Nine year old Anakin wakes up to his alarm clock ringing on his bedside table. He sweeps with the back of his hand through his eyes. Turning around he turn his alarm clock off and gets out of bed. Anakin looks around his room and sees he has left his school uniform from Tatooine Private School on the end of his bed. Taking his uniform Anakin takes of his night clothes before putting on his school uniform for Tatooine private school, a moderate high private elementary school. His school uniform consists out of a brown trouser, a white blouse, a brown tie and a brown blazer which has the school logo stitched on the right side.
His mother insisted he gets the best education possible and because his father pays the tuition, he can afford to go there. Thinking about his father he wonders why they divorced before he was born. Anakin would like to talk to his father even if it is just over Skype as his father lives in Naboo, a small country in Europe, so that he can ask why his father never visits. Considering this Anakin wonders if his father never wanted children and just pays the tuition so that he doesn't have have anything to do with him.
After finishing putting his school uniform on Anakin walks to his desk where his schoolbag and school supplies lie shattered around. Packing the workbooks he needs for today's lessons and his pencil case into his bag, Anakin put his school bag on his back before walking to the pole in their house, a former fire house, and sliding down. Sliding down the pole always helped to cheer him up. Walking into the kitchen Anakin sees that his mother is already waiting for him at the kitchen table.
"Good morning Ani, did you sleep well?" Shmi Skywalker asks her son.
"Yes mom, I slept great" Anakin answers while putting his bag on the ground next to a chair and sitting down at the table. Looking over the table Anakin saw that his mother had made him a slice of bread with chocolate sprinkles and a cup of milk. He grinned at his mother happy to have his favorite breakfast.
"Thanks mom, I love you"
"I know you like it and besides you deserve this for getting such good grades"
Anakin smiles before digging in his breakfast and his mother starting on her own. When they are finished they put the dishes away before Anakin grabs his back. He then goes to the front door so they can leave for school. Before opening the door Anakin takes a deep breath because he knows it will be chilly outside this early in the morning while in the afternoon when school is over the heat in Tatooine will be suffocating. Opening the door he and his mother step outside before his mother locks the door and then they are on their way. They take a bit of a side track to school so they can pick up Anakin's best friend Obi-wan Kenobi and his foster sister, Barris Offee.
When they come upon his home they see him, Barris and their foster mother, Luminara Unduli, already waiting for them. Obi-wan is the same class as him, has his red hair neatly trimmed, as usual, has freckles on his cheeks and sparkling blue green eyes. He is the person in who Anakin confides when he has a problem besides his mother. Barris, a brown skinned and blue eyed girl, is wearing a brown hijab which matches nicely with their brown and white uniform. She is a grade beneath Anakin and Obi-wan. Luminara, or Lumi as Anakin affectionately calls her, is a dark skinned women who like Barris is wearing a hijab over her clothing, brown trousers and a light brown tunic over it. She works at the local hospital, Mos Espa medical center as an surgeon.
"Anakin, good morning" Obi-wan says when they arrive.
"Good morning" Anakin answers.
"Morning Luminara, will you be picking the kids up after school?" Shmi asks.
"Yes, I am free today so I can watch after Anakin" Luminara answers already being able to guess what Shmi wants to ask her.
"Thank you, Watto told me yesterday that I have to work till five when the shop closes as he has to do business outside of town" Shmi says relieved. Watto is the owner of Watto's electronics, a small electronics shop downtown Mos Espa, where Shmi works as a saleswoman and an unofficial manager. Whenever Watto has to leave for business he has Shmi manage everything in the shop. "Shall we go boys, you don't want to be late for school on the first day after winter break , don't you?"
"Yes, come on" Anakin calls while jumping on his feet as he has to think about what he will do during the break. Obi-wan stands calmly besides him while Barris looks uncomfortable at the enthusiasm from Anakin. After saying goodbye to Luminara the group leaves for school. The walk to school takes them ten minutes and when they are close to school they can already hear other children playing on the playground. When they reach the school they see a brown building with two floors and a school square before the entrance to the building. Around the playground is a fence while multiple playground equipment are placed on the playground. When they reach the playground fence Barris runs straight to her friends.
"Have a nice day boys" Shmi tells Anakin and Obi-wan.
"You to, mom" Anakin says while obi-wan says
"You to Miss Skywalker"
Shmi cuddles her son close for a moments before the boys run to their friends while Shmi waves them goodbye for the time being before leaving for work. Anakin waves back before his attention is on his friends, he doesn't know that he will not see his mother alive again after this time.
Near the end of the school day the classroom door opens and the vice principal, Plo Koon , enters. Plo Koon is a olive skinned male with a bald head, grey eyes and a long mustache that goes beyond his chin. He has a sorrowful expression on his face.
"Anakin Skywalker, come with me to my office. There is some people who have to talk to you" Vice principal Koon says. Anakin looks with dread at the Vice principal before nodding, as he doesn't trust his voice, and getting up to follow vice principal to his office. The whole class looks at Anakin in compassion.
The walk to the office does not take long as it is only a few doors further down the brown hallway. As they enter the office Anakin sees that there is a man in a black suit with dark dreadlocks sitting in one of the chairs and a woman with long blond hair sitting next to the man. She is wearing a light brown skirt, a white blouse and a light brown blazer over the blouse. Anakin looks confused up while vice principal Koon mentions for Anakin to sit in one of the unoccupied chairs. Gulping Anskin sits down in the chair next to where the vice principal had sat down.
"My name is Quinlan Vos, I'm a special agent with the FBI. This is Aayla Secura, she is with child services" the man, agent Vos says while pointing to the woman sitting next to him. Anakin nods while he is confused as to why a FBI agent has to talk to him. "This morning during the pursuit of a suspect there was an accident where your mother was hit by the car the suspect was driving and I'm sorry to tell you that your mother didn't survive the accident. I'm terribly sorry to tell that your mother has died" agent Vos told Anakin who broke out in tears at the news that his mother had died.
"What will happen to me now?" Anakin sobbed.
"Well Anakin, while we will be looking for any living relatives you will ever living in a foster family. We already have a place for you secured in the family of Miss Unduli. She has a two other foster children under her care so you won't be alone" Miss Secura says. When Anakin hears that he will be living with Obi-wan and Barris he is slightly relieved that he will be living with people who know him. Silence falls over the occupants except Anakin who is now hugging himself and resting his head on his bent knees while continuing to sob.
Five minutes later there is a nod on the closed door and Luminara walks into the room.
"Miss Unduli, I'm glad you could come so fast" Miss Secura says while noticing that Luminara is looking shocked at Anakin. "Do you know Anakin Skywalker?" Miss Secura asks.
"Yes, I'm or rather was friends with his mother and my foster son and Anakin are best friends" Luminara explains while walking to where Anakin is sitting before falling to her knees and taking him in his arms and stroking his arms.
Six months after the fateful day that Shmi Skywalker died Anakin and Obi-wan look up from their game as they heard the doorbell ring.
"Lumi, there is someone at the door" Anakin calls tot the kitchen where Luminara is making diner before focusing on the game again. Luminara looks up from the cutting of carrots to the door wondering who it could be. She walks to the door before opening it and then sees Miss Secura standing there.
"Miss Secura, come in. How can I help you?" Luminara says as she moves away from the doorway so that Miss Secura can enter her house. When miss Secura has entered Luminara closes the door. Anakin looks up when he hears Lumi talk and wonders if miss Secura has any news about his father as she has been trying to talk to him for the last half year. He wonders why it is so difficult to get in contact with his father or if his father doesn't want to have anything to down the him.
"Anakin, what is wrong?" Obi-wan asks him as he sees the troubled look on his face.
"Nothing" Anakin says but does explain himself when he sees the doubtful look on Obi-wan's face. "It is just I don't get it why it is so difficult for miss Secura to talk to my father. What if he doesn't want to have anything to do with me? I only have you, Barris and Lumi and don't know if I can stay here if my father doesn't want me or if I have to go live with complete strangers even if my father is also a complete stranger. I know that I would only live with you guys on a temporary basis and ... and" Anakin can feel himself getting worked up about the situation but before things get out of control Obi-wan stokes his hand while saying
"Anakin calm down, I'm sure Luminara would do what she can to let you stay with us if you can't go to your father. Calm down."
When they hear some clear their throat the both look up and can see that Lumi and miss Secura are watching them. Anakin hurriedly wipes away his tears with the back of his hand.
"Shall we go to the kitchen table boys? Miss Secura has news about your father Anakin" Luminara says while mentioning to the kitchen. Both boys stand up to do as ask while Anakin shuffles his feet nervously and after an encouraging smile from Luminara he follows after Obi-wan who is already sitting down at the table.
"Anakin, this morning I was able to talk to your father and inform him of your situation" miss Secua says when every has sat down at the table.
"What did my father say?" Anakin asks while fiddling with the hem of his shirt.
"He said he was sorry to hear that your mother died and that he could send someone to pick you up as he doesn't have time to come over this week" Miss Secura says while Anakin nod in understanding but frowns at the thought that his father didn't have time to pick him up. "However, I told him that I wouldn't give you to anyone but your father. So he has to come pick you up personally. We agreed that I will bring you next Monday at four o'clock to the Naboo embassy as he assured me he could be there then" miss Secura explains and Anakin nods. "Do you have any questions?" Miss Secura asks the family.
"Why took it so long for you to get in contact with my father?" Anakin asks shyly while silently being nervous about the answer he would get.
"Because Anakin we had to get his contact details from the court. The courts of Tatooine couldn't help us as your father is a citizen of Naboo. Tatooine can't get access to contact details of foreigners. That meant that we had to go to the courts of Naboo to get the contact details. They were unwilling to give it to us until we showed them proof that he was your father. They gave us contact details then, but as it turned out they were of his personal assistant. He wouldn't get us in contact with him initially until I managed to convince him that I was telling him the truth. He told me he would call me back after having discussed what I told him with your father. Three hours later I got a call back. It turned out that your father got my number form his assistant and insisted he talked to me personally." Miss Secura explains before asking "Do you understand what I told you Anakin"
"I think" Anakin says before clarifying "People are very protective of my father"
"That is right, they are protective of your father. I know you want to know the reason for their protectiveness and I can't tell you because of a promise I gave your father. You see, your father insisted that he would tell you after I bring you to him Monday. All I can tell you is that he is a very important person, okay?" Miss Secura says and Anakin nods unhappily before she continues towards Luminara "Anakin's bags will have to be ready before I bring him to his father Monday afternoon"
"I will have everything packed before you pick Anakin" Luminara says.
"Then we will see each other Monday at three thirty" Miss Secura says before standing up to leave as Luminara walks with her to the door before saying goodbye.
"How do you feel, Anakin" Obi-wan asks Anakin concerned as he sat next to Anakin during the visit of Miss Secura and could see that something was bothering him.
"I don't know. On one side I'm happy that she got in contact with my father but on the other side I don't know what to expect when I meet my father. Will he be kind, will he have time for me? From what miss Secura said he is really busy with his work, but what kind of work. She said he was a very important person and I could tell she knew more but why couldn't she tell me. Why the secrecy?"
"Anakin, that are things that you will have to ask your father when you meet him. Besides if he is so busy he will have to arrange for people to look after you. After Monday he will be responsible for you like how Shmi was responsible for you before her dead" Luminara says when she came upon them in the kitchen as she had overheard their conversation.
"I miss her, Lumi" Anakin says with tears running down his face while falling Luminara in the arms.
"I know, Anakin. I know" Luminara says while running her hands through his hair.
Earlier this morning in the royal palace in Theed, Naboo
In an office in the palace sits a man thirty year old man in a green suit with long brown hair, blue eyes, a chin strap and a mustache working on his correspondence. He sits in a cushioned chair at an oaken desk. On the desk stand two photo frames. One frame holds a picture of Anakin and Shmi and the other holds picture of a woman with dark honey skin, dark hair and green eyes. The woman is sitting in chair holding a four week old baby with dark honey skin, brown hair and blue eyes. When there is a knock at his door he says
When the door opens he sees that his personal assistant, Mace Windu, a dark skinned bald man wearing a purple suit walking into the room. Mace walks to one of the two chairs standing on the other side of his desk and sits down.
"Good morning Qui-gon, I got an interesting call thirty minutes ago from a Tatooine child service employee about an Anakin Skywalker" Mace tells his friend and sees that his friend first is confuses why a child service employee from Tatooine would call for him but when he hears the name he seems shocked.
"You know who I'm talking about" Mace states.
"Yes, I know. What did the employee want to talk about?" Qui-gon asks with dread in his stomach.
"She wanted to talk to you about him as his mother passed away some six months ago and from what she told me you are apparently his father. Considering that she got your number it has to be true or else the courts wouldn't have given it to her" Mace says
"It is unfortunate to hear that Shmi passed away" Qui-gon says with sadness in his voice at the thought that Shmi passes away and that Anakin now is alone without a family member.
"Does Tahl know about him?" Mace asks with a raised eyebrow.
"Tahl knows about him. I told her before we got in an relationship that I already had a son who was living with his mother. She knows that he is my heir" Qui-gon explains with a stressed voice as he is upset that his friend would think he would keep such a thing from Tahl.
"And what was your relationship with his deceased mother. I can't see you having a one night stand. So were you an item or not?" Mace asks intrigued.
"Shmi and I married in secret when we were juniors in college around ten years ago. When my father found out about my marriage he forced me to divorce from her. She was at the time my father found out pregnant and he didn't want to have anything to do with her or Anakin so we decided that he would live with her and I would pay alimony for him the first five years and then pay Anakin's school tuition. Shmi always send me pictures and copies of his school reports. I always shared them with Tahl so she would at least have an impression of Anakin" Qui-gon explains and Mace nods to show he understands. Through this he also knows who the unknown woman and boy are to him as it has always intrigued him and he never dared to approach this subject as his friend would close down when he didn't want to talk about something. Something he experienced often enough
"What do you intent to do now? Will you bring Anakin here? Because if you do then we need to prepare a room for him in the palace and he has to be placed on a school here in Theed. Also I will have to call the child service employee to tell her what you decided and to make an appointment for someone to pick your son up. You know it will take the boy time to adapt to a royal life, don't you?" Mace says
"I do intent to bring Anakin here. Will you make arrangements for a room for him in my wing. I will, together with Tahl, see to it that he will be placed on a school as I will inform her if the situation before I will call the child service employee to make arrangements for Anakin to be picked up" Qui-gon says as he wants to make sure that his son is being taken good care of before standing up and going to Tahl and their baby daughter, Ashoka.
The week progressed normally for Anakin as no classmate except Obi-wan knew that Anakin would meet his father next Monday so he didn't get any questions about it. He went to school and did his utmost best at the tests he had. His grades were back to normal after the drop they suffered after Shmi died. Anakin was really motivated to get good grades as he wanted to prove that he wouldn't be a burden for his father. He was glad that he would get his grades and his report the same day as he would meet his father so he could show it to his father.
After school Anakin went to his extracurricular activities. Tuesday he went to fencing and Wednesday and Friday he went to basketball training. Both activities he enjoyed a lot as these were the ones he liked the best and his mother hadn't allowed him to have more than two extracurricular activities. He likes fencing because both he and Obi-wan played it. They helped each other and it helped calm them down after an exciting day or week. During fencing Anakin relaxed greatly as he was focusing more on the training and matches than at the meeting he would have with his father or any situation that stressed him. Anakin plays basketball because he could get his energy out and because he likes the way he is working with his team. The coach had told him that he would be a great player in the future if he kept up his training. He knew that this would give him opportunities in the future which he was planning on using.
Friday after basketball Anakin walks out of the gym and saw that Obi-wan sat at the bank in front of the gym. Apparently he was waiting for Anakin.
"Obi, what are you doing he here?" Anakin asks.
"Anakin, I had a meeting with Miss Secura and when we were done I saw that your training would be almost finished. So I thought we could walk back home together" Obi-wan explains and Anakin agrees instantly to the idea if walking home together. As they walk home they come upon Bruck and his friends and they quickly turn a sidewalk in to avoid being seen by them.
"Pfff that was a close call" Anakin says while Obi-wan nods in agreement.
"That's right, I don't want to hear anything more about us being a charity case because we don't have rich parents. Luckily they left us in peace the past week" Obi-wan says about their bullies.
"Your right, that was lucky and that made the past week a good week" Anakin says.
"Yesterday you had a meeting with Miss Secura. What did she talk to you about? Was it about you father and Monday? Obi-wan asks as he wants to know if miss Secura gave any information about Anakin's father to see if the mystery the man is can be solved before the meeting.
"Sort of, we did talk about Monday but not really about my father. She said that I would have to put nice clothes on and to behave really well. She said she would pick me up and when I asked if I could finish my school year she said yes. She did want to know how much I would want to take with me" Anakin summaries the meeting with Miss Secura as they had talked for over an hour. He knew that he would most likely have to give his uniform back to his school as he was almost sure that he would go to a different school after spring break from considering miss Secura had said. He was sad that he would have to leave his friends but hoped that he would make new friends and be able to stay in contact with Obi-wan.
"Anakin! Obi-wan! Diner is ready!" They suddenly hear Barris shout and only then notice that they are already home. They smile at each other before hurrying inside.
After putting their school bags in their room and Anakin putting his Basketball clothes in the laundry basket they run into the kitchen before sitting down at the kitchen table.
"What have I told you boys about running in the house?" Luminara asks sternly while looking at Anakin and Obi-wan. Both boys murmur a apology before diving into diner.
Sunday afternoon Anakin is sorting through his things together with Obi-wan so that they can pack it.
"Where will we go through first" Obi-wan asks while looking around the room.
"I think my clothes first, right?" Anakin says and then turns to his closet to sort his clothes.
"I should leave some clothes behind for tomorrow, right? If I don't do that I will have to go through suitcase and then it would have to be packed again" Anakin says while looking through his clothes for some nice clothes to wear when he would meet his father.
"Yes, that would be smart" Obi-wan says and sees Anakin staring in his closet. He can tell that Anakin does not know what he should wear tomorrow. Obi-wan decides to also take a look in the closet to see if he can help his friend.
"Do you think a jeans with a shirt and jacket will be good a good choice?" Anakin asks looking nervously at Obi-wan.
"That would be a good choice, Anakin" Luminara says as she wanted to check how far the boys were with sorting through Anakin's things and she stumbled upon their conversation. Anakin looks to Luminara and thanks her for the advice before taking the mentioned clothes out of the closet and putting them on the end of his bed next to his school uniform. Anakin then takes his other clothes out of the closet, including his uniforms as he will need them next week, to put them in a suitcase. With Luminara and Obi-wans help they have his clothes packed within thirty minutes. Barris packed his school supplies in a moving box while putting everything he will need on Monday in his backpack. His toys are put carefully in a box while his other things are put in open spaces in the boxes and the suitcase.
The boxes and suitcase are put in the living room before the dresser. Obi-wan an see Anakin looking sadly at his almost empty room.
"It will be strange living with my father after tomorrow" Anakin says sadly. Obi-wan Higgs his friend as tears stream down their faces. That night the children sleep good as they are exhausted from packing.
Sunday evening in Theed royal palace
Qui-gon was sitting in his private sitting room with Ashoka in his arms and Tahl next to him enjoying the evening before he was to leave for Tatooine to pick up Anakin and bring him home.
"How are the preparations for Anakin arrival?" Qui-gon asks Tahl as she leans against him and he put an arm around her.
"His room is almost finished though it could use a bit of decorating. I intent to wait for Anakin to arrive before decorating so that he is happy with the decoration. Also I put a list of schools in your briefcase so you can go over it when you have time" Tahl says.
They look down at their daughter when she makes a noise as if she wants to have their undivided attention. She was waiving her hands and when she gets close enough with her hands she grabbed her father’s hair and yanks.
"Agh, Ashoka. Don't yank my hair, dear one, it hurts" Qui-gon says while gently removing her tiny hands from her hair.
"She just wants to say goodbye to you as we both will miss you" Tahl says
"Are you sure you don't want to come with me?" Qui-gon asks Tahl
"Yes, you need time to build a relationship with him no matter how small it will be. Also I don't want Ashoka to travel such a distance on a plane just yet" Tahl says and Qui-gon reluctantly agrees to go alone. They turn the TV on to watch the news.
When it is time, they stand up to put Ashoka in her cradle. They enter her nursery and see the cradle with mobile over it, standing next to a wall with a beautiful forest landscape on it. Ashoka loves it to fall asleep with the mobile activated. On the other side stands a changing table with a dresser next to it. Before the cradle stands a rocking chair which Tahl often uses when she feeds her.
Qui-gon walks to the changing table to put Ashoka in her pajama so she can sleep in her cradle. Tahl insisted that Ashoka would learn that when she has her pajamas on she is supposed to sleep in her cradle or later her bed and that her clothes are for when she is up. In the beginning he had his doubts about this approach but he has to admit that it is a good approach and one that will give assurance to everyone.
When he has Ashoka dressed in a pink pajama, after some struggling as she didn't want to cooperate with him, he walks to her cradle and puts her down after giving her a kiss on her head. He pulls her blanker over her and stands aside so that Tahl can say her good night. He then activates the mobile and sees that Ashoka is already dozing.
When they return to the living room Qui-gon sits down he stares ahead of him with a sad look in his eyes.
"What is troubling you, love" Tahl asks after she sits down next to him and sees his look.
"Now that we have Ashoka I realize how much I missed of Anakin's live. I didn't get to see him grow up, except through the photos I got. I should have insisted that I be involved in his life when Shmi and I divorced and not that I just pay for him. I know my father would have my hide for it, but I should have held my ground and not cave in" Qui-gon says sadly while the tears run down his face. Tahl hugs him tightly while stroking his head.
"It has no use to think about what could have been. Focus on the present, as you are so fond of saying. Now I want you to remember not to spoil him out of regret but to treat him normally. Alright, for as far as it is possible to be treated normally for a prince" Tahl says as she sees Qui-gon raise his eyebrow.
"You are much wiser than I am. I wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have you to talk to" Qui-gon says before he quiets down. Later the evening they retire to bed early as Qui-gon has to wake up at five in the morning to leave for the plane to Tatooine.
Monday afternoon Anakin is waiting for Miss Secura to pick him up so she can take him to his father. He is dressed in blue jeans, blue shirt and a black jacket which he had laid aside when sorting through his things yesterday afternoon. He is nervous to meet his father for the first time and starts to fiddle with the sleeve of his jacket.
"Calm down Anakin. I'm sure it won't be that bad to meet your father. Besides Miss Secura will be there with you so you won't be alone" Obi-wan says while sitting down next to Anakin on the couch. Anakin nods and wants to say something only for a knock on the door to startle him.
Luminara walks to the door from the dining room and opens it. On the other side of the door stands, as expected, Miss Secura who can be seen by Anakin when Luminara steps aside. Miss Secura greets Luminara before walking up to Anakin and kneeling down before him.
"Are you ready Anakin?" She asks and Anakin nods nervously.
"Let's put your things in my car shall we? Then we can be on our way to the embassy"
"Okay" Anakin says as he and Obi-wan stand up to load the boxes, suitcase and his backpack in his car. When the exit the house the see a small blue car standing before the house. Together they put the suitcase in the trunk with one of the boxes, the other box is put on the backseat. When they had packed everything securely into the car Anakin knew that it was time to leave.
"Till tomorrow, I'm sure I will see you at school" Anakin tells Barris and Obi-wan while hugging both of them before hugging Luminara.
"Goodbye, I don't know when I will see you again"
"Till tomorrow" Barris and Obi-wan tell him while Luminara says
"Goodbye, I hope to see you again this week. Be yourself to your father, don't behave differently than normal okay"
"I will" Anakin says after which he climbs in the backseat and puts his backpack between his legs on the floor of the car before putting his seatbelt on. Miss Secura sits down in the driver’s seat and starts the car while putting also her seatbelt on before driving away.
The trip to the embassy takes them thirty minutes and lands them in a wealthy neighborhood. As the drive through the neighborhood Anakin sees many villas with beautiful gardens. Anakin sees many beautiful gardens and wonders how much it costs it to keep it so well maintained. When Miss Secura stops before a small brick wall with a fence on top of it, Anakin thinks they have arrived at the embassy and unlocks his seatbelt.
"Wait here, Anakin. I'll be right back" Miss Secura says before taking the keys out of the key slot, unlocking her seatbelt and stepping out of the car before walking up to a intercom by the port, at least Anakin thinks she is talking into a intercom. As he looks around he can see a large house at the other side of the fence and wonders why an embassy has to be so big. There can't be many people living inside it as they would stay in a hotel or have their own house. Also he can't imagine why people would then still need such a large building. The garden before the embassy has a large field of grass which is surrounded by colorful plants. On the other side of the street is a white villa with a fence around it. Just as Anakin wants to take a closer look at the villa the front door opens and Anakin sees Miss Secura sitting down in the driver’s seat again. She puts her seatbelt back on and starts the car again. Anakin can see that the gate is being opened and sees that Miss Secura drives her car through the gate only to close behind them.
As they near the front of the building Anakin begins to get really nervous about his impending meeting with his father. He wonders what he should say to his father and what his father will say to him. Now that he is at the embassy Anakin is convinced that he will soon know what the secret is about his fathers' work and his identity as he was never told what his father's name is.
Why the car stops before the stairs leading into the embassy Anakin unlocks his seatbelt and asks
"Miss Secura, what do I have to do with my things? Do we take them with us inside?"
"You can take your backpack with you p inside if you want. Your father will arrange for the rest to be taken inside" Miss Secura explains.
"I will take my backpack with me then" Anakin says and waits until he can get out of the backseat to take his backpack with him inside. He puts his backpack on his back and looks around until he feels a hand on his shoulder. When he looks up he sees that it is Miss Secura who put the hand in his shoulder. She looks at him with calm eyes and says
"Come on Anakin, procrastinating won't help. Best to get difficult things done first and be done with it"
Anakin nods and follows her nervously up the stairs to the front door. When they reach the door, it is opened for them and they step inside the embassy. As Anakin looks over his shoulder he sees that a butler had opened the door and now closes the door behind them. As he looks around to see where Miss Secura is he sees that she is talking to a man in a black suit who sits behind a desk with many papers and other things on it. He sees the man makes a call to someone as Miss Secura puts her purse, which he hadn't noticed she had with her, on the desk and the man starts searching it when he is finished with the call. He gives Anakin the impression of being a security official and Anakin knows that he will also check his backpack so he takes it of his back and puts in on the ground. The man does indeed search his backpack when he is done with Miss Secura's purse. While the man searches his backpack Anakin looks around the room they are in.
Opposing the desk of the security official Anakin sees stairs leading to the first floor. The stairs are covered with a rich carpet. In the middle of the room stand two couches, two chairs and a table in the middle, which all match each other in the rich coloring and beautiful finishing on the top of the backrest and the handrails. On the table stands a vase with flowers together with other miscellaneous things.
The walls are also richly covered and are decorated with laps and to Anakin's knowledge, expensive paintings. Some walls also have a table standing before it with has some sort of art on it or flowers. An opening in the wall opposite the front door leads to a room which he can't see into. Scattered around the room stand multiple sculptures all which look really expensive like the paintings.
Just as the official is done with searching his backpack a dark skinned man in a purple suit walks up to them and guides them to the couches.
"Make yourself comfortable he will be with you in a moment" the man says and turns to walk to the front door. But just as he intends to do that and Miss Secura and Anakin want to sit down a voice suddenly speaks suprising everyone in the room.
"There is no need. I'm already here"
Anakin looks up and sees a man with long brown hair, blue eyes, chin strap and a mustache standing on top of the stairs. The man is wearing a green suit and has a hand on the banister next to him. Anakin believes that the man is around the same age as his mother and suspects that the man is also his father. He is impressed with how good his father looks and hopes he won't disappoint him.
The butler, security official and the dark skinned man suddenly stop what they are doing and stand straight. Miss Secura does the same as the men so Anakin follows her example. All this gives Anakin the impression that his father is a really important person and his nervousness doubles suddenly at the thought of meeting his father. Only when his father makes a motion with his hand does everyone relax and back to their work. His father walks down the stairs and towards them.
"Miss Secura, thank you for bringing my son to me" Anakin's father says while shaking Miss Secura's hand.
"It was an honor, your majesty" Miss Secura answers. The use of the title surprises and confused Anakin. He knows only royalty uses such a title and wonders if his father if perhaps a king, but quickly dismisses the thought as he is sure he would know if he were a prince.
Not sure what to do and not wanting to be considered rude Anakin stays standing until his father mentions for Miss Secura to sit down which she does and he follows her example.
"My people are bringing Anakin's stuff inside in case you can't stay long" his father says as he sits down with an expressionless look on his face which gives Anakin the impression of him being a cold person.
"That is good as I unfortunately will have to leave in a few minutes to be in time for my next appointment" Miss Secura says.
"I'm sorry to hear that" his father says and Anakin sees that Miss Secura is looking at the front door. Only then does he notice that his suitcase and both his boxes already standing before the desk. The butler walks up to them and gives her her car keys. She accepts them and stands up while saying
"Excuse me, your majesty, but I have to go"
"Of course, have a good day Miss Secura" his father while standing up and giving her another handshake. Then Miss Secura leaves the embassy and Anakin is alone with his father for the first time in his life.
Earlier this morning
Qui-gon steps out of his plane and is hit by the heat of Tatooine's early morning. He wonders how anyone can live here when it is already so hot this early in the morning and also how hot an afternoon will be. Luckily he sees a limousine from the embassy together with a police escort already waiting for him at the bottom of the stairs. He walks down the stairs and steps into the limousine when one of his bodyguards opens the door for him. As he sits down and puts his seatbelt on he notices Mace sitting down next to him doing the same. Soon the limousine drives away to the embassy. The trip takes them an hour and he uses the time to read the documents Tahl gave him so that he can sort out the schools. Together with Tahl and Anakin he will make the choice of Anakin's new school.
When he arrives at the embassy he puts the documents into his briefcase and waits for the door to open so he can step out of the limousine. When he steps out he sees the ambassador waiting for him together with senior attaches at the bottom of the stairs.
"You majesty, it is good to meet you again even if it is for a unexpected visit" the ambassador says.
"It is good to see again to, ambassador Valorum" Qui-gon says and makes sure not to mention the reason for his visit out in the open so that no one who shouldn't know could hear the reason for his visit. Finis Valorum was appointed by his father before his abdication at his insisting some nine years ago. They are old childhood friend and talk about everything so he knows about Anakin and always keeps an eye on him and Shmi as much as possible. He had informed him that he hadn't been able to contact them and because he wasn't in the city at the time as he had appointments throughout Tatooine he wasn't informed of her dead. So until he was called by his friend he had worried what had happened to them.
"Shall we go inside to my office so we can talk" Ambassador Valorum asks and Qui-gon agrees. As they enter the embassy Qui-gon and ambassador Valorum move to his office where Qui-gon explains the reason for his visit.
"That would explain why I don't hear from Shmi and why no one is in their house. But it makes me wonder where prince Anakin is staying right now" ambassador Valorum asks. He has always referred to his friend's son as prince when he is either alone with Qui-gon or Shmi when she still lived.
"He has been staying with a foster family who Shmi apparently knew. The Unduli family?" Qui-gon asks as he wants to know if Shmi ever talked about them to him.
"Ah yes, I know that name. Luminara Unduli has two foster children, Barris Offee and Obi-wan Kenobi who is prince Anakin's best friend. I have met the boy a few times when he was playing with the prince when was visiting" ambassador Valorum explains at his friend's question and sees the relief in his eyes that prince Anakin was with people he knew and not with strangers. Afterwards they talk about work and personal matters until Mace enters the room to tel him that a Miss Secura has arrived with his son.
"Excuse me, Finis, but I have to go and meet my son" Qui-gon says to excuse himself.
"Of course, my friend. Go meet our young prince" ambassador Valorum says and Qui-gon leaves the room to walks towards the ground floor. As he nears the stairs he hears Mace say
"Make yourself comfortable he will be with you in a moment"
He sees that Anakin and a woman with long blond hair intend to sit down at the couch so he says
"There is no need. I'm already here"
He sees that Anakin looks at him and appears nervous which he doesn't like. The staff he sees stands straight to show respect for him arriving in the room. Miss Secura he sees following the example of the staff and he is amused to see that Anakin follows them. He regrets that Anakin only becomes more nervous and intends to talk to him as soon as possible. The nervousness won't do him Anakin any good.
"Miss Secura, thank you for bringing my son to me" he says as greetings and appreciating.
"It was an honor, your majesty" Miss Secura answers. He notices that Anakin is surprised at the use of the title. He knows he is to blame for it as he doesn't believe it wise for someone else to tell him that he is a prince and more importantly that he is an heir apparent.
As he mentions for them to sit down she does so. Anakin follows Miss Secura's example so as to not appear rude.
"My people are bringing Anakin's stuff inside in case you can't stay long" he says to see how long she intends to stay. He puts his diplomatic face on based on his experience to not show his nervousness.
"That is good as I unfortunately will have to leave in a few minutes to be in time for my next appointment" Miss Secura says.
"I'm sorry to hear that" he says out of politeness. He sees the butler walk up to them and hand Miss Secura her car keys. After accepting them stands up while saying
"Excuse me, your majesty, but I have to go"
"Of course, have a good day Miss Secura" he says and Miss Secura then leaves the embassy and he and Anakin are alone for the first time in their life.
A short time after Miss Secura leaves a silence goes over the room, except for the sounds of staff working, as both occupants don't know what to say to each other. Anakin starts to feel uncomfortable in the silence as he doesn't know how his father is going to react.
Qui-gon watches how his son reacts in his presence and is sad at the continuing nervousness in his posture. He is unwilling to discuss the upcoming changes with Anakin in a room where the staff can overhear them. He considers the options at his disposal and decides to explain everything to Anakin in one of the empty offices in the embassy.
"Come, Anakin. We will talk in private" he says as he stands up and holds out his hand to Anakin. At the nervous look he receives from Anakin he smiles reassuringly to which he gets a uncertain smile as answer. Anakin nervously takes his hand and backpack and stands up from the couch. Qui-gon takes them both to an empty office on the first floor where he sits down at the couch with Anakin sitting down next to him on his right side after he tugs on his arm.
Anakin looks around the room his father brought him to as he enters. It looks like an office for an important person as there is only one desk in the room and most of the rooms he saw had multiple desks and were also larger than this room. Around the desk stand multiple chairs. Before almost every wall stands a closet with books in it. The only wall that doesn't have a closet before it is the one where a couch stands before. As he looks above the couch he sees a painting hanging over it which displays his father and an unknown woman. His father wears an uniform with an expansive cape over his shoulders. He has a crown on his head and holds a scepter in his hand. The woman wears a dress with a similar cape over her shoulders. She also has a crown on her head and wears a lot of jewelry in Anakin's opinion.
When Anakin feels a light tug on his arm he looks to his father and sees that he has sat down at the couch. Anakin looks embarrassed down and quickly puts his backpack down before sitting down next to his father on the couch. He makes sure that there is enough space between them as he isn't sure if his father is alright with him sitting close to him and doesn't think it is polite to do.
"You can sit closer to me, Anakin" Qui-gon says and has to smile at Anakin's behavior. He is relieved when Anakin slides closer to him.
"I'm sure you have questions and I have promised to explain to you why people are so protective of me. But before you ask me any questions you have, I want to know if you know my name and your own full name"
"Well mommy always called you Qui, but I don't think that it is your full name. I always believed that it is a nickname and my full name is Anakin Skywalker, but you should know that" Anakin says and looks confused at his father for asking the question.
"Qui is indeed a nickname of me. My name is Qui-gon Jinn and Anakin your full name is Anakin Skywalker Jinn. I'm not surprised that you don't know that as Shmi and I agreed that we would let you grow up with a partial name. It would be safer for you if no one knew we are related and we had planned to tell you when you were eighteen. Unfortunately Shmi died and I have to tell you now because when you will be living with me you will be known as Anakin Jinn" Qui-gon explains "But enough of that, ask me any question you have"
"Father, why did Miss Secura call you your majesty? As far as I know only royalty is addressed" Anakin asks
"I'm royalty Anakin, so are you. Because I'm a king it is protocol to be addressed as your majesty by almost everyone in public. In private my close friends call me by name. My family addresses me as they like and in public they address me politely" Qui-gon explains and sees that Anakin work through what he just heard.
"But. But. That would means I'm a prince" Anakin says flabbergasted.
"Yes, you are a prince. To be precise you are my heir apparent and as such you are the crown prince of Naboo"
"Is that the reason why people are so protective of you?" Anakin asks and gets a nod as answer "Why did you never visit? Didn't you want me?"
"Yes, that is why people are so protective of me. They will also protective of you when they know that you are my son. As to why I never visited, that was because you could get in danger when people who mean me harm figured out that you are important to me. It is not that I never wanted you, I did but I also had to think about your safety" Qui-gon explains.
"Do I have family I don't know about?" Anakin asks and sees his father taking a photo out of his wallet and shows it to him. In the photo Anakin sees the woman from the painting together with a baby. He looks questionably at his father.
"This is your stepmother, Tahl and your baby sister, Ahsoka" Qui-gon says and he points at the people in the picture when he says their name "you also have an uncle called Freemor"
Anakin is surprised that he has a stepmother and stepsister but always knew that there was a possibility when he learned that his parents had divorced. He has to think back to all the stories he heard about bad stepmothers and wonders how his will be. He hopes that she is kind.
"Anakin. What is wrong?" Anakin hears his father ask worriedly and suddenly notices that he was staring into the ground and brooding. He knows that his mom always worried when he did that.
"Nothing, just thinking about how my life will be after today" Anakin says as he doesn't want to admit that it is the thought of his stepmother that is making him brood. He is afraid to discover how his father will react, as he doesn't know him, and doesn't want to be in trouble with his father so soon after meeting him. Still as he thinks about his stepsister he is happy as he always wanted a little sibling. He looks at his father and see a doubtful look on his face. He wonders why he now does shows his emotions and before when Miss Secura was there he didn't so asks his father
"Why didn't you show emotions when Miss Secura was here?"
"That is because I was nervous and I learned when I was young to never show my emotions in public. My friends always call the face you saw then my 'diplomatic face'. I deeply regret it if I made you nervous or gave you a wrong impression about how I am, that was never my intention" Qui-gon explains and has to smile at the question which he should have seen coming when he realized that he was nervous and he drew on his instinct.
"But enough questions for now. I have some work to finish before supper and you can do your homework in the meantime"
"I don't have homework as it is the last week of the year. That reminds me I have something I want to show you" Anakin says as he pulls his school report out of his bag and shows it to his father. He looks at him s father to see what he thinks about his report. The grades on it are similar to what it always has been. He hopes that his father is pleased with his grades and is relieved when he sees that his father smiles when he is finished with reading the report.
"These are good grades, I had expected them to be lower after everything that has happened" Qui-gon says and at the confused look on Anakin's face he explains
"Shmi always send me copies of your school reports and photos so that I would know how you were doing"
Anakin now knows why his mother always made copies of his reports and send them to someone, this someone is his father, just as she did with many pictures taken from him.
"If you don't have homework what will then you do when I do my work" Qui-gon asks.
"I can draw a bit or get some of my toys to play with" Anakin suggests and waits for his father to make the decision as he doesn't know what he is allowed to do.
"Your choice, you can leave your toys in here as I will use this office this week until we go to Naboo Saturday afternoon"
Anakin nods and then decides to get some of his toys as he will have to pack everything later this week. He stands up and wants to walk to the door when it opens and the dark skinned man from before walks into the office with one if his boxes in his arms.
"Your majesty, we have already put the prince's belongings in the trunk of the limousine"
"Thank you, Mace. You always think about things before I can do so" Qui-gon answers the dark skinned man, Mace. Mace puts the box in a corner before one of the closets.
"That is my job, Qui-gon, and you know that. I don't know what you would do without me or Tahl to help you" Mace teases and Qui-gin laughs but wisely refrains from answering the bait his friend threw at him. Qui-gon looks to see where Anakin has moved to as he wasn't at the couch anymore. He sees that Anakin has walked to the box and has started to search for his toys. Qui-gon decides to use this time to work through his workload so that they can have a nice evening together.
Later the same evening Anakin sits with his father in a limousine as they are driven by a chauffeur to the hotel his father is at for the week after they had diner at a restaurant. His mother and him always traveled on foot or by public transportation as the streets are full of cars during the day despite the heat. Anakin always believed that that was because of the air conditioning cars have, something with gives people a respite from the heat of Tatooine just the same as buildings do. Anakin has to wonder if his mother ever sat in a limousine that was a luxury as the one he is sitting in. The limousine has a back seat and a panel in the middle which can be closed from the driver’s side as well from their side. Anakin is so lost in thought that he doesn't notice that the limousine has stopped moving.
"Anakin, Anakin" Qui-gon says while shaking Anakin's shoulders gently to pull him from his thoughts. He noticed before that Anakin was silent but believed it to be from the change his life took and will take in the future. Anakin looks to his father as he hears his name and only then notices that the car has stopped moving.
"Are we already at the hotel, father?"
"Yes, we have arrived at the hotel" Qui-gon answers with a smile as the car door opens. He steps out of limousine and looks back to see Anakin hesitantly following him. This just shows how unused Anakin is to the royal life but it is not surprising as he grew up until this day as a normal person. It will take Anakin time to learn how to behave in public as a prince and Qui-gon is relieved to know that because of his age Anakin will have only a couple of public appearances for years to come. This will not put too much pressure on him to learn how he is expected to behave in a short time.
Anakin follows his father into the hotel and he sees a piccolo waiting for them at the by the door. While Anakin looks around the lobby Qui-gon tells the piccolo to take the boxes and suitcase in the trunk up to his suite. Anakin sees that he is standing in a large lobby with what appears to him to be expensive furniture. He sees couches and chairs with golden lining, tables decorated with flowers and statues. The walls are partly white and partly red, some of them have paintings hanging on them and all have some small decorative lamps hanging on them. The floor have richly colored rugs covering them. This all gives him the impression of an expensive hotel and considering that his father is a king this seems like an appropriate place for a king to stay at. When he looks back to his father he sees that his father is looking at him with an expectation in his eyes and then walks towards the elevator with Anakin following closely behind him. Only then does Anakin notice Mace and four security officials following them. He moves closer to his father as it scares him to have security following them. He knows that this will be normal for him in the future and that he has to get used to it but it is all so strange for him.
When the elevator door opens Anakin wants to to step inside but feels his father hand on his shoulder holding him back. Two security officials step into the elevator before Anakin and his father enter. The other two follow after them together with Mace. The elevator takes them to the top floor where they exit. On the floor are also a few security officials standing around. Qui-gon and Anakin walk to a door at the end of the hall and when Anakin looks to see where Mace is and he sees him entering another room two doors removed from the one he is standing before.
The door opens and when Anakin enters the room he sees a a dining room with again expensive furniture. The walls are the same as in the lobby but instead of paintings they have closets standing before it. As he looks around the room he can see two doors on the right side and Anakin wonders where they lead to.
"Anakin, come here for a moment" Qui-gon calls from where he is standing before the first door. Anakin hurries over and waits for what his father wants. The door is opened and Anakin can finally see what is on the other side. He sees a bedroom with a side door to the right. The bedroom has a bed for a single person in it alongside a desk, closet and dresser. Amazed Anakin wanders around the room and stops before the closed door. Looking back to his father for permission he opens the door and sees a bathroom on the other side. The bathroom contains a toilet, two washing tables and a bathtub. On the other side of the room is a door and Anakin wonders where it leads to.
"That door leads to my bedroom" Qui-gon explains as he walks up to where Anakin is standing in the doorway. Just then they hear the door opening and they both walk back towards the dining room where they see the piccolo from before bringing Anakin's boxes and suitcase in the room. The piccolo waits a moment while making a hand movement. Anakin doesn't know what it means but he sees his father taking his wallet out of his pocket and giving some money to the piccolo who puts it away before leaving the room. Anakin looks confused at his father who lifts one the boxes and takes it to his bedroom.
"Anakin, bring the suitcase with you please" Qui-gon says when he returns to take the other box to the bedroom and Anakin quickly executes the instruction he got. When he has put the suitcase next to the boxes he hears his father say from beside him
"At what time do you have to get up tomorrow, Anakin?"
"School starts at eight thirty. I don't know how long it takes to get from here to school so I don't know how late I have to get up" Anakin says.
"It will take approximately thirty minutes to get there by car so you have to leave at seven fifty. That way you will not arrive last minute and have time to spare. We will thus have to get up then at seven" Qui-gon says and sees Anakin nodding. He checks the time and when he sees that it is already late he says "I think it is time for you to go to bed. It is already nine o'clock. Do you need my help or can you put your pajamas on on your own"
"I can do that on my own, father" Anakin says while opening his suitcase to take out his pajamas. Looking to see where his father is Anakin sees him standing in the room. Shuffling around a bit Anakin hesitantly asks
"Could you please leave, father, so that I can change"
"Of course. Good night Anakin" Qui-gon says and walks to the door. When he is in the doorway he pauses and looks back at Anakin "don't forget to brush your teeth"
"Good night, father" Anakin says and when the door closes he changes into his pajamas. Then he walks into the bathroom after grabbing his toiletries to brush his teeth before going to bed after an exciting afternoon and evening.
Anakin mumbles unhappily when he feels hands on his shoulders gently shaking him awake.
"Ana..., ...akin, Anakin wake up" Anakin hears his father say and sleepily rubs his eyes. When he looks at the nightstand he doesn't see a clock standing there. Looking towards his father while wondering how late it is he sees that his father is wearing a bathrobe and his hair is in disarray.
"How late is it?" Anakin asks.
"It is seven o'clock and you, Anakin, have to get up to be on time at school" Qui-gon says. He stands up and moves towards the bathroom door.
"Make sure you're dressed and have everything packed for school in twenty minutes so that we can go to the cafeteria and get our breakfast and don't have to come back here for your school supplies"
"Yes, father" Anakin answers before relaxing in the bed and thinking about everything that happened. He is still unsure how to act around his father and feels the safest by being brave for a time being before he carefully tests the waters to see what his father allows and how he reacts. Now he feels he has to find a way to convince his father to let him walk the last two blocks to school as he isn't comfortable with everyone at school seeing him arrive in a limousine and wonders how to tell Obi-wan who his father is. Anakin believes that Obi-wan will react calmly to the news and offers him advice. Sighing, Anakin throws the covers off himself, steps out of bed and walks towards where he put his school uniform. He quickly dresses himself before making his way to the bathroom to brush his teeth and his hair. Afterwards he checks his backpack to make sure he has the right supplies for school in it. He sees that he doesn't have his math exercise book in it but does have his art supplies in his backpack. Taking his math book out of one of the boxes, Anakin puts it in his backpack while putting his art supplies in the opened box. When he is done he puts the backpack over his shoulders and walks out of the bedroom.
When Anakin walks into the dining room he sees his father quietly talking to two men who he believes to be security. He wonders what they are talking about as they talk to silent for him to understand anything being said. Cautiously Anakin walks towards his father and can hears one of the men say
"Don't worry, your majesty. Your son will be safe with us"
Anakin can see his father answering with a nod before looking at him.
"Anakin, there are some people who I want you to meet. This is Rex" his father says while pointing at the man with blond hair "and this is Fives" he points at the man beside Rex. This man has brown hair and looks exactly the same as Rex except for the hair color. Anakin thinks if they are twins "They will be protecting you from now on"
"It is nice to meet you, Rex, Fives" Anakin says and a silence falls over the room.
"Do you have everything with you, Anakin" Qui-gon asks after a few minutes of silence
"Then let us go to the cafeteria"
When they enter the hallway and move towards the elevator Anakin can see that they are being followed by Rex, Fives and two other security officers. The trip to the cafeteria takes them but a few minutes and when they enter it Anakin sees multiple tables standing in the room, which reminds him of an restaurant, and a buffet. He wonders what is in the buffet. He looks to where his father is and sees him moving to the beginning of the buffet together with the two security officers and when he looks behind him he sees Rex and Fives standing behind him. Quickly jogging up to his father Anakin takes a plate for himself before following his father down the buffet while selecting his breakfast in the meantime. When he sits down at a table opposite of his father he looks to the side and sees their security sitting there eating their breakfast while keeping an eye out.
"Anakin, please do not run in the cafeteria and other public buildings as it is not done" Qui-gon says.
Anakin nods before asking the question that has been on his mind since this morning.
"Father, can I walk the last two blocks to school as I don't want my classmates to see me arriving in a limousine and have to explain it to them"
"You can do that but Rex and Fives will still follow you from a distance to make sure you are safe. They will not enter the school ground but still keep an eye on you. When you leave school the limousine will be waiting for you in the same street as you exited it" Qui-gon explains and sees Anakin nodding his consent "now eat your breakfast so you won't be late for school"
"Yes father" Anakin says and they both eat their breakfast before Anakin leaves for school.
I had planned to upload it last Saturday, but I didn’t find the time for it as I had a family meeting. Still here it is, only a few days later than I had planned.
After a thirty minute drive in the limousine, Anakin feels it stopping at the side of the road a few streets away from his school. Anakin looks at Rex who sits next to him in the back of the limousine to see if he can leave the car on the side of the sidewalk or the side of the road. He sees Rex opening the door and stepping out of the limousine. Anakin grabs his backpack from the floor before stepping out himself after Rex. When he looks around he sees that the street they are on is mostly empty of pedestrians and can hear many cars passing by. He sees Fives standing next to the open front door quietly talking to the chauffeur. Anakin puts his backpack on his back before asking Rex
"Can we go now, I don't want to be late for school"
"Just wait a moment, your highness" Rex answers.
"Please call me Anakin, it feels strange when you call me 'your highness' as if you are talking to someone else" Anakin explains.
"Of course, we will call you by your name so long as we are not in public else we have to call you your highness based on the protocol" Rex says and Anakin nods unhappily but he can also understand that they have rules to follow and he doesn't want to cause them trouble. When he looks towards Fives he is relieved to see that he has finished talking to the chauffeur and is waiting for him to walk to school.
When Anakin finally starts walking the short track to school he can hear and see them following him at a few meters distance. All in all it takes him five minutes to reach the school grounds and he can tell from the noise that he is on time. Entering the playground he looks back to see Rex and Fives sitting on one of the benches on the other side of the road watching him. He then decides to look where Obi-wan is and after a bit of searching he can see him leaning against one of the school walls. Walking up to him Anakin greets
"Hey, Obi-wan. Good morning"
"Anakin! How did meeting you dad go? Did he explain why people are protective of him?" Obi-wan asks nervously.
"Obi-wan, what's wrong? You always calmed me down when I was nervous and I don't understand why you are nervous" Anakin says.
"I ..., just I ..., I don't want to lose you when you leave with your father and also I don't know what my life will be then. Besides I always hid my nervousness as you would only get more nervous and I didn't want that" Obi-wan explains and Anakin nods in understanding.
"Okay, I understand that. You are the best friend I ever had and I know I will miss you when I leave. Meeting my dad was a bit strange at first as there were many people in the room with us but once we were alone with it was great. He is nice and he told me why people are protective of him. I will tell you, but you can't tell anyone okay?" Anakin asks to which a confused Obi-wan agrees. Anakin then whispers "My dad is a king"
"That is a joke, isn't it?" Obi-wan says in disbelief.
"No it isn't" Anakin answers and sees Obi-wan slowly starting to believe him before the words actually sink in and he smiles at Anakin in happiness.
"Does that mean that you are a ...?" Obi-wan asks but refrains from saying prince as he doesn't want to break the promise he made.
"Yes, I am. Actually I'm his oldest child so you understand want that means right" Anakin says and gets a affirmative answer from Obi-wan.
"Could I come with you after school to play? I would like to meet your dad" Obi-wan asks and can see Anakin considering his question before answering. He asked so that Anakin could tell him more as he suspected there is.
"I don't know. I would have to ask Rex or Fives after school as they will be picking me up" Anakin answers a bit disappointed that his father won't be picking him up but he also understands that he can't from what he said during their drive to the hotel and the work he will have to finish. He told Anakin that they had to keep their relationship a secret until they got back to Naboo and a public statement is made as it will protect him from people who want to harm him to affect his father. Furthermore it will also keep the press away until Anakin can be taught how he should act around them. When he hears the school bell ringing he looks up at Obi-wan's confused look and smiles at him reassuringly before they both hurry towards their classroom.
When the school bell rings the entire class is quick to clean their desks and to leave the room. Anakin holds Obi-wan back so that they are among the last to leave and he can talk to Rex without being seen by many classmates. When they exit the building Anakin can see Rex standing on the playground waiting for him. As Anakin looks around the area he can see Fives standing behind the fence in the shadow of a tree, if he didn't know him then Anakin is sure he would not have noticed him. Walking up to Rex with Obi-wan following closely behind Anakin hopes that Obi-wan can come play with him.
"Rex? Is it alright if Obi-wan comes with us so we can play?" Anakin asks and can see Rex considering how to respond before he responds with
"I will call your father and ask him if it is in order"
"Okay" Anakin answers and he sees Rex taking his phone out of his pocket to calling his dad. Listening carefully to the conversation Anakin can't distinguish what his father is saying as Rex only answers with short answers after explaining the situation to his father. Looking to Obi-wan he sees that the hope and nervousness he has reflected in his friend's eyes. The call only last for a few minutes but to both Anakin and Obi-wan it feels as if it drags on for hours.
"Your father says it is alright for your friend to come with us, but he has to call his parents when we arrive to tell them where they have to pick him up" Rex says after ending the call and looking at Obi-wan.
"That's fine. I'll call Luminara so she can pick me up later" Obi-wan says and then smiles at Anakin who smiles back both happy that they can play together while Anakin can talk better about the his father and everything that happened yesterday afternoon and evening.
"Shall we go then now that everything is sorted out" Rex asks and Anakin and Obi-wan agree quickly and happy. They then leave the school ground to walk a few streets to where the limousine is waiting for them.
After half an hour ride to the embassy they arrive. Anakin and Obi-wan use the ride to discuss what they will do at the embassy. They both know that they will have to ask Anakin's father if they can do what they plan to do as they don't know what is allowed and what isn't. Looking at Obi-wan Anakin can see that he is impressed by the building they are entering and Anakin can understand the feeling as he knows he himself will need time to get used to his new life and the things that come with it. The only thing that doesn't need getting used to, is the limousine as he finds it nice that he doesn't have to walk to school anymore.
After entering the embassy Anakin looks around to see if he can spot his father anywhere but he can only see Mace walking in the lobby. Remembering his fathers from this morning words about running, Anakin walks quickly to Mace and tugs on his jacket when he is close enough to do so.
"Sir, do you know where my father is?" Anakin asks respectfully as he isn't sure if he can call Mace by his first name so he sticks to what his mother taught him about respectful behavior.
"Your father is in the office he brought you to when you two met yesterday, your highness. Can you find your way there in your own or should I accompany you and your friend" Mace says while looking at Obi-wan.
"Thank you. I think I can find it myself" Anakin answers before he tells Obi-wan
"Follow me, I think I know where it is"
Together they walk up the stairs and Anakin guides Obi-wan to the office Mace mentioned earlier. Arriving at the office Anakin opens the door and walks into the room Obi-wan following him.
Qui-gon looks up when he hears the door opening and has his finger hovering over an emergency bottom under his desk. When he sees his son and a red-haired boy around the same age following him he is relieved and removes his hand from under his desk. Qui-gon suspects that this boy is the friend Rex called about who Anakin wanted to play with.
"Anakin, next time knock first and wait for permission to enter before you enter a room" Qui-gon calmly berates Anakin before standing up and walking to him. Kneeling before Anakin he asks
"How was your day, Anakin?"
"It was okay. We watched a few movies during some classes but with math we had to do some work which was boring as I have understood it already for a few weeks" Anakin answers before introducing Obi-wan
"Father, this is Obi-wan. He is my best friend and we wanted to play with a ball in the garden if it is alright"
"It is nice to meet you Obi-wan. My name is Qui-gon Jinn" Qui-gon introduces himself awhile holding his hand out in greeting. Obi-wan takes the hand, shaking it, saying
"Nice to meet you, sir"
"Do you know the address of the embassy so you can tell your mother where she can pick you up?" Qui-Von asks and sees Obi-wan shaking his head. Qui-gon has to smile at the apparent shyness of his son's friend.
"The address is Sand street 19. You can use the phone on my desk to call your mother. Press zero before entering your home number else you call other people in the embassy" Qui-gon instructs and Obi-wan moves towards the phone to call Luminara who he knows will be worried that he isn't home yet. In the meantime Qui-gon moves towards Anakin and tells him
"Anakin, you can do that in the back garden, but you have to watch out not damage the sculptures and fountains standing there" Qui-gon tells Anakin.
"Okay dad, we will be careful" Anakin answers before asking
"Do you have a ball here, father?"
"I believe I do as we did keep some of your toys here so you have something to do after school. If you look next to the couch you can find a box with some of your toys in it" Qui-gon says and sees Anakin hurrying towards the box to collect a ball. Looking to his desk he sees that Obi-wan has turned the phone around so he is standing before his desk while making his call.
"Until later, Luminara" Obi-wan says before looking around to see where Anakin is. He sees Anakin standing near a couch with one of his balls in his hands. Just when he wants to walk towards Anakin he hears a chair moving and looks around to see Anakin's father sitting down at his desk. Turning towards Anakin he see that he has moved towards the door and is waiving for him to follow. Walking towards the door they leave to office while hearing Anakin's father calling after them
"Have a nice time playing, boys. Remember to be careful with the sculptures and fountains"
Walking back downstairs they walk up to Fives who Anakin sees sitting on one of the couches.
"Fives, do you know how we can get into the back garden?" Anakin asks.
"Follow me, your highness. I'll show you" Fives says while standing up. Obi-wan and Anakin follow him to the back garden. After arriving there they spend the entire evening playing while Anakin tells Obi-wan everything that he experienced yesterday since leaving Luminara's house until it is time for Obi-wan to go home.
The week went by quickly and it was soon time to leave Tatooine for Naboo. Anakin is nervous about leaving as he doesn't know what his new home will look like. Last week he spend his time mostly in school, at the embassy or the hotel. School consisted mostly out of playing games, doing make-up works or working on tasks to ensure an easy move toward next year. Anakin enjoyed the games immensely and only had to do two make-ups for reading and history as he missed the tests because of his mother funeral. The time at the embassy was boring as he didn't have a lot of toys there. He spend most of the time playing on his game computer playing games. At the embassy his father played a board games with him which felt uncomfortable to Anakin as he still had to get used to his father.
Wednesday his father took him to a amusement park after school as he had finished his work early. Anakin found their time at the amusement park great as his mother rarely had the time to take him there because of her working hours. When they left the park Qui-gon took Anakin to a nearby snack bar to eat. He still remembers what his father told him.
"Anakin, consider this a treat as you won't be getting much junk food when we are home" Qui-gon says.
"Mom only bought it if there was a special occasion such as my birthday, when my basketball team won a game or if I won a fencing competition" Anakin tells his father and gets a smile and a nod acknowledging his mother’s rule on junk food.
The other days they are diner at the embassy which always consisted out of a three-course dinner. It was still strange to him to get so much variation of food each time as he was used less. His father insisted that he at least tries a bit of everything so that he knows if he likes it or not. Today he only had a short day at school where he got his final report in which the grades from his make-ups were included and they talked about everyone's plan for the holiday. Anakin told his class that he would move to Naboo to live with his father so he would not be back after the holiday but attend school in Naboo. His entire class was sad to hear he would not be back after the holiday and they all asked questions about his father which Anakin answered carefully to not reveal too much and possibly anger his father about revealing their relationship.
"I'm going to miss you a lot, Obi-wan" Anakin tells Obi-wan after school when they are standing outside of the school grounds. Today school ended at eleven o'clock.
"I'll miss you too, Anakin" Obi-wan says while they hug each other.
"I'll call you as often as I can" Anakin promises and Obi-wan smiles happily while nodding in agreement.
"Bye" Anakin and Obi-wan say to each other before Obi-wan goes with Luminara back to her house and Anakin with Rex and Fives to the limousine which is waiting at the same place as the other days. The limousine takes them back to the hotel as Qui-gon had told Anakin this morning about the plans for this afternoon when they would leave Tatooine.
Anakin is enjoying his breakfast in the hotel restaurant when his father says
"Anakin, you know that we will leave for Naboo today"
"Yes, father" Anakin says after stopping eating. He wonders at what time they will leave.
"We will leave at three thirty for Mos Espa international airport. That means you will have to get back to the hotel after school to pack everything. You have to have everything packed fifteen minutes before we leave for the airport so the staff can pack everything into the limousine. At five thirty our flight will depart" Qui-gon explains.
"Okay, I'll make sure to have everything packed and be ready to leave on time" Anakin answers and then goes back to eating his breakfast.
"Your highness, we have arrived at the hotel" Rex says which wakes Anakin from his recollection. Looking to where Rex is Anakin sees that he stands beside the limousine waiting for him to leave. Quickly moving out of the car, Anakin waits for Rex to walk into the hotel just as his father always does.
"Is everything alright?" Fives asks a few minutes later when he sees his prince still waiting beside the limousine and worries that something is wrong even though he can't imagine what it could be.
"Yes, Fives. Everything is fine. I'm just waiting until we can enter the hotel" Anakin answers.
"We can enter as soon as you are ready, your highness" Fives says. It reminds him of the fact that his prince in unused to this live so won't know how he should act and what he can and can't do. Also it reminds him that it is the first time the prince arrives at the hotel without the king.
"Oh, I didn't know" Anakin says and then walks into the hotel towards the suite he shares with his father.
Arriving at the floor which houses the suite he is staying at Anakin sees the security officials standing on their post. They nod at him when he passes them. From the previous day's he knows that Rex and Fives will be moving towards one of the rooms security officials use when they are not working. Walking up to the door Anakin knocks just to be sure and enters when he hears his fathers voice telling him to enter. This surprises him as his father normally is at the embassy and wonders why he is at the hotel. When he enters the suite he sees his father sitting at the dining room table working. He also sees Mace sitting at side doing some work on a laptop. Quietly walking out of the room to his bedroom so as to not disturb them, Anakin decides to change out of his school uniform and puts casual clothes on. He knows he has to turn in his uniform to his school and wounded when they will return them. Knowing only his father has the answer Anakin walks into the dining room to ask his father.
"Father, do you know that we have to return my school uniforms to school. When do we do that?"
"I called your school about it earlier and we agreed that Mace will bring it when you have it all sorted out and put in the bags on your bed. When you pack you should leave a few toys unpacked so you have something to play with until we leave. You can pack the last bit when the staff comes to take it to the limousine" Qui- gin tells Anakin
"Okay" Anakin answers before he walks back to his bedroom. There he first packs his school uniforms in the bags his father mentioned so that Mace can take them back to school when he has time after which he packs his personal clothing back into his suitcase just as Luminara had shown him how to do. Lastly he packs most of his toys and keeps a bit around to play with until they leave for the airport, just as his father told him.
Anakin has been playing for an hour silently so as to not disturb anyone when there is a knock on the door and he calls to the person to enter the same way he heard and saw his father do. He looks to the door when it opens and sees Mace entering his room.
"My prince, the lunch has been served" Mace tells him and walks to the bed where he picks up the bags containing his school uniforms. Anakin walks out of the room together with Mace who leaves the room. Anakin sees bread and bread platter on the table but he doesn't see his at the table. Looking around Anakin sees him talking on the phone by the window. Anakin can only hear his father telling the person on the other end of the call that he will be home soon so he believes it is his stepmother. He sits down on a chair and waits for his father to join him. He doesn't have to wait long and after his father sits down they start in their lunch. During lunch Anakin tells his father about his short school day and afterwards he goes back to his room go play for a few more hours.
Looking at the clock in the car Anakin sees that it is currently five o'clock and looks at his father questionably.
"What is it, Anakin?" Qui-got asks when he sees the questioning look on Anakin's face.
"Will we be on time, father? It is already five o'clock and our flight will leave in thirty minutes. We have to check-in and get through security and I don't know if we will have enough time to get in the plane" Anakin asks worriedly that they will miss their flight and then have to wait for another flight to take them to Naboo. Considering that he has never flown he imagines that they will take a commercial flight which is the type of flights he has heard about. He knows that it takes time to get through check-in and security for which they have to stand in a line. Keeping the amount of people that travel with them he is unsure if they all will get through it all in time.
"We don't have a commercial flight, Anakin. We have a private flight. Because of that we will go through a gate reserved entirely for private flights where we can walk to the plane after getting though security. Don't worry, Anakin. We have enough time and our plane will not leave without us" Qui-gon answers and has to secretly smile at Anakin's worry that they will miss their flight. It is also another reminder for him again that Anakin is not used to royal life. Qui-gon has to think back to the conversation he had with Rex and Fives when they were looking back at the week to see how everything went. Fives told him how Anakin had waited besides the limousine earlier today when they got back from school until he could enter the hotel. It was a reminder that Anakin had never arrived at the hotel without himself. Qui-gon also has to wonders about Anakin's polite behavior and worries that Anakin does not feel safe with him just yet. He hopes that he and Tahl will be able to bond with him so that Anakin will tell him if something is bothering him and that his personality will be visually.
Five minutes later they arrive at the airport and stop before their gate. Stepping out of the car after security has secured the area, Qui-gon looks back to Anakin and sees him leaving the limousine with his backpack in his hands. Waiting for Anakin to stand beside him he walks into the gate to airport security. They move through it without any problems and are on their way to the plane.
Anakin looks at the plane as they leave the building and is amazed by what he sees waiting for them. It is a white jetliner with a blue flower in the middle of the plane. Walking up the stairs after his father Anakin looks over the railing when he is halfway up the stairs and sees baggage handlers moving their baggage into the plane.
"Anakin, come" Qui-gon calls and Anakin walks quickly up the stairs into the plane and is amazed by the interior which, to him, looks expensive. He turn towards the seating area and sees on his left side two couches opposite of each other with a table in between them and chairs on either side of the couches with their back turned to them. On the right side is a couch with the back turned towards the windows and also a few chairs. The floor is covered with a white carpet and the couches and chairs are made of brown leather. On the end of the seating area is a door and he wonders to where it leads. It could be a office for his father to work in private or a toilet. He intends to ask his fate about it. Behind him is the cockpit and Anakin hopes he can take a look into it as he had always wanted to do that. Feeling a hand on his shoulder Anakin looks up to see who it is and sees Mace standing behind him.
"Take a seat, your highness" Mace tells him and Anakin wonders if seats are assigned so he asks
"Where can I sit? Do we have assigned seats?"
"You can sit wherever you want, your highness as we do not have assigned seats. You just have to make sure that during takeoff you have a seat with a seat-belt" Mace answers and Anakin walks towards one of the couches on his left side so that he has a table and can draw during the trip. He puts his backpack on the floor and makes sure to strap his seatbelt already in place and waits for the plane to leave while looking out of the window looking around the airport while his father and Mace talk to each other and security waits for them to sit down.
Thirty minutes later the captain announces that they will soon be leaving. Looking around Anakin sees everyone taking a seat. His father sits down opposite of him and hands some chew gum to him to which Anakin looks questioning at him.
"Chew on one. It will lower the pressure in your ears" Qui-gon tells him after putting his own seatbelt on. Anakin nods to his father before putting the gum in his mouth and starting to chew a bit. The taste of the gum is nice which distracts Anakin from taxiing and soon they are taking off. Looking out of the window Anakin is amazed by the speed of the plane and by the houses which become smaller as the plane climbs higher. Soon they are done with climbing and Qui-gon releases his seatbelt while saying.
"Anakin, you can release your seatbelt now. Behind the door is the toilet should you need it during the flight"
Anakin releases his seatbelt before taking his drawing out of his backpack and continuing on the picture. He is glad his father told him what is behind the door as he forgot to ask because of his interest in the airport and takeoff.
Six hours later Anakin is dozing when he feels a hand on his shoulder and looks to his father who tells him
"Look out of the window, Anakin. You can see the palace. Welcome to Naboo"
Looking out of the window Anakin can see a building with four towers in the corners and a large garden around it. He can't tell much more about it as he is looking at it from above and the details are hidden from this angle.
Arriving at Theed international airport Anakin starts to feels more nervous with each passing minute about meeting his stepmother and the country for the first time. He doesn't know how he should act around the people. Does he have to be distant? Or can he be open to them. He also is not sure what the rules are he will have to follow from now on and to which school he will go after the break. He suspects that it will be a private school with a lot of rich children considering who his father is. Looking out of the airplane window Anakin sees a limousine waiting for them near mobile airplane stairs and a few cars waiting behind the limousine. Before the limousine two bike agents are also waiting likely to escort them. Hearing seat belts being unbuckled Anakin looks to his feather and see him getting up. Quickly unbuckling his own seat belt Anakin puts his backpack into his back and follows his father towards the door.
The sunlight bites in Anakin's eyes for a few seconds as his eyes get used to the brightness after the door opens. Blinking a few times Anakin looks around the area and can see trees with green leaves in the distance. The temperature is also colder than what he is used to which gives Anakin the impression that the heat he knows from Tatooine is not common here. He wonders if he will get used to the temperature of Naboo or if he always will have to wear multiple layers of clothing to protect his body against the coldness he already feels.
"Anakin, is everything alright?" Qui-gon asks when Anakin stays standing on top of the stairs and also he sees him shivering. He scolds himself for not thinking about the climate difference between Naboo and Tatooine that Anakin is sure to feel. Taking his jacket of he walks to Anakin and puts it around his shoulders after taking Anakin's backpack of his back and putting it on the ground. Taking the backpack back into his hand Qui-gon holds his other hand out to Anakin who takes it and they walk down the stairs towards the limousine waiting for them. Anakin gets into the limousine first and Qui-gon gets after him and he also puts the backpack on the floor in between him and Anakin. Soon the chauffeur starts driving towards the palace with the bike agents leading the way their sirens on.
Ten minutes after leaving the airport they arrive at the palace gate and drive onto the palace grounds. Anakin looks around amazed at the trees and colorful flowers beside the road leading to the palace. The grass looks great to play at as soon as he can. He hopes the cameras he saw near the gate will be gone then as he does not want them to film him while playing. He also wonders why they are at the gate so he asks his father
"Father, why were there cameras near the gate?"
"We had to give a statement to the public for my sudden departure to Tatooine. We told the press that I had to go to Tatooine for personal matters and that I will give them more information after my return. I imagine that they are here to see if they can get a glimpse on the reason for my sudden departure. It will have kept the press and tabloids busy last week to guess what personal matters I could have in Tatooine which I had to attend to on such a short notice" Qui-gon explains.
"Have they seen me?" Anakin asks nervously.
"I don't know, Anakin, I don't know. Only time will tell if they have seen you. If they have I'm sure that it will be on the news in no time including possible pictures or footage of you" Qui-gon says and has to remember the conversation he had with Shmi about Anakin's upbringing. They had agreed to leave Anakin unaware so that he could have a normal childhood without the stress of royal life. Now he knows Anakin will face the stress of royal life hopefully with his and Tahl's support after they have built trust between them.
Anakin nods understandingly to his father as he has seen that happening with Tatooine celebrities. Anakin hopes that they have not seen him as he wants to get used to his father and stepmother before having to deal with the press and everything that comes with it. It also makes him wonder what his father will tell the press about him and so he asks
"What will you tell the press and when?"
"I will give them a picture of you and tell them that you are my son and heir and I will tell them a bit about your life and my relationship with your mother. I will most likely give a statement next morning as I want to get you settled today and have you meet with Tahl when we arrive" Qui-gon explains and then they feel the limousine stopping. Anakin looks out of the window and sees two stone stairs leading up to a platform which in turn leads to large double door. He sees two of the towers he saw in the plane on the side of the building. The stones from the palace look old to him which makes him wonder during which year the palace was build. He suspect it was built hundreds of years ago considering the color of the stones. The palace has three floors from what he can see from the amount of windows. The window frames are made from dark wood at least Anakin believes it to be dark wood.
Hearing the door opening Anakin looks to his father for permission to leave the limousine and sees that the door on his side has also been opened and his father is leaving the limousine. Seeing this as permission Anakin takes his backpack and steps out of the car. Looking at the person who opened the door Anakin sees a man wearing a large red coat which has golden decorating and black pants. The man also wears white gloves and polished black boots. Looking at the man’s face he sees that it is a man in his forties with a clean shaved face who smiles at him when he sees that Anakin is looking at him.
"Come, Anakin. Let's go inside so you can meet Tahl" Qui-gon says and Anakin follows him up the stairs towards the double doors. Stepping through the doors as they are opened before them Anakin sees a large light hall with paintings on the wall. He wonders who the people are in the paintings. Looking at the last one he sees his father standing behind a woman sitting on a chair. The woman, who he suspect is Tahl, has dark honey skin, dark hair and green eyes. Both his father and the woman wear crowns on their heads while the woman also wears jewelry that he also saw in other paintings on the wall. She appears to be kind, but Anakin knows from his time in Tatooine that appearances can be deceiving. The painting is different to the one he saw at the embassy and he wonders why there would be multiple different paintings of his father and stepmother though the clothing are the same as in the embassy painting but without cape and scepter.
"That is the official painting of Tahl and I made a few weeks after our marriage. At that time I was already Naboo's king so she became the queen with our marriage. The other paintings are of the last ten generations of kings and queens of Naboo" Qui-gon says when he sees Anakin staring at the painting of Tahl and him. He hopes that a painting of Anakin will be on the wall in the future if he is willing to officially accept the position of crown prince when he is eighteen even though until that time he will still be known as crown prince.
"Come Anakin, let us continue" Qui-gon says and walks further into the palace after Anakin nods. He leads them through the hall and up a large staircase covered with rich looking carpet. They move to the right side after they reach the top of the stair mad walk through a door into Qui-gon and Tahl's private quarters. The room they arrive in is a sitting room with comfortable brown couches, a few chairs and a small table between the couches. Sitting on one of the couches is the woman Anakin saw earlier in the painting and he suddenly feels incredible nervous as he will live with her from now on and he wants to make a good impression on her so that she will care about him. He doesn't want her to hate him and make his life difficult. Looking to where his father is Anakin sees him embracing Tahl and then he turns to the woman sitting next to where Tahl sat before. He hadn't seen her before and sees that she is holding a baby, who he is sure is his half-sister as he remembers her face from the picture his father showed him the day they met besides he wouldn't what another baby would be doing in the palace. The woman has a light shin color, dark hair and also dark eyes. She wears a light colored dress and high heels. Her hair is put in a ponytail. Anakin wonders who she is and because he is so lost in thought he doesn't see Tahl approaching kneeling down before him.
"Anakin?" Tahl says calmly so as not to scare him while also trying to get his attention. To do that she also out a hand on his shoulder and sees him snapping out of his thoughts. Anakin jumps and looks shocked at her. This confirms to her that he loses an overview of his environment when he is lost in thoughts. She knows that that can become dangerous when he is older and makes a mental note to herself to teach him not to get to lost in thought whenever he is not at home and to also tell Qui-gon about it. Then she sees she has his full attention she holds a hand out in greeting and says
"My name is Tahl, Anakin. It is nice to meet you"
"Nice to meet you and I know. Father showed me a picture of you and Ashoka" Anakin answers while shaking her hand.
"Shall we go to your room so that you can start with decorating it and get everything you brought with you unpacked" Tahl suggests but before Anakin can answer Qui-gon says
"You can show him to his room soon, dearest. Anakin, come here and meet your little sister"
Anakin walks up this father happy to meet his sister for the first time. He hopes that they will get along well when she is older. Now that she is still a baby he doesn't think that getting along will be difficult. His father kneels down so that he can easily look at her. Looking at his stepsister who lies in his father’s arms Anakin sees that his sister has the same skin color as his stepmother which he doesn't find surprising at all. Her eyes are the same color as his father and himself and she has also short dark hairs. He thinks that she is really young as he remembers the few baby his mother took him to whenever they went to see one of her friends who recently gave birth. They were all a few weeks old and around the same size as his stepsister.
"How old is she?" Anakin asks wondering at her exact age as his father never told him it to him.
"She is currently five weeks old" Tahl answers from where she walked up next to Anakin and Qui-gon. She guides Anakin to a couch where he sits down with a questioning look on his face. Qui-gon sits down beside him and gently gives Ashoka to him while coaching him to ensure that he holds her correctly which Anakin barely needs as he remembers the other times he held a baby. Looking down at Ashoka Anakin sees that she reaching for him with her hands so he holds her a bit higher at which time she manages to grab a few hairs and pulls on it.
"Ouch, Ashoka!" Anakin says at which she looks confused before pulling again. Anakin grimaces but before Ashoka can pull again Qui-gon carefully removes her hands from Anakin's hair. Anakin gives her back to his father who in turn gives her to the woman who held her before.
"Where does she go to?" Anakin asks when the woman leaves the room with his stepsister.
"She went to the nursery, Anakin, so that your sister can get her nap which she is long overdue for. The woman who I gave her to is called Shaak Ti and she is our nanny. That means that she helps us with caring for your sister and you whenever we don't have time to do so because of our duties" Tahl explains before offering her hand to him. Anakin takes it and she walks with him into a hallway where they walk passed one door before stopping before the next door. Letting go of Anakin's hand Tahl says
"This is your room, Anakin. The doors we passed are your fathers and mine room and Miss Ti's room. Miss Ti's room is next to yours and ours across from hers. Across from your room is your sister’s room" Tahl explains and Anakin nods understandingly. He knew that he would get a spare room. Stepping into the room he sees a bed before the window with a bedside table beside it. On the left side of the bed is a desk with a chair and before both is a sitting area. On the right side of the bed is a closet and beside the closet is are two doors. Looking back at Tahl he sees that his father is standing beside her smiling. When they see him looking at them Qui-gon says
"This room is yours Anakin. You can open the doors whenever you want. You don't have to ask for permission"
After this Anakin walks to the first door he comes across and opens it. Inside he sees a bathroom and after opening the door next to it he sees a walk-in closet. He is amazed that he has a walk-in closet but has to wonder what he will do with all the space as he doesn't have so many clothes to put into it. Stepping out of the walk-in closet he sees his suitcase and boxes standing beside the table.
"Do you want one of us to help you with unpacking or do you want to do it alone?" Qui-gon asks and Anakin knows that he needs help as he can't put his clothes in the walk-in closet alone.
"Could you help me, please and thanks for the room. It is great" Anakin says belatedly so as not to disappoint his father for not thanking him for the room.
"Of course we can help you Anakin. You don't have to thank us for the room as it is normal for us to give you a room" Qui-gon says before they all start unpacking the boxes and suitcase. Tahl and Qui-gon make sure to give Anakin control over where everything should be stored. They spend the afternoon unpacking and starting to bond between Tahl and Anakin.
The next morning Anakin walks to the dining room together with Miss Ti who had come to his room to help him with getting ready for the day. Anakin had felt surprised that someone had come to help him as he always readied himself since he was six years old. Miss Ti had insisted that he wears nice clothing and after a short discussion he had given in. Still he had insisted on having a say in choosing the clothing he would wear and on dressing on his own as well as readying himself for the day. Anakin is glad that Miss Ti had offered to guide him to the dining room after he was done so that he would not get lost in the palace. Anakin made a mental note to ask if someone could show him around later today.
Arriving in the dining room Anakin sees that his father and Tahl are already sitting at the table. The table is made of dark wood with four chairs around it. In two of the chairs his father and Tahl sit. One chair is empty and the place on the table before the other one is set. Anakin believes that he is supposed to sit there which is next to his father. Thus he moves forward to the chair when he feels a hand on his back urging him forward. He suspects that the hand is from Miss Ti who when he looks over his shoulder is also walking with him towards his father and stepmother. When he reaches the chair he sits down while fiddling with the hem of his shirt nervously.
"Your majesty, with your permission I will go to the nursery to look after the princess" miss Ti says and after getting permission leaves the room. Shortly after she leaves staff enters with their breakfast and puts everything on the table in between them. Anakin waits before Tahl and his father take their breakfast before he helps himself as he is not sure if he can just help himself to what stands on the table or if he has to wait before someone else begins. Luckily everything is close enough to him so that he can reach it without difficulty. They eat in silence for a bit before his father asks Tahl
"What do you have planned for today, dear?"
"I wanted to go shopping with Anakin for some decorations for his room, if you are fine with that?" Tahl asks while looking at Anakin who answers her instantly.
"That is fine with me. Father? Can someone show me around today so that I can walk around the palace on my own"
"I'm sure we can find someone to show you around when you are back from your shopping trip" Qui-gon says.
"Father, to which school will I be going after the holiday?" Anakin asks as he was wondering where he would go to school.
"We have not made a decision yet, if you want I can have someone put the file of prospective schools on your desk so that you can tell us which school you prefer" Qui-gon says and sees Anakin smiling at him. He suspects that Anakin is happy to have a say in his school choice.
"Yes, please" Anakin answers happily before asking "What will you be doing today, father?" Anakin is curious to what his father will be doing today as both Talh and he had discussed their plans for the day.
"I'll doing some work today before meeting with my head of communication for the public statements I'll be making this afternoon" Qui-gon explains after which the staff enters to clean the table. As they are doing that Anakin asks
"When will we be leaving?"
"We will leave in about an hour as our ride is prepared by then. In the meantime why don't I show you around" Tahl suggests and after getting Anakin's agreement she shows him around the palace. An hour later they are told that their ride is ready and waiting in front of the front stairs. Soon they are on the way to their shopping trip.
Sitting in his office Qui-gon is working on his day’s correspondence while waiting for his head of communication to arrive so that they can discuss how the public statement should look and who will be giving it. It would not be strange for his spokesman to make the statement nor would it be strange if he would make the statement himself as it concerns his family.
Around eleven there is a knock on his office door and after giving permission to enter his head of communication walks inside. She is Adi Gallia, a dark skinned woman with black hair and blue eyes. She is a cousin of Mace and also his former foster daughter. Mace took her in when her parents died when she was just two years old and because they made him as her legal guardian in their will. Currently she is wearing a beige colored suit and her long hair hangs loosely over her shoulders.
"How are you and your family doing, your majesty" Adi asks after she sits down in one of the chair on the other side of his desk.
"We are doing fine. Anakin is still a bit uncomfortable around us especially Tahl but I'm sure that at the end of the school break he will be comfortable around us. Now, we can talk more about my family but we had agreed to discuss the public statement that will be given later today" Qui-gon says
"That is true, your majesty. Shall we start with the wording of the statement before we discuss who will be giving the statement" Adi suggests as she wants to have that discussion last. She knows how her king is after working for him for the last six years and she believes that he will want to give the statement himself.
"Of course" Qui-gon says and for the next few hours they are discussing the statement that has to be given later this day.
Two hours later in the palace press room
The press room is slowly filling with reporters who will be reporting on the statement that the royal family will be giving in a few hours. They are all excited about the statement as the last week had been a mystery to them and they want to solve the mystery as fast as possible. As of yet nothing has been said about what the details of the statement nor who will be giving it. The press rumors that the statement has something to do with the sudden departure of the king last Sunday. They believe that whatever happened has to have something to do with family matters because else they would have gotten word of the matter much earlier. In fact they would have gotten word a maximum of a few hours after it happened. As for who will be giving the statement the press believes that one of the spokespersons will be giving it. It is incredibly rare for the king to give a statement himself. Such a thing normally happens in the rare case of a royal birth or dead.
While they are waiting the camera crews are setting up their equipment while the reporters are going over the little information they have or sit down to rest a bit after the hurry to get to the palace.
An hour later after the palace staff finished the final preparations for the press statement the door opens and the reporters and cameras fix on the person entering the room. The entire room is shocked to see the king himself entering together with some of his staff. They recognize the head of communication, Adi Gallia, and the king’s personal assistant, Mace Windu. The press waits patiently for the group to sit down and give the statement everyone is here for.
"Good afternoon, everyone. King Qui-gon will soon be giving a statement on the events that led up to last week. We ask you all to wait with your questions until his majesty has finished giving the statement" Adi Gallia says before looking to her left side to tell Qui-gon that he can start which he does.
"Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us on such a short notice. I'm sure you all were surprised that I left last Sunday without giving any reasons for it nor have my staff give a statement. That is because my ex-wife, Shmi Skywalker, has passed away and I'm the only other person who has custody of our son, Anakin Skywalker Jinn who is my heir apparent and your crown prince. I did not inform you because I wanted my son to have a calm arrival at Naboo without the press hovering over him, something which he is not used to. Also I wanted to have him her used to my wife and myself before introducing him to the country. I want to ask for you to respect his privacy for the coming weeks so that he can get used to royal life" Qui-gon says and then the reporters start to ask questions all at once.
"Silence!" Adi calls out and waits for the room to become silent before she says
"If you want to ask a question we ask you to raise your hand. We will give each of you a chance to ask your questions. When it is your turn we ask you to first tell us your name and agency before asking one question so that everyone has a chance to ask their question"
When she is done they can all see the hands of reporters go up. Pointing to a female reporter Adi gives that reporter her chance to ask her question.
"Alana Winters from Naboo national television. Your majesty, you said that your ex-wife died but we were never told that you were married before your marriage with queen Tahl. Why was it not made public?" Alana Winters asks.
"I married Shmi in secret and when we were married for six months my father found out. He forced us to divorce as he didn't want me to be married to a commoner. At that time she was already pregnant for three months. My father told me that he didn't want to have anything to do with the child. Shmi and I discussed everything and decided that she would raise him alone while I would pay for his schooling when he starts with school. Before that time I would pay her alimony. We had planned to tell Anakin everything when he would be eighteen years old. We made that arrangement for Anakin's safety and to avoid emotionally stressing him" Qui-gon explains and sees the hands go up again. Adi then gives the turn to an older male reporter.
"Daniel Nomad from Naboo Times. Your majesty, you said that your ex wife raised your son till recently. Where exactly did he grow up?" Daniel Nomad asks.
"He grew up in Tatooine, Texas in the United States" Qui-gon explains. The Q&A session continues for an hour before the press conference is ended and Qui-gon, Mace and Adi leave the room. The press then pack their stuff and leave for their studio and/or office.
A few hours later Naboo citizens are watching the evening news to see what happened today.
"Now on to our next topic. Last Sunday king Qui-gon left on a unexplained trip. This afternoon he gave a statement on the reason for his sudden leaving. We will go to Alana Winters who is outside of the palace grounds and was present at the press conference. Alana, what was the explanation the king has given?" The newscaster, a middle aged woman, asks.
"His majesty said that he had to go to Tatooine, Texas to pick up his son who has been living with his mother until recently. The mother was called Shmi Skywalker and she and our king were married in secret for a few months before king Dooku forced them to divorce. King Dooku didn't want his son to be married to a commoner, in the words of king Qui-gon. His son and our crown prince is called Anakin Skywalker Jinn. Prince Anakin lived with his mother as the king and she both agreed that it would not emotionally stress the prince much. Till now the King has been paying for his schooling. We have been asked by king Qui-gon to respect his privacy so that he can used to his new royal life" Alana winters summarizes.
Within the next few hours the topic about prince Anakin is much discussed and searched topic on Naboo social networks as everyone wants to know what they can about their prince.
One month after Anakin's arrival in Naboo Anakin is preparing for the first time he will meet the people of Naboo. Anakin feels very nervous about it as he doesn't know what they will think of him. He wants to make a good impression on them. His father had told him yesterday evening at supper that they would hold their annual Independence Day celebration today. He had told Anakin that they will meet with the entire royal family at nine in the throne room before they will move to the balcony to greet the people together. This marks the beginning of the celebrations and will also be the first time the people of Naboo will see him and Ashoka. Ahsoka will only attend the greeting of the people after which Miss Ti will care for her. From ten to one they will attend Independence Day celebrations in the capital. Then they will have dinner with Naboo's nobility and other important people. Afterwards, they will move on towards the festival in honor of the independence which is given at green lake. This is a lake located north of the capital. It is called the green lake because of the green plains that surround it. In the evening there will be a supper in the palace garden. Later in the evening, there will be a ball to honor the Independence Day which Anakin will not attend because it will too late for him. Miss Ti will pick him up after supper and he can either spend the evening before bedtime with her or in his room. Anakin believes he will spend the evening in his room playing or watching movies.
Currently, Anakin is putting on a suit with the help of Miss Ti. He finds it fanciful because he thinks wearing nice normal clothing will do fine so he asks
"Miss Ti, why do I have to wear this suit? Wouldn't nice normal clothing do fine?"
"No, your highness. At a formal event, it is expected that you wear formal clothing. This suite is formal clothing and today's celebration is a formal event. Thus you have to wear this suite. When you are in private or at school you can wear normal clothing, but not now" Miss Ti explains as she finished putting the tie on him before she buttoning up his jacket. When she is done she makes sure his hair is neat before taking his hand and walking to the dining room.
When they arrive there Qui-gon and Tahl are already waiting for Anakin to join them so that they can eat their breakfast. As it is eight-thirty they have time to quietly eat their breakfast. Anakin walks up to the table and takes a seat on the chair where he normally sits. The table is set for him. Shortly after Miss Ti has left, the servants enter to bring their breakfast and the family starts to eat.
Thirty minutes later they arrive in the throne room. Anakin sees a few people standing there waiting for them to arrive. A young man with brown hair and blue eyes walks up to him when Anakin enters the room behind his father and stepmother. Anakin finds it difficult to determine his age but he believes the man to be a few years younger than his father.
"Hello Anakin, my name is Feemor. It is nice to meet you, little cousin" Feemor says.
"Nice to meet you, sir" Anakin answers as he isn't sure if he can call his uncle by name or not. He believes him to be his uncle based on the name he gave and because Feemor called him cousin. That his father didn't say anything also counts for Feemor's word to be true.
"No sir, Anakin. I'm your uncle and I would like for you to either call by name or to call me uncle Feemor. It will be no problem if you call me that when we are in public" Feemor explains and Anakin nods in understanding. Anakin starts to get the feeling that there are things he cannot say in public. If that also is the case with doing things Anakin doesn't know but suspect it is the case.
"Yes, uncle Feemor" Anakin answers finally after being lost until thought but before the remainder of the family can introduce themselves Mace enters the room and says
"Your majesty, your highnesses. It is time to greet the people. If you would please follow me"
Everyone then moves out is the room towards the balcony.
"Father, why does Mace lead us to the balcony? Don't you know the way?" Anakin asks him curiously when they leave the room. Anakin can't imagine his father and uncle not knowing the way to the balcony. They grew up here so in Anakin's opinion they should know the way around the palace. When he has time Anakin intends to explore the palace himself. Because no one had told him not to explore he believes it is fine for him to do so.
Arriving at the doors to the balcony Anakin can already hear the people outside. It makes him nervous as he as he believes that many people are outside waiting for them and he has no experience with large crowds. Next, to the doors stand two men in similar clothing as the man who opened his car door the day he arrived in Naboo. Looking back to the door Anakin sees it is a glass door with a wooden frame. The frame is really dark so Anakin believes it to be old glass doors.
Looking around the room he sees his father standing to the side of the room. Anakin walks up to his father and waits for him to move towards the balcony.
"Do you remember what I told you yesterday about what you are supposed to do on the balcony, Anakin?" Tahl asks and waits for him to answer. She can see his nervousness and hopes to take some of it away from him.
"Yes, I'm supposed to smile and wave at the people. I also know to stay close to you and father" Anakin answers with a nervous smile. Tahl gives him a kind smile back. Anakin appreciates that she wants to help him with his nerves. During the last month, Anakin learned that his stepmother is really nice and she doesn't change in behavior when they are alone or if his father or anyone else is with them. Hearing the balcony doors open Anakin sees his father stepping forward. Taking a deep breath Anakin follows his father onto the balcony. As he nears the balcony Anakin can hear someone introducing them. He finds it strange for someone to do that as the people would know who they are. Alright, they might not know Anakin but they would know the others.
When the doors are opened before them, Qui-gon and Tahl enter the balcony. Qui-gon has Ashoka in his arm and Anakin follows closely behind hiding a bit behind them as he finds it scary. He finds it nice that no one tells him not to stick so close to them or not to hide behind them. When Anakin looks at the crowd around his father’s legs he feels shocked. There must be hundreds of people here and everyone who is waving flags and taking pictures. He tries to hide again as he finds it even scarier than before. When he feels a hand on his shoulder he looks up and sees his father looking at him. Crouching down Qui-gon asks
"Are you all right, Anakin?"
"It is scary, father" Anakin says and struggles to not cry. He doesn't like being here where everyone is looking at him. Feeling a hand going through his hair calms him down. Looking at his father he sees compassion in his eyes.
"If you want you can hold my hand while we greet the people. They know you are not used to this. Besides, I did the same when I was your age. I always held my mother's hand until I was twelve" Qui-gon explains gently before holding his hand out to Anakin. Anakin takes his father’s hand and together they greet the people. This way it is a lot less scary in Anakin's opinion. When this is done they move back inside where Miss Ti is waiting for them and takes Ashoka back with her to their living quarters. Then they go to the other activities of this day. Anakin enjoys the activities in the capital immensely as he can play with other children or look at things. There he doesn't feel the focus of the people on him. The festival is also nice as he can focus on the music and other activities so that he doesn't focus on the people around him and their attention. The dinner and supper are boring as he has no one to talk to and everyone is talking to each other. Most of the conversation held Anakin can't follow as they are too difficult for him to understand what they are about. The small conversations he has are either with Tahl, Feemor or his father. They are about how he feels and questions if he enjoyed the day. Also, the supper has dishes Anakin doesn't know and he doesn't like some of them. The food is all so strange to him. This all makes it boring and when Miss Ti comes to pick him up he follows her to back to their quarters. There he spends the remainder of the evening playing in his room before going to bed.
A few days later Anakin is on the phone waiting for Obi-wan to pick up. He finally found time to call him again since their call last week. Anakin and Obi-wan have been calling each other at least ones every week during the holiday. They know that they will have less time to call each other as they will have to focus on school. So they decided to call ones every month then. It is also difficult to call each other as Anakin can't give Obi-wan the palaces phone number because of security reasons his father explained to him. At that time Anakin didn't understand what his father was telling him and now he still doesn't understand it.
"Hello, who is this?" Barris says as she answers the phone.
"Barris, this is Anakin. Is Obi-wan around?" Anakin asks.
"Yes, he is outside. I'll call him for you" Barris says and Anakin can hear her calling Obi-wan.
"How are you now? Is it nice living with your father and stepmother?" Barris asks curiously as she only knows that which Obi-wan tells her. She wants to hear it from Anakin too as she hasn't talked to him since he left with Miss Secura to go to his father.
"I'm fine, Barris. Thanks. Living with my father and stepmother was a bit strange in the beginning but when I got to know them better I discovered that my stepmother is really nice. I also learned that my father can be a really stubborn and unwilling to listen to anyone. My stepmother keeps talking to him then and eventually he starts to listen to her then though not without frustration between them" Anakin tells Barris.
"That is good to hear. I'll give you Obi-wan now as he is already trying to take the phone from me" Barris says and Anakin has to laugh as he thought he heard something like that in the background when he was talking to Barris just yet. It sounded like Obi-wan wanted to take the phone from Barris and she didn't let him touch the phone. He had heard them walking or running around the room.
"Hey, Anakin. How was last week? You had your first public appearance, right? How did that go?" Obi-wan asks enthusiastically.
"Last week was okay. I got to spend a lot of time playing but also had to go shopping with my stepmother. We bought a suit which I wore a few days ago. On that day I had my first public appearance and it was alright if I had something to focus on. During the time when we greeted the people on the balcony, it was really scary as everyone was looking at me. At least it felt like it, but when my father allowed me to hold his hand it was a lot better" Anakin explains as he remembers the Independence Day celebration.
"That's nice. I'm sure you will get used to the attention in time" Obi-wan says.
"Thanks, but how are you doing?" Anakin asks as he wants to know what Obi-wan has done last week.
"I don't know. Last week Miss Secura came to tell me that I have a half-brother who is filling for custody of me. He is eleven years older than me. I don't know him but Miss Secura wants me to meet him next week and I'm a bit scared. Also, I want to live here with Lumi, not with my unknown half-brother" Obi-wan says sounding close to tears.
"I'm sure it won't be that bad. Miss Secura didn't say anything to you about going to live with your half-brother so that won't happen. Also during the meeting, I'm sure you won't be alone with your half-brother. Also, I'm sure we will be able to call each other when and if you have to go live with your half-brother" Anakin says trying to reassure Obi-wan.
"That's right. We will be able to call each other no matter what. Still, I hope he is nice. From what Miss Secura said I will have regular contact with him. It won't be fine if he isn't nice and kind" Obi-wan says after having calmed himself down.
"That's right. I have to go now as we will have supper in five minutes. Let's hope it is something normal considering the supper I had during the celebration" Anakin says with a laugh and Obi-wan has to laugh too. They both know that Anakin won't get the kind of food he has at the celebration during supper.
"I'm sure it will be something normal" Obi-wan teases.
"Bye, have a nice day" Anakin says.
"Bye" Obi-wan says and both end the call there. Anakin stands up and walks to the dining room to eat his supper while Obi-wan goes back to playing.
The next few weeks went by far too quickly for Anakin's liking. He went with his father and stepfamily on vacation to Greece for a week. His father owns a large house there is a village located near a beach. Anakin could go to the beach whenever he wanted as the beach is located a few minutes away from the house. Each time he went security would go with him and he saw a few photographers taking pictures of him something which he didn't like then and doesn't like now. He didn't inform his father about it and still doesn't intend too as he doesn't want to worry his father. The other days were spent going sightseeing around the village or visiting amusement parks. This is something Anakin liked the most as he could spent time with his father and stepmother. Through this he learned to know them better. The remaining time in Greece was spend in the house or the back garden either playing alone or with his father or his stepmother. Occasionally he could also play with Ahsoka when his father or stepmother were around. The security details could be seen in the garden and are in Anakin's opinion a bit too much. There are cameras on top of the high walls and near the front gate which can only be opened from inside the building. When he asked his father about it he told him that these are normal security measures for royalty. This didn't reassure Anakin as it still feels as too much security which feels is smothering to him. Anakin believes that he simply has to get used to it so that he is not so affected by the strangeness security brings with it. When they left Greece Anakin felt sad as it was the first real vacation he had. His mother couldn't afford such luxury vacations as she simply didn't have the money for it. Thus they usually went on short trips together. Anakin hopes that they will go back there next year as he made a friend there during the vacation with whom he wants to spend more time. His friend has rich and famous parents so he wasn't surprised to see security following Anakin as he always had his own security with him. Thinking back on this week Anakin deems it the best week in his life so far.
The other week was spent mostly in the palace or in the palace gardens playing on his own as his father and stepmother were busy with their duties. There was the occasional trip to buy school supplies Anakin went on with his stepmother. Anakin has now everything he needs for this school year and with the help of Tahl, he managed to ready his desk for school which starts next week. Anakin feels excited about school as he wants to meet the other children and hopes to make a few friends there. He doesn't look forward too much to his tutoring in Spanish as it will cut on his free time and time to play with other children. In Naboo Spanish and English are taught from the first grade so Anakin misses a few years of Spanish lessons. Also, most children also learn to speak English and Spanish at home. Currently, Anakin is readying himself for bed as tomorrow will be his first day at his new school. He knows he has to go to bed on time as he doesn't want to be tired on his first day. Suddenly there is a knock on the door and Anakin jumps a bit startled. He doesn't know who it is who knocked and he remembers his father telling him that he has to give permission for people to enter his room when he is inside of it. The only time someone can enter without his permission is in emergencies or when he isn't in the room.
"Come in" Anakin says and when the door opens he sees that it was his father who knocked on his door.
"Are you ready to go to bed, Anakin?" Qui-gon asks.
"Yes, father. I'm ready to go to bed. I don't want to be tired on my first school day" Anakin answers.
"If you want I can take you to school tomorrow. From then on a chauffeur will take you there each morning and he will also pick you up when your day is done" Qui-gon says and Anakin agrees. Qui-gon then mentions for Anakin to get into his bed. Putting the bed sheets over Anakin he kisses Anakin on his forehead.
"Good night, Anakin" Qui-gon says
"Good night, father" Anakin answers and he snuggles into his bed. Qui-gon then leaves the room to let Anakin sleep. Anakin is asleep within thirty minutes.
The next morning
Anakin walks towards the limousine taking him and his father to his new school. He had to go back to his room to pick up his backpack after breakfast. Arriving at the limousine he sees his father already there waiting for him. Walking up to his father Anakin says
"Father, I'm ready"
"Alright then, let's get going. I'm sure you're nervous about meeting your new classmates" Qui-gon says and steps into the limousine. Anakin quickly follows behind him and they are leaving the palace grounds a few minutes later. When Anakin looks out of the front window he can see two police officers on a bike meeting up with them after they are past the palace gates and driving in front of them. They have their sirens on and are cleaning the road that way for his group to quickly move across the roads. Looking out of the back window Anakin can see one black car following them. He feels sure that there is at least one car more behind them but because of the first car, he can't see them. They also have their sirens on. This is but the second time Anakin has traveled that way and he doesn't like it. It makes it look like everyone has to make way for them and that they are more important than the other people. It seems like a privileged treatment and that is exactly what Anakin doesn't want. During their vacation, they didn't have this treatment. Anakin does know that he starts to get used to security as he is behaving more normally when he knows they are around and doesn't always notice them anymore. In the beginning he always looked to see where security was and almost always found their location. Anakin knows that when he is at school security will be outside his classroom or outside of the building keeping an eye on him to make sure he is alright depending on where he is and what the situation is like. When he is on the playground his security will be in one of the coffee shops around school drinking a bit or across the street watching the playground. Anakin is happy that Rex and Fives will be his security as they have been doing since he met them at the hotel in Tatooine. He likes them and can get along with them really well. Alright, he knows that when they are free Echo, Jesse or both take over his security and when he is on the palace grounds they don't have to keep an eye on him as there is already plenty of security around. So then they will do other duties or will be allowed to go home depending on what time it is. Just then the limousine stops and Anakin looks out of the window on his father's side. To do that he has to lean forward and he can see the building of his new school. It is a pretty modern building as it is made of new bricks. It has the scrape of a rectangle with square windows equally spaced apart inside. All in all, it is an inconspicuous building but it houses one of the best private elementary schools in the capital. When the door opens Anakin takes his backpack and steps out of the car. Once he is on the sidewalk he puts the backpack on his back. Looking around Anakin can see his father standing next to the limousine and other parents looking at them. At least he believes they are the parents of the other children going to the same school as him as they stand around the playground and don't have cameras out. Also, most of them are dressed in nice looking clothing. Looking at the playground Anakin can see a man in a suit walking up to them and every child on the playground is also looking at them. Quickly walking up to his father Anakin takes a hold of his hand for support.
"Your Majesties, welcome to Theed elementary school. My name is Quarsh Panaka and I'm the school’s principal as I'm sure you know. Allow me to tell you that we are glad you choose to enroll your son at our school" principal Panaka says while holding his hand out.
"Thank you. Anakin made the choice for Theed elementary together with Tahl and myself" Qui-gon says while shaking principal Panakas hand. He doesn't mention that they had checked out other schools before making a final choice but believes that the principal either can gather it from his comment or is already aware of this. Tahl and he actually preferred another school but after Anakin's insistence, they allowed him to enroll at Theed elementary. Qui-gon can hear the school bell ringing and knows that the other children will now be moving to their classrooms.
"If you would follow me then I will show you and prince Anakin to his new classroom. There you can meet his teacher before your son starts with his lessons" the principal says to which Qui-got agrees. Together they make their way towards Anakin new classroom. During their trip, the principal keeps talking about his school and only stops talking when they arrive at their destination. Anakin is slightly annoyed by the principals talking but when he looks to his father he sees that his father isn't visibly moved by the principals talking. He is using his diplomatic face. Thus Anakin suspects that this is something his father is used to and he dreads the fact that he will experience this when he is older. He doesn't know if he can handle it. Looking ahead Anakin sees an older looking woman with white hair waiting outside the classroom. She has her hair in a bun with two sticks inside it and is wearing dark blue jeans, a white blouse tougher with a black blazer. To Anakin, she gives the impression of a strict person with little compassion. He hopes that his first impression is wrong as he doesn't like such people a lot. He knows from experience that these kind of people are difficult to please.
"Welcome your majesty, it is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Jocasta Nu and I'll be your son's teacher this year" Miss Nu says as an introduction.
"Likewise" Qui-gon answers while shaking her hand. Then Miss Nu holds her hand out to Anakin and says
"It is nice to meet you, Anakin. I can call you Anakin, right?"
"Yes, you can miss Nu" Anakin says politely while shaking her hand and smiling shyly at his new teacher. His father and his new teacher talk for a few minutes about things Anakin can't remember. He looks around the hallway and can see where everyone has put their coats. On the walls of the hallway hang paintings but Anakin can't see who made it. From the looks of it the paintings are made by children as professional artists can make better paintings. Suddenly Anakin feels a hand on his shoulder and sees that it is his father who put the hand on his shoulder. His father moves his head subtly forwards and when Anakin looks in that direction he sees that Miss Nu is looking at him. When she sees that she has his attention she says
"Come, Anakin. Let's go meet your new class"
Anakin looks up to his father who wishes him good luck and then Anakin follows miss Nu into the classroom while his father leaves the school grounds to attend his appointments. After arriving in the classroom Anakin stays standing in front of the classroom as he has seen other children do at his previous school. His new classmates are all sitting at their desks and are talking to each other. Clapping her hand's Miss Nu has the classroom quiet in a few seconds and tells the class
"Good morning everyone and welcome back to a new year at Theed elementary. Before we start with reflecting on everyone's holiday I want you to meet your new classmate. He came here from the USA to live with his father and his stepmother and will be learning with us from today"
Miss nu then mentions for Anakin to introduce himself which he does.
"My name is Anakin Skywalker Jinn and it is nice to meet you all"
The classroom then erupts then in chaos as almost the entire class starts to ask questions. They are all aware of the fact that this is the crown prince who they will be in the same class as them as they saw his picture in the papers as well as having heard the news reports.
"Silence!" Miss Nu calls and the classroom quiets again in mere seconds.
"Anakin, you can sit in the empty seat in the front row" miss Nu days and Anakin goes sit where she told him to while Miss Nu continues on with her instructions
"Now we will all tell a short story about how our vacation was and then we will start with our first day of school"
Thus the first day of school started and at the end of the day, Anakin had already found a few classmates with whom he could play and who didn't befriend him for his position. They actually didn't seek him out on their own as most of the class did. They stayed back and only played with him after Anakin approached them on his own.
Two months after his first day at Theed elementary Anakin experiences a hard shock when suddenly Obi-Wan goes to live with his half-brother and he loses contact with his best friend. Obi-Wan couldn't give his half-brothers phone number to Anakin as he didn't have it nor was informed about the date when he would go live with his half-brother. Anakin is really upset about it as he didn't want to lose his best friend. He wants to stay in contact with him because Obi-Wan knows how he feels and he can't talk with any other child about it. His new friends don't understand what he feels as they have never experienced something like he did but they still always try to help him to the best of their abilities. He can only talk with his father, his stepmother and Miss Ti about it because they understand his feelings a bit. They do help him but are unable to exactly relate to how Anakin feels about it. Thus he is upset to lose contact with the one person who can relate to his feelings.
Two years later
Anakin wakes up to a weight on his stomach. Wiping the sleep out of his eyes with the back of his hand, Anakin looks to see who is sitting on him. He sees the smiling face of Ahsoka looking down on him. When she sees that he is looking at her she starts to jump on his stomach.
"Wakey, wakey" Ahsoka keeps saying while continuing to jump on his stomach with a big smile on her face. She appears to be enjoying herself immensely, Anakin thinks.
"Soka, I'm awake but can't get up if you continue to jump on me. So. Get. Off. Me!" Anakin says while playfully shoving Ahsoka of off him. She complies but still stays close by while Anakin gets out of bed. Firstly Anakin makes a trip to the bathroom to brush his hair and teeth before going back to his bedroom and intending to grab his clothing so that they can go to the playroom to play a bit when he suddenly becomes aware of Ahsoka following him. Turning around he looks down at his sister. Alright, she is his, in fact, half-sister but he cares for her as if she is his full sister. And most importantly he doesn't care for the fact that they have different mothers. Ahsoka is also too young to understand what it means while she does understand that she and he have different mothers. At first, when they told her a few days ago she was confused as she didn't understand how that could be. In her opinion, if someone is sibling they have the same parents. After Anakin told her that the fact that they have different mothers doesn't mean that he doesn't care for her or that they are siblings, she was really happy but hasn't strayed much from his side whenever they were awake. The only times when she did was when either he had to go to school or if she had to take her nap. All the other times she has stayed close to him. Anakin doesn't understand why she does it and intends to ask her later on but know that he wants to know why she would follow him around when he is just readying himself for the day.
"Ahsoka, why do you follow me around here in my bedroom?" Anakin asks after having crouched down so he is at eye level with her. He has seen his father and Tahl doing the same for Ahsoka and also for him when he was smaller. So he copies their behavior.
"I don't want you to leave me" Ahsoka says quietly while Anakin can tell from her voice that she is close to crying. He had asked Tahl about it once. She had explained to him that Ahsoka is still little so she is really open in her emotions. She doesn't know just yet how to hide things, nor has she the experience doing so. Anakin really hopes that she doesn't start to cry as he doesn't know how to handle it. Thus he asks
"Why do you think I will leave you?"
"Because you will want to spend time with your mommy as I do with mine. I don't want you to go and not come back to us" Ahsoka answers and is already silently crying.
"Ahsoka, I can't go to my mommy anymore because she is dead. Besides, I would always come back to you as you are my precious little sister who I wouldn't want to miss for all the money in the world. Now, why don't you let me dress on my own and after breakfast we can go play all we want" Anakin says calmly while wiping the tears of Ahsoka 's face.
"Okay, but what does it mean that your mommy is dead. Where is she now? Can you go visit her?" Ahsoka asks with a frown on her face. She doesn't understand what Ani said about his mother and she wants to get an answer out of Anakin now. She never liked it when she didn't understand something. Besides daddy always told her to ask when she didn't understand something.
"You can better ask Tahl or daddy about it. They can better explain it to you than I can. I don't know how to explain it to you Ahsoka" Anakin says and can see that she is not happy with his answer but she gives him a nod showing she agrees with him. Anakin is sure that she will ask questions about dead the first opportunity she has. He believes that opportunity to be during breakfast. He makes sure to remind himself that he has to mentally prepare himself for it.
"See you soon" Ahsoka says and walks out of the room. When she stands in the door she waves at him before closing the door behind her. Anakin waves back but then notices that she is still wearing her pajamas.
"Was she still wearing her pajamas?" Anakin wonders aloud while shaking his head. He knows that he has to get started with dressing himself before Ahsoka gets back to his room or there will be trouble. The last time she had to get him when he wasn't ready she actually made dressing more difficult as she wanted to help but made the problems only bigger.
Ten minutes later Anakin has gotten himself fully dressed and steps out of his bedroom. He starts to walk towards the dining room when he hears Ahsoka's voice calling after him. Turning around Anakin can see her running towards him. Looking further into the hall he can see that she had to have come from her bedroom as he can see miss Ti standing there looking a bit frustrated. He knows that she can be frustrating when she wants something and he is sure that Ahsoka has yet to learn that not everything goes as she wants it to. When she reaches him she crashes into him and it takes some struggle to stay standing and not fall on his butt. Looking down he can see that Ahsoka is looking at him with a big grin. Anakin swallows once as he knows from experience that she has planned something and he doesn't know what that is just yet. Also, he is unsure if he will like it or not. Ahsoka has a bit of a mischievous streak something he has had to experience quite a lot. He is her favorite victim though he wonders if she had done similar things to his father and Tahl and what their reactions were. Also, he wonders if he has ever acted the way she does or not.
"Hey, snips. I see that you did manage to dress. Or did Miss Ti help you? I think it is the last one, am I right" Anakin says teasingly while also grinning at her. Snips is the nickname he gave her for her snippy behavior while she instantly retaliated by calling him Skyguy. This all happened around six months ago when she was trying to get him to play with her in a snippy tone. Anakin has to admit that he kind of enjoyed their bickering. It made the day less boring as it was after school and they only had boring classes. Since then they have been bickering from time to time though Anakin refrains from it in public after one event when they were at a celebration. It was made big news by the media and his father had told him to refrain from it as it draws attention to him which he wouldn't want. After that, he wasn't allowed to watch or read the news for a few days while it all died down.
"Of course Miss Ti helped me, Skyguy. I don't know how to do it on my own just yet. You know that. Just as you know she allows me to put the easy pieces on all by myself" Ahsoka says pouting a bit while letting go of Anakin's legs. She takes his hand and puls a bit to get him to come with her. Shortly afterward they walk together to the dining room. During the trip, Anakin reflects on their growing relationship. They are growing increasingly closer to each other because there are no other children around their age in their family. Also, there are things they can't talk about to anyone, as other people don't understand those things as they never experienced them themselves. They are free in their talking and doing while Anakin knows that it is expected that he acts responsibly for his age because he is a member of the royal family. So he doesn't have a lot of freedom. The only freedom he has is in their quarters and the shielded parts of the palace gardens as the press is always trying to figure out what he is doing. He remembers that it took him quite a lot of time to get used to it. In Ashoka's case, it is different as she grows up with it so she experiences these things from a young age.
After a short walk, they arrive at the dining room. Opening the door Anakin can hear his father and Tahl discussing their plans for the day. Anakin knows that Tahl intends for him to join her on a trip to an amusement park as a reward for his latest report as she had offered it to him and given him to think about it. He managed to keep his grades up while also managing to finally maintain a good grade for Spanish. It was really difficult in the beginning as he knew next to nothing about the language and he had to learn the things the other children learned from a small age really fast if he was to be able to keep up with his classmates. Tahl will open a new area of the amusement park which has been built the last few years. It was a really big addition to the park. Afterwards, they are allowed to visit the attractions and he is allowed to enjoy a few of them. Also, he had been asking about what he would have to do when he is older and Tahl suggested this to which he readily agreed. His father will work through his correspondence as usual before spending the remainder of the day playing with Ashoka, as Tahl told him. Stepping into the room Anakin says
"Good morning, Daddy, Tahl"
"Mommy, daddy, good morning. What will we be doing today?" Ahsoka asks impatiently. As it is a Saturday they don't have school and most of the time they spend together so Ahsoka wants to know how they what they will do today. Anakin can hear chuckling in the dining room as his father and Tahl are both amused by Ahsoka behavior.
"Good morning to you too. As for what we will be doing today, you'll learn that after dinner, Ahsoka. Anakin, what is your opinion on the offer I made you yesterday?" Tahl asks.
"I would like it, Tahl" Anakin answers smilingly and can see that he becomes the center of attention because of his reaction. He and Tahl became really good friends after a few months that he lived in the palace with his father. But it really developed after she took him on a weekend-long vacation to an amusement park in the north of the country. This was done to serve as a short break from school and public life for both of them. Anakin really enjoyed his time with her there and got to know her better. As a result of this, he became really good friends with her.
Anakin and Ahsoka take their seat at the table and the family is soon starting on their breakfast. Eating breakfast is done in silence. Anakin uses this time to think back to the last few years. It all went so fast that he only now that he is thinking back is noticing that is has been two years went already. He has made a few good friends at school during these years while he also learned that not everyone really intends to be his friends. There are people who only want to be friends with him for the attention and fame it will get them. It was a really painful lesson he learned. He had to cry a lot afterward. Because of this Anakin has become more careful in choosing who his friends are and will be. He takes his time getting to know them before calling them his friends so that he is more certain that they are not out of fame or attention. He also likes his school as it offers great opportunities to develop individual passions and to become involved in the community. Anakin became involved in the schools Model United Nations on a recommendation from his father. His father also took a part in it when he was younger and suggested that Anakin do the same. This so that he would learn some important skills which he will need once he takes his official duties on. Also, Anakin knows that he is already becoming better at public speaking and debating situations. He notices this when he had to speak to the class or discuss matters with some of his classmates. It had all become easier for him with time. In the beginning, he didn't like it that much but with time he came to really enjoy it as he is allowed to voice his opinions. Most importantly he learns how to express his opinions in such a way that others understand what he wants to say while also not offending someone. Anakin can tell that these skills will be really helpful once he is older.
In the last two years, he had to accompany his parents only to the official events where it is expected for the entire royal family to be present. This happens only a handful of times each year. For most of the other days, he is left in peace by the press while there is still the occasional photographer who will take pictures of him in private setting. Anakin knows that he has become really good at finding the places where the press can't find him so that he will still have some time for himself. The events he had to show up at weren't the most interesting events in his opinion and Anakin had to make sure that when he was bored it didn't show on his face. It took a bit of practice but Anakin is sure that it is barely visible anymore. Also whenever there was such an event his father forbid him from watching the news or read the newspaper afterward so that he wouldn't be bothered by what they would say or write about him. He will be allowed to watch and read it when he is older. This also gave him the impression that he has a face to uphold in public as otherwise there will be talked about by the press. This is something he made sure to avoid as he didn't want it then and doesn't want it now so that he won't bother his father and Tahl with it. He knows that they will have to deal with whatever is said about him as he picked up a few conversations about it.
Thirty minutes later everyone is done with their breakfast and Anakin follows Tahl to the limousine which will take them to the amusement park. His father moves towards his office while Ahsoka goes to the playroom to play a bit until their father is done with his daily work.
One year later
Anakin enters his own room after returning from the last school visit. Together with his father and Tahl he has been to a few middle schools to see which one he would like to attend next year. He knows that he will be going to a middle school then and really wants to make a good choice because the middle school is the stepping stone for high school. Together they went to a few public and a few private middle schools. His father had told him that they will make a choice tomorrow so that he would have time to think over everything he has seen and experienced at those schools. He walks towards his toys as he wants to play a bit before dinner. Thinking back to the schools as he plays Anakin knows that there are two schools which he absolutely doesn't want to attend. He didn't like the atmosphere of the school and he also didn't feel at ease there. The school he liked the best is Theed academy. For this school, examinations are required to be allowed to attend. Last week Anakin took this test and really hopes he will be accepted as he likes the curriculum of the school. The school has a full honors curriculum which makes it really challenging and he wants to challenge himself so that he doesn't get lost in thought during classes. This is something he regularly does at school when the teacher goes over information he already knows. This makes those lessons really boring. By challenging or being challenged he knows that he pays better attention and is able to learn more. Still, he knows that he has to have a reserve option in case he isn't allowed to attend. Waterfall middle school is the one he would like to have as his reserve. This school has a nice atmosphere and really nice teachers. Thier curriculum will be adapted to the needs of every student so Anakin knows that it is possible for him to challenge himself there. He doesn't know how much of a choice he has in it as both are public schools and he doesn't know how his father will like that. He really hopes he doesn't have to go one of the private schools as they are the ones with the bad atmosphere in Anakin's opinion. An hour later he is called to the dining room for dinner and afterward, he does a bit of homework before going to bed.
The next morning Anakin goes to his school where he starts his last week of elementary school. Most are really sad that they have to leave as no one wants to lose their friends. They all have to make their final choice for their middle school by tomorrow evening. Anakin knows that he will make his choice this afternoon when he gets back from school. Yesterday evening his father had told him that he should come to his office after school so they can make the choice to which middle school he will go next year. This day the class spends the morning going over the last subjects they have to know for the tests that will be taken tomorrow. He feels a bit of piety for Miss Nu as she will have to grade all the exams before Friday. That will be an enormous task as she can't have any delays. Friday the class will get their final reports. In the afternoon they go to a pool for a few hours as it is a hot day. It is a fun afternoon where they all can play and relax a bit. It is a great afternoon in which Anakin gets to play with his new friends in the pool and on the grass near the pools. The day ends too quickly in Anakin's opinion when he sees the limousine arriving at the swimming pool. He quickly takes his backpack and swimming gear as he had already dried and dressed himself a few minutes before. He knows that the driver doesn't really like to wait long on him so he has to get in the limousine quickly. The driver almost always has somewhere else he has to be Anakin learned from his father sometime last year.
Twenty minutes after leaving the swimming pool Anakin can see the palace gates appearing in the front window of the limousine. Another few minutes later the limousine arrives for the palaces stairs and a lackey opens the door for him. He walks back to his room firstly so that he can leave his backpack there and put the swimming gear in the washing corb in his bathroom. This is because he doesn't want to take his stuff with him to his father's office and then back to his room. It is a bit circuitous to do so in Anakin's opinion. Ten minutes later he is standing before his father's office door. Knocking once, Anakin waits for the permission to enter the room. He gets it after a few seconds and when he enters the office he can see that his father is putting away the papers he was working on. Anakin can see that his father puts an envelope in his inside pocket. He wonders what is inside the envelope.
"Anakin, good afternoon" Qui-gon says smiling before standing up and saying
"Shall we discuss the choice you made for your new middle school on the couch?"
"Of course, father" Anakin says and they both sit down on the couch. Before the couch, which is made of a dark blue cloth, is a dark oaken table with some refreshments on it. This gives Anakin the impression that his father expected this answer from him and made preparations.
"Which two schools we went to have your preference, Anakin?" Qui-gon asks.
"Well my first choice is Theed academy and my second choice is Waterfall middle school" Anakin answers.
"How did you come to your choice?" Qui-gon asks curiously. Personally, he would not have put Waterfall middle school among the top two as it is a large school located with not as many resources as the other schools have. Theed academy actually is a school he would have preferred to go to when he was Anakin's age. His father instead sent him to a boarding school. This was one of the worst years of his life. Thus this a choice he will never make with Anakin. He will live at home with his parents and not at a boarding school. His first and second choice would have been Theed academy and Westpoint middle school. Westpoint is one of the best private middle schools in Theed and the surrounding areas. It really prepares their students to go to a university after graduation. Still, he would like to know Anakin's reasoning before he makes a decision. In his final decision, he knows that he will keep Anakin's choice and reasoning in mind.
"Well, Theed academy has a full honor curriculum which is really challenging and I like being challenged. It makes sure I don't become bored during class. As for Waterfall middle school, I choose it for its nice atmosphere and the nice teachers there. Also, it is possible for me to adapt my classes so that I can challenge myself. The other schools didn't have such a nice atmosphere as these had. The atmosphere there was really that of arrogance and I don't like it. Yes, I know where I stand and what I can do but those people there don't care for those things as much as I do" Anakin explains as best as he can.
"Of course. Well, I got word back from Theed academy this morning. As I haven't opened it yet I don't know what it says. Will you open it?" Qui-gon says while reaching for his inside pocket to take the envelope out of it. He holds it out to Anakin who calmly but quickly takes it from his hands. Anakin opens the envelope and takes the letter out of it before carefully reading the letter. While he is reading Qui-gon can see the smile starting to form on Anakin's face.
"Well, what does it say?" Qui-gon asks curiously. He wants to know the answer almost as much as Anakin does. This is because they both like the school so he knows that if Anakin is accepted that they will both be happy.
"It says that I'm accepted. Can I go there, daddy?" Anakin asks hopefully after he is finished with reading the letter. He really hopes he can go there as he has been hoping to be accepted for the past week. Since yesterday he was hoping even more as he likes the school the best based on the school visits they made then.
"Yes, Anakin. You can go there" Qui-gon answers and smiles at Anakin when he shows his joy on his face. It is then that Anakin flies in his arms and keeps repeating "Thank you, thank you" over and over again. He really has to learn to mask his emotions better as he grows older.
"I know you're glad and I'm happy for you too. Now, don't you have tests tomorrow for which you have to study? Qui-gon asks and gets a nod for an answer.
"Go then. You don't want to get worse grades than you could get if you studied, am I right?" Qui-gon asks teasingly.
"You're right. See you at dinner, daddy" Anakin says and dashes out of the room back towards his own room. Qui-gon has to laugh at his behavior and goes to sign the papers so that Anakin can start at Theed Academy after the summer break. Meanwhile, Anakin is really happy that he is accepted and does his utmost best to study for his tests. He knows that his new school will look at them also and he wants to make a good impression on his new teachers. He spends the remainder of the day on studying for the tests.
Four days later Anakin arrives at school and can see some of his friends already on the playground. Thus he walks up to them and they play a bit together before their last day starts. They all feel excited about getting their final report and starting at a middle school. It is a new experience which they look forward to the experience. Yesterday during a break they discussed which middle school they would go after the summer break. Most of Anakin's friends go to private middle schools while only one of them will go with him to Theed academy. Anakin feels sad that he will lose his friends after a few years but knows that it won't be difficult to make new friends. This he learned when he moved to Naboo a few years ago. He took his time to see who really wanted to be his friend before calling them his friends. It was not really difficult to make new friends as most wanted to spend time with him. This way he learned who would be his friend and who wouldn't. After the discussion, they decided that they would have a goodbye party together in the beginning of the summer break so that they could say goodbye to each other. Another reason for this is that they wanted to have something to remember each other by and this would be the ideal time to give it to each other. So they had decided to get for each of them a similar necklace which they could wear to remember each other by.
Five minutes later the school bell rings and everyone makes their way to the classroom. Once they get there they can all see that Miss Nu has snacks and drinks standing on a table in the room. Also, they can see wrapped packages lying on her desk. Anakin wonders if this is a gift from the school or from Miss Nu herself.
"Children, take your chairs and make a circle in the middle of the room" Miss Nu says and everyone is quick to follow her orders as they all want to go home soon. Five minutes later they all sit on their chair in a circle and Miss Nu says after sitting down on her own chair in the circle
"Today our program will start with talking about which school you all will go to. Afterwards, the will be a small break during which you all will get a snack and something to drink. It is then that we will talk about your plans for the summer break and lastly I will call each of you to me and give you your final report and the present the school bought for all of you. After receiving your final report you will go back to your seat and wait until everyone has their report. It is then that you are allowed to leave"
Afterward, they follow the day’s program Miss Nu has explained just yet. Anakin learns that most of his class go to private schools while only six go to public schools. From those six only three go to Theed academy, himself included. He actually had expected this and is thus not surprised that many to private schools. A lot of those families only allow their children to go to private schools as those schools have really good programs in the opinion of those families. Anakin spends the time during the small break talking to his friends and making the last plans for their party. After Miss Nu calls the class back to order they discuss their holiday plans. It is then that he learns that most have plans to go on a vacation during the summer break as is normal. The destinations are in all directions of the world, from South America to all the way to Asia. He himself will go to the same place as last year and really hopes that he will see his friend there again. His friends and he also tell them about the party they have decided to hold. It gets really great responses from the class. It is then that Miss Nu finally starts to call them to her one at a time. Five minutes later she calls Anakin to her. Anakin stands up and moves to her. When he stands before her she holds out an envelope which he knows contains his final report and then gives him his gift. Thirty minutes later, Miss Nu tells them goodbye and wishes them good luck in the future. The entire class hurries out of the classroom on their way back home. None of them can wait to be home, himself included. During the time he had to wait in the classroom Anakin had looked at his report as did most of his classmates from what he could see. He saw there that he has really good grades so is confident that nothing will stop him from attending Theed academy. He had refrained from opening his gift as he saw, from his classmates, that everyone got a yearbook as a gift. They had already opened it during the time they had to wait before being allowed to leave. Thanks to them Anakin knows that he also has gotten a gift. Once he is outside he can see the limousine waiting to take him home.
Six weeks later Anakin is preparing his desk and bookshelf for next week when he starts at Theed academy. Last week he went shopping for school supplies with Tahl. Two days after that he had prepared his locker at school together with his father so that that is done. Now he only has his desk and bookshelf left to prepare for next week. He puts the binders on the lowest shelve so that he can easily find and grab them. Each one is a different color and he has the matching crafting paper sitting in a magazine holder on the floor next to his desk. On his desk is an organizer containing his writing supplies, a MacBook which is connected through Ethernet to the internet and paper stored in another organizer.
Anakin is currently unable to craft his books as he doesn't have them yet and will get them and his backpack in two days when he goes to pick them up. The books are rented and he will keep them in his locker at school after crafting them. In his bookshelf stand the same books as he will pick up at school. These he will use at home for studying. Through this, he doesn't have to carry the books with him to school each day. Tahl had offered him help with crafting as it will be the first time he will be doing it. Anakin had accepted her help gratefully as he didn't know how he would be able to get it done on his own if he didn't get any help the first time.
Looking at his desk he sees a few books lying around and puts them also on his bookshelf. These are the books he read for school during the summer break. He wrote a summary of each of them so that he is able to remember what they are about in the future. He remembers that these books were really nice and easy to read for them as all of them interested him to some degree but doesn't remember really well how the story went. Touching the necklace he is wearing, Anakin remembers the friends he will miss but also knows that he will make new friends when he starts at Theed academy next week. This comforts him a bit as the loss of contact with Obi-wan still hurts. He hopes that he will be able to meet him again in the future.
Anakin steps into the limousine that will take him to his new school for his first day. He knows that Rex and Fives will be following him in a non-descriptive car so that they will not be sticking out in his school's neighborhood. Also, last Saturday he received a lecture from Cody, the head of security for the royal family, about what his security will like now that he goes to different school. Because it is a public school he will attend also affects how his security will be organized as Cody had said.
"My prince, now that you will be attending a high school your security will be changing. The fact that you will be attending a public school has also been taken into account in organizing your new security measures. I need you to listen carefully to me because I will not be able to repeat this instruction to you again" Cody, a brown-haired man whose features Anakin knows well, says. They are similar to those of Rex and Fives which makes Anakin wonder if they are family. And if so then he also wants to know if there are more siblings of them working for his family’s security.
"Your majesty, are you listening to me?" Cody asks when he notices that Anakin is lost in his thoughts.
"Sorry, Mister Fett. I was just thinking. I'll listen to you, I promise" Anakin promises as he knows that he will be able to keep his promise. His father had taught him that he shouldn't make promises he can't keep as they will come back to haunt you later on. Especially if you are royalty and the press will be keeping track of everything you do, say and promise. They will know it when you don't honor your promises. That's why his father had told him to start practicing it now so that it will be something normal when he is older. Also, he addresses Cody by his last name as his mother had taught him to address your elders by their last name. You can call them by their first name if they have given you permission to do so.
"Your majesty, you were given an iPhone by your father. It is expected of you that whenever you are at school or at one of your friend's homes you have your location activated and have your iPhone with you at all times. Through that, your security will be able to tell your location and ensure your safety. Also, you will get a wristband from me that has an emergency button in it which you can use in case of an emergency. Let's hope you will never need to use it. Your school building has cameras on the inside and the outside and your security will have access to footage of those. These are the most important security measures we have in place to protect you that you are expected to know of" Cody says.
"Okay" Anakin says but doesn't like it that he doesn't know all of the security measures taken to ensure his safety. He really wants to know them all but knows that he won't get them if Cody doesn't want him to know about them. This has been a really frustrating lesson for him.
This all brings him back to today. Anakin can't wait to be at his new school and for the lessons to start. To calm his nerves down and also to distract himself Anakin checks his backpack one last time. He can see his notebooks, binders, pencil case, snacks and drinking bottle inside it. Next to his backpack stands a bag containing the crafted rented books which he needs to place in his locker and which he doesn't need until lunch break. Then he will take the books he needs for his afternoon classes out and will put the others inside. He won't be taking them back with him at the end of the day as he has second handed copies of them at home. Inside is also a basket containing writing essentials which he also has to place in his locker. Tahl suggested this so that he never will be without and Anakin can understand it. You don't want to be in a situation where you have to write something and not able to do so because you didn't have the chance of picking up a new one at your locker. In such a case you would be dependent on the goodwill of your classmates in supplying him with something to write with.
Just then he can see the school coming up alongside the limousine when he looks out of the window. He can see them turning into the parking lot where he can leave the limousine. He knows that you can't be dropped off on the sidewalk in front of the school. The limousine will be back at the end of the school day. He takes his backpack and the bag with the crafted books before stepping out of the limousine.
"Goodbye, till the afternoon" Anakin says to his driver.
"Goodbye, your highness. Have a nice day" the driver says back and then leaves the parking lot. Anakin takes a good look at the building before moving toward the front of the building. Firstly he walks to his locker to put the books inside before walking towards the cantina where all the new student were told to gather. From there they will be taken to their homeroom by their homeroom teacher. He has learned the way around the building from older students during the orientation which took place two weeks ago. He really liked the orientation as he learned a lot more about his new school then and intends to participate in it in the future to teach the things he knows to new students. The inside tips the older students gave to them Anakin knows he will benefit from in the future. When he arrives at the cantina he can see a lot of children around his own age waiting there and talking to each other in small groups. When they see him almost all of them turn to him and surround him. This is behavior which he knows really well so he isn't really surprised by it. He walks up to his friend who is waiting near the back of the cantina with a few other children while politely moving through the crowd. When he gets there he talks to them until the director calls everyone's attention to him.
"Good morning on your first day at Theed Academy. My name is Nick Sanders and I'm your school's director. I will be calling each of your names after introducing the homeroom teacher for the representative class. Your homeroom will explain the most important things to you before releasing you to your classes. When I have called all the students of a class forward you will wait near your homeroom teacher, until all the classes are formed, with going to your homeroom" mister Sanders says and then goes to introduce the teacher for class Alpha. Afterward, he calls each of the students in this class forward and they wait until every class is formed. After introducing the teacher assigned to class Beta he calls each student forward. This is the class Anakin learns he is assigned to just as his friend who came with him to this school. Twenty minutes later everyone follows their homeroom teacher to their homeroom.
"Alright everyone, as it is your first-day homeroom will last double the time it normally takes. This means we have thirty minutes the time to do everything that needs to be done. We will first start with introducing ourselves before I will explain a few important matters to you" Mister Tobias, class Beta's homeroom says. He is an elderly looking male in his late fifties as he told the class when he introduced himself. He has black hair and green eyes. Once mister Tobias has introduced himself all the students introduce themselves and explain in which neighborhood they live and what they like to do with their spare time. Afterward, everyone gets the daily school paper and one of the students is told by Mister Tobias to read it out loud in front of the class. Anakin learns that this is a practice that will be conducted every morning during homeroom. Mister Tobias had said that everyone will get a turn at reading the paper to the class in the morning. It is then that the teacher explains how the schedule works. Theed Academy has a six-day schedule and that means that each day gets a number which will determine which classes one will have each day. Also, they are told to write the appointment they have with their guidance counselor in their diaries. Then they are released to their first lesson of the day which is English. The teacher for this class is Miss Falk, a young woman with long red hair and grey eyes. She is a kind teacher who pays attention to every student and goes over the syllabus for this period. She explains to them that every ten weeks a new period starts and thus that they will get a final in week ten and at the beginning of each period a new syllabus. She also tells them that they will have a quiz each week about what they learned during that week. This is to make sure that they don't have to study everything in the last few weeks before the period's finals which would make remembering and understanding everything incredibly difficult. In the end, she gives them a bit of homework to make for the next lesson and also tells them to make sure to bring short summaries of the books they have read during the break with them. She will have to put them in the file she has on them. It is then that she ends her class. Afterward, they move towards Math where the same routine as English is followed. The only difference is that after going over the syllabus they go over their summer homework. Also, they get some explanations to be able to finish the homework they got. After Math, they get a lunch break which is spent getting to know each other better. At the end of the break, there are already small groups made. The group Anakin belongs to is small. Between four to six children. When the bell rings to signal that the break is over they get their first lesson in Latin. As was the case with the previous lessons the syllabus was discussed and the remainder of the class is spent on the beginning aspects of Latin. This class is really interesting in Anakin's opinion and he is looking forward to the next lesson they will have. After Math, they go to music class. Anakin is looking the most up to this class as it interests him the littlest. He doesn't what they value of this class will be in his future life. He knows that he only has this class two times in a six-day rotation so the day they will have a day when they have a study hour between classes. This is something Anakin intends to make great use of so that he will have more time in the evening for doing fun things.
The next day he starts with history followed by health. The last class appeared to be boring but Anakin can tell that this is a class that is really interesting as it teaches them how to lead a healthy life. Afterward, he has Spanish. Spanish is split in two as the lunch break is in between this class. Then he has geology followed by physical ed. He really likes this class as he has an outlet for his energy and can play a bit for as much as the teacher allows. At the end of the day, he goes to some of the club meetings for that day so that he will know which club he wants to join. He did the same yesterday and found a really nice club he wants to participate in. That was a career exploration club. That club invites professionals to their meetings from time to time to talk to them. The remainder of the time they spend exploring each other's and their own professional interest. But today there are no club meetings that interest has him to join. Thus he goes home afterward to study till late in the evening. He really hopes that the time spends on studying will become less with time though he also doubts it.
This routine is followed every day because the schedule from day one is the same as that of day three and five. The only difference is that during day three they have a study hour during the time they have music class on the other days. That time he spends on his homework and plans to use for any group works he might have during the year. The schedule from day two is identical to that of day four and six.
Two years later
Anakin is walking back to his room after another week at school and intends to study for the remainder of the evening as he has tests next week. These tests mark the end of another period and he needs to be able to score well on them to keep the grades on his report up. He has managed in the last two years to get primarily A's on his report and would like to keep them. For that, he needs to study so that he remembers and understands as much as possible of the things that will be tested. The first period Anakin found difficult as there were a lot of changes in his school life so he had mostly C's in his first report from Theed academy. In the following periods, he managed to get even better grades once he managed to get a hang of how things go at Theed academy and understand things better.
Right now he is enjoying his time at school and manages to still have plenty of free time. Well, plenty of time in his opinion. These times he usually spends on relaxing so as to give his brain rest. Some of his free time he spends accompanying his father or Tahl to official duties or playing with Ahsoka. His sister really loves to play with him and doesn't want to spend any time apart. As she is still too young for kindergarten they spend quite a lot of time apart from each other to her great displeasure. Ashoka does go to a pre-school where she does start to get used to spending time apart from he family and nanny and to learn things. These days she really enjoys as she made a few friends there with whom she loves to play. Tahl and his father had forbidden her to go on play dates with her friends until the day she starts kindergarten. There was a great deal of crying as she didn't agree with her parents and tried to get her way. She didn't understand why he could go with a friend to their home to play while she couldn't. In the end, she had to go to bed earlier as punishment for her tantrum. Afterward, this topic is never addressed again and she seems to have accepted her parents wish.
Walking up to the playroom Anakin knocks once before entering and sees Ahsoka quietly playing there under the careful eyes of Miss Naberrie. His father had hired Miss Naberrie when Miss Ti had to quit due to a family situation which forced her to move. Anakin really likes her as well as her youngest daughter, Padmé. He and Padmé are really close friends and always call each other on the weekends to maintain contact as Padmé has left Naboo to study at Harvard as she wants to either go into politics or law. She has told him that she intends to study law at one of the universities that Naboo has. Afterward, she wants to make an attempt to get into politics or else will try to become a prosecutor. She is also one of the few people who have his private number. Among his school friends, there is but one who has his private number. In the WhatsApp groups, he belongs to his number is hidden. He doesn't want the press to get a hold of it so he has done his research on how to hide your number in WhatsApp. He knows that they would use it track him or call him to get his opinion on matters and he doesn't want that. That is the reason why he insists on keeping his number hidden and only gives it to the people he trusts completely.
"Skyguy!" Ahsoka calls when she sees him. She is quick to run up to him and embrace him tightly.
"I missed you" Ahsoka says after a few minutes of hugging him. Anakin, in the meantime, has gone down to his knees so that he is better able to hug her. Before letting go of her, Anakin says
"I missed you too and came to see how you are doing before going to study for next week’s tests"
"Ahh. Not fair. I had really hoped you would have time to play with me now that you are back from school. Can we play tomorrow then?" Ashoka asks hopefully. She is also giving him puppy eyes. This combination makes Anakin struggle not to laugh at her. Such a thing is sure to lead to a lot of anger and tears with his sister. Besides all this, Anakin is really happy that he is able to hide his amusement from his sister. He makes sure to make a show of thinking for a few minutes before answering. This always manages to amuse Ahsoka while also assuring to make her compliance for whatever comes next.
"I'm sure that we can play either in the morning or the afternoon so that I will still have time to study"
"Yay!" Ahsoka calls while jumping up and down in front of him. Shortly thereafter she runs up to Miss Naberrie and starts to tell her about what they have decided in an animated way. He listens to her animated talking for a few minutes before saying
"Ahsoka, I will leave you to play under Miss Naberrie's supervision and will go finish my homework and study afterward. Should I forget the time for supper will you come to get me then?"
"Of course, I will come and get you when it is time for supper" Ahsoka answers him with a sly smile. Anakin involuntarily shivers a bit as knows that he knows has spelled his own doom based on his sister's expression. She will come and get him even if he remembers to stop in time for supper. If he knows her well then she will be doing this at the very least for a few days. He really hopes it will be but two days and not more as she did last time. Looking at Ahsoka he sees that she is focused yet on telling Miss Naberrie about their decision and doesn't seem to have noticed his shiver. Looking at Miss Naberrie he sees her giving him an encouraging smile and knows that she did notice it.
After that, he leaves the room and makes way to his own room where he works on his homework until it is time for supper. He finished his homework shortly before he knows that it is time to go to the dining room as it is al ost t8me for supper. Thus he quickly cleans his desk. By doing this he knows that he will be able to study much better after supper and most importantly he will be able to start quicker with studying. Shortly before he is finished with cleaning he hears the door to his room being opened and knows that Ahsoka has come to get him.
"Skyguy! Time for supper!" She calls out to him. Anakin has to smile at her way of calling her but as he isn't finished yet with cleaning his desk he calls back
"One second, I have to clean up a few things from my desk and then I'll come"
"Hurry, I don't want to be late and be berated again. You will carry part of the blame and I will be sure to tell mommy and daddy that you are the reason for our late arrival should we be late and I'm being berated" Ahsoka threatens him. She absolutely hates it to be berated by her parent and as Anakin is to blame for them getting late to the dining room in her opinion she wants to make sure that he will also be berated. Actually, she hopes that her parents will be more angry and or upset with Anakin than with her. After a few minutes which to her feel like an eternity, Anakin finally turns to her and says
"Alright, snips. I'm ready so let us make haste to the dining room"
"Come on" Ahsoka says while pulling on Anakin's arm after he reached her. She wants him to move faster so that they will not be late. Anakin makes sure to keep up with her as Ahsoka runs to the dining room. They enter the room and almost crash straight into their father who is standing in the door opening. Anakin is almost sure that he was about to come and get them as he can tell that they are about five minutes late from his watch.
"Anakin, Ahsoka, finally. I was just on my way to come and get you. Might I know why you are late, Ahsoka? I know that Anakin has homework and studying to do today so I have not so much of a problem with him being late. Just make sure to stop in time next time so that you will be here in time for supper. Ahsoka, why are you late?" Qui-gon asks while looking her into the eyes.
"I'm late because Anakin wasn't ready on time and I was going to get him. He said I could" Ahsoka answers irritated. She doesn't understand why she is having a bigger problem than Anakin. They are both late so they both should be having equal problems. It isn't fair in her opinion and she doesn't like it one bit. This all shows clearly on her face as she hasn't learned how to mask her emotions just yet while Anakin is slowly learning it under his father's tutelage. Qui-gon kneels down to be at eye level with her and places a hand on her shoulder while saying
"Ahsoka, I'm not mad at you. Nor at Anakin. I only do this so that you will know this on your own once you are older and have your own duties to attend to. Do you understand?"
"Yes, daddy, I think? We have to learn to be on time so that we will not have to think about it once older" Ahsoka answers relieved that her daddy isn't angry at her for being late. She hates it when her parents are mad at her.
"That is right. Also, if Anakin tells you that you can get him then that doesn't give you an excuse for being late. You could tell him that it is time for supper and then come here alone" Qui-gon explains calmly. He gets a nod from Ahsoka as an answer and then mentions for them to join Tahl at the dining table. Supper is a lively affair where everyone talks about what they have done and experienced during the day. Also the talk about what their plans for the evening are. Anakin wants to study to no one's surprise while Ahsoka wants to play with her father and stay up beyond her bedtime. The first is accepted by their father while the second is blatantly denied. Qui-gon said that Ahsoka is a growing girl and needs all the sleep she can get. Tahl would like to catch up with a few shows as she had to miss certain episodes because of duties while Qui-gon promises to join her as soon as Ahsoka is in bed. They also briefly talk about what they have to do tomorrow. Anakin learns then that he is expected to be at an opening of a new indoor playground just outside of Naboo together with his father in the morning and afterward he is to be present at his first military medal ceremony of his life in the afternoon. He is looking forward to this as he wants to learn more about the military he is to join in the future. His father told him so a few months ago. He was told then that he can choose if he first wants to go to a university before joining the military or if he wants to do it the other way around. Right now, Anakin isn't sure what he wants to do first and he told his father so. His father had laughed and said that he doesn't have to decide just yet but once he enters the senior year at Theed academy. This is because he then would have to start to apply to universities so it makes sense that he should know what he wants to do first as this will determine what he has to do during the senior year to prepare for the next year. His father's reactions calmed Anakin down immensely as he was worried that he would have to give his father an answer soon. So he is relieved that he has years until he has to make this vital decision.
Once he is going back to his rooms after supper Anakin has to think about his public appearances. He can tell that his father and Tahl are beginning to get him used to the duties he will have in time by taking him with them on some of their own. Anakin truly likes it when he accompanies his father or Tahl on their duties as it allows him to interact with his people. Also, he wants to know that he can do his duties really well once he is on his own. For that reason, he appreciates it that he is allowed to accompany his father and Tahl on some of their duties. They only do so at days when he doesn't have school as they always tell him that his education is really important which he does appreciate.
Anakin and Ahsoka are playing in the garden at the back of the palace. They have approximately one month left of their holiday or on Ahsoka's case one month until she has her first day at kindergarten. A week before she starts she has a two-day orientation at the kindergarten where she will meet her future classmates and the school itself. She keeps telling Anakin how excited she is to start school and how she can't wait for her first day to start. Personally, Anakin hopes that she won't say it anymore as it has started to irritate him immensely regardless how much he loves his sister. He himself has filled the documents for next year’s classes on the last day of school before the summer break started. It was really stressing for him as he needed to have his father's signature and his father was really busy during that time. Because of his busy schedule, they rarely saw each other during those weeks which made getting the signature really difficult and was the reason why he filled it so late. Yet Anakin was able to get it by going through his father's diary to see when would be the best time to ask his father to sign the papers. It turned out that an early Friday morning was the best time to do so. It was also the last day for him to file them or receive a fine for late filing and that is something which he wanted to avoid at all cost. It all has him thinking about the morning when his father signed the papers for him.
Anakin is walking towards the dining room in his pajamas as he saw in his father's diary that he has to leave in one hour's time so he will most likely be eating his breakfast right now. Thus Anakin took the papers his father needs to sign from his desk and took them with him before making his way to the dining room. Once Anakin arrives there he knocks once and waits for permission to enter. Then he opens the door and steps inside. He can see his father sitting at the dining table with his breakfast before him looking at the door. Anakin isn't surprised as his father wouldn't know that he would be seeking him out this morning.
"Anakin! What are you doing here? Is something wrong?" Qui-gon asks worriedly. He knows that Anakin has school in three hours’ time so he should still be sleeping for another hour. What he is now doing here in the dining room with papers in his hands Qui-gon doesn't know. He wonders if there is something wrong and Anakin is in need of his help. Except that wouldn't explain why Anakin is holding papers in his hands. Just as he wants to stand up and walk towards his son, Anakin reaches him.
"Father, would you sign these papers for me. They are for me to enroll in classes for next year and I need to file them today" Anakin asks nervously. He really needs his father so sign them and is worried that he will tell him to wait.
"Of course, Anakin. But tell me, why did you wait so long to ask me to sign them. You could have just left them on my desk with a note. You know that, don't you" Qui-gon says confused. He believes he told Anakin in the past that if there is anything he needs to sign to just leave it on his desk, right?
"Really, father. I didn't know that as you never told me that I could leave papers on your desk to sign. At least I can't remember you ever telling me that" Anakin answers thoughtfully and he happily gives the papers over to his father to have them signed.
"Did you talk to Tahl about the classes you want to take as you didn't talk to me about it?" Qui-gon asks for clarification. He doesn't believe that Anakin would ask him to sign these papers if he didn't talk to Tahl about the classes and also he can see her signature on the papers. They made it clear to him a few years ago that he would need to talk to one of them if he wanted something for school which needs parental approval before asking the other to sign the papers. Tahl had received shared custody of Anakin from the courts a few years ago and that made the situation so that she also would have to sign papers concerning Anakin from that day on. The custody was received with Anakin's permission as he was old enough at that time by Naboo law to have a say in such matters. Before they actually filled the papers they already had plenty of conversations about it.
"Here you go, Anakin" Qui-gon says with a smile while giving the papers back to Anakin after he has signed them "Next time don't wait so long before asking me to sign such papers. Just leave them on my desk with a note and I will bring them to your room after signing them. Alright, Anakin?"
"Yes, father" Anakin answers and starts to walk to the door to return to his room when he hears his father calling his name.
"Anakin, after you put the papers in your backpack come and join me for breakfast. That is if you don't want to go back to bed for the short time you have until you have to get up" Qui-gon says. He can instantly see the joy on Anakin's face. They haven't seen each other a lot during the last few weeks as he has been quite busy with his official duties.
"Of course father" Anakin answers. He is glad that he can spend some time with his father today. He knows that they will have no time together as a family for a few weeks when he father doesn't have so many duties to attend to anymore. The current situation was a bit surprising as his father normally doesn't have so many duties so close together in the last weeks of school. Normally he would have them spread out over many weeks. What the reason is for them all falling together now Anakin doesn't know. Quickly walking back to his room Anakin puts the papers in his backpack and hurries back to the dining room. He wants to spend as much time with his father this morning as is possible. When he arrives back at the dining room he can see that a servant is preparing a place for him at the table to eat.
"Thank you" Anakin says to the servant who prepared his place and gets a smile from her in return. His father and Tahl had always insisted that he thank the servants for the work they do as it is courteous to do so. By thanking them Anakin knows that he is showing gratitude for the work they do for his family and himself which makes their lives easier. Qui-gon and Anakin spend time together until it is time for Qui-gon to leave. They talk about everything that has happened in the last few weeks and make some plans for what they will be doing together during their holiday. That is for the father-son activities they always make sure to do.
A ball hitting Anakin in the stomach drives the air out of his lungs and serves to bring his attention back to the present. He instantly knows who is responsible for it and starts to glare at his sister.
"Skyguy, no daydreaming. Mommy and daddy always tell us to keep our attention on the here and now" Ahsoka berated him gently but also firmly. She is totally unimpressed by her brother's glare as she feels that she has the right to berate him when he does something their parents don't want them to do.
Anakin's glare fades from his face because he has to smile at his sister for her antics. She already shows to be bossy but also caring for the people around her. He has to wonder how this character trait will develop as she starts school in a few weeks. To show he is paying attention to what she said, Anakin throws the ball back to his sister. They spend the remainder of the afternoon playing in the garden. This is in the opinion of both of them the best time they have had in months with the exception of their holiday. They are both glad to have time to spend with one parent and time to spend with the entire family during the holiday. Anakin knows that what his father and Tahl do is a way to ensure bonding for his sister and himself with each of them. Also, he knows that it ensures that they have time to talk to one of them about things they might not be willing to talk about in the presence of the others.
Two weeks later in the afternoon, Anakin is walking back to his room after having spent some time in the garden reading for school. He is almost finished with the last book he has to read for school and then only has to make a summary of it. Making a summary is not expected by his teachers but he still does this. It is a way for him to ensure that he knows what the book was about when he is asked about it during his lessons. If he doesn't then Anakin knows that he finds it difficult to remember what the book was about. Just as he is about to enter his room he hears Ahsoka calling out to him. Looking around he sees her running towards him with a backpack on her back.
"Hello, Ahsoka. How was your day?" Anakin asks curiously. Ahsoka had her orientation today and he wants to know how it went for her. He always enjoyed orientations as it allowed him to meet his classmates and learn how to get around in school building and on the outside of it. This morning they made sure to have Ahsoka ready to leave for orientation. It was a bit of a hassle as she was so excited that she was not helping anyone in getting her ready to leave.
In the end, Tahl had to become stern with her a bit and tell her to get herself ready or she wouldn't get any dessert this evening. Anakin knows that it was a bit mean but it also ensured that they would not be late. Tahl and Ahsoka eventually left just in time for Ahsoka to arrive at her new kindergarten in time. It was really nice to see how excited she was then as it showed to him that she was more than ready to start school. It also made him wonder if he was ever so excited about going to school as he can't remember if he was so excited or not.
"It was great! I made already four friends and we got to see where our classroom will be. Also, we got to meet our teacher. She was really nice to us and we played some games with each other. Our teacher, Miss Fenics, said they were made so that you can get to know each other. Did you ever play such games, Anakin?" Ahsoka asks excitedly.
"Maybe" Anakin answers distractedly while opening the door to his room. There he puts the book on his desk and moves to go back to the corridor only for his way to be blocked by Ahsoka.
"Anakin, come on. Tell me. Did you ever play such games? Please, tell me" Ahsoka begs. She really wants to know if he ever played such games and what he thought of them. She thought that some were funny but others were just plain boring.
"I did play such games whenever I went to see a new school and other children were also there to see their new school" Anakin answers honestly. It is always a strange side for him to see his sister begging for something. That always showed that she desperately wanted to know something. But as to the games, he did play them when he was younger. The only time he didn't have such games when he came to live with his father and thus had to go to a new school here.
"What did you think of them? I thought that some were fun but others were really boring" Ahsoka says in an attempt to get Anakin to tell her how he thinks about it. She really wants to know what he thinks about it so that she can compare their opinions about it.
"Well, I find most of them boring. If you spend time together playing on the playground you get to know each other much better than you do if you have to play those introduction games. For that reason, I find them superfluous" Anakin answers his sister's question. What he told her is what he learned after he transferred to the primary school here in Theed. If you spend time with each other than you can learn a lot more of them, Anakin learned. Also, getting to know someone through interacting with them don't have such a forced feeling to it as when you are playing the introduction games. That makes it a lot easier to get to know each other far better.
"Really, Anakin. Then I'm not the only one who finds them boring. But what does Superfluous mean?" Ahsoka asks curiously. That was a word which she doesn't understand and she wonders what he meant with it. Asking what a strange word means has ensured that she knew what someone was saying, Ahsoka learned from experience.
"Well, superfluous means the same as unnecessary means, Ahsoka" Anakin explains to her. Just then he is finally able to leave his room. In the hallway, he can see Tahl coming up to them.
"Anakin, Ahsoka, come. Supper is ready" Tahl tells them once she reaches them and tries to steer them to the dining room.
"That is early, mommy. Daddy isn't home yet so why is supper ready then" Ahsoka wonders. She knows that her father will not be home for another two hours at least. That makes it strange that supper is ready.
"Yes, I know that I told you we would be eating supper at a later time than is usual but your dad got home early, Ahsoka. That is the reason why we will eat supper at the usual time" Tahl explains. Together they move to the dining room where they all enjoy supper and in the evening they play a few games together until it is bedtime for Ahsoka.
Inside Theed Palace the royal family the atmosphere is a hectic as it will be the start of a new school year for Anakin and the first real school day for Ahsoka. Because of that reason, everyone has to get used again to waking up early and ensuring to leave in time. Also, the work for Tahl and Qui-gon will be increasing once more. The work in the holidays is always less than during the school year as a lot of activities only happen during the school year.
The reason for their hectic atmosphere is that Ahsoka is really excited, more so than she was for the orientation she went to and isn't helping one bit in ensuring that they can leave in time. Because of that Tahl has to pack Ahsoka's backpack which she had to get from Ahsoka's room not five minutes ago while also keeping Ahsoka from running off already. Another annoying point was that Ahsoka had stored the backpack in such a place that she had to spend valuable minutes searching for it.
Then there is the matter that they have to leave in five minutes to get Ahsoka and Anakin to their school in time and making sure that she and Qui-gon will also be in time for their first appointments of the day. This all leaves little time over to do other things nor time for any further delays for which she fears. This fear comes from Ahsoka's current behavior as Tahl seriously doubts that they will be able to leave in time because of that and it will not be good for both children to be late for school on the first day. It will also not be good for them to be late as it will make put delays on all their other activities of the day. Luckily, Anakin had his backpack already packed the previous evening before going to bed. He only had to put the money for his meal inside his wallet and he would be ready to leave. Because of that, he is currently standing in the hallway with his backpack in his hand and he is wearing his coat already loosely.
He has been standing there for the last few minutes as he knows that he can't help Tahl with what still needs to be done. Quickly putting everything in Ahsoka's backpack once everything is ready, Tahl rushes to the hallway and asks one of the servants to bring their coats so that she has time to put her shoes on and assist Ahsoka with it should she have to. She knows that Anakin will help his sister if he is done earlier than she is.
"Ahsoka! Stop jumping around. If you want to go to school you need to put your shoes and coat on right now and you should thus not be jumping around in the hallway." Tahl says with irritation showing clearly in her voice. She quickly takes Ahsoka's shoes and holds them out to Ahsoka while saying.
"Ahsoka put your shoes on right now. We are already late and you don't want to be late for your first day at school, do you?"
"No, mommy." Ahsoka says a bit sad at the thought of arriving late at school and does as she is asked to do. She knows from Anakin how bad it is to arrive late at school. You get in a lot of trouble most of the time or so Anakin had told her once. As she looks to see where Anakin is she sees that he is standing in the hallway with his shoes on as well as his coat and holding his backpack in his hand. She wonders how he could already be ready to leave when she isn't this feels incredibly unfair to her.
"How can you already be ready to leave, Anakin?" Ahsoka asks once she has her shoes on and is in the process of putting her coat on. She wants to know how he could be ready so quick.
"Because I wasn't jumping around, Snips." Anakin says teasingly and at his sister's annoyed look he adds
"I have been readying myself for school for years so I have already some practice in how to get ready in the shortest of time."
"Oh, so you say that I will be quicker in getting ready at the end of the year." Ahsoka asks hopefully. She doesn't like it when her mother is so annoyed with her as she is today. It makes her feel incredibly sad. She wants her mommy to be happy.
"Yes, I should hope you will be quicker then. You will develop a routine in time, I'm sure of it." Anakin says with a smile and beckons Ahsoka over once she is finished and has her backpack in hand. Tahl had put in on the ground before she began readying herself and is now talking with a servant about something.
"Shall we go to the waiting car?" Anakin asks his sister and at her enthusiastic nod he calls out to Tahl that they will be waiting for her in the car. Once they are in the car they don't have to wait long for Tahl to join them and they can finally leave for school where Ahsoka arrives just as the bell rings to signal that everyone has to go to their classroom. That she was so late was caused by the fact that they had to drop Anakin of earlier. His school is the furthest and Ahsoka's is located on the way to the Tahl's first appointment of the day.
In the late afternoon, Anakin comes back home from school. He is so late because he went to one of the clubs he is part of and their meeting took longer than was normal. It is not something strange as the meetings always last longer the first few weeks of school. As he walks into the private wing he is immediately ambushed by his sister who has been waiting for him to come home.
"Anakin, how was your day? Mine was really nice as we had a lot of time to play between doing schoolwork. Do you have homework? I do but I don't know how to make it. Can you help me?" Ahsoka asks enthusiastically. She hopes that he is able to as she wants to spend time with him.
"Well, my day was similar to the other first days of the year I have had. We spend a lot of time going over what we will be doing during the coming ten weeks. So it was from time to time a bit boring. As for having homework, I do have quite a bit of homework to make and would like to start on it as quickly as I can. That will ensure that we can spend some time together before you have to go to bed. As for helping you with your homework, no I'm sorry I can't help you. Making homework is something which you have to do on your own so that you will actually learn it." Anakin explains and hopes that he has answered all her questions as he wants to get started on his homework and doesn't like the delay one bit. Unfortunately, luck is not on his side.
"But how do I make it?" Ahsoka asks.
"Well, it is quite similar to how you make schoolwork at school. I'm sure you know how that works, right?" Anakin asks with a sly look and gets the response from Ahsoka he expected to get. Alright, he was aiming for this response.
"Of course, I know how to do schoolwork at school. I'm not stupid!" Ahsoka answers and is annoyed that he would think that she wouldn't know how to do schoolwork at school. Looking at her brother she sees the smile on his face and together they laugh. Now she knew why he said the last part. He wanted to cheer her up as they won't be able to spend much time together today. She knows from experience that the first week is the busiest for Anakin as he has to build a routine that will work for him. After that, she knows that they will have more opportunities to spend together.
"Good, then I will go make my homework while you do yours and I promise to spend time with you after supper." Anakin promises and is relieved when Ahsoka agrees to it. Soon he is in his room and can finally start on his homework. He knows that he will be busy till late but is willing to go through with it today. He vows to himself to never do so in the future as he knows that it will break him at the end of the week.
Looking at his agenda for what homework he got today, Anakin decides to start with the most pressing homework and before long he is called for supper by his father. Then he only has some reading and most of the exercises to make left. Based on his experience, Anakin knows that it will take him at least three hours to get the remainder of his homework done but he is happy that he managed to get more done than he had initially expected.
While he is walking to the dining room he has to think about his new classmates. His class now exists out of two classes from his time in middle school and a few from another class. They had five classes during middle school and now only two. A lot of the students couldn't keep up with the work that was required of them and were forced to leave. Because of the merging of classes, Anakin feels that he made some really good friends during today. Only time will tell if the friendships are true and will hold under the strain all his friendships are all under.
Soon he arrives at the dining room and he sits down at his place at the table. Supper is a lively affair as everyone talks about what they did today. Anakin is always happy to hear what his family has done during the day and they are equally happy to hear what he has done.
At the end of the week, Anakin is relieved as he finally will have an entire evening to himself. Many of the required classes are not really to his liking but he knows that he can't skip them or he won't get his diploma so he promised himself to do his best for them. The classes he likes the most are physical ed and drawing. Drawing was the art elective he chose. Everyone had to choose one art class at the end of last school year and he liked drawing better than the other options that were available. So he was really happy when he learned that he was allowed to take this class. Alright, there were not many who chose this class so they still have a few places over for other children to join if they want to. Not that Anakin suspects that they will do so as it is really rare for a person to change class after the first week has passed. If they do then they will have to have really good reasons for it and they will need permission of school before it will be allowed.
This all makes him think about his art teacher, Miss Dark. She is a really eccentric person who excites the entire class for drawing. She had told them that they would start with the easy drawing exercises so that everyone would be at the same level once they would start with what the curriculum expects them to be able to do. From the reactions around the classroom, Anakin could tell that most were really happy with it. He suspected that there were many in this class who don't draw really often so they won't be as skilled as those that do. He remembers it all so clearly because they only have instructions for this class during the afternoon of day 5. Day 1 and 3 are reserved for working individually on assignments in the classroom so that they can finish the assignments they got in time. As everyone knows how much work they often have to do it is really not surprising that the school has this system in place. If they had to do the assignments at home Anakin knows that he and his fellow classmates would have trouble to find time for it nor would they have the supplies they would need at hand. This would make finishing the assignments really troublesome.
He quickly pulls his thought back to homework so that he will have more time in the evening to either spend with his family or to spend alone in his room.
Three years later
Anakin walks in the hallways of his family’s private wing and his mind goes back to the report he got this morning at school. He feels quite pleased with his latest report as it shows good grades. He knows that this will help him to get into a good university when he graduates next year. He is currently in his junior year and that means that he is already busy with looking at universities. You have to start early as at the beginning of your senior year you have to apply and for some, you have to take tests during the vacation. This makes it vital that you start early with making a list of prospective universities. Anakin has such a list in his room. The list contains universities that offer programs which interest him. At the same time, he is also looking at the programs to see which one he will likely be wanting to study. Next week he will be going with his father to visit some of them so that he can evaluate them. It is possible as he has a break next week and during the next break, they will be visiting the others. His father told him that last month when they were discussing everyone's plans for the breaks. He looks forward to the visits and as he promised his father that he would be getting good grades if they would be visiting them he decides to walk to his father to give the report to him. That way his father will know that he has kept his word.
A few minutes later, Anakin comes upon his father's office door and knock once. He knows that he is too old to just barge into the room. After receiving an answer he walks into the room and sees his father bent over his desk reading something. He walks up to the desk and calls his father's attention to him. When Qui-gon hears his son's voice he looks up surprised.
"Anakin, I didn't expect you. Can I help you with anything?" Qui-go asks.
"Maybe, I received my report this morning and wanted to show it to you. I can leave it here if you don't have time to read it right now." Anakin says and looks at his father. He hopes that his father will be able to look at it now so that he will know his father's thoughts and doesn't have to wait until supper to hear his father's thoughts about it.
"I can look at it right now, Anakin." Qui-gon tells his son with a smile on his face. He is amused that Anakin would be showing his report to him straight out of school. This gives him the impression that Anakin wants him to know that he has kept his word. Not that he has ever doubted the fact that his son would be able to keep it. Taking the report form his son, Qui-gon takes a look at it. He can see that Anakin only has high grades on this report. This also doesn't surprise him. He knows that his son has a bright mind and can learn really good.
During the time his father takes to read his report Anakin thinks back on his school years. He has been able to make a really strong group of friends. Together they have gone through quite some adventures because of his public life. That they didn't try to gain something from it convinced him that they are his real friends. In the time since they have done nothing that would change his mind. Thinking about his classes he is glad that he doesn't have one of his lesser classes. That is what he calls those few classes on which he didn't get good grades on. If he is being honest with himself than he had to admit that he barely got passing grades. But as that were not really important classes he wasn't too upset by his low grades. Also, he was quite relieved when his father and Tahl didn't make a fuss of the low grades he got. They understood that these classes didn't fit him and told him that they were happy that he got the passing grades he needed. The thing they didn't want was for him to have to redo a year or change school. Thus that he got passing grades was accepted. Still, they made him promise not to slack off in his other classes. That is something which he had already promised to himself and he told them so. When his father finishes reading the report and speaks up Anakin is pulled from his recollecting.
"This is a good report, Anakin. Just as all the others you received during the last years have been." Qui-gon says once he has finished reading the report. He makes sure not to mention the low grades Anakin got in the classes that didn't fit him and he had to follow a few years back. Right now he can tell that the classes either fit Anakin or deeply interest him. That explains the grades his son got in his report.
"Thank you father." Anakin says with pride in his voice. He is glad that his father thought it a good report. Alright, considering his grades he hadn't expected any other response from his father. He takes the report back when his father holds it out for him. Then he turns to leave but is stopped by his father's voice.
"You know that we will be leaving to visit some of the universities that you are interested in this evening at eleven, do you?" Qui-gon asks. He does this to confirm that his son has the right time in mind for their flight. He wouldn't be surprised if he had the time wrong in his mind considering how busy his son has been during the last few weeks.
"Yes, father. I know that we will leave at eleven to go to the airport." Anakin says before he says goodbye to his father and walks back to his room. He is fully aware that they will be followed by the press the minute they leave for the airport. He knows that there are always a few photographers lying in waiting near the palace gate. Thus he hopes that they won't discover where they are going so that he can get to know the universities they will be visiting without the interference of the press. That would make it really difficult to make his opinion and see most of the university. If they discover it then they will be watching him but also that the universities they will be visiting will know about it. Currently, they only know him as the son of a rich family and not as the crown prince of Naboo. If they know then he is sure that the dean of the universities will be giving them a private tour and he won't be able to talk to the students he wants. That would result in him being unable to form a good picture of the school and which he wants to avoid at all cost. All because of how the press acts around his family. That Anakin is so aware of how the press acts towards his family is the result of the public appearances he had in the last few years. His appearances have slowly increased so as to ease him into his future public duties. Now that he is seventeen, he knows that he has to also appear at events that are late in the evening. Luckily he doesn't have to do that a lot during his school weeks for which is incredibly happy.
Just then Anakin walks into his room and towards his desk to go over his agenda so that he knows what he has to do before they leave. He sees that he one of the things he put on his to-do list is choosing his classes for next year. Alright, he actually has a few more months to do so but to avoid having to do it again last minute he put it early in his agenda. Thus he spends the remainder of the time left before supper on choosing his classes for senior year. He can do so as he barely has any homework left. The homework he had left he already finished during one of the free hours of school. After supper, he packs his bags and watches a few shows online until it is time to leave for the airport.
The next morning Anakin and his father arrive at the airport in Arizona. From there they will be going to the University of Coruscant and afterward to a few other universities in Arizona. All of these are the ones that Anakin considers applying for during his senior year. As Anakin walks down the stairs he can see a non-descriptive car waiting at the bottom with one similar car before it and one behind it. He is happy to not see the flags of Naboo on it. That will ensure that no one will be able to recognize them just from the car. The only people that would be able to recognize them would have to know and see them. Anakin deems these chances slim and thus is happy to be able to get to know the university as a normal person. After a one hour drive, they arrive at the university and go to the place where they are to wait for the tour to begin. As they approach the place Anakin can hear other teenagers and parents talking. Smiling at his father he says.
"We are not the only ones to have this tour today."
"I know. As you said that you wanted to get a tour like a normal person I made the arrangements for us to join this group." Qui-gon tells his son. They soon join the others and then they have to wait for just a few minutes before the tour starts. They are let around the campus as the tour leader tells them about the things they see. In the end, they are let into a lecture room where they get a presentation about the university. Anakin is really happy with this presentation as it gives him some more information he needs to be able to make his choice. This lasts for about thirty minutes and then they are told that they are able to talk to advisors from the different departments. Anakin makes great use of this opportunity. He talks to the advisors from the departments in whose major he is interested in. From them, he gets some great advice. Also, he talks to the current students to learn what they would advise him.
Five hours after arriving, Anakin and his father leave the University of Coruscant and go to the next university that is on their visiting list. Along the ride, Anakin and his father talk about what they learned at Stanford.
"How did you like it at the University of Coruscant?" Qui-gon asks his son. He found that the school had a nice atmosphere for Anakin's tastes.
"I liked it. The atmosphere is really what I like and the teachers are really helpful. I know that it will be challenging for me if I go here to school. But there is also having a good supportive environment. I know that this would be what I would prefer. Still, as we haven't visited the others yet I won't say that the University of Coruscant is my favorite. That is something which I can only do once we have visited all the universities that I'm considering." Anakin tells his father.
They then make their way to the next university on their list. The process there is similar to how everything went at the University of Coruscant. In the evening Anakin writes the pros and cons of each university down. Tomorrow they will be leaving for Massachusetts to visit Harvard among others. He visits Harvard it only at Padmé's request. She always tells him what a good school Harvard is. From her words, Anakin gets the impression that she really would like for him to go to school here also. Anakin himself isn't quite sure if he will be going there. He has heard things from Padmé that make him doubt the wisdom of him going to study there. Besides the choice for a university Anakin also knows that he has to give his father his final decision about his choice between first going to a university or fist entering military service when their scouting trip is over. When he talked with his father about this trip he managed to convince his father that he hasn't made his choice yet. He told his father that he has to make his choice for university this year as it will be impossible to visit any university next year or later should he enter military service first. This his father could understand and thus agreed to wait for Anakin's decision on what he will be doing first.
The next day of scouting goes quite similar to the previous ones with the exception of them flying back home in the evening and not staying in a hotel. Because of this visit, Anakin feels that he can make a better choice between the universities they visited during the last few days. Also, he has to tell his father during the flight back what his decision is. Before telling his father about the decision he made, Anakin takes a deep breath.
"Father?" Anakin says to get his father's attention.
"Yes, Anakin. What is it?" Qui-gon asks even though he is sure about what will be coming next. He has an opinion about what his son's choice will be but stays silent. He knows that it is up to his son to inform him of his decision. Anakin is old enough that it wouldn't do for him to press his son to talk. Still, there are times when he feels that pressing Anakin to talk is just what he needs to do. This all makes it really difficult for him.
"I would like to study at a university first before I enter the military. Is that alright?" Anakin asks nervously. He hopes that his father agrees to it as he isn't looking forward to first entering the military and then going to a university. It would make studying for him all the more difficult as Anakin knows that he has a routine right now. Should he have to enter the military first then he will have lost the routine once he goes to a university and he will have to rebuild it. He knows that this will influence his grades and it is something he wants to avoid at all cost if he can.
"That is your decision, Anakin. I'm just glad you told me so that I can make plans with your military trainers in time for your military training." Qui-gon tells his son. Anakin's words just confirmed his suspicion. Also, it will make planning his son's military training all the more easy as he has plenty of time to plan it with the military trainers.
"Well, now you will have a few years to make those plans." Anakin says. He doesn't know how long it takes to make such plans and also unaware that he told his father just what he was thinking about.
"That is right." Qui-gon answers smilingly. Then he goes back to his correspondence which he hasn't spent too much time on during the last few days. He is well aware that he will have a bulk of work before him and intends to finish as much as he can. That will ensure that he doesn't have too much catching up to do during next week. When father and son arrive back home in Naboo Qui-gon is almost done with the correspondence he started on.
Anakin is just walking to his room after his last day at Theed academy. He is sad that he has to leave the school as he has enjoyed his time there immensely and would have liked to stay there longer. But he knows that he has to leave in order for him to move further with his life. He is looking forward to the start of next school year when he will go to the University of Coruscant. This is the university that spoke to him the most out of all the other universities he visited with his father during his junior year. As he thinks about the university has him thinking about the admission process he went through. It all started with the application he sent in and after which he sent in the result of the test he took during the spring break. Once he had that done he went to get his teacher recommendations as the university requested two. A few weeks later those were sent in by his teachers. It took a few days for the school to send an appointment for the required interview. His interview was taken by use of Skype as both he and the university have it. After the interview, it was a nervous wait for he knew that he would have plenty of competition to be accepted but told himself that he has done his best. Near the end of February, he learned that he got accepted as the school to send him an email and a few days later he received his acceptation package. In this package was information about the school including a schedule containing important dates. Among those important dates were the dates for room selection and course selection. Once the courses came online Anakin went to work on making a list of courses he wants to take and for each course, he selected at least one substitute in case he wouldn't be able to get into the course he preferred to take. Luckily he only had to enroll in one of his substitutes courses as he managed to get into all his remaining preference ones. Also, he had to pick his dorm room. During the process, Anakin decided to skip the part where he could select his roommates. He doesn't know anyone who will go to the University of Coruscant so he thought it best to let himself be surprised by who his roommates will be for the coming school year. The last things he did was filling the papers the university wants to have from him. Among those are financial papers to show that he can pay the tutelage and his medical insurance. As he doesn't have a US medical insurance he had to accept the insurance the university offers. They don't allow any student on campus who isn't US insured. The insurance of the home country of foreign students is sufficient enough.
"Anakin!" Ahsoka calls from down the hall.
Anakin looks up surprised that she would use his name as she normally always calls him 'Skyguy'. Looking around he sees a couple of parliamentarians walking down the hallway. From their direction, Anakin believes that they come from a meeting with his father in his office. Their presence would explain why she would call him by his name. It would not be appropriate if she would call him anything other than his name when there are strangers present. Then they have to stick to the formal etiquette they have been taught as their father explained it to them and parliamentarians are strangers to them. Ahsoka has been learning the etiquette ever since she could walk and he has been learning it ever since he came to live with his father. Right now, Anakin doesn't have to think any more about what behavior is appropriate as he instinctively knows it. That is something which Anakin is happy with as it allows him to pay more attention to what happens around him.
"Yes, little sister. What is it?" Anakin says once the siblings have reached each other. He knows that he can call Ahsoka little sister as it is seen as an appropriate way of addressing a little sister so long as there are not too many strangers around.
"Can we play together in the back garden?" Ahsoka asks while giving him a pleading look.
Seeing this look has Anakin struggling to keep his laughter from his sister. He has always found her pleading look hilarious. It stays difficult even after he has learned how to keep his emotions from his face. That is one of the most important lessons he learned from his father during this year.
"Of course, but first let me put my backpack in my room." Anakin tells her once he has his face under control.
"Of course! I will go gather some toys for us to play with in the meantime." Ahsoka answers enthusiastically and then hurries down the hallway to where their outdoor toys are stored.
Anakin has to shake his head at his sister's behavior as he continues to be surprised and amused by her lively behavior. He doesn't say anything about it so as to let her enjoy her youth for as long as she can. He knows that soon enough she will have to act more composed and as is expected of a noble girl her age. It won't be appropriate anymore for her then to behave as she does now. Putting his backpack in his room Anakin makes his way to the back garden where he had agreed to meet his sister.
When he arrives there he can see that Ahsoka has brought toys for numerous games. This makes him smile to himself as it gives him the impression that she doesn't know what game they will be playing. Walking up to where Ahsoka stands, Anakin says
"Well, snips. What game will we be playing?"
"You choose, Skyguy. I don't know what game you would like to play so I brought the toys necessary for a few games."
They have returned to calling each other by their nicknames as now they are in private. Calling each other by their nicknames is something they both prefer to do. Spending a lot of time on etiquette is quite boring in their opinion. Thus every chance they have to escape those tight rules they take the most of it.
Anakin thinks some time about game choices he has before he makes his choice. His choice falls on basketball. He shows his decision to his sister by picking up the basketball that lies on the ground before them among the other toys she brought. This way of telling each other about choices they have made has been agreed on some years ago. In fact, it is one of the ways in which they can tell each other something without having to fear being overheard by people who are not supposed to hear about it. Their father taught them these subtle ways of talking to one another. The family has used them on numerous occasions. At the times he saw Tahl make the subtle movements Anakin was quite confused but now that he knows what the movements mean it has all become clear to him.
"Anakin! Anakin. You should not let your thoughts wander so much. I have been trying to get your attention for the last few minutes now. I wonder what father would say about it." Ahsoka sys with a grin on her face.
This pulls Anakin instantly from his thoughts. Even though he knows that she is teasing him Anakin gives his sister a mean look. Then as he tries to grasp her Anakin says
"Don't you dare snips! You'll regret it!"
Anakin spends some time chasing his sister around the garden before he manages to finally catch her and starts to tickle her. Ahsoka's laughter can be heard around the garden. Once Anakin deems that she has been punished long enough he let her go. For the remainder of the afternoon, they spend playing basketball.
A few weeks later, Anakin is busy getting himself ready for Naboo's Independence Day ball. Not so long ago the annoying barber left. That man behavior is plainly annoying and always is close to getting under his skin. The only thing he is good at is his job and Anakin thinks that that is the only reason why he is still asked. Once Anakin deems himself presentable does he leave the room he is in. As he leaves the room he sees Tahl standing in the hallway. Anakin gets the impression that she is waiting for him so he walks up to her and asks.
"Am I presentable like this, Tahl?"
"Yes, Anakin. You are presentable. Don't worry so much about the press conference you have to hold tonight. I'm sure you will do fine as you always do." Tahl says encouragingly and gives him a smile while putting a supporting hand on his shoulder.
Anakin has to wince at her words. He completely forgot about the press conference. He isn't that surprised about it as he hasn't been looking forward to it. Tonight he will officially accept the position of crown prince as is the tradition for an heir apparent to do once they reach the age of eighteen. Press conferences and paparazzi are the only things he truly hates about being royalty. The other things are always enjoyable to certain degrees.
"Thank you for your confidence, Tahl. I appreciate it. Shall we then go to the room where we agreed to meet father?" Anakin asks and gets a chuckle in return. He smiles at his stepmother and offers his arm to her. He has always liked to make her laugh.
Tahl takes his arm and together they walk to where they had agreed to meet before the beginning of the ball and press conference.
Soon they reach the room and see that Qui-gon is already there talking to his assistant. Anakin knows that he is not to disturb their discussion so he waits in the room and drinks some water to quell his raging nerves. He sees that Tahl walks up to his father and waits for him and his assistant to be done.
Ten minutes later the discussion is finished and then Qui-gon and Tahl talk for a few minutes to each other. Afterward, they join Anakin where he stands.
"Are you ready for it, Anakin?" Qui-gon asks once he stands by his son. He can relate to what his son is going through. He has gone through the exact same thing when he was Anakin's age. Only he didn't have the kind of support that he and Tahl are giving to Anakin. His father expected him to be able to hold the press conference on his own. His father didn't offer him a listening ear and because his mother was deceased then he truly felt that he stood on his own with the press conference. Because of that experience, he knew he would do it different for his heir. He didn't want to have his heir go through it without support. That is the reason why he always offers a listening ear to his son once this moment was approaching.
"I don't know, father. I'm nervous. What if I mess up? I don't want to embarrass our family." Anakin confesses nervously. This will be the first time he has to speak to the press on his own. The other times he always had his father or Tahl do most of the talking.
"I doubt that you will mess up, Anakin. You have a natural charisma around you. That will certainly help you get through it just fine. Besides, you rarely mess up and no matter what you do I doubt that you will embarrass us. Everyone can understand that you're nervous." Qui-gon tells his son in an attempt to reassure him.
"Thank you, father." Anakin answers. He feels relieved that his father is confident in his ability to hold a successful press conference. It is then that remembers something which he desperately wants to know.
"Father, do you think that Padmé will be here?"
Anakin remembered that he has invited her as he was allowed to invite one friend to the ball. He decided to invite Padmé because he hadn't seen her for a long time in person. They have only talked to each other over the internet or the phone. It isn't as satisfying as talking to someone in person. Another point of interest is that they really like each other. They are still unsure if it is love or just a strong friendship that has developed between them. They decided to let time tell them what it is that developed between them.
"Yes, Anakin. I do believe that she is here. Mace told me that he received word that the friend you invited has arrived. Thus I imagine that she is here." Qui-gon answers. He shares a look with Tahl when they see Anakin's relieved expression on the news. This doesn't surprise them at all as Qui-gon confided in Tahl that he believes that Anakin and Padmé are in love with each other. It is just that they haven't acknowledged their feelings just yet but time will have them acknowledge their feelings. Of that Qui-gon is sure.
Just then Qui-gon looks to the door and sees Mace entering the room. This tells him that everything is prepared and the press conference can be started. Looking at Anakin, Qui-gon says.
"Anakin, it is time for you to hold the press conference. Good luck. We will be right beside you."
Anakin nods and swallows to lose the lump that formed in his throat when he heard his father's words. Then he walks to the door and takes a deep breath before entering the ballroom. It is there that everything has been set up for the press conference. As he walks into the room he appears for all eyes to be complete at ease while internally he is as nervous as one can be. The flashes of the cameras slightly blind him and he can also hear some reporters talking into their recorders.
It doesn't take him long to reach the dais that has been set up for this event. Anakin moves to where the microphone is placed on a stand. Tahl and Qui-gon come to stand on his right side a bit removed. With this, they show to support him while also indicating that he will be holding the conference on his own.
Anakin places his hand on the stand and takes a look at the room. He can only see reporters and photographers. Most reporters use a recorder to record everything they see as he has heard some do already when he entered. Some only hold a microphone and are accompanied by a cameraman with his camera. The corresponding microphone he can find on the stand. This tells him that these reporters belong to the major news agencies from Naboo and the surrounding countries. This confirms his suspicion that the major news agencies would do everything they could to be here. Once the room is silent, Anakin says.
"Good evening everyone. As has been announced recently I will inform you about my decision if I will be officially known as the crown prince of Naboo"
Anakin can tell that he has hooked the attention of the reporters tightly. They all hold their recorders in his direction to record his words.
"After some consideration, I have come to the decision that from this day forward I will officially be known as the crown prince of Naboo. I will strive to do everything in my power to serve Naboo and will place her interest before my own. Thank you for your time." Anakin says and waits for a bit. He knows that it is a real possibility that the reporters will be asking him questions. He doesn't have to wait long for they do just that. Fifteen minutes later, the conference is over and Anakin makes his way back to his room to freshen up a bit for the upcoming ball. He knows it is a short press conference but is happy to be done with this.
Thirty minutes later Anakin is attending the ball. He has danced most of the time with Padmé who he saw when he upon entering the ballroom. She is wearing a beautiful purple dress. Anakin thinks of her as one of the most beautiful woman present.
Once Anakin finds the time, he takes her outside into the garden. It is there that they can quietly talk to each other which they just do. Near the end of their conversation, they embrace each other for they feel uncomfortable with kissing each other right now.
Anakin is happy with the turn his life took after his mother's death and is looking forward to the upcoming years.