Chapter 4 : Muggle Nonsense
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“You don’t want to know,” she intoned.
“Actually, I do,” Draco insisted.
A smirk appeared on Apollonia’s face. She knew a way out of this, a way to get what she wanted. “Here’s the deal, Draco: I’ll tell you why I’m sticking so close the day you tell me the real reason you turned down opportunity to be a prefect again this year. Since I know you won’t do that, even to me, there’s no way I’ll tell you what’s really been going on. Get used to disappointment, Draco; you’ll be dealing with it for a long time.”
“Fine, Apolla. Oh, your father wants you,” Draco said.
“Good to know,” Apollonia muttered.
Snape strode over, standing before his daughter and Draco. “Apollonia, Mr. Malfoy,” he said crisply. “Since you’ve arrived early, I will give you your schedules now.” Apollonia nodded. For the sixth years, it was more complicated for her father to hand out schedules. Confirmation of the required O.W.L.s needed to occur before schedules could be handed out. So, it seemed as if her father had taken it upon himself to approach students as they came in, rather than waiting until after breakfast. “Mr. Malfoy, you first. Potions, outstanding; that’s to be expected with your aptitude. Dark Arts, I’ll be seeing you there; Transfiguration shall also be added to your schedule. Charms, Herbology, and, surprisingly enough, Care of Magical Creatures will be included as well.”
Draco briskly nodded. “Okay.”
Apollonia was next. “Potions, Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Charms, Muggle Studies, and History of Magic,” her father said, handing her schedule over. “Have a good day.” He then moved on to a few other Slytherins that entered the Great Hall for breakfast.
“Muggle Studies and History of Magic?” Draco asked.
“Any problem with that?” Apollonia asked.
“Well, for starters, History of Magic is the most boring subject in school; I don’t see how anyone would choose to study such a subject. And, you know how I feel about Muggle Studies. It was ingrained at a young age that I should only associate myself with the likes of purebloods. Muggle nonsense is really what it is,” Draco said, beginning a rant.
“It just interests me,” Apollonia said softly.
“Maybe you should have a chat with the Weasel then,” Draco snarled. “You and his father seem to have a lot in common; you both seem to have a fascination with Muggles.”
“Oh, shut up, Draco,” Apollonia warned. She laughed. “You know, sometimes I really do wonder why you and I even became friends in the first place; we’re so different. I guess it’s why I like to be in the background while you prefer to be the center of attention.”
Draco put an arm around her shoulder, pulling her close. “You know I’m the only one who knows anything about your father. Your father trusted me enough with the secret, and had my family keep an eye on you over the summer,” he whispered in her ear. “That is a bond you’ll always have with me; I’m your father’s favorite student and the one closest to you.”
“I know,” she nodded. “But…”
“…your opinion won’t change no matter what I say,” Draco finished for her. “I can see that. As much as I hate that you would be so interested in Muggle things, I may have to deal with it because of how close I am to you. There’s that, and the fact that your father is the Head of Slytherin.”
Apollonia shrugged. “That’s the only reason you’re so willing to deal with this. If it was any other student, you’d freak out and call them a blood traitor. Me being Snape’s daughter is what’s keeping me from getting treated like the Weasleys. You hate them because they love Muggles.”
Draco was about to respond when Apollonia saw that Blaise Zabini entered the Great Hall. And, once a conversation was struck between them, Apollonia took it upon herself to walk around the Great Hall; she needed to think about her father and how she intended on getting him out of the Dark Arts post. While she was doing this, Apollonia found herself on the opposite side of the room where she overheard Harry, Ron, and Hermione talking. The topic of choice was her father, so Apollonia listened in. “How could Dumbledore have ever allowed Snape to take that job?” Harry wondered. “He never did it before.”
“Dumbledore must have a good reason,” Hermione replied.
“But, what?” Harry asked. “Everyone in the school—even Dumbledore—knows that the post is jinxed. And, for whatever reason, he still gave Snape the job no teacher should ever want.”
Finally! Someone who feels the same way, Apollonia thought. Out of everyone in the school, it was clear to Apollonia that Harry, Ron, and Hermione were the one who wanted Snape out of the Defense against the Dark Arts class. They seemed to be the ones that Apollonia could rely on most in regards to getting her father out of this job. “I know exactly what you mean,” Apollonia said solemnly. “There’s no way that Snape ever should have gotten that job.”
Out of the three, it was Ron Weasley who commented on what Apollonia said. “I never thought I would see the day where a Slytherin would hate Snape being offered the Defense against the Dark Arts job as much as us. With the way that Snape favors his own house, I’d expect them all to be pleased with the announcement; they were all cheering about it.”
“Not me,” Apollonia replied. “I hate it.”
“Why would a Slytherin hate it?” Ron asked.
Since none of them actually knew about Apollonia’s familial connection to Snape, a fabrication would have to do. “Because Snape is too much a part of this school. So long as he has the Dark Arts job he wanted so badly, there’s a chance he’ll be force out of the school and Hogwarts will never be the same without him. You three know that as well as I do. Hogwarts is nothing without Dumbledore, or Snape.” She sighed and took a seat at the Gryffindor table for a moment, knowing that this was going to take longer than she expected. “Look, I know my claim may seem dubious to you at the moment, but I want Snape back as Potions master as much as you. It’s not right for him to teach Defense against the Dark Arts.”
Harry and Ron merely sat there in shock at what Apollonia told them. It was understanding though given Apollonia’s house. “You’re friends with Malfoy; how can we believe a word you say?”
“Because,” Apollonia explained, “I may be friends with Draco, but my views on the world differ from his. I’m not like his other friends who hang off his every word like its law. Snape in particular. He knows how much I hate Snape’s promotion, and, surprisingly enough, understands my reason for that; he wouldn’t try to change my opinion.”
All three scoffed at the thought of such a thing. They don’t know who I am; otherwise, they’d understand why Draco is so willing to make an exception for me. Dad would kill him if Draco did anything to me the way he would with any other student. Apollonia sighed. “Look, believe what you want; but I’m on your side. Snape must be the Potion master, not the Defense against the Dark Arts teacher.” She then stood up and headed back to the Slytherin table.
When she arrived, Apollonia found that Draco and his flunkies were staring at her. Draco was shaking his head disapprovingly. “What is wrong with you?” Pansy screamed. “Why would you go over there and initiate contact with Gryffindors? It’s unheard of.”
“Mind your own business, Pansy!” Apollonia retorted.
“Or what?” she asked.
“Anything wrong, Parkinson?” her father asked suddenly.
Pansy quickly spun around. “No, Professor.”
“Good,” he said before moving on.
Apollonia breathed a sigh of relief as she slid into the seat beside Draco. “What exactly were you talking about with Potter, Weasley, and Granger?” he asked in a whisper.
“My father,” she replied.
“Your father?” he asked uncertainly.
She nodded. “With every Slytherin blissfully unaware of the fact that they were cheering for my father’s eventual demise, those three were the only ones I knew who would hate what was going on even more than I do. You may know what’s going on, but a part of you is pleased with the staffing changes made; I, on the other hand, hate it with every fiber of my being. It’s absolutely despicable that Dumbledore would even think to give my father the job he’s found so appealing since his own days here at school,” she grumbled.
“If I were you, I’d keep that disdain for what’s going on to myself. I know what going on, so you can tell me; but if the other students heard you, it would not end well,” Draco reminded her. “And, I’d keep the confrontations with Pansy to a minimum; your father can’t swoop in and come to your rescue every time it happens. Neither can I, if you remember.”
She nodded. “I know.”
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