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To be Keeper is to be responsible. She has trained for this for half of her life. She tells the tales, she listens in judgment, she provides as much wise guidance as she can muster from all she has gleaned. She is expected to be calm and provide a steady presence.

She can do that. She wants to do that. That is not in question. But under her skin her nerves crackle and thrum with the energy of tree-whipping tempests, and to set it arcing through her fingers and through her staff is to breathe free herself for a moment, for just a moment of her own.

Letting go is both the most difficult and the most desired thing to do. All burdens and all demands are lifted and she can be light. She can be loud. She does not have to be contained.

She listens to him speak quietly about magic, about dreams, and she tells him about listening to weeping young couples or carefully copying faded scraps of parchment. She does not think of the heady rush of magic and singing in the heart of a storm. But when he smiles, long fingers caressing the air to create a crystalline bubble of frost to patiently explain a theory, she understands she doesn’t need thunder to feel free.