Hey, guys! Sorry this wasn't updated sooner; I had writer's block, and my birthday. I just wanted to thank everyone who reviewed, and I'm sure Leanne would, too, if she were here. She, the lucky twat, is currently sleeping. .
Anyways, here's the update. Remember to review, 'cause that makes me update. No reviews, slow as a snail updates. Thanks!
Disclaimer: I own don't own anything you recognize.
Claimer: I own Alexandreia Bianca Jackson. O.O No stealing.
Ali could physically feel his eyes on her as she woke up. Deciding it wasn't worth a British interrogation as to why she woke up so late, Ali rolled back over onto her stomach, her arms propped up on James' legs and her chin resting on his kneecaps. She peeked at him from between her eyelashes, only to see his grinning face, bright blue eyes dancing.
"What's got you looking like the cat who ate the canary?" Ali asked, sitting up and running her fingers through her curly black hair, which she pulled off onto her left shoulder, opposite of James. His eyebrows furrowed, looking confused. Ali laughed, shifting so that her head was resting against his thigh, her hands fidgeting in her lap.
"It's an old mortal saying my mother used to tell me; I'd come downstairs smiling, and she'd tell me, 'well, you look like the cat who ate the canary; what're you up to?' I think she's a bit of a hypocrite, because she was always a trouble maker, too." Ali answered. James just smiled softly.
The last thing he wanted to do was tell her that while she was sleeping, James had been taken away for testing. He remembered how they extracted some of his most frightening thoughts, taking them to paper, and soon, reality. Without his wand, he was "pretty much screwed," as Ali would say.
Screams echoed across the room. James could feel his throat rubbing itself raw with every breath be took, as his skin lit aflame and needles stabbed mercilessly into his skin, cold slashes appearing on his skin, like ice chips in the summer. His vision was clouded with tears, and he could taste the dark, coppery taste of his blood running off of his tongue and down the tear tracks of his dirty face. His eyes watched as time seemed to suspend, the drop of blood splattering those stupid steel examination tables with a thick dark red. His eyes darted down to his palm, the new slash marks staining his fingers a sickly, sadistic cupcake pink before it, too, turned red. The knife came back down on his skin, and his breath left him again, his throat constricting as he choked on his own blood. A hand shot out to hold his cheeks together with clenched fingers.
"You be silent, Boy; we can make your life very horrible."
It was the same voice that had first kidnapped him, causing rage to course like venom through James' body. He spat at the man, the blood spattering those horrible white cheeks and thin cracked lips. The man growled, his hand lashing out to grab James' hair, pinning him harshly to the examination table. James screamed, thrashing.
"You can be defiant to your hearts content, but just know, Boy, that she's next. If you tell her anything that has happened or even let on to any injuries, her 'treatment' will be doubled. Now you wouldn't want that, would you?" The man whispered into James' ear.
James stopped fighting, his vision getting slightly blurred as the pain finally set over him like a thick layer of fog.
The only thing he remembered after that was being thrown into his and Ali's cell, crying silent tears as he lay dejected on the floor, his new sweatpants now hiding a thick bleeding patch of muscle on his ankle that used to be covered by skin. Skin that is probably in a jar in some sadistic man's office, set up on the mantle of his fireplace proudly where his kids, wife, and friends could see; skin that used to hold a black-inked family crest, once proudly adorned before being retched away from James, his identity torn from him just like a pesky eyelash, or a small river leach on a screaming toddlers' knee.
Without that crest, James could hardly remember who he really was, as his seemingly perfect life was blown away like dandelion seeds in the breeze mercilessly, as if it had never been there in the first place.
"James? James, c'mon, you're scaring me. James! Wake up!" Ali cried, shaking James's still body. James awoke with a start, shooting up into a sitting position, but soon regretting doing so. A pain shot up his leg, and James couldn't help but wince. Ali noticed, of course, and started to lift up his pant leg before he grabbed her hand.
"It's nothing, Als. I guess sleeping on concrete is finally catching up on me." James said with a small smile. Ali put a hand on her hip, and James knew she wouldn't let it go.
"You sure, James? You seemed perfectly fine before we went to sleep. Are you lying to me?" She asked, her head cocked to the side. Ali knew that James didn't have the strongest will power, and that he would give in soon.
"I'm absolutely sure. And, you know I wouldn't lie to you." James told her. It killed him to be lying to her, but he hoped she believed him. By the way she looked at him, James figured she believed him, but he tried to be more careful of his facial expressions from then on. They fell into a comfortable silence for a while, both of them rubbing the sleep out of their eyes. After a while, the silence was broken by the sound of the lock being turned. Ali and James both shot up, James stumbling a bit on his bad leg. Ali was about to say something when the door opened, revealing a dirty, scar covered man. James sprinted to stand in front of Ali, preparing himself to protect the girl behind him.
"You do know that I'll actually stand a better chance against that guy, right?" Ali whispered in James's ear. James was about to respond but the man in the doorway stalked inside the cold, dirty cell.
"Come here, girl. It's your turn." The man sneered, his eyes shooting daggers at the two of them. James grasped her arm, keeping her from stepping in front of him.
"Don't you dare touch her." James growled, his voice sounding menacing. The man kept creeping towards them, and James pushed Ali further behind him.
"You already had your turn, kid. Time to let your friend have some fun now." The man said, getting much too close now. James tried to push him back, but the man shrugged James off like he was nothing, and before he knew it, James was flat on his back, groaning. James could feel his ankle start to bleed, and he watched as the blood started to soak the material of his sweatpants.
"James, what is he talking about? What didn't you tell me?" Ali cried, trying to find a way to get to James. The man gave James a sharp kick to the gut to make sure he didn't try to get up. James spit out blood and moaned. Ali tore her eyes from James to look at the man, her eyes blazing with hatred.
"You know what, I don't have time for this," The man grumbled, shoving James to the side. James flew to the back wall, this head taking the impact with a sickening snap. Ali gasped, and turned her eyes onto the man, her voice seething.
"Who do you think you are?" She screamed, running to James. The man grabbed her before she could, though, and dragged her kicking and screaming out the cell doors.
"James! James!" She howled, her voice dying as she got farther down the hallway.
James screamed in agony, though not for his newly throbbing head; he couldn't picture anyone going through what he did, and they took her away.
James' eyes started to blurr, his vision lined with black. He sunk the rest of the way down the wall and onto the floor, clutching his hair with his fingers tightly. Tears started to leak from his eyes, dripping down his cheeks as he gasped in air. His bare feet slid closer into his body, one leg falling out flat onto the floor as he cried. He could feel the burning off the pain-killers in his chest, which was bare. The gray sweatpants were doused in blood and dirt, mud underneath his nails as the dirt floor of the cell slowly became slick, the rain dripping inside slowly from the open, yet bared, window. James' blue eyes turned a horrible, agonizing silver as his chin tipped back, sniffling as the tears left tracks down his dirty cheeks, his teeth shattering and his body wracking with every sob. His lips turned red as the blood from earlier today surged back up his throat. James coughed slightly, the blood spattering on his hands and dripping down his chin. He examined his hands, blistered and cracked. Blood fell from his chin onto his bare chest, slowly trailing down his skin before dotting the draw-string of his pants. His fingers returned to his hair, his fingers tightening around the ebony locks, the red in his hair shining as lightning flashed overhead. His fingers threatened to pull at the roots, yank the patches of his head until it lay bald. Another drop of blood fell, but this time, he didn't feel it on his chest.
Reaching his fingers onto his throat, he realized that, somehow, Ali had slipped her golden locket around his neck. His shaky fingers found the clasp, and he carefully opened it. He watched the image of a crying Mr. Jackson, much in the same position as he was, for a moment, taking in the similarities to his daughter; olive skin, unruly black hair, freckles. He watched Mr. Jackson's head tip back, his lips quivering. The locket vibrated suddenly, and James held the object closer to his face. This time the vibrate was deeper. Tightening his fingers around the object, he held it to his ear. He was shocked to find that he could hear, so softly, a deep, throaty voice speaking through the object.
"Please... any god that could be listening. You can kill me now, shoot me down and send me to the Fields of Asphodel. Anything... just please; keep my baby girl safe. She's all I care about, please! Keep my baby safe... keep my Ali Bear safe... I beg of you..." The voice broke off into a sob, and James pulled away the locket to see Mr. Jackson's head fall back down, his tears falling faster than before. James could feel his tears dripping down his face quicker as well. His shaking fingers held the locket to his quivering lips, the blood staining the surface red.
"I promise you, Mr. Jackson," James whispered into the metal. "I'll protect her. So help me, I won't fail her..." He trailed off, his blue eyes flickering to the doorway. "Not again."
"Because she's my Ali Bear, too."
"What do you mean you don't know where James is?" Ginny screamed. The man if front of her, Auror Diovello, crossed his arms and sighed deeply. Multiple Aurors have been in and out of the Potter's household all day, and she still didn't get it that they just didn't have enough evidence to call a full out search for the boy.
"Mrs. Potter, please be reasonable! We just can't do anything right now! There just wasn't enough at the scene to post a search, no matter what your husband may or may not say." The man said, trying to keep his temper under control. While the man tried to keep his down, Ginny let hers fly through the roof.
"Now, you listen to me. You will go out there, you will find my son, and you will bring him back to me. Don't try and argue with me, because I know many different ways to make sure you will never be able to reproduce again." Ginny growled, taking another step towards the man every time she said "will". The man soon was backed against a wall, and he gulped, not daring to look into the infuriated woman's eyes.
"Do we have an understanding, Auror Diovello?" Ginny asked, backing away from the slightly terrified man. Auror Diovello quickly scurried out of the woman's reach before replying.
"Of course, Mrs. Potter." The Auror said before walking away. Before he could leave the room, Ron Weasley came striding in and put an arm around Auror Diovello's shoulders.
"I really wouldn't disagree with her right now. She's a Weasley girl; take away their kid, and they go all Mother Bear on you." The ginger man said, ruffling Auror Diovello's neatly styled hair before letting the man slink out of the room.
"Momma! Momma! Momma!" Lily yelled, slipping into the room in her overalls with one sock on. Her big brown eyes stared up at her parents. "Mom, Dad, there is a strange girl in our washroom, sitting on top of our washing machine!"
Harry and Ginny took one look at each other and bolted upstairs, towards a small tiled bathroom where all of the laundry in the house was done. Instead of the neat, folded piles of clothes Ginny had left on top of the dryer, they found the whole room covered in bubbles.
In the dead center of the small bathroom as a girl, about 16 and rubbing her rear with an irritated face.
She had long, choppy black hair that fell down to her waist. Most of it was kept in loose braid, a long ribbon of silver threaded in with her hair. She was a bit on the shorter side, with a pair of soaked fabric sneakers on her feet. She had bangs of different lengths hanging in front of one of her eyes, which were a striking electric blue. She was dressed in a pair of almost black jeans that hugged her legs, and a silver jacket overtop a dark blue shirt with the words 'I don't know, ask your boyfriend' printed in large letters down the side. She had a headdress across her forehead, a notch in the back making so that the thin silver band was pressed snugly against her skin.
The unnerving part about her appearance, though, was the thick strap going from her left shoulder to her right hip, securing in place a worn leather quiver that held a beautiful old-tyme style longbow, like the ones in old stories and myths. The bow was a gorgeous ebony, with a worn drawstring that looked difficult to pull back. There were moving carvings in the body of the bow, of girls running, dancing and leaping, swinging from trees and hunting deer.
The bow looked to be a perfect set with the eight matching dark redwood and mahogany arrows, each with what looked to be Phoenix feathers near the notch and a wickedly sharp, seemingly bronze tip. One arrow was hanging lopsidedly out of the quiver, leading Harry to believe that she had been in the process of pulling it out before Lily had found her, starling her and causing all of the water, and the bubbles with it, to come spilling out of the washing machine as she tumbled to the floor.
"'You must be stealthy, Thalia,'" The girl grumbled in a high falsetto. "'If you catch the residents off-guard who knows if they'll listen to you or not.'" Yeah, right; stealthy my ass. She knows very well I am not, by any means, stealthy."
"What's going on?" Harry growled, gripping Lily's shoulders with both hands and pushing Ginny behind him (AN Elsie: Hmmm... I'm beginning to sense a pattern...) The girl met Harry's eyes briefly as she pushed both of her elbows behind her.
"Your son; James, right? He was taken?" She asked, blowing her bubble-coated bangs out of her face. Harry and Ginny's eyes got wide, as well as Ron and all of the other Aurors.
"How do you know that?"
"Do you know where he is?"
Harry and Ginny spoke simultaneously, Ginny's voice rising over Harry's with frantic desperation only a mother could succeed in showing. The girl smiled at the two of them slightly, and extended one hand to Ron.
"Help me up, will you? I'll explain everything once I'm dry." Ron grabbed her hand and yanked her up from the ground. She slipped a little in the dish soap that had spilled from the shelf above the washer, but kept her balance. "Mrs. Potter," She asked politely. Ginny's eyes widened at the fact that this unknown girl knew her name. "If it's not a bother, may I please have a towel?"
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"Well," the girl started. The Potters and the Weasleys were all gathered around her in the sitting room, the fireplace blazing and the children on the floor around her. The girl was seated in a large, one-person leather chair, wearing one of Harry's too-big tee-shirts and a pair of knee-high socks, a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. Her knees were pulled up to her chest, her hair taken out of it's braid and in a messy bun on top of her head. She was drumming her fingers on her bow, which was on the arm of the chair next to her. Ginny remembered how awkward it had been, waiting for her to get done changing. Ron and Hermione were on the love seat on the opposite side of the room, Hermione biting her nails anxiously and Ron rubbing her arm soothingly. Ginny and Harry were sitting at alert on the couch, Harry in the middle with a teenage Teddy Lupin sitting beside Harry in the open spot. He had Hugo in his lap, with all of the other children sitting as close to the girl as possible. Victoire Weasley was sitting on the arm of the couch beside Teddy, watching the intruder curiously. Molly and Arthur stood in the doorway, waiting for her to speak. The other Weasleys were standing or sitting all over the room, in assorted places. The girls eyes flickered to Ginny, who nodded at her to continue.
"My name is Thalia Grace. I go to a special camp in America, but usually am out traveling all of North America and Europe with a group of girls, like me. We're kind of like a girl scout troop, only we don't sell cookies." Thalia laughed at her little joke, but realized that none of the people around her were in the mood for jokes. "Um... anyways, the reason I know about your son is because something recently came up at our camp, with much the same result." Astounded gasps rang out across the room. Thalia took a deep breath, and continued.
"The child at our camp that was kidnapped is named Alexandreia Jackson. She's the same age as James, and was kidnapped at the same time, same date, different continent. Ali had been running from a monster, which she usually wouldn't do, so we were lead to believe that she had some kind of escape plan. She had been running across a piece of play equipment before she jumped, only to be caught in the air by a strange black mist. It seemed almost humanoid, and was gripping the hood of Ali's shirt as it flew away with her. Her parents, my cousin and one of my best friends, are completely distraught. In an attempt to find where she went, my group and I started looking into recent... magical, disappearances, if you will.
"We then found out that your son was taken by the same thing. Being as they're the same age, we can't help but think that someone had distinct motivation to kidnap the two of them. We believe that they are being held together, where ever they are."
"If this is the case, Mrs. Potter," Thalia asked, leaning forward so that her elbows were rested on her knees, her gaze locking on Ginny. "Then we'd like to ask that your family and yourself, as many as you wish, accompany my group and I back to Long Island, New York. There, we believe that if we all work together, we can locate and retrieve the children." Thalia abruptly shook her head. "Dear Gods, I'm starting to sound like Athena."
"What do you mean, 'we'? What are you talking about?" Ron asked. The girl turned to look him in the eyes.
"Us; Demi-gods. The children of a human and a god." Everyone in the room gasped. Thalia snickered, leaning forward and holding out her hand to Harry.
"I guess I haven't properly introduced myself; my name is Thalia Grace, daughter of Zeus, king of the Olympians and Greek god of the skies,and lieutenant of The Huntresses of the Artemis, Greek goddess of the moon and the hunt. Also a Guardian of Olympus, and former defender of Half-Blood Hill."
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