She thought maybe she was behaving a bit like a naughty youngling herself, though, in her current actions. There was a semi-portable holonet feed stored in her desk, which was supposed to be used for teaching purposes, and, like a teenager playing a game under the desk, Padmé had the screen, sound-off, in her lap.
She had only watched a few minutes when what she was waiting for came up on screen. This particular channel was providing live coverage of some event involving the Imperial Senate, and the camera was on Senator Organa arriving with his family. There was a reporter asking him questions, but Padmé ignored this, staring instead at the little six-year-old girl fidgeting by her parents, to the point that near the end of the interview the reporter noticed, and said something clearly about her that made the Organas laugh.
It still seemed a little surreal to Padmé, even after everything else that had happened, that her daughter was a princess on one of the grandest planets in the galaxy. At least it allowed her to follow what she was up too. About her son she didn’t know nearly as much.
The reporter looked directly at the screen and Padmé could read the words, “Back to you, Ina,” off his lips, so she turned the screen off and replaced the feed in the desk. Organa would be speaking at the event later, and she could again watch in the hopes the camera would pan to his family, but by that time she’d be at home. If she was at home already, she would have kept watching, but not here.
As was her custom for the last ten minutes of class, she replaced her breathing gear and swum her way around the classroom to look at the drawings. She saw a couple of the younglings watch the way she was swimming, and saw them smile; she was employing some of the techniques they had taught her. Living for six years on Glee Anselm had made swimming almost second nature to her, but they had taught her a manner that left her much less tired out.
There were the usual drawings of family and friends, and their surroundings. But Padmé smiled when she saw one of them was of herself. The youngling drawing it turned around as she hovered over him.
If Obi-Wan hadn’t hidden her here, Padmé reflected, the little Nautolan boy who smiled and waved his headtails at her might have gone through his life knowing no humans besides the Imperial soldiers who came to Glee Anselm on occasion and always caused its inhabitants grief when they did. Even as it was, her colleagues weren’t very friendly to her. It caused her deep pain, but no deeper than that she had already known.
So she was anxious when the classroom door slid open and one of them, Aglana Goblives, swam in. But she only handed Padmé a datapad, looked at her quizzically, and swam back out.
When something like this happened, it sometimes meant a message from Obi-Wan, though those usually came directly from the academy master, the only person here who knew who she was. Keeping that in mind, Padmé took it back to her desk with her, then activated it, but it was a vocal message, and it looked like it was, from all people, Klisté Jamillia.
After that she couldn’t get home fast enough. She dismissed her students when the chronometer sang, went through the rest of the day’s business as quickly as possible, and rode home clinging to a pole of a shuttle platform, which she preferred to do when riding the public transportation; the reactions of her fellow passengers to a human woman in their midst were unpredictable at best.
Also because it meant when her compartment came into view she could pay her fee via the wall panel and pushed off the shuttle while it continued uninterrupted. As a human, she probably could have forced the driver to stop just for her, but she'd never do that.
A few smooth strokes and the door was sliding open for her. She floated into the entrance chamber and waited while the water was pumped out. As the water level dropped below her neck she took her gear off and breathed in deep.
She automatically stripped down as she entered her quarters, but for the moment ignored the dry clothes she’d set up for herself that morning in favor of just wrapping herself in the towel next to them, sitting down, and running the datapad message.
“I thought I should contact you, Padmé,” said the former Queen, “because Motée’s dead. Unfortunately I don't know the details; all I know is the Empire caught and killed her. I’m going to give this to your sister; I hope it gets to you. Did you know your younger niece is aiming for a career in politics? I’ll try to help her as best I can. Well, that’s all I really have to say. Goodbye. Good luck.”
This was followed by a message from Sola, “Hey, Padmé. The former Queen in exile just gave me a short message to smuggle to you, so I want to take advantage of this opportunity to just tell you a little bit about the past few months. Our parents are okay, though they still visit your memorial in the Handmaidens Graveyard. Sometimes I want to tell them, but I know why I can’t. Papa's thinking of retiring, but I'm not sure if he's serious about it or not.
Bad news, though. I can’t dissuade Pooja. She’ll be entering the apprentice legislature in a couple of weeks. Maybe she’ll leave in a month, but I doubt it. Jamillia talks about putting a word in for her, but warns that the Yelnina family might cause us trouble. I don’t know how any of that works, really. I just hope Pooja will. Or maybe she'll get a handmaiden as good as you were. Ryoo’s finishing up school and going to do public work in Parrlay.
I know I can’t make this message as long as I want to, but at least I’m including some pictures. Bye, Padmé. I love you.”
She flipped through the pictures of her family. She would look through them more thoroughly later, but it was enough now that she would spend the evening watching for her daughter. There was only so much she could take at once.
She placed the datapad carefully on the nearest table. She dressed, reached for her hairbrush, and turned on the holofeed.