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With her blessing

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With her blessing

Year of the 75th Hunger Games – May 8th

Helen enters her son’s house knowing he will be awake and probably in the kitchen, the house is the one that was assigned to him after winning the 74th Hunger games. She still has not gotten used to the opulence of it, for her, it is not a home as it is not welcoming to either its resident or his guests. Peeta asked his family to move in with him, but being the only bakery in District 12 they could not as they would have to be up even earlier than usual to make the trek back to town, and that was already saying something. So they decided to stay in town and roll-out days to visit or stay with Peeta at his Victor’s house.

Today was her turn and, if she is correct, it is a special day. She brought with her something that she intends to give his son to mark the occasion. Her gift is simple but it carries a lot of thought, it is from her side of the family and it has belong to them for generations past. Given from mother to son, the ring in her purse is something she intends for Peeta. She knows they plan to have a Toasting before the Quell and today is the perfect day to present the ring to his intended.

She enters the kitchen and, as expected, his son is there decorating an intricate birthday cake with primroses, katniss flowers and dandelions. He is serene, completely focused on his task so he does not hear her. She just watches him for one minute (or ten, she cannot really say) before she interrupts to give him the ring and her blessing.


Interlude

Peeta and Katniss got married in a private toasting ceremony the weekend before The Reaping. She wears the ring in a leather strip tied to her signature braid, it is just barely visible when the light hits it just right. Only her family and his know they have bonded by their ancient rites. Katniss does not tell her hunting parter or their mentor.

The Mellarks announced they will close the bakery from the day of The Reaping to the day they bring their children back (death or alive goes without saying). They decide to move into Peeta’s house, in a need to be a isolated from the pity of the people in town, and close to the only other family that is going through the same as them. Helen cries every night in her husband arms until sleep takes her.       


Year of the 75th Hunger Games – July 11th

A week after The Reaping ceremony, Helen wakes to a thunderous sound. Disoriented with sleep she looks outside the window and gasps at the scenery that awaits her gaze. The town is burning. Long red flames lick the old buildings as a child linking the sweetest candy. The night is made more dense due to the heavy black smoke from the burning wood. She is brought back out of her stupor when she is yanked from the window by her husband, he is yelling at her something that just does not register in her brain. She is in shock. She thinks of Peeta.

They move outside the house and run into the Everdeens, in silent agreement they all run to the forest fence… where they hope the rest of the population of the District is moving. They know they have to leave the district if they want to survive the attack, and they know the forest is their best chance to do so. They will have to bring the fence down somehow, but she suspects that it is no longer working, with the flaming town, there is little chance the electricity is up. 


Interlude

The District 12 survivors followed Gale Hawthorne to a lake deep in the forest. They were a small number but with many injured in their ranks. They also had to find a way to feed them all. Somehow they managed.

Two days later they were found by a group of soldiers, they say they are their allies from District 13 and that they have The Mockingjay and some of the other Victors that were in the 3rd Quarter Quell arena. Helen hopes one of them is her son.  


Year of the 75th Hunger Games – October 31st

Helen watched Peeta from her seat at her assigned table. Even if they were family, soldiers and civilians ate at different sections of the canteen. That is why she can only watch her boy from afar. He looks happy and really engaged in the conversation around him, but she knew better. He was preoccupied and nervous. Katniss was away in a tour promoting the rebellion and because they were in different squadrons he did not go with her. Nor that it would have make much difference in the eyes of the District 13 residents and upper ranks. They all thought that Katniss and Peeta were now only passing acquaintances with a similar goal of destroying the Capitol and its regime.

Katniss and Peeta had decided to keep their relationship (and marital status) a secret. They thought that the Rebels or the Capitol would try to take advantage of it (and in the case of the Rebels even try to destroy it) so they preferred to not take any chances in anything happening of either of them. The only one that they included in the secret was Haymitch Abernathy, he was the only public link to either of them and they needed him to keep the Rebels from trying to fabricate a new relationship for Katniss with someone else (her hunting partner came to mind). Also he would arrange meetings with “his Victors” in a weekly basis – he was still their mentor and nobody opposed to the cantankerous man (except for the hunting partner) – and they would use that time for themselves (Helen cringed when thinking what exactly her son and his wife did on their alone time so she did try not to linger to much on that thought).

Helen was not really on board of so much secrecy, but knew it was best for them for the time being, a loved one was too much leverage in times of war; no matter the side you were fighting for. She just hoped that after this all ended, Katniss and Peeta could return to each other and help themselves heal.


Interlude

Katniss was shot when she was in District 2. Peeta was not allowed in the hospital wing to see her as he was not family but for some reason Gale Hawthorne was – a propo was made with the footage of that visit. Lavender, Katniss’ mother, and Primrose managed to sneak him in once she was awake. Their reunion was heartbreaking for everyone that witness it. Prim managed to retrieve her leather strip with the ring attached to it and keep it until Katniss was discharged. It went back to be interlaced to her braid then.

The siege to the Capitol was imminent and Katniss and Peeta were expected to participate. They were not in the same squadron still.


Year of the 76th Hunger Games – February 2nd

The Capitol has fallen. The cost was not as high as everyone thought. Helen had to admit that Boggs was a good strategist and the take out of the Capitol was done with minimum damage to the city and its inhabitants and almost no casualties from the Rebel side.

The main looses on either side where their commanders. Alma Coin was killed by the Capitol’s counter-air defense system as they brought down three hovercrafts that were approaching the Capitol with an skeleton crew that where under her command; Boggs later commented he didn’t knew they had those in their arsenal and where not part of the siege to the Capitol so shutting down that particular defense system was not a priority even when requested by Coin herself on a previous briefing.

President Snow was shot when trying to scape, the squadron tasked to capture him found him death by an arrow to his eye; Beetee later commented that the arrow that killed Snow was designed for a small crossbow, they could not be shoot using a longbow such as the one that carried the Mockingjay.

The Peacekeepers surrendered with minimum fight back; Haymitch later discovered that Snow had lost their allegiance when he failed to remove the contingent in District 12 before it was bombed.

Helen just felt grateful all her family was alive.


Interlude

The Capitol fell and a interim government was instated. Boggs was named commander in chief of the New Republic of Panem. His first act in the chair was to abolish the Hunger Games. Trials took place and all the assets from the Capitol were frozen. Reparations of war would be distributed to the Districts once they got to an agreement.  

Peeta and Katniss decided to keep their relationship secret still, but they will be moving back to Twelve together after Katniss settles her mother and Prim on sunny District Four. The Mellarks decided to go back to District 12 as well, they felt the same as most of the survivors and wanted to restore their home. Life was starting to be good again.


  Year of the 76th Hunger Games – September 1st

Helen was looking for Katniss, Peeta had instructed his mother to give her the sack of cheese buns he made just for her; the Everdeens where finally moving to District Four that day and Peeta was getting a new leg to accommodate a growth spurt from this last summer so he could not give the treats himself.

She reached the Mockingjays quarters and was about to knock, when she stopped as she heard voices from across the door. And she could not avoid but be curious and didn’t interrupt but kept in place and listened.

“Katniss, why don’t you come to District Two with me once you settle your family in Four? With both your mother and Prim occupied with the Hospital and School you will be mostly alone. And, you know, now that there is no pressure from either side, we can move our friendship to another level.”

Helen was afraid this would happen. Katniss was in the same squadron as Gale and while she stopped his advances during the war and the months after, she never really discouraged him completely.

“Another level? As in a romantic relationship? I don’t think so Gale. I don’t love you like you want me to, and I never will. As for being alone in Four, you are right and that is why I am not staying with them, I am going back to Twelve with my husband’s family once everything is sorted out with my mom’s and Prims living arrangements and with the Hospital and School.”

Helen couldn’t help but smile at her statement, when Katniss wanted she could make her point across in no uncertain terms.

“Husband? You are married?” Helen heard Gale almost shout in surprise.

“Yes Gale, I am married and I love Peeta deeply, unlike with you I am in love with him. I think Peeta was very clear when he announced we were married in his interview. That nobody believed him and that we just went with the tide so no to put either of us at risk, well that was just a plus.”

Helen decided that this was a good time as any to interrupt, and if her presence and the cheese buns helped to drive Katniss´ point across, well, that was just a plus.


 Interlude

The community of District 12 slowly brought the town back to life. They received help from the new government in the form of construction materials and several experts in construction and electric systems. One of the first buildings to be finished was Mellarks’ Bakery.

The family decided to have some living quarters above it for her husband and her, and opted to construct several houses nearby for the rest of the family. That included Katniss and Peeta, they would not be going back to Victor’s Village, those houses were reserved for the largest families coming back to the District.  

Their world was slowly getting back into its axis.


  Year Seven of the New Republic of Panem – December 25th

Helen enters her son’s and daughter’s-in-law home knowing Peeta will be awake and probably in the kitchen, their home is the one that they constructed during the restoration period of District 12. She still cannot believe how much their home reflects both of them; for her, it was a really homey setting and inviting to all guests. Peeta and all his family lived nearby the bakery and they all took turns to open it. Except Katniss, she still went to the woods to get fresh game (and Helen suspected also when she needed the solitude, but everyone respect that and nobody pressured her… well maybe Rye but he certainly never got the social clues right).

Today was a very special day and she brought with her something that she intends to give his son and his wife to mark the occasion. Her gift is simple but it carries a lot of thought, it is from her side of the family and it has belong to them for generations past. Given from mother to son, the baby blanket in her purse is something she intends for Peeta and Katniss first child. She knows Katniss is pregnant and today is the perfect day to present them with it.

She enters the kitchen and, as expected, his son is there decorating an intricate cake in the shape of a log but he has included primroses, katniss flowers and dandelions. He is as focused in his task as he can with Katniss feeding him strawberries while regaling him with one of her hunting stories. They are so distracted with each other neither hears her when she enters. She just watches the couple for one minute (or ten, she cannot really say) before she interrupts to give them the blanket and her congratulations.

All is right with the world.

 

THE END