He knew he was awake, but he told himself he wasn't. He told himself he was dreaming. He told himself that he'd sleep through this day and by tomorrow it would be over.
That's what he told himself. That's not at all what happened.
John Watson laid still, trying to keep his breathing at a sleep-like level. But it wasn't long after he'd awaken that he felt another presence in the room. "Harry?" he asked, his eyes still closed.
"It's me." Harriet said, walking in and sitting on the edge of the bed. "How long have you been awake?"
"Not long." John opened his eyes and looked up at his little sister. "Is mum awake yet?"
"Yes. She's laying out my clothes for today. Yours are already on the back of the door."
"Why?" John grumbled. "There's no point in dressing fancy to watch one of my friends get picked for murder."
"John!" Harry hissed, clapping her hands over her own mouth. She lowered her voice to a whisper. "Don't let people hear you talking like that, you'll get in huge trouble." she muttered through her fingers.
"Oh, sod it. It's not like I haven't taken punishment before." he rolled his eyes. "Go get dressed. I'll meet you out there."
Harry gave him a look of terror before standing and exiting the room. John sighed, closing his eyes again. He felt a little bad. It was only her second reaping, he shouldn't have scared her like that. It was his seventh reaping, however, and his name wasn't in the bowl very many times. Well, fifteen. He took nine tesserae this
year, Harry taking one. They didn't need many; they weren't at all the rich part of District 12, but they weren't at all poor, either. They could just barely take care of themselves.
John stood up, ignoring the headrush he immediately received. He walked to his door and pulled it open, taking the clothes off of the back. He walked around the door and into the bathroom, filling up the tub. It was still slightly wet, so Harry had been up early this morning. He closed the door and stripped down, sitting on the edge of the tub and grabbing a washcloth, soaking it with water and soap and scrubbed at his dirty skin. It took a while, but he cleaned himself completely off and stepped out, grabbing a towel and drying off. He pulled on the clothes his mother had set out for him and stepped in front of the mirror. This wasn't what he usually wore. It was fancier, probably one of his dad's old reaping day outfits. But you had to dress properly for the reaping, everyone said. To please the peacekeepers. To please the
Capitol if you're reaped.
John knew that it was very unlikely he'd be picked. He still worried all the same, worried for Harry as well. But he reassured himself slightly with the reminder that Harry was a fighter. She looked and seemed like a little girl at first glance, but she was tough. She was strong, fast, and not too bad at martial arts. The main problem was the fact that he knew if he got picked, he didn't have a chance at survival. But what were the odds of that? Timothy Red's name was in the bowl 56 times this year. John's was only there 15 times. It was more likely Tim would be picked rather than John.
"John! Are you nearly ready?" it was his mother's voice.
"Coming, mum." John responded. He looked himself over in the mirror one more time, straightening his shirt. He ran his fingers through his hair, noting how much he looked like his dad. "Wish me luck." he whispered into the mirror, speaking to the younger version of his father. "You know I'll need it."