Growing up in the Capitol, Effie Trinket lived for the parties and the fashion. She knew from a young age she wanted to be an Escort; the position put you right at the centre of The Hunger Games amongst all the glitz and glamour, and Effie longed for that lifestyle.
Needless to say, she was a determined young woman and attended the Academy straight after finishing school. She was also the first of her classmates to get a position. It may have been as the Escort for District 12, but she still got to be at the heart of the Games.
Had you told Effie then that she would develop any sort of feelings aside from loathing for the drunken District 12 mentor, Haymitch Abernathy, she would have laughed. He was intolerable.
But she, like many things during the war, had changed. She had come to care for Katniss and Peeta more than she would have ever thought possible. Initially she had seen them as just another pair of tributes that may help her get a promotion should one of them be crowned victor, though by the time they entered the arena she had started to grow fond of them. That fondness only increased over time, and now Effie loved them as much as if they were her own children.
With that also came the change in priorities. Where she had once thought nothing was more important than being at the height of fashion and attending all the best parties, she knew now that those were trivial matters. People were far more important. She had turned rebel against the Capitol to help those she loved. It hadn't been easy, but it had been the right thing to do.
And, in spite of everything, one of those people was Haymitch. They had put their petty feuding aside to help Katniss and Peeta in the 74th Games, and slowly had found themselves to be a comfort to one another. They had become friends by the time the Victory Tour was over, and their relationship only developed further during the Quarter Quell and the aftermath that was the war.
It amazed Effie that it had happened. They were such different people; she was the Capitol butterfly, he was the drunken mentor. Yet what existed between them was more than any of that. Their relationship had grown as they tore back the walls they hid behind and let each other see the real them.
And now here they sat, on the hill in the meadow in District 12, watching Katniss and Peeta play with their daughter, whom Effie and Haymitch loved like a grandchild. Haymitch was sober, and no longer slept with a knife. Effie was sat in a simple dress, her natural blonde hair falling down past her shoulders, with minimal make up on her face.
Though the District was well inhabited once again, and people had rebuilt both the District and their lives, life was quiet here. It seemed like another world to Effie, who had spent her life amongst the constant parties of the Capitol. But she wasn't the same person she had been then, and the person she was now was far more at ease here than in the Capitol.
She turned to look at Haymitch beside her. He was watching the others, but turned when he felt Effie's gaze on him. He smiled at her, and the warmth and love in his eyes was something Effie of long ago would have never imagined possible. He dipped his head, their lips meeting briefly, before both turned to watch Katniss, Peeta and their daughter once again, Effie's head resting on Haymitch's shoulder as he wrapped one arm around her, leaning his head against hers.
This was where Effie belonged now. Here, with her family. Here, she was home.