Disclaimer: I apologise, but I do not own the characters, world or concepts presented in the Percy Jackson books, including and not limited to both the 'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' and the 'Heroes of Olympus' series. Those belong solely to Rick Riordan, not that I'd turn them down, mind you. The story I write here is solely for enjoyment, both mine and others, and I get nothing from this except the warm fuzzy feelings from a story told well... I hope.
This Idea popped into my head randomly. But I was reading some Pertemis fanfiction, where Artemis was contemplating turning someone into an animal, and I thought, if she can turn people into animals, what's to stop her from turning a guy into a girl? Hence this Challenge.
Artemis turns Percy Jackson into a girl. [Confirmed.]
Poseidon must hit on the female Percy, before he realises that Percy is his...uh, son/daughter? (That's kinda confusing actually. Although, considering this is dealing with the Ancient Greek Gods, that wouldn't necessarily keep Poseidon from trying to get in a female Percy's pants not that I exactly like the idea, but I do feel I need to point that out.) [Confirmed, sort of.]
Percy must spend some time with the Hunters of Artemis. [Confirmed.]
Percy must remain a girl for at least one-month. [Confirmed: Artemis' transformation of Percy cannot be reversed.]
FemPercy/other girl, especially Artemis though. [Confirmed: The story is weighted for Percabeth, with potential for Silver Percabeth (add Artemis to the couple) at a later point.]
Percy remaining a girl and joining the Hunters of Artemis. [Confirmed, partial: As mentioned above, the transformation is PERMANENT. Joining the Hunt... well, we shall see.]
Olympus Divided: First Book of the Huntress.
Sometimes I wonder if it could have been different, if the Titan War could have played out differently, and everything that came after. I wonder what it would have been like if Annabeth had made another choice that day long ago on Mount Othrys. Who died that would now live, or who lived that would now die? I am not naive enough to think that no-one would die, it was a war, and that's what happens, but were there fewer deaths, or more? Did we still win? Was it worth it?
They say that only the Fates and the Oracle know what is yet to come, and they love being cryptic...but maybe they can't tell us directly? Maybe they are just as helpless as we are to change things, or even less able to do so. Annabeth once told me about something called the Observer Principle, where by seeing something, you change it, and it can also change you. What if the Fates and Oracles see these things, and are forced to comply with it, so they can't change it, and all they can do is hand out riddles and enigmas and mysteries in a blind attempt to allow someone else to change it all. But then, thinking isn't really my strong point. Just ask anyone.
Maybe, in some other world, Annabeth didn't join the Hunters. Maybe there, I didn't follow her where no man can go, and together we rallied the half-bloods against the Titans and rescued Olympus against everything Luke and Kronos threw at us. Maybe we fell in love and eventually married, or maybe we were thrown into Tartarus... or one of us was, and the other followed them.
So what's the point of all this? I'm not sure myself. But maybe, if I start at the beginning, that fateful day, that single choice, on Mount Othrys, I can figure it out. If you can figure it out first, let me know, okay?
My name is Persephone Jackson, Poseidon's daughter, and it all begins like this...
Chapter 1: A Life Changing Event.
On top of Mount Othrys, which occupied the same space as Mount Tamalpais in California, a battle had been waged and won... but it had cost them. The small band of Hunters and heroes who had come to rescue Artemis, goddess of the Moon, and the hunt, had succeeded, but the quest had taken the lives of two of their number. Bianca diAngelo had perished in one of Hephaestus' junkyards long before reaching San Francisco, and Artemis had just turned Zoe Nightshade into a constellation after she died of the poisoned wound her father had given her before the group had managed to force him back into his punishment of holding up the sky.
Artemis stood, for all that the goddess of maidens looked like a twelve-year-old, she still had an impressive presence. "I must go to Olympus immediately," she said. "I am not able to take you, but I will send help."
She set her hand on the shoulder of the blonde demigod Atlas had used to trap her, Annabeth Chase, Wisdom's daughter. "You are brave beyond measure, my girl. You will do what's right." She looked quizzically at the black-haired girl, a daughter of Zeus called Thalia Grace, as if unsure of what to make of her, until the girl's blue eyes met the goddess' golden gaze, and Artemis' face softened with sympathy. Then she turned her eyes on the last of those who weren't hunters, not including Annabeth's father, a mortal professor who seemed easily distracted. That last was a fourteen year old demigod with jet-black hair and sea-green eyes named Percy Jackson, although a lock of grey marred his hair, testament to his holding the sky so Artemis could fight the Titan general. He squirmed a little under the gaze of the goddess, until she spoke. "You did well," she said. "For a man."
Percy noticed that she hadn't called him a boy, and left it at that. As Artemis climbed into her silver chariot, Annabeth finished wrestling with her thoughts, over a weighty matter.
"Wait," she called, her tone catching the attention of the goddess. "Lady Artemis... I... I wish to petition to join your hunters."
Percy was dumbstruck, and frozen in shock. Annabeth, a Hunter of Artemis? He had such trouble wrapping his mind around the concept, he barely heard the words that followed.
"Are you certain, Athena's daughter?" the goddess asked. "you know what it entails, the price of what you ask, and you still want it?" The grey-eyed blonde nodded. "Then I grant it. You must speak the oath, and there is little time to talk to your friends before you must leave them."
Annabeth again nodded, and went to explain to her father what was happening. Taking advantage of this, Thalia turned to Percy. "What do you think about this?" she asked. "You really like her, don't you? Are you going to let her just walk out of your life?"
Percy sighed. "That's why I'd let her go, Thals," he replied, turning the ballpoint pen that was Anaklusmos end-over-end as he spoke in a soft voice. "If this is what she wants, then I support her every step of the way... even when it hurts. I'd go with her if I could..." his voice trailed off in thought, and Thalia could be excused for believing it a dejected silence. Then Annabeth stood before Percy, and further discussion between the daughter of Zeus and the son of Poseidon was no longer feasible.
"So, Seaweed Brain," Annabeth began, a little pain in her voice. Percy doubted it was his imagination that said she was bothered by this. "I guess you want to know why, huh?"
"If you want to tell me, Wise Girl," he said, worry creasing his brow. "if you don't, then it's your business. Although I am curious."
Annabeth sighed, and Percy was even more worried. "When Luke tricked me into taking the sky from him, and he used me as bait for Lady Artemis, he hurt me, Percy." Her voice was low, anguished, and her friend had to strain to hear her. "When he taunted me for foolishness, when I begged for his life, I felt like he was laughing at me, like I was being tricked again. He spoke about my Dad, and the gods and their ways, and I started to think he was right, and then you showed up and proved him wrong, and I still couldn't let him go. That hurt you, Percy, and don't deny it. So I'd rather I hurt you a little now, so you can get over it, than keep hurting you until one day you can't. You have Thalia now, she can be a better friend to you than I can... I'm sorry, Percy. Good-bye."
Without a word, she strode to where Artemis waited in her chariot, and spoke her pledge. "I pledge myself to the goddess Artemis, I turn my back on the company of men, accept eternal maidenhood, and join the Hunt." There was no need for prompting, and no hesitation. To Percy, it reminded him eerily of Bianca's oath-giving, even down to Artemis accepting it. Time seemed to freeze as his mind raced, his memory, little relied upon, slamming a number of myths and legends into his thoughts... Actaeon... Callisto... As was Percy's habit he acted on his thoughts as soon as he had them.
"Lady Artemis, may I ask a favour?" he said, and braced himself mentally as the irritated goddess turned to face him.
"You may ask, but I cannot say I will grant it," she said shortly. "Time is of the essence and we are wasting it."
He swallowed, and continued. "You changed Actaeon and Callisto into animals, a stag and a bear, I think, both as a punishment. As an animal, I would no longer be a man, and could follow Annabeth with your Hunt. Please?"
Artemis stared at him. To be fair, the Hunters, Thalia and Annabeth were also staring, but that was in slack-jawed wonder. He would do that, bear the curse of a goddess, just to follow his friend? Did he love her that much, as a friend... or maybe something more? "You ask that of me?" Artemis said slowly. "You would abandon your manhood, and become a beast, just to be with a friend? Why, Perseus Jackson? Why would you do that?"
Percy looked inside himself. There were many reasons, he knew, but the wrong ones would see him left as he was, and without Annabeth, that would be a disaster. He needed her. Her advice, her help, looking out for him... inspiring him...
"I'm only fourteen," he answered, "and not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I'm sure there's some easy answer to say it, but I don't know what it is, and we don't have time for me to go looking for it. But... she was my first real friend at camp, even if we didn't realise it at the time. We made a great team, and I'd miss that, but I'd miss her more, if you can understand that. Without her at Camp Half-blood, I just wasn't as interested in anything. It was like some place else entirely when she wasn't there. But there's more to it that that, too. It's like I'm not me, without her to measure myself against. I... I don't know what I'm trying to say... Maybe it's my fatal flaw or something. But I need to be where she is." He raised his eyes to meet Artemis' own. "Whatever it takes." Another memory, from earlier that year, came to the front of his mind. "Even if it means I get turned into a jackalope."
There were tears pouring down Annabeth's cheeks by the time he'd finished, and he could make out his own name in her voice if he strained his hearing hard enough. Thalia's gaze held admiration, and sympathy, for her cousin. Even Artemis' eyes were a little moist. "This is usually a punishment for those who trespass against me," she said. "No-one has ever asked for it. You are a very unusual man, Perseus Jackson. I grant you your boon, and place you in the form of that which will help your friend in the Hunt best." There was a flare of silver light, and Artemis and her chariot disappeared, even as Percy blacked out.
Even as Artemis vanished, the flare of silver light blinded Annabeth, Thalia, the other Hunters, and Dr Chase. Blinking their eyes to recover, they made their way to where Percy lay on the ground, encased in a cocoon of silver light that obscured that which lay within. The light was... solid, in an ethereal way, and Annabeth spent a few moments struggling with the inherent contradiction. What Artemis had set in motion could not be changed, and she was forced to content herself with muttering at him inside the cocoon. "Percy, you fool... you really are a Seaweed Brain, aren't you?" He'd been the one person, more than any other, that she'd feared would be most hurt by her joining the Hunters of Artemis. He was her best friend, even including Thalia, and she'd worried he'd see this as rejecting him, rather than stepping back to let him grow.
And now, he wouldn't ever be what he was again. She knew that much about the curse of Artemis. If she used it as a punishment, she chose a particular form to give the victim, and it had never been given as a reward before. She started thinking on what she needed most to help her in the Hunt, her mind running ahead, flickering onto many tangents as she did. She'd need a loyal companion... a hound? A hawk? A panther or hunting cat? She didn't know...
Giving that up as a bad idea, she instead focused on the changing shape within the light, trying to figure out what Percy would be that way, even as Thalia pointed out three pegasi rapidly approaching. She recognised Percy's favourite steed, the one he called Blackjack, but couldn't understand what the winged horse was trying to say.
Percy drifted on the seas of his own mind. Now and then a question arose, lazily drifting across the seascape of his mind. "What would she need?" the question came. "Someone to trust, to talk to, to share her life with," he answered.
"How will you hunt?" he was asked. "By her side," he replied. Again and again the queries were put to him, and each time his answer centred around Annabeth. He wasn't sure why there was such exasperation building in the tone of whoever was asking these questions. Finally, they seemed to get the idea that if it was what she needed to be happy, then that's what he was fine being, the questions ceased.
Then he was aware of a very familiar pegasus' voice: Dang it, boss, you're lying down on the job! Wake up, would you?
Percy opened his eyes, and immediately knew something had gone wrong. His shirt was tighter across the chest, and looser around the waist, and his jeans were similarly tight about his hips. There was a distressing emptiness in his underwear, too. He still had arms and hands, and as he uncurled from his foetal position, he realised 'he' was going to need to get used to a whole new set of pronouns, even as the cocoon of silvery light faded. Percy Jackson was a girl now...
Annabeth and Thalia were stunned, and the Hunters of Artemis, while less so, were still somewhat startled. Dr Chase blinked twice and started muttering about the interesting nature of the changes the reborn demigoddess had undergone, until Annabeth glared at him. When Percy had straightened out, they were fairly sure he was still human... ish. Now that the light was gone they could see the changes. Physically, they were obvious. His hard-earned athleticism was still there, it was just... softer, not as blatant. He'd always had more of a swimmer's build anyway. 'His' hair was the same jet-black it had always been, it was just longer, reaching down to 'his' hips now, and 'his' eyes remained that brilliant sea-green. The most obvious outward change were the breasts. They weren't large, about the same size as Annabeth's, but they were unsupported, and it was winter... Percy pulled 'his' jacket shut and zipped it up to conceal the problem. The grey streak in 'his' hair had grown longer with the rest of 'his' hair, and was now more of a lunar silver than a mere grey. The facial features were very similar to the original Percy, but softer and more feminine.
"What happened?" Percy asked. "Why am I not an animal?"
Thalia tore her eyes away from Percy's changes, mentally revising how she saw her friend in a few moments. "Artemis changed you, alright, if that's what you're worried about," she began.
"Well, duh," came the witty response. Percy's voice was now a little higher, a little softer. The name still fit, but the mental spelling shifted a little, finally clicking as 'Persi', although what that would be short for would have to wait.
Thalia continued her explanation. "This change is intended to be a curse, and Lady Artemis has never used it as a blessing before. She said for you to become, and I quote 'what will help your friend in the Hunt best', so the magic ran amok with you. I guess this," here she waved her hand at Persi, "was what will help her best."
Annabeth finally worked up the nerve to speak. "Why did you do that? What, in the name of Olympus, possessed you to ask that?" She was very worked up, and it seemed like Persi was getting both barrels. "You could have been turned into a wolf, or a stag or a bear or anything? How could you help save Olympus if that had happened? How did you think I'd feel, knowing that you weren't human any more because of me."
Sorry to interrupt, Boss-lady, came Blackjack's voice, although only Persi could understand it, but weren't you in need of a ride?
Persi was freaking out. That was understandable. In the last twenty-four hours, she'd been part of a raid on a Titan stronghold, fought Luke, rescued a goddess, held up the sky and defeated the Titan general, Atlas. That was a full day even for him. And then, to top it all off, when Annabeth joined Artemis' Hunters, Percy asked for Artemis to change him into an animal that could stay with her, only to wake up as a girl! As they flew, she riding Blackjack, while Guido carried Thalia and Annabeth rode Porkpie, she thought hard about what this change meant.
It was bad enough coping with the outward changes, for instance, her breasts. They weren't ridiculously big, but they were there, and the shift in body mass was something Persi was still not used to. She was very carefully not thinking about the corresponding absence of a certain piece of Percy's anatomy. Even walking felt... off. The differences in skeletal structure weren't that big between male and female, but they were significant. The slight difference in the way the hips fit together, the change in how the elbows were shaped... everything added up to re-learning how to use her body over a time period... "Oh,no," she thought, struck by the other connotation of that word. "I'm going to have periods now!"
With the periods and other physical changes there came hormonal shifts, changes in the way she would feel about things, outbursts of uncontrolled emotion... and all this was because she wouldn't let Annabeth leave her behind. A glance towards Porkpie and his rider told her everything she needed: It was still worth it.
Her mind seemed much the same as it used to be when she was Percy, but there were some changes. Running her mind back over various locker room scenes in her head confirmed that boys did nothing for her. That was both a relief, and a worry. While Persi thought it would have been weird to feel that way, shouldn't a girl automatically like guys? Or was it just a familiarity with them that meant they were too everyday to register? Or maybe she was just gay? That was really something she had to sort out, and soon. Other things were still the same, too, such as a love of the sea, and her liking for blue food wherever she could find it. Her temper was still short, even if she did hesitate for a thought or two before acting now. But there were differences, too, changes that she found when she went looking for how much of her was the same as him.
Percy had been indifferent towards his academic studies, but now saw it as another form of hunting, with knowledge as both prey and prize, for a start. She was still dangerously loyal to her friends, but now she was more careful that they were her friends. Then there was the other side, the legacy of her godly father. Was that still the same?
Her thoughts a mess, Persi at least managed to settle on her new name... She'd have to check that it wasn't insulting to Hades' wife, but she liked the sound of Persephone Jackson.