Chapter 18 : Being Invisible
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Apollonia grimaced and stared blankly at the opposing wall, trying to get mind off the past four months. Nothing seemed to be going her way; no matter how intent Apollonia was on having a normal life, Voldemort would interfere and the young Slytherin was relegated to suffering the aftereffects of Riddle’s meddling. Apollonia truly despised the man for what he was going; her best friend—though she never saw the Dark Mark on his arm—was a Death Eater; her half-brother was marked for death; her mother killed for attempting to protect Harry, thus explaining why Apollonia never knew the woman that was her mother: Lily Potter; and her father was forced to work as a spy, allowing for Apollonia’s time with her father to be limited. Everything stemmed back to Voldemort and Apollonia was sick of it. “Why can’t Voldemort just go ahead and die so this will all be over?” she grumbled.
“Everyday I ask myself the same thing,” a voice said.
Looking up, Apollonia saw her half-brother standing over her. His emerald eyes—ones that mirrored her own, yet he seemed to have no clue of that common trait between them—pierced her with a somewhat foreboding look. “Harry, what are you doing here?”
“I was on my way to a meeting with Dumbledore when I saw you here,” Harry confessed. “And you’re right. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve longed for a normal year; a year where no one in bent on killing me; a year where I all I have to do is worry about passing my N.E.W.T.s. I never wanted this; all I wanted was to grow up in a caring family. During my first year, I found what Professor Dumbledore told me was the Mirror of Erised, a mirror that would show your deepest desire. Well, my deepest desire was to have a family. Not just a family—since my only living relatives are Muggles who hate the very mention of magic—but a family that cares about me. That’s what I saw in the mirror.”
“Of course you would decide to tell me that story,” Apollonia muttered softly so that her brother wouldn’t hear. “Out of every story in the world you could have relayed to me, you had to choose that one.” The emerald-eyed girl let out a soft sniffle. That story just makes me want to tell you the truth even more. But, I can’t. I promised Dad that I wouldn’t. And, I have kept to my word. I have not revealed my parentage to you. Hermione, yes; but that’s only to protect you. Harry eyed her, clearly wondering what was going on. “You know, you’re not the only one who has family troubles,” Apollonia said to explained her reaction.
“Considering that your father’s Snape, I guess that’s true,” Harry chuckled. “Surely that must have been a pain for you to live with. I know that I could never handle it.”
“No, it’s not that,” Apollonia said.
“Then what?” Harry asked.
“My mother,” Apollonia said softly. “I never really knew her. Since the day I was born, I was raised by my father. Mum could not do so; she eventually died when I was a year-old. Perhaps just a little older.” That was all Apollonia mentioned; it was all she was allowed to mention, given that Harry already knew how she died. Hell, everyone knew how her mother died, as it was the most famous story ever! Apollonia grew up hearing stories about how her mother died, not knowing that it was even her mother. It was only out of necessity—when she viewed the memory—that Apollonia ever learned the truth. Apollonia had always been told that she was like her mother; she just never knew how much until learning her mother’s identity—and the additional family member she had.
Learning that Harry was her brother was not something she ever expected, not in the very least. Admittedly, the striking emerald eyes did provide the final clue, but Apollonia never for one second, prior to this year, suspected that they were related. Yes, eyes of such a brilliant hue were few and far between, but there had been no cause for her suspect anything. Not until a few months ago. Not until Narcissa Malfoy asked for her to watch over Draco. That one simple request altered everything Apollonia once knew about her life. Because of it, here she was sitting next to Harry Potter—her half-brother—talking of family. It wasn’t fair; it wasn’t fair that she had to hide a part of herself from him. “Hey! Aren’t you supposed to meeting with Dumbledore about something?” she asked.
“I am,” Harry shrugged, “but something tells me that it’s going to be another one of Dumbledore’s memory sessions. If you don’t have anything to do, you could always come with.”
Apollonia declined the offer. “No thanks, Harry. I have my own issues to deal with at the moment,” she admitted. Harry looked at her, perplexed. “Let’s just say that being the invisible Slytherin had its advantages. Aside from Draco, no one ever knew I existed. The second I was sorted, I faded into the background, simply because I opted not to use my father’s name for school; Mrs. Malfoy asking me to watch over Draco changed that. Now I’m forced to mercilessly suffer through Pansy Parkinson’s taunts, never mentioning that she’s insulting her Head of House’s daughter; his only connection to the woman he loved.” She grimaced. “I truly do hate all the people Draco chooses to associate with.”
“You’re not the only one,” Harry said. “I still don’t see how you could ever be friends with Malfoy. You just don’t seem like the other Slytherins. Ron told me that Slytherins were known for being dark wizards; it’s why when the Sorting Hat thought I’d do well in Slytherin, I requested that I be placed in Gryffindor. At the time—thanks to Ron’s advice—I thought all Slytherins were dark wizards and witches. Now I see I was wrong; you’re nothing like them.”
“Well, my mother was a Gryffindor,” Apollonia told him.
“That could explain it,” Harry said.
“If only you knew the half of it,” Apollonia muttered.
Harry nodded and bade goodbye to the sister he knew nothing about. “I guess I’ll see you at the Occulemency lessons on Saturday.” With that, he headed off to Dumbledore’s office.
Apollonia resumed her staring, waiting for her father’s class to let out. She desperately needed to speak with him about Pansy’s behavior. Her father would not stand for one of his Slytherins tormenting another, especially when that other was his own daughter. Her free period was drawing to a close when students soon came spilling out of the classroom. When she saw the shuffling of their feet, Apollonia slipped into the classroom unnoticed. “Dad, I must speak with you about something,” his daughter said quietly.
“And what would that be?” her father asked.
“You need to go have a talk with Pansy Parkinson,” she explained. “I’ve tried handing this on my own—and even with Draco’s help—but I can’t. It’s time for you to step in.”
“And why must I speak with Ms. Parkinson?”
“Dad, she’s been harassing me since the year began,” Apollonia informed her father. “Like I said before, Draco and I tried handling it, but it didn’t work. And with Draco not talking to me now, all I can do is confide in you. I need you to make her understand that she cannot continue harassing me, not when I’m your daughter. And, as you claim, only a select few faculty members and a few students are ever to be aware of the truth.”
Her father’s cold black eyes narrowed. “She’s insulting you?” Apollonia nodded. “And why would Ms. Parkinson ever chose to do such a thing?” the imposing man that was her father asked.
“Because for most of my life, it appeared as if I was a nobody,” Apollonia said. “Since I used my mother’s name for the Sorting, no one ever knew that I was your daughter; not until Draco found out at the end of first year. When Mrs. Malfoy asked me to watch over her son, it forced me out of the familiar life as an invisible Slytherin and to interact with people I despised, Draco aside.” Tears began to prick her eyes as her mind drifted to her best friend, the boy she desperately needed to protect from her half-brother’s nemesis.
Her father did not answer. He merely stormed down to the Slytherin common room, Apollonia following close behind. “Parkinson!” he barked when the reached the common room. “Over here now!”
Pansy appeared. “Yes, Professor?”
“It has come to my attention that you’re been harassing a fellow snake. That type of behavior, particularly within my own house, will not be tolerated. Apologize this instant!” her father boomed.
An apology was mumbled, but Apollonia could barely hear it. She didn’t care. Even after what her father was doing, things probably wouldn’t change. This was merely all the emerald-eyed girl could do in order to put a stop to this. It had to end. All the younger Snape wished for was to see Voldemort destroyed so she could tell her brother the truth. Hermione was right; Harry deserved to know the truth, to know that he had at least one family member alive that cared about him. I need all of this to end. All I want is normalcy.
Her father eyed her warily, as if he was probing her mind. Damn it! she thought. The young emerald-eyed Slytherin quickly imagined a wall encasing her mind, not permitting her father to enter her mind. You taught me well, Dad. Perhaps a little too well. But, I am not about to let you mind out that I informed Hermione of my true parentage. If you learn of what I did, you'll try to Oblivate her and I’ll lose the one person that I trust to watch over Harry for me. Apollonia glared at Pansy. “Stay away from me if you know what good for you. Otherwise, it won’t just be Snape you face the wrath of; it will be my father as well.”
“Whatever!” Pansy muttered.
Apollonia and her father emerged from the Slytherin common room where he turned on her. “A little morbid don’t you think?” he asked, referring to her comment to Pansy.
“It’s for her own good, Dad,” Apollonia growled. “Even I don’t know if this will change after what you did. Before this, Draco was always the one to keep her acid tongue at bay, at least in regards to me. How can you be so sure that she’ll change simply because you ordered her to?” Apollonia had a hard time believing that Pansy Parkinson would cease her immature schoolgirl behavior simply because her Head of House asked her to. When it came to Draco, the witch would probably do everything in her power to get what she wanted. It was really the only reason Pansy began harassing her; because she couldn’t stand the fact that Apollonia was around him. Draco made the biggest mistake of his life taking Pansy to the Yule Ball. It’s because of that in which I’m now suffering.
Her father’s obsidian eyes narrowed. “There’s something more.”
“Why do say that?” his daughter asked. She waved it off. “You know what; never mind. Forget it.” Apollonia headed off, ready for her next class. She wasted enough time on this. Now was time for her to get back to what really mattered: school and protecting her loved ones.
As he sat in the Room of Requirement—which he had only recently protected from spying eyes—that evening, there was a soft tapping on the window. Draco momentarily wondered how it was possible for an owl to locate him in the Room of Requirement before going to fetch the letter the owl carried. He unfurled the note and carefully read its contents.
This past summer, you came to me intent on doing one thing. You promised that nothing bad would happen as well as your reason for doing this. As I so learned, you have failed in that task, and only you are to blame for what has transpired. Do what is right. Protect her with your life as you so claim you want to. She cares more than you know, more than she ever cares to admit. The same can be said for you as well. Do not continue as you have, keeping her at arms length. The best way for you to protect her is to keep her close, ESPECIALLY from the horrors within your own house. How DARE you subject her to that, your friend? You are to PROTECT her, not subject her to your so-called friends. Do not do so again, else I make sure that you can never find her. You know what will happen if you don’t protect her.
DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I DID!
Though the note was not signed, Draco knew who sent it. “I don’t you telling me what to do,” he grimaced. “I’m simply doing what I think is right in order to keep her out of harm’s way.”
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