The Alliance : Weasleys
In the Limelight
Ginny grinned. The quasi-city-planning that they had been focusing the Alliance's days on had seemed to keep the Capital's attention so far, but they all knew it wouldn't last; already the number of natural disasters seemed to be rising steeply. Today, a mere six days in, it was time for part 2: the move to the edge.
Knowing which edge had been almost painfully difficult, but a few sponsor gifts focused heavily on goods from Districts 4, 7, 1, and 2 implied strongly that they were supposed to head west. With that in mind, Ron had decided it was time for the Weasleys to do what they did best: be noticed.
"I figure," Ron said as Roman, gesturing to the rest of Team 13 as they stood on top of one of the cornucopias, "that we'll spend one, maybe two more days finishing up the base. Then we'll go out in a group—no point in reducing our numbers advantage—and slowly make our way across the rest of the arena."
"In our groups?" Neville asked.
"Yeah." Ron said. "I'll give every group a few of the other tributes from each age, so we'll be fairly even."
Fred grinned. "I bet I'm going to find them first."
"And you're basing that off of…?" Ginny butted in, doing her part.
"Oh, you know, just my general amazingness. I got two sponsor gifts yesterday, you know."
"Cologne and strawberries." Ron said. "Not exactly the most useful."
"Eh." Fred shrugged. "I still got 'em, didn't I? One more than everyone else."
"Both of those—and Anika's perfumes—were really for the both of you at once, so really you only got one and a half gifts." Ginny said.
"Still beat you!"
Just as planned, a pinging sound was heard.
"Now watch," Fred said, "As I cement my lead."
Alicia giggled. "We'll see."
"Hey! They're your gifts too—you should be rooting for me."
"Alright, bets." Angelina said. "No one pick up the gift—who bets it's for Sean?"
Fred rose his hand. The rest, to keep it interesting for the Capital, didn't.
"Oh come on! Anika, really?!" He said.
"What?" She said. "I think it's for me."
Angelina made a show of rolling her eyes. "Everyone who bets it's for Sean or Anika, then."
Now both of them, and Harry, rose their hands.
"Thanks Harry." Anika said. "We middle districts have to sit together."
Harry shrunk back, keeping up his wary image. "Yeah."
"Well," Oliver said, "I'm going for Roman. He didn't get anything yesterday but he's been doing all the hard work."
"For Roman, then." Angelina said.
Ron's hand stayed down—he had to seem the leader, and not participate in the betting—but Oliver', Neville', and Luna's hands went up.
"Ooh, a tie!" Malie said. "Do me next!"
"Fine, Malie." Up went her hand, Katie's, and Hermione's. "Really? Another tie? Well, I can't vote—I'm taking the bets. Roman?"
Roman shrugged. "Don't care. Just hope it's useful."
Angelina shrugged. "Alright, comes down to you, Garin."
Percy stared at her.
She stared back.
Here's the thing. Malie might be… unusual, as far as tributes from District 1 go, but she was still from District 1. And Roman was still from District 2. And the two of them were, to their very core, seen as Career Districts.
So over the past couple days Team 13 had walked a tightrope. The Capital expected and wanted the Careers to succeed, to excel, to take the limelight and run with it. But that was the status quo. That was the 'nothing's going to change.' Draco was almost definitely doing all the hard work actually preparing for the scale of the coming revolution, but there was no reason why those in the arena shouldn't do what they could too; to warn who they could too."
And Percy was from District 4, the borderline Career.
"I choose Anika and Sean." He said. Malie gasped, and he elaborated; "I just think everyone's kind of tired of the Careers. It's time for a change of pace, you know? A new era?"
"Alright, let's open it." Angelina said. Malie grabbed it and, with as much dramatic flourish as she could possibly fit into the motion, flipped it over to display the two numbers on the other side: 13 02.
"Aw." Fred said.
"Give it time. I can think of a few things we can do to catch their attention." Alicia said.
Then Malie grinned. "Guess the Careers still have it."
As one, every non-Career shrugged. Only Percy spoke though; "for now."
Below them, ideally completely ignored by everyone who had access to the cameras, the District 4 kids had decided to "take a break" while Team 13 was deciding next moves. Their "break" was teaching every other kid how to swim.
As Team 13 planned, joked, and bickered, the less noticeable tributes—many of which would have already been dead by now in traditional games—were adapting as quickly as they could to the undercurrent of revolt they'd found themselves swept up in.
Team 13 had had 13 years of preparation.
The rest of the Alliance, at best, had around 13 days.
But when every error might mean death, each and every one was very, very motivated to do very, very well.