Standard disclaimer applies.
This takes place somewhere around the epilogue for Deathly Hallows, and post Son of Neptune.
He had no idea where he was.
That was Percy's second thought when the crazy guys in the dresses had blitzed him and taken him here, wherever here was minutes or hours ago. Percy kind of thought that he had blacked out there for a minute like he used to do under heavy influence from the Mist, because one minute he was on a side street and the next here, wherever that was. Only, he was pretty that these guys weren't monsters.
At least they hadn't said anything about eating demigod for lunch yet, and he didn't really know of any monsters that were patient enough to toy with their food.
So. That left him with guys in dresses waving sticks at him.
And he thought America had weird cults. It was possible these guys were hippies, but he kind of doubted it. Percy had gone to a very "progressive" middle school for seventh grade, and these guys just did not give off the same vibe.
This would be an excellent example of his horrible luck. When they'd grabbed him, Percy had been heading back to the Argo II after he had gotten separated from the others. They had definitely gotten someone's attention while in London, but this was not the kind of trouble Percy was hoping to stir up, and definitely not what he needed to defeat a giant.
He still didn't know the answer to his first question – who the guys in the dresses were – and that wasn't because he had kelp for brains, whatever Annabeth would say. They'd tied up his hands and tossed him in a chair, and then started arguing with each other.
It was pretty obvious these guys had never spent any time around a child of Hermes. Any demigod who wanted to keep his stuff or his life intact learned how to get out of these kinds of situations at camp. Percy had already worked out half of the knots when one of the younger guys had started shouting something about time travel, conspiracy theories and telling their captain. At least, he thought he was. He did mishear things on a regular basis.
A really tall redheaded dude walked in just then, and all the other guys started talking really fast at him and waving their sticks around. Percy had no idea what they were saying; these accents combined with his ADHD were seriously killing him. This guy must have been the captain, and he'd found them before anyone had decided to go looking for him. That might not be a good thing.
The redheaded dude, who was maybe in his mid-thirties with an impressively long nose, had invaded Percy's personal bubble. That was awkward. Percy slipped his hands out of his cut ropes behind his back and inched his hand toward his pocket. He got the feeling that maybe Riptide wasn't going to be a whole lot of help in this situation, but he'd feel better holding it. Percy still couldn't tell what he was dealing with here – these guys were probably mortal, but the Mist wasn't working right around them.
"So," began the redheaded dude – seriously, what was this guy's name? "You lot honestly think this is Harry from some botched past, who has somehow gotten a time turner and come to warn us?"
A couple of the men nodded; one or two shrugged at him.
"Stranger things have happened, Captain Weasley."
Weasley? As in, weasels? Percy fished his pen out of his pocket. That whole guinea pig thing on Circe's Island just kept coming back to haunt him. He was not going to be the guinea pig in this situation. Seriously, you spend a (very) short time as a rodent and the jokes never stop.
"I reckon you didn't check to see if he had a scar, did you? Or, you know, check to see if he looked anything like Harry when he was in school?"
The men shifted. Captain Weasley sighed, and waved his stick around. Something zoomed out of the door into his hand.
Oh. Magic. Percy blinked. That didn't actually explain anything at all, to be honest. None of the Hecate campers had ever needed to use a stick to steal a nose. And it really didn't explain the dresses. They were almost as bad as the bed sheets the Romans insisted on wearing.
Captain Weasley was holding a picture of what must have been himself and another guy, holding brooms. Percy was just going to ignore that for now as he stretched his neck to get a closer look at this guy he'd been mistaken as and then kidnapped for.
The boy in the photo was on the small and scrawny side. Clearly he did not spend his time dodging lava on the climbing wall and sword fighting in the summers, or even slaying monsters countless hours of any given week. Admittedly they both had dark hair, and as far as Percy could tell this guy's eyes were green too, but that was it as far as similarities go. And seriously, those glasses were way obvious and that scar – which was kind of cool – should have tipped these guys off long before they grabbed him.
If he continued to stay quiet, which was really very hard to do, Percy could probably slip out of the room without anyone noticing. Obviously he wasn't dealing with the best and brightest here, and since they had kind of forgotten he was there, he could leave once he figured out a way through the door.
Just then, the floor beneath him rumbled and burst apart right in between him and the captain. Hazel's curly head popped up out of hole. Her eyes widened when she saw the guys with the sticks. Frank popped up a second later, arrow notched.
"Percy! Come on!"
Percy didn't need to be told twice. He was already up and landing in the tunnel before Hazel had even finished speaking. Within seconds the three of them were tearing through her tunnel as Hazel collapsed sections of it behind them.
Several minutes later, they stopped to catch their breath.
"Who were those guys?" Frank panted.
"No idea. Thought they belonged to Hecate or something – "
Percy nodded. "Yeah, they were using magic. But with sticks." He shook his head. "Don't know what's up with that, and don't have the time to find out."
"But," Hazel glanced back in the direction they ran from, concerned. "If they're using magic that's not Greek or Roman, what is it? Weren't the gods here for a long time?"
"Maybe they have to use sticks because they're legacies?" Frank offered. "And Percy, why'd they grab you? Did they know you're a demigod?"
Percy sighed. It was almost embarrassing.
"Really ridiculous case of mistaken identity. They didn't know what I was, but they might be wondering now. Anyway, we have a bigger problem," he glanced pointedly at the ground underneath them. He didn't want to take his chances and say her name while under the ground. "That needs to be dealt with first, and we seriously need to get back to the ship."
With that, they took off. Whatever curiosity any of them had for the magic people they'd seen on their short misadventure would have to wait. They had an earth goddess to take care of first.
Notes: It is the middle of the night in California, but my neighbor is snoring really loud. So I wrote this instead.
Please review it. I would love to hear thoughts, opinions, or even criticism.