983: District 9 and three quarters – Prologue and Chapter OnePosted: March 5, 2015
Title: District 9 and three quarters
Author: Fire Lord Mowse
Topic: Harry Potter/The Hunger Games
URL: District 9 and three quarters: Chapter 1
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck
Guys… I think I found it. I think I found the most horrifyingly evil thing I’ve ever had to read. It’s just… what was that author smoking? I can’t…
You know what? It’s so awful I can’t even snark it right now. I need something to prepare me for it.
So let’s look at a Harry Potter/Hunger Games crossover to prepare for it, shall we?
Now, I know what you’re thinking “Wait, what? Harry Potter and Hunger Games?” Come on, were you really that surprised? Harry Potter gets crossed over with absolutely everything, and now the Hunger Games is following that trend too, it seems. I’m currently just glad that we don’t have a Harry Potter/Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt crossover. That would end the world as we know it.
But yes, there now exists a bunch of these crossovers. So… Um…
What’s the first chapter like?
Prologue – The Story so far
Huh, so it’s a prologue, eh? I do wonder what would—
Wait, shit, already!? That’s not even redundant! How the fuck is the DRD getting called in on that? I mean, there’s no redundancy, there should be no reason for that!
*ducks under the desk*
GUMDROP, LOOK OUT! THERE’S A—
I had read the Harry Potter books when I was 6 and a half. For four and a half years I thought they were fiction. Then, last year I got my letter of acceptance into Hogwarts. I moved from District 5 to here, District 9 ¾. I got sorted into Gryffindor. During the year I met Hugo Weasley, we became so close, people called him my boyfriend. Still, if you call him that I will personally pummel you. Then, Albus S. Potter, one of Hugo’s friends, was also in our house. We had fun, stealing 6th year’s books, then reading them. Playing pranks on teachers, Hugo said we were becoming like his Uncle George. Then, over the summer, they (and their families) moved to District 9 ¾, like I did when I got my letter. I guess I’m just that adorable, but don’t say that or I will hit you on the head with The Fellowship of The Ring.
*a loud roar sounds from outside the Library*
…wall of text, incoming…
Sorry guys, give me a second.
*Two Hours Later*
Okay, thank God, it wasn’t anything serious. I’m just glad it didn’t nearly poke his eye out again. That would have sucked. Hard.
Anyway, let’s dissect that wall of text, shall we?
I had read the Harry Potter books when I was 6 and a half.
Wait, so you read the Harry Potter books at friggin’ six years old? You know, exactly half the age that most people actually read Harry Potter.
What the fuck school did you go to that they were just like “oh, sure, go ahead, read that massive tome that is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I can’t see you looking at half these words and being like “momma, what does that mean?””
For four and a half years I thought they were fiction. Then, last year I got my letter of acceptance into Hogwarts.
Hm… I suppose that’s fair enough. I guess it would be interesting reading the Harry Potter books and thinking they’re fiction, and then looking at the world and being like “whoah, this place is actually real”. Okay, that does sound like somewhat nice, if cliché-begging material. I do wonder what—
I moved from District 5 to here, District 9 ¾.
*brain screeches to a halt*
Wait, what the fuck!? You moved from District 5 to District 9… and Three Quarters? I… what?
Okay, so judging by the fact that this is in the Hunger Games canon, I’m going to assume that this is taking place in some bizarre universe where Hogwarts has somehow survived whatever caused the population of earth to no longer inhabit any place but America. So, with that said, you moved from District 5 to District 9 and Three Quarters.
You know, despite the fact that:
- You’re implying that this District Nine and Three Quarters is somewhere in Scotland, which isn’t even on the same continent as Panem and would thus logically be difficult, if not impossible, to get to.
- On top of that, Scotland is nowhere near the canonical location of District 9 in Panem, which, according to official maps for the series, comprises an area stretching from Montana all the way to the upper part of Michigan.
- A witch in America wouldn’t actually go to Hogwarts, since there’s a perfectly serviceable witchcraft school over in Salem, Massachusetts.
- Which would be impossible to get to anyway ‘cause that part of Massachusetts would’ve sunk under the ocean, and even if it hadn’t Massachusetts was in the area that District 13 inhabited and we all know what President Snow did with his bombs prior to the invention of the Hunger Games.
- WHY THE FUCK WOULD THERE BE A DISTRICT NINE AND THREE QUARTERS!?
You see, here’s the thing about Platform 9 ¾: it has a logic in its world that makes sense. It’s a secret station platform between Platforms 9 and 10 in Kings Cross Station that only wizards and witches can access. It’s also a much catchier name than Platform 9 ½: can you imagine how that must’ve sounded in the drawing room? But even with the slight uptick in fraction, it still makes sense within the world of Harry Potter.
But in fucking Panem!? Why would there be a district that is numbered in a fraction?
And no, you can’t even dismiss this as “oh, it’s a district that is only known to wizards and witches!” For reasons that you’ll see coming up, I don’t think the author remembered that small little fact.
I got sorted into Gryffindor.
And there’s one point on the Mary Sue list already. Jeez, why does neither Ravenclaw nor Hufflepuff get any love? That’s just… why?
Ah, well, at least I have my sangria here to keep me company.
*takes a sip*
During the year I met Hugo Weasley, we became so close, people called him my boyfriend.
Wait, what the fuck!?
*headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*
Author, you do realize that Hugo Weasley was technically supposed to be born in 2006, right? And you know that Panem is post-apocalyptic America, right? Right? What the hell are these random timeline shenanigans that just showed up? I just… what!?
Jeez, Ms. “Hugo Weasley is my boyfriend”, do you have an explanation for—?
Still, if you call him that I will personally pummel you.
Hey, hey! Calm down! We all know you’ll be snogging him by the end of the story if the universal Mary Sue plotline is to be believed, so just calm down! ‘Sides, even if you weren’t, you’re threatening physical violence for just having someone say “hey, you’re totally in love”! Keep the tsundere tendencies as endearing rather than alienating, if you don’t mind!
Then, Albus S. Potter, one of Hugo’s friends, was also in our house. We had fun, stealing 6th year’s books, then reading them. Playing pranks on teachers, Hugo said we were becoming like his Uncle George.
Who, I may remind you, was constantly getting into trouble while he was still at Hogwarts. Or did you forget that the only time when Professor McGonagall or any of the other Hogwarts professors ever respected George and Fred was when they essentially gave Umbridge the finger when they dropped out of Hogwarts during Order of the Phoenix?
Also, you were stealing the books belonging to a sixth year student? That sounds more like jerkish behavior than anything that Fred and George would ever have done, so I don’t know what Hugo is smoking that he would say that.
Then, over the summer, they (and their families) moved to District 9 ¾, like I did when I got my letter. I guess I’m just that adorable, but don’t say that or I will hit you on the head with The Fellowship of The Ring.
Oh, so this author is going for the snarky protagonist here, huh? Gee, why is it that whenever I think of snarky 11-year-olds I always imagine them acting like little twats that are trying too hard to be edgy?
And girl, seriously? Hitting me with Fellowship? No no no: if you want it to really smart, you would hit me on the head with a copy of Atlas Shrugged. It’s got a much higher wordcount, and therefore it would hurt more to whack with because it’s more pages. Besides, it’s only useful as a bludgeoning weapon, anyway.
I feel guilty though, this year, Hugo, Albus and I will turn 12. My friends and I will all be eligible for the hunger games. I sort of led them into a trap. It’s not my fault. I did not ask them to come here. I had so much fun at Hogwarts, I had completely forgotten about the hunger games.
People usually want to.
See? So it’s not a secret district known only to magic users! If it were known only to magic users, why the fuck would they be reaped for the Hunger Games? That means that District Nine and Three Quarters is considered an actual district according to Panem’s rules of district consideration. So why is it not called District 10? The numbering of that district makes no goddamn sense whatsoever!
And wait, what the hell is all this talk about reading books in fucking Panem? Last I checked, they didn’t really read literature in Panem! And really, some of this stuff would’ve been downright dangerous to keep in circulation for the propaganda machine of the Capitol. I mean, Harry Potter was read there even though the later books feature a government that gets in the way of the heroes fighting the bad guys and thus projects a bad image on government people?
And wait, why the fuck are they allowing travel between the Districts, anyway? It seems to have been pretty heavily implied by the culture of Panem that travel between the Districts was discouraged! And how would wizarding travel even be regulated by the Capitol, anyway? From the lack of ways to regulate it, that’d be grounds enough to make Avoxes of the whole lot of ‘em!
And again, what timeline shenanigans are going on to make any of this possible!? And how are they getting to Britain from post-apocalyptic America? And how are there still people in Britain at the time this series is set? And how were they in contact with the wizarding world in Panem? I don’t… how…?
Holy God, we’ve only just hit the end of the prologue and already we’ve been plopped into a universe in which nothing makes any goddamn sense!
Patrons, take note: this is probably the best example I can think of for why you don’t take two random canons and just mash them together without putting serious thought into how you construct the world in which it all takes place. Because then, you get this mess with stupid names and all that other wonderful bullshit.
Anyway, we move on to the next chapter:
Chapter One – Climbing to the top
And yes, patrons: for some really bizarre reason, the entirety of this chapter is in boldface. Don’t ask me why, I’m pretty sure the author forgot to check her formatting and just didn’t feel like unbolding the entire goddamn chapter.
I race to my house’s bright yellow door, off to meet Hugo in the cobblestone square in the center of town.
Okay, so evidently, District Nine and Three Quarters is nestled somewhere in the Capitol, then.
Wait, wasn’t the whole point of the Hunger Games to enforce the districts’ subservience to the Capitol? Why the hell are they reaping children from the Capitol?
Ever since he moved here, we always race up the two red poles with our district flags on them. First one to the top wins.
Okay… Um… what’s the point of that? ‘Cause you’re not racing up those poles now, and if you’re thinking of doing it now you’re being a real short-sighted dumbass who’s losing sight of the fact that—
It’s usually me. I have climbed everything for years. My crib, as a baby, the trees, play sets, ropes, walls, and now, the poles.
Okay, whoah, hold on there, person, what’s with this sudden tangent? Can you please explain what this is all about? ‘Cause I’ll be damned if I can tell you why the fuck this is relevant to—
Hugo on the other hand has only ever climbed that pole. Maybe some trees. He is getting better at it, he might even beat me … After a couple more weeks. I laugh aloud to myself as I imagine him doing so.
Wait a minute…
Lately I have been timing myself. My fastest time is 15.6 seconds. Today I have my pocket watch in my hand, ready to time when we start our race. I think Hugo’s best time is 30.8, not bad, since he’s only been here a couple months.
Holy shit, really!?
Lady, what the fuck? Is this really how you’re going to have your main character showcase their abilities?
I arrive and stare at the poles, standing there at their usual 40 feet. I decide to do a test run. I kick off my sandals and start the stopwatch. I scramble up the pole at fast as I possibly can. The flag is about five feet in front of me when it reaches 9 seconds. I do a happy dance inside my head. Then I reach the top. 12.7 seconds! Yes, personal best! I slide back down and put my sandals back on.
Okay, I know that the Hunger Games books showcased Katniss’ skill set so we could go into the Games believing she’d have a chance at fending for herself. I also know that Katniss and Gale were out in the woods on the day of the Reaping, and that it was there to showcase Katniss’ skills.
But what is this!? Seriously, in the book, Katniss was out there to clear her mind, and because she and Gale could talk about the Capitol safely out there! She was just like “well, this could be a bad day, let’s hope the worst doesn’t come to pass”.
With this lady? She’s just like “oh hey, I’ll just do this thing ‘cause I can!” This just makes her come off as a vapid bitch who’s all worrying about “hey, I wonder what my personal best time is”!
And granted, I guess climbing could be a useful thing. After all, Rue managed to get by with little more than her ability to blend in with her surroundings, some of which included her ability to climb up trees. But really? That’s the skill you’re going to showcase? “Our Sue can climb up poles abnormally quickly!” Sure, ‘cause that will be totally useful in any scenario that will take place entirely on a prairie with no trees in it!
And then it’s just like “hey, this is my personal best”? Are we sure this isn’t taking place in one of the districts that produces the career tributes? ‘Cause this kind of “I’m better than everyone else” attitude seems like the kind of thing that’d be more typical of a career tribute. And really, she’s pondering on this instead of the fact that someone is gonna be shipped off, most likely to die any day now?
Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that it came right the fuck out of nowhere, yeah? It’s like she passed the poles and was suddenly like “yeah, let’s climb these things right now, fun times”. And if the flag poles are there, wouldn’t the Capitol try to set up the Reaping site right there? You’d think the Capitol’s propaganda machine would try to make it seem like the Districts actually want to do this by setting it up where the District’s flagpole is! But nope, we need the camera crews away from there, ‘cause why the fuck would they want to get in the way of the Sue’s day?
Let’s just continue on. We’ll be here all day if I try to dissect… whatever that was!
As I wait for Hugo, I watch the mocking-jays. There are rarely any. Today is a special day. Not because it is Reaping Day, no one likes reaping day, but because it is sunny!
Hm… So your strategy is to be in denial about the fact that you could be eligible to get shipped off to somewhere where you’ll die, and instead concentrate on how lovely a day it is. Hm…
You know, I’m sure there’s a way to write that form of denial without coming off as an insensitive prick, but this author does not know where to even start with that shit.
Fraug! You can verify this, right?
My blonde hair blows in the warm breezes, also another rarity. Three rarities today. Mocking-jays, sunshine and warm breezes. Too bad no one can enjoy the rare weather today. My mood is ruined.
Oh. Well, there you go, author. Reality has set back in.
Then Hugo arrives.
His reddish-brown hair in the sunlight makes my smile return.
Aw, isn’t that kind of cute? I think it’s cute how he has that effect on—
Never mention that to him please.
…a character who’s trying way too hard to be a tsundere, and is under the mistaken impression that the fourth wall is just one of those things that lesser authors do.
Oh, and by the way: what reason would we have to mention that? I’m pretty sure he can pick that up on his own that your presence makes him happy, you know. I’m pretty sure he won’t need our help unless he’s a complete imbecile.
I kick off my sandals and he kicks off his.
Kicking off your sandals… even though the timeline of the canon seems to indicate that the Reapings most likely took place in early fall.
Yeah, I don’t buy that.
The word ‘Go’ is on our lips, when a voice behind us, that we both recognize, shouts the word,
It’s Hugo’s father. He once asked me to call him Ron, so that is what I call him.
Oh my God, so the author does mean “Hugo Weasley”, as in Ron and Hermoine’s son!
*BAM* *BAM* *BAM* *BAM*
Timeline, author! Have you heard of it?
“I play the winner.”
You play the winner?
Excuse me for a second.
*Three Hours in the Brain Bleach Jacuzzi Later…*
Ugh… Dear God, Ron, I hope you were talking about playing the winner in a game of Smash. ‘Cause otherwise…
I laugh at that. Good luck Ron.
You know what? I’m gonna agree with our character here, ‘cause I’d rather have her be like “yeah, no, that ain’t happening” than have her agree to… um… whatever Ron was gonna play the winner in.
“May the odds be ever in your favor” I say in a mock squeaky capitol accent.
Everyone laughs for a while. Then we get back to what we came here for.
Which is the world’s most pointless race, right?
“Ready?” asks Hugo
“Ready.” I reply.
“GO!” We shout together.
Yup, that sounds about right. Now, I know we’re going to get something kind of interesting, right?
Hand, hand, foot, foot, hand, hand, foot, foot, hand, hand, foot, foot, hand, hand, foot, foot. I take advantage of the bumps and cracks in the pole. My feet are now too big to fit in the holes. Women’s Size 7 ½ is way too big for a 12-year-old. My mom and dad certainly think so. They never say it, but I’m smart. I can figure things out. I know, I just know. Hugo is only a size 3 in Men’s shoe sizes. Albus is only a 4! Size four in mens is a size 6 in women’s sizes I am halfway to the top when I see Hugo. He is about two feet ahead of me! I stop philosophizing about my feet, and his, then keep scrambling up the pole. I pass him and look into his blue eyes, which are watching with amazement what they have seen so many times before; I smile kindly at him, do a three-fingered salute with my left hand and keep moving up. I must be at least 75% up by now. I see Ron standing there, thirty feet below me.
Okay, our main Sue is a miniature T-1000 model, isn’t she? I mean… she has to be, right? There’s no way that anything that thinks that analytically during a high-tension scenario could be human!
And what the hell is she doing, talking about her goddamn shoe size and the fact that she has big feet? Wouldn’t shoe sizes be kind of irrelevant in the Districts anyway, what with how poor everyone in those Districts is? And if you were going to talk about feet fitting in the holes, you could’ve done more with it than use it as an opportunity to go on some dumbass tangent about fucking shoe sizes that does nothing for the narrative at all!
And wait, there are all sorts of bumps and cracks on the pole that are big enough for you to use them as a handhold? Um, Ron, hello! What the fuck are you doing just standing there? Or are you somehow blind to the fact that these flag poles have got less structural integrity than this house:
Seriously, why the fuck are you climbing up a pole that’s been abused that much!?
I cannot see his eyes, but I assume that because he has not seen me climb before, so he must be amazed at what he sees. I reach the top and yell, “I WIN!” at the top of my lungs.
Which shouldn’t surprise you since early narration indicated that you always win, so I feel nothing but bleh at the fact that this is your idea of what you do with friends and shit.
I stop the stopwatch. The young woman in the house next to me tells me to be quiet, quite harshly.
Hey, lady, calm down. Just be thankful she didn’t do this:
Hugo is right behind me. I just sit at the top of the pole and just stare out at the countryside. I rub my fingers across the clothe flag. It is soft. The winds blow on me and I don’t notice.
Okay, and the point of looking out at the vast countryside is…?
No one bothers me, until I snap back into reality when Hugo pinches my arm.
“Hello? Edel? Earth to Edel?!”
“I’m here.” I whisper just loud enough so he can hear, and keep just staring into space.
Oh, right, it’s an awkward way for the reader to finally get the character’s name. Okay, Edel, that can’t just be a name. So what is it?
He calls me Edel. Like everyone else. That is the name I prefer. Not my full name, Edelweiss. I think it’s way too long. And girly.
Well, it makes some amount of sense with Panem’s naming conventions, at least. Not that the fact that it’s German in origin would make that much sense in post-apocalyptic America, but hey; there are much more Sue-ish names the character could’ve been given, let’s face it. Like Sakura.
Let’s not talk about Sakura…
Although, my mom says Edelweiss means courage and dignity, I still do not like the name. No one calls me Edelweiss.
Why do you hate the name Edelweiss? I mean, come on, it named this wonderful ditty, didn’t it:
If they do, once again, I will hit them on the head with The Fellowship of The Ring. Or some other book over 1,000 pages
Again, girl, go with Atlas Shrugged.
Actually, on second thought, I guess it does make sense. Given Panem’s tendencies towards non-propaganda literature, I could see the character forgetting that Fellowship of the Ring is really only a hair under four hundred pages long. It makes you question how she heard about it in the first place, but you already know the problem with that so I won’t beat a dead horse there.
I reluctantly slide back down the pole to begin my race with Ron. It makes a horrible squeaking noise and my skin burns as it rubs against the metal.
Wait, so Ron is going to race a child up the pole?
Well, Ron, here’s my health insurance card. Have fun making this Reaping Day more memorable than most due to the fact that an adult got injured doing things he shouldn’t be doing at all!
How I wish I could’ve spent all day up there. I check my time on the stopwatch. 19.2! Thats 4.5 more seconds than last time!
ARRRGGHHHH! My stupid feet!
Wait, so you broke one of your personal best records earlier today, and then you somehow did a complete 180 and are now complaining about how your feet are slowing you down, even though they didn’t do that earlier when you broke your personal best record?
Well, we’re not even one chapter in and already I can see that consistency isn’t this author’s strong suit. I just hope it doesn’t get any worse than this.
Ron grabs the pole when Hugo gets off. I rub my legs, they feel all cold because of the pole, but they are still capable of climbing that pole.
Whoah, there, Edelweiss! Step away from the pole! If it burns and feels cold, chances are it’s made of friggin’ solid nitrogen! Get the fuck away from it and call in a climate scientist! If nothing else, they’ll want to know how the fuck you supercooled that pole enough to make it out of fucking solid nitrogen!
I step back and hug the pole, waiting for Ron to do the same. He eventually notices and does.
And then our main Sue suffered numerous cold-related burns as her face superfreezed in time. And then she died, her entire body breaking into pieces as her arms detached from her body and she fell to the floor. The end!
Okay, okay, that’s not what actually happens, but come on, you know how awesome it would’ve been if that had happened!
“Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.” I mock a capitol accent again
“Ready?” I ask
“Ready.” He says.
The word GO! marks our start.
You know, I do wonder what the point of climbing up a pole three fucking times in one chapter is going to do. We get it fic, she’s good at climbing, and she’s got a mindset similar to that of the Career tributes where she absolutely must be the very best at what she does or else her existence has no worth. Now can you finally get around to showing us something about this Sue that doesn’t make her look like a conceited brat?
I start the stopwatch and this time don’t let any thing distract me. I don’t even turn back to look at Ron.
I am up the pole in 12.8 seconds. That stupid 0.1 second!
That wasn’t what I was going for, but sure, okay.
Then I notice Ron.
I have reached the top with him still trying to get a hold of the pole at the bottom. I giggle and cover my mouth.
No one can hear me up here,
Except, you know, for the random woman who told you to shut up when you shouted “I Win” several paragraphs ago. But then again, giggling is a rather quiet sound, so I’ll go ahead and give you the benefit of the doubt here.
but I hear Hugo’s laughter from there.
Ron laughter combines with Hugo’s
“Can’t …Climb …Any …More …” He jokes as he lets go. After I laugh, loudly, I remember what day it actually is. Not a sunny one, not a windy one… It’s the reaping!
I was almost looking forward to the day.
My frown and bad mood resurface.
Well, there goes reality crashing back in. I’m sure I’d find this revelation dramatically apropos if I wasn’t imagining this as the musical backdrop for the entire rest of the scene:
I slide down the cold pole a third time, my skin still burning, and start the long walk back to my house.
” C’mon guys, it’s time to get ready for the reaping” I say.
And it’s getting time where I should really start bracing for the rest of this fic. Believe me, this chapter so far doesn’t give me any confidence that we’re gonna get anything remotely resembling good quality here. I just…
I’ll see you guys next week, patrons. And just remember, at least it’s not..
Oh God, I’m not looking forward to that…