Tessa sat on the stone steps of the Institute with Jem and Will.
Today was the last day before two more members of the Shadowhunting community were chosen to compete in The Hunger Games. They had all come out here early in the morning, and at the moment some Peacekeepers were setting up the stage for the reaping ceremony. Tessa turned to look at them both. "What if it's one of us?" she asked quietly. Had she hoped to find reassurance on either of their faces, she would have been disappointed, while Will looked angry, Jem looked only apprehensive, The thing was, there was nothing any of them could do that would change the outcome. "Tess," Will said finally, "If any of us get chosen I'll volunteer straight away." He said passionately, ignoring Tessa's protests. "I will too." Jem chipped in, grinning slightly at Will's alarmed expression. "After all, what's the use of being parabatai if we never are put in real danger?"
Tessa said nothing, because she knew that they both were serious. There would be other people there, with different abilities from different worlds. She did not know anything that could separate Jem and Will, not even this. However much it hurt, Tessa knew that she could not go in the place of one of them- it would tear them apart if one had to stay and watch in stead of protecting the other.
As Sophie, Gideon, Cecily, Gabriel, Magnus, Charlotte, Henry and Jessamine joined them, the three stood up and everyone else began filing into the courtyard. It was about to begin. After that, they said nothing, because no amount of words could be an apt goodbye for any of them.
Benedict Lightwood called for silence at the front. Although he proclaimed he detested hosting the reaping, it was Tessa's suspicion that he secretly enjoyed being the centre of attention of the Capitol and the other Districts. It was said that some of the other Districts were in a different time to them, though she didn't know how.
"Welcome to the 75th Annual Hunger Games." He announced, looking over the now full crowd. "As this is a Quarter Quell, there have been some... changes." A bubble of apprehension rose in Tessa's throat and she braced a hand to her Clockwork Angel in an attempt to find some comfort. "No longer will a male and female tribute be drawn, but any combination of genders, this is done by having one reaping ball." He continued, scanning the crowd for his two sons, Gideon and Gabriel. It was common knowledge that he wanted his sons to volunteer, as he thought they could easily win and bring honour to the name of Lightwood.
We walked over to the large glass ball, and without saying a word picked out a thick piece of creamy paper. She felt Will tense beside her as there was a pause.
"Cecily Herondale." He called out, a cruel smile playing on his face. Cecily had not changed her expression through this and now rose slowly. "No!" screamed Will, also jumping to his feet. Benedict was still smiling at the front as Charlotte and Gabriel gasped. Jessamine seemed to be enjoying the procedure with morbid fascination. Jem had turned pale, his silver hair shining in the afternoon sun. Tessa put her head in her hands, tears making their way slowly down her cheeks. This meant Will would be going. It wasn't that she didn't think he could win, it was that there were two tributes picked and the other was likely to be Jem, who also had the capabilities to win. Only one of them had the possibility of coming out of there and it would be awful for all of them.
"I volunteer as tribute!" He announced, pushing Cecily down. "I'm sorry, Cecy." He said quietly as he passed. Will made his way to the front where Benedict looked at him as if he was something unpleasent. Tessa bit her lip to keep her from demanding a reselection- it would do no good. Jem moved next to her and put his arms around her, smelling sweet and of the smoke from the air. "Goodbye." she whispered to him, feeling numb.
Benedict had barely called the second name before Jem fought his way to the front and stood next to Will, who grinned at him in greeting. But there were tears in both their eyes.
"We have our tributes from District One- William Herondale and James Carstairs." Benedict announced.
After that, everything was black for a while to Tessa's eyes and she cried out in anguish and fell.
And then the strangest thing happened.
A/N: There's going to be a twist coming up soon c:
Also, thank you for reading, please comment or follow, it would mean a lot :3