I own nothing.
For the Anything You Wanna Write Competition
My character to reference: Helena Ravenclaw
If the narration seems a bit disjointed, it's like that on purpose. That's because the narrator is Luna.
"An Unusual Mind"
Luna Lovegood is ecstatic when she gets her Hogwarts letter. Daddy's been telling stories about the school for as long as she can remember – it's where he met Mum, and they fell in love. Luna's vision of Hogwarts is a dreamy, romantic sort of place where anything is possible – even something as crazy as a Crumple-Horned Snorkack being friends with a Nargle. Luna laughs at the thought (because of course everyone knows that Crumple-Horned Snorkacks and Nargles don't get along), but somehow at a place like Hogwarts, it seems like maybe even that is a possibility.
Saying goodbye to Daddy on the platform is maybe a little bit harder than she thought it would be, because he seems sad, but Luna tells him that she'll be quite all right, the Flumpies will protect her, and Daddy smiles a little. He's still got sad eyes, and that hurts just a little, but she knows he'll be okay.
She smiles and waves as the train takes off, and then seats herself in a compartment that's empty. A redheaded girl joins her, and she seems nice, but she gets a bit of a look in her eyes when Luna mentions Wrackspurts, so Luna politely pulls out of the conversation and begins to read the copy of the Quibbler she stowed in her bag that morning. The girl shrugs and pulls out a Quidditch magazine. It's peaceful, reading together like this, and it gives Luna a good feeling about what's to come.
The only interruption is a lady with a trolley laden with sweets. Ginny sadly shakes her head in a dejected sort of way when asked if she wants anything, so Luna buys a pair of chocolate frogs and silently passes one to her.
The redhead smiles.
"You're really quite pretty when you smile. You really ought to do so more often," Luna says simply and matter-of-factly. The girl blushes just a little with the compliment.
"Thanks. For the frog as well."
Luna nods. "I'm Luna."
Luna wonders if this means she's actually made a friend. She smiles softly at the thought. That makes one.
The train ride is a bit longer than she'd expected, but then, she's not entirely sure where Hogwarts actually is. A big man greets them on the platform. Luna remains unfazed – she smiles at the intimidating figure. Ginny kind of grins at her for that; Luna thinks maybe Ginny's already getting used to her.
When they cross the lake in boats, her first vision of Hogwarts takes Luna's breath away. It's everything she'd ever dreamed it would be.
Once inside, a stern-looking woman who, Luna notices, has too many laugh lines to be nearly as strict as she looks, explains about the Houses. Luna had forgotten those, but she remembers now that Daddy said he was a Ravenclaw, and Mum was a Gryffindor. She briefly worries that she will be separated from Ginny, but then she realizes it doesn't matter. Who says they can't be friends anyway?
The singing hat is somewhat intriguing, but Luna's more concerned with the violent night sky above them. It's beautiful, and highly distracting.
She's grateful that Ginny nudges her when it's her turn to be sorted, as she certainly wasn't listening.
She drifts up the stairs and places the hat on her head.
'Interesting...' the hat murmurs.
'Well, hello,' she thinks. 'I didn't know you could speak into my mind as well.'
'See into it, speak into it. Both are necessary to place you where you properly belong. Now let's see here. You're very interesting.'
Luna smiles. 'I've been told that alot.'
'Yes, I see that. Hmm. Now this is a challenge. There's courage, but there's also a deviousness in you when it's needed. Your loyalty applies to few, but knows no bounds, and your mind is astonishingly strong, though in an unusual way.'
'So what does that mean?' Luna asks.
'It means, child, that you would do well in any house. I think, though, with a mind like yours, it'd better be RAVENCLAW.'
Luna smiles softly. Her father's house. She thanks the hat – which seems to surprise it – and sets it down on the stool before skipping off to the table decked in blue. A badge materializes on her robes.
She's a little bit sad when Ginny is sorted into Gryffindor, but the girl seems happy about it.
The meal is way more extravagant than Luna is used to. Daddy cooks simple things, and he burns the food a lot. Nothing's burnt here. It's all cooked perfectly, and with more variety than Luna's ever seen in her life. When the ghosts come out of the food, a girl next to Luna screams. Luna just smiles at the pretty young ghost.
The ghost looks surprised. "Hello," she murmurs, a bit unsure.
"I'm Luna. And you are?"
"They call me the Grey Lady"
"But that can't be your real name."
The ghost seem surprised. "Well, no, it isn't."
"So what is your real name?"
"Well, it's Helena. Helena Ravenclaw."
"Would it be all right if I called you Helena? It's such a pretty name."
Helena seems a bit surprised by Luna's frankness, but she smiles a small, shy smile and nods.
"You seem terribly shy. Are you quite all right? Is a Blibbering Humdingers interfering with your communication?"
Helena blinks. "A what?"
"A Blibbering Humdinger. They follow you around and make you feel self-conscious. Most shy people, you see, aren't really shy. They've just got a Blibbering Humdinger at their heels."
"I can tell you don't believe me. That's okay. People used to believe there was no such thing. Daddy and I know better, though."
"All right, child. Your open mind is an asset."
Luna smiles. "Thank you, Helena."
Something unrecognizable sparks in the ghost's eyes when Luna says her name.
"No, thank you, child. If you ever need anything, come talk to me."
She drifts off. Luna wonders if this means she has two whole friends now. She decides that, yes, in fact it does.
After dinner, a taller girl with a badge featuring a large P on it rounds up all the first year Ravenclaws. Another girl and two boys with the same badges stand with her.
"Right, first years, listen up, because this is important. My name is Penelope. This is Robert, Roger, and Elaina. We're your fifth- and sixth-year Prefects, respectively. If you have any questions, any problems, just talk to one of us. That's what we're here for."
"But," Robert interrupts, "only if it's a problem we can help with. If you can't find your sock and you think one of your dorm mates took it, well, sort that out amongst yourselves."
Penelope gives him a look like she wants to disagree, but she refuses to start a war over who has more authority and so she won't negate his authority in front of them.
"All right everybody. Pay attention on the way to Ravenclaw Tower, because while you'll get maps when we get there, you need to be able to orient yourself with the map, so you still need to know where at least two things are in relation to each other," Elaina says. Elaina and Roger take the front of the line and Robert and Penelope drop to the back.
The way to the Ravenclaw common room is a blur of moving portraits, moving staircases, and moving suits of armor.
A bronze eagle door-knocker asks, "If a Whomping Willow falls in the Forbidden Forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?"
Penelope speaks up. "As you can see, Ravenclaw Tower doesn't have a password; you must answer the riddle to enter. If you get it wrong, you have to wait for someone who knows the answer to let you in – that way you'll learn something."
"Does anyone have a guess?" Roger asks.
After a moment, Luna raises her hand. He nods at her to answer.
"I think it makes a sound, but only if you think it does. After all, sound is all in our head – it's our perception."
The door knocker seems satisfied. Smiling, Penelope says, "Well done."
The common room itself is amazing, and Luna knows she'll explore it more tomorrow, but for now, all she's concerned with is the comfy four poster with her trunk at its foot.
As she drifts off to sleep, Luna has a very good feeling about the year to come.