Peter Pettigrew holds knowledge of Colin Creevey's whereabouts at the Arena. Katniss aids Ginny and Cormac in a potential rescue attempt!
You are Katniss Everdeen.
This is the most bizarre excuse for a shop you've ever seen.
Driven along more by curiosity than anything else, you wander down the various the aisles, ascend and descend the stairs and simply try to take in the bewildering array of items and their peculiar names.
Patented Daydream Charms.
Edible Dark Marks.
Ten-Second Pimple Vanishers.
Miraphorous Magic Sets.
Box 'O' Rockets.
"I might as well be back in the Capitol again," you mutter to yourself, unable to peel your eyes away from the sheer excessiveness and inanity of the joke products lining dozens of shelves across multiple floors.
Before being reaped for the Seventy-fourth Hunger Games, the only shop that you'd frequented was the Hob back home in District 12, a black market place for the selling of wares and food. There aren't much in the way of luxury items or frivolous gifts in the Seam, after all. Where you're from, people spend money primarily to survive.
As such, it's hard to be particularly impressed with an undertaking like this one.
Finally pulling your gaze away from the absurd merchandise, your eyes find the various magicians mulling around, whose group you've somehow managed to befriend in recent days. You recognize right off Ginny Weasley with her fiery red hair, who's talking to the bespectacled leader of this group, whom you remember is named Harry Potter. Of everyone you've met so far, you feel like Ginny is a sort of kindred spirit. Farther back, you see the other two magician girls you met in the Arena's cave, Katie Bell and Parvati Patil. You notice, idly, that this latter has a twin sister, wearing blue instead of the red that adorns her twin and most of the others.
You turn away before anyone can make eye contact with you. Almost afraid that they can read your mind--after all, they do seem to have plenty of other powers--you pull your thoughts close within yourself.
It's been at least a day (maybe two? three?) since you were in the Arena, inside your hiding cave with Peeta Mellark, Rue, and the three magician girls--plus a few other strange visitors who came in later. One of them... transported (you have no other way to describe it) you to another place somehow. You were soon whisked away to some underground vault, where you slew a traitor making off with the golden cup that these wizards had thought so important.
That same cup was one of five knickknacks that the wizards collected together here and destroyed not even an hour ago. They made out like this was some huge, momentous event, but you can't figure out for the life of you why.
You've heard a lot of talk about a Dark Lord in this world who sounds like a magical analogue to Panem's President Snow. You don't know what all the hubbub is about magical treasures and all, but you figure a well-placed arrow in this Dark Lord's heart ought to take care of him more efficiently than any incantation or ritual. But hey, this is their war, not yours. Let them fight their world's injustices on their own terms, you say.
This leads you to wonder again why you agreed to help these magicians with their war when Harry called for volunteers. You try to tell yourself it wasn't just so you'd be the only one who declined to step forward. After all, as much as you hate to admit it, you know that you're going to have to return to the Arena sooner or later. You don't exactly know what it is that's going on between you and Peeta, whether your act as star-crossed lovers from District 12 is really an act or something more, but regardless, you can't just leave him there to fend for himself when there's a possibility for two victors to emerge from the same district this year. You feel an equally fierce protectiveness for young, innocent Rue as well, so much like your little sister.
Which then leads your thoughts to wander back home. You think of Prim first of all, then Gale, Madge, all the people of District 12, even your mother. They need you. And having not seen you on their television screens in at least forty-eight hours, you know they must be starting to worry. And you don't even want to think of what the Gamemakers might do if they realize that you've truly escaped the Arena.
If you're going to help Peeta, Rue, and your friends and family back home, you look around and realize you can find no better allies than the people in this place, with all the strange powers and skills that they hold. That, and since after all it was three of them who were responsible for getting you out of the Arena in the first place, you figure you owe it to these people to help them in some form or fashion.
You bite your lip. You hate owing people.
Still lost in your thoughts, you barely notice two of them walking toward you right now, your friend Ginny with a less familiar looking boy of athletic build following along behind her, his hand idly rubbing his nose.
"Hi, Katniss. How're you?"
"Still alive," you answer. "Good to see you again, Ginny."
"Listen, I'm not sure if you've met yet, but this is Cormac McLaggen," she says, indicating the boy behind her. "McLaggen, this is Katniss Everdeen."
This Cormac guy immediately runs an appraising eye over you. "Hmmm... she certainly doesn't looks like much on first glance," he begins, talking more to himself than anyone else. He cups your face in his hands. "She looks like she has a sharp eye, though."
He starts pacing around you, his eyes examing you. "Her lithe form could come in handy in a tight spot. That Muggle weapon looks a bit unwieldy," he goes on, fingering your bow (you resist the temptation to swat his hand away), "but could make up for a lack of wand or magical ability." He goes on like this, and you feel like you're a mere product under the scrutiny of the Gamemakers all over again.
You already don't like him.
Cutting off Cormac's impromptu evaluation, you return your attention to Ginny. "So do you have a plan for removing your dictator, Voldy-whatever-his-name-is, from power?"
"Like Harry said, we're at a severe disadvantage currently. Right now, some of us are going out to search for old allies who've gone missing. One of them, a boy my age named Colin Creevey, would've last been seen at the Arena."
"Apparently what happened," Cormac cuts in, unable to keep the attention away from himself, "is he Polyjuiced into Professor Snape, while Snape took his place in the Arena. We don't know what happened to poor Creevey after that, but I've been thinking, here's what we're going to do. First..."
You nod thoughtfully as he blusters on, pretending to understand what the hell poly-juices are or who this Snape teacher is. You notice Cormac's hand had promptly returned to the faint scar on his nose at the word "poly juice" and decide to file that mental note away for later. In general, you try to avoid eye contact with him. Cormac reminds you just a bit too much of another cocky, strong willed, athletic boy you've encountered in the recent past: Cato.
"The point," Ginny cuts across him, "is that the Arena is our best lead right now for finding Colin. And having spent more time in there than any of the rest of us, we'd like you to help us search the place for clues. In return, we're prepared to ensure that you and both of your friends can escape from the Games for good."
"And let's not forget the most important aspect of this plan," Cormac says. You both look at him blankly. "Namely the leadership of a skilled, powerful, and inestimably good-looking wizard, one who's willing to help you, young Everdeen."
"Oh," you answer, "So you'll be the leader of this expedition then, Ginny?" She can't help but let out a snort at your jab at Cormac, who for a moment looks genuinely surprised that you don't share his lofty impressions of himself.
Ginny composes herself. "All joking aside, are you in, Katniss?"
A.) Go with Ginny and Cormac?
B.) Scope out the Arena on your own first?