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Batch 12 - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Batch 12
Something post-AotQ, with the healed Vader and his new padawan? for Anon


"There's no one to judge you," Master Anakin said. "The trials really shouldn't be judged by the master in question."

Mauro Daymayni let it pass over him. Master Anakin had his morbid moments, and they tended to be any time he was reminded that the Jedi system wasn't in place. There was no honor in becoming a Master, and there were no milestones for padawans. There was no one left. That Master Anakin had been responsible for this was something Mauro knew intellectually, just as he knew about the trail of decimated planets he'd left in his wake as Lord Vader, but it was rare that he was able to make any kind of emotional connection to that knowledge. There was a creature in Gungan legend, an affable fool who yearly became a ravenous sea monster, and Mauro thought often of that story when he considered who his master was.

"We make do with what we have," he said. "I'll take a padawan, and you'll take another padawan. Then there will be four of us. Then eight, and sixteen, and... the Order will rise again, Master."

"It shouldn't have to."

"No, but as the Chronicles of Master Gallia remind us, what should be and what is are different matters, and the former should only remind us of what we'd like to aim for in the context of the latter."

Master Anakin turned and smiled faintly over his shoulder. With the heavy scarring on his face, a faint smile was all he could do. "I knew Adi Gallia," he said. "She'd pass you through your trials just for coming up with that convoluted a sentence. Obi-Wan would have put you through for the tortured logic, and Yoda would have given you a Council seat for correcting me."

"Well, then the actual trials seem a bit superfluous," Mauro said.

"Right. Just go down to the creche and choose one of the ten year olds. Commander Dihave has said it's been getting crowded in there." He shuddered. "A military commander shouldn't be in charge of the creche."

Mauro raised his eyebrows and started to say something, but Master Anakin cut him off with a wave of the hand.

"Yes, I know--we make do with what we have. Forgive my bitterness. It's directed at myself."

"And it's in your way."

"Mauro, you must believe me when I tell you that it's better for me to have things in my way."

"Until you get angry and frustrated."

"If I do, there's only one man to take revenge on, and my daughter tells me that he is, for the moment, still needed." He shook his head. "You've been a strong padawan. The Force was kind in sending you so soon after..." His eyes grew distant, and he blinked rapidly. "Your strength has always been your centeredness. It's wise to see the world as you do--much more dispassionately than I've ever been able to. But the truth of the matter is, your strength is your weakness."

"But Master--"

"No, Mauro, that's true for everyone. There is no strength that doesn't beget a weakness. I felt too much. I was easy prey for someone inflaming my passions. You, perhaps, feel too distantly, and that leaves you open to coldness and lovelessness."

"So it's one or the other?"

"Oh, no. There are different pairings. With confidence comes arrogance, with strength comes hardness and brutality, with empathy comes moral blindness." His eyes grew far away again. "That was my son's weakness. He felt for everyone, he felt everyone's wounds, and it blinded him to the truth about the New Empire. He could have stood against us and made a difference, but his compassion for his mother, even in her... frailty... led him astray. Our strengths are always our weaknesses, which is why the strongest among us are also the most likely to fail."

"I see. What does that mean for my trials?"

"I've been trying to work out the right trial for you. Certainly, your skills are already those of a master. But I need to know if you've learned to balance your coollness with compassion." Master Anakin looked out across the traffic lanes of Coruscant. "There is a place on the world of Agico--a village built by the victims of the Alderaan incident. Children, mostly. They're angry and scared and hungry. They've been committing crimes against property, and most recently against the person of an elderly man. They kidnapped him."


"You'll go there, Mauro. You'll see to it that the man is released unharmed, and then you'll find a way to integrate these children into the society on Agico."

"But if they're committing crimes... isn't that the moral blindness you're talking about?"

"Well, obviously, you'll need to stop the crimes as well. That is why Agico has asked for help. No one wants to hurt them more than they've been hurt, but it doesn't give them a right to trample the freedoms of their neighbors."

"Nothing too difficult, then," Mauro mused.

"Nothing," Master Anakin said, "of which you are incapable. You have my trust."

post Deathly hallows, with their feelings being out in the open now, maybe Ron and Hermione trying to fix bumps from the past? meaning Ron apologizing for being insencitive and many times mean to hermione, and hermione apologizing for being mean and the canaries and beating him up in the tent? (or trying to). for Jeanne


"Full house," Ron said, showing his cards.

Hermione bit her lip. "I'm not sure--"

"You can think of something."

"Right, all right. I'm sorry about the canaries."

"The canaries?" Ron shook his head. "All right, I'll accept."

"What's wrong with the canaries?"

"It's a pretty rich pot. I'd have saved it for later on."

"Well, as you're not exactly short on these, you can afford to save them up."

Ron rolled his eyes. "Deal."

Hermione began to shuffle. "You know, this isn't proper poker. Just the pair of us, no ante..."

"I beg to differ. It's a perfect game of apology poker. Those are the rules, to the letter."

"Fine." She dealt. She looked at her hand, "I'll bet something from fourth year."

Ron took his cards and glanced. "I'll raise you third year."

"Third year... feeling confident, are we?" She squinted over her hand. "I'll see your third year, and raise you a snide comment about Lavender."

"This is getting rich," Ron said. "I'll see that, and raise... what I said first year before the troll."

"Oh, for heaven's sake, you've already apologized for that! It doesn't count."

"Fine. I'll raise it by flaunting Lavender around."

"Okay." Hermione tapped her cards on the floor, then said, "Oh, all in. I'll raise you screaming at you and hitting you in the tent last year."

"I deserved that."

"Do you take the bet?"

He examined his cards. "Too rich for my blood. I fold."

"Good." She tipped her head expectantly. "Third year, and Lavender."

"I'm sorry I flaunted Lavender in front of you when I knew it bothered you."

"And third year?"

"I'm sorry I poured eraser potion all over your Charms homework."

"That was you?"

Ron shrugged.

Hermione shook her head. "That's all?"

"I'm pacing myself."

"Well, you'll need to lose a few more hands to get through third year."

"What did you have?"

Hermione laid out her hand of mismatched cards. "I was bluffing." She scooped up the cards and handed them to Ron. "Deal."

He dealt. "Hmph," he said, looking at his hand. "Yule Ball."

"I'll see that with McClaggen."

"I'd think that was it's own punishment."

"You have no idea..."

21 comments or Leave a comment
vesta_aurelia From: vesta_aurelia Date: December 12th, 2009 07:37 am (UTC) (Link)
"I'll see that with McClaggen."

"I'd think that was it's own punishment."

"You have no idea..."

Bwuahahahahahahaha!! Brilliant, Fern!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2009 01:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week. (Or, well, for the next couple of months... ;p)
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: December 12th, 2009 08:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I sort of love this a lot.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2009 01:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Good to know.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 12th, 2009 09:59 am (UTC) (Link)
*quite literally laughed so hard, I fell of my chair*

Apology poker. God, I hope my ex NEVER sees this. Brilliant!

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2009 01:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry about any bumps or bruises! :D
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 12th, 2009 01:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I absolutely adored mine, Fern. I'd quote my favourite lines back...but I'd wind up retyping the entire thing. Anakin was brilliantly characterized as always, and Mauro was the perfect padawan for him, keeping him away from his constant self-distrust and regret. I loved Mauro's inability to equate Master Anakin with Lord Vader, a propensity which I'm sure Master Anakin would be rather horrified by, but which I'm sure all your readers applaud. I also loved his recollections and his advice, his comment about Luke and Amidala, and Leia telling him he is still needed. I'm sure Mauro and all his future students will be a credit to him.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I hope so. I wish RotS had left more of the emotional structure of the LV stories on the table, because I really liked writing them!
hungrytiger11 From: hungrytiger11 Date: December 12th, 2009 04:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Apology poker? What a creative idea.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. I was casting around for some way to get them apologizing, and goofing around at it seemed the most Ron-like, and maybe Hermione would do well to give it a go.
etain_antrim From: etain_antrim Date: December 12th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love the poker, even if I'm still not entirely sure of exactly how it's played. No matter, it seems to be a healing process and that's all to the good.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2009 01:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not entirely sure how it's played, either. I've never played poker. But it always seems like such a good way to have a conversation without admitting that the whole point is to have a conversation.
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: December 12th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Absolutely love the Ron/Hermione poker game. Pretty much the only way they'd apologize to each other for some of those things...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2009 01:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Meanwhile, the part of Hermione's brain thinking "This isn't a proper form of contrition" is probably horrified... but I think she'd like it in the end.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: December 12th, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Apology poker! That was amazing. Such a fun way for Ron and Hermione to deal with their past issues!

(and good idea, by the way)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 13th, 2009 01:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. I just thought that they'd had about all the angst they could take, and would probably want to relax about taking care of any back "issues."
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 13th, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOVED the apology poker! :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 14th, 2009 03:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. It was fun. I really have to learn poker; it seems to be handy for so very many things.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 14th, 2009 01:41 am (UTC) (Link)

i think there is a typo?

the last two phrases, Ron says Mclaggen and Yule Ball

shouldn't it be Slughorn party?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 14th, 2009 03:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: i think there is a typo?

Ron is betting an apology for the Yule Brawl. Hermione counters by offering an apology for her date to Slughorn's party. Different moments. :D
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 16th, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

from jeanne- interesting...

I liked what you did with the Ron/Hermione apologies. it came as a surprise but... it makes perfect sense at the same time. them saying it in a calm and conversational way.

don't know much if this could have gone into angst territory. i kind of saw it as Tender/fluffy/romantic territory. think Hospital wing-six year sort of mood.

but i love your take on it anyhow

a bit confused on how exactly they are apologizing on some of these. but then i never played poker, so the lingo is over my head.

would love to ask for a continuation next time

for now, loads of thanks!
21 comments or Leave a comment