~The Reaping: District 11~
Arthur and Morgana - District 2
Percival and Morgause - District 1
Lancelot and Guinevere - Distroct 8
Merlin and Freya - District 11
[EXTRACT FROM THE FIC I’M WRITING FOR THIS]
Merlin kept his eyes on his mother for as long as he could, his hands fisting in his pockets, concealing his anxiety. She looked petrified, so fragile, and it took all of Merlin’s self control not to vault over the damn barrier and sprint right back to her, to pull her into his arms and to assure her that everything would be all right, that he wouldn’t leave her, his name wouldn’t be called - no matter how many times it was in there - fate wasn’t so cruel, and they’d return home within the half hour, worry over, and he’d put her back to bed, perhaps make her some soup from the rations. He regretted even allowing her out of bed to come with him but then, just in case, if he was chosen, if fate was playing a cruel game, how could he go on without one last look at her, without a goodbye? Merlin shook himself. He was letting the fear grip him now. He couldn’t afford to think like that. As he made his way through the sea of people, ignoring any and all eyes that fell on him, he kept his focus on his mother, her pale skin, dark eyes, chapped lips, frail body. She was a shell of her former self, the only thing making her recognisable at all was the ever present aura of kindness that seemed to surround her wherever she went. As the crowds became gradually thicker, Merlin offered Hunith a smile, a silent assurance, one that seemed to have no effect at all, before he turned to face the stage with the other youths
Merlin’s fists tightened in his pockets. The residue of the microphone lapped at his ears, echoing the name. Merlin didn’t want to turn his head like everyone else, he didn’t want to stare, but he couldn’t stop his head pulling in the direction of the murmurs, eyes finding her, his heart giving a pained tug. Freya looked so small, smaller than usual, standing alone as her peers parted from her, as though she were now diseased, and Merlin bit his lip, watching her as she stared up at the stage, afraid to move. Her white shirt and crisp skirt looked awfully out of place on her, he decided, as though someone had tried to clean her up by giving her new clothes, but hadn’t paid any attention to the dirt of her face and arms. Her hair hung matted around her innocent and wary face, and Merlin realised that even in a situation as dire as theirs, he had luck. He had a surviving parent. Even though his mother was skirting the edges of her deathbed herself, he still had her, she still loved him, made him feel important. His heart gave another tug for Freya, knowing that when she died, which was more likely than not going to happen very soon, there would be no one here missing her. No one to grieve or cry. So Merlin decided then, he would cry. He would grieve. He would miss the shadow of a presence that sometimes walked by their house on the way to the depleted stream. He would do it if for no other reason than no one else would.
Merlin stared defiantly up at the platform, as if the resounding name meant nothing for him, as if it was of no consequence. He tried to keep breathing, ignoring the sick feeling in his gut. He couldn’t look at his mother. He couldn’t bring himself to look into her eyes and see the defeat he knew he’d find, the agony that would choke her as it was choking him. Because this was goodbye. If he died, she died too.
[More graphics and excerpts to follow. There are a few reaping ones, one for each district, and also, these excerpts are choppy, the line indicates a break in text.]