Hi all! This unfortunately isn't as long as some of my chapters so sorry about that but... its an update :)
My month from hell last September kind of turned into the autumn term from hell which fed into January mocks and finalising university applications and then actual exams so I apologise for disappearing for such a long time :/ However a massive thank you to everyone for still reading my story and badgering me with requests to update (they all definitely guilted me into writing)
My exam results are released tomorrow so today I'm spending writing chapters and watching bad t.v. shows to not think about them :P Good luck to anyone else receiving their a-level results tomorrow!
I also want to say a massive thank you to the guest who led me to the guy on wattpad who stole my story. I don't mind people sharing my work, but stealing it is a massive dick move :(
Harry's Point of View
Luke had taken up occupation in the ship's captain's room. What had happened to the original ship's captain was something that we absolutely refused to think about. Whoever he was though, he must have had an interesting taste in decor. ('Or her.' Percy added, 'let's not discriminate.') The large wall-sized window overlooking the back of the ship was bordered with red and gold patterned curtains. Actually, pretty much everything from the double bed to the sofa to the desk to the rug was painted in Gryffindor colours. I squinted at the gold box in the corner, and shuddered.
'Is that a sarcophagus?'
Percy send me a mental nod. 'Is he a vampire? Does he sleep in it do you think?'
I sniggered. The mythology was all wrong, but the idea of the perfect traitor son of Hermes sleeping in a sarcophagus was certainly amusing. Of course, the luxurious double bed suggested that Luke didn't actually sleep in the sarcophagus. Which probably meant it had more sinister uses. I shivered. Nope. Not going there. Dead things were icky.
Alyssa, who had hidden inside our Camp Half-blood top when we had ridden the hippocampi and since fallen asleep, stirred and tasted the air. She slithered around under our shirt before peeking her head out. Luke's wide-eyed gaze of not-quite horror at the sight of shrunken basilisk poking her head out the neck of our shirt made us giggle.
$Say hello, Alyssa.$ I hissed at her, the sibilant sounds filling the silent room. $Meet Luke, the guy who betrayed us last summer.$
Alyssa hissed dangerously, venom forming on her fangs. Luke flashed us a disarming smile.
"Calm down, Harry, Percy. We aren't trying to hurt you here. We simply need you out of the way for a little while." Luke's honey-toned voice fell upon closed ears. Annabeth and Luna turned an interesting pink, glowering at Luke as they struggled against the huge bears holding us captive.
"Don't you dare!" Luna shouted. "You expect us to sit around and do nothing while everyone at the camp is slaughtered?! While Thalia's tree dies?! Go to Tartarus, you heartless cur!"
Luke's blue eyes hardened. "I dare? You dare, Annabeth Chase! You accuse me of blighting her memory? You're travelling with a cyclops for Kronos' sake! Could you possibly betray her more?"
Tyson's cow-brown eye watered. I highly doubted he understood what was being said anymore that we did, but the slight against him for being a monster was impossible to miss. We narrowed our eyes.
'Brother, I don't like him.' Percy muttered. 'I didn't like him before, but I especially don't like him now. Talking to Luna and Annabeth like they disgust him. Has he seen the company he's been clearly staying in recently?'
I nodded, but didn't reply. Instead I focused on our little brother, trying to catch his attention. I tilted our head and widened our eyes. Tyson met them, caught in the emerald intensity of our stare. Using the small amount of legilimency we had to project my thoughts at him.
'Tyson! Tyson, it's me, Harry. Just ignore him. He's a big fat hypocrite who doesn't deserve your emotional response to his words.'
Tyson sniffed. 'So Annabeth and Luna like me?'
I faltered, unsure how to answer the question. Annabeth and Luna were still apparently wary of Tyson for being a Cyclops – the story behind that semi-rational fear was not exactly something I was especially looking forward to. Despite that, they both seemed to be fairly comfortable around our half-brother, especially since getting to know him better. Before I could even start to conclude how I was going to answer Tyson's question, Percy spoke up. 'Tyson, of course they still like you. Villain fighting 101 – never listen to the nonsense being sprouted. Ask for clarification at a later date away from danger.'
Tyson beamed again. 'Thanks Percy!'
Crisis avoided, we turned out attention back to our female friends, who were still spitting angrily at Luke.
"– no right, Luke Castellan. She sacrificed herself to save us. And now you're destroying her and the only sanctuary demigods have left? Go to Hades!"
Luke's face froze, emotionless. The sudden mask thrown up gave us slight hope in Hermes request. He may be misled, but perhaps there was still a part of him that cared. Luke turned to the two large bears standing behind us. When he spoke disappointment hung on every word; "Put them in the brig. You don't understand yet the terrible wrongs being committed against you here. Think on it a while. Perhaps then you'll realise what Thalia's sacrifice really meant."
The two large talking bears that had been holding us securely up to this point – preventing us from charging head first at Luke among other things – seemed to take Luke's orders to heart, dragging us through the length of the ship and down several stair cases before quite literally throwing us into an empty room in the bottom of the ship. We landed in a heap, only just managing to untangle all our limbs before the door shut with an ominous clang and snick of a bolt being shut. Alyssa hissed in complaint of being squashed when we were thrown to the floor quietly, but soon quieted down as we stroked her spine gently, lulling her to sleep absentmindedly. We sat and watched each other a while, taking in the situation.
"How, of all people, did we run into Luke?" I groaned, rubbing my hand where the faint scar from Luke's scorpion last summer still reflected a faint shimmery white in the dim light of the room. 'I mean, Luke abandoned ship with the gods, so why was he hanging around so close to camp? Unless he had a role in Thalia's poisoning… but that makes no sense! Why destroy the only safe haven for demigods? He can't have raised an army to storm Olympus in a year. So it would make more sense to recruit from camp then weaken it when he was ready to attack…'
'…unless he has an ulterior motive.' Percy chipped into my interior mutterings.
'But what could he gain from killing Thalia?'
"The Golden Fleece!" I started, hitting our head. Annabeth and Luna and Tyson stared at us, and we almost laughed at the question marks that we could imagine floating above their heads. Suddenly Annabeth's lightbulb clicked.
"No…" she whispered, "you think Luke is after the Fleece? I mean, we know it's a powerful artefact, but it increases the natural fertility of a habitat and helps heal…"
"Heal what?" I whispered. "Want to bet it's something to do with that sarcophagus?"
We all shuddered, Tyson pulling a particularly disgusted face that made Percy giggle internally, despite the horrific scenario we had interpreted. Hopefully not the actual scenario we would be facing but Hades, knowing our luck… it could be anything.
It was Luna who broke the silence, her dreamy voice cutting through it strong with optimism. "Don't let the nargles mess with our heads. They like buzzing around depressed thoughts weighing them down."
"First we need to escape before its worth even worrying about Luke." Annabeth agreed. "Right, we need a way out of that door."
Percy and I let our gaze sweep over the very bare room. The room was just a storage room, no windows, solid metal walls and the one single door. Our holsters had been taken off us, and Riptide had yet to return to us. So, all in all, it was looking a little hopeless. With a disappointed sigh, Percy banged one of our fists against the door. In his frustration, Percy also sent a wave of magic into the movement, lighting up our hands and destroying the glamours we had cast to disguise the unicorn blood marks. Today it was shaped as a trident, and glowed fiercely with the magic, acting as a condensed channel for our magic in place of our wands. The metal beneath our hand grew hot, making us jolt away with a cry and the door began to melt under our fist.
"Son of a Fury!" Percy yelped, frantically blowing on our burnt hand. Annabeth grabbed it, gently by the wrist, examining the injured limb with a practiced eye. With nothing to hand they could do nothing to treat it, but advised we didn't touch the burn or agitate it until we could treat it.
Meanwhile, Tyson was examining the door. He peered through the fist-shaped hole before grinning delightedly. "Brother, look! No guards."
I double checked, just to make sure Tyson hadn't missed anything. Not that I would have expected him to. Any guard out there would have no doubt have heard our racket or seen the door melting. I smiled and gave Tyson a thumbs.
"Do you think you might be able to reach the bolt through the hole, Tyson?" Annabeth asked tentatively. "Cyclops obviously have a level of heat resistance so…"
"Sure!" Tyson beamed at Annabeth and Luna, delighted that they had acknowledged him as useful and not monstrous. He pulled at the soft metal a little, widening the gap to allow his hand and arm to manoeuvre comfortably through it. After about a minute of shifting and fumbling Tyson finally managed to grab the bolt and slide it open. He grinned that wide smile that pulled on our heartstrings as it begged for approval and praise.
Tyson, while coming from a loving home with Sally Jackson, was pretty much friendless at school, and seemed to soak up all the attention we gave him. It was obvious in his insecurity over Annabeth and Luna's trust in him and his constant looks checking our reactions and searching for ways to prove himself that Tyson was waiting for us to ditch him at any moment. Knowing the feeling all too well from our parents Percy and I fumed inwardly at the conditioned reaction in our half-brother.
"Nice job!" I ruffled his hair affectionately. "Let get out of here."
We snuck up carefully through the ship, ducking and hiding at any hint of someone nearby until we eventually succeeded in making it back to Luke's room to claim our weapons and belongings back. In a stroke of luck the room was empty when we knocked gently before letting ourselves in. Unfortunately it was when we attempted to leave that our problems really started.
We opened the door just as Luke did, and all of us froze for a moment in surprise before Percy instinctively shot out a disarming spell at Luke, throwing him back against the wall of the passageway. Twin growls vibrated from behind the doorway.
"Bloody hell!" Percy cursed. "Run!"
Annabeth, gripping her knife, slashed at one of the bears, hitting his right arm. The bear flinched back. His brother slammed a paw into us, tearing our t-shirt and grazing the back of our shoulder. Percy twisted, uncapping Riptide and sliced the monster's chest in retaliation. Tyson sprinted on ahead, glanced back every few moments. A swift kick from Percy then sent the bear facing us falling back in surprise, right into his brother's path. The pair went down in a mess of limbs and we sprinted away as if the Furies themselves were after us.
By this point of course the noise of battle had alerted the rest of the ship to our presence, and monsters seemed to be appearing from everywhere. There were the little foot soldiers – harpies and hell hounds and little dog faced demons. While not particularly challenging on their own the sheer number of them chasing us made the idea of standing and fighting suicidal. And that was without counting the horrible snake ladies and giant crabs that we caught glimpses of periodically, slithering towards us at high speeds or nearly crushing us under their great bulk before we managed to flee in a different direction.
I lost count of the amount of corners we turned, stairs we climbed and low-level monsters we turned to dust before we finally hit the main deck and open air. Grabbing Annabeth and Luna's hand, Percy immediately rushed for the edge of the ship, making sure Tyson was following. We quickly checked that Alyssa was still safely wound around our waist, then turned to face our female companions.
"Trust us?" Percy asked Annabeth and Luna, urgency deepening our voice. They nodded, eyes wide with adrenaline and fear. "Tyson, jump!"
Grabbing our female friend we jumped over the side, knowing that (as a son of Poseidon too) Tyson would make the jump into the water just fine. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. We saw Luke appear from the same door we had escaped the inner decks from, and saw him clench his jaw in anger. Tyson jumped a second later, suddenly understanding. An arrow, shot by a boy – a demigod, I recognised him from cabin 11 last summer – grazed our cheek before hitting Annabeth and Luna's shoulder. Then we slipped over the side of the ship and lost sight of our enemies. Percy and I focused on the water below, making it surge up and meet us gently, rather than hitting it hard. Before we reached the water though we noticed more bows appearing over the side of the boat, aiming at us. There was a loud twang that seemed to resonate as the archers let loose their arrows a slightly different times. Before they reached us the water closed around us, and Percy commanded the sea to form a large wave above us, misdirecting the arrows.
Tyson smiled at us, breathing as easily as we did under the water. The sea water soothed our wounds, healing our burnt hand and cuts. A thumping to our chest drew out attention to Annabeth and Luna, who by this point were definitely in need of air, the cold water having knocked it out of them. A gentle push to the water around us collected a bubble of air around their head, not unlike the bubble-head charm. They smiled, one hand still holding their impaled shoulder.
"Thanks." The sound was muffled by the water, but we still understood, and shot her a grin back. A giggle behind us from Tyson had us turning back to our brother, to where the large rainbow hippocampus from before was rubbing his head fondly against Tyson's stomach. Exchanging a look with Annabeth and Luna, we grinned.
"Tyson, will your friend take us to shore?"
'Of course little lords.' The Hippocampus replied to us immediately, before Tyson himself could ask. Our one-eyed brother grinned.
"Rainbow is the best pony ever!"
I know I've been getting really bad at responding to reviews, so I'm going to try and start PMing people back now about any questions, just because the ending author's notes are getting slightly ridiculously long, and I feel bad when that happens :P
I'm going to try and edit my story this summer so I can get back to regular updates because I know there are numerous spelling errors and gaping plot points (lots of you are very good at pointing these out to me, so I'll try and get on them :P)
So, until next time, enjoy your lovely summer holidays :)