Knowing the Malfoys was probably the best thing for Apollonia. If not for that, Apollonia would probably be at Hogwarts year-round. Plus, her father requested that she stay with them anyway. She was safest there, at least for the moment. As much as Apollonia probably would have enjoyed spending time with her father over the summer, a part of her knew that it was impossible. He was busy preparing for the year, and she knew that. So, Apollonia sat in Malfoy Manor waiting for a certain blond boy to get back. Since entering Hogwarts, Apollonia had always found a close connection to Draco Malfoy. Not many people knew that though. Just family, actually. And, Apollonia preferred it that way.
A part of her knew that her father hid something from her. She could never tell what it was though. Her father could barely look his daughter in the eyes, part of the reason she spent summers with the Malfoys. But, she could tell that things were becoming dangerous. The Wizarding World was becoming a dangerous place as Voldemort was gaining power; and things in Apollonia’s world were starting to unravel. Soon, whatever her father hid from her would be uncovered, and things might unravel even faster. It couldn’t happen—not ever—even though Apollonia wasn’t aware of the secrets her father kept from her.
Drumming her fingers against the nearby table, Apollonia was growing impatient. From what she could tell, ever since Lucius got sent away to Azkaban, Draco and Narcissa were both acting weird. Narcissa seemed almost worried over Lucius’s imprisonment, but there was something else on her mind. Like maybe Draco. It was difficult to tell what Draco was dealing with. Since about two weeks ago, he had become much more distant. With her—at least during the summer—this was rare. Exactly what had Draco been dealing with? Apollonia wanted to know, but knew she never could; he’d never tell.
A loud crack sounded and it wasn’t long before Narcissa Malfoy apparated back. She looked around briefly before turning to Apollonia. “Draco has not returned yet?” she asked.
“No, not yet,” Apollonia replied. A part of her wanted Draco back soon—to find out what was going on—but this peace was nice. “Mrs. Malfoy, if you don’t mind my asking, but what were you doing?”
“Talking to your father,” the woman replied.
“My father?” Apollonia asked.
The woman nodded. “Something important came up and your father was the only one I could turn to. He was the only one I could trust to help me deal with this. And, Apolla, there’s something I must ask of you as well. Keep close to Draco this year. I know you two were never close in school, but I need someone—a student he knows and trusts—to watch over him when I can’t. With your father watching over him as I asked him to, I thought of you. I lost my husband, and I have a feeling that I may lose my son as well.”
Apollonia shrugged. “I suppose I could try.” She knew that it would be difficult though. For whatever reason, Apollonia and Draco just didn’t get along at school. Draco was the school bully, the self-proclaimed Slytherin Prince, while Apollonia kept to the back, only associating with certain people when she needed to. People like Pansy Parkinson, Vincent Crabbe, and Gregory Goyle; mainly all of Draco flunkies bothered her. So, she stayed away from them. Barely anyone ever noticed that Apollonia was even in the Slytherin house. With Narcissa’s request, this could be impossible; she needed to keep an eye on Draco.
‘Thank you, Apolla,” Mrs. Malfoy said.
As Mrs. Malfoy disappeared, Apollonia heard something in the other room. She carefully stood up and watched as Draco Malfoy came strolling in. “What were you doing?” she asked.
“Doesn’t matter, Apolla,” the blond boy said, placing something on the table. “I have my own things to deal with. You can’t know. No one can ever know what I must deal with.”
Brushing her flowing black hair out of her face, Apollonia stared intently at Draco. Within the past two weeks, something changed about him. “Draco, I wouldn’t push people away if I were you,” Apollonia warned. “People do actually care about you, and no one wants to see you sever all ties, no matter much of a prick you can be to other people.”
Apollonia groaned, rubbing her temples in annoyance with Draco’s stubbornness. “See, this is why we don’t associate in school. I may be friends with you, but we both know that my father is really the only one to know that. In fact, I think you’re the only person in the school who knows who my father is. But, whatever, Draco. I guess that when we board the Hogwarts Express tomorrow, it’s back to you ignoring me as you always do. Then, no one will care what you’re doing with your life; my father and I may be the only ones.”
“Good,” Draco snarled.
That boy can be such an idiot, Apollonia grumbled as she went to pack her things for the trip to Hogwarts. Maybe I can ask Dad—when I see him—what he knows about Draco’s situation. I’ll be better able to handle the situation when I know what’s going on here.
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