Hey, sorry for not posting this for a while. Things got kind of hectic and I didn't have time to finish this. I'd just like to state that Percy will not be coming for a while but he WILL be coming. On the last chapter of every book a new character will come in and I'm almost certain that Percy won't come in until at least the Heroes of Olympus series.
I do not own PJO or HoO. They both belong to the seriously talented Rick Riordan.
"My Best Friend Shops for a Wedding Dress." Grover reads.
Aphrodite squeals as everyone turns to look at Annabeth.
"Annabeth..?" Athena asks uncertainly. "I KNEW IT!" Aphrodite shouts. "I KNEW YOU LOVED HIM!"
Annabeth is beat red and is only able to squeak out what she means to sound like 'It wasn't me' but it really sounds like "Eeeeek."
Grover's not saying a word as Annabeth composes herself knowing that it will only be a second until all eyes turn to him.
"It wasn't me." Annabeth tries again and this time she is heard. Everyone stops what they were doing and looks at her weirdly. "I may be one of Percy's friends, maybe one of his closest friends, but I'm not his best friend."
Everyone thinks about that for a minute. "Burt if it isn't you," Piper starts. "Then it must be…" all eyes turn to a blushing Grover.
"GROVER!?" Everyone shouts and he continues to blush.
My nightmare started like this.
I was standing on a deserted street in some little beach town. It was the middle of the night. A storm was blowing. Wind and rain ripped at the palm trees along the sidewalk. Pink and yellow stucco buildings lined the street, their windows boarded up. A block away, past a line of hibiscus bushes, the ocean churned.
"Florida," Apollo and Hermes sigh, high fiving each other before getting wacked on the back of the head by Artemis.
Florida, I thought. Though I wasn't sure how I knew that. I'd never been to Florida.
Then I heard hooves clattering against the pavement. I turned and saw my friend Grover running for his life.
Yeah, I said hooves.
Grover is a satyr. From the waist up, he looks like a typical gangly teenager with a peach-fuzz goatee and a bad case of acne.
"I don't have acne." Grover huffs.
"You might not now, but you sure did then goat-boy." Annabeth laughs.
He walks with a strange limp, but unless you happen to catch him without his pants on (which I don't recommend), you'd never know there was anything un-human about him. Baggy jeans and fake feet hide the fact that he's got furry hindquarters and hooves.
Grover had been my best friend in sixth grade. He'd gone on this adventure with me and a girl named Annabeth to save the world, but I hadn't seen him since last July, when he set off alone on a dangerous quest—a quest no satyr had ever returned from.
"But obviously you did return seeing as you're sitting here right now." Piper reasons, but Grover makes a gesture over his mouth that means 'My lips are sealed.'
Anyway, in my dream, Grover was hauling goat tail, holding his human shoes in his hands the way he does when he needs to move fast. He clopped past the little tourist shops and surfboard rental places. The wind bent the palm trees almost to the ground.
Grover was terrified of something behind him. He must've just come from the beach. Wet sand was caked in his fur. He'd escaped from somewhere. He was trying to get away from ... something.
"Whatever he's running away from better not screw up Florida. That's my favorite place to visit." Apollo groans and Artemis rolls her eyes. "You only like Florida because you get to see girls in their bikinis."
A bone-rattling growl cut through the storm. Behind Grover, at the far end of the block, a shadowy figure loomed. It swatted aside a street lamp, which burst in a shower of sparks.
Grover stumbled, whimpering in fear. He muttered to himself, Have to get away. Have to warn them!
"Warn who about what?" Leo asks looking straight at Annabeth and Grover. The two of them just look at him like you really expect us to answer?
I couldn't see what was chasing him, but I could hear it muttering and cursing. The ground shook as it got closer. Grover dashed around a street corner and faltered. He'd run into a dead-end courtyard full of shops. No time to back up. The nearest door had been blown open by the storm. The sign above the darkened display window read: ST. AUGUSTINE BRIDAL BOUTIQUE.
Grover dashed inside. He dove behind a rack of wedding dresses.
The monster's shadow passed in front of the shop. I could smell the thing—a sickening combination of wet sheep wool and rotten meat and that weird sour body odor only monsters can have, like a skunk that's been living off Mexican food.
Grover and Annabeth think about it for a minute before nodding. "That pretty much sums up the smell."
Grover trembled behind the wedding dresses. The monster's shadow passed on.
Silence except for the rain. Grover took a deep breath. Maybe the thing was gone.
Then lightning flashed. The entire front of the store exploded, and a monstrous voice bellowed: "MIIIIINE!"
I sat bolt upright, shivering in my bed.
There was no storm. No monster.
"And it was all a dream" Apollo and Hermes sigh.
Morning sunlight filtered through my bedroom window.
I thought I saw a shadow flicker across the glass—a humanlike shape.
But then there was a knock on my bed room door—my mom called: "Percy, you're going to be late"—and the shadow at the window disappeared.
It must've been my imagination. A fifth-story window with a rickety old fire escape ... there couldn't have been anyone out there.
"Yeah, nobody sane." Grover points out and everyone except for him and Annabeth looks confused at that.
"Come on, dear," my mother called again. "Last day of school. You should be excited! You've almost made it!"
"Coming," I managed.
I felt under my pillow. My fingers closed reassuringly around the ballpoint pen I always slept with. I brought it out, studied the Ancient Greek writing engraved on the side: Anaklusmos. Riptide.
I thought about uncapping it, but something held me back. I hadn't used Riptide for so long….
Besides, my mom had made me promise not to use deadly weapons in the apartment after I'd swung a javelin the wrong way and taken out her china cabinet. I put Anaklusmos on my nightstand and dragged myself out of bed.
"That sounds like an understandable reason to ban weapons." Hera says earning some glares.
I got dressed as quickly as I could. I tried not to think about my nightmare or monsters or the shadow at my window.
Have to get away. Have to warn them!
What had Grover meant?
"That's what we want to find out." Jason says looking at the two who still won't answer.
I made a three-fingered claw over my heart and pushed outward—an ancient gesture Grover had once taught me for warding off evil.
The dream couldn't have been real.
Last day of school. My mom was right, I should have been excited. For the first time in my life, I'd almost made it an entire year without getting expelled. No weird accidents. No fights in the classroom. No teachers turning into monsters and trying to kill me with poisoned cafeteria food or exploding homework.
"I highly doubt any of that exploding homework would ever happen." Demeter says pointedly.
"You never know. There's some demigod in Elysium who died because someone wrote magic in it and he spoke it aloud." Hades says earning strange looks from everyone in the room.
Tomorrow, I'd be on my way to my favorite place in the world—Camp Half-Blood.
Only one more day to go. Surely even I couldn't mess that up.
Annabeth shakes her head and Poseidon smiles. "Almost a whole year without getting expelled." He sighs.
"I hate to break it to you but Percy attracts danger. If anyone is able to mess up this day and get expelled its Percy." Annabeth says to Poseidon and his smile slowly deflates.
As usual, I didn't have a clue how wrong I was.
My mom made blue waffles and blue eggs for breakfast. She's funny that way, celebrating special occasions with blue food. I think it's her way of saying anything is possible. Percy can pass seventh grade. Waffles can be blue. Little miracles like that.
Grover snorts. "It'd take a big miracle for Percy to not get into trouble."
I ate at the kitchen table while my mom washed dishes. She was dressed in her work uniform—a starry blue skirt and a red-and-white striped blouse she wore to sell candy at Sweet on America. Her long brown hair was pulled back in a ponytail.
The waffles tasted great, but I guess I wasn't digging in like I usually did. My mom looked over and frowned. "Percy, are you all right?"
"Yeah ... fine."
"Percy shouldn't lie. He can trust his mother." Hestia smiles at the group.
"Percy really can't lie anyways so Sally will figure it out any second now." Annabeth replies.
But she could always tell when something was bothering me.
"That and he sucks at lying." Grover adds.
She dried her hands and sat down across from me. "School, or ..."
She didn't need to finish. I knew what she was asking.
"I think Grover's in trouble," I said, and I told her about my dream.
She pursed her lips. We didn't talk much about the other part of my life. We tried to live as normally as possible, but my mom knew all about Grover.
"I wouldn't be too worried, dear," she said. "Grover is a big satyr now. If there were a problem, I'm sure we would've heard from ... from camp..." Her shoulders tensed as she said the word camp.
"What's going on at camp?" Zeus asks worriedly seeing as Thalia's pine is at camp.
"If all the campers die am I out of my contract?" Dionysus asks looking a little eager. His eagerness slowly dies though when he sees all the gods with kids glaring at him.
"What is it?" I asked.
"Nothing," she said. "I'll tell you what. This afternoon we'll celebrate the end of school. I'll take you and Tyson to Rockefeller Center—to that skateboard shop you like."
Oh, man, that was tempting. We were always struggling with money. Between my mom's night classes and my private school tuition, we could never afford to do special stuff like shop for a skateboard. But something in her voice bothered me.
"Wait a minute," I said. "I thought we were packing me up for camp tonight."
She twisted her dishrag. "Ah, dear, about that ... I got a message from Chiron last night."
"That can't be good." Hephaestus says curiously.
My heart sank. Chiron was the activities director at Camp Half-Blood. He wouldn't contact us unless something serious was going on. "What did he say?"
"He thinks ... it might not be safe for you to come to camp just yet. We might have to postpone."
"Postpone? Mom, how could it not be safe? I'm a half-blood! It's like the only safe place on earth for me!"
Jason opens his mouth to object but Piper playfully whacks him on the head. "Shut up sparky, as if a few months ago Roman's didn't exist to us."
Jason just nods his head and smiles at her before taking hold of her hand and interlacing his fingers with hers, earning a tiny squeal from Aphrodite.
"Usually, dear. But with the problems they're having—"
"Do they involve fighting?" Ares perks up.
"Percy ... I'm very, very sorry. I was hoping to talk to you about it this afternoon. I can't explain it all now. I'm not even sure Chiron can. Everything happened so suddenly."
My mind was reeling. How could I not go to camp? I wanted to ask a million questions, but just then the kitchen clock chimed the half-hour.
My mom looked almost relieved. "Seven-thirty, dear. You should go. Tyson will be waiting."
Annabeth smiles at the mention of Tyson.
"Percy, we'll talk this afternoon. Go on to school."
That was the last thing I wanted to do, but my mom had this fragile look in her eyes—a kind of warning, like if I pushed her too hard she'd start to cry.
Besides, she was right about my friend Tyson. I had to meet him at the subway station on time or he'd get upset. He was scared of traveling underground alone.
I gathered up my stuff, but I stopped in the doorway. "Mom, this problem at camp. Does it... could it have anything to do with my dream about Grover?"
Everyone looks at Annabeth and Grover to see that the two of them are absentmindedly nodding their heads.
She wouldn't meet my eyes. "We'll talk this afternoon, dear. I'll explain ... as much as I can."
Reluctantly, I told her good-bye. I jogged downstairs to catch the Number Two train.
I didn't know it at the time, but my mom and I would never get to have our afternoon talk.
In fact, I wouldn't be seeing home for a long, long time.
As I stepped outside, I glanced at the brownstone building across the street. Just for a second I saw a dark shape in the morning sunlight—a human silhouette against the brick wall, a shadow that belonged to no one.
"More like Nobody." Grover snickers and Annabeth doubles over laughing.
Everyone stares at them wondering what's up with them while they high five each other.
"Oh, good times." Grover says when he regains his breath. "Remind me again what your definition of good times is?" Annabeth asks.
"Well, old times then."
Then it rippled and vanished.
"So who's next?" Grover asks holding up the book.
"That would be me." Zeus says while he takes the book and starts to read.
Okay guys, I hope you enjoyed it. I'm going to start doing the PJO/HoO questions once again so here's this chapter's.
Who or what posses Jason, Leo, and Percy on the Argo 2?
First one to answer that correctly gets the next chapter dedicated to them. Bye, and remember to have a super, kick buttin', awesome day.