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FIC: Mortal Instruments | 4, Enchantment - moonspinner
moonspinner
moonspinner
FIC: Mortal Instruments | 4, Enchantment
If I tweak this chapter any longer, I will go mad. It probably sucks like Hell but whatever. I'm posting it.

As usual, it's been forever since I updated this fic so here's a quickie summary so you won't have to go read the story from the start.

In Chapter One, the Naberries are murdered by Palpatine and three-month-old Padmé is adopted by Palpatine. In Chapter Two, eighteen year old Padmé and her 'father' discuss Anakin Skywalker's potential as a Jedi. And in Chapter 3, Obi-Wan Kenobi arrives on Coruscant and he and Padmé obliquely discuss their shared past.






Mortal Instruments

4, Enchantment


(18 years … continued from previous chapter)


Anakin arrived at the Inauguration, still smarting from Master Unduli's rebuke.

The incident at flight practice wasn't even his fault. Tru Veld had issued the challenge.

Anakin made his way past the colourful, semi-inebriated dignitaries and stepped into the Grand Hall. The bright lights and even brighter celebrities almost blinded him. Doing his best to master his emotions – particularly the one that complained loudly about being here in the first place – he located Master Dooku's aura and made his way to him.

Dooku was in conversation with Sifo-Dyas and the two paused to stare down at the Padawan.

"Skywalker, so glad you could make it."

Sifo-Dyas' sarcastic remark was indulgent but Anakin only heard the sarcasm. He flushed and stuttered in reply to Dooku's curt questions about his Intergalactic Marine Cultures Exam.

He usually escaped outside at the first opportunity and today was no exception. The first balcony he stepped into was occupied by a very affectionate couple. More than a little alarmed, Anakin retreated into another one.

She was wearing all the colours of the rainbow. Or at least that's how it seemed to him. In the half-light from the room within, her gown glowed pinks and oranges and blues. Beneath the thin material of the gown, her skin glowed even brighter.

Looking at her made his chest hurt.

She turned to smile at him and he looked away at once.

"I thought you won't come."

She was standing right next to him. He dared a quick glance and looked away before he fainted. "I – ah – why would you think that?"

"I don't know. You Jedi seem to disdain things like this." He could hear her smile.

"No, we don't," he retorted loyally.

"Really?"

He squirmed beside her palpable disbelief. "I guess we think the money thrown on things like this would be better spent elsewhere," he conceded.

"Instead of fancy parties for the legislators."

"I didn't say that."

"You didn’t have to." He risked a glance and saw that she was smiling easily. It intimidated him and bolstered him at the same time.

"And what if I did? It's true. There are so many problems in the Republic," he muttered.

"Such strong opinions! Are you sure you don't want to be a politician?" She laughed softly as she spoke. The sound made him a little lighthearted.

"I'm having enough problems just being a Jedi." He bit his lip as he said it, worried at what she would think, wanting to see what she would think.

He turned his head and this time, their eyes met. Hers were encouraging, sympathetic. He could feel himself blushing but he didn't look away again. "I'm here late because I got into a competition with one of my mates. Which I wasn't supposed to. But the Masters tell me to play to my strengths then they scold me when I do. It's confusing."

She didn't reply at once. Her eyes drifted away, looking thoughtful. He followed her gaze to the view he had barely noticed himself … the glass house containing the Grand Hall’s artificially cultivated gardens, and beyond that, the steep slope of bright lights leading to the levels beneath.

"Anakin, I don't know much about being a Jedi but I think being a politician is a little easier."

"I guess so…" Silence. It was nice, peaceful. Sometimes their silences felt heavy as if they were still talking. This one was real silence and he liked it.

In the silence, he picked up on her sadness.

"What is it?"

"Nothing."

"Tell me," he asked softly.

"Today is the anniversary of my parents' death."

"Oh. I am so sorry."

"Why should you be? It wasn't your fault."

"I know. I meant…"

She shivered beside him and his attention went back, almost as if he had forgotten, to her thin peacock dress and the soft skin beneath. It was very pale, the colour of pearls or beach sand in the moonlight. But he didn’t believe her skin would feel like sand to touch…

Soft laughter jolted him from his trance. Blood rushed into his head, pooled in his ears.

"Enjoy your evening, Jedi Skywalker."

And with a whisper of silk, she had gone.




As always, feedback is very much appreciated!

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Comments
indiefic From: indiefic Date: March 3rd, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay! I was so excited to see you posted more!

I love this, I love the way the story is unfolding. And the premise *cackles with joy*. So engaging!

In canon it's interesting to see how Palpatine's manipulation played out and how Anakin and Padme's attraction blossomed, but marrying the two. Fabulous. If Padme had wanted, I have absolutely no doubt she could have manipulated Anakin a thousand times more efficiently than Palpatine. I'm also excited to see if she is dark enough to be able to manipulate him without her conscience getting involved.

I'm dying to see where this goes.
ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: March 3rd, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have absolutely no doubt she could have manipulated Anakin a thousand times more efficiently than Palpatine. I'm also excited to see if she is dark enough to be able to manipulate him without her conscience getting involved.

Oh, completely agreed. :)
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 3rd, 2008 03:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you like it. I enjoy this premise a lot only I'm not completely sure where it's headed too. :D

I actually started writing a story once which had Padme manipulating Anakin for her own purposes but I never got round to finishing it.
indiefic From: indiefic Date: March 3rd, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I actually started writing a story once which had Padme manipulating Anakin for her own purposes but I never got round to finishing it.

Okay, you just shouldn't admit things like that ;) Because now I'll just sit here and try and figure out ways to get you to post it. hee!
ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: March 3rd, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
If this 'sucks like hell,' then I'd love to see what you consider work of yours that doesn't suck. :) About all I saw wrong was a "won't" from Padme that seems like it should be a "wouldn't."

Excellent continuation! The tension here is so wonderfully wrong. *eg* And a nice reference to the AotC sand line there at the end.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 3rd, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for pointing that out. *goes to edit*

*g* I didn't deliberately put in the sand reference as a callback to AotC but once I started writing, it just made sense. Glad you liked this. :D

knight_ander From: knight_ander Date: March 3rd, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just want to give ladyaeryn some icon-love. :)
ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: March 4th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I've always loved that shot of Padme (she truly does look like an 'angel' there), so of course when I saw this icon I had to snag.

Speaking of icon-snagging, I'm grabbing yours, because I've been looking for a good fireplace scene icon for ages. :)
knight_ander From: knight_ander Date: March 4th, 2008 02:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Sure thing. Make sure you credit teh_indy for making it in the first place. :)
emavalexis From: emavalexis Date: March 4th, 2008 01:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm really loving this fic as it's shaping up so far. There's the totally intriguing darker spin on Padmé's character, of course, but there's also something soft and lovely about the way she and Anakin interact.

I read the other comments here as well, and I have to echo that if this is writing that you think 'sucks', I'd love to see what you'd consider your 'good' writing. Because this is pretty fantastic as it stands. Your style is an immediate, yet contemplative one, neither coldly clinical nor flowery. I really like it. I hope that makes sense.

Looking forward to the next installment already.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 4th, 2008 06:39 am (UTC) (Link)
There's the totally intriguing darker spin on Padmé's character, of course, but there's also something soft and lovely about the way she and Anakin interact.

Oh I am so glad I got that right. I really wanted to express that even though Padme's motivations are less than innocent, there is an intrinsic connection between the two of them.


I'm glad you enjoyed this. It was written at different times, tweaked to fit in the parts like a mismatched jigsaw set and, of course, completely unbeta'd. Thanks for the compliment!
frostbit_sky From: frostbit_sky Date: March 4th, 2008 01:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Aww that was too short.

I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next with Padmé as Palpatine's daughter and what ever ways they manipulate Anakin.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 4th, 2008 06:39 am (UTC) (Link)
He he. I'll try and make the next one longer. I already know what it'll be about so that's a relief. :P
fialleril From: fialleril Date: March 4th, 2008 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Woohoo! New fic from you! Always a cause for excitement. :)

This chapter offers all sorts of opportunity for speculation. Just what are Dooku and Sifo-Dyas up to? What is their history with Anakin (because there's definitely something there!)?

And, perhaps most importantly, have Anakin and Padmé had some previous interaction between the last time we saw them and now? Because they seem much more familiar with one another than they were before... It's almost like this chapter is eavesdropping on a bit of their conversation, and they of course know what that conversation is about (though I suspect Padmé knows more than Anakin!), but the reader has no idea.

I like that about this chapter. It's like a snippet out of a larger life, and the sense that the reader is missing a lot of what's going on is actually one of the strengths of this piece.

Um... Does that make sense?

Heh. But I must confess: I still kinda want to see Jar Jar turn out to be the great hero of this universe. :D Oh yes.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 4th, 2008 10:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Just what are Dooku and Sifo-Dyas up to? What is their history with Anakin (because there's definitely something there!)?

He he. There are actually questions I can answer here. :D

They are his surrogate tutors: Anakin is Yoda's Padawan but he's also the Chosen One a high-potential Jedi, his education constitutes of a sort of on/off apprenticeship with as many powerful Masters as possible.


And, perhaps most importantly, have Anakin and Padmé had some previous interaction between the last time we saw them and now?

Yes, it makes perfect sense! And you're spot on about the snippet thing. You could say that every chapter is just a snapshot of something that happened in a bigger story... Which is the typically lazy most convenient way for me to write fic these days. :P


Heh. But I must confess: I still kinda want to see Jar Jar turn out to be the great hero of this universe. :D Oh yes

LOL! Well, we'll see... :D
fialleril From: fialleril Date: March 6th, 2008 01:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, I see. If only Dooku had been Anakin's main master. ;)

You could say that every chapter is just a snapshot of something that happened in a bigger story...

Well, I definitely hear you about that being the most convenient way to write a story. I've been feeling that a lot lately, as well. I'm sure it's your fault. But also think your above quote is a pretty excellent writing philosophy. :) It lets your characters live and move and breathe.

LOL! Well, we'll see... :D

*bribes you with...um...anything you want!* Pleeeease! Pretty please with a cherry on top?

LOL.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 7th, 2008 06:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Go ahead. Blame me. I am so put upon. *sniff*

But seriously, the thing is that readers want the whole story - they want the whole world, even the parts that may not even be relevant to the story... It's a fine line to thread...


*bribes you with...um...anything you want!* Pleeeease! Pretty please with a cherry on top?

Mmm... The offer is tempting, especially in light of all those un-updated stories. I will consider your attempt to corrupt this story very seriously... ;)
fialleril From: fialleril Date: March 8th, 2008 02:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Go ahead. Blame me. I am so put upon. *sniff*

Ah, but I didn't mean it in a bad way! But it can tend to annoy some readers... Like you said, they want the whole story, the whole world behind it. But to my mind, that's untrue to life. We never get the whole story, do we? And of course it's impossible to completely understand even our small, every day personal worlds, let alone the whole world!

So I like little snippet fics for that reason. In some ways, they're actually truer to life.

The offer is tempting, especially in light of all those un-updated stories.

Yours or mine? ;) But, um, in lieu of new chapters (which are hopefully forthcoming, since my Spring Break begins today!), I don't know if you read the two back story fics I've posted for Anabasis (since I posted them during your mysterious absence). There's one about Riveth Giro here and one about Vader and Siri Tachi here. And also, I did update Full of Grace while you were gone.

But how much am I required to update before Jar Jar becomes your hero? ;) Because I may just have to consider your attempt to force me to update seriously, if only so I could see Jar Jar as the hero of a fic. ;)

Oh, one random comment I forgot to make earlier. I love the fact that Padmé sees being a politician as easier than being a Jedi, and that Anakin seems to agree with her. :D
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 14th, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for all the links. I'm going through them rather slowly because of RL eating my IL. *le sigh*

Ah, but I didn't mean it in a bad way!

I know. ;)


it can tend to annoy some readers... Like you said, they want the whole story, the whole world behind it. But to my mind, that's untrue to life. We never get the whole story, do we? And of course it's impossible to completely understand even our small, every day personal worlds, let alone the whole world!

I wish someone could explain this to J. K. "I will give unwritten facts about Harry Potter in my interviews until I die" Rowling. I feel a meta coming on...


But how much am I required to update before Jar Jar becomes your hero? ;) Because I may just have to consider your attempt to force me to update seriously, if only so I could see Jar Jar as the hero of a fic. ;)

*g* As tempting as it is, I think I'll have to be honest and decline. This story will justhave to write itself. ;)


Oh, one random comment I forgot to make earlier. I love the fact that Padmé sees being a politician as easier than being a Jedi, and that Anakin seems to agree with her. :D

:D


fialleril From: fialleril Date: March 14th, 2008 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
because of RL eating my IL.

Yeah, I kind of figured that might be the case. I hope RL is treating you well! I've been rather worried about you, but I'm hoping that you're just busy with all kinds of good things. :) *crosses fingers*

I wish someone could explain this to J. K. "I will give unwritten facts about Harry Potter in my interviews until I die" Rowling.

LOL! I'm not really all that familiar with Harry Potter, but even I didn't miss that tidbit! ;) And it would certainly be an interesting meta to read. Go for it!

As tempting as it is, I think I'll have to be honest and decline. This story will justhave to write itself. ;)

*pouts* Aw!

But seriously, that's a good practice, letting the story write itself. So I will eagerly anticipate updates (to all your fics!) and leave off pestering you about Jar Jar. ;)

*uses Jar Jar icon anyway*
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: April 21st, 2008 08:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Your recent comment reminded me that I’ve had this flagged for ages to reply to. I’m so sorry! *mortified* I don’t know whether I’m coming or going half the time these days.


Talking about fanfic, I’m seriously thinking of folding up a lot of my work-in-progresses and moving on to original fic. I have some ideas that I can’t help wondering won’t be better in my own story, with my own characters and situations… I’ve always wanted to be a writer and I’m realizing more and more that fan fic won’t be enough…

Wow, heavy question, right?

What do you think? *nibbles on pen*
fialleril From: fialleril Date: April 24th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Don't worry about it, dear. *hugs* I definitely know the feeling!

I have some ideas that I can’t help wondering won’t be better in my own story, with my own characters and situations… I’ve always wanted to be a writer and I’m realizing more and more that fan fic won’t be enough…

Well, I can't claim to be an expert, of course, but in my limited experience, strong feelings like this are the sort that should generally be listened to. And this sounds like the kind of feeling that's maybe been building up in you for a while. If it's making itself known to you now, and in this strong way, I think you should listen to it. :)

Follow where your bliss leads you, and I wish you all luck and joy. :) And I do hope you'll share your original work with us, as well!
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: April 24th, 2008 06:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much for your encouragement. You know how much I value your opinion. I will definitely my original work with you. I'm hoping for publication though so I may not be able to post it on Fictionpress, or any open website...
fialleril From: fialleril Date: April 26th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
*hugs* I would love to see what you write. And I would probably squee ridiculously when you get published. :)

I can has autographs when you are published, plz?
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: April 28th, 2008 06:18 am (UTC) (Link)
You are so sweet!

*knock on wood* Sure you can.
fialleril From: fialleril Date: April 29th, 2008 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks dear. (To both things.) *hugs*
(Deleted comment)
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 20th, 2008 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks very much for your encouragment and all your kind reviews on this site and ff.net. I want to focus on Kaleidoscope for now since I've been writing it for so long, but I promise to complete Mortal Instruments before the end of the year. :D
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