So I think this is going to take place sometime in the 2000s instead of 1980s when Harry was born in canon. I'm not entirely sure exactly when in the 2000s, though. If other Marvel characters do make an appearance, I don't know how old I'd want Harry to be when lining up with that timeline.
The mission should have been simple. It had almost been complete, at least the Soldier's part of it. All it had left to do was keep Potter quiet in the back of the car, the last orders it had been given, as the escorts did their job.
The attacker has set the mission back by immobilizing the escorts and blowing out the car tires. The Asset had delivered the boy to the escorts, but now the escorts are stiff and useless, no longer capable of driving him back to the airport and flying him back to the HYDRA base.
The Soldier looks at the limp form of the attacker it had just knocked out, making sure he is completely neutralized and will not wake up for a while. The attacker has long, greasy dark hair and black clothes.
The escorts had not explicitly ordered him to fight the attacker once he had taken them out, but it had not been necessary. The Soldier could not let the attacker take Potter as it seemed he'd been planning to do.
The enemy asset had been a unique opponent with abilities and a weapon the Asset has not encountered before. Perhaps he is an asset for the enemy.
The Asset had defeated his opponent. Losing would have been mission-noncompliant and punished.
The odd, weaponized stick has fallen from the man's limp hand. The Asset quickly frisks the unconscious attacker, but finds no other weapons or any source of identification. All the man has is the weaponized stick. With it, the enemy asset had been able to project shields powerful enough to stop the Asset's bullets, and had shot out various energy blasts that the Asset had been able to dodge with its enhanced speed. Most people would have been unable to dodge greater than or equal to 90% of the man's attacks.
Some of the energy blasts the weaponized stick shot had set things on fire. The man had tried to burn the Asset's prosthesis, so he had not let those hit him like the one that was deflected off his prosthesis. The Asset had been sloppy in dodging and one blast had singed some hair, but otherwise no damage was sustained during the battle.
The man had been limited by only being able to perform one action with the weapon at once, and by having only one weapon in the first place. The Soldier had taken advantage of each limitation, as always.
The Soldier's metal hand hovers over the weaponized stick, which currently looks quite harmless. He does not know if the weapon will go off if picked up, nor does he know the extent of its capabilities.
HYDRA would most likely like to know about this new weapon.
The stick could prove useful. The Asset cannot teleport or make guns fly out of opponents' hands and petrify opponents like the attacker had with the weapon. It's as if the man was some sort of wizard with a wand, but both are fictional.
The Asset carefully picks it up, making sure to point it away from any body parts. The weapon does not shoot out any energy now, seems to be no more than an ornate stick.
Heading back to the car, he checks on the escorts. They have not moved since falling to the street. The escorts' bodies are frozen and rigid as if in cryostasis, like the Asset between missions, except the escorts' temperatures are still around the average of 37 degrees celsius, and their eyes are open and moving, indicating consciousness.
The Asset does not know how to reverse the effects of whatever the energy blast had done to immobilize his escorts, but he does not try to wave the weaponized stick to counteract their paralysis.
The escorts are now useless to the mission. The Asset will be punished for that, even though it was the rival asset who took them out.
The escorts' mouths are shut, preventing speech and rendering them incapable of providing further orders or corrective punishment.
It is up to the Asset to bring the boy to the base now. It should not be too difficult.
It would not be difficult, if the Asset was functioning properly. He is not.
The unofficial orders in the malfunctioning brain command him to do just that, trying to reset the mission. The escorts can not stop it like they had before. The voice in the head giving the new orders will not be quiet.
The voice is jeopardizing the mission.
Deliver the boy. The Asset thinks. That is the true mission.
The car is also useless with its tires blown. There are spare tires, but it would take too long to change them, and the man he'd just fought might have backup or other agents of his own. The Asset will not stick around here to find out.
Seeing the car in the middle of the darkened road brings forth another vision, of sniping a car so it crashes on the side of a different abandoned street in the night. Of wrapping a hand around the woman's throat, cutting off her choked pleas as she sat in horror over her dead husband.
The dead man in the vision seems familiar, as if the Asset had seen him before being ordered to kill him. The Asset thinks that was a previous mission as he remembers grabbing a case from the trunk of that car.
The vision fades, leaving the Asset standing in the middle of Magnolia Crescent.
Past missions are irrelevant. The only mission that matters is the current one. Potter.
The Asset grabs the backpack from where he'd dropped it in the street to increase mobility during the fight and slips the stick into one of the side pockets. Right now, it seems to be just a stick instead of a weapon. Perhaps it was calibrated so only the man he'd just fought can use it, in which case it might be useless to his handlers unless they can modify it like they modify him.
His handlers might not be as mad about the escorts being petrified if he delivers another weapon, in addition to himself and the boy. The Asset will still be punished, of course, but it might be less severe.
After putting on the backpack, he opens the car door to grab the boy, and is immediately hit with the unpleasant new smell of urine, plus the lingering scents of burnt flesh, blood, and antiseptic from earlier. The Asset wants to yank his nose off and throw it away, because enhanced olfactory senses are not advantageous in this situation, or when he is being operated on.
Potter is not sitting in the backseat, but rather wedged on the floor where the rear passengers' feet go, pressed up against the door farthest away from the play park where the battle took place. The child's body is shaking almost as much as the Asset's does when first being unfrozen from cryo, only it for Potter it seems to be out of fear instead of the aftereffects of being frozen. The boy's respiration has increased by 6.2% from when the Asset held him briefly in the car, before the attacker showed up and the fight started, and it had already been 9% higher than average from the escorts handling him.
The Soldier leans into the car to grab Potter from the foot space, and the child lets out a terrified whimper, trying to curl into an even smaller ball on the car floor.
"'m sorry, sir!" The boy blurts as the Asset hoicks him up and prepares to settle the child against his hip. Apologizing is completely useless, a waste of breath- it hadn't worked on the boy's uncle, nor does it work on handlers. The boy still tries, for some reason. "I'm s-sorry."
The boy is not supposed to talk. The escorts ordered the Soldier to keep him quiet and still when handing him the child in the car. They are incapacitated, yet conscious.
The unpleasant new odor gross stronger when the Soldier brings Potter closer. The boy's tattered, stained shirt, which reaches his knees, has a dark spot from where it soaked through both the shirt and the shorts underneath.
Urinating in one's pants is not against mission protocol and does not require correction, even if it smells disgusting. But the handlers will be angry at the child if he constantly makes a mess, and will most likely punish him. It is not the boy's fault.
"Are you incontinent?" He asks the boy. That could be important intel to report.
Potter just stares uncomprehendingly.
"Do you know how to properly relieve yourself?" The Asset waits expectantly. Potter is clearly trying to work out an answer that will let him avoid punishment.
"Sorry, sir! I t-tried to hold it but I... hadda go to da bafroom." Potter does not directly answer the question, does not even seem to know what the question meant. "I only went b'fore dinner an' I c-couldn't hold it..." Before the dinner the boy had been forced to make yet had not been allowed to eat. That means the boy had not relieved himself since at least 1824 when the Asset first started surveying the house. It is now 2354.
Of course, the Asset has not relieved himself in those 5.5 hours either, but Potter is small and has an equally small bladder. The Soldier is fairly certain that Mr. Dursley would not have been happy had Potter urinated in the cupboard.
"Don't hit me, p-please, sir." Potter is sobbing again, although it sounds like he does not expect his plea about avoiding punishment to be granted. "I didn't mean to!
Not only is the boy is extremely emotional- emotions interfere with performance, any emotion is corrected by handlers or the chair- but Potter also seems to constantly leak unpleasant substances from various orifices. Earlier, he'd smeared the Soldier's flesh hand with tears and snot, the boy's shirt is crusty with dried mucus, as well as the spot of urine.
The Asset continues with the mission before he can malfunction more.
He takes the guns that the attacker had made fly out of the escorts' hands earlier. The escorts have no use for them when they're lying on the pavement stiff as logs.
He also grabs the half of the protein bar the boy had dropped on the ground. The Soldier has been taught not to waste food. While the Asset is fed adequately during missions to ensure optimum functioning, food is often withheld by handlers as a corrective measure during training and recalibration. They decide everything about his eating at the base, including if he eats at all.
The street is unhygienic and the boy's malnourished immune system is most likely weak, so instead the Asset shoves the remainder of the bar into his pocket to eat later, himself. His immune system can handle germs.
Then, they are on the move. The Asset jogs with Potter in his arms although most people are too slow to consider the pace is is moving at 'jogging'.
After 1.74 minutes of jogging, Potter makes a retching sound. The Soldier manages to turn him away before he regurgitates on the Soldier's kevlar vest. Bile and the meager contents of the boy's stomach splatter on Potter's bare feet and the ground. Potter's tiny frame shakes and the boy uses his shirt- which is already crusty with mucus from his crying and has small spots of dried blood on it from cuts caused by the plate shards- to wipe bile from his mouth.
The boy must be in good condition when he is delivered to the handlers. The shirt had been big on Potter when the Asset had first seen him, but it had been relatively clean. Now it is filthy and odorous, covered in urine, mucus, tears, blood and bile.
The handlers will not want a disgustingly smelly child.
The Soldier has not been cleaned since he was hosed off with a jet of cold water after being removed from the cryo tank 52.4 hours ago, but he has remained clean on this mission, even after the battle and hiding in a bush.
New mission sub-objective: acquire cleaner clothes for the boy that do not smell like urine and bile. In retrospect, he should have grabbed from some the Dursley residence before blowing it up, but he did not think it would be necessary. He did not know Potter was going to urinate.
"Please, don't send me back to Uncle Vernon an' Aunt Tuna!" The boy's voice is even more fearful and quiet than before.
"We are not going there." The Soldier tells him. That is both impossible and mission noncompliant.
"Really?" The boy makes it sound like it's too good to be true, as if he hadn't seen the house explode. The Asset does not answer, Potter should not need clarification. The handlers do not expect to have to repeat orders. The boy will have to listen and obey the first time, like he had when the Asset observed him with the Dursley's.
"Why?" The boy asks after 4 seconds of silence from the Asset, and Potter hastens to add "Sir?". The boy still tenses more in his arms, expecting punishment for the question.
"You are the mission." He replies.
"But... I'm not missin', I'm right here." Potter clearly does not understand.
"My mission is to deliver you to my handlers." The Asset states. "The mission will be completed."
Once he completes the mission, he will be wiped and the malfunctions will be fixed.
What HYDRA wants with Potter is not his concern. The Dursley's are not influential, there is no way Potter is a political prisoner. But there is not much use for such a small child. If they subject the child to painful medical experimentation, it should not matter.
The boy is small and unhealthy. What if HYDRA does not feed him properly? Surely they do not want the boy just to starve him.
The boy has already experienced correction by starvation at the hands of the Dursley's, as well as slaps and beatings. HYDRA will just be more severe. The Asset's chest should not have malfunctioned when watching the Dursley's, it should not be doing so now as he thinks this.
It does not matter. The boy should not matter. He is a mission, that is all. If the Soldier is ordered to kill the boy, he will do so.
The new mission protests him thinking that, throbbing in his head. Protect. It brings up an image of the scrawny blonde boy in an alleyway again, older and with a black eye. The Soldier growls slightly, the image gives him the urging need to protect. He is a weapon, meant to kill. He does not act as protection detail unless ordered to, which he does not remember ever happening.
He is malfunctioning again, with more visions and unexplained pains in his chest and stomach. Something is wrong with him.
He'd malfunctioned when the voice told him to turn and take Potter away, and when he had not handed Potter to the escort as ordered. He needs the chair, then the malfunctions will be fixed. The thought of the chair increases respiration and heart rate by 6%. He is not anywhere near the chair.
The unofficial mission's voice has gotten stronger, since the escorts have been immobilized, leaving the Asset alone to deliver the boy. The Asset could walk away without being stopped.
Deliver Potter. Then it will be over.
"You're big an' strong an' dark... like Batman." The boy sighs tiredly and fiddles with a bit of the Asset's long hair. "You helped and heroes help so I think..." The sentence is interrupted by a yawn. "...maybe you're Batman."
"Batman is not an authorized designation for the Winter Soldier." The Asset tells him flatly. Potter ignores that comment entirely.
"Sol-ders fight and don't let bad guys hurt people." Potter mumbles. "You didn't let 'em hurt me." It is unclear if he means the Dursley's, the escorts or the enemy asset who the Asset had defeated. Perhaps all of them, but Potter does not know about the Dursleys' demise.
The escorts had not been incapacitated for Potter's sake at all, despite what the boy seems to think. The Asset had still been in the backseat with Potter when it happened- does he know it was the attacker who did it? If the mission went according to plan, the escorts would be driving them back to the plane right now.
"You are not supposed to be talking." He mutters to the child, who flinches. "Go to sleep."
The Asset can be ordered to sleep on command, but he is fairly certain children are not the same way. The Dursley boy had proven this by putting up a huge fight about going to bed, and Mrs. Dursley had catered to her son's every whim and allowed him to stay up until he fell asleep watching mindless programs on the screen. Something in the Asset's brain tells him that this is abnormal for parents. Petunia had been Potter's handler but the Dursley boy's mother. Certainly handlers would never behave as Petunia Dursley had to her son, but she had treated Potter as a handler would.
The local time is 0016. The boy's adrenaline rush from the night's events seems to be wearing down finally.
As the Soldier walks, Potter falls asleep in his arms, the side of his small face resting against the metal shoulder, glasses askew on the boy's face.
First task: complete mission sub-objective of making Potter presentable.
At 0039 the Asset finds a store called Tesco with a parking lot that is empty but lit up. He does not walk through the lit space, instead staying in the shadows until he is as close as possible to the store.
Breaking into the store is only slightly more work than breaking into Number 4 Privet Drive had been, partly because he is holding a sleeping little boy. There are security cameras, but he disables them, destroying the evidence. Just like in the Dursley residence, the Soldier wears his night vision goggles instead of turning on a light and alerting any outsiders to his presence.
Threat assessment of the Tesco store: low. Lower than even the Dursley residence. There is nobody here who might be awoken aside from Potter. It is too early in the morning for trucks to start bringing produce or other goods. Even if someone does happen to find them here, the Asset will easily be able to handle them.
The carts have seats designed for children near the handles. The Asset plops Potter in one and wheels it past darkened aisles.
There are signs stating what is in each aisle. The Tesco store has more than just clothes, which is what he came for. For some reason, he didn't think stores carried so much stuff. It has food on one side, electronics and irrelevant things such as toys and books on another, clothes and household decorations and appliances in the middle.
The unofficial mission notes that it would be easy to obtain a lot of supplies that would make it easy to survive if he slipped away. The only thing he wouldn't be able to get is ammo for his guns. It tells him to take advantage of the supplies, grab food, take the boy far away.
What is wrong with him? He has never had a voice trying to change the mission before. Is it because he's been out of cryo for too long? That he needs the chair? Neither are an option right now.
The Asset forces himself to ignore the voice in his head and continues past the food, clenching his fists hard enough that the metal hand crushes the part of the cart handle it's wrapped around as he heads towards the footwear aisles. The boy is barefoot at the moment.
Choosing footwear temporarily distracts the Soldier from the missions battling in his head, although the prices (which he automatically tries to convert to American Dollars in his head for some reason) are obscenely high. One pair of toddler shoes is more than a month's rent money. Why did he think that? He does not pay rent.
Whoever thought to equip toddler shoes with lights that flash with every step probably did not have to worry about covert movement and avoiding detection, about there being no witnesses. Also they were a moron. The Asset does not choose light up shoes, and is glad that Potter is not awake to whine for them. Not that whining would do the boy any good.
In the end, the Soldier chooses waterproof "Wellington" boots for the boy, without any laces. This way if the boy regurgitates again, they will be easier to clean. The ones on display are, inconveniently, not the right size for the boy, so he has to hunt through the shoeboxes to find a pair that fits.
In the children's clothing section, the Asset grabs a shirt (not the shirt with the stupid-looking anthropomorphic blue locomotive on it) and holds it up to Potter for size. He discovers that Potter, despite having turned four under a month ago according to the mission briefing, is 11.5% smaller than the clothes designed for boys his age. The clothes designed for two or three-year-olds are more Potter's size.
Potter should not be so small. He is probably 6 kg lighter than his cousin had been, which at his age is a dangerously significant amount.
The Soldier finds a couple shirts without pictures, all of which appear green due to the night vision goggles, and throws them in the cart, along with pants, socks, and underwear. They apparently do not make plain toddler underwear, everything has some sort of pointless design or cartoon. He really hopes Potter knows how to properly relieve himself, but if not, there is an aisle with diapers.
Potter continues to sleep as the Asset pulls off the disgusting, large shirt and slips a new plain one over the boy's head of wild raven hair, maneuvering the boy's limp, skinny arms through the sleeves. For the pants, he has to lift Potter out of the shopping cart seat.
With the amount of fluids the boy leaks through his nose and eyes and how disgusting his shirt became, the Soldier considers finding a waterproof jacket for the boy.
Hunting through the racks of clothes, he finds one, but does not put it on the boy right now.
Mission sub-objective complete.
There is no reason for him to grab a hooded jacket from the men's section and slip it on, but the new mission's voice told him to. There is no reason to cover his prosthesis or hair, he should not disguise himself from his handlers. This is not part of the official mission.
As he starts to head towards the exit, pushing the cart past aisles of processed food, the new mission screeches orders to grab supplies. He malfunctions even more, turns the cart into an aisle with canned soup.
He knows he is malfunctioning, but he still puts cans of soup in his backpack. Mission sub-objective of the new mission is also complete. He should not be completing the new mission. It was not assigned by his handlers, it is contrary to the mission.
He is broken, he thinks again as he adds granola bars and bottled water to the stash in his backpack.
He grabs some juice for Potter, because the boy needs something after emptying his stomach. He is not sure if Potter had regurgitated because he could not handle the solid protein bar, so he will try liquids. The juice has nutrients, if not many calories.
Potter's sleep becomes fitful. He wriggles around, crying and making small, fearful noises of protest. He wakes with a gasp, tiny hand rubbing not his eyes but his forehead where the odd lightning bolt scar is. The boy gasps for breath in a way that is vaguely familiar to the Soldier although he has no idea why. The current respiratory problems are likely a result of fear, not asthma, although asthma is extremely familiar in his brain. But the Soldier does not know anybody with asthma.
Unlike the Soldier with his night vision goggles, Potter cannot see in the dark. He makes small, confused noises as he continues to shiver in fear, face again leaking tears. His knuckles are pressed into his mouth to stifle his sobs while he continues rubbing his scar as if it hurts. Had he sustained any damage to the area from Dursley's beating? That could affect his usefulness for HYDRA.
Potter is surprisingly quiet for a child who just had a nightmare, the Asset thinks, although he does not know how he knows this. Most children would scream and cry noisily.
The Asset looks at his backpack, stuffed with non-perishable food. This is not the mission. The mission does not require this much food, even now that he needs to make the trip back to the base without his escorts.
When he turns around, the sees that the boy is about to wipe his eyes and nose on the collar of the new shirt.
"Stop." The Soldier tells him. The child stills at the command, eyes wide and worried. "I do not want to change you again."
The child wipes his nose and eyes on the back of his hand instead of his shirt. Still disgusting, but he had followed orders.
Does the Asset have to give the child a bath? Will HYDRA simply hose Potter off as they do with him?
Potter reaches out blindly, blinking owlishly in the dark.
"... My strong sol-der man...?" The child murmurs hesitantly, as if he's not sure if he'd simply dreamed about the Soldier or not. Potter had used an incorrect pronoun. He is not a handler, therefore he cannot claim ownership of the Soldier. The boy sounds almost hopeful that the Soldier is there.
"I am not your Asset." The Asset corrects.
"A'set." Potter murmurs, smiling slightly when he hears the Asset's voice. This is new. He is merely a weapon, his targets certainly do not smile and neither do his handlers, not even when he successfully completes a mission. But Potter smiles, and has also called him sir. The child is strange. "A'set."
"You need to keep your clothes clean. You should be in the best condition possible when delivered to the handlers."
Grabbing the waterproof jacket from the cart, he starts to dress Potter.
"Wha?" Potter murmurs. "Not Dudley's..." The child voices his dawning realization that he's wearing different clothes, including boots. Distressed, he tries to shift around enough in the cart seat to remove the boots, but the handle is getting in the way.
He almost seems scared of the clothes. What can be distressing about clothes?
"Leave them on." The Asset orders.
"But Aunt Tuna says freaks don't d'serve new clothes." The boy makes a desperate attempt to pull off a boot. Potter seems unable to fully comprehend the notion of wearing clothes that did not once belong to the Dursley boy, of wearing clothes that actually fit him. "Freaks are un-g'ateful. Freaks ruin new things."
"Do not remove them." The Asset repeats. At least with Potter in the waterproof coat, the Asset does not need to worry as much about mucus getting on the boy's clothes.
37 seconds later, one of the "Wellington" boots hits the floor, having been kicked off. Potter seems to be malfunctioning, like the Asset, because he does not follow the orders.
The Asset bends down, slips it back on the boy's foot. He pokes a straw in a juice box and hands it to Potter. The boy looks at him in confusion, saying that juice is "only for Dudley" and that he himself only gets water when he's good.
The Asset orders him to drink it anyways, and Potter almost suspiciously puts the straw in his mouth.
He leaves the store at 0123 with his backpack and a few extra bags full of food and other supplies he is not authorized to have, and plans on stealing a car.
He chooses an car at a house with toys in the yard, because there is a car seat for small children in the back. Children are supposed to be in such seats when they are young, it optimizes safety.
Breaking into the car is simple, and Potter is limp enough that he does not protest being strapped into the child car seat. The seat does not look nearly as uncomfortable as the chair the Asset is subjected to.
The Asset knows how to hot-wire vehicles, and by 0140 he has successfully pulled the car out of the family's driveway.
The airport where the plane is at is only another seventeen minutes away.
Deliver Potter. The mission tells him as he drives to the airport.
Drive far away. The voice in the brain, the one he had started brokenly following in the food aisles, counters the official orders. Do not return to the base.
His world is no longer as simple as following orders, because now there are two voices giving orders in his head, clashing with each other.
He realizes he's turned down a street that does not lead to the airport.
The Asset scowls and slams on the breaks, trying not to crush the steering wheel in his fists. The voice in his brain giving the unofficial orders needs to be silent and let him complete the mission in peace. He needs to turn around and go to the airport.
He needs major maintenance. He needs to be wiped. The chair will almost be a relief, because then there will be no more clashing orders. Everything will be as it should be.
But if he continues malfunctioning and following the false orders, he might not manage to complete the mission.
Poor Bucky :) At least he's "he" again instead of "it".
Keep in mind that Bucky doesn't know that HYDRA already knows about magic. And HYDRA didn't know Mrs. Figg was there to call Dumbledore. They thought that, at most, they'd have to deal with muggle police. So that's why they didn't send wizards with Bucky.
Harry calling Bucky "My Soldier" is mostly because he thought he was made up in a dream.
I haven't forgotten about Snape, by the way.