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 and the idea is actually his, we're just working together to make this the best story possible.
MI & BJ: are proud to give you the last chapter on the anniversary of the story, the last chapter; meant to go up two days ago, the 20th, and a year and two days ago we began working on this story. Sorry to say, he next installment will take a while.
Chapter 28: End-Of-The-Year-Feast
By the end of the day, Tori was allowed to leave. She and Jade ate dinner with Harry before it was time for him to rest and them to go. The boy didn't have to say anything but they knew still, the hero was still tired and felt better when he was with his cousins; there still wasn't much they could do, considering the witch taking care of him was extremely strict. They didn't stay in the common room though, just going for their beds and wondering which one they would take.
"So, you were awake while Dumbledore was there," it wasn't a question. "Anything interesting came up?"
"Not really," she frowned a bit and they resumed their old routine; picking their nightclothes and changing into them, "he explained to Harry about the cloak, but I mostly gave them their time and privacy."
The pale girl smiled, and they went rest beneath the blanket. Sleep claimed them fast and easily, and the comfort to being besides the other was enough; there were no nightmares that night, but there weren't any dreams either.
They woke up early and spent the day outside, away from everyone and loitering around. Hands held, fingers not laced. Cat would sometimes find them and join in, just for her to run off after a while. They just enjoyed and laughed in each other's company, not even going back inside for food, just eating from the duffle. It was rather late when they made their way back to the end-of-year feast and they found Harry on his way down to the same.
"Held up by Madam Pomfrey's fussing about?" Tori had a knowing grin. "Let me guess, she kept insisting on giving you one last check up."
"She convinced me to come along," Jade deadpanned, obviously feeling more harassed than usual. "Great Hall is likely already full, and I'm not keen on the decoration."
It was decked out in the Slytherin colors of green and silver to celebrate Slytherin's winning the house cup for the seventh year in a row. A huge banner showing the Slytherin serpent covered the wall behind the High Table. Jade came first and the celebrated table busted into cheers, even after she gave them a rude arm gesture. Before the teacher could get on her case for it, the others followed.
When Harry, with his cousin at his side, walked in, there was a sudden hush, and then everybody started talking loudly at once. He slipped into a seat between Trina and Ron, Hermione sat besides her fellow knowledgable girl and Jade made space in front of the hero for her and Tori; they gave it. Once at the Gryffindor table, they tried to ignore the fact that people were standing up to look at him — them, since the West heir had been trying her best to avoid people. When the other besides her moved to make space (and this was done to the Latina as well, who knew why) André and Cat took their seats besides them. No one dared to say anything, but mutters of them (Tori and Jade) being traitors became overwhelming despite no one shouting it or trying to do some lynching, or the British equivalent.
Fortunately, Dumbledore arrived moments later. The babble died away.
"Another year gone!" Dumbledore said cheerfully. "And I must trouble you with an old man's wheezing waffle before we sink our teeth into our delicious feast. What a year it has been! Hopefully your heads are all a little fuller than they were . . . you have the whole summer ahead to get them nice and empty before next year starts. . . .
"Now, as I understand it, the house cup here needs awarding, and the points stand thus: In fourth place, Gryffindor, with two hundred and ninety-two points; in third, Hufflepuff, with three hundred and fifty-two; Ravenclaw has four hundred and twenty-six and Slytherin, four hundred and seventy-two."
A storm of cheering and stomping broke out from the Slytherin table. They could see Draco Malfoy banging his goblet on the table followed by his two minion and turned to face away. It was a sickening sight.
"Yes, yes, well done, Slytherin," said Dumbledore. "However, recent events must be taken into account."
The room went very still. The Slytherins' smiles faded a little. Certain lions smirked a bit.
"Ahem," said Dumbledore. "I have a few last-minute points to dish out. Let me see. Yes . . .
"First — to Mr. André Harris . . ."
The boy in question rose in his seat, clearly puzzled as everyone hushed immediately.
". . . for the most musical solution to the guardian of the underworld," Jade grinned while the blue table all began muttering, "I award Ravenclaw twenty points."
His table cheered but he didn't go back to sit there, he simply sat back down looking astonished. Silence came along easily because of that.
"Second — to Miss Victoria Vega and Miss Jade West . . ."
They rose, following their friend's actions and took hold of their hands for support. Would he take away points or actually give them some?
". . . for an amazing play while on brooms, I award Gryffindor house fifty points."
They sat down, stunned, followed by a stunned silence so the old man proceeded with one, happy smile.
"Third — to Mr. Ronald Weasley and Miss Catarina Valentine . . ."
Ron went purple in the face; he looked like a radish with a bad sunburn while Cat, of course, beamed and went 'yay!'. She stood and forced her fellow redhead into standing as well, much to his discomfort.
". . . for the best-played game of chess Hogwarts has seen in many years, I award Gryffindor and Ravenclaw houses twenty-five points each."
Gryffindor cheers nearly raised the bewitched ceiling; the stars overhead seemed to quiver. Percy could be heard telling the other prefects, "My brother, you know! My youngest brother! Got past McGonagall's giant chess set!" And Ravenclaw cheer again; the 'smart' house was two points away from defeating Slytherin.
At last there was silence again. The lions roar took a while to calm, considering it wasn't a traitor and someone they considered through and through, Gryffindor.
"Fourth — to Miss Katerina Vega . . ."
She stood, an air of nonchalance and pride around her. The survivor of the second, deadliest curse was nervous beneath it all, and she smiled when her cousin and best friend both took her hands.
". . . for her strength and courage in facing danger on her own, and to Miss Hermione Granger . . . for the use of cool logic in the face of fire, I award Gryffindor house fifty points."
Hermione buried her face in her arms; Harry strongly suspected she had burst into tears. Trina grinned but still sat back down, placing a comforting arm around her friend. Gryffindors up and down the table were beside themselves — they were a hundred and twenty-five points up.
"Sixth — to Mr. Harry Potter. . . ." As soon as Dumbledore said that, the room went deadly quiet. ". . . for pure nerve and outstanding courage, I award Gryffindor house fifty points."
The din was deafening. Those who could add up while yelling themselves hoarse knew that Gryffindor now had four hundred and seventy-two points — exactly the same as Slytherin. They had tied for the house cup — if only Dumbledore had given Harry just one more point, although Trina was gripping that her battle deserved more than twenty-five points.
Dumbledore raised his hand. The room gradually fell silent.
"There are all kinds of courage," said Dumbledore, smiling. "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends. I therefore award five points to Mr. Neville Longbottom and Mr. Beck Oliver each."
Someone standing outside the Great Hall might well have thought some sort of explosion had taken place, so loud was the noise that erupted from the Gryffindor table. The group who had gone for the stone stood up to yell and cheer as Neville, white with shock, disappeared under a pile of people hugging him. He had never won so much as a point for Gryffindor before. Beck smiled and looked cool, sharing handshakes from his peers. Harry, still cheering, nudged Ron in the ribs and pointed at Malfoy, who couldn't have looked more stunned and horrified if he'd just had the Body-Bind Curse put on him. They laughed and others followed; Jade and Tori kept holding hands.
"Which means," Dumbledore called over the storm of applause, for even Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff were celebrating the downfall of Slytherin, "we need a little change of decoration."
He clapped his hands. In an instant, the green hangings became scarlet and the silver became gold; the huge Slytherin serpent vanished and a towering Gryffindor lion took its place. Snape was shaking Professor McGonagall's hand, with a horrible, forced smile. He caught Harry's eye and Harry knew at once that Snape's feelings toward him hadn't changed one jot. This didn't worry Harry. It seemed as though life would be back to normal next year, or as normal as it ever was at Hogwarts.
It was the best evening of their lives, better than winning at Quidditch, or Christmas, or knocking out mountain trolls . . . they would never, ever forget tonight.
They found themselves enjoying an afternoon by the lake. Harry, Tori and Jade had forgotten that the exam results were still to come, but come they did, no matter how forgotten was the matter on them. To their great surprise, both he and Ron passed with good marks; Hermione, of course, had the best grades of the first year Gryffindors, closely followed by Trina. Jade and Tori had impressive grades, while to everyone's surprise, Cat held the spot of number one compared to all the first years. No one dared asked, with a grumbling Hermione coming second, André third and Trina fourth. Ironically, it would seem that the West heir and Vega youngest held on to the fifth position. Even Neville scraped through, his good Herbology mark making up for his abysmal Potions one. They had hoped that Goyle, who was almost as stupid as he was mean, might be thrown out, but he had passed, too. It was a shame, but as Ron said, you couldn't have everything in life.
"I beg to differ," Jade said, pleasant smile covering her face as she produced, what she dubbed as, her silver wand, "there are other ways to get rid of people."
"Your dad taught you, huh," it was an off-handed remarked by the redheaded boy, while everyone gasped at the conversation. "Well, let me know about hiding the body; I have a great place in mind."
And just like that, a bond was formed. "You and I can become great friends, Weasley."
"You're bringing shame to the Blacks, West!" Draco declared with a snap at the blunt action his cousin had done. "Placing an arm around a weasel; I recommend you burning that pair of robes!"
"Only if you buy me a new one!" She called back; they both smirked and moved on.
"Let me guess," he turned as he watched the blond strode off, "family is out of bounds."
"Why?" She looked at him surprised; Hermione had decided to back away and André requested her help on dealing with Cat who was happily prowling about, chasing after a butterfly or something. Beck was being held back by Trina while Harry and his remaining cousin looked at the other two. "You had certain redhead in mind?"
"Well, I'm sure we could do without Percy —" An indignant gasp was heard and even Longbottom and Belmont turned to look; Hermione let out an exasperated 'Ron!' but was otherwise unable to do anything about it. "— but maybe not."
"Actually, it would draw attention away from the fact that the Slytherins are slowly disappearing," Tori added.
"Yeah, because there's no way we aren't targeting the other snakes," Harry commented slyly, clearly not seeing the seriousness with which the others were taking it, "and really, it would be a shame not to give Goyle the pleasure of Crabbe's company."
"Then Draco would have to go as well," Trina pointed out, frowning, "those two wouldn't survive an afterlife without their brain."
"Hey, if we can get away with murder. . . ." Ron looked smug for a reason.
"Off with their heads!" Cat yelled, eluding the two chasing her.
"Technically, I would be the one getting away with it," Jade remarked.
"The Queen of Hearts demands so!"
"Is she quoting from Alice in Wonderland?"
"We went to an acting and singing academy," the African American supplied, panting a bit.
"So, who's in?"
"Guess not. . . ."
And suddenly, their wardrobes were empty, their trunks were packed, Neville's toad was found lurking in a corner of the toilets; notes were handed out to all students, warning them not to use magic over the holidays ("I always hope they'll forget to give us these," said Fred Weasley sadly); Hagrid was there to take them down to the fleet of boats that sailed across the lake (with no one falling overboard that time); they were boarding the Hogwarts Express; talking and laughing as the countryside became greener and tidier; eating Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans as they sped past Muggle towns; pulling off their wizard robes and putting on jackets and coats; pulling into platform nine and three-quarters at King's Cross Station.
It took quite a while for them all to get off the platform. A wizened old guard was up by the ticket barrier, letting them go through the gate in twos and threes so they didn't attract attention by all bursting out of a solid wall at once and alarming the Muggles.
"You must come and stay this summer," said Ron, "all of you — I'll send an owl."
"Harry!" Trina looked hurt.
"We thought you were going to come over," Tori said.
"Yeah, we'll be seeing you no matter what," everyone was reminded that Jade and her family (sans father) was staying with the Vega family, "I'll come myself and drag you."
"Jade!" Hermione was outraged.
"Thanks," said Harry with a grin, "I'll need something to look forward to."
People jostled them as they moved forward toward the gateway back to the Muggle world. Some of them called:
"See you, Potter!"
"Good summer, Trina," Alex said with a smile as he was taken by the wave of students.
"Still famous," said Ron, grinning at them.
"Not where I'm going, I promise you," said Harry.
"Teddy!" Cat's brother surprised them by appearing suddenly.
"Panda," he said with a warm smile, "I came to pick you up. The older ones demand no madness."
"Poor Cat isn't discreet," Hermione said with a delicate smile.
"Yeah, and she's the one who gets to leave sooner," Tori replied with a laugh.
"Shouldn't we do the same?" Jade looked pensive.
"You don't know where to go," Ted said, before he took his baby sis away.
The ones remaining passed through the gateway together.
"There he is, Mom, there he is, look!"
It was Ginny Weasley, Ron's younger sister, but she wasn't pointing at Ron.
"Harry Potter! Katrina Vega!" She squealed. "Look, Mom! I can see —"
"Be quiet, Ginny, and it's rude to point."
Mrs. Weasley smiled down at them.
"Busy year?" The way her eyes shined indicated she didn't quite know what had happened.
"Very," said Harry. "Thanks for the fudge and the sweater, Mrs. Weasley."
"Yeah," the girls nodded; they thought that she had made it for them too because they were part of Harry's family, thought that didn't cover Jade and Jet.
"Oh, it was nothing, dears."
"Ready, are you?"
Jade craned a brow while Tori recognize the woman behind him. They were all surprised to find the man, purple-faced, mustached, and looking furious for some reason. Maybe it had something to do about Harry, carrying an owl in a cage in a station full of ordinary people. The West heir smirked as they were looked upon in terror at the very sight of the hero.
"You must be Harry's family!" said Mrs. Weasley.
"In a manner of speaking," said Uncle Vernon. "Hurry up, boy, we haven't got all day." He walked away; Tori stopped Jade from prowling behind.
Harry hung back for a last word with everyone.
"See you over the summer, then."
"Hope you have — er — a good holiday," said Hermione, looking uncertainly after Uncle Vernon, shocked that anyone could be so unpleasant.
"Oh, he will," everyone was surprised at the certainty of the goth; at their looks, she gave them a craned brow. "Harry, you can take my duffle, just give it back next time we meet."
A grin began spreading over the boy's face. "They don't know we're not allowed to use magic at home. I'm going to have a lot of fun with Dudley this summer. . . ."
"Tuney . . ." They turned and saw one Holly Vega approaching the woman, completely ignoring the man. "Oh Tuney, I'm so glad to see you're okay."
"Petunia, who is this?" Vernon asked, and Ron and Hermione got left behind.
"This . . . this is my other sister, Holly," she clearly cringed at everything.
"Can't the boy stay with her then?" He hissed, angry.
"Vernon, do you really want to bother with all the paperwork right now?"
"Hey, just in case, he's right here," Jade dismissed the fact that the 'grown ups' were talking, actually pushing herself in between them and they sprang apart; Dudley whimpered, but the girl kneeled down and took hold of her little brother, "he's not some chair you can discuss, he's alive and breathing, and has a mind of his own.
"Where's mom, Delly?" The boy pointed then waved at the others. "We'll wait."
"Vernon," Petunia hissed and the man scowled.
"Come on, boy!" He declared, ignoring Holly.
"Jade, please," Lyra placed a placating hand on her shoulder, "I know you want to hit the man, but this isn't the time."
"He shouldn't disrespect you, Holly," the girl said, placing her brother down, "I won't hurt your sister, but that man had no right."
"Mom?" The Latinas looked at their mother, but she shook her head.
"We don't want to burden Mrs. Vega, do we?" He said with a smile.
"At work," Holly managed a smile, "the Auror office was glad to have him back. They allowed me to come over, but we both have a lot to catching up to do, so he had to stay behind."
She took her children while Theodore took the West family. Once they arrived though, Holly left them to go upstairs, and while Cat and her mom were there too (since they had found a good place on the outskirts of Ottery St. Catchpole in Devon) and it would seem a rather huge place for a family of four, they welcomed the Valentine for the summer. Teddy was still searching for a place to live and work, and so while the girls watched their mother go, their urge to follow was quelled by Lyra.
"Give her time," she cautioned with a smile, "she was always close with her sisters, so it's hard for her to see her oldest sister giving her the cold shoulder."
"Will you talk to her," Tori began, swallowing a bit and giving the tough front while Trina looked both, angry and sad, "please Lyra?"
The blonde woman smiled warmly and gave both girls a firm nod, "then you must ensure Kathryn and Cat become comfortable; Ted already knows his way around the house." She left afterwards.
"Meaning, Jet and Teddy are the ones who'll help us get settled, and we have to make sure Kathryn feels at home," Jade stated, giving her kid bro a piggy-back. "Come, I'm thirsty, and I want to ensure where the food is. Ted, is there any wine?"
"Jade. . . ."
The chorus made her smirk; they knew her so well. . . .
MI Note: please check the poll and, to make an informed choice, please read Undercover Test. And please, vote, just vote. Yes, I know it's not Jori, they're FaBerry mostly, but just give them a chance!