She stood barefoot in nothing more than a bright red dress covering her body, staring into the winter-whitened mountains in the distance. The breeze was icy, and swirled with specks of white that were beautiful but blended in with every other bit of snow. It was rare for her to feel the cold, and it certainly wasn't affecting her now, but Luna knew without a doubt that her skin would be icy to the touch, as if death was nearby. It wasn't, Luna knew that much. Death was a physical thing as much as it was an emotional one, she would be able to feel that. Deaths preferred those who were unprepared for it, not the ones who would accept it with and ease that she did, unless she managed to force Death's hand.
None of it passed through her mind with any importance as she wondered when the deep, untouchable blankness that was her mind had begun, when it had overcome everything she had ever experienced; this was the one recurring question her mind brought up when her mind was as still as an untouched lake. It had crept up upon her, the blankness, leaving her helpless and unwilling to even care about changing it. Luna was certain that no one else felt this way, no one else experienced the startling blankness of their mind that stopped them from caring about anything, that stopped anything more than a passing interest in anything to develop – a blockade to the outside world that left her with nothing more than an ever-darkening window to the outside. She was an emotionless husk that had been created by some mistaken experience that was trivial, and felt like she was probably half-dead because of it. Everyone else seemed so… alive.
They had their moments of absolute highs and deep, chasmic lows that you could visibly see, proof that they experienced all of it keenly and not with the second-hand feeling that Luna experienced it with through their actions. All of it was simply proof that they were alive enough to experience it. Luna didn't doubt that she had experienced it once, but she didn't anymore. The only option available to her now was to watch these emotions on other people, an onlooker to the world on emotions that had graced everyone else with its presence and had abandoned her some time ago.
Luna didn't remember it. All she knew was that one day her mind had stopped separating what she liked with what she didn't, all it had left her with was what she knew how to do and what she didn't. Her mind was nothing more than an empty mansion, devoid of the other people, her emotions, that had once filled the walls, colouring it with as much passion and joy as they absolutely could. Those walls were a dull grey that bordered on white right now, as was all the paint that was left for her. Not even memories coated the walls, even they shied away from the deep emptiness that echoed on the walls. They could be remembered on command, but all the emotions from them had gone as well. Luna sometimes wondered if that made her memories feel naked. It seemed that way.
There was a time when Luna would look force herself to feel the stinging pain of a cut, the warm flow of ruby blood gliding down her arm, just to remind herself that, yes, she was still alive. That had been the only thing that her desperate mind had come up with as a solution to determine whether or not she was alive, or if she had simply faded from existence – a ghost of some sort, she supposed. It hadn't been depression, but desperation, desperation that had given up after a short time. It had faded away to acceptance, which was dulled to nothing anyway.
There was little that could touch her. Embarrassment, regret, general negativity, none of that touched her anymore, and, in some ways, Luna guessed that it was a little bit of a blessing in that way. The words the rest of her year used to describe her would have enraged her had this blankness been any less absolute. Luna was isolated, and she didn't know who had done it, but it didn't matter too much anyway. No one noticed her deficiency if there was no one close to her. It ensured no one would figure it out, no one would bother to examine her strangeness, because she didn't want the sympathy of anyone. If that meant keeping everyone out, then Luna would do it, even if she knew, deep within her, that the only way she would be able to fix this was with the help of other people.
There was little of anything left. Everything she did was simply going through the movements, movements that held little to no meaning anymore. Sure, Luna could smile and laugh, but those were now trained responses, and she could rarely tell the difference between when the laughter was supposed to be there and when it wasn't or was considered rude.
Perhaps she would experience it all again, but that didn't matter. It would come as it wished, leave as it desired. There was little that could be done to force it, Luna knew that, but she also knew the fact that she didn't care either way. It would be nice, sure, but it wasn't necessary she could continue to act as if she had the full bouquet of emotions at her disposal. Not as it had been only years ago, when she had first realised it to be strange and had been frantic to get her emotions back. The fact that however she reacted closely resembled a reaction to a similar situation she had seen before passed with little notice.
The disconnection between her and everything around her was normal now. Her normal, and that had almost never been the same as everyone else's normal. It had never been.
Written for Quidditch League Round 11: Wigtown Wanderer's Captain: [Yeah, you bleed just to know you're alive - Iris]