*Chapter 13*: Chapter 13
Harry had stormed out of that meeting. His mind was fighting the memories and faces of people like Malfoy, MacNair… Dolohov.
If they had been sentenced to death or killed in battle then how many people wouldn't have died when Voldemort returned? Hermione wouldn't have been hit by that curse.
Did she even survive the battle at the Ministry?
Harry jumped, he hadn't heard Chewbacca approach him.
Harry looked around and checked his armours sensors. "It's safe Chewie. There's no one else around."
He made to remove his helmet but was stopped by Chewbacca's large paw. "Stick to protocol, Sir. Let's head to your ship."
Harry sighed, but he started heading for the palace hangers where a droid frigate was docked. It was the Emperor's personal ship, the one Harry was to use when travelling as the Emperor.
They quickly reached the Hanger. Chewbacca broke off for The Ghost knowing that Harry would apparate across.
It was thirty minutes later that a tired Harry Potter exited his cabin on The Ghost.
"Pup, Chewie says you seemed upset." Sirius asked with concern as he floated over the table in the common area. Chewie was seated at the table.
"How could you tell?" Harry asked curiously.
"Wookies have a good sense of smell." Chewbacca tapped his nose. "Our people are working with your droids to develop better methods of masking your scent."
"I'll talk to Arden about charming the armour." Harry frowned.
"Come on, Pup. Tell us what's bothering you."
Harry gave them a brief overview of the meeting he had come from.
"The nerve of that stuck up bitch!" Sirius snarled as he started floating towards the door. "Eeep!"
He was snatched out of the air by Chewbacca. "We don't have a connection to The Emperor, Sirius." Chewbacca reminded him. "We know him, but not enough for him to ask us for advice or for us to butt into his business."
"Well… tell Padme that the Emperor has no interest in meeting with that Senator again." Sirius grumbled.
"Master Harry, I do wish you would take the time to discuss your meetings with me once they are finished." C-3PO complained as he entered. He had just had to walk across the hanger.
"Sorry 3PO, I just needed out of that mess." Harry said sincerely as he stood to help the droid sit at the table.
"I can understand that, Master Harry. The Senator was quite out of line."
"It probably didn't help you were wearing your mask." Sirius offered. "It makes it hard for people to read your emotions."
"Maybe I don't want them reading me." Harry huffed.
"Master Harry, even I need to see your face to get a true understanding of what you are trying to convey. I can only do so much by reading your body language."
"Assign a droid to deal with political stuff." Chewie suggested. "The less the Emperor is seen, the more mysterious he seems."
"That will have to be a decision for R2-D2 and Master Harry to make." 3PO responded. "I know that R2 is not yet prepared to give the droid army… 'self-control', if you will."
"One day I am going to speak to the entire galaxy and tell them that the ruler of the most powerful organisation in the galaxy… is a three-foot astro-mech with sense of humour." Harry sighed.
At that point the ships intercom was filled with beeps and whistles.
"R2-D2 says that he is ordering you not to."
There was a slightly more insistent beep.
"Minion." C-3PO said reluctantly. "Forgive me Master, I am required to give a full and proper translation."
"Don't worry, 3PO. Like I said; sense of humour."
Harry was beginning to worry his friends as he became more focused on his personal mission to end the Hutt Crime Syndicates and free the slaves. He had begun creating scenarios where Barriss would sit inside a massive shipping crate from a droid ship. Inside would be R2-D2 and a ton of sensor equipment.
Outside the crate, the droids, gungans, wookies and humans walked various patrol paths and a separate command centre was filled with even more sensors.
Even Jedi Vos and his Padawan where involved.
So far, Harry hadn't managed to get near the crate. He had been discovered by patrols. The closest he got was when they used indoor setups.
"I need a broom." Harry sighed as he sat down in the large tent that was used for debriefings.
"He means a magical broom that would let him fly." Sirius quickly explained. He could see several people gearing up to ask what would only be embarrassing questions.
"What… what sets these magical brooms apart from the methods of flying we have in our galaxy?" Vos asked.
"They are powered purely by magic, so Force users probably couldn't sense them." Harry explained. "They also don't create heat and… erm… disturbance?"
"You are referring to the backwash created by the jetpacks?" One of the Naboo trainers asked.
"Weesa havings moocha different tekie to yoosa." The Gungan trainer spoke up. "Weesa should experiment!" He said with clear glee.
Chewie spoke up.
"Master Chewbacca asks why we can't recreate a broomstick." C-3PO translated for those who couldn't understand. "He asks if Master Sirius' speeder bike is made the same way."
Chewbacca flinched backwards as Sirius' orb shot to inches in front of his face. "You are a bloody genius! Just like your old grandpa!"
Sirius had sequestered himself, R2-D2, Chewbacca and Yoda in a science lab at the palace. Padme had been a little put out at not being asked or even consulted.
Instead she declared she needed a short break and insisted Harry do the same.
Which was why Harry found himself standing in front of a tall brunette in the entry hall of a country mansion on Naboo. Padme was not here as the queen. That would not be permitted by…
"Finally decided to visit your commoner sister, Padme?" The brunette smirked.
Padme just glared. "Forgive me, Sola. I was a little busy trying to save our planet from an invasion!"
"But not too busy to find a nice young man?" She looked at Harry. "Did you know you are the first boyfriend she's ever brought home?" She asked teasingly.
Harry stood there, trying not to blush.
"Sola, either you behave yourself or I will have Harry incapacitate you. I will then spend all of my time here spoiling my nieces rotten."
Sola Naberrie scoffed. "Threats and blackmail, Padme? Is-"
"Padme? Is that you?" A dark haired man asked, clearly surprised and thrilled to see the incognito queen. "Come here my little sister!"
"Damn you Darred." Sola grumbled. "Come with me, Harry. My husband loves to spoil Padme more than Padme likes to spoil my daughters!" She took his hand and led him off.
Harry had no idea what to do.
He knew he should have brought 3PO.
Darred and Padme soon joined Sola and Harry in the kitchen. Harry was looking completely out of his depth as he held the six-month-old Pooja and Sola struggled to get three-year-old Ryoo to eat her lunch.
"Pa pa!" Ryoo squealed in delight as she saw Padme.
"Hey little one!" Padme beamed as she crossed the kitchen to kiss her eldest niece on the head. "Are you being a good little girl?"
"Uh huh." She gave an angelic smile… covered in mush.
"Good little girls eat their lunch without making a fuss." Sola said archly. "Here." She shoved the spoon to Padme. "You take over. I'll start on our lunch."
"Keep doing what you are doing, Harry." Sola instructed without looking at the terrified wizard.
"She's been extra fussy today. I'm Darred, Sola's wife and these two angels' father."
"Please don't go spreading lies, Husband. There is a true deficit of angels in this house." Sola piped up from somewhere.
"Do you want her back then?" Harry asked the taller man hopefully.
"Harry, learn from the mistakes of others. You do not disturb a baby once they are settled unless you absolutely have to. Trust us, we've done it." Darred chuckled.
"So what finally brought you out to visit family?" Sola asked.
"You could easily come and visit me." Padme countered as she continued to feed Ryoo.
"No, Padme. We can't." She said tiredly. "We all agreed to keep the family name separate from your work as the Queen."
"Padme Naberrie is just a handmaiden. Her Majesty, Queen Amidala, would love to have her friend's family visit." Padme said primly. "You'd like to visit the big city, wouldn't you Ryoo?"
"Ya ya ya!" She cried happily. Pretty much anything Aunty did was cause for celebration in the toddler's mind.
"Erm… sir… I think there's a problem."
Three heads snapped to the youngest male.
"Sola… why didn't you show Harry how to hold a baby after feeding?" Darred grumbled as he gently relieved the wizard of his youngest daughter. "Help clean him up."
"Oh mercy." Sola groaned. "I'm so sorry, Harry." She said as she grabbed a dish rag to clean the spit-up all over his jacket.
"Don't worry, I've got it." Harry said as he took out his wand and vanished the mess. He cast a few freshening charms too.
"Wow… I've never seen someone do that. You can't be a Jedi if you are courting Padme." Sola frowned.
"No, I… I'm different to Force users. I work with the Jedi though."
"So, how old are you, Harry?" Darred tried to steer the conversation to a more benign topic.
"I'm fif- I might be fifteen." Harry frowned. He wasn't sure how long he had been in this galaxy. It was July when he took his tumble through the portal, the end of the school year. He had to have been here over a month so- "No, I'm definitely sixteen. Padme, has it been more than thirty-one days since we met?"
"It's been nearly a year, Harry." She said in exasperation as she finished cleaning Ryoo.
"Oh… maybe seventeen."
"You don't know your birthday?" Sola queried.
"I do, but the calendar is different from where I'm from. Also, I don't remember the exact date I left my world."
"Hmm... I suppose that's what caught Padme's eye." She said mock seriously. "Tall, dark and mysterious."
Harry frowned as Padme objected in the background. "I'm not tall. I'm barely taller than Padme."
"I like Harry because of who he is." Padme poked her sister in the chest as Ryoo clung to her skirt. "He is a kind and brave individual. Not only has he single handedly-"
"Padme!" Harry tried to stop her from spilling secrets.
Sola and Darred shared a look of curiosity.
"I am so sorry, Harry." Padme apologised as she walked up to him and took his hand. "Harry and I need to have a quick talk. We'll be right back."
Sola stepped up next to where Darred was cleaning Pooja as the teens left. "How long do you think it will be before they notice Ryoo?"
Padme came bustling back into the room holding Ryoo under the armpits. "Private time, little one. Stay with Mummy." She then rushed back out.
"About that long." Darred answered.
Sola and Darred where both made privy to Harry's secrets. Padme was under no delusions regarding the amount of trust and faith Harry had placed in her. Only Master Yoda and R2-D2 had Harry's complete trust. And she knew it.
They spent just a week with Padme's family. It would have been longer, but Sola threw them out and told them to come around more often.
Most of that week was spent watching Ryoo play with Padme and Paddy. Harry learnt Ryoo had a favourite word: 'why'.
The second week was spent at Harry's estate on Naboo. This had come as a shock to Harry. Apparently Sirius had never gotten around to telling him about the gift from Naboo that Sio Bibble had arranged.
It was here, the two of them alone in the mansion with no one but Paddy for company, that the young couple moved their relationship forward with regards to physical intimacy.
It was here they uttered their love for each other.
"I'm not going to stand for re-election."
Harry frowned as he turned on his side to look at his beautiful lover. They were both naked under the covers of the bed.
"Why? You've done a good job so far. I'd be willing to bet that you are one of the few monarchs of Naboo to have defended their people in a time of war."
Padme turned and faced him. "My focus has changed. Before, I was focused on being the best Queen I could be. I knew that I was impartial when needed and heavily biased where appropriate.
"Now I am focused on being with you." Her expression turned to one of mock exasperation. "Trying to keep you alive, healthy and out of trouble."
"As Queen you can order your people to keep me safe, when possible." He added.
"Padme would do that. But the Queen can't. She can't abuse her powers like that."
"Want me to justify it for you?" He smirked.
She gave him a wry smile. "Go on then."
"You, Padme Naberrie, Queen of Naboo, know that I, Harry Potter, am the Emperor of Magic. Naboo has allied itself with the Empire. They are considering becoming a part of the Empire.
"As such, the Queen ordering her troops to keep Harry Potter safe… is nothing short of true loyalty and friendship."
"A nice attempt, Harry. But not enough." She smiled softly. She shifted closer, snuggling into his warm, naked body.
"Talk to your friends and advisors first?"
"What do you think I am doing now?"
"Then follow my advice. Talk to your friends and advisors… plural."
Padme did just that. As soon as she and Harry arrived back at the palace, she gathered her handmaidens and closest confidants, including Yoda.
Harry, meanwhile was presented with Sirius' latest and greatest invention.
Harry looked from the beaming holocron of his godfather and then at the subject of the nutjob's pride.
"It's a piece of wood." Harry said blankly.
"Harry, Harry, Harry." Sirius said disappointedly. "Have you not been paying attention to Yoda's lessons?"
Harry bent forward at the waist so his nose was millimetres from the hologram. "Take a look around you, Sirius. How hard do you think I would have to try to convince someone here to mess with your orb?"
Sirius gulped as he saw the grinning Chewbacca and attentive R2-D2.
But then he soldiered on. "To any one not capable of wielding magic or the Force, it is a piece of wood. A simple, flat, square, finger thick slice of a tree.
"But… to those with the power to wield magic and an awesome godfather, it is the key to flight!"
Harry stood up straight and turned to the wookie. "Chewie, can you make it so Sirius is wearing one of those frilly dresses the little human girls wear?"
Chewbacca chuckled and stepped forward, he absently nudged the floating orb out of the way. "Sirius knows the runes for flight. They are the same ones on his speeder.
"We can help you carve and empower this piece of wood. You could strap it to your back and fly anytime you needed."
Harry turned back to his godfather. "See? Now why couldn't you have just said that?"
Harry spent a lot of time carving and enchanting.
He also spent a fair amount of time in the palace medical wing under the glare of Padme and her handmaidens.
Experimentation and failure often pave the way on the path to success.
Padme, meanwhile, was having to sit through pleas, lectures, forecasts… anything the government could come up with to convince her to stand for re-election. It didn't help that there wasn't anyone willing to run against her.
Certainly, there were those with political ambition, a dream to fulfil, even a sense of entitlement. But the mood of the people was clear. Amidala was their Queen. She would be their Queen so long as they had a voice.
"Padme?" Harry asked with concern as his girlfriend shucked her clothes and crawled into his bunk, naked.
"Shut-up Harry. I've had a tiring day."
"If they are so intent on forcing me to be Queen then they can deal with the fact that I am sleeping with the man I love." She grumbled as she wrapped an arm around his chest possessively.
"Has Naboo made the final decision to join the Empire?" Harry asked quietly.
"Of course." She said as though the answer was obvious.
"I'll have the Emperor talk to them."
"It won't help." She warned lightly.
The following morning, Padme informed Harry they would be sleeping in her bed in the palace.
Granted, she had woken up and fallen three feet onto the cold hard floor. Harry managed to heal the nasty bruise, but he wasn't going to argue.
It was two days before a ship 'transporting the Emperor' arrived in the system. Harry calmly informed R2 that in the future he would pretend to have apparated.
R2 had retorted that he wouldn't let his puppet do something so stupid as travel without a royal guard.
Sirius and Chewbacca just laughed as the astromech put the wizard in his place.
And so, The Emperor and his personal droids, H2-P2 and I-8AP held council with the Queen of Naboo and her government.
"I have heard disturbing tales of forced servitude upon the planet of Naboo." The Emperor said gravely.
"Your Majesty, we have heard no such thing. Naboo has always been a supporter of the laws prohibiting such cruel acts." A female said passionately. "Why, our own Queen was instrumental in the liberation of two slaves on Tatooine during her escape from the Trade Federation."
"So, you claim that a person cannot be forced to work for another?"
Sio Bibble was standing at the back of the group and trying not to sigh in exasperation. He knew why Harry was all dressed up. He was also one of the main supporters for Padme remaining as Queen.
"Of course, Milord." A man responded. "The only exception is if the person is a felon. They can be assigned to work for the throne in lieu of prison time."
"And has her Majesty, Queen Amidala, committed acts that would see her labelled a felon?"
They were outraged. "Absolutely not!" The woman declared heatedly. She turned to the Queen, who was actually Sabe. "Forgive me, Your Majesty, but I cannot stand here and listen to anyone cast aspersions upon you!"
"Andele!" The group turned to the old governor. "His Majesty, The Emperor, is leading you down a verbal trap." Sio groused. "I know for a fact that he travelled here just to defend our Queen's right to abdicate. He is alluding to the fact that we are demanding Queen Amidala remain on the throne, against her will."
"But this is an internal matter!" The woman argued. "We were promised that the Empire would not encroach on our sovereign rights."
"His Majesty was invited to partake in this matter by Queen Amidala." C-3PO stated as a representative of the Emperor. "Furthermore, the actions of the Naboo government are seen as violating the charter as agreed to when Naboo joined the Empire."
"Please, Your Majesties, could we all just take a step back and discuss this openly and without veiled allusions?" A younger man pleaded.
"Her Majesty has heard your arguments, considered them, and made her decision. What more could possibly be said?" C-3PO asked.
The man bowed to the Emperor. "Sir, we have made our arguments to Her Majesty. I ask only that you allow us to bring our concerns to you, and that you consider them. If you agree in our favour, we ask only that you try to persuade our Queen from her course."
"Are these arguments any different than the ones you have brought before your Queen?" The Emperor asked.
"Unlikely, but they may appear slightly different, the messenger makes all the difference." The man said respectfully.
The Emperor stood there looking at him.
The Queen suddenly became worried. "Emperor!"
The Emperor turned to the Queen. "Your Majesty, I haven't heard anything so profound since Master Yoda declared that all members of his Order are Jedi, but not all Jedi are members of his Order." The Emperor reasoned. "I cannot in good conscience ignore what this… gentleman has said.
"Please, walk with me and explain your concerns."
"My stance has not changed, Queen Amidala." He assured her. "You cannot be forced into remaining Queen. But, I am curious as to what he has to say."
"Surely you must listen to all of us then!" The woman, Andele, argued.
The Emperor tilted his head thoughtfully. "Consider what the gentleman said about 'the messenger'. Then consider whether you would serve better than he could."
"Jared, go with the Emperor." Sio ordered. "Your Majesty, I will alert the guards that you will be walking the grounds."
"So, why don't you run for election?" The Emperor asked as he strolled past a large fountain with the man, Jared.
"I have neither the bearing, the lineage nor the appropriate temperament." Jared shook his head firmly. "I would be a poor leader. My skills lie in advising."
"Sometimes you have to push yourself." The Emperor challenged. "Her Majesty became Queen with a desire to better her people through law and legislation. Circumstance meant that she had to learn to be a warrior."
"And that is just one of the many reasons we are fighting so hard for her to remain Queen." Jared said passionately. "We understand that she is young, she has dedicated her childhood to her world. If anyone has earned the right to decide their fate, it is our Queen."
Jared stopped and faced the imposing figure of the Emperor. "There are many reasons, logical reasons that she should remain Queen. Despite the fact that the current laws demand she undergo election and that she be limited to only two terms on the throne.
"I could list them for you, but instead, why do we not discuss the great lengths we are prepared to go to make it so that she will enjoy being Queen, so that it will not infringe on her personal life and choices."
"There is a lot of tradition involved when it comes to being the monarch. We are more than willing to cut back on many of the ceremonial events and even the makeup and dress of the Queen." Jared said as he began walking again. "I am recently married." He chuckled. "I have often heard the complaints from my wife regarding the hassle of makeup."
"I imagine it is… annoying." The Emperor agreed with a laugh. "It is a difficult to don this armour all the time. Often it is claustrophobic."
"Well, those are just the simplest of things we are willing to change for her. We are also willing to not only support any decision she makes to start a family, but to also bestow life time titles and privileges for her family."
"Yes… that will really make her refuse to stay on." The Emperor said glibly. "I seriously recommend you drop those ideas or she may simply run away."
Jared blushed. "Those were merely examples of the extremes we are willing to go for her."
"Fine, explain something to me. Why Amidala? Why specifically her? There must be other individuals on this planet who can measure up to her."
Jared shook his head. "There truly isn't. On one hand, we have the citizens of Naboo. They adore her and they find comfort knowing she is there for them.
"On the other hand, there is literally no one on this planet who has stood before the combined might of the Republic Senate, drawn arms and taken on an invading army, negotiated the planet into a new alliance… I'm sure there is much more that I am simply not cleared to know."
"You make her sound like some prophesied Chosen One."
"Prophesied, no. But she has clearly been chosen."
"Do you know the problem with 'Chosen Ones'?" The Emperor queried. "They never get to choose for themselves."
Jared lowered his head as they walked. "I want to say that everyone must sacrifice something… but, I cannot as I have never sacrificed as much as Her Majesty."
"Smart man." The Emperor chuckled as he rubbed his left shoulder. "I will talk with Her Majesty, I will not attempt to change her mind, but I will discuss things with her."
After a few seconds the Emperor looked around. He noticed guards running towards him. Then he saw Jared, lying on the ground a few meters behind him.
The Emperor immediately ran to his side and grabbed him in his arms before vanishing with a loud crack.
"Who would want to kill him?" Harry demanded as he paced in common area of The Ghost. "He wasn't exactly high-ranking, he-"
"Pup, they were trying to kill you." Sirius interrupted his still armoured, yet de-masked, godson.
"And they missed that badly?"
"They hit you." Chewbacca growled angrily. "You even felt it. We checked the security logs. Whatever hairless mongrel did this used solid rounds. It bounced off you and hit the human."
Harry was stricken. "This was my fault?"
"Pup, don't make me get Yoda in here to lecture you on responsibility." Sirius warned. "Besides, you got the advisor to the infirmary and he should be fine.
"Right now, there are several Jedi tracking down the sniper."
"Where's R2?" Harry asked.
The little droid's beeps and whistled sounded over the intercom.
"He is listening, Master Harry." C-3PO translated.
"Tell the droid ship to get ready to leave. I need to go and see Padme. If the Emperor is being targeted, then I need to get away from civilians."
Harry looked to C-3PO as R2 made some rather… emphatic noises.
"Master Harry, I beg you, please don't make me repeat what that little terror says."
"Can you give us the gist?" Sirius asked with a smirk.
"He said 'no'."
Harry was interrupted by the droid. "R2 says that you shouldn't run. Protect the people by dealing with the threat."
C-3PO paused as R2 squawked.
"I refuse to repeat such crass language!" C-3PO responded to the astro-mech, aghast. He quickly turned to Harry. "Unless you order me too, of course, Master Harry."
"If I'm that interested, I'll read what he said." Harry assured the golden droid.
R2-D2 started to beep again.
"R2-D2!" 3PO was outraged. "Master Harry was clearly the target of the attack! What if he did get hurt?"
Harry sighed and activated his helmet. It was a newer version that folded back when not in use. It also allowed him to use the built-in display to see what R2 was saying.
For such an experienced Protocol Droid, C-3PO was easily side-tracked.
R2 had ordered Harry to join Knight Vos and Padawan Secura as they were close to reaching the assassin. R2 had pointed out that, unless the assassin was a magic user, they couldn't touch Harry.
His armour had just shrugged off a powerful sniper shot and he hadn't even noticed. Not only was this version of the armour laced with Phrik, it was also heavily enchanted under Sirius' instruction.
The two Jedi were on a rooftop in what could be considered the poor part of the city. Except Naboo was very prosperous and Padme had ensured that the wealth prevented anyone suffering from destitution.
Really, this was the warehouse district. It was right next to the city's trading spaceport.
It meant that this was where the space pilots and crews tended to hang around. It also had a relatively high crime rate.
The sun was beginning to set when Harry silently arrived behind them. Aayla nearly screamed but Quinlan managed to get a hand over her mouth.
"Your Majesty." He greeted blandly. "I'm surprised you are out here."
Harry harrumphed. "Contrary to popular belief, I am not the one in charge of the Empire of Magic. I follow orders like everyone else."
"And those orders were to place yourself in further danger?"
"It was pointed out to me that my armour shrugged off that shot and the only reason I knew it hit was because of my armour's sensors. Even then I didn't realise what it meant. Provided nobody tries to hit me with a cannon, I should be safe."
The Emperor paused and then sagged.
"A problem?" Quinlan enquired.
"No, apparently my superiors never considered that the enemy would have cannons." He replied dryly.
"What about lightsabers?" Aayla spoke up.
"Useless against my armour."
"Your armour is composed of Phrik?" The Emperor had the Knight's full attention now.
"Yes. It was recommended by some friends."
Vos' attention was momentarily grabbed by the nearby bar. "We should talk later, Your Majesty."
Aayla could only look on in confusion.
"That is the assassin." Vos nodded to a cloaked figure skulking out the front door of the bar.
"I'll defer to your expertise, Knight Vos. Feel free to use me as you see fit."
Vos was silent for a moment. "Padawan, confront the assassin. You do not need to engage or capture them. I would prefer that they attempt to flee down an alley.
"The Emperor and I will watch from the rooftops and ambush them."
"Yes Master." The twi'lek nodded before jumping off the roof.
Vos turned to the Emperor. "Harry, we must talk soon. It is too easy for Force users to match your dual identities."
Harry slumped in defeat.
Vos patted the armoured shoulder. "Go, use your training. This will be a good field test for all you have been through."
*Chapter 14*: Chapter 14
Fenter was a Trandoshan bounty hunter. A fairly good one too… not that many people knew about it. If he was called on, then they wanted someone iced and they wanted it done quickly and quietly.
And the target was usually high-profile and hard to kill.
A few months back he had been in talks with a client to take out the Queen of Naboo. It didn't really appeal to Fenter. Sure, the Queen was extremely high-profile, but she wasn't a warrior. She wouldn't fight back. She'd just sit there and hope her bodyguards did their job.
But still, it was a job for a frequent customer.
Except the customer went missing and the job went with it. No big loss as far as he was concerned.
But then he received a new contract from a new client. Someone wanted him to take out the mysterious Emperor of Magic.
This was something that grabbed Fenter's attention. Even though he couldn't see anything special about the armoured ruler, the challenge was enough that he would be respected amongst all trandoshans.
Of course… the pay was pretty damned good too.
He'd travelled to Naboo where The Emperor was currently visiting. He'd set up a sniper's nest and waited.
He'd been disgusted when he saw his target casually strolling around the grounds of the palace. It made him want to go down and do this in person. But that's not what the client wanted.
So he took his shot.
Fenter had looked on in confusion as the Emperor's companion dropped to the ground. He quickly checked his sights and his instruments. He played back the recording he made for the client.
How had the bullet not penetrated? It was designed to pierce armoured vehicles.
He couldn't risk another shot so he packed up and prepared for a quick getaway. He couldn't risk another attempt on this planet.
Somehow… and he couldn't believe it… he had been taken down by some kid Jedi… a Twi'lek. When this got out he would be a laughingstock.
Oh, and now they had some human whelp of a hatchling trying to interrogate him.
"Listen kid, I wouldn't talk to the Jedi so why would I talk to you?" Fenter glared at Harry across the interrogation table.
"Oh, you don't have to talk." Harry grinned. "I've already sifted through your mind. I didn't get much, but I did get details on that Mandalorian contract."
Fenter froze. He'd literally sent off a message accepting the contract to assassinate some Mandalorian woman whilst waiting for his flight in the bar before the Twi'lek got him.
"You've got no proof." Fenter bluffed.
Harry idly scratched at the table top. "The way I understand it, I don't need proof. As soon as your client hears you blabbed then you'll be on everybody's hit list."
Fenter mentally cursed. He'd thought the boy was naïve. Too young to understand how to use any information. He'd forgotten that he was in Jedi custody in a Naboo interrogation room with the Empire of Magic biting at the bit to get at him.
He should have known this job was cursed.
"What do you want?" Fenter growled unhappily.
"To walk out of here and leave you to the tender mercies of my wookie friend."
That thought hadn't crossed his mind. He knew there were wookies nearby, something to do with a military training camp. He hadn't thought that the Empire or the Naboo would turn him over to the wookies. His kind hunted them for sport.
"You might as well just kill me then. I'll never tell you anything voluntarily."
"We never intended to just 'ask'." Harry smirked.
Fenter was deathly afraid as a floating black droid entered the room. It was covered in syringes… this was not going to be pleasant.
Everyone present in the room was shocked by the venom from the Grand Master.
They were watching the Trandoshan being injected by the black droid as he screamed.
"I can't believe we are condoning torture." Knight Vos said with shame.
"The only torture is fear." Sirius said dismissively. "And it only lasts a few seconds… see?"
The Trandoshan had slumped into something of a stupor as the droid retreated back a few feet and Harry began talking.
"Each of those needles is coated with a numbing agent so they are barely felt. The substance that was injected is a mild hallucinogen combined with something to induce euphoria.
"As far as that monster is concerned, he is having the time of his life as he spills his guts to Harry."
"If it is so… benign, why does Master Yoda hate it?" Padawan Secura enquired.
"Because he cannot stand the screams of terror… He has always been the angel to my devil. If I had been alone, without Garaka or Yoda, I would have done many bad things with the sole intent of preparing for Harry's arrival."
"Restrained yourself, you did." Yoda assured the floating holocron. "Left a legacy Harry can be proud of… mostly." He finished with a shrug as he glanced at the black sphere.
Harry was sitting at the table in The Ghosts common area with Padme, Yoda, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and Sirius. Also present was Jedi Vos.
"It will not be long before every Force-Sensitive that meets you in both your guises realises who you are." Vos was explaining. "Forgive me, Your Majesty." He nodded to Padme who was clearly surprised. "But I would not be surprised if there are many out there who are aware of your ruse.
"It is much better hidden than Harry's due to you being seen next to the 'Queen'. But, if a Force-Sensitive spends much time around a person, they get a feel for that person's presence in The Force.
"It was only after my realisation regarding Harry and the Emperor that I started to examine the presence of everyone around him. Which has led me to your ruse."
Padme nodded, clearly shaken by the revelation that her secret may not have been so… secret.
"Do you have any suggestions on how to handle this?" Sirius asked the knight.
"Honesty." Vos stated without pause. "I understand the need and desire to employ these ruses, but, I believe they have become more of a burden than a help."
"I would be an open target for assassination." Padme reasoned calmly.
"Should your decoy be successfully eliminated in her duties, you would then need to reveal the ruse. And there is no certainty that the people would believe your claims.
"Fenter took a route that was extremely risky. He made a direct attack on Harry. Whilst he was some distance from his target, he was still present and used a method that any skilled investigator could use to track the location from where he attacked.
"Your ruse will not work if the assassin simply sabotages your ship or plants a bomb.
"As Harry discovered today, even a direct attack can have unforeseen casualties."
"If I made it obvious who I was, then people wouldn't mistakenly target someone like you or Obi Wan." Harry nodded.
"Pup, before your girlfriend tears into you, I don't think Quinlan was suggesting you make yourself a target."
Sure enough, Padme looked ready to spit nails.
"I wasn't going to!" Harry objected quickly. "I need my private identity for when I do my sneaky missions."
"I do not understand, Harry, surely a mission involving stealth would require you to conceal all aspects of your person." Vos frowned.
"I meant like fake identities."
"Again… I fail to see how using 'Harry Potter' would accomplish that."
Harry opened his mouth to explain… but stopped. He closed his mouth.
"Drop, the penny has." Yoda smirked at Sirius.
"That was one of the dumbest things I've ever heard him say." Sirius agreed.
"Whilst Harry could be himself as the Emperor, I have family. I couldn't put them at risk." Padme said firmly.
"True." Sirius agreed. "If she did then her family would need significant visible protection that would severely affect their lives."
"Do they not already have protection?" Quinlan asked with concern.
"Secrecy is their protection." Padme said firmly.
"Secrecy is their death sentence." He countered calmly. "All it takes is for one person to discover their existence, and then they will be used as leverage over you."
Padme was clearly beginning to panic.
"Breathe, young one." Yoda instructed as Sirius indicated to Harry that he should comfort his girlfriend.
"I'll be right back." Harry said before vanishing on the spot.
Sirius was dumbfounded. He knew Harry had seen his motions… so why had he left?
There was a pop as Harry reappeared with a woman holding a baby. The woman dropped to her knees as Quinlan smoothly moved forward to steady her and the baby. She knelt there gasping as Padme rushed over.
"Sithspit! That is absolutely horrible!"
"Harry!" Padme exclaimed as she saw her brother-in-law and niece appear.
"Again! Again!" Little Ryoo squealed happily as she jumped up and down in front of Harry, her arms in the air, begging to be picked up.
"Maybe later." Harry gave the little girl a smile.
"So what was the emergency?" Darred grumbled as he picked up his toddler.
"We were worried that Padme's identity had been compromised and you might be in danger as a result." Harry said as he conjured some extra chairs for the new arrivals.
"We said it was a 'possibility'!" Sirius was exasperated.
"Two Jedi have already deduced my secret." Harry glared at his godfather. "Jedi Vos has already managed to figure out Padme's. The droids can all see the truth about Padme.
"Do you really think it is worth the risk to wait?"
"Droids can see through your decoy system?" Sola asked her sister worriedly. "Why didn't you tell us?"
"Only Harry's droids could do it, Sola." Padme assured her.
"Any droid can do it if they have good enough… eyes?" Harry shrugged.
"And that won't take into account droids used to examine visual recordings." Darred frowned. "Thank you for getting us, Harry." The man said sincerely.
Padme was looking positively nauseous.
Rather than uproot Padme's entire family and confine them to The Ghost, R2-D2 ordered a squad of droids to sit in the family's cellar in case of emergency.
Chewbacca had offered to go with them back to the house to ensure it was safe.
Padme was clearly upset by the revelation that her family could have been at risk all this time. Unfortunately, she couldn't leave the city at the moment as she was still dealing with the demands for her to stay on the throne.
"My stance has not changed." She informed the group begging her to remain on the throne. "Whilst I still wish to serve my people, I also wish to have my own personal life."
"Your Majesty, that is exactly what we are offering." Jared spoke up. "If I might be so bold, what we offer is the added protection that might be unavailable should you abdicate."
"Explain quickly, before we begin to infer maliciousness, Sir." Padme glared at the young man.
"As Queen, your access to resources is limited only by their quantity. You may have the entire Naboo Security Force follow you around. As a commoner, you wouldn't have that as it would fall to the new monarch.
"This means that should you have the life you want, even a family, you would be able to utilise the resources of our people to ensure their protection.
"Speaking as a recent victim of association to powerful people, I beg you to remain queen for that reason alone. I would be overjoyed to see you build a family. But it would break my heart should it be torn down by assassins."
Jared now had Padme in a quandary. As much as she wanted to leave the throne and simply be with Harry, she had a family already. She knew Harry would offer to protect them, but that would be difficult as it would mean having Empire droids on Naboo. That may not be an issue now, but she didn't know what a future monarch would say.
"We will talk more tomorrow." She said, clearly in deep thought. She didn't pay any attention as Governor Bibble ushered the group out, leaving Harry and the handmaidens to handle the Queen.
The Queen looked up to see Eirtae holding her gloved hand with concern. "My sister. Even if I wasn't involved with Harry, I have two beautiful nieces." She said forlornly.
"I spoke with Jedi Vos." Rabe spoke up. "His points are valid regarding our current system. But if you decided to stay on as Queen, our current protection system wouldn't work. We look similar, but that will change as we age."
"I can change your looks with magic on a temporary basis. I'd have to do it every time you went out, but I could do it." Harry offered.
There was a sniffle and Padme wiped at her wet eyes. Harry deactivated his helmet and pulled her into a hug as her dog circled around them worriedly.
"We will talk to my sister." She eventually said. "If she agrees then I will stay on as Queen. But I will do so as Padme Amidala Naberrie. They will accept that I am in a relationship with Harry James Potter, The Emperor of Magic."
Padme didn't know whether to be pleased or annoyed that her sister had told her to remain queen. Or that the government had acquiesced to all her demands.
She did feel guilty that Harry was suddenly mobbed by the representatives when they discovered that Harry Potter and the Emperor were the same people. Especially as both were acknowledged as playing major roles in the defence of the planet and queen.
"What's got you looking all grumpy and pouty?"
Padme jumped as Sirius' orb floated up from the grounds to her private balcony. "Don't do that!"
"Sorry, I'll be sure to play a fanfare to announce my impending arrival in future." He retorted. "Now, what's wrong?"
"I want to marry Harry." She sighed as she leant her elbows on the stone railing. "But now that I forced Harry to reveal himself as The Emperor, it means the whole thing has to be treated as an elaborate treaty signing.
"If he was still a secret, then I would just be a Queen marrying a recognised hero and friend."
Sirius' image was floating there, blinking owlishly. "Married? Aren't you only fourteen?"
"I will be sixteen this week."
Sirius frowned. "I'm not familiar with Naboo customs, but… is it common for people to marry that young?"
"No, but it is not unheard of. Young females are chosen as Queens more than males as they are considered innocent and wise."
"Does Harry know you want to get married?"
"We have discussed it."
"I meant as in, does he know you want to start planning for one in the next year or so?"
"I assume so."
Sirius was really wishing he had a physical body to slap her with. Instead he floated his orb into the back of her head.
"You are being a right idiot, Padme." He admonished. "You can't just assume something as important as that! You need to sit down with Harry and outright ask him if he wants to marry you and when."
Padme rubbed her sore head. "He knows, Sirius." Her hand snapped out and she grabbed the orb, banging it firmly onto the railing and holding it there. "We've been talking about getting married for months. We were planning on having a private ceremony in secret.
"Now that I might be staying on as queen and having a lot of concessions made, we are thinking of making it more public. Something for the people to enjoy."
The grumpy pair stayed, resting on the railing.
"If you were thinking of making it public, then what is the issue?"
"Politics." Padme sighed. "This will be a joining of two realms. My people will be demanding all sorts of things as they believe they will have the ear of our supreme leader."
"Then remove the politics." Sirius shrugged. "Make it clear that the marriage is between Padme and Harry. The roles and relations of Queen and Emperor shall be unchanged."
"Sirius, Harry might have full control of the Empire, I do not have the same over Naboo."
"I can't believe they agreed."
"Padme, back home, we had a saying: 'Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.'" Harry said as he held his girlfriend as they snuggled in for the night in her bed.
Padme sighed in frustration. "What is a horse?"
Harry laughed. "A four-legged animal. Often used for riding and labour.
"My point was that you shouldn't worry so much. You have nearly everything you could want. You get to live your life and continue your work."
"I'm just waiting for the Hutt to come for his payment."
"What? What Hutt?" Harry demanded as he sat up.
Padme pushed him back down. "That's one of our sayings. Essentially it means that everything has a price."
"Try and avoid saying things like that, please. I thought I was going to have to fight the Hutts sooner."
Padme scowled, her face hidden as she rested her head on Harry's chest. She hated the way he casually talked about having to fight. It was never a matter of Harry saying he wanted to. It was more of a statement of fact. Someone was always going to come after him.
Harry started to develop a slight case of nerves. Padme was now actively beginning to make arrangements for their marriage. Padme had noticed his nerves and he had to assure her it wasn't nerves about them being married, it was nerves about a big spectacle wedding.
Unfortunately neither he nor Padme could do much about that. Even R2 refused to let it be anything less than a galactic event.
The initial sticking point was where the wedding would be held. The Queen's advisors wanted it on Naboo. Senior officials in the Empire were demanding their planets.
Harry didn't care. Padme was beginning to get frustrated with it all.
Harry decided she needed to blow off some steam. Which is why she was firing a blaster rifle down a firing range at Padawan Secura.
Barriss had wanted to do it… but Padme had taken one look at the cute little face and couldn't bring herself to do it.
Harry had to promise her a session later.
"Enough." Knight Vos spoke firmly over the blaster fire.
Harry put a hand on Padme's shoulder, just in case she hadn't heard.
"I can keep going, Master!" Aayla objected.
"'Can' is not 'should', Aayla." Quinlan chided gently. "There will be time to test your endurance later. This session was not for you."
"Thank you, Padawan, Jedi Vos." Padme was breathing slightly heavier than normal.
"You are welcome, Your Majesty." Quinlan inclined his head. "But I do not think this method of release was useful to you."
"No." She reached up and squeezed Harry's hand, still on her shoulder. "I can fight and I will fight, but I am not a fighter… not a warrior."
"Perhaps you should seek out Master Yoda. You have enough of a connection to the Force that you could benefit from meditation."
Despite claiming to have successfully meditated, Yoda still called Harry to carry his sleeping fiancée back to her bed for the night.
As pouty as she got over being teased, she was a lot more relaxed.
Yoda found himself with a second pupil. Sirius privately teased his old friend as he was clearly very happy to be teaching again.
The wedding was being scheduled for the following year. Details were still being hammered out but Harry had put his foot down as Emperor and declared it would be held on Naboo, his future wife's home.
Harry decided it was time to try and talk to one of the Hutts. He had come a long way in his training. He was never going to be able to go toe-to-toe with a Jedi or Sith, but if he did things right, he could still win.
He had boarded The Ghost with Sirius, Chewbacca, R2-D2, C-3PO, Yoda, the Jedi and Padme and her handmaidens.
And their dogs.
Things were a bit cramped, but the Jedi were content to bunk in the cargo hold.
They travelled to Tatooine before disembarking on The Phantom and heading down to the Dune Sea and the location of the palace of Jabba the Hutt.
Padme was left on the ship with Chewbacca, her handmaidens and the droids. This was a stealth mission.
Unfortunately, Barriss and Ayala had been informed that they were not ready for a mission of this nature, so the rest of the ship bound members had to deal with a grumpy pair of padawans and a queen who was ready to bite anyone's head off as she was so tense.
Fortunately, Chewbacca was familiar with the three ladies and had them seated in the common area as he instructed Ayala to guide the other two through meditation.
The droids and handmaidens were banished to the kitchen or the bridge to monitor the situation and prepare for the others return.
It was an entire day before Harry and the others returned, utterly exhausted.
The returning team glared back at the young Padawan, glaring at them.
Eventually Vos patted Obi-Wan on the back, gave him a commiserating smile and moved to sit at the table.
"Barriss, if you don't learn some patience, I will lock you in your cabin and we won't tell you anything until we get back to Naboo." Harry warned her.
The little girl's eyes widened. She clamped her hand over her mouth.
Obi-Wan was looking curiously at Harry even as Yoda shook his head with a sigh.
"Long story short, we captured Jabba." Harry said as he slumped onto a sofa he had installed. He leant his head on Padme's shoulder and closed his eyes.
"Harry, go to bed." Sirius ordered. "I can tell them what happened."
The wizard didn't argue as he levered himself off the sofa and headed for his cabin.
"Don't worry, Padme." Sirius assured her. "He's fine, just tired. He'll be lucky if he manages to change before he gets in bed."
"You didn't fight anyone?" She asked curiously.
"Just our bloody nerves." The deceased man grumbled as he landed his orb on the table.
"As you know, we could not enter with Harry." Quinlan explained as he took a seat on the sofa, the others finding their own spots. "We remained near and listened to Harry as he reported. He was stuck in that place for hours just watching Jabba feast and… " The Knight sighed. "Hutts are not good people. Harry witnessed many, many evils. But he stayed true to his mission and did not act.
"He was eventually able to catch the Hutt with just his pet and two slaves."
"So his spell worked?"
The returned team shared a grim look.
"What? What happened." Padme demanded.
"Padme, Harry saw many horrors… we're talking about someone who remembers his parents murder, his own torture and has sifted through the minds of three Sith." Sirius said with a shudder. "Whatever he saw today… his spell worked. Jabba the Hutt became a simple stone.
"But, Harry smashed the stone… he killed Jabba."
Padme's eyes widened. "But… he's never killed! Even when he rescued Komari."
"Which should go to show just how badly this mission affected Harry." Obi-Wan said as he looked sadly at the door the wizard had left through.
"What are the Council going to do to him?"
Padme and those that remained behind looked at Aayla in shock.
"What do you mean?" Barriss asked worriedly.
"Jedi don't condone assassination or murder." Aayla said sadly. "Jedi are often the ones who stop assassins."
"Nothing." Yoda stated quietly, his eyes closed. "Nothing will the Council do. Killed did Harry, yes. Many he saved with one act."
"Master Yoda, I am certainly opposed to Harry being sanctioned." Obi-Wan frowned. "But surely the Council won't simply sit back and do nothing."
"Kid, you do realise that the reason Jabba was so powerful was because the Council did nothing?" Sirius asked.
Obi Wan shook his head. "I am not questioning the past, I am simply concerned for the future. Harry's future. I do not know why the Council refused to involve themselves, but… we all know Harry's history. Somebody will push for him to be… 'dealt with' in some manner."
"Obi-Wan, who is going to know?" Quinlan pointed out. "None of us will speak of this as the mission is far from over. When the rest of the galaxy realises that the Hutts kingdom of crime has vanished, what recourse could they take against a man with an Empire at his back?
"What justification could they argue that would satisfy the people compared to the end of the slavery and misery?"
"I hope you are right, Knight Vos." Obi-Wan shook his head tiredly.
"But?" Yoda prompted.
"But if we are wrong then this could tear the galaxy apart. It is just the sort of thing the Senate is looking for to justify action against the Empire."
"The Force speaks to you? Or prediction from past events, you make?"
"I… I do not know. I will meditate on my feelings and seek out the Force." Obi-Wan decided with conviction. "Barriss, come on. You should be in bed by now."
"What? But I only just had breakfast!" She objected.
"Obi-Wan, you've been gone for a whole day." Padme informed him.
"Oh… oh dear." The young knight muttered.
"I can handle Barriss' training for the day." Aayla offered.
"Agreed." Quinlan placed an authoritative hand on the younger knight's shoulder. "We must rest as there is still work to be done before we can return to Naboo."
Bib Fortuna carefully opened the door to his master's private chambers. It was all part of his morning duties to wake the Hutt and clean up any mess from his night's activities. It was not a pleasant job.
Usually the girls were relatively unharmed. Occasionally a mop was needed.
Bib stepped across the threshold and froze. He took a second and then turned to look back at the door he had walked through. Yep, same door he used every morning.
"Close the door."
Bib jumped at the voice coming from the silver armoured being sitting on a large chair. Assembled behind the famous figure of the Emperor of Magic were several Jedi, a wookie and three droids.
"Do not make the Emperor repeat himself." The floating droid with the projected hologram snarled.
Bib quickly slammed the door shut.
The room was completely different. Forget the fact that Jabba was nowhere to be seen. The walls were now clean and white. The large 'bed' was gone along with all other furnishings.
"C-3PO." The Emperor said quietly.
The golden protocol droid stepped forward. "His Majesty, the Emperor of Magic, has deemed your former master to be too evil to live. Jabba Desilijic Tiure has been executed for his crimes.
"Despite your clear, willing participation in Jabba's crimes, the Emperor has decided to offer you the chance to serve him in overseeing Jabba's crime-syndicate."
Bib could only stare at the droid. What exactly was he supposed to say? He was Jabba's major-domo for a very good reason. He was too spineless to betray his master.
Bib jumped at the quiet order from the Emperor.
"I- I accept?"
*Chapter 15*: Chapter 15
Padme was relieved when Knight Vos stepped forward and declared they would be returning to Naboo. Yoda had simply nodded as he patted Harry's hand and moved off to his cabin.
It had been clear that this 'adventure' had taken a major toil on Harry. He had become quieter than usual.
"We can use the time to let R2 use the Empire's resources to learn more about the next target and to observe what happens with Jabba's territories." She reasoned as she hugged him.
"Why don't Harry and R2 create droids that look like the Emperor?" Rabe asked curiously. "R2 could send them in when all that's needed is the Emperor's presence. Like that one time Padme was ill and Sabe had to attend a meeting in her place."
"A Sith would not be fooled by a droid imposter." Quinlan pointed out.
"Neither would an advanced droid." C-3PO added.
"They wouldn't be there to handle that sort of thing. But it would give the Empire an earlier look into how things are going. Send a droid imposter to Jabba's palace and if it gets blown to pieces… send in the droid army. No lives lost."
"Just the droid itself, Miss Rabe." 3PO said with a hint of distaste.
"She has a point, 3PO." Harry spoke up. "The droid doesn't need to be like you, R2 or Lee. It doesn't need a consciousness. It just needs enough programming to walk like me and respond to outside input."
"Master Harry, I know you mean well, but I think you fail to realise just how much intelligence every machine has. Much of my personal programming is designed to allow me to communicate with what organics consider 'utility machines'. Even The Ghost has an intelligence."
Chewbacca spoke up, 3PO translated for those who couldn't understand.
"Master Chewbacca says that wookies know this on some level. It is why they do not have droids or much machinery. Wookies have been hunted and used as slaves for too long, they won't stoop to the same level."
C-3PO paused as he turned to Harry. "I must confess, the wookies who worked on myself and R2 before the Liberation of Naboo were most kind. They seemed very interested in my thoughts.
"You yourself have treated myself and R2 much the same, Master Harry."
"He treats all droids like that." Padme added. "Just watch him interact with Lee or his droid trainers."
Harry just shrugged. "It seems natural to me. I don't understand how people could think otherwise."
R2 suddenly sounded over the comms.
"Master, Count Dooku is contacting you." C-3PO translated.
"Count Dooku." Harry nodded to the old man as he sat in the pilot's seat.
"Harry, are you currently busy?"
"This second or…?"
"Mace and I have discovered an issue. It is one that no Jedi should have a part in."
"I was just on my way home from Tatooine. Is it urgent?"
"Regrettably, I would say yes." Dooku nodded gravely.
"I'll do what I can." Harry sighed.
"Right was Dooku." Yoda shuddered as Harry informed them of Dooku's request. "Mustafar, a nexus of the Dark Side of the Force. Forbid you all, I do." He glared around the room. "R2, call a droid ship. Go alone with Harry, will I."
"I don't suppose we could just the blow the planet from orbit?" Sirius asked hopefully.
"Dooku needs me to get the plans and all records of who might know about this super weapon." Harry shook his head. "Can R2 come with us? He can hack and we can watch his back." He suggested to his teacher.
"Fine, a droid should be." Yoda mused.
"As loathe as I am to be around the danger you invite, I will come too, Master Harry." C-3PO stepped forward. "You will need me to translate for R2."
"Relax, 3PO." Harry smiled gratefully at him. "My helmet has the translator for him. You stick with Her Majesty in case she could use your services."
"Don't worry C-3PO. You and I can sit in the palace and nervously wither away as we wait to find out if my fiancé is alright." Padme glared at Harry.
"That honestly sounds worse." C-3PO muttered.
It didn't take long for the droid ship that was constantly shadowing The Ghost to meet up and transfer everyone but Harry, Yoda, C-3PO and R2-D2.
The journey to the Outer Rim took four days. It was exceptionally tense as Yoda insisted on extended meditation to prepare himself for the darkness of their destination.
Harry occasionally joined the Grand Master, but more often he practiced with his sword and shield against the practice droids.
When Harry, Yoda and R2 disembarked, Harry was in his full armour. C-3PO had insisted that R2-D2 install his core in Harry's helmet again.
Mustafar was an unusual planet. It was caught between two gas giants, each vying for it to be their own personal moon. The gravitational forces caused massive tectonic events. These led to massive lava lakes and volcanoes.
Despite the clear skies, the air was hot, humid and difficult to breathe.
The trio silently walked towards the installation that had been built. It was initially created as a mining outpost, but Palpatine had used it as a possible fall back.
R2 was easily able to hack their way in. The issue came with the automated turrets.
The trio huddled to the side as the turrets bombarded their position. They hadn't even gotten in the front door.
"I don't suppose they will run out of ammo?" Harry asked hopefully.
"Energy weapons. Powered by geothermal plants." Yoda scowled. "Mustafar will die before turrets."
"Well, how about I sneak past and R2 guides me on shutting them down?"
Thirty minutes later and the internal security systems shut down.
Inside, the members of the Black Sun crime syndicate began to panic. They were so absorbed in the computer terminals and watching the mysteriously opening door that they never noticed that their numbers began to dwindle. By the time they did notice, the number had dropped from thirty to fifteen.
Confusion was replaced by paranoia and outrage. Had they been betrayed? Had the others fled? Had they been cut down by one of their own.
Their leader managed to calm them. "There are no bodies." The human snarled at his underlings. "No blood, no damage. If they are gone then they did of their own free will… they fled like cowards."
They froze at the sound of a steady sharp tapping. It was coming from down the corridor to the control centre.
"Weapons on the door." The leader ordered as he pointed his own.
Three more vanished, and no one noticed.
Soon the tiny wizened figure slowly hobbled into view, leaning heavily on a small cane.
"Treat a visitor poorly, you do… hmm?" The being croaked disapprovingly.
The leader opened his mouth and shouted. "Open fire!"
Except he made no noise.
He clutched his throat and tried to speak.
Soon they all realised that they couldn't speak. Then they couldn't hear.
Then they realised there were only five of them left.
They never realised they were about to be unconscious.
Yoda hobbled into the room and looked around and at the newly unconscious five bodies. He then sighed as he raised a hand.
"OW!" The datapad he had levitated slammed into the back of Harry's invisible, armoured head. "How did you find me?" Harry asked as he took off his cloak and dispelled his charms.
"Sense you, I cannot. Sense twenty-five beings on you, I can." Yoda glared at him. "So well you were doing."
"At least I didn't get caught or injured." Harry grumbled. The datapad rose back up. "By them! By them!"
Yoda grunted before he dropped it. "Call R2. Leave soon we must."
"What do you mean this isn't the place?" Harry demanded of R2 several minutes later.
Harry read the response on his HUD.
"He can't find any indication of Damask Holdings in the database. He also says the complex and system don't match the intel from Dooku." Harry sighed as he informed Yoda of R2's findings.
"Grave mistake, this is." Yoda frowned. "Dangerous to stay much longer."
"Why don't you and R2 go back to orbit. I can fly about invisibly whilst you scan the surface."
"Are you sure I'm not over the complex?" Harry asked as he floated invisibly in the air.
He was currently using the latest version of the magical jetpack. Instead of wood the runes were carved on the inside of his armour. He also had a version carved into a strong but thin animal hide that was made into a vest that he wore most of the time.
"There's some sort of metal structure right below me. I'm going to land and take a look. It might be an alternate way in."
Harry landed lightly on the metal surface that was poking slightly out of the ground. It was quite long, about the length of the Queen's cruiser. The new one at least, same as the old but much more shielding, speed and fire power.
"Found a door… looks more like an airlock." Harry reported as he cast the unlocking charm.
It took a few minutes for Harry to open up the panel on the inside of what was now clearly an airlock and to rewire it to let him in. Fortunately, R2 had a direct feed from cameras built into Harry's faceplate.
"A ship." Yoda was clearly frowning over the radio. "Old. Older than me."
"Looks like everything is on the side." Harry remarked. "Any idea which way to the bridge?"
"Left, Master Harry. The writing on the walls indicate that the bridge is in that direction." C-3PO informed him from his core in Harry's helmet.
"Do you know whose language this is?" Harry asked.
"It is an older variant of Galactic Basic, Master Harry."
"How much older?"
"Several thousand years at least."
It took thirty minutes of hacking through various doors before they found something interesting.
A rust coloured bi-pedal droid. It appeared to be shutdown.
What was worrisome was the large gun near it. Harry quickly moved that out of the way.
And that was what woke it up. It's eyes glowed red as it looked at Harry.
"Query: Did you take my weapon because you would prefer I rip you apart with my bare hands." Despite the monotone voice, there was some inflection in the words.
The droid tilted its head.
"Observation: You are organic. But you are made of metal.
"Realisation: You are wearing armour."
"I don't suppose there is any way you would consider just talking and not going on a killing spree?"
"Statement: I was made to kill… meatbag." Definitely some inflection in the gleeful statement.
The droid quickly moved forward but Harry's wand was out and it went flying backwards and was stuck to the metal wall behind it.
"Query: Are you a Jedi? Are you my master, Revan?"
"No." Harry sighed in relief as the droid was disabled.
"Query: Are you sure?
"Commentary: It would not be the first time you've lost your memory."
"Positive." Harry said as he sat on a bench. "R2, Yoda, any ideas?"
"Observation: My master was wont to work with both droids and meatbags."
"You're a Hunter-Killer assassin droid." Harry spoke up.
"Statement: HK-47, ready to kill you, meatbag.
"Amendment: Wanting to kill you." It mused as it looked at its restrained body.
Harry cast another spell preventing any movement.
"Observation: You are a powerful Jedi." The droid mused.
Harry cautiously moved up to the droid and inserted a remote access device into the back of its head. "All yours R2."
"Query: Are you trying to reprogram me?
"Statement: It will not work."
"I will be very impressed if it doesn't. The same person hacking into you is the same person who hacked an entire army of droids."
"Statement: They were not me." The pride was clear.
There was a slight dim in the red lit eyes but it passed.
Harry released the droid from the wall. He kept his wand trained on it.
"Query: Who do you wish me to kill, Master?"
The droid paused and tilted its head. "Confession: I was wrong. I have no desire to kill you. Your slicer was very effective."
Its shoulders slumped. "Query: Will you subject me to a life of peace, Master? Must I forever watch as meatbags pass me by… knowing I may never reveal the colour of their blood?"
"No." Harry found this droid about as amusing as R2 and 3PO. "I'm about to head into a complex on this planet. You can kill anyone that tries to kill you."
"Query: May I… provoke them, Master?" There was almost an innocence to the hope in HK's voice.
"Only after they start firing."
The droid sagged in disappointment.
HK-47 soon found himself being flown through the air by an invisible being whilst being very invisible himself. It was disconcerting for the droid to be able to get feedback from his internal sensors about his body, but not be able to see it.
They soon landed outside a cave entrance.
"Query: Would you like me to announce your arrival, Master?" HK-47 asked as he powered his weapon.
"Not yet. I want to get the plans for this super weapon before they have a chance to destroy them. You can clean up after I'm done."
Harry remained invisible as he headed in.
"Statement: I am a super weapon." HK muttered to himself sullenly.
Twenty minutes later and HK-47 strolled merrily into the cave, through the open vault like door and into a hail of blaster fire.
Harry grimaced as he listened to the shouts, weapons fire and monotone laughter… the new droid really liked… to 'work'.
Ten minutes later and the fighting stopped. Harry hopped off the railing he was sitting on in the control room of the complex and readied his wand to go and mop the survivors.
That was when HK-47 walked in, covered in gore.
Harry's jaw was hanging open in his helmet.
"Query: Master, are you in here?"
Harry cancelled his invisibility. "There were a hundred beings out there… you killed them all?"
"Correction: Master, there were one hundred and twenty-three beings out there.
"Affirmation: Yes. I killed them all." The droid stood proudly.
With the plans for the weapon secure and the computers wiped, HK offered to rig the complex to explode.
Harry shrugged and agreed as he called for Yoda to land The Ghost.
As they boarded they were met by R2 as Yoda immediately launched them back to space.
"HK-47, meet R2-D2. R2 is the ruler of the Empire of Magic." Harry sighed.
HK's head slowly swivelled to Harry.
"Statement: I thought he'd be taller."
R2 shifted positions and activated his mini hover jets. He slowly rose up to just taller than the six-foot six droid.
R2 beeped imperiously at the droid.
"Observation: You don't even have hands to kill with." He said in disappointment.
R2 jerked forward and beeped ominously.
HK stood taller. "Declaration: Finally, a master willing to use my elite abilities." He said proudly.
Harry sighed as he read what R2's response to HK's observation was: 'I have you.'
Yoda was exceptionally terse and tight lipped as he meditated for most of the journey back to Naboo.
When they landed he called Chewbacca, Sirius and Padme to The Ghost. He had Harry send HK to the wookies for maintenance.
R2 was present as was the newly embodied C-3PO.
"Much death. Too much." Yoda said, clearly not happy. "Must destroy HK-47."
"I don't understand." Padme frowned as she sat on the couch snuggled into her fiancé. "You were expecting a fight."
"Error was made. Found wrong complex, we did. Single handedly did Harry incapacitate them. No deaths.
"Found HK-47, did Harry. Took him to real complex.
"Let HK-47 kill all of them, he did."
"I wouldn't say I let him." Harry was hurt by the subtle accusation. "I said he could defend himself."
"Again, I don't understand the issue." Padme sat forward. "You were expecting a fight. To be shot at. To have to shoot back."
"One hundred and twenty-three dead. Cut down by HK-47. No mercy."
"Master Chewbacca wishes to know how many of them showed mercy to HK-47." 3PO translated for the droid.
"None." Harry answered. "I told him he could only kill them if they tried to kill him."
"Yoda, what do you think would have happened if Harry didn't exist?" Sirius sighed. "Let's say you and the other Jedi took out Damask and his cronies. You discovered the plans for the super weapon.
"What would you have done if you didn't have Harry?
"You'd have sent a team of Jedi in. Right?"
"How many of those one hundred and twenty-three would have survived if the Jedi took on the mission alone?"
Yoda frowned in thought. "Unknown. But mercy to those who surrendered would be given."
"And if they didn't surrender?" Padme asked.
"You are putting too much responsibility on Harry." Sirius warned. "At the rate you are going you will expect him to try and peacefully handle every conflict.
"If HK hadn't been there then Harry would have had to incapacitate over a hundred armed and bloodthirsty monsters. I have eighty years of experience as a wizard working with you. I guarantee Harry would have been discovered and had to resort to lethal spells or he would have been killed."
"I will remind you that Harry was severely injured and almost killed when he performed rescue missions for Dooku." Padme glared at the wizened old being.
"I would personally point out that Count Dooku stated he was sent on a mission as a Jedi to fight and kill Mandalorians." C-3PO added.
"No." The old Jedi shook his head. "Blame Harry, I do not. Much darkness I sense on the droid. Much death. This concerns me.
"No Jedi exists to kill. This droid does. Hunter-Killer Assassin Droid."
"R2 has reprogrammed him." Harry pointed out. "And if there is one thing I have learnt it is that sometimes… a being needs to be killed."
"Better our enemies than us." Sirius muttered. He turned to Yoda. "Look, no one is saying that we use this droid as a weapon. We don't send him to wipe out suspected Sith enclaves. But I vote he be assigned as Harry's personal bodyguard.
"What's the worst that could happen? It gets destroyed trying to keep Harry alive."
Yoda had assured Harry that he was not upset by anything he had done. He did however return to Coruscant. He wanted to spend time away, meditating without the droid's presence.
Especially after surrounding himself in the darkness of Mustafar.
Harry still had the plans for the super weapon. He decided to take a look at what was so worrisome.
"A moon sized space station." Sirius whistled. "Ambitious."
"But to what end?" Harry frowned as he slowly spun the 3D hologram around as it floated over the table in The Ghost. "Why not just build a massive star ship? Something with good manoeuvrability."
"R2 says that much of the power source is directed to the main weapon. A planetary destroyer." C-3PO translated.
"Destroyer? As in… what? It turns it into an asteroid field or it destroys the surface."
"The first one, Master Harry. It can burrow through the tectonic plates and into the core within seconds. According to R2's analysis."
"A complete waste." Harry scoffed. "What happens once the planet is gone? How much work is needed to move it to a new planet? Surface bombardment means the planet can still be used, even if it has to be treated as an atmosphere-less moon.
"Does the main weapon drain the power so it needs to rebuild before it can make the jump to hyperspace?"
"Kid, I think the dangerous and concerning part is the weapon." Sirius pointed out. "Forget that they built it into a space station, a weapon capable of blowing up planets is bad.
"The fact that it uses kyber crystals… that will really upset the Jedi."
"Why?" The wizard asked.
"Because kyber crystals are a core component of lightsabers."
Harry's eyebrow's shot up. "This superweapon is a giant lightsabre?"
The look of disgust on Obi-Wan's face was one of absolute disgust when he heard about the kyber crystals.
Harry held his hands up and said he knew all he needed to.
He took the plans from R2 and hid them with magic. He then had the droid start the Empire on making sure there were no other copies and that the inventors and scientists were rounded up and warned about working on a weapon like that.
The big day finally arrived. The city of Theed was filled with representatives from around the galaxy.
Today was the wedding of Harry James Potter and Padme Amidala Naberrie.
The entire galaxy now knew that the these were the Emperor of Magic and the Queen of Naboo. They didn't really know or care that those titles were not a part of the marriage, they just knew that they were two of the most incredible beings around.
Especially the Emperor.
Harry hadn't been speaking on news networks or addressing his people as a whole, but they all knew that he created the Queen's dogs from caps, could fly with no jetpack and had performed many various feats that could not be explained.
At both Padme and Harry's request, Sio Bibble was performing the ceremony. Padme had her handmaidens and her sister and family standing with her.
Harry's group was a fair bit more eclectic. Yoda, Chewbacca, R2, C-3PO, Sirius… Sirius was the only one who looked human and everyone thought he was an advanced droid.
Rather unnervingly for Yoda was the constant sense of a weapon aimed at his head. He knew the weapon would never be fired at him, but he also knew that HK-47 took a perverse pleasure in annoying him.
Yoda would teach the droid a lesson later.
Still, the wedding was a beautiful thing. The crowd was silent until the Governor declared them married. Then the city shook with the shouts and cries of joy.
What followed was similar to the celebration after the Liberation of Naboo. Music, dancing, performances, all in honour of the Emperor and Queen.
It was long after the sun had set that Harry apparated them both to Harry's estate on Naboo and they performed the final act of their wedding.
A wedding is a stressful event. No matter how engrossed in each other the couple are. Months of planning, watching every little thing to make sure it is perfect.
The wedding night can also be stressful, especially if it is the couple's first time.
Fortunately Harry and Padme were already intimately familiar with each other. Their wedding night was one of love and unwinding.
They fell into a deep contented sleep in the early morning.
They awoke to sirens and blaster fire as the sun rose.
Harry grabbed his naked wife and apparated.
"Unusual custom, on Naboo. Never heard of it, I confess."
Padme looked down and squeaked as she saw Yoda sitting calmly at a small table with a hot mug of steaming liquid.
"What are you playing at Harry?" Padme scowled as she pressed her naked body against his to hide her modesty.
"We were under attack. I had to get you out of there." Harry said darkly as he conjured some robes for them.
"Attack?" Yoda asked as he stood.
"I figured you would be safest as you were heading straight back to the temple." Harry indicated The Ghost they were standing on. Harry had insisted Yoda use it to get home.
Despite the fact they were attacked on Naboo, it was still the safest place for Harry and Padme. They had contacted the Royal Guard to assure them of their safety and find out what happened. Harry had then apparated them to their bedroom at the palace to change so they could meet with Captain Panaka and the others.
"Black Sun, Crimson Dawn and several other crime syndicates were all a part of this." Panaka reported as Padme sat on her throne, Harry standing at her side. "The motives are not clear, but there are indications that they are some sort of retaliation for the events on Tatooine.
"Jabba the Hutt has gone missing, presumed dead. There are rumours that the Emperor of Magic is responsible."
R2-D2 started beeping and whirring angrily.
"R2 says that he has ordered a droid ship to Tatooine to deal with whoever leaked this information. Starting with Bib Fortuna." C-3PO interpreted.
"R2! You could start a full-blown intergalactic war!" Padme argued.
"R2 says that no one is allowed to harm his people."
"R2, let's ask the Jedi to send some people to investigate." Sirius suggested.
"R2 refuses, Master Sirius. He says he has mobilised several droid fleets and sent them to known locations of those who participated. He says a message needs to be sent and this is it."
Harry knelt down in front of the droid. "R2, if you go to war, lots of innocent people will die. It is why I have been working against the Hutts in secret."
"R2 argues that every day more people are taken and made slaves. Some may die today, but he will prevent others from suffering tomorrow."
Harry just sighed and nodded.
"You agree with him?" Padme asked her husband curiously.
"He is entirely correct." Harry said resignedly. "Despite the control we have over Jabba's holdings, we still can't free the slaves because we have to be so careful not to be found out."
"You still have slaves?" Padme was aghast.
"Well… prisoners, captives. People who are being held because we can't afford to let them go and risk exposure. We try to make sure they are treated like guests, but… a prison is a prison."
"Then it is time to change that." Padme said firmly. "I don't agree with their continued captivity, under any circumstances. But now that these people clearly know, they can be released."
"I suppose so." Harry agreed hesitantly.
*Chapter 16*: Chapter 16
A/N: It's not that I can't count... well, that's not true, I can't. But the scroll bar didn't scroll all the way so when I checked how many chapters there were when I wrote the opening A/N, I saw fifteen.
Here's the last one.
And just like that, the Empire of Magic became a beacon of light in the galaxy. Long lost family members were returned home. Many rejoiced in both the Republic and the Empire.
R2 had ordered fleets to take on the remaining Hutts. The droid factories were spitting out replacements faster than they could fall in battle.
Over the course of a year the Hutts were dead. A blockade was placed around their home world.
Unfortunately, people like to complain. Especially politicians who can't claim the glory.
The Republic began to make noises about the aggressive tactics the Empire had used. They attempted to sow fear that the Empire would soon turn its eyes on them and conquer them.
But the Empire had its allies in the senate. Those who knew what Emperor Potter had done for the galaxy.
The Jedi were summoned before the senate and ordered to investigate the Empire and determine the threat level.
"If the Empire chose to, they could wipe out all military force in their way." Mace Windu informed them calmly from the guest pod with Yoda.
"And how long will it be before they do that?" Mas Amedda demanded.
"Approximately one to two days after you have instigated an attack on the Empire." Mace answered.
"And when will that be?"
"That is up to you."
"Doomed, the Republic is." Yoda said gravely. "Seek war you do. Soon you will act. Respond the Emperor will.
"Save yourselves, you must. Tear down warmongers. Greed, hate. That is all I sense from you. Everything that is the Dark Side."
"Could it be that the Jedi have been compromised?" Amedda sneered.
"The Jedi always counsel peace." Mace warned. "As we have here. You are the ones who are conspiring to attack a foreign party who has done nothing to you."
Amedda gestured to the empty pods of the Trade Federation. "Nothing? Members of the republic in good standing have been usurped and conquered! Trade has been decimated in the Republic."
"The Trade Federation committed acts of war against the planet Naboo. The Empire withdrew them as they saw the Republic as complicit in those acts." Mace explained.
"Preposterous! There was no evidence!"
"Because you refused to investigate. But there was evidence. As provided by Naboo, the Empire and the Jedi."
Amedda looked at Mace with narrowed eyes. "Again the Jedi defend the Empire. Again we see more evidence that you are in league with the enemies of the Empire."
"Enough!" Bail Organa's pod moved up. "This is not a trial, Amedda. You have breached the rules of the Senate by ignoring its members." He gestured to the numerous lit up pods waiting to be recognised. "You seem to treat the role of Chancellor as that of a King.
"You serve the Senate. Your opinions are not welcome in this venue. It is your duty to ensure that the rules of the Senate are upheld and that everyone is given fair representation."
"Fair representation?" Amedda glared at the white human male. "Then perhaps we should hear from others."
What followed was senator after senator berating the Empire, the Jedi and Organa and his allies. It was far from a majority, but it was clear in its bias as none were allowed to speak against them.
"Sixteen systems have asked for entry or trade considerations into the Empire." Padme sighed as she sat at her desk in the palace. There were datapads everywhere.
Opposite her were Yoda, Mace Windu and Harry.
"The Republic is falling."
"There have been motions tabled to have the Jedi Order investigated and their warrant of authority revoked." Mace said gravely. "It will not be long before we are considered an enemy of the Republic."
"What are the chances of the motions carrying?" Harry asked.
"It is difficult to say. Many do not like change and will simply vote against anything they are told will hurt the Republic." Mace answered. "Despite the Force no longer being tainted, the Dark Side is still strong. But we still cannot feel where this is all coming from."
"The Republic is becoming something that invokes fear." Padme warned. "Mas Amedda is being allowed to ignore rules and is setting himself up as a supreme ruler.
"There is even a motion to have him named Supreme Chancellor whilst this 'crisis' with the Empire continues."
"They are going to attack the Empire." Harry sighed.
There was a knock on the door and Eirtae entered with Jedi Vos.
"Your Majesty, we have just received word from our allies on Coruscant. There has been a bombing at the Chancellor's office. Bail Organa has been apprehended and charged with treason." The handmaiden informed them.
"Is Amedda dead?" Harry asked.
"No. It is claimed he barely escaped with his life."
"What is Alderaan's response?" Padme asked, referring to the planet Bail Organa represented.
"Outrage and denial."
"Master Yoda, Master Windu, you should be aware that the Order has sent word that the Judicial Force has been demanding to gain access to the temple and to interrogate all Jedi." Vos warned.
"So Amedda frames Bail for a bombing he instigates and then uses it to throw blame and doubt at the Jedi whilst accusing them all of being tools of the Empire.
"How close am I?" Harry asked them.
"I hope you are far from the mark." Mace said darkly.
"What will happen to Bail?" Harry asked.
"It depends on how much they are willing to stomp over the law." Padme grimaced. "Ideally he should be brought for trial and he can give evidence.
"If you are correct that Amedda arranged all this then the Judicial Force will either be supplied with tainted evidence or are simply corrupt."
"They fired on our ships and nearly killed us. I think it safe to say they are corrupt." Harry pointed out. "So Bail Organa is a scapegoat and will likely face a rigged trial."
"Masters, do you wish me to relay any instructions?" Vos asked, still at the door with Eirtae.
"Start packing and prepare to evacuate." Harry said seriously.
"You think we should run and not fight our case?" Mace frowned.
"You think they will be interested in your case?" Harry challenged. "Do you think they will let you have a fair trial?
"Most importantly, do you think the lives of the younglings is worth the risk?"
"Return us to Coruscant, you must, Harry." Yoda said gravely. "Evaluate with the Force we will."
Of course, Harry couldn't visibly be on Coruscant. It wasn't that they were officially at war, it was that they couldn't risk Amedda making a play for him.
As such his stay was relatively short. Long enough to drop Mace and Yoda off, break into the Judicial Force holding cells and portkey straight to Naboo with Bail Organa.
"Why?" Bail demanded as he pushed Harry away. They were standing in the common area of the Ghost. "You have cost me my chance at justice! A fair trial!"
"You were arrested on false charges created by the head of government. At what point did you expect to get a fair trial?" Harry countered.
"Would have been shown what Amedda wanted them to see. Your embassy is already on lockdown because your own staff tried to tell them you had an alibi."
Bail slumped into the seating around the table. "The Republic is finished." He groaned.
"Been saying that since I arrived in this galaxy."
"At least some of us have been trying to save it." Bail glared at him. "You have not helped. Your empire has strewn distrust and paranoia."
"Nope. That was all the Republic." Harry shook his head. "The Empire started when the Republic refused to help Naboo and let the Trade Federation slaughter thousands.
"The Empire is a response to your Republic's apathy and complicities."
"What do you mean the Empire started during the Naboo Invasion." Bail frowned.
"Exactly that. There was no Empire until the day I boarded the Trade Federation's Droid Control Ship and took control. There was never meant to be an empire. It was just a bout of nonsense I rattled off to give the impression of authority.
"Unfortunately, some people took the idea and ran with it. And now I am the Emperor of Magic… biggest prank ever pulled. My father would be so proud.
"Except I figure I actually pulled the prank on myself." Harry sighed.
Despite the anger and displeasure of Bail Organa regarding his rescue, the leaders of his planet were actually very thankful.
They even requested the Empire's protection as they evacuated their people from Coruscant.
Unfortunately, that was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Hundreds of planets saw what had happened to Alderaan and their representative. They immediately set about closing down their embassies and evacuating. The Empire was asked to provide safe passage out of the system.
Their presence was, at first, just on the edge of the system. But Amedda didn't take kindly to nearly a quarter of his own empire trying to escape. He ordered an attack on the departing ships. Fortunately the Empire ships were able to move in and rescue the crippled ships but the damage was done.
War had started.
It appeared there was some sort of miscommunication.
Perhaps a case of Chinese whispers.
Perhaps it was intentional ignorance.
"What do you mean?" Harry frowned down at the group of former Republic senators that had escaped the new Empire of Mas Amedda.
He was sitting on a throne in the Palace of Theed as Padme stood next to him. Both were in full regalia.
"We have come to represent our planets in the Empire's governing body." The former Republic Senator for the Stendarr System repeated himself.
"We don't have one." Harry shrugged.
"I- But- " The man was utterly perplexed. "How do you achieve democracy?"
Harry considered that for a moment. "We don't."
"That is not entirely true, Emperor." Padme corrected respectfully. "There are contingencies for certain democratic actions. Such as a planet wishing to leave the Empire. The planet may conduct a vote internally as to whether to present a request to leave."
"But what hope do they have that you will allow them to?" He demanded.
"Well… I guess, that as long as the vote was fair and legal, they can go." Harry wasn't quite sure what the issue was.
"What about laws, trade agreements, regulation and such?" A woman asked. This one was not entirely human, she had much larger eyes and flat ear lobes.
"What about them?"
Frustration was clear between both Harry and the former senators.
"Who decides them?!"
"I guess… me."
"But the Emperor listens to the advice of his counsel before finalising the details." Padme quickly added.
"Ah." The woman nodded in understanding. "Then we have come to represent our worlds on you council."
"I'm really not looking to make a… 'formal council'. Who I have has never led me wrong."
"But we deserve fair representation!" The man from Stendarr argued indignantly.
Padme stepped forward to save them from her husband's cutting remarks. "You seem to have misunderstood what the Empire of Magic is.
"It is not a democratic organisation bringing planets and systems together to work in cooperation and harmony.
"It is a sovereign entity that rules the planets and systems under its banner. The rules are set by the Emperor. If this is not what you wish or desire then perhaps the Empire is not for you."
"And if you decide that you want to rule us anyway?" The man sneered.
"Alright!" Harry said loudly as he stood. The group cowered back. "Listen very carefully, because once I'm done I'm kicking you off Naboo. None of you individuals will return whilst I am here.
"If you don't want to be part of the Empire, fine! Less for me to do.
"If you have some stupid notion that the Empire is evil and you attack us… we will respond in kind. You will soon find yourselves long term members of the Empire until it is decided by myself or my successor that you are well behaved enough to enjoy independence.
"If you want to join the Empire, you abide by the laws of the Empire. Cause a fuss and I will kick you out. My life is hard enough without having to deal with troublemakers.
"I don't want power, money or territory. All I want is to spend time with my family. Unfortunately, some idiots did some very bad things and I wound up in charge of a substantial percentage of the galaxy.
"Now, get off this planet."
Harry turned on the spot and vanished, causing them to gasp.
There was a crack and they jumped as Harry reappeared. "And don't piss off my wife!"
He vanished again.
It took every ounce of training and experience for Padme maintain her neutral expression.
Harry would pay.
Despite the revelation about the nature of the Empire, quite a few systems still put their applications forward. When word hit the former Republic, now officially calling themselves the Imperial Empire, they mobilised fleets and started attacks on worlds that had left the Republic.
But not the ones that had joined the Empire of Magic. It was a clear attempt to gain more territories for the Imperial Empire, but it drove them into the arms of the Empire of Magic.
R2-D2 had mobilised his own droid fleets and sent them in to liberate the systems. It was only Harry's arguments that prevented the droid from attacking the Imperial Empire directly, despite the fact that R2 had been building up wartime resources for years now.
A new plan was needed. Nobody wanted innocents to suffer but it was war and it was inevitable. Harry and Padme brainstormed with the rest of their trusted friends and advisors.
At the end of the day it came down to needing a fleet large enough to subdue the Imperial Empire. Not a problem as R2 had the droid factories churning out more droids and ships every day.
But sending the fleet to fight was not the first thing they would attempt.
Things had changed greatly in the Senate Chamber. Millions of credits had been spent re-designing it so that now, instead of floating pods, a single large, red carpeted bridge led up to the floating dais and the throne of the Emperor, Mas Amedda.
He sat proudly on his throne as his closest advisors flanked him and Twi'lek slave girls sat at his feet. This was an image that was not shown to the public. Only those Amedda trusted were allowed in the throne room.
From here he listened to his people and gave orders. He declared laws, issued death warrants.
Death Warrants. People were no longer arrested. If you committed a crime you were executed… at the feet of Mas Amedda.
The problem was that Amedda decided if what you did was a crime. Quite often there was no crime. Amedda was just bored.
On his throne, Amedda tensed. "Out! All of you!" He ordered suddenly. "NOW!"
The guards, advisors and slaves were quickly gone.
"I know you are there, Harry." Amedda called out. "I can sense you."
There was a flutter and Harry appeared, in full armour. "Interesting. No other biological can sense me, but you can?" Harry commented from the end of the red carpet. But then Harry noticed something. "No… not you."
The eyes. Regardless of the species, the eyes could give it away. Glazed and unfocused. The Imperious Curse.
"Come out and face me coward." Harry called out.
"Harry, Harry, Harry." A cold, high-pitched voice sounded patronisingly.
Harry's blood ran cold. "Riddle."
The air rippled behind the throne and the noseless face and body of Tom Marvolo Riddle appeared. Also known as- "I AM LORD VOLDEMORT!" Riddle roared furiously.
"Really? Not much of you left, is there?" Harry grimaced at the creature.
Riddle clearly had lost his right arm and leg as he could see the robotic replacements.
"You mock me Potter?" Riddle sneered. "I, who have traversed time and space?"
"You, me and probably many others." Harry countered.
"Who rules an empire that spans the stars."
"I can actually do it and use my face." Harry shrugged.
"Who has defeated death that not even the Killing Curse may threaten me!"
"You do remember October 31st, 1980?" Harry frowned.
"And now, I am here." Riddle snarled. "Banished by the Blood Traitors when they realised they couldn't kill me.
"And what do I find? Harry Potter is ruling most of the galaxy?
"UNACCEPTABLE!" Riddle roared.
Riddle paused and took some calming breaths. "But you will never attain my levels of power and wisdom, young Harry." He smirked. "What took you years, I did in months.
"I drove you from this cess pit of muggles and creatures.
"And then I waited. I waited because I knew your vaunted honour would never allow you to leave others to suffer. I baited my trap with the deaths of the innocent. I had them brought here and watched them die in agony."
"You realise that you could have just invited me?" Harry pointed out.
"But then you wouldn't have triggered my trap." Riddle clicked his fingers. Then he scowled, lowered his right arm and clicked the fingers on his left arm.
Around the room pale, grey-skinned men and women appeared in showers of luminescent green sparks.
"Behold! My elite army! The Death Eaters of Dathomir!"
Several red bladed lightsabers lit up around the room.
"Just so we are clear." Harry began. "You claim to be superior to me, but you still need help to kill me?"
"KILL HIM!" Riddle roared.
"Take the shot." Harry said quietly.
Riddle's head exploded in a mist of gore.
A deafening silence descended upon the massive room.
"Wh- What happened? A-Am I free?" Mas Amedda was cowering in his throne.
Harry ignored him. "Listen up!" He addressed the 'Death Eaters of Dathomir'. "Unless you want to be wiped out, throw down your weapons and surrender."
"Kill him!" One of the women ordered. Three men charged at him with lightsabers.
They all went sailing back and into the long drop below the throne.
One of the women who held a lightsabre approached. A shot rang out but she easily deflected it.
She brought her weapon down on Harry's head… but he caught it in his gauntleted hand.
"No more chances." Harry told the stunned woman. He gave her a shove, sending down into the pit. "HK, you are free to engage."
Loud bangs filled the room as many of the men and women dropped dead with missing heads. Soon only a handful of lightsabre wielding men and women were left.
A long monotonous scream filled the air as the rust coloured HK-47 dropped from somewhere high up. He was wielding two lightsabres, both red, as he laid into the natives of Dathomir.
In minutes HK was staring at his conquests with his shoulders slumped.
"No, HK. You've killed enough people for today." Harry rolled his eyes. He turned to the cowering and Amedda who was covered in blood, bone and brain. But, considering it was all Riddle's, the brain was very sparse.
"Amedda, you are under arrest on the suspicion of sedition, treason, murder, acts of war and many other bad things. You will sign a complete surrender of the Imperial Empire to the Empire of Magic."
"Yes sir! Of course sir!" Amedda was quickly on his knees kissing Harry's armoured boots.
"The Dark Lord Voldemort?"
"Sirius, I'm sitting here on a throne that is covered in his blood. Do you really want to continue this?"
"Yes!" The floating hologram exclaimed. "The worst thing to come out of England in our time wound up here! You don't think that's a bit of a concern?"
"Not really." Harry shrugged.
"Would you mind lifting your feet, Sir?" The cleaning droid asked casually. "Thank you sir."
Harry sat there, feet suspended a foot off the floor as the droid continued its work.
"Harry, he said he survived the Killing Curse. You said he existed as a wraith. What if he comes back?"
Harry rolled his eyes. "HK, if that idiot Tom Marvolo Riddle returns, you have permission to kill him in as an excruciating way as you can manage. You may use different methods if he keeps coming back."
"Declaration of Adoration: Master, my power source throbs with joy. You are too kind."
Harry and Sirius both looked a little uncomfortable at that. But they quickly refocused.
"How is that going to help?" Sirius asked.
"Eventually he's going to figure out that dying is worse than death. Hopefully he'll figure out a way to stay dead."
"Harry." Mace greeted them as he approached with Master Mundi. "Or should that be Emperor?" He asked with a raised eyebrow as he surveyed the scene of the armoured man on the throne.
"Mace, if I have to sit on this throne for more than an hour week… I'm running away.
"And you can't stop me."
"But I can."
Mace couldn't help his smirk at the voice of Queen Amidala approaching from behind. Especially because of the wince Harry gave.
"Is this how our relationship is to work, Harry?" She asked as she approached with her dog. Her handmaidens just behind her with their own dogs and weapons out. "You make a mess and I clean it up?"
"Would you have preferred to be here when the mess was made?" Harry calmly asked as he flicked a glob of brain off the arm of the chair.
"I don't think she wants the clean up job either." Sirius smirked as she turned green.
Video of Mas Amedda flooded the galaxy. They showed him begging for forgiveness from the people and declaring his surrender and the submission of the Imperial Empire to the Empire of Magic.
All law enforcement officials were officially suspended pending an investigation into their actions on behalf of the Imperial Empire. Droids now patrolled the streets.
There were rebellions and uprisings all over the former Imperial Empire, but for the most part the people accepted the status quo.
Members of the Empire of Magic had sent organics to supplement the droids and provide something of a buffer. Wookies, Gungans, humans, even organics from the Trade Federation.
The Jedi, however, were notably absent.
"Master, couldn't the Jedi have picked a warmer planet?" The teenaged Anakin Skywalker asked Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn as they hiked up the side of the mountain on Ilum towards the Jedi Temple.
"This is where the Kyber Crystals grow, Padawan. You know this." Qui-Gon admonished lightly. "I would have thought you'd appreciate the change from the hot sands of Tatooine." He smirked.
"I would prefer a planet with civilisation." Anakin grumbled. "And regulated temperatures."
"This is a conversation you will hear a lot, Master."
Qui-Gon smiled as he looked up to see his former Padawan standing there with his own, Barriss Offee. "Obi-Wan! You are well." He clasped the younger man's arm.
"The Force is with me." Obi-Wan smiled. "And also with you, it seems. Welcome back to the Jedi Temple, Anakin."
"Hey Obi-Wan." Anakin gave weak smile. "Are we allowed to light fires for warmth?"
Obi-Wan laughed. "Harry Potter took one step in this place and then started conjuring warming lights all over the place. We had to stop him when some of the structure started to melt."
"The Emperor is here?" Anakin was surprised.
"This was his idea."
"He's exiling us?" Anakin was gobsmacked.
"Anakin, what have I told you about jumping to conclusions?" Qui-Gon asked archly.
"He's not wrong, Master Jinn." Barriss scowled. "Just because the Kyber Crystals are here doesn't mean we have to be stuck on this ice block."
Soon a majority of the Jedi and the Padawans were assembled in one of the great ice caverns that served as a meeting hall. At the front stood Harry with Mace, Yoda and Dooku.
Dooku's presence raised a few eyebrows, but no one said anything… except a few Padawans who were essentially told to shut up and listen.
Harry soon began to address them. "So… I've been working and living with the Jedi for about as long as I've been in this galaxy.
"You are… needed, unfortunately."
There were a few frowns at that.
"Ideally, you would be wanted, not needed. There would be no conflicts that need a patient Jedi's touch to defuse. No kidnapped victims needing a skilled Jedi to rescue them.
"You would simply be gifted individuals who respond to calls for help and advice that occasionally need a skilled manipulation of the Force or a lightsabre in an aggressive creature's rump to send them running.
"Recent events have shown that the Jedi have become too rigid. You submit yourselves to a governing body, namely the Jedi Council.
"All of you, including the Council should submit to the Force and common sense.
"I have discussed this long hard with Mace, Yoda, Dooku and many others. It is time for the Jedi to return to their roots.
"Instead of waiting for the Council to issue you orders, you will seek your path from the Force. The Council will oversee supplies, intelligence, logistics, medical facilities and basic training.
"The Council may even put out a call for help on behalf of another party. But you need to follow the Force.
"Why? Because as Mace Windu once said, the Jedi have become an organisation run by a committee.
"Master Yoda says that fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering… and there the Dark Side flourishes.
"Well, committees lead to legislation, legislation leads to restrictions, restrictions lead to Jedi being told what to do by other Jedi and other people and not the Force.
"The Jedi Temple on Ilum is to be the home of the Jedi. But we hope you will not be here too often as we hope The Force will guide you out into the greater galaxy.
"But first… you should probably decorate."
Behind him Yoda glared, Mace rolled his eyes and Dooku chuckled.
Harry squawked as Mace dragged him back.
"The Jedi are not an organisation." Mace said seriously. "We are a family. Brothers and sisters gathered by The Force.
"The events that saw the downfall of the Galactic Republic were caused by a sect of Sith. It was thanks to the combined forces of many Jedi working with Harry Potter that saw the Sith taken down almost seamlessly.
"Unfortunately, the power vacuum allowed the greed and fear of others to step in and take the Republic to war and saw to its demise.
"It has been decided that the basic leadership system shall remain in place. We will however seek answers from The Force to determine if those of us holding positions of leadership should continue to."
Mace stepped back and Yoda stepped forward. "A new threat we face." He said gravely. "Unique, Harry is not. Travelled with his godfather, I did. A wizard, the same.
"A wizard created the Imperial Empire." Yoda scowled. "A wizard took him down." He gestured to Harry.
"Wizards there have been. Wizards there will be.
"All wizards come from Harry's world. A galaxy, far away, thousands of years in the future."
Harry stepped forward. "My world is primitive compared to this galaxy. Every youngling in the care of the Jedi could beat me on academic tests.
"But, as most of you have experienced or heard, we are exceptionally dangerous." Harry started to hover and gently circled over the hundreds of Jedi and their padawans. "None of you can sense me in The Force. None of you can directly affect me with The Force.
"Provided I am not successfully assassinated or fall deathly ill, I will live for at least a hundred years. During that time we will be working together to figure out how to detect witches and wizards.
"The method I used to come to this galaxy across time and space was a portal. But my people believed it a death sentence. They would send their worst criminals through.
"There is a high chance that anyone who comes through the portal is a murderer and eager to continue their crimes.
"Now, the good news is that wizards and witches need a wand." Harry held his up as he landed next to Yoda. "I was not a prisoner or criminal which is why I have mine.
"Riddle, the wizard who created the Imperial Empire, didn't have his because he was a criminal. But he was skilled at wandless magic.
"You've seen what a single, skilled wizard can do. Even without a wand. We need to find a way to track these potential criminals before they can do any harm."
"Are all wizards going to be like Riddle?"
Harry looked down with a smile at Anakin. The boy was only an inch shorter than him but was growing like a weed. "You mean in what they can do or what they will attempt to do?"
Anakin thought for a moment. "Both."
"When you've been out in the galaxy with Qui-Gon, you've encountered lots of criminals?"
"Yeah… I don't get why they do what they do." Anakin sighed.
"That is a topic for a time when you have several weeks free." Harry chuckled. "But, how would you rate their average intelligence? Especially the more violent ones?"
"Pretty dumb. Unless they are psychopaths or sociopaths. Those can be smarter than… Barriss."
"Was that an insult or a compliment?" The young girl asked curiously as she joined them, looking out from one of the balconies overlooking the frozen tundra.
"I believe it was a fact." Harry smirked. "But, my point is that the more violently predisposed magicals are likely to have no talent. Without a wand, they will be brutes whose only advantage over you is that you can't use The Force on them.
"Those like Riddle, will have some skill without a wand, but not enough to be a true physical danger. They will be smart enough to gather followers and use them.
"But at the end of the day, they will be limited and your options are the same. No using The Force directly."
"Perhaps it is something we should invest our time in investigating." Master Mundi said as he joined them. "Training ourselves and our padawans to work without aid of The Force."
"But how, Master?" Anakin asked. "The Force is everywhere." He then looked at Harry and shrugged. "Except with him."
"And perhaps that is where we should seek the answers. If there is a single planet out there which produces people like Harry Potter who are absent from The Force, then there are certain to be others.
"It would be foolhardy of us not to prepare for the situation where we might encounter these worlds."
"Sounds like someone needs to sit down and meditate on the subject." Harry said pointedly.
"Wise counsel as always, Harry." Mundi nodded. "I shall pass the idea to my fellows and ask them to meditate as well."
"You must really hate us, Harry." Anakin grumbled as he pulled his robe closer around him. "Exiling us to this hell hole."
"Padawan, the point of the Jedi Order moving to Ilum is not to exile us, it is to ensure our unhindered and protected independence. The Jedi Order is no longer beholden to the Galactic Republic, the Imperial Empire nor the Empire of Magic."
"But… ice?" Anakin almost whined.
"Ani, go to your room and meditate then. Ask the Force to show you a better place." Harry sighed.
He was not expecting the boy to turn and do that with a nod.
Barriss leaned into Harry. "Do you think he actually meditates, or still sleeps?"
"I heard that!"
Thousands of years later in a galaxy far, far away...
Tears streamed down their faces as they hurried through the long corridors of the Ministry of Magic. Hermione and Luna were supporting the injured Ginny and Tonks was struggling to drag Remus along. Neville was trying to keep Ron focused.
The werewolf had tried to leap into the Veil after Harry and Sirius.
But it was too late. Harry Potter and Sirius Black had fallen to their deaths. Now they were running from the Death Eaters who had ambushed them.
They reached a long corridor and froze at the long bright strips of lights ahead of them. Green, blue and purple. Silhouetted behind the lights were three individuals in robes. Their features hidden beneath hoods.
"Just in time." A female voice said approvingly. "Come along, we need to get you out of here safely." She said as her purple light vanished.
"W-Who are you?" Hermione demanded, her wand raised.
The other two individuals turned off their lights. They could now see a tanned man and two brunette women. All seemed somewhere between twenty-five and thirty in age.
All had identical bright green eyes.
The man stepped forward. "Short answer: Potters. Long answer: Best given after the danger is dealt with."
"Liar! There are no more Potters!" Hermione shouted with mournful anger.
"The Veil is not what you believe." The last woman said softly. "It is not death."
"What?" Lupin pushed forward. "What do you know?" He demanded through tears.
"More blood traitors? How fun!" The teens along with Tonks and Remus turned, their wands ready as Bellatrix Lestrange approached with Malfoy and the others.
"I've got this." The first of the trio stated as she ignited her purple light. "You get the kids out."
"Don't get cocky!" The man called out as she passed the younger group at inhuman speeds.
The confusion allowed the remaining man and woman to approach the group and start physically ushering them out.
The sounds of screams and thuds filled the air behind them.
Nothing was said as they rode the lift up to the atrium. Remus, Luna and Hermione spent the time visually evaluating their rescuers as the man healed Ginny's ankle wandlessly.
The doors opened and Ginny vomited all over Tonks' robes.
Standing in the atrium, covered in blood was a rust coloured humanoid holding a large blade in one hand and a fancy looking muggle gun in the other.
"Declaration:" The being said monotonously as it noted their arrival. "Glorious day. I have finally split open some meatbags."
The woman stepped forward. "HK, you didn't kill Riddle, did you?" She seemed worried.
"Indignant defence: I am offended." He then lifted the clearly unconscious head and torso of Lord Voldemort. His limbs had been removed and the stumps cauterised. "Amused Observation: I rarely get to kill the same person twice."
"I killed them all."
They jumped as the purple light wielder appeared behind them.
"Did you destroy the Veil?" The other woman asked.
"Yep. No more trash being dumped in our past." She smirked. "I have fulfilled Father's 'prophecy'." She said with air quotes.
"Who are you?" They all turned to see Albus Dumbledore glaring at them with his wand raised.
"Professor, wait, they saved us." Tonks stepped between the groups. Unfortunately she didn't realise she was wearing Ginny's last meal.
"And they appeared to have slaughtered many."
"Only those that deserved it." The purple light wielder shrugged. She raised her hand and Dumbledore's wand shot into it causing the magicals to gasp.
The woman examined the wand. "So… primitive." She shrugged and tossed it back.
Unfortunately Dumbledore was not quite so quick and fumbled, eventually picking it up from the floor.
"Who are you?" Dumbledore asked again, wand once more pointed at them.
"We are Potters." The man stepped forward. "I am Kal, this is Serena and Lilus." He indicated the purple light wielder as Serena. "Our ancestor, Harry James Potter, fell through the Veil of Death minutes ago.
"But it isn't a killing device. It is a transportation advice. It transported Harry and Sirius Black far into the past and into another galaxy.
"There, they both thrived. Harry married and had many children. He followed Sirius' work and started to plan for us to intervene just after he fell into the Veil. He wanted us to make sure you survived today."
"Why isn't Harry here then?" Neville frowned.
"He's been dead for thousands of years." Selena laughed. "Long before you people crawled out of your caves."
"Selena." Lilus admonished.
"How do we know you are telling the truth?" Remus challenged.
Selena looked at him like a bug. "Why would we want to prove it to you?"
The floos started lighting up and people poured through.
Cornelius Fudge was there in his pyjamas. "Aurors, arrest them!" He ordered as he took in the blood.
Lilus waved her hand and all the wands flew to her feet.
"Disappointed query: Must you be so quick, Mistress? Surely one of them could have been allowed to fire at us. Then I could have killed some more."
"HK, you've seen the info feeds we have." Lilus scowled. "There will be plenty of fools for you to kill."
"WHO ARE YOU!" There were quite a few sniggers at the Minister's high-pitched scream.
"We are Knights of the Empire of Magic." Selena sneered as she ignited her blade, trailing it on the floor, leaving a burning gash as she stalked towards the floo arrivals. "We come at the behest of The Empress and her ancestor. You have been conquered. Keep yourselves peaceful and obedient or we will demonstrate our methods of criminal punishment."
"Y-Y-You have no right!" Fudge spluttered.
Selena stretched out her hand and Fudge rose up, arms and legs wriggling in panic.
"Put him down, Selena."
Fudge landed with a thump and a squeal.
Everyone turned to see a short dustbin on wheels roll up with a 3D hologram projected above it.
"Harry?" Hermione gasped.
The smiling visage of a slightly older looking Harry Potter looked at her and shrugged. "Meh. More like a portrait of Harry Potter."
"So… you are dead?" Remus asked tearfully.
"Moony, I've been dead for thousands of years. Let me just help my kids sort out those fools and R2 and I will regale you with my story."
Whilst Harry's story ended for me with Barriss on Ilum, I wanted finish with answering Harry's lingering question of what happened to his friends at the Ministry. Unfortunately, I end it here, but it sounds like the start of a new story... just not one for me to write.
I thought about having Harry go through cryo-stasis, but he lived his life. He married, had children, adventures... like Sirius before him, he made preparations for the people cared for. Harry has a presence, but it isn't his place anymore, it's his childrens'.