Disclaimer: I do not own Percy Jackson and the Olympians and their stuff…
It was bad enough for a son of Poseidon to fly, but soaring right up to Zeus' s palace with thunder booming and lightning flashing all around it was even worse.
Thalia had slept through the entire journey; she must have been pretty exhausted to sleep when they were flying at such a high height. Annabeth was slumped over her Pegasus, staring straight ahead, seemingly mulling things over. Percy was chatting with Blackjack, he was having a great time, but he can't seem to stop Blackjack from calling him "Boss".
They circled over midtown Manhattan, making one complete orbit around Mount Olympus. Percy had only been there once before, teleported by Artemis and if it was possible, Olympus amazed him even more.
Towering at the peak of the mountain was the greatest palace of all, the glowing white hall of the gods. The pegasi set them down in the outer courtyard, in front of huge golden gates.
Just as Percy made to push it open, the gates swung open majestically. "Good luck, Boss. Hope they don't fry you!"
"Yeah, thanks." Percy had a sense of foreboding, he had seen all the gods together only once before and they had voted whether or not to kill him. Now he was not quite sure if they might be so lenient after I revealed part of my little secret to them.
"Hey if ya don't come back, can I have your cabin for my stable?"
Percy turned around and looked at the Pegasus with a disbelieving expression.
"I said if. Sheesh, it was just a thought. Sorry." Blackjack snorted and with a beat of their powerful wings, the pegasi flew off.
For a moment, Thalia, Annabeth and I stood alone looking at each other, and then we gathered our courage and walked into the grand throne room.
Twelve huge thrones made a U around a central hearth where Hestia tends to it. The ceiling glittered with constellations, with torches along the walls with flames glowing different shades, blanketing the room with colors.
All of the seats were occupied. Each god and goddess was around fifteen-feet tall and once the demigods made their entrance; all the super-power beings turned their powerful and intense gaze to them. Percy shuddered, it was like they were scrutinizing you, watching your every move…. Like stalkers, but just in a really obvious and direct way.
"Welcome, heroes." Artemis greeted with a smile. Zoe was kneeling beside her throne, looking a healthy as ever, probably the reason why Artemis looked so happy.
Percy looked over to Zeus; he was looking intently at Thalia. Thalia looked nervous, she was playing with her bracelet and shuffling her feet under her father's gaze.
Percy swiveled his head towards his father who had his glowing green trident clasped in his hands. He smiled as his father nodded at him like "it's okay" and flashed him a quick thumbs up. Poseidon could always make him feel better.
"Heroes," Artemis called.
She slid down form her throne and shrunk to human size so that she was a young auburn-haired girl, perfectly at ease un the midst of giant Olympians. She was surrounded by a faint silver glow, looking like she was walking in a column of moonlight.
As she walked towards the demigods, Percy's eyes followed her every move, each step making her shimmery silver robes swish and sway as she carried herself in a regal and dignified way that screamed "Respect me". She showed no emotion on her face but her silver orbs for eyes were soft.
"The council has been informed of your deeds. They know that Mount Othrys is rising in the west, of Atlas's attempt for freedom and the gathering armies of Kronos. We have voted to act." She told us.
There was some mumbling and shuffling among the gods, like some were not happy with this plan, but no one protested.
"At my Lord Zeus's command, my brother Apollo and I shall hunt the most powerful monsters, seeking to strike them down before they can join the Titan's cause. Lady Athena shall personally check on the other monsters to make sure they do not escape their various prisons. Lord Poseidon has given permission to unleash his full fury on the cruise ship Princess Andromeda and send it to the bottom of the sea. And as for you, my heroes…"
Artemis turned to the immortals. "These half-bloods have done Olympus a great service. Would any here deny that?" She met every single gods or goddess's eyes in defiance, daring them to go against what she said.
"Well, I gotta say. They were quite awesome." Apollo broke the silence. He cleared his throat and began to recite: "heroes win-"
"Um, yes. That is great." Hermes interrupted, anxious to avoid Apollo's poetry. "All in favor of not disintegrating them?"
A couple of hands went up, Athena's rising after some thought and Poseidon's shooting straight up, even before the question had even been finished.
Percy grinned at the thought that his dad wanted to keep him and his friends alive so eagerly.
"Wait, these 2," Ares growled and pointed to Percy and Thalia with his razor sharp knife, "They are dangerous. If we kill them, it would be much safer since-"
"We shall not blast my son and his friend to bits. They have done such courageous things, have you not seen it? They are worthy heroes." Poseidon boomed in a loud voice.
"We shall not kill my daughter. She has done well. But the boy is another case. What is this fire power you have, son of Poseidon?" Zeus glared at Percy. "If you are too powerful, we cannot allow you to live and where you get these powers, we do not know. So how can we trust you?"
"There is a security risk with the boy…." Athena mused aloud.
Percy stepped forward and stated in a loud voice. "You are asking me how you can trust me? All that I have done in this quest is for you, for Olympus and the demigods. I have did my best, fought my best to save Artemis and defeat Atlas and you are still wondering how can you trust me?" His voice got louder as he got angrier.
Percy was tired of Zeus's paranoia and fear that he will dethrone him. But not even trusting him after what he has done made him feel like he was speaking to a complete alien with no human characteristic and trying to understand it. What else could he do?
"I got my powers over fire and healing from Hestia when she blessed me." Percy finished and with a narrow of eyes at Zeus, he stepped backward and kept silent, his eyes still burning with fury.
"It is true. I have blessed this boy of my powers for I see the good nature in him and the hardships he has to face so I pass on my powers in hope that he can go through them and that I get a chance of having such a loyal and caring champion." Hestia said warmly and she smiled reassuringly at Percy.
Zeus was shocked, Hestia, the one who never spoke much during the council meetings, chose this dangerous boy as her champion. "Hestia, dear, why would you bless such a – " He asked in a disbelieving voice.
Artemis interrupted her father, "I agree with Hestia. He is one of the few men that actually have a caring heart and perfectly good intentions. We will not punish him or the other demigods."
Everyone looked at Artemis in shock, this was the second time she defended this boy. What was going on? Percy looked embarrassed from all the praise and his cheeks were flushed pink. "Thank you."
Zeus was looking very grumpy, his face was red and the hand gripping his Master Bolt was white. Hera sighed impatiently at her husband and declared, "Then we shall reward the heroes for their brave deeds then."
Poseidon smiled, relieved while Hermes and Apollo did a silent cheer.
"I shall begin. I have chosen a new huntress if she decides to join me and first I have to consult my father with my decision.
Artemis went over to Zeus and they had a whispered conversation. After a few short seconds, Artemis called, "Thalia, daughter of Zeus, would you accept my offer of being a huntress?"
Thalia looked unsure, but after a while she nodded and went towards Artemis. She was heart-broken after what happened with Luke, and she never forgave him.
"Thalia, consider it carefully-" Zeus warned.
"Father, I have made my decision. I will not turn sixteen tomorrow, I will never. I won't let this prophecy be mine. I stand with my sister Artemis, and Kronos will never tempt me again." She knelt before Artemis and recited the pledge, "I pledge myself to the goddess Artemis. I turn my back against the company of men…"
After that, she went over to Percy and Annabeth. "Sorry. I must join the hunt. I haven't known peace since… half-blood hill. And I can never forget what he did. I feel like I finally have a home. Percy, you really aren't too bad, you are now the hero of the prophecy."
"Thanks a lot, Thals!" Percy replied, half sarcastically, smiling at his friend
"Thalia, don't be sorry. You finally found a place where you belong. Go for it!" Annabeth answered, trying not to cry, as she hugged her friend tightly.
"Well that is it and I want to thank the demigods for everything they did…" Artemis said, looking at Percy in the end. Percy looked down quickly, his face bright red.
"Well since everything is decided," Zeus started.
"Let's PARTY!" Apollo , Dionysus and Hermes shouted simultaneously, pumping their fists into the air.
Credits to readingallthetime for reminding me Dionysus parties as well...