Title: Dreams of Hope

Summary: What if Luke had been raised on Tatooine...by his mother?

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Lucas owns all. Etc.

Author's Notes: Obviously AU, in more ways than one. Padmé lived, and others will be revealed as time goes on.

--

Life on Tatooine was one of many certainties. The suns would rise, the suns would set, the Sand People would attack unwary travelers, and Luke Skywalker would dream about the stars.

For as long as he could remember, Luke had lived with his mother in a small house on the far edge of his uncle's farm. His mother helped his Aunt Beru with the chores and cooking for the two households, and Luke helped Owen keep up the farm.

It wasn't that he was particularly unhappy with his life, not at all. Maybe Uncle Owen was more demanding and gruff than he might have liked, but Aunt Beru was sweet, and he had no doubt that his was the most wonderful mother in the galaxy. And yet every night he sat behind his small house and looked up at the sky, wishing for something to happen to him.

Luke resented Tatooine. Perhaps that was the problem in his life. He resented the entire sand-covered, swelteringly hot dustball of a planet and fervently wished it had never been discovered - or at least that his family had not settled there. He hated the lotion that had to be slathered over his skin every night to keep from cracking, he hated the lines the sandstorms had permanently creased into his mother's face, and he hated the eternally blazing double-suns.

And more than anything, Luke hated the miserable, trivial, everyday workings of Uncle Owen's farm. For example, dealing with Jawas, as they were currently doing. Luke rolled his eyes and hurried over to the large transport stopped in front of the farm. He could feel his chances of meeting Biggs in Anchorhead slipping away with every one of his uncle's frustrated gestures.

"Take these droids and get them fixed up." Owen ordered shortly, gesturing to a golden protocol droid and a rather dilapidated R2 unit.

"But I was going into Anchorhead to pick up some power converters!"

"You can waste time with your friends when your chores are done."

"I can't, I'm supposed to meet Mother for dinner!"

"You don't need to waste credits when there is perfectly good food here." Owen barked. "Take care of the droids and send a message to your mother."

Luke grumbled under his breath, but didn't continue the argument. Owen never did refer to her by name. She was just 'your mother' or 'that woman'. Generally they ignored each other when both were present. Luke sometimes wondered why Owen even allowed them to live on the property.

Padmé paid him a small rent of course, along with all the help they could give. She had a job in Anchorhead at a bank. They didn't have much money, but they had enough to survive on, they even had some savings...but not enough to send him to the Imperial Academy with his friends. Owen and Beru could have afforded it, but Luke didn't know if he could bring himself to take their charity, even if Owen had offered. The Skywalkers were nothing if not proud.

With a heavy sigh Luke turned back toward the farm, calling the droids after him. "Come on Red, let's go!" He snapped at the astromech. Something burst and smoke poured from the top. 'More trouble! Great.' "Uncle Owen!" Luke called irritably. "This R2 unit has a bad motivator!"

Owen immediately began shouting at the Jawas, demanding a new droid.

The protocol droid pointed out a smaller, scorched droid from the line as a possible replacement. "He is in excellent condition, a real bargain!" He exclaimed.

"Hey Uncle Owen!" Luke said loudly. "What about that one?"

Both Owen and the Jawa agreed on the new transaction, and the small blue droid rolled forward to meet them. The golden android chattered on about the R2 unit as they went down to the garage for a day of cleaning and repairs. 'Great.' Luke thought glumly. 'This'll sure be fun.'

--

"Did Luke leave this morning?"

Padmé nodded silently, taking another sip of her vine-coffiene and watching the news on her holopad. She showed no other recognition of her brother-in-law's descent into the kitchen.

"Did he take those two new droids with him?"

"I think so." Beru replied, as sweetly as always.

"He'd better have them back before mid-day or there'll be hell to pay." Owen warned ominously, turning and stalking up the stairs.

Padmé's expression tightened but she showed no other sign of having even heard him. She finished her vine-coffiene and placed the empty mug on the counter. "I have a few things to take care of in Anchorhead this morning. I'll be back within the hour." She informed Beru tersely.

"Alright." Beru replied, smiling sadly at her. "Padmé-" They both started. It had been years since anyone had slipped and called her by that name. "Er, Ami..." she sighed sadly and shook her head."Never mind."

"Alright. Goodbye Beru." Without another word she left the little house, but the worried knot in her belly refused to loosen. True to her word she returned one hour later, and the sight that met her would forever be burned into her memory.

--

--

Luke hadn't quite been sure what to expect of Ben Kenobi. He had heard that the old hermit lived in the Wastes, but that was as much as he really knew. He also knew that his mother always got upset when Biggs and Tank made jokes about the old man - what that meant, he wasn't entirely sure.

"No, my father didn't fight in the wars. He was a navigator on a spice freighter," Luke laughed a bit at the idea.

"That's what your uncle told you. He didn't hold with your father's ideals," a strange look crossed the old man's face as he continued. "He thought he should have stayed here and not gotten involved."

"You fought in the Clone Wars?"

Ben nodded, nostalgia in his eyes. "Yes, I was once a Jedi Knight the same as your father."

"I wish I'd known him. Mother never says anything about him…I've heard more from Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru than from her."

Ben seemed unsurprised at the news. "Losing your father devastated her, and she doesn't like to dwell on it. He was the best star-pilot in the galaxy, and a cunning warrior," he paused and smiled at Luke. "I understand you've become quite a good pilot yourself. Anakin was a good friend. Which reminds me..."

--

Luke raced back toward the farm, the terrible fear that he was too late gnawing at his gut. The Lars homestead came into sight...or rather what had once been the Lars homestead. It was smoking, and the smell of burnt flesh reached his senses as he neared. He leapt from the speeder, trying to force down the bile rising in his throat. It was useless to call for them, even from his position he could see the two recently dug graves in the tiny family cemetery near the house. "No." He whispered useless to himself. With a choked off gasp he ran back to the speeder and raced for the opposite side of the property.

The house was intact, that was a good sign. Luke turned off the speeder and nervously climbed out. He almost didn't want to check...if she –no, he couldn't think like that.

"Mother?" He called, his voice catching in his throat. "Mother?" He called again, louder. His energy returned and he ran in the open front door, his ears open for any hint of movement. He spotted a bit of dark grey cloth in the hall toward the bedrooms, and moments later he was beside his mother's unconscious form.

Her eyelids fluttered, and then opened completely. "Luke?" She whispered. She tensed and looked around their small home. "What happened?"

"I don't know...Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen are..." he couldn't even say it, instead averting his eyes. But she already knew.

"I know." Padmé said quietly, allowing him to help her to her feet. "I buried them…the heat out there…I must have fainted." An old mask slipped over her features and a regal formality entered her voice and stance. "We must leave, now, this instant. The Empire does not simply attack innocent citizens, unless there is an ulterior motive. I do not doubt that they will return."

Luke nodded, hardly registering her strange tone. "You're right." He mumbled. He went to his room and grabbed a bag, stuffing a few of his belongings inside the roughly woven sack as he rushed about the room. He changed quickly into a clean outfit and returned to the living area to wait on his mother.

She exited her bedroom with an expensive-looking piece of luggage clutched tightly in one hand. Luke could barely repress the desire to gape at her. He had never seen that outfit before. A soft-looking cream tunic and brown animal-hide pants with a velvety rust-colored cape pulled up to hide her face. She held out a matching robe for him silently, her expression eloquently pleading one thing-'don't ask'.

In equally grave silence he took the robe and pulled it around his own shoulders, raising the hood at her gesture. "Ready?" She whispered hoarsely.

"Yes." He nodded, taking the bag from her hand. "The speeder is out front."

"Good."

"Where will we go?"

"I have...a friend. We will go to him." Padmé replied after moment, moving toward the front door.

"Ben Kenobi?" Luke asked suddenly, somehow already knowing the answer.

Padmé looked incredulously at him. "How do you- never mind." Padmé sighed. "Yes. Ben will help us."

"I saw him today. He wanted me to go to Alderaan."

"What?!" Padmé stopped dead in her tracks, her face ashen. "He asked you to WHAT?"

"Go to Alderaan. One of the droids Uncle Owen bought had a message for him -sneaky little thing got me to remove the restraining bolt so it could find him, gave me some trouble I tell you! But he said the girl in the message needed my help. I was going to take him into Anchorhead, but...we got distracted." He sighed softly; averting his eyes from Padmé's shocked expression.

"That- damned fool!" Padmé exploded furiously. "He -what did he tell you?"

Luke looked up sharply, his eyes widening. "It's true, isn't it? Father was a Jedi. I didn't believe him before, but you seem awfully upset just because a crazy man offered me a trip!"

"Ben isn't crazy, he's just STUPID!" Padmé snarled. "But if he thinks he can change this arrangement without my permission he's worse than I thought! It was his idea to hide us here." Padmé pursed her lips tightly. "Your father was a great Jedi Luke, and very powerful. If the Emperor knew you existed he would either have you killed or try to bring you to his side."

"Like Vader."

Padmé closed her eyes tightly for just a moment, taking a deep breath to cleanse the memories. She nodded, opening her eyes. "Yes, like Vader. He was also a great Jedi once. That is why we hid you here, on Tatooine. Vader despises this planet; you would be safe from him at least." She paused, gazing seriously at him. "Luke, if we are going to leave Tatooine you must be aware of the dangers. There are many out there who will wish us harm. We have to keep a low profile."

"Okay, I guess I can accept that." Luke shouldered his bag and gestured to the speeder before them. "Ready?"

"Of course." Padmé climbed aboard and let her son take control. He was a better pilot than she was by far...another way he resembled his father, she thought with an inward sigh. These next few weeks would be very difficult, for all of them.