You know how there’s that one friend we know will sleep through a troll invasion? For us, that’d always been you. The survivor.
You’ve survived growing up with Fred and George. You’ve lived through heartbreaks and failures and humiliation and still managed to laugh. You’ve puked slugs and battled arachnophobia yet never shied away from a fight for your friends. You’ve worn your heart on the frayed sleeves of your uncle’s hand-me-down robe even when you had the emotional range of a teaspoon.
When we first met you on that train 20 years ago, grease stain on your nose and chocolate frogs in your overstuffed mouth, we knew you weren’t the chosen or the brightest one.
At best you were the bumbling awkward teenager. At worst a doppelganger of that cheesy English singer some Muggles claim to worship. Ed Sheeran or something. But then you taught us, it isn’t what’s inside you that matters, it’s what you choose to believe in.
You taught us that even when our books are second hand and our wands are tapped, we can open our homes and hearts to our friends. You taught us that bravery is a virtue all of us posses, that facing our fear is sometimes the only way through it, be it giant spiders or the occasional basilisks. You taught us we can unlearn our prejudices, accept as allies those we once hated, be it house elves or werewolves.
I’m sure you still let Hermione teach you how to swish and flick, with a proud grin on your face. I’m sure you visit your parents every weekend, sometimes Charlie drops by and gives you a meaningful wink. I’m sure you’re doing just fine.
And I’m sure; the clock with your face on one hand has since been at home. Safe, drunk on butter beer and a little in love.
It’s weird how we remember people at times. In bits and pieces. As if remembering them in entirety would mean accepting it’s been two decades since we’ve last seen each other. Some days I wonder how elated you’d be to visit this new world.
We have hair conditioners which smell like strawberries and beer now, and weaving flowers into your beard is considered a fashion trend. Often, I imagine you making a cross country trip on your motorbike, breeze ruffling your hair and those goggles making your eyes look humongous. You’d stop at every village on the way, let little girls weave your beard into bouquets while you told stories about that time you won a giant octopus with commitment issues from a stranger at a heavy metal concert.
We have it all, and yet we crave someone like you in our lives. Someone who can keep our secrets safe even if they have to go to prison for that, who can give people pigtails when they’re mean to his friends. Someone we can always approach for answers or giant hugs. Someone who remembers birthdays without Facebook reminders and always, always brings the cake with extra icing and atrociously spelled names scribbled on it.
While you were gone, we’ve somehow become stoic souls afraid to shed tears or go that extra mile to make someone we love, smile. Maybe we need to unlearn our burdens. Become people who can cry with abandon and care for their family even if others find nothing but flaws in them and want nothing more from life than a cabbage patch and lazy afternoons with their drooling dogs.
Maybe what we really want, is someone with the worst knock knock joke and the biggest of hearts.
3. Dear Luna,
You seem to have taken a lot with you when you left. For example, I don’t see any Blibbering Humdinger or the Crumple-Horned Snorkack around any more.
Coincidence? I think not.
You’ve apparently taken away our ability to be inspired by the mundane as well. Look at us now, crowding art exhibitions and breaking our backs attending every poetry event but still complaining about our lack of imagination in the end. We don’t lose our shoes anymore or read magazines upside down. In fact, we barely read.
And most importantly, we don’t believe. Not in magic or mistletoes infested with nargles that might just take a bite off our noses or that even after someone dies, they still exist in memories of their loved ones and behind the veil at the ministry of magic.
You’ve taken away our ability to stand out from the crowd, whether it was because of the quirkiest fashion sense topped with a butter beer cork necklace or the belief that everyone deserves kindness and sympathy. Even if it was a common but free house elf who died saving his friend, you made sure your eulogy guided his soul to the afterlife for free elves.
Whether it’s your quidditch commentary or your aura of pure serenity, we miss you in every aspect of our lives. And we keep hoping, someday we’ll run into you again, only you’ll be the woman with dreamy eyes selling aluminium foil hats at the crossing beyond eighth avenue (guaranteed to give you better dreams, you’d say between giggles).
And we’ll be the ones desperately wishing we could believe in the impossible again, and borrow the Quibbler from you every weekend.
I’ll let you in on a secret. All these Slytherin pickup lines that have become the rage nowadays, they were written for you.
I mean, sure, it must be really hard being a sulking and often sassy teenager, especially with the fairer sex swooning every time you even opened your mouth. We get your conundrum mate, we do.
But trust me, we’ve all been jealous of you at some point. Some of us still are. You’ve outshone the boy who lived on so many occasions even when he was clearly the protagonist of the story. And you’ve done so with your undeniable charm and confidence, although those locks of platinum blonde hair never hurt your appeal, just saying.
Of course, for the longest time people just saw the rough and unlikable side of you (not unlovable though, if you know what I mean). They were quick to stereotype you as the bad guy, what with the drawl and everything. Plus you were totally Harry’s second biggest enemy in Hogwarts, the biggest being his constant whining and complaining. But you outgrew that mould pretty fast, and boy did you take us all by surprise when you did.
When you bared your tortured soul to us, showed us having parents who are stuck on the wrong side of the deal with Voldemort is way worse than it sounds, we just wanted to put our arms around you and whisper words of comfort till you stopped trembling. In that moment when you were tasked with killing Dumbledore yet couldn’t bring yourself to it, we knew even the darkest hearts bear some goodness within them.
We might be guilty of cheering Hermione when she punched you across your face, but come on, you deserved it for being such a douche to her. That doesn’t mean we’re gonna stop with the swooning or writing steamy fanfics about you, anytime soon.
Just for the record, mate.