Chapter 3 : Dark Arts Disgust
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Apollonia ran her fingers through her silken black hair. “Dad, I’m aware of that. Ever since the incident at the Ministry, things at Malfoy Manor have gotten extremely weird. Draco disappears to Diagon Alley and Mrs. Malfoy has been in touch with you, for whatever reason. Now, I may not know what’s going on, but I’m not completely oblivious.”
“You have your mother’s intellect to thank for that,” her father muttered softly. “As happy as I was to see you enter my own house, I was rather surprised to learn that you did not follow your mother’s footsteps. I always though that you would, that you would follow the same path your mother did. But, this was not the case. You became a Slytherin like I did. What exactly did the Sorting Hat tell you that led to you becoming a Slytherin?”
When her father posed the question, Apollonia smiled at the memory. When McGonagall called her name, Apollonia moved forward slowly at took a seat on the stool. The Sorting Hat was placed atop her head and a conversation ensued between her and the hat. “Hmm? Brave, willing to stand up for a friend. A thirst for knowledge. And, an overwhelming desire to prove what you can do. I know what to do with you, my dear. SLYTHERIN!”
Apollonia looked up at her father, answering the question. “I wanted to live up to you and Mom. It was that ambition that the Sorting Hat saw in me and led to my being in Slytherin.”
“Of course,” Snape muttered. “Now, before you go to the feast, there is one thing you might need to know. This summer, Dumbledore has finally granted my request to teach Defense against the Dark Arts. So, if you need me, my office will no longer be down in the dungeon.”
Her father’s sudden promotion would be good news for any other girl, just not Apollonia. She knew what that moment, the possibility she might be faced with come the end of the year. History would always repeat itself and this year was sure to be no exception. Quirrell, Lockhart, Lupin, Moody, Umbridge; after the last five years, it was clear to Apollonia that her father might no longer be a part of Hogwarts come the following June. “Dad!” she yelled. “Do you even realize what you’re doing? No one has ever lasted more than a year teaching that class. You know you can’t teach that class. Quirrell died; Lockhart went to St. Mungo’s; Lupin resigned; Moody was locked in a box while Barty Crouch Jr. went around Hogwarts disguised as him; and Umbridge, well, I don’t want to think about that. Dad, who knows what’ll happen to you by year’s end. I cannot believe you still wanted that job!” Apollonia stormed away from her father and went up to the Great Hall. She was so pissed with her father and his sudden promotion that she didn’t even notice that, when she took a seat, it was between Draco and Blaise Zabini.
“What are you doing here?” Draco whispered.
“Doesn’t matter,” Apollonia said icily.
“And your father?” he asked.
“Just wait; you’ll see,” Apollonia muttered.
The Sorting went on for a few more minutes and Dumbledore soon stepped forward, ready to greet everyone. Apollonia sat there, barely paying attention to anything that was going on, her head in her hands as she dreaded Dumbledore’s announcement regarding the Dark Arts post. “…we are pleased to welcome a new member of staff this year. Professor Slughorn is a former colleague of mine who has agreed to resume his old post of Potions master.”
While everyone through the room was confused by the announcement, it was Draco that turned to Apollonia to see how she was doing. “Does that mean that- ?” he started.
“Wait for it,” Apollonia grimaced.
Dumbledore continued speaking over the constant muttering from students—most of which were from Gryffindor—expecting to see Slughorn named Dark Arts professor. But, Apollonia knew better, after what she was told by her father just earlier. “Professor Snape, meanwhile, will be taking over the position of Defense against the Dark Arts teacher.”
“No!” Apollonia heard Harry Potter cry out. While Harry was quite vocal about his disgust regarding the new teaching assignments, Apollonia remained quiet, silently sobbing over what Dumbledore announced. Only Draco knew who she really was; her father was his favorite teacher. If other Slytherins knew, there was no telling what might happen.
Every Slytherin, save Draco and Apollonia cheered at Snape’s promotion. “Why aren’t you cheering?” Apollonia snapped at him. Her voice was barely above a whisper. “My father has always favored Slytherins; you should be pleased that my father has his dream job.”
“Yet, I’m not,” Draco reminded her.
“Mind explaining why?” she asked, her voice shaky.
“Favorite teacher. Jinx on Dark Arts,” Draco stated. “Come on, Apolla; we both know you’re not the only one upset over this. Potter is, but for a completely different reason. And, since I’m the only one who knows who you really are, no one will know why you’re upset over this.”
Apollonia nodded, knowing it was true. Draco was it, the only person to know the truth. He was the only one she could trust with such a delicate secret, something that the other Slytherins would want to use to their advantage. “I don’t think I can do this,” Apollonia said, pointing to her father as he sat to Dumbledore’s right. “Just knowing that history will repeat itself, I can’t be here.” She sighed. “I really do wish that you didn’t reject prefect duty. Maybe then, I could just go to the common room rather than waiting for Pansy to give me the password. And, with how much she hates me—for no reason it seems—I won’t get in.”
“You might have to deal with this,” Draco warned as he began playing with a fork. “I don’t want to hear Dumbledore drone on about Voldemort and his growing power. That insipid old man has been blathering on about this for months, and I’m sick of it. The blackened hand should be a warning to him, that he shouldn’t be messing in such things.”
“Of course it is,” Apollonia said.
Throughout the feast, Apollonia would only look at her father to give him the evil eye. A scowl was permanently plastered on her face at the moment. Her father teaching Defense against the Dark Arts, and it was being done against her wishes. Well, look like I need to stick by Draco even more. He’s the only one that can help me watch over my father; ensure that the jinx on the Defense against the Dark Arts post is broken by my father. There was no way that she ever intended on losing him. “Apolla, you okay?” Draco asked.
“Why do you care about that nobody?” Pansy asked.
“You might not want to say that,” Draco warned.
“And, why not?” she retorted.
Apollonia grunted. “Pansy, you had better start being nicer to me, lest you ensue my father’s wrath. And, that’s not something you want to do with. Draco cares because he knows the truth, something you never will.” She peered up at her father. He was speaking with Dumbledore about something; it was unclear as to what though. “My father can ruin you, in more ways than you will ever know. If he discovers the way you’ve been treating me—a fellow Slytherin at that—I can assure you that he’ll make your life a living hell.”
Pansy snarled. “You can make no such threat!”
“I can, and I am,” Apollonia shrugged. She then went back to her food, grumbling incoherently as she did. “Agreeing to do this has got to be the stupidest idea in the world. Pansy is going to make my life a living hell now that I’ve agreed to Mrs. Malfoy’s request. She has no clue whom my father is, and thinks of me as nothing more than a nobody.”
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