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.


16. The Shadow in the Forest

The Shadow in the Forest

The rest of the holidays flew by quickly. Remus had come to Hogwarts a few times more and then he and the Headmaster 'made up' a position for Remus so that he could work at Hogwarts all the time and see Arielle whenever he wanted. Plus, he would earn money for it. As he was such a gentle man and always ready to help, the Headmaster created the post of a School Counsellor. Young Witches and Wizards had a chance to talk about their problems with the post, if they couldn't talk to others about it as Remus was sworn to secrecy about the information he got on the students. Arielle couldn't be happier. She hadn't seen Uncle Moony for ten years or so and now that she had him back she wasn't going to let him disappear again.

She was also deliriously happy because Severus loved her. She was afraid that he would push her away from him when she called him Papa and told him that she loved him, but none of that happened. Instead, he reciprocated her feelings and she couldn't be happier. When the first day of the new term finally arrived, she had flew in the arms of her friends with a big smile on her face and everyone that knew her knew that something very good happened over the Christmas holidays.

Of course, Severus was still a big meanie to her in Potions, and everywhere else but their Quarters, but she didn't mind. She knew that he had to do it to protect both of them. She felt quite a bit guilty about it, until he dissuaded her from it. However, she finally knew what it was that was guarded by the three-headed dog. She came upon it on quite a coincidence. She had opened a book on Historical Potion Masters and had read the entry about Alchemists when she read that Nicholas Flamel was the only known maker of the Philosopher's Stone. She knew that she had read the Alchemist's name somewhere before and it wasn't until she opened her very last Chocolate Card that Uncle Filius gave her for Christmas and she got her second Albus Dumbledore card. What followed was a flurry of exclaims and movements as she had almost stumbled from her seat to the Hufflepuff House to drag Neville and Cedric with her to the library after the Welcoming Back Feast.

At first they were angry with her for dragging them to the library on the first day, but when she told them what she had found out in the holidays, they had sat down and just stared at her like she was something not from their planet. After a few minutes, Cedric voiced the question that was bothering Arielle for a while now.

"And what are we supposed to do now?"

She knew that they couldn't tell the professors about it, but then her face lit up as she realized that she did know one person that would spill secrets unknowingly. She didn't know when she got so Slytherin, but it must have been because she was with her Papa so much. She grinned at them wickedly and then the next morning they were on their way to Hagrid's Hut. After knocking on the door, Hagrid opened them and Arielle was lifted up in the air as she squealed happily. That was the way Hagrid said hello to her every time they saw each other. This was quite a lot, as she and her friends had tea with the giant Groundskeeper every week or so.

They all sat down in the hut and drank hot tea and tried to eat Hagrid's Rock Cakes. After a few minutes, Arielle looked up to Hagrid and asked him sweetly, trying to sound as innocent as she could.

"Hagrid, I was reading about three-headed dogs in the book last week and I was so fascinated with what I saw. And I know that you know many creatures. Can you tell me a bit about the Cerberus?"

Hagrid puffed up proudly as he went on telling them that, indeed he knew about the Cerberus, seeing as there was one in the castle at the moment, named Fluffy and that all you had to do was play the creature some music and it would fall straight to sleep. After that, it seemed as if Hagrid bit his tongue. They weren't supposed to know that. He ushered them out quickly after that, but she knew the most important thing of all – how to come past the dog if it was necessary.

Cedric and Neville didn't know what she planned to do, but she knew and that was enough for now. She knew now why Voldemort was in the castle – to get his hands on the Philosopher's Stone. She knew that there were protections on the Stone, seeing as she overheard a conversation with her Papa and the other professors in the Staff Room one day when she wanted to show her Papa the midterm grades, which were all perfect. She thanked Gods for her photographic memory as she could remember everything she ever read on those subjects and put it in the exam. She had a few exams that were even more than 100 and Hermione Granger was left fuming. She only managed a 102 percent on her Charms one, while Arielle had 110 on Charms, History of Magic, Transfiguration, Potions... well on every subject really. How she had done it she had no idea, but I guess it helped that she read all those books in their Quarters over the summer and then in the library if one particular lesson interested her more than just the basics.

She begged Severus to teach her Occlumency as well because she had feared that it might be possible that professor Quirrell attacked her mind one day. Just in case. And he agreed, after all he wanted her to be as safe as possible and if she mastered Occlumency at least her mind would be safe from intruders. Every weekend they had two sessions – one on Saturday and the second on Sunday evenings. She hadn't quite grasped all that 'empty your mind of all emotions' part yet, but she was on her way to do it correctly after five months of studying the subject. And Severus got to know her past as well, so that even if she could never tell him because it hurt too much, he knew from her memories. And the best part of the lessons was the cuddling after them where Severus comforted her if they had come across an especially horrifying memory of hers.

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Time flew by so quickly that Arielle couldn't believe that it was April already. She had seen Hermione Granger preparing for end-of-term exams already and just rolled her eyes. It was irritating how Granger tried to compete with her even if she wasn't quite as good as her. No, Arielle wasn't snobby about that, it was just a fact. When the girl would give up was a mystery to Arielle, because Arielle – to tell the truth – didn't even study that much for the exams last term. She just went over the lessons once and practiced the spells until she got them right ten times out of ten. And that was it. She wasn't memorising the books to her memory and she wasn't nagging all her classmates either. If they needed her help they could ask. And ask they did. Almost every night there was one of the first years that would ask her how to do this or that and she gladly helped.

But the most impressing thing that happened in that time was the dragon that Hagrid hatched. She couldn't believe he really acquired a dragon and went to tell her father about it right away even though she promised not to. The safety of students and Hagrid came first. At first Severus was ranting about it as he paced until she calmed him down with hugging him and pleading with him that he didn't tell that she told him. They came up with a plan that Severus would go visit Hagrid about some ingredient of his that he needed a companion to search for – that happened quite often so there was no fright that Hagrid would find it suspicious if Severus came to him – and then try to persuade Hagrid that keeping a dragon was dangerous and send the dragon off to a Dragon Reserve in Romania. She knew about the Reserve because she remembered Fred and George telling her about Charlie Weasley, their older brother who worked with dragons over there.

But they were too late, for Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley were caught smuggling the dragon on top of the Astronomy Tower in the middle of the night. Gryffindor lost a hundred points that night. They earned themselves a detention in the Forbidden Forest sometime in May. Arielle unfortunately finally had enough of Draco Malfoy's taunting and hexed him in the corridor in front of the Transfiguration classroom and they both got a detention as well.

And now, the four of them were found in front of Hagrid's Hut waiting for the Groundskeeper to take them to the Forbidden Forest. When Hagrid finally emerged he told them that they needed to find a wounded Unicorn and showed them the blood of the Unicorn. Arielle asked Hagrid if she could take some of the blood for professor Snape and his Potions. And Hagrid agreed. It was quite a rare ingredient and Arielle quickly filled vials with it. She had taken a few vials with her, just in case she found some Potions ingredients that Severus would be happy to have, and then when she saw that she had too little, cast some Duplication Charms on the vials so she had more than enough of them.

Finally it was decided that Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger would head off with Hagrid, while Arielle and Draco Malfoy went of with Fang, Hagrid's giant dog. As they departed everything was quiet around them. Malfoy apparently didn't think of insulting her then. And she was happy about that, because she was looking around herself in fascination. She was never in the Forbidden Forest before and she was curios as to what it looked like. But everything began to go downhill when they found the traces of Unicorn blood and the thing that killed the Unicorns. Malfoy ran away, screaming like a girl, while Arielle was left alone clutching her head in pain. She knew who the thing was now – Voldemort. She couldn't move from the pain in her scar and just closed her eyes when the shadow went for her. And then all she could hear was a flurry of movements and screams. The pain in her scar receded and she dared to open her eyes. The shadow was gone and a giant palomino Centaur was standing in front of her looking at her in concern. Shakily she stood up and the Centaur introduced himself as Firenze. He even let her ride on him and after she asked him if he was really sure, having read that Centaurs never let humans ride them, she received a small smile and a nod as she climbed on Firenze's back.

They talked a bit as he made his way to Hagrid. She got to know that she was right in her assumptions that Voldemort was in the castle and that he was after the Stone. She told Firenze that she already knew about that and he smiled at her approvingly. Then, they met two other Centaurs – Bane and Ronan – and they got angry at Firenze for carrying her. She looked down at her fingers as Firenze got angry and shouted at them for a bit, before making his way to Hagrid again. When they finally breached the last trees of the forest, she saw two dark shadows running towards them. She hadn't realized that time passed so quickly and that it was already so late, as she saw the moon in the sky being in a lot higher position as before. But then she didn't have time to think about the time anymore as she was heaved from Firenze's back in the comforting arms of her Papa. She threw her arms around him and buried her head in his neck as she listened to him asking Firenze what happened in the Forest. When he heard that Voldemort tried to attack her, his grip on her intensified and she felt him bury his own head in her hair. Finally the happenings of the night came crashing in Arielle's consciousness and her body begun to tremble.

Only after they were in the confines of their quarters did the trembling stop as he sat down in the couch with her still in his arms. She felt him sigh and start playing with her long hair as she calmed down slowly. She breathed his scent in deeply, trying to memorize it for the fear of never ever seeing him again. For she knew now, it was her destiny to go and protect the Stone in the third floor corridor. Pulling away a bit, she looked up at Severus and noticed that his eyes were closed as he breathed in and out. He wasn't sleeping, she knew that. He was probably just enjoying the time they had with each other, or trying to make Arielle feel comfortable and not embarrassed. Or he was trying to calm himself down so that he didn't go shouting at her for her idiocy. Smiling a bit, she pulled the twenty-two or so vials out of her inner pocket and when he heard the tinkling, he opened his eyes again to look at her curiously. She grinned at him and explained about asking Hagrid if she could take some of the Unicorn's blood for him and gave him the vials. He took them with so much care that she knew that she had just given him something very valuable. But then the vials were put on the table next to the couch and she was pulled in a hug again. She smiled in his chest as she realized that she was more valuable to him then his precious Potions. She snuggled closer to him as she felt him playing with her hair again. What happened after that she didn't know for she had fallen asleep.

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