Viper didn’t blink as a large wad of bills landed on his desk.
After their discussion at Skull’s, the Arcobaleno had headed back to Luce’s to prepare for the assault they were going to launch. It hadn’t taken Viper too long to prepare, since he rarely had to resort to physical weapons, but he’d known what Renato and the others would pay him for and started searching even before the money hit his desk.
After all, it wasn’t every day that their Cloud revealed enough about himself to possibly track all of his past.
“Skull de Mort, previously Oleander Evans, third born child of Harry and Jasmine Evans.” Viper ignored Colonnello’s loud laughter at Skull’s original name.
“Oleander, the whole plant is highly toxic. Beautiful, but deadly. Rather fitting if you look at it.” Verde murmured, causing Colonnello to choke on his laughter. Viper continued.
“Birth records so no signs of distress, first two years of his life also fairly normal medical files, common infant sicknesses and inoculations. At two years, three months the files go to inoculations only. No mentions of illnesses or wounds after that time. Almost a miracle.” Viper ignored Renato’s rolled eyes. They were all thinking the same thing, that had to be when Skull’s flames manifested strongly enough to start mending any and every bit of damage to his body they could. Viper did spare a moment to wonder how Skull kept his piercings. Then again, he’d never seen the Cloud without them, so maybe he’d just had them done once and never removed them unless it was necessary in the interest of not having to get them redone.
“Grades are average to fairly bright, early interest in performance and art. A few schools scuffles, the traditional English attempts to shove someone supposedly smaller and weaker then the bullies’ head in the toilet and such. Surprisingly for the bullies it wasn’t Oleander’s head ending up in the toilet.” Colonnello started laughing again, and even Luce chuckled a little at that.
“Records show trouble escalated beginning at thirteen, Oleander choosing to more actively go after known bullies, grades taking slight dips. One teacher’s note from a new teacher shows a disbelief that ‘the purple hair and eyes are natural’ and a demand for Oleander to ‘stop dying his hair and wearing contacts to school’. Aforesaid teacher suspended for assault when he apparently grabbed and tore one of Oleander’s piercings out, charges dropped because of no physical evidence.” Judging by the low growls, the man was might get tracked down and a visit from a few annoyed Arcobaleno. Viper didn’t care; he’d already cleared out the man’s bank accounts. No, no it hadn’t been petty revenge at all; Viper could care less about the other Arcobaleno except as money sources (Viper was never very good at lying to himself when it came to the other Arcobaleno).
“All records stop at sixteen, with the deaths of Harry and Jasmine Evans. Seems our little Cloud found someone willing to do him that favor, probably in exchange for a chunk of his profits. Lily Evans disappears from the system at eleven, reappears listed as deceased at twenty one, one child left with her older sister Petunia Dursley nee Evans. Harry James Potter, who is still listed as officially residing there and the Dursleys seem to get a fairly good sum of child support for him.” Viper’s ears perked up when it was Fon who growled that time. The Chinese Arcobaleno did have a thing about orphan’s being cheated of what was theirs.
“I’ll assume we’re all in agreement, the Dursleys are getting a little visit?” Renato’s voice was smooth as silk, but definitely pissed. Viper moved a chunk of the Arcobaleno’s general cash to the repair budget, marking it as Renato damage. He did murmur his assent, along with the other Arobaleno. Luce then looked over his shoulder and squealed.
“Aww, look at the pictures!” Viper found himself partly squashed by his fellow Arcobaleno, all of whom wanted to see Skull as a little kid. Even though they saw that daily.
There weren’t that many to find, but Viper had managed. A family picture of the whole family where Oleander was nothing but a fluff of purple hair and purple blanket held in his mother’s (there is something familiar in Jasmine Evans’ face, but Viper cannot place it) arms. Another of the three siblings taken when Oleander had to be about five, showing a bright eyed laughing boy, he and his red haired sister indeed looking a little too pretty and perfect next to the dishwater blonde of their sister (it was strange to see Skull without make up or piercings, to know a time when there wasn’t several bits of metal decorating the others face actually existed). The third was of the red haired sister with her arms looped around a man’s neck (presumably this is James Potter, Viper does not hesitate to agree with Skull’s opinion of ‘Prat’.) while thirteen year old Oleander glowers at the man, a Cloud’s rage in his eyes at the man’s possessive hand on his sister’s posterior. The last one is from Skull’s stuntman days, clearly a candid shot taken by a fan. Skull lounged asleep, boots off and jumpsuit partly undone, a peaceful expression on his face. Baby Hadrian was sprawled across his chest, also asleep, one small hand fisted in Skull’s suit. This one seemed to be getting the most cooing from Luce, and even Lal.
(Viper will never admit that picture of Skull and Hadrian in a rare moment of complete peaceful contentment is his favorite as well.)
“You’re all being fined ten thousand euros a piece for squishing me.” Viper groused, which caused his fellow Arcobaleno to remove themselves from his personage. He had just enough time to shut down his computer, hide the money and papers and send a quick note to one of his informants who claimed to have contacts with this society Skull had hinted at before Skull bounded in, looking almost excited at the prospect of damage.
“Left Hadrian with one of Verde’s babysitter-minions, let’s get the show on the road!” Viper would never understand how Skull could be so enthusiastic.
Angelino Plumeri had despaired.
A minor Rain flame of the Caracassa, when the new Don had taken over he had done his best. But the signor had no respect for the old ways. For the familiars bred with such exquisite care. For lines that had pedigree stretching back as far as the Vongola if not farther in some cases. True, the little ones were expensive, but powerful flames would pay well for companions to help with their power. The generation’s greatest hitman, Renato himself, had paid for a familiar from them! The money they made from such sales, plus the selling of imperfect stock to zoos and petshops had kept the family comfortable enough! But no, that was not enough for Signor Caracassa the newest.
Money over craft, that was his belief.
So many of the dog lineages were ruined, at least two beyond repair. The horses were starting to show damage, as were the great oxen and cattle. Angelino and others had hidden the smaller and the more exotic beasts, but it was only a matter of time before the Don demanded those be overbred and mass produced, turned into things that had no worth save to ignorant fools. There had been rumors of a Ginger Bread prowling the borders of their territory, the witch-doll moving in for the kill on the Caracassa famiglia.
And now there was screaming and shooting and flames flaring and dying and all Angelino could do was hide in one of the rooms and use his small flame to keep the animals calm as they waited for death.
One of the monkeys, little Lichi, began hooting and eeping despite Angelino’s best attempts to calm him. The monkey ran to the door and began pawing at the knob like he was possessed, and Angelino swallowed a lump of fear as the door opened. At first, his mind wondered who had brought a child into the hell that was either a famiglia being destroyed or a coup. Then Lichi shrieked in joy and clambered onto the boy’s shoulder and Angelino spotted the red pacifier around his neck and began to hope. The Storm Arcobaleno smiled at Lichi, looking happy.
“Well, it looks like most of us won’t have to go browsing to find our promised pay for our help. Signor, you can keep these little ones calm?” Angelino nodded, anything to please the Arcobaleno who seemed so happy with Lichi.
“Good, this should be over in about fifteen minutes, once Skull and his new octopus get tired of tossing the ex-Don around. Caracassa belongs to the Cloud Arcobaleno now.” The Storm kept his gentle smile even as Angelino wondered how the other Arcobaleno would run the famiglia. “Expect to wear more purple, and if you would tell the others of your famiglia to calm down. Skull wishes to return Caracassa to its beginning as a provider of fine familiars, not cheap dross.” A distant bellow of ‘Fon!’ reached both of them, the Storm smiling.
“It sounds like I’m needed, another locked door probably. Farewell.” The Storm departed, and Angelino held one of the familiars, a grumpy looking orange kitten from a very strange breeding (he didn’t know what a Kneazle was or where Ezio had gotten one, but the kittens the tom sired were worth their weight in diamond to both Storm and Mist users) and wept with relief into its fur. The long night was over, the Arcobaleno bringing the light of dawn.
He would follow his new Don until he died, Angelino vowed.
Mundungus Fletcher was always on the lookout for a deal. It was his nature, so when one of his contacts wanted books about the magical world, he had a bunch that had been sitting near Florish and Blots ready to be moved. Sure, he’d wondered why the Squib had wanted them, but the man's boss had apparently recently come into a Muggleborn’s life and wanted to know anything and everything so that he and the kids family could be prepared when it was time for the kid to go to Hogwarts. Mundungus had been happy to oblige, both for the huge amount of money he was getting, and the chance to help make sure a young Muggleborn entered their society well adjusted and ready.
Albus would be so proud of him, being civic minded like that.
Skull had not been prepared for the amount of paperwork being in charge of a famiglia would bring, much less one as internally damaged as the Caracassa. The mounds would have dwarfed his natural height, let alone his tiny toddler cursed form. Still, he had a safe base to raise Hadrian as the Caracassa had immediately taken to him, and Oodako was a wonderful combination of familiar, pet, nanny and playground for him and Hadrian. The octopus was currently in his giant form and holding a swing for Hadrian to play on. Skull sighed in relief as he got the last of the paper work for the day done, smiling as the band of white and lavender around Hadrian’s throat reared up and flicked her tongue about to search for danger. The albino king snake had chosen Hadrian as her companion almost at once, so he had his flame familiar to help him, though what the two’s special abilities were was still undetermined.
Skull turned to the pile of books Viper had secured about the wizarding world and picked the top on off the pile, something about an exclusive biography of the Boy-Who-Lived by someone with the horribly pretentious name of Gilderoy Lockhart.
He read three pages, and then lost his temper.
Hadrian looked up as the windows to Uncle Skull’s office shattered with the force of Cloud flames hitting them, blinking as his Uncle’s voice rose up in utter fury.
“VIPER! I WANT SOMEBODY’S BANK ACCOUNT EMPTIED NOW!”
Hadrian giggled, yup just a normal day in his life that he wouldn’t trade for anything.
The enemies lay slain, an Renato elegantly flicked his sword clean and checked his gun. Perfect, both of them. He headed for the extraction point, perfectly happy with his haul.
“Gotcha.” Was the last thing he heard as a chain link whip flicked around his throat and pulled tight.
Lal put her hands over Hadrian’s ears as cursing erupted from the living room.
“Skull you little motherfucker, how the fuck are you still invading me in Bloodborne!?”
Verde meanwhile smirked at the fact that Renato still hadn’t figured out it had been child’s play for him to build a device that let Skull invade Renato’s specific game profile as much as he wished.