A/N: I got the recommendation for this book off of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight website, and once I read this book, I was thought it was amazing :). I had to email fanfiction . net to get this category up. This fic is kind of a continual of The Hunger Games.
I started writing this fic to get a break off of my Harry Potter one, but feel free to check that one out too, if you read HP fics :D. Happy reading!!
Disclaimer: the Hunger Games belong to Suzanne Collins, and NOT to me.
I take his hand, holding on tightly, preparing for the cameras, and dreading the moment when I will finally have to let go.
Peeta and I emerged from the train into a… party. A chaotic, festive, loud party. Never in the history of District 12 has there ever been a celebration this big, as far as I know of, but now that I think about it, never in the history of District 12 has there ever been two tributes returned alive in one year.
As we step out of the train, cameras and microphones are being shoved in front of us, and I grip Peeta's hand tighter, afraid that I will be swept into the crowd if I let go, almost forgetting that our relationship is a bit shaky at this point. He looks at our intertwined hands and a ghost of a smile creeps onto his pale face. A look of hope flickers into his eyes. I must have imagined it, because the next thing I knew, a huge, supposedly genuine grin is pasted onto his face, although the smile does not quite meet his eyes.
Suddenly, the crowd quiets slightly, and they clear a path for several people: the Mayor, our friends, and our loved ones. It's time for the Reuniting Ceremony.
As the small group approaches, I strain my eyes for my mother and Prim. There is no sign of them. I have no idea what to think of that. Should I be worried?
When the group gets closer, I see exactly who is there. The Mayor, Peeta's father, mother, brothers, and Gale. There is no sign of my mother and Prim. Huh. I start getting nervous.
Gale looks healthy enough, though a little weary. When he catches me staring, he grins, although it is a little strained. Something's definitely wrong.
The Mayor holds a microphone up to his mouth and instantly, the enormous crowd becomes silent.
He talks about what an honour Peeta and I have bestowed upon District 12, and how this year will be filled with good luck and prosperity for us all. I start to get a little fidgety by the time he has been talking for about ten minutes. Where is my family? Has something happened? I want to run up to Gale and ask for an answer, but Peeta's firm grip on my hand restrains me. He shoots a look into my eyes that is easily comprehended. Wait just a little bit longer. When the Mayor's welcome back and good luck with the rest of your life speech is over, he lets us run up to the people standing behind him.
Peeta's mother starts crying that "her baby is finally home" and the family gets into a big group hug. Several things are wrong with this.
First of all, Peeta's mother is one of the strongest and toughest women in District 12. Never has she shown such weakness by crying in front of a huge audience, like all the people of the district, and even the Capitol, as this reunion is televised.
Secondly, Peeta's family has never been the huggish type. The whole family is normally very quiet and not at all into the whole public display of affection thing. This situation is getting odder by the second.
When I approach Gale, I notice a few things different about him. He has a nasty looking scar across his face, and he definitely looks more tired and worn out than the last time I saw him. As he opens his arms for an embrace, I bury my face into his long shaggy hair. I whisper frantically to him. "Where is Prim? Where is my mother?!"
"Shh," he hisses. "Later."
I want to ask more questions, but I force myself to wait.
The mayor escorts us up a winding path and hands Peeta and I each a key. The keys to the entry gate- and our new homes in Victor's Village. When we enter the small "Village" or more specifically, the small street, I am in shock. There before me, are a dozen of the biggest, most beautiful houses I have ever seen. One of them will be mine. Each of them are slightly different; there is a bungalow, a back split, and a house that is built to resemble a castle, and many more. The Mayor points out a silver, dome shaped home in the middle of the row of houses on our left. "Haymitch's," he says. "You may choose any other house for yourself."
Peeta and I survey the houses lined up on both sides of the street. It was an unspoken agreement between us that we would be next door neighbours when the time came to select our houses. I do not know if this will hold, since the conversation between us on the train is still fresh in my memory. I am still confused. Could it be that Peeta really does care about me, and his declaration of love at his interview was the truth? Could every touch, every kiss in the arena be not only for the cameras and the sympathy of the sponsors?
"Katniss? What do you think?" Peeta whispers.
I am shaken out of my daydream and thoughts. I quickly take a closer look at the houses for something that catches my attention. Suddenly, I see it. Next door to Haymitch's dome, there is a long bungalow made of logs. I venture closer. The small group follows. As I step through the doorway, I am immediately hit with the scent of fresh pine and the forest. It reminds me of the old hunting days with only Gale, my father's bow and I. I know that this is the right one.
"This is mine," I say confidently, looking fondly at it.
"That means that is mine, then," Peeta says, pointing at the royal blue mansion next to my bungalow.
"Have fun exploring your new homes, then," the Mayor says. "You and your families are welcome to my house for a celebratory dinner tonight, if you desire to come."
After the Mayor leaves, Peeta's family bids us farewell as well, for they need to get back to work at the bakery. Peeta, Gale and I are left alone.
After waiting for the Mayor and Peeta's family to disappear from view, I immediately turn to Gale and ask him curiously, "Where is Prim and my mother?"
He sighs. "I'm not sure," he answers, almost sadly."The day after we discovered that you won, I went to deliver some food to them. A few guards, wearing red and black Capitol uniforms yelled at me to go away, and said that Prim and your mother had caught some rare disease and were quarantined."
I look at him in horror. "I have to see them!"
Gale shakes his head slowly. "They won't let anyone in. I can't help thinking that there is something wrong with this. Prim and your mother were fine the last time I saw them…"
"We have to get in. Tonight," I say firmly.
Gale and Peeta look at each other. I can tell that they may have doubts, but they do not have a choice. I have made up my mind, and they are coming with me.
After a few hours exploring our houses, we part ways to get ready for dinner at the Mayor's house. I dress casually, choosing plain green pants, a shirt, and sturdy leather boots from a huge selection of clothing delivered as a gift from Cinna and my Prep team. I cannot help staring at my "Katniss, the girl on fire" dresses hanging in my enormous walk- in closet, bringing back memories of that girl I was only a few weeks ago. I can't wear those fancy garments today, because Gale, Peeta and I plan to make our way to the Seam and my old home after the dinner. I stick a small flashlight into my pocket and hide a few throwing knives in my jacket. I hope that I will not need to use them.
My doorbell rings. I open the door to find Peeta there. "Are you ready?" he asks gruffly. I can tell that the act that he was putting on for the audience today is starting to wear thin.
I nod in reply.
Our walk down to the Mayor's house is quiet. The meal passes by in a blur. Everyone refuses to acknowledge my family's absence, and the only sound is the muffled chewing sounds of Peeta's brothers, and the polite conversation exchanged. When we finish eating, the Mayor stands up.
"Katniss, Peeta, I, on behalf of my family, have a gift for each of you in appreciation of your success."
We look up in surprise. What does the Mayor have to offer us?
"Katniss," the Mayor says. Madge, his daughter takes the oddly shaped package from her father's hands and passes it to me. As I finish unwrapping the gift, I stare at the Mayor in surprise.
In my hands is the most beautiful bow I have ever seen. The upper and lower limbs of the bow are made of some sort of light, rare metal that is shiny and silver… stainless steel, perhaps? The grip is made of a soft, tanned leather, and the arrows are silver, to match the bow, with soft mockingjay feathers on the end.
I am stunned. If the Capitol knew I was receiving this… the Mayor would surely be shot. "Thank you," is all I can utter in amazement.
Peeta's gift is a lot smaller. When he opens it, he finds a little bronze throwing knife. He nods his thanks.
After thanking the Mayor for his hospitality and the gifts, we step outside. As we leave, the Mayor grabs my hand and whispers in my ear, "Good luck finding your mother and sister, Katniss."
I look at him in surprise. "What do you know about my family?" I hiss. He does not answer. Instead, he waves goodbye and leaves me on his doorstep with a multitude of questions and a thirst for answers.
Peeta, Gale and I are hidden behind a bush in front of my house. I have my new bow slung over my shoulder, and Peeta has his knife. Gale has the bow I gave him, although we all really hope that our weapons will not be needed.
We had been observing the pattern of the guards walking past for the last hour or so.
We finally creep up closer. Inside, we see one lone light on in my bedroom, although the curtains are drawn.
"Let's go!" I whisper. We quietly run up to the door, both Gale and I wincing at Peeta's heavy steps. I reach into the clay pot beside me, and pull out a key, which I, as noiselessly as possible, slide into the keyhole. There is a small but defined click as our entrance is granted. As inconspicuously as we can, we tiptoe up the stairs to the bedroom. As we walk through my home, I noticed that items were strewn across the floor messily. The television was smashed into pieces across the room. There was a layer of dust on everything.
Finally, we reach the bedroom. Gale's large body shivers in anticipation. I inhale deeply to calm myself. Preparing our minds and our weapons, I throw the door open. What the hell...?
"Rue!" I cry out. The small figure from District 11 turns slowly and glares at me menacingly with flashing red eyes. My mouth hangs open in shock and fear. I had temporarily forgotten that I had seen Rue get speared to death in the arena.
"Ah, Katniss. I have been expecting you," she crows, her mouth curving up into a sly grin.
It is not the shock of seeing her that scares me. It is her voice. Or not her voice. Cato's rough tone emanating from the sweet child, my first ally in the games, is just plain creepy. I cannot help it. I scream. What have they done to the body, to the mind of my… friend?
What do you think? Please review if you think I should continue this story. Let me know what I can improve on, and feel free to PM or review if you have any suggestions on any of my fics. Thanks for reading!! :)