Katniss looked across the room at the returning tributes from District 1. The boy had striking blonde hair and pale skin, and wore a smug look upon his face that suggested he knew something the rest of the room didn’t. The girl’s chocolate brown hair fell in waves around her nervous smile and she was gripping the boy’s wrist tightly, handcuffing him with her fingers. They fit the description of the usual Capitol lapdogs from the Career districts - attractive and strong, a perfect team for the audience to go nuts for. Yet they gave off a familiar vibe that Katniss could not place.
“That’s them,” whispered Haymitch. “I told you that you’d need allies for the Quarter Quell, and that’s who I would like you to befriend.
Katniss had to stop herself from snorting. She glanced at Peeta, whose eyebrows were playfully raised, awaiting the storm that occurred when a fight broke out between her and Haymitch. He would let the bickering pass and gently place his hand on the small of her back to remind her that he was still there. It usually quieted her down, much to Haymitch’s pleasure.
“Why them?” she asked. “The Capitol has them under their thumb. And I heard that neither of them won from hand-to-hand combat. They simply waited for their opponents to die off.”
It was Haymitch’s turn to smirk. “That’s Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger. I can’t tell you yet why they’re useful, but know that they are. They have special…capabilities…that no one is quite aware of yet.”
Katniss stared at Haymitch and then turned to Peeta. His eyes were confused, but soft, and they confirmed that she should listen to their somewhat off-balance mentor. Haymitch was sober today, after all.
Katniss turned and saw Draco’s arm snaking around Hermione’s waist and wondered if they were putting on a show for the games as she and Peeta had. But as she watched the two tributes whisper and saw the quick press of Draco’s lips to Hermione’s neck, she knew it was real.
Then, she realized. The familiarity of these tributes’ relationship was its similarity to her and Peeta. Draco and Hermione would protect each other to no end, and according to Haymitch they would protect the tributes from District 12 too.
Let the games begin, thought Katniss, and started towards her new “friends.”