Disclaimer: If I owned Star Wars I could most certainly afford a Macbook, an iPhone, a really cool car that I couldn't drive yet, ect. I'm making no money off of this, and I don't pretend to own anything you recognize.
Well, this certainly isn't The Brand New Hope! To my fans: I'm terribly sorry. I'm a horrible, horrible person. I've discontinued it... I never had an actual ending for it in mind.
But fear not! I give you ... this. -fireworks and dance numbers and jazz hands follow suit-
"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, dear Padmé, happy birthday to you!"
Five-year-old Padmé Naberrie leaned over her cake, her face glowing from the light of the candles. She took a deep breath and blew them all out, beaming as her family clapped for her amazing lung capacity.
"Didja make a wish, Paddy?" asked her seven-year-old sister, Sola.
Padmé nodded, and said matter-of-factly, "Yes, yes I did."
Sola resisted the urge to roll her eyes. "And?"
"I wished everyone had a family as good as this one!" Padmé's mother, Jobal, reached over to hug her precious daughter, while Sola finally did roll her eyes.
"That's a dumb wish. You're supposed to wish for something cool!"
"Sola," Ruwee, Padmé and Sola's father, gently chided, "Padmé can wish for whatever she wants. I think that was a wonderful wish, Paddy."
Padmé proceeded to stick her tongue out at her sister.
Padmé grinned, and then smiled contentedly. She really had meant her wish. She had the best family in the galaxy! Her mommy had offered to throw her a big party, with all her friends from school, but Padmé had declined. She preferred birthday parties this way: small, personal, family events.
Suddenly, there were three loud raps at the door. "Is there a birthday girl in here?"
Padmé leapt from her chair to the front door, swinging it open. The man, who was, in all technicality, her great uncle- her father's uncle- scooped her up in his arms and hugged her.
"I am a birthday girl, Uncle Palpy! Today I am one, two, three, four, FIVE!" she stated proudly, counting off the numbers on her fingers. "See, FIVE." She shoved her hand in his face, all five fingers pointed out.
Palpatine, who was not only Padmé's great uncle, but also the current Senator of Naboo, did a brilliant job of not recoiling from the five-year-old's sticky fingers, though with he wished to with every fiber of his being. "Yes, I see, Paddy! You are a little woman, now!"
Padmé giggled, then frowned. "You can put me down, now."
"Uh- ...oh, yes, of course."
As soon as Palpatine put his grand niece down, she grabbed his hand and dragged him into the kitchen. "Mommy, Daddy, lookit! It's Uncle Palpy!"
The slightest wince from Jobal went unnoticed by Padmé. Though she would never admit it, she had never liked her husband's uncle. She had always sensed a certain aura of darkness in him. When he had come to them the prior week to discuss Padmé's future, to discuss little Paddy going to live with him and be brought up in a life of wealth, where she could be properly educated, and perhaps groomed for a life of politics, everything within Jobal was screaming, "NO!"
"What do you mean, politics?! She's barely five years old!" Jobal had exclaimed.
"Yes, but I have foreseen it- she is destined for greatness," Palpatine had said, and Jobal clenched her fist behind her back, her own personal method of relieving her tension. She took a deep breath.
"'Foreseen?' I... I don't understand," Jobal said, doing a fine job of appearing calm.
"I mean just as I say. I have seen your daughter doing great things for this galaxy- but only if you allow her to come with me."
Reluctantly, they had agreed that he could ask her to live with him. Padmé was destined for more than she and Ruwee could provide for her. So, she put on her best smile for the man who could give her daughter all she deserved.
"Padmé," Ruwee chided gently, "His name is Palpatine. Hello, Uncle."
"Aww, Daddy, he likes the name 'Palpy.' Doncha, Uncle Palpy?"
Palpatine gave her his warmest smile. "Of course, dearie."
Padmé bounded over to her father. "See, Daddy? See? He likes it!" She then ran back over to Palpatine. "I was just about to open all my presents- wanna watch!?"
"Actually, Padmé, I was hoping that you and I could go for a little walk."
Padmé looked at her great uncle, confused.
"Go. You can open your presents when you get back," Ruwee said, and he smiled. He was very grateful to his uncle.
Padmé shrugged, and then skipped to the door with Palpatine following.
"Your family loves you very much, Padmé," Palpatine started as he and Padmé walked through the city of Theed.
Padmé nodded hurriedly. "I know! And I love them, too. So much. They're the best family in the galaxy! They..."
Palpatine cut her off before she could continue with her speech on how great her family was. "Oh, yes, I know! And they want the best for you. That is why, I've offered to take you to live with me, in my home, so that you can go to the finest schools on the planet, be given every luxury you've ever desired! Paddy, you are destined for greatness; your family knows it, and I know it..."
"What does that mean?"
Palpatine blinked, not used to being interrupted. He gritted his teeth. "What does what mean, Padmé?"
"'Destined for greatness.' What does that mean, Uncle Palpy?"
The man sighed. "Padmé..." he started, then picked Padmé up so that they could talk face-to-face. "I see you doing the galaxy wonders. Padmé, you may not believe this, but you are a very powerful little girl."
It was Padmé's turn to blink. "Huh?" Palpatine was about to speak again, but then she cried, "No! I love my family! I don't want to leave them! I want to stay with them!"
"Padmé, you would still be able to see your family, any time you wanted! And they could see you, whenever they want."
Palpatine gritted his teeth together again, annoyed by the girl's silence. "Would you like some time to think?"
Padmé's eyes filled with tears. "No! I just want to go home!"
The man breathed deeply. "All right."
"Oh, dear Gods..."
Padmé and Palpatine looked in horror as they came upon her house. She tried to run into the burning building, but he grabbed her. "No, Padmé!"
"MOMMY! DADDY! SOLA!! WHERE ARE THEY, UNCLE PALPATINE!?"
Palpatine held Padmé close. "I don't know, Paddy... I'm sure they got out. I'm sure they're fine."
But, in fact, Palpatine was certain that they were not fine.
Earlier that day:
"Make sure that no one gets out alive. And make it look like an accident!" the hooded man whispered to the arsonist.
The other man nodded, and then looked at the hooded man expectantly.
"Ah- yes. Your money," he sneered. "Don't worry, you shall get it- after the job is done."
Palpatine had to make sure Padmé's family had been destroyed- he couldn't possibly raise Padmé as his apprentice with them alive. He had no regrets.
Padmé stood, shaking and sobbing, as the fire-fighters sprayed the water into her home. But she could already feel that it was too late, even with her immature five-year-old senses. She couldn't feel her family anymore.
"Uncle Palpatine, what's going to happen to me now?" she sniffed.
"You will come to live with me, and I shall train you as my apprentice, dearie." He turned to her, and there was no warmth in his eyes.
"The Naberrie family was killed when something in their Theed home suddenly exploded and it was engulfed in flames. It has been deemed an accident, caused by faulty wiring..."