Concept: a fantasy setting where True Names are extremely important in magic, but what makes a True Name is wildly inconsistent from person to person. Some people’s change; some people’s don’t.
Maybe it’s the name they were given when they were born; maybe it’s a name they chose for themself. Maybe it’s whatever they are most commonly addressed as, which makes keeping it secret rather complicated. This person’s true name is from their adoptive family, that one from their birth family, that one from the family they married into. That person’s true name is the nickname they were given by their dearest friend. That person’s true name is the nickname they WILL be given by their dearest friend, whom they haven’t actually met yet. That person’s true name is the nickname they were given by their dearest friend when they were in preschool, who they haven’t seen since. That person’s is the name of their self-insert character.
Unless there’s some way of divining true names, there would be a lot of people who just don’t know what theirs IS. (If there is, many of them would still be left wondering where the hell their name comes from.) Very powerful name magic becomes very TRICKY.
Hannibal wasn’t necessarily opposed to dancing, but the idea of taking classes was tedious. Mostly because he had already mastered the basics, being familiar with most of the traditional types of dancing. But his aunt had insisted he find something to do during the time they spent at the resort, and when he didn’t sign up to any activities, she wrote his name on the list to a beginner’s dance class.
Not wishing to argue, Hannibal went. He tried to make enough of an effort for his attendance to seem worthwhile, not wishing to be rude or waste anyone’s time. But he either wasn’t as subtle in his ennui as he liked to think or the dance instructor simply saw through his artificial enthusiasm, because one day after class, he approached him.
“Hey. Hannibal, right?”
Hannibal turned. “Yes?”
“Something wrong with my class?” The dance instructor – Will – leaned against the doorframe. His arms were crossed and his eyebrows were raised, but amusement softened the edge in his storm-grey eyes. Hannibal decided to be honest.
“I didn’t volunteer to take it. My aunt signed me up. Your guidance is not at fault.”
“Nor is it of use. You already know the steps.”
“It’s a beginner’s class. The steps aren’t very challenging.”
Will smiled, showing a hint of teeth in a lopsided and almost mischievous smirk. “You want a challenge?”
At that point, Hannibal was so bored with the dull routine of his vacation that he would have said yes to almost anything. “What kind of challenge?”