As his daughter returned to her bedroom using the passage, Severus sat at his desk and ran over the allegations his daughter made against him. She accused him of not paying attention to anything that happened in the school, of not caring that the Carrows were torturing students—herself included—into submission. However, her assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. Severus was doing everything in his power to protect Hogwarts, to protect his daughter and Potter. Now, albeit, it was being done in a rather unconventional fashion, but he was still doing all that he could to keep the Dark Lord at bay.
If Apollonia’s rant was any indication, she planned on injecting herself into the war, something Severus was doing his best to avoid. Last year when Apollonia learned the identity of her brother, it seemed to have caused a slight shift in her personality. Prior to that evening, Apollonia was focused on her schooling, getting ready for her future. Upon discovering the connection she had to the boy-who-lived, he could see his daughter changing. The knowledge of her connection to the Chosen One made her more cautious. Not only that, but her focus seemed split; between her studies, following Narcissa’s request, and getting to know her brother. This year, with her brother not returning to the school, it appeared as if Apollonia had taken it upon herself to continue where Potter left off. Severus could not be sure of how involved she was in it, but it was safe to say that his daughter was definitely involved in what was going on. With the amount of time he spent trying to protect his daughter, she still found a way to weasel herself into the war. And, so long as he was trying help Potter and his friends, there was no way for him to stop Apollonia.
Her accusation against the Carrows was quite disturbing. He had no idea that the Carrows continued to harass the one student they were forbidden to torment, as per the agreement in allowing the Carrows to teach; Severus refused to allow them near the school if his daughter was in danger. After what Severus did to ensure the Dark Lord’s plan—and complete a favor to Albus—he hoped that his daughter would be spared, that there would be no need to recruit her to the cause. It seemed, however, that the Dark Lord decided to renege on his promise to spare Apollonia—an act that was scarily reminiscent of when Severus asked to spare Lily, only to have her killed in the attack on Godric’s Hollow—from serving him and was now intently focused on recruiting the young girl to his ranks.
Why though? Why did the Dark Lord always have to do that? For whatever reason, Voldemort chose to target the important women in his life: the love of his life; Lily, and his teenage daughter; Apollonia. Severus was only lucky that his mother was already dead by this time; otherwise, she would have been targeted as well. And, it was Riddle’s decision to target Lily that led to Severus’s desertion of the darkness; the fact that she was also pregnant with his child—as well as Potter’s—only fueled that decision even more. Out of love for Lily; out of love for his daughter; Severus betrayed Riddle and began his spying career. Targeting the Potters instead of the Longbottoms was the beginning of Riddle’s undoing; it was the reason for everything that happened the past eighteen years.
Now that the Carrows were harassing Apollonia—most likely on Riddle’s order—it only strengthened Severus’s resolve to head forward with the plan that he and Albus concocted: to openly support Voldemort’s reign, while secretly giving Potter the tools he needed to destroy Voldemort. For a moment, Severus was unsure about if he should go through with the plan. It was Apollonia who sealed his fate; he would go through with the plan, as agreed, and make sure that nothing like this happened to future generations of wizards.
Severus turned to Albus’s portrait. There was a small part of him that wondered what Apollonia spoke with Albus about. “Tell me, Albus; what did my daughter want?” he asked.
“Your daughter knows of the horcruxes.”
“What?” Severus yelled. “How?”
“Apollonia discovered the origins of the horcruxes,” Albus repeated. “Seems she overheard her brother talking about it with his friends and has known since my funeral about their existence. My good friend, Horace, also provided her with an explanation of what they were.”
Severus grimaced. That was not something he expected. As far as he knew, his former professor did not like mentioning that particular story, at least that’s what Albus told him. So, there was really only one question on his mind: why would Horace tell Apollonia so easily if it took months for Potter to get the story out of him? “Why would he do that?” Severus fumed. “Why would Horace tell my daughter about the horcruxes?” He was livid. And, if Severus was allowed to speak freely regarding his true allegiance, he would start yelling his former professor about telling Apollonia about those objects. But, he was relegated to speaking with Albus about why any of this would ever be occurring.
“Perhaps it is her connection to your childhood love,” Albus suggested. “She was one of Horace’s favorites. Her memory lives on in Harry and Apollonia. Maybe that connection allowed for the knowledge to be revealed quicker, especially if your daughter told Horace who her mother is. The product of two former Slug Club members; he’d never pass up the chance.”
“I wish he did,” Severus scowled.
“Maybe she can help though,” the portrait argued.
“No, Albus!” he yelled. “Apollonia has already been involved in this enough. The Carrows are torturing her, damn it! They’re trying to destroy my daughter. Riddle wants her as a Death Eater; he wants her on his side. It’s what started this whole thing; he planned on trying to convince my little girl to join the darkness. Mr. Malfoy is the only reason that my daughter does not possess the Dark Mark.” Severus never told Albus that before he died; it was not something he wished to ever discuss with the old man. Only the young Malfoy ever had knowledge of that fact because he was her designated protector. No one else ever needed to know of the fate that might have befallen Apollonia if Draco did not step in.
Albus’s portrait was silent at the moment, a reprieve which did not last. “Why did you keep this to yourself, Severus? Why didn’t you mention that your daughter was in danger of becoming a Death Eater? I would not have agreed to go through with the plan and let Death Eaters into the castle if I was aware of the danger your daughter’s life was in.”
“Of course you would have!” Severus sneered. “We both know exactly what you want to happen; you want Riddle lulled into a false sense of security; you want him to believe he’s won. I’m sure you won’t care if my daughter is caught in the middle of this, so long as Potter comes out on top.” Severus then began getting ready to leave his office before Albus stopped him.
“Where are you headed, Severus?”
“Where else?” he shot back. “I’m going to confront the Carrows, yet again, about their treatment of my daughter.” Severus was not about to let the Carrows do anything to her. Even if he had to speak with the Dark Lord about this, Severus would make sure that Apollonia was protected; he would not let history repeat itself. No, Apollonia would not get pulled into this.
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