It was December now, his press conference had worn off slightly by now, but he still saw its effects, a little more respect in teachers eyes, a little more fear from the students, and subtle rebellion against the government everyday. Dumbledore had offered him extra training, but Harry was unsure if he should pursue it, Harry had no idea what ulterior motives the man could have. Additionally Harry didn't know of anything the old man could teach him that he couldn't learn himself. He did not want to owe the Headmaster anything.
The library at Hogwarts was a truly amazing thing. He had scoured the place, remembering sections that looked useful. Most of them were in the restricted section granted, but there was a few not. He had even found a section in the farthest back that it was nearly hidden; he would have passed by the opening if he hadn't seen a glint within.
He had explored the glint to find a table within a small section of books. The books themselves were rather random. They looked like the misfits that couldn't find a place in the main library. Books like, What to do when trapped on an exploding volcano, and The Perfect Quill: which bird, the best cutting, and care. He had seen nothing of interest, but was sure to tell Hermione.
He really only stayed at the school for the library, he really didn't know what to do after that was expended, which would be soon the way he was going. Maybe he could contact someone who would help train him, there had to be someone who could teach him.
Tonks was as vibrant as always, she was spending almost all of her free time with him, and unfortunately he couldn't say the same. He had an enormous amount of free time, he only went to about two classes, sometimes three, but it was only because of protocol. A student had to take at least two classes to stay at the school.
His little group of students that had supported him were now being taught some dueling. They needed lots of help, some didn't know any real offensive magic, just what had been passed off as offensive in previous years. So he taught them things like, the Explosion Curse, the Lance Spell, and the Cutting Hex. Tonks would help, and she and him would continue their studies from the summer.
He had been to Diagon Ally, openly defying all the rules by walking head held high scar showing to the world, muggle cloths and piercings glinting in the sun, to search for Christmas gifts, he had been procrastinating, with three weeks left, he hadn't even had a clue what he wanted to get for them. He looked through the shops Christmas deals, and selections. For Hermione he had found a bracelet that he thought she would love. It was a chain of silver and white gold, it cost a bit, but it wasn't as if he had a budget.
For Tonks he had found a necklace made of platinum, with a small locket. Ginny got a set of dress robes he had seen her sighing over in a magazine. He would have gotten something Quidditch for her, but he thought that this would be better.
Neville was a hard choice. Finally he decided to get Neville a family sword. He had two, one from the Black side and another from the Potter side. The Longbottom's were not old enough to have one, but the line would continue, hopefully, and they needed one since they were without.
He went to the black smith, described the sword to him, it would be a scimitar, with the hilt curved down and the pommel was the head of a dragon. It was beautiful, but not really practical, and they weren't meant to be, they were made to be worn at the side to parties, and other formal occasions.
Voldemort had been surprisingly quite, he was most likely looking for support from the continent. Harry also needed to do the same. He had met a contact, which had led him to another contact, and then to a follower of the Italian dark lord. He had made arrangements through the man to meet with the dark lord during Christmas. He had later gone through some Italian newspapers looking for information on the man.
He was a new dark lord, only about three years in public, but had a large following of semi-powerful wizards. He had stood up to the Italian wizarding monarchy, and defied him openly, calling on a revolt. Harry was surprised at first, that that was all it took to be named a dark lord? But then read on to the butchery of about half of the King's court. He probably could be safely described as a dark lord.
He would be holding a meeting of the members of his group the last day before vacation, which would be tonight.
He was sitting in the room of Requirement, on a couch, in a comfortable living room type set up. The first couple of people trickled in and took a seat on this couch or that. Finally when everybody was there he stood and spoke to the group.
"I wanted to talk to guys before you left, I know we haven't done much but learn a few curses and such, but I wanted to tell you that when we get back this will change, we will form two three person groups, these will be fighting teams designed to get in quick, kill a few death eaters, and get out. Nothing longer than ten minutes, you will apperate in kill a many as you can and then apperate out, if they set up anti-apparation wards then you will portkey or teleport out." Several had looks of hesitation in their eyes but he heard no outright complaints, that was good, spoken disagreements would be hard to convince. "I will teach you to teleport, or port, multi-kill spells and firearms use…"
"Whats a firearm?" Neville interrupted him.
"It's a muggle projectile weapon, it fires small bits of metal at incredibly fast speeds." Neville looked thoughtful for a moment then seemed to realize the implications, widening his eyes, almost eagerly.
"The teams will all be designed for fast usage then you just disappear. We will start on that after the break, if I can, I will arrange a session during vacation."
"Are you going to be staying at the school for Christmas?"
"No, I will be staying in London at my flat."
"Will you be able to make it over for Christmas?" Ginny asked, handing him an invitation from her mother.
"I can't, I'm going to be in Italy for the day, working out some details with Lord Lorenzo."
"Who?" was repeated several times.
"I am working out an alliance with Lord Lorenzo of Italy "
"You can not be serious Harry, I've heard of him, he staged the mass murder of over two hundred of the Italian Magical Monarchy."
"We will be discussing a deal over dinner."
"Allying ourselves with a dark lord," with a shake of his head, "why did Dumbledore choose you to meet with him?" Seamus added.
"Who said anything about Dumbledore?"
"Then who are you representing?" Luna piped up for the first time that night.
"Myself and us. Let me tell you now, we are in no shape or form connected with Dumbledore and his order, nor with the ministry, we are our own organization."
"But how can we trust a dark lord."
"Because I can give him something that he would not get anywhere else. My help." His phoenix flew through a window and landed on his leg and giving him a letter from his beak. He read through his letter, set it down and burning it with a snap of his fingers. "But we have more pressing matters, one of my spies tells me that the ministry will be raiding the homes of the Lovegoods, the Longbottoms, and my flat in a few days looking for us, unfortunately that brings up some difficulty because I cannot be in court for several days getting you off. You will all owl your parents, we are going on a vacation to Italy." He dug in his pack and handed them some parchment.
"What about our families, shouldn't they be leaving too?"
"They are after us, your families will be fine."
"Why do we have to leave, they aren't raiding our homes." Seamus objected.
"They will be next, this is just the start, you all are connected with me and the ministry will be all over you."
"Why don't they just put out arrest warrants, and come and get us here?"
"They don't want a big scandal like last time they went after me. If they issue an arrest warrant there has to be a public trail, but if they arrest you in your home in a raid, it can be an inside trail, or even none at all." He set them to writing there letters home, he would take them from the train station to the airport, hoping that the ministry and the death eaters didn't have contacts with the muggles. He would get into Hogsmeade tonight and then outside the wards of Hogwarts so he could call the airport and then the hotel in Rome, maybe a wizarding inn, something they could rent out over the hols. He figured that they would be safe in Italian borders, seeing as how if they each didn't have their own dark lord problems Wizarding Britain and Italy most likely would have gone to war several years ago.
The Italians were still angry that the wizarding population didn't help them in WWII and declared the entire population of magical England blood traitors. And the Brits were angry over all the embargoes and tariffs the Italians placed over British goods.
So safe to say if the Ministry in Britain ever found out they where in Italy, the Italians would stop them at the borders. The rest had finished their letters and were waiting as he sat in contemplation of the next few moves he was about to make. He looked up and saw them waiting, he gave the letters to his phoenix and whispered in her ear. She left with a trill.
"Get ready for tomorrow, bring only a backpack with essentials, I will buy everything we need as we go along. Don't worry, anything you need I can get." With that he dismissed them.
He walked through the halls, out of the Great Hall and out the Entrance Hall. He could tell he was being followed, but couldn't bring himself to care, it was probably one of the order or maybe the Aurors. Either way they would only follow him to the edge of the wards then go alert the Headmaster. Once in Hogsmeade he made his way through town to the farthest he could get from the town and still know where he was.
He pulled his cell phone out of a pocket, flipping it open he growled when he noticed he didn't have service. Putting it back in his pocket he apperated into London and called up a friend from the summer, "Hey Mike how are you … Good, good, how is business without me, huh? … Glad that you guys can survive without me. Look I need a favor … No, no, nothing like that, I need a plane to Italy and nice hotel reservations for seven …Yeah for the whole Holiday … You can get a private plane? When the hell did we get the money for that? … oh right, right we don't buy stuff we steal it …Then its good, have it ready to fly by six o'clock tomorrow evening, and have a car for all seven of us at kings cross at five. If you want you can come with us? … No alright … you can bill to my account you know, I don't want to spend too much company money … Yeah I have to get some friends out of the country, the gov is getting too nosy. … Thanks a lot, I'll talk to you later, k? yeah bye."
"Harry I don't mean to sound critical, but how are we getting to Italy?" Hermione pointed out as they got off the train.
"Don't worry about it, I got it all figured out." All seven put their bags over their shoulders and went out to the main muggle station. They got outside and stood looking at Harry.
"Umm, Harry, are we supposed to be going somewhere?" Neville put in quietly.
Just then an incredible car pulled up to the curb, it was massive It was a rectangle type car, but stretched to the limit. It stopped at the curb where they were standing. A door opened and a old man in a business suit and very little gray hair, stuck his head out. "Hey Harry like the ride?" He smirked.
"You always find the biggest car you can then make it bigger don't you." He said looking over the black car, it was taller than he was and he had to step on to a step that came out to get in. He climbed out and found a seat, until he realized that the others hadn't gotten in yet. "Hey guys, hop in." Hesitantly Hermione first came forward and got in, eventually Luna, Neville, Tonks, Ginny, and Seamus all got in. "Thanks again for the ride Mike. Everybody this is Mike, I work for him during the summer. Mike this is Hermione, Luna, Neville, Ginny, Seamus, and Tonks, who I think you've met before," he pointed each out as he talked, "Mike runs a construction company, owns a bank, a couple of clubs, anything else you've got since I've left?"
"Nah without you we kinda just keep things running until you get back." He winked. The driver in the front seat had long ago taken off; he wore a black suit and sunglasses, the usual outfit for a bodyguard. He was now pulling into the drive of private airfield. They bypassed all security, and boarded the plane directly, it was small only room for about ten, they all sat comfortably on couch like seats. It wasn't very well furnished, but better than any airline.
"Fly safely!" Mike shouted from the jet way, and backed off. The engines soon started rumbling and the plane moved.
The others looked wary, especially Ginny and Neville who had no idea what was happening. "Harry! What's going on?" Ginny shouted, standing up.
"Calm down Ginny we're flying to Italy."
"In what! This thing!?" She kept shouting.
"Ginny just sit down, don't make me stun you." She complied rather slowly.
"I think you need to tell us what is going on, Harry," Hermione said, the plane started moving down the run way, soon it was in the air, he tossed them all a stick of gum.
"What sup?" He said congenially
"Who was that Mike guy, what kind of work did you do this summer, and how did you get a private plane? For starters."
"I told you I worked for Mike." He said avoiding the other questions.
"And what kind of work did you do for him?" she said suspiciously. He sighed, 'oh well,' he thought, 'they should know anyway.'
" I stole stuff and sold drugs." He said, Seamus and Hermione gasped, Tonks looked confused, and Ginny and Neville and Luna were torn between confusion and curiosity. Luna was the first to talk.
"What are drugs?"
"You know how if you drink to much alcohol, you get drunk? Drugs are illegal chemicals that make you sort of drunk but even stronger."
"Why are they illegal?" she continued not noticing they were ascending through the air, or the others still to stunned to talk.
"Because some have harmful side effects and different properties, I'll show you this week."
"Harry Potter! You may have sold drugs, but that is over and you will not introduce others to drugs!" his promise had sparked Hermione, apparently old habits die-hard.
"Apparently I wasn't informed but when did you gain control over me?"
"I will not have you doing things that are illegal…" said trailed off as she realized that they were an illegal vigilante group, fleeing the country, who practiced illegal magic, were practically inciting revolution, and were preparing to kill people. Harry smirked when he saw the realization in her eyes. He wasn't surprised, she was taught at an early age that authority was right about everything, and drugs were at the top of authorities no-no list. In a time of stress she reverted to old ways.
"You stole stuff?" Neville inquired unbelievingly.
"Yeah once I found out that they weren't tracking underage magic anymore, I became the top thief in London, I'm surprised no other wizards have done it before, I make so much money its not even funny. An invisibility charm, a silencing charm, a summoning charm, an illegal portkey, and oblivate curse and I can have anything I want, or someone else needs."
"And you do this for this Mike?"
"Yep, he's a powerful mobster, makes most of his money selling drugs in his clubs."
"So your part of a gang?"
"Several, and a crime family." He lifted his shirtsleeve and showed them a brand of a crescent moon on his shoulder, several rune tattoos and a blue Chinese dragon.
"This is too much." Ginny muttered.
"Not really, take a look out the window." She leaned over and stared wide eyed at the ground thousands of feet below, and she fainted dead away.