When Harry was busy shouting and preparing to charge off to the Department of Mysteries because he mistakenly believed Sirius was in danger, the last person he might have expected to deal with was Luna Lovegood. But, just as Hermione forced him to slow down and at least check whether the Voldemort-planted vision of Sirius he’d had was real (ahem), Luna’s words – simple as they were – also made him pause for a moment.
‘You’re being rather rude, you know,’ was all Luna said, after Harry had abruptly shut down Ginny’s offer of help and continued to shout at Hermione. And of course, she was right. Harry might have been stressed, anxious and desperate to get going, but his refusal to acknowledge anyone else during such moments often cost him dear. Maybe he should have been a bit more willing to listen.
Later, after Sirius’s death and Dumbledore’s revelations about the prophecy, Harry was angry and deep in grief. Unable to face the End of Term feast celebrations, Luna once again provided him with an alternative perspective:
‘Oh … well …’ she shrugged. ‘I think they think I’m a bit odd, you know. Some people call me “Loony” Lovegood, actually.’
This comment made it clear that, although Luna always appeared calm and unruffled, it wasn’t because she didn’t know what other people thought of her – it was because she didn’t care. She was clear-sighted about herself, which also meant she was able to empathise with others. It was, after all, Luna who provided Harry with the only real words of comfort he heard after Sirius’s death.
‘Oh, come on. You heard them, just behind the veil, didn’t you?’
‘You mean …’
‘In that room with the archway. They were just lurking out of sight, that’s all. You heard them.’
Luna displayed that calm self-acceptance again, when she and Neville joined Harry onboard the Hogwarts Express and were faced with the giggles of Romilda Vane and her friends.
‘People expect you to have cooler friends than us,’ said Luna, once again displaying her knack for embarrassing honesty.
The companionship she’d found during the DA meetings meant a lot to Luna – she said that the meetings were ‘like having friends,’ and decorated her room with pictures of Harry, Hermione, Ron, Neville and Ginny – but, again, she knew how other people viewed her, and she didn’t let it bother her. Luna always faced things head on, no matter how uncomfortable it might be.
Luna wasn’t just aware of her own behaviour. She was also observant about others, as Ron might attest. When he started going out with Lavender Brown and consequently fell out with Hermione, Luna was one of the few people to point out that Ron was behaving pretty badly.
‘He says very funny things sometimes, doesn’t he?’ said Luna, as they set off down the corridor together. ‘But he can be a bit unkind. I noticed that last year.’
Now look: we love Ron but, once again, Luna had a point.
And yet, Luna’s honesty wasn’t always embarrassing. The sweet, simple words she said over Dobby’s grave after he’d rescued them from Malfoy Manor were perfectly delivered and said everything that was needed.