"i suppose you need a name, don't you?" mally murmurs to herself as she looks at this dark mirror, this shadow of the m'kraan crystal. it hums in affirmation, the resonance exactly where she wants it to be. "we'll find out what to name you, but first i have to test you out. that's how things recieve names."

the crystal shimmers, the magic reaching out to her, welcoming, needing. where the phoenix's power was an overwhelmingly warm, flames licking and scorching one, this isn't. the magic is from a wholly different place, from a wholly different entity for another purpose and so the magic twists itself differently. it slips into her, doesn't force its way in. it knows her, knows her body, her core. it wraps itself around her, the magic loving, concentrated only on her.

it pulls her along, into it. the core is not the pulsing white hot room that the phoenix crafted. the magic allows her mind to craft it's center, the way it would look for her. old memories surface, shift, and her hands spread out, fingers moving, adjusting it int something she could understand, something that fit her paradigm.

the magic wants to conform to her desires, her wishes. wanted to know why, how she wanted to use the crystal. time doesn't exist the same here as it does in other places; it is entirely up to her will, and she concentrates.

there was no urge to consolidate power, to take. what she wanted, what she envisioned was more complicated than that. her form shifts, twists. did she have to settle on a complete imagine of a core, of a form now? did she had to conform to the ways of the m'kraan crystal?

no. it was her own place. her own space, where she didn't have to do what they did, what she did.

she could define herself, define this under her own terms.

malleable. she needed this place to be many things at once, never quite the same thing every time. change. it could change for her.

she relaxes, and a smile flitters across her face.

so what did she want now? what did she need now?


she breathes outward, the magic twisting, fluctuating. she reaches outward, helps it along, cooing as it molded itself to her will. she helps it find it's form, opening her eyes to look at herself, reflected in front of her.

molly's body, looking into a reflection that held madelyne pryor. their faces mirrored, and molly smiles at madelyne, brings her hand up to touch the cool glass. their fingers touch, then their hands slot together, held. madelyne then, staring into the reflection as the goblin queen, in her old costume, the cape billowing.

she shakes her head, and the reflection ripples, changes. not just madelyne but madelyne and molly, pale body full of freckles, stretch marks, scars and all. petite, hair down to the middle of her back, eyes large in her face.

her. only her.

more than a clone.

the surface of the mirror is cool beneath her fingers.

"i want to see me," her voice echoes around the inky void around her, quiet and commanding. her eyes glow golden, will asserting itself. "i want to see every me that exists. every me that is possible." the magic crackles, flows through her. "show me."

the mirror shivers, then all at once, they disperse around her. mirrors seem to fill the entire space, jockeying together in some sort of order until they all begin to orbit around her, the true center. awe spreads on her face as the mirrors orbit around her, all of them with different views: her at forty years old, washing her hands at a dingy bar; her at fourteen years old, doing her makeup as music blares behind her, a spot of blood on her cheek; her at thirty-five, laying dead on a table a coroner bent over her; at ten years old, singing into a hair brush, glowing; at eighteen years old, stomach distended, wondering if she could have this child.

there are many, many versions of her. madelyne, molly, both. she smiles, eyes bright. this is what she wanted: to know, to see all these versions of her. affirmation that there were so many versions of her, that they all existed all at once. evidence of her, evidence that she was more, could be more.

going to mirror, after mirror, she watches them for a moment or two. some of them happy, some of them sad, some of them manic. some of them dressed in sweaters and jeans, some of them wearing nothing but blood, some of them in dresses, some of them childless, some of them with so many children it makes her heart ache. defined. real. so many of them, she wants to reach in, to pull them to her. to touch them. there are so many versions of her that she almost forgets her goal here.

it takes time, to find another her that she's looking for, the specific one. the girl who had occupied her mind more than many of them, the one who had given her the idea to do this all along.

frustration almost gets her, and then with a wave of her hand, she sorts the mirrors by the age she is in them. they mirrors shiver, reorient. a swipe of her finger and it pulls them rapidly before her until she reaches sixteen years old, three months. the mirror still in front of her, and as she looks into it, she can smell the summer wind coming from it, tinged with blood.

it's too late to save her, she knows that. her body is there, with nathan crouched, upset. she watches as he promises to find out who did this, turning to find a way to bury her. in that small moment, she walks through the mirror. he won't be able to see her or feel her; he didn't have the phoenix then, couldn't understand her astral projection as it were.

she crouches down beside her corpse, looks at her empty eyes. her fingers brush up against her forehead, and she sighs.

this little girl, this small piece of her didn't have a chance to define herself. she didn't have a way to go forward, wasn't given the chance to discover herself, to be a real person. didn't even know that some people might not even see her as a real.

she'll be buried soon.

mally reaches out, touches her chest. she pulls out the little magic that this part of her, this teenage girl killed by the time displaced son never could harness, and pulls it close to her chest.

she hadn't had the time or the choice, died too soon. and now… mally had the power to look. to see all these versions of her, to see the possibilities she had, the other versions of her who were weighed down, who weren't.

she could see them, and instead of defining herself by jean, by the phoenix, by her own sins, she would define her future by what mattered: her own soul, reflected in many worlds, in many paths.

the magic, she tucks into her own body, turns and leaves the body. steps back through the mirror, and out of the crystal itself.

there's a name on the edge of her tongue; and she keeps it to herself. there are other plans to make.