Year Forty Four, Post Rebellion
Iris Hawthorne Odair
Of all my maternal grandparents' twelve grandchildren, I was the only one to inherit my grandmother's eyes.
And her aptitude for healing, as it later turned out. Even Aunt Prim's children - who had two doctors as parents - didn't inherit this talent. They discovered I was a natural when I was fifteen, when I'd gambled with trying to patch up my oldest boy cousin Reuben after he'd fallen off and cut his arm open. We'd all been playing at Haymitch's - he refused to be called Uncle or Grandpa, so Haymitch is was - backyard, as our mothers took Auntie Prim to the hospital. Or so they thought. As freaky as it was, my second youngest sister and my girl cousins were delivered hours apart from one another. They shared the same birthday, as a result, and one trait. Fiery. As in, seriously on fire.
I went and became a doctor after I was done with school. Not just a doctor. A Psychiatrist, or as my mother kindly put it in layperson's term, 'Head Doctor'. People think it was a weird choice, for my parents and uncles and aunts and practically everyone I knew ended up seeing 'Head Doctors' all throughout their lives. But to me - and to everyone else who'd known - it wasn't. It was a logical choice.
I wanted to heal people who'd been broken as badly as the Victors and the rebellion fighters were.
My husband, Junior (well, it was Nick when we were kids, but once we were rambunctious teenagers, Junior sounded more fun), once pointed out that we had actually survived the fights of the rebellion, too. His mother had knowingly fought pregnant, and mine had unwittingly done so. In some sense, the odds were really in our favours. And yes, they were.
The Paylor Government had destroyed all the recordings of The Hunger Games, as well as all the rebellion propos, a couple of years after the rebellion ended. Of course, like all other forbidden materials, there were still some secret copies floating around. Junior and I got our hands on them when we were nineteen and dating. We spent a whole weekend watching the few ones we needed to watch. Junior's parents' two Games. My mother's. My aunt Katniss's and uncle Peeta's. Cousins Ash and Caroline's two Games. The Quarter Quell. All the propos.
I skipped two days of my medical classes afterwards, for I couldn't stop crying for my parents and my uncles and aunts and cousins and family friends. I had no idea how they'd all coped with that, when they were even younger than what I'd been then.
We gave the tape to Junior's sister Shelly. She then passed the tape to my next oldest sister Eve, who in turn passed it to Aunt Katniss's twins Reuben and Farl. And from then on, everything was history. My other sisters Dawn, Skye, and Claude watched them, once each of them was old enough. And so did Aunt Katniss's younger children, Willow and Rye; and Aunt Prim's children, Cedar, Olivia, and Cole. Eventually each and everyone in our circle of Victors' and Rebels' children would watch them. And we all cried. Really. We had all cried.
I showed parts of those to my own children once they were old enough, just to give them an idea of how lucky we were to be born after the rebellion.
Throughout my life, they'd made lots and lots of movies revolving around the rebellion. Movies of all genres: action, romance, tragedy, all types. My aunt Katniss and uncle Peeta, by nature, had their own movie. And so did Junior's parents Finnick and Annie. And, to my then embarrassment, my parents. I suspect that movie was one of the reasons why my father was elected President at the next election after, though clearly not the only one. He made it happen, through all the good he'd done to redeem this Warlord he'd been when he was younger, and with the help of Uncle Peeta and Uncle Sven who'd sat with him every day for several months, discussing what exactly he should be standing for, what he could offer Panem. And with the help of my mother and Aunt Katniss and Aunt Prim, too, though these three were actually more of Devil Advocates than helpers.
Haymitch passed away a few years ago, at a ripe old age of eighty. His death saddened everyone in the family, and opened up one more secret box left by the rebellion and its aftermath. Included in his will was this tape, labelled with my father's name. The night after his funeral, Pa called my uncles and aunts and all of us Everdeen grandchildren to his study. We sat together holding hands, as we watched Grandma Everdeen's last moments as recorded by the surveillance camera in the Hovercraft she'd crashed in a bid to save her precious daughters and Panem from the rule of that tyrant Coin and her minion Heavensbee. Took us all a few hours to process this. By the end of the night, though, we've agreed to call in Cousin Ash to discuss something. We needed an amendment for that documentary book he wrote some thirty years prior to tell the world who Alma Coin and Plutarch Heavensbee were.
Several more pages were written afterwards, and the newest edition of that book now established my grandmother as the strong hero she was. More than just the broken, widowed mother Panem had always perceived her as. That made the headlines of everything, the year it was out. And apparently, inspired this young producer to make a new kind of rebellion movie, which was out last year.
It was about my mother and her sisters. Or more exactly, my mother and Aunt Katniss, with a little bit of Aunt Prim in the background. They were all invited to the Premiere, though at the end only Aunt Prim went. She came back telling us that all the characterization was off, except for one. After I'd watched it, I wholeheartedly agreed with her. Everyone was definitely a bit out of character - too nice and innocent, to be exact -, with the exception of Cousin Ash's wife Madge, who once liked my father too. And that was actually because she was that nice and near-saintly. Except when fighting with her fellow rebels, as the woman herself confessed.
Acting and characterization aside, I liked the movie. For it made me proud.
I was fortunate to be raised by The Miner's Daughters who changed Panem.
Final Author's Note:
It all started one night in January 2013, when I picked up my tablet and started jabbing on the first chapter of this story. My intention back then was to write a long-oneshot, for I didn't quite have enough faith that I'd be able to finish up a multi-chaptered story. Soon, it became apparent that a long-oneshot would never suffice to describe all the ideas I had, and as new plot bunnies started jumping around in my head, I knew I had to give a multi-chaptered story a try this time.
"The Miner's Daughters" went with me everywhere. It went with me to work, for a morning walk, and even overseas for two weeks when I was on holiday. It became an obsession, a cause, something I fought hard for. The moment I typed in the last word - 'Panem' - was such a bittersweet moment of victory. Sweet, for now this story was told for everyone to read. Bitter, for I wasn't quite ready to part with this yet. But I knew that once it was written, that was it. They'd gotten their happily ever after, and Panem had been a much better place. There was no more conflicts and fights to be told, no more obstacles the Everdeen sisters and their loved ones had to overcome in order to be happy together.
I would like to thank all of you for your supports. Those of you who'd given this story a chance and stay with it till the end. Those of you who'd put this story on your story alert/subscription, encouraging me to write more for I knew there were people waiting for the next chapters. Those of you who'd shown your love for this story by putting it on your favourite list, bookmarking it, and giving it kudos. Those of you who'd put me on Author Alert and Favourite Author, giving me more faith of myself and my writing. And lastly but most importantly, those of you who have reviewed/commented on this story.
The ff crowd:
BatGirlTheMockingjay13, my first reviewer ever. You've given me faith in this idea, and helped this little thing evolving into a full story. Thank you.
LittleRed, dancer27, and meowskii, who've all reviewed this story in its early stage. I wish you were there to witness the happy dance I did when that review notification email landed in my inbox.
Aloha Jay, who's expressed such a great interest in the story. Your review was such a confidence boost for me.
Reviewer08, who've said they loved the story. Thank you.
peetagoreantheorem12 and rochitabels, who discovered this story in its later stage, and still kindly left reviews. You made me so happy.
nothing2000 and axes tridents and snares, my fellow Johanna fans and Johale shippers. Thanks so much for your support.
De-BardatBoston, who's made me so happy with their witty reviews and boosted my confidence in my writing. Thanks so so so much!
And last but not least, jc52185, ellie82, and Norbert's Mom, my constant, faithful reviewers. Your support meant a lot to me. There were times when I was close to giving up, doubting whether it was all worth it. But then I remembered all of you, and how you'd been waiting for the next chapter eagerly, and I was happy and writing again. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
The AO3 crowd:
ennui_deMorte, JennibroLawrence, halla, Randomness, ketbelle, Scoutchick104, AmyRose92. Thank you for your kind comments which encouraged me to write more.
MaidenAlice and KeetaEverlark, constant reviewers and mood boosters, who'd made me believe that what I wrote was good :).
And last but not least, my reviewer extraordinaire Ripe, whose sharp analysis of the plot and storyline, ideas, and opinions all helped me developing new plots for the story and opened the doors to possibilities I've never thought of before. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And everyone else who's reviewed/commented but didn't get mentioned because I was forgetful and only half-lucid after a nightmare oncall shift at work where one of the servers went cuckoo for no reason. Sorry, sorry, sorry; and thank you, thank you, thank you.
There are still some outtakes left to be written from this - a homework for me to do - so expect that I'll still be writing for at least a while. Oh, and also, my two new stories: the fluffy geek story "Lines" and a darker canon divergence, "A Tale of Two Districts" - where I've moved Gale to District Seven in reverse to what I've done here, and parallelise his and Johanna's story at Seven with Peeta and Katniss's story at Twelve. Where I got the plot bunnies from, don't ask me - I don't even know. But they're there in my head, and thus I'll keep writing and doing my best.
Stay gold, you awesome peeps! May the odds always be in your favour :).
- N -