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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12. The Halloween Incident

The Halloween Incident

Dear Madam Longbottom,

I am sure that you're wondering why I'm writing to you and who I am. My name is Arielle Potter and I'm a friend of your grandson, Neville. We're in some of our classes together and have study sessions together in the library, but I couldn't help but notice his little self-esteem and from what I learned from him, it's mostly your family's fault that he is as he is. I don't know what happened in his childhood that traumatized him so but I want you to know that Neville is a great boy, with a great and kind heart and I find it unfair that he is treated as a Squib at home. No wonder he's so self-conscious about doing magic. Of course he can't be good at magic if you instilled the thought of him almost being a Squib in his mind for so long.

I'm sorry about the rant in this letter. I didn't mean it to come out this way, but I am not sorry for what I have written. I meant every word of it. I only want what's best for Neville and if that means contradicting his family and telling that family what I think of their treatment to my best friend, than I'll do it.

Sincerely,

Arielle Potter


She sighed as she put the quill down and stared at the letter she had just written. She really didn't mean it to come out like this, but what she had written she wouldn't take back. Stretching her back, she stood up from her chair in their quarters (it was a weekend), she called Coco and attached the letter on her foot, telling her to who should she take the letter. After Coco left, she plopped herself on the couch again and stared in the fire, thinking about her own life at the Dursleys. As much as she wanted to forget it, it would still haunt her in her dreams or even give her flashbacks at the most innocent things.

Suddenly, she felt a dip of the couch on the left and leaned on Severus, whom she had told about the letter to Madam Longbottom and about Neville. Talking to Severus always helped her. And he even let go of taunting Neville in his classes. Neville was even able to relax enough to raise his hands sometimes and tell the answers to the question Severus asked of the students. All in all, Arielle was really proud of the change in the shy and sweet boy. He got more self-esteem and was better in magic nowadays.

It was almost November now, and there were only a few days until Halloween. Her heart always tightened in pain as she remembered what happened on that very day. She had lost her parents and became the heroine of the Wizarding World, even if she didn't remember it. The only thing she remembered of that night was lots of green light, a searing pain on her forehead and a woman's scream. It was probably her mother's. She unconsciously rubbed her scar. It was always hurting when in the presence of professor Quirrell, whom she didn't really like.

A hand on hers stopped her from rubbing the scar more. She looked up to Severus and sighed. She was doing a lot of this in the last few days. She hugged her knees, which she had pulled on the couch, and said quietly, "I'm sorry."

The hand that held her hand, tightened slightly, before Severus released her and leaned back in the couch, without saying anything. But, really. There wasn't anything to say. She leaned back as well and closed her eyes, falling asleep shortly after.

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There was another attachment to Arielle's little group of friends. Cedric Diggory was now officially their studying partner in the library. She and Neville could ask him for information whenever they didn't know something, but that was rarely. Arielle even got to help Cedric once, with the Summoning Charm, having mastered it over the summer holiday.

And finally, the day Arielle was dreading, came. Charms class was a disaster that day. They were learning the Levitating Spell, Wingardium Leviosa, when Ronald Weasley lost his temper when Hermione Granger mastered the spell. Of course, not before Arielle did it, and that irked Ronald and Hermione to no end. After class, they huffed out of the classroom and weren't seen all day after that.

But the most amazing thing that day was when Arielle stepped into the Great Hall for the Halloween Feast. The hall was decorated in Halloween style; there were bats flying everywhere and pumpkins were on every table and corner of the chamber. Black and orange colours were dominating everywhere and the tables were groaning under the weight of all the food that was on them. Sitting herself at the Ravenclaw table, she stared at the amount of food. She had never seen so many kinds of food before. There were treacle tarts, roasted chicken, grilled turkeys and even, what Arielle thought it could be a partridge with cream sauce. All in all, everything looked delicious.

But she should have known it was too good to last. From what she had heard, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger haven't been seen all day and the day got even worse, when professor Quirrell came running in the Great Hall, telling all the gathered about a troll in the dungeons and faint dead away. There was a moment of silence and then the shrieks started. Arielle had to put her hands over her ears to stop her eardrums to shatter. She squeezed herself out of the commotion and landed on her knees for all the trying. There were suddenly quick movements and Arielle had to hide under the Ravenclaw table as quick as she could, to prevent herself from being trampled.

"Silence!" was heard all over the chamber. It was professor Dumbledore, who regained some piece in the whole room. The feet stopped and turned in the Head Table's direction. "Everyone will please calm down! Prefects, take the students to their common rooms. We, the professors, will go to the dungeons to take care of the troll."

The Great Hall slowly emptied and Arielle was just about to move as well, when she noticed something odd. Professor Quirrell wasn't unconscious at all. His eyes were open slightly and he looked more anticipating than nervous. That didn't bode well. Suddenly, Arielle's eyes grew large as she saw that when the chamber was empty, the man stood up and quickly moved to the door behind the Head Table and sneaked off somewhere.

Arielle jumped up and run out of the Great Hall towards the dungeons to warn Severus about what she just saw, completely forgetting about the troll. Until she was attacked by a fierce smell coming from an empty corridor leading to some of the unused classrooms. She knew immediately what it was. And then, to make the day even worse, she heard shrieks coming from that direction. Hermione Granger's shrieks to be more precise.

Losing no more time, she darted forwards, only to stumble to a stop in front of the scene that opened in front of her. Ronald Weasley was out cold on the floor, with a big bleeding gash on his left leg and Hermione Granger was unsuccessfully trying to get as far away from the troll as possible – the only hindrance was the wall behind her. Arielle grimaced as she heard the bang the troll's club caused just inches from Hermione's head and stepped forward, brandishing her wand as she tried to remember what she read about the trolls and how to defeat them. Then she remembered. The only thing that could render the troll unconscious was a good bang on its head. Looking around for anything useful, Arielle yelled the Levitating Charm on the club in the troll's grip.

"Wingardium Leviosa!"

She watched in fascination as the club suddenly rose from the troll's grip and flew up to the ceiling, only to fall on the troll's head after Arielle cancelled the spell. There was a loud thump, and a crack, as the club hit its mark. The troll's eyes rolled up to his head as he fell backwards. Arielle sighed in relief as she discovered that she did it.

Turning her attention on the still bleeding Ronald Weasley, she kneeled down next to him and ripped her school robe, to bandage the wound. Hermione Granger was still shaking in the corner of the corridor, when there was suddenly a rush of steps and the professors joined them. Arielle ducked her head; she knew she was in trouble now. She could feel the burning glare that was directed at her by Severus, and she knew she was in for it, once they were alone.

"By Merlin, what happened here?" asked professor McGonagall, completely distraught over what she had seen. Arielle looked up to Hermione quickly and just opened her mouth to answer, when the other girl interrupted her. "We were just on our way to the Gryffindor Common Room from where I was teaching Ron the Levitating Spell when we were attacked by the troll. Ron was hit with that club and I couldn't do anything. I was too scared. Then she came and cast a Levitating Spell on the club and knocked the troll out."

All eyes were now on Arielle again. She looked up apprehensively and was surprised to see pride in every teacher's eyes, except for Severus's and professor Quirrell's. The latter was glaring at her and making her scar want to split open, and her guardian was just watching her with a scowl on his face. She sighed to herself and looked down at Ronald Weasley again.

"We should get him to the Hospital Wing," she said quietly, noticing that the blood had already wet her robe as it was glistening in the candlelight. That set the professors in motion. A stretcher was conjured and Ronald Weasley was levitated up. Hermione was ordered to follow them for a check-up as well and after a few minutes everyone trickled away. Severus Snape on the other hand stayed.

Arielle was still kneeling on the floor where she had taken care of Ronald Weasley's wound and was looking up at him with an apprehensive look on her face. He sighed to himself and walked over to her. He gave her his hand to help her stand up and then said quietly, "Our quarters. Now."

And that was it. No other words were used.

Silently they made their way to the dungeons and after closing the door behind him, Severus turned to the scared girl once more, before walking to her and gathering her in his arms. He didn't know who was more shocked, he or Arielle. She had stiffened in his arms and stared at him with a shocked face. He understood the look though. It was the first time he ever hugged her or did anything remotely similar to what he was doing now. He only ever gripped her shoulder in silent support. He didn't hug the girl to himself as if his life depended on it. He was never more scared than he was tonight when he heard the screams in the corridor and saw the blood on the floor. At first he had thought it was Arielle's, and his heart almost stopped. Then the Granger girl told them what happened and he felt a completely different emotion than before. Instead of terror of finding out that Arielle was hurt, he felt pride. He had never felt so proud and relieved that Arielle wasn't hurt before. Still, he didn't let the girl go. Instead, he whispered harshly, "Don't you ever do that again, you idiot child! You scared me! I thought you were hurt."

Arielle was still staring up at Severus and then, with those words, she finally relaxed and returned the hug. She had wanted that to happen for a long time. Not in these circumstances, of course, but still. And she finally felt all the horror return to her. She didn't notice it before, but now it was back in full force. Her body started to tremble and a sob escaped her lips. When she heard Severus's words, she calmed down and snuggled deeper into the warm clothes.

"I'm okay," she mumbled. She felt him tighten the grip on her, and then he let her go. Regret filled her as she was once again feeling lonely. She looked down at her feet, but fingers on her chin lifted her head up and she looked into the black pools of her Guardian's eyes. They were glistening with a strange emotion – worry and something else that Arielle didn't recognize yet. It was strangely comforting though, and she gave him a smile.

Severus returned the smile and did another unexpected thing this night. He picked the girl up in his arms and took her to her bedroom. He left her there with instructions to change and returned after she was done. She looked so vulnerable in that green night gown of hers, that Severus couldn't help but let his mask slip and a small gentle smile showed on his lips as he gathered the girl in his arms again as he sat down on the bed, Arielle still in his arms.

They were in the same position as they were when she first came to Hogwarts. Staring at each other. No words were needed. The looks they gave each other said everything. Suddenly, Arielle threw her arms around his neck and buried her head under his chin. Severus said nothing, only held her tighter, happy that he didn't lose her.

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