The Dark Apprentice

Chapter 3

Galen Marek the Second sat watching Harry meditate, clicking the last and final piece of his training saber into position. The belt hook now firmly attached, Harry opened his eyes in awe, staring at the beautiful construction before him. The gleaming silver handle was ramrod straight, and a small plasteel window allowed people to see the crystal chamber which held a vibrant and pulsating red gem. Just by looking at it, an experienced lightsaber-user could tell it was not 'Sith-red' as some called it; rather, it was passion, love, compassion, righteousness, honour and humility. Gazing into the crystal chamber, Galen felt burdens he hadn't known he had lift. He could still feel his connection to the Dark Side, but… He felt no pull, so to speak. He felt as if, on command, he could release an entire Force Storm like his weaker brother-clone had done, but without succumbing to any rage or hate.

Where had Harry found that crystal?

Just as Galen was preparing to intrude on Harry's meditation, he heard the chime signalling PROXY's return to the ship. Galen would talk to Harry soon, no doubt.

Walking quickly to the docking station, he expected to see PROXY waiting there for him. Instead, the droid was already walking towards him, as filled with purpose as a droid's gait could be.

"Master, I have news of Earth. I was looking for some Force-related texts in a village with high levels of Force activity. I'd gone to a house that registered higher on the scale than anywhere else, when I saw a little girl with bright red hair flying on a stick of wood. Then, a woman who was obviously her mother emerged from the woods and shot something at the hoop this girl was playing with. Get this- the wooden pole that the hoop was on sprouted branches and turned into a tree! Master, this is a use of the Force I am unaware of. Are my databanks incomplete?"

"Hardly. I will need to see this for myself. Stay here, and begin to educate Harry on the varying uses of the Force- but no practicals. I will be back soon."

With that, Galen climbed into the small shuttle his ship was equipped with now, and shot off for England, the ship's previous co-ordinates still logged.

Galen stood in the same field as PROXY had not even half an hour beforehand. He stared around him, not surprised that the woods were silent. He did, however, feel vague movements in the Force ahead.

Traipsing through the rather damp wintry meadow, he saw a small town in the distance to his right. Yellow light flickered through the early morning mist as Galen approached what he could now recognise as a 'house'. A loose-fitting term, to be sure. The house had nearly six floors, with some parts of the house extending out halfway between, making it hard to be sure. It seemed to be held up by the Force alone, and yet Galen could see no one actively holding it up, let alone feel their ripples in the Force.

He jumped over an archaic wooden gate and into their front garden. Inside, he could see a family of seven children and two parents eating their breakfast. A great deal of breakfast, even for a Force-user. He could tell all of them were. How strange. Jedi were supposed to support abstinence and chastity, and yet these things could be seen as unheard of in this family! For a second, Galen envied them. But then he had a thought- Harry was almost like a son to him. Give it a couple more years, and the boy may even see him as a father. Galen's attention snapped back to reality as he felt the Force ripple out slightly around him.

The family eating indoors was no longer eating. Well, everyone but the youngest boy. They were all at the window staring at him, while the mother and father stood, side by side, in front of the door to their home.

Shit. So much for stealth. Well done, Galen!

"Who are you? How did you find this place?" The man yelled across the garden, simple stick pointed in his direction. If the woman could make a pole a tree, he didn't want to find out what the man could do.

"I felt your presence, and was interested in meeting you! I mean you no harm! I climbed over your gate, which I realise was quite impolite! Please, I wish to talk!"

The two redheads conferred briefly, until the man tucked away his stick, yet the woman kept hers handy. Galen tagged her as a duellist. Of what sort, he had yet to determine. Slowly walking forwards, hands slightly out the sides, he made sure to prevent no threatening stances. Once within casual speech-range, he promptly sat on the dewy grass in front of the pair.

"My name is Boba Fett." He felt it to be a name they shouldn't know, stuck on this back-water. "I'm a traveller, and just wished to talk. Your names, if I may?"

"Arthur Weasley, and my wife Molly. Our kids are inside. All seven of them. What did you come to talk about, stranger?"

Galen frowned. Still calling him stranger. No trust. Hmm.

"Your brand of magic is… different to my own. I find this interesting to the extreme, you see, and should like very much to see it. I saw your wife earlier turn the hoop to a tree, and could barely believe my eyes. May I ask… could you show me, please?"

"Different, you say? Well, I think a small show-and-tell shouldn't hurt, eh Molly dear?" The way the man asked his question, it became clear who called the shots around here. She nodded, still watching their trespasser.

Withdrawing his wand again, Arthur swished and flicked it lightly, slowly levitating a large cauldron from inside the pond. Next, he conjured a chair for his wife, himself, and his guest, and bade them all sit.

Taking his seat, Galen thought of something new. "Mr. Weasley, tell me about your world, please. It has been so long since I was last in the magical world, I'm afraid I've rather lost touch of where I am!"

The genial personality hid his true information-gathering purposes. Arthur sat back in his comfy, over-stuffed armchair as his wife did the same, their world would take some explaining, he was sure.

Galen returned to the Rogue Shadow heavily burdened. He'd essentially saved the saviour of the wizarding world. He'd exposed him to some of the darkest fighting arts available to the Galaxy, and the boy saw them as neutral, it was obvious. He sighed. He couldn't go back on his word now, he couldn't just show Harry the Seven Forms and then not teach him two of them. Heck, he'd probably get the puppy-eyes if he refused to teach him anything…

But now, it became obvious that Harry had to be taught everything Galen knew. Maybe he'd try and find some remnant Jedi, see if they knew anything that could benefit Harry. They wouldn't trust him, though. The Dark Side still clung to him, although his heart was now Light. Except… Maris. The one that the original Galen Marek had spared on Felucia, He could still feel her Life Debt connecting the two, even weakened as it was (he was only a copy of her debt-owner, therefore the connection was smaller). He'd send PROXY. He could take over the lessons if the droid left a plan of sorts. Besides, he'd have to amp up the lessons. He was expected at Privet Drive on the day of his eleventh birthday, after all.

Thank the Force for the Weasley family, all Galen had to do was cram the next ten years of training into five. That would be a tall order for Master Yoda, let alone himself- but his student was light years better and faster at learning than any he'd ever heard of. Which reminded him. He'd need to test Harry's blood for his midi-chlorian count soon, to measure his change over his training, now that he'd started to actively use it.

Emerging from his thoughts, Galen wandered back to his quarters to get a few hours' sleep before it was time for training.

Harry stood in front of Galen, training saber in hand. Holding it in the standard Shii-Cho grip- both hands on the hilt, blade angled 45 o outwards towards his Master. He'd spent the last week learning how to hold the training saber in the right grip, and holding that position for ever-longer periods of time. He'd learnt each stage of the First Form, and was now about to engage his Master in a practice duel.

Galen had his dominant foot forwards, telling Harry he was ready to defend. Understanding the philosophy of fighting be second-best to talking things through, he also presented a defensive stance. He waited.

Wanting to move things on, Galen swiftly changed, pushing forwards with his less-dominant foot, he made a wide sweep at Harry's feet. Harry stepped back, but lunged forwards as soon as the lightsaber scored a line in the metal deck. He made to slash down in the typical Basic Attack, but Galen blocked in a shower of sparks.

Knowing that his Master had far superior strength, Harry quickly slipped from Shii-Cho to Makashi.

As the duel carried on, the two slipped from one Form to another, trying to hit the other. Galen obviously pulled his blows, he hardly wanted to have to replace one of Harry's hands or something- it might affect his future wand-work. Finally, Galen's lightsaber skimmed Harry's right forearm, slightly cooking the flesh, and making him whimper. Harry tried to carry on, but his fingers just wouldn't obey him, and let his training saber fall to the deck.

The two stood, Harry lightly panting, Galen not even breaking a sweat.

"A good fight, Harry! I think more reflex training, and definitely more pain-threshold. But, I think that is it for today, you can go rest now." He smirked as Harry nearly flopped to the floor.

"Thank you, Master. When will I learn how use the Force, Galen?" A puddle of sweat had already formed around the boy.

"Oh, sometime soon, I should think. I think your control is nearly there- you didn't lose your temper at all during that fight, despite my Dun Möch use. I thought that the comment on your parents would tip you over the edge, but I can see it nearly did. More meditation, I think. Release your worries and memories into the Force. They cannot help you now."

"… Yes, Master."

Harry clawed himself back up to his feet, and bowed, before heading back to his room.

Time flew by aboard the Rogue Shadow, with Harry's skills improving in leaps and bounds. The time approached for him to learn how to access the Force. His Master was excited, he could tell. Galen sat in the pilot's seat, fiddling with some controls, passing the time as he planned the lesson with the Force in his head.

'Grip first, I think', thought the Apprentice, as he pushed the buttons to take the ship over England again. He needed some more information on 'magic'. 'Then Push and Pull. Perhaps Repulse if he shows his usual aptitude. He sighed. Harry was ageing so fast, and yet, so slow! He wanted the boy to have a normal childhood, but maybe the children of Prophecy are destined to walk a hard road as soon as they lean to walk. I suppose Mind Trick, Shield and a few others. He may come up with his own, knowing Harry…

Harry was now nearly eleven years old, and he had made far more progress than Galen had even dared to hope for. The boy had more Force stamina than any Force-user his Master had ever heard of! He knew his original had been exemplary, besting even Lord Vader, but still! The boy's midi-chlorian count increased by the week, with all the flexing he was doing in the Force. Galen was proud that his Padawan would be powerful. The boy had no concept of Light and Dark, only Grey. He was taught to use his anger to overcome his opponents, but never let it blind him to what was happening around him. His mind was like an iron fortress in the Force, Galen could feel nothing from him.

Harry was also the same as he was years ago, the smiling and endlessly-cheerful young boy he'd been when he first started learning under Galen, four years ago now. He smiled when he learned something new, and he grinned when praised for it. He lived for praise, and the pride that Galen had in him.

At the moment, Harry was going through his notes on lightsaber construction, gradually building the blueprints for his own, individual set, much like his master- he'd be wielding two lightsabers come the end of the year!

His lessons in Jar'Kai had gone well- he could use two blades without any damage to himself, but he was slow. That will not always be the case, Harry told himself. I get better every day now! He couldn't wait to show Galen his designs. He just hoped the man had the right parts.

As Harry worked, the door slid open to reveal PROXY.

"Oh, hi PROXY! I was just finishing my designs for my sabers! Wanna see?" Harry waved the papers around, crinkling the thin material.

"Hello, Harry, Master would like to see you when you have a chance. He said to bring those plans, actually. He said he had a present for you. Good day." The droid shuffled off with his normal- weird- gait, leaving Harry in a state of shock. He was building them now? What if there was a problem, a fault? He hadn't double-triple checked them yet!

Shaking his head, he gathered up his plans, and then ran off to find his Master.