Only the twisted, deviant plot and a few other odds and ends are mine. The rest belongs to someone else. If you recognise it, it isn't mine.
Morning, two days after the kidnapping.
A nondescript owl swept into the Swedish Ministry's Convention Centre, dodging the spells of the Louisiana contingent, before dropping a rolled scroll onto Philip Lovegood's lap.
I was right, and I am visiting with my friends, probably for the rest of the holidays.
I heard today that Minister Fudge is, in fact, a Nargle herder, and my source is good.
I will keep you up to date if I hear anything more.
p.s. Don't forget to remind Auror Shacklebolt to safely store his Fried Turkey Club paraphernalia. You never know who is going to wander into your house when you're not looking.
Philip blinked and turned to his note keeping scroll, "Minister of Magic, England, Cornelius Fudge is a Nargle herder – investigate: what is a nargle? what benefit accrues from the herding of them?" He chuckled and headed off in search of a Floo.
Minutes later, he was standing before a public floo, "Auror Shacklebolt, DMLE Britain."
A head appeared in the flames, "Shacklebolt here."
The journalist nodded, "Thank you for answering, Auror Shacklebolt. I am Philip Lovegood."
"Lovegood? Philip Lovegood? Luna's father?"
"We've been trying to get hold of you for a while. Your daughter, Luna, was assaulted in the Quibbler offices and kidnapped. We have been unable to track her."
"Ah, that sounds about right."
"I just received a communication from her. She's fine, and actually included a message for you."
Kingsley blinked a couple of times.
"She said 'remind him to safely store his fried turkey club paraphernalia. You never know who is going to wander into your house when you're not looking'." Philip had his eyes narrowed in concentration.
Kingsley froze, "I see. Well thanks, but I've got a busy schedule here. We'll get back to you when we learn something." He cut off the floo connection, and immediately opened a new one to his home, stepping through he rushed to her kitchen table and started scooping up his Order of the Phoenix equipment. "Shit, shit, shit, shit…"
He had only just escaped into his bedroom when his floo burst into life again.
"Auror Shacklebolt? Minister Fudge sent me to bring you in for a briefing," Dawlish called out to the empty room.
"Be right there," Quickly slamming the bedroom door behind him, Auror Kingsley Shacklebolt wiped his sweaty brow…close call, too close…
An aura of hopelessness pervaded the Burrow. Two days had passed without word from the children, and to make matters worse, despite Arthur and Poppy's vigil Mundungus was slipping away.
Molly was half-heartedly preparing breakfast when a strange owl tapped at the window. Hope surged into her eyes and face as Percy retrieved the owl's burden.
The owl, having done its duty, swiftly vanished into the morning sky.
"Is it?" Molly asked tentatively.
Percy glanced at the message, giving his mother a relieved grin. "Yes," he called out, "Dad, William, Frederick, George? A letter from Ginevra and Ronal..." He never got to finish the sentence, as his brothers and father raced into the room, Bill snatching the letter from his hands, and sheepishly handing it on to their father.
Arthur cleared his throat and read,
"Dear Mum and Dad,
Sorry to have scared you, both Ron and I are fine. We have no injuries and are in perfect health.
We will not be returning home until the end of the holidays, as we are safe and under the protection of an ally of Harry's.
Yes. Harry is here with us. He is looking better than we have ever seen him, and he seems to be coping with his Godfather's death pretty well also.
Ron just asked me to write 'Did the Cannons win their game?' since we both slept through it.
I'll write again soon, and possibly even get lazybones to write.
Ginny. (and Ron)."
Relief filled the room. Molly almost collapsed, but was caught by Bill and George.
"We should show this to Albus," Arthur looked at the letter again, and was surprised to find it blank. He waved it at his family. "Security charms, well beyond the ability of the children. Bill?"
Bill took out his wand and cast several diagnostic charms. "Blood charm, and self erasure. Only we could read it, and it disappears after a single reading. Very professionally cast too."
The twins were also examining it. "We found" "mention of" "something like" "this in a book" "at Sirius' place" "a while back." They looked thoughtful for a moment, "A note" "in a diary" "about Sirius" "being unable" "to read the" "letters James" "and Lilly" "were passing" "back and forth."
Molly could only stare at her husband, "Are they safe? Are my babies safe?"
"They were allowed to send us a letter, and Ronald wanted to know about his beloved Cannons. I doubt they would have added that if they were being forced to write a letter to us," Percy spoke thoughtfully."So I expect they are safe at the present, and under the protection of Harry's ally."
The family settled down to breakfast with a lot more energy and hope.
Algernon Croaker, dressed formally for breakfast, arrived exactly on time at Augusta's table. "Good morning, dear Lady." He bowed. "I noticed the absence of the Mings."
"Indeed, and a fair morning it is. Young Neville engaged an intruder in the hall, the vases are the least of our losses that morning." Dame Longbottom took her place at the table.
"No word of Neville then?" Algernon sat, helping himself to the morning spread.
"I am afraid not."
Both were interrupted by the arrival of an owl. Augusta raised an eyebrow. Algernon frowned and relieved the bird of it's message.
"Ah, quite timely." He glanced past the letter to the old matriarch, "Neville has managed to send word to me. A coded letter, as I taught him."
"What does he have to say for himself?"
I would greatly appreciate it if you would pass on my sincerest apologies to my grandmother for breaking her Vases. Their sacrifice served the House of Longbottom well.
Also pass on my assurance that I am well and under no compulsion to make this communication.
I am pleased to say that I remembered well your lessons and I believe I acquitted myself well in this last engagement, woefully underequipped as I was. Not a mistake I will ever allow myself to make again.
I look forward to seeing you at my Home at the end of August.
Neville Longbottom." Algernon smiled, "It is coded in the correct manner, he was under no coercion to write to us."
"It would seem that we made the correct decision all those years ago, having Neville instructed in the gentlemanly arts of spycraft and pugilism," Augusta commented before sipping her tea once more.
"Do you think the Potter boy is involved in this."
"The Aurors indicated these abductions may be connected."
Algernon raised his eyebrows, "Interesting. It would appear that the letter had some very advanced security charms, it is blank and unrecoverable."
"Reassuring, I think." The matriarch sipped her tea once more.
Doctors Dan and Jane Granger were startled awake in the early morning by a scratching at their window.
"An owl?" Jane rolled over and tried to go back to sleep.
"Do you suppose someone has finally decided to tell us mere muggles what is going on?" Dan grumped as he left the warm bed to let the owl in.
The owl sneered at him, dropped the letter, and flew away.
Dan just stood there blinking, "That owl just sneered at me, I swear it. Even their animals show us no respect." He picked up the letter off the ground, and returned to bed before opening it."Honey!" He elbowed his wife.
"What is it?" She stared blearily at her husband.
"Hermione? Read it."
"She writes: Dear Mum and Dad,
Stop trying to find me. I'm in hiding in the other world. I am safe. Harry is here with me.
Don't worry about my injuries; Harry had a Diagnostician see me. Can you believe those idiots at St. Mungo's missed the damage to my heart and lungs? Neither could I. It has been seen to now and a full recovery is indicated.
The Doc is quite a character. When I first saw him, he appeared, doctors' bag in one hand and golf bag over the other shoulder looking like he'd just stepped off of St. Andrews. If there was ever a stereotype of a British Doctor, this is it.
I will be unable to make it back until late August, so I am asking you to go on holiday without me. It will be safer for you. Our home address is in my file in the Ministry, and I find myself distrustful of their vigilance and almost complete lack of even basic security measures. Seriously, if a group of teenagers can penetrate their most secure areas, something is very wrong. I do hate to say it, but you might be better off staying out of the Country for the next few months. You know how I worry.
If my OWL results turn up, I would like you to sign me up for everything I possibly can, you know my priorities.
Speaking of owls. Could you send Hedwig to the Weasley's. They will take care of her while we are all gone. Send a note with her asking them to owl you if any new information arises.
Give Crookshanks a cuddle for me, and don't forget to pack the snowboard, you know Daddy will probably break his arm and have to rent again.
With love and missing you,
"The text is disappearing." Jane grabbed a notepad from her drawer.
"Odd, she knows we were planning a Mediterranean cruise. Why would she mention the snowboard?" Dan tapped his chin with a finger, "Some sort of code?"
"She must have known her letter would be read by whoever she is with," Jane quickly copied the note from memory."Thus the cryptic."
"She's with Harry," Dan glanced over his wife's shoulder at the notepad. "The Potter boy?"
"I think she's soft on him," Jane chuckled, relieved at hearing from her daughter. "Diagnostician. St. Andrews."
"Definately a British doctor." He narrowed his eyes, "She hates stereotypes."
"So probably not caucasian then, an Asian or African," She nodded, making further notes on the pad. "Distrust the Ministry. Unusual for our authority loving daughter."
"Could be from the subcontinent? I suspect recent events may have cracked her illusions." Dan nodded sadly, "I suggest we keep to our plans though. It might well be safer out of the country."
"We could move to your aunt's apartment for the next few months. Conduct the search from there."
"Hmmm...the owl never turned up. It's going to be a little hard to contact the Weasley's without one."
"We could just bite the bullet and buy one in Diagon Alley."
Dan snorted, "Presuming we could find the entrance without Hermione to guide us in."
"Forgot about that. Diagnostician. Hyperbole? Or do you suppose he actually was one?" She tapped her pen on the page beside the word.
"If he is, then it narrows the field of possible candidates down to a dozen or so."
"Particularly if he does hold a membership at St. Andrews."
Dan smirked a little. "Our Daughter, it seems, has been reading my Ian Flemmings. A non Caucasian Diagnostician who plays golf? We'd be lucky to have two in the country! Bravo to her."
Nymphadora Tonks woke up to an insistent tapping at her window. She rolled out of bed, immediately crashing into a pile of boxes with a dull thump.
"Dora? Are you all right up there?" Andromeda called from the kitchen below.
"Ouch." She stood up, "I'm fine, Mum." She retrieved the letter from the owl. "Grrr...I'll give them 'Dearest Nymphadora'."
I share your loss. Sirius was close to me, and I think we will all grieve his passing.
Bringing us to the point of this letter.
Though I have yet to find time to visit our ancestral home to restore your family to it's proper place within the Ancient and Noble House of Black; I would ask a single favour of you.
Another who is close to us grieves for Sirius as greatly as we do. I speak of Remus Lupin, brother in all but blood to our own Sirius.
I would ask that you find him and perhaps help him past these days. Perhaps you could drag him off to Madame Malkin's to spend some of Sirius' bequest.
My thanks, and know you have the regard of,
"MUM?" Nymphadora's face had bleached white.
Entering her daughter's room, Andromeda was shocked to see her stark white complexion. "Dora? What is the matter?"
Colour returned to her face, "There's a new Lord Black."
"Oh dear." She sat rather heavily on the bed, "What did he want of us? We were already cast out."
"I think he's bringing us back in."
Andromeda frowned, "I'm not sure that isn't worse."
Narcissa Malfoy was enjoying a quiet breakfast, alone. Which was the way she preferred it.
One of her house elves discretely placed a letter beside her plate.
A letter bearing the Seal of House Black. How curious.
She cracked open the seal, feeling the tingle of recognition for the first time in many years. "Well, well, well."
It grieves me to be the bearer of ill tidings. Our cousin, Sirius, is dead.
With his passing, the mantle of leadership has fallen unto me.
In the process of clearing up old business left…neglected…I came upon a few minor irregularities with our contract with House Malfoy. Perhaps you could clear them up for me…unofficially…lest I be required to bring it all out in public.
Clause 14a states quite clearly that as a member of House Black, it is expected that Lord Malfoy will support you in a lifestyle befitting your status in our society. With his recent arrest, it is difficult to believe Lord Malfoy can be maintaining you as he should.
Clause 17c-f implies rather…forcefully…that neither House would bring disrepute to the other, and yet I cannot help but feel that the actions of Lord Malfoy reflect rather poorly upon you, dearest cousin, and upon the Ancient and Noble House Black.
Am I wrong?
I eagerly await your reply.
Her face paled momentarily, then a sigh of resignation. She nodded, The new Lord Black wastes no time flexing his muscles. Damn his eyes. I cannot dispute this either, Lucius was fast becoming a liability, and his son is no better.
She collected herself and called for her writing desk to be brought out into the garden.
Albus Dumbledore was enjoying a quiet breakfast with his brother, when It arrived. An already smoking red letter was dropped into his lap by a rapidly retreating owl.
"So, what does Molly have to say this morning?" Aberforth chuckled.
"It would appear that the esteemed Mistress Weasley is not the sender," Albus held up the red envelope to show the Seal of House Potter.
"The Potter boy? Well, let's hear it." Aberforth waved his hand.
The letter unfolded and began speaking in a quiet but intense voice,
You can call off the search. I am safe and in hiding. Seeking us out can only expose your people to further danger, and potentially expose my hiding place.
Not that I expect you to pay one whit of attention to what I am saying. You know best of course."
"BOLLOCKS" it shouted, chunks of red paper flying everywhere.
"You have never paid any attention to anything but your own narcissistic delusions of competence.
I have paid for professional security advice from the best in the business. They know as much about keeping folk safe and secure as you do about…
…What the hell is it that you do know about anyway? You head the Wizengamot, but still a fifteen-year-old child faces a full court over Underage Magic Use. You're the headmaster of a school where children all but wage open warfare in the halls and serious injuries are commonplace. You lead a vigilante militia against all Dark Lords, but totally failed to do anything about it, and had to get bailed out by a one-year-old baby.
You know what? Forget it. I'm not even angry with you anymore.
All I'm asking at this point is that you respect this one request from me. Don't come after me.
I will return in time for my sixth year at Hogwarts, and you can get everyone all panicky about protecting me then.
Until then, I remain,
Lord of House Potter"
"Harsh," Aberforth commented into his tea.
"But sadly, somewhat fair, I think." Albus appeared exhausted.
Abe raised an eyebrow, "What have you done to this boy, Albus?"
"Not enough, and too much by far."
"What do you mean to do now? Will you do as he asks? Leave him be?"
"I will make one last attempt to find him, and if I cannot, I will leave him be." Albus nodded to himself.
Morning, a week before the kidnapping.
Holly landed with casual ease, shaking her head at the rather...difficult landing most of the children had managed. It was something else they would need to learn.
Harry, Ron, Ginny and Hermione had crashed to the ground in a tangled heap. As had Luna, though she was somehow mostly tangled around Ron, laughing.
Neville had managed a credible landing, but was tripped up by a flailing limb. He shot Ron a filthy look as he crawled free of the melee, "You did that on purpose."
"I have," Ron heaved Ginny off of himself, "No idea." He swung his leg off of Harry, "What you're talking about. Really."
Harry rolled to his feet, helping Luna up as well, much to her seeming disappointment. "We made it? Everyone's here?"
The rest of the small group quickly gathered their wits about them and stepped over to where the Immigration Officer stood chuckling.
Holly passed a small handful of papers to the waiting official, who stamped them.
"Benvenuto in Italia. Sia prego sicuro obbedire le nostre leggi ed abbia un soggiorno piacevole." He smiled at the seven foreigners.
"Certamente signore," Hermione replied, as they all moved through immigration.
"What was that?" Ron looked confused.
"He asked us to obey the local laws and wished us a pleasant stay," Hermione responded, "He also said something about the tall red-haired one smelling off, and recommending a thorough bathing."
The rest of the small group chuckled at his indignant squawk.
"She was joking, Ronald." Luna smiled.
"Of course," Luna confirmed. "The customs official was far too polite to have mentioned your smell."
Ron walked with the rest of the group for a few minutes, before suddenly stopping. "Hey!"
They travelled north for a few hours, arriving finally at a small Roman villa.
"Looks authentic," Hermione commented.
"It should, it's been here for a couple of thousand years." Holly was looking around for something. "Ah, Miguel."
"Aren't you supposed to be dead?" A tall, swarthy man wearing sunglasses was leaning against a shadowed archway. "Hmmm…chronally displaced…perhaps you are dead," the man stepped away from the wall. "What are you doing here Evans?"
"We need to see the old man."
"Franco died a decade ago. You'll want to see Signora Maria."
"What? Little Puzzo?"
"Merciful Zeus. Do not let her hear you say that. She will kill you, for sure this time." He smiled, kissing both her cheeks, and placing a casual arm around the redhead's waist as her steered her around to face her companions. "Now who are these young ones?"
Holly smiled and shook a finger at him. "No names."
"Very well, pseudonyms."
Holly nodded, and pointed to the two Weasley children, "Master and Miss Blue." Then Hermione and Neville, "Miss Red and Master Green," and finally to Harry and Luna, "Miss White and Master Grey. Kids, this is Signore Miguel."
"Welcome to Villa del Nascosta," the handsome Italian wizard made a sweeping bow. "If you have need of anything during your brief stay here, do not hesitate to ask."
Holly nodded, "Thank you Miguel, but we will see Maria as soon as possible if we may."
He shook his head, mock frowning, "She is terribly busy…sunbathing by the pool, so I am sure she can spare you a few minutes." He chuckled.
The two adults walked together into the Villa, leaving the children outside.
"Why are you 'Miss Red' and not Gin?" Ron asked Hermione.
"Because she is better read than Ginny, and red is the opposite of blue in many places," Luna answered for him.
Ron blinked a couple of times, "Did that make any sense to anyone else?"
Harry shook his head and started walking towards the villa, soon followed by Neville and Hermione.
Luna smiled at Ron and followed the others, leaving just the Weasley children.
Ginny slapped Ron up the side of the head.
Ron blinked, "What was that for?"
"If you've got to ask, then I'm not going to tell you." Turning away from him to hide her smirk, she followed after the others.
"Huh?" Ron stood there for a couple of moments, before following, muttering, "What is this? Pick on Ron day?"
Luna's voice called out from the courtyard ahead, "Yes Ron, but do catch up won't you?"
"Leave Evans. I don't do work for ghosts or Inferi."
Harry had just entered the neatly ordered workshop, "Do you do work for Galleons?"
The dark-haired Italian witch glanced at the group of children. "You are insane, mere children will not be able to use my wands. They will be wasted on fumbling incompetents!" She paused in her assessment as her gaze lingered on Harry. . "Scopata! Tell me this isn't Il-Ragazzo-Che-Vissuto? The-Boy-Who-Lived?" She turned from swearing at Holly to address Harry, "How can you be here? Of all places?" She turned back to Holly. "Foolish wretch, the Darkness holds sway here. Your 'Hero' will be murdered and people will come after me."
"Quiet Puzzo, we are here outside of normal time. The only Dark Lord able and willing to touch us is tracking his other self. No other Dark Lord would dare touch him," she indicated Harry. "We are here for custom wands, masterworks. I had hoped to get one of Franco's…"
Maria glared at Holly. "I know this business as well as Franco ever did." She turned her attention solely to Harry, "I would never have done this for her, but for you I will. Be grateful that I do this much." Shooting an angry glare at Holly she added, "But because of her I still charge you double."
Harry shrugged, an eyebrow raised at Holly, "Fine."
A gruelling eight hours later, the seven were on their way southwest again in their rented minibus.
"That woman was inhuman. I'd rather spend a month with Umbitch than do that again," Ron was sprawled out across the back seat.
"Seconded," Neville grunted.
Hermione sat up, "All in favour?"
A chorus of aye's sounded from the group.
Holly looked back at the group, "Umbitch?"
"Dolores Umbridge, used a Blood…"
"A Blood Quill in detentions, yes, Harry told me." Holly snarled, "She's on my list, trust me."
They travelled in silence for a few minutes.
"Where are we going?" Ginny asked.
"A small muggle villa, with its own section of beach."
"Really, a private beach?" Hermione asked in wonder.
"Yep, guy owes me. Least he can do is host me for a week." At a look from Harry she qualified that remark, "I rescued his nephew from a muggle gaol in the States and the clutches of a cellmate named Bubba."
Hermione chuckled, while the others just shrugged off her odd behaviour.
The next day, six days before the kidnapping.
The six were sitting around their brunch table as Holly handed out tanning potions.
"The Doc anticipated the need for these. They will allow us pasty-skinned British types to develop a healthy tan rather than a rosy glow. A few days of sun and these potions and you'll have a bronze tan." She swallowed a potion herself, "Enjoy." She then got up and walked out on the deck to sunbake in peace.
The morning was spent profitably. The girls sprawled out on the villa's sundeck. The boys spent the day swimming and playing on the beach.
Pausing for a moment, Ron called out to the other two, "Why do you think they banished us from the house with such dire threats?"
Harry shrugged, "Beats me."
Neville smiled and shook his head, "My Uncle Algy mentioned something along these lines, but I wouldn't dare speculate without absolute proof."
"What kind of proof?" Ron asked.
"Hmmm." Neville thought for a few moments, "Consider the limitations of apparel and these tanning potions. I will say nothing more. Why don't you ask your sister?"
"I am not that stupid, Nev."
"Ask Luna then," Harry smiled. "She'll tell you, without the violence your sister would insist on."
A series of loud crashes, thumps and groans echoed through the villa.
Neville turned to Harry, "So much for the 'no-violence-from-Luna' suggestion."
The two boys casually wandered through the house to the source of the earlier noise, and found the red-head collapsed in a pile at the bottom of the stairs.
"Ron?" Harry prodded Ron's inert form with his foot, "Ron, you alive?"
"Buh!" Ron grunted.
Harry and Neville shared a look and began checking him over for broken bones.
"Buh!" Ron said again.
"Maybe a concussion?" Neville suggested.
"Well he does appear to have hit his head several times on his way down the stairs."
"Think we should move him?"
"Dunno, Nev. As far as I can see, it's just superficial. He'll be fine in the morning."
"You take that side then. Easy Ron."
The two boys had little trouble lifting Ron to his feet, and held between them, guiding him to his bedroom.
"I wonder what he's trying to say." Harry said to Neville as they manoeuvred Ron onto his bed.
Neville shrugged and splashed a glassful of water on Ron's face.
"BREASTS!" Ron suddenly shouted, sitting up in bed.
"Well I guess that answers your question, Harry."
Hermione and Ginny had been getting ready for dinner, when they heard a sudden series of crashes and thumps, followed by silence. Moments later Luna entered the large bathroom they all shared wearing only a towel.
"What was that noise?" Hermione asked.
"Those thumps and crashes? It was probably Ron falling down the stairs."
The other two girls shared a look.
"How did he manage to do that?" Ginny asked.
"Well, I was walking here from the bedroom, when Ron asked me a question."
"What did he ask you?"
"He asked what the boys being sent away from the house had to do with getting a suntan."
"And you pushed him down the stairs for his lack of tact?" Ginny asked.
Luna just stared at her in shock for a few long moments, "Merlin no. I wouldn't do that."
"What did happen then?" Hermione elbowed Ginny.
"I showed Ron my lack of tan lines and the poor boy stumbled backwards and fell down the stairs."
"Is he all right?"
"Harry and Neville were nearby and helped him back to his room."
Ginny suddenly turned bright red, and tugged on Hermione's shoulder.
"What? Ginny? What is it?"
Ginny just pointed at the now nude Luna, who had dropped her towel to climb into the bath.
Ginny pulled the older girl closer and whispered in her ear, "She showed him her lack of tan lines…think about it…she was only wearing a towel…"
Hermione gasped in realisation, before breaking out in laughter.
Harry was dressed in a finely tailored tuxedo, as was Neville. Ron, on the other hand, was dressed in a casual beige linen lounge suit.
Holly arrived wearing a 'little black dress' of shimmering silk. Looking the boys up and down with approval, "Good to see. No tux, Ron?"
"Nah, I can't compete with the masters of smooth over here, so why try?"
Harry chuckled, and Neville snorted in disagreement.
"What's on the schedule, Aunt Holly?"
Holly grinned, shaking her head, "Dinner, then dancing until the early hours."
"Might as well get used to the long hours, once training starts you'll be getting about four hours sleep a night…if you're lucky."
The boys groans were interrupted by the arrival of the rest of their party.
"Great Merlin, we've been invaded by Veela!" Neville fell to his knees at the bottom of the stairs, arms raised as if in worship.
"And here we all thought Ron was supposed to be the clown." Ginny snarked to Hermione, secretly pleased though she was.
"Let's go kids, places to go, people to kill," she led the way to the door.
The teens following in her wake.
A week later, the day after the kidnappings.
"Do you think Signora Maria will cause any problems?" Harry was riding up from with Holly.
"I doubt it. Our gold is good, that's all that ever mattered to her old master."
"Perhaps, but apprentices do not always follow in the footsteps of their master." Harry muttered.
They rode in thoughtful silence until they came in sight of the Villa, where someone was waiting out in the road for them.
Holly leaned out the driver's window, "Miguel, what is the problem?"
Miguel was red in the face with indignation, a shade that reminded Harry of his Uncle."The problem? You!"
"It's not like that, Miguel. They're here willingly."
"You kidnapped Harry Potter and his friends, and fled with them through time to escape the heavy handed buffoons that call themselves Aurors!. You cannot be here now. You waited too long, time has caught up with you."
"They're not under any form of compulsion, and we still have another twelve hours before we become plotable."
The Itallian narrowed his eyes, "I want you gone from Italy before that time is up. Villa del Nascosta has remained hidden only because we are neutral. That means we aid neither side too much. You would kill us all.
"Then we need to get those wands. Come on Miguel, we need them now more than ever."
Holly led them past a large number of obviously armed men and women who were loitering around the fringes of the Villa.
"Evans. Here, take them and leave." A stack of wand boxes were thrust into her hands, "Be far from here before you bond them. I know nothing of these wands. I will be obliviated before the hour is up. I curse you for making me forget creating such beauties. You have put me at risk here. ME! Far too much risk. Never return!" The wand maker spat the last sentence.
"Nice seeing you again, too, Maria." Holly took the wands and returned to the minibus.
"Got them?" Harry asked.
"Yep, now we'd better leave before they change their minds and decide to hand us in for the bounty." The van lurched into motion, and sped down the winding road, heading Eastwards. "Wow, she hasn't changed a bit. Still the biggest drama queen I know of. She'd have to be amazing in the sack to keep her lovers around. Unless they like living dangerously."
Hermione frowned and blushed a bit, before trying to change the focus of the conversation, "Where are we going?"
"Two hours East is Florence, we'll leave the van on the outskirts at a tourist car park and portkey back to the Manor."
There were nods all round.
Well, Damn. Didn't that take a long time to get out. Nearly a year. In my defence, my baby daughter has taken a hellava lot of time. As have my rpg campaigns and various online addictions. I'll try to get the next chapter out in a shorter time, though my other stories may take priority for a few weeks.
No matter how long it takes me, I am not abandoning this story...so quit with the "Oh it's abandoned" reviews already. :-)