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As afternoon faded to evening, Apollonia brought her Christmas presents up to her brother’s room and opened the window, calling the owl Dudley showed her earlier over to her. The bluish-gray owl soared over, landing on the window sill. For whatever reason, Narcissa chose to send her an owl. And, right when I needed one too, Apollonia thought. It was the only way she could possibly keep in contact with Dudley, even if it might anger her aunt and uncle in the process. While the owl could expose her secret to Uncle Vernon—considering that owls were used for post in the Wizarding World, a fact he seemed aware of if Dudley’s story was any indication—it was a necessary evil. Apollonia ruffled the owl’s feathers and sighed. This owl—whom Apollonia decided to call Willow—would bring about the end of her secret; Uncle Vernon was sure to learn what she was because of it.

Apollonia pulled out the cedar box she received from her brother, wondering what was so important about this box that he had to get it to her. The box, which upon her touch was decorated with engravings of holly, seemed like nothing special. Yes, her name appeared on it—her full name which made it very clear that Hermione was the one to charm the box—but that didn’t mean that it was anything special. It seemed like an ordinary box. Apollonia opened the box to find her brother’s untidy scrawl on a small note. Apollonia, Hermione and I figured out a way for us to keep in contact though we’re in separate houses. It’s easier than using Hedwig all the time and have someone intercept our messages. Just tap the box with your wand and say Transportus followed by the name of the person it must be sent to; Hermione and I each have one. Anything inside the box at the time you say the spell will get sent to one of us. Have a Happy Christmas, Harry.

“Brilliant, Hermione,” Apollonia grinned. “This will definitely be of use.” Apollonia wished that she had this box before. If she had this box beforehand, Draco might not have learned that she was friends with the people he hated. Why couldn’t I have gotten this earlier? Everything that’s happened so far throughout the year could have changed if only I had this. I might still have a close relationship with Draco if I had this. Unfortunately, there was really nothing Apollonia could do to change it; she didn’t exactly have access to a time turner. She would just have to deal with everything that happened.

Letting out a heavy sigh, Apollonia scrawled a short message and placed it in the box: Thanks for the gift, Harry. It will surely get a lot of use out of it.  She tapped the cedar box and whispered the spell, wondering if the Ministry could trace a spell like this through the underage magic rule they enforced. “Transportus Harry Potter.” If anyone could get around that rule, it was Hermione. Besides, this did seem to be small magic; magic that could very possibly be considered under the radar. I hope this works. I hope I can use this as a way to mend my friendship with Draco; it’s been crumbling since the beginning of the year and I don’t want to lose him. But, the young Snape knew that her chance of fixing things was slim. With Draco working in the Room of Requirement every night since the beginning of the year—and Draco avoiding her since he realized she was spying on him—Apollonia had no way of knowing if things could go back to they way that were at the end of last year.

While she was sitting in her brother’s room, a soft green glow emitted from the cedar box. It appeared as if the box would glow when a message was waiting for her. Apollonia removed the message from the box and read over her brother’s message. No problem, Apollonia. “It worked,” Apollonia grinned. “Good. Maybe my plan might work then.” As slim a chance as there was, Apollonia had to try to get her friendship with Draco back. He was the first one to know of her secret and, despite the fact that he was no longer the only one aware of the truth about her, Apollonia didn’t want to lose that friendship.

The friendship she had with Draco, though sprung from the revelation that she was the Potion Master’s daughter, had gone on for the past five years. She was closest to Draco than anyone at Hogwarts would ever be, simply because of the summers she spent at Malfoy Manor. And, all because Apollonia struck a friendship with Harry—who was technically her brother, a fact neither boy was aware of—and Hermione, Draco didn’t want her around. She missed that friendship and would continue to do so until the war against Voldemort was over. Maybe then he’d understand why the friendships with people he hated existed. Until he heard the reason behind her actions, Draco would never really understand what was going on, why Apollonia was so willing to accept Harry and Hermione into her life. After Voldemort was destroyed, Apollonia would make him see what she had. Not to mention tell him who her mother was and about his inadvertent insulting of her mother.

Apollonia cringed as she recalled that incident. It was not a memory she was particular fond of. It was also what made Apollonia realize that her long-standing friendship with Draco was crumbling around her. The fact that Draco would insult her mother, albeit unintentionally, struck a nerve and it was difficult for Apollonia to forgive him for that. And, the fact that she wasn’t even allowed to tell him why she was so angry with him about that put even more strain on their friendship. Once again, Voldemort was to blame for the dilemma Apollonia was currently faced. Harry, you have to get rid of him. You have to rid the world of Voldemort so I can finally reveal this. I’m not sure how much longer I can take this. Everything is getting so difficult to handle; Voldemort must be destroyed.

She sighed and packed her presents in her trunk, which sat at the foot of her brother’s bed. Willow was sent out to the tree Dudley found in earlier that day—where she was to remain out of sight of Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon since only Dudley knew and accepted what was going—and Apollonia went to sleep, dreaming of a world without Voldemort; a world where the younger Snape never had to worry about her world changing anymore than it had in the past few months. After all the change she had been through the past four months, she couldn’t stand much more of it. Apollonia only wished to concern herself with family matters, making sure that Harry and Dudley got along; Harry and her father got along; and, if her friendship with Draco was ever mended, Apollonia hoped that he and Harry might one day get along as well. The chances of each were slim and the younger Snape simply could not be sure if any of the four would be willing to do this. “It has to work,” Apollonia muttered in her sleep. “I won’t let things continue as they are.”

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