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Chapter 2: Like Mom
As she was packing a few last minute items for Hogwarts, there was a soft knock at the door. Looking up and spinning around, Apollonia shockingly saw Draco leaning against the doorframe to her room while she was here. “What do you want?” Apollonia spat. Their dispute from before was still etched in Apollonia’s mind, something she would not soon forget. It was clear to Apollonia that Narcissa’s request might not be fulfilled due to Draco’s persistence. And, her conscience was telling her that she should just leave all of this alone.
“I wanted to apologize,” Draco said, softly.
“For what?” she asked.
“For my behavior yesterday,” Draco explained. “I just wanted you to know that, before you blend into the walls of Hogwarts.” He laughed and pulled the bag away from Apollonia. “You know, your father wouldn’t be very pleased that his daughter isn’t acting like the Slytherin she should be. I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to be like your father.”
Apollonia laughed. She had heard this conversation before. Not from her father or Draco, but from Pansy. Throughout the years, Slytherin was known to be the house with the worst reputation, with Death Eaters coming from there left and right. No one aside from Draco knew who she really was, so Pansy confronted her one day in second year. It was that answer that Apollonia used now. “My father said that I always looked like my mother, except for the hair color. And, even though she’s gone, he wants me to be like my mother.”
“The standard answer,” Draco muttered, stifling a laugh.
“Just ask my father,” Apollonia reminded him. “He’ll tell you.”
“I’d rather not,” Draco informed her.
“You’re the one who asked,” Apollonia said, condescendingly.
Draco rolled his eyes. “And, I regret ever doing that. So, hope you have a good year. Maybe I’ll see you throughout the year. I doubt that considering your personality, but still.”
“Yeah, whatever,” Apollonia shrugged. In secret, she and her father needed to watch over Draco, making what both Draco and Apollonia wanted an impossibility. Narcissa Malfoy wanted someone to watch over her son—for whatever reason—and she was it.
For awhile, Draco and Apollonia stood there in silence, just staring at the other before Narcissa Malfoy appeared. “Draco, Apolla, it’s time to go. Your sixth year at Hogwarts awaits you.” Draco passed his mother without a second glance, Apollonia curtly nodded to the woman, acknowledging her presence as Draco so rudely did not. “Remember what I told you, Apolla,” the woman said. “You and your father must watch over my son.”
“I’ll stick close,” Apollonia intoned.
There was an overbearing silence between mother and son, Apollonia took notice on the way to King’s Cross. She could tell that there was a sense of concern in Mrs. Malfoy’s eyes, and Draco didn’t seem to care. He was busy rubbing his arm, oblivious to the truth. Mrs. Malfoy said goodbye to the pair and they parted ways. Mrs. Malfoy apparated back to Malfoy Manor while Draco seated himself in the compartment that Crabbe and Goyle were already waiting in. Apollonia shrugged and settled herself in the next compartment where she could eavesdrop on Draco without anyone noticing what was going on.
For now, Apollonia chose to stay out of sight. Then, when it came time for school to begin, she could follow Mrs. Malfoy’s order and tail Draco. Okay, Draco, what’s going on? If you won’t tell me, maybe you’ll tell one of your flunkies or the girl utterly infatuated with you. Apollonia felt sure that one them could get the information out of him, and would use that to her advantage. “Malfoy, you’re not on prefect duty?” she heard a voice ask.
“Didn’t feel like it,” Draco muttered.
Apollonia remembered hearing that, and wondered why he would pass up such an opportunity. Things changed over the summer holiday, and this was just one instance of that. “Giving other students detention, scaring the likes out of them,” the voice continued. “I would have thought that you’d want to do it a little more. Especially with Potter. Man, did you ever torture him last year. What happened that would make you want to turn down such an opportunity?”
“I have my reasons,” Draco intoned. There was a shuffling in the next compartment and Apollonia could only wonder what was going on. She didn’t have to wonder for long as Draco appeared at the doorway. He quietly closed the compartment door, and took a seat just opposite of her. “Hello, Apolla. Deciding to sit alone again, I see.”
“I have my reasons,” Apollonia mocked with a chuckle.
“Eavesdropping, are we?” Draco inquired.
“Well, you guys are pretty loud,” Apollonia retorted.
“You heard everything then?” he confirmed.
“Of course,” Apollonia nodded. “Now, what’s the real reason, Draco? And, don’t you dare give me any of that crap you’ve been feeding your flunkies. I know you much better than that, better than them. I am not one of your flunkies; hell, I don’t even hang out with you at school. Draco, I think it prudent that you tell me what’s going on. And, I suggest now.”
“Sorry, Apolla; I think it’s best for me to keep this to myself,” Draco insisted. “As close as you and I are—compared to all my other friends—you just can’t know what’s going on. And, this is factoring in who your father is, just to make that clear to you. We are friends, but I’m doing this for your own good. Going to your father won’t help either; he won’t know.”
“You are a pretentious ass sometimes, you know that, Draco,” Apollonia exclaimed. “I often wonder why I became friends with you; it’s sometimes feels like I have more in common with your enemies rather than you.” Apollonia was careful not to mention their names, in case Draco decided to rant about them. She knew how much Draco hated them, and never mentioned any of the three while she was around Draco. Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley, and Hermione Granger were the enemy to Draco and every other Slytherin.
“Potter,” Draco grumbled.
I should not have done that, Apollonia thought, regretfully. I think that had to be the stupidest thing in the world for me to do, as true as it is. She muttered something quietly and looked at Draco. “Just tell me what’s going on; I’d like to hear it,” she insisted.
“Not a chance!” Draco warned. “Why did I even come in here? Oh, yeah; I came in here to tell you something: make sure you stay as far away from me as you possibly can this year. I know that’s somewhat pointless to say since you’ve been careful to stay away from me, but now that we’re in our sixth year, there’s a chance I might see you; Potions and Defense against the Dark Arts in particular. Classes are small, so I might see you. I don’t want that to happen, so I want you to promise me you won’t be around throughout the year.”
“Can’t promise anything, can I?” she said quietly.
Draco shrugged, rubbing his arm. “Bye, Apolla.”
Once Draco left her compartment, assumedly to rejoin Crabbe, Goyle, and all his other friends, Apollonia changed into her robes and settled herself down with a nice book for the moment. They still had a ways to go until reaching Hogwarts, and Apollonia had nothing much to do until then. She got a lengthy way into the book, before her head lolled to the side and her bright green eyes grew heavy. Sleep overcame her quickly and the next thing she knew, Apollonia felt someone shaking her awake. “What is it?” she asked groggily.
“We’re here,” Draco’s familiar voice said.
Apollonia absentmindedly followed Draco off the train and they headed over to one of the carriages. Remembering what Narcissa asked her to do—and not really caring what Draco asked—Apollonia climbed in the same carriage as Draco. She heard Draco scowl, but it didn’t faze her. With who her father was, no student was truly intimidating for her. “What are you doing here?” Pansy sneered as the carriage made its way towards the castle.
“Doesn’t matter,” Apollonia said confidently.
“You’re a nobody,” Pansy insisted. “All you do is blend in, no one truly noticing you. Why then, would you ever want to share a carriage with us: the most well-known Slytherins in school?”
“Watch it, Pansy!” Draco barked.
“Draco, why are sticking up for the nobody Slytherin?” Pansy asked dumbfounded. “She is nothing compared to us, and doesn’t even act anything like a Slytherin.”
Apollonia shot a look at Draco as the carriage arrived at the castle. It was one of the first few to arrive, and Apollonia called out to Pansy. “You have no clue who I am, Pansy; and when you do find out, you’ll be begging for forgiveness from me, something I’ll probably never give.” She strode up to the castle and the door swung open, revealing an elderly, bespectacled woman: Professor McGonagall. “Your father wishes to speak with you before the feast. Down to the dungeons then,” she said before turning to the other students.
While her other classmates dealt with McGonagall for a moment before adjourning to the Great Hall, Apollonia weaved her way through the castle and slipped down to the dungeon. Standing in front of her as she turned the corner was a tall man with greasy black hair and a hooked nose. It was Professor Snape. “Hi, Dad,” Apollonia said calmly.