The Sugar Quill
Author: Gehayi  Story: Heros  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

"A film

Disclaimer: Not mine--to my eternal regret. The HP characters are Jo Rowlings' property; the SW characters are George Lucas's. And I'm not making any profit from this, either.

***

"A film?" Louise Pettigrew stared incredulously at her seventeen-year-old son. "Absolutely not. Why in the world do you have to go to the pictures in London two days after Christmas? You can certainly wait until the film comes to Birmingham."

"Mum," Peter said, striving to sound adult--or as adult as possible for a teenaged Muggleborn wizard who was also a hopeless science fiction fan. "Mum, it's the British premiere. Star Wars came out in America in May. I've waited seven months already. And if I don't go now, I won't have another chance until Easter--which I'm probably going to spend at school studying for N.E.W.T.s. Come on, please?"

James and Sirius would never understand this, he thought. Well, they wouldn't understand his passion to see an American film, any more than they'd ever understood his love of science fiction. But they would just chalk that up to "one of Peter's quirks." No, what they really wouldn't grasp would be the fact that he had to beg his mother for permission. Peter had turned seventeen back in March. He was of age...at least as far as the wizarding world was concerned.

As far as Louise Pettigrew was concerned, Peter was eleven, going on ten.

"And just how are you going to get from Birmingham to London and back?" she demanded. "We haven't a car, trains are expensive, and you are not going by broomstick." She shuddered at the last word.

Peter, who had been dealing with his mother's conviction that magic was evil, demonic and most likely the creation of Hell since his own powers manifested when he was seven, mentally translated "broomstick" to "any means of wizarding transportation which uses magic in a way impossible to ignore." So Apparating was out...even though he had his licence. And he couldn't use Floo Powder. Quite apart from his mother's prejudices, she lived in a Muggle neighbourhood. The Pettigrew flat not only wasn't hooked up to the Floo Network, it didn't even have a fireplace.

Fortunately, he already had an alternate form of transportation in mind.

"I'll take the Knight Bus." He anticipated her next question. "It's an omnibus for wizards. Perfectly ordinary bus. Well, except that it's purple. It drives on normal roads and everything."

It also Apparated from destination to destination all over the United Kingdom. Not that he was going to mention that particular detail. It wasn't strictly honest, but it wasn't lying...exactly. One of the most important things to remember in conversations with his mother was knowing what bits to leave out.

His mother frowned at the word "wizards" but breathed a sigh of relief at the words "ordinary" and "normal."

"Well, the Knight Bus sounds all right," she said reluctantly. "What's this film about, then?"

Nothing much, Mum. Just the struggle of a handful of ordinary people to defeat an immensely powerful and insanely evil Dark Lord and his equally evil followers. Nothing that has anything to do with the world I live in.

"Oh, lots of things," he replied aloud. "There's this Galactic Empire, and space ships, and a huge space station, and planets in a distant galaxy, and robots, and..."

As he had expected, his mother motioned him to be silent. Peter privately bet himself that she would let him go now. She loathed science fiction as a waste of time, but at the same time, she was forced to approve of it--especially the "hard" science fiction that Peter loved--because it involved math, science and technology. Muggle things, far removed from the realm of magic. He knew that she hoped ever more fiercely, as the years wore on, that his love for science fiction would drag him back to the real world, the Muggle world. Magic, she conceded, was real, in the sense that it existed, but it was not real in the way that electricity and typewriters and vaccinations were real. Magic--foolish, trivial, seductive and unholy--was a distraction from reality. Decent people did not crave such a thing, much less practice it.

He continued to gaze at her, trying to do the pleading-puppy-dog-eyed expression that Sirius had down to an art, the lucky bugger.

"Well..." His mother considered. "Are your friends going?"

An innocuous-sounding question, but Peter wasn't fooled. No question that his mother asked about wizards or the wizarding world was ever innocuous, no matter how harmless it sounded. Fortunately, he could answer this honestly.

"No, they're not. Sci-fi isn't really their kind of thing."

His mother relaxed at the words. Peter schooled his face to make it appear as if he hadn't noticed. Inwardly, however, he was seething. Why the hell did she have to be so relieved that he wasn't hanging around other wizards for once? James, Remus and Sirius were his friends, damn it. Most parents considered friends a good thing.

"So who are you going with?"

Peter blinked. "No one. I'm going by myself."

"Oh, no, you're not!" His mother stared at Peter sternly. "I don't want you going to the pictures all alone."

"Why NOT?" Peter demanded, his voice escalating despite his best efforts. Merlin's manky balls, why does everything have to be so difficult with her?

Louise Pettigrew fidgeted. "Well, someone could sit down next to you and start...bothering you. It could be unpleasant."

Peter briefly thought of telling her that he really didn't think he'd get felt up at the pictures by anyone, male or female, and that short plump blond boys of seventeen didn't look, in most peoples' opinions, like sex gods. Then he sighed. It wouldn't do him any good to speak bluntly. She'd be horrified that he even knew the words for what she was talking about, and she would surely view it as a sign of loathsome spiritual corruption. Then he'd spend the rest of Christmas vacation being dragged to various quacks and charlatans for exorcism. And there was no way he was going through that again. He'd had four years of that prior to Hogwarts.

"Mum," he said quietly, pulling his poplar wand from the pocket of the trousers she insisted that he wear at home. "See this? Wand. Wizard. If someone starts bothering me, I'll turn him into a toad. And then he won't be bothering me any more. Very simple."

"You can't do that in public!"

"It'll be dark, and everyone's eyes will be on the screen, rather than on me," Peter pointed out. "And why are we arguing about something that hasn't happened and that probably isn't going to happen in a million years?"

"We aren't arguing," his mother retorted. "We're...discussing. By the way, how are you going to afford this? Films are expensive these days."

"I saved some money over the past four months. Don't worry. I can afford it."

"Real money?" his mother demanded.

Peter sighed. Wizarding money was always going to be play money to her. "Yes, Mum. Real money. Pounds and pence. I changed Galleons and Sickles for Muggle money at Hogsmeade's branch of Gringotts before I came home for the holidays."

"Where did you get extra money?"

"Oh, just odd jobs around school," Peter said, vaguely waving his right hand--and his wand--in the general direction of Scotland.

Again, it wasn't actually a lie. Gryffindor-Ravenclaw poker games were a lot of work. Especially since they were played with the marked deck of Ravenclaw prefect Hans-Otto Krueger. Once Peter had memorised the markings, he'd discovered that it took enormous planning and concentration to lose. And he had to lose sometimes. The other players would get suspicious if he didn't.

"Peter!" His mother clenched her eyes shut. "Don't--don't wave that thing around. It might go off."

"I can't cast any spells with a wand unless I say the incantation," Peter replied patiently, wondering just how often he was going to have to tell her this. "And even then I have to make the correct motion with the wand before I say the incantation. A generic wave isn't going to do a thing."

His mother shivered. "Don't, Peter. Please. You might not intend to do anything that would hurt anyone, but that doesn't mean something horrible couldn't happen, even so."

Peter shoved his wand into his right trouser pocket. "It's all right," he said gently. "I put it away."

He tried very hard not to see her panicked expression melt into one of desperate relief.

I wouldn't hurt you, Mum, he thought sadly, wishing he could say it. The trouble was that she'd never believe it. She was devout and, in contravention of all of God's laws, he possessed magic. In her view, magic was dangerous at best and hell-spawned at worst. However much she loved him--and he wanted to believe she did, just a little--they were, fundamentally, enemies. She would feed him, clothe him, pray for him...but she would never quite trust him. Not unless he gave up his magic and came back to the Muggle world. And a wizarding education had made that impossible. He didn't have the O-Levels to get a job in the Muggle world, never mind the A-Levels. As far as Muggle Britain was concerned, the education of Peter Joseph Pettigrew had ended when he was eleven.

It was better to pretend that her fear didn't exist. At least, it hurt less.

"So," he said calmly, as if nothing were wrong, "can I go?"

His mother looked at him, glanced at his now-empty right hand, and nodded. As little as possible.

"Thanks, Mum." He leaned up and forward to kiss her, but she pulled back.

"You're too old for that," she said gruffly, and walked away.

Peter hung his head and tried to reassure himself. He'd got what he wanted for months. That was the important thing. He didn't have what he wanted where his mother was concerned, but then, he never had had that, and he never would. He was old enough to know that by now. Hell, he'd known it for years.

Somehow, though, victory still tasted like ashes.

***

Five days later, on the 27th of December, 1977, at eight o'clock at night, Peter was sitting in the Dominion Theatre on Tottenham Court Road, waiting for the film to start.

It had taken a certain amount of luck. He freely admitted that. He'd arrived six hours early, and even so, there had been a huge line ahead of him. It was a good thing that he'd told his mother that he probably wouldn't be back until one or two in the morning. It was also a good thing that she wasn't too upset about this; she had merely clucked her tongue over him wasting his time over such foolishness.

If he hadn't known better, he'd have sworn that she was glad to get him out of the house. But that was impossible. She routinely fussed over him too much for that to be the case.

He was glad that he'd got in fair and square. He'd been prepared to cast a Duplicating Charm on someone's ticket, of course, but he was relieved that he hadn't had to do so. He had a feeling that Professor McGonagall would have been terribly disappointed if he had. Come to that, he had a feeling that Professor McGonagall would be terribly disappointed if she knew that he'd even considered it.

He shook his head as if to clear it. Then he focussed his attention on the Art Deco ceiling, all white carved dogwood blossoms and oak leaves, and the electric lights spangled across the ceiling that had been positioned and decorated to resemble blazing stars. He glanced approvingly at the red velvet curtain covering the immense screen. He surveyed the audience--most, like him, dressed in their best or coolest clothes, some costume-clad.

Minerva McGonagall's face faded from his mind, eventually.

***
The picture had barely started, but Peter had decided that it deserved two thumbs up.

One reason was Luke. Peter was used to heroes in books and film being tall and dark like James and Sirius, and it was an actual pleasure for once to see a hero who was short--well, short-ISH--blue-eyed, and blond. He'd known what Luke looked like for months, naturally, but somehow he'd never managed to forget that the person in the white tunic outfit was actor Mark Hamill. Now, in the theatre, he was looking at Luke, not Mark, and that made all the difference.

The other reason, of course, was Leia. The girl might have eccentric taste in hairstyles--Peter couldn't decide if she looked as if she were wearing Muggle headphones or breakfast pastry on her head--but who cared? She was gorgeous. And not only dead gorgeous, but quick and clever. Her ship was about to be boarded by the forces of the Empire, and she didn't cry, act ineffectually brave, or wait for anyone else to save her, the way that film heroines almost always did. She just slipped the rebel plans into a small droid that no one would notice, a droid that couldn't even speak a human language and thus couldn't be questioned, and then tried to avoid being caught herself.

Peter sighed, gazed at the beautiful, brilliant girl on the screen, and, knowing it was totally idiotic--what was the point of falling in love with a fictional character, after all?--he completely surrendered his heart to the dark-haired senator-princess from Alderaan.

***

It was Darth Vader who convinced Peter that the rumours about this film were true. George Lucas had to be a wizard; he'd got too many details about the war with Voldemort correct. A towering Dark Lord with an inhuman face ruthlessly hunting down those who dared oppose him, surrounded by innumerable anonymous followers, their faces hidden behind white masks…a monster casually planning to torture those with valuable information, and to slaughter those who got in his way…This was far more than mere entertainment. This was a warning, packaged and sugar-coated to make it acceptable for the Muggle masses. Merlin, even the names of the Dark Lords sounded similar.

The most disturbing part was how compelling Vader was. The Storm Troopers were no more than nameless, faceless cannon fodder, and seemed willing to be so. The officers were ordinary men in greenish-grey. Put them in robes, and they could have been bureaucrats going to work at the Ministry of Magic.

But Vader…he was repugnant. Even the sound of his breathing chilled Peter to the bone, causing him to shrink against the back of his seat. And yet there was something magnetic about him, demanding and getting both attention and awe. It was like looking at a train wreck. Vader was ghastly, revolting, terrifying--and Peter absolutely could not look away.

Lucas did a good job, he thought a trifle defensively. It's not my fault Vader's fascinating.

And deliberately, he steered his mind back to the film, not stopping to remember what Professor Quinn had told his Divination class in third year: that Il Fascinato--"The Fascination"--was another term for the Evil Eye.

***

"Harvest is when I need you the most. Only one more season. This year we'll make enough on the harvest so I'll be able to hire some more hands. And then you can go to the Academy next year."

Peter emitted a noise somewhere between a snort and a sigh. That sounded painfully familiar--not the words, but the sentiment. His mother had hit him with a variety of it when he'd come home this time.

You'll be eighteen in March. School ends in June, and that'll be that nonsense over with. You'll be needing a job. Now, I think our Mildred's George might be willing to give you a try in his shop--long as you can act normal, mind.

Yeah. Just forget that he was a wizard. Forget everything that he'd been taught for seven years. Forget everything he was naturally good at, and be a shop boy, because that was normal and respectable.

He'd tried to tell his mother that he was working towards getting into the Healer training program at St Mungo's. His mother had found the notion ridiculous. Don't be silly, Peter, she'd said, shaking her head. You know we haven't the money for university, let alone medical school. It's only the rich boys who get to be doctors and surgeons, because they can afford it. And it's not as if you could get a scholarship. They only give those out to geniuses.

Useless to try to explain to her that a Healing training program wasn't quite the same thing.

And he was bright, even if he wasn't a genius. Becoming an Animagus at fifteen--that made him and James and Sirius the youngest Animagi in four thousand years of wizarding history. Hell, that was the sort of thing that went down in the history books.

He didn't know how James and Sirius could bear not to tell anyone. How could they not want people fussing about it? How could they not want the praise, the fame?

Sometimes he daydreamed about walking into McGonagall's office and just transforming right in front of her. That would show her who wasn't quite in James and Sirius's league magically. He'd heard her say that...a number of times. Professors sometimes forgot that students weren't deaf.

It was true that James and Sirius were better at most classes than he was--though he easily outstripped them and Remus in Potions. But what McGonagall and the other professors forgot was that James and Sirius had had governesses and tutors teaching them magic since they were three years old. He hadn't had that early training. He hadn't learned anything about magic until he was eleven. And still he managed to keep up with--and, in one or two ways, outdo--two people who had been training their powers practically since birth.

In a way, he had to be smarter.

But no one ever saw that. No one even suspected that he was a powerful wizard. Most of the teachers just saw the rather ordinary boy who wasn't the equal of Potter and Black. And his mother wouldn't be satisfied until he was so ordinary as to be invisible.

He didn't wish his friends any ill--but just once, he wanted to be the extraordinary one, the one in the spotlight.

He was tired of being overlooked because James and Sirius made him look ordinary by comparison.

And he was really tired of being held back and forced to be ordinary because that was what his mother wanted him to be.

"It looks like I'm going nowhere," Luke Skywalker said bitterly, his face reflecting disappointment and weariness.

Peter gazed sympathetically at the boy from Tatooine. I know what you mean, Luke, he thought. I know exactly what you mean.

***

Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, might have been fascinating. But Ben Kenobi made an even deeper impression. As Kenobi sat in his hut in the Jundland Wastes and told Luke about himself, Luke's father and the Jedi, Peter stared at the screen and wished with all his heart and soul that he could jump from his seat to Tatooine. I'd join Kenobi in a second. In a nanosecond.

And a lightsabre. Damn. Only about a billion times cooler than a wand. Wands were useful and all, but they didn't have the same cachet as a sword.

But the coolest thing about Kenobi, Luke, Biggs and the Rebels was that they believed they could win.

The Empire was huge. It spanned worlds. It had Storm Troopers and blasters and laser rifles and starships. It had Vader. And still people from different worlds were banding together and fighting the Empire. There were rebel ships and rebel officers. There was some kind of organisation. The Rebellion apparently had backing from people with money, political power and influence; after all, a princess was involved. The Rebellion was winnable.

It was a decided improvement over a handful of idealistic Aurors and Dumbledore.

No one was coming up with new spells for those opposing the Dark Lord. Most of those with money were purebloods, and almost all of them were backing Voldemort. The Ministry's Aurors fought Voldemort while the Ministry of Magic tried to remain semi-neutral.

And there weren't even any battles being won by the good guys in the War with Voldemort. Some Aurors would arrest a handful of Death Eaters, yeah. But that was about it. There was never any decisive military or political reclamation of territory. Meanwhile, Voldemort and his Death Eaters captured Aurors, tortured and killed halfbloods, Muggleborns and Muggles, and terrorised the entire nation.

Peter sensed a certain lack of equity in this.

No one was helping wizarding Britain. Even most British wizards weren't helping wizarding Britain. It was a sad, pathetic little war. And it was all over, really, except for the shouting. Why Voldemort hadn't taken over outright yet, Peter had no idea.

There wasn't anything he could do, either. No Rebel Alliance existed in his world, unless you wanted to count some of the Aurors. And he didn't want to be an Auror. He wanted to Heal. He hated fighting.

It was ludicrous for a Muggleborn boy who hated fighting to want to strike a blow against Voldemort. It was even more ludicrous for a boy who knew damned well that he wasn't even half as brave as his three best friends.

He had a better chance of moving to Tatooine than he did of helping to defeat Lord Voldemort.

Peter gazed up at kindly, wise old Obi-Wan and tried very hard not to hate Luke Skywalker for having the chance to become a Jedi.

***

"Mos Eisley Spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."

"You've never been to Birmingham, have you?" Peter murmured.

Whatever Obi-Wan Kenobi's reservations about Mos Eisley, Peter found it wholly satisfactory. Indeed, after the horrific sight of the charred bodies of Luke's uncle and aunt--which conjured up instant images of contorted corpses lying in the burning rubble of houses and apartments as the Dark Mark blazed phosphorescent green overhead--he needed the relief. Leia, screaming in the grip of agonising torture that was Crucio in all but name, hadn't helped matters.

He might as well admit it. Everyone else in the theatre was watching an American science fiction film. He was watching a documentary.

Still, the cantina was perfect--crammed full of weird-looking aliens, just as a rough spaceport bar should be. It wouldn't have taken much to turn it into a wizarding pub, either; if the aliens had been replaced by giants, vampires, hags, the odd ifrit and numerous shady characters trying not to be noticed, it would have looked just like the Hog's Head.

And the bar brawl won by Kenobi and his lightsabre. That was great. Peter flagged down a passing usherette who was selling ice cream sandwiches and Orangina from a refrigerated tray hanging around her neck, purchased an ice cream sandwich and a carton of Orangina, and lifted the carton to Kenobi in a silent toast.

To the Jedi. May you always kick your enemies' arses that way.

Han Solo, however, was another matter.

Han was cool. Peter had to give him that. He was dark and handsome and brave and dashing. He was, in fact, everything that Luke was not.

Peter resented it. He felt as if he had been tricked. Not that there was anything really wrong with Han being the hero. Peter had no doubt that Han would take insane chances, that he would be a perfect shot with a blaster and that he could bewilder any villain with his wit and sarcasm. Luke didn't have any of those qualities, and probably never would.

Which didn't make Peter feel one bit better.

So he slumped down in his seat, drank his Orangina (which tasted like plastic) and ate his ice cream sandwich (which appeared to be made of cardboard-flavoured ice cream stuck between two soggy tasteless yellow wafers) and hated Solo for being so goddamned perfect.

"Parsecs measure distance, not time, you idiot," he muttered at one point. And a bit later, a growled, "Where do you expect a farm boy and a hermit to get ten thousand Galleons or credits or whatever to pay you?"

However, he did have to admire the way that Han took care of the bounty hunter Greedo.

There was something reassuring about a hero who knew that sometimes you just had to shoot first.

***

Alderaan was a shock.

Peter stared in horror as a beam of light transformed into a narrow laser aimed at the princess's small green homeworld and exploded it into mere dust.

Everything...gone.

He stared at the screen, not really seeing what was playing across it. Instead, he envisioned the scene on the planet as the air caught fire, as trees and mountains burst apart, as lakes and oceans boiled, as the cities on Alderaan tore themselves into shreds as the earth beneath them quaked. He could hear the howls of agony from the bloodied, burning bodies of animals, the shrieks of people writhing in pain so hideous that there was no word to describe it.

It was nightmarish. It was unholy.

And the audience was laughing.

Not all of them, mercifully. But enough were. They were laughing and applauding, cheering George Lucas for using an excellent special effect.

Potential Death Eaters, thought Peter dizzily. Only Death Eaters at heart would laugh about an entire world dying.

Well, he couldn't do anything about what they were. But he could do something about the laughter.

Silently, he blessed the fact that he was no longer an underage wizard. The Ministry would be much less likely to get upset.

Slowly, he put the empty carton of Orangina down on the floor, withdrew his wand from his right-hand trouser pocket, and waved it in a complex motion in the direction of the largest collection of braying jackasses.

"Silencio."

The laughter cut off abruptly.

***

The rescue was not exactly what Peter had expected.

Oh, he'd expected Luke and Han to go after Leia. That was a given. What he hadn't expected was that they wouldn't have a plan more well thought out than "Save the princess."

He was gratified that the princess was quite able to save herself and them. Lily would do that. She'd grab a blaster and start firing at the enemy, tossing sarcastic barbs at James the whole time. And it was both surprising and amusing to see that the Giant Squid had a cameo.

Ben Kenobi's fate, however, was bewildering.

Peter puzzled over that as Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca tried to make their escape. He couldn't be dead, because there wasn't any body. The cantina scene had clearly shown what happened when people were killed by lightsabres; they were left lying in bleeding, bisected heaps on the floor. He honestly didn't think that Kenobi could have been vaporised; using a means similar to Legilimancy, he had told Luke to run...and this had been after he had disappeared.

Logically, Kenobi should have Apparated--or used whatever Jedi power was analogous to Apparating--and ended up on the Millennium Falcon with everyone else. But he didn't seem to be there. And Darth Vader didn't seem to know where the old man had got to, either. It was all very confusing.

He watched the Falcon battle its way to the rebel base and listened to one of the rebel leaders describe the one vulnerability of the Death Star without much reaction or comment.

The argument between Luke and Han disturbed him--mostly because Han made so much sense. Peter wanted to side with Luke. He wanted to agree that the right thing to do was to go off on a kamikaze mission to blow up the Death Star. And it was the right thing to do. And it would probably work here, because it would make a fitting climax to the film.

But in real life...

"What good's a reward if you ain't around to use it? Besides, attacking that battle station ain't my idea of courage. It's more like suicide."

In the darkness of the theatre, Peter blushed hotly. Han's words could have been his own. Looking at Luke's expression of pure disgust, he felt as if he'd been judged and found wanting.

And he did want to be a Jedi. He wanted to help defeat evil. He wanted to be brave and noble and heroic.

He just couldn't help but notice that, in real life, heroes often wound up dead.

And dead looked a lot like losing.

***

It all ended perfectly, with Luke evading Vader's TIE Interceptor, heeding the advice of Obi-Wan Kenobi (who, Peter admitted reluctantly, had to be dead after all), unexpectedly getting Han's help, and blowing up the Death Star. And there was even a ceremony honouring Luke and Han at the end.

The lights came on, and, silent and thoughtful, he obediently followed the gleeful, chattering crowd out of the theatre. Half of Muggle London was queued up outside of the Dominion; Peter saw none of them. He was still in the audience hall, applauding Luke and Han as he gazed enraptured at the staggeringly beautiful princess.

He walked for a number of blocks before he found a street empty of people. Lifting his wand in his right hand, he signalled the Knight Bus. Automatically, he boarded the bus and stated his destination, handing over enough Sickles for the ride and for a cup of hot chocolate besides.

He sat down on one of the brass bedsteads, leaned against a curtained window, sipped his hot chocolate and closed his eyes.

Maybe it wasn't impossible. Maybe even someone who wasn't a hero could become one. After all, Han had been just as much for self-preservation and practicality as Peter himself, and yet he'd saved Luke's life…and sent Darth Vader's TIE Interceptor spinning off into deep space as well.

Maybe he could fight Voldemort--even if he wasn't an Auror.

After all, when you came right down to it, being the magically gifted only son of a poor widow was just as mythic as being an orphaned farm boy who was the son of a great warrior.

Maybe he could be a Jedi. A secret one, of course, because no one would understand if he tried to tell them. It sounded dumb to say he wanted to be a Jedi Knight when he grew up, especially since he was supposed to be grown up.

But that was what he wanted. To be strong and gutsy and brave. To be one of those who made the universe a better place by their very existence. To be like Ben Kenobi. He wanted it so much that it was almost a physical ache.

He could do it. He knew he could.

And maybe, just maybe, if he tried hard enough and long enough, someday he'd turn around and realise that he'd become the hero that he'd always hungered to be.

Just like Luke Skywalker.

Just like in the pictures.

***

Author's Notes: Thanks go, first of all, to my friend, Britpicker and beta Underlucius for telling me about going to the pictures in Britain in the 1970s and about the Dominion Theatre on Tottenham Court Road, and for catching my errors about Star Wars. I also owe the deepest of thanks to the members of the LiveJournal community hp_britglish, who told me when and where Star Wars premiered in Britain.

The quotes from Star Wars (now called Star Wars: A New Hope) come from the revised fourth draft of the script (dated January 15, 1976) from The Journal of the Whills by George Lucas, located at http://www.blueharvest.net/scoops/anh-script.shtml

You may notice that Peter gets a few things wrong regarding the Star Wars series. That's because this is taking place in 1977, during the very first film. Peter has no way of knowing at this point that Luke and Leia are twins, or that their father, Anakin Skywalker, became Darth Vader.

In my Peter timeline, this story takes place on 22 and 27 December 1977--between Being James (1976, pre-Prank) and Pro Bono Publico (April 1978).

This story is dedicated to Luthe (a.k.a. Rabidfangurl) and to her Anakin.

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