All rights belong to Rick Riordan

Are You Sure About This?


Nico and I's descent through the castle to the throne room began unimpeded, despite the labyrinthian layout of the place. I myself had only been to a few of the more common areas of the great dark castle, but with Nico guiding there was very little chance of getting lost.

Even then it was a surprise to me to pass through a single corridor which instead of dark rock had instead been painted over with bright gaudy colours of pink and yellows flowers that attacked the eyes.

"Please tell me this is Persephone's quarters." I asked Nico having to squint my eyes as they failed to quickly adjust to this sight.

"No worse than that." He responded with a shudder as a door to our left opened and a skeleton walked out into the corridor in a long Victorian Maid outfit pushing a trolley laden with cakes, bone China teacups, kettles of tea and silverware.

Ignoring the two of us, the undead maid pushed past us before entering another door halfway down.

"Wait you mean all of this is for Melino-" I began to ask before the half-rotten goddess's head appeared around the open doorway and glared back at the two of us. Unlike when I had seen her back at New Rome, she had reverted back to her normal appearance of looking like a partial zombie.

"Do you morons want something or are you just loitering for no reason?" The goddess of Ghosts asked coldly stepping out into the hall. I will admit the sight of this supposedly serious goddess wearing a frilly yellow dress that would have been all the rage… in the eighteenth-century French court almost had me bursting out laughing there and then.

"Oh, hi sis, we were just passing through on the way to see dad." Nico said stepping in front of me.

"Melinoe est-il ton frère? Invitez-le à se joindre à nous pour le thé. Cela faisait si longtemps que je n'avais pas eu la chance de parler à un garçon mignon." (Melinoe is that your brother? Invite him in to join us for tea. It had been so long since I had the chance to talk to a cute boy.) A woman's voice called out excitedly in French from the room behind Melinoe. As it was, I had no idea what she had said having had zero reason to ever learn the language.

"Non Marie, malheureusement je suis sûr que Nico et Percy ont un endroit où ils ont désespérément besoin d'être. J'ai donc peur que nous ne puissions pas les retenir." (No Marie, unfortunately I am sure Nico and Percy have somewhere they desperately need to be. So, I am afraid we cannot hold them up.) Melinoe hastily called back into the room, her living half almost blushing it seemed at whatever she had said.

"Percy? Percy Jackson!" I heard being shouted repeatedly from inside the room in several different accents.

"The two of you get out of here now, otherwise I will have this lot haunting you for the foreseeable future." She threatened before pushing a gaggle of ghostly figures back inside the room and shutting the door.

"Ok what the hell just happened there." I asked the smaller boy still trying not to laugh at the absurdity.

"We narrowly escaped the tea party of the dead. Occasionally, she hosts these get togethers for all these posh dead demigod women from across the centuries. Seeing as she is also technically dead, she counts this as her social life."

"So that Marie is…"

"Marie Antoinette…Daughter of Apollo and quite possibly the most annoying dead person in existence." He said folding his arms across his chest as if to reassure himself

"You got made to attend once didn't you." I teased in amusement as he shuddered.

"Father made me do it for not noticing that Oceanus and Tethys had seized Camp Half-Blood." He said bitterly walking past the door gingerly as if afraid that it was going to burst open and undead hands would seize him. I had no such worries however, A) because Harmony would simply blow apart the entire section of the castle to get me out and B) I had already taken precautions and frozen the door in time.

As a result of this strange little sojourn, I was almost happy to be back amongst the cold dark stone of the rest of the palace of the dead. Several shorter hallways and staircases later we arrived back at the familiar great hall before the throne room itself.

As we passed closer to the doors themselves, the undead guards saluted us both before the doors began to slowly grind open allowing us inside before once again closing behind us with a dull thud.

'Been having fun without me?' I asked Harmony as she slowly lowered the fork from her mouth as if proverbially caught with her hand in the cookie jar. I was quite surprised to see her sitting to one side at a small table and not being the centre of attention like I would normally have expected from her.

'I was hungry, it takes a lot of energy to blow your way into hell.' She complained weakly before continuing to chew.

"Uncle I thought those that ate the food of the Underworld had to stay down here?" I called across turning from my Fiancée to my uncle.

"And I also like my kingdom not looking any more like a literal hellscape more than necessary Percy. So, while she is happily eating and not re-arranging the landscape. I am quite content for her to continue doing that." Hades responded from his throne.

"If only I had been able to do the same." Persephone complained at the discrepancy in power between her and her half-sister. Come to think of it for a child of two Olympians she had pulled the short end of the stick when it came to domains. I mean Arion was probably stronger and he was a horse. If someone tried to kidnap him, he would either run away or bite a lump out of them.

"Dear I thought we had resolved this." Hades said apologetically turning to his wife beside him who had crossed her arms.

"Oh, hello again." Ereshkigal said turning to us from the guest throne she was occupying opposite the two gods.

"Lady Ereshkigal this is my son Nico, God of the Honourably fallen. Nico this is Lady Ereshkigal." Hades introduced suddenly making Nico look very nervous as the goddess stood up and looked back at him.

From her appearance she had clearly lost some influence on her sister, as everything below the shoulder on one side had reverted back to the other goddess's colour palate. However, it appeared from her face and actions that she still had general control over the body.

"Um, Uh, Um-." Nico stuttered out as I watched his eyes move across the exposed skin of Ishtar, the few bits of cloth and jewellery leaving little to the imagination. Deciding this was quite embarrassing enough I decided to help him by stamping hard on his foot. The sudden pain enough to distract him from ogling the foreign goddess. Ishtar was their goddess of love after all, she may not be in control, but her form was still liable to have an effect on people.

"Nice to meet you too." Nico said through gritted teeth as I removed my booted heel from his toes. Whistling to myself innocently as I did so, sorry buddy but I was being truthful upstairs about Annabeth.

'Nicely done, it was almost like watching you when you are under pressure.' Harmony chimed in with amusement in my head.

"Um… The pleasure is all mine…" Ereshkigal replied nervously clearly not sure how to react to the young god who looked like he suddenly wanted to cry or go rub his foot in private.

"Anyway… before this becomes any more awkward, Nico take a seat and let us get back to discussing matters." Hades said pinching his nose as I simply stood there and grinned, happy for the situation not to be about me for once. Doing as his father requested Nico hobbled across to a small simple Obsidian throne that appeared out of shadows.

"It is surprising to see that you have so many gods to rule over your Kingdom, in Irkalla there was always just me, I may have had consorts and viziers to help but ultimate authority of the kingdom was held by me alone." Ereshkigal said taking a seat again as I walked across and stood next to Harmony.

"It is quite similar here to, I am only Lord of the Underworld itself, Thanatos is the actual god of death. Our daughters Melinoe of ghosts and Macaria of the blessed dead…" Hades explained to the Sumerian goddess whilst I became curious.

'Why have I never met her?' I asked Harmony curiously at the mention of another daughter of Hades I had never seen, especially for her to be a goddess.

'Because you never died or visited Elysium probably. She almost never leaves it. Well technically your soul might have in another lifetime, but the Waters of the Lethe would have made sure you forgot.' Harmony responded all the while devouring a drumstick of chicken leaving nothing but picked bone in record time.

'Sounds like she got the only nice job down here.' I responded before quickly seizing a small bunch of grapes and receiving a withering stare in response. I simply grinned at the beautiful goddess before pulling one off and tossing it in my mouth.

'You are lucky I like you Percy, that and keeping you down here would cause anarchy.' Hades voice suddenly told me with amusement. Oh, right the food was still supposed to bind you here.

'He might allow you to eat it, but I won't.' Harmony threatened glaring before I pulled another off and pushed it between her lips. For a few seconds she sat there with the round green fruit poking out before she suddenly sucked it past here teeth and let out a cute giggle.

"… As you can see the issue, we have down here is not so much a matter of manpower, but simply a matter of logistics. There are too many souls now arriving for us to quickly sort out, organise and find a space for." Hades continued as I tuned back into the conversation.

"You appear to focus the most of your efforts on Punishment and Elysium by the sound of it. But what of those that exist in Ass-e-plodel?" Ereshkigal asked completely mangling the word causing more than a few of us present in the room suddenly began laughing. To our rear the sound of metal hitting the floor echoed, as even one of the skeleton guards dropped his rifle all the while several of its compatriots also shifted.

"Asphodel dear, A-sfuh-del." Persephone corrected clearly being the adult in the room. At her correction the other goddess seemed to pause for a few seconds in confusion before blushing red.

"What about those in Asphodel? They have either been not found to have reached either end of the spectrum by the judges or were afraid to have been judged in the first place. As a result, they do not suffer and nor are they rewarded." Hades said seriously stroking his chin whilst glaring at the skeleton who had hurriedly picked up its weapon.

"You may perceive it that way but is that actually the truth? What I mean is that an eternity with nothing to do but stew in your own silence and isolation is not pleasant. Take that from me personally. You may think that you are doing them a perceived form of justice but in truth it is still punishment, only without the physical pain. The souls of the dead do not wish to be isolated in such a way. However due to their own powerlessness they are unable to do much about the status quo. In Irkalla we did not have the same system, all souls that arrived were treated the same regardless of station in life. Like you I simply watched them from afar uninterested even as I plotted my revenge on my own family. Eventually I was able to carry through with that wish and killed and tore apart my own sister out of jealousy. Yet even as I mutilated her corpse, I did not feel happy in my victory, instead I felt hollow and pained myself. She was already dead; my actions were no longer against her but instead simply a pure rage against the system itself that had driven me to these actions which even I was powerless against."

'Holy shit and I thought you and Apollo had issues!' I asked Harmony staring at the klutzy goddess who clearly had her fair share of skeletons in the closet, literally.

"So, when I was asked to return Inanna remains, so that she could be resurrected. I did not object to the request despite what the stories may tell you. Instead, I wept as I tried to wash away the ichor that had stained me to my soul. For almost a decade I did not carry out my duties, the gates of Irkalla were sealed and the souls of the dead roamed the earth restlessly. Irkalla's defences were sturdy enough that even my father Anu would have no way of forcing entry if he had so tried."

"Not strong enough to stop Harmony blowing the roof open though." I laughed before going quiet realising this was not the time and letting her carry on.

"During all this time my melancholy grew stronger as instead of directing my hatred at the other gods above, instead I focused it on myself. Many times, my own ichor stained my floor, as I inflicted wounds on myself. In an effort to satiate some perverse desire for self-flagellation as a means to atone for what I had done. As I said this carried on for years until one day, I was disturbed by the soul of an old crone that had drifted into my home. I was then surprised when the soul of this powerless insignificant woman instead of fleeing in sight of me or begging for forgiveness at its intrusion. Decided to do the one thing I had never expected, she simply embraced me and told me 'Everything will be alright, that even a goddess has the right to be upset. However there comes a time when you need to stand up, dust yourself off and move on.' All I could do was stare at the shade of this old toothless mortal, she had lived a long life of fifty years, by the times standard at least, lost children due to disease, conflict, and childbirth. Endured toil and struggle throughout her whole life and death, yet here she was consoling me, a goddess who had known only relative luxury and power. Astounded by this nameless shade's kindness I offered her a reward, anything she could have wanted, even to return her to life. Instead, all she asked was that I smiled, that doing so would ease the burden of the other departed. And so, from that moment on I did, I opened Irkalla up and began to actually interact with the dead that arrived within my domain. I treated them with respect and so it was returned. Instead of planning revenge on the family that I believed that had cast me down to do this job, I embraced it wholeheartedly in an effort to make that nameless woman proud. Over the centuries the situation above deteriorated and the flow of souls dwindled as the Pantheon collapsed as faith in them dwindled and yet I remained as my own subjects still held faith in me. Eventually the lack of new souls become enough that I journeyed out of the kingdom for the first time in a millennium and found the world changed in my absence. The rest of the Pantheon was gone faded into obscurity as new religions fought over the region. The only survivor Inanna my sister only surviving as a result of her being the focal point of so many stories, for better or for worse. Salvaging what was left of the Pantheons treasures and tools, we retreated back into the Underworld where we have lay until today." Ereshkigal explained emotionally and even I felt almost teary at the conclusion. For a minute the room was silent as we processed her story.

'Holy shit she makes me want to give her a hug.' I told Harmony in awe. As someone who had gone through a self-destructive phase and had hated myself for it. I could sympathise with what Ereshkigal had gone through; the difference was that I had people that wanted to help me. However, at the time I simply tried to shut them out whilst I tried to find a way to actually kill myself. Though as a result of persistent efforts and dogged determinations, the words of Atlas and the others eventually convinced me to give life another opportunity. Now here I was happy again and only looking forward.

She had gone through that on top of the trauma of killing her own sister, for an entire decade all on her own. Whoever that old ghost had been she had done with one simple gesture what many more powerful beings had struggled to do with me.

'You see the truth is often harder to understand than you initially think. Even within myself Diana would crave to receive some attention from others no matter the source, which of course included you. However, Artemis never saw it the same way and didn't see any issues with leaving her on her own watching the chariot, simply because it was convenient for her.'

"With respect to what you are saying Lady Ereshkigal, there are over fifteen billion souls in Erebus, with the population of living mortals now exceeding seven billion to look forward to in the next half-century or so. There is no way we can interact with all of them even if we had a millennium. It is simply a matter of scale." My uncle complained and when I considered the numbers myself it sounded even more daunting.

"I understand your concerns, Irkalla at its peak only had about ten million occupants and that took over a two millennia to get there. I guess with the development of technology they have multiplied exponentially increasing the problem. But there are still ways of interacting with the masses even if not on a personal basis. Singing is a good example." Ereshkigal suggested as my arm slipped and I slid off Harmony's chair and narrowly avoided falling on my ass laughing.

"Did I say something strange?" The goddess asked innocently as Nico and Harmony herself sat chuckling at the thought, meanwhile the Lord of the Underworld was looking impossibly pale.

"You would expect me to sing?" Hades asked slowly as if trying to process that thought.

"Well Uncle you could probably pull of a mean Black Sabbath tribute act, you already look close enough like Ozzie Ozbourne." I shouted standing back up.

"Besides there is a certain someone keeping very quiet that does have a good singing voice, isn't there Persephone. I recall you happily singing to the forests and the flowers every spring." Harmony added to her sister who likewise turned as pale as her husband.

"That is not the same thing!" Persephone shrieked as even her husband looked at her desperately seeking a scapegoat.

"It doesn't have to be you personally; you could just organise something large scale. You have most of the talent of the last few thousand years down here. Use it." Ereshkigal added much to the relief of the younger goddess.

"Nooo don't give her a way out, I was looking forward to that." Harmony whined playfully as her sister glared back at her. Harmony being Harmony simply smiled back smugly before finally finishing the last of the food in front of her.

"Anyway, I think this has been enough of an unexpected distraction, albeit it has been not quite as awful experience as I was expecting. Frankly however the affairs of the Underworld are not my concern, and I am sure you can arrange something between all of you. I however do have other stuff that I would like to be doing today." Harmony announced abruptly rising to her feet and I suddenly had an ominous feeling that I was just referred to as 'stuff'. That belief was further cemented when she looped her arm through mine.

"You know I am unsure whether I prefer your current whimsical nature or your old act of indifference towards anything that didn't directly bother your Hunt." Hades said raising an eyebrow.

"I protested when you kidnapped Persephone." Harmony said smiling.

"Only because and I quote 'Demeter is bloody making the weather wet and miserable, and the animals are all hiding.' Not out of any compassion for me!" Persephone complained though her words fell on deaf ears.

"Yeah well I tried, I was not in the state I am currently, to have done much more for you." Harmony said before turning to the foreign goddess.

"If your sister tries to cause any trouble, remind her that I exist and that I was serious about the whole 'Bull of Heaven'. Other than that, try and have fun and try and ignore the hormonal teenager over there." She said pointing at Nico who suddenly looked like a deer in headlights…again.

"I am taken." Nico shouted nervously.

"Yes, yes you are and as Percy explained to you outside. Do not fuck it up, the only reason you still have a head is because I stopped him last time. There will not be a next time." Harmony told him ominously and even I had to swallow at the pressure she exuded as she did so before suddenly it tapered off as she resumed smiling.

"I guess that means I am leaving as well. Let me know if there any issues you need help with, I suppose I am technically supposed to be involved with the Underworld too."

"Isn't the reason we are all here because you got involved with the affairs of the Underwold?" Nico pointed out and I realised that indirectly this was all my fault via Perseus.

"Get gone already." Hades boomed albeit there was little hostility in his tone. He just wanted us gone before we caused him any more headaches.

Not needing anything further I suddenly found myself taken out of the black Throne Room and back amongst more familiar silver surroundings.

I didn't even have to turn to know the beautiful goddess was back in her birthday suit.

"Hi there, I am stuff." I said jokingly whilst turning towards her before I suddenly found myself pushed back onto the bed and mounted.


"So that was how we met the Sumerian goddesses Ereshkigal and Inanna and introduced them to 'our' Underworld. We then spent the rest of day and yesterday back here, until I decided that I might as well bring you all up to speed with what had happened. I was anticipating this only taking a day or two the last I saw you. As you heard things got and have remained a little crazy around here." I explained to the stunned group of Hunters in front of me. During the telling I had since taken a seat on Percy's lap much to his discomfort.

"Milady that is insane." Atlanta exclaimed once I had finished.

"Was I ever really sane to begin with?" I pointed out taking the hit for that one.

"Let's go with emotionally challenged bordering on sociopathic." Zoe said laughing as I found myself unable to disagree with her assessment.

"But it must have got boring being stuck here for days with nothing to do." Jacqueline asked innocently, the younger girl seemingly oblivious to the real implications of what Percy and I had been doing.

"Oh, it wasn't too bad we found ways of making the time go by quite quickly. Things like cuddling and sleeping." Percy said and I had to pause for a second, technically cuddling was involved. In between a lot of sex of course. The actual lie in his statement was the sleeping part, I had made sure to give him no rest over the last few days.

Now the two youngest Hunters might have taken those words as gospel, but it was clear the older ones were looking back at us incredulously. Though of course I had not explained the true details of what we had got up to in their absence. The fact that we had told them my current situation was as a result of having sex in the first place must have made it really obvious.

"So, what is the plan going forward, are you still isolated to the palace like Father requested? Does that mean we are also stuck here as well, or do we have to go back to New Rome?" Thalia asked seriously.

"I am supposed to stay here but after having a chat with Athena this morning we came up with a compromise. I am allowed to go somewhere with no Mortals around and must try to avoid causing any more incidents. Fortunately, I know the perfect place seeing as my birth made it lose all real life."

"Milady you don't mean Delos of all places?" Zoe asked stunned understanding immediately where I was implying.

"Pack your bags because I am going home." I said rising to my feet enthusiastically.

"We already packed them to come here." Tania pointed out deflating my optimism.

'Percy next time we are doing it in her tent.' I told him half-jokingly causing him to sigh behind me.

"Besides there is no point in leaving just yet as it currently one in the morning over there." Percy pointed out and I realised he had a point. Though it was only late afternoon / early evening here at Olympus I had failed to account for the time zone difference.

"Does that mean we can look around here for a while?" Erika asked curiously. With six more hours until sunrise over there we had plenty of time to kill before we could leave. Besides it was not as if there was anything incriminating that they were liable to find, so long as they stayed out of my personal chambers.

"Sure, forgive me if you find the place a little boring, I never really bothered to decorate it. Actually, you know what, you can each pick a room and do what you want with it. We may start coming here more often from now on." I told them on a whim, however no sooner had I uttered the words than the younger girls were already halfway out of the room.

"Oh dear gods, what have I just done?" I lamented to the amusement of those that had shown a little restraint.

"Hey that was your call there. Now then let's say meet back here in eight hours." Percy added with a chuckle.

"Go do whatever you want just don't leave the palace. Terrorising the camps is one thing, doing the same to Olympus will earn me paperwork." I said shooing them off as I leant back against Percy's chest watching as they all began to file out of the room. The only remaining one being Thalia who gestured for Reyna to go with the others despite the other girl's willingness to remain.

Eventually though once they had all gone, Thalia shut the door behind them and walked back across to the pair of us.

"Lady Harmony." She said simply and even more strangely, politely for once. That was more than enough to actually get my curiosity to rise with whatever she wanted.

"Is there something you would like to ask?" I questioned leaning forward towards her, as I did so it was fun to watch the colour rush to her face as she began to blush and look visibly nervous. Now I knew that she was a lesbian but was I really having that effect on my lieutenant and sister as well?

"I would like to have a request, if possible, but I don't want to ask it in front of Percy." She said suddenly focusing on the floor rather than me.

'It's fine, as curious and amusing as this is I have got to go get Nemea anyway.' He told me patting me on the thighs to make me stand up.

"While you are there go and check on Pride, he hasn't left New Rome in a few days and that makes me curious." I told him as I rose to my feet allowing him to do the same. With a quick kiss on the cheek, he flashed out of the room leaving me alone with my younger sister. Slouching back into the chair I noticed that his absence did little to calm her down.

"So, then Thalia what can I do for you? Because if the answer is share Percy the answer is no." I joked causing the girl to blush even harder.

"Lady Harmony do you remember how old I am?" She asked cryptically, jokes on her though with my newfound ability to use Percy's powers I knew the exact answer.

"Mentally twenty-four years, eleven months, fourteen days, six hours and 7 minutes. Physically fifteen years, three hundred and sixty-four days and nineteen hours exactly." I answered with extreme precision feeling proud of myself.

"The second one is the problematic one. Since I started dating Reyna, I have become more conscientious about it. As nice as being Immortal is, I never really had a choice about when I became it. I was basically told that if I hit sixteen years old then there was a good chance, I could end the world. Obviously given that choice or joining the Hunters I was left with little option and for that I thank you. For the longest time that fact never really bothered me, most of the other Hunters and even you as Artemis appeared younger than me. But now…" She explained honestly before I held up my hand cutting her off.

"You feel like your appearance would make Reyna look strange if your relationship ever came to light. I went through the same situation with Percy before I as Artemis realised that I was hindering myself compared to Diana who already appeared of a similar age to Percy." I summarised and explained my own story behind my permanent change of appearance. Of course, Percy being a full immortal was actually still aging because he chose to for the time being, I was quite happy to stay as I was. However, if he chose to age into his thirties then I may choose to reconsider my form again but that was a way off anyway.

Those who were gifted immortality, like my Hunters were still beings of flesh and blood not divine Ichor were physically frozen in time to prevent aging. Lest the eventual onset of Hyperplasia and cancer in the cells over long periods of time cause harm to them in the long run.

"Exactly, now not only do you look older than me, but so do the twins, Zoe and Reyna. Even my own younger brother looks older than me now. It was always obvious that I was a late bloomer so to speak but it is really starting to bother me now in ways that it never did before." She said bitterly her knuckles whitening as she clenched her fists.

"Because you now have womanly desire but still have the body of a girl." I surmised.

"I have the body of an androgynous boy! If all I wore were men's boxers, you would not even be able to tell I was a girl from even a close distance. Nothing about me is feminine in the slightest." She exclaimed bitterly as I subconsciously looked down at my own now considerable cleavage before looking back at her. Sure enough, she was right she could quite easily pass as male.

"So, what you are saying is that you wish that you could grow older again?"

"No, I want you to make me older." She replied bluntly causing me to frown.

"Thalia as unreasonable as that is, we don't even know if that will work. It could cause you severe damage to age up your body without affecting your mind." I told her sitting up properly in the chair. Sure, it was physically capable of aging anything both biological and material up to complete disintegration, Perseus had shown that morbidly with the former Praetors leg a few weeks ago but doing it safely on a still living being was another thing entirely.

"With respect that is my decision to make, if you are capable of anything even near what I think that you can do. Then undoing it should be no harder than doing it in the first place. You have already told us you are capable of stopping and rewinding time on other true immortal divines, doing this should be child's play." She demanded emotionally and I began to realise that the girl was a lot more fragile than she liked to appear.

Sure enough, I had always known that Thalia was not mentally stable, her sadistic side was more than a clear representation of that fact. She had only been immediately made my Lieutenant at my fathers' behest, as a child of big three she clearly had the capacity to lead others providing there was no other that was willing to challenge her authority. Such was her issue at Camp causing friction with Percy as both tried to do as they normally would want to do causing conflicts of interest between the pair. Once they were separated and given individual commands as in the Battle of New York both excelled as individual fighters and as leaders.

Emotionally though she had never truly matured from the damage to her that had been done in her childhood. Been left in the care of an alcoholic mother who was forever chasing fame in the hope of ensnaring her divine lover's affection again. Having a younger sibling as her only source of light torn away as a peace offering to a jealous stepmother. Running away and living rough only to eventually be killed protecting the only friends she had ever had. Both of which had now since died under tragic circumstances and that was not even mentioning the emotional damage of surviving Octavian's attack.

In terms of capability, I had never been able to fault Thalia as my lieutenant. She was very effective in that role, even when she had stood down, she still continued to carry out the duties almost without diminishment. However, it was always her attitude and lack of formality compared to her predecessor that caused friction between us. Compared to her Zoe was completely the opposite in almost every way. She didn't question orders; she was respectful whenever she spoke to me or even anyone else in positions of authority with the exception of certain male gods. As a simple nymph she had none of the extra powers that Thalia was born with and instead relied on simple instinct, experience, and millennia's worth of practise. She led the other hunters so effectively because they had known each other for centuries or more and she understood their individual defects better than even I did.

But those times were gone now, only two hunters remained out of that group and she had respectfully stood aside upon her return. This was no longer her Hunt, any more than I was still the same goddess she had served throughout these long years. Now that I had been awakened from my 'mental slumber' I was able to respect that decision. Though the girl herself was back, she was not the same wandering exiled Hesperide that I had found wandering the wilderness. Now she was a true demi-titan child of Atlas and that brought a whole host of different strengths for her to learn.

However, I think that Thalia secretly wanted Zoe to retake the diadem to spare herself the burden of leading the others. It was only once it was made clear that she would not do so and the results of her own actions affecting the group that she once again took up the circlet that adorned her head.

As for her relationship, as I had told her I was not one to judge her any longer. So long as it did not cause chaos in the Hunt or affect her judgement, she was free to carry on however she pleased. Which if the last few days had taught me anything she was quite happily doing, but I also privately knew that this was increasingly going only one way between her and the daughter of Bellona. Over the last few days, I had sensed very little from her infringing on the system but a lot from the Roman.

Whilst she was quite happy to show affection and sexual actions towards the other girl, it appeared that she did not like receiving it in return. Upon listening to her request, I know understood why this was.

She was ashamed of her own body.

"Hypothetically, If I choose to do carry out your request this one time. How old would you like to go to?" I asked curiously having already made my decision.

"Eighteen." She said simply as if already expecting that question.

"Care to explain your reasoning behind that beyond the obvious."

"That way though I may appear older than a lot of the Hunters it is not unbelievable for me to be seen with them. If I was to remain younger and be seen by others such as mortals. They may question why a younger girl was ordering around her elders. With the twins around as ditzy as they can be it would cause some problems that could be questioned." She justified somewhat rationally albeit it was forgetting the existence of the Mist to justify it completely.

After all, how many times had others mistaken the other hunters for me until formally introduced.

"What will you do though if you could still double as an ironing board?" I said playfully causing her lip to quibble as she considered that fact in horror.

"Then so be it, I will know I tried... Though please don't ever call me that again if it is true." She pleaded.

"No promises. Now I want you to lie on the ground and either remove or loosen off all your clothing as much as possible." I told her standing up as she suddenly began to blush again.

"Why have I got to take my clothes off? What has that got to do with anything?" She asked frantically.

"Because once I start doing this, I am not going to be able to see how your body reacts to the effects of the time manipulation. Days and weeks will pass by in seconds on your body. If you were to gain mass and your clothing became tight it could cut of the blood supply to parts of your body and risk, you losing a limb or even killing you before I have a chance to correct it. It takes up seven minutes for someone to die of brain deprivation, at that speed you would be dead in a fraction of a second. I have power over many things' death is not one of them. Do you really want your tombstone to say died trying to grow a pair of tits?" I asked her playfully after explaining my rationale causing her to start coughing as she blushed almost crimson.

"It's not like that." She defended weakly before beginning to do as I instructed and quickly removing her shoes, skirt and top. Sure enough, when she was just in her underwear apart from a athletically toned stomach there was very little definition in the rest of her body.

"Underwear too, that would be the biggest problem." I instructed before summoning and tossing a plain white sheet at her for her to cover herself with if she was that self-conscious. I would have pointed out that she need not be worried about me seeing her naked considering I was her sister, but recent events had shown that deep down. I too was not unwilling to engage in sexual intercourse with the same sex, even when the other party was also myself.

Taking the sheet, she did as I instructed and lay on the floor with it upon her, before slowly removing the last few undergarments and pushing them aside. The sad little A-cup bra was almost criminally pointless in its job of providing support.

"You know you could have given me another sheet to lay down on, this marble floor is freezing." Thalia complained.

"I could have but where is the fun in that? Right then do not panic when I say this. Thalia Grace you are now no longer a member of my Hunt." I told her causing her to suddenly pale and start shivering.

"You know why I had to do that right? How does mortality feel?" I asked curiously.

"Fucking awful." She cursed.

"Right now, I will just need you to lay there for two years and then everything will be done." I said playfully turning around and taking a step away from her but not before freezing her limbs in place.

"That's not funny. This is serious." Thalia complained flailing her head and torso as much as possible.

"Relax I was only joking." I said smiling whilst turning back around and walking towards her. Picking up her discarded parka I folded it up and placed it under her head. Finally taking one sleeve I drooped the fabric over her eyes.

"Last chance to back out." I warned her watching as her chest stopped rising for a long few seconds.

"Do it." She finally said simply before her whole body was frozen in time as I overwrote the natural laws of time.

Slowly I began to advance the passage of time on the young girl's body before stopping almost immediately.

"Are you still alive?" I called out curiously, watching with amusement as Thalia's hands immediately shot up to her chest.

"Noooo." She complained causing me to smile.

"Relax that was just a test to make sure this was not going to kill you." I told her reassuringly.

"How long did you do?" She asked curiously slowly lowering her hands back down to her sides.

"About nine minutes, just long enough to make sure you hadn't turned into a vegetable." I said playfully causing her to sigh.

"Well hopefully the next time I regain conscious I will still be the same." Thalia said her mouth cracking a smile before I once again took over.

'In for a penny…' I thought to myself as I proceeded onwards going much faster and further this time. For a short period of time or about three months, I was actually afraid she had actually died, her skin had paled to an almost white complexion causing me to pause the process in panic before I sensed that she was still living. The change in skin tone being as a result of lack of sunlight during the accelerated process indoors. Not sensing anything further I carried on albeit pausing every so often to make sure she was still showing signs of life.

Still, it became abundantly clear that even despite the sheet covering her modesty, she had gotten her wish once she had passed the seventeen years point.

Slowly I closed in on the final destination point before playfully making a 'ding' noise in my own head like I was a microwave that had finished.

Still keeping her frozen in time, I once again took my seat before relinquishing control over her complete consciousness but once again freezing her limbs in place.

"Thalia, can you hear me?" I asked with concern watching as her chest slowly began to move in rhythm up and down.

Ever so slowly the girls mouth began to open before an incomprehensible noise came out as she tried to say something.

'Thalia are you alright, just think what you want to say.' I told her mentally connecting my consciousness with hers.

'My mouth is so dry; I need a drink.' She complained weakly as I stood up from my chair and walked over to her summoning a glass as I did so. Sitting down behind her head I lifted her up a little before placing the beverage at her lips allowing a small amount of the fluid to sate her parched throat.

Over the next few minutes, I sat there slowly allowing her more of the hydrating fluid as she lay against me. The sheet had long tried to hold itself in place with friction but eventually gravity won out and even I had to admit that late onset puberty had hit the girl like a truck.

Now with Zeus as her father and going by the rest of his children (myself included and with the possible exception of Hephaestus) she was never going to appear ugly if allowed to mature properly. But it was easy to forget that her mother too was a model and an actress that had managed to ensnare said god twice. Sure, she was a complete basket case but who in Hollywood wasn't.

'Did it work?' She asked through our still linked minds.

"Why don't you look down?" I suggested playfully as her head slowly dipped downwards. After a few seconds I suddenly found her coughing and wheezing repeatedly as she processed what she was now seeing.

"You are going to need a new wardrobe. That pathetic excuse for a bra is not going to do much with them." I said laughing as I relinquished the final restraints on her body. To no surprise her hands immediately shot up to her chest as she began to caress and examine the new growths.

"Thank you." She said sincerely as tears began to form in her eyes.

"You may be my pain in the ass Lieutenant, who causes me untold amounts of stress and can pick a fight in an empty room. But you are still my little sister." I told her laughing as I wrapped my arms around her neck and hugged her close.

"We will have to give it a few days before you can re-join the Hunt though, otherwise you would be in this weakened state forever. Once you have got your strength back it should be alright." I explained having already considered that repercussion whilst I was doing the process in the first place.

"Oh ok." She said nodding before slowly lifting the sheet up before hurriedly pulling it down again and blushing. The redness contrasted even stronger with her current pale form.

"Your hair up here is longer as well." I said poking her scalp understanding what she was embarrassed about. Two years of growth was not just going to give her bigger tits. The short spiky hair on her head was now gone and replace by long black strands that fell past her shoulders. Still nowhere near as long as mine but she would look good if she continued to let it grow further.

"Right then, are you going to be ok if I leave you alone for a bit?" I asked her whilst summoning a plate of Ambrosia and a glass of Nectar in front of her. The girl or rather young woman ravenously grabbing a lump of the divine food and stuffing it into her mouth. Remembering my question as she chewed, she nodded her head in affirmation.

"Good because I have got to go find out what hell I have just unleashed on my own palace." I told her patting her on the shoulder before rising to my feet.

"Muuhlady… if you see Reyna…" She said before swallowing the mouthful of food and speaking like a normal person and not a savage.

"I will send her your way, but just so you know. The only person who gets to have sex on my palace floor is me. You may not be a Hunter currently, but she still is. I will know." I told her narrowing my eyes as she frowned before nodding in agreement.

"I will get you some new clothes as well. I may actually have to get some new ones made for you." I said considering if even my own clothes would fit her. I was still significantly taller than her by almost six inches but in terms of bust it would be too close to call without actually measuring.

"What are you going to tell the others?"

"Hell, if I know that is your problem, I am just the means to an end apparently. Though it is a shame Percy wasn't here to watch." I said with amusement walking away as the pale girl turned crimson.


Looking up from the book I was reading, I looked across the moon chariot at the black-haired woman who looked identical to my daughter. Well except for the ichor-stained clothes and angry expression. Artemis or rather Harmony had no need to get angry about anything, if she did the problem was already dead or suffering.

"What the actual fuck is going on with your daughter!" Lilith demanded.

"You mean the mystery Primordial goddess that she has become that does as she pleases. What has she done now?" I asked taking a deep sigh of resignation.

"I don't know, how about the fact that I actually managed to find some of the Sumerian goddesses in their discount bin version of the Underworld and before I get a chance to ask them anything she turns up and turns half of it to glass... What do you mean Primordial?" She shouted angrily before seemingly realising what I had just said.

"You know the super powerful, protogenoi that were the first to exist. Have silver ichor, you have met a few of them. Even killed one or two of them." Leto remarked uncharacteristically sarcastic.

"Three actually. But how is that possible, she was just a goddess. An Olympian but still just a goddess even with her Titan heritage from you that still makes no sense." The confused girl questioned slumping again the side of the chariot pulling her knees up to her chin.

"What on earth could she be Primordial of then." She asked getting to the real question I had been pondering for the last few days.

"She claims not to know, and I think I believe her for the time being. However, if we go by just her name then it leads me to having a bad feeling. Who else amongst that group has a name of a similar nature? One that could be seen as almost a direct antithesis of hers, Harmony and …"

"You mean Chaos? Do we even have any proof that they exist, I thought they were just a story to explain where Gaia came from." Lilith questioned sceptically.

"Unfortunately, only two or three people can claim to have ever met the actual person. The first you cut their heart open back at Mount Olympus. The second is the Lord of the Pit who doesn't take questions very well and the third is a being that no one messes with. Not that you could, if you arrive to challenge her then she has made it come to pass and you will not live much longer."

"You mean Gaia, Tartarus and Ananke. No one else?"

"You can travel to the very depths of Tartarus and eventually you will arrive at the Sea of Chaos itself. But you are unlikely to find anything of value or anyone that will give you answers. The only thing that enters that zone willingly is the six rivers of the Underworld who flow into the maelstrom below."

"Great so she is quite possibly the counterpart of the most powerful being in existence, who no-one even knows the full capabilities of. Ergo we have no idea what she is capable of." Lilith said sarcastically.

"So, what happened with the Sumerians? You look like you were attacked?" I asked curiously pointing to the Ichor-stained clothing covering her legs.

"Oh, they had this giant sentient chain that decided that restraining me was a great idea. Unfortunately for them it must have sent an emergency alarm straight to your daughter who made herself a new entrance from the surface. Percy ended up cutting it to pieces when it decided to go all grabby feely on Harmony instead. Next thing I know is she is getting all friendly with one half of the goddess and has suddenly kidnapped her leaving me all alone, with no powers, a mangled leg, three miles underground. It has just taken me two days to crawl my way out of there." She said bitterly.

"So where did she take them?"

"Judging by the way she was talking about their Underworld and ours I think she took them to go see Hades." She guessed as I had to sigh at my daughter's newfound impulsiveness. I had looked forward to her finally coming out of her shell, but this was becoming hard to believe. Kidnapping another deity out of her own domain, that just did not happen back in the day. Well except maybe Persephone of course.

"Would you like a sandwich dear, let's go over everything that we know and see if we can understand any of it. By the way your other two counterparts are gone now as well." I told her making her eyes go wide for a short period of time before she simply nodded. With only her and Pride remaining and it quite clear that he was the dominant fragment it meant that she too would have to go before the Titan Lord aspect was whole once again.

"It is what it is, however whilst I still have this form, I will live my life how I want to live." She said bitterly before taking the food in front of her.


"So, what he has been like this for days now?" I asked the demi-gorgon as I poked my unconscious counterpart in the forehead with my index finger. Despite my prodding he remained completely oblivious to my actions.

"Yeah, we were talking to Leo when Artemis turned up, for some reason this made me, and Leo collapse immediately. He fared a little better and spoke to her before he knew took a dirt nap. She disappeared and we woke up. Then we started talking again before he just hit the floor. He hasn't reacted to anything since. I mean he passed out before when we had a duel back at Camp Half-Blood but that was because the lazy one of him disappeared right." Chrysaor explained leaning against the far wall standing at the furthest point away from the lioness, who was looking at him like she wasn't sure if the monster was fair game or not.

"Envy and Greed are gone as well now which is probably the reason behind why he collapsed when he did. Harmony told me that she had dealt with them around that time. But why it is taking so long for him to wake up I have no idea." I conceded before flicking him on the nose for no real reason other than to amuse myself.

"Well either way now that you are here, he is your problem. Because carrying around his heavy ass is a pain in mine. I am already getting grief from Chiron about not teaching classes because Athena is riding his ass about sloppy standards." My older half-brother complained, and I remembered that for the time being he too now fell under the goddess of wisdoms umbrella of camp management.

"What am I supposed to do with him?"

"Hades if I know, he is your other half that makes him your issue. Not mine. Though when he wakes up remind him that he still owes me a ship and send him back my way."

"Wait… what." I asked confused not aware of this arrangement.

"He knows." Chrysaor said before leaving the room keeping as close to the wall away from Nemea on his way out the door.

"Why do I get the feeling I am going to regret whatever you and he are planning?" I asked my other self rhetorically before rubbing my eyes in resignation.

'It was only a boat how bad could it be?' I thought to myself before grabbing a limp hand and the back of the Lioness's head and getting out of New Rome. Hopefully for the last time in a long time.

"Whhhhhaaaaat!" I exclaimed in shock as I stared at the auburn goddess who was laying on her back on the bed. Holding a suddenly miniaturised Nemea up above her so that her hindquarters hung down limply making her appear really long as she did so. She had just got done explaining what had happened with Thalia in my absence.

"Oh, relax there was only a fairly high chance it could have got really wrong. I took precautions, the side affects should only last a few days… I think." She said nonchalantly lowering the cub to her chest where Nemea suddenly seamed quite content to lay nestled between her cleavage.

If this was another time, I would have been telling my pet to get out of my spot.

"You are lucky she didn't somehow starve to death!" I told her in annoyance. The fact that she did not even consult me on the issue was what really pissed me off. I had my powers over time for over eighteen months and had taken things slowly learning what was possible with them.

Harmony had acquired my powers less than a week ago and was taking extreme risks just because she thought. 'Yeah, that sounds doable.' Thankfully she had the common sense to actually think of some of the repercussions of what she was going to do before she just did it.

Thalia was just as bad, I understood what her issue was, I really did. Afterall, I had gone through the reverse situation with Artemis originally, albeit this was long before anything sexual was going on between us. But the fact that she too had waited for an opportunity when I was away to do it was what really aggravated me. She could have quite literally just had her immortality revoked and waited like a normal person but instead the pair of them had just sprinted for the finish line.

One slight stumble and one of the people closest to me would have been dead, by something as foolish and asinine as playing with powers they did not understand.

"I am sorry if you are mad at me. It was reckless." She said sincerely sitting up and dislodging the cub from it comfortable new home causing it to mewl in annoyance.

"I am not mad, I am just… disappointed. Ahhh you are making me quote my own mother. Harmony I get it you enjoy being able to use all of these exciting new powers you have found yourself with. But you have got to respect what they are capable of, not just go all gung-ho and hope that the result is what you wanted. There is a big difference in stopping time or going back in time. Doing both of those things is safe. Whatever you are doing it on is always alive in both scenarios. Going forward is another matter entirely, what would have happened if it turns out Thalia had some form of serious illness and you just progressed it forward two years and untreated it just killed her in that time?" I told her sternly running my hands through my hair in frustration.

"Look, do not look down at the concept of mortality. If a god or Titan does something stupid and gets themselves killed, they get a quick trip to the pit and then go about getting themselves out. It makes them all overconfident, when what should be such a key part of life can be treated like a slap on the wrist. I am as guilty of that now as the rest of this Pantheon, getting a hand cut off was an inconvenience for a day or two, however it was not always like that for me. An injury like that two years ago and I would have been maimed for life, providing I even survived the loss of blood and shock." I lectured in annoyance even as I looked at the now completely healed limb, nothing but a slight tan line indicating what was new.

"However, I survived through sheer dumb luck and overconfident enemies, my friends were not always so lucky. As it now stands, I will outlive ninety-nine percent of the people I have ever met including my own mother and little sister but that is true nature of mortality and how the world goes on moving forward. If no one ever died then this world would turn stagnant, as people would lose drive to improve it. As morbid as it is death is a factor of life, so please stop looking down on it before you make a mistake you cannot fix by simply rewinding a clock." I told her before turning away from her and taking a deep breath trying to calm my emotions. It was only when I felt the smooth sensation of a small feline rubbing up against my leg that I felt the weight on my chest be relieved slightly. The innocent looking cub making me instinctively smile as I bent down and stroked her golden head.

After a few seconds I felt a pair of arms wrap around my midriff as the goddess embraced me silently.

"Listen I don't mean to be preachy; you have lost plenty of Hunters over the years, I know that, but I will do everything within my power to make sure that never happens again. No matter how much I may dislike some of them personally, I will go to the ends of the world for you as well as them. So, the fact that Thalia could have died whilst I was not around to do anything about it really frustrates me. I was powerless to save Annabeth, I don't want to go through that again. All I am asking for is a little respect and restraint when you make decisions like that without me."

"Ok. I may have let my excitement get the better of my judgement." Harmony whispered solemnly holding me tightly.

"Listen I have spent my entire life doing dumb and questionable things, but if I am going to end up being the adult in the room with our kids then we have seriously fucked up." I said chuckling trying to lighten the mood.

"With us as their parents what could they possibly worry about?" Harmony laughed as she suddenly turned me around before reaching up and pulling me into a surprisingly subdued kiss.

'Walking inside our room probably being the biggest threat.' I told her mentally even as I ran my hands through the hair on the back of her head.

'I can show restraint, you have still got your clothes on, haven't you? Maybe I too would just like to cuddle on the bed for a few hours.'

'Bullshit you just don't want the Hunt to hear you scream in ecstasy.' I retorted running a hand down her spine to her backside and giving it a quick squeeze causing her to let out a gasp.

'You will regret those words. Besides with that deadweight on the floor over there it doesn't seem right.' She said pulling back and looking at the unconscious form of Pride dumped on the floor where I had left him when I got back.

"We had sex with your parents in the room and you are worried about him?" I questioned raising an eyebrow at how screwed up that situation was.

"Well, when you put it like that, it does seem a little weird. Besides I have learned recently that a hug can do a lot more than you think." She said making me think back to what Ereshkigal had said, divines may be perceived as all powerful but deep down they too sometimes needed the smallest of gestures to put them back on the right track.

AN. Well here we are another chapter down or what was actually originally perceived as three shorter chapters that got thrown in together. The matter of Ereshkigal (and Ishtar) will be revisited at a later date, She and the leaders of the Underworld can hatch out the details on her own time. Harmony has needs and hanging around the dead was not fulfilling them. Thalia's transformation was long planned and even teased a few chapters back. It was just a matter of finding the correct time, opportunity, and person willing to do it.

As you saw Percy would never have done it because of the risks, Harmony however can however force the system to do as she pleases. Despite all the precautions she took, Thalia should have died of starvation or dehydration within a week or two. It is only because Harmony can quite literally say screw the rules and her own destiny that she survived.

For those who like a picture example of what she now looks like. Think shorter hair Akeno from Highschool DXD. (Seasons 1-3, she looked weird in Hero) Which is strangely fitting seeing as both of them could be called Priestess of Thunder. Which means that she does actually pip even Harmony in the bust measurement B102-W60-H89 cm although she is considerably shorter than the goddess (B99-W58-H90 cm]) at 5ft 5inches compared to that the six-foot goddess. She doesn't care about that bit though; she has got boobs.

Also, with this Harmony and by extension Artemis and Diana have finally realised that they are all in this together. Percy may come off across as outlandish and crazy in his plans and actions. But when he warns you of something he genuinely means it. There is a reason he has managed to accomplish everything he has done everything he has. By thinking outside the box, he is able to break down all of the aspersions that others have about the 'status quo' and come up with new solutions.

Anyway, the move is still ongoing due to legal bullshit so hopefully both that and the next chapter will happen in September (yay I am 30 on the 7th) hopefully this will be long done by the time I am 40.

So next chapter will be the introduction of the new Lamia Hunter. So final call for names before I start to write it. Once that is done, then we are almost up to date with the end of a Dragon's journey.

Speaking of which FGO did Morgan Le Fay and holy shit that was brutal to read about. Fucking amazing character to use though, in a broken as fuck sense. Which considering Morganna in this book was already going in that direction with swordplay is fun. Loli-celot will also be inspiring someone else way down the line past even the conclusion of SHOI.

If you have any requests or Questions don't hesitate to ask, the people who do, can attest I will answer any requests that you want to know.