TITLE: “Nanné Maranno, Third Handmaiden in the Second Class for Padmé Amidala” PAIRING: Not really applicable. Nanné never really sees the need for a partner while she has her cousin’s fr...
01.) Mistaken: She’s often mistaken for the sister of her first cousin, Gwené, when they are out and about together – unsurprisingly, to be honest, considering that their mothers are identical twins who married a pair of fraternal twin brothers who resemble each other to a certain extent – and Gwené assures her that, when they’re a bit older and her face has lost the rest of it baby fat softness, like Nanné’s has, they’ll look enough alike to be able to pass as twins, if they want to, but Nanné knows that Gwené is the truly special one, the one who’s a real prodigy and not just quite a bit cleverer than most, and so she takes great pains to protect Gwené as much as she can and to encourage her in her work as much as possible, because she’s determined to see Gwené, at least, go places in life.
02.) Family: Their two families both straddle the line between the upper middle class and the traditional (if never exactly named outright as an actual aristocracy) nobility, and there is little to nothing that they ever go in want of, but there’s such an emphasis on marriage as an alliance of families and fortunes and the need to ensure the family’s prosperity and growth by marrying well (and, hopefully, young, and a little bit higher than the family’s current standing) that she often feels stifled and weighed down by all of that comfort and privilege and expectation, even though she is the second of three daughters and her eldest sister has technically already sworn to accept the suit of a slightly higher born boy from Kaadara (whom she met because he was sent to Theed for his education), and the pressure on her is therefore somewhat less than it might otherwise be.
03.) Chaperone: Auntie Lucidé pays for Gwené’s expensive books and extracurriculars at the prestigious Royal Academy (which only accepts those young nobles and scholarship winners who have demonstrated interest and ability in the field of politics, social leadership, and social responsibility) because she believes Gwené will meet a good match there, and she and Mother split the extra cost to have Nanné go, too (since she doesn’t have quite high enough scores to get the complete cost of her classes and daily transport to and from school to home – which is several klicks out across Theed from the university’s grounds – covered by scholarship, as it the case with Gwené), because they know Nanné will make a good chaperone for her cousin and believe that she wants to go badly enough that they can count on her to steer Gwené away from any potentially bad matches and inform them if Gwené has seemed to capture the eye and fancy of someone who’d make a good match; however, while it’s true enough that she will gladly chaperone and keep Gwené away from all the ne’er do wells and laze-abouts, she only pretends to be willing to help make her cousin (and, incidentally, herself) a good match, instead focusing as much as possible on her own chosen course of study (to become either a credentialed Minder or the next best thing, known on Naboo as a soul-healer) and encouraging Gwené to pursue her passion (politics) just as far as it can take her.
04.) Ally: She can tell, when the city starts to foment about the scandals surrounding King Veruna, that the man’s days as monarch are numbered, and that (barring some kind of disaster) the charismatic young Princess of Theed is going to succeed him on the throne, so she starts quietly encouraging Gwené to consider supporting the young Princess (who’s not much more than a year older than Gwené and less than a month younger than Nanné) and to think about how much good she could do for the people, as a political ally of the future Queen of Naboo.
05.) Opportunity: The idea of handmaidens hadn’t ever really specifically crossed her mind, but she can’t say she’s all too surprised, either, and, while the dangers traditionally associated with such a post leave her feeling a bit cold, she knows that the opportunity is far too good for Gwené to pass up, and so (even though she thinks her face is longer than Padmé Amidala’s and knows her hair is naturally darker and straight and that her nose turns up and believes that she’s nearly pretty enough to ever really be mistaken for the new Queen) she makes a bit of a show out of declaring her interest in submitting an application, so that Gwené won’t be kept from pursuing this opportunity by her fears.
06.) Court: Mother, surprisingly enough, takes it all in stride, even encouraging her and Gwené in their wish to become handmaidens (for, as she so delicately puts it, becoming handmaidens will place them at the heart of the royal court and permit them to make alliances they might never have been able to even dream of making, otherwise) and fighting Auntie Lucidé for them when it looks as if she might exercise her right to refuse to allow Gwené to apply (since she’s technically still an underage minor, as she hasn’t yet taken part in a ritual coming of age, such festivities having been planned for the coming spring/summer rites).
07.) Excuse: When word comes that Gwené has been accepted as one of the last members of the first full training class of potential handmaidens and Nanné has only been accepted into the second such class of ten, she’s afraid that Mother or Lucidé might use this as an excuse to keep one or the other or both of them from going, but Auntie’s too busy crowing about how much better her daughter must’ve done at the interviews and the testing to get an offer for the first class and Belluna merely waits until they’re alone to cock an elegant eyebrow at her and note that her chances to actually lead the class she has been accepted into will be much higher than Gwené’s, since Gwené is going to be lost amongst the ranks of the Queen’s close friends, political allies, and those who were deliberately pursued and recruited for the position of handmaiden, whereas Nanné will be in a class formed entirely (save for perhaps one minor exception) of those who’ve volunteered for the privilege of serving and been chosen out of a greater pool of applicants for the job, and that she therefore fully expects Nanné to have and to make the very best of opportunities to shine and to advance herself that Gwené simply won’t be permitted among the elite ranks of her class.
08.) Coterie: She hates to be separated from Gwené during their training, but she thinks Mother is wrong and that Gwené will impress all of those noble-born girls and the friends who have access to the Queen’s ears and heart and so make a place for herself high among the ranks of the forming handmaiden coterie that she might not be able to aspire to, from a position in the second training class, and so she spends her time reassuring Gwené about what an adventure it will be and how for once she’ll be blazing a path for Nanné to follow, encouraging her to work hard and advance as far as she can, and promising to do the same and to gather intel on the other girls and make alliances among the second class so that they can join ranks and consolidate power and be a force to be reckoned with, when Nanné’s training is done and the two classes combine for active duty to the Queen.
09.) Correspondence: Because Nanné has been offered a place in the second class and accepted that position, Gwené receives special permission to write to Nanné once a week about their training (so long as she makes no mention as to where that training is taking place) and to receive correspondence from Nanné two times a week, and so Nanné is able to start working on building up her physical endurance (never a particularly strong suit of hers, though she does enjoy dancing and swimming) and to get together some ideas for an internal method of monitoring and taking care of the mental/emotional health as well as the physical well-being of the handmaidens, so she’ll be able to present them as they deserve to be, when called upon to do her own special projects during her training.
10.) Innocuous: She likes the girls in her training class well enough (with the exception of that one blue-eyed girl who tries to hard to seem innocuous and gives her an unclean feeling, whenever she looks at Nanné for all that very long), but not enough to want to permanently partner with any of them, and so she quietly makes herself into a sort of shadow for Dané and Shelanné – the two girls who are the brightest and most charismatic and most like the young Queen in spirit, out of all the class – and so establishes herself as the voice of reason, tempering and shaping and directing their passion and gradually guiding them towards a unification (of sorts) of the class behind them.
11.) Howl: There’s something clearly not right with Essé – the girl makes every single natural healer’s instinct and all of her meticulously cultivated Minder’s reflexes all howl over the sense of /wrongness /surrounding that girl – but somehow she got Captain Panaka’s blessing and special approval to enter the program, not to mention his continuing support, and, unfortunately, there’s nothing anyone can do to get her out of the handmaiden program unless she’s actually irrefutably caught at some kind of obviously ill-intentioned mischief, and so Nanné finds herself immensely glad that Gwené isn’t in this glass and doesn’t have to try to deal with the girl.
12.) Practical: They’re able to finish their full month of training on Varykino, despite the growing threat posed by the increasing (and obviously unnatural) belligerence of the Trade Federation, but it’s a not very well kept secret that they’re going to be expected to start active duty immediately, upon their recall to the Palace, instead of being allowed another month’s worth of time for some additional practical experience and settling in before assuming fully active status, and that the third class of handmaiden trainees aren’t going to be given any more than a week’s worth of testing on Varykino before being called to the Palace, and the growing feeling of dread in the pit of her stomach warns her that she needs to be ready for something bad to happen, so she sends to Mother and Auntie Lucidé about getting their families out of Theed and into a safe house in the country somewhere until they finally believe that the threat is real enough and do what she’s been trying to get them to do off and on for the past four week and start packing.
13.) Concentrate: If a crisis is small enough for her to keep her shields up enough to maintain her focus, she can become a sort of force of nature, healing on the run and alternately soothing and chivying others along into doing the right thing or the necessary thing, but she has to have Gwené near her, to concentrate on, after the Trade Federation and their droid armies invade, because otherwise there’s just too much pain and confusion and fear and anger pressing in on her from all sides and her shields and focus all crumble to the point of almost helplessness.
14.) Sideways: She alternates between being fiercely proud of and completely terrified for her cousin, as Gwené transforms into a full-fledged adult and leader of free Nabooians right before her eyes, and it is the latter that makes her ignore an order to retreat and stay behind to help cover Gwené and get close enough to her that she can catch her when Gwené reaches out to her and carry her the rest of the way out to safety, when one of their missions finally go sideways.
15.) Duty: She has no desire whatsoever to be parted from her cousin, but thankfully the number of traitors and turncoats amongst the ranks of the handmaidens who’d been singled out earlier on by her and by other observant trainees and/or Sabé as problematic is not only enough to make Amidala overrule Panaka’s as the final say and assign a final veto power on the acceptance of any handmaiden hopefuls into the new training classes to Sabé, but to assign Nanné to permanent duty on Varykino, too (where Gwené has accepted a post as an instructor, given the severity of the wounds she took during the Trade Federation’s occupation of the planet), as a soul-healer and unofficial Minder for the trainees, a post she is quite happily content to fill . . . and in which she will give excellent service for the next seven years, two months, three weeks, and single day remaining in her life, until the knife of a traitor she and her cousin have caught out manages to treacherously cut her life short by striking her from behind.