I've changed it. Vivian was no longer viciously abused physically, but neglected and ignored and emotionally abused. I'm sorry, I have no clue how a physically abused person would react, and the way I think they would be, clashes awfully with the image of Vivian in my head.
Some characters with be OOC, because that's how I see them, and I think some characters' personalities would be affected by Vivian's presence. Like, Annabeth wouldn't be as independent, Luke wouldn't be as friendly and Thalia wouldn't be as aggressive. So don't complain, because this is a fanfiction. I can write these characters how I like.
1 MONTH LATER…
Me and Thalia crept down and an alley way between red-brick warehouses, and I glanced up to read the sign above one of the doors: RICHMOND IRON WORKS. I got a prickling on the back of my neck, and stared into the inky blackness of the alleyway. I was certain there was someone there.
"Down there. Someone's watching us," I inclined my head towards the direction I'd been staring at.
"Are you sure?" Thalia asked anxiously.
I nodded stubbornly, "Someones's down there. I can tell." There was a faint crack from the alleyway and a hissed "shhh," and then a rumble like someone banging into a sheet of metal. We approached some old crates by the loading dock. A sheet of corrugated iron shifted slightly. Thalia glanced at me, and I mouthed a silent countdown from one to three. I leapt forwards and ripped the metal away, revealing two little girls. The blonde one in an oversized coat flew at me, brandishing a hammer. "Woah!" I shouted. I acted purely on instinct, and grabbed her hand, making her drop the weapon. The little girl held tightly in my grip struggled and kicked with all her might, she couldn't have been more than 6. Her red-headed friend with calm grey eyes and the tatty rucksack on her back stepped forwards. She wasn't carrying a weapon, but she just radiated danger and her voice was collected and calm, though slightly tense. "Put. Her. Down." The little blonde girl in my grip relaxed and smiled adoringly at the red-head, who smiled back slightly awkwardly, but I could tell it was meant to be reassuringly and it seemed to work on the blond.
Thalia had snuck up behind the little girl and grabbed her wrist. The red-head visibly flinched, but she wiggled a finger and her skin suddenly glowed red hot. Thalia yelped and stumbled back, releasing her hold on the small girl, cursing and wincing as she nursed her burnt hand. I raised my weapon, but the little red-head raised her hand and my sword felt heavy in my grip, and I could tell Thalia was facing a similar predicament.
"Lun- Annabeth: NOW!" The blonde, still in my hold, laughed and kicked me right where it hurt the most. I squeaked and sank to the floor.
"No more monsters! Viv will protect me!" the little blonde declared and I realised why they'd reacted that way.
"We're not monsters! We won't hurt you!" I explained quickly. The red-head- 'Viv', I assumed- was panting and had her hands on her knees. Annabeth ran over to her and started hugging her, murmuring, "You're not too tired? It didn't use up too much-" she paused and glanced over at me and Thalia, "…stuff?"
"No, Annie." Viv told Annie in a flat voice, and patted her back stiffly. Then she turned to glare at me, controlled fury simmering in her grey eyes. "You already did hurt her." The red-head growled, and gestured to the Annie's wrist, which was blooming a bright red.
"Sorry." I apologised, but I wasn't really. I'd just been protecting myself, after all. The red-haired girl moved over to Thalia and I went to get up, but the blond kicked me hard in the shin, so I stayed down. The red-head crouched down over Thalia and looked straight into her eyes. Thalia gasped and I didn't really understand why. "It's like she read my soul." Thalia breathed softly, and I had no idea what she meant.
"I trust her." Viv said, sharply nodding at Thalia. Then she turned her hard gaze on me. "Not so much him."
'Annie' nodded, grinned at Thalia happily as soon as Viv gave her seal of approval, but eying me suspiciously. I had no idea what I had done wrong. Annabeth reluctantly let me stand, and I rubbed my… downstairs area.
"You can trust him." Thalia assured Viv.
"No one can be trusted completely," Viv said with cynicism that didn't belong in a seven year old.
"Where's your family?" I asked quietly.
"My family hates me. So did Viv's," Viv glared at her for giving away that piece of information, and I could relate to not wanting anyone to know my history, "We ran away she's my…" Annabeth trailed off uncertainly.
"Sister." Viv said with a softness that hadn't been in her eyes before.
"What are your names?" asked Thalia sympathetically.
"Vivian… Chase." Her eyes seemed to lighten at the name, and for a moment I could see the trusting 7 year old that I was sure was in there somewhere.
"Annabeth Chase." Annie said with none of Vivian's uncertainty. In fact, she seemed to be buzzing with excitement.
"Thalia Grace." Vivian correctly harshly.
"How did you know?" Thalia whispered, her face paling.
"Magic." Vivian smiled mischievously, the most emotion I'd seen on her face the whole time I'd known her, which wasn't that long, granted.
I interrupted what I was sure what would turn ugly. "Tell you what girls, Annabeth- you're pretty fierce, and Vivian- you're just deadly! We could use fighters like you."
"You could?" Annabeth asked with wide eyes.
"Definitely." With these two we'd be unstoppable. Vivian gave me a look that made me uncomfortable, and gave me the feeling that she could see my reasoning. For a moment I reconsidered. I made a decision, and held out a knife to each of them. "Knives are only for the bravest and the quickest fighters. They don't have the reach or power of a sword, but they're easy to conceal and they can find weak spots in your enemies armour. It takes a clever warrior to use a knife, and I've got a feeling you're both pretty clever."
Annabeth looked up at me sweetly and said, "I am!" Vivian just stared at her knife untrustingly and said, "I'll do without."
I shifted slightly on my feet, and put the knife away awkwardly. "We'd better getting going. We've got a safe house on the James River. We'll get you some new clothes and food."
"You're not going to take us back to our families?" Annabeth questioned, and I had a feeling that she would have stuttered if not for the red-head standing next to her, offering silent encouragement. I put my hand on both of their shoulders, but swiftly removed the one on Vivian's shoulder when she gave it a look of disgust. "You're part of our family now. And I promise I won't let anything hurt you. I'm not going to fail you like our families did to us. Deal?"
"Viv?" asked Annabeth, looking to her sister for approval.
"I don't trust him. But we have no choice." Viv swayed on her feet and all of a sudden, I realised how weary she looked. Her face was steadily draining of colour and she looked so vunerable. As if she'd heard my thoughts, she glared at me and straightened up, her nose high in the air. But then she sank to the ground, hair fanning around her head like a halo. Annabeth gasped and hurried to her side. "I'll be fine, Annie. My resources have just been exhausted. I'll need to recharge. You know what to do." Then her eyes rolled into the back of her head and she was asleep.
"Don't let the nargles bite." Annabeth sang innocently in the way that only a small child can, and checked Viv's pulse. "She's just tired." Annie said.
"From what?" Thalia scoffed disbelievingly.
"Using magic." Annabeth said quite seriously, gazing up at us with big, grey eyes. "She can't apparate us now. We'll have to walk."
"Apparate?" I asked curiously.
"Disappearing from one place and appearing from another." She said impatiently. "Now help her!"
"I'll carry her." I sighed, scooping up the girl, marvelling at her light weight. I couldn't help but notice when her shirt rolled up that her ribs showed and there was the odd purple bruise her and there. The slight hostile feeling I'd been having due to her opinion of me disappeared.
"Now come on, we can't stay for long!" Thalia said.
Then we set off. Vivian's wave of red hair tumbling over my arm, Thalia holding a knife, and Annabeth marching ahead determinedly.
We made an odd sight.