A/N - I'm not really sure what I'm doing with this story. I'm worried about making it my own and not being so 'inspired' that end up taking ideas from other stories that I really love. Definitely trying to stay away from that. Here is an idea I've had for a while. Enjoy!
Disclaimer - I do not own Harry Potter in any form, only Rose.
The vivid green eyes staring back into her own equally vivid green eyes seemed out of place when not on the face of her twin sister. And yet, she could not look away. The tiny being in her arms was so perfect and so like his parents that it was equally heartwarming and heartbreaking to look at him. But she adored him already, love him as she had loved her sister and her sister's husband.
Grief clutched at Rose's throat, but she pushed it aside. She did not have time to grieve yet. She had an infant to car for, though she could hardly call him an infant when he was over a year old already.
Rose looked up sharply, remembering where she was. She was sitting in the Headmaster's office at Hogwarts, a rather odd fact considering she had left Hogwarts a few years ago. She could not have stayed at her sister's home, however, as it was destroyed, and she had no home of her own yet. But Dumbledore always seemed to have the answers, and in this case Rose was happy to allow someone else to make decision while she absorbed the fact that her sister was dead and her nephew an orphan.
"Where will he go?" She had to ask. In Lily and James' will it was stated that Harry would stay with his godfather, Sirius. However, in light of recent circumstances, that was absolutely out of the question.
"I am making arrangements to send Harry to the family of one Petunia Dursley" the headmaster informed her gravely. Rose was so shocked she missed the cunning twinkle in the headmaster's bright blue eyes.
"Tuney? You must be joking! She and that husband of hers are almost as bad as those blood purists in their distaste for anything remotely magical. Petunia, take in Harry!" Rose was stunned to say the least, a mixture of fear and anger swirling in her stomach. What would happen to Harry if he lived with her remaining sister? Surely they would not physically abuse him, that would risk their reputation. However, Harry would never know love or kindness at their hands, and Rose could not stand the thought of her sister's son not knowing love, kindness, and the other virtues her sister was so well known for.
"When your sister stepped in front of young Harry, she sacrificed her life for him. This created a special protection, ancient magic. It is why Harry lives and Voldemort-" Rose flinched "-is gone. Harry must live with a blood relative of Lily Evans Potter to remain under the protection of these blood wards" Dumbledore fished rather vaguely. Of course, it was well known that the Headmaster of Hogwarts kept things very close to his chest.
Rose stared down at the little baby, with his green eyes, black tuffs of hair, milky skin, and the lightning bolt scar on his forehead. The little boy looked up at her, and Rose knew she could not let him go. He was hers as much as he had been Lily's.
"I am just as much Lily's blood as Petunia, and I'd be much kinder. Harry has a right to a healthy, normal childhood. As his aunt, I have legal claim over him, both Muggle and magical." Rose stately firmly, not blinking as she stared into the headmaster's eyes. "It is his right, and it is mine" she looked back down at the boy. "I'll take him." She finished, more softly than she had started.
Dumbledore smiled, though neither aunt nor nephew noticed. He would have sent Harry to the Dursley's if he had to, the blood wards were excellent protection. But if Harry could have a happy childhood and remain under the protection of the blood wards, all the better.
"Have you found a home of your own yet?" he inquired, ready to guide his former charge into her new place as guardian. It was almost as it Lily Potter had never died, watching the red-haired woman hold the young child to her chest as she sat across from him in the comfortable chairs he kept in front of his desk.
Rose shook her head. "I had been looking for a small place near London, but even if I had found one that I liked, it would not have been suitable for a young child" I leaned back against the chair back, pulling Harry to lean against her chest, the child's eyes closing in a combination of exhaustion and boredom.
Albus Dumbledore smiled. "If I may suggest, there is a family-sized home just outside of a small village called Ottery St. Catchpole…"
"Well, Harry, it'll have to do."
Rose stood, baby on her hip, staring at the cottage before her. Two stories, a spacious front room with a fireplace, five bedrooms, three bathrooms including the master, and a generous kitchen. Five bedrooms had originally seemed like a lot, but once she had started planning on converting one to a library and another into a playroom, five almost seemed like too little. One for her, one for Harry, and a guestroom.
The outside of the cottage was well cared for. The cottage was a pleasant red brick with a black roof and lots of windows. There was a stone walking path to the door from the main path that met the road, and a large section around one corner of the house that would be the perfect place for a garden. The cottage was far enough away from the village that she needn't worry about accidental magic, but she would still need a magically-locked greenhouse if she wanted to keep any magical plants.
In other words, 820 Majesty Lane was perfect.
"What do you say, should we name our new home?" she asked the babe, jiggling him slightly and earning a small giggle for her efforts. "Maybe later? Alright, let's start unpacking. Baby's room first, of course"
With that, Rose stepped into her new home.
The boxes were already in their respective rooms, so all that was left was to unpack each box. Rose was determined to do as much as she could without magic, but knew if she wanted to get anything done while taking care of Harry, she would most likely have to dig out her wand.
Rose had nothing against magic; of course not, she was a witch! She simply preferred to do many tasks herself instead of using magic. Waving her wand to do simple tasks seemed lazy to her.
"Alright" she huffed, placing Harry in his swing once she had reached the room next to the master bedroom, which was to be his. "Let's start with the crib" because Harry was still sleeping in a crib. He had another few months before he would be able to move to a toddler bed.
For this matter, Rose did use her wand. With a wave the wooden structure was constructed. She did fish out all the bedding and make up the crib by hand, and Harry was more than happy to test out his new bed while Rose got to work on the rest of his room.
Rose almost burned the black stuffed dog when she had found it, but Harry saw it first. "Pa'foo! Pa'foo!" he cried loudly, creating an angry ache in Rose's heart each time he cried the name.
Rose new that more than likely Harry would forget about 'Padfoot' soon, especially when she never mentioned his name since the fateful night, so instead of burning the dog she handed it to Harry, who immediately clutched the dog to his chest with a death-grip. Rose swallowed the lump in her throat at the sight and continued to finish placing the photographs and stuffed animals around the room.
The toys would be in the playroom downstairs, so all that was found in the little boy's bedroom was a crib, a changing table, a rocking chair, a dresser, and various knickknacks and keepsakes. Harry was asleep by the time she had finished, for which she was grateful.
After checking the wards Rose made her way into the kitchen, which was sparsely stocked at the moment, mostly with food that a young child of not yet 18 months could eat. She had not eaten yet today other than the breakfast she had shared with Harry. She had ended up wearing more than she had eaten.
Digging through the cupboards she found some granola and milk. Shrugging, she decided it would have to do and quickly enjoyed her dinner before Harry would inevitably wake. Once finished she placed her bowl in the sink to be washed – she had a terrible habit of putting chores like washing dishes off – and made her way to the staircase to hopefully get some of her own room in order.
She stopped as she caught a glance of herself in a mirror already hung on the wall of the hall leading to the stairway. Only, as she looked in the mirror, it was not herself that she saw.
"Oh Lily" Rose Evans sighed, feeling drained and discouraged. "I don't know what to do. I'm not the maternal one, that was always you. Why did it have to be you and James that were taken away? Harry needs you" she sighed, glancing up the stairs before looking back at the mirror. "I need you."