Imagine 11-year-old Harry Potter, living in a cupboard under the stairs. One particularly stormy evening, there is a soft knocking at the door–there you stand, sopping wet and clutching a broomstick with a letter in hand, standing beside a bearded giant of a man.
“… I’m looking for Harry James Potter?”
The Dursleys try to deny his existence, but you see him peeking out from around the corner–you step right inside, shaking out your hair and holding out a hand for him to shake as Hagrid tucks his umbrella into his coat, fiddling with something in a pouch.
“C'mon, luv–I’ve got news for you.”
You flick your wand and procure a steaming pot of tea from seemingly nowhere, and the Durseys nearly have a fit–but you hold up a finger to shush them, and begin to explain.
Hagrid gives him the Hogwarts speech, of course–he’s a wizard, and the Boy Who Lived–that you are here to pick him up, and after seeing the state that his little living-hutch (if you can call it living) is in, he’ll never have to come back here again.
When you find a burn on Harry’s hand from the stove that looked like someone had smacked his hand down on top of it, you are livid.
When you see that Lily Potter’s son is living under a staircase, wearing old shabby clothes and not even celebrating his birthday, you almost hex Petunia for daring to treat a child that way. Her SISTER’S child.
You shut her up with a pointed sneer and turn back to him–you explain that you were a close friend of Lily’s–maybe you didn’t get along with James as well as you would have liked, but you adored Lily Evans–and you were named his Godmother, while Sirius was named Godfather.
You tell him that he’ll be staying with you–that he could have a new extended family, if he so chooses–an uncle with a scruffy blonde beard and eyes that twinkle when he smiles through his moustache, and scars from years of looking after magical creatures. A kooky great-aunt who wistfully recalls her days as a diviner, and insists to read the tarot cards of anyone who comes into her home over a pot of tea and some stale butter cookies. A rambunctious set of savant kid-cousins with shocks of raven-black hair and blue eyes, who spin the keys of their grand piano into glittering, golden music and have become quite adept at hiding frogs in unfortunate places.
You tell him of a little house by the bay on the island of Deenish in Ireland, with it’s little pub, and the antique shop, and an old Fisherman named Spike who swore he snogged a mermaid in his youth–a little sleepy wizarding town where he can stay with you when he isn’t at Hogwarts. He stares at you with eyes the size of saucers when you explain that you took so long to get here because you were in Romania studying dragons.
He barely takes ten minutes to pack all of his things as you tell him to hold on tight, and pack the two of you on your sputtery old broomstick–he marvels at the tiny little crooked cottage, where he has his very own room–it’s settled over your sister’s bar, so it’s a bit cramped, but he gets to decorate his bedroom however he wants, and there’s a large window overlooking the sea on one side.
He gets to grow up going back and forth between Hogwarts and a real home, with friends and family visiting year round–Hermione and Ron are invited to visit in reciprocation of his visits at the Burrow–the Order of the Phoenix occasionally has members sleeping on your couch, and your sister gets along a little too well with Tonks sometimes–Molly Weasley is always welcome in your kitchen, and Arthur will spend hours at a time perusing the muggle artifacts in Missy’s Antiques.
But above all else, Harry Potter has a home, and a family who loves him