The ninth chapter. We're so close to the end! I loved all the reviews and the guessings, but you're going to have to read to find out.
The comment about me updating every day? It made me blush like crazy. I'm rather free this time of the year and so I had a few chapters already written in draft. I might not update for a day or two sometimes, but you'll get at least two updates per week! (Pst! Her Choices is going to get over this week!)
RedRangerBelt and theHuntress101 – All your questions are going to be answered in this story and I give no spoilers.
paili-chan –The suggestion you put forward isn't as straightforward as you make it sound, in my story. Gabe won't have a choice in moving to New York or staying back. Yes, you will find out who brought the Jacksons and Ugliano to London. Soon…
Oh, and comment about the new story image!
Disclaimer: I don't own the HP or PJO series.
Words – 2936
The end of August saw Percy being expelled. Sally tried to think positively. At least they hadn't arrested him.
It started with the pencil grip. Percy used them to hold the pencil properly in his fingers. During class, when he put it down to erase something, it rolled out.
How can pencils with pencil grips roll off?
It fell down and rolled itself next to the closed door. Percy frowned and looked around for it; unfortunately, he couldn't see it. He had to use his spare pencil which didn't have the pencil grip.
It slipped from his hand because he had put too much pressure on it as he wrote every letter as carefully as he could. The pencil flew and hit the frame of the open window. The pigeons sitting outside squawked as half of them tried to fly away and the other half flew inside the room to escape the 'threat'.
Why were the windows, open?
Ten minutes of chaos was followed by Percy finding his first pencil. He dropped to his knees and crawled towards the door, trying to escape screaming kids, pigeons, their droppings and the teacher who sounded the most hysterical.
Percy tried to pull the pencil, but the small part which acted as the grip had wedged the entire pencil in the gap between the door and the ground. Percy gave a terrific pull and the door slammed open, hitting Piers Polkiss, Dudley's best friend squarely in the face.
The noises from the room then echoed everywhere into the hall, where other classrooms finally opened their doors too. Percy got up and stared at his class. Many were crying, a few were actually swearing (including the teacher) and Percy seemed to be the only one not harmed.
The Principal had run in just in time for one of the pigeons to do its business on his fresh new suit.
The man shouted out some words that Smelly Gabe used in his everyday vocabulary. Percy had a feeling that something worse was about to happen. He walked backwards and slipped on the newly waxed linoleum floor of the hallway and his pencil flew straight in to the opposite wall. Unbelievably, it struck the small red button for the fire alarm. (Yes, it had crashed through the glass and then impaled itself on the button).
What followed was nothing short of pandemonium. The emergency water sprinklers turned on and a janitor, pulling a huge cart of books up the stairs was startled. He lost his grip on the rail and Percy jumped to grab the cart. Due to the shock in the jerky motion, the books flew out (notice how many things are flying?) and smacked right into the lunch lady and the librarian (a rare friendship). Then it was their turn to fly into the doors of the Gymnasium, a floor below.
Percy in gulped at let go of the cart which joined them, moments later. He turned around to yank the pencil out from the bell and fell into the Principal and the both of them went tumbling into another man, who turned out to be the School Inspector of their district.
When they had finally gotten rid of all the pigeons, everyone automatically turned to Percy. It was like they had rehearsed it.
Sally, Percy and Harry were rather quiet as they ate their salad in McD. Percy who had been pushing his food around looked up like he had finally got the guts to look at his mother and say, "I'm sorry."
"It's not your fault. How many times do I have to say that? You didn't like the school that much anyway, I'll search for another one, Pepe." Sally comforted him. Harry frowned. She was taking this much less seriously. It was like she had expected this to happen.
"It just slipped out of my hand." Percy mumbled. He pressed his fork into the curved side of the half lemon and accidentally forced the lemon to fly diagonally upwards. Harry immediately shot his hand and caught it.
Percy blushed and dropped his fork on the plate. Sally rubbed his shoulder and looked just in time to see Harry about to squeeze the lemon into his salad.
"Pumpkin, you already used the other half, I know you love lemons, but this is getting to be too much." Sally chided him and Harry sighed as he dropped it into Percy's plate.
"It was just my luck that the Inspector had to come today." Percy said.
Harry gave him a look that might have indicated pity in the vaguest of terms, "At least you didn't blow up the building. That could have been plausible."
Sally face-palmed as Percy banged his head on the table.
Percy kicked a stone across the river. Harry turned a page of his current favourite book of the week – Sherlock Holmes. Crescent Forest wasn't as thick and dangerous everyone had thought it to be. Though, the grass was tall, the river was wide, the trees were thick and animal resided in the nooks and corners, it was perfect for Harry and Percy who wished nothing more but to stay there all day and learn the secrets of the world.
Alright, that might have been exaggeration.
"I'm bored!" Percy said for the fifth time and Harry shut his book and looked up.
"I'm out of ideas, Percy. What would you want me to do?" Harry said getting up. He balanced the book on a low tree branch and jumped across the river.
"A race!" Percy said his eyes gleaming. Harry frowned, "To the house? You want to go back already?"
"No, I mean to the edge of the woods!"
"Mum said not to go there."
"Aha! Mom said not to go there alone. You're with me and I'm with you. Hence, we're not alone."
Harry rolled his eyes, "You know perfectly well that Mum said not to go alone together."
Percy stuck out his tongue, " 'Alone' and 'together' should not be used together. It's confusing."
"As strange as it sounds, they can be used together –"
"And separate. There isn't a grammatical or semantic error that I see."
"Which means that there is no error. What does 'error' actually mean? "
"A mistake, inaccuracy, blunder, fault –"
"Okay, okay, you dictiory!"
"The word is dictionary. But you actually wanted to refer me to a thesaurus."
"I don't think you're a dinosaur!"
"It's not a dinosaur! It's a book of reference for –"
"Does it look like I wanna know?"
"This, hands down, has been the weirdest and most annoying conservation, ever!"
"You mean 'conversation'."
Percy groaned and plopped down in a cross-legged posture on the grass.
"I'm bored! You don't wanna play or race or at least keep the con-ver-sation in my level. Not everyone is as smart as you!"
Harry sat down and looked at his younger brother, "I'm sorry, Perce. It's just that I'm getting a bad feeling. Like something bad is about to happen."
Percy looked up in concern, "Real bad. Worse than me being expelled? Worse than us being outcasts? Worse than us being freaks?"
"We're not freaks!" Harry snapped and then put his head in his hands.
"Sorry, I know you hate that word." Percy mumbled. Harry looked at him and asked, "Have you ever noticed anything strange, lately? I mean stranger than everyday stuff that happens to us?"
"Dreams are not counted, right?" Percy asked.
"You have dreams every night, Percy."
"Yeah, but sometimes they're really scary. Like this kid I keep seeing."
"What kid?" Harry asked frowning.
"Well…" Percy shifted clearly uncomfortable. Harry waited.
"I see him nearly every night, I mean in my nightmares. I wake up to get a drink of water or to just walk or I just walk up at times and he's just there. Just there walking towards me asking for help. But I can't move because it's just so…"
"Have you seen him before? Around here?" Harry asked. Percy shook his head and wrapped his hands around his knees, looking smaller than he already was.
"It's horrible. He's little. Like four or five. And there's blood and water dripping from him. His clothes are always torn and he has these chains. When he walks, he drags it and he limps so badly. His arm's broken and I actually feel the pain, sometimes. In my dream, it's always so cold. Like ice is on the floor and I can actually see my breath."
Percy shuddered and lowered his head. He didn't see Harry freeze up and almost fall back. He didn't see Harry screw up his face, clenched his eyes shut and grab his hair as if about to rip it out.
The grass, plants and trees, as one, leaned back as if he had been giving out a repulsive aura. He might as well have. Harry's body was shaking as if he was about to scream or explode or both.
There was silence as Percy tried to breathe normally to forget the images his own words had brought forth, while Harry tried to come back to reality from the memories that Percy's words had triggered violently.
Five seconds passed and all the living things relaxed. The sunlight felt warmer on their white skins as Percy raised his head to look at a calm Harry gazing into the depths of the shallow river.
"They're just dreams, Percy." The older boy said, his voice void of any emotion. Percy noticed this and mentally swore never to bring up the dream again.
"Let's race." Harry said unexpectedly. Percy's head snapped up and he stared Harry. "But you said that Mom said that we shouldn't."
"I can foresee that this conversation is going to be as peculiar as the last, not excluding the fact that we're on the opposite sides of the argument." Harry grumbled.
"Let's just go home."
Harry stood up and Percy raised his hand for the former to grab and hoist. "Can I have a piggy back ride?"
Harry stared at him, completely nonplussed, "What?"
"Come on! You're always betting that you're stronger than me, so prove it. Give me a piggy back ride." Percy said wishing with all his might that Harry would comply.
They stared at each other and then Harry said, "I can prove that I'm stronger by picking you up and tossing you into the river."
"That won't hurt me." Percy said. Harry shrugged, "Exactly why I would choose to do that. I'd never hurt you, Percy."
"Thanks!" Percy said brightly.
Harry turned to walk away but Percy asked, "No piggy back ride?"
Harry turned around and then wished he hadn't. Percy was pouting and his eyes were big and doe-like. He looked down, his shoulders slumped looking defeated. "It's alright. If you don't want to –"
"Fine." Harry said both irritated and amused. Percy perked up immediately and jumped onto his brother's back, "You're the best brother ever."
Harry let out a disapproving noise, but Percy knew that harry appreciated the compliment. He tried to wrap his legs around Harry waist and slung his arms across the shoulders.
Percy was quite light. Harry didn't find it to be that much of a burden. He frowned to himself as he avoided a few twigs. Either Percy was skipping to many meals or Harry was actually stronger than he himself thought.
But at this age, it should not have been possible for Harry to carry Percy with the ease he showed.
Percy let out a chuckle as they passed two sparrows who flew close to them, their wings ruffling his hair.
"Did you feel that, Harry?" He asked excitedly as they neared the house. Harry couldn't help but show the smallest of smiles on his lips just as they heard a familiar 'click'.
"Kodak Moment." Their mother said. She had been standing in the backyard, looking through the gate. Her camera was in her hand as she should them the latest picture. Harry thought that actually looked photogenic in this one.
"This pose is nice and all, but why are you carrying Pepe?" She enquired. Harry shrugged and let Percy down, who instantly checked their photo.
Harry frowned. His shoulders or muscles weren't aching. But he had walked for a good 15 minutes…
"I have something to tell you both." She said and led them into the house. Upon entering through the kitchen door, Harry saw an opened box with something glinting at a point.
Sally went and lifted a beautiful, long knife. Its blade was about a foot long and looked deadly. It had an expensive looking custom-made handle.
It looked old-fashioned. Like it was a part of some buried treasure.
"Skothos." Sally said.
It sounded exotic, the way she said the word. Harry decided that it was an older form of a current language.
She handed him the blade and he felt surprised by the heaviness. He held it firmly by the handle and saw that it fit him precisely. It was well balanced and the weight was perfect. He almost felt the urge to use it in any situation.
"It's yours." She said and Harry blinked. This magnificent dagger was his?
Sally reached in took another knife which looked exactly the same, save for the way the blade reflected. It went in different colours before settling for sea-green because Percy's eyes widened as he saw it.
"Oneiro." She said and let Percy take the dagger with an awed expression. He swung it around expertly as he had when she let him use her dagger for practice.
"Dream." Percy said and he looked confused for a second.
Harry immediately looked at Sally whose change in expression told him that Percy had just translated a word from a language they hadn't learnt. They knew only four at the moment.
"It's awesome. It's fitting perfectly in both hands!" Percy nearly yelled, flipping the dagger from his right to his left palms and gripping them in offensive and defensive positions. Harry twirled his own and found that he enjoyed just holding on to it.
"It's not for playing. I told you once that you're different. This is for your safety. When you're old enough, I'm sure you'll get another weapon, but remember that this is yours too. You have to keep them with you at all times."
"We're getting another one?" Harry asked. Were they in danger? Was this world she had always hinted a threat to them? Or was the world itself in danger? His eyes drifted to the table where he saw a paper. It looked like a letter…
"Brilliant!" Percy grinned and hugged Sally.
"Be careful of the knife, please."
"You said that it wouldn't hurt normal people." Percy asked. Sally eyed the sword and said, "Don't test that on me. I will ground you and no cookies for a month."
Percy looked alarmed and nodded hastily. "Where should we keep them?"
Sally took the letter off the table and pocketed it when she saw Harry inching towards it. She kneeled and took his dagger.
"Left arm, please."
Harry realized that she wanted to see his bracelet. He extended his arm and she rolled up the long sleeve before touching the base of the handle to the first charm of the bracelet. The dagger dissolved into the charm which glowed for a quick second before fading.
Harry felt the charm, "It's warm."
Percy did the same after rolling up his sleeves. He let out a small giggle and asked, "How can we get it back?"
"Like this." Sally rolled up her own sleeve until her bracelet could be seen. She extended her arm for them to see and flipped her wrist. Her bronze dagger appeared into her grip in a flash.
Harry tried the same, but nothing happened.
"Practice. You need to feel the power of the dagger in your bracelet. This is yours and no one else has the right to use it, especially without your permission. The warmth of the charm means that you will always have one way out of a situation where there are only two exits; life, death."
Percy gulped and Harry's jaw went slack. A Life/death situation. He had a feeling that their lives would only begin to get tougher if no one had come looking for them to kill already.
"Whatever fix you're in, you should always devise a way out the moment there is a 0.5 % chance that you'll be stuck in it. Plan ahead. A battle can be won without a physical fight if you think ahead. And you can think only if you're in a firm state of mind. That's when you have a way out. And this is your way out. Now show me your daggers."
The two boys flipped their wrists keeping in mind the intensity of the words their mother had said and realized that they were holding their daggers.
There was a sound of a knock and all three of them spun around with their daggers out stretched to fight off a…. plant?
The large flower plant had a book in its brambles and Harry darted to the window to open it and get his Sherlock Holmes book that he had left in the forest.
"We scared the plant." Harry said and Percy laughed.
Sally tried to smile but couldn't when she remembered that she had one more thing to tell them. Her thoughts went to the letter written by Poseidon himself. A few short sentences were enough to convey the life-changing message.
Sally had made up her mind. Everything was about to change within two months.
Oh, would you look at that? A cliffhanger? Whatever next…
Stay tuned to find out, dedicated readers!