I was thinking, I've seen Harry be best friends with Draco, Blaise, the Weasely twins (though there was only one chapter...I might continue that one by myself), Ginny, but I never seen him be best friends with Luna from the start. So, here is the story with Luna as the best friend. Also, the neglect the Durselys made Harry go through is a little more exaggerated but I think if they locked him up with bars on the window, they were worse to Harry as a child than the original books say. Oh, and Mrs. Figg is just another neighbor, and she doesn't work for Dumbledore.
Chapter One: Another strange one
Harry Potter, or James Evans, as he was known now, sighed on his bed when he opened the letter for him. Right before he turned eleven last year, Aunt Petunia took a job outside of the country and brought Harry along with her (Uncle Vernon and Dudley stayed back in England) for the entire summer. In fact, school started at Stonewall by the time Harry returned. His name was legally changed to James Evans right before he was registered at Stonewall and he had makeup to cover his scar.
He thought life would get better with Dudley off to a different school, but it didn't. His lovely reputation from the Durselys and trashy clothes put people off from getting to know him. The only thing about Stonewall that was better was he could take a cooking class (which put off the boys from knowing him, but he really didn't care) and could spend every day after school baking something and avoiding the Durselys in general. It also helped to have a full meal a day. He also discovered the art of changing his appearance. Now his hair and eyes could go different colors. He wasn't sure why, but he suspected it had to do with being a freak. The point was he could go anywhere he wanted and earn money without the Dursleys knowing (and taking his hard earned money...Harry didn't trust them). He always kept his hair flat now because it made his Aunt happy and life was a lot better when she was happy.
When Harry opened the letter, he felt his eyes open. The letter explained all the strange things he did over the years. It was magic and not only that, but they were offering to pay for his school supplies and tuition as a scholorship student. He always knew he was different from other people...now to reply with an owl without Aunt Petunia noticing. Something told him she would not be happy with him learning how to control his freakishness. "Aunt Petunia, do you mind if I go out?" Aunt Petunia huffed in reply. "I guess that means I have permission." Harry attached the return letter to his owl. He could get to the Leaky Cauldron by subway or he could hitchhike on the way there. It would be expensive to go all the way into London, and he would have to do it twice.
The next day, the owl came back with some wizarding money and explained how the money worked. Harry decided to hitchhike on the way to the Leaky Cauldron. "Aunt Petunia, can I go out for the day?"
"Sure, as long as you are not here." Aunt Petunia replied. "In fact, the sooner you leave the better." Harry left with his school list, instructions on how to get to the Leaky Cauldron, and Wizarding and Muggle money (for a back up plan). He stepped outside, went to a major roadway, and stuck out his thumb. Soon enough, a group of college students were going into London, and didn't mind Harry, no James, tagging along. If he was going to start over, might as well use the other name. Harry Potter was a miserable kid but James Evans was a wizard.
James thanked the guys he rode with and saw the Leaky Cauldron in the distance. "Finally, I'm here!" He said as he walked into the door.
A girl was standing all alone. Though he could see others in the pub, they all went away from her because she looked different from all the rest. "Is this your first year going to Hogwarts as well?"
"Yes, it is. Do you know how to get in Diagon Alley?" James asked.
"Yes, both of my parents went to Hogwarts as well. Tom, the guy behind the bar, can open the passageway for you with his wand." Luna replied.
"So, have you done your Hogwarts shopping yet?" James asked.
"No, I am waiting for my dad to show up. He had to do some last minute editing." Luna replied.
"So, do you mind shopping together? I think I need some second hand robe shops or book shops and without someone's help, I'll probably get lost." James laughed.
"You want to go shopping with me?" Luna asked, wide eyed.
"Yeah, you seem nice but everyone judges by appearances, don't they? By the way, I'm James Evans. Nice to meet you-"
"Luna Lovegood." Luna replied as her gaze shifted to another man coming closer to her.
"Your father?" Harry asked.
"Oh Luna, I see you made a friend." Mr. Lovegood said.
"Dad, can James go shopping with us?" Luna asked.
"Sure. Where are your parents? Did you lose them?" Mr. Lovegood asked.
"They died when I was a baby; I'm here on my own." James replied.
"Sorry for asking." Mr. Lovegood replied. "I know how it feels...I lost my wife about two years back."
"Shall we go into Diagon Alley then?" Luna said cheerfully, trying to drag them from the topic of death. A girl who doesn't care that I'm an orphan and look like crap. Not only that, but she knows how to get away from uncomfortable subjects. Harry then decided that Luna was strange, and people might keep away from her, but she was a good person, just like he was at his school when people kept away from him. He looked at everything, and saw the wizarding world would look down on him because he was poor, but that didn't really matter. He had Luna as a friend, and they could be both be strange people united.