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Seeing her father off in the distance made Apollonia wonder. What was he doing here? Wasn’t he supposed to off serving his master, trying to keep Harry from succeeding in his goal to collect and destroy all the horcruxes? And the doe? It had to be Mum. To her father, Lily Potter was the most important person in his life, the love he lost. Yes, Apollonia existed as a reminder of that woman, but it seemed as if that wasn’t enough. If her father was here, then this doe was his patronus. But, why was it here? Why was her father here? And, why was Apollonia sent here, to see her father’s patronus. Or was it something else?

As she stood there staring at the doe patronus that could only stand for her mother, Apollonia heard two voices coming towards her. They were voices she recognized. It didn’t take long to place them. “Harry and Hermione.” And, they seemed to be following the doe that Apollonia only recently spotted. Her emerald gaze drifted back to her father as she slipped into the shadowed where the pair could not locate her. It made no sense. Her father was working with Voldemort; why would he be sending his patronus after them? If there was anyone in the world that would refuse to help Harry and Hermione, it was her father. So, why was he doing this? Why did it seem like he was helping them?

The Slytherin soon took note of the fact that her brother and Hermione were coming upon a small pool of water. How could they not. It was where the doe was standing. She carefully watched as Harry approached that small pool of water and tried to reach in to collect something that was there. As that occurred, it appeared as if he was having some difficulty in try to collect that item, so much trouble that the abandoner—Ronald Weasley—had to come save him. Apollonia wanted to scream as that occurred, but knew that it would reveal her location if she did. So, she kept silent as Ron explained what happened to him and how he was able to find them. After that, she slipped away, not wanting to be anywhere near the trio, though she was quite pleased that Hermione would try to attack Ron.

While backing up into the darkness, Apollonia bumped into something. Looking back, she discovered that it was her father. Seems he had not yet gone. “Dad,” she hissed. “What are you doing here? For that matter, what am I doing here?” Apollonia wanted to understand why all of this was happening, why they were each here watching all of this occur.

“You are here,” her father said, “to learn of your mistake. Apollonia, you say that I am not doing all I can to help your brother. Well, you don’t know how wrong you really are.”

“Well, it didn’t seem like it,” she huffed. Even if he was doing something about it now, the fact that he caused a lot of this to happen bothered Apollonia. It was her father who allowed for this to happen. Killing Dumbledore brought the Wizarding World into despair, forcing Harry and his friends to go out on the run. That wouldn’t have happened if her father and Draco simply decided to turn their back on Voldemort and refused his order. Her entire life was falling apart because of that, no matter whether or not her father was now trying to fix what he did. The second her father killed Dumbledore; she lost a piece of her family because Harry refused to believe her. After several months in which she and Harry were building a relationship, it was all torn away thanks to a promise her father made to help Draco succeed in killing the only man Voldemort ever feared. It cost her the only connection to her mother.

Not wanting to hear anything of her father, Apollonia apparated back to the Burrow. She had no desire to hear her father’s lame excuses as to why any of this was happening. The second she returned to the Burrow, she hurried inside and began to warm up, hoping that no one would notice that she was gone. Even if her father was helping Harry, he was still openly supporting Voldemort and ignoring the students’ needs, thus giving Apollonia no reason to trust him. She was losing faith in her father, because he refused to care about the well-being of the students. The only reason he did so two months ago was because she was being targeted; there was no other reason that her father stepped in to take action.

As she sat in the living room, Apollonia found herself thinking about what she saw. It was the first time she ever had a glimpse of what the group was up to, of the progress they were making in trying to locate the horcruxes. She spent months wondering how they were doing. Now that she knew, her thoughts were marred by what her father was doing. She could not fully concentrate on how her brother was doing with his mission. And, Apollonia feared it would be a long time before she heard anything of her brother or Hermione. No one save Ron would probably be willing to help them, unless they were a part of the Order. Voldemort was turning the whole Wizarding World against him—or at least trying to—by speaking ill of Harry whenever they got the chance, calling him Undesirable Number One. That was the moniker her brother had been given during Dark Arts. Apollonia had to hold her tongue to keep from commenting about that one; the Head Girl had no choice in the matter if she was going to keep out of the Carrow detentions.

While Apollonia was thinking, Molly Weasley soon found her way into the kitchen, a usual early morning habit for the motherly woman. There were others that drifted into the room over the next ten minutes, but Apollonia barely paid attention to any of them, too focused on personal matters to care about anything else that was occurring in the house. Her brother was in need of help; there was no way that he, Ron, and Hermione could do this alone. No one was helping them—as no one other than herself knew of the horcruxes—and anyone who could help them, wasn’t. How long would the war last if no one was willing to help them?

Everyone in the Order had their own job to deal with. They were doing whatever they could to keep the hope alive, to continue the support of Harry. As Apollonia noticed, however, there wasn’t much that the Order could do. In fact, in the past four months, the Resistance had done far more in the fight against Voldemort than the Order had. “I need to get out of here,” she muttered. “If I continue sitting here doing nothing, all I’ll think about is Harry.” After breakfast, Apollonia slipped outside to the apparition point and went to the Dursley safe house. It was the only place that she could even think to go to get away from the thoughts of her brother, to keep from wondering about how he was doing.

Since the Dursleys were hidden away under the Fidelius Charm five months ago—their connection to Harry, whether he liked them or not, putting them in danger; a possibility existed in which Voldemort might use them to get to Harry—Apollonia had seen very little of her aunt, uncle, and cousin. Being the secret-keeper, the young Snape was hidden away at school, a place where Voldemort could not gain access to her no matter how hard the Carrows tried. It appeared as if Apollonia becoming the Dursleys’ secret-keeper was the right choice because only trustworthy Order members were permitted into that house. And, it remained that way for the past five months She was the secret-keeper that her mother and James needed sixteen years ago; it would have protected them—and Harry—much better, so that Harry—or Apollonia—would not suffer such a loss.

Apollonia arrived at the house and knocked softly on the door, giving a predetermined signal to the Dursleys, only one of which would ever care. It was Vernon who opened the door, almost closing it right in her face before Apollonia stopped it with her foot and barreled past her uncle. “And what are you doing here, freak?” Vernon barked.

The Slytherin glared at her uncle as she came into the house. “Don’t even start!” she yelled. “You’re family. And family is supposed care about one another. Look at what I did to keep you safe. If it wasn’t for me agreeing to hide you, there’s a possibility that you might be dead! I want you to remember that, Vernon. I could have left you all out there to die. But, I didn’t; I’m a bigger person than that. You, Petunia, and Dudley are the only family Harry has left…” at least that he’s aware of. Apollonia stormed past her blustering uncle and went to find her cousin, the only reason that she was even allowed to be here in the first place. Because it was Dudley whom originally helped Apollonia set the Fidelius around the house, it was Dudley who permitted her to even enter this house. If it were up to Petunia or Vernon, Apollonia never would have been allowed within thirty feet of the Dursley safe house. It just wouldn’t happen. “Unbelievable! How could Uncle Vernon be that much of a bastard?”

“Dad just doesn’t understand,” a voice said.

“Clearly,” Apollonia answered, looking up at her cousin. She had not seen Dudley since the end of August, being unable to get out of Hogwarts in order to do so. And since then, it appeared as if her cousin was trying to escape the life that Vernon and Petunia were trying to force on him. Whereas Harry was neglected, Dudley was doted upon. The Dudley she met last Christmas was different from the one five months ago. And the same went for the Dudley she saw now and the one from five months ago. He was still slightly overweight, but that could easily be fixed over the next few months. By the time the war ended, by the time Harry next saw their cousin; he would be down to a reasonable weight. “I think you’re father is still upset that he had to go into hiding because of Harry.”

The summer holiday she spent at Number 4 Privet Drive proved to be most enlightening for Apollonia in regards to Uncle Vernon’s behavior towards those with magic. He turned out to be even worse than Aunt Petunia. It made Apollonia wonder about whom was the one to administer all Harry’s punishments, the ones that the young Slytherin heard about from Dudley. Vernon seemed to take offense to Apollonia’s presence far more than Petunia did, though that probably had a lot to do with the fact that she concealed her magic from him.

“Dad doesn’t get what’s been happening,” Dudley answered.

“I doubt your mother gets it either,” Apollonia muttered. “Neither of them understands that you were in danger; that Harry’s enemy would have come after the three of you had I not intervened along with the Order.” No one, not even Dudley, understood the full scope of the issue, of what Voldemort might have done to them if they weren’t put into hiding. Apollonia concealed that from her mother’s family, not wanting them to know anything about it. Already had Apollonia told Dudley about a lot of it, just not everything. There was no way that the young Snape could bring herself inform her magic-hating aunt and uncle, as well as Dudley, that a muggle-hating maniac wanted to destroy them.

“I don’t doubt that,” the blond boy said.

“What about you?” Apollonia had to ask. “How have you been dealing with the fact that you can’t go back to Little Whinging because of the maniac trying to kill Harry?”

“It’s easier for me, I think,” Dudley admitted. “I’ve had time to understand what’s happening in the world. To those Muggles actually aware of the Wizarding World, it’s obvious that the occurrences of the magical world are affecting us. Mum and Dad don’t see it, but I do; whatever this guy is trying to do to Harry is adversely affecting some of the things happening around here.”

The young Snape smiled at how wise her cousin was being about what was going on around him. The Dementor incident from when Dudley was fifteen truly changed Dudley for the better, a fact that Apollonia was truly thankful for. If not for that, the Slytherin would never have any support on her mother’s side of the family. Aside from her father, it was really the only family she had; if they existed at all, Apollonia knew nothing about her father’s side of the family. Her grandparents, she knew, were dead; she was pretty sure that no one else existed on her father’s side of the family. With Harry currently ignoring her existence—as well as being on the run—and her father barely paying attention to her, Dudley was the only family member that she could really count on at the moment.

Upon spending a few hours with her cousin, Apollonia slipped out of the house before apparating back to the Burrow. Seeing how her aunt and uncle were taking this news of their going into hiding, it just meant that Harry needed to hurry and save the world from crumbling underneath the weight of a monster. There was no way that Vernon and Petunia could take much more of this, of that Apollonia was certain. You have to finish this, Harry. The horcruxes—all of them—need to be destroyed. Otherwise, everything that Vernon and Petunia know, everything liked about their life, will be gone. They’d never survive through the war; if the Death Eaters ever got the Dursleys’ location out of Apollonia, she was pretty sure that Vernon, Petunia, and Dudley would be among the first that were killed.

When Apollonia arrived back at the Burrow, she found that almost nothing had changed. They were talking amongst themselves in small groups about what could be done to keep the hope alive. Apollonia mostly ignored it though; she had her own issues to concern herself with.

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