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See if you can pick up where Gale is working to support his family :) Enjoy.


Needs

Gale Hawthorne - Sixth Year

Madge Undersee - Fourth Year

I am in the middle of trailing kisses along her jawbone when Brigid suddenly shoves me off. I eye her appraisingly, wondering what brought about the sudden change of mind, when not a while ago she was the more than willing participator in this engagement. She looks pointedly behind me, and I turn, ready to glower at the unwelcome interruption, and instead gape at a pretty, blue-eyed thing whose face matches the scarlet beanie on her head.

"Oh! I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to, sorry." The girl ducks her head, as if it is sinful to witness two people in the aftermath of a make-out session. Brigid and I share a look and she smirks.

"Madam Aveta told me to use the toilets upstairs," Scarlet Beanie explains, blushing again when she mentions her reason for being here.

"No, no, it's fine," Brigid says, batting my hands off the sides of her ribs. She steps away to straighten her apron, which now had three broomsticks embroidered on the front thanks to her mother, and musses her dirty blonde curls. Brigid has wild hair naturally, a trait passed down from her Grandma Rosmerta, which is great for both of us because she doesn't get into awkward post-make-out situations with Madam Aveta (her mother and our boss), and I don't have to think about keeping her looking proper while kissing her. That was always the case with Rosalind, who had pretty but infuriatingly neat straight hair.

"You're Katniss' friend, aren't you? Madge was it?" Brigid asks.

The blonde girl nods, and I chide myself for being unable to even recognize my best friend's closest classmate out of her robes. And Brigid beat me to it. Maybe she's been keeping tabs on Katniss, which isn't necessarily a good thing.

Brigid grins. "Good thing you're here. I need your help." She proceeds to wipe the edges of her lips, and I realize that her dark lipstick has been smeared, thanks to me. Whoops. Too bad I don't feel at all sorry.

When she finishes, she plants her hands on her slim hips and turns to Undersee. "How do I look?"

The girl smiles shyly. "Normal."

"Great!" Brigid says brightly. She turns back to me. "I'll see you downstairs. Mum will need us to bus some tables soon. You better fix your-" She points to her hair, winks, and clomps down the stairs in her five-inch heeled boots, leaving me alone with a perfectly embarrassed Madge Undersee who needs to relieve herself.

Before she can make a break for it, however, I quickly try to clear things up, because she is presumably here with Katniss, as Katniss had told me that morning, and I don't need Katniss' disapproving looks for moving on so quickly from Rosalind at dinner tonight.

"Hey," I begin, drawing her chin up to meet my eyes. "It wasn't what it looked like, I just-"

"No, it's okay, you don't have to explain. I understand, you have needs," Undersee says a matter-of-factly, only to put a crack in her own façade by turning a deeper shade of pink.

The hell?

"I have, I have needs?" I stutter incredulously.

"You do."

Oh, bloody…

"It's perfectly normal, so stop gaping like this is news to you." I snap my mouth shut so quickly that my ringing teeth protest. "Now, if you will excuse me, I have to get to the restroom to-"

"Relieve your needs, Undersee?" I say.

There seems to be no end to the red color scheme of Undersee's face, for her cheeks flush crimson and even her blue eyes glow with an angry red tinge.

"Yes," she says curtly. "You catch on quickly." Wrapping her unraveled scarf around her neck once, she side steps me and makes her way to the far end of the corridor.

"Undersee." I say just before she reaches the restroom door.

She must think I'm going to taunt her again, because she says dryly, tiredly, "My needs are getting unbelievably great, Hawthorne."

I choke. She whirls around and narrows her eyes.

"I was-" Cough. "Sorry-" Cough. Her lips pull into a thin line. "I was just going to say that Katniss, she doesn't need to know about this. Not before I tell her myself."

"Why not?" Undersee crosses her arms like a loyal friend.

For some reason, it doesn't seem like a good idea for Madge Undersee to know of what Katniss insists is my 'ungentlemanly treatment' of Rosalind. The lie slithers out easily. "She thinks I've stopped fooling around to concentrate on my N.E.W.T subjects."

"But you couldn't ignore your needs?" Undersee offers helpfully.

I shrug. "More or less."

She smiles. "Congratulations. Acknowledgement is the most difficult and crucial first step to dealing with your needs."

"Thank you, couldn't have done it without you."

She nods, satisfied, and turns to walk the last metre to the restrooms.

"Will you be there to guide me through the other steps?" I call after her retreating form.

She freezes mid-step. Crap. I hold my breath. Did I take it too far?

Why am I flirting with a fourth year?

More importantly, why am I flirting with Katniss' friend?

What in Salazar's name am I doing?

"I won't tell Katniss," Undersee says finally, pushing open the door to the girls' bathroom wide enough so I can see the large circle mirror inside. I see that Brigid wasn't exaggerating about my hair, and, just before the door swings shut, Madge Undersee's reflection meets my eyes and taps at her beanie, always the helpful one.


Did you guess it, my lovely readers?

Thoughts? Ideas? Feedback is always greatly appreciated.

- Sera