None of these characters belong to me. Obviously. I'm just here to fill in the gaps with a possible scenario for what happened on the train while Harry and Ron were flying the Ford Anglia to Hogwarts.
"Thank you," Luna said serenely to the tall, dark-haired boy who had just helped her load her heavy trunk into the luggage rack.
"No problem," he replied, panting slightly. "You're a first year, aren't you?"
"Yes," she said. "I'm Luna." She stuck out a hand and shook his much larger one.
"I'm Rolf," he said, smiling and readjusting the rectangular glasses that had gone askew in the process of lifting Luna's trunk above his head. "I hope you're excited to come to Hogwarts."
"Oh, yes, very," said Luna.
"Excellent," he said. He had a very nice smile, she thought. "I hope I'll see you in my house. Ravenclaw."
"That's the house my parents were in. It sounds wonderful," said Luna. One of her most treasured possessions was the unpublished manuscript of the history of the house and its founder, which her mother had been writing before she died.
"It is," Rolf assured her. "And I'm a Prefect now, so if you need help with anything, feel free to ask."
"That's very nice of you," said Luna. Rolf's face suddenly fell, and he quickly pulled a battered old pocket watch from his robes. He paled and looked back at her apologetically.
"I'm really sorry, Luna, but I'm supposed to be in the Prefects' carriage now. Best of luck, though."
"Oh, that's all right," said Luna. "It was lovely to meet you, Rolf, and thank you again for helping with my trunk." He smiled again, before hastily departing. Luna gazed after him, then took her seat by the window.
She spotted her father in the crowd on the platform, and stretched her face into a broad smile as she waved at him. She noticed that he seemed rather worried and unsure of what to do with himself, as if part of him wanted to get on the train with her and the rest would prefer simply taking her off it and bringing her back home.
Her smile stretched wider, reaching her large eyes enough to crinkle the lids, and she waved still more heartily. The hyperbole of expression felt unnatural to her, but she wanted to reassure her father that she would be all right. Then the train lurched and slowly began to move, and she dropped her hand when he was out of sight.
She was a little sad that he would be alone at the house without her, but she was determined to write at least twice a week and do as well as she could in all her classes so he could be proud instead of worried and lonely. And, of course, she would work even harder so her mother would be proud as well. A pang of emptiness and longing struck Luna, and the last traces of her pasted-on smile faded away.
But she wasn't going to think about that on her first day. She took a deep breath. Hogwarts. The mere thought of the school had excitement rising in her, especially after talking to Rolf about it. Hogwarts was what she'd always looked forward to. After all, the most priceless treasure was knowledge, was it not? She gazed dreamily out of the window, imagining she could see the endless possibilities stretched before her eyes, right there for the taking.
Luna's musings were interrupted by the sound of the compartment door sliding open. Intrigued, she turned to stare at a girl her age with flaming red hair and anxious brown eyes. "Hello," she said pleasantly.
"Er, hi," said the girl hesitantly. "C-can I sit here? I've been all up the train but I couldn't find Ha—I mean," she broke off, blushing as red as her hair, "an empty compartment."
"Oh, of course you can sit here. My name's Luna. Luna Lovegood," she replied, a vague smile spreading across her face. She rather hoped she could be friends with this girl.
"Thanks. I'm Ginny Weasley," said the redhead, sounding much less shy now that the initial introduction was over. Luna stared intently at her for a moment.
"Does your family live in Ottery St. Catchpole?" she asked curiously.
"Yes," said Ginny. "You too? I can't believe we've never met!"
"Well, Daddy doesn't really like me going far from home. Not since Mum—anyway, he has said very nice things about your parents." Ginny smiled.
"I'm so glad I've found someone to talk to," she said in relief. "My brother Ron promised to sit with me for the train ride up, but I couldn't find him, and I didn't want to sit with any of the other older students. I'd sit with Fred and George, but their compartment is crowded. And you'd have to pay me to sit with Percy." She scowled slightly.
"That's not very nice of him, to forget his promise," said Luna, frowning.
"It's all right," said Ginny halfheartedly. "Now I've got you to sit with." Luna smiled again. Ginny beamed back, then fidgeted slightly before pulling a quill, ink, and a plain black diary from her bag. Luna stared a few seconds longer as Ginny began to write eagerly, then directed her silvery gaze back out of the window. One of the pillowy clouds looked rather like the sketch her father had drawn of a Crumple-Horned Snorkack earlier that summer. She would have to remember to tell him about that one. But then, unexpectedly, right from within the front shoulder, an old blue Muggle car appeared. Luna stared in fascination until it climbed back into the cloud again, at which point she pulled out the brand new September issue of The Quibbler and flipped it open to the place she had marked.
The flashing heading of the page read "Recently Uncovered Rotfang Conspiracy Chooses Gilderoy Lockhart as First Victim", and beneath it was a rather excellent moving diagram of how the nefarious Rotfang conspirators planned to practice their strategy by rotting the five-time award winning smile before setting their sights on the Ministry.
Luna's father had had Lockhart over for tea to get an interview for the article, and she had remained out of sight in her room. Despite this, his voice had carried rather easily to her, which was enough to convince her quite firmly that the poor man was afflicted by a full infestation of one of the lesser-known cousins of the Wrackspurt. The particular variety Luna had in mind had the unique ability to grossly inflate the ego of its host even as it left him fuzzy-minded. Surely he did not deserve the bad fortune of falling prey to the Aurors involved in the Rotfang Conspiracy on top of that.
The door slid open again. Luna and Ginny both looked up to see a girl with bushy brown hair and a half annoyed, half anxious expression. "Hi," she said, looking at Ginny. "Have you seen Harry and Ron?" she asked.
"No," said Ginny, blushing slightly again. "Not since the Muggle side of King's Cross."
"I can't find them anywhere on the train. If they're hiding under Harry's cloak somewhere, I might just have to hex them when we get up to Gryffindor Tower." She turned and noticed Luna for the first time. "Oh, hello."
"Hello," said Luna.
"Luna, this is Hermione," said Ginny.
"It's very nice to meet you," said Luna, who hadn't really expected to meet so many people in her first few minutes on the train, and she felt a detached sort of cheerfulness about it.
"You too," said Hermione, smiling briefly. She turned back to Ginny. "I'm going to go check for them again, but I'll come back if I can't find them."
"Okay," said Ginny.
"Bye," said Luna.
"Bye," said Hermione, giving a slight wave as she departed. Ginny and Luna chatted for a few more minutes before Ginny turned again to her diary, and Luna to her magazine. But Luna wasn't really seeing the text on the page. Her imagination had quite borne her away in picturing, not for the first time, how wonderful life at Hogwarts would be.
I actually wrote a shorter version of this a few years ago as part of an absurdly random project for my World Geography class in high school. It was a project about trolls. Yeah, the little doll kind with the puff of brightly colored hair and lack of clothing. Don't ask me how that's relevant to geography, because I have no idea whatsoever. Nor does anyone else who had that teacher, in fact. Anyway, I made a Luna troll from the little template thingy the teacher gave us. I turned the hair into the lion hat, and the accompanying story was just the part about Luna meeting Ginny on the train and seeing the Ford Anglia out the window and not being particularly weirded out by it. However, since writing that, the last two books were published, which gave me much more Luna-related material with which to work. Especially Rolf. How I love Rolf, even though we never met him in the books.