A/N: So, reading through every fandom that peaks my interest may not be the best idea. I keep getting all these ideas for stories I want to write. And I usually end up doing so...
Anyway, this is a Percy Jackson AU story, where his mother is killed by his abusive stepfather Gabe and he is taken in by an ancient god. I've read a couple where Percy is adopted or cared for by another god or goddess and it completely changes his life. The best two that come to mind are Intertwined Destinies and The Queen's Champion, both by Anaklusmos14, a very talented writer.
Before anyone asks, Aurelius is an OC, not an original Greek God. If somewhere there is a god named Aurelius, this probably isn't him. Aurelius is adapted from 'aurum', which is Latin for 'gold'.
WARNING: Mentions of child abuse and language. That's why it's rated 'T'.
Okay, that's all there is besides the disclaimer. So read and enjoy, and if you like it leave a review!
Disclaimer: Percy Jackson and all related characters belong to Rick Riordan. Only Aurelius, Ilex and all OOCness belong to me.
Prologue: Son of Power, Son of Gold
I run as fast as I can, stumbling only once on my bad leg. I was pretty proud; usually I get tripped a lot more than that when I run. But usually I don't have to run as fast as this. Even on his worst days I never ran as hard as I am now.
The streets of Manhattan are crowded today, despite how cold it is out. It's late November, and winter is really close. I think I heard someone on the TV say it might snow tonight. I don't want it to snow tonight. I'll be cold, outside. It doesn't really look like snow either. The storm clouds are too fat, and I can hear thunder start to rumble. The crowds don't notice me running through them. They look only at themselves, or their phones, or the sky, or each other. They never look down and see the 7-year old boy running alone, tears of fear on his face.
I don't want to cry. Whenever I cry he hits me, but that just makes me cry more, which makes him hit me more. It's a vicious cycle. I learned just not to cry in the first place, but that only stopped maybe a fifth of the beatings. But I can't help it; I'm too afraid of the monsters.
I risk a glance behind me, but the monster is still following me. I can see it, but no one else can. They let out funny laughs or cute coos at the sight of it. "Someone let a dog loose?" "Aww, look at the pretty poodle!" "Hey, someone get a leash on that mutt!" All these shouts hit my ears as I run away. They can't see the monster, but I can. It is as big as a large dog. But it isn't a dog. The mouth is huge, full of drooling, gnashing, razor sharp teeth. The fur is pitch black and ragged, showing patches of burnt pale skin. But the eyes are the scariest part. They glow red, like they're full of fire.
I try and lose it, ducking into a small alley that smells like trash and urine. Suddenly changing directions helped before, it made the monster confused. But not this time. The monster sniffs the ground outside the alley as I try to hide behind a dirty dumpster. It slowly enters the space between the two buildings, head to the ground, locking on to my scent.
I back up slowly, but my bad leg drags and makes a scraping sound. The monster's head shoots up, its ears slide back and its flaming eyes narrow onto me. A low, scratchy growl emits from the monster's throat.
I keep going backwards, but I trip on a beer bottle. I'm usually better at not stepping on them; when I do he makes me pick up the glass with my bare hands. After grinding his own feet into them, making them into far more numerous razor sharp shards, of course. I land on my butt, hard. I scoot backwards, until to my horror I find my back against the wall.
"Help! Someone, please help!" I scream as hard as I can. But I'm too far away from the sidewalk for anyone to hear me over the sounds of New York. That, or no one cares.
Probably the latter.
My throat hurts from the yell, only further irritating the roughness left over from my sobbing. And both of those only reopen the cuts on the inside of my throat, from when he made me swallow a shot glass before hitting me and breaking it. I didn't mind that one as much, though. He had to take me to a hospital, and he couldn't hit me for six days as my throat healed with all the nurses and doctors around. But when we got home he made me pay for all the money the hospital cost...
I don't think the six days were really worth it.
The monster is getting closer now, saliva dripping from its maw. When it hits the ground it sizzles. I start to cry again. I really don't want to die.
"Go 'way!" I shout at the monster. But it keeps coming forward, and I swear it's smiling at me. I close my eyes; I don't want to look anymore. I can smell its breath, more horrible than any scent I've ever smelled before.
Dying won't be so bad, I tell myself. I'll see my mom again. And maybe my real dad. Mom said he wasn't dead, but I want him to be. Because if he isn't, then that means he left us alone on purpose.
He left us alone with Gabe on purpose.
Just as I'm sure I'm about to die, a flash of light fills my eyes, even though they're closed. I hear a loud thud, following a wet squelching noise, preceding a cut-off whine. I open my eyes again, and I don't believe what I see before me.
The monster is slowly dissolving into golden dust, until nothing of its body is left; just piles of dust. Stuck into the ground, right where the monster's head was, is a golden sword. The sword is huge; it must be at least six feet long. The blade is wider than both of my hands side by side, with a shallow groove cut into the center, and is just about as thick as my good hand laid flat. There is no cross-guard, just the blade ending in a half circle before the handle sticks out. The handle is wrapped in leather, and is about a foot-and-a-half long. The pommel has a symbol shaped like an eight pointed star radiating from it. A pair of ribbons split off from where the leather meets the pommel. And the whole thing is golden. The blade is as gold as my mother's old necklace, before Gabe pawned it. The leather looks as soft as butter, and just a few shades darker. The pommel is the same color as the blade, darker than the leather. The two ribbons are the color of newly forged bullion, glowing with warmth and power. The entire surface of the weapon is engraved with row after row of strange symbols and characters.
I slowly reach out with my left hand, my mangled fingers only a few inches away from the blade, when I hear a voice.
"I wouldn't touch that, young one. The blade is still filled with power." I didn't see the man approach. I didn't hear the man approach. It was like he was suddenly just there.
It was quite obvious the sword belonged to him; he was just as golden as the sword itself. His long hair was metallic gold, catching every ray of the poor lighting in the alley, making the neck-length strands glow. His skin was a caramel-like bronze, filled with an inner light. The clothing he wore was unusual; a long, thick overcoat the same color as the leather of the sword. The coat covered a sweater that looked like it was woven out of butter. His legs were covered by long, creased formal pants, matching the coat in color. He wore closed toe sandals that looked like they were made of solid gold. He was tall, at least six-and-a-half feet tall. He was also muscular, with wide shoulders a line-backer would be jealous of and arms and a torso that looked ripped from a magazine. But the most entrancing part of the stranger was his eyes. They looked like someone had taken two golden eagle dollars and slid them into his eye sockets. They glowed with an inner light and warmth that dwarfed the sun's pitiful attempts to breach the storm. The storm that had seemed to stop with the appearance of this man...
"Are you all right, child?" His voice was odd. I expected someone so big to have a deep, angry voice. But his voice was soft, and kind. I don't know why, but it made me feel safe.
"Th-that monster t-t-tried to e-eat me." I was still crying. I hoped he wouldn't hit me for it, like Gabe would. "B-but that s-sword killed it f-for me." I sniffled in as many tears as I could.
He looked sadly at me, and I'm not sure why. But his voice was still the same, soft and kind, when he spoke again.
"What is your name, my child?"
I choked back another few tears so I could speak without trembling again.
I can not help but feel pity for the young boy cowering before me. It is obvious he has no idea who, or even what he is. I had been soaring through the storm, conversing with some of the local storm spirits, absorbing the excess energy caused by the unseasonal lightning strikes. I had heard a child's cry on the breeze, and had flown closer for a look. Seeing an innocent child, so obviously in peril, stirred my heart. I had thrown my sword, Glorious, into the beast's skull, sending its essence back to Tartarus.
The last traces of the Hellhound I slew finally fade away, and a stray breeze scatters the dust through the filthy alley. I take a good look at this boy, this Perseus, and I am infuriated and saddened even more by what I see.
He is very young, perhaps seven or eight. His hair is black as charcoal, but it is messy and matted with what I hope isn't, but probably is, blood. His skin looks like it should be a healthy seaman's tan, but it is pale and sickly. His nose has been broken many times, and never set right; the bridge is swollen, and the tip is pointed to the right of his face, crooked by almost a few inches. His right leg is bent the wrong way, the calf at a 30 degree angle to the thigh, pointing to the right away from his body, starting at the knee. His left hand is also handicapped; the first and second fingers are curled in, while the thumb seems to not be able to move from the base of his ring finger. The last two fingers seem relatively unharmed, but the entire hand is covered in scars. Through the large holes in the tattered sweatshirt he is wearing I can see his ribs, showing through his skin. The skin I can see is all covered in scars, bruises, burns and cuts still fresh enough to glisten. But the worst part is his eyes. For the eyes of a child, they are full of too much pain and suffering. They are a deep sea-green in color, tickling my memory. He is afraid, afraid of something, probably whoever hurt him like this.
It has been many centuries since last I spoke to a mortal so young. But the memories come, and I adapt them to what I have observed about this era.
"Perseus. That is a very nice name. But it seems very long, doesn't it? I bet you like to be called something else, eh?" He looks so scared it is breaking my heart. In all my eons, no one has ever feared me before. I do not like it.
"M-my mom calls... called me Percy." He sniffles out.
"Would you mind if I called you Percy, then?" He doesn't answer in words, but he nods slowly.
"Alright Percy. My name... is Aurelius."
The boy giggles, despite his tears running freely. "That's a silly name." He then claps his hands over his mouth, as if terrified he has said something wrong. I just tilt my head back and let out a soft laugh. "Yes, to the modern age, I suppose my name must sound rather odd. But I've had it for a while now, and I'm used to it."
Percy sniffles again, but he's smiling now, and that makes me very happy. I need to know what has happened to such a sweet child.
"Percy, why are you all alone on the streets?"
He shrinks in on himself, and starts crying again. "I... I ran away. Usually whenever I run away I never get too far because Gabe catches me. But this time the monster scared me and I ran really fast. I'm not even sure where I am now..." He finishes in a soft voice.
"And who is this... 'Gabe'? Is he your father?"
"No. He's my stepfather. Mom married him when I was little, and now he's the only one who knows I exist..." He's crying again, loudly. I slowly approach him, but he shrinks even more into the wall. Undaunted, I lower myself until I'm sitting on the ground, on his level. "And where is your mother?"
"G-Gabe got really, really angry a couple years ago, a-and he pushed her, and she fell down the stairs, and... and..." Percy is bawling now, and I am shocked. If this child could see a man apparently kill a woman in cold blood, why was he not in prison? I normally don't like to do this, but my curiosity had been raised. I let my mind probe into the mind of the weeping child in front of me, and a surge of images assault my conscious...
I see a large, fat man, and all of the memories associate him with a terrible odor. He is a drunkard, and an abusive one at that. I see him beat the child with belts and kick him with boots. I see cigarette burns and cuts from broken bottles. A day where the fat man lost his job, he dragged Percy outside and ran over his right leg with his car. I see the fat man slapping a woman, beautiful but bruised and crying. Percy threw a glass at his head, and the fat man lets go of the woman. He grabs the hand Percy used to throw the glass and slams it repeatedly in the door-frame. The boy looked around 5 in the memory... I see Percy crying as an ambulance pulls away, the beautiful woman in the back; she wasn't moving when they loaded her in. The fat man pulls him inside, and adds new scars to his body for crying to the neighborhood. When Percy runs away, screaming down the street for help, the fat man shoves a shot glass down his throat, before pushing the boy hard enough the shatter the glass. So many memories, so much pain, all caused by the fat man.
One final memory surfaces, from when the child must have been only a few days old. He would not consciously remember this.
He is in a crib in a small apartment, much cleaner than the ruined shell of a house they shared with the fat man. The beautiful woman, who must be his mother, is crying against the chest of a man. He is tall, with rugged features,black windswept hair and eyes a deep sea-green... the same color as his son's eyes. This is the boy's father. The immortal who left his own son to suffer a fate worthy of the Fields of Punishment. I recognize him, and I am furious:
I come out of the memory stream with tears of rage and disgust in my eyes. I am so furious, I lose control of my form for a moment. I hear a rustle of cloth and feathers as my wings spread forth from my back. A ten-foot wingspan of glittering golden feathers stretch across my back, a single flap stirring the garbage even more. Percy has stopped crying and is staring at me in awe.
"A-are you an angel?" His voice is still too quiet, and I realize that shot glass probably damaged his vocal cords.
"No, I am not an angel, Percy. I am a god."
"You-you're God?" His eyes are, if possible, even wider than before.
"No, my boy, I am a god. Tell me Percy, do you know anything about Greek Myths?"
The boy nods slowly. "Mom used to read me bedtime stories from a big book of myths. I liked the stories of all the heroes who helped people. That's why mom named me Perseus; he was the only hero to get a happy ending."
"Yes, he did, didn't he? Well, those stories are true. The Greek gods are all real and alive. I am one of them."
"Are you Zeus? No, are you Cupid? Cause, you have the wings..."
I can only smile at the boy's naivety. "No, as I mentioned before, I am Aurelius. I would not be mentioned in any book, Percy. Humankind sort of... forgot about me." The boy sniffles at my words, and I can see they have struck a chord. I shuffle closer, and he doesn't shy away from me. I lean against the wall next to him, and reach an arm out to encircle his shoulders. He leans into my chest, crying softly again.
"Shh, shh. Don't cry child. Nothing will harm you while I am here."
"Why did that monster try to eat me?"
"That is because you are a demigod. Your father was a god, and your mother was a mortal."
"Really?" I nod at the confused look on his face. "Who is it? Who's my father?"
"...I have an idea of who it may be, though I sorely hope I am wrong. Tell me Percy, what is your favorite animal?"
He looks confused by the question, but answers anyway. "Horses. They're really cool, and whenever I see one they act nice. Gabe said I was just being stupid..."
"And do you like to go swimming?" I ask quickly to change the subject off of the horrid mortal.
He nods furiously. "Yeah! I love the water, it feels really nice, and it makes me feel safe. I can hold my breath for a really long time, too. Sometimes I think I can even breathe underwater."
It is all but certain that this young child is my nephew, abandoned by my brother Poseidon. One last test, just to make sure. I swirl my hand in the air, and a golden goblet of crystal clear water forms in my grasp.
"Percy, may I see your hand?" I gesture to a large gash on the back of his normal hand, which scraped against the wall when he fell before. He nervously holds out his hand, and I gently take hold of his fingers. I pour some of the water out of the goblet onto his hand, and I hear him gasp as the wound closes without so much as a scar to show it was there.
"Wh-what just happened?" He looks scared, but also amazed.
"It is as I thought. Percy, you are the son of my younger brother, Poseidon, God of the Sea. Making you my nephew."
"So... my dad is alive?" I nod, hoping to bring some comfort to the boy. But instead, his face scrunches up in anger as more tears pour down his face. "So, so he just left us? He-he abandoned us wi-with Gabe? Why? Why would he do that to us? He... he left my mom to die..." Percy is crying very loudly, clutching my shirt for comfort. I rub his shoulder soothingly, and wrap my wings closer around the pair of us.
"The gods are not allowed to visit their children, Percy. That is the truth of it. But they usually at least make sure their children are well cared for. I... I am ashamed of my brother for his actions."
Percy sniffled again. "Um, Mr. Aurelius, can I ask you a favor?"
"Anything, my boy."
"Can... can you bring my mom back? Please?" My heart breaks even more at this simply made request, asked by a tear-stained and heartbroken boy.
"I am sorry, Percy. But that is something not even I can do." He looks so sad, so I struggle to think of something, anything to cheer him up. "If you'd like, I could introduce you to your father?"
Percy immediately tenses up, and shouts, "NO! No, I never want to see him ever! He... he abandoned us! He *sniff* he left us to die! I hate him! I HATE HIM!"
I am shocked, but not entirely surprised by his outburst. If I were the boy, I certainly would hate my father as well.
"Then where will you go, Percy?" He snaps out of his rage filled, tear-streaked face and looks once again like a scared little boy lost in the world.
"P-please don't make me go back to Gabe! Please, please, please!" I am stunned by the amount of tears this child can produce as he begs me not to return him to his abusive stepfather, and in that instant I make a decision. A decision that I know will change the lives of not only young Perseus, but myself as well.
"I would never take you back there, Percy, I promise. In fact, I have a question for you." I reach down and wipe the tears from his face, and he looks up at me with quivering lips and hopeful eyes. Any reservations I held just a moment before are swept away.
"Would you like to live with me? I would protect you, and train you, and make sure no one would ever hurt you again. Would you like that?"
He looks confused, then a tiny look crosses across his face that I recognize as Hope.
"And I never have to go back to Gabe again? Promise?"
"I swear upon the River Styx that that man shall never harm you again." Thunder rumbles overhead, and it has nothing to do with the storm I recently stopped.
Percy smiles at me, a happy child's grin that warms the heart and calls the same to the face of any who see it. "Yes, I want to come live with you Uncle Aurelius. When can we leave?"
"Immediately. Let us return to your home and gather anything you might want to take with you."
I rise smoothly to my feet and gently lift Percy into my arms, careful of his damaged leg, where he burrows his head into my chest. I grasp the handle of Glorious and the broadsword transforms into golden fire, snaking up my arm. It solidifies into three golden chains wrapped around my wrist, a pendant shaped like an eight-pointed star dangling from them. I knew his address from my scan of his memories, and in a flash of golden light we arrive in his living room. The room is filthy, filled with boxes of moldy takeout food and bottles of every liquor known to man.
"Get your things." I tell him softly, placing him down. I follow him to a tiny room tucked into a corner of the house, which has a small bed and a tiny dresser. He pulls out a patched backpack and starts to fill it with clothing, all of it torn in some way. A large dog eared book, titled Myths of Ancient Greece and Rome, has a cartoon picture of my brother Zeus on the cover, holding a lightning bolt. I scoff at the representation. The last thing to go into the bag is a worn out picture. The photograph shows the beautiful woman from Percy's memories holding a tiny baby with jet black hair. The photo is so worn out it looks ready to tear at the wrong breath. I gently touch the corner, and the picture instantly returns to the strength of one newly printed. Percy smiles and hugs my waist, and I pull him into my arms once again, where he yawns and curls up against my chest.
I step back out and reenter the living room, ready to teleport us home, when a loud voice interrupts me.
"Who the hell are you?" I look up and see the fat man from Percy's memories, the infamous 'Gabe'. He is even fatter in person, wearing a stained white tank top and large boxer shorts. His face is ruddy with drink, and anger. A bottle is clenched in his fist. As I am about to speak, his smell hits me. It smells like the entire city's worth of garbage and raw sewage have been condensed and soaked in into this man's sweat glands.
"I am taking this child. You are a monster, unfit to even share his air." I state coldly, feeling Percy tense at the sounds of his stepfather's voice. I hold him even tighter, hoping that this foolish mortal knows to back off. He doesn't.
"Oh no, you ain't taking him. That little son of a bitch gets me a check every month, and I'm damned if you're gonna take that." He turns his drunken gaze to Percy's head, his face being tucked into my chest. "So, what's this you little shit? You run away and get some fruity douche to come try and take you away? I don't think so! You belong to me, and no way am I gonna lose that money!" He smashes the bottle against a table and advances menacingly, and I hear Percy start to cry.
"Percy, close your eyes and don't open them until I say to." I whisper to him, and he nods and closes his eyes.
My fury fills my body as I slip into my divine form. Seven feet tall, I tower over the short man, suddenly trembling at my feet. Gone are the assembled clothing of the mortal world, leaving my ancient arms and armor. A breastplate of beaten gold, engraved with my deeds covers my chest. A heavy belt of golden chains hold up a swirling golden skirt, ending around my knees. My Greek sandals have golden shin-guards reaching up to where my skirt ends. My hands are encased in golden gauntlets, the mirrored vambraces extending to my elbows. My shoulders are covered by a pair of pauldrons large enough for a man to sit on, carved to resemble licking flames. My left side is mostly covered by a golden cape scraping the floor, tied to the shoulder-guard upon my right. My wings are fully extended, the gilded feathers setting the walls and floor aflame. I know upon my head sits my helm of leaping, golden fire.
"You DARE to challenge me, mortal?ME!? I am Aurelius the Golden, eldest son of Kronos the Timeless, God of Energy and Power, champion of ten thousand battles. I am taking this child as my own, and I feel you are not worthy of sharing the same world as him any longer..."
I reach down with one gold encased finger and poke him in the middle of his forehead. He tenses, and his mouth opens in a silent scream. His body is overrun by golden fire as his very soul is burnt away. I haven't done this in eons, but this is a man I feel deserves it. My control over all forms of energy extends to souls as well; so I simply destroyed it. No judgment, no Underworld, no nothing. He is simply gone.
While still in my divine form, I turn my attention to the small child in my now huge arms. In a much softer voice, I intone the ancient rites.
"I, Lord Aurelius, God of Power and Energy, Golden son of Kronos the Timeless, Precursor of Olympus, Keeper of Power, Balance of the Gods, do make an oath to the Fates. On this day I take into my home Perseus Jackson, abandoned son of Poseidon. If the child is willing to abandon all ties to his father, he shall become as a son to me. His power shall be my power, his strength shall be my strength. I shall protect and care for him, and make him my heir. This I shall do, upon my soul, so I swear upon the River Styx."
I made this vow in all solemness, and heard the greatest boom of thunder fill my ears as I have ever heard. One of two things will happen now. If Percy truly wants to be my son, he shall be so, and Poseidon will have no claim over him. If there is any doubts or reservations, I will no longer be able to touch him, and Poseidon will instantly appear. If he does, I'm going to be having words with him...
After a moment, I return to my mortal disguise, and Percy is still in my arms.
"Um... Uncle Aurelius? Can I... can I open my eyes now?" His voice is still so small and scratchy.
"Of course, Percy." When he opens his eyes and looks at me, I can not stifle my gasp. His eyes, previously a pure sea-green throughout, have changed. Now, like the sun's corona, a circle of swirling golden flames surround his pupils, taking up maybe a third of his iris. The gold is a mixture of tints and shades, making it look like it's moving. The edge where the colors meet are jagged and uneven, but that only serves to add to the semblance of flames. I laugh with joy and swirl him around as the child -no, as my son- joins in with my laughs of joy.
"Come, Percy. Let us go home." With one final flash of light, I take Percy to start his new life.
(Two Months Later)
"Stupid brat!" Smack!
"Worthless piece of filth!" Smack, smack!
"Stop crying you little shit!" Smack, crunch! "Aww, break your leg again? Serves you right!"
"Percy, wake up!"
"Now, let's see if you can get this right this time; what happened to your bitch of a mother?"
"Perseus Jackson, WAKE UP!"
I awaken from my nightmare as something soft slams into me, knocking me to the floor. I am still confused and hazy, and start to cry out of fear.
"Hey, hey, no tears, okay little brother?"
I recognize that voice. I open my eyes to peer into a set of deep emerald green eyes, filled with love and worry.
"Ilex, it's you."
As my eyes settle I finally recognize my adoptive sister. Her emerald eyes, her nut brown skin, her small upturned nose, her small lips curled in worry, her black hair cut into a pixie cut atop her heart shaped face, and the ever present sprigs of holly set in her hair.
Ilex is a dryad, whose spirit inhabits a holly tree that grows in my father's palace. He took her in after her parents were killed and her tree uprooted by mortals, and planted it on the grounds. He treats her as a daughter, and she treats me like a little brother. She's only a year older than me, but she's much more 'mature', as she puts it, and acts like I'm such a small child that she needs to look out for me. But I still love her, overprotective sister and all.
"Of course it's me, silly. You were having another nightmare; I heard it from my room." Ilex's room was across the hall. If she could hear me, it must have been a really loud one. I look to the ground in embarrassment, my cheeks reddening.
"Sorry..." She pulls me into a tight hug.
"It's not your fault. Remember that. He's gone now, and he can never hurt you again. Come on, father wanted to see you. If you're up for it?" I nod, and pull myself to my feet, offering Ilex my hand. Two months in my father's care had changed a lot. For one, he had healed my many wounds to the best of his abilities. My leg didn't stick out to the side as much, though I still couldn't really use my knee. My hand was a lost cause, since so many of the tendons had been snapped. He gave me a magical golden ring I wore on my middle finger; thinking about it caused it to encase my hand in a golden glove, letting me control it completely, though the enhanced strength that came with it made it impractical to always wear. My nose had been straightened out as best as he could, though it was still pretty crooked. Most of my scars were gone, but the really bad ones remained. I was so thankful for all he did, but he always seemed sad he couldn't do more.
Second, since I came here I had been given real food, enough to keep me healthy. I had grown two inches, and I couldn't see my ribs anymore. Exercise kept me in good shape, and gave me something to do as my wounds healed.
The biggest change probably came from my father's influence. He was such a kind, chivalrous god, it rubbed off on me. I was always kind and polite to anyone who I spoke to, regardless of who they were.
Ilex took my hand and got to her feet, then pulled me out of my room and towards father. Even after eight weeks the palace still took my breath away. Pale golden marble pillars held up ceilings of gold. The walls were a deeply colored hardwood, carved with scenes of nature and animals. The floors were white marble streaked with veins of gold, polished to a mirror sheen. Many rooms filled the palace, each devoted to an interest of my father. There was a library I'm sure even Lady Athena would be jealous of. A music room, filled with every instrument in human -or godly- history. A gallery of paintings and sculptures from every culture and every era. Rooms filled with fountains, rooms filled with wind chimes, rooms filled with only candles floating in seas of darkness. Anything that peaked my father's interest got a room in his palace.
Ilex led me to the observatory, my favorite room in the palace. She shouldered open the fifteen foot tall doors, and I followed after. The room was a perfect circle, surrounded by twelve pillars, each carved with a symbol of zodiac. The ceiling, unlike the rest of the palace, was black marble. Currently displayed were a set of galaxies in high detail. Around the edge of the rooms were star charts linked to the magical ceiling; touching part of the sky on the charts would cause it to appear in detail above. In the center of the room was my father, currently studying the two galaxies circling each other hungrily.
"Hello Percy, Ilex. I am glad you could come." He didn't look down from the night sky, waving his hand to summon three chairs. The chairs he summoned for Ilex and me were plush and soft, while his own was a simple wooden chair. They were seated around an oval table, inlaid with gold in my father's symbol: an eight-pointed star. I pulled Ilex's chair out for her, and tucked it in after she was seated. Quietly I switched my father's chair with mine, and sat on the wooden seat.
Aurelius finally turned to us and sat down, then a look of confusion passed over his face, before he looked to me.
"Very humorous, Percy. Why do you always do that?"
"You have shown me more kindness than I ever expected to receive in life. I dislike how poorly you treat yourself by comparison." Two months with him had also increased my grammar beyond most seven year-olds. My father just chuckled, then snapped his fingers so we were all sitting in plush chairs.
"Percy, I have a choice for you that will decide your future."
"What is it father?" Ilex looked worried, but didn't say anything.
"This is the fact of the matter, Percy: With Poseidon as your sire, and my own power in your veins, you are a very powerful demigod. You have two choices before you, my son."
"Poseidon is no father to him." Ilex hissed. After hearing how her 'little brother' had been treated due to Poseidon's neglect, she had developed a hatred for the Sea God.
"I agree with Ilex," I said softly; my voice had never really recovered. "You are my father, not him."
"As much as it warms my heart to hear that, the fact remains that he sired you. His power is still in your blood, making you a child of the Big Three of Olympus. Technically, you are not supposed to exist. I explained to you the oath they swore, remember?" I did indeed remember. That my sire broke an unbreakable pact, only to abandon me and my mother as unwanted mistakes, only increased my hatred of the god.
"Yes, I remember."
"So your influence has a direct effect on the world. I give you two choices, and I will leave them up to you. Firstly, you may stay here in my palace forever. I can grant you eternal life, just shy of immortality, and we can spend our days in peace, as a family."
The offer was very kind. I wanted something just like that for as long as I can remember, and to have it so close was tempting. But then I would be abandoning the world to the monsters, which my father told me hunt all demigods.
"What is the second choice, father?"
He smiled at me. "The second choice is for me to train you, to shape you into the greatest hero to ever live, so that you will be able to help all you come across, and change the world. What do you choose?"
I was conflicted. On the one hand, here was a chance to live in peace, forever, with a family who loved me more than anything. On the other hand, here was an opportunity to make a difference, a chance to save others who were like me, possibly abandoned by the gods, left alone in the world to fend for themselves. I knew my father would support any choice I made, but to me, there was really only one path for me to take.
I looked my father straight in the eyes. "I wish to become the greatest hero to ever live."
He smiled, and I knew he was proud beyond words.
A/N: So here's the prologue (and the longest single chapter I've ever written.) I'm going to point out, right now, this is not a Chaos story. He won't be recruited by Aethyr, he won't become a primordial assassin, it's pretty much just an AU story involving the characters from PJatO. I intend to include some pairings a few chapters on, but haven't decided on any final pairings. So please, leave a review, and I hope you enjoyed the story.