A/N Hello, darlings! I will make this quick because I know you all have tomatoes ready behind your backs to throw at me. Consider this an I-didn't-know-what-to-get-you-for-Christmas-so-I wrote-you-a-crappy-chapter type of gift. And no, I will not give you my address so you can come as an angry mob, torches and everything, to my door for getting a keyboard. Anyway, here's the update :) And Wackoman, I WANT MY DR. PEPPER. Special thanks to ...it., aphroditeathena, storyteller1425, imaginethatt, CoolWater123, and PercyPizzaz01 for the lovely PMs and undying support. There's so many people I want to thank right now, but you'd just go wildly angry on me :) Merry Christmas.

The Grinch.

Disclaimer-I do not own Percy Jackson and the Olympians.


He stepped back, frowning. "Annabeth?"

I crossed my arms. "Brainwashed or not, it's still my name. We don't have much time."

"What do you remember?"

"Not much," I admitted. "I have a headache. A bad one. I saw my life in bits and pieces…but it's not enough. It's nearly twelve."

He rolled his eyes. "I know that. I mean, what can we do about it?"

"There's nothing we can do about the time, Percy. But I do have an idea." I said as I stared off into nothing in particular.

"Okay, what do I do?"

I refocused my sight on him. "You go back to your cabin. I need to go somewhere."


"The less you know, the happier you are." I warned. "And the faster you can get enough sense into your head to listen to me, the faster I can get to the bottom of this. Now go. And tell no one about this."

"And what if you don't get to the bottom of this? You have roughly fifteen minutes."

"Exactly, so get going."

He huffed angrily. "You're kidding me, right? I did not just go through all of that for a 'chance'—slim, might I add—that you'll remember everything."

"Well I'm sorry, Percy. But it's a chance you'll have to take."

And just like that, I was gone.

"I knew you would come here sooner or later. Close that door behind you."

She sat, writing languidly on creamy paper, a hand resting on the immaculate wooden desk. Her dark hair was braided behind her back, making shocking contrast with her simple white dress. She did not turn once.

"You know many things." I agreed.

"Do not mistake yourself, dear. I know everything."

"Those are presumptuous words." I told her. "You did not know of Percy breaking his pact."

She shrugged. "I did not have to know that he was..…fraternizing with you to guess that he would. I already had a plan backing the original…" She trailed off and turned to me, resting an arm on the chair. "So uncharacteristic of you to miss such traits, Annabeth."

"That's harsh, Mother. And I presume that you obviously know the connotation of the word 'fraternizing'." I said icily.

She smiled at me, but there was no joy in the gesture. "Shall I say it? Or are you well enough in your senses to know that I did, in fact, mean that you were associating on friendly terms with an enemy, in violation of my orders, no less?"

"I did not know of your orders."

She stroked her desk absentmindedly. "Yes. But Percy, however, did. And yet he chose to cross me. He has never been bright, has he?"

Rhetorical question, Annabeth. She's taunting you. Don't answer.

But still, I couldn't let it pass. "Why do you insist on pointing out his lack of common sense?"

She looked at me again. "That is the wrong question."

I sighed. "Fine. What is the right one?"

"Wrong question."

"Why would you do this, Mother?"

"Still wrong, Annabeth."

I froze in exasperation. I had a ticking clock in the corners of my mind. My mother was playing this stupid game to win.

She was stalling.

But I told myself that I'd play it. She would want me to think. "I need answers. Do you realize the time?"

She chuckled. "I will answer that one. Yes, it's ten to twelve. I'd hurry if I were you, dear. Time is an intricate thing. You know it bends to no one's will, it is not natural."

A hint. I was sure that there was a clue hidden in her words. The word brought me back to what I'd told Percy just a few moments ago.

There's nothing we can do about the time, Percy.

There's nothing we can do.

Bending time is not natural.

I said, "Why did I not know of your orders?"

She looked beyond me, and crossed the room lethargically to stand by the window. "Close. But not close enough."

Why were my memories replaced?


"What did I do to force you to take my memories from me?"

She turned to me. I saw nothing in her eyes.

"That," she said, "is the right question."

But as soon as I asked it, I knew. I didn't need an answer from her. I had my own.

"Yes. You already know the answer, do you not?"

"You only say that so you won't have to explain."

She shrugged. "You said so yourself. Were you not the one keen on saving the time you have left?"

There was a long pause, then my mother sighed. "Leaving your father was hard."

"What does that—"

She glared at me. "Patience is a virtue, child. Hush."

I closed my mouth, chastising myself for being so imprudent. Setting my lips in a tight line, I waited for her to continue.

"I am not used to things being difficult. It is not in my nature to find a situation challenging. Surely you see my predicament, Annabeth. As gods, we come to terms with the fact that we must leave our demigod children be; leaving them alone because we will outlive them. Because we cannot tamper with their fates. That, I now see, is very hard indeed.

"You are an intricate case, Annabeth. You were born, and even I did not know the fate I had brought upon you. I watched over you as best I could, but I do not know how to be a mother. I was never….taught." She smiled bitterly. "For a while, I believed children had to honor their parents without say or complaint. We all believed heroes were sired to make our bidding. As you know, my father uses them as mere pawns.

"But then you dared to disobey my orders. All your life I had been observing you, and I must say I did not expect it. I did not understand your grief. Again, it's not in my nature to misunderstand….or to not understand at all. I was angry.

"I dislike Percy Jackson's flaws, for they are very, very dangerous. Your close friendship was, by far, an important point: I feared he would—how do they say these days?—rub off on you. By the time you began acting on personal loyalty, I knew I had to intervene. So I convinced the gods that taking away your memories—taking you away from Camp Half-Blood—was the wisest choice. I knew, of course, that my father would agree; either by mere idleness or the respect I've earned in his eyes over the millennia, it was just as well. So I did."

I rested my back against the wall, taking in her confession. I didn't know if I should feel honored. This evidently showed a new, hidden side of my mother's. One she did not share often. And she had just shared it with me. Was it because I would not remember anything in oh, five minutes?

"You know it was not right to interfere. Heroes can go anywhere, challenge anyone. I—"

"You were acting on impulse, Annabeth. Do you not see it? You bring pain upon yourself. I told Perseus this once. I am now telling you. I disapprove of your friendship."

I rolled my eyes. "Your feuds with Poseidon have nothing to do with his demigod children. Stop meddling, Mother! What we heroes do says more about us than it does about our parents."

She laughed, throwing her head back in sardonicism. "That is what they all say, don't they? I'd rather. You speak the truth, child. My quarrels with the sea god don't play a part in my disapproval, though the boy is too much like his father for my liking. Both physically and in character."

I frowned. "Then why—"

"Are you still oblivious, Annabeth? Do you still not know my reasons? By Mnemosyne, my child. Obtuseness was never one of your traits. When did that change?"

I didn't answer. Her dry humor vanishing in the midst of some unknown melancholy. Her face turned stern again.

"I wanted to spare you." She finally said. "You may not grasp the risk your friend is in. I know how dear he is to you, and that is a mistake. From the time he arrived at Half-Blood Hill, the Fates decided to spin your threads together. I went to visit them myself. It was inevitable, and just as unwise to befriend a hero of the Prophecy. The risk of Percy Jackson dying is too great. And having experienced it once, Annabeth, I knew the loss would be too great to bear alone. Taking away your memories, though you see it as a penalty, was my way of saying I was sorry."

"But then, why let Percy keep his? You had the capability of erasing me from his memories as well."

She shrugged. "They say I am heartless. They say all I know is knowledge. They say I recognize no feelings. I merely keep the rumors alive. And you, my daughter, are out of time."

Let them say I am a brutal witch.

Let them say I am a war goddess, for I know no mercy.

Let them say…

Let them say I am Pallas Athena.

To Theunder015, Adonai63, and AyMirala. You each know why.

Well! So if your eyes are not bleeding yet, I'd like to ask you guys something :)

Vote for my story 'Stealing Cinderella' to win the Verita Award? Pretty Please? Link is on my profile.

I am so whoring for votes.