A/N Alright everyone, thanks for all your heartwarming reviews! Your enthusiasm is remarkable and I truly reckon it is what keeps this story going. I have no excuses for my extended absence other than my finals, my college applications that are coming up this year and my quite unstable emotional condition, which finally inspired this unorthodox need to write.
As for the rest of the story I need to announce I feel I can't push the plot any further, so the next chapter will be the last one. I'm extremely tired emotionally and I want to finish this story so that I can focus on my Facebook themed story.
I will actually sit down and write the last chapter focused and everything this time. I want it to be long and worth reading, so it's not going to be rushed or anything.
And I'm sorry for the long wait, but I've been in a kind of a writer's block for a really long time. I still don't know how I will finish this or when so please bear with me.
Now, on with the story…
"Mom, to what do we owe the pleasure of your visit during a quest nonetheless?" I asked after a couple of minutes of awkward silence that had managed to expand in the entire Hall. You could literally hear a pin drop.
The silence was intercepted, however, thanks to the timely entrance of what I certainly believe is to be known as the longest demigod teasing strife in history. In other words, Nico and Thalia appeared while bickering and all heads turned to them.
They seemed to notice the awkwardness in the air and Thalia's eyes widened as she took in the fact that my mother was in the room. She elbowed Nico, who had to yell "ouch", and the proceeded to bow. Nico looked at our direction, had the same reaction and bowed as well.
"Lady Athena." He spoke.
"So mom?" I turned to her a little bit impatient to hear what she had to say. I could tell Percy was nervous, so I reached for his hand and intertwined our fingers, which seemed to calm him down a bit.
"Well, daughter, I am here to merely offer you some information pertinent to your mission and thankfully I'm allowed to do so because you're on a quest." She spoke.
"Is this about the monsters' alliance with Voldemort?" Percy asked having gotten over the shock only a visit from an Olympian could cause.
"Yes, indeed, Perseus." Athena said.
"Perseus?!" Ron asked bluntly. I winced. Interrupting a god is bad. Interrupting an Olympian is even worse. Interrupting mother is… Well, you can imagine to what it would result.
"Yeah, dude. It's my name. Besides, they call you Ron. Your name, though, is Ronald!" Percy protested, reacting before things escalated. I let out a sigh of relief and mother looked at me with a suppressed smile. I chuckled.
"Yes, Ron. His name is Perseus. We call him Percy and he is a Seaweed Brain." I stated and Percy turned to look at me. He rolled his eyes.
"Don't forget Aqua Dude!" Nico shouted.
"Or Kelp Head!" Thalia added.
"Gee guys! Thanks. Can we actually listen to what Lady Athena is here to say now?" he asked exasperatedly.
"Right. Well, as I was saying. The monsters are planning a heads on attack. Their numbers have been raised significantly, they are more organized and they know about the demigod reinforcements that have arrived." She announced.
"What do they have to gain from such an assault, though?" I asked.
"Yeah. They've already tried once and failed miserably at that." Percy said perplexed.
"These questions I'm afraid I am not permitted to answer. I was only allowed to inform you of the attack. Let's just say they plan to use some aces they have up their sleeves. Some of them you encountered during the Second Titan War." Athena said pointedly.
"A drakon or, maybe, another sow. Great. Who knows what other weaponry they might have." Percy huffed.
"You're right. We need to get down to planning. Also, we need to ask the Hephaestus guys for a new armor for you. These telkhines are going to regret making me feel at loss about helping you even for a moment. The lack of salt water frustrates me as well!"
Percy's amused stare got me to smile lightly, but then another light engulfed the room and we all bowed immediately.
"Lord Poseidon." A chorus of voices was heard, indicating that many others of our demigod friends had arrived in the room while we talked to my mother.
"Father." Percy's voice was the last to be heard.
"Rise, everyone. I'm here to answer to Miss Chase's worries. I admit I didn't really like the perilous situation you went through, son." Lord Poseidon said.
"Couldn't you have chosen another moment to appear Barnacle Breath? Preferably after I had left?" my mother asked irritated. This wasn't going to end well.
"No one's stopping you from leaving Book Brain!" Poseidon answered.
"Father. You promised." Percy looked at the sea god in the eye seriously.
"Alright. Fine. I'm just here to tell you two that the lake's water will be able to change according to your command from now on until the mission is over. That means you can ask for salt water and then change it back, Percy. That will put my mind at ease, I must say." Poseidon mused.
"Is that really possible?" Percy wondered.
"Duh. Your father just told ya, Kelp-for-Brains." Thalia whispered loudly enough to be heard in the whole room.
A few chuckles were heard. I merely smiled and rolled my eyes. Percy was just that way and some things never changed. It was just another thing I found refreshing given how much he has been through.
Poseidon simply chuckled at Thalia's remark and nodded at Percy with a smile on his face. He, then, went on to leave, but turned to us at the last moment:
"Ah! I almost forgot. Tyson wants me to tell you to kill some monsters for him since he's not here and to be careful. I think he's working on a new shield for you at the moment we speak."
"Tell him thanks, OK, dad?" Percy asked and Poseidon nodded and disappeared into a puddle of seawater.
My mother snorted turning our attention back to her and then she disappeared as well.
"Phew!" Percy pretended to swipe sweat of his forehead.
Annabeth turned to look at me with a raised eyebrow.
"She didn't threaten me this time! Plus, I get a new shield! Sweet!" I explained and she rolled her eyes playfully.
"Did we seriously just have a visit by not one Olympian, but two?" Hermione asked, a mortified expression covering her now ashen face.
"SAY WHAT?" Draco asked running to get to us.
"I wonder which ones… Ares doesn't like us a lot…" Luna said absentmindedly staring at the ceiling.
Harry who, apparently, knew better than to question her answered:
"Um… It seems your mum visited, Luna. Followed by Percy's dad." His expression was a mixture of disbelief and immense confusion about the fact that the Olympians didn't seem to pay attention to the wizards of the Hall, opting for talking to their kids and vanishing into thin air instead.
"Mom was here? Oh… Too bad she left… I wanted to talk to her about that new book…" she mumbled.
"What I'm mostly surprised about is that she didn't incinerate Percy!" Nico butted in. Of course the zombie dude would have something to say.
"If she wanted to, wouldn't she have done so already Death Breath?" Thalia asked exasperatedly.
"Here we go again…" Annabeth whispered to me.
"Shouldn't we separate them?" Luna said.
"I think they're hilarious. Oh, yeah! Let's watch them fight and if they get to sword fighting we interrupt, or maybe not…" Draco decided smiling deviously.
"And you're telling me you're not a son of Hades?" Ron asked Draco.
"Hey! I take offence to that! I'm more good looking than Death Breath!" Draco protested.
"Boys! I'm perfectly sure that both of you consider yourselves the hottest guys on earth, but could you please focus on the mission for just one second?" Annabeth interrupted.
"Yeah, guys, she's right. We need to tell you what Athena came here to inform us about." I said.
"Of course Annabeth's right! When do YOU think she has ever been wrong?" Thalia groaned.
"Hey! I am -"
"Well, since I'm always right I'm telling you three things: Firstly, Thalia and Nico you fight like an old married couple. Second, you guys might think you're handsome, but Percy owns you any day. Lastly, my mother warned us about another monster force aiming at us. Oh, and she mentioned some sort of secret weapon."
After that quick summary courtesy of Annabeth, the entire room was eerily quiet.
I looked at her, trying to conceal my smile, and failing miserably at that, I chuckled at her slight blush.
Yeah, give her a brake. It's not every day she admits she likes the way I look in front of a whole room full of people. She usually claims she doesn't want me to get a swollen ego.
I bumped her shoulder with mine and we shared a quick smile, before said room full of people was dominated by an onslaught of questions, exclamations and protests like: "Can you tell us more about the Olympians?" or "Wow! Those were REALLY Poseidon and Athena?" or "Death Breath is not more good looking than bright and cheerful me!"
Yeah, that last one did come from Draco. As for the others, I guess the wizards have been so blindsided these last days that all their reactions were hindered until this moment. Darn, and I thought we had gone through the last part.
Suddenly, a loud whistle was heard and everyone settled down.
Clarisse and the some others of our friends were standing at the entrance of the hall looking kind of at loose ends.
"What the heck is going on, Prissy?" she asked looking at all the wizards warily.
I sighed and recounted the recent, um… I guess 'events' is the correct word.
After relaying these surprising – to the wizards at least- news, Clarisse huffed.
"Awesome! Now we have to face monsters again, but Nooooooo! Don't make it easy for the demigods! Send something else they need to worry about, like a secret weapon! Haven't we got enough surprises by now? Isn't there a single mission we could face and not try to figure out some obscure statement?!"
My eyes had widened and so had Annabeth's for that matter.
Malcolm made a tentative move to break the tension.
"Um… Clarisse, you love slaying monsters. How come you're complaining?" the son of Athena inquired, simultaneously getting several nods from the rest of the group.
"Since stupid tricks cost the life of one of my best friends." Clarisse answered her face stiff and jaw set firmly.
Everyone's faces, including mine, fell at the memory of Silena.
"I don't like tricks either Clarisse. I think you remember how her Most Annoying Majesty's clever plans work out." Annabeth spat out angrily and Clarisse nodded.
"Don't worry guys. We'll figure this one out. Nothing is happening to any of you. Got it?" I said.
They all turned to look at me and they nodded with determined faces.
Truth was I was tired of having to bear with the fear of parting with my closest of friends. Two wars were more than anyone could ever hope of surviving through and yet here we all were, facing another quite obscure threat.
"Well, alright, then. I suppose we'd better head out and IM Chiron. Let him know about all this stuff. Maybe he has an idea of what's coming." Malcolm reasoned and led the group out of the room, leaving Annabeth and I (see, Annabeth finally managed to get me to use proper grammar even in my own head) to deal with all the questions issued by the wizards.
"Percy, I know we seem to be quite… welcoming I suppose is the proper word, but that doesn't mean we are fairly acquainted with your world or your adventures. Hence, I think it would be quite useful if you were to sit with us and tell us more details about it. If you want, that is." Hermione spoke confidently, yet carefully as if she was stepping in a minefield and didn't want to trigger any unwanted reactions from us.
"I do believe Ms Granger's proposal arrives at the best possible moment for all of us, meaning the school staff, would want to get properly introduced to this unknown till recently aspect of life. If you would talk to us that would be most opportune." McGonagall said.
"I suppose we could. The first question round we had didn't really give you any real insight into the exact dimensions of whatever we've faced extends." I decided and turned to look at Percy, who gave me an agreeing nod, but, then, he frowned and sent a glance around the room.
"The whole order of the room doesn't really help, though. Maybe we could use another room. Perhaps somewhere where we could sit and look at all of you as we explain." He said pensively.
McGonagall told the students to get up from their seats and proceeded to wave her wand, making the House tables disappear and filling the room with couches, ordered all around in a circular pattern.
All the Professors, including the Headmaster claimed the couch in the middle and the student body hesitantly sat down.
Percy took my hand and led me to an empty couch opposite the one where the Professors sat. He sat down and pulled me next to him, his arms circling my waist from behind. I relaxed into him and prepared myself for the intense conversation that was bound to follow.
Percy started describing everything from our first quest…
2 Hours Later
The demigods where dumbfounded. Silence had reigned in the entire Hall as soon as we stopped talking about the Second Titan War. It was exactly what Hermione had asked of us. A detailed reciting of everything we've been through for the five years the fighting was going on.
"Blimey… That is A LOT OF TROUBLE" Ron exclaimed.
"You don't say! Ron are you seriously that dumb?"
"Our brother is an air head George! And now that insult actually has grounds!"
"Hey!" Ron protested.
"Enough!" McGonagall shouted.
"Thank you for recounting all that Ms Chase and Mr Jackson." Dumbledore said.
"Actually I have a few more questions-
"Seriously, Hermione? They just said all that and you want to ask MORE?"
"Would you two stop it? I'm getting a migraine!" Harry protested.
"You guys!" I yelled.
They all turned to look at me. Percy grinned and raised an eyebrow as if saying: see? Everybody listens at you! I simply rolled my eyes at him. He chuckled and drew me closer, nuzzling my neck.
"Percy?" Harry asked. However, Seaweed Brain seemed too involved in his activities that he just didn't pay any attention. Not that it annoyed me. I was all too happy to comply. It's just that the situation wasn't ideal for that now.
I sneaked a quick glance across the room and met Dumbledore's slight smile.
My face adorned by a blush now, I nudged Percy out of his stupor.
He looked at me confusedly and I pointed at the wizards. "Yeah?" He asked.
"I've been meaning to ask you Percy. Do your parents 'pop up' often?" Ginny asked.
"Usually their appearance is not just for the sake of visiting really. Mostly they come to warn us of an impending life threatening disaster or a looming threat. Or both." Percy deadpanned.
"Yes, we all heard Lady Athena a few hours ago." Draco came into the room.
"Mother is wise. We should do well to listen to her." Luna added and they came to sit next to us.
"Unless she is talking about how I should reconsider dating Percy. That's usually when I tend to zone out and think about other things." I pointed out.
Percy chuckled and with a swift motion he leaned down and kissed me briskly. His eyes were filled with laughter and his gaze was much like the tide. Pulling me in, making me lose myself in its depth.
He placed his forehead against mine and smiled that same sarcastic troublemaker smile.
"Guys? Guys? Earth to Percy!" Draco shouted.
"Draco! Don't interrupt them!" Luna chastised.
"But, Luna! We were explaining stuff. How the heck are we supposed to answer things about stuff Percy and Annabeth did without Percy or Annabeth being mentally and emotionally present?" Draco ranted.
Dumbledore chuckled and snickers were heard from the wizards.
"These two are making me sick…" Ron grumbled.
"You are just saying that because you don't have a girlfriend, Ron! You're jealous!" Ginny punned.
"OHHHH! Buuuuurn!" The Weasly twins yelled and high- fived their sister.
"I'm not jealous! Hermione, Harry! Tell them!" Ron countered.
"Um… Look Ron…" Harry started.
"Don't listen to them Ron! I'm sure you could get any girl you wanted!" Lavender Brown gushed.
A dozen pairs of eyes turned to look at Lavender. "Oh, my! Lavender looks like you said something you shouldn't have." Luna's voice penetrated the silence.
"What just happened?" Percy's troubled voice was heard.
"Lavender has landed herself in it!" Draco supplied.
"DRACO MALFOY! Don't use these expressions!" Luna reprimanded him.
Laughter was heard from the couch where the Professors were sitting.
"Listening to students talking is far more amusing than I remember, Minerva!" Professor Sprout said.
"Indeed, I find it quite amusing as well. Now, Mr Jackson and Ms Chase, if we could continue with the fascinating recounting of your lives." Dumbledore motioned with a nod of his head.
Percy and Annabeth blushed and made themselves more comfortable on their couch, Annabeth, now, finding herself seated between Percy's legs, leaning into his chest.
"Alright, what else is there?" Percy asked glancing around.
"Actually, I wanted to ask something, but it might come across as indiscreet." Harry said pointedly.
Percy frowned and shares a look with Annabeth, who shrugged.
"Ask anyway. If it is something we'd rather not dwell on, we'll just say so." Annabeth said.
Harry seemed to ponder his question a little bit. Truth was all the things he had heard made him respect these demigods a lot more than he originally had. Frankly, the whole ordeal they had went through reminded him too much of his own problems and ventures into evil lairs to confront Voldemort.
However, after his talk with Dumbledore last year and the extra training he had been getting he had come to realize there are other forces that drive people and urge them to make the right choices. ( A/N Harry is currently in his sixth year and has been meeting with Dumbledore to see memories and stuff already. This story just focuses on the demigod-wizard interaction and the demigod side more, so just assume Harry's sixth year runs simultaneously with this story. Thanks.)
What Harry was wondering now, though, had to do with what exactly was that had made Percy so eager to win and save everyone. Of course, there was his family, his friends, but, knowing from experience, Harry could tell there was something else that had made Percy struggle to survive more than anything else. Plus, Harry hadn't forgotten what they were talking about when Athena appeared. Percy had given up godhood, justifying his choice by saying he wanted to be a regular teen. Athena had countered that and Harry was wondering what his real reasons were.
Breaking from his musings, he decided to voice his thoughts:
"You said during lunch that at the rewarding ceremony that you had after the war, they offered you to become a god." Harry started.
"SAY WHAT?" "IMPOSSIBLE" "NO WAY" were some of the few exclamations, because the rest of the Houses hadn't actually heard about that.
"Students!" McGonagall's voice silenced the bewildered mass of people.
"True." Percy replied calmly.
"Why?" Harry's question was simple and right on the point. He only hoped Percy wouldn't try to avoid being honest.
"Well, I wanted to have a regular high school experience for one." Percy said.
"A god man! You could live forever! Be young! Have power!" Ron opposed.
"Who could turn that down?" Seamus wondered.
"Look, guys, you don't get it. If I became a god, all my friends would age, everything would have remained the same and nothing would ever seem to change. Basically, it would mean, I'd have to leave everyone." Percy said.
"Still man, I don't think-
"Everyone? Couldn't you visit? You could still have your life." Ginny inquired, halting Ron in his tracks before he managed to voice his truly steadfast opinion on the matter.
Percy tightened his arms around Annabeth.
"I could visit. But it wouldn't be the same. I could never abandon them." Percy reasoned.
"Percy? I was meaning to ask something as well." Hermione said and Ron groaned.
Hermione ignored him. "You told us what Lady Hestia showed you about Luke and his promise to Annabeth and Thalia and what Achilles told you. If it's not too much trouble, could you explain a bit more about how the mortal point works?" she asked.
"Essentially, it's a spot in one's body that can be wounded. When I met Achilles, though, he warned me that there is a weak point in your personality as well. For him, it was arrogance. When I dived in the Styx I had to focus on one thing that would ground me to the mortal world. That made me want to stay mortal and that anchored me to reality. Basically, it is the one thing that characterizes you. The most important thing in your life." Percy said scrunching his face as if remembering the meeting.
"What did you see?" Colin Creevy said before realizing that question was quite indiscreet and blushing.
Everyone ignored the question and turned to where a fight was raging between Ron and Hermione.
"Why would you care about that Hermione? I mean, it's not like he'd tell anyone where the spot is! That'd be suicidal!" Ron said disturbed.
"I just wanted to know a bit more. Is that so bad? And for the record, you're wrong! I think he told someone!" Hermione huffed and looked away to come face to face with an amused Percy and an intrigued Annabeth.
"5 galleons that he didn't!" Ron bellowed.
"10 that he did!" George countered and they shook hands.
"Gambling again Weasly?!" McGonagall glared.
"Children! I think Mr Jackson would like to explain some things." Dumbledore announced, meanwhile staring at a fidgeting Percy.
Percy fidgeted some more in his seat. "Try not to interrupt?" he asked and everyone nodded. He looked resigned and Harry could give a wild guess that he didn't really want to disclose whatever it was he was about to say.
"Hermione is right. I did tell one person where my Achilles spot was. It would feel wrong not to." Percy said.
"That must be risky Percy." Harry observed.
"Not if the one person he told is the same he's anchored to, it isn't!" Ginny argued.
"What are you talking about? Who said he's anchored to a person? Luke was grounded by a promise!" Ron said baffled.
"I believe Ms Weasly's ideas are most logical and correct." Dumbledore said and turned to look pointedly at Annabeth.
Harry's eyes followed the Professor's gaze upon the young couple and his pupils diluted at the revelation, which had just been displayed before his very eyes.
Hermione seemed to catch up just as quickly.
"You can't possibly mean that Ginny. In their age such commitments are pretty hard to come across." Hermione reasoned.
"And you know many couples that survived Tartarus together?" Ginny countered.
"I'd like to point out we're still here." Percy's voice was carried around the room.
"Sorry about that." Hermione apologized and Percy shrugged as if saying: It's alright; people talk about me when I'm there all the time.
"About the other part, however. I have to say that Ginny is right." He finished.
"Awwwww! That's so sweeeet!" Lavender gushed.
Draco and Luna covered their ears, recoiling at the acuteness of the squeal.
"Blimey, that girl gushes more loudly than Aphrodite herself!" he muttered as he removed his hands from his now sensitive ears.
"Are you alright Draco?" Luna asked worriedly and wove her hands through Draco's hair in a soothing motion. Malfoy turned an unaccustomed shade of red and started stuttering, claiming he was fine.
"Is it me or does it seem the little ferret has a thing for Luna?" Ron whispered to Harry, who was looking on mortified at the scene.
"Anyway, let's move on from the curse of Achilles thing. It's time we told you about the second Giant War." Annabeth decided and started talking.
2 More Hours Later
…Continuous silence wasn't something Percy or Annabeth particularly liked. However, it was apparent that the 'revelations' dubbed day was growing accustomed to prolonged periods of time characterized by people gaping, some stuttering incoherent words and – most commonly – students just sitting there, lips slightly parted in surprise and an equally surprise ridden facial expression adorning their features. Of course, it was rather natural to react in such a way when you find out two of the people you have been interacting with for weeks had been in a place worse than hell and managed to literally crawl out of there, only to battle an entire giant army immediately afterwards and save the world as we know it. The additional help offered to Percy and Annabeth by the gods and the rest of their friends wasn't lost on anyone, but no matter what perspective the Hall's dwellers chose to look upon the subject, the fact that these two demigods had accomplished such a great deal of feats on their own somehow outweighed the rest of the story.
"It appears that Chiron was absolutely right in his judgment to send both of you here. It is comforting to know the severity of the situation and to have capable people fighting. In your case, perhaps capable doesn't really measure up…" Dumbledore's words seemed to have an impact on the hitherto stoic faces. Once the facts registered upon the mass, however, expressions were more inclined towards dazzled and enthralled.
"I really don't mean to be blunt, but this whole staring thing is kinda creepy…" Percy commented.
Annabeth hit his shoulder playfully.
"Seaweed Brain! Just because you don't mean to be blunt, doesn't mean you aren't!" She shook her head as if desperate.
Percy smiled sheepishly.
"Well…" a voice croaked until the demigods realized it had come from Ron.
"I don't know about you guys, but I definitely need a while to digest ALL THAT!" he whined.
Harry chuckled and Ginny joined Hermione in eye rolling.
"Well, I guess we'll be taking that as a leave now. It got a bit too much." Annabeth decided and got up from the couch, pulling Percy along with her.
Draco and Luna lingered behind to answer a few more basic questions.
Annabeth was holding my hand, leading me away from the castle grounds. Her fragrance filled the air while were walking and frankly, it kept sane enough and managed to block away all the thoughts pertaining to the dark horrible pit known as Tartarus.
I didn't notice that we had arrived at the lake until we got there. It was dusk considering we had spent the better part of the day having discussions with either our parents or dozens of curious wizards.
She sat down on the bank of the lake and patted the spot next to her, which I gladly took.
She leaned into me and let out an exhausted sigh. She turned her head and buried it into the crook of my neck.
I held her tighter and kissed her hair.
"I wish all that were only a bad dream." She mumbled.
"So do I. But they weren't. At least, we're not there anymore. We're together and out of there and we are never going to be apart." I pulled away to stare into her amazing grey eyes.
She smiled sleepily at me and kissed me slowly. A feeling of complete sereneness overwhelmed me.
"I love you." She whispered, caressing my cheek. I relished in her body's warmth. Its presence the only thing registered in my brain.
"I love you more." I whispered back and a genuine yet mischievous grin broke into her face.
"I don't want us to start arguing about this now, so let just agree to disagree." she yawned.
The sun had finally set and we lied down on the patch of grass of the bank.
And if this was how they found them a few minutes later, they didn't wake them. Malcolm just brought a couple of thick blankets to cover them. Thankfully it turned out to be a rather warm night. For Percy and Annabeth, though, it was a night filled with good dreams of lives together and picnics under the stars.
A/N I know. Cheezy ending, but that was all I had. Otherwise you would have probably gotten something a lot worse, like a really longer and more pointless filler chapter.
I promised I will finish this fanfic when I started writing it and I will carry out that promise. I don't know how long it will take for me to update this one, but know that I will.
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Life is Struggle