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08 March 2010 @ 12:37 pm
Fic: ‘Why she grew up.’  
Title: Why she grew up.
Fandom: Star Wars
Rating: (G)
Time Period: During RotS: Padmé’s funeral.
Summary: At the moment she realises it’s real, she grows up.

Author's Note: This is quick ‘n’ dirty (for definition see the F. A. Q.).

I’ve been thinking of writing this story for a long while; since before I wrote We will keep all our fingers.

I don’t consider this story to be very good but that’s due to having been caught in a child’s mind and she refusing to believe that what’s happened has, in truth, happened. It became something a little more than intended.

Disclaimer
All characters contained herein are the intellectual property of Lucas; I am not affiliated with nor endorsed by him.


_______________________


Before her mother, she walked, hands clasped and her eyes focused on where she must walk. Candles flickered in the dusk-light and wish globes were even in boats; all to light the way to the Funeral Temple. Her grandparents before her, Ryoo at her side, her mother walking behind her, her sun-kissed brown curls escaped the hood of her cloak. Even the Queen was behind their family with her Handmaidens; two Handmaidens walked before the guarlaras from the Queen’s private herd. It was an honour paid to her aunt for her service to Naboo. Even Boss Nass and Jar-Jar had come, in their grief, for the young Senator whose life had ended ...

Why did her life have to end? The Jedi couldn’t have killed her aunt, their most passionate supporter. What about Anakin? Had anyone even thought to look where he was, to see if he was all right? Why would no one tell her anything? Inside, her heart sank at the thought of the tall, young Jedi hero being alone. What if he didn’t know about her aunt? What if ...?!

Ryoo reached over, hidden by her cloak, and squeezed her younger sister’s hand. This was not real, Pooja decided. None of this was real. Queen Apailana would tell them that this was a trick. It was a dream. All a dream that was very, very bad. Even Pooja could never imagine this. She couldn’t imagine her aunt not coming home from Coruscant with gifts and stories for her nieces. She would never send messages again or ...

Her heart rose into her throat and she choked on her tears, trying to swallow them. No one except Ryoo saw and she kept hold of her sister’s hand. No one should be alone right now, Pooja realised; not when the light had left the world.

If Ryoo hadn’t touched her, she would’ve thought she was alone. It was fitting that the world was dark. Perhaps it cried for her aunt who would never come home, would never take she and Ryoo swimming or listen very closely to Pooja’s plans for when she grew up; she’d wanted to be a tuskcat when her aunt had last been home. She remembered Anakin had laughed and tousled her hair, telling her that, perhaps, if she listened to the Force, maybe she could become the tuskcat; Anakin and her aunt had laughed after she’d tried to listen and nothing had happened.

The procession moved slowly through the streets of Theed and she watched as her aunt caught light in the fire. She ...

A hand rose to cover her mouth, to stop the scream she could feel in her chest from bursting forth. Don’t kill her! Don’t burn her! Don’t! Don’t! Tears stung her eyes and she remembered her promise to herself, to Ryoo, to her mother, that she would be strong. That meant no crying but it was veryveryveryvery hard not to. It was hard to watch the body on the pyre, knowing that it was her aunt. Why couldn’t her mother tell her that it was a dream? Why couldn’t her father take her onto his lap and tell her it was all a bad dream and that Padmé wasn’t dead? Why couldn’t her mother stop crying, why couldn’t her grandmother have left her bed for a day, or two, after hearing the news of her aunt’s death?

Why was this real? Surely Anakin would be here, he would arrive and tell her it would be all right, that he was safe and Padmé was alive. Why did he not come?

Despite her promise to herself, tears escaped, leaking from the corners of her eyes but she ignored them; she had to be strong. She had to be all right. She had to ...

It wasn’t until Padmé’s ashes were tossed over the edge of the bridge between the Temple and Livet Tower that Pooja’s heart shattered into small pieces and broke even further, becoming dust and ashes in her stomach and mouth. She wasn’t coming back. She wasn’t ever coming back. She ...

It was in that moment Pooja decided, finally, what she would do when she was grown up. She would become like her aunt. She would serve the people of Naboo, humans and Gungans, and not be afraid. She would do it for her aunt. It was what she had to do. Then, maybe, Padmé wouldn’t be gone forever. Then she could find out what had happened to the Jedi and to Anakin. She would make every moment, every day, every year, matter. It all had to count. This had to mean something and this was the only way Pooja could make it mean something.

It was in that precise moment that Pooja grew up.
 
 
 
Armchair DM: Igor & Carson: Waitingarmchairdm on March 8th, 2010 01:59 am (UTC)
Oh maaaaan. This just is heartbreaking. Gah! You do this when no-one else can. Tell me it's a dream! Please do... You make Anakin seem more like a good man than anyone, including Lucas, can do, for me.
F. J.: Lantern & Candles: Warmmorethanacandle on March 8th, 2010 03:36 am (UTC)
You make Anakin seem more like a good man than anyone, including Lucas, can do, for me.
... thank you?
Angel... Dark Wings Descending...angel_in_tears on March 8th, 2010 06:20 am (UTC)
Oh this is completely heartbreaking. Poor Pooja, trying to deal with this. And the promise at the end! Gah! This was absolutely beautiful!
F. J.: Lanterns: Warmmorethanacandle on March 8th, 2010 10:59 am (UTC)
This was absolutely beautiful!
This is very warming to hear after spending a lot of the day wondering if it was coherent!

And poor Pooja; I wouldn't want to be in her shoes.
Angel... Dark Wings Descending...angel_in_tears on March 8th, 2010 11:52 am (UTC)
It's definately coherent!

I wouldn't want to be in her shoes either. But I like how it ties in, she does become a senator in Leia's time, and I like the sense that it's all because of Padme's example/legacy :)
F. J.: Lanterns: Warmmorethanacandle on March 8th, 2010 12:10 pm (UTC)
It's definately coherent!
A very big relief!

I like how it ties in, she does become a senator in Leia's time, and I like the sense that it's all because of Padme's example/legacy :)
To me, it made sense as to this being why Pooja became a Senator and this, I felt, would be a good time for her to decide.
Lumy: AniPadmeAngstluminations on March 11th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
Awuh! Poor little one, how can they make her watch a cremation? I suppose it's customary on Naboo! That "don't kill her/burn her/don't don't" part is gutwrenching :( And the veryveryvery is a nice touch, keeping us in the mind of the child. Nice work.

I imagine a lot of the Clone Wars children grew up a little faster than they should.
F. J.: Three candlesmorethanacandle on March 11th, 2010 06:39 am (UTC)
how can they make her watch a cremation? I suppose it's customary on Naboo!
I remembered Anakin watching Qui-Gon’s funeral in tPM; it appeared customary!

And the veryveryvery is a nice touch, keeping us in the mind of the child. Nice work.
Thank you – that’s very good to hear as that’s what I was hoping that would do!

I imagine a lot of the Clone Wars children grew up a little faster than they should.
I feel they did and this was a way to witness that, I hoped.
C.: tpm amidala1chameleon_irony on March 15th, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC)
*nods* I don't know why, but I've always imagined the funeral as the moment when Pooja decided to follow in her aunt's footsteps.

I like this story. I know it isn't easy to write the point of view of a child, but I think you've done well here. Pooja's thoughts have that childish innocence and naiveté, but she's also brave, trying not to cry and finding a way to make sure Padmé lives on - in her. I also like that you based Padmé's funeral on Qui-Gon's in TPM, which (I think) was done according to Naboo tradition, not Jedi tradition as I've seen other authors suggest in their fanfiction.
F. J.: Golden Candlesmorethanacandle on March 15th, 2010 11:44 pm (UTC)
*nods* I don't know why, but I've always imagined the funeral as the moment when Pooja decided to follow in her aunt's footsteps.
It felt like a very natural place for her to make this decision.

I like this story. I know it isn't easy to write the point of view of a child, but I think you've done well here.
Thank you. I wasn’t certain if I had managed to capture Pooja very well.

I also like that you based Padmé's funeral on Qui-Gon's in TPM, which (I think) was done according to Naboo tradition, not Jedi tradition as I've seen other authors suggest in their fanfiction.
Qui-Gon’s funeral was very good as a visual aid when writing this as was the funeral scene in RotS. This funeral is stepped in the Naboo tradition as was Qui-Gon’s funeral.