Hi! Everybody, I just want to say how sorry I am. I haven't updated this story since February which is pathetic. And I'm even more sorry to say that this chapter is just a teaser for Chapter Seven which I am praying I will have done in a few more weeks. I know I've said this on a lot of my other stories as well but I'm facing some major conflict on where exactly I'm going.
The pairing will, unless I'm given a damn good reason, definitely be Alex/Percy. Alex WILL be a part of this book's quest. It was her father's bolt that was taken, after all. You'll see the specifics in the full version of Chapter Seven. But now that the stage is set and I'm venturing into the good stuff, I'm stressing about adding Alex in. I don't want the chapters to be a rehash of the book with an extra OC-LIKE character sloppily copy-pasted in. I want Alex's addition to read as naturally as possible and for cannon to diverge only when it would be feasible with Alex and the HP world existing in this universe. Also, the PJO timeline isn't stuck in my head quite like the HP one is so I have to reference the books a lot. I promise that you will see as few direct quotes or similar paraphrasing as possible. I don't want my chapters to read like dull knock-offs written by an uneducated fangirl.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this little taste of what Chapter Seven will be like. I'm sorry if you don't like my description of the inside of Zeus's cabin. However, all the information I could find on it was vague. I had to interpret how the Zeus kids might live in such a bare room myself. If you don't like it, please let me know. I'm still relatively new to the Percy Jackson fandom so some of my knowledge is a bit sketchy at the moment. I'm trying to remedy that. Without any further rambling on my part, here's the teaser. If you have the time, I would appreciate you dropping me a line or two in the review box below. The feedback really helps.
Chapter Seven: Dad's Lost symbol (Teaser)
The next morning, I woke up to the sound of birds chirping. Blinking my eyes, I realised it was a bit later than I would usually have slept. Stretching, I rose to my feet. My entire body was stiff and full of kinks from sleeping curled up to a tree all night.
"You aren't exactly cuddly are you, Thalia?" I asked dryly, looking up into her branches. "Well sorry for sleeping on you; I guess I'd better go."
Sighing, I ambled back towards the big house, trying to clear the fog from my head. A part of me wanted to think that last night was a dream. But it wasn't. Zeus was my father and there wasn't anything I could do about it. To top it off, I had to be stuck with one of the worst stepmothers in all of step-motherhood, joy. Add the fact that Hera was also my aunt and the problem was only compounded. I have a bad track record with aunts. But then again, Hestia was my aunt as well, wasn't she? Sure, she hadn't known I was Zeus's second daughter yet but she'd still been nice to me. I grimaced as another thought crossed my mind. Dionysus was my brother. Oh lucky me. My thoughts soured further when I realised that Ares was as well. But then I smirked. I could make Dudley call me "Auntie Alex" if I wanted to. I stifled a mad, hysterical cackle. I didn't need everyone thinking I'd gone insane due to the revenge of the River Styx or something.
By the time I'd reached the Hermes cabin, everybody was awake.
"Where were you last night?" Percy asked, coming up to me. He looked how I felt, conflicted and hellishly confused. Like it was all he could do to not scream an angst-filled "WHYYYYYYY!"
"I fell asleep up at my sister's tree." I said ruefully. Percy blinked in confusion before his sea green eyes softened in understanding.
"Oh." he said simply. I nodded in gratitude. I didn't want an "I'm sorry" or a "how sad for you". An "Oh" was just fine in my book.
"You'll be moving into your cabins today." said Luke, coming up to us. A smile flitted across my face. That beautiful cabin was mine to live in. No more sweaty, cluttered Hermes cabin. No more worrying that I was going to be pranked or have something stolen from me. The only sour note was that I couldn't share it with my sister. But a small ray of hope burned in my chest which I couldn't, and didn't, want to snuff out. That maybe, in the future, I could get to know her after all. Really, she wasn't quite dead yet. She was just... tree-a-fied.
"Brilliant." I said aloud. Percy nodded in agreement.
"Chiron will be here soon to escort you. So you two had better pack up." Luke told us. Neither of us had much to pack, just a couple sets of clothes and a bag of toiletries as well as our spoils. And so, a half hour later, I entered my father's cabin for the first time.
I revelled in the beauty and inhaled the stormy scent accompanying it. Right off, I noticed a couple of differences in the cabin. The first time I'd looked in, each alcove had a golden eagle statue in it. The alcoves were at three of the four cardinal points in the room, west, north, and east. The door was at the Southern point. The cabin, on the inside at least, was octagonal. But now, in the northern alcove, a wardrobe had replaced the statue. Also, by the northeast wall, a hammock hung halfway up with a rope ladder snaking up to it. In the hammock was a pillow covered in a silver-grey case as well as a silver-grey sheet poking up over a soft blanket coloured in swirling purple and black. Though the setup was unconventional, I found that I liked it a lot. It would almost be like I was sleeping in air. Grinning, I strode over to the hammock and clambered up the ladder. I sprawled out in the hammock, grinning like a loon. This was my place. No expectations, no stares, nobody evaluating my every move... except perhaps my father. This was my sanctuary. A dark corner of my mind whispered that this was just another thing I was special for, how I couldn't escape the fame even here. But I'd deal with that when I had to. Blinking, I noticed a note attached to the blanket with some sort of sticking charm. It came off easily when I tugged at it. Looking at the sharp, elegant letters, I was relieved to see it was written in Ancient Greek. It was written simply and it was easy enough to read. Easier than English at any rate. The basic wording of the note in English was this:
Just a gift from Granny. Technically great-great grandmother but that's a bit of a mouthful, isn't it? The blanket has temperature regulating and self-repair charms on it. And you will never lose it. Your father allowed me to do this for you as you are my legacy. I hope you enjoy it, great-great-granddaughter.
Best of Luck,
"Best of luck?" I wondered to myself. What did that mean? Shrugging, I set the note back down. It was probably time for breakfast anyway. Sighing, I climbed back down and exited the cabin. My stomach rumbled with hunger. I wasn't exactly looking forward to eating breakfast where I was 99.8 percent sure I'd be stared at but it wasn't as though I could starve myself or live off nicking strawberries from the vines.
To my immense displeasure, I was beyond correct. I wasn't just stared at as I strode into the pavilion. I was out-right gaped at. Not only that but many of the campers were whispering to one another behind their hands. Though it wasn't like they were particularly quiet. As I headed to table one, I could catch snippets of hushed conversation.
"That's the girl who...?" a young camper asked.
"Zeus's daughter..." another confirmed.
"Doesn't look the part..." another said.
"Ain't there some sort of oath...?"
"The second..." I scowled and tried my best to tune them out. But if they weren't talking about me, they were talking about Percy.
"Two in one night..."
"That's him, that's the boy..."
"Those two don't look like kids of the big three..." Breathing deeply, I finally managed to make my way to the other side of the pavilion on the left-hand side where the Zeus table was located. With a huff, I threw myself onto the bench nearest to Table three. Percy was already there, slumped in his seat right behind me. It was then that I felt greatful the two of us had tables right next to each other. All the odd tables were on one side while the even tables were on the other. As you move through the pavilion, it's clear that the tables are ordered sequentially so that one and three were right by each other followed by five then seven and so-on. Since my table was next to a table with a person I could stand, meals would at least be more bearable. I was glad to have my cabin alone but wasn't exactly happy with the fact that I would always eat alone. As I served myself some bacon and eggs, I turned my head to Percy and spoke.
"Huh?" he jumped as though he didn't realise I was there. He probably didn't now I think about it.
"No-good pain in the arse, fame." I said almost sagely. Percy looked at me quizzically.
"You talk as if you know from experience." he stated. I shrugged and rolled my eyes.
"Only on account of me not dying when I should have." I said a touch bitterly. He blinked, turned back to his plate, and speared a sausage with his fork before turning back to face me.
"Not dying when you should have?" he asked, his brow furrowed in confusion as he popped the beef into his mouth.
"I'm apparently the only person to have survived the killing curse. It killed my dad... or adoptive dad, I guess. It killed my mother. But it only left me with two scars." I said quietly. I didn't want to get into this at breakfast of all times but I supposed I owed Percy a slight explanation after my "fame sucks" comment. Sighing, I moved my right hand with its crescent scar into view for a second before using it to brush aside the hair covering the lightning scar. Percy stayed silent, clearly at a loss for words.
"The curse rebounded on the dark wizard who cast it, defeating him. At least partially. That's why I'm famous. They call me the girl-who-lived. Stupid title, I know. But many wizards aren't exactly one with their imaginations."
"Wow... I guess that really does suck." Percy said after a minute's pause. I snorted back my laughter.
"Nice conclusion, Captain Obvious." I said sarcastically.
"Thanks." he returned the snarky tone. "They're gonna act like we're famous, aren't they?"
"They already are." I scowled. "As much as I hate to acknowledge it.
"Do you get used to it?" he asked uncertainly. I took a deep breath.
"Only if you revel in it. Love it." I told him.
"Do you?" he asked. I scowled and nearly snapped off a scathing retort. But I was fortunately able to force myself to pause and think. He didn't exactly know me. He could have assumed my personality was mainly based around shock and maybe I would be different once I'd regained my equilibrium. Then again, I could think the same of him. So instead, I cranked down my auto-retort to mild.
"I said it was a pain in the arse, didn't I?"
"Guess you did." he nodded in understanding before, by silent agreement, we both turned back to our breakfasts. Another twenty minutes later, Annabeth uncertainly made her way up the isle between tables one and three so she could stand between us.
"I'm still teaching you Ancient Greek." she said by way of a morning greeting. She looked between Percy and I awkwardly. "Are you ready?"
"Sure," I shrugged. Pushing my plate away, I stood up and stepped over the bench. Percy was just a few seconds behind me. Silently, the three of us left the pavilion.
Annabeth's awkwardness did not abate throughout the lesson. She kept shooting us each speculative looks. Also, every now and again, Annabeth would look at me with an unreadable expression. I couldn't make anything of it. Now, I think it might have been something like pitty or indignation. Here I was at camp, hale and hardy while my sister, who I would later find out was her friend, was stuck as a tree. But then again, I'd as good as lost Thalia before I knew her. But that's just speculation through hindsight, I suppose.
After the lesson which didn't last as long as usual, Annabeth shooed us off to the sword and spear arena where many of the Hermes kids were. We picked out what best suited us and looked for someone willing to help with our training. But most gave the two of us a wide berth, clearly having no desire to assist. Luckily, Luke and one of the Leonides twins awaited us.
"Percy, you're with me." Luke motioned him over.
"My sister and I use the same weapons." the Leonides girl said flatly. Judging by the stony expression on her face, she was Janessa, AKA Brighteyes. If not for the two years I'd spent around the Weasley twins, I would have found it almost unnerving exactly how alike the Leonides sisters were in appearance. I couldn't tell any difference other than their stances and facial expressions.
"Really?" I asked, somewhat perplexed. I couldn't imagine the sisters, as different as their personalities were, to use the same types of swords.
"Don't be so surprised. Lesson 1, Sparky. A weapon is not defined by just one style." Brighteyes informed me. I huffed in irritation at the nickname.
"The name's Alex." I grumbled.
"Don't care." Brighteyes yawned. "Neither my sister or I will call you by name until you've earned it. Got that, Sparky? And do you understand the concept of lesson 1?" she asked. I scowled but allowed myself a nod.
"I suppose that makes sense." I admitted reluctantly. It wasn't as if I knew anything about weapons. The most I'd ever done before coming to camp was stick a sword up in the mouth of a 60-foot snake. There was no style or finesse in it. After all, I'd managed to get a poison-filled tooth stuck in my arm. If I knew what I was doing, maybe that wouldn't have happened.
"Good. You'll see what I mean when we spar." Brighteyes allowed herself a grin. Before I could do anything, she lunged. It was then that I was able to appreciate just how much like any other child of Hermes Brighteyes was despite her seemingly apathetic personality. Since I had no warning, it was easy for Brighteyes to knock both swords out of my loose grip before I could raise any sort of defence.
"I wasn't ready." I said through clenched teeth. She rolled her eyes.
"Lesson 2, always be ready. Never let your guard down. There's no such thing as a fair fight, you understand?" she asked me. I nodded minutely. "Good. Again!"
This time, I was able to put up a bit of a defence. I tried fighting back. Sometimes, I'd catch an opening and try to take advantage of it. But Brighteyes blocked and rebutted without so much as a twitch of her nose or a shift in her expression. At first, it was just weird. But after awhile, it went from unnerving to downright annoying. Brighteyes's quiet, Fluid style was just as frustrating as Snoozy's loud, erratic one. After only a few minutes, I was yet again disarmed. Brighteyes allowed herself a little smirk.
"Here's lesson 3 for you, Sparky. Keep your head. Don't allow yourself to get flustered or perturbed by your opponent's actions. There are people such as my sister who use distraction as a tactic. But then, there are people such as myself who use some form or another of intimidation. Admit it, Sparky. It bothered you how casual I was batting away your pitiful attempts at swordplay, didn't it? You don't need to receive the evil eye to be intimidated." she told me with the same sort of casual ease a reporter uses to relay the next week's weather report. I grumbled inarticulately under my breath but had to concede that Brighteyes had a point.
"So what now?" I asked her. She grinned a devil's grin.
"My sister and I get to teach you some proper technique now." a chipper voice sounded from behind me. I jumped and turned around so fast I nearly stumbled over my own feet. There stood Snoozy with a manic little grin. I couldn't help the shiver that ran down my spine.