Part One

Chapter One

Peeta and I sit in my old house in the Seam, my head is leaned on his shoulder. I heard that a new family is moving in from the Capitol. They were assigned this District, and their father is going to be a miner. Tears are running down my face as I think about what they told us about the family. They have two daughters, exactly four years apart, just like Prim and I were. Their names are Tula and Holley Mackney. Tula is the oldest and Holley is the youngest, I feel so sorry for them, this will be Holley's first year in the Games, and the next Reaping is in a few days. Two to be exact. I get up and walk out of the house, and Peeta has hold of my hands.

"Peeta, I feel so sorry for these people. Escpecially Holley, it's her first year in the Games." I tell him and he nods. We walk back to Victor's Village and I walk over to my house. I just go in and sit down on the couch, and wait for a few hours. I don't sleep, I don't eat, I don't speak. I just feel sorry for the new family. They are supposed to be moved in by this afternoon. I wait for someone to come and calm me down. Peeta doesn't come, Greasy Sae doesn't come, no one does. After a while I fall asleep, and drift off into a world full of nothing but nightmares. First I see little Prim, only twelve at the time, getting reaped. In my dream I just stand there hopeless of doing anything. I wait for my dream self to do something but she remains still. Then I see her turn into little Holley, and she turns and looks at me. Then I remember, I can't really do anything, I'm nineteen. I couldn't volunteer, all I could do is stand there.

"Katniss, come on get up. You do want to go welcome the new family, don't you?" Peeta asks me in the morning and I nod. He takes my hand and I dress up in a little nicer clothes than my hunting clothes. We walk over to the Seam, and down to my old house. I'm about to knock on the door, but my hand freezes. Peeta catches it and knocks the door himself. A small little girl opens the door, she must only be a little over four feet tall. She is very pretty, her dark hair replicates mine, but her eyes are bright blue. An older girl steps out from behind her and I smile. She is about sixteen, and she has the same hair and eyes as her little sister.

"H-hello, I'm H-holley, and this is my s-sister, Tula." The little girl says shyly, and I smile.

"I'm Katniss, and this is Peeta, we're the victors of the District." I say and she smiles.

"I've heard of you, the star-crossed lovers from District Twelve." The older girl says and I laugh. How does she know who we are? Has she learned from her parents, or possibly from one of the locals of the Seam. I look over at Peeta and he smiles at me. "Well, Katniss, not that I can blame you." She says overlooking Peeta and I laugh. "Or should I call you Miss Everdeen?" She asks and I laugh.

"Katniss is okay." I say and she grins. She shakes my hand and pulls her little sister back inside. She must be very protective of her like I was with Prim. I wish she was still here. Peeta takes my hand in both of his and smiles at me. He leans in and kisses me and then walks me back to the Victor's Village.

"Holley'll be alright, Katniss. It's her first year." He calms me, and I nod. I hope she doesn't get reaped. If she dies in the Games I'll almost die, just like I would if Peeta would've died. He pulls me into a hug, and whispers a million different words in my ear. I can't catch them, though, I'm too worried. What if Holley did get reaped? What if we had to be mentors for her. I start to cry, and Peeta takes my face in his hands and presses his forehead against mine.

"What if we have to be mentors for her?" I ask and he remains silent for a minute.

"She reminds you of Prim, doesn't she?" He asks and I start to cry even harder. She does look like Prim did, except for her dark hair. Peeta uses his thumbs to wipe my tear away, and looks me in the eyes. "Holley won't get reaped, Katniss. If she does then you can blame me for jinxing it." He says and I laugh. Peeta isn't bad luck, but I did say the sane thing to Prim, and look what happened to her.

"Okay, but if she does get reaped then I'll blame the both of us." I say and he smiles. He kisses me, and let's me go. I stand up and look outside, it's night already. Then I realize how tired I am, and lay back down in the bed. Peeta lays down next to me and wraps his arms around me tightly. I doze off quickly, but briefly. I soon awake after having a nightmare about the reaping. Peeta takes my face in his hands and looks me in the eyes. I keep nodding, and hoping that Holley will be alright tomorrow, I'm listening to the words he's saying, but I can barely keep myself calm

"Katniss, it's in the middle of the night, I'll let you sleep for a while tomorrow, and then we'll get ready for the reaping, and you'll see Holley won't get reaped, okay?" He asks and I nod. I lay back with my head on his chest and his arms wrapped protectively around me. I don't have anymore nightmares after that, but the thoughts still haunt me. I wake up to feeling a slight pressure on my cheek. I open my eyes and see Peeta is already awake and ready for the reaping. He's let his hair loose, but he's wearing a white shirt and black slacks. I smile and sit up, and brush the hair off his forehead. He smiles and brushes my hair out with his fingers.

"So what time is it?" I ask him and he laughs.

"One-thirty. I laid out the white dress that was your mother's for you." He says and I smile. The dress where I pretended to be Lavinia. Where we fooled Delly. I get up and change into the dress. I braid my hair down in front of shoulders in two braids instead of one. Peeta laughs and twirls the edge of one around his finger. I look over at the clock. One-fifty.

"We better get going, it's almost time for the reaping, ten minutes." I say and he nods. I take his hand and we walk out the front door together. When we get to the Justice Building, we join the mayor in two of three chairs at the stage. I'm still gripping on Peeta's hand so tight I'm almost sure it's stopped the circulation. I release his hand and lay my head down on his shoulder. His arm goes around me and I watch Effie Trinket make her way on the stage.

"Welcome, welcome! The Seventy-seventh Hunger Games, and may the odds me ever in your favor!" She pipes in her stupid Capitol accent. She keeps smiling at everyone, and even though I know she is a friend, it disgusts me. "Now, we have a movie all the way from the Capitol!" They play the movie and I'm shaking my head the whole time. She mouths every word along with the film. When the final words are done, she makes her way back to the microphone. "I just love that! Ladies first!" She exclaims and walks over to the girls' reaping glass ball. She digs her hand in and pulls a single piece of paper out. She wobbles back over to the microphone and opens the paper. I can hear the name called so suddenly, and it's a stab in the stomach.

Tula Mackney.

Chapter Two

I look up at Peeta who cups a hand on my cheek. I drop my gaze and stare down at our entwined fingers. A tear comes down my cheek, and I start to pour out more as I watch Tula make her way to the stage. She looks back at her sister who is wordless, breathless even. And we'll be her mentors. Peeta and I will be her mentors. We'll have to keep her alive, we'll have to. We need to. Effie keeps smiling, and then she walks over to the boys' reaping ball. She plucks a name right off the top, and walks back over to the microphone. "Herran Reginald." She says and I nod at the name, he lives in the Seam, too. I can see the expression on Tula's face; she knows him. When we get back to the train, and they've already said goodbye to their family I pull Tula into a hug.

"I'm so sorry, Tula." I tell her, and she keeps crying, too. Peeta keeps trying to help us, but it's no use. We just keep crying. I release her and she walks back to Herram who keeps her locked in a hug. Peeta keeps me locked in one as well.

"Katniss, you'll be alright, she'll be alright." Peeta tells me but I won't stop crying, I can't. Tula is too much of a friend, and her sister, her poor little sister. Tula was probably everything she had.

"What if she dies, Peeta?" I ask him and he shrugs, I look up into his eyes and see nothing but pain. Then Effie comes and tells the tributes need to be taken to the remake center. Peeta and I are led off the train.

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