Two Wrongs Equals A Right
Author: Amethyst Raindrops 16
Disclaimer: Rick Riordan own Percy Jackson and the Olympians.
Honestly, I really should start being suspicious of anything that feels even slightly normal.
Its okay, you can laugh, but I'm being serious here (for once). It would probably just be easier in the long run, you know, if I just started acting like an old codger who thinks every Tom, Dick and Harry is out to get him.
Well, actually, I did have this kid named Tom try to kill me once during the Titan War… heavy emphasis on the word 'try'. There weren't any guys named Dick or Harry with him, though; only these really creepy twin girls, whose names were Teresa and Tammy. Maybe every Tom, Teresa, and Tammy is out to get me… no that doesn't sound as cool as Tom, Dick, and Harry…
This morning was so normal. Like that kind of normal that makes you wonder what you are even doing with your life normal. Maybe I should be a little more skeptical, but hey. When your life is filled with danger, action, and death threats, you will welcome normalcy too.
I grudgingly pulled myself out of bed after waking up with a (very manly) scream from the usual nightmares. Nightmares about the Titan War, nightmares about Tartarus, nightmares about the war with Gaea, nightmares about the deaths of my friends… the list goes on and on. Annabeth would say that I should get help – or at least talk to someone – but considering her dreams are filled with the same gruesome images, she can't really talk. This time, it was the Tartarus nightmare.
'Right on schedule,' I thought sarcastically. 'Thursday morning, check. Wake up from nightmare, check. Today is shaping up to be a pretty normal day.'
I know what you're thinking. You're all like, "Percy, honey. You just woke up and barely two things have happened. You can't already be categorizing today as normal!" But stranger things have happened in the morning so I figure that if nothing has happened to me directly after I wake up, then I'm off to a pretty good start.
I went to my bathroom (it was times like this that I was thankful that Poseidon didn't have any other children who I would have to share my cabin with) and took a shower. Honestly, the whole shower action was completely pointless considering I was just going to go outside and train in the balmy 90 degree weather we've been having lately. The only purpose of the shower was one, to remove the tearstains that had no doubt accumulated after a full night of reliving my own personal hell, and two, to kill time. Yep, the great Percy Jackson, slayer of monsters, destroyer of Titans, and bane of Giants, was procrastinating.
I didn't want to go outside and have to put on my "hero" mask again. Don't get me wrong; I'm not like depressed or so damaged by the war(s) that I can't function in every day life anymore, I'm still me. But seriously, I swear by all the gods, that if one more little first year camper stares at me with wonder filled, hero worshipping eyes that practically sparkle with adoring admiration, or (even worse and more embarrassingly) try to bow to me, I am going to go insane. Well, more insane then. I guess you can't go somewhere if you're already there.
Only when I was sure that Dad was going to call me up and tell me that there was no more water left in the ocean did I finally step out of my shower sanctuary. Only bothering with a towel because some people (cough, cough, Connor and Travis Stoll) have an annoying habit of stealing my clothes, I exited the bathroom and attempted to find something clean to wear.
That proved to be a harder task than I thought.
I'm no Drew, thank the gods, but I would prefer to not look like I just rolled out of Tartarus. Been there, done that, got the scars, and decided that the whole "I-just-got-tortured-and-fought-every-known-monste r-in-literal-hell-and-haven't-showered-in-weeks" look wasn't for me.
I started neatly searching through the color-coordinated piles of freshly washed clothes for something suitable to wear. In case you don't speak fluent Percy, that basically means that I grabbed the first shirt off the floor of my cabin that didn't have A) some huge blood stain covering most of the fabric, B) a rip/hole/tear from some weapon (thanks, Clarisse), or C) a stench like Smelly Gabe on a good day.
Eventually throwing on a black wife beater and some faded cut-off jeans when my ADHD brain decided that it was done focusing on my rather pathetic wardrobe, I wasted about 3½ more minutes making my cabin neat (and I use a very loose definition of the term "neat"). When the sheets were straight enough and the clothes crumpled on the floor were sufficiently hidden under my bed, I pulled on a pair of black converse, double-checked to make sure Riptide was in my pocket (it was) and left my cabin.
Squinting against the shock of the sun's glaring light compared to the more muted light in my cabin that my eyes were used to, I jogged slightly as I recognized Annabeth two cabins away. She looked like a goddess with her golden curls catching the sun light and her tanned skin almost glowing by the way she sat half shielded by the shadow of the Athena Cabin. She looked so beautiful, so flawless, like she had no cares in the world and had never had to bear the brute of torture or pain or…
"Annabeth!" I screamed, my voice hoarse and raw.
My bloodshot eyes watched in agonized panic as Annabeth, the girl that I loved, was dragged away by… something. My eyes met hers and in that moment, any hope of escape, any hope of rescue, any hope of life faded away. In that instant, when I saw her pain and agony, I felt true hopelessness.
She looked dead.
Her blonde curls had turned brown with dirt and blood and hung in matted knots. Her skin had lost its sun-kissed tan the way I knew mine had and the parts that weren't covered in bruises or blood had a sickly translucent color. Nico would be considered tan in comparison at this point. She was covered with wounds and bruises, but the worse part was her eyes. They were dead and pained and resigned.
"Percy, no!" she mouthed.
She was always the smart one, trying to avoid the monster's wrath that only worsened when we fought against them. I wanted the pain to stop, I didn't want to make our captors angrier, but Annabeth came before any personal pain of mine.
I struggled against the heavy chains that held me to my prison and bit down on my dry, cracked lips as the metal dug into the inflamed skin on my wrists and ankles. I felt a piercing, shredding pain and I howled in agony. A dark chuckle sounded behind me, sending waves of terror down my spine. I coughed harshly and winced as the metallic taste of blood that had become all too familiar in recent days filled my mouth.
"Don't worry, little hero. My friends will take good care of your girlfriend." My captor spoke with a tone of dark glee and let out another maniacal chuckle.
"Just you and me now, Percy, and you haven't truly seen pain yet..."
I blinked furiously, both disoriented and confused, as my tear-filled eyes opened fully to see a cloudless blue sky. I shakily sat up once I realized that I was lying on my back and whipped my head in a panic. How did I end up on the ground? How did I end up at camp when only seconds ago I was being tortured in Tartarus?
And more importantly…where was Annabeth? Is she in pain? Is she being tortured? Is she… alive?
I lurched to my feet as my thoughts traveled at lightning speed down dark and twisty roads I had no desire to visit ever again. As my eyes found Annabeth sitting a little ways off on the steps of the Athena Cabin scribbling furiously away in a notebook probably filled with architect-y plans, the reasonable side of my brain (the one Annabeth claims is nonexistent) burst through the terrified haze I'd been stuck in.
It was a flashback.
It wasn't real… now, anyways.
The very same internal clock that I'd been cursing earlier that morning was the one I was thanking profusely now. Thank Poseidon's mighty trident that no other campers were up at 6:30 in the morning. Annabeth hadn't seen me have my… episode, which is another plus. It would only cause her to worry more about me, which is something that she already does enough of, thank you very much.
'Wow,' I thought with dark humor. 'The Fates must really like me today. Two lucky things happened in less than two seconds. That must be a record. Somebody mark it on the calendar!'
Mentally laughing at my own poor attempt at humor, I smiled and jogged over to Annabeth. She must have heard my footfalls because she was instantly on her feet with her hand behind her back, hiding the dagger I knew she was gripping. My lighthearted gait faltered when I saw the panicked and scared look pass across her face, but pretended to ignore it when the expression was replaced by a beaming smile as she recognized me.
"I am so impressed, Percy Jackson. Who would have thought that you would be up and conscious before 8 o'clock at least? Where are the flying pigs? I must have missed them!" Annabeth teased, a wicked smiled lighting up her face as her grey eyes twinkled with barely suppressed mirth.
Catching her tone and playing along to it, I waved my hand dismissively and resumed an "I-am-greater-than-thou" expression that probably looked ridiculous on my face if the way Annabeth was smiling was any indication.
"If its flying pigs you want, you're a few years too late. The last flying pigs I saw were during the Titan War…" I trailed off dismissively as if I was suddenly the expert on flying pigs and Annabeth simply wasn't worth wasting my precious breath on. I titled my head slightly down, gauging her expression out of the corner of my eye, upon seeing her shaking her head with silent amusement at my antics, resumed my pretentious airs again, and strutted away from her.
I turned around when I heard clapping. Throwing my arms out in a grand gesture much like a ringmaster in the circus, I bowed dramatically.
"Thank you, thank you all!"
Annabeth laughed – and I mean a genuine laugh, not the "I-pity-you-that-was-a-pathetic-excuse-for-a-joke- so-I'm-going-to-laugh-in-hopes-of-making-this-less -awkward" laugh – and pecked me on the lips quickly. By now, other campers came streaming out of the cabins, probably drawn outside by my wonderful performance… or breakfast (I personally think it was the former), and I knew that my time "alone" with my Wise Girl was over.
Grabbing her smaller hand in mine and praying that this action wasn't seen as some sort of inexcusable PDA on my part (Athena has this weird idea that if Annabeth kisses me, it is okay, but if I kiss her, I must be trying to molest her or something), I followed the growing mob of orange shirts to breakfast.
'I will be okay,' I thought, as I looked around at my friends and family. I couldn't imagine getting through half of what I had (and no, I don't just mean the wars) without them by my side.
'As long as I'm not alone, as long as I'm with fellow survivors, I will be just fine.'
Suspicious was not a word of the complementary, optimistic variety.
The word carried a negative connotation with it; one that reeked of paranoia and hid under the depressing cloud of anger and mistrust. I normally wouldn't call myself a suspicious person (because, seriously? I am not depressing, thank you very much), but today, I would definitely say I was feeling suspicious.
Just to get things clear, it takes a lot to make me, Harry James Potter, suspicious. And no, I don't mean the type of suspicious that makes you want to find out more.
What I'm talking about here is that feeling of paranoid dread that hints at horrible things to come. The kind of suspicious that makes you look over your shoulder every five seconds just to reassure yourself that no monstrous being is about to murder you. I'm talking about an emotion so intense, that every cell in your body practically buzzes with wary energy as it runs on hyper-alert.
Yeah, that kind.
I have every right to be a little questioning, though.
I arrived here at Number 12 Grimmauld Place almost a week ago, and boy was I glad to be here. After that whole dementor and the (almost!) expulsion scare, I was glad to be around wizards and witches of the friendly variety… or, what I really should say is that I was glad to be around wizards and witches who weren't trying to a) label me as crazy and throw me in a mad house, b) snap my wand, expel me from Hogwarts and send me back to my aunt and uncle's house, or c) throw me into Azkaban.
Anyways, I thought that being at Grimmauld Place and away from the Dursley's would finally put me in a prime spot to get some information about Voldemort. Well, that and to hang out with the Weasley's and Hermione (who had coincidentally arrived a few days before me) without the pressures of school and the bullying of the M.D.E. (Mini Death Eater) Slytherins.
My train of thought was accurate and I thought I had everything planned out.
Sirius had ever so graciously let Dumbledore use his ancestral home as a headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix. Spelled out in simple terms, this means that the only organization standing between Voldemort winning and squashing me like a bug would be meeting, planning, and generally congregating at the same place I was staying for the rest of summer. I had thought that this would automatically put me in with these meetings, or at least allow me to soak up valuable information about the activities of my BFF Moldyshorts.
I hate being the Boy-Who-Lived, don't get me wrong, but I had thought that if the fame could get me anything, it would be in with the group trying to halt Voldemort.
I was wrong.
See, in all of my best plans, I forgot to work in one little factor. Unfortunately, luck wasn't on my side (but when is it ever?) and this "one little factor" that I neglected to account for ended up being the wrecking ball that smashed my hopes to bits.
Fred, George, Ron, Ginny, Hermione, and I had begged. We had pleaded. We had asked nicely and had used the word 'please' accompanied by innocent smiles. Heck, we had even tried behaving but she wouldn't budge. According to her, we were "just children" who were "too young and innocent to know the horrors of war". Apparently, facing Voldemort every year since I came to Hogwarts and being in mortal danger every second I breathed still put me in the category of "young and innocent". Who knew?
So now, because of the terrifying persuasive power of Molly Weasley, every Order member was on strict orders not to tell us anything. Great, another brilliant plan that I thought was going smoothly until something unexpected was added to the plan and everything exploded into flames. I felt like I was in potions all over again.
It's because of all this, and the rather secretive way Dumbledore smiled, that I am suspicious about this. Approximately three seconds ago, the Headmaster had strode into the room that Ron, Hermione and I were lazing about doing literally nothing in and announced that there was going to be an Order meeting in five minutes and our presence was expected. I didn't want to question the man, but I felt something was up… is up, actually, would be more accurate because now, five minutes later, I still have no clue why I'm feeling wary.
I glanced to my right where Hermione was sitting. Even though she was alternating between reading the thick tome that was perched on her lap and arguing with Ron, I could tell that she was wondering about the bipolar behavior of the adults as well. Order members began wandering in and taking seats, but nobody talked. Suddenly feeling like very out of place, I stopped slouching in my chair and tried very hard not to fidget. I frowned slightly and sighed impatiently.
'I wish they would just start already. If Mrs. Weasley glares any harder at the cookies she's making, I think they will spontaneously combust!' I thought, my mouth quirking up slightly at the image of cookies combusting because of a glare.
The door to the kitchen slammed open, and Snape swept in looking every inch the bat-like dungeon-dwelling git he is. Dumbledore waited until Snape had seated himself as far away as he could from… well, everybody before standing up with a grave expression on his face.
"I won't beat around the bush. I know you all have busy lives to get back to and you've already been kind enough to respond so promptly to this emergency meeting. There is no way to sugar coat this so I am just going to say it. I have recently come across some disturbing news that has the potential to influence the war…" Dumbledore trailed off and looked seriously around at the gathered order members with solemn blue eyes that were void of their normal twinkle.
He took a deep breath, seemingly to steady himself, and I began to feel nervous. What was so horrible that Dumbledore was scared to say? The man defeated Grindlewald for Merlin's sake!
The Headmaster spoke with a voice that was chilling but sure when he opened his mouth to utter the words that would send Number 12 Grimmauld Place into a state of anarchy.
"Voldemort has a grandson."
AN: Okay, please don't hate me! I know this chapter was kind of boring but I had to set up the plot and establish some background information before diving right into the good stuff.
I think this story would be fun to write but whether or not I write any more is totally based off the reaction that this chapter receives.
I'm totally open to criticism as long as it's constructive. Telling me that you hate my story doesn't really help me know what to fix.
Even if you don't have anything outstanding to say, just telling me that you would like my story to continue would make my day. I can see when my story gets views but when people don't respond, I assume that they didn't like it all too much.
So, please REVIEW!
As a little incentive, here's sneak peak to the next chapter…
"Percy! Percy, you have to listen to me!" my mother's desperate begged from the other end of the phone.
My fear for her increased exponentially when I heard her voice. Annabeth would call it my "hero complex" but I wanted to rush over and save her from whatever or whoever was causing her to sound so scared.
"Mom?" I tentatively asked after a few seconds of silence passed again.
I didn't have to wait long for a reply.
"You have to come home, Percy. You have to come home right now."
Then the line went dead and everything was silent.
Well, I hoped that tempted you just enough to make you want to review! Thanks bunches! ;)
~ Amethyst Raindrops 16 ~