Disclaimer: Them peepz ain't mine.

Wind whispers

Chapter 1

Padawan

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"Hinata."

She wheeled around and faced her Master.

"You know what you have done is forbidden."

She clenched her fists; once upon a time, her eyes might have nervously moved from location to location, looking anywhere but his face. Once upon a time, she would have knocked her fingers together nervously.

But she was a Jedi. They showed no fear, even if they were really scared silly.

This wasn't once upon a time.

"Yes," she said softly, "I know, Master."

He sighed and walked over to the window as she stood stoically, not moving as he sighed again.

"I'm sorry, Master," she said. "But I don't regret it."

He turned back to her.

"I know," he said. "That's what made me worry."

Hinata held her composed state.

Whatever happens, she thought, I don't regret it.

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The sun rose above Curoscant, and with it rose the younglings. The New Jedi Temple had been constructed 22 years ago, 24 years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, and already hundreds of children had been recruited.

An eight-year-old Hinata Hyuga rubbed her eyes as she walked to the breakfast hall.

I'm sleepy, she thought tiredly.

She and the other female children had been giggling and gossiping all night until Master Emma had walked in and scolded them and sent them to bed, and by that time the first hours of a new day had passed.

So, needless to say, all the girls were exhausted, and Hinata was no exception. As they slowly dragged themselves into the hall, the boys ran past them, already diving at the food in front of them.

The Jedi were provided with relatively everything they needed, but most of the things the Council approved was bought with money earned from missions. The Keepers of Peace, as they were sometimes referred to, felt that the money given to them was better spent when distributed to the children of the Temple, and any leftover was donated back to the New Republic.

Hinata didn't really care either way. The only reason she knew this was because her father had practically shoved anything revolving around the New Republic down her throat before she was five. As a Senator, and as King of Destenius, he felt it was his daughters duty to know everything there was to know about the Republic.

But then he had sent her to the Jedi Temple. She didn't live up to his standards, so Hinata decided he must have done it to get rid of her so she wouldn't bring him any immediate shame whenever she was seen in public.

But Hinata loved it here. There was peace and tranquility. Politics were still important, of course; the Jedi often served as diplomats or ambassadors for Senate members, and had to be well-learned in this arena of knowledge. But Hinata found that she had been far advanced in politics when she had arrived, as had the Jedi Council, who placed her in advanced politics. Jedi had to be poised and calm; but also flexible and never unprepared. Hinata had had particular trouble with the athleticism involved; she had never run a mile before in her life until she had arrived at the Temple, and then she was suddenly expected to run two. And the Jedi wore simple robes that could be unbearably hot on planets like Tatooine or Destenius; Hinata herself felt hot in the clothing when she had first worn it. She had gone from wearing elegant dresses made of thin, loose materials to thick robes that were coarse and made for silent movement, not comfort.

But the unity and the trust between the Jedi was what made her love her environment most. There were no tense glares between family members, no whispers and bribes behind backs, no rifts between social or economic classes.

The Jedi were one with the Force and with each other. Hinata could live with that.

"Good morning, Hinata!"

She let out a squeak and turned as her friends Kiba and Shino bounded over.

"G-good morning," she replied happily. The friends sat down together and began to eat.

"So, do you think anyone will become a Padawan today?" asked Kiba excitedly. Hinata and Shino shared an amused glance.

"You ask that every morning," said Shino monotonously. For the most part, the boy always sounded as if he were an ancient droid talking with uniform volume, and it took a lot to get him to actually express his emotions verbally.

"Well," shrugged Kiba, "I gotta be ready for when they finally realize I'm the best Jedi around!" He pumped his fist energetically in the air. "No offense, or anything," he added.

"B-but Kiba," said Hinata, giggling a little, "We won't be becoming Padawans until we are more learned in the Force, right?"

"No, I heard he's right," said a voice. The children turned and saw Anakin Solo walking towards them. The Jedi Master (a teenager) arrived by their bench, waving. "Mind if I join?" he asked, sliding in next to Hinata and Shino without waiting for an answer. "I was talking to un-Master Luke, and he said Padawan selections were coming up for you kiddos," he said.

Jedi Anakin Solo had been assigned to Hinata as soon as he achieved the Jedi Knight rank, partly because she was a princess whose father had demanded she be protected, but mainly just to watch her training. Not that the children knew of the latter reason, of course.

"Heh, he told you not to call him uncle anymore, didn't he?" smirked Kiba. "Man, I wish MY family was heroes of the war," he complained. "All they are is vets."

Anakin laughed. "But veterinarians are important," replied the boy. "Who else would procure us animals to train with? A Jedi must be able to cross terrain on any available travel, including animals."

Kiba nodded. "Ya got a point," he said, "But it'd still be cooler if they had actually done something during the war instead of just sitting around praying the Rebel Forces would win."

Shino then spoke up.

"I don't blame them," he said. "The Empire was ruthless against those who opposed them; I heard entire families were killed off because they refused to pledge allegiance to the Emperor."

A silence ensued. Everyone knew that the Jedi of the past had been massacred because of their opposition to the Sith and their distrust in Senator (later Emperor) Palpatine.

They could only shudder at the thought of a power able to wipe out hundreds of Masters.

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"Hey, what's Master Luke doing here?"

"We ARE becoming Padawans! Don't say I didn't TELL you guys?"

"Look, Master Anakin is here, too?"

"He comes every now and then, he doesn't count."

"Maybe he's just checking up on our training?"

Twenty Younglings whispered amongst themselves as their teacher, Master Jira, conversed with Luke Skywalker and Anakin Solo at the door.

When Master Luke turned and began to walk in, however, the chatter ceased immediately. All eyes fell on the man who had taken on the Empire and defeated the Sith.

Anakin told Hinata and her friends often that is was more complicated than that, but being children, they believed the simplest and most popular reasoning.

"Hello, younglings," he said. His voice held a tone that suggested knowledge and experience.

"Hello, Master Luke," they all replied in unison.

"Today some of you will become Padawans," he said. "Some still need more training. It does not mean we do not believe you are ready if you are not chosen, but it does mean that you still need a bit more maturity and patience."

The children all eyed Kiba, who grumbled something back to them all. Master Luke cracked a smile, and then raised his hand.

"May I introduce the other Masters to take students?" he asked. The children nodded, and Master Luke motioned from the doorway.

And in walked four others.

Anakin was among them; the other three were Emma Jehrohme, Quentin Baychok, and the legendary Tsunade.

The others? thought Hinata excitedly. Would Master Luke be her mentor? Would she really be learning from one of these famous legends? Aside from Masters Emma and Anakin, who the younglings saw on a regular basis, the Jedi Masters were rarely seen by the children. The thought of being mentored by ANY of them was an extremely exciting prospect.

But there would only be five out of the class who walked away being Padawans.

"Shino Aburame," said Master Quentin, "Come with me."

Shino followed his new teacher silently.

The air in the room seemed to thicken as the children saw their odds decrease considerably.

"All right," said Master Emma, smiling. "Kiba, you're my Padawan. Congratulations."

Kiba whooped and ran over to his Master's side; never mind that it was a teacher who had taught him for most of his childhood. Now, he was her PADAWAN, and that was all that mattered to him.

Hinata's heart sank. If she didn't become selected, she would be without her best friends; she wasn't sure how she would adjust.

Her eyes nervously flitted around until they met Anakin's. He smiled encouragingly at her.

"Excuse me," said Tsunade. "You're Sakura Haruno, correct?" She looked at the pink-haired youngling near the back of the room. "You're a Padawan now; look sharp."

The young girl let out a "meep" of surprise and nervously glanced to her right, where her friend Ino sat. Ino nudged her, and Sakura stood and walked quickly to Tsunade's side.

"I'd love to stay, but we're off on a mission now," said Tsunade. Sakura's eyes bugged open momentarily before she nodded and mentioned something about packing and her lightsaber before dashing off, her chuckling master following her out the door.

Only Anakin and Luke remained. Anakin looked as if he were about to say something, but then stopped and looked to his uncle.

"My Padawan is not in this class, is he?" asked Luke. The children looked around at one another as hearts sank even lower. "I'm sorry, younglings," he said apologetically. "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."

"Who is your Padawan?" asked Ino from the back.

"His name is Uzumaki Naruto," said Master Luke.

Silence ensued for a moment. Naruto was the "failure" among the children; very few respected him, despite their teachings to accept everyone. Hinata felt the boy was treated too harshly, but she didn't know him well; she had only seen him twice in her life, actually.

Then the class was buzzing again, back to normal. So they weren't going to be Padawans; so what? At least they all still had friends in the class.

Hinata's head began to droop in sadness.

She was alone again.

Master Anakin nodded and followed his uncle out, but paused in the doorway.

"Well, Hinata?" he said.

Startled, she looked up.

"Huh?" she squeaked.

"Hinata, GO," whispered Ino into her ear. She looked to her side, surprised her acquaintance had gotten to her side so fast. "Who else did you think would be his Padawan?"

And then it dawned on Hinata that Anakin was still waiting patiently from the doorway.

She hastily jumped up and began to run to her Masters side.

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"So you still won't be spending much time with Kiba and Shino anymore," finished Anakin. "As a Padawan, you're receiving more one-on-one training than you did before."

Hinata nodded. She was no longer a little one, a youngling; she was a Jedi Padawan, one step closer to being a Knight. She was the same rank as her friends; that was enough for now.

Still, it was hard not to feel a bit disheartened by the fact that she wouldn't be eating with them anymore.

"So, now that I've debriefed you, go grab your essentials," he said. "We're off on a mission now. I believe you heard Tsunade tell your classmate they're going on a mission? Well, we're going with them as assistance."

Hinata quickly uttered a sound of understanding and then ran upstairs to pack her clothes. When she entered the shared dormitory, she saw Sakura rummaging around for any extra clothing she might need.

"S-Sakura," said Hinata. Sakura looked up and smiled.

"Hi, Hinata," she replied. "You're coming, too, right?" When Hinata nodded and began to grab things to pack, Sakura continued. "Hurry," she said. "Master Tsunade isn't patient, from what I could tell."

Hinata nodded, pondering how someone could become a Master if they weren't patient; it was a classic Jedi virtue that was generally accepted to be a must for a good Jedi.

The girls walked out together and met their Masters at the entrance to the Temple.

Hinata spared a quick glance over her shoulder to look at the place where her happiest childhood memories had been formed before she was swept away onto a transport headed for Naboo.

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AN: about 2 yrs ago I saw that there aren't any fics with Hinata listed as the main character. I thought, "What a shame." I wrote something for it but didn't put it up. 2 years later, I checked and saw the section still has zilch and as a Hinata fan, that is unacceptable. So here we are.

Review please!