The Sound of Magic
Ahsoka was sitting in the co-pilot seat aboard the Gryffindor and was watching as Harry competently prepared the ship to go to lightspeed. It was then she realized that she never felt more excited and just plain right about a decision in her life. She wondered if it was the newness of her situation, but inwardly the young Togrutan felt it was more than that. It was like the Force had settled around and inside of her, and was pleased, a sensation she wasn't familiar with.
She was still trying to figure Harry out. She had asked to send a message to her former Master. Anakin had been the only one in the entire Order who had stood by her, and Ahsoka was sure that he would be worried about her once the Masters they had encountered had reported what happened.
She also knew her old master had his own doubts about the Jedi Order and their decisions, but Ahsoka hoped Anakin wouldn't do anything impulsive, though she wasn't willing to place any large wagers on it. But she knew he would want to know she was okay, and that she wasn't in any sort of trouble.
The message she sent to Anakin contained all the normal 'all clear' elements. They had worked together long enough that neither wanted to be responsible for leading the other into a trap if they were coerced into sending a message. She had hoped to put his mind at ease… if such a thing was even possible.
Ahsoka thought SkyGuy worried about way too many things, though she couldn't blame him entirely. If the Jedi Council ever discovered the true nature of his relationship with Senator Padme, they would expel him, though sometimes she wondered if that was something Anakin should truly be worrying about. Anakin would never stop helping anyone in need, and if he was attached to Senator Amidala's side publicly, who was known herself to be a champion of the people, she honestly didn't see Anakin's life changing much without the Order.
Ahsoka was very much aware of the relationship between Padme and her former Master. She had spent a good deal of time around both of them, and they weren't as subtle as they hoped. Ahsoka had become suspicious very early on, it was easy to tell if she watched the expressions on the two when they talked, especially when they thought no one was looking.
Word of the relationship, or even her suspicion of such, was something she had never mentioned to anyone, though she suspected that Master Kenobi, Anakin's old Master, at least suspected the relationship as well. However, Ahsoka was loyal to Anakin, he had given her too much and stood by her when no one else would, not to mention the times he had saved her life, though that was a two way street, she had saved him several times as well.
She liked Padme Amidala as well. The woman was strong willed, intelligent, brave and had a good heart. She had helped the both of them out several times. The Senator from Naboo had even acted as her defense attorney in the sham trial. Padme had spoken eloquently and factually even with an establishment that was set up against her. In the end, Padme was a friend too.
It was obvious to Ahsoka at least that the two were in love.
Keeping their entire relationship a secret, plus the stress of the war and politics that brought, and of course training his headstrong Padawan…
Still, she worried about everything that was on her old Master's plate. He seemed to have twice the responsibilities of a normal Jedi, plus all the extracurricular stuff that no other Jedi would even dream of involving himself in.
Ahsoka shook her head slightly and fought off a smile. He was going to have an ulcer before he was thirty… well either that or finally snap and just start killing anyone and everyone that irritated him..
Another thing that had set her mind at ease regarding Harry was that he hadn't seemed even slightly bothered about her sending a message. There was no request on his part to not mention where they might be headed. There wasn't even a request to see the message itself to ensure his own safety.
The entire way he had responded to the knowledge she was going to communicate with Anakin displayed a very high level of trust on his part, or an extreme level of naivety, though she doubted Harry was afflicted with the latter. Anyone who could flippantly plot a course to travel to Nar Shaddaa to meet contacts had to be at least mildly competent in their work, or they wouldn't survive long.
As Ahsoka observed Harry she felt herself under observation as well. Not by Harry, at least not by anything covert. At the moment he seemed focused on flight.
No, there was a white avian of some species she had never encountered before. Ahsoka assumed it was a pet, but the bird seemed to be just watching her imperiously from where her sharp looking claws dug into the shoulder of the chair Harry was sitting. From the indents and creases on that shoulder it was quite obviously a familiar perch for the bird. However, the bird's attention wasn't drawn by any small movements Harry made, her head was turned and staring at her unblinkingly.
Ahsoka's attention was drawn away from the bird's piercing stare as the stars in the viewport elongated to the trails of lights that signified entering hyperspace. Ahsoka watched as Harry leaned back comfortably in the pilot's chair as the cockpit filled with the mottled blur of lights that now filled the canopy before them.
"So, how long before the Order sends someone after us do you think?" Harry asked as he idly reached up to stroke his fingers over the bird's chest.
Harry's voice was conversational and almost thoughtful, but he didn't seem particularly bothered by the possibility of any Jedi pursuing them.
"I didn't tell them where we were going." Ahsoka said with a hint of defensiveness in her voice. Maybe she'd been wrong in her assumption that he had no interest in what she wrote to Anakin. "What makes you think they're going to come after us?"
"I wasn't accusing you of anything. But I know their type." Harry replied with a faint, almost absent smile on his face.
"Their type?" Ahsoka echoed.
Harry snorted, "Yeah, old busy bodies with an inflated sense of entitlement, especially when it comes to things like information. They think they have a right to know something just because it exists. I've been staying off their radar for years. But, I didn't bother to memory charm any of them this time, though, so this will probably be the time they get too curious for their own good."
"Memory charm?" Ahsoka asked with a puzzled frown, she had latched onto that part of his comment because she couldn't quite bring herself to disagree with his evaluation of the Jedi, though she didn't seem to blame them or hold it against them in the same way. Given their position, knowledge was something they desperately needed. Of course if they had been a bit more diligent about seeking out knowledge then they wouldn't have chucked her out of the Order in the first place.
Harry chuckled a little bit, "Not the first time I've run into a Jedi. Not even the first time I've used magic around one in the past few years. I've had to use a memory charm to make a Jedi forget about me… oh I don't know… 5 or 6 times after different… encounters."
"You make them forget about you? How?" Ahsoka's eyes were wide, using a mind trick on a Jedi was incredibly hard.
"Like I said, a memory charm. It's a charm that safely erases part of the memory, usually small chunks of time, 5 or 10 minutes, and the person doesn't even realize they've lost the time. The charm leaves them suggestible for a few moments so you can tell them something to fill in the gap, and their subconscious runs with it from there. Though people who are more skilled at the charm can do days, especially if the mind isn't all that disciplined."
A small smirk came to Harry's face. "Or occasionally if you try and vastly overpower the spell, you can erase nearly all memories. Wouldn't recommend trying that with a broken focus though. Trust me, it can lead to bad experiences."
"That sounds like it could be abused so easily…" Ahsoka said quietly.
"Absolutely." Harry readily agreed, and his voice had that rare tone of seriousness to it that made her pay attention to it all the more. "That's why I insisted on an oath before I taught you. If you left and just started teaching people left and right… well, it could cause a lot of chaos."
"But that can't be the first time you used the Force." Ahsoka stated with a puzzled frown, "No one else has reported feeling… whatever it is you do when you use the Force, but the Masters felt it all the way over at the Temple…"
Harry's puzzled expression turned to one of understanding, though a thoughtful look crossed his face "Ah, If I'm not careful... or like with the Bartender and I don't use a focus... Merlin I really should learn her name next time."
He shook his head getting back on track. "Healing her without a focus made more magical noise than I wanted. I was sloppy and in a hurry, she really didn't have much time."
"You keep mentioning a focus, and what do you mean by noise?" Ahsoka echoed, getting a bit annoyed though as much with herself as she was with her companion since he seemed to be doing his best to answer her questions as they came and she still didn't fully comprehend the answers he was readily giving her.
Harry frowned and regarded her thoughtfully for several moments before nodding and pushing himself up out of the pilot's chair decisively. "Alright, I think it's time for your first lesson." He stood up and gestured for her to follow him out of the cockpit, without turning to make sure she was behind him.
Ahsoka got up and quickly followed him, determined not to admit that she was more than a little creeped out by the fact that the bird's head followed her as she left the cockpit as if on a swivel.
Harry lead her into the hangar space and toward one corner that was was empty and seemed surprisingly clean. Ahsoka glanced around sharply and realized that the hangar, and the ship as a whole was incredibly clean, and looked as if it were polished regularly. That was something that only seen on the most luxurious and expensive liners. Or people who bought a pretty ship and only took them on short trips in the system, then spent an inordinate amount of time 'maintaining' them. Ahsoka pushed that thought into the back of her mind as Harry turned to focus on her.
"Okay. As you seem to have observed, when someone uses magic, if someone else is nearby and sufficiently aware of their surroundings and flows of magic, then they're able to sense those things." Harry's voice slipped into the easy tones of an educator.
Ahsoka nodded "Like the disturbance in the Force that I could sense when you were doing those things in the bar?"
Harry tilted his head and nodded. "That's right. I tend to think of it as noise. Because it also requires proximity. The quieter the noise the closer you have to be to hear it."
"So it's only because I was close to you, I could feel when you did that stuff." Ahsoka clarified.
Harry nodded with a pleased smile, "For most of the stuff yes. Most of what I did was very basic. Simple unlocking spell on the box, switching spell on the binders, and stunning spells to knock the morons out. "
"Spells?" Ahsoka echoed, amusement in her voice.
Harry mock glared at her, but the corner of his lips quirked upward. "Exactly. Spells. The more powerful or more complicated a spell the louder the noise. So, while those smaller things were much quieter, and probably only you were able to tell, when I healed the bartender lady with the nice chest it-"
"She does have a name!" Ahsoka interrupted, with a bit of a scowl on her face.
"I know, I just don't think I've ever asked." Harry responded with a shrug.
"Too busy staring at her chest?" Ahsoka asked, a hint of disapproval in her voice.
"Probably. It was a nice rack. And she certainly has no problems giving me pictures of it. Do you happen to know her name?" Harry grinned unrepentantly at Ahsoka, not bothered by the disapproval in the slightest.
"Well… no but I only met her today. You obviously have known her awhile. She's more than just a pair of breasts with a body attached," sighed Ahsoka with a shake of her head. .
"I know," agreed Harry with a grin. "She has an amazing arse too."
"Anyway," Harry continued before Ashoka could comment on that admission. "When I cast the stunning spells those were like the whispers in a room. Barely audible. You heard them because you were next to me. I doubt anyone beyond a dozen feet heard that. I used the absolute bare minimum power required to utilize that spell."
"On the other hand, healing a person who's just taken a blaster bolt to their impressive chest? Burning muscle and fatty tissue away, as well as damaging the lungs beyond that? Much more complicated." Harry said sardonically.
"You're obsessed with that Zeltron's chest." Ahsoka rolled her eyes, despite coming to the realization that Harry was saying it as much to rile her up as he was for any other reason.
"Not just her chest. Besides, everyone has to have an obsession or two." Harry shrugged and restrained himself from making a further comment. "Healing her like I did was the equivalent of someone shouting in the middle of a library through a set of amplifiers, especially since I couldn't afford to go slow."
"She had no inherent magic for me to slip her into stasis, which would have allowed me to go slower and be more quiet. So, I either had to heal it all at once or not at all. That's what no doubt attracted those friendly fellows from the Order." Harry couldn't resist a smirk imagining what sort of trouble the holo-recording might have caused.
"Now, if I actually knew specific healing spells that could not only heal cauterized tissue, but regenerate organs in the span of a few seconds I could have used a focus to quiet the noise. But… healing was one area I've never spent much time focusing on. Mostly because if someone was injured and no medi-witches were around. I could usually just pour enough power and intent into my magic to force the healing process to start."
He looked a little sheepish. "I could always brute force the spell to heal things, and it was one of two areas of magic I didn't spend much time specifically learning properly over the years... though I do have medical texts aplenty that I use."
His gaze seemed to drift as he considered that, and his voice turned musing. "Maybe I should look into that. It would be interesting to see if spells made for humans worked with the more alien physiologies I've encountered. Zeltron are close enough that the same sort of thing I've always half-assed for humans work just fine, and a blaster bolt has similar properties to certain offensive spells." Harry's eyes went glassy as he considered that thought.
Ahsoka looked at him for several moments, that stretched out into almost a minute before she waved a hand in front of his face That seemed to snap him out of it.
"Sorry. Bad habit." He looked a little bit sheepish.
"What did you mean by a focus to quiet the noise?" She shook her head slightly, rather than just asking about his little zone out, she tried to get him back on track to answer one question at a time. She observed him carefully still concerned about the habit though. Where and how did he develop the habit of just getting lost in a thought?
Harry was unaware of her disquiet, seeming totally engaged once more. He rubbed his hands together before he flicked his wrist in an odd movement and a stick snapped into his hand, to hold it in front of her.
She looked down at it and then back up at him. "A stick?"
"This is one of my wands, it's my magic focus." Harry looked affronted at her calling the dark brown piece of wood in his hand a simple stick.
"You… have a magic wand." she said dryly, wondering if he was teasing her.
"So I've been told." Harry grinned and wiggled his eyebrows before striking a little pose and then continuing without missing a beat. "Now, watch this."
The end of the wand began to glow in a soft light. His tone was more serious, "Can you feel anything when I do that?"
Ahsoka frowned a little bit, narrowing her eyes at the tip of the wood that was now glowing. "Not… really." She finally replied after stretching out her senses.
Harry nodded, "To be honest, it would surprise me if you did. That's lumos. It is the very first spell taught to first year students at the school I went to. It… does pretty much what you see. It makes a light."
"Of course later you learn that the amount of light depends on how much power you put into it. You can put very little…" Harry demonstrated and the light on the wand faded to a dim glow, barely discernable in the lit cargo hold.
"Or, you can put more power into it..." Harry said as the tip of the wand began to glow with a white light that was so bright Ahsoka had to turn her head away.
When she turned away and closed her eyes Ahsoka could feel a very faint buzzing that seemed on the very edge of her senses. "I... can feel that. Very softly in the distance." She said, though her voice had a little bit of uncertainty in it.
Harry nodded a little bit, and with a slight wave of the wand, the light dimmed noticeably. "You'll be happy to know that that is one area you have up on wizards."
When Ahsoka turned her head back to look at him, he nodded a little bit. "Only advanced wizards get to the point where they can intuitively feel magic, usually it takes a hundred or so years of using it, and only when deliberately trained. No wizard or witch I've ever met with your youth can hear it."
"Can you hear it?" Ahsoka asked with a puzzled expression on her face.
Harry nodded, "Yes, and it's much like you described, like a soft buzzing in the distance."
"But you're not that much older than I am." Ahsoka argued with a puzzled frown.
Harry blinked and then started to chuckle softly, "Let's just say I'm a special case and that I'm a bit older than I look." He pressed on before she could ask more questions. "To be able to sense magic usually requires that you learn a discipline called occlumency."
"Occlumency," Ahsoka echoed as she said the unfamiliar word, her attention diverted.
"Yes, you learn to clear and organize your mind, and then learn how to defend it from outside intrusion." At Ahsoka's startled expression Harry expanded slightly. "Some wizards could use an art called legilimency to get into your mind. It doesn't require the recipient be conscious, but it usually it requires eye contact… or by other extreme, illogical and extraordinary circumstances."
"Occlumency protects the mind from legilimency and other mind based attacks, even if the person isn't conscious. Though at some point it was also discovered to be quite effective against non-magical interrogation and sensory deprivation techniques." Harry explained.
Ahsoka frowned a little bit as she considered his words before speaking up. "A significant part of Jedi training is spent learning to meditate and clear our minds of thoughts to center ourselves."
Harry blinked and looked taken by surprise, "Really?"
Ahsoka nodded, "It's practically one of the first things we taught to start trying to do. Clear our mind of thoughts and emotions and just be. But it takes years and years to master. Only a few of the Masters would say they've actually mastered it, but all of our other skills and abilities come after we have become somewhat competent in the basics."
Harry was rubbing his chin in thought, when he spoke it was almost like he was talking it out to himself, "Taught the basics of Occlumency from a young age. Or at least… a bastardized version of it. That doesn't require much use of active magic either. So I doubt it would do any damage."
"On the other hand, it would open up younger students to feel the magic around them far easier. And to do that would allow them to understand what they were working with far more easily. I could see how that would make so many Jedi able to feel the magic around them. Huh." Once more his eyes glazed slightly and he seemed to get lost in thought.
After nearly a minute and a concerned look from Ahsoka followed by a wave a hand in front of his face, Harry shook it off. "Sorry, I was just thinking about that. I admit I've only done some cursory looking into how Jedi train, and a lot of what I heard was about mastering emotions, not having connections or attachments. And historically it's all about so and so Jedi dying bravely or falling to the dark side or both."
Harry shook his head, "Anyway, that's something to explore another day. But I bet it helps your learning curve… at least a little bit. Anyway, back to my original point. The same spell, a simple lumos." Harry held up his empty hand and a ball of light appeared in it floating there.
Ahsoka started, despite half expecting it, as she saw the floating ball of light that Harry was holding so casually. After a moment Ahsoka shook off her surprise and nodded, "I feel that!"
It was true, the feeling was incredibly small, but noticeable, much like it had been when Harry had been casting the light brightly with a wand a few moments earlier.
Harry nodded in response, "It's the same spell, only without using a focus, so it generates more magical 'noise'. However given that it's a basic spell I doubt you'd be able to hear me farther than a few yards away."
Harry closed his hand and the light disappeared. "Now for a slightly more noticeable spell." Harry pointed his wand at the wall, and immediately a burst of water shot from the wand against the wall."
Ahsoka jerked violently back in surprise at the sudden appearance of water, enough that she stumbled and nearly fell backwards on her ass. This time there was no doubt at all, she could feel it happening through the Force. It was easily every bit as noticeable as the bits of Force he had used in the bar. And it wasn't some sort of illusion either. She could see it soaking the wall and ground.
She reached out her hand to verify it to her senses, but stopped herself, unsure if that would affect something or hurt her. She slowly stood up and watched as the water began to pool at Harry's feet. Harry just watched in amusement while continuing to channel the spell.
"Is… it real?" She finally asked. Ahsoka realized almost immediately it was a mistake to ask as a mischievous smirk crossed Harry's face.
"See for yourself." He said with a grin turning the wand on her. Instantly drenching her in cold water as she squealed then sputtered and jumped back attempting to get out of the way of the water as it tracked her before Harry mercifully ended it.
Ahsoka was standing there drenched from head to toe. She shook herself slightly as surprise fled her expression leaving her face set in a glare directed at him.
"So Miss Tano, what is your verdict? Was that real?" Harry grinned impishly.
"You… you…!" Ahsoka stuttered inarticulately.
Harry laughed softly and then waved the wand at her. Ahsoka flinched back expecting more water but instead felt herself being subtly surrounded by the Force. It was… one of the most comforting and intense feelings she had experienced in her life. It was like the Force was touching and caressing her everywhere.
For a moment Ahsoka Tano felt warm and completely and utterly safe. A moment later her skin and her clothes were dry. She was even more lost for words than she had been earlier. This time it wasn't because she was amazed at his ability to conjure water, instead it was because of the feelings she had just experienced. She blinked in astonishment, "That's... amazing!"
Harry chuckled, not really understanding why she was so amazed, especially after showing her the ability to conjure a chair. Then he turned his empty hand away from her and pointed it at the wall. She felt a much larger surge of the force one that continued as she saw water emerge once more. It literally seemed to appear from nowhere out of his hand and splash against the wall.
She looked at him, able to sense the use of power much more clearly. She pointed at his hand, "That's much easier to feel in the Force. Not quite as loud as the healing you did in the bar, but definitely noticeable."
Harry smiled, looking pleased and stopped the spell. "I'm not surprised conjuring is one of the more magic intensive abilities out there. It draws the most notice. The reason you could hear it is because I wasn't using my wand, which generally requires less power and is able to focus magic for more complicated things. I also was making no effort to "hide" what I was doing. WIth a bit more concentration I can…"
Harry pointed his hand at the wall once more and water sprayed forth once more, though this time it was much a much softer impact in the Force than it had been before. Though Ahsoka noted that Harry had a look of concentration on his face.
Ahsoka frowned as she extended her senses, "I can feel that… it's… just quieter than it was, I have to concentrate harder to get it."
Harry chuckled and nodded, looking pleased. "That's impressive that you can hear it at all. But yes it either takes a lot of concentration, or some artifacts I have, to hide magic effects so close up to someone who's sensitive to them." He stopped casting by closing his hand.
"So what's the first thing you'll teach me? You actually just showed me a few things, or was that just a lesson in noise?" Ahsoka asked, her eagerness coming to the fore.
That brought him up short.
She could tell he hadn't actually put any proper thought into teaching her, and was winging it
His next words confirmed her thoughts, "You know, I've never actually taught at the beginning level before. At least not from the ground up. This should be interesting. Especially given your already being exposed to magic." His eyes unfocused as he considered that he might honestly be learning new things about magic that he'd never considered. 'Maybe she...'
After a few moments, she noticed that, once again, he was off in la la land. A quick snap of her fingers brought him out of it, and he seemed unconcerned or unaware of his little drift off when his focus returned.
"Well," he said as he rubbed the back of his head with his hand as he considered her question. "I suppose Lumos could be your first lesson."
He gave a cheeky grin, "You hardly need Cauldron safety tips for Potions since we won't be doing that, History of Magic of my world would be right useless to you, and I doubt you have any interest at all in herbology."
"However, I think… until we get you a wand we'll need to stick with a lot of theory and understanding, because you can already use magic consciously… you'll be advanced in that area and deficient in theoretical areas."
He looked sheepish. "I'm afraid your first lessons are going to be quite boring until we make our stop in Nar Shaddaa and then head to Kashyyyk. Once we get there, I'll be able to see about getting you a wand and really getting you started."
"C'mon, let's go sit down and talk a bit, so I can also ask some questions, to figure out exactly what you've been taught and what I might need to un-brainwash you from." Harry gestured back toward where they had first sat for conversation.
Ahsoka nodded and then glanced at the substantial puddle, left by Harry's demonstration "Should we grab something to clean this up?"
Harry glanced back and shook his head, "No, leave it, Dobby will have it squared away before we come back. And he'll get offended if you try and clean it yourself."
"What are we doing here?" Ahsoka asked as she looked around.
The bar they currently found themselves in was much different than the one she had met Harry in originally. That bar was homey, and relatively quiet and the patrons there seemed easygoing and rather open. This bar was practically the opposite. It was big and crowded and loud. The clientele here made the first bar look practically pedestrian.
Both she and Harry had cloaks on, with hoods up obscuring their features. Of course that put them at or near the majority in this place. More than half of the people had their identities obscured in one way or another.
Harry grinned at her as he slid into a booth after her. "We're here to meet one of the best slicers in the galaxy."
Ahsoka narrowed her eyes slightly at the teasing tone, before her lips twitched slightly, "Oh? For what… Master?"
Harry sighed a bit in irritation, "Well, two fold. I'm delivering something for services rendered on behalf of a mutual friend, and that was my ticket to actually see the guy."
Ahsoka smiled a bit at the note of irritation in his voice. She had been working and discussing theory with him, while Harry demonstrated various things on the way to Nar Shaddaa. Ahsoka had found all of it interesting and was eager to learn, and Harry seemed to enjoy the discussions because of her perspective and the questions she posed.
Once during the discussions, she had slipped during the back and forth one point, and called him 'Master'. For her it was merely a matter of ingrained habit from the Jedi temple, the teachers were almost always addressed as Master.
It was a simple slip of the tongue but Harry had looked stunned and immediately shook his head, and had practically pleaded with her not to call him that. However, his theatrical pleading had her just as theatrically asking why, since he was now her teacher and it was totally appropriate to use the term.
Harry had looked around furtively and replied, "Because it took forever to break Dobby of calling me master. If he hears you do it, he may start up again because he thinks someone else is doing it."
Of course she had yet to actually meet, or even see his mysterious ship keeper and mechanic. Whenever she asked about him, Harry had shrugged and said, "He prides himself on staying out of sight most of the time."
She wasn't even sure he existed. She half thought Harry was playing some sort of elaborate prank on her, but it looked like something he was honestly worried about. However, whenever he felt the need to demonstrate on her during their discussions and demonstrations she had started retaliating by calling him Master as sweetly as possible. It seemed to equalize their relationship a great deal, and Harry didn't seem to truly get upset, though he would always look around with a worried expression.
"Why do you want to meet this guy?" Ahsoka asked as she perused the room, her senses telling her that there was danger around, though nothing specific.
"I don't know if they're a guy or girl, I'm just looking to hire them." Harry replied after a moment.
"Oh? You don't know if they're a guy or girl? And you want to hire them? Something you want to share Master?" Ahsoka said with an amused smile. She had also gotten more comfortable teasing Harry over the past few days. Of course his constant banter had rubbed off a little bit as he seemed to view very few things as truly out of bounds.
"I think I have enough fixation on women that isn't really a concern." Harry laughed softly and shook his head, "Besides, I've never paid for that in my life."
There was a brief pause as Harry hesitated and tilted his head. "Well, that's not entirely true."
At Ahsoka's stricken look Harry grinned. "A friend of mine was the rather uptight sort. Good bloke, a bit shy but brave. Raised by a domineering grandmother who, though well intentioned left him way too timid and withdrawn around the opposite sex. So… I sort of kidnapped him, and locked him in a room with apparition and portkey wards, and supplied with food and water. Throw in some stamina and lust potions, and a dozen or so women who happened to be members of the galaxy's oldest profession, or at least willing to dabble in it for the money I was offering. It was practically a public service."
"You… what?" Ahsoka stared at him aghast.
"Oh he was fine." Harry grinned, "I let him out a week later, or was it two? It doesn't matter, he was apparently a bit sore, but practically a different person around women."
"His… grandmother never forgave me though." Harry shook his head with a regretful sigh.
"Of course she didn't forgive you!" Ahsoka sighed rolling her eyes. "You kidnapped her grandson, and trapped him with prostitutes for a week. I bet she was beside herself with worry!"
"What?" Harry looked confused. "Oh no, she was out of the country when I took him. And kidnapping is such a strong term. It's more appropriate to say that I temporarily detained him; and he got back before she even realized he was missing."
"Then… why was she angry?" Ahsoka asked, confused.
"Oh. He ended up marrying a pair of the girls I paid… would have been four but the laws prevented that excess, so he took two others as legal mistresses and they all moved in," Harry laughed with an amused twinkle in his eyes. "Apparently they were well worth the money."
"She did not approve of the former professions of her son's wives. She did not like that he took mistresses, and she definitely did not like that some of the others I paid were frequent guests at their manor after that. I'm not sure who told her but she never forgave me for setting it up. She gave me a death glare whenever I visited after that," Harry shook his head with a sigh, "Didn't stop her from doting on her great-grand babies though."
"I'm… not even sure what to say to that." Ahsoka stated as she tried to envision what Harry was saying.
Harry shrugged and glanced around the bar, his eyes seeming to analyze each individual though he didn't stop on any one in particular.
"What are you looking for a hacker for?" Ahsoka asked finally trying to go back to their initial topic of conversation. It was a habit she was becoming accustomed to as Harry occasionally went off on random tangents in their conversations.
"I want to see if they can find some answers to questions I have, and what happened to someone that may never have existed." Harry's responses were short as his eyes scanned the crowd. He was unsurprised when not a minute after he waved off a barmaid that someone abruptly slipped into the seat across from them.
The person was also hooded and cloaked, and even had a piece of cloth over their face. Ahsoka couldn't even identify the species beyond the vague definition of humanoid. The only thing that was visible were the eyes.
"I thought I'd be meeting one person," The voice was low but was obviously coming through some sort of modulator to further distort and conceal the person's identity.
Harry glanced over at Ahsoka before he shrugged slightly and turned back to the figure "She's a friend, unrelated to our business. What's the pass phrase?"
The figure's eyes narrowed slightly in response "Ah yes, I received your message and decoded it. It said that is how you'd recognize me. I'm not sure I have this right… 'Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus'."
Harry relaxed after a moment, "That's right." He leaned back in the booth, and put his arm over the back, consequently over Ahsoka's shoulders.
"Interesting pass-phrase," The hacker commented. "I couldn't get it translated."
"It's in a language that no one currently out amongst the stars in this galaxy should speak and translating would not be simple, at least not without a lot of time and effort. It would actually take tracking a single language back to it's roots, though no one seems to know what those roots constitute of. Perfect for a challenge question," he shrugged lithely.
Harry reached across the table with his free hand and placed a package in the exact center which none present had noticed was in his hand up to that instant.
Ahsoka, barely schooled her feature when she felt the tiniest disturbance in the Force when her eyes finally 'noticed' the package. The package was off the table in an instant and opened up by the hacker quickly, inside was a datapad.
The figure they were speaking to was already hooking up their own much more complicated datapad to the small one that had been in the box. The figure's eyes were flicking over it's own datapad quickly. "Once I verify that this is what I demanded. I believe our business is concluded."
Harry shook his head, "Not quite."
The figure stiffened and looked up from the datapad, a hand diving into his robes, clearly for the reassurance of a blaster.
Harry held one hand on the table, his fingers spread, the other open and palm facing the suddenly suspicious hacker.
Ahsoka felt another small burst from the Force, this one unfocused, and felt a calming influence spread to the unknown person across from her
She'd known Master Kenobi to be a master of that particular 'trick', but never had she seen anyone use it with such fine control that it was likely felt no further than the back of the being's seat opposite them.
Harry spoke quietly, his tone soothing, though firm. "Peace. Not a threat. An opportunity. I want to hire you."
The figure narrowed his or her eyes a moment, "And if I say I'm not interested?"
Harry frowned a moment, and then shrugged. "Then I thank you for your time and we go our separate ways. I heard you were the best, that's why I asked to do delivery on this particular job."
"I was curious as to why he trusted someone new with this delivery, it would have been quite costly to replace if you failed to deliver it." The figure said.
"He owed me a favor, and mentioned the task in passing. I just took the opportunity." Harry shrugged. "I don't make promises I can't keep and I promised to deliver it to you. Free of charge, in fact, just for the opportunity to talk with you."
The figure regarded him for a moment. Before the eyes flicked back to the datapad, and a few moments later seemed very satisfied with what was found there. The figure disconnected the datapad and turned it's eyes to stare at Harry for nearly a minute.
Then the figure seemed to shake slightly in amusement. The mirth came through even through the voice modulator. "Okay. You delivered as promised. I'll bite. What is it you want to hire me for?"
Harry shrugged slightly and with a movement of his fingers slid a data card onto the table. The cloaked figure once more looked down but this time didn't pick up the card.
Reading the suspicious look on the being's eyes Harry explained. "A simple information search. I'm basically trying to find if any of the people or items named or described on that card existed historically or not. I have exhausted every other avenue I can think of, at least alone."
The figure's eyes reflected puzzlement before it tilted it's head in obvious curiosity. "Historically? What system? How long ago? What kind of timeframe?"
"I don't know." Harry shrugged, "I can't even provide a system or a starting point for you. Truth be told I can't even confirm that any of them actually do exist. I mean historically or presently. It's completely open ended."
The hacker tilted their head slightly. "That's… not very much to go on. How much is this information worth to you?"
Harry paused a moment, "Depends on what you find. On the card is an account with 30,000 creds simply for accepting. Sight unseen. You find any information on any of the people, terms or artifacts listed especially if they dovetail with any circumstances listed and it's an additional 10,000 credits. Even if that information is considered merely myths or legends on a planet."
Harry tapped his finger on the table. "There's one name with descriptive details on there that's highlighted above the rest. You find information on him, where he lived or died, or even any unverified legends that matched the descriptions I provided. Any bit of information at all and there's 40,000 additional creds on top of the rest."
Ahsoka was surprised, she had no idea what specifically Harry was looking for. He hadn't volunteered that. She could tell he was reluctant to talk about it, and she hadn't really asked though now she was very curious.
The hacker frowned a bit and it's hand flicked forward to swipe the datacard, plugging it into the datapad thoughtfully. After a moment the figure began to scroll through the information on the card, eyes flickering rapidly over the information, tapping the datapad occasionally.
Harry just watched, letting the hacker look over the file without comment, his expression relaxed and unperturbed at the silence. Though Ahsoka's eyes kept glancing back and forth between the two of them.
"That's quite an extensive list of terms, people and objects you've left me. But… there's no context, no planet of origin or anything. Very curious," The hacker said intrigued. "And which one is the one that you said you'd pay the 40,000 for?"
"It's the one at the top. The rest are mostly curiosity on my part more than anything. But any information that at all relates to him, and the money is yours." Harry nodded his head at the datapad for emphasis.
"And if I find out he's alive?" The hacker asked almost offhandedly, curiosity in the modulated voice.
Ahsoka saw a look of pure surprise on Harry's face. As if he hadn't even considered that possibility before. After he got over his surprise, that looked blended into a look more intense than any expression she had seen on Harry's face before.
"You find him alive and can provide a location for him, I'll give you 500,000 credits." Harry said intently.
The hacker met his expression for several seconds before replying slowly "That's an awful lot of money for someone who might not even exist."
Harry seemed to relax and shrugged a little bit and chuckled, "Perhaps, it wouldn't be the first fool's errand I've been on in my life. If it is, it probably won't be the last."
The hacker frowned a little bit, sliding the datapad off the table and depositing it in his robes. "I'll poke around and see what I can find. But I have to say, if I find him… or any of them, I doubt you'll manage to collect. Especially if you continue with the company you keep."
Harry just tilted his head curiously.
The hacker hesitated a moment before it's voice dropped to a near whisper while it jerked its head slightly at Ahsoka. "The word is out on the… former Jedi. Bounty on her is sky high. Every two bit bounty hunter in the area has been watching for her, and is now in or around this bar. I almost left the instant I saw her sitting with you, but this is one of the bars considered neutral territory. So I'm as safe as possible."
Ahsoka's eyes widened as she looked around furtively as if she could tell who was who, but her gaze fell on Harry who hadn't looked away from the hacker, nor did he seem at all surprised by the information.
"Those are mostly just the two-bit ones, or the overly ambitious. The good ones are already back at your ship. That's how they knew you'd landed, the word was out on your method of arrival. If you want to remain inconspicuous in the future, you may want to change that. Red and gold, called the Gryffindor. Very distinctive." The hacker said.
"I like my ship." Harry replied with a small smile and an easy shrug.
"That's a shame, because I doubt it'll ever fly again. If it's not already blown up, then the bounty hunters there have already rigged it to explode." The hacker replied. "They really want the amount on the head of the former Jedi. They aren't even paying lip service to your guild code."
"I'll take my chances. My mechanic is the protective sort. I highly doubt my ship's going to be rigged to explode with him on the job," Harry replied with a small smile, making no comment about the fact that the hacker had identified him as a bounty hunter.
Ahsoka realized that the slicer had probably dug up what he could on Harry before showing up to the meeting in the first place, especially as whoever Harry was acting as a courier for clearly used someone different for this exchange.
"The price on her head is high enough to convince bounty hunters to work together to get the price." The hacker commented.
"Before they all betray one another hoping to secure the bounty solely for themselves," Harry interjected with bland disinterest.
"Of course," The slicer replied. "My point is that you might want to warn your mechanic to get out of there before he gets himself killed."
"Dobby will be fine. It's the bounty hunters that ought to be concerned. Especially when he's feeling protective." Harry grinned slightly and shook his head. "He can be a little overzealous sometimes."
The hacker regarded him silently for several moments before nodding slowly. "You may be confident, but be careful. Even the good ones may be a bit desperate. They're hoping to beat Cad Bane to the prize. It also seems that Aurra Sing was somehow… sprung from the tomb that the Jedi's poster-child Twi'lek managed to bury her in. She's supposedly around here as well." The hacker said, the modulated voice flat and very soft, barely reaching their ears.
"Sing is Force-sensitive," Ahsoka whispered. There was actually a fair amount of concern that spread through her, which she ruthlessly used mental exercises provided by the Order to squash.
Cad Bane and Aurra Sing were notorious Bounty Hunters, not just because of how much destruction they caused in order to capture their targets, but for how they repeatedly and had successfully targeted the Jedi Order. Cad Bane had gotten the best of Ahsoka more than once and it was only through the intervention of her Master that she was still alive. That caused her eyes to flick toward Harry instinctively.
Harry's voice was calm, and filled with assurance as he glanced at her, "Relax. I knew they'd made us before we stepped into the bar. They're not going to get you. I can't have a student for less than a week, I'd be a worse teacher than Snape ever was."
"I hope you have a backup way to get off the planet. Your ship is a lost cause. Even if you dump the Jedi, there's no way they'd let you get to it." The hacker said. "And if you did, they've probably got it rigged to blow."
Harry shook his head slightly. "Trust me, my ship is safe. Anyone tries to damage it and… I foresee it ending poorly for them." The hacker raised it's eyebrow at that but didn't comment on it.
Harry's attention once more locked on to the slicer. "Thank you for the information on the bigger names and about those that we'll find back at or around our ship. An additional 20,000 will be in the account on that data card within 48 hours. It's yours." The slicer widened their eyes slightly and then nodded.
"You should probably head out before us. Don't want you getting caught in the cross-fire if some moron decides to get an itchy trigger finger in here," added Harry as his eyes flicked toward the bar once and narrowed slightly.
"Pleasure doing business with you. I'll be in touch if I find anything. Assuming you survive," The hacker got up without preamble and departed the table without another word.
After a few moments silence, where Ahsoka did her best to not stare around the room and gauge the threat levels of the now known bounty hunters that were present, she had a sudden thought.
Now that she was aware of it she could spot several of one of the ones who were trying and failing to be circumspect about watching their table. Of course now that she saw it, it seemed like everyone who's head moved or eyes glanced in their vicinity were sizing them, and more specifically her, up for targets.
Harry seemed to be pondering something as he spun a gold coin on the table, his eyes looking thoughtful, clearly he wasn't going to rush right out of the bar.
She pushed down the fear inside of her, knowing that panicking and fleeing wasn't going to do her any good. Besides she had curiosity she wanted to appease. "Just where in the name of the Force did you get the kind of cred where you can throw it around like that?" She asked as her eyes flicked around nervously watching anyone who even stepped in the direction of their table.
Harry just waved his hands noncommittally, and she noticed through small surges in the Force that he used the opportunity to cast more 'spells'. "When I left my world, I brought quite a few commodities that turned out to be very valuable to the galaxy at large. You'd be amazed at what sells. And I've only gotten more of it since I started my travels. Money will never be an issue for me, unless I decide to buy a few planets or something. Of the vacation and resort class specifically."
She really wanted to inquire more deeply into that, as well as get more information on the why and how he left his homeworld, which he still hadn't told her, but they had more important things to worry about. Her voice dropped. "Its not going to be easy to get out of here."
He looked at her incredulously for a moment and then grinned as he stroked a hand over his jaw slowly, as if stroking a beard, "Of course it can be… just a matter of how many casualties there should be. Both in terms of buildings and lives."
Ahsoka's reaction was shocked at the statement as much as the idea.
"You really are crimpin my style, girl," he said noticing her expression and gave a mock pout. "Also you don't have to whisper like we're a couple of teenagers at the movies. I have a spell around which will stop all ranged surveillance, and I used a benign wild magic spell earlier which would have shorted out any electrical bugs that anyone might have placed here ahead of time." His expression still looked thoughtful and his thoughts far away. He was still turning over the hacker's words in his mind.
She blinked and then nodded, she was working past being shocked by magic, and what he claimed or proved it could do. "I really wish I had my lightsaber."
Harry nodded almost absently, "We can work on that once we get to Kashyyyk. Wookies are great at having random bits of technology around."
"The problem isn't actually the parts. You probably have the spare parts to make most of one on your ship." Harry looked at her and squinted as if trying to figure out why she didn't just make the lightsaber then, so she expanded slightly. "The problem is the crystal used for the lightsaber's focusing gem. I don't have access to one. And I really don't want to synth one up."
Harry tilted his head curiously "Why not?"
Ahsoka twitched at that idea, and wondered at the sense of discussing this now. Harry seemed to be forgetting the imminent danger they were in. It appeared to be a habit of his, finding something he was interested in and he got distracted from everything else around him.
"Most synth'd crystals are red." Ahsoka stated plainly as if that would explain everything.
Of course, Harry looked at her blankly. "So?"
Ahsoka sighed and rolled her eyes slightly. "Well Master, those red crystals make the blade of the lightsaber red. And a red lightsaber is almost always a sign of following the Dark Side."
Harry gave Ahsoka an odd look at that before he frowned indignantly. "But... what if I was a Jedi and I liked red?"
Ahsoka laughed softly and shook her head, assuming he was joking. "Then you'd mostly be out of luck."
Harry however looked horrified at that. "But… I'm a Gryffindor for crying out loud. I've seen blue lightsabers. Is that the only option Jedi get?"
Ahsoka frowned. Liking the color of the blade? she hadn't really thought about that sort of thing before. "Well, most Jedi blades are blue… or green. Mine was green."
Harry looked horrified again. "My… options are blue and green? Seriously?" When Ahsoka nodded, Harry's eyes narrowed. "Are you sure that it wasn't being stuck with those colors that caused some people to join the Sith?"
"W...what?" Ahsoka looked flabbergasted, his question sounding ridiculous.
"Seriously, it would be a heck of a recruiting pitch. 'Come join us. You get a red lightsaber!' I can just see some poor Jedi with a distaste for green and blue getting to the part where they get a lightsaber and going 'Well… my options are… blue or green. Or I could go evil. They have red. Tough choice. Hmm. You know.. if the Sith throw in some cookies and they've got a deal.'" Harry's expression was very serious as he described the scenario.
His seriousness almost caused Ahsoka to break out in giggles, before looking affronted. "What's wrong with green or blue Master?"
Harry sighed and rolled his eyes theatrically. "Look at me! I couldn't possibly use green. I refuse to walk around with with that color, the snake color scheme always irritated me. And the first time someone mentioned it matching my eyes, I'd be guilty of justifiable homicide."
"As for blue, it's right out. I was always told that it made me look sickly, and my best mate would have told you it was only for Ravenclaws who might not be able to recognize what sunlight was if someone came up, dragged them out of their book and threw them into the street." Harry said with a trace of irritation in his voice, though his eyes kept sweeping the room in slow sweeps before focusing back on her.
His eyes widened slightly, "And! And! What if someone was green and blue color blind? Wouldn't that be embarrassing? Thinking you're walking around with a green lightsaber and realizing it's actually blue, or worse, thinking your lightsaber is white only to have other Jedi snickering behind your back all because you have a bad case of color blindness!"
Ahsoka knew she was going to regret saying it, but couldn't help it. It was more out of morbid curiousity than anything else. "They are rare, but there are other colors too. Purple is used by a few Jedi."
Harry looked appalled at the concept, "Purple," he gasped, looking horrified, "What kind of girly man has a purple sword?"
Ahsoka looked aghast, the mental image of a very less than pleased Master Windu floating through her mind. But Harry seemed to be completely unaware.
"Seriously! You go into battle and you're all intimidating and suddenly SNAPHISS OOOH everyone be all scared of my purpley blade! What kind of pansy Jedi chooses purple?! That hardly proclaims 'hey everyone don't mess with me!'" Harry rolled his eyes in disgust
"It more sends the message that 'hey! I'm nice and cuddly and don't mess with me or I'll scold you before I hug you!' Do his robes match the color of his saber? Because that totally sounds like some wizarding stupidity right there." Harry shook his head in disappointment, "I mean really, a Jedi might as well choose pink! It pretty much sends the same message"
"No, if I made a lightsaber, I'd want my blade to make everyone say, 'Oh shit, we shouldn't mess with that guy! He's a Bad Ass!'" Harry tapped the gold coin on the table for emphasis.
However Ahsoka also felt that the Force slowly building up around him. Though outwardly Harry was giving no impression that he was doing anything but spinning a coin on the table and focusing on the argument.
Her own senses were screaming danger was coming, but even that wasn't enough for her to do anything but blink in astonishment at his next statement.
"Hell… I'll even have it engraved on the hilt. Bad Ass Mother Fucker. B.A.M.F.. That's me." Harry picked up the coin on the table and gave her a wink and a wide, toothy grin. The cheesiest image she could imagine was completed when he pointed at her and gave her two thumbs up.
Ahsoka didn't even have time to gape at him for the sheer lunacy of every statement that had just sprung forth from his mouth. She didn't even immediately notice the group of five heavily armed people that had entered the bar only a minute or so earlier and were now headed directly toward their table.
However just as she noticed them, and the way their direction clearly showed them headed for a confrontation they stopped three tables away from Harry and Ahsoka.
She once again felt a wash of the force, and this time she recognized it as the same Mind Trick that Harry had used on the Bartender back on Coruscant. This one was not nearly as focused though, and if she didn't know better, she would have thought that nearly everyone in the bar besides her had been hit with it.
The group of five made no effort at being silent as the loud man growled at the table he was facing. "Alright, you're coming with us! we'll have the bounty on your head!"
There was a surprised gasp and then a loud growl in response, that cut through nearly all the noise of the bar and was heard by everyone. "My tally is low, and my Goddess will surely rejoice when I restart my count with you, Human, if you don't leave." The voice practically spat the word human and had a hiss throughout the entire statement.
Ahsoka stiffened, she knew that voice. She had helped put that voice behind bars. Though, in the end she realized that she shouldn't be surprised. If Aurra Sing was somehow out of prison, then why should the Trandoshan bounty hunter Bossk be any different?
At just that moment, Ahsoka felt a disturbance in the Force that was even larger than it had been when Harry healed the bartender. Or, more accurately, she felt a tremor as a tidal wave of Force washed over her. Though nothing happened until a second later when she felt several rapid fire echoes of activity that occurred all over the establishment.
All at once, there were screams from all over the bar as every cup or piece of flatware to hold liquid was gone. In their places were small figures, no more than a foot tall.
The patrons as one seemed to all stare at the newly arrived beings in shock. The newly arrived beings stared back for nearly 5 seconds. Then almost as one one they all screamed "Mogwaiiii!" in high pitched little voices and immediately leapt on the patron closest to them, some of the newly created beings took a moment to grab a piece of silverware to use as melee weapons.
Ahsoka only had a moment to be shocked before Harry pulled her down under the table with a jerk. She was about to say something but she saw the lines of stress on his face while he waved his wand around under the table, slowly in small circles before flicking it in specific directions rapidly and felt several more disturbances in the Force.
This time the 'noise' she felt was more powerful, though there were fewer of them. She saw Harry's eyes closed as he focused in concentration. He seemed no longer aware of her presence for the moment, and she felt like she was practically bathing in the Force, though she wondered how far away this would be noticeable.
His eyes opened, and this time she was looking directly at him and saw his emerald eyes were literally glowing with power in the Force. It was entrancing, and she found she couldn't look away. She missed as suddenly every chair in the bar turned into a monkey. Monkeys which wasted no time as they added to the chaos that already engulfed the bar as they instantly began to mimic the gremlins.
A moment later, the monkeys were followed by a few of the tables turning into large felines that roared loudly and added to the chaos. There were screams all over the bar
Harry slumped slightly, and put a hand to his head. "Been awhile since I've done that." he muttered.
He wasn't magically exhausted, but he had just done a lot of transfigurations without direct line of sight, simultaneously. It required an extreme amount of concentration and focus, and gave him a bit of a headache.
He shook it off and ignored the minor headache he had just given himself and then grinned at Ahsoka. He turned to the booth wall and with a gesture of his wand, transfigured a small section of the wall to paper, and pushed Ahsoka through easily, which caused her to emit a soft squeak of surprise.
A quick reparo and a transfiguration back from paper to the same material of the wall and their escape was completely hidden from anyone who might try and check later.
They could hear blaster fire begin and screams from the bar still going on. Harry turned, ignoring the screaming and gestured away from the bar. They could see passerby's all streaming toward the entrance in curiosity, or away from the bar where there were multiple blasters going off.
Ahsoka hesitated for only a moment before falling into step with him as the two walked away. She was chewing on her bottom lip as she processed what had just happened. She had spent the past two days in to discussion and learning with Harry. She had seen all different sorts of magic that she could never have imagined.
She was less shocked by the specifics of what he had done in the bar. She had seen him perform transfiguration before. He had changed a datapad into a cat as a demonstration. It was more the scale of what he had done in the bar. Making it descend into chaos, and getting out of there without directly attacking or confronting anyone.
It was definitely not the method of responding to a crisis she was used to. Obi-Wan may have used some tactics to get out of a situation like that… maybe. But SkyGuy, he would've done one of two things.
He would have either used his intimidating aura that seemed to come so naturally to him. Intimidating people so only the bravest or most foolhardy would attempt to go against him. That would have maybe caused some to back down.
Of course in this case, when that inevitably didn't work he would have leapt feet first into the debacle, not a thought or fear in the galaxy that he wouldn't make it through the ordeal in anything other than one piece, despite dozens of blasters pointed his way.
Simple leaving and letting the people looking to cause problems deal with the chaos left in their wake as they departed would've likely never occurred to Anakin.
But there was one thing that the two had in common. Confidence. But even there it was different. Anakin practically screamed confidence, and assurance and Ahsoka knew that more than once other masters had accused him of arrogance. She had been accused of the same thing, and knew that her own arrogance had in fact caused problems in the past.
Harry was no less confident in himself. But unlike Anakin he didn't seem to care if he projected it or not. He didn't seem constantly worried about the image he presented or the need to seem in control and garner respect from everyone. Harry honestly seemed completely apathetic. Even from a few days exposure to her, he was more than willing to share stories that poked fun at himself as much as anyone else, and did so without a care in the galaxy.
Despite the differences in the way it was presented, the utter confidence in themselves, and their use of the Force… or in Harry's case, Magic. Like they knew it wouldn't fail them.
When Harry had told her to relax, that the bounty hunters literally surrounded weren't going to get her, she had done just that. There was such assurance in his voice. There was no strain, no panic, no worried looks around as he plotted. He simply assured her that it would not happen as if any other outcome was not only unthinkable, it was impossible.
Harry flicked up a strong notice me not charm on the two of them as they walked, his voice was amused, though he looked a bit tired. "Well, that was fun. I thought I was a trouble magnet. How many people have you pissed off, girl?"
Ahsoka looked somewhat abashed as, for a moment, she was somewhat concerned that Harry might consider her too much trouble, but then she discarded that. He had twice gotten her out of trouble, three times if she counted the two Masters. And he had never once seemed like he was having second thoughts about her. His tone was teasing and a smile quirked the corner of his lips.
She frowned a little bit, still looking around as they got further away from the bar "Um, more than a few… I can explain more detail later if you want, but what are we going to do about your ship?"
Harry tilted his head as they walked, "What about my ship?"
"That guy we met with, the slicer. He said they were already at the ship." Ahsoka replied looking around as casually as she could
Harry snorted slightly, "I knew that. Hell, several entered the hangar before we made it to the bar."
"How did you know that?" Ahsoka asked before she could stop herself but she held up her hand to keep him from replying, "Wait, let me guess… magic?"
Harry grinned, pleased. "Exactly, we haven't even gotten to a discussion on wards or protections yet. But their attention was on us from the minute we came into the system."
"How did they know?" Ahsoka asked, though a feeling of dread was in the pit of her stomach.
"How do you think? There should have been only one group of people that knew you were on that ship or could infer it," Harry said, though he didn't sound really upset or perturbed by the idea of what he was saying, it was more a matter of fact statement.
"The Jedi wouldn't have told people where I was going! Certainly not bounty hunters!" Ahsoka said, sounding affronted. She wasn't willing to believe the Jedi Order had fallen that far.
"I don't know that I can say I think the same thing. But they wouldn't necessarily have to have told anyone. The Jedi could be currently being spied upon, or could have a leak." Harry shrugged a bit. "Not exactly uncommon in politics, religious organizations, or law enforcement, all three of which are lines that the Order straddles with some frequency."
Ahsoka lapsed into silence at that, unable to deny the truth of that statement.
Harry chuckled, "I do know, that if I hadn't surrounded us in a notice-me-not charm from the moment we left the ship, we never would have made it to the bar at all."
"Notice-me-not…." Ahsoka frowned and then tilted her head, "Another one of those spells that does exactly what it says?" She asked.
Harry nodded, looking pleased. "It keeps people from paying attention to you, from noticing you in the first place. I couldn't keep it up in the bar, because I needed to meet the contact. And it would have failed miserably once we were there with so many eyes on us."
Ahsoka frowned and shook her head slightly, refocusing on her initial question. "So what are we going to do about the ship?"
Harry shrugged, "Hope there's not too much of a mess to clean up? Dobby doesn't like intruders."
Ahsoka frowned, "Your mysterious cook and mechanic who I have yet to see so you can prove he's just not a figment of your imagination?"
Harry laughed a little bit an amused smirk crossing his face though he didn't reply.
Ahsoka frowned again, she had only thought she may have glimpsed him once or twice out of the corner of her eyes moving about the ship. Every time she went to investigate she couldn't find him. She even thought she glimpsed a small figure going into a small store room. She had followed quickly after, and hadn't taken her eyes off the door, but somehow he had disappeared from the room.
She had looked through the engines which were well-maintained, if not overly impressive. She couldn't deny that she felt she was being watched but for the life of her she had only found the white bird, and the droid. Harry's ship was small there shouldn't have been a way or space for someone to hide.
Yet meals had been ready and appeared with regularity. She had asked and Harry just chuckled and said Dobby makes his own decisions. She had begun to think he was just a hoax
"Where are we going? The ship is in the other direction?" She asked suddenly, realizing where they were headed.
"I'm hungry and figured and there's a vendor that sells the best berry tarts. I'm not sure what's in them or what type of berry, but it's good." Harry replied cheerily.
Ahsoka shook her head slightly, "Shouldn't we head out at soon as possible?"
Harry shrugged indifferently "They knew we were here, when no one reports seeing us at the ship they'll assume we've gone into hiding and start to search Nar Shaddaa in addition to staking out the ship. If things get really bad Dobby will activate the intent wards."
Ahsoka blinked at the response, not truly understanding what would keep them safe, nor Harry's logic in how the bounty hunter's would respond. She had to keep herself from looking furtively side to side as anyone who turned their direction even briefly, Ahsoka imagined following and plotting against them.
Harry certainly saw the look on her face, but apparently it wasn't enough to deter him from his newly made plans. "Come now, 'Berry Surprise' awaits!"
Not for the last time did Ahsoka wonder about the sanity of the person she had fallen in with.
Author's Notes -
Kat: Hey all! Another update O_O HOLY CRAP.
Probably not quite as funny as the previous chapters. That's okay! We needed some world building and lay some plot lines for the future.
Yes. I stole the gremlins pretty much entirely from Runemaster. Quite obviously… I have the author's approval since HE IS CO-AUTHORING THE STORY WITH ME.
Bits and pieces of Harry's history begin to emerge. I'm doing something different this time and not doing massive exposition up front. You find more out about Harry as Ahsoka does. Though eventually Harry will explain. I'm curious if anyone figures it out before we get to it.
A lot of people neglect to do true mass conjuration / transfiguration in their stories. Dumbledore negligently conjured enough sleeping bags in book three to provide the entirety of Hogwarts one to sleep in while they searched the castle after Sirius attacked the Fat Lady's portrait (if you assume the Elves didn't do it instead of him).
The bar scene is the kind of "warfare" I truly would expect wizards to be doing. An entire battlefield constantly turning on you and attacking, and not just bits of flashy lights firing back and forth in quick succession.
That was the main impetus behind that bar scene. True its similar to some of the fight's I know I've done in my Runemaster story, but its also how I really think a true transfiguration master like Dumbledore and McGonagall would've fought. I also believe someone truly wouldn't need "line of sight" to perform magic, which is why we have him doing spells and concentrating while crouched behind an upturned table.
Just my own personal views on how magic "should" behave… especially if we're combining it with something nebulous as "Da Force".
Kat: Plums is right. That's just a small taste of wizard warfare. We're going way past what you see in the HP movies. Since in most of the major battles all you see is them firing spells at one another and shielding. LAAAME!
Alternative chapter titles
"Only took me three chapters to get Ahsoka wet." - Harry Potter.
"Ass." - Ahsoka
"That time Harry Potter called Mace Windu a pansy and a girly man." - Ahsoka
"... And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers!" - Samuel L. Jackson
"He wins."- Ahsoka
"We'll see." -Harry Potter.
"The reason we never told our kids how Mommy and Daddy met." - Neville Longbottom.
"You didn't have to. I did!" - Harry Potter.
"And you wonder why my grandmother hates you." - Neville.