Disclaimer: Harry and co. are not mine, they all belong to JKR. No money is being made from these stories. I’m just filling in some of the gaps and playing in the Potterverse.
“The train pulled out of the station. Harry wanted to watch Hagrid until he was out of sight; he rose in his seat and pressed his nose against the window, but he blinked and Hagrid had gone” PS/SS pp66 (UK edition)
His nose was getting sore from being squished against the carriage window, but Harry was still trying to see where Hagrid had disappeared to. He couldn’t have just vanished into thin air, could he? Harry had only found out very late the night before that he was a wizard and that magic was real. There were all sorts of things he didn’t know about this new world of magic.
Harry pulled back from the window looked at the great pile of shopping surrounding him, thinking of all the books he had bought. Maybe one of them could tell him how Hagrid had disappeared like that. The Dursleys certainly wouldn’t tell him even if he asked. Harry had lived with his mother’s sister and her husband for as long as he could remember. They had always told him that there was no such thing as magic; there probably loads of stuff like that Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia had told him that wasn’t true. Harry didn’t understand why they had told him that. Magic was real; he’d seen it and they knew it. They’d known it since before Harry was born. Harry had just found out his parents were magical too. Aunt Petunia had known about magic since Harry’s mum was his age. Harry counted on his fingers figuring it out; that had to be at least 20 years ago.
Harry leant back against the window and thought about what else Hagrid had told him. He looked like his Dad! Non-magic people were called Muggles. There was a sport called Kweedig, or something like that, and it was played on broomsticks. His parents hadn’t been killed in a car crash, (something else Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had told him that wasn’t true), but by an evil wizard whose name nobody would say. Who for some reason hadn’t been able to kill Harry, but no one knew why, and that made Harry famous. He was famous! That alone was confusing enough and there was so much else swimming in his head too.
The owl Hagrid had bought him for his birthday hooted softly, as if to wake him out of his thoughts. Harry tentatively put his hand through the bars to stroke her feathers. He wasn’t certain how to look after an owl; especially one that carried mail. Hagrid had said to send a letter with her and “she’ll know where to find me”, Harry supposed she must be very smart to be able to find people like that. She seemed to like being stroked too.
A voice came over the speakers listing the stations the trains would stop at. Harry suddenly realised he didn’t know where he had to change trains. He scrambled up to look at the map at the end of the carriage and followed the lines with his finger. He had started at Paddington, so to get back to Little Whinging he had to…change trains at Reading, get another bound for Guildford, and get off at Greater Whinging station. From there it was only about a mile to Little Whinging and Privet Drive. Harry started to rearrange his packages to be easier to carry. He had never travelled on the train alone before, and never with so much to carry by himself. Harry was good at carrying things though. Aunt Petunia always took him with her when she went shopping so she would have someone to carry the bags. Luckily most of it fit inside his cauldron, although unwrapping that meant that he got some funny looks from the other passengers. Harry could have sworn that the man who pushed past him had muttered something about “children these days, no respect for the Statute of Secrecy”, but thought he must be hearing things. He had just finished packing his cauldron when the train pulled into Reading Station. Changing trains was much easier than he expected. A Station guard had seen him climb off the train from Paddington and pointed him towards the right platform for the Guildford train. Now all he had to do was listen out for the Greater Whinging stop.
As the train brought him closer to Little Whinging, Harry had a sudden thought. What if the Dursleys weren’t back yet? Hagrid and he had taken the only boat on the island to get back to shore. There wasn’t a lot he could do about it now, so Harry settled back down in his seat watching out the window. It was nice to be able to relax as he looked out the window and not have to worry about Dudley hitting him or doing something horrid and blaming it on him.
When the train got to Greater Whinging, Harry got off and let his owl out of her cage. If Hagrid had said he would be able to find him wherever he was, Harry figured she would be smart enough to follow him, besides she had been cooped up all day. Harry knew what that felt like, he hated being locked up all day. Letting her out made her cage lighter too.
Walking through Little Whinging, Harry couldn’t help but compare it to Diagon Alley. Everything seemed so…boring. Every house looked like the one next to it. All the lawns were trimmed to the same height; the only difference between one garden and the next was the colour of the flowers. Harry knew that this was probably the reason his Aunt and Uncle had chosen to live here. They could never do anything out of the ordinary. Uncle Vernon would probably have a heart attack if anyone even suggested painting the fence anything other than white, brown or beige.
Harry felt his feet getting slower as he got closer to Privet Drive, and stopped up short when he saw Number 4. He could see Aunt Petunia in the kitchen, so at least he didn’t have to worry about not being able to get in. Harry looked at the house, the only place he could remember living and it suddenly became clear to him. He was leaving the Dursleys! He was going to go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to learn how to be a wizard just like his parents, and Hagrid too; but without the getting expelled part. His owl landed on the cauldron by his side and looked at him for a moment before taking off again as Harry bent down to pick up his stuff.
He was going to be a Wizard. And there was only one month till his wizarding life really began.