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Padmé doesn't need the Force to know her daughter and the smuggler won't last. They strike sparks, and there's love, but he has no patience to build things and that's all Leia wants to do in the rubble after the Empire.

But Padmé doesn't try to get in the way, remembering what it felt like to have everybody but Qui-Gon set against her and Anakin. She welcomes Han into their family and tries to bond with him over being the two non-Force sensitives in the family.

Han is there when Quin is born, and he's the proudest papa this side of Anakin himself. They name the boy after the Jedi who sacrificed so much for their family and died saving Leia's life. Han adores Quin the baby, but the unsurprising revelation that Quin's strong in the Force changes things. He cracks jokes about it, but there's a current of something else there, too. It's strange to Padmé, since she's never been jealous of Anakin's power, and she didn't think Han was jealous of Leia's, but he resents that Quin is more Skywalker than Solo.

When he takes off with Chewie after a fight with Leia, nobody knows when or if he'll be back. They pretend he'll be back soon for Quin's sake, though she suspects Quin knows better. She spends more time with him, and it becomes a habit for Padmé to watch over him while Anakin and Luke are busy with Caleb and Ahsoka reforming the Jedi Order, and Leia is building the New Republic. Padmé offers advice, but Leia needs no more than that, and Padmé finds she'd rather spend her days with her little grandson than deal in politics anymore. He's cuter and far less frustrating than any politician.

Not long after Quin turns five, they have a visitor.

Padmé looks at the security monitor and recognizes the tall, thin humanoid alien, with grey hairless skin standing at the outer door. He looks more gaunt than she remembers, but otherwise he's aged well. To be fair, he's aged better than she has, with her skin full of wrinkles that no bacta treatment will take away and her silver hair that Anakin professes to adore.

"Good afternoon, Senator Snoke," she greets him as the hatch slides partly open. "It's been a long time since we last met. You are... unexpected." She tries to think what business he can have with her, now that she's retired. He's back in the reformed Senate, but in no great role, since Leia hasn't mentioned him. 

He smiles. "Senator Amidala, thank you for seeing me."

"'I'm not a senator any more, as you know. So I wonder what the occasion is?" she asks, keeping her tone polite. Yet this visit is strange. He should have made an appointment, not shown up uninvited. He should also have escort from building security, though likely he traded on his status or his age to do without.

"You have a most impressive family," he says. "I wanted to talk to you about them."

She's always said she has no Force ability, but there's something in the way he says that, which turns her insides cold with dread. "You want to talk to me?" she asks. "About my daughter?"

"Not your daughter. She is … irrelevant." He lifts a hand and the hatch opens fully to allow him inside.

She gapes. Force user. He's a Force user. For him to be one in secret can mean only one thing: Dark Side. "You are not welcome," she refuses and reaches for the door close. Her hand stops and won't move that last little bit to activate it.

"None of that, Padmé." He lets himself in, and only then releases her hand so she touches the panel and the hatch slams shut, with him inside.

"What do you want?" she demands.

He stalks inside, to the entrance hall as if he belongs and she wishes for a blaster. Or a knife. "I watch him sometimes when he's at his school. Such a charming boy."

Quin. He's after Quin.

She tries to yell, but her throat is seized by an invisible rope. She claws at the grip, knowing it's futile.

In her struggles, she turns enough to see that Artoo has rolled himself near in the connecting passage. Help, she mouths, get help.

Artoo is motionless, as Snoke turns to see what she's looking at, finding an old astromech. "Interesting relic," he says dismissively and turns back to her. "You see, Padmé, you and I share a problem. We're getting old. Death is coming for us. But unlike you, I have a solution." He loosens the grip on her throat enough to let her drag in a couple of breaths. "Anakin was meant to be my solution, but there was too much Light in him, because of you. And your twins, they're so much like you it's disgusting. But your grandson, oh, he has so much potential, Padmé. When I turn him, he will be glorious."

She shakes her head in frantic denial. "Leave him alone," she spits out at him, with all the breath she can muster.

He chuckles smugly. "I'm not ever going to leave him alone, Padmé. I will make him into my perfect vessel and I will never die."

Horror rushes through her as she realizes what he wants. Not just to turn Quin to the Dark Side and make him an apprentice, but to somehow possess him.

He sees her eyes widen and he smiles. "No, this is not my original body. That one died two thousand years ago. This one is imperfect," he slides a hand over his bald head, and some old scars there, "but at least it ages slowly. But the boy? He'll be perfect, once he's grown and I scour all the Light from him."

"Never," she pushes out through her teeth and glares at him as if she can strike him down with only her eyes, calling to the Force: You come so easily for my family, just this once, come for me.

If the Force answers her prayer it is with irony, because she hears Quin's wary question, "Granna?"

No, Quin, no.

He's standing at the rail of the upper level, black hair tousled, and thin face confused with what he sees in the foyer below.

"Quin, run," she croaks out.

But since no one in her family has ever wanted to run away, he doesn't either. "Let her go!" he shouts, trying to firm and commanding, but his voice is high and frightened.

"Come to me, boy, and I'll let her go," Snoke calls back. It's a lie, of course; he's going to kill her in front of Quin, to start turning him, like Palpatine tried with Anakin's mother.

But Quin believes him and starts down the steps. His eyes are fixed on hers, big and worried. "I'm coming, I'm coming! Don't hurt her!"

She shakes her head as much as she can, trying to stop him. No, no, no, Quin, run away, don't do it. Anakin, where are you? He's going to take Quin and I can't stop him.

"Don't worry, Granna," Quin calls to her. "I'm coming."

With Snoke's attention diverted between Quin and Padmé, Artoo makes his move, shooting a bolt of electricity straight into Snoke. He yells, and the pressure on her throat is released. She collapses, hands on her knees, as she gulps in breath, and Quin must believe she's badly hurt because he screams, "Granna! No!"

He gestures a push with both hands.

Snoke hurtles into the wall and she hears something snap. He's held there, his feet not touching the the floor. The whole room grows deathly still.

"How do you like it?" Quin asks and his voice is vindictive and colder than she's ever heard it. His eyes narrow with hate and revenge, and his outstretched hands are curled into claws. "Something holding you by the neck?"

"Quin, no," she whispers, hardly able to talk.

But he's not listening to her, trembling with effort as he holds Snoke against the wall. She can see the indentation in Snoke's neck, as if an invisible rope is wrapped around it, and the rest of him is spread-eagled against the wall, unable to struggle. "You hurt my Granna. You have to pay for that."

Quin's going to kill him, and she can't let that happen either.

There's a soft beep and she turns to see a panel pop up in Artoo's dome. It's the compartment Anakin specifically designed to hide a lightsaber during their years in hiding, and there's a lightsaber -- Qui-Gon's -- still stored in there. Anakin plans to give it to Quin, when he's ready. But until then, it will have to be a weapon for her hand. She pulls it out.

Padmé's only held one lit a few times in her whole life, but she knows how to turn it on. The slurping sound of its extension attracts both Quin and Snoke's eyes, and she stands with it in both hands, blue blade casting its light across the tile of the foyer and bright in her eyes. The handle's bigger and heavier than she remembers and it vibrates with the hum so hard she can barely hold it.

But she sees Snoke's feet are on the ground, and he's towering over Quin, while Quin is watching her with an innocent amazement, unaware of the danger reforming behind him. Quin's feet are bare and look so small, like the baby he was not so long ago. The lightsaber becomes nearly weightless, and the vibration is now in time with her own rapid heartbeat, so she and the saber are one. She feels nothing of her age, only strength in every cell of her body as it fills with anger that this monster would threaten her family. She lunges forward and pushes the tip through Snoke's chest and into the wall behind him. "You will not take my grandson," she hisses at him, through clenched teeth. "You will not take anyone, not ever again."

She pulls the blade sideways, making sure to sever his spine, and he falls, dead before he hits the ground. There's a look of surprise frozen on his face, as if he never considered she would do anything and everything to protect her only grand-child.

The moment's strength drains away, leaving her panting with the unaccustomed exertion. She falls to her knees and extinguishes the saber just in time to catch Quin as he throws himself in her arms. They hold each other tightly, and she's not sure which of them is shaking more. "Oh, you are such a brave boy." She rubs his back and smooths his unruly hair. "So brave. But you should've run, Quin."

"He was hurting you, Granna."

Tears sting her eyes and she kisses his hair, clutching him to her again. "You're safe," she reassures him. "We're both safe now." 

She's still holding Quin, when Anakin bursts in. "Artoo! What's the---" He stops, surveys the scene, and asks a new question filled with amazement, "What happened?"

"Granna saved me!" Quin exclaims and runs over so Anakin can sweep him up in a hug. The words pour out of him. "He was gonna hurt me, and he hurt Granna, but I threw him into the wall, Granpapa! I felt the Force really strongly, I did, but it was cold, and then Granna stabbed him with a saber I never seen before! Is it hers? I didn't know she had one! Can I have one?"

Anakin laughs with relief, and kisses Quin's head. "Alright, alright, let's hear it again more slowly. I'm glad you're safe." His gaze touches her, including her in that.

"We need to call security," Padmé suggests, with a glance at the body on the floor. She shudders at the sight. She's sorry she killed in front of Quin, but she's not sorry she did it. Anakin must sense as much, because he frowns at her knowing there's more to the story, but when she flicks her eyes toward the kitchen in silent demand, he carries Quin away from the corpse.

Padmé pats Artoo on the dome. "Thank you, old friend," she tells him and puts the lightsaber back into the compartment. "You saved us."

Artoo whistles a pleased acknowledgment and rolls slowly beside her, offering support when her feet are unsteady. She rubs her throat; it's sore and will probably be more sore later, but a bacta gargle and she should be fine.

In the kitchen, Anakin is spoiling his grandson with sweets. Quin's still chattering about how she used the lightsaber and how he had felt her call to him, even though he'd only ever felt his mother in his head before. He tells the story, flitting from moment to moment, too excited to tell it in order. She doesn't have the heart to tell him to stop talking with his mouth full, and her hand smooths his hair again, to reassure herself that he's right there.

Her eyes meet Anakin's and she knows they have a lot to talk about, including Dark Siders with evil plans and their grandson using skills he's not supposed to know yet, but that discussion is for later, after Security arrives and Leia comes home soon. But for now, Anakin wraps his arms around her, his cheek against her hair in a familiar embrace. She leans against his broad chest, happy that her family is safe once again.