Chapter 1: Chapter 1 - Chapter 4
A teenager falls from the sky but has no presence in The Force. He doesn't even know what he landed on. He certainly isn't anywhere near home anymore.
This is a Repost all words belong to mjimeyg
*Chapter 1*: Chapter 1
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the work of J. K. Rowling. Star Wars is the work of George Lucas and others.
A/N: Fifteen chapters. Same routine as usual, one a day unless something dreadful happens. If you've read my other stories and liked them you might like this one. If you read them and didn't like them... do you really hate yourself that much? Go and find something to enjoy!
Jedi Master, Qui-Gon Jinn, jumped to his feet, pulling the sentient native off the floor. He had just landed on the planet Naboo and saved the being's life by pulling him to the ground so they weren't smashed into by one of the invading Trade Federation's MTTs.
He was just about to question the native for intel on the planet when he felt a disturbance in the Force.
And then it vanished.
Then he heard a noise. Mid-pitch, steady and only wavering slightly.
Then he realised it was coming from above.
A large object landed with such force that it threw him back a foot or so.
Qui-Gon quickly recovered and looked at the sight before him in horror and confusion.
There was a human boy dressed in dark clothes. It was lying, groaning on top of the remains of the native he had just rescued.
He moved forward, his lightsaber snapping to his hand but not igniting.
Then he paused.
He couldn't sense the boy. He was invisible to him in the Force.
He gripped his weapon tighter and moved more cautiously.
"Can you hear me?" He asked without touching the boy.
"Sirius?" The boy groaned. "What happened?"
"You landed from very high up and killed a Gungan." Qui-Gon said emotionlessly.
"What's a Gungan?" There was a second's pause before the boy opened his eyes wide and stared at him. "You're not Sirius."
"I am very serious." Qui-Gon assured him. "That being was innocent and no threat to you but he died when you crushed him."
The boy looked at him as though weighing him. "I was following a man named Sirius Black. We fell through some sort of veil. He's my godfather." The boy calmly stated. "Now, who are you, where am I, where is Sirius and what the hell is a Gungan?"
Responding in the same calm manner… "I am Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. You are on the planet of Naboo. I do not know this 'Sirius Black'. A Gungan is a native of this planet and you are sitting on his corpse."
The pair simply stared at each other.
Eventually the boy slowly looked down. Clearly noticed the dead and now awkwardly posed body. Shuddered. And leapt to his feet. "What is wrong with you?!" He demanded. "You don't just let someone sit on a dead body and not tell them! Don't you have any respect?"
Qui-Gon was having a bit of a difficult time dealing with this boy. Not because he appeared from nowhere and killed someone without seeming to mean to. No, it was because he couldn't sense the boy. Like most Jedi, Qui-Gon was taken in by the Jedi Order as a baby. Since he could remember, he had felt the Force. He felt it in himself, his surroundings and the people he met. Even droids and holograms had some resonance in the Force.
But this boy simply didn't exist. Like some type of illusion.
It made it difficult for him to relate to the boy.
"Do you have a name?" Start with the basics, eventually the Living Force would guide him.
"Harry. Harry Potter." The boy stated as he looked around, taking in his surroundings. "Planet Naboo?"
"That is correct."
"Not planet Earth?"
"I do not recall a planet with that name." Qui-Gon said slowly.
"And there was no black-haired man here when I arrived?"
"Just myself and the Gungan."
"Probably no point asking you the date." Harry muttered to himself.
"968 Post Ruusan Reformation."
"Like I said: No point asking you the date." Harry grumbled.
Harry looked around, desperately searching for anything that would tell him what to do.
Qui-Gon turned at the sound of his Padawan's voice. The young man was running up at speeds only possible with the Force. "Obi-Wan, good. You are safe."
"It was not hard to slip past the droid army." Obi-Wan assured him. Then he saw the boy and dead body. "Is he a native?" He whispered.
"I confess that I do not know what he is." Qui-Gon admitted. Obi-Wan was surprised to hear the frustration in his Master's voice. "Padawan, reach out, what does the Force tell you of the boy?" He instructed.
Obi-Wan's brow furrowed in concentration for a few moments.
Harry was currently trying to figure out what spells he could use to find Sirius. He tried a summoning charm and a Point Me. All that told him was Sirius wasn't in range and that Harry was facing North.
Then he felt something poke him.
"Gah!" He jumped back as he came face to face with a young man, maybe a few years older than him.
"Are you real?" The man asked.
"Yes! You just poked me!" Harry said indignantly.
Obi-Wan blushed slightly as he realised what he had done. "My apologies. I was confused as I cannot sense you in the Force."
Harry did not look impressed. "You just poked me. I think there was a bit of force involved."
Obi-Wan had to think about that for a second and was about to correct the new-comer, but Qui-Gon interrupted.
"We need to move, Padawan. We need to find the Queen and discover more of what is behind this occupation."
"Hey! Could you at least point me in the direction of some civilisation?" Harry said a little heatedly. So far he had lost his godfather, been accused of murder and then been poked.
Pretty much par for the course as far his year had been going.
"I would appreciate it greatly if you would accompany us." Qui-Gon said firmly, but still respectfully.
"My Padawan and I are on a mission from the Jedi Council. We were sent to investigate and facilitate negotiations. Since we were attacked we are now investigating the truth behind the invasion of this planet."
"Not quite yet. I do believe it would benefit you to accompany us as you are clearly lost and confused. The Jedi Council may be able to help you find this 'Sirius' you seek."
Unfortunately for Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan was looking at his Master as though he had hit his head a bit too hard. Maybe he had inhaled too much of that poison.
"Uh huh. And the rest of the reason?" Harry smirked as he nodded to Obi-Wan.
There was a hint of exasperation as Qui-Gon saw Obi-Wan flush slightly.
"You are… unusual. We cannot sense you in the Force. We would like to take you before the Council to see if they are aware of your condition."
Harry backed up a step and scowled. "Like a trial? Because I landed on him?" He pointed at the dead body.
Qui-Gon shook his head firmly. "No. Although I have no way to prove it, I do not believe you intended to kill the Gungan. I simply wish to see if the Council is familiar with someone like yourself."
Harry was torn. He needed to find Sirius, he assumed he landed nearby. Of course, he had also assumed he was still on Earth.
"Fine. I'll come."
It was a six-hour hike to the capital city. Harry spent an hour of that time being lectured by Obi-Wan that there was no such thing as magic.
Qui-Gon seemed to find that amusing.
The remaining five hours were spent in silence thanks to a silencing charm from Harry.
Obi-Wan was panicking at first, but eventually he settled into peeved.
As they approached the outskirts of the city, Qui-Gon requested that Harry let his Padawan speak again. Obi-Wan had to settle for glaring at Harry still as Qui-Gon had him silenced with nothing but a look.
Harry was impressed.
As they moved through the city, Qui-Gon quietly explained to Harry that the city was called 'Theed' and that they were going to try and find and, if necessary, rescue the planetary leader; Queen Amidala.
What followed was a stealthy infiltration of the palace, pausing to take note of orders being passed around the invaders and-
"Robots? These invaders are robots?" Harry hissed.
Harry and Qui-Gon gave Obi-Wan such a dry look that the Padawan actually took a swig from his flask.
"We call them droids." Qui-Gon answered Harry. "They work for organic masters; The Trade Federation."
"Do they run on electricity?"
Clearly Qui-Gon had no idea what Harry was talking about.
"Never mind, let's just move on. Oh, are the… erm… 'droids' all connected to each other?"
"They are not a hive mind if that is what you are asking. But they all have communicators."
"Cool, so knock 'em down and unless they can use the radio no one will know."
Qui-Gon gave Obi-Wan a disappointed look. "Communicators."
Harry's presence seemed to have rattled his Padawan. Of course, it was probably more the boy's lack of presence in the force.
They were about to move on-
"Hey, are the 'communicators' built inside the 'droids' or do they carry them like we would?" Harry purposefully enunciated the terms as he looked at Obi-Wan.
"Oh… never mind, I see them. Shall we?" Harry asked as he pulled his wand.
Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan followed Harry's gaze to where a group of eclectically dressed individuals were being marched through the courtyard by robots.
There were eight of these droids and they were all on the edges of the group with their guns in their hands.
Starting with the back of the group, Harry quickly cast silencing charms on each of the droids. "All yours, I guess."
Harry was not entirely impressed when the two men jumped out with glowing swords and started hacking the droids to bits.
Still, in less than ten seconds the pair had eliminated the droids to scrap.
Harry moved out of hiding. "Didn't you say something about 'stealth'?" He asked Qui-Gon sarcastically as he moved towards one of the more intact droids.
Aside from another 'Obi-Glare', Harry was ignored. Qui-Gon was instantly mobbed by the former prisoners demanding to know what was going on and what the Republic and the Jedi were doing to help them.
"Hey! Obi." Harry called out.
"It is 'Obi-Wan'." Said 'Obi' growled as he approached.
"Uh-huh. Can we get this radio off and working?" He tapped the two long antennae sticking up out of the torso's shoulders.
"Why? It doesn't make sense to encumber ourselves."
"No, but it does make sense to spy on the enemy so we can avoid them." Harry was acutely remembering the battle in the Ministry only hours previous.
Well, hours for him.
"That's good thinking, boy." A tall black man in uniform said as he approached and picked up the dead droid's weapon. He hooked it on his back and then heaved the droid onto its front and started prying apart the chassis. "Good to see the Jedi are turning out practical thinkers."
"What's a Jedi?" Harry interrupted Obi-Wan's indignant protest.
Obi-Wan looked insulted and the man was confused.
Fortunately for Harry, Obi-Wan was called over by Qui-Gon. The man just continued with his work.
The man was apparently called 'Captain Panaka'. He was in charge of the Queen's security detail. The plan was to covertly make their way to the Royal Space Hangers and flee the planet to seek aid from the inter-planetary government.
Harry had a major issue with the Queen. She was dressed in all back with a huge feathered headdress and a painted white face.
"You have got to change." Harry frowned. "If we come across any enemies they will take one look at us and know who the Queen is."
"Her Majesty will be perfectly safe." Panaka firmly stated.
Harry looked at Panaka. He could see the man was not going to budge. It was like Dumbledore always going on about trusting Snape.
Harry growled and started digging in his pocket. "Would you please put this on?" He held up his Cloak of Invisibility.
The Queen looked amused. "I do not believe that will help me blend in."
Harry glared at her as he swung the cloak around his shoulders and vanished from sight.
Guns were immediately pointed in his direction.
"I know Obi-Wan, calm yourself. Harry, are you still there?"
"I'm somewhere." Harry's voice came from the back of the group and they all turned. "Of course, you'd never find me." They turned inwards as the voice came from the middle of the group.
Harry pulled back the hood and smirked at the Queen. "Blend in or disappear, your choice."
"It is a good plan, Your Majesty." One of the women in red robes said earnestly. She was one of five, Harry kept missing one and thinking there were four, their robes were a mix of red and orange and made them blend with each other easily. He wondered if that was on purpose.
The Queen frowned, looking down in thought. A few seconds later she looked at Harry. "Will your robe cover two people?"
"Sure. I've had three under here before. We were a lot smaller back then though."
She looked to Captain Panaka with an expression that brooked no argument. "I will use the robe and take Padme with me."
"I live to serve, Your Majesty." The same woman in red said as she stepped forward.
Panaka sighed but nodded.
Harry swung the cloak off his shoulders. "Just for reference, but it's a cloak, not a robe." He said with a blush. "Please be careful with it. It's all I have left of my family."
The Queen and Padme both tensed slightly. The Queen inclined her head. "We will endeavour to ensure its safe return, sir."
"Harry. Harry Potter." Harry introduced himself. "If you two will stand together I will cast a charm that will make you completely silent. Even your footsteps won't be heard. It will last until I remove it."
"Charm?" Panaka stepped forwardly suspiciously.
"If it is what he used on me then it is utterly harmless but… under the right circumstances, it is more potent than hiding with the Force." Obi-Wan clearly didn't enjoy backing Harry's 'magic'.
"We must move quickly." Qui-Gon interrupted. "Harry has shown great skill with his magic. I trust him in this matter. However, there may be a better use for his cloak." He then turned to Harry. "Are you capable of combat?"
Harry swallowed, memories of the recent debacle at the Ministry still fresh. "Yeah… yeah, I can fight. I don't know if I can win though."
"Our departure would be expedited if you could scout ahead and disable any major hindrances."
"Erm… like what?"
"Sentry guns, surveillance-"
"I have no idea what they look like or how they work."
"I will go with him." Padme said as she stepped forward, ignoring the look from the Queen.
"No. Absolutely not." Panaka put his foot down. "I will go."
Most of the group looked between Harry and the Captain with amusement.
"Seriously, just take the Cloak." Harry half pleaded with the Queen. His respect for the man had gone down a notch when the near six-foot man suggested going under a cloak with a five-foot-five boy.
The Queen stepped forward and put an arm around Padme's waist. "We will follow Harry Potter's plan."
The group moved forward, there was a gap behind the four remaining women in red, who Harry learned were the Queen's Handmaidens. In that gap was the Queen and Padme. Padme had a firm grip on the robes of the handmaiden closest and gave the occasional tug to let her know they were still there.
After the first patrol they came across, Harry got fed up with the noisy lightsabres against metal droids. He stopped the group before they attacked the second patrol, cast whispered silencers at the five droids and then whispered cutting curses at their heads.
Needless to say the group was impressed.
Then they reached the hanger.
All the workers were in a small group on their knees guarded by eight droids. Five droids were guarding the ramp leading into the Queen's personal ship. A really shiny and smooth vessel.
It was big, but not as big as a 747 jet.
The group paused outside the doors to the hanger.
"I can silence them, but they will notice when they start losing their heads." Harry sighed.
At this point the Queen pulled back the hood of the cloak, revealing only her head. It took the group a moment to come to terms with the floating head.
"Perhaps now would be a good time for Harry to take his cloak and investigate." She said.
Harry's task was to sneak into the hanger, silence all the droids and then return.
So that's what he did.
"There are ten more robots against the wall." He reported back.
"We can deal with the droids." Qui-Gon assured him. "Your Majesty, if you would please conceal yourselves again, it will make the next step much simpler."
Harry handed over the Cloak and the Queen and Padme once again vanished.
He then turned to Panaka. "Give me your cap. I'll try something for a distraction."
Considering all the other amazing things they had seen the boy do, the Queen's head of security complied.
They watched as Harry placed the cap on the floor and pointed his wooden stick at it with a look of intense concentration.
They gasped as the head piece slowly morphed into a living, breathing, four-legged, black furred, three-foot-tall creature.
"What is that?" Obi-Wan as in awe.
"A hat transfigured into a dog." Harry said with a sad smile as he knelt down and ruffled its fur. The dog nuzzled him happily. "I've never done something like that before. I did it without an incantation based on something I witnessed hours ago."
He was quite proud of himself, despite the sadness and worry the dog brought up as it resembled a smaller Padfoot.
Harry took a breath and stood up. "The dog will go in and cause a distraction and then return to protect the Queen. The rest is up to you."
Panaka nodded. "Let's go then."
The distraction was perfect. The transfigured dog ran barking into the room happily. It twisted through the legs of the droids and then passed them to the hanger exit.
The group moved in, blasters firing.
The group by the ship were easily mowed down as Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon moved to the ones guarding the prisoners.
But then it nearly all went to hell.
The droids that were hidden started to move out. Harry drew his wand.
Except the bits of droid that rained down.
And Harry, who cast cutting curses at the stunned droids guarding the prisoners. He never noticed the looks of horror and awe he was getting from his fellow escapists.
"What are you waiting for?" He demanded of the stunned hanger workers. "Grab a gun!"
He then marched back to the group, still not realising the looks they gave him. "Shouldn't we be leaving?" He asked curiously.
That shook them and they were soon on board and hurtling up out of the atmosphere.
The flight from the planet was not quite as smooth as it was onto the ship. They were fired at by the large blockade and only escaped because one of the little robots had managed to fix the ship from the outside. They had lost a few others in the process.
Harry was a bit melancholy as he found a place to sit and rest. It was a room filled with tools and boxes, but no people. It was a great place to think.
And he had a lot to think about. Sirius was missing. Harry was stranded on a planet that was not Earth and had no idea how to get back or even which direction to look in.
He had also landed in the middle of a war.
He hoped his friends were ok back in England. Had they escaped the Death Eaters? Was the Ministry going to prosecute them or would they finally see that Malfoy and the rest were truly evil?
Harry was broken from his thoughts by the sound of whistles and beeps.
"Oh, I am sorry."
Harry looked up and saw the Queen's Handmaiden at the door with one of the droids. "Sorry, I just wanted to find somewhere to rest and think. I can get out of your way."
"No! Please." She said quickly. "I am just here to try and clean and fix R2-D2." She gestured to the droid.
Harry kept to himself that it looked like a dustbin on wheels. It currently looked as dirty as one. "Pad- erm… Padma?"
The girl smiled. "Padme."
"Ah, sorry, I just know a girl named Padma. I'm Harry."
"Of course." She laughed. "The Queen was asking after you earlier. You are a Hero of Naboo."
She saw Harry's expression drop. "I am sorry, it is not meant to be offensive." She said quickly.
"No- No. It's not that." Harry grimaced. "I've been called a hero for most of my life. Mainly because of something that happened when I was a baby. But, recently, the people who called me a hero have been… less than nice."
Padme frowned as she began puttering around, looking for cleaning supplies.
Harry smiled at R2-D2 as it gave a low whine and gently bumped into his outstretched leg.
"Her Majesty will not allow you to be treated badly." Padme said firmly. "And once the rest of our people hear what you've done, they won't either."
"People probably thought the same thing back home." Harry gave a her a sad smile. "I'm supposed to have saved their lives, their children… but they still sent people to torture me."
"That's horrible! Is that why you came to Naboo?"
"Ah… I didn't voluntarily come to Naboo… or leave my home planet. I have no idea how I wound up there. I was following my godfather, but he didn't seem to be where I appeared.
"I only came to the palace because Qui-Gon promised to help me look for Sirius if he could take me before this 'Jedi Council'."
"The Jedi are guardians of the galaxy." Padme nodded as she started wiping R2 down. "That is why they came to Naboo."
Harry had a look of disgust at the completely ruined rag that Padme pulled away from R2. "Do you have any machines in here, like R2-D2, something small but not important?"
She frowned and moved to a shelf. After a few seconds, she returned with small device that fit in her hand. She handed it to Harry and returned to her work.
"There must have been some reason for them to turn on you." She half enquired as she scrubbed.
"Because of what happened when I was a baby, they had thirteen years of peace. I told them that the man who caused the trouble was back. The leader of our people went into denial. It didn't help that the right-hand man of the troublemaker was rich and bribing the Minister.
"The government sent people to torture and kill me, but they ignored the killings of citizens and the mass breakout from prison where the most evil minions were held."
"That's disgusting." Padme began scrubbing harder. "Her Majesty would never let something like that happen to you."
"Yeah." Harry sighed. "Of course, you're assuming she'd have a choice."
"She'd still try. She-" Padme gasped and scurried back as all the dirt and grime on R2-D2's metal shell began to flow away into nothing. She looked up to see Harry standing there with his little stick held against the droid's top. "Amazing!"
Harry gave a little chuckle. "No, making that dog was amazing. This was fairly simple. I just needed to make sure my magic wasn't going to hurt the little guy."
R2 gave a few upbeat beeps, his 'head' spinning around.
"Well he's happy." Padme laughed. "You've just saved me hours of work."
"Hold out your hands." He instructed.
Seconds later, Padme was inspecting her perfectly grease free fingers. "I wonder…"
"You can clean things and create things, could you repair them?"
Harry frowned and pulled off his glasses. "I guess… it depends on what it is." He said as he replaced his eyewear.
"The ship's hyperdrive is damaged. We are heading for a planet to try and get a replacement, but until then we are stuck in this sector of space."
Harry grimaced. "I was taking a risk by cleaning R2-D2, here. I would prefer something equivalent to experiment on, at the very least I would want to be on the ground."
Harry was soon left alone as Padme no longer had to scrub R2 clean. Of course, R2 was still with him, but he wasn't sure if droids counted as people. R2-D2 was definitely intelligent.
Unfortunately, R2 didn't speak English and Harry didn't speak… R2.
Still, R2 could understand him and they had worked out a series of whistles for 'yes' or 'no' and 'maybe'.
It was an hour later that Padme returned. Only this time she was not dressed in her red and orange gown. She was wearing heavy boots, with baggy trousers tucked into them and a blue top. Her hair was plaited and tied up in a bun on the back of her head but had strands fall loose down her back.
"Is something wrong?"
Harry realised he had been staring at her hair. "I… your hair… how long is it?"
She giggled. "Quite long." Then she became serious. "Harry, we are about to land on the planet Tatooine. It is not a friendly place. The Queen has asked me to accompany the Jedi as they try and find replacement parts for the hyperdrive. Would you be willing to come as well?"
"Your magic is powerful, Harry." She knelt down next to him where he was seated on the floor, his legs extended and back against the wall. "The Queen has asked that you come with me in case there is trouble."
"You know, I'm only fifteen." Harry grimaced.
"I am fourteen."
Harry looked at her grumpily before struggling to his feet. "The last person who tried to talk me into something like this wound up having me lead a child army."
"Then at least we know you have the experience." She smirked.
*Chapter 2*: Chapter 2
"You know, I don't even have a change of clothes." Harry grumbled as he slogged through the shifting sand dunes of Tatooine. "Is there even a shower back on the ship?"
His walking partner, Padme, just smirked at him. "It is the Queen's personal ship. Not only does it have a shower but also a bath."
"Will I be allowed to use it to try and get rid of all this sand?"
"I'm sure something could be arranged."
Ahead of them, Qui-Gon Jinn marched through the sand towards the settlement ahead. He had changed his robes for what appeared to be a grey poncho. Behind them, R2-D2 trundled along.
Harry dreaded trying to get the sand out of the poor droid's body.
They entered the settlement, Mos Espa, it was quite busy and Harry had trouble focusing on Qui-Gon and trying not to look at every alien they passed.
After speaking with a few natives, Qui-Gon was able to find the location of a suitable seller.
The seller was a bug.
Well, it had bug like wings. It was at the most two feet tall, blue-grey skin, no hair, three fingered 'hands', large teeth, long snout…
And one hell of a nasty attitude.
That wasn't the worst part.
The worst part was the human kid. Maybe nine years old. Name of Anakin.
Harry instantly thought he was looking at a cross between Malfoy and Dudley.
Unfortunately for Harry, he was left alone with the kid, Padme and R2-D2.
"Are you an angel?"
The three travellers looked at the boy who was staring at Padme with an expression close to awe.
"What?" Padme didn't expect that question.
"An angel. I've heard the deep space pilots talk about them. They live on the moons of Iego, I think." Anakin frowned thoughtfully. "They are the most beautiful creatures in the universe. They are good and kind, and so pretty that even the most hardened spice pirates cry."
Harry was fairly certain the boy was repeating a story he had been told many times. But he did agree that Padme was kind and beautiful.
"I have never heard of an angel." Padme admitted.
That made Harry curious. These planets were so different to Earth. It hadn't even been a day since he arrived. "You don't know what an angel is or you've never heard of the ones he's talking about?"
"I meant I had never heard of an angel existing." Padme smiled.
"Oh… so… how would you describe an angel?" He asked curiously.
"I already said! They are beautiful and good and kind!" Anakin huffed.
"Yeah, and I was asking Padme for her answer." Harry tried to keep his tone and expression neutral, but he wasn't fond of the boy's tone.
"I have only read tales of them being creatures of good and light." Padme answered quickly. "How do you describe them?"
Harry thought for a moment. "They come from Heaven. Usually dressed in white, with wings like a bird, also white. They can be male or female. They have a halo of light above their heads. Again… white. They are guardians and protectors who find those who are suffering and innocent and aid or comfort them.
"But they are also warriors who defend the weak and innocent."
Padme looked thoughtful. "They sound almost like the Jedi."
"They sound stupid." Came the petulant declaration from Anakin.
Both humans looked at the boy. Anakin seemed to wilt a little from the unimpressed look from Padme.
R2-D2 gave what could only be a raspberry to the boy.
It was only minutes later that Qui-Gon returned and nearly dragged them out. He refused to say anything until they were alone in an alley.
Considering the last alley Harry was in had two Dementors, he wasn't thrilled.
"He didn't have what you need?" Harry asked.
"He did. We simply did not have what he wanted in return. No matter how hard I tried to convince him." Qui-Gon muttered to himself.
"What does he want?" Padme asked.
"Trade. Precious metals, parts… slaves."
"Slaves?" Harry asked coldly.
"The boy you were talking to. He is a slave." Qui-Gon pointed out.
"Aren't you law enforcement? You can't actually condone slavery." Harry challenged.
"We are not law enforcement, Harry." Qui-Gon said gravely. "And we abhor slavery. We are peacekeepers. We carry weapons and will use them in the defence of ourselves and others. But the only power we hold with governments is that of respected advisors.
"We are far from the reaches of the civilised planets where our words have sway."
"It is disgusting." Padme spat.
Qui-Gon sighed. "Agreed. But, we have no power here. And we are stuck here without the means to repair the hyperdrive."
"Can't we strip the ship of stuff?" Harry asked.
"The cost of the replacement parts for the hyperdrive are worth as much as the ship itself." Qui-Gon shook his head.
"Then… why don't we trade the ship for a different one?"
Qui-Gon's eyebrow rose with curiosity. "Please, explain."
"Well, Padme says it's the Queen's personal ship. Compared to the ships we left behind and the ones we've seen leaving this planet… it looks pretty shiny.
"There has to be someone who we could trade the ship to for one with a working hyperdrive.
"Besides, they wouldn't be able to follow us as easily if we changed ships."
"He's right!" Padme exclaimed. "If we find the right people we can sell much of the ship's supplies as well. Enough that we might even be able to by the parts for the hyperdrive."
"The Troydarian won't be interested in the Queen's wardrobe." Qui-Gon pointed out in amusement.
"Who?" Harry asked.
"The one who owned the shop we were in."
"Oh. Isn't there a clothes shop on this planet?"
"They still won't accept our currency."
Harry rolled his eyes. "If we take clothes to a tailor, they will pay more for them than if we took them to… a book shop." He tried to think of what sort of shops might exist in this world.
"Harry is right." Padme stepped up to his side. "The ship is full of luxury items that, if sold to the right people, could net us enough to by the best ship on the planet."
"There is probably somewhere we can exchange your money for whatever they use here as well." Harry added.
Qui-Gon was a bit worried. Both Harry and Padme had made excellent suggestions, but why hadn't he thought of them himself? He had to admit, he was distracted by the darkness in the Force that he could feel pressing at the edge of his senses… and also the anomaly in front of him and the boy they had just left who was clearly exceptionally strong in the Force.
Qui-Gon had immediately contacted Obi-Wan and had him mobilise the crew of the ship into collecting and cataloguing anything that could possibly be sold. In the meantime, he led Padme, Harry and R2 in a search of the settlement's various merchants. He questioned each one about what they would be willing to buy and even managed to negotiate a few on the spot deals.
Towards the end of the day they headed back to the outskirts of the settlement to make another trek through the desert to the ship.
Harry was looking forward to a nice long shower.
Which was immediately put on hold as young Anakin came running up behind them. Harry cursed in his head.
"Where are you going?"
"Home." Harry sighed mournfully. "I have an appointment with a promised shower."
Harry was largely ignored.
"We must return to our ship." Qui-Gon answered the boy. "We-"
"You can't go now!" Anakin was horrified. "There's a sandstorm coming! It will rip you to pieces!"
To Harry's continued and compounded dismay, the wind had begun to whip up.
"Come with me. Hurry!"
The whole walk to Anakin's home, Harry had been trying to think up what spells he could have used to get through the storm. Nothing came to mind.
He was fairly grumpy as a result. He wasn't alone as R2 clearly wasn't happy.
They reached the igloo-styled sandstone home just as the sandstorm began to impede their vision. They were introduced to Anakin's mother, Shmi. That is to say, he introduced Padme.
He then dragged Padme off to see something in his room.
Harry was about to lean against a wall when R2 started nudging him to follow Padme.
That left Qui-Gon to explain everything to Shmi.
Harry and R2-D2 found Padme looking a bit bewildered as Anakin rambled on about his droid. The droid appeared to be turned off.
"Oh… it's you."
"Nice to see you too." Harry snorted at the grumpy nine-year-old when he was spotted. Harry stood next to Padme as Anakin pottered about. "So, should I tell Qui-Gon to let the Queen know she's about to lose a handmaiden?" Harry asked quietly.
Padme glared at him.
"Who's the new robot?" Harry quickly changed the subject.
"Anakin says he made him. His designation is C-3PO."
"Do they sell droids in kits then?" Harry asked curiously.
"They are manufactured and assembled in large factories. They are sold to consumers ready for service." She answered.
"Oh. He looks like some of the droids we saw in town today."
"Anakin probably salvaged parts from the shop he works at." Padme shrugged.
Harry tensed. "We need to talk to Qui-Gon." He said as he grabbed her hand and pulled her out of the small room.
"Hey! Where are you going?" Anakin was ignored.
"Qui-Gon, we might be in a bit of a pickle." Harry said as he marched up to the Jedi. "How do people become slaves on this planet?"
"Harry! You are being rude." Padme said heatedly.
"Look, Qui-Gon already told us that the kid is a slave, I'm guessing you are too, right, Ma'am?" He asked the woman respectfully.
She just nodded.
"Right, so, we are currently standing in a slave home which contains parts and goods stolen from their owner. Not exactly a good thing considering we want a low profile."
"We are not thieves, sir." Shmi said heatedly.
"And you have the money to afford all the parts for a functioning droid?"
"Of course not!"
"Then why is there one sitting in Anakin's room?"
"I- I- Anakin said it was alright." She finished weakly and with a bit of confusion.
"Shmi, did you initially tell Anakin that he was wrong to steal the parts?" Qui-Gon asked as he guided the woman to the table.
"I- I think so. But Anakin… he… he said it was…"
"Do not fret. I believe I know what has happened." Qui-Gon assured her. "Anakin is very strong in the Force." He explained to the woman and two teenagers. "I believe that he unwittingly used the Force to persuade you. It can happen in the very young when they are determined or emotional."
"Like mind control?" Harry asked.
"No, it is simply the ability to persuade someone. As Jedi we use it sparingly as it is seen as a violation of a person. But we do use it on planets like this one to keep the locals from interfering with our work without having to resort to violence."
"Alright, what do we do about our precarious situation?" Harry had experience with being called a thief and being caught with what might be considered contraband.
"We can only hope that the Troydarian doesn't come here before the storm passes." Qui-Gon frowned. "He is immune to Jedi mind tricks."
"Is that how you were trying to 'persuade' him to take Republic Credits?" Padme asked, clearly displeased.
"It is irrelevant." Qui-Gon brushed the topic away. "Harry, do you still have your cloak?"
Harry just nodded.
"Tonight, you will need to sleep under it with Padme in case something does happen. I will stand watch."
Padme looked outraged. Harry looked very uncomfortable with the idea. R2 just whistled in agreement.
Dinner was a tense affair.
Harry was having his first meal in this new world and he had no idea what he was eating. But he was used to having to eat the left-over scraps of his relatives, so it wasn't too hard.
He was also stuck in a rut, mentally speaking. He was trying to figure out how to find Sirius. He had run through every spell he had learnt in his five years of school and the only thing he could think of was divination.
Whilst Harry was running in circles in his own mind, Padme was having to deal with the demanding nature of Anakin. The boy was loud, obnoxious and liked to brag about his exploits. It didn't help that every time the wind banged something outside she would jump, thinking they were about to be discovered.
R2 was sitting in a corner, he was running on the bare minimum systems. The only additional utilities he had working were his proximity systems. He wanted to make sure his little flesh bags were safe.
He also didn't trust the little brat not to try and steal his parts.
Qui-Gon was a seemingly calm oasis in the home. Internally he was being a naughty little Jedi and enjoying Padme's discomfort. He considered it pay back for being saddled with her.
But eventually he remembered that Padme had been helpful. Without her input with Harry he would never have thought to sell the ship or its supplies. So, with that in mind he broke into the conversation and distracted Anakin.
Night eventually fell and Padme grabbed Harry stating she was tired and dragged him into Shmi's bedroom where the woman had offered her bed. R2 had just zipped in before she managed to shut the door.
"I thought we'd never escape." She sighed as she sat on the bed.
"Escape? Escape what?" Harry asked as he began to pull his cloak out of his pocket.
"Anakin!" She said heatedly. "He wouldn't leave me alone all evening! I have no idea how he managed to be so… annoying with a mother as sweet as Shmi."
"Probably because she is a slave and he has the ability to convince her to do what he wants." Harry shrugged. He draped the cloak over the end of the bed like a quilt. "Do you want the wall side?"
"Do you want to be closer to the door or the wall?" He gestured to the bed that was against a corner. It was clearly made for one and it certainly wasn't meant to be sturdy.
R2-D2 started whistling and chirping. He nudged at Harry.
"We really need a better method of talking." Harry smiled sadly at the little guy.
"Oh! I forgot; I have a droid translator." Padme said as she pulled a metal device off her belt. "He says you should take the side nearest the door so you can protect- oh." She blushed slightly. "He says you should take this side and I should take the wall side."
Harry chuckled. "Ah, once again I take up my duly appointed role of Meat Shield." He took off his jacket and placed it on the floor next to the bed. Then he removed his glasses. He looked at the blurry objects with worry.
"What's wrong?" Padme asked as she sat next to him.
"My glasses. I don't want to put them somewhere in case I forget and break them. I haven't seen anyone else wearing glasses and I don't have money to buy new ones."
"What do they do?"
"They let me see." He chuckled morbidly.
"You're blind?!" She asked as she waved a hand in front of his face.
Harry blinked at the intrusion. "No, but my eyes are bad. Everything is a big blur without them."
R2 rolled up and whistled.
Harry put his glasses back on and gestured to the device. "What's he saying?"
"Oh, here." She handed to him.
Harry looked at the metal device with rounded edges. It was about the size of one of Dudley's Gameboys. It had a black screen with orange symbols. It confirmed one of his fears that had bugged him since they reached Theed.
"I can't read this." He handed it back to Padme.
"Are your glasses not working?"
"No, I mean… I don't understand the writing. It is different to my language."
"But… you speak Galactic Basic."
"I call it English. I had no idea what the Troydarian was saying earlier."
"Neither could I. The language we are speaking is known by most species, even if they can't actually speak it. It's mainly used for trade.
"I promise to try and teach you some."
"Thanks." Harry had the look of the lost as he gazed down at the foreign symbols.
R2 whistled again.
"Oh, R2-D2 is offering to look after your glasses." She explained, reading the device.
"Really? I mean, that would be great, but you don't look like you have any pockets." Harry grinned.
R2 tilted forward and a large blue panel on his head slid open.
"That is so much cooler than pockets." Harry mused. "Ok, but remember that they are fragile. They are made of glass."
R2 made a reassuring noise.
Harry took off his glasses and handed them to Padme. "Could you put them in? I really can't see properly without them."
Harry had already tied his wand to the outside of his left forearm. It was within easy reach and not likely to be broken. He pulled it out and indicated for Padme to get on the bed and pull the cloak over them, then he cast the silencing spell.
R2-D2 immediately lost them, but he began running comparisons on his memory of the images of the bed before and after they had disappeared. He then noticed slight movement of the bed. He felt better knowing he could find them.
Under the cloak, Padme had turned to face the wall and was as close to it as possible. Harry was facing R2 and the door.
Padme half sat up. "What? Is there a problem?"
"I should have enlarged Qui-Gon's poncho, cast an imperturbable on it and then we could have gotten back to the ship through the sandstorm." He grumbled.
"Why are you thinking of this now?" She demanded. "You could have saved me from the boy's gawking!"
Harry sat there staring at her back as she viciously turned on her side away from him.
Harry just grumbled to himself as he lay back down.
When Harry awoke it was not because morning had broken.
It was, however, because a certain little brat had broken into the bedroom and was currently in a fight with R2-D2.
Harry was about to sit up and deal with the little thief when he realised he was being held down by a sleeping Padme. Apparently she had repositioned in the night.
"Padme, wake up." He nudged her.
The girl opened her eyes blearily. But she woke up quicker when she realised she had cuddled into Harry during the night.
"Stay under the cloak." Harry instructed before he quickly slid out himself. "What the devil do you think you are doing?"
Anakin jumped and screamed at the angry growl.
The door to the bedroom burst open and Qui-Gon and Shmi rushed in.
"Anakin, why are you in here?" Shmi asked, confused.
"He was attacking R2." Harry was glaring angrily at the boy.
"I was not! I was looking for Padme." Anakin shot back.
"In the middle of the night?" Qui-Gon asked with a hint of disbelief.
R2 was still angry and started making some rather harsh noises before a small compartment opened up and a sparking rod poked out threateningly at Anakin.
Anakin backed up hastily.
"Outside, Anakin. Now." Shmi said tersely.
Qui-Gon backed out behind them, pulling the door closed.
Padme was instantly sitting up. "I can't believe he just barged in here!"
"He's obviously used to getting what he wants." Harry shrugged as he fumbled for his glasses from R2's compartment.
"But he's a slave! He should be used to getting nothing! You've seen Shmi, you've seen how su-"
"I know how slaves act."
She was shocked at the coldness in Harry's voice.
"Ask R2 if he is perfectly ok. Did Anakin hurt him?"
Padme paused for a moment before R2 started to whistle and hum. She grabbed the translator. "He says he is fine. He also says that Anakin was trying to open him up."
"Like I said before… a thief." Harry said with quiet anger. "R2, do you need to re-charge or power down to conserve energy?"
"He says he can last for eight more days before his reserves run low." Padme translated.
"Are you good to stand guard or do you want to take turns?"
Padme giggled as she read R2's translated beeps. "I think he's offended you had to ask."
Harry knelt down in front of the droid. "You and Padme are my first friends here. Don't forget… 'kay?"
R2's 'eye' bobbed in a nod and he gently nudged the human.
Morning was tense.
The storm had broken outside but inside was heavy and oppressive.
Shmi was clearly conflicted but angry, Anakin was sulking and Qui-Gon was frowning.
It didn't help that R2 practically growled at the boy when the trio entered.
Padme's glare wasn't much better... but it did seem to make Anakin quail slightly.
"We should leave immediately." Harry said as he walked up to Qui-Gon.
"Whilst I agree in principle, there are complications." Qui-Gon said slowly. "Anakin needs to be removed from this environment and be properly trained in the ways of the Force."
"Well we can always come back after… well, after." Harry didn't want to mention they were trying to smuggle a queen out of the system. "Besides, we can come back with local currency and try and buy Shmi and Anakin from the bug."
"Returning may not be possible for some time. Also, there is a… a darkness in the Force. We cannot afford to hope that it will not sense the boy."
"So, we need to go ship hunting and find a way to get a lot of money."
Everyone turned to look at Anakin. Nobody looked impressed with his outburst, despite his bright smile.
"I do not believe this is something we should leave to chance." Padme shook her head.
"But I can win! I'm the best racer in the system!" Anakin argued.
"Does everyone race fairly?" Harry scoffed. "I've been watching these people. They cheat, lie, steal… how many times have you won?"
Anakin scowled as he looked at his feet, his cheeks burning. "Never."
"And I won't allow it." Shmi said firmly. "I hate when you race, Ani. It kills me each time."
R2 started whistling and bumping Padme.
She pulled out the translator. She read it and seemed surprised and impressed. "R2 says that if Harry can fix our technology then he can trade the service for Anakin and Shmi. He just has to fix everything in the Troydarian's shop."
"I suppose." Harry mused. "But that is a lot of stuff."
"Please explain." Qui-Gon requested curiously.
"My abilities." Harry said vaguely with a subtle glance to Anakin. He didn't want to advertise his magic.
"Harry did some impressive work on R2-D2 after… earlier." Padme added. "I suggested he try to fix our hyperdrive."
"I can fix it! I can fix anything!"
"Hush, Ani." Shmi scolded.
"We should probably discuss this on the way back to the ship." Harry interjected quickly. "Missus Skywalker, I won't say goodbye as I have a suspicion we will see each other again soon enough." Harry said as he offered his hand to the older woman.
Shmi smiled tiredly. "I hope so."
And that smile, that declaration of hope was what caused Harry to make it his mission to free Shmi… and her son… if he had to… because he wished he didn't.
They didn't talk as they traversed the desert to the ship. Padme and Harry had both learnt the hard way that it was too hot to talk and left them parched when they initially arrived at the settlement.
When they arrived at the ship they found Obi-Wan and one of the Queen's handmaidens organising various crates at the loading doors.
"Master, were you able to get the parts?"
"No. But apparently Harry may be able to fix the ship with his magic."
Qui-Gon had an amused look as his Padawan scowled at the word magic. He turned to the two teenagers. "Padme, take Harry to the ships engineer and have them try his magic. Obi-Wan will continue to organise the items for sale in case it doesn't work and I will inform the Queen of our progress."
"Her Majesty will want to see me as well." Padme said firmly.
"I can go and find Captain Panaka on my own." Harry assured them.
Qui-Gon and Padme were only twenty-minutes into the briefing when the ships engines started to hum.
"Harry Potter is extremely gifted, it would seem." The Queen mused with a smile.
Seconds later Captain Panaka burst in. "Your Majesty, we can leave at your command." He beamed. "Harry Potter has completely repaired the ship."
"Excellent. But it seems we might be delayed in departing. Padme and Master Jinn have informed me of two slaves they believe to be in need of rescuing."
"Your Majesty, whilst a noble goal, it is foolhardy and reckless as it will cast us further into the light and our enemies will discover us much quicker."
"Agreed. But Master Jinn has made a compelling argument. We will be preventing the rise of a possible Sith."
Panaka scowled. Nobody wanted another Sith. He then straightened and addressed the Queen. "If this is our course then I must insist that we follow a suggestion of young Harry's. He has pointed out that our ship is quite distinct and will attract a lot of attention. He has recommended that we sell as much cargo as possible and purchase a new ship, second hand or otherwise. We will then send this ship to lead any pursuers on a… I believe he called it a 'Wild Goose Chase'.
"A fool's errand, if you will."
"As much as I loathe the thought of losing my ship, it is probably for the best."
Panaka and another of the handmaidens were dispatched to attempt to sell the ship's supplies. Padme had found Harry and told him that they would be following his idea and the two of them would accompany Qui-Gon to try and buy Shmi and Anakin's freedom.
Before that, the Queen had requested a private meeting with just him and Padme.
Harry was pretty nervous as he stood next to Padme before the ebony clad monarch. Padme had changed her clothes and was wearing a lightweight red shirt and a long red skirt.
"Harry, whilst he has clearly served us well, perhaps your small friend here would be better served in returning to you." The Queen said in her deep voice.
Harry looked to the black dog that was sitting happily at the side of her throne as she gently ran her fingers through its fur.
"Erm… I didn't even know he was still here. I thought he would have turned back into a hat by now." Harry scratched the back of his head.
"He is a marvel. One of the sweetest creatures I have met." The Queen smiled fondly at the dog.
"I'm not entirely sure I could get him to leave you." Harry winced. "When I 'made' him, I did it with the intent to protect you. If you think about it then it would probably be best if he stayed with you. Back home, dogs make good guards." Harry chuckled. "They are often called 'Man's Best Friend'."
The Queen looked conflicted as she looked between the dog and Padme and Harry.
Harry knelt down and called to the dog. "Here boy. Come here."
The dog simply looked to the Queen. The Queen nodded sadly and the dog padded up to Harry, sniffed him, then Padme, and then returned back to the Queen and gave a small happy bark.
"He's yours." Harry shrugged. "For as long as the spell lasts."
*Chapter 3*: Chapter 3
It was a melancholy Harry that walked beside Padme as they marched back into the settlement. R2-D2 was again trailing behind having requested to accompany Harry. Harry had impressed Padme and the Queen when he had cast colour changing charms on Padme's clothes so she wouldn't stand out. Her shirt and skirt now matched the colour of the sandstone buildings.
"You seem sad again." She said quietly as she moved closer for privacy.
"The dog. I made him after Sirius, my godfather. He could transform into a dog just like that." Harry explained. "And now I am millions of miles away from where I landed and from where I might have found clues to find him."
"As soon as it is safe to return to Naboo we will. The Queen will ensure you have all the help you could possibly need to find him." She promised.
Harry gave her a tired, wry smile. "Are you supposed to make promises for the Queen."
Padme just blushed.
When they reached the shop, Qui-Gon was surprised when Harry pushed past him and stood face to face with the hovering alien. "Show me the most expensive thing in your shop that is broken."
Qui-Gon shared a look with Padme, but she was clearly just as confused.
"Thee can'ta afford it boy." The Troydarian sneered.
"Yeah? How much is it?" Harry pressed.
"Fifteen hundred wupiupi."
"How much to buy the Skywalkers?"
The bug shot back a foot in shock.
"I don't have all day. How much?" Harry pressed.
"Ten hundred." The bug stuttered.
"Here's the deal, I'll fix your most expensive item and you will give me the Skywalkers in return. Take me to it."
Watto, the Troydarian, seemed to regain his senses and moved forward into Harry's space so they were nose to snout.
He was shocked when the human simply put a finger on his snout and pushed him back.
"Respect my personal space." Harry said simply. "Now, let's go."
"Wha'? No! What'a I get if thee fail?" Watto blustered.
"This isn't a bet, idiot. It's a business transaction." Harry snarled.
"Services for goods." Padme interjected confidently. "We are offering to help you make a healthy sum."
"For two slaves?" Watto sneered.
"The cost of which will be covered as you already stated their price and the price of the part we will repair for you. I'm sure you'll raise the cost of the part when you try to sell it." Padme rolled her eyes.
"The boy could make me millions. He fixa anything." Watto said as he floated higher smugly.
"Then why has he not fixed your most expensive part?" Qui-Gon entered the conversation. "However, perhaps you would be more agreeable if Harry fixed your two most expensive items. That would leave you with the option to purchase a droid more suited to the work than a child with clumsy fingers."
"And a terrible attitude." Harry griped. "What's broken in here?" He gestured to the shop counter and the junk strewn around the place.
"Here." He caught the object that Qui-Gon had tossed to him. It was a cube with wires hanging out.
Harry turned his back to the Troydarian and discreetly palmed his wand.
"What he doing?" Watto demanded.
"Qui-Gon, catch." Harry turned and tossed it back.
Qui-Gon inspected the device and it lit up with a low white light and a hum. "You now have a quality navigation core worth more than five thousand wupiupi ready to sell." He said as he handed it to Watto.
Harry and Qui-Gon moved to stand with Padme and R2 as they watched Watto take the device and plug it into a socket behind the counter. Watto was mumbling to himself in clear disbelief.
"A trick!" He eventually snarled at the group. "It must be."
"One way or another we are leaving with the Skywalkers." Harry glared back. "You get to decide if you get compensated or if you 'compensate' us."
"Thee threatening me?" Watto demanded as he flew up to Harry. "I take thee to the Hutts, maybe."
"And tell them what?" Qui-Gon asked calmly. "That you turned down a very profitable business proposal?"
"Who are the 'Hutts'?" Harry asked curiously.
"They control the majority of trade in this sector." Qui-Gon explained. "They are a very powerful crime syndicate. They specialise in slavery, smuggling and bounty hunting."
"So… if Mister Watto here went to them, they would probably kill him, take his business and slaves and then accept the same deal we made him?" Harry asked.
Qui-Gon was definitely amused by Harry's hypothesis. "It is a… possibility."
Of course it was more likely they would attempt to capture Harry and enslave him to use his powers for themselves. He kept silent about that though.
He was trying to learn as much as he could about the boy through his actions as he was unable to use the Force.
"Maybe I take thee to Hutts. Maybe I tell them what you can do. Maybe they pay me for bringing you." Watto smirked.
Qui-Gon sighed. He had hoped that the Troydarian didn't have that much intelligence.
Harry stood up straight. "Right, Padme, Qui-Gon, R2, if you will excuse Mister Watto and myself, we need to have a private conversation."
Harry quickly drew his wand and petrified the hovering alien. Watto fell to the floor with a thud. "We'll be back in a few." Harry informed them calmly as he levitated Watto to the junk yard out back.
Qui-Gon made to stop him but Padme held her arm out to her side, in front of him and R2-D2 zipped in front.
"I cannot stand by whilst he tortures someone." Qui-Gon scowled.
Padme looked bemused. "I do not believe Harry Potter would ever torture someone. I believe he merely intends to… 'persuade' him. Much like when you attempted use your powers to persuade Watto yesterday."
Qui-Gon didn't look happy. But he also knew he had no place to argue.
He was more than a little surprised when Harry marched back in and handed him a data card.
Non-plussed, he pulled out his reader and inserted it.
"This is a bill of sale for Shmi and Anakin." Qui-Gon's eyebrows were lost somewhere above his hairline.
"Great, so it's all legal?"
"So it seems." Qui-Gon frowned as he ran various tests, even sending a copy back to the ship for analysis.
"Cool! Let's go pack them up and we can get back to the ship. Hopefully Captain Panaka has found a new ship." Harry said as he marched out of the shop.
Qui-Gon was torn and confused. He wanted to know how the boy had managed to get a voluntarily signed deal with the stubborn Troydarian. Unfortunately, he couldn't ask Watto as Padme and R2 were pushing him out of the door.
Back out in the junkyard, Watto was pinned to the hull of an old shuttle by invisible bonds. He was torn between anger and greed as he surveyed the numerous expensive items the boy had repaired from his captive position.
He had no intention of trying to turn the human over to the Hutts. Not when it had promised to come back and kill him if he did. Even Watto had no intention of trying to double-cross the Invisible Assassin.
Harry was too efficient.
They hadn't been in the shop for more than twenty minutes so Panaka's men hadn't had a chance to find the right traders. This meant that Qui-Gon dragged Harry, Padme and R2-D2 along to collect the Skywalkers.
"What's a pod-racer?" Harry asked tiredly as he sat at the table waiting for Shmi to finish packing everything she wanted. She had a simple bag containing her three changes of clothes.
Anakin had been demanding that he get to take everything. Harry really didn't want to risk carting around stolen goods.
"It's a large speeder used in high speed races. I doubt there will be room on the ship." Qui-Gon explained.
"And I don't want him to have it at all." Shmi was not pleased.
"But I made it!" Anakin whined.
"Listen you little snot face." Harry stood up quickly and stalked towards Anakin. "Your mum's word is final. The only person who gets to override her is me. And that's just because I own your annoying little arse till we get out of this system.
"Now finish packing and keep your mouth shut before you get all of us in trouble."
"You're not the boss of me!"
Harry's wand whipped out and Anakin was suddenly as stiff as a board. Harry quickly stowed his wand before lifting the boy up and laying him down on the table.
"I'll consider releasing him when we get to the ship." Harry said grumpily. "R2, Padme, can you come and help me sort out the brat's room?"
The pair followed the sullen wizard into the next room leaving Shmi and Qui-Gon to stare and poke at the immobile, but clearly conscious Anakin.
"I don't know what help I can be, Harry." Padme frowned as she looked at all the junk in the room.
"You can translate for R2-D2." He said as he patted the droid. "R2, can you talk with Padme and decide what we should take?"
The droid whistled and turned to the handmaiden.
Padme just laughed as she read the translation. "He said 'everything'."
Harry picked a bolt off a nearby surface. "Everything?"
R2 gave a sad little whine.
"Get all the books, pictures, anything with information on it." Harry instructed.
R2 turned to Padme.
"He says we should take the protocol droid." Padme told Harry. "They are very useful."
"They look very heavy."
"Can you repair it? It can walk on its own then."
"He says there is a button on its chest just below the neck."
It took Padme's help but they eventually found the button and the humanoid droid, that looked like it had been flayed, sat up… with one glowing eye.
"How do you do? I am C-3PO. Human Cyborg Relations. How might I serve you?" It said somewhat stiltedly.
"I'm Harry, this is Padme and R2-D2. We are relocating so you need to stand up and get ready to move out."
The droid swivelled on the workbench stiffly and then stood up. It stood so straight, with its forearms out that Harry was worried it would keep tipping over.
"Oh dear... I seem to be missing one of my eyes."
There was a whistle and C-3PO looked down to see R2-D2 holding the missing item in small claw protruding from his body.
"Oh, thank you." He said as he popped the eye into its socket.
R2 started whistling and beeping a bit harshly at C-3PO.
"Naked? What do you –My goodness! My parts are showing! This is terrible!"
"Wait, you can understand R2?" Harry asked quickly.
"Of course, Sir. I am fluent in over six million languages and dialects." He said proudly.
Harry turned to Padme. "He's definitely coming."
Twenty minutes later and they were ready to move out. Anakin had been released by Harry… and then silenced as soon as the boy started to argue.
C-3PO was now wearing one of Shmi's cloaks to hide his 'nudity'.
Obi-Wan had called Qui-Gon and they were headed to the space port where Panaka's men had secured a decent ship.
"At least it doesn't stand out like the Queen's ship." Harry nodded approvingly as he looked at the grey metal ship. It had yellow highlights and a bit of red.
"A VCX-100 light freighter." Qui-Gon informed them. "Obi-Wan has informed me that this one has undergone some considerable modifications since it left the Corellian shipyards."
Harry noted that he seemed amused.
"Welcome aboard The Ghost." Captain Panaka greeted them at the loading ramp. "Now that you have returned with R2-D2 we can finally depart. R2, please head to the computer core. We need you to help run navigation and the hyperdrive."
The droid turned to Padme and Harry with a few beeps.
"R2 wishes to know if these orders are ok or do you need him?" C-3PO translated.
Harry shared a confused look with Padme. "I guess?"
"Go on R2. We will see you later." Padme smiled at the droid.
R2 spun on the spot and whizzed off into the ship.
"A colourful character, for a droid." Panaka mused. He then turned to Padme. "Her Majesty wishes to see you as soon as possible." He turned to Qui-Gon and Harry as Padme nodded to them and left. "Due to the limited quarters, we have billeted in the cargo hold. I trust you will impart the importance of not wandering the ship to your guests."
And with that he turned and left.
"Have fun." Harry said as he patted Qui-Gon's arm. "I will be with R2. 3PO, you should come with me."
"Of course, Sir."
Qui-Gon chuckled as the boy calmly walked into the ship with the droid following at a waddle. Then he turned to Shmi and Anakin and frowned.
Harry had forgotten to let Anakin speak again.
Harry was in the ship's computer core room with R2-D2 and C-3PO. He was being taught all about hyperspace and how the hyperdrive worked.
The Ghost had a Class 0.5 hyperdrive. Apparently this was quite fast. The larger the number of class the slower the drive. Large ships, like the ones blockading Naboo, had class 1 or higher. This made them slower than ships like The Ghost.
Under R2's guidance, Harry had brought the ship to peak efficiency by repairing a few worn parts.
A few hours later, Harry was called to a private meeting with the Queen and Padme. Harry was once again nervous at being stood in front of royalty.
Padme was once again in her reddish robes and the other handmaidens were arrayed around the throne. Padme was standing to the left of the throne.
"Harry, the gift you gave us has caused a bit of a problem." Padme began as she indicated the dog, still sitting happily to the right of the throne.
Harry turned red and grimaced. "I'm really sorry. I forgot to tell you, but back home dogs tend be taken on walks so they can… do their business?"
The ladies had no idea what he was talking about.
"Use the bathroom?" Harry tried again.
The girls blushed and giggled. They were silenced by a look from Padme.
"No Harry. That is not a problem. We have pets on Naboo and we take good care of them." Padme assured him. "The problem…" She trailed off, struggling to think of how to explain. In the end the Queen placed a hand on her arm. Padme just nodded.
The Queen stood smoothly. "I am not the Queen, Harry Potter." She said, her voice absent of the deep tones she had used before. "I am the Queen's bodyguard. I pose as the Queen to provide a decoy. Padme Naberrie is the true Queen Amidala."
That said she turned and knelt before Padme, the handmaidens following suit.
Harry looked at Padme. She seemed extremely worried.
"We didn't want to deceive you, Harry." She practically pleaded. "But it is just how we keep me safe from assassination."
Padme watched as Harry seemed to struggle between finding something to say and trying to figure things out.
"You're the Queen?"
"And you're the bodyguard?"
The 'Queen' stood and nodded.
"Ok… so whose idea was it to send the unarmed monarch of a planet into a town known as a place of criminals, slavery and all bad things?"
"I told you." Came the slight sneer from the black clad girl.
Padme just glared at her.
"How is Padfoot a problem?" Harry interrupted the glaring.
"What?" They both asked.
"Padfoot." Harry gestured to the dog.
"Is that his name?" The fake queen asked.
"Yeah… what's your name though?"
"This is Sabe." Padme smirked as her decoy rubbed the dog's head and cooed. "The problem is that Sabe can't continue to pretend to be me if we can't get… Padfoot, to follow me as well."
Harry scratched the back of his head thoughtfully. "I suppose I could try and make a second dog... I just don't know if it will last as long as Padfoot. Even Padfoot shouldn't be here still- oh bollocks… I owe Captain Panaka a new hat!"
The girls all laughed at Harry's look of terror.
"I am sure we can find a new cap somewhere for him." Padme assured him.
"Alright… then I'll need something to create a new dog with. A cap would be preferable but I can try with something else."
Padme sent one of her handmaidens out to find a new cap. Harry gestured for Padme to a corner so he could speak privately.
"Am I going to be executed?"
"Whatever for?" She asked in surprise.
"Remember how we spent last night? In the past on my planet, I could be tortured and killed for less!"
Padme managed to blush and giggle at the same time. "That was perfectly innocent. If anything, you would be awarded a medal for protecting me."
"I know that, you know that. But what will your people say?" Harry pressed.
Padme stood up straighter and primly informed him: "It is none of their business. If they do find out they will be forced to reveal how they managed to commit treasonous acts by eavesdropping and spying."
She didn't give Harry a chance to respond as she turned away, ending the conversation.
Harry hoped she was right.
Twenty minutes later and there were two Padfoots in the room.
"You know, I've never been taught how to do this properly?" Harry sighed as he watched the girls shower the animals with affection. "I've seen it done, but I don't think I would have been taught it properly for a year or so."
"Can all your people do this?" One of the handmaidens asked.
"Most of the ones with magic, yes. But it is supposed to be difficult and require a lot of power. I've made small creatures before, but never something as big as those two."
The two Padfoots seemed to recognise each other. Harry figured they were probably brothers. Family was always on Harry's mind these days. He had been constantly worrying about Sirius since he broke out of Hogwarts to invade the Ministry.
"R2 says we will reach the planet Coruscant in two days." Harry said.
"Good. Hopefully we can bring our case to the senate quickly and free my people." Padme said fiercely.
"If you don't need me, I'll be going. I want to tell Shmi that she and Anakin are free."
"Oh, I'll come with you."
"Anakin will be there."
She balked. "I'll see if I can find Shmi alone later."
Due to the restrictions on the crew quarters and the fact that the cargo hold was likely to be crowded, Harry had opted to huddle in a corner of the computer core room and catch some sleep.
R2 had pretty much called Harry's reasoning 'bullshit'. He wasn't wrong, Harry just didn't want to deal with Anakin. He had managed to get Shmi alone and tell her that she and her son where now free people.
Harry had had to deal with a crying woman… he had not enjoyed it.
Fortunately, Qui-Gon had sensed the woman's emotional upheaval and rescued Harry from the horrors of damp shoulders.
"What are you doing down there?"
"OW!" Harry nearly sobbed as he rubbed his sore head.
"That's what you get for sleeping in a small space like that."
Harry looked up blearily. "Who's there?"
R2 beeped a few times.
"Your glasses, Master Harry." C-3PO said as he bent down holding the offered items.
Harry put them on to see one of the handmaidens standing at the door to the room. He didn't recognise them. "Sabe?"
"How could you tell?" The girl asked with a frown.
"You aren't one of the others and you're the only one I haven't seen… not without all that make up… plus, you have a tell." He pointed at the dog next to her.
She just smirked. "I guess this means that Padme and I will have to spend a lot more time together until she steps down from the throne."
"Steps down? Why would she do that?" Harry asked as he backed up against the wall to sit.
"Usually it only happens if a new Queen is elected, there-"
"Elected? How do you elect a queen?" Harry was completely confused.
Sabe giggled. "In the usual manner. The people cast their vote. The monarch only serves two terms in office."
"I think we have a different definition of 'monarch'." Harry sighed. "Back home, my queen has been on the throne for over fifty years. When she dies her son will become king. The monarchy is… hereditary."
"There are many different types of governments in the galaxy." Sabe allowed. "Now, why were you sleeping under there?"
"Because I was tired."
Clearly Sabe was not impressed. "There are plenty of beds and Padme said you wanted a shower."
"I was told the crew quarters are off limits and there is no way I am sleeping in the same room as Anakin."
"Ah. I haven't met the young boy who is attempting to steal My Lady's heart." She grinned.
"Yeah… 'steal'." Harry snorted. "You might want to do inventory of the ship's stores before you let him off. He has sticky fingers."
Sabe didn't know the reference, but she understood the intent. "Anyway, Her Majesty has ordered one of the crew quarters be reserved for you. It comes with a fresher unit."
Harry didn't get the reference, but he understood the meaning. "Well… I'm really grateful, but, maybe you should offer it to Shmi? She is the only other female onboard."
"You should probably talk to Padme."
It turned out that Her Majesty, Queen Padme Amidala Naberrie, had no issues with Shmi taking one of the other cabins. As long as Anakin wasn't there. She didn't want to risk a repeat performance of the previous night. Especially as R2 would be stuck in the computer core for a while.
A meeting was arranged with Qui-Gon, Shmi and Padme to discuss the situation. A reluctant Harry was stood in a corner. He didn't want anything to do with the Skywalkers. It wasn't because he didn't like them, he just didn't want there to be any misunderstandings about their previous relationship as master and slaves. He still remembered Dobby jumping at every opportunity to help him.
Qui-Gon had offered to watch over Anakin so Shmi could enjoy the privacy of the cabin and Padme wouldn't have to worry about uninvited guests.
With that sorted, Harry gratefully slipped into the bed he had been assigned.
He was rudely awakened less than an hour later.
Alarms were blaring all over the ship.
He should have skipped his shower and just gone to bed.
Outside, two of the handmaidens were standing stiffly with blasters in hand. Panaka was storming out of the cockpit.
"Potter, with me." He barked.
Harry was a little peeved at being ordered around, but he followed anyway.
Panaka led him to the computer core where Qui-Gon was having an intense conversation with C-3PO and R2-D2 whilst Obi-Wan had a firm grip on a red-faced Anakin.
"Turn off the alarms." Panaka ordered. R2 quickly complied. "Master Jinn, report."
Qui-Gon raised an eyebrow at being addressed so, but began. "We were awoken by the alarm and followed the Force to find R2-D2 attempting to fend off the boy."
Harry frowned as he saw the scowl Anakin sent the older man.
"He was attempting to sabotage the ship?" Panaka demanded.
"I was getting 3PO!" Anakin said defensively.
"You were told to stay in the assigned areas." Qui-Gon reminded him.
"Master Harry, if I may, R2 informed me that Mister Skywalker was attempting to access my processing core whilst I was powered down. R2 says that he doubts Mister Skywalker is telling the truth as my power switch is far more accessible than my processors.
"R2 has speculated that Mister Skywalker was attempting to reprogram my loyalty sub-routines away from you."
Harry stared at the tall 'naked' droid. "What?"
"He was attempting to steal the droid from you." Panaka stated, glaring at the boy.
"Erm… I own you?" Harry looked at 3PO.
"Of course. As part of the slave contract, Miss Skywalker informed me I was payment for their release from your service."
"No one told me."
Panaka pulled out a communicator and requested that someone bring Shmi to the cargo hold. In the meantime, everyone but R2 and 3PO relocated to the hold themselves.
What followed was Shmi quietly laying into Anakin. It ended with Shmi apologising to everyone else.
Harry escorted Shmi back to her cabin where she apologised for not explaining the situation with C-3PO earlier.
"I'm sorry, I'm just not comfortable with owning anybody." Harry said as he fidgeted in the cabin. "You aren't the first slaves I've rescued."
Shmi smiled softly at him. "Hardly surprising as a former slave yourself." Harry's face went blank. "When you've been a slave all your life you can recognise other slaves."
"I wasn't technically a slave." Harry said slowly.
"I… nobody 'owned' me. I lived with relatives… I-"
"Come sit." She patted the bed. "Tell me your story. The least I can do for the man who gave me my freedom."
Harry reluctantly sat, but he told her everything. About his parents and Voldemort. His cupboard. The abuse. The work.
The only thing that really shocked Shmi, was Harry's age.
It was two hours later that Shmi backed out of her cabin, leaving the exhausted boy sleeping on her bed.
Harry was fairly embarrassed when he realised he had fallen asleep in Shmi's room. Shmi, had waved off his apologies and said he should come talk to her whenever he needed to.
Harry was dragged from the computer core by Sabe. She had relieved the pilot and said she was going to teach Harry to fly the ship as it would help him get a start on learning to read Galactic Basic.
Harry instantly discovered a terrifying truth. He was an idiot compared to the average person in this universe. They had an understanding of maths and space that he thought only the smartest people on Earth could achieve.
Sabe seemed to realise that Harry couldn't grasp the intricacies of how the hyperdrive and hyperspace worked, so she stuck to teaching him the ship's controls. He didn't have any trouble actually piloting the ship, but he would never be able to plot a course through hyperspace.
*Chapter 4*: Chapter 4
The following day they reached the planet of Coruscant. Harry was instructed to land the ship under the direction of the Queen's pilot.
"And you've never flown before?" The pilot asked as Harry leant back from the controls. "Rookies usually scrape the landing feet. I'm still not convinced we have touched down as I didn't feel anything."
"I have never flown anything with an engine." Harry wiped his brow.
Ric Olie, the pilot, left the final checks to his co-pilot as he led Harry out of the cockpit. They quickly met the Queen and her entourage at the loading ramps.
Sabe was currently the one under the makeup.
"We've landed your Majesty." Ric reported. "Mister Potter brought us down like a pro. He could use some more practice… but he certainly has a gift."
"I didn't even feel us touch down." Obi-Wan said in awe. "Are we sure he isn't-"
"Quiet, Obi-Wan." Qui-Gon admonished his Padawan.
"We would appreciate it if you would arrange some more flight time." The Queen inclined her head to Ric.
Ric smiled and bowed. "I have very little to do until your personal cruiser arrives. It would be a pleasure."
"Excellent. Now we must work quickly to see our people free." She said.
Ric straightened and nodded.
It was daytime in the area they had landed. Bright and sunny. There were two older men waiting on the landing pad, surrounded by guards.
Harry was a bit lost as the Queen was greeted by the two men. One of them was a chancellor and the other a senator. He knew Americans had senators and the British had chancellors… he had no idea what either of them did.
He was surprised when he heard his name being mentioned.
"-suggestions have allowed us to arrive so quickly and he has gifted myself and my handmaiden with these two exquisite creatures. Harry Potter is to be considered a part of our entourage, a close friend and a hero of Naboo."
Harry was fairly certain he was turning red.
"The ship that brought us is to be registered in his name and considered his property. Please see to it that it is assigned diplomatic status."
The senator looked a bit put out by that.
"Of course, Your Majesty." The Chancellor smiled. "I will forward the paperwork once I get back to my office."
The Queen turned and moved off towards the building nearby, Rabe, another of the handmaidens, hooked her elbow through Harry's and guided him after them.
He sent a look to Qui-Gon, but the man just nodded.
Harry was led to a lush office where Rabe led him to stand with her at the side. Eirtae, another handmaiden was stood slightly behind the Queen who was sat in a large chair whilst the senator, a man named Palpatine, paced before her.
Harry was surprised when Padme left with her final two handmaidens, Yane and Sache.
Palpatine was half briefing and half complaining. He sounded like he was trying to start a rebellion by bringing down the Chancellor that had greeted them.
"Harry, what is your opinion?"
Harry now knew how the deer felt when it saw the headlights. "Erm… I don't think I-"
"Please, we value your input." The Queen urged gently.
Harry sighed but stepped forward. "I honestly don't know anything. I don't know why you are being invaded in the first place. I guess… I guess I would say that if this chancellor guy is a friend and supporter, don't stab him in the back. Support him. Find out the truth behind the rumours of corruption."
"Your counsel is sound, Harry Potter." The Queen nodded. "We will support the Chancellor as he has supported us.
"With regards to the reasons for the invasion, the Trade Federation claims they are protesting the recent taxation of trade zones that were previously exempt. They say they are blockading Naboo in retaliation."
"Do blockades usually involve invasions?" Harry thought that sounded odd.
"No, they do not." Palpatine said stiffly.
"Did Naboo support the taxation?"
"Senator Palpatine was integral to the negotiations between the Federation and the Republic."
"So these people are lying. Why would the other planets believe them?"
The meeting ended there with the Queen declaring she needed to rest before the meeting before the senate the following day. Harry had been dragged along to the Queen's private rooms where he was met by Padme.
"Thank you for your help, Harry. I'm sorry I wasn't there personally, I just find it is more efficient to listen in and offer input whilst I can research.
"Thanks to your suggestion I have tasked some of my people and the Jedi to investigate the allegations of corruption against the Chancellor."
"Erm… you're welcome?"
Padme just laughed.
"About the ship-"
"I know, I'm sorry I sprung it on you like that, but I wanted to surprise you." She gave a sheepish smile. "Your help on Naboo and Tatooine really sped things up.
"Qui-Gon told us what he knew about how you are searching for Sirius and that he will offer to help you find him, but you will need a way of getting around the galaxy."
"I don't have any money to pay for fuel and stuff. I'm wearing everything I have." Harry pointed out.
Padme looked a little shy. "Remember when we had you declared a part of our entourage? We weren't expecting you to, but, we were hoping you would make it official. You wouldn't have to travel everywhere with us, but if you could respond to our call if we need you… but we would love to have you with us… always."
Padme was blushing and Harry wasn't sure why.
"I guess… it's not like I have anywhere to start, apart from Naboo, when it comes to searching for Sirius. I don't have any education or training to do anything else and I don't think I can get back to Earth."
"So you'll stay with us?" She asked, looking up through her eyelashes hopefully.
"Yeah. I'll stay with you for as long as you need me."
Harry stiffened as Padme hugged him. It didn't help that the handmaidens were quietly cheering and celebrating.
Harry woke up the following day in the most comfortable bed he had ever been in. Padme had insisted he take one of the spare rooms in her apartment that would normally be used for family. Padme, like him, was an orphan now, her father having passed on a few years prior. Her only family was her older sister.
The previous night Harry had made another big black dog for another handmaiden. Apparently all of them were close friends and Sabe had pointed out that if they all had the dogs they could still blend in with one another easily.
This morning he was being taken before the Jedi Council by Qui-Gon. Rabe, who now had her own dog, was to accompany him on behalf of the Queen. Padme would be stuck in a chair all morning as she became Queen Amidala. It was a long and arduous process that involved a lot of makeup.
Padme had begged Harry to accompany her to the senate that afternoon.
Harry regretted giving them all dogs that could look up at him so soulfully.
The hissed name was like a curse from the small green alien in robes like Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. He was glaring at Rabe's dog.
Rabe was glaring back. Her dog was trying to get between the hostile green alien and his mistress and was growling dangerously.
"Dead, you were." The alien said as he hopped from his cushion, the other Jedi were shocked. "Surprised, I am. Should not be."
"You can talk to dogs? You know Sirius Black? Where is he?" Harry demanded.
The green alien blinked and looked at Harry as though just realising he was there.
"Hey!" Harry knocked the gnarled stick across the room as it was poked in his knee.
Several of the seated Jedi were immediately on their feet with their light swords in hand.
"Peace!" The alien said sharply. The Jedi relaxed their stance slightly but did not put the swords away. "Your name. Harry James Potter?"
"Yes! Please, where is Sirius?" Harry begged.
The old alien sagged sadly. "Sorry, I am. Too late you are. Long ago did Black die."
Rabe quickly moved forward to catch Harry as he fell to his knees.
The alien placed an aged hand gently on Harry's cheek. "Spoke of you often, he did. Loved you. Knew you would come."
Harry was crying softly.
"Master Jedi, when did Sirius Black die and how did you know him?" Rabe asked on Harry's behalf. Her dog was nuzzling against Harry's face.
The old creature took Harry's hand and pulled. Rabe helped him stand. He led him to the chairs and sat him in the one that the tall, black, human, Jedi had sat in.
"Seven hundred years." The creature said softly. "Fell from the sky he did." There was a slight chuckle. "Saved me, he did." The Jedi Master gave Harry a flat look. "Made my life hell."
Harry was surprised to hear the creature say something so 'Sirius-like' and with a British accent.
"Jedi Master, was I. Respect, from all. Sirius Black… never serious." He said dryly. "Eighty years did we travel together. Often I rode on his back." He looked fondly at Rabe's new companion. "Died on Kashyyyk, old, happy, only regret that he did not live to see you come."
The old creature looked at Harry who was freely crying. "Mourn him not, young wizard. Go, rest. Come to you I will. Tonight. Bring you what he left you."
Harry was so badly distracted that Qui-Gon instructed Obi-Wan to help Rabe get him back to the embassy. Obi-Wan had assured Harry that Yoda, the little old alien, would not have lied. If he said Sirius died happy, then he did.
Padme sent off Eirtae to talk to the senators from Kashyyyk to see if they could provide any information about Sirius Black, she then spent the rest of her time trying to help Harry understand the current situation with Naboo and what the senate hearing was about.
She did a great job of distracting him.
The senate was huge. Thousands of floating pods lined the grey metal walls. The occupants of the pods varied in height, colour, mass, number of limbs, eyes, ears, antennae… Harry hadn't seen anything like it.
They had to sit through over an hour of formalities, from the six people who had to confirm the Chancellor was who he said he was so he could take his seat to the reading of the minutes of the last meeting.
Eventually Senator Palpatine was ceded the floor.
He made it two sentences into describing the invasion before the representatives of the Trade Federation rudely interrupted. They were sent back to their previous place by the Chancellor for speaking out of turn.
Palpatine quickly made way for the Queen to present their case.
The Queen spoke eloquently and politely… for about twenty seconds before the Trade Federation interrupted again.
They objected and wanted a commission sent to Naboo. Unfortunately they were backed by senators from another planet.
Queen Amidala turned and knelt before Harry, grasping his hands in hers. "Please, what do I do?" She begged.
Harry had no idea how politics worked. But he did have a little bit of experience with courts, this was expanded on by a bit of research he had done after his farce of a trial before the Wizengamot.
"Rules." He said quietly. "They are trying to use rules to say a commission must be sent. Fine, but… go back to the first rule breaking… is it within the rules for the Trade Federation to speak without it being their turn? They were sent back once already. How many chances do they get before they are punished.
"Shut them up and finish your speech. Then see how everyone else reacts."
Amidala had a hard glint in her eyes as she stood and moved Palpatine out of the way. "Your Honour, before we continue, we must address the issue of the Trade Federation's disrespect to myself, this august body and yourself. Not only have they interrupted me again, they have ignored your ruling to their objection. Further, they have not presented their motion to assemble a committee in the appropriate manner.
"The People of Naboo have ensured that all the rules and procedures were followed. We trust that the rule of law shall be respected and upheld in this matter."
She stood there, defiant. Her eyes never wavered from the Chancellors.
"Agreed." Valorum said eventually. "The delegates of the Trade Federation will resume their place. They may consider themselves under censure for the remainder of this meeting."
The Trade Federation's pod floated back, the blue lighting that lined it turned red.
"The delegates of the Congress of Malastare are reminded that there is no motion on the table from the Trade Federation and so they cannot claim the law on their behalf."
The three eyed beings floated back to their place, clearly embarrassed.
"Queen Amidala, please continue." Valorum inclined his head.
"Thank you, Your Honour.
"As I was saying, the Trade Federation has illegally invaded Naboo. They have occupied our orbit with their ships, landed their tanks and rounded up my people like cattle.
"Every day they kill more and more of us.
"My own escape was only possible because of the Jedi and Harry Potter."
Harry's skin crawled as he was suddenly the centre of attention. Fortunately the Queen redirected it back to her.
"We have recordings of all types of the atrocities being committed on my people by the Trade Federation. We also have the testimony of the Jedi themselves.
"Our motion was prepared and is presented forthwith, we demand the aid of the Republic in removing the Trade Federation from our system and that they be forced to pay recompense for their crimes."
What followed was a debate.
Harry had no idea what was discussed… he fell asleep. Granted, he was exhausted from the emotional revelations of the morning, but the senate room was not exactly well lit and they were extremely boring.
Harry was woken by Palpatine roughly shaking him. "Get up boy." He said harshly.
"Senator." Came the reproachful voice of Queen Amidala. She stepped forward and sat next to Harry. "Harry, they are still refusing to do anything. At the moment the only course of action we have is to call for a vote of no-confidence on the Chancellor."
Harry rubbed his eyes tiredly and sat up. "Is he still following the law?"
"He has acted above reproach."
"Then he isn't the problem. The next guy will still be bound by the law… unless he chooses not to be… which would make you a part of illegal activities.
"Like I said, don't stab someone in the back just because they can't help you."
"I must do something Harry." She pleaded.
Harry looked out into the senate room. All the different species. He idly wondered if any of them had more than two genders.
Then he saw the smug look on the faces of the Trade Federation.
"The commission they want to send, it could take days for them to form it, right?"
"It could take months." Palpatine scoffed. He had a clear dislike for Harry, he didn't see why the boy should be here.
"But the Trade Federation, they didn't get their 'blockade' approved through the senate, did they?"
"We wouldn't be here arguing about it if they did."
Harry purposefully turned away from the annoying old man and faced Amidala. "Look, I had problems back home with the government. They were corrupt… they did this to me." He showed her the back of his hand.
The stoic façade of the Queen of Naboo vanished as she saw the carvings there. She didn't know what they meant, she just knew it was a form of torture.
"The bad guys used the government to get away with murder. In the end I had to do things that were considered illegal to protect my friends and loved ones."
"I don't understand." She said in frustration.
"All of this is useless." He gestured to the delegates. "The Trade Federation didn't bring their concerns to this senate. The senate isn't interested in getting involved.
"So why should you ask them to?" Harry gave a mirthless chuckle. "Do what I did. Find your friends, prepare yourselves for battle and then deal with the situation."
The Queen's eyes seemed shine and she smiled. "Thank you, Harry Potter. You have saved us once again."
Harry wasn't sure what she meant, he just watched as she stood and addressed the senate.
"Chancellor, long have the people of Naboo cherished their relationship with your office and the Republic. But it would seem that at this time, our goals, our needs, are not the same.
"Our people are suffering and dying. All this body cares for is bureaucracy. If this body is willing to sit back and do nothing whilst one of its members commits heinous crimes against the other, then perhaps it is time for us to part ways."
The senate was filled with loud mutterings.
"SILENCE!" Valoran boomed, shooting out of his seat. "Your Majesty, surely such an action is unnecessary. I beg you, a little patience-"
"Patience will achieve nothing but more murders committed on my people. We cannot sit and wait for you to debate whilst the evidence has been presented and the damage escalates."
Valoran sagged. "My hands are tied by the law."
"Then your laws are not worthy of my people. If you will not see justice done, we shall do so ourselves."
Palpatine scowled as Harry pushed him out of the way and whispered in Amidala's ear.
He allowed himself a smirk as he saw the young Queen glare at the boy.
"We will allow you ten days to come to an accord as to how you will deal with the Trade Federation. After that time, we will see if the People of Naboo shall remain in the Republic."
The pod started moving back to its dock as the senate erupted in shouts.
The entire way back to the embassy, Amidala had remained silent. She had ignored Palpatine's heated questions and demands for explanations.
The handmaidens were clearly seething at his attitude, the growls from the dogs weren't helping.
When it became clear that he wasn't going to get a response from the Queen, he turned his ire on Harry.
"You! You may have single-handedly doomed our planet." He hissed. "Valorum will bow to the wishes of the bureaucrats and money makers and the senate will legitimise the invasion.
"With Valorum gone, I would have been the Chancellor and-"
"You would have been bound by the laws and rules of the senate." Amidala spoke up tersely. "Just like Valorum."
"Your Majesty, as Chancellor I could have sped things up. I could have used executive powers to send my own committee. I could have gone myself!" He pleaded.
"It would take too long, Senator." She shook her head.
The shuttle docked and the Queen exited, surrounded by her handmaidens. Harry made to follow but a hand slammed down on his shoulder painfully.
"I will see you ruined boy. You have destroyed everything." Palpatine was frothing.
Harry looked down at the old hand. "Move it or lose it." He said calmly.
Palpatine snarled and pushed Harry roughly out of the shuttle.
Harry stumbled but held his footing, he turned to see the shuttle take off, the old man still looking at him, hatefully.
"Harry, please explain why you stopped me from withdrawing from the senate." Padme said angrily as she tore off her headdress. "I looked like a fool who couldn't make up her mind!"
"I'm sorry… but, I told you how I was treated by the government. I don't know much about the law or politics, but I do know both sides can use it." Harry said as he sat down, lifting his arm onto the table gingerly. "Let them fight over policy and motions and committees. Like I said, get your friends, go back to Naboo and deal with the situation.
"Then take your friends and your people and deal with the Trade Federation."
"But the senate will come down hard on us! They could severely hurt us!" She sat opposite him as Rabe and Eirtae used sponges to remove her makeup.
Harry pulled out his wand flicked it at her, clearing away the makeup and causing the handmaidens to gasp. "Then, according to the aliens with the three eyes, a committee must be formed to investigate the claims that the Trade Federation might make. It's the law." He said with a dark smile.
"And when that committee eventually is formed?" She challenged, standing to remove her outer robe.
Harry leaned back in his chair, cradling his arm. "From what I remember, the Trade Federation was trying to force you to sign a surrender… or something. Make sure you do a better job."
Padme was still tense and upset, but she sent several of her handmaidens to contact the allies of Naboo. Harry stayed in his room, mainly to avoid her ire.
The sun was setting when there was a sharp knock on his door and he found Yoda standing there with a large cube.
"Strained, it is." Came the croaky voice. "Much confusion and hurt. I sense." He pushed his way past Harry. "Talk to the girls you should."
"They're mad at me, sir." Harry said tiredly as he moved to sit on the bed.
He quickly stood back up and shrunk the chair for the old Jedi to sit on. He then sat on the floor opposite with his back against the bed.
Yoda chuckled. "Like Black, you are. But not always, I feel."
Harry sat there, patiently.
"Tell you many things, I could. I will." He corrected himself. "Answers you seek and answers you will get. Speak to you, the Old Dog will."
Yoda placed the cube on the floor and activated it.
A light glowed from within and a foot-tall hologram appeared. Harry's chest tightened.
"Yoda! You little goblin! You look older every time I see you!"
The hologram turned at his whispered name. "Harry? You- you've arrived!" He turned back to Yoda. "Told you, I did." He said mockingly, imitating the Jedi's voice and speech patterns. "Hey! Stop that!"
Yoda was poking viciously at the cube with his stick. "Lost! Lost is the boy. Looking for family. Find only memories. Focus!"
Sirius turned back to Harry.
"Wha- What happened to you? I was right behind you." Harry's voice was hoarse.
"I know, Pup. I saw you." Sirius said sadly. "I've got some bad news, some sucky news, some… well, all I have is bad news. But that doesn't mean you can't make good of it.
"First of all, I'm dead. This-" He gestured to his cube. "Is a holocron. I think of it as a muggle movie. Normally they work just like movies and only repeat the same recording. I modified this one to act like a magical portrait.
"I'm not the real Sirius, Pup. I'm his portrait, his memory. But don't you doubt for a second that I don't love you." He said sternly.
"You didn't try to get back home?" Harry sniffed as he wiped his eyes.
Sirius shook his head. "I did a lot of work on making it possible… but I knew you were coming, so I waited and made sure I left the tools for you to survive.
"Which brings us to the sucky news. You've probably figured out we aren't in the Milky Way anymore. No one had heard of it when I was alive…" He turned to Yoda who just shook his head. "Yeah, but… I did find Earth."
Harry perked up.
"Sorry kid, we aren't just far from home, we are far in the past. We travelled through time and space.
"We are in a time, long ago in a galaxy far, far away. You could probably make it back home, but you'd be there thousands of years before you were born."
"Breathe young Padawan." Yoda warned as Harry began to hyperventilate. "Hope! Hope is what you must seek. Hmm? The past is gone. The future you must seek. The future is where hope lies."
"Listen to Yoda, Pup. I spent most of my life with him. Besides, you are not alone. You've got me, Yoda, Garaka-"
"With the Force, is Garaka. Chewbacca, his grandson tends your land." Yoda informed him.
"Damn. Why didn't anyone wake me?" Sirius demanded.
"Forget many things, does old age cause. Forgot me, you did! Died, old and frail." Yoda poked the cube again with a huff.
"Anyway, you've got friends." Sirius assured Harry.
"Consorts with royalty he does." Yoda chuckled. "Queen of Naboo these quarters own."
"Wow… you really don't do things by half, do ya Pup?" Sirius laughed.
"I've kinda been dragged into a war." Harry grimaced. "I landed on Naboo in the middle of them being invaded."
"I landed on Kashyyyk and nearly got roasted on a spit." Sirius countered. "Although, I did land on Garaka."
"I landed on a Gungan… I think I killed him." Harry shuddered.
"Kid, if you landed like I did, then I doubt you had any control."
Harry shook his head.
"Now, tell me and Yody here what you've been up to since you arrived."
They talked and talked and talked.
Sirius had never been more proud in his life… existence.
Sirius told Harry about the land he technically owned on Kashyyyk. It was a planet inhabited by 'Giant Cuddly Teddy bears'. Yoda had chuckled at that. He also assured Harry that he could help him continue his education in magic.
He was very interested in seeing the transfigured dogs and wanted to watch him make another.
Eventually there was a knock on the door and Harry opened it to find a nervous Padme standing there in her Amidala guise. The headdress was more compact and the robes a lot like a Jedi's.
"Harry… I just wanted to apologise for yesterday." Harry found it hard to see her as the Queen. The Queen always looked up at a person. She stood proud. This Queen was staring at her fidgeting hands. "I shouldn't have snapped at you like that. You also stopped me from making a grave mistake."
"Erm…" Harry had no idea how to deal with that. He had never been apologised to so sincerely.
"Introduce us, you should." Came the old voice.
Harry snapped out of his worry as Padme straightened and once again became Queen Amidala. Harry gestured her to come in. "Your Majesty, this is Jedi Master Yoda and my godfather, Sirius Black. Gentlemen, this is Her Majesty, Queen Amidala of Naboo."
Yoda chuckled. "See the resemblance, you do."
"It's like looking in a bloody mirror!"
"Sirius! Mind your language." Harry hissed. "Her Majesty doesn't look anything like you."
"What? No, the dog!"
Sure enough the dog he had made for Padme was standing alert at her side.
"How long did you say this little guy had been alive?"
"Oh… I don't actually know. I couldn't keep track of days and nights in space."
"Paddy has existed for six days. His older brother, Padfoot, for eight days." The Queen answered.
"Wow! That is impressive. Has he shown any change in behaviour or looks?" Sirius asked.
"We believe Padfoot was sick on the second day, but we were still experimenting on what he ate."
"Harry, Pup, these guys might be permanent." Sirius said in awe. "Your parents were good at stuff like that, I wasn't. As long as you live so will the dogs."
"This pleases us." Amidala stated with an unusually fond look at the dog. "We have never been gifted with something so wonderful."
Harry blushed as Yoda smirked and Sirius grinned.
Queen Amidala then turned to Harry. "Harry, we have called on our allies and they have agreed aid us. We will attend a Council of Liberation within the hour."
"Liberation?" Sirius queried.
"Remember I told you about Naboo?" Harry said.
"Yeah, but I've never heard of a 'Council of Liberation'. Council of War? Sure."
"A Council of War against other members of the Republic would not be permitted under the current charter." Amidala said lightly.
"Hmmph, playing politics, you are." Yoda huffed. He then gave the Queen a sly grin. "Fight fire with fire, Black says."
"It usually works." Sirius shrugged.
"Leave you, I will." Yoda declared as he stood from the shrunken chair. "Allow me to visit, I trust. Good to keep friendships strong."
A/N: The completely skippable authors opinion... seriously, just a few notes on Star Wars Prequels, Anakin Bashing and... that character.
So, first of all, I don't care about Jar Jar. I neither hate him nor like him... but like a few other things in the prequels, he doesn't make sense in the story. A bumbling fool who becomes a respected senator.
Now, that said, this is a story about sci-fi being combined with magic and fantasy... what you can believe is upto you. But there is no progression or explanation on how Jar Jar became respected enough.
Onto the real issue: Why the prequels never worked for me.
Put bluntly, the actors, the directors and writers failed to portray a likeable child. And that did not improve for the other two movies. Obi Wan told Luke that Anakin was his friend and a great Jedi. Obi Wan calls Anakin his brother.
But throughout the whole of the series Anakin is portrayed as a person destined to become the most feared Sith of all time. He steals, he argues, sulks, shouts gets angry. Visually, it seems impossible for Anakin to sit on the council in the third movie and the 'Jedi Masters' not sense the Dark Side rolling off him.
He is incredibly obessive and borders on stalking when it comes to Padme.
But this is an issue the writers and directors didn't consider as they were probably trying to play on the broody heroes that were flooding the market.
It failed. Anakin was considered a great Jedi by Obi Wan, but all we are shown is a terrible person. (I haven't seen the tv shows and cartoons and I'm only talking about the movies.)
They should have shown Anakin like we were shown Harry Potter. A slave, shown a bright new world and eager to see more but cautious of his place in life. He should have been an amazing Jedi who's skills were only rivalled by his compassion and demeanour. Then they could have brought in the fear and paranoia and focused it around losing Padme. Palpatine steps in and, if you know the story of Dooku you know that he was a good Jedi, he fell because of the failings of the Council and the forked-tongue of Palpatine. But we'll get to that in story.
In short, don't worry about Anakin, he doesn't have a young man looking for a brother to spoil as a teacher. He has an older man with a firm hand and a desire to see his student surpass him. You've seen the pairings for this story, Padme isn't in his future. He's barely in the story.
I just wish he was a better person from the start. It's like Lex as I wrote him in Death's Little Brother. That single scene where he confronts Clark when he was depowered. It was the make or break moment for Lex and it all rested on Clark. Clark failed and told Lex a lie. Lex knew this and as a result the trust was broken.
Harry Potter is not a fan of Anakin for reasons he stated. All he sees is Dudley and Malfoy. All Padme sees is a child who stares at her and disturbs her and is rude to her friend. Remember that Harry and Padme are fifteen and fourteen respectively, they are not adults or teachers, they are teenagers.
But there are plenty of adults around to look out for the kids.
I was going to put this at the end of the story, but I saw a rather divided view on the 'Anakin Bashing'. I don't read all reviews, just the latest few to make sure I haven't posted a duplicate chapter or skipped one... I've done that more than once.
I've managed to redeem Severus Snape, Lex Luthor, Emma Frost and probably others. Anakin is easy. Draco Malfoy however... I've got several other stories I'm working on and I still can't manage it.
Anyway, keep reading if you want, stop if you don't. There are thousands of stories on this site, don't be like my father and insist on watching a show or movie from beginning to end just because he started it. This story is already finished, nothing will change it.
Chapter 2: Chapter 5 - Chapter 8
A teenager falls from the sky but has no presence in The Force. He doesn't even know what he landed on. He certainly isn't anywhere near home anymore.
This is a Repost all words belong to mjimeyg
*Chapter 5*: Chapter 5
The 'Council of Liberation' was held aboard the recently arrived Queen's ship. The crew brought bad tidings of being attacked as they took off from Tatooine. Apparently, anyone who could use the Force and carried a red lightsabre was evil.
Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were present on behalf of the Jedi, Senator Bail Organa of the planet Alderan, Senator Mon Mothma of the planet Chandrila, Senator Mina Bonteri of the planet Onderon and finally Senator Yarua of the planet Kashyyyk.
They sat in the throne room of the ship, Amidala upon her throne and the others around it. C-3PO was there to act as a translator. He had been outfitted with gold coloured casings to 'protect his modesty'. Harry made a mental note to thank whoever did that.
Harry stood in the corner with Rabe and R2. He was out of his depth… and had been since he broke out of Hogwarts to save Sirius.
The assembled senators quickly agreed that they couldn't just sit and wait for the senate to do nothing whilst the people of Naboo were killed. The question was how to free the planet.
It was clear to Harry that Padme hadn't been elected because of her wartime prowess. Her plan was to land on the planet and take back control of the palace.
All Harry could think of was the big ships in the sky with big guns that would probably just smite them from orbit.
Qui-Gon had suggested contacting the Gungans and forming an alliance. Apparently there was a lot of distrust between the humans of Naboo and the indigenous Gungans.
The final plan came from Yarua. He actually knew a lot more about the Trade Federation's droid army. They were actually controlled by the ships in orbit. Take out the ships and the droids would shut down.
"Do they use radio signals?" Harry asked the giant woolly creature quietly as he sidled round the table.
C-3PO translated the growls and noises that Harry was sure he would never be able to reproduce.
"He says they are heavily encrypted but it is possible to detect them."
"Could we jam them?" Harry asked, unaware that everyone was now listening. "Captain Olie says The Ghost can change its... well, it can look different on sensors. Is there a way to block the signal from the ships? Would it shut down the droids that are on the ship?"
Yarua looked thoughtful.
"It has been tried before." Mon Mothma spoke up, startling Harry. "There was always the issue of discovering the frequencies used."
"But if The Ghost can get in close, or another ship can, then they could listen and decipher the codes." Bail Organa reasoned.
"Hey, R2, did you or the ships keep records from when we escaped?" Harry asked R2-D2 quietly.
The droid rolled up to the holographic projector in the centre of the room and connected to it. It replaced the image of Naboo and the invading ships with a rolling list of symbols.
Yarua began growling excitedly.
"Senator Yarua says this is raw data taken from sensors. He can see the standard ship identifier of the ship we are currently on. He also says it should be possible to filter out the droid codes.
"Personally, I can read the droid codes myself and would be happy to translate them, although I am not equipped to decode the encrypted sections." C-3PO translated and offered.
A meaty hand landed with a metallic clang on C-3PO's shoulder as Yarua spoke again.
"Senator Yarua has offered to install advanced cryptographic hardware and software in myself and R2."
"Harry, is that agreeable with you?" Queen Amidala asked.
"Erm, sure… as long as… you know, R2 and 3PO are fine with it." Harry said nervously.
Yarua and the other Senators had sent word to their home worlds and were assured that a small contingent of ships would meet them at the outskirts of the Naboo system.
Padme and her handmaidens had stated their intention to travel on Harry's new ship. Aside from not being as recognisable as the Queen's ship, it was also stealthier and Yarua had provided several experts to work on improving the ship as they worked on C-3PO and R2-D2.
The Queen's ship would be utilised as a decoy in the upcoming mission.
Harry had stayed with the two droids whilst they were worked on, he had Sirius with him. The Wookie who was working on them found Sirius amazing as he was familiar with the stories of the Black Dog of Kashyyyk. He even offered to install the holocron into R2-D2 as the droid already had a built-in holo-emitter.
Despite Harry's misgivings about inflicting his godfather on his first new friend in this world, R2 and Sirius were soon seen rolling around the hallways and being… mischievous.
There had been a bit of an argument between Captain Panaka, Qui-Gon and Queen Amidala when she had insisted that she would be joining the boarding party. Panaka and Qui-Gon were completely opposed to the idea.
Unfortunately for Harry, he got dragged in when Queen Amidala declared that she would be fine as long as Harry was part of her entourage and security detail.
Harry hadn't been present for that meeting. He had been with R2 and Sirius as the departed wizard instructed his godson on spells for use in battle.
The issue with the Queen joining the battle was further compounded when both men revealed that they wanted Harry and R2 to board the ship with them. They needed R2's splicing abilities and Harry's unique talents.
Amidala had quickly put Qui-Gon in his place when she pointed out that he had brought Anakin with him. It was bad enough that they were bringing a nine-year-old to a war, but Padme couldn't stand him.
The little brat had already tried to sneak into the crew cabins where the Queen and her handmaidens were living along with Harry and the pilot and co-pilot.
Harry didn't know about this as he was still spending most of his time with R2, C-3PO and Sirius.
It came as a huge surprise when they reached the Naboo system and Panaka turned to him and threatened to have him executed if a single hair on the Queen or her handmaiden's heads was damaged.
"Because Her Majesty has declared that you are part of her security detail and she will be accompanying you on the mission." Panaka snarled.
"But why am I going on the mission?"
"The Jedi and I both agree that you and your abilities are both needed and could decide the way the battle goes. Now get your gear together and get to the shuttle."
"Captain, watch your tone." Sirius said warningly. "I may not have a body these days, but I know several large Wookies who would happily rip your arms off for me."
Panaka took a deep breath. "I'm sorry, Harry. He's right, you aren't the problem here." Panaka was still terse. "Unfortunately, I am severely outranked by the person who is."
"R2 and I will stick close." Sirius assured them both.
When Harry reached the shuttle he found Padme and the handmaidens already there with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. Sabe was currently dressed as the Queen.
"Do you know how much trouble you all got me in?" He glared at the them.
He got near ten pairs of confused looks. Every handmaiden had a dog now.
"Not only did I just find out I am being conscripted into the boarding party, but I am also solely responsible for your safety!"
"That responsibility is ours." Padme frowned.
"Tell that to Panaka." Harry grumbled as he went to stand next to Qui-Gon at the rear. All the seats were occupied.
"Harry, what are you doing?" Padme asked curiously.
Harry looked around. "What do you mean?"
"You're supposed to be flying us."
Harry's eye began to twitch as he stomped to the cockpit. "Only flown a bloody ship twice and now they want me to fly a new one into combat.
"Bet the bloody RAF would have you lot court-martialled."
"What is an 'RAF', Master?"
"I do not believe it is relevant, Padawan." Qui-Gon chuckled.
Fortunately, R2-D2 had rolled up to the front of the cockpit with Sirius and they helped him disengage.
To date, Harry's knowledge of the invasion came from what he saw from the surface of Naboo and the various holographic projections of the ship designs.
He was now seeing the full scope of the invasion through the cockpit of The Phantom, The Ghost's shuttle/Starfighter.
He immediately stopped the ship.
"Harry?" Qui-Gon asked worriedly.
Harry turned and stood up. "That is ridiculous." He gestured to the multitude of Trade Federation ships strategically placed around the planet. "There is no way that taking out just one of those ships will stop the droids."
"We only need to take out the Droid Control Ship." Padme argued.
"Just how sure are you that there is only one?" Harry countered. "If it was me, every ship would be able to control them."
Padme released her safety harness and shot to her feet. "We have to try! My people are dying down there!" She said angrily.
"Right, so we need to try something different." Harry countered. "We go in there, blow up that one ship, fine. What if you are wrong and there is another control ship? All the other ships set up extra guards and we are back to square one… provided the Trade Federation doesn't decide to start bombarding the planet to make some sort of example."
"He's right, girl." Sirius spoke up from the cockpit. "I don't know what idiot thought that taking out one ship would work. In my experience, every vital machine has redundancy built in. The Ghost has a backup hyperdrive. This fighter has secondary weapons and life support."
"We have to do something!" Padme was on the verge of tears. She turned to Qui-Gon. "Tell him!"
Qui-Gon shook his head sadly. "They make valid points."
"The plan can still work! We can get the codes, jam the control signal and-"
"We can jam the whole planet?" Harry asked.
"We can try!"
"Master, although we would be unable to jam more than half the planet at a time, jamming the ships themselves is likely to shut them down. They are run solely by droids themselves." Obi-Wan offered. "This could lead to catastrophic accidents in the ships without the droids' oversight."
"Your average ship can sit in space in full working order with no crew for centuries." Sirius warned. "Yoda and I once boarded a… well, 'ghost ship'."
"I hate my life. I hate my life. I hate my li-"
"Pup?" Sirius queried his obviously frustrated godson.
"I might have a solution with minimal risk and… a pretty good outcome." He scowled at his godfather.
Harry had called it 'Pulling an Anakin'. Instead of trying to jam the droids and hope there wasn't a backup control ship, they would try and reprogram them. Just like Anakin had tried to reprogram C-3PO.
Everyone had approved of the idea, they just didn't know how to do it.
And so Harry was flying The Phantom towards a docking port on the main ship. He was alone with only his cloak, wand and an earpiece that connected him to The Ghost.
Harry had shutdown practically everything on The Phantom. Lights, sensors… even life-support was off and he was using a bubble-head charm. The only things active were the thrusters.
He had taken a wide turn and headed straight for the docking bay from some distance out. The Wookie technician said that he would be invisible to all sensors. He'd only be spotted if someone looked out the window.
As he breached the atmospheric shield that kept the air inside the ship, he disillusioned himself and donned his cloak. He had a whole bunch of stealth spells ready to use that Sirius had taught him.
Once the ship was in the hanger it hit the deck with a horrible thud and then screeched along the floor, sending up sparks. The droids were now fully focused on The Phantom.
As the ship slid to a slow stop, Harry popped the hatch and hopped out. He slipped past the droids who were all chasing the ship and headed for the nearest lift.
He had to make a long trek through the outer ring of the large ship. The ship's bridge along with the droid controls were all located on a sphere that sat in the middle of the ship. The ship looked like a ring donut that someone had taken a bit out of and then dropped the missing piece in the middle. The middle was connected to the ring by a thin section opposite the missing bit.
Harry really wanted a donut now.
The trek was long, but easy. Nobody could see or hear him and he had been told how to open the doors. The hard part now came as he stood brazenly at the terminal for the Droid Control Computer. His invisible hand slipped out and slipped a visible disk into the slot. It was a direct link to R2-D2 that would allow him to do whatever he wanted.
Harry now had to stand there and wait, hoping that no one tried to use the terminal or noticed what was happening.
"Harry, what's happening?"
"For the fifth time in six minutes… nothing!" Harry hissed back over the comms. "R2 is doing all the work. Ask him! I'm just sitting here and making sure I don't get noticed."
"Remain calm, Harry." Qui-Gon said soothingly. "Padme is just worried about you. We all are."
"Just don't do anything stupid. Remember, my shuttle is busted and I have no way off this ship." Harry grumbled.
Harry didn't realise that the idiots on the other end of the line hadn't thought about that and had gone deathly pale.
"Do you think anyone would notice if I took a nap?"
"Don't you dare! What if someone found you?"
"I believe he was making a joke, Your Majesty." Panaka's voice sounded.
Harry actually smiled. He would love to have seen Sabe break character whilst in full makeup.
"R2's finished, Harry." Sirius announced. "He has overridden all command lines and made you the only one who can give verbal orders." Sirius was clearly amused.
"Because you are the only one there and R2 can't see what you can. He can see the deployment files and current standing orders, but he can't access the droids' sensors to determine where the organics on the ship are."
Harry just grumbled. "How do I talk to all the droids at once?"
"Command one to relay your orders to all of them. At least one of the droids on the bridge should be dedicated to communication and logistics… probably the one with the biggest antenna on its back." Sirius mused.
"If I die… take care of R2 and C-3PO."
Harry stood up and walked to the organic alien who was in charge. He took off his cloak and stunned the six who were in the room before cancelling the disillusion charm on himself.
"Relay the following orders to all droids." He had found the droid with the biggest antenna. "By order of the Empire of Magic, at the request of the Queen of Naboo, all organic members of the Trade Federation Government are hereby under arrest. They are to be held under guard in their personal quarters after they have been stripped of all weapons and communications.
"Their release will be dependent on an investigation by the Empire of Magic and the Queen of Naboo.
"All hostile activities against the inhabitants of Naboo are to stop immediately. The droid forces on the surface of Naboo will maintain a status of occupation and prevent hostilities until the Empire of Magic has consulted with the Queen of Naboo.
"Roger-Roger. Transmitting orders now." The droid confirmed.
"You heard all that? Get over here and clean up." He said grumpily over the comms.
Harry hadn't been idle whilst waiting for The Ghost to dock. He had ordered the engineer droids to begin fixing The Phantom. He had also commandeered another droid to translate certain things for him. Just words he saw on labels.
The large doors to the bridge opened and Harry turned to greet… some guy in black with red and black face paint.
"Is he a member of the Trade Federation?" Harry asked his translator.
"What are you?" The man asked. He had the look of a Pureblood seeing a creature for the first time that it had already assumed it didn't like. Disgust and dismissal.
"That is Darth Maul, Sith Apprentice to Darth-krrrrk!"
The man's hand snapped out and the translator's head crumpled.
"All hands! Kill Darth Maul!" Harry shouted as he jumped off the bridge platform for cover. The sound of blaster fire filled the room.
"Sirius, one of those Sith guys is here." Harry hissed down the comms as he donned his cloak.
"Bugger! Disillusion yourself and put the cloak on. He won't be able to find you. We're almost there."
Harry had already done both and was cautiously looking over the console he was hiding behind. "Define 'almost'?" He asked as he saw the Sith standing, surrounded by a sea of droid parts.
Harry sighed. He couldn't risk the Sith taking control of the droids or just escaping. Yoda and Sirius had both alluded to bad times involving Sith, as had Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan.
He calmly stood up and surveyed the scene. This 'Darth Maul' was heading for the Droid Control Computers. His wand slipped to his hand and his hand slipped out of his cloak.
He whispered the Bombarda spell, it blew up the console and sent the man flying. Harry followed up with a volley of stunners.
The Bombarda spell, despite its destructive results, emitted no light. The Stupefy did. The Sith quickly dodged the spells or deflected them with his lightsabre.
Harry quickly repositioned and considered his next move. He could keep this up until the Jedi arrived, but even then it would be a risk.
"Harry! Are you fighting that bloody Sith?"
"Yes." Harry said tersely, before sending off another Bombarda that sent the Sith flying again.
"Dammit Pup! Don't mess around. Cast to kill. He can't see you and he can't detect invisible spells-"
"I know." Another Bombarda. The Sith appeared to be bleeding and limping.
"Come out and fight me coward!"
"Bombarda, Reducto, Imperio- just kill the bastard before he does you! Stay away from his lightsabre as well."
Harry's shock over his Godfather telling him to use an Unforgiveable was short lived at the mention of the lightsabre.
"Accio sword!" Harry whispered harshly. His left hand shot out and caught it before pulling it into the concealment of the cloak.
Harry followed up with whispered Reductos at the Sith's legs, crushing them. He cringed at the sounds of agony. He ended them with a stunner and petrifying hex.
Harry sighed in relief as he pulled back the hood of his cloak, he left his disillusionment on. The bridge was a mess. Consoles were destroyed, droid parts were scattered everywhere and a black liquid was splattered around the bleeding Sith.
The annoying part was that he was responsible for two of those three. First job, find some droids that weren't in pieces.
When Qui-Gon arrived on the bridge with Harry's two droids, Panaka and the Queen's entourage, he was relieved to see Harry unharmed and sitting in the main chair. There were no signs that a battle had occurred here… aside from the severely injured Sith hanging upside down and unconscious from the ceiling.
All this was ignored by the Queen and her handmaidens who stormed up to Harry and began pulling out medical scanners from their robes.
"This was very foolish, Harry Potter." Amidala (Sabe) said gravely. "You could easily have been killed."
That pissed Harry off and he shot to his feet. "Listen you, I don't care what rank you hold. I was conscripted into this bloody war! I just stopped these idiots from killing more of your people and the only injuries were his!" He jabbed a finger at the floating Sith.
"You could have fled!" Padme said heatedly.
"And left him to reprogram the droids again?" Harry countered. "You weren't here, you didn't see him take out all these droids without breaking a sweat. Even if he didn't manage to reprogram the droids, he could have taken control of the ship and used the weapons to destroy most of the planet."
"Ladies, you were not here." Sirius spoke up firmly as he was projected by R2. "Also, you are not his Queen, mother or wife." He ignored the blush on several of the girls. "My Godson has just saved your entire planet, probably the galaxy. A Sith is no laughing matter.
"If you have any respect or honour, you will instead, recognise what he has done instead of berating him as though he were a child."
The girls looked like they wanted to argue, but they were also torn.
"Harry, are there sleep quarters for organics on this ship?" Sirius asked his Godson.
"Lee, are there quarters?" Harry asked the communication droid he had repaired whilst waiting for them. He had decided to name the droid after the Hogwarts' Quidditch commentator, Lee Jordan.
"Two decks down sir. The elevator over there will take you straight to them."
"Harry, does the Queen and her entourage have permission to come and go as they please on this ship, provided they use The Ghost?"
Harry just shrugged. "Sure. We need to leave pretty soon though."
"What? Why?" Padme demanded.
"Sir, is this female causing you problems?" One of the other droids stepped forward. "We can have them escorted to the hanger before we head out."
"Harry, what do you have planned?" Qui-Gon enquired curiously.
"Sir, you are under no obligation to answer."
"Easy, they are just worried." Harry assured the droid. He turned to Sirius. "R2 reprogrammed the entire droid army. That includes the automated factories.
"Yeah, we need to deal with the Neimoidians behind this invasion. We also need to make sure they don't try to create a new army or reprogram this one."
"Alright, with your permission, R2 and I will see the Queen and her entourage to the hanger. You go and get some sleep. I'll try and grab some rations from The Ghost as well."
"Yeah, sure." Harry said tiredly as he turned and trudged off. He was already half asleep.
Harry was surprised to find out that he slept for most of the two-day trip to the Neimoidian home world. Sirius and R2-D2 had awoken him and helped him become more presentable.
He was further surprised to find that he was not the only human on the ship. Of the group that had boarded at Naboo, only Panaka and his people had departed. Padme and her handmaidens were still there with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan.
And regrettably for all… Anakin.
"I thought you had a planet to liberate." Harry said somewhat grumpily.
"We did. You beat us to it." Padme retorted dryly. "The least we could do is help you deal with our oppressors."
Harry let out a small huff and turned to Qui-Gon. "Why are you still here? Shouldn't you be getting him back to his mother?"
"I have a name!" Anakin said with a scowl.
Qui-Gon calmly pushed Anakin back into Obi-Wan. "Anakin has been placed in my care until the Jedi Council decides whether or not he is to be trained as a Jedi.
"In the meantime, my orders are to see to the protection of the Queen and monitor the situation with the Trade Federation."
"How long till we arrive?"
"Two hours." Sirius answered.
"Lee, what is it like on the planet? Is there any fighting?"
"No Sir. The general populace is unaware of the situation whilst the leaders have been rounded up at the Viceroy's Palace. They are secure and we are awaiting your orders, Sir."
"You've got a plan, Pup?" Sirius asked.
"I guess." Harry said weakly. "Is The Ghost still on board?"
"Yes, and The Phantom has been repaired and docked."
"Sir, I recommend not using your personal ship." Lee spoke up. "A little deception and secrecy could be useful in the future, just like the Queen uses." He nodded to Padme.
Padme paled and the handmaidens went for their weapons.
"STOP!" Harry shouted. "You are on a ship filled with armed beings. They haven't made any aggressive moves whilst you were here and I was asleep, so why-"
"How could you tell them, Harry?" Padme asked distraught. "How could you risk my life? My handmaidens' lives?"
Harry closed his eyes, his head was killing him. "Lee, I'll be down in the quarters. Call me when you're ready."
As the elevator closed behind the tired lad, Lee turned to the humans. "The Emperor never told us you were using decoys. You simply assumed your 'clever disguise' would fool the advanced imaging sensors that are all over this ship." The disgust was clear in the droid's voice.
"I am afraid I must concur with Mister Lee." C-3PO spoke up. "My eyes are designed to pick up minute body movements that are integral to certain languages. Seeing Miss Padme wearing the Queen's garb was enough to confirm you were attempting a common ruse."
Padme turned to the Jedi expectantly.
Qui-Gon just chuckled. "The Jedi are observant and sensitive, but you and your handmaidens were quite adept at concealing your mannerism from us. We had no idea."
"Wow… you're really the Queen?"
Qui-Gon's smile faded a little as the girls all cringed at the boy.
Harry was rummaging through the wardrobe in the cabin he had slept in. There were a lot of robes but no trousers or shirts or jumpers. Harry was never a fan of the wizarding robes and really wanted some new clothes. He had tried a bit of transfiguration but couldn't get the size right.
There was a chime in the room.
The door opened and Harry's blood ran cold.
"May we come in?"
It didn't matter how nervous Padme looked, seeing her there with the handmaidens was terrifying.
"Erm… sure… I guess."
And just like that his room was filled with six females. Five were dressed identically and they could all easily pass for sisters. Especially as Sabe had cleaned off her make-up.
And of course, the dogs were there too.
Despite the familiarity and friendship that Harry had witnessed between the girls, they still fell into ingrained habits. Eirtae and Rabe took up positions either side of the door, Yane and Sache moved to stand at either side of the head of the large double bed that sat against the back wall.
Sabe stood a few feet inside the door, directly behind Padme who cautiously approached Harry.
Harry had an urge to be snide and sarcastic to them. But he tried to remain calm and quiet.
"We- We wanted to apologise… all of us, I mean." She gestured to the rather downtrodden looking girls around the room. "The droid, the one you call 'Lee', he and C-3PO explained that they already knew who we were. We were wrong to have accused you, especially as R2-D2 kept referring to us as the Queen on Tatooine."
Harry slowly looked between the girls in front of him.
They refused to look him in the eye.
Then he remembered what he had been doing before they entered and looked at what he was holding in his left hand. "Yeeearrrgh!" He tossed what was clearly an undergarment to the floor.
There was a titter from behind him as Yane couldn't hold her giggle. But it quickly vanished.
Harry slumped onto the end of the bed. "Are you all done with accusing me and yelling at me?"
"We are sorry, Harry." Padme reiterated. "We just panicked. We are on an enemy ship and our secrets were revealed."
"Yeah… just, remember this for the next you try and jump to conclusions." He said unhappily.
Padme didn't know what to do, she was used to stubborn politicians and bureaucrats. She had no idea how to deal with someone her own age that had… well, he'd essentially saved her life, her home, her planet and done her job for her. She looked helplessly to her handmaidens.
"Harry, what is the 'Empire of Magic'?" Yane tried to break the ice.
Harry chuckled, not looking up. "That is me panicking and trying to be clever on the spot." He turned and grinned sheepishly at the girl. "The organisations and governments I know of include, The Galactic Republic, The Ministry of Magic, The British Empire, The Roman Empire… I just picked a name and hoped no one would question me."
"Sorry." Yane blushed.
"It doesn't matter. Once we deal with the Trade Federation then everyone will probably forget about the 'Empire of Magic'."
"You do know that the droids are calling you the Emperor?" Sabe said with a grimace.
Harry nodded. "I've been talking to R2-D2. He is still linked into the Droid Control Computer and has been altering their programs in real time.
"I made a deal with him, if the droids can learn to be peaceful or at least… not dangerous to innocent civilians before either of us dies, then we will let the programming commands die so that they can decide their own fate. Otherwise, we will find another organic who can be trusted and transfer their identity to the 'Emperor'."
"You can talk to R2 now?" Padme perked up.
Harry reached behind him and picked a handheld computer off the bed, he handed it to Padme. "Sirius had translated Galactic Basic into English when he was alive. He had a copy in his holocron and shared it with R2 and 3PO."
Padme ran her fingers over the strange symbols. "It's so… curvy."
"Emperor Potter, we have entered orbit and have prepared your ship." Lee announced.
"Listen up you disgusting worms! You are all under arrest. Charges will be decided later. But we do not appreciate you bringing people to the brink of war."
Harry was pooling all his anger from the past year and aiming it at the former Neimoidian officials that were kneeling on the floor of the palace throne room at gun point.
"You have no right! The Republic-"
"I have every right!" Harry barked. "I am the current emperor of the Trade Federation. If you want to argue about it, take it up with one of the fine fellows with the guns pointed at you."
The droids took great pleasure in cocking their weapons menacingly.
"As for the Republic, they won't interfere unless we request them to. Do you really think I'm going to do something that stupid?"
"You will make a mistake." One of the Neimoidians sneered. "And when you do, the Sith Lord will strike and you will suffer."
"I am suddenly trying to think of the reason I decided to talk to you." Harry grumbled. "Captain, take them and imprison them in whatever prison or holding cells we have. We'll arrange for interrogations and trials later."
"Roger, Roger." The lead droid acknowledged as his 'men' manhandled the Neimoidians out of the room.
Harry plopped down wearily on the steps of the dais that held the throne. He looked up at R2 and Sirius. "What now?"
"You rest." Sirius said firmly. "Go back to Coruscant and maybe talk to Yoda, or go to Kashyyyk and find this Chewbacca. Of course, you could always see if a certain young lady would be willing to put you up for a bit so you can relax on Naboo." He grinned slyly.
He was rewarded with a blush from Padme and smirks from the handmaidens.
Harry just shrugged. "Whatever. I- I don't have anything. No reasons or goals."
"Patience, Harry." Qui-Gon admonished lightly. "There are always things that need doing and people that need help. Rest whilst you can, I am sure the Force will guide you eventually."
"Come with us." Padme said as she knelt down in front of him and took his hand in hers. "We will be heading back to Naboo to ensure our people are safe, then we will head to Coruscant to address the Senate. After that, we would be happy to accompany you to Kashyyyk."
"Don't you have to stay on Naboo? You're the Queen after all."
Padme smiled. "After the aid the Wookies and our other allies gave us, the least we could do is travel to their worlds and offer our thanks in person."
"Just say yes Pup. Like you said, you don't have anything better to do. I'll stick with you till the end."
*Chapter 6*: Chapter 6
To the surprise of everyone, they were back on the droid ship and heading back to Naboo within the day. The Neimoidians that had been on the ship were left on the planet.
The only other organic they kept was the Sith. He had been stripped and tied up and then stuffed, unconscious into a cargo container until they got him back to Coruscant and the Jedi.
Once they reached orbit, they used The Ghost to land on the planet. They were met by Governor Sio Bibble. He was not entirely pleased.
"Your Majesty, whilst the people are celebrating your success, we have been approached by representatives of the Gungan. They are claiming we murdered one of their own in cold blood."
Harry felt a chill down his back as he looked to Qui-Gon.
"Do they have proof?" The Queen asked calmly. Padme was back in the makeup now.
"They claim they have an eyewitness and visual recording. They are close to becoming physically aggressive."
"Tell them to provide you with a copy of the recording. Our priorities lie with our people who have suffered these past weeks. Seeing as they were not inclined to aid us in our time of need, they can wait until we can afford to waste ours on them."
Bibble just nodded and made a note on his little computer.
"What is the current state of affairs? How many were killed?" She asked, clearly reluctant to hear the answer.
"Over two thousand killed in the concentration camps. There is a lot of fear still due to the droid army patrolling."
"If you've got your policemen ready to take over, then I can send the droids back to the ships." Harry offered.
"What? What do you mean? Are you responsible-"
"Governor!" Amidala snapped. "You met Harry Potter when he and the Jedi saved us and helped us escape the planet. He controls the droid army because he single-handedly boarded their ship and defeated them. He saved Naboo and myself."
"I had R2 as well." Harry mumbled. The little droid just beeped and nudged him.
"You both did amazing things, but you are the one who risked his life."
R2-D2 just beeped more firmly.
"R2-D2 agrees with Her Majesty." C-3PO translated. "He also would like to remind everyone that Master Harry defeated a Sith. With no aid."
"Ah, you're a Jedi." Bibble said understandingly.
"He is not." Amidala had a slight smile. "He is just a man who found himself in a precarious position."
"Do you want the droids to head off planet?" Harry asked, desperate to change the topic.
"Could you have them reposition to guard vulnerable and vital areas. Like the palace, hospitals, power plants?" Panaka asked.
"I'll tell Lee to move them to where you suggest. For defence only." He added firmly.
Panaka just nodded in understanding.
"Governor, I will be leaving as soon as possible for Coruscant." The Queen informed Bibble. "I will need to address the Senate and withdraw our complaint."
"Withdr- Your Majesty, whilst we might now be free, it came at a great cost. We must seek punishment and justice!" Bibble said passionately.
"And we will. But not through the Republic." She promised. "Emperor Potter has agreed to extradite the responsible individuals to Naboo for trial and judgement."
Harry gave an unhappy wave.
"In order to defeat the Trade Federation, Harry Potter and R2-D2 risked everything to wrest control of the Droid Control Ship away from the Neimoidians and then reprogram the droids to accept him as their leader."
Harry really didn't like the way Padme made him sound like Lockhart. Unfortunately, he couldn't think of a different way to phrase it.
"Then we are truly indebted to you." Bibble gave Harry a slight but genuine bow. "Your Majesty, do you have any idea of how long you will be able to stay? The people deserve a celebration and your presence is practically mandatory."
The Queen gave a small smile. "We will stay until the conclusion of the celebration. See to the people, Governor. I will deal with the Gungans and the Republic if necessary."
Padme and her handmaidens led Harry to the throne room where she sat surrounded by her handmaidens.
"Your Majesty, we need to talk." Harry said as soon as it was just them and the Jedi. "I might be the one who killed the Gungan."
"We are aware." She assured him.
"He's a murderer!"
Right, Anakin was also there.
"Master Qui-Gon, this is really not a forum for children." She addressed the Jedi sternly.
Harry had to turn his face to hide his snort. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were the only real adults in the room.
"I'm not a child!"
Harry turned to the Jedi Master. "Qui-Gon, I'd really appreciate some privacy about this personal matter."
The Jedi just nodded. "Obi-Wan, could you and Anakin see if you can find some suitable accommodation for us?"
"Yes Master." Obi-Wan clearly found the interactions between the child and the… older children amusing. He quickly ushered a protesting Anakin out of the room.
"Do not trouble yourself over this, Harry." Qui-Gon stepped forward. "I was witness to the event. There was no murder. It was a tragic accident and you were a victim as well.
"I will stand for you."
"As will the Naboo." Padme promised, her façade dropping in privacy. "You haven't hurt anyone on purpose. Lee said you even repaired the droids that the Sith damaged."
"I will say that I would prefer to know what you did to the Troydarian on Tatooine." The girls scowled at the Jedi, but he remained adamant.
"Watto? I fixed most of his junk." Harry shrugged. "I also threatened to kill him if he decided to try and sell me out to the mob."
"The Hutts. Organised crime."
"Whilst I don't agree with the threatening-"
"You have no moral or legal place to object, Qui-Gon Jinn." Padme said angrily as she stood from her throne. "You admitted yourself that you attempted to use your powers to affect the shopkeepe's mind."
Qui-Gon had the grace to look chastised. "I apologise. It is not the 'persuasion' that the Jedi Council would object to, it is the aggression and violence, implied or otherwise. Even in combat, we hold our emotions in check.
"Harry Potter is no Jedi, and I will emphasise that should the need arise."
"You're going to put me on trial?" Harry's eyes widened.
Qui-Gon frowned, slightly confused. "The Jedi do not put people on trial. We do hold tribunals should a Jedi commit a crime or infraction, but we hold no power over civilians.
"I was saying that I would vouch for your innocence with the Gungans." He explained carefully.
"Oh… thanks." Harry was very relieved.
"Eirtae, please send for C-3PO and R2-D2." Padme instructed her handmaiden. "Harry, you are officially a visiting diplomat and a guest of the people of Naboo. No one will get to put you on trial unless they wish to start a war with the Trade Federation, which you now control.
"I believe that both the Republic and the Gungans have proven they are too spineless to start violence."
Padme had insisted that Harry not be present at the meeting with the Gungan representative. Sabe had donned the makeup and Padme had sent Yane with Harry to make sure he didn't get lost or could get what he needed.
Yane had set Harry up in the rooms reserved for the Royal family. They were currently unused as Padme had no family beyond her sister who was married. They were luxuriously decorated with all the facilities en suite.
They also sat at the top of the palace with a large balcony complete with tables and chairs.
Harry, Yane and Qui-Gon were standing at the edge, leaning on the wall and looking out at the wide road. It was a sunny day and the people were busy preparing for the celebration.
Inside, Obi-Wan was desperately trying to prevent a full-on war between R2 and Anakin. C-3PO was working with the Queen as a liaison to the Droid Control Ship.
"Why do you insist on dragging the boy everywhere you go, Master Jinn?" Yane asked with distaste.
Qui-Gon gave a weary sigh. He'd answered that question several times. Usually for Obi-Wan. "Anakin has a very high connection to the Force. He needs training."
"So why isn't he with all the other kids?" Harry asked, referring to the children back at the Jedi Temple.
"Because he is too old."
Harry glanced back into the room. "For what? Nappies?"
"Jedi are found when they are babies. They are taken into the Jedi Order and raised as toddlers. The Jedi Code is very strict and demanding. Those who are older find it harder to adhere to the Code."
"What the devil is in the Code? It sounds like brainwashing to me!" What he was hearing was definitely at odds with what he experienced from Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and Yoda.
Qui-Gon moved to sit at the patio table and gestured for Harry and Yane to join him. "The Jedi Code is a state of mind. It is the opposite of the Sith Code.
"There is no emotion, there is peace.
"There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
"There is no passion, there is serenity.
"There is no chaos, there is harmony.
"There is no death, there is the Force."
They sat there silently for a few moments as the younger two contemplated Qui-Gon's recitation.
"You are not allowed to be happy?" Yane was clearly having as much trouble as Harry understanding.
Qui-Gon gave her a soft smile. "Do not think of the Code as something to govern our every waking moment. It is a tool, a guide for when we must perform our duties.
"We take pleasure and joy in seeing our Padawans grow and surpass us, but when we are on a mission, we do not make jokes, we remain calm.
"We mourn the loss of our fellow Jedi, but should one of us fall in battle, we remain focused on our mission."
"What if someone doesn't want to be a Jedi?" Harry asked curiously.
A look of true sadness drifted across Qui-Gon's face. "It happens. There have been twenty-one recorded. If they wish to leave, they may.
"It is rarely talked about as it is a very painful event for the Jedi as a whole."
"Is it true that Jedi are not allowed to marry?" Yane asked.
"Personal and emotional attachments are one of the few things that are strictly enforced." Qui-Gon nodded. "We own nothing but our lightsabers. Our clothes are given to us by the Order along with all other necessary equipment."
"What about your parents?" Harry asked.
"We are taken very young. Long before we can create true attachments. It is one of the reasons that the Council will not approve of Anakin's training."
"I'd hate to see him with the same abilities as you and Obi-Wan." Harry grimaced.
"And yet, without the proper training, he will eventually be seduced by the dark side of the Force." Qui-Gon said pointedly. "At present, I am seriously considering leaving the Order myself to train him." He was clearly unhappy about the idea.
"What about Obi-Wan?" Yane said a little heatedly. He wasn't much older than the Queen and her handmaidens and he had seemed like a nice person. They didn't want to see him abandoned.
Qui-Gon had a slightly proud smile. "He is ready for his trials. This will see him become a full Jedi. He will not need a Master."
"That boy would be a terrible Jedi." Yane said firmly.
Qui-Gon had an amused look. "Oh?"
"The boy should be dead. He was a slave who stole from his owner. Even if this 'Watto' knew his potential, he would have punished Shmi to teach the boy a lesson.
"The boy is possessive."
"What do you think, Harry?"
"He reminds me of two people I knew back home. Both were my age. One was my cousin, I grew up with him. The other was in the same school as me.
"They were both spoiled, arrogant and bullies. Despite coming from relative wealth, they both stole for fun."
"You think Anakin stole 'for fun'?" Qui-Gon frowned.
"He didn't steal for food." Yane scoffed. "C-3PO would never have provided food for him or his mother, but the power costs would have been beyond any money they did have."
"He- I think he needs his mother. Probably a father too." Harry's eyes were dull and emotionless. "He needs someone… someone who can control his life. He needs to learn limitations. The difference between stealing to survive and stealing to entertain yourself."
"You aren't really suggesting we return him to slavery?" Qui-Gon asked curiously.
"Anakin was never a slave. A prisoner, sure. But… I know slavery and slaves."
Neither Qui-Gon or Yane were going to press Harry for more, but every time Yane remembered that conversation a chill would run through her heart.
That evening Yane accompanied Harry to the private royal dining room where he sat with Padme and the handmaidens. He was sat at one end of the long table opposite Padme at the other end.
It made Harry very uncomfortable as it made him the centre of attention.
"We should be ready to leave for Coruscant in three days." Padme informed him. "The Phantom is fully repaired and so is The Ghost. My own ship is currently being retrofitted with stealth capabilities and weaponry.
"If the work is not completed on time, would you object to ferrying us on The Ghost?"
"Thank you." Padme smiled at him. She was aware that he didn't know how to handle being gifted something like a ship. He clearly still didn't consider it his. Based on their private conversations, she knew he probably expected it to be taken away or confiscated at some point.
"Harry, tomorrow the tailors and dressmakers will be coming to prepare our clothes for the celebration."
A slight blush. "I promise to stay out of the palace. I can learn some more spells from Sirius."
"Harry, they will need to fit you for clothes as well."
Harry looked down at himself and grimaced. He was wearing the same clothes he had fallen through the archway with. He used liberal cleaning charms, but Padme probably thought he would still smell.
"Harry, we know you didn't arrive on Naboo with anything." Sabe spoke up from Padme's left. "You saved our people with nothing but your wand."
"I had R2 and The Phantom."
"Harry, why do you always try to pass the credit to others?" The soft spoken Rabe asked.
"I don't!" Harry said a little defensively. "R2 was there."
"R2 was thousands of miles away hidden safely on The Ghost." Yane smiled.
"That's enough." Padme said firmly, the handmaidens bowed their heads in chastisement. "We know why Harry does it. We know he fears being blamed for any little thing that goes wrong.
"It is why he will be at our side during the celebrations, but will be wearing a disguise, like mine as queen."
"I will?" Harry was surprised.
Padme gave him a reassuring smile. "The disguise I use and the decoy system were developed by Captain Panaka. But, as you have seen, I also use it to move freely in public without needing a large security detail.
"We are going to help you develop a disguise for your persona as 'The Emperor'. You can use it when you represent the Trade Federation in the Senate."
"I don't know anything about politics!"
"But you clearly know about helping people and keeping them safe. That is all you need to do."
"What about the rules and laws they tried to use against you?"
"Just as we had advisors when we addressed the Senate, you can have them too. C-3PO is being fitted with the latest databases regarding various inter-galactic laws. We were very fortunate to find him. Apparently he was the translator for a well respected negotiator, he is highly experienced."
Harry couldn't help but relax a little the more excited Padme became. She actually seemed to enjoy this sort of thing. He managed to focus on his meal as the girls devolved into discussing colour schemes and styles.
The following day was spent standing on a stool in various states of undress as the royal seamstress and tailor prodded, poked and argued over Harry.
Apparently they were an old married couple whose family had served the throne for generations. As such, they were privy to certain royal secrets like the decoy system and the Queen's true identity.
"Padme only serves for a few years, woman! Harry will be emperor until he dies or relinquishes his throne! Lookalikes and makeup will not suffice!" Arlen Pardot, the tailor argued with Belan, his seamstress wife.
"And your fancy holograms still flicker and fail." Belan sneered.
"If Padme agrees, we can have my prototypes handed over to the scientists to be examined properly."
"Couldn't I just wear a mask?" Harry interrupted carefully. He didn't really want to draw attention to himself, but he was getting hungry.
The old couple looked at him and frowned.
"Relax, Dear." Belan assured him. "It isn't a bad suggestion, but it is… tricky. Hiding one's face is often associated with unsavoury people. Like the Sith. Arlen's holograms, whilst still unstable, would allow us to project a new face over yours. No one would know the difference."
"Gold and silver." Arlen said snapping his fingers. "If we make a mask, simple in design but clearly masculine, and create a set of robes like a Jedi's, then it will work if we use colours such as gold and silver, they are diametrically opposite to the Sith who use black and red."
The argument then continued.
And Harry stood there patiently.
It wasn't just a disguise or outfit. It was practically a suit of armour.
Arlen and Belan had gotten a bit carried away and decided that the mask would be a part of a helmet. Then they had created a breastplate and then grieves.
The only thing stopping them from giving him gloves was that he needed to be able to touch his wand. Instead there was a guard over the back of his hands.
The armour was a matte silver, over it he wore a gold cloak with a hood that Belan had told him he should leave up.
Arlen had gone a step further and added light blue glowing accents at the various seams of the armour.
The mask was not just a mask.
It had a head's up display as used by space pilots that relayed information from R2, 3PO and Lee. It also contained air filters to prevent him being poisoned by gas.
"If you aren't liberating planets and saving pretty girls, you're freeing slaves and standing toe-to-toe with Sith bastards! You need all the help you can get." Arlen had wagged a finger in his face.
And so, here he was, standing on the steps of the palace next to Padme who was dressed all in white with her Amidala makeup in place. R2 was next to him whilst 3PO stood with Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and a glaring Anakin.
Qui-Gon had been given permission to train Anakin as a Jedi and the boy was dressed as a Jedi youngling, complete with the traditional braid.
Obi-Wan was to face his trials when they returned to Coruscant so he could become a full Jedi.
Amongst those standing on the steps behind the Queen were her handmaidens, Governor Bibble and various important people who Harry had been introduced to but immediately forgotten their names.
Senator Palpatine was also there. Whilst he was smiling with everyone else, he couldn't look at Harry with anything but a sneer. Even when he was in the armour. According to Padme, he wasn't in on the secret behind the Emperor.
Out on the wide street in front of them, the people of Naboo were dancing and parading in celebration. There was loud music, lights, confetti and food. They had been going since daybreak and the Queen had only arrived at noon.
An hour after the Queen had arrived, chairs were set up for the Queen and her party. They then sat and watched as various groups of citizens performed various acts of entertainment.
By late afternoon, Governor Bibble stood and addressed the people. He weaved a story that saw Amidala lead a daring escape off the planet and away from the invaders, brave the treacherous border world of Tatooine, argue fiercely with the Senate, and finally, when all had failed, she had led a heroic mission to board the flagship of the Trade Federation fleet and captured the Viceroy, ending the invasion.
Harry took a perverse sense of pleasure as he watched Padme try not to squirm in embarrassment under her makeup. Especially when Governor Bibble declared her 'Amidala, Warrior Queen'.
The crowd lapped it up.
When the Queen finally retired for the day as the sun began to set, she returned to the palace.
"Governor Bibble, Emperor, a word please." She said tightly as she headed for her throne room. The handmaidens followed dutifully.
Harry followed obediently but with a firm and decisive stride that Arlen had drilled into him.
The Queen frowned as she took her throne. "Senator Palpatine, this is a private meeting."
"Senator, do you really intend to make us repeat ourselves?" She asked archly.
Palpatine swallowed hard, turned and left.
As the doors closed she sighed before she turned and glared at the Governor. "Please explain why we just had to sit through a litany of lies, Governor."
Bibble looked very guilty. "Please, Your Majesty, I know I may have left a few key points from the official story, but they were done with nothing but the best of intentions."
"Explain." She ordered.
Sio Bibble took a deep and thoughtful breath. "I was approached yesterday by the droid, Sirius Black. And yes, he did explain to me the nature of his being and that he is neither a droid nor a holocron.
"He suggested referring to him as a droid.
"Regardless, he told me that Harry would value his privacy and shuns fame and fortune. The droid itself and Master Jinn confirmed this when I questioned them about Harry's character. This was merely a means to reward him. At least partially."
"He is the sole reason Naboo is free." Padme scowled. "He should be the Hero of Naboo. That parade should have been in his honour."
"I really don't like the attention, Your Majesty." Harry grimaced behind his mask. "I was famous when I was one. I just didn't know it. I was eleven when I discovered my fame and I hated all the people coming up to me."
"We could have easily referred to Harry Potter as 'The Emperor', this would have meant we could have publicly rewarded him without exposing Harry to the public!" Padme was very annoyed. "We certainly wouldn't have been lying to them."
Sio Bibble had been unapologetic with regards to what he had done. When Padme had first been elected as queen, he had opposed it as he felt she was too young. But the young girl had proven herself and earned his trust and respect. She had also managed to mellow the stubborn grouch a tad.
When he had heard the story of the boy, who was barely a few months older than Padme, who had risked everything to save the planet, the Queen and quite frankly, galactic peace, he had jumped at the chance to reward the lad as best as the people of Naboo could.
Unfortunately, he never got to tell Harry or Padme about the large estate that had been gifted to Harry for services to Naboo as Padme had grabbed what and who she needed and then manhandled Harry onto The Ghost to head for Coruscant. Sio had to settle for sending a message to Sirius as he knew Harry still couldn't read or use the communication systems.
"Harry, why are we boarding one of the Droid Ships?" Padme asked as the displaced wizard piloted The Ghost into the hanger.
"Just seems like something the Emperor should do. Travel on one of his ships." Harry shrugged. "If the Emperor walked off this ship but Harry Potter didn't, it might get some questions asked."
"That is quite sound tactical thinking." Qui-Gon said approvingly.
"Plus I won't have to worry about Anakin trying to sneak around R2 and 3PO." Harry added under his breath.
"Harry, this is not the Droid Control ship." Sabe frowned.
"I had them send it somewhere safe. I didn't want someone to try and repeat what I did. Oh, and don't go anywhere without a droid escort. All ships have vented the atmosphere and it will only be restored by the droids as necessary."
"You are beginning to sound paranoid, Pup." Sirius joked from his projection on top of R2.
"Do you need me to give you a run down of what happened to me at Hogwarts? I know it's been a few centuries for you." Harry asked calmly.
"It was that bad? I never really got the whole story."
"Bad enough." Padme scowled. "And we know very little."
Harry blocked them out as he shut down the ship.
The trip to Coruscant took three days. On the second day they received an irate communication from Senator Palpatine who accused Harry and the Emperor of leaving him behind.
Padme and Harry didn't discover this until after the fact as Sirius had dealt with it himself. Harry was now very apprehensive of ever meeting the senator again.
Harry spent most of the trip in his new 'Emperor's Outfit' at Padme's insistence. She said it took her weeks to get used to 'acting as Amidala'. Fortunately Qui-Gon had taken Obi-Wan and Anakin to a spare storage room to use as quarters so he could begin actively training his new Padawan.
Harry and the girls were free to relax without having to set a guard.
There was a lot of discussion about how they should arrive on Coruscant. Sirius had helped Padme explain to Harry the need for pomp and pageantry.
This was why they landed at the embassy of the Trade Federation in one of the droid ship's frigates. A squad of twelve droids disembarked and secured the area before standing in two lines either side of the gangway. Queen Amidala of Naboo gracefully walked down the gangway and onto the landing pad on the arm of the silver and gold clad Emperor. Behind them the handmaidens followed with their dogs.
The Queen was once again dressed in black, but the handmaidens were now wearing grey robes that seemed to compliment both the Queen and the Emperor. They were met by jittery Neimoidians who did a lot of bowing.
"Lead us straight to the office of the former Viceroy." Harry ordered, his voice disguised by a vocal modulator.
The droids made a sharp turn so they faced towards the entrance to the Trade Federation embassy. The Neimoidians jumped in fright and scurried on.
The entire building was opulently appointed. Neimoidians were the type who enjoyed riches and luxury. It was why they built the droid army, so they wouldn't have to do any real work.
When they arrived Harry curtly ordered them to leave. The handmaidens immediately pulled out scanners and searched for listening and recording devices.
"The room is secure." Rabe announced.
"Does that mean I can take my mask off?"
"Better that you don't." Sabe recommended as she looked out the window that showed the massive and seemingly endless city. "At least, not until we can ensure that these windows are one-way only.
Harry didn't know what that meant, but he did know he was stuck as the Emperor for longer. The next two hours were spent finalising the plan for addressing the Senate.
*Chapter 7*: Chapter 7
Once again Harry had to sit and listen to the blather as the hour of ceremonious tripe continued.
"We will now hear from the Trade Federation on the subject of the alleged blockade of Naboo." The Chancellor announced.
Harry was sweating buckets under his mask as his pod floated out. It was just him and two droids from the shuttle. Padme was in her role as the Queen several storeys up. This was as bad as his hearing for underage magic.
"Honoured members, the Trade Federation withdraws any objections to the investigation of the incident at Naboo. I have personally met with Her Majesty, Queen Amidala and have made arrangements to see the situation rectified."
There were murmurings of surprise and confusion. Not to mention the look of befuddlement on the Chancellor's face.
"Honoured delegate, I do not recognise you." He said hesitantly. "Could you please identify yourself and explain by what right you speak for the Trade Federation?"
"I am the Emperor, leader of the Empire of Magic of which the Trade Federation is a member. The former Viceroy and his directorate have been relieved of their positions in the light of their actions against the people of Naboo."
"Empire of Magic? I have never heard of such a body."
Harry just shrugged. "You have now."
"It's a Sith!"
Harry had no idea who said that but it was a cry that was soon picked up by other delegates. Harry regretted ever agreeing to this.
Harry had no idea that Padme could be that loud.
"The Emperor is no more a Sith than I am." She glared at the delegates as her pod moved forward next to Harry's. "I have spent more than six days in the presence of the Emperor. In that time he has conversed with numerous Jedi and they have been very respectful to each other.
"It is despicable that you should throw such disgusting accusations against one who has saved my people. We will not stand for it."
"You say that, but it is clear he has conquered you and that you are his puppet. Just as he has conquered and subjugated the Trade Federation!" The Ambassador from Malastare accused as his pod floated forward.
Harry turned to the Chancellor. "Whilst I am grateful for Her Majesty's support, I believe order should be restored and that you should enforce the rules of the Senate. Neither the Queen nor the Ambassador was recognised and given leave to speak. The fool who shouted I was a Sith certainly did not signal his desire to speak.
"As the offended party, who has the floor and has been so egregiously maligned, I must petition for justice."
"Silence!" Valorum snapped at the Ambassador. "The Emperor is correct, both you and Queen Amidala will return to your places."
He waited for both to leave, Amidala did so with far more grace than the scowling Ambassador Aks Moe of Malastare.
"Emperor, I am afraid a little patience will be required before I can address your complaint as I will need to review the recordings to see who committed the grievance."
"I can afford a little patience." Harry allowed. "For now, I will cede the floor with a courtesy warning that the Empire of Magic is considering removing the Trade Federation from the Republic. Whilst the Trade Federation was wrong to attack the people of Naboo, the underlying motive was valid. We will not recognise the Republic's abolition of the Free Trade Zones in such a unilateral manner. Should the Republic wish to push the matter, then I am told that currency and trade could see severe changes for both sides as we attempt to mitigate the damages you seem intent on inflicting on us."
Harry didn't wait for a response as he pushed a button that took his pod back. He ignored the stunned look on the Chancellor's face and those of his advisors as the senate descended into chaos.
What he did notice was a late arriving Senator Palpatine who boarded the Queen's pod and immediately began speaking heatedly to her. Amidala seemed to be uncomfortable.
That's when Harry noticed the old man had a painful grip on her upper arm. "Sabe! He is hurting the Queen!" Harry shouted up towards the higher placed Naboo pod. He turned to the droids. "Can you get me up there?"
"Negative. Senate pods are locked into pre-determined routes."
Harry growled in frustration. He palmed his wand and threw out a stunner. The old man dropped like a rock.
Fortunately, his actions went unnoticed in the clamour and chaos around them. He quickly pushed past his bodyguards and exited the pod.
He marched straight to the nearest stairs and jogged up them, he was challenged by various guards but he was high on adrenaline and his wand was ready. Stunners flew quickly and accurately.
He burst through the door to the pod docking bay and found Sabe and Yane trying to rouse Palpatine. Harry ignored them, stepping over the unconscious fool and moving to Padme. "Are you alright?"
She nodded shakily, holding her left arm. "He- He just collapsed."
"I did that. How is your arm?" He asked worriedly.
Padme was clearly in shock.
"Sabe, we need to leave. Now!" He snapped.
"Was attacking the Queen. Either leave him or call for reinforcements."
"Your Majesty!" Yane gasped as she noticed Padme holding her arm.
"Look, my ship is ready and waiting. I can take her up and have her treated whilst you take the git into custody, ok?"
"We can handle the Senator. Additional units are approaching and will escort you." One of the droids reported.
The group had been escorted straight to the Trade Federation embassy and into the onsite medical wing. As usual, the Neimoidians spared no expense in ensuring their comfort so they had a dedicated medic droid.
Padme was soon sitting in a medical chair with a substance called 'bacta' being circulated through her arm.
"Why would the Senator do something like this?" Yane was nearly biting her fingernails as she hovered over the queen.
"I want to know how that old man had the strength to fracture her bones." Sabe was furious. She had made a personal call to Captain Panaka and additional security forces were en route from the embassy and Naboo.
"Where was her dog? Where were your dogs?" Harry demanded angrily. "They are supposed to protect you!"
"Pets are not allowed in the Senate building, Harry." Padme said soothingly from the reclining medical chair. "Even if they are for protection."
"Master Harry, whilst that is true, as you have seen today, droids are under no such restrictions." C-3PO's voice sounded distantly from Harry's mask on a nearby table. "Perhaps the addition of a suitable droid that has direct access to Her Majesty's vitals and comm link would be of use."
Harry relaxed a bit. Once again the rescued and salvaged protocol droid had come to save his day. If it hadn't been for C-3PO guiding him he would have been utterly lost in the hearing.
"If you would be so kind as to get me back to my body, I would happily begin arrangements."
"Sure 3PO. You've been great today. Once we get you a disguise you won't need to do this again." Harry assured him as he picked up his mask.
Rather than risk associating Harry Potter's registered droid with the Emperor, Harry had worked with R2-D2 to extract C-3PO's core and install it in his mask so he had a trained advisor on hand. Remote communications were not permitted in the Senate meetings.
"It is always a pleasure to serve, Master Harry. Just even more so with a body."
"Emperor, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn has returned with Jedi Master Yoda. They are requesting transport to your ship to secure Darth Maul." A droid reported from the doorway.
Harry looked unhappy with that. "Send them in."
"Harry? This was already arranged, wasn't it?" Padme asked.
"Yeah, but that was before you were attacked."
"We are trained and capable of defending our Queen." Sabe argued heatedly.
Harry simply took a step back from Padme and gestured to the tubes plugged into her arm.
"Sabe… we did fail." Yane said with shame. "Even now, our dogs aren't here. Eirtae has proven how effective they are at protecting us."
"What? What happened?" Harry demanded as he turned to the aforementioned handmaiden.
"It was just an attempted mugging." Eirtae assured him. "I was buying supplies and someone pushed me down. Pad had the mugger pinned to the floor in seconds. I was unharmed and so was Pad."
All the girls had given their dogs names based on those usually associated with Sirius and his animagus form.
"I'll go and release them from the bedroom." Rabe winced as she rushed off.
"Queen Amidala, injured?" Came the old high-pitched and surprised voice. "Heard Senator Palpatine was ill, we did. Not this." Yoda frowned as he entered with Qui-Gon.
Harry and the girls were all relieved that Anakin wasn't there.
"That bastard crushed her arm." Harry snarled. "He did the same to me after the last senate hearing. Kept threatening me too."
"What? Why didn't you tell me?" Padme asked.
Harry just shrugged uncomfortably.
"Were you walking around with a broken shoulder all that time?" Yane asked as she pulled a medical probe off a shelf nearby and ran it over Harry.
"He was perfectly healthy when we scanned him on the Droid Control Ship." Padme frowned.
They turned to the chuckling Yoda. "Sturdy, wizards are. Can survive more than humans. But still… damageable."
"That would explain how Harry survived his fall on arriving on Naboo." Qui-Gon nodded.
"Magic, like the Force, invoked on instinct it can be. Saved Sirius many times, it did."
"I want to know why Palpatine was hurting Padme." Harry redirected the conversation. Rabe returned at this point, preceded by a pack of dogs, eager to return to their charges.
"He has been heavily involved in the Free Trade Zone debate." Qui-Gon offered. "Perhaps he was upset that Naboo is changing its position."
"Master Jinn- I- I need you to persuade me with the Force." Padme said hesitantly. "Please."
Qui-Gon looked appalled, but Yoda looked very sad and waved his hand. "Your feelings, tell us your feelings for Harry."
The handmaidens looked horrified as Padme's expression glazed slightly. Harry was confused.
"Enough." Yoda snapped his hand down and Padme began breathing heavily. He hobbled up to the chair and patted Padme's hand. "Strong you are. Jedi you are not. But strong is the Force in you.
"Learn what you needed, did you?"
Padme nodded, her shaky expression turning hard and severe. "Palpatine was trying to use the Force to control me."
"Are you saying that the Senator for Naboo, is a Sith?" Qui-Gon stepped forward and asked gravely.
"I have felt the Force used around me and I have now experienced it on myself." Padme began to sit up and Harry and Sabe moved to help her. "I know that is what Palpatine was doing at the Senate."
"I thought these Siths were supposed to be rare." Harry frowned. "We suddenly find two in a week?"
"Always two." Yoda looked him in the eye sternly. "Master and Apprentice. Always two."
"So Maul is the Apprentice?"
"That is what the droids confirmed." Sirius spoke up from the corner where R2 had been reinstalling C-3PO into his body. "Darth Maul, apprentice to Darth Sidious.
"Of course, what Yoda seems to be forgetting is that, whilst there is always a master and apprentice, it doesn't mean that the master's master isn't still around or that the apprentice hasn't taken on an apprentice of their own."
"So we could be dealing with four Sith?" Sabe demanded.
"Or more." Sirius nodded. "At some point the master and apprentice will try to kill each other. Occasionally we get lucky and they manage to do each other at the same time."
"What happens with Palpatine?" Harry asked. "You said Sith can do what Jedi do, like mind-control. Can the local police handle him?"
"No. Sith are always dealt with by the Jedi Order." Qui-Gon said firmly. "We will interrogate both Maul and Palpatine and learn the truth."
"Yoda, you have to get Harry to Kashyyyk." Sirius ordered. "All my possessions are there and he will need them. Whether as Harry Potter or The Emperor, he has taken on and defeated a Sith. He will be a target."
Yoda looked resigned. "Agreed. Accompany him, will I. Teach him what I know."
"It's been too long since you had a Padawan old friend." Sirius grinned.
What was supposed to be a quick trip to Harry's droid ship to retrieve Darth Maul and deliver him to the Jedi Temple, turned into a three-ring circus.
Sabe was back in the makeup (after three hours). Padme had insisted on accompanying them. Qui-Gon had decided to bring his new Padawan and Obi-Wan along. Panaka had ordered an armed escort for the Queen.
And finally, three other members of the Jedi Council had demanded to go as well.
Harry was back in his mask and wishing he had 3PO still. "You will abide my instructions and by the instructions of my droids. If you don't… well, we will simply provide the Council with a recording of your stupidity along with your remains."
He wasn't pleased about being ordered around. Especially as he was-
"Actually, no. You will all stay here. Yoda, Qui-Gon, come with me."
"We will not stand by and wait whilst there is a Sith on the loose." The dark-skinned Mace Windu scowled.
"Really? Because Palpatine has been running around and doing things for decades."
"Enough! Respect! Respect for the Emperor." Yoda said angrily as he stomped his cane. "Return to the temple. Prepare for prisoners you will."
Windu looked like he might argue but Yoda leaned forward sharply.
"Much trouble in, when we return to the planet you are, hmm?" Yoda chuckled as Harry led them through the large hallways of his ship.
"I wasn't going to change my mind about the other Jedi so why would I do it for Padme?" Harry grumbled.
"It's comments like that make me really regret not being there to raise you, Pup." Sirius said sadly as R2 rolled along behind them.
A simple colouring charm ensured that 'H2-P2' would not be associated with 'R2-D2'.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Let's just say it's clear no one taught you about women."
"I know about women." Harry muttered.
They soon reached the cargo container that was being used to hold the Sith. Harry had instructed the droids to keep the monster sedated as he didn't have time to sit there and watch him.
Harry was impressed as Yoda levitated the fifteen-foot-long container back down the hallway and onto The Ghost. Harry had insisted on using that ship. He wanted to take his bloody mask off.
Despite his unusual speech patterns and slow, seemingly weak movements, Jedi Master Yoda was capable of quick thinking and organisation.
Within hours of returning to the planet's surface, Maul was in custody and Yoda was wandering around The Ghost with a critical eye, accompanied by R2 and Sirius.
Despite the Queen's ship travelling with them, Padme and her handmaidens had opted to travel on Harry's ship.
At Sirius' insistence they were on the way to Kashyyyk. Whatever Sirius had left for him was important enough for Yoda to agree with the urgency. Like Naboo, Kashyyyk was located in the mid rim, it was, however, much closer to Coruscant than Naboo. It would only take a day and a half to reach them.
Once Yoda had finished his inspection of the ship, Sirius had ordered the girls and their dogs to the cargo bay for lessons on their dogs, how to care for, handle and train.
As Sirius explained it, the dogs were a manifestation of Harry's imagination. Each one would behave as Harry expected Padfoot to behave. So whilst they were trained and housebroken… they were mischievous.
Yane had been mortified to realise that her dog knew exactly what it was doing when it had been trying to nuzzle under her skirt.
Sirius reluctantly taught the girls about the value of a water spray bottle and a rolled up newspaper. He felt like such a traitor to canine kind.
Kashyyyk = Dense Forests = Massive Trees = Big sticks = Dog's Heaven
The entire mood of the party went straight up at the delighted and excited looks on the conjured canines. The girls felt horrible that they couldn't 'let the dogs off the leash' as Sirius put it.
They had landed at a private landing pad built high in the trees and were met by two Wookies. They were introduced as Chewbacca and Malla, Garaka's great-grandson and his wife.
Yoda and Sirius seemed to be able to understand the wailing and growling language of the Wookies, the rest of them had to rely on C-3PO.
What was really interesting was that Chewbacca and Malla seemed to be able to communicate with the dogs.
"Yeah, I can talk to other dogs… sort of." Sirius chuckled. "Dogs don't really have a language but they can convey things. I got a real shock when I landed on Garaka and he started growling. I could understand him so I turned into Padfoot and 'talked' back.
"He then called me an idiot and said he could understand me as a human.
"It was the start of a beautiful relationship." He wiped a fake tear from his eye.
"Master Harry, Mister Chewbacca says his great-grandfather locked Master Sirius in a cage for six months whilst they waited for the Jedi Council to deal with him." C-3PO translated the clearly scoffing Wookie.
They turned to the chuckling Yoda. "Find him in the cage, I did." He nodded. "But not for small animals, was it built."
"You pulled another Azkaban?" Harry asked his deceased godfather in amusement.
"Twelve years, Harry." Sirius said gravely.
"Uh huh, talk to me when you reach fourteen years."
"Shit. Sorry Harry, I didn't mean to be insensitive." Sirius was mortified.
"Whatever. We're both free now." Harry dismissed the topic.
Sabe stepped forward as she was dressed as the Queen. "Master Chewbacca, perhaps we could see Sirius' belongings. We do hope to spend a few days here at the least, but we are scheduled to meet with Chief Tarrful later today."
Wookies lived on a planet filled with trees. Massive trees. But the Wookies were exceptionally strong and intelligent. They lived in the treetops in homes made of wood logs. Corridors of wood linked various groups of trees together and the rooms were carved into the trunks of the trees themselves. The abodes spanned up to nine trees in rows of threes and three vertical levels.
Sirius' was slightly smaller. It was only six trees in two rows of three and two vertical levels.
"This is very cosy." Harry smiled at his holographic parental figure.
"Thanks. Just big enough for me to be a slob in, bring back a girl or just hang out with the gang." Sirius said proudly. "Of course, you might want to expand a bit, I only ever brought back one girl at a time." He looked pointedly over his shoulder. "You seem intent on out doing me."
"Is there a personal landing pad for Harry's ship?" Padme asked.
"Sure, we landed on it." Sirius chuckled.
"That was quite some distance to walk." Padme was surprised, there was a lot of empty trees in this area, plenty of space to build a pad.
"Yeah… I always was a bit paranoid." Yoda's scoff went ignored. "The pad is on the edge of the property. It makes it hard for enemies to land close and get the drop on me."
"You own all the land from here to the landing pad?!" Yane asked in awe.
"And the same distance in each direction." Sirius confirmed. "Well… Harry owns it now."
"It's all yours Pup." Sirius was confused as to the problem.
"But I don't know what to do with a home!" Harry protested.
"You live in it, Harry." Padme said kindly as she took his hand. "Like you can live on your ship."
"But I don't know where to get food or how to make money for rent and taxes!" Harry was getting more and more upset and beginning to panic.
Chewbacca stepped forward and placed a heavy hand on Harry's shoulder as he spoke.
"Mister Chewbacca says that he will teach you and until you are ready he will make sure everything is taken care of." C-3PO translated. "He says that Master Sirius was considered family by his great grandfather and that makes you family too."
Malla stepped up next to her husband and spoke.
"Mistress Malla assures you that her mate's family has cared for your trees for centuries, they are happy to keep doing so."
Chewbacca spoke again.
"Master Chewbacca says you shouldn't worry. Take things slow and learn all you can."
Harry nodded shakily. That actually helped. Sure, he'd just had all these things thrust on him, but with Padme, the handmaidens, Sirius, R2, 3PO and Chewbacca's family… he didn't need to meet a deadline.
But he'd make sure he learnt well and fast to make them all proud and so he could show his appreciation.
"You want me to learn how to use a sword and shield?"
"Harry, Sith use the same weapons as Jedi. Lightsabres. It is nearly impossible for non-Force sensitives to use a lightsabre without killing themselves." Sirius explained. "A lightsabre can cut through anything… except another lightsabre and phrik, which is what this sword and shield are made from."
The sword was similar to an old English sword with cross guards at the hilt, the whole thing appeared to have been made in one piece and was completely smooth. The shield was also one piece and was in the style of a heater-shield of the middle-ages. The type that the knights would have used.
Both were completely smooth and undecorated other than the leather wrapped around the hilt of the sword and tied to back of the shield to hold.
Harry picked them up. "These are quite light!"
"Yep, but still heavier than a lightsabre which gives you an advantage against them."
"Teach you, I will." Yoda promised. "Saved us much, that shield did."
"Sirius… what is this?"
Harry and the others were looking at a long thin metallic object. Based on the size and the fact it had a saddle, they could assume it was a vehicle.
"This is my version of what they call a Speeder Bike." Sirius said proudly. "I just stripped out the guts and made it run on magic like a broom, or my old Triumph."
"Motorbike. I bought a glorious motorbike after I finished Hogwarts. James and I modified it so it could fly. Last I saw it, Hagrid was riding it away from your destroyed home that Halloween." He said gravely. "But anyway! This is my version of my motorbike in this galaxy." He grinned. "I can't wait to see you ride it."
Padme and the girls stood on the walkway outside Sirius' home with their hands covering their faces. Sirius was grinning and Yoda… was amazed.
"Jedi do not fly so well." The old creature marvelled as they watched Harry zip amongst the trees at speeds that were fatal.
R2-D2 started beeping.
"Your Majesty, R2 says you should not worry." C-3PO translated. "He's survived droid armies, Sith Lords and politics. R2 says this is the first time he has seen Master Harry relaxed.
"Personally, I am worried too. My processors are beginning to overheat just watching him!"
"He always said that riding his broom was when he was happiest." Sirius said with a fond smile. "The galaxy would have to be in mortal peril before I take it away from him."
It was a very happy group that entered the central government tree for the Wookie home world. Harry had returned from his little joy ride beaming and badgering Sirius with questions about whether he could make The Phantom run on magic.
Despite their nail-biting fear, Padme and the handmaidens were also much happier. They hadn't really seen Harry smile properly since they met him.
This good mood clearly affected Chief Tarrful as he welcomed them happily. Harry didn't really pay attention to the discussions between Queen Amidala (Sabe) and Chief Tarrful. Most of it seemed to be exchanges of thanks and the like for their aid on Naboo. C-3PO was in his element as a translator so Harry, Yoda and R2 just stood back and watched quietly.
Harry was soon dragged into the conversation though.
"Master Harry, Chief Tarrful asks what your intentions are now that the crisis on Naboo is over." C-3PO addressed the young wizard.
"I- erm- P- Her Majesty asked me to travel with her." Harry said nervously. "I don't really know what else to do so… that seems like a place to start."
Not realising that he was being a bit rude, he turned away from the high-ranking officials and knelt down and whispered in Yoda's ear.
A short conversation where Yoda seemed very certain and Harry turned back to the group. "Master Yoda says you are a trusted friend, so I would like to inform you that I am currently the one called The Emperor of Magic. It's something R2 did when he reprogrammed the droid army above Naboo." He finished with a stiff and clumsy bow.
The chief was shocked and clearly not convinced. But he took a single glance at the Jedi Master and the doubt fled, leaving just the shock.
"In light of Master Yoda's opinion and The Emperor's declaration, I would also like to apologise for deceiving you." Padme bowed low. "I am the real Queen. This is Sabe, my handmaiden and bodyguard who risks her life as my decoy."
Tarrful was clearly off-balance and unsure what to do.
"Contemplate what you have learned, my friend." Yoda hobbled forward. "Take the younglings back to the home, I will. Wait for your call, we shall."
"You stay, Yoda." Sirius offered. "I can lead them back."
"Alright Harry, if you are going to survive in this world as a wizard and not as a muggle then I need to teach you a few things." Sirius declared as they arrived back at the tree house. "Fortunately, whilst I was alive I created a syllabus for you. First up, apparition."
"You are sure you can teach me, right?" Harry asked worriedly.
"Pup, I spent most of my life preparing these lessons for you." Sirius assured him as R2 settled in a corner of the room. "Now, back when I learnt we were told to remember the three D's. Destination, Determination and… something I never could recall." The hologram said dismissively.
Harry did not look very reassured.
"All you need to do is know where you want to go and then gather your magic and make yourself appear there. I know it sounds very vague, but apparition is very much an act of will."
"What about splinching?"
"As long as you gather a ton of your magic and overpower it you won't have that problem. Once you can successfully apparate you will be able to figure out better amounts of magic to use so you are more efficient."
Tarrful, Chewbacca and a squad of armed guards stormed across the walkways. A loud explosion had emanated from the human's house and it had been heard halfway into the treetop city.
Yoda was calmly hobbling along in their wake and chuckling as he was reminded of his younger years.
The Chieftain and his guard arrived to find the human females standing outside the house with their ears bleeding and in pain. He quickly ordered a healer to come.
He then tried to enter only to be stopped by a bloody hand on his arm. He looked down to see the recently revealed Queen looking up at him.
"THE FLOOR IS GONE!" She said loudly, clearly deafened by the explosion.
One of the guards cautiously opened the door.
The door fell into the room.
And down into the forest below.
The floor was gone.
So were two of the walls and most of the ceiling.
"So! Slight mishap." They saw the astro-droid in the far corner, perched precariously on the last remaining bit of floor. Sirius was projected above its head with a sheepish grin. "We might need a search party for Harry."
Harry hit the ground with a horrible thud.
Sand flew up around him.
He just lay there, groaning for a few minutes.
"Boy! Wha' thou back here for?!"
"Nice to see you too Watto." Harry let his head fall back and hit the floor of the junkyard as some of it fell from the precarious piles onto the various branches he'd dragged along.
Everybody was going nuts. Padme, the handmaidens, the droids and Sirius were in a panic trying to figure out where Harry had gone. The Wookies had sent a party to the forest floor but couldn't find any sign of the wayward wizard.
Tarrful was also fairly disturbed by the fact that the small human managed to decimate a tree like that.
Only Yoda seemed to maintain his calm. "Patience. Resourceful, young Harry is." He counselled.
Padme was not in the mood to be coddled. "He doesn't have a communicator. He doesn't have his armour. He doesn't have any money. He doesn't even know how to read Galactic Basic! Just how resourceful-"
R2 started beeping.
"R2 says that Master Harry is sending a communication to The Ghost. Would you like him to relay it here?" 3PO translated.
Padme was sure that Jedi weren't supposed to be smug.
R2 rolled over to the nearby computers and connected to it. Harry's visage soon appeared on the screen.
"Sirius, what do I do now?"
"I tried what you said but I wound up falling in mid-air. So I tried again to land on somewhere I knew was solid ground. Now I'm back on Tatooine in Watto's shop."
"Harry… you apparated all the way to another planet?"
"It was the first place that came to mind! I was falling from a great height!"
"Pup- Harry, I never tried apparating between planets!" Sirius was nearly gobsmacked. "I mean, what if I didn't make it? I'd be floating in space… dead!"
"Well I'm here now. What do I do to get home? Watto is still a grumpy old sod. Should I try and apparate to Naboo or Coruscant?"
Harry was taken aback by the collective shout.
"Harry, when you apparated out you took most of the room with you and blew out the girls' eardrums. When you arrived you blew up the tree you landed on. That's why you were falling. Merlin knows what will happen if you make that sort of entrance on Naboo or Coruscant."
"Oh… well that explains why Watto's junkyard looked worse than usual."
"Harry, contact Jedi Council, I will. Arrange for Naboo embassy landing pad to receive you." Yoda said as he made his way to the screen. "Will contact you soon."
"Thanks Yoda. I guess I better go and fix some of Watto's stuff again."
The screen went dead.
The room was silent.
"Bugger me." Sirius broke it with the quiet curse. "Inter-planetary apparition." He then turned to Yoda. "Could have saved us a lot of time back in the day."
Yoda just sighed. "Too eager to die, you always were."
Harry was sweeping up the last of the branches he'd brought with him as Watto flew around, constantly grumbling. The Troydarian had purchased a new droid and it was waiting at the front of the shop for customers.
Harry didn't think Watto got a lot of business. He had been here for four hours, the Naboo Embassy had been ready for him three hours ago but a sandstorm had blown in and Harry was stuck till he could get out of the town. He didn't want to create more problems for the grumpy little bastard.
"Watto, do you get a lot of business?"
"Enough to eat." Came the biting response. "Dis is a spaceport town. Lotsa ships land here. Lotsa old and broken ships. You have a short memory, boy?"
Harry chuckled, he knew the giant flying bug was talking about how they first met because the ship he was on needed a new part.
"Well, you said the Hutts run the planet, right? Do they run the slave trade as well?"
"Ha! Hutts run everything." He said derisively. "You core dwellers… you think you don't deal with them?" He floated over so he was nose to snout with the wizard. "Hutts run thou precious republic too."
Harry gave a rather patronising nod. "Uh huh. Well I want them out of the crime business. Especially the slave trade."
Watto fell to the ground in a hysterical heap of laughter.
*Chapter 8*: Chapter 8
Harry appeared on the landing pad of the Naboo Embassy with a loud bang and enough sand to make a children's play area. He was surrounded by droid soldiers, their weapons pointed at him… for the full second it took them to identify him.
"Mister Potter, we will alert your companions that you have arrived. They are currently en route to Coruscant with your personal ship and droids." The droid in command stepped forward.
The droids were aware that Harry was not to be referred to as the Emperor unless he was wearing his mask or he was publicly de-masked.
"I am beginning to see that perhaps you are using magic."
Harry turned and saw Obi-Wan standing there. "Hey, good to see you. Wait… what happened to your hair? Did that little brat cut off your braid?" Harry demanded.
"Now I understand why Master Qui-Gon suggested I come alone to greet you." The older man chuckled. "I have passed my trials. I am now a Jedi Knight so I am expected to cut off my Padawan braid."
"Oh… congratulations." Harry said sincerely. "We should make sure the Queen and the handmaidens know."
"It isn't the sort of thing that is announced at the senate." Obi-Wan chuckled.
"They like you." Harry told him with a hint of exasperation. "They were worried about Qui-Gon taking Anakin as his Padawan because it would leave you alone."
"Oh." Obi-Wan was completely unsure of how to handle that news. "But I was due to take my trials."
"Obi, you were part of the team that saved them from the Neimoidians and liberated their planet. They are never going to forget you."
"I wish you wouldn't call me that." Obi-Wan scowled half-heartedly.
"Fine." Harry grumbled. "It's not like it was an insult."
Obi-Wan put a hand on the younger man's shoulder and gave him a smile to show he wasn't exactly angry. "Come on, Master Qui-Gon thought you might want an update on what we have learnt from the Sith you captured."
"Anything useful?" Harry asked as he fell into step with the Jedi Knight as he moved off the landing pad.
"Not from the Sith themselves." Obi-Wan shook his head. "They are remaining quiet and we don't expect for them to talk. But since you revealed them as Sith, we have started tracking their movements and associations. Based on their ages, Palpatine's master could still be alive and Maul could have an apprentice somewhere."
A shuttle touched down and Obi-Wan indicated for Harry to follow.
Once they were settled on board, Obi-Wan continued. "We are trying to do our best to hide the fact that Palpatine and Maul have been apprehended and were Sith. So far we appear to have been successful."
"Why keep it quiet?" Harry asked curiously.
"If there is a master and apprentice out there then we don't want them destroying any evidence that will lead us to them."
"So… being a Jedi is also like being a detective?"
"At times." He allowed. "But there are members of the Order known as Jedi Investigators. They do tend to focus on crime itself as opposed to the average Jedi who goes out into the galaxy to render aid where needed."
"So why are you still on this planet? Shouldn't you be out there?"
"I am awaiting the assignment of my first Padawan." Obi-Wan smiled. "Later today actually."
"Erm… great. Hope he's better than the brat."
"You should give him a chance, Harry." Obi-Wan chastised. "He is young and-"
"A terrible person." Harry shuddered. "Didn't Qui-Gon tell you about how we found him?"
"He told me the boy was a slave who managed to use his connection to the Force to get away with stealing. Yes." He said firmly. "But if all he experiences from others is hate and distrust, then that will be what he aspires to. We need teach him, not judge him."
Harry was now the grumpy one. "I guess. Just remember that I know people like him. Also, I grew up in a worse situation than him… I'd like to think that I'm not filled with hate."
"No, you are not." Obi-Wan said with certainty. "But you do not trust easily. You need to be careful as that could lead to paranoia, and that could lead to the dark side."
They travelled the remainder of the way to the Jedi Temple in silence. Slightly uncomfortable, but by no means hostile.
They arrived and Obi-Wan patted Harry on the shoulder, reassuringly. The pair disembarked and were met by several older Jedi.
"Harry, you know Master Qui-Gon Jinn and Padawan Anakin Skywalker. This is Jedi Master Mace Windu, Head of the Order and Jedi Master Ki-Adi Mundi, a member of the Jedi High Council.
"Masters, this is Harry Potter, kin of Jedi Master Yoda's late partner." He bowed respectfully to the senior Jedi.
Harry grimaced as he recognised the Jedi who had argued with him as the Emperor. He was so glad he had a disguise.
"You are the Emperor!" Mundi said with wide eyes.
Harry just turned to Obi-Wan with a defeated look.
Obi-Wan was horrified and had no idea what to say.
"Hmm, yes, I understand now." Mundi nodded. "You were concealing your identity to protect your privacy. I apologise." Mundi bowed. "A curse of my people is that we have two brains. Whilst a blessing at times, as you have seen today, the deductions can astound even me."
"Master Mundi will often be working on a problem, never realising that his second brain has been working on an alternative to the same problem." Qui-Gon chuckled.
"Regrettably true." The cone headed Jedi sighed. "A blessing and a curse.
"Regardless, you have my word that I will not reveal your secret without just cause."
"Jedi do not approve of secrets." Master Windu scowled.
This earned him a bemused look from Qui-Gon, worried from Obi-Wan and shocked from Mundi. Anakin just looked lost.
Harry just nodded slowly. "Good… good. So you have prepared an announcement for the public regarding the discovery and capture of two Sith?"
Qui-Gon was trying not to laugh. Obi-Wan was looking like he really wanted to be elsewhere. Mundi actually looked pleased, or vindicated. Anakin still looked lost.
Mace Windu looked like he had swallowed something he really shouldn't have. "The interrogation rooms are this way." He said and turned towards the temple.
"I'm going to need your word that you won't reveal my secret." Harry said firmly, not moving from his spot.
"We can discuss it later." Windu said, still walking.
Harry whipped out his wand and Windu fell to the ground like a stiff board. Harry's quick reflexes managed to slip by the three trained Jedi.
"You killed him!"
Qui-Gon managed to clamp two hands on Anakin's shoulders before he could attack Harry.
"Padawan!" Mundi said slightly harshly. "Use what you have been taught. Reach out with your senses. Can you not feel that Master Windu is perfectly fine?"
Qui-Gon sighed. "Anakin, you must learn to think before you act. Assess the situation before you take action.
"Even if Master Windu was dead, you have attempted to attack a man who successfully took out the leader of our Order. What could you have possibly hoped to achieve by attacking him?"
"A disappointing display." Mundi said gravely. "Regrettably, it is not so disappointing as Master Windu's display."
"Can you help me stand him up?" Harry asked the elderly looking alien.
Mundi just nodded and moved to help Harry. "He is… frozen?" He asked as he felt the human Jedi's stiffness.
"Petrified… sort of. He can see and hear us, you can see his eyes moving. Other than breathing he can't do anything but observe."
"But it is not permanent?"
Harry actually smiled at that. "Anakin, come closer." He called over. "You heard what Master Mundi just asked?"
"Yeah… so?" The boy said sullenly.
"Master Mundi has just shown you how a good person… a real Jedi, should act. He didn't accuse me of permanently making Master Windu this way. Instead he asked for information.
"That's what Qui-Gon was trying to tell you. Ask questions. Figure out the answers. Then decide on the course of action."
Obi-wan allowed himself a small smile of relief. It seemed that Harry had taken their conversation to heart.
"But you attacked him!"
"But why did I attack him?" Harry pressed.
"Harry! Could I have a moment?" Obi-Wan said quickly.
A quick look to Master Mundi to ensure Windu wouldn't be toppling over and Harry stepped away with the newly elevated knight.
They returned shortly. Harry looked resigned and Obi-Wan, concerned.
"Ok, so, Anakin; why did I attack Master Windu?" Harry continued.
"Because he turned his back on you?" Anakin clearly wasn't sure. The others wondered if he actually understood the situation. He was barely ten years old after all.
Harry glanced at Obi-Wan. "In for a penny." He muttered. "Anakin, you remember how Padme is actually the Queen of Naboo?" The boy nodded. "She hides as a handmaiden to protect herself." Another nod. "Do you think it would be alright to go out and tell everyone that Padme is really the Queen?"
Harry allowed himself a small smile. He doubted Anakin would ever hurt Padme. "I am the Emperor of Magic. I don't have handmaidens and decoys. I use a mask to protect my identity. Master Windu wanted to tell everybody that I am the Emperor. He would probably try and tell everyone that Padme is the Queen."
Harry tried really hard not to smile as he watched the young Padawan try to come to terms with the fact that he couldn't keep Padme's secret and not keep Harry's.
"But he's a Jedi." It was spoken quietly, with confusion and mostly to himself.
"Jedi are mortals, Padawan Skywalker." Mundi spoke up. "I am often chided by my peers for my harsh manner. Your own Master is something of a rebel and it is the only reason he is not on the Council.
"Of course there is now also the fact that he has taken on another Padawan." He mused to himself.
"Perhaps we should contact Master Yoda." Obi-Wan suggested. "He holds the most respect and the position of Grand Master. He would be able to council us better."
"Master Jedi Yoda has boarded the Ghost with Harry Potter's droids and belongings. The Queen and her entourage have also boarded along with the Wookie, Chewbacca." The lead droid announced from the shuttle. "They should arrive after sunset."
Harry turned to Windu and sent two spells at him. Windu stumbled as he regained control of his body. He immediately turned to Mundi and spoke harshly.
Tried to speak.
"Yeah, until Yoda arrives I've silenced you." Harry said blandly. "Until then I suggest we go find a room to wait in."
"I would agree." Mundi said quickly at the angry look. "You should use the time to meditate as your actions have not been very becoming of a Jedi Master."
"Anakin and I will keep Master Windu company." Qui-Gon offered. "We can use the time to instruct my Padawan on meditation techniques. This should allow you to fully brief Harry on the two Sith."
"One looks like a stuck up snob, the other like he desperately wanted to be a Satanist." Harry said dryly as he observed the two Sith, Palpatine and Maul, in separate cells.
"I am afraid I don't understand the reference." Mundi frowned.
"Palpatine looks like he should be entitled to whatever he wants and Maul looks like just wants to hurt everyone." Harry clarified.
"An apt description of a Sith, indeed."
"There might be a chance I could learn stuff from them that you can't." Harry said as shuffled uncomfortably.
"We cannot condone torture of any kind." Mundi said firmly. He then paused and turned to face Harry. "But if Qui-Gon Jinn's report is accurate, you were able to use persuasion of a different kind."
"He says you managed to convince a Troydarian on Tatooine to free Skywalker and his mother."
Harry chuckled. "Watto is still a grumpy old sod. He was easy to deal with. I just had to pay him. I would need to know what those two want before I could start to do the same thing." He nodded to the Sith. "I was actually thinking of something like mind reading."
"You are a fully functioning telepath?" Mundi asked in amazement.
"No, no!" Harry said quickly. "My people could learn a skill where they could search through a person's memories by looking in their eyes. I've never learnt it but I have experienced it. If Sirius could help I might be able to try it on them."
"I confess a degree of relief hearing you are not a telepath." Mundi breathed. Obi-Wan was clearly recovering from his own little panic attack. "It would have to be discussed with the Council as I am unsure as to the ethical ramifications."
"We do, in essence, alter people's minds with the Force, Master Mundi." Obi-Wan pointed out.
"What we do, young Knight, is use the Force to augment people's perceptions of us." He lectured. "We apply a filter, if you will, that makes them see us in a different manner. Where they might be hostile, we can make them think we are nothing. A waste of their precious time.
"Where they are recalcitrant to aid us, they see us as the solution to the problem.
"At all times the person's mind is their own and, ultimately, unaffected by our passing."
Obi-Wan nodded thoughtfully.
"It would require more discussion and debate, but if what Harry Potter has said stands true, then he too would simply be observing a person's thoughts and not altering them.
"But that is still a great responsibility. I felt your worry at the revelation that Harry Potter could read minds."
"Do you think you could explain the Force some more for me?" Harry asked as he tried to move the topic away from legilimency and the painful memories. "I've seen it used but haven't actually been able to feel it myself. Qui-Gon and Yoda both say that Sirius and myself can't be sensed in the Force."
"Might I attempt something?" Mundi asked curiously.
Mundi raised his hand and concentrated. Eventually he lowered his hand. "You felt nothing?"
Harry shook his head, he wasn't entirely sure what he was supposed to feel.
"You have likely been told that the Force is everywhere. In everything. You do not seem to exist. You are not a void in the Force that we could use to track you. The Force has no effect on you… but you have no effect on the Force."
"I don't understand."
"The Force is affected by everything from dust particles to galactic movements." He summoned a datapad from a nearby table and held it in the air between them, slowly rotating. "This object can be felt in the Force. The Force surrounds it, moves through it and is even affected by it.
"You cannot be felt in the Force. The Force does not surround you but it exists in the area you occupy. But it has no knowledge or sense of you. It is unaffected and unaware of you."
Obi-Wan stepped forward. "Imagine a glass of water. If you were to drop a large stone in the glass, the water level would rise. The glass is the universe, the water is the Force, you are the stone. But when you are dropped in, the water is unaffected."
Harry nodded. "I think I get it, but I also think that I won't really get it because I am not a Jedi and can't feel the Force in any way."
"I believe Master Yoda may be able to explain better." Obi-Wan assured him. "He did spend many years with your godfather."
It was fairly late in the evening when The Ghost touched down at the Jedi Temple. He was surprised to see Chewbacca with them.
"Hi." Harry waved weakly.
The giant humanoid clearly chuckled and patted him heavily on the shoulder.
"Master Chewbacca has stated that he intends to take on the role that his ancestor fulfilled. Keeping wizards out of trouble." C-3PO explained.
"Good friend, Garaka." Yoda said as he hobbled out. "Thank you young Obi-Wan." He told the nearby Jedi who had brought out a large circular device. It looked like a cushioned nest. Obi-Wan placed it on the floor and Yoda climbed in before it began to float.
"You're getting lazy in your old age." Sirius mocked.
"Says the one being carried around one hundred percent of the time." Harry smirked.
"Hey, you build me a floating thingy and I'll use that instead." Sirius said indignantly.
"How is that any better?" Harry asked with exasperation.
Sirius just shrugged. "I'd be moving on my own power."
"Come, my young Padawan, we must see." Yoda said firmly, waving his stick towards the doors to the temple.
It was a large group that arrived at Qui-Gon's private chambers. He smiled at them as he let them in where they saw Anakin and Windu sitting cross-legged with their eyes closed.
"Welcome back, Master Yoda. I wasn't expecting so many." He said with bemusement at the Queen and her handmaidens. His eyes never strayed to the incognito Padme and stayed on Sabe who was dressed as the Queen.
"The safety and security of a close personal friend and ally has been called into question. I believe we should be grateful that the entire Trade Federation hasn't come, along with Wookie High Chief." The Queen said archly.
Qui-Gon looked to Yoda. "The Wookies?"
"Trust the Wookies, Harry does. Great faith in me he placed." Yoda said solemnly. He knew full well that it was only his opinion that had meant Harry had revealed the truth to the 'Giant Teddy Bears'.
"Master Qui-Gon, shouldn't we be quiet?" Eirtae asked nervously as she indicated the meditating duo.
"No, this is a good test for Anakin. Meditating is not about finding peace in peaceful situations. It is about finding calm when the galaxy churns chaos all around you."
Yoda just huffed. "Sleeping does not count."
There was a chuckle from Obi-Wan.
"It is only the second successful attempt." Qui-Gon told the Grand Master with faux seriousness. "But it is late. I will put him to bed so we may continue."
Despite the dislike for the boy, the Queen and her handmaidens couldn't help the fond smiles for Qui-Gon as he gently lifted Anakin and took him to the next room.
Yoda settled his floating nest to the floor in front of Windu. "Arguments you have? Hmm?" He said to the seemingly meditating Jedi. "Feel you must choose whose secrets to keep?"
Windu calmly opened his eyes and glared at Harry.
There were a few uncomfortable seconds as everyone looked between Harry and Windu. Harry had no idea what he was supposed to say.
"Read minds, can wizards. If they are trained. Harry is not." Yoda tapped the end of his stick on the floor. "Speak."
Windu looked at Yoda. "I cannot speak until he- I can speak?" He said, surprised at the sound of his own voice.
"Yeah, I cancelled the spell a few hours ago after I got back from talking with Master Mundi." Harry shrugged.
"I felt nothing." Windu scowled to himself.
"And you never will." Sirius said seriously. "Harry doesn't technically exist in the eyes of this galaxy. Physically he can touch things, but the Force, it is a living essence that is native to this galaxy and for some reason it can't see us. I don't know if this applies to anyone from our galaxy or just wizards, but that is how things are.
"Now, are you going to keep your mouth shut about my godson's secret or should I instruct him on how to wipe it from your memory?" Sirius growled.
"Keep it he will." Yoda said firmly. "Realise his pride and its place."
There was something about the way Mace Windu held himself that made him seem slightly arrogant. Not like Malfoy, it was more that he was in charge and that should be enough to be listened to. Harry had seen that look on some of his professors.
"Revealing another's secrets is not my place." Windu said quietly. "I will not speak of it until he allows it to be released."
"Settled it is." Yoda said with energy. "All is well. Sleep we should and decide our course tomorrow."
Everyone started to walk out, except Harry who nodded to Windu. "Thank you sir."
Windu nodded back and left.
Harry and the others headed back to the ship to spend the night instead of flying back to the embassy. Chewbacca had taken one of the two spare cabins and Yoda stayed at the Temple.
The following morning they were back staring at the two Sith.
"Legillimancy isn't really something you learn." Sirius frowned as he hovered above R2 outside the interrogation rooms. "Aside from the incantation, of course. You have to learn by doing. Usually you work with an Occlumens as they can guide you through their memories. Jedi are the closest we have."
"I must agree with Master Mundi." Mace Windu spoke up. "The ethical aspects of this 'mind-reading', are… precariously close to dark. The temptation to use them for evil-"
"Same temptation we face, no?" Yoda mused from his floating nest. "Use our powers for good we do. We try. Temptation is there."
Windu sighed. "Still, this is a dark path before us. We must take care that we walk it carefully and keep our eyes on the light."
"Agreed, we are."
"Harry will need practice before he tries it on them." Sirius warned. "He will also need a good lecture on what a Sith is capable of. I don't want him going into their minds unprepared for the horrors he will see."
"I saw my parents murdered and Voldemort reborn. Can it get much worse?" Harry asked darkly.
"Infinite is the darkness." Yoda warned. "Persistent. The light holds it at bay, but the darkness is always waiting."
It was Obi-Wan that offered to be Harry's test subject. He reasoned that as he had only just ascended to the rank of knight, he had very little in the way of sensitive information. He also stated that as he was now a knight, he was considered a full adult and capable of deciding his own mind.
Sirius monitored them carefully along with Yoda. They also taught Harry to meditate so his control would improve.
Harry was also introduced to Obi-Wan's new Padawan, Barriss Offee. She was a Mirialan with yellow skin and black hair. She was very young at seven years. She was shy and tried to hide behind Obi-Wan when she thought she could get away with it.
According to Obi-Wan, she was incredibly intelligent. She preferred to read and study instead of practicing with her lightsabre or other physical activities.
She was soft spoken and, like most of the females Harry had met, she avoided Anakin as much as possible.
Anakin was often visibly jealous of the skill Barriss showed. She could meditate for hours, sense people in the Force and already had a firm control on manipulating the physical world through the Force. Her only failing seemed to be her lack of enthusiasm for lightsabre training.
Qui-Gon often had to take his new Padawan aside and talk him through his jealousy. Harry had been there for one such time.
"She's been doing this all her life, right?" He posited to Qui-Gon.
"Since she could walk." The Jedi Master confirmed.
"Right, so you just started. Stop pouting because you can't do what she has spent years learning to do and instead, work hard to reach her level. Do what she did in years in far less time."
Harry noticed that Qui-Gon didn't exactly agree, but he didn't say anything either. "Listen to what Qui-Gon tells you. Listen when Obi-Wan teaches Barriss.
"Then stop trying so hard."
"If I don't try I won't get anything!" Anakin argued.
"Qui-Gon said you have a lot of potential as a Jedi. More than even Yoda." Harry was careful not to say the boy had the potential to be more powerful, he didn't want the kid having that compounding his ego.
"So why can't I get it!?" Anakin demanded heatedly as his failure fuelled his frustration.
"Because you keep forcing it!"
Everyone turned to a glaring little Barriss at the door. She had left minutes earlier with Obi-Wan.
She blushed as she became the focus of attention.
"Padawan, please explain further." Qui-Gon encouraged.
The young girl darted up behind Harry, half hiding behind him. Harry was often one of her 'hiding posts' as he called them. He gently put a hand on her back and eased her forward.
"Come on Barriss, you are very smart. How do you do things differently to Anakin?" He encouraged.
"He- He doesn't make friends with the Force properly." She said hesitantly. "He forces it to be his friend and it doesn't like that. You have to wait for the Force to want to be your friend. Like playing with wild butterflies." She finished with a confident nod.
"Butterflies?" Harry's eyebrow rose. "You've seen butterflies?"
She nodded and a wistful look came over her.
Harry pulled his wand and conjured a small flock of butterflies. "Like these?"
The sight of the multi-coloured, large winged insects grabbed the girl's attention and a look of wonder bloomed on her young face. She tentatively reached out to touch one and it flitted away.
She frowned. "I can't feel them."
Harry held his arm out in front of him, two butterflies soon landed and he knelt down so Barriss could see them better.
"No… with the Force. I can't sense them." She frowned.
"It can be quite distressing for those of us raised in the use of the Force." Qui-Gon said softly as he stood there with a butterfly in the palm of his open hand. "Not being able to sense you or your magic is… like a blind spot." He gave a pointed look to Harry and the wizard dispelled the insects.
"Padawan Offee has, perhaps, given me some insight into Anakin's troubles with his lessons. I will discuss them with my Padawan and we will attempt to address them."
Harry took the implied request for privacy and guided Barriss out.
"What's the policy on arresting someone based on an accusation with no proof?"
Yoda chuckled at the young wizard as he exited the interrogation room. "Kidnapping, we call it."
Harry scowled. "I know the names of Palpatine's master and apprentice."
"He has another apprentice?" Mace Windu asked in surprise. "But there are always two."
"Palpatine doesn't believe in that rule. He was also preparing to kill his master. The Naboo resolution put that plan on hold… that and the fact we have him locked up."
"Are you intending to withhold this information?" Master Mundi asked cautiously.
Harry scratched the back of his head. "I don't know. I could give you the information, but… are you going to deal with these monsters immediately or are you going to just sit on it?"
"It would depend on the possible repercussions removing them from the public would cause." Master Windu allowed.
"Palpatine had plans in place to cover the death of his master."
"That would simplify things." Master Mundi nodded.
"And this second apprentice?" Windu pressed.
Harry frowned thoughtfully. "I'll tell someone. I'm not sure who, yet. They aren't really an apprentice, not yet. I'll try and sort that out."
"Trust you, we will." Yoda said slowly. "But trust you must, another. Burdens should be shared."
Technically, Harry told three people. But one was dead, one artificial and the other couldn't exactly speak Galactic Basic. But Harry entrusted Sirius, R2-D2 and Chewbacca with everything he learned; just in case something happened to him.
This led Harry to the senate building, standing behind an old man who was gazing out across the planet-spanning city from the balcony.
The older man jumped in shock, his lightsabre flying to his hand. He stood there, staring at Harry, calculatingly. "Are you an illusion? A hallucination?"
"I'm annoying to every Force-sensitive in the galaxy." Harry smirked lightly. "I don't seem to register in the Force. Your old Master can explain more, he knew my godfather and he was the same as me."
Dooku powered down and holstered his weapon with scowl. "The Jedi Council had an operative with your abilities and-"
"I'm not a Jedi and I don't work for the Jedi." Harry interrupted quickly. "If I work for anyone, it would Queen Amidala of Naboo. Really I'm just tagging along with her until I find my feet in this galaxy."
"You know who I am and clearly sought me out. What could the Queen of Naboo want with an old Jedi?" Dooku asked cautiously.
"Nothing. I'm here on my own." Harry shrugged as he moved up to stand next to Dooku by the balcony railings. "I recently ran into your former padawan, Qui-Gon Jinn, and he brought me to the Jedi because I was unique… you know, because you can't sense me."
"And yet here you are. Having sought me out." He pressed.
"Shortly after I met Qui-Gon, a Jedi, I met a Sith, Darth Maul."
"The Sith are back?!" Dooku hissed.
"For now." Harry nodded. "Maul had a master, Darth Sidious. Also known as Siv Palpatine."
Harry heard the sharp intake of breath. But he stayed where he was, watching the city breathe.
"I'm the only one who knows about your talks with him." Harry said softly.
"Blackmail?" Dooku asked calmly as he joined Harry, leaning on the railing.
"I do not seek the Dark Side."
"I have the ability to look into the minds of others. From what I saw, the Dark Side seeks you." Harry shook his head tiredly. "Palpatine always listened to what you said, his only action was to pose questions that would gradually draw you to him.
"I know someone like that. Well, knew. They were a bit more heavy handed though. They told me: 'There is no good or evil, only power and those too weak to use it'. It was something like that."
"And you proved this individual wrong?" Dooku asked conversationally. The tension was clear between them. Harry knew just how close the Jedi Master had come to being seduced by the Dark Side.
"I have yet to hear someone say anything like that but still work for the benefit of everyone, like you Jedi."
"I know you aren't fond of them anymore." Harry noted. "And maybe you should leave them. But I don't think you should abandon your entire way of life and go in the opposite direction."
"What good have the Jedi really done in these past years?" Dooku demanded as he turned away and started to pace. "We lost our brothers and sisters in pointless and ill-advised endeavours.
"And what is worse? They refuse to investigate! So many Jedi died under my command when we thought we were helping but were, in fact, aiding a monster!
"My own former Padawan, I told the Council she was not suitable for the Order and yet they sent her on a doomed mission. Now she is 'presumed dead'. Force forbid they should actually send a group to be sure!"
There was a few moments silence as Dooku paced.
"That seems like a good reason to leave the Order."
Dooku stopped and looked at the young, unassuming human. "I don't understand. Those were my reasons for considering it in the first place."
"Yeah, but the problem is you were heading straight into being a Sith. Not the best of goals. Instead, leave the Order with the intent to do what the Order refused to do. First, confirm the condition of your Padawan, then investigate all the other things that you didn't like."
"I would be working without the authority of the Jedi." Dooku mused.
"I've seen the 'authority' of a Jedi." Harry half-giggled. "It involves either a lightsabre or a mind-manipulation."
Dooku allowed himself a look of bemusement.
Chapter 3: Chapter 9 - Chapter 12
A teenager falls from the sky but has no presence in The Force. He doesn't even know what he landed on. He certainly isn't anywhere near home anymore.
This is a Repost all words belong to mjimeyg
*Chapter 9*: Chapter 9
Harry was back in the senate. Not as the Emperor but as an advisor to the Queen. Padme was under the makeup and Sabe and Rabe were her handmaidens for the day.
Two droids were also present as security, they were unarmed though due to the senate requirements.
The senate was currently arguing over the various vacant pods. All were once occupied by representatives of planets under the Trade Federation. As members of the Empire of Magic, they had been withdrawn.
"We must send a fleet to liberate these planets!" The Malastare Ambassador argued heatedly. "This tyrannical, self-proclaimed 'Emperor' must be brought down!"
Harry didn't really care what happened as everyone knew the Emperor was often seen in the company of Jedi. He was unsurprised when the pod he was in moved out to the centre.
"We recognise the representative of Naboo, Queen Amidala." Chancellor Valorum nodded to the young royal.
"Thank you Chancellor." She said in her modified deep tones. "We are curious as to why the Ambassador of Malastare believes the Emperor has conquered these planets. What evidence does he present that the people are in danger or that they desire the interference of the Republic?"
Valorum turned to Ambassador Aks Moe.
"The evidence is the empty seats! Viceroy Nute Gunray and Ambassador Lott Dod are close friends of mine! They have been hauled off by this so called 'Empire'."
"Those individuals were arrested and are pending trial for their crimes against the people of Naboo." The Queen answered calmly. "These trials will take place once my people have set Naboo to rights and are capable of holding a War Crimes Tribunal."
"That is not the place of a single planet! If there are war crimes then the Senate should hold the trials!" Moe said heatedly.
"That only applies to members of the Republic. According to yourself and the senate, there was no invasion of Naboo and the accused parties have withdrawn from the Republic. We fail to see how this could involve the senate."
Moe sneered at her. "So are you finally going to follow through with your bluff and withdraw from the Republic? We all know you are nothing but a puppet for this 'Emperor'. Does he have you sit at his feet and service him? Do you dance for him like a Twi'lek?"
"Enough!" Valorum roared angrily. "You are out of line, Ambassador and you will return to your place until you have apologised to the Queen."
Aks Moe didn't get a chance to respond as the pod went flying back to its dock.
Valorum took a calming breath. "I apologise, Queen Amidala. That should never have happened."
The Queen inclined her head, her expression like stone. "I believe there is nothing further to discuss on the matter of the Empire of Magic as the Ambassador is unable to provide proof or further his argument."
"Your Majesty, I am afraid that Ambassador Moe was partially correct in that Naboo is a member of the Republic. As such, it is not the place of a single member to hold a War Crimes Tribunal."
"The people of Naboo and the Empire of Magic consider this a private matter between two civilisations. The senate has denied the actions of the Trade Federation.
"What precisely are you suggesting? The Emperor has stated that he is willing to handle the situation internally to the Empire if need be." She responded calmly.
"If Naboo feels it has been wronged in this manner, it is only right that a hearing should be held before the senate as an impartial third-party."
"But the senate has already declared that the invasion never occurred. For what possible reason would the senate call a hearing? The War Crimes Tribunal has nothing to do with the Republic and is a private matter between Naboo and the Empire."
Valorum was clearly unhappy but couldn't unilaterally overturn the decision of the senate and declare that there was an invasion. "Perhaps you could extend an invitation to this 'Emperor' to meet with me? To discuss the matter further?"
Amidala looked concerned. "You are asking the Queen of Naboo to act as your messenger boy? To ask the leader of a multi-system realm to meet with… a bureaucrat?"
It was a low-blow and both Amidala and Valorum knew it. When Amidala had met privately with Valorum in the past few days about Naboo's possible withdrawal from the Republic, the Chancellor had demurely apologised for not being able to render aid to Naboo as he was: 'naught but a lowly bureaucrat, bound to the whims of others'.
The other senators clearly didn't like the way things were going and murmurs began to rise.
Amidala decided to put an end to the current session. "In light of recent events, the Emperor has offered Naboo a place in his empire. It will be a prime topic of debate in the coming elections on my planet.
"Of course, the people are aware of the decision of the Republic Senate and the aid that was rendered by them.
"They will of course weigh that against the actions of the Empire and the aid that the Emperor himself still oversees.
"We will inform the Emperor of your request to meet, I will ask for a contact to pass on. But we hope that the senate will not make a fool of itself by showing the same level of disrespect to the Emperor that it has shown to us… The Queen."
"Under no circumstances is the Emperor to ever set foot in the senate hearing room except as an invited observer." Padme told Harry sternly as the girls helped her out of her elaborate dress. Harry had already dealt with her makeup.
"Your Majesty!" Eirtae gasped. "You can't just order a fellow leader like that!"
Padme giggled, breaking the tense atmosphere from the senate. "I just meant that Harry shouldn't let himself be dragged in front of them. I wasn't making his decisions."
"I should hope not." The handmaiden muttered as she moved off with the Queen's headdress.
"I'll have C-3PO whip up a letter or something." Harry shrugged. "I would say that we go ahead with the trials, but if you want you can invite the senate to send an envoy to observe."
Padme nodded approvingly. "An olive branch of sorts."
"So what happens now? Are we going back to Naboo or visiting one of the other planets that helped out during the invasion?"
"We should probably head back to Naboo. We will need to address the government regarding our current options in respect to the Republic."
The following day Harry walked into the Jedi Temple with a rat in a cage.
"You did not 'conjure' this creature." Master Mundi noted as he approached the wizard with Windu and Yoda.
"How could you tell?" Harry asked.
"I can sense it in the Force, unlike the 'dogs' you made for the Queen and her handmaidens."
"Huh... can you tell anything else about it?"
"It positively reeks of the Dark Side." He said blandly.
That probably explained the rather tense look on Windu's face.
"Yeah, this is the master I was talking about. Darth Plagueis, he likes to call himself. Real name: Hego Damask the Second." Harry raised the cage to eye-level. "Where do you want him?"
"At the bottom of a volcano."
Three sets of eyes looked at the Head of the Jedi Order with concern mixed with amusement.
Windu remained defiant.
"What do you normally do with captured Sith?" Harry asked as the group of four headed to the holding cells.
Yoda chuckled darkly. "Captured? Sith never let themselves be captured. Die. Die or win. No compromise."
"That is not entirely true." Mundi interjected. "Those who have fallen from the light into darkness have been known to be redeemed."
"Master, do you intend to travel with Harry Potter, still?" Windu turned to Yoda.
"For a while." He admitted casually.
"Good. Someone needs to teach him to be cautious." Windu said with narrowed eyes. "He tried to sneak up on a Sith on his own. He could have been killed."
"Did sneak." Yoda corrected. "Not try."
Mace Windu scowled as his former master reiterated the lessons he had taught him when he was a Padawan. "That is not the same. Using the Force requires a state of mind. But even before we attempt it, we meditate and converse; Master to Padawan.
"Harry did not converse with us. You have stated many times that he is like a young child in this world. He has no understanding of our technology. He was confronting more than just an experienced Force Wielder, he had to overcome the technology that defended the Sith."
Yoda looked between Harry and Windu with a smile. "Overcome it he did."
"I planned this little… 'heist' with R2-D2 and Sirius." Harry shrugged. He wasn't too offended by Windu these days. He was still a whole lot better than Snape.
"I believe 'kidnapping' is a more accurate description." Mundi noted.
Harry departed Coruscant the following day with Padme and her entourage.
News was spreading like wildfire of the tragic demise of Hego Damask II thanks to the plans Palpatine already had in place. The Sith himself was confined in the bowels of the Jedi Temple. The Jedi were still trying to figure out what to do with their three Sith.
The Queen's ship had been completely upgraded. The only thing that hadn't changed was the shape and colour. The hyperdrive was now the best that money could buy, along with an identical backup. Concealed beneath the sleek hull were heavy lasers capable of putting a dent in a cruiser.
The sensor array was upgraded along with the communications to broadcast jamming signals similar to the Ghost.
Finally, there was the gift from the Emperor himself; fifty powered down droids and four droidekas in the cargo hold, ready to defend the Queen at a moment's notice.
When Padme had thanked him, Harry had just blushed and mumbled about not wanting to have to board enemy ships on his own again.
Harry was piloting The Ghost and familiarising himself with every inch of it. He had managed to scare the life out of Chewbacca when he popped out of a crawlspace beneath the floors.
Yoda had nearly had a heart attack.
R2-D2 and Sirius found it hilarious.
Chewbacca, Yoda and Sirius were all helping C-3PO to teach Harry both Shyriiwook and written Galactic Basic. He'd never be able to speak the language (just as Wookies couldn't speak Galactic Basic) but he would be able to understand it.
What Harry didn't realise was that Padme and the girls were quite upset.
They had thought Harry would be on their ship, they had to talk Padme down from asking the pilots to stop in the middle of deep space just to dock so they could join Harry.
The journey was just a few days and Harry learnt a lot. Ric Ollie had called over worriedly when The Ghost started spinning all over the place but Sirius just told him that Harry was getting a feel for the ship. The Royal Pilot had heard of his student's abilities on a speeder and the reaction of the Queen and her handmaidens… and decided not to say anything.
Harry also managed to learn more about where all the systems were. He could find life support, engines, navigation… if it was going to break he would need to find it to fix it.
They landed safely and timely at the Palace of Theed. Harry disembarked with Yoda and C-3PO but R2-D2, Sirius and Chewbacca stayed on board to do some work whilst they could access the hull.
"A beautiful planet, no?" Yoda said as he closed his eyes serenely and breathed in the fresh air.
"Yeah, if it hadn't been invaded recently I would have called it paradise." Harry nodded.
"Many planets, Sirius called that." Yoda mused. "Lived on ships though. Settled on Kashyyyk only when too frail."
"He probably didn't want to feel like he was being locked up." Harry said.
"Captured many times." Yoda told him as he began hobbling towards the Queen's nearby ship. "Apparated away every time. Always came back for me."
"It took him twelve years, but he came for me." Harry agreed.
"And follow him, you do. No hesitation!" Yoda smiled with pride.
"I think Master Windu would not think that to be a good thing." Harry smirked.
"Bah!" Yoda said as he briefly waved his stick ahead of him. "Good tactics you show. But loyalty, no? Much loyalty and love."
"I abandoned my friends." Harry frowned as he remembered that night at the Ministry. "They were fighting Death Eaters… did they survive?"
"Save everyone, you cannot." Yoda stopped and poked him in the shin.
"I can try." Harry said darkly as he turned away and headed towards the disembarking royal.
Yoda shook his head sadly and followed.
"Harry Potter, we were surprised you were not on board our ship." Padme asked. She was in her makeup and did not look pleased.
"I- erm… I thought I was supposed to travel on The Ghost. Like a backup." Harry said nervously.
Harry had no idea what he had done wrong. He and R2 had flown his ship in formation behind the Queen's Cruiser. He had taken shifts with Chewbacca to monitor the sensors for any trouble.
So why was Padme mad at him. He was just glad that she had the makeup on… without it she wouldn't have to be so reserved in public.
He watched as Panaka led the Queen's entourage to the palace, a few of the handmaidens gave him sympathetic looks.
If only he knew why.
Despite Yoda's prodding, Harry had decided to stay on The Ghost and help Chewbacca and R2-D2. The Jedi Master took the young wizard into the cargo hold and began instructing him on using his sword and shield.
It was just before sunset that Yoda called an end to the day's lesson claiming he was old and tired.
Harry was sweating and panting… Yoda looked fresh as a daisy.
Harry was not impressed.
Just after sunset Yoda was sitting in the common area of The Ghost and tinkering with some parts for a practice droid used by younglings. He smiled at the young queen as she entered.
"Master Yoda, have you seen Harry?" Padme asked with a bow. She was dressed in casual civilian clothes, her only companion was her dog.
"Resting, he is. Practise hard, he does. Still, many years to match Sirius." Yoda carefully slid his project to the side of the table nearest the wall so it was out of the way. "Walking outside, did Harry say."
"Oh, I didn't see him."
Yoda slipped from the seat and patted the large black dog. "Find him, this one can."
It was only ten minutes later that a very worried Padme came rushing back onto the ship calling for help.
"Miss Padme! Whatever is wrong?" C-3PO asked worriedly as he came wobbling in.
"I can't find Harry. Paddy seems to think he has gone into the forest."
"From what I hear he is a fair hand at navigating a forest. Even at night." Came a chuckle from Sirius as R2-D2 rolled in with Chewbacca and Yoda.
"The Gungans live in the forest areas." Padme argued. "They know what Harry looks like."
R2 started beeping. He rolled over to a nearby screen and connected to it.
"You bugged my godson?" Sirius asked in amusement as the screen showed a dot labelled 'Harry' deep in the forest.
R2 gave a droidic shrug.
"Pride. Success. Victory." They turned to Yoda who was standing there with his eyes closed. "Sense Harry I cannot. Sense his kidnappers I can."
Within minutes Padme had an assault squad ready. The droids from The Ghost where powered up and ready to enter the forest.
Yoda had put an end to the militaristic build-up with a stern look.
And a giant glaring Wookie behind him.
He had insisted that he and Chewbacca were more than enough to retrieve their wayward wizard. An army led by a queen was not needed.
It was an irritable Padme and her handmaidens who sat in the throne room with R2-D2 and Sirius, waiting for word.
Padme would have been gobsmacked if she had been allowed to accompany the Jedi and Wookie duo.
It wasn't the way that Chewbacca leapt from the ground to a branch some thirty feet high.
It wasn't the way he practically ran without pause across the branches.
No. It was the tiny Yoda who was always some ten metres ahead and nearly flying through the treetops like a bird.
Yoda was bolstered by his powerful connection to the Force. It was what made him the most feared and respected Jedi to this very day. Something that only a very few, like Windu and Dooku, could claim to have witnessed.
The Gungans lived in the forest: Yes.
But more specifically, they lived in the lakes within the forest that connected to bodies of water around the planet.
Chewbacca was far from happy as his people were not big swimmers.
Being covered in shaggy fur an' all.
Still, he was a Wookie and he had a breather for such occasions on his utility bandolier.
His mood did not improve when they eventually reached the Gungan underwater city; Otah Gunga.
"Hmm… miss-judged, we did." Yoda mused.
"You said he was kidnapped." Chewbacca grumbled in his growling language.
Yoda chuckled. "Willing, he sits there? You think?"
Chewbacca took a longer look at his charge.
Harry was sitting at a long table, filled with food and surrounded by long-eared, snout-nosed Gungans. The Gungans were clearly trying to get him to drink as they toasted and consumed the food in a festive manner.
Harry looked very sullen. He was not a happy bunny.
"Are they fattening him up to sacrifice him?"
Yoda laughed, it drew the attention of the revellers.
Weapons were immediately drawn and pointed at the duo.
"Come in peace, we do." Yoda said calmly.
"Yousa trespassing." The exceptionally 'large' gungan on Harry's right growled.
"Kidnapped my student, you have." Yoda said unconcerned as he hobbled forward.
The gungan looked down at Harry. "Hesa speak true?"
Harry gave an irritated and exasperated sigh. "Yes! I told you people were going to want to know where I was! The Queen keeps getting upset with me for some reason.
"Bet she's bloody livid this time." He muttered to himself.
The gungan just waved a hand dismissively. "Hoomans stuffy. Theysa all with big rules. Theysa need to relaxa."
"Requested a meeting you could have." Yoda admonished lightly as he levered himself onto one of the benches around the table.
Chewbacca stood back, he made a discreet call on his comm unit.
"Weesa did! Theysa saying Harry make big boomba accident. Weesa wanting to speakas with sky-boy. Hesa doings beeeg favours to gungans when he keels Jar-Jar.
"Gungans make beeg thanks." The gungan waved a hand to indicate the feast.
"Thank him? For killing a gungan?" Yoda frowned.
The gungan nodded. "Jar-Jar Binks, foolish. Clumsy. Binks sentenced to nocombakie. Wesa sees heem… wesa keels heem."
"Yoda, Chewbacca, meet 'The Boss'." Harry waved a tired hand to his neighbour. "From what I can understand, the guy I landed on and killed was a careless and clumsy thief that crashed a vehicle and nearly killed people."
"Thas wha mesa says!"
Chewbacca was nearly carrying Harry as they left the gungan city of Otah Gunga in the wee hours of the morning. Once Yoda had grasped the situation he simply raised a glass and toasted Harry.
The gungans cheered.
The wookie laughed.
The human glared.
Harry barely noticed the palace guards around The Ghost. He absently took his glasses off as he ascended the ramp and handed them to C-3PO who placed them in R2's compartment. He made his way to his cabin by touch and feel before slumping into the bed and passing out.
Harry woke up to screaming and a sore arm and hip.
He was immediately on his feet with wand in hand, pointed at the direction of the screaming. "Who's there?" He demanded.
Heavy footsteps sounded before the door to his cabin was wrenched open and Chewbacca stormed in, bowcaster in hand.
"Chewie? What's going on? Who is it?"
The wookie gave a confused noise before he clearly started chuckling and left the room.
"God dammit! Who is it?" Harry demanded as he turned back to the noise maker.
"It's me!" Came the hissed and annoyed voice. "Padme."
"What? Am I in the wrong room? R2 brought me here last night. I am so sorry! I will just leave and go to my room." He spoke quickly and fearfully as he turned and tried to find the door.
"This is your room." Padme said with a wince. "I was waiting for Master Yoda to return with you and I fell asleep in your cabin."
Harry's hand dropped to his side and he turned to Padme… who was basically a large blur. "That really hurt." He grumbled as he rubbed his hip.
"I am so sorry." She said as she stood from the waist high bunk and guided Harry to sit on it. "Wait here and I'll get your glasses. I assume R2-D2 has them?"
"I think so. I know C-3PO took them when we got back."
"We really need to see to getting your eyes fixed." She sighed as she left.
C-3PO soon entered the cabin with Harry's glasses, also expressing concern over getting his master's eyes fixed.
Harry entered the common area to see a red faced and embarrassed Padme with a grinning Sabe and Yane.
He had a very intense desire to do an about-face and go back to bed.
"Harry, make sure you are at dinner this evening." Yane said primly as she stood, smirk still firmly planted. "It is good practice for when you have to be the Emperor."
With that, Sabe dragged Padme to her feet and the trio left.
That was when he heard the scraping noise of claws on metal and noticed the dogs hiding under the table.
Harry managed to spend a few weeks building a relatively simple routine on Naboo. He woke up and did some exercises under Yoda's watchful eye. He then sparred with the Jedi Master using his sword and shield. He was improving to the point that he could block any swing from Yoda's lightsabre.
After sparring practice he would learn new spells from Sirius for an hour or so. Usually this was done by Sirius telling stories of how he had used them in the past.
Speaking of Sirius, Yoda had finished his project with the practice droid and Sirius was freely floating around on top of it. It took less than a day for Harry to ask the Jedi if he could make a remote that could override it when he became annoying.
During lunch, Harry would pay special attention to the conversations between his godfather, Yoda and Chewbacca. He was a long way from being able to hold a conversation with the wookie, but he could pick up a few words.
After lunch, Yoda would take Harry into the forest and have him practice certain spells. Sometimes it was his Patronus, other times it was simple levitation.
Today was summoning.
"That's a big tree." Harry commented as he dubiously regarded the large tree that could put an American Redwood to shame. It wasn't anything like the trees on Kashyyyk, but it was still big.
"Big it is." Yoda nodded. "Tree it is more." He turned to look at Harry with a curious look. It was the one that came before he posed a hypothetical or philosophical question. "Size matters? Why? Matters not to Jedi. Force will work. We will ask magic."
"You think my magic is the same?" Harry asked. "You think that my magic is… 'separate' from me and I just 'request' things of it?"
Yoda shook his head. "Magic is yours. Not entity, not The Force. But magic, reality manipulation, hmm?" He posited. "Military cap: Inanimate, no life. Manipulate it you did, no? Made it alive. Made it bigger!"
"Reality manipulation?" Harry frowned.
Yoda lifted his hand and a nearby rock shot into his palm. "A rock? Yes?"
Harry just nodded.
"To Jedi Council: A rock.
"To Droid Army: A rock.
"Atoms, molecules… all say: rock."
"Yeah, rock." Harry agreed a little impatiently, but still listening and slightly amused.
"Me, Sirius, you… not rock. Potential.
"Here, make gold." Yoda instructed as he placed the rock on the floor.
Harry pointed his wand and cast the transfiguration spell with a whisper. Nothing happened.
"No!" Yoda stomped is stick on the ground. "No spell. Use same magic for Padfoots."
Harry frowned and shook himself. He then knelt down and pointed his wand at the rock and focused.
A few seconds later and the rock was a shiny gold.
"That was hard." Harry breathed heavily.
"Why? Padfoot is more complicated. Blood, bone, brain… life."
"I don't know. It just was." Harry shrugged.
Yoda huffed. "Hard because you doubt yourself. Dragons, phoenixes, broomsticks, transfiguration… all of this Sirius told me, he did. Science, your magic knows not. Genetics, chemistry, physics. Your magic does not know how dogs work. Many you have made!
"Hard because you believe it should be."
"Pup, Yoda, sorry to interrupt but you've got a message coming in from Master Dooku." Sirius' voice came over the communicator.
*Chapter 10*: Chapter 10
Master and pseudo-padawan made their way back to The Ghost.
"Dooku, good to hear from you, it is." Yoda nodded to the holographic projection.
"Master? I wasn't aware you were travelling with Harry Potter." The Jedi remarked.
Yoda frowned. "Contacting Harry, you were?"
"Yes, this is his ship, is it not?"
Yoda gave a snort and a nod. "Was not aware you knew him."
"It is a story I may one day share, but at the moment I need to speak with Harry Potter."
"I'm here sir." Harry spoke up.
"Harry, good. I have made progress on the mission you suggested. I have managed to locate my former Padawan and a few of her fellow team members.
"Regrettably, she is being held and tortured and I do not believe I can safely extract her and the others by myself."
"I'll contact the Droid Army. We'll be there as soon as possible."
"Thank you, I believe your unique skill may be required to accomplish this without excessive bloodshed and the loss of my Padawan's life."
The hologram vanished.
"R2, call up Lee, have him prepare what he thinks is needed for this rescue mission. Get him to talk to Master Dooku. Chewie, 3PO, contact the palace air control and get us permission to leave immediately."
"Pup, you sure about this?"
"I suggested Master Dooku do this." Harry said stiffly. "I thought he might just confirm their deaths… I never thought he'd find them alive and being tortured!"
"Talk about this we will." Yoda said disapprovingly. "Discuss this with Dooku we will."
Harry just shrugged, the action was apathetic, the expression was tense. "Whatever, I need to see if I can tell Padme directly or leave a message."
"You can't just go running off into a death trap alone!"
"I'm not! Forget the fact that Master Dooku is waiting for me, I've got R2, 3PO, Chewbacca, Sirius and Yoda coming.
"And let's not get started on the droid fleet heading in!"
"Then why do you have to go?" Padme demanded angrily.
"Because Dooku thinks I might need to do my stealth thingy. He wants me to ensure his Padawan and the others are safe before any fighting starts."
"Fine! If you're going, so am I." She said defiantly.
"You're just going to abandon your people?" Harry challenged. "Naboo doesn't have a stake in this! How could you possibly justify risking their queen?"
"Are you dictating what the people of Naboo and their queen should do?" She asked dangerously as she stepped forward.
"I don't recall issuing orders just now." Harry retorted taking his own step forward.
The Queen shrank at the stern tones of Sio Bibble.
"You know very well that you can't go running off all over the galaxy for every little thing. Furthermore, as the Head of State, you have not been invited to participate in the independent actions of an ally.
"Your presence would be tantamount to war!"
Padme just started cursing under her breath as she span away and began to pace.
"And you, young man." Sio turned to Harry. "Remember that you are also a Head of State and that you are all that stands between the peace and friendship between our two peoples and the terrifying prospect that there is another Sith out there who might capitalise on any power vacuum should you die."
"I know. But we put precautions in place." Harry sighed.
"And do those precautions involve another being totally immune to The Force?" Sio asked archly. "Her Majesty has informed me that she was subjected to the dark powers of the Sith, she needed you to come to her rescue… again."
"It won't matter." Harry shook his head. "We're working on protection by secrecy. Even I don't know where the droid control ships are and you would need to board one and access a specific console on the bridge to get command of the droids.
"And you would need to board all droid ships at the same time and perform the commands at the same time."
Harry managed to escape the Queen and her anger when Sirius alerted him that The Ghost was ready for take-off. He was seriously thinking of making a stop over at Kashyyyk on the way back… possibly for a few years.
He met up with a small droid army fleet on the borders of the Bogden System where Master Dooku was waiting.
"I have grave news." Dooku said as they met on the bridge of the fleet's flagship. "I have felt a disturbance in the Force as I awaited you. I have felt my former Padawan's light fading."
"She's dying?" Harry asked.
Dooku paused, then remembered that Harry Potter wasn't a Jedi. "No, but she is falling to the Dark Side of the Force. This will set her on the path to becoming a Sith."
"Is there a Sith with her? Someone training her?" Harry asked.
Dooku could see Harry was wondering if this was similar to how Palpatine was grooming him. "No, her mind is simply being broken by the torture and the circumstances of how she was captured."
"Circumstances, of what do you speak?" Yoda frowned.
"She felt betrayed because I denied her the right to take the trials. She was always too aggressive and had developed an unhealthy infatuation with myself."
"Hmm, recall, I do." Yoda nodded as he remembered Dooku's report to the Council.
"Alright, I'll go in and try and secure her and any other prisoners." Harry decided. "Then I'll hunker down and wait for you to come in and rescue us.
"You will be coming, right?" He asked Dooku a little worriedly.
Chewbacca spoke up.
"Master Chewbacca says that only a fool would try and keep him away." C-3PO translated.
It was impossible to get Harry close to the base on the forest moon of Kholma without alerting the security forces. Instead, Harry took Sirius' modified speeder and exited a low flying Phantom. He used one of the Jedi breathers to survive the thin atmosphere as he flew lower and lower.
This drop occurred over a small sea on the opposite side of the moon to where the Bando Gora cult were holed up in a ruined citadel.
Fortunately, Harry could make it around the moon from the surface in mere hours using the speeder.
Dooku had briefed him on the cult. They worshipped the Force and were made up of Force-Sensitives. They were also terrorists and criminals and a threat to every decent planet in the galaxy.
Which was why the Jedi were sent in in the first place.
The best news that Dooku had was that they relied heavily on the Force as opposed to technology. It was unlikely they would use sensors that could detect him.
Harry abandoned the speeder several miles away from the citadel, he couldn't risk the cult sensing him. He spent the next few hours hiking through the forest terrain.
It was nighttime when he arrived and he could barely see.
It was so dark he actually bumped right into one of the cult members patrolling the perimeter. A quick stunner had the surprised individual on the ground, he then arranged the cult member into a sleeping foetal position in case anyone found them. No one would believe anything the person said, he was clearly sleeping on the job.
Still, Harry used a bit more caution as he made his way into the citadel. It did become easier due to better lighting, he made sure his cloak was concealing him and that his disillusionment and silencing charms were up.
Harry had a bit of a conundrum. He had no bloody idea where the prisoners might be kept. This wasn't like on the droid control ship back over Naboo. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan had given him detailed instructions on how to navigate the ship.
He couldn't risk using communicators as these people were Force-Sensitives and not droids. He attempted to use logic. He also decided to ignore Hermione's observations on wizards versus logic and remember he lived ten years as a muggle.
He made his way towards the centre of the citadel, he followed those that moved in groups and the gradual change in the state of the ruins. He figured that the prisons and cells would be fairly well monitored and maintained… didn't want them escaping after all.
It took him four hours of following people and making wrong turns before he found the cells. It was definitely a dungeon. There were twenty prisoners and none of them looked to be in a condition to defend themselves, let alone fight their way out.
But he couldn't see Dooku's former Padawan, Komari Vosa.
But he was certain he could hear her.
The horrible screams of agony and terror streamed into the dungeon.
Harry was torn. Should he rescue Komari first or secure the prisoners. If he rescued Komari he risked alerting the cult members.
He knew what he had to do. And he hated it. He moved to each of the cells and stunned and disillusioned each of the prisoners. He could leave them there and hopefully no one would find them.
It took him thirty minutes. Thirty minutes in which he attempted to block out the screams.
He never realised they had stopped.
"Where are they?"
He froze at the sound of an angry, hoarse voice.
He turned just in time to see Komari Vosa standing there as she roared in anger and used the Force to fling the warden's table and chairs.
Harry cursed his luck as they headed straight to him.
He went flying into the wall, crushed beneath the weight of the table. He was sure he had cracked a few ribs.
"Who is there?" Komari had noticed the change in velocity and momentum when the furniture had hit Harry. But she couldn't see or feel anyone.
Harry really hoped his cloak wasn't ripped. Opening his eyes he saw that his glasses were now useless. The left lens was shattered and the right was missing.
He tried to raise his wand but it was trapped under the table. Instead he cast a banishing charm, sending the debris across the room.
Komari was easily able to dodge it though.
Finally free, Harry cast a quick repair on his glasses. Unfortunately, the missing lens was still… missing.
Harry now had to deal with a crazed Jedi. He quietly watched as Komari stalked around the dungeon, searching for the intruder.
"I will find you… and I will make you suffer."
Komari reminded Harry of Voldemort in a way. Becoming evil had changed how she looked. Her once blond hair was now shocking white. Her blue eyes were yellow.
Harry was trying to think of what spells he could use that she couldn't see and subsequently dodge. Of course, he didn't want to actually hurt her like he had Darth Maul.
The problem with using magic on objects was that Force-Sensitives could feel the objects moving, it was one of the lessons Yoda had taught him.
He had a few spells memorised that could slip past a Force user's senses.
"Avis." Harry whispered. Multi-coloured birds flew from his wand and started pelting the Dark Jedi who screamed in confusion and anger.
He followed up with a non-verbal confundus charm that left her dazed and confused.
This left her wide open to a tightly aimed stunner.
Harry sagged in relief as he struggled to breathe. All prisoners were accounted for.
Then he heard the gasp.
Standing in the door were three cult members. Each was wide-eyed and terrified. They bolted.
"This is a bloody disaster." Harry grumbled as he limped over to Komari.
The assembled group on the bridge of the droid flag ship jumped at the loud crack. They turned and saw a tired, bedraggled and clearly injured Harry limping towards them.
"Medical droid to the bridge." Lee called over the speakers as Chewbacca and Dooku moved to help the wizard into a chair.
"I got them all out." Harry said breathlessly, wincing in pain. "You can start your missions, Lee."
"Understood Sir." The droid nodded before turning away to the communications console.
"Find them, you were to. Protect them. Fight them… you were not to." Yoda frowned.
"There's a- saying back home…" Harry wheezed. "The best laid plans… fail."
"Really?" Sirius asked dubiously.
"Right. Shut up and wait for the medi-droid." Sirius nodded.
When Harry opened his eyes he immediately began to panic.
He was trapped underwater without any clothes on. He had something over his face and privates.
"Relax Harry! Just breathe naturally."
Harry tried to see through the liquid to find Sirius. He could just make out a glow through the viscous substance.
"We've put you in a Bacta Tank. It will heal you up quickly. We are going to take you out in a few minutes."
Harry really wanted to know what all that meant. More importantly, he wanted out of the tank. It was pretty claustrophobic.
Harry could see more figures moving out around outside the tank. He really hoped Padme and her handmaidens weren't there.
"Ok Harry, we're draining the tank now."
If there was one thing that Harry noticed the most as the water levels dropped, it was that he was now bloody cold!
It wasn't long though before the glass tube was retracted and metal hands were gently lifting him onto a bed.
"All bones are fully healed." The medical droid announced. "Kidneys and lungs are once again operational. Optical lenses and retinal implants have melded properly. Patient has fully recovered and is clear for discharge from care."
"What happened?" Harry asked raspily. He could see Dooku standing nearby with a look of worry.
"You were badly injured when you fought Komari. You were obviously unaware of the extent of your injuries and finished your mission despite them. Master Yoda says your magic probably kept you from collapsing and dying on the spot."
"They all safe?"
"You saved everyone that was still alive, Harry Potter." Dooku reassured him.
"Komari... was it really her?" Harry struggled to sit up, he wasn't tired, just a little weak. Dooku adjusted the bed to a sitting position. "She looked different, eyes, hair."
Dooku nodded sadly. "She has fallen to the dark side. It has the effect of mutating certain features. Especially the eyes."
That comment made Harry realise two things:
"Where are my glasses and why can I see without them?"
"You fixed my eyes! This is brilliant!"
Sirius and Yoda watched with smiles as Harry looked everywhere he could.
"I can actually see the writing on these bottles!"
"About that, Harry." Sirius spoke up awkwardly. "We actually had some enhancements made to your eyes. Nothing drastic, you can just see a bit further and a few more colours than the average human."
"If you focus, you will be able to see the ultra-violet and infra-red spectrums. But don't try it just yet, wait until the droids can walk you through it." He warned.
"Master Yoda, perhaps we could discuss the pressing matter of how to handle Komari?" Dooku requested tersely.
Yoda's expression sank and turned mournful. "Confine her, we must. Talk to her. Reason. This is all we can do."
"I did have an idea that might help." Harry spoke up.
Komari Vosa struggled through the haze that was draped over her mind. Everything seemed sluggish and dark.
She managed to open her eyes to see that she was sitting at a table in a plain white room. There were no windows and only one door.
There appeared to be a young man sitting opposite her… but she couldn't sense him.
"I'm Harry Potter. I am real and you are aboard a droid ship of the Empire of Magic."
"Empire of Magic?" She scoffed.
"I was asked to help rescue you after you and some other Jedi were captured in a failed mission."
"I- I don't remember being captured." She frowned.
"I have the ability to erase memories. When I found you, you were being tortured. You fell to the Dark Side. The only option the Jedi Council had was to imprison you and try and talk you back to the light.
"I suggested that removing the memories that sent you down the dark path might make it easier." Harry slid her a datapad.
Komari saw security feeds of her in a bacta tank and later in a cell, ranting and raving. She gasped at her white hair and yellow eyes, she began groping her head.
Harry pulled his wand and conjured a mirror for her.
"What happened to me?" She whispered hoarsely as she saw her Sith visage looking back.
"Master Yoda and Master Dooku are both on this ship. We are headed to Naboo where you can spend some time recuperating. We won't arrive for two more days. Master Yoda has suggested that you attempt to meditate and use the force to locate and contact him, this might help speed up the process of cleansing the dark side from you."
"Master Dooku is here?" She looked up with hope.
Harry sighed. "Komari, your feelings for Dooku are part of what led you to that failed mission and being tortured. Dooku felt that you weren't ready for your trials and that you weren't suitable for the Jedi.
"You felt betrayed and snuck on to the mission. The mission was a disaster that ended with many dead and you and several Jedi captured."
"Master refused me my trials?"
Harry grimaced at the plaintive voice. "The Jedi Order may not be for everyone. Even Dooku has been considering leaving."
He didn't like the hopeful look on Komari's face. It was a look that would probably lead her down the same path again.
"Komari, do what Master Yoda instructed. Once you have 'cleansed yourself of the Dark Side' they will come and talk to you. Some droids will be by later to make sure you have what you need."
The second they landed on Naboo they were boarded.
Padme stomped aboard The Ghost that had ferried them to the planet from the edge of the system. She then hugged Harry tightly before checking him for injuries.
"Everything has been fixed, Padme." Harry assured her.
It was exactly the wrong thing to say. "'Fixed'? So you were injured?"
"It wasn't that bad. I finished the mission with those injuries."
She looked at Yoda expectantly.
"Two days in the bacta tank." He smirked.
"It can't be that bad." Harry protested. "I've spent weeks in the infirmary back home before. The bacta tank was… strange, but at least it wasn't like Skelegrow."
Padme was looking at him with a gobsmacked expression. "You are going to be dead before you are twenty." She whispered in horror.
Harry was a bit offended by that.
"Otherwise, does experience say, hmm?" Yoda chuckled. "Faced much danger, and here he stands."
"One day the danger might be too much!" Padme argued.
"Says the girl who has to use a decoy system to protect herself from assassination and kidnap." Sirius snorted. "Try to remember two important facts, Your Majesty:" Sirius said with a rude amount of sarcasm.
"One, you chose to run for election.
"Two, Harry is often thrust into these situations. Often because he is the only one willing to do it. Or able."
Padme seemed to fume impotently on the spot as she struggled for an argument. She gave up and turned to Harry. "Dinner is at seven, don't be late."
She then stomped out of the ship leaving Harry to deal with three very smug beings.
Harry was surprised when he turned up to dinner and discovered the only other person present was Padme. Even her dog wasn't there.
"Am I early?" Harry asked as he took the seat next to the casually dressed Padme who was at the head of the table.
"No, I thought we could just have a private meal. Just the two of us."
An icy hand was suddenly caressing Harry's spine as fear set in.
Padme was desperately trying not to laugh at the terrified look on Harry's face. It certainly helped her forget her own near-crippling nerves.
"D- Did I do something wrong?" Harry asked.
Padme took a second to consider her answer. "No." She eventually admitted. "If anyone did something wrong it was me."
"I-" Harry was stopped by Padme's hand on his.
"Harry, I like you. Romantically." Harry blushed… the icy hand didn't stop. "I keep getting upset with you and myself in trouble because I like you and I… I assume you owe me explanations and concessions because I like you."
"Or because we're friends." Harry offered a sheepish grin.
Padme sadly let go of Harry's hand.
Harry suddenly felt terrible. He wanted the hand back. "I've only had one girlfriend before." He inwardly cringed. He was fairly certain that discussing one's past relationships was not the way to do things. "It was terrible." He ploughed on. "Her previous boyfriend was murdered the year before. We had one date and one kiss.
"We went to this awful tea shop that was all pink and frilly. When we kissed she cried because of her last boyfriend."
That was a horrible story. Harry desperately wished he had a time turner to go back and kill himself before he told it.
Unfortunately his brain, mouth and heart were all ploughing ahead with their own separate plans.
"What did you want to do? Couples would go and walk around the local village on certain weekends. Of course, there was also the Astronomy Tower."
Harry turned bright red as his brain caught up to what his mouth had said. Mouth overrode brain and started babbling. "We could walk around the city! I've never been anywhere on Naboo except the palace and the Gungan City. The weather is much nicer here so we could also go for a picnic! We could walk in the forest! I've never been in a forest that didn't try to kill me."
"Harry!" The soft warm hand was back on his. Even better was the laughing smile on Padme's face.
Harry closed his mouth. The hand was back and both brain and heart were holding mouth shut to prevent it from screwing this up.
"Harry… I've had one 'boyfriend'." She admitted, she hoped she got the term right. "It was well over a year ago. He isn't dead and I have no intention of crying over him.
"I don't know what a 'picnic' is but I would love to show you around Theed."
Heart gave brain a wary nodded and they relaxed their grip on mouth… just slightly.
"A picnic is when you take a basket of sand- ready to eat food. You go out to a field, somewhere with nice nature, you put down a blanket to sit on-"
"We have 'picnics' too." Padme assured him. "We just usually say we are having a nice meal out in the sun."
"Ah." Harry nodded in relief. "Do you have sandwiches?"
It was just the three of them. Harry, Padme and Paddy. The sun was bright, the grass was luscious and Paddy was off sniffing everything.
This meant that Harry and Padme were left to themselves. This meant they had to talk to each other. It had been completely awkward at first. Harry decided to make a mental list of conversation topics for the future.
Eventually they settled into topics of interest to them both.
"What are you going to do after you finish being queen?" Harry asked as he took the dish Padme passed him.
Padme took her own dish and settled down opposite Harry. "I don't really know. I will probably go back to trying to help those in need.
"What about you?"
"Erm… I'm not a Queen."
Padme gave him a light glare and he smiled.
"I guess I'm the Emperor when they need me." Harry shrugged. "R2 keeps giving me the names of planets that people like to visit and that are friends of Naboo. He makes me decide what I like about them.
"Then he and 3PO pick the laws that make them that way and tell the droid army to do it."
"You will still be making public appearances as The Emperor, won't you?" She asked hopefully.
"What about the request from Chancellor Valorum to meet? Not to mention Chief Tarrful and other allies. I can promise you that the Emperor will receive a personal invitation to attend the next Cycle Celebration in Theed."
"Cycle Celebration? You have bike races?"
"There are speeder bike races." She frowned. "But the Cycle Celebration is when we celebrate a new year on Naboo. When the planet has completed another rotation around our sun.
"This year will be the three thousand, eight hundred and sixty-eighth celebration since humans settled on Naboo." She told him happily.
"Settled? Humans didn't start here?" Harry asked curiously.
Padme shook her head. "We believe that humans originally came from Coruscant several hundred thousand years ago."
"As far as we knew back home, our planet was the only one in the galaxy with life."
"That seems statistically impossible." Padme argued. "Even the smallest of galaxies would hold billions of planets, for only one to sustain life…" She seemed unable to fathom the idea.
"Well, first, you have to remember that we'd never met or detected any signs of life off our planet. Second, we'd never been further than our planet's moon."
"Oh." She said in realisation. "I forgot that your culture is a lot more… primitive, than ours." She said with an apologetic look.
"Maybe. But, did humans begin to explore this galaxy before or after they met their first alien?"
Padme was genuinely curious. "We will have to see what the Royal Library has on the subject."
"You'd get on great with my best friend, Hermione. She practically lives in our school library." Harry became silent and clearly down. "She hasn't even been born yet. No one has."
Padme reached over and squeezed his hand comfortingly. "Was she your girlfriend?" She asked sympathetically.
"No, she was just one of my best friends. She was with me that night when Sirius and I left our world. We were fighting for our lives and I have no idea if she or the others survived."
"Then you shouldn't worry. It hasn't happened yet and it won't for thousands of years. Focus on the present…" She trailed off with a blush, she desperately wanted to have all his focus.
"Do you have animals you ride?" Harry asked, changing the subject.
"We do. Some can be very dangerous though."
"Do they have fangs as long as your forearm, breathe fire or kill with a look?" Harry asked in amusement.
"Some have… large fangs." She admitted with apprehension. She really wanted to know more about Harry's world and what he faced there. A droid army and a Sith didn't seem like much of threat.
They sat in silence for a few minutes, just eating.
Harry eventually broached the topic he was certain would get him in trouble with Padme.
"There is one thing I want to do… I am going to do. I need to go back to Tatooine and stop the Hutts and the slave trade."
Padme looked at him, wide-eyed. "Harry, the Hutts control far more than just one planet."
"Yeah… I'm still trying to figure out how to do it. C-3PO says that the Hutt controlled planets aren't part of the Republic. That means they won't get involved. I could ask the droid army to help and do things as The Emperor.
"On the other hand, I don't really want to drag the droids into this as it might cause a war. If I do things as Harry Potter I can work like I did on the droid control ship and when I helped rescue Komari and the others."
Padme frowned, deep in thought. "Harry, don't do anything yet and definitely don't do anything without talking to myself or the Jedi. Remember what you told me; gather your friends and get it done."
*Chapter 11*: Chapter 11
Padme had surprised Harry by dragging him along to meet with Yoda, Sirius, Chewbacca and the droids the very next day. Harry had thought it would be months before she next brought it up.
The five beings were split three to two. Sirius, R2-D2 and Chewbacca were all for taking action. C-3PO was concerned for his master's safety and by his very nature, counselled negotiation.
"Dangerous." Yoda sighed sadly. "Not just for you but for galaxy. Stealth, magic, powerful tools, but… Jedi have been here before."
"But you do not counsel against it, Master Yoda?" Padme pushed gently.
The Jedi Master looked at her sternly. "Yoda, says fight! Says free slaves." His expression softened to one of almost mourning. "Jedi Master says speak. Plead with Hutts."
"And both Jedi and Yoda have seen that both methods can fail and that sometimes, one is needed to bring about the other." Sirius told his old friend.
Yoda just nodded, his eyes downcast. "Hutts will not talk. Convince them you must, then they will talk."
"Convince them enough and they'll jump straight to begging." Sirius smirked.
"Master Chewbacca asks if you have started any plans or have an idea where to start." C-3PO translated for the wookie.
"The top." Harry shrugged. "I figure that if I started going after the lower levels of the Hutt's organizations then they would just start hiding better.
"If I start by taking out the Hutts then I can replace them."
"You make it sound so simple." Sirius chuckled.
"A good plan is a simple one. But it doesn't make implementing it any easier." Padme stated. She turned to Harry. "You do realise that the Hutts as a species are very difficult to kill?"
"I don't want to kill them!" Harry was slightly offended. "I was just going to capture them and send them back to their home planet. Maybe ask the droid army to set up a blockade so they can't leave."
"Pup, do you know what a Hutt is?" Sirius asked incredulously. "A giant slug that is more than seven feet tall, ten feet long, a hide so thick it can survive a blaster shot and has an immune system so stubborn that some of them treat poisons like exotic drinks."
"But they are all just as weak to magic as everyone else in this galaxy… right?"
Sirius and Yoda look to each other.
"Never tested it, have we." Yoda admitted. "But how would magic you use?"
"I made a cap into a dog, a stone into gold. Why not turn the Hutts into something easy to contain… like a rock?"
In the time that Sirius had broken out of Azkaban and learnt the truth about how Harry had been treated, he had often cursed himself for not being there. He also cursed Crouch, Bagnold, Dumbledore, the Dursleys and many others.
Including Snape. Well… mostly Snape.
But seeing that innocent look on his Godson's face as he laid out his overly simplistic plan made him make plans to have his holocron worked on so it would survive the many millennia till they reached the time of Harry's birth and make the galaxy spanning trip to Earth.
Then he'd be able to express his ire more literally and to those who earned it.
Queen Amidala had made a personal request to Grand Master Jedi Yoda. She needed a Jedi of some experience to help her close friend, The Emperor, train for… 'unusual situations'.
Things had snowballed slightly after that as Chewbacca requested permission to call in some friends from home and Yoda suggested asking the Gungans for aid.
That last one was met with a strained acceptance from the Queen and her advisors, but they weren't going to argue with Master Yoda.
Not for long at least.
It was a week later that three beings walked off the passenger transport at the Theed Space Port. Two were a surprise to Harry and one was a shock to Yoda.
"Dooku, surprised I am." The old Jedi admitted as he floated on his little seat. Next to him a Jedi practice droid floated as it projected the mobile Sirius. "Saddened. Turmoil I feel in you. Come has your time." Yoda said sadly.
Dooku was dressed in rich black clothes with a cape. He stepped forward and knelt, his weapon presented to his former master. "I have tendered my resignation to the Council, but I insisted on surrendering my lightsabre only to you."
Yoda gently lifted the long handled weapon and examined it fondly. "Served you well, this has. Saved your life and mine. Saved the lives of many."
"It has failed to save more and taken the lives of countless." Dooku said solemnly.
"And just how many of that last group didn't choose to face you as you defended the light?" Sirius challenged.
"One." Yoda answered. "My lightsabre, the blame should carry. Tainted with the same darkness it was. Judged as needed we were.
"We need not dwell."
"A Jedi without a sword is… a disservice to the Force." Sirius commented with a casual air.
"I am no Jedi, Sir." Dooku declared as he stood. "I have left the Order and cast aside my vows."
"Think that all a Jedi is? Hmm?" Yoda glared at his former Padawan. "Thousands of years have Jedi existed. Long before the Council, the Order… the Code.
"Many Jedi out there. Serving the Force. Never heard of the Order, have they. But greet them I would, as family." Yoda declared with stubbornness.
Yoda thrust the deactivated weapon at Dooku sideways. "Take it. The Force flows through this weapon. Let it serve you as you served the Force."
"Leave the Order… not the Jedi." Harry said softly.
Dooku looked at the young man, the one who had warned him of the destination at the end of his previous path. The one who seemed to have a penchant for helping others even if he didn't realise it.
Just like a Jedi.
Dooku took the weapon, his weapon, and replaced it on his belt and gave a slight bow to Yoda before turning to Harry. "I heard you needed aid with training and planning, though the reason for this training was not explained, I felt the Force guiding me to Naboo. I have another mission that may serve as training, if you are interested."
Harry's expression hardened. "We'll head to the Ghost immediately to discuss it."
"Surprised to see you." Yoda spoke to the other two that had come with Dooku. "Expected your former Master, Knight Kenobi."
Obi-Wan stepped forward with Barriss and bowed. "My Master's current Padawan is still learning other aspects of the Force. I have experience and my Padawan could use a little more… 'practical application'." He said with a small smile as Barriss blushed.
Harry led Dooku to the bridge of The Ghost as soon as they arrived at the palace. Chewbacca, Sirius and Yoda followed whilst Obi-Wan took Barriss to pay their respects to the Queen.
"Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos and his Padawan, Aayla Secura have gone missing." Dooku said without preamble. "I asked the Council to send a team to investigate but they refused. It was the final reason for resigning."
"Missing, you say?" Yoda frowned. "Last seen they were, where?"
"Tatooine. I have spoken with Master Jinn and Knight Kenobi but neither recalls any sign of them whilst they were there. I have tracked their flight plans and they were there at the same time as you."
"Do you have a picture?" Harry asked.
"May I?" Dooku gestured to the computer console.
Harry nodded. He was soon staring at a holographic projection of what appeared to be a male human and a female Twi'lek.
"Definitely didn't see any blue people other than Watto." Harry confirmed. "We can show these to the others who were with us on Tatooine and see if they did."
"What purpose they had, on Tatooine?" Yoda asked.
"They were investigating a drug smuggling ring."
Yoda and Dooku stared at each other.
"Return to Coruscant, I must." The Grand Master eventually spoke with disgust. "Change things must if Jedi to survive."
"If the Order is to survive." Dooku corrected.
Yoda paused and then nodded.
"I should come too." Harry piped in. "If the missing people were on Tatooine when we were then they may have encountered Darth Maul. I need to have another chat with him."
Padme was, as Harry feared, not pleased he was leaving again so soon. But instead of making Harry feel horrible by glaring at him and giving him the silent treatment, she spent as much time as she could with him before he left and secured promises he would be safe and call every day.
She had to relent a bit when Harry pointed out he couldn't keep either of those promises, but that he would definitely try. She had employed her own additional method of ensuring her boyfriend's return by having all the training simulations and volunteers sent to Theed.
This meant that there were Gungan and Wookies setting up camp in the nearby forest.
Obi-Wan had to take Barriss for more meditation when the young Padawan became frustrated at having to get back on the ship after only arriving hours before.
They travelled on the Ghost, but, unknown to anyone but R2-D2, they were shadowed by a droid ship… just in case.
They arrived at Coruscant and landed immediately at the Jedi Temple. Padme had insisted that Harry make use of the embassy suites whilst he was there though and asked him to check in with the new ambassador for Naboo.
"Master Yoda, we have arranged for the prisoners to be moved to the interrogation rooms." Mace Windu informed them as they touched down. He gave a slightly concerned look at Dooku, especially on seeing the lightsabre on the man's belt.
"Together?!" Harry asked frantically. "You moved three powerful and bad people at the same time and to a closer proximity?"
"They are well guarded." Mace frowned.
"Oh god… back home we would call this a 'recipe for disaster'."
"Harry, we know what we are doing-"
"You didn't even know they existed until a few months ago!" Harry was walking to the entrance to the temple at a quick pace.
"We have learnt much since then!" Mace countered irritably as he kept pace with the young wizard.
"Obi-Wan, go to Younglings, ensure they are safe." Yoda ordered.
Chewbacca peeled off with the young knight and his charge, his bowcaster in hand.
"R2, find a terminal and hack in. Monitor everything you can." Sirius gave his own instructions. "Go with him 3PO."
Minutes later they arrived at the holding cells only to find Darth Plagueis calmly accepting the lightsabre of one of the Jedi guards outside the cell.
The other two cells seemed secure with their prisoners and guards.
Harry sent out a Confundus charm followed up by a stunner. Two more stunners dropped the guards.
Harry stopped, bent at his waist and breathing deeply.
"What was it you'd learnt, Jedi Windu?" Sirius asked bitingly.
Yoda summoned the lightsabres as he floated closer. The sounds of footsteps sounded down the corridor as reinforcements sent by Obi-Wan arrived.
"Harry, stun the other two Sith please." Dooku requested.
"How could this happen?" Windu was confused and angry. "Traitors amongst our own."
"Mace! Calm yourself and look closer." Dooku said sternly. "The lightsabres all belong to the guards. A traitor would have brought a spare for Plagueis.
"They are victims, not collaborators."
"It wouldn't hurt to be sure, though." Sirius warned. "I'd put them in separate cells until Harry can talk to them."
"Maul and Palpatine are out. I also obliviated them of the last hour or so." Harry announced as he re-joined them.
"Obliviated?" Sirius queried.
"Just in case." Harry shrugged.
"In case of what?! Merlin! Harry, you might need more of a vacation if you are getting as paranoid as old Mad-Eye."
"As long as I don't get as ugly."
"At least you still have a sense of humour."
It was an hour later and Harry had all he needed to know. "Palpatine is behind it all. Apparently he wanted Jedi Vos so he could turn him. I don't know what has happened to them but I know where to start.
"We need to talk to Senator Chom Frey Kaa. He is pretty much doing the leg work for Palpatine."
"Grave news is this." Yoda said solemnly. "Deep roots the Dark Side has made."
"Harry, did you have any idea where they might have headed after Tatooine?" Sirius asked.
"No, I only know that the drug they were smuggling can cause amnesia… so, if they've already been dosed, they might not know who they are."
"Hmm, I have an idea that might see quicker results than trying to teach them who they were." Dooku mused. "Their current amnesia is caused by a chemical effect… would Harry's magic override that effect if he 'Obliviated' them back to before they were dosed?"
"Find them first, we must." Yoda declared with an impatient huff.
"We do not have the resources to mount a rescue mission." Windu informed them. "So many of our number have fallen over the past year and we are being stretched thin."
"And you are certain that your 'resources' are being sent where they are truly needed?" Dooku challenged icily.
"To the best of our knowledge, Dooku." Windu said tiredly. "We are mortal and fallible. Something you clearly know and understand."
"But you fail to try and correct your mistakes! Twice now I have been involved with Jedi affairs where you refused to investigate. If it weren't for Harry then Komari and the others would be dead to us.
"Did you know that the Governor of Galidraan sold Jango Fett into slavery? No? Not only did the man trick us into acting as his death soldiers, he turned the only survivor into a slave."
"We are aware." Windu confessed.
"THEN WHY HAVEN'T YOU DONE SOMETHING?" Dooku roared as he shot to his feet.
"Calm yourself, Dooku." Yoda said quietly but sternly. "Do not let your emotions rule you."
"Why haven't you done anything?" Harry asked curiously. "Why hasn't the Republic as a whole?"
"We are Jedi." Windu explained calmly. "We do not seek conflict. We aid those who need us and we defend those we can."
"And the Republic?"
"Warned, we were. Valorum, blamed Jedi." Yoda admitted. "At fault, Jedi were. Foolish, naive… dumb. Told us not to go back. Jedi would only make things worse."
"And here I thought the Jedi Order was autonomous." Dooku sneered. He closed his eyes and tried to regain his focus as he saw the worried frown that Harry was sending his way.
"Yoda, I know it's been a while since you and I were gallivanting, but… what the hell?" Sirius asked in confusion. "The Jedi never worked for governments, the Republic is definitely bigger after all these years, but, like you say: 'Size matters, not'."
Everyone turned to look at the Head of the Jedi Order as he sat there looking disgusted.
"Mace?" Dooku asked.
"We've become an organisation run by a committee." He expounded. "When I was a Padawan, Master Yoda would take me wherever the Force led us. Occasionally we received a request from the Council to attend to a specific mission."
Dooku nodded thoughtfully. "Yes, when I was Master Yoda's Padawan, the Council served as more of a… supply and logistics unit. If we needed a ship we contacted them.
"They also acted as the hub for exchanging intelligence."
There was a snort from a floating orb followed by the clanging of wood on metal. It was ignored.
"All this happened in what? A decade?" Harry asked doubtfully.
"No, it has been a long time coming." Dooku sighed. "It happened slowly enough that we never noticed."
"Well, we still need to find the missing Jedi. Investigating any other missing Jedi would be good too." Sirius commandeered their attention. "I recommend out-sourcing the investigations until the Jedi Council has put itself in its place.
"I know of two former Jedi who could start." He gave a pointed look to Dooku.
"No." Mace said firmly. "Dooku has left the Order. It-"
"All members of the Order are Jedi. But not all Jedi are members of the Order."
Dooku chuckled at the statement from the young wizard. "A quite succinct paraphrasing of Master Yoda's reasons for not accepting my lightsabre."
"It would still require the approval of the Council." Mace shook his head.
"Hey, Harry, you hear about that Twi'lek and the Kiffar that went missing?" Sirius asked in a horrible display of 'acting'. "They've gone and done got nicked!"
"Really?!" Harry sat forward and did a slightly better performance. "What'd they do?"
"Get this, they was bobbies. Some one sent them on a case to shut down a drug deal and they got ratted on!"
"Blimey! Bet the bobbies are in a right tizzy."
"Nah, they're still fighting over who gets to stamp the bloody paperwork!" Sirius laughed loudly and badly for few seconds. "Guess it's a good thing the bobbies are the only ones who can handle this. Be bad news for 'nappers if someone else heard about it and pulled their todger out."
Both young wizard and deceased holocron dropped their 'act' and looked at the head of the order glibly.
Sirius decided to twist the knife completely. "We're saying that doing the right thing isn't a restricted activity and doesn't need a bloody red stamp."
The journey back to Naboo was a bit frustrating for Harry. He kept forgetting why he needed to travel to Coruscant. He would ask himself why he didn't just use the communications… then he would remember that he had needed to use legilimency on the Sith.
Still, he wasn't happy as he wasn't sure that it was worth the two-day trip.
Chewbacca would remind him that if he hadn't gone then they would have no leads on the missing Jedi. As it was, Dooku was working with a droid ship to trace various leads. Senator Chom Frey Kaa had been weak willed and easily caved when confronted by Dooku.
Harry was very happy to be back on Naboo. He still struggled with the hug from Padme, but he very much enjoyed her smile and holding her hand.
Padme had insisted that Harry move back into the palace and the family rooms. Yoda had no objections but preferred to stay on the ship with Chewbacca.
Harry often felt lonely in the rooms without R2-D2 and C-3PO around.
Yoda varied his training to different times of day. Sirius had to remind his old friend that Harry was not a Jedi Padawan and was entitled to free time and personal pursuits. Such as spending time with his girlfriend.
"Has there been any word from Count Dooku?" Padme asked conversationally as she handed him a small tub of food.
They were sat at their picnic spot, enjoying one of the last few days of Naboo's summertime.
"Nothing more on the master. He is sending the Padawan here for me to try the memory spell on."
Padawan Aayla Secura had been found by Dooku's team. He had returned to his home planet and taken up his hereditary role of Count. He had then used his new and extensive resources, combined with the droid army and Trade Federation, to start tracking down the Master and Padawan.
Secura was being held by her uncle and used for entertainment. She was a blue skinned Twi'lek and, as Padme had explained, their species were regarded as little more than slaves and entertainment, especially the women. The fact that it was a Twi'lek that was doing it to his own people was going to do nothing for their reputation.
That didn't even begin to touch on the fact that she was family to her slaver.
"I'm glad he didn't send her to the Jedi Temple. Then you would have had to leave again." Padme pouted teasingly.
"I might have to go soon." Harry grimaced. "You saw the letter from Chancellor Valorum."
"You don't have to go. Just your envoy. You just need to find someone trustworthy."
"Like who? The droids don't know how to pick someone and I haven't been to any of the Federation planets to meet possible candidates."
"You could always send C-3PO."
The fact that Padme refused to look at him told Harry even she didn't think that was responsible.
"What about you? Naboo still has to make a decision about staying in the Republic." Harry challenged.
Padme looked very grumpy as she sat back down, abandoning her rummage through the picnic basket.
"The decision is mine." She admitted. "I was elected to make these decisions. Our government isn't like what you described. We don't have lots of politicians who debate and then vote a majority on every issue.
"On Naboo, the noble families nominate candidates and then elect by majority. But they are electing a monarch. Someone who has the final say in all things.
"So… a decision to leave the Republic falls to me. I have to make the right decision for my entire planet and hope that my successor will respect that decision."
"And you don't know what to decide? Can't Governor Bibble help? Why not talk to Chief Tarrful?"
"I have been speaking to various people Harry." She clearly found the subject tiresome. "From my point of view, the Republic has failed to live up to its responsibilities. It also seems clear that they have no desire or intention of changing.
"The… difficulty I am struggling with is trying to figure out if my feelings for you are influencing my decisions. I am worried that I am not being impartial."
Harry scratched his head, slightly confused. "Why would that matter? I haven't said what you should do. I don't even have an opinion." He shrugged.
Padme turned so she was facing Harry directly, she sat on her knees. "Harry, I can't just take Naboo out of the Republic. We would never survive on our own.
"We'd need to accept the invitation to join your empire."
"It's not my empire!" Harry said frustratedly. "Technically it's R2's. I just… stand there."
"Harry, please focus on the issue." Padme begged. "The Empire is the only way we could get decent representation with other planets and systems.
"If we tried to approach Republic planets for trade, they would insist we go through the Republic itself. Considering we would have just left them, they are likely to be petty and make us wade through more paperwork than is necessary.
"The Empire controls the Trade Federation, that makes them one of the biggest resources in the galaxy. When you withdrew them from the Republic you caused major panic as previous trade agreements all became void and new ones needed to be negotiated."
Harry looked sheepish. "That explains why C-3PO kept handing me documents that needed my approval as The Emperor."
Padme was suddenly very worried. "You did read before approving, didn't you?"
"Of course!" Harry said indignantly. "Well… I had 3PO read them to me… I didn't want to get something wrong as my Galactic Basic isn't very good."
Padme sighed in relief. "So you didn't approve all of them?"
"Most. One was from some git asking to trade droids for twi'leks."
"Disgusting." Padme spat. "I'm glad you didn't accept that."
"Oh, I did." Harry calmly assured her.
He enjoyed the look of horror creeping onto her face. "How else was I going to get the slaves back to their families without resorting to bloodshed."
"But now he has access to a droid army!"
"Only if he considers dust to be his enemy." Harry chuckled. "The droids don't have weapons and are programmed for cleaning and maintenance."
"Oh Harry… you are going to wind up with so many assassination contracts on you." She bemoaned.
Harry's training progressed well. He could use the sword and shield proficiently. He'd never beat a Sith or Jedi in a sabre battle, but he'd be able to hold them off long enough to use magic or get help.
He now had a simple exo-skeleton that he wore under his clothes. It wouldn't do anything against a blaster bolt but it was made from Phrik and would stop a lightsabre from removing limbs.
His skill in sneaking was what made Sirius the proudest. It made him bemoan that he, James and Remus hadn't been able to coach his godson on pranks for Hogwarts.
Harry's ability to sneak past Force sensitive individuals was enhanced by various techniques that R2 and the wookies taught him for dealing with technology.
Harry was gradually learning what the major components were in the galaxy's technology. The wookies had worked with Sirius to develop techniques that allowed Harry to disable sensors and trick them by simply transfiguring parts.
It made the various scenarios that the various teams of wookies and gungans put him through, easy to bypass. So much so that they had to arrange standalone events where he was placed in a makeshift ring with a Jedi, wookie, gungan or human and told to defend himself.
Otherwise he would never get any combat experience.
Harry's skill in sneaking had gained him what Sirius and Padme referred to fondly as: His nemesis.
Barriss Offee had not liked the fact that someone could elude the Force and skate past her. She was constantly demanding Harry retake the tests so she could try and beat him.
Fortunately, she didn't take her frustration with the issue out on Harry. The two got on well and when they weren't competing against each other.
Obi-Wan watched the pair carefully. He was toeing the line a bit as often he would see Barriss was far too emotional, be it with anger or happiness. But her interactions with Harry made her more confident and goaded her into using more physical methods, which was the purpose of travelling to Naboo to work with Harry.
The one thing Harry couldn't excel at was escaping his new role as Emperor. He had spoken with everyone from R2 to Chief Tarrful and they all agreed that Harry couldn't appoint anyone from the Trade Federation as his representative. There was simply no way to tell who to trust.
Harry made a request for the Jedi to send someone to meet with potential candidates and vet them. He received the cold shoulder from Padme when Yoda told them that Qui-Gon and Anakin had been assigned. But only for an hour.
Still, the situation between the Empire and the Republic and the People of Naboo and the Republic needed to be resolved. A droid flag ship arrived at Naboo to ferry Harry, Padme and their entourages to Coruscant. The Queen's personal ship and The Ghost would follow.
Things became a little tense when the patchwork fleet arrived at Coruscant. They barely managed to get in the system.
"Unidentified ships, come to an immediate stop and transmit your ID and intentions."
"Are you sure they're talking to us?" Harry asked the droid, Lee as he stood on the bridge with the others.
"It's not a broadcast to anyone listening, Harry." Sirius explained. "The transmission is encoded and directed straight to our ships."
"But… wouldn't that mean they have our ID?"
Sirius just nodded.
"So it's a mistake?" Harry asked hopefully.
"It is likely a high-handed intimidation tactic to put us on the defensive and give them an opportunity to board us and intimidate us personally." Padme scowled. Sabe was currently dressed as the Queen.
"Standard Coruscant Orbital Security Procedure is to board and inspect all unidentified ships before determining if they are allowed to enter orbit." Lee explained.
"Let me handle this, Harry." Sirius said firmly as he headed to the communication console.
Harry just gave Lee a shrug and a nod as the droid looked to him to make sure it was ok.
"Coruscant Orbital Security, this is the Flagship of the Empire of magic. Please be aware that you are not broadcasting your warning and are sending it directly to this ship."
"Unidentified ship, your ID is not recognised. You will come to a complete stop and prepare to be boarded."
"Yeah, listen you little shit;" Harry's eyes widened at the sudden change from 'respectfully correctful' to 'I'm gonna tan your hide'. "You are clearly lying because you are using our ID to open one-to-one communications. That can only happen if you have our ID.
"Be aware that this is being recorded. If you send anyone to try and illegally board our fleet… they won't be coming home."
With that, Sirius cut the communication.
"Don't we need them to… I don't know, tell us where to land? Aren't there flight plans and things to prevent crashes?" Harry asked worriedly.
"Nah, it's all done by droids and AIs." Sirius assured him. "We will just stay on course and deal with any boarders like they were pirates."
"Master Yoda, perhaps if we contacted the Jedi Council, they might be able to smooth things over and prevent an unnecessary space battle." Obi-Wan suggested from the side where he stood patiently with Barriss.
"Contact them, you will." Yoda nodded, leaving the young knight to step up to the task.
"Any chance we will be able to land before-"
"Alert! Six ships on intercept course." One of the droids on the bridge interrupted Harry.
"Maybe we should just leave." Harry offered. He wanted nothing more than to turn his back on Coruscant and never return.
"Harry, we need to confront these people." Padme urged. "If they are willing to do these despicable acts, it won't be long before they start sending their assassins to our home planets."
Harry looked to Yoda.
"Come, the darkness will. On your terms, you must face it."
Harry looked at the view screen where the six ships were shown. They were frigates, maybe two thirds the size of the Queen's ship. "How much damage can they do to this ship?"
Chancellor Valorum was attempting to be calm and collected as he sat in his office, alone. In truth, he was a bundle of nerves and agitation.
He was waiting on a report from the Republic Judicial Force about the confrontation with the Naboo and Trade Federation ships in orbit. He had caved to pressure and ordered them challenged and boarded. He wanted the Queen, the Emperor and their people searched and he certainly wanted the Emperor de-masked.
It wasn't just pressure from other delegates of the senate, he was also angry about how he was being treated by Amidala and the Emperor. Calling him nothing more than a 'bureaucrat'.
He jumped at the alert on his door before he acknowledged those waiting.
Several men in uniform entered and took positions at the door whilst one sat in a chair opposite the Chancellor.
"Report." Valorum ordered.
"The situation has become… complicated." The senior officer grimaced. "The Federation ship refused orders and, as per your orders, we opened fire.
"They did nothing. They simply sat there and absorbed our weapon's fire until a second federation ship arrived. At this point the first ship departed without the accompanying ships of Naboo."
"Are you telling me that your ships were unable to even slightly damage the Federation ship?" Valorum demanded.
"No sir. They sustained clear damage. But not enough to force a surrender. They simply left when the new ship arrived."
"How many of our ships did we lose."
"None. They never fired on our ships." The officer reported.
"They allowed you to fire on them and they did not retaliate?" He asked in disbelief.
"So it appears."
"And the Naboo ships?"
"We did not engage them and they did not react to our assault on the Federation ship."
Valorum sat back, confused. "What is the current situation up there?"
"With the departure of the first ship and the arrival of the new one, I have ordered my ships to withdraw from firing range and await further orders."
Valorum didn't like that. It reeked of cowardice and indecisiveness. "You will order your ships to reissue their commands. If the Federation and Naboo ships fail to comply then you will destroy the Naboo ships.
"I trust that will be a less trying task for your men?" He mocked snidely.
"Yes sir." The officer stood and left, not waiting for a dismissal.
"Valorum! Explain yourself!"
The Chancellor jumped as several senators barged into his office. Considering one was a wookie, he could see why they weren't stopped by security.
He'd still have them fired.
What surprised him more was the masked man and the girl in elaborate make-up. How had they managed to get to the surface when their ships were under fire?
"Why have you ordered the Judicial Force to fire on the ships belonging to Naboo and the Empire of Magic?" Senator Mon Mothma demanded angrily. "Her Majesty's ship was destroyed and it was only the actions of the Emperor that prevented her people being killed as a result!
"Are you trying to throw the Republic into a war?"
"I have no idea what you are talking about, Senator." Valorum stood to match her glare. "As far as I am aware the Judicial Force has not been ordered to Naboo or the Empire's planets."
"Don't try and be coy, Valorum." She spat. "You know full well that Republic ships are, even now, firing on the Emperor's ships… you were the one who sent the invitation!"
"The only altercation I am aware of is that of unknown vessels entering our orbit and refusing to declare themselves or submit for boarding and inspection." He sneered.
"Ships that bear the distinct profile of Her Majesty's cruiser and the Empire's droid ships." Senator Organa joined his colleague. "Don't lie to us further, Chancellor. The Judicial Force made the mistake of not broadcasting their demands but instead sending it direct to the Empire and Naboo ships… using their registered ID codes."
Valorum froze. He did not know that. Still… "Hmph. In that case I can only assume that those members of the Judicial Force have gone rogue." He said dismissively. "Be assured I will have them stand down and arrested, pending an investigation."
"I wouldn't concern yourself, Chancellor." Queen Amidala stepped forward regally. "We have contacted the Jedi for aid. As we speak they are attempting to apprehend the 'rogue' members of the Judicial Force. I am sure they will carry out a full interrogation."
That was bad. "This is not a matter for the Jedi. It is the responsibility of the Judicial Force and this office."
"Both have failed in their responsibility." She responded placidly. "We have worked with our peers to call for an emergency session of the Senate to investigate the events of the day."
At that moment Mace Windu stepped into the room with Yoda and several other Jedi.
"The Jedi will secure your computers and files until the hearing this evening." She informed him.
Valorum had blustered and raged as the Jedi led him from his office, but none of the Judicial Force or his personal security stepped up to help him.
They weren't dumb enough to tangle with a Jedi.
The Judicial Force immediately backed off as Harry had had R2 broadcast their little meeting to the ships attacking his. Harry had the Neimoidians immediately begin putting through the paperwork to have the Republic pay for a new ship for Her Majesty as well as an apology.
This led them to the senate chambers. The pointless bureaucratic preamble was extended by an hour as the Vice-Chair had to be sworn in and the absence of the Chancellor explained.
Harry was in full Emperor mode with a silver C-3PO, newly designated I-8AP next to him.
Sirius was banned from naming anything ever again.
Having withdrawn the Trade Federation from the Republic Senate, Harry was now in a guest pod. Yoda and Mace were in a separate guest pod.
Emergency procedures had been initiated to address the serious matter of the Chancellor being arrested.
The Vice Chair was a Chagrian male named Mas Amedda. He had blue skin, no hair, two long spikes protruding from his head and two from a large bulge around his neck.
"I have called the Jedi here to explain their actions in detaining the Chancellor. The so-called 'Emperor' here will also answer for his actions in attacking the Republic Judicial Force during their routine patrols."
Harry noticed that Padme looked absolutely outraged, as did her allies in the senate. Their pods lit up immediately, demanding to be recognised.
The Jedi remained impassive.
The senators were ignored as the Vice Chair had the Jedi moved to the centre.
"Grand Master Jedi Yoda." Came the wizened old interruption.
Mace was glaring at the Vice Chair.
"Yes, of course." Mas said dismissively. "Explain to this august body why you have kidnapped the Chancellor."
"Are you refusing to cooperate? I will have you and your entire order arrested-"
"Vice Chair, you are attempting to interfere in matters of law enforcement." Mace Windu said firmly. "You do not have the authority to question the Jedi, issue arrest warrants or threaten The Order.
"We came here as a courtesy, because you asked. If all you wish from us is information on an ongoing investigation then I believe we are done here and we will return to our duties."
Surprising Mas Amedda, the guest pod containing the Emperor of Magic moved out. Something it should not have been able to do without his initiating it.
"I was invited to Coruscant by your Chancellor to meet with the senate." Harry said calmly. "Considering I was attacked on entering the system, it was clearly a trap.
"Considering how you have now summoned me to answer your demands, I believe I will also take my leave. If you wish to move through the Empire's territory then I suggest you send a negotiator. Until then, all trade with the Republic is prohibited."
The senate exploded in outrage.
Amedda was angrily calling for order as the two guest pods departed.
It was ten minutes later that the senate calmed. Amedda angrily moved the pod for Naboo forward, causing the Queen to raise an eyebrow at the rather rude action.
"You are exceeding yourself Mas Amedda." The Queen said sternly.
"Enough of this foolishness. You will call back the Emperor immediately!"
"Hardly. We are only in attendance to tender the resignation of Naboo from the Republic. The destruction of my ship and the blatant attempt to assassinate us has removed any doubts about this move.
"If you wish to trade with the People of Naboo, you will do so through the Empire of Magic.
"Now, you will return us so we may depart."
"Absolutely not! You will answer for-" Mas Amedda was interrupted by a very angry roar.
That's when the Chagrain noticed the large wookie standing at the back of the Naboo pod. And looking quite murderous.
There was a tense silence before the unnoticed astro-mech piped up and the pod began to move back to its dock.
*Chapter 12*: Chapter 12
Whilst the Vice Chair was being ripped into by Mom Mothma and Bail Organa, Harry and Padme were at their embassies and shutting them down as quick as possible.
Chewbacca was sticking close to the Queen, he knew that her relationship with Harry was growing deeper and he wasn't going to let his 'Little Wizard' suffer heartbreak. His Great Grandfather had loved to tell stories about his own Little Wizard.
Harry's job was a lot harder. There were multiple embassies as the Trade Federation was made up of multiple planets, systems and cultures.
Those beings were now experiencing a bit of the fear that the people of Naboo felt when they invaded as the droid army ushered them onto shuttles headed for the droid ship in orbit.
By the time the sun was setting on the Senate Building, a large makeshift fleet was heading out of the system for various home planets.
"New rule! If the Republic wants to talk to us, they can come to us." Harry grinned as he sat with his teachers, droids, godfather, girlfriend and her handmaidens in the common area of The Ghost.
They were currently docked in the hanger of the droid ship en route to Naboo.
"I will miss Coruscant." Padme sighed. "It was such wonderful place to meet new people and species."
"Pick a planet not in use and make a new Coruscant." Sirius shrugged. "Invite the planets you trust to set up embassies."
There was a chirp from the short droid in the room before the holographic display in the table lit up and several planets appeared.
"R2 has compiled a list of viable planets, Master Harry." C-3PO informed them helpfully.
"Then R2 can send the invitations to the friends and allies of Queen Amidala and Naboo." Harry snarked back at the astro-mech.
The droid turned its head to the table and gave off a few quiet and low notes.
"I would prefer not to translate that, Master Harry." C-3PO said uncomfortably.
"I think we all understood that one." Sirius chuckled.
C-3PO handed a datapad to Harry. The wizard looked at it, his brows furrowed in concentration.
"From Dooku?" He looked at C-3PO.
"Correct Master." The droid was clearly pleased.
"I think it says he has found Jedi Vos and is bringing both him and the Padawan to Naboo."
"Absolutely correct, Master Harry. Your ability to read Galactic Basic is progressing admirably."
"Thanks 3PO. I'll need you to go over a few words with me though. There are a few characters I don't recognise."
"Of course, Master."
"So what happens now?" Harry asked the group at large. "I checked with R2 and 3PO, the Trade Federation can sustain itself internally. It doesn't need to trade with the Republic to survive. Naboo should be fine too if they are only trading with the Federation."
"Empire, Harry. The Trade Federation no longer exists." Sirius reminded him.
Chewbacca began speaking, C-3PO translated for the Queen and her handmaidens who weren't familiar with the wookie language.
"Master Chewbacca suggests investigating trade with Hutt controlled systems. He says it will provide an entrance point for your attempts to bring down the crime syndicates."
Harry was smiling happily. "I understood nearly everything you said." He told his wookie friend.
Harry slumped in his chair as a large meaty paw slapped his back proudly.
"Harry, you're back at last." Came a rather grumpy statement as they disembarked from The Ghost. "I've created a new plan. You won't get past me this time!"
Harry looked between the determined young Padawan and her slightly embarrassed Master. Obi-Wan and Barriss had returned to Naboo with the rescued humans from the Queen's cruiser.
"I'm happy to see you as well, Barriss, Obi-Wan." He smirked at the pair.
"Come on, Harry. I want to test-"
"Easy there, Missy." Harry laughed as she grabbed his hand to drag him away. "I have to go and meet with two other Jedi who need my help. After that I need to rest."
"Barriss." Came the warning voice of her Master. "I think you and I should go and meditate for a while."
Barriss sighed and walked back towards the palace. "Yes Master."
Obi-Wan glared at Harry. "They told me she was a quiet child who needed to be brought out of her shell. Then she met you."
"Kid, she spends ninety percent of her time with you." Sirius smirked.
"Which I spend trying to refocus her after the ten percent she spends with you." Obi-Wan countered.
"Knight Vos, hear me, you do? Know me? Padawan Secura?"
The two Jedi, sat opposite the Grand Master, blinked in confusion.
"Master Yoda? What has happened?" The human looking male was clearly doing his best to remain calm.
"Padawan Secura? Do you know us?" Dooku prodded the hairless blue female.
"I- y-yes, where are we? How did we get here?" She asked, clearly scared.
"Peace." Yoda said serenely. "Close your eyes Padawan. The Force you must seek." He said as he closed his own eyes.
The Padawan was well trained and did as she was told. Her Master clearly saw the wisdom and did the same.
It was only a minute later that they opened their eyes.
"It has been nearly nine months since you were kidnapped under the orders of a Sith." Dooku said quietly. "You were drugged with a derivation of Glitteryll. It erased your memories.
"Under the counsel of a good friend, I endeavoured to find you. I did and brought you here to Naboo, here my friend currently resides and was able to use his… unique talents to… revert your minds back to a time shortly before you were captured and drugged.
"Without his help you would be unaware of who you are and what you are capable of."
"Sithspit!" Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos spat under his breath. He then looked across the table at Yoda. "How close were we to becoming Sith?"
"Far. Found you searching for answers, did Dooku. Guided you did the Force. Padawan, a slave you were." He turned to the Twi'lek. "But safe and well, did Dooku find you."
"Be at ease." Dooku nodded firmly. "As insidious as your circumstances were, you were used merely for the serving of food and cleaning."
"What do we do now?" She asked. She was nervous and scared. She had suddenly found herself in a strange place and in front of the Grand Master, no less. And she had just been told that she had lost nearly a year's worth of memories.
"Rest." Yoda said with finality. "Queen Amidala, most gracious. Arranged lodging and care for you both, she has."
"We won't be returning to Coruscant?" Vos asked with a raised eyebrow.
"A lot has happened in the months you were gone." Dooku explained. "We would rather you heard of them from us, in an environment where you can discuss your concerns with us, rather than learn of them from gossip or news feeds that may have skewed the facts."
Vos frowned. "Things are that bad? The Force feels… clearer. As though a fog was lifted."
"Change is happening." Yoda confirmed. "Change has happened. Much darkness was cleaned. But…"
"Things are still uncertain." Dooku filled in for his former Master's loss on how to explain.
"I need to meditate." Vos stated. "And I feel my Padawan should do the same."
Training with Barriss was a lot of fun. The young Padawan was inventive and eager to succeed. She loved to learn.
It was like watching Hermione grow up.
They had long passed the stage where Harry could sneak past her under his cloak. She had taken to using the Force to levitate many objects in erratic orbits around her. If Harry touched one, she knew.
This was why Harry was now clinging to the ceiling of the Ghost's cargo hold using special climbing gear. He was very grateful for the physical training that the various species had been giving him.
Otherwise he would be lying on the floor of the cargo hold, groaning.
Harry's mission was to successfully swipe the ribbon he had tied in the padawan's hair before she could stop him or detect him. He wasn't allowed to use magic unless it was on himself. Disillusionment and silencing charms were fine.
At the moment he was concentrating on the orbiting objects. It was an amazing idea in his opinion, but for one flaw; she had them in a set pattern. He was just waiting till he was confident of his timing before-
"Gotcha!" He cried triumphantly.
Barriss shrieked in fright. The various floating objects crashed to the ground.
"That was amazing, Barriss." Harry beamed as dispelled the conjured ribbon he had grabbed.
"I hate it when you scare me." She glared at him.
"Barriss." Came the reprimanding voice of Obi-Wan. "Hate is what leads to the Dark Side. You knew you would be scared."
"Not if I caught him!" She argued.
"Really?" Harry smirked. "What if you had caught me when I was inches behind you? You would still have jumped."
Obi-Wan sighed tiredly. "We will spend some time this afternoon meditating and focusing on your inability to expect the unexpected."
Harry frowned. "How can you expect the unexpected? Isn't that impossible? If you expect something… it can't be unexpected."
This made Obi-Wan chuckle as he saw Barriss looking up from Harry's side with a bit of a glare, as though she expected him to admit he was wrong for once.
"The point is that you should be ready for anything. Whilst Barriss may not know the nature or source of her surprise, she knew one would come. She needs to set her mind to realise that a surprise may come at any time, even when she isn't trying to catch you."
Harry looked at him carefully. "Keep that line of thought up and I'm calling you 'Mad-Eye'."
Harry was being followed. He had managed to spot them, despite their exceptional skills in stealth.
Now, Harry wasn't exactly hyper-observant. He didn't have amazing skills of detection.
But even he would notice the blue skinned humanoid trailing him as he walked through the streets of Theed where blue is not a common skin colour.
Harry ducked into an alley and disillusioned himself. He then quickly performed a line of sight apparition to the alley across from him and removed the spell. Fortunately he had managed to refine his apparition.
He stepped out of the alley and calmly walked up behind the Twi'lek that had been following him as she peered into the alley he had first gone into.
"Is there a reason- eep!"
Harry jumped back as the girl spun around, lightsabre in hand.
The regular citizens screamed and ran.
"Put that thing away!" Harry hissed.
The girl just glared. "What are you? Who are you? Are you a Sith?"
"I'm Harry Potter, didn't Yoda or Dooku tell you about me?" He demanded. "I'm the reason you know who you are."
"What are you talking about?" She demanded. Then she shook her head as though to clear her thoughts. "Answer my questions! What are you? Are you a Sith?"
"Leave Harry alone."
Both human and Twi'lek turned their heads to see a fairly irate Mirialan glaring at them a few feet away.
"Padawan! Return to your Master." The Twi'lek ordered. "Inform him I have discovered a spy."
Harry decided he had had enough of the annoying Twi'lek and purposefully turned his back on her and faced Barriss.
"What are you doing here, Barriss? Does Obi-Wan know you are in the city alone?"
"I was following you." She answered stubbornly. "I wanted to practice to see if it would help me catch you."
"Don't ignore me!" The Twi'lek screeched.
"She's very angry, Harry." Barriss said cautiously.
"Yeah, well she clearly hasn't met Padme yet." Harry scoffed. His left arm shot out, slapping the blade of the lightsabre away as his right hand twisted to snatch the hilt and steal it away.
He was left with a large burn mark on his jacket and the stunned stares of two Padawans.
He used the confusion to transfer the lightsabre to his other hand and palm his wand, stunning, binding and levitating the blue Padawan in three swift motions that seemed like one.
"Come on, Barriss. We need to find Yoda, her Master and your Master." He grumbled. "And I need my arm looked at."
Harry felt ridiculous. He was standing in a large room in the palace to the side as Yoda, Obi-Wan and Quinlan stared impassively at the two female Padawans.
What made it ridiculous was the large metal and glass contraption attached to his arm to heal it.
"Barriss, would you explain why you were in the city alone?" Obi-Wan enquired archly.
"I wasn't alone!" She objected. Then she muttered. "I was with Harry."
"Fairly certain that argument only works if 'Harry' knew you were there." Harry remarked.
"Why, Barriss?" Obi-Wan pressed.
"I wanted to watch him." She said with a half whine. "Master Yoda said we need to know our enemy if we are to defeat them."
"Broke your Master's rules, you did." Yoda pointed out. "Follow rules, you must. Then, you can fulfil your training."
"Barriss, you know you aren't supposed to leave the palace without me or without my permission." Obi-Wan said. "You should have come to me and asked for permission."
"I'm sorry, Master." She said contritely.
"Your hands, we will leave this, Jedi Kenobi." Yoda ended that topic. "Knight Vos."
The Kiffar stepped forward. "Well, Padawan? We are awaiting your explanation. Why did you leave the palace without permission? Why did you draw your weapon on an unarmed citizen?"
"I thought he was a Sith spy." The Twi'lek muttered sourly. "I saw him in the palace but couldn't sense him. You told me that the Sith can mask their presence." She half accused her Master.
"I also told you that I am your Master and you are my student." Quinlan countered. "I told you that you are not yet ready to make these decisions and determinations.
"You should have brought your concerns to me."
"But what if he escaped?" She argued.
"Escaped?" Yoda raised an eyebrow. "Prisoner, was he? Criminal acts, you saw him commit? Hmm?"
"Well, no. But-"
"But?" Quinlan interrupted. "Again, you are a student. You have no authority. You carry a lightsabre to learn and defend yourself. You do not carry the weight of The Order and its authority.
"As such, you should have brought your concerns to me. If you were a citizen you would have been expected to bring your concerns to the local constabulary."
The doors to the room banged open and Harry cringed as he saw one disguised Queen and several handmaidens enter with dogs. Each one looked fairly… pissed.
Especially as they all zeroed in on him.
"Padme." Sabe said simply, she was dressed as the Queen today.
Padme broke away from the group and began fussing over Harry's arm.
"Forgive the intrusion, Master Yoda." Sabe inclined her head. "We heard the news that Harry Potter was attacked earlier today. We were unable to find him in the palace infirmary or on his ship. His droids directed us here."
Yoda just smiled (well, smirked). "Always welcome, Your Majesty is. Especially in her own palace."
"Not to mention where Harry Potter is involved." Obi-Wan added with a small bow. He was definitely smirking.
"It was your medics that put it on!" Harry was trying to keep Padme from fiddling with the contraption that was soaking his burned skin in Bacta. "If you mess it up then they might have to do it again and then I'll have to spend even longer wearing it!"
"Miss, be assured, I witnessed the medics treat Harry Potter myself. I have rarely seen such competence outside expensive hospitals." Quinlan Vos said in the stoic manner of many Jedi.
Padme blushed as she realised she had been caught fussing over her boyfriend. Then she turned her glare on the Twi'lek, Aayla Secura. "Why would you draw your weapon on a simple citizen? In a city full of innocent civilians? On a clearly unarmed man? Why would you strike him without cause?" She demanded.
"I didn't strike him!" Aayla objected. "He swiped at my blade with his arm… I want to know how his arm didn't come off." She turned her own glare on the wizard.
"Want to know, do you, hmm?" Yoda almost scoffed. "Draw your weapon. Threaten him. Prove, we have, his innocence. Have you apologised? No. But you demand answers, Padawan?"
"Master Yoda, if I may?"
Yoda gave a nod to Obi-Wan.
"Forgive me from detracting from what you were saying, Master, but I do not think we should say we proved 'Harry was innocent'. No accusations were made. There was no crime that could have been attributed to anyone.
"At best, Harry Potter is a victim."
Yoda frowned. He was clearly confused.
Quinlan Vos was not. "You are correct Jedi Kenobi. I believe my Padawan is who needs to prove her innocence."
"Master! It was an honest mistake!" Aayla pleaded.
"It was a costly one." Sabe spoke up. "You drew your weapon on a crowded street. You caused many businesses to be closed down for the day.
"You should consider yourself lucky that only money was lost today. My people have only just begun to relax since the invasion. Many could have been crushed in the panic as they fled."
She turned to Padme and Harry. "Harry Potter is whole and hale, Padme. Come, we will leave these good people to their business. We may fuss over your boyfriend at dinner."
The smirk from Sabe was as clear as the red cheeks and glare from Padme.
Unfortunately, Padme couldn't argue with the 'Queen' when she was disguised as a handmaiden. She fell into step with the other handmaidens as they escorted the 'Queen' out.
When the door was shut, the senior three Jedi turned back to the oldest Padawan.
"Padawan, you want information." Quinlan said. "Here is the information you may have:
"One: Harry Potter is the reason we were found. According to Count Dooku, it was Harry Potter who suggested he start an independent investigation into missing Jedi and unsolved instances.
"Two: Harry Potter faced three fully fledged Sith in order to ascertain if they had any part in our capture.
"Three: It was Harry Potter that restored us and our memories.
"That is all the information you will receive for now. You will go with Knight Kenobi and Padawan Offee and aid him in Padawan Offee's training for the day.
"I need to speak to Harry Potter privately."
Harry had warily followed Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos out of the palace and into the forest nearby. Yoda hadn't seem concerned about Harry being alone with the man, but Harry was still wary, the man's Padawan had just pulled her weapon on him.
"I wish to speak to you in confidence, Harry Potter." Knight Vos eventually spoke. "Can I trust you?"
Harry frowned thoughtfully, he had to decode that a bit. "I won't tell others what you want, unless it is going to be a danger to others." He said carefully.
Vos nodded in acceptance. "Mas- Count Dooku informed me you were instrumental in convincing him to leave the Order."
Harry's eyebrows rose. "I wouldn't say that." Harry said hastily. "I… he was already considering it, I just suggested what he could do instead."
Vos realised his mistake. "I'm sorry, I did not mean to imply you are the reason he left The Order or that you had a direct hand in it, I meant that he said it was his conversation with you that allowed him to find his way during his time of crisis."
"I suppose." Harry allowed. "I take it you are questioning staying with The Order?"
Vos gave him a small smile. "Dooku said you were perceptive. Especially for one who has absolutely no connection to The Force."
"I don't think it has anything to do with me being… erm… wise? I think that people- Jedi, listen to me more because I am unique when it comes to The Force.
"I've heard other people say the same things as me."
"Perhaps." Vos allowed. "But that still places you in a position as an emissary, a spokesman and adviser for those who share your thoughts."
They walked for a few seconds in silence.
"So… The Order?"
Quinlan Vos allowed himself a small smile. He'd forgotten he was not walking with a Jedi, as such, he couldn't expect the same patience from the young man.
"Yes. There is no defining event or feature I can point to that compels me. I simply feel The Force, urging me to leave and simply float upon the currents of the galaxy."
"So, no specific direction, destination or… objective?"
"Simply a compulsion to board a ship and let The Force guide me."
"Any feelings on companions? Should this be a solo trip?"
That question intrigued the Jedi. He closed his eyes and focused.
Harry patiently walked next to the Jedi. He was always impressed by what Jedi could do. Quinlan was having no problem walking through the forest without tripping or bumping, despite having his eyes closed.
"The Force has no answers for me, in this matter." Quinlan eventually said.
"So you need a ship, possibly a crew, and supplies and funding." Harry nodded.
"You make it sound as though the decision has already been made." Quinlan smirked.
Harry just smirked back. "I'm no Jedi, but I have many Jedi friends. Master Yoda is my teacher… he's family." He added quietly. "Anyway, Yoda told me that a Jedi needs to listen to The Force. He said that, since we caught the three Sith, The Force has become clearer.
"If The Force is telling you to do something, you are going to do it."
"You are wise, Harry Potter. It is a wisdom that comes from caring and understanding."
"I just have one request."
Quinlan stopped and turned to look curiously at the boy.
"Stay with The Order until your Padawan has completed her training. That was another thing I learnt about Jedi and The Force. Yoda says Padawans need to be guided. The Dark Side is like a drug, if they taste it, they could be lost to it."
Quinlan nodded. "You are correct. I have been accused of skirting too close to the Dark Side myself. I had not thought of Aayla. Perhaps this is why I felt the need to talk with you."
"Is she close to taking her Trials?" Harry asked.
Quinlan outright laughed. "After today's adventure? No Harry. She needs to learn to think more and act less."
"Sounds like Anakin Skywalker." Harry muttered. "Of course, Barriss is the opposite."
"We are all individuals, even though we all follow the same code." Quinlan nodded. "Thank you Harry Potter. You have been a great aid."
"Thank you for meeting with us today Queen Amidala, Emperor… Do you have a name?"
Harry, in his 'Emperor' disguise had to resist the urge to look to Padme, in her Queen guise, for an answer to Mon Mothma, the Senator for Chandrila in the Galactic Republic.
"I do not." Harry said simply. "I suppose that as I am one of a kind, I have no need of a unique identifier beyond that of 'Emperor'. It is my name, my title and… what I am."
The Senator looked like she wanted to press further, but she was far more experienced and knew better.
"I do not know if you are aware, but things are not going well in the Galactic Senate. Outrageous demands are being made, threats and blackmail are being bandied about and war… 'war' is a word heard far too often in whispered huddles." She shuddered.
"We are in close contact with the Jedi." Queen Amidala said. "The Grand Master of their Order currently resides on Naboo and he has kept us informed of the state of affairs in the Galactic Republic."
Mon Mothma frowned suspiciously. "The Grand Master is here? Are the Jedi also looking to leave the Republic?"
"I have not heard anything to suggest that. Master Yoda is here on a personal matter."
The frown deepened. "Jedi do not have 'personal matters'."
Harry's head snapped to Mon Mothma. It was unnerving to be under the gaze of the Emperor, especially as his mask had no eyes. "Are you calling Her Majesty a liar, Senator? Are you calling Master Yoda a liar?"
Despite the voice modulator, the tone was unmistakable. Mon had to tread very carefully. "I merely meant that-"
"Her Majesty said that Master Yoda was here on a personal matter and you immediately said he was incapable of having one!"
Harry had to resist the instinct to flinch at the soft reprimand from the Queen. Instead he turned and marched to stand next to her as she sat on her throne.
"I apologise." Mon Mothma said quickly. "I spoke based on my personal experience and knowledge. It seems that perhaps my knowledge was lacking."
"What is it you wished to discuss, regarding the Republic, Senator?" The Queen moved the topic along.
"Truthfully, I do not really know. I come on behalf of our friends and allies, those who you approached during the Invasion of Naboo."
"Naboo will never forget those that stood for them in their time of need. We will always remember, that even though no direct action was taken on the part of our allies, they sat on the edge of our system, waiting for the call… ready to shed their blood to aid us." Amidala stated firmly.
Mothma bowed. "We know you wished to visit our planets personally, as you did with Kashyyyk, but we understand that personal issues have interfered and that you are still working on restoring your people."
"It is true. If I fail to make it to your home planet whilst I sit upon the throne, I hope you and your people will accept me when I am released from these duties."
"Always, Your Majesty."
"Senator, have you spoken to the Jedi recently, about the situation and state of the Republic?" Harry asked curiously.
"No, there has been little time to do so. My last personal interaction was when the former Chancellor ordered the attack on your fleet."
"Your Majesty, Senator, if you will excuse me, I will go and speak with Master Yoda."
Half an hour later, Harry returned with Yoda to find the two females talking. A chair had been provided for the Senator. Padme was still on her throne, one hand absently stroking her dog who sat loyally by her side.
"Senator, surprised to see you." Yoda commented as he entered with the Emperor.
"Likewise, Master Yoda." Mon Mothma responded with a small smirk. "I was led to believe that Jedi do not have personal attachments, but here I am told the leader of the Jedi Order is fully engaged in his own."
"Leader, I am not." Yoda said with a small smile. "Grand Master, I am. Master Windu leads The Order, he does."
"I asked Master Yoda to join us as his people have insight into the turmoil you are experiencing in the Senate." Harry explained as he stepped up to Padme's side again. "The short answer: Sith."
The look of shock was clear on the Senator's face. She immediately looked to Yoda who gave a solemn nod.
"Three Sith, there were. Clouded The Force, they did. Much of the Senate they controlled."
"Why were we not told?" Mon Mothma demanded.
"Because it is information related to an ongoing investigation." Harry stated. "The Jedi didn't want the information released in case someone tried to cover it up before they could be caught."
"And in the meantime the Senate is falling to pieces!"
"It looks like it's going to do that with or without releasing that information." Harry scoffed. It earned him a glare from Mon Mothma.
"Correct, the Emperor is." Yoda said sternly. "Releasing this information, help no one, will it. Jedi are working hard to find all traces. Much risk, there is, if more Sith are free."
Mon Mothma paled slightly. "You believe there could be more Sith out there?"
"We don't know." Harry answered. "But if they find out we found three, then they could destroy any information pointing to them. The next time we hear about them could be when they march on Coruscant with an army."
Mon Mothma was silent for a good few minutes. Her eyes darting back and forth as she cogitated on the alarming news.
"The Republic is doomed." She said eventually.
"I suppose… you could save it." Harry mused in distaste. "But you would have to resort to kidnapping, blackmail, bribery and even… murder."
The Senator glared angrily at the armoured creature. "Then we would have become worse than the Sith themselves."
"What will happen if you do nothing?" Harry challenged. "I'm not an expert on political matters, Queen Amidala tells me that your 'whispers of war' will eventually turn to 'actions of war'."
"We will not stoop to their level." She hissed at the Emperor.
"Fine, then every time someone dies because you couldn't find the guts to kill their murderer, go and have the victim's name tattooed on your arm." The sneer was clearly audible.
"Is this how the 'Empire' does things?" She sneered back. "How many people did you kill to ascend your throne?"
"Senator!" The Queen shot to her feet in outrage.
"Yet to take a life, has the Emperor." Yoda broke the tense standoff with a calm declaration. "Saving people, is how he claimed his throne.
"Has yet to sit upon it." Yoda chuckled with a look at the aforementioned 'ruler'.
"Th- There was one." Harry admitted shamefully.
There was a sharp bang as Yoda banged his stick on the ground, now glaring at him. "An accident! Unavoidable! Witnessed by Jedi Master!"
Yoda turned to the Senator. "Yet to willingly take a life… doomed to do so… eventually." He said sadly. "Such is the way of a warrior."
"Mind your tongue Senator." Amidala snapped as she saw the retort beginning. "Jedi are warriors in their own right. They carry a weapon and they kill when they need to."
"You all seem to assume I am a naïve little girl." Mon Mothma did retort. "I am aware of the necessity death and war in the pursuit of freedom. I am objecting to cowardly and backstabbing, dishonourable actions such as assassination."
"Like I said, Senator, tattoo their names."
Chapter 4: Chapter 13 - Chapter 16
This is a Repost all words belong to mjimeyg
*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'.