I got bitten by another plot bunny, the second in two weeks. I've been on a huge Bucky kick the past few months, and figured I would see if anyone likes this.
As for the background, well, HYDRA's pretty widespread in the movies. Maybe there are some wizards in it. They probably didn't work directly with Voldemort, since he's anti-muggle, but presumably they would have heard of him, and The Boy Who Lived, if they knew about magic. They probably want to control him.
The mission is simple. Get the boy, bring him to his handlers, to HYDRA. There are to be no witnesses. The Asset does not remember his last mission, but the idea of not leaving witnesses is as familiar as the action of shooting a gun.
At 1824 local time, the Asset arrives at Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey, England. He has been out of the cryo tank for the past few days.
If the houses did not have numbers on the front doors, there would be no way to tell them apart, since this street, and many others around it, are lined with rows of identical houses. Each house is the same nondescript tan color with a brown roof, and the houses have only a few standard places of entry or exit- the front door and the back door, although the windows would work as a backup. The locks will be pathetically easy to break. Each house also has a perfectly trimmed lawn.
The Asset arrives at his destination, Number 4 Privet Drive- the residence of Vernon and Petunia Dursley, the Asset had been told during the mission briefing. There are two boys residing in the house as well, but HYDRA is only interested in one of them. The Dursleys' own son, Dudley, is of no use.
HYDRA wants Harry Potter. The Asset does not know what his handlers want with a four-year-old boy, but it is not the Asset's place to know the reason behind his missions. His job is to do as instructed, not ask questions. Asking questions results in punishment, sometimes the chair.
It's already dark outside, which makes things easier for the Asset, although the Asset is skilled enough to do this in broad daylight if required. It's easier to go unnoticed in the dark, and that darkness also means Privet Drive is empty of playing children. Most of them are probably eating dinner at the moment, but the Asset's only concern is what the Dursley family is doing.
Circling to the back of the house, the Asset finds a concealed spot in the bushes with an optimal view of the kitchen. Just because it is dark does not mean the Asset should stand in the open. The Asset crouches, still and silent in the bush, spying on the residents of Number 4.
Mr. Dursley and a boy are seated at the dinner table. Both the man and boy are in horrible physical condition and massively overweight. The boy is blonde, so he must be the Dursley boy, not Potter. The Asset was told in the briefing that the Potter boy has black hair, green eyes, and an unusual, lightning shaped scar on his forehead.
There's an even smaller, skinny boy with messy black hair and taped glasses by the stove. That is the target, that is Potter. Potter is so young and short that he requires a step stool to reach the pot that's cooking on the stovetop. The boy's ragged clothes are sized as if they once belonged to the Dursley child and would already be far too big for Potter if he was a healthy weight.
The Potter boy is not a healthy weight, but in the opposite extreme of the Dursley patriarch and child. His arms are like sticks waiting to be snapped at any moment.
The boy is small and young, not seeming like he could be of any benefit to HYDRA, although the family has clearly tried to find a use for the boy. The Asset does not think HYDRA wants Potter for his culinary skills- or lack thereof, since Potter is struggling at flipping the grilled cheese sandwiches on the pan.
Next to the Potter boy is a thin, long-necked woman who is scowling as she watches the tiny child struggle to cook.
The Asset's enhanced hearing means he can make out the sounds from the kitchen even though the windows are closed. "Flip it quickly or it will burn!" Mrs. Dursley snaps at the boy, slapping him on the back of the hand with a wooden spoon. Potter lets out a little yelp. "I won't have you messing up my precious Duddy's dinner."
"You better not burn anything, boy." Mr. Dursley barks angrily, and Potter flinches in terror. Mr. Dursley seems to enjoy seeing that reaction.
"I'm hungryyy! Mummy, I wanna eat noooow!" The Dursley boy's whining voice makes the Asset want to shove his fingers in his ears to block out the sound, but doing so would be mission noncompliant. Auditory input is necessary for complete surveillance. "Make him go faster!"
Potter quickly moves to serve the grilled cheese to the Dursley boy before going back to the stove and putting a large steak on a plate for Mr. Dursley, along with some potatoes. Mrs. Dursley waits for Potter to serve her and then tells the boy to go stand in the corner.
The Asset is reminded of his handlers, even though he is never ordered to serve them food. At least Potter knows how to follow orders. Whatever HYDRA has planned for Potter, compliance will be expected. Failure to comply leads to correction. Potter seems to know that already. The Asset watches the boy hunch his shoulders and scurry to the corner of the kitchen, looking down at the floor.
Throughout dinner, Potter is not offered anything to eat despite his obvious lack of nourishment. The Dursley boy, on the other hand, demands several more grilled cheese sandwiches after gluttonously eating the first few.
Potter is forced to make the other boy more, but leaves them on the stove for too long, resulting in a burnt odor that the Asset's enhanced olfactory senses pick up.
Potter looks terrified as Mr. Dursley lurches angrily towards him. "What did we just tell you not to do, you freak?" He spits the last word like a curse.
"N... not to b-burn the food." Potter stammers out. "'m sorry, Uncle Vernon, sir."
"Sorry doesn't change the fact you burnt it, boy!" Potter's uncle roars as he grabs the boy and presses the Potter's tiny hand into the hot pan, and the familiar smell of burnt flesh invades the Asset's nostrils. Potter screams, and something inside the Asset's chest burns as he watches.
The Asset is sure that, whatever this malfunction in his chest is, it will be fixed when he returns to his handlers.
Potter is trying to stifle his sobs as Mr. Dursley carries him into the hallway and dumps the boy unceremoniously into a small cupboard under the stairs. He slams the cupboard door shut and stomps back to the kitchen.
The way Potter is locked up reminds the Asset of how he is cryogenically frozen between missions. The feeling in the Asset's chest grows stronger.
After dinner and dessert- the Dursley boy had thrown a tantrum in order to have both cake and pudding despite having already eaten more than enough, and surprisingly he was not punished- Potter is called out of the cupboard to wash the dishes in the kitchen.
Potter obviously is not a master at working through pain yet, neither does he have enhanced healing like the Asset. The boy's burnt hand causes his progress on the dishes to be extremely slow and clumsy, since he has to do everything with his left hand. Potter is clearly worried about dropping something or not working efficiently enough. Of course such an act of carelessness would be punished harshly, the same goes for the Asset. Which is why he will not fail this mission.
The Asset can hear Potter's stomach rumble with hunger, but Mrs. Dursley watches the boy like a hawk to make sure he does not swipe any food for later. The Asset does not know when the boy last ate, but he is clearly not given enough sustenance to fuel optimum performance, like the Asset is.
Yet the odd feeling in the Asset's chest has only increased as he watches the Dursley's force the injured boy to do chores while the Dursley boy watches some sort of mindless program on a box with a screen in it, guffawing with yet more pudding smeared on his face. At the fact Potter is not even fed.
Then it happens. Potter drops a plate, and it shatters on the floor. This leads to Potter's second punishment in the evening.
As he watches Dursley beat Potter, where the boy's body had fallen on top of the shards of the broken plate, something briefly flashes through the Asset's mind. A mental image of an older, blonde boy who's not quite as scrawny as Potter, but close, getting beat up in an alleyway by some larger boys. The boy in the mental image looks familiar, even though the Asset has never seen him before. The image is accompanied by the overwhelming need to protect, protect him.
Whatever that strange vision, whoever the scrawny blonde boy was, the vision will be gone when the Asset returns to his handlers after completing the mission. Once he's in the chair, it will be gone.
The chair always hurts, but the Asset's pain is unimportant.
The Asset refocuses on the current target. Negligence and loss of focus are mission noncompliant, and usually punished.
As he watches Potter being punished by Dursley for those same offenses, the Asset thinks he may have decided to terminate the Dursley's even if no witnesses was not specified in the mission. It does not make sense that he would think that, when the punishment makes sense itself.
Potter is once again discarded in the cupboard under the stairs, and from the way the boy's shirt was staining red, he's sustained some injuries, probably both from the porcelain plate shards and the beating.
The Asset could barge in now, choke the life out of Mr. Dursley, but the man's wife or child might make enough noise to alert the neighbors. It will be easier to wait. Make it look like an accident, is part of the mission.
The Asset moves only to pull a protein bar out of his backpack pocket and eat it mechanically.
At 2221, the majority of Privet Drive is dark and quiet, the residents of the street having gone to bed. The Asset continues to sit silently in the bushes, waiting. By 2248, the last light at Number 4 goes out as Mr. and Mrs. Dursley go to bed.
He waits until 2308 to allow the Dursley's to fall asleep, going by the average time it takes. Then, the Asset creeps out of the bush and to the back door of Number 4. Disabling the alarm and picking the lock are not even a challenge, merely a tiny inconvenience. The Asset is capable of breaking into much more secure places than a civilian house. He could have simply broken the door, but that would leave evidence of his breaking and entering, and would probably make enough noise to wake up the house's residents.
The interior of Number 4 is dark, and of course the Asset does not turn on a light, instead wearing a pair of night vision goggles from his backpack. His booted feet make almost no sound on the tiled kitchen floor. Most people would be clomping around clumsily, loud enough to wake the dead, but the Asset is highly trained. Staying silent is almost as natural as breathing.
He walks past the door to the cupboard under the stairs, noticing that is locked. He'll come back for Potter after he's dealt with the Dursley's. He can hear the boy sobbing almost silently in the cupboard, but when the Asset creeps up the stairs, making only the faintest sound on a creaky stair, he hears the boy hold his breath in panic. Of course the boy would hear any sounds on the stairs when he's under them.
Upstairs, in the first bedroom, the Asset finds an unoccupied bed and piles of toys, most of which are broken.
Is this bedroom Potter's? The Asset turns and walks out of the bedroom. It does not matter, since there is nobody here. That question is not related to the mission.
The next bedroom is much like the first, filled to the brim with toys, but the Dursley boy is snoring loudly in the bed.
The Asset follows his orders, but something in the back of his mind protests as he slowly smothers the Dursley boy, even though the Asset is fairly certain he's killed children before. Besides, the boy is expendable, only Potter must survive.
He then stalks into the bedroom of Mr. and Mrs. Dursley. They are asleep, rather than engaged in other activities. The Asset would not want to see that. His mind does not protest as he simultaneously curls a fist around each of their throats. Their wide-eyed looks of terror and choked pleas mirror Potter's as they slowly stop thrashing.
He shuts their eyes so it looks like they're asleep, but they won't wake up again. He leaves their room without glancing back.
He can hear Potter's breath hitch as he walks down the stairs. The Asset quickly breaks the lock on the cupboard door and pulls it open, his night vision goggles letting him see inside without turning on a light.
Inside the cupboard is a small, stained mattress that is too small to fit any of the bed frames upstairs. There are some shelves lined with various cleaning supplies, a couple broken toy soldiers on the floor, and a decapitated stuffed bear. There is a bare lightbulb that the Asset does not turn on.
Potter is curled in a fetal position on the mattress, staring at the Asset with wide green eyes and clearly trying not to cry. The Asset can see the telltale lightning bolt scar on his forehead now. One of the identifiable features in the mission report. It did not say how Potter got such an odd scar, but that information is not important to the mission.
The Asset reaches into the cupboard and pulls the boy out, standing him up and quickly looking him over. There are a few shards of glass embedded in his palms (even the burnt one), and at least one in his side, having punctured his shirt.
"Stay." The Asset commands in English. He does not usually speak English, but he rarely speaks at all. His handlers mostly use Russian. Turning, he heads to the bathroom in search of a first aid kit. He does not find one in the downstairs bathroom, but the Asset saw a bathroom upstairs.
"You'll wake up da Dursleys." Potter whispers with scared eyes when the Asset starts to climb the stairs.
The Asset doesn't answer, but he knows the Dursleys will not wake. In a cabinet in the upstairs bathroom, he finds what he was looking for. The first aid kit comes complete with bandages, sterile gloves, tweezers, scissors, antiseptic cream, cleansing wipes, and more items that are irrelevant.
When he goes back downstairs with the first aid kit, he sees Potter has not moved a centimeter from where the Asset left him outside the cupboard. The boy does not know him and he still follows orders.
That trait will serve him well.
The Asset guides the boy into the kitchen and removes the boy's shirt, quickly checking to see if there is any more porcelain stuck in his small body.
Grabbing one of the boy's hands, the Asset pulls a shard out of Potter's palm with the tweezers. Potter whimpers.
The Asset knows what painful healing is like. Whenever his handlers work on his prosthetic arm, there is always a lot of pain.
He tries to cause Potter as little pain as possible as he first removes the shards of glass from the boy's palms and side. He cleans the cuts before bandaging them.
He then runs Potter's burnt hand under cool water and covers it with a sterile, non-adhesive bandage.
Potter stares at the Asset's prosthetic arm and eventually whispers "Are you a robot?" The boy tenses immediately after asking, as if expecting a rebuke for asking. Speaking out of turn would get the Asset at least a slap.
"No." The Asset says tersely. It is not critical to the mission that he answer the boy's question, but maybe he won't ask more. He was not instructed to slap the boy, so he doesn't. The part of him that protested killing the Dursley boy would have protested slapping Potter, as well.
The boy is quiet for a bit longer as the Asset finishes patching him up. He seems almost shocked that someone is bothering to do so. The Dursley's almost certainly hadn't helped him heal.
The Asset is not entirely sure why he is. The mission briefing had nothing about patching the boy up, just that he was to remain alive and relatively unharmed. Had his handlers known the boy would be harmed?
Delivering the boy in the best condition possible would be the most successful mission outcome. That's why he is doing it.
But there's also the thing in the Asset's head saying to protect the boy.
Once he finishes picking porcelain out of the boy's side and bandaging it up, he hands Potter his shirt back. It does not matter if his shirt looks like little more than rags, the Asset knows. It is not important.
The boy is skinny. He needs to eat. Proper nutrition is required for optimum performance. The Asset ignores the refrigerator- too cold- and instead pulls another protein bar from his backpack and hands it to the boy.
Potter stares at him as if he's not sure if this is a trick.
"Eat." The Asset commands. Potter does not need to be told twice, tearing the paper off and cramming as much of the bar as he can in his mouth.
The Dursley boy surely would have refused to eat it and complained about the taste. It is fortunate the Asset does not need to put up with the Dursley boy. At least Potter is well-behaved and knows how to follow orders.
"Thank you, sir." Potter says softly, probably about treating his injuries, or the food. The Asset says nothing, but it takes him by surprise. He is a weapon. Nobody calls the Asset sir.
Potter probably will not be thanking the Asset when he is delivered to HYDRA. The thought makes the Asset frown, but he does not know why. He will have completed his mission.
"Come," He mutters to the child.
"I don't haf'to stay here?" Potter asks in a hushed voice, eyes wide with awe.
"Come." The Asset repeats, trying to ignore the way his stomach twists at the thought of where the boy is headed. There is no reason for his stomach to twist.
The Asset does not want the boy to go through what he goes through. The chair, the cryogenic tank. The Asset does not want to go through them himself. No, the Asset is a weapon. The Asset does not have wants. The Asset completes the mission. Not delivering Potter would be failing the mission. Failing the mission would be worse, would lead to punishment.
The boy means nothing to him, he is just another mission.
Even if Potter goes through a similar fate as the Asset, it is none of the Asset's concern. His young age means nothing. The Asset might have been as young as Potter when he started. He does not remember, has no way of knowing.
When the Asset returns to his handlers, these malfunctioning thoughts and feelings will be wiped. They are mission noncompliant.
The Asset simply grabs the boy with his flesh arm and holds the boy to his side. Potter stiffens slightly, but does not try to wriggle free. Stopping briefly back at the cupboard, the Asset grabs the boy's taped glasses and puts them on his face. The boy blinks.
The Asset does not grab any of the toy soldiers or the bear. They are pointless.
He heads to the kitchen, still holding the boy, and fiddles with the stove, setting it to catch fire and explode. Then, he steps out the back door, closing it behind him.
The mission is almost complete. It will look like the Dursley's merely perished in a fire. The authorities will probably not know that Potter was even there. The Dursley's made that easy. There were no pictures of Potter in the house, but plenty of the Dursley boy.
The house explodes when he's a street away, and lights in houses flicker on around him. The Asset is already keeping in the shadows and he is not spotted as he stealthily moves in the dark, still holding Potter. It takes several minutes before the sirens of fire engines are audible.
With every step the Asset takes towards where he will meet his handlers, some malfunctioning part of his brain tells him to turn around and walk the other way.