A/N: I realize that I clearly stated in my profile that my multi-chap fics would be posted when they were fully finished, but it was recently suggested to me that you people might be able to encourage and inspire me to write more quickly, given the large amount of time I could be, but am not, dedicating to my writing. I'm aware that this chapter is short, and you'll have to forgive that, but it's just an intro. The chapters following this will be longer, and I'll be nice and offer up the actual first chapter soon without begging for reviews.
Albus Dumbledore was dead and Hogwarts was a pile of rubble. Somehow, Snape had been found out as a spy, and Voldemort had used his blood to regenerate a body for himself after everyone had left in Sixth Year. Sirius was also missing, assumed compromised and dead.
In the middle of that Summer, in his attempt to give Harry a chance to survive, Albus Dumbledore had faced off against Voldemort in a duel, and had died. With his death, though, he had managed to severely injure Voldemort, and in the months of the Dark Lord's recovery, McGonagall had ordered a mass removal of current and future students to other countries, to continue, or begin, their educations under the secreted guidance of English-speaking instructors from other Wizarding schools. Deciding his mere presence among the other students would endanger their lives, Harry had escaped into the Muggle World with Ron and Hermione with the help of a very secretive, Wizard-run Muggle bank that transferred wizard money into its equivalent Muggle currency (a substantial amount for even the poorest of wizards). The Golden Trio had been hidden for a week, receiving covert packages filled with study material from McGonagall and the other surviving Hogwarts Professors, when Ginny and Neville had shown up in the Hotel's lobby, with Remus, Tonks, and Kingsley Shacklebolt. For hours they argued (mostly concerned over the need for the adults in the Wizarding World, rather than teaching schoolchildren who could handle themselves), and when everything had been settled they decided to purchase a country home with some of their cash supply as a base. As the children began learning, with Harry and Hermione in charge of Remus' Wolfsbane being the only ones capable of the brewing, they also set forth their rebellion. Randomly, and with surprising ease, the 5 wizards-in-training, under the guidance of their instructors, began appearing wherever they heard tell of Death Eaters, usually in the out-lying villages of England and Wales when the chances for a large outfit were small, and used the unsuspecting followers as target practice for their school subjects.
One Year Later…
"We passed! We're full-fledged wizards now!"
Ron, Ginny, and Neville came running excitedly from the hut where a Ministry worker had taken refuge to perform secret NEWT and apparition testing for the hundreds of rebellion sects popping up all over Europe. Harry and Hermione had passed a few months before, testing their NEWTs and earning apparition licenses. Neville had passed his NEWTs with them, but hadn't yet been confident enough to attempt the apparition test.
Harry and Hermione waited, grinning, by the dilapidated statue in the abandoned, weed-strewn parking lot. Remus stood a few feet away, still suffering from the recent Full Moon, and Tonks exited the rundown shack with Kingsley at a much calmer pace. Suddenly, several loud cracks echoed in succession around them.
"We're so proud of you," A sneering cackle resounded as Bellatrix Lestrange appeared between the two groups of children, and Death Eaters quickly surrounded the clearing. She smiled at Harry creepily. "You and your group of misfits has become quite the thorn in my master's side with your little field trips." She hissed and turned around just as Neville and Ginny were trying to drag a frozen Ron back towards the ex-aurors behind them. She studied the redhead boy with thinly veiled malice. "Bow to me boy, and I may bring you to my master whole, unlike like your friends and pretty little sister."
That seemed to startle Ron from his frozen state and his face morphed into something wholly vicious. "You stay the hell away from my sister, you bitch, or I'll rip into you with your own knives," He snarled. He cast a quick, wandless stupefy at the cruel woman.
Taken by surprise, Lestrange lunged to dodge the curse, landing hard on the ground. She looked up at him and screamed in frustration. "Kill them all, get Potter!" She screeched.
The Death Eaters surrounding the lot began casting wildly, and Harry cast a quick encompassing shield around Remus, Hermione, and himself, leading them towards the rest of the group. They hurried to the aid of Ginny and Neville, fighting off the encroaching circle of enemies as Ron battled Lestrange.
"We can't apparate, they could follow our trail, and I don't want to risk getting separated by trying to lose their trail. We'll have to use the portkey," Tonks said as four of the nine Death Eaters were incapacitated.
"Ron, we have to get out of here!" Hermione screamed as Harry's shield started to weaken and a hasty spell from Kingsley kept it up against a new barrage of spells.
The boy roared in frustration as Lestrange countered his every offense, and cast a wandless cutting hex simultaneously with a gouging curse. The cutting hex was rebounded by her shield, but the gouging curse was stronger, being fired from his wand, and sliced through the weakening shield, tearing a massive amount of flesh and muscle from the witch's thigh and sending her back to the asphalt. Smirking at her smugly as Lestrange's blood soaked the tar and weeds around her, Ron turned on his heel and ran towards the group.
Hermione and Ginny screamed as blood spattered the group, and Harry turned from where he'd just disarmed one of the masked attackers to see Ron falling forward onto the pavement, a knife lodged in his throat. The boy savior looked to Lestrange, who was cackling wildly as a Death Eater rushed to her side to try and heal her wound.
"No!" He screamed, his voice filled with pain and anger. His eyes glowed green as a bright red light exploded in the clearing, centered around Harry's shield, then disappeared as quickly to show their assailants lying prone around them. He ran to his friend's side. "Ron, get up!" Harry shouted, shaking the stilled redhead. He rolled the larger body over to see blue eyes staring back, unseeing. The young wizard released a howl of pain as he searched hopelessly for a pulse, and pulled his oldest friend into his arms. He didn't feel it as the wind whipped violently through the space and the ground rumbled threateningly beneath them.