16 Chapter 16

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Against all odds, no search party hunted for him in the morning. And the afternoon...and the night. The whole day slowly passed on and everything was calm and quiet.. No one raised a fuss about the killing, no one seemed to care that there was a killer on the ship, or that one of their own was killed. It looked like the entire crew completely forgot about the night's events.

Now this might sound like good news, but Harry knew better. And he grew paranoid. The cause of his paranoia? The ship was too silent. All of the crew stayed in their rooms, even though the rain stopped around midnight. Even the captain did not leave his cabin.

They were hiding, he realised.

And the cause became clear when the Southampton port came into view, and a welcome party awaited them on the docks.

Police. They called the freaking police. Over a dozen police cars blocked the entire port. There was absolutely no way to escape from this. If the ship docked successfully, Harry would either have to fight over a dozen police personnel, or say goodbye to his freedom. Harry wasn't willing to do either. Fighting the police risked revealing his identity. How embarrassing would it be to leave Shield only to get thrown in jail right after...

Saying goodbye to his freedom on the other hand...yeah, he'd rather slaughter the police.

There was only one option remaining for him. Jump off the ship.

And that was exactly what he did as soon as he processed this line of thought. He left his hiding spot and ran for the edge of the ship.

But the police were a step ahead of him because he could hear the whirling blades of a chopper approaching their position.

Great. So now he will have to swim over 200 meters without breaking the surface for air.

Hopefully lvl 30 swimming was enough for the task.

And thus, in the August of 2007, Harry Potter made the dive of his life, successfully escaping the police's notice at the cost of another day as a wet kitten.

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9 August, 2007,

Little Whingings, Surrey, England

Harry strolled the neighborhood of little whinging, searching for a Matchbox shaped house. After touring through the streets of New York, every house in here looked old school in comparison. Not a place he would like to live in. Not anymore.

But he had a job to do. Some old grudges to settle. He truly hoped the Dursleys were still here. After all the hardships he'd experienced, he deserved to have a little fun.

His eyes soon narrowed in on a familiar house, standing at the side of 4th privet drive street, and all hopes of revenge left him.

The house was abandoned.

"Oh, c'mon..." He approached the bunglow, his eyes taking in the dirty blackened walls, rusted garage shutter, and most importantly, the ruined garden on the front.

As soon as he walked closer though, harry felt a tingling in the back of his ears. Normally he'd have dodged or something, thinking it was an ambush from behind. But the blinking blue screen in front of his eyes said otherwise.

[Skill Created: Mana Sense] Lvl 1

Ahh, so it was mana that he was sensing. Why was there magic around this crappy house though? As far as he knew Harry was the only wizard little whinging had ever produced. Atleast, according to Hydra's database.

Suspicious. Very suspicious.

Of course that wasn't going to stop him from entering. He needed to know what happened to the Dursleys. The thought of revenge had kept him from drowning back in Hydra's rehabilitation program, which had been quite painful, unlike what the term suggested.

He didn't knock on the door. A single punch to the latch had it flying open instead.

Utter silence greeted him as he walked inside the house, broken only by the bang of door closing. The inside was...not pretty.

Unlike the overly bright and normal house that he remembered, it was now a dead mockery of the original. Spider webs covered each corners, even bigger than the ones that used to be in his cupboard. Heavy layer of dust was present everywhere, from the floor to the ceiling, to the walls and the doors. It was a disgusting place.

Harry smiled. He realised he quite liked it this way. The only thing missing was the live bodies of those three Dursleys wrapped in gift paper, ready for some good old torture sessions.

But as he finished the house tour, he knew his dreams would never come true. The Dursleys were dead. Most likely killed by Hydra 6 years ago. Though they must be particularly incompetent in that case, as someone had done a piss poor job of hiding the blood stains, but left behind some really weird patterns.

There was no blood trail at a single glance, but anyone who was trained in assassination and espionage could easily find out the trails after just a few minutes.

The scene was screaming 'Amateur'. The Winter Soldier was many things...amateur he was not.

It was unusual. And suspicious. Very very suspicious. And Harry was starting to get worried.

A loud alien sound of cracking blasted outside the house and Harry quickly scrambled to peek out the window.

Men and women appeared through thin air, their arrival announced by those loud cracks in the air. Every single one of them clutched a wand in their hands.

Harry slapped his face. Hard.

Of course this was a trap! Hydra set it all up! Where was the first place Harry would go after leaving America? His old fucking house! How could he be so predictable!? He was known for his unpredictability for fuck's sake!

Damnit harry!

He slammed the gamer's mind upon himself, embracing the unnatural calm. Now wasn't the time to berate himself. He was surrounded, and capture meant death...or worse.

The best move? Go out fighting. Because that was all he could do. Wizards were not an enemy he had been trained against, and without a wand his meagre spell list became non-existence.

That didn't mean he can't take some of them down with him.

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James potter stared at the doors of Dursley residence with complicated feelings.

It felt only yesterday that they'd arrived to get back their son from the clutches of those magic hating muggles, only to find three dead bodies awaiting them instead. With no sign of their harry. The worst came when they discovered the cupboard under the stairs, which was most likely his son's bedroom.

The sheer thought of his child getting abused was enough for his temper to explode, even now. Not a day passed that James didn't regret his life choices. Had he simply avoided the war, his family would've been safe. Harry would've grown up amongst a loving family, and his wife would never accompany him to saint mungos, wasting away their lives as victims of war.

6 years. 6 years gone in that bloody hospital, courtesy of that mad witch Bellatrix Lestrange. 6 years they wasted, Lily and him, recovering from the aftereffects of cruciatus, while his son slaved away in this horrible house.

His attention shifted to his wife, whose entire body was shaking almost to the point of hyperventilation.

"Lily." He clutched his wife's arm. "Honey, calm down."

She seemed to come into her own, turning her eyes away from the Dursley house and taking deep breaths in. A good thing she was so proficient in occlumency.

They were on a job right now. The Dursley wards were tripped, and the order was deployed to check it out. Dumbledore was probably on his way too.

But the sheer thought of entering this wretched house made him disgusted, to speak nothing of his wife who felt much more strongly about this than he could ever do. He still remembered the wrath and rage his wife had unleashed when they found that cupboard under the stairs.

Suffice it to say, they had to collect the pieces of the three Dursley bodies well into the evening.

Since then, Lily had distanced herself from anything named 'Dursley'.

Case in point being her hesitance to even enter the house.

"Honey, it's fine." James comforted his sweet wife. "I'm here for you. We'll do this together alright?"

His beautiful wife shot him a small smile, though her attention was still divided.

And he didn't blame her, knowing what she was going through.

The cruciatus had hit her much harder than him, worsening her mental conditions to an extreme degree. He theorized it was likely due to her facing the brunt of Lestrange's attack, having stayed under the torture spell for far too long.

The fact that she was still here, fighting beside him, and not having given up hope on their son yet, was only proof of her extremely strong Will.

"If you're done with your... frankly disgusting display of affection, we may move forward."

The sneering voice of Snivellus reached his ears but James had already learned to ignore it. It was especially easier now that he knew it was out of sheer jealousy.

Thus, James decided to be the bigger man and let go.

...Well he tried to, atleast. He couldn't help but shoot him a discrete smirk, enjoying the look of irritation that passed over the man's face.

Alright, maybe he wasn't as big a man as he liked to think he was. But hey, it was Snivellus! Some exceptions could be made.

"Come on, then. Let's get this over with." Lily took command, waving the other two over.

They both followed without another word.

The house looked even more broken down than before. Now it's outside truly matched what it really was from the inside; Bitter, Pathetic, disgusting, and wretched.

Perfectly describing a family of abusers. Merlin, he hoped they didn't have a good death. Even that fat pig of a boy.

Shaking his head, he focused.

"Homenum Revelio." He intoned quietly, swishing his wand around the house.

"One hiding just behind the door." He announced, sensing the small figure ready to ambush them. "I'll take charge."

Lily squeezed his hands, her eyes reluctant and ready to argue. He just smiled in assurance, firmly taking the lead. Lily wasn't a delicate flower and he knew that, but hell would freeze over before he let her take such risks.

The three years that they've spent reconnecting with the world again had done wonders to her health, especially the last year when she joined Hogwarts teaching staff. And he really did not want all that forward progress to disappear if they encountered something unexpected.

Even Snivellus didn't argue. Though it might be due to Lily still holding his arm. The sight of them together never failed to make the greasy man uncomfortable.

Well, as the muggles said...one man's bad luck was another man's good luck...or something along those lines. He couldn't remember, muggle wisdom was so ever changing.

"Alright, blaze out with stunners on my mark." He whispered to the two as they came closer. "One, two...three!"

"Stupefy!"

Three stunners slammed on the wooden doors, blasting it off the hinges. Normally he would've liked to use something more offensive like confringo, but their primary objective was to stun and capture this trespasser. He couldn't risk injuring them.

As soon as the door was blasted off, their enemy opened fire. All three of them had their shields up already, but he was surprised to see that they weren't attacked by magic...but with muggle weapon. Those tiny bronze... ahh bullets?

Yeah, bullets. They smacked uselessly against their shields before falling to the ground, completely ineffective against magic.

Did they make a mistake? Did they just attack a muggle burglar who was so desperate that he thought to rob this pathetic house? All such thoughts went out of his mind the next second.

Why? Because the dust cleared and he got his first look at the enemy. It was a boy. A 5 feet tall boy. A very very familiar looking boy. And as those cold familiar green eyes met him, James couldn't hold himself together.

"...Harr–?"

He wasn't allowed to finish as a wave of sharp magic cut into his chest, directly piercing his weakened shield that had almost dissipated due to his distraction. Those few motes of his shield must have surely saved his life as blood rapidly started flowing down his chest.

Wandless magic! Bloody hell!

"James!" Lily screamed, already moving behind him to catch his falling body. Severus moved in on the target who started retreating with a steady shots of bullets to tie off the man.

There was a unique crack of disapparition, announcing the arrival of Dumbledore but there was only one thing that James had in mind, and he wanted to desperately get it out of his mind as darkness creeped in.

"You better not hurt him, Snivellus! Or I'll shove your greasy hair down your bloody arse!"

And then he was out like a lamp, too tired to do anything else.

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