a/n: Because I've seen a lot of Panem as an American High school stories but no magical ones and so I've decided to combine my two biggest loves — Hunger Games and Harry Potter — and this is what comes out; The Hunger Games characters in our favourite magical castle! This is a (very belated) birthday gift for Cassie/Lucia (a color will be perched) because idk I suck and this is, like, two months late but enjoy! Also, credit to Elsie for the don't boil yourself alive comment. ;)
And if this story is really popular, I may write a series of parallel Hogwarts!AU THG fics (like Gadge and Odesta)
disclaimer: Suzanne Collins owns Hunger Games, lucky woman; JKR owns Harry Potter; and I own nothing that you recognize, okay?
(Pour A Little Salt) We Were Never Here
"When two people meet and fall in love, there's a sudden rush of magic. Magic is just naturally present then. We tend to feed on that gratuitous magic without striving to make any more. One day we wake up and find that the magic is gone. We hustle to get it back, but by then it's usually too late, we've used it up. What we have to do is work like hell at making additional magic right from the start. It's hard work, but if we can remember to do it, we greatly improve our chances of making love stay."
— Still Life With Woodpecker, Tom Robbins
That blonde Hufflepuff, Peeta Mellark, is staring at her. She knows this for sure. What she doesn't know is exactly why he's staring at her — they've barely spoken two words to each other; except if you count the time in third year when she'd asked him to borrow some of the Hippogriff eyeballs for their potion — except his blue eyes are, most definitely, on her.
She raises a dark eyebrow, briefly wondering why his eyes were even on the Slytherin table, anyway, when everyone should have been listening to Headmaster Snow. His eyes seem to catch hers for a second and he blushes before glancing away from her. Still confused as to what that was about, she looks back at Headmaster Snow, who is giving the usual welcoming speech.
"He says the same speech every year," her best friend, Gale, mutters in a low voice with an almost imperceptible eye-roll. Katniss gives him one of her rare smiles and he grins back.
"But I suppose that, as Prefect, I should be paying attention," she murmurs. It is very hard to pay attention, however, with candles the colour of dusk-light flickering in the Great Hall and the smell of food coming from . . . nowhere, apparently.
" — and I present the new first years!" The Headmaster finishes with a flourish and Katniss is, quite unwillingly, brought to the present because she can see her sister, pale in the dim light with her long blonde hair tumbling over her thin shoulders.
She looks absolutely petrified, and honestly, Katniss doesn't blame her. She remembers this on her first day, four years ago. She remembers the thrill of excitement — but also of horror — when the hat was placed on her head and it yelled, "Slytherin!" and, with shaky legs, she stood up to join the people that would be her new house-mates. She remembers, with a smile, the dark-haired, grey-eyed boy who had smiled at her.
"Welcome to Slytherin," the third year had said with a small smile.
"Thanks," Katniss had given him a shy glance.
"I'm Katniss," she'd replied, forgetting that Professor Donner had just called her name to the whole school just minutes ago. He'd given her a lopsided grin.
They'd been best friends ever since. But now — now it was Prim's turn to be sorted; Katniss could see her sister squeezing the daylights out of Gale's younger brother, Rory's, hand.
After Ella Erkman was sorted in Gryffindor, Professor Maysilee Donner calls out, with a huge smile, "Primrose Everdeen!" Prim seems to move on leaden feet towards the hat which would, essentially, hold her future . . . but, you know, no pressure or anything.
The hat barely touches her blonde curls when it calls out into the silent Great Hall, "Hufflepuff!" Prim's face flushes red as she goes to join her new housemates.
Gale swivels around to look at Katniss, as if gouging her expression — except, Katniss is intently looking at the Hufflepuff table, where Prim seems to be in the midst of a conversation with Peeta. Peeta looks up again, as if sensing that Katniss is looking at him, and they both catch each other's eye once more and blush before quickly looking away.
"What was that?" Gale asks with a sour look, having just been watching Katniss.
"Nothing," she repeats as though she hopes it will become true. "I just wonder why Prim's talking to Peeta Mellark for."
Gale gives a short, humourless laugh. "Well, he's a Prefect, isn't he? Maybe she needs instructions or something . . . "
Katniss doesn't think that it's truly the case, but she doesn't say anything. The rest of the welcoming feast is spent in tense silence between the two, with Gale choosing to talk to his fellow seventh year, Johanna Mason, instead.
A few more times, Peeta's bright blue eyes catch hers and she feels the familiar spark of electricity again. What was that all about?
"Welcome to the first Prefect meeting of the year," Head Boy, Finnick Odair, begins with a smile at the group of assembled prefects. "I'm your Head Boy, Finnick Odair," here he pauses expectantly — as if everyone in the school didn't know his name; his fellow Gryffindors cheer him on — "and this is your head girl, Annie Cresta." His counterpart is as opposite him as can be . . . she is quiet with watchful eyes while he's bold and loud and daring. She gives a small wave.
Katniss watches these proceedings with little interest — after all, this was more of a social meeting. Everyone is mostly talking to their friends, or their housemates, and even Madge, Professor Donner's niece, is talking to the other Hufflepuff prefect, Delly Cartwright, about a Quidditch game that they'd seen this summer.
Katniss lets out a small sigh, wishing, for once, that she had more friends her own age. She glances next to her, at her fellow Slytherin Prefect, Cato Ableman. She doesn't know much about Cato — except that he's dating one of her roommates, Clove Pierce. She doesn't feel like getting to know Cato, however, and so she just watches the events before her with her usual expression — stoic and unforgiving, storm-grey eyes not revealing anything.
"Hello," a voice says from behind her, startling her.
She turns around to snap at him — whoever it is — but she stops short when she realizes that it is Peeta Mellark. For some reason, she lowers her eyes at this realization, but her voice is still sharp when she snaps, "What do you want, Mellark?"
He doesn't seem perturbed by her cold attitude, which is a first. "I just wanted to say hi — you looked kind of lonely."
By now, she would have already fired a quick hex at him for hinting that she was weak in any way, but Peeta's sky-blue eyes are innocent and she just knows that he doesn't mean it in the condescending way. "I'm fine," she snaps, and her voice reflects none of her inner turmoil.
"Well, fine then," he says, and for a second, she thinks that he'll go back to talking to Madge and Delly, and she doesn't want him to go — not really, but he sits in the now vacant seat beside her, and says, "I was lonely and I didn't want to listen to Madge and Delly, okay?"
He smiles at her and it is so genuine that she has to smile back; it feels like the most natural thing. "But why — why don't you talk to Finnick or Annie or — " Because she does feel kind of curious as to why he, Peeta Mellark, is talking to her, Katniss Everdeen, when he could talk to almost everyone.
"Because," he manages to squeeze in through her tirade. "I want to talk to you."
"Okay — what do you want to talk about?" Katniss asks him — she's never been particularly good at this "friendship" stuff to be honest, and she's more than a little reserved when it comes to talking to a lot of people.
"Your sister is absolutely adorable," Peeta says after a few moments of silence. "She's so cute." She gives him a reluctant grin.
"Well, she is the loveable Everdeen," Katniss quips.
Peeta mutters something under his breath that Katniss doesn't exactly catch and Katniss looks at him questioningly. " . . . nothing," Peeta says but they both know that he's lying.
Before Katniss can call him out on it, of course, Finnick calls for everyone to get into their place to determine patrolling schedules.
He finds her when she's working on her Defence Against the Dark Arts essay on the Unforgiveable Curses. Her nose is in a book and, for once, she doesn't look like she's assessing her background for possible threats and she looks very pretty when she relaxes.
He coughs to alert her of his presence. She looks up, eyes hard. "What do you want?"
He sighs — of course, he should have known that one conversation wouldn't change things with Katniss, except he had kind of hoped that it would. "Finnick wants to know if you can patrol for Delly tonight."
"With you?" she raises a dark eyebrow and there is something indescribable flickering in her grey eyes. And just like that, it is gone. "I don't mean like that . . . it's just, why can't Delly patrol?"
"Herbology incident," Peeta replies, a small grin forming on his face. Katniss should have heard of this — it had been all over the school, but then again, she doesn't seem like the time to engage in gossip. "She's in the hospital wing."
Katniss still looks suspicious. "And why was I chosen?"
He can't tell her that he volunteered her for the job — and he prays that he never finds out, so he just says, "Maybe he picked the prettiest prefect." This comment, however offhanded as it was, makes her blush because he's the first guy to call her pretty, and she doesn't usually care about that but she also kind of does.
"Right." She glances at him. "Meet me on the third floor corridor at eight o'clock."
She goes back to her essay and he thinks that he's never met anyone as . . . feisty as Katniss.
He is exactly two minutes early, and he thinks that maybe — just maybe, if it goes well she'll smile at him in the corridors and he'll finally (finally) get the courage to ask her to go to Hogsmeade with him.
He wears the cologne that his mother had bought him for Christmas and he may have gelled his hair back a little. His dorm mate, Cinna, who is one of the few people on good terms with Katniss — he'd earned her trust when they were partnered in a Care of Magical Creatures assignment and they've been close ever since — looks at him.
"That's an awful lot of pampering for someone who is just going on patrols . . . " Cinna says and there is a gleam in his eyes that Peeta has never seen before, almost like he is holding In laughter.
"I don't — " Peeta begins.
"You like her," Cinna states and there really is no lying to his eyes so Peeta just nods. "I see." He doesn't say anything else after that, except, "Katniss likes the color blue."
It is exactly 7:58 and he is pacing and absolutely worried — what if she doesn't show? What if he is wearing too much cologne? But she's here a minute early and she looks kind of breathless with her hair tumbling out of her bun.
"Hey, Peeta," she says without smiling. "I'm not late, am I?"
"Of course not," he replies; frankly, he's surprised at how even his voice is. "Shall we start then?"
She nods, and he can't honestly believe that he is still breathing. She is here and she is electric. They begin to walk through the corridors side-by-side and both of them are painfully aware of how close they are to the other. "Remember first year?"
"What?" she asks — it's the first they've spoken in an hour and they're almost done so it's now or never because he has to know if she remembers.
"First year," he repeats. He can feel his face turning crimson and he thanks the Gods that the corridor is too dark to see much. "Second day of school? You, ah, kind of stopped those jerks — "
"Oh," she says and he can tell that she's finally gotten it. "Oh. That."
"Yeah — that," he can feel his face heating up again; of course it had been something stupid to bring up — she probably hadn't even remembered, but he did.
"It was no big deal — Cato did that kind of stuff all the time; he's a jerk," Katniss says, rolling her eyes. He starts slightly to hear Katniss talking about her Quidditch captain and fellow prefect so flippantly. "What? It's true."
He cracks a grin. "Not going to argue with you there."
She is silent for a few moments more. "I never did thank you, you know."
He gives her a sidelong glance, confused. Even in the dark, he can see her grey eyes, illuminated against her tanned skin. "What?" It is his turn to be bemused.
She runs a hand through her hair, "Remember what happened last year? After the championship Quidditch match?"
He realizes what she is referring to with a sickening feeling and he can't help the laughter that bubbles up. She stares at him for a second, as if questioning his sanity, but once realizing that he is not going to stop anytime soon, she marches away from him, nose in the air. "Fine. Next time I won't thank you!"
Still trying to contain his laughter, he runs after her, trying to explain himself. "Katniss, wait!"
She whips around. "There is nothing you can say that'll — "
"No," Peeta rushes to explain, "it's just — what do you think I'd do? Let those guys . . . let them attack you? Just because you were a girl and you were better at playing Quidditch than them?"
She stops, wide-eyed.
"It didn't matter who it was — it didn't matter that it was you — those guys were just jerks and . . . I wasn't going to . . . " he trails off, letting the silence speak volumes for him. She looks at him then, really looks at him.
"Thank you," she mutters in an almost inaudible whisper, "For saving me."
"Anytime," he whispers back and he's never meant anything more in his life.
She isn't paying to whatever Professor Abernathy is talking about now. Instead, her eyes are drilling into the back of a certain blond Hufflepuff's head.
It's been a week since they'd patrolled together, and she would hazard to think that they are friends because Peeta is kind and funny and so opposite to her harshness and brazenness that they're the most unlikely of friends. And yet he still likes to spend time with her . . . she doesn't even know why, though.
"Everdeen," her potions partner, Clove, hisses into her ear. "Pass me the Bubotuber pus, will you?"
Katniss sighs and passes it to her, knowing that it will most likely end up on some poor Hufflepuff. After all, Clove and Glimmer are exchanging smirks that usually don't bode well for the recipient. She brings herself to the present and tries to pay attention to Professor Abernathy.
"But how exactly will we be creating the Drought of the Living Death? Can you give us a few hints on how to make it properly?" Peeta asks, glancing at the professor with an expression of confusion on his face.
"Here's some advice: don't boil yourself alive," Professor Abernathy says and he begins guffawing as if this is, quite possibly, the funniest thing that he's ever said.
Katniss finds herself bristling. "I don't see what's so funny about asking for help."
The whole class, it seems, goes silent. After all, Katniss isn't usually the speaking type — once you got on her bad side, you simply woke up with an arrow in your eye. Simple as that.
Peeta turns around and gives her an expression that can only be described as adoration, and then it is gone.
"I don't approve of your tone, Miss Everdeen," Professor Abernathy mutters, casting the prefect a dark look.
Katniss can hear the whispers of Clove and Glimmer behind her, gossiping and giggling. "I don't approve of your teaching methods, Professor," she snaps. She stands up with a huff and before anyone can stop her, she storms out of the classroom.
"Katniss, wait — " he calls from behind her but she doesn't stop.
She doesn't know exactly where she'd headed — she can't really see anything past the red haze of anger — but somehow she ends up on the Quidditch pitch. She transfigures a rock into a Quaffle, and begins to throw it in the air. Already, she can feel her anger beginning to dwindle until it is almost nothing and she's starting to regret her storm-out — after all, she is a prefect, and that isn't very model behavior, was it?
"Oi, Everdeen!" someone calls from the left side of the field. She turns to see the Head Boy, in all his glory, staring at her with the wind whistling through his bronze hair. She knows that most girls — Clove and Glimmer included — would give anything to be alone with Finnick, but she honestly doesn't care.
"Odair," she greets coolly.
"Aren't you supposed to be in class?" Finnick asks, raising an eyebrow. She flushes red and he grins and she's absolutely sure that he's heard about her storm-out.
"Aren't you?" she shoots back.
"Nope," he replies, popping the p. "I'm Head Boy, remember? I've got a spare period and Annie is busy studying for a DADA practical test and she says that I always distract her . . . " His voice goes strange when he takes about Annie; like he could spend years, infinities, with her and none of it would ever be enough.
"What do you want, Odair?" she snaps, tired of the formalities.
He takes a step back and raises his hands defensively. "I just wanted to tell you that you have detention with Professor Trinket." As expected, Katniss' face morphs into one of horror; after all, Effie Trinket is not only the Hufflepuff head, but she is one of the most vapid people that Katniss has ever met . . . and, knowing Clove and Glimmer, that is truly something.
"No!" Katniss yells, startling herself. "Can't I have it with Professor Donner? Or even Professor Heavensbee?" She had met Professor Maysilee Donner the previous summer, when she'd spent a week with Madge and her parents. The latter, however, is a complete mystery to her — the only thing that any of the students know about Professor Plutarch Heavensbee is that he replaced Professor Seneca Crane after his untimely — and quite suspicious — death the previous year.
"Of course not — they know that Professor Trinket will annoy you the most," Finnick says and although he has a straight face, she can tell that he's fighting to keep his laughter in. She shoots him a filthy look.
"There you are, Finnick," a new voice joins them. Katniss gives Johanna a reluctant smile — she is friends with Gale, after all — and besides, despite how unlikely as it may seem, she is close friends with Finnick. They are two of only a few people that have broken the strict no Slytherin-Gryffindor friendship rule. "Oh, by the way, Everdeen, your boyfriend is looking for you."
"He's not my boyfriend!" Katniss hisses, thinking of a certain someone with blonde hair and blue eyes and —
"It's true, though," Finnick says helpfully, "everyone knows that you and Gale will end up together."
Right. Gale. That was who Johanna was referring to. It had been rather idiotic of her to assume that she meant Peeta — after all, only a few people know that she and Peeta are even friends. "We're just friends," Katniss repeats before walking away from the two.
Besides, it was quite obvious that Madge has feelings for Gale.
"Hello, Catnip," Gale says, his lips forming into a rare grin that he only gave her. "Are the rumours true?"
She sighs, annoyed already. "What rumours?"
"Well, I heard from Lucy who heard from Cassidy who heard from that Ravenclaw, Darius, who overheard the Hufflepuff, Portia, who had heard it from Cato who heard from Clove who was there that you called Professor Abernathy an asshole and poured Bubotuber Pus into his firewhiskey! It's all over school — wait, where are you going — ?" Because she'd already started walking away from him, not in the mood for telephone.
Again, her feet seem to carry her to unknown places and before she's truly registered what has happened, she's in the Owlery. She can see a head of familiar blond hair, tying up one of the school owls with a scroll. "Hey, Peeta," she says. Somehow, she finds herself grinning because that's the kind of reaction that Peeta incites from her. "What's up?"
"Oh, hello, Katniss," he gives her a grin that makes her heart beat just a little bit faster, "thanks for, you know, standing up to Professor Abernathy in Potions today. It means a lot."
She gives him an even look. "I wasn't standing up for you — I was just stating the obvious."
"Okay, okay," Peeta says, but there's a smile on his face and she knows that he thinks she's lying.
"I got a detention for it, anyway," Katniss sighs, making a face.
"That's awful! With whom?" Peeta says with a frown.
"Professor Trinket," Katniss says, unable to contain her look of pure horror at tonight's events. "I can't wait."
Peeta cracks a smile. "She's not . . . she's not that bad." Even then, it seems like he is holding in laughter, and she doesn't blame him.
She raises an eyebrow.
Peeta shifts uncomfortably, painfully aware of how close they are. There seems to be something electric, no — something magical, in the air between them, and he wonders if she can feel it too.
She looks away, breaking the spell. "Of course she isn't, Mellark. You just keep telling yourself that."
Somehow, Peeta Mellark has become one of her best friends. Sure, the list isn't exactly long; just Gale, sometimes Johanna and Finnick, Madge and Delly, and she can even tolerate Clove and Glimmer, on occasion.
But Peeta is different — it's almost like she doesn't have to pretend around him because he can see through them. And even though he can see the ugly person she is underneath those biting remarks and, even more strange, he likes her for it.
But of course, she doesn't know that he's always liked her — since the second day of school when Cato and his band of goons were picking on him and she'd uttered a quick hex and yelled at them to go away.
She finds him after breakfast on one grey morning in early October, looking bored. "Where are you going?"
He looks at her, bemused. "To class — why?"
Her eyes are shining with the light of adventure that he rarely sees anymore. "You've been to all your classes this year, right?" Her tone is too nonchalant to be innocent and he narrows his eyes at her.
"Yeah. . . " Yes, he definitely doesn't trust the unusual gleam in her eyes right now.
"Come with me, Peeta," she whispers into his ear, her breath smelling of cool mint and coffee. He has to force himself to step away from her.
"No." He tries to find a reason as to why he'd refuse but she looks at him with her blazing grey eyes and he has to try and remember his own name. "No. I can't, Katniss. I have class." This sounds pitiful, even to him.
"No one will miss you, Peeta," Katniss pleads, "Please? I just — I just want to, you know, live for a little while."
He's quiet for such a long time that she thinks that he's going to refuse but finally, with an almost imperceptible nod of his head, he sighs. "I don't know how you drag me into these things, Katniss Everdeen."
"It's because you love me," she says with a grin. She grabs his arm, pulling them into a hidden alcove near the Great Hall. They're so close that they're sharing breaths and he wonders how easy it would be to close the little gap between them, to bring his lips to hers — not that he'd ever have the courage to, of course, he's no Gryffindor — but he can dream, can't he?
"Okay," he says slowly once the foyer has mostly emptied, "Where are we going?"
The gleam in her eyes is back. "It's a surprise."
"How will it be a surprise?" he raises a pale blond eyebrow. Quick as lightning, she pulls out a blindfold out of nowhere and covers his eyes. "Oi!"
"Calm down, Mellark, I'm not planning on killing you," she says. He can hear the laughter lacing her voice. "I just don't want you to see where we're going."
He doesn't struggle after that because he trusts her and he lets her lead her into an unknown place. She doesn't say anything for the majority of the walk, the only sounds being their footfalls against the crimson and gold leaves and the light wind whistling through their hair.
Finally, she stops and faces him. "Okay, you can take off the blindfold now."
He's in the forest — the Forbidden Forest — and he'd be kind of scared, except for the fact that Katniss is holding his hand and he never wants to let go. "We're in the woods," he states.
Katniss rolls her eyes, "Thank you, Captain Obvious." She gives him a mock salute.
"Why?" he asks, glancing around them; at the sunlight making its way through the almost bare trees and the crunch of nearby animals.
She stiffens, as if the answer is quite obvious. "It's where I come to relax. You're the first person that I've ever brought here." He grins at her and she gives him one of her rare smiles back.
He likes the thought of that — being the one person that she'd trust with something like this. "It's beautiful," he whispers, but he isn't looking at the forest.
Prim corners Peeta one morning in the Hufflepuff common room. Despite the fact that her features are the exact opposite of her sister, he can see the resemblance between them.
"Hello, Prim," he says with a smile. He's been rather taken with this adorable little girl since she was sorted.
She, however, doesn't seem to be in the mood for pleasantries because she just asks, "Are you in love with my sister?"
"What — ? Prim, I — I - don't know what you're — " But Prim turns her laser blue eyes onto him and despite their difference in colour, he can see Katniss and he can't lie to her. He can't. "Fine. I kind of lover her."
"Since when?" Prim asks, her voice regaining its usual compassionate tone.
" . . . I don't know . . . it seems like I've always had a crush on her," he says with a humourless laugh.
"You make her happy, you know," Prim says, putting an arm around Peeta and pulling him into a hug. "She hardly ever smiles that much, except when she's talking about you."
"Really?" Peeta all but mouths at her. She gives him a smile and goes off to meet her two best friends, Rory the Gryffindor and Rue the Ravenclaw.
He tries not to do a victory dance but face it — there is a chance (no matter how slim) that Katniss likes him back and that's worth celebrating, right?
Thankfully, the day of the first Hogsmeade trip of the year dawns bright and sunny, unlike last year's trip. Gale has bailed on her last minute, of course, and he's going with Madge now; Johanna isn't going — she has detention; and since she is not in the mood to listen to them bitch about the other students, Clove and Glimmer are out.
Eating an apple as she leaves the Great Hall, Katniss wanders with the crowd of students heading into Hogsmeade. She spots Madge and Gale and gives them a wink, to which they both blush profusely.
She spots Delly a few people over, talking to some Hufflepuffs in her year. None of them, however, is the one that she's looking for. Finally, she spots him with a Ravenclaw boy with short brown hair.
"Hello, Peeta," she says, surprising him. She gives him a smile because it's Peeta and she just can't help herself.
"Oh, hey, Katniss," he looks surprised but also quite pleased. The Ravenclaw boy has melted into the crowd but they may as well be alone in his opinion because he can see nothing but Katniss. "Do you have a date?"
Katniss lets out a short laugh. "Nope. They all ditched me."
He tries to conjure up a sympathetic face but he can't really because she's with him now. "That's too bad."
"So I hope that you will tolerate my company long enough to go to the Three Broomsticks?" she asks, raising an eyebrow.
"I would be delighted, Katniss," he says, grinning.
They go to the Three Broomsticks and order butterbeers and sit side by side even though this is a table of four. "This is fun," Katniss says, and she's not lying.
"It is, isn't it?" he says. Suddenly, he gets up. "Hey, wait — do you want to go on a walk? We can take the butterbeers!" She glances at him, trying to figure out what the sudden change in mood is for.
"Sure," she says. He helps her up from the seat — or, he tries to ("I can manage on my own, Mellark!") — and they leave the Three Broomsticks together. "Where are we going?"
He lets out a light laugh, "Do we have to be going somewhere all the time, Katniss? I just want things to stay the way they are now — with me and you. We're not going anywhere; we're just going to . . . be for a few minutes."
Katniss doesn't look at him but she leans her head on his shoulder and together, they watch the beauty of Hogsmeade village in autumn.
The first Quidditch match of the year is, as always, Slytherin versus Gryffindor. And, as now seems to be tradition, the morning of November fifth is grey. Katniss sighs as she leaves the dorm-room, broom in hand. Her housemates are staring at her and whispering, and as usual, she hates the attention.
"Okay, listen up, team," Cato announces once the last of the team sits down I the part of the common room reserved for the Quidditch team. "We have not lost a game to Gryffindor since . . . well, it's been too long to remember — "
Wisely, Katniss chooses not to point out that they'd lost two games to them the previous year.
" — and we're going to keep that stellar record, aren't we? Otherwise, next practice will have you all running suicides," Cato finishes with a smirk, having effectively terrified his team into submission. "Oh, and good luck."
Katniss has been on the team since Second Year, and she's been left Chaser ever since; Gale, of course, was her counterpart because they knew each other like the back of their hands, and for a while, they were invincible. Until Finnick Odair became Gryffindor captain and changed the tactics — suddenly, it became less about fair play and more about winning.
"Ready to go, Catnip?" Gale asks her, beaming.
"Always, Hawthorne," she replies with a smirk of her own.
When the Slytherin team walks into the Great Hall, it goes silent. Everyone, even the Gryffindors, has stopped to watch the proceedings, but as they pass the Hufflepuff table, Katniss is once again surprised by a smile from Peeta.
Well, not exactly the smile itself but the reaction it produced — the racing heart and sweaty palms . . . what was up with that?
"See you on the field, Odair," Cato says, shooting a fake smile at Finnick.
Finnick glances up, unconcerned. "I'll see you when we win, Ableman."
The Game is, as always, thrilling. Because she is the lithest player (this comes from being the youngest female), she can duck and squeeze past the older teens before they've even noticed what has happened.
She scores four times — the most out of all the players — and she swears that Peeta winks at her. Whatever is, her heart starts racing and it doesn't stop throughout the victory party.
"Good job," he whispers to her when he passes her in the corridor.
Her heart just about stops.
It all goes down at Finnick's Prefect Party, held the day before Christmas.
Finnick has somehow managed to charm Madame Rosmerta into giving him firewhiskey — don't even ask her how that happened — and they're all a little bit tipsy as they sit in a clumsy circle.
"We should — we should play Spin the Bottle," Cato says, giving Katniss a smirk. He is completely wasted and Katniss feels immense pity for whoever draws him.
But there are murmurs of assent from the crowd and she finds herself sitting next to Madge as Finnick spins the bottle. Of course, it lands on Annie and Katniss rolls his eyes at his satisfied smirk. The couple then proceed to make out for about five minutes — well; it feels that long to her — until Cato coughs in a not too subtle way.
Madge spins and gets Peeta and Katniss can feel herself stiffening — but why, Peeta is her friend and so is Madge; why is she feeling . . . jealous?
And then it comes to her in a rush: she, Katniss Everdeen, loves Peeta.
She wonders if she'd always loved him or she'd just started now but none of that matters because Peeta has just spun and it's landed on her and she can hear her heartbeat thumping in her ears and his hands are cupping her face and —
If there is one thing that Peeta loves more than Katniss Everdeen, it is the feeling of his lips on hers. Of the magical current passing from her to him; him to her, that no one else in the room can even begin to comprehend.
Neither of them ever want to let go because it's the closest they've ever felt with perfection and she marvels at how much she as only half a person before — but now, now with Peeta's lips on hers, his hand in her hair, hers trailing up his back, she is whole.
"Er — excuse me," Finnick says hesitantly. "Keep it G-rated, folks."
Katniss detaches herself from Peeta long enough to give him the finger and goes back to kissing him. "Drop dead, Odair."
She can feel Peeta's lips curve upwards against her own and she knows that he's holding in a smile. As for her, the only thing she can think is — finally.
a/n: Yay — I've written all my THG OTPs except Haysilee but. ;) I hope that you liked this, Lucia, and anyone else who happens to read this. Also, the last line is borrowed from Amy (and it feels like finally)'s penname.
Uh sorry for any mistakes that you may find in this.
Please DO NOT favourite without leaving a review, thanks.
— Madeline (overstreets)