The Kyle Side
A Fanfiction by Darth Marrs
Summary: How the hell did Jedi Master Kyle Katarn end up in Hogwarts?
Disclaimer: Don't own anything—most especially not the Kyle Katarn jokes that sprinkle this fic. Those are taken from a variety of online sources, most of which originated as Chuck Norris jokes. Included under Fair Use. None of this is intended to be distributed for profit.
Chapter One: The Kyle Side
-There's the Light Side of the Force, the Dark Side of the Force and then the Kyle Side of the Force.
Harry Potter groaned and tried to hold his sides after the latest round of "Harry Hunting" left him in terrible pain and barely able to sit up. Around him, the rest of the park was quiet. All the younger kids had run away when Dudley came, Harry included. Unfortunately, unlike the others, Harry didn't get away.
"Why do you put up with that poodoo, kid?"
Harry blinked and looked up to see a grizzled, iron-bearded man sitting nearby on the park bench staring at him with deep brown eyes. The man looked large and muscular despite his obvious age, but sat perfectly still as if waiting breathlessly for Harry's answer.
"What 'em supposed to do?" Harry muttered. "There were more of them."
"Kick the big one in the balls a few times," the old man suggested. "Once they figure out you'll fight back, they'll go find easier prey."
The man sounded oddly…well, foreign, Harry guessed. He did not quite have an American accent, or an Australian accent, or Canadian. He sounded neither Welsh nor Cockney—it sounded odd.
"Then he'll tell my uncle, and I'll get whipped and thrown in the cupboard for a week without any food again," Harry muttered to himself. He then looked up in panic when he realized he said that aloud.
The old man's eyes had narrowed and his beard seemed to jut out, and in a brief instant Harry had the strangest feeling that he was looking at quite possibly the most dangerous man alive.
"Really?" He drew the word out, pouring whole novels of meaning into the single word. "Well, I'm new to these parts so I'm not sure how everyone lives, but I'm fairly certain you people have laws to prevent child abuse. Let's go talk to this uncle of yours."
"Sir, please, really, it's okay, it's…."
The old man grabbed Harry's arm—not hard enough to hurt like Uncle Vernon would have done—but firmly enough to prevent any possibility of escape—and began marching down the street. "Where do you live, kid?"
"Sir, I'm sorry I said anything, but you're just going to make things…"
"Where do you live, kid?" the old man said again in a voice of steel.
"Number 4 Privet Drive, sir," Harry said under his breath, cowed despite his determination not to let this old man make his life more miserable than it already was.
The two of them marched away from the park until they reached Number 4 Privet Drive; once there the old man looked down at Harry. "What's your name, son?" he asked, for the first time moderating his tone into something almost, but not quite, gentle.
"And you live with your uncle?"
"Yes, sir. And my aunt."
Harry felt something pressing against his brain, and memories began bubbling up to the front of his mind, almost like a movie playing against the back of his eyes showing the six miserable years of existence he had spent with the Durselys. The old man nodded and broke eye-contact, his bearded jaw jutting once again.
"I don't like child abusers," he growled.
And with that, he walked right up to the front door and kicked it down.
An hour later, Harry Potter left the Dursleys forever. A day after that, the Dursleys left Little Whinging forever.
Kyle Katarn, as Harry learned was the old man's name, did not live anywhere near Surrey. In fact, he lived nowhere near London at all, but instead made his home near a small village called Knott End-on-Sea, which was almost as far from London as it was possible to be while still in Britain.
Harry learned this, and a lot more, during the four hour drive to Kyle's home. He learned, for instance, that Kyle Katarn owned his own vehicle—a brand-new 1988 Toyota 4Runner. He learned that Kyle did not talk very much; and he learned that Kyle Katarn scared him in a way he never thought he could be scared before—and not just because of the way he so quickly convinced the Dursleys to let him go with him.
"Sir," Harry asked in the second hour of their trip, "are you going to kill me?"
The old man snorted and looked down incredulously at Harry a moment, before laughing. The laughter did nothing to lesson his terrifying persona. "Kill you? Boy, if I was going to kill you you'd have been dead in the park. No, I've been looking for you almost since I got to this Force-forsaken planet. Still don't know why yet, but no, I'm not going to kill you. I'm going to train you."
Harry opened his mouth to ask what he meant by that, but then closed his mouth and instead clung to the idea that Kyle was not going to kill him. One step at a time was Harry's motto in life.
They arrived at a surprisingly nice bungalow across the Wyre estuary from Fleetwood. "Come on, kid," the old man said as he led Harry inside.
The house had almost no furnishings at all. What would have been a living room looked instead like a rough and tumble room, with thick inter-locking pads softening the floor and piles of cushions around the edges like chairs. The dining area did have a table, but it was cluttered with piles of strange, plastic-like sheaths that looked almost like paper. As Harry looked, he saw something flash across one of the sheaths like a TV, even though it was the thickness of a piece of paper.
Kyle pointed to one of the two stools lining a bar that looked into the kitchen: "Sit."
Harry did so, trying not to shake. He watched with interest as Katarn removed a small black box from the cooler, ripped off the lid, and placed it before the boy. Harry was startled to see steam coming off the suddenly warm plate of unidentifiable food. A moment later Kyle handed him a fork. "I can't say it's the best thing in the world to eat, but it's warm, filling and supplemented with all the vitamins and minerals you need."
"What is it?"
"An old Meal Ready To Eat ration from my ship. Think of it like boot leather with gravy."
It wasn't that bad, and beat having nothing at all, so Harry ate. Harry watched Kyle as he did so. The man puttered about the mostly empty kitchen until he found a glass and poured tap water for Harry to drink.
"Okay, let's get down to it," Kyle declared. He walked to the table and grabbed one of the blinking, glowing sheaths of not-paper. "Harry James Potter. Age 8. Son of James and Lily Potter, deceased. Foster Parent: Kyle Katarn. Blah blah blah…"
"What are you doing?"
"I'm slicing into the government records to show me as your guardian."
"With a sheet of paper?"
"It's a magic paper," Kyle said, winking even as he continued running his fingers over the strange surface. "There, that should do it. You're now officially my ward."
"Why…why are you doing this?"
"Damned if I know," Kyle said with a shrug. "I came here to get away from it all, not get involved with local problems. Figured this place was as far from the center of the galaxy as possible—in the middle of a Sith-damned black-out zone in the further reaches of the Unknown Region. And wouldn't you know the moment I get settled, the Force sends me out on a wild Rancor-chase to find you. What's special about you, I wonder?"
"Nothing, sir. I'm just Harry."
"Well, just Harry, the Force says otherwise. And I'll say you have one Sith-strong Force presence for such a scrawny little runt. I don't even think Anakin Solo had your glow as a kid." The last was said with great, deep sorrow.
Harry had no idea what to say or what to do, so he sat quietly in front of his empty MRE and stared down at his hands.
The moment of peace didn't last long. "And here they come," Kyle said from the living room, where he had walked and just stood.
A moment later, a man appeared almost beside Kyle right out of thin air. Harry jumped and yelped in shock. Kyle did more than that—he held out a hand and the man flailed back in surprise, before he received an incredibly powerful round-house kick that sent him sprawling into the wall.
"Get down, kid," Kyle said calmly as another man appeared in thin air—this time a tall, black-skinned man with no hair.
Kyle made a strange jerking motion with his hand and the newcomer went flying through the door into the back garden of the bungalow. A third man appeared and collapsed just as fast under the heel of Kyle Katarn's merciless foot. One after the other, strangely dressed men and women appeared out of thin air, and the second they did Kyle was there, seeming to know exactly where they would appear. He moved in silence, his jaw jutting out and his eyes narrowed with grim determination.
Finally, the last to arrive as a very old man dressed like the wizard from that Disney King Arthur movie, complete with a pointed, cone-shaped hat and robes. Kyle was already in motion when the eldest of the strange people appeared, but at the very last split second his foot stopped, a hair's breadth from the very long, delicate nose of the latest arrival.
Kyle let his foot drop as the old wizard blinked in surprise. "I was wondering when you would run out of lackeys."
The old man looked around the room with widened, frightened eyes. "Are they dead?"
"Not yet, but the day's still young. Who are you?"
"My name is Albus Dumbledore."
Katarn blinked. "Dumbledore? Really?"
"I assure you that is my name."
"Sorry 'bout that. Must have been a pain as a kid."
"And yet, I assure you, I survived. And you are?"
"About one second from removing your head," Kyle said, all hint of humor gone. "I figure you're here for the boy, but coming into a man's home without invitation is a good way to get your skinny old ass vaped."
As Kyle and the strange old man with the funny name spoke, Harry watched as the tall, dark-skinned man stumbled up to the shattered door with a stick pointed right at Kyle and an angry expression on his face.
Harry started to shout a warning when the attacker suddenly flew forward like a bullet, only to stop in mid air before a golden, glowing sword that seemed to appear from the end of what looked to Harry like a torch. The tip of the blade was just an inch from the floating, dark-skinned man's chest, while the handle of it fit snugly in Kyle's hand.
"So, how are we going to do this?" Kyle asked with deceptive levity. "Will I have to kill all your minions before you realize that you do not want me as an enemy? Or will you send your people back the way they came and have a civilized conversation? Because I've got to tell you, Dumbledore, I don't really care either way."
Harry waited with the utter stillness of terror while around them, wary strangers in even stranger clothes regained their feet and stared wide-eyed at the tableau.
"Do you truly believe you could do that, my friend?" the old wizard asked.
"Are you willing to test their lives to find out?"
The ancient man wilted. "No, in fact I am not. Please, my friends, return. I will remain behind to inquire as to Mr. Potter's well-being."
As quickly as they came, the newcomers popped right back out of existence, including at the last the dark-skinned man. When they were gone, the golden sword disappeared with a snick-sound before the remaining cylinder hung on the belt of Katarn's slacks.
"Good, I just cleaned," Katarn muttered. "Have a seat, Mr. Dumbledore." He motioned the barstool next to the one a still paralyzed and terrified Harry sat on.
"Mr. Potter," Dumbledore said as he walked over. "Are you quite all right?"
Harry nodded silently.
A moment later a cup of strange, bubbling fluid appeared in front of Dumbledore. Katarn had an identical cup in hand. "I'm not familiar with this particular drink," Dumbledore said.
"I'd hope not. It's Ithorian Firewater, my best stock. It took 48,000 light years to get here, so drink up."
Dumbledore blinked. "I'm sorry, what is a light year?"
"About ten trillion kilometers. This drink was brewed on a planet so far away that the light of its star would take 48,000 years to reach Earth." With that, Katarn downed the whole cup in one great chug. Dumbledore raised one elegant white brow and tasted his own.
"How remarkable," he croaked afterward. He too then finished the whole cup. "I take it then that you believe you are not of this Earth?"
"And how did you come to be here, Mr…."
"Kyle Katarn. And I came in a ship, which is currently on your moon under a cloaking shield."
"And why are you here, Mr. Katarn?"
"Originally to retire. Galaxy's gone to hell and no one wants to listen to an old warhorse anymore. But the moment I got here, the Force started pushing me around until I found this boy. And since you came barging right after, you know why. So why don't you tell me what's so special about Harry here, and if he's so special, why you were allowing him to be abused like he was?"
"Abused, Mr. Katarn?"
"Abused. I made a point of learning this bass-ackward language of yours, Dumbledore, so we both know what the word means. Beaten. Starved. Hated. Kept in a closet not as punishment, but as his daily living arrangements."
The old man appeared to have no answer to that, which Kyle seemed to expect. "Here's how it's going to be, my friend. I am Kyle Katarn, Jedi Master, Retired General of the Galactic Alliance, and in general someone you do not want to kriff with. That show you just saw—that was nothing. I am also a servant of the Force, which not only guided me to this planet, but then guided me to sit on a bench in the outskirts of London until I saw Harry here getting the snot beat out of him by a gang of thugs led by his own cousin. He is just brimming with Force potential, which means that I am to train him. I've already hacked into the government computers—he's mine now. But to make sure he doesn't get dead, you're going to tell me why he's important."
Dumbledore stared for a long time at Kyle, and Kyle stared right back without flinching. Looking at the two men, Harry began to suspect that Kyle never flinched, ever. Dumbledore was the one in the end to nod. "You truly are from beyond the stars."
"Yes, I am."
The old, bearded man turned twinkling blue eyes on Harry and smiled sadly. "I was good friends with your parents, Mr. Potter. They were remarkable people, and very powerful. Your father was one of the finest wizards of his class, while your mother was the most brilliant witch of her age. They and others fought with me against a vile dark wizard named Voldemort. He attacked them, but when he tried to kill you, your mother's death somehow granted you a powerful protection that caused his magic to rebound upon him. We found you in the rubble of their house with nothing but that remarkable scar to show what had happened."
Harry stared with a gaping jaw, trying and failing to adjust his understanding of the world to what Dumbledore was telling him.
Kyle, though, looked suspicious. "Why did the bad guy go after Harry if his parents were the threat?"
Dumbledore turned back to look at Kyle. "There are some things Harry is better off not knowing."
"That's no longer your decision," Kyle said with iron in his voice. "So you're going to tell me now, or leave. Why was Harry attacked?"
Dumbledore sighed. "There was a prophecy that predicted a boy born around the time of Harry's birthday would defeat Voldemort. James and Lily were trying to protect Harry, and gave their lives doing so. By that mark, Voldemort confirmed the prophecy, and Harry's place in it."
"But he's gone."
"Gone, but not necessarily dead, hence the Dursleys. The protection his mother gave him was very powerful, and so I tied it to his only other blood relative and wove powerful protective wards around him. But I did not realize they were so…cruel. He was their flesh and blood. It is difficult for me to understand how anyone could treat family like that."
"It's easier than most of us want to admit," Kyle said. "I've seen mothers throw their own babies at enemy forces hoping to buy time for themselves to escape. Then again, I've seen mothers fight monsters barehanded and give their own lives to protect their children. It depends on the person."
Kyle looked at Harry. "You getting all this, kid?"
"I…I don't believe it," Harry said. "Uncle Vernon said my parents were drunks and died in a car crash."
"Uncle Vernon also didn't believe I was willing to kick him in the head, and where did that get him?" Kyle said.
Harry snickered, then immediately looked guilty for laughing at his Uncle's misfortune at the end of Kyle Katarn's foot.
"And now that you have young Harry, Mr. Katarn, what are you doing to do with him?" Dumbledore asked.
"I'm going to train him as a Jedi padawan," Kyle said. "I'm going to first teach him how to learn, and then and I'm going to prepare him for whatever his destiny holds."
Dumbledore nodded sagely as he considered first Kyle, and then Harry. "You should know, Mr. Katarn, that magical education for witches and wizards begins at age 11. At that time, Harry will receive an invitation to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His role in the first defeat of Voldemort has made him very important to our society. It would be a blow to thousands if he were not to attend."
Kyle's eyes narrowed. "Not going to happen. By age eleven, Jedi younglings and padawans are just coming into their true power. It is a dangerous time, when they will be tempted to use their power for personal ends rather than the greater good. Children who are forced to abandon their training during this time often end up falling to the Dark Side of the Force, thus becoming dangerous both to themselves and the greater galaxy. The soonest I would be willing to let him emerge from training would be seventeen—and even then I would have to stay by him until he passes his trials—most Jedi are not ready until they are in their twenties."
Dumbledore frowned and stroked his beard—nearly yanking it as he did so. "I'm afraid that would be problematic for us, Mr. Katarn. I personally vouched for Mr. Potter's whereabouts, and if he fails to appear at Hogwarts, there could be sever repercussions."
Kyle leaned forward and pierced the headmaster with dark brown, merciless eyes. "That's your problem. I know what you're thinking—you could grab the kid and pop away like the rest of your lackeys. I will have both your arms on the floor before you could even touch him."
The old wizard sat perfectly still, blinking bright blue eyes at the Jedi Master. "I do not understand your interest in this, Mr. Katarn. Harry for us is a savior—an important symbol for our survival as a society. I was close friends with his parents, grandparents and great grandparents. I was named the executor of his parent's will, and in the absence of his godfather, his magical guardian. I am motivated to protect him by the bonds of love and responsibility. What are you motivated by?"
"The Force," Kyle said simply.
"And if Voldemort returns and finds himself unopposed because our savior was not here?" Dumbledore asked.
Kyle snorted with such overwhelming contempt Harry felt his cheeks burn. "Dumbledore, if you're placing all your hopes on one boy instead of standing up for yourself, then you deserve to die, you coward."
Dumbledore reared back as if struck, but Katarn didn't relent. "You want the boy to survive? To lead your people if this Voldemort comes back? Then leave me alone to train him as a Jedi. Don't interfere. I know the boy has a destiny—the Force does not select its champions lightly, and it is obvious he has been chosen. He will be a powerful Jedi—perhaps one of the greatest in the New Order. And when he is ready, we will return to your world. In the meantime, old man, do your job. You're obviously a leader—lead your people. Do what you must to prepare for this creature's return. Don't put all your credits on one boy.
"It appears then that this conversation is concluded then," Dumbledore said flatly.
"It is. Oh, and Dumbledore?"
"If you or yours return to try and take the boy, I won't just kick your heads, I'll take them off."
Dumbledore bowed his head, and suddenly disappeared with a loud pop that made Harry jump.
A/N: As one of the last two stories I plan to post in the near future, I've chosen not to have this beta read. Please take that into consideration when choosing to read. This is a more intimate story than most-it does not deal with the same epic scale as others I've written. If you're looking for a point of comparison, it does have some similarities to The Boy Who Fell. I'll discuss more in my forums after I start posting in earnest. I will continue posting after Revenge of the Wizard is finished.