The Muggle was in the house.
Hidden in the bushes, Wormtail surveyed the house with interest. Manicured front lawn, blooming flowers. It was a perfect little house in a perfect neighbourhood. One that happened to house his Master's mortal enemy for short periods of time. But Master wanted the cousin, not Potter.
He had watched the house for hours, every little movement making him twitch. At one moment, the front door had opened and he had been prepared to spring out of the bushes and place the curse onto the boy before any alarm could be raised. Alas to his misery, a woman had stepped out of the house, bending down to tend to the flowerbed. He had recognised her though, and Wormtail had watched Petunia Evans care for her flowers with sadness panging in his chest. He had only met Petunia once, years ago, but there was a slight resemblance to Lily in the woman, and the reminder of his betrayal spurned even more self-loathing.
His small eyes flickered from Petunia to the front door. His past could not tamper with his objective and he needed to keep an eye on the house. A description of Potter's cousin played over and over in his mind, and he waited for a sighting of the burly blond-haired teenager. The difference in physicality between the two cousins was astounding and Wormtail felt the pressure build to catch the correct person. If he ended up putting the curse on a boy that wasn't the cousin… His silver hand twitched, and he squeaked in fear.
Fortunately, his squeak didn't alarm Petunia and she retreated into the house, flowers tended. He twitched in the bushes, wondering whether to use magic to draw the boy out. But with what? What did Muggle boys like?
As he debated on what to do, the loud honk of a car startled him and he resisted the urge to transform. The car stopped on the driveway of the house he was surveying, door flinging open, only to reveal the biggest man he had ever seen. Red faced and sweaty, the huge man barged into the house, slamming the front door behind him. As Wormtail tried to concentrate on ridding the ringing sounds from his ears, the front door opened again. A teenage boy stepped out and Wormtail recoiled in shock. Was this truly the cousin? He was blond and big, as he had been informed, but he looked much older than fifteen.
'I must get the correct boy, otherwise Master will hurt me.'
He flinched at the screams that filled his head, screams from the past that haunted him till this day. Sinking low to the ground from the pressure, Wormtail kept his eyes on the boy, whimpering painfully as the boy suddenly shot off down the path. Wormtail scrambled to his feet and peered into the distance. The boy's retreating figure was moving at a fast pace and he seemed to be dressed for exercise. He would never be able to catch up to the boy at this rate, and he dared not risk apparating in a Muggle neighbourhood.
He would simply have to wait for the Muggle to return.
Dudley pounded the pavement, the fateful night replaying over and over in his mind. If he had been stronger… If he could do magic…
Shaking his head at those thought - traitorous to his parents - his head bobbed up and down to the music blaring through his headphones. The music he listened to was violent and graphic, and he felt energy surge through him, arms and legs pumping. He ran five miles every day, but already his chest was tightening from the effort. Dudley slowed down to a walk, sighing in annoyance. That damn night of the Dementoids kept plaguing him and he wished for it all to go away.
He couldn't wait to get his hands on Potter. This was all his fault.
He turned back, beginning the slow walk home as he lowered the volume of his music. He was sure that he could hear a faint sound in the distance, but no one in the neighbourhood had the guts to stand up to him. For fear of a broken nose.
Dudley strolled towards his house, mind wandering, and was enjoying listening to his music when a sudden rustling made him pause his music and stop dead in his tracks.
Sliding off his headphones, he called out. "Hello? Who's there?"
His blue eyes, narrowed in suspicion, scanned the area. His fear levels were spiking and he placed sole blame on his freaky cousin for making him so scared of anything unnatural.
"Piers, I swear to God if that's you, I'm gonna fucking pound you." The rustling started up again and Dudley slowly stepped back. "I'm not kidding! Get out here and face me!"
'Oh fuck, that sounded cliché.'
The rustling stopped. Dudley exhaled a breath he hadn't known he had been keeping in. Whoever it was, was just messing around and clearly, his warning had caused them to back off. He swaggered forwards, about to put his headphones back on, until a sharp jolt radiated around his body which forced him to stop again.
Dudley dropped his headphones, the wire tangling together, as his legs involuntary bent. He pitched sideways, but small hands scrabbled for purchase on his jacket and seconds later, he was lowered onto a nearby bench. Blinking back oncoming darkness, Dudley tried to see who was handling him, but another sharp pain sent him shuddering into unconsciousness.
Wormtail panted in exasperation. The boy was heavy to support! He peered down at his slack face, praying that he didn't abruptly wake up before he had time to make his escape, and attempted to mask his glee.
His Master would be pleased with him. He had achieved his objective and would return to Malfoy Manor without fear of consequences.
Wormtail stared down at the nephew of his deceased best friends and whispered:
"You will be helping my Master out. My Master will soon dominate the world of both Magic and Muggles and your aid will be needed. Whether you want too or not, will not be up for d-discussion."
He needed to leave before he was caught talking to an unconscious boy, but he wanted to gloat. Thanks to him, the Dark Lord could proceed with the next stage of his plan and as Wormtail reluctantly slunk away from the teenager on the bench, he allowed a small smile to come to his face before disapparating from the quiet Muggle neighbourhood.