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Aiden Longhurst

Invite There's A Half-Eaten Moon In The Sky

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15 year old Halfblood Human ☆ He/Him

In the deepest depths of the library, Aiden was studying. This was nothing new---Aiden studied like other students partied. He was almost perpetually ignoring the world with his nose stuck in the pages of some textbook or another, making notes on his very-prized red notebook. It was usually a scene of calm and methodical work. For a young boy, Aiden had quite the collection of tabs, markers, and other organisational stationery.

Today, he sat hunched over in the middle of piles of half-opened books, feverishly scribbling on handfuls of loose paper. His notebooks were gone. Confiscated. The books he owned were also confiscated, locked high in a cupboard for his "own good". Aiden had felt he was close to finding something, and this disruption to his project had ruined all of that. Now he needed to catch back up, to get back to where he was, and continue. Adam would see he was wrong when Aiden produced the solution no one dared hope existed.

He'd hardly slept, hiding in the back of the library past curfew and until the librarian had told him he either needed to leave, or she was going to suggest to Adam that quidditch would be a good way of helping Aiden stop obsessing over his project. Aiden knew that Adele did not joke about things like that, and that all Adam needed was the mere idea before Aiden found himself being pushed to tryouts and a sport he really didn't understand or enjoy.

Back in the dorms, he'd scribbled down more of what he could remember by the light of his wand under the covers. And then he'd lain awake, pinching himself every few minutes to pull himself away from sleep. His body had eventually surrendered, but the sleep was not restful. Aiden had woken in a dripping sweat, curled tight into his covers. 

He already dreaded the moment when he would have to sleep again tonight. But until then, he had a lot to do. A lot to remember. And as always, he was certain that a breakthrough was just around the corner.

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Narragyambie ☆ Family Busybody★ LilyCat
?? year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

The young girl with jet black hair and intense blue eyes tended to go wherever she wanted a lot of the time. When she had to be in class, she went to class, but the rest of the time there was really no point trying to keep her to the Bilby school or even on school grounds at all if she fancied a visit to somewhere else. It was something that had been a big debate between her parents and the teachers when she first began, and she had felt bad that she'd caused trouble. But what was the point in staying somewhere she wasn't needed and that held little interest to her?

Like today, her friends had wanted to play a chasing game, which had been fun for a short time, but it was a game that went in circles and felt repetitive after a short time, and so Lorelei had wandered off. She'd decided to see whether her Grandmiere was doing anything interesting, but it looked like she was busy making a few students feel very awkward, and so Lei left her be for the moment. She would have gone to say hello to Caleb, but he was busy practising playing guitar, and as it was something that made him happy, she decided she would leave him to that as well and not bother him, except to listen for a small time. He really appeared to be placing effort into it.

And then Lorelei came across an odd sight indeed, a boy who was hiding in the darker corner of the library shelves, scribbling almost desperately, as though his life depended on it. Well... maybe not his life.

Lorelei knew Aiden, she remembered him from when she was an infant and he still lived with Uncle Matt and Aunt Kate. And then Matt had been hit by the tram and stopped walking the corporeal world, instead walking the non-corporeal while his body remained motionless, almost like in a cursed sleep of sorts. But that wasn't all she noticed about the familiar boy. He was worn out, to the point of looking rather unhealthy, the rings under his eyes told of many sleepless nights.

"You are going to make yourself sick, and then he will be most upset," The soft voice spoke from the shadows, before the girl stepped from them, only to crouch down onto her knees in front of Aiden. She looked at the books that he was studying, and her brows furrowed slightly. For all the language she'd learned on L'Arine, with Flora and Lilllian, Lorelei hadn't bothered much with learning English. She could certainly read and spell at her year level easily, but she already knew there were words in the book Aiden was reading that she would have to get help with.

"What is it that you are searching for, to be making yourself unwell?" Bright blue eyes gazed up from the book to the teenager as she studied him, curious of why he'd risk his own mortal health for what these books could apparently tell him.

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15 year old Halfblood Human ☆ He/Him

Aiden jumped at the sound of a voice. This place was so secluded he'd expected no one to find him here, not even the most studious nerds that Tallygarunga had to offer. He was extra surprised when he looked up to see the form of Lorelei standing in front of him, a girl he knew of more than anything. Those blue eyes were a dead giveaway, and Kate had always told him that if a "blue-eyed freak" approached him, he should exit as soon as humanly possible. Aiden wasn't sure about that. He'd not really incurred the wrath of Adele or her kin, and so he remained relatively indifferent to the "freaks".

"He?" Aiden blinked. Who was "he"? Adam? Adam was already upset and Aiden was mad at him. Aiden frowned. He didn't like that extra implication that he was driving himself to sickness, either. Yes, he was tired, and yes... eating seemed less and less important every day, but it wasn't the study that drained him. The study was important. He needed this to combat the helpless terror that claimed him at night. Without the study, without his project, he had nothing.

"I am re-writing a project." Aiden answered. "My brother confiscated the original version. Is that who  is going to be upset? Because he shouldn't have done that." Aiden huffed. Most of his school life was spent concealing his personal life, locking himself away while he tried to find the answers. When other students did bother to ask, he usually shut them down with a few ultra-nerdy sentences that would lose their interest. Today he was tired and he was upset and he was so afraid of going to sleep.

"I'm going to fix Matt." he said, leaning down to scribble a fragment that he'd remembered. "He wouldn't still be breathing if he can't be woken up, so I'm going to find a way. And then---everything will be okay."  If he found the answer, if he brought his brother back from the coma, Aiden felt that maybe he could forgive himself for all the other times he hadn't succeeded. Maybe he could stop reliving the worst day of his life every time he closed his eyes.

"Adam says I'm obsessed and need to get a life." Aiden grumped. "He doesn't understand. He just... doesn't understand."

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Narragyambie ☆ Family Busybody★ LilyCat
?? year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Lorelei simply nodded at the question of 'he', as though Aiden should have known who she was talking about. Surely, he knew that Matt would not approve of this, that he should be taking better care of himself rather than cause more concern for his family. They were already trying to continue coping with the fact that his brother was still here and not here at the same time, surely the added worry about Aiden on top of that would be even more stressful. She'd seen how families could be when someone was in danger or harmed, her own dealt with their own share of strife.

"Is it a project for school?" It hardly seemed like something that Adam should have confiscated if it was, but she had to ask anyway. If it was something required for Aiden's grades, then she could offer to go get it back for him. However, as he continued onward, the girl's gaze became puzzled and her head tilted as she looked to the books again. Whatever answer he was looking for, she had a feeling that he wasn't going to find it, and was only going to end up in hospital with his brother.

"I think you are looking in the wrong place," The girl spoke quietly, but confidently, reaching a hand forward to place on top of his. It was an attempt to be a comfort of sorts, despite her words. She didn't want to see him working himself to death for something that he may not be able to find. That would not be good at all. "You are not to blame for what happened either. And harming yourself is not going to make anyone feel any better, it will only make them sad. As I said, Uncle Matt would not wish you to be doing this and missing your sleep. It would made him feel bad to see you in hospital with him..." The girl pursed her lips a little, she could see the determination in the boy.

"I understand. Sometimes I do wish I could do something more to heal my loved ones who are in pain as well," Lorelei nodded gently, though she bit her lip as she thought, "What if I promised to find a way to wake him?" She asked very quietly, watching him again. "It is quite possible, I could you know."

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15 year old Halfblood Human ☆ He/Him

"What do you mean, the wrong place?" Aiden scowled at the young girl. "This is a library. This is where answers are."

Lorelei was beginning to sound a lot like Adam with this lecturing. It didn't sit well with Aiden, who felt the kid didn't know him, or his family, well enough to speak with this much authority. Everything she said was accurate, and somehow that just made the feeling worse. Aiden liked most everyone, but even he wasn't impervious to Lorelei's unsettling insights. What right did she have to call him Uncle Matt? Had she even been born before the accident?

"I'm not harming myself, anyway." Aiden huffed. "I'm perfectly well. I'd be better if I didn't have to go back and put this all together again, but---here we are. If Adam didn't want me to lose sleep over it, maybe he shouldn't have taken it away." Which made perfect sense to Aiden. Surely Adam had realised that Aiden wouldn't just accept that his notebooks were out of reach. Surely he knew that Aiden would go to great efforts to replace them?

His tone grew even more sullen as she mentioned healing loved ones. Her words cut through to his core in an uncomfortable way. It wasn't right that a kid knew and could articulate so much. So he wanted to be a healer---was that really so bad? He wanted the ability to make things better. He didn't want to sit around and just watch things go bad anymore, he wanted to be able to fix it. Like he never had been able to in real life.

And like he couldn't seem to be able to in his dreams.

Once he knew, though, Aiden was sure. Once he had that knowledge, those answers, he would have the power to banish that feeling forever. Awake and asleep.

"You want to help? Fine." Aiden pushed one of the heavy books at her. He was grumpy, yes. Grumpy Aiden hadn't sleep much. "Find anything there about dream cycles in coma patients."

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Narragyambie ☆ Family Busybody★ LilyCat
?? year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

"Do you truly believe all answers are found in a library?" The small girl canted her head in some curiosity, though her tone was almost admonishing the teen for his simple way of thinking. Of course libraries didn't hold all the answers. There were so many things out there in the world that people couldn't even comprehend let alone be able to have records on. The more she thought about it, the more she began to believe that he really was running a fool's errand. Wasting his time and his energy on something that he wasn't going to find in this place, no matter how hard he tried.

"You are pale, you have deep rings beneath your eyes, and you do not appear as though you have eaten very well. That does not make one well, and if it is due to digging into tomes which may not even contain the answers that you seek, then you are harming yourself," The girl's response was so certain, she was much more sure of herself than any child her age, or perhaps even any teenager, should be about the subject. She was aware that she came across as unsettling to him... to many of the students that she came into contact with, but there in her features was also a deep concern for the teenager. She knew very well that Uncle Matt would be quite upset to know that he was not looking after his health at all.

To her though, it seemed the boy was driving himself to madness. And perhaps if she could help somehow, then Lorelei might be able to rescue him from such a fate. She looked at the book that she was handed, however. It looked rather large, and she had a feeling there would be words contained that she would have difficulty reading.

Besides, why did she need a book?

"I cannot read this," Lorelei stated easily with a shake of her head, pushing it away, "And I do not require it. I did not say I would help, I said I would wake him. I will learn how in my own way. Though... I would like you to eat, and rest." The girl pouted at him and her gaze was genuine worry and innocence, "Please?" That word worked for people much of the time. Would it work for him too? She wasn't sure why, but it seemed to have some effect.

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15 year old Halfblood Human ☆ He/Him

The more Lorelei spoke, the more Aiden could feel the irritation creeping under his skin. What else was he supposed to do? Where else was he supposed to look? Lack of sleep had made him incredibly touchy, losing his work had pushed him over the edge. The normally pleasant young man was growing increasingly sullen and aggressive. The worst part was that Lorelei was so right about it, but how could she ever understand?

"What else do I do? Give up?" Aiden threw the book. Not at Lorelei, but flipped it high and hard in her general direction. It was a move spurred by frustration and anger. Aiden was not the sort of kid that would mistreat school property like that, let alone try to cause harm to another student. Immediately he realised his mistake, and it felt bad, but he had to make her see. "You want me to just sit here and not even try? Maybe the answers aren't here, but at least I'm doing something this time." 

This was all he knew and he wasn't sure how else he could help. Just knew that he had to. How could he forgive himself if he let the worst happen again? If he just... stood by and let it happen without lifting a finger to stop it?

"Besides. It keeps me awake." And that was important. His sleep wasn't proper, it was filled with fear and anxiety. He woke more exhausted than he was upon sleeping, and he hadn't time to recover from the effects of one dream before his body demanded sleep once more. The trauma built over sleep cycles, and he was done. He didn't want to hurt like that anymore, so the best way was just to avoid it. Stay awake. Find the answer. Beat the nightmares.

He looked at Lorelei, his blood-shot eyes wide and angry. But mostly scared.

"No." he said stiffly. "I'm not sleeping until I have all my work back. Or until Matt wakes up. I don't know how you think you're going to wake him without even doing research but this is all I've got. So either help, or scram."

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Narragyambie ☆ Family Busybody★ LilyCat
?? year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

The flipped book caused the girl to jolt in slight alarm, not having expected it, and she watched him with wide eyes that didn't understand why he was so angry when she was only trying to help him. She understood much better than he thought she did, and it made her sad to think that her efforts were not only not helping him to relax and think about this rationally, but to upset him even more. She looked toward the book, which was a small way down the aisle, and it lifted from the ground, hovering before then moving through the air to the girl's awaiting hands. She looked at the cover and then set it down neatly on a stack before bringing her knees up and wrapping her arms around them.

"If you do not rest properly, then even if you come across answers, you will not see them through the haze of fatigue and undernourishment. You are only making your attempt more and more difficult," The girl murmured softly, concern laced in her words and voice, as well as apology for having upset him. She hadn't meant to do that, and unlike Lillian and Flora, Lorelei did care about the feelings of others and did tried her best not to cause upset when she could. She rested her chin upon her knees as she watched him with those blue eyes.

The girl could see his fear, and his mention of being kept awake suddenly gave her a fresh idea. Perhaps there was something that she could do for him. She shook her head again at him lightly, but there was a gentle look upon her features, calm and caring.

"I can help you to sleep. Would you like me to guard your dreams against the thoughts that haunt you?" Lorelei asked gently. As strange as she could appear, there was no question that she was not trying to upset him or make him feel worse, but was actually trying to help the boy in her own unusual way. "I can make sure that you will sleep peaceful and wake refreshed. And then you shall feel hungry and eat, and then will be able to read more books with greater clarity, yes?" She nodded, yes, that was a perfect idea. And something she could do easily as well!

"As for how I can attempt to wake him..." Lorelei smiled softly, secretively, and lifted a finger to her lips, "That is a secret."

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15 year old Halfblood Human ☆ He/Him

Again Lorelei was making sense, but he couldn't allow it. He had to just push past the fatigue and hunger, until he found enough peace that he could sleep and eat without his mind punishing him again. It also made him panic a little---how many answers had he already missed? He was going to have to go back and check everything over again. At least twice. Maybe more times? How many times before he could be sure that he'd completely exhausted the possibility of finding an answer there?

As she spoke, he continued to spiral. He might have already missed the answer, so in addition to everything he had to now re-read there was everything he hadn't read yet, and was he going to get through it and find what he needed before Matt's tenuous grip on life finally disappeared? What if it was already too late, and he'd spent all this time researching but the answer would eventually be something they should have done in the beginning? Aiden's heart rate spiked, and his hands and forehead began to glisten with anxious sweat.

"Guard my... dreams?" How had she known? He worried now that he had been obvious, that maybe everyone knew that he was plagued by the nightmares. He also wasn't sure how it would work. Aiden swallowed, trying in vain to calm his body down. The acute fear of the dreams and everything they brought with them was beginning to strangle him, he was sure that any moment now he wouldn't be able to breathe---so he gulped down air while it was available.

And he broke, there. In front of the strange, all-knowing child. A desperate young boy, wracked by guilt and crushed by his own sense of powerlessness. He could do nothing more than beg, his voice weak and shaky.

"I don't want to watch it happen again." he said. "Every night I see it over and over, and I can never stop it. It always ends the same. I always let her down."

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Narragyambie ☆ Family Busybody★ LilyCat
?? year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

The girl watched him as she spoke, and it appeared that something she said had struck a chord, or at least allowed him to see the folly of what he was doing to himself. There was no way that he could continue on this path and for it to achieve an effective result. The girl knew that Lillian, and probably Flora too, would tell her that it's not worth meddling with. That she may as well leave the boy to learn in the long drawn-out and  painful way that he was leading himself down. That there were bigger things she could always be concentrating on if she wanted to make differences. But she had also been raised by her parents that if she could help someone, then she should stop to help them. Especially if they were in pain.

And Aiden's pain was written all over the boy, both within and on the outside. He was now falling in a way, and she shifted to her feet and wrapped her arms around his neck from behind in a gentle hold as he began to ramble.

"Yes, I can guard your dreams..." The girl confirmed for him, listening as he spoke about his fear, about that terror which kept him awake at night, and filled his days with thoughts that he was not good enough, wasn't doing enough, that he was going to lose someone else important to him, and that it would be all his fault. It wasn't true, of course, but the girl understood that mortals often had difficulty seeing logic and reason through the chaos of their emotions. Not that she didn't have the occasional moment, but she'd also learned to better think through her emotional turmoil.

"Then I will make it that you do not have to see it at night, I will call upon your happier memories, those which make you smile and feel at ease and when you have slept well and feel better, you will see what I do," It was almost with a mother's tenderness that Lei rested her head on Aiden's shoulder from behind as she hugged him gently, one hand lifting to comb his hair soothingly, "You are not at fault, and never were."

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15 year old Halfblood Human ☆ He/Him

Being held like this was... a weird sensation. For all their love and support, neither Adam nor Cass were particularly physically affectionate people. The same was true of Matt and Kate. His mother had been different. He remembered that. She would squeeze him tight and sway to a gentle rhythm. Lei's small arms around his neck was not the same, but the idea was there. He felt small himself, small and scared and so very tired.

"But... how?" Aiden had never heard of such an ability, especially not from such a young girl. He wanted desperately to believe that she could do it, and release him from the nightly terror of his worst memories. And he didn't dare hope it would work either. He needed to know: how did she do it? Was it really going to make the pain go away? Could he really sleep a full night with only calm and restful dreams? They didn't even have to be happy. At this point Aiden would settle for just not waking in distress. He was beginning to worry his roommate.

His roommate. Who was away for the time being, off on some fancy family trip that meant he had weeks off school. The prospect of a good night sleep, whatever slim chance it had, was enticing. He could sneak her in. Lorelei seemed to be pretty good at being places she wasn't supposed to be, and---she was supposed to be over in the Bilby wing. Wouldn't someone notice? No one had come looking for her yet, had they? The librarian was her grandmother, which posed another problem. Aiden didn't want to anger his main source of resource material. Even if Kate thought the woman literally breathed fire, Aiden rather liked her.

What to do? 

"You can... you can definitely make them go away? Just for a night?"

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Narragyambie ☆ Family Busybody★ LilyCat
?? year old Halfbreed Sorceraic ☆ She/Her

Perhaps the girl knew on some level that Aiden was missing out on the nurturing tenderness that only a mother could give, or at least that came from a a caring female figure. She did not know what it was like at home for him, clearly it was not a bad life, and people worried for him, but there were some things she knew that were important to children, especially those who had undergone traumatic events. She was no mother, but she could still comfort. Sometimes the ability to comfort one's soul could heal them more than healing physical wounds. And this boy still had a role to play, one that required nurturing him and his goals to become one who would save lives in the distant future.

"It is something that I was born able to do, as was my mother able to also," Lorelei explained quietly. To offer any further explanation than that would only confuse Aiden, especially in his current state. He was not of a mind to know things that were not supposed to be shared with his kind anyway. Whether or not she felt he was worth sharing that secret with in the future remained to be seen, but for now it was enough to simply admit that she was gifted in a way that others were not.

"Yes. I can make it that your mind is not ravaged by such things for a night. For more than one night, if you decide you are in need of even more rest," A small nod was given as the girl's arms loosened from their hold and she stepped back around to crouch down in front of him. A kind smile made her features soften and for a moment she appeared older than the child she was supposed to be. A trick of the light, perhaps, or simply that look in her eyes that held intelligence that no child should be aware of. There were reasons that she was not exactly popular among other children her age. Cameron and Hazel accepted Lorelei as she was, but others seemed to be able to sense that she was just... different. She didn't belong in the Bilby school, not even in Tally really. But she did much prefer the senior school, even if she couldn't read a lot of the larger books.

That thought itself formed an idea in her mind, and her expression changed to a thoughtful inquisitiveness as she considered a moment before blinking at Aiden and the books around him.

"In return, you can help me to learn with spelling and reading and writing? I am not very good with it, and teacher is always wanting for us to write things," The girl's lips formed a small pout, as though she didn't enjoy nor understand the whole idea of having to write things down. She knew plenty, why couldn't she simply tell them instead of wasting ink and paper?

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