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Jun 04, 2020 10:01 AM
Lily Evans and Severus Snape are selected for the Hunger Games
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“...No.”

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............... No? 

Ugh, why does she have to do politics, she was just coming around to the idea that maybe the Hunger Games was the part of her life where she got to be gloriously free of social games and just either be unambiguously nice to people or righteously goddamn stab them.  

She sighs and makes an inviting face: do tell, brilliant strategist. 

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“That makes you look weak. Invites the other tributes to attack you. And sets the Capitol up as your enemy. Not a good image.”

He pauses.

”I don’t know what angle you should try instead.”

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Valentina mentally files this exchange away for further inspection later. He doesn’t know as much as he thinks he does. All the same, she knows which one she’d put her money on.

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“Actually, Snape,” she interjects tartly, “innocence is very much in vogue. I see her playing the confused and wounded ingenue quite easily. It’s a good story, too.”

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Valentina is such a bitch.

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Score one for sometimes-maybe-cunning. 

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But - that did seem like a perfectly reasonable analysis defeated only by facts about current Capitol trends her friend had no way of knowing. 

She smiles at him, bright sincere you're very clever and this error isn't your fault. "That made sense though, Sev, it's just lucky for me that I happen to be in vogue." 

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What a suck-up this girl is. It's no wonder she was voted into the Games.

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He really hates when she smiles at him like that. The condescension alone is unbearable.

"I think," he bites out, "that Lily was going for something more righteous. She said she wanted to believe in pacifism, not that she wanted to be a shrinking violet."

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Lily, of course, hasn't the faintest idea she is being judged. (No wonder she was voted into the Games.) 

"Yeah, definitely not, but you can be wounded without being weak," they had maybe had this argument already actually but let's move on before it starts again, "or at least I expect it's possible to look charmingly fixably so, so that sponsors will think I am cute and want to save me?" She looks at Valentina for confirmation that this is the idea she was going for. "And then ideally they give me enough resources that I can defend myself when I do inevitably find myself in a situation where pacifism is clearly no longer appropriate. Right?" 

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“I haven’t the faintest what you’re on about, girl.”

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“Your plotline isn’t that you’re vulnerable and need people to save you. It’s that you’re innocent and then the Games corrupt you, revealing your latent murderous tendencies. By the interview, you’re already showing signs of cracking.”

By the interview. By the middle of the train ride, more like.

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" ... oh, I see, okay, I think I misunderstood what you meant when you said 'in vogue', okay, thank you for clarifying." Nod, nod.  

She wants to say, what, no, I don't have any latent murderous tendencies, but she has an unsettling sense that she'd be told this was false, too, and doesn't really want to hear it. 

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That doesn't make any sense but whatever. She's had enough of the female tribute to last a lifetime.

She turns her attention to the male. "So, Severus, what's this persona you've been so cagey about?"

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On one hand, he's not really in the habit of telling odious Capitol fashionistas who are offputtingly interested in him about his plans. On the other, Valentina does appear to have some level of insight into the Games process.

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"I'll be cold. Aloof. Talk about my tendencies to rip off butterfly wings and my ambitions to work on the factory line killing things, knee-deep in blood. They'll love it. It works every year."

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... This is fine and she is not the slightest bit unsettled by the mental image. 

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"You don't think I'm capable of it?"

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"I'm sure you're capable of it, I just think you're better than that and I don't like that it's probably necessary." 

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"I'm not better than myself." He doesn't sound defensive.

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Valentina is watching with interest.

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For a moment, Lily feels like they're back at home, happily arguing over interpreting a scrap of a half-rotted book someone found buried in a mine shaft, and her whole affect lights up. 

"But yourself is such a broad concept!" she says. "I mean, of course you're right that you can't meaningfully be-right-now be better or worse than how-you-are-right-now, and there's always the question of how much of what you are is defined by what you do which we've talked about, but I think people have a self that's something more like, hm," vague considering handflip, "like the abstract multidimensional potential-best-version-of-yourself that you can't ever actually be in real life? And it's not a failure or a bad thing to not be the perfect idealized version of yourself but it is still valuable to reach toward - " 

She notices Valentina looking at her, and remembers where she is, and shrinks backward into her seat.

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" - nevermind. It's not important." 

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