|Appearance||Bring Them to Their Knees|
"Poverty is a veil that obscures the face of greatness." - Kahlil Gibran
Juniper Harris is the female District 9 tribute of the 25th Hunger Games. Her first appearance is in Chapter 10 of Bring Them to Their Knees. In Chapter 52, Jonas Emerson, the male tribute from District 7, kills her with his axe when he comes across her trying to poison the water source.
Juniper was born on Novemeber 17th into the slums of District 9, not-so-affectionately called the Deform area. Her parents struggled to support her and themselves. For most of Juniper's life, money has been scarce, food almost a luxury.
When her sister, Lavender, and brother, August, were born a couple of years later, she immeadiatly took on the protective sister role. She kept them out of harm's way, gave them the rare extra food they had and watched out for them in every turn of their life. She worries about them constantly, especially the over-active August. Although she usually treates them with her usual curt, abrasive manner, Juniper loves them. She just doesn't show it in a mushy, melt-your-heart way.
Growing up, Juniper didn't have a lot of friends. People from the Deform usually don't associate with those of the upper-classes and stay close together. It wasn't until she was ten that she met her best friend, Olivia. Shortly after meeting, they began sneaking out into the forest to gather plants/fungi to eat and share with their family. Juniper grew to love the forest and any plant in it. A long running joke between the two friends is the fact the Juniper would rather talk to plants then people.
Life continued this way until Juniper turned fifteen. At this point in her life she met her first boyfriend, Lark. To a much happier Juniper then we currently know, Lark was everything she wanted. In a District with a relatively low age of marriage, Juniper even saw herself getting married to him within a couple of years. But things just weren't meant to be that way.
Late one night, when she was making her way back home in the rain, she ran into Lark. He had been hiding in an alley, drinking and brawling with his friends. He cornered Juniper and with the help of his drunken friends, beat her. They burned her with their cigarettes and branded her stomach with a hot iron from the nearby blacksmith's. Juniper tried to fight back, but what chance did she have against four guys?
Lark didn't just want to hurt her physically...he wanted something else from her too. Scared, with pure adrenaline driving her on, Juniper fought him, bit him, scratched him. She managed to claw herself away from Lark and his friends, avoiding being raped but not molested, however the damage had already been done. She had been broken, turned cold and hardened to a point where she didn't even know if a heart beat in her chest.
That night in the rain was the last time she cried.
Before the Games
Juniper was voted into the Quarter Quell by her District. She chalked it up to what she thought was the mutual dislike between her and District 9. However, that was not the case. Although the district had no close bonds with Juniper, they did not dislike her, they simply didn't know her. It was one of the reasons why she had tallied the most votes, they simply didn't feel as guilty about it. The district also noticed her affinity for plants and her knowledge about them. Perhaps they thought that Juniper actually had a shot at winning the Games?
Due to malnourishment, Juniper has developed a very bony figure. She has long, narrow legs with a short upper-body in comparison. Olivia usually describes her as a long-legged spider, despite Juniper's intense fear of spiders. Juniper has olive skin and long, dark coils of curly hair. Across her nose and cheeks are a splashing of freckles, which Juniper intensly hates. She describes her hazel eyes as her most striking feature.
Juniper is very closed off and secretive. If you want to know anything personal about her, you better bring a crow bar and a truth serum to get anything out of her. She doesn't like talking about herself for many reasons, but especially because it brings up too many bad memories.
Juniper is very stubborn and determined, once she has her mind set on something, you can't make her change it. She always has a sharp tongue ready to drag someone's mood down the drain or scare off someone she doesn't like. Usually in an arguement she can think up quite witty remarks, if she isn't losing her short temper that is.
Juniper also doesn't have a lot of tactic when it comes to talking to people. Even if it's down right cruel, she'll tell you exactly what she thinks of you. This stems from the fact she doesn't have a lot of people to talk to and therefore doesn't have a lot of knowledge on how to deal with people in general.
Juniper is very sarcastic and snarky. Sometimes it's to purposely make someone angry and other times it's just a mechanical response to someone's question/statement. She likes to be independent and hates relying on anyone. The only thing she hates more is someone's help or pity. She has a lot of pride, despite coming from the slums.
Despite the strong facade that Juniper puts on, she's actually broken and lonely inside. Due to her past experiences she is emotionally scarred, her trust in people shattered beyond repair. She doesn't like to give anything of herself to even the ones she loves, because then if they end up not loving her back, she can't be hurt. Sometimes Juniper wonders if all the broken pieces of her heart can ever be put together again.
Bring Them to Their Knees
- Juniper's name came from, of course, the plant juniper. The author wanted to show Juniper's connection to plants right from the get go. Her last name, Harris, came into existance because at the time the author was filling out Juniper's application, she was reading Harry Potter.
- The names of Juniper's siblings, Lavender and August, were also thought out carefully. Lavender, the more gentle of the two sisters, got her name as lavender is a healing herb. It's not as sharp as the leaves on some variations of juniper. August, the over-active younger brother, got his name from the author's own brother, who is also over-active and coincidentally born in the summer months.
- Juniper's biggest fears are spiders, being touched and losing her mind.
- Juniper's favourite food is mushrooms.
- She stands 5'7.
- Her favourite colors are blue and green.