I went to go see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two again tonight with Clara. As I watched the film, reminding myself to blink and close my eyes at the scary parts, I found myself very closely observing Luna/Evanna Lynch.
You see, while I like Hermione best, I feel a large amount of kinship with Evanna Lynch. She suffered with anorexia intensely for two years but was able to get better and achieve her dream of playing Luna in the Harry Potter films. And she writes beautifully about it:
As Harry Potter was the only other thing I was passionate about, the doctors gave consent for me to leave the hospital and collect the fifth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, from the local book shop. I was so ecstatic to have the book and excited to begin reading it, but there was never any hint of your imminent arrival and the way you would change my life so drastically. Luna, you instantly captivated me. I didn’t know why but there was something about you with your upside-down magazine, straggly blonde hair, and the honest, abashed way you stared at people without blinking that fascinated and perplexed me at once. You laughed hysterically at one of Ron’s quips and didn’t stop to excuse yourself and feel ashamed when it became clear that everyone found you strange. Throughout the book, I found myself waiting for your brief appearances and wanting to know more about you and why you were the way you were. You baffled me, not because you were odd (though indeed you were), but because you were… perfect. But it was a different kind of perfect to the perfectly thin, smiling magazine girls I simultaneously idolised and reviled. It was the way you carried your oddness like it was the most natural thing in the world. You didn’t market your oddness as your defining feature the way some insecure teenagers do, in guise of confidence and security. And nor were you oblivious to the awkward and uncomfortable feelings your oddness provoked in others. When, unable to comprehend how you wore your oddness so honestly and unashamedly, your peers reverted to mockery and bullying, you recognised this as a reflection of their own deep-seated insecurity and calmly let them carry on, quite above your head. You weren’t trying hard to present a certain aspect of yourself that would boldly identify you in the world. And that’s when it occurred to me how bizarre and positively ridiculous it was to apply the word “weird” to describe you, when you represented the most natural and unpretentious state possible to be; you were yourself.
Maybe one day I’ll be able to look back on this illness with the same sort of perspective as Evanna Lynch and be able to say the same things about my relationship with Hermione Granger. It sure would be nice.
I’ll start working again tomorrow. Two proper meals at least and a snack would be a good start. Hermione would want me to be logical and brave about this.