AN1: Sorry for the long wait! I didn't really worked on my fic in the last months (well summer). I will update them more often from now on!
AN2: Why did I feel the need for a new, rewritten version? Well, I decided to rewrite the original but as I did it became so different that I couldn't just upload one chapter after another as it would just confuse most.
AN3: Reviews, PMs, constructive critics, ideas, questions are all welcome! But, Trolls, Flames etc. will be ignored or deleted. Guests can ask or review the chapter at the forum I cerated
www dot fanfiction dot net/forum/basa93-fanfics/185599/
AN4: This story will be AU for both universe. Please remember this!
AN5: I don't own the Star Wars, nor the Harry Potter franchise or any part of both. I won't have any monetary gain from this. I only own my OCs.
AN6: This story was inpsired by Last Second Savior by plums, Sword and Magic by bluminous8 and The Good Left Undone by Darth Malleus.
AN7: I'm Hungarian and have dyslesia. Please remember that!
AN8: I found a beta reader in Fairywn! She worked really hard on it, in my opinion did an amazing job. Thank you again Fairywm!
A new world
Harry James Potter was drinking his morning coffee at 12 Grimmauld Place. It has been over eight years since the end of the war where he destroyed Lord Voldemort, one of if not the most powerful Dark Wizard of all time. After the battle everything changed for him. Honestly, he had no future plans, with worrying about Voldemort all the time. His only goal was to be alive after the Final Battle. Now that he accomplished that he had no idea what to do with his life.
Not that he hadn't received offers from practically everywhere in the magical United Kingdom. The Ministry offered him a job as an auror or hit wizard. The top two quidditch teams, Puddlemere United and the Montrose Magpies, both offered him a position as their reserve seeker, along with several smaller clubs. Harry was overwhelmed by it, at first . He tried to be as polite as he could be when he refused those offers, but he was pretty sure he managed to offend at least the Magpies, as the League's most successful team.
He enjoyed quidditch very much, but couldn't imagine himself doing it as a job for the rest of his life. He knew that he could do it for possibly three, maybe four years before the press would drive him crazy. Quidditch stars were always the center of attention, and adding his already famous status... Well, he doubted it could be much worse than what it already was, but why take the chance.
The Ministry's offer, on the other hand, was refused with a firm "No". When Kingsley himself asked him, after the letter he first sent was sent back, the dark-skinned man had to back off when the messy-haired man's hand found his wand. Not that Harry would curse or hex Kingsley, much, he would show him that he had no desire to work for any part of the government. Not after his fifth and sixth year at Hogwarts. The young hero said that he would do his duty and help them stabilize the country, but nothing more.
Of course after that, there was an election – since Kingsley was only interim minister – and somehow Harry's name came out in The Daily Prophet as a possible candidate. After that his house was literally full of letters, offering help and encouraging their hero to take the velvet chair of the Minister. Harry gave an exclusive interview to Luna, for The Quibbler, where he rebutted all claims The Prophet made of him participating in the election.
The election was held two months after Voldemort's downfall – with the victory to Kingsley – and for the next two weeks Harry done nothing at all. As in, he stayed at home, or at the Burrow, lazing around. He couldn't decide what he wanted to do. Nothing came to his mind when someone asked what he will do.
Not so surprisingly, it was Hermione and Ginny who helped him out of his sudden problem of freedom. 'Why not travel for a while?' they said. Then he could experience so many things and it would end his dilemma. He had enough money to live comfortably without working a single hour for the rest of his life, so he didn't need to worry about finances.
He was nearly as hesitant about it as he was regarding job offers, but as time passed he found the idea of seeing the world becoming more and more tempting. All of his friends had told him about their experiences abroad and how great it was.
Not a week after he told his friends about his decision, he was already in Paris. After that there was no stopping. He went around the world visiting country after country, continent after continent. Of course, other countries quickly heard of him being eligible to them, both as worker or even a citizen. He was offered jobs left and right just like back at home, which he refused just as politely.
It seemed that Voldemort's fall left a power vacuum behind, which many tried to fill. It was only luck – or misfortune – that he was in the same country – which happened to be Australia – at the same time one tried to overthrow that government. With Harry's help, he was quickly captured.
After his heroics, the International Confederation of Wizard started requesting his aid in several other matters, ranging widely in both severity and duration, not to mention success. He was lucky so far, with only a few minor failures. However, Harry knew that as soon as he couldn't solve one of their bigger problems, the crowd would change their opinion of him. There were several groups, mostly in Asia and Africa, who didn't want him anywhere their country.
Shaking himself from his musings, Harry softly sighed and took another sip of his coffee. He was tired, he had only arrived the night before from Norway, where he monitored talks for nearly a month between the Norwegian Ministry and a giant tribe. He only wanted a few days so that he could unwind a little bit after such an ordeal.
'No,' he amended to himself 'I want this to end. I don't want to do this anymore.' It wasn't like he didn't want to help others. He just didn't want to be the only one to solve all of their problems. He wasn't capable of that, but the big shots of the ICW didn't seems to understand that, or they just wanted to use him as a scapegoat if something didn't work out. 'I urged them to assemble a special force under their authority to act, but, no, they didn't need that. Well, I won't be their one-man problem solving squad anymore. I'll speak with them, again.'
Harry knew that it will be an uphill battle, but it was one that he was willing to fight. But not today or tomorrow. He needed a bit free time away from everyone. Well, not exactly everyone...
If he didn't visit or at least contact them about his returning, then Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Luna, Neville, Remus and Nym would all have his head. Well, Remus may not, but the others surely would. Not to mention that he still had to speak with his last ex, Daphne Greengrass.
Finishing his drink, he apparated to the Leaky Cauldron. He waved at Hannah Longbottom, who waved back as she put another butterbeer in front of a patron. Quickly going to the back, he touched the correct bricks and stepped into the Diagon Alley. Daphne's birthday was coming up, and he wanted to buy her a birthday gift from one of her favorite shops.
His relationship with Daphne was... well, weird and it had been from the start. They became friends first, and understood each other pretty well, but in reality neither could imagine a future together as a family, with kids, a nice house and pets.
After a year or so they decided to end it amicably. It was great while it lasted, but nothing more. Harry was relieved that the atmosphere between the two of them didn't become awkward. Add her family and it was an entirely different story. There was nothing wrong with Astoria, Daphne's little sister, but her boyfriend was Draco Malfoy. Things were strained between the two men, even if neither tried to overly antagonize the other.
Not that it was better at his end. It was hard for the Weasley family, which he counted himself as part of, to connect to the Slytherin girl. They were cordial to each other, but the only ones close to her were Hermione and Ginny. The boys were rather indifferent towards the young woman, not to mention that Charlie was usually out the country. Fred and George stayed at their shop, while working all the time on one of their projects.
Speaking of Weasleys Ron changed, possibly the most and the least out of all of them. Sometimes he would be so level-headed and calm, dare he say wise, that Harry had trouble connecting the man's younger self to the older. Yet most of the time he was just the same light-hearted person he met on the Hogwarts Express that first year. Nonetheless in all honestly, Harry was a bit uncomfortable with talking his best friend as of late.
Ron's and Hermione's relationship was always a shaky one. Everyone who really knew them before they got together could foretell that. They were very different persons after all. Yin and Yang some would say, but there was always doubt if they could truly complete each other. Harry hoped that the relationship would make Ron more responsible, which luckily it did. What he didn't expect was Ron's jealousy.
Ron wasn't stupid. He wasn't as smart as Hermione, or as resourceful as Harry, but he wasn't stupid by any means. The redhead knew that Hermione was one of the most desirable woman, not to mention a high ranking researcher in the Ministry, and could easily chose from a wide array of male company. He also knew just how lucky he was that she settled with him. It didn't helped that she was busy all the time trying to create something similar to mobile phones in the Wizarding World.
It will be like the pair of mirrors Harry and Sirius had. There were piles of problems with it, but she said that they will be done by Spring at latest. But for that to happen she had to pull some night shifts with her subordinates, which of course led Ron to suspect his girlfriend's coworkers, and then her male friends, of having indecent thoughts about his love. Harry only avoided the same fate because he repeatedly said that Hermione was like a sister to him, and he was out of the country most of the time.
'Speaking of which, I still have have the time-turner from her,' he remembered. Hermione didn't think Harry had enough protection during his dealing with the giants, so 'borrowed' a time-turner from the Ministry, with Kingsley's silent approval. 'I will wait a bit before giving it back,' he decided. Not that he wanted to use it, but he wasn't in the right mood to endure another of the two frequent arguments.
He decided to ask around, hoping that their friends knew more information on the two. Ginny was the most outspoken about it. The ginger-haired girl plainly said that Ron was stupid to be this jealous, but Hermione was also stupid to let him go on about it all the time.
Harry felt his lips curling upwards in a slight smile thinking about Ginny. The girl caused quite a scandal when she entered a lesbian relationship with Luna, mostly with her mother though. Not to mention the rumors about them getting a male partner from time to time.
Gerold's Artifacts was two doors down from Ollivander's. The old wand-maker retired with his son taking up the craft. The shop which was Harry's target however didn't sell only one particular type of item as the name implied. It was the Diagon Alley counterpart of Borgin and Burkes. A shop filled with interesting and strange items, all legal and registered at the Ministry.
Daphne loved those items for their history and their magic. It just grabbed her interest like few other things did. Harry admitted that they were interesting, but sometimes found Daphne's enthusiasm towards them a bit too much. To him it was like seeing Hermione and her books again.
As he stepped inside Gerold, the shopkeeper, an older man with greying brown hair, smiled at him then went back to his Daily Prophet. Harry looked around, but nothing stood out, or everything did if someone prefered that way. It was hard to decide which occurred here. He examined the shelves until he spotted something in the far corner, between a golden pyramid, an ankh and a large hourglass. He looked at the familiar item. It was a man-sized mirror with the writing: 'I show not your face but your heart's desire' engraved backwards on the frame of it. It was the Mirror of Erised.
He decided to get it for Daphne the moment he saw it. It was one of the strangest item you could find and he knew that his ex would love it. Strange that it would end up here, but as he turned toward the shopkeeper to ask his danger sense went off. He erected a shield just in time to stop a stunning spell from hitting him.
He could see four wizards, in dark cloaks, making their way towards him with their wands pointed at his chest. He put up a stronger shield as the four tried to overpower him with a flurry of spells. They were overconfident and didn't really pay attention to what Harry did. When his own counter curse took one of their own down, it baffled them. Harry quickly sent a Reductor Curse at the next one, flinging him to the shelves at the side. The wizard didn't stand up again, but was alive. The remaining two obviously didn't know what to do. They glanced at each other and shouted at their fifth member, who Harry still couldn't see.
Harry could hardly believe his ears. They were young, maybe not even out of Hogwarts! He quickly sent a rope to one of them, while they were placing the blame one another. The other, seeing his friend's state, tried to run, but Harry yanked him back with a flick of his wand. The cloaked man soon found himself unconscious and in ropes next to his partner.
Another flick had the shelves flying to the sides, now Harry could see the whole shop. At the other side was the fifth member standing over the body of the shopkeeper. Harry couldn't be certain, but the man seemed to be only knocked out and not dead.
"If you drop your wand, I won't hurt you. I promise," he said in his most reassuring tone. Maybe it was overconfidence on his part, but he expected the last man standing to do so. He had already taken out four of his friends without any trouble. Even if he was stronger than his friends, he was still outclassed by Harry.
The response came in the form of a Bone Breaking Curse, which Harry blocked. He had to admit that their leader was far more talented and powerful than the four before. It was nothing to be really concerned about though.
Harry decided to Apparate behind him. It was fairly simple tactic, but if the enemy was caught unaware it will be over quickly. Just the moment before he could start, a spell nearly hit him from behind. One of the first two was still be able to put up a fight, but Harry remedied at with two stunning spells. The boy's shield held off the first one, but the second one broke through and slammed in his chest.
Turning back, he froze for a moment at what he saw. The fifth member was in the middle of casting a spell, not just any spell, but Fiendfyre. That moment cost Harry greatly. He tried to put up a shield, but the cursed fire burst out of the wand tip before he could do anything. The fire got out of control, much to the fear of the young man casting it and consumed everything in the room.
Harry only saw the flames around him, just before everything darkened.
Galactic Republic, Outer Rim Territories, Felucia, 16. 10. 12.
Harry arrived on a ground hard enough to leave him breathless for a second or two. He remained laying on there for a minute at least. When he looked around, he had to stop himself from sighing aloud.
He truly didn't know what happened. Fiendfyre was one of the most powerful dark curses, some said it was the strongest, even stronger than the killing curse, because destruction incarnate. It was near impossible to control even if some didn't believe it. He didn't know how he survived it or if he survived at all. He knew little of the afterlife, so maybe, as Dumbledore said at their last encounter, he was on his next Great Adventure. But, if that was true, why was he still an adult and remembering his whole life?
Not that it really mattered in the end. He could think about it about at a later date, but for now he should look around.
The surroundings were so alien that he knew it wasn't on Earth. He was in a tropical forest, but not in any of the rainforests of the Amazon or of the Congo. This was a thick forest of mushrooms and fungi of epic proportions, so large he couldn't see the top of them. They were in different shades of reds, blues, yellows and purples. Another thing that he noticed, was that he couldn't see any grass – anywhere. There was only dark brown earth on the ground. The moisture was also similar to the rainforests on Earth that Harry visited sometimes for work or vacation. The heat and moisture together will mean that he will lose energy fast, and there was a high chance of dehydration.
Augmenti could work around the last issue for a time. The two problem with conjured things were applied here as well. It would disappear after a while and suddenly losing a liter or so water, which he knew he would drink, was near certain death.
What really gave him a pause was the feeling this place gave. The magic was strong here, strong enough that he could feel it without trying, giving him a little tingling sensation all over his skin. There were only a select few places on Earth that it was possible, like Hogwarts or Stonehenge. He either came to one of those rare spots here, or the entire area was the same. However, the magic was somehow different than what he was accustomed to. It was lighter and it flowed freely like it was connecting everything together not tied down.
Nothing could be seen to show him a way to civilization, if there was any out there. His sixth sense told him to go in one particular direction. Harry often listened to his gut, most of the time it was the right thing to do, but now, it was strange somehow. It was stronger than he was accustomed to.
But what happened? Could it be spell he was caught in at the moment of his arrival? It was possible, as some of the Muggle Repelling Charms worked that way, even if with the opposite effect. Could someone influence his mind that easily? Voldemort wasn't considered the worst Dark Lord ever to walk on Earth for nothing. His magical power and mastery of the Unforgivables were the main part of it. Harry was able to withstand the Imperius Curse cast from him, for a time at least. He was nearly certain that he wasn't under any spell.
'What should I do?' he thought 'There are two options; I can either stay here or go wherever my luck will lead me. I know nothing of this place, so maybe wandering around wouldn't be the safest thing to do. However, I don't have an ounce of water, meaning I can only survive three days top, and will be useless way before that.' He stopped for moment listening to the noises around him Just as I thought there's no water nearby, at least not in earshot. Not to mention that I will need to heat it before drinking. So maybe I should try and go from here. The only downside would be that I will lose energy fast, especially on this terrain.'
It shouldn't have been a difficult choice. But, to Harry, sitting here would mean that his survival would be up to people finding him, and that was assuming that sentient beings lived nearby, which was something he was very reluctant to do.
First he tried to summon Kreacher, but nothing happened, just as he expected. The old house elf could find him anywhere on Earth. For some reason or another house elves at least seemed to know when their master was hurt, at least some of them would. If Kreacher could find him, he would be already at his side.
Then he looked around for his holly and phoenix wand, hoping for the unlikely chance that it wasn't destroyed by the cursed fire. There was nothing resembling the polished wooden craftworks in the clearing. He tried summoning both, but remained wandless. His spell should have work in about a twenty-thirty meter circle, thanks to his connection with them, but nothing. Not even a little noise of something trying to move, aside some animal to the right, which quickly moved away before Harry could see it.
He narrowed his eyes, and then motioned with his hand to one of the minor mushroom like trees. He had to know what he was capable if he needed to make do without a wand. It was possible that his wandless spells were weaker here, then he would have to move around a bit and try to summon his wand, again and again. Not very likely, considering how embedded in magic this place was, but it was a possibility.
When he cast the Banishing Charm, his eyes widened. The 'tree' swayed, and then gave away as it tore out of the ground. Even the other mushrooms surrounding that one seemed affected. Most only seemed to sway a little, but to the closest ones to the spell split open their bark.
This wasn't possible. It was as simple as that. No one could do it. Harry was one of the best of the few who could do wandless magic, but he doubted that anything less than three or four those wizards working together would be able to do the same. Not even Dumbledore or Voldemort, both of whom were far more experienced with wandless magic, would be able to.
Simply put, wandless magic was something that you used to augment your wand work, like wand motions. Most could only use the very basics; Alohomora, Lumos and the like. Harry, himself, could do a few of the intermediate spells, but his work was mediocre at best without the help of his wand.
Not to mention that there were several very dire consequences of doing magic without any caution. It was even more so without proper magical focus like a wand, a ring or a staff, let alone doing it without anything. The best case scenario would be that the spell didn't form at all. The worst? Well, there were cases when some mages tried to use the Reductor Curse, only to blow up their dominant hands. Harry was pretty sure that there were even more outrageous tries, but he assumed that most of the brave and foolish souls died on the spot.
Searching himself again he thankfully found his trunk. It was one of the more extravagant ones, while it didn't have seven different compartment like Moody's, it had three and could be minimized if needed. He was lucky that he had forgotten to take it out of his pocket last night. That meant that he didn't have to worry about shelter or food, since he had a one wizard tent in one of the compartments. He would be okay for two weeks at least, considering his fridge was full.
The tent of course made the staying put opinion much more eligible, but his original reasons for leaving stayed as well. There was nothing to do besides wait like a helpless infant for somebody to rescue him. Not only that, but he knew himself well enough to know that he wouldn't be able to sit here for two weeks either way, and he would go somewhere else anyway. It was bound to happen sooner rather than later.
Setting up the tent, while thanking his luck that nothing seemed damaged, he quickly changed into his 'safari clothes', which is what some of his friends nicknamed his hiking clothes. They were nothing special; a simple pair of hiking boots, some light brown cargo pants and a dark green T-shirt. He debated putting on the jacket, but decided against it. It was hot enough without it anyway. What he did put on was a pair of fingerless gloves. It was best if he had a good grip all the time, and his palm will be sweaty before long. A canteen on his belt, the penknife – that Sirius had gifted him in his fourth year– in his shirt pocket and a compass on his arm finished off his outfit.
Giving one last effort to locate his wand with his eyes, he looked around. Grimacing at the thought of not having his holly wand in his hand, he started walking out of the clearing in what he presumed was the east.
He made sure he was careful where he stepped. It was the first thing his guide told him everytime he visited a similar place. Ninety percent of the truly dangerous things, animals and plants alike, were on the ground.
Going through a rainforest is one of the most exhausting thing that you could do. It was a slow process, and he had to keep an eye on going straight, since it was ridiculously easy to just go in circles. Luckily, since he already experienced it, he had purchased a compass to prevent it from happening again.
He couldn't have been walking for more than an hour, when he arrived at a clearing. He knew that he needed to go on, but wasn't satisfied with the situation as it was. He looked at the 'trees' surrounding him. Most were quite large. If he could climb one of them, then maybe he could see where he should head to. It should've been his first thought, but honestly he wasn't a fan of climbing trees, not to mention that he had a feeling that it won't be a very productive activity.
He briefly wondered about Apparating to the top, but after a moment abandoned the idea. There was a reason most wizard only Apparated onto stable grounds. He wasn't certain how the tree would react to the sudden force and could easily bend in such way he slipped off and fall.
He gulped down another mouthful from his canteen, before picking out one of the larger mushroom shaped trees. Grumbling at the thought of climbing it, he started off by trying to find the easiest spot to ascend. Finding it wasn't difficult, but it was hard to truly grab ahold of anything.
Harry had hoped that he could just use his hands to make handholds in its trunk. He soon found out that the tree was almost rubbery, and much too hard to damage with bare hands, which left him using the knife on it. He thanked his luck for having it repaired not long after his seventh year at Hogwarts. He had kept it for mostly sentimental reasons, but like a wand was just as good for most tasks in this jungle of fungi the knife proved to be invaluable.
It took more than fifteen minutes before Harry reached the top. After taking several deep breaths, he looked over towards the sun. It had already past noon, but not by much, well, from what Harry could tell the sun seemed to move a bit slower than on Earth. Looking around he had to sigh at the view in front of him. He couldn't see anything except the giant fungi for miles around him. There was a line of mountain peaks to the north, but it was far from his position.
What Harry didn't know was that he had been in a valley since his arrival. It was deep enough for him not to notice several kilometer long objects in the distance.
Getting down to the ground was nearly as bad as getting up the tree. He didn't have a rope or anything to secure himself with, so any wrong move could cause his death. It was a fifty-fifty chance that a hastily cast spell without a wand would able to slow his fall.
After getting down, he sat down on one of the fallen fungi and took a large sip from his canteen. Harry was a bit troubled that he couldn't see anything in the direction where he headed, but he couldn't see anything anywhere else either.
"Troubled?" came an angelic voice from his right.
His head turned, no, whipped towards the source so fast that he could have sworn he heard the vertebra groan out in protest. As soon as Harry looked to his savior he could feel his eyes widen and his jaws hanging open, causing her to give him small grin.
Earlier at the communication's room of Base 3, Zone C5, Felucia
The room was nearly empty with only a large, circular holo projector in the center, and few smaller rectangular ones on the walls. There were only a dozen or so men and women, all standing around the main holo. Several of them were also nothing more than holographic images.
Aayla Secura, the Twi'lek Jedi Knight, looked at the holomap in front of her. This campaign to secure Felucia had only just begun. However, they have already won two major and many minor battles against the Separatists. If they kept advancing in the same way they could capture Kway Teow, the planet's capital.
With Felucia in the hands of the Republic, the Perlemian Trade Route should be safe from the raids organized by the President of the Commerce Guild, Shu Mai, who controlled the planet through puppet governors.
She was confident they would finish this campaign soon, yet couldn't help the uneasy feeling she had for days about the future. She tried to keep calm and meditate on it, trying to glimpse the event that would cause such reaction from the Force. When she reported her feeling to the Council, she could sense the same happening to them, which only made her more nervous. There were barely a handful of occasions when something like this happened. The last was just before the beginning of the Clone Wars.
Calming herself down, Aayla turned to the man standing next to her asking for his opinion with just that gesture. Bly had been her right hand man since the start of the war, and his help proved invaluable. In those four years, they got to know each other well enough that sometimes there was no need for words.
"We are proceeding with the battle plans even better than we suspected," the commander said. "There are two possibilities I believe, either they have set up a defense line with everything they have, or the leaders and most of the droids have left the planet already."
"They didn't. They will try to cause as much damage as they can, before Shu Mai escapes," Aayla said as most of the attending officers nodded at that. The Separatist gave the philosophy 'quantity have a quality of its own' a new meaning. Knowing that they could replace their losses much easier than the Republic, the Separatist exploited every possible chance to drain the Republic's manpower.
"We should head towards Niango," Bly said, pointing towards the city to the north. "There will be resistance at these points." Three points were marked with yellow dots. "Well, at least I would use those to try and defend the road to the city."
"You are better strategist and tactician than General Odo," Aayla replied with a shrug. Making a man with so little skill the overall commanding officer showed that Felucia was only good for being a base for raiding, but aside from that it had no real strategical or economical value.
"I still can't believe that man has such a high position." Bly was disgusted at the blatant favouritism shown by the Separatists. "He would be a sergeant with us!"
"Now, now, there is no need to insult our officers," the Jedi Knight said, which resulted a few snickers around the room. "I think they will try and defend only the capital. In the previous battles it didn't seem like they wanted to hold the planet any longer," her voice changed to a more serious tone.
"It would mean that capturing Niango would be much easier," the holo image of Admiral Mian said. The woman was tall, a bit on the thin side with brown hair and eyes. She was an average strategist, but good commander. "If we disable their orbital defense, our ships could take off."
"The capital also has those," Aayla replied, shaking her head shooting the idea of bringing the ships up to space down. She could understand the Admiral: doing nothing, but just sitting around as others fought, could cause anyone wishing to join the fight. But doing it so for the ship would only result in disaster.
At first they tried to form a blockade, only to have one of their Acclamator frigate shot down. Aayla immediately ordered the ships down to the ground, where they stayed since.
"The idea isn't that bad though," Bly said as he zoomed out the map. Now they could see the entire operational ground. Their own troops were green with different shape for different groups. Squares and triangles for the regiments and circles for the scouts. The Separatists were red, but they could only guess their positions in most cases. The officers started to theorize just how much they would gain from capturing Niango.
That was when Aayla stiffened, there was a pulse in the Force somewhere in the jungle. She closed her eyes as she tried to locate the origin of the sensation. She wasn't sure, but she suspected that it was a someone and not a something that caused it. She was confused. This could be the reason of her troubled feelings. Maybe. The Force was silent, offering no guidance in the matter. She will need to see the source of the disturbance with her own eyes.
"... General!" She felt someone grab her shoulder, causing her to open her eyes. Looking past Bly, who was the one who grabbed her, she noticed that everyone was looking at her. "Is everything alright?"
"Yes. Thank you, Bly," Aayla replied, hesitating for a moment. "I don't know what was the cause was, but... I felt a disturbance in the Force."
"Could it be a Sith?" a clearly disturbed Lieutenant Galle asked. The troubled officers looked at each other before Aayla's voice turned their attention toward the Jedi Knight.
"I don't think it was a Sith. I can only say that whatever was the source it is somewhere here," she said, pointing to a section on the map. It was a valley that was maybe ten miles long and half as wide, starting not even five kilometer south of their camp.
"Our scouts found nothing worth of mentioning when they scoured the valley not two days ago," Bly said as he quickly searched for the reports on his datapad.
"I don't want to belittle our scouts, but it wouldn't be hard to fool them for a Force-sensitive. Especially since we were looking for battle droids and not for someone like me," Aayla said, knowing that it mattered little if the Force user was skilled enough. She, herself, sneaked past sentient beings several times over the course of her career and had seen others doing the same. Even those with minor Force abilities like Aurra Sing.
"It will be hard to access it with speeder bikes. Last time it was a LAAT that was used, but..." Galle said, looking at the map.
"We can't use them. If it is truly a Force-sensitive I'll need to go on foot... and alone," Aayla said as she looked at Bly. "Bly, you will start the advance towards Niango while I'm away," she ordered, turning to her right hand man.
The clone commander was about to protest her decision, but stopped. He knew that his general was stubborn, and was his commanding officer. In the end she would just do what she wanted, so he saved himself the headache.
"I understand. I have the Alpha squad ready. If you aren't back in a hour, I will send them after you, ma'am," Bly said instead. Galle, the leader of the squad immediately radioed the rest to get ready.
"Make it two hours," Aayla replied. "Who knows how long I'll have to search for the source."
"Alright, two hours." Bly nodded as the meeting ended.
Stepping out of the command post, they stood in the middle of a busy encampment, with hundreds hurrying around just in their line of sight. Aayla quickly made her way to one of the store houses. She picked up a few ration bars and a full canteen, before heading to the edge of the camp. Bly and Galle looked on as she vanished into the jungle.
"It will be a long two hours," Galle said. They were all professionals, but couldn't help to hold their commander in high esteem. She was brave and stubborn, yet listened to their advice and helped them, and she considered them more than just tools to use. There were some in command who had none of those qualities.
"Get yourself and your squad ready to leave in a hour, Captain," Bly replied.
Galle looked at his superior taken aback. "She won't be happy with you when she comes back."
"No, she won't," Bly admitted.
Aayla moved through the jungle fast. It was fairly simple with her enhanced senses. Being a Twi'lek she was also more tolerant to both the heat and vapour than humans. Not by an overly large margin, but enough to show up every now and then.
Arriving at the edge of the valley Aayla slowed down. She couldn't see anything out of ordinary. Yet, she sensed that the source of the disturbance in the Force was near. Now, this close to it, she was more and more sure 'it' was a sentient being.
That was troubling. She knew that there were no other Jedi on the planet. The shamans of the native tribes had different 'signatures' in the Force. She was also nearly certain that it wasn't a Sith or dark Jedi. Not only she was confident that she could at least suspect, if not sense, one being on the planet, this disturbance felt nothing like her few meetings with Count Dooku or Asajj Ventress.
She shook her head. There was no use in dwelling on things like that. As Master Yoda said, she must focus on the here and now. The past was done and the future uncertain.
It didn't take long for her to arrive at a clearing where the source should be. Looking around she noticed one of the fungi tree, on the other side of the clearing, had several hand and footholds carved into. At the top there was a humanoid figure most likely searching for something. Obviously he didn't know that he was in a valley, making the climbing a pointless endeavour.
She walked around, hiding in the forest, making sure to never lose sight of the figure at the top. She nearly let out a giggle at how he climbed back to the ground. It was clear that he wasn't experienced at either climbing or Force jumping.
The figure turned out to be a man. A human male of her age, a quite distinctive one in fact. He was about a hundred and ninety centimeters tall and decently muscular. His ebony hair reached his shoulders. He wore reasonably practical clothes. Sadly he was sideway to her, so she couldn't see more. Only that he was also tired, since he let out a sigh before taking a deep gulp from his canteen.
What she didn't expect was how the Force reacted to his presence. She was certain that only a few in the Order could ever hope to match the man in front of her. He wasn't like Skywalker, who was best described as a storm, he was like a star.
A part of Aayla thought of the possibility of him being the Dark Lord, but she also knew how low the chance was. The mysterious Darth Sidious, as they learned not long ago, manipulated the Senate for over two decades, maybe longer. The human in front of her couldn't be much older than her, meaning he was a teenager, a younger one at that, when Sidious first appeared.
"Troubled?" Aayla asked as the man let out another sigh. His head turned towards her so fast she was worried for a second if he hurt himself. His face would have been considered handsome in the traditional way, like Bail Organa or Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Aayla also noticed a little detail. His eyes. She traveled around the galaxy, had seen several strange and beautiful sights, but couldn't remember ever seeing almond shaped, emerald eyes on a human. She came back to her senses quickly, embarrassed at being lost in those eyes. Thankfully he seemed to be just as astonished by her appearance. Aayla knew that she was beautiful, but never thought much about it. It was only a minor aspect of her, after all. So she was, mostly, patient when someone stared at her, but the man in front of her did so long that she couldn't help but to cough to get his attention.
When Harry turned around he thought himself ready for nearly anything. Even so, when he had seen this being in front of him he couldn't control himself. She was wholly alien with her skin being the color of a blue English sky, the little horns on the side of her head in the place of ears and two tentacles, he guessed, on the top back of her head reaching the small of her back. The skin tight leather top and trouser combo only added to her exotic beauty. She was tall, slim built with just the right amount of muscle showing. Her golden eyes studied him carefully, like she wanted him to do something, but Harry had no idea of what that could be.
He had seen many things in the Wizarding World, yet nothing as alien as her. Maybe it was the skin tone, maybe it was the tentacles, he honestly didn't know. She was also incredibly familiar. She was humanoid and as tall as a human. As a matter of fact, her whole body resembled a human one!
She spoke in English, which both confused and filled him with hope. Harry wasn't entirely sure what he wanted to happen, but at least he found another sentient being! One who looked at him with great interest, but still... Her cough brought him out of his musing. Embarrassedly, he noticed that he stared at her for way longer than appropriate. Deciding that he could at least try some damage control he said, "Sorry. I... well, I haven't seen someone like you. Like ever." Harry winced at that. He never claimed to be smoothest talker, but he was usually better than this.
"Ah." The answer seemed to confuse her. "My apologies for disturbing you, but you seemed lost. If you want I can help you."
While she seemed genuine, Harry was on the receiving end of several helpful offer turning into something else. "Thank you, but how about getting to know each other first?" he proposed instead.
"Alright," she said with a nod, agreeing for the moment. "I'm Aayla Secura, Jedi Knight," she introduced herself as she bowed a little towards him, which he clumsily reciprocated.
He hoped that she wasn't like the Japanese. He was always worried if he broke some social norm or not. On the other hand, he was very curious of what a Jedi was. "Nice to meet you, Aayla," he said slowly, trying her name out. "I'm Harry Potter, a wizard." He expected either mirth or a disbelieving stare, but neither happened.
Aayla looked at him with understanding in her eyes. She sat on the trunk of the fallen tree and looked at him. "I honestly didn't think I would encounter someone like you," she said. "What you use isn't magic, it's the Force." Harry raised an eyebrow at her referring magic as the 'Force', but let her continue. "You have the ability to connect to the Force, an energy field that envelops the universe to do seemingly impossible feats." She looked at him, clearly asking if he had anything to add.
"I know that already," Harry calmly replied. "We could sit there for a very long time discussing if either naming the energy field as the 'Force' or as 'magic' is proper, but I have a much less philosophical problem. Where exactly are we?"
"You mean, you don't know where you are?" Aayla asked back. It was strange and either he was the worst liar, or was knocked out and dropped of to die in the jungle and awoke with amnesia. "You are about fifty kilometer to the south of Niango."
"Niango is a city, I presume?" Harry asked back. He nearly sighed aloud. He knew that the chance of hearing a familiarly sounding location was extremely low, but he had hoped, against all odds, that it would happen. Naiv, he knew.
"You don't know the name of one of the largest settlements on the planet?" Aayla was dumbfounded for a minute, but her theory of an amnesia seemed to be proven. She knew that he couldn't be from any other planets, since any ship approaching would have been shot down, either by them or the Separatists. He couldn't have been here longer than them, since his clothes were far too clean and in good condition. Not to mention that Felucia wasn't exactly the safest place in the Outer-Rim. Though, if he had some control over his affinity to the Force, it wasn't out of the realm of possibilities to survive long enough.
"I'm not exactly sure of the name of the planet I'm on," Harry replied. He wasn't in the position to lie or refuse answers. He needed help, even if he was declared crazy for his story. "I was caught in an explosion and I woke up here."
"Alright. What's the name of the planet you were on?" Aayla asked. So he was attacked then dropped off on Felucia. He did indeed survive longer than she expected. It was by no means an easy feat even with Force abilities.
"Earth or Terra," Harry said, watching closely for her reaction, but she seemed unaffected by his words.
"Never heard of either name," the Twi'lek Jedi replied, after a moment of going through the list of the planet near Felucia. She had a habit, like most Jedi, of reading about the neighboring systems to know the local political relationships, but she couldn't recall ever hearing those names. Either by association of Felucia or any other planet in the Republic. "I assume that your planet isn't part of the Republic..." She looked at Harry, who looked cluelessly back.
"I see. Your planet is most likely in the Wild Space. You speak the Basic fairly well though," Aayla said aloud, mostly to herself. "I will try and help you, but there is a chance that the Council of the Jedi Order would like to speak to you."
"I will meet them if needed," Harry replied, choosing his words carefully. Aayla seemed nice enough, but it didn't mean anything. Even if it wasn't just an act, it didn't mean that this 'Jedi Order' would just let him go on his way.
"Do not worry," Aayla said as if reading his thoughts. "We don't want to harm you, just talk."
Harry just nodded in thanks, not really knowing how to respond to this. From his experience there were few organization that would 'just talk' to someone.
"Since it obvious that you don't know where you are, I'll explain a few basic facts that you need to know," Aayla continued. "You're on the planet Felucia in the Outer-Rim territories, which means the edge of the Galactic Republic and sometimes the galaxy itself. I serve as a General in the Galactic Republic's Army in the war against the Confederation of Independent System." She waited for a moment for it to sink in before going on.
Harry could only curse his bad luck. Apparently he was in the middle of a warzone.
"You have an impressive connection to the Force. One of the strongest in recent history I think..." the Twi'lek continued, only to be interrupted.
"Which will lead factions trying to recruit me to their cause," Harry finished. "That is why your Order will want to speak with me, isn't it?"
"Yes and no." To her credit Aayla didn't even attempted to hide this fact. "We would never force you into our ranks, if it means anything."
"A little for now. And I suspect that there are other factions using the 'Force'. At least one on the other side of this war," the lost man speculated. Seeing Aayla questioning stare he elaborate, "It isn't that hard to guess. If nothing else there are bound to be some members who don't like your organization and turned rogue."
"That did happen, but only a few. Our true enemy is the Order of Sith," Aayla replied, "However, I think it will have to wait to explain more of the history of the Order. Let's stay with the basics."
"Yes. I think I should mention that I have no idea of what you are" he blurted out uncomfortably, yet he was curious. Although, it seemed rude to just ask 'What are you?'.
"Oh." Aayla's cheeks turned a darker shade of blue. "I'm a Rutian Twi'lek from the planet Ryloth."
'She is blushing!' Harry realized to his amazement. "Rutian?" he asked.
"It refers to my skin color. It is the second rarest among my people. Only the Lethan, the ones with red skin are rarer," the embarrassed Twi'lek said, sounding a bit surprised at explaining this.
Harry was pretty sure that it happened rarely to her. "I see," he said, and then went back to the original subject. "You mentioned two... governments? The Galactic Republic and Confederation of Independent Systems, right? Could you tell me about them?" he asked, but also knowing that he won't get a very objective answer since Aayla was an officer in the Republic's army.
"The Galactic Republic is made up from more than a million planet. Most of the galaxy was part of it before the war. The Separatists claimed that the Republic was too corrupt and wanted to secede from it."
"Is that true?" Harry asked, before she could continue.
"Which part?" Aayla asked back.
"Was the Republic corrupt?" the messy-haired man clarified.
"We had problem with it, yes," the Twi'lek admitted, "but not to the extent the Separatist claim. Not to mention that most of the corruption came from them when they were part of the Republic."
Before Harry could ask another question Aayla went rigid. Her eyes became unfocused, staring into the forest.
"Aayla! Are you alright?" Harry could have kicked himself as soon as he asked that question. It was obvious that she wasn't alright.
"Yes... No... I don't know," the young Jedi Knight answered. "Something happened... I have to get back to the camp!"
Harry opened his mouth to ask her how exactly she knew that something happened, but before he could say anything his danger sense went off. He turned halfway to the right casting a shield charm, while praying for it to form correctly. The blue half dome erected just in time to deflect two red blast coming from the jungle. Looking to his right, he could see that Aayla was without injury. She stood at his side with what Harry could only describe as two blue energy sword in her hands.
They stepped out from the concealment in the jungle. The men, well Harry presumed from their forms that they were human males or something very similar, were wearing white armor and futuristic guns and rifles. They were in pairs, one to slightly to Harry's right, and the other about thirty paces to the left of them.
"Captain Galle! What's the meaning of this?" the surprised General asked.
"I'm sorry General, but we have our orders," the man's voice was truly apologetic. "Please lower your weapons, and I will make it as quick and painless as possible."
"I see," Aayla barely whispered those words, before dashed forward with impressive speed.
The soldiers tried to shoot her, but the Twi'lek easily avoided them or deflected the blast with her swords. The soldiers tried to distance themselves by going backwards, but she was upon them fast. Her blades cut through them easily. The other two tried to shoot her from the side, but she was alert and shielded herself with her swords.
That was when Harry joined the fight. Truthfully he was shocked at Aayla's action and ability. Not to mention that he had contemplated over which side to choose for a moment. It wasn't a hard decision to make. He at least knew Aayla a little bit, and these men didn't seem to have any reason aside from orders to shoot her.
Harry sent a Reductor Curse at one, and a Sectumsempra at the other. His curse was too powerful and it sent the soldier to the side of one of the colossal fungi trees. A clear snap was heard as the soldier's neck broke. He internally winced: it would have been great if one of them survived. He assumed that his armor would at least protect him a bit. But again his priority was his and Aayla's survival not theirs. The other wasn't any luckier as he got three major cuts across his chest, one on his throat and many minor ones appearing on his body.
"That was a bit excessive," Aayla commented, stepping next to him and sounding a bit disapproving.
"I didn't mean to, my spells just seem to be this powerful here," Harry replied sincerely, before pointing at the body of the one, who was hurled at the tree. "I wanted to only knock that one out. I seem to be having a problem with my control on this planet."
Aayla just nodded, before going in the direction which she and the soldiers had come from. Sensing that Harry followed her, she glanced back, but said nothing after studying his face for a moment.
Their trek back to the Republic camp was quiet, Aayla was clearly not in the mood to speak of anything aside of warning Harry where he should step, unless he wants to be one of the plants' lunch.
When they arrived at the edge of the jungle, Harry had his first look at the camp. It was full of dozens of easily constructed steel buildings, and many more military tents. There were war machines ranging from a bipedal, a one pilot walkers, to an eight wheeled goliath of a tank, easily bigger than a family house back on Earth. There were hundreds of soldiers, either in armor or uniform, going on with their usual routine. One group however stood closer to them. The man leading them had a shoulder pauldron and golden markings.
Aayla purposely walked towards him. All of them stood still as Harry and the Jedi made their way closer. The wizard noticed that several other groups stopped doing what they had been doing, and also stepped closer to them.
"General," the officer stated as he looked at the approaching pair. "It seems Captain Galle failed with his assignment."
"What is the meaning of those orders, Bly?" Aayla asked coldly.
"The Jedi are our enemy now, General."
"Aayla!" Harry shouted, seeing the main weapons of two of the six leg walkers and one of the tanks pointing at them. He wasn't confident that he could stop their shots, even if he had his wand in his hand. He could only try one thing. Grabbing Aayla, he apparated just before the three shots exploded where they stood a moment earlier.
Aayla never felt anything like it before. It was like she was pushed through an extremely tight hole, which wanted to pull her apart. It didn't hurt, but was so uncomfortable that her stomach and head needed a minute before she felt safe enough to look around. They were back at the clearing where they met. Looking at the man beside her, she could see that Harry was nearly as badly affected as her.
He was breathing deeply and sweat was pouring down his face, all the while he was clutching his stomach.
"Thank you for saving my life," Aayla sincerely thanked her companion. "Is it always this sickening?" the female Twi'lek asked. She had to admit it was an useful ability, but the side effects were horrible.
"No." Harry shook his head, hands on his knees, out of breath. "That was even worse than my first apparation," he paused for a second, "though this time it was soundless."
"Like with your Force sorcery?" Aayla asked, indicating to the bodies at the edge of the clearing.
Harry, who wasn't in the mood to question her terminology, just nodded and said, "Yeah, something like that." He looked at the blue-skinned woman. "What happened back there? They were your soldiers, right?"
"They said that the Jedi Order is their enemy," Aayla replied sadly. "There is only one person who could command them against us..."
"Who?" Harry asked, fearing the answer.
"Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, the President of the Republic, which would mean that he is in league with the Sith, just as Dooku said."
"Count Dooku is a former Jedi Master, and is now the leader of the Separatists. He said that the Senate was in the hand of the Sith. We didn't believe it to be true, let alone literally," the Twi'lek answered sadly, not wanting to believe it even now.
"Because, that would have meant that we weren't able to see, when we are the advisors to the Senate!"
"Well, the best lie is the truth, if someone except you to lie," he pointed out to the woman. "Aayla, if the soldier said your Order is the enemy..."
"Yes," Aayla said, her voice full of pain. "It means that they attacked all of them along with us." She looked at the ground her hands clenched into a fists. "This betrayal... I don't think many would be able to survive."
It clicked in Harry's mind. He still had the time-turner from Hermione! Not caring for the wide-eyed Aayla, he enlarged the trunk, pulled out the tent and set it up. He made a quick turn into the bedroom, since the time-turner was on his nightstand. Just as quickly as he set it up, he tore down the tent and minified the chest.
"I think we will need to talk about your spells," a shaken Aayla said. Clearly she had never seen anything like this before.
"We'll have time for that later," Harry replied, waving off the unspoken question. "For now, I have a solution for that betrayal..." seeing Aayla incredulous stare, he elaborated, "We can use this..." he held the hourglass high, "...to travel back in time." If possible Aayla became even less convinced. Harry just sighed, "Look. We don't have any other choice, so can we just try it?"
"Alright." Aayla was hesitant as Harry placed the chain of the artifact around their necks, but at least she went along with his plan.
Harry looked at the time-turner remembering that it was nearly empty. He was right. Most likely all of the sand will be used for this jump in time.
Aayla was shocked. It shouldn't be possible, but yet she could see everything reserve itself to what was obviously several hours before the command meeting. The sun was far from reaching its height in fact. They had at least three, but more likely four, hours before the attack.
"Will you be able to sense us from your camp?" Harry asked the Twi'lek woman.
Aayla just shook her head, before numbly replying, "I was out scouting the enemy with Bly. I'm not good enough to sense us that far, we should be able to get it done before I arrive. Then we won't have to worry about it."
"I'll Apparate us to near the camp."
Aayla wasn't keen on a repeat of her first experience with that particular ability, but time was of essence here. Another uncomfortable jump later, if a bit less so than the first one, they found themselves at about two hundred meters from the camp.
Harry tried out two spells, the disillusionment charm and the soundless charm. He needed a couple of tries, but when he had them down, he applied the spells to their bodies and feet respectively.
Getting into the camp itself wasn't that hard. There were sentries and a few patrols, but Aayla knew their schedules. Along with the fact that all of them were on low alert, and the two spells Harry used on them helped. They got into the main communication building, which was in the middle of the camp, in under ten minutes. Fortunately, there was a communication's room just for the Jedi and high-ranking officers, which was empty at the time.
Aayla quickly locked the door, and then asked Harry to dispel his magic. As soon as she was visible and audible, she opened up a secure channel to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.
Another woman, slightly older outwardly and wearing a brown and beige tunic, appeared on the holo screen. She was humanoid, only with red skin with a few patches of white on her face; on her head she had two hornlike dark blue, striped white excrescences with a tail like appendage, which was similar to Aayla's own head tentacles. The screen may distort her a bit, but Harry figured her to be in her late thirties, early forties. The woman eyes traveled briefly to Harry, before focusing on Aayla.
"Master Shaak Ti." The respect which Aayla used with this woman told Harry that she had a very high standing, at least in Aayla's opinion if not of the Jedi Order as whole, which would also explain why she contacted her and not someone else. "I bring terrible news. In less than four hours from now, the clone troopers will turn against us."
"How do you know of this Aayla?" asked Shaak Ti, whose face had showed a brief flash of fear that near instantly disappeared as she suppressed it. Her gaze again traveled towards Aayla's companion, but she didn't commented on him.
"The Force sent a vision, Master."
Harry could feel one of his eyebrows lifting, but before he spoke he realized that maybe this wasn't the time for going into the topic of his arrival. First, because there was really no time for that. Secondly, he, himself, wasn't sure of what happened. He had theories, but one seemed less likely than the other. 'Great, I'm starting to sound like Dumbledore!' he thought, not that he didn't respect the old wizard, but he was a bit young to be so sage-like like him.
"I believe you," nodded the Jedi Master, bowing her head in deep sorrow. "Master Windu left a short while ago with Master Kolar, Master Tiin and... Master Fisto, to apprehend Chancellor Palpatine. We have evidence that he is the Sith Lord, and he has been for this entire war. It was his scheme to attain power. If what you say is true we have to assume that they failed."
"No!" breathed Aayla, fear surging through her body.
Harry could only assume that she was distraught by the suspected demise of her kinsmen, rather than the chancellor being a Sith Lord.
"What you said verifies it Aayla," replied Shaak Ti, but she was obviously shaken as well. "The fog that the Dark Side has cast upon us has started to lift. I haven't been able to sense the Force's will this clearly since my days as a padawan, and the Force suggests to me that I should listen to you. We will bring the younglings to a secret sanctuary, known only to a few of us. They will go through secret passages that have been hidden for thousands of years, only to be used in dire needs. If no one else survives, they will. I will make sure of it. I will alert as many Jedi as I can. Do you have a way to escape the planet?"
"No," replied the Twi'lek girl with her hand on her chin, "We will try and obtain one from one of the cities. I won't be able to send message after this, Master Ti. Please, don't try to send one until the betrayal is done."
"Understood, Aayla. May the Force be with you!"
"May the Force be with us all, Master," came the solemn reply. With that Shaak Ti's form flickered out of existence. Aayla quickly pressed a few buttons. Sensing Harry stare at her back, she answered the unasked question, "I'm deleting this transmission from the log."
"Does it mean that they, the soldiers, won't be able to see it?" Harry was better versed in the mundane technology than most wizard, but knew only a few very basics.
Aayla nodded a bit. "Yes, well, if they don't have a good hacker, who can get all the information out of the system."
"What's our next move?" the wizard asked. He had plans, well ideas really, as to what they should do next, but Aayla knew how everything around here worked. And when you fight for your life, you listen to those who know better.
"Firstly, we should collect my personal belongings from my room," she said as they quickly exited the room, after Harry reapplying the spells. Those spells came in handy as several officers and soldiers walking past them at the next corner, talking about 'AT-TEs', which Harry could only guess was a military code or something.
After taking several turns, going up two floors and then to the right, they arrived at Aayla's room. After glancing around the room, he immediately acknowledged it as VIP a room. It had a big and comfortable bed in contrast the simple bunk the soldiers must use. Despite of that, the room was surprisingly spartan. As far as he could tell, there was nothing really substantial, decorative or personal in the room, but he wasn't so sure that he would know it even if there was. Harry enlarged the chest, retrieved two shoulder bags and handed one to Aayla.
She curiously examined it as she took it into her hand. The surface was covered in silvery blue scales while the inside was high grade textile. It was obviously more feminine than Harry's, which was a simple brown leather one, making Aayla assume that it was maybe a female friend's, girlfriend's or a family member, but due to their haste she didn't ask on it.
"It's bottomless. You can put anything inside and it will still be just as light as it is now. If you need what you already packed just put your hand inside, concentrate on what you want and it will come to you," he explained.
Only her eyes widening showed her surprise at the new inexplicable item Harry had on himself. Out the corner of her eyes, she watched Harry waiting for him to laugh as she started packing. As it proved true, she was angry at herself for being that shortsighted. It was unambiguous that Harry fully understood the seriousness of their situation and didn't fool around. Fortunately, she didn't have that much with her, so they finished in only a few minutes with Harry making things smaller much to her amazement. Having few things that she found necessary for herself soon all of it was inside either shoulder bag.
"Where are we going, Aayla?" inquired Harry as they stepped out of the room.
"To one of the store rooms," replied the Twi'lek as she navigated them through the base. "I don't know how long we will need to be on the run, but better be prepared than not."
Before that though, they made their way near the Armory, which Harry wanted to see. The guard was easily fooled, Aayla just raised her hand and the soldier seemed to ignore the opening of the door.
"That's a neat trick you got there," he mentioned as they made their way into the back of the building.
"A mind trick," Aayla said with a shrug, "We usually don't use it unless it's necessary. It's one of the most heated topic among the Order. Well, that was before the War."
"Would I be correct in assuming that it isn't that easy to fool anyone?" the displaced man asked. The Imperious Curse or the Confundus Charm could be broken by sheer willpower, himself being one of the fine example of that.
"Yes. But the soldiers being clones, they're easier to deal with," Aayla replied.
"You mean they're really clones?" He was amazed at her confirmation. He didn't really pay attention to the mundanes attempts, but knew that magicals had several problems doing it. One or two organs were relatively easy to do, but a whole body was out of their reach.
His focus shifted to the armor along the wall. There were several types and sizes. He wasn't about to use them, not an entire suit at least. However, if this is what their enemy used, he wanted to know the armor's weakest point, both literally and figuratively. He also took one of their rifles for the same reason.
Aayla then led him out of the building and went towards the edge of the camp. The building was large and no one seemed to be around. There were several tools for repair and spare components around one of the large walkers in the middle. At the back there were dozens, if not hundreds, of crates.
The Jedi Knight explained that these were the food, water and medical supplies for the clones and officers. Yellow colored meant fresh food for officers, while the blue were the ration slices and green the medicine. One blue crate was enough to feed a squad for a week . Harry immediately took one green, one yellow and two blue.
Making their way to the very edge of the camp, they came across a series of thin vehicles, which looked hovering motorcycles.
"What do you say about going on a speeder?" asked Aayla with a small smirk on her face, to which he just shrugged. In one swift motion she was on its seat and glancing at Harry.
Harry was a bit hesitant as he sat behind her, since he couldn't find any good handhold. He couldn't grab onto her shoulders, since that was really distracting. Hermione did that sometimes when they had gone broom riding together and it wasn't fun at all. Softly sighing, he embraced her middle, casting a silencing charm at the same time.
Aayla smirked at him feeling how tense he was. "Don't worry! I'm pretty good at this."
"Won't they notice that it's gone?" asked Harry with a raised eyebrow, ignoring her words.
"There's always something that's left behind. Once they nearly left one of the LAATs. I've rarely seen Bly as angry as that time," said the Twi'lek with a little smirk, for a moment forgetting their precarious situation. "I'm fairly sure that it would take them a few hours at least to notice that it isn't on one of the ships." With that she started the engine.
He was glad that he casted the silencing charm since the speeder was loud, really loud. The silencing charm didn't silence the target, only quieted it. A second later it shot out. Harry would guess that they were going at the same speed as a Firebolt. Fortunately, Aayla slowed down as they got into the jungle, even with a rather wide path leading out the base.
They went to the south-east, at least Harry guessed that that was the direction they were headed. They quickly left behind the shallow valley where he originally arrived. For several minutes he just stared at the forest around him, though at this speed he couldn't really see anything. That was when he noticed that the jungle seemed to thicken, if possible.
After several minutes, Aayla took a sharp turn directly into the jungle. She was quite good at it, just as she said, seemingly evading the trees and other obstacles in their path on instinct. Just as Harry wanted to ask where they were heading, she started to slow down and then stopped as they arrived near to a small stream.
Harry guessed they were about a hundred or so kilometer from the base, judging by their speed, and the time it took for them to arrive. Looking around he was pretty content with what he saw. There were an ideal spot for his tent between a trio of middle sized fungi tree. While he wasn't sure if he liked how near the stream it was and just what exactly will come here for food or drink, he trusted Aayla's judgement.
Getting off the speeder bike, Harry slowly walked to the spot he wanted to set up their camp, making sure to look out for any danger. When he asked Aayla to stand guard, she was amused, though he had no idea why.
Setting up the tent wasn't that hard, thanks to the use of the runes on it. After only a minute the tent was up and ready for use. Harry stood aside, holding the entrance open for Aayla to step inside.
The Jedi Knight sent him an unsure look, to which the wizard only responded with a slight smile. Stepping inside she couldn't help the surprised gasp upon seeing the interior. From the outside the tent seemed large enough for two people, three if you were content with being tightly pressed together. From the inside it resembled a small house.
"It isn't as large as some of the others, but it will do. There's the bathroom and bedroom," Harry said, following her inside. "I'll make sure that no one can detect us. Feel free to explore." With that he went back outside, leaving Aayla alone.
Looking around she could see that she was in a large room connected to a simple kitchen with two doors leading to the other rooms Harry mentioned. It was simple, yet homely with a few pictures here and there.
She didn't start looking around the place. Instead she sat down in the middle of the room and meditated on what she knew will soon happen. Never once has something like this happened to her. To know exactly what will happen, it should have made things easier, but it did not.
She felt her anxiety rising again and again. She tried not to think on if Master Shaak Ti was able to warn the Order in time. That was when it happened. She couldn't help it; she collapsed as she felt the pain surging through the Force.
Thousands cried out then disappeared. It was like all the stars vanished from the sky and she was alone in the whole galaxy. Luckily Harry, who just stepped in the tent, ran to her and lifted her in his arms. Swiftly he went into the bedroom, where he laid her on the bed and sat on its edge.
Aayla grasped him in alarm, but Harry soothed her. "I'll only take off my boots and yours." the Jedi Knight only nodded, her eyes full of unshed tears. He didn't waste a moment, a second later he was barefooted and in the next so was she. He quickly laid beside the young Jedi and gathered her in his arms. He wasn't good at this. Besides, what did you tell a woman who lost nearly everything that mattered to her?
"Shhh, let it go. You can't have it bottled up, Aayla." He could only be there for her like this. Silent and supportive.
Aayla couldn't help it, she started crying. She tried to come on terms with it, but it still hurt. She was alone in the galaxy. Her friends, brothers and sisters in all but blood, died that day by the betrayal of their comrades. A shiver runs through her.
Sensing it Harry wrapped her more tightly to his chest.
A sliver of a smile found its way to Aayla face. No, she wasn't alone. Not completely.