potter h

the houses as things my dad has done
  • gryffindor: allowed his kids to go wild attacking him with water pistols in front of his peers and a lot of electrical equipment
  • hufflepuff: almost died dancing to 'cotton eyed joe' in a lion costume in church on the hottest day of the year
  • slytherin: got drunk and censored the wrong part of m******fucker
  • ravenclaw: walked into a pole because he was too busy admiring the architecture of a bridge

What if, when Petunia Dursley found a little boy on her front doorstep, she took him in? Not into the cupboard under the stairs, not into a twisted childhood of tarnished worth and neglect–what if she took him in?

Petunia was jealous, selfish and vicious. We will not pretend she wasn’t. She looked at that boy on her doorstep and thought about her Dudders, barely a month older than this boy. She looked at his eyes and her stomach turned over and over. (Severus Snape saved Harry’s life for his eyes. Let’s have Petunia save it despite them).

Let’s tell a story where Petunia Dursley found a baby boy on her doorstep and hated his eyes–she hated them. She took him in and fed him and changed him and got him his shots, and she hated his eyes up until the day she looked at the boy and saw her nephew, not her sister’s shadow. When Harry was two and Vernon Dursley bought Dudley a toy car and Harry a fast food meal with a toy with parts he could choke on Petunia packed her things and got a divorce.

Harry grew up small and skinny, with knobbly knees and the unruly hair he got from his father. He got cornered behind the dumpsters and in the restrooms, got blood on the jumpers Petunia had found, half-price, at the hand-me-down store. He was still chosen last for sports. But Dudley got blood on his sweaters, too, the ones Petunia had found at the hand-me-down store, half price, because that was all a single mother working two secretary jobs could afford for her two boys, even with Vernon’s grudging child support.

They beat Harry for being small and they laughed at Dudley for being big, and slow, and dumb. Students jeered at him and teachers called Dudley out in class, smirked over his backwards letters.

Harry helped him with his homework, snapped out razored wit in classrooms when bullies decided to make Dudley the butt of anything; Harry cornered Dudley in their tiny cramped kitchen and called him smart, and clever, and ‘better ‘n all those jerks anyway’ on the days Dudley believed it least.

Dudley walked Harry to school and back, to his advanced classes and past the dumpsters, and grinned, big and slow and not dumb at all, at anyone who tried to mess with them.

But was that how Petunia got the news? Her husband complained about owls and staring cats all day long and in the morning Petunia found a little tyke on her doorsep. This was how the wizarding world chose to give the awful news to Lily Potter’s big sister: a letter, tucked in beside a baby boy with her sister’s eyes.

There were no Potters left. Petunia was the one who had to arrange the funeral. She had them both buried in Godric’s Hollow. Lily had chosen her world and Petunia wouldn’t steal her from it, not even in death. The wizarding world had gotten her sister killed; they could stand in that cold little wizard town and mourn by the old stone.

(Petunia would curl up with a big mug of hot tea and a little bit of vodka, when her boys were safely asleep, and toast her sister’s vanished ghost. Her nephew called her ‘Tune’ not 'Tuney,’ and it only broke her heart some days.

Before Harry was even three, she would look at his green eyes tracking a flight of geese or blinking mischieviously back at her and she would not think 'you have your mother’s eyes.’

A wise old man had left a little boy on her doorstep with her sister’s eyes. Petunia raised a young man who had eyes of his very own).

Petunia snapped and burnt the eggs at breakfast. She worked too hard and knew all the neighbors’ worst secrets. Her bedtime stories didn’t quite teach the morals growing boys ought to learn: be suspicious, be wary; someone is probably out to get you. You owe no one your kindness. Knowledge is power and let no one know you have it. If you get can get away with it, then the rule is probably meant for breaking.

Harry grew up loved. Petunia still ran when the letters came. This was her nephew, and this world, this letter, these eyes, had killed her sister. When Hagrid came and knocked down the door of some poor roadside motel, Petunia stood in front of both her boys, shaking. When Hagrid offered Harry a squashed birthday cake with big, kind, clumsy hands, he reminded Harry more than anything of his cousin.

His aunt was still shaking but Harry, eleven years and eight minutes old, decided that any world that had people like his big cousin in it couldn’t be all bad. “I want to go,” Harry told his aunt and he promised to come home.

Keep reading

real talk though

i think the thing with harry potter - why it’s so loved, why it’s so derided, all by people who grew up reading the books - is just that. a lot of the people on sites like this who are reading it and critiquing it and analysing it are people who were kids reading these books, and grew up reading them. (mostly because we’re a large age demographic on these sorts of social media) i know i was four or five when i read them for the first time; i think they might have been the first novels i read independently like that. and i loved them! of course i did, i was four or five, and already an up-and-coming urban fantasy fan. they were full of magic, and kids who were sort of like me, and i loved them.

of course, i’m not four or five now. and neither are any of the people who grew up with the books when they were released. we’re all in our late teens and twenties, and when we look back, we’re looking back with an adult’s critical eye.

because when you’re nine years old, as i was when half-blood prince came out, or eleven, as i was when deathly hallows was released, the idea of harry going into the cave with dumbledore, or snape’s past with lily, don’t seem all that bad. after all, harry’s sixteen, and that’s way old - and snape’s past totally absolves him of any wrongdoing, right? it’s so romantic

and then we got older, and we read that series we’d loved when we’re kids, but we’re older and more critical. we look at it as adults, and see where it’s lacking. how there’s maybe five people of colour in harry’s year, how the only lgbt+ character was revealed to be so outside the books and it was never mentioned inside them, how messed up it is that harry did all this stuff and lived through so much when he was just a kid. even silly stuff - holes in the worldbuilding, little details that make no sense when you look at them twice.

now i’m twenty one and wondering why dumbledore couldn’t have put more adult wizards on harry’s case to help and protect him; why jk rowling imagines a world that seems to be white and straight and cis in its makeup. because i’m older, i understand these things a little more. and i can critique them, because why not? all media is flawed, in some way or other. 

but at the same time, i’m still that four or five year old reading these books for the first time and imagining myself with harry, ron, and hermione. having magical adventures in a land far more interesting than mine.

and i think that’s what i, personally, got from harry potter. it inspired me to write my own stories, the kind of stories i want to see. and on its flaws and failings, i want to build my own worlds, building on the things that annoyed me about the worldbuilding to make my own thing.

and it’s gonna be flawed, too. in different ways. but if i can make one person feel the way i felt, sitting up past my bedtime devouring philosopher’s stone like a starving person at a banquet, it’ll all be worth it.

2

I love year 8 fics, where they’re figuring out the people they’re going to be after the war, but still stuck in hogwarts making up for the disrupted (or skipped) year 7. 

And if those fics have hurt/comfort dealing with the aftermath of, well, of everything, then I am 10000% there for that. 

Hogwarts House Edit: Harry Potter (¼) - remusluvpin

↪  Hufflepuff: patient, just and loyal

You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true,
And unafraid of toil
“—The Sorting Hat”