Ronald Potter And The Labyrinth Of Doom: Ronald Potter Year 3

Ronald Potter's third year at the Jedi Temple and his last year as a Youngling. He's been busier than ever learning how to fly starships, swimming in the Lake County on Naboo, studying for the obstacle course exam, and even tracking dozens of voorpak clones. But now someone's setting him up to get in trouble with everyone. Will he find out who it is and stop him? Or will he flunk out of school? Read to find out!

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7. The Debate

Later, the Padawans were playing soccer again. Vernon finally took control of the ball and was about to slam it into the goal. However, Lily Force-jumped over to his position, flipping as she landed and knocking the ball away and toward the goal for her team.

"Hey!" Vernon shouted. Suddenly, he fell into a heap on the ground and began to writhe in agony. "AUGGHH!! AHNG!! OOOOOOHHHH!!!" he screamed.

Severus looked down. "Vernon, she didn't even touch you."

"Yeah," added Ammon.

Vernon continued to scream in pain.

"Penalty kick!" said Draco.

Ronald turned. "Draco, you do realize you're not a referee, right?"

Vernon looked up, smirking as he continued to clutch his leg. "Penalty kick, sweet!"

Lily frowned. "I thought you were injured?"

"I'm a fast healer," Vernon replied.

***

Eventually, Ronald's backpack was located. Fortunately, everything was still inside. Unfortunately, the mysterious backpack thief filled it with leftover food and put it under a table in the cafeteria. For a minute, Ronald was excited, because he'd learned of a Force ability in "Using The Force 101" that could sense the history of an object, this coupled with Silva training to be a detective for his private focus.

His heart racing, Ronald called, "Silva?"

Silva looked up from where he was eating. "Yes?"

"Could you help me?" Ronald asked.

"Sure," said Silva. "What do you need?"

"I hear you specialize in detecting," Ronald replied. "Could you help me learn what's in my backpack? I think Vernon Dudley stuffed it. I'm a--a bit worried it might be poisonous."

"OK," said Silva. "Be right back, Tegan."

"See you soon," said Tegan.

Silva went over. He immediately saw the backpack and extended his hand toward it. "Let's see...I sense...moldy grainmush...it was in a bowl." Ronald winced as Silva continued the process. "And there's some pickled zog...half-eaten...and some--ew, gross!"

Ronald frowned. He felt stupid for not already redoing all his Starfighter Flight Training homework. He was doing it kind of slowly, hoping it would be inside when he located his backpack. He was still sure Vernon did it, but also considered he may have had help. He began to pinpoint the usual suspects--Severus Umbridge, Pansy Lestrange, Greer, and Draco Goyle.

Ronald left through the halls, only to stumble into Mr. Maulpres. He was about to go around him, but Maulpres blocked his path.

"Ronald, what's your hurry?" he asked.

Ronald stopped and stared, waiting for him to continue.

"Potter, I think I know your punishment for going into other students' lockers," said Mr. Maulpres.

"I thought detention was my punishment!" Ronald replied. "And it was only one locker!"

Mr. Maulpres turned. "Whatever. Come with me."

"Where are we going?" Ronald asked as he followed Mr. Maulpres down the hall.

When they entered the Jedi Temple's main docking bay, Mr. Maulpres signaled a stop.

"Why are we here?" Ronald asked.

"You're going to learn how to take care of something--by working on a real Jedi interceptor!" Mr. Maulpres answered.

Ronald grinned, and his eyes lit up like flashlights. Is this one of those lessons where I learn by getting what I actually wanted?

Seeing his excited look, Mr. Maulpres frowned.

Ronald's smile wavered. "What?" Are we going to fly now?

Mr. Maulpres handed him a washcloth. "Begin. I am pulling up a footstool so you can get the roof."

Frustrated, Ronald got to work.

***

Later, all the Padawans sat together for a debate. Principal Antilles stood at the front of the classroom.

"Today's debate is Draco Goyle and Lily Vane in favor of settlement by the Trade Federation on the forest moon of Endor," she announced, "while Ronald Potter and Bill Reggan advocate for leaving the Ewoks alone."

Draco was the first to speak. "As you know from our colleague Ronald's comics, Ewoks are a primitive species who could benefit from new technology."

"The benefit would clearly all be to the Trade Federation," Ronald argued. "The Ewoks would be exploited, along with all their natural resources."

Draco pointed his finger at Ronald. "Funny, Ron, you should talk about exploiting Ewoks, considering how much you profit from drawing them."

"My comics cost more to print than I sell them for!" Ronald sputtered, recalling that Jawa Pilot's sidekick was an Ewok.

Lily spoke up. "Er, actually, I think the bigger picture is that in order to make the Endor moon a better place for the Ewoks, there will naturally need to be some benefit for the Trade Federation."

"'Natural' is exactly the word I'd like us to remember here," said Bill. "The Ewoks' culture would be destroyed, along with their ecosystems."

Draco pointed at Bill and smirked. "Speaking of Ewoks, Bill, I noticed as a D.J., you steal a lot of Ewok beats."

"It's called remixing!" Bill snapped.

"What does Bill's music have to do with Endor?" Ronald asked.

"Both of you just use Ewoks," Draco replied. He turned to the students. "The fact is, the Federation will empower Ewok society and lead it into a new Golden Age!" Applause followed his words. "I think the standing ovation shows that I'm the clear winner here, Ron."

Ronald looked over to see Vernon standing and applauding Draco. "It's only one person."

"Still, he's standing," Draco replied.

"Sit down," Ronald replied.

"Fine." Draco did.

Lily spoke up. "It's obvious that the settlement would be mutually beneficial for both sides. The Ewoks would be glad for the change."

"Again, how would this benefit the Ewoks?" Ronald asked.

"Ron, how can we trust you," Draco replied, "with your history of blunders and murder?"

"It was one person," said Ronald. "And he tried to Force-choke me!"

"But you were lying about Squeaker. How do we know you're not lying now?"

"How is this a debate at all?" Bill asked aloud.

Lily looked over. "I wish I knew."

***

Ronald staggered through the halls, carrying all his textbooks in a pile between his elbows. Annabeth Skywalker, Ammon Kendels, and June Barton were all together, seemingly awaiting him.

Annabeth spoke first. "Poor Ron...still haven't gotten a new backpack?"

Ronald returned her frown. "No time. Still catching up on homework."

June Barton smiled. "Well, we got you a new one!"

Annabeth's frown faltered into a big smile. "It's neon green!"

"With a baby Ewok attachment!" said Ammon.

"Because you like Ewoks!" said Annabeth.

Ronald put it on. It was too small, however, and it only fit around one arm.

Can this hold much? Ronald thought. "Oh, yeah...it's...great. Uh, thanks guys." He chuckled. "Kind of small, too..."

Annabeth looked offended. "What, don't you like it?"

"Uh, no! I love it! It's great! Heh."

Annabeth seized a second backpack from her locker. "Just kidding! This is the real one we got for you."

Ronald smiled wryly. "You guys are cruel. But also the best!"

"We thought you could give the other one to Oliver," said June.

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