Disclaimer: I unfortunately do not own the Hunger Games. All the characters that have been presented are not mine, they are the property of Suzanne Collins and her publishers.
"Katniss, Katniss! Miss Katniss," the voice echoed through the hollows of the stone plated walls. I knew eventually I would have to leave the safety of the closet, if I went missing for too long and wasn't with Gale they would fear that I had been captured or that my generally reckless behavior had resulted in my getting hurt. A search party would have to be constructed, and honest citizens would be forced out of loyalty to take their tired hands from their work and search the neighboring woods for a sign of where I had gone. I couldn't force them to miss a day's work, it wouldn't be fair to them for me to choose my own selfish desire to remain here over their ability to care for the"ir children.
A lot of things weren't fair though. It wasn't fair I had been born the eldest daughter of the reigning monarch of the small country, Seam. It wasn't fair that I could not take my father's place upon his death, simply because I had the unfortunate stroke of being born female. It wasn't fair that my mama had slipped herself a sliver of nightlock juice in an attempt to escape the prison of her head. But what I had come to learn from my place in this world was that life isn't fair.
Leaning my head against the aged wood of the closet I was currently inhabiting, I tenderly stroked the crisp lines of marble floor. They seemed to mock me with their effortless perfection. Was that it? Did they mock me with the perfect straight lines they had been cut into? I gave a hollow laugh at my silly thoughts, even though I knew no matter how much their life chipped away at me, I would never be as perfect as these marble floors
Letting out a sigh and briefly cursing the names of my forefathers under my breath, I called out from the closet, "I'm here. I'm here."
It was only then, when the heavy wooden doors of the closet were opened, light seeping into my little corner with a forceful nature, the wiry housemaid lifting my hands in an cry of joy, that I crawled out of the closet ignoring the slight rip my dress made as the deep red silk gripped to a nail. That would be the third dress I had ripped in the past month.
"Miss Katniss, we have been looking all over for you. There is a very important guest here and your father has requested your presence in the throne room as soon as you can be made presentable."
"Of course," I muttered as I followed the housemaid out of the chamber and into the hallway, shooing me into the bedroom. I wondered what type of guest would possibly cause my father to request my presence in the throne room. Usually, when the King called me to meet guests, often a visiting scholar or an old friend, they met in the more casual drawing room. No, it wasn't ordinary for this to happen. The throne room was reserved for meetings with stuffy foreign dignitaries.
I could only hope that the visitor was one of my father's relatives, or perhaps a friend that Gale had made on his recent journeys to the East. Gale, my cousin and my father's heir was a close childhood friend of mine. One day he would rule my country, with me at his side. It had been accepted over the years that we would marry when the time came. It wasn't official of course, that would have to wait, but it was accepted amongst the nobles. There was nothing romantic between us yet, but I had the sneaking suspicion cousin Gale thought kindly of me. But for the moment, we were nothing more than friends. Unlike most noble girls, I had no patience for new dresses or embroidery, much to my mother's protest I had preferred to spend my time with Gale riding horses, attending hunts in the surrounding forest, or engaging in friendly sword fights. Gale and I had been the simplest of companions since birth. While our lips had never graced the other's, it was the way I planned on keeping it until the time came that it was truly necessary.
The housemaid slipped a dainty silver dress over my head, bringing me from my thoughts and reminding me of why I was really here. It was an elaborate dress, a silver fabric with a floral embroidered front piece. I had only worn the dress once, last holiday season. Why on earth I was wearing this dress, no occasion in my mind could dream up a guest that important. Perhaps my father was playing with me? Some sort of prank to make me worry. He had been pretty harsh on me recently, reminding me constantly that I had to be a lady. Maybe this was his way of making it up to me. Hosting a ball in my honor, perhaps? "Is this really necessary? Can't I just wear the blue silk?" I asked the maid.
The woman looked up at I with a weary expression, "I'm afraid I have been given strict orders. I am sorry, my highness." I allowed her to continue fixing the dress on my body, not that I would usually go along with it, but I worried for the woman's security in her job if I did not comply.
The dress hung lower than most of the other ones I owned, allowing the tops of my bosom to be viewed. It made my feel a bit uncomfortable, and very hesitant about what was to come. My father wouldn't force me to wear a dress like this to some sort of surprise ball or event. It was only then, when the dress was laced and my soft brown hair fixed that I realized how important a meeting this must be. I visibly shook in apprehension as I was led up to the throne room.
The housemaid left with a slight curtsy, and a guard decked in silver and rich brocade opened the door.
Daintily stepping into the room, I looked out. The walls were covered in thousands of tiny stones depicting the country's history, it's stories telling my family's past. My king and father sat on the plush red velvet of the gold plated throne. His usually sparkling grey eyes met his daughter's only with sorrow as he looked up at the visitor. The visitor was quite obviously handsome, if I must admit it. A bit familiar too, with his blonde hair slicked back and his blue eyes radiating in the room. He had a dominant presence, hands casually placed on the left side of the throne, in a manner that made my family's prized possession seem worthless. He must have been in his early twenties or late teens from what I could see. Maybe as old as Gale. The young man's clothes were so rich and well fit, they made my father's finest outfit seem like rags. I could only assume, from his looks and his dress that he was of great wealth.
"Katniss," my father said, forcing my to break from looking at the blue eyed man.
"Yes, father," I replied respectfully.
"This is King Peeta of the great country of Panem," father's breath became shaky, "Daughter, he has come from Panem to request your hand in marriage in exchange for protection and wealth for our country."
Author's Note: It should be noted that this chapter is very rough (and there are probably a few grammatical errors) I wrote this in a couple of hours in the middle of the day. I intended on making this chapter longer than it is (I already have the next two thousand or so written up) but because of the overwhelming support I received from people I decided to publish the two chapters simultaneously.
It's the first fanfiction I have really tried and enjoyed writing, and it has been in my head for a long time. I am going to need a beta who is good at grammar (as I am quite terrible.) Please review and let me know if I should continue.
Also, I'm not sure if I should write this in third person or first person, so if you review make your opinion known. Thank You!