Flowers Without Graves
Or the Transformation of Luna Lovegood
4 September 1998
It's good to be back at school. Although I was welcome and quite comfortable at Harry's house, I still felt a little intrusive somehow. But they never laughed at me. I appreciate that. I never fully realized that people laughed at me before. I wish my eyes were never opened. Living in that dream-land was comforting. But I'm not her anymore. I have to learn to walk in the real world.
With Mum and Dad both gone, the house and the Quibbler gone, I have nothing anymore. My clothes, my home, my school supplies, even my spending money all came from Harry. I think he feels to blame for Daddy's death. He's not. The death eaters are to blame. I need to work hard this year. I have to take care of myself. I don't want to. I want to put myself back in that fairy cocoon again. Why can't I be innocent again? Why can't I see flowers without seeing graves underneath?
Were any of Daddy's creatures real? The crumple-horned snorkack, or wrackspurts, or nargles? If not, what else was not real? Were they his hopeful delusions? Why did he not have proof? Ginny thinks I need to talk with Hagrid, that he would know. But I'm afraid to find out.
Charms will start soon, so I need to wash my face, and paste my signature smile back on. I must play the part of Loony Lovegood.
I shouldn't have had to worry do much last time I wrote. I'm beginning to think every student from second-year up is feeling the same as I do. The innocence of an entire generation is shattered, and we'll never have it back again. In the common room tonight, I found a sad third year crying. With the punishments and torture of last year, with losing family members, she couldn't cope. I let her cry. I let her talk. We all feel like we shouldn't talk, everyone else is feeling the same thing so why should we push our despair on someone else?
I met someone today. I never flirted before. It was interesting. Today, just after Care of Magical Beasts, I met Newt Scamander, the most famous magizoologist ever. He and his grandson were here to help Professor Hagrid with his lessons. He gave a wonderful lecture on how animals all have feelings too and how we need to see them in that light. He is quite old and can barely stand without help, but he was very powerful when it came to his creatures. I wanted to ask a few questions after class, but he was too busy with others, so his grandson, Rolf, started talking to me. In fact, we talked so much that I missed dinner. Good thing it was the last class of the day.
Next weekend is an open-weekend, meaning I can leave campus if I want. Every other week, from Friday evening until late Sunday afternoon Last-years can go and do what they want. I decided not to go to London, I'll give the two couples some privacy after being apart for so long. Rolf and I are meeting in Hogsmeade for coffee on Saturday. Will we still have a lot to talk about? I hope so. He doesn't laugh at me.
It's been a few weeks, but that's alright. Classwork is going well, considering I missed half of last year. We are all working extra hard to make up. Only the first years get to take it easy. Three times a week, we have special tutoring classes that go from dinner time to curfew. The other two nights during the week are devoted to homework and group therapy. One fifth year boy tried to end his life back in October. His dorm mates found him in time. Since then, we have mental health healers come up for sessions. It really does help. It's okay to feel so lost.
There's something else that makes me feel okay. Well, rather, SOMEONE else who makes me feel okay. Every open-weekend, I have been meeting him in Hogsmeade. It started out with just coffee, but it had developed into a more intimate relationship. Last weekend, I took him to Grimmauld place. He was welcomed so very generously and there was no judgement that we shared my room. Well, Hermione did draw me aside to ask if I knew all the proper charms. She taught me a few I didn't know. When I got back to school, I had another personal talk with Madam Pomphrey to make sure. All's good now.
For a first lover, Rolf is all I could want. He is gentle and kind, yet…well, I think it best if I don't note that sort of thing down, what if future generations read this?
Rolf was born on a tiny island somewhere in the south pacific exactly 6 years and two days before me. His parents are magi-anthropologists, studying how different cultures used magic currently and throughout history. They both went on a dangerous tour in south east Asia when Rolf was 13. He was sent to live with his grandparents where he was homeschooled instead of being sent to Hogwarts. He now works primarily with his grandfather in research. If fieldwork is needed, he goes and is the eyes and ears for his grandfather. Rolf calls him Boss. Now that the war is over, Martin and Lydia Scamander moved to Oxford and are revising their notes in preparation of writing their fourth book. Next open-weekend, I'll be going to meet his parents and grandparents.
I really enjoyed visiting with Rolf's grandparents and parents. They are all such warm, nice people. The Boss, as Newt wishes to be called, is tall, and just as slim as the picture in his text book. He is very funny, but he doesn't look me in the eye much. He showed me a picture of himself at Rolf's age and they look identical except Rolf has dark hair, not ginger. Gran Tina looks like a typical old granny, but she doesn't act like it. She'd rather talk about catching criminals like Grindelwald than reciting pudding recipes. If I get the chance, I would love to sit and listen to her stories.
Martin was quite a bit older than Lydia, Rolf's mother. She is his second wife. They are both so thoughtful and gentle. They too had stories of far off places. I never thought of traveling far, but now I yearn to see the Pacific Islands, South America, Antarctica. Maybe someday.
Rolf persuaded me to finally ask The Boss about some of daddy's elusive creatures. If anyone would know, it would be Newt Scamander. He told me something that I will carry for the rest of my life. He said that maybe, somewhere there is a creature with all the attributes that I know of as a crumple-horned snorkack, but locals know of another name. A nargle just may be a drakitra tapaka , a small creature known in Madagascar. So Daddy, I'll keep looking.
4 January 1999
Not quite the Christmas Holiday I normally have, it was even better. We came home for the holiday on the 18th, and on the 19th, Rolf showed up and on the spur of the moment, invited me on a short expedition to Gibraltar. I had just enough time to pack a bag before we had to leave. We joined up with a wizard who had discovered some very old bones of what looked like a dragon. When we touched the bones, they started to glow blue. They wanted Rolf to see if this was a new species of dragon, or just cursed. It was a new species. In fact, Rolf thinks it might be an ancestor of modern dragons. Rolf was given the honor to name it and he chose Proto-draconis-Lunae, or early-Moon-Dragon. I feel so very special.
It was such a magical holiday that it's strange to be back at school. Rolf will be at the site until around early March, so I won't see him. I now understand, somewhat, how Hermione and Ginny feel when they are apart from their men.
I guess this means I have more time for my studies. With Newts coming up, I have decided to devote more of my time to the books. Maybe I can travel with Rolf after school as an assistant?
Easter Holiday was from the 2nd through the 9th. Forget the train, Ginny, Hermione and I apparated home from just outside the gates. Rolf was waiting for me at Grimmauld place. His expedition went over a month longer than planned. Agony. Before we were together even an hour, he knelt in front of me and gave me a ring. He said he didn't ever want to be parted from me for so long again. I'm still shaking. The ring is just a tiny band, he is afraid that stones might get lost when in the field. It's just what I would have chosen.
I won't see him for another month. He's coming for the One Year Commemoration Ceremony on 2 May. After that, there will be no more open-weekends, so we can prepare for Newts. They will start the 10th of June. Professor Flitwick has converted an unused classroom into a spell casting room so we can safely practice charms in our free time. The hardest are the new advanced silent charms. I feel that hearing the command helps channel the intent. The Headmistress says that intent is where the power really lies.
I am still shaken. It's been a very emotional weekend. Rolf came up on the 30th and had pre-booked a room in town. With all the intense studying, it felt calming to break away and just be with him. Sunday was hard. First, we had a Sunrise Service in the courtyard for the students. Then that afternoon, many thousands of people came, not including the students. The Quidditch pitch had been converted to a giant arena in preparation. All of us who fought were seated on the first four rows in front of the stage with the DA in the first. Harry, Hermione and Ron were on the stage. Harry, and Ron were very handsome in their Black and Navy Auror uniforms.
After some speeches and a choir singing, Minister Shacklebolt announced something that shocked us all. Harry, Ron and Hermione were being awarded The Order of Merlin, 1st Class! Hermione had said she was warned ahead of time, but they still were nervous. All three cringed when he called them the Golden Trio. Then He read off another list of names, mine included. It took a moment to realize it was the members of the DA, those still in school and those who have left. We had to stand and walk up on stage. There, we were awarded The Order of Merlin, 2nd Class. I'm in shock! What an honor. We all agreed with Lee Jordan, who spoke for us all, that we fought not for any glory, but because it was the right thing to do. The medals for the fallen members, those who rested in our memorial garden, were given to their families. I think I cried more for this than the funeral. The other students who were not in the DA and stayed to fight all received the Order of Merlin 3rd class. Quite an honor, considering some of these kids were only 13-14 years old.
One interesting event: Right when the Order of the Phoenix was acknowledged, Fleur Weasley doubled up in labour. She was a month early so everyone was surprised. Madam Pomphrey quietly led her and Bill off stage and into the castle. I heard that just three hours later, in the hospital wing, they had a little girl. The first baby to have been born in the castle in over two hundred years. The private room, where she was born, was renamed the Victory Ward after the baby. The baby's name is Victoire. Ginny said she is beautiful.
Well, that's all done. Newts are finished. There will be a small Leaving ceremony tomorrow, Saturday, and then we are free to go. I'm all packed up and ready. We have decided to forgo the train back. So much of my life has been based on this castle but I'm happy it's all over.
Rolf has promised to meet me at home. Then the next step will begin. On the 26th, Saturday, Rolf and I will take our Vows in the sitting room of Grimmauld Place. It's big enough and it means a lot to me. It would not have been fair to ask Gram Tina, Rolf's grandmother, to host. They are over a hundred years old. Newts parents live in a tiny flat in a city.
We are aboard a ship in the middle of the South Pacific, heading for an island where there have been reports of a strange creature. This is just the first stop on our year long expedition around the world. What a delightful Honeymoon!
The wedding was beautiful. Professors Flitwick and McGonagall stood with me. I had asked Arthur Weasley to officiate, but as a surprise, Minister Shacklebolt did the honors. There were 60 people there with us. I felt so loved. It was held in the morning and afterwards, we had a very nice wedding luncheon. Harry's new elf really out-did herself. As a wedding gift, Hermione gave us a satchel with an undetectable extension charm on it. So very handy. We had to catch a portkey so we didn't stay around too long.
On to my new life. All is well.