Hello again everyone! Sorry I haven't written in a while but first project, then I got to worship the porcelain throne, and was dragged to disney world for the tenth time(the upside being I dragged everyone else to Harry Potter). So here's a new chapter. I haven't read any reviews in a month so if your cussing me off again I'm sorry but the circumstances were not in my control(particularly the stomach flu one). I hope you all had a great holiday and if you stayed in the Northeast A) Hahaha we beat the blizzard out and b) I missed snow and lots of writing time. If most of you can guess the second pivot my story development skills need work and I assure you after this Hazel will stay with the group for a while and not be dragged weird places. Thanx and once again sorry for the wait! Enjoy!


Chapter 24

Hazel

Hazel's eyes blinked open to find deep sea green eyes filled with concern looking at hers. They looked at her for another moment and then looked away. In the next second Percy called, "Reyna she's up!" He looked back at Hazel and asked, " Are you okay?"

"Yeah," Hazel croaked. Lord her throat was dry. How long had she been out? She was about to ask when Reyna walked over with a spoonful of nectar.

"Drink your medicine little baby ," Reyna teased then added in a more precise tone," You've been out for almost an hour, me and loverboy had to take turns carrying you until we got out of that swamp. Loverboy of course didn't get a drop on him."

"I offered to keep you dry too," Percy said indignantly. He took the spoon from Reyna and put it in Hazel's mouth. "Miss War Hero over there has too much pride apparently to get help from anyone even if its not only to her benefit."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Reyna demanded.

"If you get pneumonia and she faints again I can't carry the both of you," Percy said, "What would you expect me to do? Make a boat and call some water? Then I'd be just as weak if the other nights episode was anything to go by."

"I won't get sick," Reyna insisted.

Hazel swallowed. "She's never been sick as long as I've known her." The fact was no one got sick ever at The Academy. It just didn't happen. Now was the first time Hazel ever wondered why. Struggling she got up. She didn't like questioning the place she had come to call home. "Let's go," she announced pushing herself off from the cool, hard floor. For the first time she saw her surroundings. They were in a wooden room of Greek design with pictures everywhere. Some seemed to be of the gods, others of nymphs, and some just of beautiful landscapes. In the middle of it al was a statue of the greek version of Jupiter, the all-mighty Zeus. Hazel shuddered just looking at him. He seemed stern and yet a bit lax at the same time. Either way she could see a dangerous glint of anger in his eyes, even in the stone copy.

"But you just got up!" Percy exclaimed.

"Yes and like my Roman ancestors I must push forward," Hazel stated. The familiar phrase felt foreign on her tongue as it always did but she went with it. That was one of the better slogans the camp had. A feeling of unease was growing. They needed to get out of there or something bad was going to happen. She knew it deep in her gut. "We need to go now." Looking back at the statue she could see a golden aura growing around it. That aura meant a god was coming. Closing her eyes Hazel sensed it wasn't Zeus it was someone else. Someone almost but not as powerful. Hazel moved to run but the force stopped her and started pulling her toward it.

She knew who it was. Their last meeting hadn't been a pleasant experience. Hazel had a feeling this wouldn't be any better. For a few more minutes she fought the power but then decided it was hopeless. The moment that she gave in to the power, the pull, she ended up on a god's lap. A god who didn't trust her. A god who once loved her, but now, Hazel didn't know. A god who ad given her life. A god named Apollo.

"Hi honey," he greeted as she plopped into his lap, "I haven''t seen you in a while kiddo. Now you're all grown up and going on quests, where has the time gone."

Hazel took a deep breath while looking around the chamber. Percy looked bewildered and a little scared. Reyna was sharpening her sword trying to ignore the weirdness. Getting ahold of the wild wave of shock, fear, and uncertainty that had filled her from the moment her father entered the room, she tried to figure out why she wasn't enthused by his presence. She felt deep down in her emotions and realized that she was angry. Angry at him for liking her half sister over her. Angry at him for not realizing the goody two shoes thing was a facade covering the other Katie. Hazel had dug deep and found a coal of hate which she immediately smothered.

"Hi dad," she replied only a beat off looking up into his sky blue eyes. His curly blond hair had been replaced with a fohawk. "What's with the hair? Better yet what are you doing under ground? Last I checked the sun was up in the sky, is something wrong?"

"Ahhh," her father responded stroking his hair, something that would have ruined the strenuously gelled pyramid of hair on anyone else but didn't do a thing to his, he then stated, "I figured I'd make a tribute to my rock worshipers. You know that game Guitar God . . ."

"Guitar Hero," Percy interjected.

"Why hello Mr. Jackson it is lovely to see you again," Hazel's dad greeted in a voice full of sarcasm, "I would change into my haiku composing counterpart for you, but I need to talk to my daughter as one Roman to another at the moment so if you will excuse us." Apollo made a classic Bella Lugosi gesture minus cape and in the next moment they were in a different chamber. This was bright and filled with sunshine. Apollo tossed Hazel onto a cushioned couch. Yellow walls that curved gracefully to make a dome with a small hole on top surrounded her along with several pictures, shelves, and instruments. A bow and quiver of arrows leaned against one of the walls. Turning her attention back to her father, Hazel saw he was pacing over a white Tiger skin rug.

"Please tell me that isn't real," she asked pointing at the rug. Hazel loved animals and never killed. Of all things, that got her in the most trouble at camp. She was called weak for it, but it was only now she realized she was strong for not giving in. Why was she thinking all this? It was as though someone was injecting thoughts into her head.

"Of course not," Apollo replied to her inquiry. He then added, "Sometimes your so much like my twin sister. She loves animals too." He said it like it was a bad thing. In his meat loving eyes it probably was. Hazel would've taken up vegetarianism a long time ago if there hadn't been a strict meat eating rule at camp.

"Good," Hazel informed him, "White tigers are an endangered species you know."

"I could regrow them, but that is not what I want to discuss with you," Apollo said determined not to go off track. He sighed while practically falling into a soft white seat that Hazel thought was a cloud. Rubbing his temples Apollo inquired, "Do you know what you're getting yourself into?"

"What do you mean do I know?" Hazel angrily replied back, " Of course I do! Its a quest! Trials and torments and a bunch of other stuff! Do you think I can't take care of myself?" Looking at her father she saw a look of fear and disappointment, both familiar looks to her, but there was something else, something she couldn't recognize. She jumped up and started yelling at him, "You don't do you? You think Katie would have been better or for that fact anyone would've been a better daughter, a better warrior! Well I'm sorry Dad but I'm sick of being the least appreciated, the bottom of the barrel yet the one who does all the work! All the work the NO ONE NOTICES!" Hazel's voice cracked. "I'm sick of being beaten, punished for some unknown crime by MY OWN RELATIVES! Even from beyond the grave. I'm sick of order and discipline and just want out. I am sick of being YOUR DAUGHTER!" Hazel picked up a vase and threw it at the wall. Holding back tears she looked at her father. What had she just said? She didn't mean half of those things yet . . .

She opened her mouth to apologize but Apollo raised his hand signaling her to stop. After watching her for a moment he stated carefully as though she were a mine he didn't want to blow, " That answered all my questions. You have no clue what's going on yet you are one of two pivots on which all turns." Hazel stared at him bewildered. What was he talking about? Still, the god plowed on, " As you have probably sensed, someone is trying to take control of you. He is a spirit that is weak. I need you to fight him. You have proven you are strong in these past months you need to prove yourself even stronger in the next year. Otherwise we are all doomed. That is all I can tell you at the moment and I'm sorry that the information is vague. I love you and don't want to see you hurt." He lifted her chin then hugged her. "You will make me proud I know it. If the muses come listen you'll find your way." Then it all came crashing down and Hazel cried into her father's shoulder. It was the most at home she had ever felt.