W HEN HE SAW THE GIRL, he froze.
In the pouring, freezing rain, there was a girl crying on a street curb. Percy had been heading to home after a quick stop to the corner store, but now he stopped.
Percy looked at the girl in front of him.
The girl was dressed in rags, her pitch-black hair dirty. She was sobbing, and Percy could see what seemed to be blood in her hands.
He crossed the street and went up to the girl. His mom would understand.
The girl sobbed, but Percy sat beside her, taking off his jacket to give to her. The girl tensed, and suddenly froze, as if she had been frozen in time.
Percy looked at her, worried. “I-it’s okay. I’m here to help you.” Percy said. The girl nervously took the jacket and wrapped it around herself. She looked at Percy, and the son of the sea god couldn’t help but think she was cute, albeit roughed up.
She had pale skin - more pale than Nico even, with gentle features, and beautiful grey eyes - not calculating like Annabeth’s, but more gentle, like someone similar to Hazel would have. She seemed fifteen or sixteen, Percy couldn’t be sure. And she had a little scar just below her lip, on the left side. It was shaped like a crescent moon. Percy felt alarms go off in his head at this, but didn’t react.
“Who are you?” Percy asked. The girl looked at him, answering without hesitation. “Diana Holly Winters.” Then, more shy than before. “What about you?” Percy answered Diana’ questions. Who he was, where he was from, why he cared for this girl he didn’t know. That one seemed to be a mix of happiness for someone who cared, and depression, from the way she said it.
Percy was about to answer when he saw someone in the distance. He couldn’t make out the face, but the Stygian iron blade he knew. It was Nico di Angelo, the pale friend in question. If two demigods met this girl at once… Was Nico bringing her to camp?
“Do you have anywhere to go?” Percy asked the girl, but looking at Nico. Percy understood the simple nod Nico gave him, before the son of Hades vanished into the shadows.
The girl, on the other hand, shook her head in response to the question. Percy told her that something important was waiting for her. Somewhere to sleep, eat, make new friends.
Percy hadn’t meant to, but the girl looked so hopeful, Percy knew she was crying tears of joy now.