Percy groggily opened his eyes as the sensations of the outside world became apparent. Blinking a few times, he acquiesced to letting his eyes rest behind heavy eyelids. After a handful of moments, he finally forced his eyes open and raised his wrist to see the time through his bleary vision. Six fifty-six – a good four minutes before he actually needed to rise. The bright numbers stood out against the near pitch-black room, nearly searing his poor, freshly-awoken retinas. Letting his arm fall onto the blanket, he turned and nuzzled his cheek into his soft pillow. In front of him, a headful of messy, long black hair splayed out, obscuring his vision of the hints of light that peeked out from under the heavy curtains that kept the room in darkness.
What had he been dreaming about? Or was it, perhaps, a nightmare that he would rather not remember? The hazy details of his sleep eluded him, and in the few seconds it took for him to ask these questions, he also promptly forgot about them; he rarely, if ever, remembered the details of his sleeping life, and in all honesty, he cared little to know. Forgetting all about those brief concerns, Percy wrapped his arms around his wife of nine years, his breathing becoming rhythmic and steady as he fell back into his former, restful state.
–there was only light, shining and blinding, and suddenly there was nothing. No light, no dark, but rather simply nothing at all, its depth unfathomable and its extent undefinable. It was a nothingness that stretched into infinity beyond the comprehension of any mortal mind, with the only surety being that it was irrevocably oblivion. And then it all snapped back into an instant – less than an instant, a measure of time so miniscule that it could scarcely be said to have passed at all.
A microcosm of space and time, ending as it collapsed upon itself, with just the barest hints of light at the very center, flickering dimly in the gnawing void–
2008 – Fifteen Years Earlier
Percy flinched. His vision snapped into focus from darkness and he suddenly realized that he was still standing on the peak of Mount Othrys. He blinked. Everything was the same. Atlas' decapitated body lay unmoving on the ground, his head a few feet away after it had rolled away. Aphrodite – Chaos – was standing still just a handful of yards away with its head down.
Percy finally unfroze, stumbling slightly as he heaved air in and out of his body. It felt like someone had coursed electricity through his body – every muscle had seized up and moved erratically in ways he could not control. In the corner of his eye, he could see that Thalia had fallen to her knees, more or less in a similar state as he was.
"What…" Thalia breathed out beside him, "was that?"
"I don't know," Percy gritted out, clenching both of his fists to stop his fingers from bending backward too much. He focused all of his mind's energies for a single moment to the sole task of controlling his rebelling body, and after a few horribly tense moments of tortured pain and frustration, he felt a certain calm relaxation flood his limbs and muscles.
He looked up, eyeing Chaos with a weary and wary glare. It was quite noticeable that they no longer had any weapons – his trident was in Thalia's sword, and Thalia's sword, it seemed, was long gone, nowhere to be seen on the peak of Mount Othrys.
Or it could be called Othrys at all anymore?
Chaos' head snapped upward, its eyes wide and hair wild.
"What have you done?" it cried, splattering out golden ichor from its mouth as it spoke. The fluid spat into the air, hissing as it dissolved into a fine mist before it fell to the ground in a reaction that Percy had never seen before. "What did you do to me?"
A flood of images hit Percy like a tsunami – the tree, Chronos, the sword in the wood, the light, oh the encompassing, brilliant, horrible light–
He shook his head violently to break the chain of memories.
Chaos took a step and stumbled to the ground, screaming as it fell. "Look at me! What have you done to me?"
Percy suddenly noticed flakes coming off of Chaos' body. No, flake was not entirely the right word to describe it – the particles were finer, more like dust. Already it had consumed Chaos' left arm, and it seemed to accelerate as more of Chaos' body became lost in the wind. The protogenoi struggled to crawl toward the stationary Percy and Thalia, an intense look – hatred, perhaps, mixed with anger and a surprising amount of fear – directed at the two of them.
"I will not perish!" Chaos screamed, the dust consuming its legs and lower body. "Not like this!" Using its right hand, it planted one hand on Percy's foot, but even as it did so, the fingers flittered away like fine grains of sand in the wind.
"No, no," Chaos muttered to itself as the process quickly consumed its torso, "no, no, n–"
The voice cut off. Percy looked down. There was nothing left to signify that there had been a primordial on the ground just moments before – no weapons, no clothes, no body. Even the fallen Atlas, whose head and body had been so neatly split apart by himself just minutes earlier, was gone. There was nothing on the rocky peak except for the two of them.
A rumble sounded from the earth beneath them, and Percy felt a rush of fear shoot through him as his footing became unstable. A massive roar filled the air as a wide crack split through the middle of the ground, and without a second glance, Percy hurriedly grabbed Thalia's hand and rushed back down the rocky steps they had ascended on.
As they quickly traversed down the flights of stairs into the mountain that they had climbed up, the rumbling grew louder and stronger. Rubble and dust fell from the rocky ceiling on the staircase path. Thalia yelped as a section of the ceiling collapsed onto the stair she had just vacated, and the increasingly unstable feeling of the entire mountain caused Percy to run faster.
The two of them finally exited the stairwell just in time, with the staircase wholesale collapsing into a pile of rubble just as they got out. Looking around, the grand chamber that composed the entrance to the temple seemed worse for the wear – cracks ran up the sides of the columns, and the ceiling constantly shook with rubble falling in small and large pieces. Notably, both Hyperion's and Grover's bodies were missing.
"Alright, let's get out of here," Percy whispered, but just as he did so, the ground shook and split open, a wide fissure splitting the room in half, running side to side and between Percy and Thalia and the doorway to the outside.
Without thinking, Percy ran forward and leaped across the growing chasm, barely clearing it and landing on the hard marble with a groan. He turned his head to see Thalia hesitating staring at the growing divide.
"Thalia, jump!" Percy roared. She looked up at him with slightly frightful eyes, and Percy suddenly remembered that she was deathly afraid of heights. The gaping chasm looked as if it stretched into infinity, a seemingly endless void of darkness reaching the depths of the Earth.
"Don't worry," Percy said, trying to keep his voice steady and calm her down, "I'll right here. Worst case scenario, I'll… I'll catch you. Now, you need to jump."
Thalia quickly nodded and gulped. Inhaling and exhaling rapidly for a few seconds, she finally took off in a sprint and stepped off with one foot when she reached the edge. For a single moment to Percy, it felt as if she were frozen in mid-air, but it quickly passed. Her outstretched hand fell just short of the edge of the broken marble floor, but Percy rolled over to throw his arm over the edge, catching her hand in his.
"Gotcha!" Percy muttered, straining as he tried to lift Thalia up. She wasn't heavy, but he still felt a drain on his muscles, the likes of which he hadn't felt in years. He had not felt so weak in so long, and it was even worse to feel like that when someone else's life was on the line. He swung his other arm over the edge and caught her other flailing hand in his own. There was a precarious moment where he felt as though his body was sliding downward toward the chasm on the slick marble floor, but his shoes quickly found purchase on the floor to stop his slide as rubber met marble in a match of friction.
With a sustained grunt, Percy dragged Thalia upward, finding a renewed energy surge through his limbs. Pulling as hard as he could, he heaved the girl over the edge of the cliff and back onto the marble floor, promptly collapsing backward onto the floor as he did so. He took a moment and pushed himself back off the floor, adrenaline coursing through his body as he realized that danger was still imminent. He extended a hand to Thalia and she grabbed it, pulling herself up as they both broke into one last run to the light of the doorway.
A massive chunk of rock collapsed to the ground just feet in front of Percy, eliciting a yell of shock and terror from him as he realized just how close he was to being squished. Re-routing around the side of the rock, he continued onward, seeing Thalia had already crossed the threshold of the doorway and out of the temple entirely.
Percy slipped as the floor gave out from under him and fell into the growing void, but he fell sideways to the ground and rolled down the stone stairs of the temple, narrowly avoiding the massive plume of smoke and dust that billowed out of the now-crumbled doorway and into the air. This time, as he lay on the ground panting, he let himself stay there for more than a moment – he could feel his skin caked in dust and grime, with his clothes dirtied and his hair sharing space with a not-insignificant amount of dirt.
The bright noon sky shone in his face, a stark contrast to the dark and harrowing path he and Thalia had just walked and the danger they had just faced. Even the cloud of dust that rose into the air did little to obscure the brilliant blue, and Percy felt a distinct sense of relief flow through him as it hit him that it was over. It was finally, actually over.
They had won.
Then the sound of sobbing hit his ears.
But at what cost?
Percy forced himself onto his side and propped up on his left arm, pushing himself up with a singular motion. Even though some of his hair had fallen over the front of his eyes, he could still clearly see Thalia, a few yards in front of him, on her knees. In the distance, in front of the mass of people and other beings that Percy recognized as the combined Greco-Roman army, the Olympians and the Titans stood stock-still in two opposing lines.
"What is happening?" one of the Titans, who wore a rather distinctive helmet with rams attached to it, roared, pointing accusingly at Zeus himself. "What did you do?"
With a start, Percy realized that all of the Titans and Olympians were fading away, just like Chaos. They were slowly crumbling into dust, and with each passing second, more of their bodies disappeared.
The Titan surged forward with great speed, before suddenly tripping after a few steps and stumbling to the ground. "I am Krios, Lord of the South!" the Titan spat, pulling himself forward with his last good arm. "I will not be denied like this!"
"Calm yourself, Krios," Zeus spoke, his voice solemn and soft. "There is no need to struggle like this at the end. You will only hasten the inevitable."
The Titan ignored the Olympian's words, and continued dragging himself further on the ground. With each pull of his arm, he seemed to grow more tired, and after a few moments, he stopped, coughing out golden ichor that faded just as quickly into the air as his body did. And then he stopped moving entirely. Percy blinked. Krios was gone, as were all the Titans who had struggled in their vain attempt to fight to the end. The Olympians, on the other hand, were fading more gracefully, none of them having moved a single step since Krios began his futile fight.
"Thalia, come," Zeus said as he turned to his daughter, gesturing with one hand. She complied, walking slowly and unsteadily up to the King of the Olympians. He put one hand on her head and gently pulled her into an embrace with other. Thalia acquiesced, letting her head rest on his torso even as his legs fully disappeared.
Percy could not hear the softly spoken words Zeus exchanged with Thalia, but all he knew was that after Zeus had stopped speaking, he gently laid a kiss on the top of Thalia's head before pulling her into a full hug. The god locked eyes with Percy, and there was a knowing look shared between the two. It was an intense stare, and the god's blue eyes seemed to see into Percy's soul, searching through his thoughts and rifling through his being. Then he was gone, and Thalia was clutching no more than thin air. She fell to her knees, her head hung low, her empty hands clutching at the past warmth of an absent father.
Getting to his feet, Percy slowly stumbled toward Thalia, but as he did so, he looked at the mass of onlookers. The Roman legionnaires and the Greek campers were standing there unchanged, but all around them, particles of dust floated away into nothingness. Satyrs, dryads, centaurs – none of them, and more, were free from their imminent end. In front of them all, Chiron sat peacefully, his lower body already largely faded away. He turned and saw Percy, giving him a soft and sorrowful smile.
"Do not fret, Percy," the wise centaur stated, seemingly unconcerned about the imminent disappearance of his physical form. "This is what the gods foresaw – there was no alternative. This was the only path with a future, and I am glad that you have chosen it." He paused as his arms disappeared, leaving only his upper torso and head.
"Your father would be proud…" Chiron's voice faded away as he disappeared. Suddenly, all that was left were the Romans, the Greeks, Thalia, and Percy himself. But to him, only Thalia seemed to exist.
He knelt beside her, extending his arms to comfort her. She flinched away as he neared her shoulders, shocking Percy and leaving him to pull backward.
"I'd… I'd like to be alone for a while. Please." Her voice was unsteady and carried an undertone unlike any that Percy had heard from her before.
He acquiesced, standing up and taking a few steps backward, leaving her alone to cry softly into the dirt of the Earth even as Mount Othrys crumbled behind them. It was symbolic enough, as the destruction of the only world they and everyone else present had ever known. But to Thalia, in that moment, all she cared about was that her father was gone, and that she may as well have been the one to cut him down herself.
The years flurried past in a hurry for Percy. Between attaining his diploma at Goode High School – an achievement that Paul Blofis, his new stepfather, was incredibly proud of Percy for – and finding time to begin a program at a local college, Percy was consistently busy building a new life after he had destroyed his old one.
After the momentous events of Mount Tamalpais, everyone scattered like the wind. For Percy, it was obvious where he would return – he still had a home and a loving mother. However, he soon fell out of contact with everyone he known and cared about from his past – Annabeth, Thalia, Bianca, Zoë, among many others. They were lost to him like tears in the rain, with none of them coming to seek him out after they had individually left that fateful day.
He could not blame them – after all, he himself had made no effort to find them. It was an implicit understanding among the former demigods of both the Roman and Greek camps; everyone needed time and space, both to heal and just to find a path to follow. Their lives had been upended, and while Percy had a fallback in his mother, Paul, his half-sister Estelle, and many new friends, like one Rachel Elizabeth Dare, he had made in high school and around Manhattan to make a new, mortal life for himself, many of the others had no such safety net. He specifically had never forgotten about Thalia, but the words of her last rejection stung him even years later, and it fostered a growing feeling of resentment and inadequacy within him. Because of that, he made no effort to find her after she had left, even though he knew she had nowhere to go unlike him.
There was a piece of Percy that felt immense guilt over what he had done, but in the end, there was nothing to that train of thought. As Chiron himself had said, there was no alternative. Percy and Thalia had made the best choice considering the ones they had available, even if that meant that those he cared about would be hurt in the process. To some extent, there was even a hint of cowardice in him – he had no wish to face those he had hurt, even if he owed them an apology. So, he made no effort to find them, and they, likewise, left him alone.
Until, that is, the past came knocking on his door.
"Percy! Get the door!" a voice yelled throughout his apartment.
Percy groaned and rolled out of bed, tossing his phone onto the nearby table as he stretched for a few moments. It was no longer the early morning, but it was not quite noon yet either. As befitting a freshly graduated high school student with nothing better to do during the summer before college, Percy was lazing around in bed watching videos on his phone. The knocking sound on the apartment door came back, as did his mother's voice.
"Percy, the door! I'm cooking right, so I don't have any free hands."
"Alright, alright!" Percy yelled back, standing up. He took a look at his pajamas – an old raggedy shirt and shorts – and decided to pull on some jeans before getting out.
"I'm coming!" Percy yelled, more for the benefit of the person knocking on the door than his mother as he walked out of his room and toward the apartment's front door.
"What do yo–" Percy began and cutoff as he opened the door.
"Percy, who is it?" Sally asked, leaning past the corner of the wall to see. She blinked twice to make sure her vision was fine.
"Thalia!" Sally beamed as she saw the girl standing sheepishly in the doorframe.
Percy swallowed hard. Of all the things to happen, he certainly had not expected Thalia to suddenly reappear. She was older – eighteen, biologically, like him, though they were both knocked off their legal ages due to extenuating circumstances – and had dropped parts of her younger style. Her black hair had grown out slightly, reaching her shoulders. She wore shorts and a t-shirt, which was about as fashionable as most girls were during the beginning of summer, but instead of the combat boots she had heavily favored years before, she wore a pair of flip-flops instead. Her t-shirt was, notably, also not her customary black, being a gray color instead.
"Hey, Mrs. Jackson," Thalia quietly greeted before turning toward Percy. "And, uh… hi, Percy."
"Why don't you come in?" Sally offered. Percy acquiesced, moving aside for Thalia to step in, but Thalia stood at the door unmoving.
"It's no need. I just need to talk to Percy."
Percy turned back to Thalia. "Uh, alright. What's up?"
Thalia shook her head. "Not here… I want to go somewhere else."
2023 – Present Day
Percy's alarm finally rang, and he groaned as he slapped his phone and disabled it. Staring at the plain white ceiling for a few moments, he finally sat up in bed, albeit his head hanging down with eyes closed. Beside him, his wife shifted in bed to face him.
"Already?" Thalia whispered, her eyes half-open.
"Yeah," Percy sighed. "We've got a busy day. Gotta start early." He swung his legs off the side of the bed and stood up.
"You know I love this every year," Thalia whispered, "but getting up this early on a Saturday kills me every time."
"I know," Percy knowingly and lovingly said, before throwing open the heavy curtains of the bedroom's window. Thalia moaned as she placed a hand over eyes as cover from the blinding light.
The bedroom door slammed open as two bundles of energy hurdled in, jumping on the bed and further upsetting Thalia's morning start.
"Hey, hey, get off your mom," Percy playfully ordered. The two kids – a boy and a girl – sighed in disappointment as they rolled off the large bed.
"But dad," the boy groaned, "mom's not getting up."
"Which means we're gonna be late!" the girl completed.
"No," Thalia said, her face in her pillow, "it means we'll be on-time instead of two hours early like we normally are."
The two twins giggled knowingly.
"Alright, alright," Percy clapped his hands, "get back to packing. Don't forget to leave your toothbrush like last time, Eric – after you go brush your teeth now."
The boy groaned again, like all seven-year-old children do when faced with the insurmountable task of maintaining proper oral hygiene every morning and night. His sister, on the other hand, smiled at her brother's torment.
"And you too, Lily – I don't want to have to find out that you purposely left out your sports clothes again. I know you don't like them, but there's no way you're wearing your dress clothes while playing soccer again."
Her smile fell as well. Both kids, considerably less energetic than when they arrived, slunk out of the master bedroom and back to their shared room.
"Whew," Percy sighed. "Alright Thalia, get out of bed."
A grunt was his only response.
"Alright, Percy. Just be back before midnight. And stay safe!" Sally yelled as Percy swung his bag over his shoulder.
"Yeah, I got it mom."
"And it was so nice to see you again," Sally commented toward Thalia.
"Thanks for the meal, Mrs. Jackson."
Sally shook her head. "Call me Sally," she offered, with a certain gleam in her eye that both Percy and Thalia missed.
Thalia nodded, and soon enough, both she and Percy were walking down the stairs of the apartment complex in silence. Once they had exited, she walked toward an older car parked on the side of the road. Percy threw his backpack in the back seat and climbed into the front passenger seat while Thalia got in the driver's seat. With a turn of her key, the car started and they were off.
"Alright, you two have everything?" Percy turned backward to look at his two kids. They both solemnly nodded.
"Toothbrushes?" Nods. "Clothes?" Nods. "Chargers?" Nods. "Towels?" Lily nodded, but Eric blinked a few times.
Percy sighed. "That's fine, you two can share." He ignored Lily's protests and Eric's sigh of relief as he backed the SUV out of the apartment's underground parking spot and toward the exit. With a quick check to look at both sides of the street, Percy pulled onto road and they were off.
The drive passed in silence, with neither of them willing to begin the much-needed conversation. After about half an hour, Percy realized exactly where they were going. It was an appropriate place, all things considered, to have their talk.
The drive was boisterous and loud, so much so that Thalia implemented a fifteen-minute silent period halfway through the drive.
"I told you that we should've bought them an iPad," Thalia whispered. "At least they could be content with watching movies on these kinds of roadtrips."
Percy turned for a brief moment to glance at his wife with understanding eyes. "I know, but do you really want to be skewered by my mom when she finds out we've gotten her grandchildren addicted to another screen?"
The car slowed down and came to a stop in the circle of gravel, a fair way into the forest off the side of the road. Thalia shut off the car's engine and opened her door, with Percy following suit. He stared up at the familiar sign reading 'Camp Half-Blood'. It was faded and worn down, an apt enough allegory for Percy and Thalia's own relationship – whatever kind of relationship that was now.
"Here?" Percy finally spoke up.
Thalia shook her head. "A little deeper inside."
The two of them walked down the well-worn dirt path, into the open clearing that Percy had come to call home over many years. Everything was as broken and burnt down as the last time he had left, and he could not help but feel a bit of pain at seeing the destruction that had never gone away.
A last remnant of a world long forgotten.
Percy pulled into the paved parking lot, taking one of the spots that said 'reserved for camp counselor'. Shutting off the car, he and Thalia both climbed out as their kids jumped out of the SUV first. He popped open the trunk and starting heaving luggage out, with each of the kids toting their own small backpacks.
Looking up, Percy acknowledged the sign – which read 'Camp Olympus' – as he walked under it with his family. The trail was lined with trees, but soon enough, they had exited into the camp proper. In front of them was a modest-sized cabin with a ticket booth window on its side, but behind it, the rest of the camp, with its many buildings, cabins, and other amenities visible, beckoned.
"Percy?" a familiar voice called out from the ticket booth window. The door to the cabin opened after a few moments, revealing none other than Annabeth Chase. A young female teenager with long brown hair and blue eyes stood behind her. Annabeth was about the same as Percy remembered from the last time they had seen each other – long blonde hair neatly tied up in a ponytail, comfortable shorts and a t-shirt instead of her customary business suit with running shoes instead of flats, and thick-framed glasses that partially covered her gray eyes.
"The one and only," he grinned, extending his arms. Annabeth enveloped both he and Thalia in a hug, before going for the children.
"Auntie Anna!" they cried, wrapping their short arms as best they could across the woman's torso.
"What, I get nothing?" the young teenager dryly asked.
"You're next, auntie Esty," Lily noted.
"Alright, so you two are good with the kids?" Percy asked, shooting finger guns at his half-sister.
"Yeah," Annabeth nodded. "I'll note you all as 'arrived', ahead of time and everyone else like you are every year. Well, everyone except Sally and Paul. I think Jason's also already somewhere here too. Estelle can take them to their cabin and keep them company. I don't think any of the other kids have arrived yet."
"Sweet." Percy and Thalia shared a look.
"We'll see you in a bit," Thalia spoke up with a wink as she waved good-bye. As they walked away, they heard Annabeth snort humorously.
"You'd think they were still sixteen-year-olds, crazily in love."
Thalia led Percy past the ruins of Camp Half-Blood and through the forest. There was a sense of finality as Percy walked. He knew exactly where they were going and why. He just did not know exactly what to say when the time came.
Brushing aside a stray tree branch, Thalia walked forward as they both exited into a small clearing in the forest. It was surrounded by thick bushes and trees, making it hard to find for those that did not know it existed, and a small pond of crisp, clear water stood in the middle of the clearing. It was completely untouched from the destruction that the rest of the camp bore.
"So," Percy started. Then he stopped, unsure of what to actually say.
Thalia half-turned, wistfully smiling at Percy as the clear water sparkled behind her in the falling afternoon sun. A sudden thrill shot through his heart as he admired her, just as he had years before. Even more than before, she was like an angel in front of him, worthy of becoming the goddess of beauty. He felt like he had just been struck by lightning one more time, just like he was whenever he was with her.
And suddenly he felt like he knew what he needed to say.
Percy led Thalia past the buildings of Camp Olympus, climbed over the wooden fence that marked the boundary of where the kids could go, and into the forest. Many of its features were still recognizable to Percy, even after more than a decade. There was a history of moments, both good and bad, etched into the very soil and wood of the forest. Yet, Percy stopped to gaze at none of them.
Finally brushing aside a tree branch, he and Thalia stepped into a small clearing. It was surrounded by thick bushes and trees, making it hard to find for those that did not know it existed, and a small pond of crisp, clear water stood in the middle of the clearing. By the water, a small wooden bench sat embedded in the gravel.
They both took a seat on it, letting nature sweep over them with the sound of calling birds and the gentle movement of the clear water. Thalia leaned her head on Percy's shoulder and he took her hand in his.
It was their moment of solitude in their secret place, and it was one that they savored to its fullest extent.
"I'm sorry," Percy blurted out. Thalia blinked a few times before snorting.
"Sorry for what, kelp head?" Her light voice ringed like music to his ears.
"I… I left you after… that. I shouldn't have. I'm sorry."
Thalia laughed lightly before shaking her head. "No, I left you. I asked to be left alone, and you did what I asked. I was… too scared to go back, to try to make it work after my dad died, so I just did what was easiest, and I ran away." She laughed mirthlessly this time. "I guess that's all I know how to do. Run when the going gets tough."
Percy shook his head. "No, I failed you still. I should've made sure, I should've stayed to try and help you. That was my fault. I still regret not doing anything."
They both fell silent after a few moments.
"I regret," Thalia spoke up, "not mending things, especially how I left them. I was sad, and angry… and just confused after all of that. I didn't mean to push you away like that." A few tears rolled out of her eyes. "I really wish I didn't."
Percy felt tears coming out of his own eyes as well, rolling down his cheeks. He walked forward and embraced Thalia in a hug, with her wrapping her arms around his back as tightly as he wrapped his arms around her.
"I'm sorry too," Percy choked out. "It's my fault as well. I shouldn't have left so easily."
They eventually loosened their embrace and stepped back from each other, though still standing close to each other, face-to-face.
"You know," Thalia suddenly said. "I kinda want to rebuild all of this. The camp. Make it what it was before. For everyone."
Percy nodded. It was an idea that spoke to his heart. Re-opening the camp, but not just for demigods like it used to. "We'll probably need to change the name, though. I'm not sure how many parents would like their children to be known as 'half-blood', since I'm pretty sure most people don't get that like we do."
Thalia giggled. "I can already imagine the PR disaster that would come from that." She looked up at Percy, and he found himself staring into her electric blue eyes.
"Do you… want to start over?" she tentatively asked, some of the humor falling from her expression.
A moment passed.
"Yes," Percy breathed out quietly.
Thalia nodded. She extended her hand.
"My name is Thalia Grace."
Percy took it, smiling as he did so. The pond sparkled brilliantly beside them, reflecting rays of light around them in a beautiful halo.
A/N: And… it's complete.
I can't believe it's finished.
First thing to do is to thank all of you for sticking with me as I've written this story. It's been a journey for me, and I hope that's been an enjoyable one for you all as well. I never imagined that when I wrote this, it would become like this – I set out to write a 1,500 word one-shot, and now it's a 135,000 word story with an average of 4,500 words per chapter. That wouldn't have been possible without all of you supporting me along the way.
I have been asked a few times whether or not there's going to be a sequel. I will say now that I do not have plans for a sequel, and the ending of the story is, in my opinion, pretty complete. It's worth noting that this is the ending I've had in mind since the beginning, so even though the journey getting here has been an interesting one (with many unexpected twists and turns), I'm glad that it still (mostly) worked out to what I originally intended. I may one day write a one-shot or two to cover some of what happened between Part I and Part II of the finales – chapters 27 and 28, respectively – but right now, I think I like where the story is. Of course, I will go back to do make some edits where needed from time to time, but overall, it's finished.
I will say, as some advertising for my other story, that while I will likely be taking a break for a few months (this entire semester, most likely), I will be continuing my Harry Potter story, "More Than A Memory". If anyone's interested, the first four chapters of it are already up, and more are likely to come.
For now, I'll just say thank you one last time. Leave a review about what you thought if you want to. Otherwise, I just hope you liked it!
See you all around.