Disclaimer: I do not own Victorious or Harry Potter, the former belongs to Dan and Nickelodeon, the latter to J. K. Rowling. This is a collab done with BloodyJesus, we're just working together to make this the best story possible.
Chapter 1: Escaping From Death . . . Eaters
The main doors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry opened wide suddenly, a tanned woman with wavy brown hair busted in, she looked completely desperate and she was holding a little girl with equally wavy brown hair who was crying loudly and writhing in pain.
"SOMEONE, PLEASE HELP ME!" The woman screamed with desperation, her voiced sounded raw and it was obvious that her vocal cords were being abused.
"What's all this ruckus about?!" A woman with severe aspect and square spectacles said, seemingly appearing out of nowhere; consider where they were, it wouldn't be surprising. "Oh I say — Holly?! What happened?!"
"PROFESSOR MCGONAGALL!" The woman, Holly, screamed and McGonagall's severe aspect vanished as she looked at the little girl crying, cradled in the young witch's arms. "A DEATH EATER ATTACKED MY BABY, MY POOR KATRINA!"
"What?!" The Transfiguration Professor paled visibly, "go to the hospital wing immediately! I'll get Professor Dumbledore!"
Holly rushed towards the hospital wing without hesitation, climbing the stairs two steps at once and minding all kind of traps that the Castle could provide; seven years in that place were not for naught. When she arrived, the Headmaster of Hogwarts was already there; his long silver beard shining in the moonlight that came through the windows. He had a sober look, one that the young witch hadn't seen before, a mixture of concern and anger . . .
"Holly," he began with a surprisingly calmed tone, "Minerva told me that a Death Eater attacked little Trina; is this true?"
"YES ALBUS!" Holly affirmed, and Albus noticed that what ran down her cheek were, in fact, tears, not just rain. "HE USED THE CRUCIATUS CURSE ON HER! THE CRUCIATUS CURSE!"
"How long?" Dumbledore asked, his features become much more concerned.
"TWENTY MINUTES!" The young witch revealed, outraged and hurt, and she fell on her knees as her crying doubled; how could she let it happen, why didn't she manage to stop them?
"Then she should be treated by Poppy right now," the Headmaster said and, without hesitation, proceeded on calling. Madam Pomfrey, who had been up to get some water, was startled when Dumbledore called her.
"Albus! What is — Holly?" She immediately noticed the writhing baby crying on Holly's arms, as well as the sobs that tore through the recent mother. "What happened to your baby? Oh dear, you're a baby yourself —"
"A Death Eater Poppy," Dumbledore interrupted gravely before the conversation deviated too much, "that, and the cruciatus curse . . ."
"Oh my!" Mrs. Pomfrey rushed towards the women and child. "Let me take care of you both, Holly."
"I think it's better if you —" Dumbledore was about to escort the woman out, but the witch fainted as soon as the child left her arms. "Ah, as expected . . . little Trina is safe now, Poppy, but we must make sure that her mother doesn't die just yet . . ."
Holly soon came back to consciousness, and the Headmaster gave her a potion to ease her burning throat. She almost lost it if the wise old man hadn't been sitting beside her. She thankfully drank the potion, and felt much better. That was secondary on her mind, but in order for her to deal with what was primary, she had to take care of her throat and make sure she could talk.
"How's my daughter?!" The woman asked right after she finished the potion, holding Dumbledore's robe; her voice was raspy, but at least she wasn't shouting as before.
"She's fine now, Holly," he replied, quite relieved and smiling a little "but, you know how Poppy is, so we cannot bother her now."
"I want to see my daughter!" The witch demanded, already getting ready to leave the bed she was in. "I want to see Trina!"
"Calm down, Holly," said Dumbledore, holding the woman's shoulders; she was surprised by his strength as he prevented her from even rising. "She's safe now. You did the right thing coming here, instead of St. Mungo's."
"Really?" Holly was surprised; she was muggle-born, so she had forgotten all about the Magical Hospital and instead, opted for going to the one place in Great Britain that she knew was Death Eater repellent. "I honestly forgot all about it, my first thought being that Hogwarts was way closer and safer. . . . Why do you say that Albus?"
"Well . . ." The old man sighed, face now marred with worry, "lately, some death eaters have been infiltrating every group possible, and their work is to 'finish the job' of their comrades."
Holly gasped while thinking that she made the best choice of her life. The revelation was enough to make her head spin, and the only thing she heard after a while was 'breathe!'. She inhaled and her vision began to focus. She could have sworn she heard the old man muttering that Poppy would kill him if something happened to her.
"And, where is David?" The Headmaster inquired once Holly sat again.
"He's chasing the bastard who attacked Trina and killed Robert Shapiro," she spat in anger, "he's being helped by all the aurors on his department, not counting me of course."
Dumbledore didn't answer right away, all he did was look through the window. After several tense moments, in which the mother relaxed a little, did he look back at her.
"I think it's time for you to leave England," he began softly, his eyes intent on Holly's, "you, and your family."
"You mean only David, Trina and me?" Holly frowned in worry; what about her sisters? But something told her, Dumbledore meant more with those last words.
"Yes, only the three of you . . . for now," the Headmaster smiled candidly and began poking Holly's stomach; she didn't understand the gesture, so she decided to ask.
"What about my sisters?" Her frown became more pronounced, sadder, "will you protect them too?"
"Petunia is safe being the muggle she is," he firmly stated, and she slowly nodded; he was right. "And I'll protect Lily and James with my most powerful Fidelio spell."
"And where are we supposed to go?" Her tone became mournful; they had just settled in a new house which they planned to fill with kids . . . the thought made her grimace; would they want another child after what happened? That aside; "our life's beginning here, we cannot just leave like this."
"I already have some houses prepared," Dumbledore winked at her, and she narrowed her eyes; had he planned this from the start? "The best, is for you to leave the country, at least until Voldemort is defeated," the witch shuddered at the mention of that name, but he kept going, "because, if you stay, the Death Eaters will keep showing up until they fulfill their task."
Holly was thoughtful, but at that moment, Madam Pomfrey arrived.
"How's Trina?" Holly asked right away, previous conversation clearly forgotten. "How's my baby?"
"She's asleep now," answered the healer, smiling somewhat ashamed, "but I'm afraid I couldn't cure her completely. Unfortunately, the unforgivable curse was too strong, she may have sequels . . ."
"What kind of sequels?" Dumbledore asked with a light frown, not minding the horrified expression of the distraught mother.
"Spontaneous pain attacks, nightmares," Poppy shook her head, and passed a lukewarm drink to the shocked witch. "There's a potion that can counter the side effects, but I don't know where to get it, it's really hard to make and finding the ingredients is a different task itself."
Holly looked completely crushed and she was crying silently; Dumbledore by the other hand, was smiling peacefully, as though this too, was expected. As though it was all part of a grand scheme, and he was the mastermind behind it.
"Ah, that should be no problem," he stated, "I know where to get it."
Taking out his wand and whispering 'Expecto Patronum', a silver-colored phoenix appeared from the tip of his wand and flew away. Nobody talked for a while, not until a man with shoulder-length, greasy black hair and hooked nose entered the hospital wing. He was wearing a really long black cape, which was weaving as he walked, and as soon as his eyes connected with Holly's, they both froze.
"You called me, Headmaster?" The wizard inquired in a cold tone, looking at Holly with a weird expression before saying, if it were possible, in an even colder tone, "Vega."
"Snape," answered the mother, head held high, tone freezing cold.
"Yes Severus, I called you," Dumbledore began as he stepped between the two; old childhood friends could be deadly, especially if they found themselves fighting over things during their school years. "Holly's little girl, Trina, was attacked by a Death Eater. She survived the cruciatus spell, which was continually cast for 20 minutes," Snape looked a little surprised, almost impressed for a second, "and Madam Pomfrey said she could present sequels."
"Well that's obvious," Snape said without changing his tone, "the unforgivable curses are powerful dark magic."
"Poppy said that there's a potion that can counter the effects and, possibly, rid the child of possible sequels," the Headmaster went on, "and since you're the best potion maker I know, reason for your title as Potion Master, I was wondering if you had that particular potion."
"Indeed, I do," he replied, then his eyes bore into those soft brown ones, which now looked like cooled lava; she feared he would condition her to some, petty scheme of his in order to get to her sister, who was happily married as well, "but the recovering process is excruciatingly long . . ."
"How long?" Holly inquired, now apprehensive; at least it wasn't a condition towards doing something stupid.
"From 25 to 30 years under normal circumstances," he replied with nonchalance.
They all gasped, and Holly began sobbing uncontrollably at the thought of her daughter suffering pain attacks for about a quarter (perhaps more) of her life.
"But . . ." The Potion Professor began once the mother had calmed a little; had he done it on purpose? "These aren't normal circumstances. No normal child can withstand the cruciatus spell for that long, even an adult wizard would end with a permanent damage in that time. A . . . baby, would die in less than 5 minute, consider a newborn dead. The fact that she survived the spell that long makes me think that the recovery process could be considerably . . . reduced."
"How much?" It was Dumbledore's turn to ask, since Holly was completely stunned; her daughter survived?!
"Maybe she'll take only 10 to 12 years for full recovery," answered Snape, "even less if she's as strong as she has proven herself to be . . ."
"Those are really good news," the Headmaster told Holly, his confident smile in place, "maybe she'll be able to come to Hogwarts on time. But, even if she isn't, I must say that she'll always be welcomed here. For her, exceptions can be made, her age won't matter." He then turned to Snape, "Severus, please bring the potion, and I'll ask you the favor to always keep reserves of it."
The Professor agreed dryly, his face twisted as though he had something foul on his mouth, and walked away.
"Severus!" Holly called and he stopped, then turned slightly to look at her from above his shoulder without saying anything. Her eyes became soft, but still held a cold quality to them. "Thanks."
With a bitter smile on his face, Snape walked away. He came back after a few minutes holding a big jar of a potion that looked like liquid ruby.
"Here's the potion," he said with no interest, but handing the jar with care to Madam Pomfrey. "You must give the girl a cup every two hours during a week, and then a cup once a month until she recovers completely. If they become more frequent, give her half every two weeks, but only during extreme occasions."
"Why not give her the potion more often?" The mother inquired. "Like once a week?"
"Because this potion may become toxic if done irresponsibly," he snapped, and the healer frowned and ushered him out; he grumbled but conceded.
"There's a saying that goes: that which heals, in high enough dozes, can kill." Madame Pomfrey told the woman in question, eying the Potion Master who stood by the door, frown still in place. "So, there's a likelihood that it will make the pain attacks more frequent and longer instead of curing them."
With that said, Snape turned and looked at Holly, eyes hard and cold. "You'll have to be patient if you want your daughter to be cured completely."
"Thank you Severus," Dumbledore said, smiling pleasantly, "you may go now."
"Thanks, Sev, I . . . me and David, we owe you much . . ." Her eyes were still soft, and she allowed shame to color her voice. "Trina will owe you much . . ."
The Potions Master craned a brow, and waved her words off; she frowned at this, but did and said nothing. He paused and turned right, not even looking at them, but they could clearly see his profile. "Anything for Lily's niece." That said, he vanished.
"I'd better give the potion to Trina right now," Poppy remarked, leaving her older patient to the care of the Headmaster.
"So . . ." Dumbledore began, as they were one again left alone, "are you willing to leave England?"
"Yes," the witch answered with a heavy heart, and then all worries vanished as she was given her baby, who was drinking the potion from a feeding bottle and seemed much calmer. "I don't want my daughter to be attacked again, although I'll be kinda lonely, with my friends and family being here and all . . ."
"Oh, but some of them are leaving too," he notified her cheerfully.
"Really?" Holly couldn't hide the surprised, then her curiosity. "Who?"
"Well," Dumbledore paused a bit, frowning slightly, "the Oliver family already left, Robbie's wife will too, the West family is leaving tonight; if they don't, things will go very bad for them . . ."
"The West —?!" Holly managed to control her shock, and held her child close. "I thought they were sent to Azkaban . . ."
"They had a really good story to cover their crimes," the Headmaster replied with a frown; "as all good Slytherin, but it only managed to get them away. Unlike the Malfoy House, who were declared innocent. Not to worry, they've been warned: any spell they cast, even a Wingardium Leviosa, and both will go directly to Azkaban."
Holly calmed down and became thoughtful; the fact that the last of the Noble Family of West couldn't cast any spell, and since Sylvia Shapiro would leave too, she wasn't going to be alone.
"But, what about the potion?" She asked with a soft and delicate frown. "How can I get it if I leave the country?"
"Severus made enough for a year," answered Dumbledore, "and I'll send Poppy every summer vacation with a new jar of potion for Trina, and to check her recovery progress."
Holly was still thinking; moving from England meant beginning everything again, but the safety of her daughter was more important than anything else.
"Alright Albus," she replied after much deliberation, "I'll leave England as fast as possible."
"I'm glad that you understand," he looked quite happy with her answer, "then you're leaving right now."
"What?" Holly asked, surprised, "but what about David? What about all our things?"
"They'll be waiting for you, right in your new house," he replied confidently, "go now."
Holly sighed, reluctant but obedient. Taking her now-sleeping child, the healer passed her the jar and all she could do, was wonder how she was going to make it there.
"Are you ready?" Dumbledore asked, watching her juggle with child and jar; Poppy approached, flustered, and helped the recent mother deal with everything.
"I just wanted to ask you something before," Holly began, looking at the girl in her arms, "before we leave."
"What is it?" The Headmaster looked at her gravely.
"Where are you sending us?" Fear trickled over her tone, and he chuckled good naturedly, choosing to make a baby carrier out of one of the blankets; the two women looked at him, amazed at his ability.
"California, United States" his simple answer left them in mild shock, especially when the child was tied safely and securely around her mother's chest and back; he was wearing his usual, candid smile, "I want you to be as far as possible from the Death Eaters and Voldemort. Besides, Muggles say it's really beautiful there."
It was Holly's turn to smile as the healer left after making sure that the mother was all right, and once the witch agreed and Poppy left, Dumbledore took a little cup from inside his tunic. Wiggling his eyebrows, he placed it on the window and pointed at it with his wand, muttering 'Portus'. The cup glowed with a pale blue light and it shook a little; the Portkey was ready.
"Now Holly, I wish you the best of lucks," was the Headmaster's farewell, face radiating his most honest smile, "touch the portkey before the spell vanishes . . . or before Madam Pomfrey realizes she's missing a cup."
"Thanks Albus," the witch said, laughing at his wink; she then hesitated a bit free hand extended towards the cup, "I have one last request," she turned to him, face pleading and serious, "please take care of my sisters."
"As I said before, Petunia is safe being a muggle," his sober tone scared her, "and, unless James and Lily trust the wrong person, they'll be all right."
Holly smiled sadly before touching the little cup with a single finger, and she disappeared right away.