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PRESENT HARRY: But it still felt like I was starving at the Dursleys. They didn't actually starve me anymore, but it was nothing like Hogwarts food... so I was glad to come back...

Harry returns on the Hogwarts Express – an old-fashioned train – sitting alone and pressing zir face against a window.

PRESENT HARRY: And I felt the cloak of fear descend over me as soon as I got there.

A metaphorical Voldemort stands behind Harry and drapes a bright orange, hooded cloak over Harry's shoulders. Voldemort's snake coils around both their legs.

PRESENT HARRY: But then I saw... one of the new first-years...

LUNA: Don't eat it!

Harry sits at a dining table in Hogwarts. Several students are sitting at another table, with food, but Luna Lovegood is standing up and yelling at them; one is intimidated by Luna, and one is looking back at Luna angrily. Harry looks at Luna curiously. Luna has the same pale skin and blond hair as Draco Malfoy, but zir hair is very long and loose while Draco's is very short and organized. Luna carries zir wand behind zir ear, and zir gestures and facial expressions are very un-self-conscious. Luna's speech is rendered in a very rounded, friendly style, in bluish green.

LUNA: Don't you know? All the Hogwarts food is made by a secret slave race hidden in the heart of the castle! {The house-elves. In the second Harry Potter book, Harry learns that the castle's food is prepared by diminuitive creatures called "house-elves" who have innate magical powers and human-level intelligence, and who, with few exceptions, desire only to serve the needs of wizards.}

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Finally, Luna appears!

Luna is the one character I haven't gotten straight in my head yet. In canon, ze's handled in a similar way to everyone else – ze gets the “cute weird girl” role, and might very well be neurovariant (we certainly see that ze's socially oblivious), but wizarding society behaves in a generally tolerable way towards zem. In short, ze's another case of the story glossing over problematic real-life issues in order to become a nicer work of escape literature.

As I delve into the horror of our world, I have to come up with a sensitive way of handling Luna. My goal with most of the characters is to preserve their sense of agency while also condemning the ways they're mistreated – a tricky task, because the simplest way to give agency to a character is to give zem power over the story, and people who are powerful tend to have less trouble with being mistreated.

There's an extra problem with Luna in particular: ze's relatively content to ignore the problems around zem. (I could have changed that in my adaptation of Luna, but I've decided not to; I think it fits well with the direction I'm taking zem.) That runs a few risks. First, it might make it seem like the problems actually aren't that bad, when they would be for many people. Second, it might send the message that the proper solution to being mistreated is to just ignore it. And it also means that, while the words of Granger and Harry sometimes voice my own opinions about what is injust, I cannot use Luna in the same way.

So, how do I handle all these issues? I have a lot of answers to that, and also a lot of thinking I still have to do. You'll see soon enough. I leave it to you, the reader, to judge whether I am successful or not.

Approximate readability: 8.52 (1353 characters, 319 words, 16 sentences, 4.24 characters per word, 19.94 words per sentence)