Chapter 7 : Playing Favorites
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“Shut up, Draco,” she said quietly.
“He knows, doesn’t he?” he asked.
Apollonia shook her head, stopping Draco in his tracks. “I haven’t mentioned it yet. There’s a part of me that wants to, but I can’t do it yet. You’re still the only one who knows who I am.”
“Good,” Draco remarked. He glared at Harry before looking back to Apollonia. “Of course, even if you haven’t told Potter your greatest secret, that doesn’t mean I’ll automatically let you anywhere near me. Deal with it, Apolla; it just isn’t going to happen.”
While Draco went to join his partner, Apollonia turned to Harry. That’s what you think, Draco. In some twisted roundabout way, I know that Dad is trying to help me; he wants for me to know what you’ve been up to. Harry has something to do with it, in whatever way that is. She looked down to the ground for a moment. How am I supposed to befriend him anyway? Early in the morning on their first day, Apollonia held a brief discussion with Harry and his friends regarding her father. Since the conversation had not gone well, Apollonia knew this one would turn out just as bad. “Shall we get started?” she asked Harry.
He nodded. “Though he paired me with you—a Slytherin—I wouldn’t put it past Snape to take points away from me for anything. He hates me.” He pulled his wand out and pointed it at Apollonia so they could begin casting the nonverbal spells that were required of them.
Apollonia did the same. “Very true,” she mused, recalling the past five years when Harry was picked on. “But, with me as your partner, I doubt that he’ll pick on you. I’m one of two students that Snape would call his favorites; I’m sure you know the second.”
“Malfoy,” he muttered.
While casting her spell against Harry, Apollonia nodded. “There’s no way he’d do something to single out either one of us; it’s not in his nature. And, I suspect that the same would go for anyone associated with me.” She sighed, hoping her plan would work. That’s how Draco was saved from suffering that man’s wrath—that, and him being a Slytherin. If I can get Harry on my side with that incentive, the rest of Dad’s plan should be a piece of cake.
Harry deflected the spell rather easily and looked at Apollonia warily. “How can you make such a promise? No student—other than maybe Malfoy, who would never get Snape off my back—could make such a huge promise and live up to it. It just wouldn’t happen.”
Deep done inside, Apollonia knew this would happen. Harry would not be as forthright about trusting her regarding this as Draco was. It would take a lot of convincing on her part to get Harry on her side. “Fine; I prove it to you, Harry. I’ll get Snape off your case; Hermione’s, Ron’s, and Ginny’s too. Maybe then you’ll see that I truly am different from other Slytherins you’ve met in the past. If it were any other Slytherin, they wouldn’t help.”
“I doubt it,” Harry stated.
It was not long before the class ended for the day and, rather than going to lunch as the other students did, Apollonia immediately went to her father’s office. She was going to get Harry—and his friends—on her side; and her father was going to help, begrudgingly if need be. “Dad,” she said, knocking on her father’s office, “I have a request.”
“And what is that?” he asked.
Biting her lip, Apollonia hesitated momentarily in telling her father of this. After five years of picking on Harry and his friends, he might not do what she wanted of him. Then the promise she made to Harry would be broken, and she would never get whatever it was her father wanted her to attain in order to watch over Draco. In some odd way, all of this was all connected; and it all hinged on her father cutting Harry and the other Gryffindors some slack. She sighed and explained the situation to her father. “Considering the fact that I’m a Slytherin, and my friendship with Draco over the years, I ran into a bit of a set back in attempting to gain Harry’s trust, and his friendship. Therefore, I know of only one thing that can get me on his good side, and your cooperation is needed in all of this. There’s no way Harry will even consider befriending me unless you agree to cut him and his friends some slack; stop favoring just the Slytherins because your its Head of House. I want you to treat Harry and his friends as you would the Slytherins.”
Her father showed no emotion when Apollonia made her request. His stoic expression showed no indication that her father had any problem with her proposal. She knew he did though. Apollonia knew of only five people who despised Harry with such a passion: Lord Voldemort, Dolores Umbridge, Lucius and Draco Malfoy, and her own father. Convincing her father, or even Draco, to trust Harry would be difficult. Their hatred of him was so ingrained; it would take years to reverse what Voldemort did. “Dad, answer me,” she insisted.
“I will consider it,” he said.
Apollonia nodded and headed to the Great Hall. She hoped that this was going to work, for she needed Harry’s help. That much was clear. Over the years, it was always Harry, Ron, and Hermione who saved the Wizarding World from trouble. Except for a select few, no one knew how this was possible. As she entered the Great Hall, Apollonia caught a quick glimpse of Draco. He sneered as she took her seat, and Apollonia could see that he was still wary about who knew her secret. Until her father said it was okay to reveal the truth to those she intended, Draco was still the only one to know her biggest secret.
Slumping down at the end of the table, Apollonia’s gaze shifted between her father, Draco, and Harry. Each one seemed to play a part in all of this. With her father and Draco, their roles were clear; however, it was Harry’s role in all of this that still mystified her. She could not understand the impending role Harry had to play in all of this, or even why he had to. Apollonia was determined, however, to learn Harry’s part in this, for she knew it to be of great importance if it was ordered by her father. “I think it’s high time I spoke with Dumbledore; he may now what is it occur. That man seems to know everything.”
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