the giant's hair and Hagrid put her down on the floor again. She walked up to professor Snape and tugged on his sleeves. When he looked down at her, she asked timidly, "Um, sir, can Hagrid go shopping with us, if he has the time?"

Snape scowled even more and Hagrid hurriedly told them that he has errands to run at Gringotts and that he couldn't go with them. Arielle sighed sadly and nodded. She waved at the giant until he went out of her view. She was just about to put the hand down when it got snagged again and professor Snape led her to a clothes shop. It was called Madam Milky or something of the sort. Arielle couldn't get the whole name, since they walked too quickly for her to read it all.

Professor Snape made her stand up on a stool as they waited for someone. A woman soon made an appearance and with one glance at Arielle's clothes and the scowling professor, she went to work silently. The measuring tape quickly and swiftly got to work and measured her everywhere while the woman asked her questions, "Now, young lady, tell me what you want to wear. What colours do you like? Do you have any preference with the materials? What about the style?"

She went on and on like that until professor Snape, who had been watching Arielle get more and more confused, said, "Will you quiet down, woman? The poor girl isn't following your words." The woman stopped mid sentence and stared at the professor, then turned back at Arielle and measured her with her eyes. "I'd recommend green, silver, crimson, and amber myself, but tell me what colours you would like..."

It went on and on, until Arielle could barely stand up. In the end, she had gotten the school uniform and other required clothes, some undergarments, skirts, shirts, blouses, socks, tights, leggings, and pretty dresses. Professor Snape made her wear a dark forest green blouse with silver flowers on the front with a 'I'm a Fairy' written in the centre and a dark grey skirt that reached just above her knees. She also had to put on dark forest green socks and the old black shoes that she had on before.

All in all, she looked really cute in her new attire and even professor Snape's lips softened as she walked out of the changing rooms with a shy expression on her face as she looked up at him from behind her bangs. She had washed her hair while in the bathroom that morning and now it cascaded down to the middle of her back in soft curls. Her bangs however were a different story. They just couldn't stay still, but stuck up everywhere, which made her even cuter. Professor Snape made her count the money for the things, letting her work alone with only a few tips, and they were out of the salon.

He led her to an apothecary where he personally chose her Potions ingredients, or so they said on the list. He also added a few more than necessary, just in case, and paid for the extra himself. Their next stop was the Cauldron shop, where the professor chose a cauldron of a very good quality and she paid for that as well. They made their way around Diagon Alley, buying her school things when something soft landed on Arielle's head. She was too shocked to utter a sound and after a small gasp she had her arms full of a cute little grey kitten with green eyes, just like hers. The kitten's belly was white and her paws as well. They just stared at her for a few seconds which seemed like an eternity to Arielle when she was shocked out of her wits when she heard a voice in her head. "Mistress! You're my mistress! Meow!"

She gasped and looked up at professor Snape who was watching the proceedings with interest. Suddenly they heard someone shout at them about the kitten. Arielle turned around and saw that the kitten must have escaped the Magical Menagerie shop which sold animals since someone waved at them from the entrance. She looked up at professor Snape, but he wasn't watching her, but the kitten.

And the kitten was watching back.

It was almost as if they were talking to each other, just like the kitten talked to Arielle back there. Finally, professor Snape shook his head and looked at Arielle, who was watching him shyly. She had wanted to ask if it was okay for her to buy that kitten, but professor Snape spoke already. "You may buy the kitten, but then you'll leave her here with me and go to Ollivander's by yourself."

Arielle nodded her acquaintance, and grinned widely at the professor. The professor just looked away and let her pay for the kitten and everything that she needed for the kitten's care, like food and toys. Then, he took the kitten from her arms and led her to the oldest shop, she had ever seen and said, "Just go in and Ollivander will help you find your wand."

She nodded and after a short squeeze of her shoulder, went inside the old shop. Entering the shop, she wondered who that Ollivander was and what he looked like. It's not as she had ever seen the man before. Suddenly, she felt someone creep up on her from behind her and quickly turned around. She stared up at a man with white hair and most incredible blue eyes she had ever seen (besides Dumbledore). She knew that this man was Ollivander.

"Arielle Potter. I was waiting for the day you would come to my shop," were the first words Ollivander said as he walked to the counter.

"I can remember each wand I ever sold, Miss Potter. Each wand. I can remember the wands I sold to your mother and father, your godfather and even your grandparents."

Arielle just stared at the man. She had a Godfather? Why didn't she know that? "Um," she started, but was interrupted by a measuring tape that started measuring the distance between her ears. Ollivander either didn't hear her, or chose to ignore her as he wandered to the back of the shop and started to load his arms with small longish boxes.

Arielle's nose was now being measured and she couldn't help but sneeze as the tape tickled her. The tape suddenly fell down and she stared at it. Did she do something that made it stop. But then she noticed that Ollivander had returned and was holding his wand in his hands, trained on the tape. She knew it was a wand... now. Professor Snape had explained it to her just before she went to get it. She had wondered what those sticks, she saw people use, were.

On his left, several thin boxes hovered in thin air and Arielle wondered what was in them, but could hit herself on the head for her stupidity. Obviously, they were wands! How she even wondered what that could be. Honestly! She successfully stopped herself from banging her head on the counter and watched as Ollivander took the wands out of their respective boxes. The wands were light, dark and somewhere in between.

Ollivander offered her a wand which looked like it had chocolate smeared over it, while the handle was a milky white. It reminded her of the chocolate bar, Milky Way, which Dudley loved. "Ten and a half inches, beechwood and dragon heartstring. Quite springy!" Ollivander said, putting the wand in Arielle's right hand. But as quickly as she held it, the faster he also pulled it out, while murmuring to himself, "No, no, not this one."

It went on for more than an hour, Arielle trying the wands, and Ollivander pulling them out of her hands. Finally, the old man sat down from exhaustion and simply said, "Now, why don't you try calling your wand to yourself?"

Arielle could murder the man! Now he remembered that there was this possibility also? But she refrained herself from jumping on him, and instead asked, "How do I do that?" Ollivander just waved his hand and proceeded to explain, "You just have to look inside yourself and concentrate on your feelings. The wand will come to you by itself."

And that was supposed to explain it like that?

Arielle sighed and nodded, closing her eyes. At first she had some problems concentrating on her feelings, since they were very haywire and confused. But at last she managed it and she felt a vibration shoot from her body, explaining it to herself that it was just a wave that called the wand to her. She opened her eyes, however, when she heard a gasp from the shopkeeper. In front of her, hovered two wands. Not one, but two.

She looked at the first one. It was a dark brown, almost black in colour and had a reddish handle, while the other was a totally gold wand. She looked at the shopkeeper who was watching her intensely, then plucked up her courage and gripped the first wand in her right hand and with a warm feeling swished it down. Gold and red sparkles flew from its top and danced around the shop. "Curious, very curious," she heard Ollivander mutter under his breath. Deciding to ask him what was curious after she tried the other wand, she put the wand she was holding down on the counter and picked up the second wand. The gold one.

She felt something steer inside her and wondered what that was, but also decided to think about it later. Instead, she swished it and sparks in all the colours of the rainbow started showering from the tip of the wand. She smiled in satisfaction. She finally found the wands that wanted her. Turning her attention on Ollivander she asked, "What are these wands made of? And what did you mean by curious before, sir?"

Ollivander took his eyes from the two wands on the counter and looked at Arielle with his almost silver eyes. "The first wand was made of holly, eleven inches long, nice and supple and had a single tail feather of a phoenix. What is curious about that particular wand is that the phoenix who gave the feather for your wand, gave only another feather. The feather of the wand that gave you the scar you bear on your forehead."

Arielle gulped. Who was it that put that lightning bolt-like scar on her forehead? Another question for professor Snape! She was going to make him tell her even if it meant annoying the older man with the question. She was shook out of her reverie when Ollivander proceeded to tell her about the second wand.

"What is most fascinating about the wand isn't what it's made of, but more who owned her lastly. The wand itself is made out of Mithril, an old Elvish metal. It was also dunked in pure gold, so that's where the colour comes from and makes the power of the wand even more powerful. There is no wood in this wand. The core is a multi-core, which even I can't make."

He stopped to take a breath, then plunged further, "The cores are, a tail feather from a golden phoenix, which you can't see today, since the creature died out almost a thousand years ago. The next core is a feather from a Golden Griffin, one of the most extinct magical creatures nowadays. The last core is a fang of a Basilisk, also the rarest magical creature on today's Earth. Together that makes the most powerful wand I ever had the honour of having touched."

Arielle held her breath while Ollivander talked and talked about the wand. She vaguely remembered hearing about Mithril and Elves before, but couldn't remember from where. It had got to be from a book though. She picked up the golden wand again and cradled her to her chest, awed that a wand like that chose her. "Its previous owner was the founder of our world, Merlin itself," was the last titbit that Ollivander said, before the door suddenly opened and someone entered.

Professor Snape waited for Arielle to come out of the shop. After an hour and a half his patience ran dry and he made his way towards the shop, the kitten Arielle bought on his shoulder and the cage with a pure white owl in his left hand and a bottomless bag with all Arielle's things in the other. The owl was actually a birthday present for Arielle, even if she already bought a kitten. Severus decided that she had to have an owl also, just in case.

When he entered the Ollivander's shop, he saw Arielle and Ollivander talking about something or the other and Arielle suddenly looked shocked to the core. Just what did the old codger tell her? But then, he saw two wands on the counter and raised an eyebrow at that. Did Arielle get two wands instead of just one? Arielle turned to see who entered the shop and grinned as she saw that it was professor Snape. She ran up to him and with the biggest smile ever, told him the big news, "You won't believe it! I have two wands! The golden one is from Merlin and the other one is from a phoenix who gave two feathers only!"

She was so happy that she had a wand... no... wands... that she forgot to be scared of people. She almost danced around the shop as she still smiled widely. Professor Snape cleared his throat after a few moments, and Arielle came out of her train of thoughts and blushed sheepishly as she realised what she was doing. "Sorry," she apologized herself, hoping that she didn't annoy the older wizard too much. Walking back to the counter, she paid for the wands and after putting them in their boxes, looked back at professor Snape. Without words, they both left the shop. Arielle turned back to wave at Ollivander and followed the man out.

She trotted beside him, the kitten now in her arms, when she noticed the cage and the owl in it. "What's that?" she asked curiously. She had so many questions, and since she knew that she wouldn't get punished for asking them, she felt free to ask whatever was on her mind. Professor Snape turned to her and followed her gaze to the owl in the cage. He turned back to Arielle and quietly said, "It's your birthday present. It is your birthday today, isn't it?"

Arielle's eyes grew wide as she stared at the professor and then the snowy owl in the man's arms. A birthday present for her? "For me?" she asked weakly. She never felt so vulnerable as she did now. She never got any presents, nor did someone remember it was her birthday. Professor Snape seemed to understand her hesitation and lowered the bag and the cage on the ground. Arielle still stared at the owl, but then she flew forwards and put her arms around the man that was so nice to her. Her eyes were full of tears and she was sniffling softly. Unfortunately, her arms were too short to reach all the way around professor Snape's torso.

Suddenly she felt arms around her as well, as professor Snape rocked her softly, trying to comfort her. He didn't speak at all. She knew that he wasn't the kind of person to speak nonsense, but she felt grateful that he didn't push her away.

"Thank you," she whispered. "No one ever gave me a birthday present before."

She wiped her eyes with a handkerchief that professor Snape offered her and looked up at him with her red-rimmed eyes. "You're the first one to actually remember my birthday." She saw the man look slightly uncomfortable and lowered her gaze at the owl again. She knelt down on the pavement and touched the cage with the animal in it. The owl stepped closer to the edge of the cage and butted its head to where Arielle's fingers were. With a smile, Arielle petted her new owl as the owl closed its eyes in satisfaction.

"She's beautiful," Arielle said after a moment as she raised her emerald green eyes to her guardian. It felt nice that she was taken care of. The Dursleys never cared about her, but this man, even though he seemed like he could be quite a meanie, was nice to her. And he said she was his ward. And he didn't mind. And he was nice and patient with Arielle. Was this what a father should be like? All these questions flew around Arielle's head as she pondered on whether she would allow him to call her Elle or not. She liked that nickname.

Only Mrs Figg called her that, and Arielle liked that. The nickname, namely. She cleared her throat quietly, and once she had the attention of the man standing above her, she quietly said, "Would you mind calling me Elle? It's not that I don't like my name, it's really nice, but I like Elle more. It's easier to say and all that."

She shut up, knowing that she was blabbing again, and lowered her head to watch the snowy owl again. The professor was silent and Arielle was afraid that he would reject her for her rude request, when he quietly said, "No, I don't mind calling you that."

His voice changed to a colder one when he added, "But only in complete privacy, as I cannot be seen nice to you at school." Arielle looked up with a bewildered face and professor Snape elaborated, "I'm not known as a nice person, Elle. I cannot ruin my reputation, it would be bad for everyone and me and you especially, if I was nice to you."

Calling her Elle like that, made Arielle smile as she listened to the man talk. She frowned at the last sentence and was just about to ask the man why that was, when he added quickly, "We'll talk more later, in the privacy of our chambers." He put an emphasis on the word 'our' which left Arielle all warm inside. She stood up and smiled at the Snape Man. It was really nice of him to let her stay with him after all and she let him know that.

"Thank you for letting me stay with you, sir," she thanked him grateful. Professor Snape just waved with his hand, his eyes not quite meeting hers. "It's alright. Let us return now."

Arielle nodded as she picked up the owl cage and followed him to the Leaky Cauldron.

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