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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10. The First Week of School

The First Week of School

Arielle squeezed her eyelids tighter as the sun's rays started to shine through the open curtains. She never liked to close the curtains around her bed in Severus's and hers quarters. It reminded her of her confinement in the Cupboard under the Stairs. She heard other girls murmuring in their sleep and opened her eyes, only to raise her hands to shield them from the sun's rays. Rolling herself to the side, she stretched her hand and picked up her wand (the holly one, because her Mithril one was in her trunk – Severus said that having more than one wand was very unusual in the Wizarding World) and said one of the few useful incantations she found in one of her textbooks, "Exhibeo Tempus."

A foggy substance emerged from her wand and showed her the time. It was a little after seven and her first class would start at nine. She slowly stretched and yawned widely before sitting up in the bed and looking around the room. Now that it wasn't dark, it was a whole new sight. And a nice one at that.

Changing from her pyjamas to her new school uniform, she saw that her new crest and colours were already charmed on her clothes and trunk. She grinned at that and quietly put the book bag full of books for the first day of school on her shoulders and sneaked out of the room. She didn't want to wake the girls and make them angry at her for waking them up too early. Therefore she trotted down to Severus's quarters and knocked on the door slowly three times and faster three times. She knew that she couldn't just enter. What if the professor had someone in that would suspect something. They made a code with the knocking so that Severus would know that it was her if it was on a weekday.

The doors opened a few seconds later and her Guardian was standing in front of her with an emotionless expression. Arielle grinned at him as he let her in and closed the doors behind and greeted him cheerfully, "Good Morning!"

Severus returned the greeting and after calling Spongy, another house-elf in the employment of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, to bring them tea and scones, said in a quiet voice, "Congratulations on becoming a Ravenclaw, Elle. To tell you the truth, I was thinking you would be sorted in Gryffindor, but I see I was mistaken."

Well, that told her that she was right in assuming that he thought she was going to be a Gryffindor. Grinning at him she said, "Well, the Hat said that I could do well in every House, but decided that my Intelligence and Wit were more dominant over Loyalty and Courage. I decided not to take it as an insult."

She proudly puffed her chest out and grinned again as she saw Severus's lips twitch. He almost smiled now, she thought to herself. In the summer, when she got used to the snarky Potions Master, they started to banter. Severus would say something and she replied with a witty comeback. Severus was surprised at her wit, but enjoyed it. It was their game, and they grew closer with that as well.

The rest of the breakfast was spent in bantering back and forth and talking about the first day of school. Arielle still couldn't believe that she was a witch. It was a wonderful feeling to finally belong to a world, be it Muggle or Wizarding. She could be herself here, and that was exactly what she was doing now.

It was almost half past eight, when Arielle finally showed up in the Great Hall to pick up her timetable. Checking it, she noticed that her first class of the year was History of Magic with all Houses. It was taught by a ghost by the name of Binns. As she sat in the third row in the classroom, she turned her attention to her classmates. Neville smiled at her from the middle of the classroom and she waved at him. Ron Weasley was sitting with Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas in the last row, while Hermione Granger took the place in the very front of the room. The Ravenclaws sat together in the third and fourth rows, while the Gryffindors and Slytherins took the last rows. Hufflepuffs were left with the front rows.

When the professor floated through the wall, the class started. Arielle soon discovered that, while the lesson was interesting, the professor made it so boring that she almost fell asleep. The only thing keeping her from closing her eyes, was the determination to do well in every class, and the fact that Hermione Granger was hanging on every professor's word (even though he complicated things by mixing Emeric the Evil and Ulric the Oddball).

There was a fifteen-minute break between the History of Magic and Charms. Charms was going to be one of Arielle's favourite classes. She knew that, because she was allowed to read her textbooks (the Dursleys would burn the book instead of let her read them) and Severus taught her a few very interesting charms, such as the Time Shower (Exhibeo Tempus), Illuminating Spell (Lumos), the Unlocking Spell (Alohomora), the Shield Charm (Protego) and the Disarming Spell (Expelliarmus). She knew that they would be useful.

As she sat in her chair, she noticed that the professor's chair was full of books. She chuckled to herself, because she knew that the books were not there for reading, but instead for the height. Uncle Filius was so tiny, that he needed a lot of books to see over the desk he used. Why they didn't buy him a smaller one, Arielle didn't know, but she knew that he was a very good professor. Luckily, she already knew him, so he didn't squeal like he did when she was first introduced to him.

The Transfiguration class, which was after lunch, was another story altogether. Aunt Minerva was strict and told them flat out that if they weren't ready to study seriously for that class, that they could leave the classroom.

Of course no one did.

After changing the desk to a pig and back, everyone wanted to do the same, but they were disappointed by the assignment to transfigure a match to a needle. However at the end of the class, only two persons made a change in the match. Hermione's became silver and sharp, and Arielle's had an ear as well as becoming silver and having a sharp tip. Both of them earned their house ten points, but instead of being happy with the success, the Gryffindor girl glared at Arielle from the other end of the classroom. Well, if she wanted a war, she would get one, because Arielle wasn't going to give up.

The rest of the week was spent getting used to a new timetable. They had Herbology three times a week with professor Sprout, Astronomy was taught by professor Sinistra at midnight every Wednesday, but the class that Arielle really couldn't wait for was Potions. They had Potions together with the Hufflepuffs and Arielle was happy that she would be able to see Neville again.

When she entered the Potions classroom, she saw that Professor Snape wasn't in the classroom yet. Sighing to herself, she sat in the front row and waited for the class to start. Soon after she sat down, her classmates started trickling in the classroom. Neville smiled at her weakly before sitting himself in the seat next to her. She grinned at him and after greeting him, said, "How was your first week of classes?"

It seemed she asked the wrong question, because Neville's face fell and he started muttering about his family thinking that he was a squib. Arielle frowned and said with a sharp voice that she didn't know she could do, "Don't believe what they think. I know you're a great wizard. You just have to believe in yourself."

Neville gave her another weak smile, but didn't say anything. Suddenly, the doors to the classroom opened with a bang. Arielle stopped herself from flinching, but only just. She noticed that Neville looked at her strangely, but made herself concentrate on Severus, whom just started his speech.

"You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of Potion Making," he began. "I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses ... I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death – if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach."

Arielle was on the edge of the seat after hearing what Severus could teach them. Plus, she wanted to show him that she wasn't a dunderhead, as he said. But before she could calm down, the Potions professor barked, "Longbottom! Tell me, what is a Bezoar and where do you find it?" Neville started shaking and stammering.

"You don't know? Maybe we could try again? Where would you go to find a Gillyweed?" Once again, Neville was stammering, but Arielle noticed that his eyes were telling that he knew the answer... it seemed that Neville was frightened of professor Snape. She could understand that, having seen how professor Snape could scare other people. Sighing to herself, she decided to help Neville throughout the Potions lessons, because it seemed that he was also a very clumsy boy. What was his family doing to him? She asked herself. She doubted they knew what they were doing to the poor boy. At that moment, she decided to write to Neville's grandmother. She was the most prominent person in his life. She didn't know what happened to his parents, but she knew that it had to be bad. She had never heard Neville talking about them before. And they talked a lot.

The lesson proceeded with making a Boil Cure Potion. The potion was designed to cure boils and also acted as the antidote to the Furnunculus Charm. Only a few minutes after they started preparing the ingredients for their potion, Arielle noticed that Neville was very good at preparing the ingredients, but when it came the time to actually brew a potion, it seemed that Neville was a walking disaster. Arielle stopped his hand from putting in the Porcupine Quills, before it was too late. He wanted to put them in the potion before putting the cauldron off the fire. How she knew what to do, she didn't know. But she guessed it helped that she had good reactions.

After their potion was finished (it was one of the rare ones that were the right colour and consistency) they begun to gather their ingredients together and left for lunch. But just before she exited the classroom, she waved for Neville to go ahead and turned back to Severus and grinned at him before waving at him and following after Neville who was waiting for her at the corner of the corridor. He was still getting lost in the castle.

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Mithril is a fictional material from J. R. R. Tolkien's universe, Middle Earth. It is a precious silvery metal, stronger than steel but much lighter in weight, which was mined by the Dwarves in the mines of Khazad-dûm. The name mithril comes from two words in Sindarin — mith, meaning "grey", and ril meaning "glitter". Mithril was also called "true-silver" by Men, while the Dwarves had their own, secret name for it.

Exhibeo Tempus literally means Show Time in Latin. I checked it on an online English to Latin dictionary on the Internet.

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