The less said about Draco's feelings when he realized he had been born, once again, into the place of privilege, the better. Being born in the Capitol was bad enough—their use of slaves made their heartlessness clear before Draco could even speak—but no, as well as that he also had to be the grandnephew of "President" Varus Gaius, and his only surviving descendent to boot; Draco's grandfather had already died of cancer, and his mother during childbirth.
There wasn't a moment in his childhood where he wasn't doted on, not a single desire that went unfulfilled, not a single thing he did without fifty eyes on him.
And if that weren't bad enough he was named Domitian.
At least (and thank Merlin there was an at least) he knew that the other twelve really had arrived. He hadn't been sure at first—he'd developed an interest in people watching for the first couple years of his life which was laughingly enabled by his nannies—but finally, when he was four, a movie came out about an alien invasion, and right there on the very first poster he saw for it stood Ginny—apparently acting as the daughter of the main character.
He'd moved fast, after that; spent time reasoning through what was likely to happen given Death's words before their rebirth, popularized Ginny's movies so that it was that much easier to have her come over as entertainment for one of his birthdays, became a beloved media sensation himself and one that was well-respected despite his young age.
All his work was clearly beneficial when his great uncle had begun introducing him to his closest allies, using the right to meet his grandnephew as a sign of status and trust which quickly had prominent adults acting like his own personal avoxes on the off-chance that if they didn't he might ruin them.
(That part, he would admit only to himself, was kind of fun.)
Several days after the 99th Games had ended Domitian was called to his grand uncle's side.
Domitian's tutoring lessons had been canceled for the evening, and instead one of the president's private hover crafts picked him up at around five in the afternoon.
"Granduncle!" Domitian said, grinning as he was ushered into the President's sitting room. "I didn't know that I'd get to see you today."
"Yes, my boy." Granduncle said (a habit of his which finally caused Domitian to realize why Harry had so disliked when Dumbledore had done the same), "I'd like you to meet someone." He turned, gesturing to the other person in the room who Domitian had (according to the ever-odd traditions of the Capitol) ignored until now.
"Hello." The man said. "My name is Tercel Thrax."
"Ah." Domitian said in recognition. "You're the new game master." Thrax had already, Domitian knew, run a grand total of three games, all of which were far more popular than his predecessor's—a man named Pontius Aurelia—had ever been. It was a bit funny that he'd had to introduce himself according to social custom, but then in this situation Domitian was his superior.
"And this," Granduncle introduced taking the position of superior to them both, "is my grandnephew Domitian."
"It is truly a pleasure." Thrax said. Domitian was sure it was—being given access to him was a sign that the president probably wouldn't kill you anytime soon and might actually like you, a hard level to reach.
"I enjoyed the games." Domitian said, for lack of any other subject to discuss. "I'm glad you're not going the Venus route." That was a bit of a wry comment, honestly, and not one Domitian felt entirely comfortable making, but he knew it would land well—everybody had been disappointed when the former game master had thought making the arena mimic Venus had been a good idea and the viewers had been forced to watch contestants kill each other in full boy suits and helmets—the air being too toxic for anything else.
Granduncle and Thrax both laughed, though the latter's was a bit more strained—well, that wasn't a surprise, really. It wasn't as if anyone actually thought Pontius committed suicide.
"Actually," Granduncle said, "it was that which I wished for you to talk about. We have begun preparations for the Centennial Games, and I was wondering if there was anything in particular you wished to see."
For all the mysteries of this world, one thing Domitian was oddly certain of was that his Granduncle's love for him was real. Domitian, for his part, was probably just about the closest thing to a perfect grandnephew the man could get: despite his upbringing he was smart, unspoilt, apparently idolized the man, and incredibly polite for all that he made it clear to his granduncle that he could see the way the world actually worked too.
So he knew—and Thrax likely suspected—that his Granduncle really was asking in earnest. To a point.
The question was, what did he want? He had to pick something, and it had to be something feasible that both men could appreciate and yet not so obvious that it wasn't already being done anyway. And, preferably, it also had to help with his other goal—getting his fellows together for as long as possible before the rebellion was spotted.
"It might be a bit difficult to manage," Draco said at last, "but what if you had eight tributes from every district? One for each age. You could even guarantee that all of one age will be allowed to live at the end of the Games, to encourage them to work in large alliances—the only ones we regularly see are with districts 1, 2, and 4, and those tend to be fairly small and short lived."
Thrax sat back in thought. This wouldn't be an impossible complication, Domitian knew, and it also harkened back to the 50th Games, when they'd had twice as many competitors. "I think..." the new game master said finally, "that that is a very good idea. President Gaius?"
The man smiled. "I quite like it myself. A masterful salute to the one hundred years of peace the Games have gifted us."
"Yes," Crane said, "I'll start preparations for that immediately." He had an undertone of relief, now, no doubt happy that Domitian's suggestion was one that he'd have no problem following.
Small talk ensued—conversations, primarily, about how hard everyone was working to ensure the success of these games, and idle chitchat over who was likely to sponsor big this year. Domitian mostly stayed out of the conversation, listening attentively but making no move to put the spotlight on himself, and soon it was time for the game master to make his goodbyes.
"That was a well thought out proposal." His grand uncle said as the door closed behind Thrax. "It'll be an interesting Game to watch, certainly."
"I think I'll root for the 13 year-olds." Domitian said. "Might as well support my own team, right?"