Padmé still in her wedding dress and Obi-Wan in ceremonialish robes, they held a slightly more public ceremony, where Padmé, Mara, two more senators, and a few curious visitors watched as Obi-Wan cut Luke and Leia’s braids and proclaimed them to be full-fledged Jedi Knights. Then the two senators descended on him with their questions.
“Unfortunately I was never aware of the specifics of how children were identified and brought to the Temple," he was explaining. "I believe many of them were identified locally-back then, it was common procedure in the medical facilities of most planets to take a baby’s midichlorian count along with its weight, and if the parents wished to give the child up to the Jedi they would contact them.”
“So you required the parents' cooperation then,” one of the senators noted.
“Always. We have never knowingly taken a child from a family not willing to part with him or her.”
“You say knowingly,” said the other senator, “but what happens in case of a misunderstanding? I have a record here of a certain case just before the Clone Wars...”
Padmé wondered briefly when they had started calling the war that. Then she cut in, “Ludi Billane, you mean?” She remembered that custody dispute very well, though she wasn’t sure if Obi-Wan did.
She didn’t like the look the senator gave her at all as she replied, “That is what I am referring to, yes.”
“Ah, I remember that. That was a terrible misfortune from beginning to end. I assure you I will do my level best to prevent it from happening again, though I admit I cannot make any promises. The dangers the baby posed outside the care of experts at the time her mother identified her were genuine.”
When the young senator opened her mouth again, Padmé realized she didn’t want to hear it. “These matters have been discussed already in multiple Senate hearings,” she told her harshly. “Now is not the time to badger Master Kenobi about it further.”
And the senator just looked over Padmé, with her bridal headdress placed over her graying hair, and the old senator wondered if she’d been that arrogant when she’d been that age and newly appointed to her senate seat, but she was sure she’d never been this disrespectful towards her elders. “Forgive me, Senator Amidala, but you can hardly be expected to have an objective view of the Jedi.”
“Maybe not, but I know a lot more about them than you do, and I know why sometimes certain things have to be done, and why it’s something of a risk for Master Kenobi to even be marrying me. We have to trust him.”
“Enough,” said the older senator. “Lyla, we’ve seen what we’ve come here to see.”
But as Lyla huffed out, he moved close to Padmé’s ear and whispered in it, “You know well, Senator, that her concerns are hardly unique, and nor are her views that are in direct opposition to your interests. But if you might be willing to take on a few extra interests of mine, and have need of an ally...”
“Thank you, Senator,” Padmé replied, icily, but then again, she might just have to swallow her pride and take him up on his offer. If there was one thing her various experiences with the Senate had taught her, it was that the worst things were those that never changed. Jedi and Sith and pettier tyrants might come and go and even come back again, but there were always some people like Lyla, and more like her companion.
She spent the rest of the day wanting to tell Obi-Wan about this, but after the ceremony she wasn’t able to get him alone for hours, until Luke escorted him to her bedchamber and he, Leia, and Mara left the two of them there, and then the Senate was the last thing on her mind. It wasn’t until much later that their pillow talk happened on the subject, and the matter was told.
He smiled and voiced his agreement, but then added, “But I will rely on you to safeguard the Jedi in the Senate over the next few years, when our position will be most precarious. Especially because I may be gone for very long lengths of time.” He had warned her about that already; it was nothing she hadn't dealt with before.
“You must keep someone on Coruscant at all times, though,” she answered, “even if it’s just Mara.”
“If you think so, we’ll do that. Though not Mara; she’s my sole padawan now, so she travels with me.”
“Will you keep things that way?” Padmé wasn’t sure why, but she didn’t want him to.
“I wouldn’t mind doing so, but it probably won’t be practical. There will be far more students than knights for at least the next ten years or so, or at least I hope there will. And even after that, can the Order be exactly as it was? After all,” and he smiled at Padmé with real love in his eyes at last, “we’ve made one major change to the rules already.”
“Which is a risk,” Padmé noted, “as I said earlier to that senator.”
“Call it a calculated one. In retrospect, we were too isolated, and we do need to find more balance. I don’t really know what the Jedi Order will look like by the time we die. We can only hope that things will be as they should be.”