The first time Harry Potter met Luna Lovegood was not on the Hogwarts train before his fifth year, oh no, it was right in the middle of his second one.
Mere days had passed since the incident in the Duelling Club—if it could even be called that—and a good part of the school was once again avoiding him like the plague.
Only the Weasleys, Hermione, and Neville stood by him. Okay, there were a few more, like that Hufflepuff that usually seemed to be more of the quiet sort but defended Harry on at least seven different accounts—he knew, because he had counted—or that dark skinned Slytherin seventh year Harry could not even hope to remember the name of, but those were few and far in between.
Then there was that small, bubbly first year Ravenclaw that literally sprang onto him one day in a corridor as he was on his way to the library. Her dark blonde hair was tickling in his face and her porcelain skin made a stark contrast to his amber one.
“Hello Harry Potter. The Gurgling Hunkifings were telling me that you looked sad, so I came to tell you that I don’t think you could ever do something this horrible.”
And boy, hearing that did cheer Harry up. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Speaking with snakes is not actually a problem, if you ask me. When my Daddy and I were in India last summer and we met a really nice family that had the ability.” She let go of the Gryffindor and studied him, her head angled slightly. “You do look quite a bit like a few of them, perhaps you’re related…”
It took Harry a few seconds to process what you just had said. “You think so?” Blood family other than the Dursleys was something he had not dared to hope for in the past seven or so years.
“I don’t know. I can ask Daddy if he still has their address if you want.”
Harry nodded. “That would be really nice.”
“I will do that then. Did you know you could speak to snakes before? Because you looked really shocked.”
Harry scratched the back of his head. “Sort of…? I mean, I had a conversation with a Boa Constrictor once, I hope he made it to Brazil?”
“He sounds nice,” she commented absently, as if her mind was somewhere else. Maybe she was imagining the scene; Harry certainly would in her position
“He was. Polite too.” He grinned at the memory that had followed. The punishment had not been fun, but he had loved those few seconds. It wasn’t often that Dudley was the one humiliated and for it to happen on the pig’s birthday—priceless.
Luna smiled at him. “And you didn’t think that was weird at all?”
“I thought that Parseltongue was just something that a lot of wizards can do.”
“Really? You believed that?!” Luna broke out laughing, but it wasn’t a cruel laugh. It was more innocent than that, like the laughter between George and Fred when they teased each other, almost.
“Hey! How was I to know any better? I didn’t even know I was a wizard yet when that happened!”
“You make a good point.” Then she blinked a few times. “Oh dear, I seem to have caught a Nargle. I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Luna. Luna Lovegood.”
“Hey Luna. My name’s Harry.”
“I know,” she replied as she took his outstretched hand.
Harry shook his head. “You know Harry Potter. I would like you to meet Harry.”
“Okay then, Harry.”
They simply stood there for a moment or two until Harry remembered what he had been doing before.
“I’m sorry, but Ron’s waiting for me. Maybe we can talk again another time?”
“Sure, Harry. I’ll be on my way then. I have a letter to write, after all,” Luna smiled at him a last time and skipped away.
He had a dreamy smile on his face when he entered the library.
“Hey mate, are you okay?” Ron questioned.
“Yes, I am. I simply made a new friend.”
Harry treasured each and every new friend he made and he always would. Everything else could be in smoking ruins, with friends everything would turn out well.