The sky was blue the day of the funeral, a beautiful blue, too beautiful for a day like that. "Cerulean," you said and people looked at you concerned- their heads moved and their mouths made clicking sounds like beetles clicking their pincers, unsure of what to say so clicking and clucking rather than forming words. Your father gripped your hand you stared straight ahead. He was shaking, it seemed like he hadn't stopped shaking since it happened and you wished you could face him and make him stop. But nine year olds aren't really equipped to having emotional interventions, so you just kept on staring hoping that by keeping completely still she can calm him. Your mother could calm him with just a look, just a smile. You weren't a baby; you knew all about his problems with his nerves, that other people say that he's not normal. You wonder (you still wonder) if other fathers have nerves, if other fathers don't bathe, don't eat unless prompted to. A witch asked your father if there are any relatives they can stay with, but you knew what she was really asking. She was asking if you needed someone to look after you, if they should send you away. Your father shook his head, said that they could manage. You knew what managing meant. Managing meant that he would make sure there's food at home, but that's it. In the two weeks since it happened you'd already learnt to cook for yourself, to comb your own hair and put yourself to bed. Your mother always talked about how mature you were; how you understood what other children couldn't that you were so clever her little Ravenclaw.

There's that blue again, blue and bronze, that true blue that you can't escape. Gin's nails are blue, under the skin; her whole body is blue sometimes, when she insisted on staying outside in the cold, the wind biting and almost tearing chunks off her. Chunks is an ugly word, it's too close to fat and she's the antithesis of fat. It's more like a snail's shell, finding one hollowed out at the bottom of the garden with slime still crusted on the inside, untouched by the elements. She's the snail and the shell all at once; vulnerable and grey without her protections, without the guard that you don't know she's already had up until it's already gone. Without her shell she's so beautiful, so fragile. Her red hair blazes like a curtain to her waist and you wonder what people see when the look at her. You see the looks, of course, you get them too. The ones that are too lingering to truly be full of pity. People barely look at you anymore; barely notice what you do, what you don't. They don't even remember your real name half the time, just that silly nickname your dorm mates created a week into your first year. She's the beautiful one, a withered leaf, a fallen autumn leaf. Trampled and torn on the ground that even during the summer, even during its prime had pieces nibbled off by caterpillars until it resembled a shadow puppet, as if all of those holes, all of those wounds, held the true meaning of the thing itself, only shown when a light is shone through. And then you stand back, mouth gaping like a fish and you gain a new perspective- you hadn't noticed *that* before. And autumn leaf with all of it leaf skin torn off, with nothing left but veins and the tiny scraps of leaf skin that cling to them.

But then what are you? She's a copper leaf, torn by the elements, burnished and beautiful. But what are you? A sliver of waxing moon? Luna, lunar, moon, waxing, growing, becoming. But becoming what, a woman? That isn't happening anymore, you have made quite sure of that. Waning, then, instead. Waning before you have been full. You smile- a cure for lycanthropy. You should market it, not eating so you won't become something awful. Write about it in the Quibbler. You'd save your father's paper. Even your nickname, Looney involves the moon, moon sickness. Moonlight is the only light that feels safe, the only light that isn't blinding, doesn't leave spots on your vision. You only ever saw him in the moonlight, when you tried to see him in the sun it was too bright, too violent, his fire blinded you and it hurt to look at him. You wanted him to be like you, to understand but he didn't. You thought that someone who lived his life as a double would but he didn't. He would meet you by the stream, where you'd go to watch the moon. He told you a story about muggles fishing for the moon and never being able to touch it, so they flew up to it instead. They touched it and it was cold and bare and they stuck a flag in it and pronounced it conquered. He knew lots of stories but his speech was awkward, unused to being alone, not having someone to keep up with. Some people thought him a double, part of a set, useless without his match but she saw through that, saw through the obvious similarities. But he was more like a doppelganger, an imperfect yet perfect copy, not quite human in his own right but rather a reflection of another personality. He was supposed to be a half person like you but he kept doing things that only a whole person could. He tried to trick you, tell you that you were beautiful; that you didn't need to hurt yourself but you could see through him. He was feeling guilty, he couldn't forget and just talk and touch, he had to try and tie you down, to imprison you so you couldn't leave.

But people always leave, nobody ever wants to stay. Nobody can argue with that. You and Gin are both just honest about your feelings. You aren't under any illusions, you don't think that there's a heaven, that you'll see your mother, despite what you tell your father. You aren't trying to get to your mother but rather trying to get away from her, from that bang and from the image of her hand lying by the doorframe while you were paralysed with shock. You wince, bite your tongue, you don't think about that, you don't remember, not anymore. You can't, you can't live with that image still in your head. Pain takes the image away, gives your mind a focus. You wonder if you cut yourself up like Gin does you would be able to cut it out. She cut him out, she told you once, when she stopped for a moment and became deadly serious. If you cut out your eyes would you forget how to see? Forget the concept of sight at all? Eyes are the window to the soul, if you went in through the eyes then surely you would be able to pick out all of the darkness, all of the bad and patch yourself up, become a new person. Obliviation should be an elective procedure.

A/N: Sorry updates are so infrequent... I find that when I'm relatively mentally healthy all of my creativity dries up. Am holding on by my nails, trying not to relapse at the moment. Seriously, anyone who has come to this story to look for a how-to guide, who has any way out, go now. The longer you're ill the harder it is to recover. Stay safe, everybody!