Harry Potter: Sword and Magic
A/N: I don't own Harry Potter or Star Wars
AU, Harry Potter/Star Wars crossover
Pairings: Harry Potter and Aayla Secura
This fiction is targeted for older audiences. Adult humor and Situations.
Summary: Harry Potter, after a devastating battle in the Department of Mysteries, finds himself transported in a strange world in the company of Jedi Knight Aayla Secura. Is this the will of the Force that their two fates intertwine?
Harry and Aayla must struggle on through the galactic worlds to survive, in a quest to understand the purpose of their fateful meeting.
Twi'lek – humanoid alien species
Rutian Twi'lek- rare Twi'lek that has a blue skin color.
ARC clones – Advance Recon Commando clones, elite variant of the normal clone trooper. They are considered to be among the best trained soldiers in the galaxy at the time of the Clone Wars.
Acklay- Giant praying mantis like creature towering three meters high.
Chapter 1: Interruption
Ministry of Magic, London
The demonic entity screamed, confused as it was suddenly forced from its realm to this unfamiliar place. It noticed the strange beings hurling energies at itself and viewed them as a threat.
"No good! The skin is too thick!" A tall auror with red hair shouted as he dodged another burst of fire from the demon's mouth.
"Where did this thing come from?" Auror Tonks asked. She ducked a piece of marble that the demon's spiked tail hit, sending the pieces to the teams of aurors trying to contain it.
"It must be those idiots at the department of mysteries! Who else would experiment with banned magics! Where's Harry? We need some heavy hitters here! On the double!" Ron screamed through the chaos and watched in horror as two more of his squad got impaled by long claws.
Beams of blinding light of different hues soared above them, and the demonic entity suddenly ceased its rampage, momentarily stunned by the attack. These precious few seconds allowed the aurors to rescue some of their injured comrades unable to move on their own.
"We're here! Get your squad back!" Shacklebolt ordered as he and Auror Potter threw various curses and hexes at the thing.
"It's no good Kingsley, it's just absorbing the curses. Use force based spells" Harry Potter suggested. His wand arm blurred and he weaved his spells from his position on top of a fallen slab of marble to get a better view of the area. The large broken pieces of marble suddenly transformed into giant golems, nowhere near the size of the demonic invader, but enough to gain its attention.
Kingsley nodded and shouted. "You heard Potter! Banishing curses on three!" Eight aurors cast their strongest banishing at the creature and it had an immediate effect as the demon staggered at the consecutive impacts on its flaming body. The attack gave time for auror Weasley's decimated squad to withdraw behind Shacklebolt's relief force.
"We're barely delaying it… it will breach the walls soon if we don't stop it here," Harry observed. Half his animated marble golems were already destroyed, with the demon's deadly tail taking two or three with a single swipe.
He moved forward and changed tactics, ducking and weaving through the debris to distract the demon. "I'm going to fucking murder those unspeakables."
The demon eyed the strange being that continuously avoided its attempts to kill it. A few strong curses hit its head and it roared with anger and moved towards the figure.
"I'll draw it deeper underground, find some way to contain it before it gets loose in London!" Harry shouted, continuously avoiding streams of fire by ducking or through hastily conjured shields.
"I'll support you!" Nymphadora Tonks yelled back as she followed her subordinate's actions and baited herself. The two soon disappeared along the corridor as an angry demon smashed through the stone columns in pursuit.
The various Aurors struggled to regain their breathing. They hoped Harry Potter, vanquisher of Voldemort was enough to destroy this demon. Kingsley looked at the aurors and gave out orders.
"Weasley! Drag those Unspeakables here! Outside the law or not they will answer to this. I lost eleven aurors today, not counting the injured. Brigs, call Dumbledore, he might have some ideas to subdue this thing, or even send it back from where it came from."
Auror Brigs and Weasley nodded and ran off towards the direction opposite the demon, while Kingsley focused on the remaining Aurors uninjured, or well enough to fight. "The rest of you, form a perimeter! This thing's not going to set foot outside this Department!"
The commander of the Auror forces looked at where his best Auror vanished along with Tonks. He frowned and signaled his own squad and followed their direction.
"Shit! We're trapped!" Tonks screamed as she was backed into a wall from the unrelenting fire the Demon breathed out from its giant mouth. A tail suddenly swept towards her and she dodged, but rubble fell on top of her as the columns collapsed from the attack.
A large stone slab pinned her leg, and Tonks muffled a scream in her mouth when she tried to move herself free, no doubt her leg was broken. She closed her eyes and raised her hands as she saw the huge tail swinging back to crush her to death.
Tonks heard a large deep sound like a gong and opened her eyes, wondering why she didn't feel the crushing pain that was about to send her to the afterlife. Her eyes widened when she saw Harry was in front of her, with a golden shield formed blocking the massive fiery tail.
"Tonks… get out... free yourself!" Harry said through gritted teeth. The demon roared and slammed the weakening shield with its massive arms and Harry fell to his right knee. The translucent shield formed cracks from where it was attacked, a clear sign that it was about to collapse.
"Harry! No!" Tonks screamed and fired a couple of her strongest spells she knew at the creature. The demon staggered back but it attacked with increased ferocity.
Harry looked at his partner who was injured and trapped. The demon struck again and the cracks grew bigger on the translucent shield.
He looked around and saw a strange veil in the middle of the room, and realized he was back where his godfather had fallen during the start of second wizarding war, and also where it ended when he personally defeated Voldemort.
There was only one exit from this huge stone cavern, and if he could collapse it, the demon will be stuck here, buying his comrades valuable time to defeat it. His strength was greatly diminished when he maintained the shield, and he was running on his reserves now.
"Bye Tonks. Say hi to my godson for me." Harry smiled as blood dripped down his lips.
"Harry… what are you doing?" Tonks asked. A few seconds later her eyes widened in shock when she realized what her partner was about do.
"Don't do it." Tonks growled. "I'll hunt you down and drag you back from the underworld myself! Merlin Harry no!"
"No choice." Harry spat the blood in his mouth. He wandlessly banished his partner across the room and to the entrance with his left hand. Seeing that Tonks was clear from the attack he was about to perform he gripped his wand with both of his hands to pour more magic into the spell.
Using his legs for support, he slowly stood up, and when he got into position, he willed his shield to disappear. The Demon was suddenly off balanced when the shield it was trying to put its whole weight into suddenly vanished.
Harry used this moment and shouted.
His wand vibrated as it released the stored magic, and energy erupted from its tip. Blinding streams of light erupted from the tip of his wand and they struck the stone ceiling and the stone arch in the middle of the chamber.
The cavern shook as its integrity was compromised, and enormous slabs of stone from the roof fell, hitting the demon. The floor shifted and the ancient archway collapsed, and the ghostly veil it held flew free from an invisible wind.
The demon screamed as it was pinned down by more slabs of stone and earth, and Harry looked on with satisfaction. His sacrifice would not be in vain, he even hoped that his actions might have killed the monstrous thing.
A marble slab hit his shoulder and he staggered to his knees. He flicked his wand back to his wrist sheath and awaited his fate. It was impossible to escape now, he gave everything he got.
Harry Potter, hero of the wizarding world, collapsed as stones and rocks collapsed and fell around him.
The ghostly veil flew unobstructed on its eerie path through the rocks, and finally it gently landed on the 20 year old hero, engulfing the unconscious wizard as if fate herself tucked her precious child with a warm blanket.
Several hours later, after nonstop excavations, the ministry aurors would find the enormous body of the high level demon still warm to the touch as its magma hot skin slowly cooled. But they would despair for more hours to find the body of their heroic comrade that was not there.
Some of the more pessimistic aurors thought that their hero was consumed by the demon, or perhaps burned to dust by its fiery breathe that was as strong Fiendfyre. Others took heart when the rescue and recovery crew never found their beloved Harry Potter's body, that perhaps he was out there, somewhere, still alive.
Possibly in some other universe, even in a galaxy far, far away...
Latest HOLONET NEWS!
Clone Troops push back the Separatist Forces!
The Republic Fleet chases the Decimated Separatist Fleet across the outer Rim, after their failed attempt to kidnap beloved chancellor Palpatine! Separatist Leaders flee from the onslaught from the might of the Grand Army of the Republic.
The Hero without fear, Anakin Skywalker kills Count Dooku in a fantastic battle!
In a show of skill and devotion to the Republic, Jedi Knight and the Chancellor's confidant and close friend Anakin Skywalker reveals how he destroyed the Sith Lord!
"I was fighting not just for myself, but for Democracy and the Republic. Chancellor Palpatine was kidnapped by that misguided Count Dooku, in a desperate last act to force the Republic to surrender.
The chancellor is the Republic's heart... if he falls the Republic will fall. That's why I won. I was fighting to save the Republic from anarchy, failure is not an option." Skywalker said in an earlier interview while Palpatine stood proudly by his side.
General Kenobi defeats Grievous on the planet Utapu with the help from ARC clone troopers!
In a new development, General Kenobi destroyed the injured Confederation of Independent Forces military leader Grievous after the ARC Troopers, specially trained commando units of the clone armies, determined where the Separatist Leader was hiding.
The arc troopers used their incredible skill and courage to overcome the tyrant and his forces that has killed billions of citizens across hundreds of worlds by his command.
Galactic Senators push for the beloved Chancellor's extension in office!
Becomes Supreme Commander!
The Galactic Senate finally passed the long debated bill, the revised Security Act. Our beloved chancellor will now have broader powers to ensure the security and integrity of the republic.
Jedi Council pushes for the investigation on the allegations of Corruption within the Senate!
"It's a ploy. The Jedi it seems, do not want to give up their power now that the War is about to come to an end. They seek greater power and greater control." Palpatine said in a brief statement. But the Chancellor keeps blocking their investigation and added. "This is a democracy, and the Jedi can't just push us around and ignore our laws!"
Niango, Felucia, Outer rim territory
Aayla Secura, rutian Twi'lek and Jedi knight gazed across the open fields where the giant tree-flowers of Felucia once stood. She was on her way to one of the two water processing plants that were the source of the contamination to stop the poison at the source, but progress on the mission was slow.
Needing to contemplate for the day ahead, Aayla reached out into the force and bathed within its presence. She let it fill her, submitting to its wisdom and guidance.
Her nervousness, anticipation and doubts faded with every breath she took, and she now waited for daybreak to start the covert mission. She gazed up at the night sky, where the strike force she commanded orbited the planet. They would provide additional support, once the source of the contamination has been identified.
Three Venerator class star destroyers stood as sentinels, guarding the ground forces from sudden ambush by rogue separatist ships. They also formed a small blockade, determined and ready to shoot down any enemy ship seeking safety into separatist space.
The stars tonight at Felucia were unusually bright, as were Felucia's three blue moons. She felt something, not quite within her force perception to see but it was there.
A sudden gust of wind forced her to shield her eyes with her hand as she felt something in the distance. Something familiar, yet strange… and comforting at the same time, it was like welcoming an old friend or family after years of not having met each other.
"General Secura, you spotted something?" Clone Marshall Commander Bly asked.
The ARC trained Clone walked to her side and looked at his general with concern. Aayla usually used this time to rest before they attempted another assault in the morning.
Trust and respect developed between the 327th Star Corps and their beautiful General throughout the course of the war. The clones respected Aayla for her leadership and warrior skill, and her ability to pull off impossible feats that saved their hides hundreds of times.
Commander Bly and Aayla survived many engagements and skirmishes in the galactic war, pulling victory out of defeat in countless missions. Aayla in turn, had come to admire her clone commander, there was trust and camaraderie between them, forged and tempered through war and bloodshed- she was one of the few Jedi that called her clone commander not just an ally, but also a friend.
She was an empath, and as the only female surrounded by her regiment of male clones, she knew the emotions and desires her clones have of her. Her race was always treated as prized possessions by slavers, considered by most as the most beautiful females in the galaxy. They were sold to the rich and to the powerful, displayed as status symbols in the outer rim worlds where slavery was ripe.
The clones though, no matter how great their desires for their general, would never act upon them. They were bred to be obedient, well behaved soldiers that would willingly sacrifice themselves to save her. In fact, the 327th Star Corps grew protective of their general, bordering on possessive, although she could very well take care of herself.
They greatly admired their leader, she alone kept them together after months of suffering from the flesh eating diseases that were common in Felucia, the mud that sucked the strength from them with every step and the endless rain that seemed to sap their will to fight. It was in every sense of the word hell, but they had their blue angel to guide them and keep them together.
Then there were the Acklays, brought from Geonosis by the Separatist forces to further harass the clone troops. They were ridiculously resistant to blaster fire, and precious lives and ammunition were wasted in killing them. Most were slain by General Secura herself, earning the eternal gratitude and respect of her men.
"I feel something in the force Bly." Aayla whispered while she peered into the distant darkness. The wind blew again and drifted into the direction she was facing, carrying blades of grass and leaves along its wake.
"Is it another Jedi, General? Or perhaps a Sith similar to the one General Skywalker fought in Munilisk?" Bly asked as he withdrew his blaster, looking around in concern at the tightly packed vegetation that surrounded their camp.
Aayla closed her eyes and immersed herself with her surroundings, it was strange but she was sure it was not caused the dark side of the Force. Her eyes snapped open and she came to a decision.
"The separatist forces will not arrive till dusk tomorrow. I will use the time and investigate this."
"It could be a trap General Secura" Bly warned her.
Aayla turned to her friend. "No Bly it isn't. I'm sure of it. And don't roll your eyes at me, I'm an empath. Trust me, this is not a trap set by the separatists." Aayla smiled.
Bly looked at her with clear doubt on his face. "All right General, but call if you need help. I will have ARC squad four ready just in case."
That single word has probably caused a hundred clone commanders like him (that were spread out across the galaxy) to shake their heads in frustration at the blatant display of recklessness. But as much as he wanted to argue, to insist that she bring an ARC squad with her, it was not his place, and she is his commanding officer.
But unlike her Jedi counterparts, Aayla Secura was one of the rare few that remained with her original unit at the start of the war on Geonosis.
Other clone regiments were not so unfortunate, commanded by newly promoted Jedi Knights that should have remained padawans for a few more years. Their inexperience, eagerness and desire to show their courage and skill cost the lives of thousands of his clone brothers throughout the war.
Hypori was another matter, Aayla's flagship, the Republic cruiser Intrepid suffered severe damage during an earlier skirmish. As a result, the 327th Star Corps were unable to follow their General who had flown to the besieged planet in her Eta-2 Actis Light Interceptor, after receiving distress calls from Ki-Adi-Mundi and Shaak Ti that all available help was needed as soon as possible.
It was the first time that the monstrous General Grievous had made an appearance, and it was pure luck that Aayla Secura survived the massacre of republic forces.
He considered himself fortunate that he was assigned to a Jedi Knight that could back up her confident words with skill, along with her tactical ability and willingness to hear suggestions and advice. Unlike other Jedi Generals, Aayla had a penchant of using subterfuge and stealth, launching surprise attacks and ambushes, a tactic Bly strongly agreed with.
Her infiltration skills and insistence on gaining as much intelligence as she could before a mission had preserved the lives of her men more than deflecting blaster fire with her lightsaber. It was another trait of hers that endeared her to her troops.
There were other successful clone commander-Jedi tandems that managed to stay together throughout the war, like Kenobi and Commander Cody, or the infamous Skywalker and his equally insane Clone Captain Rex of the 501st.
An added bonus but never spoken out loud was that their commander was hot, something that could help them fantasize at nights at the barracks. And morale, even at the direst of circumstances never dropped.
It only took a clone trooper desperately firing back against an unending horde of battle droids to see their beautiful, blue skinned General fighting alongside, deflecting blaster bolts, to get their spirits backs up and remember what they were fighting for.
They were fighting for the republic, for freedom, for the Chancellor, and a universally acknowledged but hidden fact: the republic's finest piece of ass. Shaak Ti was no comparison.
He shuddered to think about the boys in the 372nd regiment where a huge Wookie like Jedi with white fur led them.
"This isn't just for decoration you know. I'll be back by morning." Aayla added, indicating her lekku as she massaged their length with her hands. She knew what her clone commander was thinking. Her two brain tails called lekku allowed her some measure of empathy.
Aayla Secura nodded to Bly and took off into the night, her blue skin glinting at the moonlight, her semi prehensile lekku floating behind her.
The Jedi knight jumped off the tree branch where she landed and headed towards the place where she felt something calling her. She quickly moved through the tall grass and past giant flowers, her elegant ground eating strides took her across swiftly and closer to the source where the strange feeling in the force came from.
After ten minutes in a blistering pace, Aayla slowed down as the feeling intensified around her. She stopped and looked around as the strange feeling was now everywhere, the vegetation, the damp earth she stood on and the dew that formed during the night at the blades of grass that tickled her calves.
It was silent and she gazed in wonder as a strange translucent veil was blown towards where she stood. It was the source of this strange feeling and her skin tingled. The wind she felt earlier blew the veil, making it look like it was dancing, circling her, playing with her. The three moons' light gave the veil a beautiful blue glow, as if it was luminescent.
As Aayla watched the veil it suddenly turned parted with a strange shape, and a figure dropped from it to the clearing. The veil then dissolved, like an invisible strand was pulling it apart. Through the force she knew the figure was no threat as she sensed the power within the stranger.
The power she sensed within the figure felt wild, pure and unrefined and unrestrained. She kneeled beside the figure and turned it to its back, and her eyes widened in shock despite her Jedi composure.
It was a human, a human male reaching its prime. He was obviously in a battle, as trails of blood and gashes crossed the man's handsome' face. His skin was white, very unnatural in these parts and he was tall, and muscled from what she felt beneath layers of his clothes.
He was probably a warrior, but how did he get here? What sort of technology allows for sudden materialization of particles? As she felt for a pulse she noticed his deep breathing, he did not seem to be in danger for the moment.
She looked for any weapons among the man's strange clothes and found a strange stick strapped in his wrist and one in his left leg. She was confused, the man was a warrior but he had no weapons with him despite the layers of clothes and what she suspected was some type of flexible armor underneath his robes. Was this some sort sign from the Force?
She inspected the strange clothes, it was thick, and she sensed the force emanate from even them. Markings on the clothes indicate he was someone of high rank or an officer. She noticed the young man's wound on his shoulder, and hastily removed a bandage from her belt and started to undo the man's clothes.
A small gash or cut while in the damp and humid climate of Felucia was something that should be treated immediately, else it become infected. The flesh eating virus that was easily caught in Felucia's humid climate wreaked havoc among the ranks, and it was something she did not want to experience again.
A muscled chest greeted her and she frowned at the line of scars and cuts that crisscrossed his torso. She bit of the bandage and started to wound it up his shoulder and under the arm. The injury did not indicate anything broken or a vein ruptured, but a nasty looking bruise and a few deep cuts.
After taking care of the stranger's injuries, Aayla pulled him deeper into the grass, to give them cover in a separatist patrol suddenly appeared. She looked curiously at the prone man lying beside him and murmured. "Who are you stranger?"
A groan came out from the stranger's mouth and Aayla quickly rushed and kneeled by the man's side. The man started to stir and he began to move. Aayla sensed confusion, pain, acceptance and satisfaction on the stranger's emotions.
"Stranger, do you understand me?" Aayla asked softly, so as not to startle the man.
The young man blinked and as his eyes focused he looked at a blue, beautiful face staring at him. He smiled, and still dazed he said weakly "A damn angel... guess I'm in the good place."
The man snorted and passed out again, this time into a calmer sleep.
Aayla raised an eyebrow in amusement, while a slight smile crossed her lips. All her life she had been receiving flirtatious advances, and if she had to admit, that was one of the more honest compliment she had received. She was curiously surprised to see the color of the man's eyes... it was green, a vivid shade similar to color of her spare lightsaber, a rare oddity among the hundreds of biped species in the galaxy.
With nothing else to do but wait, she sat and closed her eyes, and communed with the force, patiently waiting for the man to wake.
"Where am I?"
Aayla opened her eyes and looked at the stranger. The man looked around for a moment, obviously dazed and finally turned to her with confusion etched on his face. She saw his eyes widened in realization, that perhaps she was not a dream or hallucination, and was actually physically present beside him. The man immediately stood up and regarded her with suspicion.
"Who… and what are you?" He asked. He suddenly snapped his right hand and in a swift movement his wooden stick smoothly slid into his hand.
"Answer me!" He demanded, now pointing the stick at her like some blaster.
Aayla also leapt back, even if she sensed he was not a Sith. He was obviously disoriented and could harm her, and she wanted to avoid a fight if possible.
Harry was confused. At first he felt a strange sensation, as if his body was drifting along a cold current that twisted and turned along a river. Then he remembered a blue faced angel looking over him… and now he was somewhere with this strange, albeit lovely looking female standing opposite him.
She wore a strange tunic that revealed an ample bosom, a narrow waist and a voluptuous figure. Weird… and hot.
The blue skinned woman did not respond and he decided to freeze her so he can ask her some questions. He sent a bright blue full body bind curse, but the woman dodged it easily and a blue beam suddenly sprang to life in the woman's hands. It made a strange buzz in the air, like it was humming.
"I do not want to harm you, so please remain calm." The woman said in a strangely French accent. "Lower your weapon."
Harry felt tendrils of strange thoughts wrap in his mind, suggesting that lowering his wand was a very good idea. It was ridiculously easy to force out the foreign sensation in his head, her technique was nowhere near the strength of the imperius curse. But it was the type of attack that made him annoyed, he had spent a lifetime zealously guarding against Voldemort's mental attacks, and he would be damned if someone got into his mind again.
That did it, and he was pissed. He slammed his occlumency shields in place and sent three stunning curses in rapid succession. Three bright bolts of red energy seared through the night and Harry was shocked when the she parried them with ease with her strange weapon.
He decided to raise the bar, and twirled his wand and the ground suddenly shook and three thick lengths of rope appeared around the woman to bind her. It was a modified binding curse, designed to take down giants but the female moved swiftly, gracefully as she avoided the ropes and cut them in half with the sword of light she held in her hands.
The shaking earth beneath her did not appear to bother her at the least, her balance was perfect, her movements graceful. If he wasn't fighting her at the moment, he would have applauded her physical prowess and agility.
The woman smirked and suddenly Harry felt his wand slip from his fingers and into the woman's free hand.
"You do not have a weapon, give up." The woman said but that only provoked the wizard.
He still had a spare wand strapped to his left foot, but he felt that he could take on this admittedly hot blue female chick without it. He sent a strong disarming charm and smiled in satisfaction as the woman was caught off guard and was sent hurling ten feet backwards, while the blade of her light sword suddenly vanished with only its cylindrical hilt remaining. He held his right hand and the wand that the woman captured returned to its rightful owner.
"That was a bad move, invading my mind. That's considered rude in my book." Harry said as he walked closer but cautiously to the fallen figure. As an afterthought he summoned the cylindrical hilt lying on the grass and held it with his left hand.
"Now you're right I don't want to hurt you either, but why did you try and control me?" Harry stared down at his opponent. The weaponless, blue-skinned beauty just smiled, released a breath and sat on the ground, looking far too relaxed for Harry's comfort.
"I wanted you to remain calm, so we can talk properly, but I did not realize you have a strong will that can resist my mind trick. I apologize." She said, and she said it with such sincerity that Harry's irritation with her vanished. It was clear that she was not here to harm him and he let out a sigh of relief.
Harry sat down half a dozen feet across from her and tossed the woman's weapon back to her, still feeling a slight headache. "Can you answer my question earlier? Who or what are you? And where am I?"
The blue skinned female gave him an odd look for a moment before she decided to answer his questions.
"I am called Aayla Secura, Jedi Knight of the Republic. And I am a Twi'lek, native to my home world of Ryloth. It is obvious you have never seen my species before." She answered politely, and at the same time observing him, looking if he recognized any of the words she had spoken. Twi'leks were a well known species throughout the galaxy, even in the worlds beyond the outer rim, but the human just looked more confused than before, but she could not detect any deceit from him.
"And what of you stranger? You wield energies similar to mine yet different from the force."
Harry did not understand half of what she said, he only understood that her name was Aayla Secura, and she was some sort of knight. He wondered if the fight with the demon earlier transported him to another dimension or reality.
Studies about other parallel worlds and dimensions were conducted by many scholars, and they were theoretically possible but deemed unsafe. The archway was believed to be a gateway, but since he destroyed it along with the chamber, maybe he got caught in it somehow during his deadly battle with the demon.
"I'm Harry Potter, Lieutenant of the Auror corps of the Ministry of Magic... and I'm from the planet Earth? And no, I haven't seen someone like you before." He scratched his head, wondering why he always got into these weird situations, though this was by far the strangest he had ever experienced. "I'm lost."
"Magic? Some cultures consider my abilities through the force as magic. I do not know of a planet called Earth, or where its location is." Aayla looked at Harry and felt his emotions. "You are confused and worried."
"How did you know what I was feeling?" Harry asked as his eyes narrowed in suspicion.
"I am an empath, I can sense emotions." Aayla said simply, smiling to ease his discomfort.
She knew how a few of her fellow padawans found it uncomfortable knowing that she could read their emotions at any given moment when they were around her. That discomfort gradually vanished when bonds of trust and friendship grew between her and her Jedi brethren.
She would just need to gain his trust.
"Right, that must be a pretty useful talent to have. What do I do now? Do you have technology here so I can get home?" Harry asked hopefully.
The rutian Twi'lek shook her head. "Dimension travel is unheard of, and not one event has been documented or even mentioned in the Jedi archives, and that is the oldest and most complete repository of knowledge in the galaxy."
"If you agree, I suggest we go back to my camp, where my troops are waiting for me. I have food and shelter there, and you look like you need some nourishment." Aayla suggested as she stood up. She leaned down and offered a hand to Harry. "It is not safe, even for one with your skills to remain alone at Felucia."
Harry gulped when he saw her cleavage and blushed. Looking away, he took the offered hand and nodded in thanks. He hoped she didn't sense that as he struggled to maintain a straight face and fight off the slight blush growing on his cheeks.
"Is you your camp far?" Harry asked as they walked through the tall grass and the large strange looking flowers as tall as giants jutting out at different intervals all around.
"An hour's walk, ten minutes if we dash through." Aayla eyed her new companion. He still looked weak, barely able to stand straight on his own. "Perhaps I should call for a transport."
"No… that's fine. My magic's fine, I'm just really hungry. Can I hop on your shoulder?" Harry asked absently while he yawned. He was used to do this with Tonks whenever he was bored or when they were undercover in a difficult case.
"I'm not sure that would be appropriate. I can carry you but…" Aayla was a bit surprised at his question. Maybe from where he came from they were more liberal. And he did not understand the Jedi code of self imposed celibacy and the path of loneliness as a result.
"Oh I'm not hopping on your shoulder in this form!" Harry laughed as he imagined such a ridiculous scene. A vision of the petite and slender, blue skinned woman carrying his large frame on her feminine shoulders was hilarious. "I'm an animagus, and it's a skill I learn from where I come from. I can transform into my chosen animal at will."
"Such a thing is possible? Can you show me?" Aayla asked, clearly intrigued. The force was truly incredible, and even in her wildest dreams she never imagined it was possible. She could not sense any deceit from Harry's words, meaning he was telling the truth. She wondered what type of animal he would transform to that would be light enough to carry on her shoulder.
"Of course, though I don't know if you're familiar with the animal I will transform to." Harry replied. The wizard took a deep breath and suddenly transformed, his six foot frame got smaller until he morphed into a black peregrine falcon.
"By the force!" Aayla gasped. She immediately kneeled down to pick up the avian creature. It was beautiful, with a soft black plumage and about a foot high, and it had his rare green eyes.
The falcon gently walked up her arm, careful not to hurt her skin with its sharp claws. Finally it reached her shoulder and rested its talons by her vest.
"Marvelous… and yes you can ride on my shoulder. Hang on tight to my vest now, as I will run back to camp." Aayla grinned at the falcon and she suddenly leaped off the ground, one hand on the avian creature to make sure he wouldn't fall, and soon the pair disappeared into the night.
When Aayla saw the camp, she slowed down and stopped and held a hand in front of the falcon. It jumped to her waiting wrist and he was slowly lowered to the ground where he immediately transformed back to his human form.
"Thanks for the ride… I regained a bit of my strength, but I'm still hungry." Harry grinned at his companion. The journey was through the canopy of the strange forest was exhilarating, and he was severely tempted to spread out his wings and fly.
Aayla smiled back, Harry's grin was infectious. "We're just outside the camp. I wanted you to transform back here, so that you won't startle my clone troops. They might shoot first and ask questions later."
"You're like some kind of commander? And wait, clone troops?"
"Clone troops, the republic that I help protect ordered their creation to fight the separatist forces, led by the Dark Lord of the Sith. The clones are genetically modified to be naturally obedient to commanding officers. And the Republic senate assigned the Jedi to lead them." Aayla said as they walked towards the camp.
"Dark Lord… that's very familiar." Harry murmured. "I'm not too fond of Dark Lords. They tend to have enormous egos and awful speeches."
Aayla let out a beautiful laugh and sent a smile to Harry, remembering Count Dooku's theatrics. "Yes they do. I assume you have one in your world?"
"Yeah." Harry nodded. "You might call him the Dark Lord of Magic. Fortunately for my world he's dead, permanently. I made sure of it."
"How did you do it?" Aayla asked curiously.
"Through sacrifice and perseverance, it was a brutal war. Many of my friends and comrades died as they took on his followers. Even though we were outnumbered, they valiantly fought his followers, and that freed me up to take care of the Dark Lord himself." Harry's expression grew grim, as he remembered the terrible war that cost his world so much.
"Such pain is not meant to be kept inside Harry. It will only corrupt you from within. But I commend you for defeating a Dark Lord. From what I can see, you are a formidable fighter." Aayla patted his shoulder in sympathy.
"Thank you." Harry said sincerely.
The two walked towards the camp where the command post was, where clone commander Bly greeted them, with a squad of ARC clones behind him.
"General Secura! Who is this?" Bly asked, his digitized voice coming out from his helmet's speaker.
Aayla frowned. Bly never wore his helmet inside the camp, during his free time. ARC Clone commanders usually set themselves apart by not wearing their helmets unless they were in actual combat. It was a privilege only given to the highest ranking clones that usually act as intermediary between the Jedi council and the rest of the troops.
And he never carried his blasters in his hands- he usually had them tucked in his holsters at his waist. She looked around and saw her loyal clone troopers had surrounded her. It felt like they were treating her as the enemy.
"Bly? What's wrong? Is there an attack?" Aayla asked in concern.
"I guess I would have preferred to do this with your back turned, General. But that's the coward's way out. Do not resist Jedi, and I will personally ensure a quick and painless death for you." Bly said as he slowly removed his helm and looked at his former commander with pity.
"Bly?" Aayla asked. What were her loyal troops doing? Blasters were raised all around and the Clones pointed their weapons at the two of them. Guard towers aimed their high powered guns at them, to ensure there would be no escape.
"Orders are orders General Secura, I'm sorry." Bly said sincerely. "This will be quick, I promise."
Harry did not understand what was going on, but the soldiers in white armor and helmets were acting in a threatening manner, surrounding them and blocking off any escape. He immediately drew close to Aayla, ready for action in a moment's notice.
"You are found guilty, for betraying the Republic. Under order sixty six from Chancellor Palpatine, you, along with all Jedi and known associates are to be executed immediately for treason." Bly proclaimed although his tone indicated he did not believe the shit that he said. But clones were unable to refuse a command from a higher authority, and there was no higher authority than the Chancellor himself.
"This... this is impossible!" Aayla shouted. She looked around at the covered faces of her loyal star corps. She was hesitant to hurt what she considered her loyal allies, and refused to believe they were now betraying her, when the war was nearing to an end. They suffered together through years of constant hardships, of hard won victories paid in tears, sweat and blood. How could Bly and the 327th Star Corps betray her and the cause so easily?
That hesitancy was Chancellor Palpatine's weapon to kill the Jedi. Throughout the years, the Clones learned how strong a lone Jedi was, and they knew how to kill them. Most did not have any emotional attachments and killed as ordered. Some like the more independent ARC clone variants like Bly felt sorrow, even hesitation. But all were ordered to kill and all obeyed.
And the thousands of Jedi knights spread out across isolated worlds, surrounded by their clone armies, died as their loyal allies for years suddenly turned against them. Most did not have a chance and died instantly from blaster fire from the back, and a few others fell as they defended against two fronts, from the separatist droids and the clone troopers themselves.
Ultimately, the vaunted skill of the Jedi was not enough against the might of the Clone Armies. In a matter of seconds, the thousands of Jedi knights that protected worlds and kept peace in the galaxy for thousands of years perished in a despicable act of betrayal.
Ki-Adi-Mundi died violently, as he led the charge in Mygeeto into the separatist lines. The Cerulean Jedi Master realized that his own men were not running behind him, and he saw his own troops point their blasters at him, before they unleashed hell. He managed to deflect a few blaster bolts, but he was soon caught in the crossfire between the separatist army and his own men. Jedi Master Ki-Adi-Mundi's body received dozens of blaster bolts from both directions before he fell to the ground.
Jedi Master Luminara Unduli pulled the sleeves of her blood stained brown robes and laid both of her hands on an injured Wookie. The Mirialan Jedi Master closed her eyes in preparation to call on the force and help heal the injured Wookie warrior, when she felt a searing heat on her back. Luminara quickly died, as the injured Wookie growled in anger and tried to attack the traitorous clones before it too was mercilessly shot down.
In Cato Neimoidia, Jedi Master Plo Koon, renowned Star Fighter Pilot and blade master, pursued a trio of Trifighters on his Delta-7 Starfighter. The Jedi Master did not notice the flight of ARC-170 starfighters suddenly form behind him through a long turn. They quickly fired a volley, destroying the cockpit and parts of its wing and it slowly spiraled down from the upper atmosphere, before crashing into one of the buildings.
Aayla Secura was lucky, since she found an unlikely ally that was at her side when her need was great. Perhaps it was the will of the force that intertwined their fates.
Commander Bly shouted and the hundreds of clone troops fired simultaneously. Aayla brought out her lightsaber, ready to deflect any blaster fire, and hoped Harry could use his own power to protect her back.
The 327th Star Corps was tough, considered as one of the best in the regiments next to the 501st. She knew, she had trained with these men since she was a newly instated knight of the order, and assigned to lead them in Geonosis.
Harry eyed the hundred of weird looking guns pointed at them and knew that they couldn't defend against all of them at the same time. As the blasters fired in unison Harry waved his wand in a circular pattern and hoped his shield would hold against a barrage of weapons fire.
A transparent silver dome erupted from the tip of his upheld wand and quickly covered the both of them, and the blasters bolts started bouncing back, hitting dozens of clone troopers. It was better than Harry had hoped for, his shield was not only able to withstand the attack, but strong enough to actually repel the laser bolts back into their ambushers.
Aayla looked wide eyed at the sudden shield that appeared to protect them, and gave her new ally a nod while she wondered how they would be able to escape. Her fellow Jedi had to be warned of this betrayal!
"Cease fire! They got some sort of deflector shield like the destroyer droids! Use the heavy artillery and over power that shield!" Bly ordered.
A huge AT- TE artillery crawler moved towards the two while hundreds of clones stood ready to fire at their target if they attempted to escape. The artillery crawler lowered its extremely large cannon and Harry and Aayla found themselves staring at the large mouth of the barrel, designed to hit targets kilometers away.
"I'm not sure my shield will hold against this one." Harry said.
"That was what I was thinking." Aayla agreed. "Do you have a stronger shield?"
"Yes, but I'm not sure if it will be enough." Harry looked at the large machine with six robotic legs with worry, intimidated by the cannon pointed at them. "And If I could, I have to cancel the first shield first..."
"And they would surely fire on us." Aayla continued. The Rutian Twi'lek looked thoughtful for a moment and as they listened to the cannon charging up its power she finally decided on a plan. "Harry, transform back to that avian form of yours. Leave me, and I'll buy you some time."
"Hell no!" Harry said quickly. "I'm not planning on abandoning you, so don't even think about it."
"Leave it." Harry snapped and moved beside Aayla, and took hold of her upper arm. "Tell me if the cannon's about to fire and I'll get us out of here."
The Jedi Knight nodded, and listened carefully for the discharge of the final safety locks, the indication that it was moments from firing. She hoped whatever it is that Harry planned would work, if not for her sake, but for the others, they had to be warned of this treachery.
The heard a high pitched sound and Aayla shouted that it was about to fire. She felt Harry embrace her, and she gasped when she felt a strange pressure squeezing her body from head to foot like she was being pushed through a rubber tube. The last thing she saw was the deadly glow at the end of the artillery's barrel as it fired its round.
The heavy artillery AT-TE crawler discharged its round, and the resulting explosion lifted dozens of clones off their feet and on to their backs as the massive air blast ripped through the camp. The communications tower fell to the ground from the explosion, while the clones quickly got back to their positions, just in case their target had escaped. They knew all too well how difficult it was to kill a Jedi.
It turned out that their precaution was not needed. When the dust cleared, it revealed a crater at least a meter deep, and four meters in diameter. The bottom of the crater was still glowing red hot, the rock beneath liquefied from the intense heat of the attack. No one could have survived an attack from a heavy artillery piece from point blank range.
Bly activated his communicator attached to his wrist, and informed the Chancellor that their mission was a success.
The hooded figure in the hologram merely gave a curt nod before it flickered out, and Bly was about to relay orders to the other detachments that were deployed at the two other water treatment plants, when the communicator indicated that it could not detect any nearby signal.
He noticed the communications tower lying on its side, and again he cursed the planet Felucia. Its unique, ionized atmosphere and geological features made it difficult to contact distant allies on land, and they needed tall communications towers to relay signals to each other. It was only luck that their camp was high enough to communicate with the Republic cruisers above them to get a decent signal.
"Get that tower fixed! Make it a priority!" Bly ordered. His clones rushed to obey at once and he watched impatiently on their slow progress. Lacking material and supplies in a campaign that lasted for months, it was frustrating to see how much their efficiency decreased due to sickness. It was if the planet itself was their enemy, resisting them with every step they took.
He needed to contact Galle, his lieutenant that was with Jedi Knight Barriss Offee, since the Chancellor only transmitted his order directly to the ARC clone commanders like himself. It was their job to relay the others to the rest of men, using clone channel frequency that could be secretly heard by the clones through the devices inside their helmets.
Still, it was a necessary risk to eliminate Aayla Secura quickly, he knew how cunning and perceptive the rutian Twi'lek was, there was no doubt that she could sense the change in their demeanor after order 66 was given.
And with the personal shield generator she and her ally had, the AT- TE crawler's firepower, no matter the risk of firing it at point blank range, was essential. The more dangerous of the two Jedi Knights was dead, and it was a matter of time once Barriss Offee was eliminated. Against the clones, the separatist forces and the Acklays, she really didn't stand any chance.
He'd make sure to order his lieutenant to make Barriss Offee's death quick, while she was not as skilled as Aayla Secura, her skill in healing had saved hundreds of clones suffering from the hellish diseases and viruses that plagues Felucia.
They owed her that much.
Aayla slowly opened her eyes, but she still couldn't see, since her face was partially buried in Harry's chest. She could hear his heart beating at a rapid pace, and she wondered if hers was beating as fast, if not faster than his.
She felt him remove his arms around her and she was finally able to see, and noticed that they were in the exact same spot that they first met.
"What was that?" She finally asked. Her eyes wide in surprise, she thought Harry was going to use his strongest shield. "How did we get here?"
"It's called disapparition." Harry explained. "It's a form of travel from where I come from."
"So you can practically appear in any area you want to?"
"It has its limits." Harry sat on the ground and let out a breath as the adrenalin that pumped into his body gradually diminished. "I can only apparate into places I have been before, or through coordinates given to us. And those coordinates depended on my planet's exact measurements. Any deviation and I may end up in a completely different place, or worse, over an ocean or trapped inside a mountain."
"I understand." Aayla copied her companion's actions and leaned her back on a nearby tree in front of him. "Thank you for saving me, Harry."
The wizard just smiled. "A friend told me that it's my saving people thing, a trait that she said that I will never grow out of. Besides, you helped me when I got here, and I'm not in the habit of abandoning my comrades."
"Even if it might cost you your life?" She needed to remain calm, and instead focused her attention on the strange force user and savior.
Harry shrugged. "We all die someday, and yes, if it will save the life of a friend, then I'll sacrifice my life for theirs. But, I'll try my hardest to stay alive too, and I'm very hard to kill."
"Perhaps the Jedi are not so unique after all." Aayla mused.
The two new allies heard the distant rumble and Aayla's small smile vanished and she quickly stood up. She needed to help Barriss, and even using a gunship, it would be difficult to reach her flying above separatist territory. It was an impossible task, but then he appeared.
"I need your help once again Harry." Her gold brown eyes stared at his green.
"What do you need?" Harry asked as Aayla helped him to his feet.
"I need to warn my fellow Jedi, and I only hope that I'm not too late. You said you can teleport to any location as long as you remember the place of your destination?"
Harry nodded. "Yeah, and to any place I can see. What do you have in mind?"
"Do you see that mountain behind you?" Aayla pointed to the towering spires in the distance.
The wizard narrowed his eyes, struggling to see the mountain and shook his head. "I'm not sure, Aayla. I can barely make out any detail, and the best I can do is apparate us high above the area."
Harry looked back at the mountain range, deep in thought. He could apparate both of them to the ground again as they fall, but that would only work if he could focus long enough on a specific location.
Added to that, was he was apparating someone else with him, and that would only make things harder as they fell from the sky. He could use a few spells that could slow their descent, but he wasn't sure if that would be enough to hold them both from an undetermined height.
"As long as you can take me there, I'll handle the rest." Aayla gave her companion a confident smile. "Leave the falling to me."
Harry found himself buffeted by strong winds and rain, and he struggled to focus on the ground to try and apparate again. But then, he felt his companion shift her body alongside his, and he found himself hanging limp over Aayla's shoulder, her right hand holding his thighs close to her body. He did have an excellent view of her posterior, as his cheek was pressed to the bare skin of her lower back.
They would soon meet the ground painfully, when a nearby tree flower growing in the cliff face suddenly crashed to its side directly below them. Harry let out a gasp as Aayla's shoulder met his torso as she landed. He thought they were safe, when the tree flower tilted to its side, as their added weight tilted it over the cliff.
Aayla jumped again in rapid succession, and Harry could only see blurs- a narrow ledge, a boulder, a branch that he was sure he heard splinter. A moment later, instead of staring at Aayla's bum, he felt his feet touch the ground, and a blue face smiling at him.
"I have to say, this apparition trick of yours is truly helpful. We have travelled a distance that would have taken any other Jedi on foot hours, at most."
"When you said you'd take care of the falling, I never imagined you'd carry me over your shoulder and jumping and leaping all over the place." Harry replied after he got his bearings.
He looked around, and noticed that the vegetation was not as dense as before. There were also giant rocks and boulders, and beside him was the tall mountain that he used as a marker for apparition. "Where are we?"
"Har Gau, where a detachment of my clones are with Barriss Offee, a fellow Jedi knight."
"Are there anymore Jedi here?" Harry asked. He couldn't see her face, but her tone indicated sadness when she answered his question.
"Barriss' padawan died in an earlier skirmish with the separatists. Barriss, no matter how calm she appears, still mourns his loss."
"What's a padawan?"
"It's a Jedi in training that is apprenticed to a knight or a master, to better prepare them to become a fully pledged Jedi knight." Aayla answered. "Before this war started, padawans finished their training at the temple and waited for a knight or master to select them to become an apprentice in the field. The war has forced many padawans assignments not suited to them. Many are unprepared to see the real horror of war."
"I understand." Harry said softly, and he meant it.
He had seen many of his classmates thinking that they could join the war effort without even finishing their Hogwarts education. He had seen many scared faces when they found themselves facing off against a death eater, and panicking, and often the result was a horrible death.
Wizard and knight headed further down the mountain where Aayla knew the water treatment facility was. Soon, they could the exchanges of blaster fire, a forest of blue and red particle beams heading towards the two opposing forces.
Aayla noticed a single AT- TE heavy artillery crawler, similar to the one that nearly killed them lumbering towards the front lines from the back. It fired its main canon and its six guns at the separatist front line, destroying dozens of droids in a single volley. Its green beams stood out among the sea of blue and red weapons fire and even at this distance they could both hear the trademark shriek whenever the AT-TE fired its guns.
She took out her binoculars and searched for her comrade, and she sighed in relief when she found Barriss still among the clones, directing their movement and occasionally blocking a stray blaster fire headed towards her with her blue lightsaber.
"Harry, I need you to create a distraction once I reach Barriss." Aayla said once she packed her binoculars into her equipment pouch attached to her belt. "Do you think you can manage it?"
Harry nodded while he stared at the fierce battle, silently observing the clones and the robot horde they were fighting.
"Harry, the clones here at any moment might attack Barriss, I need to get to her before they do so. Those separatist droids are also our enemy, they would not hesitate to fire at you once they spot you, so be careful."
"How will you get out of the mess once you go down there?" Harry asked. "If what you say is true, then there will be two armies after the both of you."
"We'll manage." Aayla said confidently.
"I've got a better idea." Harry tapped his wand on Aayla's utility belt, and she watched curiously as it glowed a blue light for a moment before it faded.
The rutian Twi'lek could feel a strange energy on her belt when she ran her hand over it, and looked at Harry. "What did you do?"
"I turned it into a portkey." The wizard explained. "It allows you and anyone you're holding to teleport from your current position back to this spot once you say the word 'activate'. I figured it will be more useful, and safer."
Aayla smiled and surprised even herself when she leaned forward and kissed him in the cheek. "Your variety of force tricks simply amazes me. Thank you Harry."
"Yeah..." The wizard replied, a faint blush on his cheeks. "Now go, I'll move near the tree line and watch your back."
Favoring her new ally a dazzling smile, she sprinted down the mountain slope and straight into the battle. She could see that the clone force was severely outnumbered by the separatist droids, and she knew it was only a matter of time before they would be over run.
She did nothing to help the surprised clones as she ran past them, only deflecting the laser bolt that the force told her was heading her way. She had little sympathy for her former troops, now that she had an idea of what their real purpose was. It looked like her old master's paranoia was well founded.
The Jedi knight casually decapitated a battle droid and used its body as a platform to leap over the fire fight. The Twi'lek tucked her legs under her body and spun, and landed near a super destroyer droid. She sliced it in half at the waist before it even realized she was there and through the dust and rain she finally located a cloaked figure wielding her blue light saber. She was not too late.
Harry silently appeared on top a branch of a tall tree near the area between the separatists and the clone force. The strange looking robots were quickly advancing, and even when one was shot, two took its place.
The clones slowly retreated from their defense line, and this was where he observed his blue skinned companion running along, taking advantage of the confusion as the robots reached the clones' defense line.
Harry remembered his brief duel with Aayla, and he couldn't help but watch in awe as the Jedi knight gracefully made her way across the battlefield to reach her fellow Jedi. He knew the Twi'lek was fast and agile, but the stunts she pulled completely astounded the wizard. But that was not the most astonishing.
She seemed to have eyes at the back of her head, as the occasional droid would fire at her and she merely jumped mere moments before it reached her, or deflected it with her powerful lightsaber that had the ability to repel his spells. He was silently thankful that Aayla showed restraint during their first meeting, that wicked sword she wielded could have cut through him, dragon hide armor or not.
Harry whistled in admiration when Aayla performed a graceful leap, tucking her arms near her chest as she spun in the air before landing perfectly on top of a spider like droid's spherical head.
It was beautiful.
The wizard focused his attention on the large metal contraption that had tried to kill the both of them earlier, and drew his wand. It was time to provide a good distraction to help his companions.
Barriss Offee frowned when the attack she led gradually stopped, her forces bogged down by the enemy who had superior numbers and equipment on their side. Intelligence indicated that the Water treatment plant in Niango was heavily defended, and that the one in Har Gau only had a few companies of battle droids as guards.
She and Aayla agreed to split the main force in two, with the Twi'lek commanding the larger, complete with mechanized infantry and artillery, while she took a full company with and a squad of ARC clones for infiltration.
Unfortunately for her, the Separatists waiting for them numbered far more than intelligence located. They were immediately stopped on their tracks as the enemy mechanized artillery started firing on their position.
They caught a break when ARC Lieutenant Galle of the 327th star corps found a nearby AT-TE crawler after its transport craft was shot down during an earlier skirmish the month before. Barriss ordered her troops to retreat while she waiter for the AT-TE to reach the front line, its fire power and range greater than the enemy's artillery.
"I see it General." An ARC sergeant pointed to the mechanized hulk that slowly destroyed trees and vegetation in front of it as it struggled to reach the front lines.
"Good. Make sure that its power cells are completely charged, we will need its fire power to eliminate those turrets first before we start the assault again."
"Understood General." The sergeant saluted and ran off, and Barriss once more focused on the front lines. It looked like the Separatists were starting to move forward, but this time they had a surprise for them. She could already feel the vibrations on the ground as the AT – TE approached her from behind.
She knew ARC Lieutenant Galle was personally operating the machine, and she had every confidence in his skill and marksmanship.
A group of Battle droids headed towards her position and she engaged them, slicing one after another until she gained the attention of a whole company. Bariss flipped backwards, luring them right into the AT –TE.
"Galle! Fire!" The Mirialan Jedi shouted to the Clone officer. Barriss heard the crawler lower itself and rotated its guns, and she waited for the company of battle droids to be vaporized from its fire.
She caught a blue blur at the corner of her eyes, and a fraction of a second later she was tackled and landed on the thick bushes. Before she could regain her bearings a strong gust of wind pushed her back to the forest floor as the AT- TE's main cannon fired at the spot where she previously stood.
She was surprised to find her fellow Jedi beside her, forcing the both of them to stay low on the wet and muddy ground.
"General Secura! What are you doing here?" Barriss asked. She noticed that several clones that she had previously ordered back to their staging position were now heading towards them, and strange enough, they weren't focusing on the battle droids that were continuing to advance.
"Pick up your lightsaber Barriss." Aayla whispered. "Our own troops have turned on us, by order of the Chancellor, all Jedi are to be executed. I sense the Sith are behind this."
The olive skinned Mirialan nodded, and despite the shock she was feeling after Aayla Secura's revelation, activated her own lightsaber. The clones were looking for them, but she knew they would find them eventually. The ARCs were very thorough, and ruthless.
"How do you plan on getting us out of here?" Barriss asked.
"I already have it covered." The rutian Twi'lek replied. "I managed to escape Bly's trap due to the help of a new ally. I suspect Bly thinks that he accomplished his mission, and that has to remain unchanged. What we now need to do is to make sure the separatist forces annihilate this detachment."
Barriss' eyes widened in shock. "Kill them all? But we are Jedi and..."
"And we are being exterminated, system by system by our traitorous armies. They are bred to listen to the highest ranking authority, and that is the Chancellor's. We now fight for our own survival." Aayla whispered harshly while she peered through the bushes.
"I understand, and trust your judgment Master Secura." Barriss replied. "If we destroy the AT-TE, the clones will be left helpless against the Separatist's artillery. Galle knows this, and is protecting the walker with half the company. This will not be easy."
"It will never be." Aayla remarked. Attacking the clone forces when the separatist army was behind you would make it doubly hard. The two knights were about to attack when they froze in shock when they saw a most incredible display of the force they had ever seen. They could literally feel the energy on their skin, as the immediate area was suddenly bathed in light that only those with force sight could see.
It was if Felucia herself had come alive, even the battle droids stopped firing, unable to compute what they were seeing.
The AT–TE crawler suddenly found itself stuck, as large arms made of rock and dirt reached up and grabbed hold of the crawler's legs, dragging it deeper to the previously solid earth. Nearby, clones were desperately fighting a dozen mud-like creatures that literally rose up from the earth they stood on and started attacking them.
Blaster fire proved ineffective as the mud creatures merely absorbed the energy blast, or regenerated limbs blown off by the ARC clones. After months in the hell of Felucia, the sight of these strange creatures completely broke any semblance of order within the ranks. Panic ensued, and more than one clone screamed in terror as he was swallowed deeper into the thick mud.
The Separatist droids started to advance again, and with the AT-TE unable to return fire, the artillery barrage went unanswered, vaporizing dozens of clones at a time. Clones occupied with battling the mud creatures were easy targets for the battle droids, and soon only a few ARCs remained, resisting to the last on top of the crawler half submerged on the ground.
A separatist armored assault tank struck the exposed ammunition pod of the AT –TE, causing it to explode, taking the last ARC clones with it.
Victory was complete for the Separatists in the battle of Har Gau.
It was a massacre for the clones.
"What... how..." Barriss struggled to speak, her calm demeanor shattered at the sight before her. She looked at her fellow Jedi and saw her smiling face. "Aayla?"
"It's Harry's doing." The rutian Twi'lek whispered.
Aayla grabbed her Jedi sister's arm and grinned. "I'll introduce you to him."
Aayla and Barriss landed gracefully on their feet, though the green skinned Mirialan looked dazed, and she tried opening her mouth a few times, but no words came out.
"That was different." Aayla observed. She thought travelling using the portkey felt similar to Harry's apparition, but the sensation she only felt was the rushing winds as it howled past her ears and the Force as it pulled them into their destination. "I think I prefer this one better."
"I don't." The two Jedi immediately turned to the voice and found Harry leaning on a tree, giving them a tired smile.
"Harry!" Aayla immediately rushed to her ally, and she arrived just in time, as Harry's knees went under him, and fall on the Twi'lek's arms.
Barriss, seeing what looked like an injured friend of Aayla collapse, snapped out of her daze and rushed to her side and placed her arms over the man's chest. Her palms glowed a light blue as the Force manifested itself to help the stranger.
"He suffers from force exhaustion and fatigue, Master Secura." Barriss replied. "I sense some injuries in his shoulder and chest, but they are healing rapidly like any Jedi's injuries."
Aayla suddenly remembered the state Harry was in when she met him, and suddenly understood why he just collapsed. She saw his state just as he arrived in Felucia, like he just went through a tough battle. Minutes later he had helped her escape from her clones, and then she asked again for his help to save Barriss, and without hesitation, he agreed.
She was amazed that he had even managed to defeat a whole company of clones on his own; her new ally was truly powerful, with the stamina of a Jedi Master to handle the Force like he did.
"We must look for shelter, this storm appears stronger." The Twi'lek looked around for a moment, and finally rested her eyes on the large rocky mountain where she and Harry arrived. "There should be caves in there that will adequately protect us from the wind and rain."
"Agreed." Barriss replied. "And there aren't any reports of Separatist activity in the mountain, there shouldn't be any reason why the clones will send a patrol there."
"Then let's go." Aayla picked Harry up, and managed to carry the larger man on her arms, the force aiding her in handling his weight.
The two Jedi soon disappeared among the trees, as a republic gunship appeared above the horizon.
Barriss kept looking back at their unconscious companion who lay near the fire between bites of field rations, her mind wandering back on the events that happened the an hour before. It was almost too much for anyone, even a Jedi, to remain calm.
She felt it, and she knew Aayla did too, that something terrible has happened across the galaxy. She wondered what had happened to her fellow Mirialan and mentor, Jedi Master Luminara Unduli. Did she perish in the assault? Did she somehow, against all odds, escaped?
Barriss tried to meditate, she really did, but the events that she recently experienced troubled her mind. She focused her attention on her fellow Jedi, the rutian Twi'lek kept herself busy by fussing over their strange, and powerful companion, making sure that his injuries were not infected and he was comfortable. She had removed his robes and upper garments to dry, soaked from the pouring rain of Felucia.
The man's bare chest was lined with old scars, an indication that he was a warrior. The strange armor he wore was lined with unfamiliar scales, Barriss couldn't figure out from what creature it came from, the closest she could think of were images of the extinct Greater Krayt dragon in Tatooine.
"His name is Harry Potter."
Barriss looked up and saw Aayla looking at her as the Twi'lek sat behind the cave wall. "Master Secura?"
"I'm surprised that you haven't asked any questions yet." Aayla continued. "If I was the one in your shoes, I wouldn't have stopped asking until I got all the answers."
"I tried meditating, but my mind is deeply troubled." Barriss admitted. "I figured I'd wait for you to speak until you are ready. It looks like you are."
Aayla looked down at their savior and gently caressed Harry's brow, and noticed a faint lightning shaped scar on his forehead. "I believe it's the will of the Force that he was sent to us."
The Mirialan remained silent and let her fellow knight continue.
"I sensed the Force calling to me, and there he appeared, before my eyes, amidst the winds."
"He just materialized from thin air?"
Aayla nodded. "You could even call it beautiful. He has some strange abilities, some similar to a Jedi's. And he used it to save me when I wandered into Bly's trap, surrounded by the ARCs and the rest of the regiment."
"I knew there was no escape, with hundreds of blasters pointed at me with no cover." Aayla continued, ignoring Barriss' gasp. "And then, he formed some sort of shield, as strong as those emitted by destroyer droids. But his shield didn't absorb the blaster bolts, but deflected them back to the clones."
"What is he?"
"He told me he was an Auror Lieutenant, though I do not know what that means. Harry believes that the power he wields through the force is magic." Aayla smiled at that.
"Magic?" Barriss pursed her cheeks, trying hard not to smile. She had heard stories of Jedi encountering races that were not familiar with the force, and believed the Jedi having magical powers.
"With what I've seen him do, he could call it what he wants, and without him, I wouldn't have reached you in time." Aayla replied. "I never knew the force is capable of such feats. Instantaneous teleportation, the ability to manifest a shield with but a thought..."
"And those earth creatures that attacked Galle's company." Barriss added. She looked back at Harry's prone form and thought for a moment, her mind abuzz with possibilities. She had heard about legends of other force users that manipulate the energy in ways that were previously thought impossible.
"He... he truly believes that the power of the force he wields is magic?" Barriss asked.
"You better believe it."
The two Jedi noticed Harry trying to sit up. Aayla immediately helped him up while Barriss used the opportunity to observe their companion. His green eyes immediately stood out, and she found herself staring at them, fascinated at seeing such a unique shade of color.
"Do you have any food around here?" Harry asked hopefully.
Barriss quickly fished her belt pouch for a ration bar and tossed it to him. She and Aayla shared an amused look when Harry grimaced after taking a bite.
"It doesn't taste good, but it has all the necessary nutrients you will need for the day." Aayla said. "So eat up, Harry."
The wizard grimaced and drained the contents of Aayla's canteen to push down the bland tasting nutrient bar that turned to paste as he chewed on it. As he finished, he saw the Jedi called Barriss meditating cross legged a few feet from him, her eyes closed and her face calm. He looked towards Aayla and saw her gently massaging the strange protrusions from her head.
The Twi'lek must have sensed him staring since she looked up and matched his gaze, and he remembered that she had some sort of empathic ability.
"What are those?" Harry asked, nodding at the direction of the protrusions in Aayla's hands.
The Twi'lek gave him a bemused smile when she sensed curiosity in Harry and scooted closer to him. "They're called lekku, meaning brain tails. All Twi'leks have them."
Harry stared at the lekku that suddenly moved on their own, and noticed strange patterns in various shades of blue when he looked closer.
"They're semi-prehensile, meaning I have limited control over them." Aayla explained.
"This is tchun..." The Twi'lek massaged the lekku on her right hand and then raised the lekku on her left. "...and this is tchin."
"Does all Twi'leks have blue for skin color?"
"No, most Twi'leks have green or other shades of color." Aayla patiently explained. "Those with similar color like me are called rutian Twi'leks, though we are rare compared to my fellow brothers and sisters in Ryloth. You've only been with your own kind until you've met us, correct?"
"No, we live alongside a few other races, though they hide themselves from muggles."
"Muggles?" It was Barriss that asked. She had removed her hood and revealed dark green hair and moved closer to the two.
"Normal people don't have magic. We also hide our own existence from them."
"It's tradition I guess." Harry shrugged. "Hundreds of years before, the muggles persecuted those with magical ability, causing all the wizards and witches on Earth to hide from them. Even now, there are strict laws against revealing your magical abilities in front of ordinary humans."
"But why did they persecute those with abilities?"
"Some say they were jealous of the witches and wizard's ability, but my mentor told me once that people fear what they could not understand, and tend to react violently towards it."
"Your mentor is very wise." Aayla nodded, as she remembered a few of the republic's citizens that were jealous and distrustful of the Jedi because of their powers. "And now your planet is split into two worlds that are completely separated from each other?"
"Not completely." Harry replied. "A few of us, those that have normal parents but have magic continue to live on both worlds. For a society without magic, ordinary humans have reached a level of technology that would seem like magic to wizards and witches. It's not as advanced compared with what I've seen here though."
"Like that sword of yours." Harry glanced at the cylindrical hilt of Aayla's lightsaber that hung from her belt. "Mind If I take a look?"
The hum of the lightsaber engulfed the cave in a bright blue light and Harry watched in awe at the deadly weapon he held in his right hand.
"It's surprisingly light." The wizard observed. He moved the blade around, and it hummed as it cut through the air. He marveled at a sword light enough but could deflect his spells. He pushed the button again and it the deadly blue blade made of plasma disappeared to its hilt.
Harry handed it back to Aayla and nodded in thanks. "So this is the standard weapon of a Jedi?"
"It is the only weapon that we use." Aayla clipped her lightsaber back to her belt.
"And what are Jedi?"
"We are the keepers of the peace." Barriss replied. "We uphold order and justice in the galaxy through the will of the force."
"And this war you're fighting?" Harry asked. "It looks like the army you commanded has suddenly turned on you."
"It was a trap." Aayla said, her dark red lips pressed into a thin line. "It was a trap prepared by the Sith from the very beginning. Chancellor Palpatine is the Sith Lord we have been hunting for years."
Barriss nodded her head in agreement, as the pieces finally fell into place. For years they thought Count Dooku was the Sith Lord, and recently the Jedi Council began to suspect that the true Sith Lord was someone close to the Chancellor's inner circle, the mysterious Darth Sidious. "He alone has the authority that is above a Jedi's to command the clones. The purpose of this war was designed to destroy the Jedi Order."
"I can only hope many of our Jedi brothers and sisters survived this cowardly attack." Aayla whispered.
But she knew, and felt in the force of the truth of the terrible tragedy. She now felt the sudden loss of life throughout the galaxy and she finally succumbed to her emotions. Her eyes started to moisten, her Jedi composure starting to crack as she felt deep inside her the truth. They had failed.
Harry, not knowing what else to say, sat beside the Twi'lek and put around her shoulder. The Jedi knight silently wept and slowly leaned on him, while Barriss just closed her eyes, though there was a sad expression on her face. The two Jedi were in pain, but only sniffs and quiet sobs were heard in the cave during the night.
Even in their darkest hour, the Jedi were disciplined in their mourning. The wizard remained silent, marveling at their strength.
Harry slowly woke up and noticed that it was still dark. The fire they had for warmth for the night had died, but he could still see the form of Barriss Offee across from him, still asleep. The cot nearest to him was empty, and looking around, found a dark figure at outside the mouth of the cave.
He approached closer and saw Aayla watching over the distance, sitting on a rock with her right leg raised and tucked close to her body. She was slouched forward, her elbow resting over her knee, and her chin resting on it, while her strange but oddly beautiful lekku trailed behind her.
"You're still mad." Harry said, sitting beside her on the cliff edge.
"Your magic gives you the ability to become an empath as well?"
"Nah, but I could read minds."
Aayla looked at her companion, not really sure if he was joking or not, and the lack of light slightly hid his features.
"If it was me, I'd be mad if those I've been fighting side by side for years suddenly tried to kill me." Harry continued. "How could your men just suddenly turn against you? Don't they have any conscience?"
"They're clones, they're cannot help but obey their superiors." Aayla replied, bitterness evident in her voice. "It's very frustrating, knowing that millions of them are killing, or have killed my fellow Jedi, and I'm powerless to stop them."
"You've already saved one." Harry nodded his head back at Barriss' direction. "There might be other Jedi out there waiting for your help."
"I can't help but feel angry." Aayla clenched her fist.
"That's perfectly understandable." Harry said. "What's wrong with feeling righteous anger and feeling the need to avenge your allies?"
"It's against the Jedi code." Aayla whispered. "Feeding on these emotions will only lead me to the dark side of the force."
"If you allow these emotions to rule you. But you're not a god Aayla. You're just a human, I mean Twi'lek." Harry corrected himself. He leaned back and looked up, bracing his arms for support behind him. "I once gave in to anger. My godfather was killed before my eyes, and I chased the person that killed him. I cast a dark spell at her, but it didn't work."
"Because the dark spell needs anger and rage, and the need and want the person to suffer enough that they would prefer death rather than endure a second more under its effects." Harry replied. "My godfather's murderer laughed at me, she said that righteous anger won't work with a dark curse. Feeling anger is understandable, even expected. Just don't bottle it in, in eats you from the inside. I've seen better wizards die worthless deaths, letting their anger consume them. You need to talk to someone about it, it helps, trust me."
Aayla Secura regarded her companion. He continued to surprise her, and not just with his strange force powers, but also with the wisdom he showed. Harry Potter was a very interesting and unique person.
Felucia's sun started to appear above the horizon, making Harry's eyes glint in the light. "Are you sure you're not a Jedi?" She asked.
"Pretty sure." Harry laughed. He turned his head to look at her and matched her gaze. "Feeling better?"
"Much." The Twi'lek gave him a sincere smile. "Thank you."
"That's what friends do." Harry replied. The wizard stood up leaned forward and extended her hand to her.
Aayla tilted her head to the side and regarded the man standing in front of her. Her smile grew wider and she accepted the hand and was helped to her feet.
"Friends." Aayla, whispered, realizing that she had to slightly raise her head up to stare at his six foot frame, two inches taller than her.
It would be the start of a powerful and lasting friendship, and neither really had a clue of how far their partnership would push the limits of the Force.
"Now, what about finding something for breakfast?" Harry asked, looking at the strange, dense forest below them. "And I don't care about those field ration bars of yours, essential nutrients or not. I want something I can chew, not some thick paste."
Aayla chuckled and raised an eyebrow in amusement at Harry. "Fortunately for you, the field rations ran out, and I was planning on looking for something suitable to eat."
"It's an expression where I came from." Harry said. "So what's the plan?"
The Twi'lek gazed at the sky, and noticed the birds of prey that inhabited Felucia and nested at the peaks of the mountains.
"This could take a while." She murmured.
The image of ARC 872 scout 1 appeared in the portable holo projector and Clone Commander Bly closed the flap of the tent to allow the image to remain clear from the daylight outside.
He had managed to send the order to execute the remaining Jedi on Felucia to his lieutenant, but after Galle failed to report on their mission, and no one responding on the clone channel, he sent a gunship to reestablish communications with the company in Har Gau.
Usually the gunships would have been shot down in moments as they flew over separatist territory who had thousands of droids armed with the latest tracking missiles, but a few hours after order 66 was ordered, the entire separatist droid force suddenly deactivated.
The men cheered victory as they received news from Clone Intelligence of the Separatists Leaders' unconditional surrender, but Bly was still concerned about his missing force.
"Commander, Delta Company has been totally destroyed. It looks like the AT – TE fell into quick sand, leaving them without any support."
Bly frowned. "Is the Jedi Knight responsible?"
"No sir." The scout replied. "No sign of a lightsaber used on the men. It looks like there was a large separatist droid force waiting for them here, even larger than the Water treatment facility guarding Niango. It's a massacre out here, commander. A pack of Acklays are eating the dead bodies as we speak."
"Very well. Recall your scout team and head back to the base. The Chancellor has ordered us back to Coruscant."
Bly put on his helmet and walked out of his command tent. His Lieutenant had told him that the Jedi Knight Barriss Offee was completely unaware of his order. He knew it was nearly impossible of the Mirialan surviving, and it was unfortunate that the hellish Acklays had disturbed any evidence of the Jedi's death. Still, the Jedi had the habit of accomplishing impossible things.
The clone commander of the 327th Star Corps shook his head. He realized that he was thinking that the Jedi Barriss Offee was in the same league as Secura. The Twi'lek beauty was a powerful Jedi after all, and there were rumors that she would soon be granted the title of Jedi Master. She certainly deserved it, being one of the most accomplished Jedi Knights in the order.
Bly pushed away thoughts of his old commander and ordered the men to break camp. The ships were landing soon, and he was eager to get out of the hell hole that was Felucia.
Barriss woke up to the sound of a loud screech and sat up to see a large avian creature drop down right at the mouth of the cave, with two arrows stuck in its chest. Aayla was giving Harry an incredulous look while the wizard was happily looking at the now dead creature.
"I'm hungry." Harry said after he noticed his friend's look.
"Harry..." The rutian Twi'lek placed her hands on her hips and huffed. "When I said we would hunt for food, doesn't mean you need to shoot down the first creature you see."
"It was flying around in circles around us." Harry crossed his arms. "I couldn't waste an opportunity like that."
"How did you shoot it down with arrows though?"
"Magic." Harry said simply, twirling his wand in front of her, creating a shower of gold sparks. "I cast a spell that shoots arrows from the tip of my wand. You have to admit, you didn't expect food to just drop down from the sky."
Aayla struggled to comprehend how the Force managed to materialize arrows from thin air and shoot it at incredible speed. She finally gave up for the mean time, since she was feeling hungry herself, and withdrew her lightsaber from her belt. As she cut the carcass, the Twi'lek made a mental note to talk to Harry and learn more about his strange ways of manipulating the force.
It couldn't be that magic was the only explanation, she felt the force in him briefly spike as he cast his spell. Aayla knew that the force was strong in Harry, but the feel of the energy of the spell he cast was vastly different from anything she had encountered or felt.
The three had finished their shares for breakfast, and Harry absently flicked his wand at the fire, extinguishing it instantly. The temperature was rising, as the sun of the planet rose higher.
"May I see your weapon, Harry?" Aayla asked.
"It's called a wand." Harry said to the two knights. "It's not just a weapon, but a tool to wield magic for wizards and witches from where I come from."
"I feel the force within it." Barriss said, running her hands over the wand. "Strange, it's almost feels alive."
"That's because in some ways, it is." Harry replied. "The wand chooses the wizard as its rightful owner, and it won't work properly for any other."
"And this is because of magic?" The Mirialan asked, doubt clearly evident in her voice.
Harry nodded. "Yeah, it's as simple as that."
Throughout the day, the two Jedi discussed their options, debating on their next course of action. Harry observed that of the two, Aayla preferred direct action and suggested bolder plans, while Barriss insisted on patience, and waiting until the Republic forces leaves.
Aayla was more talkative, and both wizard and Jedi found themselves chatting for ours, comparing the similarities and differences within themselves as a Jedi and wizard, and they found that they shared similar traits. The Twi'lek enjoyed seeing the things he was able to do with his wand, and to Harry's amusement, insisted that it was some energy variation of the force.
Barriss also watched Harry's strange powers with fascination, though she often meditated inside the cave, and Harry learned from Aayla that it was the Mirialan's way of coping with her sorrow. She was recently promoted to a Jedi knight, after years of spending her time beside her master, Luminara Unduli.
That night, Harry was absolutely stunned when he saw three gigantic rectangular ships descended from the sky and land on the distance near Niango. Aayla explained to the still stunned wizard that they were called the Venator-class Star Destroyers, the latest state-of-the-art warship used by the Republic against the separatists.
Harry knew that he had somehow appeared in a strange world that had technology that far surpassed Earth's. The strange robots and the monstrous walking tanks was a clue, but seeing the massive spaceship descend from the clouds made him realize how advanced the technology in this universe is.
The two Jedi knights watched with grim faces as their army that betrayed them began to head back into the ships, loading artillery and men into their cargo doors. These men, whom they spent years fighting side by side, were responsible for the annihilation of the entire Jedi Order, in a single swoop.
Harry was glad that he was diligent in his physical exercises, even jogging early in the morning before he headed to his office in the auror department.
The pace that Aayla and Barriss set was ridiculous, and he knew that anyone else in his department would be hard pressed to stay with them. Both Jedi knights easily ran through the forest floor easily, their long ground eating strides somehow avoiding the tangle of roots and vines that Harry had difficulty with.
He wanted to change to his animagus form, and fly above them, but Aayla discouraged him, concerned that he would become prey to the large avian species and the Acklays that infested the forest. He wondered what Acklays were, but didn't ask since they had already started to descend down the mountain slope towards the thick jungle.
His robes kept getting caught by the bushes, and he had several rips of cloths when they passed through dense undergrowth earlier, but Barriss didn't seem to have any problems with her even longer robes.
And it was hot and humid. He had cast a cooling charm earlier, and it was the only reason he was able to keep up with the two Jedi knights this far. He didn't know why Aayla insisted on going so fast, until they stopped half an hour ago for a water break.
As he eagerly drank from Aayla's canteen, his eyes widened when an enormous praying mantis suddenly appeared before him. There was a blur of blue and the sound of a buzz, and as soon as he dropped the canteen, the giant praying mantis' head was on the floor beside it. He learned what Acklays were, and the reason why they had to run like hell. It was good motivation.
They finally reached a clearing, and Aayla finally signaled for a halt. Harry sighed with relief and rested his hands on his knees, taking deep breaths.
"You did well." Aayla reached out and patted his shoulder, but her eyes widened when she felt a cold sensation in her palm.
She observed Harry closely, and though he was breathing harder than them from the run, he was not sweating as much from the extremely hot and humid climate. His clothes did not look like it had the state of the art dehumidifiers hidden somewhere, and she could feel a slight sliver of the force emanating all over his body. It had to be another one of his strange ways of manipulating energy.
"It's a cooling charm." Harry said, noticing how she was intently studying her palm on his shoulder.
Aayla removed her palm and quirked her lips when she felt the drastic change in temperature. "It must be very effective."
"I'm not used to this heat." Harry admitted. He noticed Aayla's smooth light blue skin glistening with sweat and swallowed. "Do... do you want me to cast the cooling charm on you?" he offered.
Aayla really didn't need to since she was used to the hot climate, but she was also curious about Harry's ability and finally agreed. She left out a soft gasp when a cold sensation began to spread from the point where Harry tapped her arm with his wand.
"Barriss, you have to try this." Aayla beckoned the younger Jedi to her side. A wand tap later, the Mirialan sighed in relief as a cool sensation began to spread out all over her body.
"Much better." Barriss grinned. She pulled her hood back again over her head and gave a thankful nod to Harry.
"How long does it last?" Aayla asked.
"A couple of hours at most, just tell me if it runs out, it's a simple charm to cast." Harry replied. He looked around and noticed that the clearing they stopped into had strange holes dug deep around the perimeter.
There were many stumps of the tree flowers around the field, and it was obvious that someone had cleared the area of vegetation.
"Where are we?"
"This is the old camp, before we moved to the one where we were attacked." Aayla said. "Now that the clones are gone, we could find something that can get off this planet."
"We could ask help from the natives." Barriss suggested.
"I don't think they'll be eager to help us, with our forces abandoning them and failing to stop the spread of poison." Aayla replied. Before she met Harry, she had heard reports of natives going mad, almost feral. "No, it would be better that we look around for parts that we can use, communications devices to gain information, and scout the separatist base to see if they have something useful."
"I understand." Barriss nodded. "I'll look around the surrounding area, and look for anything useful to make camp."
"Good idea." Aayla looked up at the sky. "We better make shelter before tonight. The rains are particularly hard in the evening."
Harry marveled at the way the two Jedi worked together, organized and efficient that would put his auror team to shame. Their composure was unbelievable, they had been betrayed and almost killed by their own allies, but they weren't seeking revenge or lashing out or sulking like he used to do when Voldemort was still alive.
Barriss had found a moderately sized damaged tent that was used by the clones as an infirmary for injured or sick soldiers. Harry had quickly repaired it to the two Jedi's amazement and delight, and the small camp was quickly set up with his help.
Aayla had made quick work of a fallen tree, and had a pile of wood ready for a fire for the night ready by the time Barriss and Aayla erected the tent. A quick lunch later with a strange looking fish that Aayla caught, the three scoured the site for anything of value.
"Not again." Harry looked at his torn robes, exposing the hidden layer of dragon hide armor beneath his dark blue cloth. They had found a republic equipments cache that was mistakenly dropped by a gunship, and it had remained unopened during the Felucia campaign, hidden by the quick growing vegetation.
Barriss was inspecting the medical equipment inside, and had proclaimed them in pristine condition. This bode well for the three, in case anyone of them caught a deadly virus or started to suffer sickness.
"What is it?" Aayla asked.
"It's just that this thing keeps getting caught on things and getting torn." Harry fingered his bulky ceremonial auror robes. He usually wore less so that it wouldn't hinder his movements in a magical duel, but with the demon's attack, he didn't have any time to change and instead rushed to the battle with Kingsley. "At this rate even magic won't be able to fix this."
"I've been meaning to ask you about that armor you wear beneath your robes." Aayla said.
"It's made of dragon hide. It provides an adequate amount of protection against curses and hexes. It's from a Hungarian horntail, I think." Harry replied. "What about yours?"
"This is made of Rycrit hide, an animal we raise in Ryloth." Aayla let Harry touch the hide that covered the entire length of her left arm up to her wrist, knowing how curious her friend was.
"Strange." The wizard mused. "I thought it would be thicker. Does it provide any protection?"
"No, but it's very comfortable to wear, flexible and allows the skin to breathe, ideal for planets with warm climates like Ryloth or Felucia." Aayla spotted the assortment of armor that lay untouched inside the container and an idea formed in her mind. "Harry... what do you think of upgrading your clothing?"
"What do you have in mind?"
Aayla had an amused expression on her face when Harry stepped out of the tent, clad in his new outfit.
"What do you think?" Harry asked. The blue chest plate on his armor matched well with the pieces of blue robes that flared outside of the chest piece and into his waist. He was surprised as well at how light it felt and how freely he could move, considering how it looked at first glance.
With Aayla's help, he had carefully removed the padding inside to allow space for the dragon hide armor he lined it with. His blue cloak remained attached to his shoulders, flowing out through the gaps between the chest plate and the shoulder armor.
Parts of the white clone armor remained, while some sections showed the black dragon hide leather it was attached to.
"Very dashing. You remind me of a Jedi Master, though his robes were brown." Aayla said. "Can you move freely?"
With a quick flick of his wrist, the wand slipped to his hand from its holster. Harry rotated his shoulder and suddenly spun on his heel, disappearing without a sound in thin air.
"It's better than I expected."
It took most of Aayla's Jedi considerable Jedi restraint not to shriek and slice Harry in two when she heard his whisper in her ear, feeling his breathe in her skin. Even Jedi can be surprised.
Barriss looked up in time to see the older Jedi punch their strange companion in the shoulder. The Mirialan then noticed his new outfit, and for a moment she thought he was staring at another Jedi, wearing similar looking clothes to the ones that Jedi High General Obi Wan Kenobi wore.
Harry laughed and playfully dodged further attempts by Aayla to hit him, and Barriss found himself smiling at the scene. It was good to see Master Secura back to her playful self, she knew how close the Twi'lek was to her men, and their betrayal must have affected her more than she was outwardly showing.
"What is he doing?"
Aayla glanced at Barriss who stopped beside her and resumed watching Harry as he dragged a sturdy looking wooden branch on the ground.
"He says it's for our camp's protection, though I really don't understand most of what he said." Aayla replied. They had been attacked earlier by a pack of four Acklays, and fortunately all three were able to defend themselves and easily dispatched the deadly creatures.
Harry grew worried about more attacking them on their sleep, and ran off towards the a dozen feet from the tent and picked up a long stick used for firewood and began strange markings into the ground.
"How long has he been doing this?"
"He hasn't stopped since you headed out to catch our dinner." Aayla replied.
"It looks like he's finished." Barriss observed. Harry was now kneeling on one knee and had a dagger in one hand.
The two Jedi gasped when Harry cut his own palm and let his own blood drip on the ground. He pressed his bleeding palm on the earth and suddenly Aayla and Barriss tensed, feeling an incredible amount of force begin to rise up on the ground, tickling their skin with unseen energy.
Aayla rubbed her arms, watching with her force sight as weaves of energy began to form above them, a display of infinite colors that caught her breath.
"Are you seeing this Barriss?" The Twi'lek asked quietly.
Barriss nodded beside her, her eyes unable to move from what they were currently watching. The weaves of energy soon crisscrossed the small area round their tent, and slowly their brightness dimmed and soon faded away. But they could still feel the strange energy around them, pulsing beneath their feet in sync with the dull glow that came from the strange markings Harry painstakingly carved on the ground.
"It's done." Harry had approached them, the skin in his palm unbroken, and the dagger he had used transformed back to the twig it previously was.
"What did you do?"
"It's an intent based ward." The wizard explained. "It won't allow anyone to enter the ward that has the intent to harm those living inside it, or anything we don't want eating us in our sleep."
"Magic?" Aayla asked, exchanging a weary gaze with Barriss. They had, for hours discussed how Harry's abilities are related with the force, but so far they hadn't reached even an explanation that could explain even one of Harry's simplest spells.
"Yep." Harry replied.
They had been scouring the forest for more than a day, with Harry and Aayla exploring previous battle sites, hoping to scavenge anything useful, while Barriss headed off in a separate direction. Harry and Aayla were inspecting the deactivated separatist droids when they both sensed Barriss quickly approaching them.
"You... have to see this!" The Mirialan said between gasps, but both wizard and twi'lek knight could hear the excitement in her voice.
Harry and Aayla shared a look and quickly followed Barriss deep into the jungle.
"I'm surprised that it's still here." Aayla wiped the dust and mud that covered the transparisteel viewport and when she peered in, she found that the cockpit of her Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptor remained intact. Beside it, Barriss' own interceptor looked like it was in the same state, every inch covered in vegetation, strange fungi and vines. Felucia's harsh climate and quick growing vegetation was one of the worst places to park a Starfighter for weeks.
"They must be in a real hurry to leave the planet, most likely the hyperdive rings are still on orbit above the planet." Barriss replied. "So far, we've spotted several crates of republic army equipment that we usually take with us after a battle, because we would likely need them in the next operation."
"And with entire platoons of deactivated droids, that means the war is over." Aayla added, following her fellow Jedi's line of thought. "This only confirms our suspicions, we have to get back and see if there are other Jedi that survived, and without attracting the clones' attention."
"We need to clean this first, and see if there's enough power." Aayla said. "Then a way to move them back to camp."
"We need a lot of water then." Barriss agreed. "There's a small stream a few hundred meters back, we could..."
A jet of water suddenly erupted behind them, hitting Aayla's ship and instantly removing the mud and vegetation on its right wing. The two Jedi slowly looked behind them and saw Harry happily guiding a strong jet of water that erupted from the tip of his wand.
"Still don't believe in magic?" The wizard asked.
After a full day, the tedious task of moving the two Actis Interceptors was finally completed. It would have taken far longer, but Harry's impressive display of transfiguring fallen trees into a makeshift cart for the two ships significantly made things easier.
He in turn, was very much impressed with Aayla's display of a wandless levitation charm when she raised the Actis Interceptor with one raised hand to mount it on the large, transfigured cart. He knew he couldn't hold that weight for long with a wandless levitation charm without showing signs of stress, but seeing Aayla hold it steady for several minutes without showing the slightest strain on her face was mind boggling.
Instead of floating each of the ships in the air using the force for almost five kilometers, Barriss merely made a path through the jungle, while Aayla and Harry pushed the Interceptor before going back for the second ship.
Under the bright sun of Felucia, the Interceptors gleamed in the sun, and the two Jedi couldn't help but watch in amusement as Harry poke prod the two ships. Their companion had shown great interest in the Interceptors, and admitted to Aayla later that they looked wicked even in their damaged state.
"He's been really helpful." Barriss said, watching the human peer through the barrel of the Interceptor's cannons.
"I know. He's really been a gift from the force." Aayla Secura said softly, watching Harry now poke the deactivated astromech droid attached on the interceptor's wing. "Are you leaving this instant?"
"Yes Master Secura." Barriss replied. It was her turn to hunt for food, and Felucia's sun was about to set. They were all hungry after a hard day of work. "I plan to be back here by nightfall, with my ship, if things go according to plan."
The Rutian Twi'lek rolled her eyes. "Just Aayla, Barriss. I'm not old."
Not satisfied with Sword and Magic, I decided to rewrite parts and change the plot completely.
For example, the original word count of chapter 1 was 6k, but after rewriting it, it is now at 18k words.