Chapter 9: The Burrow
Shorty: All right!
KG: We'll now finally get to meet Harry and Co.
Emma: Yes! It's about time!
Larry: Well this should be interesting.
Shorty: Sorry it took so long. School is not fun. All my teachers gave me a bunch of homework at the same time. In addition to that we both have basketball practice for about 1 ½ to 2 hours after school, and the weekends have been really busy, too. However the season's over and you can expect this story to be updated about every one to two weeks.
Disclaimer: We don't own anything!!!!
In my dream I was on a giant chessboard, but the pieces weren't like your regular chess set. It was wizard's chess, except everything was Greek instead of medieval. I was in the far left corner. Across from me was the black set of pieces, except something was very different. First off, that side consisted of monsters; Laistrogonians, Scythian Dracaena, Telekhines, and others. Secondly, the king and the king-side bishop weren't there. In the place of the king, sitting on a throne decorated with intricate drawings of chaos and destruction was none other than Kronos, he was in Luke's body of course. He was glaring at me with those unnatural gold eyes. He grinned evilly and the scar on his face rippled. His scythe looked more frightening than ever.
At his side, where the bishop would normally be, was a strangely familiar figure. It was the cloaked boy from my dreams. He wore the glowing red necklace and his lips, which were the only features not shadowed by his hood were frowning grimly. He was staring at something else. I looked past the giant bishop at my right and gasped. In the queen's place was Annabeth. She looked like a queen, too. She wore a simple, but elegant gown and her honey-blonde hair was beautiful. A jeweled crown was on her beautifully braided head. She turned toward me and smiled and I smiled sheepishly back. She turned back to look at the opposing "army" and a looked down at my feet.
Who was I kidding? I had no chance with Annabeth. I shouldn't even try. The checkerboard beneath me reflected my image. I was me, but I wasn't. The image on the board showed a young hero, in a Greek robe trimmed green. A green cape with a seashell clasp was on his shoulders and a laurel wreath was on his head. He was holding Riptide at his side. It took me a few seconds to accept that this was me.
Then the game began.
The pieces moved as if commanded silently by the king. Annabeth and I were able to move of our own accord, though I mostly moved and attacked where Annabeth thought best. She was a better strategist than me. The game dragged, but it was clear who was winning. Them. We had about two pawns scattered around the board, but except for them it was just me, Annabeth, and the king. And then something changed. The mood shifted and Kronos smiled darkly. It was our turn; Annabeth attacked a pawn and took it out with a stab of her knife. Then the cloaked boy looked up and stepped forward, or rather diagonally, to where Annabeth stood. It was a trap. I complicated trap that we didn't see coming. But I trap, none the less. The boy stood two spaces in front and to the right of Annabeth so if she moved forward a space he could take her out and Kronos was right behind him, safely protected. And to prevent Annabeth from backing out two towers and the other bishop, plus some pawns and a knight kept her cornered.
It was our turn now. I didn't know what to do. Annabeth was trapped and I was the only one left that could protect the king. If I moved then one of Kronos's knights would move in to checkmate the king and we would lose. But I had a feeling that if Annabeth was attacked then she would be gone. Forever. If we lost then it would be terrible. But I could take losing the game, even if it was more than a game, but I couldn't lose Annabeth. And then I saw it. We would lose but it would be the only way to save my friend. I would have to move to the spot in front of her. I gripped Riptide firmly in my hand and walked forward in an L-shape to stand in front of her.
"What are you doing?" She whispered frantically. "You'll die!"
"I know," I sighed. The cloaked boy looked at me. I still couldn't make out his face, even so close. He took a deep breath and unsheathed his sword. It glowed faintly and the light combined with the glowing gem on his necklace make him look almost ghostly.
"Any last words, Percy Jackson?" Kronos asked behind the boy. His voice underneath Luke's scratched like knives against stone.
"Don't kill her," I whispered. "Please. Don't kill her."
The boy nodded once. He understood.
I smiled peacefully. "Thanks."
"Percy! No!" Annabeth cried. Then the boy steped forward and drove his sword through my heart. A nearly instant death. Almost painless. I could hear Annabeth's sobs as the black over took me and I slipped into forever sleep.
When I woke up it was early. The sun was just beginning to touch the world with light. I rolled out of bed and decided to get dressed. I was wide awake and had no chance of falling asleep. As I pulled on some clothes I thought over my dream. It was still vivid in my mind. I could hear the echo of Annabeth's cries in the back of my head. I shook my head trying to forget the dream. I walked out of the room, closing the door quietly. I walked down the stairs and as I past the table where Annabeth and I had played our chess game I grabbed the white knight. I don't know why I did, it was just an impulsive reaction. I guess my dream wouldn't be forgotten so quickly. I sat down in the armchair nearest to the fire and stared into the bright flames. I thought about my strange dream as I absentmindedly twirled the knight in my hands.
"Hey," a familiar girl's voice said. It was Annabeth.
"Oh, hey!" I replied surprised to see her up this early. She came and sat down in the chair across from me. She glanced at the knight, but didn't say anything.
Just then a barn owl came flying in from the open window and dropped a letter on the ground between us. It went over and rested on Annabeth's shoulder. She scratched it on its head and it nipped her ear affectionately.
I reached down and grabbed the letter. I opened it and pulled out a piece of parchment.
"What does it say?" She asked. The letter was in slightly slanted hand-writing which hurt my eyes, but eventually I made it out.
Dear young half-bloods and Grover,
Meet me in my office promptly. Excuse me for the early hour, I will explain when you get to my office.
P.S. The password is 'Chocolate Frogs.'
"Chocolate Frogs?" Annabeth raised an eyebrow. I shrugged.
"Well, I'll go wake up Thalia then," Annabeth said, then cringed. Thalia was not a morning person.
"Right, I'll go get Grover and Nico," I said.
"No need," a voice said. It was Nico. He and Grover had just entered the room, fully dressed.
"What's going on that you would dare wake Thalia?" Grover asked.
"Dumbledore wants us in his office right now," Annabeth explained.
"Why?" Grover said.
"Good question. We don't know. Percy and I were sitting here when an owl came and delivered this letter." Annabeth handed Grover the piece of parchment and I realized, for the first time, that the owl had left.
Grover scanned the paper then he read it to Nico who kept saying: "What's it say?"
"I'm gonna go get Thalia," Annabeth left. As soon as she was up the stairs Grover turned to me.
"You got the bucket?" He asked.
I grinned and produced a bucket filled with water from under a chair.
"What are you gonna use that for?" Nico asked wearily.
"Our prank against you and the girls," I said. "But don't worry. It's not you who's gonna get doused. It's Annabeth and Thalia."
"Um, Percy, I wouldn't do tha--," Nico started to say, but Grover gut him off by stuffing a gag in his mouth.
"Sorry, Nico, but we can't have you running off to tell the girls or ruining the prank," I said holding him so Grover could use a song on his reed pipes to tie him up with vines.
When he was done I picked up the bucket of water and proceeded to the stairs. The plan was a classic. Crack the door open, place the bucket on top, and when the girls opened the door, they would get a surprise shower. I opened the door to the stair case just a little and placed the bucket on top. I had to stand on a chair to reach. I heard voices coming down the stairs and quickly put the chair back and moved to go sit back by the fire place. Splash! It worked!
"PERCY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GROVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Thalia and Annabeth yelled in unison.
Grover and I were busting up so much we forgot that we should probably run from the wrath of the Thalia and Annabeth.
"Who's idea was it?!" Thalia snarled.
"We'll never tell!" Grover said.
"Grover if you tell me, I'll get Artemis to autograph a t-shirt for you," Thalia bribed.
"It was Percy's idea!" Grover practically shouted.
"Grover!" I yelled. Stupid satyr would do anything for Artemis. Then Annabeth stalked up to me and grabbed me by my shirt. I was slightly taller than her so she had to look up a little. She was livid. Her grey eyes were dark with anger. She looked almost cute when she was angry.
"Um, all's fair in love and war?" I squeaked.
"You are dead, Seaweed Brain," She growled slowly. Then I got an idea. I didn't really want Annabeth to kill me. That would suck. I touched her cheek. Instantly she was dry. She let go of her grip on my shirt. My hand lingered on her cheek. It fit around her face perfectly and the angry glare left from her face leaving shock and confusion. Kiss her!!!! It was my old inner Romeo back to haunt me. Despite the fact that I desperately wanted to kiss her, I let my hand drop. Annabeth blushed. Bad Percy!! Inner Romeo scolded.
"Um, thanks," she muttered. Then her expression turned to one that was very familiar, defiance, challenge, and pride. "You're still going down, Seaweed Brain!"
I grinned, "Bring it on, Wise Girl!" I noticed that we were still standing really close together.
"Oh, don't worry, we will," She assured me. "Now dry off Thalia." It wasn't a request. It was a command.
I shrugged. "Fine." I walked over to Thalia and touched her arm. She dried, but then she touched my arm and shocked me. It hurt!
"Ouch!" I yelped. Annabeth laughed. The kind that let up her face and made her eyes sparkle. She had the most beautiful laugh in the world and I'd let Thalia zap me a thousand times if it meant that I got to hear that laugh a thousand times.
"Now," Thalia said, "are we just gonna stand here all day or are we gonna go to Dumbledore's office and see why you woke me up at," she paused to look at her wrist, which held no watch, "really early?"
"Right," Annabeth said. "Let's go."
Annabeth climbed out of the portrait hole and we followed. I came up beside her.
"Hey," I said.
"Hey," she replied. We climbed up some stairs, then turned down a hallway.
We walked in silence. Awkward silence. Just like over the summer. We had gotten so distant and I didn't really understand why. It had hurt. And it still did.
When we got to the large gargoyle that guarded the entrance to Dumbledore's office I stepped forward and said, "Chocolate Frogs."
Immediately the stone guardian jumped aside and we stepped onto the spiral staircase. When we were all inside the gargoyle moved back into place and the stairs began moving upward like and escalator. When we got to the top, Annabeth knocked on the door.
"Come in!" Dumbledore called. Annabeth opened the door and we filed in. Hagrid was in the room for some reason.
"Hello," Dumbledore said. "I apologize for waking you so early, but you have a big day ahead and an even bigger one tomorrow. Tomorrow the fall semester here at Hogwarts will begin. Today you must get some school supplies. You already have wands so you don't have to worry about that. Hagrid, here, will take you shopping at Diagon Alley for your supplies. You'll also meet up with some children not to different from yourselves. You'll spend the night at the Burrow, the house of the Weasley's, who are good friends of mine."
"What about money?" Thalia asked.
"Taken care of," Dumbledore replied. "You will have 50 Galleons to use for supplies and anything else that catches your eye."
"Thanks," we all said.
"You're welcome," Dumbledore said. "Now off you go."
"How are we getting there?" Grover asked.
"Floo Powder!" Hagrid announced. We all groaned a little. It was easier this time because we knew what to expect, but it still wasn't fun getting all that ash in your mouth.
We went to The Leaky Cauldron. Hagrid ordered fire whiskey for himself, I guess it was some sort of wizard alcohol, and butterbeer for us minors. It was a lot like warm rootbeer, except it tasted great, unlike warm rootbeer.
"We'll hav' to wait fer the others," Hagrid had said. "They should be 'ere soon, but migh' as well have a drink, eh?"
While we waited for the mysterious others, Hagrid explained wizard currency and our supply list, and what life at Hogwarts was like during the school year. After about 10 minutes a group of six people walked in.
"Tha's 'em," Hagrid said, getting up to greet them.
It was the Sunday before school started and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Ron, Ginny, Hermione, and I were driving in a special Ministry supplied car to Diagon Alley so we could get our supplies and check out Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. Apparently we were meeting Hagrid there and some special guests from America, but none of the adults would say much about them. Hermione was ecstatic about meeting foreigners. She was interested to see what American wizards were like. When we pulled up to the Leaky Cauldron we all piled out and stepped onto the curb.
"I wonder what the Americans will be like." Hermione wondered for the millionth time. Ron rolled his eyes in annoyance.
"Guess we're about to find out," I said. Truth be told I was curious as well. I wondered if they play Quidditch.
Mr. Weasley opened the door to the Leaky Cauldron and we all walked inside. Sitting at a table close to the fireplace was Hagrid and 5 kids. The oldest looked almost 16, but the youngest looked about 11. All the other kids looked 14 or 15. Hagrid stood up to greet us.
"Harry!" Hagrid shouted, sweeping me into a bone crushing hug. "How yeh doin'?"
"Good," I chocked out. "Er, Hagrid…can't breathe."
"Oh, righ'," He mumbled. He put me down and gave Hermione, Ron and Ginny a hug.
"Can we please get moving, Hagrid?" Mrs. Weasley asked nervously. She was afraid of an attack.
"'Course!" Hagrid said. "But first meet Thalia, Annabeth, Percy, Grover, an' Nico." He pointed to the kids sitting at the table as he said their names. Thalia, Percy, and Nico all had black hair (however Thalia had a silver circlet braided into her hair) and looked like they could be related, especially Thalia and Percy. They each had different color eyes, though. Thalia's were electric blue and glowed with energy. Percy's were sea green and reminded me of the ocean, unreadable. Nico's were black and had a glint that made him look like he was either a genius or a lunatic. Annabeth had honey-blonde hair and startling grey eyes. They were intelligent and intimidating, like she was looking for a way to take you down in a fight. Grover had curly brown hair and kind brown eyes. He looked like a loyal friend.
"You guys are the American wizards Dumbledore talked about?" Hermione said eagerly.
"Half-bloods," Percy stated. "Except for Grover." Percy had the face of a rebel and his jet black hair was long enough to get in his eyes.
"Me, too," I said. "My dad was a pure-blood and my mum was muggle-born."
"Sorry," Percy said. "I don't mean wizard half-blood. I mean demigod. You know, half-god."
"Half-god?" Ron said.
"Ever heard of the Greek gods?" Thalia asked. She had a smile playing at the corners of her mouth. She was the tallest, but Percy was just a little shorter than her. She wore a silver jacket and tattered black jeans. A concert shirt for the band Greenday was visible beneath the jacket.
"No," Ron and I said at the same time that Hermione and Ginny said "Yes."
"Well, they're still around," Thalia explained. "They move with Western Civilization always living in the most powerful countries and bringing Greek mythology with them. They were here for a while actually, but now they're in America. And sometimes they have kids with mortals. Demigods, or half-bloods. That would be us." Then added as and afterthought. "Except for Grover."
"What are you, then?" Ron asked Grover.
"A satyr," Grover said. "You know, half-man, half-goat."
"Wow," I said. "How come we've never heard of this?"
"'Cuase it's all a one big secret. Like your world," Annabeth explained.
"Maybe we should go, you can talk and walk," Mrs. Weasley ushered us outside to the alley and tapped the brick that opened into Diagon Alley.
"Whoa," Percy muttered.
"Welcome to Diagon Alley!" Hagrid said proudly.
"Shopping," Nico grumbled. "Fun." Everyone laughed.
"Yeah, well, I don't think this is your normal shopping mall," Annabeth remarked.
"It's not," I assured them. "It's much better."
"Shopping is shopping," Nico stated.
"Now, I think we need to go to Madam Malkin's first," Mrs. Weasley said. "Ron and Harry are too tall for their old ones and Hermione wants new ones. And I suppose you five will need robes, too….Well, we should go. C'mon everyone."
"This doesn't make sense to all go at the same time. It will take forever," Mr. Weasley pointed out. "Why don't you all go with Hagrid and you and I will go get everyone's school books?"
"I don't know…It could be dangerous splitting up…" Mrs. Weasley said anxiously.
"Don' worry 'bout a thin'!" Hagrid assured her. "They'll be fine with me!"
"Oh, all right," Mrs. Weasley surrendered. "But hurry!"
"What exactly is Madam Malkin's?" Percy asked.
"The best place to get robes for any occasion," Ginny supplied.
"Great!" Nico said. "Clothes shopping!" We all laughed at him.
As we walked to Madam Malkin's I noticed how everyone seemed just as nervous as Mrs. Weasley. No one stopped to talk anymore. They just wanted to finish their errands and get the bloody hell home.
When he got to the robe shop Hagrid said that he would stay outside. With all of us it would be too tight a squeeze.
We walked inside and at first the place seemed empty, but then we heard a familiar, we'll familiar to Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and I at least, voice.
"Incase you haven't noticed, I'm not a child anymore, Mother. I'm perfectly capable of shopping by myself." It was none other than Draco Malfoy.
"Now, young man, your mother is right." It was Madam Malkin. "These are dangerous times and no one should be going anywhere alone. It has nothing to do with being a child—"
"Watch where you stick that pin!" Draco yelped. He was dressed in dark green robes that had pins sticking out of it at the sleeves and hem. When he saw us in the reflection of the mirror his pale gray eyes narrowed.
"Incase your wondering what that smell is, Mother," Draco sneered, "a mudblood just walked in."
"Now I will not have that language used in my store!" Madam Malkin scolded.
Ron and I whipped out our wands and pointed them at Malfoy.
"It's not worth it," Hermione mumbled, but we didn't listen.
"Put hose wands away!" Narcissa Malfoy yelled.
"Say that again and see what happens!" Ron said ignoring her.
"Like you could put a good jinx on me," Malfoy sneered, jumping off the low platform in front of the mirror. He sauntered over to us. "Who are your new friends, Potter? Or are they your fans?"
"We're kinda new here, actually," Thalia answered. "We're from America."
"Hmmm, well you're not spending your time here with good company."
"On the contrary, I think these guys are actually very nice," Annabeth retorted.
Malfoy gave the demigods and Grover a once over. When he took a look at Thalia and Percy his expression faltered. He looked a little nervous and I couldn't figure why.
"Draco!" Malfoy's mum called. "Time to leave!"
"See you on the train, losers! I look forward to kicking Gryffindor's butt this year in Quidditch!" Malfoy sneered.
"In your dreams, Malfoy!" Ginny said.
"Come, Draco! We're running late!" Mrs. Malfoy urged.
"Where you are going?" I asked. "Off to see your daddy in Azkaban?"
Malfoy whirled around and ripped his wand form his robe pocket. But Percy was two steps ahead. Out of absolutely no where, a three-foot long, bronze sword was stuck under Malfoy's chin.
"Put that little stick away," Percy said in a quite, even voice.
"Or what?" Malfoy tried to sound indifferent and unconcerned, but his face was beaded with sweat and his voice broke.
"I think you know," Percy smiled coldly.
"If you hurt my son, it will be the last thing you do!" Mrs. Malfoy threatened.
"What are you going to do?" I asked. "You gonna put some Death Eaters on us?"
"Us?" Percy turned to look at him.
"I'll help you if he doesn't put his wand away," I assured him.
Malfoy just continued staring at the blade under his chin. And Percy jerked he blade in a feint. Malfoy screamed and we all busted up laughing.
"This isn't over!" Malfoy shouted at us. "You'll be sorry, just you wait!"
Then he pocketed his wand and turned walking away fuming out the door.
"Pinch me! I'm dreaming!" I shouted. I swear I think I just died and went to Elysium. "Ow!"
"What?" Lizzy said, innocently. "You said 'Pinch me' didn't you?"
"It's a figure of speech!" I hissed.
"I know," She was fighting a smile.
"I hate you," I whispered staring up at her.
"Love you too, Kris!" She was sporting a full out grin/smirk now.
We walked deeper into Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.
"If this is what Elysium is like I am prepared to be a very good little girl," I said
"What's this?" I said, checking out a puking pastel. "Hmm, I think I'll slip this into Clarisse's food, when we get home."
"What happened to getting on Hades' nice list?"
"Changed my mine. This stuff is just too cool!"
"You're not very good with temptation are you?"
"Incorrect! I have unbreakable will power… I'm just curious."
"Curiosity killed the cat."
"But satisfaction brought it back." I turned to ask a clerk a question about the pastels then moved on to check out some prank candy. "Besides I'm not a cat."
"Thank the gods that you aren't a child of the Big Three." Lizzy handed me some suckers on the top of the shelf that I couldn't quite reach. Apparently it made the eater's clothes, except for their undies, invisible. I would have to try these out on Percy!
"Uh oh!" Lizzy gasped. "Red alert! Red alert! Code red!" Why red? It seemed like a good emergency color that's why.
My head whipped around and I followed where Lizzy's finger was pointing. Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Nico, and Thalia and about 6 other people walked into the store.
"Crap!" I hissed. "We can't let them see us!"
"No duh!" Liz said, sarcasm dripping from her voice.
What's more they started walking toward us.
"We need to hide. Like now!" Lizzy whispered urgently.
"Uh," I looked around for anything that could help us hide. I pondered the idea of the invisible suckers, and then realized that it would only turn our robes invisible and make us stand out. Come on, Kris. You're a child of Hermes. You're a master at this kinda stuff. Then I spotted it! By the counter! A large label that took me a second to decipher: It read: Disguise Patches! Change your appearance for an hour! Just stick the patch on your arm! Great for ditching class! "C'mon!" I grabbed Liz's arm. "I found our saving grace!" We snuck over to the counter.
"How much are the Patches?" I asked the magenta-clad clerk.
"Ten sickles a box," She answered. "There are five patches in each box."
"Great!" I exclaimed. I dug out a bunch of coins from my pocket. "Right, now, I'll take 10 boxes."
The clerk seemed a bit surprised. "That's 100 sickles."
"I know." I counted out 6 galleons and gave them to the clerk. She gave me two sickles in change. Then she gave me a bag with all the patches in them.
"C'mon." Lizzy grabbed my wrist and pulled me toward the doors.
"But I'm not done looking!" I protested tugging the opposite way.
"We can come back tonight after dinner!"
"Fine. After dinner."
We snaked through the crowd and out the door.
I took out a box of Disguise Patches. It was about the size of a box of band aids. I took out two patches and handed one to Lizzy.
"They only work for an hour, so we'll have to put new ones on later," I reminded her.
"What about at school?" She asked peeling the paper of the patch, with was about the size of a large band aid.
"These are only for emergencies. Otherwise I think we'll be able to deal with being unseen."
"What a sec," Lizzy said before she put the patch on. "What about your Inviso-pills? Why didn't we use those?"
"Because I left them in the room at the Leaky Cauldron."
"I didn't think we would need them! Besides these are just as good." I stuck my patch on and Lizzy followed suit.
I felt a tingling sensation all over my skin, like my entire body had fallen asleep. Then the tingling stopped.
"How do I look?" I asked Lizzy.
"You've got brown hair and green eyes. And your features aren't so elfish. You look kinda serious," She replied. "What about me?"
"Brown hair and eyes, but you have more less freckles. Oh, and your nose isn't as straight and long."
"So it worked? Cool!" Just then the wizards and The Gang came out of the joke shop laden with pranks and jokes and started heading for another fantastical wizard shop.
"C'mon we can't lose them!" I said urgently and we followed them into store after store after store.
"This is boring," I complained. We were in a potions ingredient store. I examined a vile with a very interesting shade of green liquid inside it. "They aren't doing squat. They're just shopping, for Zeus' sake!"
"Yeah, but this is part of our assignment," Lizzy said. "Even if it is boring."
"Ugh! At the very least something can happen!"
"Be careful what you wish for."
We followed them around for another half-hour or so. They all went back to the Leaky Cauldron and a car was waiting out front for them.
"How are they all supposed to fit into that?" I asked.
"Well, they're all wizards. Maybe they have a spell to expand the inside of the car or something."
"Well, they're gonna need a heck of spell. That's still a lot of people."
It looked like The Gang was having the same thoughts, but they eventually all loaded into the car.
"Should we follow them?" Lizzy asked.
"Yeah," I nodded. "Mia!" Small dove wings popped out of my shoes and I hovered in the air. "Let's go!" I grabbed Lizzy under her arms and we were off.
We followed them pretty far out into the country. Then the car stopped at the outskirts of this little village and dropped them all off. We landed in the alleyway between two small shops and watched as they all got out and trudged through the hills.
"Where are they going?" Lizzy wondered.
"Do you remember that big house way out in the hills?" I asked her.
"You mean the one that looked like a badly balanced house of cards?"
"No, the castle! Yes, that house!"
"How are we supposed to follow them then?"
"We're not." I was thinking hard. When they went to Hogwarts we just let it go. With just them and the teachers they're would be too much contact and they could find out who we were. Plus, Lizzy hadn't really "seen" anything too major happening then. It was actually a random little vision she had a few weeks ago that just now made sense. But now, we just didn't know.
"I've got it!" I brought Mercury out of my bag.
Lizzy looked at me a little skeptical. "How's an automaton dove gonna help?"
"Mercury's got a spy camera in his eyes, and he's got a supersensitive hearing system, that has a recorder so we can tape record everything he hears. We'll just send him over and he can hang out in some trees."
"All right, Mercury. This is your first mission. It's top priority, so pay attention," I ordered. Mercury chirped twice, so I took it he was listening. "We need you to spy on Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Nico, and Thalia. Record everything you see or hear. When I press the button on your remote you come back and find me. Got it?"
"Then go!" Lizzy cried. "Remember: Record everything! Starting now." Mercury's eyes blinked. He was recording.
"Go!" I threw him in the air and off he went in the general direction of the house and The Gang.
"Now all we have to do is wait," Lizzy said.
"Great," I muttered sarcastically. "The ADHD's best friend: Doing nothing!"
Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Time Skip! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxX
We hiked through the hills for a while until we came to this old, tall, un-balanced looking building. It was awesome! There was a vegetable garden next to the house and a pair of old boots and a cauldron by the door.
We walked into the kitchen. It had a very homey feel to it. The dishes in the sink we're doing themselves and there was a large table that could probably seat at least 12 people if everyone squeezed. There was a whole bunch of bridal magazines and weeding plans spread out on the table with a young women hunched over them. She had silvery blonde hair and looked like a daughter of Aphrodite. She looked up when we came in.
"Is this ze American visitors?" She spoke in a strong French accent.
"Yes," Arthur said. "This is Thalia, Annabeth, Percy, Grover, and Nico. Kids, this is Fleur."
We all said hi to Fleur.
Then this tall, young guy walked in. He was handsome, I guess, and he had long red hair that was tied into a pony tail at the nape of his neck. He had loads of freckles, too.
"Hi!" He said. "You must be the demigods, right? I'm Bill, Ron and Ginny's older brother." We all introduced are selves to Bill and he shook our hands. He seemed pretty cool.
"You'll have to sleep in the living room on the floor and couches," Mrs. Weasley said. She had an apologetic look on her face. "We don't have any room in the bedrooms."
"No problem," Thalia said. "Compared to some of the places we've slept on quests the floor is practically a water bed."
"No waterbeds, though," Grover said quickly.
"Yeah," Annabeth agreed. "No waterbeds."
I laughed and Thalia and Nico gave me looks but I just shook my head.
"So," Ron said, turning to us, "you lot any good at Quidditch?"
"Gesundheit," Annabeth said.
I looked at her.
"It means 'bless you' in German."
"Of course you'd speak German," I rolled eyes and Annabeth stuck her tongue out at me.
"So, wait," Harry said, looking confused. "You've never heard of Quidditch?"
We shook our heads.
"Blimey!" Ron said. "Well, it's about time you learned then! Come on!"
"I've got to get my broom, first," Harry said. "I think it's in your room. I'll meet you at the field."
Ron nodded his head and led the way out front and we all followed. They led us to this huge grassy area roughly the size of a soccer field between two hills surrounded by trees. On either end of the field was a hoop, about as a big as hula hoops, attached to these 20 foot tall poles.
"Are you playing?" Ron asked Hermione.
She shook her head. "I'll be referee. Besides, I'm terrible at Quidditch."
"Me and Hermione will get the equipment. You explain the rules," Ginny said.
Then Ginny and Hermione walked over to a shed towards the center on the side of the field.
"All right," Ron said. "Quidditch is easy enough. There are usually seven to a team, three chasers, two beaters, one keeper, and a seeker, but we don't have enough people so we'll have four to a team. Now, there are four balls: the Quaffle, two Bludgers, and the Golden Snitch."
We all nodded.
"The chasers' job is to get the Quaffle, a large red ball, through a hoop. On a regular field there are three on each end, but we only play with one. It's the keeper's job to make sure the opposing chasers don't get the Quaffle into a hoop. Got it?"
We all nodded again.
"Good. Now, the Bludgers are actually magic. They fly around and try to knock players of their brooms and bruise them up a bit. The beaters have to make sure that their players don't get hit and that the enemy players do. They use bats to hit the Bludgers around even though they can fly on their own. The last ball, the Golden Snitch, is about the size of a walnut. It has little wings on it, too. It's the seeker's job to catch the Snitch. But it's really fast and hard to catch, so when you catch it your team gets 150 points and the game is over."
"All right," Nico nodded. "So we're using brooms to fly around on?"
"You mean we're flying?" Thalia choked. I shuddered.
Ron nodded. "Yeah, what's the matter?"
"I don't like flying." I stated.
"I don't do heights." Thalia admitted.
"It's only 20 feet off the ground. It would be higher, but we don't want the muggles to accidently see us."
"No way," Thalia insisted.
Ron turned toward me, "What about you, Percy?"
I hesitated. "I don't know."
"It's loads of fun," Ron encouraged.
I bit my lip. "Okay. I'll give it a shot." I turned toward Thalia. "Make sure I don't get struck by lightning."
She smirked. "I'll do my best."
That's when Ginny and Hermione came back. They passed out brooms and I noticed that Ron's looked the newest. Ron told them that Thalia wasn't playing and Hermione split up the teams.
"The teams are as follows: Ginny, Annabeth, Percy, and Grover on one team and Harry, Ron, and Nico on the other. We'll play with one Bludger since apparently you lost your other one God knows how. And we aren't going to play with the Snitch because we don't have enough people. We'll just play to 150 instead. Thalia will be scorekeeper."
"Sounds good," Thalia nodded.
"It's ten points per goal," Hermione told her.
At that point Harry jogged up beside us. He had a sleek, fast-looking broom in his hand.
"Fancy," I told him.
"Thanks," He said. "What are the teams and whose referee?"
Hermione told him the teams and such and then picked up the Quaffle.
"Get with your teams and decide who's doing what. Then meet me at center field."
Ginny gathered us around. "I'm assuming none of you can fly?"
"Not on brooms," I told her.
"That's okay. I'll be one chaser, Annabeth, you can be the other one."
"Okay," Annabeth nodded.
"Grover's the beater and Percy can be keeper," Ginny said.
"Actually," Grover said. "I can't hit very well, so how about Percy's beater and I'm keeper."
"Did you forget about the whole Medusa fight a few summers ago or what?" I asked him. "You were hitting her like she was a piñata!"
"Yeah, but you've been working out with the sword for years," He pointed out. "Your arms are stronger."
I nodded. He was right. "Fine."
"Okay," Ginny said. "Let's go kick some butt!" We broke apart from our huddle and went to over to the center of the giant field.
Hermione, Thalia, Nico, Harry, and Ron were waiting for us. Hermione was holding a scarlet ball approximately the size of a soccer ball. Thalia was holding a box down to the ground that kept rattling around. She had two bats at her feet. Ginny handed me one and I noticed that Nico already had one. He must be playing beater.
"Ready?" Hermione asked.
"We're going to kick your butts," Ron jeered.
"In your dreams!" Ginny shouted.
"Yeah!" I piped in. "We're totally going to own you guys!"
"Bring it on!" Harry challenged.
"Enough," Hermione sighed. "Mount your brooms."
Everyone clambered onto there brooms. I won't lie. I felt stupid.
"Ready?" Hermione asked. "Go!" She threw up the Quaffle and everyone shot up. Ron and Harry raced Ginny and Annabeth for the Quaffle. Harry grabbed the Quaffle and Grover sped off toward our goal to block them and the girls went on defense. Then Thalia jumped off the box and the lid flew open. I battered midnight black ball about the size of a grapefruit flew out. Thalia quickly picked up the bat and hit the Bludger. Far.
"Hey, Thalia! You sure you don't want to play?" I called. "You can really it that thing!"
"You might want to go after the Bludger before Nico hits one of your teammates!" She warned.
"Styx," I mumbled. Nico already had a great head start. I swung my broomstick in the direction the Bludger had gone and my broomstick shot forward and I got whiplash. I was holding onto the handle with two hands with the bat tucked under my arm speeding toward the Bludger, but Nico beat me to it. He swung with his bat and I heard a crack as bat and Bludger met. The Bludger was heading straight toward Ginny. I urged my broomstick forward and grabbed my bat. I wouldn't be able to get to it in time so I reached out my arm holding out the bat. When the Bludger almost collided with the bat, I flicked my wrist and deflected the little cannonball. However, the hit knocked me off balance and I rolled, holding onto the handle for dear life.
When I finally righted myself I realized that Ron and Harry had scored a point and Harry had intercepted the Quaffle so they were speeding off toward our goal. Harry passed the scarlet ball to Ron. I searched frantically for the Bludger. It was whirling around looking for a victim. I raced off toward it and when I reached it I took a big swing and set the Bludger after Ron. The black ball hit him right in the gut and he dropped the Quaffle which was caught by Ginny.
"Nice one!!" Annabeth yelled at me as she flew off to back up Ginny.
The game continued like that for the rest of the afternoon. I hit Ron again and Harry got a Bludger to the arm when I smacked it toward him. Nico got me once but I got my revenge when I knocked him off his broom at the end of the game. We won, but only by 2 goals.
Thalia and I shoved the Bludger into its box, while Ron and Ginny put the brooms away.
Grover offered Nico and small sip of nectar from a canteen for his ankle. When he fell he sprained it. The wizards watched as Nico drank the god food and instantly healed.
"What is that?" Hermione asked. "Some healing potion?"
"Nope," Grover said. Nico handed him back the canteen. "It's nectar, the drink of the gods. It's like a medicine for demigods."
"What's it taste like?" Harry asked.
"Liquid chocolate chip cookies," Nico said standing up.
"Can I try some?" Ron inquired eagerly.
"No way!" Thalia said, shaking her head. "Nectar and ambrosia, kind of nectar in brownie form, is god food. It's lethal to anyone but gods. Half bloods can only ingest it in emergencies. Too much will make you very, very feverish. An overdose will burn you up."
"Literely," I emphasized.
"Oh," Ron said in a small voice.
"Let's go inside," Ginny suggested. "Mum's probably got dinner ready by now and I'm hungry."
We all agreed and hiked back to the burrow.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Time Skip xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Dinner was delicious. Mrs. Weasley kept fussing that Nico looked underfed and the id had four helpings plus dessert. We had pork chops, salad, mashed potatoes, biscuits and gravy. For dessert, or pudding, we had a gigantic double layered chocolate cake. It was awesome. After that the kids went into the living room. The wizards, especially Hermione, had an unbelievable amount ofquestions for us.
"So are you guys really like the heroes in the old stories?" Hermione asked us.
"Pretty much," Thalia answered.
"What have you done?" Harry asked.
"Just about everything," I said.
"You have at least," Nico corrected.
"What do you mean?" Ginny wondered.
"Percy's been on more quests than anyone," Annabeth said.
"Yeah," I admitted. "But I haven't had more adventures than everyone. You ran away at seven and met Thalia and Luke, Grover went on his quest for Pan, Nico's been wandering around the country looking for clues to his past, and Thalia's been doing Zeus knows what with the Hunters of Artemis."
"That's true," Grover agreed.
Harry put his hands up. "Back up. You lost us."
"Who's Pan?" Ginny asked.
"He was the god of the wild," Grover explained.
"But I thought gods were immortal."
"They are, but when everything they stood for his gone, when no one believes in them anymore, they fade away."
"We found Pan a few months ago in the labyrinth, this huge underground maze full of traps and monsters underneath America," Annabeth supplied.
"Okay," Harry nodded. "What are the Hunters of Artemis?"
This time Thalia answered. "This sort of eternal all-girls club. You go around with the goddess of the hunt, moon, and maidens and get to go on all these cool adventures forever."
"What do you mean 'forever'?" Hermione asked.
"You stay immortal and never age as long as you don't die in battle or break your oath forsaking romantic love."
"So you can never date?"
Thalia shook her head.
"And you're in it?"
"I'm Lady Artemis's second-in-command."
"Yeah, it' pretty fun."
Ron nodded, digesting that. I thought I saw him steal a glance at Hermione. Then he said, "Who's Luke?"
We froze. I probably shouldn't have mentioned him.
Ron nodded, digesting that. I saw him steal a glance at Hermione.
"Who's Luke?" He asked suddenly. Immediately I knew he had asked the wrong question. Thalia's eyes filled with anger and hurt. Grover bit his lip. Percy's face darkened and his sea green eyes looked like a hurricane was raging in them and Annabeth looked down. She had a look of hurt and frustration and regret. Nico was the only one who didn't really react that dramatically. He just sat in the corner with an unreadable, distant look on his young face, but he did stiffen a little.
What had this guy done to get these kinds of reactions?
Finally Percy spoke. Is voice was hard and cold. "A traitor. A servant to the evil Titan Lord Kronos."
"Maybe we should elaborate?" Thalia suggested. Percy nodded and sat forward.
"About 8 years ago, when Annabeth was seven she ran away from home. Her mom, Athena, guided her to help. She made friends with Thalia and Luke, a son of Hermes. Thalia was 12 and Luke was 14. Now we told you how Thalia and I aren't really supposed to be alive and Nico was born before World War II. Well, Hades was really mad that Zeus had broke the sacred oath that he had force him into so he let the worst monsters out of Hades to torchure her."
Thalia nodded. Her electric blue eyes were dark with bad memories.
Percy continued, "So Chiron sent Grover to escort Thalia to camp. Just Thalia. He had strict orders not to do anything that would slow down the mission. But he thought that he could bring them all to camp safely."
"But I choked up," Grover interrupted. "I took a few wrong turns and the monsters caught up to us. We got cornered on Half-Blood Hill, this giant hill in front of Camp Half-Blood. Thalia told me to take Annabeth and Luke to safety and that she would hold off the monsters."
Then Thalia took over. "I was tired of living like a hunted animal. Of course Grover protested, but I told him that there was nothing that he could do to change my mind. As I was dying my dad took pity on me and turned me into a pine tree to preserve my spirit. For almost six years my tree strengthened the camp borders and kept monsters out."
"Where getting ahead of ourselves." Grover pointed out.
"Right," Percy said. "So when Luke was 16 he went on this quest to the Garden of Hesprides to retrieve a golden apple from this tree in the center of the garden. Now this is a hard task and Hercules did it, which made Luke mad. He was angry at his father for not giving him a better quest, for making him repeat the past. Luke was out of it and he got this huge scar on the left side of his face from the dragon that guarded the tree. Kronos used Luke's failure and his anger and resentment to turn him evil. So a few years ago at the winter solstice council Luke stole Zeus' Master Bolt and Hades' Helm of Darkness. That's a big 'no no'. Those are the gods' symbol of power. Annabeth, Grover, and I went on a quest to retrieve the Master Bolt from Hades, who we thought stole the Bolt. When we got to Hades we discovered that his Helm had been stolen, too. At the end of the summer we found out that Luke had stolen them and that he was a traitor. He tried to kill me, then escaped."
Percy showed us a faded asterisks shaped scar on his right palm. Then he continued.
"A year later he snuck back to camp and poisoned Thalia's tree. The whole camp just started to die along with the tree. A friend of ours, Clarisse, daughter of Ares, was sent on a quest to get the Golden Fleece, the only thing that could cure Thalia's tree. Annabeth, Tyson, my Cyclops half-brother, and I snuck out of the camp with the help of Hermes to get the Fleece. Partially because Clarisse couldn't do the quest alone, Grover was being held captive by Polyphemus the Cyclops on the same island as the Fleece, and also Hermes wanted to see if we could bring Luke back."
I cut in. "What do you mean Grover was being held prisoner by a Cyclops?"
Grover answered. "I was searching for Pan. The Golden Fleece contains such strong nature magic that it smells like Pan. For centuries satyrs looking for Pan would go to the island and get eaten by Polyphemus."
"Yeah, so when we brought back the Fleece and put it on Thalia's tree the camp began to heal," Percy went on. "That night the whole world got flipped upside down. You see poison wasn't the only thing the Fleece purged."
"I popped out of a tree at three in the morning," Thalia grinned, "Fifteen years old and confused out of my mind. Heck! I didn't even that I was a tree for six years. I thought it was all a dream."
Percy continued, "So, that winter Grover was looking for demigods and found Nico and his big sister, Bianca. She joined the Hunters, then Annabeth got herself kidnapped and then Artemis got kidnapped."
"Right," Percy said. "So Grover, Thalia, Zoë, the old Lieutenant for the Hunters, Bianca, and I went on a quest to find them. At the end of the quest we found them and Zoë and Bianca had died, and Thalia had joined the Hunters a day before her birthday to prevent being the child of the prophecy. So, then just last summer Kronos's army invaded camp. Fortunately, we drove them off. But just before that, well, Luke became Kronos. Kronos's spirit lies in Luke's body. Luke serves Kronos with his whole being."
"So let me get this straight," Ron said. "Luke was your friend, and then he betrays you?"
"Percy nodded. "Tried to kill us in cold blood plenty of times, too."
Then Annabeth exploded. "He was under Kronos's spell! He didn't know what he was doing!"
"How can you still defend him?!" Percy nearly shouted. "After everything he'd done to you? How many times does he have to hurt you before you get that he's evil! He manipulated and tried to kill you Annabeth! Don't you remember last winter at Mount Tam?! He tricked you into holding up the sky and then left you to die!"
"Don't you remember back in the labyrinth?" Annabeth argued. "At Antaeus' arena? Luke told his monsters to spare me!"
"He probably wanted to recruit you! You know just about everything and everyone at camp! And you're a freaking genius, Annabeth! There's no telling what Kronos could get from you!"
"Did Percy just call Annabeth a genius?" Thalia whispered to Grover.
"That's what it sounded like," Grover whispered back.
Annabeth seemed a little taken aback by Percy's complement and Percy used this pause to keep talking. Softer now though. Gentle but firm. "Luke is gone, Annabeth. Whether he was under a spell or not he's gone now. And he's not coming back."
"You just want him to be evil, Percy! Why? People don't always have one layer to them, Percy. I knew the old Luke! You didn't! And he's in there deep down! I know it!"
"The Luke you knew is gone now. The Luke we're dealing with now is the one we both know. The one that's letting Kronos inhabit his body to take down the gods. Luke is gone!" The expression on Percy's face made it clear that the discussion was over. The storm had passed. We kept talking, changing the subject to wizard affairs, when Nico pointed out that Percy had called Annabeth a genius.
"It's true," Percy grumbled. "If she wasn't I'd probably be dead by now, but it's true. Doesn't mean I have to like it."
"Shut up, Seaweed Brain," Annabeth mumbled and the rest of us laughed. I realized that Nico had pointed that out to help Percy and Annabeth make amends.
About an hour later Mrs. Weasley made us all go to bed. Thalia, Grover, and Nico instantly called the couches and chairs forcing Annabeth and Percy to share the ground. We went up to our own rooms leaving the Americans to make their beds and get some rest. Nico had crashed on the armchair without even changing into pajamas. I was feeling pretty tired myself.
That night I had a nightmare. I was at camp, but it was in ruins. Larry didn't make an appearance but Percy and Luke did. They were fighting. Both were dressed in Greek armor. Percy's helmet had a horse hair plume and Luke's was red. They charged and when Anaklusmos met Backbiter lightning roared and thunder shook the earth. The two boys danced in and out. Feint, slash, duck, stab, block.
I tried to shout at them to stop, but my voice wouldn't work. They went on for what seemed like hours while a voice cold as ice and sharp as knives laughed under the earth egging them on.
"Yes!" Kronos cheered. "Fight little heroes! Fight!"
The storm raged and waves pounded the beach like heavy artillery. Every time their blades connected the earth would shake and lightning would flash. It was spectacular and terrifying. And then Luke got inside Percy's guard and disarmed him. He flicked Riptide out of reach then he kicked Percy in the chest and he went down. Hard. Backbiter's point was and inch from Percy's chest right where his heart was. Luke smirked coldly and was about to drive Backbiter's point into Percy's chest when Percy kicked his foot whirling on to his feet and knocking Luke's feet out from under him like some kung-fu master. Percy then reached into his pocket and pulled out a black ballpoint pen. He uncapped it and it elongated into Riptide. He attacked Luke, slashing and stabbing. He was a whirlwind of energy and power.
Luke frantically blocked the swirling blade. And then Luke lunged desperately at Percy and drove Backbiter into Percy's stomach. Percy's eyes were wide. He dropped Riptide and fell to his knees, one hand on the ground and one on the cut that was gushing blood. Luke's eyes burned with a triumphant fire. Kronos cackled evilly. I ran over to Percy and held him. He was slowly dying. His sea green eyes held mine and he tried to say something but couldn't get the words out. I looked up at Luke he was smiling coldly. Then he morphed into Kronos. The old Kronos. The 10-foot-tall titan clad in black armor and Backbiter changed into a scythe. Kronos swung his scythe at us and I my eyes snapped open.
I looked around and noticed, to my great embarrassment, that I was lying on Percy. My head was on his shoulder and my hand was across his chest. I was about to move of him before
"You talk in your sleep," Percy said suddenly. I scrambled into a sitting position. My face felt hot. Percy had his hands behind his head.
"How long have you been awake?" I asked him.
"Your mumbling woke me up about 3 minutes ago," He said, smirking. "I'll tell you I was a little surprised when I woke up and you were," he seemed to be trying to find the right word. I knew one: cuddling, "well, you know."
We were silent for a minute. Then Percy spoke.
"What were you dreaming about, anyway? You were saying something like: 'Stop it! Stop fighting!'"
"It was nothing." I wouldn't meet his eyes.
"You want to talk about it?"
Then we heard footsteps coming down the stairs.
"Not a word to anyone about what just happened," I ordered.
Percy nodded. "Agreed."
Mrs. Weasley cam down the stairs trailed by Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny who looked really tired.
"Come on now, get up," Mrs. Weasley urged. "You don't want to be late for your first day at Hogwarts, do you?"
Shorty: Major Percabeth…
KG: Two dreams…
Emma: Diagon Alley and Quidditch…
Larry: And 9,838 words and 27 pages!!
Shorty: This has been the most packed chapter yet!
KG: Hope you guys liked it!
Emma and Larry: Update soon!