"Normal speech." "Thoughts/mental communication." "Bold if very emotional or influenced by something"

A Padawan no More

Chapter 0. Prologue

In a small star system, devoid of any forms of life for millennia, a sudden flash of light disturbed the eerie blackness of space. A battered space craft, which was now basking in the soft, but deathly glow of an ever expanding red giant, flew idly, passing by the rings of a yellow gas planet. The former star, once praised as a main source of life from many cultures, was now threatening to erase any traces of a long lost civilization. Any remains of a species that once thrived despite all of their hardships, any signs of good were now overshadowed by the relentless destruction - caused by the crimson titan. Red light had engulfed the whole star system, as if to serve as a precognition of what will inevitably be the fate of the remaining planets. A sense of crushing despair, in wait of the incoming doom, was all that was left. The strangely deformed ship continued on its course, seemingly unfazed by the ruin that surrounded it, apparently having gone through enough close calls of its own to take any notice.

"How fitting." was the only thought that you would sense from the lone figure inside of the rusty old ship.

"I guess the Force has grown accustomed to a darker sense of humor." she muttered to herself. "Or more like it was forced to adapt, just as everyone else..." came a cynical afterthought.

The young woman let out a dry chuckle, which quickly transformed into a deep sigh. "Of all of the places to end up in, it had to be this one. It's almost as if this rust bucket has a mind of its own." The sole occupant put on a soft smirk after setting up the course of the autopilot, and then headed out of the cockpit.

She had barely managed to escape them successfully and so far there was no indication that they've been able to track her down.

"Or that's what they want me to think." she said to herself. At least now she had some time to patch up the hyper drive in the hopes of avoiding being sent straight into orbit with yet another star. Cold sweat trickled down her forehead while recalling that particular incident as she headed through the corridors.

Still pacing she quickly unwrapped and bit off a ration bar. While chewing on the tasteless dry chunks "Why do they even consider this food!?", she hauled her tool box towards the engine compartment. Reaching her destination, the alien put down the tools. An attempt to swallow the lump of homogeneous mass followed, with the much needed help of the last remaining gulps of blue milk from a rather dusty carton. After successfully finishing her so called meal and ignoring the gagging feeling in her stomach, the lone fugitive focused her full attention on fixing the hyper drive.

Past 20 minutes of infuriating work she finally gave up on trying to compensate for missing components and wiped all the newly accumulated sweat off her forehead with the tatty sleeve of her tunic. Suddenly she let out a hiss, as she felt the stinging sensation from a fresh cut on her hand, now soaked in moisture and grease. Disheartened she headed back to the bridge with a huff of frustration.

She stopped next to one particular door with a longing look on her orange face and wrinkled her eye markings while rubbing her temple. "No sleep until you get out of here. Just a little longer until thi... .s thing cools down enough." she mumbled, stifling a yawn. "Enough for me to be willing to take the risk that is." came a cocky remark.

The lone figure reached the main deck and tossed the toolbox aside, which resulted in a loud clank breaking the deafening silence in the large metal hall. The young alien stiffened at the sudden outburst of noise, her head-tails twitching slightly. Instantly her hand flung upwards in a rash face-palm and yet another loud noise from the resulting slap reverberated into her hollow horns. Aggravated by her own reckless actions she thrust her hands down at her sides and let out a stiffened hiss.

"When are you going to stop doing that?!" she yelled out and then sat on a nearby safety seat, expecting no answer. She took a few deep breaths letting out all of her bottled up frustrations while exhaling and felt her tense muscles relax.

While calming down her hand brushed against a small metal cylinder, which she slowly unclipped from her belt and held up in front of her. She eased her palm open and looked at the familiar and reassuring gloss of the sturdy device, that she once thought lost forever. It resembled a flashlight, befittingly lighting up her mood even more, almost as if a strong current fueled back strength into her. The device slowly lifted up into the air under her gaze, rotating and reflecting a slight tint of pink from the bright light of the red giant. The eyes of the now grown up girl slightly unfocused as she recalled the fateful event which took everything from her - only so that she would later find out what happened was a premonition for worse to come.

Lost in thought she murmured "Who would've thought their roles could switch so fast." This came out as a statement, as something she had already known to be possible, if not probable from personal experience.

"If only the Jedi understood why I left, maybe more would've survived. My 'brothers' proved yet again, that they can adapt to any situation. But this time it wasn't just some lone Padawan that took the fall!" Her jaw clenched with a clack and her sharp teeth ground in frustration and regret.

"Asajj, I guess we weren't the only ones who felt betrayed." she whispered as the strange device fell into her grip and her small, yet sturdy fingers tightened their hold. "To think that YOU, out of all people, were the one to help me. Thank you for giving it back!" she said as she tightened her hold onto the small cylinder to the point it left small imprints on her palm. But these marks were nothing compared to the fond memories that came rushing back, just from holding her valued possession - a reminiscence of better times, past experiences she held very dear.

The girl stood up and headed back to the cockpit. Reaching it, she sat down on the pilot seat and buckled up, quickly glancing at some controls just to find out that the wait wasn't over yet. The ship was steadily making its way to another gas giant with plenty of moons. The alien watched, marveling at the sight, taking in colors and pondering over how it would feel to fly in one of the now dozens of storms spread over the surface of the planet.

"Surely it won't be much worse than Master's landings." she let out a small chuckle at that thought, but it was quickly replaced with a grim frown as her fingers stiffened around the armrests of her seat, the beautiful view now forgotten. She quickly inhaled and exhaled letting out her frustrations before they could advance any further.

"I'm not going to fall into that trap too! I won't be dragged down with you!" these thoughts echoed in her head and a determined glint could be seen in here big sapphire blue eyes.

Minutes had passed as she neared an huge asteroid field, which managed to form a ring surrounding the enormous red giant. Her sleepy gaze began to wander until it stopped onto the readings of the control panel. Her lips curled into a smug smile as she saw the green light indicating that all scans were complete. Shaking off the boredom infused sleepiness she eagerly pressed a few buttons which led to a blue hologram of the star system appearing.

The alien couldn't understand why this place felt so special to her. It was a very familiar feeling, but she couldn't quite put a finger on it.

"I'm so deep into space, far beyond the Outer Rim and still this place seems as if exactly where I was meant to end up. Yet, it is doomed to suffer such an inevitable demise. " she shuddered at that idea, but quickly shrugged it off. Then her thoughtful gaze landed on two planets to the expanding red giant.

After assessing the data retrieved from the scan she began to wonder again. "There was once life on these two. I can still feel the imprint it left in the Force after all these years." Her gaze unfocused again as she pondered over who would have called these planets home, and how would they feel now, if they were observing the fate of their birthplace beside her. "Probably exactly how I feel about the fate of my home."

She quickly gripped the small metal cylinder as memories of her youth washed over her. She remembered being the tiny youngling, struggling but still determined to keep pace with Master Plo Koon, who was leading her up a long stairway. The pleasant memory of her mentor immediately formed tears of joy in her eyes. Her father figure and teacher she held so dear to her heart always made her feel safe. Him bringing her to the Jedi Temple, her new home, the place she felt protected and loved, was one of the few good memories left. And yet it also led to tears of pain and sorrow.

"The war took everything from us." was the only thought in her mind. She tightened her grip on the handle, her fingers beginning to crackle under the pressure. "The war is what took me to HIM - the monster that I called a Master, a brother, a friend!" Her hand was now beginning to hurt from the strain but she did not loosen the grip.

Only after she caught sight of her reflection in the windshield, a face contorted with anger in an icy glare, did she snap out of her loathing. "I said I'm not falling for the same trap!" she hissed through her teeth. "That's just what he wants." she whispered, small tears trickling down her cheeks.

Again, breathing deeply, she relaxed and let her emotions dissipate into the void of space. She then began to stretch her senses, a strong feeling of longing emanating from her. Her mind could taste the familiar sense of love and protection, while nearing the now fiery inferno of a planet - closest to the red giant. This only intensified her confusion. "What is in store for me? Would I ever have a place to call home again?"

She didn't have long to dwell on these thoughts as a wave of horror washed over her and chills traveled down her spine, making each and every muscle in her body tense up. She let out a sharp whimper as her breath left her lungs. Her eyes widened as she recognized an all too familiar dark presence, now threatening to devour and crush her will. The girl struggled to stay calm and focused, willing the foul aura to stray away from her essence.

But in a jarring jolt, she felt the shields around her mind crumble under the fierce attack, a cold and merciless voice roared though her head. "Join ME now Ahsoka or continue to suffer!" a possessive demand thundered through her thoughts, with the full intention of obliterating any resistance.

The girl froze as she felt the blind anger and pain seeping from shadowy entity. It took a long while for her, before she could muster the strength to respond. "An... Anakin plea..."

But again her attempt to reason was feeble against the raging wall of hatred and disdain that met her words. "Anakin Skywalker is DEAD, Snips! He died along with the Jedi traitors!"

Hearing this made something deep inside of her snap open, unleashing her suppressed emotions to flare out in a fiery inferno of raging fury. The air around her crackled as metal strained, bending and squeaking under an invisible force, as her voice boomed, both through her lips and her mind.

"Don't call me that! You have no right to call me that Vader! I HATE YOU!" she hissed out the words, sputtering his name hoarsely, every syllable sodden with contempt and disgust. Anyone else would have been petrified at that outburst of loathing, any normal human being would have been scared for their life.

Her outburst however, did by no means deter the Sith Lord. On the contrary, he basked in her hatred and fed off her fury, rejoicing in the darkness he managed to twist into her through their bond.

"Yes apprentice! This is IT! Revel in your anger, the Dark Side is beckoning you!" he seized the moment, convinced that he could turn his former padawan, that he will have the sole person that still meant something to him, clutched in his grasp.

Her reaction, was what left him bewildered, for even his Master could not foresee it.

The violent emotions in her dwindled, the passion obsessing the girl was all but gone, suddenly replaced by calm. His hold on her had slipped, as if he was trying to grab at water. Ahsoka, who just mere moments ago was stuttering in fear and then seething with disdain, now seemed at peace.

"I will not be controlled again, neither by you Vader, nor by the Dark Side. Emotion, yet peace. Ignorance, yet knowledge. Passion, yet serenity. Chaos, yet harmony. Death, yet the Force. Let there be balance." came her poised voice, unnerving, devoid of any feelings.

"Please let go of me. Let go of your anger. Do what is right. I still believe in you Anakin." came another reply, but this time with a pang of sadness and pity. A few hopeful moments passed, but then anger surged through Vader, finally snapping him out of his temporary stunned muteness.

"Anakin Skywalker is dead to me! And so are you!" came his menacing roar, promising only malice and grief. And as abruptly as the threat ended, their bond - still whole through numerous hardships, love and hate, life and death - was cut, severed to leave nothing but emptiness and longing behind.

As if waiting for that moment the alarms on the ship sounded off. The console detected activating weapons from the now advancing fleet, and moments later, the armor of the hull was taking heavy hits from laser fire. The lights of the ship began to flicker as stray shots breached some of the shields, probably completely ruining all the attempted repairs.

At this point it was certain there was no chance for Ahsoka's survival. All she had left were: barely any supplies of edible food; a completely useless navigational system, along with an overheated hyper drive, both of which probably scheming with Vader against her; and to top it off... not enough fuel to jump anywhere remotely useful. A single golden tear slid across the girl's pretty face, now filled with sorrow.

"Farewell, Skyguy." was her final whisper - drowned by the clanking noises of a never ending barrage - before pulling a lever with her scarred hand, and entering hyperspace straight towards the now charred planet, which called her through the Force.

Something went wrong. Very, VERY wrong! Too unorthodox to even be possible. So bizarre, that she couldn't make any sense of it. Why was she in hyperspace?! Didn't she just go out of it a moment ago, only to stare at a red giant and a dying star system, while stranded by an overheated engine?

Ahsoka scurried with the controls only to realize nothing was responding. She slowly shifted her gaze from the useless machinery and looked out at what she assumed would be the comforting blue ring of hyperspace.

Her jaw dropped at what she saw, leaving her staring agape at the blurry dead star, which was now shrinking and warping in front of her at an impossibly fast pace. Planets were revolving extremely quickly around it, rapidly changing color, with nothing but smudged traces pursuing them.

Before she could react, or even begin to question this bizarre sight, only an instant had passed as her mind suddenly went blank.

"No wait, why am I on a ship?! A very damaged burning ship, rattling as if it is about to fall apart?!" was a sudden realization that dawned her. "I need to get out of here!" her voice trembled as fear and confusion threatened to overwhelm her. She almost stumbled and fell on the metal floor below her, which was now weaving, as if all of a sudden alive.

Adrenalin rushed through the teenage girl as she sped through the hallways. "I have to contact Master!" the young alien thought, still running, while reaching into her left pocket for her commlink, only to realize that it wasn't there!

She barely kept calm long enough to concentrate, trying and contact her mentor through the mutual link every padawan learner and teacher share. "I can't sense him. No! It can't be! There is no bond!" shock and dread of that sudden discovery shattered what remained of her self-control.

"I'm getting out of here right NOW!" the girl shouted with a shaky voice as she witnessed the whole hallway in front of her begin to deform in impossible shapes. Ahsoka drew strength, immersing herself into the Force, enhancing her speed and letting it guide her, as she rushed towards the engine room of this unknown vessel. She was determined to stop the ship from tearing itself apart and drop off the monstrous machine with an escape pod.

"I must to get out. Get out! Need out!" was all going though her panicked mind as she grew slower and took tinier, more frequent strides.

"This can't be happening! Not when I'm supposed to meet my new Master! To be the Padawan of the Hero With No Fear!" were her thoughts seconds before reaching the hyper drive and ripping through the power lines of the control panel with an emerald green energy beam - which was now whizzing out of the familiar hilt caught in her tight grip.

There was a flash of blinding light and a violent turbulence shook the hull of the ship. A few seconds ago everything was deforming and twisting out of shape, as if struggling to stay in one form. Now there were alarms sounding and red lights blinking in rapid succession all heading towards one particular exit. The air in the ship was heating up as gravity took control of the damaged vessel, pulling it into a rapid fall through the atmosphere of a green planet with wide reaching oceans.

The tiny youngling, who now stood next to the ruined control panel, was barely managing to maintain her footing, and yet she looked as if untouched by the chaos surrounding her. She stumbled, almost falling on the floor, a pair of shoes too big for her were impairing her movement.

Sheer panic took her over, as she rushed barefoot towards the exit with all of the strength she had left in her and quickly boarded the escape pod. It had sustained some damage but was still functional... just barely. She clipped the now deactivated hilt back on her belt. Then, as quickly as her little hands could manage, the tiny alien buckled up securely on the seat and launched the pod out off the burning metal mass, which was once the dreadful ship she so desperately sought to escape.

Ahsoka's world had turned upside down in mere seconds. In one moment she was anxiously entering the Jedi Council Chambers yearning to show Master Plo her newly crafted lightsaber, wanting to thank the Council for everything the Jedi Masters had taught her. She knew that without the guidance of her protector and teachers she wouldn't have the privilege of this beautiful green blade. She was very eager to continue her training with her own lightsaber, which fit her perfectly in every way. The girl was proud to finally have a worthy weapon, instead of being stuck using, what in her view were 'a pair of glow sticks'. And just as she was stepping through the doorway, cheerful and ready do greet Master Plo, all hell had gone loose.

Now Ahsoka was curled up in a ball, strapped securely in her seat, too scared to scream and too confused to think. She was wrapped in the bloodied scraps of what used to be a Jedi robe, almost twice her size. The escape pod was plummeting through the atmosphere just above a huge dark forest, while a giant pile of scrap metal was descending sideways towards the glassy surface of a large black lake.

The terrified youngling was weeping uncontrollably, tears were clouding her vision, while hiccups shook her frail frame and interrupted her desperate gasps for breath.

"Mmmaster Ploo…" was all she could chunter before the pod suddenly came back to life, starting a controlled descend that resulted in an even stronger turbulence, which shook the little girl in her seat. Crackling and sizzling noises came from the protective metal shields, which were now beginning to cool thanks to the slowing descend, and their menacing sounds could be heard throughout the cabin.

The little alien held her hands up so she could cover her hollow horns, trying to prevent the horrible sound from echoing in her head. Her three little head-tails had curled up close to her head, covered by the sides of her hands, taking the least amount of surface possible. Her normally orange skin was now pale peach and the usually blue/white stripes of her lekku were almost indistinguishable from one another due to fright.

There was a sudden impact which flung the youngling backwards in her seat, forcing her rear lek to suddenly hit the metal outline of the headrest. The last thing she felt was a sharp pain and then all she could hear was the combined noise of deafening screeches, coming from hard metal scraping against a rocky surface, chimed in by her own cries of agony. Her already blurry vision was rapidly starting to get shrouded by numerous dark spots. Moments later everything plunged into silent darkness, soon followed by a blinding flash of white light.

Ahsoka was back at the temple, back at her small private dorm crying on her bed. She knew something had gone terribly wrong. At one point she was walking through the door of the Jedi Council Chambers, eager to show her success to Master Plo, a step later she was running for her life through a hallway and boarding on an escape pod. She paled at the realization of what had followed.

"Is this how it feels to be dead?" she flinched at the thought. She had to find out, so she bit her hand with her sharp teeth. Nothing happened to it. No pain, not even bite marks. That frightened her even more.

"Do dead people feel pain or is this just a dream?" the girl pondered while straightening up. At that point the little youngling jumped off her bed and swiftly headed towards the door. She reached to the door handle and pulled with all of her body weight. It wouldn't so much a flinch.

"No, this is a dream it CAN'T be real!" she screamed in her mind and fell with her back against the door and wrapped her arms around her legs, soon after placing her chin on her knees. All of a sudden she began rocking back and forth, shuddering like a leaf. "It's all just a dream. Just a dream! Wake up! Wake up! Wake now!" she repeated at least a dozen times.

"It is not a dream little 'Soka." came a calm and reassuring voice. She snapped her eyes open as she recognized the familiar tone of Master Plo but then paled and burst into tears at the sight of her mentor.

"No this can't be happening. This isn't happening!" she was shaking her head and her lekku were flapping furiously, slapping against her cheeks.

"Don't fret needlessly young one. You can't deny what has already come to pass." Plo Koon continued speaking soothing the young girl.

Ahsoka looked at him with pleading eyes, with wet cheeks, still glistening from her tears. Tracing his ghostly visage with an intent gaze, she suddenly felt that all of it was true. Her small frame went stiff and her shoulders slumped. Her lekku trembled and curled up on themselves. Slowly the young girl nodded and lowered her eyes from the luminous glow of her former patron, they were now staring blankly at the carpeted floor. There was a long period of silence during which only stifled sniffs and wails could be heard coming from the curled up youngling.

"You already know what happened Ashoka. Don't try to delude yourself from the truth and focus on what's yet to come." the old Kel Dor reasoned in a now more serious tone.

Of course she knew. Nothing else could explain the emptiness she felt inside of her soul, the presences missing from the flow of the Force. Confusion was evident on her face as she wrinkled her eye markings and slowly massaged her temple with her tiny fingers, trying to ease her mind.

"Howw... how ccould thiss happen so fast? Everyone I knew is gone." she struggled to let the words part her lips.

"You don't remember and it is probably for the best. If you are to be happy in this new world you must learn to let go of your past." Plo Koon reassured. She gave him a thoughtful gaze and seemed to relax feeling the calm and content emanating from his essence.

"So I'm not dead but I'm going to be alone. I'm not sure which is worse." she said accepting her fate, knowing deep inside that it was her own will and the guidance of the Force that led her to this predicament. "A lonely Togruta? That is probably unheard of!" she chuckled slightly and put on a forced smile.

She could feel the Kel Dor smile back at her under his mask, hinting that he knew what he was about to say next would lighten up her mood.

"You won't be alone little 'Soka. Know that I will always watch over you. Also I'm sure that you will gain many new friends with that Togruta personality of yours. And probably get them and yourself into trouble as usual. " he teased. She practically beamed back at him with a huge toothy grin replacing her wry smile.

Plo's voice suddenly grew very serious and urgent.

"Ahsoka we don't have much time left! Soon you will wake in a new world, one that drew you in with it's abundance of the Force. Although you can't remember, reaching to this point in time means that you've survived numerous challenges, which, even most of the Masters could not prevail. You were the first one to see through the deceit that plunged the Jedi into darkness, and act on what you felt was right. Despite all the odds stacked against you, you've managed to follow your own path, thanks to your sheer willpower and trust in the Force. In this new world you are the only Jedi! Be wary of your surroundings, for the battle between the Dark and the Light Side still persists! Follow your instincts and choose your allies carefully! Confide only in someone who you trust with your life! Never let anyone try to twist your will! You've proven yourself as a most worthy Jedi young one. I am very proud of you Ashoka! May the Force be with you! Always."

The girl absorbed every last word. Everything she heard felt close to her heart and right.

It was then that her old mentor abruptly fell to his knees, lowering himself to her eye level. His stoic posture was gone and now he looked broken. There was a huge amount of pain in his next words and the girl was overwhelmed by the waves of bitter sadness and remorse flowing outwards from him.

"I know..." he struggled to let the words out. "I know you can't remember. But please forgive the Counc... us... me... for doubting you, accusing you of crimes you didn't commit. I wronged you, abandoned you when you needed me most. I was so blind... I should have known better..." The old Kel Dor seemed crushed under the immense guilt he held in his heart, as his voice became barely above a whisper "Please forgive me. Of all people I should have seen you were the same innocent child I took to the temple so many years ago. I'm so sorry, little 'Soka."

Ahsoka was both confused and strangely relieved at the same time after this emotional outburst of her father figure. She gave him an encouraging smile and in an instant she felt his hope rise. Her next words were warm and gentle.

"No one is perfect and everyone has made mistakes. I should know that." she let out a small chuckle. "I don't resent you for whatever you did to me. All I know is that you are here for me now, when it matters the most, and I love you for that Master Plo. Please don't dwell on the past and move on. I've already forgiven you."

Relief, joy and pride were the feelings emitting from within her mentor as he embraced her in a tight hug.

"May the Force be with you Mast..." she struggled to say, but was cut short as suddenly her head felt as if split open and her vision blurred. Ahsoka was regaining consciousness, waking up to a new reality, soon to be greeted by A World of Pain and Wonder.

This is my first attempt at writing a story and I hope you enjoy it. Please leave some Reviews on which parts you liked and/or disliked, so that I can get a better picture on what I'm doing right, and on what I still have to work on. Any suggestions are welcome and I would enjoy hearing the speculation on what you think would follow.

A thank you to iSparks, hopefully I've edited this chapter to be a bit more readable.

As you already know Ahsoka crash landed, and you might have caught on the hint where exactly that happened. So you can expect Chapter 1. 'A World of Pain and Wonder' to involve the immediate events that follow after her waking up from vision, and Ahsoka's first encounters with some favorite characters from the Harry Potter universe.