Hello and welcome to my first multi-chapter PJO fic! This is an OC fic set after the war with Gaia (I'm just going to assume that everyone is alive and happy after the house of Hades)

A big thank you to fantasy137 for Beta-ing! without you this wouldn't have flowed half as well as it does and there would have been some serious British/american clashes such as colour and color and crisps and chips (why do you people insist on having different names for everything!?)

And I'm only going to say this once: I don't own the Percy Jackson series. I wish I did, but I don't.

enjoy :)

Chapter 1: New Horizons

Groaning, I turned over in bed, trying to remember the dream I'd just had. I had been running away from some freakish monster thing that looked suspiciously like a huge eagle of some sort.

Then a freaky half man, half donkey... No, half goat - he had gotten offended when I said donkey - named Grover had rescued me and brought me to a place he called Camp Half-Blood or something.

Once we were there, I met this horse man – or centaur as he called it, named Chiron. He looked a little shocked to see me, something about my appearance made him uncomfortable. Nothing unusual there; my long black hair that covered half of my pale skinned face, along with my black eyes that looked like a void into hell, usually didn't help me make friends. Neither did the fact that I chose to wear 'gothic' clothes. But hey, I lived in a rough part of New York City; you don't go skipping around in a pink and purple butterfly t-shirt around there, you'd get stabbed! Seriously.

The dream had gone well from then on. A boy named Leo, who claimed his father was Hephaestus, the god of mechanics or something, was one of the first people to talk to me. We made good friends but since I didn't have very good people skills, my friend making stopped there. But then, after we'd eaten dinner, there was a camp fire. It was amazing, everyone sang happily and the flames grew and changed color with the mood.

That was when this good, but admittedly strange dream turned into a nightmare.

A black shadow passed over the group of people. It seemed to be emanating from somewhere above me. The flame shrank and turned a deep purple as everyone turned around to see what was happening. There was a collective gasp. I looked around in confusion.

"Look up," Leo whispered to me. I looked up to see a skull and crossbones hovering over my head. There seemed to be a cold breeze surrounding the fire had turned an impossibly dark shade of purple and everyone shrank away from me as if I had the plague.

"What does it mean?" I asked.

"You've been claimed by Hades...your father," Leo told me. I blanked. How was that possible? Sure I'm a demigod, I can accept that; it would explain how weird things kept happening to me, and how I'd never met my father. Come to think of it, Hades as my dad made sense too, but the reaction I had gotten was not what I wanted.

Thank the gods it was just a dream. Wait! Did I just say thank the gods? Since when do I say that? I don't even believe in one god!

After my mother left my 6-year-old self at the door of a foster home, I'd lost all belief in god. If gods existed, then surely I wouldn't have lived my entire life running away from foster home after foster home. I wouldn't have started carrying a knife around at the age of 10! Surely, if my father was the god of the underworld, he would have…hmm I don't know…STOPPED the monsters coming for me? No? Fine then.

But despite the fact that I didn't believe in any gods, I lay in my bed in the - Attley's…I don't know, I never stay in a home for more than a month, so I never really bother learning the names...it might have been the Dalton's - and I thanked every god I could think of because the dream wasn't real.

Then I opened my eyes.

I wasn't in the dingy old room of my foster parent's home. I was in a four-post bed with black silk bedding. The room was like a gothic mansion and I had to admit...I loved it. But then it hit me. My dream was real. I was a daughter of Hades and everyone hated me. Great.

Dragging myself out of bed, I pulled on my black skinny jeans, boots and a camp T-shirt. The bright orange of the t-shirt made me uncomfortable; I was visible. I shrugged on a leather jacket and pulled my hair over my face. Black made me comfortable; I could blend into the shadows wearing black, and the shadows were safe.

There was a knocking at the door, and Leo's curly-haired head appeared.

"Hola mis amigo."He grinned, "How are you this morning?"

"Ugh, why me," I groaned, flopping back onto my bed. Leo looked confused.

"What's up?"

"I had it rough growing up! Now I find out my dad is Hades and everyone HATES me!"

"That's not true, I like you. And I know a thing or two about rough childhoods."

"I'm sorry Leo, I know you said everyone here is troubled in some way,but I don't want people to be scared of me or whatever...I don't have the best people skills," I admitted.

Leo chuckled."I figured...you're not the only Hades kid though. There's Nico, he stops by now and then, and Percy Jackson is the only kid in his cabin."

I sighed. "Things might look up, I suppose, but I'm a child of Hades. Don't expect me to be optimistic," I joked.

"Come on then Lays," he sang, dragging me out of the cabin and into the annoyingly bright sun. My real name was Layla Harris (I know, not very Hades like) but apparently, that was too much work to say, so Leo started calling me 'Lays'. It annoyed me; I didn't like being called a brand of chips.

"Ugh, I hate Sun," I grumbled, recoiling from the bright light.

"You truly are Hades daughter,"Leo laughed.

I hit him playfully on the shoulder. "Shut up or I'll send you to the underworld."

"Oh no," Leo wailed sarcastically. "Please no, Princess Death, no!'

"Gods, please don't call me that, Flame Boy."

"Try and stop me!"

Our playful banter came to an end as we reached the dining pavilion. Everyone lapsed into silence. What did they think I was going to do? I knew I could manipulate shadows, and sure, I suppose I did send off a pretty menacing aura, but if they haven't even talked to me why would I hate them enough to hurt them? Leo was fine with me! Would I ever understand other people?

"Bye," Leo muttered, before joining his siblings at the Hephaestus table. I waved and turned to sit by myself at the Hades table. The only person besides Leo, who wasn't staring at me with a hint of fear, was who I assumed to be Percy Jackson, the only person other than me who was alone. Percy was staring at me curiously, yet understandingly. He knew what it was like to be alone.

Once I was halfway through my cereal, Leo came bounding over to me followed by a really pretty girl with uneven brown hair and eyes that couldn't seem to decide what color they wanted to be.

"Hey Lays!" Leo chirped.

"Don't call me that Valdez; I'm not I brand of chips!"

"I like Lays better than Layla!" he joked.

"Hey, no one ever said anything about Leo being a good name, but I'm not gonna start calling you...something else..." I said, unable to come up with a witty food related nickname for him.

"Fine I'll just call you Princess Death." He grinned.

I stood up and stared down at him. Thank Hades I was taller than him (I suppose I actually did have Hades to thank for that). He shrank back, the way you do when a really intimidating person stares at you with a 'what-did-you-just-say' look. "I told you not to call me that!"

Leo recovered quickly after I'd sat back down; the whole hall had gone silent when I'd stood over Leo. They probably expected me to do some sort of shadow voodoo on him or something. But now, Leo just burst out laughing.

"Alright, I'll just stick to calling you Lays," he said with a mischievous glint in his eyes. What? Did he think that since he had fire he could defeat one of my shadows? I think not.

"You think you can beat me Valdez?" I asked, casually eating a spoonful of cereal.

"You wouldn't have much darkness to work with if it's me," Leo laughed. I laughed too.

Piper cleared her throat, looking very uncomfortable. "Are you two done flirting?" she asked, mainly to Leo. She seemed too afraid to look at me directly.

"We're not flirting Pipes, we're deadly serious," Leo told her soberly, looking at me when he said deadly.

"Shut up, Repair Boy, and introduce me to your friend." I was shocked at how easily I was able to talk to Leo, even in the presence of other people. I was even more shocked when I realized that Leo was my first real friend.

"Oh yeah. Pipes this is Layla, Lays this is Piper," he said, gesturing to each of us. I glared at him when he called me 'Lays', but he just grinned and stole some of my cereal.

"Nice to meet you," Piper said, offering me her hand. I stared at it for a second longer than I should have, before finally taking her hand and shaking it. I realized why I was able to talk to Leo so easily. He always joked around, nothing was ever too serious, and even when we discussed serious things, we did so in a joking tone. Piper on the other hand, was being really nice and sincere, and I found that hard to respond to. I probably should have said 'nice to meet you too,' and then smiled. Instead, I grunted and looked down at my cereal.

Yes, well done Layla, way to make friends!

"Jason is visiting from Camp Jupiter today, I'm going to go make sure everything's 're going picnicking!" With that, Piper strolled off. She looked so pretty; I felt a pang of jealousy. It was like she was trying not to be pretty but it wasn't working out for her! I mean, I didn't try either but it resulted in me looking like an emo, gothic kid. Nothing like her. Snapping myself out of these new thoughts, I mentally kicked myself - since when do I care about appearance?

I noticed Leo was staring at Piper's retreating figure with a slightly annoyed look on his face.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"Nothing," he replied a little too quickly.

"I can tell something's up."

"I thought you had zero people skills," he joked.

I started trying to put the pieces together and gasped when I reached a conclusion. He stares at Piper and looks annoyed that her boyfriend is coming to camp. Yes, it all made sense."You like Piper," I said, smiling triumphantly.

"And you lie," Leo grumbled.

"About what?" I asked innocently. I certainly had lied a lot in my lifetime, but I don't think I'd lied to Leo yet.

"Zero people skills my ass!"

"So you do like Piper!" I grinned.

He sighed. "Yeah…but don't tell anyone!"

I giggled."Who am I gonna tell Valdez, the shadows?"

"You'll make more friends; the people here are nice and accepting people."

Just then, a tall black-haired girl with brown eyes strutted over to my table with a gold-medal-worthy bitch sneer on her face. I'd met plenty of people like her in my foster homes and I didn't like them. My guard was up instantly. In my foster homes, bitches like this usually tried to talk to me once, then never again out of fear.

"Hi there new girl, what's your name?" she asked in a sickly sweet voice.

"Layla," I answered in a non-conversational tone.

"Oh that's a pretty name sweetie," she drawled sarcastically."I'm 's nice to meet you."The more she talked, the more I wanted to punch her in the face; every word she spoke was dripping with sarcasm.

"Get lost Drew," Leo barked. I sent him a grateful look.

"Shut it, freak," she snapped. Then she turned back on me, "So Layla, that's a strange name for a kid like you...you know I bet you'd be so much prettier if you ditched the black and wore something...a girl would wear." Her words seemed to make me want to run to the nearest mall and buy the frilliest pink dress and wear it with so much makeup that I was orange and so much perfume that I choked on the stuff. Thankfully, I snapped out of it.

"Uh...I'm fine thanks," I told her. Drew looked insulted at that comment.

"Fine then, remember that I tried to be nice," she said, strutting off, black hair fanning out behind her. Once back at her table, she sent me a death glare which I gladly returned. Satisfaction rose in me as she shrank back into her seat. That's right bitch, nobody out-glares a daughter of Hades!

"Ugh, I hate Drew," Leo growled.

"Yay, now I have just as many enemies as I do friends," I fake celebrated.

"Pipes is your friend," Leo reminded me.

"Barely," I argued. "I mean, she's so nice. You joke around, so you're easy to talk to, but Piper is so nice and sincere I just can't talk to her."

"Piper is nice. I'm sure she considers you a friend."

I giggled. "And I bet you can't talk to her for reasons other than being socially awkward."

"Shut up Death Princess."

"I thought it was Princess Death?"

"Death Princess sounds better." I could only nod in agreement at that.

Okay, I'll try to keep my ANs short from now on. Thanks for reading!

Question: do you think the current title or the light in the dark is good for this? I had a really hard time coming up with a name and credit for both names I've offered goes to my wonderful Beta, fantasy137.

If you can think of a name for this fic that might work better than Princess Death please put it in a review or PM me :)

Also put your ships in a review/ PM and I'll try and incorporate them in.

Sorry, I said this would be short :/ please let me know what you think of this fic in a review xoxo