Ever since she joined Dumbledore’s Army, school has become a glorious place with secrets and smiles. She had friends, finally had people who at least tried to understand her, even if most didn’t, and she didn’t even mind when her things were stolen because she wasn’t alone anymore. Now that it’s summer, she’s restless and can’t focus on anything. Daddy worries, she knows, but she misses Dumbledore’s Army and her friends. Getting up at dawn to go hunting snorlaxes just isn’t the same.
It’s only been two weeks, and she’s already checking the calendar constantly. Every morning, she marks a large blue X through another day. She’s circled the day she catches the train in bright red ink that Daddy charmed to flash for her. She likes looking at the blinky shades of red as the circles fades in and out, surrounding ‘Meet My Friends’, which has replaced the ‘Back to School’ designation of previous years.
While Ron and Ginny don’t live too terribly far away, she doesn’t want to visit unless invited. Considering Ron’s injuries last month, she doubts his mum lets him have any visitors anyway. Still, she writes them letters every morning, sitting at her desk as she carefully writes a note to Ron, Ginny, Harry, Hermione, and Neville. There are other members of the DA, of course, but that small group are the ones she feels closest to, so that’s who she writes. She never mails the letters, but she likes writing them.
In the evenings, she lies in the grass and watches the sunset while thinking about their replies. Harry is sad because that man died and Hermione still aches from that terrible curse. Neville tells her about losing Trevor, and Ginny whines about her brothers, and Ron grumbles about his mum not letting him fly until he’s fully recovered. She laughs and frowns and sighs as she imagines what they tell her in their replies until Daddy finally calls for her to come inside to eat.
It’s during the third week that she’s staring at her ceiling and finds herself inspired. It’s such a large, lonely ceiling, and she knows exactly what it needs to cheer itself up. Daddy doesn’t pay any attention when she gathers her mum’s paints, though he does look curious when he sees her carrying his broom inside. She just smiles at him, because he never asks questions if he knows she’s happy. Once she has everything gathered, she carefully levitates the cans of paint. There’ll probably be another letter about her using magic at her age, but Daddy never reads them, so she doesn’t mind.
It’s not as easy as she expected when she first thought about it, but she’s a reasonably good flier, so she finally gets the broom to balance at a good height for her to reach the ceiling. She closes her eyes and thinks about Harry first, grinning as she begins to move the quill. It takes her several days to finish, and she’s very proud when she finishes writing ‘Friends’ for the last time. Daddy is standing in her doorway watching and beams when she smiles at him.
“It’s done,” she tells him, waving the brush and blinking as some of the paint gets on her face.
“It’s perfect, Luna. You’re so very talented, my amazing little girl,” he says, walking into the room and looking up. “Your mother would be very proud.”
She flies back down and gets off the broom before she tilts her head back and looks at the ceiling. Above her, she sees Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, and Neville. Ron and Ginny’s freckles took her ages, and Hermione’s hair isn’t wild enough, but she’s very pleased with Harry’s crooked smile and the hint of pink on Neville’s cheeks as he smiles shyly. She spins in a circle and laughs.
“Now the ceiling has friends, too, Daddy,” she says before she takes his hand. “Shall we go for a walk and see if we spot a two-tailed dove? I could swear I heard one cooing last night.”