From her very first scene Luna Lovegood stuck long in the mind.

Sweet, innocent and peculiar, Luna was a breath of fresh air in the Hogwarts gang and left a huge impression on us, making her one of the series’ most endearing characters...

‘The Second War Begins’

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’s conclusion, Harry lost Sirius and our hearts were broken yet again. ‘The Second War Begins’ was important because it represented the fallout from Sirius’s death and was a moment where a bit of positivity seemed impossible.

Enter Luna. After Harry chose not to attend the Leaving Feast, he bumped into Luna in a Hogwarts corridor. She was putting up posters asking for the return of her belongings, which had, once more, been hidden and Luna was typically calm about it.

Having just lost Sirius Harry was, initially, in no mood to talk to her, but Luna was both characteristically calming and intriguing. Overall it was a brief encounter but one that was very crucial to the development of Luna and even Harry.

‘How come you’re not at the feast?’ Harry asked.
‘Well, I’ve lost most of my possessions,’ said Luna serenely. ‘People take them and hide them, you know. But as it’s the last night, I really do need them back, so I’ve been putting up signs.’
She gestured towards the noticeboard, upon which, sure enough, she had pinned a list of all her missing books and clothes, with a plea for their return.
An odd feeling rose in Harry; an emotion quite different from the anger and grief that had filled him since Sirius’s death. It was a few moments before he realised that he was feeling sorry for Luna.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Why it matters

‘The Second War Begins’ was important as it gave us a glimpse into Luna’s life and background that we otherwise hadn’t seen before. Details about Luna’s home life, her parents and who she hung around with were sprinkled in through the series, and ‘The Second War Begins’ was the first time Luna talked about her mother.

‘Have you…’ he began. ’I mean, who… has anyone you known ever died?’
’Yes,’ said Luna simply, ‘my mother. She was quite an extraordinary witch, you know, but she did like to experiment and one of her spells went rather badly wrong one day. I was nine.’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Luna had long been the perfect sounding board for so many Hogwarts students, especially Harry. She had an almost psychic idea of what other people were going through that she knew exactly what to say. And it was never meaningless or cliché, it was the truth, and her encounter with Harry after Sirius died was just another example of this.

As you would expect with someone whose nickname is ‘Loony’, Luna was a deeply eccentric but also deeply empathetic person. Her ability to recognise another person’s need for comfort or company is what makes her such a memorable and brilliant character.

Harry and Luna look at Thestrals in the forest in a still from the Order of the Phoenix.

The exact impact of Luna witnessing her mother Pandora’s death is unknown, but Luna always did seem wiser beyond her years. Growing up with just her dad seemed to have given Luna an openness to the world, and the power to believe in extraordinary things.

No wonder Harry, a boy who faced so much death and tragedy in his life, seemed comfortable talking to only Luna about the death of Sirius. Her melancholy acceptance of her own mother’s death seemed to calm him.

‘... That man the Death Eaters killed was your godfather, wasn’t he? Ginny told me.’

Harry nodded curtly, but found that for some reason he did not mind Luna talking about Sirius. He had just remembered that she, too, could see Thestrals.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Luna’s optimism and investment in slightly fanciful ideas were what allowed her to reach out to people when they needed someone like her most. In ‘The Second War Begins’, Luna said that Harry would be reunited with Sirius when he died and likewise with her and her mother.

It was an uplifting thing to say when Harry was in such a dark place. It didn’t take away from the fact Sirius was gone, but it left Harry with a feeling of optimism. Luna had opened up the possibility that he may see his godfather again and while it was only a possibility, it represented hope.

Luna Lovegood was someone who got picked on and teased and generally mistreated by a lot of Hogwarts students. But she never let that stop her living her best self. Luna went around imparting the kind of quirky optimism she gave Harry in ‘The Second War Begins’, bettering the people around her.

And, in dark times, people like Luna are exactly what we need.

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