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Days passed, and the sun came back slowly. By now, Ollivander thought he and Luna would have exhausted every possible subject of conversation, but somehow the girl’s imagination consistently opened into new directions of completely unexpected topics.

“Tell me, Luna,” he asked one day. “Do you like art?”

She nodded.

“I thought you might be an artist,” he said, chuckling. “Your mind works the way most of them do.”

“I miss my pencils and paints as much as my wand,” she confided, then added, “more sometimes. They’re just a different sort of magic. I still paint pictures in my mind.”

“What pictures are you painting in that head of yours, then?” Ollivander asked, surprised by this unexpected aspect of her that he hadn’t suspected existed.

“Portraits of my family, usually,” Luna said, “and my friends, too. I like imagining them somewhere happy, filled with sunlight, maybe laughing. I realize that’s probably not what they’re doing just now, but it’s nice to think they could be doing that again someday. Who knows, they may even be thinking about me as well, and I know they wouldn’t want to picture me as being sad, so even here I try not to be.”

“So what do these portraits look like?” Ollivander asked.

“Oh,” Luna said shutting her eyes as though to see the imaginary pictures better, “there’s my father first, of course. He’s standing in our home, looking out the window at the sunrise. He loves sunrises and sunsets. Something about all the colors coming together, I think. The light from the sun gives his face a sort of ruddy look, and his eyes are twinkling. You can see right off that he’s not an ordinary person. He dreams a lot, and I guess I’m one of his dreams dancing around his head.”

Ollivander nodded. He hadn’t seen Xenophilius since Luna had got her wand, but he could picture the man perfectly in the setting.

“Then there’s Mum,” Luna said, her voice sounding a little sad. “I like picturing her outside in the little grove of trees not far from home. Her favorite flowers were wild violets, and I imagine her with a few tucked behind her ear. She’s wearing the old blue dress she loved, and she’s singing in her portrait. Her voice wasn’t perfect, but it made her happy to sing, and when she was happy, I felt that way too.”

“Do you have any other family?” Ollivander asked.

“Not really,” Luna said, opening her eyes. “Dad has a sister who lives in Cardiff, and I think Mum’s cousin lives somewhere near Dingle, but we don’t see them more than once every ten years or so. I still like them quite a lot, of course, but it’s not the same thing.”

It was the “of course” that was telling to Ollivander. Plenty of distant relations didn’t like one another at all, let alone as an automatic response.

“And friends?” he asked.

“I have more of those than I expected,” she said.

“Why wouldn’t you think you’d have friends?” Ollivander said.

“Well,” Luna said looking away, “some of the others think I’m a bit foolish, I suppose, or odd at any rate. Quite a few of the Ravenclaws think I shouldn’t be in their house, and some of them steal my things or make fun of me when they get the chance. I’m not sure why. I think perhaps I annoy their practical sensibilities. It’s not so bad as it used to be, though, since I do have friends now. There’s a certain safety in numbers, even when they’re not always there.”

“And one of those is Potter,” Ollivander said, his heart hurting with remembered cruelties from his own school days. Some things never changed.

“Yes, though Ginny Weasley was my first friend,” Luna said. “We’re in the same year, and we take Herbology together. One class, some of the others caught me talking to a Flutterby Bush. It seemed rather rude to ignore it when it was obviously waving at me, but they started calling me Loony again. Ginny piped up that they were a bunch of fools because plenty of studies show plants grow better if someone talks to them.”

Ollivander took an immediate liking to the other girl. He remember Ginevra as being very tiny when she came to get her wand, her freckled nose barely over the counter.

“In my portrait of her, she’s flying on her broomstick, playing Quidditch,” Luna said. “I think that’s when she’s happiest. She’s a very good player. I’d wish she were on the Ravenclaw team instead, but she belongs in Gryffindor. She’s very adventurous, and I’m not especially. That’s no reason we can’t be friends, though. We like most of the same books, too, and that’s a good sign for a friendship.”

“It is indeed,” Ollivander said wistfully. “I remember Bortigone Huffpecker from my schooldays. We bonded over The Perils of Leander the Unwise. Good old Borti.”

“Are you still friends with him?” Luna asked.

“Her, actually,” Ollivander said, “and she died some years ago. Dragon pox.”

“I’m sorry,” Luna said, and she sounded like she meant it. “What’s your portrait of her?”

Ollivander blinked, but realized he could conjure it up immediately.

“I always think of her when we were about thirteen, sitting in the third window of the Hogwarts library, laughing. She had hazel eyes that sparkled when she laughed.”

He hadn’t thought of Borti in a long time, and it hurt, but the memory was a good one in spite of that. Luna remained quiet, letting him take his time to remember.

“Do you have other friends?” Luna asked.

“Florean Fortescue was a good one,” Ollivander said, but his eyes darkened at that thought

“The man who ran the ice cream shop?” Luna asked.

“Yes. The Death Eaters murdered him not long before they took me,” Ollivander said, shooting an angry look at the ceiling. “There doesn’t even seem to be a reason for it other than pointless cruelty.”


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