LbN: This was supposed to be a one-shot. Oops... Guess we have another multi-chap for the PJO fandom...Happy reading!
It was pitch dark and silent by the time Annabeth made it to Camp. She yawned and leaned against the wall of the Big House, trying not to pass out. The volleyball court swam in and out of her vision as she held the gash in her side. "Some daughter of Athena I am…" she muttered.
"Hey! Lights out was an hour ago—Annabeth?"
"Clarisse…." Annabeth whispered, before passing out.
"Well, it's lucky you found her when you did, Clarisse. She'd already lost a lot of blood."
"What do you think happened?" Clarisse asked.
"I don't know," Chiron said. "But this isn't a mortal wound. She was attacked by a monster. Harpies, by the look of it."
"Clarisse," Annabeth said, waking up.
"Annabeth!" Clarisse jumped. She sat down next to the bed. "What happened?"
"Was…walking home from the library. I ran into this girl…I think she was homecoming queen or something."
"Harpy?" Clarisse asked, glancing at Chiron.
"Yeah," Annabeth confirmed. "And she had friends. Lots of friends."
"Why'd you come here? Isn't Jackson's house a lot closer?"
"Didn't want them…near his mom…."
"Gods damn it; you're too noble for your own good…."
Annabeth smiled. "You remember what he was like the last time he lost his mom. No one wants that again…."
"So," Chiron started. "Bleeding profusely, you walked for two and a half hours to get to Camp?"
"No. I only had a few scratches when I started out. And I had a car. They flipped me over right before I made it to the woods. One of them picked me up and tossed me into some bushes. That's how I got this." She nodded to the bandages wrapped around her stomach.
"So what you're saying is you only walked half an hour while bleeding profusely," Clarisse said.
"We'll get some ambrosia into you. You'll be good as new in a few hours," Chiron said.
The two girls watched him squeeze himself out of the Athena cabin. Annabeth tried to sit up, but Clarisse put a hand on her shoulder. "Why do I get the feeling you withheld a bit of information just then?"
"Don't know what you're talking about," Annabeth said, looking pointedly at the windows. Her brothers and sisters were still peeking in at them.
Clarisse opened the door. "Yo!" she barked. "She's fine. Get back to work."
"That's our sister in there!" one of the boys yelled back.
"Shit happens. She'll be fine in an hour or two. Now beat it!" Once she was sure that they were all sufficiently frightened and would stay away, she went back inside. "What didn't you tell Chiron?" she asked.
"This is the fourth time this month," Annabeth said quietly. "One of the gods is seriously pissed at me. I don't know why."
"Why didn't you tell Chiron?"
"Because…" Annabeth stopped for a moment. "It was my decision to leave Camp and go to college. I don't want him thinking I'm….This was an emergency. I can take care of myself."
Annabeth glared at her, then sighed. "I guess not."
"You can't run away from your mother, Annabeth," Clarisse said quietly.
"I'm not trying to. I just thought that maybe I could be normal for a couple of years."
"Normal's overrated," Clarisse said, smiling. She gently uncovered Annabeth's wound. It was almost completely healed. "You feeling up to a walk to the Hermes cabin?"
"I guess." She let Clarisse help her up. "Why?"
"See if the sons of Hermes have heard any Olympian rumors lately."
Connor and Travis Stoll had, in fact, talked to their father the day before.
"He came and gave us the same song and dance about not letting the others get to us…" Connor said, rolling his eyes.
"You two are still the only ones he appears to?" Annabeth asked.
"Damn right, and it's pissing our siblings off," Travis said.
"He says it's because he has so many kids. We're his messengers."
"Sons after his own heart, really," Connor said dramatically.
"Did he…mention anything about me?" Annabeth asked.
"Why?" Travis asked. "Does the daughter of Athena have a story for us?" he pulled up two chairs.
Annabeth glanced at Clarisse, who shrugged. They knew better than to even try to lie to these two. "A month ago, I got attacked by a harpy. Just out of freaking nowhere. It happened again, and again, and then once more last night. I don't get why, unless someone up top is pissed at me. What?"
Both of the Stoll twins were staring at her, mouths open. "We didn't know she was that mad!"
"What?" Annabeth and Clarisse both said.
"A little over a month ago, our dad invited us up top. When we got there, it was quiet. Like, creepy quiet. Imagine walking into our cabin and it being silent."
"Holy shit," Clarisse said.
"Yeah, exactly," Connor continued. "So we knew something was up. Our dad comes out and tells us that two of the Olympians have had kids, and that Hera is pissed the fuck off, and all of Olympus is basically hiding from her."
"What did I do?" Annabeth yelped.
"Shhh!" Travis said. "This isn't supposed to get out to Campers. Zeus revoked the whole Big Three bullshit, right? So any more demigods who pop up get to know their god parent by their—"
"Thirteenth birthday, we know," Clarisse said impatiently. "Can we get to the part that explains why Annabeth was almost killed?"
The twins shrugged. Connor picked up the story as if there had been no interruption. "Athena and Zeus were the two who had kids. Understandably, Hera was kicking Zeus's ass all over Olympus, but the reason you're fucked, is that your mom found out that Hera hadn't claimed all of her children yet. And she told Zeus."
"But why me? My mom has tons of kids too."
"Mostly because Hera hates the fact that your cabins," Travis ssaid, nodding at them, "are getting along so well, and thus, Ares and Athena are finally getting along. Ares was a bit of a mama's boy for a while during the 80s. I guess Hera got used to it."
"The point is this: unless you can sort this out when you go to Olympus—"
"When I go? Why would I be going?"
"Oh, did we not mention that? Your drama was just the gossip. The reason he wanted us is so we could tell some of the favorites that they're invited to Olympus. You'll have to work things out with Hera, because this trip is kind of important."
"Who all got invitations?"
"We weren't supposed to give them out for another week, but both of you did. So did Jackson, of course. Achilles, from the Hephaestus cabin, and Mark, from the Apollo cabin. They're giving us things to help protect the Camp."
"Blessings from the Olympian gods can't hurt," Clarisse said. "Just the five of us?"
"And us," Travis said. "The rest of the cabins are going some other time. Guess they didn't want a lot of us there at once."
"You said my mom had a kid."
"A son," Connor said, nodding. "Named him Priam. Now, if you two don't mind, we have a battle plan to form before the next tournament."
"Let's leave them to it, Annabeth. Gods know they need it," Clarisse fake-muttered.
"Lose the attitude, Clarisse. You sound like a douchebag," Travis said, smirking.
"Least I don't look like one. Shave the soul patch, you tool."
"I can feel the love at this camp," Annbeth mumbled.
"Are you going to stay?" Clarisse asked, stopping and facing her.
"You want me to?"
"Of course. Driving an hour to see you once a month is a bit…"
"Sure, we'll go with that. Besides, it'll be good to have you around again. Extra tournament directors never hurt."
Annabeth laughed and followed Clarisse to the practice pitch.