Title: Strange Little Girls
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Luna Lovegood/Nymphadora Tonks
Spoilers: Mentions events in Order of the Phoenix and Half Blood Prince
Warnings: At the end of the essay is a picture that contains nudity and may not be work safe.
Author's Note: My contribution to free month. Because the world needs more colorful, quirky (and maybe a little transgendered) femmeslash and Luna/Tonks seems a fine place to start.
Strange Little Girls
A Luna Lovegood/Nymphadora Tonks Manifesto
Both Luna Lovegood and Nymphadora Tonks are introduced in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth book of J. K. Rowlings’ popular fantasy series. They return in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and it can be anticipated that they will appear in the seventh and final volume in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
We first meet Nymphadora Tonks, who prefers to be called simply Tonks, when she is 23 years old, a member of the underground resistance group the Order of the
In addition to her Auror training, Tonks has a special power of her own. She is a Metamorphmagus, able to change her appearance at will. She uses this power for her work as an Auror and a member of the Order but also playfully (amusing Ginny by altering her face) and expressively (the pink hair).
Family ties are important in the Wizarding world and Tonks is linked by blood to many of the other characters in the Harry Potter series. Her mother Andromeda Black was disinherited from the tumultuous Black family when she married Ted Tonks, a Muggle born Wizard. This makes Tonks the niece of Andromeda’s sisters to Bellatrix Black Lestrange and Narcissa Black Malfoy as well as first cousin of Sirius Black (and Regulus Black) and cousin of Draco Malfoy.
In Order of the Phoenix Tonks is presented a cheerful, exuberant young woman. However in Half Blood Prince, perhaps keeping with the Black family history, she reveals a more troubled side. Mysteriously depressed she loses the ability to transform herself (indicated by the way her once bright hair is a dull brown). At the end of the book it is revealed that she was upset by her unrequited love for Remus Lupin. When Harry sees Lupin holding hands with a pink-haired and Tonks at Dumbledore’s funeral it indicates that her powers have returned and that they are together as a couple. However and her powers return. Still, in her rather inappropriate public declaration of love to Lupin, Tonks shows herself to be both immature and aggressive. Overall her behavior in Half Blood Prince suggests an obsessive streak and an underlying instability to both her powers and her personality.
Luna Lovegood is a classmate of Ginny Weasley, a year younger than Harry Potter, making her about fourteen when she is introduced. At first glance see seems like a bit of a kook. Her father is the editor of the The Quibbler, a sort of National Enquirer for the Wizarding world which specializes in outlandish news and conspiracy theories, many of which Luna subscribes to.
Luna’s eccentric ideas and behavior (the butter beer cork necklace and radish earrings) make her an outcast among her peers who nickname her “Loony.” Somehow this doesn’t seem to particularly bother her. She makes little effort to change her behavior for the sake of fitting in though she is not anti-social. When friendship is extended towards her she meets it in her own way with joyful extravagance, such as when she wears a huge roaring lions head to support Harry’s Gryffindor team during a Quidditch match.
Over the course of Order of the Phoenix it is gradually revealed that despite her often quirky behavior Luna Lovegood is no space case. Early on when Harry’s reports that Voldemort has returned as dismissed as lies Luna believes him and is willing to use all her resources to help him reveal the truth. She also becomes a member of Dumbledore’s Army and fights in the battle of the Ministry of Magic. A year later she is one of the few members who answers the call and defends Hogwarts against invading Death Eaters.
Luna is often detached, yet remains observant and insightful about both people and situations around her. She has a sharp mind and often what seems like a flight of fancy turns out to be a feasible plan, such as her idea of riding Thestrals, winged horses that most of the students don’t even believe exist, to the Ministry of Magic.
Thestrals are in a way a metaphor for Luna. They can only be seen by those who have witnessed a death. Luna lost her mother as a girl and this loss has tempered her life, giving her a core of spirituality many of her peers have not yet had to develop. Exposed to death early, she sees things others can not and is considered loony for it.
Order of the Phoenix is 870 pages long, Half Blood Prince is 652. During the course of these 1522 pages Luna and Tonks are sometimes in proximity but never actually share a scene. There’s no indication that they’ve ever met. It can be safely said that the pairing of Luna/Tonks is 100% non-canon. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from Luna Lovegood it’s that sometimes you have to believe in things you can’t see or touch.
The Luna/Tonks pairing is purely instinctive. Somehow the idea of the wise beyond her year’s schoolgirl and the girlish Metamorphmagus getting together just feels right. It seems like they’d be good together and good for each other.
Tonks is by nature a chameleon. Her power gives her the ability to change at will and quite often we see her changing for others-- altering her face to amuse Ginny, later turning drab for love of Lupin. Luna might help her learn to be what she is. And Tonks, who is outgoing and popular might help ground Luna, help her learn to relate to others and operate in this world.
Then there’s the issue of sex. A Metamorphmagus can after all change at will. Who but Luna has the open mindedness and the imagination to really explore these capabilities with Tonks?
Fandom and Resources
Luna and Tonks are unique women and the two of them together seems fertile ground for creations that are insightful, sad, funny, touching, and incredibly sexy. I’ve written a few Luna/Tonks stories and read a few. I’d love for there to be more.
There is a community lunatonks (S.S. Damnation and Delight) dedicated to this pairing. It’s inactive right now but I’d strongly encourage anyone who sees the potential in this pairing to write or draw something, join and post it. Further if anyone has seen Luna/Tonks stories and would like to recommend them I’d urge you to do so in a comment.