Thanks to Veronica for editing and revising this!
The man sat at the driver's seat, idly tapping the steering wheel with his fingertips. His right arm was resting on the scarred surface of his 89' Volkswagen. The radio faintly hummed a concerto in the background. After he got tired of the classics, he moved to turn the aged dial to something more like him; heavy metal. But as he fiddled with the knob in a fruitless attempt to change the station, it fell off.
Growling in contempt, the man pulled out a cigarette and offered one to the guy next to him. 'What was his name again?' Slit was a strange person. They had met in an alley near the Tattoo parlor. Slit sounded young and quiet over phone, but the thought was pushed to the back of his mind. In their secret rendezvous, Noman was shocked to see a man no older than 25 under the streetlight. He had an impassive mask in place and shook his hand with confidence. It had been a week since that meeting.
"No thanks," Slit muttered, adjusting his gun holster, which was strapped on the left side of his hip. Noman gave a shrug, lit the cigarette, and puffed. Then, deciding a drink was needed, he pulled out a small canteen of whiskey. Just before the rim touched his mouth, a hand roughly pulled the bottle away. Noman looked at Slit incredulously.
"No drinking on duty," was all the guy said, not even bothering to spare his partner a glace. Noman muttered offensive expletives under his breath but did not protest otherwise.
"Geez, don't like to drink either? What, are you a virgin?"
Slit didn't answer, but instead, opened the car door and stepped out. He made sure to close it quietly. Not having the slightest clue of what he was doing, Noman kicked the door open and followed.
"What? Did you see anything?"
"And you call yourself an assassin?" Slit grumbled, casting him a disdainful look.
"Hey, I've been in this business longer than you so why don't you let me do my job."
"Be my guest. But I advise you to pay more attention. A boy was watching from a room above. I suspect he spotted us." Slit pointed toward the window with bars, scanning for any other movement.
"So? We'll kill him too."
"Our orders were to kill Vernon Dursley and his wife and son."
"And that could have been his son."
"His figure was too narrow. The picture that Boss provided showed a wider figure."
"Well, aren't you smart? Hey, I have a question. If he saw us, what would we do with him? He saw us and can snitch. We can't just let him blab his mouth to the constables!" Noman said.
Slit chose to ignore his inquiry and asked, "Why is our target Vernon Dursley?"
"Thanks for answering, buddy," Noman said. Thinking it wouldn't hurt, he added, "Boss said he owed him money. Dursleys' a big spender and he promised Boss to pay him back. But Boss didn't get nothing. And now he's mad."
"Interesting." Slit said sarcastically as he pulled out his .45 caliber. He gestured for Noman to go ahead.
Once they bypassed the security systems, the door opened willingly. They walked on the floors without a noise; their boots were specialized for this particular task. The clock ticked in a lazy rhythm and light snoring could be heard from upstairs. They scanned the other rooms, but no one seemed to be around. The scent of Lysol hovered in the air and Noman's eyes watered.
Slit traipsed up the stairs, keeping his back against the wall. Noman followed suit, his gun in one hand and a stiletto in the other. They made it across the narrow hallway smoothly, save for one creak as they passed a door with locks on them. The snoring grew louder as the two men came closer to a room with its door ajar.
Abandoning the silent mode, Noman kicked the door open. With a bang, the piece of wood collided against the wall. A man with a mustache jerked from his slumber, his eyes widening when he saw Slit and Noman.
"Vernon, who are they?" An anorexic looking woman asked from Dursley's side.
"Doesn't matter, milady. We're gonna kill you and everything's going to be just fine." Noman raised his gun, finger on the trigger, but a small squeaky voice interrupted.
Everyone turned around; it was just an obese boy holding a teddy bear. It was a disturbing sight, but Noman shook it away. He roughly grabbed the kid by the collar of his pajamas and pushed him onto the bed.
"All the merrier. You'll all die as a family!" Noman said with an austere tone. The woman wrapped her arms around her son and buried her head into Vernon's shoulder. The guy was whimpering himself, embracing his family with his eyes closed. The grip on Slit's gun tensed and he waited.
Noman let out a frustrated sigh and turned around again.
A boy, the one Slit had seen before, was leaning against the doorframe with his arms crossed. His manner appeared bored and curious at the same time. His hair, though the darkness limited Slit's sight, was the color of black and was sticking up on all sides. The light from the full moon glinted off his round glasses. Dark bags were hanging underneath his eyes, but the boy looked wide awake. Slit was slightly impressed.
"Well. A guest, eh? Join the fun and get killed kid!" Noman made a move to grab the boy, but with surprising speed, he sidestepped the outstretched arm.
"No thanks. I'd rather watch," The boy answered warily. He took a seat in a vacant chair next to Slit and crossed his ankles. Slit felt a smirk starting to form, but his grip was still trained firmly the Dursleys. Noman gritted his teeth and pointed the gun at the boy. He didn't even flinch. Feeling even more furious, Noman applied a bit more pressure to the trigger and--
"Well, that changes everything," commented the boy unnecessarily. He stared at the body near his feet with slight fascination. Slit lowered his gun, smoke leaking from its tip. The woman screamed again and hugged her boy closer. Vernon was spluttering, words unable of being formed.
Blood slowly leaked out from Noman's skull, forming a small puddle. The blood spread along the floor, nearly touching the boy's bare feet. Slit glanced down at the body of Noman for a second and then back up, only to find himself with a piece of wood between his eyes.
"Who. Sent. You." The boy demanded; his face was filled with fury. The change was a great contrast from his look of boredom from before.
"No." Slit answered, though it wasn't really an answer. Vernon mumbled angrily to his wife and son.
"Was it Voldemort? If so, then his awesome mastering skills are really in fact idiotic! Why not kill me first and then the Dursleys? It's not like they're going to want to save me!"
Slit was confused but did not dare show it. The boy continued to point the stick at him, but he could see his hand was shaking slightly.
"Who are you?" Slit asked in a calm voice, his hands still raised.
"Harry Potter. You're a really bad assassin if you don't even know my name."
"Who says I'm trying to kill you? That dead man at your feet was trying to snuff that big loaf over there." Slit jerked his head in Vernon's direction. The man immediately froze. Harry was trying to resist a laugh when he saw his uncle's expression.
"Who are you?" Harry asked in return.
"Slit." The assassin answered monotonously.
"Why were you trying to kill Uncle Vernon?"
"I'm not, as I said before. I was merely tagging along. Those were my only orders."
"Orders from who?" Harry asked, curiously.
"Whom. Okay, enough interrogation Detective. I have a gun…so move."
Harry did not listen, but instead pressed his stick with more force.
"You know I can cut that piece of shit in less than a second." The boy seemed to react to this sentence because he lowered the stick. In his mind, Slit wondered why Harry had done that; let his defenses down. Would he rather risk his life than getting his stick or whatever destroyed?
"Now listen here, kid. I'm going to leave. No one heard anything, no one saw anything, and no one will remember anything. Dursley, if you say a word, I will come back and finish that guy's job. Got it?" Slit stared fiercely at Dursley, and he nodded stiffly.
Satisfied, Slit turned without a word and walked quickly out of the room.
But Harry was not finished.
Slit let out a long breath as he raced towards the stairs. 'Thank god, this is done. All I want is to get in the car and-'
He froze. No literally. Slit found himself looking at the ceiling, arms by his side, legs snapped together, head straight up. The only thing moving was his eyes. What was happening? Was he paralyzed?
"Bloody hell, the Ministry's going to get me," Slit heard from a voice near the end of the hallway. He felt the movement of footsteps and then saw Harry's face looking down at him. There was no surprise in his eyes as to the reason why Slit had suddenly found himself unable to move. Only determination.
"Listen, I get that you're not one of Voldemort's cronies. But who are you, really?" Harry stared at the guy's face, waiting for him to answer. Only then did he realize he just Petrificus Totalused the guy. With a wave of the wooden stick again, Slit heard him mutter some sort of Latin. Then, his arms, legs, and fingers were in his control again.
Slit jumped up, quickly backing away from Harry as if he was a ribald creature. Harry found it strange because all of his movements suggested hysteria and fear; but his face continued to remain void of emotions.
"WHAT THE FUCK?"
From afar, police sirens rang into the night. Blue and red flashes shined through one of the windows and a little later, the sounds of slamming doors were heard.
"Look I'll explain. But the only way is for you to take me with you. Wherever you're going I don't care."
Slit's eyes widened. "N-No, there's absolutely no way for escape. The police are outside, there's not secret escape route. Nothing unless one of us could--I don't know--magically disappear in the thin air!"
Harry seemed to be contemplating this idea (which Slit thought was slightly freaky). Then--he did it again!--a parchment, a large trunk, and a cage with a white creature inside of it floated out of the room with locks on its doors. With another combination of waves, all of the items shrunk into the palm of Harry's hand.
Slit stood there and if he had been able to express emotions, his jaw would have been on the floor. "Sayonara, Dursley!" he yelled.
Harry grabbed a hold of Slit's arm.
"Look, if you're missing any body parts, don't blame me. You're the one who suggested it."
It was like a fucking time-traveling vortex. Harry had closed his eyes and looked like he was constipated. Suddenly, Slit felt a pull at his navel and he stopped thinking. Blue, red, green, yellow, and all of the other possible colors formed in his mind and he couldn't breathe. They were spinning around and around and around and around...
"Oof!" Harry landed unceremoniously on Slit. The man below had his face pressed against a field of yellow grass and he was currently eating dirt. Harry finally realized this and quickly got off him.
"What did you just do?" Again no emotion on his face or in his tone. Harry was wondering if he should ask him the trick to that.
"Huh?" A gun appeared in front of his face. Somehow Slit had withdrawn the weapon without Harry noticing, and now had him under his control. The teenager froze, fear written all over his face.
"I can kill you in mere seconds. Who...no what are you?" Slit had his weapon trained on Harry. His grip was strong and he really could pull the trigger without hesitation.
"Don't shoot! Please..."
"Answer the question then," said Slit, his voice threatening. Harry stopped shaking and his breathing slowed down.
"Okay. I will..." He leisurely lowered his hands to his side. Slit detruded his arms, thinking the boy was surrendering. But suddenly, he yelled something like "Expelling arm must" and the gun was soaring through the air. It landed with a thud about twenty feet away from where Slit was standing. "I'm not a threat. Believe me. I'm just Harry, a seventeen year-old boy. But I don't know who or what you are. Are you some sort of agent? An assassin?"
Slit peered at the gun from the corner of his eyes. It would be impossible to get it from here...
"I'm not trying to kill you! I just want to know what you were doing at the Dursleys."
"The Dursleys? Are they not your family?" Slit was not afraid anymore. He could read Harry's body language, and it only gave signs of self defense. Harry stopped pointing the stick and averted his gaze. He looked across the fields, staring into the setting sun. When his spoke, his voice was soft and regretful.
"No. Vernon is nothing of family to me. Neither is Dudley. Petunia's my real aunt per se; my mother's side, you see. But they don't give a damn about me so they're not family...are they? I just live in their home."
Slit considered his options for a moment and found he had none. The guy had some sort of magic on him, and Slit couldn't do anything.
"I was undercover. Noman --that was the dead man's name-- was a real assassin. He was working for a man named Boss. Your uncle borrowed money for him, but did not pay him back. He was mad and sent for Noman to finish the job. I was merely a trail along, as I said before. I had no intention of hurting your uncle. Only Noman."
"So you're an assassin?"
"No!" Slit yelled, feeling offended that someone would call him that. Assassins were much different from what he worked as. Assassins were ruthless-- could kill in an instant-and occasionally careless. He wasn't. Well, not until now...
"If you feel so unsure about me, why not just zap me away?"
"I could, but then they would know and I'd be in trouble," Harry gave the rejoinder with a nonchalant tone.
Harry shrugged. Slit could see he was not willing to answer (for some reason).
"My name is Slit. And I'm not an assassin. I'm--"
The phone in his trousers began to vibrate. Slit pulled out the Razor and checked the screen. Holding up a finger to Harry, he turned and walked away.
"Slit. Mission completed?"
"Affirmative, but Elaine..."
"Yes?" Her tone was foreboding.
"Noman is dead and the family is fine, but how many people were there really?"
" Vernon Dursley: Father, Petunia Evans-Dursley: Wife, Dudley Dursley: Son. Why?"
"There is another kid too. He says his name is Harry Potter."
"Another kid living there? There wasn't any evidence of that in the Dursley's observation. Only son was Dudley Dursley and occasionally the wife and father would be seen outside of the home."
"But Potter lives there. All of his belongings were at the Dursleys."
"Strange, I can tell you that. I'll look up the kid's personal records."
"I don't think you have to. He's with me now and appears harmless, and he can do this stuff...
"Slit?" Elaine's voice was skeptical.
"Never mind. Look, I will bring him along to the headquarters--"
"Slit, it's a major violation to E415--
"Confidentiality of Operation CoJacks. Yes, I am aware, Elaine. But I'm thinking we have a new agent in deck."
"How old is the trainee in question?"
"He appears to be around 16 or 17 years."
"That's too young!"
"Elaine, we were that age when we were recruited," Slit reasoned.
"Yeah, but we were already aware of the organization. This kid comes out of nowhere and now you're thinking of involving him in the murder, espionage, and all the other dangers we go through at CoJacks?"
Harry ripped the Extendable Ears from his ears. The inventions of the Weasley twins were a gift, and it had proven to be useful. He had heard the conversation between Slit and "Elaine", but somehow the words were hard to believe. Operation CoJacks? Was it some kind of underground operation in the British government? Did the British parliament really have assassins running around as their agents? And him, Harry, a trainee?
Harry felt a small ripple in the left pocket of his coat and his heart gave a little jump. He reached into the pocket and pulled out the miniaturized cage of Hedwig.
"Sorry, Hedwig." He muttered the countercharm and a full-size snowy white owl in a cage appeared in front of Harry.
Slit, who was pocketing his cell phone, was just in time to see Harry do the "trick" again.
"Don't do that when we arrive at headquarters."
"Headquarters?" Harry asked as innocently as possible.
"I know you eavesdropped. You're a teenager; it's what you do when you're bored." Slit looked around the empty field that they had landed in and decided to add, "Or when you're stuck in the middle of nowhere."
"Sorry," Harry mumbled, embarrassed that he was caught. Slit didn't seem to care for an apology.
"What I ask of you is to not do that thingy..."
"Whatever. Just don't do it at headquarters, trust me."
Harry nodded, understanding his words. If he claimed he could do magic, they would surely put him in a psychiatric hospital. Also, he would get into big trouble with the Ministry of Magic. Even though Harry was officially of age as of last week, they could still track his location. And right now, Harry didn't want to be found.
Slit cleared his throat and took out some sort of device. It resembled one of those hand TVs that Dudley used to carry around. He surveyed the area with a combination of buttons and the screen suddenly came to life.
" Nevada? You transported us to the states?" Slit asked, not exactly surprised but more inquisitive.
"I was thinking of a place where no one can find us. I guess this was the product of my imagination."
Slit cleared his throat again. Harry could tell he was getting uncomfortable. He didn't blame the guy though. You don't meet a wizard every day when you're on an assassin mission.
"So...how will your people find us?"
Slit held up his hand in response. Harry took a few steps closer, but still could not see anything tangible.
"A chip was implanted into my palm when I was first recruited. This chip allows me access through the headquarters' security. It can also tell the people in the navigation room of my current location."
"What if you don't want to work with--?"
"With Operation CoJacks? Well, we get the chip removed manually. Some tweezers and scissors."
"Cor, that sounds extremely harsh. It sounds like not a lot of people retire."
Slit glanced at Harry with a humorous glint in his eyes. "That's the point." Harry shuffled his feet.
A brief gust caressed their faces. Some sand got into Harry's eyes and he gasped at the sudden sting. Slit didn't react.
"Well, aren't you going to ask?" Harry finally entreated. Slit turned around to face the teenager. This time, some traces of emotions were seen on his face. He looked anxious but at the same time cautious. He seemed to choose his words very carefully.
"Your past is not my business. Neither is mine. I can't deny that I'm curious about your..."powers", but you don't have to tell me."
Harry was perplexed. Minutes ago, a gun was trained at Harry's face and Slit was the one demanding an explanation. He shrugged to himself and watched an opaque shape in the sky as it came closer and closer to Harry and Slit's location.
The pilot had introduced himself as Bill. Whether his name was a pseudonym, Harry didn't know, and nor did he care. Basically, all of the events that had happened in the past hours were blurred and squiggly lines. First he was holed up in a house where his family made his life miserable. Next, two guys came and tried to assassinate his Uncle Vernon because of some illegal activities. Thirdly, one guy killed the other and Harry found himself stranded on a piece of land with an agent from an organization called Operation CoJacks.
Now he was on a jet plane that was flying 35,000 feet above land and at 0.75 to 0.85 Mach. Slit, who was sitting next to him, was looking out the window and admiring the view. Harry decided to do the same.
And immediately found himself feeling nauseous.
It was strange; he could fly some hundred feet in the air on a wooden stick and a bundle of bristle without fear, but on a secure plane, he was scared.
"Hermione would be glad to hear that," he said out loud.
"What?" Slit shouted above the disturbances around them. Harry mutely shook his head.
'Merlin, I forgot all about Hermione and Ron and everything. Dumbledore's death...the Horcruxes...damn it! What will I tell them? Hey you guys. I'm flying to Operation CoJacks because I'm going to be a secret agent. Yeah, I know, I'm flying with a guy who just killed another guy, but that's alright.
The entire Ministry probably knew Harry did magic in front of muggles. Most likely, they would have traced the magic to the Dursleys' residence and since Harry was the only wizard there, they'd know it was him. Right then and there, he decided to restrict himself from magic unless it was pertinent for it to be used. That way no one could find him. Harry hoped there wasn't anyone at Headquarters who would recognize his real identity as a wizard.
He decided to mail Hermione and Ron later. They were assumedly at the Burrow since the wedding was coming up. He knew he would miss the wedding of Bill and Fleur and he hoped they'd be able to forgive him once he saw them again.
Harry turned his head to get a good look at Slit. His brown hair was shaven nearly to his scalp, and he was able to see a long, red slash trailing from Slit's right ear to the beginning of his neck. His jaw was burly set, and he was clenching his teeth. The clothes he had donned were odd looking tool. Slit had on some combat fatigues. A black strap was worn at the shoulder and metallic bullets were stored there. A gun holster, like the ones Harry would see in western movies, was visible at Slit's hip. Apparently, Slit had picked up the gun after he pointed it at Harry and then Harry had disarmed him. His face was set like stone and his eyes surveyed the land below.
Slit, who had noticed Harry thanks to his peripheral vision, asked rather bluntly, "What?"
Harry jumped; it was scary how in tune Slit's senses were. "Uh...well, I was just wondering why I'm going with you to...Operation CoJacks?"
The man sighed and leaned back against the seat. "I don't know either, but I sense something from you. Something big. When I shot that Noman, you didn't react when you saw the blood. Maybe you had seen some worse stuff, maybe not. But I believe you're capable of becoming an agent...just like me."
Harry nodded and looked away. He couldn't believe it either. When he saw Noman, the sight felt familiar; as if he saw a man get shot in front of him everyday. He was getting too accustomed to death, he conceived.
"34 minutes and 56 seconds until landing," Bill informed in a brisk manner.
"Copy that. Hear that, Potter?"
Harry dipped his head in reply. The thought seemed absurd. He, Harry Potter, Chosen One and the Boy to defeat Voldemort, was about to land at a top secret organization and begin training as an agent. He had discovered two worlds in his life. The civilian Muggle and Wizarding world. Now, Harry would discover the world of espionage and dangers that most people just hear or read about.
Harry only hoped that he could survive the challenges in the world better. All three of them.