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Chapter 1 : The Name Draw.
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August 31st, 2023
THE CHOSEN FEW TO BE PICKED ON THE FIRST OF SEPTEMBER
The students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry are currently waiting anxiously at home for the train to take them to school tomorrow morning. Until eighteen years ago, this day was an event for teenagers to look forward to, going back to school to learn more about the magical world they live in. Now it is merely a terrifying prospect that tomorrow night, their name is going to be pulled out of that cup.
Last year’s victor, Eliza Shelley, describes how she felt the day before her name was drawn:
“I was terrified. It was my seventh year at Hogwarts and, of course, my name was entered fourteen times. I almost didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t want to be chosen, but I don’t think I would have been able to cope with sitting around watching another friend die in the arena. Not again.”
This year marks the eighteenth anniversary of The Games, yet another reminder of how the wizarding world will never again try to overthrow the Ministry.
Jacqueline Pollard, The Daily Prophet
I threw the newspaper down on the coffee table and slumped into my seat. I read that exact article every year, only in different wording. Sometimes the victor was like Eliza, terrified and humble. But sometimes they were not. They could be ruthless, spitting that they couldn’t wait to be Chosen, and that they had hoped all through school that they would one day have the honour of having their name drawn.
“Why do you read it if it annoys you so much?” My mum asked without looking up from her book.
“It concerns whether I live or die, I need all the help I can get.” I replied, looking at the ceiling.
“You’re not going to get picked.” Mum said defiantly. I rolled my eyes. We had this argument every year.
“I might.” I countered once again.
Mum slammed her book shut and glared at me. “You will not get picked.” She gave weight to each word, gritting her teeth.
“Okay. Sure.” I sighed and went back to staring at the ceiling.
I could feel Mum’s and Hugo’s eyes burning into me. They were both in extreme denial about it. Hugo was strangely calm, but, of course, his name is only entered eight times, him only being in fourth year. I, however, am in sixth year, with my name entered twelve times.
Tomorrow, in the Great Hall, after the Sorting, they will extract exactly twenty-four names from the goblet. Three boys and three girls from each house. Those twenty-four people will be taken to the arena, where they will fight each other to the death until there is just one person left standing. The whole of the wizarding world watches the whole ordeal like a giant film. Everything that happens in the arena will be seen. My family, the size that it is, has been lucky enough to have only had one name pulled from the goblet. Victiore Weasley was crowned victor four years ago.
“Rose, will you go and pack your trunk, please? You’re leaving in fourteen hours and you still haven’t done it.” Mum had gone back to staring at her book.
“Fine.” I glared at Hugo’s smug look. He, of course, had done it two weeks ago.
I trudged up the stairs to my room. From what you have seen of my relationship with my mother, I was somewhat a ‘disappointment’ to her. With her immense brains, fantastic job, millions of books and collection of awards she has, she expected her children to grow up just like her. Well, only her second child is living up to her expectations. I, Rose Weasley, am about as far from Hermione Granger-Weasley as you can possibly get. I hate schoolwork, don’t enjoy reading, and I am classified as a ‘trouble-maker’ at school I am essentially a whole load of fuck-up rolled into one giant ball of shit, in my mum’s opinion.
Looking around my room, I go through my yearly ritual of taking all my photos down from the wall and putting them into the photo album. These are pictures of me and my friends from over the years.
The first: Me and Dana Moone in first year. Her name was drawn in our second year and she was dead within days.
The second: Gareth Tweedie and Lola Patterson in second year. They were both taken in third year and killed within hours.
The third: Me and Harriet Moseby in first year. She was dead after six days in fourth year.
The fourth: Jason Cunningham. Fortunately, still alive and kicking.
The fifth: Katherine Wenlock and Matthew Watt. Katherine was taken in fourth year and lasted a whole week before being killed. Matthew was the same year, but we watched as he went insane in the arena, killing Harriet and Katherine before being taken out by an avalanche.
And the final one was of me and my best friend, Katie. She made it all the way to fifth year before her name was called. She survived the whole of The Games, until the very last day. It was down to her and Kota, a seventh year who had brutally murdered no less than seventeen of the other tributes. Katie had escaped him by hiding out in the woods for days on end. The Gamemakers eventually forced her out with a pack of wolves, causing a face-to-face with Kota. After that, it was mere minutes before she lay dead and Kota was crowned.
I watched numbly as across the table as Janine Thomas, a girl in fourth year, clutched Francesca Watt’s hand. The school had eaten (not very much, might I add) and McGonagall had just uncovered the cup that the names will be withdrawn from. It was an ugly thing, perfect for the occasion. A rusty gold colour, with none of the intricate designs that covered most goblets. Red flames erupted out of it, flickering brighter than the candles of the roof. I glanced at Al and Jamie, who were sitting on either side of me. The flames reflected lightly off Al’s black hair and Jamie’s bright blue eyes. Jamie Sutton had been transferred from a school in America in our fourth year. In America, instead of just twenty-four tributes, they put sixty into the Games. Jamie’s parents had moved her before they lost her.
“You all know the rules.” McGonagall said bitterly. She hated this just as much as we did, if not more. “Each house provides six tributes. Three girls and three boys. One from each year, second year and above. If your name is called, you immediately move to the room behind the Head Table and await further instruction. Another student may volunteer for a tribute as soon as their name is called, and unless it is the final name for that house or there is a tribute already from their year, the volunteer can be of either gender.” McGonagall sat back down and allowed the ministry official come forward.
He was the usual person, whose name nobody ever remembers. A balding man, with watery grey eyes and thin lips that shakily utter the names spat out by the cup. He had a thin grey moustache that covered his top lip, and little veins broke out all over his face. Jamie’s face wrinkled up in disgust as he tottered forward.
“Welcome, my dear friends,” My eyes narrowed. Friends. “To the eighteenth annual Games!” Silence greeted his proud introduction. Students were shakily starting to hold hands, put arms around each other, preparing for the slaughter list about to be announced. “The first tribute….” His beady eyes swept around to the cup behind him and he held out a shaking hand. The candles around the hall dimmed and the flames in the cup shot a bright white.
A piece of blue parchment flew into the air and was guided back to the man’s hand. Ravenclaw first, then. He glanced at it. “Of the Ravenclaw house, Sheila Chang!” he said in an echoing voice. A whisper shot around the room. Sheila Chang, 2nd Year, the only child of Cho Chang, who had lost her first to these exact means just last year. I watched as Sheila gripped her friend’s hand, before walking up the aisle and into the room, tears shining on her face. She knew she must be heading to her death.
“Of Hufflepuff, Kendall Baxter!” 16-year-old Kendall rose in silence and walked down between the tables, no emotion on his face. He didn’t look at anyone. He would say his goodbyes later.
“Of Slytherin, Nadine Barclova!” The third year girl burst into tears and practically ran through the hall.
“Of Gryffindor, Janine Thomas!” I stared across the table. There was a sharp intake of breathe from Janine and Francesca burst into tears. I reached across the table and squeezed her hand quickly, trying my best to show that it was going to be okay. Apparently it worked, because Janine stood and whispered to Francesca that she would see her later.
As she disappeared through the door, I continued to listen to the list of the doomed.
Maxwell Walker, Ravenclaw, third year.
Chase Finnegan, Hufflepuff, fifth year.
Keisha Abernathy, Slytherin, fourth year.
Trina Goodwin, Gryffindor, second year.
Kevin Gates, Ravenclaw, fourth year.
Harvey Kendall, Hufflepuff, seventh year, Head Boy.
Jackson Ford, Slytherin, fifth year.
“Of Gryffindor house, Lily Potter!”
“NO!” I heard the sound erupt from me, but don’t remember thinking it through. I felt Al grip my left hand as my right found my mouth. I squeezed his hand, and didn’t even have to look at him to feel his pain. That’s his little sister.
“LILY!” A voice shouted from the back of the room at the same time as Lily stood up. She whipped around, took in the sight and immediately started shaking her head. The whole school seemed to turn at the same time.
James Potter was sprinting down the middle of the room.
“I VOLUNTEER.” He yelled when he reached the top. “I volunteer for Lily.”
Lily just stood there in a shocked silence, as whispers spread through the room. Hogwarts had not had a volunteer in years. I saw McGonagall close her eyes and take a deep breathe.
“Name?” The ministry official asked. As if he didn’t know.
“James Potter.” James said, drawing himself up. The man nodded.
“James Potter.” He echoed. “Through you go, then.”
James turned and shot one last look at Lily before turning and walking determinedly out of the hall. Lily had tears dripping down her face and she only sat down when her fourth-year friend grabbed her hand and pulled her down. There was complete silence in the hall as we watched the back of James’ robes whip out of sight. I shall have to say goodbye to him later.
The man moved on immediately.
Lucy Gerald, Ravenclaw, fourth year.
Kayla Stewart, Hufflepuff, second year.
“Of Slytherin, Tatiana Zabini!” I looked over at the emerald table as Tatiana stood up. That’s both Head Boy and Head Girl in the Games this year. Her boyfriend, Scorpius Malfoy, stood up to kiss her goodbye. I felt a slight jolt in my stomach as I looked at him. Instead of the white blonde hair that was the trademark for the Malfoys, Scorpius had more of a golden blonde, like sand. He was tall and muscly, with pale grey eyes and a lean figure. Scorpius Malfoy is the definition of good-looking.
Tatiana pulled away from him, squeezing his hands briefly before walking out of the Hall. He would have his proper goodbye later.
“Of Ravenclaw, Scott Truman!” The man continued. How he keeps his cool through all this is quite beyond me.
I know Scott well. I have played against him in Quidditch. He plays Beater, just like me.
Sean Vietch, Gryffindor, third year.
Maura Shacklebolt, Hufflepuff, fourth year, the Minister’s daughter. She’s been to my house a few times.
Dexter Jamieson, Slytherin, second year.
Frank Longbottom, Gryffindor, fifth year. He’s been to my house more than a few times. He’s a really good friend of mine. I buried my face in Al’s shoulder.
“Of Ravenclaw, Molly Weasley!”
No, not another. First James, now this? I may not be close to her, but she’s still my cousin. She’s the last person from Ravenclaw to be chosen, there’s no-one left to volunteer for her.
Molly stood up, her dark ginger hair tied back in a ponytail. Her thick-rimmed glasses were slipping down her nose again, and she pushed a stray lock of hair behind the ear. That’s one more goodbye for me today.
Aliya Patil, Hufflepuff, third year.
“The final tribute for Slytherin, Scorpius Malfoy!” Once again, murmuring broke out. Scorpius rose in silence and walked through the hall with a blank look on his face. I can only imagine what must be going through his head right now.
Silence fell once more over the hall as he disappeared. One more name to go.
A red piece of parchment shot out of the goblet.
“The final tribute for the eighteenth Games is…” he read the name on the bit of parchment, then looked up.
Oh, hi there.
I know, I know. I already have a story going, but I just love this idea so much! This story is based on 'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins, and is about Rose Weasley having to fight to kill so she can survive. It's going to be reasonably gruesome, so if you don't do well with blood (even in words) don't read this.
Anyway, if you're not already a reader of mine, YOU SHOULD BE. I'm totally kidding. Hi, my name is Coffee, and I'll be your host for the next few chapters. If you want to know more about me, myself, and I, go read my other novel 'Loser Like Me' :) ha, advertising.
Anyway, please do continue to read this! I hope you enjoy it!
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