Hope in the Darkest Days
Hope in the Darkest DaysDisclaimer:
Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; Suzanne Collins owns "The Hunger Games" and all related characters; I own nothing.Summary:
Dawn's in the kitchen when she hears the anthem begin, the one that marks the start of the Hunger Games for this year.Author's Note:
I just finished reading "The Hunger Games" and this came to mind. I might do more once I read the other books in the trilogy.~*~*~
She's in the kitchen when she hears that bloody anthem begin, the one that marks the start of the Hunger Games. She would avoid it if she could, but that would only draw unwanted attention from the government. Attention was the last thing the woman once known as Dawn Summers wants, especially with the Capitol on high alert because of the Games.
She ignores the reaping for the first two districts. She has no interest in those who see winning this bloodbath as something to work towards as a life goal. They are too much of a reminder of how much things had changed since the Capitol had won the war over seventy years ago. How little she could do to change things once the war had finished.
Magic had left the world again, decades after it had started reemerging with the first Slayer Chosen since her sister had destroyed the seed of magic. There had been other Slayers, some of whom Dawn had helped as the last surviving Watcher. But the wars and disasters that had reshapped the world and helped create Panem had permanently severed the ties between this world and the other dimensions. There have been no more Slayers in almost a century. All that's left behind of that legacy is a former Key who cannot die.
She watches the reapings throughout the day, memorizing their faces from her home in the Capitol. Sharp blue eyes that have seen too much soften as the young girl, Rue, from District 11 approaches the stage. She can be no more than twelve. Dawn mentally adds her to the short list of tributes that she'll help sponsor. It's her way of atoning for her many failures. For the fact that she lives in the place where these children are being sent to die as a sick reminder of the Capitol’s superiority over the districts.
Finally, they reach District 12. The poorest district. The district that every year is written off before the games have even begun.
Dawn tunes out the usual opening the mayor and the pink-haired twit, although she can't help but laugh when the former winner appears drunk and messes up the woman's wig. It's the first time she's laughed all day and it sounds hollow to her ears.
The first name called is for the female tribute. "Primrose Everdeen!" the woman trills. From the shocked silence of the crowd, Dawn knows before the girl separates herself from the crowd that she's twelve, the youngest you can be chosen. Dawn felt her throat tighten when the unthinkable happens.
"I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute!" a young woman cried out, shoving herself in front of the first girl. Dawn freezes, her eyes never leaving the figure on the screen before her. For a brief moment, she finds herself back on the tower, all those years ago, watching as her sister sacrificed herself in Dawn's place. She's so caught up in her memories that she nearly missed the volunteer giving her name: Katniss Everdeen. So she’s right. This is the sister of the intended tribute.
She barely registers the choosing of the male tribute, but she can't help but notice the reaction the crowd has to the introduction of Katniss: no applause, but instead a wordless salute.
Dawn sits back as the anthem started to play again, signaling the end of the reaping until the recap later on tonight. For the first time in many years, she felt a strange stirring within her. It takes her a moment to realize it's hope.