~Ariana, The Lioness~
I OWN NOTHING. J.K. Rowling has everything but the changes in my plotline.
This story is about Ariana Dumbledore, and what would happen if she had not been killed by Dumbledore and Grindelwald, but rather, if her own mother placed a curse on her in jealousy because Ariana was a Seer. Every time she had a 'magic fit', her mother got more and more angry because each fit happened because of a vision, or a reaction to emotion. (If you don't remember, Ariana was attacked by a group of Muggle boys because they knew she was different. She started having fits. Aberforth talks about it in DH, but I add more detail on how it happened.) Finally, she placed a curse upon her, which meant she would be in a coma that faked death until 6 months after Dumbledore's death. When the six months wear off, Ariana wakes up, in her coffin, in Godric's Hollow. At the same time, Harry and Hermione are there, visiting Harry's parents graves. Ariana can barely remember who she is, but Hermione recognizes her, and when she realizes it truly is her (by a spell of my invention, but please just go with it), and not a Death Eater in disguise, she convinces Harry to take her in, to spare her from the Death Eaters. From there…who knows?
In my mind, the constant loop plays like a mantra. I had dived for my wand, and the spell hit me in the shoulder. Instantly, that's all I could see. I never reach my wand, and the spell hits my shoulder again and again. I don't know who I am, why this is all I see, or why the curse is for me. I'm aware that time is passing, but all I can focus on is this. I hear nothing, see nothing else. A woman screams the curse in my head, and I can hear a fire crackling, and then a voice of a man shouting in surprise. I have the mantra almost memorized, every fact, color, article and detail I remember, and I identify them all each time the loop starts over. It plays over and over, yet I do not know any frustration or boredom. I feel nothing at all.
I became aware that I was getting colder, and I could feel what felt like pillows beneath me. This has never been in the memory before… Suddenly, as if someone flicked a switch, my eyes fly open, my chest heaves with breath. Something is wrapped around me, and it's dark, suffocating. For a minute, all I can do is breathe, suddenly exhausted. My body tingles as my blood begins to flow once more, but stays limp, totally devoid of energy. The air is thin, almost non-existent, and cold. Moments later, my brain resumes functioning, and questions race through my head. Where am I? Who am I? What's going on?
Abruptly, I remember the curse, the little mantra from my memories. Death until the death of another. This brings around a whole new round of questions. Why was I cursed? Who cursed me? Who died? Then, I suddenly realize I'm in a coffin, wrapped up. I was buried alive. My hands start to tremble, and I realize I'm holding my wand. My mind shuts down in panic as I feel another magic attack coming, making the coffin shake, and pain flash down my spine.
Talking is useless; my throat is dry and closing fast from the panic. The panic reaches its peak, and as I blink, I feel like I'm being sucked through a vacuum. Suddenly, it's much, much colder, but I'm still wrapped up. After a fierce moment of struggling, I'm free, rolling into the snow. I tumble out into the snow, and bolt to my feet. I'm standing, for the moment, but exhaustion makes me stumble. My wand falls from my fingers, and my knees collapse; I hit my head on stone. When my head stopped ringing, I look up and gasp in shock. It's a headstone; I must be in the graveyard where I was buried. I reach out a shaking, extremely pale hand and trace the letters: Kendra Dumbledoreit read, and then, farther below, And Her Daughter Ariana. The memory I had seen for so long suddenly made sense to me, and the shaking before the magic attack stopped for once. The memory played from the beginning, instead of the part I had been seeing for so long.
"YOU! I'M TIRED OF YOU AND YOUR ATTACKS! YOU AND YOUR SPECIAL POWER!" Mum yelled, kicking open the door to my room. I was slumped on the floor, the tremors from the latest attack not yet gone. I had tried to be quiet about it, she had been sleeping, but the pain had been intense. It had been the worst attack I had suffered from in months. The fire crackled almost merrily in contrast to my pain. Mum grabbed my shoulders and pushed me away, snatching my wand. I fell hard on my elbows as I heard the door open as Albus came back inside from getting more firewood.
"Mum, I'm sorry, I-" I started hurriedly, but Mum cuts me off with a jabbing movement with her wand and a snarl.
"Until the eldest dies, six months after his death, you will be dead yourself!" Mum roared, raising her wand, throwing mine away in the process. My wand clattered to the floor a few feet away. Mum started muttering in a language I didn't understand, but I understood it was Dark Magic. My body started to feel strange, like it was slowly becoming immobile.
"Mum, please!" I plead, my voice sounding high and scared in my ears. Magic, even though I knew how to use it, scared me, and Mum looked murderous…
"Ariana? Mum?" Albus called worriedly, ascending the steps as I backed up against my bed, no place to go. "Mum, what—" Albus had started when I dived for my wand, for protection. I heard Mum shriek the end of her spell, Albus cry out in shock, and then the spell hit my shoulder.
I scrambled back from the grave, tears streaming down my face as the tremors returned, falling flat on my back in the snow. I then noticed that I was wearing a high collared funeral gown, made of white lace. The chill of the snow and air just seemed to hit me, and shivers joined the tremors. Slowly, I reached over and took my wand from the snow, then shakily stood. The sound of a gasp set me off, and the magic shot out of my fingers like lightening bolts in surprise, making me cry out in pain, dropping my wand. I felt the snow under me melt from the heat, until I was on frozen ground, gasping for air as the magic subsided. I sat up slowly, wincing, expecting to see Mum standing there with her wand, a snarl on her face, but I was mistaken. No one was there, in fact, the graveyard was empty. But I swore I could hear furious whispers coming from nearby.
"Look at her eyes; she has to be a Dumbledore!" I thought I heard a female voice say.
"She's dead; this has got to be a trap!" A male voice hissed back.
"But what's wrong with her? That looks like magic coming out of her…"
"I don't know, and I don't care! That is not her, she's dead!"
"Harry, you saw her appear from the ground just the same as I did! The Death Eaters wouldn't bury someone alive just to trick us!' The female voice snapped.
I was probably going crazy now too. That would finish off the random magic seizures that came shooting out of me nicely. Quite suddenly, two beings appeared, wands pointed at me, making me groan in pain as more magic reacted to my shock and surprise, coming out of me in thicker bolts this time, until my breath was caught in my chest. "Are you Ariana Dumbledore?" The male asked harshly, wand pointed dead at my forehead as the woman picked up my wand.
"Y-yes, I-I think so, b-but-" I started, my voice hoarse from lack of use, but he cut across me, looking furious.
"You're lying. Ariana Dumbledore has been dead for about fifty years. How dare you impersonate her?!" He shouted, but more magic fried the ground as more shock hit me like a wrecking ball. I had been cursed for fifty years???(That's a rough estimation, they said she died around fifteen in the book, but there really wasn't a date, and she still is around fifteen because she was in the coma.)
"B-but that would m-mean…not Albus, please not A-albus—" I shakily stood, and ignored the furious man, darting around him and then knelt to re-examine my own gravestone. Albus's name was not on it, but if I had heard the curse correctly, I was only free six months after he was…gone. Dead, forever. Depression threatened to shoot out more of the magic that had been storing up for fifty years.
"Identido." The woman said sharply, and the sudden magic entering me immediately required that more leave in order to make room, making me cry out once more. (This is the spell I made up, it lets the caster know if the person is truly them or not.) The woman became extremely pale and almost dropped her wand as my body was suddenly glowing a gold color, before the magic vanished. "It's her; this is Ariana Dumbledore, Harry." She breathed, and the man shot her a look. "Oh come on, she wouldn't know who you are, who anyone alive is anyway. Ariana," she addressed me, making me flinch, "why aren't you dead? What happened to you?" She had dropped her cold demeanor, unlike her companion, who kept the wand trained on me, my own wand in his other hand.
A crack in the bushes made me freeze, the magic racing through me at the sudden noise. A vision seared across my eyes, and I saw the two people in front of me falling back from an old woman. A snake suddenly burst from her neck, the woman disappearing, and the snake launched at the pair—
As quickly as it had come, the vision was gone, leaving a rush of coldness through me. "You have to l-leave this place. An old woman is n-not what she s-seems, there is a snake in-in her, huge, and, and, it will try to hurt you." The words tumbled from my mouth as the vision ended; the first I had seen in over fifty years. The duo exchanged a frightened glance.
"How do you know this?" The man asked, raising his wand again, "How do we know you aren't trying to fool us, kill us?" The woman shot him a disgusted look.
"Didn't you see her eyes? She's a Seer, what she is saying must be true. Nagini, and possibly Voldemort are here." She cast a frightened eye around the cemetery as the man slowly lowered his wand, and looking hastily around the cemetery.
"Let's get out of here," the man took her arm, but she pulled away, looking scandalized, stepping closer to me, till she was barely a foot away. The man followed; a strange look on his face as our eyes briefly met. I quickly looked away as his eyes turned sad.
"We can't just leave her here! I recognized her because of her eyes. If I can, Voldemort certainly will. Imagine what he will do to her!" She said fiercely, stepping closer yet to me, dropping her angry expression. "If you'll come with us, we'll keep you safe from him, and you could possibly explain what—" the man cut across her, looking vivid.
"We need to leave right now. Hermione, if you're right, this is incredibly dangerous. And how can we take care of her?! I want to know more just as much as you do, but—" Bolts of green coming from the bushes broke off his speech. The woman seized his arm and mine, and I was being crushed in the vacuum again. After a dizzying moment, I was sprawled out on more snow, feeling sick. I could hear the man gasp and the woman gasp too.
"It m-must have been hit by a curse," the woman stammered.
"Repair it, Hermione, please. Just try." He said, adding more force towards the end of his speech.
"Reparo." I slowly sat up, head spinning, and had to rest on my elbows. Realizing that I must have Apparated with these people, and that I must have Apparated somehow to get out of the coffin, I lay back down, trying to fight back tremors. I couldn't remember the time I had suffered from so many attacks at once. My body was aching for rest, and for stamina.
"Lumos." The male said shakily. "Expelliarmus!" He tried again, and I heard something break.
"Harry…I'm so sorry." The woman said finally, and it sounded like she was in tears.
"I'll just use your wand on watches then." The man said faintly. "I could always use…you took her with us?!" The man said angrily, realizing that along with my wand, I had come with them.
"I just reacted Harry, I'm sorry," the girl snapped, "I was under pressure. You're lucky we didn't Splinch ourselves getting here." I heard footsteps trudging over, and then, a very hesitant and light touch rested on my arm, and unwillingly, I slowly opened my heavy eyelids and found myself face to face with a different person.
"Ariana, are you alright?" She asked kindly, and I sat up quickly as the man snorted. The man also looked different, and my confusion deepened. Who were these people? "Here, stand." The woman said, and helped me up from the snowy ground. A tent was only a few feet away, along with the angry man. He had a scar on his forehead; I could see it under his hair. The strange lightning bolt shape made me curious.
"Ariana, I'm Hermione, and this is Harry." She said carefully, watching me. I looked quickly around. We were in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but snowy hills around us. My fear suddenly increased. If I needed to get away from these people, where would I go? "Come inside, both of you." She said, moving for the tent, but I stayed where I was, torn. I had no idea what was happening, the date, the year, anything. Could I trust these people, one who even hated me? Hermione's face turned sad. "No one here will hurt you. Harry, her wand?" He slowly handed it to her, and then she handed it to me. The smooth holly wand made me relax just a tad. I could protect myself at least.
"Ariana, I'm sure you have a ton of questions, but come inside before you freeze. Please." She said, and after a slight hesitation, I followed her shakily inside the tiny tent, that once inside, was not tiny at all. I sat slowly down at Hermione's request as she made tea. Harry took off a rather ugly locket, hung it up, then put a broken wand away, and I realized it was his. Hermione handed me a teacup, but I set it on my knee, too nervous to drink anything. All I knew was that Albus was dead, Fifty or so years had gone by, and I had no idea what was going on.