Different and Proud
Member No.: 13
Joined: 10-November 04
This is a very weird one shot because we are in Luna's brain, which is abviously funky. Luna's my fifth favorite character (After the Trio and Ginny) but I've never written anything with her in it, so here's her story. It was extremely difficult to get the essence of Luna, so I hope I did OK. Ginny's next, Then possibly Neville.
Oh yes, and you might notice something similar between the beginning of Ron's story and Luna's. It has to do with the title.
Luna Lovegood looked into swirling water and saw her reflection, shimmering softly, like daffodils on a puffiskins breath. Scraggly blonde hair surrounded a pale face, her eyes as gray as a Crumple Horned Snorcack’s peeking out.
Dumbledore’s funeral was over. Luna closed her eyes and a fat tear dropped into the water, rippling the glassy surface. She had liked Dumbledore. He had seemed like her, in a different world…
She had only talked to him once, but it had been her greatest source of comfort at Hogwarts before she became friends with Ginny, Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville.
It had been after a particularly nasty incident, in which some one had dumped a vat of potion ingredients on her. She had been called to the Headmasters office.
She stepped onto the winding staircase, going in circles, that’s how she’d felt at the time, like she was always, always going in circles. She’d entered the magnificent office, with many talking portraits (some of them bound to be possessed by Elfgaraks) and something that looked like Fwronk from far away, but turned out to be a Phoenix.
Dumbledore had been sitting on his desk, ever serene, like a wise old statue. He smiled at her when she came in and Luna managed a smile back. She realized she was clutching the Quibbler to her chest hard.
“Ah, Miss Lovegood,” Dumbledore had said. “Sit down.”
Luna had sat.
“Ah, the Quibbler,” Dumbledore had said, nodding at her magazine. Luna had tensed, ready to be told how ridiculous her magazine was, but Dumbledore had said, “I am a regular subscriber. I do think it has a better grip on things than the Prophet. After all, we live in a world of magic, who are we to doubt and scoff?”
Luna had gaped at him.
“I believe your father is the editor?”
“Yes, “ Luna answered. She was unable to think of anything else to say.
“Well, do tell him I am a fan.”
Dumbledore smiled at her and stood up.
“I wanted to talk to you, Luna, about the recent persecutions you have received from your year mates. Professor Flitwick is dealing with the perpetrators of the Potion incident, and I must say, that man is quite frightening when he is angry.”
Luna giggled and Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled.
“But I know you are feeling the strain of loneliness. Seeing as these incidents have been so substantial that Professor Flitwick has come to me, I feel I should talk to you.”
Dumbledore began to pace.
“Children,” he said. “Can be extraordinarily wonderful and extraordinarily cruel. They persecute those who are different, because they are afraid of new ideas. The most brave, most creative souls have been forced to conform because they want to be liked. You, Luna, are a very unique person. Therefore, you have been persecuted. But you have not conformed for the sake of popularity, and for that I admire you.”
He stopped and smiled at her again. Luna was simply dumbfounded. DUMBLEDORE admired her? Perhaps a Wrackspurt had gotten him…
“Not everyone is the same. Some try to be the same, but some do not. Those people may be seen as different. Crazy. I, however, think they are rare things and very special. Not everyone asks to be special. Some are special from the moment they are born…or before.”
Dumbledore has gotten a far away look in his eyes then, and Luna had wondered what he was thinking.
Coming suddenly back to earth, Dumbledore had said, “What I am saying, is these children are persecuting you because they are so ignorant, they are afraid of someone who believes different things than they do. You will find friends, Luna. People who are unique like you. You just mustn’t give up hope. It would be quite a tragedy if you tried to become like everyone else.”
“Thank you, sir,” Luna had said quietly.
“Well,” Dumbledore told her. “I wouldn’t want to keep you from your classes any longer. Off you go. And remember, if you ever need anything, I am here.”
“Thank you,” Luna had said to this wise old man who seemed to understand her. And she had left.
More tears dropped into the water as Luna remembered that. Finally she sighed and sat back, looking at the clouds. That one most certainly resembled a Crumple Horned Snorcack…
Her mind waved and drifted, flowing with the current. She had found friends…Ginny…Harry had said she was his friend…so had Neville…Ron and Hermione…
They were all different in their own way too…unique, set apart from the others. She had had a chance to talk with Hermione while watching Snapes office and found that while they were different, in some respects they were alike. Such as feeling outcast, Hermione had experienced having no friends herself. She liked Hermione, despite the fact she didn’t believe in the same things Luna did, she had respected Luna’s opinion since the incident at the Ministry. And Hermione cried too….
Harry was also different. He had heard the voices. He saw the Thestrals too…Luna knew he understood being different also.
And Ron…was funny. He could be cruel, but Luna could tell he didn’t mean it, that he just had a hot temper.
Neville was sweet. He knew what it was like too, to be mocked, to be different.
And Ginny was nice. And she was tough. Opinionated, her Mum would have said. Gutsy. She had really let loose on that boy when he called her Loony. He had been scared too. Hot tempered, like her brother, Ginny was.
Luna looked around. Ginny was standing there, looking vaguely upset. Her red hair rippled in the wind like a Phoenix’s mane, and her arms clutched as if a Frost Scrack was on her shoulder.
“Why, hello, Ginny.”
“Mind if I sit?”
“Not at all. Watch out for Wehlphers though. They grow in the grass and are known to devour unwary behinds when one sits on the ground.”
“I’ll do that, thanks, Luna,” Ginny said smiling ruefully.
She sat down and sighed. Luna would have asked what was wrong, but she had noticed a daphodil floating in the wind…
Ginny looked at her closely and said, seeming shocked beyond reason, “Luna, have you been…CRYING?”
“Oh!” Luna exclaimed. “Oh yes, a bit. Just sad about Dumbledore you know, he summoned me to his office once and was quite nice. Though it’s not as if I’ll never see him again. You know he subscribed to the Quibbler?”
“I’m not surprised,” Ginny muttered smiling. Then she put her head in her hands and said, “Oh God.”
“Are you quite all right, Ginny?”
“I’m…fine…” Ginny said in a forced voice. “Its just…Harry. He’s going off…to…defeat Voldemort…. and he told me not…to come. He broke up with me….”
“But surely you’re not going to listen to him?” Luna asked.
Ginny looked up, surprised. “Well, I was considering that.”
“After all, Daddy knows all about what Harry’s got. It’s called “Suffering Hero” Syndrome. It’s quite common in the wizarding world. You need to follow him and give him a potion made of eggs, banana-berries, a lock of your hair, and sophomorous beans, that’s the only cure.”
Ginny laughed through her tears (Luna had no idea why) and then began crying worse than ever. Luna put an arm awkwardly around Ginny and watched her sob, her tears seeding the parched lawn and allowing for new growth in the grass….
It was a lazy summer at the Lovegood home. The sun beat down and Luna felt the wind whip through her hair. Her fathers typewriter could be heard tick-tacking throughput the house, working on the latest edition of the Quibbler. Luna got up and knocked gently on her father’s door.
“How’s it going, Daddy?”
“Great! I’ve found loads of witnesses for the Heliopath attack in Africa!”
“Should I fix my own dinner?”
“If you could, Moonshine, I really need to meet the deadline I’ve set for myself.”
But before eating, Luna went into her mother’s room. The place was just as it had been before, the lovely drawings her mother did, the cauldron and beakers, the thousands of colorful objects…even the burn mark on the floor, the exact spot her mother had died on.
Luna sat down on the spot where her Mum had died and closed her eyes. In these moments, she could practically feel her mother’s essence drifting through her. Her soft words, the song she used to sing:
Goodnight little Luna
Goodnight little moon
Sleep until morning
Sleep until noon
She could even hear her laugh. He essence, her spirit inhabited every corner of this room. She was why Luna never gave up. She was gone, though not forever, like Dumbledore. Luna knew if she tried hard enough she could reach out and touch her mother again one day. Her mum was just lurking out of sight. Her Mum was just…beyond the veil.
Luna wasn’t surprised to find that Harry Ron and Hermione were gone when she returned next year. She knew if Harry had gone, surely Ron and Hermione had too. After all, that’s what Hermione had said that night. When Luna mentioned that Harry seemed to be doing a lot of things alone lately, her face had gone hard as stone and she had told Luna, “Not anymore. If Harry thinks he’s doing this alone, he’s wrong. Ron and I are not going to let him.”
That’s when Luna had really respected Hermione.
Ginny Weasley, on the other hand was at Hogwarts, but very depressed. Only a wisp of her soul seemed left, she was faceless and had none of her own energy. She quit the Quidditch team. She kept her head down in class. She hadn’t done the Bat Bogey Hex on anyone in ages.
Luna disliked seeing Ginny like this; it was like the fire in her had been doused, like a Wrackspurt had permanently invaded her brain, fuzzing out everything that made her Ginny.
Luna was not worried though. She knew Ginny could not keep the fire down for long.
She was right. About two days into October, Luna walking through the halls, when suddenly someone grabbed her arm and pulled her into a broom closet.
Luna blinked and looked up to see Ginny, her red hair like a flame in the dark.
“Why, hello, Ginny,” she said contentedly. “You should be careful in closets like this. A skeleton could attack us.”
“Luna, I’ve made up my mind,” Ginny hissed.
“So the Wrackspurts gone?” Luna asked.
“I said, so the-”
“Er, never mind, Luna. I’ve just decided that I’m going after Harry. A Hogsmeade weekends coming up and I’m going to use that opportunity to ditch. I know Mum wants me to finish my education, but I’m too depressed to learn anything without Harry anyway. So I’m going to find him, Ron and Hermione. And if he doesn’t like it, tough. I just wanted to tell you.”
“Oh, well, in that case,” Luna said brightly and she rummaged around in her bag and extracted eggs, banana berries and sophomorous beans. “Here,” she said giving them to Ginny. “Don’t forget a lock of your hair.”
Ginny broke into a grin. “I didn’t even know banana berries existed.”
“They do,” Luna said cheerfully. “Mum invented them when I was eight, before she died, you know. These are the only ones we have left.”
“Oh, Luna if their your Mum’s, I cant accept-“
“Oh, they don’t taste very good anyway. And I think curing Harry is much more important than a few old berries.”
Ginny threw her arms around Luna and said, “I’ll write you when I find them. It could take a while.”
“Do,” Luna called after Ginny as she exited the cupboard. “And watch out for Flying Plimpies!
Ginny waved at Luna and disappeared down the hall. Luna smiled and leaned against the cupboard wall, examining a mop.
Around mid December, Luna finally received a letter from Ginny.
Around mid December, Luna finally received a letter from Ginny.
I finally located Harry, Ron and Hermione. It took forever. Harry’s finally come around; I threatened him with your potion. He’s glad to hear things are fine up at Hogwarts. Ron and Hermione say hi too. Hermione thinks the banana berries are really wonderful, she’s found all kinds of medicinal applications for them. She’s sorry she hasn’t written, they haven’t had much leisure time. Ron says he wishes you were here to spout random bits of craziness, since Harry and Hermione are Serious City lately. I think that’s his way of saying he missed you.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know I’m OK. I’ve written to Neville too. I hope all is well!
P.S. No Plimpies have attacked, although Ron says he has his Gurdyroot ready
Luna smiled and folded the letter closed.
“LOONY!” a girl called as she looked up.
“Hello,” Luna said.
For some reason, the girl screamed and ran away. Luna supposed she must have seen a Fire Gnome or something.
The next day, Luna hailed Neville in the hall.
“Oh, hi, Luna.”
“Did you get a letter from Ginny?”
“Oh, yes, I was glad to see she was OK, I was worried about her. It figured Harry, Ron and Hermione would go out to defeat You Know Who. They’ve always gone off doing noble things together.”
“Oh?” Luna said pleasantly.
“Yes. I remember once when they went after the Sorcerer’s Stone and I got in their way…Hermione had to curse me. Anyway, they saved the school. I hope they don’t get hurt. Though I suppose that Harry has the best chance of defeating You Know Who, he’s faced him enough. But still…I hope it turns out OK…” Neville seemed to be lost in worry for a minute, before he pulled himself together and said, “Well, it’s a lot less interesting around here since they left anyway. And someone definitely does need to take care of You Know Who. You know he’s got the vampires on his side now?”
“Even Rufus Scrimgeour?” Luna asked.
“Rufus Scrimgeours a vampire. Didn’t you know?”
“Er…no.” Neville said as the bell rang. “Er, I’d better go. See you around Luna.”
And Neville sped away, leaving Luna to examine the ceiling.
Luna stepped out into the cold afternoon air. She was alone in the vast grounds; everyone else was gone to a Hogsmeade trip. The grounds were empty and strange, the wind ruffling the grass and Luna was the only one left. Just like in her real life. Suddenly Luna took off running, her hair whipping around her, her arms outstretched like an eerie angel. She kept running, until she reached the edge of the icy black lake. Without hesitating, she dove in, breaking through the icy surface and merging into the dark depths. Her hair floated around her face, white as snow in the blackness. But she kept kicking, because she wanted to see how far below the surface she could go.
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"You said to us once before," said Hermione quietly, "that there was time to turn back if we wanted to. We've had time, haven't we?"- HBP