Hello readers :) Im back with another one-shot. I actually REALLY like this idea and Ive got a story planned out for this, weirdly enough. I put this up as a one-shot/ extract, yes, but if I receive enough feedback and a want for this to be made into a story, I'll definitely give it a shot (: So let me know! I know there isn't much Dramione at all but it's supposed to develop in the story if I write it :P Enjoy guys xx
-This extract is inspired from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins :)
It was the first year. Everybody knew that they would do something. Something bad. But this? It was completely unexpected. Death-eaters were meant to put you under the cruciatus curse and watch while you convulsed on the floor, while you slowly lost your mind. But this? It was more than insane... People guessed that they would overthrow the Ministry but nobody thought they'd see the day where students would have to fight against each other- twenty four of us. Only one survivor.
A hand clamping down on mine tightly brought me back to reality. Slapped me back into reality more like. I looked to my right where Ginny sat. Her hands were shaking and her eyes showed how scared she was. I looked around me. Harry, Ron, Lavender, Seamus, Dean, Neville- everyone had the same expression on their face. The other houses were'nt any different. Not even the Slytherins. Today, we were all equally scared. Two students from each house would walk to their deaths today. Eight of us. One of us had a chance to survive, if anything. Seven would still die. It was inevitable.
I looked at Ron- who had left me for Lavender earlier this month. They had been together a while but nobody bothered telling me. Harry and Ginny were together. I prayed that they weren't selected. Let it be me- just not her. The Ministry had been overthrown a month ago. Ginny had found out that she was pregnant two months ago. She just couldn't be selected... Neville was looking across the hall, I noticed. I followed his gaze. Hannah Abbott. The short pretty dark haired witch from Hufflepuff. She had tears running down her cheeks as her eyes locked with Neville's. I turned to Neville, who was seated beside me. He was shaking his head, silently telling her not to cry.
I felt a lump form in my throat as I took in Harry and Ron. My best friends since first year. What would happen if one of us got chosen? What if two of us got selected? I shook the thought out of my head... I couldn't afford to think like that right now.
A throat was cleared and we all turned to the stage. The moment was almost here. The masked man stood on stage. Our stage. The stage we had seen Dumbledore address us from since first year. This was our hall. One of the places we all felt safe in. But that's all gone now.
"Welcome to Bloodlust ", He said, his voice gruff. "You all know the rules of this game. Eight tributes from this school, four from Durmstrang, four from Beuxbatons, four from Jawstens and four from Delists. Twenty-four tributes. One Arena. One survivor. One Victor. This is to show all of you what happens when we are in command. When The Dark Lord's followers take over the rest of you. Harry Potter won by chance. Bloodlust is not about chance. It's about skill. And in the end, it's not the Victor who wins. It's us. Good luck."
He stepped forward and reached into a cauldron. "Ladies first." Even though it was us who were going to be selected first, the entire hall- boys and teachers included- held their breathes.
"From Ravenclaw house- Bonnie Wikham." There were sharp intakes of breathe from the Ravenclaw house and several students broke down crying. I didn't know Bonnie personally but a lot of people did. I was just glad that, as selfish as it sounded, Luna was not picked.
"Oh, before I continue- I must remind you all that Bloodlust is not a game with magic." Everybody's eyebrows furrowed together. "You heard correctly. Wands are not allowed in the arena. Everything will be done the muggle way." The hall fell silent- the sobs had stopped. The muggle way? Purebloods wouldn't last without magic... What the hell were they playing at?
The death-eater stuffed his hand back into the cauldron beside the previous one and pulled out another piece of parchment.
"Hufflepuff house- Hannah Abbott."
No! My mouth fell open and Ginny's grip on my hand tightened. Not Hannah... I looked at Neville, whose mouth had fallen open. Tears were beginning to fill his eyes and he was shaking his head very slowly. God, not Hannah...
"Come up on stage, both of you", The death-eater said, waving them over, "Congratulations!" This was sick... So sick....
The two girls stood shakily to their feet, their hands fisted around the fabric of their white skirts. Tears were streaming down their cheeks. Obviously...
They reached the stage and holding each other's hands, they went up.
"Good good. State your name, age and blood status." He didn't need to amplify her voice like he did. The hall was quiet enough to hear a pin drop.
"Bonnie Wi-Wikham", The blonde Ravenclaw stammered, "Eighteen, half-blood."
A few sobs echoed around the hall.
"H-Hannah Ab-Abbott", Hannah said, trying to look strong by wiping away her tears hastily, "Eighteen, Pureblood."
"Thank you Ms.Wikham and Ms.Abbott", The death-eater nodded. He moved to the next cauldron.
"Slytherin House- Hayley Parkinson".
"NO!" A cry cut through the hall. Everybody looked to the Slytherin table where Pansy Parkinson was clinging on to a younger version of her, whose body was racking with sobs. Pansy's sister had come with her to Hogwarts for the selection? She would have had less of a chance being selected from Jawstens, where she had studied. But then it hit me. If she had been chosen there and Pansy had been selected here- they would be put against each other. One would die for sure. And knowing these games, they would end up watching the other die...
"Griffindor house-" No one had even noticed him move to the next cauldron. "-Ginevra Weasley."
My heart stopped beating. The only parts of me functioning were my mind and my hand, which had gripped the hand in mine so tightly that I was sure her hand was close to breaking.
Ginny... Sweet, innocent, young Ginny. Ron's sister. Molly and Arthur's only daughter. Harry's fiancÚ and his child's mother. And my best friend and... Pansy wouldn't be the only one watching her sister walk to her death.
No... Ginny... She was the one girl who knew me better than anybody else. I vaguely registered her telling me she loved me before extracting her hand from mine and standing up. But I couldn't respond. I was frozen with shock. With fear. I still couldn't breathe. Ginny... My throat constricted and my head felt heavy...
If she was taken away from us... There would be too much loss. More people would be affected than if someone like me was taken away. I had no family left. I had no boyfriend. I had my best friends. But Ginny? She had so much more... More people would be affected than if someone like me was taken away... Someone like me...
The Great Hall stilled. I was finally able to move again and I raised my eyes to meet deep green. But Harry's wasn't the only ones looking at me. Every single pair of eyes were trained on me. And I suddenly realized that my whisper had been heard through the entire hall. My whisper... I had spoken without realizing it.
"What was that?" The surprised but amused voice of the death-eater asked, "You volunteer?"
I rose slowly to my feet. Neville's hand had found mine and was holding it tightly, giving me silent support. My eyes didn't leave Harry's. I could see the battle in his eyes. Be happy that Ginny wasn't being sent to the arena... Versus watching me being sent there.
"Yes, I volunteer as tribute." My voice came out much more confident than I was.
"Hermione, no!" Ginny cried. She was about to coming running towards me when another voice cut through the silence.
"I volunteer as well." My eyes shifted from Harry's to the Slytherin table.
Pansy was standing shakily to her feet, one of her hands clasped in Blaise Zabini's hand and the other in Draco Malfoy's. She was looking at me. Into my eyes now.
"Well well well", The man on stage said, laughing a bit, "Isn't this interesting? I'm sorry Miss Parkinson but rules say that you are not allowed to volunteer to take the place of a family member." Pansy's eyes snapped towards the Death-eater and so did mine. So did everyone's.
He was smirking, an evil glint in his eyes that were visible even from so far away. It wasn't hard to tell that he had just made that rule up...
I looked at Hayley Parkinson. She was standing half way to the stage, frozen. Not sure what to do. She was the youngest amongst us all. Barely sixteen if my estimation was correct. Pansy wanted to take her place. But she wasn't allowed to.
"You didn't let me finish what I was saying", I heard myself say. Everyone turned back to me. I held Pansy's eyes as I said, "I volunteer to take the place of Hayley Parkinson." Gasps were heard all around the hall and whispers and mummers broke out. I had betrayed Ginny... My best friend... I had betrayed Griffindor house. They hadn't realized yet...
Pansy didn't break eye contact. Her eyebrows came together. Confusion. Shock. I was pleading with her silently. My face held nothing but confidence but my eyes held everything I needed to say. She needed to understand what I had just done. I had just sacrificed myself for her sister. And I needed her to do the same for mine.
But instead I watched as she sat slowly down, never leaving my eyes. I squeezed my eyes shut as the whispers grew louder. What had I just done... I was going to have to be with Ginny in the arena now... But I could protect her, I could-
"I volunteer to take Ginevra Weasley's place". My eyes snapped open to see her standing up once again. Fear but determination in her eyes.
"Oh..." I looked down and Harry was looking at me, understanding and realization dawned on him. I had volunteered for Hayley with hope that Pansy would understand what I was doing and volunteer for Ginny. The results would be the same in the end. Both of us instead of both of them.
"Well, then", The death-eater said. "Come on up on stage both of you. I'm impressed- our first Bloodlust and we already have volunteers." He waved us on to the stage and I stepped out of my seat.
I passed Ginny, unable to look at her. I knew she was crying without having to see it. Guilt and fear and shock on her face. She had understood what I had done. The whole hall had.
She grabbed my arm and pulled me towards her, crying in my face.
"You can't go, 'Mione!" She screamed. "You can't do this for me!" I pulled my arm away and looked her in the eye.
"I'm doing it for Hayley. Go tell Pansy." I said. "Ginny, go sit down. You'll be okay." She grabbed my arm. I looked to Neville and he knew what I wanted. He stood up and removed Ginny from me. She reached out to me, crying but I stepped away from her. Neville put his arm around the redhead's waist and pulled her back to the table, forcing her to sit down. I looked towards the Slytherin table where a similar scene was going on- Daphne Greengrass pulling Hayley away from her sister.
Catching each other's eye, Pansy and I walked parallely to the stage. I took a deep, shuddering breath and walked up the stairs. Hannah and Bonnie were standing at one side, holding eachother's hands tightly.
"Congratulations", The man said and I had the urge to strangle him. I immediately placed my guard up in my mind. They knew legillemency and I wasn't going to take a risk.
"You're name, age and blood status", He said, flicking his wand at us and amplifying our voices.
"Pansy Parkinson, nineteen, Pureblood", It was easy to see that she was trying to be strong but her slightly shaking voice gave her away.
I swallowed hard, determined not to give them a chance to think that I was even a little weak. "Hermione Granger, nineteen... Muggleborn."
The death-eater laughed loudly. "You mean a Mudblood?" He spat the last word.
I opened my mouth to retort and tell me to stuff it when movement at the Slytherin table made me stop mid-action.
Blaise Zabini was shaking his head- his action barely visible. But I could see it because he wasn't the only one. Draco Malfoy, Theodore Nott, Daphne Greengrass, Millicent Bulstrode- they were all shaking their heads. But not in a mocking way, not in a discouraging way- nothing of that sort. It was more like a warning.
"Don't argue" Several voices in my ear suddenly hissed. My eyes widened and looked around the hall. No one had heard. They were all waiting for my response. But they knew what I was going to say... They knew I'd argue...
I looked back to the group. That's when I noticed it. Blaise was whispering something under his breathe. I narrowed my eyes slightly, trying to figure out what was going on. All of their mouths moved slightly and the voice reached my ear again.
"Granger, don't argue."
And for once, I bit my retort back and looked the death-eater in the eye and said, "Yes. A mudblood."
"Smart girl, no arguments", He said, nodding his head. We were asked to shake hands with the other tributes and then he spoke again. "Now for the boy tributes."
"From Hufflepuff house- Justin Corson." A young black-haired boy of about fifteen stood up, tears shining in his eyes. The entire table sat shocked, tears slowly making their way down their cheeks. He was so young...
"From Ravenclaw house- Casper Triste." A brown haired boy that I recognized from the year below us stood up. He, like me, refused to look at anybody. He put up a mask of confidence on his face and stepped away from his table. They came together up on stage and announced their credentials.
Justin Corson, Fifteen, Half-blood.
Casper Triste, Eighteen, Pureblood.
Then it was Slytherin house. I saw Pansy tense up beside me, praying under her breathe that it wasn't someone close. She had stopped breathing. I suddenly realized that so had I once the name was announced.
"Slytherin house-" The man said, his voice full of twisted mirth, "-Draco Malfoy."
I heard Pansy choke back a sob but I didn't look at her. My eyes were trained on the Slytherin table where I saw the always-confident blonde haired boy's cold, unwavering front drop. His eyes darted between his friends, shock evident in his eyes, nervousness etched on to his face. Draco Malfoy was the purest of purebloods- having to survive without magic... Was it possible for him?
My attention was suddenly snapped away from him when I heard the Griffindor house's tribute being announced.
"Griffindor house-" Please don't be someone I know! Gods, please don't! Let it be someone I- "Seamus Finnigan." No...
No! No! No!
The entire hall had fallen silent. And suddenly- sobbing. Most of the Griffindor table had broken down. Harry and Ron were staring, shocked, at Seamus. Dean had his head in his hands, his body shaking. Ginny was openly sobbing into Neville's shoulder, who was completely frozen.
"Come on up, you two." Malfoy and Seamus stood up, both trying to look confident. I noticed Malfoy's tough front was back up again but Seamus looked a little weary. I don't blame him...
"Name, age, blood status."
"Draco Malfoy, nineteen, Pureblood." And for once, he didn't state his blood status with pride. He knew that it would probably be the thing that got him killed.
"Seamus Finnigan, nineteen, half-blood."
"Shake hands with your fellow tributes". Seams and Malfoy shook hands with everybody and finally reached us.
Seamus stood in front of me. He clasped my hand tightly, looking straight into my eyes. At least one of us would die... I felt the edges of my eyes blur. No! I wasn't going to show weakness!
"Don't you dare cry", Seamus whispered, squeezing my hand. I nodded and blinked my tears away rapidly. He moved to Pansy while Malfoy came in front of me.
"Breathe, Granger", He said in an undertone and I suddenly realized that I was holding my breathe. He held his hand out and I took it, releasing a shaky breathe. He smirked, "We don't want you dead before the games." I don't know why I did it, but I smiled weakly. He moved on to Pansy and held her hand tightly. She was looking away from him, tears in her eyes.
"Head held high, Pans", He whispered. She looked up and nodded, doing as he said. "Be strong." He went to stand beside her as Seamus stood in between me and Pansy. We were all standing in a line. The death-eater asked us to step forward and we did so, standing at the edge of the stage- facing our friends. Our family.
"A round of applause for our tributes!"
No one stirred. And I was glad they didn't. Why should they clap? Because we were going to die?
And then one hand rose, wand clapsed in his hand, pointing to the ceiling. Blaise Zabini. Another wand rose. Ginny. Ron. Harry. Neville. Dean. Hayley. Theodore. Daphne. Luna. Ernie.
And suddenly every student had their wands in the air. The last time I had seen this was when the entire Hogwart's body was surrounding Dumbledore while he lay dead on the ground below the Astronomy Tower. It was a sign of respect. That the person would be missed.
The tributes linked hands. The wands weren't lowered. This was our last moment in peace before Bloodlust began.
So what did you guys think? Please please let me know :) Thank you for reading and for my TOR and TRTL readers, I'm sorry I haven't updated, I just HAVE NOT had time to write because of my exams and school work but Im definitely not abandoning the stories, EVER. Please just give me some time! I'll be posting things Ive already written in the meantime.