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Through The Glass (I Am Yet Myself)

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She slips into Sana Storm easily and uneasily because somehow, Trisana Chandler has become a person, become someone who wants to be herself, wants to be in her own skin. A Trisana Chandler who has a father, mothers, two not!uncles. Sisters and a brother. A home. A place to rest, where she can be a storm and no one looks at her and whispers ‘freak’

And I want to find that in the wider world, she thinks as she packs up Trisana Chandler. Sana Storm does not wear hair chains, she wears her hair in elaborate braided styles that have been woven with ribbons (Trisana Chandler had two great thread mages embroider them, placing in charms that hide her power and keep it contained). Sana Storm does not wear beautiful clothes, not the kind of clothes that Sandry and Lark make but she does wear practical ones that have hidden enchantments, that are beautifully made for all they are of what appear to be the kind of fabrics that a student mage could afford.

Sana Storm wears earrings and pendants of cheap metal and stones (that were made by two master smith mages with stones polished by a stone mage) and keeps no mages medallion (it hides under another pendant, charmed to look like something else). And Sana Storm has a few precious plants, but she bought them in Lightsbridge (Trisana Chandler was given them by Briar and Rosethorn and they have spells to make sure they survive the journey - plants that can be picked to make teas, plants for flowers and to keep out insects).

So perhaps I am still Trisana Chandler, she thinks as Sana Storm puts away her things in her tiny room - hangs wall hangings and makes her bed with blankets that can’t come from Sandry or Lark, places a tiny light that can’t come from Frostpine or Daja, puts out tins of tea that can’t come from Rosethorn and Briar and a writing set that can’t come from Niklaren Goldeye.

Because Sana Storm doesn’t know any of these people. Sana Storm is not a great mage. Sana Storm isn’t feared. Sana Storm can find a way to make a living that is reliable, that is solid and doesn’t make the world back away in fear, thinks Tris. That’s why I am here, to make sure that I can have that ease.

She’s already written to all the mages she knows to tell them not to approach her if they happen to be in Lightsbridge so it’s not surprising that they don’t but it’s still hard, seeing someone Trisana Chandler would love to talk to but Sana Storm has no reason too. It’s harder too, to know that she is building a lie with her fellow students, people she is coming to like.

It’s not hard to know Sana Storms story, not really. They have the same place of origin, almost the same story (’minor merchants’ but she can’t bear to say her parents are dead - her parents are not dead, they are back in Winding Circle is what she wants to say but of course, they don’t mean her parents, they mean the people she spent her early years with so she simply does not mention them and lets people draw their own conclusions) and they both like to read and love animals.

No, what is hard is what she can’t mention. When one of her study group mentions something about Niklaren Goldeye she wants to talk about him as she would. When the teacher in their Ambient Magic Class says something utterly ridiculous about the magic she knows Trisana Chandler wants to correct what Sana Storm would have no reason and no business knowing.

When her new friends talk about their families Trisana Chandler wants to talk about hers but she only has Sana Storm who does not have a family, not really. So she listens to Lianaelle and Zianya and Rokon talk about their lives and their stories and how much they miss or don’t miss the people they have left behind and it’s hard, because there are so many things Trisana Chandler could say.

I am Sana Storm and I have no family, she thinks to herself firmly. I came here with my savings from working as a clerk so I could become an academic mage. I bought most of my things here in Lightsbridge because I couldn’t afford the coin it took to transport them. I eat the dinner hall sludge because going to the taverns and eateries outside would strain my purse. I have never bought down a pirate fleet. I would like a dog one day.

I have never heard of Trisana Chandler, she makes herself say inside her head until Sana Storm might almost believe it.

She manages to keep Trisana Chandler inside, mostly. Rokon sometimes teases her about how much she sometimes seems to know (Trisana Chandler, accredited mage slips out when she gets excited by something, sometimes) - “do you have some kind of special magic Storm, that you can read everything so fast” and she merely says that it’s a magic called studying and that Rokon should try it sometime.

He mimes throwing a roll at her head and Sana Storm isn’t reminded of her brother at all because Sana Storm doesn’t have a brother. When Lianaelle stands up for the shyer students and Zianya sighs over one of the girls in their class Sana Storm isn’t reminded of her sisters. When one of the teachers says “and we will be covering Niklaren Goldeye’s work on vision magic as used through glass” Sana Storm doesn’t think of her father at all.

“What could a plant mage ever do? Grow flowers at me” scoffs a particularly obnoxious classmate and Sana has to sit firmly on Trisana Chandler, who most definitely has a retort. When they talk about scrying - about scrying on the winds, Sana Storm sits perfectly quietly and takes notes about this skill that she knows nothing of and will never be able to master.

“It’s largely impossible of course” the teacher says with a smile “except for great mages, which despite many of our dreams, I very much doubt any of you will be - settle for being good or like myself, merely average”

You don’t want to be, thinks Trisana Chandler from inside Sana Storm, who simply smiles along with the rest of the class who are thinking merely of making a living and perhaps do dream a little of what it would be like to become a great mage, one whose name is known and for whom whispers and fears follow.